Kilkenny Observer 3 February 2022

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Marianne Heron - Page 12 Friday 03 February 2023 Observer The Kilkenny Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W: FREE EDITION Paul Hopkins - Page 8 Spring Cleaning How to deal with life’s mounting clutter Young At Heart However old we are, love is forever young  
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Your shock ESB rebate

Kilkenny households are to get a refund of €50 after all households throughout the country were overcharged around €100m. by the ESB to subsidise big businesses’ electricity bills.  Pharmaceutical rms, food producers, IT manufacturers and data centres bene ted at the expense of householders.

A subsidy worth €50m a year to these ‘large energy users’ was approved by the Government in 2010, with

domestic electricity customers picking up the tab through higher charges on their annual bills for the past 12 years.

e ESB and Eirgrid were responsible for applying the ‘large energy user rebalancing subvention’ as it was called, but ESB Networks applied it incorrectly, resulting in an overcharge “in the order of €50” a household over that period.

At an intended value of

€50m a year, the subvention was worth €600m to big businesses over the 12 years.

But with 2.1 million domestic electricity customers being overcharged around €50 each, that means a further €100m was added to the subvention.

e €50 gure is the best estimate the ESB has to date. Despite discovering the mistake last March, calculations to determine the nal amounts have not been completed.

e existence of the subvention was reported by the Irish Independent last October, revealing that, while it was introduced as a support for businesses during the economic crisis, it was continued for 12 years without question.

e energy regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), moved to discontinue it from October but did not reveal then there was an overcharging issue.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan was Energy Minister at the time the subvention was introduced and holds the energy portfolio again now as Environment Minister.

Questioned if he had been informed of the overcharging last year, a spokesperson said the Government was not aware of the situation prior to appearance by the CRU at the Oireachtas committee. Meanwhile, don’t hold your breath awaiting the rebate.

Our winners in class of their own

Two primary schools in Kilkenny and Cork have been named the winners of a national design competition that used 3D printing to respond to sustainability challenges within their schools.

St Colman’s National School in Clara, Kilkenny and Togher National School in Dunmanway, West Cork were named the winners of ‘Manufacturing a Healthy Future’ –a 3D printing design chal -

lenge. The competition was initiated by I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, and Stryker, a leading global medical technology company.

The project, supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Manufacturing, challenged young pupils to fix or improve something in their own classroom or school, using 3D printing as a creative design tool.

I-Form, headquartered at University College Dublin, and Stryker, which has manufacturing operations in Cork and Limerick, have been working with primary school teachers throughout 2022 and 2021 to empower them with the skills to bring manufacturing technology into the classroom. The three-year programme is also running in schools in France and Estonia and will run throughout 2023.

In Ireland, 47 teachers and 1,000 pupils have taken part in the programme.

‘The Elves’ in 2nd Class in St Colman’s focused on bringing old board games back to life by replacing missing pieces. Both schools were awarded a €1,000 technology package for their school, along with gift vouchers for the children and a tour of the Stryker facility in Cork.

Maggie Curran, 2nd Class teacher at St Col -

€3.12m. for local cycle, walkways

Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan has welcomed €3.12 million investment in cycling and walking infrastructure across Kilkenny city and county.

“ is substantial investment will fund approximately 1,200 Active Travel projects, contributing to the development of almost 1,000km of new and improved walking and cycling infrastructure,” Deputy Phelan said.  is includes the development of segregated cycle lanes and widened footpaths, new walking and cycling bridges, and new pedestrian crossings.

‘Urgent need’ to tackle housing

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, says e Government must urgently deliver a suite of ambitious policies to speed up the delivery of much-needed housing, and improve viability and a ordability, according to Ibec, the group that represents Irish business. In a recent CEO survey that more than 70% of companies identi ed the availability of housing for sta as a challenge to their business operations in 2023, with 30% identifying it as a major challenge. Special Report, Page 14

Homeless now total 11,632

man’s, said: “We were thrilled to be named a winner. As a teacher, it was very rewarding to see the pupils working collaboratively and developing their problem-solving skills.”

* Our photos show pupils from St Colman’s National School in Clara with their creations which replace the missing pieces from their classroom board games

e number of people homeless in Ireland has once again hit a new high with latest Government gures showing that 11,632 people were living in emergency accommodation in December. A total of 8,190 adults and 3,442 children were living in emergency accommodation during the week of 19 to 25 December. is is a rise from 11,542 people the previous month.


Paul Hopkins .............................P8

Marianne Heron .....................P12

Clair Whitty .............................P12

Special Report .........................P14

Science & Wellbeing..............P18

Travel & Leisure .....................P19

Gerry Moran ............................P20

Gerry Cody P28, 29, 30 & 41

Food & Drink ...........................P44


Sport................................... P50, 51

3 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM SPORTS E: ACCOUNTS E: T: 056 777 1463 SALES E: T: 087 382 0109 or 087 342 1958 FEATURES E: T: 056 777 1463 DESIGN E: T: 087 348 0279 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY UNIT 7, FRIARY STREET, KILKENNY, R95 VHY7 EDITOR E: 10,000 COPIES PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED ACROSS CITY AND COUNTY EVERY WEEK

Model and entrepreneur Joanna Cooper is calling on Ireland to support The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s (ASI) annual nationwide Denim Day for Dementia fundraising campaign on Friday, March 3, to raise funds for vital dementia supports and services.

Joanna, The ASI’s Denim Day for Dementia ambassador, is asking people to don their denims – to the crèche, their school, their place of work or wherever they are – on the day, and donate to support families impacted by dementia.

There are 64,000 people with dementia in Ireland, and the number of people with the condition will double in the next 25 years to over 150,000 by 2045.

There are 11,000 new cases of dementia in Ireland each year. That’s at least 30 people every day, and anyone can get dementia – even people in their 30s/40s/50s.

Joanna has a personal connection to the condition; her mother Terri was diagnosed with dementia in 2021. She has teamed up with The ASI in the hopes of helping others who the condition has impacted.

This is the sixth year the popular fundraising campaign has been running; it was cancelled in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ASI needs to raise €3.2 million yearly just to maintain much-needed supports

Go on, don your denims for Dementia Day

and services, including National Helpline, Day Care, Day Care at Home, Home Care and Family Carer Training to help people with dementia and their struggling families. This campaign aims to raise €30,000 to support families living with dementia nationwide.

Joanna Cooper said: “ I know first-hand the struggles families go through when their loved one has dementia; how emotional and challenging it can be. My lovely mum was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 62. My mum was always the life and soul of our family; she loved being a granny and doted on her grandchildren.”

ASI Head of Fundraising Mairéad Dillon, said: “We thank Joanna for sharing her story as we continue to bring the conversation around dementia to the forefront. Fundraising is essential for the charity so we can maintain our vital services each year – €3.2 million needs to be raised yearly to keep them going. I encourage everyone to support Denim Day for Dementia.”

* To get involved, order your free Denim Day for Dementia pack by registering online at www. or by contacting ASI’s Fundraising Team at fundraising@ or (01) 207 3800.

4 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 News
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Tributes to tragic GAA star

Tributes are still pouring in for a former GAA star killed in a single-vehicle accident in Kilkenny in the early hours of Friday, January 27.

James ‘Shiner’ Nolan (34), died when the car he was driving hit a wall at Carn in Dunbell, Co Kilkenny, at 2.30am on the Friday.

Mr Nolan (pictured), who played at corner forward for

the Kilkenny senior hurling team and Clara GAA club, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services.

e Nolan family su ered another major tragedy some years ago, when two of James Nolan’s older brothers died in a slurry tank accident.

Mr Nolan worked on the family farm with his father Gerry.

He was also a cousin of

13-year-old Harry Byrne, who died following a tragic accident at St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny city in November 2021.

Speaking about Mr Nolan’s death, a close neighbour said: “We’re all just devastated at the news of his passing. e parish, which is tight-knit, is just in shock.

“James was so gifted at sport,

every sport he played. He played soccer for Bennettsbridge as well.

“James was a really hard worker and so many people loved being in his company as he was a really good laugh. Words can’t explain how upset everyone is.”

e community has su ered a number of tragedies in recent years. e father and uncle of

We’re all ramped up and building a new road to sustainable mobility

former Kilkenny senior hurling captain Lester Ryan died in separate accidents.

Johnny Ryan, father of Lester Ryan, died in an accident involving a tractor at his farm at Dunbell near Clara in 2015.

Lester Ryan, also a former Kilkenny hurler and an uncle of his namesake, was killed in a cycling accident involving a tractor near his home in 2020.

SETU plan to combat sexual harassment

In a move to intervene in cases of potential sexual harassment, South East Technological University (SETU) has announced the launch of its Bystander Intervention Programme, which is now available to all sta and students at the University via its learning management system.  e Bystander Intervention Programme, based on the pioneering programme at University College Cork, informs participants how to recognise unacceptable behaviour, what the barriers to intervention are, how to overcome them, and how to safely and e ectively intervene. e programme will complement and supplement existing student active consent and sta training on tackling sexual harassment and violence which is already underway at SETU.

Ambitious measures are outlined in the new Climate Action Plan and National Sustainable Mobility Policy, towards meeting our 2030 transport targets of a 51% reduction in emissions.  Reaching this target will require transformational change of the transport system and a shift to public transport, walking and cycling. e greatest shifts from private cars will take place in large urban areas where alternative solutions are more easily provided.

In Kilkenny City, improv-

ing connectivity and integrating transport modes are key steps to making public transport options more attractive. People are ready to choose sustainable modes and reduce car-dependency as can be seen by the popularity of the Kilkenny City bus service.   e number of trips taken has grown dramatically, with more 26,000 users in the last four-week period of 2022. Similarly, enhancing pedestrian and cyclist facilities and providing more priority in the city for vulnerable role users is es-

sential to encourage people to choose active travel for their daily journeys, to work, school and accessing services.

Creating links is a simple step that can make key differences to journeys undertaken on foot or by bike or for those using wheelchairs and buggies.   e installation of a new link between the train station and shopping centre is one such link that can make journeys much easier.

e ramp allows passengers getting o trains and buses to access the shop-

ping centre via the Goods Shed Square directly. It removes the need for pedestrians to access the station via the hill on the Dublin Road as they can now take the lift or pedestrian-friendly access via the Dublin Road entrance to MacDonagh Junction.

e new ramp’s design embodies that of the Goods Shed Square, a beautiful civic space that fronts onto the historic Goods Shed Building at MacDonagh Junction and the old station platform.

Other examples of works

completed in 2022, include upgrades to pedestrian crossings such as Dean Street, Kickham Street, Kells Road and Pennyfeather Way, enhancing pedestrian routes to schools, shops and services. Plans for permanent, segregated cycleways and further pedestrian improvements continue to be progressed through the design stages.

Kilkenny’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan will identify other measures that will make sustainable transport an attractive option in Kilkenny City.

Prof. Veronica Campbell, President of SETU, told e Kilkenny Observer: “ is is a really important initiative for SETU and builds upon the work we have already done rolling out consent training classes for all of our students. Everyone in the SETU community has a role to play in preventing sexual violence and harassment in all its forms.

“With the skills gained by participating in this programme, every member of our community can make a di erence by helping others, stepping in, and speaking up to help prevent sexual harassment or violence,” she said.

Uni welcomes approval for social care programmes

South East Technological University (SETU) is delighted to announce that its Level 7 and 8 social care programmes provided on the Carlow and Wexford campuses; Professional Social Care Practice and Applied Social Studies in Professional Social Care, have been approved by CORU.

CORU is a multi-profession

regulator whose role is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education, training, and competence through statutory registration of health and social care professionals (CORU, 2017).

Following the submission of mapping documentation and a long, challenging and thorough

process, both campuses have satis ed the Social Care Workers Registration Board that their social care programmes are suitable for the education and training of candidates for registration to the CORU register.

at they have met all education criteria and have embedded all standards of pro ciencies for the profession in the

curriculum and assessment.

Susan Barnes, Programme Director on the Wexford campus, said: “ e social care programme team on SETU’s Wexford campus are delighted to announce that the BA in Applied Social Studies in Professional Social Care is now CORU approved. is has only been possible with the dedication of

lecturers, management and our students. We would also like to sincerely thank all our social care placement providers, who provide our students with invaluable practical experience.”

ese sentiments are echoed

by Eileen Farrell and Dr Sheila Long, Programme Directors for the degree in Professional Social Care Practice provided on

SETU’s Carlow campus. “We are delighted to receive CORU approval. It is a testament to the commitment of the management, sta and students of SETU’s Carlow’s campus to the education and development of future social care professionals with the competencies to deliver safe and person-centred practice,” said Ms Farrell.

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The Fact Of The Matter

Hard to come clean when dealing with life’s clutter

In his novella Franny And Zooey, JD Salinger recalls a visit to a sibling’s home: “The room was not impressively large, even by Manhattan apartment-house standards, but its accumulated furnishings might have lent a snug appearance to a banquet hall in Valhalla.”

In our journey through life, we tend to accumulate so much clutter — and I don’t mean the emotional baggage of life’s ups and downs — but concrete stuff, objects, countless bric-a-brac, bought, borrowed or come-upon and stored for some other day when we might just find a use for it.

We never do, of course, and the stuff just piles up. The stuff of furnishings, of pastimes and hobbies, the family memorabilia, the excess goods and gadgets that we may once have had temporary need of, but no more.

The other day, Yer Man at the bar says: “It’s interesting to see that people had so much clutter even thousands of years ago. The only way to get rid of it all was to bury it, and then some archaeologist with a head don him comes along and digs it all up. Just sayin’ like...”

Humans are natural hoarders. I know. My clutter from four or five decades might well lend a snug appearance to that banquet hall in Valhalla. But I’m not alone.

When was the last time you saw your dining room table?

Or at least the top of your dining room table? Particularly with working from home during their pandemic. If you’re like most busy people, you know it’s there somewhere — buried under piles of old bills, stacks of unread newspapers and copies of your children’s school reports. Maybe it’s your car, hall closet

or garage that’s stuffed to the gills. Clutter can easily materialise in all the corners of our living and working spaces. And the affliction has got worse as life has grown busier, more crowded and fasterpaced.

Ironically, says my psychologist friend from Magherafelt, the very things we buy to make our lives ‘simpler’ and more convenient often end

up exacerbating the problem. We get bigger closets, and bigger storage bins, bigger houses and garages to put it all in. But, somehow, the stuff always keeps pace. Clutter sneaks up on us so insidiously that by the time we see all the stacks and piles and layers for what they really are, the mere thought of waging battle against them can be terrifying.

Now, with a spring clean in the air, I’m told I need to get rid of everything I don’t want, don’t need, will never need again. “Take it to charity shops, recycle centres, put it on eBay if you think anyone would have need of your old stuff,” my daughter says.

Hmmm, where to start…

Those VHI tapes for starters. But I’m going to copy them to digital.

All those old magazines and clippings? Research, I say.

And does any man really need so many shoes and shirts? A good-fitting shirt and proper shoes are important, I retort.

It’s a losing battle and so I must take stock, make an inventory and pare back. It’s a daunting task. Those old videos contain footage of my children’s first steps; the newspaper clippings of my early days in journalism, found in my parents’ house

when cleaning out their clutter after they died; and it would pain me to part with old vinyl and cassettes. As for my books, well even though I may never read Franny And Zooey a third time, it would be equally painful to part with my books for, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, no place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a [man’s] library.

Paul Simon wrote: “Preserve your photographs. You have a memory.”

My bric-a-brac and accumulated clutter down the years is a testament to a life. The physical manifestations of a lifetime’s experience — a lifetime’s living. For that reason alone, I wish to hang on to my stuff, stuff that means little if anything to others but is my world to me.

Proof, as it were, of my having been.

8 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
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Covid-19 vaccine boost on cards for south east

The HSE/South East Community Healthcare is now operating a Covid-19 primary and booster vaccination clinic at St Dympnna’s Hospital in Carlow (Eircode R93 X7TV).

Appointments for the Carlow centre can be made via the HSE web site and its opening times will be detailed there too.

In another initiative, the HSE

will be on site at South East Technological University (SETU) Carlow Campus in the next three weeks to offer Covid-19 primary and booster vaccinations to students and staff.

The HSE’s South East Community Healthcare vaccination team will have their mobile unit in place outside the Barrow Centre, SETU/Carlow from 10am to 4pm

on Tuesday, February 7 and Wednesday February 22.

The mobile clinic operates on a “walk in, no appointment necessary” basis. Those wishing to avail of the vaccine are asked to bring photographic ID with them.

Gillian Buggy, Acting General Manager/Vaccinations, HSE/ South East Community Healthcare, said: “There are high levels

of respiratory viruses, including Covid-19, in circulation in the community. Therefore it’s important that all eligible people avail of the booster to protect themselves and those around them from serious illness. All people in the 18-49 years age group are eligible for their second Covid-19 booster, provided it is six months since their last vaccine or since

they had an infection. You can check the number of Covid-19 vaccines you have already received and the date of your last vaccine on your digital Covid-19 certificate.”

“HSE/South East Community Healthcare is bringing our mobile vaccination unit to SETU/Carlow to make vaccination as readily available as pos-

sible. COVID-19 vaccinations also continue to be offered by appointment at centres in Kilkenny ny Carlow, Clonmel, Enniscorthy, Kilkenny and Waterford – in addition to participating pharmacies and GPs

“We would encourage everyone to top up their protection against COVID-19 as soon as possible.”

Communities across Kilkenny have responded in great numbers to a call out for bikes for upcycling in Kilkenny. Families, workplaces and individuals have pulled out disused and outgrown bikes and donated them for repair.

There was a magnificent effort by Kilkenny Men’s Shed, The Bicycle Engineering Academy and cycling enthusiasts from Marble City Cyclers to get bikes back in working order and ready for the road.

In 2022, more than 100 bikes were distributed to Ukrainian families that had arrived in Kilkenny with no transport options.  These bikes are now enabling newly arrived families to access work, education, shops and other services.

Bike maintenance workshops were also delivered to ensure the bikes remain in good working order. This scheme was supported by Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny Leader Partnership.  Caitriona Corr, Cycling Officer with Kilkenny County Council, said: “We are very grateful to Pat Glennon and all the men from the Men’s Shed, and Paul Murphy, Joe Bergin and Peter Dore from the Bicycle Engineering Academy and Marble City Cyclers for all their work on collections, repairs and distributions.”

In September last, with the beginning of the new school year, young people from Kilkenny also got involved.  A group of enthusiastic teachers and students from St Kieran’s College, with the support of Kilkenny

County Council, established a bike hub on the school grounds.   The students have been learning all about bike maintenance under the guidance of their teachers, Larry Cotter and Simon Reddy and Paul Murphy from the Bicycle Engineering Academy.  In their free time, the students have rebuilt bicycles and are pictured here handing them over to some grateful recipients who are eagerly looking forward to getting up and mobile again.

Student James Larkin said: “We have learnt many things, how to replace a chain, how to fix a puncture on a wheel and we even started to build our own bike."

Larry Cotter, of St Kieran’s College is delighted with the new opportunity for the students.  “The students have thoroughly enjoyed developing the practical skills of bike maintenance and repair.  We look forward to developing this initiative and getting more students involved in the future,” he told The Kilkenny Observer.

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Pat Fitzpatrick, in support of the initiative said: “Kilkenny County Council are proud to be associated with such a worthwhile initiative.  Everyone involved is to be commended and in particular the students and teachers of St. Kieran’s College. So many bicycles are being stored in sheds around the County that could be put to good use and will make a huge difference to the lives of our Ukrainian community and others in need.”

The Cookie Co-op is winner of Google ad funding

A charity tackling what it describes as an “escalating kitten crisis” is set to benefit from a recent fundraising campaign by Ireland’s largest specialty pet retailer Maxi Zoo.

The Cat and Dog Protection Association of Ireland (CDPA) will benefit to the tune of €32,000 from Maxi Zoo’s ‘Friendship Connects’ campaign. The

monies raised will allow the charity to respond to more calls for help from people who cannot afford necessary veterinary care for cats and dogs in need.

The CDPA is a registered animal charity dedicated to reducing the suffering of cats and dogs in Ireland through rescue, fostering, neutering, community outreach and welfare programmes.

Kilkenny’s The Cookie Co-op is one of 10 businesses that have secured a unique, money-can't-buy prize as part of the You’re The Business campaign launched last year. Supported by Google, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, ‘You’re the Business’ is a programme that aims to accelerate Irish SME growth through digitalisation.

The Cookie Co-op is a family business founded by Brian Walsh (pictured) based in Kilkenny City. It began trading in July 2020 at the local Farmers’ Market and went on to develop a wholesale supply business for local

cafés, as well as introducing a nationwide next-day delivery service via its website.

The Cookie Co-op will receive a customised suite of digital supports from Google, expert sector and industryspecific mentoring across a range of technical areas that will help the 10 SMEs to further develop their business. The selected businesses will also receive a €1,000 Google ads package each.

Brian Walsh, owner told The Kilkenny Observer:  “We had just launched our website offering next day delivery when I decided to participate in the You’re The Business initiative. It sounded like the perfect op-

portunity to get guidance and support around how best to promote our business online. It is invaluable for us to have the opportunity to have such a wonderful level of support from a company like Google.

"As a small business, we take on many roles on a daily basis. It will be helpful to gain clarity on suitable approaches for our specific business, allowing us to play to our strengths in the areas of creativity and strategy implementation.”

Research conducted by Google, developed in partnership with Amárach for the launch of You’re The Business last year found that almost half of SMEs believe they

So, it's on yer bikes, boys at St Kieran's Charity to use funds to tackle our kitten crisis

could more than double their turnover (40%) and profitability (45%) with an investment in digital skills. But, the research also showed that more than one in every 10 SMEs based in Ireland (11%) are not yet using digital technology in their businessalmost half (45%) of SMEs do not have their own website.

Alice Mansergh, Director for Small Business at Google, said: “Ireland is home to more than 250,000 small businesses, providing employment and services right across the country. Small businesses, like The Cookie Co-op, are at the heart of towns and communities across Ireland."

In recent months, it has reported an alarming increase in the number of animals, cats in particular, in need of rehoming.  Carmel Rooney, Director of the CDPA says the money raised through the Friendship Connects campaign will be put to good use, “The need for our services is huge and growing all the time. CDPA is the only Dublin

based rescue carrying out a large scale trap-neuter-return (TNR) programme – the only humane way to reduce the number of kittens born, suffering and dying outside. A few years ago we were spaying or neutering six cats a week, now that’s six cats a day. We also respond to calls about dogs, and we really want to help as many animals as we can.”

CDPA believes that if every animal owner spayed and neutered their pets, the amount of unwanted cats and dogs would be dramatically reduced, therefore CDPA adopts out all their animals spayed/neutered. The charity also microchips, vaccinates and has all animals wormed before they are adopted.

The Maxi Zoo ‘Friendship Connects’ campaign saw the sale of multi-purpose Pet Pendants both online and across the chain’s 29 Irish stores between October 1 and December 31. All profits from the sale of the pendants, which could either be worn by pets, their owners or as trolley tokens, were donated to the CDPA.

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As I See It Marianne Heron

However old we are, love is ever young

With Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away, love is already in the air for early birds with twigs in their beaks and mating in mind as they y past my window. Love is in the air too for some Noughty folk (those with a  good few birthdays ending in noughts under their belts) as they answer Cupid’s  call.

Last weekend football legend Mick O’Dwyer made front page news when at 86 he married his partner Geraldine McGirr (65). I guess the headlines had as much to do with his celebrity as a successful Gaelic football manager as with the way the romantic pair had found love again in late life. e same week even noughtier astronaut Buzz Aldrin at 93 tied the knot with his sweetheart  Dr Anca Faur

(63). e rst man to walk on the moon in 1969, with Neil Armstrong, Aldrin still lags a whole decade behind George Kirby (102) who plans to marry Doreen Luckie (91) when he celebrates his 103 birthday next June, e pair have been been dating for only 30 years. Now I am not quite in the same league as these lotharios (my partner and I have collected a few more than a dozen noughts to our combined ages,) but I applaud the way these silver sweethearts believe that falling in love doesn’t come with a use-by date stamped on it. “What’s age got to do with it?” as O’Dwyer quipped while Kirby joked that he didn’t get down on his knees when he popped the question to Doreen for



Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion for Carlow Kilkenny has called for cross-party support for their party’s proposals that would ensure mental health services for children and young people are properly resourced, fully sta ed and provide support when and where they are needed.

e proposals, introduced by Sinn Féin recently call on the Government to act quickly to address this national emergency.

Teachta Funchion said:

“Scandals in our CAMHS were laid bare again in early 2023, the government needs to act urgently to ensure that we have services that are t for purpose for our children and young people. e current services are not, and there are serious concerns and risks for patients currently accessing CAMHS.

“I am in no doubt that TDs throughout the constituency of Carlow and Kilkenny have been contacted by parents who are frantic trying to access supports for their children. I have personal experience of very vulnerable children being left on waiting lists for two and three years. I cannot

fear  he wouldn’t get up again.

Late love can take you by surprise. It certainly did me, as I had more or less accepted that I would be alone after I lost my husband. I had  internalised what I once heard when researching a story about dating agencies that no woman over 50 need apply. Men weren’t interested, I was told. ank heavens that kind of attitude has faded away judging by the number of romance-seeking ladies and gents in their 60s and 70s WTM (willing to meet) the opposite sex on pages like the Senior Times Meeting Place.

at instant charge of erotic interest doesn’t necessarily turn o with passing years. I rst saw my   beloved when he, back

view, was searching a crowded bar for a seat. at intriguing man is going to come and sit beside me, I told myself, xing my eyes on the back of his collar. And he did. An hour and a half later we were still talking. We spoke everyday on the phone  for two months while he volunteered overseas before getting locked down together and we have been together ever since.

Since then I have heard of a good few late life romances: old ames rekindled, chance encounters that have led to lasting liaisons, dating agency successes. e beauty of being a certain age when this happens is that you have a choice in how you become happy ever after: be it in partnerships, keeping

separate homes or marrying a second time around. e triumph of hope over experience as Oscar Wilde put it. Buzz Aldrin is certainly very hopeful as this will be his fourth trip up the aisle.

Taking the plunge back into the mating game can be a bit daunting, though, when you haven’t been on a date for decades.  I do notice many older people — especially women — who are suddenly single again, whether through bereavement or divorce, and who remain on their own. ey may be perfectly content that way with children, grandchildren and a good social network around them but there are others who may be lonely. Almost one third of adults aged 50+ in Ireland experience emotional loneliness at

least some of the time and 7.0% often felt lonely, according to TILDA, Trinity’s Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.

A shame to be lonely if they are held back by lack of con dence or misplaced ideas  about the social acceptability of  trying for second time around later in life. Jennifer Haskins of dating agency Two Is Company, who herself found love in her late 50s, is reassuring: “Age is only a number when it comes to nding someone special.” True! I remember strolling hand in hand along the street with my partner when a twinkly bystander remarked: “Ah young love – there’s nothing to beat it!” And he had it nailed. However old we are, love is ever young.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency

imagine how traumatic that is for all involved.

“ e system isn’t exible or agile enough to move quickly to help children who can in some cases be at very serious risk of doing harm. Not helping these children is unconscionable.

“Where the government has failed, Sinn Féin wants to o er solutions.

“Our spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward, and spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane, would reform mental health services to ensure that they are properly resourced and fully sta ed.

“Early intervention is key - all children and young people deserve the opportunity to reach their potential. Children and young people must have access to mental services when and where they need them.

“Services should be extended to 25 to prevent ‘cli edge’ of 18. e majority of acute long-term mental health di culties develop between ages of 16 and 25.

“We are calling for multi-annual funding for CAMHS to be able to operate and forward-plan, to be able to properly sta teams, and we are calling for integrated IT system to improve quality of care

“We want accountability in mental health services and so are calling for a national clinical director for mental health, a role that was removed in 2016.

“Sinn Féin wants to empower CAMHS to be able to respond to issues raised in the Mental Health Commission’s interim report.

“ e report did not come as a shock to any family who has experience of accessing CAMHS.

ey know too well that this government has been failing young people as waiting lists have dramatically increased under their watch.

“We must introduce national standards for monitoring antipsychotic medication.

“We must develop a joined-up and comprehensive health and social care workforce strategy to increase education places and training opportunities between the Departments of Health and Higher Education, the HSE, Regional Health Areas/Hospital Groups, and higher education institutions.

“We must increase undergraduate and post-graduate courses and training places for mental health professions based on evidence for required sta ng levels and projected population needs to reduce reliance on overtime and international recruitment.

“Our mental health services are in crisis and we can do so much better.

“We owe it to our children and young people to deserve hope, solutions and mental health services that are t for purpose.”

ere are 13 Vitamins that our body needs to function, 8 of these are the B Vitamins (B-Complex) including the more commonly recognised B12. e B Vitamins are well known for the essential part they play in energy and red blood cell production along with their important role in numerous bodily functions including immune health, the nervous system and healthy skin, hair, and nails.

B Vitamins are water soluble, meaning most cannot be stored in the body and must be taken in through our diet or, if needed, through supplementation. A healthy balanced diet, rich in who-

legrains, meat, eggs, fruit, and vegetables can provide you with most of what you need. Stress, worry, and anxiety may put you at more risk of depletion of your B Vitamins and as you reach for co ee or sugar during those stressful times, your requirements for B Vitamins may increase.

Today, I want to focus on B12 as B12 de ciency is extremely common in Ireland. Anyone can become de cient in B12, but as we age our ability to absorb it can be compromised mostly because we produce less stomach acid.

Symptoms of B12 de ciency can include tiredness and fatigue, irritability, digestion issues, loss of appetite, confusion, poor memory, mental tiredness, light headedness, and numbness or tingling in the ngers/ hands. Your

doctor can do a blood test to check B12 levels and, if you are low, may prescribe B12 injections.

If you are in the middle of the scale, you might take a supplement to maintain levels and prevent them falling too low. For customers who want to maintain their B12 levels my go-to supplement is Solgar Sublingual Liquid B12 with B-Complex. I like this product as it not only contains an excellent 2000μg dose of B12 per dropper but also a full B-Complex too.

Taken on the tongue it absorbs quickly and e ciently.

If you prefer tablets, there’s Solgar B12 Methylycobalamin which contains 1000μg of the ‘body ready’ form of B12, Methylcobalamin, and dissolves under the tongue.

If your B12 levels are sucient and you just want to top up on B vitamins then one of my favourites is Solgar BComplex 100, a high strength, one a day capsule.

I hope this information helps as B12 is a very important and versatile nutrient.

Shop online at www. where you’ll be able to take a look at these brands.

Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre Phone: 056 7764538


12 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
We need
health services that empower our children and young people to ful l their potential
News 13 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Advertisement

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, says Government must urgently deliver a suite of ambitious policies to speed up the delivery of much-needed housing, and improve viability and affordability.

As it launches a major new housing report as part of its ongoing ‘Better Lives, Better Business’ campaign, Ibec says in a recent CEO survey that more than 70% of companies identi ed the availability of housing for sta as a challenge to their business operations in 2023, with 30% identifying it as a major challenge.

A total of 27% of businesses identi ed the impact of housing availability on employees as one of their Top 3 external priorities for their business.

Marking the launch of the report, Ibec Director of Lobbying & In uence Fergal O’Brien said: “ e crisis in the availability of a ordable housing in Ireland is becoming the critical barrier to the continued growth and development of business investment. An inadequate supply of a ordable housing is the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“ e housing crisis has increasingly become a concern in relation to cohesion in the workplace and society more broadly. Younger workers, in particular, are  nancially pressed by ever-higher rents and the receding prospect of homeownership. is ultimately spills over into issues around well-being and productivity in the workplace, while in the longer-term, if left unchecked, will also create emerging challenges in terms of pension adequacy and people’s broader stake in society over the coming decades,” he said.

“From an employer perspective, there is a need to reinvigorate the policy drive around the availability and a ordability of housing in the context of these challenges.

is will require a suite of measures to improve the viability and a ordability of homebuilding, such as addressing emerging nancing de cits, reform of the planning and procurement system to speed delivery, a ramping up of ambition in a ordable and cost-rental housing, and signi cant investment in

Housing challenges harm Ireland as a place to

skills and modern methods of construction.

“From an a ordability perspective, our proposed scal measures would reduce the cost of a typical €400,000 new home by €30,000 and this could be achieved with immediate e ect.”

Ibec’s new housing report outlines the following key recommendations:

To bring a stronger collective momentum to addressing the housing crisis:

1 Intensify work through the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) to address sustainable solutions for the delivery of adequate supply of a ordable housing in the private market and through public provision.

To increase public housing delivery:

2 Set a more ambitious role for local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) through the delivery of social, cost-rental and

broader a ordable homes with a target of 20,000 units annually before the end of the decade, with greater delivery of a ordable and costrental units.

To reduce purchase costs to buyers:

3 Create a State fund, ultimately funded by the Local Property Tax (LPT) but initially by the Exchequer, to subvent the cost of Section 48 and 49 special and supplementary levies for new residential units, where the infrastructure bene ts users across the local community rather than just the new home purchaser.

4 Introduce a VAT refund order worth 5% of a new home for purchasers of new build homes on a temporary basis under Section 103 of the VAT Act to help o set the rising costs of construction and supply chain challenges in the sector.

To address funding de cit

5 Signi cantly increase funding through the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) to ensure adequate development nance in the market.

6 Improve access to domestic sources of funding for a ordable residential development, linking domestic savings to the development of a ordable homes, by implementing a risk appropriate income tax incentive for investments in designated residential development funds, mirrored on the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) and in line with the 2017 report of the ‘Working Group On e Tax And Fiscal Treatment Of Rental Accommodation Providers’.

To improve delivery timelines:

7 Progress the Planning and Development Bill which has the potential to improve the

timeliness and e ciency of the current planning system and ensure bodies such as An Bord Pleanála, the soon to be established Planning and Environment Division of the High Court and other relevant agencies have the resources needed to recruit and retain signi cant numbers of additional sta with relevant expertise in order to reduce planning backlogs and improve timeliness. To maintain a functioning rental sector:

8 Implement improved tax treatment of landlords’ expenses, while also ensuring greater security for tenants – through the multi-annual rollout of greater resourcing for local authorities and the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to meet a 25% annual rental inspection target.

Also impliment a deposit protection scheme, and a national car testing (NCT) equivalent scheme for the

accommodation rental sector.

To boost o site construction activity:

9 Engage and collaborate with manufacturers and the construction sector to ensure that a portion of future social and a ordable housing be completed using o site construction methods, to create a strong level of demand certainty for investment in modern methods of construction. To address skills shortages and productivity:

10 Continue to increase investment in Further Education and Training Centres to address waiting lists as quickly as possible, build out digital and other relevant skills in modern methods and introduce accelerated capital allowances for investments in advanced automation, Building Information Modelling (BIM), robotics and digital technologies in the construction sector.

Why initial social housing targets not met

The Department of Housing has estimated that there were approximately 7,500 social homes built in 2022, despite lower projections from the Department of Public Expenditure (DPER).

Official briefing documentation from DPER, which was released publicly at the start of this

year, estimates there were approximately 6,500 social homes delivered in 2022, while officials from the department have cast doubt on the figures.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has acknowledged that the Government did miss their social housing targets and referenced the 6,500 figure from DPER.

However, it has emerged that the Department of Housing has higher estimates based on its preliminary data from local authorities around the country.

Speaking to TDs at the Public Accounts Committee, Secretary General at the Department of Housing Graham Doyle said

that he estimated approximately 7,500 new build social homes had been b built in 2022.

Doyle said that the initial social housing targets for 2022 had been 9,000 new built, but that this was revised down to 8,000.

“Our estimate at the moment is that it is somewhere close to the 8,000,

above 7,500. There is a lot of counting and verification and returns going on now,” he said of construction figures.

When asked by Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon if it would be possible to get a specific figure, Doyle said: “I can’t give you an accurate number, I can give you an estimate.”

Mr Doyle said that this was due to a large proportion of delivery taking place in the last quarter of 2022, particularly in December.

He said that, while the department had intended to spread delivery over the course of the year, this was hampered due rising construction inflation.

14 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
Government must deliver ambitious policies
15 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Advertisement

You may be entitled to a British pension Your Money & You John Ellis

If you now live in Ireland but previously worked in the UK there’s a probability that you are entitled to both the UK and the Irish State pensions.

e UK State pension is currently £185.15 a week and, if you have paid the equivalent to Irish PRSI in the UK – national insurance contributions – you can claim the UK pension when you reach 66. (In ve years’ time the age rises to 67). e amount of UK State pension you are entitled to is linked to your national insurance record and as  you are now living in Ireland you most likely will have breaks in your record.

In 2016 the UK Government changed the pension rules but made temporary arrangements for people to top up their national insurance record in order to increase their entitlement to the State pension. is facility will now close on April 5 this year.

If you have worked in the UK you have until April 5 to make up for the missing years to enhance your pension. You can make payments for the missing years from 2006 but after the April deadline you will only be able to go back six years.

Why do it? Remember the high take-up when the SSIA was introduced in Ireland back in the day. A total of 1.1 million people invested and for every €4 invested you received a credit of €1 up to maximum monthly saving amount of €254 a month. Many received back over the ve years in excess of €14,000.  You could see a comparision here but more valuable.

To buy back one full year national insurance will cost you £824. is ‘investment’ can add £275 a year to your pension. If you were to avail of this o er, reach 66 and live a further three years you

would get your money back and every year after that would be a pro t. Or suppose you buy back one year and live to 80 – the Irish male life expectancy –

the investment return would equate to 6.9% on the investment and for a female who lives to the female life expectancy age of 84 the return increases to 7.6%.

Maybe you are thinking, I was in the UK but was not working all that time? ere are other ways you may qualify. Did you receive national insurance credits if you were, for example, unemployed, ill or a parent or carer? You may have paid voluntary national insurance contributions. You may also qualify if you paid married women’s or widow’s reduced rate contributions.

Where do you start? Go to the online calculator at gov. uk/check-state-pension. If the calculation is less than the £185.15 a week, then the option is available to you. is in not available if you are already claiming your pension or you have delayed or deferred claiming it and if you worked in certain public sectors or were selfemployed and di erent rules and rates may apply.

If you wish you can get the BR19 application from the

website and return it by post, but online is more e cient.

To help you the UK government has also set up a free helpline called the Future Pension Centre which will help you to understand your options. e number is +44 (0) 191 218 7777 Have your national insurance to hand when you call. It would be nice to have an extra cushion in place as your near retirement and this extra would allow you to maybe take more risk with your current Irish pension provision. And, while you are at it, begin a search for any private pensions into which you may have invested while in the UK.  Again remember the rules will change in April so act fast to make sure you’re getting your maximum UK entitlements. Happy hunting.

john@ellis 086 8362622

16 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Opinion
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Science & Wellbeing

Four out of ve people in survey after survey blame a “chemical imbalance” in the brain as the cause of depression.. at idea is widespread in pop psychology and cited in research papers and medical textbooks. Listening To Prozac, a book that describes the lifechanging value of treating depression with medications that aim to correct this imbalance, spent months on the New York Times bestseller list.

e unbalanced brain chemical in question is serotonin, an important neurotransmitter with fabled ‘feel-good’ e ects. Serotonin helps regulate systems in the brain that control everything from body temperature and sleep to sex drive and hunger. For decades, it has also been touted as the pharmaceutical miracle for ghting depression. Widely prescribed medications like Prozac ( uoxetine) are designed to treat chronic depression by raising serotonin levels.

Yet the causes of depression go far beyond serotonin deciency.

Clinical studies have repeatedly concluded that the role of serotonin in depression has been overstated. Indeed, the entire premise of the chemical-imbalance theory may be wrong, despite the relief that Prozac seems to bring to many patients.

A literature review that appeared in Molecular Psychiatry is the latest and perhaps loudest death knell for the serotonin hypothesis, at least in its simplest form. An international team of scientists led by Joanna Moncrie of University College London screened 361 papers from six areas of research and carefully evaluated 17 of them.

ey found no convincing evidence that lower levels of serotonin caused or were even associated with depression. People with depression didn’t reliably seem to have less se-

e origin of life and the Universe are both trapped by the problem of horizons.

On Earth, on a clear day and from relatively at terrain, the horizon is simply the farthest distance you can see before the curvature of the planet bends out of view. ( at comes to about three miles away for the average person).

e horizon thus represents a fundamental limit, imposed by physical circumstances, to how far you can see.

Cosmology and the origin of life are each subject to a kind of horizon, and those horizons shape how researchers must address their most fundamental questions.

In cosmology, the most important horizon comes just 300,000 years after the Big Bang, during a brief transition called recombination. Before recombination, the Universe was hot and dense enough that it was basically a smooth soup of mostly electrons, protons, and neutrons, along with photons.

e photons interacted

Rethinking what causes depression

rotonin activity than people without the disorder.

Experiments in which researchers arti cially lowered the serotonin levels of volun-

teers didn’t consistently cause depression. Genetic studies also seemed to rule out any connection between genes a ecting serotonin levels and

A limit to what we can know about life

strongly with the charged particles. No light particle could travel very far before being scattered o an electron. In this way, the Universe’s matter and light were strongly coupled.

As the cosmos expanded and cooled, the matter particles eventually slowed down enough for the oppositely

depression, even when the researchers tried to consider stress as a possible cofactor.

“If you were still of the opinion that it was simply a chemi-

cal imbalance of serotonin, then yeah, it’s pretty damning,” said Taylor Braund, a clinical neuroscientist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Black Dog Institute in Australia who was not involved in the new study. ( e ‘black dog’ was Winston Churchill’s term for his own dark moods, which some historians speculate were depression.)

e realisation that serotonin de cits by themselves probably don’t cause depression has left scientists wondering what does. e evidence suggests that there may not be a simple answer. In fact, it’s leading neuropsychiatric researchers to rethink what depression might be.

e serotonin hypothesis of depression has informed decades of drug development and neuroscienti c research. During the late 1980s, it led to the introduction of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs, like Prozac. ( e drugs raise levels of serotonin activity by slowing down the neurotransmitter’s absorption by neurons.)

Today, the serotonin hypothesis is still the explanation most often given to patients with depression when they’re prescribed SSRIs.

But doubts about the serotonin model were circulating by the mid-1990s. Some researchers noticed that SSRIs often fell short of expectations and didn’t improve signicantly on the performance of older drugs like lithium. “ e studies didn’t really stack up,” Moncrie said.

By the early 2000s, few experts believed that depression is caused solely by lack of serotonin, but no one ever attempted a comprehensive evaluation of the evidence. at eventually prompted Moncrie to organise such a study, “so that we could get a view as to whether this theory was supported or not,” she said.

where else in the Universe) works by a process called descent with modi cation. Organisms reproduce and pass their genes on to their children. Every now and then, random mutations occur. If they lead to better tness within the environment, entirely new organisms may appear.

She and her colleagues found that it wasn’t, but the serotonin hypothesis still has adherents. Last October — just a few months after their review appeared — a paper published online in Biological Psychiatry claimed to o er a concrete validation of the serotonin theory. Other researchers remain skeptical, however, because the study looked at only 17 volunteers. Moncrie dismissed the results as statistically insigni cant.

Although serotonin levels don’t seem to be the primary driver of depression, SSRIs show a modest improvement over placebos in clinical trials. But the mechanism behind that improvement remains elusive. “Just because aspirin relieves a headache, [it] doesn’t mean that aspirin deficits in the body are causing headaches,” said John Krystal, a neuropharmacologist and chair of the psychiatry department at Yale University. “Fully understanding how SSRIs produce clinical change is still a work in progress.”

Speculation about the source of that bene t has spawned alternative theories about the origins of depression.

Despite the “selective” in their name, some SSRIs change the relative concentrations of chemicals other than serotonin. Some clinical psychiatrists believe that one of the other compounds may be the true force inducing or relieving depression. For example, SSRIs increase the circulating levels of the amino acid tryptophan, a serotonin precursor which helps regulate sleep cycles. In the last 15 years or so, this chemical has emerged as a strong candidate in its own right for staving o depression. “ ere’s quite good evidence from tryptophan depletion studies,” said Michael Browning, a clinical psychiatrist at the University of Oxford.

We do not know much about this creature. We do not have direct fossils of its existence. But we can infer its existence from the tree of life. ere must have been a last universal common ancestor that gave root to all life on Earth.

charged electrons and protons to nd each other. ey paired up to form the rst hydrogen atoms. Once this happened, photons no longer had any dance partners. (Hydrogen does not couple strongly to radiation like the free electrons did.) Suddenly free to zing across the cosmos unhindered, today they ll

the Universe as the cosmic microwave background radiation.

e study of life on Earth and its origin also has a horizon imposed on it, and it has a name. It is called LUCA: the Last Universal Common Ancestor.

We know that evolution on Earth (and probably any-

Using a variety of methods, biologists have mapped out the tree of relationships between living things across Earth’s long inhabited history, which goes back more than three billion years. ey have been able to see when the di erent lineages of life split o from each other. For example, humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos share a common ancestor who lived about six million years ago. Humans and sharks share a common ancestor that lived about 440 million years ago.

rough these kinds of studies, biologists can trace all of life back to a single kind of organism.

e recognition of LUCA is a triumph of modern biological sciences. But it is also a horizon beyond which we cannot see, much like the surface of last scattering. LUCA is where the direct trail ends, and that leaves us with many big questions. Could there, for example, have been more than one origin of life on Earth?

What’s cool about all this is how it reveals something fundamental about science. Horizons exist because evidence comes with constraints we don’t know how to break. at means that not every direct question can nd a direct answer. e trail can simply grow cold, or disappear. At that point, the most interesting question of all arises: What do you do next?

News 18 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023

The best beaches in Thailand

Take a day trip out to Koh Phi Phi Leh to explore the National Park and the beautiful Maya Bay. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in ailand with pristine white sands, crystal clear waters, and palm trees lining the shore.

It’s no wonder e Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was lmed there. Maya Bay is located within the National Park with limited tourism and a national park entrance fee. But you can book tours to Maya Bay through Get Your Guide.

Overlooking Railay Beach from High Lookout

Railay is a favourite of all the beach destinations in the country. It is not located on an island, but it can only be reached by longtail boat so it feels like an island. You can catch a boat from Krabi Town, but you can also take short jaunts from Ao Nang. A lot of people make a base in Ao Nang and do day trips to Railay Beach.

Railay itself has four beaches to explore including the above-mentioned Railay Beach and Phra Nang Cave Beach plus Ton Sai Beach which is popular with rock climbers and Railay East which has great beginner rock climbing routes. At

low tide, all of them can be reached through paths in the jungle.

Where to stay at Railay Beach

Railay Bay Resort and Spa –You’ll love its location directly on Railay Beach. ere have been up and down reviews so things are ever-changing.

Sand Sea Resort Railay Beach – Great bungalows on Railay Beach beach, it’s an excellent location right on the beach.

Diamond Cave Resort and Spa – While this is not located directly on Railay Beach, it is located on east Railay Bay below the diamond cave cli . Gorgeous!

3. Phra Nang Beach –Krabi

Phra Nang Beach is often voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With sea caves, karst islands, and perfect white sand it really needs to be seen with your own eyes.

Long tail boats line the beach lled with daytrippers from Ao Nang and Krabi Town, but to truly appreciate it, you must stay on Railay. Twenty years ago, it was deserted. Today it is overrun by tourists during the day but if you say in the area, you will have it all to yourself at sunrise.

Where to stay on Phra Nang Beach Villa Macaque and Villa

Languour – Located directly on Phranang Beach this fourstar hotel has two swimming pools, Free Wi , Spa and Wellness Center and a restaurant. Getting to Krabi from Bangkok ere are daily ights from Bangkok to Krabi Airport. From Krabi, you can take a long tail boat to Railay and a bus to Ao Nang.

4. Koh Phi Phi Islands –Krabi Koh Phi Phi was the rst beach in the country to really attract the international community’s attention. And with good reason. Leading up to that perfect beach with clear turquoise waters will take your breath away. e purest soft white sand ever seen lining a perfect horseshoe bay. It is a crowded beach escape, but it is beautiful.

Where to stay in Phi Phi Koh Phi Phil Don is where you stay when exploring these islands. ere are plenty of hotel choices, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.

Sai Phi Phi Island Village – Get away from the crowds with this boutique resort situated on a private white sand beach.

Phi Phi e Beach Resort – Hillside villas overlooking the beach and away from the hustle and bustle.

5. Laem ong Beach –Krabi

A secluded white sand beach on Koh Phi Phi Don, Laem ong Beach is a serene beach with clear waters that are perfect for snorkelling, scuba diving, and kayaking. It is only located by boat so it is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of life. You can take a day trip to see the nearby Mosquito and Bamboo islands. Where to stay at Laem ong Beach

Phi Phi Natural Resort – You can’t go wrong with this SHA Extra Plus beachfront property. Traditional ai design with private balconies, pool and restaurant.

How to Get to Koh Phi Phi from Bangkok

To get to Koh Phi from Bangkok you can y to Phuket and then catch a ferry to Phi Phi. You can also y into Krabi and take a ferry from there.

6. Sunset Beach – Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe has one of the most favoured beaches in ailand. Being the southernmost island it is less touristy than Krabi. Lipe is a fantastic chill spot to hang out for a few days with a few beaches to relax on. Sunset Beach is on the opposite side of the island from Sunrise beach and far away from the busy Pattaya Beach where you’ll come in from. As its name suggests, it

is also the place to watch the sunset and it is the quietest spot on the island.

To get to Koh Lipe, you will need to y into Hat Yai and then take a ferry from Pakbara Pier in Satun.

7. Kata Beach – Phuket

Phuket is lled with beautiful beaches and if you hire a tuk-tuk or rent a motorcycle you can spend time beach hopping to see them all.

Patong is the main town of Phuket and there is a long busy beach here as well. But we suggest getting out of Patong and going to Kata. It has lovely long beaches and calm waters.

Where to stay in Patong and Kata

Patong – If you want to be in the heart of the action and nightlife. Stay in Paton. For Kata Beach check out e Boat House.

8. Kata Noi Beach – Phuket

Just a little farther south is the even more relaxed Kata Noi Beach. Known as Little Kata Beach, it’s a great day trip to take in Phuket as well. You’ll nd some good luxury accommodations on Kata Noi, including e Shore at Kata Noi, an all adults luxury resort.

Where to stay in Kata

Chanalai Romantic Resort is a highly rated option for Kata Beach.

9. Karon Beach – Phuket

Karon Beach in Phuket is a massive 5 km long white sand beach in Phuket. is is a great beach and in fact, it is the second busiest beach after Patong. Located just north of Kata Beach, it is the quieter of the two. It attracts windsurfers to the island and it is also known for its turtle hatching. ere are plenty of places to stay on this beach as well.

How to Get to Phuket

How to Get to Phuket from Bangkok – ere are daily ights from Bangkok to Phuket Airport.

10. Long Beach – Koh Lanta

We spent a good chunk of time chilling out on the beaches of Koh Lanta during one of our many trips. Long Beach is just that; e longest beach in Koh Lanta. At 4km long (2.4 miles) it was perfect for our morning walks. Long Beach connects to Klong Dao Beach, another beautiful ailand beach that has a good choice of backpacker hangouts, places to sip Singha Beer and to enjoy the stars.

Where to Stay on Long Beach Layana Resort and Spa – is SHA Extra Plus property overlooks the sea with an outdoor in nity pool and direct access to Long Beach from the resort.

19 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
1. Maya Bay Koh Phi Phi Leh – Krabi 2. Railay Beach – Krabi
Travel & Leisure

Don’t you just love the sport of sport! Furthermore Gerry Moran

Sport keeps one half of the population sane and drives the other half mad. So be it. Politics, on the other hand, drives everyone mad; think housing, hospital beds, political donations and now nursing home charges. And, if proof be needed drop into my local any night and listen to the clientele (myself included) argue — sorry, debate — the issues of the day.

We’ve discussed them all, vigorously, divisively and loudly. So loudly in fact that yellow cards have been frequently issued while some have been threatened with the red. is week’s column, however, isn’t about politics, it’s about sport and sincere apologies to that half of the population who are driven spare by it. Look away now.

Let me start on a positive note with golf and Rory McIlroy’s marvellous win in the Dubai Classic by one

stroke (on the last hole) to pip Patrick Reed with whom there’d been a bit of handbags ( tee-throwing actually, ouch!) during that nal round. I’m not a gol ng man but I follow the game and am always roaring for Rory. Roaring for Rory! Has a ring to it. Regarding golf, here’s something interesting: ever wonder why a golf course has 18 holes instead of say 10 or 12 or 20? Back in 1858, during a discussion among the board members of Saints Andrew’s golf club in Scotland (the home of golf), a senior member pointed out that it took exactly 18 shots (as in shots of whiskey) to polish o a bottle of Scotch. By limiting himself to only one shot of Scotch for each hole, the Scot gured a round of golf was nished when the Scotch ran out! True or false? Something perhaps to be debated

(argued about even) over a few shots in the local!

As for the origin of the word golf it comes from the Dutch ‘ko ’ or ‘kou ’ meaning club. In the Scottish dialect of the early 15th century, the Dutch word became ‘go ’ or ‘gou ’ becoming golf in the 16th century. ere’s also the very sexist explanation for the word golf – Gentlemen Only. Ladies Forbidden! Surely not! en again in 1921, the year British women were given the vote, the Football Association banned ladies’ soccer. Females were not ofcially allowed back on the pitch until 1970! And staying with soccer I am always puzzled by fellow team mates embracing and high- ving each other just before kick o ! What’s that about? I have nothing against men embracing each other but they’ve been together in the dressing room for maybe an hour

beforehand so why not do the high- ving and embracing there?

And so to rugby and an observation; I love the way a player dives over the line, at out on his belly, for a try which looks decid-

edly dynamic and athletic. However, I feel a shudder in my nether regions when the player does that. I genuinely do. e player, however, doesn’t seem to feel anything! Maybe that rush of adrenaline doesn’t just get him over the line but leaves him over forgetful of his ‘valuables’. Heroic is one word for it. Foolish is another. ere’s a lot of awareness about head injuries nowadays, I would suggest that equal attention be given to the nether region.    Here’s another sporting issue: you enter a pub with your partner and do your damndest NOT to listen! Oh, not to your beloved, I mean trying not to listen to the commentary on the match on the telly that you’ve recorded to watch at home and have now turned your back on. is is challenging, not least when half the pub lets out an almighty roar and you dearly

want to turn to see which team has scored. But you don’t because you are gazing lovingly into your beloved’s eyes.

Men, as we all know, can’t multitask; drinking a pint, nibbling peanuts, and looking lovingly into your partner’s eyes while trying desperately not to hear the telly behind you is mega multitasking. You’re concentrating so much on not listening to the commentary that you don’t hear a word your partner is saying. Doesn’t augur well for a pleasant drink together. But then that’s sport, like politics, it’s controversial and divisive!

As for controversy, there’s Gaelic Football and the possible replay of the contentious Senior All Ireland Club Championship nal – a mouth watering prospect. And don’t you just love the sport of sport!

20 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Opinion
“So loudly that yellow cards have been issued...
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At his recent White House with a supportive President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio laid out Japan’s assertive new national security strategy, which includes a commitment to substantially higher defence spending.

A week later, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was in Germany taking stock of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s commitment to bigger military budgets and to rebuilding Germany’s armed forces as a tool not just of his nation’s defence but of European security policy as well. Indeed, Chancellor Scholz’s announcement that Germany would send a contingent of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine – a step it had resisted taking over recent weeks despite intense pressures from Washington and some European partners – underscored Germany’s new openness to asserting military power in Europe.

Following Germany’s announcement, President Biden announced at the White House that the US would send 31 of its M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The move was widely seen as intended to quash any doubts about the US commitment to Ukraine, while in turn prompting additional commitments of assistance from Western partners before an anticipated spring offensive by Russian forces.

The reasons for the simultaneous initiatives by Japan and Germany, World War II’s two great vanquished powers, to build up their armed forces and enhance the place of military power in their international relations and security policies can be reduced in each case to one word:n For Japan, it’s China. For Germany, it’s Russia.

But beyond each country’s specific concerns regarding the aggressive behaviour of a powerful neighbour are worries about broader shifts in the global security environment, international experts say – from the breakdown of the unipolar post-Cold War international order, to the waning punch of soft power in an era of big-power politics.

“Japan and Germany are dissimilar in many ways. Japan has undertaken a much faster and sustained rearmament and is a major regional military power, something Germany has not been since the end of the Cold War,” says Hal Brands, a professor of global affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a foreign policy scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “But what is common to both of them are growing concerns about the stability of the international order they both have relied on.”

The war in Ukraine, launched by a permanent member of the UN Security Council, “has sharpened those concerns for both,” he said, “and has prompted

moves by both to enhance their militaries – such as committing to raising military spending as a percentage of GDP.”

Germany was shocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 11 months ago. Since then it has undertaken an intense national debate over the state of its military and the role its military should play in a Europe it had come to assume was beyond the geopolitics of the 20th century and was unlikely to experience war again.

For Japan, the awakening to the threats posed by a rising and increasingly militarily assertive China has been less sudden. But China’s stepped-up actions in the South China Sea and around disputed islands Japan claims as its territory – not

to mention Beijing’s increasingly aggressive behaviour toward Taiwan – have stirred deep concerns and affirmed Tokyo’s convictions that it must reinforce its military posture to face mounting security threats.

Germany’s shift was highlighted by a speech Mr Scholz gave just three days after Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. In it, he proclaimed “a change of era” for German defence policy and a turning away from the country’s negligence of the military’s role in asserting national power.

Over ensuing months many German security experts and outside observers – including in the US Congress – started openly doubting the chancellor’s commitment to his words. But the

decision to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine reflects a shift in thinking about military power that is under way in Germany, some say.

“It has taken a while and prompted deep debate, but the Ukraine war has belatedly convinced the German political class of the need to rebuild a military that has been neglected for decades and to revise the thinking about the uses of that military in a new era,” says Dr Brands.

For weeks Germany insisted it would not send any Leopards to Ukraine unless the US first committed to sending the Abrams – a signal that it did not want to be the first to send in battle tanks sure to enrage Russia and prompt renewed accusations from Moscow of

For big-power era, Germany and enhanceJapanmilitaries Trump ‘angrier’ and ‘more committed’

Kicking o his 2024 presidential race in New Hampshire, former President Donald Trump has said he’s angrier and more committed than ever. “We’re starting. We’re starting right here as a candidate for president,” Trump said while delivering the keynote address for the state Republican Party’s annual meeting in Salem, New Hampshire. He announced that outgoing New Hampshire GOP Chairman Stephen Stepanek would oversee his campaign in the state, according the political online site e Hill.

“I’m more angry now and I’m more committed now than I ever was,” Trump said while making his debut on the 2024 campaign trail. In his speech, he talked

about his campaign agenda, including his plans to eliminate federal funding for schools that “push” critical race theory or “leftwing gender ideology”.

Trump also discussed the military, saying, “We have a great military, but we have some fools on top.” He also said he “rebuilt our entire military” during his time as president.

e former president also criticised the Democrats’ e ort to move the election calendar and to make South Carolina the rst state to vote

instead of New Hampshire.

“From the very beginning, I’ve strongly defended New Hampshire’s rst-in-thenation primary status,” Trump told the state: “I’ve been your defender, and I’ve refused to let any Republican ... even think about taking that cherished status away.”

He accused President Biden of “cruelly and disgracefully trashing this beloved political tradition,” suggesting his endorsement of the change was “a revenge on the voters” motivated by Biden’s 5th place nish in 2020’s New Hamp-

NATO’s deepening involvement in the war.

In the end Germany did announce its decision to send tanks to Ukraine before the US did, but only by hours. The close coordination hinted at the intense negotiations senior US officials said took place between Berlin and Washington.

Mr. Biden was unconvinced that the Abrams, a fuel-guzzling and complex machine requiring constant technical upkeep and trained operators, was right for the Ukraine war. Those misgivings were ultimately overcome by the overriding goal of pushing Germany over the line on the Leopards and opening the way for other NATO partners to send in heavier weaponry.

shire Democratic primary. New Hampshire and South Carolina are pivotal in the early primaries and hold immense power in picking the GOP and Democratic presidential nominees.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who is currently the only declared 2024 presidential candidate for either party, is trailing behind expected Republican opponent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in New Hampshire by a 12-point margin, according to a new poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire.

e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Global Report
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Uproar in Callan over unforgiven sins...

Last week, I recounted how the Poet Ryan got away with hearing confessiosn in Coolagh Church, and how his growing con dence about his ability to pull o this outlandish and unprecedented ruse led him to move his “act” to Callan.

Donning his second-hand cassock, which was a little too big for him but that couldn’t be helped; he stepped quietly into Callan parish church and had a discreet look around.

He noticed that there were three confessionals in the chapel and that some days there wouldn’t be a priest in one of them. So he slipped into an empty box, and in no time at all penitents were queuing up to confess.

He continued to hear confessions in Callan for almost three months. en things began to go wrong.

e Poet started to get careless. His runaway sucsess as a confessor went to his head and he abandoned his earlier strict adherence to clerical

protocol, as he understood it, and the dictates of Canon Law that a trusted pal had passed on to him.

He began giving exorbitant penances, such as hundreds of Hail Marys and Our Fathers. Matters came to a head when he gave a Callan grocer two hundred Our Fathers and a dozen Rosaries, and the man had only sworn at a dog that had eaten a slice of ham from his shop counter. He had not blasphemed, just used the word “feck.”

When the man cursed in the confessional, saying: “Ah for Jaysus sake, Father, come on!” the Poet added twenty Rosaries and advised him to

also go on a special spiritual retreat up the side of a mountain to pray for a fortnight and to survive on bread and water.

e penitent, badly shaken, left the confessional and went straight to the Parish Priest; Dr. Doyle, to complain about the severity of the penance that “Father Jim” had given him.

“Father Jim?” gasped the PP, “we don’t have a Father Jim!”

Dr. Doyle called in e Poet and severely reprimanded him for usurping the sacred, divinely ordained functions of a priest. He let him o with a caution, but warned him that should there be any repeat of “this scandal that beats every other sin out of sight”, e Poet would be publicly excommunicated from the Catholic Church and denounced from the altars of all the churches of the parish every Sunday for a

full year.

e Poet gave an undertaking not to hear any further confessions in Callan parish. When the PP asked him if he could remember whose sins he had forgiven, e Poet said, “sure Father they went in one ear and out the other.”

ough Dr. Doyle never openly alluded at mass to what he told e Poet was “an unspeakable o ence”, word of the bizarre pseudo-clerical situation ltered out…into the streets and the pubs and the homes of the district.

Penitents wondered which of their sins had really been forgiven and which of them had merely been “written o ” by e Poet.

Dr. Doyle advised locals who approached him on the matter to say double the

number of prayers given to them at confession for a period of twelve months to compensate for any forgiveness shortfall occasioned by e Poet’s presence in the confessional.

“God will understand”, he assured a worried Green Street lady who queried whether this remedy would really banish the sins that e Poet had erroneously absolved.

e Poet composed a poem on the subject called “My Forgiving Days in the Callan and Coolagh Confession Boxes.” is poem has unfortunately been lost to us, as it was never transcribed.

(Extract from my book Are We Invaded Yet?)

Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr David FitzGerald, seeks clarity on the Ukrainian Refugee Response

Following the temporary closure of the refugee centre in the Citywest Convention Centre as emergency accommodation area for Adult International Protection Applicants, Mayor of Kilkenny Cllr David FitzGerald has called on the Government to issue guidance on the long-term plan for Ukrainian Refugees.

Cllr FitzGerald said ‘’ we are now coming up to the rst anniversary of the huge national and local response to the war in Ukraine. However one year on we have inadequate accommodation for refugees with too much emphasis on national and local hospitality, which almost twelve months ago was deemed only as an emergency measure. ere is a massive impact on our tourism sector with literally no more room at the inn and the tourism industry wanting there rooms back for the market.’’

e Mayor of Kilkenny reiterated his support of Ukrainian’s since the very start of the war however said locally the increase of the displace has impacted local services.

‘’In my own private business I was one of the rst in Kilkenny to display the Ukrainian ag, and in my capacity as Mayor of Kilkenny I’ve welcomed Ukrainians to Kilkenny as well as their Ambassador. However the population of Kilkenny city in the last twelve months has increased by almost 5% solely from the local response to the Ukrainian War. is has

put immense pressure on local services, tourism, and the availability of short term accommodation. I’ve been contacted by the local hospital where Doctors, Consultants and Nurses on short term contracts haven’t been able to get accommodation. Local medical services, GP’s, schools have also noted the increased pressure on their services in the past year. ‘’

Cllr David FitzGerald is asking the Government and the Local Authority to move the plan from ‘emergency’ to long-term. ‘’ If

this war is likely to be a long term trend we need to have a plan in place, we can’t just go week to week. Ireland has welcomed 70,000 refugees, if the UK had an equal response per capita they would have to welcome over one million Ukrainian refugees. At what point is ‘emergency’ accommodation no longer deemed as an emergency. e public needs clarity from the Government on their proposed future actions with an opportunity for public input and debate on the issue,’’ the mayor said.

24 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
Bridge Street 1940s Looking down Green Street 1940s Callan parish church in the Poet Ryans day
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Push back on EU plans for beef, dairy farmers

Minister for Agriculture

Charlie McConalogue has pushed back against EU plans to force beef and dairy farmers to apply for environmental licensing permits.

Currently, only large pig and poultry farmers are subject to

the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). Typically, these farms must apply for a licence from the Environmental Protection Agency to operate and comply with a number of actions aimed at reducing emissions of

Local hotels stand firm on keeping VAT at 9%

In response to the latest Business Post/Red C poll, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has renewed its call on the Government to retain the 9% tourism VAT rate. Results of the poll reveal that two-thirds of people (66%) now believe the current rate for hotels and restaurants should be extended, with less than a quarter of people (23%) against.

e potential increase in tourism VAT by the Government at the end of February is a major worry for Irish hotels, guesthouses and the wider tourism industry which collectively supports over 250,000 livelihoods throughout the country.

Recent industry research indicates that 81% of hoteliers are very concerned about the impact a VAT increase would have on their businesses given the very challenging economic headwinds facing the sector over the next 12 months. is is at a time when consumer condence is close to decade lows across key tourism markets in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis with consumers dealing with exceptionally high levels of in ation and increases in mortgage interest rates.

IHF Southeast Branch Chair Colm Neville said: “It is very worrying that the Government is contemplating an increase when many of our key tourism markets are experiencing a cost-of-living-crisis. Increasing consumer taxes such as tourism VAT is the last thing we should be doing at this point. People in Ireland and across our overseas markets are already being squeezed by exceptionally high levels of in ation and other pressures on their nances, which means there is a real risk that many will pull back from discretionary spending on holidays and breaks away.

“We are urging the Government to retain the tourism VAT at its current rate. Any increase would have a signi cant inationary impact and would damage our tourism competitiveness, with Irish consumers and overseas visitors having to pay the third highest tourism VAT rate in all of Europe.” Mr Neville said.“  e focus of the Government should be on safeguarding tourism livelihoods and securing the long-term sustainable recovery of our industry. Now is not the time to put tourism recovery at risk by increasing VAT.”

EU cancer initiative welcomed

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune is welcoming a new EU-wide innovative platform to help diagnose cancer. Launched ahead of World Cancer Day (Saturday, February 4), the European Cancer Imaging Initiative will use arti cial intelligence and digital technologies to assist in the detection, identi cation and treatment of the disease.

MEP Clune, a member of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer, said: “ is initiative aims to create a common digital in-

methane and ammonia. However, in April of last year, the European Commission proposed revising the scope of the directive to now also include cattle farms with over 150 livestock units. is equates to, on average,

100 dairy cows plus young stock on a dairy farm, according to ICOS. However, Minister McConalogue was among EU Agriculture Ministers to push back on the scope of the plans at a recent meeting in Brussels. Ministers said there was a

need to revise upwards the threshold beyond which livestock farms would be regulated by the directive, in line with similar proposals currently being discussed in the European Parliament (300LU).

“In my view, we should not

be regulating family farms — which are typically of modest scale and pasture-based — in the same manner as we do industrial-scale enterprises. All other considerations should ow from this principle,” Minister McConalogue said.

Review of new stricter tractor rules is put back for a year

A review of proposed stricter rules for tractor driver licences, which would limit weight and speed capacity for younger drivers, is unlikely to go ahead this year, the European Commission has indicated.

Under the proposed two-tier system, to be common across Member States instead of the current national regulatory approach, the minimum age requirement for an entry level T1 licence would still be 16 years, but a speed limit of 40km an hour and a maximum combination weight limit of 20t would be applied.

weights would need to complete a further exam to attain a full T licence, which would also qualify the driver with a BE licence to put a trailer behind a car.

New Road Safety Authority data shows the number of tractor learner driving permits (category W) issued in Ireland almost doubled from 1,725 in 2020 to 3,219 in 2022 — the highest level since 3,400 in 2011.

frastructure across the EU. It will help share health data from hospital networks and research labs from Ireland and all 27 member states.

“ e cross-border project will develop real solutions to make cancer screening more precise, timely and accessible. It was hugely positive to see concrete proposals coming from the European Cancer Plan,” she said, “designed to tackle the entire disease pathway with new approaches to prevention, treatment and care.”

Drivers seeking to operate tractors at higher speeds and

Asked when the proposal, put forward by CEETTAR (European Organisation of Agricultural, Rural and Forestry Contractors) and supported by the Association of Farm and Forestry Con-

tractors in Ireland (FCI), will be actioned, an EU Commission o cial said: “No decision has been made at this stage.

“ e proposal for a separate tractor driving licence will be examined within the planned revision of the Driving Licence Directive. A Commission proposal on the revision of this directive is tentatively scheduled for the end of Q1.”

CEETTAR Secretary General Jerome Roche said the revision “is unlikely to be proposed before 2024”.

Asked how the move could impact the agricultural contracting sector in Ireland, FCI CEO Michael Moroney said:

“Having a common licence across the EU would allow free movement of agricultural machinery operators between Member States.

“Any new tractor driving licence should be for agricultural and non-agricultural work... a tractor is a tractor, and any changes should mean the licence is related to the vehicle, not the type of work performed.

“For FCI members, the safety of their operators is of the highest importance. Any proposed changes should not be a deterrent to gaining employment, so it is important that securing T1 and T licences is an a ordable process.”

Emirates’ Irish crew scoop top travel awards

Marking an incredible start to the year, the Emirates team in Ireland is celebrating on the double having won Best Long Haul Airline and Airline of the Year Best Business Class at the 2023 Irish Travel Industry Awards.

e highly prized Irish Travel Industry Awards are designed to showcase excel-

lence in the delivery of international travel services to both leisure and business customers travelling from Ireland.   e awards recognise Emirates renowned onboard product and service, which, in Business Class includes a 40kg baggage allowance, Champagne, ne wines and

ne dining, Irish-made Voya amenities, a chau eur driven airport transfer and lie- at seats, allowing for the ultimate sleep at 40,000 feet.

All passengers enjoy wide screen entertainment screens and more than 5,000 channels of entertainment on Ice, Emirates’ in ight system. Skywards, the airline’s loyalty

programme, has evolved to become one of the most recognised and valued loyalty programmes in the world, of some 30million members. Emirates operates a double daily service from Dublin to Dubai and onwards to more than 130 destinations across the world. www.emirates. ie for more

News 26 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
With care: Dr Ian Wilson, le , of the Carlow Kilkenny Homecare Team receiving a cheque for €850 from the Kilkenny Foxhounds, with Humphrey Murphy, Chairman Kilkenny Foxhounds, and Dermot Dwan MFH
27 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Advertisement

From the hills of Donegal, Bishop Coll begins his ministry in Ossory

Ossory and Bishop Alan McGuckian of Raphoe.

From the Hills of Donegal to the Banks of the Silvery Nore, with a stop in Maynooth, Letterkenny, Rome, Carlow, Belfast and Donegal Town, Fr Niall Coll’s pastoral ministry began in Ossory on Sunday 22nd January when he was ordained and installed as Bishop of Ossory.

After nearly two years of an interregnum Fr Niall Coll was ordained by Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, in the presence of Fr Coll’s family and friends, priests and parishioners of the forty two parishes of Ossory.

A native of St Johnson, Co Donegal, Fr Coll was ordained by Bishop Seamus Hegarty in 1988. He now becomes the 96th bishop of Ossory.

Bishop Coll was joined in St Mary’s Cathedral by his family: parents Willie and Kathleen, sisters Anne Marie and Caitriona, brother Gerard and extended family.

Accompanying Bishop Coll were also classmates from Maynooth and Rome, former colleagues from St Mary’s College Belfast, and parishioners from his various pastoral appointments.

Every parish in the diocese was represented as we witnessed Bishop Coll being ordained by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, assisted by Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin and formerly Apostolic Administrator of

A procession of forty-two banners representing the fortytwo parishes of the diocese of Ossory begun the liturgy.

Grouped and identi ed by colour the parishes are now organised in 13 di erent pastoral areas.

Priests had already taken their place in the Apse and the South Transept.

Secondary school students greeted those attending, bringing them to their seats and giving them the booklet for the day.

A group of eight secondary school students from Loreto, Presentation, CBS and St Kieran’s, under the direction of Master of Ceremonies Fr Roderick Whearty, assisted at the altar.

A choir of 80 with 20 musicians under the direction of Fr Scriven and John O’Neill gave the sacred music; much of the music had been chosen by the new bishop.

At 3pm twenty-two bishops entered in solemn procession to the singing of Holy is God by the choir.

Fr Coll was accompanied by two priest chaplains: Fr Brian Gri n, Parish Priest of Castletown and Camross, and Fr Stephen Gorman, Curate at Convoy in Co Donegal.

During the Prayer of Consecration the chaplains held the Book of the Gospels open over the head of the new bishop.

Standing at the cathedra

28 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
Words: Fr Richard Scriven Photos : John Mcglone Mary Egan from Ballycallan Parish greets Bishop Coll

(bishop’s chair) Archbishop Farrell began the mass welcoming all. He greeted Fr Coll and assured him that he was certain that he would receive a wonderful welcome in the diocese.

He attested to this by referring to the heartfelt welcome that he himself had received throughout the diocese during

his four years as bishop in Ossory.

e ordination rite began after the gospel.

Following the singing of Veni Creator Spiritus Fr William Dalton, Parish Priest of Callan and Chancellor of the Diocese, read the Mandate from the Holy See.

is document informed the diocese that Pope Francis had appointed Fr Coll to be Bishop of Ossory in succession to Archbishop Farrell upon his translation to Dublin.

Fr Kieran O’Shea, Parish Priest of Rosbercon, preached the homily.

In welcoming Fr Coll among us as bishop Fr O’Shea hoped that before too long “the words of e Moon behind the Hill, e Rose of Mooncoin, Lovely Laois and e O aly Rover will be as familiar to him as e Homes of Donegal.

Fr O’Shea assured the new bishop that “in the forty-two parishes of this diocese, in the People of God gathered here today, in the People of God gathered in Croke Park today from Ballyhale and further a eld, in the People of God from the peripheries to the centre, you will nd signs that the reign of God is present. Wherever faith is lived and handed on, wherever hope is share and wherever the price of love is paid you will nd signs of

God’s reign… you will nd signs in the energy and giftedness of young people and in their searching for truth.”

Following the laying on of hands and his anointing Bishop Coll received the mitre and episcopal ring from Archbishop Farrell which had been presented by his family. e Crozier, or Pastoral Sta , was also presented to the new bishop.

Archbishop Farrell then led the new bishop, crozier in hand, to the cathedra where he was formally installed as bishop of the diocese.

is chair has been the cathedra of bishops of Ossory since 1867 when it was installed in the cathedral by Bishop Edward Walsh.

e new bishop was then greeted by the bishops present and a selection of those attending the ceremony who represented many groups of the diocese. Civic leaders and politicians were lead by Mayor David Fitzgerald, other Christian churches by Church of Ireland Bishop Adrian Wilkinson, education by principals of the cathedral parish primary schools, religious of the diocese were led by Br Joe of the Capuchin Friary and Sr Helen Maher of the Sisters of St John of God.

Bishop Coll then became the principal celebrant of the mass.

To the sound of the Donegal traditional tune, the Waves of Gola, the altar was prepared by Caoimhe Campion from Rathdowney and the O’Neill family from St Mary’s.

Rebecca O’Neill also rang the bell during the Eucharistic Prayer.

At the end of the ceremony the new bishop was accompanied by Archbishop Farrell and Bishop Nulty as he walked through the cathedral to give his blessing to the congregation.

e choir and musicians sang St Peter’s Barque as Bishop Coll was presented.

is piece of music was written by Phil Coulter on the occasion of the opening of a new church close to where Bishop Coll lived with his family in Donegal.

e nal procession of over 130 priests and 22 bishops left the cathedral to the sound of the words of St Patrick’s Breastplate: Christ be near at either hand. e new bishop greeted all outside the cathedral before joining his family and all present in Newpark Hotel for refreshments.

29 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Feature
Archbishop Farrell places the mitre upon the head of the new bishop. The large crowd who attended the ordination sit for the singing of the Gloria Bishop Coll greets a student from St Kieran’s College The Bishop Elect is accompanied by his chaplains:  Fr Brian Gri in (PP of Camorss and Castletown) Fr Stephen     (Curate of Convoy, Co Donegal).  In the background is Monsignor Julien Kaboré, Chargé d’A aire in the Papal Nunciature in Dublin

Girl Auction

down into that dark kitchen, you saw two notorious dangerous b**t**ds.”

Part 3

It’s a different way round with a bauhoc like Paudhaun: no right father would give his daughter –never mind a dowry – to such a wretch. So he has to pay. A dowry paid to get a girl into that smelly dento cook and skivvy for that lutheraun - and his old badger of a mother? Out of the question. But for cash coming the other way? It’s happened to others, Babs – it’s happening to me. It was fast work, I can hardly believe how quick. Christ! The way that lad looked at me made my blood run cold.’’

“Any decent father would run the swine out of it at the point of a shotgun. But we haven’t got a decent father, the curse o’ hell on him - so it’s no good ravin’ on about it. Tonight, Babsie, peeping

‘Cripes, Molly, you’re doin’ a woeful lot of swearin’! I never heard the likes from you before!’

“Did you ever see a strange pig in the house before, Babsie - or have an amadhaun shamble in to bargain for my living body? That question is your answer, girl: learn from it. That’s why I swore. Because I was helpless. And I felt like doing more than cursing, down there.

“Babs – you didn’t know it - but I learned how to use that gun below, in the corner. That nice boy, Simon Flynn, told me about it one day when you were laid up with pneumonia, last year. He came by looking for a strayed bullock – so he said, anyway – and I asked him in for a cup of tea.

Couldn’t have done so, of course, if father was around; though small chance of that.

“Simon was sitting at the

table, while I fanned the griosach under the kettle, and asked me if he could look at the gun. “Ah” he said, wonderingly – “a ladies weapon – a double-barrel .410! And a nice one, too. I’ve only seen one other: our parish priest – an odd lad but a good one - bought it for his housekeeper, Maggie Denny, to frighten crows away from the currant bushes, and scald crows from the chickens. Mags is a good old type, and let me have a few shots. Grand gun, light, no ‘kick’ at all. Very same as this one. Small – but they’d stop a lion in his tracks.” So I asked him to show me how to use it. A bit cheeky, maybe – but he was the kind of young man we don’t see often –polite, well-mannered –made me feel easy asking him anything. We went out the back, and I tried several shots. He showed me how to tuck the stock into my shoulder, told me it wouldn’t hurt if I ‘held it firm.’ T’was far easier than I thought it’d be. For

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some reason, I’ve always thought I might need the knowledge – and help - of more than an ash plant, at some dire horrible time. God help me, but I looked at that gun several times, tonight.”

“Oh, Simon Flynn, ay?” I asked {ignoring the seriousness of our situation – and smirking a bit}!

“A well-mannered young man’, bejay! Why didn’t I hear about him before?”

“Well, missy – I have more important things to do now than satisfy your ‘little oul woman’s curiosity,’ so I have” go Molly smartly, her eyes flashing – but with a bit of a blush. ‘More to this than meets the eye,’ said I, to myself. But there it had to end – for the present, anyway.

“That’s how I’ve had to think, since mammy passed away on us. She asked me, at the end, to try as hard as I could to look after you. I promised, and have kept my word, as well as I could. I think mam knew there’d be nobody for us, Babs. She found out too late what a lug she’d married, and I’m sure he was the death of her.

“When she was gone, I had nobody to advise me

about dangerous times and places. She would have warned me about things such as swimming on our own down the river, like that hot day last summer. And it isn’t the fear of deep water at Elm Tree Hole I’m talking about.

“You didn’t see what I saw that day, Babsie. But it sure made me a careful girl, ever since.”

“If anything horrible comes our way,” Molly said, speaking very quietly, “father’ll either be drunk, or not here at all. So us ‘big talking’ would be no good - we’re just young defenceless girls. For such as we, this fine big world can suddenly turn deadly dangerous.

“I’d better say a few things, Babsie, tell you a few truths that you don’t know much about, while I wait for those two downstairs to finish their dirty bargaining; bad cess to ‘em, anyway. Just listen - hear me out: I’ll keep my voice low.

“Most men are as good as gold, Babsie - although tonight’s carry-on in the kitchen rather contradicts that. That crithacaun Dacent Boy below is certainly an exception. He’s fit for anything, believe you me – I’m

not just name-calling –nor was I cursing - - for nothing.

“I saw him in the bushes, staring at us, down at the river last summer, when we were swimming in the ‘Elm Tree Hole.’ We had nothing much on, there being nobody about – as I thought.

“You were taking your turn on that old fallen tree, getting ready to jump back in at the deep bit, when I spotted him. I can tell you, I got a fair fright – mainly because there was nobody within a mile of us, and that browl had his clothes off - and he nowhere near the water!

“You probably remember snipping and snottying at me for suddenly dragging you out onto the far bank, just when we were having great fun – but I’d rather put up with you being chippy than stay there. I felt a chill of cold danger in the air, that lovely July day – and knew we’d better get away from there - and quick…

To be continued….

Ned E.


e opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not re ect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of e Kilkenny Observer.

MacDonagh Junction

Shopping Centre Kilkenny, in collaboration with KCLR, are delighted to announce their new community initiative for local musicians of Kilkenny and Carlow: Music on the Mall.

Event Organiser Dominique

Dumecz from MacDonagh Junction, together with John Keane from KCLR, have devised a playlist of local artists’ music which will be played over the airwaves on the Mall every Friday and Saturday.

Dominique explains how the initiative came about:

“When I asked a couple of local bars why they don’t get local bands to play, they said they’ve tried it before, but customers don’t know the music and they prefer to be able to follow along with the music and lyrics. It’s a chicken and egg conundrum.

So, after a discussion with the management team of the Shopping Centre, the idea of supporting the local community and the amazing talent

around our county was born. Why not create a playlist that will introduce and familiarise the public to some local music and give the artists some much needed exposure as well? It’s never been done before. I immediately contacted John Keane from KCLR who is a huge supporter of local talent and he gladly shared some of his playlist ideas which we tweaked to suit the mall environment. Hopefully, more Shopping Centres and other public spaces could

adopt the initiative for their local artists too. You can show your support by spreading the word about the initiative and by coming along to the launch.”

To celebrate, MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre are hosting a launch event featuring live performances from some local artists. e launch will take place on Valentine’s weekend, Friday 10th February 2023 from 4pm in MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre and will be MC’d by Martin Bridgeman.

Artists include: Mick O’Flaherty, Fenix, Hawk Jupiter, Elise, Davey Furey and Fans of Adventure. Everyone is invited to hear the live performances and launch entry is free.

Love Music; Love Local Talent

Climate Change – Are we all playing our Part ?

30 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Opinion
e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 31
Farrell Chartered Accountants Beginners
Celebrating 10 years of sponsorship at the yestes Race Day at Gowran Park Daly Farrell Chartered Accountants Beginners Chase


Thyestes Day 2023

All images: Amanda Burke

Go s yestes Day 2023 gave us some more great stories in racing none more so than our all-conquering local trainer WP Mullins recording his record breaking 9th yestes Cup with the brilliant “Carefully Selected” being announced the winner after a photo nish was required to split the front two home. is was to be WPs 3998 winner and less than 40 minutes later he had his 3999 winner when Sir Gerhard obliged in the Daly Farrell Accountants Beginners Steeplechase in hugely impressive fashion. omastown publican Martin Walsh teamed with Mooncoin trainer Eoin Doyle to open proceeding when their well supported Listenhertomejack won by ½ a length after attracting massive market support throughout the morning.

O the track the almost 12,000 crowd in attendance were treated to a wide variety of food o erings from carvery to Texas BBQ & Fish and chips & live performances from “Just Jane” in the Balcony Bar Peter & Paul in the yestes Bar & Champagne on the rooftop. Once racing was completed the brilliant After Dark performed live in the Party Marquee ensuring whether you backed a winner or not you were leaving Gowran Park with a smile on your face !!! all roads now lead to Connolly RED MILLS DAY Sat Feb 18th where another huge attendance is expected.

32 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
Go s yestes Day 2023
33 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Go s yestes Day 2023
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e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023

Destination Romance

Nothing says romance like whisking your partner away on a last-minute short break. Reconnect and reignite the spark between you both this Valentines…

IF your mantra is “there are never enough hours in the day” then you probably don’t have much time to relax, and even less time to pamper yourself.

So many couples are inundated with information overload and way too much ‘activity insanity’ trying to keep up with their own schedule and their children’s schedules. Have you considered the toll this is taking on your relationship with your loved one? e lack of together time can do major damage to the foundation the two of you have invested in building your rela-

tionship. Of course you’re busy these days, and as responsibilities pile up on your calendar, it can be hard to pay attention to the smaller things that make life enjoyable, but let’s be real. If you don’t make the time, you will nd romance slipping away and before you know it, your relationship will be as cold as a bag of frozen chips. If your relationship is in a rut and you need to reignite the spark of romance, then a romantic getaway this Valentines is just what the doctor ordered — the love doctor, that is. Few things can give your relation-

ship a shot of adrenaline better than a romantic holiday.

Time to reconnect

Quality time together is essential for keeping romance alive. A romantic break slows you both down and allows you to step out of the daily rat race. You can then move at the same tempo. You have time to talk and share what’s important to each of you.

Conversation is at a whole new level of intimacy when you’re holding hands strolling along a sun-dappled forest trail or sharing a Guinness, snuggled up in front of a open

re in a country pub in the middle of nowhere – with no mobile signal.

Go ahead, be romantic

Sharing a few days together creating lasting memories is money well spent. e gifts of time, love and care are some of the most meaningful gifts you can give to your signi cant other.

Pull at your heartstrings

A romantic getaway is the best way to break into your partner’s heart and lower their inhibitions. Your loved one is more relaxed away from home

without the pressure of daily responsibilities.

Try giving each other a sensual massage. e magic of touch is a wonderful way to connect. Plus, it’s a great way to ease into an evening of romance.

Rekindle your passion

Sometimes, the daily grind of life does not leave much energy for a night of passion. A romantic break gives you the time to enjoy each other anytime of day or all day. Sharing breakfast in bed, swimming together in the hotel pool and a candlelight

bath are a few ways to rekindle the passion.

Do not disturb

As long as those ‘sparks’ of romance are ickering, a little time away just might be the ticket to create a full-blown, night of Barry White-style loving. Ready to go? Try booking a night, a weekend or even a full week this Valentines. And don’t feel like you have to have ‘deep pockets’. You can romance your sweetheart in luxury or on a shoestring budget. ere’s a romantic escape in every price range.

36 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
38 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
39 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023

Making Valentine’s Day special with a gift of jewellery

THE approach of Valentine’s Day can be nerve-racking for the jewellery-gifting novice. If you think it’s time you bestow a special Valentine’s Day jewellery gift upon your sweetheart, it probably is.

Giving that first special piece of jewellery can be exciting, but it can also be a landmine of potential mistakes. Take rings, for instance. If you’re not ready to get engaged, then presenting her with a ring box on the most romantic day of the year could be problematic. You may want to steer clear of rings unless you are ready to get engaged; but if it feels right for you as a couple, then Valentine’s Day is a great day to do it.

Necklaces are a great choice. If you feel committed to her but aren’t quite ready to get engaged, consider a piece of jewellery that says just that. Other ways to show her you plan to be around for a while include giving a charm bracelet you plan on augmenting year after year.

Necklaces are nice

Married for a while and getting the feeling she’s long overdue for a really special Valentine’s Day gift? Go all out with a classic strand of cultured pearls. There are many different styles and lengths available, and really, if she doesn’t yet have some pearls in her jewellery box, it’s high time she (or you!) made the addition. Pearls also make a lovely heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation.

Necklaces are also a great gift for a girl you haven’t been seeing for very long - it feels

less “important” than a ring, and beautiful necklaces come in a large range of prices and styles - it will be easy to find something she’ll love. For a truly memorable Valentine’s Day gift, consider a diamond solitaire necklace. Available in an endless array of carat weights and styles, the traditionalist in her will love it and she’ll be able to wear it with any outfit.

Charmed, I’m sure

A charm bracelet or charm necklace is a wonderful gift that you can add to year after year; a perfect way to express your commitment if you aren’t quite ready to get engaged yet. A traditional charm bracelet is one way to go, in gold or sterling silver. You can start by giving her the link bracelet with a single charm added. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, a simple heart charm engraved with “I Love You,” the date or a saying or phrase that’s special to you both is a wonderful way to get her charm collecting started.

40 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
It’s the most romantic day of the year, make it unforgettable with a gift that she will love.

Laois players open the door on

The Real Mc Coy

eatre goers in omastown are in for a real treat.

e Tommy Marron play e Real Mc Coy is on its wway to the concert hall and the proverbial ‘laugh a minute’ is guaranteed.

Laois Open Door eatre is a Portlaoise based drama group who have been

entertaining local audiences for over 20 years.

ey are delighted to be back on stage with their rst post-Covid production and equally excited to be performing in omastown for the very rst time.

e cast, which includes three new members Vicky Byrne, Dermot Muldowney

and Michael Creagh, is as follows :

• Madge Molloy: Vicky Byrne,Maura Molloy:Sarah O’Sullivan

• Martin Daly: Aaron Shiels ,Fr. McCoy: Dermot Muldowney

• Nora O Hora: Aoife Fingelton, Cora O Hora: Jane Doheny

• Tom Molloy : Michael Creagh.

Rural Ireland at the core of plot

Set on a small farm in rural Ireland in the 1960’s the play centres around Madge Molloy a formidable woman in her own right. Not only has she to contend

with nosey neighbours, a gormless postman who wants to marry her only daughter and a new curate who seems to know a lot about her past. She also has a wayward husband who wants to explain why he vanished without trace 40 years earlier taking, amongst other things,

her prized turf spade! is hilarious comedy, complete with witty one liners and several plot twists will ensure a night of fun and laughter- perfect entertainment for a winter’s evening.

e play runs at the omastown concert hall on Saturday February 11 at 8p.m.

41 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 eatre
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43 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023

Me Come Dine With

Vegan lentil and sweet potato cottage pie

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 1 hr

Serves: 6

Serve your family our hearty meat-free pie for dinner. e rich umami sauce is made with soy and mustard powder, and pumpkin seeds add a good crunch.


• 2 onions,  nely chopped

• 2 carrots,  nely chopped

• 2 celery sticks,  nely chopped

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 4 garlic cloves, crushed

• 200ml red wine (check the label to ensure it’s vegan if needed)

• ½ bunch of thyme, leaves picked

• 2 tbsp tomato purée

• 2 tbsp soy sauce

• 2 tsp caster sugar

• 2 tsp red wine vinegar

• 2 x 400g cans cooked green lentils, drained

• 400g can chopped tomatoes

For the mash topping

• 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 3cm pieces

• 30g vegan margarine

• 2 tsp mustard powder

• 2 tbsp plant-based milk (we

Spaghetti puttanesca

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 20 mins

Serves: 4

Cook up this classic sauce in one pan, then toss with spaghetti for a simple midweek meal. It’s budgetfriendly too, making it a great meal for the family.


•3 tbsp olive oil

•1 onion, nely chopped

•2 large garlic cloves, crushed

•½ tsp chilli akes (optional)

•400g can chopped tomatoes

•5 anchovy llets, nely chopped

•120g pitted black olives

•2 tbsp capers, drained

•300g dried spaghetti

•½ small bunch of parsley, nely chopped


Hurricane cocktail

used oat milk)

• 2 tsp pumpkin seeds



Tip the onions, carrots, celery and olive oil into a large saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for 8-10 mins until softened, add the garlic and fry for another minute. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan (scraping up any bits stuck on the bottom), and simmer for 2 mins until most of the wine has evaporated.


Add the thyme, tomato purée, soy

sauce, caster sugar and vinegar to the pan and stir to combine. Tip in the lentils, tomatoes and 100ml water and simmer for 10-12 mins until reduced and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.


Meanwhile, make the mash topping. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the sweet potatoes and simmer for 10-15 mins until cooked all the way through. Drain, then add the dairy-free margarine, mustard powder and milk, and mash until smooth along with plenty of salt and pepper.


Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Season the lling and pour it into a 25cm x 20cm x 7cm casserole dish. Top with the mash, starting with spoonfuls on the outside corners and working your way inwards so the lling doesn’t spill out. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top and bake for 30-35 mins until golden and bubbling. Once baked and left to cool, the pie will keep frozen for up to three months. Defrost thoroughly overnight, then reheat in the oven until piping hot.

Prep: 5 mins

Serves: 2

Our tropical, rum-based hurricane cocktail is easy to make and sure to get your party started. Garnish with orange and cocktail cherries for a kitsch touch.


• 50ml dark rum

• 50ml white rum

• 1 passion fruit

• 1 orange, juiced

• 1 lemon, juiced

• 50ml sugar syrup

• 2 tsp grenadine

To garnish

• 4 cocktail cherries

• 2 orange slices



Put the fruit, mint and ice in a large jug. Pour in the juice, stir and top up with lemonade.



Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion along with a generous pinch of salt and fry for 10 mins, or until soft. Add the garlic and chilli, if using,

and cook for a further minute.


Stir the tomatoes, anchovies, olives and capers into the onion, bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 mins. Season to taste.


Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the spaghetti following pack instructions, then drain and toss with the sauce and parsley.

Prep: 5 mins plus at least 4-5 hrs chilling

Serves: 6-8

Try our version of coquito, a festive Puerto Rican drink. It keeps in the fridge for up to four days. Enjoy any leftovers poured over puddings.


• 350ml spiced rum

• 400ml can coconut milk

• 320ml coconut cream

• 397g can condensed milk

• 340g can evaporated milk

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 cinnamon stick

• ice, to serve (optional)

• pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon, to serve



Pour the rum, coconut milk, coconut cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla into a blender. Blitz to combine, then pour into a large jug and add the cinnamon stick. Chill for at least 4-5 hrs, or overnight. Will keep in the fridge for up to four days.


When you’re ready to serve, stir the coquito, then pour small measures over ice, if using, and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.

44 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
Food & Drink

1. e cast is actually really famous

Many Fauda stars are veteran household names in Israel. Marina Maximillian (Hila) and Idan Amedi (Sagi), for example, are famous singers, while Itzik Cohen (Captain Ayoub) is a comedian who was part of the country’s most iconic drag band. Shadi Mar’i (Walid) has a superimpressive lm and television career behind him, and Netta Garti (Gali) is one of Israel’s best-loved actresses and fashion icons.

2. Hamas reportedly produced its own version of Fauda

According to news reports, Hamas was so upset with the way Fauda represents the Israeli-Palestinian con ict that it decided to counter it with a TV drama of its own. e low-budget production was reportedly to be called Fist Of e Free and tell the tale of a 2018 incident in the Gaza Strip. Alas, it has yet to make the same waves as its Israeli counterpart, and we can’t imagine it to be quite as good.

3. Fauda is super popular in the Arab world

For a while now, it’s been known that Fauda has become something of a guilty pleasure among viewers in the Arab world. But now that Season 4 has dropped,

best British shows to watch now on Netflix 5

5. Bodyguard

What intrigued several viewers of this six-part series is the careful use of the camera to tackle audience perception in a very smart way. All the thoughtful and thorough camera work is used to portray how real-time has an impact on the lives of the characters. e story revolves around protagonist war veteran David Budd (Richard Madden), who nds a job as a police sergeant in London with the Metropolitan Police Service. e soldier who once fought in the war in Afghanistan has been given the assignment to keep the Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes) safe. What goes on is something for you to discover!

4. Criminal UK

Probably a chain of the most brilliantly thought-out series within the horizons of contemporary television. e entirety of the show takes place within the police interview suite itself. is piece of content is bound to keep you navigating through the edge of your seats throughout. e whole premise is based on police o cers interviewing various criminals who are sitting across them in a con ned space. With mind tricks in the psychological war upfront, who gets the upper hand?

3. Black Mirror

it’s o cial – Fauda made it recently to top viewing spots in Net ix throughout the Arab and Muslim world. We’re talking Net ix’s most viewed show in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, second most viewed show in Qatar, third in Jordan, fth in Turkey, sixth in Morocco and eighth in Saudi Arabia. Not too shabby.

4. Fauda is the rst Hebrew and Arab language series to make it big

After numerous Englishlanguage adaptations of hit Israeli shows made it to large audiences worldwide (hello there, Homeland), Fauda is the rst Israeli Hebrew and Arabic language programme to really make it overseas. Ever since it was picked up by streaming giant Net ix, it reached many millions of homes across the world, raising the pro le of Israeli TV and paving the way for more internationally acclaimed Israeli programmes.

5. Lior Raz’s initial claim to fame involves Arnold Schwarzenegger

Before rubbing shoulders with stars in premieres worldwide, Fauda creator and star Lior Raz’s connection to Hollywood was even more classically Israeli: He was the bodyguard of none other than former movie star and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After a super-combat military service that also lent its experiences to the writing of Fauda, Raz traveled to the US to protect e Terminator, who might have given him a tip or two on how to be the toughest-looking guy around.

6. e Tehran connection

It might be no accident that Tehran became the next big Israeli thing to grace international TV. Moshe Zonder, lead writer for the rst season of Fauda, went on to create Tehran, which became a massive hit for Net ix rival Apple TV. Not unlike Fauda, Tehran gives dedicated screentime to lots of Farsi dialogue, Israeli-Iranian and American-Iranian actors and a behind-the-scenes look at one of Israel’s biggest enemies.

8. e creators landed themselvessome big-time money

Fauda creators Lior Raz and Avi Issacharo earned big bucks when their production company, Faraway Road Productions, was purchased by Candle Media for a reported $50 million. Candle Media is headed by former Disney execs, giving a promising show of con dence in the two Israelis’ ability to create even more fabulous content in upcoming years. We can’t wait.

9. e undercover commandos can no longer go undercover

Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror is initially a part of the Channel 4 network before it landed on the shelves on Net ix. is marvel of a show has brilliantly written episodes all revolving around the intrusive nature of technology. What technology has already done to mankind and potentially where it could be led. Questions such as these are explored in depth within the show. Black Mirror is an appropriate title as the show captures the very presence of one everywhere and all around. With a new story every episode, this show expands through how technology has turned out to be an introduction to a dystopian world.

2. Peaky Blinders


Not all the Arabic on Fauda is uent

One of the best things about Fauda, in our opinion, is the screen time given to Arabic dialogue. And yet, not all of the supposedly Arabicspeaking Israeli actors actually speak the language. One prominent example is Itzik Cohen, who plays Gabi Ayoub, the Shin Bet captain who seems to have an Arabic saying for every occasion. Turns out, Cohen learns these lines with a coach ahead of each scene. And, while yours truly can’t vouch for his accent, he absolutely rocks his role.

In a recent interview given to Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv, Lior Raz shared how he can no longer go incognito around the world. He related that on one trip to Dubai with co-star Idan Amedi, the two were bombarded by fans from all corners of the globe – so it’s just as well that they’re not actually real-life undercover agents.

10. Chaos, chaos, chaos

Just in case you have yet to learn what the word fauda actually means, let us relieve you of the uncertainty: chaos. In Arabic. But now also all across the world, as the show’s enthusiastic fans try to casually (and most likely unsuccessfully) drop the word into everyday conversation.

An original BBC network-produced show, Peaky Blinders is a drama series starring some of the time’s favourite actors including Cillian Murphy, Sam Cla in, and Tom Hardy. Set in 1919 in the city of Birmingham, Murphy leads the Shleby family on the crime front. His organisation is known for their criminal activities on all fronts. at is when Neil, a relentless inspector makes it his life goal to get a hold of this notorious group.


e Crown

Created by Peter Morgan and produced by Net ix, e Crown is the only show worth going on top of this and many other lists when it comes to best series out there. With an enormous amount invested to build every episode with visual authenticity, the show is one of a kind. An equally magni cent audiovisual appeal comes from the breathtaking and lifelike performances of almost every artist blessing the screens of this show. e show began revolving around the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Since then, it has covered all the monumental moments throughout the monarch’s life.

45 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 TVAdvertisement & Streaming
10 things you don’t know about Fauda but should

Book launch

Kilkenny town inspires a literary gem

Keogh’s pub in Callan was packed to the rafters last Friday for the launch of e Beekeeper and the River, a collection of short stories by Dr. Joe Kearney, who returned in triumph to his native town for the event.

e launch was followed by a marathon series of trips down memory lane and a lively music session. Locals reminisced or sang their hearts out. Joe accompanied them on guitar, as lullabies and folk songs pulled revelers into the mists of yesteryear.

After leaving Callan following his education at the CBS Joe worked for a while in the oil industry before opting to pursue a full-time writing career. He quickly became a household name for his popular contributions to RTE’s Sunday Miscellany and he produced a number of award-winning documentaries. His conferral with a doctorate of literature at UCD was a proud achievement for the Callan man, who has entered the town’s illustrious Hall of Fame alongside Edmund Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers, King Nail Caille, after whom the river is named, world-renowned artist Tony O’ Malley (about whom Joe has written illuminating essays) and writher Tom Kilroy, whose the novel

A terri c turnout on Sunday morning last when over 60 volunteers turned out at Coolagh Church car park to rid the country roadsides of unsightly rubbish, including bottles, cans, fast food leftovers, children’s nappies, tyres, etc. is was the rst Spring Cleanup in the County. e enthusiastic locals cleaned the roadsides from Callan Bypass to Seskin Lane, Windgap, a long 5 mile stretch on the R698. All roads adjoining including Goatsbridge Rd, Long Road to Cherry eld, Courtnaboola Lane, Kyle Lane, Lodge Road, Knockbutton Road & Garryricken Road to the Clonmel Road at N76. is was a huge undertaking, but while the huge band of volunteers left the countryside spotless, it is mind boggling why people tip plastic and papers from their cars, rather than recycling them, or cans and bottles dumped on the roadside, while a glass and can recycling facility is provided free at Prologue. Credit to all involved in the major Cleanup, all who helped in any way. Over 80 large bags were lled in 2 hours. Well done to all.

e Big Chapel became a literary sensation in the 1970s. Launching Joe’s book, retired school Principal Frank McKenna hailed it as both a ne piece of creative writing and a valuable social history.

e stories shine a light on the Callan of Joe’s youth and childhood, the outstanding characters of the era; the struggles, joys, everyday rou-

tines, and occasionally life-changing experiences of townsfolk as they navigated that “other country” of the past.

e King’s River looms large as you read this collection… the river that ows through the town also threads through

Spring Cleanup

all of the stories, its mood changing with the seasons like the moods and fortunes of the people who live in its shadow.

Frank McKenna recalled his own mixed memories of the “shape-shifting” river, how it lost its romantic lustre when it ooded half the town. His own house succumbed one morning and his heart

and furniture oating out into the street.

Frank rhapsodized about the author’s literary prowess, opining that what Patrick Kavanagh had done for the “stony gray soil of Monaghan” Joe had achieved for Callan. e author had stored away images… uploaded them into his head all those years before computers were invented and had now in a sense downloaded them as nely-sculpted prose in his collection.

e book brings a bygone age and images of another Ireland to life, people like the” Ducker Daly”, the “Bugler”, the tale of an alleged “trout tickler” who haunted the river, Joe’s own role in the arrival of “ ower Power” in Callan, and the clockmaker by whose iconic time piece displayed in his shop window in the “narrow street” you could always set your watch.


Fair days, the showband era and pub life feature, and he explores how di erent people coped with the multiple pressures of living in a more demanding closeto- impoverished social milieu.

Joe Kearney told the gathering at Keogh’s that his early years in Callan provided him with a mine of precious material for the book. He owed much to the secondary school, he felt, and its enlightened teachers, but also to the rough-and-tumble of growing up in challenging times. He recalled buying his rst pack of woodbines in Nolan’s shop in West Street, and having his rst smoke amid the gravestones in Miko Molloy’s yard. “I stole my rst kiss beside a gravestone Kilbride cemetery” he added. He laughed at how Mrs. Nolan used to collect all the handballs that fell over her wall adjoining the school and sold them in her shop. In economically bleak times, there was a prevailing sentiment locally that the best view of Callan in the 1950s and 60s was in a rear view mirror, Joe lamented. But the same mirror served him well, capturing a set of past images and experiences that he committed to paper. anks to Joe Kearney, these cultural gems and superlative literary insights have not been lost to this or future generations.

e Beekeeper and the River is published by Ballpoint Press and costs E14.99. Available at most bookshops

46 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
dropped to see biscuit tins
47 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Motors

Community & GAA Notes


Lotto Results - Tuesday 24th January. Numbers drawn - 18, 25, 27. No Winner. Next weeks Jackpot is €1750. Lucky Dip winners - €30 each to Myles Kehoe, Margaret Prendergast, Áine Prendergast, Lorraine Bambrick, Paul Delaney. Thanks for your support.


On Friday morning Clara woke to the awful news that James Nolan had tragically lost his life in a single car crash the night before. The community and county at large were in a state of profound shock and sadness. Shiner, as he was a ectionately known, was a fine young hardworking lad that was respected and well liked by young and old alike wherever he went. He was a gi ed sportsman who le us shaking our heads in amazement with his skill more o en than any other Clara hurler. It is so hard to believe that we won’t see any more of his famous trademark shimmies or pinpoint passes again. The enormous crowds at his wake on Sunday and Monday were a testament to his popularity. Our deepest condolences are o ered to his parents Gerry and Bridget, his sisters Margaret, Elaine, Catherine and Claire, his brothers Dermot and Peter, and all of his heartbroken family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.


GAA Membership 2023 is now open. Thanks to those who have completed this to date. Please log in to Foireann at or down load the Foireann App to confirm your details and pay by credit/debit card. Membership rates are the same as last year and can be viewed on the website www.clara.kilkenny.gaa. ie. Please note ALL Players and Coaches must have membership paid before taking part in Club/County training sessions/games. If experiencing problems please contact Club Registrar, Brian Kennedy 086 7355856 /


Best of luck to Clara’s Rory Glynn in the Leinster Colleges Senior hurling final as St. Kieran’s take on a combination of all the O aly schools in Nowlan Park at 1pm on Saturday. Rory came on as a substitute in the semifinal on Saturday last with 20 minutes to go and he contributed 1-1 in a 3-18 to 2-10 win for the Saints. A minute’s silence was observed before the game in honour of past pupil James Nolan.


Congratulations and well done to local young boy Dylan Condon from Rathbeagh who was award his Black belt in Karate last weekend. Well done to Dylan and all his classmates on their achievement and keep it up.


All roads lead to Clonmel next week. With some local winners in the Coursing recently. Greyhound “Handsome Tim”, owned by Stacey and Tim Davies, trained by local lad Tommy Flynn won Derby Trial Stake in Tubercurry, Sligo recently. Last year the Late Tom Beckett wonthe same Trial Stake with Handsome Rusty. While back in Sevenhouses in Kilkenny, local syndicate of Willie Walsh, Eoin O’Donnell, Jonathan Doheny and Denis Lennon, won Oaks Trial Stake with greyhound ’Fiadhs Future”, this greyhound is trained by Denis Lennon. So best of luck to all involved in the National Meeting in Clonmel for the three day event, starting Sunday next the 5th February


Special birthday wishes go out to Jack Hickey of Ballylarkin who celebrated his 21st birthday at a party with family and friends in Farrell’s

Lounge on Saturday night last. Also special birthday wishes go out to Jake Darcy from Clontubrid who also celebrated his coming of age last week.


The new Community at Buncrussia Street which opened just before Christmas is proving to be very popular in the village to date. The Loop Café is serving some beautiful homemade food. The Café which is run on a voluntary basis is open Tuesday to Saturday each week from 9.30am to 4pm, so why not go along for a co ee or a snack and meet your friends for a chat as well as supporting the new local business.


Freshford /Threecastles Community Alert

Group remind people that the annual text Alert scheme membership is now due. It cost just €10 per phone number for this service and to enroll or pay up your fee you can contact any of the following committee members. John Bergin, Jacinta Power, Anna Morrissey, Mick Cormack. New members are always very welcome and the group thank all those for their continued support. They would like to remind people that during these dark evenings to be vigilant towards your property and your neighbours and keep an eye out for anything suspicious and report same to Kilkenny Garda Station on 056 7755000

The AGM will be held in Freshford Community Hall (full report next week)


Work can be seen to be well underway on the local Playground at Kilkenny Road. Great credit is due to the hard working committee who fought for this amenity over the past couple of years. It is hoped that the Playground will be ready for the summer.


St.Lachtains held their AGM recently with a good crowd in attendance. The following o icers and committee were elected for the forthcoming season: President – J Dermody –Vice Presidents – P.Butler (Bowsie), Tom Hayes, Paddy Butler, and Paddy White – Chairman

– Johnny Fitzpatrick, Vice Chairman- Kevin Dalton, Secretary – Sheila Killeen, Ass. Secretary – Mary McGree, Treasurer – Bryan Kavanagh, Ass Treasurer – JP Kavanagh, PRO

– Brendan Quinn, Bord na nOg Chairman –Owen Dalton Child Welfare O icer – P. Murphy, Health Club O icer – M.McGree, Safety O icer

– P.Donnelly, Players Reps – P.Killeen and P.Campion. Co Board Rep. P White, Irish O icer – L.Kennedy. Registers – K.Dalton and S., Committee – E.Hickey, E.Ryan, O.O’Connor, M.Ryan, T.Kennedy, T.Campion, J.Kavanagh, J.Bowden, J.Burke, M.McCarthy and L.McGree. Bord na nOg Annual Meeting was due to be held on Friday night last in Clubrooms with Parents/Guardians/Coaches all invited to attend (full report next week)


That time of year again when the national hurling league comes back into action. St Lachtain’s will again this year be running a Last Man Standing competition with fantastic prize of €350 for the winner and €50 for the seller of the winner.

Starting on the 4th of February and Entries must be in by 12 noon on the day of the first game each weekend. Entries can be given to any player or committee member. Please read the rules carefully DARTS

The Freshford and District Darts League is now back in full action a er a break over the Christmas period and continues each Friday night and Sunday evenings.


The Woodview residents association have through their Chairman expressed satisfaction

for a job well done by Treeline. The trees have got a well earned pruning and topping in a most environmentally clean manner. The Association also paid tribute to the Parks Department of Kilkenny County Council and singled out Local Cllr Mick McCarthy who coordinated the work and ensured the topping was carried out to a very high standard.


Freshford Town Junior side lost out on the dreaded penalty shootout against Ormonde Villa in their McCalmont Cup game. In the schoolboys section the U11boys were beaten 4-1 by a stronger Stoneyford side. The U17 boys were also beaten by Spa Utd on a 5-1 scoreline

Meanwhile the U 12 girls won 2-1 in their game against Bridge Utd.


Mass is held in the Parish Church each Wednesday morning at 9.30am and each Sunday morning at 11am.wiith Mass in Tulla church on Saturday evenings at 7.30pm.


The parish newsletter is available on their website every week and also on the website you are free to pay your dues and make donations or any other contributions and you can find out more about it on the website or feel free to contact in the Parish O ice. Please note community notices for the parish newsletter should be le in or emailed to the Parish O ice by 11am on Thursdays. Parish o ice hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 1pm.

Mass Cards

Special printed parish cards are available at the Parish O ice or from Annette at Tulla Church signed by Monsignor Kennedy. You can contact the Parish o ice on 056 8832843 or by email – Contact Mongr Kieron Kennedy on that number or on 087 25235 21 HELP FOR ALL

Are you struggling with anxiety or depression or finding life di icult or feeling isolated at this time GROW is there to help you. Their Mental Health support Groups are free and confidential and open to all no referral or booking is needed. For more information on same you can contact Mary on 087 284342 If you can’t cope and need support text HELLO to 50808.

SAMARITAN - Whatever you’re going through a Samaritan will face it with you – available 24 hours a day 365 days a year – Freephone 1161Alone is available for older people who need support and you can call them on 0818 222024 (8am to 8pm)

AMBER KILKENNY WOMENS REFUGE – is available for confidential support relating to domestic violence - call them on 1850 424244 (24/7) or on 056 7771404 or email


Since 2019 I have been compiling the Dunnamaggin notes for the Kilkenny Observer. My last notes for the community will be next week as Eamon and I are relocating to the coast. I would hope that someone from the parish - Kilmoganny, Kells or Dunnamagginwill take on the job. It’s not di icult once you have access to an email account - groups and individuals who wish to highlight an event happening in the community email before 12 noon the Sunday before the paper. I then put everything into an email to the Kilkenny Observer and send it on Sunday evening. I also email James with the notes so as it is put up on With a smart phone it can be done from anywhere. If you wish to take on the role

please email with your contact details and they will take it from there. It has been a pleasure and a privilege. We at the Kilkenny Observer would like to take this opportunity to thank Trish for her contribution every week to Kilkenny’s most read newspaper The Kilkenny Observer, and wish her health and happiness in her new home.


Kilmoganny Bridge Club Results for 25/1/2023: 1st Gerry FitzGeraldand Kitty Meagher BG Nellie Lahart and Jackie Kenneally, 2nd Treasa De Burca and Mary Barry. Bridge is every Wednesday night at 7.30pm in St. Eoghan’s Centre, Kilmoganny. All welcome.


Local Lotto Results for 23rd January 2023, Winning Numbers 1,8,35. No Winner, Draw for 5 x€30. Alison Brennan (Jimmy McCormack), C&C Ryan (Bob’s shop) Deirdre Rohan (Niamh O’ Donovan) DHC (DHC) J S & E Hickeyv(Anne Hickey). Jackpot for January 30th €5,200.


St Leonard’s National School Dunnamaggin is now taking enrolments for September 2023. please email or phone 083 1208221 for a form. Closing date is March 16th.


The Dunna Dash will take place on March 5th in aid of the school. Registration at 11am - Kids Dash at 11.40am - 5 Km at 12 noon. Adults €10 - CHildren €5 - Family €20


Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership present a10-week programme of Chair Based Exercises each Monday morning at 9.30am in Droichead Family Resource Centre, Callan. Cost for this 10-week programme is €20. This programme is a gentle exercise programme with plenty of chat and we welcome all older adults and adults with additional needs. The programme started on 16th January and runs until 27th March excluding February 6th. For anybody who needs help with booking call Seamus on 087 3567884 or email seamus@ The link to register online is https://



Food Bank available in Droichead FRC, The Old CBS, West Street, Callan R95V380- take what you need. Selection of foods and personal care products available. Deliveries also available, private and confidential service for more info contact Carmel (083) 2098069 or

Knit/ Crochet & Natter returns to Droichead FRC from Friday 13th January from 10am12pm. A tutor will be on hand to show new skills and classes are open to all beginners/ improvers/ advanced. €2 per class to cover the cost of tea and co ee and sewers and fans of other yarn cra s are also welcome. For more info or to book contact Carmel (083) 2098069 or


This Kilkenny County Council initiative was piloted last autumn and now a another county wide event will be run over the weekend of the 24th March, which encourages groups to litter pick in their local neighbourhoods. You are all invited to register a team and organise in a clean-up in your area anytime during 24th-26th March. So why not gather some sta , service users or volunteers and get involved. All participants will receive litter pick kits and if you register before the 10th February, your team will be entered into a draw for €250. To register go to - index.php/register-now/

48 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023

MEET THE CAST: Chloe Lynch as Gretel

A er making a splash as Ariel in Gowran Pantomime’s production of The Little Mermaid, Chloe is relieved to be back on terra firma, this time as Hansel’s sister, Gretel. Chloe has a lot of experience playing the annoying younger sister so this time out she shows her full range by playing the role of the annoying older sister. Be sure to book your tickets at


IRELAND LIGHTS UP returned to Gowran last Monday, 30th January at 7pm, for 4 weeks. Join in this nationwide event, walking or running on the track from 7pm to 8pm as the days start lengthen and we head towards the spring. Spread the word and let’s get moving together All are welcome


Failte Isteach Volunteer Tutors - Callan Family Resource Centre.

Have you 2 hours to spare per week? If so, Droichead Family Centre is looking for volunteers to welcome migrants into the community by providing them with the opportunity to participate in conversational English classes. Full training is given.

Trustee with Financial Experience - Kilkenny Community Early Years Project

They are looking for a board member with experience and competence in the area of finance. Charity Trustees have an overall responsibility to comply with the charity’s governing document and to ensure that the charity is carrying out its charitable purposes for the public benefit. The trustee is required to attend a minimum of six meetings a year and to sit on interview panel as required.

Da odil Day Community Organiser - March 24th

Volunteers are needed in your local areas to help identifying and recruit local volunteers to help in the delivery of Da odil Day in Co. Kilkenny. Community organisers will have the responsibility of supervising local activities on Da odil Day (24 March 2023) and supporting volunteers as is needed. It also includes collecting, counting and lodging all funds raised throughout the day at your local AIB or post o ice.

Foroige Club Leaders -

A Foroige Club is a place where members and leaders meet in a safe and fun environment. Clubs meet for 1.5 to 2 hours weekly during the school year in their local community hall or school. Paulstown and Ballycallan Foroige Clubs are in urgent need of Volunteer Leaders to help with the coordination of the clubs.

For more information or to advertise your volunteer roles please contact : or call 0892584946




Contributions Are Now Due.€10 per mobile phone number. Pay by 27th Feb 2023. If already a member, you can pay online at If you are not yet a member or if you prefer to pay o line, you can join by using one of the DEDICATED Envelopes available in Hennessy’s Garage or Gowran Pharmacy. Complete your details carefully as per the instructions on the envelope and drop it back to the dedicated box. Do you know someone living alone or someone who may not know about Gowran and Dungarvan Community Alerts? Feel free to take an extra envelope for them.


Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results 26th

January. Nos: 14 17 20 21. Jackpot: €7100 Not


Draw Prizes – €50: Anita Byrne c/o online. €25 each Ronan Maher c/o Paddy Maher

€25 each Kieran Boyle c/o online. €25 each Stevie Kelly c/o Doherty’s Bar Hurlers Co Op Jamie Cahill c/o Paddy Maher. Promotors prize John Hackett

New weeks draw €7250. Thank you for your continued support.


Members can now renew their membership directly through ClubZap for the 2023 season and instalment options are available. The club asks that all members renew their membership as soon as possible and in particular before teams return to training or games over the next number of weeks.


Dicksboro (St Canice’s and St Mary’s Parish) Community Games are looking for volunteers to help with this year’s Games. Please contact club member Conor Hogan if you are interested.


Our Senior Football team will play James Stephens in the first Round of the JJ Kavanagh and Sons Senior Football League Saturday 4th of Feb on the Kells Road Venue at 11am. Best of luck to the lads and Management Team.


Best of luck to Loreto Secondary School and our club players who will play in The All Ireland Post Primary Senior A Semi Final against Ursuline Thurles. This game will be played in Conahy GAA Grounds on Saturday 4th Feburary at 12pm.

Gearoid Cleere and Sean O’Dwyer. Next week’s jackpot will be € 10,200. Draw takes place each Monday at 9pm.


Graigue-Ballycallan GAA will host a Charity Walk on Sunday 5th February in Tom Ryall Park, Kilmanagh, commencing at 11.30 am. All donations will go to our Charity Partner, The Samaritans. Please join us as we raise funds for this worthy cause. All are welcome. Samaritans

Helpline: 116 123


Droichead Family Centre in Callan is looking for volunteers to welcome migrants into the community by providing them with the opportunity to participate in conversational English classes. Full training will be given.

Kilkenny Community Early Years Project are looking for a board member with experience and competence in the area of finance. Charity Trustees have an overall responsibility to comply with the charity’s governing document and to ensure that the charity is carrying out its charitable purposes for the public benefit. The trustee is required to attend a minimum of 6 meetings a year and to sit on interview panel as required.

Da odil Day Community Organiser - Volunteers are needed in your local areas to help identifying and recruit local volunteers to help in the delivery of Da odil Day in Co. Kilkenny. Community organisers will have the responsibility of supervising local activities on Da odil Day, 24th March 2023, and supporting volunteers as is needed. It also includes collecting, counting and lodging all funds raised throughout the day at your local AIB or post o ice.

Foroige Club Leaders - A Foroige Club is a place where members and leaders meet in a safe and fun environment. Clubs meet for 1.5 to 2 hours weekly during the school year in their local community hall or school. Paulstown and Ballycallan Foroige Clubs are in urgent need of Volunteer Leaders to help with the coordination of the clubs. For more information or to advertise your volunteer roles please contact: or call 089 258 4946 or


A Prayer Service is held every Wednesday night at 7pm in Kilmanagh Church. It is 35-40 minutes of quiet time, prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. All are welcome to attend.


Cloghoge Montessori in Ballycallan Hall is now enrolling for September 2023. Limited ECCE places available. Beautiful indoor and outdoor environment. Open Mon to Fri 9am to 12pm. Contact: Carmel Everard 086-3768305.


Anyone wishing to submit news items, events, announcements etc. can do so by email only to If you have any photos that you would like included, please send as an attachment.


home for the First Fridays or at any other time. Blessing of Throats will take place a er both Masses on Friday and at the weekend.


Anniversary Masses. Eddie Walsh, Ennisnag: Mass in Stoneyford Church on Saturday 4th. at 6.30p.m. Nellie Dunphy, Kyleva, Mass in Hugginstown Church on Sunday 5th. at 10.00a.m. ROTA

Rota for next week-end: 4th. and 5th. February 2023 . (Fi h Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Readers, Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Rita O’Farrell. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Pat Power; Sunday 10.00a.m. Deirdre O’Shea. Eucharistic Ministers. Stoneyford, Saturday 6.30p.m. Barbara Smolen. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Mary Cuddihy, Sunday 10.00a.m. Ann Power.


The School is now taking enrolments for September 2023 and for A er-School Care. Please contact 089 257 2031 or mbrennan@


Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A.

Draw: Monday 23rd. January 2023

Numbers: 04; 28; 19; 08. No Winner First 3

Numbers Drawn. No Jackpot Winner: 5 x €30.00 Winners. “Young Mac.”, c/o James Irish. Kathleen Moran, Cherrymount; Mary Irish, Ballyhale, Josie Frisby, Carraigetna; Chris, Emma and Jamie Roche, Hugginstown. 3 x €15.00 (Sellers):Trish Power; Mary Carroll; James Irish.



The Conference is live on Radio Maria, Ireland from 2.00p.m. on Saturday 4th. February.

Speakers include: Fr. Columba Mary Toman O.P; Fr. Patrick Cahill O.J.S.S: Fr. Patrick Lagan (Derry Diocese) Maura Murphy (Holy Family Mission). Radio Maria Ireland can be listened to by downloading the radio maria ireland app, Saorview Channel 210 or listen live at 01 437 3277.


Carrickshock G.A.A. and Carrickshock Camogie Clubs are hosting a joint Dinner Dance on Saturday 11th. February. Tickets are now on sale for the Dinner Dance at 086 257 1713 or


LTI Pathway to Employment course QQI Level 4. LTI is recruiting for the new programme in the Centre commencing shortly. If anyone is interested in completing this full-time course, please contact us for an expression of interest form. More details can be found on our website

Defibrillator. Please note that there is a defibrillator located in the Mill Family Resource Centre if and when it may be required.

Senior Alert. If you need to apply for a Personal Alarm, please contact Sue or Josephine.

Counselling Services. Our low cost Counselling Services, includes One-to-One, Family & Teens, aged 12 plus. General Counselling: Bereavement, Stress, Anxiety & Depression.


Next Singing Circle session is on Saturday February 4th, 7.30 to 9.30 in Old School, Kilmanagh. Refreshments served. Donation €2.


Results for 23/01/2023. Numbers drawn were 14; 21; 22; 23. No jackpot winner. Lucky Dip winners were Patrick Hayes, Kathleen Dowling and Michael Fennelly. Seller’s prizes went to

Hugginstown. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9.30a.m. VigilSaturday 4th. at 8.00p.m. Sunday 5th. at 10.00a.m.

Stoneyford. Wednesday and Friday at 7.00p.m. Vigil - Saturday 4th. at 6.30p.m.; Friday 3rd. Feast of St. Blaise. First Friday Visitation with Holy Communion will take place as usual on Friday. Please let us know if you would like to receive Holy Communion in your

Other Counselling Services available: Drug, Substance & Gambling Addictions. Play therapy is now also available. Please contact Sue for more information or to make an appointment.

Appeal for Clothes Donations. Any clothes donations would be appreciated in aid of our counselling services. Donations can be le into the Centre, please call before dropping o . Contact number for the Centre 056-8838466

49 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
TABLE QUIZ A table quiz in aid of the Athletics Club will be held in Ryan’s, Kilmanagh on Saturday 11th February at 9pm.
Community & GAA Notes We welcome all GAA Club and Community notes for publication in The Kilkenny Observer email to
Chloe Lynch as Gretel

Hurling matters - Preview Sport

Allianz Hurling League

Division 1 B

Sherry LeagueSaysPreview

Antrim vs Kilkenny

Corrigan Park, 2pm Saturday

4th February 2023

e ‘warm-up’ is over.

e real season starts tomorrow for Derek Lyng and his Kilkenny panel, as they head north to face Leinster championship rivals Antrim at Corrigan Park (2pm).

e trip north is always a physical encounter, and Derek will know that his panel will need to win the battle in order to play their hurling and get a fast start to his rst national league campaign.

e Walsh Cup is done and dusted and some players have had the opportunity to show the new manager what they can o er to this most condensed of condensed seasons. We have seen the rst senior shoots of Billy Drennan and the young Galmoy attacker has certainly not let his former U20 boss down, with a couple of sparkling displays in the preseason competition.

We have also seen the likes of Des Dunne, Padraic Moylan and Ian Byrne get minutes

Let the games begin!

Lyng’s first league action sees Cats Belfast bound

as Lyng seeks to freshen things up a little and add a touch more depth to the Cats squad. During this upcoming league run, we will perhaps get to see a panel forming that will take us into championship April! Yes, April is when the Noresiders will begin their Leinster title defence at home to Westmeath at UPMC Nowlan Park.

e early date for championship

action means that there is little time to get things right if your team gets o to a slow start. Lyng will be determined to ensure that his panel build momentum through the early stages of the Allianz sponsored competition, working towards that encounter with the Lake County at home in mid-April.

When the Cats arrive in Béal Feirste tomorrow they will know

that they face a di cult opponent in the Sa rons. e Ulstermen received a massive boost in early August when Darren Gleeson agreed to continue his Antrim journey for another two years, with the option of a further 12 months.

e former Tipperary netminder has done great work with the Sa rons, and it’s great to see the players and supporters all singing

50 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
Cillian buckley’s experience will be vital Kilkenny manager Derek Lyng

Antrim have been building towards the start of the league

opponents have had to make do without the Shamrocks Ballyhale contingent, Gleeson has had to soldier on without Dunloy’s county men. With James McNaughton, Eoin O’Neill and Seamus McAuley all in decent form for the northern side, the return of Gregory O’Kane’s players will be key as Antrim seek to make further progress under their Tipp boss.

Hurling matters - Preview

Conal Cunning, Kealan Molloy and Ryan Elliott to the squad will certainly give Antrim a better chance of remaining competitive in most games.

While the Walsh Cup run saw the Sa rons lose to Dublin, Westmeath and Galway, there were periods in all those games where we saw the ‘real’ Antrim. Poor shooting cost them dearly in all games to date, particularly when they faced Henry She in’s Galway in Darver recently and that is something that manager Gleeson will hope to improve on as the league unfolds.

e Kilkenny management team will have been casting their eyes over tomorrow’s opponent’s games to date, knowing that many opportunities have been created, but that the Sa rons radar has been a little o in the early season. Derek Lyng will know that if his players stick to the script and do what’s required, they should be in a position to claim maximum points in Belfast.

defeat to Wexford in the nal group game of the Walsh Cup, that being the reason we didn’t see any of that man Drennan in Chadwicks Wexford Park.

e Noresiders like other counties have had plenty of representatives in the Fitzgibbon competition. Drennan, Emmet Landy and Colm Prenderville were all in action last week. Derek Lyng will be mindful of player load and will not risk any players that may lead to missing them for the business end of the season.

Billy Drennan notched 2-13 across games against O aly and Laois, while the likes of Tom Phelan, Paul Cody, John Donnelly and young Gearoid Dunne have all hit decent tallies in the pre-season games. Also showing well has been Niall Brennan, Cian Kenny and Walter Walsh. It’s been good to see such a variety of scorers getting on the board.

It will be vital that the new manager can mix a good blend of youth and experience as he seeks to build a panel capable of not only competing with, but potentially getting one over on current kingpins Limerick. e likes of Cillian Buckley, Walter, Richie Hogan, TJ & Richie will be key to bringing through the young guns in the black and amber.

During the Walsh Cup games, we got to see both Darren Brennan and Aidan Tallis between the posts for Kilkenny. I’d imagine that Glenmore’s Eoin Murphy will come into the black and amber at some stage of the league run. e manager alluded to the xture congestion after the 4-point

Even without the Shamrocks Ballyhale contingent, Kilkenny should have too much in all areas of the pitch for Antrim tomorrow. Secure maximum points in Corrigan Park, then the management can start to plan for the interesting visit of Liam Cahill’s Tipperary Sunday week in UPMC Nowlan Park.

su ered the dreaded

Gleeson has been dealt a huge blow with key men Ciaran Clarke and Conor McCann currently msising having ACL injuries, while long-time servant and defender Matthew Donnelly has hung up his hurl with the county.

Injuries to Domhnall Nugent and Conor Johnston may keep the pair out for the early rounds of the league, but these injuries, along with Dunloy’s magni cent run to the All-Ireland club nal has given the management team the chance to blood some younger players in the intercounty arena. Players who have come into the Antrim panel this season include Loughgiel quartet Christy McGarry, Rory McCloskey, Enda Óg McGarry and Paul Boyle are joined in the squad by Ballycastle’s Conor Boyd, Tiernan Smyth, Seamus McAuley and Eoin McAlonan. Rossa’s Eoin Trainor and Caolan McKernan of Sars eld’s are the other new faces to the Antrim squad. Whether or not we see some of the Dunloy players tomorrow,

remains to be seen, but adding


51 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
to secure big win on the
• Congratulations to
who have been named as Kilkenny captain and vice-captain respectively. We wish them both well in their roles with the Cats.
Shamrocks duo
TJ Reid
Walter Walsh will look to show his worth Billy Drennan will hope to make his league debut
52 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Motors Classified section To advertise your business in our classi ed section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts Classi eds NOW OPEN SATURDAY MORNINGS 9.30am to 12.00pm CAR WASH – 087 2587745 TYRE BREAKDOWN SERVICE JOEPARSONSGARDEN MAINTENANCE SERVICES INCLUDE • Hedge cutting • • Grass cutting • • Power washing • • Dry rubbish removal • • Tree pruning • CONTACT JOE: 086-8587568
53 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 ClassiMotors eds Call 056 7771463 for all your classi ed advertisements HAVE YOUR ADVERTISEMENT SEEN AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS FOR 2023 CONTACT US AT 056 7771463 FOR EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE RATES OR EMAIL OR CALL TO SEE US AT UNIT 7, FRIARY STREET, KILKENNY WE ARE OPEN MONDAY TO FRIDAY9.30AM TO 5.30PM ALSO OPEN DURING LUNCHTIME. OFFICE SPACE TO LET Commercial office unit(s) to let on Friary Street, Kilkenny City. 2 Units over first floor available. Available as one unit for rent of €350p/w OR Available as two units (€150 p/w and €200 p/w) Suitable for drawings offices, classrooms, consultation rooms. Telephone Tony: 086-8303155

Planning notices


I, Eamon O’Neill, Laurel House, Doninga, Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for permission for development of construction of a milking parlour, dairy, plant room, collecting yard, drafting facilities, cubicle/slatted shed, slatted tanks, silage base, meal bin and associated site works necessary to facilitate the proposed development at Coppanagh, Dungarvan, Kilkenny, 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, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions or may refuse to grant permission.


Planning Permission is sought for change of use of the single storey element of the existing residential dwelling to office use to include car parking, including all ancillary and associated services at Norelands, Cotterellsbooly, Stoneyford, 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 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.

Applicant: Ballylinch Stud

54 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Planning notices
056 777 1463

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen.

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.C.G.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail. Must promise publication of prayer.M.P.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours. This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.T.S.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail. Must promise publication of prayer.M.K.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen.

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.T.T

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen.

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.A.T.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen.

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.M.B.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen.

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.M.B.

55 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023
Memoriams / Miracle Prayers
56 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 February 2023 Advertisement