Kilkenny Observer 23rd February 2024

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The Kilkenny


Friday 23 February 2024

Better Healthcare A big step towards more support in South East 

Special Report Page 14

Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W:

Me And My Da A reminisce as Leonard play comes to town  Gerry Moran Page 20



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024





The Kilkenny

Observer Scandal of our waiting lists

Three in four children wait longer than four months for surgery Three quarters of children are waiting longer than four months for orthopaedic surgeries in Ireland. That’s according to Kilkenny Carlow TD Kathleen Funchion who has urged the Government to address the growing waiting lists for children with scoliosis and spina bifida, “by engaging with, and listening to, and acting on the concerns of parents,

advocates and the clinicians”. Sinn Féin TD Ms Funchion said the children on the waiting lists deserved better and that the Government had failed to meet a promise made by Minister Simon Harris in 2017, that no child would be left waiting longer than four months for surgery. However, Deputy Funchion has argued that waiting lists for scoliosis-related surger-

ies are now worse than they were when that commitment was made. “The Dáil is to debate a motion which sets out a plan to tackle surgical waiting lists for children with scoliosis and spina bifida. We have engaged with parents of children with scoliosis and spina bifida and their advocates to develop this plan over the last few weeks. The motion we

are proposing contains the very reasonable asks of these parents and advocates,” said Deputy Funchion. “The scandal of long waiting lists for children with scoliosis and spina bifida is a long-running tragedy. These children deserve better. “Seven years ago, Minister Simon Harris promised that no child would be waiting longer than four months for

surgery,” Ms Funchion said. “The fact is there are more children on scoliosis-related waiting lists now than when Minister Harris gave that commitment. Three quarters of children are waiting longer than four months for orthopaedic surgeries.” Deputy Funchion said: “Parents and advocates want a comprehensive, transparent, structured programme

of work to be carried out by an independent taskforce which includes them, and clinicians, in its reporting process. “There is also an obligation on the Government, both moral and under Sláintecare, to ensure that children with complex medical needs are seen and treated on the basis of clinical need, and not the ability to pay.”

Kilkenny man’s car crash death Kilkenny native Cillian Kirwan (19) was one of two young men who died and two others injured in a road crash near Askeaton, Co Limerick. The car they were in crashed into a wall on the N69 at Ballyengland at around 7.25pm on Tuesday February 20. The Kilkenny student and Cork native Darragh Dullea (20) were passengers in the car. They were second year students at the nearby Salesian Agricultural College in Pallaskenry and were nearing completion of their two-year course. Their bodies were removed to University Hospital Limerick. The college and local communites were said to be “in shock” over the tragedy.

Our future medics ... Attending the University Hospital Waterford /Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Transition Year Mini Med Programme recently are Mayveen Faroog Ahmad, Sara Mulrooney and Kate Aylmer, all from Loreto, Kilkenny with Prof. Riona Mulcahy.

Navalny ‘punch to the heart ‘

Photo: John Power More photos Page 15

‘My murdered brother got no justice’ The family of a man killed by his brother-in-law in Kilkenny almost two years ago have said they did not get justice. Speaking outside court after the sentencing, victim John Cash’s eldest sister Brigid said the family were “­devastated” by what happened to their brother.

The Best Comment & Opinion in Kilkenny

She said they were unhappy with the verdict of manslaughter, telling reporters: “My brother got no justice this morning.” Andy Cash, 30, from Highrath, Clara, in Co Kilkenny, was found not guilty of the murder of John Cash, but guilty of his manslaughter at

Hebron Road in Kilkenny city. Ms Justice Eileen Creedon sentenced Andy Cash, a father of three, be jailed for 10 years. John Cash, who was 40 at the time, died after he was stabbed in the chest. Andy Cash believed his wife had had an affair with his brother-in-law John 12 years

ago and told Gardaí afterwards that the victim “had it coming to him for 12 years”. On May 3, 2022, the day he killed him, he had a row with his wife before heading into Kilkenny City and drinking a few pints before spotting John Cash. John Cash had gone into

town with his wife Elizabeth, Andy Cash’s sister, and his daughter to collect his social welfare and to shop. When Andy Cash saw him he shouted abuse at him. His sister Elizabeth said Andy Cash shouted “you’re dead when I get you” to her husband.

Alexei Navalny was likely to have been killed with a punch to the heart, a technique that was once taught to KGB special forces operatives, after being exposed to freezing conditions for several hours, it has been claimed. Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the human rights group, told The Times of London that bruising found on the opposition leader’s body was consistent with a “one-punch” technique, citing a source working in the Arctic penal colony where Navalny (47) died. Global Report Page 22





Telling it like it is. And with no holds barred

A straight shooter. Considerate and wise words

Great advice. Your money in mind

Quirky take on bright side of life


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Tree photo competition for primary schools With just weeks to go, Coillte is gearing up for National Tree Week, running March 3 to 10, as it launches a treeinspired photography competition open to all primary school children. The competition is aimed at encouraging students to engage with nature and understand the importance of trees in safeguarding our planet for tomorrow. To enter, Kilkenny’s teachers and pupils are being asked to take a picture of their favourite tree or a favourite outdoor nature space and simply upload it to the Coillte website. Four winners will be selected, with each receiving an exciting trip for them and their class to ‘Beyond the Trees Avondale’ at Coillte’s Avondale Forest Park in Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow. National Tree Week, organised by The Tree Council of Ireland and proudly supported by Coillte, is Ireland’s largest annual tree celebration. This year’s theme, ‘Planting Trees for a Greener Future’, highlights the unique role trees and forests play in helping to address climate change. This year will see Coillte once again donate 150,000 tree saplings to local community groups for planting, to mark the annual celebration.

HOW TO ENTER • Step 1: Teachers and pupils are encouraged to take a picture of their favourite tree or outdoor nature space – they can also be part of picture if they wish. • Step 2: They are invited to say why they chose to take a picture of their tree or outdoor nature space • Step 3: Teachers upload the images along with contact information to the Coillte website national-tree-week/

Branching out: at Coillte’s Avondale Forest Park are: pupils Callie O’ Neill, Kayley Bunn and Colum Snell with Éanna Ni Lamhna, National Tree Council and Sakinah Brennan, ESG Director, Coillte. PHOTO: Julien Beal

National Tree Week will see a packed schedule of activities, from group forest walks

and tree-planting events to workshops and forestry talks. A series of expert-led webi-

nars including the Annual Augustine Henry Forestry Lecture on Urban Forestry in

Ireland will also be running across the week with each session providing valuable

insights and perspectives from experts on the critical role of trees in promoting a greener, more sustainable future. Since its inception in 1985, National Tree Week has been responsible for planting almost one million trees in Ireland. Community groups planning events in their local area can register with the Tree Council at www.

Kilkenny County Council adopts Climate Action Plan Kilkenny County Council is delighted to announce that the inaugural local authority Climate Action Plan 2024-2029 was adopted by the Elected Members of Kilkenny County Council at the Council Plenary Meeting of 19th February. The Plan sets out how Kilkenny County Council will respond to the climate crisis by improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and embedding climate resilience across the organisation. It also addresses how the Council will adopt a leadership role in the county by supporting local communities, businesses and other stakeholders to take climate action. Welcoming the Plan, Cathaoirleach Cllr Michael Doyle said ‘This Plan creates a pathway for Kilkenny County Council to reach our climate targets and respond to the challenges that climate change poses to the county. We look forward to working with all stakeholders in its delivery”. Under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2021, all local authorities are required to prepare a local authority Climate Action Plan. The Plan, which

contains 95 actions, was adopted following extensive consultation, gathering scientific data, and deliberations by the Elected Representatives and Staff

of Kilkenny County Council over the past 12 months. The Plan’s Vision is that Kilkenny County Council will be “A climate resilient organisation that inspires

and supports the County’s transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich, sustainable and carbon neutral economy by 2050”. According to Lar Power,

Breda Maher, Community climate action officer, Sean McKeown, Director of Services, Michael Doyle, Cathaoirleach, Dearbhala Ledwidge, Climate Action Coordinator, Lar Power, Chief Executive, Darragh Mahon, Clerical officer, Ronan Ryan, Climate action officer Photo: Vicky Comerford

Chief Executive “We will continue to build on, and scale up, the achievements of the Council across all services in delivering climate action. The scale of

the task ahead is significant, but we are committed to it.” Some of the key actions planned, or in hand, are: • €511,00 for community grants in 2024 through the Community Climate Action Fund • €30M investment by the OPW in Flood Relief Schemes in County Kilkenny • €3.5M investment in converting all 12,000 Public Lights to energy efficient LED lights • €3M investment in retrofitting local authority buildings • Establishment of Kilkenny City Decarbonisation Zone, as a test bed for climate action Dearbhala Ledwidge, Climate Action Coordinator, says “Thanks to the public, stakeholders, staff and Elected Representatives who inputted to the development of the Plan. Every Service Area in the Council will commence implementing actions straightaway and we will keep the public informed of progress through regular reporting and monitoring.” The Draft Plan is available on here. The adopted Plan will be published in the coming weeks and available to view on www.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Special Needs teacher move concerns Inclusion Ireland Inclusion Ireland has expressed significant concern about the new Special Education Teacher Allocation model. CEO of Inclusion Ireland, Derval McDonagh, said: “The criteria ‘complex needs’ has been completely removed for allocation of additional resources to a school. The rationale for removal of this criteria

is of most concern: 1. Perceived inaccurate/ inconsistent data from the Children’s Disability Network teams leading to variations in allocations of teaching hours across the country. This rationale is deeply flawed. The solution to inaccurate data is to work towards making the data more accurate in partnership

with the CDNTs and ensuring consistency, not to remove the criteria. 2. The growth of special schools and classes: The allocation model blatantly points out a discriminatory system where pupils who have more significant support needs are encouraged to avail of special schools and classes ‘a signifi-

cant number of pupils with more complex needs are now supported in these settings, and these elements of the continuum of education provision are resourced separately to the SET model. She said Inclusion Ireland have long advocated for real choice for children who have higher support needs to attend

mainstream schools. This would seem to completely contradict the new policy advice from the National Council of Special Education, working towards more inclusive schools.” She said: “All policy should be ‘rights’ proofed and child centred. The single biggest theme we find in all of our

work is lack of trust. Children need to trust that they will be welcomed and accepted exactly as they are in their local school. “Families need to trust their child will get the support they need. Schools need to trust that they will get the resources they need,” said Derval McDonagh.

teers and donors around Ireland to continue its work. They have a busy hub in Kilkenny, where volunteers meet every week to prepare packages for families in need all over Kilkenny City and county, as well as surrounding counties. The Kilkenny Drive & Drop collection will take place on Sunday, March 9, 10am12pm at Kilkenny Presbyterian Church Car Park, 16 New Road, Kilkenny. Welcoming a baby should be a very special time in any family’s life, however it can also be a stressful and challenging time for parents who are struggling to access

basic necessities. This is the reality that many pregnant and new mothers in Ireland face every day. Community Connect is leading the way in pioneering a national ‘Baby Bank’ in Ireland, while providing Irish parents with a sustainable and trustworthy way to donate their preloved baby items to a family who will really benefit.

Committee on Assisted Dying set to ponder next move The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Assisted Dying, which held its last public hearing last week after nine months exploring the complex reality of voluntary assisted dying, will recommend a next step by the end of March. The committee has heard from scores of witnesses on both sides of the life and death debate, which has many shades of grey. Some of the toughest moments in the debate came from people advocating for assisted dying. Among them was Tom Curran, whose late partner Marie Fleming, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, took a High Court case a decade ago to allow for assisted dying. Garret Ahern from Limerick, whose wife Vicky Janssens died in April last year by availing of assisted dying in a friend’s house in Belgium, said the decision was taken after she endured constant pain. Throughout the hearings there was no consensus on what kind of system Ireland should adopt. Some want only doctors to be involved. Others point to Switzerland, where non-physicians work within the guidelines of the law. Some argue it should only be granted after an independent panel of judges assesses and considers an application. The group Irish Doctors Supporting Medical Assistance in Dying came well prepared. Kildare GP Dr Brendan O’Shea, who is one of around 100 doctors in the group, articulated clearly

how they saw a conservative system might be allowed. It would apply to someone with a prognosis of less than six months or a terminal illness causing severe physical deterioration. He said it would be confined to over 18s and they must have the capacity to make the decision. It would involve two independent doctors and a period of reflection. How can we trust that a very limited regime here will not go the way of other countries? Dr Heidi Janz asked the committee: “Do not be Canada.” Since 2015, Canada has moved from assisted dying for people with grievous and irremediable medical conditions whose natural death is foreseeable to include people with disabilities, whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable. But other countries like Australia and New Zealand have managed to have more restrictive models. Protecting people from being exploited by an assisted dying law emerged as a core problem. And what kind of safeguards may be in place will be central to the committee’s deliberations. Leopold Vanbellingen, a doctor in law at the University of Leuven in Belgium, said that in more than 20 years’ research on the impact of assisted dying laws “our major observation is that despite their alleged safeguards, each of these national laws rapidly tend to pose a threat to the lives of vulnerable people”.

Pop-up radio station back for third year The eight day pop-up radio station ‘The Sound Of Ireland’ returns March 11 to 18 for St Patrick’s week. A €5,000 sponsorship competition has been launched and is open to all Irish business to promote ‘The Best of Irish’ As people across the globe celebrate Ireland’s national holiday, the pop-up radio station will return to the airwaves again from March 11 to 18 on FM in

Dublin (subject to licence) and will be streaming across Ireland and the world. Now in its third year, The Sound of Ireland explores and amplifies Ireland’s greatest music, culture, heritage, destinations and more. The competition is easy to enter, Complete the entry form at https://thesoundofireland. com/ Closing date for entries is 1pm on Tuesday, February 27.

Support a mother ‘in need’ this Mother’s Day A new Irish charity supporting mothers and babies is running Drive & Drop National Donation Weekend on March 9 and 10.’ Community Connect is a new Irish charity dedicated to providing practical support to pregnant mothers and vulnerable families with small babies, who are struggling to provide for their children. The charity is appealing for donations of baby hygiene items and packs of new baby clothing and blankets, to be given to pregnant mothers and families with newborns across the country. Community Connect cur-

rently operates from five hubs across the country, in Kilkenny, Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Athlone. The charity partners with maternity hospitals, homeless agencies, domestic violence services, direct provision centres and health professionals around Ireland, to provide support to pregnant women and new mothers in need with gifts of essential items like buggies, Moses baskets, baby clothes and mother and baby packs filled with items such as nappies, maternity items and baby clothing. The charity relies on the generosity of volun-

* For more information about the event, please visit Or contact Elaine Noonan on 087 986 3522 or

Marbella comes out tops for a holiday Based on the vote of more than one million tourists from 172 countries – including Ireland – the European Best Destinations (EBD) organisation has released its list of the 20 trendiest places — selected from 500-plus — to be awarded the title of ‘Best European Destinations 2024’. With a record number of votes, Marbella, Spain, lands at the top of the list, the first time that a Spanish destina-

tion takes first place in the ranking. “It is the destination most voted for for a stay in Europe in 2024,” EBD explains. “This is a sunny, five-star, natural, sporty, gastronomic destination with everything to please the most demanding travellers.” Marbella is followed by Monaco, Malta, Geneva and Batumi (Georgia) in the first five places. Selected for their quality

of life, sustainable development, year-round cultural offer, growth in popularity on social networks and their international recognition (smart tourism, European Union Green Capital, UNESCO, Blue Flags etc) the 20 most-voted sites will be promoted throughout the year and are authorised to display the coveted title of ‘European Best Destination 2024’.

Working since 2009 to promote sustainable tourism, and in partnership with some 500 tourism offices in Europe and the European Commission’s EDEN Network, (Awarded Sustainable Destinations), EBD also organises other tourism competitions in Europe, including Best European Christmas Markets, Best European Beaches, Most Romantic Destinations and Best European Ski Resort

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


The Fact Of The Matter Paul Hopkins

Is it smart to allow a child a mobile phone? Eighteen years after it was first mooted, the iPhone has made Apple the world’s most valuable company (with a market capitalisation of $2.9 trillion as of last week) but, in a way, that’s the least interesting thing about it. What’s more significant is that the late Steve Jobs’ iconic invention sparked off the smartphone revolution that changed the way we humans function – for better and for worse. Jobs’ seminal insight was that what was up to then just a one-dimensional mobile phone could be a powerful, networked hand-held device which could be used, not only to make voice calls but to access the internet – and all that that entails – and do a myriad other things like check your bank balance, check your physical activity, monitor you heart and other bodily functions, check out at the checkout, and, oh, take photos, those ubiquitous selfies. And the biggie? Keep

you wired up, tuned in and turned on to the big wide world, effectively making it today the global village once cited by Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian philosopher who also coined the adage that the medium is the message. That said, 18 years on we now know there’s a downside to this world of constant connectivity in which some people are never offline and are increasingly addicted to their devices to the point of social isolation. Once, the smartphone was the prerogative of the adults who could afford one. Now comes the news that almost 25 per cent of six-year-olds in Ireland have their own smartphone, according to a new survey. The study, by Amárach, on behalf of online safety charity CyberSafeKids, surveyed 900 parents who have children aged five to 17. It found that 45 per cent of children aged

10 can use their smartphone in their bedrooms and shows that more than half of parents do not feel well-equipped to teach children how to stay safe online. A fifth of parents said the benefits of the internet and social media “outweighed the risks for children”, while 25 per cent expressed extreme concern about the risk of online grooming, cyberbullying, and accessing pornography. A total of 21 per cent said their child had been purposely excluded from a group chat or online event, while 18 per cent said their child had been called offensive names. This, I would suggest disturbing, news comes on the heels of a call for a ban on mobiles on school premises. Some schools do, but there is no uniform rule. Banning children from using social media is not feasible Tanaiste Micheál Martin has said but that the Government could be stronger in warning

of its hazards. He was being asked about whether Ireland would consider social media restrictions for young people following reports that the UK Government was considering such a move. Mr Martin said he wanted to see more examples of schools agreeing a social media ‘con-

“Addicted to the point of social isolation...

tract’ on how to use social media but said that telling people what to do doesn’t always work, despite there being “merit in restricting the use of mobile phones within the school”. Meanwhile, the EU’s’S Digital Services Act which came into force last weekend will crack down on illegal content on the largest 19 social media platforms across the continent. The law aims to make social media more transparent. How workable it will be is for another day. The smartphone is the most vivid example available of how technology can be – simultaneously – both good and bad, enabling and disabling, inspiring and disillusioning. The technical capabilities of modern phones are formidable and the ingenuity of the apps that harness those capabilities are often mindblowing. At the same time, smartphones are also surveillance devices made in hell

– tracking one’s every move, click, swipe and shake. And some of the apps that run on them are tailor-made vehicles for, sadly as we have learned, stalking, bullying, and harassment. And these are now on the receiving end of malleable six and 10-year-olds. My friend, the psychologist from Magherafelt, tells me over the phone: “Some people have a significant issue with not being able to disengage from their smart devices. While using such for everyday tasks, work, and socialising with friends and family is perfectly normal, not being able to put them down while engaged in a conversation with your significant other or a friend who’s sitting in front of you denotes an increasing problem.” A problem now facing our children. Where will they be 18 years from now? Probably living in a totally virtual world. Not talking to each other.

Climate Change

– are we all playing our part? WEEK 57

'A supermarket would be very handy'!

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Carey's company now faces being struck off The company at the centre of an alleged mortgage scam involving former ­Ireland hockey player and Kilkenny native Catriona Carey faces being struck off. A notice for compulsory strikeoff is pending for the controversial Careysfort Asset Estates,

which is based in the UK. Ms Carey will have the option to object but the company will be dissolved "unless cause is shown to the contrary”. A first Gazette notice, which is a public warning that the Companies House will strike a company off its register, is

due to be published in the next week. This is not the first time the company has been targeted by the Companies House. In October 2021, Careysfort was due to be struck off but this was later discontinued. Four months later, RTÉ In-

vestigates exposed how the company was allegedly involved in a mortgage scam that defrauded people out of hundreds of thousands of euro. Recent accounts filed for Careysfort said it had retained fixed assets worth €65,108, down from €105,893 in 2021.

Carey is the sole director of Careysfort, which is one of multiple businesses registered in her name in England. Her former business partner, Patrick Maher, is named as company secretary, but he claims he has resigned from the role. Both have been under

investigation in connection with the alleged scam and files are currently being prepared for the DPP. The Companies Registration Office in Ireland has been clamping down on businesses it believes were not complying with company rules.

Milk prices increased by all major suppliers Amid warnings of sluggish demand and volatile markets. all the major processors have increased their milk price for January supplies. Kerry Group announced a 1c/L lift to its base price yesterday after Lakeland Dairies, Dairygold, Carbery and Tirlán all increased their base milk price, as dairy market prices continue to improve on the back of decreased global supply. However, in a statement, Kerry Group warned that dairy markets remain volatile and without definite direction, "with sluggish demand hampering the impact of bullish sentiment around lower milk supplies”. It also said that Chinese consumer confidence is low and European origin product is now at a disadvantage accessing Asia as a result of the ongoing shipping issues through the Suez Canal. Tirlán announced it will pay a total of 41.08c/L for January supplies, an increase of 1c/L. Tirlán Chairperson John Murphy said: "Milk supply growth globally was very low in 2023 and is forecast to remain sluggish, which should support dairy markets. However, geopolitical concerns and economic weakness in some markets continue to impact on demand and will need to be monitored closely.” Lakeland increased its base price by 1.75c/L, including a new 0.5c/L sustainability incentive payment, to 38.90c/L. "The outlook for the global dairy markets remains tentatively positive after a period of uncertainty at the start of the

year, with buyers at the time taking a reserved position, but global milk supply remains muted,” a spokesperson for Lakeland said. "As we approach the crucial spring-calving season, indicators are pointing to modest improvements in the dairy markets in the short to medium term, with a reasonable balance in the supply and demand dynamic. "However, there are geo-political concerns, supply chain disruptions and global economic headwinds to be acutely aware of. Lakeland Dairies will continue to closely monitor the markets in the coming weeks.” Carbery increased its base milk price for January by 1c/L, along with a contribution of 2c/L from its 'stability fund'. If this decision is replicated across the four West Cork co-ops, this will result in an average price for January of 40.05c/L. A Carbery spokesperson said: "Dairy markets are beginning to find balance after the turbulence of 2024 and with global milk supplies decreasing. "Forecasts remain unpredictable on the demand side, so we will continue to monitor markets closely to determine future pricing.” Dairygold increased its January milk price by 1c/L also, to 38c/L. In addition, the January Early Calving Bonus of 3.14c/L will be paid on milk supplied in January, increasing the attainable Dairygold price to 41.14c/L. This equates to an average farm-gate milk price of 48c/L.

Kilkenny crash victim aged 20 is named The young Kilkenny man who died in a crash over a recent weekend has been named. He’s 20-year-old Josh Dineen of Keatingstown, Hugginstown, son of Stephen and Lorraine

and brother of Kyle and Jody. Tributes have begun for the former student of Scoil Aireagail in Ballyhale who was involved with Carrickshock GAA club.

The way we are ... how we shop these days Air fryers, gin and disposable vapes are among the items that have been added by the Central Statistics Office to the basket of goods and services that determine the annual rate of inflation. But landline telephones, swiss rolls and digital cameras are among those that have been excluded,

because they no longer play as significant a role in consumer spending here. Every five years the CSO updates the notional basket of goods used to measure the Consumer Price Index. The last revision took place in 2016, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic there was no update carried out in 2021.

This is because part of the changes are influenced by data gathered by the Household Budget Survey, but collection of this data was disrupted during the pandemic. Among other food and drink items added into the new basket are milk and meat substitutes, rib-eye steak, spring onions and

non-alcoholic beer. The influence of technology is also evident, with wireless speakers and headphones, smart watches and air fryers added. Some services have also been included, such as delivery charges, which take account of the increased use of online shopping and fast-food deliveries.

Mná le Chéile’ on empowering women in SE An innovative two-day event entitled ‘Mná le Chéile’ will take place on March 6 and 7 in SETU Arena, Waterford City to explore barriers faced by women in accessing services in areas such as homelessness, mental health and substance use. Those with lived experience together with Tinteán Housing Association Waterford, the South East Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force (SERDATF), Better Together, DePaul, Cornmarket Project, South East Technological University (SETU) are supported

by the HSE and Waterford City & County Council to host this free event. The event aims to inspire reflection and action for transformative change in service design and delivery in the South East, fostering a movement for change across Ireland. At the event we will hear from, and engage with, the lived experiences of women in homelessness, substance use and mental health distress. From this we aim to create more gender-sensitive responses to service design, de-

livery and practice for women with lived experience in the South East, and nationally. This event emerges from a co-production symposium held in Kilkenny on September 5 last, which involved more than 70 women and numerous services from the South East. A number of barriers and challenges to accessing services were identified there by participants, with women saying they often experience feeling invisible, and being hurt when trying to receive help. This follow-on event aims to

create a movement of change, involving intentional participation and learning from women’s lived experiences. Attendees will include policy makers, service providers, those with lived and learned experience and their carers and family members. They will get the opportunity to be part of the change that is so needed, in creating gender sensitive policy, practice and service responses for women in homelessness, mental health and substance use in the South East and for the whole of Ireland.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


As I See It Marianne Heron

Knowing the right time to make a move Knowing when to quit can be a tricky issue. When it comes to retirement the decision is made for many of us. But suppose you aren’t tied by contract or regulation can you judge the right time to let go the reins or make an appropriate change? It’s a question that came up several times this month. It arose for Joe Biden when he was shafted by special counsel Robert Hurt who played on concerns over President Biden’s age, damning him with faint praise him as “a well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory”, having cleared him of illegally keeping classified documents at his home. Republican Hurt certainly saw his opportunity to injure Biden’s bid for a second term as president, following the president’s

failure to recall key dates during a five- hour interview at a time when Biden was in the midst of tense negotiations to stop the Israelis’ carnage of Palestinians in Gaza. Before anyone out there decides that they are over the hill because they have done a ‘Biden’ and been unable to recall a date or mixed up names, keep calm and carry on. These slips are not a sign that you are losing your marbles or that you are suffering from some form of dementia. Age-associated memory impairment is something that happens to us as we get on in years. This is perfectly normal; brains are like computers with overload, they slow up when filled with information and that forgotten name or date will be recalled later, probably

in the middle of the night. Dismissing older people as past it and doddery is ageist, elders have plenty of positive advantages: with wisdom and better. crystalline intelligence on their side and there are stalwart examples of older heads of state from Nelson Mandela who became President of South Africa aged 77 to Queen Elizabeth and our own Michael D. Whether Biden has the stamina to cope with four years in the most demanding job in the world by which time he will be 85 is another question particularly at a critical time in world affairs . Personally, I would rather have a man who has helped steer the US economy back on course with 3% growth rate than Donald Trump, four

years Biden’s junior, who passes truth by on the other side of the road as though it were a threatening stranger and who incites Putin to attack NATO members who don’t pay their arms dues (the US produces over a third of the world’s $100 billion arms trade), Never mind the numerous legal cases against him for everything from four criminal cases in four states to the case in Colorado barring him from running for election on grounds of inciting insurrection. Why do individuals choose to stay on in positions of power? Is it from self-interest or altruism for the good of the nation? It seems Joe Biden believes that he is the only candidate that can beat Trump. King Charles’ recent diagnosis with an unspeci-

fied form of cancer raises questions about his future too. Should he stay on as monarch, demonstrating that it is possible to live and rule with cancer, or should he abdicate in favour of Price William rather than leave him as king in waiting as he himself was for so many decades and enjoy a less stressful lifestyle to benefit his recovery? Perhaps the latter choice might be more likely to shore up the future of the British monarchy. Charles and Camilla are nowhere near as popular as the late Queen Elizabeth. Then there is a more personal everyday question of letting go. Not for the first time the Government have urged older people to move, downsize and give up their family homes. As a means to solve the housing

crisis, which is of successive governments’ own making, and, as a way to make older people feel guilty, I find this unacceptable. Fine for those who want to move but for others their family homes may be the biggest financial investment of their lives: muchloved places where they have memories, friends, neighbours and services. Quite aside from the fact that that it costs money to move, smaller homes are relatively expensive, few and far between and grown-up children may still be living with their parents as they are unable to get started on the housing ladder or afford stratospheric rents. Downsizing should be a matter of individual choice, I’ll move if I am ready and not before.

D and K2. It also contains Silica from Bamboo Extract, many of you will be familiar with silica, commonly taken as a supplement for hair growth. Silica can support bone health by helping to maintain the correct calcium-magnesium balance within the bones. It also contains Soy Isoflavones, a phytoestrogen. Evidence suggests a beneficial effect on bone mineral density for peri and postmenopausal women. You can take Cleanmarine Bone Factors alongside Cleanmarine Menomin Krill Oil. Bone density begins to decline from the age of 30. Plus, women can lose up to another 30% of overall bone mass in their body during menopause. Kind of scary isn’t it when you think about it. Did you know that brittle nails may indicate

poor bone density. Talk to your GP about having a bone density scan so you can keep on eye on your bone health. Magnesium Bisglycinate is one of our fastest growing supplements. This is no surprise really as it is one of our customers’ favourites to help get a good night’s sleep. Magnesium Bisglycinate is formed when you bind magnesium to the amino acid glycine. Now you have a powerful blend that is highly bioavailable and absorbable. This form of magnesium is gentle on the bowel and won’t have a laxative effect. One Nutrition is a popular brand that many of you love, so you will be happy to hear that they now have their own Pure Magnesium Bisglycinate. You would choose this supplement if you needed help to get for anxiety, if you needed help to get to sleep, an overall support for your nervous system, to support muscle recovery after exercise, and to relieve painful muscle cramps. You would take it 30 minutes before bed for sleep issues and before or after exercise to help reduce cramping, tiredness and fatigue. Children over 9 years of age can take one per day. Shop online at where you’ll be able to take a look at these brands. Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre Phone: 056 7764538 Email:

Looking after your bones starts in your 30’s CLAIR WHITTY

It’s time to tell you about some exciting new supplements. For bone health there’s Cleanmarine Bone Factors with essential nutrients for female bone health. If you like Magnesium Bisglycinate then One Nutrition has a new one for you to try. Cleanmarine Bone Factors is a gold standard blend of scientifically researched nutrients to support female bone health before, during, and after menopause. Bone Factors contains 10 bone specific nutrients including Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024



Step towards better SE healthcare

Better informed: Staff from the HSE/South East Community Healthcare’s Infection Prevention and Control team and participants from private nursing homes and disability organisations from the South East at an Infection Prevention and Control Link Practitioner Programme session in the Hoban Hotel, Kilkenny

The HSE’s Infection Prevention and Control Link Practitioner Programme is being delivered in the South East Throughout the month of February, the HSE delivered an intensive five-day Infection Prevention and Control Link Practitioner Programme for staff of private nursing homes and disability services organisations in the South East. The building of capacity within community health and social care services to identify and manage infection prevention and control risk is a key priority for the HSE and its Quality, Safety

and Improvement Team in its South East Community Healthcare organisation. A total of 24 private nursing homes in counties Kilkenny, Carlow, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford and four disability care organisations (one each from counties Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and one regional provider and supported by the HSE through funding per Sections 38 and 39 of the Health Act) are completing the programme this month, in its first delivery in a community setting in the South East. Following this training,

recognised Infection Prevention and Control Link Practitioners (IPCLPs) will act as a local resource and role model for their service, whilst also being supported by a wider network of HSE Community Infection Prevention and Control Clinical Nurse Specialists. The Infection Prevention and Control Link Practitioners (IPCLPs) role is designed to support service providers to implement effective Infection Prevention and Control practices in their facility or service. Speaking following a programme session in the

Hoban Hotel, Kilkenny, Mary Clare Hayes (Asst. Director of Nursing/Infection Prevention and Control, HSE/South East Community Healthcare), said: “Where actively engaged and with the support of their management, IPCLPs have over the past three years proven to have a valuable role in supporting their entire health and social care team to provide safe, quality care to service users in a wide variety of community health and social care settings. “IPCLPs act as a local resource and role model for their service whilst also

motivating their colleagues to improve infection prevention and control practices.” “The HSE/South East Community Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Nursing Team is delighted to be facilitating and supporting the roll-out of this programme. This intensive five-day programme (four days of which are online and then followed by a regional gathering) has allowed the newly trained IPCLP to gain an enhanced knowledge on the many aspects of infection prevention and control, antimicrobial stewardship, risk man-

agement, clinical audit and outbreak management.” “In addition, each IPCLP will be an accredited Hand Hygiene and PPE trainer for their facility. The HSE Southeast Community IPC Nursing Team is very much looking forward to supporting these newly trained IPCLPs into the future,” she said. “Our own residential care centres in the HSE are already in the programme and we also look forward to further roll-out with other nursing homes and organisations across the South East.”

Three Kilkenny growers Grain Award winners Three Tirlán Quality Grain Awards have gone to Kilkenny growers. The Green Feed Barley category winner is John Fenlon, Barraghcore, Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny. The Seed Barley category winners are Kathleen and James Maher who farm at Ballyspellan, Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny. The Green Feed Beans award went to NBCB Farms, Dunbell, Maddockstown, Co. Kilkenny. John Fenlon farms on the outskirts of Goresbridge.

John and his late wife Trish have four children, all married and living locally. John grows winter and spring barley with beans sown as a break crop. The winning crop averaged a specific weight of 66.6kph, screenings of 1.3% and protein of 9.8% at a moisture content of 19.0% across a tonnage of 94 tonnes. John’s Tirlán agronomist is James Hickey. James and Kathleen Maher operate a mixed tillage and

beef farm in Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny. Crops grown are winter seed barley, spring malting barley and spring beans. Cattle are purchased and finished on the farm with home grown grain being a big part of the mix. Spring beans and rotational grass are used as break crops, with the help and knowledge of his agricultural contractors, Paddy and Robert Tobin. The third Kilkenny winner is NBCB Farms, Dunbell,

Maddockstown, Co. Kilkenny which is run by Edward Murphy.Ned farms in partnership with his wife, Bridie, and daughters, Catherine and Brid. The Murphy’s operate mainly a tillage farm, alongside a winter beef finishing enterprise. They grow a range of crops from spring beans, oil seed rape, sturm oats, winter wheat, cassia winter barley and spring malting barley on several ranges of soils.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024



Atlantic Fleet ‘needed to defend EU security’ Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has called on the Government to co-operate with other nations and form an Atlantic Fleet to defend EU security interests. The senator who sits on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence emphasised that it was essential

to do this considering the amount of data transacted from Ireland. In a statement to The Kilkenny Observer , Senator Craughwell said: “I read this morning that we are now down to one ship to patrol our western shores. That is deeply worrying… I believe

Our future medics attend mini medical programme

Keelin Hennebry, Mercy, Waterford and Aisling Ó’Shea, Coláiste Abhainn Rí, Callan, Co. Kilkenny. Photo: John Power

Mayveen Faroog Ahmad, Sara Mulrooney and Kate Aylmer, Loretto, Kilkenny. Photo: John Power

Sophie Brandon and Ava Delaney, Castlecomer Community School, Kilkenny. Photo: John Power

the assets that exist off the west coast of Ireland and the west coasts of France, Spain and Portugal right the whole way down and whole way up north to Norway, Finland, etc, should be patrolled as a European Union. “The time has come for the European family to pool its

resources and have a shared Atlantic Ocean that would be patrolled by all states.” The senator said the presence of all EU assets including fisheries, undersea cables, gas lines and electricity interconnectors necessitates this level of international co-operation.

Olivia Dunphy and Ruth Fitzpatrick, Presentation, Kilkenny. Photo: John Power

“Consider the amount of data that is crossing through our economic zone. We cannot protect it. As a European family, we could protect it. “We have to start as a nation building alliances with likeminded countries to protect the assets that run the econ-

omies of the world. That includes undersea cables, gas lines, electricity interconnectors and all of that.” In closing, he highlighted his wish for Ireland to be a neutral country and said that we are “totally dependent” on foreign countries to protect us.

Larry Phelan and Sam Mackey, St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny. Photo: John Power


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Your Money & You John Ellis

Improving the lot of the Irish consumer A study was carried out recently by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), involving more than 4,500 consumers who were asked to recall incidents from the previous 12 months that had either cost them money, caused stress, or consumed their time. The purposes of the study was to measure “consumer detriment” which is the harm or disadvantage experienced by consumers and the negative impact on their lives due to financial loss, and/or the health risks, causing a reduction in overall well-being as a result of certain practices, products, goods or services. As we all know, things can go wrong when people buy products or services. They may lose money or time, get injured, become stressed or worried unnecessarily. Negative results like these

are all types of consumer detriment. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) wants to make sure consumers are better off by improving how markets work for them. To do this they look at the effects of consumer detriment. By examining the problems consumers face, it helps the CCPC decide where to focus as an organisation by identifying gaps in the law, areas for further research and where changes should be made, thus, improving the outcomes for consumers by putting stronger protections in place and building more trust in markets. The questionnaire asked consumers to recall problems that may have occurred that “caused you stress, cost you money, or took up your time”. It covered key sectors of the Irish economy from 2022 to 2023.The primary

objective was “to quantify the level of detriment reported by Irish consumers” and from this gain insights into various aspects of their experiences.

Most consumers (61%) said they did not face any problems when buying products and services in the year before the survey. A total 39% said they had at least

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO In light of the report’s findings, the CCPC provided recommendations for consumers: 1.

Know your rights: Visit to understand how the law protects you when issues arise.


Go back to the trader: Your contract is with the shop or service provider you bought from, not the manufacturer.


Act fast: While you may have up to six years after purchase to seek redress for a fault, prompt action is recommended.


Contact the CCPC helpline: Use the contact form or call 01 402 5555 for information on your rights, how to complain, and where to get help.

one issue that cost them money or time or caused them stress. This works out as roughly 1.6 million of the total adult population of Ireland. Up to 81% reported feeling at least moderately stressed by the issues they faced, 62% spent some of their work time resolving the problems, while 10% were still grappling with unresolved issues more than six months later. Financially, the most serious issues resulted in a staggering loss of €968 million for consumers. However, the report also highlighted some positive aspects. When consumers proactively reached out to the traders responsible for the issues, 1 in 8 had their problems resolved in less than a day, and 1 in 3 within a week CCPC Chair Brian McHugh says: “People should be able to rely on the goods and ser-

vices they buy, and if things do go wrong, their right to redress is set out in consumer protection law.” He emphasises that the report not only measures the financial and temporal costs but also the stress caused by problems with goods and services. Brian McHugh affirmed that the report will guide the CCPC in directing resources to areas where consumers are most at risk. To address these issues, Mr McHugh outlined the CCPC’s commitment to using all available tools to protect and empower consumers. With new laws and increased resources, the commission aims to enhance inspections, boost enforcement, and ultimately save consumers money, time, and stress. 086 8362622

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024



Gowran panto 2024

BY MICHAEL O'LEARY Gowran Pantomime Society hosted Snow White and The Several Dwarfs as this years production in Gowran Parish Hall, with record attendances for all five shows that provided superb entertainment for the packed audience. The Gowran Panto has always been one of the Winter highlights in the parish since it began in 2000(Millenium Year), and it was the second time that Snow White and The Several Dwarfs took place having previously been staged in 2006. This years cast included a mixture of familiar faces who have been involved previously, and also new additions who were making their pantomime debut. Snow White was played by Mary Dreelan who got a rather unpleasant surprise on her Birthday, when she finds out that her father King Edward (John Kennedy) has remarried to Queen Sylvia Blackheart (Rachel Bawle) who played the role of Evil Queen to perfection. The relationship between Snow White and the Queen is tempestuous to say the least, and matters become complicated when the King is suddenly taken ill. Snow White has to react quickly to find a cure without knowing that it's a plan by

her stepmother to assassinate her. The Holland brothers Michael and Matthew were Prince Dan and Prince Charming respectively, while Derek Lawler who is a long serving member of Gowran Pantomime made his Dame debut this year as Dame Nana Polly. Princesses were played by Nicole Kirk who was the Princess Daphine, Margaret Walsh who was the Princess Rose and Jessica Kirk who was the Princess Petunia, Kate Mulrooney was Princess Belle, Avery Hayes was Princess Aurora, while Sarah Phelan - Her twin brother Mark played Fred played the part of Princess Charlotte. Meanwhile, Cora Carter was the Queen's evil henchwoman playing the role of Fester and she was ably assisted by Boyle played by Michael Brown as another of the Queens evil henchpeople. Nurse Gretchen was played by Kirsten Neale, while the mystery crew was made up of Stella Langton (Velma), Bronagh Curran (Daphne), Mark Phelan (Fred), Stevie O'Leary(Shaggy) and Eamon Heaver (Scooby Doo) who was also the Chairperson of this years Pantomime committee. The Squirrels were played by Lauren Haire (Mother Squirrel), Linda Ni Dubhshlaine (Linda Delaney) who was The Mammy Squirrel, while three of the Squirrels were making

their Gowran Pantomime debut. Gemma Haire played Shelly Squirrel, while Sadie Murphy and William Hennessy were Hazel Knutt Squirrel and Wally Knutt Squirrel respectively. The Queens Guard trio of Donal Twomey (Bish), John Walsh (Bash) and Rhys Nolan(Bosh) were responsible for taking Snow White deep into the heart of the enchanted forest where they encountered plenty of dragons, while the Dwarf cast members were Clodagh Corrigan(Head Dwarf ), May Timmins (Serious Lee), Oscar Langton (Kidding) and Sarah Mulrooney (Honest Lee). Finally, the back-up was provided by the wonderful variety of choruses featuring the Squirrels, the Princesses, the Dwarfs, the Soldiers and the Demons. Another superb production by Gowran Pantomime who have come back stronger than ever following the COVID hiatus, and it's a huge testament to the cast, committee and backstage for their dedication and committment in been able to stage a top class show every year. Next year in 2025 will be a very special year as it will mark 25 years since Gowran Pantomime staged their very first Panto with Cinderella in 2000, and on the evidence of another highly successful show this year, they can expect to host further productions for some time to come.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

News Science & Wellbeing Homo sapiens evolved as a separate species about 300,000 years ago. Measured in generations (with each generation lasting 20 years), that means there are about 15,000 great- great-etc. grandparents separating you from the earliest human ancestors. While that’s remarkable in itself, what’s really remarkable is how the world each of those generations experienced was remarkably static. Of course, there were natural disasters and wars. In general, however, the ‘techno-social’ universe your 9,045th great-grandparent lived in was not very different from the one your 9,046th one inhabited. The same holds true for the vast majority of generations after them. But this kind of generation-to-generation stasis is clearly not the case for you, me, and most people on the planet today. Instead, we inhabit a world of rapid change driven by technology that has produced a techno-social world of staggering complexity. It’s a situation utterly unlike almost every other generation in the human lineage. So, is that a problem? Have we created a world that’s too complex and fast-changing for our own good? The arc of human cultures has, generally, run from smaller hunter- gatherer groups to larger and more complex arrangements. The story that’s often told is one where the switch to agriculture and domestication of animals about 9,000 years ago drove humans to create sedentary societies. These grew in size along with the food yields that crop cultivation and animal husbandry allowed. In this way, villages grew into towns, towns into cities, and cities into empires. While some aspects of this story — such as the role of agriculture — are now more fiercely debated, it’s clear that human societies have grown in both size and complexity. Complexity can be measured in a lot of ways but one of the most fruitful is to think of a society as a network of relationships. Using the tools of network science, it’s possible to map out what’s called the ‘topology’ of the network. A network where every person has a connection to everyone else looks a lot different from one where every person only knows a few people who also know a few people and so on. And, to use an extreme example, both these network topologies are different from one where everyone knows just one particular and very central individual. When we were huntergatherers in small tribes, we lived in the ‘everyone knows everyone’ kind of network. But as societies got larger, the topologies changed. There were still local social networks, but these became

Humans: are we evolving to the point of extinction?

embedded in larger webs of relationships that handled everything from government administration to trade (think of Imperial Rome or Song Dynasty China). But while these ‘civilisational’ networks were more complex than the ones humans inhabited 100,000 years before, the pace of change was still slow. If you were alive in 97 CE somewhere in the Roman Empire, you probably used the same kinds of tools your grandmother or

“The pace of significant change has occurred within fractions of a single human lifetime... grandfather used. (In fact, it’s quite possible you still used their tools). Just as important, the rules of the social network

changed slowly: Most generations didn’t see radical social change within their lifetimes unless some conquering army arrived, and

even then, the rules of the social order (ie. the social networks) might not have changed much. In the world we’ve built in just the past century, however, the pace of significant technological and social change has occurred within fractions of a single human lifetime. Think about how many iterations of the telephone you’ve seen. Many of us can remember when phones were connected by a cord to a wall. Now, tech-

nology advances so quickly that we are all forced to buy a new phone every few years because the old ones just can’t keep up anymore. While phones are just one aspect of our technological networks that have changed, we can stay with them to see technology’s impact on social organisation. You don’t need anyone to tell you how profoundly social media and other digital platforms have rewired social and political norms. From dating apps to the rapid spread of political disinformation, the expectations for how people can or should behave has been rewired and then rewired again on a timescale that is now sub-decadal. The crucial point to understand when considering these changes is that every system has inherent timescales for change built into it. These timescales are based on the ‘laws’ of the system, its internal rules of order. If the system is a bunch of planets orbiting a star, then the laws are those of gravity and angular momentum. If the system is a food web in a pond, then the timescale may be based on how long it takes for water to flow from one end to the other. What matters here is that, if the system experiences changes over a period that is longer than, or close to, the inherent timescale of the system, then that system can usually adjust. It won’t blow up or fall apart in response to those changes. But if the changes are really strong and they occur very quickly compared to the system’s inherent timescales, bad things can happen. So, what is the inherent timescale for the networks that make up our human techno-social world? That’s the million-dollar question. The naïve answer: roughly a human lifetime (ie. a century or so). There was a lot of change from 1820 to 1920 but society didn’t fall apart. This may have something to do with the flexibility of both human cognition and the nature of the social networks (their topology) that keep societies stable. Now, however, we seem to be driving strong changes on timescales that are less than a single generation. Is this too fast for the distributed cognition that occurs over our social and political networks to handle? Is the pace of technological change — coupled with the impact those changes have on social organisation (ie. the rules of the network) — now too fast for our systems to absorb? That, too, is the million-dollar question. Still, one thing is certain. All the generations alive today are part of a vast, unplanned experiment in the flexibility and stability of human social orders. Our fate as a planetary species depends on how that experiment works out.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Travel & Leisure 1. Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Located at Caesars Palace, Hell’s Kitchen brings to life the intensity of the famous television show hosted by Chef Gordon Ramsay. Offering guests a taste of the show’s famous dishes like beef Wellington, the restaurant combines excellent dining with entertainment. Its ambiance is inspired by the show, making it a must- visit for fans and food lovers alike. Found in the MGM Grand, this restaurant is the only Las Vegas eatery awarded three Michelin stars. Offering a French gastronomic experience, Joël Robuchon presents a delectable menu in an opulent setting. The tasting menus are a highlight, showcasing the chef’s precision and creativity.

Nine best places to eat in Vegas

2. Lotus of Siam Don’t forget to add this offstrip gem, renowned for its Northern Thai cuisine, to your list of places to eat in Vegas. Lotus of Siam has earned a loyal following and critical acclaim for dishes like ‘khao soi’, a coconut curry noodle soup, and spicy eggplant. Its extensive wine list complements its food’s spicy and complex flavors, making it a standout in the city’s Asian culinary scene. 3. Hard Rock Cafe There’s a Hard Rock Cafe in every major city, but the one in Vegas is an experience steeped in the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. They serve up classic American fare in a setting filled with music memorabilia that spans decades. From juicy burgers to smokehouse specialties, the menu hits all the right notes, complemented by a selection of craft cocktails and beers. With its vibrant ambiance and a soundtrack of classic and contemporary hits, Hard Rock Cafe is a mustvisit for music lovers and food enthusiasts alike, offering a dining experience that’s as memorable as the city itself. 4. Momofuku David Chang’s restaurant in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas serves innovative dishes that blend Korean, Japanese and American cuisines. The pork belly buns and ramen are standout dishes, offering

flavours that are both familiar and surprising. Additionally, make sure to pick up some of the chilli crunch if they have that on hand – it’s a gamechanger that adds a spicy kick to any dish. 5. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés Located in the Sahara Las Vegas, Bazaar Meat is a carnivore’s paradise. This restaurant offers a wide range of meats prepared in innovative ways, along with a selection of seafood and vegetable dishes. The dining experience is both luxurious

and playful, reflecting Andrés’ approach to cooking. 6. Le Cirque Situated in the Bellagio, Le Cirque offers a fine dining experience with a stunning view of the Bellagio fountains. Known for its French contemporary menu and exquisite wine list, the restaurant provides a sophisticated atmosphere perfect for special occasions. The restaurant features a meticulously curated selection of wines or cocktails that pair perfectly with every bite. Whether for a romantic

dinner, a family celebration or a lavish night out, Le Cirque promises an unforgettable experience where fine dining meets visual splendor in the heart of Las Vegas. 7. Nobu Inside Caesars Palace, Nobu is a hotspot for sushi lovers and those seeking a high- end Japanese dining experience. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature dishes, like black cod miso and yellowtail jalapeño, are highlights, offering a blend of traditional Japanese techniques with Peruvian ingredients.

8. Eataly Located in Park MGM, Eataly is a vibrant Italian marketplace that includes a variety of restaurants, cafes and food counters. It’s an ideal spot for food lovers looking to explore different tastes of Italy, from pasta and pizza to gelato and espresso. Eataly is one of the perfect places to eat in Vegas if you’re just looking for a casual lunch or dinner. 9. Esther’s Kitchen For those looking to escape the Strip, Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District offers

seasonal Italian dishes in a casual yet sophisticated environment. The focus on fresh, quality ingredients and simple but flavourful dishes makes it a favourite among locals and visitors alike. It’s safe to say the places to eat in Vegas are not just restricted to steakhouses and are as flashy and fun as the city’s bright lights and late nights. From Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen showdowns to the cozy, tune-filled corners of Hard Rock Cafe, this top list proves that Vegas is a jackpot for anyone’s taste buds.

Irish airports and others scrap 100ml liquid rule The 100ml liquid rule at airports – which was introduced after a terror threat with a liquid bomb at London Heathrow in 2006 – is to be be scrapped across Europe, thanks to new 3D scanners and enhanced X- ray tech that were able to identify explosives. It is great news for travellers, of course, as the new screening equipment – officially called C3-standard

Explosive Detection System Cabin Baggage (EDS-CB) – would make airport security much more efficient by reducing queues and delays. Lots of countries announced plans to gradually introduce it, and several already have. In April last year, London City Airport began using the ‘C3’ scanners, and Leeds Bradford announced plans in November to do the same in the new year. Ireland

is trialling it at airports in Dublin and Cork, and they’re already in place at Shannon Airport. In the US, this tech is nothing new – Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Chicago’s O’Hare airports have been using it for years. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport also relaxed liquid rules thanks to the scanners back in 2021, and Rome Fiumicino Airport

and Leonardo da Vinci International Airport are two more hubs in Italy that have rolled out the C3s. Many more were hoping to have implemented this new tech before the 2024 summer season, but lots of major UK airports are lagging behind. There are other European airports set to scrap the 100ml liquid rule, however. Two Spanish airports

– Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El-Prat – are making the change this year, so travellers will no longer have to think about limiting liquids and removing electronics from their bags. Palma de Mallorca airport should follow by the end of the year, and then it will be onto making the changes at Malaga Costa del Sol in 2025. It’s thought that London Gatwick and Heathrow

should have implemented the changes by early next year, too. Paris-Orly airport has been trialling the tech in its Terminal 3 since October, and that will continue until the same time in 2024. Geneva airport has also begun experimenting with the new tech, but no permanent implementations have been announced yet.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Furthermore Gerry Moran

Remembering my father, my Da, James Moran Some photographs are precious. One of those photographs sits on our mantelpiece. I look at it often. And always I linger over it. The photograph is precious for three reasons. One tt was taken on my 21st birthday with my father and mother alongside me Second, it was the day I graduated from University College Dublin and, thirdly. It was the last photograph of my father before he died – five months later on the 1December 10, a date engraved on my memory. The photograph was taken on the steps of Earlsfort Terrace, the last of many photographs to be taken on that day of Arts sraduates as we moved to the brand new campus in Belfield the following term. My father is wearing MY tie in the photograph; a tie that I had purchased

previously to go with my navy suit for the occasion but later found something more fashionable (or so I thought) and offered the tie to my father which he gladly accepted. I love that simple connection, tie if you’ll pardon the pun, between my dad and myself especially in hindsight, knowing that he would be dead five months later. My father and I didn’t exactly connect – not because of any issues or clash of personalities. Fathers and sons just didn’t connect as such back in the 70s. No fault of son or father. Quite simply it was how things were back then. And the irony of it all is that my father could connect with anyone; possessed of a pleasant personality, he could get on with paupers, princes, poets and popes

(not that he knew any princes, poets or popes). How well he’d get on with them I can’t vouch for but what I can guarantee is that he would be pleasant company. I loved my father. But only retrospectively which may sound strange. I didn’t appreciate his gentle nature, his pleasant personality, when he was alive. And I didn’t because his wife, my mother, was far too dominant and overshadowed my father’s gentle traits. But then my mother had to be strong, very strong; times were tough, money was scarce and my mother ruled the roost (as mother hens did) and guided us, her five children, into education and jobs that would stand to us throughout our lives. And they did. I have outlived my father by seven years now thanks

to nutrition and medication. And very few days go by when I do not think about my dad, my Da, and

“Offered the tie to my father which he gladly accepted..

get a little emotional. I especially get emotional about the one, and only, pint I had with him. We were visiting my mother in hospital and on our way home he invited me, 20 years of age I think, into a nearby pub for a drink. What we talked about over that pint I have no recollection of but what I recollect vividly is when he asked would I like another pint and I refused. “Have to meet friends,” I told him. Whether or not I had to meet friends is irrelevant – I should have had that second pint with my dad. Bothers me. Upsets me to this day. Sorry, dad. What we might have talked about I genuinely have no idea. But it wouldn’t have mattered, as we would have bonded quietly, silently perhaps over the few pints. Father, Dad, Gerry and Da.

I am reminded of my father, my dad, my Da, because of Gerry Cody’s Lake production of Da in Thomastown from March 14 to 16 and again from March 21 to 23. I first saw the play Da by Hugh Leonard in the Friary Hall many, many years ago. The late Donal O Brien played Da and I laughed and cried throughout. It is, by far, one of the most moving plays I have ever been to. I am so looking forward to seeing Joe Murray play the role of Da this time round; a performance, I have no doubt, that will bring tears to my eyes yet again. Regarding my own fatherhood – I have four children and each of them has their own way of addressing me. One calls me Father, another calls me Dad, yet another calls me Gerry while the youngest calls me – give a guess, Da.

Get your dancing shoes ready for Tradfest 2024

With less than a month to go until Kilkenny Tradfest 2024, it’s time to dig out your dancing shoes and get ready for a weekend of the finest traditional music our Island has to offer. For those of you who like to really get involved in a hands-on way with your music, look no further than our Céilí Mór with The Tulla Céilí Band & Craobh Osraí of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann at The Rivercourt Hotel on Saturday 16th March at 8pm. This is sure to be a high-energy evening full of fun and dancing to the best of traditional

music, courtesy of one of Ireland’s best loved and wellknown Céilí Bands. Formed in 1946 by the legendary Paddy Canney and PJ Hayes, The Tulla Céilí Band have played their way through

Michael McCague

a staggering eight decades, spanning generations of musicians, dancers and music lovers alike. They remain as relevant and important today as ever, proving that céilí dancing is a cornerstone

Oisín Mac Cinnéide

of the Irish tradition which connects with something deep inside all of us - our need to move and dance together in a celebration of our heritage. The Band has performed at Céilis, concerts

Tommy Lanigan

and Festivals, ranging from the Willie Clancy festival to The Electric Picnic. As the Band heads for its 80th anniversary, it boasts a healthy mix of talented musicians, both young and old who are keeping the traditional East Clare style of music alive. Among its best-known former members is Martin Hayes, son of cofounder PJ, who has played a huge part in bringing the Clare style to the world’s attention. “Whether live or recorded, a great céilí band creates a compelling, driving atmosphere intended for set dancers. Incorporating fiddles, accordions, flutes, whistles, a piano and a snare drum, the band will slip seamlessly from tune to tune, gaining momentum and intensity” – Compass Records 2021 This is a limited ticket event, get yours now at www. tickets/tulla-ceili-band. Another great option for those seeking an interactive festival experience is our Traditional Music Workshops at the beautiful Rothe House. A nice way to escape from the bustle of the city for an hour, try your hand or even

just listen and learn about a particular instrument. Workshops will be running throughout St. Patrick’s weekend, starting with sean-nós Singing with Nell Ní Chróinín on Friday at 12pm. Tommy Lanigan’s soldout bodhrán workshop on Saturday 16th is sure to be a cracking experience for those lucky enough to have secured a ticket. Monaghan’s guitar maestro, Michael McCague, will lead an introduction to trad guitar on Saturday 16th at 2pm, while local musician Oisín Mac Cinnéide will reveal the secrets of the Bouzouki on Monday 18th March at 2pm. Lovers of the uilleann pipes will have their choice of two workshops; ‘Try The Pipes’ (with Kilkenny Pipers Club) takes place on Saturday 16th at 10am while Mick Foley will host an Uilleann Pipes Masterclass on Monday 18th March at 12pm. Note that prior experience is not required and attendees are invited to participate at whatever level is comfortable for them. At €15 per ticket, a workshop experience would make the perfect gift for a friend or family member with an interest in music, traditional or otherwise. Tickets are available now at www.kilkennytradfest. com/workshops-2024

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Global Report The prison where Alecei Navalny died is a particularly brutal one. Nicknamed ‘Polar Wolf ‘ it is a freezing cold gulag for violent criminals. But Navalny — an anti- corruption lawyer and blogger — was not known for violence. In 2013, he was fending off trumped-up embezzlement charges, and the convictions that got him sent to Polar Wolf in 2021 were for parole violations, fraud, and contempt of court. While in prison, he accumulated more convictions on fabricated charges, including supporting extremism. Navalny’s real crime, of course, was challenging Vladimir Putin. From leading protests against the rigged parliamentary elections of 2011 and investigating the corruption of Russia’s elites to seeking to unseat Putin in a presidential election from which the authorities excluded him, he was relentless in his nearly two- decade-long campaign against Putin and his circle. His many legal proceedings were Stalin-worthy show trials intended to give the illusion of justice, while getting a high-profile critic off ballots and television screens. But whereas Stalin’s trials made liberal use of the death penalty as well as gulags, no case against Navalny, no matter how trumped up, warranted it, at least not officially’ The Russian prison service claims that Navalny lost consciousness after a walk and could not be resuscitated, despite the best efforts of emergency medical workers. But Navalny did not seem “unwell” the previous day, when he took part in online court proceedings, or the day before that, when his lawyer visited him. This is not to say that Navalny’s death was definitely a direct hit, ordered by Putin himself; life at Polar Wolf would destroy anyone’s health. But, directly or indirectly, it was Putin who killed Navalny. And this was not even the first attempt. In the summer of 2020, Navalny was poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok — a Soviet creation — and was airlifted to Berlin to recover. He knew that returning to Russia would mean more politically motivated prosecutions, like those of former Yukos CEO Mikhail

The Russian despot and the death of Alexei Navalny

Khodorkovsky and punkrock agitators Pussy Riot. He even knew that he could end up being killed, like Boris Nemtsov, Anna Politkovskaya, and countless others. But he chose to return to Russia to continue confronting Putin. Navalny was arrested immediately upon landing in Moscow. The protests that ensued, with tens of thousands of Russians taking to the streets to demand his release, only reinforced the Kremlin’s view of him as a threat that had to be neutralised. In the show trials that followed, no government authority dared even to use his name, referring to him instead as the ‘German patient’.

It was like living in the Harry Potter universe. During the Navalny show trials in 2013, it was suggested that Russia might have been evolving, albeit slowly. Little did I know that this period would later be remembered as “vegetarian times”, when independent media were suppressed but not banned, public protest was punished but not with long prison sentences, and a high-profile enemy of the Kremlin like Navalny could keep running an anti-corruption foundation and speaking out against injustice. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Kremlin has become carnivorous.

Since the invasion, almost 300 cases have been initiated just for “discrediting the Russian armed forces”. Nowadays, all it takes to get your own show trial in Russia is to recite an anti-war poem. The tragedy of the despot is that the fight never ends. The more show trials a regime holds, the more it must hold to keep people in check. The more repression people endure, the more repression is needed to avoid a backlash. The more blood is spilled, the more blood has to be spilled. There is no end point, no finish line, for an authoritarian like Putin. He must hold onto power today, and then do it again tomorrow. It is reasonable to assume, then, that

in the run-up to Russia’s next sham presidential election next month, Putin’s tolerance for dissent is at an all-time low. Yes, the election is expected to run smoothly, and Navalny’s death arguably has attracted more attention than his statements from prison ever did; it remains possible that the murder was indirect. But that same logic would have applied to the poisonings of Russian-British double agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia two weeks before the 2018 presidential election. Neither victim posed an imminent threat to Putin, and their deaths attracted a lot of negative international at-

tention. But Putin needed to send a message: enemies beware. And the dough refills the tub. The Russian government has banned independent media. Such media were forced to leave their country in order to keep doing their job, telling their readers about what is going on Russia, Ukraine and Europe. They say they will continue fighting against warfare and dictatorship. That freedom of speech is the most efficient antidote against tyranny. Support is needed to help them fight for peace and freedom. * This article was first published by Project Syndicat.

Ukraine drones strike hard at Russia’s oil Hostile drones have been winding their way across the Russian landscape this winter, striking refineries and related oil and gas infrastructure all the way from the Baltic Sea in the northwest to the Black Sea in the southwest. Drones attacked both the Ilsky and Afipsky refineries in Russia’s Krasnodar region, east of occupied Crimea, on February 9, less than a week after another refinery in Volgograd, the largest in south-

ern Russia, was hit. Further attacks have struck other refineries and oil depots near the Ukrainian border, as well as much deeper into Russian territory. Though Ukraine does not typically confirm its actions outside its borders and Russia has not officially acknowledged drones were the cause of these incidents, media reports have identified Kyiv’s hand in the attacks occurring with regularity as Moscow’s

invasion of Ukraine nears the two-year mark. Analysts say the drone attacks are demonstrating that oil and gas targets of economic significance are not out of reach, even far from the front lines of the war. Bryansk Gov. Alexander Bogomaz shared a photo of oil tanks burning on Telegram on Feb. 19 after a reported drone attack on a facility in Klintsy, Russia. Analysts say the attacks show Ukraine may have

an increased ability to strike targets deeper inside Russia. “This is where strikes are intended to hurt,” said Sergey Radchenko, a Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He sees a distinction between these types of targets versus strikes that have drawn attention but had less strategic impact. He says Ukraine has gradually been able to send drones “further and further inside

Russia,” and in doing so, may be aiming to make Russia think twice about its actions on the other side of the border. The late US Senator John McCain once derisively described Russia as being “a gas station masquerading as a country” — a jibe underlining the critical importance of oil and gas products to Moscow. Indeed, Russia draws heavily on its resource reserves to support the state. The International Energy Agency says

Russia’s oil and gas export revenues accounted for 45 per cent of its federal budget in 2021. Over the course of the war, as the West capped the price of Russia’s oil, it turned instead to China, India and other markets. As Radchenko points out, these exports contribute “significantly” to Russia’s earnings, allowing it to use those funds to import goods and support the war effort.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




Kilquan Players Photos by Pat Shortall Kilquan Players from Coon in North Kilkenny, know a thing or two about drama. Drama on the stage that is. To be fair, they should, as they have been producing and presenting theatrical productions for the last thirty years. This year they presented ‘Separate Beds’ by Irish Playwright Sam Creed and director Benny Mills who spoke to the Kilkenny Observer about the production. “It is a complete and absolute romp of a play. The whole experience has been a fantastic and you just could not ask more from the cast, who gave it their all” Benny explained that theatre has a wonderful way of bringing a community together and that is exactly what happens in Coon each year. Speaking as both an administrator and an actor with Kilquan players, Maria Purcell said it was great that new people were prepared to get involved and that the door is always open to new members. Maria stressed that apart from the group benefiting from staging a production, thousands of euros has been raised for local charities. Organisations such as local schools, senior citizens, and the local Field committee are just some to benefit from raffle nights held during the run of the play. The show which ran for five performances was sold out each night. Cast included: Martin Murphy, Vivienne Law, Eimear Donohue, Brian Fitzpatrick, Tom Murphy,Maria Purcell, Ann Tunstead, John Ryan, Teresa Haughney and Martin Curran. The crew included: Benny Mills (director) Front of house: Willie Lawlor, Rhian Lawlor,Toddy Murphy. Prompters: Betty Ryan, Stasia Murphy and Jamie Holohan. BackstageTeresa Healy and Liam Mounsey. Make Up Betty Ryan. Stage design was by Bernard Keogh and Benny Mills while sound and lighting was in the capable hands of John Fitzpatrick and Patrick Healy. Mike Tunstead was MC for the show while refreshments were looked after by The ladies from Coon. Kilkenny photographer Pat Shortall was at Coon Hall to capture the atmosphere .

Separate Beds is huge success as Kilquan players play to packed houses

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Kilquan Players


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Old time fun and games BY JOHN FITZGERALD

1925 proved to be a vast improvement on the previous round of Callan sporting competitions. This time, the High Jump was added to the list of fixtures. And a race laden with what Martin Kelly called “special handicaps” complemented the action in style: this ingenious event encompassed a number of races, involving several categories of entrants, who had to overcome many mind-boggling obstacles in addition to outrunning their rival competitors. The contestants in each race (aged from twelve to sixty five) had first to scramble under a pegged down canvass spread across West Street from one of the Creamery Gates. On the other side of the canvass they were tossed with rotten eggs and tomatoes. Having recovered their wits, they had to tie their boot or shoelaces, all of which had been opened by the Race Handicapper before “starter’s orders.” Once he had his footwear laced, a competitor could continue, but not before being handed a roasting hot potato which he had to devour, skins and all, before reaching the finishing line. The spuds were boiled on Martin Kelly’s hob and conveyed quickly by volunteers to the runners, who, incidentally, had trained for two months prior to the event. The dancing, though, would dominate the fun, and boost the attendances fifty-fold. But where would a platform be found? The worried enthusiasts had asked, just a

Part six

Callan teachers and business folk versus CBS lads in 1980 match Pictured are: Back Row: Br. S. Dunne, Pat Brennan, Tom Walsh, Tim Shea, Joe Dwyer, Hugh Ward, Br. Jacob, Alan Garvey, Chris Doocey, Fr. Liam Dunne/ Front Row: G. Duggan, Harry Bryan, Eddie Guinan, Liam Bergin, Christy Vaughan, D. Duggan, Eddie Nolan, Tim Kennedy

week before the 1925 sports day. Martin Kelly revealed he had his eye on a County Council notice board that was “just lying idle” against Hugh Ronan’s wall. It normally carried important public notices from the Council. Using it for any purpose other than that was deemed unthinkable, but Martin knew that Stephen Cass, the Council Overseer, was an uncle of Committee member, Jimmie Robinson. Jimmie met his uncle in a pub and bRocheed the subject. He praised the quality of Stephen’s hurling activities with a team in Tullaroan and buttered him up in any other way he could think of. Though hesitant at first, Stephen cautiously gave in and nodded his assent: Jimmie shook his hand vigorously, and almost ran from the

Lower Green Street Callan in early 20th century

pub to relay the good news to Martin Kelly. “We have it! We have it!” he shouted, out of breath and almost beside himself with relief. So the platform for the dancing was put in place. It was tastefully laid on top of a heap of stones at Hugh Ronan’s gate. The sports day was followed by a long night of dancing in West Street. Couples from a radius of forty or more miles around Callan danced lancers. Two of the town’s best melodeon players, Ben Durney and Sam Funchion had the crowd in high spirits, aided by Jimmie Robinson on the fiddle. According to Peter Roughan, it was Christy Ryan of Carabine Bridge (he later emigrated to Ellesmere Port), and Jimmy Gethings

who set the ball rolling that night. They were sitting on the sill of Healy’s front window, Christy playing a fife and Jim a fiddle, joining in the melody that kicked off the session. People were looking at each other, wondering which couple would be first to mount the platform and dance to the music. Impatient to get the dancing started, Martin Kelly found partners for Jimmy and Christy: Peter Roughan’s mother and a Mrs. Bergin. The two dancing couples held the crowd in thrall as they danced a flamenco, a two-step, a dozen half-lancers, five Highland reels, a Dance of the Seven Veils, and a tarantella. More than seventy percent of the population of Callan,

excluding babies and young children, crammed into West Street for the occasion. The Committeemen eyed the County Council notice board-cum-platform nervously. It rattled and vibrated with the staccato hammering it got from the feet of the four dancers, who seemed to draw upon hidden reservoirs of kinetic energy to fuel their seemingly breathless exhibition of folksy shuffling. The street had never seen anything like it, at least not in the memories of those who witnessed or participated in the revelry. Other couples, emboldened by the example of Jimmy, Christy, Mrs. Roughan and Mrs. Bergin, ascended the platform and flaunted their own dancing prowess. As the night wore on,

Billy Hackett Seamus Holden Nicholas Hackett and Willie Hackett

hundreds of happy pairings increased the pressure on the County Council notice board and the Creamery cement underneath the stones that supported it. But the platform held up to the pounding of so many exuberant feet, even the ones enclosed by hobnailed boots that were unsuitable for the purpose. And of all the dances, the Lancer emerged as a clear favourite. To be continued... (More stories of those bygone times can be read in my book Callan in Words and Pictures, which is available from Amazon)

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Judges Jake Carter and Marietta Doran with Best Dressed Couple Gillian and Raymond Gilbourne from Cork at the annual Red Mills Race Day

Jake Carter and Marietta Doran crown husband and wife as Best Dressed Lady and Gent at Red Mills Race Day


t was a masterclass in winter racing style at the Connolly's Red Mills Race Day at Gowran Park last Saturday. Racegoers and fashionistas travelled from across the south east to enjoy the combination of premier grade racing and the annual Best Dressed event. Hoping to vie for the top spots and win prizes including a stay at the fabulous Mount Juliet and a shopping spree in Kilkenny city, both the ladies and gents put on their glad rags and piled into the style quarter hoping to catch the eye of celebrity judge Jake Carter and MC and stylist Marietta Doran. Looking for outfits combining both elegance and comfort, and most importantly weather appropriate for the late winter climate, Jake had an extremely tough decision crowning the Best Dressed Lady Gillian Gilbourne and Best Dressed Gent Raymond Gilbourne. Gillian's striking suit and bag was from 8th sign, blouse bought at the Dublin Horse Show, and headpiece from Marc Millinery. "I really liked the attention to detail that Gillian put into her look. Everything was perfectly co-ordinated from her headpiece and suit, right down to her hairstyle." said judge Jake Carter, and of winning Gent and Gillian's husband Raymond Gilbourne "Again, this was a carefully put together look, accessorised very well and the pop of sky blue really stood out from the other contestants". Raymond's coat was Moncrieff from TkMaxx in Cork, shoes from Red Church and hat from Celtic Tweed.

Geraldine and Aoibhinn Houlihan at the annual Red Mills Race Day

Marietta Doran at the annual Red Mills Race Day at Gowran Park racecourse

Kate Drennan and Emma Kenny from Kilkenny at the annual Red Mills Race Day

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Darina Khorbaladze, Ana Gogechuri and Maka Nizharadze at the annual Red Mills Race Day

Eimear O'Riordan at the annual Red Mills Race Day

Caroline and Jane Davis at the annual Red Mills Race Day

John, Kate, Esme and Chloe Connolly at the annual Red Mills Race Day

Cathy O'Farrell and Joe Connolly at the annual Red Mills Race Day

First runner-up and last year's winning Lady Sarah Cass chose a stunning powder blue coat from Zara with buttons she customised herself and bag from YSL at Brown Thomas, with second runner up and best dressed legend Faith Amond wowing in a beautiful colour block coat from Mimi boutique in Kilkenny, headpiece which she made herself and dress from Irish designer Caroline Kilkenny. In addition to the best dressed, visitors to the style quarter were also treated to fashion shows with all the latest exclusive brands from the Red Mills Store in Kilkenny, hosted by Marietta Doran who was on hand to offer style tips and advice. And for ladies looking for a little retail therapy, a pop up shop from the redmillsstore. ie store meant there really was something for everyone.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

O’Loughlin Memorial

Paddy delivers informative and educational talk

On Wednesday 7th February local historian Paddy Neary delivered an in-depth talk on the O’ Loughlin Memorial church of St John the Evangelist to a group of enthusiasts from the Eastern Environs. The large attendance was enthralled as Paddy related how worship of St John the Evangelist began as far back as the 13th century when

the Norman lord William Earl Marshal endowed lands “beyond the bridge of Kilkenny to the east” to the Brethren of the Hospital of St. John the Evangelist. This allowed the first Mass to be celebrated on the 27th December 1220. The ruins of this church are still visible on the grounds of St John’s Church of Ireland in John

Street. Subsequently. Maudlin Street was the site of Catholic Churches in the area up until 1908. At that time Martin O’Loughlin from Castlewarren having made a fortune in the goldfields of Ballarat Australia asked that after his death part of his estate be used to build a church in Kilkenny. Eventually, after much

consultation and having received approval from Bishop Brownrigg the present site was chosen. Built in the Gothic style the proposed 234ft steeple wasn’t erected because it was feared that that the extra weight would affect the stability of the building. The church was consecrated in a five hour ceremony on 19th

June 1908. Paddy’s talk was appreciable shorter and afterwards the attendance had the opportunity to chat and interact in the Parish Centre as they enjoyed light refreshments courtesy of the Eastern Environs community group. On behalf of the group, chairperson Geraldine Dillon thanked Paddy Neary for his

comprehensive information, delivered in a relaxed, friendly manner. She thanked Fr. Dan Carroll, St John’s for allowing the group to gather around the Altar of the church and she also had words of praise for sacristans Jane Dineen and Ann Fitzpatrick whose organisational skills helped ensure a successful outcome.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Clogh Writers Group

In November of 2023, Clogh Writers group launched ‘Where I am’, a collection of poetry and prose from eleven different writers. As co-ordinator of the writers group Jane Meally said: “Where I am” is a publication where each writer communicates their passion to the reader.” Having attended the launch in Clogh, The Kilkenny Observer Newspaper was quite taken with not only the publication, but the work ethic of the writers group. Over the next 11 weeks we reproduce some of that work, and are delighted to work hand in hand with this North Kilkenny writers group. WEEK 3: This week we feature the work of Nancy Geoghegan. Childhood - Nancy Geoghegan


My Roads

On This May Day

Nancy Geoghegan

There was a time when I did get away from it all, New York, Lake Garda, Croatia, Medjugorje and Lourdes, we lived in London for almost 20 years, and returned home in 1980.

I open my back door A warm soft morning, Trees and hedges rest

I was born and raised on the Chatsworth Road. My first memory of walking this road is when I went to my grandmother’s house next door. It was close to Neill’s cross. My grandmother came around the corner from the Slatt Road. This was my first time to see her driving her ass and car. She passed Dan Bolger’s cottage. I ran behind the car, because for the first time, I saw baby pigs squealing loudly; I did not know what they were. She got out of the car to guide her ass to the pig sty; she had a bed prepared for them. My grandmother raised pigs both to sell and to slaughter for dry curing. I have many memories of that time. A few years later as we were going to my home together, she stood on the road attentively looking up at the sky while holding my hand and said, ‘Listen, listen.’ I heard the noise too; she was silent as if in prayer and said, ‘That is the sound of aeroplanes going to war.’ I did not know what war meant. Today I walk the Chatsworth Road often thinking of my grandmother and all we shared along this road.

I am living now where I was born, and happy in my twilight years to concentrate on the roads in this place that I never travelled. I regret leaving it so late in life, as my parents and grandparents lived here years ago and walked these roads. I have heard happy and sad stories of their struggles. They had good neighbours and looked after each other, in summer helping with hay making in hot weather when finished, they propped themselves against the haycocks, exhausted waiting for tea and sandwiches and rest, until the hay bugaí came. Looking forward to my journeys on these roads Nancy Geoghegan

The grass looks parched, I put on the kettle Get my washing ready Have my breakfast, Look out again And there the rain Constant and gentle, Not a sound from its fall I feel like dancing in its flow. The grass lifts from the drooth*, The top part of our field A meadow embraces three trees, One Sweet Apple, one Bramley, The Bramley stoops to the ground The Sweet Apple reaches for the sky Both exploding blossoms, In front the oak tree Slower to bloom, With lots of buds Like a sentry on guard. Nancy Geoghegan *Drooth is a local word for thirst

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


The forgotten community With Christmas fading away in the rear-view mirror of the wealthier classes 241 KK 001 cars and those who went on the ‘Dry January’ fad, there are some of us who now struggle not just from overspending during the festive season, but day to day and week to week; the forgotten community. At this time of year, we have to consider the plight of the seniors who struggle with heating and ESB bills and the everyday essentials. I was channel surfing recently and came across a programme about ‘Seniors Living in Poverty’. It was the English Channel 4 and was based on their facts and figures. While watching the programme at first it made me sad and troubled by the stories and living standards of the seniors in parts of the UK. Stories of only eating every second day, living in the one room down stairs so only one room needs heating and even at that, the heating is only put on at certain times of the day. They were measuring the water in the kettle to the exact amount

required for a cup or two and in many cases, using the tea bags multiple times. They never left their homes, and for those who live alone, that meant no social or human interaction day after day, week after week. At first it made me sad, but as the programme went on, it made me angry! So, I looked at the Irish statistics for our seniors living in poverty. They are no different than our UK partners,which includes ExPats. I could only get the 2022 numbers as the 2023 will be issued shortly. This showed: 1. The percentage of people aged 65 and over at risk of poverty stood at 19 per cent in the 2022 survey, up from 11.9 per cent in 2021 and 9.8 per cent in 2020. 2. The survey also found that the richest 20 per cent of people have four times the income of the poorest 20 per cent. 3. Households comprising one adult aged 65 and over, or 32 per cent of people in

households with one adult aged less than 65, were at risk of poverty. 4. The risk of poverty rate increase in the elderly is driving the increase nationally. 5. State pension spending power this year will be €23 less per week because of the impact of inflation. Income pension has gone up but real spending power has gone down. One-off payments only compensate for some of that decrease. The above are just a few examples I wish to highlight. We have to be proactive and highlight this shame on our state which was built on the backs of these past generations. The gap between those who have, and those who have not, is widening every year. We need the politicians who will be looking for the grey vote to not just take notice and give us lip service but to act! Otherwise they will all retreat to their cosy, warm, and well stocked restaurants and bars and live

way beyond the real man and women’s means for another 5 years and another round of the current public pay increases approximately 10%. I am sorry for having to write this article as I do not wish to upset or bring you any concern for the future. We at Twilight Community Group announced late last year we will be opening a new ‘Community Room’ the Meeting Point where seniors can interact socially and to avail of the wonderful new activities geared for seniors with our trained facilitators and professionals. The list will be what the senior communities want and not what someone, not from our age group, think we need. The Seniors Social Club will be the members Club. This will allow the Group to request what they wish to have and we will, where at all possible, provide. People have been calling my mobile to show interest and list their details. If anyone wishes to send me their details contact Murty Brennan on m.brennan@ or 086 325 5840


30 years experience This week sees Kilkenny Physiotherapy & Sports Injury clinic celebrate 30 years in business helping the people of Kilkenny and much further afield. They kick off their celebrations with a KCLR radio broadcast in the clinic on Friday 23rd and invite anyone who wishes to pop down for a coffee and a chat to please come along. Theresa McGinn started the business at the top. She began working with the Kilkenny Hurling Senior team on 24th February 1994 and the business expanded over the years. She now employs 7 physiotherapists and works out of 2 clinics, 2 pilates studios and a rehabilitation gym. While the county GAA is still a large part of the work in the clinic, they have now expanded so that the general population can avail of this vast experience as Theresa now spends much of her time educating her staff to help them think and work as she does. Clients attending the clinic are guaranteed to have an in-depth thorough assessment aimed at recognising the source of the problem and not just addressing the current issue.

Sports injuries So often mis-diagnosed injuries such as hamstring and groin pain, achilles and calf problems, have an underlying cause which must be recognised before they can be eradicated. Full biomechanical and movement assessments based on knowledge, research and of course experience can help

put an end to the "aw he's always injured" scenario. Back & neck pain It's not enough to have a massage, get a few exercises or have a few "adjustments made". The root cause of the pain has to be identified, and there may often be psychosocial elements to pain where stresses and strains of everyday

living are as much a part of the problem as the injury to the back which causes the pain. The issue here is finding an experienced practitioner who can accurately identify all the components of the pain and address them, treating each person individually to make a plan that works for each client, helping them to identify all of the causes of their pain and

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

creating a plan for them to work with to rid them of their pain for good. Arthritic conditions and fibromyalgia Again, it's all down to understanding the factors underlying the conditions and addressing them differently for each individual. The staff in Kilkenny Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic have so many years of experience in this field, they can help you to help yourself. Head injuries & strokes Theresa McGinn's background in this area, having worked as senior physiotherapist in Cork University Hospital for many years, places her in a unique position in private practice offering assistance to neurologically affected people in the area. Several of her staff are also highly qualified in addressing long standing neurological issues including MS, Parkinsons and Spinal injuries. In this area the staff believe that it's never too late to have physio intervention and are happy to accept people without referrals and at any stage. Funny run in children A large bulk of the work in this clinic relates to children who present with anything from growing pains, heel or knee pain, hip pain, hyper-mobility or as is often described - "I just can't put my finger on it but there's something not right". This is unequivocally

their unique area of expertise. They say, and I quote "there's no greater joy than taking an uncoordinated clumsy child and turning them into an athlete". Plantar-fasciitis They describe it as their bread and butter as poor "crippled with pain" individuals come in after trying everything for their foot pain, and having travelled to God knows how many ‘specialists’ only to realise that the solution was on their doorstep all the time. It just took someone to adequately and properly assess and diagnose the issue. They describe how people will always report back "but no one ever assessed me like that before". Scoliosis Another speciality. Theresa McGinn travelled to Australia to train in the renowned SCHROTH method of treating scoliosis. Ante and postnatal services Services include all aspects of care for mums and babies including pilates. Menopause Too many practitioners do not fully understand how this impacts so many women physically and can be a huge part of their pain cycle, addressing this in conjunction with the client's presenting problem helps the physiotherapists in the clinic to get the best out of all their clients.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

A home from home

Rosedale Residential Home is located in the upper village of Kilmacow in County Kilkenny, just kilometres from Waterford City. It is set on 3 acres of gardens within walking distance of all amenities, including a Church, Post Office, Sports Grounds, Supermarket, Bar, and Community Centre. Rosedale is a voluntary non-profit organisation with Board of Management comprising of members from the local community and was founded in 1986 to provide care for the elderly of the area who could no longer live safely at home.

Rosedale Residential Home is registered as a support home for the elderly and is regulated by HIQA. The Complex is managed by a competent and professional team of carers providing a high level of personal support and companionship in a family-oriented atmosphere and offers: 1. Assisted Living for up to fifteen low dependency residents needing help with the activities of daily living, but still wishing to live as independently as possible. 2. Sheltered Housing facilities comprising sixteen

independent living homes especially designed to suit the needs of elderly tenants. All homes are semi-detached and single storey, opening onto well-manicured gardens. Rosedale provides a warm, safe and caring environment for each resident, while they are being helped with the activities of daily living. The quality of personal care assures families that they are doing their very best for their elderly parents or relatives. Rosedale certainly delivers on its mission of providing a ‘home from home’ residence for low dependency older persons in a friendly, caring, and sharing environment.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

The importance of regular hearing tests for cognitive wellness In the dynamic landscape of healthcare, the correlation between hearing health and cognitive well-being has emerged as a topic of paramount importance. Audiology Medical Services strongly advocates for the widespread recognition and adoption of regular hearing tests as a cornerstone of cognitive wellness. The intricate interplay between hearing and cognitive health is increasingly gaining attention from medical professionals, researchers and the general public alike. Recent studies have unveiled a compelling connection between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline, emphasising the need for proactive measures to preserve both auditory and cognitive functions. Hearing is not just a sense confined to the ears; it is a complex process involving the brain's intricate network. When hearing abilities deteriorate, the brain compensates by reallocating resources from cognitive functions, leading to an increased risk of cognitive disorders such as Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. The domino effect of untreated hearing loss on cognitive wellness underscores the urgency of regular hearing assessments. Audiology Medical Services advocates a proactive approach to

hearing health, urging individuals to prioritise regular hearing tests as a preventive measure against cognitive decline. They recommend that after the age of 45, individuals should have a hearing test at least every three years. These tests serve as an essential diagnostic tool to identify and address hearing issues early on, preventing the potential cascading effects on cognitive functions. The connection between hearing health and cognitive wellbeing is particularly significant in the aging population. As life expectancy continues to rise, the prevalence of age-related hearing loss and cognitive disorders becomes more pronounced. Regular hearing tests for seniors can be instrumental in maintaining their cognitive sharpness and overall quality of life. Furthermore, the importance of regular hearing tests extends beyond the senior demographic. In an era dominated by technological advancements and ubiquitous sound, individu-

als of all ages are exposed to environmental factors that can impact hearing. Early detection of hearing issues through regular assessments allows for timely intervention, potentially mitigating the long-term consequences on cognitive functions. Audiology Medical Services aims to inspire a cultural shift towards prioritising hearing health as an integral component of overall well-being. The connection between hearing health and cognitive wellness is a critical frontier in healthcare that demands our attention. Audiology Medical Services encourages individuals to view regular hearing tests not merely as a diagnostic tool but as a proactive measure to safeguard cognitive functions and promote a healthier, more fulfilling life. Embracing the significance of hearing tests is a small yet impactful step towards a future where cognitive wellness takes centre stage in our collective pursuit of health and happiness. Audiology Medical Services offer FREE Adult Hearing Screening Tests at their Kilkenny clinic in Ayrfield Medical Centre on Granges Road. Freephone 1800 501 501 to book an appointment with their expert audiology team or visit www.



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


“These boots were made for walkin’ ” The Kilkenny Heritage Walkers set off to explore the citys notable buildings

Civic reception for heritage group BY JOHN FITZGERALD

A civic reception for the Kilkenny Heritage Walkers celebrated the group’s achievement in boosting interest in local history and the stories of our treasured “Old Medieval City.” Mayor Joe Malone welcomed a large gathering of seasoned walkers on Saturday. The group recently marked the occasion of its 600th walk, and the 12th anniversary of its founding. It was a former Mayor, Sean O'hArgáin, who helped to get the idea of a walking tour group off the drawing board and make it a reality. Today, the weekly educational fun walks attract increasingly larger numbers of locals… fired up with enthusiasm to learn more about our multifaceted heritage… about the dark days, the high points, the lords, ladies, and noble folk, the David versus Goliath showdowns, the injustices and anomalies of social division, how our ancestors lived in bygone times…all the ups and downs of an ever-evolving historical process that has taken us to where we are in 2024. The reception at City Hall was the culmination of several hours of touring the city in lashing rain and cutting

Mayor Joe Malone with Marianne Kelly and Paddy Neary at City Hall

icy breezes. Throughout the downpour, an undaunted Paddy Neary guided the walkers from one notable Kilkenny building or historic site to another. Included were the 13th century national monument that is St John’s; Priory, the charter for which was granted in 1211 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke. Paddy, undeterred by remorseless rain and wind that battered the pavement around him, recounted how St John’s itself weathered the many storms that threatened its existence down through the ages: Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1540, the arrival of Cromwell

in 1650, the demolition of its nave and two towers in 1780, following which the stone was used to build a military barracks in Kilkenny. Paddy reminded the walkers that the present Courthouse Building in Parliament Street was once the stately Grace’s Castle; built before 1210. From about 1566 it was used as a jail. From 1796 it accommodated a county and city jail and a courthouse. Though most of the original edifice has disappeared, it remains an architectural gem in the City. The shadowy remnants of the cell structure linger to remind passers-by of darker days. The Black Abbey presented

another portal into the past, its presence as captivating as it was when it first rose out of the earth in the 13th century. Its name stemmed from the black cloak that the Dominicans wore over those snow white habits. Paddy Neary recalled its tumultuous history. Clergy succumbed to the ravages of the Plague, before facing persecution under the reigns of Henry the VIII and Elizabeth II. Cromwell didn’t like the look of the Black Abbey either, and even stabled his horses in it to show his displeasure with the “enemy faith.” In 1864 it was, to the relief and delight of Kilkenny folk, re-consecrated, getting a

new lease of life after staving off a host of adversaries. As if a succession of political and ecclesiastic challenges weren’t demoralizing enough, the abbey was prone to flooding too, as pictures of the great 1947 flood reveal, with boats taking away precious chalices and other sacred vessels. Like the abbey, the Black Freren Gate derived its name from the distinctive clerical garb. The Heritage Walkers paused to admire this surviving remnant of Kilkenny;s medieval past, and also the stretch of the old town wall that still stands, thanks to dedicated people like former Mayor Betty Manning whose term in office was distinguished by a relentless drive to preserve local antiquities. The friars at the Black Abbey reputedly had a key to the

gate, and Betty herself proved to be a metaphorical key to saving what remained of Kilkenny’s medieval heritage. At City Hall, the Mayor alluded to her memorable role, in addition to commending the Heritage Walkers for their weekly outings to explore that “Other Country” of yesteryear. Marianne Kelly, a devoted member of the group from day one, spoke also of the social side to the outings. Many friendships had been made on the walks, she said, and the lively get-togethers after each outing. She paid tribute to members who’d passed way over the twelve years of trekking and exploration. The walks will continue every Saturday, starting mainly from the Horse Trough on the Parade at 11 am. All welcome.

The Black Freren Gate

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Food & Drink

Dine Me Come

heat and bubble for a minute or 2 until syrupy but the berries are still holding their shape. Set aside to cool, then remove the vanilla pod, if using. This is best served warm.


STEP 3 Heat the grill to medium-high and arrange the bacon on a baking tray lined with foil. Set aside. If you have a separate oven, heat this to a low setting (50C/30C fan/gas ½) with a baking tray in it (this is to keep the pancakes warm as you cook them). If not, they can sit under the bacon, just keep a close eye on them.

Fluffy American pancakes with cherryberry syrup

STEP 4 Heat a glug of oil in a large, heavy frying pan, wipe the oil around the pan with a piece of kitchen paper, leaving a fine coating of oil on the surface. Transfer the pancake batter to a jug. When the pan is hot but not smoking (keep it over a moderate heat) pour the batter into the pan, making 7-8cm pancakes, with plenty of space between them (you should fit three pancakes in at a time). The batter should sizzle a little as it hits the pan, but not aggressively – adjust the heat if you need to. Cook each pancake until the underside is golden; by this time bubbles should be appearing on the surface and the edges beginning to set, indicating that the pancake is ready to flip over. Use a fish slice to do this. They should take roughly 2 mins on each side. Transfer the pancakes to the warm baking tray. Wipe a little more oil around the pan and continue cooking the rest of the batter in this way. You should make 12 pancakes.

Prep:1 0 mins Cook: 30 mins Makes: 12 You’ll flip over these next level fluffy American pancakes – the perfect indulgent brunch treat. Serve with our tangy cherry syrup and irresistible maple syrup and bacon. Ingredients • 350g self-raising flour • 2 tsp baking powder • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon • 2 tsp caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp • 2 large eggs • 150g buttermilk or plain yogurt • 325ml milk • 200g fresh or frozen blueberries • 150g frozen or canned pitted cherries • 1 tsp cornflour • 1 vanilla pod, or 1 tsp bean paste or extract • 200g thick-cut smoked streaky bacon • flavourless oil, such as vegetable or sunflower, for frying • 200g mascarpone • maple syrup, to serve

STEP 1 Make the pancake batter up to a day ahead, or just before cooking. Tip the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and 2 tsp sugar into a bowl, add a good pinch of salt

Potato fritters Prep:1 0 mins Cook: 20 mins Serves: 4

Similar to potato rösti and hash browns, these fritters make an excellent base for your favourite toppings at brunch or breakfast. We’ve opted for fried eggs and avocado. Ingredients • 800g (3 large) potatoes, peeled • 1 onion • 3 tbsp plain flour • 2 eggs, lightly beaten • 3 tbsp vegetable oil • 4 tbsp soured cream • 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced • 4 eggs, fried • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced Method STEP 1

Grate the potatoes and onion on a coarse box grater. Wrap in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the flour and plenty seasoning. Stir in the egg. STEP 2 Heat a little of the oil in a large non stick frying pan. Use 2-3 tbsp of the mix per fritter and drop into the pan, cooking for 3-4 mins on each side over a medium-high heat, using a spatula to turn. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and continue with the remaining oil and mixture (it’s best to cook in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan). STEP 3 Serve 3 fritters per person, each stack topped with the soured cream, avocado and a fried egg. Sprinkle over spring onions to serve.

and combine with a whisk. Add the eggs, buttermilk or yogurt and milk to the bowl and whisk into a smooth batter. If making ahead, cover and chill until ready to cook.

STEP 2 Tip the blueberries, cherries, cornflour, 2 tbsp sugar and the vanilla into a pan, and stir until the berries are coated in cornflour. Add 1 tbsp water, then place over a high

STEP 5 When you’re halfway through the batter, grill the bacon for 4-5 mi ns on each side until crispy. STEP 6 To serve, stack the pancakes with a dollop of mascarpone, bacon, and fruits between each layer, and serve with a jug of maple syrup.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Long-running Netflix crime thriller Undercover – well worth watching the three series – is a gripping, gritty, but often darkly comedic series with its origins and inspiration based on real events. Two intrepid undercover agents integrate themselves into a drug lord’s inner sanctum, posing as a couple. The show stars Tom Waes, Anna Drijver, and Frank Lammars, the latter of whom plays Ferry Bouman, the drug lord based on a real-life Dutch crime boss whose empire is infiltrated by the undercover couple, eager to build a case against him. As is often the case, the villain becomes as engaging as the main protagonists of a show, and Ferry Bouman is no exception. They do say a hero is only as good as his enemy, and Bouman is certainly a worthy adversary. Ferry Bouman is based on the real-life crime boss Janus van Wessenbeeck, a nefarious and feared drug lord from the Netherlands. The show also takes its inspiration from the story behind his eventual downfall. In the series, Bouman lives on the Dutch-Belgian border and is portrayed as a drug kingpin, mass-producing ecstasy tablets. In the real world, Janus van Wesenbeeck was also known for his connections in the drug trade, and earned the nickname ‘Harry Potter’, allegedly due to his appearance when wearing glasses. Janus would eventually be brought to justice for his drug trafficking operation and received a 14-year prison sentence in 2011. Janus was originally from Eindhoven and would often operate from Belgium, smuggling ecstasy, amphetamines, and hashish. The crime lord was under investigation for over a decade, and he was found to be smuggling millions of Euros worth of drugs to Australia. Previously he was also convicted for leading a large criminal organisation that led to another jail term of ten years. In 2015, he would receive an early release from his sentence after a successful appeal was launched. His current


Advertisement Advertisement TV & Streaming

movies to watch now on Netflix 1. Happy As Lazzaro

This Italian film has the seal of approval from Bong Joon-ho, so let’s listen to the Oscar-winning director of Parasite and add it to this list. Written and directed by Alice Rohrwacher, Happy As Lazzaro is set in the ‘70s on a tobacco farm, where goodhearted young peasant Lazzaro dutifully works. When a nobleman convinces him to help him fake his own kidnapping, a story of friendship, innocence and social commentary unfolds. A gorgeously shot, cinematic fairytale.

2. Sunday’s Illness

The real-life druglord behind Netflix’s Ferry Bouman whereabouts are unknown. There are two spin-off to Undercover, both on Netflix and both prequels – Ferry (a movie) and Ferry: the Series, with eight episodes. The film Ferry covers the early years of Ferry Bouman and stars Frank Lammers and Elise Schaap. The screenplay takes view-

ers back to Amsterdam in 2006. We find Ferry Bouman working for drug lord Ralph Brink, a powerful criminal and Ferry’s mentor. When a member of the gang is attacked, and Ralph’s son is badly injured, Ferry is recruited to get to the bottom of the terrible attack. The film would explore

aspects of the character and expand his back story, making it a perfect accompaniment to the TV series. In November 2023, Netflix released Ferry: The Series, a sequel to the film (but still a prequel to Undercover) continuing to chronicle Ferry’s efforts at becoming a drug lord.

Amazon facing lawsuit over ads move The rollout for streaming ads on Amazon Prime Video could be going better. The retail giant is already facing a class-action over the new ad-free tier that was introduced to Prime Video users on January 29. Historically, a subscription to Prime granted you full access to Amazon’s library with no commercial interruptions. However, Amazon made the decision to bring


streaming ads into the equation but promised not to raise the price of a Prime subscription in the process. While this is technically true, users now had to pay an additional €2.99/month if they wanted to avoid the new ads. That change came as quite the surprise to Prime users who were locked into yearly plans and now found their programs littered with ads. Cue the lawyers.

Via The Hollywood Reporter: The class action is reportedly seeking $5 million in damages and a “court order barring Amazon from engaging in further deceptive conduct on behalf of users who subscribed to Prime prior to December 28, 2023”. But when Amazon altered its terms, users who had signed up for annual subscriptions were also impacted. They allege the

change is deceptive. “Subscribers must now pay extra to get something they already paid for,” the complaint states. In addition to being “unfair,” the suit alleges that Amazon illegally benefited by advertising Prime Video as “commercial-free” for years prior to launching its ad-supported tier, which “harms both consumers and honest competition,” according to the complaint.

This elegant Spanish film from 2018 will steep you in its rich imagery and phenomenally good performances from its two leads. Susi Sánchez and Bárbara Lennie star as Anabel and Chiara respectively, an estranged mother and daughter who reunite for reasons that aren’t as clear as they first seem. The precision of the filmmaking here is worthy of soaking up for those who’re partial to deliberately paced meditations on pain, love and loss. Masterful.

3. The Kindergarten Teacher

Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career best performance in The Kindergarten Teacher (2018), a drama about, yep, a kindergarten teacher. Lisa is dissatisfied with her own life, which leads her to make some questionable decisions regarding one of her young students. When Jimmy exhibits child prodigy levels of poetry writing talent, Lisa may or may not take credit for it. The Kindergarten Teacher’s slightly disturbing character study might leave you feeling conflicted, but there’s no question about Gyllenhaal’s mesmerising performance. Watch it.

4. Mudbound

Mudbound )2017) gives you a historical look at class struggle through the lens of a Black veteran and a white veteran who both still have one foot stuck in World War II. Dealing with PTSD and racism in the Mississippi Delta, with a cast that includes Garrett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell, Mudbound’s tempest will rivet you to the spot.

5. Two Lovers And A Bear

This lauded independent film from 2016 showcases the talents of Tatiana Maslany, aka one Marvel’s newest heroes, who’ll be starring in the Disney Plus She-Hulk series. Before that, see her in Two Lovers and a Bear, alongside the similarly talented Dane DeHaan. The dark love story follows Roman and Lucy, two lovers living in small-town Canada. Roman can speak to bears, while Lucy believes she has a stalker. Become swept up in this surreal and thrilling adult fairy tale elevated by the chemistry between Maslany and DeHaan.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Advertisement Sport

Kilkenny Sport Focus Michael O’Leary

Kilkenny Rugby Club

Rugby is on a crest of a wave across Ireland at present, with both the National Senior and U-20 Teams continuing their defence of The Grand Slam this weekend. The Senior Team are in action tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) at home to Wales in The Aviva Stadium at

2.15pm, while The U-20s are in action tonight (Friday) also against Wales in Virgin Media Park (Musgrave Park) in Cork with a 7.15pm kickoff. Interest in Rugby is at an all time high nationwide as a result of the success of the National Teams, and it's had

Foulkstown that was already a constant hive of activity throughout the week. The Kilkenny Firsts have been going great guns throughout the season, and they have been riding high in The Leinster League with only League games against Carlow and Longford remaining. Despite the recent 21-15 loss at home to table toppers Athy, Kilkenny at time of writing remain firmly in the mix for League honours and the losing bonus point against Athy may yet prove decisive in the final destina-

A chartered physiotherapist’s perspective BY PAUL BOLGER

Nano Physiotherapy

O'Mahony and Bundee Aki as he was presented with a signed jersey and family tickets to the Ireland against Italy Six Nations game, where he sang Irelands Call in front of a packed Aviva Stadium to a watching nation. The Kilkenny Seconds have been performing very well throughout the season, and they currently lie in second place in The League table behind leaders Athy, while the Kilkenny Ladies finished their League campaign last Sunday with a home game against South East Lions. The Leagues across the various competitions will be winding down over next few weeks, before attention turns fully to the Cup competitions. The Juvenile Teams will have plenty to look forward to also in the months ahead as the business end of the season takes place. Very best wishes to Jake McDonald who recently departed for Australia. Jake Captained Kilkenny to win The Towns Cup two years ago in 2022.

MRI scans increase risk of disability Yes, you read that right – MRI scans are linked to increased disability. Research shows us that having an MRI scan for a bout of back pain has been shown to result in x2-3 greater time off work! This is true regardless of the severity of the injury. Research tells us that the key driver of this disability is related to a change of beliefs that can arise after having a scan. Scans reveal lots of seemingly scary results - “degeneration”, “arthritis”, “disc bulges/ herniations”. When some people hear their scan results, they can become fearful. They might restrict their activity levels and become avoidant of certain movements. They believe that every ache, pain, click or crack might mean they are causing more damage. This, however, is not the case.

positively normal, natural changes that occur as we go through life. An antique dealer might call them ‘kisses of time’. Some leading back pain experts call these findings ‘wrinkles on the inside’. These ‘abnormalities’ do not correlate well with pain (i.e. having more 'abnormalities’ does not necessarily mean you will have more pain, and vice versa). Scans can still be extremely useful – we just need to interpret the findings with more understanding and clarity – a well-informed healthcare practitioner can help.

a most positive knock-on effect especially in the Juvenile section with increasing numbers playing the sport. Kilkenny Rugby Club has seen the Juvenile section in particular thrive with the Ireland Teams achievements, and it has brought about increasing numbers to

Can an MRI scan be harmful?

MRI scans have been a remarkable addition to modern medicine. They can save lives. Where surgeons previously cut a patient open to examine them, scans can now

tion of the League. Kilkenny have an away tie to look forward to against North Kildare in Round two of The Provincial Towns Cup on St. Patrick’s Day following a comprehensive 60-5 victory at home to Clondalkin, and that was also a day to remember for 8-year-old Stevie Mulrooney who sang the National Anthem before the game. Stevie came to fame in late November where he appeared on The Late Late Toy Show as he sang Irelands Call, and he was surprised by Ireland Internationals Peter

reveal what lies within. But scans can be harmful. It’s not because they blast our body with harmful beams (although excessive x-rays are best avoided for this reason).

It is because what scans reveal can blast our minds and our thoughts with new concerns, causing us to change the way we see ourselves and affecting our relationship with our body.

‘Wrinkles on the inside’ Did you know that, by the age of just 30, 50% of people with NO PAIN have visible ‘disc degeneration’ on an MRI scan. And that by the age of 50, 2 in every 3 people with NO PAIN have a visible disc bulge. It is more normal to have ‘abnormalities’ than to have a ‘normal’ scan. The people in the above study did not suffer from pain in their back. These socalled abnormalities, while occasionally contributing to pain or discomfort, are

What can we do about this? Knowledge is power – we are all different, nobody has a ‘perfect’ body. Change is natural through life. Developing a greater appreciation for this is part of the solution. Challenge negative beliefs – Pain does not equal damage. Are your scan findings holding you back from the things that you would like to do? Working with an empowering registered physiotherapist can help. Take control – Keep active, look after your health, spot and challenge negative beliefs. These are all things that we have control over. These are things that we know reduce the risk of disability. These are things we know improve outcomes for those who suffer from pain.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Community & GAA Notes

Kilkenny GAA clubs and Community news CLARA CLUB LOTTO Lotto results 13th February Numbers drawn 7, 13, 30. No Jackpot winner. €30 each to Leon Kelly, Kay Hogan, Sharon Kelly, Jake Byrne, Robbie McPartlan. Thanks for your support. FOOTBALL WIN Clara had a well deserved four point win over Danesfort under lights in Danesfort on Friday night. By doing so they finished top of their group in the Senior Football League and condemned their opponents to the bottom of the table and a battle with relegation. The losers opened brightly and scored the first two points before a flowing Clara move culminated in Killian Phelan being dragged down for a penalty. Cian Kelly’s well struck shot was brilliantly saved by the Danesfort goalkeeper but Chris Bolger blasted the rebound over the bar. Liam Ryan then forged forward for his customary point and after Danesfort had regained the lead with a point Chris Bolger cantered in and crashed a rocket to the roof of the net. One more point by the home side left it 1-2 to 0-4 at the interval. Cian Kelly pointed two frees at the start of the second half. The second of those came from a brilliant Sean O Shea interception. With practically all of the Danesfort team in an advanced position Sean then played a pinpointed quick delivery down the line to Alan Coleman who swiftly transferred to the onrushing Martin O Connell. Martin was hauled down to give Cian the chance to slot over. Scores were scarce so this was a big moment in the game. Danesfort hit back with a point but kicked a few bad wides around this time. It was noticeable that Clara were finishing the stronger and two Martin O Connell points and a booming Killian Phelan effort put Clara five ahead. Danesfort scored the last point of the game to leave the final score at 1-7 to 0-6. Team - Rory O Keeffe,James Dowling, David Langton, Sean O Shea. Liam Ryan 0-1, Conor O Shea, Dara Glynn. Martin O Connell 0-2, Jack Langton. Cian Kelly 0-2f, Kevin Nolan, Alan Coleman. Tom Ryan, Chris Bolger 1-1, Killian Phelan 0-1. Subs Paddy Bolger, Peter Nolan, Alex McDonald, Ned Langton, Tommy Delaney, Dillon Cummins. BEREAVED Sympathy was extended to Clara club treasurer Peter Coogan and all the Coogan family on the death of his mother Annie. She passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday February 14th. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis. CLUB MEMBERSHIP Membership for Clara GAA, Camogie and LGFA is now available through your Foireann account - www.foireann. ie - This must be completed by all players before training resumes. Thanks to all who have done so to date. New members are always welcome. Anyone requiring assistance can contact FRESHFORD

Proudly displaying their Highly Commended Certificate

NEW ANTI-SEAGULL BIN Cllr. Michael McCarthy was pleased to announce recently that a new Anti-Seagull bin has been installed on the Green in Freshford. “It will replace the existing bin and is a timely and targeted measure to prevent birds from dislodging rubbish and spreading it in the immediate area. This should now end the littering in that area which was a major issue during the summer months. Great credit is due to the Area Engineer, his staff, and the Environment section for their help in addressing my concerns and maintaining overall cleanliness in the town.” Cllr. McCarthy. LET THERE BE LIGHT. Cllr. Michael McCarthy is also pleased to announce that work is set to commence on the provision of four new LED Public Lights at Clinstown, Freshford. “The new lights will give peace of mind and be of great benefit to the residents. I wish to thank our Area Engineer and his staff for their cooperation and assistance with the project.” Said Cllr. McCarthy. FUNDING SUCCESS. Cllr. Michael McCarthy is further pleased to see the inclusion of the L1000-23 Clintstown Road Bridge, Freshford and will receive €30,000 under the 2024 Bridge Regeneration Works on Regional and Local Roads. BEST KEBAB Congratulations to the staff of Brennan Sisters Takeaway in the village who won gold at the Irish Takeaway awards night recently at Tullamore Court Hotel. The business has been operating in the village for the past ten years and is continuing to grow in popularity. They won the best kebab for the past two year and also received a Highly Commended Certificate. Well done to all involved and keep up the good work. CAMOGIE Well done to local girls Ava Dermody and Michelle Killeen who were on the Kilkenny minor camogie panel in their great win against Wexford on Sunday last at Carlow AGM St Lachtains Ladies Gaelic football AGM takes place today Friday 23rd February at 8pm in the Clubrooms. All welcome to attend and anyone wishing to become involved in any way also very welcome. SOCCER Freshford Town had a Number of teams in action in the schoolboys/girls section at the weekend. The U10 boys beat Cloover Utd on a 5-3 score in the Cup on Saturday evening with goals from Jamie O;Rourke(2) Jack Costello and Robbie Geraghty. The U14 boys had a good win over Freebooters in their game on Saturday coming out winners on a 5-2 scoreline. Freshford goals came from J.Kavanagh, C.Dalton, J.Marnell P.O’Connor and Max O;Neill. The U12 had a 7-0 win over Newpark. Meanwhile the youths had a great win over Stoneyford in their game winning 4-1 with goals coming from Colm McGree, D. O’Gorman, S.Sandrigo and S Morelli. The Juniors had no game for the past few weekend and have only two league games left to play now. BRIDGE Freshford bridge club and continues each Monday at 7.30pm in Tulla Hall, Threecastles. New members are very welcome. For further information please contact Olive on 087 9257610. GAA Walking Group: The walking group will meet up this Tuesday and every Tuesday at 7PM. This group is open to all the community both young and old. Membership: Membership is now open for 2024. There are various options available for the year including family and walkway options. There is a small charge for walkway membership to go towards construction and maintenance costs. The walkway was 2/3 grant aided with the club covering the rest of the cost. Our walkway is open to all the community. Contact any committee member or see our ClubZap page for details, download the ClubZap app and search for St Lachtains. COMMUNITY ALERT You are reminded that the Freshford Community alert annual fee is now due and you are asked to please pay same as soon as possible as they will be removing unpaid members. Envelopes are available from Community members and new members are very welcome to join up. IONAD LACHTAINS St. Lachtains Church Museum and Arts is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11.30am to 4.30pm. LOOP CAFE The Cafe is now open every day from Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 4pm. The Loop Café is a wonderful addition to the village full of character and history and your continued support would be greatly appreciated. Why not go along and meet a friend or try some of their lovely food and support a local community café. They are also looking for volunteers to help out so if you can give little bit of your time please do so. NUENNA ATHLETIC CLUB Nuenna Athletics club launched fit4life in the Freshford area some time ago with all abilities welcome from walkers wanting company to runners training for marathons and

everyone in between. Very experienced leaders are leading a program established by Athletics Ireland that caters for all experience and abilities. They meet each Tuesday morning and Thursday evenings in Freshford GAA club. If you are interested please contact us on or call Caoimh on 0874175550 PARISH NEWS Mass is held in the Parish Church each Wednesday morning at 9.30am and each 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 – Contact Mongr Kieron Kennedy on that number or on 087 25235 21 HELP FOR:- Are you struggling with anxiety or depression or finding life difficult or feeling isolated at this time GROW is there to help you. Their Mental Health support Groups are free and confidential and open to all no referral or booking is needed. For more information on same you can contact Mary on 087 284342 If you can’t cope and need support text HELLO to 50808 . SAMARITAN - Whatever you’re going through a Samaritan will face it with you – available 24 hours a day 365 days a year – Freephone 1161Alone is available for older people who need support and you can call them on 0818 222024 (8am to 8pm) AMBER KILKENNY WOMENS REFUGE – is available for confidential support relating to domestic violence - call them on 1850 424244 (24/7) or on 056 7771404 or email into@ JAMES STEPHENS GAA AND CAMOGIE CLUB SENIOR FOOTBALL In Saturday afternoon’s top-of-the-table 4th round league clash the senior footballers outscored Lisdowney 2-08 to 1-08 in an entertaining and physically demanding fixture to deservedly book a place in the quarter-finals of the competition. Lisdowney started brightly and went two points clear before Fionn Cody registered a point for James Stephens in the 8th minute. They might have gone further ahead but for a one handed save by The Village goalkeeper Anto Larkin who deflected the ball over the crossbar in the 6th minute. The Village then started on a run of scores with well executed points from David Walton (12th), Fionn Cody (16th), Willie Spencer (16th) and a fine finish by Fionn Cody again in the 18th minute, with no response from the Lisdowney men. When David Hennessy was harshly black carded in the 20th minute The Village had to redouble their efforts in defence and from a breakaway move Fionn Cody knocked over a point in the 23rd minute. In the 28th minute at the end of a slick passing movement the inrushing Eoin Deely’s kick for goal was footblocked by the Lisdowney defender resulting in a penalty award which Fionn Cody dispatched to the net. This gave The Village a welcome 1-06 to 0-03 lead at the break. From the restart Lisdowney took the game to the home club and within ten minutes had kicked over four points to reduce The Village lead to two points at 1-06 to 0-07. A Fionn Cody point in the 11th minute steadied the ship somewhat but from there the James Stephens forwards with some wayward shooting coughed up a number of promising opportunities to keep the northern club well in contention. Relief for supporters came in the 28th minute when James Ryan finished a neat passing move from substitute Ryan Scanlon to the net to give The Village the comfort of a 2-07 to 0-08 lead with game time fast running out. Lisdowney refused to give in and hit the Village net in the 29th minute, too little and too late just before the referee’s final blow of the whistle. A well-earned victory with a promising display of strength and determination in a stamina sapping contest against a strong Lisdowney team. MEDAL PRESENTATION On Saturday night in the Larchfield clubrooms Kilkenny league and championship medals were presented to 71 players at U-15 and U-17 level for their county title successes in 2022 and 2023. Before the presentation vice chairman Dr. Brendan Lee urged the players to stay loyal to the game as they progress to third level colleges by involving themselves with college hurling teams at Freshers and Fitzgibbon Cup levels to keep improving their skill. Brendan reminded the players that they are the future of the club and should retain ambition to add to the club’s Kilkenny league and championship successes over the decades. The medals for the 2023 Kilkenny minor hurling league and championship, the 2022 minor hurling league,

the minor “C” hurling shield, the U-15 “A” shield and Paddy Grace titles were presented by the club’s eight times AllIreland medalist Eoin Larkin. Concluding the presentation evening, Youth Officer Kieran Brennan encouraged the young players, their friends, team mentors, club officials and parents to come along to the Drugs Awareness Evening at Pairc Sheamuis Stiophain on Monday evening at 7.30pm. The speakers include club team mentor Det. Sgt. Brian Sheeran, Inspector Paul Donohoe and recovering addict and former Kildare footballer Conor Harris. UNDER-AGE FOOTBALL On Sunday the Minor footballers had to battle right up to the final whistle to ward off the determined challenge of O’Loughlin Gaels in their 1st. round championship fixture in Pairc Sheamuis Stiophain. In a high scoring game both teams played an open free passing game that went down to the wire with the home team relieved to hold on to a single point lead, 4-11 to 4-10 at the close of play. Meanwhile at the same venue the U-14 footballers enjoyed a comfortable 6-06 to 0-02 victory over Ballyhale Shamrocks in their 1st round encounter. RED AND GREEN SHOP Shop supervisor, Breda Manogue is urging players and supporters to kit out for the new season ahead. The club shop has a plentiful selection to suit all needs including shorts, socks, jerseys, training tops, skinny pants, half zips, jackets, gear bags, football gloves, hurley grips, wristbands, headbands, camogie shorts as well as hats and umbrellas. The shop will be open every Tuesday evening from 8 to 9pm. BYRNE CUP DRAW The draw for the Byrne Cup (Senior and Intermediate clubs) placed the club in Group A with Danesfort, Bennettsbridge, St. Martins, Dicksboro and Lisdowney. The competition starts on the weekend of 27th April and the club has drawn neighbours Danesfort in the first round. The winners of each group will advance to the semi-finals of the competition. ALL COUNTY JUNIOR LEAGUE The club has been drawn in Group E with Mount Leinster Rangers and Piltown. The competition commences on the weekend of 13th April and the club’s first outing will be against the Carlow club, Mount Leinster Rangers. The winners of the group advance to the quarter finals of the league while the 2nd placed teams will compete in the Paddy Cahill Cup. KILKENNY CAMOGIE Congratulations to club member, Emily Smith who was selected at midfield on the Kilkenny Minor “A” camogie team that registered a comprehensive 2-17 to 1-04 victory over Offaly in last week’s Leinster minor championship semi-final fixture. Following that result on Saturday afternoon the young Kilkenny side outplayed their Wexford opponents to be crowned Leinster minor champions following a surprisingly easy win at the Carlow Centre of excellence in Fenagh. Well done to Emily and her county team mates as we wish them further success in the upcoming All-Ireland series. SENIOR CAMOGIE The Kilkenny “A” and “B” senior camogie teams were out of luck on Saturday with both losing out narrowly to Cork. Club players Niamh Deely, Michelle Teehan and Sophie O’Dwyer were in the “A” team’s lineup which went down by a single point at 1-16 to 1-17. The Leeside girls also got the better of the Kilkenny “B” team with Hannah Scott at centre back on a score of 2-14 to 1-12. Surely better days lie ahead. BONUS BALL The winners of the February Bonus Ball draw were John Leahy and Liam Tyrrell when their number 36 came out of the drum at Saturday night’s National Lotto draw. Both will receive a cheque for €500 in the next few days. As always, our thanks to all who continue to support this invaluable fundraiser. The next draw takes place on 16th March. STROKE SUPPORT The Kilkenny Stroke Support Group is holding a meeting on Friday 23rd February from 2.30 to 4pm in The Orchard Bar, function room. The meeting is to provide information, have a chat and provide updates on relevant issues. The meeting is open to carers and stroke survivors. For further information contact Lynda at 085 7331522. LOTTO Last week’s numbers were 5 : 18 ; 19 : 26. There was no winning ticket. This week’s jackpot will be €12,400. The consolation winners were Joan Murphy, Conor O’Grady, Kathleen Millea, Edel Anderson and Angela Deegan Bergin. GRAIGUENAMANAGH GRAIG NOTES If you wish to submit news items, club events, announcements etc you can do so emailing them to graignotes@ Deadline is Saturday 6pm. THE GRAIG TIDY TOWN DRAW First Prize €462 Gareth Mc Mahon, Second Prize €50 The Ann Broaders, Third Prize €25 Amber Hoare, Money raised through TIDY TOWNS Jackpot will be used to keep the town looking well all year round. CLINIC Cllr Peter Cleere will have his Clinic on Monday Evening from 7pm at his Office in Main St Graiguenamanagh. Note

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Community & GAA Notes change in day and time. RAMBLING HOUSE The Monthly Rambling House Session is on the second Friday of the month in Newtown Hall, where you can enjoy music and song from local artists and also many from the surrounding district’s also join in. The next Session is on Friday March 8th at 7;30 pm. CHURCH NEWS First Holy Communion Dates for Graiguenamanagh Parish for 2024 are Skeaughvosteen Church on Sunday May 26th at 9.30 am, and followed at Duiske Abbey Church Graiguenamanagh at 11am. GORESBRIDGE PAULSTOWN CHURCH SERVICES Saturday 24th / Sunday 25th February: Masses in Goresbridge at 19.30, 10.00 and in Paulstown at 11.30am. Weekday masses at 10am in Paulstown on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and in Goresbridge on Wednesday. Church of Ireland services Sunday 25th, Special service for the St Laserian’s Cathedral and the Leighlin Union of Parishes in the Cathedral at 10am. Bishop Wilkinson will attend and preach. Sacred Heart Prayer Group meets on Fridays after 10am mass in Paulstown. Legion of Mary Thursdays at 3pm in Paulstown. New members welcome. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Paulstown every Tuesday after morning mass until 6pm. For your diary: the next ‘Time Out’ prayer meeting in Goresbridge will be on Thursday 29th February at 8pm. PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORIE A Pilgrimage to Medjugorie will take place from 6th April to 13th and will be led spiritually by Rev Fr Eugene O’Sullivan and Jim Brown MIR House. For details contact Aisling on 083 3767608. CHOIR Have you a talent for singing for playing a musical instrument? New adult and children members welcome to the Paulstown church choir. Contact the parochial office (059 9775180) DEATH OF MRS MULLINS The death has taken place of Maureen Mullins (nee Doran) of Goresbridge. Predeceased by her husband Paddy. Sadly missed by her children, Sandra (McCarthy), William, George, Tony and Tom, spouses and partner, ten grandchildren, sisters Elizabeth and Angela, brothers Tom and Noel. Predeceased by her siblings, Peggy, Agnes Patricia, Eileen, George and Michael, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. PUBLIC CONSULTATION Public consultation on proposed pedestrian improvements to bridge at Goresbridge There was a lively information session about a planned improvement with representatives from Carlow County Council and Kilkenny County Council on 15th February 2024. There is, still, time to make written or online submissions by email to or to or by letter no later than Friday 23rd February. See link below to public consultation including maps and screening report => DEFIBRILLATOR AEDs are a crucial aid in enabling individuals to survive an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest. A unit is located outside Maher’s Shop in Goresbridge as well as inside the Ionad Dara community hall in Goresbridge. GORESBRIDGE RURAL DEVELOPMENT The annual general meeting takes place on Thursday 22nd February at 19.30 in Ionad Dara community hall in Goresbridge. MAMAGEMENT COMMITTEE OF IONAD DARA The AGM takes place on Wednesday 21st February at 20.00 in Ionad Dara. BARROW RANGERS GAA AND CAMOGIE CLUB There is a national GAA draw with a chance to win a car for €10 a ticket. All money raised by Barrow Rangers Camogie stays with the club. The latest jackpot took place on Tuesday 20th February and was worth €4,650. For the weekly Lotto online tickets are available at The Camogie Association’s Introduction to Coaching Gaelic Games Coaching Course schedule for 2024 is now available to view. See BRIDGE UNITED The Under-13s recently had a 5-0 win against De La Salle, Waterford in the SFAI Tophy. The team now face a home draw against Douglas Hall from Cork in the last 16 teams in Ireland competition. Other recent results are: Girls under-U13, Bridge 2-3 Highview; girls under-15, Bridge 3-0 Evergreen White; boys under-13, Bridge 7-3 Deen Celtic, boys under-13 Bridge 1-1 Highview; boys under-15, Bridge1-2 Thomastown . The Easter Soccer Camp will run from Tuesday, 26th March to Thursday, 28th from 10am-13.00. €40 to enter. Text or call Conor English at 085 1321589. The next club jackpot is on Monday 19th February and is worth €6,325. ZUMBA WITH SINEAD Zumba dance fitness at Ionad Dara Goresbridge at 19.30 on Wednesday 14/2/24 and runs for 6 weeks. €7 pay as you go. Get yourself fit dancing to Latin beats and guaranteed

Tom Healy

loads of fun. YOGA CLASSES Every Monday at 7pm in the Community Hall in Paulstown. €50 for the course. Contact: Emma Flavin 083 0464823. Funds are in aid of Danny’s Fund for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis through autologous haemopoietic stem cell transplant (AHSCT) in Moscow. DANCE FIT Is running every Tuesday at 8.30pm in Paulstown Community Hall. Contact Stephanie Lennon on ‘Dance Fit’ on Facebook or instragram where you can sign up via Google forms link. Cost is €8 per class. There is, also, a special Dance Fit in aid of Danny’s MS fund on Saturday 24th February at 11.30am in the Paulstown Community Hall. Cuppa afterwards (note new date). MUSIC NIGHT In Blake’s Pub, Paulstown on Saturday 2nd March in aid of MS treatment for local man, Danny Byrne. For the same cause, a fashion show will be held on Wednesday 6th March in the Lord Bagenal hotel. BRIDGE Paulstown Bridge Club is holding lessons in playing bridge in a relaxed informal setting. Further information available from Mary Quinn 086 1704459 or Mary Purcell 086 1659779. Goresbridge Bridge club meets every Monday at 19.30 in Ionad Dara community hall while Borris bridge club meets on Tuesdays at the same venue. PIONEER NEWS The Carlow Regional Dinner Dance with band (Theresa and the Stars) takes place on Sunday 25th February at 13.30 in the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow. Tickets are at €30. There will be a raffle with tickets selling at €2 each or €5 for three. First prize: a food hamper. Information from Eileen at 086 1664471. CONGRATULATIONS Congratulations to Dylan Carpenter of Paulstown on winning the quarter final in a great contest in the Leinster Championships on Sunday 11th February. COMPUTER AND PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES Computer classes take place every Wednesday from 10am in Ionad Dara in Goresbridge. Photography skills are included as a related part of the course or may be taken separately. The courses, which are free of charge, are sponsored by Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board for all Digital Literacy and basic literacy needs. More information from Carmel or Thomas at 056 7763149. FOROIGE Would you like to volunteer with Foróige to support young people in Paulstown For more information contact Aidan Gleeson ( CUPLA FOCAL Would you like to brush up or practice your Irish over a cup of coffee? All welcome! Weekly Friday chatting in Irish over a cuppa in the Goodly Barrow this Friday 23rd February at 11am. Whether it is a few words or many, it doesn’t matter. Contact Ann on 085 7529485 for further information. Fáilte roimh chách. SHANKILL CASTLE GARDENS The gardens at Shankill are open on weekends (11am4.00pm) for the remainder of the month of February for visitors to enjoy the snowdrops as part of Carlow Snowdrop Month. TAR ISTEACH The shop is openly daily Monday to Saturday in the mornings. Funds go towards local development. Good quality clothes and bric-a-brac are accepted. LOCAL PRIMARY SCHOOLS Scoil Bhríde is accepting enrolments for the 2024/2025 school-year. Parents may contact the school office between 9am and 1pm on 059 9775168 for further information or email the office at BENNETTSBRIDGE CHURCH NEWS Thursday and Friday:Mass at 10.30am. Saturday night in Bennettsbridge Mass at 7pm Tullaherin Mass at 8pm CONFIRMATION Confirmation will be held in St Bennetts church on Sunday next at 11am. LENTEN STATIONS The Lenten Stations are now being taken up in Tullaherin and Bennettsbridge. TROCAIRE BOXES Trocaire boxes are available in the church porch. Donations help the work of Trocaire in the Third World. The boxes can be handed in during the Holy Week Ceremonies. ART GROUP Weekly classes continue each Monday in the Community Hall. MEN’S SHED The Men’s Shed members had a busy time last week. Having attended their usual meeting on Wednesday in the hall, they travelled to Gowran Park for a special breakfast on Thursday morning. The group was taken on a tour of the various facilities in Gowran. All enjoyed the experience. Included in the group was John Kilroy, a member of the Men’s Shed since it was set up some months ago. John is a director of Gowran Park. He was a valued member of the Bennettsbridge Tidy Towns for many years and was a very generous sponsor. Since his retirement, he continues to support all local activities including the Men’s Shed. GATHERING GROUP A date has been fixed for the trip to Liffey Valley Shopping

Heavy rain is no problem to Bennettsbridge u9s

Bennettsbridge u8s Centre in March. Members are looking forward to the day which is now confirmed for March 20th. Weekly meetings continue each Wednesday with the usual activities, including, Cards, Bingo, Exercises, tea and chat. All welcome! LOTTO No winner of the Jackpot last week. Numbers, 1, 4, 18, 26. Consolation Prizes, Michael Denieffe, Kilbline. Suzie ℅ Fr Duggan, S and P Connery, Norewood Heights, Marie Dempsey, Thomastown, Damien Grimes, Hillview. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED If you have some hours to spare, the people at Volunteer Kilkenny would love to hear from you. They need people for a wide range of activities. More details from, or 089 258 4946. GAA National Hurling League Best of luck to David, Kevin and Liam Blanchfield and the Kilkenny hurling team in the 3rd round of the National league versus Offaly on Sunday next in UPMC Nowlan Park. Football Games Bennettsbridge will play Graiguenamanagh in the Junior football league final on the weekend of the 3rd March, fixture time, date and venue to be decided. Our under 14 and minor teams played Graiguenamanagh in the first football games of 2024 last Sunday with Graiguenamanagh winning both games. Our U14’s next football league match is at home to Clara next Sunday at 10.30am. Best of luck to all. Club Spot The club has adopted a new app for all GAA business going forward, replacing clubforce. We ask as many people as possible to download this new club spot app. Details are on the club’s Facebook page. This is a great way to communicate club business. Membership, split the pot etc and all club business can be done on this so it is vital to download the app as soon as possible. Membership 2024 This year’s membership can now be paid to registrar Samantha McGarry or to any club committee member. Membership fees are the same as last year. Forty euro for

non-playing members, eighty euro for student players and 120 euro for adult players . Early payment would be most appreciated. Membership can also be paid on the new club spot app. Please see the clubs Facebook and twitter pages for details. Split the Pot The winners of the Split the Pot last Friday were Sam Carroll €160, Edward Ryan (Blackwell) €30 and Bibi Cleere €20. The next draw takes place on Friday 1st March in the clubhouse at 6pm. Thanks to all for the continued support. Club Shop New items of club gear have been added to the online O’Neill’s shop. Simply put Bennettsbridge in the search box on the O’Neill’s website to check it out. Club lotto DICKSBORO LOTTO Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results 15th February 2024. Nos: 4 21 26 29 Jackpot: €15,200 Not Won. Draw Prizes – €50: Eamonn McPhilips c/o Online. €25 each Kathleen Phelan c/o Joe Phelan €25 each Deirdre O’Reilly c/o Online, €25 each Davy Dalton c/o Davy Dalton. Hurlers Co Op Draw Jane O’Donoghue c/o Online. Promotors prize T and J Knox We encourage all Dicksboro Families to sign up and play weekly for €2 per draw and we thank everyone who is currently doing so. EASTER CAMP Three day Hurling and Camogie Camp March 25th-27th 2024. Skills and Drills and lots of fun. For ages 5-12 Only. €30 for one child, discounts available for multiple children from same family. See ClubZap for more details or follow link https://Dicksboro GAA.COM/PRODUCTS KILKENNY CAMOGIE Congratulations to Angela Carroll and Aisling Browne who were part of the winning Kilkenny Minor A Team who won the Leinster Final on Sunday in Fenagh, Carlow with an impressive win over Wexford. On the Kilkenny Intermediate Team we saw three of our Senior Players line out, Jane Cass, Rose Kelly and Rachel

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Community & GAA Notes A bake sale will be held in the community hall on Sunday, February 25th after 10.15 Mass. All donations of cakes, buns, bread etc., would be greatly appreciated and can be dropped into the hall from 9.45 am. Funds raised on the day will go towards future events for the school children. SPA DEVELOPMENT/FENIANS LOTTO The winning numbers were 15,16,27,29. Four lucky dips Padraig Sweeney, Mary Sweeney, Pauric and Eabhe Ryan and Declan Tobin. SPA UNITED AFC Weekend results.. McCalmount Cup Spa 0 Freebooters 5, Youths league division 1A Bridge Utd 5 Spa 1, U14 boys league division 1A East End 1 Spa 5, U14 boys league division 2 Clover Utd 5 Spa 0, U13 boys league division 1 Spa 3 Callan Utd 3, U13 girls league division 1 Spa 0 Deen Celtic 2, U12 boys league division 1A Callan Utd 1 Spa 1, U12 boys league division 2 Lions 1 Spa 4, U12 girls league division 1 Spa 5 Freebooters 1, U10 boys shield Lions 0 Spa 1, also in action were the U10 girls who played Clover and the U8s who travelled to play Stoneyford. GORTNAHOE GLENGOOLE

Kilkenny Minors Aisling and Angela Dowling unfortunately they lost out to a strong Cork side on Saturday in Cork. Hard luck to the Kilkenny Senior Team who narrowly lost to Cork in a pulsating match which was played in UPMC Nowlan Park on Saturday last. Great to see six of our Boro players involved Jenny Clifford, Aoife Prendergast, Asha McHardy, Katie Byrne, Ciara and Niamh Phelan. The Club would also like to congratulate Jenny Clifford who will captain the Kilkenny Team for the 2024 season alongside Aoife Prendergast who will Vice Captain. Well done girls. FOOTBALL FIXTURES JJ Kavanagh and Sons Senior Football League Saturday 24th February Dicksboro v Thomastown Palmerstown 13.30pm Duggan Steel Roinn A Football u14 Sunday 25th February Dicksboro v St Martins Palmerstown 10.30am Kilkenny Vehicle Centre Minor Roinn A Sunday 25th February Dicksboro v St Patrick’s Palmerstown 10.30am PALMERSTOWN CLUBHOUSE Dicksboro Clubhouse Bar is opened every Thursday from 8.30pm.Thursday nights is 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 non-alcoholic beers, barista coffee also available so come along and enjoy. JOHNSTOWN CHURCH NEWS Lenten Stations envelopes are now due. Envelopes for the Sacristan’s collection and Trocaire boxes for Lent are available in the Church. ST. KIERAN’S NATIONAL SCHOOL Part time Secretary required for St. Kieran’s N.S. Excellent communication and IT skills needed. Apply with CV to Chairperson, St. Kieran’s National School, Johnstown by Feb. 27th 2024. Further information from the Principal at 0868337759. The school is now open for enrolments for 24/25 for Junior Infants and all classes. Information and forms available at the school or on line at or call 0568831611. JOHNSTOWN /URLINGFORD /GALMOY PLOUGHING ASSOCIATION A Table Quiz will be held in Butlers Inn, Urlingford this Friday February 23rd at 9.30pm. Finger food. All are welcome. Please support. LIBRARY NEWS Art classes for beginners started on Wednesday Feb 21st 11am to 1pm. (Watercolour, acrylic, Pastels). On Saturday February 24th Ireland Reads day storytime and create will be held from 10am to 1pm. Create your own bookmark! CHESS CLASSES Chess classes for children each Tuesday 4.30 to 5.30pm and for adults also on Tuesdays 6 to 7pm. KILKENNY STROKE SUPPORT GROUP A meeting is being held on Friday February 23rd in the Orchard Bar function room Johnswell Road Kilkenny from 2.30pm to 4pm. The meeting is informative , chat and update and open to stroke survivors and their carers. Info Lydia at 0857331523. GALMOY PARENTS’ASSOCIATION

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION Glengoole Wednesday 10am to 2pm, Gortnahoe Thursday 10am to 1pm WORLD DAY OF PRAYER A service will take place to celebrate World Day of Prayer on Friday 1st March at 8pm in Kilcooley Parish Hall. All are welcome. TROCAIRE BOXES Boxes are available in both church porches. Please take one and support the Lenten campaign. TABLE QUIZ Johnstown, Urlingford and Galmoy ploughing association are hosting a table quiz in Butlers Lounge, Urlingford this Friday night 23rd February at 9pm. Table of four €20. Raffle on the night with great prizes. Please support this fundraising event. YOGA CLASSES Yoga with Jenny at Gortnahoe Community Hall, Morning and Evening Classes from 10am - 11am and 7pm - 8pm. Four week block is €50. Contact Jenny on 0879420826. All Welcome. TUESDAY BRIDGE Bridge is being played each Tuesday night in Gortnahoe Hall at 7.30pm. If you would like to join or find out more information please contact this number 089 4349106 GORTNAHOE BINGO Bingo continues this Saturday evening at the earlier time of 4.00pm with doors opening from 3.00pm and will continue each Saturday evening at the same time. Over €2,660 in prize money on offer including a special €500 game. SPLIT THE POT Congratulations to the last weekends’ winner of Split the Pot draw, Denis Heffernan Senior, Ballynonty who won €190. Envelopes are available at the usual outlets, you can also Revolut to 0876777220. Split the Pot for the month of February will be in support of the Prayer Garden beside Gortnahoe Church. The draw takes place each Sunday at 12pm in Gortnahoe Hall. Your support would be appreciated TRAINING COURSE A Course for Eucharistic Ministers for the 4 parishes within the Group Pastoral area will take place on Tuesday 27th February in Lámh Cúnta, Bothar-na-Naomh. Thurles from 7:30-9:30pm. Fr. Pat Burns and the Pastoral Office will be facilitating the course. VACANCY Millenium Family Resource Centre has a vacancy for a cook/ chef for the Meals on Wheels Service. This is a part time permanent position funded by the Community Services Programme. Contact Julie O’Halloran on 083 1008075 for full details on the job description and specific criteria for applying. MEET AND GREET Meet and greet for parents and families of children/teens with autism. Friday 23rd February 6 to 7pm in Millenium Family Resource Centre Glengoole. Creating a space for children and teens with autism to make friends and take part in activities. Refreshments provided but please feel free to bring along your own favourite food. Further information from Julie on 083 1008075/ BALLYRAGGET BALLYOUSKILL PARISH DRAW The annual Parish Draw will take place shortly, three books of tickets for the draw will be distributed to each household. The draw will take place on Easter Monday April 1st at 8pm in the Cannon Malone Hall. Your support for this venture will be much appreciated. VINTAGE CLUB Ballyouskill Vintage Club are hosting a table quiz in The Wheel Inn at 9pm Friday March 1st Table of 4 - €40 the quiz is in aid of Alzheimer’s. CONDOLENCES Sincere Condolences are sent to the Sheridan and Stapleton Family on the passing of Grace, to her parents John and Abigail, siblings Phoebe, Jack, Alex and Eldon, grandfather Sean Stapleton, niece Freya, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family and friends. May she rest in peace. EXTRA SHOW An extra show will be held by the Kilquan Players who

The new clubhouse shop was installed last week. Designed in conjunction with Ballyouskill Welding present Separate Beds by Sam Cree. on Friday 23rd February at 8pm in Coon Hall, Co. Kilkenny R93 EC89. €10 Entry (no pre-booking). Raffles and Refreshments on the night. Doors open at 7pm. BALLYOUSKILL 25s CARDS GAME Ballyouskill 25s Cards continues in Ballyouskill Community Hall on the last Friday of the month at 8pm. Usual prizes and a raffle on the night. The next game will be held on Friday the 23rd of February 2024 at 8pm sharp. All are welcome. TIDY TOWNS RESUME Ballyragget Tidy Towns will resume their Saturday morning meet ups from this weekend. All help greatly appreciated. ST PATRICKS GAA St Patrick’s GAA intermediate footballers were in action against Barrow Rangers on Saturday at home the Team JJ O’Sullivan, O. Brennan D. Brophy M. Love R. Healy M. Staunton P. Ryan. Barry Staunton C. Doheny R. Doheny S. Brennan M. Bergin Chris Delaney, C. Connick D. Lawless. Subs Harry Culleton, Michael Brophy, Conor Delaney, Barry Curran and John Butler. Final score 4-9 to 2-5 and goals by Chris Delaney, Christian Connick, Dillon Lawless and Marc Bergin sealed the win. They will next meet Graigue Ballycallan this Saturday at home. The Under 14 footballers will play The Rower Insitigoe at home on Sunday, while the Minor footballers will play Dicksboro in Palmerstown on Sunday. The new clubhouse shop was installed last week. Designed in conjunction with Ballyouskill Welding. CONAHY GAA MEMBERSHIP GAA Club Membership for 2024 is now due and can be paid online via the club’s Clubforce platform over the coming weeks. Alternatively, a number of membership collection nights will be held in the GAA Clubhouse over the coming weeks, with dates to be announced very soon. Please check the club’s social media for the various rates of membership available and club players in particular are reminded that membership must be paid prior to starting training and the playing of matches to ensure appropriate injury cover. GAA Bórd na nÓg membership for 2024 is also due for all under-age players at this time. The cost is €50 per player and can also be paid via Clubforce prior to the start of training. Further details on this are also available on the club’s social media. FOOTBALL The intermediate footballers travel to Glenmore, on this Saturday at 1.30 p.m. in their final league game of the JJ Kavanagh and Sons Intermediate League. CLUB LOTTO The numbers drawn in the most recent GAA Club Lotto were 16, 33 and 37. There was no winner of the €1,700 jackpot, so the consolation prize winners were Ciaran McCann, Giles Barrett, Emma Mulhall, Marguerite & Christy O’Loughlin and Donnacha Bergin. The promoter prize winners were Peter Mulhall, Julie Jackman and Margaret Buggy. This week’s jackpot now increases to €1,800. CONAHY HALL There are a number of tables currently missing from Conahy Hall. Parishioners are asked to check if they have forgotten to return them and are in storage. If so, it would be greatly appreciated if they could be returned. Locals are also reminded that the Hall is available for any and all occasions, e.g., parties, meetings, classes, after funerals, etc., and is an excellently kept facility for everyone in the parish. HUGGINGSTOWN NEWMARKET STONEYFORD MASS TIMES Hugginstown: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 9.30a.m. Vigil - Saturday at 8.00p.m. Sunday at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford, Wednesday 21st. at 7.00p.m. Vigil Saturday 24th. at 6.30p.m. GUIDELINES TO HELP US DURING LENT Kindness to others; Helping people in need, the sick, the old or the lonely. Making a special effort at involvement in Family Prayer;

Praying the Stations of the Cross; Visit to the Blessed Sacrament; Abstaining from meat or some other food on Fridays; Abstaining from alcoholic drink or smoking etc. PRAY FOR Tommy Murphy, Tramore, late of Gowlawn who died during the week. P. J. Rohan, Carricketna: Mass in Hugginstown Church on Saturday 24th. February at 8.00p.m. Margaret Cleary, Hugginstown: Mass in Hugginstown Church on Sunday 25th. February at 10.00a.m. ROTA Rota week-end: (Second Sunday of Lent) Readers: Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Margaret Ryan. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Valerie Farrell Sunday 10.00a.m. Deirdre O’Shea Eucharistic Ministers: Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Barbara Smolen. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Mary Cuddihy. Sunday 10.00a.m. Ruth Crowley FIRST PENANCE 2024 For Monroe/Newmarket Schools on Monday 4th. March in Hugginstown Church at 7.00p.m. For Stoneyford School on Wednesday 13th. March in Stoneyford Church at 7.00p.m. MONROE SCHOOL S.N.MóinRuadh are now accepting enrolments for September 2024. Enrolment Forms can be downloaded from the website: or by emailing the office on or calling the office on 056 776 8931. LENTEN STATION COLLECTION Envelopes for the Lenten Station Contribution are available in the Church. Your contribution is for the support of the priests of the Parish and the Diocese. (To donate directly.) Use IBAN: IE19 AIBK 9330 9000 0561 20 (BIC: AIBKIE2D). All Parish Property and Accounts are registered under the (Diocese of Ossory, Reg. Charity No. 20015831) TROCAIRE Every year during Lent, Trócaire asks for your help to fund lifesaving programmes around the world. Please collect a Trócaire Box which is available in Church Porch. You can contribute Online at or By Phone: 1850 408 408. The contents of each and every Trócaire Box, no matter how small, come together to make a significant difference. LOTTO Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A. Draw: Monday 12th. February 2024 Numbers: 06; 11; 24; 30. No Winner First 3 Numbers Drawn: No Jackpot Winner: 5 x €30.00 Winners: Tammy Williams, c/o Padraig Crowley; Pat Power, Condonstown Eoin and John O’Gorman, Hugginstown; Sean Raggett, Ballycaum; Aoife and Katie Doyle, 3 x €15.00 (Sellers): Pat Power; James Irish; John Power; SAFEGUARDING CONTACTS Diocesan Designated Liaison Person: Ms. Ailish Higgins Tel: 087 100 0232. Aghaviller Parish Representatives are: Deirdre Rohan and Catherina Roche. OSSARY DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES The Annual Ossory Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2024 is now available to book! The departure will take place on 22nd. May 2024. For further information on the pilgrimage, please do not hesitate to contact 01 241 0800 or For Assisted Pilgrims please contact Fr. Anthony O’Connor 087 251 7766 or OPERATION TRANSFORMATION Stoneyford Operation Transformation Walks, supported by the Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership, continue each Wednesday evening at 6.45p.m. and on Saturday mornings at 10.00am from the Community Centre for the next 2 weeks. Their 5 leaders are doing really well and have had great support from within and outside the community. The Final weigh in and free Blood Pressure testing for all will take place on February 28th. from 6.00p.m. to 6.45p.m. Don’t miss this great health check opportunity. The leaders’ “Reveal” night will happen on Friday March 1st. in Malzard’s Bar. All are very welcome.

We welcome all GAA Club and Community notes for publication in The Kilkenny Observer email to


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Hurlng matters


Black & Amber seek home win ahead of Banner & Deise trips Lyng’s Cats seeking to down the Faithful County BY NIALL SHERRY SPORTS EDITOR SPORTSEDITOR@KILKENNYOBSERVER.IE

Allianz National Hurling League Kilkenny vs Offaly Sunday, 1:45pm, UPMC Nowlan Park Referee: Michael Kennedy (Tipperary)

Derek Lyng might shuffle his pack against Offaly

Kilkenny will look to secure a second win in this season’s Allianz hurling league when they welcome Offaly to UPMC Nowlan Park on Sunday (throw-in 1:45pm). Having picked up maximum points on the road last time out in a thriller against Cork, Derek Lyng will look

to build on that performance against the Faithful County. Offaly have been working hard over the last number of years to restore their place in the Leinster hurling hierarchy. Great strides were made under Cats legend Michael Fennelly, and his sterling work is continuing under Johnny Kelly, and such is the level of optimism in the county, the recent draw with Wexford at Netwatch Cullen Park, was viewed as 2 points dropped. They certainly didn’t help themselves, hitting 14 wides against 13-man Wexford.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Hurling matters

Billy Drennan always a threat

David Blanchfield -his aerial ability is crucial

Kelly’s side find themselves with that solitary point gained on Slaneyside as their return from the opening two rounds of fixtures. They began their campaign with a 12-point defeat at home to Davy Fitz’s Deise and know that tougher challenges lie ahead, and they start with a trip to the Marble City to take on Kilkenny. After this weekend they face stern tests against both Cork and Clare as they seek to build some momentum for a tough Joe McDonagh cup run. The visitors will look to their main

focal point in attack, Brian Duignan, to keep the scoreboard moving in UPMC Nowlan Park. Son of County Chairperson and Offaly legend, Michael, Brian weighed in with 1-7 last time out and will relish his battle with Huw Lawlor. One of the rising stars in the Faithful County is young Adam Screeney, who looks to have a seriously bright future ahead of him. The Kilcormac–Killoughey youngster has troubled many defences over the last 12 months and will look to cause trouble for the Kilkenny rearguard on Sunday.

Screeney’s talent is in no doubt, it is his size that raises doubts as to his effectiveness at senior inter-county level. At the back, Ben Conneely, Cillian Kiely and Sampson’s Jason and Killian will try to stand firm against a very agile and mobile Cats forward line. Based on the opening two rounds of the league, Kilkenny’s midfield should come out on top this Sunday. With this should come the platform for the likes of Eoin Cody, Adrian Mullen, Billy Drennan etc. to ply their trade and run up a decent total. Derek Lyng has looked at a few players so far and we might see minutes for some other names this weekend. Walter Walsh had a short time on Leeside to show the danger and problems he continues to pose for the opposition, while Glenmore’s Shane Murphy put in an excellent performance at wing back. With higher education matters now finished, Galmoy’s Billy Drennan might get a little more game time as well. We have seen the gradual introduction of the O’Loughlin Gaels lads, with only really this season’s captain Paddy Deegan to come back into the fold. As mentioned in previous weeks, I would love to see David Fogarty get some minutes in the remaining three rounds of fixtures. Shamrocks Ballyhale’s Adrian Mullen was outstanding in Cork, coupling his endless all –action style with some quality scores to get his side over the line. Mossy Keoghan is another who would like to get more minutes in the legs, and you would think that the Tullaroan man’s direct style could really hurt the Offaly defence. The Village’s Cian Kenny is another that has showed well so far this campaign and has got through lots of work in the middle third. Kevin Blanchfield of Bennettsbridge could well be employed in the

engine room against Offaly, as I would imagine that the management team would like to see more of what the talented midfielder can offer this Cats team.

Barring any complacency, Sunday should see a second victory in the Allianz league for Lyng’s charges and set up two heavyweight clashes away to Clare and Waterford.

Adrian Mullen was everywhere against Cork

Shane Murphy will hope to see more game time at wing back


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Camogie - Review


Sophie O’Dowyer tackles Meadbh Murphy


Very Camogie League Division 1 A UPMC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 1-16 Cork 1-17 Referee: Gavin Donegan, Dublin

Rebels edge league opener!

All-Ireland champions Cork emerged from UPMC Nowlan Park with maximum points after overcoming their hosts Kilkenny, by the bare minimum in this opening round of the Very Camogie League Division 1 A. A brace of scores in the closing from impressive substitute, Emma Murphy saw the Leesiders clinch victory against one of their main rivals for silverware this season. It was all change from the last few seasons for both sides, as Brian Dowling and Matthew Twomey had moved on from the hot seats and had been replaced by Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere and Ger Manley. Both managers had starting XV’s that will not exactly mirror their chosen championship line-ups, but it proved to be a very useful run-out for both counties. The home side opened the scoring in the second minute after Cork keeper Amy Lee’s puck out was intercepted by Piltown’s Aoife Doyle who popped the ball between the posts for an early score to settle the Kilkenny supporter’s nerves. The Rebels were level just a minute later, thanks to Katrina Mackey who turned her marker Kelly Ann Doyle before firing over. The ladies in black and amber went on the attack immediately and edged ahead following a lovely run and finish from Dicksboro’s Asha McHardy. As you would expect from February camogie, play was a little scrappy at times and there was plenty of ‘hockey’ style ground play going on between both sides, as they each sought to find their rhythm. With Denise Gaule absent and, on her travels, The Village’s Sophie O’Dwyer was on placed ball duty and opened her account in the 8th minute and was accurate throughout the contest as she showed management and supporters, that she is certainly up for the task. Veteran of the Kilkenny side, Katie Power, then picked up possession, burst forward and struck over a fine score to push her side’s lead to three points after eleven Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere has plenty to ponder minutes of action. Cork wingback Izzy O’Regan then set up

Defeat for Cleere’s ladies, but plenty of positives for our senior camogs

Pictures: INPHO/Leah Scholes

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Camogie - Review Saoirse McCarthy who took a lovely score from out on the left for her sides first score since the 3rd minute. Sophie O’Dwyer then struck over two quick-fire placed balls after Asha McHardy and Niamh Deely had been fouled to leave the Noresiders four points clear, midway through the opening period. Another period of scrappy play ensued as the sides sought to land a blow that may prove crucial. Katrina Mackey then notched her second point of the afternoon from the edge of the ’D’, but again Cleere’s ladies’ response was instant and St Martin’s Katie Nolan rifled over a lovely point after nice work by Katie Power. Cork’s centre-forward Fiona Keating then went on a trademark run through the middle of the Kilkenny defence and got her shot away, despite being fouled, but Aoife Norris stood firm and made the save, however Dublin whistler, Gavin Donegan brought play back and Katrina Mackey popped over the resulting free to reduce the deficit to just one score, and that score was just around the corner. The Leesiders found a lot of space in the hosts’ defence courtesy of a powerful run by Hannah Looney, who struck a lovely pass across the Kilkenny goal to Clare Mullins who finished in style, giving Aoife Norris no chance in the home side’s goal. The sides were now level, and everything was in the balance. Piltown’s Katie Power hit back immediately for a cracking point having been expertly assisted by Sophie O’Dwyer.

Laura Murphy was excellent for Kilkenny

Laura Hayes and Aoife Healy tackles Katie Power

Another of the Piltown contingent, Kellyann Doyle was having a difficult time keeping Katrina Mackey in check, then fouled the Cork No.14, who punished the foul by splitting the posts from the free. The Rebels appeared further ahead in their preparation for this season, and this was evident with their next score, when a lovely passing move at pace was finished superbly by Hannah Looney to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the game. Then came the second major of the game. The vastly experienced former All-Ireland winning captain Aisling Thompson was turned over following great pressure by Katie Power. The Kilkenny No.11 found Aoife Doyle who sent an absolute bullet of a shot past Amy Lee to the Cork net to put the home side 2 points ahead. The influential and impressive Saoirse McCarthy then rifled over a beautiful point having taken possession and cut in from the right sideline. James Stephens Sophie O’Dwyer was then fouled and after dusting herself down, fired over the free in additional time. Another of the experienced Cork side, Fiona Keating found herself in space and made no mistake in registering another score to leave Kilkenny’s lead at just one point at the short whistle. Ger Manley’s charges came out recharged for the second half and were on the front foot straight away, notching the first 3 points of the second half. Fiona Keating, who had registered the last score of the opening period struck again, this time after taking a nice pass from Saoirse McCarthy. Miriam Bambrick was then blown up for over carrying and Katrina Mackey slotted the placed ball to put the Rebels back in the lead. This was the signal for the All-Ireland champions to spring top forward Amy O’Connor from the bench in place of goal scorer, Clare Mullins. The next battle between Katrina and Kelly Ann went the way of the former, after she sized her opponent up before accelerating away and splitting the posts with a lovely effort. The Kilkenny management made their second change of the day and sent on Mullinavat’s Julieanne

Goal scorer Aoife Doyle blocks a ball from Libby Coppinger

Malone for Laura Norris as they looked to add a bit more experience to their forward line. The home side needed a score, and it came from the hurl of Sophie O’Dwyer who confidently converted a ‘45 for her side’s first score of the second half. The Leesiders kept pumping quality ball into the forward line and another Mackey vs Doyle duel saw the lady in red get the better again before finishing in style for another point from open play. One of the black and amber’s busiest players on the day, Katie Power then gave a lovely pass to namesake Nolan who showed her accuracy in raising another white flag for her side. Two of Cork’s substitutes then combined to register a fine score. Amy O’Connor showed great battling qualities to set up Orlaith Mullins who made no mistake with her finish for the visitor’s 5th point of the second period. O’Connor was then pulled to the ground and referee Donegan awarded the free which Katrina Mackey stroked over to put the Rebels three clear with about 15 minutes remaining at UPMC Nowlan Park. Thomastown’s Sarah Barcoe then entered the fray in place of the injured Tiffanie Fitzgerald as the Noresiders looked for a little additional sprinkling of class in attack. The elder Fitzgerald, Steffi

was then halted illegally and Sophie O’Dwyer nailed yet another placed ball, her 6th of the day to reduce the deficit to just two points. St Martin’s Katie Nolan then notched her second of the game from inside the ‘D’ after a little bit of pinball between the sides. Behind the forward line, Niamh Deely and Laura Murphy were putting in serious shifts as they looked to stifle a more experienced Cork side. Village star O’Dwyer split the posts with 8 minutes left after another foul on the tireless Steffi Fitzgerald. Former Cork skipper, Amy O’Connor then pointed from close range to edge her side ahead again, but parity was soon restored when Katie Power was fouled, and the impressive Sophie O’Dwyer did the rest. With matters deadlocked on Noreside, it was going down to the wire and those in attendance were certainly being given value for money. Then came two rapid cameos from Cork sub Emma Murphy. The number 22 showed searing pace as she raced clear of the trailing defenders before rifling over a fantastic score from out on the right side. The same player repeated this in her side’s next attack with the same outcome, another delightful point to restore a 2-point lead for the Rebels. Kilkenny dug deep and reduced the gap to just one point, courtesy of a third of the afternoon for Katie Nolan, but referee Donegan sounded the long whistle to leave the score at UPMC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 1-16, Cork 1-17. Scorers for Kilkenny: S O’Dwyer 0-8 f, A Doyle 1-1, K Nolan 0-3, K Power 0-2, A McHardy, S Barcoe 0-1 each. Cork: K Mackey 0-8 (0-4 f), C Mullins 1-0, E Murphy, F Keating, S McCarthy 0-2 each, H Looney, O Mullins, A O’Connor 0-1 each KILKENNY: A Norris; M Teehan, K A Doyle, R Phelan; T Fitzgerald, M Bambrick, N Deely; L Murphy, L Norris; S Fitzgerald, K Power, A McHardy; A Doyle, K Nolan, S O’Dwyer. Subs: K Byrne for R Phelan (ht), J Malone for L Norris (39), S Barcoe for T Fitzgerald (47), C Keher for A McHardy (54), CORK: A Lee; M Murphy, L Coppinger, M Cahalane; N O’Callaghan, A Healy, I O’Regan; H Looney, A Thompson; L Hayes, F Keating, S McCarthy; C Mullins, K Mackey, O Cahalane. Subs: A O’Connor for C Mullins (35), O Mullins for A Thompson (39), H Ryan for H Looney (45), E Murphy for L Hayes (53), S McCartan for O Cahalane (55). Referee: Gavin Donegan (Dublin)


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Planning notices


I, Jack Ryan hereby intend to apply for planning permission to Kilkenny County Council for the construction of an Indoor Arena and associated site works at Lennaght, The Rower, Co. Kilkenny. The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed: - Jack Ryan


Planning Permission is sought by Hermitage Farms Limited to construct grain store building, yard area, associated access road and new vehicular entrance to public road and all associated site developments works at Garryduff, Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny. The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.


Planning Permission is sought by Kilfera Investments Ltd. for development at ‘The Corner House’, Main Street, Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny. The development will consist of (a) alterations to the existing shopfront, including a new door; (b) new external signage; (c) internal alterations to the existing public house, including new fire stairs to first-floor level; (d) the subdivision of the existing residential space at first and second-floor level, including internal alterations, to accommodate two apartments; (e) the construction of a new raised deck to the rear of development to accommodate private amenity space at firstfloor level; (f) alterations to the existing first-floor rear extension to include the raising of the roof level to accommodate access to private amenity space; (g) alterations to all elevations; and (h) all associated works to facilitate the development. The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed: Gittens Murray Architects Ltd., No. 5 William Street, Kilkenny. Tel No: 056-7753933. Web:


I, Adrian Maher intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for Retention Planning Permission to retain 1. existing rear extension, 2. existing side extension, 3. existing attic conversion, 4. existing detached garage and all associated site development works at 65 Old Callan Road, Kilkenny R95 A9WY. The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Memoriams / Miracle Prayers

PATRICK (PADDY) BARRY 25TH ANNIVERSARY In loving memory of our father Paddy Barry, late of 23 Corcoran Terrace, Kells Road, Kilkenny whose 25th Anniversary occurs on February 23rd. Those special memories of you Will always bring a smile If we only could have you back For just a little while Then we could sit and talk Like we used to do Forever in our hearts From you daughters, Margo, Jacinta, son Paul, sons-in-law Sean and Dick, grandchildren, Christopher, Jessica, Emma and Aine and all other family members.

A Prayer to the Blessed Virgin (never known to fail). O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, Fruitful vine, Splendour of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, O Star of the sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother. O Holy Mary Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to grant my request. (Please state request). There are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein you are my Mother. I place this cause in your hands (three times). Thank you for your mercy towards me and mine. Amen. This prayer must be said for three days and after this the request will be granted. This prayer must be published immediately. M.McK

Prayer to St. Jude

I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen. I.D.

The Miracle Prayer

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

Prayer to St. Jude

I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen. I.D.

The Miracle Prayer

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

The Miracle Prayer

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

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. V.T.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

Classifieds Motors

Classified section To advertise your business in our classified section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts

087 2587745

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024


Classifieds Motors



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 23 February 2024

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