Kilkenny Observer 1st July 2022

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The Kilkenny


Friday 01 July 2022

€350m.Aid Deal New strategy to end domestic violence  Page 14

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Miracle Universe Now likely we have two trillion galaxies  Page 18



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022



The Kilkenny



More college places Good news as an extra 1,056 college have been approved by the Cabinet to ease the pressure for entry to a number of CAO courses brought on by the third year of Covid-related Leaving Cert grade inflation. They are being targeted across a range of the most sought-after disciplines including medicine, IT, archi-

tecture and construction, nursing, engineering, education and welfare. Competition for places will increase because of the commitment to build in grade inflation to match last year’s bumper Leaving Cert results: the class of 2022 will, on average, score 60 CAO points more than if they had sat the exam

in 2019 before the pandemic. There will be an additional 60 places in medicine, as an initial step in a five-year plan that will see the first year intake increase by 200 by 2026. In a new departure next year, universities in Northern Ireland will also open 80 places annually in medicine for CAO applicants.

The CAO has announced September 8 as the date for CAO Round 1 offers, following the release of Leaving Cert results on September 2. The expansion of opportunities for school-leavers also includes new apprenticeship programmes, with an additional 16 due to start, including roofing and cladding, ro-

botics and automation, and a degree programme in cyber security. Further and Higher Education Minster Simon Harris, who is bringing the proposals on the extra college places to Cabinet, said: “After a stressful number of weeks for schoolleavers, I hope today will offer some good news.”

Bank of Ireland to sue Carey

Bank of Ireland is suing convicted fraudster Catriona Carey over debts relating to a mortgage on a property. The bank first applied for a debt summary judgment against the Kilkenny woman in 2017 and the case is up for mention in the High Court next month. It is understood the property has since been sold and the bank is seeking to recover outstanding money owed.

Army to help out at airport The Government has agreed to a request from Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan for the Army to be on standby to help with security at Dublin Airport. Passengers have experienced serious issues at security in recent weeks, with many missing flights because of the delays.

38,700 Ukraine refugees now here The Central Statistics Office has said that 38,700 Ukrainians have arrived in Ireland since the Russian invasion on 24 February. The number has increased by just under 3,000 in the two weeks leading up to Sunday, June 19. Full story, Page 10

Hope in the time of war A girl on a swing next to a shelled apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. Cities and villages around Kyiv now have a very different vibe compared to April and even May. It is a vibe of life going on, and that fills hearts with hope and happiness.

Good neighbours

Photo by Oleksiy Furman: Hope for Ukraine Global Report, Page 22

€360m plan to tackle violence against women Criminal penalties for domestic abusers will double under the Government’s new €360m plan to tackle violence against women. The five-year strategy will also see a doubling of the number of refuge spaces nationally from 141 to at least 280 - although this will still be far short of the 500 spaces reEVERY FRIDAY

quired by international agreements given Ireland’s population. Justice Minister Helen McEntee has signed off on the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. It vows to have ‘zero tolerance for violence against women and domestic abuse. Under the plan, the Govern-

The Kilkenny


ment will reform criminal law to increase sentences for common offences committed by domestic abusers and sexual predators. The maximum sentence for assault causing harm, which the Department of Justice says is one of the most common offences in domestic abuse cases, will be doubled from five

years to a total of 10 years. The number of refuge centres will also be doubled and it is understood this will involve the creation of refuges in Cork north, central and south, Athlone, Balbriggan, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Sligo, Longford, Cavan and Monaghan. The Minister will be working

with Tusla directly prior to any agency being set up as part of this plan. The strategy is viewed as ambitious because of the level of support Minister McEntee has secured from numerous departments, state-funded organisations and NGOs. Special Report, Page 14

When was the last time you or I checked on a neighbour living alone? To check that they were okay? For many, a knock on the door can be the most welcome sound of their day. Indeed, may be the only welcoming sound in their solitary lives. Paul Hopkins, Page 8


Paul Hopkins.............................P8 Marianne Heron.................... P12 John Ellis ................................ P16 Health & Science................... P18 Travel & Leisure.................... P19 Gerry Cody........P20, 24-25 & 30 Food & Drink.......................... P34 TV & Streaming.................... P35 Sport.....................................P40-41


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

News Ifac, Ireland’s farming, food and agribusiness specialist professional services firm, is advising Kilkenny farmers to be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to managing employees’ working time. Mary McDonagh, Head of HR & Payroll Services at ifac, said: “Farmers, in common with other business owners, have a lot of responsibilities when managing employees, including monitoring each employee’s working time. If you employ even one person on your farm, you must keep an accurate record of their working time.” Working hours are calculated based on the average number of hours worked per week over four months for most employees. It is over six months for employees working in agriculture. Also, employees should not work more than 48 hours per week and employers must ensure that breaks and rest periods are adhered to. Employment law dictates that employers must keep an accurate record of their employees’ working time*. When compiling working time records, keep an eye out for any instances of employees exceeding the permitted working hours, eg. by failing to take breaks or working excessive hours for an extended time. Any issues that you identify need to be promptly addressed. The working time record should include details of

Farmers can avoid fine by keeping records

each employee’s name, address, PPS number, employment contract and job title or role. It must set out the days and total hours worked each week, details of any leave granted to employees in each week by way of annual leave or in respect of a public holiday and details of payment made in respect of that leave.

The record must be retained for three years and must be in a format that can be readily accessed and understood by a Workplace Relations Commission officer. Failure to keep an appropriate record is an offence which could result in an employer receiving a fine of up to €2,500 for each employee whose working hours record

is found to be inadequate. Another recent development to be aware of is the introduction of a Statutory Code of Practice on the Right to Disconnect. This came into effect last year and contains three key provisions: • The right of an employee to not routinely perform work outside normal working hours.

• The right to not be penalised for refusing to attend to work matters outside of normal working hours. • The duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect (e.g., by not routinely emailing or calling outside normal working hours). The code can be downloaded on the Workplace Relations Commission website.

Ms McDonagh said: “In my experience, farm businesses often find that managing employees is one of their most stressful responsibilities but obtaining good HR advice can be a good way to achieve peace of mind.” * For further information and/or advice contact your local ifac office.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Glanbia: say cheese for the next 55 years! Glanbia Co-op’s new cheese plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny, will still be producing cheese in 55 years and during that time will, at an average price for milk, pay €160m to farm families in the South East every year. That’s according to Glanbia Co-op CEO Jim Bergin, who was speaking at the turning of

the sod at the new site. The joint venture between Glanbia Co-op and Dutch dairy producer Royal A-ware, located just yards from Belview port, will produce continental cheese for global markets when completed in 2024. It will produce more than 50,000t. of continental cheese a year, including

Edam, Gouda and Emmental, which will be marketed by Royal A-ware. The plant will utilise approximately 450m litres of milk from Glanbia milk suppliers each year and the facility will allow Glanbia process all its own milk. It currently sends some milk for processing to third parties

during the peak milk supply months. “Our Ballyragget plant had a day like this in 1967 — that’s 55 years ago. And it is operating as well today as it operated on its first day,” said Mr Bergin. “By implication, this facility we’re embarking on building now will be here producing cheese in 2079.

“At an average price for milk, it will pay €160m to farm families in the south-east every year and by 2079, it will have paid a total of €8.8bn to the families of our farmers in this region. “And if we apply the economic multiplier... it will have generated economic activity in this region of

€17.6bn.” The plant, he said, was a statement of ambition, hope and security. Mr Bergin also acknowledged that it had not been an easy road to date and said getting to this point was a testament to Royal A-ware CEO Jan Anker, who said, on days when there were setbacks, “a deal is a deal, what do we have to do next”.

Where we stand with latest variant of Covid-19... and The hospital data The highest rate of Covid-19 is now being seen in 35- to 44-year-olds as numbers with the virus in hospital continue to climb. New figures show that people aged 35-44 account for 20.4% of cases detected through PCR tests administered by the HSE, followed by 19.% among 25 to 34-year-olds. Children aged 13-18 and people aged over 85 account for the lowest proportion, at 1.8%. More women are getting infected, at 59.4% compared to men. It comes as the number of people with Covid-19 in hospital rose to 765 at time of going to print, up from 537 two weeks ago. There was a significant rise in the numbers in intensive care — up to 35 from the low 20s the previous. However, the hope is that this wave may have peaked and that the numbers will start to fall. Meanwhile, in a statement on monkeypox, World Health Organisation (WHO) directorgeneral Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sounded the alarm about its spread. There have been 28 cases confirmed in Ireland so far. “I am deeply concerned by the spread of monkeypox, which has now been identified in more than 50 countries, across five WHO regions, with 3,000 cases since the early May,” he said. The Emergency Committee

of the WHO shared serious concerns about the scale and speed of the current outbreak, noted many unknowns and gaps in current data, and prepared a consensus report that reflects differing views amongst the committee. “Overall, in the report, they advised me that at this moment the event does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, which is the highest level of alert WHO can issue, but recognised that the convening of the committee itself reflects the increasing concern about the international spread of monkeypox,” he said. “This is clearly an evolving health threat that my colleagues and I in the WHO secretariat are following extremely closely. “It requires our collective attention and co-ordinated action now to stop the further spread of monkeypox virus using public health measures including surveillance, contact-tracing, isolation and care of patients, and ensuring health tools like vaccines and treatments are available to at-risk populations and shared fairly,” he said. “What makes the current outbreak especially concerning is the rapid, continuing spread into new countries and regions and the risk of further, sustained transmission into vulnerable populations including people that are immunocompromised, pregnant women and children.”

Voucher scheme for free hub access A new voucher scheme that will give remote workers free access to local digital hubs has begun operating. The initiative was announced by the Government earlier last month. Under the plan, at least 10,000 ‘hot desk’ facilities are being provided free of charge to existing hub users and those availing of the facilities for the

first time.The scheme will initially provide three days of hub use per person between now and the end of August. There are now 242 remote working hubs across the country. Workers can book an office or desk space in their local hub through an app called ‘Connected Hubs’ and the average cost of using the hubs is between €15-20 a day.

“This voucher scheme gives people an opportunity to try out our many remote working hubs across the country for free,” said Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys. “Whether you are fitting in some work while on holiday in Ireland or looking to relocate to rural Ireland, Connected Hubs has an option for you,” the

Minister said. When she announced the scheme on 8 June, Ms Humphreys also announced funding for the upgrade and promotion of remote working facilities. At the time, her department said that 12,400 people were using remote working hubs around the country and 1,800 users were registered with the ‘Connected Hubs’ app.

How change-makers across Ireland are solving social problems People all across Ireland are taking part in a summer accelerator programme, run by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI), to help them solve social problems in their communities and beyond. The SEI Ideas Academy, now in its sixth year, will support 45 budding change-makers in the east, south and west of the country with early-stage solutions to social problems to move from idea to action through tailored training, peer learning and net-

working. Participants will also have the opportunity to pitch for a portion of a €40,000 seed fund to pilot their idea at the end of the programme, which was officially launched today (28.06.22). The SEI Ideas Academy is supported by Bank of America (corporate sponsor) and the Lifes2good Foundation (sponsor of the Ideas Academy West). Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has seen an increase in the

numbers of people stepping up with solutions to address the nation’s most pressing social problems, with the environment being the number one issue drawing innovative applications in 2022, closely followed by education, community engagement and health equality. This year’s participants, who were chosen from over 180 applicants, are developing solutions to tackle climate change, social isolation, poverty and the

lack of access to crucial educational and health supports such as speech and language therapy. CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Tim Griffiths said: “For the past 18 years, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has supported and championed social entrepreneurs across the country; people who are stepping up with solutions to solve social problems in their communities and create positive change. “The 45 innovators taking part

in our 2022 Ideas Academy are leading the way and being the change they seek. We applaud their courage and determination, and look forward to supporting them over the coming months to refine their ideas, hone their skills and develop an action plan to pilot their solutions.” SEI’s Ideas Academy 2022 will be delivered online throughout July, August and September and will include interactive sessions on organisational structures,

governance, storytelling and piloting. Alumni of the programme include the Together Academy, Lib Multicultural Counselling Services, the Vampire Cup and Seed Scholars. Catherine May, General Counsel of Bank of America Europe said: “Bank of America has seen the determination and innovation of the social entrepreneurs taking part in the SEI Ideas Academy shine through over the past four years.”

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

News Opinion

The Fact Of OfThe Matter PAUL HOPKINS

Keeping to yourself can have tragic outcome On social media and elsewhere there was a lot of disquiet when the bodies of English couple Nicholas Smith (81) and his wife Hilary (79) were found at their home in Tipperary where they had been living for about eight years or so. Disquiet and dismay that their absence in the community of Cloneen could have gone unnoticed, unremarked upon, when it was disclosed that the couple had likely been dead for up to 18 months. Apparently, the couple, who had spent much of their early married life working on cruise ships, had no children. Gardai are now trying to contact distant relatives in Australia. Sources in the community say the couple were very “private” and “kept themselves to themselves”. And, allegedly, had told neighbours back in October 2020 they were planning to move to France for some time and even paid a

local handyman up front to look after the garden of their tidy bungalow. Which, to some degree, explains the lack of curiosity in Cloneen as to the whereabouts or well-being of the couple. Gardai have ruled out any foul play or suggestion of a murder-suicide pact and the people of Cloneen are to arrange funerals for the couple. Nicholas and Hilary Smith being dead for 18 months before their bodies were discovered is, sadly, not a unique story. Earlier this year, a pensioner’s decomposed remains were discovered at his property on Sallynoggin Road Lower in Dublin, where it was believed he may have lain dead for more than a year. The bodies of Michael Hurley (83) and Mary Holohan (79) lay undiscovered for several days in their Kilkenny home in 2018. In October 2019, the

Cork city coroner conducted two inquests within the space of a week into the deaths of two old men who had died alone in their homes. George Harrington (79) had lain dead for six months, and Ritchie Scanlan (85) for even longer. “I find it troubling that this poor man living alone could have slipped through the cracks and be dead for over six months without anyone noticing,” coroner Philip Comyn said at Mr Scanlan’s inquest. That such could — and does — happen taps into our worst concerns. That these deaths involved older people raises questions about care and accountability around potentially vulnerable people. Should their neighbours, their communities, not have been looking out for them? Arguably, that not’s easy to answer. We now live in a world of increased technical and virtual connectivity, where, far from making people

more visible, it has made them less so. Messages can be delivered, pensions paid directly to accounts, no face-to-face contact is required. Many rural post offices are gone, bank branches too. All transactions are done by automatic monthly computerised set-ups. Food home delivered. People don’t need to ‘go out’ as much anymore, to be ‘seen’ by neighbours; for banter to be exchanged. In many instances, elderly people can’t because of mobility issues. And there is the question of respecting privacy. “They kept to themselves,” one man said of the Smiths. “People didn’t want to intrude in their lives because they kept themselves to themselves.” We Irish, as a people, may well pat ourselves on the back for our renowned sociability but we are also mindful of minding our own business, never more so than when it comes to those living around

us. As someone once said, good fences make for good neighbours. We are long past that era of Brinsley MacNamara’s The Valley Of The Squinting Windows. That one-time community or neighbourhood where everyone had their life

‘Lay undiscovered for days in Kilkenny home...

interacting with those around them. Where it once took a village to raise a child. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), of the total population aged 65 and over, 156,799 souls live alone — that’s 26.7% of the total. Loneliness and being alone, I would argue, has a direct correlation with the aforementioned State erosion of local communities and community infrastructure. That rural post office, the bank, the corner shop, the fair and the livestock mart were once all part of the fabric of society, contributing socially, as well as commercially, to people coming together. When was the last time you or I checked on a neighbour living alone? To check that they were okay? For many, a knock on the door can be the most welcome sound of their day. Indeed, may be the only welcoming sound in their solitary lives..


A while ago I suggested you acted on what you can control and didn’t fret about what you can’t. When it comes to family budgeting, that’s a more difficult idea to get our heads around, but it is no less actionable. You can’t influence inflation. Not realistically, anyway. Technically, if everyone stopped buying things, then prices would come down. Good luck with getting the wider public to do that, though. Even if that did happen, we’d suddenly face into the bleakness of a recession, so it’s not the best idea either. What is firmly within your control is your spending. There are wacky ideas the extremely frugal have come up with which are perhaps best avoided. Most people don’t pay direct water charges in Ireland. For that reason we can move straight past the toileting motto of bath-

room cheapskates. “If it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” It might save a few coins on water bills where this vital resource is charged by the litre, but I, myself, can’t see it catching on! Up there in terms of far out money saving tips is eating roadkill, haggling in supermarkets, and dumpster diving. Leaving them aside, what are ideas most of us can put into practice without going red with embarrassment or feeling nauseous? If you’re finding rising meat prices a problem, perhaps try less familiar cuts. I was recently in a Brazilian restaurant and saw chicken heart on the menu. Always one to try new foods, I was extremely pleased when I found it was very tasty. So flavourful in fact, I went back the next night and ate the same dish again. Something I never do... and I’m not even a big fan of chicken!!! In terms of food, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. If your office orders sandwiches for a conference and there are leftovers, why not get a doggy bag? Just be sure to

share with others with the same idea! Shop around. This goes for food but also for anything you want to buy. Few things make me more nostalgic than the theme tune of the sitcom “Bread”. I grew up in North Wales and, being literally on my doorstep, Liverpool was like a second home. The song features the lyric “catchin’ the penny but missin’ the pound”. Despite that, a few saved pence, or cents, here and another couple there, quickly turn into pounds, or, here, Euro. A way of saving whilst being generous is giving frugal but thoughtful presents. Money is replenishable, time isn’t. So give yours by gifting loved ones coupons they can use to get you to do jobs they hate. They’ll appreciate your effort! The possibilities don’t stop there. Whilst you can’t stop inflation, you can be inventive and make your own life less stressful financial by buying wisely. And without the embarrassment and sickness caused by umm... let’s say stranger ideas.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


38,700 Ukrainians now here The Central Statistics Office has said that 38,700 Ukrainians have arrived in Ireland since the Russian invasion on 24 February. The number has increased by just under 3,000 in the two weeks leading up to Sunday, June 19. Women aged 20 and older

account for 47% of the arrivals, while people under the age of 20 account for 37%. Those in the largest group of arrivals — 41% or 15,850 individuals — are classified as 'one parent with children'. As of June 7, 6,890 Ukrainian children were enrolled in

Irish schools; 71% of which were in primary school. The figures come from a weekly Department of Social Protection report which includes the number of Ukrainians who have been given a PPS number and are availing of the Temporary Protection Directive.

This directive was activated by EU countries on 4 March to protect people displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The figure is an estimate because some Ukrainians may have not received a PPS number yet or may no longer be in Ireland.

However, experimental data from the CSO shows 89% of those aged over 18 were "administratively active" in the State after 15 May. The CSO was also able to map 91% of arrivals to a local post office address. A total of 1,245 Ukrainian

arrivals have been mapped to Dublin's north inner city, while the local electoral area with the highest proportion of Ukrainian arrivals compared to its population was Ennistymon in Co Clare, at a rate of 7.28%. Global Report, Page 22

Protocol Bill 'regrettable, unacceptable' The Taoiseach has told the Dáil that the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill passing the second stage in the UK parliament is the latest "regrettable and unacceptable" instance in "a trend towards unilateralism". Micheál Martin said that he has spoken to the President and Vice President of the European Commission, and the President of the European Council, and he said Ireland will "work absolutely in concert" with EU allies on a shared approach. Mr Martin made the comments in response to a question from Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou MacDonald in the Dáil. Mr Martin's comments come after the UK government's bid to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol cleared its first hurdle last night, despite EU warnings it is illegal and could spark a trade war. MPs in the House of Commons voted through the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol Bill by 295 votes to 221 after a debate, allowing it to progress to the next stage of scrutiny in parliament. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in Germany for a G7 leaders meeting, earlier insisted the legislation was needed to remove "unnecessary barriers to trade from Great Britain to Northern Ireland". "All we're saying is that you can get rid of those, whilst not in any way endangering the

EU single market," he told reporters. Mr Martin has previously said that "any unilateral decision to breach international law is a major, serious development". "There can be no getting out of that," he said, also warning against another government bill to revamp human rights in the UK that could affect the Good Friday Agreement. In the House of Commons, Mr Johnson's predecessor as prime minister Theresa May, who quit after failing to get parliamentary backing for her own Brexit divorce deal, said she could not back the bill. It was "not legal... will not achieve its aims and... will diminish the standing of the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world", she told MPs. The UK government unveiled its plan to unilaterally change trading terms for Northern Ireland earlier this month, prompting the EU to pledge legal action. Brussels says overriding the deal it struck in 2019 with Mr Johnson's government breaches international law, and has warned of trade reprisals, which Britain can illafford as prices surge on the back of the war in Ukraine. Days of further scrutiny and subsequent votes now loom, and despite winning the vote, Mr Johnson is facing criticism among some of his own Conservatives after he only narrowly survived a no-confidence vote this month.

Our firefighters off to help Ukraine Kilkenny Fire Service will transport donated fire vehicles and equipment this week to provide vital support to the Ukrainian firefighters who are battling the most horrendous conditions imaginable on a daily basis. More than 100 fire stations and over 250 fire appliances have been destroyed in the Ukraine, and tragically many firefighters have lost their lives as they battle to do their job in their local community. John Collins, Chief Fire Officer with Kilkenny County Council, said: “We have been in contact with the

State emergency services in the Ukraine regarding their immediate requirements and Fire Services across the South East have donated firefighting equipment such as generators and lighting, hydraulic rescue gear, pneumatic lifting equipment and sets of firefighting PPE. The 3 jeeps will be accompanied by a fire engine from the firefighters from Kerry Fire Service. "The convoy of vehicles will be driven by firefighters from Kilkenny Fire Service who have volunteered their time to assist in this humanitarian crisis. Stena Line

have very graciously provided the ferry crossing for the vehicles free of charge and we will be leaving Ireland and arriving in Poland to hand over the vehicles and equipment to our colleagues from the Ukrainian State Emergency Service”. According to Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Pat Fitzpatrick: “The donation and transportation of the vehicles and equipment is supported by Kilkenny County Council and has been organised through “Safe Harbour for Ukraine” Every day we continue to see

the horrors unfold in the Ukraine and can only imagine how hard it must be for Ukrainian firefighters as they continue to put their lives at risk with very limited resources. Kilkenny County Council are delighted to support this initiative and any help the people of Ireland can provide will be kindly received”. * Our picture above shows Kilkenny County Council firefighters who are on their way to Krakow, Poland to deliver the equipment to the State Emergency Services of Ukraine.

US firms offer financial abortion aid Many large US corporations have moved swiftly to provide support and financial assistance to employees seeking abortions in states that outlawed the procedure after the US supreme court’s decision on Friday to overturn its landmark Roe v Wade ruling. With potentially millions of

women soon looking to cross state lines for the procedure, many employers have added “critical healthcare” packages to employees’ benefit packages. The measures reflect, in some cases, elevated responsibility that businesses now feel to respond to pressure from inves-

tors, customers and employees at a time when corporate values do not conform with the legislatures of states in which they or their workers are based. Many banks and tech firms have announced they will cover travel expenses for US workers in need of abortions as part of their medical benefits. After

the reversal was announced Friday, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs joined Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase in offering travel benefits. “We will continue to provide benefits that support our colleagues’ family planning choices wherever we are legally permitted to do so,” Citi’s

head of human resources, Sara Wechter, wrote in a memo to employees. Tech firms have also moved to accommodate employees’ needs. Microsoft extended its financial support for “critical healthcare” after the draft version of the supreme court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade

was first leaked last month. Apple has said the existing benefits package allows employees to travel out of state for medical care, and Facebook parent Meta has said it will offer travel expense reimbursement “to the extent permitted by law”. Global Report, Page 22

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


As I See It Marianne Heron

Just let the grass grow under your feet This is high season for garden lovers. A time to go garden visiting, enjoy garden shows or just sit back and smell the roses. But change is underway for enthusiasts, with the move to rewilding and a more nature-friendly approach to gardening. Converts argue that we should let nature take its course, enhance habitat for birds and bees, encourage native flora instead of buying imported blooms and just let the grass grow under our feet. But just how wild are you prepared to go? Would you hang up your lawnmower, let bindweed choke your blooms and insist that your local park be turned into a football-unfriendly hay meadow? It all takes a bit of getting used to for traditional gardeners. BBC’s Gardeners World presenter Monty Don, viewing an exhibit at last Month’s Chelsea Flower Show featuring a grass knoll, a weathered hut and a

beavers’ dam where no beaver in its right senses would build one, remarked: “I wouldn’t call that a Garden.” The garden in question, sponsored by Rewilding Britain, went on to win Best in show. There’s no doubt that wild or naturalistic effects can be enchanting, what wasn’t to like about the meadow-effect in front of Trinity College, frothing with marguerites and campion? And wonderful things do happen when lawns are left to nature, dormant wild flower seeds germinate and flourish while pollinators increase. This back to the future trend has produced a wonderful wildflower meadow, home to 148 different species at Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens, Co Wicklow. The display there begins with a magical carpet of crocuses in February/March before the start of the wild flower season. The amazingly even spread of the crocuses

was caused by mice who propagated the bulbs as they feasted on their pollen. There is a bit of management involved in creating a successful meadow though. One of them is to sow meadow hay rattle, a yellow flowered plant which is semi-parasitic on grasses, Kilmacurragh’s Head Gardener Seamus OBrien told me. Reducing grass growth allows wild flower to flourish and the meadow there is mown only twice a year, in September when wildflower seeds have set and in spring to remove winter growth. Wilding is growing in the wider context of public lands and the countryside. The All-Ireland Pollinator plan is responsible for the change in the way that public lands like parks are being managed and includes recommendations for pollinator friendly actions which could be adopted by local authorities, businesses, schools and farms.

These include ideas like leaving verges unmown, cutting down on pesticides and creating wildflower meadows. I saw this in action in a triangle of previously shorn grass in my neighbourhood. Now it’s billowing with flowers, including purple orchids, different grasses and alive with pollinators. In Co Clare there is a delightfully named initiative, the Hare’s Corner, named for the custom of leaving awkward corners of fields to nature. This has resulted in the creation of 38 mini woodlands, 43 mini orchards and 30 ponds for wildlife around the county, thanks to a pilot scheme last year run by the Burrenbeo Trust charity. It’s the kind of project that could be copied by other counties. Rewilding is the kind of thing that anyone with a patch of their own or a neglected corner in their neighbourhood can experiment with, maybe a

small start but collectively it can make big a difference. One green fingered friend expanded her activities with what she called commando gardening, planting banks and verges in her area with seeds and slips. The neighbours loved it. There is nothing new about

‘Meadow mown only twice a year..

wilding. Irishman William Robinson wrote his inspirational book The Wild Garden in 1870. His influential ideas on naturalistic planting were a reaction against regimented Victorian gardens with their frequently changed beds of hot- housed bedding plants, (Robinson is said to have been sacked from his job at Ballykilcavan, Co Laois for leaving the tender contents of the glasshouses to die with the window open and the boiler out.) Inspirational gardens to visit in thes ‘Robinsonian style’ include Mount Usher, Co Wicklow, Anne’s Grove, Co Cork, Mount Congreve, Co Waterford and Dereen. Co Kerry. Robinson made an eloquent plea for wildness which allows plants to naturalise in every kind of garden. Looking at a carpet of Fritillaria, nodding their gingham checked heads under the trees at Mount Usher recently, I found it hard to resist going wild.

Rescue Remedy to the rescue Minister O’Brien has failed to address affordability in Kilkenny as house prices spiral upwards CLAIR WHITTY

I think that most of you will know that I love Bach Rescue Remedy. This is the little Bach Flower remedy in the yellow bottle that I have talked about and used now for over 25 years. It contains five of the Bach Flowers combined to provide comfort and reassurance, and support your emotional balance at busy or worrying times in your life. You could use it if you or worried about traveling, going to the doctor, doing exams, or public speaking, or any other time that you might feel under pressure. For me, it has a calming and relaxing effect that helps me to function and focus more effectively when I need to. I regularly use it before radio interviews and my mother uses it to relax when she is worried about certain things. She finds it especially useful at night time. Because I love Rescue Remedy so much, I was very excited when I saw two new Rescue supplements. They both contain Rescue Remedy plus other nutrients to support you during the day, or during at night. For daytime use there’s Balance & Positivity, I love the

name they chose. It’s formulated to support emotional balance and to help you maintain a positive outlook during busy days. It contains the original Rescue blend with the addition of Crocus sativus extract (Saffron), L-Theanine, and B vitamins in a one- a- day vegan capsule. The blend is formulated to support mood, focus, concentration and well-being, so that you stay balanced through busy days. Bach Rescue Peaceful Night capsules are especially formulated to help you achieve a restful night’s sleep, so that you can wake up feeling refreshed. It contains the Rescue Night flower essences as well as: Ashwagandha and Lemon Balm to help aid relaxation and support healthy sleep, chamomile which contributes to normal healthy sleep by

promoting relaxation. Plus, it contains magnesium which many of you use already to aid relaxation and to promote sleep. All in a one-a -day vegan capsule. There are many times when I would recommend Rescue Remedy alongside other herbal products for optimum benefit, so I am delighted to have these options. It makes economic sense and you need to take less supplements too. They are well worth taking a look at, I think you’ll like them.

Shop online at where you’ll be able to take a look at these brands. Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre Phone: 056 7764538 Email:

BY: DEPUTY KATHLEEN FUNCHION SINN FEIN TD FOR KILKENNY CARLOW Sinn Féin TD for Carlow Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion has said that the latest Daft. ie house price report shows that despite two years in office, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has utterly failed to address the affordable housing crisis of people in Kilkenny. The report shows house prices in the county rising by 8.1% in the last 12 months. Teachta Funchion said: ‘The latest house price report shows house prices continue to spiral upwards. “Darragh O’Brien has been Minister for Housing for two full years. Monday June 27 is the second anniversary of his tenure of office. During that time, he and Fianna Fáil in Government have utterly failed to address the affordable housing crisis. “He has delivered a handful

of affordable homes to purchase, despite inheriting a €300 million fund from his predecessor that was meant to deliver 6000 affordable homes by 2021. “During his two years in office, homelessness has returned to pre pandemic levels. In the last 12 months child homelessness is up over 40%. Single person homelessness has reached 5000 or the first time. “Meanwhile the crisis in the private rental sector gets progressively worse. Rents spiral upwards while the sector is shrink-ing as accidental and semiprofes-

sional landlords exit the market. “Report after report on house prices, rents and homelessness demonstrate that this Government is failing an even greater number of people, and that Minister O’Brien is failing as his predecessor Eoghan Murphy did. “Budget 2023 is an opportunity to change direction. To dramatically increase direct capital investment in the delivery of at least 20,000 public homes nationnation ally a year to meet social and afaf fordable housing needs. This is what is required to tackle the ever growing afaf fordability crisis.”

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

News More than €350m has been allocated to Government strategy to tackle domestic, gender and sexual based violence. It is the Government’s “most ambitious” plan to date, and the third such plan since 2010. Among the measures included is an increase in the number of refuge places from 141 to more than 280. The maximum sentence for assault causing harm, one of the most common offences in domestic abuse cases, will double from five to 10 years. Minister for Justice Helen McEntee says the plan is a culmination of two years of work, with much consultation involved. The plan is “zerotolerance” and a whole of society approach to change and ensuring no one turns “a blind eye” to violence. “It means not turning a blind eye when abuse happens, just because it’s behind closed doors or in a relationship,” the Minister says. “It means not laughing off inappropriate comments or touching, whether it’s in person or WhatsApp group, but it also means getting right back to teaching younger people what a healthy relationship is,” Ms McEntee says. “It’s really detailed. We’re working on some of them already. And we are working on many of them after today, but really excited to be finally launching it this afternoon.” The Minister will be working with Tusla directly prior to any agency being set up as part of this plan. The strategy is viewed as ambitious because of the level of support Minister McEntee has secured from numerous departments, state-funded organisations and NGOs. The four pillars on which it will be rolled out will be protection, prevention, prosecution and policy coordination. While the strategy is over

SPECIAL REPORT €350m plan in new strategy to tackle head on domestic and gender violence

five years, the minister is proposing initial 18-month implementation plan, which will include 144 actions with set timelines. A statutory agency will be established by January 2024 as part of the wider strategy.

In relation to the establishment of a statutory tree agency Minister McEntee said: “We have set a timeline of 18 months. That obviously involves working with the sector, working with those who understand and know this

space as to how we establish it in the best way possible. “It means going through legislation and obviously all of that takes time.” Opposition parties have expressed concern over the number of refuge places being

made available. Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall says that the new plan will still fall short of what is required under the Istanbul Convention, although she welcomes the strategy as whole.

People Before Profit’s Bríd Smith also says that the provision of domestic violence refuge places is Chief Executive of Women’s Aid Sarah Benson says her organisation “applauds the ambition” of the plan, but it has long wanted a dedicated centralised focus in Government to tackle, not just the service provision or the policy, but also that co-ordinated policy piece. Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, she praised Ms McEntee, who she said, along with her colleagues, has done “incredible hard work to get it to where it is now”. The CEO of the Offaly Domestic Violence Service has welcomed the doubling of refuge spaces over the next five years and the extension of spaces to every county. Anne Clarke, a board member of Safe Ireland, said it is extremely difficult to get people into refuges and then move them into private accommodation. She explained that there are nine counties that do not have any emergency accommodation and that victims of domestic violence are not inclined to move counties. Ms Clarke said that this means that unfortunately the majority of people stay. She said: “They make decisions around their children. They won’t want to take their children out of school. “They won’t want to take children away from support networks and extracurricular. “So it’s extremely difficult then to mitigate against risk for that person who is in that serious abusive relationship.” Ms Clarke said doubling the maximum sentence for assault causing harm is hugely significant and she hoped that these would prove to be a game changer for domestic abuse victims.

The Covid-19 chief who left school at 16

At age 16, Paul Reid left school early and started working as a trainee installer with Eircom. He has now announced he will reign at Christmas from one of the top-paid public sector jobs in the country. Mr Reid’s resignation as HSE chief executive two years before the end of his contract has seen him become the latest in a series of senior managers to exit the health service in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The news may not come as a major surprise, as back in 2020 he told the Irish Examiner that he has “never been interested in a job for life”. Now that he is leaving the role, which has an annual pay package of over €400,000, Mr Reid says he has “no immediate career plans”. The pandemic shoved Mr Reid into the national spot-

light, but he has had a long career managing large, pub-

licly funded organisations since he worked his way up

to director of operations at Eircom. Staying ‘objective’ After leaving the company in 2010 he worked as head of corporate affairs for Trócaire, chief operations officer at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and then as chief executive of Fingal County Council, before taking up his HSE post. Though the Finglas, north Dublin man has said he copes with pressure by staying “objective” rather than becoming “personally immersed” in his work, in many ways his background and family life has shaped his managerial style. He has spoken about how the sudden death of his brother, Noel, 16 years ago after he suffered heart failure abroad, has taught him to “keep things in perspective” in times of high intensity. He previously told the Irish

Examiner that he has stayed grounded because he saw a lot of his school friends “go the wrong way” through “drugs, alcohol, suicide, and mental health issues”. “We can all travel different paths very easily,” he said. At the age of 21, Mr Reid’s life almost did take a different path: As a father of one who was studying nights, he pulled out of running for election as a member of the Workers’ Party at the last minute. Since then he has ruled out life in public office, and though it doesn’t seem likely that he will retire, Mr Reid said he plans to focus on spending time with family. His son Glynn works for Facebook in Texas where he lives with wife Lindsay and their young daughter Aisling. At the height of the pandemic, Mr Reid said that regular FaceTime calls with

them kept him going. Closer to home, his daughter Ciara, who is in her early thirties and works with children with special needs, lives in Dublin. Mr Reid has been married to his wife Margaret for 37 years and says she’s been “hugely supportive” of his career. They travel back and forth between Dublin and their summer house in Leitrim, where he is wellknown on the golf course. As chief executive of the HSE, he dealt with multiple waves of Covid-19 and the impact of the cyberattack. However, the criticism the health service now faces over the state of emergency departments, the revelation that 46 children suffered harm at the hands of Kerry mental health services, and criticism of their long-term strategy will doubtlessly be markers of his legacy too.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Your Money & You John Ellis

Sean’s pension pot ... and €500m. unclaimed I was six months old when Sean started work in a local retail company, since gone, and 13 when he left. During some of that period he paid into the company’s pension scheme. Over the next 50 odd years, on and off, he wondered what had become of his contributions to the plan. Sean read my article about the need for people to keep a record of their pension pots. I wrote that “many people may have several pension pots, probably managed separately through different employer, trustee, or pension provider making it very difficult to arrive at a single figure of how much you have put aside and its estimated value at retirement”. I cautioned on the danger that pensions can fall between the cracks through moving house and forgetting to tell your pension provider, loss of paperwork, employers no longer trading,

pension providers no longer in Ireland or amalgamation and re-amalgamation with another provider, all of these in Sean’s case. It’s no wonder money seems to disappear! According to experts there is currently more than €500 million in unclaimed pensions funds in Ireland. I was at a recent seminar and was speaking with other advisors about the contractions in the market between broker amalgamation and the loss of so many insurance companies – we listed off quite a number of companies including, Abbey Life, Life Assurance of Ireland, Scottish Provident, Friends First, Royal Liver (another on-going case we have, but the need of in date photo ID is causing a problem!), and Norwich Union – all gone, renamed or subsumed into a bigger entity. But the good news is providers with unclaimed

funds must keep a register of unclaimed policies. They must if at all possible contact customers to tell them how to claim the proceeds of the policies and they are required to advertise in the national press twice a year to inform customers whose policies are worth less than €500. If after 15 years there is no ‘customer-initiated transactions’ the money is transferred to the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). The NTMA is a state body which operates with a commercial remit to provide asset and liability management services to Government including managing the unclaimed funds from dormant accounts. According to Citizens Advice these funds are used to support “the personal and social development of people who are economically or socially disadvan-

taged, the educational development of people who are educationally disadvantaged and people with a disability (within the meaning of the Equal Status Acts)”. But if people become aware of their own or a relative’s policy(s) and find the funds have been transferred to the NTMA they can contact them and apply to reclaim the funds as even though they are transferred they still remain the property of the account holder. They may be reclaimed at any time from the original account holding branch, or Head Office as appropriate, and this is where Seán’s money lies! When Sean called initially I asked for the usual to track down the pension; paperwork – any written information which would have policy no.s, company names etc. Nothing was available so getting information wasn’t going to be straightforward

especially with the passage of time. So, I began the process with a letter of authorisation allowing me to write to each insurance company to see if they had a pension in Sean’s name, as all we had was his date of birth. One after another company came back

‘No wonder money seems to disappear!

saying they had no record for his date of birth and one asking that we send them documents with a policy number to aid the process! Sean and I didn’t hold out much hope until last Tuesday a letter landed on my desk confirming that Sean did indeed have a pension from the Sixties with a company since amalgamated, and the funds had been transferred to the NTMA but could be reclaimed. According to the rules we are applying through the insurance provider to have the funds reclaimed with hopefully interest attaching. We will then mature the plan and Sean will in a few weeks enjoy the proceeds of his long-lost pension. If you think you might have funds or policies floating about unclaimed call me and we can investigate. 0868362633

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022



The Clancy Brothers, and Tullahought BY NED EGAN

Hello folks, I wrote this several years ago, for a newspaper. The golden nights, as described, Are gone forever. The Clancy Brothers, and Tullahought – a small village in the south of Co Kilkenny. It was about Halloween time, over thirty years ago, and we were all gathered in Tullahought of a Wednesday night – the biggest night of the week in Power’s Pub. Jim was dishing out the pints, and Margaret – that great old character and musician – was leading the music, making her fiddle do her bidding. A lot of local musicians were there, the craic flying along, when in the door walks the Clancy Brothers – all four of them – then at the height of their fame and powers. Men who had never forgotten their roots – who were world-famous – and are still spoken of with awe and affection to this very day. There was no coaxing needed with these fellows, who would set up and sing for one man and his dog as quickly and happily as they would for an appearance in Carnegie Hall – the greatest music venue in

all of America - where they performed for Presidents - and plumbers. It wasn’t long before the instruments were brought in – a concertina and a couple of banjos – and that was it. No amplifiers needed – the great deep-forest sonorous dark tones were a Clancy trademark. So, the music started up and rolled along. Then, at about twelve o’clock, when the night was really starting to fly, the most gigantic of thunderstorms struck the Tulla hillside – and out went the few glims! A big cheer for the mighty mountainsmashing thunder-god, Thor, who was obviously peeved by our heroes organ-deep singing! Other ‘gods’ on his mountain? Crash! Slam! He’d fix ‘em, so he would! But Margaret rummaged out a few candles, and Thor was down-faced – though he still raged and marched and furied hither and thither, splitting asunder the dark mountain skies over old Tulla. Now, in the flickering candlelight, the scene attained an ethereal ancient quality, with the old pub still rattling under fire from Thor’s kettledrumming artillery, and eerie blue flashes lighting the faces of the four lads, as they put on the show of our lives. ‘The Jug of Punch’ ‘Johnny McAdoo’, ‘Finnegan’s Wake’, and other rousing Irish songs

were gloried into our memories by those bass-organ voices interspersed with the softest, sweetest and most plangent of love songs – the most swooning of crooning laments for the death of youth and beauty – and the most gentle softchanted soul-embracing ageold madrigals of regret for loves lost, and years wasted. All of those beautifullyexpressed sentiments, emotions, and events, were redolent of the fates that made - or broke - our fragile lives, in those strange happy/sad topsy-turvy times; they were collectively known as ‘life’.. With the lightning flashing, the thunder rolling over Tulla like the mighty cannons of Armageddon, the candle light shimmering on the rapt faces of the oh-so-lucky listeners, and all our old childhood favourites being sung to us by Liam, Paddy, Bobby and Tom, we all knew that in that small old pub, out on the edge of nowhere, there was something unique and mystic happening amongst us – something that would stay with those of us who were fortunate enough to be there, to the end of our times. Then, during a ‘Refreshment Break’{??!}, Tom Clancy beckoned me into the old pub kitchen – where a huge skillet of crubeens was simmering merrily away over an open fire, un-knowing of their empty-

bellied fate. Tom had known my mother – an acclaimed pianist – and enquired if she still played - as he and Paddy used call in to see and ‘perform’ with her – and try to buy our old quern! Sadly, she had passed away. Chatting to him over lovely pints, sitting at the old table, I told him of my love for poetry and drama. He could draw you out, could Tom. He asked me if I’d like to hear a segment from one of his performances in Eugene O’Neill’s ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’, in which he’d performed on Broadway. Of course! A dream! Tom stood there then, at the end of the old pub kitchen table, with the heavens crashing and flashing, and the thunder growling and prowling like a great prehistoric beast all round our flimsy little shelter, and narrated and plotted and wrapped that unique Clancy voice around the wonderful words, navigating his way

through O’Neill’s splendid work, as his brothers struck up the beautiful and plaintively sad ‘Skye Boatman’ in the room behind us. Aye, the barrelchested, kind, and gifted Tom gave me a present that night that I’ve never forgotten - the loan of his rare melodious talent. When I think of that singing - like the surging waves of a warm summer night-wind soughing through the branches and leaves of a mighty oak tree - I thank whatever God who would bother listening to me for placing me there amongst the whiskey-barrel deepsavannah Clancy voices – the men who turned mere words into hymns of love and loss and beauty, and poetry and prose into magic lanterns of music. And with the elements lashing the skies and driving flying clouds storming over our dear old Tullahought’s hilly village, I knew that there would never be any performance or play in this life again that I could set against it. For his finale, Tom recited his favourite Thomas Hardy poem – ‘Channel Firing’ - for me. I’ll just give two remembered verses here.. “Last night your great guns, unawares, Shook all our coffins where we lay, And broke the chancel-

window squares We thought it was our Judgement Day. The glebe cow drooled – still God cried - ‘No!! It’s gunnery practice out at sea! Just as before you went below, The world is as it used to be’” Tom didn’t know how prescient the great words were; he was with us only a few more years. But I – and all who were present - knew that a little bit of a wishful hoped-for Heaven had been shown to us, on that wild racingcloud stormy night, in old Tullahought. PS Power’s Pub is now reopened, by Margaret’s nephew, Pat. Crubeens are still served, and music again echoes round the ancient hillside. All the Clancy Brothers are gone now, as is Tommy Makem. Their likes will never be seen again. Ned E Disclaimer The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of The Kilkenny Observer.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Science & Wellbeing When we take part in certain hobbies, it can feel a lot like love. When someone says “I love jogging” or “I love music” some may easily see it as just an expression. That said, there are some activities that can evoke such passion that they you to some special place, and we need a word to capture that feeling. The Greeks have one: meraki. Meraki is when you invest your soul into a pastime or hobby. It might be cooking a meal or playing the guitar, and the feeling of meraki borders on euphoria. It’s why, for many people, there can be a peculiar sense of grief when they come to the end of something. For instance, as you close a book for the last time, knowing you will never again meet those characters and share their story, it can feel like you’ve lost something. You have invested so much of yourself into the story that, when it’s over, it can feel a lot like heartbreak. The same is true at the end of a marathon or a work project. Meraki is why footballers cry like babies after they win (or lose) an important match. Meraki is doing a thing with love. However, when most people think about ‘love’ they don’t tend to think of meraki. The hundreds of thousands of songs, sonnets, and soliloquies out there about ‘love’ are not devoted to the love of hobbies. Whitney Houston did not sing about her love of collecting teapots. For most people, love is the romantic kind. It’s that of boyfriends, girlfriends, sex, and eros. (There’s another Greek word.) In Arabic, there are said to be 11 ‘stages’ of love. First, you have simple attraction (hawa) — the look across a bar or the smile on the train. In the early throes of infatuation (kalaf), you obsess over one another. You spend all your time together, and the bed is your home. Soon you become enslaved

This crazy little thing called love to your partner (taym). Your heart is theirs, and never before have you been so vulnerable. Finally, love matures into a kind of insanity (huyum) where all reason is abandoned. Love, passion, and adoration are all that matter to you. For Plato, eros (the erotic desire for someone) is only the first, immature step toward love. The love of a body — of sex and physical beauty — is a ‘vulgar’ love. True or ‘pure’ love is that which sees behind the façade. It recognises the essence of someone — the bit which makes them, them — and it adores it. Plato’s love is not blind, but rather sees into the soul of someone. It says: “I

see you, I know you, and I love you for it.” Whichever type of love we focus on, most people agree that it’s an essential part of a happy life. From the love we get from our parents, to the love we give to our partners, our friends, and our children, love is the beautiful oddity of the human species. Love is what motivates us to do the brilliant and brave, as well as the stupid and reckless. It’s what the sentient robots of our sci-fi future never quite understand about us. For however much love is ‘just’ a soup of hormones, it’s still the single most important aspect of human existence.

You can love a romantic partner, but also a pet, a book, God, or the sound of someone’s voice. We need many more words for love. All of the world’s major traditions have a lot to say about love. It’s universally recognised as one of the most powerful of all human emotions. Broadly, we can divide love into three types: sacrificial love, the love of doing a thing, and romantic love. Love is what defines humans. For however much love is ‘just’ a soup of hormones, it’s still the single most important aspect of human existence. Of all the human emotions, love is the most powerful. Fear, anger, ambition, greed,

and lust all have their pull, but they all play second fiddle to love. A parent will brave their worst fear, a friend will drive five hours, a brother will give up his job, a spouse will chain their lust — all for love. Love is what beats back the sad, lonely, and bitter in the world. A life without love can never be complete. But, for such a great and prodigious thing, love is blurry, vague, and indefinite. One problem is that each of us will experience love a certain way, and we have no possible way by which to tell if others are feeling the same. Shakespeare’s love, Beyoncé’s love, and your love might overlap in essential

ways, but they can appear utterly dissonant in others. We can never go on a field trip into someone’s mind to see what ‘love’ means to them. The second issue with love is just how broadly we use the term. We love our romantic partners, but we also love a pet, a book, a movie, God (or gods), or the sound of someone’s voice. There’s nothing so painful to the teenager’s ears as, “I love you — as a friend.” Friend zone love. Ouch. So, how are we to unpack love? Most major traditions spend a great deal of time exploring it. The Baha’i faith recognizes four types of love; Hindus have five. But, very broadly, we can identify three trends to how different cultures understand ‘love’. In Mark 12:31, it’s written that Jesus said: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” It’s one of the most famous and most quoted lines of Christian doctrine of the last two millennia. But what did he mean by that? In the original Greek of the New Testament, there are a great many words for love. The one that Jesus chose was agape. Agape is a sacrificial love, utterly free of ego or self-interest. It’s the kind of love that cherishes another human being simply because they’re a fellow human being. In other words, agape is a kind of well- wishing that offers up every possible benefit to a person because it recognises that they are worthy of flourishing. When Jesus also says that we are to love our enemies, he again uses agape. Using this understanding, he means that you are to wish the best for other people, even if you don’t particularly like them. Martin Luther King, Jr. hammered this point home in his book Strength to Love: “We should be happy that he did not say, ‘Like your enemies.’ It is almost impossible to like some people.”

Now likely two trillion galaxies in our Universe The Universe has more galaxies than contemporary science ever imagined for when it comes to the number of galaxies in the Universe, both theorists’ and observers’ estimates are too low. If you take the deepest image ever created of the distant Universe, the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field, and extrapolate over the whole sky, you’d estimate there were 170 billion galaxies in the observable Universe. A detailed theoretical simulation predicted far more faint, small galaxies than we’ve seen, upping the expected total to closer to two trillion. But recent observational evidence shows that even that estimate is far too low. Instead, there are between six and 20 trillion galaxies out there. Carl Sagan’s “billions and billions” was far too low of a guess. The majority of galaxies that form are faint and far away, rendering them invisible within the limitations of our

current telescopes. Galaxies comparable to the present-day Milky Way are numerous throughout cosmic time, having grown in mass

and with more evolved structure at present. Younger, galaxies are inherently smaller, bluer, more chaotic, richer in gas, and have lower densities

of heavy elements than their modern-day counterparts. Various long-exposure campaigns, like the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF),

have revealed thousands of galaxies in a volume of the Universe that represents a fraction of a millionth of the sky. This contains 5,500 galaxies, but takes up just one 32,000,000th of the total sky. But, even with all the power of Hubble, and all the magnification of gravitational lensing, there are still galaxies out there beyond what we are capable of seeing. Although some regions of space are rich in nearby galaxies while others are relatively poor, each proverbial slice of the sky allows us to grab objects of all different distances so long as our observations are sensitive enough to reveal them. The nearest, brightest objects are the easiest to resolve, but the entire cosmic story is told across the entire sky, and must be observed deeply and across many wavelengths in order to truly reveal the full extent of what’s out there. All told, there are still about

2 sextillion (2 × 1021) stars in the Universe; the additional galaxies only add about 0.01% to the total number of stars present. It’s true that there are hundreds of billions of stars within the Milky Way, which is just one galaxy among trillions — likely between 6 and 20 trillion — in this enormous, expanding Universe. But even though we’re seeing just the tip of the cosmic iceberg with even today’s greatest, most powerful observatories, we really are capturing most of the stellar activity that’s present throughout our cosmos. With the advent of the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, we might finally get the observational confirmation of these faint, distant, early-type galaxies that we know must be out there. The Universe, no matter how we conceive or misconceive of it, cannot hide its truths when faced with superior data.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Travel & Leisure With Paris being a giant melting pot of cultures, the city has a diverse range of dining options, from cheap eats on the street to lush experiences in fancy hotels. In Paris, you can have elaborate tasting menus that will cost you more than €350 but at lunch, a simplified menu will cost a mere €50. The lunch menu is a condensed version and can even appear in the form of a two to three-course menu, but it gives the hungry diner a chance to enjoy a true culinary experience without too much stress on both the wallet and waistline.

7 places to enjoy Paris’ fine dining

1. Brasserie Lazare Paris Rue Intérieure Chef Eric Frechon is a multiMichelin star chef and is often referred to as the ‘Chef of Royalty’, with many French politicians and celebrities constantly dining at his restaurant, Epicure in Paris. His most popular restaurant remains his three-Michelin star restaurant in luxury hotel Le Bristol, which costs almost €1200 for two but, luckily, Lazare exists and is much cheaper. Located near Gare Saint-Lazare, good food comes in at just €22 for lunch and you can enjoy great French classics like beef tartare and grilled cod. Don’t miss on enjoying a delightful dessert and glass of red wine for under €40.

satisfying a growling stomach. Order anything from fish and chips to club sandwiches (but with a French flair that only a Michelin-star chef can create). Don’t miss on the croquemonsieur with truffle butter for instant gratification.

2. Restaurant LE Drugstore 133 Av. des ChampsÉlysées If you can’t book yourself a table at Lazare, head straight to LE Drugstore, which is also by Chef Frenchon. Sitting at the top of the ChampsElysees, the restaurant provides some much-needed relief to rest your weary feet from too much shopping on the famed Paris strip. The menu is even cheaper here compared to Lazare and the vibe is very casual while

3. Frenchie To Go 9 Rue du Nil Renowned restaurant Frenchie has been feeding Parisians for more than a decade and still remains a top spot for both locals and tourists. With his take on ‘American street food with a French twist’, Chef Greg Marchand has since opened a few more eateries in both Paris and London. Sure, it is simple but the original Frenchie menu is still close to €100 if you want

All pre-arrival testing for Covid vaccinated travellers has now been eliminated by the island paradise of the Bahamas, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has announced, making it easier to visit and putting the country more in line with other Caribbean islands. The new rule went into effect last week. The country has also eliminated the need for all travellers to fill out a Bahamas Travel Health Visa. “The Bahamas is adapting to the continued evolution of this pandemic. We want to streamline the entry process for travellers as much as possible, all while ensuring we are protecting public health,” Chester Cooper, the deputy Prime Minister and minister of Tourism, said in a statement. “We hope the changes to the pre-travel testing requirements combined with the elimination of the Travel Health Visa will reduce friction for travellers and further the recovery of our tourism sector.”

to eat well in the original restaurant. However, a good alternative is Frenchie To Go (FTG), where you will find a riff on American fast food with the same cool Frenchie flair. While this may not be classic French food, it is worth checking out (especially if you need a break from French fare). Imagine classics like homemade hot dogs, super crispy fried chicken, and the best fries you can find for under a tenner. 4. Bouillon Julien 6 Rue du Faubourg SaintDenis To counteract the very American lunch experience at Frenchie To Go, head straight to Bouillon Julien for the most Paris experience you can get in a restaurant. There is no

Michelin-star chef here but instead, you find yourself in a historical dining room rooted in history (so be sure to take pictures of the room and not just your food). The menu is a delight with traditional food at its best here. Duck foie gras? Oui. Escargot? Oui. Chocolate mousse for dessert? Oui oui! All possible for just €25, including wine. 5. Marsan Restaurant 4 Rue d’Assas Helene Darroze is one of the most recognised and celebrated female chefs in France. As a 3-Michelin star chef, her degustation menu in London starts at around €225, but it is exquisite and great for a special occasion. Fortunately, in Paris, we have Marsan by Helene Darroze

and on the ground noor, there is Le Salon d’Helene – a casual version of her upscale restaurant upstairs. Expect tapas and dishes like roasted langoustines and creamy crème Brûlée for just €28 (two plates). 6. Jola 39 Rue des Jeuneurs The most recent restaurant opening by Helene Darroze is Jola, which is even more delightful than Marsan when it comes to being easy on your wallet. Focused on ‘grandmother’ dishes and inspirations from her travels to London, NYC, and Italy, expect a great cocktail list and home comforts like a succulent Spanish roast and artichoke salad to start, when in season. However, the piece

7. Septime 80 Rue de Charonne A few years ago, a restaurant called Septime took Paris by storm. It was the hottest place to eat at. Many years later, the restaurant still has the same charm and popularity but it is a little bit pricey if you are a bargain hunter. But you don’t have to spend more than €1o0 to get the Septime badge of honour; a cheaper alternative exists at Septime La Cave. A cool wine list and some delicious tapas are available for much less (and you can brag to friends you went to the Septime.)

However, Covid-19 testing is no longer required for people travelling islandto-island within the

Bahamas, regardless of their vaccination status. The Bahamas requires all travellers to wear a mask when in airport terminals, at security, at customs, and at baggage claim, according to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. The Bahamas now joins several other Caribbean islands that have eliminated pre-arrival testing and eased other Covid-19era rules like Saint Lucia, which nixed testing for vaccinated visitors; and Grenada, Aruba, and Bonaire, which have each eliminated all pandemicrelated entry rules. And last week, the British Virgin Islands stopped requiring travellers to register on its BVI Gateway Travel Portal or show proof of travel insurance, regardless of their vaccination status. As for United States territories, Puerto Rico lifted all pandemic-related restrictions for domestic travellers back in March, and the US Virgin Islands did the same in May.

Bahamas lifts all Covid barriers for vaccinated While vaccinated travellers won’t have to test before coming, unvaccinated travellers age two and older

will have to show proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test taken within three days of their trip.

These travellers will have to show their negative test results when checking in for a flight.

de resistance has to be the dessert menu: Mille-crepes, pavlova, and a decadent chocolate tart are always on the menu.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Fundraising, the hungry 70’s, a new school and Callans first and last lord mayor The recently launched book ‘Coláiste Éamann Rís’ is 400 pages of the history and times of the CBS School in Callan, county Kilkenny. It celebrates 154 years and tells the story of the school from the early days and those who passed through the gates. One contributor to the book is Callan man Barrie Henriques. In this, the second week , we reproduce Barrie’s memories of the school.

BY BARRIE HENRIQUES With thanks to Ignatius O’Neill for main pic at launch

Part two

Last week I spoke of my memories of growing up in a challenging Ireland, my arrival in Callan and attempts by the local GAA to purchase a new grounds. Welcome back. Collections were taken at any amenable, and available location. There were hurling and football matches. Some were fun others like the football challenge between students and Staff plus a few willing outsiders were an opportunity for a modicum of payback. Raffle tickets came out of every orifice of one’s body. Friends scarpered into some hole or mineshaft whenever or wherever we appeared in the cross hairs. The ladies made every conceivable garment and household gadget, in addition enough sandwiches and cups of tea that would have tested the capabilities of a decent cargo ship to haul. Whist and Bridge were common place as well as big poker Tournaments. There were Greyhound Race nights at the Kilkenny Track, duck races on the Kings River. To harvest the required financing of both enterprises, it was necessary to raise the game-you would spend a lot of time selling the raffle tickets to make £120,000. As I said, anywhere there was a “bob” to be made, we were not too far removed. The whole fundraising collectivepardon the pun- stretched over a few years. Two ideas readily come to mind for reasons I will expand upon. It was decided to do a 100- mile sponsored cycle, and the other was the election of a Lord Mayor of Callan. The GAA had their candidate, while the Brothers had a local Garda. There were other representatives from other local organisations in the race. Bear in mind we are talking about the hungry 70s. The regular fundraising incorporated a dance, or a raffle where you

got three tickets for a “bob” (one shilling. There were 20 of them in £1). The sub committees behind all Candidates really embraced the concept for the common good. All of them worked tirelessly to get their Candidate over the line in front. They ran separate fundraisers in support of their man. Some of the ideas were mind-blowing off the wall events. But they were widely supported if for nothing else but their ingenuity. One such was a “cowshy” competition organised by the late Jack Lyons from Bauntha -what an iconic Callan man was he? The playing area of John Locke Park was divided into hundreds of squares. The squares were purchased for 2 shillings a square. They were all numbered in numerical order. Jack brought “a scuttery cow” (his words) into the middle of the field in his cow box. He released the poor cow, and wherever the cow deposited a “package”, the number of the square was checked and the lucky winner was announced. People surrounded the field, encouraging/discouraging the hapless cow towards their square. For hours we waited, and waited for the cow to ablute. Unfortunately, the hours crept towards darkness and still no performance. Jack was distraught with his animal. Looking into his parked cow box, Jack noticed that the cow had defecated to World record dimensions in the cow box on the way in from Bauntha, and just as it was being contemplated the misfortunate cow

obliged before nightfall. The craic on the afternoon/night will go down in the annals of fundraising for Posterity. That via doloroso that was the sponsored cycle of over 100 miles! As some other scribe is writing about it I cannot let the occasion pass without my personal reference. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I left the CBS in Portarlington in 1958. I volunteered for the sponsored ride with every intention of doing some familiarisation with a saddle. I procured a decent lump of foam rubber to appease the anticipated posterior aggravation. When I arrived home in Callan late evening after setting off from Westcourt at around the 8.30 am start, not one flitter of that foam rubber was on the saddle of the bike, and it didn’t fall off on the journey. I leave the rest to your imagination dear reader! Another bicycle little ditty from a long list of bicycle ditties! A female rider was part of the endeavour that left Westcourt. In truth, when I looked at the bike, I had a premonition that neither bike nor lady would complete the course. The Lady was of a rotund -very rotund- disposition, and it would have been debated as to the capabilities of either bike or Lady to complete the demands of a 100-mile cycle. Our fears were realised when as the group arrived on the Square of Callan heading out for Clonmel, at the butt of Green Street hill, the bike gave


up the ghost, and the Lady retired to her bed. Many of the fundraising enterprises furnished ancillary rewards other than the anticipated financial returns – the £120,000 needed to kick-start a new school and a new GAA centre. A great sense of achievement was abounding when same event exceeded expectation. Of course, there were some into

which a copious amount of energy was invested with a poor end-product. There was great fun too as the effort progressed; there was one or two fractious events where demarcation lines of propriety were breached. The Lord Mayor of Callan was one such event. All interested parties ran with a prospective candidate for the “Mayoral Chain”. Histori-

cally, there had never been a Mayor of Callan, and while the Candidates and their followers careered through two months of canvassing, there was great fun. Every vote cost two shillings (24 pence). There were three main Candidates in the running. The Local Press were captivated with the idea, and their copy carried copious reports of the progress every week. Different factions were vying with each other to grab the Headlines. Stories excelled with outrageous diatribe. But as the run-in to the final days of the count, much of the healthy competitiveness turned to less than amicable banter. With respect “Trumpism” became an issue, before the former US President’s ancestors left Germany. Eventually at a reception in the packed Parish Hall, it was announced that a local Garda had won the election, representing the CBS. While many were thrilled others were more than miffed. Some even called for a re-count, others couldn’t care less. It was not called Callainn an Clamper for nothing. There never was another Mayor of Callan. After it all, both projects were sufficiently funded thankfully. It was an astonishing achievement by the people of Callan, and both projects, the envy of many, stand proudly for all to feel good about, a testament to a job well done by a proud people. As a Journo for years with both local and National papers, I had on numerous occasions to interview personalities who would be visiting Westcourt, the birthplace of Edmund Rice. Brothers like Curators Br. Phil O’Reilly -the big Monaghan man -Br. Liam Burke, and Br. Damien Brennan (alas, all of whom have gone to meet their maker) would have invited me to interview the notable visitors for “Radio Kilkenny”, and the Kilkenny People. Two such made a lasting impression. The iconic Donnacha O Doulainn enthralled all as he recorded his “The Highways and By-ways” in the house where Edmund Rice first saw the light of day. Another intriguing man I interviewed was Dr. Roberto Canessa, who came to Westcourt to see where Edmund Rice was born. He was one of 16 survivors who survived after the plane carrying the Christians Rugby team to Chile from Uruguay crashed in the Andes mountains, a result of a horrendous Pilot error. Roberto and his friend Nando Parado walked for 16 days across the snow- covered Andes to get help. The Rugby team were from an Irish Christian Brothers school in Montevideo, a College revered by every pupil that ever came through its gates. Dr. Roberto wrote an account of the tragedy “Alive”. I watched him weep as he looked on the bed in which Edmund Rice was born. ‘Coláiste Éamann Rís –Celebrating 154 years in Callan’ is available in outlets in Callan

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Global Report When the couple awoke to the rumble of war on February 24, they’d been dating for just over a year. Russia was invading and Ihor Zakvatskyi knew there was no more time to lose. According to an Associated Press (AP) report, Ihor fished out the engagement ring he’d bought but, until then, not yet been ready to give to Kateryna Lytvynenko and proposed. If death do us part, he figured, then let it be as husband and wife. “I did not want to waste a single minute without Katya knowing that I wanted to spend my life with her,” Zakvatskyi, 24, said as he and his 25-year-old bride exchanged vows and wedding rings this month in the capital, Kyiv. The newlyweds joined a growing army of Ukrainian couples who are speedily turning love into matrimony because of the war. Some are soldiers, marrying just before they head off to fight. Others are simply united in determination that living and loving to the full are more important than ever in the face of so much death and destruction. Ukraine’s wartime martial laws include a provision allowing Ukrainians, both soldiers and civilians, to apply and marry on the same day. In Kyiv alone, more than 4,000 couples have jumped at the expedited opportunity . Before the war, a one-month wait was the norm. After a three-month interruption in normal service, Kyiv’s Central Civil Registry Office is fully open again and working almost at a prewar pace. Since Russia withdrew its badly bloodied invasion forces from around Kyiv in April, redirecting them to front lines east and south, many people who’d fled the fighting have returned. Weddings have increased accordingly. The returnees include Daria Ponomarenko, 22, who fled to Poland. Her boyfriend, Yevhen Nalyvaiko, 23, had to stay, be-

When love turns to marriage in war-torn Ukraine

cause of rules preventing men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country. Reunited, they quickly wed — because “we don’t know

what will happen tomorrow,” she said. Jealously guarding their intimacy after their painful months apart, it was just the

two of them, without friends and family. Rather than a puffy bridal gown, she wore a Ukrainian embroidered shirt, the traditional Vyshyvanka chosen

now by many brides to stress their Ukrainian identity. In peacetime, they would have opted for a traditional wedding with many guests. But that seemed frivolous in war. “Everything is perceived more sharply, people become real during such events,” he said. Anna Karpenko, 30, refused to let the invasion crimp her wedding — she arrived in a white limousine. “Life must go on,” she said. She and her new husband dated for seven years, often talking about marriage, before the war turned the plan into action. Pavlo and Oksana Savryha already had 18 years of civil marriage under their belts before the invasion prompted them to renew their vows — this time in a small 12th-century church in the war-damaged northern city of Chernihiv. “Our souls told us to do so. Before the invasion, we were constantly running somewhere, in a hurry, and the war forced us to stop and not postpone the important decisions until tomorrow,” Pavlo said. With Oksana sheltering in the basement of their home, her husband took up arms, joining a territorial defence force, when Russian forces surrounded and bombarded Chernihiv in the initial failed stage of the invasion. Meanwhile, Russia is waging a war of attrition. Artillery shells and logistics dominate. If both sides maintain their will, economic resilience is likely to determine the outcome. Moscow’s economy has declined, but Russia’s sales of commodities will keep Vladimir Putin’s regime supplied with the necessities of war for a long time. Ukraine’s productive capacity, on the other hand, has collapsed between 40 to 50%. Almost 13 million Ukrainians have fled their homes. Kyiv cannot export most of its harvest to earn for-

eign currency. The best guesses are that Ukraine needs between €5 billion and €6 billion in assistance each month just to stay afloat. Nevertheless, heroic Ukrainians have managed to maintain basic governmental functions while supporting an army at war. The G-7 must create and commit to an economic plan worth hundreds of billions of public and private dollars to do much more than simply meet Ukraine’s immediate humanitarian needs. An economic mobilisation of that size would signal to Moscow that Russia is waging a financial contest against a coalition that it cannot defeat. Such a commitment, combined with a blueprint for recovery and reconstruction, would offer hope to Ukrainians. The Center for Economic and Policy Research, a network of economists based in London, recommends three phases: emergency aid; swift restoration of critical infrastructure and services; and building the foundation for rapid, sustainable growth. The work anticipates the human costs of divided families, labor force disruptions and children’s loss of education, in addition to the needs for physical infrastructure. The European Union’s pathway for Ukraine’s future membership guides the integration of infrastructure, standards, foreign private investment and supply chains. Ukraine must co-own the plan. In doing so, Ukraine needs to confront the obstacles that stymied reforms since independence in 1991: corruption, the domination of oligarchs who resisted competition, manipulation of the energy sector, and out-migration of talent. Transparency and use of mobile apps for procurement, backed by international judges during a transition, can counter graft and theft. Fiscal decentralisation will connect spending with local citizen watchdogs.

Now, what’s next for Americans’ rights? If the US Supreme Court’s Clarence Thomas gets his way, following the overturning of Roe v Wade, abortion rights are only the beginning of what other American rights could also be overturned. The conservative Supreme Court justice said judges should also reconsider other cases that rest on the right to privacy — specifically cases protecting contraception access and same-sex relationships. “In future cases, we should revisit other rights to privacy,” Thomas said. These cases have long been in the crosshairs for conservatives, who mock the idea that there’s a constitutional right to privacy. Yet, Justice Samuel Alito said the abortion outcome absolutely did not mean that conservatives wanted to go

after such. He even mocked the liberal justices’ dissent for drawing comparisons between “the abortion right and the rights recognised in Griswold (contraception), Eisenstadt (same), Lawrence (sexual conduct with member of the same sex), and Obergefell (same-sex marriage)”. He said: “Perhaps this is designed to stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil those other rights.”

Yet, that fear is very grounded in reality. Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the same-sex marriage case back in 2015 and currently a candidate for the Ohio statehouse, sharply criticised Justice Thomas and his comments about marriage equality. “Clarence Thomas is a Supreme Court justice appointed by humans. He is not the Supreme Deity,” he said in a statement. “The millions of lov-

ing couples who have the right to marriage equality to form their own families do not need Clarence Thomas imposing his individual twisted morality upon them. If you want to see an error in judgment, Clarence Thomas, look in the mirror.” Already, a number of Republican politicians are going down the same path as Justice Thomas, saying they would like to see cases like Griswold and Obergefell overturned, and considering legislation that could lead to contraception bans or restrictions. In interviews across the US media, many Americans described being alarmed that a nation proud of its hard-won expansion of protections for people never acknowledged by its White, male founders had begun to feel more like an unfamiliar land where established rights may melt away in

its highest court. The prospect was all the more disturbing, some said, because polls have found a majority of Americans support abortion rights and same-sex marriage. The majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., rested on the view that the individual liberties guaranteed by the 14th Amendment protect only rights that had ‘deep roots’ in states when it was ratified in 1868 — a time when abortion was prohibited in many states. Alito took pains to say the ruling would not jeopardise precedents unrelated to abortion, which he wrote is distinct because it destroys an “unborn human being,” which the state also has an interest in protecting. But other justices plainly dismissed his contention. Those other rights, the dissenters wrote, are “all part of

the same constitutional fabric,” noting that 19th century laws also did not protect the Supreme Court-recognised rights to interracial marriage or to not be sterilised without consent. They wrote that they “cannot understand how anyone can be confident that today’s opinion will be the last of its kind.” That concern has been echoed by legal experts, who said the decision could threaten other past rulings that rest on individual liberty protections and related privacy rights recognised by the court. Although Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion did not mention it, the ruling could even imperil the right to interracial marriage, which the Supreme Court recognised in its 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia, Skinner- Thompson said. (Thomas, who is Black, is married to a White woman.)

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Feature Kathleen Phelan with her purchases at the Newpark party

Attending the Newpark funday from left: Gerry Cody, Jimmy Heffernan, Michael Deegan, Frankie Kavanagh, Donny Phlan, Canice Hickey and Denis Murphy

Cllr Eugene McGuinness and Canice Hickey and Donny Phelan

Community spirit alive and well as Mayor Fitzgerald attends Newpark fun day (Photos by Pat Shortall) On Father’s day, Sunday June 19, The Kilkenny Observer attended the annual ‘Newpark community fun day’. Officially opened by newly elected mayor Cllr. David Fitzgerald, it was a day that saw a community come together and enjoy a good catch up, where fun and laughter was the call of the day. Manning some of the stalls, with proceeds going to ‘Kilkenny helping the homeless’ were volunteers Brendan and Mary Pierce and Jackie Cullen. A feature of the day was Mary Shortis Wong’s very popular ‘Lucky Dip’. With music by Sola, the day included cake sales, flower stall, book sale, bric a brac and bingo. The mayor complimented the Newpark organising committee stating that it was marvellous to see community spirit alive and well.

Mayor David Fitzgerald officially opened the Newpark fun day on father’s day

Geraldine Molloy organising the bingo at Newpark funday

Kitty and Harry Kiely

Robbie & Conor Geoghegan

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022



Shanice Stronge & Keeva Hayes

Godwin Omek, Jack Omek, and Ian Omek

Teresa Bourke Lou Fitzpatrick & Kim Buckley

Helen Larkin Goode & Mary Heffernan

Fr Tom Monahan ( Dominican) and Mons’ Dan Cavanagh.

Fr’s Dan Bollard and Tom Norris.

Hollie Scanlon Denise Brennan & Aoife Lennon

Derek & Autumn Tobin

Arsenal fan Keegan Hayes

Teresa Bourke


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


From Gowran, Cromwell led his forces to Kilkenny via Bennettsbridge. Along the way, he performed a major atrocity that struck even greater fear into the hearts of an already jittery and panic-stricken city population.

Cromwell in Kilkenny

Between Ballyhale and Castlemorris, on the northern edge of the Walshe Mountains, stood Castle Howel. Since Howel Walshe built the castle in the 13th century, the Walshes had proudly occupied it. The Cromwellians became

quickly aware of its strategic location. It was perched on mountainous land and its occupants had a wide panoramic view across the Central Plain of the county. Anxious to deny his enemies this useful facility, Cromwell

sent his troops to subdue Castle Howel. Its brave defenders were rapidly overcome. Tradition has it that, once inside the castle, the attackers received a blood-curdling order from Cromwell: Kill every man, woman, and child

that survived therein. The troops proceeded to massacre soldiers and civilians alike until not one inhabitant of the castle remained alive. The bodies were then thrown into a gaping hole-or mass grave- at the foot of the hill upon which Castle Howel had stood for more than four centuries. At the end of the 18th century, a large quantity of bones was unearthed at the spot during the building of a road from Castlemorris to Kilmoganny. This act of vengeance, news of which reached the city, left the people of Kilkenny in no doubt as to what to expect if they resisted and were then overcome by the Cromwellians. Cromwell approached the city by an old road known as Boher na Thoundish-the road of the aged or infirm. This road led into the city by the side of the present St. Patrick’s Church, continuing past Talbot’s Castle down New Street and into Blackmill. Cromwell encamped his forces briefly near the Black Quarry on a hill above Loughboy. Locals still refer to it as Cromwell’s Hill. The invading troops diverged from Boher na Thoundish at about the present junction of the Kells and Waterford roads and encamped overnight near the old St. Patrick’s Church-not to be confused with the present building in Kilkenny of the same name.

The Siege Begins… Thus it was that Cromwell arrived on the outskirts of Kilkenny on Friday, March 22nd, 1650. That evening, he called upon the Royalist and Irish garrison to surrender in a courteously worded letter to the Governor, Mayor, and Aldermen of the City. He promised them their “lives, liberties, and estates” if they lay down their arms, but warned them: “Should you choose for the worst, blame yourselves”. Sir Walter Butler, the City Governor, promptly rejected Cromwell’s demand to surrender, stating “I am commanded to maintain this city for His majesty, which by the power of God I am resolved to do”. Next day, Saturday March 23rd, Cromwell’s forces began setting up artillery to bombard the defenders. Troops seized control of St. Patrick’s Church, which was outside the city walls. On its tower they planted two demi-cannons and a culvern. A demi-cannon propelled a ball weighing up to 36 lbs. A culvern was a gun with a long barrel of relatively narrow bore. Both types of weapon had devastating potential in the context of 17th century warfare. St. Patrick’s Church afforded the gunners an excellent view of a vital section of the wall near Kilkenny Castle stables... -John Fitzgerald Continued next week…

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Kilkenny artists Aidan Harte unveils his bronze Púca Kilkenny artist Aidan Harte recently attended a ceremony in The Burren in North Clare at the Michael Cusack Centre, the birthplace of the founder of the GAA, this weekend for the official unveiling of the Púca. Inspired by Irish folklore and the locality’s equine heritage, Mr Harte’s specially commissioned

2m-tall bronze art piece is expected be a significant draw for visitors to the visitor attraction. The Michael Cusack Centre in Carron, which is located in an area historically named ‘Poll a Phúca’ or ‘Lair of the Púca’, was selected as the artwork’s home f by Clare County Council. Mr Harte told those at

the unveiling ceremony: “I want to thank the people of Carron and the Burren for making this scallywag welcome. I couldn’t pick a better backdrop. The Púca has come home. A wild place for a wild thing.” Mr. Harte, who is from Galmoy in north Kilkenny, previously worked with animation studio Cartoon

Saloon before embarking on a career as a sculptor. The artist described the Púca as one of Irish folklore’s great characters. “Douglas Hyde, the first President of Ireland (193845), described he Púca as ‘a terrible steed’ carrying mortals to fairyland on his back,” he said. “Catch him in the right

mood, said Hyde, and the Púca tells fortunes and grants wishes. People who never heard these stories want to know if the Púca is bad or good. He’s neither. Like the rest of us he’s inconsistent.” Dónal Ó hAiniféin, Chair of the Board of Michael Cusack Centre, commented, “We are delighted to be selected to host the Púca. Tá áthas an

domhain orainn go bhfuil an Púca ag filleadh abhaile go Poll a’ Phúca. We are thrilled that the fantastic Púca artwork is coming home. The Michael Cusack Centre is a most appropriate setting for this magnificent figure.” Mr. Ó hAiniféin confirmed that plans to develop an annual event celebrating the Púca were underway.

The EC to restrict tractor speeds in move to reduce farm casualties The European Commission is considering stricter rules on tractor driver licences, which would restrict the weight and speed of vehicles driven by younger users. Under the proposed changes, a two-tier system would operate, replacing the current tractor driver licence in Ireland that allows 16-yearolds to drive powerful farm machinery on a provisional learner permit. The proposal has been submitted by Ceettar (The European Organisation of Agricultural, Rural and Forestry Contractors) and is supported by the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors (FCI) in Ireland. Provisional data from the Road Safety Authority showed that between 2018 and 2021, there were 268 injury collisions involving agricultural tractors on Irish roads — almost a third (32%) of the drivers of these agricultural tractors were aged 25 years or younger. There have also been renewed warnings from the Gardai about farmers and contractors using mobile phones while driving this silage season. Statistics show those engaged in such activity “are four times more likely to crash”. The CEO of FCI, Michael Moroney, outlined how the proposed changes, yet to be discussed with the country’s farm organisations, would “raise the standard” of agricultural drivers in Ireland. Experience “Each country in Europe has its own national regulations regarding driver licensing for tractors and agricultural vehicles — some are more complex, some have one licence, and a small number of countries, such as Switzerland and Austria, have a two-tier type of licence rated to age, experience and the weight of the combination of machinery,” said Mr Moroney. “We have proposed a new ‘T1’ and ‘T’ licence system —

a ‘T1’ would be the entry level for small farming activities. The minimum age would still be 16, but the speed limit would be 40km an hour and the maximum combination weight limit would be 20t. “If somebody wanted to operate at higher weights and higher speeds than a ‘T1’, they would have to go through a driving test or examination to get a full ‘T’ licence, for example, for higher speed tractors. “A full ‘T’ licence would be tied to the machine, not its intended use — including for non-agricultural work. “It is also proposed that a full ‘T’ licence would qualify you to have a ‘BE’ licence to put a trailer behind your car. And if you have ‘C’ licence, you will qualify for a ‘T’ licence. “We believe this new system would ensure a higher standard in terms of safety on the roads, and we would like a ‘T’ licence that applies to all 27 member states to allow the free movement of workers across Europe. There is a lot of politics involved in this. All I can say is it’s on the agenda now, we are supporting it, but these things take time.” Asked why so many young people are currently driving in contractor fleets, Mr Moroney said “it is symptomatic” of an economic crisis crippling the sector. “We’re conscious that it is a difficult labour market, but our overall sector should be able to generate a level of business that can justify paying regular employees a proper wage. “But it’s not all about money. In today’s world, a lot of people don’t want to work Saturdays or anti-social hours — they want more family time and they’re not willing to do this kind of seasonal work. “We also have a sector where farmers are able to get a 60pc grant to buy machines to undercut professional contractor businesses — that undermines the ability to pay people on a full-time basis.”

Support appeal as gutten-free food costs spiral The Coeliac Society of Ireland has called for increased support to help people with coeliac disease pay for gluten-free food, after a major new study showed that they face additional costs of almost €1,000 each year. The research, from Safefood, found that the direct costs of following a gluten free diet for coeliac disease are €444 more expensive for an adult and €903 for a child. Coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune condition for which there is no cure. The only treatment is a strict gluten free diet for life. An estimated 50,000 individuals in Ireland and 18,000 in Northern Ireland have coeliac disease.

The study also found that additional healthcare costs for people with coeliac disease amount to €426 for adults and €679 for children. Sarah Keogh, Coeliac Society of Ireland dietitian and report contributor, said: “The report clearly demonstrates the financial

burden people face if they have coeliac disease: €444 for adults and €903 for the parents of coeliac children. “Coeliac sufferers have no option but to eat gluten free food and amid a cost of living crisis, with food prices rising for everyone, they will be worse hit than others. Without support to meet these extra costs, some may revert to cheaper foods that will lead to complications with their health and result in an avoidable burden on the State’s health services,” said Ms Keogh (pictured). “Coeliac disease is a lifelong medical condition. The treatment for coeliac disease is dietary – they have to live gluten free – yet there is no support

for medical card holders, under the Long Term Illness Scheme, or through the Drugs Payment Scheme. Why not? “The Safefood report recommends that gluten free food should be on prescription for people aged up to 18 years in Ireland. We urge the Government to adopt this recommendation and make a real difference to thousands of families in Ireland,” she said. PAYE workers who have coeliac disease are able to claim back 20% tax back on any food that is in the Coeliac Society’s Food List. However, this does not benefit people on lower incomes or who receive state financial support.

We are still recording a high homeless rate There were 39 people recorded as being homeless in Kilkenny during the last week of May, according to the latest Homeless Report from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. This figure remains unchanged from the previous

report (39) and once again places Kilkenny as the third highest county for individual homelessness in the South East, behind Waterford (72) and Tipperary (63). In the South East, the majority (140) of homeless people living rough are between the

ages of 25 and 44, says report. The department report defines homeless persons as being “accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities”. The department’s official homelessness statistics are

published on a monthly basis and refer to the number of homeless persons accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities during a specific count week, typically the last full week of the month.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Commemoration at the Peace Park in Kilkenny to remember those who died at the Somme

The news from Ukraine everyday reminds us of the bloody and harrowing tales that go hand in hand with war As the years go by, and the world becomes smaller, stories of present day fighting is beamed into our homes on a regular and painful basis. When the ‘Kilkenny great war memorial committee’ unveiled the fantastic memorial at Kilkenny’s Peace Park in 2018, one of the prayers on the day was for the continuation of world peace. If nothing else, the current days struggle in Ukraine shows how horrible and devastating such wars are. It places a different complexion on the gathering this Sunday when members of the Great war memorial committee join to remember those who died at the battle of The Somme. And, painful and distressing as the talk of war can be, it is important to remember and in particular to remember our fallen dead. Perhaps it is nigh on impossible for us to comprehend what those brave men and women who died for their country went through. The first day of the Somme was the deadliest day in British military history – of the 57,470 British casualties, 19,240 men had been killed. The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was fought during the First World War from 1 July to 18 November 1916. In the summer of 1916 the British launched the largest battle of the war on the Western Front, against German lines. The offensive was one of the bloodiest in human history. REMEMBERING THOSE WHO DIED AT THE SOMME This coming Sunday, at the Great War memorial, at The Peace Park, a special commemoration will take place to remember those from

Kilkenny who died at the Somme. The short ceremony will focus in particular on the one hundred and twenty six Kilkenny people who lost their lives during the Somme battle. The remembrance will consist of poetry, prayer, music and wreath laying. One poem which was read last year by John Joe Cullen sums up much of the pain and grief of war. It was composed by one of the best known war poets Tom Kettle who was killed in action with ‘B’ Company of the 9th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in an attack on German lines on 9 September 1916, near the village of Ginchy during the Somme Offensive in France. During the ceremony, which begins at 11am, The Last Post and Reveille will be played and the event will include a minutes silence as well as the raising of the National flag and the playing of the National anthem. Many Kilkenny men who died in the battle of the Som-

me are remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Authuille, France. Speaking to The Kilkenny Observer newspaper , Commandant Larry Scallan (retired) from James Stephens barracks, told of the great number of men who died on the Somme. Larry also informed the paper that seven Kilkenny men died on the first day July 1st. One of those men was 13084 Private Luke Coughlin who served in the Machine Gun Corps, who left a wife called Kate and three children James, Mary and Margaret. Luke’s army pension was paid until his youngest child reached 16 years old in 1930. Seventy two Kilkenny men of the battle of the Somme have no known grave and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Chair of The Great War Memorial Committee Donal Croghan has issued an open invitation for people to join in the 11 am start on Sunday and that those wishing to lay a wreath would be welcome to do so.

To My Darling Daughter Betty In wiser days, my darling rosebud, blown To beauty proud as was your Mother’s prime. In that desired, delayed, incredible time, You’ll ask why I abandoned you, my own, And the dear heart that was your baby throne, To die with death. And oh! they’ll give you rhyme And reason: some will call the thing sublime, And some decry it in a knowing tone. So here, while the mad guns curse overhead, And tired men sigh with mud for couch and floor, Know that we fools, now with the foolish dead, Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor, But for a dream, born in a herdsmen shed, And for the secret Scripture of the poor. (Tom Kettle)

The Great Kilkenny War memorial , unveiled in 2018

Commandant Larry Scallan ( retired) addresses the gathering at the unveiling of The Great War Memorial

Charles Parsons who will give a rendition of The Last Post and Reveille

War weary, Irish soldiers pictured at The Somme

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Food & Drink

Dine Me Come


Prawn & harissa spaghetti Prep: 45 mins Prep: 5 mins Cook: 15 mins Serves: 2

Spinach savoury muffins

Our tropical, rum-based hurricane cocktail is easy to make and sure to get your party started. Garnish with orange and cocktail cherries for a kitsch touch. Ingredients • 50ml dark rum • 50ml white rum • 1 passion fruit • 1 orange , juiced • 1 lemon , juiced • 50ml sugar syrup • 2 tsp grenadine

Method STEP 1 Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add the rums. Scoop the flesh and seeds from the passion fruit and add to the shaker along with the orange and lemon juices, sugar syrup and grenadine.

Ingredients 100g long-stem broccoli , cut into thirds • 180g dried spaghetti , regular or wholemeal • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 large garlic clove , lightly bashed • 150g cherry tomatoes , halved • 150g raw king prawns • 1 heaped tbsp rose harissa paste • 1 lemon , finely zested

STEP 2 Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic clove and fry over a low heat for 2 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard,

Prep: 5 mins Serves: 2

To garnish • 4 cocktail cherries • 2 orange slices

Try our spaghetti dinner for two, with king prawns and harissa dressing. It only takes 20 minutes to make and is healthy too – great for a midweek meal.

Method STEP 1 Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the broccoli and boil for 1 min 30 secs, or until tender. Drain and set aside. Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain, reserving a ladleful of cooking water.

Hurricane cocktail

STEP 2 Shake well until the outside of the cocktail shaker feels icy cold. Fill two hurricane glasses with fresh ice then double strain the drink into the prepared glasses. STEP 3 Garnish each one with an orange slice skewered onto a cocktail stick and a couple of cocktail cherries.

Watermelon lemonade Prep: 35 mins Serves: 8 leaving the flavoured oil. STEP 3 Add the tomatoes to the pan and fry over a medium heat for 5 mins, or until beginning to

soften and turn juicy. Stir through the prawns and cook for 2 mins, or until turning pink. Add the harissa and lemon zest, stirring to coat.

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 25 mins Makes: 12 Make these super green muffins as a first weaning food. Made with spinach, cheese and wholemeal flour, they’re a good first food for babies from six months. Ingredients • 200g fresh spinach • 100g cheddar, grated • 1 tbsp dried thyme • 2 eggs • 5 tbsp Greek yoghurt • 150g plain white flour • 150g wholemeal flour • 3 tsp baking powder • butter to grease

STEP 4 Toss the cooked spaghetti and pasta water through the prawns and harissa. Stir through the broccoli, season to taste and serve. Method STEP 1 Set the oven to 180. Place the spinach in a food processor and blitz until shredded (not pureed). Add to a bowl along with the grated cheese and dried thyme. STEP 2 Crack the 2 eggs into a bowl and mix along with the yoghurt. STEP 3 Sieve the flour and baking powder over the bowl then mix well to combine STEP 4 Spoon into a muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes before allowing to cool.

This watermelon lemonade looks amazing but is super-simple to make. It’s perfect for a kids party or makes a refreshing summer drink for kids or adults. Ingredients • 1 large or 2 small watermelons • 250ml lemon juice (from a bottle or squeeze your own) • 100g golden caster sugar • 1l bottle soda water • 1 lime , cut into slices • small handful mint • crushed ice Method STEP 1 Cut the top off the watermelon and hollow it out using a large spoon, fishing out any pips along the way. Mash the flesh through a sieve into a bowl. Put the flesh in a blender (or use a tall jug and hand blender) with the lemon juice and sugar, whizz to a purée, then stir in the soda. STEP 2 Heap some ice into the hollowed-out watermelon and fill it with the lemonade mixture. Serve the rest in a jug with the lime slices and mint. Have a bowl of extra crushed ice on the side so people can help themselves.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Community & GAA Notes

COUNTY Well done to Mary O Connell who lined out for Kilkenny in the senior camogie championship on Saturday in Nowlan Park. The Cat’s win over Offaly guarantees their progression in this years competition. Good luck to Kilkenny selector Conor Phelan and the whole squad as they try to plot victory over Clare in this Saturday’s All Ireland semi final at Croke Park.

SENIORS BEATEN Dicksboro got the better of Clara in the semi final of the St. Canices Credit Union Senior Hurling League at Palmerstown last Wednesday. 2-24 to 1-24 was how it finished. It was a nice hurling game to watch but the Boro were a little livelier throughout and deserved their 3 point win. Team - Kevin Nolan, Sean O Shea, Jack Langton 0-1, Bill Carrigan. John Murphy 0-3, David Langton 0-2f, Matt Kenny. Liam Ryan 0-5, Conor O Shea 0-1. Paul Cody 0-3, James Nolan 1-4, Shane Staunton. Chris Bolger 0-1, Jason Byrne 0-4f. Subs used Evan Whearty, Dara Glynn, Joe Connolly. JUNIORS WIN Clara’s Juniors pulled off a great victory against Mooncoin on Tuesday of last week on home soil. This game must have left Mooncoin heading back down the motorway scratching their heads as they looked the more likely winners for long periods of the game. But Clara showed great resilience and their never say die attitude was rewarded when two late points by the Prendergast brothers Ciarán and Brian gave them a 1-19 to 1-18 victory. The first half was nip and tuck and it was Mooncoin who held an 0-11 to 0-10 lead at the break. They had seemed to be the better team but some resolute defending by the Clara men kept them in the game. Evan Whearty, Tom Ryan and James Casey were prominent at this juncture. Three early Joe Connolly frees saw Clara take the lead in the second half but Mooncoin struck back with a goal and a point to go three up. Joe Connolly from a free and a pumped up Killian Phelan pointed to reduce the deficit to the minimum before Mooncoin set sail for home with three unanswered points. Then Stephen Quinlan and Ciarán Prendergast began to dominate around the middle and Brian Nolan and Mick McDonald thundered into the game. Two points from Ciarán Prendergast and Joe Connolly cut the gap to two before a flowing move by the Clara men resulted in Dara Glynn firing low to the Mooncoin net.Mooncoin equalised again before the Prendergasts stepped up with their sweet late scores to clinch the victory. There was only time for a late Mooncoin free to close out the scoring before competent referee Paddy O’ Reilly blew the long whistle to end the game. A good hard fought win for the home side. Team - Jason Barcoe, Evan Whearty, Tom Ryan,Jack Carrigan. James Casey, Mick McDonald, Brian Nolan. Alan Coleman, Stephen Quinlan. Rory O Keeffe, Joe Connolly 0-11, 0-8f, Killian Phelan 0-3. Bill Cody, Ben Nolan, Dara Glynn 1-2. Subs used Ciarán Prendergast 0-2, Brian Prendergast 0-1. COUNTRY CUP FINAL Clara School got off to a flyer in Nowlan Park last Wednesday evening and had three points on the board before Coon/ Muckalee opened their account. However once they did they gradually got on top and went on to a deserved 2-11 to 0-7 victory. The first half was very tight and the crucial score came a few minutes before the break when Jack Stapleton unleashed a crashing shot to the roof of Daniel O Brien’s net. A couple of minutes later the Coon/ Muckalee goalie made a terrific save to keep out a Ruairí Bowden-Mullen effort. This enabled his team to go in at the interval 1-5 to 0-6 ahead. A point from standout captain Jamie Walsh was all that Clara could manage in the second half, while their opponents added a further 1-7 to their total to deservedly claim their first ever Country Cup. Clara never stopped trying and their mentors Richie Mulrooney and Paddy Deegan must have been proud of the efforts of this young team. No doubt they will be back next year to have another cut at this. Team - Daniel O Brien, Sam Lawlor, Sam Corr, Liam Treacy. Robert Coogan, Jamie Walsh 0-3, 0-1x 65, Mícheál Meany. Dara Leamy 0-1, Patrick McDonald. Jack Byrne 0-1, Cathal Bennett, Ciarán Gibbons. Matthew Cooke, Aaron Carrigan 0-2, Ruairí Bowden- Mullen. Subs

The League-winning Clara U13 Roinn C team with their mentors

Killian Phelan of Clara lets rip with one of his winning shots at the Leinster Final Poc Fada held at the Nine Stones James McDonald, Oliver Butler, Daniel Lynch, Jim Carrigan, Rory Treacy, Aidan Butler. U13 ROINN C LEAGUE CHAMPIONS Clara’s U13 hurlers had a resounding 7-13 to 2-6 win over the Emeralds in the final of the Duggan Steel Roinn C League on Friday in Dunmore. For a lot of these young fellows it was compensation for the defeat they suffered in the Country Cup Schools final a couple of evenings previously. LONG PUCK Congratulations to Killian Phelan, representing Kilkenny GAA, on winning the Leinster GAA Final in the Poc Fada on Saturday 25th June. In tough windy conditions at The Nine Stones in Carlow Killian led the way from an early stage, fighting off close competition from Carlow and Dublin. John Prendergast travelled with Killian to mark for him. Killian will now compete in the National Final on the Cooley Mountains in August. Well done Killian! SENIOR CAMOGIE Clara were rather unfortunate to lose by a point to Piltown in Clara last Wednesday. With just the bare 15 players available to them, they just didn’t get the breaks they needed to get over the line. Team - Rachel Whelan, Aine McDonald, Laoise Nolan, Katie Ryan. Margaret Kehoe, Rebecca Nolan, Lucy Cody. Aisling Nolan, Siobhán Curtis. Emma Corr, Margaret O Connell, Joanne Comerford. Aoife Treacy, Keara Ryan, Peig Carrigan.

THE LATE PADDY BERGIN The people of Freshford, Lisdowney and the surrounding areas were shocked and saddened recently to hear of the unexpected passing of Paddy (Red) Bergin late of Clontubrid and formerly of Blackwood, Freshford. In his seventies and although his health was deteriorating for some time nevertheless his passing caused widespread shock and regret. Paddy who grew up in Blackwood before getting married and moving to Clontubrid. He was a member of a well known and respected family in the area. He was predeceased by his father Mick and his baby daughter Aine. Paddy (Red) as he was known to all who knew him worked for many years with Tallis Bros. He and his wife Jose reared a family of 10 boys and four girls and he was so proud of his family. He was a keen follower of the GAA and hurled for Lisdowney and was a well known figure on the sideline at all the matches over the years, especially when his sons were hurling. He was a member of Fianna Fail Cumainn for many years and was great admirer of Charlie Haughey. He loved to come to Freshford for a pint and a chat about the hurling or the politics. He will fondly remembered by all who knew him. Funeral mass took place on Wednesday of last week in Clontubrid Church followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery with a big crowd in attendance over the reposing and funeral time. He is mourned by his wife Jose, his sons Michael, Tommie, Padraig, Paul, John, Liam, Joe, Peter, Jamie and Ciaran his daughters, Sinead, Deirdre, Catherine and Sarah, his mother Mary, his brothers Matt, Sean, Micheal, Seamus and Brendan, his sisters Sheila and Breda, his grandchildren, brothers in law, sisters in law, nephews nieces and extended family to whom deepest sympathy is extended. IONAD LACHTAIN The unveiling of the bust size art piece of the late Sr. Patricia, founder of Prague House, and a native of County Kerry, took place recently at Ionad Lachtain Heritage centre. The piece of art which was created by Local artist Kevin Buckley of Woodview Freshford was presented to the museum at Ionad Lachtain Heritage Centre. The ceremony was opened by Ned Kennedy and Paul Murphy from the Prague House Committee spoke also. A poem written and recited by Teresa Dillon about Sister Patricia and her work and life during her time in Freshford was read by Teresa and then Teresa unveiled the master piece which was donned with the Kerry Jersey. The ceremony ended with a rendering of “Down in the County Kerry” sung by Kathleen Doyle with Paddy Butler giving her a hand out. Tea and refreshments were served afterwards. DAYCARE TRIP Freshford Daycare Centre are organising a day trip to Glendalough County Wicklow on Wednesday 13th July with bus leaving the GAA grounds Freshford at 8.30pm and returning at 9.30pm. The cost is €45 and names and deposit of €20 should be given to any of the following: Ann Burke 086 2030224, Marie O.Connor 086 2547439 or Paddy Butler 087 6367667 CENTRE OPEN Ionad Lachtain Church, Arts and Heritage Centre is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11.30 until 4.30. Kevin Buckley’s replica of the Shrine of St. Lachtain’s Arm is currently on display in the museum courtesy of Freshford Community Club. Also on display is another replica of the shrine created by Pádraig Donnelly. There are gifts for every occasion on sale in the crafts shop. New additions here include

souvenir Freshford greeting cards and carrier bags and clocks set in miniature hurleys and sliotars. While these sport the Black and Amber colours, they can be ordered in any county colours. Ned Kennedy’s book “Edmund Fitzpatrick Artist and Illustrator” is on sale at O’ Shea’s Shop and all Kilkenny bookshops. Cost €12. It can be ordered by post from O’Shea’s by adding post and packing. SUMMER CAMP The annual summer camp will take place at the GAA Grounds from 25th to 29th July with organiser JJ Grace and his team of helpers. Bookings are now been taken for the camp which is the oldest camp in the village and has been going for the past number of years very successfully. For more information or for booking please contact JJ on086 8629666 SCHOOL HOLIDAYS The boys and girls of St.Lachtains National School received their summer holidays on Friday last with the children of 6th Class moving on to Secondary school in September. The children of Oasis Playschool graduated on Friday evening last having finished their preschool education and will be starting National school in September.They are all wished a very happy and safe summer vacation CEMETARY MASS The annual Cemetery mass was held in St.Lachtains Church on Sunday morning. The Mas was due to be held in St.Lachtains Cemetery Freshford but due to the inclement weather had to be held in the local church with a huge crowd in attendance. This is the first time in past three years that the mass took place as the event didn’t take place for past two years due to the pandemnic. GAA St.Lachtains Junior F hurlers took on neighbours Conahy in the League final at Ballyragget on Sunday evening last and were unlucky to lost out after extra time. The local lads went into an early lead but Conahy slowly got into the game. The game was close at the break but mid-way through the second half Conahy took over and went six pts up. The Freshford boys rallied back and drew level and the game went to extra time. The first section was close enough but the second half of extra time saw Conahy go ahead with the Freshford side giving it their all to come back to within a point before Conahy pulled away to win by three pts. Team: M.Walsh, J.Cantwell, Kennedy, D.Quinn, J.Hickey, M.Nowlan J.Bowden, P Maher, C.Leahy, M.Durnan, C.Power, C.Donnelly, E.Kenny Landers, D.Killeen, C.Hickey, Subs B.Dermody, J.Bergin,J.Doheny, J.Whitty, D.Burke, J.Kennedy, K.Hughes. Well done to the team and management who put in such hard work over the past months, Management David Martin and Eamon Ryan, J.Kavanagh SPLIT THE POT The weekly lucky winner of split the pot draw last week was Alan Rafter Woodview who won himself €136. The draw takes place each Wednesday. Tickets are just €2 and the winner gets half of the takings. The draw is held each Wednesday and boxes and envelopes can be found in Kavanaghs Bar, Mace, O’Shea’s corner shop, Girls& Guys Hairdressers, Oasis Creche, Freshford Creamery, Freshford Butchers and Prague House. This months proceeds are going to Freshford Community Café. The Committee would ask you to Please support this fund raiser. SOCCER All is quite on the field of play for Freshford Town as the season has now finished for juniors and schoolboys. The training sessions for U8s which was held each Saturday morning from 12noon to 1pm at the Sportsfield at Woodview finished up recently for the summer holidays HOME FROM DOWN UNDER Visiting Freshford at present from down under Australia is Paul Deacon and his family at his family home at Buncrussia Street. The family emigrated to Australia some years ago and havent been home since before the start of the pandemic. WINNER Congratulations to local lady Claire Dermody who is a member of Kilkenny City Harriers on winning 10 mile ladies race recently. Congrats also to Aoife Murphy and Emma Daly who represented St.Lachtains in the Poc Fada completion at Gowran race course recently.] COMMUNITY ALERT Freshford /Three castles Community Alert group remind you that anyone wishing to join the text alert scheme or have a personal alarm installed should contact any of the above Committee. It is 10 euro per phone number. New members are always very welcome. The group wish to thank everyone who has joined for their continued support. Please contact any of the committee members to discuss, John Bergin 0862592535, Jacinta Power 0877658672, Mick Cormack 0863535293 or Anna Morrissey 0858277965. PARISH NEWS Mass is held in the Parish Church each Wednesday morning at 9.30am and on Sunday morning at 11am.wiith Mass in Tulla church on Saturday evenings at 7.30pm. 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. Parish office hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 1pm. 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

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Community & GAA Notes always welcome a new face. For more information please contact Training and Development Officer – Michael Wall on 0868359891 or email him at 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 LOCAL LOTTO Results - for June 20th Winning Numbers : 12. 32, 35. No Winner. Results for Draw for 5 x € 30. F. Bradley ( Townsend’s ),Kathleen Peters ( Jimmy McCormack ),CJ Delaney ( Delaneys), Izzy ( Pat Comerford ), Ken Moore ( Nellie Maher ). Jackpot next week € 1,600 Venue : Delaney’s Bar Monday June 27th. 9pm All Welcome. KELLS SCOUTS Kells Scouts Barbecue ,fundraiser in Delaneys Motte and Bailey Pub Kells Sunday 3rd July 4pm - 7pm. All welcome. Please support ROSARY Rosary in Dunnamaggin: The rosary will take place the first Monday of every month during the summer at 8pm at Our Lady’s Grotto Baurscobe, Dunnamaggin. All are welcome DUNNAMAGGIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP Unfortunately due to the inclement weather last weekend we had to cancel and reschedule the Barn Dance to a date still to be decided in August. Our next market will take place on July 31st. In the meantime with funding received from Kilkenny County Council’s Amenity Fund we are developing a Remembrance Walk through the trees to the side of St Leonard’s Church. This inclusive, reflective, meditative space will remember all those we have lost, particularly those who have died during the pandemic and especially those we could not grieve for in the usual Irish way due to the restrictions in place at the time. We are hosting a planning meeting to listen to the thoughts and ideas of all the residents of the Dunnamaggin Parish area. This will take place on Tuesday July 5th at 7pm starting at the church. We would encourage young and old to attend and share with us how they envisage the Remembrance Walk. We would also like to acknowledge funding received by the Community Development Fund to pay for our insurance costs. This grant is invaluable enabling DDG to host the monthly markets and other events in the community. Keep an eye on our facebook page Dunnamaggin Community News or text 087 7565376 to be included in our Whats App group to keep you up to date with what is happening and what we have planned. DUNNAMAGGIN LADIES FOOTHBALL CLUB Our U8s had a great morning at a blitz in Thomastown. The girls all played brilliantly against Piltown, Tullogher and Thomastown. Well done to all the girls and mentors on a very successful outing and a big thank you to Thomastown LGFC for hosting GARDENING COURSE Calling all green fingers. We are running a gardening course here at Knockdrinna Café in Stoneyford, with a view to increasing our own skills and spreading the knowledge to others who are interested,The first course will run on Thursday mornings from 10 to 1pm for 12 weeks. The course is free but there is an optional fee of €5 per morning to cover Tea/Coffee and a scone. If you’re interested please get in touch we have a few places left. We are also considering a shorter evening course, please get in touch if you think you might be interested in that. Main Street, Stoneyford, Kilkenny, 086 8957716 WE ACT @ CULTURE NIGHT We Act is collaborating with Culture night to host a special programme of events aimed at sharing your organisations with the public. Whether you’re in the arts space or you run overseas aid programmes, if you’re a tiny rural youth centre or a large mental health charity in a city, we want you to open your doors and showcase what you do for one evening, on Friday, 23 September 2022. We Act is about breaking down barriers and increasing understanding between the public and the sector. This is an exciting opportunity to connect with current or potential volunteers, supporters, participants or service users and spotlight your work, and the impact you have. It’s also a chance for all of us to be part of a vibrant national event, that showcases the best and brightest parts of our culture. To find out more and to get involved, visit: DROICHEAD FAMILY RESOURCE CENTRE CALLAN Droichead Family Resource Centre Callan are now enrolling for the Moving on Programme commencing in September 2022. Get Driver Theory, Driving Lessons and Test preparation while training in Employment Skills including Safepass, HACCP and First Aid. Training allowance paid subject to DSP entitlements. For more information contact Droichead Family Resource Centre on (056) 7755660. We also have a Fully Funded Part Time Course starting in September 2022 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.30am-12.30pm. If you are interested in Healthcare and would like a QQI Level 5 Healthcare Support Qualification, contact Back to Education Initiative on (056) 7701020 or email for more information. Fáilte Isteach, conversational English classes in Droichead Family Resource Centre every Thursday from 9.30-11.30am & 6.30-8.30pm. For more information contact Carmel on (083) 2098069 or We are now taking names for Toddlers and Tea our Playgroup for toddlers and their grown ups for September. It is a weekly, 90 minute drop in session at Droichead FRC. We have messy/ sensory play activities every week, free play, time indoors and outside plus a story

and songs at the end of every session . Get in touch with Jess to book or for some more info (085) 8564950. Want to know what is happening at Droichead Family Resource Centre? Text “what’s on “to (085) 8564950 or (083) 2098069 to be added to our What’s on at Droichead FRC WhatsApp Group. You can also follow Droichead FRC on Facebook or Instagram or give us a call on (056) 7755660 to keep up to date with all the services, supports and community groups available at Droichead. THE KILKENNY COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL The festival takes place on Sunday 3rd July featuring a host of top-class Country Singers. Performing on the day will be Mike Denver, Cliona Hagan, Robert Mizzell, Trudi Lalor, Jimmy and Claudia Buckley with backing band The Conquerors. Tickets now on Sale and for further information, check out or email GOWRAN PARK Tickets are now on sale for Ladies Day on Saturday, July 23rd at www. GOWRAN PITCH AND PUTT The annual Scratch Cups took place at the weekend. Over 130 players from across Leinster and Munster turned up to take part in showery and blustery conditions. SENIOR RESULTS Winner-Michael Fennell -Lakeside 92. Runner Up - Declan FreemanFermoy 93 3rd- Eddie Hennessy-Tramore 94 INTER RESULTS Winner - Dan Power-St Patricks 97 (B18). Runner Up - Nicholas Brennan-Gowran 97 3rd - Dylan Hanrahan-Gowran 99 (B18) JUNIOR RESULTS Winner -Thomas Maher -Bagenalstown 105- countback Runner Up- David Franklin-St Patricks 105 3rd - Kieran Claffey - Erry 107 LADIES Ladies 0-9 - Chrissie Sheedy - Ryston 100. Ladies 10+ - Lorraine Creed -Hillview Thanks to our local sponsors ,Gowran Pharmacy, Farm & Industrial and Daly Farrell Chartered Accountants. CEMETERY MASSES Gowran mass takes place on Tuesday, 5th July 7.30pm and Dungarvan on Wednesday, 6th July 7.30pm. GOWRAN AC The new date for the Awards Night is Friday, August 26th at 8pm at the race course pavilion. The awards night is a fun night, but also recognises the performance of our senior, junior and juvenile athletes of all disciplines. Well done to David Denieffe on his appointment to Leinster’s Level 5 NTOs. GAA Juniors lose league final to Thomastown Disappointment for the Young Irelands Junior A Team as they lost out 1-20 to 1-12 to Thomastown in the League Final in Bennettsbridge on Sunday Evening. Thomas Drennan was Young Irelands goalscorer and at half-time they trailed 0-13 to 1-6. Sean Kehoe pointed two frees early in the Second-Half to narrow the gap to two points(0-13 to 1-8), but despite the best efforts of Kilkenny U-20 All-Ireland winner Paddy Langton, Thomastown dominated over the last 20 minutes and ran out resounding winners. The two clubs will play one another again in the first round of the Championship on Saturday July 16th. Young Irelands Gowran: Peter Hutchinson, Philip O’Donnell, Cathal Darcy, Michael Lennon, Sean Middleton, Emmet Byrne, Paddy Langton(0-3 0-1 Sideline Cut), Padraig Naddy, Jimmy Lennon(0-1), Sean Kehoe(0-4 0-3 frees), Chris Nolan(0-1), Killian Carey, Conor Fitzpatrick, Thomas Drennan(1-1), David Holland(0-2 frees), Subs: Dylan Carey, Charlie Fitzgerald, Kieran Byrne. INTER COUNTY TEAMS Very Best Wishes to the Young Irelands Representatives involved in Inter-County action this weekend. Michael Carey is expected to start again at Right-Half Back for Kilkenny’s All-Ireland Semi-Final against Clare on Saturday Evening from 5.30pm, while at the same time Steffi and Tiffany Fitzgerald along with selector Pat O’Neill are away to Galway for Kilkenny’s final group game in the Championship.Victory for Kilkenny will qualify them for a Semi-Final on Saturday July 23rd. Meanwhile, Ciara O’Keeffe will be in action for the Kilkenny Intermediates as they travel to Meath for their final group game of the Championship. They will be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of losing to Wexford last Saturday. D CLUB LOTTO Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results June 23rd. Nos 2-19-24-28. Jackpot €2600 1st Prize €50 Patricia Treacy c/o Online. 2nd Prize €25 Gina Gaule c/o G Gaule 3rd Prize €25 Philip McCabe c/o Online. 4th Prize €25 Eoin Gough c/o Online Hurlers Co Op Ticket Paddy Ryan c/o Paddy Maher.Promotors Prize Tommy Hackett Next week Draw €2750 SUMMER CAMP 2022 Save the date for our hugely popular Dicksboro GAA and Camogie Club Multi Activity Summer Camp. Week 1 - July 18th - 22nd. Week 2 - August 15th - 19th. Booking System Now Open. FINAL DATE FOR BOOKING 6th July NEW THIS SUMMER Dicksboro GAA and Camogie Club are delighted to launch a 3 Day Development Camp. For Ages 12-16’s. 10am to 1pm 8, 9 & 10th of August €45. Organised by Dicksboro Games Promotional Officer Philly Campion. TO BOOK visit Queries to SENIOR HURLERS St Canices CU County League. Well done to our Senior Players who came out on top in the Semi Final in against Clara GAA. Full time Score Dicksboro 2-25 Clara 1-24. Well done lads. JJ Kavanagh JHLWell done to our Junior lads in the JJ Kavanagh JHL who beat Erin’s Own on a scoreline of 0-24 to 0-11. Great win. Juveniles The u6’s Go Games continued this week as the Boro lads welcomed O’Loughlin Gaels for a great evening of hurling. Well done to all involved keep up the great work. KILKENNY CAMOGIE Well done to the Senior Camogie ladies on a great win against Offaly in Nowlan Park a day our own club girls Aoife Prendergast, Ciara Phelan, Niamh Phelan & Asha McHardy. Hard luck to the Intermediates and our Senior Player Jane Cass who lost out to a strong Wexford Team. THORNBACK MASS Thornback Graveyard Mass will be celebrated on Friday 1st July at 7.30pm. PRETTY WEDDING Saturday, June 18th was a happy and joyful occasion for Leanna McCluskey and Shane Doherty when they celebrated their wedding in St. Brigid’s Church, Ballycallan. Leanna’s parents Tomás and Pamela together with Shane’s parents Michael and Oonagh shared in the joy and happiness of their daughter and son. Leanne’s sister Charlotte was maid of honour and her bridesmaids were Michelle Doherty and Eimear Flynn. Shane’s brother Adrian was bestman and his groomsmen were Ronan Doherty and Brian O’Donoghue. Pat O’Keeffe and Gerard Doherty read the readings. The prayers of the faithful were superbly read by Kellyann Doyle, Leanne Dunne, Michael Harney, Sarah O’Keeffe, Rory McCluskey and Charlie McCluskey. Shane and Leanna’s mothers, Pamela and Oonagh, brought the bread and wine to the altar. Siobhan Richards read the communion reflection entitled “Wedding Day”. Elaine Heffernan’s choice of music was appropriate. Fr. Liam Taylor, P.P. was the celebrant of the nuptial mass. Afterwards, Leanna and Shane with their parents, family, friends and guests retired to Lyrath Hotel where the joyful celebration continued. We wish Leanna and Shane many years of love and peace as they commence married life. PARISH PILGRIMAGE September 8th is the set day for our parish pilgrimage to Knock, August 2016 was the last time we were able to visit Our Lady’s Shrine. It is hoped that many of our parish community will avail of this great spiritual event. Now that Tullaroan and Freshford are part of the cluster of parishes this pilgrimage is open to them also. Please give your names to Elsie Dooley, Mary Egan and Fr. Liam Taylor, P.P. LOTTO RESULTS Graigue Ballycallan and St. Brigid’s Camogie Club weekly lotto results for 20th June were as follows. Numbers drawn were 8:10:27:29. Three lucky dip winners of €50 each were Brigid Fitzpatrick, Naoise Murphy and Kathleen McAliskey. Sellers prizes went to Josie Ronan and Miriam Purcell. Next week’s jackpot will be €4400. MOUNT CARMEL DRAW RESULTS FOR MAY €200 Claire Fogarty, Mullinahone; €100 Vincent Grace, Clonkil; €30 each went to Ignatius O’Neill, Westcourt; Molly Butler, Kilmanagh; Mary Ann Brennan, Gortnaglough; Cathriona Purcell c/o Sr. May; Ann Walsh, 9 Abhainn Ri; Pat Fitzpatrick c/o Lena; Keelan & Jared Lynch c/o Promoter; Cian Maher, Slade; Una Stapleton, Coolalong; Elizabeth Lanigan, Rossenany. Promoters’ prizes went to Ethel Norman, Margaret Ryan and Breda Butler. KILMANAGH NOTES Anyone wishing to submit news items, events, announcements etc. can do so by email only to If you have any photos that you would like included, please send as an attachment. TUBORG PREMIER LEAGUE The League got off to a fantastic night last Friday night, in the group games PJ Byrne and his wife Liz were drawn against each other, PJ is a Wexford County Player who has won an All Ireland Championship with them while Liz also is a County Player with the Wexford Ladies having won 4 All Ireland Championships with her team. In the first leg PJ left 48 while Liz was on 132, Liz went in and hit Treble 20 Treble 20 and Double 6 to win the leg and the crowd went mad, cheering and clapping for Liz after her fantastic finish. On to the last 16 games, PJ Byrne and Trevor Vallely played the first game and it was a great game, PJ Byrne took out a 156 to go 1 leg up but Trevor kept hitting high scores and his finishing was great, so Trevor went on to win the game 3 / 1. The next game was between Mick Kelly and Tommy Cleere, Mick got off to a great start winning the first 2 legs but Tommy played brilliant darts to get it back to 2 legs all but Mick hit a 14 darter to seal the win. The 3rd last 16 game was between Mick Dwyer Jnr and Jim Shanahan, although Jim played very well against Mick Jnr, he just couldn’t hit his doubles and Mick Jnr went on to win the game 3 / 0 . On to the next game and what a game it was, Kieran Lennon against Cian Cullen, Kieran is playing fantastic darts at the moment but Cian is finishing unreal, in one of his legs he hit a 14 dart leg taking out 86 with 2 darts, Cian went on to win the game 3 / 1. The next game was between David Murphy and Billy Murphy, David is on top of the league at the moment but it made no difference to Billy, he played brilliant darts in the game but David showed why he’s on top by fighting back to win the game 3 / 2 . Ritchie O Hanlon and Eric Boczon was the 6th game and it was a ding dong battle all the way, Eric won the first leg, Ritchie won the next 2 legs and Eric won the 4th leg to set up a final leg, Ritchie took out the last leg in 15 darts to secure the win. On to the penultimate game and it saw Tommy Dalton against Michael ( Sully) O Sullivan, Tommy, as I said last week is throwing brilliant darts at the moment and showed glimpses of it in the game, Sully played good darts against Tommy but couldn’t finish in 2 off the legs and he paid the price for it, Tommy went on to win the game 3 / 1. The final game in the last 16 was between Kieran Furlong and Mickey O Keeffe, Kieran is up to number 4 in the league table at the moment and is playing brilliant darts, he took out a great

148 to win the 4th leg to make the game 2 / 2, but Micky pulled out all the stops to win the last leg and go on to win the game. Down to the Q / Final’s, the first Q / Final game was between Trevor Vallely and Mick Kelly, Mick won the first leg with a brilliant 13 darter but it wasn’t enough for him to win the game as Trevor played brilliant, Trevor took out a fantastic 161 hitting Treble 20 Treble 17 and the Bull to go 2 / 1 ahead and then finished off the game with a 15 darter. The 2nd Q / Final was between Mick Dwyer Jnr and Cian Cullen, the 2 local players put on a show for anyone watching it , Cian started better than Mick Jnr by taking the first 2 legs but Mick Jnr is well known for his battleing qualities and brought the game back to 2 / 2 , going into the final leg it was any ones game to win, Cian started off great but Mick Jnr hit top from and went on to win the final leg. The 3rd Q / Final saw David Murphy and Ritchie O Hanlon play, Ritchie took off as if he was going to wipe the floor with David, he started with a 14 darter and then he had a 13 darter to go 2 / 0 up , David Murphy is not one known to give up and by God he didn’t, he rattled off 3 legs on the trot throwing fantastic darts, he hit a 15 darter a 14 darter and closed out the game with another 15 darter to win the game 3 / 2 , Ritchie O Hanlon played great darts all night but he came up against David Murphy at the top of his game. The last Q / Final was between Tommy Dalton and Mickey O Keeffe another game between 2 local players, Mickey played great stuff winning the first leg but it was the only leg he won as Tommy who I said earlier is playing unbelievable at the moment, deserves to be in the S / Final. The first S / Final was Trevor Vallely verse’s Mick Dwyer Jnr , this game had everything from high scoring and high finishing, Trevor started off with the best leg of the night hitting an unbelievable 11 dart leg real TV stuff, not to be outdone Mick Jnr then hit a 138 finish and then followed that finish with a brilliant 144 check out, Trevor hit back by taking the 4th leg to make it 2 legs all, going into the final leg Trevor threw great darts to put Mick Jnr out, very hard luck to Mick Jnr who played very good darts all night. The last S / Final was between David Murphy and Tommy Dalton, this was a game that if it was on TV everyone would be talking about, David Murphy went in and had a 16 darter then Tommy went in and had a 15 darter, Tommy then had another 15 darter to go 2 legs to 1 up but David came in and had a 14 darter to make it 2 legs all, Tommy won the game with another 16 darter to make the final, David Murphy is probably throwing the best darts he has for a long time. On to the Final, Trevor Vallely against Tommy Dalton, who ever won this game would become the 7th different player to win the final on the night, Trevor got off to a great start winning the first 2 legs but Tommy hit back by winning the 3rd leg, Tommy missed a shot at a double to make it 2 legs each and Trevor didn’t give him another shot as he took out the Double 20 to seal the game, Tommy Dalton is a player to watch in the future as he is playing brilliant darts at the moment. I will see ye all on Friday night for another great night of Darts.

Kieran Furlong, Billy Murphy, Tommy Cleere 3 local dart players enjoying their night in Andy’s Bar Ballyhale at the Tuborg Premier League Darts Championship

Tommy Dalton and Trevor Vallely

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Hurling matters


TJ Reid’s accuracy will be crucial

Cats seek to lower the Banner

Final berth up for grabs in Croker clash GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final

Photos by INPHO Eoin Cody can be sure of close attention

Kilkenny vs Clare Croke Park, July 2nd


A place in the 2022 All-Ireland senior hurling final is the prize on offer when Kilkenny face-off against Clare tomorrow evening (throw-in 5:30pm) in the Capital. The travelling faithful from both counties’ will be Dublin-bound on Saturday, as they hope to cheer their team onto a Liam McCarthy decider against the winners of Sunday’s clash between Limerick and Henry Shefflin’s Galway. Before the Cats and Banner start dreaming of the decider, they will lock horns at headquarters in what many have cited as a clash too close to call. The bookies have Clare as marginal favourites, and that will suit Brian Cody and his charges. Kilkenny have taken the shortest, most direct route to the last four, whereas the Banner negotiated a tricky quarter-final clash with Wexford which saw them prevail by 4 points, having overturned a 6-point deficit with around 10 minutes left on the clock. Brian Lohan will know that his side cannot afford to let the cats build up a

6-point lead in similar fashion, as Cody’s men are unlikely to surrender such an advantage coming down the home straight. Meetings between these two sides in the championship are not plentiful, we are still in single figures. The most recent meeting came at the same stage of the competition, back in August 2006, when the Cats prevailed by 8 points, thanks to a massive 1-13 haul from, yes, you guessed it, one Henry Shefflin. The Banner’s only championship win over the Noresiders came in 1997, when Ger Loughnane’s outfit had a 4-point semifinal win over the men in stripes. Leinster Champions Kilkenny will look to continue their decent record over Clare tomorrow, and showcase their provincial status to good effect. Munster sides appear to have dominated the All-Ireland series for the last few years with one of ‘their lot’ winning Liam in each of the last four years. In 2017, 2018 and 2021, three of the last four standing were Munster teams. Same story in the National League. Up until Clare turned the tide against Darragh Eagan’s Wexford a fortnight ago, it looked like Leinster would provide 3 out of 4 of this year’s semi-finalists. Lohan’s charges had different ideas. Had you have told me that the Model County would hold the mighty Tony Kelly

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Hurling matters to just 0-4, I would probably have picked the Yellowbellies to edge the result, but the Banner outscored Wexford by 1-9 to 0-2 in the final 10 minutes at Semple Stadium to earn a semi-final berth. So, let’s look at the opposition. Clare have been a breath of fresh air in this seasons hurling championship. The Banner had the audacity to take the seemingly unbeatable Limerick to extra time in the Munster decider, and lost out narrowly by a goal. Their ‘main man’ Tony Kelly hit something like 0-13, including a sublime sideline cut to force extra-time. The accuracy from the placed ball will once again be crucial. We have TJ (and Alan Murphy), they have Tony (and Peter Duggan). As I mentioned earlier, Wexford kept Tony Kelly relatively quiet. Lohan sprung both Aron Shanagher (1-2) and Shane Meehan (0-2) from the bench, and their impact as telling. In Shane O’Donnell, they have an experienced leader on the ‘40, and his battle with possibly Richie Reid could be key. In defence Lohan will look to Conor Cleary to keep things tight. Cleary is a sticky, tight man-marker – it will be interesting to see who his boss had earmarked him for tomorrow. Could it be TJ? Clonlara’s John Conlon will marshal his defence from No.6 and will hopefully be in for a busy evening at the Jones’s Road venue. If it’s Fitgerald and Reidy in the engine room, Brian Cody will be hoping to least break even here. Adrian Mullen has been mightily impressive around the middle third in recent games and his Clare counterparts will have been briefed on the Ballyhale man’s long-range shooting ability. Cats boss Cody will no doubt have taken note while on spectating duty in Thurles, of the joy Wexford had when they pumped the ball into Conor McDonald and Lee Chin. The quick direct ball into the Clare

full-back line caused a certain amount of discomfort for the Banner defence. Surely Walter Walsh will be licking his lips at the prospect of this. I know I would fancy TJ plucking a couple of those balls out of the air if he’s left inside from time-to-time. The continued good form of the 2 Mikey’s, Bolger and Carey will be vital to the Kilkenny cause tomorrow. There have been some pundits that have called for Huw Lawlor to be moved to ‘6’ in order to prevent the opening up on the Cats defence down the middle. I expect Brian Cody to have a plan for all eventualities. His bench may hold a few aces as well. Alan Murphy, Blanchfield, Leahy, Buckley, Browne etc. Eoin Cody can obviously play a starring role at headquarters tomorrow. The talented Shamrocks attacker has been a little quieter this season than probably even he himself would have expected. I’d like Eoin to embrace Croker and revel it its wide-open spaces. If he’s on form and gets a couple of early scores, the worlds his oyster. Getting back to the battle of the provinces, its striking and stark that Kilkenny have only won three of their last nine championship matches against sides from Munster. What Limerick recently; and the likes of Waterford and Cork have done is translate U21 and U20 silverware into senior success. Before this season, the last 10 winning teams in these age groups have come from Munster. That is no coincidence. Don’t forget that the cats were the last side to defeat the Treaty County in championship hurling, in 2019. Since we last had Liam on Noreside, our boys have succumbed to Munster opposition every year. Tipperary and Waterford twice apiece, Limerick and last year, the Rebels of Cork. Tomorrow is a chance to lay these ghosts to rest. Tommy Walsh - will be hoping to keep it tight at the back

>> SHERRY SAYS... 2015 is a lifetime ago. We have been through (hopefully) a global pandemic, Brexit, (don’t start me on that), Donald Trump, numerous Eurovision failures, 100 soccer matches with Georgia and a lot of Limerick winning hurling matches. In order to prevent Clare from joining the ‘Munster bunch’ in ending our quest for Liam, Brian Cody will have been working tirelessly on a plan to combat Brian Lohan’s men. I’m sure Brian Cody has gone into every championship match since beating Galway in the 2015 decider, thinking that the knives are getting a little sharper as each season passes. Tomorrow’s squad contains a few men from our last lifting of Liam. Eoin Murphy, TJ & Richie Reid, The Walsh’s, Padraig and Walter and Cillian Buckley. Tony Kelly is one of those hurlers that you would want in your team, he certainly has that star quality that’s normally with the admission fee alone. We’ll have to nullify the Ballyea man’s threat. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the Banner are a 1-man team. They’re most definitely not. Shane O’Donnell, Conor Cleary and David Reidy are all a bit handy. Are you better to take the direct route to the semi-finals? Or are you better having the extra game to keep you moving and possibly prevent a little rustiness creeping in? I’m sure Mr. B Cody will have left no stone unturned in his team’s preparation for tomorrow. The referee will have a big part to play in Saturday’s encounter. I’d love this to be a free-flowing tough, physical battle, no quarter given by either side, a game that Gaels will talk about for years, but semi-finals are for winning and to be honest, I don’t really care how Kilkenny get over the line – just as long as they do.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Motors Classifieds

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Planning Memoriams/Miracle notices prayers

Planning notices KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL We-Amy Dowling and Edwin O Meara, hereby apply for Planning Permission for minor external and internal alterations to existing house on site, to erect a single storey extension to the rear of ex house, for new treatment plant and percolation area together with all associated site works to lands located at Cotterellsbooly, Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny R95HWX2. 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

KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL Planning Permission is sought by James Neary and Fiona Sheehy for the renovation and extension of an existing dwellinghouse and the extension and material change of use of adjoining existing agricultural outbuildings to domestic use, which will include a separate granny flat, and will involve part demolition, alteration and reconstruction of same, and to carry out all associated site development works, including the decommissioning of existing septic tank and percolation area and the installation of a new wastewater treatment unit & percolation area at Blessington, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. R95 R662. 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.

KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL I Aidan Kelly Agricultural Design & Planning Services (ADPS, 085 7466211, ) intends to apply to Kilkenny County Council on behalf of my clients Michael and Conor Murphy. Permission to construct (I) Milking parlour incorporating dairy, plant, storage, Meal Bin, Rain Water storage tank, holding yard with crush/ drafting yard, underground effluent tank with flow channels and all associated site works at Banse Glebe, Kilmanagh, 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.

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

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022

Memoriams / Miracle Prayers

Young Irish Film Makers on theKENNEDY set of PAULINE the National Youth (NEE O’GORMAN) Film ANNIVERSARY school 2019 20TH

In loving memory of Pauline, late of 12 Hazel Grove, Kilkenny whose anniversary occurs on July 10th

Remembering you is easy As we do it everyday But missing you is a heartache That never goes away. Thank you Mammy for the good and wonderful years We love and miss you everyday Till we meet again your loving husband Colm children, Caroline, John Paul and Declan and your grandchildren. Anniversary Mass will be celebrated on Sunday 3rd July at 10.00am at St. Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown.


Young Irish Film Makers on the set ofRYAN GERALDINE the National Youth BIRTHDAY REMEMBRANCE Film school 2019

Young Irish Film Makers on the set of ELLEN DELANEY the National Youth 7TH ANNIVERSARY Film school 2019

In loving memory of Josephine Ryan, Greenfields, Freshford Road, Kilkenny whose 8th anniversary occurs at this time.

Birthday remembrance of Geraldine Ryan, Greenfields, Freshford Road, Kilkenny whose birthday occurs at this time.

In loving memory of our dear Mother Ellen, late of 16 McAuley Place, Kilkenny who died on June 27th 2015.

Loved and missed every day. Phil, Fran, Martin, Anne, Richard grandchildren and great grandchildren R.I.P

Missed and loved daughter Nini, sons Eoghan & Niall sisters & brothers, grandchildren, daughter-in-law Jenny and her many many friends. R.I.P

They say there is a reason They say time will heal But neither time nor reason Will change the way we feel When days are sad and lonely And everything goes wrong We seem to hear you whisper Cheer up and carry on Always remembered by her daughters Kathleen, Theresa and family.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022


Miracle Prayers

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

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

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.S.

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

St. Anthony Prayer,

O Holy St. Anthony gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms. The gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen M.R.

The Miracle Prayer

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

The Miracle Prayer

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



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 01 July 2022