Kilkenny Observer 23rd September 2022

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The Kilkenny


Friday 23 September 2022

Winter Worries What’s top of our list of concerns  Special Report, Page 14

Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W:

Russian Roulette What now for cornered dictator Putin?  Global Report, Page 22



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022



The Kilkenny



Our ‘chronic’ health

A ‘laser focus’ on recruitment to address “chronic hospital overcrowding’ as part of Budget 2023 is being called for by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). Marking World Patient Safety Day, the INMO urged the Minister for Health and the HSE to publish a winter plan to address the increasingly chronic In the week before The Kilkenny Observer went to

press, some 2,698 patients, including 63 children, had been without a bed in Irish hospitals since Monday. INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “We must take stock of the impact that chronic hospital overcrowding is having on those who are in our hospitals without a bed and our members who are often their first port of call when it comes to their treatment.

“Nurses and midwives are facing into yet another winter where they are left in impossible and often dangerous care environments,” Phil Ní Sheaghdha said. “Budget 2023 must have a laser focus on the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives. There must be an investment in maternity services to give women greater choice about childbirth also to address the fact that mater-

nity wards are closing due to a chronic shortage of midwives. “We know that overcrowding has significant negative health outcomes for patients. As a nation, cannot continue to trundle from winter trolley chaos to winter trolley chaos while glossing over the very real impact this has on patients and their long-term health needs. “As we head into a winter of known unknowns, action must be taken now to ensure

that patients and nurses are not in unsafe environments. We should not be having the same conversation on Patient Safety Day 2023.” In other developments, inpatient public hospital charges for children under 16 have been abolished, saving parents up to €800 a year. The charges of €80 a night — up to a maximum of €800 a year — will no longer apply to children admitted to hospital.

On the buses with Local Link

Russia has paved the way for the formal annexation of large parts of Ukraine in a major escalation of the Kremlin’s war with Kyiv. Pro-Moscow leaders in occupied areas of four Ukrainian regions, amounting to 15% of the country’s territory, announced plans for referendums later this week that would lead to annexation. Global Report, Page 22

Bank open to help Bank of Ireland will open its Parliament Street branch in Kilkenny for four Saturdays in October (10am-2pm, October 1 to October 22) to further support customers moving current accounts from Ulster Bank and KBC.


Extra €768 basic food bill shock EVERY FRIDAY

ures from research group Kantar, take-home grocery sales in Ireland rose 1.8% in the 12 weeks to September 4. However, this growth was largely attributed to a 7.8% increase in average prices on the shelves. “Grocery price inflation is at its highest level since Kantar

The Kilkenny


Fifteen Ukrainian families cared for in Co. Laois were “given a day’s notice to leave their homes” and be moved to Kilkenny. Among those were at least 15 children who had settled in schools and children with special needs. Laois Integration Network (LIN) have expressed horror that the families had been uprooted so suddenly. Story, Page 10

Putin escalates his war threat

A bus service between Castlecomer and Kilkenny, operated by TFI Local Link Carlow Kilkenny Wicklow, is now up and running It follows the announcement that Buggy’s Coaches have suspended their 890 and 891 services along this route. The NTA-funded service will operate two services each day. One will leave Castlecomer at 07:45 for Kilkenny and one will return from Kilkenny from 17:45 to Castlecomer. This service is a temporary measure to ensure people can travel to and from work in Kilkenny. At €5 a single journey, the fare has not changed from that charged by the previous operator.

Consumers now face a further increase to bills at the supermarket checkout, as well as the scaling energy prices, as grocery prices have risen 11%. This marks a rise from the previous 14-year high reported in August when grocery price inflation reached 9.5% According to the latest fig-

Horror as refugees ‘sent to Kilkenny’

began tracking grocery price inflation in May 2008,” Kantar senior analyst Emer Healy said. “The average annual grocery bill could go from €6,985 to €7,753. That’s an additional €768 a year that Irish consumers will have to spend if they do not make any changes to what

they currently buy or where they shop.” The price of essentials recorded the steepest increases in the four weeks to September 4 as families prepared for the return to school. The cost of bread rose by a fifth, with milk increasing by 26%. Yoghurt prices were also up

17%, while the cost of ham also rose by 12%. A basket of staples is now €2 more expensive than it was at the beginning of August. Budget 2023, Page 6 Paul Hopkins, Page 8 Marianne Heron, Page 12 Special report, Page 14

Paul Hopkins......................................P8 Marianne Heron...........................P12 John Ellis ...........................................P16 Health & Science..........................P18 Travel & Leisure..............................P19 Gerry Moran....................................P20 Positive Ageing Week................P27-32 Food & Drink...................................P34 TV & Streaming.............................P35 Sport...........................................P38–43


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

News The elves are busy preparing for the arrival of Santa at the 2022 Winterval Festival, which will take place in Waterford for the 10th year from November 18 to December 23. Tickets for a re-imagined Santa Claus experience are now on sale today at www. Overflowing with festive cheer, ‘Santa’s Central Station’ will land in the heart of Waterford City Centre, right in the middle of Michael Street, surrounded by all the other delights and activities that Interval has to offer. A band of merry elves will lead little ones to the door of Santa’s magical cabin and families can meander through Santa’s city centre installation, taking pictures with photo scenes along the way. The all-new ‘Santa’s Central Station’ is attractively priced, where up to two adults go free, and visitors to the main man have the option of taking their own photos. Optional printed photos are also available for an additional fee. Santa will host little guests all the way through the festival until December 23. At Ireland’s Christmas Festival there will be plenty to see and do before you ever head to Santa Claus. The festival organisers are planning the ultimate 10th birthday celebration with new yet-to-be-revealed special festival experiences

Oh no, he’s not! Oh yes, he is...!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Busy little elves Sé Smithers (6) Willow Kenny (6), Katelyn Darmody (6) and Róisin Smithers (8) are busy preparing Santa’s sleigh for his arrival Photo: Patrick Browne

in addition to the festival’s firm favourites including the Waterford Illuminates, Ice Skating, the Winterval Cabin Market, live music gigs and lots more, planned to dazzle and delight.

Commenting on the festival planning Winterval Festival Co-Director John Grubb says: “We have a very exciting, new and reinvented Winterval festival programme in the works.

Trevor Darmondy from the Waterford Academy of Music and Arts and I worked on the Winterval Festival in its early years. We are very excited to be leading the direction of the 10th annual festival.

“Our plan is to create the ultimate 10th birthday in Waterford this Christmas and we look forward to seeing lots of faces old and new enjoying the festivities.” Further details of the 2022

Winterval Festival programme will be revealed over the coming weeks, for now, details on the Santa experience can be viewed and reservations made at www.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

Budget 2022 Special

Tax band move puts €500 in your pocket At Least €500 a year on average will be saved by workers, under Budget plans to expand income bands for the highest rate of tax. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is o increase the 40% income tax band by €2,500, meaning workers will not have to pay the higher rate on any earnings below €39,300.

The move will lead to significant savings for taxpayers — with a single person earning €50,000 taking home at least an extra €500 a year under the plan agreed by the Coalition parties. Changes to tax credits are expected to put more money in workers’ pockets on top of the changes to the tax bands.

Meanwhile, negotiations are ongoing about the introduction of a new tax credit for renters and a reduction in tax paid by landlords on rental income. The €2,500 increase in the income tax band would be the highest in more than a decade and goes some way to achieving Fine Gael’s pledge to make

the entry point for the higher rate of tax €50,000. In last year’s Budget, Mr Donohoe increased the income band for the 40% rate by €1,500. Under plans by the Government, 20% tax rate will be applied to all income under €39,300. However, the Budget plan

seemingly signals bad news for Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s proposal to introduce a third income tax band with a 30% rate. A report by the Government Tax Strategy Group said increasing tax bands by €2,200 for the higher rate while hiking tax credits by €75 would benefit 1.9 million taxpayers.

In other developments, property owner groups are pushing for a new tax rate of 25% for landlords to discourage them from selling up and leaving the market. Currently, landlords can find themselves paying over 50% tax on their rental income. Special Report, Page 14

Now, death and pensions are the only certainties The majority of Irish men and half of women will not live long enough to see a financial return from deferring taking their State pension, according to a pensions expert. If you opt to defer the State pension, you will have to live to at least 86 to get your money back, and that ignores interest and inflation, calculations by an actuary for the Irish Independent show. Most men will fall short of this payback period because their life expectancy is around 84. This means it is a worse deal for men than for women, according to the actuary. It seemed to be priced for females rather than for males, he said. A key point is that you can take your State pension at 66 and continue working. And for many this may well be the best option, particularly where they qualify for the maximum State pension at 66. But policy adviser at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Dr Laura Bambrick, said tax would have to be paid

on earnings for those who kept working beyond 66 and may make deferring the State pension an attractive option. She said the Commission on Taxation and Welfare has recommended the scrapping of lower USC rates, tax reliefs and PRSI exemptions for retirees. By deferring the State pension, if you work and generate an income after 66 you won’t be liable for tax at the marginal rate on your pension. She said the tax saving should be included in the calculations. Meanwhile, the Government will increase PRSI gradually in order to pay for keeping the State pension age at 66 — despite a Fine Gael minister claiming it would be “completely wrong” and “tonedeaf” to do so. Gradual increases in PRSI for the next 10 years will be laid out next year to pay for the radical pension reforms announced by Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, which could end PRSI exemptions for retirees.

New homes at cut prices An additional new homes in Kilkenny by 2025 have been made possible by extending the Croí Cónaithe Towns Fun. The scheme will see Kilkenny Co. Council make available serviced sites in towns and villages at discounted rates for individual purchasers who wish to build their own home. Local authorities will make serviced sites (i.e. sites with the necessary infrastructure such as electricity, water

and wastewater) available in towns and villages to potential purchasers for the building by the purchaser of a principal private residence. The sites will be sold at a discounted rate of up to €30,000 from the market value. The discount will be determined by the cost of servicing the site. The Government said the scheme fulfilled a commitment in its Housing for All plan.

Our pubs are feeling the draught Kilkenny pubs require urgent and substantive energy supports in the light of new research which shows more than four in 10 Irish adults plan fewer visits to pubs for the remainder of 2022, due to cost of living pressures. The data has prompted Vintners’ Federation of Ireland CEO Paul Clancy [pictured] to call for urgent

and substantive energy supports for pubs. He says pubs cannot pass on increases to customers already under financial strain. The CGA (Curren Goodden Associates) Cost of Living Consumer Pulse Survey, carried out across Ireland and the UK last month, found that 42% of Irish adults plan to visit

pubs far less often between now and New Year’s Eve. The survey comes following escalating fuel bills for Ireland’s 7,000 heavily energy-reliant pubs and a pandemic which saw the permanent closure of many. “The survey findings paint a bleak future for the pubs of Ireland, their staff and the communities

where they often provide a vital social hub,” said Mr Clancy, whose organisation represents 4,000 publicans. “With 42% of pub-goers expected to curtail visits due to cost of living pressures, it is vital that Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe provides urgent and substantive energy supports to the pub trade.”

So, what’s in it for our farmers? With fertiliser costs looking to be equally high for next year’s crops, all eyes will be on whether the Government provides funding for another round of the Fodder Support Scheme and Tillage Incentive Scheme. A huge increase in the rate of PRSI paid by the self-employed, which includes farmers, has been recommended by an expert group set up to advise the Government. The self-employed rate of pay in related social insurance (PRSI) should rise over

time from its current 4pc to 11.05pc, the Commission has proposed. The move would affect up to 331,000 people. Elsewhere, the State urgently needs forestry planting rates to improve dramatically. With a major review of the forestry programme set to be published, focus will be on its budget and payment rates. Spending on forestry has declined from €112m in 2011 to €6m in 2021 due to falls in annual afforestation. Forest Industries Ireland is calling for increases of 40-

50% in afforestation grant rates. Also, with the Green Party pushing for more action on climate change, more taxes on fossil fuels are likely to be on the agenda for next year’s Budget. Perhaps, the most unpopular measures recommended to the Government is that farmers stop availing of green diesel, over a period of time. Carbon taxes will increase again in line with the Programme for Government, but

farmers are entitled to relief from increases in the carbon tax on farm diesel. Agri contractors have a campaign to also get access to the relief. Finally, The Commission on Future Taxation has recommended that the level of agriculture and business relief from CAT (where the market value of a property is reduced by 90% when calculating the tax on a gift or inheritance) should be reduced. Cutting the relief would be hugely controversial so this may be unlikely.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


The Fact Of OfThe Matter PAUL HOPKINS

Energy spent on getting underpants in a twist It hasn’t gone away, you know. Covid-19. But this time around it won’t be the coronavirus that will be making the breaking news. Although the men and women in white coats are warning of another tough few months when the virus could reappear as another variant, or the combination of a coronavirus surge and the regular flu could see a short, sharp shock for hospitals. That said, some medical experts argue we may have put the worst of the rogue microbe behind us. We’ll see. In the meantime, however, we have more pressing problems – the shortage of teachers, the closing of creches, the shortage of medics and hospital beds, the two-year queues to see a cardiac or oncology consultant, the CAMS catastrophe, the closure of banks and credit unions

and the cutbacks in citizen bureaus. The insufficientlythought-out refugee fiasco. I could go on but let’s just stop right here and agree that the two biggest issues facing us in the coming winter of discontent are the rapidly rising shortage of housing and accommodation — and the spiralling costs of what is available — and, yep, the ridiculous rise of energy costs, goaded by global inflation — cyclical, but that’s for another day’s debate — and Putin’s ongoing madness to take over the world. A new EU poll – don’t you just love surveys! – says we Irish are more worried about the rising cost of living, housing and healthcare than most of our European counterparts. A majority (65%) of Irish people say price hikes are the biggest issue facing the country, compared with 54%. on

average across the bloc. According to Eurostat, housing comes second in our list of concerns, with healthcare third. Luxembourg is the only EU country that saw a higher proportion, 51 per cent, mention housing as a key issue. Accommodation is a key issue. With colleges returning to on-site classes many now face long daily journeys to campus, with others deferring for a year or giving up on going to college altogether because they can’t find a place to put their head down, or if they do the rent is way beyond their means. That, alongside an estimated 1,000 people from Ukraine arriving here weekly and in need of a home, sees the situation long beyond serious. Education Minister Simon Harris’s suggestion that

the public should consider taking in students, because they could earn up to €14,000 a year, taxfree, gives not one notion to the possible social and legal implications of such, regarding insurance implications or potential bad behaviour. What is really happening here, Minister Harris, is that the Government has now entered ‘super-crisis’ mode when it comes to housing. Years of being told that we weren’t building enough houses and doing very little to address the problem has come home to roost – with catastrophe looming large. To heap insult on injury, comes the news that property prices will continue to soar beyond Celtic Tiger levels in the coming months, despite the costof-living crisis and fears of global economic slowdown,

according to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI). The banking lobby group says that continued supply of housing is required to stem house price increases and improve affordability. On a brighter note, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has given the strongest indication yet that energy companies making huge profits will be hit with a windfall tax to fund help for homes and businesses – given the out-of-control price hikes, that’s funding for each and every one of us – to meet the crazier costs. It seems the EU is likely to make huge interventions in the energy market under plans that include a levy on huge electricity and energy company profits, and potential caps on gas prices. I wait to be convinced that any moves will be sufficient enough to stave off

a winter of discontent and hard times. Mind you, I had long left home before my parents had central heating installed in the home of my upbringing, a home where wall-to-wall lino was considered ‘posh’ and a bath was a weekly event. I recall many a winter’s morn scraping, with abandoned joy, the gathered frost off the inside of my bedroom window. And I recall, with some horror, school mornings in winter and I crouched precariously over the one-bar electric fire trying to get my underpants on and shaking in the process with the bitter cold. A the end of the day, it did me no harm. Meanwhile, it seems our political masters and those in ‘power’ have got their underpants in a right twist. Marianne Heron, P.12

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


More boosters on the way From early October all people who are eligible for a Covid19 booster will be offered new Omicron jabs but they could be for different strains of the subvariant. Some people will be offered a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to protect against the BA.1 form of Omicron which was circulating here earlier this year. Others will be offered a Pfizer vaccine protecting

against BA.4 and the current dominant BA.5 form of Omicron. The HSE has confirmed that it "has secured sufficient adapted vaccine supply for eligible groups” from early October. However, not everyone will be offered the Pfizer vaccine protecting against the main form of Omicron, BA.5 now causing most infections.,

They could be offered a separate vaccine targeting the BA.1 strain which hit Ireland earlier this year and is made by Pfizer and Moderna. The bivalent vaccines are the first to provide protection against Omicron and the original Wuhan variant. Existing vaccines will continue to be used for primary vaccination where people are getting vaccinated for the first

time. The HSE said these are "very effective vaccines”. Eligible people under 29 will only be given the Pfizer boosters. Meanwhile, Ireland South MEP Deidre Clune is consulting top international experts about the continuing fight against Covid-19. As a member of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on the pandemic,

the Fine Gael representative is attending meetings at the European Medicines Agency in Amsterdam and the vaccine manufacturer BioNTech in Germany. MEP Clune told The Kilkenny Observer: “This fact-finding mission will be key to the committee’s task of analysing the EU’s response to the crisis and learning lessons for the future.

"We have travelled to EMA’s headquarters to quiz management and staff, including Executive Director Emer Cooke, about their role in the development, evaluation, approval and monitoring of Covid-19 vaccines." The delegation will also study the manufacturing process of mRNA vaccines, at the BioNTech laboratories in Mainz. Stay safe...

Refugees told 'go now to Kilkenny' Fifteen Ukrainian families cared for by a community organisation in Co. Laois were "given a day’s notice to leave their homes" and be moved to Kilkenny. Among those were at least 15 children who had settled into local schools and also children with special needs. Laois Integration Network (LIN) are shocked that the families have been given just over a day’s notice to move to accommodation in Kilkenny. The notification was given by the International Protection

Accommodation Service (IPAS) to Dídean housing agency in Portlaois which had housed these families. LIN understands Ukrainian families were notified on Tuesday September 20 at 4.30pm that they were to be out of their houses by 11am on Thursday September 22. "This is absolutely crazy," commented Karen McHugh, Chairperson of LIN. We are very concerned, especially as it's during school term. “Furthermore, some of the parents are working locally."

Our scientists scoop Euro award! The new deadline for completed submissions for the BT Young Scientist competition been extended is Monday, October 3, at 5pm. The news comes as the winners of the 2022 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), Aditya Kumar and Aditya Joshi [pictured above], have scooped first place prize at this year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) with their project entitled 'A New Method of Solving the Bernoulli Quadrisection Problem.

To celebrate their brilliant achievement BT Ireland have decided to extend the entry submission deadline for this year’s competition and exhibition. This new deadline will allow as many young people as possible to showcase their STEM skills at the most prestigious exhibition in Europe. Participating students will be in the running to win over 200 prizes across all four categories and age groups. The overall winners will take away the top prize of €7,500 and go on to repre-

sent Ireland at EUCYS in Brussels 2023, where they will be in with the chance of taking home Ireland’s 18th first place win. Mari Cahalane, Head of the BTYSTE, said: “I am incredibly proud of our BTYSTE 2022 winners, Aditya Kumar and Aditya Joshi, who represented Ireland so well at this year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists. To take the first place prize at EUCYS is a tremendous achievement for them and a credit to their supportive families, school and teachers who have helped them along

this journey." Aditya Kumar and Aditya Joshi both attributed their EUCYS success to the support from the BTYSTE organisers in the months following their win last January. They said: “We’re still in shock at receiving such a positive response in Europe to our project, and we know we would never have made it to Europe if we didn’t take part in BTYSTE last January. We’ve been guided along the way by our school and the BTYSTE team, it’s hard to put into words what winning at EUCYS means to us."

Using satellites to aid our farmers Using measurements from space to help Irish farmers manage their farms may sound like science fiction but it’s actually science fact. Realtime information about soil moisture is an essential tool for farmers when planning and managing the efficient use of their land and a VistaMilk study is using satellites in earth’s orbit to collect that information. The research project is

utilising imagery from the Europe Space Agency’s Sentinel satellites to map soil moisture in Ireland, with the capability of focusing in on areas as small as 10 square metres. The data gathered could be used to help farmers make decisions about which fields to allow their livestock feed while maintaining optimal grazing and grass growth, which fields require drainage or even wetting, and poten-

tially when to add or reduce use of fertilisers and slurry. Rumia Basu, a VistaMilk PhD student from Teagasc, who is running the project said: “The importance of understanding the soil moisture levels both historically and on a given day is an essential part of daily farming particularly as decisions made can impact not only production outputs but also the environment. The models we are develop-

ing that will provide real time information to assist farmers in their decision making is leading-edge and – due to Irelands climate – quite unique. “Using high resolution satellite radar data which is available in all weather, day or night, combined with optical observation data allows us to provide daily information that one day we hope will be available on an app that farmers can use," he said.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


As I See It Marianne Heron

Energy: are we powerless against providers? Is all this gloom and doom about energy poverty and soaring cost of living getting you down? It did me at first: I imagined myself watching that gizmo in the electricity meter going round and round as I tried to discover which appliance was treacherously clocking up my bill — the pump in the septic tank, the kettle or the immersion? But I don’t have to give in to a winter of discontent. We got very used to doing what we were told by the Nanny State during the pandemic. From cutting off social contact to wearing masks we were – well most of us were – compliant. Now we are faced with a new threat. Day after day we are warned about the threat of doubling and trebling energy bills. Too often the reaction is to run crying to nanny to plead for handouts.

Yes, of course the State should intervene to offset the impact of swingeing energy prices on the most vulnerable and help businesses to keep running. But just as urgently the energy market, which is getting away with murder, needs to be tackled. In the midst of all this hysteria about the cost of living let’s not fall into what author Martin Amis called “a moronic inferno”, explaining it as “a chaotic state which no one has sufficient internal organisation to resist”. All too easy to get swept along with the entitled herd expecting the State to empty out the national purse to pay for every extra drain on our pockets. In the process we are losing that ‘internal organisation’, the ability to use our autonomy to find some solutions for ourselves. It’s not a great idea to feel that you have no control

over what happens in life and to give in to a feeling of victimhood. Those who have agency in their lives are generally happier, rather than feeling helpless. They may still be influenced by outside factors, but they can make choices. So I am beginning my counter offensive or demand reduction plan on energy, especially electricity, as requested by our Minster for Turf Prevention Eamon Ryan who is in charge and his National Energy Security Framework – using tactics from the bad old days. They might be small but they will make a difference. Internal heating – stuff like porridge and hearty soups – works wonders, although I wouldn’t go so far as to add whiskey to porridge as one friend suggested. Batch cooking, making double quanti-

ties: one dish for now and one to freeze, saves both the cooker’s energy and mine. The saw will be sharpened the better to chop up freefallen timber – the price of logs has already doubled locally due to our old friend supply and demand. I will get woolly minded with cosy cardies and dig out blankets to go over my knees when working. I’ll cook more on burners using bottled gas which is a fraction of the cost of electricity, rather than the oven and when WFH (working from home) we will cosy up in the same room with the wood-burning stove and most especially try to use power at off-peak times. Sure you know yourself, there are loads of ways to make energy reductions. We are putting up with these prices partly due Russian aggression and to support of the Ukrainians

and democracy. But only partly: energy prices could be brought down NOW if the Government would tackle providers and the EU would intervene to fix a pricing model which simply isn’t working where wholesale energy prices, including those for renewables, are dictated by the cost of gas and who is in charge of

“Run, crying to the Nanny State...

the gas pipe line supplying Europe? Putin. Our gas, though, comes from the UK. Are electricity suppliers charging what they think they can get away with? How come Bord Gais were able to increase their operating profits by 74% for the first six months this year or Energia paid out €40 million in dividends? Or how was it that the last time I switched providers (a good idea to do this every year or two) my bill came down by 40%?). And how come on the wholesale side wind energy providers (Putin doesn’t affect our wind) were able to increase their charges seven-fold in the last two years? Ultimately, and soon, in Ireland we need both more secure energy in the future otherwise we will face blackouts and we need firm governance of the energy sector.

Natural solutions for anxiety in young children CLAIR WHITTY

Paddy Cunningham from Callan, Co.Kilkenny enjoying the night at Garth Brooks Concert in Croke Park on Sunday September 11th

Natural solutions to help children deal with anxiety, constipation, or nightmares are just some of the questions I get asked at the shop on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there are lots of young children who are experiencing anxiety, especially around school, and thankfully there is help available. Depending on their age, there’s supplements they can try like Magnesium, Higher Nature Balance for Nerves, or A.Vogel Passiflora, these are ones I have talked about before. There’s also Flower Remedies and my favourite Flower Remedy is Aspen; it helps when there are feelings of anxiety which can also cause pain in the little one’s tummy. You add some drops to water or any drink. Healing crystals are popular among young children, a favourite one for anxiety is Blue Lace Agate, although any crystal they are drawn to could help. After cleansing the crystal your child can keep it in their pocket, under their pillow, or simply on a shelf near them. Bad dreams or nightmares are tough for you and your little one to experience. Once again crystals under their pillow could help them relax.

Let them choose one and see if it matches their needs, they are often drawn to the very crystal they need. Dream catchers are a good idea too, they are hung over their bed and are said to catch the bad dreams so that they don’t hurt you. The good dreams reach the sleeping child to comfort them. Californian Poppy made by Viridian is a herbal tincture you can add to water to help them get a better night’s sleep nightmare free. Constipation is a common problem in kids, it is often associated with lack of fibre in their diet. But anxiety could also be a contributing factor. Choose Optibac Bifido and Fibre Probiotics for Constipation, or Udo’s Choice Children’s blend

to help if it’s more likely to be diet, or after antibiotics. They contain good bacteria that can support gut health. If you think constipation is associated with anxiety about having to use public toilets or fear about hurting themselves, take a look at Jan De Vries Bowel Essence. It can help them relax and feel less nervous about going to the toilet outside of their home. It can be added to a drink of any type. Hopefully these tips will help. Shop Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre Phone: 056 7764538 Email:

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022



The white haired boy BY NED EGAN

Part 2 They roared into the yard, and after much shouting and bawling, the Tans went in to their mess {cookhouse} for some grub. He heard much roaring talk of a ‘treacherous b*****d’ ‘traitor’, and ‘turncoat’. Also a snarled ‘leave ‘im there to bloody snuff it.’ Steve, always on the lookout for a chance, and curious about the shouts, climbed up on the lorry, and got the shock of his life! Thrown in a corner, covered with blood, was a man – obviously badly injured or dead. His hands were cuffed behind his back; a locked chain looped through them, and was secured to a steel grid behind the cab. And -- he was wearing the ‘Tan uniform! But it was in bits and rags. Steve moved up close to the man, and bent down to see him more closely. After a minute or two, one eye opened, in the badlybeaten face. The lips moved,

whispered: “water, lad…” So he jumped down, got a mug that was always by the rain tank, and filled it. Back he got, on to the truck, and gently fed the water into the lips, into the parched ruined mouth, of the doomed man. After a few minutes, he’d slaked the man’s terrible thirst, and got the ghost of a smile from the wreckage of a face. “Thanks, lad…..” came the faint words. “Jaysus - why are you chained up, Mister – what the hell did you do?” Steve had to figure out the garbled reply, which roughly ran: “Ah, stupid, I was. Got a letter that my girl had dumped me, stole a Lee Enfield and sold it to one of your fellows, got drunk, got found out, they’ll shoot me in the morn, if I live that long. I was a traitor, lad, but I’ve killed enough people now for the King, and I’m sick of it all. I’ll be glad to go ….” “Can I set you loose, mister?” Steve whispered back, urgently. Another wisp of a smile. “No, I’m done for; legs are shot through… not worth botherin’, anyway… Get away now, before they catch you. By God, you’re a fine little chap...” “But what’s your name, mister – I’m Steve – I can

write – can I send a message to your Mammy – where is she? Maybe tell her something from you?” “No, lad – we lived in Yorkshire, and she’s long gone; nobody left - and it’s all up with me. You look like the little brother I used to have - he was blonde as well. Ah, he’s gone now, lost him at Flanders. Christ. When he was little, we used to call him the ‘White-Haired Boy’. Sometimes he comes to me in dreams…. I’m ravin’ a bit now, lad, not long to go … Thanks forever, get away with you now before they catch you”…. With that, his head fell back – and a clatter of approaching boots sent Steve running like the wind... Many years later, he went away, just before the 2nd World War, to England, and started work in the town of Coventry. Not long afterwards, the German bombers came over, and had a real go at erasing that City from the earth. The Brits were hugely upset that anyone should have the temerity to do to them what they had been doing to others for centuries - albeit they’d used cannon and battleships – and

fighter planes against Iraqi tribesmen! But that bloody Hitler! A mere Corporal! {Not a mention that he’d won two Iron Crosses for bravery in the Great War, where he was wounded - and gassed. Yep – by the Brits. Did you know that, reader?} Of course, had he been an officer - let him bomb away! All would have been forgiven. Anyway, as usual – I wander … Moriya reckoned she’d got a message back about Steve, not long after the first big raids. Whether it was a letter, or word of mouth from some returning worker, she never said. It could have been a dreaded – Telegram, carried by the boy on his bike from Kells Post Office, or a nightflying carrier pigeon.. Or it could be one of her spirit friends - telepathy – or a ‘woman’s intuition.’ Maybe a mixture of them all. Moriya could tell fortunes, was often too close for comfort with her predictions. Tolerably lucky regarding the times she lived in; they used to burn women for less, the bastards. Yes, a woman – Bridget Cleary – had been burned to

death on suspicion of being a witch within twenty miles of Moriya’s home – in 1895 – when Moriya would have been fifteen. Bridget was taken from her sick bed, over to the fireplace, where urine was thrown at her, and she was urged to “get rid of them fairies yiz’ve brought int’ll this house.” There was a childrens ditty that ran for years afterwards: “Are you a witch or are you a fairy – or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?” After further torture, her husband burned and buried her. He reckoned she was a ‘changeling.’ The British authorities gave him a long sentence; the Church would probably have given him a medal. For killing a ‘witch’. Anyway, back from my usual ramble… The gist of the ‘received’ message from Steve was this. He was living in ‘digs’ in Coventry, and the bombers were overhead, just about every night. His landlady, a kind woman, didn’t believe in Air Raid Shelters, and was crippled with rheumatism, so she wouldn’t even try to get to one. But she did have a well-protected deep cellar, and Steve and his fellow-

lodgers would carry her down there when the sirens went. And wouldn’t leave her on her own. So, they’d all six of them camp there, until the ‘All Clear’. There was a vertical round chute channelled down from near the front door to the cellar, into which the fuel man tipped the coal. So, using that, they could hear the ack-ack guns, the bombers, and, of course - the bombs. The local ‘Blackout Warden’ also knew of the pipe – and the people - and would sometimes shout reassurance down to them while on his rounds. More times he’d close the lid, in case of incendiaries. The particular night I have now got round to was moonlit, and the Air Raid sirens had long been wailing their sad warnings of coming death…….. To be Continued Ned E Disclaimer The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of The Kilkenny Observer.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

News Both the war in Ukraine and Covid have dropped back considerably in the list of top concerns (from 32% in May to 17% in August), according to a survey by Bank of Ireland’s Savings and Investment. Meanwhile, Covid has almost dropped off the list of concerns with just 3% seeing it as their biggest concern, below climate change (16%), global recession (14%) and the cost of housing (12%). In Q3 2022, Bank of Ireland’s Savings and Investment Index dropped (to 87 in August from 90 in May), with consumers citing inflation/ cost of living as their biggest worry (29% in August v. 22% in May), a trend mirrored in similar international surveys. There has also been a significant drop in the proportion of consumers who feel that they are saving enough, reflecting the impact of rising prices and the back-to-school costs faced by many households. The index also continued to highlight growing differences in concerns between generations (see table). Inflation and the cost of living rank highest amongst both 30-59 year olds and 16-29 year olds and while it increased significantly amongst the 60+ age group, this age bracket was alone in ranking the war in Ukraine top of their concerns. Savings drop as consumers focus on the cost of living Consumer attitudes to saving are changing significantly in the face of rising inflation. In contrast to the Pandemic period when the Savings Index reached a peak, the most recent survey illustrates the impact of inflation. Back in May 2020, the index for a ‘Good time to save’ reached a high of 117 whereas by August 2022 it had dropped to 92. What’s more when asked whether it will be a good time to save in six months that score drops to 85, the second lowest level since 2019. Interestingly more people are now saving but the “savings amounts” subindex has sharply declined


Cost of living now tops our list of worries

with less people feeling they are saving enough. The index for “Do you save” rose six points to 96 but the index for ‘savings amount’ dropped 12 points to 78, its lowest level. The survey results continue to suggest consumers may be trying to save in the face of uncertainty but they are struggling to do so, given the rising cost of living.

Investment environmenta challenging one Irish consumers are showing themselves to be uncertain about the economic environment and when asked whether they see it as “a good time to invest”, the responses have dropped to a level below what we saw during the pandemic and after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the same time,

38% of people now think that they are investing “nowhere near as much as they should” the highest level since the survey began. Confidence in retirement slips for a third quarter When asked about financial preparedness for retirement, the answers haven’t moved significantly. However Irish

Top concerns Augu War in Ukrain e

16-29 year olds 30-59 year olds 60+

21% 9% 29% 14%

46% 33% Overall 32% 17%

st ’22 (May figures in grey italics) Inflatio Cost of Climat Global Covid n/Cost housin e recessi of g/rent chang on living e 21% 26% 17% 8% 2% 28% 26% 19% 10% 3% 27% 12% 9% 11% 5% 32% 10% 14% 18% 2% 15% 2% 12% 13% 7% 24% 3% 15% 11% 4% 22% 13% 11% 11% 5% 29% 12% 16% 14% 3%

people are far less confident about how comfortable they will be in retirement, with this part of the index dropping from 125 in November ’21 to 107 in August ’22. According to Kevin Quinn, Chief Investment Strategist at Bank of Ireland: “Rising inflation is having a significant impact on how people view their finances. So much so

that despite the challenges presented by Covid and the Russia-Ukraine war, the impact of rising prices is possibly the most significant in the past three years in terms of how people view saving and investing. With interest rates still at low levels and inflation at c.9%, consumers clearly recognise that real purchasing power is quickly eroding and it is little wonder that it has caused people to re-evaluate. For some the environment is proving challenging enough that they have scaled back on their savings. “Our survey also illustrated the different strains faced by different age groups. Working age and younger consumers are the most impacted by the rise in the cost of living, at least thus far. With investment markets being so volatile right now – even despite gains made in the summer months – consumers remain nervous about the wider economic environment and there is a conservative tone which reflects the conversations we are having with so many customers. Inflation is also impacting how Irish consumers see their retirement years, with a lower level of confidence about how comfortable they will be in retirement.” * The Bank of Ireland Savings and Investment Index tracks household attitudes towards savings and investment as well as monitoring their perspectives on the current and future savings and investment environment.

What next for Taoiseach Micheál Martin? Following the Fianna Fáil think-in of two days the question being mused over is if Micheál Martin opts for foreign affairs, it will be an indication that he plans to vacate the position as party leader sooner rather than later. Kilkenny’s hurling legend Brian Cody was a guest speaker at the event. Given the inflation crisis and the focus on the impending budget, there was no talk of leadership challenges over the two days in Westmeath but it is expected at some point before December. By then, some members will be asking: what Martin’s intentions are as leader? A number of TDs and senators, some loyal cheerleaders

and some not in the Taoiseach’s camp, were certain that the Mullingar think-in would be his last as party leader. Despite him saying that he plans to stay on as leader of Fianna Fáil and lead the party into the next election, some TDs and senators have said that it can’t be allowed to happen “for the party’s sake”. As part of the plan, when he rotates out of the position of Taoiseach and

into the role of Tánaiste, he will also receive a ministry. While some wish for him to just take Leo Varadkar’s post as Minister for Enterprise and Trade – allowing for a seamless switch – others have said he might choose to take on Education or Higher Education, given his strong interest in both portfolios. Some speculated that the call of the Department of Foreign Affairs – one he served in before and speaks very fondly of – will be too tempting for him to turn down.

“If he chooses foreign affairs, that will be a clear indication that he plans to head off as party leader and perhaps take up a job in Europe,” one TD said. Another said he might have “no choice” but to take on the ministry after Simon Coveney, saying it would mean Fianna Fáil would have input into matters in Northern Ireland, along with the Department of An Taoiseach. The job would require him to be out of the country a lot, which would give backbenchers ample opportunity to formulate a push against the leader and get a successor ready. Regarding the break away

the Fianna Fáiler inner snactim, some who have already spoken out publicly about their concerns and who held a private meeting away from ministers and the party leader in July are understood to “keeping the head down” until after the Budget. It is likely another meeting could take place in October, after the party’s Ard Fheis which is taking place after the Budget. It is believed that some were unhappy with the structured nature of the party think-in, instead wanting more time to discuss the direction of the party. The Taoiseach has rejected internal party criticism over

his failure to facilitate the backbench meeting. Speaking to reporters, Mr Martin said the public was not interested in “excessive navelgazing” by political parties, saying that the people wanted the country “sorted out”. Guest speaker Brian Cody told politicians they should free themselves of egos, something the Taoiseach was keen to mention in passing. Others were equally keen to mention that Cody managed the Kilkenny county team between 1998 and 2022, retiring only this year. Perhaps Martin wanted advice on how to stay on in a job for so long, joked some party members.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Your Money & You John Ellis

Up to 43% of people don’t have a pension As you read this Pensions Awareness Week (PAW) is just over . It is an initiative held annually in September to raise awareness in Ireland about retirement planning, and help people take charge of their long-term savings. In conjunction with the week, PAW commissioned a new survey on peoples attitude to saving for retirement. The research surveyed more than 1,000 people nationally in late August and early September 2022 and was conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A) The results make for depressing reading as it reveals real disparity between Dublin and the rest of the country with more people in Dublin having pensions. A total of 63% of people in Dublin hold some form of pension product, a figure that drops to 54% of people living outside the capital. Also 43% of people don’t

have a pension with the majority saying they cannot afford it and two in five have delayed starting a pension due to the rising cost of living with another 4% have actually cashed in their pensions in order to deal with soaring energy and other costs. The survey also found that more than two in five people in Ireland without a pension

have either delayed starting one or delayed their planned retirement date due to the cost-of-living crisis. Of those with a pension, the increase in the cost of living has not impacted retirement savings for the large majority (69%). However, 18% have either stopped payments, delayed their planned retirement

date, or reduced their pension contributions. The survey also shows that just under two in five (38%) already know they won’t have sufficient money saved for retirement with the same number believing they will need to work longer than they intended due to an insufficient pensions. Yet only one in ten of those without a pension have ever discussed retirement options with their workplace. And, even among those with a pension, attention to its performance is low with one in five having never checked what funds their pension is invested in. Fewer than one in five of those without pensions have calculated how much money they need in retirement. With only one in twenty having sought advice from a financial advisor on pensions – or discussed retirement options with their workplace. Women are less likely to

have a pension than men, with just 48% of females stating having some form of pension product versus 65% of men. Of those with pensions, just over one in four have ever checked its current performance and just over one in five have calculated how much money they need in retirement. Ralph Benson, founder of PAW and Head of Financial Advice, said: “The research from B&A shows there are two sides to the story of the cost-of-living crisis. What’s becoming clear is its long-term effects on people’s financial security. On the one hand there are those who have a surplus each month. Despite the mounting costs of energy and other basics, they can probably survive with just minor tweaks to their finances. “On the other, we have people for whom the margins are much tighter and so are

being forced to make decisions now that will impact when they can retire and the quality of life they will enjoy when they do. This research also reveals that most people haven’t checked the performance of their pension and even fewer know how much they will need in retirement. Pensions Awareness Week gives people a chance to join the conversation about building your retirement plans and check in on your financial health,” he said. One other interesting fact from the survey is that nearly two-thirds of those aged 25-49 are open to hearing about pensions but find it too complicated to understand. This is where your financial advisor comes; whether you’re starting a pension, on the journey to or approaching retirement, they are there to help by making the way clear. 086 8362633.

Step by step to feed the next child 2022 By: Fr Eamonn Kelly, PP Raphoe, Co Donegal It is hard to find words to describe the feelings when you get the first sight of Knock (Mayo) after walking for nine days to get there. The first sight is the very top of the Cross at the Basilica. There is elation of nearly being there and yet a wee reminder in the head – not yet, for there are three or four kilometres still to go. The muscle aches seem to lose their pain and the blisters do not bother as much, for soon there will be no more walking. And you can rest tomorrow and the day after that if you so wish. The joyous excitement of making a difference is probably the most over-whelming emotion. Because of the walk, many people have responded to the plight of the hungry children. Because of the effort of the walkers and collectors and all else involved in the walk, literally thousands of children will receive a meal each day in a place of education with Mary’s Meals. Then as Knock gets closer, one can see walkers coming in from another direction and all walking for the same common purpose – to relieve the suffering of our little brothers and sisters. When the walkers meet, the hugs are genuine, with tears of relief and joy, of release and delight, of achievement and happiness. The

walk up the Main Street of Knock is very emotional as the stress of the nine days of pounding the tarmac gives way to the knowledge that another child has been fed and will be fed. After the final prayers of the two hundred plus kilometre trek, the adrenaline pumps through the veins and the smiling faces of the blue t-shirted walkers state clearly that it was all worthwhile. Hundreds and thousands of different and separate moments of the past nine days becomes blurred and melts into one big moment in your own induvial history. And deep in your heart you understand, beyond words, the work of Mary’s Meals: ordinary people changing lives as they offer their money, skill, goods, time, or prayer, and so provide the food to help those suffering the effects of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest communities.

We met and were joined by many kind and generous individuals over the course of our walk from the Marble City, though Portlaoise and Mountmellick before crossing to Offaly. As we stopped at one local shop for a bottle of water, we met a group of children who were shocked to hear that nine cents can provide a lunch. On behalf of all the nine cents’ raised over the course of our walk, we thank you on behalf of the many, many children who will eat thanks to your generosity. Mary’s Meals are a no-frills charity – we depend upon the generosity of volunteers to feed so many hungry children. If you would like to find out about our work or you would like to become involved, please contact Angela Moore at 089-4339592 or email angela.moore@

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022



European year of Youth 22 and Twilight portant transport and spent time on line registering each participant’s name and details with Dunmore East Water Activity Center ensuring all the documentation and Insurances were in place prior to departure. EYE22 is part of the Twilight’s Erasmus +programme which is geared towards youth development. The project included Wonderful Dog Therapy with Kilkenny’s GooDog Training Academy which saw the members of Twilight Youth Inclusion learn the basics to avoid

Once again, another Twilight Programme comes to end. Last weekend saw the conclusion of the European Year of Youth 22 with a day excursion to Splashworld and the week before they headed to the Dunmore East activity Centre for a fun filled day of activities and interaction among its members. In an era when many of our youth and young adults play their games and interact with ‘Friends’ or so-called best buddy who are, let’s call it

as it is! A digitally generated buddy. His name is probably R2D 2, and a wizard at playing soccer, well with his fingers and thumbs and two team mates called a Packet of Tayto, playing on the left and can of coke on the right wing. When I played soccer, it was with your two feet and your head and only guy to use his fingers and thumbs was the keeper. But in this new era of EA Sports and a game played on a screen and not on grass the Twilight Youth Inclusion Group offers all its members opportunities for real life experiences.

When a team of Young adults’ travel to any Excellent Adventure Centre like the Water activities provided in Dunmore East, it’s outdoor and interaction is with real friends, real people. The aim of these activities is to engage the members in your team and bond building and most importantly having fun. The planning for such a trip’s logistics takes time, effort and of course finances. The Two Youth team leaders, who must be over 18, Leah McDonnell and Liam Mungovan got together and organize the packed lunches, the all-im-

confrontation with the ‘big black dog’ a syndrome that many of our young people have developed. Art Therapy and personal wellbeing which included a workshop to assist our youth to over come the isolation from Covid 19 to alleviate stress and anxiety. These Activities and Personal Development programmes are vital part of the coming of age for our youth and young adults. This cohort of society were sometimes forgotten about during the period of our shut down during the Pandemic. They spent months

alone. Sometimes locked in their bedrooms. Their man contact with the outside world was through social media. And we all know the dangers of bullying that can prevail on Facebook, what’s app. This is all part of the Twilight Groups efforts to alleviate the stress and improve the health and wellbeing by providing activities mainly based on excursions and personal development talks in a non-formal and interactive sessions For Information on how to become Twilight member email


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

News & Wellbeing Science Boyle: “An’, as it blowed an’ blowed, I ofen looked up at the sky an’ assed meself the question — what is the stars, what is the stars?” Joxer: “Ah, that’s the question, that’s the question — what is the stars?” Those of us lucky enough to live far from the bright lights of cities can equate with Sean O’Casey’s characters in Juno and the Petcock if, out standing in a field, we have often gazed up at the night sky. On a clear night, you are rewarded with a breathtaking vision of stars — each one a distant sun. If you have a little knowledge (or a handy app), you might even be able to identify a constellation or two. But the most awe-inspiring thing is that space seems to go on forever.So, what do we know, and what do we not know? Just how big is the Universe? A static Universe To begin with, we know two crucial facts. The first is that the Universe began just shy of 14 billion years ago in a singular event, called the Big Bang. The second is that ordinary, visible light has a finite speed. It travels at the amazing rate of 300,000 kilometres (186,000 miles) a second, or fast enough to circle the Earth about seven times in a single second. We call the distance light can travel in a year a light-year, which is equal to about ten trillion kilometres (6 trillion miles). Another important idea we need to understand is the difference between the visible Universe versus the entire Universe. The first is what we can see, and the other is everything. This isn’t so hard to understand. Someone standing on the roof of the tallest building on the planet (the Burj Khalifa in Dubai) can see in every direction for about 100 km (60 miles). However, the surface of the Earth is much bigger than that, and the curvature of the planet makes it impossible to see everything. If our Universe were static There is very positive news for the thousands of men with prostate cancer who medics in the UK say could be cured through a simple but innovative hour-long operation. The ‘game-changing’ treatment uses electrical currents to destroy difficult to reach tumours. The one-hour ‘Nanoknife’ operation has been described as ‘amazingly simple and quick’ by surgeons. It uses a technique called irreversible electroporation to administer electrical pulses into the tumour, cutting open the membrane of the cells in a far less invasive manner than standard treatments, meaning there are fewer risks to surrounding organs and tissues. The introduction of the therapy on the NHS comes as more than 50,000 cases of prostate cancer are detected

est thing we can see — is 92 billion light-years in diameter (that is, edge to edge).

So, just how BIG is our Universe?

and unchanging (which isn’t true), the farthest thing we could see would be 14 billion light-years away. That’s because if an object that far away emitted light the moment the Universe began, that light would just now be arriving at Earth. Light emitted from an objected located 15 billion light-years away wouldn’t arrive here at Earth for another billion years, so we couldn’t see it yet. In our hypothetical static Universe, the visible Universe would be a sphere, surrounding the Earth, with a radius of 14 billion light-years. The entire Universe might be bigger

than that, but we would have no way of knowing, since light from more distant locations hasn’t arrived yet. Our actual Universe Of course, the Universe isn’t static, and that complicates things. The Universe began in the Big Bang, and that ‘bang’ caused the Universe to expand. As it travels, light has to fight against that expansion, which takes it longer to get to you. To understand this, suppose a child stands ten metres away from you and rolls a ball toward you at two metres a second. It will take five seconds

for the ball to get to you. Now, suppose we have the same situation, with you standing on firm ground, but the child on one of those moving walking escalators you find in airports. Suppose further that the walkway is moving away from you at one metre a second. Because of the motion of the walkway, the ball will not take five seconds to get to you; it will take 10. Alas, it gets more complicated. While the child was 10 metres away from you when they rolled the ball, because of the motion of the walkway, the child will be 20 metres away from you when the ball gets

to you. The same thing has happened to the visible light from the Big Bang. That light travelled for 14 billion years to arrive at Earth now. And just like the child on the moving walkway, the current location of whatever emitted that earliest light isn’t 14 billion lightyears away; it’s now 46 billion light-years away. We see the light from where it was emitted, not where the emission source is now. In this way, astronomers can say with confidence that the visible Universe — which is the sphere around the Earth out to the distance of the old-

So how big is the Universe? But that is merely the visible Universe. What about the entire Universe? How can we know about parts that are so far away that we have not even seen them yet? That’s where things get interesting. It may be surprising, but astronomers are not 100% sure they know the geometry of space. It could be flat, or it could be curved. While space is three dimensional, we can use a two-dimensional analogy to understand what that means. In two dimensions, flat means flat, like the surface of a table. However, a twodimensional surface could be curved, like the surface of a globe, but it also could be curved like the surface of a saddle. If it’s curved like the surface of a globe, that means if you had a super-fast spaceship and traveled long enough, you could end up back where you started, like a plane flying along the Earth’s equator. Astronomers have studied the data and have determined that space is flat, or nearly so. However, this determination is a measurement, and measurements have uncertainty. It remains possible that the Universe has a very tiny curvature. But if it is curved, then the equivalent of the ‘Universe’s equator’ is at least 500 times bigger than the visible Universe. Or possibly bigger than that. So, despite not knowing the size of the entire Universe, astronomers know that it is at least 500 times larger than what we can see. (That number represents the distance one would have to travel to return to your starting location.) In the same way that the volume of a cube is the distance along the sides cubed, the volume of the entire Universe is, at a minimum, 125 million times bigger than the visible Universe. What would Joxer have to say?

offers a reduced chance of side effects and can be carried out more quickly/ Commenting on the treat-

ment, consultant urologist Professor Mark Emberton said: ‘This offers us a new class of therapy – it’s a completely new way of destroying cells. The beauty of it is that it’s such a simple technique to train surgeons in. That makes it a gamechanger.” Mr Emberton has said that Nanoknife has the potential to become a standard treatment for prostate cancer as opposed to having it only available in major specialist centres, as is currently the case with targeted treatments. “At times like this, when the NHS is under great pressure, day surgery avoids the need for overnight stays in hospital and means that we can use our operating theatres more efficiently,” the professor said. Guided by MRI scanning, the short pulses can be tar-

geted to the right area, and surrounding healthy cells are left untouched and preserved, experts said. Natalia Norori, the knowledge manager at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Early studies suggest that treatments like Nanoknife could effectively treat prostate cancer while also reducing side-effects for men. This technology is one of many types of focal therapy on the horizon, which are designed to target the tumour more precisely and limit damage to the rest of the prostate.” This could make a big difference to the quality of life of men and it now needs to be tested in much larger trials to see whether it is as effective as traditional treatments. Senior medics in Ireland are keeping a close eye on developments.

One-hour op could cure prostate cancer each year. Treatments for the disease typically involve radiotherapy or surgery to remove the prostate, which

can cause problems with urination, incontinence and loss of sexual function. In comparison, Nanoknife

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Travel & Leisure

Beautiful Dubrovnik — without the crowds It can have it all all. Dubrovnik, that is, as a recent five-day trip to the southern Croatia city showed... boating, beaches, amazing food and wine, and historic villas to call home. Thanks to some fantastic hotels, the patience of Croatians (who, to a person, were so good with children), and a detour to the place where locals go to escape the crowds, it was a trip to Croatia’s coast that stood out. Here are four ways to make the most of a visit to Dubrovnik, high to low season. 1. Don’t be afraid to splurge on a hotel near Old Town There isn’t a better hotel to make your home base than the Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik — an iconic landmark hotel (c. 1913) that’s just a fiveminute walk from Old Town. You can take advantage of its

The landscape of the Paris wine bar scene has changed a lot in the east decade; gone are the wine lists heavy with Burgundy and not much else, as well as the ‘rule’ that you can drink wine only with dinner. Freddy’s With its stone walls and wood floors, Freddy’s has a rustic, lived-in vibe. The bottle list takes you on an impressive tour de France, plus you’ll always find something special you won’t see outside the country, like a Vermentino from Corsica. Another standout is the food. Freddy’s tapas menu changes seasonally, but if you see the savoury beignets, order them with a glass of Bordeaux blanc.

location— and peacefulness, and incredible service — for rates that are relatively affordable. (Think €300- €400 a night compared to €1,000 for comparable European stays.) There are floor-to-ceiling windows when you walk in, overlooking the Adriatic. The hotel has two parts —one is more modern, the other a more classic, traditional wing — and sea-view rooms come with beautiful decks where you can sit and watch the day go by (perhaps with a bottle of Croatian wine). It’s child-friendly, which was cool to see. Kids can run around; Croatians are just like, this is the way it is. About a mile from the western edge of Old Town, the Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik is set atop a 90-foot cliff, right on the Adriatic. The five-star boutique hotel was completely

redone in 2019 and now serves up chic style and vibes for a young, hip crowd. But the thing that really caught the eye? The pebbly public beach where locals and hotel guests swim together, but has a private section with lounge chairs, umbrellas, and one of the hotel’s bars. It’s beneath the cliffs, so this is one of the places local boys coming of age hang out to prove their mettle. They’re jumping off these 20-, 30-, 40-foot cliffs into the water. Fun to watch. Even into September it can get hot during the day (high 70s), so plan to do Old Town in the early morning or evening. 2. Island hop around the Elaphites Croatia is all about the sea — all about being near the water. In the lazy days of summer, everyone seemed

Some notable wine bars in Paris

to be hanging out at a pool, a beach club, or boating around between islands. With help from Adriatic Luxury Hotels (the properties at which to stay), a boat can be chartered for a full day to visit some of the Elaphiti islands, a small archipelago northwest of Dubrovnik. You can also take a ferry to the islands of Kolo ep, Lopud, and Su ura . This was a highlight of the trip: Some islands have beach clubs, which you can visit for a day or even just a meal; other islands are more about the restaurants, where you hop off at the dock and eat at a great restaurant right there. The fish is so fresh —just simply prepared, grilled — it is memorable. 3. Make time to visit the Peljesac peninsula Drive 60 minutes from

Dubrovnik’s city centre to the Peljesac peninsula, where the new bridge is, along with lots of beaches, wineries, and oyster farming. It’s where folks who live in Dubrovnik go to escape the summers. It’s not as touristy. It’s probably where you could rent a house on a subsequent trip: start in Dubrovnik, and then spend another week on the Peljesac. 4. So, hang out near the airport — seriously! The village of Cavtat, 15 minutes from the international airport. You can get to Cavtat from Old Town easily, by bus or water taxis, in 20 minutes for about €18 (give or take). Beautiful yachts and ships are anchored in Cavtat’s bay. The waterfront promenade is lined with palm trees, churches, monuments, outdoor restaurants and

Adonis Wine Tucked away down a quiet street in between clothing shops, you’ll recognise Adonis Wine thanks to the name written in cursive neon lights in the front window. Settle into one of their plush hightop chairs and order from the extensive by-the-glass list, heavy on Bordeaux (where the owners are from). Their Friday jazz is a good night out with friends. Frenchie Bar à Vins This is the smaller offshoot of the famed restaurant of the same name across the street. With a substantial menu of elevated small plates and wines by the glass, its offerings feel just as generous as its big sister’s. Whether

cafes. It’s all very relaxed yet sophisticated. It has been described as ‘St Tropez without the crowds’ but Cavtat is just its own special place. Tour the newly renovated Hotel Supetar Cavtat in the town’s historic centre. It’s housed in a villa from the 1920s — just 16 rooms, all of them individually designed. The restaurant is called Restaurant, with an outdoor terrace overlooking the water and a nearby church. And the food is paired with local, world-class Croatian wines! We had one of the best meals of our entire trip here: amazing swordfish carpaccio, a 24-day aged beef filet, homemade breads and butters. Everything is very locally sourced. Daydream about buying out the whole hotel for a big celebration.

you’re alone at the counter, grabbing a table with friends for a quick glass of Vin de Savoie, or it’s your main destination of the night, everything about Frenchie just works. Au Tour du Vin A neighbourhood spot where you always feel welcome. The newly opened wine bar and store Au Tour du Vin is that place . Owner Edward Fuzat has selected wines from all over France to line one entire wall; high tables line the other. Their planche mixte is one of my new favourites in the city. NB Paris-based agency Girl Meets Glass conducts wine tours around the city.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Furthermore Gerry Moran

Cultural quotes, quips ... and quizzes Friday September 23 is/was Culture Night. Should you be perusing this paper after the 23rd then Culture Night was last Friday night. Either way it’s culture, culture all the way this week. Quotes “I don’t know anything about myself. Put it this way, there is no self. I believe that we are a compendium of personalities. We’re whoever we meet. We go through the day being who we think we should be and who we think we’d like to be.’”(John Banville, 2005 Booker Prize winner with The Sea). The artist George Braque when asked in old age for his opinion of his friend Pablo Picasso (Braque and Picasso pioneered the art movement Cubism) said: “Pablo? Oh Pablo used to be a great painter, now he’s just a genius.”

“Writing is the loneliest life. It’s not just the blank page but the blank room and the blank bed.” (Edna O’Brien). “If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist” (American writer Norman Mailer).

many were foolish, reckless and unhappy individuals” (Howard Sounes, author of Amy Winehouse And The 27 Club).

“People are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what’s wrong with it” (Noel Coward).

career as an electrician).

“Sometimes writing is easy and sometimes not. You have to be sitting at your desk, if you want to wait to do it, you might wait forever” (writer Faye Weldon).

“A low, coarse and mean nation, driven by a herd of rascals” (Charles Dickens on America).

Quizzes Famous lines: The following lines may well be familiar, but who said them? 1. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” 2. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” 3. “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” 4. “Do not go gentle into that good night.’ 5. ‘No man is an island.”

“The demons are out there and only vigilance will hold them at bay” (Author Marian Keyes on her depression and alcoholism).

Quips “Why don’t you write books people can read” (Nora Joyce to husband James Joyce).

“It’s not the intensity of singing that gets us down, it’s the intensity of what happens when the gig is over really. It’s all the madness that goes on” (Christy Moore).

“The play was a great success but the audience a total failure” (Oscar Wilde after the unsuccessful first night of Lady Windemere’s Fan).

“It often seems that the best die young. Yet in truth

“What people are afraid of usually makes a good story”(F. Scott Fitzgerald).

Photo by Jack Moore

“You paint with colours? NO. NO. You paint with feelings” (Chardin, French artist). “When I hear people say the Colonel (Tom Parker) made Elvis, my response is: tell him to make another one’”(Rev. Rick Stanley, step-brother of Elvis). “I hate music. Especially when it’s played’”(Jimmy Durante). “I went to work with a toolbox and a guitar” (Johnny Logan on his brief

“What does he do for me – more than a husband would do” (Joe Dolan fan).

Famous artists: Who painted the following well-known paintings: 1. Girl With A Pearl Earring 2. Nighthawks 3. The Starry Night 4. The Scream 5. The Kiss. First lines: Following are the first lines from famous novels. Name them. 1 “Call me Ishmael.” 2. “It was the

best of times, it was the worst of times.” 3. “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” 4. “It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 5. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Answers Famous Lines: 1. Keats 2. John Milton 3. WB Yeats 4. Dylan Thomas 5. John Donne. Famous artists: 1. Vermeer. 2. Edward Hopper 3. Van Gogh 4. Munch 5. Gustav Klimt. First lines: 1. Moby Dick, Herman Melville 2. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens 3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S Thompson 4.Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell. 5. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022



Tribute to a local legend

A mighty heart stopped beating when Nicky Fitzgerald, who divided his life between Callan and Inistioge, said goodbye to the world. He was sixtyone. News of his passing on September 10th grieved his vast circle of friends. I felt privileged to be present in the ward in St Luke’s hospital when Nicky drew his last breath. He was diagnosed six years ago with a difficult to treat form of cancer. He fought it bravely and creatively with a combination of orthodox medicine and natural remedies, managing to keep it at bay. But recently it returned and the final curtain came down on a man referred to as a “local legend” in Inistioge and who made a lasting impression on almost everyone he met. Nicky’s life began in Callan. He attended the CBS and after completing his Inter-cert exam he worked for a while at Heron’s saw mill before qualifying as an electrician. His work took him, first, to every part of the county and then to Europe and South Africa. From an early age the picturesque village of Inistioge was his second home. His grandmother, Mary Kenny, whom he adored, lived there and she loved to see him arrive, full of fun-loving mischief and a new helping of anecdotes about his always intriguing encounters and predicaments. In her later years, he cared for his beloved granny until she died in 1989, lightening the burden of her illness

on even the worst days and nights. He doubled as a nurse and jester to her, giving selflessly of his time to someone who, in turn, had welcomed him into her home since he was a child. Following her death, Nicky moved to live in Inistioge where he continued his electrical work and added daily to his legion of friends. He met some of them in one or other of the four pubs (the village now only has two) and others along the banks of the River Nore where the leaping salmon twinkled in the spring and summer sunshine. He acquired a phenomenal knowledge of the village and its surrounding countryside, eventually taking up photography as a hobby and snapping any little miracle of nature that caught his eye… a bee visiting a flower, a ladybird meandering around a blade of grass, or, a special favourite, the sun rising and setting over the village. All four seasons had their attractions for him, but he preferred the summer, when he’d sit outside one of the pubs in a setting redolent of the South of France, sipping cool beer and rejoicing in the good times that life sent his way. His electrical career entered a new phase when he found work on film sets nationwide. When Nicky arrived back in Inistioge or Callan after his stint in Tinsel town he had tales of friendly chats with Liam Neeson, Chris O’ Donnell, Brendan Gleeson, Minnie

Driver, Pierce Brosnan, Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts and other stars of the Silver Screen. He worked on the epic Braveheart and Michael Collins movies, and the rain-sodden Angela’s Ashes, but he took special delight in the news that two major films, Widow’s Peak and Circle of Friends were to be shot on location in Inistioge. These were the golden years for Nicky, and when Niall Jordan picked Callan to shoot part of Breakfast on Pluto he was on the job from day one. Many locals served as extras but Nicky reveled in his assignments that offered him a close-up view of film making. He said he felt like royalty some days, enjoying the banter in the pubs at the end of each stint. But then Nicky felt the urge, or ambition, to venture into new and unfamiliar territory. Though he’d left school after Inter-cert he relished the challenge of ascending the academic ladder to see where it might take him. He enrolled in the Mater Dei Institute of Higher Education from which he graduated with a degree in history and theology. His graduation day was among the happiest of his life. His mother Kitty, whom he’d kept up to date on his demanding scholasticism, stood in to be pictured with him at the college, proud of this new milestone. But he didn’t let his bookish achievements go to his head. He was still the same jovial Nicky that chatted to the river men

and joked over pints in O’ Keeffe’s or O’ Donnell’s, or exchanged yarns in the village square from which he and his pals a watched a rapidly changing world go by. Then, six years, ago, the big C struck. Doctors told Nicky that it was terminal and that he had just months to live. A cruel blow to a man who loved life and didn’t want to quit Planet Earth if he could help it. When it seemed that chemo mightn’t be enough to check the disease Nicky turned to nature, his faithful friend, for alternative ways of healing. The tumors went away, granting him those additional years of precious life to sip coffee with friends, travel to music festivals, pursue his photography, and, later on, compose poetry. The poems he posted on Facebook covered a multitude of themes, ranging from the gloom of Covid Lockdown and the romance of Valentine’s Day to the marvels of the natural world and the fraught

relationship between fishermen and the evervigilant water bailiffs. His affinity with nature took a new twist when he developed a fondness for a crow that turned up on his doorstep one morning. He fed it some crumbs. It returned for more and soon began to follow him everywhere in the village. When he left the house in Hatchery Lane to go to the grocery “Buddy” the crow flew overhead and waited outside the shop for him. Locals and tourists photographed Nicky feeding the crow on the fair green or from a table in O’Keefe’s outdoor cafe. “Buddy” became a kind of symbol for his interest in eco-issues and he posted daily on Facebook about the joys and woes of environmentalism. Nicky used the extra time created by his fight-back against illness to live life to the full. Then the cancer came back, exacerbated this time by a severe lung infection. He resolved to resume the fight. But the cancer spread.

Nicky greeted visitors to his ward at St. Luke’s with the same big smile and hearty words of welcome that that brightened many a heart over the decades. He jokingly invited them to his funeral, promising a party after it. Family and friends hastened to his bedside, hoping…praying. Nicky said his final farewell to a world he had enriched with his rare brands of humour, kindness, fun and adventure. His open-minded attitude to religion and the question as to what lies beyond our physical world was reflected in his choice of a humanist service. This was beautifully arranged at the Inistioge community hall, into which sunlight streamed as his life was celebrated in words and music. Months before I’d asked Nicky to let me know how he got on when he reached the Other Side. His reply was typical. He said he’d try but that I shouldn’t be put out if there was a bad line or the reception wasn’t great. That was Nicky, my brother. He fought the good fight and now he’s having the best party ever. (Pictures show Nicky with his pet crow “Buddy”, with his mother Kitty on graduation day, and as an extra in a scifi movie. Pre-deceased by his father Gerry. Missed by his mother Kitty, brother John, sisters Mary, Emily, Ger and Catherine, uncle Pat, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, cousins, neighbours and friends. -John Fitzgerald


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

Global Report The arrival of a “new era” in international relations was triumphantly declared by both leaders the last time Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down face to face, they declared triumphantly Amid a Western diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics and a looming crisis in Ukraine, the world’s two most powerful autocrats shared their vision for a new world order: it would better accommodate their nations’ interests, and no longer be dominated by the West. In a 5,000-word joint statement, the two leaders declared a friendship with “no limits” and spelled out their shared grievances toward the West. “The world is going through momentous changes,” their joint statement said, noting the “transformation of the global governance architecture and world order.” More than 200 days later, Xi and Putin awee to meet again at a regional summit in the city of Samarkand in southeastern Uzbekistan. Much has changed, but not necessarily in ways China or Russia could have predicted. Three weeks after meeting Xi in Beijing -- and just days after the Winter Olympics ended, Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. He had expected a quick victory, but seven months in, Russia is far from winning. Its forces are exhausted, demoralised, and fleeing territories they have occupied for months. A destroyed Russian tank overgrown by plants in the village of Lukashivka, in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine. And that is making China nervous. Having grown ever closer to Moscow under Xi, Beijing has a direct stake in the war’s outcome. A defeated Russia will strengthen the West and become a less useful and reliable asset in China’s great power rivalry with the US. A weakened Moscow might also be less of a distraction for the US, thereby enabling Washington to focus more squarely on Beijing. At the second meeting Xi had a fine line to tread. If he leaned too much into helping Russia, he risked exposing China to Western sanctions and dip-

The China Syndrome Beijing not willing to go any further to ensure Putin remains in control lomatic blowback that would harm its own interests. The backlash would also come at a sensitive time for Xi, who is only weeks away from seeking a norm-breaking third term at the 20th Party Congress. So, so far, the two authoritarian powers have not come any closer to shaping the world order in their favour — if anything, experts say Russia’s war on Ukraine has served to strengthen Western resolve. For Putin, invading Ukraine was likely a first step in removing Russia from the post-World War II -- and post-Cold War -international order. A swift seizure of Ukraine would have dealt a painful blow to NATO, expanded Moscow’s sphere of influence and

significantly shifted the balance of power in Europe, in Russia’s favour. A Russian victory might also have set a dangerous precedent in regards to China, which has vowed to “unify” with the self-governing democracy of Taiwan -- by force if necessary. Under Xi, Beijing is already stepping up military activity around the island. An easy win for Putin would have further deepened Xi’s belief the West is in decline, and provided a template for an attack on Taiwan — a hugely consequential event that could reset the global balance of power. But Ukraine fought back and instead of sabotaging the US-led order, the invasion has

reinvigorated NATO, strengthened transatlantic ties and united the West. Putin’s meeting with Xi, meanwhile, could not have come at a worse time. Russian forces are retreating en mass in the northeast of Ukraine, losing more territory in a week than they captured in five months. While it is still too early to predict the outcome, even the prospect of Russia losing the war is enough to make Beijing anxious. While the growing ties between China and Russia are primarily driven by their tensions with the West, they are also partly propelled by the close personal relationship between Xi and Putin. During his

decade in power, Xi has met Putin 38 times — more than twice as many times as he has met any other world leader. There is no guarantee a Russia without a strong Putin would be as keen to pursue a “no-limits” friendship with Beijing; in a worst-case scenario, it might even grow more friendly to the West, adding to long-running Chinese fears about geopolitical encirclement by the US. The question, then, was how far Beijing was willing to go to ensure Putin remains in control, and that Russia remains a powerful security and strategic partner to counterbalance America. For its part, China has abstained from voting against

Russia at the United Nations. It has blamed NATO and the US for the war and decried Western sanctions on Moscow. It has also stepped up economic assistance to its neighbour, boosting bilateral trade to record levels. To judge by their last meeting the leader of China seems to be having second thoughts. If nothing else, he has not given any guarantees of any strengthening support of Putin’s stranglehold on the West. And Putin’s stranglehold is slowly slipping ... “China is willing to give Russia some tacit support politically, diplomatically and to some extent economically, but the bottom line is that it isn’t going to go out of its way and undercut its other strategic objectives to support Russia,” said Brian Hart, a fellow with the China Power Project at the International Centre for Strategic and International Studies. So far, Beijing has carefully avoided actions that could violate Western sanctions, such as providing direct military aid to Moscow. Access to the global market is crucial for China, especially when its economy is already beset by severe problems, from slowing growth, skyrocketing youth unemployment to a collapsing housing market. One area to watch, Hart said, is arms sales. China has long been one of Russia’s largest purchasers of arms. “I wonder if Russia’s own defence industry is overstretched, would it turn to buy weapons from China,” he said. But even then, China would likely seek to send spare parts or items not on the sanction list, or ship them via convoluted routes that are difficult to trace. “(Beijing and Moscow) have said over and over again that they don’t intend to create a formal alliance that binds them in ways that go against their interests. That didn’t work for them during the SinoSoviet alliance in the 1950s, and I think they really view that as a lesson of history,” Hart said. “I think China will only continue to strengthen relations with Russia, to the extent that it really is in their overall interests.”

How Putin has shot himself in the foot Back in February Russian President Vladimir Putin had high hopes for the invasion of his Western neighbour earlier this year — he was going to bring all of Ukraine back into Russia’s fold; he was going to expand Russia’s influence throughout Eastern and Central Europe; he was going to fracture, if not force, the collapse of NATO. The Russian president was going to regain everything Russia had lost when the Soviet Union disintegrated, and reverse what he saw as “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century”. But Putin’s hopes have been brutally crushed, and Rus-

sia’s invasion of Ukraine may well turn out to be the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 21st century.

Far from capturing Ukraine in a matter of weeks, Russia is now clearly on the defensive. Ukraine has recaptured more than 60,000 square kilometres of territory that Russia had occupied in the early weeks of the invasion. Russian soldiers are fleeing, their commanders are disorganised, and the army is now being resupplied from ammunition stocks sold by North Korea. The larger strategic failure, however, is Russia’s declining influence throughout Europe, and the rebirth of transatlantic solidarity through a strengthened and more unified NATO, which Putin himself has unwit-

tingly fostered. Far from fracturing, NATO and the West as a whole have responded to the war with remarkable unity of effort. Russia is now the most sanctioned country in the world. And, though Moscow may still hope to exploit Europe’s dependence on Russian gas as a weapon to force appeasement, it increasingly looks like alternative sources of supply and conservation measures will get the Continent through all but the harshest of winters. Meanwhile, attitudes toward Russia have shifted dramatically, undergirding the strong and unified opposition to Moscow

and its policies. Meanwhile, Europe’s importance to Americans is underscored by their view of NATO. In fact, the American public is now more committed to the Atlantic Alliance than in any time since our polling began nearly 50 years ago. President Joe Biden has substantially increased commitment to NATO, deploying about 25 percent more troops, aircraft, mechanised vehicles and naval vessels, many far forward in the east. Americans greatly favour such a long-term presence in Europe, with two out three supporting long-term bases

in Germany (68%), the Baltic states (65%), and Poland (62%). In the case of Germany and Poland, those numbers are up by nearly 60% when compared to a decade ago. Just as important is the fact that American support for NATO enlargement is as strong as ever. Finally, Moscow’s actions even convinced Finland and Sweden to cast off their century’s old commitments to neutrality and apply to join NATO, with Alliance leaders inviting both countries to join last June, and the US Senate voting 95-1 to approve their accession last month.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


DID Electrical renews its partnership with Kilkenny’s James Stephens GAA club Guaranteed Irish Electrical retailer DID Electrical announce their sponsorship renewal with the Kilkenny City, James Stephens GAA club for a sixth consecutive year. This will see DID Electrical lead as the main sponsor for ‘The Village’ club which has contributed to great talents over the years such as Brian Cody, Phil ‘Fan’ Larkin, Joe Hennessy, Eoin Larkin & Jackie Tyrrell just to name a

few. To announce the 2022 sponsorship, Brian Cody and other James Stephens members joined forces in the Kilkenny DID Electrical store along with the Manging Director, Ken Fox from the Irish Owned company. Commenting on the continued support from DID Electrical was Paddy Neary, Chairman of James Stephens GAA “We are delighted to

renew our partnership with DID Electrical whose store is based in our parish. We wish DID Electrical continued success in their Kilkenny Store and on their on-line platforms and we always encourage our membership to support our main sponsor when in need of electrical goods.” Commenting on the sponsorship renewal was Ken Fox, Managing Director, DID Elec-

trical said “We’re delighted to continue this partnership with James Stephens GAA Club, which has gone from strength to strength in the past five years and will continue as we move into the sixth year of being the main sponsor for the Kilkenny club. The local community in Kilkenny has always been extremely supportive of the store and our team love hearing about how the week-

end matches went from all the local supporters who stop in to shop with us and all our team

is thrilled to be re-partnering with them for another great year ahead”.

About DID Electrical Proudly Guaranteed Irish and family-owned since 1968, DID Electrical has been Delivering, Installing, and Demonstrating the latest home technology to local communities for over 50 years. DID Electricals’ dedicated team of over 400 people working across 23 stores and online at continue to support thousands of customers to find their perfect appliance and technology solutions at unbeatable prices every day.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Those with mortgage arrears about to soar The growing mortgage debt scenario has still not bee revoked by thousands of home owners, more than a decade after the 2008 financial crash. The Central Bank is warning of a new rise in arrears cases due to higher mortgage rates and surging household costs.

Close to 6,000 residential mortgage accounts have been in arrears for more than 10 years, according to the latest figures from the Central Bank. A total of 8,241 are in arrears for between five and 10 years, according to the Residential Mortgage Arrears

and Repossessions Statistics for the April to June period of this year. The number of accounts in arrears for more than a decade have fallen by just two in the past year. The total number of mortgage holders in arrears for between five and 10 years is

down 1,573 in the past year. Homeowners in some form of arrears fell by 3,000 in the second three months of this year to 46,000 compared with the same period last year. At the end of June this year , 4.4% of all residential mortgage accounts were in arrears over 90 days, repre-

senting 31,645 mortgage accounts. The Central Bank said there was an incremental downward trend in the number of accounts more than three months in arrears since March 2010. That was the point that arrears numbers peaked.

For the accounts in arrears, 5,908 are currently part of a legal process. One-third of these are in the legal system for more than five years. Banks regularly complain about the length of time repossessions take in the legal system, even when nothing is being paid on a mortgage.

Floating gas terminals may help with energy Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals that would ‘float’ is among the options listed to secure Ireland’s energy supply into the future. A report compiled by consultancy firm CEPA has advised against a fixed or commercial LNG terminal. The technical report looks at ways to secure Ireland’s energy supply between now and 2030. It looks at the possible risks to Ireland’s energy supply, lists the policy mitigation options and analyses the merits of those options. The report will go out to public consultation, with the closing date for stakeholders to provide feedback on the options is October 28. Feedback will be analysed in November with a view to having recommendations go to the minister before the end of the year. Implementation will not be carried out until next year. The report comes amid soaring energy prices and an energy crisis that has been caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan has said he was open to either having an onshore gas storage facility, or a ‘floating’ LNG terminal as a back-up facility, which were among the options long-listed in the report. “I believe particularly the onshore facility has a number of key advantages,” the Green Party leader said on RTÉ Radio. “First, we could draw down the gas from the existing network

and it would give us a real strategic flexibility and capability,” Ryan said. “Second, it will be possible for it to be future-proofed, so that we do know we’re going to need these sort of investment facilities, these sort of storage facilities into the future, when we will be developing our own hydrogen gas,” he said. “And so we can design it and develop it in a way that that is a strategic safety reserve which gives us flexibility into the future.” Although the report recommends an LNG terminal as a floating, back-up facility, it recommends against three other LNG terminal possibilities. Of a commercial, fixed LNG terminal – such as the Shannon LNG project that has been proposed – it said that “commercial operation is likely to result in the importation of fracked gas to Ireland”. It notes this option would not necessarily ensure security of supply: “As storage stocks would be driven by market fundamentals, there would be no guarantee that stored gas volumes would be sufficient to cover a security-of-supply shock.” The report lists several other policy options, including a 450MW biomass plant; an additional electricity interconnector with France; and a 360MW pumped hydro storage capacity, which could “alleviate relatively small but sustained electricity supply shocks”.

Small businesses ‘lacking the skills’ Micro-businesses and newer businesses have skills deficits when it comes to people and leadership, according to a MentorsWork report by the Small Firms Association (SFA) supported by Skillnet. The research indicates that smaller SMEs are falling behind especially in key areas including performance management, teamwork, creating a culture of innovation and guiding change. The People and Leadership competency score was highest for larger SMEs, those with more than 50 employees, and for established businesses more than 21 years in operation. It was lowest for micro-businesses with nine employees or less, and for ‘younger’ businesses operating less than 10 years. The research surveyed 615 business owners, asking them to self-assess their people and leadership

competencies. Weighted responses were then compared between the different businesses, differentiated by size, business age and sector. Among the key findings of the survey were: * Communication and negotiation skills, inside and outside the organisation, were identified as below average in businesses operating less than 20 years, and in those employing 50 or less. * The leadership skillset, defined as helping people realise their potential, while inspiring them to work with the business to achieve strategy and goals, was lowest for micro-businesses with 9 or less employees, and for younger businesses, established less than 10 years. * Resilience, the ability to keep calm and to bounce back from setbacks was seen to be lowest in the retail/ hospitality sector, in micro-

businesses and in younger businesses. * Larger businesses (50+ employees) and younger businesses (0-10 years) were identified as below average with innovation skills. Innovation was defined as being able to pivot and innovate in line with customer and market demands. Skillnet Ireland Chief Strategy Officer Mark Jordan said: “Insights direct from businesses and business owners and managers, underpins everything that we do at Skillnet Ireland. The publication of this research allows us to understand the skills businesses need support with, and how those needs vary across the SME landscape. It also helps us to continue to deliver that support through programmes such as MentorsWork, which features people skills as one of its four crucial pillars for development. Ensur-

ing businesses can develop the people and leadership skills they need is vital to driving productivity and growth.” Sven Spollen-Behrens, Small Firms Association Director, says: “People and leadership skills are of vital importance for the sustainability and productivity of small and medium business in Ireland in order to implement the necessary changes to adapt to an ever-evolving business landscape, as highlighted in government’s Leading the Way Report: Investing in Management Development for SME Productivity and Growth’.” An additional 400 MentorsWork places are now available for small business owners and managers to hone their business plans and vital management skills before year-end. * SMEs can apply at

Sinn Féin looks to the farming vote for power boost A big swing in the farming vote away from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is being targeted by Sinn Fein as the party attempts to gain power after the next election. In an exclusive interview with the Farming Independent, party leader Mary Lou McDonald says the majority

of farmers will “be much better off under a Sinn Féin government”. Ms McDonald, who attended the Ploughing Championships, said farmers would benefit from Sinn Féin’s alternative budget proposals, including increased supports to suckler farmers, improve-

ments to the sheep welfare and ANC schemes, and emergency crisis funding for vulnerable sectors. She also confirmed the party supported extending existing agriculture reliefs. A recent Sunday Independent/Ireland Thinks poll found that Sinn Féin contin-

ues to be the most popular party in the country on 36%, while 57% of people think Ms McDonald will be Taoiseach after the next general election. According to the Sinn Féin leader, the farming vote has always been important to her party. “Sinn Féin wants to deliver

for our family farmers, and those rural communities that depend on them, in government,” she said. “We believe farmers deserve change as much as anyone. Too many of them have been let down by successive governments,” she told the Farming Independent.

The party is proposing that anyone earning more than €140,000 would pay “slightly more income tax because you’ve broader shoulders, you have deeper pockets, so you can pay a bit more” — a move that would impact a lot of dairy farmers who are enjoying record-high milk prices.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


e have all heard it said ‘You are only as old as you feel’ Therefore it is important that we all keep ourselves active and engaged in society on a regular basis. Otherwise we will get hit by that terrible word Ageism. Ageism refers to how we think (stereotypes), feel (prejudice) and act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves based on age. Ageism refers to the harm done through how we think (stereotypes), how we feel (prejudice) and how we act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves

based on age. Ageism can be conscious or unconscious. Ageism occurs when people interact with one another (interpersonal), when organisations interact with individuals (institutional) and when people direct ageism towards themselves (selfdirected). How many times have you told someone “I am retired now” and they will reply “ Sorry to hear that” Retirement is the time in your life when your work has been done, your Contribution to society measured and now your pension fund (Hopefully) will allow

you to enjoy your senior years. Now while on this subject, Which term describes our cohort correctly ‘Older Persons Council’ or ‘Seniors Forum/Council’ When you close your eyes what type of person do you see? They both describe pictures that are completely different. My opinion ‘Seniors forum’ Ageism is one of the most pervasive prejudices across human society. Ageism characterises and divides people in ways which are unjust, and which lead to disadvantage and the undermining of human rights. Age is one of the first

ISB Mobility Caring for your mobility since 1999

Having been Established in Ireland since 1999, we are recognized as a market leader with our vast knowledge in the Disability Access Market. One of our main aims has always been to carry out adaptations within your home as quickly and efficiently as possible, ensuring the minimum inconvenience to you and your family. As a company we have accomplished many mobility solutions over the last 23 years and we want you to know that we are always looking for new innovative ways to improve our services and we are constantly adding to our product range as a result. Our staff are specially trained to guide you through from the very first phone call to completion. Our office staff are very friendly and happy to help at all times. We specialise in the supply and installation of all types of disability products for your

home, and pride ourselves in only using the best products available. We offer a one stop shop when it comes to Home Mobility and our highly trained technicians and building staff always combine to give you the


perfect job. We are a Vendor to the HSE for over 10 years and we do grant work with county councils all over Ireland. ISB Mobility have a vast experience and a deep knowledge of the stairlift market, and through this experience we have learned to appreciate that every customer has their own individual needs and requirements. Our stairlifts have a wide range of features which means that they can be adapted to meet the most challenging of installations. Having such a wide range of features available also allows us to offer a stairlift solution to match almost any budget. Our stairlifts are very competitively priced. ISB Mobility are committed to giving you, our customer the best attention at all times. If you are buying a Stairlift, Through Floor Home Lift, Mobility Scooter or other mobility aids, we are here to help. Come on down and visit our showroom to view a variety of Stairlifts, Mobility Scooters and Wheelchairs. Alternatively, shop online at

things we notice about other people. Ageism arises when age is used to categorize and divide people in ways that lead to harm, disadvantage and injustice and erode solidarity across generations. Ageism damages our health and well-being and is a major barrier to enacting effective policies and taking action on healthy ageing, as recognized by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health and through the Decade of Healthy Ageing: 2021–2030. In re-

sponse, WHO was asked to start, with partners, a global campaign to combat ageism. The Global report on ageism was developed for the campaign by WHO, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Population Fund. Age equality is the opposite of ageism. Age equality involves making a conscious, active effort to overcome stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination based on age, in order to remove all age-related barriers to

equality of outcome for older people. Age equality promotes policies and laws that address discrimination and inequality based on age. Twilight’s educational activities, including self-directed learning, to enhance understanding and empathy about ageing, promotes Age equality and to transmit knowledge and skills to overcome ageism Twilight’s intergenerational activities promotes Age equality, where people of all ages interact, to contribute to mutual understanding and cooperation between people of different ages.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


will depend on how strong you are.” Make an investment in strengthening yourself right now to fend off the impacts of aging. 2. Delay Signs of aging When it comes to aging, both physical and mental changes occur throughout time. Studies have found that after the age of 30, muscle mass might decrease by 10% annually, and some have found that cognitive ability also deteriorates with age. However, you can slow down these changes by beginning strength training or doing muscular work like Pilates as soon as you can so you have a higher set point as muscle mass diminishes with age. Full-body strength or Pilates training should be a part of your program at least one to two days a week to preserve muscular mass, strength, and power as well as cognitive function and memory, allowing you to think more clearly for longer. Additionally, starting is never too late. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, older persons, defined as those 65 years of age or older, can experience strength gains of up to 100% after engaging in regular strength training.

5 Science-backed benefits of strength training for every athlete at every age EOIN EVERARD

With just one or two sessions per week, you can live a longer, more fulfilling life thanks to strength or Pilates training. In order to live longer, healthier lives free from illness and damage, people are always looking for ways to slow down the aging process. According to experts, strength training is the key to eternal youth. This is supported by recent studies. Here are five advantages of

strength training proven by science that will motivate you to incorporate a few lifting sessions into your normal schedule. 1. Extend your life (literally). Regardless of your age or other health-related circumstances, strength training can extend your life. According to Hamilton Rochel, PhD, Head of the Applied Physiology and Nutrition Research Group at the University of So Paulo, muscle strength is an independent and powerful predictor of all-cause mortality, meaning that higher overall strength may result in a longer life regardless of any other conditions you may have. Higher levels of

strength are associated with a 14% decreased risk of death from all causes, according to a meta-analysis of almost two million healthy people published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. It all boils down to how much you exercise to make the connection between strength and lifespan. According to a review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, being physically inactive can raise your chance of dying young from a chronic illness by 20 to 30 percent. Low levels of strength also indicate that your everyday movement is probably insufficient or that your exercise is restricted,

according to Rochel. But you’ll appreciate those extra years even more if you keep your strength up with regular exercise. Think about how frequently you stand up and sit down, walk to different locations, and climb stairs each day. Life is easier when movement is simple. According to a sizable study that was published in the Cochrane Library, strength training enhances both general function and your capacity to carry out daily tasks like bringing groceries inside the house. According to Stuart Phillips, PhD, professor of kinesiology and specialist in muscular physiology, “at some time in your life, crucial daily activities

3. Control your weight and body composition. Although your health is more important than the number on the scale, you may manage your weight and shed fat when you incorporate strength or Pilates training into your regimen. Strength training appears to be crucial to your program if you’re attempting to maintain your weight, according to a six-year study involving over 11,000 participants. Participants who engaged in strength training experienced a 30% reduction in their risk of becoming obese. When trying to shed fat, strength training is also essential. According to Schoenfeld, if you don’t, you’ll actually wind up losing muscle mass, which is bad for your appearance, functionality, or health. An even greater benefit: A recent meta-analysis revealed increasing muscle mass aids in decreasing visceral fat, the body fat that accumulates around your midsection and is associated with chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic disorders. 4. Decrease your chronic disease risk When considering general health, cardio is frequently praised, but Phillips argues that strength training also has special advantages that need consideration. Strength training is recommended when trying to enhance heart health, according to recent studies. Incorporating both cardio and strength exercise into your regimen can reduce your chance of developing cardiovascular disorders like heart attacks or strokes,

according to a recent study. Another study discovered that only one strength training session per week could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 17%. Strength training can help lower levels of chronic inflammation, which is connected to cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes when your body is in a low-level fight or flight state. Prolonged inflammation can hinder new muscle growth and recuperation, which can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue. But according to research, strength training can prevent this muscle breakdown and further lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by helping you to develop lean muscle. 5. Reduce risk of injury You’ll have more protection against both small and big injuries, according to studies, if you strengthen the muscles and tendons around your joints. Consider falls as an example. Falls, or even the fear of falling, can have an impact on a person’s long-term independence. Falls are one of the most prevalent injuries among older persons. Strength and Pilates exercise can lower your chance of falling by enhancing your balance, flexibility, and coordination. If you’re lifting, you have a lower chance of breaking a bone even if you fall. When working the muscular system with squats and other muscles it also works on improving bone strength and preventing osteoporosis. According to a review article written for Rehabilitation, it also works well for easing the annoying symptoms of osteoarthritis (think: stiffness and discomfort). The basic line is that strength training can extend your life, keep you at a healthy weight, protect you from illness and injury, and ultimately improve your general health and vigour. Additionally, starting is never too late. The health of every athlete, regardless of age, can be improved with just two to three workouts each week, according to studies and professional opinion. Anyone may easily experience the advantages of strength training straight at home. One key thing is making sure you are doing exercises correctly and safely. The BackAware Belt is the first ever technology that gives you feedback on your back position. This allows you to make sure you are doing exercises sagely and target the muscles you are trying to target. To learn more about the BackAware belt visit . We are starting back with Pilates this September. If you exercise (walk or run) at least 3 times per week, then this could be a great option for you. Visit www.everardpilates. com/sportfreetrial to see if you qualify.


Troys Court – For independent living

TROY’S Court consists of 20 independent living units, providing accommodation for persons, who are independent or have low dependency care needs. In addition to the units, the complex has a day care centre, communal dining room, kitchen, laundrette, assisted bathrooms, toilets, a treatment room and an oratory. The emphasis at Troy’s Court is on independent living, in a safe and secure communal environment. Support services to residents comprise of a daily 4 course meal, laundry service including ironing, assistance with light housekeeping, daily collection of refuse and recycling, all included in the weekly rental charge. A day centre for the elderly of the Parish operates Monday to Thursday each week, with a nurse and care-assistant in attendance. A social gathering of parishioners, who come to enjoy activities such as bingo, cards, music, art & crafts and exercise classes. A 4 course meal is also provided. In addition, with the help of volunteer drivers, a home dinner delivery service is available for a

small fee, 7 days per week to parishioners of the surrounding areas. The Priests of the Parish celebrate weekly mass every Tuesday in St Canice’s Parish Homes. Admission to Troy’s Court is by way of application and a waiting list applies. The main source of funding is the rental payment from residents, a small contribution from the Health Service Executive and fees collected from day care & home dinner delivery service. Small fund raising activities such as Church Gate Collections, street collection and the goodwill of parishioners are also most important. Troy’s Court provides employment for a 11 part-time staff. The Kilkenny Carers Support Services, under the auspices of the Department of Social Protection Community Employment Scheme (FAS), provide further personnel. Volunteers are always welcome to help out at Troy’s Court. The Manager Ms Frances Gilligan reports to the Board of Directors, who voluntarily give of their services.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

Adding life to the years

Years ago in school, we were asked to pray for’ the old and the lonely’, a seamless phrase as though all older people


were lonely, and the state of loneliness was experienced solely by this age group. Today we know this is not

true. People of all ages can experience loneliness, and many older people are living their best lives now.

So while 60 may not be the new 40, consistent surveys show that many septuagenarians report a sense of happiness and fulfilment in their day. Never before have we lived so hopefully or so long. Better housing and health care means that as a society we have been successful in adding years to the life. Now we need to look at adding life to the years. Positive Ageing Week is part of this movement. It is a Week to celebrate the achievements of older people and to showcase their positive contribution in communities throughout Ireland. Older people are traditionally the social glue binding the generations. This cohort is involved as parents and grandparents, locally as parishioners, friends and neighbours, and more widely as social activists and volunteers. Ireland has one of the highest rates of volunteering in the EU. 28.4% of adults in Ireland volunteer with 65% of these over the age of 45, according to the latest CSO figures. Evidence suggests volunteering also benefits older people contributing to better physical and mental wellbeing and quality of life. The over-70s volunteer for a wide range of organisations including sport and social clubs, parish groups, self-help, charity and community groups. Older people also volunteer within their families. TILDA, The Irish

Longitudinal Study on Ageing found that 132,200 over-70s give care to spouses, relations, friends and neighbours while 131,200 take care of grandchildren regularly or daily. 128, 000 give financial assistance to adult children. The work of Senior Line, Ireland’s national confidential service for older people, is delivered solely by trained older volunteers. The service received over 22,000 calls last year from older people throughout Ireland. Its peer aspect, older people listening and supporting other older people, is particularly appreciated. ‘I know when I phone I will be talking to someone who understands because they are my own generation’, says Kathleen, a frequent caller. Conor McNulty, 68 is a SeniorLine volunteer. ‘After retiring, I wanted to give something back to the communities around Ireland’ he said. ‘I have learnt a lot about myself by listening to callers who just want to feel they are not alone. I always try to put myself in their shoes and listen carefully to what they are saying and how they see their situation. I enjoy when we are thanked for being there, and feel I have helped someone feel better about their day’. Positive Ageing Week also gives us the opportunity to challenge any ageist attitudes we hold. Ageism is the negative stereotyping of older people, somehow scapegoat-

ing them for being old. It can show itself in language and behaviour and can assign older people less value than others. Ageism is often unconscious, and becomes damaging when translated into discriminatory practices at local or national level. The unintended ageism demonstrated in the government response to Covid-19 has been highlighted in ‘Telling it like it is – a report from Age Alliance, a grouping of major age sector organisations. It found the effects for many older people in Covid were loss of confidence, loneliness, anxiety and depression. Many suffered a skills reduction if driving or travelling away from home. There are many ways to combat ageism. We can include older people in decision-making, encourage more contact between the generations, watch our ageist language and look at more flexible retirement strategies. A degree in self-interest could combat ageism. We need to avoid a self-fulfilling prophecy that we create the older age that we fear. The more we support older people to stay in the mainstream of life rather than being pushed to the margins the better older age will be for all of us. SeniorLine, Ireland’s national confidential helpline Freephone 1800 804 591, open 10am-10pm 365 days a year.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

Food & Drink

Dine Me Come


Spiced chicken, spinach and sweet potato stew

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins Serves: 4

A healthy one-pot with warming spices that’s low fat, low calorie, three of your five-a-day and also full of fibre! Ingredients • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks • 190g bag spinach • 1 tbsp sunflower oil • 8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless • 500ml chicken stock For the spice paste • 2 onions, chopped • 1 red chilli, chopped • 1 tsp paprika • thumb-sized piece ginger, grated • 400g can tomatoes • 2 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped To serve • pumpkin seeds, toasted • 2-3 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped • 4 naan bread, warmed

for 10 mins. Meanwhile, put all the paste ingredients in a food processor and blend until very finely chopped. Set aside until needed.

Method STEP 1 Put the sweet potato in a large, deep saucepan over a high heat. Cover with boiling water and boil

STEP 2 Put the spinach in a large colander in the sink and pour the sweet potatoes and their cooking water over it to drain the potatoes

Bakewell tart

and wilt the spinach at the same time. Leave to steam-dry. STEP 3 Return the saucepan to the heat (no need to wash it first), then add the oil, followed by the spice paste. Fry the paste for about 5 mins until thickened, then add the chicken. Fry for 8-10 mins until the chicken starts to colour. Prep: 25 mins Cook: 55 mins Serves: 8 Who doesn’t love a bakewell tart packed with raspberries and almonds? Serve the classic dessert with a dollop of cream or warm custard. Ingredients • 250g plain flour , plus extra for rolling out • ¼ tsp fine sea salt • 2 tbsp icing sugar • 140g cold butter , cubed • 2 egg yolks , beaten • cream or custard , to serve (optional) For the filling • 100g salted butter , softened • 100g caster sugar • 50g ground almonds • 1 tsp almond extract • 2 medium eggs , beaten • 3 tbsp raspberry jam

Pour over the stock, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. STEP 4 Check the chicken is cooked by cutting into one of the thighs and making sure it’s white throughout with no signs of pink. Season with black pepper, then add the sweet potato. Leave to simmer • 50g flaked almonds • 80g icing sugar Method STEP 1 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. To make the pastry, put the flour in a food processor along with the salt and icing sugar. Blitz to combine. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts until it’s the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Mix 4 tbsp cold water with the beaten eggs and drizzle into the mixture, then quickly pulse to combine. Tip out the crumbly mixture onto a work surface, then form into a puck, cover and chill for 30 mins. STEP 2 Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to around 25cm, and to the thickness of a £1 coin. Line a 20cm fluted tart tin with the pastry, leaving the pastry to overhang. Add a large disc of baking parchment big enough to cover the edges, and some

for a further 5 mins. Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach and add to the stew. At this point you can leave the stew to cool and freeze for up to 3 months, if you like. STEP 5 Scatter over the pumpkin seeds and preserved lemons, and serve with warm naan bread on the side. baking beans to weigh it down (use dried rice or lentils if you don’t have baking beans). Bake for 15 mins, then remove the parchment and beans and bake for a further 7-10 mins or until the bottom is evenly cooked. Trim off any overhanging pastry with a serrated knife. STEP 3 For the filling, beat the butter and sugar until combined. Add the ground almonds, almond extract and eggs and beat for a further minute. Spread the jam over the pastry, then top with the almond filling. Scatter over the flaked almonds and bake for 25-30 mins until golden and firm. Leave to cool in the tin (or eat warm at this stage and leave out step 4). STEP 4 Mix together the icing sugar and 1-2 tsp water and drizzle over the tart. Slice and serve with cream or custard, if you like.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022



Advertisement TV & Streaming

to stream right now on Netflix 1. COBRA KAI

Initially Cobra Kai (2018—), a series based on the Karate Kid films, might sound like a cynical money-making spinoff of the martial arts franchise. But it’s become one of Netflix’s most popular shows, thanks to well-written characters and a good measure of nostalgia. The series follows Johnny Lawrence, 34 years after he was jump-kicked in the face by Daniel LaRusso. Cobra Kai is four seasons of self-aware, light-hearted and fullof-heart fun.


Why you need to watch this one to the End In most movies set during the apocalypse, the protagonist sets out on an adventure to save the world or reconnect with a loved one. In reality, you’d probably stay home, eat as much ice cream as possible, rewatch your favourite TV show, and wait for the end. So when a movie manages to capture the reality of living through the apocalypse, it’s incredibly refreshing. And when it features the cast of some of your favourite TV shows too, well, that’s even better. Released in 2013 and streaming mow on Netflix, This Is The End tells the story of a bunch of celebrities (played by themselves) who wind up stuck in James Franco’s Hollywood mansion during the end of days. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s finally time to rem-

edy that mistake. And even if you’ve watched it a dozen times, it’s worth revisiting. Here’s why. The plot is brutally simple. After Seth Rogen drags his friend Jay Baruchel to a fancy Los Angeles party, the Rapture occurs, and all the good people on Earth levitate straight up to Heaven, leaving the sinners behind to repent or perish. Of course, none of the celebrities at Franco’s party get ‘rapture’, and the crowd doesn’t even realise something is wrong until a giant sinkhole to hell opens up in the front yard. In a particularly chaotic scene, major celebrities like Rihanna, Aziz Ansari, and Michael Cera are sacrificed early on to drive home the seriousness of the situation. When the dust settles, an impressive crew is left:

Seth Rogen — Freaks and Geeks James Franco — Freaks and Geeks Jay Baruchel — Undeclared (Judd Apatow’s follow-up to Freaks and Geeks) Craig Robinson — The O;ce Danny McBride — East Bound and Down Jonah Hill — the only one who didn’t get his start on TV, and who hilarious plays against character as a pretentious version of himself. This Is The End is far from underrated. It has a healthy Rotten Tomatoes score of 80 percent and made back its $32 million budget in its opening weekend alone. But, as plenty of critics pointed out, it’s also pretty devoid of anything resembling a plot. Most of the movie is just the dudes mentioned above stuck in a

house together doing drugs and filming a zero-budget Pineapple Express sequel. When they finally do leave the house, the film progresses rapidly through some entertaining twists and turns before coming to a rushed ending. But ultimately, none of that matters. What you’ll remember about This Is The End is the joy of simply watching this ensemble cast just hang out and argue. This Is the End is hilarious, partially because of how serious it takes the apocalypse while treating its cast like one big joke. At the same time, it might be the most realistic movie about how we’d behave if the world actually did end. Because it wouldn’t be pretty, but in hindsight, it would probably be pretty hilarious as this movie is.

Scott’s Blade Runner 2099 for Amazon After the early success of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Amazon is doubling down on its strategy of mining the mythology of iconic science fiction and fantasy franchises to create new shows. Earlier this year, the streaming service began developing Blade Runner 2099, a mysterious series set in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi universe that takes place 50 years after

the events of Blade Runner 2049. Now, Amazon has officially decided to move forward with the project, ordering 10 episodes of the series. Though little is currently known about the show’s plot, it is part of Amazon’s larger efforts to expand the Blade Runner universe since acquiring the property in 2011.

“The original Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott, is considered one of the greatest and most influential science-fiction movies of all time, and we’re excited to introduce Blade Runner 2099 to our global Prime Video customers,” said Vernon Sanders, head of global television for Amazon Studios. “We are honoured to be able to present this continuation of

the Blade Runner franchise, and are confident that by teaming up with Ridley, Alcon Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, and the remarkably talented Silka Luisa, Blade Runner 2099 will uphold the intellect, themes, and spirit of its film predecessors.” Amazon has not announced a release date or a production timeline for Blade Runner 2099.

Bodyguard (2018) broke records when it first aired in Britain, climbing from cliffhanger to cliffhanger at a relentless pace. This might be the definition of the unstoppable binge, not surprising given it comes from the mind of Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio. Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden plays the titular bodyguard, who suffers from PTSD after serving in the Afghanistan war. On top of that, he’s assigned to protect the Home Secretary (Keeley Hawes), whose politics he despises. Taking provocative turns, and crafting one of the best-ever 20-minute opening scenes, Bodyguard is an expert tension-building balancing act.


While Kevin Spacey’s sexual harassment allegations ended up marring this slick, fourth-wall breaking slice of politics’ dark side, it’s still worth watching if you dig power games and the occasional backstabbing. Initially following Spacey’s Frank Underwood, House Of Cards’ (2013-2018) sixth and final season pivots to follow his wife Claire (Robin Wright) as she takes on more and more power in the Oval Office.


Midnight Mass (2021) is Mike Flanagan’s latest creation, a meticulously crafted mystery spanning seven hourlong episodes. Riley Flynn, still paying the price for a drunk driving accident four years ago, returns home to Crockett Island, where the arrival of a charismatic new priest coincides with astonishing miracles around the town. Pregnant with a sense of foreboding and dread, Midnight Mass is an eloquent interrogation of faith, with horrifying supernatural monsters along for the ride.


If you were a fan of Howard Overman’s insanely entertaining Misfits, Crazyhead (2016) might be where you want to head next. Overman’s follow-up show, which first aired in the UK in 2016, is a comedy-horror starring Cara Theobold (the voice of Tracer in Overwatch) and Susan Wokoma as unlikely friends who bond over being able to see demons gallivanting about in normal society. Their brilliant double-act is at the heart of this disturbingly entertaining series, featuring exorcisms, accidental roommate killings and demon fathers.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Community & GAA Notes

LOTTO Lotto Results. Numbers drawn. 2, 19, 20. No jackpot winner. Next week’s jackpot €5,150. Winners of €30. Mary Collins. Bob Shortall. Linda Dudley. Jimmy Coogan. Laura Heffernan Thanks for supporting the local lotto. SENIORS SECURE SHIELD The Clara senior hurlers won the Shield title on Saturday in sunny Thomastown when they came from behind to overtake Dicksboro 2-18 to 1-19. Things looked bleak for them after 21 minutes when an Aidan Nolan goal eased the Boro nine points clear 1-10 to 0-4. John Murphy (2), Chris Bolger and Jason Byrne from a free had accounted for the Clara scores at this point. Then a close range Dara Glynn goal from a Joe Connolly pass gave Clara some hope and two points by Chris Bolger and Paul Cody helped them to close the half time deficit to six, with breeze assistance to come. A Matt Kenny special and two points by John Murphy and one by Martin O Connell as against a Chris Kavanagh point for Dicksboro had the lead cut to 3 within 7 minutes of the restart. An Andy Gaffney free pushed the lead back to four but then came the seminal moment in the game. A high ball dropping on the 21 yard line was superbly fielded by Chris Bolger and a deft turn and low strike gave Darragh Holohan no chance in the Boro goal. Although Andy Gaffney replied with a pointed free, Clara now had momentum and two Jason Byrne frees and a Liam Ryan strike put them ahead for the first time. Chris Bolger was now the go to guy and he accounted for Clara’s next four points in a Man of the Match performance. The first three edged Clara a point clear each time and the fourth pushed them two ahead and was followed by a Jason Byrne free. Hard as the Boro tried a Stephen Farrell point was the only response they could muster as Kevin Nolan made some super saves to deny them. Jack and David Langton were also very good when the pressure came on but the Boro would have to be disappointed with their second half showing. Clara’s delight with the win would have been quickly tempered by the news that they had drawn five in a row seeking Ballyhale Shamrocks in next weekend’s quarter final. Another major step up in class! Team - Jason Barcoe, Bill Carrigan, Jack Langton, Paddy Ryan. Tom Ryan, Matt Kenny 0-1, Martin O Connell 0-1. Conor Cody, Conor O Shea. Paul Cody 0-1, John Murphy 0-4, Jason Byrne 0-4f. Joe Connolly, Chris Bolger 1-6, Dara Glynn 1-0. Subs used David Langton, Rory O Keeffe, Kevin Nolan, Liam Ryan 0-1, James Nolan, Brandon Ryan. CAMOGIE The Clara senior girls qualified for their third county semi final in a row on Sunday with a 3-14 to 1-16 win at home to Windgap. This was a great achievement as they are missing some top class players this year through emigration and injury. They never looked in trouble here although they couldn’t fully shake off a battling Windgap side who always looked somewhat dangerous. Mary O Connell scored the first two points of the game before Denise Gaule opened Windgap’s account with a free. Apart from a Gillian Costello point all of Windgap’s first half scores came from placed balls by Denise. By contrast Clara scored 2-3 from play and this helped them to a 2-7 to 0-7 lead at halftime. They had played against whatever breeze was in it on a perfect morning for hurling so they were in the driving seat at this stage. Margaret O Connell and a Niamh Byrne rocket from a rebound accounted for the two goals while Keara Ryan and Aisling Curtis had also added their names to the scoresheet as well as five Mary O Connell points. The two teams exchanged points six times in the second half before a Mary O Connell goal put nine points between the sides and seemed to signal the end of the Windgap challenge. However they responded almost immediately with a goal of their own and although Mary O Connell blasted one over the bar soon afterwards the last three points of the game went Windgap’s way. The Curtis sisters, Siobhan and Aisling, were the only Clara scorers apart from Mary O Connell in the second half but this was a real team performance. Aoife Glynn was very brave between the posts and made some fine stops. Grainne Glynn and Tamsin English did a great job keeping tabs on Windgap county stars Michaela Kenneally and Denise Gaule. Rachel Whelan and Laoise Nolan were really solid in the spine of the Clara defence while Katie Ryan and Margaret Kehoe defended well. Aisling Curtis and Rebecca Nolan displayed great energy around the middle of the park and Grace Barcoe and Siobhan Curtis took on their opponents at every opportunity. In the full forward line Margaret O Connell and Niamh Ward battled really hard and Keara Ryan did some really invaluable blocking and hooking. Mary O Connell finished the game with 1-10 to her name and was a constant thorn in the Windgap side while substitute Niamh Byrne took her goal really well and showed her class on several occasions. Clara now await the semifinal draw and will hope that they can progress at least one step further than the last two years, when they lost out by a single point on each occasion. Team - Aoife Glynn, Gráinne Glynn, Rachel Whelan, Katie Ryan. Tamsin English, Laoise Nolan, Margaret Kehoe. Aisling Curtis 0-2, Rebecca Nolan. Grace Barcoe, Siobhán Curtis 0-1, Mary

O Connell 1-10, 0-8f. Keara Ryan 0-1, Margaret O Connell 1-0, Niamh Ward. Sub used Niamh Byrne 1-0. CLUB LOTTO There was no winner of this week’s club lotto (Sept 13th). Numbers drawn were 04, 09, 24, 26 Bonus 17. Next week’s Jackpot will be €12,200 (Sept 20th) Play now Promotors Draw. 1. Maurice Nolan. 2. Leo Monagle c/o Michael Monagle. 3. Molly Cloney c/o Online. 4. Mary Kearns c/o Damien O’Connell. 5. Ann Walsh c/o Moxie Doran 6. Cha c/o Damien O’Connell. 7. Margaret Brennan c/o Paddy Greene.8. Ruth Comerford c/o Online.9. John Morrissey c/o online. 10. Noeleen Breen c/o online. Thank you for your continued support. CHAMPIONSHIP NEWS The season comes to an abrupt end for our senior hurlers as Mullinavat advance to the Quarter Finals. Ahead throughout the game the winners were under pressure in the final moments as the Gaels pushed hard to pip their opponents. Unfortunately it was Mullinavat that got the advantage with a game clincher in injury time as O’Loughlins pushed players forward in search of an equaliser. Conor Kelly did hit a goal to bring the game back to a point but it was too late and the final whistle sounded the end of championship ‘22. It was not much better the day after as our intermediates crashed out against Dunnamaggin in Danesfort. The lads were always up against it with three from the original starting lineup became unavailable due to their involvement with the seniors the days previous. Still..status for both our teams retained for 2023 and lots to build on. Hard luck to everyone involved - Players, management and back room teams. A huge amount of time and effort is put in by all and the intention is the same as that of every club supporter. Unfortunately sport can dictate otherwise. Thanks to all for your efforts CULTURE NIGHT 2022 Ionad Lachtain arts and Heritage Centre will be open on Culture night 23rd September from 7pm to 9.30pm with music by Comhaltas members from 7.30 – 8.30pm. Admisssion is free and all are welcome. Dates to remember – Sat October 8th – Rafter family concert – November 12/13th – Closing of Feile Lachtain 2022 – Mass in Tulla and Freshford with the spiritual songs of Elvis Presley sung by Alexander Rafter OPEN DAY Prague House Retirement Home will hold an Open day on Sunday next from 2-5pm. So go along and visit, have a look around and as cup of tea and chat. BIRTHDAY Special birthday wishes go out to local lad Jack Crosby of Nuenna Court who celebrated his coming of age last weekend. SHOW WINNERS Congrats to two Local lads David Condon of Bohergloss Freshford and his son Gill were winners recently at the Clonaslee show which is the last show of the season. The pair had a number of winners on the day. They claimed 1st and 2nd in the ram lamb class, 1st and 2nd in the ewe lamb class, 2n in the breeding ewe class and 1st in the shearing ewe class . Their ram lamb Uppertown went on to tapped overall pedigree sheep and win the Ger Kelly Cup. Well done lads keep up the good work DAYCARE CENTRE Freshford day care centre recommenced on this Wednesday 14th September and continues each Wednesday in the GAA Centre at 2pm. New members are most welcome GAA St.Lachtains intermediate hurlers sadly fell to defeat in their last league game against Danesfort on Saturday afternoon last at Canon Kearns Park Castlecomer which leaves them in a relegation final now when they will face neighbours The Fenians of Johnstown. They were defeated by 4pts . Team : J Burke H Burke C Bergin B Quinn C Rafter D Maher A Rafter A Rafter B Kennedy P White P Killeen J Fitzpatrick N Mcgree A Rafter C O’Leary. Subs – C Power P Campion A Dawson C Dawson. Meanwhile the minor hurlers had a good victory recently when they defeated Ballyhale on a scoreline of 2.25 to 2.13 Upcoming fixtures to be confirmed and will be posted on St Lachtains GAA social media pages . WED Congratulations and best wishes go out to Gerard Watson and his wife Sandra on their recent marriage. Ceremony and reception took place in the Manor Hotel, Abbeyleix. SOCCER The soccer season has now begun and the schoolboys section is also set to resume. Freshford Town Junior side played St.John’s recently in an away game and came with a 3-3 draw. The annual Colin McGree Tournament took place recently at Woodview with a large number of kids taking part. SPLIT THE POT

The lucky winner of last weeks split the pot draw was Teresa Murphy who won the sum of €102. The draw takes place each Wednesday.Tickets are just €2 and the winner gets half of the takings. The draw is held each Wednesday and boxes and envelopes can be found in Kavanaghs Bar, Mace, O’Shea’s corner shop, Girls& Guys Hairdressers, Oasis Creche, Freshford Creamery, Freshford Butchers and Prague House. Big thanks for all your support. PARISH NEWS Mass is held in the Parish Church each Wednesday morning at 9.30am and on Sunday morning at 11am.wiith Mass in Tulla church on Saturday evenings at 7.30pm. Notices The parish newsletter is available on their website every week and also on the website you are free to pay your dues and make donations or any other contributions and you can find out more about it on the website or feel free to contact in the Parish Office. Please note community notices for the parish newsletter should be left in or emailed to the Parish Office by 11am on Thursdays. Parish office hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 1pm. Mass Cards Special printed parish cards are available at the Parish Office or from Annette at Tulla Church signed by Monsignor Kennedy. You can contact the Parish office on 056 8832843 or by email – LOOP CAFE Big Work is continuing on the Community Cafe at Buncrussia Street and it is hoped to be open next month. Huge credit is due to the volunteers who have worked so hard to get all the work done. The Committee thank all those who supported their fund raiser and all who have donated in any way over the past months. HELP FOR ALL Are you struggling with anxiety or depression or finding life difficult or feeling isolated at this time GROW is there to help you. Their Mental Health support Groups are free and confidential and open to all no referral or booking is needed. For more information on same you can contact Mary on 087 284342 If you can’t cope and need support text HELLO to 50808 SAMARITAN - Whatever you’re going through a Samaritan will face it with you – available 24 hours a day 365 days a year – Freephone 1161Alone is available for older people who need support and you can call them on 0818 222024 (8am to 8pm) AMBER KILKENNY WOMENS REFUGE – is available for confidential support relating to domestic violence - call them on 1850 424244 (24/7) or on 056 7771404 or email LOTTO Local Lotto Results for September 12th 2022 Winning numbers: 11 , 12 , 18 . No winner – Winners of the Draw for 5 x € 30. Liam O Halloran ( Jimmy McCormack ), Zoe Kenneally ( Jackie Kenneally ), Tom Hickey ( Anne Hickey ), Mary Cody ( Aidan Farrell), Joan Phelan ( Joan Phelan ) Jackpot next week September 19th 2022 €2,350. Venue: Delaney’s Bar Kells at 9pm. All Welcome DUNNAMAGGIN GAA Well done to all the u7s who finished up hurling for the year by completing their hurlathon today scoring some fantastic 45s, 65s and sidelines. They have set the bar very high for the rest of the groups to compete. They all had a great year of hurling, with them all improving so much during the season WHAT’S HAPPENING IN DUNNAMAGGIN Yoga classes started Monday 19th September at 10.30am in the Old School Dunnamaggin. Contact Sharon 086 8159441 to book a place. Spaces are limited.

The fourth Community Spirit Award will be awarded in November. This year, as last, we have a nomination process in place for people to nominate someone they feel should be acknowledged for their voluntary work and contribution to the parish of Dunnamaggin which encompasses the three villages of Kells, Dunnamaggin and KIlmoganny. Nominations can be sent via private message to our facebook page (Dunnamaggin Community News) saying why your nominee should receive the award. Nomination forms will also be available at the Harvest Market on Sunday September 25th and in local shops soon. A new Whats App Group has been set up Parish News and Events to inform the whole community of forthcoming events across the three villages of Kells, KIlmoganny and Dunnamaggin. If you wish to be added please text 087 9665020 or 087 7565376 to be added to the group. It is an information only group so admins are the only ones that can post but there are admins from the three villages so if you have some event to highlight or news to impart you contact one of the admins and they will post for you. The Harvest Market will take place on Sunday September 25th - Apple Pressing will be available so bring along your apples to be made into juice, our second Scarecrow Competition will take place - build a scarecrow and display in Madges Garden from 11am with prizes for the best - get your thinking caps on and start planning what kind of scarecrow you will make. We are looking forward to seeing all the creations. Get your Bake On with the Apple Pie competition for ALL the family young and old - leave your creation in the Pop Up Café from 12noon judging at 3pm - lots of fun games for the children. The Parents Association of St Leonards National School are teaming up with the Dunnamaggin Development Group and are using the Harvest Market as their first fundraiser of the new school year. They are organising the BBQ and the childrens games with all money raised going towards the school. You can pre buy what you want at the BBQ all leaflets will be going home in the school bags prior to the 25th September. Many Thanks for all the support.. looking forward to seeing you all on the day. DUNNAMAGGIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP Dunnamaggin Development Group are looking for more volunteers to join the DDG . We hold two meetings a month to organise our markets . We have our markets at Easter - June August - September Harvest Market - October Halloween and Christmas and you don’t have to be involved in every one . We work as a team but we all understand that family and work comes first . If you are interested in lending a hand a couple of hours a month please let Cyndi know .It’s also a lovely way to make friends and keep up to date with everything going on in the community and also helping to make our community a better place . NO CONTRACT ! NO COMMITMENT ! JUST FUN ! Contact Cyndi on 0899473002 THE VOLUNTEER CENTRE IN KILKENNY Some new volunteer roles at The Volunteer Centre in Kilkenny. Barnstorm Youth Theatre - would love to hear from anyone interested in supporting their Youth Theatre Programme. Full supervision and support is given. It is a great opportunity to gain some experience with young people and the theatre. Lets Team Up to Clean Up - Kilkenny Volunteer Centre are supporting this County Council Initiative on Sunday 9th of October. Any groups or individuals who would like to get involved can get in touch with us here to Keep Kilkenny looking its best! A Dogs Life are looking for Volunteer Dog Foster Carers who are in a position to take a dog into their home to support the agency in the rehoming process. L’Arche Community in Kilkenny are looking for a number of volunteers to help support the organisation with a Culinary

Dunnamaggin’s u7s, who finished up hurling for the year by completing their hurlathon on Saturday, September 17th.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022



Community & GAA Notes Life Project, Gardening Support and General Volunteer for their Day Services. It is a great opportunity for anyone who has a passion for not just food and gardening but also arts and crafts and supporting adults with an intellectual disability. Community Radio would love to hear from anyone who is interested in joining their board. Particularly anyone who might have a background in governance, general administration etc. If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch Email : or Call 0892584946 . Knit/ Crochet and Natter, every Friday in Droichead Family Resource Centre from 10-11.30am started on the 16 th September. Open to all beginners/ improvers/advanced, a tutor will be on hand to show new skills and all materials are provided. €2 per class to cover the cost of teas and coffees. To book your place contact Carmel on (083) 2098069 or Free Conversational English Classes return to Droichead FRC on Wednesday 14th September 6.30-8.30pm and; Thursday 15th September 9.30-11.30am. For more information contact Carmel on (083) 2098069 or SHAPE A PLAN Help Kilkenny County Council shape a plan for your future!! Kilkenny County Council and the Kilkenny Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) want you to tell them about the opportunities, and challenges you face, across the county that affect your lives. To inform the next Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) for the county the Local Authority is seeking feedback on proposed goals and objectives under 10 key areas; Climate & Sustainability, Supporting Businesses, Culture, Heritage & Tourism, Rural Economy, Education & Skills, Attracting Graduates, Health Inequalities, Community Development, Social Investment and Housing. As part of the first step to inform the new LECP plan Kilkenny County Council have prepared a draft Socio-Economic Statement and draft high level goals As part of the community consultation, Kilkenny County Council would like to hear your views on the 10 draft high level goals and the sustainable community and economic objectives set out within it, alongside your desired outcomes and vision for Kilkenny. Take the citizen survey Click on the link https://www. to be redirected to the LECP survey page. This survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and will close on Friday 23rd September 2022. The Draft Socio Economic Statement and Draft High Level Goals are available for public viewing at 7 locations throughout the County. Attend a virtual workshop during the month of October Kilkenny County Council will be holding three virtual workshops, one for municipal districts in the county, as follows. Castlecomer (virtual event) – Friday 7th October, 19:00-21:00. Callan-Thomastown (virtual event) – Monday 10th October, 19:00-21:00 CULTURE NIGHT IN KILKENNY CASTLE OPW Kilkenny Castle will celebrate Culture Night with Free Admission to the period rooms from 6-9pm Friday 23rd September. No tickets required, admission will be on a first come, first served basis. They will also host a Medieval and Renaissance Music event, with Dr Siobhan Armstrong, Ireland’s foremost exponent of historical music on the early Irish (wire-strung) harp and one of Europe’s best-known early harpists, in the Picture Gallery and can be enjoyed as part of a visit to the period rooms. Further details available at https:// KILKENNY WOMEN ARTISTS LECTURE Kilkenny Archaeological Society will host a lecture, titled Kilkenny Women Artists, from Mildred Anne Butler and her peers to the present day, by Catherine Marshall, on Wednesday 28th September @8pm in Rothe House, Kilkenny. Admission: members €7, non-members €10. Further details available at MILITARY HISTORY AND ARCHIVES CONFERENCE The Military History Society of Ireland and Military Archives will host a two-day conference on the Irish Civil War on Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th September in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin. Tickets to attend in person cost €17 and can be booked through Eventbrite at conference-on-irish-civil-war-tickets-406136434007 It will also be broadcast live via a link which will be provided on the Military Archives website on the day PILTOWN VIRTUAL EVENT Piltown (virtual event) – Wednesday 12th October, 19:0021:00. Attend an in-person event Or register to attend their public workshop in Kilkenny City Kilkenny City – Springhill Court Hotel, Waterford Road, Kilkenny, R95 NX32 - Wednesday 5th October, 19:00-21:00. You must pre-register for attendance. To register for the event for your area click the link: For more information click on consultation/local-economic-and-community-plan-0 GOWRAN LITTLE THEATRE After a two-year break due to Covid-19, tickets for Brian Friel’s ‘The Communication Cord’ is hilariously fast paced and it’s

coming to Gowran Parish Hall from October 21 - 24 2022 at 8pm nightly. Tickets are €12 and available now on Book now to avoid disappointment! GOWRAN PITCH AND PUTT Brilliant results from St Bridget’s at the weekend as David Holland won the Leinster Junior Matchplay for 2022. After some great play by David over the weekend he played James Fagan from Loughlinstown in the final. David ended the first eighteen holes 1 down but found a run of form early in the second round to run out 5 and 4 winners in the end. Congratulations and well done to David from all in the club. MOLLY’S TEA ROOM Molly’s at St Mary’s Court, Gowran have a lovely selections of tarts and cakes available all week. Open from Monday to Saturday for lunches, coffees and cakes. SPORTS ROUND UP DISAPPOINTMENT AS LATE RALLY FALLS SHORT The Young Irelands Intermediates produced a late rally that ultimately ended in disappointment as they lost 5-20 to 4-20 against Mooncoin in Inistioge last Saturday. Amazingly, they were 12 points down (5-18 to 2-15) with just 5 minutes to go, but they kept battling right to the bitter to the end and two late goals somehow gave them a chance of grabbing a last gasp goal to force, but alas it wasn’t to be and The Suirsiders deservedly marched on into the Quarterfinals. The Gowran lads made the most perfect start with a goal in the very first minute, but Mooncoin took over afterwards and by the 8th minute a brace of goals had given them a 2-4 to 1-3 lead. The Suirsiders stretched their lead by the midway point of the first half to six points (2-8 to 1-5), but Young Irelands replied with a purple patch to trail by just two points coming towards half-time (2-9 to 1-10), but Mooncoin replied with a third goal to give themselves a 7-point cushion at the interval. 3-12 to 1-11. They added a 4th goal in the 35th minute to put themselves in further command (4-12 to 1-11) and they were still in control when the Gowran Men added a 2nd goal. 4-16 to 2-14. Victory appeared a formality with a 5th goal, but Young Irelands liked they did for most of the year rallied right to the bitter end but unfortunately for them they couldn’t salvage the situation. BRAVE FIGHTBACK FROM CAMOGIE GIRLS FALLS SHORT It was a strong fightback during the Final Quarter, but ultimately Thomastown’s whirlwind Third Quarter where they scored 2-5 without reply proved the ultimate decisive difference. In a tight First-Half, The Teams were level at 0-6 apiece after the Gowran girls made the brighter start to lead 0-3 to 0-1 after 7 minutes. Thomastown began to take over and four consecutive points gave them a 0-5 to 0-3 by the 21st minute, before the Young Irelands girls through the free-taking accuracy of Steffi Fitzgerald took the lead approaching HalfTime. Thomastown began to take a stranglehold after Half-Time and a brace of points gave them an 0-8 to 0-6 lead before a goal from a free in the 36th minute stretched their advantage further. 1-8 to 0-6. A Second Thomastown goal in the 38th minute gave them a 9-point lead (2-9 to 0-6) and that was followed by two further points that gave them a commanding 11-point advantage in the 42nd minute. 2-11 to 0-6. It appeared that it was curtains for the Young Irelands girls, but to their eternal credit they battled ferociously right to the very end. A brilliantly taken goal by Julie Lennon in the 45th minute gave them a glimmer of hope (2-11 to 1-6), before Young Irelands goalkeeper Hannah Brennan brilliantly saved a Thomastown penalty. Both sides exchanged points from frees, before the Gowran girls added a Second goal in the 54th minute to narrow the gap to just 5 points (2-12 to 2-7). Could the impossible somehow happen?. No, as they couldn’t find a third goal that would in any way threaten Thomastown’s aspirations and the winners closed the game with a point from play in injury-time to run out 6-point victors.Fair play though to Young Irelands for the way they should be very proud of the way they kept battling right to the very end, after it appeared that Thomastown might run away from them like the County Semi-Final clash two years. Despite the obvious disappointment of defeat, they can take a lot from the match against a highly experienced outfit who have mostly dominated The Senior Championship in recent years and use that to spur them on in their pursuit going forward. Hannah Brennan, Tiffanie Fitzgerald, Mia Murphy and Nicole Carter did their utmost to try and curtail the influence of the Thomastown forwards, while further afield Steffi Fitzgerald, Ciara O’Keeffe, Julie Lennon and Grace O’Donnell never stopped trying that epitomized the fighting spirit of the Team. Elsewhere, The Young Irelands U-12s qualified for a County Final showdown with Erin’s Own Castlecomer following victory over Barrow Rangers in the Semi-Final last week, but unfortunately there was disappointment for The Young Irelands U-16s who lost 6-4 to 3-9 against Ballyhale Shamrocks in the Championship Quarter-Final while the U-14s lost to Glenmore in The Shield Semi-Final. U-13S QUALIFY FOR COUNTY FINAL The Young Irelands U-13 13-a-side Team qualified for the County Final following a 2-10 to 2-7 win away to Ballyhale Shamrocks in Ballyhale last Saturday Morning following a thrilling contest. They will play John Lockes who easily defeated Danesfort 4-8 to 0-0. Meanwhile, the U15 a Hurling Team easily defeated Carrickshock 4-20 to 0-10 in Hugginstown also Saturday Morning in the Shield Quarter-Final and they will now play O’Loughlin

Gaels in the upcoming Shield Semi-Final. PRIMARY SCHOOLS FOOTBALL Gowran National School won by a point (3-4 to 4-0) against St. Patricks De La Salle in Round 2 in the Cumann Na Mbunscol Mick Crotty Roinn A Competition. PARIS PEACOCK LANDS GOWRAN FEATURE AGAIN Paris Peacock ridden by Graiguenamanagh native Shane Foley tasted further big race Gowran Park triumph when landing the Group 3 Denny Cordell Lavarack and Lanwades Stud Fillies’ Stakes following a thrilling finish. This was in addition to her Hurry Harriet Stakes victory a month ago after she had been placed in 6 of her 8 starts prior to that. Paris Peacock was completing a double on the afternoon for Shane after he partnered Maud Gonne Spirit to win the opener, The Gowran Park for Golf Race. Attention now turns to the Return of The Jumps with a Two-Day Meeting next week on Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October. CLUB LOTTO Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results 15th September. Nos: 2 16 22 23. Jackpot: €4400 Not Won Draw Prizes – €50: Rory Conlon c/o online. €25 each Geraldine Holohan c/o B Fitzpatrick €25 each Jim Kerwick c/o Anne Kerwick. €25 each Ann Foley c/o Ned Buggy. Co op draw ticket Catherine Dalton c/o online. Promotors prize Davy Dalton New weeks draw €4550. Thank you for your continued support ST CANICES CU SENIOR LEAGUE SHIELD FINAL Saturday afternoon in Thomastown saw Dicksboro and Clara play in the Shield Final. Clara came out with the win on the day. We will now play Mullinavat in UPMC Nowlan Park Sunday the 25th of September at 2pm in the St Canices Credit Union Senior Hurling Championship Semi Final. Best of luck to all involved. U15A A great morning of hurling in Palmerstown Saturday saw our 15A team defeating a very good Erin’s Own side in extra time in the Duggan Steel u15 Championship Qtr Final. Well done lads. U15C Another great win for our u15C team who also came out with a good win against OLoughlins in the Duggan Steel Qtr Final. A great team performance by all the lads. SENIOR CLUB CAMOGIE In the Michael Lyng Motors Hyundai Championship Qtr Final Dicksboro ladies defeated Barrow Rangers 18pts to 4pts. Well done girls. Thank you to all who supported our bucket collection Sunday Morning for the Kilkenny Senior Camogie Holiday Fund. It will be greatly appreciated. U14A CAMOGIE Well done to our 14A team who had a very good win against Tullaroan, great skill and fantastic scores on show. Well done girls. PALMERSTOWN CLUBHOUSE Dicksboro Clubhouse Bar is opened every Thursday from 8.30pm.Thursday nights are Lotto Draw and Cards Night. All are welcome out for a social drink, a chat and if there is interest, a beginners card table, we would be delighted to see you out to the club for a chat. We have a selection of nonalcoholic beers, barista coffee also available MASS TIMES Mass Times in Aghaviller Parish:Sunday 25th. September 2022. Hugginstown Church: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9.30a.m. (Note: No Mass on Tuesday) Vigil Saturday 24th. at 8.00p.m. Sunday 25th. at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford Church: Wednesday at 7.00p.m.Vigil Saturday 24th at 6.30p.m. Friday 23rd. Feast of St. Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) PRAY FOR Anniversary Masses next weekend: John Kelly, Lawcus; Mass in Stoneyford Church on Saturday 24th September at 6.30p.m. Neddie and Joe Dwyer, Croan, Mass in Hugginstown Church on Saturday 24th September at 8.00p.m. Months Mind Mass: The Months Mind Mass for Bishop Seamus Freeman will take place on Sunday, 16th. October at 5.30p.m. in St Mary’s Cathedral. Rota. 24th. and 25th. September 2022 (Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time). Readers: Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Tom King. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Catherine Dwyer. Sunday 10.00a.m. Marie Ryan. Eucharistic Ministers: Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Barbara Smolen. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Mary Murphy. Sunday 10.00a.m. Kay Power. LOTTO Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A. Draw: Monday 12th. September 2022. Numbers: 26; 09; 28; 27. No Winner First 3 Numbers Drawn: No Jackpot Winner: 5 x €30.00. Winners: Lily Burke, Croan; Bernie Grace, Ballycaum. Katie Carroll, Knocktopher; John and Sinead Sheehan, Stoneyford; Claire Ivors, Ballingarry. 3 x €15.00 (Sellers): James Irish; Pauline Doyle; Teresa Fitzgerald.

Next Draw on Monday 26th. September 2022. Please submit returns by 8.30p.m. Draw at 9.00p.m. Next week: Match 3: €500.00; (First 3 Numbers Drawn) Jackpot: €5,300.00. (4 Numbers in any order) ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL RESTORATION FUND DRAW The first draw for St. Mary’s Cathedral Restoration Fund 2022/2023 year is due to take place on Wednesday 28th. September 2022. The draw year 2022/20223 will run from September 2022 to August 2023. Draw will be held at 8.00p.m on the last Wednesday of each month. Tickets are available at the Parish House, Hugginstown: Telephone contact 056 776 8693. All Tickets to be entered by Monday 26th. September if you wish to be part of the First Draw on Wednesday 28th. Subscription €10.00 per month: Prize Money €5,000.00 per month. Roman Catholic Diocese and Parishes of Ossory - Registered Charity No. 20015831 AGHAVILLER PARISH SOCIAL CLUB Parish Social Cub resumes on Wednesday 21st. September in Carroll’s, Knocktopher. Time: 2.00p.m. to 4.00p.m. All are welcome. STONEYFORD ACTIVE RETIREMENT GROUP SARG is a very active, vibrant group of retirees who participate in a range of activities. They include a number of regular activities in the Community Centre at 2.30p.m. every second Thursday throughout the year. They play cards (25’s). Short Mat Bowling ; Fit Club with Seamus Nugent. They play 10 Pin Bowling in K Bowl in McDonagh Junction, Kilkenny, throughout the year, depending on interest, other activities/classes are arranged. If you are interested in participating in any of our activities, just turn up at the appropriate time. STONEYFORD TEXT ALERT Subscriptions for 2022/2023 year are now due. At only €10.00 this is a valuable and proven service. You can still pay your subscription by placing €10.00 and your name and mobile number in an envelope and dropping it into Willie’s Shop or Malzard’s Bar. You can also pay directly to our bank account. AIB, Kilkenny. BIC: AIBKIE2D. IBAN: IE26 AIBK 9331 9854 7180 95 referencing both your Name & Mobile Number. Go to Stoneyford Text Alert on Facebook. SAVE THE DATE Knitting and Crochet Christmas Fair and Coffee Morning on Friday 2nd December in the Centre, Main Street, Urlingford from 11am – 1pm. Hope to see you there. LTI PATHWAY TO EMPLOYMENT COURSE QQI LEVEL 4 LTI is recruiting for the new programme in the Centre. 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 DEFIBRILLATOR Please note that there is a defibrillator located in the Mill Family Resource Centre if and when it may be required. SENIOR ALERT If you need to apply for a Personal Alarm, please contact Sue or Josephine. COUNCELLING SERVICES Our low cost Counselling Services, includes One-to-One, Family & Teens, aged 12 plus. General Counselling: Bereavement, Stress, Anxiety & Depression.Other Counselling Services available: Drug, Substance & Gambling Addictions.Please contact Sue for more information or to make an appointment. APPEAL Appeal for Clothes Donations: Any clothes donations would be appreciated in aid of our counselling services. Donations can be left into the Centre, please call before dropping off. Contact number for the Centre 056-8838466 MARY’S PRIZE On Thursday September 15th the Captain of the Senior Ladies Mary Croke held her prize to the Ladies. This always proves to be a well supported event with all hoping to claim the Big Prize. On the day it was Rose Brophy who ‘Bloomed’ to claim first prize closely followed on a countback by Limerick native Sheila Kirby. Results; Winner, Rose Brophy 26pts c/b. 2nd Sheila Kirby 26pts. 3rd Catherine Gibbons 24pts c/b. 4th Ann O’Shea 24ptsc/b. 5th Mary Kennedy 24pts. 6th Patsy Murphy 23ptsc/b. 7th Eileen Cuddihy 23ptsc/b. 8Th Mary Manning 23pts. Past Captains Prize was won by Margaret O’Shea. Committee Prize Ann Hickey BRADLEY TROPHY The Bradley trophy which was presented to the club by the Bradley family in 1977 in memory of Mrs Bradley who was an active officer for many years. This is an annual stroke competition run in September each year and the winner this year was Niamh Cunningham with a score of 71 on countback. Results; Winner: Niamh Cunningham 91-20=71 c/b. 2nd Mary D.Grace 102-31=71 3rd Eileen Cuddihy 99-26=73c/b. 4th Bridget Holohan 100-27=73 Best wishes to the ladies representing the club in the Borris Trophy on Friday.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

Hurling matters


Clara up next for title holders Joey Holden dives in to tackle Ger Aylward


St Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling Championship UPMC Nowlan Park Shamrocks Ballyhale 3-26 Glenmore 0-20 Shamrocks Ballyhale cantered to the quarter-finals of the St Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling Championship following a 15-point win over Glenmore at UPMC Nowlan Park last Sunday. What appeared to be a tricky test on paper for the 5-in-a-row seeking Shamrocks, turned out to be a much more one-sided affair, as Pat Hobin’s side were rarely troubled by last season’s intermediate champions. New Kilkenny manager Derek Lyng had a watching brief and will no doubt have been pleased with the performances of stars TJ Reid, Adrian Mullen and Eoin Cody. Glenmore actually raced into an early 3-point lead, thanks to points from Ethan Phelan, full-forward and ex-county man Ger Aylward and a free from the everreliable Alan Murphy. The lead was wiped out with what appeared to be Ballyhale’s first real attack. A long ball into the Glenmore defence was pounced on by Eoin Keneally who strode forward before off-loading to the supporting Eoin Cody, who’s well-struck shot into the ground beat keeper Thomas Dunne and nestled in the back of the net. Killian Corcoran was then harshly adjudged to have thrown the ball by O’Loughlin’s whistler, Sean Cleere; and Alan Murphy duly split the posts from the free awarded. Shamrocks responded by hitting the next four scores. All-Star nominee, Adrian Mullen picked up possession out on the right and fired over a classy score to bring the sides level, before his brother Paddy took a nice pass from the influential Kenneally before splitting the posts for a fine point. Twice Young Hurler of the Year Eoin Cody was the fouled by Shane Murphy and this allowed TJ Reid to notch what was to be the first of his 6-points for the day. Adrian Mullen then dropped deep into his own half, collected the ball and arrowed a lovely pass to the moving Eoin Cody who made no mistake in striking a lovely point. Glenmore’s centre-forward Liam Hennessey was then halted illegally by Darragh Corcoran and Alan Murphy again popped over the free. Eoin Cody then blazed away from his marker before showing nice skill to notch another fine score. Former county full-forward Colin Fennelly, looking fresh after a hurling spell in the USA tried to drive away from his marker was fouled, and when no advantage accrued, TJ popped over the free. Shamrocks wing-back Darragh Corcoran the sent a lovely long pass into the Glenmore defence which Eoin Kenneally collected and sent over the bar to extend the holders lead to 5-points. Late inclusion Kenneally was having a real impact on proceedings, popping up everywhere across the front six positions. From the next puck-out, Eoin Cody caught the ball before striking over a fine score from distance to further cement his team’s superiority. Cody then turned provider when he slipped the ball to Paddy Mullan who rifled over a lovely score off his left side. Ballyhale were in cruise control, everything appeared too easy. They were finding space with every movement. Adrian Mullen then won the ball out on the right before coming under pressure. He managed to make a short pass to his captain, Ronan Corcoran who showed some nice skill before striking a beautiful point to make it an 8-point game. Glenmore needed something to try and stem the rising Shamrocks tide and they got their first score in a few minutes when corner-forward Mark Aylward beat Killian Corcoran before pointing to give their supporters some hope. The hope was very short-lived. A long CONTINUED >>>

Mossy Walsh takes control

Shamrocks make point in Glenmore demolition

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Hurling matters

Sean Duggan gets away from the bunch watched by Ronan Corcoran


Hurling matters >>> CONTINUED

ball delivered into the Glenmore defence was won superbly by Niall Shortall. The young forward looked as if he was going to retreat, but showed great balance to change direction and head towards the opposition goal. Shortall looked up before rifling a thunderous low shot beyond the goalkeeper and into the net. Eighteen minutes on the clock, Ballyhale up by ten points, 2-10 to 0-6. The next score was also a Ballyhale one. Eoin Cody fired over another lovely point from out on the right. Alan Murphy then took a sideline cut short to his brother Shane, who popped the ball back to Alan who struck a fine point from a tight angle. Ger Aylward who had been lively in the opening quarter, testing Joey Holden at every opportunity, then got the ball around midfield and sent a nice pass to Liam Hennessey who calmly fired over. Glenmore then struck a third point on the bounce when wing-back Billy Reid won possession before driving forward and unleashing a much-needed score to reduce the deficit to 9 points. The Mullen boys then combined out on the left side to great effect. Paddy passed to Adrian who showed good skill to fire over on his left side. Shamrocks fullback Joey Holden then saw yellow following a hurl to the helmet of the tricky Ger Aylward. Alan Murphy slotted over the resulting free. Seconds later, Eoin Cody took possession out on the left, looked up and split the posts with a cracking score. Billy Reid then notched his second point of the day from round about half-way after No.14 Aylward had laid a nice pass off to him. Shamrocks registered the next two points. First up was Darragh Corcoran, who took a pass from Adrian Mullen before striking a fine point. Colin Fennelly and TJ Reid then combined before finding midfielder Ronan Corcoran who showed good composure before rifling over. The hard-working Ger Aylward then showed his undoubted ability when he pointed from out on the right side of the pitch. Adrian Mullen then linked up with TJ before sending over a monster score from around half-way. Shane Murphy who was covering lots of ground in both directions from his midfield berth then got on the score board to register Glenmore’s 13th point of the afternoon, and their last of the opening period. Then one of the cardinal sins in hurling, TJ Reid left unmarked. We all know how this ends, and true to form, TJ sent over an easy point from the left side in the first of two minutes of additional time. There was still time for captain Ronan Corcoran to bring his tally to 3 points, when he pointed after his side turned over Glenmore with some good pressure. Sean Cleere sounded the short whistle, Shamrocks Ballyhale 2-18, Glenmore 0-13. An 11-point lead for the beaten All-Ireland Club finalists. There would be no way back for Bob Aylward’s side. The second half started in the same vein, with Shamrocks displaying class and control in equal measure. First up was a lovely point from No.15 Niall Shortall, following a nice pass from Paddy Mullen. Glenmore full-back Eoin Aylward was then blown-up for a foul on Colin Fennelly and TJ popped over the free. Double scores. To their credit, Glenmore hit the next 3 points, but they would have needed a couple of early second half goals to mount any real challenge. Eoin Cody then raced corner-back Sean Duggan to the ball and as the defender slipped, Cody flicked the ball to his hand before pointing from out on the right. Pat Hobin introduced a couple of substitutes to give some championship minutes to the panel, knowing that tougher challenges lay ahead. There was a stoppage in play following an injury to Glenmore’s Shane Murphy, following a collision with Paddy Mullen. Despite receiving treatment, Shane was unable to continue and was replaced moments later. Liam Hennessey was then fouled and this allowed Alan Murphy to notch another point from the placed ball, but again Ballyhale struck back through another classy score from Adrian Mullen. Glenmore struck next via a well-worked point from Liam Hennessey. Adrian Mullen then took a sideline cut and found his county colleague TJ Reid. TJ took possession, turned and fired over a nice point. The third green flag to be raised by Shamrocks would be the final nail in the Glenmore coffin. Another searching ball into the danger zone. As both sides tried to gain possession, the ball came loose and Adrian Mullen reacted quickest and struck a hard shot back across the goal to the net. Three further points from Ballyhale courtesy of Evan Shefflin (2) and a third free from TJ completed the scoring before the long whistle sounded. Final score, Shamrocks Ballyhale 3-26, Glenmore 0-20.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Hurling matters Darragh Corcoran Tries to prevent Liam Hennessey from gaining posession

Richie Reid Makes a spestacular catch over Liam Hennessey

>> SHERRY SAYS... Tougher tasks will undoubtedly lie ahead for Pat Hobin’s men, but their showing against a dangerous side like Glenmore will have pleased the Mullinavat native. Eoin Cody, the livewire forward had 1-3 from play in the opening quarter and was a threat throughout. County colleagues, TJ Reid & Adrian Mullen also put in encouraging displays as the Shamrocks showed their class and ruthlessness over the course of the afternoon at UPMC Nowlan Park. Captain Ronan Corcoran showed his class also, hitting some lovely scores as he glided through the game. There were also encouraging performances from Niall Shortall, Eoin Kenneally and Killian Corcoran, three of the younger members of this panel. Joey Holden was given a tough time by Ger Aylward, but was helped out more in the second half when Richie Reid Swept in front of him. Clara up next for Ballyhale. Their eye remains firmly on the prize.


Hurling matters


St Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling League Final UPMC Nowlan Park Tullaroan 1-24 Bennettsbridge 0-13 The Sash produced a magnificent display of attacking hurling as they dismantled a disappointing Bennettsbridge at UPMC Nowlan Park in the league final last Saturday. A 14-point victory was just reward for Ken Coogan’s charges as they never allowed The Bridge to settle throughout the encounter. Pleasing for Coogan, will have been the fact that all six starting forwards scored, with Gearoid Dunne the pick of the bunch, notching 1-3 on the day, his first half goal proving a crucial score in Bennettsbridge’s demise. It was The Bridge’s Nicky Cleere that opened the scoring at headquarters from the placed ball, before John Walton levelled matters. Midfielder Kevin Blanchfield nudged The Bridge ahead, before corner forward Bill Gaffney replied for The Sash. It was then that Tullaroan got into their groove, registering 1-5 to no score across the following 10 minutes. Points from Shane Walsh and county star Mossy Keoghan came before the only green flag of the day was raised. Mossy capitalised on a rare mistake by county colleague David Blanchfield and unleashed an effort that was partially saved, but the alert Dunne was on hand to finish to the net. Gearoid Dunne then added his first point of the day before John Walton notched his second to leave Tullaroan 7-points to the good. Warning signs were there foe Willie Maher’s men, perhaps his players had been distracted by the appointment of their boss to the Laois job. Bennettsbridge did rally a little, reducing the deficit to 4 points, thanks to points from Nicky Cleere, Kevin Blanchfield and Hugh O’Neill, but The Sash always seemed to have the measure of their opponents, and scores from Shane & Padraig Walsh along with Mossy left Tullaroan 1-10 to 0-6 up at the short whistle. When play resumed in the second half, Bennettsbridge had their goalkeeper Enda Cleere to thank for keeping them in the game when he brilliantly denied Martin Keoghan a certain goal. A third placed ball of the day from Nicky Cleere briefly reduced the arrears to six points, but again Tullaroan went through the gears and pulled further ahead, thanks to points from Shane Walsh (2), Bill Gaffney and the very impressive Gearoid Dunne. With un unassailable 10-point lead, the league final was over as a contest. Previously unbeaten Bennettsbridge were a pale imitation of their group game performances. Perhaps the message from both camps at the mid-point of the second period was conserve effort and energy for the weeks ahead, as there was certainly a drop-off in intensity as both sides seemed to accept the game was done. Further scores followed from both sides, but with every score from The Bridge, came a couple from Tullaroan. When Graigue-Ballycallan whistler Stephen Delaney brought the inevitable to a finish, Ken Coogan’s panel were senior league champions for the first time in some 20 years with some 14 points to spare over last season’s league winners. Both sides now in knock-out territory, both coming into championship action expecting progression. Tullaroan - Shane Walsh (0-7, 0-4 frees), Gearoid Dunne (1-3), John Walton (0-4), Mossy Keoghan, Bill Gaffney (0-3 each), Jim Moore (0-2), Padraig Walsh, Dylan Simpson (0-1 each)

Dunne & dusted as Sash march to league title win!

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Hurling matters Shane Walsh gets away from Kevin Brennan

Bennettsbridge- Nicky Cleere (0-4, 0-4 frees), Kevin Blanchfield (0-3), Hugh O’Neill (0-2), Willie Murphy (0-1, 0-1 free), David Blanchfield, Ciaran Brennan, Sean Morrissey (0-1 each) Tullaroan - Paul Buggy; Ger Luby, Tommy Walsh, Josh Moore; Martin Walsh, Padraig Walsh, Tomas Dunne; Jack Keoghan, Joe Coughlan; John Walton, Mossy Keoghan, Gearoid Dunne; Dylan Simpson, Shane Walsh, Bill Gaffney. Subs- Jim Moore for Dunne 47 mins, Sean Leahy for Simpson 50 mins,

Tommy Walton for M.Walsh 52 mins, Diarmuid Doheny for Moore 53 mins, Bill Walton for J.Walton 55 mins. Bennettsbridge - Enda Cleere; Daniel Murphy, Enda Morrissey, Danny Coyne; Conor Murphy, David Blanchfield, Shane Byrne; Kevin Brennan, Kevin Blanchfield; Jamie Harkin, Liam Blanchfield, Ciaran Brennan; Nicky Cleere, Sean Morrissey, Hugh O’Neill. Subs- Willie Murphy for Harkin 35 mins, Brian Lannon for C.Brennan 45 mins, Harry Murphy for K.Brennan 49 mins, Rob Lennon for N.Cleere 50 mins.

ST CANICE’S CREDIT UNION SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINALS Clara v Shamrocks Bennettsbridge v James Stephens Tullaroan v Erins Own Dicksboro v Mullinavat

Senior Relegation Final Graigue-Ballycallan v Lisdowney

A determined Josh Moore Driving forward challenged by Jamie Harkin

The Bridge de-throned in league decider as Dunne shines

>> SHERRY SAYS... Coming into last week’s league final, Bennettsbridge were unbeaten over 5 previous rounds of games. Tullaroan had surprised many with a stunning win over Shamrocks Ballyhale to progress to the decider. I’d imagine Wille Maher didn’t expect such a disappointing showing from his charges, and he’ll need to lift them ahead of the championship action. A winner takes all match against James Stephens next up for The Bridge, they certainly can’t afford to be as off the pace next time out. Ken Coogan’s league winners will face-off against Erins Own, and will be confident if his attacking unit functions in a similar fashion as this did against The Bridge. No room for error now. Game on.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022

Memoriams/Miracle prayers

The Miracle Prayer

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

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. E.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. B.H.

St. Anthony Prayer,

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

The Miracle Prayer

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

The Miracle Prayer

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

The Miracle Prayer

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

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022


Memoriams / Miracle Prayers



11th Anniversary

21 st Anniversary

In loving memory of May and Paddy, late of Collins Park, Callan, Co. Kilkenny, whose anniversaries occur at this time. Sadly missed along life’s way Quietly remembered everyday No longer in our lives to share But in our hearts, you are always there Sadly missed by your loving sons, daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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. K.M.

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

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

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. U.K.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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. U.K.



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 September 2022