Kilkenny Observer 14th January 2022

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EVERY FRIDAY

The Kilkenny

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Friday 14 January 2022

Breaking Sad Why it’s hard to let go of your adult lids  Paul Hopkins, page 8

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More Variants New strains of Covid in France, Cyprus  Covid Update, page 14


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The Kilkenny

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Some room to breath

WITH the approval of the Cabinet, new pandemic rules regarding isolation and testing are now in effect. Isolation periods for close contacts Fully vaccinated and boosted people who are identified as close contacts no longer need to isolate for five days if they have no Covid symptoms. They will instead be advised to wear a medical or higher grade mask, and to take regular anti-

gen tests. Close contacts who have not had their booster are asked to restrict their movements for seven days.

Testing positive and Covid isolation Anyone who has Covid-19 now has to self-isolate for seven days. This is a reduction in three days. Antigen tests for under-40s People aged between four and

39 who test positive on an antigen test no longer have to confirm the result with a PCR test. The HSE website has been updated to allow people to upload their positive antigen tests and the details of their close contacts. Their close contacts will then be sent antigen tests. Meanwhile, a health expert has warned that ending the five-day isolation period for fully vaccinated close contacts who do not have any Covid-19

symptoms would be abandoning a key tool in breaking chains of transmission of the virus. Professor of Immunology at DCU Christine Loscher said she would have “expected” a derogation of the rules to allow an easing on staffing pressures in parts of society, which, she said, was recommended by the European Centre for Disease Control. Elsewhere, the Managing Director of Retail Excellence,

Duncan Graham, has welcomed the changes to close contact rules. Mr Graham said that 50% of businesses questioned for a recent survey said around 20% of their staff were out as a result of Covid related issues. This, he said, could translate into around 50,000 people working in retail. Covid news Pages 6, 10 and 14

All dressed up: the online charity website Thriftify are toasting what was a successful 2021 for the start-up, both in terms of sales and for the good of the climate. The e-commerce site works with Irish and UK charities, enabling them to sell their donations online

Our county has high Covid rate

Some counties, including Kilkenny, m suffered almost four times higher incidence of Omicron Covid-19 infections over Christmas than others. New figures capturing how the highly infectious Omicron variant plunged thousands into isolation during the festivities show the explosion in cases affected some counties more than others. Westmeath had the highest incidence rate, at 3,056.2 per 100,000 people. It was followed by Clare, with 1,974 per 100,000, Kilkenny with 1,855.2 per 100,000, and Longford with 1,820 per 100,000. Covid Update, Page 14

Kilkenny woman for High Court At a ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin recently, President of Ireland Michael D Higgins appointed Siobhán Phelan SC as a judge of the High Court. She is the daughter of Joan Phelan and the late Tommy Phelan of Kyle, Gowran. Siobhán is a sister of Ciarán, Michael, and Liam Phelan. Ms Phelan received her early education at Scoil Mhuire, Gowran, St Brigid’s Secondary School, Goresbridge, and St Brigid’s College, Callan

Full story, page 10

Congrats Vicky and Walter!

Major funding boost for Callan A TOTAL of €862,000 has been allocated to help regenerate a county Kilkenny town. The funding for Callan is part of a €21.5 million announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, for 27 landmark regeneration projects in rural communities across the country. The funding, under the RuEVERY FRIDAY

ral Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF), is being invested in projects that will rejuvenate town centres, drive economic growth and footfall, combat dereliction, develop pedestrian zones and outdoor spaces and boost tourism in Rural Ireland. Welcoming the allocation for Callan, Kilkenny TD John McGuinness said: “This is

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fantastic news for Callan and for Kilkenny in general as this project will focus on the regeneration of the historic core of Callan Town and will re- develop existing historical buildings to provide a library, youth, community, arts space and a remote working hub. “This will build on and enhance the existing assets in Callan to ensure that eco-

nomic, cultural and community opportunities are optimised. I’m delighted for the people of Callan and the fantastic community groups that do such great work. This will really take Callan to a new level.” Announcing the funding for the 27 projects, Minister Humphreys said: “In 2022, we will continue to roll-out un-

precedented levels of investment in Rural Ireland – making our towns and villages even better places to live, work, raise a family and run a business. “When complete, these projects will leave a lasting difference on these locations for generations to come, benefitting tens of thousands of families in Rural Ireland.”

Kilkenny hurler Walter Walsh has announced his engagement to partner Vicky Holden. The Tullogher-Rosbercon player chose the popular Pyrenees resort of Grandvalira as the location to pop the question while on a skiing holiday in Andorra. Walsh made the announcement on social media, saying: “What a way to top off an amazing week.”

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

Marianne Heron....................P12 John Ellis ................................P16 Food & Drink .........................P30 TV & Streaming ....................P31 Out & About ..................... P34-35 Sport ................................... P38-41

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GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM


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News

App lets you be pampered in comfort of own home ENTREPRENEUR Elaine Doheny, whose mother comes from Mullinavat, has launched an app, uGlow, that allows you to be pampered in the comfort of your own home. Elaine is calling on health, wellness and beauty professionals in Kilkenny to sign up the app which will be available to customers in spring. uGlow is a booking platform for health, beauty and wellbeing services wherever, and whenever you want. If it’s a facial, a blow dry, personal training, a massage, personal styling or a spray tan you’re after, you can book it through uGlow. In the first phase of the launch, uGlow are looking for professionals (GloPro’s) to sign up to the app. The services will be available to customers from April. Elaine (pictured) told The Kilkenny Observer: “Right now, uGlow’s focus is to get professionals in the areas of wellness beauty and lifestyle signed up — the hair stylists, beauticians, nail technicians, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga and pilates instructors, stylists, you name it. “The benefits for professionals signing up to uGlow include having more control over your time and increasing your revenue potential. uGlow works very much off your location so as the platform grows, you can work from anywhere in the world,” she said. The professionals, otherwise known as GlowPro’s, will also be given access to training and webinars on marketing their busi-

nesses, managing their finances and developing their brand. “I’m delighted to say uGlow has partnered with iZest Marketing. iZest are renowned for their experience in this industry having worked with Pippa O’Connor and Aimee Connolly. Freelancing can be lonely so I’d like uGlow to become a community for the freelance hairdressers, lactation specialists and other service providers who sign up to the app,” said Elaine. For the professional (GloPro), it gives them the freedom and flexibility to plan their working week around their availability and opens them up to new audiences around Ireland (and globally in the future). For the customer (GloGetter), they can be pampered anywhere, anytime at whatever cost they can afford (you make an offer on the App and the professional can choose to accept/decline). 1% of every booking will go to charity. Elaine, from Portlaw, Co. Waterford, has been based in Australia for the last seven years, uGlow was developed in Melbourne during the strict lockdown in May 2020 and brought to life during Elaine’s maternity leave in 2021. “The idea stemmed from close friends and family talking about how they’d love to be pampered in their own homes as they cared for elderly relatives and new-borns but they weren’t in a position to leave the house for the services they required.” * For more information see www. uGlowofficial.com

Teac Tom: Here for the Mental Health of the Community in 2022 RORY CONNELLAN CLINICAL SERVICES MAN AGER AT TEAC TOM TEAC TOM has been at the heart of the community in Kilkenny since 2015, supporting those bereaved by suicide and those struggling with their own mental health. Founded by Angela Hayes and her family after the tragic loss of her son Thomas in 2009, Angela responded to a need she saw in the community for more accessible and affordable mental health services. Her story struck a chord with the public and The Thomas Hayes Trust was established in 2014 to help people bereaved by suicide access counselling services. It was in 2015 that the doors to Teac Tom opened on Ormonde Rd in Kilkenny. Now there was a safe space in the heart of the community where people could

go if they needed support with their mental health, or just to find a listening ear to share a burden. From this beginning Teac Tom has progressed to having two centres, with a second centre opening in Stradbally, Co. Laois in 2020. The services we provide are an integral part of the response to a growing demand for mental health support in the community. One of the key things we have learned over the years is the importance of the right therapy support being given before a person’s mental health becomes a crisis. With growing waiting lists for statutory mental health services across the country, we strive to reduce access times to our services as much as possible so the people of Kilkenny can avail of the right support at the right time. As well as therapy for chil-

dren, teenagers and adults, Teac Tom provides awareness talks on mental health in schools, workplaces and clubs to reduce stigma and encourage people in any form of emotional distress to seek help. Over the next few months Teac Tom will be sharing our journey with you here by talking about how therapy might work and addressing some of the key issues we are seeing on a day-today basis. We will also be introducing members of our team so that you can meet the people providing support in our centres. To make an appointment please call 056 7796592 or email thethomashayestrust@ gmail.com Teac Tom, 15 Ormonde Rd, Kilkenny www.thethomashayestrust. com


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Homeless figures rising with shortage of housing THE Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has said it is disappointed that the number of people in homelessness climbed above 9,000 in November 2021. The figures, which have just been released by the Department of

Housing, show the number of people recorded as homeless rose to 9,099 in the last week of November. Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said “We are disappointed that the number of people in need of emergency accommoda-

tion continued to rise and we now see the figures above 9,000. Peter McVerry Trust continues to work with our colleagues in the DRHE and local authorities to make sure we offer additional emergency accommodation to cope with the numbers in need.”

“Peter McVerry Trust is also working to ensure that we ramp up delivery of new social housing opportunities to provide pathways out of homelessness for young people.” “We urgently need to secure more one-bedroom

Covid and Brexit sees price of used cars increase THE rate at which the price of used cars is increasing has reached a new high, driven by the supply shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. In the last three months of the year, the inflation rate for used cars grew a further 7.7%, the second highest quarterly price rise since 2011, according to online marketplace, DoneDeal. This means that on average, asking prices for used cars are now 56% higher than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Ireland in 2020. This compares to similar rates of 47% in the US and 33% in the UK. According to DoneDeal, the extreme inflation means in some cases a second-hand version of the same model of a car is being listed for a higher price than a new one. At 83%, price inflation has been particularly high in the cheaper end of the market, as the glut of cars bought during the Celtic Tiger era peters out. Previously, the shortfall in second hand cars in the Irish market had been made up by imports from the UK. But since January of last year, changes as a result of Brexit have made UK imports far more expensive, making them less attractive and reducing the incoming supply. Prior to the pandemic and Brexit, 108,000 cars a year were imported from the UK. But this fell to 74,900 in 2020

and 47,034 last year, a drop of 56% from 2019 levels. According to DoneDeal, that deficit has led to a doubling of used cars imported from Japan. Nonetheless, TCD and NUI Galway environmental economist Dr Tom Gillespie, who analysed 5 million DoneDeal vehicle listings from 2011 to last year as part of the research, estimates that there are still around 125,000 fewer used cars available compared to pre- pandemic times. Disruption to the new car supply chain, caused by the pandemic and the worldwide shortage of semiconductors, has also increased demand for used cars, driving up prices in the process. In 2018 and 2019 there were 125,671 and 117,109 new car registrations, according to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry. However, in 2020 and 2021 this plummeted to 88,325 and 104,932. Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Gillespie said: “We have a slowdown in the production of new cars. If there’s a long waiting list for new cars people are incentivised to turn to the used car market. “There’s also an increase in demand due to more reliance on cars since the pandemic and that’s just created this perfect storm for use car inflation. It’s happening in the UK, in the US and other markets around the world,” he said.

homes for people impacted by homelessness and Peter McVerry Trust would appeal to the owners of vacant or derelict properties to contact us to see how we can re-use those properties for social housing.” “We would also encourage

the developers who are progressing small scale apartment schemes which contain one and two-bedroom apartments to make contact with us to see if we can acquire some of those units for social housing to help people exit homelessness.”

Busy Air Ambulance calls on Government for annual €2 million support CEO Michael Sheridan: The Irish Community Air Ambulance was tasked 512 times during 2021, its busiest year ever Pic: Brian Lougheed

THE Irish Community Air Ambulance was tasked to 512 missions in 14 counties during 2021, its busiest year since the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Air Ambulance launched in July 2019. There were 490 taskings in 2020. The organisation is Ireland’s only charity-funded HEMS Air Ambulance. It works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service and responds to serious incidents and medical emergencies from its base in Rathcool, Co. Cork. Each helicopter mission costs an average of €3,500, all of which has to be raised or donated. The CEO of the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Mi-

cheál Sheridan (pictured), said that they engaged with the Government and regional political leaders throughout 2021 to secure some State support for the vital service. Mr Sheridan said: “The HSE is releasing funding to private Ambulance firms to provide support during the continuing crisis yet the Irish Community Air Ambulance is still entirely funded by public donations. The increased number of taskings during 2021 show that we provide a vital service. The cost to run the charity during 2022 is expected to be €2.1 million which is a significant amount of money to raise. “We are so grateful to all

our supporters who help us to bring hope to those in emergency situations but we will continue to engage with the Government to provide funding during these uncertain times.” There were more calls to cardiac arrests, farmingrelated incidents and falls from heights during 2021. Cardiac arrests accounted for one in five calls with 103 taskings last year, that’s up from 81 during 2020. Amongst the incidents responded to were: • 89 Road traffic collisions • 64 Farming incidents • 64 Cardiovascular (Heart attacks and strokes) • 63 General trauma calls • 61 General medical calls • 48 Falls from heights

• 20 Equestrian incidents July and April were the busiest months of the year for the service with 57 missions completed each month. Cork, Kerry and Tipperary accounted for the majority of taskings. The Irish Community Air Ambulance was also tasked to Kilkenny Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Mayo, Galway, Offaly, Laois, Wicklow and Kildare. One in every three taskings required an airlift to hospital. The organisation also funds a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles on the ground in counties like Mayo, Donegal and Dublin.

Strong meat exports and record prices welcomed EXPORTS of high-quality Irish meat saw a very strong performance during 2021 despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, post-Brexit trade complexities, and labour shortages, according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the Ibec association representing the Irish meat processing sector. MII was commenting following the publication of Bord Bia’s Export Performance and Prospects report, which

showed that while the overall volume of exports reduced slightly due to lower production, the value of Irish meat exports grew by over €150 million or 4%. This was reflected in higher producer prices, particularly for beef and lamb, and despite the market challenges on pigmeat, we still saw Irish pig prices outperform most of our EU competitors. Throughout 2021, market performance saw record beef

and lamb prices for Irish producers. Overall, beef prices were 12% up on 2020 and reached a high of €4.57/kg for R grade steers. For the year as a whole, the Irish cattle price matched the Bord Bia Export Benchmark Price Index and outperformed price levels in our key EU markets. This has also been a positive and encouraging period for the Irish sheepmeat sector which has seen record producer

prices delivered throughout the year, reaching a record €8/ kg high, with the overall price performance showing a 27% increase on 2020. Better market conditions facilitated the delivery of stronger prices for beef and lamb producers. These market conditions were determined by a number of key factors: • Better market balance in the supply-demand dynamic, with lower production levels

in the UK and EU markets benefitting Irish producers; • A reduced level of meat imports into the EU market from global suppliers also had a significant positive impact on the tone of the market; • Despite ongoing disruption to the restaurant and food-service segment of the market due to the pandemic, consumers have maintained their purchasing of meat

through retail for in-home dining. Strong consumer engagement with the meat category throughout the pandemic remains a real encouragement. Commenting on the report, MII Senior Director Cormac Healy said: “The meat and livestock sector remains a cornerstone of Ireland’s export economy and is particularly important to the economic well-being of rural Ireland. “


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Multi sports activities at Gaelscoil

KILKENNY Dyspraxia Support Group, in conjunction with Kilkenny Recreational Sports Partnership are delighted to announce a 12 week multi sports activities programme starting from Monday 10th of January in the Gaelscoil Kilkenny from 7:00-7:45pm Paul Brophy Kilkenny Dyspraxia support group Committee Member said

“Physical activity is so important for us all and this is a great opportunity for young children with Dyspraxia to sample a wide range of sports in a safe, supportive and most importantly fun environment. All coaches are highly experienced in working with children of all abilities and the 12 week programme is fully compliant with Gov-

ernment and HSE Covid 19 guidelines. For further information please contact Seamus Nugent KRSP 0873567884 and the cost of 12 week programme is €40. Registration can be done via Eventbrite using the following link https://sportsdyspraxia. eventbrite.ie


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The Fact Of The Matter PAUL HOPKINS

Letting go of your adult children is no easy feat It was a Christmas beyond expectation. My youngest son was home, after more than two years, from New York and brought his girlfriend to meet us. A lovely young woman with fine etiquette, good conversation and a great ability to make herself at home with us and win over our hearts. The, let’s face it, pain of not having my other son and his family with us was greatly lessened by the presence of my only daughter, with her husband and my second, of three, grand-daughters, a truly wondrous child who turns one this week. It was that kind of cozy Christmas with log fires and a bounty of food and collection of candles casting dancing shadows on the walls, and lighting up the smiles of my happy, and thankful, family. Thankful we had survived another year with Covid. The end of 2021

marked our second year of living with the coronavirus. We began last year anticipating the vaccine roll out, and a post-Covid economic recovery, but we ended it in the midst of a worrying contagious variant and an economy hit by inflation. But I remain hopeful. What I did not find easy was that between the unexpected joyful Christmas and the New Year, my daughter and family took off for a holiday in Kerry and my son and his girlfriend flew back to New York. Overnight a house — a home — that had been full of baby babble and adult chatter of Christmases pasts fell silent. And I found myself once more alone. Once more, having to let them go. Look, I helped raise them, fed them, taught them I would like to think, but now, the past decade and more, I find myself time after time

having to let them go. And, to be honest, I am not good at that. My ‘children’ are adults, have been for some considerable time, but the over and over again ‘letting go’ never gets any easier. My psychologist friend from Magherafelt says it’s normal to feel this way. Sad even. But, as hard as it may be, letting go is the right – and healthy — thing for all concerned. “We’re mammals,” he tells me, stuffing his face with the last of the turkey sandwiches and a bottle of some fancy IPA. “Even though we wear clothing and carry mobile phones, like every other mammal parent we need to raise offspring who can fend for themselves out in the world without us.” And looking at me, his mouth full, mumbles: “Let’s not lose sight of the fact that our job as parents is actually to put ourselves out of a job.”

I know I am not alone in feeling that my three grownup children no longer need me. Call me a sentimental old fool if you wish but letting go has never come easy to me, despite doing it over and over again. “But they still need you,” pipes up my psychologist friend. “Instead of being their micromanager, your role is now one of mentor or a support network. You long ago took shook off your training role. And Christmas can be a daft time for bringing up memories and all that malarkey. “You letting go allows the adult in them the chance to manage their own bumps and bruises. As the parent, though, you are always there waiting on the sidelines to help, if necessary, but the role has long since changed from providing security and protection to, let’s call it, empathic support.” “Hmm,” I say, though his

obvious, common sense doesn’t necessarily make me feel any better. Perhaps I am being sentimental because that cocoon of festive-induced stupor between Christmas and the New Year throws up many

‘Call me a sentimental old fool ...

moments for reflection — which is not necessarily always good for the soul. I find myself at my most reflective. Though each year brings its own surprises — and who knows what this new year will bring — in some ways, the more things change, the more things stay the same, particularly at this stage in my own life, each year having a familiar feel to it, like growing into an old, well-worn favourite overcoat. When you’re young, it’s hard to envisage getting old. Now, another year — and another Christmas — gone, I am here, or at best, heading there. If I still had the kids around, if I didn’t have to keep letting go, over and over again, I imagine I wouldn’t feel redundant. Am I being selfish in thinking so?


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Adopted given greater rights LEGISLATION to provide access for adopted people to records and their birth certificates has been published by the Minister for Children. Minister Roderic O’Gorman said the legislation aimed to allow people born in institutions and others to get access to their records. It follows pre-legislative scrutiny of the general

scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill by the Oireachtas Committee on Children last year. It presented its final report to the minister in December. Over six months, the committee heard from survivors, legal and data protection experts and agencies that has information to which many are seeking access.

Questions and concerns were raised over aspects of the Bill, such as the need for a mandatory information session between a social worker and an adopted person seeking their birth information. There were diverging views on the interpretation of GDPR and the committee found there was a disconnect between the language used

in the heads of the Bill and lived experiences of adopted people. Terminology around whether the term ‘birth mother’ or ‘natural mother’ should be used in the final Bill was also subject of debate. It is understood this has been addressed in the legislation which comes a year to the day that the Commission

of Investigation Report into 14 Mother and Baby Homes and four sample County Homes was published. Meanwhile, the co-founder of the Adoption Rights Alliance, Susan Lohan, has said she welcomed changes to legislation to allow adopted people the legal right to access birth certificates and to seek fully information about

their early life. However Susan Lohan warned that if any sort of mandatory information session remains, that the legislation would be “extremely discriminatory” because no other Irish citizen making a similar application would be obliged to go through with an information session with a social worker.

Put your school in national picture!

Online charity has something to get dressed up about ... ONLINE charity website Thriftify are toasting what was a successful 2021 for the startup, both in terms of sales and for the good of the climate. The e-commerce site works with Irish and UK charities, enabling them to sell their donations online and not just in physical shops, with the company’s smart tech then advertising these items on the Thriftify website as well as via other e-commerce sites such as eBay and Facebook (Meta) Marketplace.

The most popular items in 2021 were: • Out of all the clothing donated in 2021, the ‘dresses’ category accounted for the most popular items on the site. There were 9531 dresses listed for sale on the site in 2021, with more than half of these selling (5705 in total sold). • In second place came the ‘jumpers and cardigans’ section of the site, with 3099 uploads via listed charities, and 2954 of these

items selling to preloved fashion fans. • In third place came the ‘accessories’ category with 2636 uploads on the site in total, and 1931 of these pieces selling. • In fourth and fifth places were the ‘coats and jackets’ category (total sales 3257) and ‘shirts and tees’ with 926 sales in total. A spokesperson said Thriftify were proud to say that the Irish charities signed up to sell on the site really got

on board in 2021, using the smart tech to upload 56,538 items in total. Out of these there was a total of 23,026 orders from shoppers who are embracing the circular economy and love a bargain. The most expensive item sold on the site went for €414.37 which was a vintage Gucci dress. The beauty of Thriftify is that the shopper can also opt to donate to their chosen charity at the checkout. In

2021, generous shoppers kindly donated €5803.69 whilst checking out of the site. These donations go straight to the customers chosen charity, so it really is goodwill shopping! Thriftify CEO and climate activist Rónán Ó’Dálaigh said: “Thriftify is fast becoming a household name, up there with the likes of Depop and Etsy. We are hoping to keep growing in 2022 and encouraging people to opt for second hand when they can.”

Pandemic ‘rethink’ will see Irish salaries rise SALARIES are expected to rise between 5-10% this year in certain sectors, according to the latest Irish salary guide by Morgan McKinley. As part of the research, the Irish owned global professional recruitment consultancy analysed pay across a range of professions and sectors. For jobs with certain niche skills, it expects salary increases of between 15-20%. The report states that upward

pressure on salaries has been driven by the restricted movements of international talent and the increased demand for those already in the country. The company said it expects normal inflationary figures of between 2-5% to come back into play in a post pandemic world as countries open up and the flow of external candidates into Ireland takes the pressure out of an overheated employment market.

The report also reveals that over 80% of people are considering a career move in the next 6-12 months. Trayc Keevans, Global FDI Director at Morgan McKinley Ireland, said the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ of the past year appears to still be in full swing. “The experience of the sustained public health emergency has prompted countless workers to re-evaluate their work options, fine-tuning a better work-life

balance and making deliberate choices as to where their careers are heading next,” she said. “They’re looking for opportunities that give them the right pay, benefits, and work arrangements in the longer term. “New opportunities opened up by remote work means workers can now access roles that previously were geographically offlimits,” she added. Ms Keevans said they are seeing the return of counter offers,

because of the strong demand to fill roles. “For some organisations, the Great Resignation is an unparalleled threat, creating organisational challenges around skillsets and resources, and affecting everything from quality of work and time-to-completion to bottom-line revenue. “For others, it’s a golden opportunity to secure accomplished talent that will add value for years to come,” she said.

FOLLOWING a successful programme in 2021, the National Gallery of Ireland will bring art to classrooms across the country again this year with Your Gallery at School, an innovative education initiative supported by SMBC Aviation Capital. The gallery is committed to breaking down barriers that prevent young people from engaging with art in Ireland. Your Gallery at School provides an opportunity for students to take part in a series of informative workshops that are designed to teach through art and spark an interest in culture. These workshops are of particular benefit to students who may not be in a position to visit the Gallery itself and they can be carried out in schools or online. Thanks to the continued support of SMBC Aviation Capital, the Your Gallery at School project will once again develop new partnerships outside the gallery walls and work with four primary and four postprimary schools over the course of 2022. Your Gallery at School began in January 2021, running workshops, sensory sessions and a Creative Careers programme, where students had the opportunity to learn about a variety of arts careers. These workshops ran in primary schools in Dublin, Sligo and Donegal and post-primary schools in Limerick, Clare and Kildare. Schools across the country are invited to participate via the National Gallery of Ireland website. There will be two windows of opportunity for primary and postprimary schools to apply, January 24– February 18 and 29 August 29 – 15 September 15, giving schools the option to choose what time of year suits them best to take part. * For further details, please visit www.nationalgallery.ie.


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Opinion

The Pope takes a dogged look at parenthood AS I SEE IT MARIANNE HERON

Last week I could have sworn I heard a loud rumbling sound like a chasm opening up in the earth. Put it down to an overactive imagination but it might as well have been the real thing given Pope Francis’ remarks about pets taking the place of children which opened a yawning gap between a thinking rooted in the past and current reality. The Pontiff, named for St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the natural environment, may well have a point when it comes to the zoomorphism of pets but what he said in his deliberations on parenthood was deeply insensitive to many groups and disparaged those who don’t have children. . Commenting during a general audience at the Vatican in Rome Pope Francis said. “Today ... we see a form of selfishness. We see that some people do not want to have a child.” “Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children. The practice is a denial of fatherhood and

motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity,” he said. Raising the next generation is one of the cornerstones of society but it seems the most extraordinary statement to suggest that people who don’t have children or have only one lack humanity compared to those who do. In an overcrowded planet facing envi-

ronmental catastrophe maybe those who decide not to have children are being unselfish. There are couples who may not be able to have children – about one in six in Ireland experience infertility although they may go on to succeed thanks to fertility treatment. Others may not find a partner with whom to have children or may remain single by choice,

or may be gay, surely it must be offensive to them to be described as having diminished humanity. Part of that humanity is our ability to evolve for the better. Long ago practices such as torturing and killing people of different faith, slavery or burning witches were acceptable. Thankfully our thinking has changed but the Pope’s

beliefs about fertility and the necessity to have children regardless, remain rooted in the past and unrelated to current reality for both parents and the planet. In defence of pets and dogs in particular they make the most faithful companions and animals are a great way for kids to learn about caring for other creatures. In his comments

Pope Francis seemed annoyed by the way pets are being treated as human: taking away from the dignity and doggedness of dogs as it were. The Pontiff has a point. Christmas jumpers for dogs are one thing- jokey but embarrassing for dogs — but getting married to your dog as one woman, 49 years old Elizabeth Hoad, did when she wed her Labrador Logan on a UK TV show two years ago, is a bark too far. In SA’s Western Cape I once saw an odd couple in a restaurant with a hooded pram, peeping under the hood as they left, I saw not a baby but a poodle wearing a frilly dress and bonnet. That’s a lot to ask of a dog. PS. Last week as schools opened, I listened to Minister for Education Norma Foley responding on RTE radio to questions about teachers’ Covid related demands for medical grade masks and for Hepa ventilators to control air quality and avoid freezing class rooms. Minister Foley kept referring to medical advice and using the phrase “what I would say to you…” I would hope that Foley would do rather than say and have fought tooth and nail in advance of schools opening for the equipment that teachers need to keep themselves, their pupils and their classrooms safe.

Are you going vegan for January? Getting rid of pain without painkillers CLAIR WHITTY

PLANNING on taking the 31-day Veganuary challenge and going vegan for January but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to help. A vegan diet will naturally involve lots of vegetable and grains, however, don’t go too heavy on the carbohydrate rich grains as a filler. Also avoid falling into the trap of eating too many packaged, processed vegan foods. You can easily create your own tasty nutritious home-made meals once you have some easy-touse recipes and a cupboard full of ingredients ready to go. Buy your fresh ingredients in advance. This will help you stay on track and avoid food wastage too. Store cupboard ingredients can include nuts, seeds, nut butter, tahini, coconut oil,

good quality oils, tofu, and tempeh. Have a nice variety of herbs and spices both fresh and dried. Have soya sauce, tamari, coconut aminos to add taste and flavour to your meals. Tinned chick peas, broad beans, kidney beans, and lentils are good to start off with, later you can progress to dried pulses and lentils. Nutritional yeast flakes are a good source of B vitamins and B12. Chia seeds and flax seeds are versatile ingredients and make a great substitute for eggs in recipes. Oat biscuits are great for topping with dairy free cheese, tomatoes, houmous, or nut butter. Keep a stock of plant-based milks, you can get dairy free cheese, cheese sauce, vegan cream, vegan butter, yoghurt, egg replacer, and delicious dairy free chocolate too at your local health food store. Keep an eye on protein, a simple way is to eat a variety of nuts and seeds, almond, cashew, Brazil, and pecan,

sunflower, flax, and pumpkin. Protein powders can be added to fruit or vegetable shakes. Tofu, Lentils, and pulses are great too. Quinoa is good for breakfast, or to make vegetable patties, chick peas work well to make falafels, and tinned pulses can be added to soup to add extra protein. If you miss the meaty texture then, tofu, tempeh, Jackfruit, and aubergine are ideal. Jackfruit will add a meaty texture to your dish and is ideal for making meals reminiscent of pulled pork or meaty burgers. Struggling for ideas? Give us a call, we would love to help you with ideas on how to stick with your plan. Natural Health Store Market Cross Shopping Centre Phone: 056 7764538 Email: info@ naturalhealthstore.ie Shop online: www. naturalhealthstore.ie

ANDREW MCDONALD HYPNOTHERAPIST

LET’S face it, though popping pills like they’re sweets isn’t a good idea, there are times when painkillers are necessary. Some people are so good at things like meditation and mindfulness they can take almost any level of agony and not let it bother them. If you don’t believe that, look up the story of Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who burned himself to death in protest at the repression of Buddhism by the South Vietnamese government in 1963. During the process he didn’t move a single muscle nor utter a sound. Such examples of extreme tolerance of painful sensations do exist but the vast majority of us, probably fortunately, aren’t capable of them. Therefore, if you do find you need a painkiller, take one. This article’s purpose isn’t to dissuade you from that, merely to pose the question do you need them as an automatic goto solution?

First of all, for things like headaches, there are a few important things to look at. Something we can all neglect at times is our fluid intake. Is that pain in your head influenced more by a lack of liquid than anything else? Dehydration is often an overlooked cause and is easily solved in most cases. That said, if your drinking habits include too much alcohol, or you’re a smoker, those are two obvious things to look at reducing or even cutting out altogether. Your soreness may just be caused by their toxic nature. Believe it or not, exercise can aid massively in reducing pain. It’s not necessary to run a marathon. Start with gentle movement. For example, walking, swimming or stretching and make it a habit. You may be very surprised at the results. Acupuncture and hypnotherapy are two alternative medical practices which may help you to defeat your pain. An acupuncturist uses tiny needles to open your sensory organs and energy pathways to naturally begin the healing process.

Hypnotherapy is particularly powerful in dealing with psychosomatic pain, the soreness that subconsciously your brain is telling you to feel but perhaps has no physical root. Massages are another helpful complimentary medical option which can help to stretch and penetrate sore muscles. Meditation is a great practice to get into and can provide a huge boost in dealing with stress which itself is a major cause of pain. Taking time out during the day can help refocus the mind and give overactive brains opportunity to calm down. One final thing to watch is how much sleep you’re getting. Too little and you’re setting yourself up to feel sore. The same is true though of too much. Work out the optimal amount for you and aim for that. There are too many alternatives to painkillers to list here. An internet search will offer a multitude of options. Whilst painkillers are sometimes necessary, often we rely on them when other things would work just as well, if not better.


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

News

THE reduced severity of Omicron is good news for now, but it is the result of an “evolutionary mistake” as Covid-19 is transmitting very efficiently and there is no reason for it to become milder, indicating that the next variant could be more virulent, a leading scientist from the University of Cambridge has warned. Ravindra Gupta, Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases (CITIID), led a recent study on the Omicron variant and was among the first globally to describe the modified fusion mechanism of cells at play which might make Omicron more visible to the body’s immune defences. While the study showed that the new variant is infecting the cells found in the lungs less, the virus itself is not intending to become milder. “There is this assumption that viruses become more benign over time but that’s not what’s happening here because those are long-term evolutionary trends,” Prof. Gupta said. “Covid-19 does not have that issue because it is transmitting very efficiently so it doesn’t have any reason to become milder, especially in the era of vaccination with plenty of susceptible hosts. So that’s why I think it’s an evolutionary mistake. It’s not something intentional that the virus is trying to do to change its biology,” he explained. “This finding of reduced severity with Omicron is obviously good news for now but the next variant that comes, and there will be one, will not necessarily have these characteristics and could go back to the severity that we’ve seen before. According to the UK-born scientist, who advises the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), keeping up the vaccination drive is important because that remains “our first line of

Milder Omicron an ‘evolutionary mistake’,says Cambridge scientist defence” against the virus. “While we have a situation of a milder variant, we should use that as a chance to increase vaccination coverage,” he said. “Caution is needed and focus on infection transmission interruption and vaccination are so important.” According to Gupta’s study into Omicron, there seems to be a difference between its impact on the deep tissues in the lung and the upper airways or bronchus. This is

down to the presence of a particular protein or enzyme which is sitting on the surface of the cells in the lung called TMPRSS2, which prevents the virus from completing an efficient infection. “So, two pathways are available to the virus and Omicron prefers one pathway rather than the other and because of that choice, that pathway is more dominant in the upper airways where implications for oxygenation and lung function are milder compared

to if things are going on deep into your lungs,” he explains. As the Omicron variant does not engage the TMPRSS2 very efficiently, its ability to cause large fused cells is impaired. This fusion mechanism of making larger cells is a way that the virus can help itself avoid neutralising antibodies and by not being able to fuse, Omicron might make itself more visible to the immune system. “It’s a bit unclear. But it’s very real and it’s very related

to what we call a tropism (behavioural) switch. The big question is why the virus is unable to use TMPRSS2. We are still trying to understand this for some reason, Omicron’s spike is less well processed or cleaved,” said Gupta. The virus needs to be cleaved, or cut in two, in order for it to perform its functions optimally and Omicron seems to have lost some aspect of its function. “But if it’s replicating in the

upper airways, passing very efficiently, it fulfills the goal of transmission much more effectively than if it were infecting deep tissues, which is probably an evolutionary mistake for the virus,” saidd Gupta. As a result, his team’s focus now is on further studying why this evolutionary mistake occurred and to understand the biology of the virus better to help with more effective and efficient future courses of drugs and vaccines.

Another new variant pops up in Cyprus A NEW coronavirus variant nicknamed ‘Deltacron’ has been discovered in Cyprus, according to local media. The variant has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, as well as some of the mutations from Omicron, explained Dr Leondios Kostrikis, the head of the laboratory of biotechnology and molecular virology at the University of Cyprus, according to the Cyprus Mail. In total, 10 of the mutations

from Omicron were found in the 25 samples taken in Cyprus. 11 of the samples came from people who were hospitalised due to the virus, while 14 came from the general population. Dr Kostrikis said that the fact that the frequency of the mutation among hospitalised patients was higher could point to a correlation between the new variant and hospitalisations. Cyprus’s Health Minister

Michalis Hadjipandelas said that the new variant was not something to worry about at the moment and expressed pride in the country’s scientists for discovering the new variant. “The groundbreaking research and findings of Dr Kostrikis’ team make us proud of our scientists as this research puts Cyprus on the international map when it comes to health matters,” said Minister Hadjipandelas,

according to the Cyprus Mail. Cyprus’s Health Ministry plans to announce more information about the new variant soon. The scientific name of the new variant has not been announced as of yet. The announcement of the new variant comes just a week after a new coronavirus variant, B.1.640.2, was discovered in France. Experts have stated that it seems not to be a cause of concern.


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News BY DOUGLAS BROOM HOW do you feel about the prospects for 2022? Despite the arrival of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, people around the world are feeling surprisingly positive about the new year, according to a global survey. Ipsos asked 22,000 adults in 33 countries to give their personal predictions for 2022. Although concerns persist about rising prices and the environment, most people felt things would be better in the New Year. “Hope springs eternal,” said Antonia Lopez from Ipsos. “As is normal, three quarters (77%) expect a better year in 2022, ranging from 54% of Japanese saying they are optimistic that 2022 will be a better year for them than it was in 2021 to 94% of Chinese.” When people were asked at the end of 2020, 90% said it had been a bad year for their country. Responding to the same question at the end of 2021, the figure had dropped to 77%. In 2021, 56% said it had been a bad year for them and their families compared to 90% in 2020. New Year resolutions remain popular, with three quarters of people globally planning to set a goal for 2022. Only in Japan (44%) and Sweden (23%) are people setting resolutions in the minority. Here are some of the reasons why people around the globe say they are optimistic about life in 2022. 1. PROGRESS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID19 Covid-19 is not an obvious cause for optimism, but the progress of vaccination programmes is giving people hope that things will improve. More than half of those questioned believed that over 80% of the world’s population would receive at least one dose of a vaccine in 2022. People in Latin America were most positive with 81%

‘Meanwhile, 39% say they expect a natural disaster...

4. THE ECONOMY Optimism about the state of the global economy is picking up. People have greater expectations for stock market stability in 2022 than they did in 2021, when 40% said major stock markets around the world were likely to crash. Although three quarters of people around the world expect prices in their countries to rise faster than incomes, over two fifths (42%) think a stock market crash is unlikely.

Five reasons to be cheerful for this year of Peruvians, 76% Brazilians and 69% of Chileans expecting vaccination success in 2022. Europeans were more sceptical. Just 42% in France thought the 80% target was achievable, 38% in Switzerland and 33% in Germany. 2. THE ENVIRONMENT Although people around the world expect extreme weather

events caused by global warming to intensify in 2022, especially in those European countries badly affected by flooding in 2021, there was more optimism about the readiness of people to take action to halt it. More than two fifths (45%) expect fewer people to fly in 2022 than in 2019, with those in Asia expressing the

strongest view that habits will change – 68% in China, 67% in Singapore and 66% in Malaysia. 3. SOCIETY Almost a third of people around the world expect their society to become more tolerant as a result of the events of the last two years. This feeling is strongest in China, where

83% expect increased tolerance in 2022 although only 9% of people in France agree. More than seven in 10 (71%) think city centres will become more vibrant as people return to working in offices in 2022. Nine out of 10 (87%) people in China say this is likely to happen as do four in five (78%) in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

Virtual open day helps applicants ahead of CAO deadline WATERFORD Institute of Technology (WIT) is running a virtual open day on Friday and Saturday, January 14 and 15, to help students ahead of the CAO deadline. WIT’s Registrar and Vice President Dr Derek O’Byrne said: “At WIT we pride ourselves on our ‘right student, right programme’ ethos and open days are a key milestone in helping students figure out if a course or college is for them. Our team have worked very hard to give virtual attendees the best virtual experience of WIT that they can at www.wit.ie/ openday.” Kilkenny Leaving Cert students will be interested in virtually attending the schoolsfocused open day on Friday (10am-2pm). Teachers, parents/guardians, and prospective students are welcome across both days, with parents and guardians expected to be interested in attending virtually on Satur-

day morning. Typically two thirds of WIT graduates are from the south east and typically 1 in 4 Co Kilkenny college-going school leavers attend WIT. Jess Lawton, Marketing & Outreach Officer at WIT said: “Our recent online parents’ event gave parents and guard-

ians a head start on making an application for the CAO. We welcome parents to again join us on Saturday and take the opportunity to view the facilities via a virtual campus tour, attend talks and ask questions so they can support the decisions their child makes. WIT and Institute of Tech-

nology Carlow are working towards creating a technological university which will be established by May 1 meaning students applying to study at WIT through the CAO will start in, and graduate from a technological university. Claire Holden, Schools’ liaison & Outreach Officer at

WIT said: “We would like to reassure applicants the CAO entry to our 70 CAO courses remains unchanged for 2022 entry. The CAO application codes will remain as WD200 for example and can be found at www.wit.ie/courses or on the CAO website under Waterford Institute of Technology.” According to The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 published in November 2021, WIT was placed as the top institute of technology in the annual ranking, and has stayed in the top 10 for a number of years. The range of 70 CAO courses contains many standalone and specialist courses. WIT’s dedicated CAO website is www.wit.ie/cao WIT’s student stories portal is at www.wit.ie/studentstories A selection of booklets and worksheets to download are available at www.wit.ie/how. The virtual open day website is at www.wit.ie/openday.

5. ALIEN INVASION Of course, there’s still plenty to worry about in 2022. But according to the survey, alien invasion is not top of most people’s lists – only 14% thought it was likely although almost a third of people in India are expecting to greet visitors from another planet. Meanwhile, 39% of people say they expect a natural disaster to affect a city in their country, 38% thought hackers from a foreign power might bring down their IT systems, 34% thought nuclear weapons might be used and 27% feared rogue artificial intelligence. Republished with permission of the World Economic Forum. Read the original article.

10 years on, 10,00 flights, and 3m. passengers THE world’s largest international airline, Emirates, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Ireland. Since the inaugural flight on January 9, 2012, Emirates has carried more than 2.8 million passengers on 10,000 flights between Dublin and Dubai. “When we launched in Ireland 10 years ago, we were in the midst of a global recession and today, as we mark a major milestone, we are in the middle of a global pandemic,” said Enda Corneille, country manager Emirates, Ireland. The Dublin route launch has been one of the airline’s most successful in its 37-year history and, despite having to scale back operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Enda Corneille is confident that frequencies will ramp up as travel demand gradually returns.


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

Your Money

Savings at record high but we need to spend BY JOHN ELLIS FINANCIAL ADVISOR

DEPOSITS continue to remain at record highs, with €134 billion saved to the end of August 2021. While many households continue to face the real possibility that Covid-19 and the resulting economic turmoil could still leave them under pressure paying their mortgages and everyday expenses, the amount that people have saved has boomed. But Central Bank data shows that from mid-April 2021 ‘card spending’ began to rise sharply as consumer sentiment improved and restrictions were eased. The most recent Central Bank quarterly report anticipates the economic recovery to continue into 2022 and beyond with domestic modified demand forecast to grow by 7.1% this year and 4.1 per cent in 2023 driven primarily by consumer consumption due to continuing pent up demand. The Government and many economists are hoping that this trend will continue, with people spending some of their record levels of savings.

But the Government may well have to incentivise people to part with their cash because, according to a

recent Taxback.com “Taxpayer Sentiment Survey” of 1200 people, saving even more appears to be the primary

goal for 2022. Experts at Taxback.com say that the fact that so many people either want to save

more (25%) or watch what they spend to a greater extent (31%) could come as a big worry to the Government and economists, as most suggest that we’re already saving too much. The results of the survey were really mixed – while 7 in 10 people said that they had made changes to their financial behaviours since the pandemic began – there was a split between those who are now better at money management and those who are worse. What is really surprising is that only 11% of those surveyed revealed that they plan to be more proactive in terms of looking for better deals on insurance and in getting their tax back etc. Barry Cahill, Business Development Director at Taxback.com, said:”It’s a bit disheartening to learn that just one in 10 appears to want to be proactive when it comes to negotiating or sourcing better deals or claiming back money and it seems that unnecessary overspending and not claiming what you are owed have always been something the Irish consumer has grappled with.” Another interesting fact revealed in the survey is that just one in 10 (11%) says they are focused on earning

more money because of the pandemic. This seems to indicate that people are more focused on maintaining a better work life balance than they were before. According to the online Trading Economics Report Ireland’s consumer price inflation rate rose to 5.3% year on year in November of 2021 due to the costs of transportation, prices for vehicles, airfares, the cost of Health, housing, utilities, higher rents and increases in electricity and gas to name a few. Therefore, with the cost of goods and services increasing at an alarming rate as inflation bites both take home pay and outgoings need to be monitored regularly. If your income has not changed in a few years, then it’s likely that your standard of living is going backwards. You need to negotiate a pay rise or if time is the issue discuss a more flexible working regime. Equally you need to become more aware of the significant price differences on various products, for example, change your utility provider, change credit card provider. Research the market for car and house insurance. Don’t take the first quote offered. john@ellisfinancial.ie 086 8362633.

Vitamin B12 B12 provides enhanced energy, clarity of mind and memory, enhanced sleep, mood, support for the immune system and physical stamina. SOMEGA’S Vitamin B 12 oral berry-flavoured spray comes in a small bottle which is easy to carry and take when on the move. SOMEGA co-founder Mark Clifford says, “We are delighted to have our products stocked locally in Kilkenny. As an Irish brand, our aim is to provide our customers with the most natural and effective supplements possible. When it comes to staying healthy we know the main components are a balanced diet and exercise. As well as this, high quality supplements are a must to ensure we meet the standard daily requirements for

optimum health and immune support. With so many supplements on the market, it can be difficult to choose the highest quality products. Our customers can be assured that when they choose SOMEGA, they are choosing the most effective and highest quality supplements, founded in science and nutritional expertise. Good health shouldn’t be a chore, so all of our supplements are tasty and enjoyable to take and fit easily into your daily routine.”

Protect your family this January and throughout the year AS we find ourselves in the midst of a January like no other, it is more important than ever to support our immunity and in turn, give ourselves peace of mind and a mental boost. This is where SOMEGA, Ireland’s purest health supplement brand, comes in to its own. Co-founded by two Corkbased nutritionists and food scientists who have poured more than 30 combined years of expertise into their products, SOMEGA’s pure and natural liquid supplements are designed to be easily absorbed and highly palatable. The range of supplements are non GMO, contain no added sugar, preservatives or colours, and are soy, gluten, alcohol and yeast free, as well as being vegetarian friendly.

SOMEGA Liposomal Vitamin C What makes SOMEGA Liposomal Vitamin C different to regular Vitamin C supplements is that it is made using cutting edge liposomal technology which makes it easier for the body to absorb and utilise. Vitamin C is vital for immune support, helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, promotes healthy skin and helps protect cells from damage which contributes to aging and a range of health conditions. The positive effects can be felt within just 30 days of daily supplementation, giving an energy boost as well as an improvement in the condition of skin, hair and nails. Liposomal Vitamin B Complex + C This newly launched

supplement is a synergistic blend of the eight essential B-Vitamins with added Vitamin C. It provides invaluable support for your energy levels, reduces tiredness and fatigue, contributes to mental health and performance, promotes healthy skin, hair and nails and supports your immune system. Supplementing with B vitamins is especially important for vegans and vegetarians, people who are under stress and feel rundown, as well as those over the age of 60. SOMEGA Vitamin D SOMEGA Vitamin D supplements are available as convenient oral sprays, liquid drops or liposomal pump. Vitamin D is one of the most important im-

mune (and bone) health vitamins. Almost half of the Irish population is deficient in this vitamin with studies finding that those with good levels of Vitamin D being able to fight off colds and flus easier than those with low levels of the vitamin. SOMEGA Easy Omega-3 Omega-3 may well be the most undervalued health supplement of all yet is vital for a healthy brain, eyes and heart. Over 80% of the Irish population do not get enough Omega-3 in their diet so SOMEGA’S fruity, creamy and pleasant-tasting Omega-3 is the perfect solution as it can be enjoyed straight from the spoon or added to a variety of drinks and foods and is suitable for all from the age of 2.

SOMEGA supplements can be found at Food for Life, The Good Earth and McCauley Pharmacy (High Street and Kilkenny Shopping Centre). Further information at gosomega.com


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

Science & Wellbeing MANY of us have set ourselves New Year’s resolutions hoping to form better habits, writes Matyáš Moravec on BigThink.com. Some of us might want to be more environmentally friendly. Others want to eat better, stop smoking or, if you’re like me, start running more often. Setting these resolutions relies on the belief that we can change our habits. They are predicated on the idea that what happens in 2022 is not yet decided: it is up to us whether we buy a pack of cigarettes or a pair of new running shoes, right? We believe that the future is not yet set in stone. But is it possible that everything is preordained? This idea has been explored in many ways, from medieval theology to modern physics. We all understand time as divided into the past, present and future. This understanding, however, was shaken when Albert Einstein came up with his famous theory of relativity in the early 1900s. Prior to Einstein, the ‘present’ was shared by everyone in the universe: there was a ‘Big Now’. Before Einstein, I could look at the clock, see that it says 12 noon, for example, and say that a whole lot of things are happening ‘now’, even for people very far away from me. For instance, while I am looking at the clock in my office, the bells in Belfast city centre are striking noon, a person in Kilkenny is looking at a bird in the sky, and planets are colliding in a galaxy light years away. We all share one present, one ‘Big Now’, in which all of this happens. After Einstein’s discovery, this was no longer true. I could only speak about ‘the present’ from my own perspective on the universe, in my “reference frame”. There was no longer a SHARED micromobility solutions that allow users to rent and to share these e-scooters and e-bikes are generally considered climate-friendly mobility solutions that relieve urban traffic and contribute to CO2 reduction targets. However, cities are increasingly facing the challenge of properly integrating these rapidly growing fleets of micro-vehicles. “We know astonishingly little about how people are using these services,” says Daniel Reck from the Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT) IN Zurich. Until now, it has been unclear how these trendy ebikes and e-scooters actually contribute to reducing urban CO2 emissions. For a new study researchers under the direction of Professor Kay Axhausen examined what impact these new means of transport have on the climate. One particularly notable aspect of the study is that the researchers not only considered CO2 emissions throughout the lifecycle from production, operation, and maintenance, but also the substitution patterns dur-

If the future already exists, why bother with resolutions?

‘Big Now’ stretching across the entire universe. What I observe as happening ‘now’ from my perspective might look very different from another. A Martian travelling past the Earth on a spaceship at an incredibly high speed, for example, might see the clock showing 12 noon in his now, but might not

see the bells striking in Belfast just yet. My ‘now’ is different to the Martian’s ‘now’ and what counts as “the present” depends on our individual perspectives. To use an analogy,’the present’ or ‘now’ is just like ‘here’. ‘Here’ is not one location you can find on a map – it just de-

scribes your position relative to your surroundings. My ‘here’ currently includes Belfast, but your ‘here’ probably includes something else, just like my ‘now’ is different to the Martian’s. Einstein’s discovery has a surprising consequence. My ‘present’ is no more special than the

‘All things, past, present, and future, exist for God...

Martian’s (or anyone else’s). If ‘the present’ is just a matter of perspective, then all times should be equal. And if they are all equal, they must all exist, much like the way all cities in any one country exist even though what counts as ‘here’ varies from one observer to another. It would be silly to say

How e-Scooters may emit more CO2 than vehicles they replace

that only Belfast exists because I’m observing it here. But this clearly challenges our belief in an ‘open future’. If all moments of time exist, does that mean that my staying in bed every morning in 2022 instead of going for a run exists, too? Are future events already ‘there’ without me being able to do anything about them? Another way to think about this is through the Christian idea that God knows all things past, present, and future. But how does God know the future? What’s the basis of God’s knowing if I’m going to go jogging in January 2022 or not? The philosopher Boethius offered up a response that would be held as true for more than 1,000 years. He said that all things, past, present, and future, exist for God. He compared humans to travellers journeying through a valley and God to an observer standing on top of a mountain above. Whereas we see the bits of the path ahead, God, from the mountain, sees the entirety of the path. All of its segments exist for him. Similarly, God eternally sees my birth, my present writing of this article, and whatever it is that I will do in 2022 and beyond ing usage. “Operating escooters and e-bikes seems climate-friendly at first glance because they do not use internal combustion engines.,” says Reck. “But in terms of their carbon footprint, the means of transport they typically replace is ultimately what matters.” The findings show that shared e-scooters and ebikes in the city of Zurich primarily replace more sustainable modes of transport—walking, public transport, and cycling. This means that they emit more carbon than the means of transport they replace. “In the way they are currently used, shared e-scooters and e-bikes do the climate more harm than good,” says Reck. A different picture emerges in the case of private escooters and e-bikes, which replace trips by car much more frequently and thus produce less CO2 emissions than the means of transport they replace. Private micromobility therefore reduces CO2 emissions and ultimately benefits the climate.


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Travel & Leisure

5 luxury island escapes for you BY HELEN WARWICK GIVEN we’ve been cooped up for months, now’s the time to start thinking about that trip of a lifetime you’ve been dreaming about. And as the world tentatively opens up, so do the chances of a seriously memorable getaway. An island trip, where beaches feel all yours and hideaways provide a true sense of escape, can be truly special. Here, we look at some of the greatest island destinations. 1. MNEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA Best for seclusion Like any self-respecting private hideaway, Mnemba remains largely off radar — strung just off the north-east coast of Zanzibar. A shipwrecked fantasy island, it’s authentic, low-key and empty. Here, just 12 beachside bandas stand, where guests emerge for sunrise dips or morning coffee in the shade of their thatched roofs. The teardropshaped island is completely off-limits unless you’re a guest of the inimitable laid-back bolthole from African experts, &Beyond. WHAT TO DO: The island loops around for just a mile, so Mnemba really will make you feel like a castaway. Champagne and sushi are served sunbed-side for guests watching the sun drop below the horizon; massages are

brought to your private banda; and fresh seafood dishes are eaten at tables perched in the white sand. Guests spend their days snorkelling in the shallows, kayaking offshore, dhow sailing, deep-sea fishing or delving further into this pristine archipelago across inky seas. Arriving back at Mnemba, wash the sand from your toes in your banda with its linen drapes, thatched walls and terrace dotted with loungers, and cosy up with an aperitif and those sea views. WHEN TO GO: During the archipelago’s dry season from July to September. HOW TO DO IT: Scott Dunn offers a seven-night stay at the &Beyond Mnemba Island Lodge from 2. BALI, INDONESIA Best for wellness Pre-Covid-19, Bali buzzed with that archetypal tropical energy, craved by everyone from backpackers to the ultra-luxe lovers. In recent years, it became a hub for digital nomads, who’d hole up in cafes, drinking juices and tapping away on their laptops before seeking surf and sunsets on its funtime beaches. And as the Indonesian island opens up again, its pull has never felt so tenacious: from green and serene Ubud with its thriving arts scene to the sprinkling of dinky islands offshore, where the seas are super

clear and just-caught seafood monopolise the menus. WHAT TO DO: Bali has a knack for being all things to all men. It’s gained a stellar reputation for wellness thanks to its spiritual heart and nature-centric sights, from verdant paddy fields where cyclists weave in the shade, to Hindu temples, such as Tirta Empul, with its purifying holy baths. And in among it all, organic urban farms, yoga retreats, a consistently sunny disposition and the volcano of Agung that can be conquered on midnight treks, to arrive at its peak at dawn. WHEN TO GO: The dry season is April to October. HOW TO DO IT: Close to the immaculate sands of Nusa Dua on the island’s southernmost peninsula is Aman Villas at Nusa Dua — a collection of villas with thatched roofs, private pools and living areas overlooking gardens filled with frangipani. Every villa has its own chef and butlers, and you can book yoga sessions and in-room treatments. 3. SARDINIA, ITALY Best for beaches Glancing at images of this beloved Italian island, it’s easy to mistake its curves of white sand and clear-as-glass seas for the Maldives rather than the Med. Our tip? Strike out to the Maddalena archipelago, in grasping distance of pristine, quiet beaches. There are

hidden coves, empty lagoons and charming waterside hangouts with kitchens dishing out gut-bustingly good pasta dishes and fresh fish. WHAT TO DO: If you’re seeking coastal adventure, try diving the Grotto del Nereo (Nereo Cave) off the main island — a bewildering underwater network of caves and tunnels, sprawled with bewitching forests of stalagmites and stalactites. And then there’s Laguna di Nora — an enchanting lagoon on the western side of the Nora promontory where pink flamingos stride through the lake’s shallows and snorkellers float in the clear waters. WHEN TO GO: Avoid August, when hordes of Italians descend on the island, and instead try May and June or September, when you’ll find quieter beaches, but dependable sunshine.

buttery orange sands meet the waves of the Aegean. This curve of beach, lying in the shadow of a cradle of cliffs, is accessible only by boat. WHAT TO DO: For an enchanting waterside jaunt, head towards Laganas Bay, where loggerhead turtles idle in the seas, and further along, there’s the whimsical rock formations of Keri Caves — a mesmerising spot to launch from a boat and linger in the gin-clear seas. For hardier thrills, hire bikes and strike out into the island’s wilder heart, through valleys smothered in wildflowers, olive groves, fragrant pine forests and dozing villages. WHEN TO GO: Avoid the peak months of July and August and try the shoulder months of May, June, September and October for mellower temperatures and quieter beaches.

4. ZAKYNTHOS, GREECE Best for kids When there are electric blue seas, powder-soft sands and tufts of wild woodland to explore, little ones will be happily busy. Zakynthos has carved a reputation for slick family getaways, whether you’re seeking historical fixes, enchanting waterside tavernas and water a thousand shades of blue. You’ll have seen images of Zakynthos, even if you didn’t realise: of its startling Navagio Beach, where

5. BERGHOLMEN, STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO Best for nature For something entirely different, the Stockholm archipelago has a fiercely loyal following of locals who have fallen for its serene rocky shores and pockets of ethereal, wild nature. No one really knows how many islands make up the archipelago, though the general consensus is around 24,000 — all of which are rooted in bucolic

loveliness. And yet it’s all wholly accessible from the enduringly cool capital with regular boat connections to and from Stockholm. Looking for escapism? The private island of Bergholmen might just be the antidote — it’s only a 40-minute boat ride from the capital, but its clandestine reputation only adds to the feeling you’ve stumbled across a secretive dwelling. WHAT TO DO: There’s only one place to stay on Bergholmen: Island Lodge. It’s a collection of domed geodesic tents, with wooden floors, proper beds and windows opening to views of guests spading shells and staggering over rockpools, or distant fishing boats seesawing on the inky sea. Trips here are all about enjoying early morning coffee with the sand between your toes, foraging trips in search of berries and mushrooms, reading a book on the decking and walking under a canopy of wiry firs and birches. You can kayak to nearby islets, and as you arrive back at camp, slip into the hot outdoor shower or the hot tub, before enjoying a meal prepared using foraged ingredients. WHEN TO GO: From May to September. * Published in the 2021 edition of National Geographic Traveller (UK) The Luxury Collection


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News

Funds in line for local anglers INLAND Fisheries Ireland, the state agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats and the promotion of recreational angling, is encouraging angling clubs in Kilkenny to apply for funding under its 2022 Sponsorship Programme. Angling clubs, groups and associations in Kilkenny and all over Ireland are be-

ing invited to apply for sponsorship funding before the January 21 deadline and, in 2022, the €30,000 fund will have a particular focus on initiatives aimed at beginners and young anglers, as well as events that promote sustainable angling tourism. More than 327,000 adults in Ireland consider themselves an angler (Ipsos/MRBI), while 18% of adults in Ire-

land that had never been fishing before said that they were “likely” to try angling in the future.according research from Amárach. The sponsorship programme is one of the main funding mechanisms used by Inland Fisheries Ireland to promote angling in Ireland. It awarded funding to 41 angling events and initiatives across the country

in 2021; however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme didn’t go ahead in 2020. Of the 41 events that received funding, the State agency supported 10 national or international competitions and festivals that showcased Ireland’s angling resources and contribution to local economies in 2021. Meanwhile, a total of 28

coaching and juvenile outreach events were supported in 2021, to help increase participation in the sport, along with three public awareness events and angling-related initiatives. Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “In 2022, our top priority is supporting projects and events that encourage more

Unwell Vicky misses Late show

Price of three-bed semi expected to rise by 5% in the next 12 months THE price of the average threebed semi in Co. Kilkenny is expected to rise by 5% in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Real Estate Alliance. Three-bed semi-detached homes in the county now cost an average of €240,000, up 15% on the December 2020 average of €208,500, the REA Average House Price Index shows. The survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home, the threebed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide. Landlords exiting the market have accounted for almost one in four home sales over the past three months, the data shows. Prices in Kilkenny City rose to €285,000 in December, representing a 3.6% increase in the final three months of the year and 18.8% in 2021 overall. “There is a lot of interest from people moving home from Dublin and from abroad,” said Michael Boyd of REA Boyd’s, Kilkenny. “A number of new homes schemes have started selling and are going very well and sellers also include small investors

and executor sales. The market has been a bit calmer compared Q2 and Q3 2021 as the pent-up demand has been satiated.” The average price reported in Callan at the end of December was €195,000, an increase of 2.6% over the final three months of the year and representing a 10.2% increase for 2021. “The market is very strong. We are seeing investors selling up and we expect to see more of this activity into 2022 as there is a long lead time in notice period for tenants,” said Robbie Grace of REA Grace, Callan. Average house prices rose by 2.24% nationally in the last three months of 2021, half the rise experienced between June and September as demand eased and the market calmed. The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by €5,900 over the past three months to €269,963 – representing an annual increase of 13%. Selling prices rose in commuter areas (3.34%) and the country’s large towns (2.57%) as buyers continue to move out further from the capital in anticipation of long-term remote

young people and beginners to try angling sustainably, as well as initiatives that help grow sustainable angling tourism throughout Ireland. “As more people in Kilkenny enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of being outdoors, mainly driven by Covid-19 guidelines, we are seeing greater levels of interest in angling nationally,” she said.

and hybrid working situations. The commuter area increases are treble those in Ireland’s major cities, with Dublin increasing by 1% and Cork Limerick and Galway by an average of 0.8% as agents reported a quieter quarter. In Dublin city, house prices rose by over €4,000 in Q4, compared to more than €10,000 in Q3, increasing from €467,000 in September to a present rate of €471,667. Three bed semis in commuter counties rose 3.34% by over €9,000 in the past three months to an average of €291,944 – with the average home selling in just three weeks. As the flight to rural locations continues, prices in the rest of the country’s towns rose by 2.6% in Q3 to €190,138. Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford cities shared a combined increase of 0.8% in the past 12 weeks with the average three bed semi now costing €283,000. While house prices in Cork (€335,000), Galway (€302,000) and Waterford (€250,000) were relatively static, prices for a three bed semi in Limerick rose by 2.1% to €245,000.

KILKENNY cervical smear campaigner Vicky Phelan was unable to attend the Late Late Show after not feeling well enough in the few before her scheduled appearance. The Mooncoin campaigner told RTE viewers how her hair was now growing back, but it hadn’t been a great week for her. But the Kilkenny woman is hoping she will be well enough to climb Croagh Patrick with Charlie Bird in April for multiple charities. In a video message to the former RTE broadcaster, Vicky said: “Hi Charlie, Hi Ryan, I’m really sorry that I could make it to the studio tonight to be with you to launch a climb with Charlie, but I’m just not feeling well this week. “I’m feeling a little bit better now in the last couple of days as you can see, my hair is starting to grow back, which is great, but I’m just not feeling well enough, but I really want to send you all my love tonight I hope you get a huge amount of support after your appearance tonight for your climb in April and please god all going well ill be there with you in April.” Vicky will also due to appear on RTE Radio One’s Sunday with Miriam O’Callaghan shortly after 10am.

Enright ‘IDA’ row with South East radio Is aired at council monthly meeting Enright WEXFORD County Council members were to hold a special meeting on to discuss findings of the Standards of Public Office Commission which has said the council’s chief executive failed to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest when he sent emails to a local radio station threatening to withdraw advertising. The issue in relation to Tom Enright (pictured) was on the monthly meeting of the council, following a public hearing last November after a complaint made by Wexford businessman Karl Fitzpatrick to the SIPO and a report issued by the commission.

Cathaoirleach Cllr BarbaraAnne Murphy said she had obtained legal advice in relation to the matter and, in keeping with this advice which had been made available to members, she intended to defer discussion of the issue to a special council meeting. This was agreed by members with Cllrs Michael Whelan and Ger Carthy calling for the meeting to be held “in person” and not online. County secretary David Minogue said that this should be possible under current regulations on meetings. Mr Fitzpatrick’s complaint centred on emails sent in 2019 by Mr Enright to South East Radio,

after Mr Fitzpatrick criticised an alleged lack of IDA investment in the Wexford area. Tom Enright emailed the radio station’s general manager in August of 2019 and said that Wexford County Council was “reviewing” its commercial relationship with the station and that the council did not wish to continue supporting a station that was allowing “individuals... to promote their own personal agenda”. This followed a programme in March of that year in which Mr Fitzpatrick expressed views on various matters relating to the county council. A meeting was subsequently held between Mr Enright and the station manag-

ing director, and the council chief said that a statement he had issued to the station following Mr Fitzpatrick’s criticisms was not uploaded as a podcast on the station’s website. This was because of a technical issue, station Manager Eamon Buttle said, and the latter thought that the matter was closed following the meeting. It was after emails from Mr Enright in August that Mr Fitzpatrick made a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission. In its report following last November’s hearing, SIPO said that Mr Enright “failed to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct and concern” for the

public interest when he sent the emails in August of 2019. The tone of a second email, in which Mr Enright accused the station of “censorship” and described Mr Fitzpatrick of having a “personal vendetta” against him was “particularly emotive and unbecoming of a person in such a senior role,” SIPO said. It also found that Mr Enright had “failed to have regard to and be guided by the Code of Conduct for Employees” by sending the emails. The commission noted that there was “no suggestion of corruption or deception” in Mr Enright’s conduct and pointed out that the station managing director had described him as

“an honourable man”. It also said there was no doubting Mr Enright’s “passion and drive for Wexford” but said it was incumbent on someone in his position to maintain “appropriate standards”. Members of Wexford County Council discussed the findings at their monthly meeting and some have already spoken of their support for the Chief Executive. In a statement, Mr Enright said he was “extremely disappointed” with the commission’s findings which he described as “flawed and disproportionate”. He said he was currently exploring all available options “including legal options” and consulting with his legal advisers in that regard.


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

Feature A montage of photos by Kilkenny photographer Pat Shortall showing some of the areas visited by The Saturday walkers’ group

Delight for history enthusiasts as they their 500th Kilken

ALL PHOTOS BY PAT SHORTALL Christmas Eve in Kilkenny is classy at the best of times. Add in the continuing growing festival that is Yulefest and Kilkenny comes into a league of its own. Such was the case this year. Thanks to the local authority and its workforce, the Parade looked radiant, as lights shone, music bellowed from the music stand, and the smell of freshly baked food wafted through the air. The specially erected Christmas stalls sold

everything from Kilkenny paintings to bog oak mirrors. Beside the water trough at The Parade, a group of twelve or so gathered. They were members of ‘The Saturday Local History Walkers group’. The meeting on Christmas Eve was special, as it marked the 500th such event since the group’s first gathering in 2012. SEED WAS SOWN BY MAYOR OF KILKENNY The idea of a walking group, who would stroll around Kilkenny while visiting

historical areas of the city was the brainchild of then Mayor of Kilkenny Seán O hArgáin. The Kilkenny Observer caught up with Seán and asked why he had started the group. “It was my privilege to be elected Mayor of Kilkenny in 2012 and in the run-up to that election, I thought about the priorities I would have as Mayor. At my election in the Town Hall, I outlined one of my top priorities as leading a new drive to promote health and fitness in the city” Seán credits his local G.P as

the one who motivated him. “Tadhg Crowley, of Ayrfield Medical Centre had persuaded me to join a group for the first Operation Transformation in 2011. I had become an active runner, cyclist and triathlete in that few years and felt that something was needed to give men my age the push necessary to take action to improve their own health.” Indeed on the night of his election as Kilkenny’s first citizen, Sean announced the idea of a weekly Mayor’s walk, and is, in his own words one of the projects he is most proud of.

A NAME CHANGE It initially started out as ‘The Mayor’s Walk’ and later had a name change to ‘The Saturday Local History Walk’. And it is fair to say that they are a modest group. It would appear that there are no leaders, only members. Be that as it may, the group has managed to travel the highways and byways of Kilkenny city and county over the past ten years visiting numerous historical sites. And that takes some planning. The Kilkenny Observer has

joined with the walkers on a few occasions and there is no doubt that there is an abundance of history to be learned as you amble around the city and its environs. EACH WALK IS SPECIAL AND UNIQUE According to Paddy Neary (one of the walkers) everyone with an interest in Kilkenny history is welcome to attend the walks. Paddy, who has been present at all the walks, was reluctant to pick any favourites. “Each walk is unique in


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Feature

Deirdre Mansfield and Sean Brennan who participated in the 500th walk

Marianne Kelly and Paddy Neary, part of the walker’s group since 2012

mark ny walk

its own way. I suppose the input by Lady Desart and the contribution she played in the various aspects of the town is remarkable. You have to remember she was associated with such projects as Desart Hall, The County Library, The Kilkenny Theatre, The Woollen Mills, and The Handball court at Talbots Inch. She was a remarkable lady.” Marianne Kelly is another who has attended the walks from the beginning. “It’s almost a way of life at this stage” said Marianne. “Saturday morning is sacred, and it would have

to be something very important to make me miss our history walk”, she continued. Of course, the walks are not confined to the city centre and Marianne explains that a number of walks have included trips to Kilcooley Abbey, Gowran, Bennetsbridge, Woodstock, St Mulllins, Callan, Windgap and Johnswell. MANY SUBJECTS COVERED ON THE WALKS Just a brief look at the notes of their records show the walkers have been informed on many topics over the

Celebrating the 500th walk, members of The Saturday walkers group pictured on Christmas Eve

Saturday walker regulars Jim Neary, Alva Fitzgerald, and Sean Brennan

Saturday regulars Nicholas Maher and Ned Kennedy

Former Mayor of Kilkenny, Seán O hArgáin joined the Saturday walkers in 2017 for their weekly history walk

years such as, the many churchmen who travelled to faraway places, the history of the GAA in Kilkenny, the opening of Nowlan park, The Churches and cemeteries of Kilkenny, the Laneways of Kilkenny, The Mills of Kilkenny along with dedicated talks on all main streets in the city. And more. The military history of county Kilkenny and its involvement in WWI and WW2 has also featured. Commandant Larry Scallan (retired) and Eamon Keily, have joined the group on a number of occasions to discuss topics such as The

Military History of Kilkenny, The breakout from Kilkenny Gaol, Kilkenny’s war dead, The Friary street ambush and the history of James Stephens Barracks. Having spent an hour in their company there is no doubting that there is an energy and an enthusiasm within the group that is to be admired. Much of their walks have been broadcast on Sunday Serendipity, produced and presented by Pat Shortall on Community radio, Kilkenny City. Reports on the walks also feature regularly in The

Kilkenny Observer. So, back to Sean ÓHargáin. Any advice for those thinking of starting out on these walks? “I often repeat the advice I got at the start of my fitness journey”, said Seán. “If in doubt, just get out.” COMMITMENT AND DEDICATION TO BE ADMIRED As a local community newspaper, we at the Kilkenny Observer can only praise the commitment and dedication shown by ‘The Saturday Walkers’ and wish them all the best as they

continue to educate on the history of our beautiful city and county. FÓGRA: Forthcoming walks for 2022 include talks on ‘The night of the big wind’; ‘Kilkenny’s ancient churches’; ‘WWI graves at Foulkstown and St Patrick’s’; ‘The story of Domhnall Mac Amhlaigh’; ‘Saint Brigid’s well, and ‘the Centenary of the takeover of James Stephens Barracks by Irish Forces’. *‘The Saturday Local History Walkers’ meet at The horse trough on The Parade every Saturday at 11a.m


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

Community Community Group

‘If you are getting it, I want it too’ AS we head into another year and we all hope it will be better for all the cohorts of society. Sometimes we have to look at the life of our seniors as we try to cope with the current days of our lives. The major worry and concerns we have today are the massive increase in our Gas, Electricity and carbon tax. These increases will have an impact on the Seniors of our Communities. The total increase on an annual basis will be over €800! The total fuel allowance we were using in the past to heat our homes is just over €900. Where in

god’s name do those who sit comfortable in our well heated Houses of Government think those on the state Pension are going to get this extra income? Maybe a minimum wage job as a cleaner for their constituency offices or high market homes. Government already know that the State pension is actually below their own current level of weekly income. I listened to a recent radio report of an elderly gentlemen who now lives alone. As the interview continued I went on an emotional roller-coaster. He began by

telling us the effects of the recent hikes that have came in to force as the weather got colder. He now has to get a ‘Top Up’ for his Gas to heat his home. Now this is costing

€20 extra a week. He also suffers from Arthritis. This means the cold has a serious affect on the movement of his joints. Well at least he had the money to get the

house heated I thought but the whole scenario made me sad to be honest. But then it went from that to anger as he continued his personal story. He had to cut back on other items to have to make this outlay. This ONLY allowed him to turn on the heating for an extra hour or two a day. As his voice now began to shake as he said he was embarrassed to find himself in this situation in the Twilight years of his days. To avoid the cold, he told us he heads to bed in the afternoon and early at night to keep warm as he uses THREE duvets in his poorly early 20th century family home, why should someone who built this county be now cast aside on the senior waste heap of society. What are the powers of going to do? With great fanfare they have decided to give every household €100 credit on our next bill, well that has now been changed to sometime in the 1st quarter as it needs new legislation to actually do it. But guess what, even millionaires and all Minsters and TDs are getting this as well even though they are on €100’000 + per annum. My God has anyone got a brain or are they now so institutionalised they are unable to think outside the box or keep their noses out of the trough

and believe ‘well if your getting something so are, we’ attitude towards benefits. Give the money to those who need it! The amount allocated to assist those hit by these outrageous price hikes should go to those who need it most! Not just give to all regardless of need. The People who need it are already in the system. Those on the fuel allowance and Family Income Supplement payments. This is the sensible and the most beneficial way of distributing the allocation. Whoever thought that every household should get it? As we now borrow to pay our way out of the Covid 19 pandemic, we must spend wisely or the youth of today will be possibly worse off .Therefore give to those who need it and not just every Tom Dick or Harry or should that read Michael, Leo & Eamon and those whom are advocating for change and to be gender neutral, we can include Mary Lou in the quartet of ‘If you are getting it, even if I don’t need it , I want it too! For anyone who is now struggling and expect to hit fuel poverty in 2022 please contact your energy supplier and register as a vulnerable customer.


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Much More Than Words THIS WEEK, in our look at the recently published book of poetry and prose by The Kilkenny Involvement Centre and The Recovery College, we feature poems from Joe Murray, Ben Mac Caoilte and James Mc Nicholas. We thank Andrew Small for Artwork and TASK for photographs

If ever a book deserved the award for ‘The Perfect Title’ surely that accolade must go to a new compilation of poetry Much More Than Words. Indeed its very title describes comprehensively the diversity of the treasures to be discovered within its covers. This volume of carefully crafted poems, interspersed with prose and enhanced with well-chosen

Joe Murray

images, is the second collection produced by The Involvement Centre Kilkenny and the first in a joint venture with The Recovery College. The Kilkenny Observer Newspaper is delighted to promote the work of The Involvement Centre and The Recovery College, and so, will publish a selection of their work over the coming months.

Ben Mac Caoilte

‘Much More Than Words’ can be purchased at the following Kilkenny outlets: Bargain Books, The Butterslip Khans Bookshop, James’ Street & The Book Centre, High Street. Price: €10

James McNichalas

The Love of her Life

The Link

Mrs Doyle’s Cup of Tea

Moist eyed she sits at the kitchen table watching him The love of her life Sprawled on the floor he clutches a near empty bottle Through half closed eyes he sees her sitting there He tries to speak but cannot get words out He puts the bottle to his mouth and takes a swig He finishes it quickly and mumbling incoherently throws the bottle violently across the room It crashes against the wall and rolls to her feet unbroken He struggles to a sitting position, back against the wall He looks at her again, watching her watching him Her mother told her it would be like this He struggles to his feet and stands there swaying his knees threatening to buckle under him He looks at her again, defiance in his eyes He mutters something unintelligible And makes to move towards her He stumbles and holds on to the wall He doesn’t fall this time He steadies himself All the time watching her She doesn’t move She waits for the inevitable He starts towards her again One unsteady step at a time One, two, three, four, five, six She counts the steps in her mind So as never to forget this moment He reaches her and raises his hands She smiles and picks him up – Good boy – she says – your very first steps

This road reminds me of that place, A nodding and bristling show to a poker face, The trees sit hunched resilient, the leaves their best hand, It’s not the space that reminds much but more how he would stand, Thrown over a wrought rust gate watching the rain draw in, All overcoat and threadbare cap as I stared, ‘dormer hands’ on chin, ‘The link’ was how I knew him and it suited him truth be told, A connect to a time of hard men with decent hearts now grown old, I’ve taken with me the decent and left behind the hard, I’ve lived my poker face and shuffled each and every card. Rain draws in as I head for home and I hang on wrought rust gate, The clouds drift so slowly under that heavy weight, Of lake and sea and pothole fill, I stand as he stood and wait until I feel the need to wait no more.

Plato was the first to ask, ‘Who am I? ’ and ‘Who are we ?’ I pondered on this deep subject, And studied Philosophy. At night, the question drummed my head. By day, it just never ceased. ‘What is this life all about, What happens when we’re deceased ?’ ‘What is your true identity ?’ This is what the leading teachers ask. I scratched my head, ‘What is the answer to this difficult task ?’ In a flash of inspiration An idea came to me. I laughed out loud as I realised, ‘I am Mrs Doyle’s cup of tea !’ I am golden liquid in your cup, As I overflow with delight. Mix in more sugar, add some milk. Ain’t I an appetising sight ! I sooth your nerves when you sip me You can taste me, by candlelight You can hold me as I warm you In the middle of the night. You can make me strong or make me weak. Just stir me with your spoon. I’ll even keep you company On a lonely afternoon. I’m so happy with my identity, I smile with all my might. I comfort you, I welcome you. Ah! Go on ! Just hold me tight.

Joe Murray

Ben Mac Caoilte

James McNichalas


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Food & Drink

Dine Me Come

With

Red velvet cake Prep:1 hr and 5 mins Cook:1 hr Plus cooling Serves: 18 - 20

Bake a modern classic with this fabulous red velvet cake. This chocolatey sponge is perfect for a celebration, or halve for smaller crowd. Ingredients For the sponges • 300ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tins • 500g plain flour • 2 tbsp cocoa powder • 4 tsp baking powder • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda • 560g light brown soft sugar • 1 tsp fine salt • 400ml buttermilk • 4 tsp vanilla extract • 30ml red food colouring gel or about ¼ tsp food colouring paste, (use a professional food colouring paste if you can, a natural liquid colouring won’t work and may turn the sponge green) • 4 large eggs For the icing • 250g slightly salted butter, at room temperature

• 750g icing sugar • 350g tub full-fat soft cheese • 1 tsp vanilla extract

can wrap well and freeze for up to two months. STEP 5 To make the icing, put the butter in a large bowl and sieve in half the icing sugar. Roughly mash together with a spatula, then whizz with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the soft cheese and vanilla, sieve in the remaining icing sugar, mash together again, then blend once more with the hand mixer.

Method STEP 1 Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line the base and sides of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment – if your cake tins are quite shallow, line the sides to a depth of at least 5cm.

STEP 2 Put half each of the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well. If there are any lumps in the sugar, squeeze these through your fingers to break them up. STEP 3 Mix half each of the buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, food colouring and 100ml water in a jug. Add 2 eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well combined. The cake mixture should be bright red, it will get a little darker as it cooks. If it’s not as vivid as you’d like, add

Lentil ragu

a touch more colouring. Pour the cake mixture evenly into the two tins, and bake for 2530 mins, or until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool. STEP 4 Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the remaining ingredients, so you have four sponge cakes in total. Can be made up to three days ahead and will stay moist if wrapped in cling film, or you

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr and 15 mins Serves: 6 Struggle to get your five-a-day? This superhealthy ragu will get you four steps closer and can be frozen for extra convenience. Ingredients • 3 tbsp olive oil • 2 onions, finely chopped • 3 carrots, finely chopped • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped • 3 garlic cloves, crushed • 500g bag dried red lentils • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes • 2 tbsp tomato purée • 2 tsp each dried oregano and thyme • 3 bay leaves • 1l vegetable stock • 500g spaghetti • parmesan or vegetarian cheese, grated, to serve

STEP 6 To assemble the cake, stick one of the sponges to a cake stand or board with a little of the soft cheese icing. Use roughly half the icing to stack the remaining cakes on top, spreading a generous amount between each layer. Pile the remaining icing on top of the assembled cake, and use a palette knife to ease it over the edges, covering the entire surface of the cake. Tidy the plate with a piece of kitchen paper. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days, but bring back to room temperature for an hour or so before eating.

Method STEP 1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook gently for 15-20 mins until everything is softened. Stir in the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, herbs and stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 40-50 mins until the lentils are tender and saucy – splash in water if you need. Season. STEP 2 If eating straight away, keep on a low heat while you cook the spaghetti, following pack instructions. Drain well, divide between pasta bowls or plates, spoon sauce over the top and grate over some cheese. Alternatively, cool the sauce and chill for up to 3 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Simply defrost portions overnight at room temperature, then reheat gently to serve.

Healthy drinks TURMERIC LATTE Prep: 5 mins Cook: 5 mins Serves: 2 Jazz up brunch or breakfast with this golden latte. Studies suggest the curcumin in turmeric has antiinflammatory and antioxidant effects. Ingredients • 350ml almond milk (or any milk of your choice) • ¼ tsp ground turmeric • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon • ¼ tsp ground ginger • ½ tsp vanilla extract • 1 tsp maple syrup • grind of black pepper Method STEP 1 Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk constantly over a gentle heat, ideally with a milk frother if you have one. Once hot, pour into mugs and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon to serve. AVOCADO & STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE Prep: 5 mins Serves: 2 A creamy breakfast-friendly blend that’s high in calcium and low in calories. Ingredients • ½ avocado , stoned, peeled and cut into chunks • 150g strawberry , halved • 4 tbsp low-fat natural yogurt • 200ml semi-skimmed milk • lemon or lime juice , to taste • honey , to taste Method STEP 1 Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a little water. LEMON & GINGER TEA Prep: 5 mins Serves: 2 Combine lemon with root ginger to make this refreshing lemon and ginger tea that’s a great alternative to caffeinated drinks. Sweeten with honey if you like. Ingredients • 1 lemon • 2cm piece root ginger , finely sliced • honey to taste Method STEP 1 Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze the juice from one half and slice the rest. Divide the lemon juice and slices between 2 mugs, along with the sliced ginger. STEP 2 Fill the mugs with boiling water and leave to steep for 3 mins or until cool enough to sip. Sweeten with honey if you like.


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TV & Streaming

A must-see sci-fi hacker movie

5

movies to stream on Amazon

Shia LaBeouf wrote the screenplay for this autobiographical movie about a child actor and his relationship with his father. We follow Otis, who’s traumatized after days on set accompanied by his father, a former rodeo clown. LaBeouf actually plays the character inspired by his father, giving Honey Boy even more psychological layers. This is fascinating, cinematic therapy from a singular perspective.

While not quite introducing heartthrob Brad Pitt to the world Neil Jordan’s cemented his position on the marquees with the best of them. Here, he plays centuries-old vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, reincarnated as a New Orleans vampire by Tom Cruise’s Lestat de Lioncourt after a bloody attack. Few vampire epics hold a candle to the film’s scrumptious period details, but is best remembered for the star-making turn of a then-10- year-old Kirsten Dunst as a child vampire.

IN 1982, Time magazine declined to name a Man of The Year. Instead, the magazine selected a Machine of The Year: the computer. Time noted that “computers were once regarded as distant, ominous abstractions, like Big Brother. In 1982, they truly became personalised, brought down to scale, so that people could hold, prod and play with them.” But beyond the technological boom, the shadow of nuclear war loomed. While the early ‘80s were a period of tremendous growth, technology also allowed governments to further extend their reach with faster missiles like the Pershing II. Amid all this came John Badham’s 1983 movie that neatly tied the two trends together with a story about teenagers. WarGames on Amazon Prime Video has become a Silicon Valley classic. When

Google hosted a 25th- anniversary screening in 2008, cofounder Sergey Brin called it “a key movie of a generation, especially for those of us who got into computing.” It’s easy to see why. While WarGames is skeptical about technology, it places its faith in the hacker. That hacker is David Lightman, played by Matthew Broderick three years before he was solidified in the ‘80s canon with Ferris Bueller. David, a teenager in Seattle, is mostly pretty ordinary. He could study harder, enjoys cracking jokes at the expense of his teachers, and isn’t particularly close with his parents. But he is phenomenally talented with computers, to the extent that he can hack into his school’s system and alter his grades. WarGames also suggests that talent with computers

can help a young man attract girls. Meanwhile, the US Air Force is having serious personnel problems. They’ve been running surprise nuclear attack drills, and 22% of staff have shown they’re incapable of actually firing the weapons that could kill millions. As that drama unfolds, David uses his computer to dial every phone number in the Seattle area in the hope of eventually finding a computer company. Known as scanning, this was a common hacking technique. David eventually finds his way into a system he doesn’t recognise and is curious to learn more. When WarGames was released, contemporary supercomputers had a blistering 128 megabytes of memory. David takes a hint from the computer and starts researching the man who

created WOPR, Stephen Falken, who apparently died young after his child also passed away. Guessing that the child’s name, Joshua, is a password, David is granted access to a list of games that range from ‘chess’ to ‘global thermonuclear war’. Choosing to go nuclear, David initiates the war game. This triggers a panicked reaction from NORAD. There’s a clear sense that adults are clueless in WarGames, especially when David is able to sneak out of military custody when WOPR starts to take the game a little too seriously. These moments help the movie get where it needs to be: David, at the helm of NORAD, trying to outsmart the WOPR. WarGames demanded that humans control technology, but also lets the computer warn humanity about war’s futile nature.

The worst-rated 2021 Netflix films CHECKING the score of a film on Rotten Tomatoes before diving into it has become an involuntary response for many of us. More often than not, the Tomatometer saves us from indulging in trashy films and helps us handpick good ones that we might genuinely enjoy. Netflix has been releasing a lot of original content over the years, ranging from films and documentaries to series

and reality shows that have all garnered their respective fan following. In 2021, the streamer saw monumental success, with many of its releases topping charts and winning public favour. Nearly a decade after reigning supreme among the list of streaming services, it became an indispensable part of our existence, especially during the coronavirus pandemic

that forced us into the confines of our homes. Netflix became our undisputed best friend, offering solace in the darkest of times. In 2021, Netflix released a lot of 0riginal films that have garnered massive acclaim. However, they released certain films that were honestly painful to watch. Here is a list of Netflix films with the worst rating on Rotten Tomatoes that you can

still watch to check if you agree. THE WORSTRATED FILMS ON NETFLIX IN 2021: 5. Thunder Force – Ben Falcone 4. Madame Claude – Sylvie Verheyde 3. Squared Love – Filip Zylber 2. Carnaval – Leandro Neri 1. The Girl on the Train – Ribhu Dasgupta

David Fincher’s sleek adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s smash Swedish novel announced the steely, off-kilter talents of Rooney Mara to the world: Her antisocial hacker Lisbeth Salander earned Mara a Best Actress Oscar nomination in a movie undoubtedly too cool for the Academy, but one that’s now certainly the best of all the Larsson cinematic envisionings. Mara’s performance is a feat of muscular, balletic cunning, making her more than a match for Daniel Craig’s maverick journalist Mikael Blomkvist. It’s a hopeless movie, as indicated by the film’s deflating final shot where love, most certainly, doesn’t win.

“Kiss me, my girl, before I’m sick.” “All your rules and your clothes and your money, everything is a game!” “Were you sent here to ruin my evening, or possibly my entire life?” “Don’t pick a fight with me. You certainly won’t come out alive. I’ll go right through you, and it’ll be you who ends up on the floor.” I’m quoting these straight from my memory, and because no words do better justice to one of the most swooningly romantic and twisted love stories ever than those of the writer and director himself, Paul Thomas Anderson. Coming On January 16.

Following in the footsteps of Palm Springs, The Map of Tiny Perfect (2021) things is a rom-com exploring the lives of its protagonists through a time loop. Katheryn Newton and Kyle Allen star as Margaret and Mark, two teens repeating the same day over and over again. Their meet cute involves saving someone from being knocked into a pool by a beach ball. Charming and heartfelt, this is solid if not totally perfect viewing.


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

Picture special Helen and David McCarthy

Tony Ramsbottom

Hugh Swan

Eileen Kinchella and Mary Tyrell

David Kerwick

Ulisses Serrano


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Picture special

Donnacha Phelan

Zac and Alex Murphy

David and Helen Hogan

The Keogh family

The Gittons family

About Out &

WITH

Danny Lahart

Elan and Priya Palmer Liam and Therese Dowling

Marute and Peter O’Donnell


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

Community & GAA Notes

Kilkenny GAA clubs and Community news SQUASH CLUB COUNTY CAMOGIE Congratulations to Teresa Carrigan of Clara, who was recently appointed as County Camogie Chairperson for 2022. Teresa moves up from the position of Secretary and we wish her well in her new role. PRESENTATION Good luck to the Clara girls that play on the Presentation senior camogie team that have qualified for the Leinster Schools Final, where they will meet either Birr or old rivals Loreto Kilkenny. In all there are nine Clara girls on the panel - Rachel Whelan, Grace Barcoe, Laoise Nolan, Gráinne Glynn, Emma Shortall, Katie Ryan, Keara Ryan, Niamh Brickell and Rachel Brickell. The game was originally fixed for next Saturday 15th January but may now be deferred by a week. LGFA Clara/Thomastown had a good 8-5 to 1-2 win over Kilkenny City in an eleven aside minor football league game in Clara on Sunday. City led 1-1 to 1-0 at the interval but the home team had created the best of the chances. Once the net was rattled early in the second half the floodgates opened and the Clara/ Thomastown girls added six more goals before the finish to run out impressive winners. Wins over City have been few and far between over the years because of the sheer numbers they have available to them, so this win will give the country girls great confidence going forward. Well done girls! CLUB LOTTO There was no winner of this week’s Club Lotto ( Jan 4th) Numbers Drawn 2, 16, 22, 23 Bonus 15 Next week’s Jackpot will be €10,200 ( Jan 11th) www.oloughlingaels.com/lotto Promotors Draw: 1. Shannon Greene c/o Paddy Greene 2. Anne Loy c/o Neil Loy 3. Michael Dreela 4.Noreen Curry c/o John Joe Cullen 5. Joe Rice 6. R Byrne c/o Neil Loy 7. John Cahill c/o Esther Maher 8. Niall O’Callaghan c/o Online 9. Bridget Butler c/o Online 10. Patrick Kealy c/o Online Thank you for your continued support www.oloughlingaels.com/lotto RENEW MEMBERSHIP NOW. All current members are asked to renew their memberships to O’Loughlin Gaels GAA, Camogie and Handball Clubs for 2022 now. Full details and payment options at www. oloughlingaels.com/membership HANDBALL NEWS: What a great start to the handball New Year. Firstly we would like to welcome our new handball members Finn Walsh, Sean Millea, and the three Hogan brothers Daire, Lory and Tom. Congratulations to Daire Hogan a new O’Loughlins Handball member hailing from Tullaroan, who on Sunday competed in his first County Championship U13. No doubt a talent we will be hearing of in the future. Also on Sunday we saw a very exciting Christmas Tournament for our u10s take place, at last! Delayed since last year because of restrictions. We were entertained with very skillful and competitive games throughout as Stephen McCormack, Leon Delaney, Fionn Brannigan, Ollie Morrissey and Johnny Delaney all turned on the style. Congratulations to young Ollie Morrissey who claimed this year’s trophy (or was it last year !). We are looking

forward to seeing all these boys progress during the year with their hard work and commitment earning them awards. Well done to everyone at O’Loughlin Gaels Handball particularly John Morrissey, Paddy Delaney and Eoin Brannigan who looked after the young handballers ,great work as always Thanks to Maurice Nolan and Nolan’s Gala Ardnore for sponsoring 25 bags for the players and to Tracy Brannigan of Big Steps Creche for sponsoring the prizes. EVERY STEPS CHALLENGE O’Loughlin Gaels GAA and Camogie Clubs are teaming up and getting 2022 off to a Healthy Start. Irish Life are inviting Clubs from all over the country to join them and compete in their ‘Every Step Counts Challenge’ where participants join up with club mates to walk 4000km collectively and so be entered into a draw to earn big prizes for St. Johns Park. We invite women and men from around the community to download the MyLife App , register and select the Challenge as an O’Loughlin Gaels participant. (O’Loughlin Gaels will be included on the list of participating clubs over the weekend). Get organised - arrange to meet your friends and track your steps and lets build up that 4000km over 5 weeks. Follow the instructions on the image below. The challenge officially starts from Jan 19th so we are inviting you to bring your hi-viz to St. Johns Park next Monday at 7:30pm.and get the ball rolling. or.you can get your friends and clubmates to hook up anytime and record those kilometers on your MyLife App. Club Sponrs: Pat Robert Carroll Eurospar Ireland and Camogie MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre Juvenile O’Loughlin Gaels Handballers enjoy a late Christmas Tournament

EMERALDS GAA CLUB Mega Bingo: Every Sunday, 4pm at Urlingford GAA pitch. Gates open at 3pm. Single books and one sheet €10; Double books and two sheets €15. Extra jackpot sheet €3 or two for €5. Please support. AGM: Postponed to Friday, January 14 at 8pm. EMERALDS URLINGFORD AND GRAINE LOTTO January 4 prize fund was: €6,100. Jackpot: €4,100. Numbers drawn: 3, 8, 20 24, bonus no 9. No winner and one match three winner: Jake Peters. Promoters prize: Hotel. Five lucky dips of €20 each: Graine Development, Martin & Catherine, Jack, Eoin Hartnett, Liam Comerford. Next draw takes place on Monday, January 11 in the Clubrooms. Results next week. URLINGFORD ON THE MOVE WALKING TRACK Works for the walking track are ongoing in the club grounds. Therefore the grounds are closed to the public during the day. The field will reopen as per normal for evening training sessions. MILL FAMILY RESOURCE CENTRE Art Classes: Free Adult Art Classes in the Centre every Thursday 10am-12pm, from January 20 for six weeks, if interested please contact the Centre. Safe Pass: Course being held in the Centre at end of February, few spaces available, please contact the Centre if interested. BTEI Healthcare Course QQI Level 5: BTEI is currently recruiting for the Healthcare QQI Level

5 course which will be commencing in January 2022. If anyone is interested in completing this course you can contact the Mill FRC on 056 8838466. LTI Pathway to Employment course QQI Level 4: LTI is recruiting for the new programme 2022. If anyone is interested in completing this full-time course, please contact the centre for an expression of interest form. Food Donations: We are now working with “Food Cloud” to ensure that unsold food from supermarkets does not go to waste. Every week we receive food donations which we distribute in Urlingford and surrounding areas. If you, or anyone you know, would benefit from this, please make contact with the Centre. Senior Alert: If you need to apply for a Personal Alarm, please contact Sue or Josephine on 056 8838466. Counselling Services: Our low cost Counselling Services, include One-to-One, Family & Teens, aged 12+. General Counselling: Bereavement, Stress, Anxiety and Depression. Other Counselling Services available: Drug, Substance and Gambling Addiction. Please contact Sue for more information or to make an appointment on 056 8838466 Appeal for Clothes Donations: Any clothes donations would be appreciated in aid of the centre’s counselling services. Donations can be left into the Centre. Contact Sue on 056 8838466. URLINGFORD ARMS SPLIT THE POT Will resume in the coming weeks. URLINGFORD / GRAINE DEFIBRILLATOR GROUP In case of emergency, call: 085 2726396. URLINGFORD NEWS Anyone wishing to submit news items, club events, announcements etc can do so by emailing urlingfordnotes@gmail.com. If you have any photos you wish to include, please forward them to the email address. DUNNAMAGGIN GAA Dunnamaggin GAA Last Man Standing: Our Dunnamaggin adult hurlers are running a Last man standing fundraiser for our new Gym and Ball wall. Want to be in with a chance to win €500?? Kicking off on 21st January .It’s very simple to participate, simply pay €10 to the following go fund me page https://gofund.me/6b3fc256 and contact one of the contacts below or any adult player and they will forward you the link for the website to submit your selections and the lads will then contact you through What App as the competition progresses. Victor Costello087 7690637, Jack Brett- 087 9422859, Michael Cody– 085 1168453, Andrew Fitzpatrick - 087 1148941 -LOCAL LOTTO. Local Lotto Draw for 27th December 2021 Winning Numbers :12, 30, 35. No Winner Winners for Draw for 5 x €30. Emma & Anne ( Anne Hickey ).Cindy ( Cis Ryan ),Owen Brennan ( Aidan Farrell ),The Other Way ( Ellen Delehunty ),Jimmy Hawe ( Marie Kelly ). Local Lotto Draw for January 3rd 2022: Winning Numbers : 11, 22, 35. No Winner.- Winners of Draw for 5 x € 30. Brian Ireland ( Malachy Hogan ),Jake Butler (Pat Butler ),Stella Byrne ( Marie Kelly ),Maria Reid ( Johnno Reid ), Andy, Aideen, & Ciaran ( Anne Hickey ) Jackpot Next Week January 10th € 4,750.Venue : Townsend’s @ 9pm. All Welcome


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News Community & GAA Notes Gowran Baggio’s Welcome back and best of luck to Baggio’s who are back in Business every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Call 056 7733464 to order takeaways in advance. Gowran Park Tickets are nearing limited capacity for the Goffs Thyestes Day taking place on January 27th. Tickets are available at gowranpark.ie SPORTS ROUND UP Micheal O’Leary DANNY’S DELIGHT TO KING GEORGE GLORY Danny Mullins had a Christmas/New Years to remember that included a St. Stephen’s Day to remember in Kempton, as he enjoyed Double Success that included a memorable victory in the King George Chase aboard 28/1 shot Tornado Flyer. Trained by Willie Mullins ,Danny’s Uncle , Tornado Flyer was held up throughout but racing up the home straight, the eventual winner was staying on strongest and coming to the Final Fence he had a three length advantage over his nearest pursuer, Stable companion Asterion Forlonges. However, Asterion Forlonges parted company with Bryan Cooper, as Tornado Flyer ran out a comfortable nine length winner to provide the Gowran Native with his first King George, and a Second for the Multi Champion Trainer 20 years after winning the Kempton feature with Florida Pearl in 2001. Earlier in the day, Danny obliged aboard 11/1 shot Jacamar as he got up in front of the finishing line to land the Novices Handicap Steeplechase who like Tornado Flyer came from well off the pace. Meanwhile, Danny continued his winning on New Year’s Eve in Punchestown when partnering 10/1 shot En Beton to win the Tote.ie Placepot Beginners Steeplechase by 21 lengths, while he was back Cross Channel on New Year’s Day when aboard the Mare Stormy Ireland who made all to land the €70,000 Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle in Cheltenham. Further Success came last Thursday Afternoon in Clonmel 6th January when he was aboard two 8/1 winners. First, he was on the Pat Fahy trained Sienne D’or to win the Lisronagh Handicap Hurdle, before doubling up for his Uncle Willie aboard Cash Back to win the featured Munster Hurdle. LEOPARDSTOWN CHRISTMAS GLORY FOR CHARLIE Former Kilkenny Senior Hurler, Charlie Carter enjoyed success on the opening Race of Day 3 of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, when his Horse Howyabud won the Savills Maiden Hurdle. Howyabud , who is owned and bred by the former All-Ireland Senior Medal winner, raced clear after the final hurdle and ran out a very impressive six length winner at 25/1, as he defeated the Willie Mullins trained Horantzau D’airy who went off 11/10 favourite. It was a first success for Wexford native Mary Ellen Doyle, the Trainer of the winning horse who got her training license last March. CLUB LOTTO Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results JANUARY 8th 2022 Nos: 5–17– 15– 23 Jackpot: €7,000– not won Draw Prizes – €50: Richie Hogan c/o online €25 each Lisa Hobson Shaw c/o online €25 each John McCormack c/o P & J Cody €25 each Joe Leech c/o Liam Barry Co op draw ticket Ann Heir c/o Jimmy McGarry Promotors prize Tom O’ Donoghue New weeks draw 7,150 12th of January 2022

CAMOGIE Camogie Captain 2022 Congratulations from everybody at Dicksboro Club to Aoife Prendergast and Amy Clifford who have been nominated to be Kilkenny Captains for Senior and Minor teams for 2022. U21 Fixture Best of luck to the Dicksboro u21 Team and Management who face a very tough battle next weekend in Mooncoin versus Mooncoin in the JJ Kavanagh and Sons A Semi Final. Camogie Fixture Best of luck to the Dicksboro Senio Camogie Team and Management who face St Judes in the Leinster Senior Camogie Club Championship Semi Final next weekend. SQUASH CLUB Freshford Squash Club held their Annual Christmas draw again this year and they wish to thank all those who supported their fund raiser and all those who sponsored the prizes. The following were the lucky winners: 1st prize 200€ - Robbie Webster, 2nd prize - €100 – Charlie Hamilton, 3rd prize - €100 – Leah Williams 4th prize - €00 – Nicky Downey, 5th prize- €100 – Mark Dalton, 6th prize - €50 – Avery Walsh, 7th prize - €50 – Declan Killeen, 8th prize - €50- Kieran Neary and 9th prize - €50 – Richard Byrne. BABY Congratulations go out to Caoilfhionn Costigan and her partner Sean Corby on the birth of their baby boy recently Iarlaith Anthony and to the proud local grandparents Tony and Mary Costigan, Cooleshall. The couple are living in Clogh and Sean is one of four of the Corby brothers who were on the Clogh/Ballacolla hurling team in the Leinster Club finals recently ANNUAL WALK The Gathabawn Annual St Stephens Day Sponsored Walk took place on St.Stephens Day. The group were delighted to welcome all walkers back after the year of covid restrictions. This year the walk followed strict covid guidelines and took place on the Gathabawn loop with many people liking to walk off the turkey and ham while meeting up with old friends at this annual event .Walkers had three options: walk 1 is 12km long Gathabawn Loop up the Culllahill road and across country roads and farmland. Walk 2 is 7km Gathabawn short loop was similar and takes approx. 1-1.5 hrs. The first 2.5 country roads after which the main cross country loop is re-joined. Walk 3- all road loop was from Gathabawn village up the cullahill road, through Coolcashin Ballygooney around to Foyle Bridge and back to Gathabawn 6km family and buggy friendly and taking approx. 1.5 hrs. The walk started from Gathabawn village between 11am and 12 noon with registration beforehand outside Mackey’s pub .Hot soup was once again served free of charge on return of walkers by kind donation of Glanbia Ballyragget. Thanks to all who took part and all who helped out with organising the event. ST VINCENT de PAUL SOCIETY. Thanks to all who contributed to the annual Christmas collection for the St. Vincent de Paul Society recently. Please note that donations can be made anytime in the blue SVP envelopes which each household has received through An Post. These envelopes can be left in the parish collection box in the porch at Freshford Church or in the collection basket at Tulla Church. DEATH

The death took place last week of John Delaney (Jack)late of Kilrush Freshford. The deceased who was in his 80s had been unwell for some time but nevertheless his death caused widespread regret and sorrow. A quiet and good living gentleman John was one of three surviving members of the St.Lachtains hurling team of 1959 when he wore the number 7 jersey with pride. The team jersey was place on the coffin at the removal. He was well known and respected in the locality and amongst the greyhound community also. Funeral mass took place in Graine Church followed by burial in the adjoin cemetery. He is mourned by his wife Sadie, daughters Catriona, Annmarie and Bernadette, grandchildren, son in law, brother in law, sisters in law, nephews, nieces and extended family to whom deepest sympathy is extended. SOCCER Freshford Town had no teams in action over the Christmas and the annual St.Stephens Day tournament was once again called off due to Covid. The Junior side recorded a great win in their last game out before the Christmas break when they travelled to Durrow to take on the Lions in an away league tie. They came out winners after a great game on a 3-2 scoreline with Jack Cleere getting a hat trick. The training sessions for U8s finished up for the Christmas holidays and will resuime in the new year. All boys from 5 to 8 years old are welcome so go along and join up. RAFFLE The Soccer Clubs Christmas draw for the beautiful hamper was held in Kavanaghs bar at the New Year and the lucky winner was young Freddie Cullen who was home on holiday with his grandparents for the Christmas. MACRA na FEIRME Macra na Feirme are looking to establish a new club in the Freshford area. Macra na Feirme is an organisation for young people between the ages of 17 and 35 who are interested in getting involved in sports, travel, drama, debating or just want to meet new people and have some fun. To be a member of Macra you must join a Macra club in your area. This will open the door to new fiends and new activities. There are hundreds of clubs across Ireland bursting with activity who always welcome a new face. For more information please contact Training and Development Officer – Michael Wall on 0868359891 or email him at mwall@macra.ie BIRTHDAYS Special birthday wishes go out to local lad Paul Dermody of The Square who had a special birthday last weekend. Paul celebrated the big 30. Also belated birthday wishes go out to another local lad Tommie Condon, The Square who also reached the big 30 recently. .GAA AGM St Lachtains Gaa club AGM will be held on Friday the 21st January 2022 @ 7.30 pm in the clubrooms. All nominations and motions should be with the secretary by Friday 7th January. All updates on all activities st Lachtains GAA can be followed on our social media pages both on Facebook & Twitter. SYMPATHY Sympathy Is extended to Brenda Kavanagh Buncrussia Street Freshford and all her family on the death at the weekend of her sister in law Mrs. Ellen Maher late of Brittas Tullaroan. Funeral mass took place on Tuesday morning last in Tullaroan church followed by burial in Tullaroan Cemetery. PARISH NEWS

Attendance at Masses at present are at 50pc capacity. Mass 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 8pm. While the obligation to attend Sunday mass is still suspended you are encouraged to return. Safety measures remain in place which includes wearing of masks, social distancing and hand sanitising and full sanitation of the Church after every celebration There was Mass on Christmas Eve at Tulla Church and in Freshford Church at 9.30pm. Mass on Christmas Day at Freshford Church at 11am with some beautiful music and solo singing and Ms.Moira Maher giving her beautiful rendering of “Oh Holy night” at both masses in Freshford Church. The restoration of the Stations of the Cross in the Church continues with ten now completed and just four more to go. In order to continue the work you are invited to sponsor one of the stations maybe with your family or a group of your friends. The sponsors will be included in a special roll of honour displayed in the church as a lasting legacy. For further information re same you are asked to please contact Monsignor Kennedy NOTICES 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 Jennifer in the Parish Office. Please note community notices for the parish newsletter should be left in or emailed to the Parish Office by 11am on Thursdays. MASS CARDS Special printed parish cards are available at the Parish Office or from Annette at Tulla Church signed by Monsignor Kennedy. You can contact the Parish office on 056 8832843 or by email – freshfordd@ossory.ie. Contact Mongr Kieron Kennedy on that number or on 087 25235 COMMUNITY ALERT Freshford/Threecastles Community alert group remind you that the annual text alert scheme membership is now due. It cost just 10euro per phone number and you can pay membership to any committee member. If unsure or for more information please call Jacinta on 0877658671 or Anna on 0858277965 . New members are welcome and the group wish to thank you all for your continued support. With winter upon us now and the dark evenings and long nights you are reminded to take care of yourself and take care of your elderly neighbours or friends. HELP FOR ALL Are you struggling with anxiety or depression or finding life difficult 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 into@ amberwomensrefuge.ie.

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


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

kilkennyobserver.ie

Hurling matters

Sport

BY NIALL SHERRY SPORTS EDITOR SPORTSEDITORKILKENNYOBSERVER.IE

AIB Leinster Club Junior Hurling Championship Final UPMC Nowlan Park

John Fitzgerald takes a great catch

Mooncoin 4-13 Shamrocks (Offaly) 0-15

Mooncoin were crowned provincial champions last Saturday; following a comprehensive victory over Offaly challengers Shamrocks. The raising of the green flag proved the difference on a bright but wintery day at UPMC Nowlan Park as the Marble County side advanced to an All-Ireland semifinal, where they will face Connaught kingpins, Salthill-Knocnacarra. Having claimed their Kilkenny title with a superb victory over Tullogher Rosbercon in November, Willie Coogan’s charges entered the provincial series and faced-off against Westmeath champions, St. Oliver Plunkett’s where they ran out 15-point winners. The last eight victory set-up a semi-final encounter with Wexford side, Tara Rocks which they won by 6 points after extra-time. Goals have been a regular feature for Mooncoin in this year’s championship, and they didn’t disappoint at the home of Kilkenny hurling last Saturday. Star of the show was Pa Walsh, who finished with an impressive tally of 3-06 to his name. The first scores of the day were via the placed ball, with Mooncoin centre-back Martin O’Neill and Shamrocks Corner-forward, Nigel Dunne swapping frees. Shane O’Toole-Greene registered the opening score from play after five minutes, as both sides looked to settle. Pa Walsh opened his account from a free, but the visitors hit back straight away with a sumptuous point from near the sideline by wingforward, Conor Moran. Mooncoin’s first score from play came from No.10 Ciaran Quilty in the 9th minute, before dual player Nigel Dunne fired over another free. Full-forward Walsh then struck a lovely point from under the stand to reduce the deficit, before striking the first of his three majors. A sideline cut was fired into the danger-zone, and Pa reacted quickly and rifled the ball past Shamrock’s keeper Niall Darcy for the last score before the first water-break. Mooncoin led by 2 points, 1-4 to 0-5. The wind advantage was with the Kilkenny side, but through the placed balls of Dunne, the underdogs managed to hang onto the coat tails of their opponents. Indeed, it would be Dunne that hit the first score following the hydration stop. Mooncoin then upped the ante, and hit three scores in a row, via that man Walsh, Quilty and a longrange free from Martin O’Neill. It looked like the favourites had solved the puzzle and would push on from here, but the battling Offaly champions had other ideas, with free-take Dunne hitting another couple from frees, before O’TooleGreene doubled his tally for the day. Pa Walsh continued his fine form when nice play between himself and centre-forward Mairtin Gannon, resulted in the former taking a nice point to leave Mooncoin one up at the short whistle, 1-8 to 0-10. Shamrocks will no doubt have been the happier of the sides at the interval, especially having navigated the first half against a strong wind and only trailing by the minimum. The half-time team talk clearly spurred the Kilkenny junior champions on, as they stepped on the gas when the second half got underway. Corner-forward Adam Croke chose to point in the opening stages, when a goal seemed on, but the second green flag of the day came seconds later. Pa Walsh this time turned provider. He found his centre-forward Mairtin Gannon with a delightful hand-pass and the on-running No.11 dispatched his effort to the bottom corner of the net, much to the delight of the Mooncoin faithful in attendance, the home side now led 2-9 to 0-10. Again, Shamrocks refused to lie down. Further defensive indiscipline in the Mooncoin team gave Nigel Dunne more opportunities to tag on points via frees, which reduced his sides deficit to just 3 points. Both sides where then guilty of some uncharacteristic wides as the scoring paused. This passage of the game was broken when Jim Delahunty broke out of defence and surged towards the Shamrocks back line before firing over a tremendous long-range point. The Nowlan Park scoreboard operator continued to have a quieter second period until Pa Walsh notched his second major of the day, albeit a little controversially. To some in the ground, it appeared that Shamrocks full-back Conor Condron was fouled, but Westmeath whistler Caymon Flynn gestured to play on and Pa Walsh punished the hesitancy in the opposition defence to strike home his second goal. The second water break the arrived, Mooncoin 3-10 to 0-12 ahead and just 15 minutes from provincial glory. Any remaining hopes of a Shamrocks comeback were completely extinguished on 52 minutes when a scintillating run by Pa Walsh saw him fire the ball to the top corner of the net and in doing so, complete a memorable hat-trick in the provincial decider. Shamrocks boss Jimmy Conway will have been pleased that his side continued to make the best of things, and they hit three further CONTINUED >>>

All pix: Danny Lahart

Focus - Jim Delahunty


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

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kilkennyobserver.ie

Hurling matters

Ciaran Quilty races away

Sean Gannon leads the charge

Over the

moon!! Hey diddle diddle – Walsh hits a TREBLE!!


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

kilkennyobserver.ie

Hurling matters

Captain Cormac! Cormac Daly lifts the Leinster Provincial Cup

Mooncoin pre-match

Shamrocks of Offaly pre-match

... CONTINUED

points from Nigel Dunne, Stephen Malone and David Molloy to bring their total to 0-15. Mooncoin tagged on three points following Walsh’s third

major, two more from the man-of-thematch himself and one from substitute Lee Treacy. Referee Flynn then brought proceedings to a close. Mooncoin

had done it. Leinster Junior Hurling Champions on a score line of 4-13 to 0-15. Scorers - Mooncoin- Patrick Walsh (3-6, 0-2f), Mairtin Gannon (1-0), Ciaran Quilty (0-2), Martin O’Neill

(0-2, 0-1f, 0-1 65), Jim Delahunty, Lee Treacy and Adam Croke (0-1 each) Scorers - Shamrocks- Nigel Dunne (0-10, 0-10f), Shane O’Toole-Greene (0-2), Stephen Malone, Conor Moran and David Molloy (0-1 each)

Mooncoin- Eoin Purcell; Aidan Doyle, Shane Walsh, Mark Kearns; Jim Delahunty, Martin O’Neill, Cormac Daly; Conor Brophy, Sean Gannon; Ciaran Quilty, Mairtin Gannon, John Fitzgerald; Adam Croke, Patrick Walsh, Killian Hogan. Subs: Sean O’Dwyer for S. Walsh 27 mins, Kevin Crowley for Brophy 42 mins, Oisin Henebery for Croke 56 mins, Lee Treacy for P. Walsh 59 mins.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

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Hurling matters Gotcha!

6 in control - Martin O’Neill claims the catch

Goal getter Pa Walsh

>> SHERRY SAYS...

Shamrocks- Niall Darcy; Jack Molloy, Conor Condron, Sean Cantwell; Stephen Malone, Cal Ahearne, Padraig Cantwell; Dan Heffernan, Alan Foster, Conor Moran, Daragh Minnock, Shane Heffernan; David Molloy, Shane O’Toole-Greene, Nigel Dunne. Subs: Adrian Minnock for Heffernan 10 mins, Darren Meacle for D.Minnock 45 mins. Referee- Caymon Flynn (Westmeath)

Flow on lovely river, flow gently along by your water’s so sweet sounds the lark’s merry song on your green banks I’ll wander where first I did join with you lovely Molly, the Rose of Mooncoin. I would imagine that the Mooncoin anthem was ringing out along the banks of the Suir on Saturday night last! The Leinster Club Junior Hurling title is a Kilkenny thing – 15 out of the last 18 provincial champions have been from the Marble County. Mooncoin are seen by some as a bit of an enigma. They seem to bounce between junior and intermediate grades at regular intervals, but the one constant, is their faithful supporters. Winning the Kilkenny junior title will see them challenge at intermediate level next season. There will be some great games had then. Goals are something that this side seems to have in their locker – and they hit another FOUR in their provincial final victory. Once again, captained from wing-back by Cormac Daly, Pa Walsh stole the show with a stunning total of 3-6. Ably supported by Ciaran Quilty, Martin Gannon and Martin O’Neill, there’s quality all over the pitch. The Offaly champions, Shamrocks, simply had no answer to Pa & Co. County and province sorted. Galway side Salthill-Knocnacarra await in the All-Ireland semi-final. That’s a matter for another day. Then here’s to the Suir with its valleys so fair as of times we wandered in the cool morning air where the roses are blooming and the lilies entwine on the banks of the Suir that flows down by Mooncoin.


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

News Planning notices

Memoriams/Miracle prayers

Planning notices KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL We, Stephen Tynan & Áine Butler intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for planning permission for a Proposed new two storey dwelling, proposed vehicular entrance, proposed Garage, driveway, Connection to existing watermain, proposed wastewater treatment tank and percolation area, stormwater soakaways, landscaping and all associated site works at Ardboy, 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. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed: Nextgen Design, www.ngdb.ie. KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL I, Dylan Murphy intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for planning permission for a Proposed new dormer dwelling, proposed vehicular entrance, driveway, Connection to wastewater treatment tank and percolation area, Borewell, stormwater soakaways, landscaping and all associated site works at Carrigeen, Johnswell, 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. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed: Nextgen Design, www.ngdb.ie.

KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL We, Patrick Whitty and Grainne Tyrrell, hereby apply for Full Planning Permission to erect a new single / two storey dormer private house, adjoining garage, to provide new treatment plant and percolation area, provide a new water borehole, to form a new entrance to the public road together with all associated site works on lands at Legan, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny. The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Michael Condon MRIAI, Architect, MRC Design Ltd – 1 City Wall, James Street, Kilkenny Ph. 087 2032869

TO PUBLISH PLANNING APPLICATION, CONTACT US: Call to our office at: Unit 7 Friary Street Telephone: 056 7771463/086 2395370 Email: sales@kilkennyobserver.ie


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

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Memoriams / Miracle Prayers

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. A.O’N

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. M.B

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours. This time I ask you this special one (mention favour). Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail. Must promise publication of prayer. P.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. L&A. K

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours. This time I ask you this special one (mention favour). Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail. Must promise publication of prayer. J.M


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 14 January 2022


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