Kilkenny Observer 9th December 2022

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Page 44 Friday 09 December 2022 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W: FREE EDITION Page 28 Your Tax Affairs A practical guide on revenue for farmers The Festive Dinner Our recipes for that Christmas Day meal
2 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Advertisement

Changes to CAO system

A new change in the college entry process will in future allow students to get straight into a degree programme without worrying about the dreaded CAO points.

The December Govern ment-announced dramatic change will also mean that school-leavers, and others, may start their degree stud ies in a Further Education (FE) college and complete the programme in a third-level institution.

As a first step, 13 courses, feeding into six higher educa tion colleges, will roll out for entry in September 2023.

As well as reducing the pres sure on students to compete on points, it is hoped that the alternative approach will lead to a fall in dropout rates.

It represents a milestone in Further and Higher Educa tion Minister Simon Harris’s ambition to create a unified third level system that will blur distinctions between

further and higher education.

The aim is to create alter native pathways to third level outside the CAO system and to forge better links be tween further education and universities/technological universities (TUs) and other higher education colleges. While 13 new entry routes is a tiny fraction of the 1,400 CAO courses, the intention is to start shifting mindsets, and there are plans for further phases.

The initiative will also see the establishment of a Uni fied Tertiary Office, a joint venture between the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the State’s further edu cation and training agency, Solas, to advance progress in this area.

Mr Harris is committed to opening more routes of ac cess to higher education to ensure that everyone can reach their potential.

UCC, Atlantic TU, Munster

TU, South East TU, TU Shan non and IADT Dún Laoghaire are the third-level colleges in volved in the initial phase.

FE colleges in nine edu cation and training boards (ETBs) will be the 13 entry points for the new courses, each of which will be specific to one region.

The pathway to access the courses will mirror the ex isting, interview-based FE applications process, which does not involve CAO points.

Gunman in Carlow shooting known

Gardai believe they have identified the gunman who discharged four shots at one of Ireland’s most notorious gangland criminals in a targeted gun attack in Carlow.

A west Dublin gangster with links to the Kinahan cartel is believed to have carried out the murder attempt on James ‘Nellie’ Walsh (36) on Monday, December 5. Sources say two women “could have been easily” killed in the mayhem while two preteen girls who are normally present in the property were not there when the shots were fired.

€1,200 spend on Christmas shop

Consumers are expected to spend an average of €1,200 on Christmas shopping this year, a 20% increase compared to 2021, new research has found.

Over one third of shoppers will spend an average of at least €1,000, while households with children are due to spend almost €1,600 this year.

However, their average expected spending has not increased by as much as those with no children.  The 35-44 age group intend to spend the most over the festive season, with an average of almost €1,500, according to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Students from South East Technological University’s recently received their Re gional Tourist Guide award in the beautiful surrounds of the Flag Hall in Johnstown Castle. Mayor of Wexford Maura Bell presented the students of SETU’s Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Event Management degree with their awards.

The students, who are SETU’s first ever Fáilte Ire


completing the degree pro gramme.

The degree course pre pares graduates for full-time work in the fast growing and dynamic tourism and event management industries.

is bring for these graduates.

A unique aspect of SETU’s Bachelor of Science in Tour ism and Event Management is that students, who have completed Year 2, receive their Regional Tourist Guide award as an integral part of

Despite the restrictions of Covid-19, the students worked hard to fulfil the requirements of their tour guide training.

The current staff shortages in tourism means the future

Fanni Gal, a recipient of the award, summed up its value when she said: “Re ceiving the Irish tourist guid ing badge is really mean ingful to me. It means that although I have come from a different culture, I now have the knowledge and skills to show this beautiful country to other people and make them as enthusiastic about the Irish culture as I am.”

Carey’s seized home on market at €550k.

Convicted fraudster Catriona Carey’s former home is back on the market, with an asking price of more than half-a-million euro.

The five-bedroom property in Weir View Hill, Co Kilkenny, was repossessed by Start Mortgages last month after the former Ireland hockey player racked up arrears of €359,000.

It has now been put up for sale for €550,000.

3 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM SPORTS E: ACCOUNTS E: T: 056 777 1463 SALES E: T: 087 382 0109 or 087 342 1958 FEATURES E: T: 056 777 1463 DESIGN E: T: 087 348 0279 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY UNIT 7, FRIARY STREET, KILKENNY, R95 VHY7 EDITOR E: 10,000 COPIES PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED ACROSS CITY AND COUNTY EVERY WEEK
recognised tourist guides are Adele Mahon, Agata Oblak, Antonio Pan dolfi, Eve Redmond, Fanni Gal, Frieda Harkin, Mollie Fortune, Oskar Czajka and Sarah Foley. *Pictured above are students who re ceived their Regional Tourist Guide award are pictured here with Mayor Maura Bell, Dr Karen Hennessy, Head of Campus, SETU Wexford, Emmet Stafford, lec turer, Edmund Joyce and Julie Mulligan, both pro gramme directors of the BSc in Tourism and Event Management degree
With their degree, they’ll travel far

Let’s celebrate at our Carnegie Library

Tuesday, December 13, will be a day to remember for the Carnegie Library, John’s Quay.  In light of the re-loca tion of the main City Library to the old Mayfair ballroom in the Abbey Quarter site, there will be a day of celebra tion of the Carnegie Library and its contribution to the cultural life of Kilkenny.

Between 1897 and 1913, Andrew Carnegie, pictured, pledged more £170,000 to fund the building of eighty libraries in Ireland.  One of these was the Carnegie Library on John’s Quay.   is beautiful historic Carnegie Library was of cially opened to the public November 3 1910, and now features over 32,000 items, including adult ction and factual books, a young adult collection, children’s stock, reference materials, music CDs, DVDs and box sets.   e library has wi access, along with eight computers for internet access and printing services.

Since its foundation as the city library in Kilkenny in

1910, the Carnegie Library has been a hub of activity in Kilkenny, host to many cultural events and a source of great memories for many Kilkenny families.

Tuesday the 13th will o er the people of Kilkenny city an opportunity to

share memories and enjoy another great event in this historic building. ere will be a day of story-telling with Liz Weir, guitarist Mark Anthony McGrath featuring music from his new album ‘Carolan’, afternoon theatre with a celebration of Patrick

Kavanagh, a talk on Andrew Carnegie and his ‘Gospel of Wealth’ by historian Dr Mary Muldowney, a short Carnegie reminiscence by Gerry Moran, and special guest appearance by Pauline McLynn.  “ e Carnegie Library in

Kilkenny City has made a great contribution to the cultural life of Kilkenny over the many years of its exis tence,” said County Librarian Josephine Coyne, “We look forward to a new era and the new Mayfair Library which will o er all the services

and opportunities of a fully modern library service.”     ere will be light refresh ments during the day also.  Check out our website www.kilkennyli for more details and follow us on social media for more information.

News 4 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

Singing in a winter wonderland with Music Generation Kilkenny

Music Generation Kilkenny is gearing up for a very musi cal Christmas. Children and young people involved in our music programmes are busy preparing for two special per formances during Christmas week.

On the 19th of December at 6:30pm over 200 children from CBS primary, Gaelscoil Osraí, St. John of God primary and Kilkenny School Project will come together and collaborate onstage for the SING OUT performance at St. Canice’s Cathedral. Tickets available on Eventbrite

On the 22nd of December at 3:00pm children and young people from the ‘Creative Music Space’ rock and pop music hub will perform on the parade bandstand during Yulefest Kilkenny. Free event.


SING OUT is an exciting new opportunity for primary

school children in Kilkenny. In the six weeks leading up to Christmas children from primary schools in Kilkenny have been preparing a programme of festive songs with musician educators Barbara Kelly and Clare Kilkenny. Barbara and Clare deliver workshops in the schools each week preparing the children with musical games, body percussion and songs. It gives the children the opportunity to con nect through singing and to come together through the sphere of meaningful music making.

Joining them onstage will be young musicians from the Kilkenny School Project Strings programme. is programme of whole class violin began in the KSP just after the pandemic. It has gone from strength to strength, with children learning violin from 3rd –6th class, led by musician educator Carl Rochford. e children are looking forward to performing in St. Canice’s Cathedral and for many it will be their rst time per

forming in public. Speaking about the work shops and concert Music Development O cer with Music Generation Kilkenny Sinéad Blanch eld said “I’m really excited to develop this opportunity for young people in Kilkenny. Singing together is so important for

children’s wellbeing and that stopped during the pan demic. e fact that children from primary schools taking part in SING OUT will have the opportunity to actually sing together as one voice in the beautiful surroundings of St. Canice’s Cathedral, is a special moment in the con

text of our collective journey this year”

Niall Bergin, principal of CBS Primary School said, “we are delighted to have Music Generation Kilkenny working with our school. It is fantastic to see our pupils develop their musical talents and learn how to play a musical instrument. e tutors, Paul and Mark, have developed a great rapport with our classes and deliver the lessons in a fun and engaging way on a weekly basis. Our 4th and 5th class pupils are also taking part in the Music Generation Kilkenny ‘Sing Out’ Concert on December 19th in St. Canice’s Cathedral. Pupils have been preparing diligently with their teachers and with Music Generation Kilkenny tutors, Clare and Barbara. We look forward to seeing the boys perform in SING OUT on the 19th of December “

St. Canice’s Cathedral is a magni cent concert venue. Music Generation Kilkenny is delighted to partner with St. Canice’s Cathedral to bring the children and young

people from our programmes to public attention in this wonderful setting. We hope that people in Kilkenny will come out and join the children in song and support our emerging young Kilkenny talent.

Tickets are €5 for adults, children free (under 16) Tickets are available on Eventbrite – https://bit. ly/3hIqrf8


Music Generation Kilkenny is part of Ireland’s national music education programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, e Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. e programme seeks to transform the lives of children and young people ages 0-18 by creating access to high quality, a ordable music tuition in their localities. Locally, the programme is led by Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board in partnership with Kilkenny County Council.

5 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Music Generation

More now demanding houses

e rise in our population far in excess of new housing is creating increasing demand that won’t be relieved un less housing supply increases “substantially”, according to a new report.

Census gures show Ire land’s population grew by 360,000 between 2016 and this

year, yet only 120,000 homes were built in the same period. Going back to the 2011 cen sus, the numbers are even more stark, with population growth of half a million but a housing output of just 130,000 units.

Trying to squeeze so many people into so few new homes

is keeping up house price pressure, along with strong demand due to the gap be tween rents and mortgage payments, the Banking and Payments Federation of Ire land’s (BPFI) latest Housing Market Monitor said.

“While there has been a signi cant increase in new

housing to the market in 2022, which has helped moderate average annual housing price in ation, population growth continues to outstrip supply,” said BPFI Chief Executive Bri an Hayes.

“In addition to this, we are now seeing a decline in the gures for the commence

ment of new builds,” he said.

According to the BPFI, new housing starts are up 5.4% this year versus the rst nine months of 2019, but activity is declining on a rolling annual basis.

Annualised commence ments hit a promising 35,000 in the rst quarter of the year,

but fell back to just 26,600 by October - far below the level required to meet the Govern ment’s targets under Housing for All.

e ramping up of building may have slowed the increase in house prices slightly, but it may also have reduced appe tite for new development.

One in two private tenants ‘at risk’ of homelessness

More than half of private tenants who contacted reshold last year were at risk of entering homelessness, according to national housing charity’s annual report. It shows that advisors assisted a total of 19,947 households in 2021, of which 10,729 were deemed to be at risk of entering homelessness.

More than60,000 contacts were made to reshold in 2021.

Tenancy terminations remains the largest issue facing private tenants for the fth consecutive year, with 29% of queries concerning termination of tenancy. reshold advisors encountered a larger level of queries concerning standards and repairs compared to previous years, with 10% of private tenants seeking advice on their accommodation.  is may be a result of delays in carrying out repairs during the public health restrictions, throughout parts of 2020 and 2021.

of a better a ordable and accessible housing supply to alleviate the pressures of this ongoing housing crisis.”

In December 2021, the Government introduced legislation to create “inde nite tenancies” through removing section 34(b) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. e removal of this section resulted in greater security for private renters across Ireland, as landlords could no longer choose to evict their tenants without cause every six years. is was an area of policy change that reshold strongly campaigned for since 2014 and brought private renters across Ireland a step closer to achieving security of tenure.


gram along with gorgeous snaps of the happy family.

Niamh said: “A love like no other. Welcome to the world Harper Mary Reid.

Born Sunday 20th Novem ber, 7 lbs 10 oz.”

“ is should be fun.

Harper Mary Reid born 20/11/2022 at 7.10 pounds.

Top 5 tips for helping your animal this winter

Met Eireann is predicting tem peratures are set to plummet in the weeks up to Christmas, with urries of snow, and sharp and severe frosts expected.

But it is not just us humans that will be a ected but also our four-legged friends. To help pet owners cope with this, Irish pet retailer and grooming studios, Petmania, have compiled their Top 5 tips to minimise the im pact on pets through this cold snap, and the ever-changing temperatures of winter.

Emily Miller of Petmania, Ire land, said, “Just as we humans adapt our lifestyle and skincare routines when the months turn colder, we want to encour age pet-owners to make a few small changes for their animal companions to make the cold weather more comfortable for them with these easy caretips.”

1. Keep beds warm and dry. Choose waterproof bedding and make sure that outdoor kennels, hutches and homes

are also kept warm and dry.

2. Like us humans in colderclimates pets need clean and moisturised paw pads to pre vent cracking and pain caused by hard, cold salted pave ments.

3.  Use Omega oils to prevent skin becoming dry and itchy in changing temperatures.

4.  Wrap up warm. Buy a coat for winter walks, use eece blankets and line carriers or crate beds with warm bedding.

5.  Book a Winter Boost er

apy Bath at your local groom ing studio. is special treat ment has been developed to help dog’s ght the skin drying e ects of colder weather.

Petmania, Irish-owned pet retailer and grooming studios, have an extensive range of products available to help our furry friends face the winter months: Omega Oil specially designed for animals’ needs and a selection bedding, warm layers and therapeutic mois turisers.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Chairperson of reshold, Liam Reid said: “ e housing crisis in Ireland remains one of our greatest challenges and the 2021 Annual Report re ects the dedicated work that reshold is doing to support private renters remain in their homes during this challenging time.

reshold believes that every person in Ireland is entitled to equal access to secure and a ordable housing.

“ reshold’s work is critical, as we await the development

In 2021, reshold advisors represented 255 households at the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and assisted 291 households to submit disputes. reshold advisors assisted three clients to submit cases to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and represented two clients at the WRC, concerning discrimination regarding the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) or rent supplement, to support rental costs.

In 2021, reshold identi ed 121 private renters who had been discriminated against as they were seeking HAP. In many cases, the reshold advisor was able to assist the client to resolve the situation with the landlord. In some cases, however, the client was forced to nd another home.

HSE urges healthcare workers in South East to get flu vaccine

All healthcare workers and peo ple in at-risk groups in counties Kilkenny, Carlow, South Tip perary, Waterford and Wexford are being urged to get the u vaccine.

In a three and a half  minute video released by the HSE’s South East Community Health care (SECH) organisation and the HSE’s Area C Public Health Dept., the Chief O cer of SECH, Kate Killeen White, says: “ e vaccine is the primary

method by which the HSE is trying to safeguard healthcare workers, patients, families in each case and the community in general from what can be a severe illness.”

e video coincides with the launch of a specially modi ed mobile vaccination unit to trav el to HSE workplace locations across the South East, in which nursing sta o er both u and Covid-19 booster dose vaccina tions to colleagues.

News 6 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Kilkenny GAA legend TJ Reid and partner Niamh de Brún have recently shared the lovely news of the birth of their baby daughter. Niamh and TJ shared the news on Insta Legendary Kilkenny hurl er Reid also took to Insta gram to express his delight at becoming a father.
Mammy Niamh and Baby are home and in great health.
“Looking forward to this amazing new journey with our little girl.”
Congratulations to all...
Oh baby, look at you now!
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The Fact Of The Matter

Back in the Eighties there was hardly a red-blooded Irish male who was not in love with the wonderful Sally O’Brien and “the way she might look at you” from across the crowded local pub come Christmas week and everyone having the craic as only we Irish know how. Of course, the man longing after the lovely Sally, in the famous TV ad for Harp lager, was, if memory serves me, working on a rig in some far-o land and would not be making it home for Christmas, being thousands of miles from the familiar, cosy con nes of his local and the come-hither smile of the woman of his dreams.

God knows where Sally O’Brien (Vicki Michelle of TV’s ‘Allo, ‘Allo! fame) is now or, indeed, yer man on the oil rig but praise be, after two Christmases of Covid-in duced stupor, this Christmas will one more be that wonder ful world conjured up by that

Eighties TV ad, the world of the Irish local come Christ mas, bustling with the craic and seasonal goodwill among family and friends. I can see it and feel it now in the locals up and down the land, lit up like Santa’s grotto: the Christmas jumpers, the comaraderie, the back-slapping, the whispered, and not-so whispered, terms of endearment, the wellwishes and the banter. “Oh, ye are having goose this year” or “Can’t believe it’s Christmas again already.” or “So your Jimmy won’t be coming home this year.”

Most pertinently, this year will be the thousands of family members who live and work abroad and who will be coming home for the holiday, most likely for the rst time since 2019. And this merry lot will be packing out their local Christmas week, familiar faces in the teaming throng. Sometimes, we don’t know what we have ’til it’s gone.

With our favourite locals — for so many their home from home where the victorious are celebrated and the dead are waked, where revolutions are planned and friendships cemented — was absent from our lives for a good part of the last two years, that adage had never resonated so much for so many.

Social drinking in Ireland’s

public houses has its history and pervasiveness deeply en trenched in the Irish psyche. e transformative journey from shebeens, ale houses, taverns and inns to the pubs we know today is testament to publicans’ enduring resilience and ability to adapt, even since the Eighties.

Consider too, alcohol is an industry that supports

some 92,000 jobs and con tributes around €2 billion to our economy. One in ve adults on this island does not drink, but for the rest of use consumption has increased somewhat — certainly the varied choice of alcohol — since those days in the Eight ies when yer man on the rig was thinking of Sally O’Brien and the way she might look at him.

Despite the changes since those days — the drinkdriving laws, the smoking ban and the availability of cheaper alcohol in supermarkets — a report for the Vintners Fed eration of Ireland last year showed that a third of rural pubs reported an increase in turnover but many other rural locals cited being “not con dent” or “worried” about their futures since the pandemic.

e lockdown did not help those worries. And the reality of having to live with Covid19, as we do with annual u,

despite vaccines, may change the future fabric of pub life and curb our enthusiasm for how we like to interact with each other over a few pints, whatever the cause for cel ebration.

My friend Sara has lived, variously in Michigan and Colorado, for the past almost 30 years plus, ever since she left Ireland, a mere slip of a girl. Down those many years, I always knew it was Christmas week when in the crowded, cosy con nes of my local I’d spot the diminutive Sara lost in the celebrations and we’d look over at each other and then, worming our way through the heaving crowd, meet in the middle ... for a Christmas hug.

“What’s the craic, Paul?” she’d say, and break into her beautiful smile.

I am hoping Sara will make it to my local this coming Christmas week. I desperately need that hug.

8 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
‘What’s the craic?’ she’d say, with that beautiful smile Opinion
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Christmas 5k run to help those with depression

In the run up to Christmas this year, why not do some thing to support your own well-being while helping people su ering with depres sion and bipolar disorder by taking part in the 17th annual Aware Christmas 5K.

From Friday December to Sunday the 11th, people in Kilkenny and all over the country are being encouraged

to come together physically or virtually to be part of this fun, festive and healthy event to support Aware’s vital services.

You can walk, jog, run or hike in your favourite 5k route anywhere in the country at a time of your choice over the event weekend, and share your e orts and your support on social media using the hashtag #WeAreAware.

Tanzanian girl tells Oireachtas of impact of climate change

World Vision Ireland Director of Programmes and Policy, Maurice Sadlier, has praised the decision taken by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, to invite a child to address them on climate change.

Last week, 15-year-old Tanzanian teenager Shania Ramadhani [pictured], a World Vision International Child Ambassador and member of SAUTI-Youth, a joint Galway-Tanzania initiative engaging youth in political advocacy on climate, appeared before the committee remotely, from her home in Tanzania.

Her appearance follows her recent visit to COP 27, where she spoke at the showcase event for Youth and Futures Day and described how climate change is already having a disproportionate impact on her school and local community, where long periods of drought, the hunger crisis, diseases, child labour and increased of cost of living are taking their toll.

To her Irish audience she addressed members on the urgent topic of climate change and the need to have youth voices involved at every level of political decision-making. It was the first time a child had addressed the committee.

Speaking after Shania’s appearance, Maurice Sadlier said: “While much of the attention following COP27 focuses on the commitment to establish a fund for Loss & Damage, another equally momentous win, in our opinion, is going unnoticed - that of enabling children’s rights as envisioned in the Convention on the Rights of the Child – the Right to Participate.

“The Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan recognises the role of

children and youth as agents of change in addressing and responding to climate change, a recognition which is warmly welcome, but long overdue. At COP27, Governments not only recognised that children are agents of change, but called on Governments worldwide to include children in implementing climate policy and action.

“We at World Vision Ireland are delighted and honoured that members of the Houses of the Oireachtas seem to have been paying attention to this commitment and have put it into action already – a mere 3 weeks after COP27 concluded.”

CEO of World Vision Ireland, Gillian Barnett, said World Vision was an organisation vocal in its advocacy for child rights and participation.

“I welcome this progressive move by Irish legislators to start the process of including children at a political level.

I can only hope that this is recreated across the globe.

"The voices of the young must be heard in discussions around climate where they are, most unfortunately, key stakeholders, whose future survival lies in the hands of today’s decision-makers.”

ose who want to get into the festive spirit of the Aware Christmas 5K are encouraged to dress up. So, whether it’s a nod to Santa with a hat, a Christmas jumper to keep you warm, or a full-on costume with bells and lights, you’ll be guaranteed to bring some fun to your run!

e annual Aware Christmas 5k is one of the charity’s most

important fundraising events of the year.  Aware, which was established in 1985, is the na tional organisation providing free support, education, and information for people im pacted by depression, bipolar disorder, and related mood conditions.

In 2021, 29,000 people di rectly bene ted from Aware’s support services, and a further

over 8,000 people took part in education programmes facili tated by Aware.

Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising at Aware, said: “Taking the time to walk or run or your own, with family or friends, this December, will give people the chance to take a break from the busy pre-Christmas period whilst also helping people in their

community who need some support.”

Online registration is now open at mas5K  at a cost of €25 per person. Each participant will receive a custom medal that doubles as a Christmas tree decoration and a treat from event sponsor Cadbury.

* Please see mas5k. #WeAreAware

Let's get up and go, girls!

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team manager, Vera Pauw, has pledged her support to Sport Ireland’s It’s My Time campaign encourag ing women over 40 to pri oritise their wellbeing and take time to exercise and play sport.

Repeated studies, includ ing Sport Ireland’s Irish Sport Monitor, have shown that women over 40, par ticularly those from disad vantaged communities, are among the least likely to be physically active or play sport, despite the positive impact physical activity can have on preventing and lessening menopause re lated symptoms.

Research conducted by

Sport Ireland highlighted just how time poor and stretched women in their 40s, 50s and 60s feel. With commitments including work, commuting, child care, family commitments and managing the house hold, the result is that 41% don’t have time and almost two thirds are often too tired to exercise.

Vera has teamed up with Sport Ireland to encourage women to prioritise their wellbeing by getting more physically active on their own terms. e campaign has received an overwhelm ingly positive response from the public since its launch and is supported by various sporting National Governing Bodies and the

nationwide network of Lo cal Sports Partnerships.  Women interested in in creasing their activity levels can log onto www.spor to access specially commis sioned exercise videos covering; tness, exibility, strength and balance, an educational series covering; muscle health, bone health, cardiovascular health, sleep health, mental health, wellbeing and nutrition as well as easy to follow and conve nient healthy recipes.

e campaign has been championed by Sport Ireland Chief Executive Una May, Sport Ireland’s Women in Sport Lead Nora Stapleton and also sup ported by the Department

of Health Women’s Health Taskforce and Healthy Ireland. Catherine Martin, Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers, Minster of State for Sport, and Frank Feighan Minister of State at the Department of Health have also extended their support for the campaign, all pictured above. {

Vera Pauw, commenting on the launch of the cam paign, said: " With so much stress in modern life, it has never been more important to get out and do something for yourself. Whether that is a morning walk or taking up a particular activity, just go do it - and have fun do ing it!"

Urgent recall for 'risky' phone chargers

ousands of fast-charging plugs which are sold in Ireland have been recalled due to causing serious risk of harm to owners. Ireland’s consumer watchdog published a warning on the product over electric shock fears due to a fault with the product.

e notice was published by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) for the Homeline's Ultrapower AJL561/

JL-U561 Fast Charging Plug.

A total of 40,000 plugs were sold online as well as in "various retail stores in Ireland" which fall under the recall.

Customers are being urged to stop using the product immediately and return it to the store they purchased it from where they will receive a full refund.

According to the CCPC product recall, the danger has arisen from "poor isola-

tion between the Mains Input and USB output".

e speci c brand is Ultrapower and the product has two USB ports, while the model number in this recall is JL-U561.

In a statement, the independent watchdog said: "Homeline recalls Ultrapower JL-U561 Fast Charging Plug with Double USB Ports, Home Charger (2.4A).

" ere is a serious risk of electric shock arising from

poor isolation between the Mains Input & USB Output.

" ere are approximately 40,000 a ected products in the Republic of Ireland which have been purchased from various retailers."

In their own recall notice, Homeline has added that plugs with the model number AJL561 must also be brought back.

e products in this recall were manufactured from 2018 to 2022.

10 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 News
Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sports le}
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As I See It

Marianne Heron

Why it’s time to reinstate real Christmas

A lot of Christmas is about memories and tradition. We were busy making a Christ mas cake in a cookery class where I volunteered as a helper last week. “Were you ever told not to slam doors when the cake was in the oven?” I asked “Oh yeah, you’d be in big trouble with your Mam, because the fruit in the cake would sink!” came back a chorus from of the class.

ey followed up with recollections about taking turns to stir the cake and make a wish, putting charms in the pudding and the way the baking and making would be stored on a top shelf and regularly doused with whiskey.

at’s the kind of Christ mas I like to remember: simple rituals like trying to get the fairy lights to work, midnight Mass, the excite

ment of waking to feel the weight of a sock stu ed with presents at the bottom of the bed and the family feast. at kind of Christ mas is disappearing, eaten away each passing year by ballooning. commercialism where festive retailing gets into gear before the witches and pumpkins of Hallow een are o the shelves.

is year, though, weren’t we hoping to make it a real Christmas after the grim years with Covid?

A mindful one, in the face of the cost-of-living crisis, climate change and the war in Ukraine; one about family and friends and things we hold dear. But no, just at the very time we were dusting o our values with the tree decorations, we hear that Christmas isn’t Christmas any more.

It’s the Winter Festival, lit

up by the Winter Lights.

St Bridget has just had her day in February recognised, but Christ has lost his.

e trouble with renam ing things is that it erases the associations and images belonging to the previous name. Language revision ism can be a form of colo nial appropriation; think of Brian Friel’s Translations where the meaning of Irish names are lost to English. It can mess with your mind, Putin doesn’t refer to inva sion or war in Ukraine, but rather calls it “a special military operation’. It can be a way of obliterating past history, like renaming Sella eld, site of a 1957 UK nuclear disaster, Windscale. e back story gets lost. e Christmas we have is a great rolling stone of tra ditions stretching back long before the birth of Christ

and gathering pagan beliefs along the way. Jesus’ birth day may have been shifted to t with the Roman festival of Saturnalia to honour the God Saturn, e celebration of the winter solstice on December 21 and the death and rebirth of the sun is common to many cultures including neolithic Ireland and cel ebrated in passage tombs like Newgrange built by the Tuatha De Danann. e way greenery is brought into the house is a Norse tradition and Santa owes his existence to St Nicholas, an early Christian Greek Bishop and bringer of gifts.

Renaming the festival could be a nod of respect to other cultures as Ireland becomes more multi- cul tural but surely we should expect the same recogni

tion for our own culture? Or is it another indication that we are on the way to becoming a post- Christian society?

In the UK the number who de ne themselves as having no religion has passed the number who de ne themselves as Christian for the rst time, according to the latest census. Here, the number who de ne themselves as having no religion is biggest among the younger age group (12%). e majority still de ne themselves as Christian but the now nonpractising believers out number church-goers. We have privatised our beliefs and moved away from the institutional church.

e problem with renam ing Christmas as the Winter Celebration is that so much or our lives are organised

around Christian tradition: Sunday as a day of rest, Easter and Christmas festi vals, the signi cant markers in our lives like christen ings, marriages and funer als. It’s a bit like hacking o a chair leg and nding it doesn’t stand up when you sit on it.

Imagine all those nostal gic songs, like It’s Begin ning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas, that will have to be rewritten: writing winter cards and buying winter trees. And what would become of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (written at a time in the 1840s when Victorians were re-evaluat ing Christmas,) to Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits of Christmas past, present and yet to be?

Wishing folk a Merry Winter just doesn’t sound the same.

Irish gifts for Christmas

Christmas is coming and most of you will be look ing for gift ideas. I recently wrote about buying practi cal gifts, shopping local and buying online from Irish websites. But, what about going one step further and buying Irish brands. I think you’d be surprised how much you’ll nd. By shopping local, buying Irish brands and locally made products you’ll be support ing Irish family businesses and in turn supporting local jobs.

When it comes to skincare you’ll be spoilt for choice. For example, Kinvara has a beautiful range of skincare products, Precious Facial Oil being one of their most popular. Kinvara pride themselves on quality and all their packaging is fully recyclable. Closer to home, for me, is Holos Skincare, made in Co. Wexford, whose mission it is to bring vitality to your skin through the creation of skincare that ts easily into your life.

eir amazing Good Night Rich Night Cream is created with relaxation and sleep in mind, it hydrates, softens,

soothes and relaxes.

Laura’s Beauty Rooms also made in Wexford is one of our latest additions with a se lection of heavenly scented body scrubs and creams.

For the foodies we have Irish Brew Niks Tea, whose range of loose-leaf teas includes a premium Traditional Irish Black Tea, sleep infusion Bedtime Kiss, and an Organic Rooibos Hemp Chill Out. Niks Tea is a Multi Award Winning Irish Producer, packing all teas in Ireland using 100% compostable materials.

If you love hot chocolate, you’ll love the Great Taste award-winning Nibbed Cacao block. Hand crafted in County Wicklow, it’s perfect for making the popular ceremonial hot cacao drink, or for baking, or nibbling.

Another popular gift from Co. Wicklow is the luxury hand-rolled incense sticks

from Be Kind Industries, with sev eral scents to choose from. If you prefer essential oils there’s Irish Atlantic Aromatic oils and massage blends to choose from. Irish branded supplements to keep the family healthy include Healthreach, Irish Botanica, and Macánta.

Revive Active Starter Kit is the ideal gift pack of super Irish supplements which includes Revive Active, Mastermind and Beauty Complex 7 Day Boxes, de signed to work together to help you get the most out of every day.

Check out your local stores and markets for Irish crafted products. Even a jar of local honey would be a thoughtful gift to give.

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

Natural Health Store, Mar ket Cross Shopping Centre Phone: 056 7764538

Email: info@naturalhealth

12 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
13 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Advertisement


Investing in our future heritage

Minister for Heritage launches Kilkenny health check report

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Mal colm Noonan TD recently launched a summary report assessing the strengths and opportunities of Kilkenny’s historic town centre. e Her itage Council, Kilkenny City Taskforce, Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce and Kilkenny County Council all participat ed in the Kilkenny City Centre Collaborative Town Centre Health Check (CTCHC) re port.

e 15-Step CTCHC assess ment process, created by the Heritage Council, measures citizens’ perceptions of the historic city’s commercial, heritage and cultural assets. In addition, it measures public satisfaction with accessibility and cultural facilities.

e report focuses on the survey results of a number of key indicators of the overall health and performance of the historic city centre, includ ing the level of city centre ac tivities, land/building use and vacancy levels, pedestrian footfall patterns and business operators and consumers’ perceptions of the quality of the overall well-being and en vironment of the historic city centre.

It is intended that the report will help to inform investment decisions for the future man agement and revitalisation of the city centre. It creates a pathway to meeting targets set out in Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2021 and commitment to delivering on the UN SDGs.

e report found that con sumers and businesspeople felt Kilkenny City Centre would bene t from invest ment in the historic built environment.   is includes investment in the historic building stock, enhanced liveability and accessibil ity for walking and cycling in the town centre, and further investment in cultural and natural heritage.

Key ndings include:

• e most popular reason to be in Kilkenny was being a resident (34.9%) followed by retail (27.9%).

• 90% of respondents pur chased the majority of their clothing in Kilkenny.

• 61% of respondents thought pedestrianisation would en hance the liveability of the city centre.

• 74.4% rate live music and events in Kilkenny as either very good or good.

e report also found that there are approximately 20 vacant retail buildings in Kilkenny City Centre – this represents a ground oor re tail vacancy rate of 10.10%, which is at the higher end of

the recommended level of va cancy in towns and cities. e CTCHC Programme believes that a healthy vacancy level in town and city centres should not exceed 11%.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister Noonan, pictured, said: “ is report highlights the importance of recognising the potential of our historic city centres through sustainable regen eration, investment and en gagement with the people who live and work there. I look forward to the continued regeneration of Kilkenny City and will work hard to ensure that we continue to deliver on our commitment to a ‘Town Centre First’ policy.”

Mayor of Kilkenny David Fitzgerald said: “ e CTCHC report provides extremely useful primary data that will enable Kilkenny County Council, working in part nership with Kilkenny City Taskforce and other organisa tions, to focus resources and supports as the CTCHC Pro gramme moves into Phase 2 – Town/City Centre Build ing Renewal and Investment Plans. is is a challenging yet exciting time for historic city centres all over Ireland.”

Chairperson of the Heritage Council Dr Martina Moloney said: “ e publication of the CTCHC report could not be more welcome as Irish towns and cities recover from the impacts of the lockdowns and deal with the ongoing war in Ukraine. e pandemic

forced people to think about their local areas in new ways and this report highlights the improvements that business owners and citizens’ living in towns across the country want to see; rethinking how we use our spaces sustain ably, making historic cores more accessible and ensuring that those living in or close to city centres have as high a quality of life as possible.”

Welcoming the report, Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council Sean McKeown said the baseline CTCHC report was a positive and construc tive basis on which Kilkenny City Centre could move for ward and would be comple mentary to the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan current ly being prepared for Kilken ny City.

“ is is a very useful base line survey involving the his toric city’s key strategic part ners that provides us with a great framework for taking stock of Kilkenny’s many as sets and opportunities. We must be equipped with this sort of data-driven process to build for the future in the new Climate Change era. As a key city in Ireland’s South east Region, Kilkenny, like other small cities, is facing unchartered territory, yet has so much to o er, and this col laborative health check re port will help us to enhance and maximise the quality of life and overall well-being of everyone in the historic city.” CTCHC Programme Found

ing Co-ordinator with the Heritage Council Ali Har vey said: “ e Kilkenny City CTCHC Report clearly dem onstrates the importance of having a robust baseline and primary spatial data to in form communities and deci sion-making and investment proposals for the renewal of historic city centres. is data-driven, value-added approach to heritage and environmental management is hugely important as town and city centres throughout Ireland are facing a challeng ing time, as they recover from the COVID-19 lockdown and face into an uncertain future that requires them to meet strict climate change and EU Green Deal targets.

“ e collaborative e ort of the Kilkenny CTCHC part ners has been rewarding and empowering, and the partnerships created during the project bode well for the future of this medieval city.

e programme is an exam ple and other historic towns can follow the CTCHC ap proach. e scaling up of the CTCHC Programme can help in the delivery of the United Nations’ sustainable devel opment goals and climate change targets in Ireland.”

e CTCHC surveying work was carried out and the re port prepared by students from Queen’s University Belfast. Dr Neil Galway from QUB said: “ e new partner ships that have been forged through this CTCHC data-

creation process have been hugely rewarding, helping generate a collective placemaking movement within all the partners, which is fundamental to empowering climate action by local com munities.

“I believe that such partner ships can lead to true, longlasting change for towns and cities within the CTCHC Pro gramme, which are linked to the UN SDGs. Establishing robust baseline information and data is important to his toric cities such as Kilkenny and it is essential that the Programme for Government invests in this much-needed programme to support the recovery and renaissance of historic places in Ireland.

is will support commu nities and young people in achieving a brighter and more sustainable future”.

Chair of Kilkenny City Taskforce Pat Crotty said the CTCHC Report provided use ful signposts for the future. “A healthy and vibrant city cen tre is important for everyone who lives, works in, and vis its Kilkenny. is process of creating a baseline is funda mentally about how a city’s unique heritage informs our sense of place and enables communities to embrace a more sustainable way of liv ing that enhances well-being.

Heritage reminds us of how important our historic city is to who we are, and to how we live - it is as important and as simple as that,” he said.

News 14 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
15 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Advertisement

Met Eireann at time of writing is advising of plummeting temperatures with snow and sleet forecast for some areas with the danger that homeowners could face bills running into the tens of thousands, or more, if a burst pipe causes damage to their home in the upcoming Big Freeze – even if they have home insurance. is is because many homeowners are underinsured.

Under-insurance is where your home is insured for less than the full rebuild cost  or where the contents in your home are insured for less than it would cost to replace them. More homeowners are getting caught out by underinsurance today – and are facing huge and unexpected repair bills as a result. Many are at risk of only getting a fraction of the claim they expect from their insurer if their house is damaged.

According to Paul Walsh,

CEO of “Burst pipes are one of the most common problems during icy weather.

A burst pipe could cost tens of thousands euro worth of damage if water is left running for a few days. e bill for the damage could even be more if a pipe bursts while you’re away as you’ll likely have to replace plasterboard, walls, wardrobes, kitchen units and so on –and you’ll probably have to repair electrical damage too.

You could have to foot a big chunk of such damage repair bills yourself if you have underinsured your home – because your insurer will usually reduce its pay-out by the amount you’ve underinsured yourself by.”

A report by the Central Bank recently found that about one in six (16.5%) Irish homeowners are underinsured. One of the main reasons people are underinsured is rising building costs.

People have underinsured their home by between 30% and even 50%. is is a very dangerous position to be in ahead of a cold snap with some people previously hit having to take out loans to cover repair bills on their home because they were underinsured and had no rainy day fund to fall back on.

It is important for homeowners to know that the onus is on them to ensure their home is insured for the correct gure. People worry that their home insurance will be more expensive if they increase the sums insured but whatever the cost it would be nothing in comparison to the damage unchecked running water can cause in a few hours let alone a few days.

So, as the cold snap approaches, is urging homeowners to make sure the building and contents insured amounts are

correct.  But there are a few practical steps that we can take to prevent a claim happening in the rst place. Make sure the water tank and pipes in your attic are properly lagged or insulated. Don’t forget any pipes in unheated or draughty places,

such as basements or garages – or outdoor pipes. Should your home have a well, make sure you have insulated any outdoor well pipes.

Insulate or wrap a towel around any outside taps to prevent them from freezing. Repair leaking or dripping taps or pipes. Find out where the stopcock and especially the key is – and how to use it to turn o the water supply if your pipes burst.

Drain the water system if you’ve a holiday home that will be unoccupied during the winter months.

Don’t ignore signs of excessive mould in a shower or bathroom – particularly if you nd mushrooms growing in it!  In situations like this, there could be a burst pipe running undetected behind your shower tiles or wall already.

Run the heating for short periods to keep the pipes from freezing and to keep the

water circulating, if you can. e heating does not need to be set to normal room temperature – even a temperature of 10-12 degrees will work equally well. And open your attic trap door to allow heat from the house to circulate through the attic.

Pin the emergency help number for your insurer onto your notice board so that if you have an escape of water from frozen pipes, you can call-out the home emergency team straight away.

If you do unfortunately have a claim for burst pipes or tanks, turn the water o , contact your insurer before you pay for repairs and take pictures of the damage to support your claim. You should also let frozen pipes thaw out naturally – do not heat them prematurely as they are likely to crack.

john@ellis 086 8362622

16 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Burst pipes: is your home insurance good for it? Your Money & You John Ellis ‘More are caught out by underinsurance...

at Rothe House Christmas events

Rothe House is one of Kilkenny’s most unique prop erties dating from 1594 and is a leading visitor attraction with its original houses, cobbled courtyards and restored gar den, all waiting to be explored.

e Christmas programme of events kicked o earlier this month with two beautiful Wreath Making Workshops. e smell of clipped greens, orange and cinnamon lled

the room, and everyone left with their own individual wreath as well as a stunning table centrepiece.

Christmas Miscellany

Next up on Tuesday 13th De cember, Rothe House will host a magical Christmas Miscella ny evening featuring storytell ing, music, poetry and song from familiar and emerging voices in Kilkenny’s arts scene.

e winter’s evening will begin with a cosy mulled wine reception around the Christ mas tree, before moving to the atmospheric surroundings of the Phelan Room. e audi ence will be treated to some wonderful entertainment from local performers and musi cians. Included in the line up will be the well-know voices of Gerry Moran, Ger Cody, Brendan Corcoran as well as

best-selling children’s author Helena Duggan. Writers from the Clogh Writer’s Group and Kilkenny Writer’s Anonymous will also have the opportunity to share their original pieces of prose and poetry, some writ ten especially for this event.

e musical line-up is care fully chosen to be both eclectic and diverse. Music will include performances from Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, singersongwriter Elise Ramsbottom and a stunning performance from the magical all-female vocal group, Alchemy. In keeping with the 17th century surroundings, Laoise O’ Brien will showcase her mesmer izing skills on the recorder, a much maligned and misun derstood instrument. Laoise will be joined by Dr. Michael O’ Toole, one of Ireland’s lead ing guitarists.

“We are thrilled to hold this event in Rothe House and have received a wonderful response from local writers and musi cians,” says Valerie O’ Sullivan, General Manager of Rothe House Trust. “A programme of

new and traditional material has been carefully put together and it is an opportunity for the audience to step away from the hustle and bustle of Christ mas preparations and enjoy a nostalgic evening in one of Kilkenny’s most beautiful ven ues.” Tickets are selling fast for this event and prompt booking via Eventbrite is advisable. is project is funded, with thanks, by the Kilkenny Creative Ire land Programme 2022.

e Merchant Shop

Rothe House are proud to support Irish producers and craftspeople and carry a wide range of beautiful ceramics, textiles and giftware in e Merchant Shop on Parliament St. Every e ort is made to provide an intimate shop ping experience and the team take pride in helping every customer choose the right gift. Opened in summer 2022, the latest addition is a bookshop which specializes in local interest, Irish history, heritage and gardening, as well as a wide selection of children’s

books. e bookshop also sells back issues of e Old Kilkenny Review, the an nual publication of Kilkenny Archaeological Society.

All of this is in keeping with the original purpose of the property which was the merchant business and home of John Rothe Fitzpiers and his wife Rose Archer.

Retail Customer Evening

On ursday, 15th December from 5pm – 8pm there will be a Customer Evening with dis counts across the shop, treats for shoppers and a ra e for a deluxe hamper. No booking is necessary for this event and all are welcome to pop along.

Opening Hours

Rothe House is open Tues day – Sunday from 10am to 5.30pm.

Closed 25th – 28th December and 1st – 2nd January Guided tours take place at 11.30am and 2.30pm every day, while a self-guided visit is possible at any time. e perfect outing with friends and family visiting over Christmas! So put Rothe House on your must-see list this Christmas and step away from the hustle and bustle of the season.

For more information, call 056 772 2893 or follow us on Facebook @rothehouse and Instagram @rothe_house_ garden

Booking for the Christmas Miscellany is via Eventbrite only.

17 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Advertisement

Science & Wellbeing

Soft computer chips could be implanted directly into the brain, allowing people to control an arti cial arm or a computer monitor simply by thinking about it.

Like real neurons — but un like conventional computer chips — these new devices, called neuromorphic’ , can send and receive both chemi cal and electrical signals. “Your brain works with chem icals, with neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Our materials are able to in teract electrochemically with them,” says Alberto Salleo, a materials scientist at Stanford University who wrote about the potential for organic neuromorphic devices in the 2021 Annual Review of Mate rials Research.

e human brain is an amazing computing machine. Weighing only three pounds or so, it can process informa tion a thousand times faster than the fastest supercom puter, store a thousand times more information than a powerful laptop, and do it all using no more energy than a 20-watt lightbulb.

Researchers are trying to replicate this success using soft, exible organic materi als that can operate like bio logical neurons and someday might even be able to inter connect with them.

Mr Salleo and other re searchers have created elec tronic devices using these soft organic materials that can act like transistors (which amplify and switch electrical signals) and memory cells (which store information) and other basic electronic components.

e work grows out of an increasing interest in neuro morphic computer circuits that mimic how human neu ral connections, or ‘synapses’, work.

ese circuits, whether made of silicon, metal or or ganic materials, work less like

Chips off the new block... the future of the brain

those in digital computers and more like the networks of neurons in the human brain.

Conventional digital com puters work one step at a time, and their architecture creates a fundamental divi sion between calculation and memory. is division means that ones and zeroes must be shuttled back and forth between locations on the computer processor, creating a bottleneck for speed and energy use.

e brain does things di er ently. An individual neuron receives signals from many other neurons, and all these signals together add up to af fect the electrical state of the

receiving neuron. In e ect, each neuron serves as both a calculating device — inte grating the value of all the signals it has received — and a memory device: storing the value of all of those combined signals as an in nitely vari able analog value, rather than the zero-or-one of digital computers.

Now, researchers have de veloped a number of di erent “memristive” devices that mimic this ability. When you run electric currents through them, you change the electri cal resistance. Like biological neurons, these devices calcu late by adding up the values of all the currents they have

been exposed to. And they remember through the re sulting value their resistance takes.

A simple organic ‘memris tor’, for example, might have two layers of electrically conducting materials. When a voltage is applied, electric current drives positively charged ions from one layer into the other, changing how easily the second layer will conduct electricity the next time it is exposed to an elec tric current.

“It’s a way of letting the physics do the computing,” says Matthew Marinella, a computer engineer at Arizona State University in Tempe

who researches neuromor phic computing.

e technique also liberates the computer from strictly bi nary values. “When you have classical computer memory, it’s either a zero or a one. We make a memory that could be any value between zero and one. So you can tune it in an analog fashion,” Mr Salleo says.

At the moment, most mem ristors and related devices aren’t based on organic mate rials but use standard silicon chip technology. Some are even used commercially as a way of speeding up arti cial intelligence programs. But organic components have the

potential to do the job faster while using less energy, Mr Salleo says.

Better yet, they could be designed to integrate with your own brain. e materials are soft and exible, and also have electrochemical proper ties that allow them to inter act with biological neurons.

For instance, Francesca Santoro, an electrical engi neer now at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, is developing a polymer device that takes input from real cells and “learns” from it. In her device, the cells are separated from the arti cial neuron by a small space, similar to the synapses that separate real neurons from one another.

As the cells produce do pamine, a nerve-signaling chemical, the dopamine changes the electrical state of the arti cial half of the de vice. e more dopamine the cells produce, the more the electrical state of the arti cial neuron changes, just as you might see with two biological neurons.

“Our ultimate goal is really to design electronics which look like neurons and act like neurons,” Ms Santoro says.

e approach could o er a better way to use brain ac tivity to drive prosthetics or computer monitors. Today’s systems use standard elec tronics, including electrodes that can pick up only broad patterns of electrical activity. And the equipment is bulky and requires external com puters to operate.

Flexible, neuromorphic circuits could improve this in at least two ways. ey would be capable of translating neu ral signals in a much more granular way, responding to signals from individual neu rons. And the devices might also be able to handle some of the necessary computa tions themselves, Salleo says, which could save energy and boost processing speed.

Earth’s doomsday clock start ed ticking before the planet even appeared. Our world’s fate is entirely linked to the Sun, its energy source. e Sun is now ve billion years old, and it has always been living on borrowed time. Like all stars, the Sun is at war with its own gravity. e inward crush of 1.989 x 1030 kilograms of mass provides the pressure to squeeze hydrogen nuclei together and fuse them into helium. Because E = mc2, some of hydrogen’s nucleic mass is transformed into energy — into light — which eventually makes it to the Sun’s surface. From there it escapes into space and, among other things, it warms the Earth. is struggle has been going on since the Sun was born. It is a war the Sun is destined to lose.

If hydrogen is the fusion fuel powering the Sun, then at some point that fuel will run out. What matters here is the hydrogen in the Sun’s core, the only place where pressure

How nigh is the end?

and temperatures are high enough to drive thermo nuclear fusion. Once the core hydrogen is gone, about ve billion years from now, the Sun will run into trouble. With nothing but inert Helium ash lying at the centre, the gravi tational crush on the core will increase.

From this point onward, the Sun only has about 100 mil lion years left. It will desper ately recon gure itself in an attempt to keep the energy owing, eventually shrinking

its core and swelling its outer layers to become what we call a red giant star. During its nal act as a red giant, the Sun will probably become so large it will engulf the Earth. Our planet’s history will end as it enters the scorching outer layers of its parent star.

If you take comfort in the thought that life has another ve billion years ahead of it before the Earth ends, don’t. Five billion years is how long the planet has left. e bio sphere has far less time.

e problem starts once again with the war between a star and its gravity. Even as hydrogen happily burns in the Sun’s core, there are still changes happening. With every kilogram of hydrogen mass that is fused, the Sun’s inner regions readjust, con tracting slightly and raising its temperature slightly as well. But the rate at which nuclear fusion generates energy is very sensitive to temperature. Even tiny increases in the

core’s temperature produce noticeable increases in the Sun’s luminosity. at means the Sun has slowly been get ting brighter throughout its history.

at slow increase is what will doom the Earth’s bio sphere long before the Sun becomes a red giant. is is because there is a direct link between the Sun’s brightness and the Earth’s surface tem perature. Increasing the for mer will increase the latter.

e biosphere does mediate such temperature increases through what we call negative feedback. If increasing the Earth’s surface temperature, for example, leads the bio sphere to trigger more re ec tive cloud cover, then more sunlight will get bounced back into space, helping to keep the planet cool.

But negative feedback can only work for so long. As the Sun keeps getting brighter, it will eventually trigger run away e ects that spell doom for the biosphere.

e most important of these

is the evaporation of the oceans. Water vapour is a far more potent greenhouse gas than the CO2 we worry about in the era of climate change. When the Sun gets bright enough to evaporate seawa ter at high enough levels, the atmosphere begins to ll with water vapour, and a moist runaway greenhouse begins. is is an era of positive feed back. Evaporation makes the planet hotter, which leads to more evaporation, which makes the planet hotter, and so on. Eventually the planet becomes so hot that it tumbles past the boundaries of life. Earth’s inhabited era is over.

So how long do we have until the Earth’s biosphere dies? Remarkably, life on Earth only has a billion or so years left. ere is some un certainty in the calculations, but recent results suggest 1.5 billion years until the end. at is a much shorter span of time than the ve billion years until the planet is en gulfed by the Sun.

News 18 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

1. Verbier – Switzerland

From the insanely beautiful and green of the Swiss Alps to the ower baskets throughout the village to Swiss cows against stunning backdrops the Verbier, pictured, summer is lled with fantastic and exciting things to do as well as great photo opportunities.

Verbier is the height of fabulous skiing action in the winter – but to me it is at its most beautiful in the height of summer. Plus this Swiss town o ers a huge amount of fantastic things to do that are all about summer.

is includes seeing the sunrise from Mont Fort (a strictly summer activity), hiking up to the top of Pierre Avoi, visiting the Verbier 3D sculpture park and seeing the Swiss cows up high on the mountains.

e shot which went onto my Instagram Account

Two other fantastic activities that can be done whether it is sun or snow is paragliding over the Alps and to drinks some rather delicious Swiss wine.

2. Graz – Austria

Who needs Vienna? Lovely Graz is the second biggest city in Austria and for me much cuter than its older sibling. It is easy to see why Graz Austria was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

Add to that its 2011 nomination as a City of Design and you can see why it wasn’t di cult to build a lengthy list of things to do in Graz.

However, the highlights don’t stop in the lovely Graz old town. Within a 10-15 minute drive of Graz are several photo-friendly and fantastic places to visit.From the world’s longest indoor slide to classic castles to rotating glass lifts to sculpture parks Graz and its surrounds will give you a holiday to remember.

3 Karlovy Vary –Czech Republic

e Karlovy Vary region is the second smallest in the

1. Brighton

Since the 1840s, Brighton on England’s south coast has been a favourite weekend seaside getaway for citydwelling Londoners. Join a walking tour to explore the city’s popular landmarks like the 19th-century Royal Pavilion and e Lanes, before heading to the pebbled Brighton Beach, pictured. Adrenalineseekers can try water sports, y over the waves on a zip wire, or head up to the Sky Walk around the Brighton 1960’s viewing pod. For nostalgic fairground fun, head to Brighton Pier.

2. Manchester

Home to two major English football teams and a thriving music scene, Manchester in northwest

5 great cities in Europe you may not know

Czech Republic. It is lled with natural beauty, castles, chateaus and best of all its famous hot and cold mineral springs. It is the most famous spa town in the Czech Republic. e town has been treating visitors for more than 650 years.

However, it was in the 18th century that the town began to develop and become known across Europe. In addition to its famous Springs, Karlovy Vary Czech itself is very picturesque and also the home of one of the world’s leading lm festivals in July each year.

ere are 79 di erent Karlovy Vary Hot Springs. Fourteen of these are

currently used for drinking Czech republic mineral water. e hottest spring is 72 degrees.

Depending on your ailment/s your doctor will prescribe you to “take” the waters from di erent springs at di erent times. Each hot spring has its own unique properties.

e Karlovy Vary thermal water is unique in its physical and chemical properties. Essentially the waters here contain larger amounts of major and minor mineral elements than the water you drink at home.


Latvia and the biggest city in the Baltics. It is a wonderful mix of charming old Europe and modern innovations.

e Riga Old Town is an extremely photogenic mix of art nouveau buildings and tiny cobblestone streets, all without tra c. Unlike some other European cities, once you had outside of the old town the beauty of Riga continues. Riga has an art nouveau district lled with beautiful buildings and a fantastic art nouveau museum.

some fantastic views.

And don’t miss a canal tour around Riga’s lovely city canal and Daugava River. It is a particularly nice way to see the Old Town and the beautiful wooden houses of Kipsala.

5. Saint Antonin Noble Val – France

bridge with its re ection in the river. Cate Blanchette rode across this in Charlotte Grey.

Riga – Latvia

Lovely Riga is the capital of

4 English cities worth a visit

e Pardaugava district is full of colourful wooden houses. Kipsala is a small and exclusive island close to the old town of Riga that has

If you are looking for the quintessential French countryside town Saint Antonin Noble Val is it. is beautiful town has been featured in several lms including Charlotte Gray and e Hundred-Foot Journey.

Saint Antonin Noble Val is situated on the Aveyron river – don’t miss the beautiful

e centre of Saint Antonin Noble Val was the home of the town’s most wealthy residents. In medieval times a town was the safest place to live – and within it, the safest place was the centre as anyone who wanted to invade would start with those on the edges.

erefore the tallest and most decadent houses are in the middle of the city – and these are the streets where the famous St Antonin Sunday Market is held. is is a good place to start exploring Saint Antonin Noble Val.

England is a real treat for a weekend break. Immerse yourself in the history, culture, and avours of Manchester on a walking tour or guided food tour.

Football fans can join a behind-the-scenes tour of

the iconic Etihad Stadium or delve into the history of the country’s favourite sport at the National Football Museum—best experienced during football season between September to December.

e 19th-century John Rylands Library is also worth a visit for its spectacular VictorianGothic architecture. Experience Manchester’s nightlife with a pint at local institution Port Street Beer House, which carries over 100 beers from across the world, including gluten-free options. As the birthplace of iconic English rock bands like e Stone Roses, e Smiths, and Oasis, make time for live tunes at e Deaf Institute or Band on the Wall, which are popular spots for music lovers.

3. Oxford

Home to the country’s oldest university, Oxford in southeast England on the edge of the Cotswolds is a small city that can be

explored in a day. Join a student- guided campus walking tour to see highlights like Radcli e Camera and the 17thcentury Bodleian Library, or hop on a punting tour down the River Cherwell.

e University Church of St Mary the Virgin is also worth a visit for the postcard- perfect views from its towers. For food, tuck into a modern European menu at Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant or Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant.

4. Bath

Located in southwest England, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is just a short train ride away from London. Home to 2000-year-old Roman Baths,

Bath was in the business of wellness long before it was a trend. While you can’t swim in the waters of the baths, you can explore the complex on a guided tour and enjoy a spa treatment at the nearby ermae Bath Spa.

e city, though, isn’t just about rest and recuperation. Walk the streets of Bath with a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and admire Georgian architectural masterpieces like the Pulteney Bridge and Royal Crescent —a collection of terraced townhouses — before refuelling at e Pump Room. en, slow it down and take a boat trip on the River Avon. If you’re a Bridgerton fan, you don’t want to miss this anecdotelled tour of the Net ix hit’s lming locations.

19 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Travel & Leisure

Furthermore Gerry Moran

Festive favourites, and a Christmas tree fest

Do you know what I hate?

I hate it when people start a conversation with: “I hate to tell you this but you missed…a great match…show…perfor mance...”. Whatever. Be that as it may but I hate to tell you all that, unless you were in St John’s Priory, the Lantern of Ireland (opposite Langton’s) on Thursday night, Decem ber 1, you missed a great concert.

And what made it great? First off it featured our own Patrick Rafter on violin accompanied by Billy O’Brien on piano. Rafter is one of Ireland’s most outstanding musi cians and an international award-winning violin ist and conductor. Billy O’Brien was the 2020 winner of the Hibernian Orchestra Competition and enjoys an active

career as a solo pianist, chamber musician and teacher. Together – a mar vellous duo.

What made the evening (a fund raiser for the Butler Gallery) so enjoy able and entertaining was the programme: Festive Favourites — Ave Maria, O Holy Night, Hark the Herald Angel (among others) and, a surprise guest, Patrick’s brother Alexander on the piano who gave us a soulful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Two other factors aided and abetted in making this a wonderful evening: Patrick Rafter’s stage pres ence. Patrick woos us not just with his magnificent violin playing but with his amiable personality and good humour; to quote his mother, Maura, with whom I was chatting after

wards: “He’s a natural.”

Finally, the icing on this festive Christmas ‘cake’, as it were, was quite simply – timing (the wine and canapés afterwards in the Butler Gallery’s Muse café contributed also).

The concert was one hour duration, not too short and most certainly not too long – perfect really, leaving us, the audience, wanting more. Thank you Patrick Rafter, Billy O’Brien, Alexander Rafter and the Butler Gallery for Festive Favourites, forever a favourite with yours truly.

Now, if you weren’t in Saint Canice’s Cathedral last Sunday, December 4, at the Christmas Tree Festival, you really missed out on something special. Christmas trees made from just about anything: egg cartons, CDs, coke

cans, boots, to name but a few. And it is nothing short of amazing how creative children can be.

I love this festival; indeed I had the pleasure of launching it some years back.

However, it’s not the tree festival itself that made the Sunday afternoon so special. What made it special, ultra special, as far as I was concerned, was the invitation to visit the belfry, an offer taken up by about 30 of us, adults and young alike. How many of you out there have been in the belfry of Saint Canice’s Ca thedral? Not too many I’ll wager which is why it was a privilege to climb (or in my case inch) up the lime stone, spiral steps (scary, very scary) to learn, to see in practice, how the bellringers operate, to hold a

bell hammer in one’s hand (just about because of its weight) and to actually ring a bell which I did with great caution as I didn’t want to go skeetering up to the rafters with the rope, easily done, I assure you.

And I learned something of the bells themselves, eight in all, the largest of which weighs more than your average motor car! We later progressed further upwards – more spiral steps to inch up (even more scary) to see, and touch, the bells them selves which were cast on site in the cathedral and were installed in 1674.

And thank you Ian Mc Cullagh for your engaging, informative talk about the bells, and bell-ringers, of Saint Canice’s. And there on the wall I saw a pho tograph of the late Jim

Skuce, a bell-ringer for 60 years, who I worked along side in Paul’s Drapery throughout my student holidays, Christmas, Easter and summer from UCD.

Ian told us that Bell Hangers from Britain visit every three year to service the bells; he also informed us that they are always on the lookout for bellringers.

So, if you’re interested in becoming one. pop down to Saint Canice’s any Friday night; the bellringers are there from 8 to 10 p.m. and it takes three months training to learn the skill. Bell-ringing – a resolution perhaps for your New Year’s  list!

PS: To further my enjoy ment of the Christmas Tree Festival I’ve just dis covered that I won a prize in their raffle!

20 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
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Global Report

When it comes to ensuring the security of their regime, China’s Communist Party rul ers don’t skimp.

e extent of that lavish spending was put on display when the boldest street pro tests in decades broke out in Beijing and other cities, driven by anger over rigid and seemingly unending restric tions to combat Covid-19.

e Chinese government has been preparing for such challenges for decades, in stalling the machinery needed to quash large-scale upheav als, according to the Associ ated Press.

After an initially muted re sponse, with security person nel using pepper spray and tear gas, police and paramili tary troops ooded city streets with jeeps, vans and armoired cars in a massive show of force.

e o cers fanned out, checking IDs and searching cellphones for photos, mes sages or banned apps that might show involvement in or even just sympathy for the protests.

An unknown number of people were detained and it’s unclear if any will face charg es. Most protesters focused their anger on the ‘zero-Covid’ policy that seeks to eradicate the virus through sweeping lockdowns, travel restrictions and relentless testing. But some called for the party and its leader Xi Jinping to step down, speech the party con siders subversive and punish able by years in prison.

While much smaller in scale, the protests were the most signi cant since the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement centred on Bei jing’s Tiananmen Square that the regime still views as its greatest existential crisis. With leaders and protesters at an impasse, the People’s Libera tion Army crushed the dem onstrations with tanks and troops, killing hundreds, pos sibly thousands.

After the Tiananmen crack

China always ready for that uprising

down, the party invested in the means to deal with unrest without resorting immediate ly to using deadly force.

During a wave of dissent by unemployed workers in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the authorities tested that ap proach, focusing on prevent ing organisers in di erent cities from linking up and ar resting the leaders while let ting rank-and- le protesters go largely untouched.

At times, they’ve been caught by surprise. In 1999, members of the Falun Gong meditation sect, whose mem bership came to rival the party’s in size, surrounded the leadership compound in Bei jing in a show of de ance that

then-leader Jiang Zemin took as a personal a ront. A harsh crackdown fol lowed. Leaders were given heavy prison sentences and members were subject to ha rassment and sometimes sent to ‘re-education centres’.

e government responded with overwhelming force in 2008, when anti-government riots broke out in Tibet’s capi tal Lhasa and unrest swept through Tibetan regions in western China, authorities re sponded with overwhelming force.

e next year, a police crack down on protests by mem bers of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the capital of the northwestern Xinjiang region,

Urumqi, led to bloody clashes in which at least 197 were killed, mostly Han Chinese civilians.

In both cases, forces red into crowds, searched doorto-door and seized an un known number of suspects who were either sentenced to heavy terms or simply not heard from again. Millions of people were interned in camps, placed under surveil lance and forbidden from traveling.

China has been able to mus ter such resources thanks to a massive internal security bud get that reportedly has tripled over the past decade, surpass ing that for national defence. Xinjiang alone saw a ten-fold

increase in domestic secu rity spending during the early 2000s, according to Western estimates.

e published gure for in ternal security exceeded the defence budget for the rst time in 2010. By 2013, China stopped providing a break down. e U.S. think tank Jamestown Foundation esti mated that internal security spending had already reached 113% of defence spending by 2016. Annual increases were about double those for na tional defence in percentage terms and both grew much faster than the economy.

ere’s a less visible but equally intimidating, sprawl ing system in place to moni

tor online content for an ti-government messages, unapproved news and imag es. Government censors work furiously to erase such items, while propaganda teams ood the net with pro-party messages.

Behind the repression is a legal system tailor-made to serve the one-party state. China is a nation ruled by law rather than governed by the rule of law. Laws are suf ciently malleable to put anyone targeted by the au thorities behind bars on any number of vague charges.

ose range from simply “spreading rumours online,” tracked through postings on social media, to the all-en compassing “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” pun ishable by up to ve years in prison.

Charges of “subverting state power” or “incitement to sub vert state power” are often used, requiring little proof other than evidence the ac cused expressed a critical at titude toward the party-state.

ose accused are usually de nied the right to hire their own lawyers. Cases can take years to come to trial and almost al ways result in convictions.

In a further disincentive to rebel, people released from prison often face years of monitoring and harassment that can ruin careers and de stroy families.

e massive spending and sprawling internal security network leaves China well prepared to crackdown on dissent. It also suggests “Chi na’s internal situation is far less stable than the leader ship would like the world to believe,” China politics expert Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation wrote on the Washington, DC-based con servative think tank’s website. It’s unclear how sustainable it is, he said. “ is could have the e ect of either changing Chinese priorities or creat ing greater tensions among them.”

Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine’s culture

Russian troops in Ukraine are deliberately attacking the country’s museums, libraries and other cultural institutions, according to a report issued by the US and Ukrainian chapters of the international writers’ organisation PEN and seen by the Associated Press.

“Culture is not collateral damage in the war against Ukraine; it’s a target, a central pillar of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s justi cation for the war,” the report stated. “Putin has repeatedly claimed that Ukrainian culture and language simply don’t exist. By targeting art museums, music halls, libraries, theatres and historical sites, he attempts to make it so.”

PEN cited Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture as saying that 529 “cultural heritage and cultural institutions” have been de stroyed or damaged since the war started on Feruary. 24.

e gure includes both sites of national importance and cultural venues in towns and villages, the report said.

According to AP, the list in cludes one of the war’s most notorious incidents — the bombing in March of the main

drama theatre in the city of Mariupol, where hundreds of people were sheltering from the city’s siege. Some 600

people died in the attack, ac cording to an Associated Press investigation.

Two large inscriptions read ing ‘children’ on the ground adjacent to the theatre indi cated that Russian forces knew civilians were inside and “it seems likely that the theatre was targeted for its cultural sig ni cance,” the report said.

e PEN report said Russian soldiers also have seized and destroyed Ukrainian literature and Ukrainian-language books from public libraries in occu pied regions.

e report acknowledged that “it is not always possible to determine if the bombings of cultural sites are deliberate or the result of Russia’s indis criminate bombing of civilian areas.”

Russian attacks on Ukrainian culture and the language pre date the start of the war and began in 2014, when Russia

annexed the Crimean Penin sula and supported separatist ghters in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces of eastern Ukraine, PEN said.

PEN Ukraine said it has documented 31 civilian writ ers, artists and other cultural workers killed in Russian at tacks this year, and that some other cultural gures have died while ghting with Ukrainian forces.

American author and pub lisher Dave Eggers, part of the PEN delegation that presented the report, said he thinks the attacks have back red interna tionally.

“ e irony of Putin’s attempts to erase the culture and heri tage of Ukraine (is it) has only enriched their culture and made the world pay attention and be far more interested in Ukrainian writers and tradi tions,” Eggers said at a news conference.

e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
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Woulfe backs exit livestock production plan

Proposals to incentivise farmers to exit livestock pro duction on a voluntary basis to help the sector tackle its climate targets have been backed by former dairy chief Jim Woulfe.

e former CEO of Dairy gold said the future of the agri-food sector was very

Overall, 2022 has been a rea sonably good year for Irish farms with pro ts in sectors other than pigs and poul try higher than in previous years. Unfortunately, better pro ts usually come with a higher income tax bill. Plan ning ahead is the best way to get around this. Usually, taxsaving opportunities can be found both inside and out side the farm gate.

Under our tax system, you will be paying preliminary tax for 2022 with your 2021 income tax return. e bal ance of your 2022 tax will then be payable in October/ November 2023, when the preliminary tax for 2023 will also be due.

Inside the farm gate

When looking for opportu nities to save tax inside the farm gate, key points to dis cuss with your accountant include:

• Any necessary adjustments to add backs for personal ex penditure

• Whether all relevant tax credits, allowances and re liefs are being claimed

• Timing of any planned cap ital expenditure and whether any incentives/reliefs apply

• Timing the purchase of nec essary supplies such as fertil iser, seed, feed

• Timing the purchase of materials for any necessary repairs

• Timing of stock sales

• Wages for family members working on the farm

• Pros and cons of income av eraging.

With soaring fuel and en ergy costs, it’s important to re-examine what percentage of your utility bill is business expenditure.  Any downward adjustment in your pro t for the personal element of mo tor, electricity and telephone expenses will reduce your taxable income. Ask your ac countant to check that you are calculating and allocat ing these expenses correctly.

Outside the farm gate

Business structure is one of the main areas to focus on outside the farm gate. Ques tions to consider include whether it would be ben e cial to form a registered farm partnership/succession farm partnership. If you have ruled out a partnership, have you considered forming a limited company? What are your plans for the next few years? Will your current busi

bright but he warned that the ‘ y in the ointment’ for the country as a food-producing nation was sustainability and the climate action plan.

Speaking at the recent na tional Fianna Fáil Agriculture Policy Conference Mr Woulfe said: “We are moving in the right direction. We must gath

er pace on it and we must now move into a real action phase.

e gap between here and 2030 is narrowing and there is not time to keep in the discus sion phase, we have got to get into the action phase.”

e level of Greenhouse Gas emissions, he said, was some thing the sector has to deal

with and make signi cant changes.

“While our global reputation is excellent, one of the barom eters that is understood by all is water quality. Water quality has deteriorated and we have to reverse that very quickly.

“It’s a raw nerve to the ordi nary citizen... it is unaccept

Higher profits make tax planning now more important

ness structure still be appro priate?

Other tax-saving opportunities

Depending on your circum stances, other areas to look at include:

• Have you maximised your pension contributions?

• Could bringing your spouse into the business and paying them a salary reduce your tax bill?

• If your spouse works o -

able that the water quality isn’t up to the required stan dard, that it has deteriorated, particularly in the south and south-east. at is one of the rst issues that must be tack led.”

He said at this point in time, in the context of sustainability and climate challenge, “we

have got to bite the bullet in the context of the voluntary exit schemes for bovine farm ers”.

ere has always been a nat ural exit from production, he said, with the number of dairy farmers falling from 72,000 in 1983 when milk quotas were introduced, to 18,000 today.

farm, could you top up their income so that they bene t from the maximum personal tax allowance?

• Would it be bene cial to gift your employees a taxfree non-cash bonus of up to €1,000 each under the Small Bene t Scheme?

• Could you contribute to a pension and/or provide ad ditional bene ts for your em ployees?

• Could you push out your year-end to bring Spring

2023 costs into the current year?

• Could you hive o part of your business into a com pany?

• Could you avail of the Em ployment Investment Incen tive Scheme (EIIS)?

Plan ahead

If you have surplus cash on hand this year, it might be worth paying additional preliminary tax to reduce your 2023 tax bill. e most

important thing to remem ber is that there are almost always ways to reduce your tax liability if you plan ahead in time. Most of the oppor tunities listed here apply to companies as well as to sole traders and partnerships. However, individual circum stances vary, so as always, if you require further in formation and/or advice on your speci c situation, please contact your lo cal ifac o ce.

News 26 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
‘Check you are calculating and allocating expenses correctly...
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28 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
MacDonagh Junction
29 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

Snow Goose!

Part 2

– his nose pointed towards the cold Northern sky: “Buhrrd!” he growled, warningly. The children stopped their game – and their eyes followed his nose, his hard stare. They finally spotted – long after Doggo – against the dirty washing lines of threatening clouds – a ducking and swerving object. Clumsily riding the knifey breeze that seemed to always blow down from those eternally frozen regions, a large object came slanting onwards, weaving and swooping, heading wobbly-crazy ground-wards, canting and wallowing and barrelling from one side to the other, obviously in much more trouble than it felt happy about.

It looked to be a very large bird, powerful looking – but obviously in strife from its beak to its tail. They all – including the pets – watched

breathlessly as it lurched and sloughed about, losing height fast, flapping and slapping its wide wings, clearly not going to remain a graceful denizen of the high places for much longer. Then the children now started waving their arms and cheering it on, as if to give it courage, thinking it might react like a tired hurler, and put a last effort in – and also showing the creature that it was welcome. These assumptions, of course, were probably way out, as birds seldom succeed in mind-reading – and in the current situation – the flyer was only interested in getting its feet safely on terra firma – rather than its chest, belly, and beak all at the same time. The dog growled a loud welcome, the cat mewed excitedly – those two craythurs with slightly different welcoming motives than the chidren. Whether all this commotion worked or not, with a final mighty effort the flighty one cleared the high ditch on Walsh’s side of the lane, scraped over the lane and the garden hedge, and slapped down, with a meaty thud onto the frozen

grass. There it continued its progress, skidding along until it crashed headlong into a heap of bushes and rushes – luckily not seeming to wreck itself completely.

They all looked at it with open mouths – except the cat, who had slightly different feelings about winged creatures – seeing them mainly as flying dinners. It was snow white, and looked like a swan. The two children rushed over, and pulled the bushes and thorns away. They then dragged it – gently - back onto the grass, where it lay, exhausted and almost senseless. “Quick, Billy, go in and get the hairy pair’s sack’ – i.e – the pets mattress. Billy shot into the house, and was back in a flash. They rolled the dounced and dazed bird onto it, then dragged it up to the back door, where they backed straight into their Mammy, who was coming out to see what all the ructions were about.

A cool customer, all the Mammy said was “Ah, a Snow Goose, begor” – as if they’d only bagged a pigeon. At this sudden strange news/statement/ the twins let go the corners of the sack, nearly collapsing with the shock of it! “A Snow Goose, Mammy?” gulped Mary“Are you sure?” A withering look was all that doubting

query received. “Was I in Eccles Street College for nothing, was I? I might’ve became poor – but I’ve not lost my brains; now bring the poor creature into the kitchen near the fire, and we’ll warm the cockles of her little heart.” {Mammy always called birds ‘her’, and animals ‘him.’ And she was right too – at least half the time – which isn’t a bad average.

Her orders were obeyed – they always were; well, mostly… She ran a fair good home, povertyplagued, but as happy as the feral gods of hunger and cold allowed. ‘No slouchers, grouchers, or moochers in this house,” she’d quietly growl, at any complaint.

The old cast iron kettle was filled from the bucket, and hung on the crane, kippens shoved under it, and the fire revved up with an ancient bellows. When the water was warm enough, they all got old bits of sacking and used carbolic soap to rub down the still-unmoving bird. They’d noticed it sneaking open a beady yellow eye a few times, so they knew their attentions were being checked on – and – they felt - rather haughtily approved of. After the trio got all the bits of briers and nettles removed, and the lovely feathers cleaned and smoothed back into place,

it was getting dark, and the oil lamp was lit. They had their frugal little supper – a few cuts of bread and butter, and a mug of tea each. And lucky to have it. Now they all sat round the Snow Goose, who was still lying quietly, clearly exhausted, and now having a well-earned restful snooze. The tarrier had tried to help, licking away at the feathers –but a chilly stare from a suddenly-opened yellow eye prompted a halt to his well-intentioned work. The cat sat on the hob, washing her face, observing all –and calculating how many handy feeds lay under the comely feathers – if things should turn out badly for the ex-flier. A scenario, to be honest, that the moggy hoped would ensue…

Just as the grooming session ended, there was a bit of a commotion at the door, and in rushed a small pig, closely followed by a big turkey. The curly tailed one skidded up to the front of the small fire, giving a few squeaks and handy buckjumps – as was, apparently, his usual habit. The turkey just stalked in and sat down on her ‘groog’ as we used to say. A silent meditative sort of bird.

“Well, becripes, yer all honoured by the presence of the Bonniv Branigan” go the pigling, snuffling happily, and giving

small squeals “and how are all ye second-class craythurs goin’, atall atall, bejapers?” Then, noticing the new arrival, with a start, he squealed “Jaysus! A bloomin’ oul duck! Cripes - wotya let that oul quacker in here for, Mary? Janey Mac – it’s a woeful looking yoke altogether! Getteroutahere! Jaykers, ye’re keepin’ quare company these days, so ye are” - natter, squeal, squeak, etc etc! Quite out of breath with his hopping and spakes, he noticed a steady beady yellow eye fixed on him, a relentless sort of hard look, unwavering. After a few minutes, he squealed up again, rather peevishly: “And what are you staring at, Feathers, ay? Never seen a Royal Porcine member before, havya? Spake up there, ducksie!” he go, giving a few fancy little skips around the hearth, and nearly spilling the porridge cooked for the morning – for which he got a nice show of teeth from the Spotto – of whom he was secretly rather afraid.

Ned E


The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of The Kilkenny Observer.

30 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
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When hurling was a crime in Kilkenny!

the King’s liking.

Kilkenny had the dubious honour of serving as the venue for sixteen parliaments between 1293 and 1408.

e best known of these was the one that convened in 1366. It enacted the hard-hitting and notorious Statutes of Kilkenny, which aimed to clamp down on the intermingling of English and Norman settlers with the native Irish.

King Edward the ird want ed to end, once and for all, the trend towards assimilation of his subjects into the rebellious Irish nation.

e Parliament in Kilkenny assembled at the request of the King’s son, Lionel, Duke of Clarence.

e law to deter and prevent the adoption of Irish ways by “superior” English and Normans appeared to have real teeth, though it proved dif cult to enforce: It forbade the “King’s loyal subjects” to wear Irish-style clothing, to speak Irish, to have an “Irish haircut”, or to play hurling or other Irish games.

e ban on hurling went further than many of the other

provisions in the Statutes. It applied to all inhabitants of Ireland…the conquerors

and the conquered…natives, Saxons, Normans and AngloNormans.

Art Exhibition at Foodworks Restaurant

Any English or Norman per son who married an Irishman or woman would henceforth be guilty of High Treason, which carried the death penalty.

e anti-assimilation statute was implemented in some parts of the country, and almost totally ignored in oth ers. But within days of the law taking e ect, scores of AngloNorman men were arrested in Kilkenny and locked up for sporting illegal haircuts. ey lingered for days, sometimes weeks, in jails and dungeons because their haircuts were considered a bit too Irish for

No sooner had they emerged from the bar bershops when along came the King’s troop ers to drag them o .

Many years after the passing of the anti-assimilation law, the Eight Earl of Desmond, omas Fitzgerald, paid the ultimate price for falling in love with an Irish woman. After a whirlwind romance, the couple married.

e Earl assured his sweetheart that nobody would pay much attention to the fact that he was a King’s subject and that she was Irish.

He was wrong. Upon returning from their honeymoon, omas and his startled wife were met by the killjoy soldiers of His Royal Britannic Majesty. He was formally arrested and taken into custody…away from the woman he loved. He was convicted of High Treason and sentenced to death. He threw kisses at his widow-to-be from the barred window of his prison cell on the eve of execu tion day.

As his severed head fell from the block, onlookers gasped

Artist Gerard Casey will have an exhibition of his work at FOODWORKS Restaurant, Parliament Street, Kilkenny, running throughout the month of December and beyond.

A feast for the eyes as well as the body at this lovely eatery run so well by Maeve and Peter Greaney.

In this exhibition he is showing a small collection of oils and pastel work.

Gerard was born in Kilkenny, studied at Limer ick and Cork Colleges of Art and post-graduate studies in Ontario College of Art, Canada.

He is a member of Visual Artists Ireland.

Gerard lives and works in Kilkenny & lectured on BA (Hons) Visual Art at Water ford Institute of Technology, now SETU for several years before retirement.

with horror and lamented his sad fate. Love had caused many a man and woman to lose their heads-in a metaphori cal sense- but none, they felt, deserved the grizzly fate of poor omas, for whom love had proven truly blind...and lethal.

Irish style clothes were torn from the bodies of disloyal subjects and in some cases o enders were paraded nude by jeer ing soldiers through the streets and public highways in addition to having to serve their custodial terms…A case of “it’s better to go naked than look Irish.”

But the hurling ban pro voked more resentment among both natives and settlers than even the crazy prohibition on racial intermingling. e relevant Statute declared: “it is ordained... that the commons of the said land of Ireland use not henceforth the games which men call Hurling, with great Clubs and Ball upon the ground, but that they apply and accustom themselves to use and throw lances, and other gentle games which pertain to arms.”

To be continued...

His works are held in public and private collec tions in Ireland and abroad. He has exhibited exten sively in Ireland and abroad and received numerous awards.

Oireachtas ExhibitionDouglas Hyde Gold Medal 1993, Awarded by the Art Council; Oireachtas Exhibi tion, L & P Financial Servic es Award - Best Landscape, 1996;

Corks Arts Society Award, Irish Representative - ‘First Young International Paint ers Exhibition’ - Spain, De partment of Foreign A airs – Grant.

Short listed for the ‘Eu ropean Prize in Painting’ - Ostend; T.U.I. National Exhibition, C.D.L. Exhibi tion RD.S. Drawing Award Watercolour Award.

Arts Council Travel Award, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997.

32 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Kilkenny All Ireland Champions 1922 Kilkenny All Ireland Minor Champions 1972 Lionel Duke of Clarence
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Mayor Fitzgerald honours Kilkenny Storm members who represented Ireland on the International Stage

Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr David FitzGerald has hosted ‘Kilkenny Storm’ in the Town Hall to honour their recent success on the international stage.

e local young players represented the Irish inline hockey team in Montreal, Germany and Kuwait.

Earlier this month, Bryce Cummins ( 17), Cam eron Mcfarlane (16), Jamie O’Brien (16), Adam Fomin (17) and Robbie Young (16) all played on the Irish national u18’s Junior Men’s team in Montreal Canada ,where they won three out of six games which was a

fantastic achievement.

In Kuwait 15 year old Hallie Cummins played for the Senior Ladies National Ice Hockey team at the Ladies Development Cup.

Hallie was the youngest person to ever play on a Irish Senior National Ice Hockey team and was also the rst to score.

Last May in Germany, Zac Cummins (21) and Alec Young (18) played on the Senior National Ice Hockey Team in Men’s development cup in May placing third in the tournament.

Both these players were also picked to play in the

World Championships in Argentina on the Irish inline Hockey Team, however were unable to attend due to costs.

Speaking at the event Cllr FitzGerald said: “It is im portant to acknowledge the dedication of the younger players and their families to the inline hockey here in Kilkenny. I particularly want to pay tribute to your coach Paul Cummins who not only spends hours traveling to training sessions every week, but is also a voice and campaigner for the minor ity sports here in Kilkenny. As Mayor of Kilkenny, I am

Today sees the nal Chapter in our Twilight Staying Safe this Winter campaign. Over the past few editions, with the assistance of the Kilkenny Observer, we have brought safety this winter to the atten tion, of not just our seniors,

but all members of our com munities. Community spirit, companionship and support are the key to seeing us through the winter.

Now so far, we have had a spell of mild weather across the country but we have

been warned of the cold spell which is about to descend on us.

One such community is the New Park resident’s associa tion who look out for each other not during the winter but all year round.

eir Association Dinner, which caters for all but espe cially the senior members of the community, takes place every December and 2022 is no exception. Mr Frank Cody who is part of both organisa tions, serving as Chairperson

of the Residents association since its formation in 2016 and with Twilight as their General Manager, he shows the value of community activ ism and advocacy.

In 2023 Twilight Com munity Group have some incredible developments for our seniors and commu nity groups and alll will be revealed here in Kilkenny’s Favourite weekly newspaper that in these times of in creased living costs for every one, is available FREE

Advice for older people and their families and neighbours In winter it can be di cult for everyone to get about and conduct day to day activities. It is even more di cult for older people and other vul nerable people.

Keeping well and warm

• keep warm, eat well and avoid unnecessary travel. You should eat regular hot meals and drink plenty of uids, this will keep you warm and will give you energy to keep active

• ensure you have su cient supplies of food and of any prescription medicine you may need

• keep active indoors

• have su cient fuel supplies to maintain adequate heating in your home

• ask your relatives and neighbours for help if you need it. Keep their phone numbers on a list beside your phone

• Personal safety and staying safe

• in icy weather, wear well- t

ted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to go out but try to limit walking outside during the cold weather

• consider wearing a personal alarm so that family or neigh bours are alerted if you fall

• if you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you visit your doctor for a checkup.

• Fall prevention in your home

• leave a low energy light on at night time, preferably one with a high light output

• use a non-slip shower or bath mat

• make sure wires or cords from lamps, telephones etc. do not trail where you walk

• arrange furniture so that you can easily move around all your rooms

• remove rugs or use non-slip tape or backing so rugs will not slip

• consider installing hand rails on both sides of the stairs

e Twilight Community Seniors Group are delighted to have brought you all this information in staying safe this winter.

If you missed any of the columns you can click on seniors-news/

On thus link you can get all the information on staying safe this winter and many more interesting columns for all seniors to read.

We look forward to seeing you get involved with Twilight Community Group in 2023.

34 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
proud to stand in a room among international players. Ice hockey may be a minor ity sport, but you have put Kilkenny on the map in your e orts playing globally in recent months. Congratula tions and continued success to Kilkenny Storm. ’’
Follow New Park’s Residents Association’s example and Stay Safe this winter Feature
35 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Advertisement

Hard to keep a good Cat down

Brendan Dixon formerly of Lower Patrick Street, Kilkenny was recently awarded the Freedom of the City of London at a ceremony at e Guildhall in London’s nancial district.

Vincent Keaveny the rst Irish born Lord Mayor of the City of London nominated Brendan as a recognition of his 40-year career in nancial services.

Brendan, 63, is son of Paddy, who was chief engineer at Kilkenny County Council and his mother Gertie who took an active part of Bishop Peter Birch’s group that set up social services in the city.

e Dixon home was a lively place to grow up with his ten siblings, Margaret, Padraic, Gregory, Miriam (RIP) omas, Catherine, David, John, Vincent and Ann Maire.

Schooling at St Patricks De La Salle led on to Kieran’s College, where lifelong friends were made, some of whom were able to attend the ceremony in London.

At the age of seventeen Brendan headed to London with some of his Kilkenny pals and after a number years working in advertising, he

Kilkenny native Brendan Dixon receives Freedom of City of London

started a new career in nancial services in 1982. He then branched out and set up his own independent rm BKD Wealth Management which still operates today with his

daughter Tara who is an advisor in the rm. Much of his work involved helping and advising Irish people who had come to London and started their own businesses like him. After forty years of service Brendan has now stepped back from advising and plans to spend some of his time working as a consultant to the profession.

Leaving Kilkenny during the long hot summer of 1976 Brendan planned to get a job and stay a

few months…he’s still there and

loves his life in London with his wife Sheila, of Kerry extraction and their three grown up children Tara,

Tiernan and Paddy. When asked, Brendan said “with regard to this award, as I have always said, you can’t keep a good cat down!”

36 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Feature
37 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

I saw Dickens in Kilkenny. He put on a magical performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’, playing all the parts. He excelled as that miserable, mean-spirited creature we know as Ebenezer Scrooge, who was the unlikely hero in one of the world’s best loved Christmas books. What is even more unbelievable is that the book was born out of desperation.

e year was 1843 and Charles Dickens had already written a string of best sellers including ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘ e Old Curiosity Shop’. Each one was a winner with the public who, in their droves, rushed to newspaper stands to grasp the latest instalment of his current story. Dickens was on a winning streak. e sales of his books had given him and his family the opportunity to live well. On the strength of all this success he self- nanced a speaking tour in the United States. is was when things started to go horribly wrong.

e tour of America cost much more than he had estimated, the sales of his most recent book, ‘Martin Chuzzle wit’, had slumped and Dickens’ wife had expensive tastes. To put it bluntly, his nances were in tatters, he already had four children and his wife was preg nant again. Life at that moment was not looking good for the Dickens family.

Here was the man who had provided the world with the some of the most memorable characters in ction. His books had been serialised in a variety of newspapers and Dickens

ensured that each chapter ended on a cli -hanger. You could say that he paved the way for today’s serialisation of soap operas on radio and television.

But now he had reached a low point. His popular ity was waning. e crowds who eagerly awaited the next instalment of his latest story were dwindling and he was

desperate. He needed to write some thing good and sell it quickly. We must remember that Dickens was living at a time when Christmas was not

quite celebrated like it is now. Many factories still remained open on Christmas Day. As far as some employers were concerned it was a working day just like any other. Charles Dickens had already written heart-rending stories about the poor and destitute of London.

Now he put all his talents into creating a Christmas story which would show that goodness and kindness could still win out over despair and misery.

From October to November 1843, over a six week period, he put the story together. He wrapped the story around the miserable creature known as Scrooge. When he had it nished he knew he had a winner, but his publisher would not touch it. Money had already been lost on the sale of his last book and so this slim volume didn’t stand a chance. At least that was what the publisher thought.

So Dickens had no choice but to publish it himself. He scraped together what money he could and managed to pay the renowned illustrator John Leech to provide the draw ings for the book. Leech had already created drawings for Dickens’ previous novels. is was indeed a do-or-die e ort. Apart from his few remaining pounds, shillings and pence he had nothing left to lose. So instead of producing a shoddy version of the book, he decided that this was going to be an all or nothing a air. So he arranged for the most lavish production possible, with the

best binding, gilt edged pages and illustrations which were hand coloured. No money was spared. On this last ditch e ort his literary career, his nances and his wife’s lavish lifestyle would either sink or swim.

Dickens set the sale price of the book as low and as a ord able as possible. Despite the fact that the book sold reason ably well in the rst few weeks after publication, pro ts were small. But the sales continued to increase and Dickens’ repu tation was thankfully saved.

He had a rm hold on the literary world again and he also created the pattern for cel ebrating Christmas festivities. Dickens practically invented the Christmas we know today. And John Leech, who created the wonderful drawings in the book, laid the template for the decorations and tinsels and glittering lights we see all around us at this time of year.

If Charles Dickens’ fortunes had not taken the nose dive that nearly destroyed him, we would have been the all the poorer for that. ere would have been no need for him to desperately create what ulti mately became a best-seller. ‘A Christmas Carol’ would never have been written. at old rascal Ebenezer Scrooge, who learned that goodness is what matters, would not have become a changed man.

And I would never have had the opportunity to see Gerald Dickens, the great-great grand son of Charles, bring Ebenezer Scrooge back to life on a stage in Kilkenny.

38 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
39 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
40 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

We were more like shepherds than magi when we followed that star and if not shepherds then, more than likely, we could be considered black sheep. e stellar light in question was a strip of neon proclaiming the word ‘Watneys’ and the ‘stable’ it hovered above was the saloon bar of the Ri e Volunteer on Kilburn High Road in London.

On that particular Christmas morning, we wended our way through the concrete boreens of North London in some pale imitation of the rituals we remembered were being performed by friends and family back home. Ah! Back home - that was the common element binding us together; it was Christmas, and for yet another year, we had not made it back.

e atmosphere in the Volunteer was heavy. ere were reasons for this, perhaps it was the swirl of tobacco smoke or the ames fog leaking in whenever the barroom door opened, but mostly the air was heavy with unspoken loneliness. We carried the weight of Christmas on our persons

as a hod-carrier shoulders a load of bricks at the end of a long day. Oh sure, we slapped backs, shook hands and bought drinks for perfect strangers. We had assembled in this plastic tinseled refuge pretending it was our notion of celebrating Christmas - but we knew it to be a lie - we were only in the Ri e

Volunteer because we had nowhere else to go and it promised to remain open until 2.00pm on a Christmas Day.

e lad with me was from Cork. On the second round of drinks he burrowed into an inner pocket and withdrew a handful of Christmas cards, stamped, addressed but never posted, his scrawl like a scratched map of the quiet town lands he knew better than any other place on earth. He switched digs regularly. His family had lost connection he told me. He was someone who moved quietly through the world, leaving nothing traceable apart from the muddy imprint of his construction boots Behind us, with his back to the frosted window, sat the man from Inisbo n. I knew him from outside the Crown, looking for ‘a start’. He carried scars of the trenches and tunnels of London and looked like a newly emerged mole. is morning his eyes were as glassy as a stu ed hunting trophy. e pint glass

was dwarfed in his pick-andshovel hand. Tilting back his head, his voice competed against the metallic stutter of a juke-box and fruit machine. With tightly shut eyes, he sang out a lament of loss that dampened our false gaiety.

He sang the words of Anach Cuan, “May burning mountains come tumbling downward.

On that place of drowning may curses fall, Full many the soul it has left in mourning, And left without hope of a bright day’s dawn”.

Someone unplugged the juke-box and allowed the song to ll the bar. In our heads we were in North London but in our hearts we were transported home.

Home for the west of Ireland man was a place where surf shredded into foam on wild rocks, and where small windows o ered the world-weary and the lost an unconditional invitation to warmth and light. For me it was frost owered window panes, star bejeweled velvet

nights and bells calling out from the Big Chapel. When the song lled the air it became sacred as a hymn. It swept us with it as a swollen river will carry a broken branch. In that most unlikely of spaces we became helpless hostages to memory.

e shutters clattered down fteen minutes before closing time. Outside the fog had thickened and as we emerged we were glad it blurred the outlines of our adopted home.

We evaporated in the muted light towards our motley of bed-sits; moving through a day short on light but long on memory. e song dogged our footsteps. It was in our heads. We may have landed by boat but today we were drowning in the cold London fog:

e skeletal trees I passed beneath held, buried within them, a prospect of new life and growth. ere would be springs, summers and other Christmases - the di erence, I promised myself was that next year I would make it home - and at that - that very sacred moment, I really believed what I said.

Joe Kearney is originally from Callan. He is an award winning documentary maker, writer and contributor to RTE’s Sunday Miscellany. His collection of short stories, e Beekeeper and the River has just been published. It will be launched in January. Meanwhile it is available through Ballpoint Press at



41 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
ballpointpress1@gmail. com, 086 or directly from Joe at 087 Actors from Lake Productions, Michael Hayes, Declan Taylor, Derek Dooley, Alan Grant and Eoghan Fingleton, who presented ‘The Kings of The Kilburn High Road’ by Jimmy Murphy at Thomastown Concert Hall in 2022 told the sad tale of some Irish who lost their way in England, and which highlighted the loneliness of Christmas in London for certain members of the Irish Community The juke box rang out all the Irish rebel songs from home that gave a sense of connection
In our ‘Countdown to Christmas’, The Kilkenny Observer is delighted to welcome Dr. Joe Kearney as our first contributor in our Christmas short story section. Enjoy Lamenting Christmas It was a life all too familiar to the Irish…building up and tearing England down
A sign that was all too familiar to the Irish community in England.

Local knowledge, international experience

Daly Farrell Chartered Accountants on Friary Street in Kilkenny (directly across from the Friary Church). e audit tax and accountancy practice was established from two experienced accountancy practices that merged in 2020. Patrick Farrell and Robert Daly are the Managing Partners, and sta levels have increased substantially since the merge.

In Daly Farrell, we strive

to improve and evolve with the ever-changing world of business. Currently, more and more clients are embracing cloud accounting as the world of hardcopy invoices ends. Daly Farrell clients are based predominantly in Dublin, Leinster and Munster but we also have international clients across Europe and the United Kingdom. One area of work that

has grown over the last number of years is the preservation of wealth and succession planning. Daly Farrell is planning to open a Dublin branch in 2023. For more information visit

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their continued custom and we wish all a Happy Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year.

42 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
43 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

Food & Drink

Christmas DayDinner Christmas

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 35 mins

Serves: 4

Aromatic avours transform the ordinary parsnip into a delicious warming soup.


• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 tsp coriander seeds

• 1 tsp cumin seeds, plus extra to garnish

• ½ tsp ground turmeric

• ½ tsp mustard seeds

• 1 large onion, cut into 8 chunks

• 2 garlic cloves

• 675g parsnips, diced

• 2 plum tomatoes, quartered

• 1.2l vegetable stock

• 1 tbsp lemon juice


n STEP 1

Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

n STEP 2

In a bowl, mix together 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp ground turmeric and ½ tsp mustard seeds.

n STEP 3

Add 1 large onion, cut into 8 chunks, 2 garlic cloves, 675g parsnips, diced, and 2 quartered plum tomatoes and mix well.

n STEP 4

Spread over a heavy baking sheet, then roast for 30 mins until tender.

n STEP 5

Spoon into a food processor or liquidiser with 600ml vegetable stock and process until smooth.

n STEP 6

Pour into a pan with the remaining 600ml vegetable stock, season, then heat until barely simmering.

n STEP 7

Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice. Garnish with cumin seeds.

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr and 15 mins

Inspired by the internet sensation that is the bacon bombe, we’ve devised a Christmas cracker of a roast turkey with a stu ng of bacon and chorizo.


• 8 pork & herb sausages or 500g sausagemeat

• 3 garlic cloves, nely grated

• 1 small pack parsley, roughly chopped

• 1 egg

• 32 rashers smoked streaky bacon

• 1.6kg boneless, skinless turkey breasts (1 large or 2 small breasts)

• 1 tbsp sun ower oil

• 6 pieces cooking chorizo

• 1 tbsp maple syrup


n STEP 1

Squeeze the sausages into a bowl or tip in the sausagemeat. Add the garlic, parsley and egg, and squish through with your ngers to mix everything well.

n STEP 2

Lay a large sheet of baking parchment on your work surface. Use the bacon to make a large rectangular lattice, weaving the rashers in and out of each other.

Place a piece of baking parchment on top, then use a rolling pin to roll over the bacon and seal the rashers together.

n STEP 3

Butter y the turkey breast by cutting into one side of it so you can open it like a book. Cover with cling lm and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to gently bash it out into a rectangle that ts inside the bacon, with a

2.5cm border of bacon on each side. n STEP 4

To build the bombe, peel the top layer of parchment o the bacon, leaving it lying on the bottom sheet. Arrange the turkey, skinned-side down, on the bacon, then pat the sausage mixture on top. Trim the rounded ends o the chorizo and line them, ends touching, along the middle of the sausage meat mixture. Use the edge of the baking parchment to lift and roll the bacon and turkey into a tight log. Tie the bombe at intervals with string to keep it together, then wrap well in cling lm and put in the fridge. Can be prepared, up to this point, and chilled two days ahead.

n STEP 5

To cook, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Remove the cling lm, then brush the bombe with a little oil, put it seam-side down on a baking sheet, and roast for 30 mins until the bacon has crisped up, then reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

n STEP 6 Brush with the maple syrup to give it a sticky nish and continue to roast for another 45 mins or until the middle of the bombe reaches 75C on a digital cooking thermometer (check after 30 mins as oven temperatures do vary). Leave to rest for at least 15 mins before carving into thick slices. Any leftovers are delicious cold. Save the juices from the tin to make gravy.

gas 6. Tip the apples, cranberries, spices and sugar into a 22cm square baking dish and mix well to combine.

n STEP 2

For the crumble, rub the our and butter together using your ngertips until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Stir in the sugar and mixed spice. Sprinkle the crumble in an even layer over the fruit, then bake for 35-40 mins until golden on top and bubbling at the edges. Leave to cool slightly, then serve warm.

44 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
THE STARTER Spicy roasted parsnip soup THE MAINS Turkey, bacon & chorizo bombe Prep: 25 mins Cook: 40 mins Serves: 4-6 Enjoy a festive crumble made with apples, cranberries and mixed spice. Serve warm with cream or custard for the ultimate comfort dessert. Ingredients • 1kg apples, peeled, cored and chopped • 150g frozen cranberries • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • ½ tsp mixed spice • 75g caster sugar For the crumble • 125g plain our • 100g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes • 50g caster sugar • ½ tsp mixed spice Method
the oven to
THE DESSERT Christmas crumble

Troll: think King Kong, mixed with X-Files

Net ix has a new smash-hit movie on its hands — and it’s taken just days for the lm to hit the top spot. Troll is a Scandinavian movie which re-imagines the country’s mythic trolls as Kaiju-like creatures that are angry and out of control. ink King Kong, mixed with X-Files.

e lm is a lot of fun, al though it doesn’t skirt away from some serious issues. Among the creature carnage are themes of xenophobia, religion and colonisation.

e director is one who

is no stranger to managing big, bombastic movies on a modest budget (when com pared to Hollywood).

Roar Uthaug created e Wave, back in 2015. at movie was a Day After To morrow style disaster lm, where a Norwegian fjord collapses and creates an 85-meter high violent tsu nami. It was the rst disaster movie which was made in Norway and it had around a $6 million budget.

Uthaug’s talents caught the attention of Hollywood and he then went on to direct the

Tomb Raider reboot, which starred Alicia Vikander.

For Troll, however, Uthaug has headed back to Norway to create this creature fea ture. Although the budget for this one is undisclosed, it has become an instant hit on Net ix.

According to FlixPatrol, globally it has hit the No. 1 spot for Net ix movies, beat ing other recent release Lady Chatterly’s Lover which is currently in second spot. is is impressive, given the movie was only released in early December. In the

near 100 countries that Flix Patrol tracks, the lm is in the top spot for the majority of them.

ere’s just six where it currently isn’t in top place: Australia, Bangladesh, South Korea, India, Hong Kong and Jordan. It is in their Top 3 movies, however.

Troll has a solid Rotten Tomatoes score, too. It is currently at 85%. with Bloody Disgusting noting: “While light on narrative, it’s when director Roar Uthaug embraces the lm’s monster that Troll reveals its magic.”

When Prince Harry met Meaghan ...

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have to look to the future after the release of their explosive Net ix docuseries, and the Duke of Sussex’s memoir release in January, a royal author has claimed.

Valentine Low, who penned Courtiers: e Inside Story of the Palace Power Struggles, told UTV’s Lorraine Kelly he thinks the Montecito-based Duke and Duchess of Sussex “can’t carry on being that couple complaining about the past.”

e royal correspondent also added that the Prince

of Wales’ camp is “tired” of Harry and Meghan’s media campaign, and there is ‘ab solutely no chance’ of a rec onciliation between the two brothers and their wives.

It comes amid reports that senior family members plan “business as usual ap proach” amid turmoil over Harry and Meghan docu mentary.

But it has been said that Prince William plans to “push back any wild claims” that may surface in the docuseries, now on Net ix.

e royal correspondent also said there was “abso

lutely no chance” of a rec onciliation between the two brothers and their wives.

“You would have thought but maybe after the series and after the book as well, they’ll be done and move on,” Valentine Low said.

‘ at’s the important thing, they can’t carry on being this couple who keep complain ing about the past.

“ ey got to look to the future, they got to de ne themselves and how they are in the future,” the expert said.

“Once they got this out of their system, perhaps we will

hear less from them on that front and we’ll hear some more contributions from them.”

He said the public could expect more “positive con tributions” from the parentsof- two, but added that “up until now, their bitterness and resentment have been deep- welled”.

As Lorraine Kelly said there seemed to be no chance of the Sussexes and Wales’ building bridges, the royal expert added: “At the mo ment there’s absolutely no chance of reconciliation be tween the two couples.”

5 sci-fi series to stream now 5

1. e Man in the High Castle

e rivetting Man in the High Castle imagines an alternate history where the Axis powers (Rome-BerlinTokyo) win World War II. Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, the series follows characters in the ‘60s who live in a parallel universe, where Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan control the US. But there’s impossible newsreel footage surfacing of a world where Germany and Japan lose the war, causing some to rebel. To really hammer home its dystopia credentials, e Man in the High Castle is steered by producer Ridley Scott. Fully realised and with a focused plot, this is gripping TV on Amazon Prime.

2. Humans

Humans, on Channel 4 and MyFour, might not be entirely original, but the assembled parts sing. A British family purchases an arti cially intelligent robot called a ‘synth’ to help out with their busy lives. is grounded approach to sentient, possibly dangerous robots is one of Humans’ greatest strengths. An innocent bond between the family’s youngest daughter and Gemma Chan’s elegant and e cient synth Anita. A mystery draws the family into the origins of the robots, who explore requisite philosophical themes such as humanity, pain, memories and reality.

3. Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

Electric Dreams, on Amazon Prime Video, lives up to its name, each episode of the anthology series a vibrant, polished product whirring on the ideas of its source material: e works of Philip K. Dick. As with most anthologies, some episodes are better than others, but if you’re craving storytelling with Black Mirror-like setups, let this reverie slip over you.

4. Outer Range

For trippy sci- that asks you to turn on your wild theory generator, look no further than Outer Range. e 2022 sci- Western is set on the Abbott family ranch, where patriarch Royal (Josh Brolin) hides an almighty secret. When a stranger comes to town (Imogen Poots), he’s forced to confront his past, present and future, and not just in the metaphorical sense. Weird in ways you won’t expect, Outer Range is a solid sciouting worth sticking with. Another reason to be invested: Amazon has renewed the neo-Western for a second series.

5. Tales From e Loop

Not just another show about a small town where strange things happen, Tales From e Loop has layers beneath its beautiful surface. Based on a narrative art book by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, the series is stunning to look at. Meticulous, symmetrical frames somehow give oI a painterly feel.

e interconnected townspeople are similarly nuanced, their stories exploring loneliness, ageing and the impact of technology. On Amazon Prime Video

45 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 TVAdvertisement & Streaming

e Santa Truck is coming to town for Yulefest Kilkenny!

Santa & Mrs Claus will ar rive to Kilkenny in style on Saturday 10th December!

Come out to say hi and grab a sel e with Santa and the bedazzled Christmas Truck and children will be able to hop aboard to visit Santa’s

Grotto. Entrance will be on a rst come, rst served basis. Santa’s Truck will be at the Coachpark at St. Canice’s Place. Enter the Coachpark at the pedestrian entrance on Vicar St., across from the Irishtown Petrol Station.

On the night Santa’s help ers will be taking donations

for the LauraLynn Hospice, you can donate online at raiser/santatruck2022. e

Santa Truck will have some children’s items on sale on the night, all proceeds from these will go to the LauraL ynn Children’s Hospice. Follow @SantaTruck on

Facebook to track their route and see if the truck will be passing along a road near you!

Please note: is is a free event, but donations to Lau raLynn are greatly appreci ated. Entrance will be on a rst come rst served basis. Children must be accompa

nied by an adult. Attendees will likely have to queue to go inside the truck, so please dress appropriately for the weather.

e Santa Truck will come to Kilkenny on Saturday 10th December from 5pm to 7pm at the Coachpark at St. Canice’s Place.

46 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Lake Productions presents CHRISTMAS CHARITY CONCERT In aid of Kilimanjaro Direct Featuring Castlecomer Male Voice Choir Members of St. Patrick’s Band Ali Comerford Sola CBS Choir Billy Carrigan and Friends Lake Productions Ukrainian Singers Hits from the Musicals The Set Theatre Kilkenny Monday, 19 December 8.00pm With Music, Comedy and Song TICKETS available from THE SET THEATRE or online at EVENTBRITE Admission: €12.50 (€10 concession) Proudly supported by
e Santa Truck comes to Kilkenny for Yulefest 2022!
47 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
48 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

As part of Yulefest Kilkenny and Christmas in MacDonagh a pop-up outdoor cinema will screen a Christmas favourite, Elf. Released in 2003, Elf has become an iconic Christmas feel-good movie and familyfriendly at its core.

Following on from the suc cess of last years movie nights, the big screen is back, show ing your favourite Christmas movie for one night only at

a new location; Goods Shed Square in MacDonagh Junc tion. With ample parking and stores open until 9pm, there are lots of places to pick up snacks or eat beforehand in MacDonagh Junction Shop ping Centre, it’s an ideal loca tion for this festive event.

On ursday, 15th Decem ber wrap up warm and bring chairs, cushions, blankets and treats to join us for a magical

night of cinema in the city. Get in the festive spirit, grab your family and enjoy a hot chocolate at this unique Yule fest event or plan a Christmas get-together with friends.

Marian Acreman, Mac Donagh Junction Shopping Centre Manager commented “We’re looking forward to welcoming people to Goods Shed Square at MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre

to watch this fun Christmas comedy. Come along and grab a bit beforehand, do some Christmas shopping and pick up some treats to munch on while watching Elf!”

Will Ferrell stars as the happy-go-lucky, Buddy, who as a baby crawled into Santa’s toy bag and was whisked o to the North Pole, where he was raised as an elf! Raised as an oversized elf after grow ing to three times the size of his elf family, Buddy is the epitome of the Christmas spirit. He travels from the North Pole to his birthplace of New York City to dis cover his roots and nd his original family that includes his scrooge-like father and a cynical younger stepbrother who doesn’t believe in Santa.

In New York, Buddy discovers that everyone seems to have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas and sets about to single-handedly save Christ mas in New York, and win over his family in the process!

Cinema in the city will take place on ursday 15th December from 5.30pm at Goods Shed Square, Mac Donagh Junction Shopping Centre. Tickets are €3 and €10 for a family. At 5.30pm a short children’s movie will be screened at 5.30pm and Elf will begin at 7pm. Spaces will be limited and tickets will need to be purchased in advance at Please note: this is an outdoor event with no formal seating. Please dress appropriately for

the weather and bring picnic blankets, cushions or camp chairs. Due to noise levels we think it’s best to leave the pets at home.

Yulefest ‘Christmas in Kilkenny’ returned at the end of November and brings the festive spirit to Ireland’s Marble City until Friday 23rd December! During the festival Kilkenny’s Medieval City transforms into a Christmas Wonderland of festive cheer for all the family. After the success of last year’s festival, this year Yulefest has grown - with a larger Christmas Market on e Parade and an extended Christmas week programme.

Yulefest Kilkenny runs for ve weeks and welcomes visi tors to Kilkenny with a packed programme of Christmas activities including live music on the Yulefest Bandstand; the Kilkenny Christmas Market where you can pick up perfect presents for the ones you love; a Santa Run; Fireworks Display; and Elf Village in Castlecomer! New for Yulefest Kilkenny 2022 is an extended Christmas week programme beginning on Tuesday 20th December. e Kilkenny Christmas Market will be open throughout the week, along with live music on the Yulefest Bandstand and some very special treats that you won’t want to miss.

Yulefest Kilkenny is pro grammed, produced and marketed by Kilkenny County Council.

49 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
ultimate Christmas
will be screened at MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre this month as part of
50 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
51 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

“What’s with the racket?”

he asked the bar man, indicating towards the lounge “a group of nurses starting their Christmas holiday party tonight, then off to the boat to Ireland in the morning. We had a big crowd in last night, all starting their fes tivities here before going home.”

‘Home for Christmas’ he thought, then addressing the barman said “I arrived here just after I turned sixteen, my Mother let me go on the promise that I’d be home at Christmas, that’s over forty five years ago now. Never set foot in that place since, never will.”

They’ll all be going home now with their big wage packets, showing all and sun drying their pay slips, flashing the cash, lying through their teeth about the condi tions here. Drawing more of the fools over here in January, with the illusion of big pay days for no real effort. I’ve seen them arrive every September or January, smiling faces, innocence, until they realise the true facts. No comfortable bed, probably sharing a room with up to five others, lucky if they have a mattress on the floor. No Mammy’s dinner at the end of the day. Out

working all day only fit for the bed at the end of it. If you have no trade, you dig, and if you have, you serve those ahead of you in the pecking order.

I’ve seen Plasterers carry hods, Carpenters labour to Brickies, and the elite of the sites, Electricians, up to their knees in mud unload ing delivery trucks. All under the illusion of great times, some with any sense will leave the sites before they are broken. As for those young girls, shops, offices, bars or restaurants are their choices. They’d have done as well had they stayed at home and moved to any Irish city where there are the same opportunities, but no, the bright lights of England and the lies bring them over. Now too proud to go home and admit they were wrong to leave, or they were fooled by other fools. Getting married to save face and stay in England. Marry the lie rather than return home not able to take it, a failure.”

“It’s not like that for everybody is it?” asked the barman.

“For more than most.

Going home for

52 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

Sixteen is all I was coming off that train after a boat trip that made me so sick I thought I’d never eat again, and my stomach has never been easy since with all I’ve seen. Big strong bucks shattered by the constant driving by dastard foremen under who you can’t toil hard enough, quick enough or long enough. Your wages short every week, and you’re expected to buy a drink and tip your cap to the rogue that treated you like a useless animal all week in the hope he might ease up a little next week. In all weathers, every day, relentless, total relentless hardships. Have an ac cident, get injured, take sick, and seek out your social welfare entitle ments, no stamps paid, no records kept, you don’t exist, and then you find your friends are very thin on the ground. People you consider your own turn their backs. They can’t help, they don’t have the means to properly support themselves. You sink lower than you thought possible and you never recover. You become invisible in plain sight looking for charity in a place that does not care. You know when it comes near holiday time as it is when the employers

gain most, because it is then that they all want to boost their incomes, with overtime, working Satur day and Sundays doing ghosters, extra shifts, extra hours for cash at half the normal rate. Anything to be sure of having excess cash during the stay at home, showing off but keeping the dark truth hidden so as not to em barrass themselves for being such idiots. While they are doing this they’re replenishing the next batch of fresh recruits for the disposable labour market. They don’t realise they’re bringing over the very people who will chal lenge them for their jobs and most likely replace them because they are naïve and will work harder for less until they too, break.

It’s a big circle that will never end; they arrive over here, are broken by the system and then become part of the system, rearing chil dren here who they will then try to protect from the system. Insisting on education as a means of escape, directing them away from their mistakes, making them think they are too good for jobs their parents worked in all their lives. Progress being, they believe that just because

they don’t make the life choices they made, their children will be success ful.

The flow off the boats will satisfy the needs of the labour market. Con tinued supply of young enthusiastic fools from every town and village in Ireland will ensure that. With no effort from the employers needed, they entrap themselves and make no apologies to those who fall into the trap of greed when their errant ways are found out. They set the same trap they were caught in and in turn, those trapped will set new traps in the months to come. How ingenious it would be if it were designed. What other countries would relish a system such as this to feed their labour market needs? One that pays for itself, it’s pure in genious.”

“You have very strong feelings towards this,” said the bar man, “Do you mind me asking who you are?”

“Not at all,” replied the gentleman, “I’m Desmond Dollard, owner of the Emerald Construction Company, here’s my card in case you come upon anybody looking to engage in gainful employ ment.”

53 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

Yulefest Kilkenny brings you DJ Beats on Parliament St on Fridays 9th, 16th and 23rd December. Brought to you by Clonakilty Distillery, our resident DJs Se7ev Inch Collective will be on hand to get you in the festive party mood. Get together with your friends and head into your favourite Parliament St.

DJ Beats on Parliament St

eatery, grab a pizza, pasta or something hearty and bring it with you to the Watergate Urban Park to enjoy great music and a fun atmosphere. There will be a crêpe van onsite too for something sweet or savoury! DJ Beats is the perfect way to start your Friday nights in the City! This event is free and open

to the public and is a great way to begin your weekend with friends or finish your week with work colleagues. Kicking off on Friday 9th De cember, and continuing each Friday until Christmas DJ Beats takes place from 5pm to 8pm. If you can’t make it on a Friday, don’t worry as the park itself will be open

all week.

Yulefest Kilkenny runs for five weeks and welcomes visitors to Kilkenny with a packed programme of Christmas activities includ ing live music on the Yulefest Bandstand; the Kilkenny Christmas Market where you can pick up perfect presents for the ones you love; a Santa

Run; Fireworks Display; and Elf Village in Castlecomer!

New for Yulefest Kilkenny 2022 is an extended Christ mas week programme beginning on Tuesday 20th December. The Kilkenny Christmas Market will be open throughout the week, along with live music on the Yulefest Bandstand and

some very special treats that you won’t want to miss.

Yulefest Kilkenny is programmed, produced and marketed by Kilkenny County Council

DJ Beats takes place on Fridays 9th, 16th and 23rd at the Watergate Urban Park on Parliament Street, Kilkenny City, 5-8pm.

Photo: Vicky Comerford
55 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
56 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022

December 1st 2022: The chef behind Báidín, the popular Connemara pop-up of Summer 2021, has just opened a permanent premises in Kilkenny, on Wednesday, November 30th.

Chef Sinéad Moclair along with her sister Maeve opened their restaurant Nóinín at 3 John’s Bridge in the heart of Kilkenny City.

A Ballymaloe cookery school graduate, Sinéad spent three years cooking in the Fumbal ly Café in Dublin where she also ran the Fumbally Home Cooking courses. She was part of the team that set up Báidín in the Clifden Boat Club which proved to be one of the most talked about food destinations of the summer of 2021. Maeve is a primary school teacher, who

New Restaurant Nóinín opened in Kilkenny

shares a passion for

and decided to take a career break and join her sister in the new venture.


Hailing from near Fethard in Co. Tipperary, the sisters

set their sights on Kilkenny as the location for their busi ness. “We’ve always loved Kilkenny. We’ve been com ing here since we were kids and have a lot of affection for the place. It always has a nice buzz as well as being a great city for food. We just felt it would be the right place to open our restau rant.”

Nóinín, the Irish word for daisy, is a nod to the restau rant’s emphasis on locally grown and seasonal ingre dients. Local producers will have a starring role on the menu, with Riversfield Farm in Callan supplying organic veg, meat from Kenna’s Butchers in Kilkenny, fish from Goatsbridge along with natural wines from Kilken ny’s Le Caveau. The small regularly changing menu will feature dishes such as Hanoi style chargrilled pork meatballs with sticky rice, nuoc cham dipping sauce, pickles and fresh herbs or a roasted pumpkin, whipped ricotta and organic kale lasagne.

Nóinín will initially offer lunch Wednesday to Sun day as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday, with plans to expand the dinner offering in the new year. Opening hours will initially be from 12-4pm for lunch and 6-9pm for dinner with updates available on their Instagram @noininkilken ny

57 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
“Maeve came up to Báidín to help out for a weekend and ended up staying for the whole summer. She loved it.
It was that experience of the two of us working together in a tiny kitchen for a summer that started the conversa
why don’t we open a place together?”
Sinéad and Maeve Moclair pictured in front of their restaurant, Nóinín, on John’s Bridge, Kilkenny

Submissions are welcomed and encouraged in a wide range of styles, from gospel to pop, rap to folk, jazz, classical and beyond, with extra points given to any class that in cludes Lámh or sign language in their video.

Primary schools nationwide are eligible to enter, with

teachers required to email a video or link of their entry directly to Audiology Medical Services. Shortlisted nalists will be selected by a panel of judges, with the winner of the massive €1000 prize then cho sen through a public vote.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s competition, Chief

Operating O cer of Audiolo gy Medical Service, Kay Lewis, said: “We have seen how mu sically talented the children of Ireland are over the last couple of years with this com petition, and I cannot wait to hear this year’s submissions. Our Christmas Carol School Competition highlights the

tremendous talent while cel ebrating the joy of Christmas and all the wonderful sounds we experience over the festive season, and in particularly highlighting the important role our hearing plays in creating lasting memories and experiencing Christmas to the fullest.”

Kay went on to add: “If our Christmas Carol Competition isn’t for your class, we are also running a Christmas Colour ing Competition with a choice of 3 di erent festive designs to win a €100 shopping voucher. And, for the rst time, we want to hear the children of Ireland best jokes which will

be published in a Children’s Joke Book set to be launched in Spring 2023. All proceeds from the joke book will go to local children’s charities. Email jokes, with the student’s name, school and location to hello@audiologymedicalser”

A family-owned business, Audiology Medical Services is leading the way in Ireland when it comes to the provi sion of expert and compre hensive child-centred and family-friendly diagnostic audiological assessment of infants, children, and ado lescents. With International studies proving that early detection of hearing loss will result in improved academic and social outcomes for hard of hearing children and their families, Audiology Medical Services ensures that every child that attends an appoint ment has the most accurate assessment possible.

Audiology Medical Services also believe that no child should endure lengthy waiting lists to access a simple hearing examination, which is why they are fully committed to of fering a speedy appointment process to relay any concerns.

For full details on all Audiol ogy Medical Services compe titions along with terms and conditions and how to enter, visit www.audiologymedi Deadline to submit entries for the Christ mas Carol School Competi tion is midnight on ursday December 8th, 2022.

58 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
year of entries in
for the third year.
to win
Win €1000 for your School with Online Christmas Carol Competition
After a record
2021, the Audiology Medical Service’s ‘Christmas Carol School Competition’ returns
Schools throughout Ireland are being invited to submit
singing their favourite Christmas songs
prize of €1000 for their school
59 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Advertisement Recruitment

Lecture to remember antitreaty volunteers Murphy and Phelan

A lecture is taking place on Sunday December 11th in the Home Rule Club which will

revisit events that took place in Kilkenny Army Barracks a hundred years ago involving Captain Frederick Lidwell, a native of

Dublin, and John Phelan and John Murphy two anti-treaty volunteers from the 5th Battalion Kilkenny Brigade who were executed on the 29th of December.

Following the lecture, which will be delivered by Commandant (retired) Larry Scallan, the recently released lm ‘Dear Mother’ by Kevin Hughes will be shown.

Larry has a keen interest in our local military history and

heritage and he also assists groups of people who went to France & Flanders since 2011.

He has given walking tours (Kilkenny Military Heritage Tours) in Kilkenny city dur ing heritage week and also provides bespoke tours of Kilkenny City to schools on request.

Further to the recent success ful lecture on the inscription on the Kilkenny World War One headstones, Larry o ered to hold another lecture on be half of the Kilkenny Historical Re-enactment Group, John Joe Cullen (re-enact ment group) decided to raise money for Kilkenny Helping

e Homeless, and so pro ceeds from the night will go to this worthy cause.

e need for help with food and clothing is now much more important with the rising energy costs. e Kilkenny Historical Re-enactment Group are a group that reenact di erent periods of Irish related history to inform, edu cate, and remember Kilkenny men and women who were involved in con icts near and far o lands. ey have been involved in many parades, memorial events, lm and stage productions.

Admission to the lecture is ve euros.

60 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Photos of ‘Dear Mother’ by kind permission of Wallslough Studio.
61 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Motors
News 62 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Online


Lotto Results, 29th November. No Jackpot Winner. Next week’s jackpot is €6800 €30 each to - Maria Phelan, Denis O Callaghan, Jake Byrne, Patricia Carroll and Mai Brennan. Congrats to all! Thanks to all for your support.


Well done to the three Clara lads who featured for St. Kieran’s as they claimed the Leinster Junior hurling title on Wednesday in Nowlan Park. They overcame a strong Johnstown outfit on a 1-23 to 1-16 scoreline. David Barcoe was a stalwart at centre back while Luke Lawlor and Conor Hoyne, who scored a point, were both introduced as substitutes.


Congratulations to Laoise Nolan and Mary O Connell who were both selected on the Kilkenny Senior Club Team of the Year at a function in Dicksboro on Friday night. Mary was also honoured as top scorer of the championship with 2-32 to her name in 2022. Siobhán Curtis and Keara Ryan were also nominations for the team. Well done all.

laslt and is serving some beautiful homemade food. The Café which is run on a voluntary basis is open Tuesday to Saturday each week from 10am to 4pm, so why not go along for a co ee or a snack and meet your friends for a chat as well as supporting the new local venture.


Sinead Diver a native of County Mayo produced the fastest ever marathon time by an Irish woman last weekend with a brilliant run of 2.21.34 in Valencia almost a minute faster than Catherina McKiernan’s long standing record set back in 1998. She represented Australia in the Olympics. Sinead is daughter in law of Patrick and Ann Cullinane, Kilkenny St Freshford and Limerick


Congratulations and best wishes go out to Noel McGree, Woodview Freshford and Miriam Walsh of Tullaroan who were married recently in Church of the Assumption Tullaroan. The new bride had more celebration on the following week at the Camogie awards in Croke Park. Miriam got an All star award and was also named Player of the year. What a week or two for Miriam.



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


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

Mass Cards

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



There was no winner of the club lotto week (Nov 29th ).

Numbers draw were 3, 10, 26, 27 Bonus 23, Next week’s top prize will be €14,400 (Dec 6th ). Play now at www.

Promotors Draw:. 1. Fran Barry c/o Esther Maher. 2. Mags & Funny c/o JJ Cullen

3. M Cleary c/o Mick Nolan . 4. Leo Monagle. 5. Mary Brennan c/o Damien O’Connell

6. Ursela McKenna c/o Neil Lot. 7. Margaret Cummins c/o Mick Nolan

8. Noeleen Breen c/o Online.9. Kevin McGarry c/o Online. 10 Nicky Preston c/o Paul Cleere Thank you for your continued support


Phelans Tree Farm on the Old Golf Links Road is the purveyor of the finest Christmas Trees and has linked up with O’Loughlin Gaels Camogie club again this year to o er you the best Christmas cheer. Take the family,bring the dog if you have to, and visit the Tree Farm, pick your tree, cut it down and take it home.

Trees costs from just €20 and part profit supports

O’Loughlin Gaels Camogie Club. So visit Phelan’s Tree Farm on the Old Golf Links Road near the Fairways R95 K297.


All club members are invited to the Club on Saturday December 17th from 8pm to enjoy a social evening of festive fun. There’ll be a prize for the best Christmas Jumper or Retro Jersey. Live music. Admission is Free


Medals will be awareded to our u16 Camogie Cham pionship winners and u14 Shield Winners at a short presentation evening on Saturday 17th at 6:45pm in the club lounge. All are welcome


A special a ernoon of Christmas Carols and Music at St. John’s Church on Sunday Dec 11th at 2:30pm. Admission €5


We encourage all to support local businesses this Christmas just as they’ve supported our local community and sports organisations throughout the year.


The O’Loughlin Gaels Club AGM will go ahead on Thursday Dec 15th at 7:30pm for all it’s members. The Camogie Club AGM was held Thursday (Dec 1st) for its members. Club Secretary Geraldine Sheridan was thanked for her generous commitment to the club during her time as secretary a er she stepped down from the role. Helen Nelson was ratified as the clubs new Secretary.

Club o icers elected. Chairperson, Eoin Lawlor. Secretary, Helen Nelson. Treasurer, Linda O’Leary. PRO – Vacant. Registrar. Joan Galway. Children’s O icerCaitríona Loughrey Juvenile Chairperson. Orla Skehan. Coaching Development & Youth - Amy Bryan Hospital ity - Deirdre Roche. Co. Board Delegates - Gerry Buckley, Joan Galwey.


Freshford lost another of its more senior citizens last week with the passing of Sean Kennedy (Snr) late of Ballylarkin, Freshford. In his 90’s he was predeceased by his wife Mary. He was widely known in the area espe cially amongst the farming community. He was a keen GAA follower over the years and also a keen camogie supporter especially when his daughters were playing. He was a member of Freshford Coursing club for many decades and the members formed a guard of honour at his funeral. Funeral mass took place in St.Lachtain’s Church on Fridya morning last followed by burial in St.Lachtain’s Cemetery. He is mourned by his son Sean, his daughters Mary, Eileen, Alice, Delia, Claire, Esther and Imelda, his grandchildren , great grandchildren, sons in law, sister nephews nieces and extended family to whom deepest sympathy is extended.


The new Community Café in the village is now open.

The Loop Café at Buncrussia Street opened on Friday

Ionad Lachtain Church, Arts and Heritage Centre will continue to open at weekends until Christmas. A wide selection of local cra s is available to purchase including knitted garments and toys, wood turning, Origami cra s, paintings, soaps and Freshford souvenir cards and carrier bags. Local literature includes Ned Kennedy’s “Edmund Fitzpatrick Artist and Illustrator” and Mike Cormack’s “Life in Freshford” book of photo graphs. Foodstu s include honey, jams and preserves. Don’t forget to shop local this Christmas. Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Don’t forget the Christmas Cra Fair on Sunday, December 4.


The annual Christmas collection for the St. Vincent de Paul Society will be taken up next weekend December 11th Donors can also make a donation in the blue SVP envelope provided to each household recently by An Post. These envelopes can be le anytime in the parish collection box in the porch at Freshford Church or in the collection basket at Tulla Church.


Congratulations go out to brother and sister who received benemerenti medals recently. In recognition of their service and care to St Nicholas Church Tulla

Threecastles for 37 years Benemerenti medals were presented to Annette Donegan and her brother Sean Og Murphy by Monsignor Kieron Kennedy P.P. Freshford Parish. The Benemerenti medal is bestowed by Pope Francis in recognition of meritorious Christian service to God and parish.


Special birthday wishes go out to Aoibheann Bergin, Clashacrow and Holly Delaney of Galmoy who cel ebrated very special birthdays last weekend. The girls marked the occasion at a joint party in Kavanagh’s Bar on Friday night.


Frshford held various activities for the upcoming Christmas period. On Sunday last there was a co ee morning and cake sale at Prague House a er Mass. Then an hour later there was a Christmas market at Ionad Lachtain Heritage Centre and then at 5pm. the illumination of the Christmas lights on the green took place with good crowd in attendance some carol singing and the turning on of the lights all around the village.


St Lachtains Gaa club AGM will be held on this Friday the 9th December at the Clubrooms. All are welcome and all nominations and motions should be with Secretary ASAP.

The annual Colin Mcgree and Philip Kinane tourna ments were played over the weekend with great numbers of our younger players taking part. In the final of the Colin McGree Shield

Charlie Kavanagh team beat Tristan O’Kanes team in an exciting game. While the final of the Philip Kinane Cup saw David Ryan’s team beat Sam Loobys team in another exciting final.


This years Darts leagues are now in full swing with games played on Friday and Sunday evenings and will continue each week with A, B and C Leagues taking place.


Freshford Town Junior side were in action on Sunday last and were somewhat unlucky to be beaten by neighbours Tularoan on a 3-2 scoreline.

The U17 boys lost out to Evergreen on a scoreline of 6-4 DAY CARE CENTRE

Freshford day care centre continues each Wednesday in the GAA Centre at 2pm. New members are most welcome


Last week’s lucky winners of Split the pot draw was Peter O’Hara who won €132. The draw takes place each Friday. Tickets are just €2 and the winner gets half of the takings. Boxes and envelopes can be found in Kavanagh’s Bar, Mace, O’Shea’s corner shop, Girls& Guys Hairdressers, Oasis Creche, Freshford Creamery, Freshford Butchers and Prague House. The committee thank all for their continued support and ask people to continue to support this fund raising draw .

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

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

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


We would like to thank our very generous sponsors of Last week’s Dinner Dance. Alan Buckley,MMC Mining and Metal Consultants,CJ Delaney,Motte & Bailey Bar Kells John Shiel,Abbey Interiors, Tom McCormack,McCormack Windows.Derek McLoughlin, D.Mcl Plastering, Anonymous Local Family, Tirlan, Bill McCormack Groundworks Ltd.



The Kilmoganny U15 footballers took on Young Irelands in the Final of the Roinn B Football Champion ship on Sunday morning last in Dunmore.Kilmoganny started well and were working the ball very well and were well in control in the opening exchanges and went four point up with scores from Noah Cahill (2), Darragh Lyons (free) and Pierce Costello(1pt). Kilmoganny could also have had a goal but it went wide. It was not till the 24th minute that Young Irelands scored their opening point. Kilmoganny responded well with points from Jamie Tallon and Pierce before Young Irelands broke forward and managed to scramble a goal into the back of the Kilmoganny net. They followed this up with another point to leave the minimum between the sides at the break with Kilmoganny having played most of the football but not getting the scores. The second half was a real tight battle with both sides giving it their all and bodies starting to tire. It was really a case of who could have battled it out and wanted it the most. Young Ireland pushed ahead by 2 as we headed into the final 10 mins and they seemed to be getting the edge but a well worked move saw Tim Doherty slot the coolest goal under pressure you would see to put the Kilmoganny men back in front by one,with nine minutes le on the clock. Young Irelands to their credit came straight down the field to draw it all up again as the clock moved closer to the finish. Kilmoganny broke forward again and Tim was the man who stepped up and slotted over from play. Time was just up but the play continued into injury time only for young Irelands to be fouled on the 21 yard line and it seemed that we were heading for extra time as it was straight in front of posts, However the resultant free was just short and the Kilmoganny men managed to get a hand on it and sheppard it out of danger and maintain possession until the ref blew the final whistle to signal that the County title was heading our way. A great way to finish the year o . Young Irelands 1:07 Kilmoganny 1:08

Team; Sean Sheridan, Stephen Walsh, Thomas Deegan, Ciaran Hickey, Noah Cahill (2pts), Cathal Rossiter, Jake Butler, Jamie Tallon (1pt), Tim Doherty (1:01), David Moore, Darragh Lyons (2pts), Brian Hickey, Conor Lawton (inj), Edward Moylan,Conor Alyward (captain), Ian McDonald, Scott MCDonald, Pierce Costello (2pts), Hugh Healy, Nicky Healy, Hugh O’Sullivan, James Moore, Aaron McCormack, Liam Davis, Daniel Hayes Darwish. Management Niall McCormack, Andrew Hickey, Tom McCormack and Mick Lyons.


Winning Numbers for November 28th 1, 4, 12. No Winner. Winners of Draw for 5 x € 30. Veronica Robinson ( Jimmy McCormack ), Nora Murphy (Jimmy McCormack ),Mary Farrell (Aidan Farrell ),Betty Laherty ( Johno Reid ),Kathryn Costello ( Larry Costello) Jackpot next week December 5th €4000. Venue : Townsend’s Dunnamaggin at 9pm all welcome.


Dunnamaggin Development Group wish to thank everyone who attended our first Christmas Event in Madges Garden. An especially loud thank you to the boys and girls of St Leonard’s NS who sang beauti fully and to their teacher’s. A lovely evening was had by all who came. A second big Thank You to all who supported our fourth Christmas Market on Sunday last, especially to Santa Claus who arrived via Gerry’s tractor driven this year by his son Liam. Santa could stay again this year to take note of all the children’s Christmas wishes and gave them a gi of a selection box kindly sponsored by PM Securities. He also picked the winners of the Children’s Colouring competition - congratula tions to Leah and Liam from St Leonard’s NS and Sean and Neidín from St Eoghan’s in Kilmoganny. The hall was full of stalls selling Christmas gi s, Kathleen did a trojan job of selling tickets for the monster ra le whose proceeds will be split between DDG and St Joseph’s Home. Eamo’s Beef Stew went down a treat. Thank you to everyone who volunteered on the day, with set up, who sponsored a ra le prize and everyone who supported us last Sunday and throughout the year. We are taking a break and will be back in the New Year. DDG wish everyone a happy Christmas and a wonderful 2023.


Wellness Conversation with Family Members and Sup porters Morning in Kilkenny.

Recovery College South East are delighted to inform you that SHINE, Family Peer Support Service (HSE), Recovery College South East and Mental Health Ireland are hosting a Wellness Conversation with Family Members and Supporters Morning on Friday 9th December 2022 in the Recovery College South East, Greenhills, Kilkenny, R95 YYCO from 10am to 1pm. The aim is to promote wellness and self-care, particularly around the necessity to care for themselves as family members/supporters/friends while supporting a loved one in the area of mental health and recovery. Also having group discussions and conversations around information needed around supports and to promote the Family Peer Support Groups (in person) launching in 2023. This morning event is an open invitation and no need to register.


All welcome to Coolagh Hall this Thursday and every Thursday for the popular game of “25’s”, A great way to pass the long wintry nights. The games begin at 8pm


Improvements to voter registration process

Changes to the electoral registration process include: A move from fixed periods for updating details to rolling

updates. Streamlining of the application process through use of PPSNs. Registering to vote for the first time will now be possible online 16 and 17 year old’s will be able to pre-register to vote. New provisions to make the register more accessible to all. Check the register today at


Aghaviller Parish, Hugginstown: Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 9.30a.m.Vigil - Saturday 10th. at 8.00p.m.; Sunday 11th. at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford: Vigil - Saturday 10th. at 6.30p.m.;


Anniversary Masses: Michael Murphy , Lismatigue. In Hugginstown Church on Saturday 10th. Dec. at 8.00p.m Brendan Murphy , Newmarket. In Hugginstown Church on Sunday 11th. Dec. at 10.00a.m

ROTA Rota for next week-end: 10th. and 11th. December 2022 . (Third Sunday of Advent)

Readers: Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Rita O’Farrell. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. John Barron; Sunday 10.00a.m. Mary Carroll.

Eucharistic Ministers: Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Bernie Grace; Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Mary Cuddihy; Sunday 10.00a.m. Ann Power.


Many thanks for your Contributions to the November O erings during the past weeks.

Roman Catholic Diocese and Parishes of Ossory – Reg istered Charity No. 20015831


Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Niall Coll, a priest of the Diocese of Raphoe, to be the next Bishop of Ossory. He will be ordained as Bishop on Sunday 22nd. January 2023 at 3.00p.m. in St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.


The Priory Institute is delighted to o er an online retreat ‘Word becomes Flesh’: an Advent Retreat. Visit our website to register or for more information.


Diocesan Designated Liaison Person: Ms. Kathleen Sherry, Telephone: 087 100 0232 or email: Aghaviller Parish Representatives are: Teresa Broderick andCarmel O’Toole


The Youth 2000 Christmas Retreat will be taking place in Newbridge College, Newbridge between 9th. and 11th. December. This retreat is for anyone aged 16-35 Years. Excellent Speakers, Inspiring Talks and Workshops, Fantastic Music, Group activities, Youth Masses,Adoration, Reconciliation, Prayer, Drama, Games & plenty of time to chill out, meet new people and find out what it means to be young & Catholic today!! Donation only. Free buses leaving from all over Ireland. Register now on LOTTO

Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A. Draw: Monday 28th. November 2022. Numbers: 03; 26; 20; 07. No Winner First 3 Numbers Drawn: No Jackpot Winner: 5 x €30.00 Winners: Mary Bryan, Jenkinstown. Mary T. Power, Rathdu . Josie Frisby, Carraigetna. Donal Foley, Hugginstown. Claire Ivors, Ballingarry. 3 x €15.00 (Sellers). Eilish Rohan. Tommy Murphy.Teresa Fitzgerad.

Next Draw on Monday. Please submit returns by 8.30p.m. Draw at 9.00p.m.


Equinox Theatre Group announces the premier of “Waterboys -The Movie”, a short film written by and starring Jim Rohan and Gary Comerford, on Sunday December 18th. at 5.00p.m. Tickets from www.water


The Chapter House Bookshop at St. Mary’s Cathedral will be open 5 Days a week ( Monday to Friday) starting Monday 28th. November up until Christmas. The Shop has a great selection of Nativity Cribs, Christmas Cards, Calendars and Diaries for 2023, also a wide selection of Bibles, Liturgical and spiritual Books.The Bookshop also has a wide selection of Mass Cards and religious Gi s for any occasion.


Help us to deliver joy and hope with a unique Cois Nore Christmas Card. The cards have been designed for us by Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon, the award winning animation studio in their iconic style. These beautiful Christmas cards, featuring Kilkenny landmarks, are an ideal way to send season greetings. Buying our Christmas cards will raise vital funds to help us support people living with cancer and their families in Kilkenny. Cards will be available in retail shops throughout Kilkenny.


This year on the 14th December the 190th Anniver sary of the Battle of Carrickshock occurs. This will be marked by the Annual torchlight walk at 8pm from Hugginstown via Kyleva to the battle Commeration Cross. A short oration will follow. All welcome. Please adhere to Covid regulations.

63 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Community & GAA Notes
Conor Alyward receives the Roinn B County Football Trophy Kilmoganny U15 Roinn B Football Champions 2022

Hurling matters Sport

Kilkenny’s nest, Shamrocks Ballyhale survived a stunning second-half comeback Kilmacud Crokes comeback to seal a 12th Leinster title and in doing so, set up a mouth-watering clash with current All-Ireland holders, Ballygunner in a weeks’ time.

With a seemingly unassailable 14-point lead gained by the 33rd minute, the back-to-back Dublin champions hurled with no fear as they set about reeling in the Shamrocks lead. But for the brilliance of Goalkeeper Dean Mason, this result could have easily gone the way of Kilmacud.

Kieran Dowling’s charges registered 1-7 without reply, including a goal for captain Caolan Conway, but it would be Alex Considine’s green ag raiser on 47 minutes that left the Kilkenny side leading by the bear minimum. Ballyhale’s experience and nous saw them build a 3-point lead which they club to until the long whistle sounded.

Pat Hoban’s men ran out onto the Croke Park turf determined to secure victory and another crack at Waterford and Munster kingpin’s Ballygunner and did so without the services of their captain, Ronan Corcoran, who was missing through injury.

Kilmacud’s top scorer Oisin O’Rorke opened the scoring with a ‘65 in just the second minute of

play, before Shamrocks struck two wides via Evan She in and Adrian Mullen. Veteran TJ Reid got the scoreboard moving for his side in the 5th minute when we struck over a long-range free. TJ then turned provider, as he set-up the hugely impressive Adrian Mullen for the rst of his four points.


then went on a nice run before o -loading to his full-forward, Colin Fennelly, who saw his initial e ort blocked before he recycled the ball and popped over a good point. From the Crokes puck-out, Eoin Cody secured possession and red over ne point, un marked underneath the Cusack stand.

Ballyhale were certainly being more direct in their approach. A long ball out of defence saw Colin Fennelly win the ball and scan for options around him. e big No.14 passed to Adrian Mullen who swung over a lovely point to put his team two points ahead.

64 Friday 09 December 2022
AIB Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship Final Croke Park, Dublin Shamrocks Ballyhale 2-22 Kilmacud Crokes 2-19 Dublin side responded with a lovely point from late addition to the starting XV, Alex Considine out on the left. Dublin player Fergal Whitley then produced a penetrating run before splitting the posts to edge the men from the Captial ahead. Eoin Cody Aerial battle with tj going Highest
Paddy Mullen makes a fine catch over Cadlan Conway Observer
e Kilkenny

Hurling matters

Leinster secured as Shamrocks look to ‘Gunner challenge

Kilmacud rattle Ballyhale in provincial tussle

Mullen was then adjudged to have fouled Fergal Whitley, but uncharacteristically, Oisin O’Rorke pulled his e ort wide of the Shamrocks posts.

e next score was pure TJ. e newly blessed Father rose highest to claim the sliotar before wheeling away and striking over an excellent score. Corner-back Killian Corcoran was then fouled deep in his own half. TJ stepped up and struck over a monster of a placed ball to send his side 4-points clear. Niall Shortall then ri ed over a lovely point, again having found himself in acres of space. From the

puck-out, Shamrocks pressed their opponents and some great pressure from Eoin Cody saw Crokes foul the ball, which TJ punished to stretch the Kilkenny sides lead to six points.

e rst of four green ags raised on the day came in the 24th minute. TJ again, took a superb catch before passing to Colin Fennelly. Colin shipped the sliotar to Eoin Cody whose goal attempt was blocked by Crokes keeper. Just as it seemed that Robert O’Loughlin was about to secure possession and clear, Fennelly batted the ball to the net and

Shamrocks led by 9 points.

Shamrocks would also get the next two score’s – the rst came when Joe Cuddihy won the ball and was forced to retreat. Hor laid the ball back to Richie Reid who struck a brilliant e ort from halfway. Richie then picked up the ball following a nice turnover. He gave a nice hand pass to Adrian Mullen who wasted no time in striking a glorious point from tight to the sideline from round-a-bout half way. Magni cent.

Oisin O’Rourke then broke a long scoring drought for the Dublin side from a placed ball, after Joey

Holden was harshly booked for a tackle on Ronan Hayes. e Stillorgan based club registered the next score also, this time following a bad pass from TJ. Fergal Whitley intercepted Reid’s pass and seto on a mazy run showing pace and skill as he stayed in control of the sliotar before he batted over a beautiful point for his sides 5th of the day.

Colin Fennelly who had been on the end of a lot of ball for the Shamrocks, then won possession before passing to the supporting Eoin Kenneally. e rangy forward had the presence of mind when

surrounded to lay the ball o to TJ who popped over another ne point. Adrian Mullen was then booked by ref Paud O’Dwyer and O’Rorke dispatched the free between the posts. Eoin Cody then took a nice catch and turned on the pace to get away from the Crokes defence. Cody passed to Fennelly and the latter pointed to make it a 10-point game.

Kilmacud corner forward Dara Purcell then pointed a lovely score from out on the right. Two more scores would come before the

65 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Colin Fennelly Scores Goal for Shamrocks

Hurling matters Sport

short whistle. From another bad Crokes puck-out, Eoin Cody sent over a sumptuous score from the right-side, this was followed by Fennelly’s 3rd of the game. e veteran forward showed strength and composure before striking over. Half-time score, Shamrocks Ballyhale 1-15, Kilmacud Crokes 0-7.

at was a good half of hurling from the Kilkenny side. e pressure, intensity and hunger was there from the start. No repeat of the opening period in the Nass game.

e second period started with Shamrocks further asserting their authority on the game. Darragh Corcoran gave a nice pass to his mid elder Paddy Mullen and the latter sent over a ne point. Paddy then became creator for his sides next score. Having picked up the sliotar out on the right, he looked up and sent a lovely cross- eld pass to brother Adrian who nished with aplomb. Niall Shortall then notched his second point of the day to leave Ballyhale with a commanding 14-point lead.

Paddy Mullan was then blownup for a rather obvious push on is opponent. Oisin O’Rorke stood over the free and given the margin by which his side trailed, went for goal. His e ort was blocked and as Shamrocks looked to work the ball out of defence, Evan She in’s pass was read by Ronan Hayes. e Inter- County star slipped a nice pass to the on-running Caolan Conway who gave the diving Dean Mason no chance. e gap was back to 11-points, no immediate signs of the storm that was to come from Crokes.

Darragh Corcoran was then booked for halting the run of Fergal Whitley and O’Rorke popped over the resulting free. Dara Purcell then produced some lovely play before sending over a ne point, before notching another shortly after. Kilmacud mid elder Micheal Roche then got a ne point from distance before the main marksman Oisin O’Rorke ri ed over a lovely point from play. e gap was now down to just 2 scores.

Paddy Mullan then joined his brother Adrian in the referee’s notebook on 42 minutes as Shamrocks struggled to quell the Crokes threat. O’Rorke popped over the free awarded and then Dara Purcell added another ne point to his tally. It was all Kilmacud. Ballyhale were struggling to retain possession, as the wind really began to have an in uence on the game. Adrian Mullen was then stopped illegally in his tracks and TJ Reid slotted the placed ball over the bar for a muchneeded score for the Kilkenny side. Dean Mason was then called into action again, this time denying a certain goal for the impressive Alex Considine with a brilliant piece of net-minding. Oisin O’Rorke scored from the resulting ‘65. e Ballyhale lead was reduced to just one point in the 47th minute when a long ball out of the Crokes defence was diverted o Joey Holden into the path of that man Considine who beat Darren Mullen

Dean Mason drove a puckout deep into Crokes territory that appeared to de ect of Joey Cuddihy and was collected by Eoin Kenneally who then sent a testing ball into the Crokes danger zone. Niall Shortall rose along the Kilmacud full-back, but the sliotar

66 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
to the ball before striking a cracking shot across Dean Mason and into the back of the Shamrocks net. It was now a 1-point game, and the Leinster title was up for grabs. Pat Hoban’s men needed a score to settle the ever-growing nerves and luckily for them Joey Cuddihy struck from distance before a real slice of luck came their way.
Eoin Kenneally Looks for Support chased by Darragh Butler Dean Mason great saves

evaded both those players and the helpless goalkeeper Eddie Gibbons behind them for Ballyhale’s second major of the day. e gap was now 5 points.

e lively Dara Purcell struck his 5th point of the day but Shamrocks struck back immediately via a nice point from TJ. Oisin O’Rorke then notched his eighth point of the game and 7th placed ball before Dean Mason made another ne save, again denying the pacey Considine. Young mid elder Brian Hayes made a surging run through the middle of the park before splitting the posts with a ne score having taken the pass from his

brother Ronan.

Eoin Cody was then upended which allowed TJ to match Oisin O’Rorke’s 8-point tally. e last score of the game came from Ronan Hayes, his only point of the day. Paud O’Dwyer then blew for full-time. Agony for the Dublin side, pure relief for Pat Hoban’s men. Final score, Shamrocks Ballyhale 2-22, Kilmacud Crokes 2-19.

Scorers for Ballyhale Shamrocks: T.J. Reid (0-8, 5 frees); C. Fennelly (1-3); A. Mullen (0-4); E. Kenneally (1-0); E. Cody, N. Shortall (0-2 each); R. Reid, P. Mullen, J. Cuddihy (0-1 each).

Scorers for Kilmacud Crokes: O. O’Rorke (0-8, 5 frees, 2 65s); D. Purcell (0-5); A. Considine (1-1); C. Conway (1-0); F. Whitely (0-2); M. Roche, B. Hayes, R. Hayes (0-1 each).

BALLYHALE SHAMROCKS: D. Mason; K. Corcoran, J. Holden, D.

Mullen; E. She in, R. Reid, D. Corcoran; A Mullen, P. Mullen; E. Kenneally, T.J. Reid, E. Cody; N. Shortall, C. Fennelly, J. Cuddihy.

KILMACUD CROKES: E. Gibbons; C. Mac Gabhann, D. Butler, B. Sheehy; R. O’Loughlin, M. Grogan, C. Ó Cathasaigh; B. Hayes, D.


Purcell; C. Conway, R. Hayes, F. Whitely; A. Considine, O. O’Rorke, M. Roche.

Subs for Kilmacud Crokes: B. Scanlan for C. Conway (52); B. O’Carroll for M. Grogan (temp 5458); S. Purcell for M. Roche (58).

Referee: P. O’Dwyer (Carlow).

side will need to sharpen-up ahead of the game with Waterford and Munster champions.

Having their captain on the pitch next day out will be crucial. I think it’s fair to say Ballyhale are a better outfit with Ronan Corcoran in the starting XV.

Before accepting his MOTM award from TG4, Colin Fennelly spoke about this game being a ‘rude awakening’ for the Kilkenny champions. Fennelly was a great out ball for his side, especially in the first half, hitting 1-3 in aid the Ballyhale cause.

Adrian Mullen was once again outstanding for his side. The scorer of 0-4 on the day, his 3rd point was savage. He will need to produce a similar display next week.

The wide count will be worrying for Pat Hoban and his management team, I think it was something like 18 for Na Seamróga. Yes, conditions played a part, but they will want to lower this statistic next time out.

A word on Kilmacud Crokes. They showed tremendous fight and ability during the 2nd half, and but for Dean Mason, the result could well have been a little different. I don’t think this will be their last provincial final.

Let’s hope the Shamrocks lads recover and bring the battle to Ballygunner. It should be one hell of a semifinal, and there’s no doubting that the winner of this tie will be huge favourites come All-Ireland Final

in January.

67 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Hurling matters
Pure relief for Shamrocks Ballyhale. I didn’t sense much euphoria at securing a 4th
on the bounce at the full-time whistle. Even when injured captain
there was definitely more of a feeling of “That won’t be good enough to beat Ballygunner” in
Leinster title
lifted the O’Neill Cup,
the air. Manager Pat Hoban alluded to this afterwards when speaking to the media. It’s going to be a big final week’s preparation of the All-Ireland semi-final. You’d imagine it won’t be taxing physically, but mentally this Shamrocks
day Pat Hoban & his backroom team will be out to halt Ballygunner Ronan Corcoran Raises the Leinster Trophy
68 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Motors Classified section To advertise your business in our classi ed section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts Classi eds NOW OPEN SATURDAY MORNINGS 9.30am to 12.00pm CAR WASH – 087 2587745 TYRE BREAKDOWN SERVICE JOEPARSONSGARDEN MAINTENANCE SERVICES INCLUDE • Hedge cutting • • Grass cutting • • Power washing • • Dry rubbish removal • • Tree pruning • CONTACT JOE: 086-8587568 Happy Christmas to all our customers
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Planning notices


I, John Walsh, hereby intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for Retention Permission for a partially constructed shed containing stables and forage/bedding storage area, dungstead and effluent tank and associated site works at Duninga, Paulstown Co. Kilkenny.

The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9.00 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

Signed: - John Walsh


Permission is sought for a single storey extension to the side of existing residence, including alterations and associated site works at No 20, Robertshill, Circular Road, Kilkenny.

The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County council, County Hall, John St, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9.00am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.00pm. Monday to Friday and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application. The planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

Applicant: Nick and Sandra Butler.

70 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Planning notices
056 777 1463

We, the wife and family of the late Seán would like to sincerely thank all our relatives, neighbours and friends for their kind support and sympathy during our recent sad loss.

We would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. McGovern and team along with the staff in St. Luke’s and Fr. Carey for their gentle care during Seán’s illness.

A special thank you to Fr. Scriven for the rosary and the personal and thoughtful funeral service, Seán and Martina for the beautiful music and the Ambulance Service for the Guard of Honour. We appreciate all those who attended, sent messages of condolence, mass cards and donations to The Friends of St. Luke’s.

Thank you to Hehir’s for their kind, professional service.

Month’s Mind Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral on 11th December at 5.30pm. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered for your intentions.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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. D.D.

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. B.D.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer. M.M.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

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

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer. M.M.

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. S.M.

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. S.B.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer. A.B.

71 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022
Memoriams / Miracle Prayers
72 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 09 December 2022 Advertisement