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The Kilkenny

Observer FREE EDITION Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W:

Friday 17 January 2020

s Che ase ThyTiesckte ets onlin

• Kilkenny’s only locally owned Newspaper •



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020



The Kilkenny



Goffs Thyestes to rock Glorious Gowran

Hearts were thumping as the winning post beckoned on Thyestes Day last year Pic: Donal Foley



HE countdown has begun in earnest to one of the great sporting festivals in the South East. By this day week the Goffs Thyestes Chase will have another champion to follow in the noble hoof prints of the great Arkle and the magnificent Flyingbolt, winners in 1964 and ’66 respectively. The race that was born in 1954 is now a world famous spectacle that tugs at the hearts and minds of aficionados of the sport of kings over several EVERY FRIDAY

continents. The seven-race programme at Gowran Park on Thursday next, January 23 is much more than a day at the races. IT IS AN EXPERIENCE. It is another super opportunity to show off the fantastic complex that is Gowran Park Racecourse and Golf Course, a splendid facility that over the years has played host to the greats, jockeys and horses and teams of talented golfers. GREAT EXPECTATIONS Thousands from around our country, with a contingent of foreign visitors too, will pack into Gowran from early morning on Thursday. All will have great expecta-

The Kilkenny


tions, a classy day of racing, the chance of putting one over on the bookies and a racing festival that will ensure that pencilling in for next year will be a priority on the way home. As we write the top class racecourse crews will be putting the icing on the cake, as it were, ensuring that Gowran Park’s best suit will be cleaned and pressed for an occasion that means so much to so many. The big day is most definitely a family event with cracking entertainment and relaxation for parents and children, grandma and grandpa too. Restaurants will provide top class cuisine at competitive prices and a collection of bars will be open all day.

OLD CODGERS Those who prefer to relax during races can enjoy the action in comfort while still lapping up the excitement. We think too of the dreamers and believers of Thyestes Day who may be patrons for many years or indeed decades. In all sports there are those who simply love their favourite pastime. Horse racing is no different. Grown men, once steely boys and are now old codgers but may still have an adventurous streak in them as they park themselves in the main stand and let their minds meander. They may just picture in their mind’s eye horse heroes of old like Genghis Khan and Ben Hur.

Now we are walking on the wild side. Those in such a frame of mind will know that another great Thyestes contest is a mere minutes away. Adrenalin is pumping as runners, riders and supporters are united in expectation.

They are admired and respected. Our great wish at The Kilkenny Observer is that another full house will delight in a series of cracking races that begin at 12.30pm. Last year it was Ruby Walsh on Invitation Only trained by the inimitable Willie Mullins that HEART OF ACTION crashed past the winning post It has to be a great feeling. first. Please God it will be an i You are at the heart of the action njury-free event. along with an estimated 8,000 others to experience great dis- THE WINNER? plays of horsemanship, superb Now there’s a job for a sewing tactics and the kind of courage needle. that doesn’t grow on trees. Close your eyes and prod High power horse racing is not away at the race card. for faint-hearted. More Thyestes pics and stories Jockeys are among the bravPages 24 &39 to 49 est sportsman and women in the world.


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020






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Miracle Tree will Thought For The Day bear fruit in 2020 CLAIR WHITTY Nutritional Health Coach


ET’S SEE What’s Trending for 2020 I wonder what will be trending in natural health in 2020. It’s always interesting to see what’s predicted. Veganism is continuing to rise and the numbers of people making the change are expected to increase in 2020. Expect to see more foods claiming to be vegan that were always vegan to begin with, for example, foods like bran flakes and porridge may now “say suitable for vegans” across the front of the packet. Don’t be fooled by marketing check the ingredients yourself. There will also be more plantbased meat products to choose from, Good Catch Tuna, a fish alternative made from legumes and is one example. FIG FAMILY FRUIT Jackfruit, a fruit from the fig family, is growing in popularity. It has lots of health benefits for the vegan diet as well as providing a meaty


texture to a meal. There’s an abundance of interesting recipes online on how to use it. Take a look at it if you haven’t heard of this fruit. There is a trend towards healthier snacks for people to have on the go, so you may notice that there are healthier foods, fresh foods, with honest labelling, and less packaging too. It was expected that Moringa, also known as Miracle Tree, would be the number one supplement last year. It didn’t quite make it, however people are still learning about it.

considered one of the most nutrient rich plants in the world. Let’s keep an eye on this supplement. An interesting prediction for me is watermelon seeds. It is suggested that they could contribute to boosting heart health and are linked to better health in general. Let’s watch this space. We’ll see an increase in reusable water containers and coffee cups, and glass or cardboard water bottles. I wonder how long it will take until we won’t see plastic bottles for sale anywhere. I think everyone is making an effort to reduce plastic at this HEALTH BENEFITS point. It’s suggested that it has amazing I hope that 2020 will be a great health benefits including anti-age- year for you, happy New Year to ing, a source of antioxidants, and is you all.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




the Downton Ball in aid of St.Lukes General Hospital

Saturday February 15th


1920’s Theme Drinks Reception from 7pm Canapes 4 Course Meal Live Music from The Honey Dews Swing Band


per ticket

Tickets available via Eventbrite or at the Hotel Reception. For Overnight Packages please contact the Reservation Department: T: +353 56 776 0502 E:


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Our trinity can drive to glory

Tullaroan warriors will sing The Sash Pics: Donal Foley



F YOU are a Kilkenny hurling follower and like to take in all games then you need to put your tent in the boot of the car for the weekend. Dublin or more precisely Croke Park will be your base. If you set out around noon on Saturday you should be in time to take in two All-Irelands, the second of which will surely be played under floodlights. In the first game at 4pm Conahy Shamrocks take on Russell Rovers from Cork, the pipe opener of a three AlB AllIreland Finals programme. This should be a really tough challenge for the Jenkinstown, Conahy Club that has represented Kilkenny so brilliantly on the way to a Junior Club decider. Appetite whetted following game one,

you should be settled in nicely for game Comerford family Academy that loves to greet Kilkenny people. two. NEW YEAR THRILLER The latter is the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Hurling Final between Kilkenny’s Tullaroan and another Cork outfit, Fr O’Neill’s. The throw-in is at 6pm and this promises to be a real New Year thriller as Tommy Walsh‘s wonderful warriors plan to bring home the bacon in style. Hopefully, with two All-Irelands under our belts, at that stage of what will hopefully be an enjoyable evening in Dublin, you must then make the big decision. It will be the case of booking into a local hotel, the fabulous Kilkennyowned Academy Plaza at 10-14 Findlater Place, O’Connell Street Upper, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 X2X0, 01-878 0666 is a fabulous spot, or pitching the tent on Stephens Green if the boys in blue give you the green light. Our preference would be for the

THE TREBLE IS ON So should you decide that the weather is too cold for the tent and you return home for a night in the leaba, then it will certainly an early start on Sunday. You will be out of the scratcher at cockcrow on Sunday morning as the throw-in for what many see as the big one of the weekend, Ballyhale Shamrocks v Borris-Illeigh, Tipperary is down for 2pm in Croker. Safe driving and keep warm and well is the best we can offer to aficionados who decide to spend much of their time on Leinster Roads at the weekend. Hopefully the M50 will be the road to success for the three great GAA Clubs representing Catland on Saturday and Sunday. A treble? Why not? It would be magnificent.

Ballyhale Shamrocks will not be pushed aside

Conahy Shamrocks have true grit

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Convoy of respect for Jimmy Dowling T

HE STAGE is set for what the organisers hope will be the biggest ever tractor run held in South Kilkenny. A convoy will remember and honour the late Jimmy Dowling who was from the parish of Dunnamaggin. He was a great community man, was very popular and his passion was for tractors. Jimmy passed away in November 18. He was born in 1950. The run is in aid of St Joseph’s Home, Kilmoganny, Carlow, Kilkenny Home Care Team and Dunnamaggin Hurling Club, organisations that Jimmy help

South Kilkenny salutes Jimmy Dowling

A little beauty up for auction

closely to his kind heart. Before the tractor run there will be an auction to support the fund. Jimmy’s family has devoted one of his vintage tractors which should arouse much interest as it goes under the hammer. TRACTOR DISPLAY Those wishing to register tractors for the event should contact Andrew O’Neill on 087-9505171. The run begins at 1pm. Sunday registration is from 11.30 to 12.30pm, followed by the novel auction and then the giant tractor display moves off from Dunnamaggin and trav-

els around local roads before and finishing with community refreshments in the local hall. All vehicles will be welcomed along with tractors, including lorries, vintage tractors, cars and motor bikes For more information contact Billy at 086-8236840 or Kevin o86-8409378. The men, women and children from a wide area are expected to turn out to remember Jimmy. His tribute will mean magnificent boost for the local beneficiaries of the event which is expected to be truly spectacular.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020







COURAGE - COMMITMENT - CARE Continue your preference for:

Bobby Aylward & Jennifer Murnane O'Connor



On the Ball for St Luke’s K

ILKENNY’S Newpark Hotel is to host a Charity Ball to raise funds for St Luke’s General Hospital. Are you a fan of the period drama television series Downton Abbey or do you simply love the fashion of that era? If so, we’ve got just the event for you. On Saturday, February 15, Newpark Hotel will host the Downton Ball in aid of Friends of St Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny. The charity, set up in 1991, aims to support the work of all the staff at St Luke’s to ensure that the patient gets the best available treatment and service to his or her recovery.

1920s glamour

SAFETY FOR INFANTS The charity has purchased life-saving equipment over the years and is currently fundraising for a Transfer Ventilator to facilitate the safer transfer of small and young infants and children to the intensive care units in Crumlin and Temple Street Hospitals. This elegant 1920s-themed event will commence with a drinks’ reception and canapes from 7pm.

The attendees will be called into Newpark Hotel’s stunning ballroom at 7.45pm where they will be treated to a sumptuous four-course meal. The Lords and Ladies can then dance the night away to The Honey Dews Swing Band. The attire for the evening is optional upstairs 1920s or formal wear. GLAM EVENT Paul Beehan, General Manager of Newpark Hotel told the Kilkenny Observer the hotel was delighted to be hosting this glamorous event. Barbara Schofield, Secretary of The Friends of St Luke’s General Hospital said it was thrilled to have been selected as the chosen charity for this event. “The donation we receive will bring us a step closer to having the funds needed to purchase a Transfer Ventilator.” Tickets are €50 and are available via Eventbrite or at the hotel’s reception. For overnight packages please contact the reservation department on +353 567760502 or email

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Car invite for Observer readers A S DEALER principal, Darren Hayes, would like to invite Kilkenny Observer readers to the launch of its range of cars, meet local celebrities and enjoy the day at his showroom. Darren Hayes Motors at 16 Barrow Valley Retail Park, Carlow, invites the

people of Carlow, Kilkenny and beyond to the launch in association with SsangYong tomorrow, Saturday, January 18 at 2pm. He has 30 years’ experience in the motor trade and is very passionate about the Korean SsangYong vehicles such as the Tivoli, the Musso, The Rexton and the Korando.

There will also be the launch of the new R5 Rally Car sponsorship with the National Champion Eugene Donnelly and the Donnelly Motorsport Team. Join them on the day to celebrate the launch, have a look at the cars and talk to Darren.

Our brilliant Book Centre

Future of books is assured


HE book store is definitely not dead. The Book Centre, Kilkenny announces the opening of an exciting extension to its High Street store. Ger Lynch, manager of the store said in a statement that the Book Centre would not have invested almost half a million Euro in this venture if it did not have confidence in the future of the book business.


086 067 7875

“We believe that a well-run book store where the customers’ interests are always put first-- not just in comfort and atmosphere but also in advice and support-- has a bright and busy future. “We invite all young and not so young to come and visit our new extension.” Ger has invited book lovers of all ages to drop in and inspect the new look premises on High Street.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Super Sandra loses five and a half stone A

SLIMMING World member has lost five and a half stone since she joined her local Kilkenny group three years ago. Sandra says that she found it difficult to pick up the courage to join Slimming World as she lacked the confidence to walk through the doors. With the support from her niece, she finally took that first step and went along to her first group. She had told her niece: “I will try it once and if I don’t like it I won’t go back.” Now Sandra looks back thinking: “Why did I wait so long?”. She loves her group and nothing stops her from making it to her weigh-in every week. She has had some hard times losing her brother and a huge operation but she picked herself

up and got to her group where she said she got fantastic support from her consultant Suzanne and the other members in group. She hasn’t missed a group session n three years now. Food Optimising with Slimming World means you can have everything and nothing is off limits. DREAM TARGET WEIGHT Sandra loved this idea. “You can have so many delicious meals, some of my favourites are stir fries, spaghetti bolognese, omelettes and of course I was thrilled to hear I could enjoy Slimming World Chips too, I can enjoy all of these and still lose weight,” she said. Before embarking on her Slimming World journey, Sandra admitted she was terrified of walking in the door, having

to speak in group and being judged. She said she had walked past the doors many times but couldn’t pick up the courage. Now she knows there was no need to be afraid. The help and support from Suzanne, the other members at the meetings and the online website was fantastic. “I realised I wasn’t the only one who was nervous and I soon knew I absolutely could do this” Sandra is thrilled she has come this far, she has more confidence now, she has more energy and she loves to go walking now which she does with ease. She reached her dream target weight at Slimming World and is now a Diamond Target Member which means she has maintained her dream weight for over one year.

Top: Sandra before she started slimming Right: Sandra today: Slim, trim and brim-ful of energy

CONFIRMATION SKIRT Sandra laughs, saying: “I can now fit into the confirmation skirt I wore when I was 12 years old”. She also says that family support is so important, “ I got huge support from my sons and I couldn’t do it without them.” “Suzanne told me on my very first day that taking a seat in group every week would be

a huge part in my success, she was so right, we are a big family packed with love, support and motivation. “I would encourage anyone to take that first step like I did, it will be the best decision you ever make, it was for me.” Suzanne says: “I am so proud of Sandra, her confidence and self-esteem has rocketed in group, she is such a huge

inspiration to all of us and her commitment blows me away.” You can join Suzanne at her Slimming World groups every Tuesday in the Club House Hotel at 9.30 and 11,30am and 5.30pm and 7.30 pm. Also Wednesdays at 10am. Start your own story and take your first step. Call Suzanne on 083-1014038.



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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


The Kilkenny Convict hero T

HE Kilkenny Journal edition of November 19, 1884 reported of an incident in Kilkenny Prison on the previous Saturday. James Hogan, a resident of Walkin Street and an employee of Power & Son had a marvellous escape from what would have been a shocking death while working in the County Prison, at a depth of 64 feet, in a pump well which he was cleaning. He had been proceeding with his work when at about noon, portion of the well lining started falling in. He was gripped at the hips and held in the sludge. He quickly signalled In Distress. Mr Purcell his supervisor realised the perilous situation and summoned all available hands to render assistance. The first efforts proving unsuccessful, it immediately became clear to his co-workers the awful situation and sent horror through those who were witnesses. Death by drowning stared the unfortunate man in the face. STRUGGLE FOR LIFE The water rose quickly but in a desperate struggle for life he worked in bailing out the water in buckets lowered to him by a windlass. Exhaustion set in and his case looked hopeless when partaking of some stimulants supplied to him by Mr Purcell. He cheeringly said all was not lost with him. Rev M. Dalton having attended, exorted the man to recite the absolution prayers. As a result of a consultation with Dr. Johnson, the visiting physician, Hogan was strapped in a leather harness and attached to a windlass for the purpose of hauling him up. Gradually the wheel turned, gradually the rope tightened but the agonising screams from the man indicated the pain he was enduring and could result in limbs being separated from body. As a last resort Mr Purcell and two men were lowered into the well at 5.00 p.m. They remained working with picks and shovels until 9.30pm when their exertions were rewarded with success. RECEIVED WITH CHEERS Hogan was free and as he ascended to the top of the well he was received with cheers by those who surrounded it. Amongst them Captain Stewart, Governor of the Prison who rendered what aid he could as was within his power. Father Dalton was given great credit for remaining with the unfortunate man until he was brought to safety. Hogan was weak but by Monday evening completely recovered. Throughout his ordeal he

displayed a courage which perhaps served to save him from what would have been a shocking death. A letter in the Kilkenny Journal of the following week, November 22, 1884, from Captain Hugh Stewart, Governor of the Prison and a caustic by the Editor appeared. The letter read as follows.

MAN’S BOOTS We hasten to give insertion to the above as Captain Stewart says: “The accident was simply caused by the man’s boots getting stuck in the mud” it seems strange to us that for a trifling mishap, the man had to be extricated by the aid of a windlass not to speak of the “picks” and remained in this perilous position for ten hours. His boots must have been exceedingly “tight” and the “mud” very adhesive. The Editor, Kilkenny Journal In a subsequent issue November 26, 1884, the following comment appears: But special mention should be made of Peter Betts who descended the well three times and finally succeeded in getting the prisoner free. Local tradition also asserts that one of the prisoners gallantly offered his services on the occasion and performed heroic work in the liberation of James Hogan. This convict was doing a sentence of 10 years and in recognition of his services on the occasion his sentence was remitted. The Silver Medal of the Royal Humane Society for life saving was subsequently awarded to Peter Betts. Sources: The Kilkenny Journal, November 1884.


Her Majesty’s Prison. Kilkenny November 21, 1884 Sir, I as Governor of the above prison would feel obliged by correcting some mis-statements in your issue of Wednesday last regarding the accident which occurred at the well which is being sunk in this prison. Your informant has not furnished you with the true facts of the case. Firstly it would appear that no help was rendered until 5.30pm whereas in reality help was at hand within 15 minutes of James Hogan’s signal of distress at 12.30pm. Secondly, no part of the lining of the well gave way, the accident was simply caused by the man’s boots getting stuck in the mud, in which he was engaged at removing from the well. Mr Purcell, Messrs Power’s foreman accompanied by Peter Betts, descended the well and after using every endeavour to lift the man out by pulley and winch which proved ineffectual commenced working in sending up to the surface the semi-liquid stuff from around the legs of the man Hogan, which held him fast. FRESH VOLUNTEERS This continued for three and a half hours on a stretch, when they were relieved by fresh volunteers who went down. Thirdly it was Dr Johnson who suggested the iron crook as a means of release, although the rope and winch were used, sufficient strain was not at any time to make the man cry out in agony. Messrs Power’s men relieved each other at intervals in this humane work proceeding throughout under the superintendence of Mr Purcell. The water, being kept under control during the nine hours of suspense, there was really no danger of the man being drowned. The courage of the man Hogan was beyond that displayed by most ordinary men. In concluding these remarks, I make, I wish to say that the men who assisted in this release deserve the greatest praise for their unceasing energy to relieve their comrade. I am, yours, etc. Hugh Steward

Gaol architect was paid £60

(J. Lucey. 2018. Si quæris monumentum, circumspice: William Robertson (1770-1850), Kilkenny’s first architect. Old Kilkenny Review Journal of Kilkenny Archaeological Society 70, 141-175).


e did the plans for the new county jail (gaol), a spacious stone building with 48 cells on Stephens Street, completed in 1807 which was in use up until 1933 and demolished in 1948.

An original stone, with inscription, from the building marks the site in Stephens Street where it stood. Most of the stone from the site went into the bank of the GAA stadium at Nowlan Park. In the inspector general’s

report of 1825 it was described as ‘the best constructed prison I have seen that has not been erected on the modern plan for classification and inspection’. Prior to this the jail was a primitive dungeon under

the old courthouse, with no ventilation, where inmates were often chained to the wall. In 1815 Robertson completed work on improvements to the old city jail and courthouse for which he received £60.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020



with Jimmy Rhatigan

School secretaries’ paltry pay: €12,000 a year! T

HE STRIKE by school secretaries over a measly pay offer yet again highlights the Scrooge-like thinking of Leo Varadkar and his men and women in arms. Thousands of secretaries have been demanding job security but, sadly, we believe they have a mountain to climb.

Adrienne Wallace: Fighting for secretaries

Those in the higher echelons of power don’t like distributing taxpayers’ money unless it is to themselves. We hope the secretaries will understand when we say that they remind of the priests’ housekeepers of old. The common denominator would be that both were poorly paid but on a positive front both would perhaps be aptly described as the engine rooms of local churches and local schools respectively. School secretaries are paid a pitiful, wait for it, €12,000 a year, certainly not a king’s ransom and an insult to all who do such magnificent work in schools. Down through the years, the padre’s housekeeper, just like the good woman in John B. Keane’s super play Moll, ran the parochial house and indeed the parish from A to Z. CALLING THE SHOTS There may be those who will argue that the priest was the captain of the ship. He may have been but his first officer, whether he liked it or not, was calling the shots and minding the purse. Similarly, those of us who deal with schools on press and pictorial issues from time to time always find that a job will be done

very well and done on time when you deal with the secretary. And how are the secretaries rewarded? They are thrown a financial sop that anyone should be ashamed to hand over to such competent people. Cunningly, our public representatives on high, Leo and the lads now have a get out clause as the issue of chronic pay and lack of job security have hit the local and national newspaper headlines. Calling for support for the secretaries at a Carlow Municipal District Meeting, Councillor Adrienne Wallace asked the Minister for Education to ensure there was job security and a decent wage for the secretaries. But it seems that her dart was aimed at the wrong bull’s eye on the dartboard of education. ANCILLARY GRANT Adrienne explained: “Most school secretaries are employed directly by their school’s board of management and paid from the school’s ancillary grant. “This system shows exactly how school secretaries are undervalued. “An ancillary grant means they are paid out of the ‘extra’ bit’ left over after running costs of a school are covered.” One of the main reasons for this is that secretaries receive no pay during holiday periods. Yet the reality is that there is much admin work to be done during holiday times and this is no reason why the jobs should not be proper year-long posts, Adrienne explained. We would assume that most if not all others on school staffs are paid during holiday stints. And that is how it should be. But there is a disgusting anomaly in that the secretaries don’t get a bob for their troubles at vocation time. It is a case of live horse, eat grass. Adrienne is fuming over what we can only call an injustice. “Two factors lie behind this strange position. Firstly, Ireland operates a system whereby religious-run most schools and these receive grants from the State to fund their operations.

CULTURE OF SEXISM “Secondly the position of school secretaries is normally held by women. As part of a wider culture of sexism, their pay was seen as just a ‘supplement’ rather than being a proper full time job,” said Adrienne. Just as Irish women have stood up in other areas against a disgraceful treatment, school

secretaries have moved to gain proper respect and pay. Adrienne told The Kilkenny Observer that her party, People Before Profit is fully behind the secretaries. She said it was disgraceful that the Workplace Relations Commission awarded them a tiny 1.5% increase. “This should be put on the payroll of the Department and given proper job security.

“It is our hope that the teachers’ unions will come out fully in support of their colleagues.” The reality is that there are many people who must now stand up and be counted as these hard-working girls continue to be victimised. Hopefully the unions will back the secretaries. Hopefully the school boards of managements will show their support as they are indeed being

used as a conduit of convenience by nasty and uncaring politicians. These girls deserve support and fair play to Councillor Wallace for taking up their case. Finally, here is a point to ponder. One wonders if any of those agreeing to pay secretaries €12,000 will be chasing those jobs for their own children. We think not.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Our world famous publican dies JIMMY RHATIGAN EDITOR

• 1964


hile visiting Ireland Harry Kirwan’s car breaks down. He is picked up on the road by Matthew Maher. Harry promises him a job in New York. Matty goes to NY to work as a waiter and bartender at McSorley’s. •1969 McSorley’s Old Ale house is sued to allow women to enter. • 1970 McSorley’s under order of the court and law from the city council considers becoming a private club, but relents to the pressure and opens its doors to women. There are no restrooms for the women. Danny Kirwan wants his mother to be the first woman served. She refuses citing the promise she made her father. Predictions of the end of McSorley’s reverberate around the world. • 1974 Dorothy Kirwan dies.

• 1975 Harry Kirwan dies. McSorley’s old Ale house now belongs to their beloved son as Harry refers to him, Danny Kirwan. • 1977 Matthew Maher, night manager of McSorley’s buys the place from Danny Kirwan. It is now owned by the third family since opening in 1854. • 1986 Women’s restroom installed at the Old House. • 1994 Matthew Maher’s daughter, Teresa Maher de la Haba, becomes the first woman to work behind the bar • 2020 Matty Maher dies at the age of 80 THERE ARE hundreds and perhaps thousands of stories that could be fitted in between the bullet-points following the passing of perhaps the world’s most famous publican. Matty Maher, owner of McSorley’s Old Ale House in New York just happens to be a wonderfully proud son of Threecastles, four miles or thereabouts from our city.

Matty’s meteoric rise to fame could be written as one of the great success stories of world business, it could be penned as another fairytale of New York or it could be scribed as a life story that would have as many twists and turns as the roadway at Campion’s Bar, owned by the late Martin Campion. Leaning against the window of the latter pub you can decide to head for Kilkenny City, Freshford or Ardaloo. It was from this area that the late Matty Maher found his love for what he probably called the great game of hurling. He was GAA through and through and despite being hailed as a New York businessman, he retained the great love of place that ensured Threecastles was always in his warm heart. It is reported that Matty The Welcome Home sign is perhaps apt under the circumstances. Matty Maher always said his passed away peacefully on June pub was owned by his customers rather than by himself 11 surrounded by his five loving daughters and wife Tess. The choice of beers at McSorley’s was certainly uncomplicated. You could have light or dark beer. Today we salute one of our great sons who did us so proud on the world business stage.

This great photograph of Matty was taken by New York photographer Scott Jones

Matty Maher and his daughter, Teresa Maher de la Haba, McSorley’s first female bartender. Pic taken 1999

A beautiful place to be snowed in

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Brave Newpark must motor to Mayo for match By Jimmy Rhatigan FANTASTIC RUN “We have to sit down, discuss our HE LONG wait was finally travelling, make sure of kick-off, over. Newpark, fresh from venue and other vitals and after another great weekend that the game is in the lap of the win in the FAI Junior Cup finally gods,” Paul told The Kilkenny Obknow their opponents for the last server. “It would be great to keep 16 match. And, just as important our fantastic run and why not,” they also knew that their last Paul asked. It will be on record that West16 clash in the national cup will be played away and not at their port won their one and only FAI Bog Grounds in Newpark on the Cup Final in 2005 when they had periphery of Kilkenny City. West- a great victory in Kilkenny City’s port United will be their oppo- Buckley Park. So the Mayo lads motored nents on the weekend of February 2 and the game will be played here to win silverware. Now Newpark will drive in in Westport, County Mayo. Club official Paul O’Reilly had prom- the opposite direction to take ised that his club would accept another giant step to the quarterthe luck of the draw. The cookie finals. Easier said than done. didn’t crumble Newpark’s way But certainly not impossible. but the Eastern Environs Club is The countdown begins. already making plans and looking forward to the game.


GET TO KNOW WETLAND BIRDS BIRDWATCH Kilkenny’s next event is a talk by Brian Burke on the Wetland Bird Survey. Find out how our wetland birds are doing and get to know your wetland birds. The talk is on January 22 at 8pm in the Heritage Council offices, Church Lane. Kilkenny. Everybody is welcome. For information, call Pat or Mary Durkin at 056-7762130.

Shamrock boys love their hurling THESE Shamrocks, Ballyhale boys love their hurling. So with smiles on their faces, woolly hats keeping their ears warm, hurleys at the ready and bicycles primed to rock, the notion is that they could be headed for a Sunday spin to support their heroes in the AllIreland Club Senior Hurling Final at 2pm.

Thyestes action at Boyle-ing Point W

ITH THE biggest day of the year at Gowran Park, the Goffs Thyestes Chase Day just around the corner, BoyleSports are strengthening their racecourse presence in Ireland with the takeover of the SP shop in Gowran Park. BoyleSports has a number of shops in the locality in Kilkenny, Carlow, Bagenalstown, Castlecomer, Callan, Urlingford and Thomastown. Fit out is taking place at present and will be ready in time for the biggest race day of the year in Gowran Park on January 23. Gowran Park Manager Eddie happy with the new improved Scally is looking forward to the SP shop on offer at Gowran new partnership and feels it’s a Park.” Gowran Park has a busy great fit for Gowran Park. schedule of meetings right across the year with 17 race BUSY SCHEDULE Eddie added: “We are delighted meetings in 2020. There are six national hunt to welcome BoyleSports to Gowran Park starting on Goffs Thyes- meetings from October to March tes Day, Boylesports has really plus a busy flat schedule culmistarted to increase its presence nating with the Group 3 Denny in this region in the past number Cordell Lavarack and Lanwades of years and we feel the product Stud Fillies Stakes in September, and service they provide for the won this year by English raider racing public is second to none. Four White Socks. “I am really excited to work with John, Conor and the team SIGNED A DEAL at Boylesports over the com- Leon Blanche, Head of Commuing weeks and months and am nications for BoyleSports told sure our customers will be very The Kilkenny Observer:

Observer Observer Briefs Soccer Fixtures FREE COMPUTER CLASSES

IN conjunction with Age Action, Ferrybank Library is delivering free computer classes on a oneto-one basis on the use of computers, tablets and smartphones for anyone over the age of 55. If you would like to be part of this class please contact Ferrybank Library 051-897200 to book a place. The next computer class starts on January 29 at 10.30am and runs for five weeks.

“We are thrilled to have signed a deal with Gowran Park Racecourse to open up a BoyleSports betting shop. With the Goffs Thyestes meeting just around the corner, we anticipate a very busy opening day as it’s always a fantastic day’s racing with a huge crowd. “We are sure the customer will appreciate the level of quality we will bring to the on course betting experience.” This latest announcement comes on the back of the news in recent days that BoyleSports have taken over the William Hill betting shops in Northern Ireland bringing their number of shops on the island to 298.


Do you enjoy a chat as Gaeilge? Ferrybank’s Ciorcal Cómhra meets every second Thursday at 1130am in Ferrybank Library The ciorcal has a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. If you have a cúpla focal and you would like the chance to use it, the ciorcal is the place to be for craic, caint is comhrá. Please feel free to go along and join in. You will be welcomed with a céad mile fáilte!. The next ciorcal is on January 30 at 11.30am. All are welcome. For further details please contact Ferrybank Library on 051897200 or email ferrybank@


Rosslare v Freebooters, 11am U19 LEAGUE (2PM)

Callan v Evergreen; Thomastown v Lions; Highview v Deen Celtic SUNDAY, JANUARY 19 LEINSTER JUNIOR CUP (2PM)

Freebooters v Glynn Barntown; Shamrock Rovers (Wexford) v Evergreen DIVISION 1 (11AM)

Newpark A v East End; Stoneyford v Fort Rangers DIVISION 2 (11AM)

Bridge B v River Rangers; Castlewarren v Lions; Thomastown B v Paulstown DIVISION 3

Clover B v St John’s, 11am U17 SHIELD (2PM)

Evergreen v Lions; Highview Athletic v Callan

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Brisk business at Oriental Ming Court


T IS always nice to see a new business opening in Kilkenny. And so it was before Christmas when the new owners’ opened The Oriental Ming Court on Parliament Street. Situated across from The Watergate Theatre The Oriental Ming Court, boasts a seating area for 40 people. So far, business is brisk, particularly with

people attending shows at the theatre or after a day’s shopping in our city centre. The Chinese Restaurant opens daily from 4.30 and all day on Sunday. There is a very strong trade in take away and delivery service and the Oriental Ming specialise in party bookings such as communion and other special occasions. Telephone contact: 056-7751944

A bright and cheerful interior

Front of house opposite The Watergate

You are warmly invited to come and listen to Thoughts shared from In the Hoban Hotel (Formerly Aspect Hotel Kilkenny, ring road R95, XV2D )

Sundays 7-8pm Also in

Kilkenny Education Centre Callan rd, Wetland.R95 RH97 TALKS ARE FREE AND ALL ARE WELCOME

Contact no: 087 7421964

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Reflections on mystical Stone-age

The Walsh Mountains

By Ned Egan


NE the eeriest day-time experiences I ever had was in the townland of Harristown, up behind Mullinavat. It was a November day, many years ago, when I trundled my old jalopy up the back roads, through the bleak beauty of the area. A friend had told me about the Dolmen that was up that way. I knew – and still know – little about these strange Megalithic structures. I think their purpose was sort of religious, even though the Dolmen erected 3,000 years before Jesus showed up. Tombs for the rich or the brave? Monuments to animal-skin clad warriors? Everyone has an opinion – only the builders knew. When I stood beside this simple structure – one huge stone slab supported by a few others, I could imagine scores of wildlooking men, dragging rocks that would have weighed a ton each – no easy task – as horses were away in the future, unknown of.

FIGHT OFF WOLVES Probably being harassed by other tribes that couldn’t mind their own business.

Just like now. Maybe having to fight off wolves and woolly bears…and humans back then only having a life expectancy of 40-years. Doesn’t leave much time for fun and games… As I stood there, on that dark afternoon, whatever light that there was fading. I got a feeling of not being alone. The people who put this memorial, gravestone or whatever it is, up, were my ancestors – more than 100 generations ago. Looking over towards Blackbog, and around the Walsh Mountains, I could imagine lean men of the Stone Age carrying on the great advances that took us above the animals. The animal can build a home, but leave’s nothing to outlive his or her lifetime. COLD STREAM CHAT There was a cold stream chattering away behind me, the great sweep of land shadowing away towards the distant River Suir, and ghosts were my only company in the slashing November wind. It was almost like being in a mighty cathedral, on that dark day, long ago. Lots of folk know far more than I of this subject. I don’t claim to be an historian. I just write what comes to me. My experience that day inspired a little poem about Newgrange, that great portal into Stone-Age past:

These stones were hewn Beneath the racing clouds, - Pale ash trees stand, As cold as older heartbreak; Furze and birch, and a sweeping sally shroud This place that faces the rising sun.

Take a stone, and place it on a The Harristown Dolmen stone, In wonder, watch them grow, To cleave the granite corbels in their clasp … This mound - the wild sky under Knows its shape … And, in the east, Our worshipped sun flares balances On its edge A cutting disc of keen fire. White - low-dazzling – Is the path it tramples through these bogs… Its knives, flashing like scimitars, Slash the curtains of the new born day Readying – advancing…. To steal two heartbeats From our shortening live Newgrange

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Active academy highly respected K

ILKENNY Combat Academy’s first outing of the year was to Keith Fanning’s Dojo (Club) in Dublin for the Masters and Grandmasters Seminar. There was a packed hall with senior masters from all over the country and abroad. From the USA Ralph Bergano 10th Dan took to the floor for the men’s age. He was grease lightning. Next from Spain was Nacho Iglesias, a 6th Dan in Judo and Krav Maga. Working through an interpreter he demonstrated very fast and effective technique. GM Denis Davis had travelled from the UK, his first time back in Ireland in over 30 years. He could not take the class due to ill health but it was great to see him again. Following this was club host Keith Fanning, 9th Dan and GM Tom Foley 10th Dan and a host of senior Masters.

bat Academy Chief Instructor Mirek Stankiewicz 4th Dan. The seminar was led by GM Cezary Podraza 10th Dan. Cezary is the Worldwide President of the World Kickboxing Network and is a seven times Pro World Kickboxing Champion. A two-hour seminar with Cezary had all totally exhausted but totally worthwhile with the amount of technique shown to them by a great man who travelled from Poland. A presentation of 10th Dan Black Belt was made to GM Tom Foley by Cezary Podraza and the WKN. As GM Foley is one of the people who brought Professional Kickboxing to Ireland in 1979 along with Rocky Lawlor, Jim Woods, Austin Spencer, Murray Beatts and Thomas D. St Charles (USA) it was a great honour. Tom was awarded his 10th FAST AND HEAVY Dan in karate from Japan two Next up in Portlaoise was an years ago. Instructors’ Workshop in Krav Maga and general martial arts. WORLDWIDE PRESIDENT This was a fast and heavy event He is also the Worldwide Presiincluding hand to hand combat dent of the Back Dragon Asand various types of weapon. sociation Kokuryu Kai and the Everyone went home very World All Styles Combat Assosore but very happy. Mirek ciation which boasts members Stankiewicz was organiser and and affiliate associations in 126 gave the use of his club. countries. Well done to all the stuNot bad from a humble dents and instructors from the start in the mid-‘Seventies in Kilkenny Combat Academy who Kilkenny City. GM Podraza was were successful in their gradings. awarded a certificate of appreQueen of the ring Mags Walsh ciation from the association for from Kilkenny passed her 1st all the great work he does for Dan in great style. Her colleagues the arts across the World. Troy Holohan and James DunAlso awarded well deserved phy each gained a well-deserved ranks in Kickboxing from Po2nd Dan. draz were Kikenny Instructor The academy had juniors and Robert Miskow to 5th Dan and seniors also in the hunt for higher Mirek Stankiewicz from Portgrades and did exceptionally laoise, his 4th Dan. well. Later on in the day GM Foley The Combat Academy is now and GM Podraza conducted a recognised as one of the top certified instructors’ seminar clubs in the Country. for referees and judges in kickRecently club members at- boxing, semi-contact karate and tended a Kickboxing Seminar kata. and a Grandmasters’ Seminar in This was well attended with Portlaoise. people travelling from across the country. It was an interacTOTALLY EXHAUSTED tive seminar and all passed It was hosted by Portlaoise Com- their tests.

James Dunphy receives 2nd Dan from Tom Foley

Grand Master Tom Foley received 10th Dan rank in kickboxing from Worldwide President of the World Kickboxing Network and seven times Pro World Kickboxing Champion Cezary Podraza 10th Dan. Cezary was also presented with a cert of appreciation from for all the great work he does for the art worldwide

Group photo at the Kick Boxing Seminar and Grand Masters Seminar led by GM Cezary Podraza 10th Dan and Tom Foley 10th Dan

Troy Holohan receives 2nd Dan from Tom Foley

Mags Walsh receives her 1st Dan from GM Tom Foley 10th Dan

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




Thyestes Chase





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Polish and Irish work together for our children and seniors A

HAPPY holiday Sunday brought what can only be described as an excellent and well worthwhile charity event WOSP. This Pan European Event was supported by First Finance and Twilight Community Group. Sunday was the first time the Marble City was one of the collection centres. The Polish Diaspora and our local people can be proud of what was done. The turnout was incredible. There was fantastic cuisine.

decided it was time to take things into their own hands. They started the Great Christmas Orchestra Charity. It was such a success they raised enough money to get the heart surgery for that young child and another 39 surgeries. Now as a Pan European Charity event it raises over €24 million per annum to assist hospitals with patient INTO OWN HANDS A leading hospital in Poland could not care and equipment for children and perform heart surgery on a child and seniors. MacDonagh Junction was a hive a the group and its leader Jurek Owsiak Everyone in Kilkenny has great respect for the Polish Community and its activities in the region. We have Polish owed businesses that contribute to our economy providing great professional services for all. What are the funds for? This is the 28th year of the event. It began in 1993.

A Polish Consulate will open in hive of activity. There were songs by Polish Irish Duo Sylwia Grzegorska Kilkenny this February to assist Polish and Stephen Garret, Zumba dancing Communities throughout the region. The incredible work done by all from by Ania and Agata, with food stalls, the organising of the event and staging treats and face painting. this four-hour extravaganza didn’t go unnoticed. GREAT FAMILY FUN The new Honorary Polish Consular Draws and lotteries were held all day long with great fun for all the family. All to Ireland Murty Brennan who will be members of the Polish Community in based in the new Kilkenny Consulate the region should be so proud of their was very impressed and is eager to efforts and generosity to the Great support the Diaspora in whatever way he and consulate staff can. Christmas Orchestra Charity.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Fundraiser for friends of the District Hospital CHUBBY BRENNAN’S CASTLECOMER


RIN’S OWN Hurling Club in association with the friends of Castlecomer Hospital travel to climb Croagh Patrick on Saturday, January 25. The proceeds will be used to provide therapeutic activities for patients. Anyone wishing to donate please contact Christy Ryan (chairman), Chrissie Murphy (secretary), Maurice Shortall (treasurer). GOLF CLUB Round 5 of the Winter Team League finished up on January 5 after commencing on December 23. Round 5 was played over 14 days during the Christmas holiday period and because players could play as often as they wished, their best scores were recorded, thanks to the tremendous work of Eamonn Breen at the office. With clement weather into the

Panto poster

bargain, round five was excellently supported by 9 teams. The league points table now reads: C 586, H 584, G 584, A 583, I 578, F 570, E 564, B 559, D 555. Wow. Three points only separated the top four teams

Round 6 began on January 6 and ran up to Sunday, 12th January 12. We’ve had great street leagues down through the decades in Castlecomer, but the current team league format beats all its predecessors and great credit is due to those who contributed to its origin and fantastic tweaking since year one during the teen years. With the full details on the drop down menu on the website news home page, you can check your team mates’ and other teams’ progress. Also thanks to fellow member Seamus Malone for great technical assistance. Lotto: There was no winner of the lotto jackpot on Monday January 13. Next week’s jackpot is €8,200. New seniors’ captain Tony Cooper welcomed the big turnout of golfers on January 8 at the clubhouse at 9.30am and wished everyone health and happiness throughout 2020. The weather proved to be a bonus as it was bright, calm and relatively mild. The course was in exceptional

condition, mind you two or three weeks of fairly dry weather has been a help too apart from the great work of course manager Michael Doheny, greenkeeper Colin Hughes and staff. Results: 1 John Kelly (15), Richie Hogan (17), Tom Casey

(24) 68 pts, 2 Murty Coonan 13, Brendan Morrissey 21, Mick McGrath (26), 67 pts, 3 Tom Staunton (15), Seán Scanlon (16), Eddie Fogarty (28) 66. Tony welcomed new seniors member Brendan Morrissey who got a really warm round of applause and welcome. Brendan was a member in Castlecomer for years and is a brother of former lady captains Kathleen Ryan, Nancy Conway (Leo’s wife) and Alice Rice RIP (Paul’s mum) and the late inspirational former captain and president, Mikey Morrissey. Results: January 12 Men’s Winter 14-hole Singles: 1. Tommy Kealy (23) 35 pts back 6, 2. Thomas Breen (16) 34, Gross Michael Dermody (6) 26. Diary: Saturday and Sunday, January 18/19, 14-hole winter singles and round seven of winter team league. Remember, regardless of whether your round of golf is very good or average or if you’re having an off day, the club urges you to prioritise visiting and supporting the bar. Irrespective of alcohol, there’s fantastic alternatives in coffee, guaranteed home flavoured soup or dinners and wait for the punch line - they still constitute and define the 19th hole. Across the golfing world over many decades and possibly particularly more relevant to this new decade too where the virtual is impinging on the real world, the 19th hole with the chat and banter uplifts and has a role to play. For the genuinely “time poor” brigade, 30 minutes at the 19th could be the makings of the other 23 1/2 hours in the day. These indeed are the glory years of Castlecomer Golf Club so many thanks that we all continue to embrace them, appreciate them and contribute to them. Happy golfing in 2020 to all our members. Remember the great flexibility our course offers - 18 holes, 14 holes, 11 holes, 9 holes, 7 holes and 3 holes - if you’re tight for time, tee off at the 12th and play the concluding 7 holes or if really stuck for time play hole 12, then 10 off the winter tee and finish at hole 11 that would take less than an hour and be good for you and your golf game. It’s an inviting prospect any way you look at the golf options for our current and prospective new male and lady and juvenile members in Castlecomer Golf Club in this new decade. Ladies notes Results of Round 2 of winter league: Team A 57 points; Team B 52, Team C 63, Team D 57,Team E 43,Team F 54. Round three to be completed

by January 26 On Saturday a high /low 7-hole ladies competition was held. In poor weather. 1 Theresa Manning and Maureen Holohan 15 pts (back 3); Bessie Brophy and Dympna Brennan 15

WELLIE APPEAL Castlecomer Wellie Race 2020 committee appeals to all those with race cards and sponsonship still outstanding to return asap. Following a very successful day it is now the wish of the committee to collect all outstanding monies and to make preparations to present donations to various charities. FOLLOW THE LEADER Kilkenny Leader Partnership are taking names for anyone interested in QQI level 5 healthcare classes commencing in Castlecomer in January 2020. If you are interested please can you call Moira Duggan on 086-0233168 or email to register your interest.

Memory Lane: A working man I am

Moira is also available in Castlecomer and Ballyragget for anyone that would like one-to-one education or employment supports – ring for an appointment or email ATHLETICS In Gowran on Janurary 12 James Kelly, Castlecomer AC was bronze medallist in the Leinster Intermediate Cross Country Championship. In the process, he also led the Kilkenny team that won the Leinster Intercounty Championship title. Team members were James Kelly (Castlecomer), Conor Rochford (St Senan’s), Dean Rowe (Gowran), Luke Morgan (St Senan’s), Jonathan Crowley (St Senan’s) and Johan Muller (Gowran).

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020

Red Mills: Style to match your smile W

ITH BOTH the Goffs Thyestes Day and Red Mills Day fast approaching it’s a good time to start prepping Race Day outfits. Prizes for best dressed competitions are getting better every year – the winning Lady & Gent at Red Mills Day on February 15 will each leave with a €500 voucher to spend on premium brands like Dubarry, Fairfax & Favor and Welligogs courtesy of the Red Mills Store at Cillin Hill in Kilkenny. On top of this they’ll each receive a two-night stay plus dinner for two people at a Talbot Collection Hotel of their choice. Not bad for an afternoon at the races. With the weather being as it is at this time of year, warm clothing and practical footwear are essential and recommended for winter racing. Wrap up in wools, faux furs, tweeds, suedes; accessorizing your outfit with feathers, eques-

trian themed pieces, silk scarves and a splash of colour here and there.

PERSONAL STYLE Make sure when you’re putting your outfit together that your personal style shines through. Camel coats are a dime a dozen this year, but with a bit of creativity and the right accessories you can easily make your look stand out from the crowd. This is where hats and headpieces often provide that extra edge for getting that coveted best dressed prize. Fedoras are very popular at the moment, with Kate Middleton recently seen sporting this eye-catching hat from Hicks & Brown when attending Church at Sandringham over the Christmas break. This particular hat is currently sold out, but available in many Kate Middleton wearing a Hicks & Brown fedora other colours and designs from If you’re not looking to invest and can add a pop of colour, or Red Mills’ country lifestyle store in a hat at the moment, have a a bit of sparkle to even the most at Cillin Hill. look through your wardrobe simple ensemble. and work with the hats and Finally, don’t forget about headpieces which you already footwear. Boots are the order own. of the day if you’re planning on moving between the parade ring TURNS HEADS and the winning post. Adding some feathers, horse Brands like Dubarry, Fairfax & themed brooches and other Favor and Ariat all do practical embellishments can transform and stylish boots and shoes, and a simple hat into a statement again can be found at Red Mills piece that turns heads for all the who will be having a pop-up right reasons. shop at Gowran Park on January Headbands and hairbands 23 for Thyestes Day. are also having a moment right now, with lots of faux fur head- BIGGER AND BETTER bands appearing on spectators On February 15, the Red Mills at the recent Leopardstown Race Day and Style event looks Christmas Festival. to be even bigger and better this Clothing footwear and accessories – all from Red Mills Hairbands are so easy to wear year.

Katie Mullins wears fedora, blazer and boots & bag, all from Red Mills

In the Style Quarter, Marietta Doran will be back again as MC for Fashion Shows, Style Advice and a Fashion Masterclass. You’ll also be able to shop the looks at Red Mills Pop-up Shop. Marietta will also be assisting the Celebrity Guest Judges

– Presenter and Stylist Emily O’Donnell (@emilyodonnellstyle on Instagram) and Kilkenny’s own Edward Hayden. For more information and to pre-register for the Red Mills Day Best Dressed Competition, visit

And they’re off: It’s Thyestes Time R

ACING enthusiasts from all over Ireland will descend on Gowran Park Racecourse on January 23 for the time honoured race day. One of the flagship meetings of the Irish racing calendar the Goffs Thyestes Chase Day is recognised as one of the best days in Irish Racing. The feature race goes to post at 3pm. Entries have closed for what’s become known as the race that stops a county. There are 46 horses entered. Henry Beeby Group Chief Executive of Goffs said it’s an iconic race and comes at an ideal time of year at Goffs as the campaign is launched for the Land Rover Sale. “We are looking forward to the 2020 Goffs Thyestes. There are six other races most notably the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle with a €40,000 prize up for grabs in this staying hurdle contest won in the past two years by Presenting Percy.

three in a row. Presenting Percy has various options open to him, however owner Philip Reynolds speaking to the Racing Post said: “The Galmoy Hurdle is the week before Leopardstown so we’ll keep an eye on the forecast but, unless Leopardstown is taking heed of what Willie Mullins and Noel Meade have said about the ground, it’s highly likely it will be too quick for us there.” At the 2020 racing launch at Gowran Park CEO of Connolly’s Red Mills and Chairman of Gowran Park Racecourse, Joe Connolly said: “This year marks our 40th year as sponsors at Gowran Park Racecourse. “We have made many wonderful memories, seen some dramatic changes and of course some incredible horses over these years. “We are looking forward to Red Mills Day on February 15. In the meantime we are also delighted to have a Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Series race as part of the card on Goffs Thyestes Day.

the €75,000 Series Final, Zero Ten, was Goffs Land Rover sale graduate. “We wish the team at Gowran the best of luck for trhe year ahead and look forward to working with them.” Tickets bought online at GowranPark. ie will give prompt access to the track as they can be printed off or scanned on the ‘phone. People who purchase online can avail of reduced ticket prices. Tickets will be priced at €25 for adults and €20 for OAP/ Students. Group discounts are available in advance by contacting Gowran Park on 056-7726225. Aside from the top-class racing Gowran Park has a host of live music entertainment for everyone to enjoy before, during and after racing. There are live bands on all floors and in the Heineken Live Marquee plus culinary delights. Gates open at 11am with the first race at 12.30pm. Courtesy buses will run from the gates of Kilkenny Castle Gates THREE IN A ROW from 10.45am and return at 5pm. There is speculation that Philip Reyn- GREAT SUCCESS If you have never experienced this old’s much loved horse may return to The series has been a great success and great day 2020 is the year to set this Mr Joe Connolly, Chair Gowran Park, Eddie Scally, Manager Gowran Park and Gowran Park in an attempt to make it it was fitting that last year’s winner of straight. Henry Beeby, Goffs Chief Executive


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020

Thyestes Pop-up Tweed coat as seen on Emily O’Donnell, €299.

The Red Mills Store is ‘popping-up’ this Thyestes Day at Gowran Park. Browse exclusive brands like Fairfax & Favor, Welligogs, Hicks & Brown & more, and avail of limited one day only offers! Thursday 23rd January at Gowran Park



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020

The Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase (Grade A) STAGE: ENTRIES AT WEIGHTS | 015E €100,000.00 3m 1f Max 18

The Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase of EUR100,000 (Grade A) (For the Perpetual Silver Cup presented to Gowran Park by the late Mr John McEnery) (Generously sponsored by Goffs Ireland) Winner will receive EUR60,000 (Penalty Value: EUR59,000) Second will receive EUR20,000 Third will receive EUR10,000 Fourth will receive EUR5,000 Fifth will receive EUR3,000 Sixth will receive EUR2,000 FORM: 422233- ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR) 10YO B G Saddler Maker - Omega Des Obeaux (FR) Owner: Gigginstown House Stud C Rating: 158 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

11 - 10

FORM: FU118F- MOYHENNA 8YO B F Westerner (GB) - Moskova Owner: Robert Hennelly Rating: 142 Trainer: Denis Gerard Hogan

10 - 8

FORM: 98F298- CAP YORK (FR) 8YO B G Ballingarry - Robbe (FR) Owner: Gigginstown House Stud Rating: 134 Trainer: Noel Meade

10 - 0

FORM: 01300-2 ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (FR) 10YO CH G Network (GER) - Jasmine (FR) Owner: Slaneyville Syndicate Rating: 152 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

11 - 4

FORM: 636301- ROARING BULL 7YO B G Milan (GB) - Gift of Freedom Owner: Gigginstown House Stud Rating: 142 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

10 - 8

FORM: 7A-461- MICK THE JIVER (GB) 10YO GR G Apple Tree (FR) - Pems Gift (GB) Owner: Jiver Syndicate Rating: 134 Trainer: Eoghan O’Grady

10 - 0

FORM: 31F62U- ANY SECOND NOW 8YO B G Oscar - Pretty Neat Owner: John P. McManus Rating: 150 Trainer: T.M. Walsh

11 - 2

FORM: 06-30-5 BLAZER (FR) 9YO CH G Network (GER) - Juppelongue (FR) Owner: John P. McManus Rating: 140 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

10 - 6

FORM: 052FP3- OUT SAM (GB) 11YO B G Multiplex (GB) - Tintera Owner: D. Charlesworth Rating: 134 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

10 - 0

FORM: /U1P45- CHEF DES OBEAUX (FR) 8YO B G Saddler Maker - O Dame De Gene (FR) Owner: Sullivan Bloodstock Limited Rating: 150 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

11 - 2

FORM: /224PP- TOWER BRIDGE 7YO B G High Chaparral - Walkamia (FR) Owner: John P. McManus Rating: 139 Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

10 - 5

FORM: P132PU- PONT AVEN 7YO B G Doyen - Behlaya Owner: Roderick Ryan/Thomas B. Breen/M.D. Minch D Rating: 134 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

10 - 0

FORM: 5-P251- SUMOS NOVIOS 12YO B G Flemensfirth (USA) - Gaelic Million Owner: W.J. Burke Rating: 150 Trainer: W.J. Burke

11 - 2

FORM: 6F7244-Q CHOUNGAYA (FR) 7YO B G Walk In The Park - Autorite (FR) Owner: Gigginstown House Stud Rating: 138 Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

10 - 4

FORM: 4-5P07- SOLOMN GRUNDY 10YO B G Westerner (GB) - Marika’s King Owner: R.S. Brookhouse Rating: 133 Trainer: Henry de Bromhead

9 - 13

FORM: /F1PP5- DOUNIKOS (FR) 9YO B G Smadoun (FR) - Baby Sitter (FR) Owner: Gigginstown House Stud Rating: 149 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

11 - 1

FORM: /6134P- MINELLA FAIR 9YO B G Flemensfirth (USA) - Bell Walks Run Owner: Mrs Patricia Hunt Rating: 138 Trainer: Noel Meade

10 - 4

FORM: 054512- PUNCHES CROSS 7YO B G Stowaway (GB) - The Marching Lady Owner: John P. McManus Rating: 132 Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

9 - 12

FORM: 23P863- TOTAL RECALL 11YO B G Westerner (GB) - Augest Weekend Owner: Slaneyville Syndicate Rating: 149 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

11 - 1

FORM: 57P97P- WOODS WELL 9YO CH G Fleetwood - Millbrook Marble Owner: Gigginstown House Stud Rating: 131 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

9 - 11

FORM: F22283- DISCORAMA (FR) 7YO B G Saddler Maker - Quentala (FR) Owner: Andrew Gemmell/Thomas Friel Rating: 148 Trainer: Paul Nolan

11 - 0

FORM: 88-3F-1 MINELLA TILL DAWN 8YO BR G Shantou (USA) - Have At It Owner: John P. McManus Rating: 130 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

9 - 10

FORM: 0-0U09- PLEASANT COMPANY 12YO B G Presenting (GB) - Katie Flame Owner: Malcolm C. Denmark D Rating: 148 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

11 - 0

10 - 4

FORM: P3PPP0- GUN DIGGER 8YO CH G Stowaway (GB) - Booley Bay Owner: Gigginstown House Stud Rating: 129 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

9 - 10

FORM: /91110- BORICE (FR) 9YO B G Network (GER) - Judice (FR) Owner: Simon Munir/Isaac Souede Rating: 146 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

VIEUX MORVAN (FR) 10 - 12 FORM: P2-89U- 11YO BL G Voix Du Nord (FR) - Moskoville (FR) Owner: M.L. Bloodstock Limited Rating: 138 Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

10 - 4

FORM: 01203P- DE NAME ESCAPES ME 10YO CH G Vinnie Roe - Heartlight Owner: John P. McManus Rating: 128 Trainer: Noel Meade

9 - 10

FORM: 41123-4 EX PATRIOT 7YO B G Elusive Pimpernel (USA) - Carolobrian Owner: Paul Holden C Rating: 146 Trainer: Miss Ellmarie Holden

GENERAL PRINCIPLE 10 - 12 FORM: 3PFPPP- 11YO B G Gold Well (GB) - How Provincial Owner: Gigginstown House Stud C Rating: 136 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

10 - 2

FORM: 3//696- PRINCE OF SCARS 10YO B G Flemensfirth (USA) - Spirit Leader Owner: Simon Munir/Isaac Souede Rating: 128 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

9 - 10

FORM: P-1P5F- CLASS CONTI (FR) 8YO B G Poliglote (GB) - Gazelle Lulu (FR) Owner: Patrick Joubert Rating: 145 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

10 - 11

FORM: 110831- SMOKING GUN 7YO B G Gold Well (GB) - The Wounded Cook Owner: Gigginstown House Stud C D Rating: 136 Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

10 - 2

FORM: P0-P4P- SPACE CADET 10YO B G Flemensfirth (USA) - Shuil A Hocht Owner: C.Jones Rating: 128 Trainer: Gearoid O’Loughlin

9 - 10

FORM: 2-4133- CASTLEBROOK 7YO B G Oscar - Monty’s Sister Owner: Ann & Alan Potts Limited Rating: 143 Trainer: James Joseph Mangan

10 - 9

FORM: 89323-4 LORD SCHNITZEL 7YO B G Getaway (GER) - Britway Lady Owner: Klaus Koentopp Rating: 135 Trainer: Matthew J. Smith

10 - 1

FORM: 407020- MON LINO (FR) 8YO B G Martaline (GB) - Dalina (FR) Owner: John P. McManus Rating: 126 Trainer: Paul Nolan

9 - 10

FORM: /20020- LIVELOVELAUGH 10YO B G Beneficial (GB) - Another Evening Owner: Mrs S Ricci Rating: 143 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

10 - 9

FORM: 54825-3 NEVERUSHACON 9YO B G Echo of Light (GB) - Lily Beth Owner: David Reid Scott C Rating: 135 Trainer: Mrs John Harrington

10 - 1

FORM: 633245- ASK SUSAN 8YO B F Ask (GB) - Sitges Owner: Bowes Lodge Stables Partnership Rating: 124 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

9 - 10

FORM: 4F21PF- CABARET QUEEN (GB) 8YO B F King’s Theatre - La Dame Brune (FR) Owner: Syndicates. Racing Rating: 142 Trainer: W.P. Mullins

10 - 8

FORM: /3P2P-3 SPIDER WEB 9YO B G Presenting (GB) - Poetics Girl Owner: John P. McManus Rating: 135 Trainer: Thomas Mullins

10 - 1

FORM: 3284-23 CHEB DE KERVINIOU (FR) 10YO B G Tiger Groom (GB) - Muhtatene (FR) Owner: Simon Munir/Isaac Souede Rating: 124 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

9 - 10

FORM: 06PP70- MONBEG NOTORIOUS 9YO B G Milan (GB) - Borleagh Princess Owner: Gigginstown House Stud CD Rating: 142 Trainer: Gordon Elliott

10 - 8

FORM: 331222- AGUSTA GOLD 7YO B F Gold Well (GB) - Chloes Choice Owner: Kieran Leavy/F.W. Healy/Lorcan Cribbin/ Ms Margaret Mullins Rating: 134 Trainer: Ms Margaret Mullins

10 - 0

FORM: U-0P73- ROOSTER BYRON 9YO B G Oscar - Our Song (GB) Owner: Mrs K. Browne Rating: 123 Trainer: Paul Nolan

9 - 10

FORM: /0PPP0- NOBLE ENDEAVOR 11YO B G Flemensfirth (USA) - Old Moon Owner: C.Jones Rating: 138 Trainer: Gordon Elliott


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020

Horse-power remains at the fulcrum T

HE contrast should be astounding. Back on the Annely Estate on the Mill Road, Gowran (Gowran Park today sir) in the Year of Our Lord 1914, the first race meeting was staged at this now iconic venue. To guage exactly the fantastic mountain of time that the men and women of Irish Racing have climbed, the racing fraternity to be fond and informal, we assume that at the first meeting the public and private transport was mainly horse and trap, pony and trap, horse and whatever.

We are happy that the style of the time would have meant that the gents would have been kitted out quite gildily while the ladies would have been charming in their oh so gingerly handsewn flimsies and peripherals. FASHION IS HUGE What criteria would the judges of the best dressed lady and gent have been looking for back them? No doubt there are those who can tell us how the young ladies and gents of the time would have carried them-

selves in the ago. Okay, so fashion has become a huge part of racing but when push comes to shove, whether a trap is driven by a horse or an engine, the fulcrum of horse-racing still centres around that wonderful driving force called horse-power. Horses have been paying their way since Adam and Eve clip clopped to the orchard. Horse and jockey inter-action is what brings us together not necessarily what we are wearing or not wearing.

FEMALE JOCKEYS Speaking of ladies, reminds that Horse Racing Ireland has launched a new series of races for female jockeys to be enjoyed on Goffs Thyestes Day. Connolly’s Red Mills will sponsor a race in the Ladies National Hunt series. The €20,000 Irish EBF Ladies Auction Maiden Hurdle will be race two in next Thursday’s seven-race series. The women’s race promises to be a terrific racing teaser before the Goff

Thyestes Chase. The overall winner of the Ladies Series will receive a €1,000 spending spree from and their country living superstore at Cillin Hill. Follow-up ladies races: Thurles, February 20; Fairyhouse April 11; Punchestown June 7; Navan September 19 and Fairyhouse November 9. The Gowran Park roar is special in every era. Pic: Donal Foley


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020 48

47 The Kilkenny Observer Wednesday 23 January 2019

Goffs Thyestes Goffs Thyestes ChaseChase 20202019

Gowran Park History G

OWRAN Park racecourse first opened its gates pleted at a cost of €3.5 million is the culmination of to the racing public on the 16th of June 1914. an extensive development programme supported by The race pro-gramme consisted of flat races Horse Racing Ireland, which commenced with the and steeplechases under the Irish National Hunt rules upgrading of the stable yard and parade ring areas. In 2006, Gowran Park staged its first ever Group 3 of racing. The prize money at the time was £130. The stewards at that par-ticular meeting included flat race. The elevation of the Denny Cordell Lavarack Lord Annaly, Capt. Dermot McCalmont (who’s grand- and Lan wades Stud Fillies Stakes to Group 3 status son Harry carries on the Mc-Calmont tradition as a highlights Gowran Park’s commitment to delivering Direc-tor on Gowran Parks present day Board) and high quality flat racing. Along with The Goffs Thyes-tes Chase valued at Isaac Bell the renowned Huntsman of the Kilkenny GOWRAN Park racecourse McCalmont (who’s grandstoreNational in Kilkenny. Jackinclude at a cost of €3.5 million is the €100,000 othering notable Hunt dates Hunt. first gates to the wasson Harryincarries theMills Mc-DayDuggan was 15th Chairman over culmination of an extensive Red on February and the October Theopened presentitsrace company formed 1948 on racing public on the 16th was Calmont tradition a Direcmany firsts at Gowran Park development programme Festival. and its first Managing Director Jack Duggan of as of June 1914. The race prooning Gowran including course supported by Horse Racing 2006 Gowran Park the wasfirst alsoonre-classified as the famous Monster House mens’ tor cloth store inParksInpresent gramme consisted of flatwas racesChairman day Board) and Isaac Bell1the in 1952 and the Ireland, which commenced Grade coursecommentary for National Hunt Meetings for prize Kilkenny. Jack Duggan over many and steeplechases under the the renowned Huntsman of the firstThis Totereflects Jackpot 1966. The with the upgrading of the money purposes. theinfact that Gowran firsts at Gowran Park including first on course Irish Nationalin Hunt of firstKilkenny Park stages topfirst race rac-ing, was also stable yard and parade ring class televised National Hunt predomicommentary 1952 rules and the Tote Jackpot racing. The prize money at the The present race company from Gowran Park. areas. 1966. The first televised race was also from Gowran nantly during the winter months. time was £130. was formed in 1948 Future and its The new grandstand and of theIn 2006, Gowran Park staged developments in-clude the upgrading Park. The stewards at that parfirst Managing Director was its facilities were officially its first ever Group 3 flat race. weigh room area and develop-ment of the bookmakThe newmeeting grandstandincluded and its facilities officially ticular Jackwere Duggan of the famous opened on April 9th 2003. The elevation of the Denny ers ring. opened on AprilCapt. 9th 2003. The new complex, com-mens’ Lord Annaly, Dermot Monster House clothThe new complex, completed Cordell Lavarack and Lan-

Gowran Park Racing History wades Stud Fillies Stakes to Group 3 status highlights Gowran Park’s commitment to delivering high quality flat racing. Along with The Goffs Thyestes Chase valued at €100,000 other notable National Hunt dates include Red Mills Day on February 16th and the October Festival. In 2006 Gowran Park was

also re-classified as Grade 1 course for National Hunt Meetings for prize money purposes. This reflects the fact that Gowran Park stages top class National Hunt racing, predominantly during the winter months. Future developments include the upgrading of the weigh room area and development of the bookmakers ring.

Greek legend now top Irish Racing fixture RACEHORSE Thyestes, named after a figure from Greek mythology, was bred by Ballynahinch Stud owner, Major Dermot McCalmont and trained by Atty Persse at Stockbridge. Thyestes was rated third best twoyear-old of 1930 as a result of winning his only two races, the National

Breeders Produce Stakes over five furlongs at Sandown and Rous Memorial Stakes over six furlongs at Goodwood. Thyestes never ran again due to injury and was retired to stud in Yorkshire. Major Dermot McCalmont presented the Thyestes trophy to Kilkenny Show for a five-year-old most likely to

make a hunter. A horse owned by John McEnery, Rosenarra Stud, Kells, and ridden by his son, Martin McEnery, won the trophy. The McEnery family kindly presented the trophy to Gowran Park for the first running of the Thyestes Chase in 1954.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020

Jane Mangan, Rachael Blackmore, Henry Beeby, Goffs Chief Executive, Margaret Mullins and Lisa O’Neill

Joe Connolly, Rachael Blackmore and Barry Hickey

Ms Statia Teehan, Kilmanagh with Rachael Blackmore

Jane Mangan, Rachael Blackmore, Paul Holden, Margaret Mullins and Lisa O’Neill

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Goffs Thyestes Chase 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020



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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Motors Classifieds

Classified section To advertise your business in our classified section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Motors Classifieds



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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020

Memoriams/Miracle prayers Planning notices



Planning notices KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL I Aidan Kelly Agricultural Design & Planning Services (085 7466211, intends to apply to Kilkenny County Council on behalf of my client Seamus Griffin. Permission to construct (i) storage Shed (ii) Walled silage slab and all associated site works Rathculbin, Kells, Co. Kilkenny.The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application.

KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL I Aidan Kelly Agricultural Design & Planning Services (085 7466211, www.adps. ie) intends to apply to Kilkenny County Council on behalf of my client Michael O Carroll . Permission to construct Cubicle shed with slatted tanks and all associated site works at Seskin South, Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny.The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application.

KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL I, Thomas Kilroy, intend to apply for Planning Permission for development to a) convert cowhouse adjoining existing house to living/dining area b) convert existing outhouses for use as home office and utility room, c) construct fully upgraded wastewater treatment system and percolation area, d) make other alterations, refurbish and upgrade existing dwelling e) upgrade and improve existing entrance and all associated works all at Kilbrickan, Callan, Co. Kilkenny. Signed: Robert M. Cummins - Cummins + Voortman Ltd (Architects That the planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application.The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

We are delighted to announce that it is now an approved newspaper for publishing planning applications as certified by Kilkenny County Council

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Stay fit, stay young with yoga T By Trish Hayden

Top class Yoga Teacher Trish Hayden

HINKING of taking up Yoga this January? Here’s some tips and advice from Trish Hayden, Sports Stretch Yoga teacher in The Watershed. Overly tight muscles occur because we often train in an extremely focused manner and in sports like running or cycling…performing the same leg actions over and over again. This leads to a shortening of certain muscles, and through Yoga we introduce lengthening, and opposing movements to keep muscles supple and strong.

Without this, tight muscles get tight and weak muscles get weaker. Yoga introduces a huge variety of movement to the body, including a lot of balancing postures. Balances are great for improving the functioning of the hip stabilisers which is particularly good for runners, walkers, hurlers, tennis players etc. ROUNDING OF SPINE All exercise is good but Yoga is unique in its capacity to prevent and reverse the most conspicuous sign of aging, one that can’t be disguised or transformed

cosmetically, the shortening and rounding of the spine. We can spend a fortune on face creams but our spine is what really shows our age. However our appearance is only secondary. Our posture affects the health of every system of the body. A healthy spine is essential for the life-sustaining action of the central nervous system, providing a canal for the spinal cord, allowing it to innervate the internal organs and muscles of the body unimpeded. Trish Hayden, YogaToGo, teaches Sports Stretch Yoga and 50+ Yoga in the Water-

shed, Kilkenny, and in offices and sports clubs. TEACHER TRAINING Trish has been practising Yoga for over 25 years and teaching in Kilkenny for over 10 years. She has a Yoga Teacher Training RYT200 and in the last decade has completed a Certificate in Training and Development, Ballet Barre with Stott Pilates and Thomas Hannah Somatic Movement training. New classes start in January. For details, phone 086-3895507, or Facebook YogaToGo with Trish Hayden.

Birthday boy is a Doors ajar at Callan Boxing Club ring master at 87 JIMMY RHATIGAN EDITOR


Jimmy Walsh, right, with his lifelong friend Ollie O’Neill, head coach of Paulstown Boxing Club



E CANNOT say for sure that birthday boy Jimmy Walsh is the most senior boxing coach in Ireland. But we suspect he is. We are quite sure that he is boxing’s most dedicated coach, still as eager as ever after over 60 years boxing and coaching in Callan, then North Kensington, London and back to Callan again where, with local GP Dr Jim Ryan and fellow coaches, he remains the cornerstone of a boxing club that he always fought for inside and outside of the ring. He celebrated 87 years since he arrived in his birthday suit on 2/1/1933. He had his first fight in November 1948 and enjoyed a topsy-turvy but very exciting 16-year career before retiring to concentrate on coaching. DIGGING GRAVES Today he spends at least as much time at Callan Boxing Club in the Old Tech, Clonmel Road as he does in his own family home that was not too long ago a mere hop, skip and jump to him. When tough times hit, Jimmy and his talented friend and brother-in-law Johnny Donovan

boarded an emigrant ship. Destination was England where they worked at digging graves and fighting in boxing booths. They both returned to re-form Callan Boxing Club and helped clubs like Mullinahone and many more to keep going. Jimmy was also chair of Kilkenny Boxing Board for many years. He has dedicated his life to boxing, receiving many awards from the Irish Amateur Boxing Board and Kilkenny Boxing Board. DIE HAPPY Jimmy plans to keep giving his undoubted coaching knowledge to the youth of Callan who he praises as fine young people. As a coach he helped to hone the skills of many Irish and European medallists including European Youth silver medallist Curtis Darcy and European Elite medallist Claire Grace. He jokes that he would die happy if he ended his days teaching children to box. Those who respect and admire Jimmy are hopeful that he will still be around for at least another 13 years. That would surely spark another celebration, a 100th birthday party paid for by the President of Ireland. Few would be more deserving than our Jimmy

HERE IS never a dull moment at Callan Boxing Club. The little club with the big punch as it is called by its head coach, Jimmy Walsh is forever a hive of activity and you may not always understand the lingo that is being exchanged between its young boxers. For the club has become a home from home for students from around Europe and further afield, boys and girls who spend some months at a time furthering their studies at Callan CBS Secondary and St Brigid’s College. Welcomed to the warm and friendly Mill Street Club have been enthusiastic students from Italy, France, Germany and Mexico. All have loved trading punches with locals and were devoted members until the time came to return home for school breaks or to continue their studies in their own countries. In the latter case there have been tears for souvenirs as the visitors know they may never again meet their newly found Kilkenny friends but the promise always has been to keep in touch.

LOCAL SUPPORT In the latter part of last year it was Spanish students who hit the spot as 14 of them, six girls and eight boys fitted in brilliantly with the locals and loved their Tuesday and Thursday training sessions at their HQ. Aided and abetted financially by Callan businesses, the club threw a Christmas party before the Spanish crew jetted up, up and away to homeland for a wellearned Christmas break after months of studies. Among those who came up with the goodies, crisps, minerals, selection boxes and cakes were Keogh’s Bakery, Supervalu, The Big Wheel, The Steppes and Maher’s Filling Station. “Once more our friends in our community came to our aid and

the result was a great evening for Party time as Spanish and Irish celebrate together our visitors and locals to enjoy together. “It is always great to see that our local boys and girls enjoy showering goodwill and warm welcomes on those who come to Callan for study. GREAT START TO YEAR “It is a privilege to work with different nationalities. Our doors will always be left ajar for friends. “The good news is that many of the Spanish have already returned to Callan and as readers of the Kilkenny Observer enjoy their Friday, they can be assured that we have already held a multinational training session this week. “From a local point of view, the great news from our club is that our young fighters looked after by John Hickey, Michael Comerford and myself have made a great start to the New Year. “Our club and Paulstown Boxing Club have groups of youngsters in the latter stages of the Michael Andrews Tournament which is scheduled for a few hours of finals at the National Stadium.” Asked for his happiest memory of the festive season Jimmy Walsh told The Kilkenny Observer. “It was on the evening of our Christmas Party when our Span- Charlie Hickey, a sprightly two and a half years old, is a chip ish youngsters sang Silent Night off the old block. He borrowed his grandad’s specs to read the sporting pages in a newspaper. Grandad is popular boxing for me in their own language.” referee and coach John Hickey

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020



Ray Meagher’s marvels advance

Pics: Donal Foley


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020


Down The Old Bog Road with By the 15th minute, the home side had doubled its tally. The Limerick goalkeeper had injured himself in trying to get to a cross JIMMY ball. RHATIGAN So when Newpark were awarded a direct free kick by EDITOR referee, retired Garda Nicky Marnell, a clever low drive by Henry ACKED BY a storm of O’Neill proved too hot to handle. support that was blasted by a crowd of over 300, GOOSE COOKED Newpark made their own little The home side had one hand on bit of soccer history when the its ticket to the last 16. The score remained the same club reached the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup for the first time. until the break but if anything The big match against Newpark upped the ante then Limerick Desmond League’s and Limerick’s post-Christmas Carrig Celtic was a cracking goose was well and truly cooked affair but it was the home when Greg Morton made it 3-0. Only a minor miracle would side that looked the more have saved Carrig now but the comfortable for the most part. The game was played at the likelihood of that happening was popular venue that is fondly very remote as Newpark was still called The Bog but there was playing at the finish as if it was never a chance of Newpark the team chasing the game. The ball was in the Limerick getting bogged down once Eoin Wall set the ball rolling with a net for a fourth time when Eoin Wall hit what could have been tasty early goal. his second goal but the ‘score’ NEWPARK, KIKENNY 3 CARRIG CELTIC, LIMERICK 0


Pics: Donal Foley

was ruled out by referee Marnell who did an excellent job even though he had to work without linesmen. The super victory marks the continuation of a memorable season. Last week another big crowd saw Newpark fall to local rivals Freebooters 1-0. BLESSING IN DISGUISE The game was at the same venue in the Leinster Junior Cup. Naturally the local lads were disappointed to go out in the last 64 game but on the other side of the coin the blip may have been a blessing in disguise as fixtures continue to pile up. It would be great to see Newpark going all the way to the final but that could mean a host of mid-week and weekend Kilkenny League fixtures at the end of the season. The latter, we suspect, would be a small price to pay for the continuation of a great run in the FAI Cup which would really put the local community soccer club

on the map. Club official Paul O’Reilly told The Kilkenny Observer that Newpark would simply take all games as they come and hope for the best. He said the club had experienced all kinds of games in provincial and national cups this season, including coming back from two down to win and winning a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw. He was very philosophical about the next stages of the cup. “A home game in the last 16 would of course be welcome. Travelling away is always different. Anyway the result will be in the lap of the gods. “We have no reason to fear anyone,” said Paul. “We sincerely thank those who have supported us so far and indeed the players on their marvellous efforts. “But the show is not over yet and there may still be interesting twists and turns to enjoy, preferably in The Bog.”

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020



a Newpark team of courage


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 17 January 2020



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Kilkenny Observer - 17 January 2020  

Kilkenny Observer - 17 January 2020