Kilkenny Observer 25th November 2022

Page 1

Page 42 Friday 25 November 2022 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W: FREE EDITION Pages 14 & 18 Our Climate Future The good news, and the bad, after Egypt summit Christmas Cake! Try our delicious recipe for your festive feast
2 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

Cash-strapped Christmas

Rapidly rising inflation will cut up to €3,000 from the av erage household’s spending power this year, making for a leaner Christmas, according to the Credit Union Consumer Sentiment Index whose re port shows that 61% of people will have less money to splash out this festive season while only 5% believe they will have more.

Economist Austin Hughes, who compiled the index, said this was even worse than in

2020, when Covid was affect ing the income and outlays of many households.

While a third of consumers will raid their savings to help fund their Christmas spend ing, a fifth say they will either borrow or do not know how they will manage to find the cash to spend over the season.

Most of the people who said they would borrow to pay for Christmas are aged between 45 and 54, while most of those who don’t know how they will

Designs on Kilkenny

The County Council recently staged a unique conference event showcasing the past, present, future on how Kilkenny is positioned to drive design excellence. This prestigious event at the Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle celebrated Kilkenny’s design legacy during Design Week 2022.

Building on the legacy of design in the county, this conference celebrated the strong history of design in Kilkenny and cast an eye on how this rich legacy could contribute to the future of design here.  The event also saw the launch of a new publication Designing for Ireland’ by Mark Duncan, commissioned by KIDCo. This book examines the political context of the Kilkenny Design workshops and design in Ireland.

fund the holiday are under 45.

The survey, conducted ear lier this month with Core Re search, suggests significant numbers of people will strug gle to finance even a ‘cut-back Christmas’ this year.

Mr Hughes said a rough cal culation indicated that higher inflation translated into a cut back of about €3,000 to the average household’s spending power.

Cyber Monday, which falls on November 28.

The busiest time for spend ing will be between 10am and 12pm as consumers shop online during work hours. Women will typically spend 144pc more on clothing than men, while men spend 377pc more on vehicle services and sales.

There was €5,700 a minute spent on clothes alone on Black Friday last year, a 261pc increase in value compared to a normal day.

banking at AIB, said: “As peo ple prepare for winter against a backdrop of cost-of-living increases, many are look ing to complete their holiday shopping early and find Black Friday deals.”

John Brennan, head of SME banking at AIB, said: “As peo ple prepare for winter against a backdrop of cost-of-living increases, many are look ing to complete their holi day shopping early and find deals.”

Stolen car girl still critical

Kilkenny teenager Aoife Cahill, at the time of going to press, remains in a critical condition in hospital after the car she was sitting in was stolen from Green Street in Kilkenny city on Friday, November 18.

A man in his 30s, who died in the collision and named by Gardai as Dale Fogarty, stole the car shortly after 3pm on the Friday. He had been living in sheltered accommodation in Kilkenny city.

Time for that festive spirit!

It’s time to get into the Christmas spirit by visiting Pembroke for their new Gossip & Grapes dining offer, where you can share three small plates of your choice, focaccia and two glasses of wine for €40 for two.

And while everyone else is talking about rising costs, Kilkenny’s Best Casual Dining restaurant (Irish Restaurant Regional Awards 2022) has focused on reducing prices to their guests.


900,00 people are living in poverty

Almost 900,000 people have been forced to go without basic necessities this year, of whom 250,000 were children.

According to the latest figures from the CSO, 17.1pc of the population have experienced enforced deprivation this year.

A total of 876,125 people were affected which is an increase of 184,538 from 2021, according to the Income and Living Conditions Deprivation Rate 2022 survey.

Mooncoin call to celebrate Vicky’s Life

The family of Vicky Phelan have invited people to a memorial to honour her final wish.

A message was shared to Vicky’s Tribute Facebook page, created for people to share their respects and messages of love for the late cervical cancer campaigner who died at 48..

The Phelan and Kelly families explained that Vicky wanted to ensure all those that have sup ported her would be able to celebrate her life. And that her family have felt the country’s love since Vicky passed died.

“With this in mind, we invite you to her native Mooncoin on

Sunday, November 27 next at 1pm, where we will do our best to honour that wish.”

Meanwhile, the final Scally review of the implementation of his inquiry recommenda tions has found that substantial progress has been made on the 50 recommendations.

Dr Gabriel Scally said there were areas where improve ment had lagged behind what might reasonably be expected.

There was a need for a duty of candour on health profession als, an absence of a complaints system and an over-reliance on the judicial system as a means

of solving problems arising in clinical care.

He welcomed the plan to have screening at the Coombe Hospital but given the cyber attack on the hospital in De cember 2021 it was important to have a back-up laboratory screening system.

3 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM SPORTS E: ACCOUNTS E: T: 056 777 1463 SALES E: T: 087 382 0109 or 087 342 1958 FEATURES E: T: 056 777 1463 DESIGN E: T: 087 348 0279 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY UNIT 7, FRIARY STREET, KILKENNY, R95 VHY7 EDITOR E: 10,000 COPIES PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED ACROSS CITY AND COUNTY EVERY WEEK
John Brennan, head of SME
INSIDE Paul Hopkins P8 Marianne Heron ................................ P12 John Ellis P16 Health & Science P18 Travel & Leisure P19 Gerry Moran P20 Ger Cody
Food & Drink P42 TV & Streaming P43 Sport

Women are doing it for themselves

A new initiative aimed at introducing a new group of women to the idea of setting up their own business has been launched.

Inspiring Women Entrepre neurs is focused on tapping into the entrepreneurial potential of female profes sionals, women in senior corporate positions, as well as those with doctoral and post-doctoral quali cations, or women seeking a change of direction.

Supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, this pro gramme will support these early stage entrepreneurs to follow through on their am bitions and go on to estab lish businesses that are scal able, innovative and focused on export markets.

Inspiring Women En trepreneurs has been de veloped by the same team behind the award-winning Going For Growth develop ment programme.

Key to the initiative is the panel of Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs, a group of successful businesswomen selected to mirror by their achievements the entre preneurial ambition we are seeking to inspire.

ey are: Áine Denn, founder of Altify; Andrea Doolan,

co-founder and CEO of Atlantia Food Clinical Trials; Dr. Anne Cusack, founder of Critical Health care; Dr Barbara Anne Murphy, Head of Equine Science at UCD and Chief Science O cer at Equilume; Dr Emmeline Hill, Professor School of Agriculture and Food Science at UCD and founder of Equinome; Fidelma McGuire, Founder and CEO of Payslip; Jen nifer Corley, founder of EquiTrace; Leonora O’Brien, founder of Phar mapod; Louella Morton, founder of TestReach; and Dr Vanessa Creaven, co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care.

ere are ve steps in the Inspiring Women Entrepre neurs initiative.

• Inspiring: Partner organ isations will invite appro priate groups from their networks to come together to hear from a selection of the Inspiring Lead Entrepre neurs – who will mirror their own background. See www. inspiringwomenentrepre

• Fostering Entrepreneurial Capacity:  ose deemed to have innovative business ideas with global ambition

will be invited to participate in a series of workshops fa cilitated by KPMG and other experts.

• Gathering Informa tion: Participants will have the opportunity to attend a meeting with Enterprise Ireland executives to gather information about available supports.

• Participating on a Round Table: Prospective entrepre neurs who have completed the previous stages will have the opportunity to apply to take part in a series of round tables led by an Inspiring Lead Entrepreneur, who will o er insights on how to start an innovative business.

• Continuing Support:  ose who complete the series of round tables will be o ered membership of the Going For Growth Community for a year.

Entrepreneurs who have completed the Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs pro gramme and have begun to generate revenues will be eligible to apply for Starting Strong, which is a similar programme to Going For Growth.

Inspiring Women Entre preneurs is the brainchild of Paula Fitzsimons.

Go girls...

News 4 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
5 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

Car girl still critical

Kilkenny teenager Aoife Ca hill, at the time of going to press, remains in a critical condition in hospital after the car she was sitting in was stolen from Green Street in Kilkenny city on Friday, No vember 18.

The young girl, who has spe cial needs, was sitting in the back seat of her father Pat’s car.

She was waiting for him to return from his office located directly where the car was parked when a man, unknown

Sullivan’s bid to raise €6m. for new brewery

Kilkenny-based Sullivan’s Brewing Company is actively looking to build or acquire a large-scale commercial brewery as it tries to raise up to €6 million in a new funding round.

Recently, Sullivan’s, which members of the Smithwick family backed, released its results for the year to June 2021. The company’s auditor flagged a material uncertainty related to its ability to continue as a going concern, which was related to a net financial loss of over €1.49m.

Dan Smithwick, Chief Operating Officer and cofounder of Sullivan’s, said an “inflection point” had arrived for the company on the back of two import and distribution deals.

He said the deals would give it nationwide access to the US and more than 50 other countries. It expects to do 18,000 hectolitres of beer in 2023.

Mr Smithwick said

Sullivan’s had anticipated early-stage losses, but the pandemic had been “particularly difficult”.

He said the “inflection point” for Sullivan’s meant it was time to build or acquire its “own large-scale commercial brewery”. It is actively looking for sites, “namely a fully operational 50-100 hectolitre brewery”.

“We will continue to see significant upside to our top-line, but losses will continue until we capture the margin enhancements and cost-savings that own production will bring,” he said.

“The outsourcing model has served us well to date, but it’s resoundingly clear that our time has come to own our own source.”

Mr Smithwick saidd that Sullivan’s launched its Series B capital raise in September, 30% of which “has been spoken for”. It expects to close this in early 2023.

One in two aged nine have phone

A national survey has found 54% of nine-yearolds have their own mobile phone, a significant increase in the last decade.

New research by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found that in those 10 years, the percentage of nine-yearolds with their own phone has jumped from 44% to 54%.

Owning a mobile phone is associated with less time reading and lower levels of involvement in cultural activities.

The new report, published and produced

in partnership with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth, looks at how nine-year-olds’ lives have changed in recent times.

The research focused on children’s relationships with family and friends, pastimes, and school experiences.

A significant finding of the report is that nineyear-olds participate in fewer out-of-school activities like sports and cultural pursuits than 10 years ago.

also Page 10

to her, got into the driver’s seat and stole the car. The keys of the car were in the ignition and the car was running to keep Ms Cahill warm.

Mr Cahill, who is a wellknown and respected ac countant and tax consultant,

runs his business on the busy area of Green Street. Mr Ca hill is known for his support of the GAA club in Conaghy, Co Kilkenny.

The man in his 30s, who died in the collision and named by Gardai as Dale Fogarty,

A dinosaur Head Ranger at Jurassic Newpark!

Calling all dino fans!  The innovative Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny has appointed a dynamite head ranger for their new Jurassic Newpark attraction. He is dinosaur expert Luke O’ Connell from Luke’s Deadly Dinosaurs! Ju rassic Newpark is the hotel’s on-site dinosaur attraction, which has drawn thousands of visitors since it opened earlier this year, A dedicated team of rangers will do pop-up talks and fos sil shows year-round at a new outdoor, open-air theatre which is set to open soon.  Recently completed, this new theatre is part of expansion plans at Jurassic Newpark which will increase the infra structure to 12 paddocks and habitats, populated by both farm animals and by the new

dinosaur species that will be added to the park soon.

One of the first guests in to meet Luke in his new role as Head Ranger was, fittingly, one of Ireland’s biggest dino saur fans six-year-old Roisín Dolan from Leitrim. Roisín is renowned for her appear ance on the Late Late Show last year when she wowed Ryan Tubridy (and the na tion) with her impressive knowledge of different dino saur species!

Head Ranger Luke, who is from Wexford, has a passion ate interest in fossils and di nosaurs and has for the past two years worked as an edu cator hosting entertaining and informative sessions at libraries, festivals, and events throughout the country.

He is accompanied by his

stole the car the car shortly after 3pm on the Friday. He had been living in sheltered accommodation in Kilkenny city.

With Fogarty at the wheel, and Aoife Cahill, in the back seat, the stolen car collided

with another car on the N77 between Kilkenny City and Ballyragget just before 4pm on the Friday.

Emergency services from Kilkenny city and Ballyragget were on the scene within min utes of the accident.

trusty sidekick Reggie, a baby T-rex puppet who helps bring Luke’s prehistoric tales to life, capturing the imagination of audiences young and old.

In his role as Head Ranger, Luke will be responsible for caring for the needs of the various dinosaur species on site which includes Tyran nosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor, and some dino saur eggs which have yet to hatch! He will also have his hands full looking after the new dinosaur species when they arrive, which will in clude flying Pterodactyls and an enormous Spinosaurus.

The Jurassic Newpark Ranger team plays an im portant role, maintaining the habitats of both herbivore

and carnivore species, ensur ing healthy, happy Dinosaurs and above all guest safetyparticularly in the case of apex hunter T-Rex, whose teeth are to be avoided at all costs.

General Manager at New park Hotel Paul Beehan said: “Luke brings a wealth of prehistoric and dinosaur knowledge to the Jurassic Newpark experience which is sure to bring added appeal to Dino enthusiasts young and old planning a visit. As Head Ranger he is an enthusiastic ambassador for the park and will be roaming about imparting fun Dino facts to hotel guests and day visitors.”

* Visit NewparkHotel or Jurassic or stay tuned on social media.

Clune gets top job in EU maritime group

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has been appointed Vice-Chair of a key European Parliament body.

The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup brings together over 100 MEPs from 23 different coun tries to monitor EU maritime policies and promote con crete actions.

The Fine Gael representa

tive was asked to take up the post based on her longstanding record on maritime affairs.

MEP Clune said: “I look forward to engaging with my colleagues to promote Eu rope’s strong maritime tra dition and boost renewable energy development.

“As an Irish MEP, I offer the perspective of an island na

tion committed to expanding its offshore wind capacity to address climate change and the energy crisis,” she said.

“We know the deep waters and excellent wind capacity in the Celtic Sea and the West Coast of Ireland can generate huge amounts of green pow er for Europe.

“To do this we need more investment, research and a

focus on the crucial factor of ports.

“As the second largest nat ural harbour in the world, Cork has huge potential as a hub for new floating and sea bed-fixed turbine projects.”

Ms Clune said the Shannon Estuary had also been iden tified as an ideal location to harness the power off the At lantic Coast.

News 6 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
7 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

The Fact Of The Matter

Back in the late Nineties a new paper began publishing in, I think, Sacramento in California. Its stated mission was to report “only good news”. Happy stories, stories that would bring a smile to your face. Make you laugh. e weekly paper never reached its mandated sales nor advertising quota and, so, after less than a year it folded. Its last edition could not tell its readers it was ceasing publication... as that would have been bad news.

ese days, hearing or reading the news, it can seem like the only things reported are terrible, de pressing events. Ukraine, Iran, climate chaos, Trump and the AltRight. Deaths in Donegal, the sad passing of Vicky Phelan, sexual abuse in a boys’ board ing school and a plane crash in Tanzania. And so it goes, seemingly endless ‘bad news’. Even our daily

weather changes are given red, orange or yellow alerts, telling us all to stay indoors and “don’t go taking unnec essary journeys”, whereas, in my younger days, you just grabbed the umbrella and got on with it. Weathered the storm.

Now, though, with ‘break ing news’ constantly in the palm of our hand there seems little chance of getting a break from it all. And it can all prove quite tiring. Why does the media con centrate on the bad things in life, rather than the good? And what might this de pressing slant say about us, the audience? Or, indeed, about me, coming up to 50 years in this relentless and remorseless trade that is newspapers? My psycholo gist friend from Magherafelt says sudden disaster is “more compelling than slow improvement”. I retort that reports of corrupt politicians

or unfortunate events make for ‘easier’ and, indeed, more responsible stories.

ose men in white coats who have studied such matters suggest that human kind has a ‘negativity bias’, the psychologists’ term for our collective hunger to hear, and remember, bad news. However, it isn’t just schadenfreude — that wonderful German word for pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune — but rather that we’ve evolved to react quickly to potential threats. at our alertness to bad news could be a signal that we need to change what we’re doing to avoid danger. It can be much riskier to ignore negative information (a storm is coming) than good news (a dog rescued a boy from a tree). Paying at tention to negative news, the researchers say, is generally an e ective survival strategy.

a bad news day

Like not taking a walk along a coastal road during a red alert weather warning.

As you’d expect from this theory, there’s some evi dence that people respond quicker to negative words.

In lab experiments, ash the word ‘cancer’, ‘bomb’ or ‘war’ up at someone and they can hit a button in response quicker than if

that word is ‘baby’, ‘smile’ or ‘fun’ (despite these pleasant words being slightly more common).

So is our vigilance for po tential threats — like check ing the cabin exits when we board a plane — the only way to explain our predilec tion for bad news? Perhaps not.

ere is another interpreta tion. On the whole, we think the world is rosier than it actually is. When it comes to our own lives, many of us believe we’re better than average, and that, like the cliché, we expect things to be all right in the end. is rose-tinted view of the world makes bad news all the more surprising and salient. And we think, thank God that’s not me famine-stricken in Somalia or bombed out in Ukraine or not allowed chose what to do with my own body because I live in a deep Red state in America. And,

so, we feel good about our selves and, perhaps too, hold out a little bit of hope for a better day for humanity.

I had an editor once whose motto was, if it bleeds it leads. A recent study involv ing more than 1,000 people across 17 countries span ning every continent but Antarctica concluded that, on average, people pay more attention to negative news than to positive news.

e ndings, published in in the Proceedings of the Na tional Academy of Sciences, suggest that this human bias toward negative news might be a large part of what drives negative news coverage. But the results also revealed that this negative bias was not shared by everyone, and some even had a posi tive bias — a sign that there may be a market for positive news.

I think I might just start up a new paper...

8 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
When every day seems like
‘We think the world is rosier than it actually is...’
9 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

We're a nation obsessed with checking our mobiles

One in three of us check our mobile phones at least 50 times a day, with almost two-thirds admitting to using their phone as soon as they wake up.

Yet, despite the power our phones have over us, more than half of Irish adults wish they spent less time on their devices.

A survey of digital trends by Deloitte, in which it ques tioned 1,000 adults aged between 18 and 75, found that 35% of respondents checked their phones at least 50 times a day, with 16% checking the devices at least 100 times a day.

Half of those surveyed said they tend to stay awake later

How to lessen the impact of inflation on your pension

Ifac, Ireland’s leading farming, food and agribusiness professional services firm, is advising Kilkenny pension holders to make sure they know how much risk is being taken with their pension money and how well is it diversified.

Martin Glennon, Head of Financial Planning at ifac said: “This year has been a very turbulent one for pension funds, with falls averaging -10%. But you can take proactive steps to lessen the impact on your pension.”

How is inflation impacting my pension?

The two main components of most pension funds are stock market investments and government bonds. Stock market investments are seen as growth assets, and government bonds are seen as more secure assets. How much of your money is in each will depend on your risk profile, but as a guide, a medium-risk fund could have 40% invested in each asset. The fund manager can increase and reduce the amount held in each.

Stock Markets

The economic world is concerned that we are sliding into a recession. The war in Ukraine and subsequent increases in commodity prices such as wheat and oil have contributed to this turmoil. Add to this recent job cut announcements, and it’s clear to see why the profitability of companies is under scrutiny. This has led to an increase in the volatility of the large stock markets, with the Euro Stoxx index down 15% and the S&P500 down 17%, year to date.

With this type of volatility,

most pension investors would prefer their fund manager to reduce the holding in the stock markets and increase the investment in more secure assets. And that’s what fund managers would typically do. But here is the real problem.

Government Bonds are not so secure!

Inflationary fears have forced central banks to increase interest rates very quickly. And at recordbreaking levels. The ECB rate has gone from 0% to 2% in three months. In the last few years, governments have been borrowing money at next to zero interest rates. The increase in interest rates has reduced the market value of these existing government bonds. Subsequently, the bonds held in pension funds are seeing reductions in value of up to 20%! Remember, these are supposed to be the more secure assets.

Diversification Works

The inclusion of other asset classes, such as property, infrastructure, and commodities, has helped lessen the impact. The average medium-risk pension fund return is about -10%. The best-performing funds have suffered losses of circa -4% to -6%. So clear evidence that diversification works.

“The important takeaways from all this uncertainty are to make sure you know how much risk is being taken with your pension money and how well is it diversified," said Martin Glennon.

* Contact Ifac Financial Planning on (01) 204277400 or visit

than planned because they are using devices into the night.

Even with over half wishing they spent less time on their devices, six in 10 continue to use a smartphone as soon as they wake up.

John Kehoe, audit partner at Deloitte, said: "Over the last two years through the Covid-

19 pandemic, technology connected us while we had to stay apart. Technology con tinues to keep us connected, with smartphone access re maining at 94%, with access to the old reliables such as tablets and laptops, continu ing their downward trend, having peaked in 2017.”

Referring to the frequency

with which people check their phones, he said: "While these are great and useful devices, we need to be aware they can have a negative impact on our social interac tions and sleep patterns.”

Accessing social media platforms (64%) and in stant-messaging (62%) apps remains the top activity for

people who have smart phone.

Other devices are playing a huge role in our lives, with smart TVs growing to 66%, up from 44% ve years ago.

Access to video stream ing services subscription is stable at 75% with Net ix the most popular, followed by Disney+.

Muireann launches Just Eat Awards

e Just Eat Awards are back, and they’re set to be bigger than ever! TV presenter and podcast host Muireann O’Connell recently launched the ninth annual awards which cel ebrate the very best of Irish takeaway restaurants across the country.

Making greatness is the theme of this year's awards in recognition that for restaurants, creating and preparing delicious food is

more than just a job – it's an art. eir passion, and ded ication to excellence shines through in every dish that’s brought to our doorstep. is year, more than 150 restaurants have been shortlisted across 16 dif ferent award categories, including the ‘Best Chi nese’, ‘Best Pizzeria’, ‘Best Newcomer’ along with the new ‘Sustainability Award’ recognises restaurants us ing eco-friendly packaging,

reducing food waste and nding innovative ways to promote sustainability in their restaurant.

Food lovers across the country can now vote for one or more of their fa vourite local restaurants, whether that’s their num ber one local independent takeaway or a well-loved chain that always hits the spot.

Voting closes December 31 and everyone who casts

a vote will be in with a chance to win FREE take away for a year!

More than 68,000 public votes were cast in 2021, making it the highest year to date, and Just Eat is hop ing to surpass these gures this year.

e Just Eat Awards win ners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Dub lin hosted by Muireann O’Connell in February 2023.

Leaving Cert pupils invited to online event

An online information event aimed at Kilkenny parents and guardians of school leav ers will be run by South East Technological University (SETU) on Tuesday, Novem ber 29 from 6.30 to 7.30pm.

e one-hour online ‘Par ents’ Event’ is designed to support parents and guard ians of anyone interested in starting on a full-time college course in autumn 2023.

Kilkenny continues to be one of the most important feeder counties for SETU, with 249 students from Kilkenny choosing to join the south east’s rst university this Sep tember.

SETU’s dedicated outreach team has designed the infor mation evening, which will take place via Zoom, based on common queries and concerns to help put par

ents’ minds at ease. Parents will learn about SETU's wide range of courses, the CAO process, links with further education colleges, student supports, grants, sports schol arships and much more.

Claire Holden, Schools' Li aison & Outreach O cer at SETU, says, that while the student is best placed to list courses in order of genuine preference, in many cases it

is parents who get in touch by phone or online chat with queries.

“Choosing the next steps af ter school is both exciting and challenging. Applicants can choose 10 courses at Level 8, and another 10 at Levels 7 and 6 so it is vital they get their or der of preference right."

*Details and registration can be found at ents

10 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 News
11 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

As I See It

Did colleges turn a kind eye to abuse?

One thing is certain about clerical child sex abuse, like the latest allegations of histor ical abuse by the Spiritans at Blackrock College and other schools in their charge: a reac tion of public revulsion. Much less certain are the questions surrounding the crime, for the sexual abuse of minors is like a dark secret wrapped in a conundrum.

Clerical sex abuse began to hit the headlines in Ireland in the 1980s, with cases and cov er-ups by the Catholic Church emerging from di erent dioceses into the Noughties and with investigations like the Ryan and Murphy reports. Given the glare of public ity, it might seem odd that these latest claims abuse by a number of the Spiritan broth ers, formerly the Holy Ghost Fathers, have only emerged now. ey might not have done so had it not been for

RTE’s Documentary On One when the revelations by two brothers who were victims of abuse prompted an outpour ing of 70 further allegations followed the programme.

e reasons for this omerta lie partly in a Gordian knot of questions. Child abuse is generally referred to as paedophilia which involves prepubescent children whereas ephebophilia, abuse of adolescents,  is far more common. Abuse occurs throughout society especially where adults are in a position of power over vulnerable chil dren but there is a di erence where priests or religious are concerned when cases are up to four times more likely to involve adolescent males, whereas in the community most cases involve females. Why this should be is a chicken and egg question, could the answer be due to

ease of access or is it due to homosexual leanings on the part of perpetrators? It seems more likely to be a matter of availability looking at the example of homosexual activity in prisons among prisoners who are normally heterosexual. Research nds that most clerical o end ers declare as heterosexual. Another question is whether the requirement of chastity, curbing one of the strongest human drives, plays a role in driving the o ence. Hard to say conclusively, as some studies nd that there isn’t a causal link but seminarians have said that they received little preparation for chastity. Considering the way abusers are found in other areas of society involving children like scouting or swimming, it does seem that some individuals are drawn to occupations where they have access to

and control over adolescents, giving them opportunities to exercise their perversion.

ere is the wider question too, of how so much sexual predation remained unchal lenged and was allowed to continue within institutions. Probably shame, fear instilled by perpetrator, of being dis believed or upsetting parents, kept victims understandably silent.

But talk to men of middle age and beyond and often they will remember teach ers or brothers known to be ‘pervs’ or ‘shirt lifters’ who  were to be avoided. Such things were known about, even joked about, by pupils but not admitted by those who should have been responsible for policing them. Which in turn raises a sinister question: was a culture of paedophilia involved in some cases?

is was undeniably so in the scandal surrounding the Kincora Boys Home in East Belfast, which emerged in the early ‘80s to headlines like ‘Sex racket in children’s home’.   e abuse was organ ised by and involved promi nent individuals and there were allegations that police and state collusion were also involved. is was an extreme case at one end of the spec trum of abuse but a moral climate where paedophilia or ephebophilia are tolerated or ignored also allows abuse to continue.

e failure of accountability by the Catholic Church over past decades is well docu mented and currently the question of whether there should be an inquiry is being debated. A speci c investiga tion into what has happened at Blackrock and other Spiri tan schools would show up

the way an institution, where perversion had been known about but was allowed to con tinue, failed in duty of care to children.  Maybe we should ask ourselves if such institu tions are t to continue in their role as educators?

So far only three of the 78 plus Spiritan brothers accused of abuse have been convicted, only one has been defrocked, although the congregation has reportedly made 80 nancial settlements to victims since 2004.

Meantime restorative justice hearings — which allow victims to confront perpetra tors — have been proposed.

is allows victims to be heard and where admissions and apologies of wrongdo ing can bring comfort. at said, most would now have to come from beyond the grave since most of the brothers in volved are deceased ..

Practical Christmas gifts

the roller ball onto the pulse points at the temples, neck, and wrists. Sound good? Over 89% fell asleep faster using this combination, the perfect practical gift.

For example, Tisserand’s Gift of Sleep, is a limitededition gift set that’s perfect for someone who can’t sleep. It contains Sleep Better Mas sage & Body Oil, Sleep Better Pillow Mist, and Sleep Better Pulse Point Roller Ball. is is how you use them, after a bath or shower massage the body oil into your skin. Spray the pillow mist over your pillow before hopping into bed. Once in bed, roll

You can’t go wrong with hand cream. I love Burt’s Bees gift set -Hand Cream Trio. e the creams are made with shea butter, a deeply nourish ing cream with three di erent scents, including Lavender & Honey, Wild Rose &Berry, and Watermelon & Mint. A good size for the handbag too.

Or there’s Weleda Skin Food Nourish & Shine Gift Set which contains the popular Skin Food Original and Skin Food Light. ey contain pure plant oils, protective waxes, and therapeutic plant extracts.

ey’re amazing, deeply nour

ishing for your face, body, lips, elbows, heels, any part of your body that feels like some extra hydration. For the man in your life there’s the Men’s Gift set. Start his day with this energis ing and uplifting set naturally scented with essential oils. It contains natural deodorant and Active Fresh Body Gel.

I love essential oils and you will be spoilt for choice with our selection of Tisserand gift packs. You can choose single oils for stocking llers like Seasonal Joy with the beauti ful scents of orange, nutmeg, and clove. Or the Festive Baking Collection with Fes tive Spice, Peppermint Spice, Gingerbread Cookies, to scent your home with festive scents that will transport you to your childhood memories of home baking. Or if you prefer, there’s the Magical Winter Collection it has several oils including Cedarwood and Pine.

Check out your local store or market for practical gift ideas this Christmas, you could be surprised at what you nd. If you’re shopping online why not choose Irish Companies it’s a safer option too.

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

Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre

Phone: 056 7764538 Email:

12 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
Do you, like me, prefer to get practical gifts that are bought from local shops or from an Irish company online?
13 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

After two weeks intense debate in Egypt, one of the key agree ments reached at the climate conference is the setting up of a fund to help the poorest, most vulnerable countries deal with the costs of unpreventable cli mate change impacts such as oods, droughts and land loss to sea level rise and deserti ca tion.

A total of 197 countries reached agreement on what they’re calling the ‘Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan”. e summit was hosted by Egypt in the city of Sharm El Sheikh.

Sixty-two statements setting out where the countries stand on various aspects of climate action, and on the many agree ments and pledges made dur ing the previous 26 COPs, or Conferences of the Parties.

e plan contains an agree ment to set up a new ‘loss and damage’ fund to help the poor est, most vulnerable countries deal with the costs of unpre ventable climate change im pacts such as oods, droughts and land loss to sea level rise and deserti cation.

It restates the importance of limiting average global temper ature rise to 1.5C as agreed at COP21 (it’s currently 1.1-1.2C) to prevent escalating climate change and its impacts.

It resolves to “pursue further e orts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C”.

e plan urges speeding up the ‘phase-down’ of coal (the most carbon-polluting fossil fuel) as agreed at COP26, but doesn’t extend that to oil and gas and doesn’t use the stronger term ‘phase out’.

It stresses the need for a rapid switch to renewable energy but also allows for a future of ‘lowemission’ energy, ie fossil gas.

It says accelerated action is needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions but adds that emis sions cuts targets can take ac count of “di erentiated respon sibilities” and “di erent national circumstances”.

at leaves lots of room for countries to wriggle out of set ting tougher emission limits.

It encourages countries to


What was agreed on climate change

honour an existing but unful lled nancial commitment to provide $100n (€97bn) a year to help the most vulnerable countries prepare or adapt to climate change.

But that commitment is 10 years old and costs have esca lated enormously since.

So, what happens next?

A ‘transitional committee’ is to be set up to work out the de

tails of how the loss and dam age fund will be formed and operate.

It will have 24 members — 10 from developed countries and 14 from developing countries — to be nominated by Decem ber 15 and to begin meetings before the end of next March.

On all other issues, it’s really business as usual until COP28 which is to be held in Decem

ber 2023 in Dubai.

Regarding Ireland, the EU takes COPs and climate action quite seriously and was one of the few regions to increase its emission cuts target for COP27.

As a bloc, the plan is to re duce emissions by more than half (57%) by 2030. Ireland has a plan and law that aims for a 51% cut by 2030.

e new EU target might not

require us to increase our tar get but it will exert more pres sure on us to meet our national one. at means more pressure to act on all the measures the Government has already agreed.

ose include getting more wind farms (onshore and o shore) built; developing more solar energy (large-scale fa cilities and domestic roof-top);

encouraging greater active transport, public transport and EV use; encouraging more ret ro tting of homes and build ings and tackling agricultural emissions.

All those measures have costs in terms of money and inconvenience that will take time to show dividends in cleaner, more secure, more climate-safe ways of living.

At COP27, Ireland signed up or rea rmed its pledges to various multi-national initia tives such as the Global O shore Wind Alliance, the Net Zero Government Initiative, the Global Methane Pledge and the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, but the aims of these largely match what’s in our own national climate action plan and they are voluntary in any case.

On existing climate nance commitments to developing countries, we’ve already agreed to double our contribution to at least €225m a year by 2025 which must be found from public funds.

On the new loss and damage fund, a decision will have to be taken on how much Ireland will pay each year, but it will likely be millions of euro and, again, that is money which must come from public funds.

On the 1.5C limit, if it can be achieved, it will be extremely important to help Ireland avoid increased weather extremes and the kind of drought-deluge swings we have been seeing, as well as to minimise sea level rise, hugely challenging for our coastal communities.

Ireland has experienced very mild climate change impacts so far but many other countries and regions that we trade with, holiday in, emigrate to and need to keep stable to avoid in ternational crises, are already su ering severe impacts that are forecast to intensify.

In failing to tackle with in creased urgency the underly ing causes of climate change, the plan does little to safeguard the wider world. at leaves every country vulnerable to fu ture climate change.

Concerns over high costs of charging points

Petrol stations are con cerned about how “astro nomical” costs to install electric vehicle (EV) charg ing points and the delays in connecting these to the grid could pose a risk to the State’s ability to meet future emissions targets.

Representative groups want access to improved electricity grid information so they can identify sites where there is sufficient power capacity to install the technology.

They also want the Gov ernment to help them fund investment in the infrastructure and to sup port greater use of biofuels to reduce emissions from

petrol and diesel vehicles on the road.

Some filling station own ers say they discovered

there was insufficient en ergy capacity at proposed electric vehicle charging locations after paying for

preliminary work to be carried out.

Representative groups said better information on the electricity grid would prevent such problems and cut costs.

Some super-fast charger hubs require energy re sources comparable to a housing development or factory, making it chal lenging to connect these to some parts of the electric ity network, the ESB says.

Kevin McPartlan, of Fuels for Ireland, which repre sents forecourt operators and fuel providers, said the Government could do more to support those in the sector.

He said the Government’s plans to reduce emissions should also become less dependent on new innova tions and it should further examine reducing the out put from vehicles already on the road by supporting the use of biofuels.

A failure to address is sues with the delivery of EV chargers will also affect the State’s future emis sions targets, Mr McPart lan said.

“We are the people who provide the fastest char gers available in Ireland. That is what we want to do more of, and yet the network is not up to it, the data on the network is not

up to it, the costs are astro nomical,” he said.

“The Climate Action Fund needs to be available to our members so we can use government support to provide EV charging, par ticularly in places where it is least commercially advantageous and/or where the consumer need is greatest — high-density areas where there is a lack of off-street parking.”

A second industry body, the Irish Petrol Retailers Association (IPRA), said a recent survey of its mem bers showed significant concerns about EV charger costs and the availability of power.

News 14 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
See also Page 18
e pact leaves lots of room for countries to wriggle out of setting tougher limits on carbon emissions
15 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

Pensions, company profits... and private wealth Your Money & You

After all the recent upheaval in the pensions market with the embargo being put-on one-man pension schemes by the pensions authority, insur ance providers have at last put in place executive pension arrangements under what is called a Master Trust.

Executive pensions continue to be perhaps the most tax e cient method of providing pension bene ts for company directors, family members employed in the business and other key employees. In the case of company directors and spouses employed in the business employer pension contributions to an execu tive pension are an extremely e ective mechanism for tax e ciently transferring pro ts from the business into “per sonal wealth”.

Where a company has excess pro ts, which the directors wish to transfer to themselves, it is often more tax e cient for the company

to make an “employer pension contribution” to an executive pension. e ad vantage being no personal tax liability for the recipient which would be the case by way of salary increases, bonuses or dividends.

e company will get tax relief on the contribution at the corporation tax rate, cur rently 12.5%. Furthermore, the growth on the contribu tions within the pension will not attract Capital Gains Tax, DIRT, Exit Tax and on retire ment the employee/director can take a lump sum which is tax-free up to €200,000.

As you may be aware, the self-employed are restricted to the amount they can invest into a pension arrangement. Not so with Executive pen sions — employer contribu tions are not restricted by age related limits. Instead, they are costed on providing retirement bene ts based on two thirds of salary leading to

very generous contribution amounts.

Another bene t is contribu tions are allowable as either “Ordinary Annual Contribu tions” or “Special Contribu tions”. is can include all employer, employee and additional voluntary contri butions made to the scheme in the company accounting period.

For example, Deirdre is 35 and married and has a salary of €50,000. She has a personal

pension valued at €100,000.

She wants to maximise her pension contributions now. Revenue limits for her age will allow her to make to a per sonal pension a contribution of €10,000 (20% x €50,000). However, under an executive pension plan the company could make a far greater con tribution on Mary’s behalf — €36,000.

Not only that but a company could fund for previously unfunded service with the

company through special contributions. For example, John is 50 and has his own company taking a salary of €40,000. John set up his company fteen years ago, has yet to make any pension contributions. Revenue limits allow John to contribute and o set against last year’s income tax bill. Again, as with Deirdre he is limited to age and earnings attained in the previous year. Assuming earn ings of €40,0000 this would equate to 25% of €40,000 or €10,000.

However, Revenue also allows contributions to be made in respect of previous service by an employer using the executive pension plan. e calculation is based on the member’s current salary and all previous years with the company where they took a salary. is can be particu larly bene cial for late starters to pension funding and in this example the company

can contribute €518,400 into John’s pension!

e employer could imme diately make this very large Special Contribution for John, or they could seek to make a smaller Special Contribution this year and allow for the re mainder in future years. ey could also look to make Or dinary Annual Contributions within certain limits.

e company, again, will receive tax relief on allowable contributions at the current corporation rate of 12.5%. and no employer PRSI is paid on employer pension contri butions to an occupational pension scheme.

With the year-end fast ap proaching your company may have funds and you are not sure how to proceed. rough a “maximum funding quote” you will quickly see what your tax e cient options are. Give us all call!

john@ellis 086 8362622

16 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022

at Rothe House Christmas events

Rothe House is one of Kilkenny’s most unique prop erties dating from 1594 and is a leading visitor attraction with its original houses, three courtyards and restored gar den, all waiting to be explored. Rothe House will host a variety of seasonal events this Decem ber.

Wreath Making Workshop is year sees the return of the ever-popular wreath mak ing workshops. Taking place on Saturday, 3rd December participants will have the chance to make their own

unique festive wreath to decorate their front door this Christmas. e workshop also includes materials to make a centrepiece to dress your holiday table. All materials are included for this workshop, all you need to bring is scissors or secateurs and some creativity!

Mary Pyke, Head Gardener at Rothe House facilitates this workshop every year. “I am so pleased to have our wreath making workshops back again this year. e workshops are always great fun and it inspires people to try their hand at creating other simple, natural,

deco rative pieces for their home. We nd that it has become a tradition for many people who take part year after year.” Booking for the workshops is via Eventbrite. Places are limited so early booking is advisable.

Christmas Miscellany

On Tuesday 13th Decem

ber, Rothe House will host a magical Christmas Miscellany evening featuring storytell ing, music, poetry and song from familiar and emerg ing voices in Kilkenny’s arts scene. e winter’s evening will begin with a cosy mulled wine reception around the Christmas tree, before moving to the atmospheric surround ings of the Phelan Room. “We are very excited to hold this event in Rothe House and have received a wonderful response from local writers and musicians,” says Valerie O’ Sullivan, General Manager of Rothe House. “A programme of new and traditional mate rial has been carefully put together and it is an opportu nity for the audience to step away from the hustle and bustle of preparations and enjoy a nostalgic evening in one of Kilkenny’s most beautiful venues.” is project is funded by the Kilkenny Creative Ireland Programme 2022.

e Merchant Shop Custom er Evening Rothe House are proud to support Irish producers and craftspeople and stock a wide range of beautiful ceram ics, textiles and giftware. e

bookshop specializes in local interest, Irish history and gar dening, as well as a selection

of children’s books. On urs day, 15th December there will be a Customer Evening with discounts across the shop, treats for shoppers and a ra e for a deluxe hamper.

Rothe House is open Tues day – Sunday from 10am to 5.30pm. Guided tours take place at 11.30am and 2.30pm every day and it is the perfect place to bring visitors home for Christmas.

For more information, call 056 772 2893 or follow us on Facebook @rothehouse and Instagram @rothe_house_gar den

17 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement
Booking for the Wreath Making Workshops and Christmas Miscellany are via Eventbrite only. Mary Pyke and Ann Lynch preparing materials for the Rothe House Wreath Making Workshops

Science & Wellbeing

As the recent global meeting on climate change has been learning, the Earth’s climate has undergone some big changes, from global volca nism to planet-cooling ice ages and dramatic shifts in solar radiation. And yet life, for the last 3.7 billion years, has kept going.

American researchers in Science Advances at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are now con rm ing that the planet has what they call a “stabilising feed back” mechanism that acts over hundreds of thousands of years to pull the climate back from the brink, keeping global temperatures within a steady, habitable range.

A likely reason for this, or mechanism, is what they call “silicate weathering”— a geological process by which the slow and steady weather ing of silicate rocks involves chemical reactions that ulti mately draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into ocean sediments, trap ping the gas in rocks.

Scientists have long sus pected that silicate weath ering plays a major role in regulating the Earth’s carbon cycle. is could provide a geologically constant force in keeping carbon dioxide — and global temperatures— in check. But there’s never been direct evidence for the continual operation of such a feedback, until now.

e new ndings are based on a study of data that record changes in average global temperatures over the last 66 million years. e MIT team applied a mathematical analysis to see whether the data revealed any patterns characteristic of stabilising phenomena that reined in global temperatures on a geologic timescale.

Our Earth will be alright on the night

ey found that indeed there appears to be a con sistent pattern in which the Earth’s temperature swings are dampened over times cales of hundreds of thou sands of years. e duration of this e ect is similar to the timescales over which sili cate weathering is predicted to act.

e results are the rst to

use actual data to con rm the existence of a stabilising feedback, the mechanism of which is likely silicate weathering. is stabilis ing feedback would explain how the Earth has remained habitable through dramatic climate events in the geologic past.

“On the one hand, it’s good because we know that

today’s global warming will eventually be canceled out through this stabilising feed back,” says Constantin Arn scheidt, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS).

“But on the other hand, it will take hundreds of thou sands of years for this nto happen, so not fast enough

Here’s the buzz about our bee crux

We are, generally, speak ing all living longer. The news that the global population has reached the eight billion mark is not an indicator of increased fertility, that the birth rate is rising.

Rather it is the fact that the number of people on the planet aged over 80 has doubled in the past 20 years. Human life ex pectancy has increased linearly since the year 1800, rising about 30 years in that timeframe. What would happen, how would we feel if human life expectancy were to suddenly halve, that 40 years was the norm.

This is what is hap

pening with bees — a species on which we hu mans are so dependent for our survival, given that one-third of the hu man diet depends on honeybee pollina tion, and bees pollinate more than 100 different crops worth about €6.4 billion.

The current crisis of bee lifespan was dis covered in a new study published in the scien tific journal Scientific Reports, which found that honey bees today live only half as long as their fellow bees did in the 1970s.

The reasons for this dramatic shift may re late to our demand for

honey. Beekeepers need to account for the fact that bees die periodi cally in the course of their hive-rearing; since the 1970s bee keepers have been forced to replace their bee colonies more frequently to stay afloat.

To understand why bees are dying younger, entomologists at the University of Maryland studied bee pupae that were collected within 24 hours of emerging from their wax cells. Those bees were raised in special conditions that included better water, which they hoped would closely mimic bees’

natural conditions. Soon, however, they noticed that the aver age lifespan of all their bees remained half of that of bees from the 1970s, with the average bee lifespan dropping from 34.3 days to 17.7 days. This was stun ning because, histori cally, bee lifespans in laboratories have closely mimicked their wild

to solve our present issues.”

Scientists have previously seen hints of a climate-stabi lising e ect in the Earth’s car bon cycle: Chemical analyses of ancient rocks have shown that the ux of carbon in and out of Earth’s surface envi ronment has remained rela tively balanced, even through dramatic swings in global temperature. Furthermore,

models of silicate weather ing predict that the process should have some stabilising e ect on the global climate.

And nally, the fact of the Earth’s enduring habitability points to some inherent, geologic check on extreme temperature swings.

“You have a planet whose climate was subjected to so many dramatic external changes. Why did life survive all this time? One argument is that we need some sort of stabilising mechanism to keep temperatures suitable for life,” Arnscheidt says.

e team analysed the history of average global temperatures over the last 66 million years, considering the entire period over di er ent timescales, such as tens of thousands of years versus hundreds of thousands, to see whether any patterns of stabilising feedback emerged within each timescale.

“To some extent, it’s like your car is speeding down the street, and when you put on the brakes, you slide for a long time before you stop,” the study says. “ ere’s a tim escale over which frictional resistance, or a stabilising feedback, kicks in, when the system returns to a steady state.”

Interestingly, the research ers found that on longer timescales, the data did not reveal any stabilising feed backs. at is, there doesn’t appear to be any recurring pull-back of global tempera tures on timescales longer than a million years. Over these longer timescales, then, what has kept global temperatures in check?

ere’s an idea, they say, that chance may have played a major role in determining why, after more than three billion years, life still exists.


“If we can isolate some ge netic factors, then maybe we can breed for longerlived honey bees. We’re isolating bees from the colony life just before they emerge as adults, so whatever is reducing their lifespan is happening before that point,” Anthony Near man, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Ento mology and lead author of the study, said in a

press statement. Researchers believe that the problem could be genetic, meaning something in their DNA is giving them a shorter lifespan.

“This introduces the idea of a genetic compo nent,” Nearman said. “If this hypothesis is right, it also points to a pos sible solution. If we can isolate some genetic fac tors, then maybe we can breed for longer-lived honey bees.”

This would be a boon for beekeepers, who struggle financially when they have a high turnover in their colo nies.

News 18 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022

1. Bakeri, Brooklyn

e oral wallpaper at Bakeri’s Williamsburg location has gained a life of its own on social media, and the newer Greenpoint location is just as charming. Settle in at a wooden table for one of the freshly baked pastries and admire the small, thoughtful details of the space: the arched wooden ceiling, the shabbychic wooden panelling, the menu on the antiqued mirror and, of course, the oral wallpaper.

Address: Bakeri, 105 Freeman Street, Brooklyn NY 11222 Website:

2. Bar Pisellino, West Village

Ciao, bella! Sit at the marbletopped counter to order a morning espresso and bombolini or relax into the slatted banquettes for an aperitivo Aperol Spritz. e oor-to-ceiling windows mean that the delicately tiled oor is on display, brightening up the small space (they also allow you to gauge the wait outside sister restaurant Via Carota across the street as you sip).

Address: Bar Pisellino, 52 Grove Street, New York NY 10014 Website: barpisellino. com

3. e Fulton, South Street Seaport

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s seafood-focused restaurant draws on its Seaport location for its nautically inspired interiors. Hand-painted murals by Chandler Noah and Diego Castaño of En Viu lend whimsy to the bi-level space, while light xtures reminiscent of buoys bob above quartz countertops. And of course, the views of the East River from the tip of Manhattan are pretty good too.

Address: e Fulton, 89 South Street, New York NY 10038 Website:

Eight to ate in New York City

4. Serra by Birreria, Madison Square Park

A very smart greenhouse on the rooftop of the original Eataly by the Flatiron Building, Serra is a seasonal space that totally transforms with the change of weather several times a year. e rustic menu changes with the seasons too, but you can always expect hearty plates in uenced by the Italian countryside. e current Serra Alpina captures the cosy atmosphere of an Alpine après-ski experience, with

Granada was the seat of the last Islamic kingdom in Spain until 1492, when the Emir Mohammed XII surrendered to the armies of the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. He was the last in line of the Nasrid dynasty, which over two centuries built upon and beautified Granada’s most prominent feature: the Alhambra castle that guards over the city.

Located at over 2400 feet in elevation, Granada can be chilly in winter, with overnight lows in the high 30s, but midday temperatures can reach 60 degrees. It’s worth it for the view of the 11,400foot peaks of the Sierra Nevadas, which are not only sharper in the crisp winter air, but worthy of their name, which translates to “Snowy Range.”

While Granada had been under Muslim rule well before the first Nasrid

(read: sexy) jazz club.

Address: 1803, 82 Reade Street, New York NY 10007 Website:

7. Balthazar, Soho

Keith McNally’s Soho institution has been a New York staple since it opened its doors in 1997. It’s grand and opulent, with high ceilings and mirrors as big as the walls. Come during the festive season and settle into the deep red booths under Art Deco lights with an order of steak frites.

Address: Balthazar, 80 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012 Website:balthazarbakery. com/soho interiors shopping with your supper). With soaring ceilings, elegant banquettes and warm, glowing lighting, this French café is the perfect spot for a chic business lunch or cosy weekend brunch – don’t miss the house-made pastries and the orist putting together bespoke arrangements by the front door.

Address: La Mercerie, 53 Howard Street, New York NY 10013 Website:

snow ake-encrusted trees bowing over the tables.

Address: Serra by Birreria, 200 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010 Website: eataly. com


Legacy Records, Hudson Yards

e way-west side is enjoying a major resurgence in Manhattan, and Legacy Records can take some of the credit for being an early pioneer in the neighbourhood. It was designed by San Francisco

Granada is steeped in rich history

interiors supremo Ken Fulk, and every detail, nook and cranny is exquisitely considered (even the bathroom is stunning). e signature of the multi-level space is the sweeping, sexy bar with seats begging to be swivelled on before you move on to the dining room for an Italian-in uenced dinner with dishes such as cavatelli verde pasta with sausage ragu, pecorino and mint and honey lacquered duck with grape and pistachio.

Address: Legacy Records,

517 West 38th Street, New York NY 10018 Website: legacyrecordsrestaurant. com

6. 1803, Tribeca

Let the good times roll: there’s a little slice of New Orleans in downtown Manhattan with interiors as bold as its Cajun avours. e bi-level interior of 1803 combines bright botanical wallpaper with black and white chequerboard oors for a fun, semi-tropical vibe. After dinner, make your way downstairs to the intimate

8. RH Rooftop Restaurant, Meatpacking District Set atop the stunning new Restoration Hardware store in the trendy Meatpacking district, this is a chandelierlover’s dream inspired by the stately gardens of Europe. With its lush greenery, twinkling crystal and panoramic views of the Hudson River, the indoor/ outdoor space is equally gorgeous day or night. e classic American menu with Italian accents is date-night perfect – go for a prosciutto and cheese platter followed by a lobster roll or steak.

Address: RH Rooftop Restaurant, 9 Ninth Avenue, New York NY 10014 Website:

emirs, it was they who converted The Alhambra from fortress to a palatial residence. The General Day Visit ticket (€ 14, with one additional euro for the audio guide) lets you visit the original Alcazaba fortress, the Nasrid palaces, and the Generalife summer retreat above the Alhambra, with its pools and courtyards. Give yourself time just to relax in the gardens here.

After visiting the Alhambra, walk to the hilltop Albaicín neighbourhood, where 27 minarets have long since become church towers. Stroll between the whitewashed walls of its narrow streets and glimpse the occasional traditional inner courtyard through the front gate. Walk to the viewpoint at 1 Calle del Algave for the classic photograph of the ancient fortress in front of the Sierra Nevadas.

When you head back into the main town in the early evening, you’ll nd a host of tapas bars across the way from Alhambra. e hundred-year-old Bodegas Castaneda is worth stepping into for the interior alone, but order a few tapas — as Andalusia is where the early evening tradition of sharing small plates originated.

While Jamón Iberico, aged ham from black, acorn-fed pigs, is adored throughout Spain, the best producers come from Andalusia — so you could start with that. Spinach and chickpeas are also a typical Andalusian dish.

One your second day in Granada, visit the historic center. After a day admiring soothing Islamic architecture at the Alhambra, you’ll need sunglasses when you enter the Basilica de San Juan de Dios, whose interior is almost entirely covered in gold. Built in the early

1700s, it exemplifies not just intensely ornate Baroque architecture, but the wealth that Spain took from its colonies in the Americas — following that other event in 1492. (After all, it was Ferdinand and Isabella who bankrolled Columbus’s voyage).

An eight-minute walk away, the Granada Cathedral was built atop the ruins of an old mosque within decades of the “Reconquista,” or “Reconquering,” as the triumph over Muslim rule is known in Spain. Just next door to the Cathedral is the Royal Chapel where the architects of the Reconquista themselves — King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella — are buried.

The nearby museum reflects Isabella’s devout Catholicism: you’ll find her collection of Flemish panels and Spanish paintings depicting pious themes.

19 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
Travel & Leisure

Furthermore Gerry Moran

Back to the future with Madame Helena

I am walking down the Castle Road towards the Parade when I see a little camper van parked up, outside Rinuccinis res taurant. The notice on the window caught my eye: ‘Madame Helena. Palm Reading. Crystal Ball. Tarot Cards. Step in.’ And in I stepped.

Madame Helena is lowsized, blondish, sallow complexion and is maybe in her early 40s. “You want a reading?” she smiles beck oning me to sit at a small table and sits across from me. The first thing Madame Helena does is place a crystal ball in the centre of the table, takes my hands, places them around the ball and says: “I want you to make a wish for yourself.”

Now I always have dif ficulty making a wish just for myself (it seems a bit selfish) so I silently wish for

the health and happiness of my family. Madame Helena, reading my mind almost, says: “You have a kind face, you love your family and your family loves you but make a wish for yourself.”

And so I wish for my own health and happiness and that of my family.

We then get down to busi ness. Madame Helena tells me she reads the Tarot cards, palms and looks into the crystal ball. Having no idea what the going rate is for a session with a fortune teller I ask how much.

“Fifty for all three,” she says.”Thirty for two.” I opt for two not because I’m a cheapskate but because I have only two 20 euro notes in my wallet and I doubt if Madame H takes a credit card (maybe she does!) though I did think 50 was on the steep side.

Replacing my hands on the

crystal ball Madame Helena, who herself has a kind face and soft, probing eyes, tells me that I am kind-hearted, a good person, but I need to love myself more! “Throw away all those things you don’t need,” she says as I wonder what those things might be. And I need to have more faith, more faith in the Higher Power because there is a Higher Power, she assures me.

Madame Helena exhorts me to light some candles (I was tempted to tell her about the incident from some weeks back when I lit a candle for a friend in the Black Abbey and ended up having a three hour conver sation with a Dominican priest over dinner in my house). There are angels all around me, Madame H, continues, “one of them is your mother who loves you very much and watches over

you but she is not smiling. You should try to make her smile”.

Oh dear. I’m beginning to feel like a proper pagan (and perhaps I am). “You’ll live to a good old age,”she then informs me. “I am a good

old age,” I say. Madame H smiles.

She then hands me some Tarot cards, tells me to shuffle them and hold on to five. One after another I lay the cards on the table, read aloud what’s on them (and they are all interesting) as Madame H interprets their meaning. Seems I should stay close to water that I should walk near rivers and lakes. I do. I regularly walk down the canal or along John’s Quay.

I should also find a new perspective on things as, according to Madame H’s interpretation of the cards, I need more purpose in life! I should also forget past mis takes. “We all made them, stop blaming yourself,” she announces. “Move on. You’re an educated man but education doesn’t just come from school... [well I know and I hadn’t the heart to tell

her that I was in education all my life] we learn from people.”

And then, a comment that really caught my attention, “Keep a diary,” she tells me. “words make you happy and they keep the dementia away.”

That’s when I told her that I actually write a column for a local paper and stepped in to hopefully get one from my visit. Madame H is all ears. “What will you call the story?” she, with those probing eyes, enquires.

“I may call it: Back to the future with Madame Helena and it will be positive.”

Madame H suggests a title of her own but then says: “You know best yourself.”

As the session ends

Madame Helena takes my hands again, places them on the crystal ball and says: “To life, vove, happiness and health.”

20 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
‘To feel like a proper pagan ...
21 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

Whether you agree or not, alcohol plays a major role for your typical football fan and no. more so than at World Cups down the decades.

e World Cup is equal parts sporting event and in ternational celebration, again no more so than in stadiums, and in bars that open early or stay open late to show games. But the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is unlike any before it. Just two days before the tour nament’s rst match in the Muslim nation, o cials made the surprise announcement that fans won’t be allowed to drink beer at the country’s eight World Cup stadiums — a reversal of a previously an nounced policy.

Alcohol is tightly regulat ed in Qatar, where customs agents are under orders to seize any booze visitors try to bring into the country.

It’s one of many cultural clashes and potential legal issues that fans might en counter in Qatar, particularly if they’re traveling from more open societies.

For a sign of how dramatic the shift in Qatar is, consider that FIFA successfully pres sured Brazil to change its federal laws to allow alcohol sales in its stadiums before it hosted the 2014 World Cup — overturning a ban that had been enacted due to violence at its stadiums.

“Alcoholic drinks are part of the FIFA World Cup, so we’re going to have them,” then-FI FA secretary general Jerome Valcke said back in 2012. “Ex cuse me if I sound a bit arro gant but that’s something we won’t negotiate.”

But that was then. In Qatar, regular fans won’t have ac cess to alcohol at matches. Only spectators in the stadi ums’ high-end luxury suites will have easy access to alco hol. Outside of the stadiums, fans can still drink at special World Cup gathering spaces, or at specially licensed res taurants, bars, and hotels around the country.

In general, the public con sumption of alcohol is illegal

Footie fans heavily restricted in Qatar

“indecent acts and the act of sexual intercourse outside of marriage,” according to Qa tari law.

Recriminations range from a ne or six months’ impris onment for anyone found to have committed “immoral” actions or gestures in public to up to seven years in pris on for someone having sex outside of marriage. Public debauchery can also carry a sentence up to three years in prison.

If a pregnant fan goes to Qa tar for the World Cup, they should be prepared to show a marriage certi cate if they need prenatal care there.

When fans are in Qatar, they’ll need to keep their stomachs, chests and shoul ders covered.

Fans will need to cover up, despite the heat.

in Qatar — an o ence that can bring up to six months in prison and a ne of more than €800. Anyone smuggling alco hol into the country can face up to three years in prison.

Fans, too, face religious re strictions. Islam is the o cial religion of Qatar — and any one found to be proselytising for other religions or criticis ing Islam “may be criminally prosecuted,” according to a factsheet about Qatar for World Cup visitors.

It’s also not safe to assume you can practice your faith openly: “Qatar allows some non-Muslim religious prac tice in designated areas like Doha’s Religious Complex, but all faiths are not accom modated equally,” the fact sheet says.

In addition to import re strictions on alcohol and por nography, “travellers cannot bring pork products” into the country.

Public speech is also lim

ited. Speech that’s deemed critical of the Qatari govern ment could trigger an arrest. ose laws apply both to spo ken words and social media.

And, while past World Cups have brought a heaping of argy-bargy — scenes of rival crowds yelling or even singing obscenities at one another — open con icts can bring big problems in Qatar.

“For example, arguing with or insulting others in pub lic could lead to arrest,” a US

State Department advisory states.

Homosexuality is criminal ised in Qatar. Advocates say that LGBTQ people in Qatar are subjected to conversion therapy, harassment by au thorities and imprisonment.

Such reports have fuelled outrage, and authorities will be under scrutiny for how they handle LGBTQ fans and symbols.

Visitors to Qatar can also face harsh punishments for

Qatar’s oppressive heat forced the tournament to move from the summer to November and December — but fans who nd it hot there should limit how much skin they show.

Dress codes in many public areas require that “both men and women cover shoulders, chests, stomachs, and knees, and that tight leggings be cov ered by a long shirt or dress”.

As with alcohol, clothing standards often shift accord ing to the degree a neigh bourhood or venue caters to foreigners.

Now, Afghan women barred from gyms

Fifteen months after the fall, again, of Kabul to the Taliban in August 2021, the lot of Afghan people, and girls and women pointedly, is a sorry state. And we seldom hear news from inside a country ruled with an iron rst by fundamentalist Islamic law, as the war in Ukraine daily grabs the headlines.

Since August 2021, when US forces pulled out of Afghani stan after a 20-year presence, the Taliban has banned girls from middle school and high school, de- spite initial prom ises to the contrary, restricted women from most elds of employment, and ordered them to wear head-to-toe clothing in public.

Taliban enforces orders Afghan women TV news and continuity announcers to

cover their faces at all times. Now in the latest clamp down, Afghan women are to be barred from gyms, a Tali ban o cial says. e Taliban

has justi ed the ban by saying women ignored gender segre gation and dress code orders imposed earlier.

is is the the latest edict by

the group cracking down on women’s rights and freedoms since they took power more than a year ago.

e latest curbs come months after the Taliban or dered access to public parks to be segregated by gender.

e ban on women using gyms and parks came into force last week, according to Mohammed Akef Mohajer, a Taliban-appointed spokes man for the ministry.

e group has “tried its best” in the past 15 months to avoid closing parks and gyms for women, ordering separate days of the week for male and female access and imposing gender segregation, he said.

“But, unfortunately, the or ders were not obeyed and the rules were violated, and we had to close parks and gyms

for women,” said Mohajer.

“In most cases, we have seen both men and women togeth er in parks and, unfortunately, the hijab was not observed. So, we had to come up with another decision and for now we ordered all parks and gyms to be closed for women.”

Taliban teams will begin monitoring establishments to check if women are still using them, he said.

A female personal trainer told e Associated Press that women and men were not exercising or training together before at the Kabul gym where she works.

“ e Taliban are lying,” she insisted, speaking on condi tion of anonymity, fearing reprisals. “We were training separately.”

She said two men claiming

to be from the Ministry of Vice and Virtue entered her gym and made all the women leave.

“ e women wanted to pro test about the gyms [closing], but the Taliban came and ar rested them,” she said. “Now, we don’t know if they’re alive or dead.”

Kabul-based women’s rights activist Sodaba Nazhand said the bans on gyms, parks, work, and school would leave many women wondering what was left for them in Af ghanistan.

“It is not just a restriction for women, but also for children,” she said.

“Children go to a park with their mothers. Now children are also prevented from go ing to the park. It’s so sad and unfair.”

e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
‘If pregnant, bring your marriage cert with you...
Global Report

Crocks and Beauties

thrill of his life.

The sideline activities at the Beer Festival are worth a mention too. The Queen of the Land competition attracted hundreds of women, each of them put forward by commit tees of adoring townspeople, villagers, or the occupants of obscure country lanes, wood lands, and hillsides around the county.

With their sixties hairstyles and dresses, they drew thousands of lusty looks and admiring wolf whistles from the multitude of first time and seasoned male beer drinkers. The ladies paraded in front of large open-air audiences, to thunderous applause and adulation.

A veteran car rally went down well too, if not exactly as well or as smoothly as the rivers of beer that flowed and gurgled down the throats of drinkers. Sixty-four vintage cars- or “old crocks” as cynical observers called them- rolled, rattled, and spluttered along the medieval streets, led by the New Ross Brass and Reed band.

The convoy of quaint vehicles

arrived from Waterford on day one of the festival and headed towards the brewery, where they lay at anchor for the night. They were later driven through the City up to the Castle. Quite a few of the driv ers had dressed in period costume, each one to match

the advanced age of his car. One flamboyant gentleman; attired in shimmy frock, beads, and flaunting a two-foot long cigarette holder, waved to the crowds and had people in stitches laughing at him. J. Shelly of Callan said the rally had given him with the biggest

Another car carried a group of “Flower Power” singers who sang of peace, a perfect world, and free love. The latter concept was of course alien to Kilkenny in 1964.

A jittery looking machine, aptly titled “Crock of Ages” broke down in High Street and had to be pulled by Phil Dwyer’s jaunting car, an old reliable if ever there was one.

The oldest car on display was a 1907 “Nag” driven by the legendary Ossie Bennett of Tipperary hurling fame.

Finalists of the Beauty Queen competition also got to ride in the vintage relics of auld de cency. Hearts palpitated…pas sions ran amok…grown men swooned or threw kisses at the provocatively dressed ladies who waved daintily at them like ambassadors of love.

The Mayor, P. Delaney, was delighted with the car rally and the standard of entry among the Beauty Queen contestants. “When I look at all these four wheeled historical bits and pieces”, he announced, “it re minds me of how far the motor industry has come in recent decades. We’ve made progress, thank God.”

Elsewhere in the city, two ballrooms were packed to capacity with dancing couples. There was racing and show

jumping at Gowran, and a plethora of other events on the fringes of the city like boxing, wrestling, basketball, donkey races, and darts competitions.

But back to the beer tent… and the pubs of Kilkenny that extended opening time beyond 2 p.m. By midnight, thousands of decent citizens had consumed enough beer, according to a local newspa per report, to fill the historic Walkin’s Lough that used to flood Kilkenny in years gone by.

This advanced state of inebri ation led to some memorable funny… and not so funny…

incidents. As the witching hour passed, a lively fellow removed the tablecloth in the beer tent and leaped up on the table.

Staggering in all directions, he asked everyone present to behold the greatest dancing performance of their lives.

He performed a Cossack dance that many drinkers found exhilarating and that made others slightly dizzy… such was the majesty and deftness of his foot work and body movements. “Japers…I thought I was in Russia there for a minute” was the verdict of one dewy-eyed drinker. To be continued…

23 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Opinion
Strike up the band Dancing at the Castle Festive spirits

“A pint of zzy orange please.” It’s an hour before doors open, but Eoin has arrived and has taken up position. e anorak will be placed on his stool at the back of the venue. Eoins is usually the only stool allowed on the busy nights.

How many shows has Eoin attended over the years?

In Cleere’s it runs into the hundreds, plus shows in e Watergate, e Set, Billy Byrnes, Ryans, St Canices Cathedral, Kilkenny Castle and any other venue in town that ventured into the entertainment business. Eoin was primarily a music fan, but

was also a regular at opera, classical, ballet, jazz, theatre. Standup comedy is the only format that I can’t remember him attending.

He was a huge supporter of young artists and bands taking their rst steps on the musical ladder. Andrew Mc Guinness recalls him attending every “Battle of the Bands” gig in e Zoo Club and giving encouragement to all the young performers.

e Roots Festival played a special part in his life, but he was also a big supporter of the Kilkenny Arts Festival and a wide range of other events in Kilkenny. He ventured further to gigs, particularly in Vicar Street with his great friend, Paul Campion, on driving duties. I remember him telling me about being invited backstage to meet one of his favourites, Randy Newman. He told me behind

him waiting to be ushered in were Paul Brady and Bono. I’m sure both of them were wondering who the tall guy with the long hair was ahead of them in the queue.

His nephew, Simon, told the story of him going to London for a gig and passing a driver changing a tyre. He asked Eoin could he give him a hand. “Sorry Billy, I know who you are, but I can’t help. I’d be late for the show.” It was Billy Connolly down on his hands and knees. e show always came rst. Eoin and I attended Kilkenny CBS at the same time. I was looking recently at a picture of our 1968 Leaving Cert class. e smiling Eoin is fourth from left in the middle row, with myself and Gerry Moran, of this

parish, on the left in the front. ere wasn’t a lot of music to be heard in those days, just the odd programme on Radio Luxembourg or pirate stations like Radio Caroline. Despite the lack of musical events, both live or on TV/ Radio, we developed a huge interest in music, none more so than Eoin. When we opened our venue in Cleere’s in the early nineties, Eoin became our biggest supporter. Whether half a dozen or a full house showed

up for a play or a gig, you could be sure that he would be there.

I’m not sure when the practice of keeping Ticket No 1 for Eoin began, but this became the norm over the years. All these were kept and meticulously led at his house in New Street for every show he attended. ere was consternation one year before the Kilkenny Roots Festival when some “Ticket No 1’s” were sold before being put aside. e buyers were tracked down and the tickets returned and allocated to their rightful owner. “Ticket No 1” has now been retired and will not be sold at future festivals.

Cleere’s presented Eoin with a “Golden Ticket” a few years ago, granting him admission to all future events in recognition of his support over the years. Warm tributes were paid by Kilkenny Arts Festival, e Watergate eatre and various music venues also. Pat Crotty from Paris Texas related the story of Table No 8 in the restaurant, which was always held for Eoin and his brother, Dan. A good lunch, a pint of orange and a gig at any venue around town was the ideal day for Eoin. Not a bad recipe for life.

‘Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h’anam dílis’

John And Phyl Cleere opened Cleere’s Bar & eatre in 1988. e venue is now run by John Holden and Paul McCabe, who have continued to organise a full programme of events throughout the year.

John was among the founders of the Smithwick’s Kilkenny Roots Festival in 1998 and is currently Festival Director. He is looking forward to presenting an exciting range of acts on the 25th Anniversary in 2023.

24 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
When asked by Billy Connolly for help changing a tyre, Eoin apologised, saying he was a huge fan but he was rushing to a gig
e death of Eoin Mac Donald, lover of the arts, shocked the city, as people agreed that Kilkenny had lost a legend. Former classmate and friend John Cleere pays tribute to Eoin
25 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

Beef outlook not great as inflation bites deeper

The next year for Ireland’s beef industry remains uncer tain, according to Bord Bia, as consumer demand in Europe is impacted by the cost-ofliving crisis.

In recent months, there has been some downward across Ireland’s European beef export markets, as consumers began to adjust to increases in the cost of living.

After energy, food has been the second biggest driver of inflation and European re tailers have acted over recent months to increasingly focus on value in order to retain market share, Bord Bia said in a statement to the Farming Independent.

Latest forecasts from the European Beef Forecasting Group indicate a 1% reduc

Tributes paid to woman who was killed by falling tree

A Piltown woman farmer lay dead on her own land for more than 24 hours after she was pinned by a falling tree branch, it has emerged.

Gardai believe one of Mary O’Shea’s dogs refused to leave her side until passersby found her body. “The dog stayed by her side the whole time,” a source said.

The body of Ms Mary O’Shea – who was also a well-known local historian in her 60s –was pinned to the ground by the heavy branch that fell from a tree when she was cutting it.

Her body was found at her home near Piltown on the evening of Saturday, November 19 – but sources say she was last seen early on the Friday and she is believed to have died later that day.

Ms O’Shea was well-known in the area, locals said.She was an only child and was unmarried and was predeceased by both her parents, locals said.

As well as being a farmer, Ms O’Shea was also a noted writer and member of the South Kilkenny Historical Society.

A Garda spokesperson said: “A woman in her 60s received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body has been removed to the Mortuary

at University Hospital Waterford. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Sources said foul play had been ruled out and her death was a tragic accident.

Fine Gael councillor Pat Dunphy said everyone in the area was shocked by her death. “I would like to pass on my sympathy and those of the people of Piltown to her relations.

“She was a very popular woman. She worked on her farm and also had a strong knowledge of local history. It was very sad.”

Parish priest Fr Paschal Moore paid tribute to her, saying: . “She lived alone but she was very much involved in community life. She was a local historian and wrote a book on the area a few years ago. She was a wonderful person and was a great help in the parish when tourists came looking for their family roots..

“And she was a very good friend. She will be missed in the community.”

Eddie Synnott, of the South Kilkenny Historical Society, where Ms O’Shea was the joint treasurer, said: “She was a very good historian and was able to express her knowledge. She was also an intellectual and a wonderful woman.”

tion in beef consumption for 2022, with 4% less in Germany and 1% decreases in France and Sweden.

The weaker demand for higher-value steak cuts in particular has been partially offset by a strong forequar ter beef trade, especially for manufacturing product.

The EU beef herd is expect ed to continue to decline next

year, with a small recovery in beef production expected in Britain.

Rising living costs in these key markets for Irish beef are expected to continue to impact on beef demand, with consumer concerns around sustainability, animal welfare and personal health further impacted by value-for-mon ey concerns, Bord Bia said.

Figures from Bord Bia show that the most recent cattle kill forecast has indicated that the annual cattle kill through department-approved plants will reach 1.81m head for 2022, that is an an increase of 120,000 from the levels for 2021.

This increase has been driven by higher numbers of slaughter-age cattle available

on Irish farms during 2022, reduced exports of slaughterage cattle to the North and also the decision by some to kill cattle younger and lighter than previous years.

According to the deaprt ment, early indications for 2023 are that we will see a re duction in cattle availability in 2023, with a forecast kill of 1.78m.

it or lose it’ is the hard hitting green message

If we want our local stores and businesses to reopen their doors in January, now is the time to stay loyal, Champion Green founder Marian O’Gorman, said at the launch of Green Friday.

While many businesses and organisations act on environmental sustainabil ity, the business leader says that supporting local SMEs is key to living sustainably, protecting social resources locally, and regenerating the health and wealth of communities.

Launched in 2019, on the back of concern for local businesses losing out to global e-commerce, Green Friday is deemed a sus tainable alternative to the

shopping promotion Black Friday.

Ireland’s support local campaigners are asking that people support local industry and jobs, and keep money circulating locally, for the sake of healthy vi brant sustainable commu nities.

Every €1 spent in local retail can generate up to €2.50 in the economy.  €1 spent online, with an over seas retailer, is largely lost to the local economy, the promoters of Green Friday, outline.

In the month ahead of Christmas, consumers here will spend about €4.5 bil lion in total.

“If we spent this money,

domestically, the impact on jobs, local invest ment, our communities and the wellbeing of or dinary people, would be powerful,”Minister for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English TD said.

Evelyn Moynihan of Kilkenny Design said that consumer consciousness was real, and there was more demand than ever for locally-designed and made gifts that will last.

“We may buy less in 2022, but the trend is towards responsible gifts and last ing quality.  The value of sustainable community is all the more obvious in a world where climate crisis,

conflict, and over-reliance on global business giants can drive both inflation and displacement,” she said.

Up to €50 million is likely to be spent in Ireland over the Black Friday week end, which, in reality, has extended to a fortnight of online and instore sales promotion, rather than the one-off exclusive or valu able discounts, Green Fri day advocates say.

Small Firms Association Acting Director Elizabeth Bowen said: “We are calling on consumers to support their communities by shop ping in small businesses and buying local sustain able gifts or Irish-made products this Green Friday”.

Agri sector needs to be more climate conscious

For food safety purposes and market demands for bioener gy production, it is paramount that the agricultural sector worldwide becomes more climate resilient. As tempera tures rise, rainfall patterns change and pests and diseases mutate, food and farming sys tems face increasing threats.

This webinar will focus on solutions to reduce the cli mate footprint of livestock

raising – an issue of major concern to both Brazil and Ireland.

In Ireland, agriculture ac counts for over 37% of green house gases (GHG) emissions. Recently, the Government set a ceiling for emissions in the sector, requiring a 25% reduc tion by 2030 compared to 2018 levels.

The Brazilian livestock sec tor has incorporated increas

ingly sustainable practices. In April 2021, the Brazilian Min istry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) created the ABC+ Plan for the adapta tion of agriculture to low car bon emissions systems.

The observed trend in the Brazilian beef industry is to marginally increase the herd while reducing the grazing areas. Furthermore, the re nowned Brazilian Agricultural

Research Corporation (Em brapa) will cover the Carbon Neutral Beef (CNB) brand and method of production, a seal which certifies beef produced using systems that neutralise methane gas emissions.

Join this webinar to discuss challenges and best practices to reduce the environmen tal footprint of the livestock breeding with panelists from Brazil and Ireland.

The event will be an oppor tunity to open up a discussion forum between Brazilian and Irish stakeholders.

The confirmed panellists to date are:

• Dr. Paul Crosson, Beef Enter prise Leader, Teagasc, Agricul ture and Food Development Authority

• Prof. Tommy Boland, Asso ciate Dean of Research Inno vation and Impact, School of

Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin

• Dr. Mariana de Aragão Pereira, Senior Researcher, Embrapa, The Brazilian Agri cultural Research Corporation

• Luiza Bruscato, Executive Manager, Brazilian Round table on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS)

• Gracie Verde Selva, Execu tive Sustainability Manager, Minerva Foods

News 26 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
27 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

What is the Back to Education Initiative?

The Back to Education Initiative

(BTEI) provides free, part-time further education courses mainly for young people and adults who have not completed the Leaving Certificate or an equivalent qualification.

It provides the opportunity to combine learning with family, work and other responsibilities. Anyone who has left full-time education can take part in a course, but priority will be given to those without a Leaving Certificate.

You can qualify for free places if you:

• Have less than upper-second level education (Leaving Certificate, or

• Are getting a jobseeker’s payment or means-tested social welfare payment, or

• Are getting Working Family Payment or

• Have a medical card or

• Are CE participants

BTEI is part of KCETB (Kilkenny & Carlow Education & Training Board).

Learning to grow with BTEI Kilkenny

a career dream

Former BTEI Kilkenny Horticultural Learner, Aimee Moore competed on RTÉ’s Super Garden TV show during the summer of 2022. Aimee has worked in the gardening sector for many years. Having dedicated her life to raising her daughter Khia and working for other gardening and retail companies, Aimee made a lifechanging decision to prioritise her dream and her future career as a garden designer – beginning with gaining her qualifications through BTEI.

She now runs her own business: Botanical Graphics – Garden Design by Aimee.

BTEI Kilkenny can help get you started on your journey to fulfil your employment goals. Get in contact with the team at Unit 7, Danville Business Park, Kilkenny.

Since the early 2000s, BTEI Kilkenny has been offering a second chance to study for local people who left school with few or no formal qualifications.

Its programme of free, part-time further education courses aims to provide the marginalised and disadvantaged members of our community the opportunity to return to learning and improve their employment opportunities along with their self-esteem.

Starting off in a small office at Butler Court on Patrick Street, BTEI Kilkenny initially had to rely on outreach classrooms throughout the county to deliver its courses. However, a more accommodating home was eventually found at Seville Lodge with room for their own classrooms. There it remained for a number of years until increasing Learner numbers meant it needed to move again to larger facilities at Unit 7 Danville in 2014.

This has become its permanent home, expanding into a further two newly refurbished units this year to provide nine state-of-the-art classrooms, offices and canteen in total.

Building confidence

Claire Jackman heads up the BTEI Kilkenny programme as Coordinator / Centre Manager backed up by her team, Mary Roche and Michelle Keary.

“We are here to support people who previously experienced strong barriers to going back to education,” explained Claire. “People who are unemployed, are lone parents, have low literacy levels, where English is not their native language or who left school without formal qualifications.

“Many of our Learners have previously had bad experiences in school and maybe left early because of that. They come to us as adults and take a leap of faith. When they do that, we’re here to catch them, so they don’t fall. We aim to give them the opportunity to build confidence in themselves

“My job is about supporting them so they can achieve their potential –whatever that might be. Success for them doesn’t necessarily mean going on to study for a degree or something in the future, it can simply be the decision to invest in themselves now, through education.”


BTEI Kilkenny courses are available at Levels 3,4,5 and 6 QQI in office administration and healthcare support.

Early Learning and Care (Childcare) is offered at Levels 5 and 6. Attaining the healthcare support QQIs opens the door to work as a carer including within the HSE care system. The ELC qualification is needed to work in childcare settings.

New this year are the Sports recreation Level 4 and 5 QQI courses.

“We’re expanding our programme of courses all the time,” said Claire. “In the New Year we will be adding tourism, ecommerce and digital marketing courses. We listen to what people tell us they need to qualify in the job market today. We also study the job boards to know what kind of qualifications businesses are actually looking for.

“For example, a couple of years ago, a former healthcare support Learner contacted me to say that they really

wanted a job in the HSE but they were looking for certain modules which were not part of our existing major award. So we put out some feelers, advertised, and we now run a summer school covering that module.”

The part-time teaching staff members are recruited from within the field they teach in. “We have nurses teaching healthcare, childcare centre managers teaching ELC,” Claire said. “There is a strong emphasis on education through practical learning, in addition to the academic side of things. Some people learn better with practical instruction.”

Courses are part-time, making them accessible to people who either work part-time, or have family commitments. “We are very flexible,” explained Claire. “Learners can come and study one module with us then dip out for a while if there are personal things going on in their lives and then can come back to us at a later date to continue.”

Morning classes run from 9.30am12.30pm making them accessible to lone parents of small children. “The times were longer, but we shortened them so parents could drop off their children, pop into class for three hours in the morning and then collect them from their childcare providers without rushing and panicking about being late for pick up.”

Evening classes run from 6.30pm9.30pm.

BTEI also delivers courses at outreach centres in Ferrybank, Callan, Castlecomer and Urlingford and from January at Graignamanagh. “If they can’t come to us, we’ll go to them,” said Claire.


If you’ve been out of the education or work system for a while, it can be daunting to know what course and what career direction is right for you. But Claire and the team are on hand for an informal chat to help guide.

“Often people are undecided on what they want to do,” explained Mary Roche. “We’ve had people come in to sign up for a health care course who then end up doing office administration, or the other way around. When they come in to speak to us, we let them know the full range of courses available and what options these courses can give them – what jobs they will be qualified to do.”

Claire added, “It’s very much what floats their boat. I’ve said to people if I had a magic wand, and you could work in anything you wanted, what would it be? And then we work from there.”

So, is there a typical BTEI Learner? “We have people from every type of background,” said Claire. “We have many lone parents, ex-army service personnel and people from a wide range of nationalities. The diversity is incredible.

“We offer support to people with literacy and language barriers through other local ETB centres to help break down those obstacles to learning and training.”

Team spirit

BTEI is proud of the high levels of success their Learners achieve, which Claire puts down to “great team spirit.”

“All the admin team and the teachers work very closely together to put the

28 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
Kilkenny’s Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)
programme based at Danville
Business Park
continues to expand with new classrooms and courses added for the New Year.
From BTEI to realising

needs of the Learners first. Yes, a lot of work goes into the administration of the courses, building management and so on, but the one thing that we all keep focused on is: will this help our Learners achieve what they need to? That’s what we bring ourselves back to. We are public servants, here to serve the public and thankfully we get very positive feedback.

“At first many of our Learners don’t think they will be able for it, but then they really surprise themselves by completing the course and finally obtaining a qualification to give themselves the opportunity to find a good job.”

Feedback from Learners describe BTEI as a ‘beautiful environment’ with a ‘great team who support Learners’ and that it’s ‘not in the least bit intimidating.’

“Many people come to us based on personal recommendations from past Learners, with one Learner telling us that BTEI Kilkenny is the place to be to study.

“We offered horticulture courses a few years ago, and one of our horticultural Learners went on to study at Kildalton Agricultural College and Carlow IT. He’s now a teacher tutor under Kilkenny Carlow ETB, proving that you can go full circle!”

For more information on courses, or just to have a quiet chat about your future education plans drop in to Unit 7, Danville Business Park, Kilkenny – call: 056 7701020 – email: btei@kkadulted. ie – visit:

Scan the Q-code to register for courses in January and keep an eye on the BTEI FaceBook page for the latest course promotions.

Timetable for BTEI January courses

Daytime Courses BTEI January 2023


Spreadsheet Methods

Tourism Information and Administration

CodeTime Venue

5N19779.30am – 12.30pmDanville

5N06369.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Introduction to Healthcare 4N37769.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Work Experience 5N1356 9.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Care Support 5N07589.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Office Skills 4N11089.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Customer Service 5N09729.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Infection, Prevention and Control 5N37349.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Communications 5N06901.30pm – 4.30pmDanville

Intellectual Disability Studies 5N16529.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Safety & Health @ Work 5N17941.30pm – 4.30pmDanville

Communications 5N06909.30am - 12.30pmDanville

Business Calculations 4N22799.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Word Processing 4N1123 9.30am – 12.30pmDanville


5N1422 9.30am – 12.30pmDanville

Care Skills

5N07586.30pm – 9.30pmDanville

Medical Terminology Skills 6N43296.30pm – 9.30pmDanville Accounting Manual and Computerised 5N13486.30pm – 9.30pmDanville

Palliative Care 5N37696.30pm – 9.30pmDanville

What Learners are saying…

“I returned to education with the BTEI in 2014 to study Health Care Support having been made redundant in the construction industry. I found the courses to be excellent preparation for my career change. The support I received from tutors and fellow students was top class and has given me the confidence to take on new challenges in life. I would have no hesitation in recommending the BTEI to anyone who wishes to return to education.”

“BTEI has increased my selfconfidence and my feeling of selfworth. I have received support from both tutors and other classmates. We are given direction and lots of friendships have been made.”


Skills 5N16106.30pm – 9.30pmDanville ESOL 5N16326.30pm – 9.30pmDanville

Monday Palliative Care 5N07589.30am – 12.30pmUrlingford

Tuesday Infection Prevention and Control 5N37349.30am – 12.30pmCallan Environmental Sustainability Awareness 9.30am - 12.30pmGraignamanagh

Wednesday Communications 5N06909.30am - 12.30pmCastlecomer Care Skills 5N07589.30am - 12.30pmUrlingford

Thursday Palliative Care 5N37699.30am - 12.30pmFerrybank Care Skills 5N07581.30pm – 4.30pmFerrybank

Infection Prevention and Control 5N37349.30am – 12.30pmFerrybank Communications 5N06909.30am – 12.30pmCallan

Infection Prevention and Control 5N37349.30am - 12.30pmUrlingford

Friday Infection Prevention and Control 5N37349.30am - 12.30pmCastlecomer Communications 5N06909.30am - 12.30pmUrlingford Communications 5N06909.30am – 12.30pmFerrybank Office Skills 4N1116 9.30am - 12.30pmCastlecomer

“The tutors are very professional and friendly and I have developed new friendships with other Learners. I am in the process of completing a Level 5 Health Care Support and thanks to BTEI I have obtained full-time work because of my participation in this course.”

“Fourteen months ago, I came into BTEI looking for a career change, I was previously in construction. But the building work dried up, now I have almost finished my QQI Level 5 in Healthcare and with thanks to the great tutors who gave me the confidence and knowledge to gain a full-time job in the Health Care sector. With their open-door approach, they are always at hand to help. I would highly recommend BTEI to anyone looking for a career change or to upskill themselves.”

How to sign up for a course

There are a few different ways to sign up for a course: drop in to unit seven Danville Business Park for an informal chat –phone: 056 7701020 – email: – visit: www.

Scan the Q-code here to register for January courses and keep an eye on the BTEI FaceBook page for the latest course promotions.

29 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
the above classes will run subject to numbers and meeting eligibility criteria Evening Classes in Danville January 2023
CodeTime Venue
the above classes will run subject to numbers and meeting eligibility criteria Outreach Centres – Callan, Castlecomer, Ferrybank, Graignamanagh BTEI
January 2023
Day Module CodeTime Venue
All the above classes will run subject to numbers and meeting eligibility criteria Learners enjoy state-of-the-art classroom facilities in BTEI’s newly opened Unit 7 additional accommodation Skills demonstration – practical instruction plays an important role in BTEI courses The new facilities at BTEI include a canteen and friendly meeting spaces BTEI Kilkenny, Danville Business Park Learners created this collage during a teambuilding class to reflect the different cultures and nationalities of their fellow BTEI course members

In Jail with John Lacey

fty times more than all the thieves combined.

Part 2

“What am I in for, Ned?” he exclaimed, almost in shock - “I’m in here ‘cause I’m a bloody thief, that’s why, just like all these other chancers!”

So Shelton was not, after all, a hot spot on the Amnesty books; nor need we fear recruiting teams from Maynooth making potential-priest  dawn kidnapping raids on our little dormitory.

Lacey then went on to explain to me the ethics and morals of the thievery trade.

In these esoteric things, he believed: A thief, he told me, should never grass on another thief, nor should he let the family of an incarcerated colleague go short, or hungry.

ere were good thieves, he explained, and bad ones. e bad eggs targeted old people, and harmed them. e good ones only went after the loot of big companies, where the ‘men at the top’ were nicking

He also liked to imagine - in fact was convincedthat his was a trade, just like plumbing, or painting.

He’d go: “Ned - these nine to vers go out and get their dough, and often cod the householder up to the eyebrows! And the Taxman too! Isn’t that thieving? ey do their work to “dress” their kids.  I do mine, for the same reason. e only di erence is that I’m likely to be ung in the nick for my job, while they are free to come and go as they like”.

He also mentioned the unsociable hours that a thief had to put up with, and alleged that normal workers ‘wouldn’t last kissing time’ at his game.

I don’t remember if he’d had a good education. What I do know is that he had one of the sharpest minds I ever encountered. Amend that to: the sharpest. Tell him something - and he had it.

I’ll give an example or two, as I go along.

He’d bring in, every night, the ingredients for a four course meal. One evening we were chatting, after he’d cooked up a big feed using just the Primus.  e ingredients – where-

from? He ‘worked’ down on the prison farm, where he’d wangled a handy little number. His bomber jacket must have had twenty pockets - most of them sewn in by himself. Now you know …

e cooks and warders were also very co-operative, as he provided them with surprisingly sharp betting tips And he never bet himself!

‘A mugs game, Ned’, he’d go – ‘all them bloody jockeys are crooks! Couldn’t trust ‘em an inch!’ It was his old Dublin charm - he had charisma to die for - that got John accepted – in circles that other would swiftly be drummed out of.

And he had a certain understated presence that deterred people from crossing him. I remember one night when a little red-haired cur  came up to our level, smirking and sniggering. It turned out that he’d defecated in the working boots of a lad he didn’t like, so as to encourage him to leave the dormitory he slept in.

Nobody laughed or commented on this lthy act, so he tried to extricate himself with some semblance of ‘face’ by

blustering to John: “What would you do, Dub, if you found a ‘boot-full’ when you came back from the pool room”?  Lacey reached under his bed, pulled out a boot, and said, as he pro ered it to the scum: “Take that away, Red, and do your little trick. When you bring it back, you’ll nd out”.  at, with the thinnest smile I ever saw on a man.

Funny boy didn’t accept the o er. Lucky old him. He wasn’t seen on our level again.

One night, after the grub, John asked me to teach him how to play chess, as I had a small set with me. He said he could play draughts well, but I told him that chess was a far more complex game, and that it would take a good while just to get familiar with the rules.

He grinned, in his usual self-con dent way, at this statement, and I thought –‘OK Johnny - let’s see how you go with this one!’ He’d already wiped the oor with me at pool, so I was going to have a bit of fun with him. Revenge, sez I, is mine tonight!

I had fun all right. For just one game. I had all the trouble I wanted cornering him in the second, and

barely scratched home. He beat me - fast - in the third. And wiped me out in the fourth. He asked me if I had ‘let him’ win. I assured him I never let anyone win, if I could help it. We played many times after that. I never won again.

e next night he produced a draught set. I always considered myself a good draughts player - much better than I was at chess. Good, was I? I didn’t even get a look in. He cleaned me up, big time. Cards - the same. I was also told he could have played professional soccer - if he’d wanted to. But that would mean he’d have a boss…

But, as he stressed to me when I asked him why he never changed his ways“what’s wrong with thieving, Ned”? To John Lacey, it was a way of life. He considered it more honourable than being the CEO of a big robbing Company. {I’m neither condoning nor condemning his actions –just telling it like it was.}

One morning he told me he was doing a runner that afternoon. Apparently there was some family crisis that required his attention, and he wouldn’t say exactly what. I was the only person he told about the ‘skip’, and he asked me to contact him up Ballyfermot way whenever I was in Dublin. And assured me he would provide me with a wardrobe

of the very best new ‘threads’!

I was out of Shelton a few days after he’d scarpered.

O I went,  back to Australia for a while, running amok with the wine and the women. No change there, then.

I came back after a fair spell, and was sitting in my lady-friend’s house when a Sunday paper was laid on the table. She said to me: “isn’t this John, the man you were friends with in Shelton?”

It was. John in his pomp, standing with his back to the bar, in an old snooker pub. But it was the carnage on the rest of the page that told a terrible story.

Eight people, late at night, had been coming home from some celebration.

Eight people, in a Mini. e car hit an icy patch, and skidded into the Royal Canal.

It landed upside down. e horror and terror would have been unbelievable and unthinkable. ey all died. Including the driver. John Lacey

Ned E


e opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not re ect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of e Kilkenny Observer.

30 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
31 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

The Lonesome West comes to Thomastown

e Lonesome West features the persistently arguing brothers Coleman and Valene, whose father has just died in a shotgun ‘accident.’

Valene is only interested in his religious ornaments and drinking poteen.

Coleman is only interested in eating, and attends funerals to collect free sausage rolls and vol au vonts.

Valene goes out to help drag the body of Garda omas Hanlon (character in “A Skull in Connemara”) out of the lake with Father Welsh.

Hanlon had just killed himself. Coleman pretends to follow, delaying to tie his shoelace, despite the fact that he was wearing loafers.

While alone in the house, he destroys all of Valene’s plastic gurines, by placing them in Valene’s new stove.

Only Father Welsh, the alcoholic parish priest, attempts to x their

relationship, but his advice mostly goes unheard.

It is revealed later in the play that Coleman had shot his father because he insulted his (Coleman’s) new haircut.

Valene agreed to provide a false alibi for Coleman, stating that their father’s death was accidental.

In exchange, he demanded Coleman’s share of the inheritance money. Neither of the brothers show any grief or remorse at their father’s death.

e two brothers ght over everything and anything.

Valene attacks Coleman over eating his crisps, and they ght over whose turn it is to read the magazine, and who left the top o Valene’s pen.

Father Welsh, depressed because of the hatred between the brothers, and with a low self-esteem, writes a letter begging the brothers to get along, asserting that he will stake his soul on it.

Father Welsh then proceeds to drown himself in the lake. is act is signi cant, as there has already been a lengthy discussion about suicide in the play.

e characters believe that

damnation follows suicide for the victims.

When Coleman and Valene read his letter, they attempt to reconcile themselves, and a “confessions” scene ensues, in which the brothers take turns

to admit the wrongs that they had secretly done to each other in the past, and to forgive each other’s “sins.” Coleman loses his temper when Valene admits to shoving a pencil down the throat of a Coleman’s

old girlfriend, causing her to then fall in love with the doctor that removed it. Valene says “Try and top that one for yourself.” Coleman delivers an even more terrible confession, revealing that he cut the ears o Valene’s dog two years previously, presenting the evidence of the evidence of the severed dog’s ears in a brown paper bag.

In shock, Valene attempts to murder Coleman with a kitchen knife, but Coleman in turn destroys Valene’s stove with multiple shot gun blasts, and smashes his new collection of ceramic religious gurines. After a stando , they calm down and Coleman apologises sincerely; they concede that “Maybe Father Walsh’s Welsh’s soul’ll be all right so.”

Director Anne Williamson. Stage manager Eugene O Meara.

Cast : Valene Connor ,Noel Clancy. Coleman Connor, Will Condon. Fr. Welsh John Morris, Girleen, Louise Fallon.

e Lonesome West will be staged at omastown on Sunday November 27

John D Kelly

32 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Feature
The Fionn Mac Cumhaill Players are currently on tour with the Martin Mac Donagh classic play ‘The Lonesome West’ . Following two successful performances to date, they are coming to The Concert Hall in Thomastown this weekend
33 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement


Yulefest promotes the green route with a Santa cycle around Kilkenny’s Medieval City

is Saturday, 26th November

Santa will choose the green route as he arrives by boat at 2.30pm before taking to the streets of Kilkenny on his bike at 3pm!

As we all know, a special Christmas magic allows Santa to travel on his sleigh through the sky on Christmas Eve without causing any environ mental damage. In his visits to check in on all the children of Kilkenny before Christmas, Santa wants to make sure he is as environmentally-friendly as possible and chooses to arrive in Kilkenny by boat to launch Yulefest 2022, Kilkenny’s Christmas Festival!

Watch Santa as he trav els up the river Nore from Greensbridge to Canal Square accompanied by Kilkenny Civil Defence and the Nore Dragon Paddlers, and line the river banks and bridges to give him a warm welcome to the Marble City!

Meet him in person as he nishes his journey on the river at Canal Square and join him for the second leg of the trip – Santa’s City Cycle - where Yulefest is partnering with Cycle Kilkenny to help Santa on his journey. ‘Bling your bike’ and join eco-conscious Santa as he hops on his special, elf-powered machine for a

cycle through Kilkenny before nishing at the Castle Park.

Pedal power and perhaps some elf magic will transport Santa on the cycling invention through the City Centre. Artist and inventor, Paddy Bloomer, designed the eco-elf mobile from recycled materials - six elves at a time will pedal this fun machine!. Children of all ages are welcome to join in!

Festival Director Marian Flan nery said: “We’re delighted to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus back to Kilkenny this year! ey told me after Yulefest last year how much they had enjoyed their trip and couldn’t wait to come back again. We’ve worked with the Civil Defence, Nore Dragon Paddlers, Cycle Kilkeny and Kilkenny County Council to make sure they have a fun and environmentallyfriendly time in Kilkenny!

We’d love for you to come out and welcome them to our lovely City, and enjoy some free music and entertainment - you can even get a head start on your Christmas shopping at our Markets on the Parade!”

Christmas will truly begin when, after his cycle, Santa turns on the Christmas lights on e Parade! e turning on

of the lights o cially marks the launch of Yulefest 2022, join us at the Yulefest Bandstand on the Parade from 4.30pm to take part in the fun. On the launch day there will be Christmas Markets, live music and street entertainment for all the family to enjoy. It’s the most won derful time of the year so put on your favourite Christmas jumper and join us to light up Kilkenny!

Yulefest ‘Christmas in Kilkenny’ returns at the end of November and brings the

festive spirit to Ireland’s Marble City from Friday 25th Novem ber to Friday 23rd December!

Kilkenny’s Medieval City will transform into a Christmas Wonderland of festive cheer for all the family. After the success of last year’s festival, this year Yulefest has grown - with a larger Christmas Market on e Parade and an extended Christ mas week programme.

Kilkenny County Council Cathaoirleach Pat Fitzpatrick spoke about the upcoming fes tival: “Yulefest has something

for all age groups, whether you’re looking for a festive stay cation or family fun activities to create a magical Christmas for the kids. ere will be lots of free or low-cost events, ensur ing everyone can enjoy the magic of our medieval city this Christmas”.

e 5-week festival welcomes visitors to Kilkenny with a packed programme of Christ mas activities including live music on the Yulefest Band stand; the Kilkenny Christmas Market where you can pick up perfect presents for the ones you love; the annual Medieval Mile Run; Yulefest Outdoor Movie Night; and Elf Village in Castlecomer, plus some very special events soon to be announced! New for Yulefest Kilkenny 2022 is an extended Christmas week programme beginning on Tuesday 20th December. e Kilkenny Christmas Market will be open throughout the week, along with live music on the Yulefest Bandstand and some very special treats that you won’t want to miss.

Yulefest Kilkenny is pro grammed, produced and marketed by Kilkenny County Council.

Skeagh & Minnauns Ex-servicemen’s cottages 1922-2022

1922 marks the year of the completion of the ex-servicemen’s cottages in Skeagh & Minnauns, built under Scheme 20 by the Irish Sailors & Soldiers Land Trust.

To mark this centenary, a plaque will be unveiled outside cottage 22 in Skeagh at 2pm on Sunday 27th November 2022.

All are welcome

Please note this will be an outdoor event, be prepared for bad weather conditions.

34 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
Santa’s City Cycle Santa arriving up the Nore
35 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

The night sky had just cleared. e moon was shining brightly when the snow lled clouds parted. e stars twin kled down from the heavens. e footpaths of the Old Golf Links road had a light sprinkle of snow. As I walked home all I could see was the little faces that probably needed matchsticks to keep their eyes open, peeping out through the curtains, wishing, and hoping for a white Christmas Eve. Of course the snow would make it easier for Santa to get around with his reindeers and sleigh. Oh yes and let’s not forget the sacks full of pres ents for every child, not only in Newpark, but around the world.

Walking up the path I could hear the noise from inside that sounded like a pack of excited hyenas awaiting their turn to feed on the presents that their parents had brought home. Key in the door and then the wall of noise, “Daddy, Daddy”, and a big hug, “Ma, Daddy’s home.” e little exciting face of a 3-year-old who is now getting the real meaning of Christmas. No, not the baby Jesus, but Santa! Now with her tiny little hand holding mine that from years of hard labour were like shovels, she called out to her mother, “Now can the Angel go up on the top of the tree?” she cried out with her high pitch voice a few decibels higher than usual with excitement. “Will ya let

your Da take o his coat and sit down for his dinner,” my wife said with a little laugh and a squeeze on our little daughter’s sides as she giggled loudly from her mother’s tick ling. “It’s alright. O you go, get your angel,” I said . “She has you wrapped around your little nger. Did you pick up all that we need for her for tomorrow?” replied my wife.

“Of Course! Sure, hasn’t she got me wrapped around her little nger,” I said with a grin.

Arriving back with her little Angel she made in school on the last day before the Christ mas holidays, now was the ritual of the youngest in the family placing the Angel - or should we say a toilet roll with a crayon face and a little piece of tinsel for her halo - on top. Up it went and we all stood back and admired the great work of a future Picasso. Now for dinner.

Dinner now over, a little excited girl was running up and down the hall stopping only to take another look out the hall window to see if the snow was falling again. Now, it was time for the second of our rituals in Newpark. e candle in the window. As we lit the Red Candle, as all good chil dren do, she was full of ques tions. Yes, we can all remem ber the day when your young child learns the two dreaded words of “But Why?”

“ But why do we put the candle in the window Daddy?”

As time goes by…

36 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022

“A candle in the window is a symbol of friendship, a sign of welcome for anyone, friend or stranger, who might be passing by on Christmas Eve. e sight of a candle in a window from a distance acted as a sign of hope and welcome to any passer-by who wished to visit.”

“Right so that’s how Santa nds me, got it!” she shouts out.

“Ah yes, I suppose, and it’s for your Uncle Tom. e candle’s welcoming light and burning ame is considered to be a silent prayer for those who could not be with us at Christmas time. e candle in the window at Christmas was lit as a prayer for the safe return of an absent person or loved one like Auntie Anne, that she would get home safe, or if that’s not possible, a candle burning is as a sign of connection and remember ing. It signals to our family and friends that there is always someone waiting, tending the re and thinking of family members far away.”

Looking down she had now dozed o and up the stairs I carried her and placed the kisses for wishes on her fore head. “Good night Princess.” Back down the stairs I went. Herself had left a little gemmy and a drop of water by my favourite armchair in front of the open re and after one or two more glasses, I slipped o into the land of nod like my little angel upstairs …

After what seemed like a few minutes and a few digs in my ribs I awake with a jump in a haze of where am I? I look at the little angel that certainly resembles my daughter I was telling stories to before I fell asleep but something was not right. “Grandad, Grandad! It is time for the Angel on top of the tree game.” Grandad? Is my hearing failing? I stood up very slowly as if my legs were as heavy and as sti as a poker. “Here’s your stick. Granny said you are not to be walking without it.” Very puzzled, I looked in the mirror that is over the replace. e same one my mother gave us as a wedding present. e re ection that looked back at me was a grey haired, elderly man with the lines in my face marking years of memories that were now slowly return ing to me as I woke from my slumber, what now seemed like decades of sleep.

en I saw my little angel who was now a fully-grown woman with her own little girl. “Come on let’s put the Angel on top of the tree!” My granddaughter ran into the room with what was a replica of her mother’s all those years ago. A toilet roll, crayon face and a tinsel halo. I laughed to myself and thought some things never changed. ey may not have changed, but where have all those years gone?

I watched the full family laughing and playing together

under the Christmas tree and every time the line came on ‘I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause’ my granddaughter covered her mouth and with that giggle we all did when we said our rst bad word in front of our parents, looking forward to it coming around again in the next verse when she could sing it again!

I thought back to that crispy frosty night in Newpark as I arrived home from work and

told my daughter the story of the Candle in the window. Now I listen to my son-in-law tell my granddaughter the same fable and the folklore of the welcoming light for all the weary travellers on Christmas Eve. I sighed a little sadness. Where have all the festive seasons in between gone? We should cherish every moment, every Christmas Eve and Day, and every birth day as time goes by.

37 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
38 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
39 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022

Kilkenny Civil War 100th Anniversary calendar launch

e o cial launch of the Kilkenny Civil War Calendar will take place in the Club House Hotel on Tuesday 29th November at 8 p.m. e calendar will be launched by renowned Kilkenny historian Jim Maher with a presentation by calendar author Jim Hayes. e launch is free and open to the public, all are welcome to attend.

e Kilkenny Civil War 100th Anniversary Calendar is an informative document detailing a number of events that took place in and around Kilkenny during the tragic Civil War period. It includes some great stories and pictures of local IRA volunteers who lost their lives during this tragic period of our history. It also includes photos and stories of local women of Cumann Na mBann from this period.

e calendar was produced by Kilkenny man Jim Hayes and was hailed by Kilkenny historian Jim Maher as a very ne publication. It is for sale in all Kilkenny City book shops and in many other outlets across the county. It is selling very well even before the launch due to its local historic signi cance.

e Civil War in Ireland began on June 28th 1922 and ended on the 24th of May 1923. is con ict arose between Irish Nationalists over the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. e Calendar covers large parts of the Civil War in Kilkenny City and County. It is a great source of local historical information for any Kilkenny home or classroom.

Events that led to Civil War in Ireland:

In July 1921, a truce was arranged between British and Irish republican forces in the War of Independence (1919-1921) and negotiations were

opened. e treaty was debated in Hans Place in London and signed on 6th December 1921 by the British Government including Winston Churchill and the then Prime Minister David Lloyd George and by representatives of the Irish Republic; including Michael Collins and Arthur Gri th, founder of Sinn Féin. e contents of the Treaty divided the Irish Republic’s leadership, with Eamon de Valera leading the AntiTreaty minority.

e Treaty gave the 26 southern counties of Ireland – now the Irish Free State – a degree of independence.

e British military were to be withdrawn and the Royal Irish Constabulary

disbanded. However the settlement dissolved the Republic declared in 1916 and pledged Irish TDs or members of parliament to swear allegiance to the British monarch. e British retained three naval bases along the Irish coast at Cobh, Bearhaven and Lough Swilly. It also con rmed the partition of Ireland between North and South.

e Dáil rati ed the treaty in January 1922 by a vote of 64 to 57. De Valera resigned as president of Dail Eireann and was replaced by Arthur Gri th on a vote of 60 to 58.

e narrow division in both ballots led in part to the split on both sides over the treaty and ultimately led to the Irish Civil War (1922-1923).

Known in Gaeilge as “Cogadh na gCarad”, (war

of a airs that would mark

of friends), the eleven month con ict resulted in an estimated 1,500 deaths and left Ireland in a state of a airs that would mark Irish politics to the present day.

Just one of the many stories from the calendar:


Anti-Treaty republican soldiers John Murphy aged 22 from Bennettsbridge, and John Phelan a married man with three young children from omastown, were involved in a raid for arms on the home of British Lieutenant Colonel Shee at Sheetown House near Bennetsbridge. Shee later reported the raid.

In follow up raids by Free State forces on Anti-Treaty members John Phelan and John Murphy were arrested and taken to Kilkenny Military Barracks.

After a court martial hearing both men were found guilty of the raid and of being in possession of arms and ammunition. ey were sentenced to death by ring squad. e sentence was carried out at 8am on the 29th of December 1922 in the exercise yard of Kilkenny military barracks. ey were the rst executions to take place outside of Dublin or the Pale. eir bodies were buried the grounds of the military barracks.

40 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
41 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement

the Christmas

Cuts into 12-15 slices

Bake this festive fruit cake in advance of Christmas and feed it regularly with rum, brandy or whisky to build the avour and keep it moist.


• 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or gs)

• zest and juice 1 orange

• zest and juice 1 lemon

• 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding

• 250g pack butter, softened

• 200g light soft brown sugar

• 175g plain our

• 100g ground almond

• ½ tsp baking powder

• 2 tsp mixed spice

• 1 tsp ground cinnamon

• ¼ tsp ground cloves

• 100g  aked almonds

• 4 large eggs

• 1 tsp vanilla extract


n STEP 1

Put 1kg mixed dried fruit, the zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 150ml brandy or other alcohol, 250g softened butter and 200g light, soft brown sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat.

n STEP 2

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.

n STEP 3

Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie

No-bake raspberry cheesecake

with string to secure.

n STEP 4

Add 175g plain our, 100g ground almonds, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g aked almonds, 4 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of our.

n STEP 5

Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.

n STEP 6

Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

Prep: 30 mins

No cook; plus 6 hrs chilling time Serves: 10 - 12

Customise our raspberry cheesecake by adding white chocolate, yogurt or mascarpone, or, for a richer base, swap the digestive biscuits for shortbread.


• 300g digestive biscuits

• 100g unsalted butter, melted

• 500g full-fat soft cheese

• 100g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 300ml double cream

• 300g raspberries

•icing sugar, for dusting (optional)


n STEP 1

Blitz the biscuits in a food processor or tip into a food bag and bash to ne crumbs using a rolling pin. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the melted butter until the

n STEP 7

To store, peel o the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling lm. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it.

n STEP 8

Don’t feed the cake for the nal week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

mixture looks like damp sand. Tip the buttery crumbs into a 20cm springform tin and press into the base using the back of a spoon until you have a smooth, even layer. Chill until needed.

n STEP 2

Tip the soft cheese, sugar, vanilla, and cream into a bowl and beat using an electric whisk until thick and creamy. Fold in about twothirds of the raspberries, pressing the berries lightly against the side of the bowl as you do to squeeze out some of their juices and lightly ripple the cream.

n STEP 3

Scrape the cheesecake mixture over the chilled base and smooth the top with a spatula. Chill for at least 6 hrs, or preferably overnight. Can be made up to two days ahead and chilled. To serve, carefully remove from the tin, scatter with the remaining raspberries and dust with icing sugar, if using.

42 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
Plus cooling time cake Come Dine WithMe

Star Wars: Andor a more grown-up rebel series

Since its debut in 1977, the Star Wars universe has used the theme of heroic rebellion as one of its core values. e idea of a small group of un derdogs ghting against the huge industrial machine that is e Empire became central to everything that followed. e notion of us against them, David versus Goliath, and the almost staggering lev els of odds- defying bravery frame the saga in all its many forms.

Rebellion is, in many ways, Star Wars, and, now, Andor on Disney+ looks to address this and shake it to its core. Set before the events of the 2016 lm Rogue One, and working as a 12-episode prequel, Andor follows our Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as he rises from small time crook, thief and murderer to become a cunning and lethal central part of the Rebellion. A rebellion still in its infancy and still unknown to a bloat

ed and arrogant Empire. While attempting to sell on a particularly valuable piece of stolen empire equipment, our Cassian is brought into contact with the mysterious gure of Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) and our story be gins in full. Luthen is focused, driven and seemingly devoid of emotion to those around him. He, we learn, is a major player in the infancy of the Rebel Alliance, a man who lives a double life. Publicly a rich, enigmatic arts and an tique dealer and, in private, a ruthless agent building net works and planning opera tions to damage the Empire in whatever way he can.

rough Luthen, the audi ence is shown the central theme of the show: sacri ce, and what men will do when faced with absolute adversity.

e Star Wars series has been based on the idea of men and women giving ev erything they have, including

their lives for the Rebellion. Everything for a free galaxy out of Empire control. Rest assured there are enough twists and turns, stand-out moments and beautifully crafted and shot set pieces to keep even the most hardcore Star Wars fan happy. Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor is a fantastic main character, fully engaging and well-rounded and as the show progresses we see him develop into what we already know he is from Rogue One.

After the success of Rogue One the decision was made to keep Andor in the hands of the original creator and writer Tony Gilroy. With a long his tory of writing for serious mature movies and television series, many saw this as a pos sibly dangerous move for a long-form Disney Plus televi sion franchise show.

With a heavy and intricate plot, pacing bordering on gla cial and new-found maturity,

the show feels fresh and excit ing. Andor feels real, gritty, alive and beautiful, with huge sweeping landscapes just as impressive and immersive as run- down shipyards and Empire prison facilities. We visit multiple planets, cities, camps, and facilities but they at no point look fake and dis tracting like they have done before.

is is not a show aimed at the younger Star Wars audi ence. Its target is older and perhaps those now jaded with the saga after years of missteps. It is an adult show, dark, gritty, disturbing, politi cal, thoughtful and realistic. Good people die, bad people survive, and in the back ground, a rebellion is formed. One based on brutality and the willingness to kill, survive, sacri ce and be as bad as the Empire they are looking to destroy. ere’s no Force, no Lightsabers and the show is all the better for that.

There’s a new Alien movie coming

Acclaimed horror director Fede Alvarez is bringing us a new Alien movie and it is reported that he has already found the lm’s lead star.

e movie is set to be pro duced by the creator of the franchise, Ridley Scott, but it is thought that this one won’t be a sequel (or prequel) to the Aliens lms before it, but act as a standalone movie.

e new Alien movie is set to be made for stream ing. While doing it ‘direct to

streaming’ would have had fans wincing in the past, the quality of the movies that have premiered on stream ing services of late have been consistently good.

It also means that we could see one of the scariest Alien lms yet, given Alverez won’t have to tone down the lm for a big-screen audience.

Alvarez — who made the decent and grizzly Evil Dead remake and Don’t Breathe — is said to have found his lead

for the new Alien movie, with sources reporting that Cailee Spaeny is in talks to star.

Spaeny will be known to fans of Mare Of Easttown and Devs and she will also be playing Pricilla Presley in the upcoming biopic by So a Coppola.

As for the plot of the lm, that is strictly under wraps for now.

Alien rst hit the big screen in 1979, directed by Ridley Scott, and has three sequels.

While Aliens is a masterpiece, both Alien 3 and Alien Resur rection were middling addi tions to the franchise.

A prequel franchise was also made by Ridley Scott which started with Prometheus and ended (so far) with Alien: Covenant. ere have been two Alien Vs Predator lms, too, but the less said about them the better.

It is thought that lming of the new Alien movie will begin in 2023.

best new movies to watch now 5

1. e Wonder

As a piece of cinema, e Wonder is up there with e Queen’s Gambit, M aid and e Father. It is a new psychologi cal thriller on Net ix starring Florence Pugh, Irish-born actor Elaine Cassidy and her daugh ter Kila Lord Cassidy who, at just 13, gives, a memorable performance as the central protagonist. Set in the Irish countryside in 1862, it’s about an English nurse (Pugh) who arrives in a small village to solve the mystery of how an 11-yearold girl is managing to survive without food. It’s based on the novel by Emma Donoghue and inspired by real-life events.

2. Spirited (Apple TV +) Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell make for an odd couple in this reimagining of -- you guessed it -- A Christmas Carol, streaming on Apple TV+’

Ferrell is the Ghost of Christ mas Present, but instead of showing Reynolds’ Scrooge the error of his ways, it’s Present who must reexamine his own past, present and future. Expect big musical numbers and the hit of cheer you’re after from this serviceable bite of Christ mas confectionary.

3. Disenchanted

While it’s not strictly a Christ mas movie, Disenchanted on Disney+ is a no-brainer to watch over the silly season. It uses the genius idea of turning the pure and loving Giselle into an evil stepmother -- technical ly she became a stepmother in 2007’s Enchanted. is sequel brings back Amy Adams, Pat rick Dempsey, James Marsden and Idina Menzel, and adds Maya Rudolph.

4. 1899

1899 is a new series on Net ix from the creators of the mindbending time travel mystery series Dark. It’s about the pas sengers of an ocean liner in the 19th century who discover another ship while out at sea that was believed to have gone missing. Early reviews have praised the series for its elabo rate story and central mystery, but be warned, this doesn’t sound like the kind of show that will make you feel warm and cosy inside.

5, FIFA Uncovered

If you are a fan of football, and give the controversies over the World Cup taking place in Qa tar, then you have to watch this documentary to understand just how corrupt the beautiful game has gotten behind the scenes. is four-part doc on Net ix is an eye-opening and jaw- dropping look at the main players who are in it for greed and certainly not for the love of the game.

43 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 TVAdvertisement & Streaming
Stream on Net ix

Christmas concert at set theatre to benefit Kilimanjaro project

EARLIER this year, Sheila Ryan met me at The Pembroke hotel on Patrick Street. As I was catching a bus to Dublin I explained that I had thirty minutes or so to hear her story about her work in Tanzania and her charity ‘Kilimanjaro Direct.’ Two hours later, I was still sat in the same seat at The Pembroke, completely engrossed by the amazing story being related to me by Sheila.

Sheila came to Kilkenny in 1979 at twenty one years of age and taught Music and English in the Presentation Secondary school. This post was hers for forty one years .

Sheila was a native of Cappawhite, Co. Tipperary until she was ten, when the family moved to Doon, Co. Limerick, where her father was the village chemist.

However, Kilkenny folk claim Sheila as one of their own as she spent the best part of her life in the city of the Stripy men and women. She now lives in Kilimanjaro, running her charity, and travels back to Kilkenny regularly to

44 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022

see family and friends. Her charity work began in 2005 by bringing food  to families and then she and others started building houses for people with disabilities.

I decided my trip to Dublin would have to wait. I needed to hear more of this wonderful story.

Kilkenny woman Sheila Ryan founded Kilimanjaro Direct over 13 years ago after being deeply moved by the plight of children living in the area and their lack of access to decent education.

A teacher for 41 years at the Presentation Secondary School in Kilkenny, Sheila knows first-hand the transformational impact education has on the lives of young people.

After a holiday in 2005 Sheila was moved when she witnessed first-hand the

desperate living conditions of some people, many of them children living in mud huts with no access to a decent education.

Fast forward two years and the charity, Kilimanjaro Direct, was born. Since then a school, the Liberty English Medium Primary School, has been set up and 14 homes have been built.

The charity relies mainly on voluntary donations and over the years the people of Kilkenny have been incredible in supporting the cause. Sheila, who moved full time to Tanzania two years ago, was recently back home in the Marble City.

“I am so grateful to people for their support and donations,” she said.

Sheila explained that the rising cost of fuel and climate change was driving

up costs for the charity.

“It is very difficult at the moment for everyone and people here are struggling as well with the rising cost of fuel and food,” she said.

“We are seeing this as well, as fuel prices are going up all the time and we have four buses operating to bring the children to and from school.

“Climate change has also had a direct impact on the charity,” she added.

“As well as giving our 220 students an education we also provide them with two meals every day. The price of maize has doubled, the crop withered because there was no rain so the cost of providing meals has also increased substantially.”

The positive impact of the work of the charity is clearly evident and the

youngsters continue to thrive academically.

“We have had two lots of graduations with students completing their primary education, which is fantastic.

“We also came first out of 167 schools in the Kilimanjaro area and we are very proud of our achievements. Some of our students have disabilities and have overcome a lot of obstacles so it is great to see them doing so well,” she finished.

Kilimanjaro Direct (KD) is a charity that has built 14 houses and a primary school in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. The school is run on donations alone.

KD provides food and education for twenty two impoverished children. The ethos of the charity is that 100% of ALL donations go directly to the running of the school and not one cent is taken for expenses or administration fees.

Everybody involved in the charity pays their own expenses and raise much needed funds to keep the school going purely out of the goodness of their hearts.

Sheila is constantly fundraising to support her charity work and recently friends and staff from The Presentation ran a successful coffee morning in aid of the cause.

On December 19th Lake Productions will stage a Christmas concert at the Set Theatre with all monies

raised going directly to the charity.

The line up at The Set will feature some of Kilkenny’ best known acts including choirs from Castlecomer male choir and the CBS choir from Kilkenny.

Kilkenny band Sola, Billy Carrigan and friends, members of St Patricks band , Ali Comerford, members of the Musical Society will also feature on the night.

A poetry section featuring poems by Seamus Heaney is currently being worked on by Lake production while they also promise to present Riverdance, with a difference.

Ukrainian resident Oksana Kurovets-Ovcharenko will treat the audience to some traditional tunes on her bandura instrument.

Tickets available from The Set Theatre and from Evenbrite.

45 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022

Award winners

Twilight are Business Award winners 2022

What began as an idea for a hobby, received recognition for their great achievements across the many and varied sectors since its formation in 2014. ey subsequently gained Charity Status in 2018, but on Saturday night at the Gala event in Lyrate Estate hotel when Twilight Com munity Group were named Kilkenny Business Award winners for Diversity, Equal ity & Inclusion made all the e orts and many sacri ces of their team worthwhile.

e Twilight Teams table waited with anticipation as the nalist were called out. Any of the three nal ists could have been se lected which included TSK Academy, Apple Tree Farm Montessori and the eventual winners Twilight Commu nity Group. e group were thrilled and hope to build on this success of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion award sponsored by VHI. “We would like to invite everyone across all communities and business to come join us in what will be an exciting and fruitful 2023 and beyond”

Operations Manager, Stephen Mungovan informed the Kilkenny Observer CEO Murty Brennan was delighted to receive the award on behalf of the mem bers and team of volunteers

that have made Twilight what it is today.

e future is bright for Twi light as major plans are well underway for 2023. e everexpanding Twilight Youth In clusion group and its leaders Leah McDonnell and Liam Mungovan have activities planned which includes the TYI second Erasmus + proj ect with a student exchange group with one of Twilight’s eighteen di erent partners the group has across Europe and beyond. Programmes for their Seniors Group are planned which includes ac

cess to a new meeting room and a training centre which includes media training for beginners and advanced students but the group has to be acknowledged for their introduction of training for those with Intellectual dis ability needs.

Twilight Community Group opened their International Cultural House in 2020. is unique Cultural house welcomes all nationalities including Irish community groups. Twilight’s ethos is ‘Communities Are Stronger Together’

As Kilkenny has become a city with citizens from diverse backgrounds Twilight opened an inclusive Cultural House that provides safe and secure space for Men, Women, Boys and Girls in all their diversity and is a major step forward to creating a fully inclusive and equal society for all regard less of one’s background.

To Show how commit ted the Group are to their mission statement of ‘ e Twilight Community Group will through its activities endeavour to promote social inclusion & integration and

advancement of all members of our communities’

CEO Murty Brennan and Operations manager had a mid-day start the following morning as they attended the Irish Lebanese Cultural Foundation Cedar Awards as Mabrouk Ghassen was acknowledged for his work with this prestige award and a

Cedar Tree was planted in his honour in Lebanon.

Sunday night saw a wonder ful event in Langtons House as part of the celebrations of the upcoming Romanian Day. is event was organ ised by the Twilight Commu nity Romanian group under the chairmanship of Mr Liviu Iftime, Twilight ‘s Romanian Consultant. Present on the night HE Lauren iu-Mihai TEFAN, Cathaoirleach Kilkenny COCO Pat Fitzpat rick, Mayor David Fitzgerald, Mayor of Beclean, Romania, Nicolae Moldovan, Deputy Mayor Bogdan Rusu and Deputy John McGuinness, Andrew McGuinness and many more distinguished guests

Music on the night was by Romanian X Factor partici pant Stefan J Doyle and musi cal friends. Once again, the Twilight Volunteers attended in great numbers and en joyed the Twilight Romanian members from across the South East companionship to bring to a close another weekend for Kilkenny’s Twilight Community Group, Diversity, Equality and Inclu sion Business Award Winners


If you wish to be part of our Programme of activities for all ages call 0567813105 / info (at)

46 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
47 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement


Lotto results - Numbers drawn - 9,14,19. No winner of €6350 jackpot. Next jackpot €6500.

Winners of €30 -Pat Murphy. Jimmy Fitzpatrick. Louise Moore. Ray Lannen. Robbie McPartlan. Thanks for support ing the local lotto.


If you would like a family member who is outside the country to receive a Christmas card from Clara parish, email their full name, address and postcode to the parish o ice; claraparisho ice@gmail. com.


Clara GAA Club’s AGM will be held on Friday 25th Nov at 19.30 in the Club House. Notice, Nomination forms and Motion forms are now on the Club’s website. If you have any queries please contact Caroline Cli ord 0872330026.


Our GAA Bord na nÓg AGM will be held on Sunday 27th Nov at 12pm in the Club House. Notice, Nomination forms and Motion forms are now on the Club’s website (no password required), if you have any queries please contact Theresa Aylward 086 0743442.


Clara Ladies Gaelic Football Club welcome new members on the committee and members interested in running community initiatives and catering for new age groups. www.forms.o


The Clara U22 girls were desperately unlucky to lose out 2-12 to 2-9 to St. Martins on Sunday morning in Clara. Were it not for a highly debatable disallowed Grace Barcoe goal this tie would have gone to extra time. Grace followed in a Keara Ryan free that had dropped short and was batted out but the referee ruled otherwise and gave a free out for a square ball. It was a pity that we weren’t treated to another 20 minutes because this was a cracking game of hurling.

Clara had only 14 players for the entire game but they took the game to their opponents from the start. Keara Ryan from a free and Emma Corr had a wind assisted Clara o to a flyer and, a er the Muckalee girls had replied with a point, the same two players struck for two more - this time both from play. St. Martins responded from a free before Keara Ryan and Grace Barcoe notched two more points. St. Martins then hit two of their own before Keara Ryan rounded her marker and went in for a cracking goal to give Clara a 1-6 to 0-4 lead. However St. Martins scored the last three points of the half to cut the deficit to a more manage able two points at the interval.

St. Martins opened the second half with a goal to take the lead for the first time and a numerically disadvantaged Clara could have been forgiven for feeling that they now had an uphill task facing into a strong breeze. But as we have seen from these girls so o en, they don’t cave in. Buoyed by a resolute defence they clawed their way back into the game. Keara Ryan equalised from a free and, a er Muckalee had regained the lead, Peig Carrigan was on hand to finish a rebound to the net. Keara Ryan exchanged points with a St. Martins attacker to keep the two points lead intact but St. Martins then hit a purple patch to score three in a row to edge ahead. Then came the games seminal moment. Goalkeeper Claire Murphy appeared to be fouled in the buildup before St. Martins finished to the net. A Keara Ryan free followed the controversial disallowed goal and St. Martins advanced a er a highly entertaining contest.

Team - Claire Murphy, Anna Walpole, Rachel Whelan, Aoife Treacy. Gráinne Glynn, Laoise Nolan, Katie Ryan. Siobhán Treacy, Grace Barcoe 0-1. Órla Farrell, Niamh Ward, Emma Corr 0-2. Keara Ryan 1-6, 0-3f, Peig Carrigan 1-0. U15S BOW OUT

The Clara U15s were knocked out of the football champi onship by Erin’s Own in Castlecomer on Sunday morning. They led by a point at half time but failed to score in the second half. They su ered a major setback when Davy Barcoe picked up an injury and his loss proved too much to overcome. 2-6 to 1-4 was how it finished.

Team - Aidan O Connell, Tom Murphy, James Cody, Peter Firbank. Philip Carrigan, Hugh Kelly 0-1, Daniel Ryan. David Barcoe 0-1, Luke Lawlor. Padraic Meany 0-1, Orí Phelan 0-1, Eoin Corr. Bill Kealy, Joe Power 1-0 pen., Tom Boyle.


A number of Clara athletes competed in the National Cross Country Championships held in Donegal at the weekend. Emily O Kee e, Kate Mulrooney, Aaron Carrigan, Robert Coogan, Hazel Coogan and Billy Coogan were all eligible to run there. Billy Coogan finished fourth in the U18 race, Aaron Carrigan came seventh in U12 Boys while Robert Coogan was 20th in the U14 Boys. All athletes ran very creditably in di icult conditions. Well done guys for keeping the Clara and Kilkenny flags flying.


There was no winner of this week’s club lotto (Nov 15th). Numbers drawn 2, 21, 22, 24 Bonus 3. Next week’s top prize will be €14,000. Play now at www Promotors draw. 1. Michael Cahill c/o Mick Nolan. 2. Dayna Leahy c/o Mick Nolan

3. Stephen Phelan c/o Ann Cullen. 4. Margaret Cummins c/o Mick Nolan. 5. Paddy Deegan c/o Mary Deegan. 6. Mary Cody c/o Moxie Doran.7 Eve & Eileen c/o Eileen Kinchella 8. Lillian Holohan c/o online 9. Lisa Buckley c/o online. 10. John Doyle c/o Online

Thank you for your continued support. www.oloughlin


Our community felt the deep sadness on the news of the death of Fr. Tommy Murphy. Fr. Tommy was a founding member of O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club and a strong voice in helping set up our grounds at St. John’s Park while a priest at St. John’s Parish. He was an advocate of the merit of promoting young people in sport using his passion for GAA and hurling as the platform. A proud Rower Inistioge man and a renowned hurler he won two All-Ireland medals with O icial Kilkenny GAA and one cherished County Title with The Rower Inistioge GAA. He is credited for grouping together the hurling collage of St. John’s Parish teams into one, now known as O’Loughlin Gaels GAA and had a very proud association with the club.

Fr. Tommy will be sadly missed by all. We extend our condolences to the communities at which he served as a priest and in particular to his family and friends and his home community at the Rower Inistioge. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a Anam


Huge congratulations to St. John’s Senior School past pupil Kyrell Mtinsi who finished 3rd in the Boy’s U14 National Cross Country Championship held in Donegal on Sunday. A massive accomplishment for Kyrell and very well deserved. Kyrell runs in the colours of Kilkenny City Harriers. Well done Kyrell.


Please note the O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club AGM will take place in the club on Thursday, December 15th at 7:30pm for all members

The Camogie Club’s will now take place on Thursday December 1st at 8pm in the club lounge for its member ship.


Hard luck to our u22 team who were beaten by Windgap in the quarter final of the championship. The girls created plenty of opportunities but unfortunately the game didn’t fall their way. Lots to take going forward and the club will build again for 2023.


Mega Bingo: Every Sunday, 4pm at Urlingford GAA pitch. Gates open at 3pm. Single books and one sheet €10; Double books and two sheets €15. Extra jackpot sheet €3 or two for €5. Please support.


Congratulations to Emerald U21’s who beat Blacks and Whites in the JJ Kavanagh and Sons U21 E Hurling Cham pionship County Final on Saturday last in Páirc Lachtain. Final Score: Emeralds 0-16; Blacks and Whites 0-10. Well done lads on becoming County Champions.


Well done to Emeralds U15 footballers who beat Blacks and Whites on Sunday last in the Duggan Steel U15C Football Championship Semi Final in Urlingford.

Final score: Emeralds 3-08, Blacks and Whites 0-01. Well done lads and best of luck in the final.


November 14th prize fund was: €10,400. Jackpot: €8,400. Numbers drawn: 7, 17, 28, 29, bonus no 19. No winner. Four match 3 winners: Richie Norton, Meg Tobin, Vera Kelly, Ronan Guilfoyle.

Five lucky dips of €20 each: Lorraine Bourke, Tommy Kavanagh, Tom Phelan, Donal Hughes, Siobhan McEvoy. Promoters prize: The Girls. Next draw takes place on Monday, in the Clubrooms. Results next week.


The Club is delighted to host an anniversary dinner dance, celebrating 50 years, on December 17th in the River Court Hotel, Kilkenny with ticket and other details to follow.

The Club are looking to have a constant slideshow of photos and videos on in the background and are asking anyone that has photos, be it from this year or the first year of the club, to send them to emeralds50yearsphotos@, or alternatively send them to the Facebook or Instagram pages.

On New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, 2022.

Proceeds go to Cois Nore Cancer Support Centre, Kilkenny. Registration of vehicles at 1.30pm; Entry €20. Departing from Valley Inn (E41 VX25) at 3pm sharp. Outdoor catering unit onsite from 2pm to 9pm. Live music in Valley Inn a er event. Enquiries: 086 8512034; 087 6412645.


Knitting and Crochet Christmas Fair and Co ee Morning on Friday, December 2 in the Centre, from 11am-1pm.

ST KIERAN’S HOME FOR THE ELDERLY Applications are invited for vacant tenancies, one-bed room and two-bedroom accommodation at St Kieran’s Place. Application forms are available from the Centre. Completed application forms should be returned to the Centre no later than Friday, November 25th. Please contact us for further details.


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


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


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


Our low cost counselling services, includes one-to-one, family and teens, aged 12+.

General Counselling: Bereavement, stress, anxiety and depression.

Other Counselling Services available: Drug, substance and gambling addictions. Play therapy is now also available. Please contact Sue for more information or to make an appointment.

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

Contact number for the Centre 056 8838466.


In Urlingford Community Centre, every Tuesday at 8.30pm. Dancing to live music with Danny Webster. Sets called by Paddy Martin. Come along for a great night of dancing!


This week’s winner of Split the Pot is Vicki Nevin who will receive €690. Congrats Vicki!

Tickets €2 on sale in participating businesses in town with proceeds this week going to Urlingford/Graine St Vincent de Paul, thanks to everyone for their support.


In Graine Hall every Saturday from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. Cost: €5 half day, €8 full day. For enquiries, please contact Siobhan 087 2601490.


Co Kilkenny Adult Guidance Service Outreach Day! Meet an adult Guidance Counsellor in Urlingford Library on Tuesday, November 29 from 10am to 4pm.

Ask anything about education, training or employment. All welcome.

Contact Orla: for more information.


In case of emergency, call: 085 2726396.


Anyone wishing to submit news items, club events, an nouncements etc can do so by emailing urlingfordnotes@ If you have any photos you wish to include, please forward them to the email

The people of the village and surrounds were saddened recently to hear of the passing of Mrs. Mary Minogue late of Barna Freshford. Mary who was in her early 70s was widely known and respected in the area. She borne her illness with such courage and dignity. Although she had been unwell for some time her passing still caused widespread shock and regret. She was a lovely jolly friendly and good living lady a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She will be sadly missed by her family and friends. Her funeral mass took place in St.Lachtains Church, Freshford followed by interment in St.Lachtains cemetery. She is deeply mourned by her husband Paddy, her son Billy, daughters Marguerite, Norma, Nicola and Danielle, grand children, sons in law, daughter in law, brothers, sister and extended family to whom deepest sympathy is extended.


There was much sadness in the village last week when locals heard of the death of Very Rev. Fr Pat Comerford former PP of Freshford. Although unwell in recent times nevertheless his passing caused widespread regret and sorrow. Fr. Pat who was originally from Mooncoin served as Parish Priest up to four years ago when he retired. He previously served as PP of St. Canices Parish, Kilkenny. During his time in Freshford he made many friends and always had a word for everyone. Mass Of Christian burial took place in Killinaspick Church on Wednesday of last week followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. He is mourned by his sisters, brothers, sisters in law, nephews, nieces, Bishop and fellow priests, parishioners and a wide circle of friends to whom sympathy is extended.


When Ireland took on Norway on Thursday evening last at the Aviva Stadium, for one young local boy it is a dream come through. It was a great night for young Jake Kavanagh of The Mills, Freshford who was Mascot on the night leading the team out onto the field with the Irish Captain and meeting the players.


Two sisters from the local area headed o to Everest Base Camp two weeks ago to walk in memory of their mother Mrs. Kitty Bowden late of Knockmannon who passed away recently. Marie and Julie Anne Bowden along with their cousin began their walk last week which will take a week in all. They have set up a Just Giving page for the Multiple system Atrophy Trust (MSA) which is a rare condition of unknown cause with no cure or treatment. Their mother was diagnosed with this in 2003 and the family with the help of a special group of carers, cared for their mother at home for 19 years up to the time of her death. Their target is €20,000 which is over 14,000 at present and they are hoping that the fundraising e orts will ensure the MSA trust is available to help and support other patients and families during di iculties and eventually create a future free of MSA. You can donate to this fundraiser through Just giving page which is simple fast and totally secure. Once you donate your money is sent directly to the charity saving time and cutting costs. The family thank all for the ongoing support and for their generous donations to date. For more info or to donate go to raising/multiple-system-astrophy-bowden-ebc-trek


Congrats to young local lad Nathan Walsh from Freshford who won the plate in the junior squash competition in Dublin last weekend. This was Nathan’s first squash league and he did so well and has a bright future ahead in the sport.


St Lachtains Gaa club AGM will be held on Friday the 9th December at the Clubrooms. All nominations and motions to be with Secretary by Friday the 25th November please. The annual Colin McGree and Philip Kinane tournaments were played over the weekend with great numbers of our younger players taking part. In the final of the Colin McGree Shield

Charlie kavanagh team beat Tristan O’Kanes team in an exciting game, while the final of the Philip Kinane Cup saw David Ryan’s team beat Sam Loobys team in another exciting final.

News 48 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
Community & GAA Notes
Emeralds U21 team who beat Blacks and Whites on Saturday last in the JJ Kavanagh and Sons U21 E Hurling Championship County Final. Well done lads!

Special Thanks goes to ref John Guinan for referring the games and to all the young coaches who managed the teams.


This year’s Darts leagues are now starting with some games played over the weekend and will continue each week with A , B and C Leagues being organised.


Freshford Town Junior side were in action on Sunday last and had a 7-3 win over Thomastown B in their league game.

In recent games in the schoolboys and girls league the U12girls drew with Freebooters on a 0-0 final score while the U12 boys drew also with Freeboots on a 1-1 scoreline with Max O’Neill getting the Freshford side’s goal. The U 14s game was postponed U10s travelled to Durrow recently also play the Lions and played some fantastic soccer.


Freshford day care centre continues each Wednesday in the GAA Centre at 2pm. New members are most welcome CAMOGIE

The Peggy Dowling memorial camogie tournament got underway recently. The tournament is run each year around this time in remembrance of Peggy who was secretary of the St Lachtains Camogie club for many years. There was a large number of young girls taking part in the tournament and the semi finals see Cara team take on Holly Hughes team and Saoirse Hickeys team face Sarah Hickeys team. The final of the Shield and Cup will then follow. Team A _ Saoirse Hickeyi © K.Walsh, A O’Kane, K.Walsh, E. Murphy. L.Boyle, P.Dunne, K and R.Hickey Team B; Sarah Hickey © H.McCabe, L.Kennedy, I Carroll, C.Hussey, K.Hickey, G.Dunphy, a.Carroll and E.McGree Team C: Holly Hughes © M.Phelan, N., L.Dalton, C.Butler, M.Lan Loh, N.Butler, E.O’Connor and C.Gibbons Team D: C.Bergin ©, K.Dalton, M.Walsh, C.Gleeson, M Flynn, F.long, O.Marnell, C.O’Rourke, A .Garry and L.Daly.


Last weeks lucky winners of Split the pot draw were Rachel and Harry McGree, Millers lodge, Freshford and the youngsters won €94. The draw takes place each Friday. Tickets are just €2 and the winner gets half of the takings. Boxes and envelopes can be found in Kavanaghs Bar, Mace, O’Shea’s corner shop, Girls& Guys Hairdressers, Oasis Creche, Freshford Creamery, Freshford Butchers and Prague House. The committee thank all for their continued support and ask people to continue to support this fund raising draw.


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


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

Mass Cards

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


The committee of the Loop Café held a very successful Music night on Friday night last in Kavanaghs Bar with Ray Nolan providing the entertainment and singing all his Uncle Joe’s hits. The group also held a co ee morning recently and they thank all those who supported both events or donated. Big Work is ongoing at the Community Cafe at Buncrussia Street and it is almost ready to be open. Huge credit is due to the volunteers who have worked so hard to get all the work done.


Are you struggling with anxiety or depression or finding life di icult or feeling isolated at this time GROW is there to help you. Their Mental Health support Groups are free and confidential and open to all no referral or booking is needed. For more informa tion 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

Congratulations to Colette O’Dwyer who became the fourth winner of the Dunnamaggin Parish Community Spirit Award. Colette came along last Sunday with her fellow musicians under the assumption that she was there to play a few tunes for this year’s winner - well she wasshe just didn’t expect to be playing for herself. Surprised but delighted Colette is a much deserved winner. She has contributed to her community all her life as Joe Sheridan testified to when he spoke about Colette’s volunteerism.

Denise from St. Josephs Home told the crowd how Colette has been playing music every Wednesday for the residents for so long that they can’t remember when she started.

Congratulations to Colette and to many more years playing the accordion and contributing to the life of her community.


Saturday December 3rd, Dunnamaggin Development Group will host their first Christmas Lights event in Madge’s Garden at 5pm followed by our fourth Christmas Fair on December 4th. Kids Treasure Hunt from 12noon - Santa will make his usual visit at 2.30pm and this year will again be able to stay and listen to the children’s requests - stalls selling all manner of goods for customers to browse through for Christmas gi s, hot chocolate, Chef Eamon’s famous Beef Stew, tea, co ee and cakes, along with a Monster Christmas Ra le, music and lots of fun. .


Local Lotto Results for November 14th: Winning numbers : 19, 28, 35. No Winner. Winners of Draw for 5 x € 30. Helen F Martin ( Helen F Martin ), Pauline Flynn ( Pauline Flynn ), Michelle O Sullivan ( Michael O Sullivan ),May Cuddihy ( Breda Smyth) ,John Walsh ( Townsend’s Bar ) Venue : Delaney’s Bar, Kells at 9pm. All Welcome


Droichead FRC are delighted to announce the return of our annual Senior Citizens Christmas Party on the 7th December 2022. This year’s party will be held at Edmund Rice Centre, Westcourt. There will be a 2 course dinner, ra le and lots of entertainment on the day. Places are limited and it is advised to book early, call Droichead on (056) 775560 EXT 1 to book. Callan Men’s Shed have kindling for sale, 1 bag €2 or 3 bags for €5. They will be at Bank of Ireland every Saturday from 11am-2pm. Please support Callan Men’s Shed. Inclusive Pilates with Shane Whelan, a 6 week programme to improve core strength, flexibility and mobility begins in Droichead FRC on Tuesday 8 th November from 11.30am-1pm. The programme costs €20 and for more info or to book a place contact Carmel (083) 2098069 or .


The L’Arche Christmas Fair is taking place on Sunday November 27th, 10am - 4pm, Green Lane Callan. The Fair will include a Santa’s Corner, hand made cra s, ra le, baked goods, gi ideas, tea and co ee etc. The L’Arche Christmas Concert will be taking place at the St Eoghan`s Centre/Community Hall, Kilmoganny on Friday 2nd December at 7.30pm. Small admission cost to the event with tea and co ee available on the night. A night of fun, songs and entertainment


All are welcome to Coolagh Hall this Thursday and every Thursday for the popular game of “25’s”. A great way to pass the long wintry nights. The games begin at 8pm SUICIDE OR SURVIVE FREE WELLNESS WORKSHOP

SOS are delighted to be bring a Wellness Workshop to the Tower Hotel, Waterford City on the 29th of November 2022. A Wellness Workshop is an opportunity for you to take time out and learn a wide range of simple practical and e ective tools and tips that you can use in your everyday life to improve your own wellness. These workshops aim to help you understand and take charge of your own mental health. The workshop is for anyone and everyone as we all have mental health!For more information please click here: To book your free place please click here:


Free training workshop for community groups - The Charities Governance Code (On-site) Tues 29th November 7-9pm

What is the Charities Governance Code? The five prin ciples. Core standards and additional standards. Actions and evidences. How to comply with the Code. Resources avaiable to help with compliance. Trainer: Michael Quirke. Location: Kilkenny Volunteer Centre, Irishtown, Gardens, Kilkenny, R95 KHR6. Anyone who has an interest in one or all of these workshops should register with Bortha or Mags via email: or call 087 1731634.


Saturday 26th November in Collins Barracks, Dublin The

link for the registration page for the community confer ence – online attendance registration is now live. The link is


Athletes took part in competitions at Rosapenna Golf Club in North Donegal for the National Cross Country at the weekend. The athletes all had a great run in tough compe tition. Well done to Aaron Carrigan (U12s boys) coming 7th which gave him an individual medal. He also won a Bronze medal as part of the Leinster Team.

In the U14 Boys, Conor Carroll came 26th. He was the 6th Leinster boy home and won gold with the Leinster Team. Well done to the two boys. They have been consistent all season and were very happy with their results.

Next event is the County Bs on Sunday (27th Nov) in Grai guenamagh, Medieval Mile (2nd Dec) then the Nationals in Cork (4th Dec) for even age qualifiers and Novice.


Girls U12 2000m - 11th County Team

78 Emily O’Kee e, 95 Heidi Ryan, 151 Kate Mulrooney U12 Boys- 5th Club Team and 5th County Team, Bronze Provincial Team*

7 Aaron Carrigan*, 39 MJ Carroll, 44 Daniel Greene, 109 Bobby Coomey and 144 David Carroll Girls U14- 10th county team

Great run from the three girls. 136 Kate Hayden, 137 Orlaith Carroll, 162 Daisy Coomey Boys U14- 6th county team, 1st Provincial Team* 26 Conor Carroll*, 104 Tomás Carroll , 105 Joe Hayes and 154 Evan Ryan Junior Boys 99 Matthew Holland Senior Men 127 Dean Rowe


U12-16 ages_u12_to_u16__xc_championships/4654/results U18/Jnr jnr_xc_championships/4655/results U23/senior senior__u23_xc_championships/ MOLLY’S TEA ROOM

Christmas order book is now open. Christmas Cakes, puddings, mince pies, chocolate puddings and many more delightful treats are available to order.

Molly’s Goodwill Thri shop at Dalton House is requesting good quality used clothes, bags, scarfs and other saleable items for Molly’s Goodwill Tri Shop. No bed clothes, underwear, cosmetics, books or toys please. The profits of this venture are to help Dalton House to o set the cost of continuing to operate in the present climate, any help and donations would be gratefully accepted. Items can be le into Dalton House or to Nellie Brett Main St. Receipts will be given. Molly’s Goodwill Shop is open in November on Saturday only, as it will be voluntary sta ed. Please consider helping.


Kilkenny GAA and Kilkenny GAA Supporters Club in asso ciation with Gowran Park will host a race day on Saturday November 26th. The first race is due o at 12 midday and free shuttle buses will run from Kilkenny Castle from 11am. Tickets can be purchased online at


Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results 17th November. Nos: 14 21 31 32. Jackpot: €5750 Not Won. Draw Prizes – €50: Gina Gaule c/o Gina Gaule. €25 each John McKee c/o online €25 each John Slattery c/o Paddy Maher. €25 each Martina Tyrrell c/o Joe Phelan. Hurlers Co Op Draw Edward O’Donoghue c/o Tom O’Donoghue. Promotors prize Tom Knox

New weeks draw €5900. Thank you for your continued support.


The Dicksboro Calender 2023 will be available to order and collect any Thursday night in the Clubhouse from December onwards. You can also purchase online see ClubZap for more details.


Dicksboro GAA and Camogie Club would like to send Condolences to the Kelly Family on the death of Mary Kelly. Mary Kelly of Newpark is Mother to Jacqui Cody and Fiona Morrissey and Grandmother to Senior Hurler Evan Cody. Mary and her late husband Liam were regular attendees at the Saturday night dances in the Dicksboro. May She Rest in Peace.


Our u22’s go again and will play Conahy on Sunday 27th in

the Roinn A Semi Final.The match will be played in Jenkin stown at 11am. Best of luck girls.


Aghaviller Parish: Hugginstown: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9.30a.m. VigilSaturday 26th. at 8.00p.m.; Sunday 27th. at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford: Vigil - Saturday 26th. at 6.30p.m.;


Fr. Tom Murphy, Retired Parish Priest of Ballyraggett. Fr. Pat Comerford, Retired Parish Priest of Freshford. Ronan Murphy, Mount Juliet and Foxrock, Dublin.


Mick Murphy, Stoneyford. In Stoneyford Church on Saturday 26th. November at 6.30p.m

Pat Crowley, Aghaviller. In Hugginstown Church on Sunday 27th. November at 10.00a.m


27th. and 28th. November 2022 . (First Sunday of Advent) Readers: Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Tom King. Hug ginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Pat Power; Sunday 10.00a.m. Deirdre O’Shea.

Eucharistic Ministers: Stoneyford: Saturday 6.30p.m. Kitty Wallace. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Teresa Broderick; Sunday 10.00a.m.Lillian Carr.

Note: New rota until June 2023available is Hugginstown Sacristy. Please collect.


November O erings Envelopes 2022 are available at the Church Porch. Your contribution can be le into the Collection Boxes at the Churches or you may donate directly Use IBAN: IE19 AIBK 9330 9000 0561 20 (BIC: AIBKIE2D). Thank You.

Roman Catholic Diocese and Parishes of Ossory – Regis tered Charity No. 20015831


Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes will make a much welcome return having been suspended during the pandemic. The dates for the 2023 Pilgrimage are Tuesday 23rd. May to Sunday 28th. May 2023. Further information available later.


Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Niall Coll, a priest of the Diocese of Raphoe, to be the next Bishop of Ossory. He will be ordained as Bishop on Sunday 22nd. January 2023 at 3.00p.m. in St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.


The Priory Institute is delighted to o er an online retreat ‘Word becomes Flesh’: an AdventRetreat. Visit our website to register or for more information.


Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A. Draw: Monday 14th. November October 2022 Numbers: 11; 04; 22; 08. No Winner First 3 Numbers Drawn: One Jackpot Winner: €6,100.00 Jackpot Winner: Angela and Sadie Barron, Romans Valley.

€200.00 Seller of Jackpot: Teresa Fitzgerald. 3 x €15.00 (Sellers): Deirdre Rohan; Mary Raggett;James Irish; Next Draw Monday. Please submit returns by 8.30p.m. Draw at 9.00p.m.Next week: Match 3: €500.00; (First 3 Numbers Drawn) Jackpot: €5,000.00. (4 Numbers)


This weekend we celebrate Safeguarding Sunday where we remind our communities and parish personnel that inclusion and protection of children and vulnerable people is at the heart of the Christian message. Safeguarding in our parish could not happen without the commitment and work of those who take on the responsibilities for children’s activities and create opportunities for children to minister in our parishes and we take this opportunity to thank them.

We also remember those who have experienced abuse in our Diocese and remind people of the Towards Healing free and confidential counselling service who provide a range of counselling services. And Towards Peace who can provide spiritual support, where people who have been a ected by abuse in a Church context can be accompanied as they seek their own experience of spiritual peace, one step at a time. The Safeguarding Committee has produced a Newsletter available at the back of the Church or on our diocesan website


Diocesan Designated Liaison Person: Ms. Kathleen Sherry, Telephone: 087 100 0232 or email: . Aghavil ler Parish Representatives are: Teresa Broderick and Carmel O’Toole.


Scuba try a dive at Sub Aqua Club, Kilkenny Wednesday 30th November 7.30

For more details please contact Mark Dolan (Training O icer)

085 1489848

News 49 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Community & GAA Notes
We welcome all GAA Club and Community notes for publication in The Kilkenny Observer email to

Hurling matters Sport

Ballyhale wary of Mullally’s men


Croke Park will stage a doubleheader on Suday, as the AIB Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship reaches the nal four stage.

First up at headquarters will be the clash between Naas and our very own Shamrocks Ballyhale.

Following this encounter will come the other semi- nal between Dublin’s nest Kilmacud Crokes and Carlow champions St Mullins, scheduled for 3:15pm.

e winners of Sunday’s semi’s will face-o in the provincial nal on the 4th December at Croker as part of a nals feast which will also see the


football nal in a huge double-bill. But let’s get back to the important business, e Kilkenny kingpins vs the Kildare champions.

Pat Hoban’s charges will arrive at Croke Park, quietly con dent, following their easy win over Westmeath side Castletown in the last-eight xture. Hoban knows that Sunday’s opponents should provide a much sti er test of Shamrocks credentials and he will welcome that as his side crank up their bid for another All-Ireland title.

e Ballyhale management will have studied this Naas side and have

a plan in place that they hope will see them reach the Leinster decider on Sunday week.

As reigning All-Ireland intermediate champions, Naas have taken to the senior ranks with ease. Indeed, their quarter- nal win over O aly’s Shinrone at St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge was a timely reminder to the hurling fraternity that Naas are very much at home at senior level.

Naas’s 15-point win over the Faithful County’s champions, was their rst ever victory in senior provincial hurling and there’s

doubting the hunger that exists for further progression withing their club.

While Naas stepped on the gas in the nal quarter to win out in style, their 5-point half-time lead should have been much bigger, had it not been for some wayward shooting, which saw Tom Mullally’s side hit 7 wides.

With 41-minutes on the clock, the Naas lead was just three points. Mullally’s men will know that they need to take every opportunity that presents itself when they step-out against Shamrocks Ballyhale.

50 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
AIB Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Sunday, 1:15pm Naas vs Shamrocks Ballyhale
out to end Naas
Eoin Cody hoping to put Naas to the sword

In Tom Mullally, Naas have a talented and driven man at the helm who has stated publicly that his side are not just turning up for the day out at Croker and will not ‘run and hide’ when they face the 8-times AllIreland champions on Sunday.

e Glenmore man has played a huge part in the Kildare side’s rise and has previous experience of managing against sides from his native county, including his own village of Glenmore at intermediate level last season. Mullally also took charge of the Carlow hurlers recently as well and has plenty of club experience under his belt over Mullally was instrumental in Cara’s County title victory over Carrickshock in 2013, while he has also tasted provincial success with Mount Leinster Rangers and lost out to the powerful Portuma side in the All-Ireland club nal.

Hurling has been on the rise in Kildare, and Naas are one of the driving forces and reasons for this. Having secured four senior titles on the bounce, Naas are a dangerous

animal for whoever them face. Within their ranks, they also possess a couple of dual-stars in captain Brian Byrne and James Burke. Bryne is a natural leader and gives much to the Naas cause with small and big ball. e continued success of hurling in the short grass county also has roots on Noreside, as some Kildare juvenile teams take part in league xtures in Kilkenny.

Byrne said in an interview recently: “To be fair, Kilkenny are very good. ey associated us, looked after us, they accepted us down there, said ‘come on down, we’ll play league games not a bother’.”

An example of this came in 2015 whenNaas beat Ballyhale Shamrocks 6-12 to 0-06 in the Kilkenny Under-16 Division One Shield hurling nal.

Out of the squad that togged out for the Kildare champions to play Oylegate-Glenbrien in the AIB Leinster intermediate hurling club nal last season, 11 of that panel from 2015 were present.

Stripey reats. is Naas side have been brewing together for a while and possess

a number key players across the pitch. Everything is held together by captain Brian Byrne.

Alongside fellow dual player James Burke, Byrne gets through a mountain of work for his side and also has the ability to bring others into the game through a nice range of passing.

Naas’s main focal point from an attacking point of view is the wonderfully talented Jack Sheridan. e Christy Ring Cup winner was in ne form as he notched 1-11 in the win over Shinrone last time out. Jack’s accuracy from the placed ball will be key to those in stripes keeping the score board ticking over. Keeping Jack Sheridan company in the forward unit is Cathal Dowling. e pacey attacker is as adept at creating opportunities for his teammates as he is taking chance himself.

Two of the Naas goals in their quarter- nal victory came from surging Dowling runs down both anks. e clever forward showed great awareness before o -loading superably for both Charlie Sheridan and Kevin Aherne to raise green ags.

In the engine room of mid eld, we could see Rian Boran and Simon Leacy link-up. Leacy also managed to notch 2 points from his centre- eld berth and the likes of Ronan Corcoran and perhaps Paddy Mullen will need to curb Leacy’s attacking intent.

Wing-backs Harry Carroll and Kevin Whelan also like to challenge their ‘inner Evan She in and Darragh Corcoran’ by getting forward and striking from distance.

Marshaled from No. 6 by Sean Gainey, the Naas rearguard will know that they cannot a ord to give Ballyhale’s front six any space, as they saw how ruthless Messrs. Cody, Fennelly, Cuddihy and Shortall were against Castletown.

Between the posts, Cormac Gallagher will need to ensure his puck-outs are up to scratch, as Shamrocks will punish any errors in this department.

Ballyhale Belief

Having secured ve county titles on the bounce with a convincing win over e Village, Pat Hoban’s men then then comfortably dispatched the challenge of Alan Mangan’s Castletown Geoghegan by

Hurling matters

an impressive 25 points.

at quarter- nal win was secured without the suspended Paddy Mullen and the injured TJ Reid.

e loss of these two players was hardly evident as the Shamrocks dismantled the Westmeath team’s challenge. Both Killian Corcoran and Niall Shortall took their opportunities brilliantly. Shortall nished his days’ work with 1-2 while Killian Corcoran notched 0-3 from mid eld.

e more experienced duo of Colin Fennelly and Eoin Cody ripped into the Lake County team who simply had no answer to the twin threats that were hurling at a level way above anything Castletown Geoghegan had ever faced.

Fennelly’s performance in particular did nothing to dampen down the discussion on a possible inter-county return for the big man, who appears to be in the shape of his life as he looks to propel his beloved Ballyhale to a 13th provincial title and beyond.

Beyond is clearly on the minds of this panel of Shamrocks players. It’s never far from their thoughts, what happened in Sunday’s venue last February against Ballygunner when a 9th All-Ireland club title was so cruelly snatched from their grasp.

Indeed, TJ Reid spoke about this after his side had won the county title. e veteran attacking legend made reference to last season’s decider when discussing building on a half-time lead to put games beyond doubt, to ensure there are no ‘Harry Ruddle heroics’.

It will be interesting to see the starting XV that Pat Hoban opts for on Sunday. As mentioned, Naas are certainly a higher caliber opponent than Castletown Geoghegan and Ballyhale will hope to reduce their wide count in the semi- nal encounter.

A good stern test for Shamrocks Ballyhale will be the ideal scenario, and I think that Tom Mullally’s Naas will de nitely provide this.

Naas will have a better level of physicality than Castletown Geoghegan and their conditioning should mean they remain competitive throughout the contest, but our Ballyhale boys should have enough in their locker to reach the provincial decider.



in Sunday’s semi-final. It’s a sign of a talented panel when you don’t miss the absence of a hurler like TJ.

There could well be more minutes on the pitch for the likes of Killian Corcoran and Niall Shortall who both impressed last time out. It’s also great to see Joe Cuddihy playing again and showing his undoubted talent.

Naas’s dual players, captain Brian Byrne and James Burke will need watched, along with the like of Jack Sheridan and Cathal Dowling.

I’m really looking forward to this clash, and without getting cocky, we also get the chance to see potential final opponents in the game afterwards, should we get the result against the current All-Ireland Intermediate Champions.

Let’s deal with the Naas challenge, then we can plan for a December provincial decider.

• Best of luck to Eddie Scally’s Blacks and Whites who will face the challenge of Dublin Junior Champions Commercials at UPMC Nowlan Park tomorrow. The semi-final encounter is set to throw-in at 1:30pm and the winners will face either Horeswood of Wexford or Louth’s St Fechins in the junior decider.

51 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
Colin Fennelly has been in flying form Adrian Mullen will look to keep his fine form going Joey Holden will hope to control things from the back Provincial semi-final time and another Croker date for Shamrocks Ballyhale. Castletown Geoghegan were never going to lay a glove on Pat Hoban’s men, but there is certainly a heightened level of threat in the form of Tom Mullally’s Naas. Pat Hoban will have drilled it into his side not to take the Kildare men’s challenge lightly, and we know that they will show the necessary respect to the blue & white stripped outfit on Sunday. TJ will have nursed his muscle issue back to fitness and be available to play some part Ronan Corcoran - all eyes on Naas
52 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Motors Classified section To advertise your business in our classi ed section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts Classi eds NOW OPEN SATURDAY MORNINGS 9.30am to 12.00pm CAR WASH – 087 2587745 TYRE BREAKDOWN SERVICE JOEPARSONSGARDEN MAINTENANCE SERVICES INCLUDE • Hedge cutting • • Grass cutting • • Power washing • • Dry rubbish removal • • Tree pruning • CONTACT JOE: 086-8587568
53 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 ClassiMotors eds Call 056 7771463 for all your classi ed advertisements PROPERTY SOLD To Whom It May Concern Harmony Hall, Baurnafea, Castlewarren, Kilkenny has been sold RL548107058IE

Planning notices


I, Breda Walker intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for Retention Planning Permission to retain existing garage and stores and all associated site development works at 65 Newpark Lower, 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.

54 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Planning notices

In loving memory of John, late of Pococke House, Johnswell Road, Kilkenny whose 1st Anniversary occurs on December 2nd.

God saw you getting tired And a cure was not to be He wrapped you in his loving arms And whispered, “Come with me”.

You suffered much in silence Your spirit did not bend You faced your cross with courage Until the very end.

A golden heart stopped beating Hard working hands put to rest God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.

We cannot bring the old days back When we were all together The family chain is broken now But our memories live forever.

Sadly missed and always remembered by his loving wife Edel, son Jonathan and daughter Louise.

First Anniversary Mass, Sunday 27th November at 11.30am in St. John’s Church, Kilkenny.

A prayer to the Blessed Virgin

(never known to fail).

O most beautiful ower 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. J.M.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen.

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail. Must promise publication of prayer. M.B.L.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours. This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer. J.M.

The 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.

St. Anthony Prayer,

O Holy St. Anthony gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers.

Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request).

O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms. The gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen J.M.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen.

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer. M.B.

55 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022
Memoriams / Miracle Prayers
56 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 25 November 2022 Advertisement