Kilkenny Observer 20th January 2023

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See pages 25 – 40 Friday 20 January 2023 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W: FREE EDITION Pages 8 , 12 and 14 Hospital Crisis Our top columnists on their own experiences Goffs Thyestes Chase 2023 16 page special inside  
2 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Advertisement

That’s rich, poor us

e number of Irish people with individual wealth of more than €46.6 million has more than doubled over the last decade, according to an Oxfam Ireland study.

However for every €93.15 of wealth created in the last 10 years, €31.67 has gone to the richest 1% and less than 50c to the bottom 50%.

e international charity’s report says that for the rst time in a quarter of a century: “ e rich are getting richer, while the

When it IS ‘rocket’ science!!!

poor are getting even poorer.”

It is calling on the Government to apply a wealth tax on elite Irish wealth at graduated rates of 2, 3 and 5% above a high threshold of €4.7m.

Such a levy would raise €8.2bn annually and create a potential to “transform Irish public services in health, housing and education while also delivering on our international and climate commitments”.

According to the Forbes World’s Billionaires List 2022,

the late Indian-Irish tycoon Pallonji Mistry was the richest person in Ireland last year with a net worth of more than $15bn (€13.9bn).

Mr Mistry, who died at the age of 93 last June, controlled Mumbai-based engineering and construction company, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

Second on the Irish list were brothers John and Patrick Collison, from Limerick, who cofounded payments company Stripe.

Patrick Collison won the Young Scientist competition in 2005 at 16. He later moved to the US and in 2008 sold his rst software company, Auctomatic, founded with his younger brother, for €3m. According to the Forbes list both men had a net worth of more than $9.5bn (€8.7bn) each in 2022.

Meanwhile, Oxfam has called for immediate action to tackle a post-Covid widening in global inequality after revealing that almost two-thirds of the

new wealth amassed since the start of the pandemic has gone to the world’s richest 1%.

In report to coincide with the annual gathering of the global elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland the charity said the best-o had pocketed $26 trillion (€21tn) in new wealth up to the end of 2021. at represented 63% of the total new wealth, with the rest going to the remaining 99% of people.

See Pages 14 and 24

Action needed on meds shortage

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune says an EU wide approach is needed to solve the signi cant medicine shortages in Ireland and across Europe.

Speaking during an emergency debate in the European Parliament, MEP Clune welcomed the Commission’s plans to oblige manufacturers to guarantee supplies and encouraged a thorough evaluation of EU-wide methods of procurement, purchasing, storage and distribution of key medicines.

See Page 4

Breakthrough in blood pressure


‘Let Me Put A Filter On at: A Colourful View Into Dyslexia’ at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS Dublin.

However, huge congratulations to Presentation Secondary School’s win at competition where place in the category, Social and Behavioural Sciences - Intermediate Age group, went to students Morette Alyward and Roisin McElwee for their project entitled ‘ A Look Inside Our Minds, When We Are At Our Most Dangerous’ Congrats Morette and Roisin who are pictured in our special report on Page 6.

LEO Kilkenny creates 103 new jobs

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD has announced the annual results of the Local Enterprise Ofces (LEOs) for 2022 which showed that Local Enterprise O ce Kilkenny supported companies created 103 jobs in 2022.

is gure was up signicantly from the 81 that were

created by LEO Kilkenny in 2021.

e net jobs created supported clients in 2022 was 103, which takes into account businesses that amalgamated, ceased trading and those that transferred on to Enterprise Ireland.

e new gures show that the LEO Kilkenny nancially supported 182 small

businesses in their portfolio across the County and these companies in turn employ 1077 people.

e total national gures for the Local Enterprise Ofces across the country were announced with the LEOs now supporting 37,863 jobs across 7,221 companies.  In 2022 there were 7,870 new jobs created by LEO clients

companies with a net job creation gure of 3,447.   is was up 10% nationally on 2021.  From the jobs created, 84% were outside of the Dublin region.

e LEOs also provide substantial funded supports to thousands of other small businesses across the country with programmes such as the Trading Online Voucher,

Lean for Micro and Green for Micro along with training and mentoring.

e Local Enterprise O ces located in the local authorities and funded through Enterprise Ireland support thousands of small Irish businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide.

*For more see

A 10-minute scan could allow the detection and cure of the most common cause of high blood pressure, a new study suggests. Researchers used a new type of CT scan to light up tiny growths in a hormone gland and cure high blood pressure by their removal.

According to the study, one in 20 people with high blood pressure have these growths.

See Page 10

Tough times with energy crisis

With in ation increases, interest rate hikes and the continuing energy crisis, 2022 was a tough year for many of our readers.

Areas that a ects us all are the cost of electricity/gas and petrol/ diesel.

Late last year the cost of energy began to fall, but the cost of gas, for example, is about 63% above the average price for 2021.

John Ellis, Page 16

3 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM SPORTS E: ACCOUNTS E: T: 056 777 1463 SALES E: T: 087 382 0109 or 087 342 1958 FEATURES E: T: 056 777 1463 DESIGN E: T: 087 348 0279 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY UNIT 7, FRIARY STREET, KILKENNY, R95 VHY7 EDITOR E: 10,000 COPIES PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED ACROSS CITY AND COUNTY EVERY WEEK
Aoife O’Reilly, Mily Bannon, Chloe Kearney from Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny and their project
INSIDE Paul Hopkins .........................P8 Marianne Heron .................P12 Claire Whitty .......................P12 Special Report .....................P14 Science & Wellbeing..........P18 Travel & Leisure .................P19 Gerry Moran ........................P20 Gerry Cody 17, 42 & 43 Food & Drink .......................P52 Streaming.............................P53 Sport...................................56-59

Bord Bia has predicted a tight cattle supply for the “foreseeable future” at its annual Meat Marketing Seminar in the Killashee Hotel, Naas, last week.

Beef sector manager Mark Zieg told an audience of 200 that supply looks to be down 50,000 to 60,000 head in 2023.

is has been fuelled in part by Ireland’s total cattle kill being up 8%, or 132,000, in 2022 to 1,820,485 head.

Mr Zieg highlighted a strong increase in cow culling, up 14% in 2022 to 413,410 head.

He said: “2022 was also a very strong year for live export at 286,347, up 16%. ere was a strong performance from all key markets in Europe and north Africa.

“ e Dutch market came through for calves. e longer term outlook is challenging — there’s societal and legislative pressures there that we have to deal with continuously.”

Bord Bia also noted that breeding females weren’t utilised to the same extent as other years, and instead nished earlier in 2022.

“ ose young cattle came through in the second half of last year and we might not see the same amount of

Outlook for cows not great either. ...

cows culled in the rst half of this year. e tightness will be in the rst half of the year and possibly in the last quarter,” Mr Zieg said.

“Lighter carcass weights were seen in all categories, with cattle being nished younger

and feed costs [having an e ect]. Especially on cows, you can see a quite dramatic 13.7kg drop. People availed of a strong cow price.”

Across Europe, beef consumption is anticipated to decline by one per cent in 2023. e

dairy and suckler herd is expected to contract by 0.8% and 1.9% over the next 12 months. e long-term picture projects Europe’s cow herd to contract by 5.5pc by 2027.

Bord Bia anticipates a strong import demand

from the UK in 2023. In 2022, the UK market held a 43% share of Irish beef exports, up 15% in value.

Also speaking at the seminar was Eva Gocsik from RaboBank, who warned that the UK was likely already in a reces-

sion, having experienced negative growth in the past two quarters.

Ms Gocsik said she anticipated that the euro would strengthen against the pound, which would be less favourable for Irish exports.

EU ‘action needed’ on medicines shortfall

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has said an EU wide approach is needed to solve the signi cant medicine shortages in Ireland and across Europe.

Speaking during an emergency debate in the European Parliament, MEP Clune welcomed the commission’s plans to oblige manufacturers to guarantee supplies and encouraged a thorough evaluation of EU-wide methods of procurement, purchasing, storage and distribution of key medicines.

MEP Clune, a member of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, said: “ e number of outof-stock medicines in Ireland has risen to 224 this week, but many countries are facing similar problems.

“ is is a shortage of critical medicines, which requires a collaborative response, to put strategic autonomy for our medicines front and centre, while working towards increasing production in Europe, “ she said.

“We must apply the lessons learnt from the pandemic, to discuss common procurement and stop national health systems from competing with each other for the same limited stocks.”

BE MORE with the Irish Defence Forces

e Defence Forces are currently recruiting for General Service Enlistment into the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps. Applicants must be over 18 years and under 25 years for Army and Air Corps and under 27 years for Naval Service recruitment. No formal education is required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. Applications can be made online at www.military. ie.

Eligible applications will undergo the following assessments; online psychometric test, tness test, interview and security vetting. You must pass each assessment to be considered for enlistment into the Defence Forces.

Informational videos on what to expect at each stage of the recruitment process can be found on our Defence Forces Recruitment social media pages.

e Defence Forces is looking for people who seek a challenging and physically demanding career. Applicants should work well in a high-pressure environment, be willing to serve abroad for extended periods of time and have the ability to work in a disciplined military environment and to work with others in a team.

Defence Forces recruit

training is 12 weeks in duration, during which recruits are gradually introduced to Defence Forces training skills, tness and values.


On successful completion of basic training, Two Star Privates will be posted to operational units across the Defence Forces and will undergo a further 12 weeks training to progress to the rank of 3 Star Private.

Naval Service

On successful completion of full basic training, the Naval Service rating goes on to complete branch training in one of the four branches.

Seaman’s Branch, Logistics Branch, Communications Branch or Mechanican’s Branch.

Air Corps

On successful completion of basic training, Two Star Privates will be posted to op-

erational or support units in the Air Cops and will undergo a further 12 weeks training to progress to the rank of Airman/Airwoman (Private 3 star equivalent).

Defence Forces personnel are encouraged to complete further training and education, which may enable them to specialise or qualify for promotion and overseas service.

e Defence Forces o er several pathways into educa-

tion through the professional military education scheme.

is includes training as technicians such as Heavy Vehicle Mechanic, Carpenter, Electrician, Plumber, IT and Communications specialists, Weapons specialists and Printing Press technicians. Career courses are linked to external educational institutes which allows for recognition of prior learning opening opportunities to seek third level education

quali cations.

e Defence Forces help you achieve your full potential in life. We’ll train you up and give you the skills and quali cations, but we’ll challenge you too, bring out the qualities you didn’t realise you had, take you further than you expected.

You can BE MORE with the Irish Defence Forces. All applications are made online at

4 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 News
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Great BT Young Scientist win for Presentation Kilkenny

Presentation Secondary School’s recent win at the BT Young Scientist Competition

First place in the category, Social and Behavioural Sciences - Intermediate Age group, went to   students

Morette Alyward and Roisin McElwee for their project entitled ‘ A look inside our minds, when are we at our most dangerous’.

More than 250 students were surveyed across di erent schools.

e students created a survey using C++ and python coding:

• ey completed a survey asking them various questions that have been linked to risk taking

• e students had to complete the quiz on their own and this gave them an overall ‘risk score “

• ey then completed the same quiz but in groups, so that they could compare the risk scores to see if the risk score was a ected when they were in a group setting. is

tested for the e ect of peer pressure.

e students analysed their data with the conclusion   that they saw that boys peaked in danger scores at TY level, while girls peaked at 6th year level. TY boys had the highest risk scores of all groups.

Presentation had four projects, involving eight students, at the RDS exhibition.

6 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 News
Therese Gunning, Legal Director BT Ireland presents the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2023 Social and Behavioural Sciences Category 1st Place Intermediate Group Award to Morette Aylward and Roisin McElwee, Presentation Secondary School Kilkenny for the project ‘A Look Into Our MInds; When Are We At Our Most Dangerous Louis Fitzgerald and Dylan Muldowney from St Kieran’s College Kilkenny and their project, ‘The e ects of printing money and the realistic possibilities of going cashless’ Shay Walsh, Managing Director BT Ireland and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD with Pierce Costello and Gregg Ruane from St Kieran’s College Kilkenny and their project ‘Bambu vs Ash’ Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD with Lauren Sinnott and Daisy Cro from Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Co Kilkenny with their project ‘Plaisteach as farraige agus an ei eacht ata againn ann’ Minister for Foreign A airs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney TD, at stand 3532 talking to Aoife Fitzgerald (16), le , and Orla Gleeson (15) from Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny about their project ‘Comparing the Flora and Fauna of City v. Country Hedgerows’
7 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Advertisement

A Friday in July last year, the summer sun two hours from going to bed. I made my way home through crooked country roads from a neighbouring town where I had had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. I was driving with just one eye on the road. I had gone blind in the other, having had a stroke an hour earlier over the dinner.

I was erringly calm. I had no disability or pain whatsoever, other than the eye completely shut down. I wasn’t even sure it had been a stroke, though I suspected so. Once home I rang 999.

A considerate operator assessed my predicament. “It could be five to seven hours before I can get an ambulance to you. It’s Friday night. And then you won’t be on a trolley

The Fact Of The Matter

for the weekend but sitting on a chair in the corridor.

Anyway, the Mater is the better option as Beaumont is not a stroke hospital,” he said.

Could the ambulance take me to the Mater?

“No, the ambulances in your catchment area only serve Beaumont. But they would probably transfer you on Monday when a consultant comes and sees you.”

The idea of a weekend on a chair in an overwhelmed corridor saw me withdraw my 999 request, pour myself a glass of Malbec and watch Grey’s Anatomy — with the good eye.

Next morning my neighbour drove me to the Mater public hospital which, for initial assessment, is better placed than the private one. My local eye special -

ist, having seen me earlier, emailed ahead. They were expecting me, and hooked me up immediately. Stroke was confirmed and I was admitted to a bed of sorts in the Emergency Department where I languished until the wall clock crossed the midnight hour. I was then transferred, because I have health insurance, to a huge private room where on the Monday a consultant and his team outlined my options.

Send me home with a load of medicines and the chances of another stroke within my lifetime were 15-20 percent. Or open the artery in my neck, clean out the gunge, and the chances of it reoccurring were one to three percent.

“No contest there, doc,” I said. “Let’s open me up. And let’s do it at the private

hospital. The food is better there.”

The earliest available opening for the op was 10 days away as I needed to be primed. On the third day in my huge private room my nurse — one of my many angels — asked if I would mind going to a public bed as a young man in that bed was dying and his family wanted privacy.

Later that night I could hear the wailing coming from my once occupied private room.

In spring of last year I found myself in Beaumont for a benign illness that nonetheless needed hospitalisation. I went in by ambulance under the careful watch of reassuring paramedics. The first 17 hours I spent on a chair in a corridor, surrounded by other broken souls, one a woman

of at least 85. Catatonic.

My chair was opposite a room into which medics would invite families to tell them their loved ones had died. You could hear the relentless sobbing.

When I eventually managed to attract a nurse’s attention, I pleaded: “For pity’s sake I can’t do this. Find me a bed, please. I’m an old guy.”

Eventually they moved me to a ward with five other men, older than me I guessed. Two obviously had dementia, while a third had mental health issues as he continually verbally abused the nurses when not talking to himself.

“He shouldn’t be here,” I said to the nurse.

She said: “There’s no room anywhere there for him, so we have to keep him here.” She was leaving

in four weeks for a post in Dubai.

In the January I had surgery on my spine to correct the deterioration of an injury from a horse throw back in the Seventies in Africa. The procedure was in the Hermitage private. The hospital was more like a five-star hotel, attention to my every whim worth every euro of my hefty insurance premium.

All the staff from tea-lady to consultant were wonderful, kind professional people lovingly mending my broken body. But no more so than any of the dedicated and committed people I encountered in my subsequent visits.

All overworked and undervalued by the system. Even with one eye closed I can see that.

Marianne Heron, P12

8 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
PAUL HOPKINS Overworked, undervalued: the angels saving our lives Opinion
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High blood pressure break

A 10-minute scan could allow the detection and cure of the most common cause of high blood pressure, a new study suggests.

Researchers used a new type of CT scan to light up tiny growths in a hormone gland and cure high blood pressure by their removal. High blood pressure is prevalent among pole aged over 4o in Ireland.

e nodules glow shortly after an injection is given and highlight an obvious cause for the condition.

According to the study, one in 20 people with high blood pressure have these growths.

Researchers said their ndings solve a 60-year problem of how to detect the growth that produces the steroid hormone aldosterone

Ibec marks major new peace, prosperity era

As the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (BGFA) nears its 25th anniversary, Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has published a new report that spotlights the signi cant economic and social prosperity that the landmark agreement has delivered for both the island of Ireland and Britain.

Speaking at the publication of the report, Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “Since 1998, we have experienced record levels of investment right across the island of Ireland and Britain. is would simply not have occurred in such magnitude in the absence of peace supporting stability.

"Such investment has delivered a prosperity that has seen millions of jobs created, hundreds of thousands of new businesses ourish, investment in formerly forgotten communities pour in, all of which has signi cantly enhanced overall living stan-

dards and quality of life for all.

“While this anniversary o ers opportunity to mark the prosperity achievements of the BGFA, it also a ords a timely opportunity for re ection and acknowledgement that we cannot a ord complacency. While much progress has been made, there remains much to be done to deliver full prosperity from the peace dividend. is is made even more signi cant in the post-Brexit landscape we nd ourselves in," he said.

“If we are to meaningfully mark the 25th anniversary of the agreement, it is imperative that leading political stakeholders work with the respective business communities to establish detailed, innovative and workable solutions needed to protect and build on the bene ts delivered by the allisland economy and ensure its future development is not hampered in any way.”

without a di cult procedure that is only available in a handful of hospitals, and often fails.

Morris Brown, co-senior author of the study and professor of endocrine hypertension at Queen Mary University of London, said in a statement: " ese aldosterone-producing nodules are very small and easily over-

looked on a regular CT scan.

"When they glow for a few minutes after our injection, they are revealed as the obvious cause of hypertension, which can often then be cured.

"Until now, 99pc are never diagnosed because of the difculty and unavailability of tests. Hopefully this is about to change.”

A total of 128 people took part in the study of the new scan after doctors found that their hypertension (high blood pressure) was caused by aldosterone.

e scan found that in two-thirds of patients with increased levels of the hormone, this is coming from a benign growth in just one of the adrenal glands, which can

then be safely removed.

e scan uses a short-acting dose of a radioactive dye that only sticks to the nodule that produces the hormone.

Researchers suggest the scan was as accurate as the old catheter test, but quick, painless and technically successful in every patient.

e research was published in Nature Medicine.

Your guide to the new pensions

Major changes to the State pension, described as the "biggest ever structural reform" of the system, were proposed in September and will be introduced this year.

Workers will be allowed to continue working until age 70 for a higher weekly payment. Under the new scheme, the rates are estimated at €253 a week at age 66; €266 at age 67; €281 at age 68; €297 at age 69; and €315 at age 70.

Mark Reilly of pensions company Royal London said: "After some controversy and backlash, the Government has chosen not to increase the age at which people receive the State pension.

"Instead, it has introduced some exibility as to when you can claim the bene t

and how much you will be paid.

" ese changes have the potential to radically change people's view on retirement and to prompt people to really consider when they might like to commence their retirement versus when it might be nancially feasible for them to do so."

Mr Reilly said its survey showed that, while women were more likely to opt for less money earlier, those aged 55 and over and nearing retirement are least likely to want to take their pension early (31%) compared to more than half

(51%) of those aged between 25 and 34.

"Perspective and goals change greatly as you move through life. e retirement you envisioned in your 20s and 30s might be very di erent to what you would like for yourself by the time you hit your 50s," he said.

More women would opt to take a lower pension before the age of 66 (45% versus 37%), while more men would like to be able to take a higher pension at a later date (27% versus 21%), the iReach poll for Royal London Ireland of 1,000 adults nationwide found.

Less meat, more plans for we Irish

Consumption of plant-based dairy and meat alternatives looks set to hit the mainstream in Ireland in 2023 as new research commissioned by Oatly, the world’s original and largest oat drink company, reveals one third of shoppers are buying more meat and dairy alternatives than they did three years ago. And the trend shows no sign of slowing down, with three out of ten adults planning to make even more plant-based swaps in 2023.

e research, conducted by Opinions Research, surveyed more than 1,000 adults across Ireland on their diets, atti-

tudes towards climate change and dairy and meat alternatives.

Key ndings were: • e popularity of plantbased products is being driven by all age groups under 50, with 18–24 year-olds and 25–34 year-olds the most likely to consider swapping to plant-based alternatives (42% and 48% respectively).

• More than three quarters (76%) of Irish adults are concerned about climate change, with one in four (25%) citing it as the top reason for shifting to meat and dairy alternatives.

• 25% said they choose plantbased products because they

want to cut back on red meat and/or dairy for their health.

• e role food production plays in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions is widely underestimated, with just one in ten (13%) adults identifying that the global food system contributes more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions (half of which comes from meat and dairy production).  e report coincides with the launch of Oatly’s rst major brand campaign across Ireland, where its oat drink products can now be found in co ee shops and Tesco, Supervalu and Dunnes stores.

10 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
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As I See It

Still, no cure for ongoing hospital ills

One thing that strikes me about the current screaming headlines over the crisis in the Health Service is that there is absolutely nothing new about this. e situation in our hospitals has been dysfunctional for years, particularly chaotic in emergency departments with long, distressful waits on trolleys before patients are admitted.

Being admitted to hospital via an emergency department can be horri c, as I found given my experiences a couple of years ago.   ere was the agonising worry of bringing in a seriously ill husband for attention combined with the anxiety of not knowing what on earth was going to happen in this terra –should be terror – incognita.

e waiting area the hospital was crowded with people in every kind of predicament:

from writhing in unexplained agony to having fallen o a bicycle, all queueing on chairs for hours before being assessed by the triage system. Once inside the hospital it was like a war zone, crammed with beds and trollies bearing patients waiting attention from overstretched medical personnel. Once in there it didn’t take long to realise that the doctors, nurses and orderlies working there under extreme pressure in di cult circumstances were absolutely heroic.

Nor did it take long to realise either that, God help any patients, especially those unable to communicate e ectively if they didn’t have someone to advocate for them and ask for simple things like water, bedpan or some form of food as hours passed. Asking about the possibility of a bed, where

the wait ran to days rather than hours, was like asking for a miracle at Knock,  never mind getting information on a prognosis or any procedure required.   At one point, if I hadn’t been there, my husband would have been be left forgotten in a wheelchair in a corridor for hours waiting to return to emergency after a procedure.

Insu cient beds and lack of sta get blamed frequently for the current crisis. Having more of both means throwing more money at the problem and I am not sure that would resolve the crisis. In the weeks  visiting my husband as he recovered from a stroke (only tragically to be diagnosed with terminal lung cancer) poor management in the system became glaringly obvious.

And who manages the

public health system?  e HSE, a 100,000 strong in ated team with nearly four dozen di erent divisions, some with names like e National Quality Improvement Team or e Patient Safety Programme which sound as though they should be tasked with solving the crisis.

Causes of some of the bed bottlenecks were obvious. Beds were occupied by patients who simply should not have been there and there were many ways beds could have been freed up if the HSE had been running things efciently. ere were patients who could have been released to step-down nursing home facilities, patients in need of home care, supposing home care had been available through – guess who? – the HSE and patients who couldn’t return home and

should have been placed in care homes.

Every day there were patients waiting for hours, sometimes into the afternoon to be discharged from hospital, taking up those precious beds, surely a situation which could have been managed better.

Nursing sta often came from agencies, an expensive way to recruit sta since agency fees have to be paid on top of wages. And those were just the kind of problems any visitor could see, without any analysis of the deeper malaise in the system.

My insights are from four years ago. Since then the situation in the health service has worsened and the numbers employed in the HSE have swelled. e problems which I could see are still unresolved and quoted as being part of the bed scarcity problem as

over-crowding reaches record levels. Hundreds of consultant roles are un lled, with a 44% increase in the number of doctors emigrating to Australia Now, nurses are threatening to strike over intolerable conditions.

And the new dawn of promised Slainte Care hasn’t materialised.

Rather than any acceptance of responsibility or attempt to reform the system, already overstretched medical sta have been asked to work weekends to resolve the worsening crisis exacerbated by winter virus, u and Covid.  We have been told to stay away from hospitals and emergency departments.

No problem there: the latest poll reveals that 72% of us would only attend A&E if their life depended on it.

See also Page 14

Revive and Go Immunity


Let’s spring into action and support the immune system. A healthy diet and digestive system will help, but stress, lack of sleep, a highly processed diet, and inadequate rest will put strain on it.

Antioxidants like vitamin C, E, Beta Carotene, and Selenium are found naturally in food. ey assist in protecting the cells in your body from damage and help support the immune system. Fruit and vegetables have antioxidants in varying quantities. Oranges, kiwis, and berries like cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries, and cranberries are good sources

of antioxidants. A variety of vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach and the brightly coloured carrots and peppers are all sources of antioxidants. Brazil nuts are a source of selenium, three a day is a good addition to your diet. Bee Pollen is an interesting food that is a source of amino acids and antioxidants. I nd it good for a boost of energy. You can simply eat it from the spoon or add to yoghurts or breakfast cereal. Omega 3 fats are important to support immunity. Choose oily sh, sh oil, or good quality plant oils like walnut, ax, or hemp. Have a variety of spices especially turmeric and ginger.

Top supplements to support immunity can include Echinacea which has been traditionally used for colds and u. Plus Vitamin D, Beta

Glucans, and antioxidants like Vitamin C and Zinc. You may have some of these supplements in your cupboards. If you do, start taking them. One Nutrition Revive and Go Immunity is a supplement I told you about last year. is is worth taking now to put a pep in your step. It contains 10mg of zinc, and 850mg of micro-encapsulated vitamin C which allows rapid absorption and retention of vitamin C. Revive & Go is designed to help support your energy, help reduce tiredness, and for immunity support. It’s gentle on the stomach and is not only gluten & dairy free, but vegan too.

Don’t forget your gut. Stress and antibiotics can deplete your friendly gut bacteria. Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and ke r are great for the gut. Or take Udo’s Super 8 Immune, this is a hi-count microbiotic blend with 42 billion friendly bacteria per capsule, plus vitamin C. Look after yourself and support your immunes system.

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

Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre

Phone: 056 7764538


12 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023

A guide to farming succession

When one thinks of succession, one is looking at transferring over the business to the next generation. A complication to succession is the emergence of the farming company and the issues it brings up.

ere are four options available as follows:

1 Transfer your business during your lifetime.

2 Wait until you pass away and transfer it by Will.

3 Sell your business to a third party.

4 Redeem your shares in the company/pass over the company.

e reliefs available to the ordinary farmer are very well known in that everyone talks about Stamp Duty Relief for the Young Trained Farmer, Agricultural Relief on the transfer of assets, and Capital Gains Tax Retirement Relief for the individual.

Despite common misconceptions, reliefs are available for those who trade through a

limited company, but they are complex, and some may not be available unless properly planned for.

e big di erence is that the company now owns the stock, machinery, and maybe even land.

e shares in the company derive their value from these assets, and one is not looking at individual assets in the company but looking at the shares.

If land is owned outside the

company, this is added into the mix and complicates the transfer, but with a suite of reliefs similar to that of individuals, the overall tax liability can be mitigated.

Instead of Agricultural Relief being available, a combination of Agricultural Relief/ Business Relief may be available.

Shares in the company do not qualify for Agricultural Relief but may qualify for Business Relief. Business Re-

lief reduces the value of the asset by 90%, similar to agricultural relief, and thus one is only taxed on 10% of the value of the shares.

One must transfer the trading business to avail of the relief.

If investments have been acquired through a company, the part attributable to the investments will not qualify for the relief.

Restructuring the company may bring about the farmer

getting relief and non-farming children taking over a new investment entity.

Relief from Capital Gains Tax is no di erent to an individual relief, and is available on the value of the shares passing, providing one meets the conditions of the relief. e main conditions are: • Over 55

• Owned the shares for 10 years • Been a full-time director for 5 of those 10 years • It is a trading company.

erefore the same reliefs apply to a company shareholder as to an individual, but more complex planning may be necessary.

e one with the largest divergence in how it is treated is Stamp Duty. Young-trained farmer relief does not apply to the shares in the company.

Duty is payable at 1% on the value of the shares.

It may a ect the ability to get a Young-trained farmer exemption on land if trading through a company.

With planning and a review

They’ve got their designs set on you...

of the structure, it may be possible to minimise the impact. If one fails to get the relief, as long as consanguinity relief remains at 1% of the value of the land being transferred, then, while costly, it may not be a deal breaker.

A common misconception is that if land is bought through the company, one must extract the land to pass it on. One is passing on the shares in the company, which owns all the assets in the company and thus, there is no need to extract the land at all.

What about a build-up of cash within the company, and you want to exit and get access to some or all of the cash? With proper planning and nancial advice, several options exist to get the cash out in a tax-e cient manner on exiting /retiring:

• Payment in pension

• Tax-free termination payment

• Company buyback of shares

• Sale of an asset to the company. is can happen whilst still involved.

A €10,000 bursary now for students of renewable energy

Some of Kilkenny’s best up-and-coming craft and design businesses will be part of over 100 companies from across Ireland who will get a chance to meet with buyers from all over the world as part of the Local Enterprise Showcase at the Showcase 2023 event in the RDS, running from Sunday, January22 ro Tuesday 24th.

An initiative of the Local Enterprise O ces, the Local Enterprise Showcase, is a special area at Showcase that houses a range of Ireland’s newest design talent. Participating for the rst time will be Geraldine Walsh, Geraldine Walsh Art displaying her original oil paintings, ne art prints and cards; Anne Healy, Biddy’s Good Luck Horse

Shoes, a business creating good luck gifts for all occasions from genuine horseshoes and Kristina  Belejova, Amalka a linen brand with elegant clothing for everyday wear and for special occasions.

Following a successful year, Cait Mackey Maher with her award winning, greeting card business Yellow Deer Designs will be

participating for the second year in row.  e Local Enterprise O ce Kilkenny has been working with these clients on merchandising for their stands, marketing, and sales techniques to ensure they maximise opportunities at the three-day event.     Showcase is presented on behalf of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, with

support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the trade show internationally through their network of o ces overseas, and the Local Enterprise O ces nationwide.  Other participants from County Kilkenny at Showcase 2023 will include Nicholas Mosse, Jerpoint Glass Studio, Dominka Stoppa, Kilkenny Silver and DFM Clothing.

When the night time is the right time

With the aim of creating a night time economy both locally and nationally, the Arts Council recently brought artists and arts organisations together for the first annual Night-Time Economy Forum.  Designed to bring together a range of international, national and local perspectives on trends and initiatives relating

to arts and the night-time economy, the gathering on Tuesday, January 17 was the first of what will be an annual event.

The Arts Council’s goal is to enable arts and cultural event spaces to develop new programmes and initiatives for late night events.  The arts play a significant role in Ireland’s night-

time economy — nowhere more so than in Kilkenny City —  and to develop this further the council seeks to facilitate arts and cultural spaces to work together and facilitate more use of publicly-owned cultural buildings and heritage sites for events.

The forum was attended by nearly 300 people who heard insights from other

European cities and towns about opportunities for innovation.  The benefits to both the arts and culture community and to the wider night-time economy was discussed as was the positive impact on audiences and audience development.

The Arts Council is a member of the of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce, estab -

lished by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin in July 2020.  It affords an opportunity for relevant stakeholders from across the night-time culture sector to develop an innovative approach to supporting and developing a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable nighttime economy in Ireland.

Applications have opened for the Niamh Burke Memorial Bursary, which will award a total of €10,000 to students pursuing studies linked to climate action and renewable energy in Ireland.  Candidates can apply for the bursary until  ursday, March 2 at 5pm at  https:// Bur2023

e bursary was established by leading law rm Arthur Cox, in memory of their former colleague and Arthur Cox partner, Niamh Burke, who played a signi cant role in the development of the Irish wind energy sector and advised on some of Ireland’s largest, energy, infrastructure and construction projects.  All relevant disciplines are open for consideration including law, economics, engineering, policy, science, planning and others. It is open to students planning to study in these or related elds in Ireland, at postgraduate level in 2023.If more than one person is selected, the bursary monies will be split between applicants.

e bursary was launched in 2020 and has already helped six people with their studies. It is funded to o er opportunities to a new generation of renewable energy experts.

News 13 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Showcasing: from left, Geraldine Walsh of Geraldine Walsh Art; Anne Healy of Biddy’s Good Luck Horse Shoes; Kristina Belejova of Amalka Design; and Cait Mackey Maher of Yellow Deer Designs

e number of Irish people with individual wealth of over €46.6m has more than doubled over the last decade, according to an Oxfam Ireland study.

However for every €93.15 of wealth created in the last 10 years, €31.67 has gone to the richest 1% and less than 50c to the bottom 50%.

e charity today publishes a report, saying that for the rst time in a quarter of a century: “ e rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer.”

It is calling on the Government to apply a wealth tax on elite Irish wealth at graduated rates of 2, 3 and 5% above a high threshold of €4.7m.

Such a levy would raise €8.2bn annually and create a potential to “transform Irish public services in health, housing and education while also delivering on our international and climate commitments”.

According to the Forbes World’s Billionaires List 2022, the late Indian-Irish tycoon Pallonji Mistry was the richest person in Ireland last year with a net worth of more than $15bn (€13.9bn).

Mr Mistry, who died at the age of 93 last June, controlled Mumbai-based engineering and construction company, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

Second on the Irish list were brothers John and Patrick Collison, from Limerick, who co-founded payments company Stripe.

Patrick Collison won the Young Scientist competition in 2005 at 16. He later moved to the US and in 2008 sold his rst software company, Auctomatic, founded with his younger brother, for €3m. According to the Forbes list both men had a net worth of more than $9.5bn (€8.7bn) each in 2022.

While the two richest Irish slots on the Forbes list show examples of success achieved

through entrepreneurship, the charity’s study, Survival of the Richest, has revealed “staggering inequalities” in Ireland’s wealth distribution.

Oxfam Ireland is highlighting the issue as the globe’s most powerful gather in Davos in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.

According to the study, there are eight billionaires in Ireland, 1,435 individuals worth €47m and 20,575 individuals worth more than € 4.7m.

e number of Irish people with individual wealth of more than €46.6m has more than doubled between 2012

and 2022, rising from 655 to 1,435 people.

e richest 1% have gained 63 times more wealth than the bottom 50% in the last 10 years.

e richest 1% also have 27% of wealth while the bottom own just 1.1%.

Wealth accumulation had come “on top of a decade of unprecedented gains for the super-rich,” the report said.

Oxfam Ireland CEO Jim Clarken said: “ is rising wealth at the top and rising poverty for the rest are two sides of the same coin, proof that our economic system is functioning exactly how the

rich and powerful designed it to.

“As crisis after crisis hits the poorest people hardest, it’s time for governments, including Ireland’s, to tax the rich.”

Meanwhile, in support of its call for a global redistribution of wealth, Oxfam said that food and energy companies had more than doubled their pro ts in 2022, paying out € 23obn to wealthy shareholders at a time when more than 800 million people globally were going hungry.

Only four cent in every euro or dollar of tax revenue came

from wealth taxes, and half the world’s billionaires lived in countries with no inheritance tax on money they give to their children.

A tax of up to 5% on the world’s multimillionaires and billionaires could raise €1.5 trillion a year, enough to lift two billion people out of poverty, and fund a global plan to end hunger.

In a foreword to the report, Colombia’s Finance Minister José Antonio Ocampo said: “Taxing the wealthiest is no longer an option – it’s a must. Global inequality has exploded, and there is no better way to tackle inequality than

by redistributing wealth.

“Fairness is at the heart of Colombia’s tax reforms. Concretely, this means a new wealth tax, higher taxes for high-income earners and large corporations reaping extraordinary pro ts in international markets, and ending tax incentives that exist without clear social or environmental justi cation,” he said.

“We are also implementing digital services taxes and adopting a corporate minimum tax rate, building on the international tax deal,.”

also Global Report, Page 22

HSE: trolley chaos to continue for years

e HSE has warned that hospital patients are facing into more years of trolley chaos with serious are-ups expected in winters to come.

With weeks of overcrowding yet to endure, as high levels of u slowly recede, the prospect looms of further winters of patients forced to wait days for a bed.

HSE Chief Executive Stephen Mulvany warned that the health service was playing “catch-up” and said: “It is going to be a number of years where, particularly at winter time, we are going to have a level of additional pressure on the system.

“ at pressure will be measured by many people on trolleys and surge beds, an unfortunate reality.”

e ‘catch-up’ is needed because of the growth in population, the increasing number of over-75s, and the

pace at which the HSE can deliver extra beds and alleviation measures.

Mr Mulvany was appearing with health o cials before the Oireachtas Health Committee where he was ques-

tioned about the HSE’s handling and preparation for this winter’s worst trolley crisis on record.

Committee Chairman Seán Crowe told HSE o cials he did not want to go to an

emergency department when he was ill and that this reluctance almost cost him his life.

e Sinn Féin TD saidd that. if he had not attended, his life-threatening sepsis would not have been discovered.

“I have concern that people who are really sick will not go to A&E,” Mr Crowe said. “I was one of those people. I had sepsis. I did not know I had sepsis but only I went to the A&E, I would not be here today.”

Sepsis is a medical emergency triggered by infection or injury and requires early treatment.

Mr Crowe said he accepted the HSE was met with a perfect storm of huge levels of viruses circulating.

He acknowledged that some hospitals faced something approaching a war zone. However, he pointed out that public frustration centred on why the crisis wasn’t planned for.

“A lot of people are saying, ‘what is a good time to get sick?’,” he said, outlining how di cult it can be to even get a GP appointment.

Mr Mulvany said it was not sustainable to ask sta to work longer than their contracted hours, as happened in recent weeks. is was done in the interests of patient safety.

e HSE only asked people to consider options other than going to an ED in times of “signi cant” patient-safety concern.

“ e message is only given when we look at what is happening in the emergency department and we have to spread the load across the whole system,” he said.

Asked if he believed people had died due to the hospital overcrowding crisis, he said he could not be certain

However, he pointed to research showing an association between increased risk of patient death and the delay in patients getting the correct care.

14 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
SPECIAL REPORT €31.67 has gone to Ireland’s richest 1% and less than 50c to the bottom 50% News
15 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Advertisement

Fuel for thought but the outlook is brighter Your Money & You

With in ation increases, interest rate hikes and the continuing energy crisis, 2022 was a tough year for many of our readers. Areas that a ects us all are the cost of electricity/gas and petrol/diesel.

Late last year the cost of energy began to fall, but the cost of gas, for example, is about 63% above the average price for 2021.  Ireland imports 75% of its gas from the UK which trades somewhere up to “200 pence per therm”, whereas 18 months ago, it traded at the 50/55 pence level. According to Daragh Cassidy of we need to remember “that the price households pay for their gas and electricity is usually an average price of the cost of energy on wholesale markets over the course of around a year or two as suppliers buy most of their energy months in advance through hedging.   ‘ is is to try to ensure

households aren’t faced with extreme swings in the price of their energy on a weekly or monthly basis.”

In 2022 wholesale gas prices were up by more than 1,000%  during the summer while electricity prices were up by over 400% during the spring.  Our costs did increase, but not by those astronomical amounts. is was due to hedging.

Energy hedging is a buying strategy that protects energy suppliers from the risks of ‘price-volatility’ in the wholesale energy market. ey buy ‘energy’ in small amounts, frequently, which allows them to take advantage of any dips in price while not leaving themselves vulnerable to further falls in price.

Buying ‘in advance’ also means suppliers can be sure they have enough energy to meet their customers’ demands.

e problem of ‘hedging’

is that falls in the price of energy aren’t immediately passed on us, the consumer. To bene t there will need to be a sustained reduction in the price of energy on wholesale markets for several months before we can see a reduction in our energy bills.

It seems odd though that two di erent sources of energy would a ect the overall electricity price in

Ireland. However, the reason is down to a pricing mechanism called marginal pricing. According to David Tate of marginal pricing means that the price of electricity is always priced to the most expensive energy source that is needed to satisfy the demand. For example, if the demand is low and renewables are sufcient, then the price of elec-

tricity is also low. However, if the demand is high then more expensive sources are needed to satisfy demand and therefore the price is set at that more expensive price.

Currently demand is very high, and we are reliant on gas- red power stations to satisfy demand and the price of gas is currently the most expensive and therefore also sets the price for the rest of the electricity market.

Petrol and diesel reached a record high of over €2 a litre as oil rose to over $120 a barrel due to the outbreak of war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia. But oil is also priced in dollars and when the euro plunged in value against the dollar, it made a barrel of oil even more expensive for us in Ireland. Include too supply chain bottlenecks, oil re nery disruptions leading to a reduction in the supply of diesel leading to diesel becoming

more expensive than petrol.         Since then, oil has fallen back and, at the time of writing, stands at $85 a barrel.   e euro has risen above parity against the dollar, and supply chain disruptions have eased, so hopefully petrol and diesel prices will remain well below the record highs seen last year.

But the Government will likely come under pressure from the Green Party to reverse the excise rate cut (20 cent a litre on petrol and 15 cent on diesel) over the coming months, which, if implemented, would see prices creep back closer to €2 a litre again.

Hopefully 2023 will see no further gas or electricity price hikes and the outlook seems better than it was even a few weeks ago.

john@ellis 086 8362622

16 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023

Clampdown on Sin-Swapping in Callan

Religion was a stricter business in past times that it is today, as Callan folk were reminded yet again in May 1944 when the Rev. Dr Doyle took over as parish priest in the town.

A Cu sgrange man, Dr. Doyle was a strong believer in clerical and monetary competence. He was conscious of the need to balance the worship of God and the various religious activities of the district with a down-to-earth hands-on approach to nancing the day to day running of the parish.

“Just because it’s di cult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”, he advised his congregation in one sermon, “doesn’t mean the parish itself has to be poor or short of few bob. It’s perfectly in order to be rich so long as one contributes muni cently to the upkeep of the church here in Callan and indeed to the living expenses of your clergy. God will reward those of you who give generously to his representatives on earth.”

He made frequent refer-

ences to the war and the e ects of rationing, and in a well-crafted if somewhat over the top sermon following the D-Day Landings of June 1944 he drew graphic parallels between the devastation wrought by the re-power of the combatant nations and the unquenchable cosmic res of Hell that awaited any man or woman in the parish that died in a state of mortal sin.

He cautioned: “And yet, for all their dreadful potency, the deadliest guns, bombs, tanks, rockets, planes and submarines of man aren’t a patch on what God, in his in nite wisdom, has prepared for any of you whose souls are blemished and stained with un-confessed sin.

“On God’s D-Day, there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth when the sheep are separated from the goats before his golden throne. Pleadings will be useless. Will ye be sheep, and follow the Good Sheppard…or will ye be dirty auld goats?

“Excuses will not be listened to. ere will be no clever and conniving solicitor standing there with you to argue mitigating circumstances or to beguile a gullible jury. Just yourself, standing alone and shaking like a leaf in a strong winter breeze… waiting

for the Almighty to judge, and knowing that His decision will be nal...that there can be no appeal to a higher authority.

“And then, oh try to imagine it…the trumpets sound…

Kilkenny man’s new book launch in Callan

Kilkenny native Joe Kearney will launch his new book, e Beekeeper and the River in Callan on Friday evening 27th January.

Frank McKenna, retired school principal and historian, will formally launch the collection of short stories at Kevin Keogh’s pub in Mill Street Callan at 9.00pm.

e book is published by Ballpoint Press and is distributed by Argosy which means it will be available at independent books shops around the country and especially around Kilkenny.

“ is is one of the nest collections of stories detailing the ‘ordinary plenty’ of a local area such as Callan during the sixties and seventies,” said Ballpoint Editor PJ Cunningham.

“ e sharp eye of the observer and the excellence of the writing combine to make this book a gem of its kind and one that will endure for the ages.”

e stories are drawn together and entangled in the town’s river in an ingenious way that makes the collection as satisfyingly crafted as a novel.

e river both introduces and bookends the torrent of happenings that ow through a local place in a set period of history.

In ’ e Beekeeper And e River’, Kearney uses the river

as the provider of boundaries while its waters is the solemn witness to the destructive passion, murderous secrets, heartbreaking love and complex revenge enacting around and within it.

e revelations shine a light into the darkness concealing everyday lives and into the thoughts and actions of folk as they go about their habitual chores.

Callan-born Joe Kearney’s voice is already familiar nationally through his regular contributions to RTE’s Sunday Miscellany and from his award winning documentaries made for RTE’s Doc on One series.

A doctor of literature from

UCD, Joe has written extensively about Callan and his associations with the town over the years. His recollections and experiences growing up there have o ered inspiration for many of his stories, radio essays and documentaries.

His documentary on the late traditional ddle player, Micky Finn, a Callan native, No Cure for Micky Finn was an award winner at the New York Radio Festival. He has recently broadcast and published essays on the Callan artist, Tony O’Malley.

In 2022, he was proud to be asked to return to his alma mater and launch the collation of tributes and memories captured in the book Colaiste Eamann Ris, celebrating 154 years of the Callan CBS.

Joe now lives in Wicklow and has also co-authored a number of best-selling books over the past decade, including ‘ en ere Was Light’ (the story of rural electri cation) and ‘From e Candy Store To the Galtymore’ ( e history told in story form of Ireland’s transition from Ceili culture to the Showband era of the swinging sixties.)

For further information on ‘ e Beekeeper And e River’ email or phone 086-8217631 or 087-2633041

His verdict is given…you are to spend all eternity, and that’s a very, very long time, with the lad below.

“You may wail…you may weep…you may plead…all to

no avail. His sentence cannot be revoked. e damned shall be herded by demons with long whips into boats to cross the great lake that ows with re and brimstone…to be conveyed into the bowels of that place none of us ever wishes to see. at’ll be D-Day for ye and no mistake about it!”

Also on the subject of sin, Dr. Doyle issued a sti warning against the practice of “swapping sins” that had been drawn to his attention by a

concerned parishioner. He appealed to parents to give their o spring a hearty telling-o if the youngsters were engaging in that “detestable a ront to God”.

He warned that committing a sin, venial or mortal, was bad enough, but making up sins that never happened and then confessing these to a priest was an o ence so terrible that not even the Bishop himself could gure out what penalty God might impose for it. His Lordship was awaiting a response from the Cardinal in Dublin on the matter.

In the meantime, Dr. Doyle reminded worshippers at Sunday Mass that the making up of sins was a terrible sin altogether. He warned that while a priest might believe a false confession, God would not be fooled.

He remarked in cynical vein that while the rest of the country was coping with the rationing of food, fuel, and a long list of other commodities, there were “young reprobates, some right little pups” in Callan who were seeking to ration sin itself, sharing out sins outside the Holy Confessional and even, he had been informed, exchanging sins, or imaginary ones, for to ees, bulls eyes, and gob stoppers.

To be continued.

Prayer service –

17 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Opinion
As we look forward to the ordination of Fr. Niall Coll as our new Bishop on Sunday, 22nd January you are invited to gather to pray for the Bishop in St. Mary’s Cathedral on the 20th January at 7.30. During the prayer service the Pectoral Cross, the Episcopal Ring, the Mitre and the Crozier, which will be presented to the Bishop during the ordination ceremony, will be blessed. is will be an opportunity for us to express our prayerful support and welcome to Bishop Coll. Friday night 7.30pm at St Mary’s Cathedral

Science & Wellbeing

e rst two years of the pandemic saw one major variant after another sweep the globe. e original virus gave way to alpha, then delta and then omicron — with each version of the virus usurping the last. But in the last year, the explosion of omicron sub-variants with no one version dominating worldwide (or even across the same continent).

One of these omicron oshoots might barely register in one place but cause a major spike in illness elsewhere, as happened with BA.2.75 in India. Another might seem inconsequential until it recombines with a cousin to produce a new highly transmissible and immune-evasive variant, such as XBB.1.5, which is now taking o in the northeastern United States.

e pandemic is now a roiling mix of many sub-variants. Nor does the arrival of a new major variant in a country or region warrant the same level of preparation or fear, in many cases. Vaccines, boosters and prior waves of infection with omicron and its o spring have bolstered global immunity. Yet this roiling mix is still exacting a signi cant toll on the country, with some variants playing a bigger role than others.

But the popular conception of variants hasn’t kept up with this change. When new ones emerge, they’re often quickly met with either blaring sirens or silent shrugs — both reactions are harmful in their own way. Variants popping up leaves much of the public numb to the impact of the virus’s continued evolution and increasingly less willing to respond with collective measures like mask-wearing and social distancing when a serious threat does emerge.

When SARS-CoV-2 rst spilled into humans, we were all blank slates, immunologically speaking. Without preexisting defences, any human the virus encountered looked the same.

In that homogenous landscape, the main way a new

Farmers in the developing world will be able soon to produce high yields of disease-resistant rice more cheaply, scientists have said.

Researchers have managed to create clones of high-performing hybrid varieties that end the need for farmers to buy expensive new seeds every year.

e resulting rice plants maintain their bumper yields for at least three generations, in an advance that came after decades of attempts.

First-generation hybrids of crop plants often show better yields and performance than their parent strains – a phenomenon called hybrid vigour.

But the e ects are then lost when the hybrids are bred together for a second generation, so farmers wanting to keep getting the

Why we need to look at Covid from a different angle

mutation could di erentiate itself was by increasing transmissibility. A variant that spread faster in one population could likely do the same in another since no one had immunity. Of course, many other factors, from demographics to seasonality, also shaped any location’s experience with those early variants. Now, just about everyone on the planet has some immunity, either through vaccination or infection. But the nature of that immunity depends on myriad factors that change over time. “I know people who haven’t got Covid and some who’ve had it four times, some who’ve been infected and gotten boosted, others who didn’t get boosted, people that had delta but not omicron, omicron but not delta,” said one scientist.

On a larger scale, di erences in how countries have dealt with the pandemic create regional variation. China, which is just lifting its zero-covid policies, looks a lot di erent to the coronavirus than Sweden, which took a more lax approach beginning in 2020. All those interactions matter in terms of the probability of getting infected.

at varied and changing landscape means there are many more ways for the coronavirus to make a living, so to speak. at’s part of the reason why there are so many more variants out there. It also makes evaluating or predicting the impact of any given variant more di cult.

“Context matters,” said T. Ryan Gregory, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Guelph. “You can have a

Crop farming looks to a futurebright

best harvest must buy new seed each season. e extra cost means that the bene ts of rice hybrids have yet to

reach many of the world’s farmers.

An international team of researchers from institu-

mutation that is totally irrelevant in one environment, massively successful in a di erent environment and detrimental in a third environment,” he said. Drawing conclusions about whether a variant will cause a spike in illness or death based on a snapshot in time just doesn’t work anymore. “ is expectation of a sharp peak caused by one variant is really distorting our understanding,” he said. It can also blind us to the actual ongoing impact of variant evolution.

“ ere’s this idea that unless something is surging, causing a huge number of hospitalisations on par with the rst waves, it’s not something to worry about,” said Gregory. But these omicron o shoots have been killing between 300 and 400 people each day

in the United States since the end of spring and leaving scores more with long covid and other complications.

Omicron and its sub-variants caused Canada’s deadliest year of the pandemic yet in 2022. Gregory and others argue that we must ditch the old way of looking at variants as static entities that can be assessed with a snapshot and instead take on a more global and dynamic perspective.

“We always want to boil this down to something simple, but it’s time to be holistic rather than reductionist,” he said. “Reductionism worked OK while it was a simple system, but it’s not simple anymore, and it’s causing us to really lag behind what’s going on.”

A more holistic view starts with a better global surveil-

California have now found a way to reproduce the hybrid vigour generation after generation.

Scientists have been trying to get the high-yield hybrids to propagate as clones which remain identical without further breeding.

Many wild plants can produce seeds that are clones of themselves, in a process called apomixis.

“Once you have the hybrid, if you can induce apomixis, then you can plant it every year,” said Gurdev Khush, of the department of plant sciences at the University of California.

tions including the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development and University of

e researchers managed to create clones by tweaking genes that control the cell division cycle, so that cells divide into two exact copies.

e cloning process was 95 per cent e cient.

“Apomixis in crop plants

lance system that can monitor this more dynamic phase of the pandemic, sequencing the genetic material of viral samples to track new variants as they emerge and spread. Genomic surveillance is much better than it was in 2020.

“We need to be collecting that data and looking at trends over time,” said Pavitra Roychoudhury, director of covid-19 sequencing at the University of Washington School of Medicine’s virology lab. Such data helps scientists identify mutations that might prove problematic and track how those mutations play out in di erent contexts.

Meanwhile, it will take even more time for scientists to determine whether XBB.1.5 causes more severe illness or is more likely to lead to long covid.

has been the target of worldwide research for over 30 years, because it can make hybrid seed production become accessible to everyone,” said Professor Venkatesan Sundaresan at the University of California.

“ e resulting increase in yields can help meet global needs of an increasing population without having to increase use of land, water and fertilisers to unsustainable levels.”

Rice is the staple crop for half the world’s population. e results could now be extended to other agricultural staples such as wheat or maize, the researchers said.

e pressures of climate change and the challenges of feeding booming populations mean scientists predict a growing demand for genetically modiJed crops in the developing world.

News 18 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023

Top tips to easier flying

1. Avoiding Turbulence ere are certain days and times that are better to y on than other ights for a few reasons. If you are sensitive to airplane turbulence, morning ights would be better for you. As weird as it may sound, this is because morning ights mean it’s not as hot out. Heating from below creates unstable conditions like storms, winds, and bumpy ying, which directly leads to high turbulence. Best to only book during the morning then.

2. ose Airplane Blankets

Many of us have become hyper-aware of germs in recent years. But we still want to y comfortably. But there’s one ight comfort you should forego if you’re not looking to get sick during the trip (and who is?). So, skip out on that blanket ight attendants o er passengers at the beginning of the ride. To put it mildly, those aren’t guaranteed to be the cleanest pieces of cloth you’ve touched.

Instead, bring a warm sweater, wear long trousers, and wear socks or bring a pair in your carry-0n bag. If you have space in your carryon or backpack, you can also just pack your own blanket. ere are some thin but

e ective ones out there made speci cally for those on-thego with limited space.

3. Don’t Ask For Ice

On every ight, there is a point when ight attendants walk around and take everyone’s drink order. When you’re thirsty, a glass of nice ice-cold refreshing water sounds like the perfect choice, right? Well, think again. Flight attendants revealed some industry secrets and said there’s a reason why they wouldn’t order any drink with ice themselves. Apparently, the ice is made from the plane’s water tank that is hardly ever cleaned.

It’s probably best to take their advice since they’re the experts there. Next time you’re asked for your drink order, opt for a drink with no ice.

4. Digitalise Everything

It’s always important to have scans of your essential documents. Dealing with a lost document could be a nightmare, and having a copy on your phone could save you lots of trouble. And even if you don’t lose anything, having scans of your essential documents is super helpful. You don’t always want to

carry your passport around while traveling in a foreign country, as it might be better left locked inside a safe or your suitcase at the hotel.

5. Smart Packing

You’ve heard of the advice to pack light, but what about packing smarter? ere are a few techniques to help pack your suitcases most optimally. Start by rolling all your clothes; folding them regularly causes them to be bulkier. If you have shoes, you can roll up and place any smaller clothing items like tank tops, underwear or socks into the soles of the shoes to optimise space as well.

Another great tip is to keep the heavy and oversized items like sweatshirts and towels at the bottom of the suitcase before packing other stu ; it will take up less room this way.

6. Track Your Luggage is is a genius creation that will dramatically decrease any worries or stress you have associated with ying. One of the biggest worries is losing your checked suitcases during travel. You check your luggage and trust they will arrive safely and sound at your destination. If they

don’t, all you can do is le a claim and wonder where they went. Well, now, with these trackers, you’ll have their location on your phone!

It’s truly a game changer, and if anything does happen to your luggage, you’ll know exactly where they are!

7. Fragile Luggage

Do you ever want to pack something fragile in your suitcase but are scared it will be damaged while travelling? Maybe you want to buy a nice dish from a country you’re visiting or a fancy perfume, but you’re unsure of how you can be con dent that it won’t be harmed while tucked away in your luggage. A fantastic trick to prevent this is marking your baggage as fragile while checking in.

By marking your luggage as fragile, the cargo crew is supposed to handle your suitcase with extra care. It is added to the cargo compartment last, so it’s on top of all the other bags, which also means it comes out rst!

ight booking websites, they track your cookies and how many times you search for a particular ight on their site.

erefore they can hike up the ight price because they know it is of high interest to you. e only way to combat this is to browse in private or incognito mode.

By using private browsing, you will likely get a way cheaper ight than the original price. So try it next time you’re ready to book!

9. Skip Like a Pro

One of the most frustrating things in life is waiting in long lines, especially at airports. Ever since the pandemic, the lines have only got worse. Now if you are waiting for your ight in the airport and its suddenly cancelled, dozens, if not hundreds of people are trying to change their ight all at once. is could take hours and become super overwhelming. But there’s actually a hack most people don’t think about to skip this hassle.

10. Avoid Swollen Feet

While ying can be amazing and take you to places you’ve never seen, it does come with its downsides. On longer ights, your blood circulation can become a bit stagnant, causing your feet and hands to swell. While this usually isn’t serious, there are some ways to ease this and prevent it beforehand and during the ight. Make sure you stretch and get up periodically.

And nally...

Travelling can consist of long days and nights, hours on end in airports and planes, and being unable to shower or freshen up. Being sweaty and in the same clothes for days can give you an icky feeling. It’s best to pack a few extra things in your carryon to prevent this feeling. erefore, always pack extra undergarments like underwear, socks, and socks. Another out t to change into upon landing is also a great idea.


Go Incognito When Booking

Before you book your plane ticket, here is the best way to ensure you get the best price. Whenever you visit airline or

Instead of waiting at the ticket counter for hours, step aside and call the customer service line for your airline. Explain the situation and they will be able to rebook your ight right there on the phone.

Don’t forget small travelsized deodorants, toothpaste, and perfumes to help you feel revitalised after a long travel day. It may not be the same as a proper shower, but given the situation, it’s as good as it can get.

19 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Travel & Leisure

Predictions past, present and to come Furthermore

January is not just the month for resolutions, new beginnings and sales; it is also the month for predictions — predictions for the year ahead and beyond. Old Moore’s Almanac has been making predictions for the past 259 years (and who could have predicted such longevity for such a small magazine) some right, some wrong, I guess, which is the nature of the uncertain science of predicting.

Here are some of Old Moore’s predictions for the year ahead: a high pro le murder in Ireland will go global; a train incident makes the news while a shopping mall will be in the news for tragic reasons; Hilary Clinton will be back in the spotlight; Nancy Pelosi is accused of being an alcoholic; Donald Trump has a severe health warning while Joe Biden will be known

Gerry Moran

as the worst president in history (oh dear!) and his decline will occur in 2023; Johnny Depp will come back bigger than ever as will his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Other predictions are: George Clooney’s marriage will be in peril; Graham Norton, Liam Neeson and Jude Law will have health warnings plus we will see a change of Pope in 2023!

On the sporting front, Old Moore gives the nod to Kerry for the All Ireland football and Limerick for the hurling. Make what you will of those predictions but I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for the Pope, ‘Sleepy’ Joe Biden and that high-pro le murder.

Staying with predictions, science is constantly exploring and inventing (not least in the realm of technology) but it can be a great source for some embarrassing pre-

dictions which later turn out to be very short sighted. Here are 15 extremely embarrassing predictions and quotes from scientists, surgeons, mathematicians and journalists around the world who would, given the chance, rather they hadn’t opened their mouths.

1. “While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and nancially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.” Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer, 1926.

2. “Radio has no future.” Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) British mathematician and physicist.

3. “Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires

and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value.” Editorial in the Boston Post, 1865.

4. “ e abdomen, the chest and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.” Sir John Eric Ericson, surgeon to Queen Victoria, 1875.

5. “ at virus is a pussycat.” Dr. Peter Duesberg, molecular-biology professor at U.C. Berkeley, on HIV, 1988.

6. “Your cigarettes will never become popular.” F. G. Alton, 1870, cigar maker, turning down Mr. John Player.

7. “I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of anyone.” Charles Darwin (writing in Origin of Species) 1859.


8. “X-rays are a hoax” Lord Kelvin (again!), circa 1900.

9. “ e so-called theories of Einstein are merely the ravings of a mind polluted with liberal, democratic nonsense which is utterly unacceptable to German men of science.” Dr. Walter Gross, 1940.

10. “With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.” Business Week, August 2, 1968.

11. “Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and nd oil? You’re crazy.” Workers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist for his project to drill for oil in 1859.

12. “Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous

ction.” Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872.

13. “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929) Supreme Allied Commander, World War 1.

14 “Within the next few decades, autos will have folding wings that can be spread when on a straight stretch of road so that the machine can take to the air.” Eddie Rickenbacker, ‘Popular Science,’ July 1924

15. “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. O ce of Patents, 1899.

And nally a prediction of my own – there’s a lot more embarrassing predictions to come.


Local Councillor Andrew McGuinness has encouraged people to make use of the Croí Conaithe Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant which includes cities and remote rural areas.

Councillor McGuinness commented, “ e expanded Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant provides a fantastic opportunity for even more people - from every part of the country - to refurbish vacant properties with the aim of converting them into their homes, enabling them to live in cities, towns, villages and rural areas across Kilkenny.

“ is scheme provides real practical help. It helps address vacancy through sustainable reuse of buildings, it helps revitalise our communities and, most importantly, it helps more people to own their own home.”

e expanded grant now includes eligible vacant properties in both cities and more remote rural areas (in addition to those in towns and villages, which have been eligible since July). e scheme’s expansion will help

bring vacant and derelict properties back into residential use and ensure the existing housing stock is fully used, adding vibrancy to Ireland’s cities and rural areas.

Under the Croí Conaithe Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant €30,000 is available to homebuyers to refurbish a home which they will live in. Where a property is derelict, a maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 will be available, bringing the total grant avail-

able for a derelict property up to a maximum of €50,000. e grants can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750. e grant, provided through the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund, is a key action under Housing for All, the Government’s housing plan, and supports the aims of the Our Rural Future policy. Over 500 applications have been made since the grant was initially launched on 14 July 2022.

20 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
encourages people to make use of the expanded vacant property
grant for cities and remote rural areas

Girl Auction

was always there in my time.

around a re in their fumey den.

Anyone who thought there was even a smidgeon of truth in that Dacent Boy nom de plume would beon meeting this cute boyo - swiftly disabused of such naive ideas.

hours to crawl across two elds, and only for the postman hearing his demented howls inside the roadside ditch, the world might have been deprived of his illustrious presence.

Part 1

It was about seventy- ve years ago, sitting beside the re in old Baurscoobe, in the County of Kilkenny, that I heard this story of ‘ e Girl Auction’, or ‘Fair’. is story is laced with more truth than merriment. In this particular ‘girl auction’ story, there was only the one bidder… In with a chance, that is. We’d have been all perched on blocks of wood, or up on the hob - if the cranky mongrel dog hadn’t got there rst. is mutt would have no qualms at all about sinking his yellow fangs into anyone naive or foolish enough to question his ownership of the warm spot, on top of the slab of iron that surrounded the smokey green-stick re. Where that at iron slab came from, I know not – it

e old people would be ‘telling the tale’ and chawin’ the rag about what passed {and still passes} in Ireland for politics; that, and the odd neighbour in for the cuairdioch {chat} was the established - the only way - of passing the long winter night.

In our house, there was seldom even an oil lamp to light proceedings.

e yellow tallow candle was the Sun King of our dark and smokey realms. Knowing no di erent, we were as content as any poverty-stricken frails could hope to be. Were you to displace the sagging slate roof and seriously bulging walls of our ancient house, and peer in at us from the cold ebony of the banshee-infested dark, you would see little di erence or improvement in human existence from the Dark Ages. One could excuse staring-eyed visitors from a faraway land, or even Space, imagining that they had happened on a colony of talking bears, clustered

It was cold in the bedroom, with owers of frost on the window. Down in the yard, and on the lane running beside it, shiny black blots showed the iced-over puddles.

e sickly glow of a dying wintry half-moon didn’t even cast a shadow amongst the twisted shanks of the skeochs in the ditches - long naked to the knife of a bitter north wind. e evening star was a cold blue re, low in the sky, away, far.

Along the lane, this thoroughfare of joy, and around the corner of our silent barn, a light came a-bobbing and a-weaving. Attached to it was a man who moved like he was on a mission. He was. We could tell from the walk of him that it was Paudhaun, a farmer from down the road. He also rejoiced in that other deeply ironic old Irish nickname – “ e Dacent Boy”. Always attached to those who ‘still had their Communion shilling.’ …

Swinging a ‘lantern’ of the times – and mine - a jam jar with a candle glued to the bottom with its own melt - the handle being old twine - he shambled, as con dently as his odd lurching crab-like motion would allow - along towards the ramshackle gate of our yard. His rather startling method of locomotion wasn’t inherited, as he’d been born with two tolerably sound spags. Why he was restricted to the full use of only one lower limb, I’ll explain.

Years before, a young lad from a far parish had unwisely taken up Paudhaun’s o er of a job.

Being the owner of a vicious temper, P hit him a few educational slaps in the gob one day when they were ‘laying’ a skeoch ditch. e cub found these antics not much to his liking – not quite the stu of dreams – and delivered the P a phenomenal belt on the knee with the butt-end of his ‘slasher’ {a fearsome hedging tool} – and then legged it for distant parts. It took Paudhaun several

In those days of cruel nick-names, he acquired a second charming sobriquet - ‘ e Hopper.’ at this was the name given to a hated jumping black ea, denizen of many beds, was purely coincidental… Molly and myself, the only girls of the house –the only children of the house - watched his every move from behind our dark panes. What door would he go on to shake? Would he pass the gate, and go up to Rochfort’s place, further along the lane from our home?

We had slipped out of our bed to see what was going on, when we’d heard his hobnails in the frosty night - well before he’d heaved himself into sight. {Strange it may seem now, reader, but in those far-o nights the identity of most people could be de ned by the way they walked, or sang, or whistled. And the few with bikes could be told by the rattle of a chain or chain-guard, the clack of a pedal, or the squeak of a saddle.}

“What’s that mane oul cursa-god divil looking

for, at this time of night?” I whispered to my big sister. “We’ll nd out soon enough,” was the grim reply, “you know well his mother is laid up this good while - and I think it’s to do with that. He might be looking for someone to look after her. “Will he want you to go work for them, Molly?” “Aye – work is right - and maybe a lot more”, came the hard answer, “the bauhoc {louser} hasn’t come up at this unearthly hour for just a washergirl, or a chamber pot {night-waste receptacle} emptier, I’ll tell you that.”

Paudhaun’s old mother was well known to be a shrewish skin int, and not even the poorest girls could be enticed to look after her. She had a notoriously savage tongue; in her enforced idleness she was undiluted rat poison; an oul divil, a crithacaun – an oinseach.

“Bad cess to that bloody Paudhaun, but he didn’t pass the gate - he shoved it in, and crabbed across the yard…….

To be Continued… Ned E.


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

21 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Opinion

Our New Year’s Style Resolutions

Forget “going to the gym” or “meditating.” The truest New Year’s resolutions are all about feeling good in your clothes. Here’s how the team that look after MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre are shaking things up in 2023, with some of their top picks from some stores in the Centre.

Find the right coat.

The best resolutions are specific tasks you can accomplish in the precious few days when the “New Year, New You” energy is still strong. (“Sign up for a half marathon” is much better than “start running.”) So, I’m keeping it concrete: I rummaged through the after-crimbo sales and finally found my perfect flattering, flowy felt Pala D’oro overcoat from Carraig Donn at a bargain €40. — Dominique, Head of Customer Experience


I know my style, I know my taste, and I have my subconscious ingrained fashion habits. As I continue to learn more about myself in 2023, I aim to be more focused to refine my style to what really suits not only my body, but my personality. I’ll lead every purchase in 2023 with this question: “Does this really feel true and signature to me?” And if it does, consider the card swiped. This purple Pala D’oro dress from Carraig Donn is so flattering and colourful and only €50 — Marion, Centre Manager

Follow me down the Rabbit hole. Over the pandemic I started collecting jackets from Regatta, Dunnes Stores and Pamela Scott; one of Pamela Scott’s winter spring gilets were such a star buy. The materials used are also designed for all weathers, and more to the point, it fts my body well. With any luck, Pamela Scott will definitely be making more of an appearance in my closet in 2023. Beige Gillet €69.99 — Donna, Assistant Centre Manager

22 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Advertisement MacDonagh Junction

Stop buying Black clothes. While putting away my wash and fold the other day, I pulled out a stack of black tops and jeans and was forced to take a serious inventory of my fiscal, sartorial, and spiritual choices. This is not who I am!! My only realistic way to commit to buying more colour? Hold myself accountable right here in the Observer and go to Pamela Scott for a total revamp. Green Shirt €79.99 and Pink Jacket €129.99 from — Cristina, Security O cer

Buy a really, really nice suit. My style resolution is incredibly specific: I want a great suit. I want a perfect suit. I want it from a special brand like Baumler, Keiser, White Label or Herbie Frogg; I want to try them all on and say things like, well, great shoulder structure on this one but the fabric on the other one is so sturdy. That’s why I go to Swan Factory Outlet in the Centre. All my special occasions that were cancelled in the swell of the pandemic are finally coming back on the calendar so I’ll have a more than a good-enough excuse. Suit prices range between €100 to €250! —Jerry, Snr. Parking Host, Park Rite

23 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Keep moving forward If you still feel like going to the gym or out for a brisk walk, or need some extra umph when traversing the Mall, I really feel secure in one of Skechers fabulous range of comfy and breathable trainers. Navy €115 and Tan €100 –
Head of Security *All prices were correct at time of printing. Exciting Announcement: MacDonagh Junction have a special treat for the local community: On a Friday evening in February they’ll be launching a Local Musicians Initiative - Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details!

Covid sees world’s rich grow richer

Russia will either become a failed state or break up within the next decade, according to 46% of top foreign policy experts in a new survey released by the Atlantic Council think tank.

e study also showed that 21% of the experts consider Russia the most likely nation to

On December 14, 2022 US billionaire philanthropist and novelist MacKenzie Scott announced that her donations since 2019 have totalled more than $14 billion and helped fund around 1,600 nonpro t organisations. But it is the style of giving, not the size, that is causing a stir; it’s targeted at a wide spectrum of causes, without a formal application process and — it appears — no strings attached.

“I cried!” admits Katherine Williford, chief growth o cer of the international nonpro t Water For People, recalling the day in August 2022 that their $15 million grant was conrmed.

Ms Williford said that, a year ago, a representative of someone only referred to as a “high net-worth individual” interested in promoting health and equality contacted them.

“We walked them through our plans, visions, nances. en after six months we get $15 million with no restrictions or reporting requirements. We even o ered to send an annual report or an update on the funding but they said, ‘We trust you.’ I’ve never had that happen in all my years in fundraising.”

It was only when the grant was con rmed that Scott was revealed as the donor.

As of December 2022, Mackenzie Scott was the fth richest woman in the US with an estimated fortune of about $26 billion. Scott divorced Amazon founder and executive chairman Je Bezos in 2019, and as part of the settlement, received a 4% stake in Amazon. at same year, she vowed to give away her “disproportionate amount of money” and to “keep at it until the safe is empty”.

She rarely grants interviews and did not respond to a request for comment for this story rst reported by from America’s Nation Public Radio (NPR). In keeping with her low-pro le approach to gift-giving in the last several years, she has only vaguely explained her rationale for deciding whom to fund and, until December 2022, did not even have a website that tracked the gifts.

Initially, some potential recipients ignored Ms Scott’s representatives’ emails or hung up on their phone calls, believing them to be scams or hoaxes. For many of Ms Scott’s recipients, it was the largest grant they have ever received.

e lack of information about her team, method and decision-making process has

become a failed state by 2033, more than twice higher than the next most common choice, Afghanistan (10%).

In addition, 40% of respondents expect Russia to break up internally within 10 years due to revolution, civil war, political disintegration, or some other reason.

European experts are particularly pessimistic about the same scenario, with 49% expecting it, while only 36% of American experts see it as likely.

For the survey, the Atlantic Council spoke with 167 experts, from academic, nonpro t, governmental, and con-

sultancy backgrounds.

Western o cials are convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been weakened by the war in Ukraine, with the Pentagon calling it a “massive strategic failure,” according to the Business Insider.

A UK Government source told e Times of London that

Moscow, due to the war, could need up to three decades to rebuild the nation’s economic and military strength.

“Ukraine clearly highlights the possibility of internal problems for Russia, and the possibility that the war itself might have boomerang e ects for not only its leadership but

for the country as a whole,” Atlantic Council deputy director of foresight Peter Engelke told e Financial Times.

e experts surveyed also expect other major global developments, with 70% agreeing with a statement that China could invade Taiwan within the next decade.

prise that provides low-cost eyeglasses to workers in subSaharan Africa and South Asia.

VisionSpring’s CEO Ella Gudwin describes Ms Scott’s support as a “big win” for the sector. “ is is believed to be the largest, single private donation toward solving the problem of uncorrected blurry vision as a poverty intervention,” she says.

Most notable in Mackenzie Scott’s gifts is the lack of any reporting requirements, something that nonpro t workers like Water For People’s Williford heartily welcome.

“People don’t realise how much time organisations spend on allocating restricted resources. A lot of people say, ‘I want to make sure my money goes only to programming, not to overhead.’ “ But, she says that overhead is important — it’s “salaries, fundraising and keeping lights on”.

She also says that it is common for donors to have speci c geographic preferences for their gift.

“If you get di erent restrictions, you are constantly having to reallocate resources and reserves.”

Bubb says that an unrestricted approach is a blow against bureaucracy.

The American woman giving away billions

invited some skepticism. Stanford University professor and co-director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society Rob Reich told Bloomberg in 2021: “She owes her fellow citizens greater transparency over the power she’s wielding. Scrutiny does not mean condemnation; it just means we deserve to ask questions.”

Ms Scott appears to have taken this advice and in December, unveiled the website with a database listing her dona-

tions, with plans to detail the selection criteria and to launch a process for nonpro t organisations to apply for grants.

Some experts like Sir Stephen Bubb, Head of the Gradel Institute of Charity at the University of Oxford, say that the need for greater openness does not always apply.

“If it’s public sector money then absolutely there has to be transparency and proper processes. If it’s philanthropy I think a freer more interest-

ing approach is appropriate,” Bubb says.

Peter Grant, from Bayes Business School in London, agrees, saying it’s important to not discourage people from making gifts. “ e quicker and easier you make it to get that money out of your bank account and into things that are making the world better, then the more effective grant making will be,” he says.

It doesn’t appear that Mackenzie Scott has been deterred

by critics, and in November 2022, she outlined that her giving was targeted toward “supporting the voices and opportunities of people from underserved communities”. In 2020, she announced that she had already contributed more than $586 million to causes supporting racial equality. Most of the initial grants have been to US-focused initiatives, but some are international in scope like a $15 million gift to VisionSpring, a social enter-

“Philanthropic foundations have been far too processdriven, deciding what’s best for charities and making them jump through hoops with over-elaborate application arrangements.”

A report by the Centre for E ective Philanthropy (CEP), based on interviews with Mackenzie Scott’s bene ciaries, found that the e ects of the largesse have been “dramatically and profoundly positive”. It outlines how organisations’ initial concerns of not having the capacity to absorb such a large donation or deterring other donors, have largely been allayed. On the contrary, the report notes that leaders surveyed, “report a new sense of empowerment and agency”.

( e CEP has previously received a grant from Scott but notes that the report did not receive any funding from her.)

Meanwhile, Williford and her colleagues at Water For People are able to concentrate on their goal of providing sustainable clean water access to everyone by 2030 and assist their expansion into Tanzania.

“Unrestricted donations in a vacuum is not the solution but the more that donors do trustbased philanthropy — building a relationship and doing due diligence — the more time can be spent on project delivery.”

e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Global Report
25 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go
Chase 2023
s yestes

“And Tee O !!! for Go s yestes Chase Day 2023”

Racing enthusiasts from all over Ireland are expected to descend upon Gowran Park Racecourse for the time honoured Go s yestes Chase on ursday January 26th, but yesterday ahead of the agship meeting some of the biggest names in Irish racing were joined by friends to launch the 2023 Go s yestes Day with a Golf competition in Gowran Park. Some of the people taking to the fairways

included hurling stars TJ Reid, Micheal Fennelly & Paddy Mullan, Champion jockey Paul Townend, former grand national winners David Mullins & Niall Slippers Madden and TV pundits Kevin O Ryan & Fran Berry and a host of Trainers, Bloodstock agents & sponsors.

e round was nished o with the nearest the pin challenge on the 9th hole where all attendees battled it out with the winner’s identity not being re-

26 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Go s yestes Chase 2023

vealed until Go s yestes Day when they will be presented with the trophy live on RTE.

yestes winners reads like a who is who of Irish jump racing stars from Arkle to Hedgehunter from Flying Bolt to Djakadam it really is “where a horse becomes a legend”. e feature race on the day is due to go to post at 3.25pm and is supported by six other races most notably the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle with a €40,000 prize up for grabs in this staying hurdle contest. e yestes has long been recognised as a steppingstone for the Aintree grand national & e Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle as a stayer’s hurdle trial for Cheltenham. Entries are always top class on the day and racing fans are sure to be treated to some top-class National Hunt racing.

Discussing the Go s yestes Chase Day Gowran Park General Manager Eddie Scally explained “Go s yestes Day really kick starts our season in Gowran Park and we really appreciate how racing people from

far and wide support this day every year in their thousands.

e Go s yestes Chase is this region’s biggest & most iconic race where horses, trainers and jockeys have the chance to put their name in the history books. We love to see our winners go on to challenge for Grand Nationals & Gold Cups, but I always remember Ruby Walsh after winning on Invitation Only being asked what next for the horse? His reply was simply “I don’t know, and I don’t mind, he’s won a yestes” this for me just sums up what the Go s yestes Chase means to the racing world.

Henry Beeby Group CEO Go s added

“Go s is delighted to continue our sponsorship of the yestes Chase at Gowran Park. Go s yestes Day is a real highlight of the Irish National Hunt calendar, mixing highly competitive steeplechasing with a race day experience like no other. Many of the biggest names in National Hunt have won the yestes over the years, including the most famous Go s grad-

uate of all time in Arkle, and so this is the perfect platform for Go s to launch our inspection period for the market-leading Land Rover Sale.

We love working with Eddie Scally and the team at Gowran Park who do such a fantastic job each year and look forward to another Go s yestes thriller in just over two weeks’ time”.

e Go s yestes Chase takes place at Gowran Park Racecourse on ursday January 26th, Gates Open at 10.30am with the rst race going to post at 1.05pm. Early bird Tickets are available at online at priced at €20 for adults and €15 for OAP/ Students. Group discounts are available by contacting Gowran Park on 056 7726225.

Courtesy buses will run from Kilkenny Castle Gates at 10.30am on the day and return one hour after the last race. We would encourage anyone that has never attended Go s yestes Day to make 2023 their year to join us at Gowran Park and be part of the excitement that this day always brings.

27 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Go s yestes Chase 2023
28 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go s
yestes Chase

Local knowledge, international experience

In 2023 we celebrate 10 years of sponsorship at the agship ‘ yestes Race Day’ at Gowran Park, “the race that stops a county.” Our partnership with Gowran Park over the past 10 years has marked a time of signi cant growth for both Gowran Park and Daly Farrell Chartered Accountants, culminating this year as we establish a Dublin o ce in Glasnevin providing Advisory, Audit, Accountancy and Taxation services. We strive to improve and evolve with the ever-changing world of business as more and more clients are embracing cloud accounting while ensuring to preserve the key services of wealth preservation and succession planning.

Accountants Beginners Chase’ has produced some outstanding winners over the years. From the dashing grey, Smashing, in 2014, trained by Henry de Bromhead, to outstanding chasers such as Great Field, Cilaos Emery and most recently Coeur Sublime ridden to victory last year by Rachael Blackmore. Our race day with Gowran Park is a milestone event for Daly Farrell Chartered Accountants each year. It provides an opportunity for us to host our clients and business partners in a social setting, enabling us to further understand how we both can grow and evolve. We are very proud to be part of this very important annual social and economic event in the South East and take this opportunity to thank our clients for their continued custom and wish Gowran Park continued success.

29 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go s yestes Chase 2023

Porter’s Saddlery

Porter’s Saddlery has been up and running for over 40 years. ey are a family owned business run by Ann

and Simon Porter. For many years, Ann had been working with and owned race horses. Simon on the other hand had been doing leather work, repairing and making saddles.

ey have run the business exceptionally for many years. ey love meeting all of their customers and hearing about the sales in foals, yearlings and stallions.

ey appreciate all of their loyal and consistent customers who keep them going throughout the years. Porter’s Saddlery is a busy shop in Dungarvan,Gowran, and employee Miriam ensures that the shop is stocked to the highest standard to supply everything their customers could want or need.

ey supply a wide range

of equestrian items. From helmets, back protectors, clothes, rugs, tack saddles to grooming products, TopSpec feed and saddle tting.

Visit Porter’s Saddlery in Dungarvan, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny. Check their social media for updates on deals and offers on their Facebook and Instagram! For any queries, please call 056 772 4664. Alternatively, you can email

30 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go
s yestes Chase 2023
The highest standard of work for every customer
31 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go s yestes Chase 2023

At Connolly’s Red Mills, we’ve studied the Style Form so you can look Best Turned Out this yestes Day!

e jumps season is in full swing and with yestes Day fast approaching, we’ve got some style tips for anyone planning on heading to the races

Stay warm! If you want to get a good view of the nish post, you’re likely to be outdoors and at this time of year it can be chilly and blustery. With this in mind, your best friend is going to be a long coat and some warm boots. is doesn’t mean however that you can’t be stylish with it. Quite the opposite in fact, and you just need to look at the stunning ensembles that were on display at the Leopardstown Christmas festival to get some inspiration for the perfect winter racing out t.


A favourite among the racing crowd, Fairfax and Favor’s boots are the epitome of comfort and style. e most popular style is the Regina – a knee high boot in a choice of leather or suede, with an elegant scallop nish side zip, and a detachable tassel, which can be interchanged and colour matched to your out t. ere’s also a choice of heel –at or a mid high Cuban heel, and a gel insole for ultimate comfort – perfect for a long day at the track. If the Regina is not your cup of tea, Fairfax & Favor have a huge range of footwear, matching bags and accessories, all available exclusively at Red Mills, which is located at Cillin Hill, just before Lyrath Estate on the old Dublin Road.


Investing in a wool coat is not only sustainable, but also wool or tweed tends to be much warmer than non-natural bres. A neutral colour like beige or cream is very wearable, and means you can change up your out t

over many wears, by adding a pop of colour in the form of a headwear, a bright belt, or colourful handbag. e Portree is a classic tweed coat made with 100% lambswool from iconic country brand Scho el. With a tailored shape to atter your gure and a chic mandarin collar, this is a classic wardrobe staple which doesn’t date.

Alternatively, a statement coat in a striking colourway is always going to turn heads, and you can make this the ‘piece de resistance’ of your race day rigout. is beautiful coat from Dutch brand King Louie has a gorgeous colour palette which can be picked up with match accessories, long length to keep you cosy, and 30% wool makes for added warmth.


e trusty fedora is a stylish nishing touch, and a practical style choice in the event of rain! Red Mills have a vast range of hats available from brands including Hicks & Brown, Dubarry and Scho el, and you can choose a simple style which can be worn o track as well, or something more glamourous with feather detailing. We’ve chosen this versatile navy hat with a pheasant wrap, which has been worn by countless celebs, including a certain Catherine, princess of Wales!

Accessories It can be the ner details that really pull an out t together, so don’t forget your scarf and gloves – you may need them if it’s particularly chilly, and of course a trusty handbag with enough room to t your lippy & racecard, and potentially

some winnings if you are lucky on a utter! We’ve chosen the ‘Mini Windsor’, again from Fairfax and Favor, in a fab suede emerald green, this little wonder is deceptively spacious and will take you from the races right through to a dinner

date, to add a sophisticated touch to your look.

Once you have your essentials in place, then depending on the weather that day you might need to bring a pair of sunnies for that glaring winter sun, and possibly a

brolly for the dash from the track to the champagne bar!

yestes Day is dubbed locally as ‘ e Race at Stops a County’ and generates a huge crowd every year. So with this in mind, leave plenty of time for getting to there if you’re

driving. Gowran Park also run a complimentary shuttle bus from Kilkenny Castle on the day, and back into Kilkenny City after the racing – very handy if you want to kick back with a few pals and make a day of it.

32 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go s yestes Chase 2023
Monogram scarf €29.95
Portree wool
All available at
Fedora, €105 Suede handbag €248.00 Suede Regina boots, €435
Marietta Doran wears the Peyton coat, €199
33 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go s yestes Chase 2023
34 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go s yestes Chase 2023


2 Galmoy Hurdle that has produced a number of top class winners over the years.

Thyestes Day in Gowran Park is one of the most prestigous days on the Racing Calendar and has a long standing tradition since e yestes Chase was rst run in 1954.

It’s a very special day in Gowran Village as each year - apart from the Covid Enforced Regulations in 2021 where the meeting took place behind closed doors - people from across the Country ock in their thousands to attend one of the major Race Days of the year.

It’s certainly one of the biggest One-Day Meetings in the Racing Year, and for many it’s an uno cial Bank Holiday Day and the rst Social Day out since the Christmas Holidays which certainly helps erase e sadness of Christmas ending.

e yestes has produced an illustrious roll of honour with the most famous winners back in the mid 1960s with Arkle(1964) and Flyingbolt (1966) landing the spoils, both trained by Tom Dreaper.

Arkle’s victory in 1964 was a stepping stone to further glory as in March of that same year, he won the rst of his three Cheltenham Gold Cups in succession (1964-1966) on his way to becoming one of the greatest horses of all time.

Flyingbolt added e TwoMile Champion Chase and Irish Grand National to his yestes Triumph in the same year (1966) in a golden era for Tom Dreaper who was blessed to have two legendary race horses.

In the Mid 2000s, Two subsequent Aintree Grand National winners would emerge victorious courtesy of Hedgehunter(2004) and Numbersixvalverde(2005).


Hedgehunter who won e yestes in 2004 went on to give Willie Mullins his sole Ain tree National Triumph a year later in 2005, while Numbersixvalverde would acheive Double National glory after pre vailing in a thrill ing photo nish from Kyman dgen in e 2005 yestes Chase.


was onboard to land e Irish National who won in a close nish from Jack High who was trained by Ruby’s Dad Ted. e following year in 2006, Niall “Slippers” Madden partnered Numbersixvalverde to win e Aintree National with Hedgehunter lling the runnerup spot, while last year Longhouse Poet gave Martin Brassil his 2nd yestes Triumph with Darragh O’Kee e

on board.

undoubtedly was a prep run ahead of a repeat attempt to win e yestes next ursday.

No doubt last years yestes winner will attempt to emulate the feat of Numbersixvalverde in April and try to win e Aintree showpiece also.

If he does line-up next ursday, he will be attempting to follow in the footsteps of Wylde Hide(1995 and 1996), Bob Treacy (1999 and 2001), Priests Leap(2008 and 2009), and 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup Runner-up On His Own(2012 and 2014) who all won e yestes Twice.

Longhouse Poet won over Hurdles at e Limerick Christmas Festival, which most suc-

Willie Mullins has been the

cessful yestes winning trainer having won e Gowran feature on 8 occassions with 6 di erent Jockeys, and unquestionably will have a strong fancy in this years renewal to try and add to his tally.

e sequence began in 2000, when Jason Titley was aboard Mickos Dream to give e Clareman his Second yestes Triumph following victory aboard e Harry De Bromhead (Dad of Henry) Trained Grand Habit in 1992.

Further victories followed courtesy of Hedgehunter under David Casey in 2004, before Homer Wells with Davy Condon onboard gave e Champion Trainer his ird yestes

From 2012 onwards, e Closutton native began to dominate as he trained the winner of e Gowran feature on 5 occassions between 2012 and 2020.

On His Own gave David Casey his ird yestes victory in 2012(He also won aboard e Charlie Swan Trained is Is Serious in 2002), before repeating the feat two years later in 2014. 12 months later in 2015, Djakadam with Ruby Walsh onboard de ed top weight of

11-10 in thick fog on Heavy Ground to run out a very impressive winner to give Willie his 6th yestes success.

Djakadam would go onto Grade 1 success by winning e Durkan Chase in 2015 and 2016, while also nishing runner-up twice in e Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same year.

Ruby and Willie combined for further yestes glory with Invitation Only in 2019, while 12 months later in 2020, Gowran native Danny Mullins was on board Total Recall to give his Uncle an 8th yestes Triumph.

At time of writing, it’s not known who will line up in next ursday’s feature race, but expect the 8 Times winning Trainer to have a strong hand and be well represented in what is a competitive renewal.

e Big Dog has won two featured Handicaps this season, e Munster National adnd Troytown Chase and ran a cracker under Top Weight to nish ird in e Welsh National at Christmas.

If lining up next ursday, Peter Faheys charge will certainly have a major chance and he has previously won on yestes Day having won what is now e Connolly’s Red Mills Ladies Hurdle back in 2019.

e supporting card on yestes Day is led by e Grade

Among the winners on e Roll of Honour list are 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War of Attrition who won e race in 2010, Twice Cheltenham Festival winner Presenting Percy who won in 2018 and 2019, while e Willie Mullins trained Benie Des Dieux won in 2020 having won e Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2018.

Last years race was won by Royal Kahala ahead of Home By e Lee and Ashdale Bob, with the latter duo ghting out the nish of e Grade 1 Jack De Bromhead Christmas Hurdle at e Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

Both Home By e Lee and Ashdale Bob may line-up again next ursday, while don’t rule out the possibility of e Willie Mullins trained Klassical Dream lining up also.

e 5-times Grade 1 winner was a disappointing favourite when nishing 4th in the race last year.

Elsewhere, the action commences with e Langtons Kilkenny Handicap Hurdle followed by e Connolly’s Red Mills Ladies Hurdle.

Also on e Card, there is e Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle in which Gowran Man Jimmy Barcoe Trained Allez Kal to victory in 2019, while e penultimate race is a Beginners Steeplechase sponsored by Daly Farrell Chartered Accountants in Friary Street, Kilkenny.

Two years ago in 2021, e Daly Farrell Chartered Accountants Beginners Steeplechase was won by e Locally Owned and Tom Foley Trained Rebel Gold and it was a very poignant success, as it was e Trainers Final winner before he passed away a month later.

Tom’s Son Patrick took over e Training License afterwards and last Saturday in Fairyhouse, he enjoyed his biggest victory to date with Rebel Gold as he ran out a very impressive winner of e Dan Moore Handicap Steeplechase.

e Concluding Bumper will more than likely see Willie and Patrick Mullins have a strongly fancied, while don’t rule out Mags Mullins having a contender at her Local Track considering her good strike rate in Bumpers.

Another great days Racing to look forward to on what is always one of the highlights on the Racing Calendar.

35 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go
s yestes Chase
by Martin Brassil, Ruby Walsh
win in 2007.
Henry Beeby Go s CEO WP Mullins
36 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Go s
Chase 2023

Go s yestes Chase

Gowran Park racing history

GOWRAN Park racecourse

rst opened its gates to the racing public on the 16th of June 1914. e race programme consisted of at races and steeplechases under the Irish National Hunt rules of racing. e prize money at the time was £130.

e stewards at that particular meeting included Lord Annaly, Capt. Dermot McCalmont (who’s grandson Harry carries

on the McCalmont tradition as a Director on Gowran Parks present day Board) and Isaac Bell the renowned Huntsman of the Kilkenny Hunt. e present race company was formed in 1948 and its rst Managing Director was Jack Duggan of the famous Monster House mens’ clothing store in Kilkenny. Jack Duggan was Chairman over many rsts at Gowran Park including the

rst on course commentary in 1952 and the rst Tote Jackpot in 1966. e rst televised race was also from Gowran Park. e new grandstand and its facilities were o cially opened on April 9th 2003. e new complex, completed at a cost of €3.5 million is the culmination of an extensive development programme supported by Horse Racing Ireland, which commenced with the upgrad-

ing of the stable yard and parade ring areas.

In 2006, Gowran Park staged its rst ever Group 3 at race. e elevation of the Denny Cordell Lavarack and Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes to Group 3 status highlights Gowran Park’s commitment to delivering high quality at racing.

Along with e Go s yestes Chase valued at €100,000

other notable National Hunt dates include Red Mills Day on February 16th and the October Festival.

In 2006 Gowran Park was also re-classi ed as Grade 1 course for National Hunt Meetings for prize money purposes. is re ects the fact that Gowran Park stages top class National Hunt racing, predominantly during the winter months.

Greek legend now top Irish Racing xture

RACEHORSE yestes, named after a gure from Greek mythology, was bred by Ballynahinch Stud owner, Major Dermot McCalmont and trained by Atty Persse at Stockbridge.

yestes was rated third best two-year-old of 1930 as a result of winning his only two races, the National Breeders Produce Stakes over ve furlongs at Sandown and Rous Memorial Stakes over six furlongs at Goodwood.

yestes never ran again due to injury and was retired to stud in Yorkshire.

Major Dermot McCalmont presented the yestes trophy to Kilkenny Show for a veyear-old most likely to make a hunter. A horse owned by John McEnery, Rosenarra Stud, Kells, and ridden by his son, Martin McEnery, won the trophy.

e McEnery family kindly presented the trophy to Gowran Park for the rst running of the yestes Chase in 1954.

37 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023

The physical fitness of jockeys at Thyestes Chase

How physically fit must you be to ride a horse?

Many an armchair analyst has lamented that a rider wasn’t stronger over the final furlong or blamed the jockey when they see their horse fall at

the last.

But having enough core strength to be able to balance on a horse for one or more minutes, manage several tonnes of horse power using only your hands, legs, reins, and a whip, then have the necessary strength and stamina to urge the horse forward in the closing phases requires a great degree of physical fitness. Add on top of that that most jockeys will have to repeat this trick up to seven times in the day and you can see it is a big


qualify as a jock ey you must first pass a series of

38 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Goffs Thyestes Chase 2023
Jockey Davy Russell after riding Jazzy Matty in the Race Displays hurdle at Fairyhouse

Goffs Thyestes Chase

tions on a simulator for again 4 minutes, and doing muscular holds for your arms and legs such as squats and press ups.

Dr Sarah Jane Cullen, is a Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Science in SETU Waterford and coordinates the jockey research programme in conjunction with The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board. She outlines the type of fitness that is needed to be a jockey. “Race riding requires a significant isometric (holding) muscle contraction, primarily in the quadriceps, deltoids, and forearms, with significant support from the core, back, and glute (bum) muscles.

Cullen refers to the pushing and shoving that takes place at the finish line of a race as “rigorous high-intensity pushing,” and jockeys need to have sufficient explosive muscle to force their mount across the finish line.

Cullen would recommend jockeys running 10 x 30 second hill sprints which will help with the (anaerobic) sprinting fitness that is required at the end of a race.

Weight Management

Obviously, weight management is a massive element to being a jockey. This is something every jockey understands from an early age, but they have not been educated on how to do this in a safe and sustainable way. Educating jockeys about how to manage their weight has been a large focus on the Irish HRC in recent years.

Learning to fall

An unfortunate part of the job of being a jockey is that falls happen. The Injured Jockeys Fund have been conducting research examining the link between fitness levels and consequence of falling. Research is currently ongoing, but the theory is that having stronger legs and learning how to fall with correct technique may allow jockeys to automatically use these skills and protect themselves when this occupational hazard arrives. Of course, not all injuries are avoidable but the Injured Jockey’s Fund hope that this may help reduce injuries to a certain extent.

Jockey’s Perspective

Riders undergoing some of this cutting-edge sports sciences have commented on the benefits of it. One jockey we talked to discussed how being physically fit improves his mental concentration. “The fitter you are the less tired you are throughout a race and the day, the better decisions you make. The fitter you get, the slower things seem to happen. I have found that whereas I might have gotten tired in the later races or towards the last furlongs I am now thinking clearer like I do at the start of the racing day”. Of course the main thing that gets you better as a jockey is riding horses. However, it is important to look at all aspects that can improve your performance.

So hopefully that gives you a little insight into the fitness of the jockeys you will be watching on your day out. As you are cheering on your horse at this year’s Goffs Thyestes Chase please spare a thought for the jockeys riding that horse and what they have to do to get into their best shape possible

39 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Jockey Daryl Jacob and Blue Lord after winning the Paddy’s Rewards Club Steeplechase on day two of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival Jockey Rachael Blackmore after winning the Savills Maiden Hurdle on Deep Cave during day three of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival

Go s yestes Chase 2023

IT can be a di cult task picking a winner at the races.

Often race goers will resort to making a selection based simply on the name of a horse or the colour of a jockey’s silks. However, there are many more credible strategies available, to help punters, like the ones listed below from Horse Racing Ireland.

e Paddock

You can learn a lot about a horse’s wellbeing based on seeing them in the esh. At the racecourse a runner’s physical wellbeing, tness and temperament can be assessed by watching them parading in the paddock before a race. If a horse is sweating or appears agitated, this is generally a bad sign.

A horse who handles the preliminaries well, in a calm and composed manner, will give itself a better chance of performing to the best of its ability and a punter who is wise to that will have a greater chance of picking a winner.

Racecard Form

e form numbers on a race-

How to pick a winner

card represent the nishing position of a horse in its most recent races. Numbers alone can be misleading, though, as a horse could have a ‘3’ in

its form, but that third-placed nish could have come in a three-runner race. It is important to consider the context of the form.


together denotes a horse who has won over both the course and distance of the race under consideration.

Other letters on racecard form signify non-completions of horses in races. ‘F’ and ‘U’ represent a horse who has fallen and a rider who has been unseated respectively. ‘S’ means a horse has slipped up and ‘P’ means a horse has been pulled up by its rider.

All numbers and letters on a horse’s recent form gures are worthy of consideration when trying to pick a winner.

e Betting

Each horse in a race has a price that determines its theoretical chance of winning, but these prices (odds) can uctuate.

e price of a horse can either shorten or lengthen (drift) in the betting and these movements are based on the weight of money placed by the betting public. A shortening price suggests the support for a horse is increasing, whereas a drifting price suggests support for a horse is weakening.

40 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Racecard Features Letters on the racecard are another important feature to understand when looking at a horse’s pro le. e letters ‘C’ ‘D’ represent course and distance respectively, which help identify horses who have won at that course before or over that distance. ‘CD’ joined A horse that’s calm in the Paddock gives itself a better chance of performing to the best of its ability
41 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Advertisement

e ‘can do’ attitude by wom survival of families and the c

Apart from the Audio/ visual tapes at the Castlecomer Mining Museum, little is written about the role of women through the coal-mining years.

Mothers, wives, daughters and sisters within mining families played a very important and supportive role to their men - folk and with family and community life. It was they who prepared the lunch on a daily or nightly basis, depending on which shift their men worked on. is

lunch was put in a tin box to protect it from underground vermin, particularly rats. A Corcoran’s lemonade bottle carried the cold tea. Mended and patched working clothes with, if they were lucky “knitted socks” in working boots was the order of fashion. Some tell the story of wearing old jumper sleeves for socks. ese clothes very often had to be dried over an open re to be ready for the next shift of work. e men walked or cycled to work in pits with familiar names: Deerpark,

Modueabeagh, Wolfhill, Rossmore, Skehana, Jarrow and the Vera.

e women worked in the home caring for large families. With great skill and on a daily basis, they put ‘life’ on the biblical story of ‘the loaves and shes’. Because resources in those days were often scarce, these women became dab hands at budgeting, cooking, baking, sewing, washing, ironing, caring for children and babies, and always there with a nourishing meal for their men-folk when

their shift of work ended. ‘Shop local’ did not have to be advertised in those days. Every penny earned was spent in the local economy. Milk, eggs, potatoes and vegetables were bought from the local farmers. Meat was purchased from the local butchers. e weekly shopping was bought from Delaney’s (now a private residence), Cantwell’s (now the Village Pub), Joyces (now a private residence) Scanlon’s (now a private residence) and Massford Stores (now a thriving Centre that includes Meals on Wheels). anks to Buggy’s Buses, Castlecomer we had a good many years of a daily bus service between Castlecomer and Carlow. is provided the people of Clogh and surrounding areas with alternative shopping options.

For many families, designer gear came in the ‘American Parcel’, from ‘fair days’ or from the local drapery shops in Castlecomer. Today, there is no Drapery shop in the town. Back in those days, there was a choice of drapery shops, Andy Ring in Barrack St., Tommy Fogarty Chatsworth St., Miss Kealy, Seamus Hahessy, Mrs Quinn, Miss Mans eld all in Kilkenny Street. Dressmakers, like Mrs Brennan ‘Comer Jim’s wife in Kilkenny Street was an excellent dressmaker as was Ellen Murphy of Clogh. Overall clothes were altered, minded,

42 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Mai Dormer puts pen to paper for e Kilkenny Observer this week as she reminisces about life in a coal mining community

en was instrumental to the ommunity in Castlecomer

mended, recycled and passed on to younger members of the family.

e women of that time usually wore the cross-over navy paisley patterned aprons. Up until the seventies many of them still wore the black shawl, long black skirts and black laced boots. Good wear was kept for Sunday Mass and then carefully put away for the following week.

e coal- re played an important part in the everyday life of those women. It was lit with the help of paper, sprigs, cinders, coal and a bottomless bucket (which speeded the draught). It provided the only heat within the home. If coal was scarce, the mixing of yellow clay with coal dust and

water demanded the skill of experienced ‘dancers of the culm’. When the consistency was deemed correct, the next stage was the making of what was called ‘bumbs’ and when dried out, these gave out great heat. e women did all the cooking over the open coalre. ey also baked delicious bread in the bake pot which was hung on a crook over the re. e hob on each side of the re was used to keep food warm.

e ritual of collecting water in enamel buckets from the local fountain (for drinking or cooking) of the local river for bodily hygiene or for washing clothes in the zinc bath was an everyday event. Rain water was collected in a barrel

under the downpipes and this was used for hair washing etc. e women washed the clothes with the aid of a wash tub, a wooden board, sunlight soap and plenty scrubbing up and down the board. When dried on the outside line, the clothes were then brought inside and hung on an inside line in the kitchen. e heavy at black iron was heated on the coal- re and used to iron the clothes.

e social life of women in those days in Clogh/Moneenroe was at a level of neighbour to neighbour, going to church, rambling for a chat or game of cards, being present to each other at a birth, in times of sickness, sharing their worries and in general helping each

other out so if one ran out of tea, milk, coal or whatever – if the neighbour had it, they shared! If and when there was an accident or death in the mines a ‘whistle blower’ went o to alert people of the tragedy. is was tough time on the women who constantly lived with the fear of bad news of losing a loved one.

e formation of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association provided women with a social outlet. rough this, women were encouraged to share their creative skills and participate in education.

is participation helped to combat social isolation and contributed in no small way to the building of community.

e women organised classes,

outings, dinner-dances, rst communion parties, children’s and elderly parties at Christmas times.

Women were to the forefront to lobby for better conditions and services within the community. is included, for mains water schemes, public sewerage systems, road lighting and speed limits for the area. It was women who constantly met with school management to lobby for better education facilities such as new schools at both Clogh and Moneenroe.

Cleaning the church was another task undertaken by women. In Clogh, there are memories of collecting the water for washing the church oors with the aid of a tin can and a bucket from the stream in Phelan’s eld. e seats were moved from one side of the church to the other and with Vim cold eater and deck scrubs these women scrubbed the oors white.

ey then put the seats back in place. ey polished the seats and shined the glass door panels. It was women who delivered the weekly church envelopes for the upkeep of the Church. It was women who put the few bob in the envelopes!

e contribution those women made to family, community and society in general cannot be measured in words. ey left us a great legacy and value system to be proud of. eir ‘can do’ and ‘make do’ attitude mirrors equal greatness with their coal-mining men!

43 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023


Kilkenny County Council Arts Office is delighted to announce their annual call out for submissions for the twenty third issue of the KILKENNY POETRY BROADSHEET. The aim of the publication is to give Kilkenny writers, born or based in Kilkenny, a platform for their work. We are thrilled to have Afric McGlinchey as this year’s editor. Last year sixty writers answered the call out for submissions, sending in 108 poems for consideration. Fourteen poems were selected by Editor Elaine Feeney for publication and a further ten poets were shortlisted.

Following publication, the Broadsheet is available free throughout the city and county via the library branches and other venues.

Closing date for receipt of submissions is no later than 4pm on Friday 31st March 2023

Afric McGlinchey was awarded the Hennessy Award for Emerging Poetry for 2010, the Northern Liberties Award (USA) in 2012 and the Poets Meet Politics Award in 2015. Named as one of Ireland’s Rising Poets by Poetry Ireland Review, she has received a number of awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, including two Literature Bursaries (2017 and 2022), a Covid-19 Bursary (2020) and an Agility Award (2021). In 2012, Salmon Poetry published The lucky star of hidden things, which evokes her nomadic upbringing between Ireland and Africa. It was translated into Italian and studied at Bologna University as part of a Series on Dislocation. Her second Salmon Poetry collection, Ghost of the Fisher Cat, loosely set in medieval Paris, was also translated into Italian, and in December 2022, the work was presented at a Women in Translation showcase in Dublin alongside Freda Laughton, Eavan Boland and Sinead Morrissey. A surrealist pamphlet, Invisible Insane (SurVision) appeared in 2019, and in 2021, Broken Sleep Books (UK) published her hybrid childhood memoir, Tied to the Wind, which has been described by one reviewer as ‘a brilliant and important book’. Afric lives in West Cork where she works as a freelance editor and reviewer. She is also on the Munster Literature Centre and Words Ireland mentoring panels. Online poetry correspondence

Call for submissions

Kilkenny poetry broadsheet issue 23

courses are available on her website at

For details on how to sub -

ested in exploring poetry. The workshop will begin with prompts to trigger free-associated writing. Out of this, we’ll select material for a new poem. We’ll also look at well-known poems and discuss what makes them work. Each participant will select one and use it as a model to create their own entirely unique poem.

In the afternoon, we’ll consider image and conceit, and the way they can add layers of meaning to a poem. We’ll also look at the use of voice in monologues and if there’s time, we’ll take up the challenge of the sequence poem to create a long poem, either as a group or individually.

Early booking is advised as places are limited.

Booking details for Poetry Workshop Date: Saturday 18th March

2023 Time: 10.00am 12.30pm, 2pm – 4.30pm

Location: Butler House, Kilkenny

Bookings through Kilkenny County Council Arts Office, email: deirdre. or phone 056-7794547.

Deadline for bookings: Monday 6th February Cost: €15

Payment details: when you have made your booking, payment must be made through the Motor Tax Office, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, tel. 056779 4229. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9.10am through lunch to 3.30pm. Card payments can be made over the phone or payment can also be made by cash.

44 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
mit work to the Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet visit the Kilkenny Arts Office website at: Poetry and alchemy : a one full day workshop with Afric McGlinchey Suitable for anyone inter-
45 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Advertisement
News 46 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Advertisement

CBS and Presentation Kilkenny Students enjoy Leaving Cert PE Workshop at SETU Waterford

Fifth and sixth year students from CBS and Presentation Kilkenny were down in Waterford last Friday to experience the rst Leaving Cert PE Workshop at the South East Technological University. With PE recently becoming a leaving certi cate subject it has led to some exciting but demanding challenges for schools. e PE curriculum now requires students to complete a relevant project and to study the areas of Nutrition, Psychology, Biomechanics, Physiology and others. Getting practical experience with these areas can help the students with their projects but also underpin the theory they have to learn. However, the equipment required for some

of these elements can be very expensive for schools. is is where the SETU Waterford Workshops come into play. e Department of Sport and Exercise through their various sport and health degrees have world class equipment and facilities that can be used by the PE students of the South-East.

Head of the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Prof. Michael Harrison outlines the bene ts of such a day to students in the SouthEast, “It is great to be able to provide leaving certi cate PE students with a chance to see di erent experiments such as a Lactate test, use our jump mats and speed gates and get talks from our di erent lecturers in their area of expertise”. “While predominately we have this equipment for our own Sport, Health Promotion and Exercise science students, it is great to o er a resource for the region”.

Matt Ruth (CBS PE Teacher) remarked that “ e students

loved the experience. Getting to perform di erent speed, endurance and power tests was great for them. ey could how the material they learn in class can be applied practically. Lisa Carey from Presentation Kilkenny added

that “Having di erent experts like Dr. Aoife Hearne from Operation Transformation talk on Nutrition was great. Giving our students a chance to hear information again from di erent voices was brilliant and shows the

students that the things they are learning in our classes have relevance in the sporting world.

WIT and IT Carlow have recently joined together to form SETU. e new president has recently

stated that she hopes SETU will become a resource for the whole of the South East region. From talking with students and teachers involved in this PE open day this seems like a great start to this promise.

47 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Feature
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51 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Motors

One-pot beef stifado

Prep: 40 mins

Cook: 2 hrs and 30 mins

Make this delicately spiced stew ahead of time for last-minute gatherings. Ideal for freezing, the avours of this Greek-style stew intensify when made ahead.


• 3 tbsp olive oil

• 1 kg stewing beef, cut into large chunks (chuck or shin works well)

• 600g baby onions or small shallots (see tip, below)

• pinch of golden caster sugar

• 4 garlic cloves, chopped

• 4 bay leaves

• 1 cinnamon stick

• pinch each of ground allspice and ground cloves

• 1 tbsp dried oregano

• 1 tbsp tomato purée

• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

• 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

• 150ml red wine


STEP 1 Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a ameproof casserole over a medium-high heat and brown the beef all over, removing it to a plate with a slotted spoon as you go (you may need to do this in batches). Drizzle the rest of the oil into the pan. Peel the onions (but leave whole) and add to the pan, then scatter over the sugar. Sizzle for 5 mins, stirring now and

then until starting to brown. Add the garlic, bay, cinnamon stick, allspice, cloves and oregano, and cook for 1 min more. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for another minute, then tip in the beef along with any resting juices. Stir to coat in the spiced onion mixture.


Add the red wine vinegar and chopped tomatoes. Rinse the cans out with the wine and pour it in, then add a third of a can of water. Season with salt and stir well. Bring to a simmer, stir again, then cover with the lid and transfer to the oven for 1 hr.



Remove from the oven and stir again. If the sauce looks very thick, add a splash more water. Cover again and return to the oven for another hour, or until the meat is fork-tender – the timing will depend on the cut you’ve used. Serve hot. To get

ahead, leave to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and chill for up to three days or freeze for up to three months. Defrost completely in the fridge overnight, then reheat in a pan over a low heat with a splash more water to loosen, if needed.





STEP 2 Reserve 16 raspberries, then add the remainder to the oats and crush them into the mixture. Spoon into four tumblers or sundae dishes, then top with the yogurt and both lots of berries. Cover and chill overnight or until needed. To serve, pour 2 tbsp almond milk over each and scatter with the almonds.

52 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Food & Drink
nutritious matcha powder with natural yogurt in this maple syrup and fruit-topped breakfast that’s two of your ve-a-day.
Prep: 15 mins No cooking Serves: 2 Mix
300g natural yogurt
1 tbsp matcha powder
2 tsp maple syrup
1 kiwi fruit, sliced
1 peach, sliced
100g blueberries
20g coconut akes, toasted
1 Mix the yogurt with the matcha and maple
and divide between two bowls. Top with the kiwi, peach and blueberries. Sprinkle over the coconut akes just before serving.
10 mins Plus soaking Serves: 4
the day with energising oats and omega-3-rich chia seeds with this delicious breakfast.
you can
milk and yogurt,
porridge oats
It’s vegan, but
use cow’s
prefer. Ingredients • 200g jumbo
50g chia seeds
600ml unsweetened almond milk, plus 8 tbsp
2 tsp vanilla extract
125g punnet raspberries
100g almond yogurt
250g punnet blueberries
20g flaked almonds, toasted
the oats and seeds
bowl and pour
milk and vanilla
Method STEP 1 Tip
into a
over the
Leave for 5-10 mins for the oats to absorb some of the liquid.
breakfast bowl Chia and almond overnight oats Me Come Dine With

Shocking true-life docu series now on Netflix

When it comes to true-life crime documentaries, Netflix truly shines but it’s latest may well be the most shocking yet.

e Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is a title that sounds like a horror movie, but for many it will be familiar. at’s because, Kai Lawrence, the ‘hatchet wielding hitchhiker’ in question was something of a viral sensation back in 2013, when footage of him appeared online defending a woman being attacked.

His online fame booked him a slot on America’s Jimmy Kimmel Show and there was talk of a reality show made of him.

As this Net ix documentary shows, however, fame turns to infamy when he is wanted for murder.

According to Net ix, “this shocking documentary chronicles a happy-go-lucky nomad’s ascent to viral stardom and the steep downward spiral that resulted in his imprisonment”.

It’s a jaw-dropping documentary which currently has a full 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Ready Steady Cut sums it up best in its review, noting: “ e synopsis does not do this crazy documentary justice. It’s a wild but ultimately sad story.”

While Flix Patrol currently has the documentary in its Top 5 most watched on Netix, it is riding up the charts in various countries. In the UK, for instance, the doc has been the most-watched lm since its release.

Hitchhiker joins a long list of Net ix documentaries that have true crime as a focus. Some of the most riveting include: Making a Murderer is responsible for awakening as many true crime obsessions as podcast super-hit serial. Series one asks, did Steven Avery really kill Teresa Halbach? And was his nephew Brendan Dassey an accessory? It nds holes in the evidence used in the real-world trial, and almost saw one of the defendant’s prison sentences overturned. It’s worth a watch for all comers, particularly crime fans.

A second season looks at the aftermath of the case after the documentary, piecing together more about Steven Avery and the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Meanwhile, e Last Dance is stunning television. Showing weekly, each 50-minute episode is a candid glimpse into the life of Michael Jordan, showcasing his career and his unbelievable talents with a basketball. For fans of the sport, this is essential; for everyone else it’s a fantastic eye-opener.

e most powerful documentaries can change how you think. Black sh’s subject is Tilikum, a SeaWorld killer whale. What many of us, perhaps as children, used to think of as a happy home for orcas is revealed as something else entirely.

And it eventually led to SeaWorld stopping its killer whale performances altogether. A powerhouse documentary.

Apple TV chasing Premiership slot

Apple is reportedly looking to expand its array of live sports on Apple TV+ by acquiring rights to stream Premier League football in the UK.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, Apple plans to enter the bidding when rights come up for grabs once again in 2025.

While that’s still a couple of years away, the erstwhile source of rightwing propaganda reckons Apple plans to rival Sky and BT in an e ort

that “would transform the way the top ight is broadcast in this country”.

e report says the tender process for the next round of rights will start later this year, with Apple planning on matching what Sky and BT put down every season. However, it’s more likely Apple bids for the limited streaming rights currently possessed by Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon gets 20 games a

season, or two match days, between 2022 and 2025. is has been quite revolutionary in terms of enabling UK viewers to watch every game, even if it kicks o at 3:00pm on a Saturday, a time previously blacked out.

e Premier League rights package went for €5.4 billion in 2021, covering 2022 to 2025. Amazon is believed to have paid around € 113 million for those 20 games a season, so Apple would presum-

ably have to top that in order to gain the rights in 2025.

If Apple had bolder ambitions, such as supplanting Sky Sports – which has held the majority of the rights for 30 years – it would probably involve paying upward of €4.5 billion. Cash-rich Apple certainly has those resources, but whether it would allocate such sums on Premier League football, which it could only show in a single country, remains to be seen.

to stream right now on Amazon Plus 5

1.Tales from the Loop Despite being a couple of years old, Tales from the Loop remains one of the most mesmerizing shows on Prime Video. Loosely based on the artwork of Swedish artist Simon Stalenhag, the series blurs the line between ongoing narrative and anthology as it follows the residents of Mercer, Ohio, exploring how their intersecting lives are impacted by the Loop, an underground facility exploring experimental physics, making the impossible possible.

2. e Devil’s Hour

It’s clear that e Devil’s Hour creator Tom Moran is having a little fourthwall breaking fun with his former Time Lord leading man. at s about as close as this gritty six-part drama gets to Doctor Who, though. is is, instead, a mix of murder mystery and thriller, tied o with a dash of the supernatural. e focus is on Lucy (Jessica Raine), an over-burdened social worker with an increasingly distant and troubled young son, who wakes at exactly 3:33 am every morning, plagued by horri c visions.

3. e Lord of the Rings: e Rings of Power

Tapping into e Lord of the Rings creator JRR Tolkien s sprawling history of Middle-earth, e Rings of Power is set millennia before the events of the core books (or lms, which is really where the visual language of this adaptation comes from), detailing the major events of Tolkien s Second Age. Much of the focus is on Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) searching for Sauron, servant of Morgoth, but this ambitious fantasy series explores key events such as the fall of the island of Numenor, the fractious politics between man, elves, and dwarves, and the forging of those perilous eponymous rings.

4. Paper Girls

With its 1980s setting and focus on a quartet of outsider kids, it would be all too easy to write Paper Girls o as Amazon’s gender- ipped answer to Stranger ings. Yet beyond the genre trappings here time travel, rather than horri c alternate dimensions the shows stand apart. Adapted from the Image comic by Brian K. Vaughan, Cli Chiang, and Matt Wilson, the show explores themes of fate and determinism, with its young heroes accidentally catapulted from 1988 to 2019 and given a glimpse of their own futures all while a time war rages across history.

5. e Legend of Vox Machina

Bawdy, gory, and absolutely not for kids, e Legend of Vox Machina began life as the hit Critical Role, where a group of the biggest English- language voice actors in animation and gaming livestream their Dungeons & Dragons sessions, before evolving into its own beast. An exquisitely animated fantasy, the show follows the eponymous Vox Machina guild a motley crew of usually-drunk adventurers consisting of gunslingers, druids, and the requisite horny bard.

53 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 TVAdvertisement & Streaming


Lotto Results Tuesday 10th January. Numbers 14, 15, 28. No Winner. Next weeks Jackpot is €1450. Lucky Dip winners - €30 each to Edward Byrne, Ann Kirwan, Moya Kelly, Eddie Langton and Paul Mullen.


Kilkenny followed up their opening round Walsh Cup win over O aly with a comprehensive 3-31 to 2-21 win over neighbours Laois in Rathdowney on Sunday. Making his senior debut for the visitors was Paul Cody, and he was very impressive while shooting 0-4 for the winners. Shane Staunton also made a late appearance for the Cats and Clara involvement was completed by selector Conor Phelan and trainer John Murphy. Well done lads!


Clara GAA community express their sincere condolences to the Galvin family on the sad passing of Pakie. Pakie was a loyal member of our Club - as a Player, Team Manager, Selector, Club O icer and most recently as Club President. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam


There was no winner of this week’s club lotto (January 10th). Numbers drawn were 3, 8, 24, 28 Bonus 25. Next week’s top prize will be €15,600 (January 17th). Play now at Promotors Draw. 1. Tom Leahy c/o J J Cullen. 2. Tanya Cody c/o Mary Cody. 3. Brian Murphy. 4. Kay Kelly c/o Paul Cleere. 5. Shiela Foley c/o Nick Nolan. 6. Eugene Phelan c/o Peter Dowling. 7. Joe Malone c/o J J Cullen. 8. Jean McGrath c/o online. 9. Julie Kavanagh c/o online. 10 Alan O’Brien. Thank you for your continued support. Lotto Sponsors Perfecto Print


Our sincere sympathies to Seamus Murphy and family on the recent passing of his mother Bridie, Middleknock. Bridie was a member of O’Loughlin Gaels first Ladies Committee and a lifelong supporter of O’Loughlin Gaels right up to her 95th year. May Bridie Rest In Peace


Notice: Townlands of Newpark Lower and Upper Heritage Group. We invite like minded individuals to join our small Heritage Group, as part of a Pilot Project to establish the heritage of the area. The area extends from Green’s Bridge in the West to the Pococke River in the east and from Greens Hill/Castlecomer Road in the north to the Hebron Road in the South. Please contact Donie Butler at 087-315 6359 or doniebutler48@gmail. com if you are interested. A public meeting will be called in mid January.


New and existing members are invited to register for 2024. All details are on the club website at www. All new members from u6 to adult welcome.

Beckett won the same Trial Stake with Handsome Rusty. While back in Sevenhouses in Kilkenny, local syndicate of Willie Walsh, Eoin O’Donnell, Jonathan Doheny and Denis Lennon, won Oaks Trial Stake with greyhound “ Fiadhs Future”, this greyhound is trained by Denis Lennon. So big congrats to all local success over the weekend and best of luck to all involved in the National Meeting in Clonmel for the three day event, starting Sunday 5th February.


Returning back to Australia last week a er a month long holiday was Paul Guinan Inch Freshford. Paul emigrtated to Australia a number of years ago and it was his first time home since because of the pandemic.


Mary O Flynn (nee Cuddihy) late of Dundrum, Dublin who died last week in Dublin was from a member of the Cuddihy family formerly from the Square, Freshford and was widely known and respected in the area. She was predeceased by her brother Pat. Her funeral Mass took place on Friday morning last in Holy Cross Church Dundurn with burial a erwards in Bohernabreena Cemetery. She is mourned by her husband Tom ,son Dar, daughters Fiona and Deirdre, grandchildren, sons in law, daughter in law, brothers , sisters, brothers in aw sisters in law, nephews nieces and extended family to whom sympathy is extended.


The new Community at Buncrussia Street opened just before Christmas and had a busy period over the Christmas period and to date. The Loop Café is serving some beautiful homemade food. The Café which is run on a voluntary basis is open Tuesday to Saturday each week from 10am to 4pm, so why not go along for a co ee or a snack and meet your friends for a chat as well as supporting the new venture


Congrats to young local lad Nathan Walsh from Sart Freshford who won the Munster U13 Junior closed on Saturday last winning the final without dropping a set. Well done Nathan and keep it up


Freshford /Threecastles Community Alert Group remind people that the annual text Alert scheme membership is now due. It costs just €10 per phone number for this service and to enrol or pay your fee you can contact any of the following committee members: John Bergin, Jacinta Power, Anna Morrissey, Mick Cormack. New members are always very welcome and the group thank all those for their continued support. They would like to remind people that during these dark evenings to be vigilant towards your property and your neighbours and keep an eye out for anything suspicious and report same to Kilkenny Garda Station on 056 775500

The AGM will be held in Freshford Community Hall on Monday next 23rd January at 7.30pm. All welcome.



Freshford lost another of their senior citizens last week with the passing of Mrs. Josephine Campion late of Boherglosss Freshford. Josie as she was a ectionately known was in her 93rd year. She was predeceased by her husband Sean. A friendly good living lady she was a keen follower of the GAA. She attended all Ireland finals for decades supporting her native Kilkenny and could be seen at all the St.Lachtains games over the years from U14 up to the Intermediate or Senior sides. A devoted mother and grandmother and great grandmother she loved her game of cards and her bingo game. She attended the weekly Day Care centre and enjoyed travelling on their annual trips and outings. Her funeral mass took place on Saturday morning in St Lachtain’s church followed by burial in St.Lachtain’s Cemetery. She is deeply mourned by her sons, Gerry, Michael and Sean, her daughters Mary, Eileen, Ann, Veronica and Frances, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, sons in law, daughters in law, nephews nieces and extended family to whom deepest sympathy is extended.


All roads lead to Clonmel this February with some local winners over the weekend at the Coursing. Greyhound “Handsome Tim” l, owned by Stacey and Tim Davies, trained by local lad Tommy Flynn won Derby Trial Stake in Tubercurry, Sligo. Last year the Late Tom

Local St.Lachtains player Darren Brennan was in goal for the Kilkenny Senior Hurlers on Sunday last when they defeated Laois at Rathdowney. St. Lachtains Gaa club AGM was held recently at the Clubrooms with a good crowd in attendance. The following o icers and committee were elected for the forthcoming season: President – J Dermody – Vice Presidents – P.Butler (Bowsie), Tom Hayes, Paddy Butler, and Paddy White – Chairman – Johnny Fitzpatrick, Vice Chairman- Kevin Dalton, Secretary – Sheila Killeen, Ass. Secretary – Mary McGree, Treasurer –Bryan Kavanagh, Ass Treasurer – JP Kavanagh, PRO –Brendan Quinn, Bord na nOg Chairman – Owen Dalton Child Welfare O icer – P. Murphy, Health Club O icer – M.McGree, Safety O icer – P.Donnelly, Players Reps – P.Killeen and P.Campion. Co Board Rep. P White, Irish O icer – L.Kennedy. Registers – K.Dalton and S., Committee – E.Hickey, E.Ryan, O.O’Connor, M.Ryan, T.Kennedy, T.Campion, J.Kavanagh, J.Bowden, J.Burke, M.McCarthy and L.McGree.


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


Freshford Town had a number of teams in action last weekend. On Sunday the Junior side were in action away to Stoneyford and had a great win with a goal by Alan Ra er deciding the game which finished 1-0 Meanwhile in the schoolboys section the U14 lost out to Evergreen. The U12 girls had a good win over Deen Celtic on a 2-1 scoreline. The U11 mixed team had a 3-1 win over East End.

The U 17 boys went down to Callan Utd on a 4-1

scoreline with Cian Donnelly getting the Freshford Town goal.


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


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

Mass Cards

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


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

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

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


Results. for 11/1/2023:1st Mary Lonergan and Kathleen O’Shea BG Catherine Burke and Helan Lanigan 2nd Jackie Kenneally and Nellie Lahart. Bridge is every Wednesday night at 7.30pm in St. Eoghan’s Centre, Kilmoganny. All welcome.

LOCAL LOTTO Results for January 9th. Winning Numbers : 23 , 27, 28. No Winner. Winners of Draw for 5 x € 30. Dick O Shea (Townsend’s), Laura Davis (Anne Hickey), Noel Hickey (Anne Hickey) ,Seaghan O Neill (Anne Hickey),Padraig Lawton (Malachy Hogan)


March 5th the Dunna Dash is happening in aid of St Leonards National School.

DRUGS AWARENESS Drugs Awareness Talk January 25th in St Leonards NS Dunnamaggin at 7.30pm with An Gardaí and guest speaker Conor Harris. Free entrance with a donation box for The Samaritans.


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

DROICHEAD FAMILY RESOURCE CENTRE CALLAN Food Bank available in Droichead FRC, The Old CBS, West Street, Callan R95V380- take what you need. Selection of foods and personal care products available. Deliveries also available, private and confidential service for more info contact Carmel (083) 2098069 or . Inclusive Pilates with Shane Whelan, a 10 week programme to improve core strength, flexibility and mobility begins in Droichead FRC on Wednesday 25th January from 11.30am-1pm. The programme costs €40 and for more info or to book contact Carmel (083)

2098069 or .

Knit/ Crochet and Natter returned to Droichead FRC on Friday 13th January from 10am-12pm. A tutor will be on hand to show new skills and classes are open to all beginners/improvers/ advanced. €2 per class to cover the cost of tea and co ee and sewers and fans of other yarn cra s are also welcome. For more info or to book contact Carmel (083) 2098069 or familysupport@ .


Kilkenny Mens Action Network would love to hear from a Volunteer interested in supporting the group to promote their activities with the purpose of encouraging new members.Register your interest here :https://



Recovery College South East - Winter/Spring interactive workshops.

This year Recovery College South East are able to o er integrated/hybrid workshops which means you have the option of attending some of the workshops in person or joining online from home. Each workshop on the timetable specifies whether it is in-house or online, or both. See the flyer above with workshops taking place in January.

If you are interested in taking part in any of these sessions, please complete the enrolment form and return it to Recovery College South East by email or contact us by phone to enrol.E: T: 086 1746330


Tickets for Gowran Panto’s Hansel and Gretel are now on sale. Visit to book your tickets. Ticket prices. Adults: €12. Children: €8. Students and OAPs: €10


Garda drug awareness evening in Clara Hall on 23rd January at 7.30pm. The Garda Drug Enforcement Unit will be hosting an information evening to discuss the local drug situation, how organised gangs are targeting young people, and what can be done to keep our families safe. There will also be talks from motivational speakers Kenny Egan and Conor Harris.

Donations will be accepted for the Samaritans on the evening and refreshments will be available. Please note the venue is CLARA community hall who will be hosting 4 local clubs including Young Irelands. All are welcome to attend including non-members. Please attend this important event if you can and spread the word.


Tickets are still available for this year’s Go s Thyestes Chase meeting which takes place on Thursday January 26th. GOWRAN ON THE MOVE Gowran on the move. Draws are back for of 2023 don’t forget to get your envelopes.


Young Irelands is once again participating in this year’s step challenge. Please join and help out club in the e ort to win an O’Neills voucher up to €2,500. The aim is to collectively walk or run the equivalent of a circuit of Ireland, approximately 4,000kms to be entered to the draw. Steps are tracked on your activity tracker and added to our collective team total so you can add distance in your own time and place.

To join up: Download the MyLife by Irish Life App. Go to the ‘social’ tab at the bottom of the screen. Choose ‘challenges’. Choose ‘Leinster GAA - Every Step Counts 2023’. Select ‘Join’ and ‘Young Irelands’. Don’t forget to sync your trackers in the ‘track’ tab so your steps are recorded.

The club will be running Ireland Lights Up separately at the end of the month on Monday evenings from 30th January - watch this space for details.


Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results 12th January Nos: 13 26 30 31. Jackpot: €6800 Not WonDraw Prizes €50: Peggy Kennedy c/o online. €25 each Joe O’Dwyer c/o Jim Murphy

€25 each Gabrielle Power c/o Online. €25 each Jackie Cody c/o Pat Cody

Hurlers Co Op John Keane c/o Online. Promotors prize Joe Phelan. Next weeks draw €6950

Thank you for your continued support.

54 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Community & GAA Notes

Dicksboro GAA and Camogie Club had a night of celebrations at the Clubs Dinner Dance and Medal Presentation at a packed Langtont’s on Saturday 7th January.

Under the guidance of club Chairman Seamus Rochford and MC for the evening Kieran Cuddihy medals were presented to the successful Camogie and Hurling Teams. A special presentation was made to the 1993 Hurling Team on the night 30 Years on. This was followed by a disco in the capable hands of DJ Pat Treacy. Thanks to everyone who came and supported this fantastic event and to all who organised the night.


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


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


Dicksboro GAA and Camogie Club would like to send Condolences to the Connolly Family on the passing away of Jackie Connolly. Jackie Connolly of Dundalk, Co Louth is Dad to club member, trainer and player Collins Connolly.

Condolences to the Deevy Family (Riverside Drive ) on the sad news of the passing of Gary Deevy. Gary is son to Noel and Mary Deevy long standing club members. Condolences to the Walsh family on the passing of Billy Walsh. Billy Walsh, Castlecomer Rd, Kilkenny is the grandson of club founding member Bill Walsh, father of current club members Nicola Walsh and Karen Cleere, grandad to club players James and Hazel Cleere and Jill, Senan and Jack Dempsey.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.


Congratulations to our club senior hurlers who played Laois on Sunday in Rathdowney. Well done to the full panel, Cillian Buckley, Bill Sheehan, Niall Rowe, Evan Cody, Padraig Moylan and Timmy Cli ord.


Married in the most Holy Trinity Church, Hugginstown on Friday 30th December 2022 were Bob Murphy, Ballydunne, Ballycallan and Sabrina Walsh, Hugginstown. The nuptial mass was concelebrated by Fr. Liam Cassin. The wedding party consisted of bridesmaids Tracy Walsh and Nicola Aylward, groomsmen Mark Butler and James Murphy. The wedding reception was held in Lyrath Hotel. Bob and Sabrina are both involved in GAA and camogie with Bob hurling with Graigue Ballycallan and Sabrina plays her camogie

with Carrickshock. Bob is son of Lizzy Murphy and the late Seamus Murphy, Ballydunne and Sabrina is daughter of Tom and Teresa Walsh, Hugginstown. The couple are wished many years of health and happiness in their new home in Hugginstown.


The St. Vincent de Paul society is looking for volunteer collectors for Killaloe. You don’t have to join as a member, just be willing and reliable to taking up the collection once a month. Contact Celine Egan or Fr. Liam if you can help out. Remember, if you have di iculties contacting the society for help, you can text the word SVP to Fr. Liam, and he will pass on your number to the society.


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


Results for 09/01/2023. Numbers drawn were 19:20:24:28. No jackpot winner. Lucky Dip winners were Pat Brennan, Lochlann Ahearn and Niamh, Simon and Ciara Kennedy. Seller’s prizes went to P. McCluskey and J. Ryall. Next week’s jackpot will be € 9,800. Draw takes place each Monday at 9pm.


There are a very limited number of issues le . Contact 086 373 99 83.


The Prayer Service led by Leslie Sweeney makes a welcome return this Wednesday at 7pm in Kilmanagh. All welcome to attend.


We are planning celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Kilmanagh Church later this year. If anyone is interested in helping to plan the celebrations, contact Michele Comerford, or give your name to Fr. Liam.


As we look forward to the ordination of Fr. Niall Coll as our new Bishop on Sunday, 22nd January, you are invited to gather to pray for the Bishop in St. Mary’s Cathedral on the previous Friday evening, 20th January at 7.30pm. During the prayer service the Pectoral Cross, the Episcopal Ring, the Mitre and the Crozier, which will be presented to the Bishop during the ordination ceremony, will be blessed. This will be an opportunity for all of us to express our prayerful support and welcome to Bishop Coll.


Under 13 League Division 1 :Evergreen Ath 5 River Rangers 1

The game started without Charlie Teehan and Conor Egan. Evergreen took the lead a er 10 minutes and doubled the lead 3 mins later. They went 3 up a er 25 mins. Rangers pulled one back before half time through James O’Connor and dominated for a time only for Evergreen to sneak a fourth goal. Rangers faced a tough breeze on the second half, unlucky to concede a fi h a er 35 mins. Joey Young and Joe Bourke were introduced but couldn’t reduce the deficit. Evergreen scored a few more goals to give them a faltering score line. Score line didn’t reflect the e ort put in by our boys today.

Team: Will Cody, Charlie McCluskey, Bill Guiry, James O’Connor, Billy Ronan, John Hoyne, Martin Wall, David Walton, Leo Clarke, Harry Butler, Tommy Butler, Joe Bourke, Joey Young.

Under 15 St Canice’s Credit Union Division 1A: Callan United 3 River Rangers 2 Callan took an early lead but finished 1-1 at half time. Ben McEvoy scored midway through the first half. Callan scored early in the second half with Reggie Carthy equalising with 15 min le . Callan scored with 8 min to go and River Rangers just couldn’t find the equaliser.

Team: Andrew Tector, Sean East, Oran Hoyne, Rory Buckley, Shane Hogan, Cain Dermody, Cain Ronan, Aidan Ging, Reggie Carthy, Ben McEvoy, Keelan Lynch, Darragh Burke, Micheal O’Mahony, Cormac Neary, Cillian Murphy.

Junior Division 2 League : River Rangers A 2 Thomastown United B 2

Thomastown scored with long range e ort but River Rangers cranked up pressure and a Ryan Bergin free kick was expertly flicked to the net by Billy O’Neill. Just a er hal ime Thomastown got a goal against the run of play. Rangers, who had the majority of possession,

drove forward and got some luck when a long range Ryan Bergin e ort sneaked in. Rangers kept banging on the door for the winner but it wouldn’t come. Very tough conditions to play soccer in but lads never stopped trying.

Team: Tommy Manogue, Darragh Egan, Scott Lawlor, Jack Doyle, Shane Murphy, Ryan Bergin, Brian Kirwan, Tom Dunphy, Sean Ryan, Billy O’Neill, Jack Walton, Finn Lanigan, Patrick Foley, James Gleeson, Charlie Cleere.


Saturday 21 January :

Under 14 League Division 2 - River Rangers v Stoneyford United Boy’s in Clonard Park at 13:15

Under 19 League Division 1A - River Rangers v East End United in Clonard Park at 11:00

Sunday 22 January :

Junior Division 2 League - River Rangers A v Tullaroan in Clonard Park

Junior KCLR McCalmont Cup - River Rangers B v Clover United in Clonard Park


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.

Monday 9th. January 2023

Numbers: 19; 13; 11; 04. No Winner First 3 Numbers Drawn. No Jackpot Winner: 5 x €30.00 Winners. Maura Raggett, Ballycaum. Patrick Barron, Sheepstown; John O’Carroll, Croan. Dee and Padraig Rohan, Carraigetna; Gerry Comerford, Mullinbeg. 3 x €15.00 (Sellers). Tommy Murphy. James Irish. Mary Raggett.


(To donate directly.) For Aghaviller Parish Funds: Use IBAN: IE74 AIBK 9330 9000 0610 47 (BIC: AIBKIE2D)

For the support of Clergy: Use IBAN: IE19 AIBK 9330 9000 0561 20 (BIC: AIBKIE2D). All Parish Property and Accounts are registered under the (Diocese of Ossory, Reg. Charity No. 20015831)


A Lecture on ‘Family at War - The Hales Brothers and the Irish Revolution’. The Speaker is Liz Gillis. Venue: Mullinavat Parish Hall on Thursday January 26th. at 8.00p.m.



Aghaviller Parish. Hugginstown. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9.30a.m. Vigil Saturday 21st. at 8.00p.m. Sunday 22nd. at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford. Wednesday 18th. at 7.00p.m. VigilSaturday 21st. at 6.30p.m.; Friday 20th. Feast of Sts. Fabian and Sebastian. Saturday 21st. Feast of St. Agnes. Wednesday 18th to Wednesday 25th. January. Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. “Learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed and defend the widow and orphan”.


Anniversary Masses next weekend:Eamon O’Neill, Knockdrinna. Mass in Stoneyford Church on Saturday 21st. at 6.30p.m. Richard Aylward, Boolygass: Mass in Hugginstown Church on Sunday 22nd. at 10.00a.m. ROTA 21st. and 22nd. January 2023 . (Third Sunday in Ordinary Time) Readers. Stoneyford. Saturday 6.30p.m. Tom King. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Catherine Dwyer. Sunday 10.00a.m. Mary Foran. Eucharistic Ministers. Stoneyford. Saturday 6.30p.m. Pat Kenny Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Teresa Broderick. Sunday 10.00a.m. Lillian Carr. Note: New Rota for Stoneyford Church is now available is Stoneyford Sacristy. Please collect.


As we look forward to the ordination of Fr. Niall Coll as our new Bishop, all are invited to gather to pray for him in St. Mary’s Cathedral on Friday evening, 20th. January at 7.30p.m. During the prayer service the Pectoral Cross, the Episcopal Ring, the Mitre and the Crozier, which will be presented to the Bishop during the Ordination Ceremony will be blessed. This will be an opportunity for all of us to express our prayerful support and welcome to Bishop Niall. He will be ordained Bishop of Ossory on Sunday 22nd. January 2023 at 3.00p.m. in St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.


First Holy Communion Dates 2023. For Stoneyford School on Sunday 14th. May in Stoneyford Church at 11.00a.m. For Monroe/Newmarket Schools on Sunday 21st. May in Hugginstown Church at 11.00a.m.


Safeguarding Contacts. Diocesan Designated Liaison Person: Ms. Kathleen Sherry Tel: 087 100 0232. Aghaviller Parish Representatives are: Teresa Broderick and Carmel O’Toole


Study Theology from Home. Study Theology, is this for you? The Priory Institute provides online Theology courses to degree level. Attend Saturday Lectures in Tallaght or from the comfort of your own home. Register before February 8th. 2023. Find out more on our website,


Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A. Draw:

ALHomecare is in business for 9 years, they work with hundreds of families and have nearly 300 carers working nationwide. It is a safe and a ordable alternative to nursing homes and private visiting carers, which they are aware are in serious short supply especially at this time of the year with cold and wintery weather. 6,000 people who have been approved for funded home care from the HSE have had to be put on a waiting list because of a shortage of carers. ALHomecare is an option as they know that choosing the right care for your relative is a very important decision. You naturally want the best quality care at an a ordable price. They understand that homecare can be very expensive and can put a lot of stress and worry on individuals and their families. They aim to provide you with the highest quality homecare at an a ordable price. Contact Tom 087 744 0729 or Eileen 087 991 6791 who will be happy to chat anytime.


Annual General Meeting in Hugginstown Community Centre on Friday 20th. January at 7.30p.m. Carrickshock G.A.A. and Carrickshock Camogie Clubs are hosting a joint Dinner Dance on Saturday 11th. February. Tickets are now on sale for the Dinner Dance at or ring 086 257 1713

Kilkenny G.A.A. with Dunnamaggin G.A.A. invite all to a Wellbeing and Drug Awareness Talk on Wednesday, January 25th. in Dunnmaggin School Hall at 7.30p.m. to focus on mental wellbeing and addiction. This is a free Community Event with Garda Siochána and Guest Speaker, Conor Harris. All are very welcome.


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


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


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


Our low cost Counselling Services, includes One-toOne, Family & Teens, aged 12 plus.

General Counselling: Bereavement, Stress, Anxiety & Depression.

Other Counselling Services available: Drug, Substance & Gambling Addictions.

Play therapy is now also available.

Please contact Sue for more information or to make an appointment.


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

Contact number for the Centre 056-8838466

News 55 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Community & GAA Notes We welcome all GAA Club and Community notes for publication in The Kilkenny Observer email to

Hurling matters -


(Round 2)

It’s two from two for Derek Lyng’s Kilkenny as the Cats came away with the points following a comprehensive 13-point win over Laois in Rathdowney last weekend. It sets up an intriguing clash against Darragh Eagan’s Wexford under the Chadwicks Park lights tomorrow evening. e arithmetic is simple – avoid defeat to the Yellowbellies, and Kilkenny will secure a nal berth.

e Cats were 5-up at the short whistle, thanks to a double of major’s from Galmoy’s Billy Drennan, before moving through the gears in the second half as their class showed.

Willie Maher’s charges came out of the blocks quickly and raced into an early 3-point lead thanks to points from Goalkeeper and longrange free specialist Enda Rowland, and the lovely forward PJ Scully.

e visitors hit back with points from Cian Kenny (2) Clara’s Paul Cody and David Blanch eld.

e O’Moore men were going well and were causing the Kilkenny rearguard a few problems and they tagged on another few scores from James Keyes and that man Scully. e Cats responded with e orts from Billy Drennan and Lisdowney’s Niall Brennan, before Laois keeper Rowland struck over another placed ball on 16 minutes to push the home sides lead back to three points.

omastown’s John Donnelly struck over a lovely point before Drennan added a free. PJ Scully then popped over another free as the home side punished any indiscretion from Kilkenny.

Goals galore as

Captain for the day, Walter Walsh then collected a puck-put before ri ing over a cracking score to reduce the gap to just the bare minimum before Cian


was raised just a minute later. O’Loughlin Gaels Paddy Deegan sent in a searching delivery that Billy Drennan did well to collect before nishing smartly past Enda Rowland in the Laois goal. A good break out of defence saw another late inclusion, Mikey Butler fouled and that young man Drennan popped over the free to leave the Cats 5 ahead.

Laois’s man threat, PJ Scully then sent over a stunning sideline cut for a much-needed score for the home team, but Maher’s charges were nding it di cult to get much on the board from open play. Wing-back Jack Kelly sent in a long e ort that Darren Brennan failed to hold, and the ever-alert Ross King nished to the net, much to delight

56 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Walsh Cup Rathdowney, Co. Laois Laois 2-21 Kilkenny 3-31 Kenny added to his tally with a ne point to level matters with about 20 minutes played. nudged the visitors in front on 21 minutes before the rst green ag of the day of the large home crowd Billy Drennan in control
Cats rip Laois apart Avoid defeat in Wexford and we’ll see Henry in Croker!
Niall Brennan heading for goal

level again.

Tullougher/Rosbercon’s Walter Walsh then notched his second point of the day before Martin Phelan replied for e O’Moore men with almost half an hour played. Walter then saw yellow following a heavy challenge. e sides then swapped scores in the blink of an eye, Paddy Deegan for the Cats and Aaron Dunphy for the home side.

Billy Drennan then got his second goal of the day when he batted home


reading Laois 1-14, Kilkenny 2-16. When the sides emerged from the half-time break, Kilkenny had replaced Dicksboro’s Bill Sheehan with U20 star Gearoid Dunne from

Laois needed to start brightly after the interval, but a lackluster third quarter saw any hopes of a home win blown away. ree early second half Kilkenny points from Clara’s Paul Cody, Galmoy’s Drennan and e Sash’s Dunne put Lyng’s men rmly in control. Mullaney got the home side up and running with his second score of the day, but two quick- re scores from Walter Walsh and Paul Cody dampened down the home crowd’s

Corner-forward PJ Scully popped over another free, but the Kilkenny response was emphatic. Paul Cody and substitute Alan Murphy registered scores before Walter added another. Glenmore’s Murphy red over another point

having replaced Cian Kenny and then the Cats manager had the luxury of withdrawing Billy Drennan and sending on another Glenmore man, Ian Byrne.

Any hopes of a Laois comeback were well and truly put to bed when in the 56th minute Kilkenny struck their 3rd major of the day. A Lovely long delivery from out on the touchline by Walter was superbly collected by Gearoid Dunne who beat his man before striking a lovely show across Enda Rowland and into the Laois net.

e Cats added to their impressive tally with points from the impressive John Donnelly and Niall Brennan. Laois No.6 Mullaney hit his third point of the day, before a lapse in concentration in the visitors defence allowed Stephen Bergin to nd the net.

In the closing stages of the game both sides shared 8 points as Byrne, Donnelly, Dunne and Alan Murphy rounded-o an impressive scoring return for the Noresiders as they took the victory on a scoreline of Laois 2-21, Kilkenny 3-31.

Scorers for Kilkenny: B Drennan (2-4, 0-4f), G Dunne (1-2), J Donnelly, P Cody, W Walsh (0-4 each), A Murphy (0-3, 0-1f), C Kenny, N Brennan (0-3 each), D Blanch eld (0-2), P Deegan, I Byrne (0-1 each).

Scorers for Laois: PJ Scully (0-8, 0-4f and one 65), R Mullaney (04), R King, S Bergin (1-0 each), E Rowland (0-3, 0-3f), J Keyes (0-3), M Phelan, A Dunphy, C Rigney (0-1 each).

Kilkenny: D Brennan; E Cody, P Walsh, M Butler; C Buckley, D Blanch eld, D Dunne; N Brennan, P Deegan; C Kenny, P Cody, W Walsh; B Drennan, J Donnelly, B Sheehan.

Subs: G Dunne for Sheehan (ht), A Murphy for Kenny (46), T Phelan for Deegan (51), I Byrne for Drennan (55), N Rowe for Butler (58), N Mullins for Buckley (59), E Landy for Niall Brennan (65), D O’Neill for Des Dunne (65), S Staunton for Paul Cody (67), A Tallis for Darren Brennan (67).

Laois: E Rowland; P Delaney, L O’Connell, P Dunne; D Hartnett, R Mullaney, F C Fennell; J Keyes, R King; J Kelly, W Dunphy, J Walsh; A Dunphy, M Phelan, PJ Scully.

Subs: J Duggan for Fennell (32), L Senior for W Dunphy (45), S Bergin for Walsh (50), P Hyland for Phelan (58), C Rigney for King (63).

Referee: K Brady (Louth).


Nothing breeds confidence like winning games, and that is what Kilkenny are doing under Derek Lyng. Following Laois’s opening round win in this competition, perhaps some supporters were expecting a tougher assignment, I for one was expecting a more physical encounter. This didn’t develop.

Willie Maher’s charges were competitive for some 35 minutes, but they fell away badly, a trait of previous manager Cheddar’s teams. I suppose its early doors, fitness still to be worked on.

Let’s take nothing away from Kilkenny, they were very good, ruthless when they needed to be and many of the performers on show in Rathdowney have given the management team plenty to think about.

about finis

Billy Drennan was again outstanding, a constant menace and finished with 2-4. One of his U20 compatriots from last season, Gearoid Dunne was very impressive when introduced and notched 1-2, his goal was lovely.

Other stand-outs were Walter Walsh, Niall Brennan and Clara’s Paul

Brenna & Cody are new to the panel this year, but have shown very encouraging signs.

I was impressed with the size of this Kilkenny

They had a lot of big men in key areas.

So, avoid defeat tomorrow and it will be Lyng vs Shefflin

Final. Tasty early season treats.

57 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Blanch eld and Niall Brennan to leave the score board
Hurling matters - Review
Cody. team. in the Walsh Cup
bu rut
l P s
back Ross Mullaney then Niall Brennan’s lovely cut-back from along the end-line. Derek Lyng’s men wrapped up the rst half scoring thanks to further points from Tullaroan. support. Wally Walsh gets the better of William D Dunphy watched by Paddy Deegan Paul Cody scores a point for Kilkenny Gearoid Dunne challenged by Ryan Mullaney

Hurling matters - Final preview



Shamrocks Ballyhale vs Dunloy Cuchullains

>> Sherry Says Final Preview....

All roads lead to Croke Park on Sunday when the pride of Kilkenny, Shamrocks Ballyhale go in search of a 9th All-Ireland club title.

Sunday’s opponents are Antrim and Ulster champions Dunloy Cuchullains who surprised many by claiming the scalp of Galway kingpins St omas’s in Decembers semi- nal.

Shamrocks avenged last season’s decider defeat to Ballygunner with a 3-point win over the Waterford side, but as Pat Hoban said afterwards, no silverware has been won yet, and the shrewd Mullinavat man will be acutely aware that Dunloy possess an unknown quantity that

Shamrocks Cuchullainsr

Season finale could bring just rewards

could be a dangerous component in the Capital this weekend. Sunday will be the fourth AllIreland club nal on the bounce for the South Kilkenny side, and they will be determined to nish the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations in style by claiming the Tommy Moore Cup. Don’t be fooled though, the Antrim champions are not travelling to Dublin just to make up the numbers.

e four-time beaten nalists have been hurling in the shadows of others in Ulster since 2009 and having had ten provincial titles in bag then, had to wait until 2022 to claim number eleven, when they ousted the recent dominant force in Ulster hurling, Derry’s Slaughtneil. Under the guidance of former player Gregory O’Kane, this Dunloy

side has shown a thirst for success and will be determined to thrive as the underdogs when they enter the Croker arena on Sunday. As a player, O’Kane played in Dunloy’s four previous All-Ireland deciders and knows how much it would mean to his Parish to see the Cuchullains crowned champions of Ireland.

Following their 4-point win over the Galway side, O’Kane spoke to the assembled media:

“Croke Park is a special place,” said O’Kane. “A club like Dunloy, our ambition is always to be here and to play a game of this magnitude. at’s always been our goal, to get out of Ulster and to represent ourselves and our club on the best stage in the world, and bring our hurling here. It’s a

good day for the team and we are delighted to get over the line.” Dunloy lifted the Antrim title for the 5th time in six years with victory over rivals Cushendall in October before entering the provincial arena. O’Kane’s men knew that they needed to rival the Derry side’s intensity and they did that in their hard-fought 2-point win at Armagh’s Athletic grounds.

at day their top marksman was full-forward Conal Cunning who notched 0-7. e bustling No.14 could prove a real handful for Joey Holden and this could be one of the games key battles. Nigel Elliott nished the Ulster nal with 1-1 and is another of their lively forward line. At the back, Ryan McGarry and Kevin Molloy provided a strong spine and will

58 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Paddy Mullen will look to halt Dunloy’s bid for glory Adrian Mullen -inspirational season to date

Hurling matters - Final preview

eady battle!for

know that Colin Fennelly and TJ Reid are on a di erent level to anyone they have faced this season.

e All-Ireland semi- nal encounter with St omas’s at Croke Park saw Cunning repeat his provincial feat and nish with 0-7, but it would be an amazing goal from the talented Keelan

Molloy that set the Antrim men on their way to Sunday’s decider. Molloy has that in his locker, and the Shamrocks players will need to ensure that he doesn’t get the chance to build up a head of steam at the same venue this weekend.

Richie Reid and his half-back buddies Evan She in and Darragh Corcoran will have been briefed on the hard-running style of the Dunloy attacking unit.

Last time out Dunloy registered 15 wides, they will need to lower that tally if they are to continue their trail of upsets. ey had totals of 17 and 18 in the wins over St omas’s and Slaughtneil respectively, but as Pat Hoban’s men have shown, they can run-up bigger totals when on-form.

Both goalkeepers have been in great from this season. Dean Mason has demonstrated his ability with some ne saves, particularly against Naas, Crokes and Ballygunner, while his Dunloy counterpart, Ryan Elliott has been instrumental in helping his side claim the big scalps to date. Ryan comes from ne stock; his father Shane was the netminder for a couple of the clubs previous AllIreland club nals in the mid 90’s.

How Dunloy cope with what I believe is the greater skill level and conditioning of their Noreside opponents will be key. is season we have witnessed the re-

emergence of Adrian Mullen. Not that he’d gone away or anything, but the former Kilkenny captain is clearly in the shape of his life, following that horrendous cruciate injury in 2020. Mullen pops up everywhere on the pitch, and his ability to win ‘dirty ball’ and turnovers is crucial to Pat Hoban’s team. In some ways he sacri ces other parts of his game for the greater good of the team.

With a bit of luck Adrian will have brothers Paddy and Darren for company on the Croker pitch. Darren left the pitch in the opening minutes against Ballygunner, but the injury-plagued defender should be available this weekend. In mid eld, Paddy’s physicality will test the Dunloy engine room, but hurlers from the north are seldom found wanting in physical exchanges.

Eoin Cody, superb in the semi- nal win over the Munster champions will relish another opportunity in the wide-open spaces of the Jones’s Road venue. He could do a lot of damage.

TJ will keep the scoreboard ticking over and Gregory O’Kane’s team will need to ensure that they don’t cough-up too many placed ball opportunities with the freetaking maestro around.

If Joe Cuddihy hasn’t recovered to take his place, we might well see the talented and nippy Niall Shortall from the start. Shortall provides a di erent dynamic and option to the Shamrocks attack.

Hopefully Limerick whistler Johnny Murphy will allow Sunday’s game to ow, and we will be treated to an excellent game of hurling.

Not to be arrogant or dismissive of the Dunloy challenge, but if both teams play to their potential, Shamrocks Ballyhale should emerge comfortable winners, but last February has shown that you don’t always get what you deserve.

Ádh Mór Shamrocks Ballyhale.

59 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
Ronan Corcoran raises the Leinster Trophy Shamrocks Selectors Pat Hoban Jimmy Maher Niall Lacey Darragh Corcoran li s County Senior Trophy Dean Masonhas been in great form
60 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Motors Classified section To advertise your business in our classi ed section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts Classi eds NOW OPEN SATURDAY MORNINGS 9.30am to 12.00pm CAR WASH – 087 2587745 TYRE BREAKDOWN SERVICE JOEPARSONSGARDEN MAINTENANCE SERVICES INCLUDE • Hedge cutting • • Grass cutting • • Power washing • • Dry rubbish removal • • Tree pruning • CONTACT JOE: 086-8587568 Happy Christmas to all our customers

Planning notices


I Robert Forristal request permission for development at this site situated in Shanbogh Upper, Tullogher, Co. Kilkenny.

The development consists of the demolition of existing livestock shed, construction of Bovine slatted unit and cubicle shed consisting of a slatted tank for slurry storage and concrete surfacing. Concrete Surfacing adjacent to shed in order to provide access to feeding through and all associated site works.

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, Kilkeny 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 Panning 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.


I Christopher Buggy intend to apply to above authority for permission for the following at Massford Castlecomer Co.Kilkenny.

(a) Erection Of DwellingHouse

(b) Erection of Garage

(c) New entrance from Public Road

(d) Associated Works

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.

Christopher Buggy.


Planning Permission is sought for the revision of the permitted design to Planning Reference P22/07. The revisions proposed includes revised front entrance and living room bay window, single storey side extension rather than 2-storey, no changes to the first floor accommodation with elevation alterations to the dormer windows, and single storey rear extension. – reduced internal alterations and elevational treatment with all ancillary and associated works at 22 Maidenhill, Kells Road, Kilkenny

The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

Applicant: Eoin and Eimear O’Carroll


We, Thérèse Tallent and Alain Vitale, are applying for Planning Permission for development for (a) demolition of existing sheds to side and rear of the existing dwelling, (b) construction of a new two storey extension to the South Western side of the dwelling, (c) construction of replacement store/shed in rear garden, (d) alterations and refurbishment of the exiting dwelling and all associated site works at 14 Millview Close, Dukesmeadows, Kilkenny R95 X9CE

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

62 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Planning notices
056 777 1463


In loving memory of Jerry and Pauline, Cypress Avenue, Kilkenny.

Jerry whose 1st Anniversary occurs January 17th and Pauline whose 16th Anniversary occurs January 26th

Never more than a thought away much loved and missed every day

Sadly missed by their daughters Paula and Liz, sons John and Ken, daughters in law, sons in law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Anniversary Mass Saturday January 21st in St Fiacre’s Church Loughboy at 6.15pm.




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.I.L.



late of Castlerea, Co. Roscommon and 2

Your life was a blessing Your memory a treasure You are loved beyond words And missed beyond measure

Sadly missed and fondly remembered by her sons Shane and David, Shane’s wife Sam and grandson Jack, by her loving sisters Caroline, Eimear, Fiona, Edelle, Olga and Simone and brother Jonathan, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunties and uncles, friends and neighbours.

A Mass to remember Sharon will take place in St. Fiacres Church on Saturday, 28th January at 6.15pm.

Memories Of You Mum

It’s been the hardest thing to lose you You meant so much to me But you are in my heart Mum And that’s where you’ll always be I know that Heaven called you But I wish you could have stayed At least the memories I have of you They will never fade I did not want to lose you But you did not go alone Because a part of me went with you When Heaven called you home So just remember one thing We are not apart You’re with me in my memories And my broken heart

Miss you always from your loving daughters, Margaret, Breda, Chrissy, Jean, Frances, Marie and Anne (RIP) your sons, Noel, John and Martin your grandchildren and great grandchildren nieces and nephews.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

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

Must promise publication of prayer.S.M.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

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

Must promise publication of prayer.H.D.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

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

Must promise publication of prayer.H.D.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

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

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.M.B.L

63 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023
JERRY ENGLISH PAULINE ENGLISH 1ST ANNIVERSARY loving memory Sharon, Hawthorn Walk, Parc Na Gowan, Kilkenny whose 1st Anniversary occurs on 26th January 2023. ANN HAWE In loving memory of our loving mother and grandmother Ann Hawe who died on 24th January 2014 R.I.P
Memoriams / Miracle Prayers
64 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 20 January 2023 Advertisement