Page 1


The Kilkenny


Friday 9 April 2021

Covid Comment Blood clots, supply and vaccine envy 

See Page 4

Tel: 056 777 1463 E: sales@kilkennyobserver.ie W: kilkennyobserver.ie

Travel & Leisure Malta to welcome Irish to holiday  See Page 36




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021




The Kilkenny


€4.3m. is safer travel for all KILKENNY City and county is set to become much safer for all modes of travel, whether mot0ring, cycling or walking, thanks to €4,333,000 funding from the Rural Active Travel Investment Programme. The money is for the county’s ‘Active Travel’ projects and will see a number of these projects completed in the City and County in 2021 and others planned for implementations in future years. The emphasis is very much on active cycling and walking infrastructure. A total of 26 projects in Kilkenny City and Council will benefit from this funding include: Kilkenny City demarcation and gateways; one way System at Bridge Street, Callan; footpath development at various locations;  low-cost junction tightening; pedestrian crossing schemes, and safe schools zones.   Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Andrew McGuinness (pictured) said:    “These projects will improve connectivity in our City and county urban areas and make our roads and footpaths EVERY FRIDAY

safer for pedestrians, cyclists and m o t o r i s t s . Funding for future projects in the City will provide additional pedestrian/ cycling bridges, increased use of our laneways and an increased focus on active travel for healthier forms of connectivity.” Environment and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan stated:  “This allocation marks another significant step forward in providing green sustainable transport options to those outside of the large urban centres.  Developing high quality walking and cycling facilities will encourage more people to switch to active travel and will contribute to tackling climate change.  “Connecting communities and making walking cycling attractive, safe and accessible to everyone is what this funding will help to accomplish,” the minister said. * For full list see https:// www.nationaltransport.ie/ nta-allocates-over-e70min-new-funding-to-ruralcouncils-for-active-cyclingand-walking-infrastructure/

The Kilkenny


Opinions divided on vaccine risk

Coming soon: family time for a picnic outdoors, at Kilkenny Castle

The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will continue to be rolled out within the EU, despite the European Medicines Agency (EMA) finding a possible link between the vaccine and “rare” blood clotting in older adults. The EMA reiterated that the “benefit-risk remains positive” for the Covid-19 jab. Its UK equivalent, however, said the blood clotting was more applicable to under-30s, particularly women.

Businesswoman of the Year awards Network Ireland is calling on members across the county to apply for their prestigious Businesswoman of the Year awards ahead of the deadline on Friday, April 16. Preparation is well underway for the 14 local finals, from which winners will be selected for the national awards in October. See Page 6

Vicky’s vaccine

Vicky Phelan has said she is relieved after learning she will receive her first Covid-19 vaccine next week in the United States. The CervicalCheck campaigner is undergoing cancer treatment in Maryland. See Page 8

The other F word

Let’s not spoil our great outdoors! KILKENNY Tourism has welcomed the Government’s announcement that outdoor attractions can re-open at the end of the month. But their announcement has come amid concerns raised about large crowds of people gathering in the City’s Castle Park and leaving litter strewn all over the hugely popular amenity. There were also reports of littering at other beauty spots across the county and of people dumping rubbish at overcrowding

banks and nelsewhere. The leader of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Andrew McGuinness, hit out at litterbugs who had “no respect” for our outdoor amenities. Cllr McGuinness said: “The Castle Park is a great amenity. We are lucky to have such a gem in the heart of the city. It’s a shame to see a small minority with no respect for it.” After months beset lockdowns, many of Kilkenny’s best loved family attractions will start to re-open

from Monday, April 26. A spokesperson for county’s tourism body told Kilkenny Observer: “People can soon travel anywhere in their county and enjoy some of Kilkenny’s best loved amenities. From outdoors activities and authentic experiences to family and couple orientated get-aways Kilkenny has so much #MoretoExplore this summer.” Our next edition will carry a special report on what Kilkenny has to offer in the great outdoors

Up to 35% of Irish SMEs Finance is among Ireland’s top taboos along with sex, religion and death. In a Bank of Ireland survey, death tops the list (25%), followed by religion (16%), finances (15%) and sex (15%). See Page 8


News......................................... P3-38 Fact Of The Matter......................P4 Clair Whitty...................................P4 Andre McDonald........................P12 Bianca Rallis................................P14 Food & Drink...............................P18 Science & Wellbeing.................P19 Covid Update...............................P22 Eoin Everard...............................P22 Gerry Cody..................................P28 Photo Special...............................P34 Travel & Leisure.........................P36 Lockdown Streaming................P37


SALES E: sales@kilkennyobserver.ie T: 087 382 0109 or 087 342 1958

FEATURES E: features@kilkennyobserver.ie T: 056 777 1463

EDITOR E: editor@kilkennyobserver.ie

ACCOUNTS E: accounts@kilkennyobserver.ie T: 056 777 1463

DESIGN E: design@kilkennyobserver.ie T: 087 348 0279


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



The Fact Of The Matter PAUL HOPKINS

Not so much science, as jab concerns and envy SO, as I write, the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has been given a second clean bill of health by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), emphasising that the incidence of blood clots is actually much lower than in the general population and that the vaccine is safe. Many nations outside the EU do not concur, with the UK saying the blood clot is a risk for anyone under 30, particularly women. The science is sound behind the various vaccinations, say those in the white lab coats, but who can be trusted? Okay so, but it is not just about the science. Every vaccine carries risk. The ordinary flu jab does. The daily-taken contraceptive pill carries risks of blood clotting. My new granddaughter got her first of the series of six-in-one shots the other week and I was beside myself with worry that she would be fine. She is. This is not about the science

but rather about public trust. There are in Ireland, and globally, people — and I don’t mean the lunatic fringe — who have genuine concerns that decisions made by governments and medical and scientific experts do not take adequate notice of. Concerns about sideeffects or potency or long-term viability or blood clots or effects on fertility. Such concerns, and vaccine hesitancy, is perhaps more widespread among non-caucasian communities and among those who see themselves as marginalised. Education has a role to play here but so too has a united and concise approach to explaining all the pros and cons of any of the vaccines, however minute the cons might be. It does not help that every time the media roll out the experts, no two opinions concur. That’s fair enough but, understandably, it fuels people’s concerns and can prove a field day for the

fear mongers. The truth is we don’t know enough yet about the coronavirus and how to deal with it long-term. The EMA’s decision to have adopted a precautionary approach to AstraZeneca is to be applauded but the agency never called for a halt to its rollout. That decision was taken by individual countries; Ireland too, where in January alone more than 1,000 people died from Covid-19. The blood clot concerns have arguably set a trend in that every time someone sneezes after being given a vaccine, countries will call a halt, pending another investigation, which is not at all good. There has to be an agreed consensus on risk. We need better streaming of all the evidence, good and bad. We’re big enough to take it. All the talk now is of who has got their first jab and who is still waiting and what group are you

supposed to be in anyway. It’s now a mark of standing in the community if you can go on social media with a selfie with your jab cert, or post a picture of you pushing granny into the local surgery. All that is quite understandable. Such action is merely the result of having some reassurance that your aged relative, or you yourself, with underlying conditions, have now got a very good chance of keeping the rogue microbe at bay. There’s lot of talk too of who should be getting the jab but isn’t. Should the Gardai be seen as frontline workers and moved up the queue? Likewise schoolteachers and all carers. The cohorts. Judging by the growing cacophony of complaining, there is a new malaise among us, that of vaccine envy. Ergo, the debacles — if that is the word — over the Beacon and that school in Bray, the head honcho at VHI

Vaccine envy is very real for some people... the desire for a vaccine is all about selfpreservation, says my psychologist...

and now the shenanigans at the Coombe Hospital. The Government promised too much and has delivered too little in the quoted timeframe, in fairness not entirely of their own doing. Frustration is just one of the many feelings this situation is causing, as is annoyance. But jealousy? Really? Yes,there’s that, too. “Vaccine envy is very real for some,” says my psychologist friend from Magherafelt. “The desire for a vaccine is all about self-preservation. When in survival mode, we humans can become selfish to some degree. It’s a switch in the brain.” I have the Bus Pass the past two years and I have no underlying health issues. I am perfectly okay with waiting ‘til the cows come home for my jabs if it means those who are the really vulnerable are getting theirs. That, alas, is not necessarily the case.

Planning a healthy pregnancy? CLAIR WHITTY

HAVE you come to a point in your life where you’re ready to start planning a family? It’s interesting really how we come to this moment in our lives. I remember when I was very young, I used to think that I would love to have a large family, then I went through a stage where I wasn’t ready, there were many reasons why it wasn’t the right time. Then one day I was ready, my maternal body clock kicked in and there was no turning back. If you’ve come to this exciting time in your life and you’re both ready to start planning for a baby you’ll most likely be considering some lifestyle and dietary changes. We make a plan for everything else we do why would this be any different? A healthy diet, lifestyle, exercise, and getting good quality sleep is important for both of you. You are probably considering a prenatal formula. This should include Iron, Folic acid, B Vitamins, Zinc, and Vitamin C. There are many prenatal formulas to choose from. I like NHP Advanced Fertility Support for Women as it contains these nutrients in the highest and most effective doses and is scientifically proven

to help promote conception and staying pregnant. It was developed by Marilyn Glenville who saw lots of women come to her at her health practice who were planning on have a baby or who were having difficulty conceiving. She specifically formulated it to help women to boost their fertility for natural conception or alongside IVF. You can take it when planning your pregnancy and throughout the first couple of months. Men could consider taking NHP Fertility For Men, a multi vitamin and mineral supplement especially formulated to optimise your chances of having fertile and strong sperm to help with

conception and increase fertility. Both partners will benefit from a diet rich in Omega Oils, Antioxidants, Magnesium, and Vitamin C. A healthy balanced diet should provide plenty of these. If not, you may need to top up on these too. For more advice and information about these products call in to see us or give us a call at Natural Health Store. In the meantime, happy planning, and I hope your dreams come true. For more advice and information why not give us a call or call in for a chat. Phone: 056 7764538 Email: info@ naturalhealthstore.ie

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


Opinion & News

Parents need paid leave Countdown on to find our BY: DEPUTY KATHLEEN FUNCHION SINN FEIN TD FOR KILKENNY CARLOW SINN Féin is supportive of extending paid parental leave and has welcomed the Government’s commitment to finally fulfil its promises on Paid Parent’s Leave but warned there can be no further delays. I welcome that Minister O’Gorman has said that the additional Paid Parent’s Leave will be paid from next month, April 2021. At present parents can only take two weeks paid leave, this is set to increase to five weeks. It will take effect from April 2021 and will apply retrospectively, giving parents who have already taken two weeks’ parent’s leave an extra three weeks in 2021. The change will entitle parents whose child was born or adopted on or after 1 November 2019 to five weeks’ leave, which they can take at any time in the first two years after the birth or adoption of the child. Parent’s Benefit, which is paid by the Department of Social Protection is currently €245 a week for two

weeks. Once extended, it will be available for five weeks, taken either together or as separate weeks. It was initially pledged last summer and was included in the Budget five months ago. These delays in releasing the money have been totally unacceptable and families have been placed under huge financial pressure by the Government’s failure to make this a priority. My colleague Claire Kerrane and I have raised this issue repeatedly in the Dáil. I welcome that this is finally

happening but it does not erase the totally unnecessary stress that this Government has caused families through its inaction. I note that the Minister has said payments will be backpaid. I would urge him to ensure that this money goes into families’ pockets without delay. Given the delays so far, it would be entirely unacceptable for further delays. This latest commitment cannot be allowed to become yet another broken promise by this Government. The Government must prioritise ensuring that this money is released urgently, so parents can get much needed help. I also want to commend the many parents and campaigners who have been campaigning so passionately on this important issue. It is vital that ordinary families across the state are not ignored and that the extremely difficult challenges they are facing are recognised by the Government. It is also important that the Minister amends existing legislation to extend these supports to parents who have had babies through surrogacy Sinn Fein will continue to hold the Government to account on this until families get the support they need.

Businesswoman of Year

NETWORK Ireland is calling on members across the county to apply for their prestigious Businesswoman of the Year awards ahead of the deadline on Friday, April 16. The annual programme highlights the achievements of women who understand business, who are passionate about their career, and show a determination to succeed no matter what life throws at them. Preparation is well underway across 14 Network Ireland branches nationwide ahead of their local finals, from which winners will be selected to go forward to the national awards in October. The gala event is a major highlight of the group’s calendar and will coincide with Network Ireland’s annual conference. National President of Network Ireland Aisling O’Neill said: “The resilience of women in business over the last year is evident in every corner of Ireland. Our members have successful careers, run successful businesses, but in many cases also juggle the needs of their families and are involved in their local communities. “My chosen theme for my term as President is ‘Power of Network Ireland’ and part of that is supporting each other through tough times, but it’s

Resilient women awarded: Network Ireland’s Aisling O’Neill

also about celebrating the wins - and we need that this year more than ever.” Maura Glynn, Network Ireland’s awards co-ordinator, said: “Applying for these awards is a fantastic opportunity for our members to review their current position, learn more about themselves, and outline what they would like to achieve in the future. Their stories are truly inspirational and these businesswomen deserve to be recognised for that.” This year’s awards are divided into eight categories: • Solo Businesswoman

• • • • • • •

Emerging New Business Established Business Employee - Rising Star Employee - Shining Star Creative Professional  STEM  ‘Power Within’ Champion: this award was first introduced last year and is the only one of the awards open to all members who have used the power within themselves to great impact

The closing date for receipt of online applications is 5 pm Friday, April 16. For more information visit www. networkireland.ie

Seniors, the Comeback Kids THE Senior members of our society are one of the demographics that have been hit the hardest during the past 12 months. The Corona virus, as it was called last march before we all became aware of the now Internationally recognised name Covid 19, was sold to us as an ‘Older person’s virus’. Doors were locked, curtains pulled, as our seniors retreated deeper and deeper into isolation even away from their children and their beloved gran children. Fear and isolation alone are killers. We were all shocked to see on an RTE primetime investigates that members of our senior community say to the watching Irish Public “we feel we are a burden to our family”. It was so sad it was time to take

action. The group became very cognisant of the isolation their friends and members were and are experiencing. It was then decided that the group would appeal to the public for unwanted laptops and iPad to recycle and train our seniors to use for what’s app, Facetime and use to bring the outside world into the sitting rooms and kitchens courtesy of the world wide web. This programme is now ready to roll out over the next few weeks and Laptops have been cleared and updated with the relevant and required programmes for to get us all re connected. This part of the Twilight Community groups begin together project #begintogether https://www. twilight.ie/blog/2021/02/24/ laptop-roll-out/ The Twilight Community Group’s Seniors Forum is now in operation since 2016. It has a wonderful relationship with the Newpark Seniors Alliance and resident’s association. Pre covid 19 every Wednesday was community bingo night. People from the

to evenings in the Orchard House bar & restaurant We hope over the coming editions, through the great support of the Kilkenny Observer, to keep our seniors of Kilkenny city and County updated on all activities and items of interest to the

surrounding housing estates religiously made their way to the Groups public activities venue Orchard House courtesy of the generosity of Mr John Murphy, whose bar and restaurant provide space and the opportunity for an early bird menu for those who wished to have dinner before the fun and frolics begin. A night of fun, prizes and especially community interaction was the order of the night. Hopefully when this pandemic has ceased to be the scourge it now is, we will all return

Public One such programme is the new Housing Options for our ageing population can be found on our website https ://www.twilight.ie/ blog/2021/03/21/housingoptions-for-our-ageing-population/ Part of our Seniors column will be a ‘Historical Pictorial

review’ where we wish for all our seniors in Kilkenny City & county to send us a picture of their community’s history as we all know that a picture can bring back joy and memories of a bygone era Send your pictures by email to info @ twilight.ie

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Vicky Phelan gets Covid shots in US * EMA stands by ruling on AstraZenica * A musical treat for local carehomes KILKENNY woman Vicky Phelan has said she is relieved after learning she will receive her first Covid-19 vaccine in the US in the next few days The CervicalCheck campaigner is currently undergoing cancer treatment in Maryland. Vicky’s good new came as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) backed continued use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in all adults, in a statement but did confirm a “possible link” to “very rare” cases of blood clotting. The UK equivalent body, however, said the clots were in people, particularly women, under age 30 and not older people as was originally held. Although the US has a stockpile of the AstraZenca it has not rolled out that vaccine. Motherof-two Vicky shared the news with her 60,000 Instagram followers as she posted a video update. Ahe said: “I am getting the vaccine, I am getting the first dose of the Covid vaccine next Wednesday. “I’m getting treatment on

Tuesday and then my first dose of the vaccine on Wednesday. I’m a little bit worried about how I’ll be but I’m normally fairly sick on a Wednesday, so be it. “My doctors have cleared it, I checked with my oncologist and he said it’s fine for me to get the vaccine on Wednesday. So, I’m really glad I’m getting it now because it will give me far more freedom than what I have at the moment.” Ms Phelan said she was looking forward to exploring tourist sights when she is vaccinated. “Once I’m fully vaccinated I will definitely be doing a bit more of the touristy stuff and visit more of Washington DC while I’m here as up until now I haven’t really done any of that because I’ve been too scared of getting Covid and having that interrupt my treatment. There was too much of a risk. So, yeah, things are looking up.” She thanked people for their support towards the end of the video as she spoke about how much she is missing her family. “All of the messages of support

I’m getting really help to keep me going on days when I really miss my kids and really miss home. So thank you all for that, I really appreciate it.” In other Covid-19 news, residents in selected local nursing homes throughout Kilkenny are in for a treat this month as a number of ‘Covid Care Outdoor Concerts’ are set to take place. Mobile Music Machine are behind the initiative in association with Age Friendly Ireland. The concerts begin on Monday, April 19 and run until April 23. Nurse Manager at Prague House in Freshford, Caroline Casey, said they were all very much looking forward to a return after both residents and staff experienced so much joy from the last concert there. Meanwhile Fianna Fáil councillor Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere is calling for the passport service to return to work due to the backlog of passports waiting to be processed. “It is unacceptable that we are now at a point where we have a backlog of 75,500 passports,” said Cllr Cleere.

Have jab, will travel: Vicky Phelan hopes to do some sight-seeing Stateside when she has her her Covid-19 vaccination

Cartoon Saloon for virtual Oscars KILKENNY based Cartoon Saloon are hoping that they might be able to travel to an Academy Award hub in London to take part in the ceremony. The main ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, April 28 in Los Angeles. It is the fifth time the Kilkenny-based animation studio has been nominated

for an Academy Award and the third time for Tomm Moore, who co-directs their most recently Oscar-nominated film, Wolfwalkers, with Ross Stewart. The film, which is set in medieval Kilkenny, is a powerful story steeped in folklore with the themes of nature, friendship and freedom running through the stunningly beautiful

visual artwork. Wolfwalkers has already won numerous awards and critics have praisedon the latest offering from Cartoon Saloon. Directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart are cautious about whether or not they will be able to travel to London because of Covid19. Oscar nominations, Page 37

Religion, sex and death, and the new F word... FINANCE is on a par with sex and religion and topped only by death on the list of things we find it hard to talk about, according to research by Bank of Ireland. The survey also found that almost three in four (74%) people either don’t talk about their finances at all or will only do so if they have to. The survey asked people to rank their level of comfort/ discomfort when discussing a series of issues. One in four (25%) said they liked talking about death least of all, followed by religion (16%), personal finances and sex (both 15%). In contrast, mental health (8%), relationships (5%) and physical health (4%) had the lowest taboo scores.    The study of over 1,000 consumers was carried out to coincide with a new Bank of Ireland campaign — the ‘Fword’ — to encourage a more open discussion of personal finances among consumers. This campaign is part of the Bank’s Financial Wellbeing programme that was launched in 2019 to support consumer financial capability and confidence. Featuring Emmy Award-winning TV and radio broadcaster Baz Ashmawy, the ‘ F-word’ aims to remove some of the stigmas around talking about finances.  When it comes to discussing finance, six in 10 Irish consumers admitted borrowing was harder to talk about than saving, spending or planning. Over four in 10 of those polled singled out their bank balance as the least comfortable discussion point when it comes to their personal finances, with just over a quarter (28%) revealing that talking about their salaries makes them squirm.  Almost four in 10 (39%) fear judgement from friends and family when talking about their finances and over a quarter (29%) think that not talking about them makes it easier to ignore their financial problems. See also Page 16

Hospital is awarded for high quality and safety UPMC Aut Even Hospital in Kilkenny has successfully achieved its fifth accreditation from the Joint Commission International the (JCI). This recognition is based on an extensive review of the hospital’s patient safety and quality standards and is the fifth

award since the hospital’s first accreditation in 2008. “Ensuring our patients receive the best possible care close to home is our No. 1 priority and demonstrating compliance with JCI standards serves as validation of this commitment,” said Tara Grant, senior di-

rector of quality and patient safety, UPMC in Ireland. “This achievement follows closely with recent accreditations of our facilities in Waterford and Cork and is testament to the standard of care that is delivered in UPMC facilities across the South East.

Located in Kilkenny, UPMC Aut Even Hospital offers patients a broad range of surgical specialities, departments, and diagnostics and medical and surgical consultants who are leading practitioners in their fields. These consultants are supported

by excellent facilities and a dedicated and highly skilled nursing team. General Manager Margaret Swords said: “I would like to pay tribute to the team in UPMC Aut Even Hospital whose commitment to the highest standards has been recognised

once again. It is important to highlight that this is not just a one-time assessment, but as part of this process, our care over the past three years has been assessed and deemed to be of the highest standard, meeting, and surpassing JCI expectations. “

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021






The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


How camogie star Grace found her inner grace during quarantine ISOLATION during the various lockdowns is something Grace Walsh (pictured) has learnt to live with, indeed has had to endure, but they have become more bearable. The Kilkenny camogie star, a clinical nurse at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, has had to isolate for three separate two-

week periods having been identified as a close contact of a Covid-19 patient. She never contracted the virus and now having had her first vaccination shot, the likelihood of her having

Just €23 for a chance to have your own pub and a chipper! A VICTORIOUS battle with cancer has made publican Seamus Hennessy rethink his life. He is now planning ‘early retirement’ and has put his pub and chip shop on the market, as it were, and both could be yours for then princely sum of a €23 raffle ticket. The Irish pub and chipper you can own for the price of just €23If you ever fancied owning a pub or chipper, now is the perfect chance While the pandemic has left many of us longing for a pint of the black stuff worn a sit-down with a none-and one, one lucky person could be about to launch a new career as a publican and restaurateur. Seamus Hennessy, the owner of Spinners Bar and Takeaway, is raffling off  the deeds to the pub, takeaway and living accommodation that he owns in an effort to raise funds for the Solas Cancer Support Centre. To make things even better, the businessman

to pass another 14 days alone in her bedroom is unlikely. “The first time that I ever had to do it now was horrific,” she told the Irish Mirror of her first isolation period last September. “I’m very

much a people person and love meeting new people, love chatting and being around people so to be stuck in a room on your own or even in the house trying to avoid everybody was very difficult and the first time I suppose you’re missing home and all that so it was hard. “A big thing for me actually

was because I ended up having to be sent home, I knew that the wards were short-staffed and it actually made me feel a bit guilty that they were going to have to try and cover for me or they would be short and the girls would have to be put under more pressure,” Grace said. “But the second time round I

was actually supposed to be on annual leave anyway so I actually didn’t feel as bad. I actually enjoyed — not enjoyed it — but enjoyed it more than any other time I suppose because I didn’t have that guilty feeling where the ward was going to be shortstaffed and they’d still manage ok without me.”

Wedding on hold, TJ and Niamh meet their Covid own goal of €10,000 for hospice

is also throwing in an additional €15,000 for startup capital. If anyone likes the idea of being their own boss or putting their chips on the table by making a career change, this extremely generous and kind opportunity will definitely resonate. Mr Hennessy is giving away the two fully functioning and profitable businesses in Lower Kilmacow, South Kilkenny because after successfully battling cancer, he now wants to retire and enjoy his life. “Over the past 12 months, we have fought the pandemic like everyone else between lockdowns and restrictions but privately, I have fought my own battle with cancer,” he said. “Thankfully, I have come out fighting and I want to enjoy my life more than ever. We are looking forward to moving forward with a new chapter in our lives while also giving someone the chance to start a new chapter in their life mortgage-free,” he said.

Kill victim’s brother dating app warning THE brother of a Kilkenny man murdered by two killers has warned young people to be alert to the “dark side” of gay dating apps. Callous Joel Osei and his teenage partner Diana Cristea were found guilty  of slaying Adrian Murphy (pictured). The pair met the 43-year-old dance champion on Grindr and poisoned him with a drug known as ‘Devil’s breath’. Osei, 25, and Cristea, 19, used profiles on the gay social network to befriend men as part of a depraved scheme to drug them with scopolamine and rob them. Kilkenny man Adrian’s body was discovered in June 2019 at a London flat. Cristea wept last week as she was

sentenced to 16 years behind bars. In January, Osei was jailed for life with a minimum term of 32 years for murder. Adrian’s heartbroken brother Franktold the Irish Sun: “I can not stress enough to all people, especially young people of both sexes the dangers of any contact with this scopolamine drug, as it is odourless and tasteless. “The smallest amount added to one’s drink, or even on the rim of a glass will render the recipient unconscious. “Please take heed, for if the death of my brother Adrian can prevent one other person falling victim to this curse, then I believe that my brother Adrian’s death would not have been in vain.”

Lovely hurling: TJ Reid and Niamh de Brun

KILKENNY hurling star TJ Reid and his fiancee Niamh de Brun have helped to raise more than €10,000 for charity during their time in lockdown. Niamh came up with the idea to run a free fitness bootcamp class every week, with each one lasting for an hour. She aimed to raise €10,000 for the Milford Care Centre in her native Limerick and says she is delighted with reaching the target.

She tweeted: “€10,160 gone to Milford Care Centre in Limerick ... a sincere thank you from both TJ & I to every single person who donated and took part in our online lockdown bootcamp.” Milford Care Centre is a hospice inpatient unit, which also provides multiple services to their community. These include hospice at home services, a nursing home, day care for both seniors and people with palliative care needs.

Niamh revealed earlier this year that the couple had to postpone their wedding for a third time due to Covid. She posted on Instagram: “Here’s to being your fiancée for a bit longer Postponed Again. #ThirdTimeLucky.” TJ plays for Kilkenny Senior Championship club Ballyhale Shamrocks and at intercounty level with the Kilkenny senior hurling team. In 2019, nearly four years after meeting in the car park of Tesco in Cork, Kilkenny TJ

Reid whisked Niamh back to the rebel county where he popped the question in front of passers-by in Cobh. Away from the world of hurling, the four times All-Ireland winner is farm obsessed and a budding entrepreneur, but despite all the sacrifices he made for sport he says that it was all worthwhile. Despite the coronavirus call a temporary halt to their wedding, the couple seem to have it all worked out.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021







Tossing and turning in time of the coronavirus ANDREW MCDONALD HYPNOTHERAPIST

THERE’S no doubt about it, the stress of lockdown and lifestyle changes it has forced upon us have had a massive effect on wellness. Common sense tells us that to live well we need a few things. Eating healthily, ensuring we drink enough liquids and getting exercise are all key parts of keeping ourselves feeling good. One thing which we all too often fail to pay enough attention to however is sleep. Obviously we all get some shut eye. We wouldn’t last very long if we didn’t. How many of us stop to question the quality of our rest periods though? The easiest and most obvious way of testing how well we sleep is by asking ourselves how long we spend dozing on average? It is reckoned by health experts that the average adult needs between 7 to 9 hours in a 24 hour period. There are ex-

ceptions of course, but that is taken as a good guideline. So the first question to ask yourself is whether you meet this recommendation. If you don’t, and the reason is simply that you don’t make enough time to sleep for this length, ask yourself what you can change so you can spend this time in bed? What if you do make the time though but you simply can’t sleep? Perhaps you toss and turn for hours trying to travel to the land of nod. Maybe you suffer from broken sleep. Possibly you wake up early and no matter what you do, you remain wide awake. Stress, which is undoubtedly elevated in many of us during these difficult times, is a major culprit for each of these three situations. What many people don’t know is the connection between magnesium and sleep. When you are stressed, you use up more magnesium. With depleted resources of magnesium, your nervous system finds it very difficult to relax. Without sufficiently relaxing, it’s extremely difficult to get to sleep.

You can easily see the vicious cycle this creates. You’re stressed u your body uses up magnesium u your body then can’t relax properly u you can’t sleep u you become even more stressed because you can’t sleep. There are a wide range of things you can do to help you improve your sleeping pattern; meditation, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, creating better bedroom habits, consuming less alcohol and caffeine, going to bed earlier but you should also definitely consider upping your magnesium intake which can often be a very simple, quick and effective solution. You could, of course, take a magnesium supplement but you can also increase your intake by eating more foods rich in this essential mineral. These include dark chocolate, avocado, nuts particularly cashews and Brazil nuts, legumes, tofu, seeds including almonds and pumpkin seeds, whole grains, some fish for example salmon, mackerel and halibut, bananas and leafy greens.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021






The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


Bram Stoker:


Literary Ambassador to Transylvania LEONIE O’Hara, on October 4, 2020, in the Irish Central, wrote an article on how Bram Stoker created Dracula with the aid of Irish folklore, assuming that the Irish author perhaps was not inspired by Romanian legends. Fiona Fitzsimons founder of Enclann and genealogist at the Irish Family History Centre, in 2018, wrote a very well documented article in the Irish Times, and attempted to answer the question “Was Bram Stoker’s Dracula inspired by his own Irish family history?” There is an area in Romania, known as Transylvania, that has become incredibly famous around the world due to Bram Stoker and his Dracula novel. I decided, as a tribute to his work, 109 years after his

death, to go into a deeper investigation of the multiple sources of inspirations that Bram Stoker may have used for writing this Gothic horror story. We know that between 1879 and 1898, Stoker was a business manager for the Lyceum Theatre in London, spending time writing many sensational novels to supplement his income. Before writing Dracula he spent 7 years researching European folklore and stories of vampires, Emily Gerard’s essay from 1885, “Transylvania Superstitions,” includes content about a vampire myth, “Round About The Carpathians” by AF Crosse and “Transylvania” by Charles Boner had influenced the Irish writer. Up until a few weeks before publication, the manuscript was entitled simply “The Un-Dead” and the name of the Count was originally “Count Wampyr.” While doing some

research reading William Wilkonson’s book “An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia with Political Observations Relative to Them,” Stoker became intrigued by the name “Dracula,” the patronymic of “Draculea.” This name comes from the descendants of Vlad II of Wallachia, who took the name “Dracul” after being invested in the Order of Dragon in 1431. In the old Romanian language, the world “dracul” meant “the dragon,” and Dracula meant “son of the dragon.” However, Dracula’s scholar Elizabeth Miller mentioned that the background of Stoker’s Count has no resemblance to that of Vlad II Dracula aside from the name and some Romanian history. Furthermore, it is widely considered that the Shakespearean actor and friend of Stoker’s, Sir Henry Irving, to be the real-life inspiration for the character of Dracula. According to the genealogist

Fiona Fitzsimons, young Bram heard from his mother many stories about the heroism of his ancestors. On his mother’s side, Stoker is related to the Blakes of the “Tribes of Galway,” who could trace their direct line to the 14th century. For over 1400 years, his ancestral family have been protagonists in events as saints, princes, war lords, pilgrims, rebels, and generals. Only 12 generations separated Bram Stoker from his ancestor Manus “The Magnificent” O’Donnell, who died in 1564 and was described as a “Renaissance prince.” Ms. Fiona Fitzsimons has traced and documented Stoker’s direct descendent from this clan leader, mentioning that “Stoker himself knew of these family connections and was influenced by them when he wrote his best novel, Dracula.” Tracing this line of descendants comes with interesting discoveries and more fabulous stories. One of those is referring to Connell O’Donnell, who was born in 1715 in Spain to a family of Irish nobles from Tyrconnel County, Ireland. In 1736, O’Donnell entered the service of the Austrian armed forces and, by 1738, achieved the rank of major. In 1767, O’Donnell was appointed commanderin-chief and imperial commissioner of Transylvania and, on December 14, 1767, the empress of Austria, Maria Theresa, granted him the position of president of the Transylvanian government. O’Donnell was responsible for the protec-

tion and promotion the Saxon culture and Catholic religion in Transylvania. This is best shown in his work in Sibiu, Romania, to which he arrived on March 27, 1768, and where he founded an orphanage where children of other religions would be catholicized. This orphanage still exists today. It is apparent that Stoker’s ancestral history endowed him with access to a world of gothic imagination and connected him to a bloodline of Irish ad-

venturers, many of whom had great influence throughout Europe. Through the tales passed to him from his mother, did Bram Stoker have the chance to hear some of O’Donnell’s stories from his days as the governor of Transylvania? This, we can never surely know.. This article is supported by the Romanian Twighlight Community Group Contact: kclw.ro@twighlight.ie

Frank Cody, (Twilight ) Alexandra & Pedro Negrei, and Florentina Marcus (AUM) our Partners Sighsaora Romania

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Five ways to spring clean your finances when saving for retirement Choosing to start a pension is an important step in your life. It’s one of the ways to secure your future and ensure the lifestyle you’ve planned for once your working life is over. And if that’s not a good enough reason, a pension is one of the smartest ways to save. There are valuable tax incentives available on pension contributions (subject to Revenue limits). The earlier you start the better but remember it is never too late.


IT’S springtime, the days are longer the sun is shining into every nook and cranny showing up the cobwebbed corners of the house. Hence the spring clean, the deep scrub. While you are putting some elbow grease into sprucing up your home why not spend some time getting your finances into tip top shape too – here’s what you need to know Shop around for valuable savings It is very tempting to just leave policy renewals and utility renewals to automatically roll on but you may miss out on savings if you do. When renewing your policies and utilities, it is important to make time to shop around. It’s also important to spend the time ensuring that you have sufficient levels of cover and an adequate plan in place that meets your needs for the year ahead. Get to know your options for protecting you and your family

Are you claiming all tax reliefs available to you? Income Protection, Pensions, medical expenses are amongst the most unclaimed tax reliefs. Based on research completed by Bank of Ireland into people’s awareness and familiarity with tax reliefs and welfare benefits they found that only one in five people are very confident in conducting tasks relating to tax reliefs and welfare benefits. As the saying goes, ‘the only certainties in life are death and taxes’. We can’t predict what life has in store and when it comes to things like premature death or serious illness. We usually think, ‘it will never happen to me’. In reality, we all know someone who has been affect-

ed. So it is important to protect our loved ones and ourselves by planning in advance. Remember, real protection starts with income protection The money you earn pays for almost everything you have. You probably don’t think twice

about insuring your home, car or healthcare but what about your income - the one thing that pays for everything.? With Income Protection, you take control of your financial security. By paying a monthly premium, you will receive a regular income for the com-

plete duration of your illness until such time as you return to work or retire. Therefore, regardless of your employment profile, you must prepare for a medium to long-term income gap. Get to know your options

Time again for the big knits to get needles out for charities IN 2020 Kilkenny County Council Arts office ran a project called Knitted Together which asked volunteers around the county to knit or crochet squares for the Elkana Charity in South Africa. The project had up to 180 volunteers knitting and crocheting at home during the lockdowns and the Arts office was thrilled with the results. Nearly 4,000 squares were collected and once again, the volunteers came up trumps and helped put the squares together to make some beautiful colourful blankets for the Elkana Charity and for local Kilkenny charities. Based on the success of last year the Knitted Together project continues for 2021 and the Arts office is, once again, seeking your help, support and skills to create more beautiful blankets for charity.

This year’s project would like you to knit or crochet 8-inch squares (8 inches across by 8 inches down) using double knitting yarn (DK) and 4mm needles or 4mm crochet hooks, depending on your craft or, perhaps, you can do both! To any of the participants with the skills and time to create full blankets, you are also being invited to create the squares and complete the blankets yourselves. For anyone making a full blanket you could use 6 squares across by 8 squares down (48 squares in total). The completed blankets will be donated to Kilkenny charities and charity shops to help supplement their depleted fundraising. As part of our 2021 project we will also be organising on-line get-togethers and tutorials for anyone who wants to chat to others involved in

Get advice Many people find financial decisions and financial planning quite tricky and often put it off. Although there is likely to be a cost, a conversation with a financial adviser would give you good ideas about where to start.

Statement by An Taisce on Glanbia cheese plant

A work of art: two knitting volunteers with one of the many beautiful blankets

the project or to learn from other makers. If anyone is short of supplies, please let us know and we will try to help as we have a limited number of kits to distribute. But we are of course encouraging you to use up any wool that you may have lying around at home already. If you would like to be a part of this project please email bernadette.roberts@kilkennycoco.ie to confirm your participation and so we can let you know about the get-

togethers. What became of last year’s blankets ? John Crowley, a South Kilkenny farmer and supporter of the Elkana Charity, shipped 40 of the blankets plus donated blankets and knitted baby jumpers from our volunteers and donations made by the people of South Kilkenny, to the Elkana Charity for Christmas 2020. The generosity and hard work of Co Kilkenny’s volunteers blankets also went to some local organisa-

tions. They included Amber Women’s Refuge, Good Shepherd Centre, O’Neill Centre, St Canice’s Homes for the Elderly and St Marys Homes for the Elderly. The ongoing project is funded by Creative Ireland and supported by Age Friendly Kilkenny and Healthy Ireland Kilkenny. If you would like to be a part of this project please email bernadette.roberts@kilkennycoco.ie to confirm your participation and to learn about the get-togethers.

WHEN Glanbia recently announced that it planned to temporarily curtail milk supply in mid-summer 2022. they said their decision was due to legal action taken by An Taisce as part of the planning process for a large cheese factory in Co Kilkenny, according ton statement released by the National Trust. The proposed cheese factory was a joint venture between Glanbia and Dutch dairy processor Royal A-ware, that was proposed to operate from the end of 2022. This led to calls for An Taisce to withdraw the case. A spokesperson for An Taisce said: “Out of respect for the court and the ongoing legal proceedings, An Taisce will not make any further comment on the case until the matter is decided. An Taisce remains fully committed to its mission. “An Taisce’s statutory role requires it to comment on individual planning applications that significantly impact the environment. The charity’s overall mission is to enhance water quality, climate action, the protection of biodiversity and food security, access to environmental justice, and environmental education for all of Irish society,” the spokesperson said.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


Food & Drink

Dine Me Come


The nine styles of wine

Chicken chasseur in no time at all Prep: 5 mins Cook: 20 mins Serves 4

AS diverse as wine is, most bottles can be categorised into nine different styles.


A classic in a flash, you can also use beef. Either way it’s a winner.

If you already love sparkling wine, give yourself a pat on the back for your exquisite taste. This wine first came about in France and is synonymous with the region of Champagne. Sparkling wines are the most technically challenging and time intensive wines made in the world. Champagne is often too price restrictive, so instead, keep your eyes peeled for Brut-level sparklers (ie. not sweet) like Cava or Prosecco.

INGREDIENTS • 8 rashers streaky bacon, chopped into large pieces • 4 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks • 200g pack baby button mushroom • 1 tbsp plain flour • 400g tin chopped tomato with garlic • 1 beef stock cube • dash Worcestershire sauce • handful of parsley, chopped


These light easy-drinking dry white wines are some of the most-sold wines in the world (even if red wines get more attention). Light whites are like the ‘beer of wine’ and, for this reason, they are perfect to drink with most foods. Some of these wines are perfect for savoury lovers (like Sauv. Blanc and Grüner) with green herbal flavours of gooseberry and bell pepper. Wines that fit into this category include Pinot Gris (aka Pinot Grigio) and Sauvignon Blanc but they also include many lesser known wines like Grüner Veltliner, Albariño and Soave. Look for a wine from a cool climate region (imagine the places with a rainy month of June). Cool climates produce some of the best examples of this light, zesty style.

METHOD STEP 1 • Heat a shallow saucepan and sizzle the bacon for about 2 mins until starting to brown. Throw in the chicken, then fry for 3-4 mins until it has changed colour. Turn up the heat and throw in the mushrooms. Cook for a few mins, stir in the flour, then cook until a paste forms. STEP 2 • Tip in the tomatoes, stir, then crumble in the stock cube. Bubble everything for 10 mins, splash in the Worcestershire sauce, stir through the parsley, then serve with mash or boiled rice.

Quick and easy ... and tasty tiramisu

INGREDIENTS • 3 tsp instant coffee granules • 3 tbsp coffee liqueur (or Camp Chicory & Coffee Essence) • 250g tub mascarpone • 85g condensed milk • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 4-6 sponge fingers • 1 tbsp cocoa powder METHOD STEP 1 • Mix the coffee granules with 2 tbsp boiling water in a large jug and stir to combine. Add the coffee liqueur and 75ml cold water. Pour into a shallow dish and set aside.

STEP 2 • Make the cream layer by beating the mascarpone, condensed milk and vanilla extract with an electric whisk until thick and smooth. STEP 3 • Break the sponge fingers into two or three pieces and soak in the coffee mixture for a few secs. Put a few bits of the sponge in the bottom of two wine or sundae glasses and top with the cream. Sift over the cocoa and chill for at least 1 hr before serving.

HANDY RECIPE TIPS USES FOR SPONGE FINGERS Sponge fingers make an ideal base for trifles too. Use leftovers in a super-quick version: pour a little syrup from any canned fruit over the fingers to soak them, then top with cream and the fruit from the can. Prep:15 mins plus one hour chilling Serves 2 Condensed milk is the

secret to this super snappy Italian dessert. Coffee and chocolate are a classic combo, simply layer them up and enjoy

STORING LEFTOVER CONDENSED MILK Once opened, the remaining condensed milk can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to three months.


Full-bodied white wines are perfect for red wine lovers because of their rich smooth taste with subtle creaminess. What makes them different than light white wines usually involves special winemaking techniques including the use of oak-aging, (just like aged whiskeys, wine becomes smoother with barrel ageing too). The classic choice for this wine is Chardonnay and particularly Chardonnay from a warmer climate (like California, Spain or Italy). Beside Chardonnay, another great option in this style is Viognier.


Aromatic grapes are some of the oldest wine varieties in the world. In fact, Cleopatra is noted for her love of Muscat of Alexandria from Greece – a lovely rich aromatic white wine. These wines have explosive, almost perfumed, aromas that spring out of the glass into your nose. They can be either dry or sweet, but most will taste a touch sweet due to all those perfumed aromas. There are many great aromatic wines to try, and most are shockingly affordable. A few examples of these include Moscato d’Asti, Gewürztraminer, Torrontés (great if you like a more dry style), and Riesling. * To be continued in next edition

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Science & Wellbeing

Covid and why we might be putting off going to sleep WE all know that feeling when, in bed, we lift our eyes from Facebook or Insta and see that it’s well past the hour for beauty sleep. We may argue that it’s the only time we get to ourselves, especially with the pandemic having everyone in the family under each other’s feet 24/7. Scientists call this phenomennon sleep procrastination revenge, first cited in a study in the Netherlands seven years ago and which defined is as “failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so”. Revenge was added to the title last year with the coming of the

pandemic, but as a concept, it has actually been around for much longer. According to Alessandra Edwards, a performance expert, quoted in a report on the website Wired revenge bedtime procrastination is quite common in people who feel they don’t have control over their time (such as those in high-stress jobs) and are looking for a way to regain some personal time, even if it means staying up too late. “When it comes to the evening, they categorically refuse to go to bed early, at a time they know will suit them best and enable them to get adequate restorative sleep and feel better,” Mr Edwards told

Wired. “Nevertheless there is a sense of retaliation against life, so there is an idea of revenge to stay awake and do whatever fills their bucket.” Scientist Floor Kroese, an assistant Professor in Health Psychology at Utrecht University and the main author on the study that first introduced bedtime procrastination, notes that there is also a link between procrastinating in daily life and sleep procrastination. “An interesting difference may be that people typically procrastinate on tasks they find aversive—housework, homework, boring tasks—while sleeping for most people is not aversive at all,” says Prof. Kroese.

“It might be the bedtime routines that precede going to bed that people dislike or just that they do not like quitting whatever they were doing.” According to Wired, Prof. Kroese and team argue that lack of self-regulation — associated with personality traits such as being impulsive or easily distracted — is a possible cause of sleep procrastination. For those unable to selfregulate, Alessandra Edwards saysthat the time before bed may be the only time to process the emotional backlog from the day, including “frustration and anger, or fear and anxiety they may have felt during the day but shut out.”

No wonder it’s hard to find a decent razor blade ... ANYONE who shaves on a regular basis knows that even the best of blades never last for as many uses as promised. In fact, some often only last a few shaves. Why should soft hair blunt good steel? The assumption has always been that each shave dulled the blade to the point of it losing its sharp edge. Now, research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) finds that your facial or body hair can crack stainless

steel under the right circumstances. Scientist Gianluca Roscioli let hi beard grow for three days before shaving. He then brought his razors into the lab to examine them under an a microscope. While the team expected to see even dulling on the blade edge,

they instead noticed strange C-shaped chips missing. Intrigued, they attached a camera to the microscope so they could record the blade cutting the hair. At the same time, they investigated the properties of the razors at the microscopic level. This apparatus revealed that,

when the razor blade hit the hairs at non-perpendicular angles, small cracks formed. These tended to develop in boundary areas between where the steel was harder and where it was softer due to differences in the properties at each location caused by the manufacturing process. Over time, these cracks grew into chips. While these chips are too small to see with the naked eye, they were large enough to reduce the blade’s effectiveness.

Vegans might face a greater risk of broken bones, UK study finds A DIET without meat may help you maintain healthy cholesterol, body weight, and blood-sugar levels but these diets, particularly veganism, may also boost your risk of suffering broken bones, according to a new study published in the magazine of the British Medical Council. While the causes aren’t totally clear, the researchers suggested it might stem from vegans not consuming enough calcium and protein, or from having a lower body mass index (BMI), which leaves the body more vulnerable to fractures. The study is the largest to date on the relationship between fractures and non-meat diets. The researchers examined data from the long-running

Epic-Oxford study, which issued health surveys to nearly 55,000 people in the U.K. between 1993 and 2001, and followed up with them in 2010. For the recent study, the researchers collected additional follow-up data in 2016 using National Health Service records. To study the relationship between diet and fracture risk, they sorted participants into four groups: meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. After allowing for variables like physically activity, sex, smoking, dietary supplements, and alcohol use, the study found that vegans had a 43% greater risk of any kind of fracture compared to meat eaters. The increased risk for vegetarians was 9%.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Kilkenny County Council Art’s Office’s

‘A Poetry Phone’ is back

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office’s a poetry phone is back with a wonderful new collection of poems selected by Deirdre Southey from the Arts Office EVERYONE is welcome to the poetry phone. Just dial 1800 272 994 to listen to one of ten wondrous poems written by Kilkenny poets; Nora Brennan, Kevin Dowling, Mary Malin, Michael Massey, Nuala Roche, Mike Watts, Noel Howley, Carmel Cummins, Angela Kehoe and Kathleen Phelan. The poems are beautifully recited by Kilkenny actors Susie Lamb, Ger Cody and Nuala Roche. The poems were selected for their ability to speak to the reader and to evoke memories of a certain time and place. These memories merging with your own, give a sense of solace and comfort while providing a moment to travel to afar places, unreachable in our present times. They reflect the beauty of the ordinary and the real understanding and connection between people and place, how it is experienced in the small things. The tasks and jobs that we do together, our daily companionships, gentle encouragements, the very everyday of human life and the beauty in these simple, quiet and ordinary things.

Angela Keogh : Biography

The Arts office join forces with The Kilkenny Observer newspaper to reproduce these poems over the coming weeks. This week we feature the poems of Kathleen Phelan, Kevin Dowling and Angela Keogh

Kathleen Phelan Biography

Kevin Dowling Biography

Angela Keogh is a Kilkenny born writer living in Co Carlow. Rowing is to some in Carlow what hurling is to many in Kilkenny. Angela rowed and competed with Carlow Rowing Club. Her poem Sculling With Grace, ‘0’ on the Poetry Phone, is set on the river Barrow in recent years and describes rowing in a single sculling boat alongside her crew mate, Grace, on an autumn morning. Absent from the scene, although remembered in ‘this aching river’, is another crew mate, Donna James, who died tragically at the age of 24 in 1999. My name is Kathleen Phelan. I’ve been happily married to Donny for 52yrs. My hobbies include writing poetry doing crafts and reading. I love animals, sadly three of my fur babies all dogs, went to doggie heaven within two years of each other, I miss them every day. I’m a member of the Nifty Fifty ladies club in Newpark Close Resource Centre. I miss meeting my friends since the pandemic, I miss our coffee mornings in McDonagh Junction. fingers crossed we’ll meet again soon.

HEIRLOOM Augustine gave us Our wedding sheets A tight weave Of crisp white linen Folded to creases razor sharp Weeks before we married We unwrapped them Carefully removed The ancient parchment Whose script had faded Seeped into the fibres We soaked them for days In lotus oil And marked them With the sign of the kama sutra Later we ironed them smooth Of religious dictates Watched a frozen landscape melting In the shadow of a saint. Kathleen Phelan

Stories in Splinters 1 & 2 (both performed on RTE Radio 1)

Angela’s novel The Winter Dress, inspired by events in Kilkenny in 1348, was selected for the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair 2020 and was published by The Harvest Press in 2020. Her second novel You Who Sleep Safely, long listed for the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair 2019, will be published later this year. Two of her radio plays were broadcast this year on KCLR.



The hay saved. A bachelor neighbour long legs stretched under the table the last scrap of bread gone looks at my mother his eyes hidden under a slanting cap. ‘Ah, she was only a blow-in’ he says catches my father’s half-smile checks himself. ‘I didn’t mean you Missus. Looks like rain from the west.’ My mother rising reaches for the teapot. ‘Sure only for us You’d have no weather at all.’

A river of shimmering autumn carries our small boats through morning,

From Freshford, Co Kilkenny, Kevin has been writing for a number of years, mainly poems & short stories. Poems published in Kilkenny Broadsheet, Stony Thursday Book, Kilkenny Anthology, Riposte, Mountain review, Poems from a Kilkenny Laneway.

Kevin Dowling

gliding in sunlight between banks of willow and weedy track. We reach the bend together. I rest my blades on amber water. She rows on, pushing downstream in her narrow racing blue Above, a swan’s wings creak like rusty gates. Light is falling through a heavy sky on Grace’s hair. Oars and wings catch time together, echoed in this aching river. Angela Keogh

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



How not to impair a speedy recovery from your workout EOIN EVERARD

TODAY, I’ll start that discussion with a focus on seven factors that can impair your workout recovery: STRESS Exercise is a potent stressor, and that’s why it works so well: by encountering and overcoming the stress of a heavy squat, or a  sprint uphill, or an  intense Pilates our fitness improves to make the next encounter a little easier. Unfortunately, dealing with any kind of stress diverts valuable manpower away from workout recovery. Recent research reports that “mental stress” impairs workout recovery, and it doesn’t speak in generalities. 31 undergrads were assessed for stress levels using a battery of psychological tests, then engaged in a heavy lower body strength workout. At an hour post workout, students in the high stress group had regained 38 percent of their leg strength, while students in the low stress group had regained 60 percent of their strength back. An earlier study showed that tissue healing – which our muscles must do in order to recover – is impaired during times of stress. Students received puncture wounds to their mouths, and half went on vacation and the other half had exams. On average, the exam group took three days longer for their wounds to heal. You aren’t healing puncture wounds (usually) after training, but the muscle recovery process is extremely similar and places similar demands on the body. MORE WORKOUTS Sometimes, people get the funny notion that the benefits of exercise accrue as you exercise – in real time. These people often assume that more is always better, and that a certain way to get lean and fit is to cram as much exercise into your schedule as humanly possible, because it’ll only make you fitter. These are the people you see spending hours at the gym every day on the same machines, using the same weights, looking and performing the same, year after year. Well, they’re wrong.  Fitness accrues  after  workouts and during recovery. You don’t get stronger, faster, and fitter working out. You get stronger, fitter, and faster recovering

from working out. And don’t be misled by those incredibly fit and strong folks who seem to train all day, every day. They’re not fit because they train that way. They train that way because they’re fit enough to do it. As a general rule, the harder the workout, the longer the recovery period required.

EXCESSIVE CALORIE RESTRICTION “Eat less, move more” is the popular, inevitable refrain from fitness “experts” giving weight loss advice. They claim that reducing your calorie intake and increasing your activity will always lead to simple, easy, inevitable fat loss. And yeah, that’s one way to lose body weight, but there’s one big problem with this equation: you need calories to recover from your workouts. Not a problem if you just want to lose body mass at any cost. Disastrous, though, if you want to improve performance, get stronger, and get fitter, because you need those calories to refuel your muscles and restock your energy reserves. Plus, inadequate calorie intake coupled with intense exercise sends a “starvation” signal to the body, causing a slowing down of hormones. Instead of growing lean mass and burning body fat, starvation (whether real or simulated) promotes muscle atrophy and body fat retention. Either alone can be somewhat effective, but combining the two will only impair recovery. Note though this isn’t a free pass for junk food! INADEQUATE PROTEIN Your muscles move you, which is why no matter what type of training you do – endurance, strength, Pilates etc.– your muscles need to recover. Some workouts require less muscle recovery, sure, but every form of physical movement uses skeletal muscle. Muscle needs protein to repair itself and recover from exercise, this is perhaps the most fundamental concept in exercise recovery. How much protein do you need to recover from a workout, exactly? As I said earlier, it depends on what kind of workout you’re trying to recover from. Strength training probably merits more protein than a walk for example. According to research in athletes, anywhere between1.8g protein to 3 g per kg of body mass.   LACK OF SLEEP Ive written a few articles on sleep as I think it is so important. The gist of it was

that sleep loss doesn’t always impair performance, but it does impair recovery from exercise. Sleep debt impairs exercise recovery primarily via two routes: by  increasing cortisol, reducing testosterone production, and lowering muscle protein synthesis; and by disrupting  slow wave sleep, the constructive stage of slumber where growth hormone secretion peaks, tissues heal and muscles rebuild. Additionally, sleep loss can increase the risk of injuries by  decreasing balance and postural control. If you trip and fall, or throw out your back due to poor technique, you won’t even have a workout to recover from. NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES Active people are “living more,” which puts greater demands on the body and increases the amount of “stuff” it must do to maintain health and basic function. Since every physiological function requires a micronutrient substrate – vitamin, mineral, hormone, neurotransmitter, etc. – and physiological functions increase with exercise and recovery, active people require more micronutrients in their diet. “More of everything” is a safe bet, but there are a couple key nutrients that working out especially depletes: Zinc and magnesium. INFREQUENT WORKOUTS You know this person: the weekend warrior. Every other weekend or so, he gets amped up and goes on a big bike ride, does a 10k, swims a few thousand meters, attempts to deadlift twice his body weight, tries to climb the local mountain, or performs some other impressive feat of human endurance/strength/ pain tolerance that he hasn’t done for months. He feels great doing it and feels incredibly accomplished, but by the time Monday rolls around he’s wracked with crippling DOMS that prevents him from performing simple physical tasks like shoe-lacing and back-scratching, let alone going to the gym for an actual followup workout. Since he can’t work out – or even lift his arms over his head – it’ll be another couple weeks until he exercises again. By then, any progress he made has already disappeared. He’s back at square one. Consistent workouts that gradually increase your intensity are what is required. Contact me on: eoineverard@gmail.com or visit everardpilates.com

Covid Update

How the coronavirus might have originated THERE are four possible scenarios, as to the origins of Covid-19, according to leading science at the World Health organisation (WHO). The first suggests that the virus started out in an animal —probably a bat — that came into contact with a human. The virus, then, immediately began to spread to other humans. The WHO report cites strong evidence showing that most coronaviruses that infect humans come from animals, including the virus that caused the SARS epidemic in 2003. Bats are thought to be the most likely culprits, as they host a virus that is genetically related to SARSCoV-2. The report acknowledges the possibility that the virus spread to humans from pangolins or minks. But David Robertson, head of viral genomics and bioinformatics at the University of Glasgow, says the WHO joint team sampled many animal species beyond bats for the report. The analyses points to bats as the reservoir species. The says that second scenario scientists believe the more likely theory is that the virus first traveled through another animal, such as a mink or a pangolin. Unlike bats, these animals have regular contact with humans — particularly if they’re being raised on a farm or trafficked in the illegal wildlife trade. If the virus jumped first to another animal, that might also explain how it adapted to be harmful

to humans— although David Robertson says that the virus likely wouldn’t have had to change much. Genomic analyses suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is a more ‘general’ virus rather than one specifically adapted to humans, explaining why it can easily jump among pangolins, mink, cats, and other species. The WHO report points out that this is the path that previous coronaviruses have taken to infect humans. The SARS virus, for example, is thought to have passed from bats to palm civets before causing a human epidemic in 2002. Meanwhile, the virus that causes MERS has been found in dromedary camels throughout the Middle East. The third theory suggests the virus may have come to humans through frozen and refrigerated foods. The virus might have actually originated outside of China but was imported

The virus probably started out with a bat...

either on the surface of food packaging or in the food itself. While such might have played a role in new outbreaks, scientists say there’s little reason to believe that it was the source of the pandemic. There’s no direct evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for foodborne outbreaks. The most controversial hypothesis for the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is also the one that most scientists agree is the least likely: that the virus somehow leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan where researchers study bat coronaviruses. Originally believed by Donald Trump and his administration, this theory suggests that perhaps a researcher was infected in the lab —accidentally or otherwise — or manipulated a coronavirus strain to create SARS-CoV-2. Although there have been laboratory leaks in the past, the WHO report points out that they’re rare. The main evidence it cites to support this theory is the fact that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology have sequenced the bat coronavirus strain as part of their effort to prevent zoonotic viruses from spilling over to humans. But that’s just about the only evidence that supports this hypothesis. The WHO report says there is no record that any Wuhan laboratory was working with a virus more closely related to SARS-CoV-2 before the first cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in December 2019.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021






The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


Supply in demand as local house prices jump again THE price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in Co. Kilkenny has increased by 1.2% to €211,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance. And supply will be the question for the next quarter. Across the county, the average

time taken to sell has remained at six weeks between December and March, the Q1 REA Average House Price Index shows. The price of the average threebed semi in Kilkenny rose 2.1% to €245,000 this quarter. “We are seeing that a shortage of supply drives the speed of sale,”

said Michael Boyd of REA Boyd’s, Kilkenny. “The healthy flow of buyers continues to be augmented by families leaving bigger cities and coming home from abroad because of Covid-19 related factors such as less commuting, quality of life, and working from home.”

Callan prices remained steady this quarter at €177,000. “Supply will be the question for the coming quarter,” said Robbie Grace of REA Grace, Callan. “There are plenty of buyers ready to bid and buy as soon as the market can open up again. Nationally, average house prices

Fish income hit by marine litter, warns MEP Clune IRELAND’S fishing industry is losing up to five percent of its annual revenue due to marine pollution, according to Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune. And she said Ireland must lead the way in protecting our seas from marine litter. Fisheries and aquaculture waste now accounts for 27% of marine litter, the MEP said and stressed the need for a collective approach to keeping our waters clean and safe. MEPs at the European Parliament have warned that marine litter, and especially micro and nano plastic, “poses a serious threat to a number of marine animal species”, as well as to fishermen and consumers, with the average consumer of Mediterranean shellfish ingesting around 11000 fragments of plastic every year.  The European Parliament is demanding an EU action plan to substantially reduce the use of plastics and to tackle the pollution of rivers, water courses and coastlines. They said that 80% of marine waste comes from the land. MEPs are also calling for more re-

rose by almost 2% over the past three months, despite the absence of physical viewing, in a marketplace which is seeing the lowest supply and the shortest time taken to sell in recent history. The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by almost €4,500

Making waves with push for climate change

search to be carried out on the impact of marine litter and micro and nano plastic on fishery resources. Only 1% of the plastic in the ocean is found floating on the surface, whilst most of it ends up in deep-sea. Ms Clune said: “Marine litter is having a very negative impact on our seas. Reducing the amount of marine little in our oceans and on our beaches is vital to protect marine life and also to ensure that fish, and as a result the food chain, are not further contaminated by items such as plastics. “Ireland must lead the way when it comes to tackling the issue of marine litter. Our oceans and seas around Ireland must be looked after and it is up to all of us to ensure we take care of them,” she told Kilkenny Observer. “It is not enough to simply clean up our waste, we must tackle this at source. We need to be aware of how our actions impact the environment. A circular economy approach focused on recycling and the reuse of materials and products is the best solution to the marine litter problem. “Everyone in Ireland has a part to play in keeping our oceans clean.”

Farmers are urged to avail of organic grant KILKENNY farmers considering an application to the Organic Farming Scheme have until the April 30 to do so, following the re-opening of the scheme earlier this month with an additional budget of €4 million for 2021. This additional funding was confirmed by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, when she confirmed the continuation of the scheme last month. A total of 1,460 farmers participated in the last scheme, and it is envisaged that approximately 500 more may be successful in their application this spring.

Philip O’Connor, Head of Farm Supports at Ifac said: “Applications for the scheme must be made online through the department’s online system at agfood.ie. I would encourage every farmer to inform themselves of the opportunities that the Organic Farming Scheme offers and give it full consideration.” Payments of up to €220 a hectare are available for farms undergoing conversion to full organic status, a process that takes two years, or €170 a hectare for farms that have obtained that status. Higher payment rates are available for organic horticulture and tillage farmers.

over the past three months to €243,603 – representing an annual increase of 3.6%. The average three bed semi is now reaching sale agreed after just five weeks on the market across the country – almost half the nine-week average this time last year.

Helping to make change: 3cea Chief Executive Paddy Phelan and, inset, Chairman John Carley

THE 3Counties Energy Agency (3cea) has welcomed the Government’s announcement to approve a revised Climate Action Bill which includes specific targets on reducing carbon emissions in the next 30 years. .  The Kilkenny-Carlow-Wexford agency sees the announcement as an opportunity to build on progress it has made in the region since it was established in 2002.  The one-stop-shop is committed to driving social and behavioural change in the South East

towards a low carbon economy. The non-profit agency drives sustainable energy projects offering commercial and business grants and support across homes, commercial properties, community, transport and agriculture and advice in Kilkenny. Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3cea, said it was the responsibility of each individual, business owner and community to come together to achieve Government’s ambitious targets and 3cea will be there to help. “In Kilkenny, we are in excel-

lent position to develop an all-inclusive decarbonising plan. There are some outstanding examples within local communities and industry, for example the Danone Plant has achieved zero carbon emission in its manufacturing. Likewise the Callan Community Energy Company illustrates how each home, local business and individual can help contribute towards a carbon neutral Ireland.”  The Callan Community Energy Company (CCE) is set to re-energise Callan, with an

ambitious plan for the town to transition to producing all of its own carbon-neutral energy by 2030. John Carley, Chairman, 3cea, said: “3cea looks forward to supporting the Government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions across the nation. In particular we will support people throughout Kilkenny and the local authorities to implement their plans within the region.” * To find our more visit https://3cea.ie

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021






The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


‘Balance’ in rules to help workers’ mental health welcomed THE professional body for human resource and learning & development has welcomed the launch of a Code of Practice on the Right to Disconnect, drawn up by the Workplace Relations Commission, for which it contributed a submission earlier this year. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the professional body for HR

and people development in Ireland. The group views the Right to Disconnect as a wellbeing activity to support the work-life balance of workers. The code effectively allows employees the right to turn off their computers and phones and other means of communication with their employers when the working hours are finished.

eScooter firm has hopes of bringing jobs to Kilkenny SMART Scooters, Ireland’s only fully owned Irish escooter sharing platform, has Kilkenny in its sight as a future location should it win the local council licence. Lee Roche, CEO of SMART Scooters, made the comment about Kilkenny as the company announced 20 new jobs and a six-figure investment in its operation, which has its HQ in Dublin. “Kilkenny is just one city that we believe SMART Scooters would operate well in. As an Irish company we know the city well and are confident customers would enjoy the experience we can offer which includes robust and reliable scooters, geofencing software and great customer service,” he said. SMART Scooters was set up in 2019 by brothers Lee and Dylan Roche and cousin Gerard Rowe after they identified a gap in the Irish market for a scooter sharing platform. Micromobility already had a global foothold but Ireland lagged behind. “Gerard spent a lot of time in European cities researching the sector, talking to consumers, partners and while Lee investigated the hardware and software options available. We

went all out – if you’re going to do it, we were determined to offer the best experience. We have privately raised a six-figure sum and invested it in the best scooters available and developed our own software. We are also talking to other potential investors who are keen to get involved in this sector,” said Mr Roche. SMART Scooters currently employs ei people and the 20 new positions — largely in tech, operations and customer care — are expected to come on board in the coming months. As all operators wait for the Government to pass escooter legislation — expected this summer — SMART Scooters is working with local councils and potential partners in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Kilkenny. Trials are ongoing and further jobs will come on stream on receipt of operating licences. SMART Scooters anticipates an additional 10 to 15 jobs could be created — in each city or town — which the company said was very encouraging. All SMART Scooters are either the Action Pro-2.0 or the latest 3.0 model which are the most robust scooters with at least a two year lifespan.

Amazing lace: bursary lifts veil on needlework A NEW bursary to support contemporary lacemakers that celebrates Ireland’s rich history of needlework has been launched. The RDS Branchardière Lace Bursary  2021  is part of an innovative collaboration funded by the RDS and managed by Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI). Valued at €8,000 in its first year to mark the DCCI’s 50th anniversary,  the purpose of the award is to provide funds to support contemporary Irish lacemakers. From 2022 the bursary will be worth €2,000 annually and will be awarded via the DCCI GANS (guilds, associations, networks, societies) network support scheme.  The bursary is named after Ele-

onore Riego de la Branchardière, whose 72 books on needlework revolutionised the world of lace and had a major influence on fashion in the Victorian era. Eleanore’s mother was Irish, her father was French and the influence of these two cultures helped her fit easily into Victorian society.  She became a needlework star, and her patterns were used by Irish women to create the in-demand fashion for English ladies.  Lacemaking proved a reliable source of income for many Irish families during the Great Famine and paid the cost of passage to the US for many single women. Today, the tradition of lacemaking remains very much alive throughout the country.

This applies particularly to the huge rise in the numbers working from home and/or remotely since the outbreak of Covid-19. In a CIPD Ireland 2021 survey, over a third of respondents reported that mental health was a contributing cause of absenteeism. Director of the group, Mary Connaughton, said she was

pleased to see that many of her group’s recommendations have been taken on board. “The Right to Disconnect has grown exponentially in relevance over the past year and we strongly welcome this new Code of Practice. We believe that it strikes a reasonable balance between the wellbeing of workers and the realities facing companies in the na-

tional and multinational spheres. “We had recommended any guidelines recognise the right of workers to switch off their digital devices after work without facing negative consequences for not responding to communications and we are happy to see this included in the Code,” she said. The CIPD Ireland submission also highlighted the importance

of respect, both for oneself in disconnecting from work and for the work life balance boundaries of others and this is also recognised in the code. CIPD Ireland professionals will be engaging with HR teams around the country to assist them in any negotiations around how this Code of Practice will apply to their workplace.

Read me a story: mother and child and the magic of books

Once upon a springtime ... THE public libraries’ annual Spring Into Storytime programme launched is bring the magic of Storytime to homes across the country. Launched at the beginning of the month, Spring Into Storytime is online again with Kilkenny County Council Library Service organising virtual events and activities, all based around reading and listening to stories, which families through-

out Kilkenny can enjoy at home. The programme provides an ideal opportunity for children to take time to enjoy a variety of stories through online storytimes by library staff and authors and experience reading as an activity which is fun, entertaining and allows families to share this happy time together. Reading with children and access to books has many important long-term benefits.

Children who develop an interest in stories and reading have been found to have greater selfesteem and well-being, greater creativity and imagination, better social and health outcomes, and an overall better quality of life as they get older. The Spring Into Storytime initiative is a creative way in which children’s literacy skills can be developed. With a host of events, from both Staff and Author story-

times, crafts, to Yoga Storytelling and cookery, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. To take part in Spring Into Storytime, visit our website at kilkennylibrary.ie or follow our social media channels @ kilkennylibrary.  You can also visit www.librariesireland. ie where online storytimes from library staff all over Ireland will be uploaded.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021






The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


With Cois Céim And The Saturday Walkers Group Kilkenny

Thomas Moore, after a painting by Thomas Lawrence Robert Emmet, and Thomas Moore became friends having first met in 1794, as Trinity undergraduates

Thomas Moore

Irish writer, poet and lyricist and his Kilkenny connection

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021




Jenkinstown House is situated on the perimeter of Jenkinstown Wood, a large woodland once forming part of the Bryan-Bellew estate

EDITED AND COMPILED BY: GERRY CODY THOMAS Moore was born at 12 Aungier Street in Dublin on 28th May 1779. His father came from Kerry, while his mother Anastasia Codd came from Wexford. He had two younger sisters. From an early age Moore showed an interest in music and other performing arts. Sometimes he appeared in musical plays and at one point had ambitions to become an actor. He attended many Dublin schools including Whytes English Grammar School in Grafton Street, where he learned the English accent, with which he spoke for the rest of his life. In an effort to fulfil his mother’s dream of him becoming a lawyer, he entered Trinity College and graduated in 1799. TURMOIL OF REVOLUTION. Moore was a good student but later put less effort into his studies. His time at Trinity came amidst the ongoing turmoil of the French Revolution and a number of his fellow students such as Robert Emmet were supporters of the United Irishmen movement, although Moore himself was never a member. He explained he was “tied to his mother’s apron strings” and could not get out of the house to attend meetings. Another influence on Moore was fellow student Edward Hudson who played a crucial role introducing Moore to Edward Bunting’s “A General Collection of Ancient Irish Music”, later one of the main sources of Moore’s collection of Irish Melodies. STUDIED LAW IN LONDON  He travelled to London to study Law in 1799 at Middle Temple, his mother, sending him off with some golden guineas and a scapular sewn inside his trousers. He had difficulties paying the fees and his tailor bills. He was helped in this by his friends in the Irish Community in London. However it was as a poet, translator, balladeer and singer that he found fame. His work soon became popular including “The Harp That Once through

Tara’s Halls”. Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms”, ”The Meeting of the Waters” and the poem Moore wrote in memory of Sarah Curran the sweetheart of his friend Robert Emmet, “She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps”. This was often called Moore’s Melodies, but Moore was more than a balladeer he had major success as a society figure in London, meeting the Prince Regent on several occasions. He also collaborated in staging operas to his Librettos. APPOINTED REGISTRAR  In 1803 he was appointed registrar to the Admiralty in Bermuda but  he found the work very uninspiring. There were several prize courts nearby, but very few captured ships were brought to Bermuda. He only stayed for three months, but was treated as the poet laureate. He travelled across the U.S.A. and Canada in a grand tour. Moore met the President Thomas Jefferson but the meeting had a touch of farce since the President mistook Moore an exceptionally small man for a child. Enjoying his time mostly  in Philadelphia where he already had an established reputation. He returned to Britain from Nova Scotia arriving home in 1804. CRITICISM OF SLAVERY A repeated theme in Moore’s writings was his criticism of the United States and slavery, which provoked outrage. In Britain a critical review of his

work led to Moore challenging the Editor, Jeffery to a duel. They met but the duel was interrupted by the arrival of the authorities and they were both arrested. Reports that Moore’s opponent had been given an empty pistol continued to dog Moore and led to mockery of him. Lord Byron referred to Moore’s” leadless pistol”. Moore angered by this wrote to Byron hinting that unless the remarks were clarified he was prepared to fight. Byron never received the letter and when the two eventually met the dispute was settled and they became very close friends. KILKENNY CONNECTION Between 1808 and 1810 Moore appeared each year with the Kilkenny Players in a series of performances in Kilkenny staged by the elite and professional actors in Richard Power’s Theatre.  During his time in Kilkenny he stayed with the Bryan family in Jenkinstown where he was inspired to write “Tis the last Rose of Summer”.It is said that Beethoven composed the music for this piece. MARRIAGE TO BESSY DYKE  Moore married an actress Elizabeth Bessy Dyke in 1811 whom he had met with the Kilkenny Players where she was working with her two sisters.  Moore did not tell his parents for some time of his marriage, possibly because she was an English Protestant, but more probably because his marriage

to a woman without a dowry would not help his financial prospects. Moore had expensive tastes and despite the large sums he was earning, soon got into debt. A situation not helped by the charge of embezzlement of £6000 by John Goodrich whom he had employed to deputise for him in Bermuda. Moore was liable for the sum of money and lost an Admiralty ruling against this. Exposed to this debt Moore left Britain in 1819 for France and the Continent returning to Britain in 1822. The debt was finally paid off partly with the help of his latest patron Lord Lansdowne and an advance from his publisher. During his travels across Europe he stayed with Byron in Venice. Byron gave Moore his memoirs with instruction to publish them after his death. Moore was criticised later for allowing himself to destroy the memoirs at the behest of Byron’s family.  FOR BETTER OR WORSE His marriage was judged to be happy although Bess shrank from fashionable society to such an extent that many of her husband’s friends never met her, some jokingly doubted her existence. He finally settled in Sloperton Cottage, Bromham, Wiltshire and became a novelist as well as a successful poet. He was invited to stand for Parliament, considered it, but nothing came of it. In 1830 he sang in front of Queen Victoria in a duet with her mother. Moore was a strong advocate for Catholic Emancipation but he experienced a difficult relationship with Daniel O’Connell, whom Moore regarded as a demagogue, believing “O’Connell and his ragamuffins have brought tarnish upon Irish patriotism”.

One of the many beautiful walkways at Jenkinstown

TRAGEDY UPON TRAGEDY He received a state pension but his personal life was marked by tragedy including the deaths of all his five children within his lifetime, and a stroke in later life, which disabled him from performances, the activity for which An entrance to Jenkinstown wood

he was most renowned. Moore died being cared for by his wife on 26th February 1852, and was laid to rest in a vault in St Nichols churchyard within view of his cottage home beside his daughter Anastasia.

The Kilkenny Theatre on the Parade, where between 1808 and 1810 Moore appeared each year with the Kilkenny Players in a series of performances in Kilkenny staged by the elite and professional actors in Richard Power’s Theatre

COMMEMORATED Moore is often considered Ireland’s national bard and is to Ireland what Robbie Burns is to Scotland. He is commemorated, by a plaque on the house where he was born, by busts at “The Meeting of the Waters” in Avoca, and Central Park, New York and a bronze statue near Trinity College. There is a road in Walkinstown, Dublin named Thomas Moore Road, in a

series of roads named after famous composers, locally referred to as the Musical Roads. Moore’s poem, The Last Rose of Summer, was composed in 1805 while he was visiting Jenkinstown Park in County Kilkenny.  It was later set to a traditional tune called “Aislean an Oigfear” or “The Young Man’s Dream”, which had been transcribed by Edward Bunting in 1792 based on a performance by harper Donnchadh Ó hÁmsaigh (Denis Hempson) at the Belfast Harp Festival.  The poem and the tune together were published in December 1813 in volume 5 of a collection of Moore’s work called A Section of Irish Melodies.




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021






The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

Community & GAA Notes

Kilkenny GAA clubs and Community news Clara GAA GAA REGISTRATION Hi All, It’s that time of year again when we collect membership. This year we are using the GAAs new system “Foireann”, also known as “Return to play”. You will all have used it in 2020 to complete the health questionnaire before training & games.  This should not be confused with the “GAA App” which we used for 2019/20 registration.    Notes -; Use bigger screen than phone if possible. When paying for Family, you must enter each members details.  This year again membership fees are a vital lifeline for the running of our Club, with Lotto still suspended & little prospect of fundraisers etc... Please ensure all players are registered quickly in anticipation of returning to train/play soon.

KILMANAGH PATRICK DALTON Sympathy is expressed to the Dalton family, Goldenfield, Ballycallan on death of Patrick Dalton, Killaree, Threecastles. His requiem mass was celebrated in Tulla Church and burial took place in the adjoining cemetery. MARGARET (PEGGY) DISNEY Sympathy is expressed to Ray Disney, Ballykeeffe on the death of his mother, Margaret, Malahide, Dublin. Her requiem mass was celebrated in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Yellow Walls, Malahide and interment was in Dardistown cemetery.  She is survived by her husband Jimmy, daughters Noeleen, Pauline and Hillary, sons Ray and Jimmy, grandchildren and relatives. KIERAN PURCELL The death has occurred of Kieran Purcell, Jenkinstown and formerly of Ballyfrunk, Ballycallan. Sympathy is expressed to his wife Essie, his children Jimmy, Mary, April and Ciara, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, relatives and many friends.  MASS ON THE INTERNET Some parishioners found it helpful to watch the Easter ceremonies from the parish via the internet.  This took a lot of planning and movement of equipment and people, but the effort was worth it. However, due to the time involved, and the lack of internet connection in our churches, it’s not practical or possible to continue this service. We have recently installed broadband (via the parish house) in Kilmanagh church, and we hope to have a live stream from there soon, but until that happens, we won’t be broadcasting the Mass on our webpage.  Apologies in advance for the inconvenience. EASTER WATER Blessed Easter water has been left in the church if you wish to avail of some.  Please use the hand sanitiser provided and bring your own bottle if possible.  Some sealed bottles of water are available in the church. COMING OUT OF LOCKDOWN With infection numbers so high, it’s hard to see any wisdom in easing restrictions at the moment. It’s great that the schools will soon be fully back, but there is no mention of Masses returning, at least not until May.  Until that happens, we continue to offer Mass privately.  Numbers at funerals (max 10 mourners) remains the same and baptisms are suspended until we are back to public worship.

WEDDINGS Currently weddings are permitted but with only 6 people allowed attend. This will increase once we begin re-opening, but don’t expect numbers to rise very far beyond the 50 per church once we do re-open.  Realistically, unless the vaccine rollout increases dramatically, numbers will be limited at any event until at least the Autumn. PLANNING A WEDDING Please check the availability of both the church and priest on the date you desire before you make plans.  At least 3 months’ notice is required to church and state, and paperwork needs to be filled out.  CEMETERY MASS This would normally take place in May but will again be cancelled for this year on account of the virus.  VACANCIES – C.E. SCHEME Below is a list of current C.E. Scheme vacancies. The criteria to apply for these vacancies is that you need to be in receipt of a qualifying payment for 52 weeks like Job Seekers, Illness Benefit etc. It’s a one year placement but if someone is in the process of gaining a major  QQI award they can get up to three years on the scheme. The  community groups really need the support of C.E. participants  to operate their day to day services and  the person is supported while on the scheme to train and develop to learn new skills and break the cycle of long term unemployment. L’Arche Callan – 1 Kitchen Assistant, 1 Care Assistant/Gardener and 1 Care Assistant/Craft. Mount Carmel Support Home - 2 Care Assistants. Br Rice Estate - 2 Gardener/ Maintenance Ballycallan Community Centre - 1 Caretaker/Maintenance Meitheal CE Office – 1 Admin/Accounts Droichead FRC - 1 Caretaker Graigue Ballycallan GAA Club - 1 Groundsman To apply for any of the above vacancies please contact your local Intreo Office. RING A LINK Ring a Link is a community not for profit company that provides rural transport. Ring a Link provides a service every Tuesday from 9.00 am covering areas such as Callan (surrounding area), Ballingarry, Kilmanagh, Ballycallan, Tullaroan with the last stop in Dunnes Stores Kilkenny and return approximately at 1pm. All free travel passes are welcome, and, for non-free travel pass holders, fares are €6 return for adults,  €4 return for under 16s and under 5’s travel free. For many of our services, pre-registering & pre-booking is required and if the customer is not already registered, they can log on to our website to register: https://www. ringalink.ie/register/. If you need more information on the service, you can log on to https://www.ringalink.ie/busservices/bus-timetable/470/. CHURCHES OPEN Our churches are  open for private prayer. Do drop in from time to time and spend a few quiet minutes with the Lord. The door handles and candelabras are sanitised each day. PARISH NEWS Anyone wishing to submit news items, events, announcements etc. can do so by email only to elanigan18@gmail. com. If you have any photos that you would like included, please send as an attachment.

O’LOUGHLIN GAELS JOIN O’LOUGHLIN GAELS ... We are looking for new players. ..starting at u6, boys from all around St. John’s Parish will be welcomed to O’Loughlin Gaels GAA. Fulfill that dream of running on to Nowlan Park with your club, wear the white and green colours and play for your family, neighbours and friends as an O’Loughlin Gaels player. Develop your skill to be the best and maybe represent the club at county level. Make great friends along the way and enjoy the journey. Develop life skills ..you win some, you lose some. You build bonds for life. You overcome the disappointments and relish the successes even more, together as friends, as a club. Learn to be disciplined, respectful and resilient. Be a hurler. Love our Gaelic games. Be O’Loughlin Gaels for life. Join now... Full details and where to join at link below. Log on now and Join/ renew without delay. Our u6s, u7s, ..all the way up to adult are looking forward to getting back to St. John’s Park, and St. John’s Park is looking forward to welcoming you. Join here: http://www.oloughlingaels.com/ membership.html Membership Rates Non – Player- Adult & Family membership •   €40 single •   €50 couple •   €80 family (2 adults + Juvenile hurler(s) in the Club) Adult Player membership •   €30 student •   €60 player •   €70 player + partner Juvenile membership •   €30 ( u6’s -18’sw COMPETITION TIME  With government allowing juveniles return to play in small pods from April 26th we need to get our ducks in a row for a safe return. This includes player registration. This must be completed by all players before being allowed back to train. Please register without delay at the link www.oloughlingaels.com/ membership.  Players who register before April 12th and email a screenshot of their registration along with their name and the 12answers from the picture quiz (GAA terms) on our social media will be in with a chance to win one of three prizes of a hurl and ball. ..email answers to oloughlingaelsgaa@gmail.com CAMOGIE CLUB REGISTRATION REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN: Calling all camogie members new and old!!  Please see the information below showing the registration process for 2021: Do not register with Clubforce which is for GAA only. The Camogie Association have selected Foireann as the database for all camogie registration. Those who register with Clubforce cannot be refunded as this is for boys GAA only. Ensure you select O’ Loughlin Gaels Camogie Club within the Foireann database, as we are unable to refund mistakes on this system. If you have registered to play camogie last year, you will already have registered and logged into Foireann when you completed your returntoplay form. Login in the same way to register this year. New members: Register at 

https://returntoplay.gaa.ie/ Log in and select O’ Loughlin Gaels Camogie Club Click on family. Add family members if more than one person in your family is going to register. Click on membership Register each girl and adult individually, choosing appropriate membership category for each member. Registration rates: U6 to U18:  €40 Family: €100 Adult student player : €50 Adult player: €60 Adult coach, mentor, committee: €25



DEATH The death took place recently of Mrs. Mary O Neill late of Barna Freshford. The deceased who was in her early 90s was predeceased by her husband Mick. Funeral mass took place in St.Lachtains Church Freshford followed by burial in St.Lachtains Cemetery. She is mourned by her sons Donal and Tom, Daughter Brid, son in law, grandchildren great grandchildren and extended family to whom deepest sympathy is extended. FUNDS CLLR Michael McCarthy was delighted recently to welcome the awarding of €100,000 for Freshford under the Active Travel 2021 scheme.. This allocation will provide for pedestrian improvements and bus access and Clllr McCarthy thanked the Area Engineer and Kilkenny County Council for their assistance. BABY BOY Congratulations to Mark Kavanagh of Barna Freshford and his partner Elaine on the birth recently of their baby son Tommie. NO EASTER CERMONY Freshford Fianna Fail group have not held their annual Easter commemoration for the second year in a row due to the current pandemic. The flag flew at half mast on the Green in honour of those who lost their lives in the 1916 and also in remembrance of all who died during the pandemic. SQUASH CHAMPS Congratulations and well done to local squash star Pat Morrissey of Ard Lachtain Freshford. Pat was part of the Irish team who took part in the very first Online Squash nationals. Teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England took part with Ireland coming out winners. They did exercises with Derek Ryan on Zoom weights and ghosting with Squash rackets. 61 Men and women in total from the nations took part in total. It was neck and neck going into the final stages but the last bonus point opportunity pushed Ireland over the finish line first. Congratulations to all involved on a fantastic win. A huge thanks to all Masters Players from Scottish squash Squash Wales, Shoncen Cyymry Irish squash who took part. It was a tough weekend but their stamina and dedication made for a fantastic event. ONLINE BINGO St.Lachtains GAA club have teamed up with Kilkenny Bingo to bring you Sunday Bingo each Sunday evenings at 8pm. You can buy you book and sheets from Clubforce app. Games can be played through Zoom. Zoom starts at 7.30pm with games starting at 8pm sharp and they hope to see you all there. Both Clubforce and Zoom apps will be needed in order to play. Fantastic prizes and great fun

guaranteed. All details will be available on the St.Lachtains GAA page and Kilkenny Bingo page on Facebook. Online Sunday games between now and then will not be in direct link with St. Lachtains GAA Club. For more info please contact Club Secretary Sheila Killeen or Brian Kavanagh. FITNESS CLASSES Looking for a fitness session “as Gaeilge. Fantastic new online fitness class this coming Wednesday & Thursday via zoom. The Wednesday classes will be held for children while Thursday classes will be focusing on adults. Class will be given as Gaeilge via zoom with link available in St Lachtains Gaa Facebook page . Why not join in & ask a friend to join in. Great way to keep active from the comfort of your own home while also brushing up on your Irish. Suitable for all levels of fitness. GRANT FOR FRESHFORD DIGITAL HUB Freshford.ie is delighted to announce the success that the Kilkenny Leader Partnership has approved a grant of €25,000 to the organisation to carry out an A & D Study for the provision of a rural digital hub in Freshford. On top of Freshford.ie’s recent acquisition of the €175,500 Town & Village Renewal Grant and another €20,000 Grant secured by the Loop Walk Team, this grant is another major boost in securing Freshford’s long term future. It is envisioned that the new digital hub will provide a range of business and community support services, offering physical spaces with fast, reliable internet access, teleconferencing, virtual business addresses, “hot desks”, serviced office and a range of other services relevant to businesses, community and schools in Freshford and the wider rural area.  The precise level of services available will be determined by the study.  This project will also fulfil the aims and objectives for broadband and digitisation outlined in the Freshford Action Plan that freshford.ie published in 2019.  We are also very pleased with the level of positive cross-community support we have received for this project. Following some basic research carried out during the application phase on other hubs,  we have concluded that a hub model similar to Bloom HQ in Mountrath may best suit Freshford.  This of course will be developed fully in the course of the study.  Location..Location..Location Any Digital Hub would need to be centrally located and the Freshford hub would be no exception.  A former fast food outlet at Buncrussia Street - once owned by the late Gerry O’Reilly and now owned by Tom and Kathleen McGrath- has become the venue of choice for the development.  Centrally located in the heart of the village, it is a fine spacious building that meets all fire and Health & safety regulations.  Tom and Kathleen McGrath will play an active role with the Freshford.ie team on the project.  They are also delighted that the building would be used for the betterment of the community of Freshford, a community that Gerry O Reilly was dedicated to throughout all his life. The Benefits: Based on research we carried out on similar hubs in rural communities , a hub plays a key role in the viability and sustainability of the rural economy and can vastly improve the commercial, cultural and community life of the area  1. Broadband connectivity Infrastructure: The improvement in the broadband connectivity infrastructure is an inevitable result of the provision of the hub as it provides a sound commercial basis for the provision of such services in Freshford thus enabling Freshford to rebrand itself (see below). 

2. Rebranding: This development will enable Freshford to rebrand itself enabling decision makers to recognise that rural areas and not just urban ones, can also be the centre of entrepreneurship, economic and digital activity. This is a very important factor in the growth and development of Freshford going forward. 3. Business development: The hub offers real potential to attract new businesses to the area, develop and grow existing ones and create new employment opportunities. 4. Village Identity: Improving the image and identity of Freshford will make Freshford an attractive option for families to live and work here. Freshford is already a very attractive village and this project would be the ideal stimulus it needs for future growth and prosperity.  5. Digital Literacy: The project will contribute significantly towards improvements in the digital skills and the capacity of existing local Businesses.  It will strengthen the community, encourage partnerships and improve the digital literacy of children locally. JOBS The hub would create a number of full-time, part-time and ancillary services including a Centre Manager, Secretarial and Sales & Marketing posts with Technical Maintenance and Cleaning posts for the effective and efficient running of the facility. New Opportunities: The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a shift in work practices worldwide.  In May 2020, a survey the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway in cooperation with the Western Development commission has shown that 83% of workers want to continue to work remotely after Covid-19 has passed.  With many businesses sharing similar views and benefitting from cost savings (i.e. rents, travel etc), the growth in teleworking may be set to expand.  Many people living in our community commute to work.  With the growth in teleworking this may not be necessary in all cases and can only help to improve our environment and the impact that travel has on Climate Change in some small way. We believe that the project would contribute to a better quality of life for businesses and for the community as a whole. Meet the New Digital Hub A & D Teams Work has already started on the study with the formation of a number of teams to address key aspects of the plan: 1. Business Planning & Development Team:  This team, led by Nicola (Nicki) Scott (Clontubrid), will deal with the preparation of the 5 year Business and Marketing Plans and other essential aspects of the project.  Nicki is a member of the Acorn Club Committee and both she and her team have a strong background in business. 2. Design & Technical Team:  This team headed by Barry Lynch (EDPM Ltd) is responsible for the design of the new hub and all areas related to it.  Barry’s team will also focus specifically on addressing environmental factors from within the physical building itself and in its day-to-day operations. NEW ERA Freshford is entering a new and exciting era in its history.  Freshford. ie is not standing still! The famous Hollywood actress Lauren Bacall once said: “Standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards in a rapidly changing world”. We can never be accused of that! Mega thanks to all the hardworking volunteers who are driving these initiative

We welcome all GAA Club and Community notes for publication in The Kilkenny Observer email to sales@kilkennyobserver.ie

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


News Catherine and Jim Corcoran and their dog Betsy.

Claire, Lee and Darragh O’Sullivan

Brendan Norris and Brid Murray

Harry Lahart celebrating his 5th bithday with his brother Jack and cousin Tommy Bolger

t u o Ab Out &


Eugene Tyrell and his dog Molly

Dannryt Laha

Colm Wilkinson Dominic and Yaelle visiting Kilkenny

Jade, Damien and Ciara Gleeson

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



News Darren and Ben Earle

Garda Karen Muloney and John Byrne

Keith, Rebecca, Carley and Abbey Murphy

Enda Kennealy, Brian Cody, Matt Kenny, Mark Purcell.

Michael, Conor, Charlotte, Emily, Juliette, Deirdre, Sinead and Alice enjoying Easter Sunday in the park.

Norma Bergin and her dog Bobby

Paul O’Neill, Martin Cornally and Paul Brophy

Spuddy Murphy

Colm Wilkinson

Murty Bambrick, Tommy Wall, Pat Wall, Kathleen Wall and Pat Cody


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Malta is looking good for June ... only if you’ve had your jabs By Fionn Davenport ittn.ie THE Island of Malta will start welcoming vaccinated tourists to the island from June 1, it was announced by the Malta Tourism Authority. Restriction-free entry will be granted to fully vaccinated visitors, but only on presentation of proof that they have been vaccinated at least 10 days before arriving into the country.  Passengers will need to show their vaccination card when boarding to be accepted to travel. Non-vaccinated tourists from ‘amber’ countries – which currently includes Ireland – will need to submit a negative PCR COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours before travelling. Malta is currently second to the UK in terms of European countries vaccinating the greatest proportion of its population, with 40% of the adult population having received its first dose, making the destination a safe choice for future travel. Tolene Van Der Merwe, Director UK & Ireland of Malta Tourism Authority said: “We are delighted to announce that from the 1st June anyone that is fully vaccinated from the UK for more than 10 days can travel to Malta with no restrictions.  Visitors from what is classified as an ‘amber’ country – which currently includes Ireland – that are not vaccinated can travel to Malta as usual with a negative PCR test.  It has been a long road to get to this point and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Malta so that they can experience all that the islands have to offer.” Clayton Bartolo, Malta’s Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection said: “The health and safety of Maltese citizens and tourists will always be our top priority, and with the continued rollout of the vaccine here in

The Amber’ countries, which includes Ireland, will need to submit a negative test... Malta, this focused reopening plan is designed to slowly and safely reopen tourism.” Ahead of the resmption of tourism, Malta Tourism Authority will be launching its new campaign, ‘Feel Free Again.’ The campaign aims to inspire

travellers to harness their re-established freedom to plan, book and travel to Malta when the time is right, to once again experience all that the islands have to offer and the feeling of freedom it brings. Meanwhile, the International

Air Transport Association has confirmed that its digital Travel Pass will be available on Apple devices from mid-April, with an Android version to follow. The digital health app will allow users to securely verify their test and vaccination status and

Singapore also opens up to Travel Pass

is widely considered to be a key step in the efficient resumption of international travel. The Travel Pass, which will allow passengers to upload vaccination certificates or negative test results for easy verification by airline and immigration officials, is currently being trialed by a number of airlines, including Singapore Airlines and the gulf carriers. Virgin Atlantic will trial the app on its London to Barbados service from April 16, and the Bajan authorities have confirmed that they will accept the pass at the border, making it one of the first countries to accept a digital pass instead of paper documentation. A huge amount of airlines have requested to be on board, according to Reuters. The team that developed the app is led by Dubliner Andrew Murray Hayden.

SINGAPORE will also allow passengers traveling to the island state to share pre-departure Covid-19 test results with airlines and immigration staff upon arrival Ising the IATA Travel Pass using from May as the south east Asian nation takes steps to reopen its borders. “As we work to safely rebuild the Changi air hub, we will continue to explore other solutions that can provide similarly secure and verifiable means of sharing health certificates for safe international travel,” Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Director-General Kevin Shum said, referring to the country’s Changi airport. With coronavirus cases in the city-state under control, the focus has swung to vaccinations and reopening borders. With Singapore having no domestic market to speak of, international travel is vital to the economy and Singapore Airlines’ financial prospects. The nation is also exploring mutual recognition of vaccination certificates with several countries and regions, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said in Parliament. These initiatives could be physical or digital and will need to be temper-proof and verifiable, he said. “Singapore will continue to holistically evaluate the Covid-19 situation in various countries and regions and explore the possibility restoring air travel when it is safe to do so,” Minister Ong said. “And we have been proactively doing so given the importance of our global connections.”

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Lockdown streaming

5 worth a watch on Amazon 1. INFORMER

A GRIPPING British series about an informer and the dangerous territory involved in coercing someone to take on the dangerous job. Paddy Considine stars as DS Gabe Waters, a counterterrorism officer tasked with infiltrating a far-right movement in West Yorkshire. Partnered with the wonderful Bel Powley (The Morning Show, The King of Staten Island) as the young and inquisitive DC Holly Morten, he attempts to bring British Pakistani Raza (Nabhaan Rizwan) on board to uncover information about a possible terrorist attack. Will keep you on your toes.


This 2018 TV version isn’t quite a masterpiece like the 1975 film adaptation of the classic Australian novel. But it’s just as mysterious, unfurling a dreamy, eerie veil over a disappearance in the isolated Australian bush. When three students and their governess go missing after a picnic at the rock, hysteria sets into the community and the esteemed Appleyard College, led by Natalie Dormer’s formidable headmistress. Will keep you hanging on until the end.


Amazon’s first original young adult offering is an intriguing combination of Lost and the Breakfast Club — and it works. The characters who find themselves stranded on a deserted island are all teenage girls. To them, that makes life even more excruciating. Each has a very different background — from spoiled rich girl to Native American — but they have to put aside their differences to survive, learning a thing or two about themselves on the way. Dark and foreboding.


SMALL town where strange things happen, and a lot more underneath the surface. Drawing from a narrative art book by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, the series is stunning to look at, meticulous as can be with symmetrical frames. The interconnected townspeople are similarly nuanced, their stories exploring loneliness, ageing, the impact of technology and more through sci-fi ideas.


The premise of Hanna, a Joe Wright action thriller from 2011, is so good Amazon fleshed it out for a TV series. Starring Esme Creed-Miles as the skilled young assassin living in the Romanian wilderness, Hanna the TV show expands the teen’s backstory and explains why the CIA’s Marissa Wiegler has an obsession with capturing her.

Bridgerton Season 2 will see more romance and intrigue BRIDGERTON has cast new actress Charithra Chandran in a recurring role for Season 2. Based on Julia Quinn’s romance novels, Netflix and Shondaland’s hit period drama is set to follow a new pursuit in its new season which has begun shooting in the England. The spotlight will shift to Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, as he seeks out a suitable marriage. In February, Simone Ashley (Sex Education) was confirmed as Kate Sharma, Anthony’s love interest. Chandran (pictured) will

play Kate’s younger sister, Edwina, who the Viscount is first drawn to. The British Indian performer only has one television credit to her name, appearing in the upcoming second season of IMDb TV’s original series, Alex Rider. Kate and Edwina have been reimagined for the regal Netflix show. While their last name is Sheffield in Quinn’s book series, Netflix and Shondaland changed the surname to Sharma, making the family of Indian descent. Audiences are head over heels

for Bridgerton’s multi-cultural take on London’s high society in the 1800s. Season 2 storylines are inspired by Quinn’s second novel in the series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. It will be interesting to see how smoothly the story transitions to Anthony, after season 1’s success was built on Daphne and Simon. The top Netflix show has a lot to live up to with its inaugural season reaching 82 million households on an international level within the first month. By the end of Season 1, a lot had gone down in

the lives of the Bridgerton family. Daphne and Simon finally learned how to communicate effectively and started a family. Benedict dipped his toe into a more bohemian world. Anthony sore off love, Eloise was thwarted by Lady Whistledown (secretly her best friend Penelope Featherington), and Colin left for a world tour after an unfortunate falling out with Marina Thompson. Ms. Thompson herself agreed to marry Phillip Crane, the brother of her former lover George, for the good of her and her unborn child.

Who’s what in the race for an Oscar THE 2021 Oscars award ceremony will take place on Sunday April 25 and will be shown on the Monday on RTE2. The main nominations at this year’s Oscars include: BEST PICTURE • The Father • Judas and the Black Messiah • Mank • Minari • Nomadland • Promising Young Woman • Sound of Metal • The Trial of the Chicago 7 BEST DIRECTING • Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round • David Fincher, Mank • Lee Isaac Chung, Minari • Chloe Zhao, Nomadland • Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE • Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom • Andra Day, United States vs.

Billie Holiday • Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman • Frances McDormand, Nomadland • Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

• Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah • Leslie dOom, Jr., One Night in Miami • Paul Raci, Sound of Metal • LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE • Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal • Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom • Anthony Hopkins, The Father • Gary Oldman, Mank • Steven Yeun, Minari

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY • Judas and the Black Messiah • Minari • Promising Young Woman • Sound of Metal • The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE • Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm • Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy • Olivia Colman, The Father • Amanda Seyfried, Mank • Youn Yuh-jung, Minari BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE • Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm • The Father • Nomadland • One Night in Miami • The White Tiger BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY • Judas and the Black Messiah • Mank • News of the World • Nomadland • The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST FILM EDITING • The Father • Nomadland • Promising Young Woman • Sound of Metal • The Trial of the Chicago 7 BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM • Onward • Over the Moon • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon • Soul • Wolfwalkers • Best Animated Short Film • Burrow • Genius Loci • If Anything Happens I Love You • Opera • Yes-People BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM • Another Round • Better Days • Collective • The Man Who Sold His Skin • Quo Vadis, Aida?



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021


Polska Szkoła im. św. Jana Pawła II w Kilkenny

WHEN moving to a new country we always look to see who else from our country is living here or is there a club, group or in the case of the Irish ‘the Pub’. There is an Irish pub now in every corner of the world. The Polish diaspora are the same. They love their culture, and they are immensely proud of their language. They wish for their children to have the option of learning their native tongue. This pride brought about the opening of Polska Szkoła im. św. Jana Pawła II w Kilkenny The Kilkenny Polish school was founded in January year 2015. Thanks to principal Sean

O’ Hagain’s understanding of the importance of the upkeeping of the native tongue, they rented 10 classrooms in the Gaelscoil Osrai, Outrath for 5 years. From September 2020, due to the Covid 19 restrictions Jola Gornicka and her team had to move to the Nore side Resource Centre, Dean Street. Thanks to  Ivonne Moriarty, the school is still operational, though intermittently due to pandemics. Many Polish families returned to Poland, during the pandemic but the school is still thriving with over 70 students The objective of the school is the teaching of the Polish lan-

guage ,history ,culture and geography of Poland and making children aware of their sense of belonging and feel proud of being polish and most importantly to respect their native culture. The teaching process covers all educational steps from preschool to secondary senior Classes. The School organizes classes to prepare students to sit the leaving certificate exam in Polish as a foreign language in schools in accordance with the Irish education system.  Classes take place twice weekly on Thursday and Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm. 

Polska Szkoła im. św. Jana Pawła II w Kilkenny currently employs 6 qualified teachers. Arts and drams play a big part of the curriculum and often invite and host polish drama clubs and theatres for children, organising various competitions, craft sales while hosting their own plays. The parents are a particularly important to the functioning of the school. Classes and meetings for parents are held regularly to help them educate and raise their children by keeping the polish language alive in families. The School works closely with the Polish Embassy Dublin and the newly opened Polish

consulate in Kilkenny Ireland to remind families of the importance of bilingualism by keeping both the English and Polish language at a particularly good standard. The school promotes integration with local communities and educate the students about keeping the environment green. .Each year the school come out in force with colour and sons to participate in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade and a major driving force behind the Polska Eire festival each year. Working closely with the Twilight Community Group the school were able to get positively involved with the Marlbork del-

egations and the Balbiny Drame group as part of the Twinning agreement develop by Twilight which both Cities sign May2nd 2017. The Twilight Community Group with generously gathered resources for the transport of over 300 books to the school library ,something which would have been extremely hard financially for this Polish run school. They are the only school ,out of the 13 Polish schools in Ireland in the Polish Educational Society in Ireland - organisation, who organise conferences, meetings, and workshops for Polish teachers. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed as thanks to their work and advocacy it has been officially decided that the polish language will come into schools as a foreign language as part of the Irish education system. Polska Szkoła im. św. Jana Pawła II w Kilkenny want to fully cooperate and integrate with the Irish community through the encouragement of bilingual upbringing in children , which enables them to become more creative , open individuals who can deal with the harsh realities of today’s world.

The Twilight Community Group would like to thank Seamus, Karolin, Aaron & Steven for allowing us to tell you their story.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021







The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021







The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Memoriams / Miracle Prayers

The Miracle Prayer

JOHNJOE FITZPATRICK 6TH ANNIVERSARY In loving memory of Johnjoe, late of Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny whose 6th anniversary occurs at this time.

The Miracle Prayer

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. AON

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.M

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.M

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

Of all the money that e’re I had, I spent it in good company For all I’ve done for want of wit, to memory now I can’t recall So fill to me the parting glass, goodnight and joy be with you all. Of all the comrades that e’re I’ve had, they are sorry for my going away And of all the love that e’re I’ve had, she would wish me one more day to stay But since it falls unto my lot, that I should rise and you should not I’ll gently rise and softly call, goodnight and joy be with you all. Remembered always by your partner Kathleen and nephew Pa. XXX

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.B

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.B

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. S.M



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

Motors Classifieds

Classified section

To advertise your business in our classified section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts @kilkennyobserver.ie

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Classifieds Motors



Call Siobhan on 056 7771463 or 086 2395370 for all your classified advertisements. DESIGN OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTS ARE FREE OF CHARGE




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021



Memoriams/Miracle prayers

News Planning notices

Planning notices KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCILWe, Elyzabeth O’Halloran and David Vaughan, intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for Planning Permission to develop a two-storey sustainable dwelling, domestic garage, septic tank system and percolation area, roadside entrance and all associated site works at Scotsborough, Callan, Co. Kilkenny Signed: Robert M. Cummins - Cummins + Voortman Ltd (Architects www.cvltd. ie) 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 Authority during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to the Planning Authority on payment of the prescribed fee 20 euros, within the period of five weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the 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. KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL We, Maria and Alan O Rourke, hereby apply to the above Planning Authority for Full Planning Permission to carry out the following works – To demolish existing single storey rear/side extensions, existing outhouses and two existing chimney stacks, to erect a new single storey flat roofed extension to the side and rear of the existing house, to erect a new garden storage shed and a covered barbeque storage area to the rear of the property, for minor alterations to the existing roof of first floor front dormer window, to widen existing rear garden gate to provide temporary vehicular construction access off the Glendine Road together with all associated site works all located on our property at Highfield, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny R95W8DD. 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, 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. Michael Condon MRIAI, Architect, MRC Design Ltd – 1 City Wall, James Street, Kilkenny Ph. 087 2032869




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 9 April 2021

Profile for Kilkenny Observer

Kilkenny Observer 9th April 2021  


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded