Kilkenny Observer 29th March 2024

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Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W: FREE EDITION Friday 29th March 2024 Wishing all of our readers and advertisers a Happy Easter
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Nursing home to close

Safe care for residents in Callan ‘no longer feasible’

The HSE says it can no longer safely provide care to residents in Aperee Living Ltd. nursing home in Callan,. And in the next weeks, will be working closely with residents and their families to help and support them find alternative accommodation.

The HSE has been meeting with residents, families and

staff in the nursing home to update them on the situation at the private nursing home which the HSE/South East Community Healthcare took charge of in November last year, following concerns about the welfare of the residents,

A HSE Spokesperson told The Kilkenny Observer: “The HSE’s focus continues to be

Welcome at this Open Door ...

the safety and welfare of the 43 residents who live in Aperee Living Ltd. We have worked closely with the private provider and HIQA in the last number of months. However we are now at a point where we can no longer safely provide care to residents in this facility. In the next number of weeks, we will be working closely with

residents and their families to help and support them find alternative accommodation. We know that the Aperee Living, Callan has been a very happy home for its residents and we understand that the last few months have been difficult.

“The HSE has been providing support since November last year and additional HSE

staff are now on site to provide further support to residents and their families.”

The HSE was notified on November 2 last by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) that following cancellation of registration and a subsequent district court order the HSE would take charge of the private nurs-

Kilkenny house prices are up again

The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Kilkenny has increased to €287,500, up 2.7% from €280,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Across Kilkenny county, the average time taken to sell currently sits at six weeks, the Q1 REA Average House Price Index shows. The survey shows that

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across the county, 47% of purchasers were first-time buyers, and 13% of purchasers were from outside of the county.

A total of 18% of sales in the county this quarter were attributed to landlords leaving the market.

The price of the average three-bed semi in Kilkenny city increased by 1.5% to €345,000 this quarter, while prices in Callan rose by 4.6%

to an average of €230,000.

“There is still a strong demand in the market, but we would expect to see a little more confidence when interest rates reduce,” said Robbie Grace of REA Grace, Callan.

The actual selling price of a three-bed, semi-detached house across the country rose by 1.3pc in the first quarter to €308,235.

The REA Average House Price Index concentrates on

Telling it like it is. And with no holds barred

the sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home, the threebed semi, giving an accurate picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.

Time taken to reach sale agreed nationally is steady at five weeks as historically low supply continues to drive sales – amidst a belief that interest rates may have peaked.

“There continues to be strong demand throughout

the country as buyers compete for the lowest supply of residential property in two decades – despite the high level of values and interest rates,” said REA spokesperson, Barry McDonald.

“On the positive side for potential homeowners, the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant has finally kicked in, opening up a market for homes in need of improvement.”


ing home. Sinn Féin TD for Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion and local Sinn Féin representative Stephanie Doheny told this paper the closure cannot be allowed to happen and called on Aperee Living to give a commitment that all 43 residents will be able to remain in the nursing home while remedial works are undertaken.

DON’T FORGET! The clocks go forward at 2am on Easter Sunday

How Jesus is seen through Islam

There are many questions that come to mind when the name Jesus is mentioned. Some people say he was a prophet; others call him Almighty God’s son, while others say he was a very wise man. But whatever your idea is, one thing remains certain: he was not your ordinary man. So if there is something special about him, why all the confusion?

But what of the story of Jesus and his mother Mary as seen in the holy scriptures of Islam?

Special Report Page 14

When women are being held hostage

“Nowhere was safe, not even the shower.” Those seven words sum up an experience where home became hell and life a torment for Maeve McGloughlin Doyle at the hands of her husband Mark. Her story, told in interview with Oliver Callan on RTE 1 revealed a litany of psychological and physical abuse..

Marianne Heron Page 12

Time to drive down our road carnage

We are all concerned at the recent spiral in road deaths. Speed, drink, drugs and use of mobile phones while driving all play their part. Most accidents with fatal outcomes occur in the small hours of the morning or at weekends. What can be done?

Paul Hopkins Page 8

Great advice. Your money in mind GERRY MORAN

Quirky take on bright side of life

3 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM SALES E: T: 087 382 0109 or 087 342 1958 EDITOR E: SPORTS E:
MARIANNE HERON A straight shooter. Considerate and wise words
Catherine White, Regional Manager with the Good Shepherd Centre Kilkenny, and her daughter Layla Murphy pictured at the iconic front door of a homeless shelter that has been revamped to symbolise fresh hope for people who seek help in the housing crisis. ‘The Front Door Project’ is a new creative collaboration between staff and residents at the Good Shepherd Centre Kilkenny (GSCK). Full story Page 10 PHOTO: Patrick Browne

Night-time economy: breaking the boundaries

Part four of a six-part series

This week I am concentrating on how Kilkenny’s local towns can be revitalised by the development of a night time economy in Kilkenny’s City.

Laying Foundation For Revitalisation Through Night-Time Economy

Kilkenny, a city heralded for its rich history and vibrant culture, stands on the cusp of an economic transformation. The potential development of a night-time economy in Kilkenny’s city centre could serve as a catalyst for the revitalisation of its surrounding towns. This section explores the premise that with appropriate support, local towns can thrive anew, fostering a symbiotic relationship between city and countryside.

Cultural Events And Town Vibrancy

Let’s chat about how jazzing up the place with a bit of culture can really amp up the buzz in local towns. Picture this: a streetside poetry slam or an impromptu music gig

down the local. Not only do these shin-digs draw a crowd, but they also give townies a taste of something a bit different. It’s like Kilkenny’s got its own flavour, and these events are the spice!

Enhancing Accessibility With Improvements In Transport Look, making it easier to hop from Kilkenny’s buzzing city centre to the charming local towns is a game-changer. Imagine being able to catch a late-night bus after a night out or a cultural fest in the city, zipping back to a quaint and historic town like Graigna-

managh without any hassle. It isn’t just about convenience; it’s about knitting the area together, giving visitors a seamless way to explore every nook and cranny.

A Family Affair: Day And Night in Kilkenny Holidaying in Castlecomer and taking the nippers out to the Discovery Park or taking a tour around the famous local mining villages. Or maybe tripping over the hill and getting a sneak peek at where the morning’s milk originates in Ballyragget might be your daylight adventure, but

Kilkenny’s nightlife isn’t just for the child-free. Imagine, children snug in bed back at a cosy town spot, supervised by a reputable child minder whilst mum and dad pop into the city for a bop, with a night bus ready to whisk them back. Talk about having your cake and eating it!

Providing Visitors With Accommodation Options

So, you’ve had a cracking night out in Kilkenny, right? Jampacked with culture, vibing to some tunes, and soaking in the local scenery. But wait, where’s one to crash after all

that? This is where mixing it up with some lush accommodation options steps in. By peppering the local towns with places to kip, from boutique B&Bs to snazzy hotels, visitors can extend their stay, splash a bit more cash, and truly get under the skin of what makes Kilkenny tick. It’s a win-win; more memories for them and a boosted economy for us.

Fuelling The Flame: Incentives For Local Sparks

So, here’s the skinny: if we want to give Kilkenny’s nighttime economy a proper boost,

we’ve got to start backing our local entrepreneurs – think of it as throwing petrol on a spark. Offering incentives isn’t just about handing out freebies; it’s about lighting a fire under innovation and job creation. With the right support, these local businesses can turn into roaring bonfires, warming up the economy and keeping the community buzzing.

Offering A Unique Cultural Mix

Kilkenny’s towns could stand out by hosting unique cultural events not found in the city, such as traditional music, art events, and food festivals. This distinct cultural scene would attract visitors looking for new experiences and simultaneously draw attention to the city’s offerings.


So, here’s the crack – bringing life back into Kilkenny’s local towns is not just a dream. It’s about chucking in some proper work and well-thought initiatives to spark up a buzzing night-time economy. From cheeky cultural gigs to sprucing up transport and digs, it’s all about making sure towns keep pace with the city’s glow-up. And remember, it’s a team sport – local sparks need a bit of backing to light up the night.

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€275k. boost for our heritage

Investment in key heritage projects across Kilkenny and Carlow has been warmly welcomed by Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan.

The investment in both counties is part of €9m in funding that has been announced for 676 built heritage projects across the country.

As well as the projects below with funding of €119,945,

another €154,955 has been earmarked for 16 smaller projects in Kilkenny and €87,040 has been confirmed for six smaller heritage projects in Carlow.

Among the Kilkenny projects earmarked are:

St Aidan’s Church:  Removal of cement mortar to west gable and repointing with lime mortar to address serious

Cahill confirms future funding for Kilkenny dog track

Fianna Fáil TD and Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, Jackie Cahill has confirmed that Kilkenny Dog Track is to receive funding for its development from the Department of Agriculture.

Deputy Cahill, who has long supported the greyhound industry and sport told The Kilkenny Observer that he received confirmation from the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD, that his department officials would engage with the board of Kilkenny Dog Track to secure funding for the development of facilities at the track.

Following a visit to Kilkenny Dog Track, Deputy Cahill said:

“I spent many a great night in Kilkenny Dog Track in the past. I remember well when we won the Langton Darby

with ‘Sarah Said So’.

“I have been working closely with Deputy John McGuinness and Minister Charlie McConalogue over the last number of months to secure funding for Kilkenny Dog Track.

“I’m happy to confirm that Minister McConalogue has informed me that his officials in the Department of Agriculture will be working closely with the Board of Kilkenny Dog Track over the coming weeks to progress the funding that the track needs to commence the development of the track. This is an extremely successful track but its facilities need upgrading and this funding from the Department will secure the future of the track and keep it for the dog owners and people of the region into the future.”

Artist residency at St Luke’s in new book from Hospice

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) is proud to announce the release of ‘Art by Their Side’, a book highlighting the transformative effect of art on individuals at the end of life. Since the launch of the Arts and Culture programme in 2021, the Foundation has been dedicated to bringing the healing power of art to those who are bereaved and grieving.

In 2023, Irish Hospice Foundation embarked on a project titled “Artist in Residence in Service to People at End of Life”, partnering with hospitals to integrate artists into care settings. The aim was to provide patients, families, and staff with a unique outlet for self-expression and to foster compassion in the acute healthcare system.    Artists Caroline Schofield and Kevin Toolis were selected to work at St Luke’s General Hospital Kilkenny and University Hospital Limerick, respectively, creating an atmosphere of creativity and reflection. The resulting

moisture ingress and damp conditions to the church interior. €20,000

Woodstock House, Inistioge: Works to stabilise the main front and rear elevations of Woodstock House to allow for surveying and assessment of the interior fragile walls.


Gaulstown, Rathmoyles: Breathable system incorpo-

rating vapour control to the internal walls (calcitherm insulation board)  finished with mesh, lime render, breathable paint. Lime Render to External Walls. €10,000.

Among the Carlow projects are Borris House, with repair of dry rot damaged roof and floor structures and window lintels, Repair and reinstatement of internal finishes

and linings, with funds of €50,000.00.

Mr Phelan told The Kilkenny Observer: “Tourism is a key employer in this region and I’m delighted that the government has set aside this funding to protect and enhance our historic houses and buildings. They are a unique part of our heritage and our history and deserve to be preserved for

future generations.

“This funding comes as we prepare for St Patrick’s Weekend celebrations and the kick-off of the tourist season. We look forward to a great season ahead and to welcoming more international visitors in particular than ever to Kilkenny, Carlow and the wider South East region,” he said.

Yet, more we can learn...

book, ‘Art by Their Side’ features interviews with participants and showcases the creative work that emerged from the residencies, demonstrating the profound impact of art on end-of-life care.

Caroline Schofield, visual artist. said: “When you’re working with your hands, conversations will happen”.

Dr Rory McGovern, Consultant Geriatrician at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, praised the project, stating:  “I’ve seen Caroline work with patients with various medical and psychological issues. I’ve seen them engage with her and then suddenly smiling and finding themselves as people again.”

Paula O’Reilly, CEO, Irish Hospice Foundation, said: “This project highlights how art and creative engagement can open new opportunities for communication between patients, staff and families as well as helping provide respite from the more medicalised aspects of care.”

South East Technological University (SETU) and Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) have launched four tertiary degrees aimed at increasing progression from further to higher education outside of the traditional points system.

These degrees will create a pathway for KCETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) graduates in four-degree areas.

The four areas on offer this year include the Bachelor of Science (honours) in IT Management from College of FET Kilkenny to

SETU Carlow, the Bachelor of Science (honours) in Public Health & Health Promotion from College of FET Kilkenny to SETU Waterford, the Bachelor of Business in Hospitality and Tourism from Carlow Institute to SETU Waterford and the Bachelor of Science in Applied Healthcare from Carlow Institute to SETU Waterford.

The first year of these degrees will be hosted and delivered at KCETB FET centres, after which the students who successfully comple,te the year, will progress seamlessly to

higher education at SETU.

The collaboration is reflective of a national drive to establish alternative routes to pursuing degree courses by creating more unified further education and training (FET) and higher education (HE) sectors.

Speaking at the launch, SETU’s Vice-President for Learner Experience, David Denieffe, said:  “This is something that we at SETU, and our colleagues at KCETB, have been developing for some time. We look forward to continuing to work in enhanced partnership with KCETB to ensure

that university and a degree is accessible to everyone.”

KCETB Director of Further Education and Training Martha Bolger said: “Through these opportunities learners will have the opportunity to apply directly to one of our Further Education and Training Colleges and enjoy the first year of their degree without fees with a guaranteed opportunity to progress to SETU. This is an exciting departure for KCETB and underpins our core belief that learning has the power to transform lives and build communities.”

Why you should wear the Easter Lily

The people of Kilkenny are being encouraged to wear the Easter Lily with pride to mark the 108th Anniversary of the Easter Rising.

Aontú’s Ireland South Candidate, Patrick Murphy says” “We wear the Easter Lily to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising and all the men

and women who gave so much for Irish Independence and Freedom. We wear the Lily to honour their enormous sacrifice and to focus on the ideals and objectives that they fought for.

“Not all those objectives have been achieved and we need to work harder, togeth-

er, to ensure that they are. Democratic Irish Independence, economic justice and to cherish all the children of the nation equally; that’s what our brave heroes called for as they struck that fateful blow for our freedom in 1916. The ideals of our wonderful men and women who

took on a powerful  Empire in 1916 are shared by Aontú and we are working tirelessly every day to bring them to reality,” he said.

“All of us owe all the men and women who lit the flame for our freedom as a country, our deepest gratitude. Show it by wearing the Easter Lily”.

6 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 News
Learning curve: Jennifer Collins Deputy Principal, College of FET Kilkenny, Martha Bolger, KCETB Director of Further Education and Training, Sarah Barron, AEO KCETB, Una Hayes, Principal College of FET Kilkenny, David Denieffe, SETU’s VicePresident for Learner Experience
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The Fact Of The Matter

Paul Hopkins

Time to drive down death on our roads

Ironically, despite the recent rise in traffic fatalities, Ireland remains one of the safest countries in Europe for road use –albeit 55 people having died on Irish roads so far this year, 12 more than for the same period in 2023.

In February more than half of those who died were in their 20s or younger, including a 10-year-old boy from Co Clare and a six-year-old girl from Co Galway. And, as I write, Una Bowden with daughters Ciara (14) and Saoirse (9) died in Mayo.

Yet, Ireland’s per capita road death rate of 31 lives lost per one million residents – while slightly increasing since 2022 – remains one of the lowest in Europe.

Italy records 54 deaths per one million residents.

Europe’s highest road death rate is recorded by Portugal and Greece, 62 deaths and 61 deaths respectively per one million residents, double Ireland’s number.

However, the Government, the Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have all expressed concern at the recent spiral in road deaths here. Speed, drink, drugs and use of mobile phones while driving all play their part. Most accidents with fatal outcomes occur in the small hours of the morning or at weekends. And here we are talking about developing night time economies, centred on clubs and bars and late-night drinking and which, if and when given the go-ahead, will largely attract a young audience.

The 55 deaths in Ireland this year were 21 drivers, 22 passengers, nine pedestrians, two motorcyclists and one bike cyclist.

Despite our low statistics in Europe, even one death on our roads is a needless one. These sudden catastrophes cut short lives, devastating families and local communities, begging the question as

to what can be done to stop the carnage which might have been avoided and where the figures for road deaths remain high for us, no matter the European figures. Destroyed lives and lifetimes of heartache know no numbers.

Too often these accidents happen at black spots on local roads. It’s so obvious that work should be carried out to rectify the problem as a matter of urgency or, at the very least, in the short-term warning notices and reduced speed limits should be in place – some places they are, some not so.

A national blackspot remedy programme would make sense, instead of spending on yet more cycle lanes and those problematic pointless plastic poles that are infesting our roads.

The top causes of road accidents are speeding, driver age and lack of experience and driving under the influence. Speeding doesn’t always

mean breaking the speed limit; driving conditions call for lower speed, something where being an experienced driver must surely count.

And it’s a combination of inexperience and risk-taking behaviour in, statistically, young male drivers, like speeding, drink driving and

“Ireland’s road deaths remains one of the lowest in Europe...

not wearing a seat belt, that makes them most at risk.

Speed in the biggest killer, particularly on secondary and rural roads. In many schools in rural Ireland parents, staff and the board of management who say the safety measures at the school are not working and in particular they are highlighting issues around cars failing to stop at the zebra crossing.

I see it every day in my own town. Cars speeding, parking on double-yellow lines, cyclists and scooter users without helmets or highviz gear in the dark of the evening. Pedestrians crossing the road without looking. And here’s a thing: hit a pedestrian, or school child, at 30kph and they have an 80% chance of survival but hit them at 38kph and that chance is just 25%.

But it isn’t just down to drivers, car manufacturers could play a part too. We already have cars which

warn us to buckle up, indicate when there are freezing conditions. How about warning signals when the speed limit is being exceeded or something like a black box used in planes which would record driver behaviour and be checked by Gardaí just as road tax, insurance and NCT is checked. There could even be a score kept for good driving. Some manufacturers and insurance companies are considering all this.

The motor industry can be slow to respond. Look how long it took them to make cars less easy to steal. They still seem more interested in marketing the acceleration from 0 to 100 kph. The era of autonomous selfdrive cars is just around the corner. It’s early days to know whether or not they are safer than human drivers. If they prove to be though, it might be time to let go of the steering wheel and drive down deaths on our roads.

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Your dog does understand, woofly, what you’re saying

Dogs really do understand what their owners are talking about, a new study has found. Scientists have shown for the first time that dogs remember objects, and have memories of them which are triggered by hearing the object’s name.

The presence of this so-called “mental representation” has never been shown in any other

species except in we humans. Scientists at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary, recruited 18 owners and dogs for a study, and the dogs needed to know at least a handful of objects by name.

Electrodes were stuck to the heads of the canines that would measure brainwave activity. The dogs looked at

Weather sees calls for farm scheme for fodder aid

As farms are set to be hit with more wet weather, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue is under pressure to introduce a fodder support scheme.

After persistent bad weather since the autumn, Met Éireann has forecast further unsettled conditions for the days ahead, with rainfall amounts predicted to be between one and 2.2 times the normal level.

It’s another blow to farmers after they experienced rainfall amounts between 24% and 78% above average in recent weeks.

With cattle housed in many parts of the country since last September and in most other areas since early October, ICMSA has called for the immediate introduction of a fodder support scheme for all farmers and IFA said “urgent supports” are needed for tillage farmers amid a “deepening crisis on farms due to the ongoing wet weather”.

ICMSA President Denis Drennan said the winter period has placed an enormous mental strain on far mers from a financial and personal perspective.

Drennan also called for inspections to be “put aside” for now in recognition of the difficult weather and ground conditions farmers are dealing with.

“We know from communications and contact with our farmer members and the wider industry that cashflow at farm level is extremely tight, and it’s also becoming clear that jobs that would normally be complete at this stage of the year have not even commenced across all farm sectors,” he said.

Mr Drennan refuted claims by those who say repeated fodder crises in recent years validates their views about climate change and accusations of overstocking.

“The reality is that it started

their owner who would say the name of an object, such as “ball”, and then either show the dog the ball, or show them something else.

The brainwave data revealed that when the dog was shown the right item which matched the name, there was a specific activity pattern.

However, when the dog was

lied to, there was a completely different set of brainwaves.

There is debate as to whether the dogs are able to actually “see” a known object in their mind’s eye, or if it is a more obscure and hard-to-define concept.

“The nature of the ‘mental representation’ has a history of long-debate in psychol-

ogy, and some argue that we can think of mental representations as ‘mental images’,” Dr Lilla Magyari, the study’s author, said.

“But others argue that mental representations are rather abstract and not related to any modality.

“We do not want to take part in this debate as it was not the

research question of our study.

“Data from the experiment, published in the journal Current Biology, revealed that it took as little as a quarter of a second for the dog to realise the deception, which is comparable to the human brain.

“Your dog understands more than he or she shows signs of,” Dr Magyari said.

raining mid-June last year and hasn’t stopped since — farmers and non-farmers know this,” he said.

“Second-cut silage was poor and third cut almost non-existent, while straw quality was poor due to the wet weather.

“Cattle were housed in September in some parts of the country and early October in the remainder, and they are effectively ‘in’ since.

“To suggest this is due to overstocking points to a complete misunderstanding of the situation and is an insult to farmers who are having to deal with a very difficult situation and who have done a tremendous job to date.”

IFA President Francie Gorman said that, while all sectors are suffering, the tillage sector was at breaking point as farmers were not able to plant their crops.

“It is stated Government policy to increase the amount of tillage in the country, but instead, it is contracting.

“The Government must come forward with urgent supports to keep tillage farmers in business. If the Government doesn’t act now, lasting damage will be done,” he said.

“Tillage had a horrendous time since last autumn and incurred big losses in the last harvest. The ongoing weather conditions have delayed planting and sowing.

“I have raised this directly with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture. I have made it clear to them that Government intervention is critical and it cannot be delayed.”

Meanwhile, Macra has called on Minister McConalogue to reconvene the National Food Security and Fodder Resilience Committee to address the challenges faced by farmers, as the wet weather continues.

The iconic front door of a homeless shelter has been revamped to symbolise fresh hope for people who seek help in the housing crisis. ‘The Front Door Project’ is a new creative collaboration between staff and residents at the Good Shepherd Centre Kilkenny (GSCK). Men and women who accessed emergency accommodation at the hostel expressed how their darkest moments came as they knocked the front door of the building on Church Lane in Kilkenny. No longer able to secure private rental accommodation, or seek help elsewhere, they were in a desperate situation.

This door is always open...

“We recognise that people who reach that point desperately need to feel hope. We believe that our Front Door Project symbolises that hope. By painting the door a bright colour, it symbolises that sense of support and home for those in need.”

Noel Sherry highlighted how much harder was to be homeless and disabled. “We have a housing crisis already but when it comes to providing disabled people with an accessible home, we are failing miserably,” he said.

“If you think about it, our

“One said to me, it was at that point he realised, he was at his lowest — no longer able to feed, clothe or house himself. That image is stark,” CEO of the GSCK Noel Sherry told The Kilkenny Observer.

current lack of appropriate housing is forcing disabled people to remain in institutions, or in urban settings instead of allowing them a sense of control over their own lives. The central challenges to housing people with disabilities is more than just accessible housing, it’s about transport and infrastructure, it’s about health and support services availability particularly in rural settings.

“These are some of the core challenges. It is shameful, it is wrong and it needs to change now. The thing is, we have the power to do this across the country with the right housing capital funding and health supports in place.”

The GSCK provides ser-

vices to women, men and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Service users must be over the age of 18 years and referred by the local authority. The centre supported 92 individuals to access emergency accommodation in Kilkenny in 2023, of which 38 individuals were supported exit homelessness to a home.

In addition, a total of 95 new households in 2023 were helped to exit homelessness including 49 families and 46 single people across Kilkenny, Laois, Carlow and Tipperary. In Kilkenny alone eight families and 56 single people were supported to exit homelessness through the work of the centre in 2023.

And the Beat goes on ... with Bauer takeover

Bauer Media Group, which already owns several national and local radio stations including Newstalk and Today FM, has added to its portfolio with the purchase of Beat 102-103.

The youth music station based in Waterford, broadcasting across the South East, says it is the most listenedto station among the 15 to 34-year-old age group in the region, with 158,000 people tuning in every week.

Bauer has bought The Irish Times’ 75% stake in the station, which the newspaper

acquired when it took over the Landmark Media Group, which also included the Irish Examiner and Evening Echo. The deal is contingent on regulatory approval. The German-owned Bauer Media Audio said that, following the acquisition of Beat, it will extend its total weekly reach in Ireland to 2.24 million listeners, and to more than 61 million listeners across nine countries.

It entered the Irish market in 2021 by acquiring the Communicorp Group and last year added the youth music

station iRadio to its portfolio.

Spin1038 and Dublin’s 98FM are also in the group, and last year Bauer bought Red FM in Cork, which was part-owned by The Irish Times.

Also in its stable is the podcast network GoLoud, and audioXi, a digital advertising exchange.

Bauer already owns stations in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Poland and Portugal.

Chris Doyle, interim CEO of Bauer, said the Beat deal “provides advertisers and partners with access to

a quality station with an engaged audience in the south-east”.

Deirdre Veldon, group managing director of The Irish Times and chair of Beat, said the station had been hugely successful in targeting and attracting listeners in the 15-34 age group.

“We’re confident that Beat and its staff will have a bright future as a valued part of the dynamic Bauer Media Group,” she said.

The Irish Times retains a 75% majority stake in WLR in Waterford.

News 10 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Open door: Catherine White, Regional Manager with the Good Shepherd Centre Kilkenny, and her daughter Layla Murphy who were pictured at the launch PHOTO: Patrick Browne

Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny’s Barrel Yard venue the place to be for music and food

Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny’s iconic Barrel Yard venue kicks off its 2024 programme in style with an opening session on Saturday, March 30. The event features free live music from The Backyard Band, mouth-watering Indian cuisine from the award-winning Spice Genie food truck and Smithwick’s, Ireland’s famous ale, on tap.

The excitement continues into the second weekend at Smithwick’s Barrel Yard, from April 5 to 7, with Mexican food and live music from The Raindogs on Saturday. From May until the end of September, the festivities

continue every weekend at the history-steeped and buzzing location. Attendees can look forward to live music, DJ sessions, and a vibrant atmosphere, complemented by delicious food prepared and served on-site from a variety of top-class food truck vendors.

“The Barrel Yard sessions are the perfect meeting or starting point for a night out,” Ignacio Peregrina, Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny Manager, said. He highlights the venue as the quintessential afterwork gathering spot for locals, who subsequently venture to nearby pubs, restaurants, and hotels.

also feature a mix of chill-out vibes, DJ sessions, and festival celebrations,” Ignacio added. Full details of weekend events will be regularly updated on Smithwick’s social media platforms and advertised locally, he revealed.

commitment to supporting the cultural and entertainment sectors in Kilkenny, as well as our investment in festivals such as the Smithwick’s Kilkenny Roots Festival, Savour and so much more.”

Additionally, Ignacio emphasises its prime location, making it a central hub for weekend festivities, particularly during Kilkenny’s numerous festivals and sporting events.

“Last year's trial of the Barrel Yard was a resounding success. Entry is free, and we provide ample seating and standing space in our enclosed, heated outdoor space. A full bar will be available each weekend, featuring a range of options, including low and noalcohol options.

“Our entertainment programme will mainly showcase classic rock and Americana genres, but it will

“We’re very excited to have teamed up with a variety of food trucks vendors offering tasty treats from around the world. We’re varying the offering to include Indian delicacies, barbecue delights, Italian fare, including wood fired pizza, and the very best in Caribbean cuisine, all freshly prepared and available for enjoyment at your table. Chef Christopher Braganza, winner of RTÉ’s Battle of the Food Trucks, will be on site to kick off the season in style.”

Ignacio underscores Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny’s commitment to supporting local businesses, stating: “We are proud to support local vendors and bands. It’s all part of our

The Barrel Yard, Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny’s new outdoor space, pays homage to the historic former brewery yard where wooden barrels were once repaired and stored, ready to be filled with Smithwick’s ale for distribution to pubs around Ireland.

It is the perfect spot for visitors and tour groups to unwind before or after their visit, and for friends and family to gather and enjoy Smithwick’s famous red ale in the heart of our medieval city before exploring the surrounding pubs, restaurants, and hotels.

For more information, visit www. or follow @smithwicks_ireland on Instagram.

11 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Smithwick's Experience
Ignacio Peregrina, Manager of Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny in Barrel Yard Spice Genie Food Truck Smithwick's Experience Kilkenny Barrel Yard Sessions

As I See It

Marianne Heron

How coercive control holds women hostage

“Nowhere was safe, not even the shower.” Those seven words sum up an experience where home became hell and life a torment for Maeve McGloughlin Doyle at the hands of her husband Mark. Her story, told in interview with Oliver Callan on RTE 1 revealed a litany of psychological and physical abuse ranging from being kicked with boots as she lay on the ground to having her eardrum burst twice.

During March stories of male violence against women hit the headlines ranging from murder involving decapitation, to rape and domestic abuse. On the day that Mark Doyle was sentenced for six years for assaults on his wife and stepsons, another victim of systematic abuse appealed for the return of her baby taken by her partner while the survivor of rape by a man

jailed for seven years called for more action to be taken to stop the tide of violence against women.

Maeve McGloughlin Doyle’s torment continued for 12 years, due both to the nature of coercive control he exercised over her the fact that her husband was a respected member of the community and a garda. She described the insidious way his dehumanisation her and slowly reduced her from an outgoing confident woman to someone in a state of constant fear and anxiety where her every move was monitored and he described her to friends and neighbours as “ditzy and slow”. In reports on men killing, abusing and controlling women, the focus so often falls on the victim. “The perpetrator has disappeared,” says Davina JamesHanman, a UK specialist for

more than 30 years in the reduction of male violence against women. “When the victim-survivor is the only one visible, it is she who is judged, blamed, held accountable. We need to flip the switch so that instead of, ‘Why doesn’t she leave?’, we ask ‘Why doesn’t he stop’.”

This is equally true for Ireland, where women have to seek refuge and initiate legal action, rather than there being intervention to stop the perpetrators’ totally unacceptable behaviour (men are seven times more likely to be involved in gender-based violence than women). And in a situation where one in four women experience abuse by a partner – worryingly higher than the European average – wouldn’t prevention be better still?

Coercive control, which can lead to violence and murder, has been a criminal offence

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling. It happens when high levels of uric acid build up in the body and form needle-shaped crystals in and around the joint leading to inflammation of the joint. Gout is commonly seen in your big toe but can happen in other joints in the body. Not everyone with high levels of uric acid will develop gout. It can take time for the uric acid to build up and over time you can start to have flare ups. These can come and go on their own, lasting days, weeks, or even longer. During a flare up you can have periodic

attacks of intense pain and swelling in your joints. A flare up can start suddenly at night with intense pain bad enough wake you up. Certain food and drink promote uric acid production including red meat, highly processed foods with saturated fat, and alcohol. Also avoid shellfish, herrings, sardines, organ meats, and yeast as these foods can cause uric acids to accumulate. I would also reduce or avoid sugar and caffeine during flare ups.

Aim to have high fibre whole grains, nuts and seeds in particular flax seeds. Eat fruit, especially berries like blueberries and cherries, and plenty of vegetables. Add barley grass and wheatgrass powders to your food as they will help keep the blood al-

kaline. Turmeric spice can be added to your foods or drinks.

Swap your cup of tea for a cup of Nutra Uric Cherries & Nettle Tea, it contains cherries, nettle, and turmeric.

One of our customers’ favourite supplements is Active Edge Montmorency Cherry a concentrated juice made from tart Montmorency cherries. It is amazing how many people find it good and use it regularly to help keep things under control. Other supplements that may help reduce uric acid include Celery or Nettle juice.

I would choose Salus Juices as there is nothing added or taken away. You can add them to water, sugar free juice, or tea. Some people find apple cider vinegar helpful when taken regularly.

Gout is a painful condition that you may be able to keep under control with changes to your diet, lifestyle, and some additional supplements. For more information give us a call or pop us an email.

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

Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre

Phone: 056 7764538


here since 2019. Prosecutions rose from 23 in 2019 to 143 in 2022.The Department of Justice has a policy of zero tolerance for domestic sex and gender base violence which involves prevention, protection, prosecution and policy co-ordination. So far the statistics for gender based violence are hardly heading for zero. Women’s Aid had 33,990 disclosures of abuse in 2022 and 239 women were killed by men between 1996 and 2022.

It’s worrying that many teenagers, especially boys watch online porn to find out about sex and to turn on, without balancing education that porn doesn’t represent reality or deal with consent.

An ESRI report found that 64% of teenage boys watch porn, from as young as 13 and 15% of girls. For prevention to work it clearly needs to deal with the

underlying causes of genderbased violence. Sexual inequality and socialisation, where patriarchy gives some males a sense of entitlement or a need to dominate to be real men, are blamed, while with coercive control the causes can run deep.

Perpetrators, subject to violence and control when young, can be determined to be in control themselves, known as trauma-based entitlement, being thwarted results in ‘humiliation fury’ – a mix of insecurity and toxic behaviour. Therapeutic programmes meet with varied success; 65% of men in an Australian programme reported they were violence free, other schemes found that men were difficult to shift out of habitual behaviour.

Since the purpose-built Amber Women’s Refuge Kilkenny opened in 2001,

1,125 women and 1,581 children have been given shortterm shelter. Amber run a drop-in community  service and a business support and training programme. “Control is the bedrock of all forms of abuse. It’s about the perpetrator enforcing power and control,” says Naoimh Murphy, Communication Officer, Amber.

Amber Refuge’s advice to women experiencing abuse is to have a safety plan, with phone numbers to contact, with a safe place planned where they and their children can shelter and with emergency money and documents or copies left with a friend.

Concerned relatives or friends should leave the door open for a woman to confide without interfering and being there as a support.

The Amber 24/7 helpline is 0818424244.


12 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
– are we all playing our part? WEEK 62 ''Life is something we create together"
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There are many questions that come to mind when the name Jesus is mentioned. Some people say he was a prophet; others call him Almighty God’s son, while others say he was a very wise man. But whatever your idea is, one thing remains certain: he was not your ordinary man. So if there is something special about him, why all the confusion?

Here’s is the story of Jesus and his mother Mary as seen in the holy scriptures of Islam.

Jesus lived about 2,000 years ago in ancient Palestine when the Roman Empire was at its zenith. He was not conceived in the usual way, but was implanted in the womb of a young woman named Mary. Almighty God’s simply commanded, “Be” and he was. In this sense, he was “a word” of Almighty God’s and a special sign for humanity. In fact, he was the last in a long line of religious guides sent to the Jews.

Mary, The Blessed Mary was a righteous woman. Her mother dedicated her to Almighty God’s service even before she was born. As a child, she lived a life marked by health and righteousness, which others pointed to in admiration. She was raised by the wise Zachariah, who instilled in her, a beautiful sense of faith in Almighty God. When she had become a young woman, Mary sought to purify herself further before her Lord.

Knowing that the hustle of life in the towns was distracting, she withdrew from her people to a sanctuary in the East. There she could meditate in seclusion and peace. Suddenly, on a day that seemed no different from the rest, an angel of Almighty God visited her, disguised in the likeness of a human.

Afraid of so strange a sight, Mary prayed for protection, but the strange being reassured her and declared that he was a messenger from the Lord to announce the glad-tidings of a faultless son. Mary, astounded, asked how this was possible seeing that no man had ever touched her. But the angel replied, “Your Lord says, it is easy for Me” But when she felt the little child within her, she fled her sanctuary out of fear of what her family would do or say when they heard the news.

Mary, however, was not to face hardship. When in her despair she cried out to Almighty God for oblivion, a voice soothed her and she found shade and a cool spring. Under a date-palm in the warmth of late summer, she made her dwelling and there bore the

from the spirit of truth and placed their trust in legalism, thereby burying their sense of mercy beneath dusty scrolls and rituals. Finally, when he came of age, Jesus began to travel and preach throughout the land of Palestine about a return to the truth of the old revelations and a rejection of all that man had added. In his task he was supported by the spirit of truth, the angel Gabriel.

The Gospel, His Message

He taught that love and mercy overcome hate and anger and that only a true and sincere faith in the Creator and obedience to His will can bring a person salvation in this life as well as in the next. To reinforce his message, which was called ‘injeel’ (good news), Almighty God granted him the performance of miracles. He healed the sick, uplifted the distressed, cured lepers, and revived the dead. All these things he did with the permission of Almighty God, never taking credit for any of them. He led a simple and pious life. Soon he attracted an inner-circle of devoted followers who listened to his teachings with fervour and humility. These disciples, among them Peter, Barnabas, and John helped him carry the message of Divine Love to the people. They helped him in his mission.

Trials & Tribulations

How is Jesus perceived in Islam?

child unlike any other in human history. Shortly thereafter, Mary returned to her community carrying the child who was to be called Messiah, Jesus, and son of Mary. When her people saw her with the baby in her arms they couldn’t believe their eyes, let alone accept her word. They refused to believe when she told of an angel

who came and told her she was chosen above all other women to carry this burden. They accused her of infidelity and implied that she had ruined the family name. Mary, being overwhelmed, simply motioned towards the child meekly.

The Miracles

Now the child was the product of a miracle and

consequently, miraculous things began to happen. In defence of his mother and of the truth, the infant Jesus spoke saying, “I am a servant of Almighty God. He has given me Scripture and has made me a Prophet. He has blessed me wherever I may be and has made prayer and charity my duty as long as I live” (AlQur’aan 19:30-31]

Throughout his youth, Jesus remained dutiful to his mother and developed quickly in intelligence, wisdom, and piety. He dumbfounded the learned and was greatly admired by those around him who appreciated his talents. He claimed to be a sign of Almighty God and a Messenger to the Israelites. His people had strayed

But no righteous man of Almighty God is without trial and tribulation. As the message of Jesus began to gain wider acceptance, a small clique of hypocrites and evil men began to plot against him. They were the priests and leaders of the Jews whose position and wealth depended upon their place as the sole interpreters of religion to the masses. They pursued him and his followers and eventually captured him.

Now, this is where the Christina view and the Islamic view of the story go their own ways.

Though they abused him, he never renounced his faith in the one Almighty God. So in their anger they plotted to crucify him on a Roman cross. But Jesus slipped from their grip at the last moment, and all the while they thought they had succeeded. They were sure they had killed him but Almighty God answered Jesus’ prayer and saved him from their schemes. Confusion overtook the mob and they might have killed the man who betrayed Jesus instead.

In any case, Jesus escaped from their grasp.

Then Almighty God removed Jesus from this world into another dimension, to a place with Him, not to return until a later time.

News 14 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
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The importance of having mortgage protection Your Money & You John

For many, the journey to owning a home is a significant milestone and the amount to be borrowed can be the biggest investment in most people’s lives. It’s marked by various checkpoints and during the excitement it’s crucial to address essential tasks, one of which is having mortgage protection in place.

Mortgage protection not only safeguards your new home or investment but also provides peace of mind for you and your family. It is a life insurance plan designed to cover the outstanding mortgage balance in the event of the policyholder’s death during the mortgage term. It serves as a safety net for both the borrower and the lending institution. Typically, lenders will not allow the drawdown of the money before the mortgage protection is in place.

Depending on circumstances, the plan can be set-up on a single life, joint life, or dual life. Most lenders offer to arrange your mortgage protection plan, but you are not obligated to take their offering. In fact, it’s advisable to explore your options in the market through a financial advisor to ensure you’re getting the best coverage at

the most competitive rates.

Taking time to compare quotations and consult with different insurers will lead to significant savings over the long term.

The process of putting a plan in place involves several steps, starting with obtaining a quotation. Then applicants complete a proposal form providing pertinent information such as age, smoking status, life-cover amount, serious illness required or not and loan term. The proposal includes standard medical questions which the

providers underwriters use to assess (underwrite) the information provided to determine the terms of coverage. The cost of a mortgage protection policy is influenced by various factors, including the applicant’s age, smoking status, coverage amount, and loan term. Most plans are issued on standard rates but, at times, dependent on medical and or family history, a loading may apply. These instances are relatively rare and only affect a small percentage of applicants.

Applicants with pre-existing medical conditions can still obtain mortgage protection, subject to an underwriting review. The decision depends on the severity and nature of the medical condition disclosed in the application. It’s essential to provide accurate and comprehensive medical information to facilitate the underwriting process and you should not second- guess the process and leave out something you might think is

‘nothing’ as the underwriters may see it as a ‘material fact’ and refuse to pay the claim due to non-disclosure.

Start early as leaving it to the last minute could hold up the whole process as you will need to allow ample time for underwriting and potential medical assessments. Start as soon as possible even before you receive the loan approval and having all necessary documentation readily available will streamline the application process.

Obtaining mortgage protection is a critical step in securing your new home and protecting your loved ones’ financial well-being. By understanding the process, shopping around for the best deals, and seeking professional guidance, you the borrower can steer through the complexities of mortgage protection with confidence and peace of mind.

086 8362622

16 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Opinion
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Being optimistic or pessimistic is not just a psychological trait or interesting topic of conversation; it’s biologically relevant.

There is mounting evidence that optimism may serve as a powerful tool for preventing disease and promoting healthy ageing.

People with an optimistic mindset are associated with various positive health indicators, particularly cardiovascular, but also pulmonary, metabolic, and immunologic. They have a lower incidence of age-related illnesses and reduced mortality levels.

Optimism and pessimism are not arbitrary and elusive labels. On the contrary, they are mindsets that can be scientifically measured, placing an individual’s attitude on a spectrum ranging from optimistic to pessimistic. Framing the baseline of each subject in this way, researchers are able to verify the correlation between optimism level and relative health conditions.

In 2019, a review published in JAMA Network Open by Alan Rozanski, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Morningside hospital in New York City, compared the results of 15 different studies for a total of 229,391 participants. Rozanski’s meta-analysis showed that individuals with higher levels of optimism experience a 35% lower risk of cardiovascular events compared to those with lower optimism, as well as a lower mortality rate.

Rozanski pointed out that the most optimistic people tend to take better care of themselves, especially by eating healthily, exercising, and not smoking. These behaviours have been found to a much lesser extent in the most pessimistic people, who tend to care less for their own well-being.

But the damage produced by pessimism is also biological: the continuous wear and

Why being optimistic is good for you

tear caused by elevated stress hormones like cortisol and noradrenaline leads to heightened levels of body inflammation and promotes the onset of disease.

Moreover pathological pessimism can lead to depression – a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

The same correlation has been identified in relation to

minor illnesses like the common cold.

Optimism, then, is one of the most interesting nonbiological factors involved in the mechanisms of longevity because it correlates an individual’s psychological attributes with their physical health.

In this sense, it offers us a further strategy to protect our health.

Optimists tend to live longer, as revealed by research led by Lewina Lee at Harvard University analysing 69,744 women from the NHS and 1,429 men from the ageing study of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The results tell us that optimists tend to live on average 11 to 15% longer than pessimists and have an excellent chance of achiev-

ing “exceptional longevity”

— that is, by definition, an age of more than 85 years. These results are not confounded by other factors such as socioeconomic status, general health, social integration, and lifestyle because, according to Lee, optimists are better at reframing an unfavourable situation and responding to it more effectively.

They have a more confident attitude toward life and are committed to overcoming obstacles rather than thinking that they can do nothing to change the things that are wrong.

Starting from the premise that a fundamental part of life is the pursuit of goals, it has been seen that encountering obstacles to achieving these goals can lead to different results depending on the individual’s level of optimism. If the person has a confident and positive attitude, they will try to overcome the obstacle; if they are doubtful that their efforts will succeed, they will tend to let it go, perhaps experiencing frustration from their remaining attachment to this goal, or may become completely disengaged and fail to achieve their goal. Optimism and pessimism posit this mechanism on a larger scale as a mental attitude toward not only a single goal but also the future in general.

Researchers have studied the relationship between these two attitudes and the results obtained during the course of real-life situations.

It has been seen that optimists are more likely to complete university studies, not because they are smarter than others, but because they have more motivation.

And they are able to better manage the simultaneous pursuit of multiple goals — making friends, playing sports, and doing well at school — by optimising their efforts: showing a greater commitment to priority goals and less commitment to secondary ones.

“Optimism, like a muscle, can be strengthened through positivity and gratitude, says cardiologist Alan Rozanski and points to results of DNA studies also seem to confirm the idea that optimism is an effective tool for slowing down cellular ageing,

How we might be getting ‘being happy’ wrong

When, as a parent, you reach a certain age, the social media accounts you follow often talk about children. And when you’re talking about children, it’s common to have a moan. Children often make you a tired, sick, and poorer version of the old you. You dissolve into a self-neglecting husk, playing slave to the confused mood swings of a tiny dictator. So, it’s not unreasonable to moan about it and then someone giving the line, “You chose to have kids; stop moaning about them.”

But this isn’t just a clash in life choices — it’s a clash in how we understand ‘happy’. With the obvious exception of a few, many moaning parents will reply: “Oh, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.” The sick days, broken nights, and never-alone toilet breaks are part of that happiness. Parenting is just one exam-

ple of a strange phenomenon: Often the most meaningful, fulfilling, and happiest moments of our lives come with some misery. People might think that happiness means

the absence of struggle: feet up, wine out and Netflix. According to Stephanie Harrison, however, this is part of the “old happy”. Harrison is the founder of

The New Happy movement, a science-backed philosophy of happiness that seeks to ground the idea in realistic and workable concepts. The New Happy has nearly a

million followers on social media, and Harrison’s new book, The New Happy, is one to watch out for in 2024.

For Harrison, “We had got happiness all wrong as a society.” And that’s a big problem. “We’re arguing that the pursuit of happiness drives every single one of our behaviours and everything that we do. So, if we have a flawed definition of happiness, then we will engage in behaviours that ultimately end up leading us astray.”

Aristotle argued that happiness is the “end at which all actions must aim”. Everything we do — every act or duty, virtue, or vice — we do because we think it will make us happy. Harrison’s point, echoing Aristotle’s, is to say that if happiness is the end goal of everything, we better be sure the end goal is worth it. The problem is that, some-

where along the way, we lost sight of what happiness really means. For Harrison, our modern understanding of happiness is a misguided, confused ghost of reality.

“If you think about, for example, the pressure to present yourself as a perfect human being and the pressure to show all the successes that you’re having and all of the good things in your life and the wealth that you’ve accumulated or the power that you can exercise, the irony for me is that they’re telling us that these things will make us happy, right?

“If you can just be perfect, if you can buy more and more, if you can get promoted, and if you can continue to excel at this specific level that we’ve decided is successful, then you will be happy.”

But that’s not necessarily so ...

News 18 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Science & Wellbeing

When next visiting America here’s your roadmap of things to steer clear of unless you want to raise some eyebrows or question the state of your etiquette game.

Disrespecting The Flag

The ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ enjoys a sacred status. Avoid using the flag in any way that might seem disrespectful, and if the national anthem plays, adopt a posture of solemn respect.

Under-Tipping Or No-Tipping

In the US, tipping is an integral part of the service industry. Skipping the tip — or worse, leaving a measly one — can be interpreted as a direct conflict with the unwritten appreciation rules. Remember, the standard rate is 15-20% of the bill for services like dining, where servers depend on tips. “Tip well or don’t tip at all” seems to be the prevailing wisdom.

Speaking Loudly In Public Spaces

Silence may not always be golden, but volume can be inversely proportional to personal space in the US. While some cultures are known for their lively decibels, Americans, in general, prefer you keep the volume dial at an inside voice level, especially in venues such as public transport and libraries.


Personal Space

America’s views on personal space are a kind of ten-foot pole; you should avoid poking anyone with it. The “bubble” is sacrosanct, and invading it unintentionally might have you labeled as “too close for comfort” in no time.nJust keep your space, be friendly but not overbearing.

As Dublin contemplates an underground Metro system, we thought we’d take a quick look at some of world’s best metros.

1. Seoul, South Korea

A haven for techies, the Seoul Metro integrates modern conveniences with state-of-the-art amenities. It is a futuristic system with features like digital screens showing real-time travel information and trains equipped with Wi-Fi. You can easily navigate this extensive network with the T-money card. In addition, the cleanliness is top-notch.

2. Tokyo, Japan Tokyo’s metro system sets the gold standard if you’re looking for punctuality. With a network that feels like a living, breathing entity, it’s a marvel of precision engineering and courteous service.

The trains are famously timely, and the stations are immaculately clean.

What NOT to do when visiting the US

Travel & Leisure

Making Assumptions About Ethnicity And Religions

With diversity being the country’s middle name, assuming someone’s ethnicity or religion can backfire, sometimes spectacularly. Sometimes, it’s

safer to admire rather than inquire.

Don’t make jokes about religion unless you know the people you’re having fun with well. While there are many atheists here, believers take their faith seriously, and it’s often a deep part of their identity.

Bringing Up Politics

At The Dinner Table

In the US, dinner conversations are like a Thanksgiving parade — full of cheer and best enjoyed without a political rain float. The subject is often divisive and can lead to hostility, the kind of dish best served nonexistent.

Health-Food Judgements

The best Metros in the world

Plus, it’s more than simply transportation; it’s a whole cultural experience, with each line narrating the city’s history.

3. London England

Tube’, is the world’s oldest metro system. Its iconic map

and roundel are recognised globally. While it might not always boast the punctuality of its Asian counterparts, the Tube holds a special place

You are what you eat; some folks take it very seriously in the US. Judging others’ dietary habits, whether healthy or not, is a sure way to rub some kale the wrong way. Each Snickers bar they eat carries a little judgment for the Grand Canyon’s worth of snacking on.

Frowning At Small Talk

To many Americans, small talk is the bread and butter of social interaction. Disdaining it with a European existential sigh might seem off-putting. Smile and discuss the weather; it’s the way to many a heart.

Getting Out Of The Car When

When Police Tell You To Stop

If a cop pulls you over don’t get out of the car, place your hands on the wheel and wait until they will come to you.

Jokes About Security And Bombs At Airports

With a Transport Safety Authority (TSA) “nononsense” policy, airport jokes about security threats or contraband are a fast track to a less-than-relaxing security check experience —or worse. Humour has its place, and the TSA line is n’t one of them.

Not Understanding Liquor Laws

Each US state has its own set of liquor laws, and they can be as varied as a box of assorted chocolates. Buying alcohol can sometimes feel like a pop quiz with real consequences, so study up.

Incorrect Store Behaviour

When shopping, do everything like your mother is watching you. No cutting in lines, no sitting on merchandise you aren’t purchasing, and no wolfish gawking at the staff. This isn’t the Wild West; it’s the filing cabinets-in-the-right alphabetical-order period,

in the heart of Londoners and travellers alike for its role in shaping the modern city and its resilience during adversity.

4. Paris, France

Paris’s metro is as much a part of the city’s fabric as its cafés and boulevards.

The art-nouveau entrances of certain stations and the modern art on display at others tell distinct stories. Enjoy a trip that echoes memories of Paris’s vivid past and dynamic present on this distinctively Parisian network.

5. Singapore

The MRT system in Singapore is an example of the city-state’s dedication to environmental preservation and cleanliness. It’s one of the cleanest and most efficient in the world, where eating and drinking are strictly prohibited to maintain its pristine condition. The system is also a ride through a garden, with

many stations integrating natural elements and greenery.

6. Hong Kong

In the densely packed city of Hong Kong, the MTR system stands out for its efficiency and ease of use. Trains and stations are spotlessly clean, and the Octopus card system makes navigating this metropolis a breeze. It exemplifies how a metro system can become ingrained in a city’s core and easily carry millions of people.

7. New York City

The New York City Subway is the lifeblood of the Big Apple. It may not win any awards for cleanliness, but its 24/7 service and extensive network are unparalleled. Each line has its own personality, and the system serves as a melting pot, reflecting the city’s diverse cultures. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s undeniably New York.

19 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
The London Underground, affectionately known as ‘The

Timely wisdom in the middle of spring cleaning Furthermore Gerry Moran

I’m doing a bit of a cleanout of my study these days.

I’m not so sure I’m succeeding as every second newspaper, magazine, poster, painting or book that I mean to throw out or discard simply gets moved to a different spot. It really is difficult, and challenging, for me to declutter as I am, I have to confess, a bit of a hoarder at heart.

Bit of a hoarder! Not according to my good missus, she maintains, and with good reason, that I am a full-blown hoarder. Which explains why this is maybe my 10th time to attempt to declutter that study of mine. Unsuccessfully, of course. You see I’m not able to be ruthless with stuff that I have acquired over the years – stuff that I paid money for, good money in some instances – and, even if I didn’t pay a red cent for some of the

stuff, its’s still rather precious for me. Sentimental value and all that. And, so, in the middle of my excavations, I came upon the following which, according to the post-mark on the envelope it came in, I received almost a quarter of a century ago and which, 25 years on, I still find quite reading. It’s entitled Instructions For Life. The sender had informed me that it was a Nepalese Good Luck Tantra Totem and, as I reread it, I got to thinking that these ‘instructions’ are somewhat relevant and appropriate for the time of year that’s in it – Easter: time of rebirth, rejuvenation, re-thinking and reenergising.

Following are many of those ‘instructions’:

*Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

* Memorize your favourite poem.

* Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, sleep all you want.

* When you say: “I love you” mean it.

* When you say: “I’m sorry” look the person in the eye.

* Be engaged at least six


months before you get married.

* Believe in love at first sight.

* Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.

* Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.

* In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

* Talk slowly but think quickly.

* When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask: “Why do you want to know?

* Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

* When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

* Remember the three Rs: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.

* Don’t let a little dispute

injure a great friendship.

* When you realise you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

* Smile when answering the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

* Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

* Spend some time alone.

* Open your mind to change, but don’t let go of your values.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

* Read more books and watch less TV.

* A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home .

* In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

* Be gentle with the earth.

* Never interrupt when you are being flattered.

* Mind your own business.

* Don’t trust a man/woman who doesn’t close his/her eyes when you kiss. * Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.

* If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth’s greatest satisfaction.

* Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.

* Learn the rules then break some.

* Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.

* Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

* Remember that your character is your destiny.

* Finally, trust in God but lock your car

20 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Opinion
Faith presents the gift voucher to Mary Thank you to all who entered the draw to win a gift voucher for Connolly’s Red Mills Store sponsored by The Kilkenny Observer The winning entry was drawn by Michael Doyle, student at Ormonde College, Kilkenny on work experience with The Kilkenny Observer. Congratulations to Mary Healy, Woodville House, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny who was the lucky winner of the €300.00 gift voucher, a great opportunity to shop from the fabulous fashion range at Connolly’s Red Mills Store, Cillin Hill, Kilkenny. The gift voucher was presented to Mary by Faith O’Neill, Features and Advertising Consultant with The Kilkenny Observer
Michael draws the lucky winner Congratulations to Mary Healy

Ó hArgáin’s call for ban on vapes adopted as Labour Party Policy

It is time to ban all use of vapes or e-cigarettes, according to former Mayor of Kilkenny and candidate in this year’s local elections, Seán Ó hArgáin. The Carlow/Kilkenny constituency motion he proposed to Labour Party conference at the weekend was overwhelmingly passed by the conference and accepted by party spokesperson, Duncan Smith TD. Speaking on the motion, Mr. Ó hArgáin, said he was speaking as a frustrated parent and on behalf of dozens of families who expressed similar frustrations with the huge growth of vape use among young people in particular:

‘The explosion of the sale and use of vapes has taken our society by surprise and left our government almost powerless in the face of this growing health crisis. Our city and town streets have suddenly become flooded with vape shops and our filling stations and supermarkets have seen these unregulated, untested and dangerous products pushed in our faces, while cigarettes are rightly being

tightly controlled and locked away from public view.

The twenty year anniversary of the smoking ban in workplaces and social spaces is being utterly undermined by the arrival of vapes. Let us be quite clear. This is the fightback by the cigarette industry after a hugely successful and expensive information and public health campaign by successive governments over that time. The cynical targeting of teenagers and young adults sees Tik Tok and Instagram flooded with advertising aimed at young people shows how these companies are determined to win back our young people to addiction, poor health and indeed potential serious illness and even death.

The Australian government have taken the clearest action so far. They have introduced a total ban on the production and importation of vapes, with the exception of the tiny minority of people whose doctors certify that they need to use these products to help them stop smoking tobacco.

While I welcome the recent government ban on sales of vapes to under 18 year olds,

I would question how this is and will be policed. We need to have the ability to check that this is being followed through. We all know that the purchase of alcohol and cigarettes by those over 18 for those who are younger presents huge challenges.

Ultimately, however, we need to take these dangerous products out of circulation totally. Our party in Kilkenny stood against the so-called ‘Head Shops’ in our city in 2010. We picketed these premises and held public meetings on the issue. The Minister for Health eventually listened and closed the shops and seized the products overnight. We need the same approach to these dangerous and unregulated products immediately.

We also need a serious discussion about online advertising of these products. Young people see the vast majority of advertising on their phones and their other electronic devices. The state should be empowered to stop this advertising, just as they can in the broadcast and print media.

I am also hugely concerned at the environmental damage

being caused by these products. The dangerous materials in the batteries and casing of vapes are of major concern, while Keep Kilkenny Beautiful and other council refuse staff have noted the huge increase of vape-related litter on our streets. ’

Mr. Ó hArgáin also spoke on two issues during the live televised session of the conference, calling for a huge increase in the building of social housing in Kilkenny and throughout the country. He paid tribute to the recently deceased former TD and Housing Minister, Emmet Stagg, who hugely increased the building of social housing in the 1990’s. ‘We need to return to the state and our councils building houses for our young families, immediately and I commit to this being my number one priority if elected as a councillor.’

He also spoke on local government reform, saying that the recent report showing Ireland as having the fourth worst system of local government in Europe should lead to the immediate re-establishment of Kilkenny City Council and other town

21 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 News

An analysis of a decade’s worth of Reuters/Ipsos polls shows how America’s Republican electorate has shifted in its makeup and views. The classic ‘country club’ Republican, well-off and well-educated, now makes up a smaller slice of the pie.

The transformation is apparent at any Donald Trump rally. The crowd is filled with working-class voters, many without college degrees, who are in lockstep with him on issues where he has overhauled the party’s platform, from immigration to trade to foreign policy.

The Republican electorate is now more isolationist, more skeptical of globalisation, more suspicious of the electoral process and more likely to view Democrats as a threat than it was when former President Trump launched his first run for the White House in 2015.

Even with Trump out of office, the shift is affecting US policy in Congress where hardline House Republicans for five months have blocked Democrat President Joe Biden’s pleas for more aid for Ukraine as it fights off a Russian invasion.

A few years ago, senior Republicans were typically Russia hawks and the people at the top of the party, such as 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, were strong proponents of free trade. Not anymore.

Some of the changes are stark: One in five Republicans today say the US should often flex its military muscle to achieve foreign policy goals, down from one in three a decade ago. Just half say they have “at least some” confidence in election integrity, down from two-thirds who previously expressed that view.

At the same time, the share of Republicans who see immigration as an imminent threat has risen sharply, while

Now in its third year, the war in Ukraine has brought the military balance in Europe between Russia and NATO back to the forefront of geostrategic thinking.

After the end of the Cold War and the demise of the USSR, Eastern Europe’s geostrategic importance as a potential flashpoint for conflict declined considerably. However, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and subsequent invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has again catapulted the security situation on NATO’s eastern flank to the top of the alliance’s list of priorities.

Although open warfare between NATO and Russia has thus far been avoided, the potential for such a conflict to ignite is no longer unthinkable. Consequently, determining the conventional military strengths of both sides has again become a crucial preoccupation for military analysts, as it once did during the Cold War.

So, is a military clash between NATO and Russia over Europe imminent?

Trump: from the well-off to working-class voters

support for free trade has softened.

The shifts reflect an electorate that has become more populist, both feeding off of Trump’s populism and influencing the broader party, said J. Miles Coleman, an analyst at the University of Virginia’s Centre for Politics.

“It’s hard to see the [party] going back to nominating Mitt Romney-type candidates,” Coleman said. Romney, who lost in 2012 to Democrat Barack Obama, at the end of this year will retire from the US Senate, joining an exodus of old-line Republicans.

Reuters analysis of how the makeup of the Republican electorate has shifted is based

on an examination of responses from over 130,000 US adults to Reuters/Ipsos polling in 2016 and from more than 14,000 surveyed so far in 2024, most recently in a nationwide online poll conducted March 7-13.

Reuters also reviewed tens of thousands of responses to Reuters/Ipsos polls on policy issues dating back to 2014. The figures have a level of precision of between about one and three percentage points.

While Trump has been a transformational figure within the Republican Party, the changes in its worldview were in motion before he entered politics, said Dave Hopkins, who is a political science pro-

fessor at Boston College.

“Trump’s nomination and election reflected the discomfort that many traditionalist and nationalist Americans feel about a swiftly changing and complex society in which the values of well- educated progressives increasingly prevail,” Hopkins said, referring to initiatives on diversity, transgender rights and climate change that many conservatives oppose.

“These larger historical and social trends predated Trump, and they will almost certainly endure after his political career is over.”

Trump’s swift defeat of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination this year

Scenario for a World War Three

demonstrated his grip on his party’s voters, but November’s election rematch between Trump and Biden will test how broad his appeal is. Trump lost the 2020 election by more than seven million votes, a result he continues to claim was the result of fraud. He has also ramped up verbal assaults on the justice system as he braces for four upcoming criminal trials.

While the modern Republican Party’s re-orientation around populist issues might limit its appeal to college-educated suburban and urban voters, it appears to be attracting some new supporters, particularly among Hispanics, the fastest-growing segment of

Geopolitical and military forecasting is a difficult business. Even the experts frequently get it wrong. The CIA, for example, wrongly predicted that Russian forces would quickly steamroll through Ukraine. It has been over two years since the initial invasion in February 2022, and Russia’s “special military operation” has thus far failed to produce the victory President Vladimir Putin expected. Although there is a heightened risk for a military clash to occur between Russia and NATO, it is clear that neither side wants to duke it out over Europe in a conventional — or nuclear — battle.

The financial and military contributions made to Ukraine by NATO members have been issued cautiously to avoid escalating tensions with Russia to the point of open warfare. Ultimately, NATO allies have been willing to expend their finances and munitions stockpiles in support of Ukraine but not the lives of their soldiers.

For Russia’s part, it is hard to imagine that the Kremlin en-

the US electorate, the analysis shows.

Some 29% of Hispanics without a college degree now identify as Republican, up from 24% in 2016. Hispanic men have shifted to the party more than Hispanic women.

“If the Republican Party can continue to bolster its appeal among non-white voters without college degrees, it will be able to sustain its electoral strength in national elections,” said Hopkins.

Black voters, meanwhile, continue to largely avoid the party, but more now identify as independent, suggesting that there is at least an opportunity for persuasion by Republican candidates.

visages success in fighting in a wider European theatre after suffering such serious setbacks in Ukraine alone. Putin’s veiled threats to use nuclear weapons may seem escalatory, but they are intended to deter further NATO intervention rather than to invite a broader conflict.

Even if the Kremlin aspires to absorb swathes of Eastern Europe into the Russian sphere of influence, this aim would be more realistically served by a strategy of hybrid warfare, which would seek to degrade NATO’s ability to resist below the threshold of open war.

With that being said, both sides have alluded to the possibility of a Third World War. Putin commented recently that the world is only “one step away from a full-scale third world war,” and Western officials have repeatedly warned that Russia will push further West into Europe if Ukraine is defeated. This scenario would most likely transpire due to miscalculation more than anything else.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Global Report

Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny announces the county recipient of the National Enterprise Awards

A Kilkenny City based software business, Mindaclient, will represent County Kilkenny at the National Enterprise Awards. This long established, export business has been nominated to represent Kilkenny at the 24th National Enterprise Awards which will be held in the Round Room at the Mansion House, Dublin on May 23rd. The operation has grown from directors Brian Kelly and Robert Downes to now having nine full time employees.

MindaClient is a Kilkenny based software platform that provides tailored solutions to businesses and organisations. Their key products are Scholarship management, Counselling software systems, tailored CRM solutions. They trade locally, nationally and internationally.

Mindaclient have availed of Local Enterprise Office grant assistance which

has supported the growth and development of the business over the years. In recent times, they have completed one to one mentoring programmes and the Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters grant to support their expansion in the export market. The Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Cllr. Michael Doyle made a presentation to the Directors of Mindaclient and said: “We would like to congratulate Brian, Robert and the Mindaclient team on their achievements to date and wish them all the best in the next stages of the competition”. He added “The National Enterprise Awards provides an opportunity to highlight the achievements and contribution of small business and showcase their success. These enterprises are based in our cities, local towns and rural communities and are making strides

in, employment, new product development, environmental protection and innovation”.

Commenting on the importance of supporting small businesses to consider export markets Aileen McGrath, Acting Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office said ‘’Mindaclient are a shining example of a local businesses globalising and reaching into international markets with their software all from their base in Kilkenny with a broad range of customers from local charities to international education providers’’.

Further details about the supports available to local start-ups and small businesses are available through www.localenterprise. ie/kilkenny Updates around local companies competing at the National Enterprise Awards are available by searching #NEAwards on social media.

News 23 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Pictured at the presentation of the Kilkenny Local Enterprise Award from Lto R: Robert Downes, Mindaclient; Alva Kenny Mindaclient; Lar Power, CE Kilkenny County Council; Aileen McGrath Acting Head of Enterprise; Cllr. Michael Doyle, Cathaoirleach, Kilkenny County Council, Brian Kelly, Mindaclient;, Sorcha Dalton, Mindaclient & Seam McKeown, Director of Services, Kilkenny County Council. PHOTO Vicky Comerford

Ryan’s Bar

- 20th anniversary weekend

back, would it be viable, or should I call it a day. Eventually we did rise from the ashes and I am glad we tried, it is a whole different world now (and we only open Thursday to Sunday, with the odd bank holiday Monday thrown in) but they are the cards we were dealt and we work it. Music as always is at the heart of Ryans, rock, soul, funk, trad and blues all find a home here! I am indebted to all the fine musicians who have graced our stages and without them, we could not have survived. Also to my amazing staff (you don't have to be mad to work here but it helps) and of course our loyal customers, not just from Kilkenny but from near and far, thank you all for helping us on our journey over the last twenty years. We will keep on rocking!, Lots of great music this bank holiday weekend as usual

Home Help Support needed

Local councillor urges Health Service Executive to prioritise funding for Health Care Assistants (Home Support)

North Kilkenny Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick is calling upon the CEO of the Health Service Executive (HSE) to allocate necessary funding for vital Home Care Services. These services are lifelines for families, enabling their loved ones to receive essential care while remaining in the comfort of their own homes.

with the overwhelming demands of caring. It is imperative that immediate

dignity and autonomy of those who depend on this essential service.

We have been through boom, bust, recession, recovery and then to top it all Covid lockdowns, fourteen months of complete closure made me question, even when we are allowed to come

Health Care Assistants (Home Supports) play a pivotal role in our society, offering invaluable support and compassion to those in need. However, the efficacy of these services is currently threatened by severe staff shortages. Families relying on these services are facing undue hardship and uncertainty, as the demand for care continues to outweigh the available resources

The deterioration of Home Support Services not only jeopardizes the well-being of vulnerable individuals but also places immense strain on their families, who are struggling to cope

Market Cross Shopping Centre is unveiled as Business All-Star Leinster Shopping Centre of the Year 2024, by All-Ireland Business Foundation

Market Cross Shopping Centre, nestled in the heart of Kilkenny, has been honoured with the prestigious title of Business All-Star Leinster Shopping Centre of the Year 2024 by the All-Ireland Business Foundation. This esteemed recognition underscores Market Cross's steadfast dedication to providing an exceptional shopping experience for patrons from Leinster and beyond.

For 30 years, Market Cross Shopping Centre has stood as a beacon of retail excellence in Kilkenny City. Offering a diverse array of high-quality retail options, convenient amenities, and top-notch customer service, Market Cross has become a cherished destination for shoppers of all preferences and tastes.

With a rich tapestry of national and international brands alongside beloved local retailers, Market Cross ensures that every visitor finds something to delight them. From its meticulously maintained facilities to its warm and knowledgeable staff, the shopping centre prioritises

customer satisfaction in every facet of its operations.

Market Cross Shopping Centre goes beyond merely meeting expectations; it exceeds them. Emphasising cleanliness, safety, and accessibility, the centre provides a welcoming atmosphere where shoppers can browse, shop, and relax with ease.

Furthermore, Market Cross is deeply committed to fostering community engagement within Kilkenny City and its environs. Through partnerships with local charities, events, and initiatives, the shopping centre actively contributes to the cultural and social vibrancy of the community.

In achieving the Business All-Star Leinster Shopping Centre of the Year 2024 accolade, Market Cross Shopping Centre reaffirms its status as a premier retail destination in Leinster. This recognition is a testament to the centre's unwavering dedication to principles of trust, performance, and


Reacting to the news of her company’s achievement, Market Cross Shopping Centre Manager, Lesley Cleere said: “We are over the moon to announce Market Cross Shopping Centre as Business All-Star ‘Leinster Shopping Centre Of The


This award reflects the dedication of all centre staff, tenants and customers who have kept & keep Market Cross Shopping Centre vibrant since 1994. It is truly a wonderful accolade and brings with it, a great sense of pride for our beautiful &

unique shopping centre.

With 70% being Irish Own Brands & 30-years trading in the heart of Kilkenny City as we continue to attract top European retailers such as Rituals & Leonidas, along with the successful expansion of Specsavers showing their mark of trust.

We are truly honoured!”

Announcing the news of Market Cross Shopping Centre’s achievement, Deputy Chair of AIBF’s Adjudication Board, Kieran Ring, said:

“On behalf of the All-Ireland Business Foundation I am delighted to announce that Market Cross Shopping Centre have achieved Business All-Star Leinster Shopping Centre Of The Year 2024 accreditation. This accolade is in recognition of the company's outstanding contribution to quality and standards in the sector. This accreditation recognises Market Cross Shopping Centre's conduct in the areas of trust, commitment, performance & customer centricity.

With its prime location in

the heart of Kilkenny City, Market Cross Shopping Centre has long been a cherished destination for shoppers seeking a diverse range of high-quality retail options, convenient amenities, and outstanding customer service.

Market Cross Shopping Centre is hereby included in the AIBF Register Of Irish Business Excellence.”

Managing Director of the All-Ireland Business Foundation, Kapil Khanna, said: The accreditation, which is now held by over 650 firms, is needed by the thousands of small and medium businesses which operate to their own standards but have nothing to measure them by.

He said: “We evaluate a company’s background, trustworthiness and performance, and we speak to customers, employees and vendors. We also anonymously approach the company as a customer and report back on the experience.

The business goes through at least two interviews and is scored on every part of the process against set metrics.”

News 24 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Abby Mahon, Bee Media; Breda Dewan, Department Manager Penneys; Lesley Cleere, Centre Manager Market Cross Shopping Centre; Joe Sweeney, Security Supervisor; and Frank Hayes, Cleaning Supervisor This Easter bank holiday sees the start of Ryan’s bar 20th anniversary under the baton of Arthur Drohan. Arthur told the Kilkenny Observer "I don’t think that I envisaged 29 years ago being still behind the bar, yet here I am". Pat Fitzpatrick
News 25 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024

Ambush on Friary Street Part one

Friary Street

A botched ambush on Kilkenny’s Friary Street in 1921 left three men dead: two rebels and a civilian. It was one of those "heroic failures" that litter the sad turbulent course of Irish history. A plaque commemorating the event was erected some years ago beside the Capuchin church on Friary Street.

But what happened on that fateful day during the War of Independence? Our story must begin with a clandestine meeting of the IRA’s Kilkenny Brigade. The shadowy figures assembled a day or two before Christmas, 1920, to discuss ways of intensifying the struggle against the Black and Tans and British military forces within the county. Their secret meeting place was a room over Delaney’s tailor shop in Watergate.

The group’s Brigadier was George O’ Dwyer of Coon, Castlecomer. He had replaced Peter De Loughry, who had been lifted by the RIC a few weeks earlier. De Loughry hit the headlines when he supplied the key that helped spring Eamon de Valera from an English prison.

O’ Dwyer read a message from IRA HQ urging more attacks on the occupation forces: "Any ideas, lads?" He asked. One fellow drew attention to what he believed

would be a soft target. He informed his colleagues that a wagon transported food supplies daily from the military barracks in Kilkenny to the City jail. The old gaol stood where St. Francis Terrace and Fr. Murphy Square can now be seen.

The rebel went on to explain that two mules pulled the cart and that an armed British soldier drove it. It was escorted by a military patrol. The group agreed that this would present an ideal target for an ambush. But they decided that men from the country should be used in the operation. They would not be as easily identified as might the

city men, whose faces were well known.

Tim Hennessy of Threecastles and Tommy Nolan of Outrath were allotted the task of setting up the ambush. Tim was manager of Ennisnag Grocery Stores, and Tommy was a veteran fighter who had participated in the capture of Hugginstown RIC station.

A third man, Martin Mulhall of Danville, was assigned to observe the movement of the ration party and its escort from the military barracks to the gaol on each day of the week prior to the date set for the ambush: February 21st.

Martin discovered that the patrol followed the exact

same routine every morning. He noted the time it departed the barracks on its way to the prison, and found that it always turned into Friary Street at about 9. 30 a.m.

And the composition of the patrol never varied: An advance party of two soldiers from the 1st Devonshire Regiment. The cart pulled by two mules had a military man at the reins. Immediately behind the cart walked an NCO and a private. And two soldiers wielding rifles with fixed bayonets formed a rearguard.

Aided by City-based rebels, Martin also learned that on each morning, when the two

soldiers of the advance guard had reached Hackett’s pub (later Doherty’s) at the top of Friary Street, the muledrawn cart would be passing Gargan’s stone-cutting yard, while the rearguard soldiers would be opposite the Capuchin Friary.

This pattern of movement seemed not to vary from day to day, and gave the Kilkenny rebel leaders a clear picture of what they were up against.

Having formulated a plan of attack, the IRA Kilkenny Brigade’s 1st battalion assigned the operation to three of its rural companies: Kells, Threecastles, and Bennettsbridge.

The plan was to disarm the patrol, and to avoid bloodshed if possible, the aim on this occasion being simply to capture weapons. The rebels would therefore carry no rifles, just revolvers. Jim Brien of Garnaman, Kells, was appointed leader of the ambush team, whose total strength amounted to 16 volunteers…enough to enable two men to disarm each soldier, allow Jim Brien to lead more effectively, and have another rebel on hand to remove the captured guns and ammunition. A whistle blow from Jim Brien was the agreed signal for the ambush team to commence the attack.

On February 20th, the three companies were notified of the plan. They received an order to be present in Friary Street at 9 a.m. on Monday morning, February 21st. The eventual line-up for the ambush team was as follows.

Threecastles: Tom Hennessy, Michael Dermody, Ned Dunne, and Dick McEvoy.

Kells: Jim Brien (Section Leader), Michael Keane, Tom Walsh, Paddy Hoyne, Michael Brennan, and Jim Torpey. Bennettsbridge: Ned Gooley, Dick Fitzgerald, Danny Murphy, John Greene, and Paddy Murphy. Martin Mulhall was in Kilkenny on the day too, his task being to watch the patrol as it left the barracks and shadow it part of the way to Friary Street. He could then alert his comrades along the street of the patrol’s impending arrival...

To be continued...

(More stories of those bygone times can be read in my book Callan in Words and Pictures, which is available from Amazon)

26 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
George O Dwyer of Coon Castlecomer Michael Dermody of Threecastles
Friary Street Commemoration take places Easter Sunday, March 31st at 12pm
Thomas Hennessy

‘Beautiful Life’ is brought to Ballyragget

Stylist Elaine Malone has recently opened her own salon in Ballyragget, just 20 minutes from Kilkenny city, last November. It has always been a dream of hers to own her own business, and with over 20 years of experience in top salons, in Dublin, Australia and Kilkenny, it was only a matter of time. After 14 years in Peter Mark, she decided to take the plunge with ‘Bella Vida’.

Offering a range of services from perms to balayages, Elaine's salon caters to all ages! Specialising in the beauty of hair extensions and the QOD 16 Week Blowdry, Bella Vida is a one stop shop for all of

your haircare needs. All of their products and colours are 100% vegan sulphate and paraffin free. They only use the best in Italian products; Echosline & Alfaparf. The salon has been freshly renovated, with a neutral tone and earthy vibe.

Recently a new hairstylist, Emma Ring, joined Elaine’s team. Emma has over 8 years of experience with Hair By Nigel & Co and is excited to start her journey with Elaine in Bella Vida.

To book an appointment with Elaine or Emma, call or Whatsapp 089 244 7874. Alternatively, you can book your appointment through the links on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Elaine and Emma are looking forward to welcoming both old and new clients to the salon.

27 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Advertisement Bella Vida
Elaine Malone opening Bella Vida Hairstyling Stylists Elaine Malone and Emma Ring

Murray's ‘Da’ owned the stage as Lake perform Leonard comedy

Photos by Pat

In 2022, I accidentally came across a theatre production by a company I had not heard of.

The Company was Lake productions, a Kilkenny based group, and the show was a Jimmy Murphy play called The Kings of the Kilburn High Road.

To say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement. I was literally blown away. I had seldom, if ever, seen a group perform with such energy and commitment to script. As a member of Trinity College Players I had seen and performed in numerous productions so I would like to think my standard of adjudication was on the upper level of the

28 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Joe Murray who played the role of ‘Da’ by the Hugh Leonard, presented by Lake Productions Husband and wife... Joe Murray and Claire Henriques in The Lake Productions play ‘Da’ Mrs. Prynne, played by Dee Gibney Father and daughter - Joe Murray and his daughter Anne who appeared in The Lake Theatre Production of Da

‘clap-ometer’ scale.

I remember leaving the Thomastown venue that night very much on a high.

A quick perusal of their programme (which in itself was excellent) told me that they had previously produced Trad by Mark O’Doherty and After Sarah Miles by Michael Hiliard Mulcahy.

Their 2023 advertisement for a production of Moll by JB Keane was prompt enough for me to book my ticket.

I had, two weeks prior to the Thomastown Moll, attended that show in one of the bigger venues in our capital city. There was one major difference between the Dublin production and the Lake presentation.

The Lake players performed it as a serious story, which allowed us, the audience, to laugh heartily while the ‘Dubs’ played it for laughs, which did not work.

And therein lies the difference.

And so Last Friday, I drove a 40 mile round trip to Thomastown concert Hall to see ‘Da’, the latest offering from the Kilkenny group.

The play is set in Dalkey in 1968, and times and places remembered, and is largely autobiographical. Its protagonist, an expatriate writer named Charlie Tynan, represents Leonard, who, like the character, was adopted. The play deals with Charlie's relationships with the two father figures in his life: "Da" – his adoptive father, and Mr. Drumm, a cynical civil servant who becomes

And it is fair to say that the group has yet again, come up trumps. And

Joe Murray took on the role of Da with Michael Hayes his son and Sean Hackett playing the son as a younger Claire Henriques plays the ever patient wife of Da. This is the same Henriques who had people rolling in the aisles last year in Moll.

Definitely a feather in her cap

And there was some lovely

Da and the mother; Mary Tate and Young Charlie; Charlie now and Oliver; Mrs Prynne and Da; and Mr Drumm and Young

If I was to highlight one aspect of the production it would be how the cast played the family scenes. It was executed excellently showing the highs and lows of family life. One could feel the tension at times and the love, albeit in small doses.


Experience shows

Joe Murray, in the title role, delivered an exceptional performance and from the moment he arrived on stage he took control of the surroundings. Obviously a very experienced actor, his characterization of the varying ages of Da, his grovelling to the gentry and his ability to deliver a comedy line was a wonderful lesson in acting. There is little more gratifying than an actor allowing the character to take control and Murray executed this with gusto.

It is unfair on the rest of the play to highlight one scene, but the five minute section with his son (Michael Hayes) where Da appeared to be entering early stages of dementia, was executed with great elan. This was complemented greatly by both actors.

I do believe that the lady next to me shed a tear on a couple of occasions, especially in act two.

She apologized at the final curtain saying the character reminded her of her own father.

She needn’t have worried. She wasn’t on her own.

As a matter of fact, a small speck of dust may have made its way into my own lacrimal glands on a couple of occasions.

Cameo roles played by Derek Dooley, Dee Gibney, Anne Murray and Declan Taylor were performed with great class.

Suffice to say that when they left the stage after a short appearance, one wished that they would return later in the show. Surely a good sign.

Well done Lake Productions.

Looking forward to the next outing. The wonderful set was designed by Siobhán Hegarty while lighting was in the hands of Brendan Maguire. The show was directed by Gerry Cody. I took a moment during the interval to read a programme note by Willie Egan, an Adolescent Counsellor from Kilkenny. His ‘Beneath the surface’ look at the play was most informative.

Concert Hall

I must add a note on how impressed I was with the venue. There is a wonderful programme of events coming in the next few

months, featuring both music and theatre, I’m not surprised that more and more groups are availing of the space.

Up coming concerts organised by Music In Kilkenny include In Praise of St Cecilia , Sestina Music and Baroque Ensemble, while on the theatre front we can look forward to ‘By the Bog of Cats’ and ‘The Country Boy’ It is a great venue. and very comfortable, with the obligatory cup of tea and a few biscuits at the interval. Although off the biscuits for Lent I made an exception. You couldn’t refuse.

29 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Murray, Hayes, Henriques and Hackett bounced off each other with fantastic energy leaving one in no doubt that the casting director got the right actors for these parts. Lake Productions actor Derek Dooley in the role of Drumm in Hugh Leonards play ‘Da’ Michael Hayes and Declan Taylor pictured at the Thomastown Concert Hall Michael Hayes and Joe Murray in the final scene of Da by Hugh Leonard and presented at The Thomastown Concert Hall by Lake Productions Kilkenny Anne Murray and Sean Hackett in one of the many comic scenes in ‘Da’ Cast and crew of ‘Da’ who presented their third production at Thomastown Concert Hall. From left: Emily Kelly, Production manager, Brendan Maguire, technical, Dee Gibney, Declan Taylor, Derek Dooley, Michael Hayes, Ger Cody, Director, Sean Hackett, Anne Murray, Claire Henriques, Joe Murray

Your garden and getting started

Gardens are a busy place. They need time and effort and a little patience. They are hard work, but so rewarding. No matter if you’re a novice, advanced learner or the master gardener you will need to put the work in. Gardening can be an all year round occupation, the more you do the more you find needs to be done but it’s a sure way of keeping fit and healthy. Like everything in life before you start you’ll need a plan, make sure it is flexible because changing your mind will be part of the fun.

Very few gardens end up like they were planned. Be prepared to learn, get advice (your local garden center is a good place to start) from other gardeners, look to see what neighboring gardens have on show. Be adventurous embrace all aspects and

styles from hanging baskets to containers, borders to wild areas. Your only constraint is your garden size and your imagination. Prepare your soil, cultivate and fertilise as deemed necessary (again seek advice if you’re starting out).Buy

good quality tools, the will be worked hard so an investment here will pay dividends. Select areas you are going to plant, decide on location and shape. In this instance make good use of the sun, be aware of where sunlight travels across your garden, avoid shade if possible but don’t be afraid to plant in these areas as there are many amazing plants which suit shaded areas and shaded areas are often ideal areas for a peaceful secluded hideaway.

When choosing plants be as adventurous as you can but don’t go overboard. Select what will suit your gardens style and layout; consider here what colours, space and height are most suitable. Think beyond flowers, think plants, bushes, hedges and trees. Broad beans, runner beans, and peas make great climbers display fabulous colour and you can add them to your meals at harvest times. Fruit trees in front gardens?

The introduction of a glass house and closh will greatly improve your choice of vegetables you can grow from tomato to cucumber to peppers. Both will assist in growing plants from seeds and growing plants on before introducing them to the outdoors. They will also offer you a sanctuary for plants to over winter.

Gardening is all about time. Getting ready early, hoping the weather plays its part (it’s

never perfect and you will have to work around it). Selecting your plants and seeds is so important, this is where you have to be smart, take advice ,choose what is recommended, what your local garden center has on display is often a good indicator of what’s in season and suitable for Irish weather. The “know all guy” in the garden center will be more than happy to guide you in the right direction with selections, tips for planting and after care such as fertilisers and feeds.

Now you’ve planted the fun begins, your struggling to grow plants while the weeds are thriving. The progress your plants are making is being eaten back, yes eaten by an often unseen pest (pest gains a whole new meaning here). Again get advice and then decide the level of response you are going to engage. Remember a weed is a plant in the wrong place, and all creatures have a purpose it just might not suit yours at this juncture.

You’ve created a natural wonderment in your garden, now is the time to enjoy it and share it with friends and family. What better way to do it than sitting in a gazebo, at a patio table or on a decking area beside a log cabin, where you can overlook the splendid results of your hard graft. Sounds like a dream then it’s only your reality that’s holding you back. Once you start gardening it’s hard to stop.

30 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
31 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
32 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024

The power of a power wash

We all know that slimey, mucky, greeny black grime that builds up on our patios, decks and driveways over the winter. Now is that time to organise a power wash to blast

all that dirt away revealing clean and bright surfaces fit for a new piece of garden furniture. Power washing can be a cost and time effective way to refresh your exterior.



Often gardens can look untidy due to build up of dead plants, fallen leaves and old branches. Pruning out old stalks and deadhead flowers, and raking up other debris will go a long way to making a garden look fresh again. Simply mowing the lawn and making a defined edge can really make a garden look neat and orderly.


In addition to tidying up your garden, adding some bright flowers and bedding plants can really bring your garden to life. Placing a terracotta or glazed pot on a patio will add a stylish feature to outside space. There are a number of local shops that stock a huge selection of shrubs, perennials, trees, pots and anything else you might need for your garden this summer. They can also offer helpful advice on what to plant where and how to take care of your garden plants.


While we will all welcome some summer sunshine, it does show up every smudge and speck of dirt on your windows. In addition, hard

water and acid rain can cause damage to your windows. Getting your windows professionally cleaned will help protect against damage while also alleviating any annoying marks or stains.


Is there a back corner in your garden that goes completely unused? Maybe you still have the messy gravel driveway you have been meaning

Before and After

to get paved since moving in...10 years ago. If you have a bit of extra cash saved why not invest in a garden room, car port or finally get that driveway done.

Before and After

33 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024

Clogh Writers Group

In November of 2023, Clogh Writers group launched ‘Where I am’, a collection of poetry and prose from eleven different writers. As co-ordinator of the writers group Jane Meally said: “Where I am” is a publication where each writer communicates their passion to the reader.”

Having attended the launch in Clogh, The Kilkenny Observer Newspaper was quite taken with not only the publication, but the work ethic of the writers group. Over the next 11 weeks we reproduce some of that work, and are delighted to work hand in hand with this North Kilkenny writers group.

WEEK 7: This week we feature the work of Mai Dormer

Chimney Of Life

Shafted in sturdy black seams

You stand high above a Basin shaped valley

Looped in a rim of hilly landscape

Stone by stone you stretch heavenward

Your tall elegance a testimony

To a culture born in tunnels of darkness

In breathless miners

You depict a unique heritage

That aired earthy body space Miles beneath the surface Of Laois soil

Now, roads of stories

Of men and boys stooped

In pitch black dungeons

In inky black waters

Old workings shape new life

Beneath green fields as Crevices form fossils dating History, mystery and evolution.

Mai Dormer

I Observe Restrictions

I busy myself with work that’s been on the long finger, far too long.

I sit in your high back chair, feed page after page into the crunching teeth of a black shredder.

An old magazine, titled ‘Forget Me Not’ dated 1904 comes into view, I pause, recall you telling me it came from Bill Whelan’s old house down the lane at Coultha, where a stone castle once stood.

I hear you tell stories of this place, and in my mind I lean against the old stone bridge, where brave coalminers once rested their weary bones, walked the narrow beam on their way to the black path at Clogh Bridge.

I hear the sound of the stream and birds singing in the wild thorny bushes, the heron, guards its river patch. A rainbow of colour hangs over Crutt and a sense of belonging fills me with wonder for this place and its people. I stand and admire my now newly framed ‘Forget Me Not 2021’.

Mai Dormer

Coal Mining: The Role Of Women

Mai Dormer (nee Hosey)

Apart from the audio/visual tapes at the Castlecomer Mining Museum, little is written about the role of women during the coalmining years. Mothers, wives, daughters and sisters (within mining families) played a very important and supportive role to their menfolk and within family and community life. They prepared the lunch on a daily or nightly basis, depending on which shift their men worked on. This lunch was put into a tin box to protect it from underground vermin, particularly rats. A Corcoran’s lemonade bottle carried the cold tea.

The women mended and patched working clothes. If they were lucky the men had knitted socks (also the work of the women) in their working boots, as these were the order of fashion. Some tell the story of wearing old jumper sleeves for socks. These clothes very often had to be dried over an open fire to be ready for the next shift of work. The men walked or cycled to work in pits with familiar names; Deerpark, Modueabeagh, Wolfhill, Rossmore, Skehana, Jarrow and Vera. The women also worked in the home caring for large families. With great skill and on a daily basis, they put ‘life’ into the biblical story of ‘the loaves and fishes’. Because resources in those days were often scarce, these women became dab hands at budgeting, cooking, baking, sewing, washing, ironing, caring for children and babies and always there with a nourishing meal for their menfolk when their shift of work ended. If truth be told they cared for their loved ones from the cradle to the grave.

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

For many families, designer gear came in the ‘American Parcel’, from ‘fair days’ or from the local drapery shops in Castlecomer. Today, there is no drapery shop in the town. Back in those days, there was a choice of drapery shops; Andy Ring in Barrack Street, Tommy Fogarty Chatsworth Street, Miss Kealy, Seamus Hahessy, Mrs Quinn, Miss Mansfield, all in Kilkenny Street. Dressmakers like Mrs Brennan (Comer Jim’s wife) in Kilkenny Street who was an excellent dressmaker, as was Ellen Murphy of Clogh. Overall, clothes were altered, minded, mended, recycled and passed on to younger members of the family.

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

The coal-fire played an important part in the everyday lives of those women. It was lit with the help of paper, sprigs, cinders, coal and a bottomless bucket (which speeded the draught). It provided the only heat within the home. If coal was scarce, the mixing of yellow clay with coal dust and water demanded the skill of experienced ‘dancers of the culm’. When the consistency was deemed correct, the next stage was the making of what was called ‘bombs’ and when dried out, these gave out great heat.

The women did all the cooking over the open coal-fire. They also baked delicious bread in the bakepot which was hung on a crook over the fire. The hob on each side of the fire was used to keep food warm.

The ritual of collecting water in enamel buckets from the local fountain (for drinking or cooking) or the local river for bodily hygiene or washing clothes in the zinc bath was an everyday event. The rainwater was collected in a barrel under the downpipes and this was used for hair washing etc. The women washed the clothes with the aid of a wash tub, a wooden board, Sunlight soap and plenty of scrubbing up and down the board. When dried on the outside line, the clothes were then brought inside and hung on an inside line in the kitchen. The heavy flat black iron was heated on the coal-fire and used to iron them.

The social life of women in those

days in Clogh/Moneenroe was at a level of neighbour to neighbour, going to church, rambling for a chat or game of cards, being present for each other at a birth, in times of sickness, sharing their worries and in general helping each other out so if one ran out of tea, milk, coal or whatever – if the neighbour had some they shared! If and when there was an accident or death in the mines a ‘whistle blower’ went off to alert people of the tragedy. This was a tough time on the women who constantly lived with the fear of bad news of losing a loved one.

The formation of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association provided women with a social outlet. Through this, women were encouraged to share their creative skills and participate in education. This participation helped to combat social isolation and contributed in no small way to the building of community. The women organised classes, outings, dinner-dances, first communion parties, children’s and elderly parties at Christmas times.

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

Cleaning the church was another task undertaken by women. In Clogh, there are memories of collecting the water for washing the church floors with the aid of a tin can and a bucket from the stream in Phelan’s field. The seats were moved from one side of the church to the other and with Vim, cold water and deck scrubs, these women scrubbed the floors white. They then put the seats back in place. They polished the seats and shined the glass door panels. It was women who delivered the weekly church envelopes to each house for the upkeep of the Church. It was women who put the few bob in the envelopes!

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

34 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Chimney of Life - Mai Dormer
35 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Advertisement

Come Dine WithMe

Classic homemade coleslaw

Prep:15 mins

No cook

Serves: 8 as a side

Forget shop-bought versions and make a homemade slaw. It’s an ideal side dish for barbecues or to serve with burgers, salads, sandwiches and more.


• 1 small white cabbage or ½ large

• 4 carrots, peeled

• 1 large red onion

• ½ small bunch dill, chives, parsley or coriander, finely chopped (optional)

• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

• 50g mayonnaise

• 50g yogurt, soured cream or more mayo

• 1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar

• a few pinches of paprika


Remove any bruised or damaged outer cabbage leaves. Halve through the stem, and remove the dense core with a sharp knife and discard. Put cut side down onto a chopping board, and slice as finely as you can into thin shreds. You can also do this on a mandoline (you might want to quarter before slicing) or in a food processor with the shredding attachment. Tip into a bowl.


Grate the carrots on a box grater to coarsely shred, or cut into thin strips using a julienne peeled or the grater attachment on the food processor. Tip into the bowl. Finely slice the onion, and thin as you can, and add to the bowl with the other veg. Add the herbs if using. A mixture is nice if you have some to use up.

Creamy chicken pasta

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 15 mins

Serves: 4

Try our crowd-pleasing creamy chicken pasta for your next family meal. It’s packed with flavour and is easy for anyone to make, including children.


• 300g dried penne

• 2 tsp olive oil

• 1 garlic clove, crushed

• 75g baby spinach leaves

• 250g soft cheese

• 25g parmesan, optional

• 4 cooked chicken breasts (about 450g), shredded with a fork

• 100g frozen peas

• small bunch of parsley or basil, chopped



Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Reserve 100ml of the water and drain the pasta in a colander.


Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and fry the garlic and spinach for 3 mins until wilted. Add the soft cheese and heat until melted. Stir in most of the parmesan, then add the shredded chicken, peas and some of the pasta water. Bring to the boil and bubble for 2-3 mins until the chicken and peas are completely heated through.


Add the pasta and stir until combined. Add more pasta water to loosen the sauce, if needed. Remove from heat, sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and parsley or basil to serve.


In a jug, whisk the mustard, mayo, yogurt and vinegar. Season well, and taste for sharpness and creamy. Add more vinegar if you like.


Tip the dressing into the veg bowl, and mix everything together well with a large spoon. Stir so all the veg gets coated lightly in the dressing. Sprinkle with a few pinches of paprika, and serve straight away. Can be covered and chilled for up to 3 days. Mix well before serving.

36 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
Food & Drink

documentaries on Netflix you must stream 5

The problem with 3 Body Problem

Everybody seems to be talking about 3 Body Problem, the new Netflix series based on Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past book trilogy. Fewer people are talking about the two series’ namesake: The unsolvable physics problem of the same name.

This makes sense, because it’s confusing.

In physics, the three-body problem attempts to find a way to predict the movements of three objects whose gravity interacts with each of the others — like three stars that are close together in space. Apparently the Earth, Sun, and Moon are a three-body system.

However, the three-body

problem is extra confusing, because scientists are seemingly constantly finding new solutions to the three-body problem! They just don’t mean a one-solution-for-all solution. Such a formula does exist for a two- body system, and apparently Isaac Newton figured it out in 1687. But systems with more than two bodies are, according to physicists, too chaotic (ie, not in the sense of a child’s messy bedroom, but in the sense of “chaos theory”) to be corralled by a single solution.

What physicists mean when they say the threebody problem has no solution is simply that there isn’t a one-formula-fits-all

solution to every way that the gravity of three objects might cause those objects to move — which is exactly what 3 Body Problem bases its whole premise on.

In both Liu’s books and Netflix’s 3 Body Problem, humanity faces an invasion by aliens (called Trisolarans in the English translation of the books, and San-Ti in the TV series) whose home solar system features three suns in a chaotic three-body relationship.

It is a world where, unlike ours, the heavens are fundamentally unpredictable. Periods of icy cold give way to searing heat that give way to swings in gravity that turn into temporary reprieves

that can never be trusted. The unpredictable nature of the San-Ti environment is the source of every detail of their physicality, their philosophy, and their desire to claim Earth for their own.

In other words, 3 Body Problem’s three-body problem is unsolvable because Liu wanted to write a story with an unsolvable threebody system, so he chose one of the three-body systems for which we have not discovered a solution, and might never.

If physicists are still working on the three-body problem, we can safely assume that it has not been solved. Scientists, after all, are the real experts.

Reacher Series 3 is on its way to Prime

It’s been dubbed ‘Ultimate Dad TV’, but there’s no denying that the man mountain that is Jack Reacher has become one of Amazon Prime Video’s biggest hitters.

Based on the series of bestselling novels by British author Lee Child (currently made up of 28 books and a short story collection), the show stars Alan Ritchson as a nomadic, ex-military dude who roams around with an instinctive nose for disrupting criminals, solving murder and being unfathomably massive.

Right before Series 2 premiered in December,2023, it was announced by Variety that Series 3 had been commissioned. We could perhaps see the series on the streamer as early as Autumn 2024.

Traditionally, apart from Ritchson as Reacher and a couple of other returning characters, each series begins by clearing the boards with all-new storylines and all new characters.

In February 2024, some new names were announced: Anthony Michael

Hall and Sonya Cassidy would be joining as season regulars, and a few weeks later, Brian Tee, Johnny Berchtold, Roberto Montesino and Daniel David Stewart were also added to the lineup.

According to the book – so this may change slightly for the TV adaptation — in Series 3 Reacher joins forces with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and goes undercover in a bid to bring down Zachary Beck, a suspected drug smuggler who uses a rug trade as a front for

his illegal business. A kidnapping of a family member is set up, and Reacher assumes a fake identity as a bodyguard to Zachary’s son. However, all is not as clear cut as first thought.

Reacher also has a run-in with Francis Xavier Quinn, who brutally murdered his old colleague Dominique Kohl 10 years earlier. Will Reacher manage to complete his undercover task and seek revenge for Kohl?

Stay tuned...

1. Civil: Ben Crump

This documentary tells the story of Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump, who took on the cases of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor with the mission to raise the value of Black life in America. Directed by Nadia Hallgren, we get an intimate behindthe-scenes look at the life of Crump and see him balance family and work.

2. Joan Didion: The Centre Will Not Hold

Alternatively, there’s another portrait of an icon available to watch. Joan Didion: The Centre Will Not Hold chronicles the life of the essayist, novelist, screenwriter and critic Joan Didon through personal stories from behind the influential work. Guest appearances throughout include Vanessa Redgrave, Harrison Ford, Anna Wintour, David Hare, Calvin Trillin, Hilton Als, and Susanna Moore.

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead

Kirsten Johnson made this stellar documentary in hopes of dealing with her fear of losing her father. It is both heartfelt and humorous, blending fact with fiction by staging creative and imaginative ways for her father, Dick Johnson, to die with the goal of laughing through pain. It’s a lovely portrait of a father/ daughter relationship with a life-affirming message at its core.

4. My Octopus Teacher

Nature documentary lovers will enjoy every second of the Oscar-winning My Octopus Teacher. Following diver Craig Foster, we watch as an unlikely friendship forms between him and an octopus in a South African kelp forest. It’s quite a remarkable film, with stunning underwater footage that was shot over eight years. The 3000 hours of footage has been condensed to a neat 85 minutes to tell this unlikely tale of humanity.

5. The Deepest Breath

Thrill seekers will love one of Netflix’s most recent documentaries, The Deepest Breath. Enigmatic from the start, we watch as a champion freediver chases her dreams through the connections she makes along the way. It’s exhilarating yet touching and will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

37 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Advertisement TVAdvertisement & Streaming

Kilkenny Sport Focus

Michael O’Leary

St. Senans Athletic Club track and field open sports

This coming Easter Monday

the 1st of April, St. Senans Athletic Club, Kilmacow in South Kilkenny host their annual Track and Field Sports, and as always it should attract a very strong turnout from across he south east region and beyond.

There is a range of events for girls and boys from Under-8 to Under-19, with events also for Juniors and Seniors.

Starting with the Under-8s, there are races in the 80 metres and 200 metres for both girls and boys, while at Under-9s Under-10s and Under-11s there are races in the 80 metres and 300 metres for both girls and boys.

At Under-12, the girls have events in the 80 metres and 700 metres and long jump, while the boys also have events in the 80 metres and 700 metres along with the shot putt.

At Under-13, the girls have events in the 100 metres and 700 metres along with the high jump and shot putt, while the

We’ve heard it before –exercise is great for our health. But how many of us exercise enough? Most of us don’t. But there is hope for us yet.

Let's look at what is important - how much exercise we really need, what exercise is best for you and why people stick with exercise in the long-run. I hope you come away a little bit more optimistic.

Do More Than Nothing

Research shows us that most of the health benefits from exercise are gained by simply doing something. The law of diminishing returns is in action. In other words – put a little in and you get a lot back.

Look at the graph in the title image – this is diminishing returns in action. Just 10 mins of moderate intensity activity per day brings significant benefit.

Meeting your weekly recommended activity levels (i.e. 2.5-5hrs of moderate intensity activity per week) brings most of the health benefits.

Going well beyond this is not necessary (although athletes and those training for endurance events might reach these levels).

boys also have events in the 100 metres, 700 metres and high jump along with the long jump.

The Under-14 girls have events in the 100 metres and 700 metres along with the long jump, while The Under-14 boys also have events in the 100 metres, 700 metres along with the long jump.

Meanwhile, The Under-15 girls and boys have events in the 100 metres and 700 metres, shot putt and javelin, along with the 1500 metres walk.

At Under-16, The girls have events in the 100 metres and 700 metres, high jump and long jump, while the boys have events in the 100 metres and 700 metres, high jump, shot putt and javelin.

The Under-17 girls have events in the 100 metres and 700 metres along with the shot putt, while the Under-17 boys have races in the 100 metres and 700 metres.

A 2000 metre walk will take

place for both U-19 girls and boys, while there are events for Juniors, Seniors along with Juvenile Relays.

For the Junior girls there are races in The 100 metres, 400 metres and 1500 metres along with the long jump, while in the Junior boys there are races in the 100 metres, 400 metres and 3000 metres along with the long jump.

The Senior Men will race over 3000 metres, while the Senior Ladies will race over 1500 metres.

To conclude the action, there will be Juvenile Relays in the 4 x 200 metres for boys and girls in Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 with a Cup on the day for Best Overall Juvenile Club.

Meanwhile, both Ed Williams and his daughter Perri Williams from The St. Senans Club have been inducted into The Kilkenny Athletics Hall of Fame. Ed was the founder of the St. Senans Club in 1977,

Exercise for health: what’s important?

What is Moderate Intensity Activity?

What is moderate intensity activity? It is exactly what it sounds like – it isn’t easy, it isn’t hard. One useful measure to use is your breathing. If you are breathing a bit heavier but can maintain a conversation – this is moderate. If your breathing is so carefree that

you could sing – this is too easy (although easy activity is much better than nothing). If you’re so breathless you can hardly speak – this is too hard (although this is a great way to improve fitness levels for those who are already fit).

The Best Exercise is the One You Enjoy What you like best is best

for you (this is backed by science!). But why? It’s the exercise that you are most likely to do even when your motivation wanes. So, whether you like to dance, lift weights, cycle, swim, tumble or walk – remember that the key is that you are moving your body and doing so consistently.

While different types of

exercise (e.g. resistance training) may benefit people depending on their needs, the most important thing is to do something consistently.

Exercising with other people (friends, club, class or group) is another great way to help you to stick to it. The social benefits go far beyond just the benefits of exercise, and who knows what other

and over the years several of the athletes that he coached went on to win Leinster and All-Irelands along with representing Ireland in International competitions including Perri.

Perri competed for Ireland in The 10KM walk at The 1992 Olympics in Barcelona along with the World Championships in Stuggart, Germany in 1993. Since retiring from competitive Athletics, Perri has coached Athletes to National and International glory, while she is also current county PRO. Liam Kealy, Sean Lynch, Marita Walton and Margaret Dillon have also been inducted into The Kilkenny Athletics Hall of Fame.

Finally, The Streets of Kilkenny race took place last night (Thursday) with this years event a sell out.The 5KM event is traditionally held on Holy Thursday and it attracts a great response from around the country.

doors this might open for you.

What Makes People Stick with Exercise

Ask someone why they want to start exercising and you might hear; “I want to get healthy”, “I want to lose weight and tone up”, “I want my independence as I get older”, etc.

Ask someone who regularly exercises why they exercise, and you hear “I do it because I feel better when I exercise”, or “If I don’t exercise it will affect my mood”.

It is the immediate benefits to things like mood and energy levels that keep people exercising. Those long-term health benefits simply become added bonuses.

So, to summarise the key points:

• Do something, however small, and be consistent. Slowly build to 2.5-5hrs of moderate intensity activity per week.

• Find an activity you enjoy (ideally with other people).

• The benefits to mood and energy are what keep you coming back for more.

For more information about motivation – have a look at my previous articles on the Observer website (search my name and you will find them).

Next time we will look at resistance training – what it is and why we hear so much about it these days.

38 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024

Kilkenny GAA clubs and Community news



Membership for Clara GAA, Camogie and LGFA Clubs is now due. To be eligible to enter the all ireland final ticket draw and to vote or seek nomination at agm, membership is due by 31st of March. Underage training is due to commence on Monday 8th April. Thanks to all who have paid there membership to date, it is very much appreciated. Please login to your Foireann account at Anyone experiencing difficulties can contact, registrar. or any Committee member.

Thanks, from Clara GAA Executive Committee.


Well done to Conor Phelan and John Murphy who were part of the Kilkenny senior hurling backroom as the Cats toppled champions Limerick in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday.

Well done too to Cian Kelly who was on the Kilkenny U19 panel that defeated Dublin in UCD on Friday evening.


Hard luck to Keara Ryan and Emma Shortall who were part of the Kilkenny senior camogie panel that lost to Tipperary in Nowlan Park on Sunday.


Lotto results for 19th March ;Numbers drawn - 2, 10, 30. No Jackpot winner.

€30 each to Aidan Kenny, John Corr, Eddie Phelan, Ann Mullen and Michael Tobin.

Thanks for your support.



O’Loughlin Gaels staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Danesfort by 1-8 to 1-7 in the JJ Kavanagh and Son’s Senior football championship first round played in Danesfort under lights on Friday night last. In doing so they not only qualified for the quarterfinals but also ensured their senior status for next year’s competition. Such a result looked unlikely at half time as their opponents started strongly, opening up with a point and a goal. While O’Loughlins enjoyed plenty of possession they were unable to convert it into scores and trailed by 1-5 to 0-1 at the interval, their solitary score coming from Alex Sheridan. Greater application and much improved accuracy saw the green and white team slowly reduce the deficit beginning with a Sammy Johnston point within a minute of the restart. Further points from John McNamara and Sammy Johnston were followed by a clever goal from Evan Walsh as he added to the ball in flight to finish it to the net. Two further scores from Sammy Johnston, one from a free, further reduced the deficit before substitute Ryan Poyntz kicked an excellent point to level matters at 1-7 apiece. With minutes left extra time seemed likely but a foul on Alex Sheridan gave Sammy Johnston an opportunity to score the winning point and he duly obliged. Well done all!

Team: Vincent O’Grady, Ronan Buckley, Jamie Young, Barry Lawlor, Finn Hogan, Evan Walsh(1-0), John Mc Namara(0-1), Oisín Murphy, Eoin O’Shea, Kevin Murphy, Jamie Ryan, Alex Sheridan (0-1), Sammy Johnston( O-5 of which 0-2frees), Anthony Forristal, Seanie Bolger. Subs : Conor Kelly for Anthony Forristal, Ryan Poyntz(0-1)for Jamie Ryan, Mark Bergin for Finn Hogan.


O’Loughlin Gaels’ players made a major contribution to Kilkenny’s success in the League semi-final against Limerick last Saturday. In total five of the club’s players saw action as Huw Lawlor was solidness personified at full back, Paddy Deegan made a major contribution playing a captain’s role at centre back, Jordan Molloy in his first game back since injury excelled at midfield, Luke Hogan continued his good form in the forwards netting a vital goal in the process while Owen Lawlor made some excellent runs and was unlucky not to score. The win was enjoyed by Kilkenny followers and the final will be much anticipated.


There was no winner of O’Loughlin Gaels’ club lotto dated March 19th. Numbers Drawn 11, 23, 24, 28 Bonus 17. Play now at www.

Promotors Draw. 1. Becca Cleere c/o K Cleere. 2. Dan Butler c/o J Malone. 3. Theresa Nolan c/o Ml Nolan. 4. Loretto Coyne c/o JJ Cullen. 5. Ollie O’Driscoll c/o Dan O’Driscoll. 6. T and I Galvin c/o M Deegan. 7. Tom Mullins c/o D O’Connell. 8. G Morrissey c/o Online. 9. Conan Doyle c/o Online. 10. Noreen Ryan c/o Online Thank you for your continued support



Freshford and District Darts League final took place on Friday night last in Mackey’s of Gathabawn.which saw Farrells of Freshford take on Valley Inn. It was played in a tense atmosphere before a massive crowd and was a repeat of last year’s final. The Valley Inn were going for 5 in a row last year when Farrel’s stopped them in their tracks but this time around the result was reversed with The Valley Inn coming out winners on a 5-3 score line. The first doubles saw Shane Pollard and Brian Doheny Snr. beat Jack Holmes and Eddie Clifford to put the Valley 1 up. The next doubles saw Peter O’Shea and Mick Lanigan beat Richie Tobin and Brian Doheny Jnr to leave it all square. The third doubles saw Liam Hickey and Stephen Farrell beat Noel Cleere and Mick Hartley with some outstanding darts from Liam Hickey on the night. This left Farrell’s 2-1 up and in a very strong position going into the break with Betting odds of .6/4 been given by John Connolly at this stage. In the first of the singles Noel Cleere were reversed

the last years decision beating Stephen Farrell. In next singles Shane Pollard beat Jack Holmes to leave the Valley 3-2 up. The next singles saw Brian Doheny Jnr beat Eddie Clifford to put the Valley 4-2 ahead. Liam Hickey then took on Brian Doheny Snr and after a tight and high standard game and some outstanding darts from L Hickey saw him take the game to leave it 4-3 to the Valley Inn. Martin Lanigan took on Mick (Mixer) Hartley and he came out win. He displayed nerves of steel to finish on double tops with the first dart.

Shane Pollard was captain of the winning team and also received Player of the final on the night. He accepted the trophy on behalf of the team and thanked his opponents for a great final. In his speech he paid tribute to a former member of the Valley darts teams over the years Adrian Cleere who passed away some time ago and said this one was for Adrian.

Thanks go out to all the organisers of the Freshford and District Darts League for all their hard work on a great league so professionally run and especially to JP Kavanagh and Jonathan Doheny Scorekeeper and Marker on the night for such a great job done. Also to Richie and Mags Mackey for their venue and for the lovely food and refreshments. The final of the John McGrath cup will see the same two teams face one another again in McGraths at a date to be arranged.

WinningTteam; S Pollard (Capt) N.Cleere, B.Doheny Snr. B.Doheny Jnr. R.Tobin, M.Hartley, K.Hughes and M.Tobin.


Sympathy is extended to Mrs. Marie King and all her family formerly of Bohercrussia Street and Johnstown on the death last week of Seamus King late of Dillons Cross, Cork. A celebration of his life took place at Mayfield funeral home followed by committal service at the Island Crematorium Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork.


The annual Easter commemoration will take place on the Green on Sunday next after Mass to remember all those who died in the Easter rising.


The launch of Feile Lachtain 2024 took place recently at St.Lachtain’s Church Museum and Arts Centre. Monsignor Kennedy donated to the museum a beautiful commemorative limestone bench which was unveiled by Pat Nolan and Niamh Kennedy and is now sited in the Garden of remembrance


Have you seen or visited the new Beauty Salon open recently in the village. Best wishes go out to Sinead Barcoe, The Mills who opened the doors to her new beauty salon recently at Church Street. There is a large list of treatments on offer including manicure, pedicure, facials etc. You can view online or ring for booking on 085 1371991. She is wished all the very best in her new venture. So why not go along and pamper yourself over the Easter break.


Mindfiul of the ongoing problem on the R693 Johnstown Road Cllr Michael McCarthy has welcomed the changes to the Deer Open Season Order which came into effect and mean an extension to the Deer Hunting season. These changes will allow for the continuation of the Hunting of female and antlerless deer until 31st March 2024 and males until 30th April 2024.


Cllr. Michael McCarthy is further pleased to see the inclusion of the L1000-23 Clintstown Road bridge, Freshford €30,000 Under 2024 Bridge Rehabilitation Works on Regional and Local Roads.


Freshford Town U11 boys drew 1-1 with Evergreen at the weekend with Sam O’Neill getting the Freshford goal. The U13 boys lost out to 4-3 Bridge Utd on Saturday after missing three penalties during the game. The goals came from Jamie Kavangah (2) and Patrick O;Connor.


St Lachtains U14 footballers had a great win in thee Roinn B championship first round against Piltown on Sunday last coming on winners on a score line of 6-5 to 3-7. They now play Erins Own in the quarter final next weekend.


Scor Sinsear 2024 got underway on Wednesday evening with the stage competition at the Set Theatre.

A table quiz will take place on Thursday 4th April. Please see social media page for details on how to register.


The Loop Café is a wonderful addition to the village full of character and history and your continued support would be greatly appreciated.

Why not go along and meet a friend or try some of their lovely food and support a local community café. They are also looking for volunteers to help out so if you can give a little bit of your time please do so.

BRIDGE Freshford Bridge Club continues each Monday at 7.30pm in Tulla Hall, Threecastles.

New members are very welcome. For further information please contact Olive on 087 9257610.


You are reminded again that the Freshford Community alert annual fee is now due and you are asked to please pay same as soon as possible as they will be removing unpaid members. Envelopes are available from Community members and new members are very welcome to join up.


Foroige will hold an information evening this week in the Community Hall (top floor). They are looking for adult volunteers for a Youth club. For more info contact Aidan n 086 0674485 or


Mass is held in the Parish Church each Wednesday morning at 9.30am and each Sunday morning at 11am.wiith Mass in Tulla church on Saturday evenings at 7.30pm. Ceremonies on Holy Thursday and good Friday Easter Vigil mass on Saturday evening with Ester Sunday mass in Freshford Church as usual.


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

Mass Cards

Special printed parish cards are available at the Parish Office or from Annette at Tulla Church signed by Monsignor Kennedy. You can contact the Parish office on 056 8832843 or by

email – Contact Mongr Kieron Kennedy on that number or on 087 25235 21


Are you struggling with anxiety or depression or finding life difficult or feeling isolated at this time GROW is there to help you. Their Mental Health support Groups are free and confidential and open to all no referral or booking is needed. For more information on same you can contact Mary on 087 284342

If you can’t cope and need support text HELLO to 50808.

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

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




On Wednesday 20th, before a large attentive gathering of members, the club unveiled a booklet titled “135 Years of History -- in Brief” which documents the history of the club from its foundation in 1887 to 2022. The booklet highlights the landmark achievements and developments of the club in a bullet point presentation format. It covers all events from the purchase of the second hand set of Red and Green jerseys from the disbanded Erins Own club in 1924 for £1.10 which coincidentally was also the club’s breakthrough year when beating Thomastown to win the Kilkenny junior championship.

Other landmark dates such as the purchase of the Larchfield grounds in 1970 are included as well as the purchase in 2007 of the 37.5 acres on the Kells Road and subsequent clubroom development projects. The booklet also highlights the nine Kilkenny senior hurling championship victories, the four Leinster and three All-Ireland Club titles captured by the club as well the Junior, Minor and All-Ireland Feile title successes enjoyed over the decades.

Conscious of the many families from around the county and further afield who have been welcomed into the club and parish in recent years and whose sons and daughters are now lining out on club hurling and camogie teams it was deemed appropriate to produce an information booklet outlining the club’s rich history at this time. The booklet is an interesting read potentially prompting discussions and even debates around different events in the

39 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Community & GAA Notes
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Easter Camp Freshford Darts, Champions - The Valley Inn

Community & GAA Notes

club’s long history. It is also complementary to the club’s two outstanding history books, “A Hundred Years of Gaelic Games in The Village” by the late Christy Leahy and “From the Arch to the Pump” by former chairman, Tom Lanigan.


On Saturday afternoon in Pairc Ui Chaoimh Kilkenny qualified for the 2024 National Hurling League final with an impressive 3-17 to 1-15 victory over the All-Ireland champions, Limerick. Club star Cian Kenny contributed positively to the unexpected victory with a trademark industrious display at midfield for The Cats. On Sunday in Portlaoise Clare enjoyed an equally emphatic win over Tipperary to book their place in the national League decider in a fortnight’s time.


The club will be hosting a three day Easter camp for club members, boys and girls between the ages of 6 to 12 from Tuesday 2nd to Thursday 4th April in Pairc Sheamuis Stiophain. Under the stewardship of Juvenile officer Kieran Brennan and a team of experienced mentors the young Village stars will be coached in the skills of our national games hurling, Gaelic football and camogie in a safe and enjoyable environment. The fee for a child is €30, €50 for two and €60 for a family of three members. Contact Kieran at 086 3608593 or camogie chairman Brian Leahy at 086 8445563 to book a place on the camp.



Members are requested to travel to Mooncoin to support the club’s senior footballers on Friday 29th March at 7Pm as they go in search of the 2024 Kilkenny senior football league title against Thomastown. Manager Diarmuid Berry reminds supporters that the club last won the league title in 2001 and points out that the players have put in a serious effort in training over the last few weeks in a determination to bridge that 23 year barren spell. The best of luck lads.


Best wishes to club players Oisin Bateman, Sean Deely, Edward McDermott, Noah Manogue and Billy O’Sullivan who have been selected on the Kilkenny U-19 squad for the newly established Leinster U-19 Huling Development League. Included in their group are Dublin, Offaly and Wexford. Kilkenny played their first game against Dublin on Friday night last. Apparently, the thinking behind the league is to bridge the gap between the inter-county U-17 and U-20 championship competitions.


The club’s fundraising committee has arranged a fun night fundraiser “We’re Going to the Dogs” on Friday night 19th April at the Kilkenny Greyhound Track. Tickets cost €10 per adult with accompanying children FREE. The admission ticket will be entered in a draw for a Robot Vacuum System worth €500. Support would be welcome.


Last week’s numbers were 7 : 9 : 24 : 31. There was no winner. The €40 consolation winners were Maryellen Howley, Billy Whelan, Marian Ferries, B.O’ Brien and Martin Wall. This week’s jackpot will be €13,400.


Registrar Mark Noonan reminds members and supporters that the annual membership fees are now due. Fees can be paid online through the site where on scrolling to the James Stephens site the different membership fees are displayed. Please note that we are no longer using Clubforce for membership but will continue to use it for our weekly club lotto.



The next race meeting takes place on Wednesday 3rd April with the first race at 4.15pm.

The Complimentary Shuttle Bus service will leave from Kilkenny City Centre (just above the gates of Kilkenny Castle) One Hour before the first race.


Gowran Community Housing for the Elderly are happy to announce the opening of Pre Loved Beautiful Clothes in Dalton House Day Care Centre at the end of March. If you have any high quality clothes that you would like to turn into cash contact 0860276332.


The tea room currently has a position for a Kitchen Assistant/ Waiting Staff! 35 hrs/5 days per week. If you are interested in the position please send your CV to info@daltonhouse or post to Dalton House, St. Mary’s Court, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny.


Join their petition for safe accessible parking and wheelchair ramps at their community Hub. Please sign and share their petition.


They are thrilled to be returning to the stage on June 7th and 8th 2024 with 2 brilliant One Act Plays. Readings will be held on the 3rd April 2024 in Gowran Hall at 8pm. New members are very welcome!

Contact 085-7478338 for more information!


Congratulations to Liam Kealy on his Kilkenny Athletics Hall of Fame Award. The county board has for the first time established a Hall of Fame award. Liam along with five others was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Liam started athletics at age 18 and won 4 county senior titles as well as being second on five occasions. He won the Leinster Intermediate in 1971 and finished 2nd in the Leinster Novice. At track he won titles at multiple distances from 400m to 5000m in the county and was 3rd in the over 50 All Ireland Indoor 3000m. He was chairperson of Gowran AC for many years and served as secretary to Kilkenny County Board and PRO. Along with Ed Williams he was a key instrumental in the installation of a

synthetic track at Scanlon Park. For four years, Liam Kealy managed the Irish cross-country teams for world and European championships. Under his guidance, Ireland won medals in the European junior men’s race (Garrett Turnbull was third), and the ladies team medal winners at three World cross-country championships. Liam was the founder of the modern Gowran AC and for four decades served as coach for various events. His athletes went on to Leinster, National and International success. Congratulations and very well deserved Liam.



If you wish to submit news items, club events, announcements etc you can do so by emailing them to

Deadline is Saturday 6pm.


Numbers drawn on 19/03 /24 were 4, 15, 22, 30 and there was no winner. The following won €30 each, Vincent Foley, John Grace, Liam Hughes, John Cushen, Kay and Eamon Doyle, Tickets are available from any club member.


The Monthly Rambling House Session is on the second Friday of the month in Newtown Hall, where you can enjoy music and song from local artists and also many from the surrounding district’s also join in at 7pm.The next Session is on Friday April 12th.


The St Patricks Parade passed on with a beautiful day of sunshine and very big turnout of people and many good floats with the local Clubs from the GAA, Soccer, and Canoeing, Vintage Cars and Tractors.

It was well attended, well done to all involved.


Cllr Peter Chap Cleere will have his Clinic at his Office at Main Street Graiguenamanagh on Monday Evening @ 7pm.


The Result of The Tidy Towns Jackpot for 21st March 21st 2024 were. 1st Prize €428 Emlyn Holden. 2nd Prize €50 Eilleen Duff. 3rd Prize Gemma Quigley €25. Money raised through Tidy Towns jackpot will be used to keep the Town looking well all year round.


The Death occurred of Mary Clarke, Glynn, St Mullins, on Sunday March 10th at The Signacare Nursing Home, New Ross. She was predeceased by her husband Frank and Son Micheal, and Sisters Patrica, Lily and Ann. She is survived by her sons David, Philip, Francis and daughter Vivienne, extended family, friends and neighbours. Funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr. Aughey in St Brendan’s Church Drummond, followed by burial in St Mullins Cemetery.



Shamrocks GAA Ballyhale Lá na gClub & Healthy Club Launch Night - MARCH 31st at 6pm in Andy’s Bar Ballyhale

Join us as we step down memory lane to revisit some of our favourite times in the club over the last few decades as we launch our healthy club and look at ways we can continue to enhance the health and wellbeing of our members and local community in the future. Lá na gClub is a national day that celebrates our clubs and communities. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, while welcoming members and newcomers for a fun-filled evening.

This year, we have so much to celebrate as the GAA celebrate it’s 140th anniversary while Camogie celebrates it’s 120th anniversary nationwide. Everyone is welcome at Lá na gClub! It’s a day for members, their families and friends to get together and celebrate the people and the place that make the club so special and unique. For more information, find us on facebook/instagram at Shamrocks GAA Ballyhale Healthy Clubs.



Holy Week: Trocaire boxes may be returned from Holy Thursday onwards. Please do not leave unattended boxes in churches.

Good Friday, 29th March, A day of fast and abstinence. Stations of the Cross in Paulstown at 15.00. The Lord’s Passion in Goresbridge at 15.00 and in Paulstown at 19.30. Confessions after these ceremonies in both churches of the parish.

Holy Saturday, 30th March. Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) in Paulstown at 11.00-12.00. Easter Vigil in Paulstown at 20.00 (no evening mass in Goresbridge)

Easter Sunday 31st March. Mass at Goresbridge at 10.00 and Paulstown at 11.30 (Don’t forget that the clocks go forward an hour!)


Badminton returned to Paulstown Community Hall at 20.00 on Monday 25th March. Entry: €5. New players including beginners are welcome. Contact Tommy for information: 087 2303495


The Paulstown Development Association is sponsoring the Party on Saturday 30th March from 11-13.00 in Páirc an Phobail (R95NY93). Games, prizes and treats for children and adults alike!


Goodly Barrow Café and Museum claimed another prize this time for the café’s sourdough prepared by Plurbakery. Delighted at the awards ceremony, when staff won Local Food Hero. So well deserved, best sourdough bread in the world!


The next club jackpot is on Tuesday 26th March and is worth €4,900. For the weekly Lotto online tickets are available at www.

The Barrow Rangers Camogie Easter Fundraiser 2024 has kicked off and may be accessed online at

The Camogie Association’s Introduction to Coaching Gaelic Games Coaching Course schedule for 2024 is now available to view. See


Saturday 23rd March was a huge day for the club’s Under-13s and their coaches Tommy, Michael and Richard as they welcomed Cork’s Wilton Utd in the quarter final of the SFAI Subway Cup Trophy in Goatsbridge Astro Thomastown. Wilton won on penalties (4-3). Well done to all the players. Congratulations to Goresbridge Scoil Bhríde and Bridge players, Brian Maher, Jake Murphy, Callum Brennan, Harry Greene, Eoin Maher, Daniel Greene, Ben Devitor, Dan Prendergast and their team mates and coach, Peter Fitzpatrick, who won the FAI Schools primary 5s Kilkenny Finals A cup last Sunday.


Paulstown NS are running an Easter raffle, tickets may be purchased at the Everyday shop, Paulstown. Your support would be greatly appreciated.


Car, tractor run, vintage, bike motorbike and truck run in aid of Danny’s MS treatment Fund on Sunday 14th April from 10.30-12.30 with registration in the GAA Barrow Rangers Club, Paulstown. Some refreshments and raffle after the run back in the community hall.


Next session is on Tuesday 26th March at 8.30pm in Paulstown Community Hall. No class on following Tuesday of Easter week. Contact Stephanie Lennon on ‘Dance Fit’ on Facebook or instragram where you can sign up via Google forms link. Cost is €8 per class.


A weekly Friday chatting in Irish over a cuppa in the Goodly Barrow this Friday 29th March at 11am. Whether it is a few words or many, it doesn’t matter. Contact Ann on 085 7529485 for further information. Fáilte roimh chách.



Good Friday Tullaherin the Passion and Death of Jesus 3pm

Holy Saturday Bennettsbridge Easter Vigil Mass 7.30pm

Easter Sunday Bennettsbridge Mass 10.30am


First Communion will take place on Saturday, May 11th.There will be three preparation masses prior to the big day. Sundays, 14th, 21st and

28th April at 10.30 am.

Trocaire Boxes can be handed into the sacristy from Thursday.


Thanks to all who so generously supported the Irish Dancing Display held on St Patrick’s Day in the Community Centre. Special thanks to Stella Carroll and her team who put such an effort into preparing the children. Thanks to Tom Shanahan who carried out his MC duties with great efficiency. Mandy Simpson was in her usual ticket-selling mode. The Carlow Kilkenny Home Care Team received a substantial donation as a result and a formal letter will come in due course.


An enjoyable day was had by all at the Liffey Shopping Centre on Wednesday last. There will be no meeting for the next two weeks due to Easer and other hall commitments.


Activities continue each Wednesday for this comparatively new group in the parish. New members continue to arrive and there are great reports from all participants.


It is hoped to have a full attendance of choir members for Easter. We are indebted to our organists, Molly and Christine who continue to give their time to this important part of our church community. Likewise, the presence of our singers for every occasion is much appreciated. A special welcome is extended to Tullaherin singers who can join with us on these special days.


Great day for our Community today. The beavers completed a litter pick and pitched tents, and the cubs planted flowers in beds and showed their pioneering skills in the playground. We also invested a number of new beavers and cubs in the hall. Thanks to all who helped out to make the day a great success!

The Bennettsbridge group serves the communities of Gowran, Clara and Bennettsbridge. The waitlist is open for the 24/25 beaver, cubs and scouts sections; email

LOTTO No winner of Jackpot last week. Numbers, 4, 5, 19, 24. Consolation Prizes, Kathleen Ryan, Woodlawn, Richard Comerford, Bennettsbridge, Marita Lanigan, Barronsland, Marie Dunne, Ballyreddin, Marie Dempsey, Thomastown.


Results 27th February Joint Winners, Neddie Walsh/Michael Keneally and Toddy Skehan/Colm Tobin(11 games). Table Prize JohnO’Brien/ Patsy Gibbons.

March 5th, 3 -way divide, Declan Byrne/Eugene Malone, Michael Kenneally/Lar Gibbons, John Shortall/Charlie Hill(12 games). Table Prize Marie and Johno Reid

March 12th, Joint winners, Mary Doyle/Mary Cummins`and Declan Twomey/John Drennan( 12 games ). Table Prize Brian Blackmore/Annie Lehane.

March 19th. Joint Winners, Michael Kenneally/Neddy Walsh and Vinnie Horgan/Andrew Barcoe. Table Prize John Drennan/Declan Twomey.


Sympathy is extended to the Barcoe family on the death of Paddy Barcoe. Carn, Dunbell, Co. Kilkenny.

Paddy passed away on 19th March 2024, in the Cherry Ward at University Hospital, Waterford. He was predeceased by his wife Carmel and daughter Nuala. Paddy will be sadly missed by his children Brian, Gina, Pat and Brendan, sisters Breda and Liz, brother Jim, sister-in-law Bridie, daughters-in-law Anne, Colleen and Jacinta, son-in-law Pat, grandchildren Ashling, Jack, Sarah, Conor, Rebekah, Aaron, Adam, Grace and David, great-grandson Aidan, nephews, nieces, extended family, neighbours and friends.

Family, friends and neighbours attended Johnston’s Funeral Home in large numbers on Thursday to pay their last respects. Requiem Mass was celebrated on Friday in St. Colman’s Church, Clara. Interment took place afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.


Sympathy is also extended to Pierce Purcell on the death of his brother, Michael, Ferrybank, Waterford and formerly of 13 Leggettsrath, Dublin Road, Kilkenny Michael passed away on 20th March 2024, peacefully, at University Hospital, Waterford. Predeceased by his parents Michael and Mary, brother Tommy ,sisters Margaret, Eileen and baby Ann and sisters-in-law Ann Josie and Anne. Michael will be sadly missed by his partner Helen, daughter Jane, brothers Pierce, John, Christy, Willie, Gerry and Marty, sister-in-law Kathleen, nephews, nieces, cousins, extended family, neighbours and friends.


Sympathy is also extended to Noel Mitchell, Ballyreddin on the death of his brother Martin Mitchell, 39 Assumption Park, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. Martin died at University Hospital Limerick.

Predeceased by his beloved mother Brigid, his father David and his sister in law Mary-Kate. He is survived by his sister Helen (Tierney) and his brothers Michael, David and Noel, his brother in law John and sisters-inlaw Mary and Geraldine, his very special long term friend Clare, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and wider circle of friends.

40 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
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Tom Healy East End players pictured at the Aviva for the Ireland Match


Well done to the East End mentors who brought a bus load of their young players to the Aviva Stadium for the Republic of Ireland v Belgium Soccer match at the weekend.

GAA Club Football

Best wishes to the junior footballers who play Railyard away in the championship semi- final next Monday. Well done to our under 14 team who defeated Tullogher in the championship first round and qualified for the quarter finals against Thomastown the weekend after next.

Intercounty Games

Well done to the three Blanchfield brothers and the Kilkenny team that defeated Limerick in the league semi-final in Cork last Saturday. Kilkenny now meet Clare in the final the weekend after next.

Best wishes to Timmy Kelly, James and Bill Hughes and the under 20 panel who face Wexford in the opening round of the under 20 championship next Saturday. Brian Lannon also represents the club as a selector. Good luck lads! Well done to Jack Campion who was part of the Kilkenny under 19 panel who defeated Dublin last weekend.



Help is required in the GAA grounds next Saturday morning from 9 am to 12 as we do a spring clean in the grounds in preparation for the new season which is fast approaching. All help greatly appreciated.

Club Spot

The club has adopted a new app for all Gaa business going forward, replacing clubforce. We ask as many people as possible to download this new club spot app. This is a great way to communicate club business. Membership, split the pot etc and all club business can be done on this so it is vital that members download the app as soon as possible.

Bord na n-Óg Table Quiz

Many thanks to all who helped out and took part in last Friday night’s table quiz. Huge thanks to all who sponsored prizes on the night and took part in the raffle also.

Membership 2024

This year’s membership can now be paid to registrar Samantha McGarry or to any club committee member. Membership fees are the same as last year. Forty euro for non playing members, eighty euro for student players and 120 euro for adult players . Early payment would be most appreciated. Membership can also be paid on the new club spot app. Please see the clubs Facebook and twitter pages for details.

Split the Pot

Well done to Ned Ryan (Blackwell ) who won 214 euro, Hannah Egan who won 30 euro and Nuala Bolger who won 20 euro. Thanks to all for the continued support.

Club Shop

Some new items have been added to the online O’Neill’s shop. Simply put Bennettsbridge in the search box on the website to see all the gear.


LOTTO Club lotto, Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results 21st March 2024. Nos: 24 25 27 30

Jackpot, Not Won. Draw Prizes – €50: Alice c/o Paddy Grace. €25 each Mary McGinley c/o Online. €25 each Pat Holohan c/o Dohertys Bar €25 each Marie Gough c/o Declan Gough Hurlers Co Op Draw KM c/o Sinead Fitzpatrick. Promotors prize Jim Murphy

We encourage all Dicksboro Families to sign up and play weekly for €2 per draw and we thank everyone who is currently doing so.


The new Hurling, Camogie and Gaelic Football season is fast approaching and from March our Hurling and Camogie Nursey and underage teams will be back in the thick of it in Palmerstown and James Park. For more information contact any member of our Committee or See our ClubZap for more details.


Congratulations to our Senior Footballers and Management Team who had a good win against Kilmoganny Sunday afternoon winning on a scoreline of 1-6 to 0-7.

Our 14 boys football team also had a great win beating Mooncoin 4-8 to 1-6


Congratulations to Kilkenny on their win against Limerick in the league semi final and to our Club Hurlers involved Cillian, Timmy, Padraic, Harry and Niall. Best of luck in the League Final which will take place Saturday 6th April with a venue TBC


Mixed results for our girls over the weekend. Unfortunately our Senior Team lost to a very spirited Tipp side in Nowlan Park Saturday afternoon while the Minor Team had a good win against Waterford. Well done to our Minor Players involved Angela Carroll and Aisling Browne.


Our games are back in full swing. For updates on upcoming games and results please see our ClubZap for more details.



Good Friday Service Urlingford 3pm, Johnstown 3pm, Galmoy 7.30pm, Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Urlingford 6.30pm, Johnstown 8.30pm, Easter Sunday Mass of the Resurrection Crosspatrick 9am, Galmoy 10.15am and Graine 11.30am.


Mrs Eileen Ryan (Nee Kelly) Dublin Rd. Johnstown. Eileen died peacefully at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny. Predeceased by her husband Martin and sisters Bridget, Margaret and Christine she will be sadly missed by her family Stephen, Christine, Aidan, Martina (Butler), Teresa (Clarke) and Maria (Duffy), daughters in law Audrey and Ita, sons in law P.J., Declan and Barry, her adored 15 grandchildren and two great grandsons, brother Hugh, sister Maureen, sister in law, nieces, nephews, extended family, neighbours and many friends. Eileen was a well respected member of the community and a great neighbour. After Requiem Mass in St. Kieran’s Church she was laid to rest in Johnstown Cemetery. Mrs Marie King, late of Ballyspellan and family on the death, in Cork, of her son Seamus RIP. Seamus will be buried in Cork.


The Committee recently presented a cheque to Dr. Bill Cuddihy for €25,755 for the Cois Nore Centre in Kilkenny. Dr. Cuddihy praised the community who raised this incredible amount of money for a very worthy cause, which provides much needed support for those impacted by a cancer diagnosis. A huge thanks to Norton Engineering for providing their yard and to each and everyone who helped out in so many ways to make the New Year’s Eve event such a success.


Applications are invited for the tenancy of a one bedroom house . To be eligible to apply you must be on the Kilkenny Co. Council housing list. Forms are available at the Mill Centre.


There will be a Disco held for under fourteens at St. Mary’s Hall on Sunday April 7th from 5 to 6.30pm. €2 donation towards the Christmas lights.


Weekend results Junior League division 2A Tullaroan B 0 Spa 4 (Niall Carroll, Adam Barnaville, Ciaran Beehan, Michael Carroll). U15 girls league division 1 Highview Athletic 2 Spa 1, U14 girls league division 1 Stoneyford 1 Spa 4, U14boys league division 1A Stoneyford 0 Spa 4, U13 boys league division 1 Deen Celtic 1 Spa 5, U13 boys league division 2 Lions 3 Spa 1, U12 boys league division 1A Freebooters 1 Spa 2, U11 boys Doran Cup Spa 0 Stoneyford 1. Also in action the U9 boys took on Bridge Utd while the U10 girls travelled to play Clover.


This Draw’s winning numbers were 4,15,21,23. There was three match threes Denis Tobin, Richard Beehan Friday Blues. Next week’s jackpot €13,100.


Happy Easter to you all, enjoy and eat chocolate!!



Glengoole Wednesday 10am to 2pm, Gortnahoe Thursday 10am to 1pm


Annual collection for the upkeep of the holy places will be taken up on Good Friday. Easter collection for the clergy will be taken up this weekend. Trocaire boxes or envelopes can be returned this week at any of the ceremonies.


Mass times for the Easter period are as follows: Good Friday Gortnahoe 3.00pm, Stations of the Cross Glengoole 7.00pm, Easter Vigil Glengoole Saturday 7.00pm and Easter Sunday Gortnahoe 10.30am.


The annual pilgrimage to Lourdes will take place from June 14th to 20th. Any enquiries please contact Fr Walton or any member of the Parish pastoral group.


A note from Mary Fitzpatrick PRO of the North Kilkenny branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association thanking the following organisations in raising funds for the branch. Coon Drama Group who raised €1,111 and the Castlecomher Wellie Race who raised €1,000. She also wants to thank the great support the branch has received from other individuals and organisations. Support is always appreciated.


The Gavin Glynn Foundation Fundraisers wish to extend a sincere thanks to everyone who supported the walk/coffee morning last Sunday in Gortnahoe hall.


Bridge is being played each Tuesday night in Gortnahoe Hall at 7.30pm. If you would like to join or find out more information please contact this number 089 4349106


A special Easter bingo will be held this Saturday evening at the earlier time of 4.00pm with doors opening from 3.00pm. Over €4,000 in prize money on offer including a special €500 game and an Easter special game for €800. There will be Easter eggs on every win, hampers and Split the Pot on the day. This Easter bingo will be a fundraiser for the Gavin Glynn foundation in support of Tuiren Phelan and family. Please come on the day and support this worthy cause.


Congratulations to the last weekends winner of Split the Pot draw, Alan Bambrick, Grange who won €168. Envelopes are available at the usual outlets, you can also Revolut to 0876777220. For the month of March Split the Pot will be in support of the Ballysloe Sensory Garden. The draw takes place each Sunday at 12pm in Gortnahoe Hall. Your support would be appreciated


A table quiz for Gortnahoe Glengoole Juvenile GAA and Camogie clubs will take place this Thursday night 28th March in Mary Willie’s at 8.30pm. Table of four €20, your support would be very much appreciated.


The death has occurred of Mary Smith (née McGarry), Inchorourke, Urlingford, March 20th, peacefully, at the Beacon Hospital, Dublin, surrounded by her loving family. Predeceased by her parents James and Stella, brothers Kevin, Michael, John, Jimmy, Billy and sister Tina. Sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her family Jim, Darren, Jamie and Michelle, grandchildren Hayley, Niamh, Kyle, Emily, Ali and Isabella, great-grandchildren Archie and Faye, daughter-in-law Tuuli, brothers Denis, Tony and Terry, sister Kate, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews,extended family and a wide circle of friends. Mary reposed at her residence last Monday evening. Removal took place yesterday Tuesday to the Island Crematorium, Ringaskiddy. May she rest in peace.


The death has occurred of Christopher (Christy) Treacy, late of London (U.K.) and formerly Ballynonty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Predeceased by his parents William and Margaret (Webster), brothers William and Michael, sisters Anastasia and Margaret. Christopher will be sadly missed by his loving wife Bernadette, (née Purcell), his children Diane, David, Michael, William, Lorraine and Kerry, sisters Nonie, Mary, Kate and Lily, grandchildren, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-inlaw, nieces, nephews, relatives and a wide circle of friends. Christopher reposed at Doyle’s Funeral Home, Urlingford last Sunday evening. Removal took place on Monday morning to The Church of the Assumption, Urlingford for Requiem mass followed by interment afterwards in

Aglish Cemetery. May he rest in peace.


The death has occurred of Eileen Ryan (nee Kelly), Hillview, Dublin Road, Johnstown and formerly Georgespark, Gortnahoe, peacefully surrounded by her loving family in the care of management and staff at St. Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny. Predeceased by her beloved husband Martin and sisters Bridget, Margaret and Christina. Sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her family, Stephen, Christine, Aidan, Martina (Butler), Teresa (Clarke) and Maria (Duffy), daughters-in-law Audrey and Ita, sonsin-law P.J., Declan and Barry, her adored 15 grandchildren and 2 greatgrandsons, brother Hugh, sister Maureen, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, extended family, neighbours and a wide circle of friends. Eileen reposed at her residence last Friday evening. Removal took place last Saturday morning to St. Kieran’s Church, Johnstown for Requiem mass followed by interment in St. Kieran’s Cemetery, Johnstown. May she rest in peace.



The intermediate footballers were in action against Conahy Shamrocks on Sunday morning at home in round one of the intermediate football and were defeated by a narrow margin at the end. Team JJ O Sullivan, Patrick Gannon, Richie McEvoy, Donal Brennan, Osin Brennan, Mark Staunton, Dermot Brophy, Barry Staunton, Paul Ryan, Christin Connick, Ned Glennon, Sean Brennan, Robert Doheny , Mark Bergin, Conor Delaney. The under 14 team had a 3-5 to 1-3 win over Tullaroan in the first round of the championship. Goals were scored by Alex Hickey, Aaron Phelan and Adrian Biletsky. They will play Kilmoganny in the quarter final.


The local Men’s Shed group is up and running and more members are always welcome. To join contact JJ O’ Sullivan on 0871371810


Good Friday Church of the Assumption Ballyouskill and St Patrcks Church Ballyragget 3pm. Holy Saturday, during the morning of Holy Saturday, in mourning with Mary, Mother of Jesus you are invited to bring flowers/ plants to the altar of each church in remembrance of your deceased loved ones –Vigil Mass Friday Church of the Assumption Ballyouskill at 6.30and St Patricks Church Ballyragget 9pm. Easter Sunday 1030am in St Patricks Church Ballyragget.

Fr Eamon O Gorman would like to wish all a very Happy and Healthy Easter and thanks all for their support of the parish draw, the draw will take place on Easter Monday at 8pm in the Cannon Malone Hall. Many thanks to all who bought and distributed the tickets. Your support is always greatly appreciated.


North Kilkenny Wheelchair Association would like to thank the Coon drama group for raising €1,111 and the Castlecomer Wellie Race who raised €1,000. Many thanks to everyone for their support. Senior Citizen Fund Committee would like to thank Frank Brennan for his help and support of their recent quiz, to Ger Carroll for his role as quizmaster and those who attended and purchased tickets. Special thanks to the sponsors Emma Bolger, Billy Bradley, Julie Dorgan, Prime Cut Meats, Patsy Murphy, The Castle Arms Hotel and those who made personal contributions.



The intermediate footballers scored a dramatic victory against St. Patrick’s (Ballyragget) in the opening round of the JJ Kavanagh and Sons Intermediate championship on Sunday morning last in Ballyragget. This game doubled up as the Intermediate Relegation Final also. Conahy took an early two point lead, but a brilliantly worked goal from the home side edged them ahead until the closing minute of the game. St. Patrick’s led 1-3 to 0-5 at the interval and with defences dominating, both sides struggled for scores in the third quarter.

The home side were making better use of the possession that came their way, and with the tie heading into injury time, St. Patrick’s held a two-point advantage. Early in injury time they were awarded a penalty, but a poorly struck shot was well saved by Conahy Shamrocks goalie Karl Downey.

With time running out, the visitors then moved the ball at pace down the field, and they were awarded a penalty four minutes into injury time when Bill Murphy was fouled. Brian Rossiter put away the penalty impressively to give Conahy a dramatic one-point victory.

TEAM: Karl Downey, Padraig Gunner, Philly Cass, Conor Hennessy, Donal Cass, Darragh Hennessy, Edmond Delaney, James Bergin, Eoin Cahill, Billy Mulhall, Brian Rossiter, Thomas Rice, Bill Murphy, Robbie Ring, Jake Dooley. Subs (Used) – David Healy, Darren Cuddihy, Ciaran Rice & Darragh Dooley.

The under-14 footballers were also in action on Sunday morning, against Blacks and Whites in Tom Walsh Park in the Duggan Steel Roinn C championship. The game was a thriller from start to finish, with the home side scoring a goal and a point late on to win out by 3-12 to 5-2. Great credit should go to the young Conahy team, who have only one player up to the age, for the way they battled so bravely for the whole game. They also scored some well taken goals, particularly from Jack Buggy, M.J. Buggy and Ben Byrne. Well done to all the boys involved.

TEAM: Padraig Murphy, James Byrne, Noah Meany, Tommy Hickey, Bobby Dooley, Richie Rowe, M.J. Buggy, Jack Gamble, Ben Byrne, Jack Buggy, Diarmuid Quinn, Mikey Hurley, Aaron Kenehan, Ciarán Quinn, Cian Rhatigan, Brandon Maher.


The numbers drawn in the most recent GAA Club Lotto were 4, 38 and 42. There was no winner of the €2,200 jackpot, so the consolation prize winners were Ciaran Muldowney, Caroline Buggy, Michael Molloy, Ann Kenny and Catherine Dowling. The promoter prize winners were Margaret Buggy, Seamus Óg Brennan and Shay Healy.



Hugginstown Church: Monday, Tuesday at 9.30a.m. Thursday at 8.00p.m. Vigil - Saturday at 8.00p.m. Sunday at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford

Church: Thursday at 7.00p.m. Vigil Saturday at 7.00p.m. Friday 29th. Good Friday; Day of Fast and Abstinence.

Timetable for Holy Week Masses and Ceremonies:

Hugginstown Church: Good Friday 29th. March at 3.00p.m.

Holy Saturday 30th. March at 8.00p.m. Easter Sunday 31st. March at 10.00a.m.

Stoneyford Church: Good Friday 29th. March at 7.00p.m.

Holy Saturday 30th. March at 7.00p.m.


First Holy Communion: For Stoneyford School on Sunday 12th. May at 11.00a.m. in Stoneyford Church.

For Monroe/Newmarket Schools on Sunday 19th. May at 11.00a.m. in Hugginstown Church.


We ask that all Trócaire Contributions be returned on Holy Thursday 28th March 2024 or as soon as possible please. The Church Door Collection during Masses on Holy Thursday will also go to Trócaire.


Many thanks to all who have contributed to the Lenten Stations in recent weeks. Your contribution is for the support of the priests of the Parish and the Diocese. Your support is always appreciated.


Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A. Draw: Monday 18th. March

2024 Numbers: 19; 01; 04; 17. One First 3 Numbers Drawn

Winner: No Jackpot Winner:

€500.00 Winner: John Power, Rathduff, €25.00 Seller of Match 3 Winner: John Power.

3 x €15.00 (Sellers), Pauline Doyle, Mary Raggett, Teresa Fitzgerald.


Envelopes for the Easter Offering Collection are available at the Church Porch. Please take one and return it with your offering during the Easter Season. This offering is for the support of the priests of the Parish and the Diocese.


The Annual Ossory Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2024 is now available to book!

The departure will take place on 22nd May 2024 from Cork Airport; flying direct to Lourdes with accommodation available in the hotels La Solitude, Padoue or Agena. With capacity being limited this year, it is strongly advised that pilgrims wishing to travel to Lourdes book as soon as possible. Should you require any additional information on the pilgrimage, please do not hesitate to contact 01 2410800 or info@

For Assisted Pilgrims please contact Fr. Anthony O’Connor 087 251 7766 or


Pilgrimage will be held from Wednesday 1st. to 8th May. The hotel will be based near to the Church and the group will be travelling with Marian Pilgrimages. The cost includes Insurance. Contact Ann on: 086 199 1620 or 086 882 5622.


Diocesan Designated Liaison Person: Ms. Ailish Higgins Tel: 087 100 0232. Aghaviller Parish Representatives are: Deirdre Rohan and Catherina Roche.


“Just Fitness with Dee” is a popular new class on Wednesday evenings in Stoneyford Community Centre at 7.00p.m. Classes are PAYG and suitable for all fitness levels, with a combination of aerobic, strength and mobility. Contact Dee,


It has been suggested that a historical and heritage archive of the Stoneyford area be setup. Initial suggestions are that local people are asked to provide information, either in writing or orally, on areas of particular interest to them. These are then stored on a word processor and thus are available to all.

Initial suggested areas are: The milling industry; history of Carrickshock GAA club; the Kings river bridges; the development of the roads infrastructure; developments in agriculture, the cricket club; memories of school; etc. The list is endless. Depending on positive feedback, contact will be made with locals who have relevant knowledge.


An Eight Day Walking Trip (115km.) from Sarria to Santiago, during October 2004. If you are interested in fundraising and participation in the Cois Nore Camino, please contact 056 775 2222 or email for more information. Please make contact before 31st.

March 2024


Are you interested in radio? Have you some spare time to do some volunteering? Why not think about volunteering with Community Radio Kilkenny City 88.7FM. You might even learn a new skill along the way. We need people for research, reception, presenting on air or just to come and help. If this is of interest to you why not give a call to 056 776 2777 or by email at


The Bookshop is now Open 5 days a week Monday to Friday from 9:30a.m. until 5:00p.m.

In the wide range of products, you can find religious gifts, for any occasion including Confirmation and Communion, selection of Parish supplies, and religious books. We have a large variety of Candles, Holy Water fonts, Crosses, pictures and statues of the saints. Also now in stock, a large selection of gifts and Bibles.”


The very successful 5k and 10k event returns to Stoneyford on Sunday May 19th. just in 8 weeks time. Runners and walkers come from far and wide to take part in this longstanding event in aid of Scoil Náisiúnta Chiaráin Naofa each year. Numbers have continued to grow year on year, in spite of the 2Year Covid hiatus. If you would like to take part, or want more information on the event, or on training for either distance, check out Stoneyford 10k Challenge on Facebook, or Stoney10k on Instagram.

41 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024
We welcome all GAA Club and Community notes for publication in The Kilkenny Observer email to

Hurlng matters - Review

Allianz National Hurling League Semi-Final

Kilkenny 3-17

Limerick 1-15

Derek Lyng masterminded a much-needed win over the green machine of Limerick in the first of the two Allianz League semi-finals last weekend to set up a final clash with Clare next weekend. The Cats hit three majors as they showed their claws on Leeside to upset the odds and beat John Kiely’s side.

Despite losing former captain Eoin Cody to a second yellow card in the early stages of the second half, the Noresiders showed great spirit to outscore their feared opponents while at a numerical disadvantage, but The Treaty’s Peter Casey evened things up when he swung his hurl in the direction of Paddy Deegan with 56 minutes played. Kilkenny maintained their scoring advantage to the final whistle to claim a confidence-boosting win.

The Cats were playing with the aid of a stiff breeze in the opening period but found themselves behind when Limerick defender Diarmuid Brynes split the Kilkenny posts with a placed ball effort on halfway with 2 minutes played. Worse was to follow just two minutes later, when a long free out of the Limerick defence was spilled by Dicksboro’s Cillian Buckley which allowed Aaron Gillane to pick up possession and sprint clear before striking his shot into the ground and beyond the diving Eoin Murphy. From the restart, John Donnelly was turned over and the ball worked to Cathal O’Neill who rifled over having found himself in acres of space in Páirc Uí Chaoimh to leave the AllIreland champions five ahead with the same number of minutes played. TJ Reid got the scoreboard moving for the Cats in the 9th minute from a free after Barry Nash had fouled Eoin Cody. The Marble City men then got their first major of the game when Jordan Molloy’s long ball into the Limerick defence was collected by Eoin Cody who turned his marker Nash before striking a lovely effort across Nickie Quaid in the Limerick goal. From Quaid’s puck out, Molloy and John Donnelly forced the turnover which Billy Ryan dispatched between the Treaty men’s posts from distance to level matters. The blistering start to the semifinal clash continued from the restart. Cian Kenny gave a lovely pass out to Paddy Deegan whose searching ball was claimed by Cody. The Shamrocks Ballyhale man beat Aaron Costello before striking his shot, which Nickie Quaid could only deflect into the path of Luke Hogan, who reacted superbly to finish past the despairing Effin man’s dive. Lyng’s charges applied more pressure to the restart and worked the ball to Adrian Mullen who struck

Cats rip up Treaty script to reach league final

Lyng’s charges show courage to down green machine

over a lovely point from distance to stretch the Kilkenny lead to 4 points with 13 minutes played on the banks of the Lee.

Referee James Owens, who to put it politely, didn’t have his best game, then issued Eoin Cody with a yellow card following his challenge on Cathal O’Neill. Another questionable decision resulted in a ‘soft’ free which allowed Patrickswell’s Gillane to register the first score for the men in green for almost 10 minutes. Adrian Mullen then went on a powerful run which saw him halted illegally and TJ went for goal from the free, which Limerick just about managed to scramble clear.

Limerick were looking very ragged

in defence and unsure for the first time in many a game and this showed again when Kilkenny’s pressure and persistence saw them turn over their opponents again and Jordan Molloy kicked the sliotar into space and found Adrian Mullen who popped over his second point of the game. Limerick’s number seven Cathal O’Neill then did likewise, raiding forward again from his half-back berth to show his attacking instinct.

A free from under the stand on the left side of Páirc Uí Chaoimh allowed TJ to tag another point, but the legendary forward was about to strike the crucial third major for the men in black and

Adrian Mullen attempts to evade the tackle

amber. Limericks Cian Lynch was harried and hurried and as a result, dispossessed by a combination of Jordon Molloy, John Donnelly and Paddy Deegan. Donnelly gave a pass to his captain whose vision saw TJ moving into space and he executed a pass straight to the Shamrocks Ballyhale man. TJ beat his man before striking a lovely goal past Nickie Quaid. The Kilkenny travelling support couldn’t quite believe the scoreboard, 3-5 to 1-5. Another turnover saw TJ pick up the ball and give a pass to the advancing Cillian Buckley, who rifled over a stunning point from almost halfway. The final point of the first half came from a stunned Limerick, a free by Aaron Gillane after another strange James Owens decision, when Paddy Deegan clearly played the sliotar and not Peter Casey. Derke Lyng and his management team headed to the changing rooms with a 6 –point lead in Cork. Richie Reid was introduced for the second half in place of Cillian Buckley as play got underway. The Treaty got the scoring going with a fine point from a tight angle by Monaleen’s Donnacha Ó Dálaigh to reduce the Cats lead to five points. John Kiely’s team were given a huge boost moments later when James Owens showed a second yellow card to Eoin Cody for the slightest contact on Declan Hannon. Again, James Owens, not in his finest form.

Dromin’s David Reidy then struck over a sweet score from out the pitch as Limerick pulled another one back on their rivals. TJ settled his side with their first two scores of the half with another fine placed ball brace. Gearoid Hegarty then benefited from a misplaced Paddy Deegan pass to open his account for the day.

Mossy Keoghan was then introduced in place

of O’Loughlin’s Luke Hogan to add a bit more experience to the Cats forward unit. TJ then struck over a ‘65 and another free, either side of a nice score from Aaron Gillane. Adrian Mullen then notched another lovely point, before Hegarty’s trip on Richie Reid gave his brother a further point from the placed ball. Aaron Gillane then notched another free for his side, before Wexford whistler Owens evened up the numbers when he issued Peter Casey with a straight red, following a conversation with his umpires.

TJ then popped over another free, before being replaced by Galmoy’s Billy Drennan. Owen Wall, who had replaced the bloodied Billy Ryan, then missed a glorious chance for a fourth goal, batting his shot just wide. Billy Drennan then fired over point to stretch the Cats lead to 8 points. Interestingly, Limerick manager Kiely had withdrawn Cian Lynch, Aaron Gillane and Declan Hannon, possibly with bigger games ahead in Munster. Galmoy’s Drennan also popped over a free, his first since replacing TJ. Ahane’s Tom Morrissey replied in kind for Limerick.

Drennan showed his skill again when he converted a ‘65 as the steam and sting appeared to have gone from the game. Morrissey and

Reidy struck the final two scores from a rusty Limerick, while Mossy Keoghan had the final say, striking over a stunning point from the left sideline. Final score in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Kilkenny 3-17, Limerick 1-15.

KILKENNY: E Murphy; S Murphy, H Lawlor, T Walsh; D Blanchfield, P Deegan, C Buckley (0-01); C Kenny, J Molloy; A Mullen (0-03), J Donnelly, B Ryan (0-01); L Hogan (1-00), TJ Reid (1-08, 0-07f, 0-01 65), E Cody (1-00).

Subs: R Reid for Blanchfield (35+1h-t, blood), R Reid Buckley (h-t), M Keoghan (0-01) for Hogan (45), O Wall for Ryan (52-f-t, blood), D Corcoran for Deegan (57-59, blood), B Drennan (0-03, 1f, 1 65) for TJ Reid (60), T Clifford for Donnelly (69), K Blanchfield for Kenny (70+1).

LIMERICK: N Quaid; B Nash, S Finn, A Costello; D Byrnes (0-01f), D Hannon, C O’Neill (0-02); W O’Donoghue, C Lynch; G Hegarty (001), A English, T Morrissey (0-02, 2f); D Ó Dálaigh (0-01), A Gillane (1-05, 0-03f), P Casey (0-01).

Subs: D Reidy (0-02, 1f) for English (h-t), C Boylan for Lynch (55), S Flanagan for Gillane (59), M Quinlan for Hannon (61), A O’Connor for Hegarty (67).

Referee: J Owens (Wexford)


Hands up, I wasn’t expecting that result. I know Limerick hasn’t always gone full tilt at the league, but I’d imagine their management team will be quick to remind their panel that when you are off the pace and forced into uncharacteristic errors, the playing field is very much levelled.

The Treaty defence was opened up time and time again by a probing Kilkenny team, and on another day, Derek Lyng’s charges could have had one or two further majors. The likes of Barry Nash, Aaron Costello and the returning Sean Finn looked rusty and on the back foot throughout.

The Cats, well they did purr at times and were clinical at the right moments. On championship days, I’d say you would need three majors against Kiely’s men, but to get a first win against Limerick in a few years will do the panel’s confidence no harm at all.

TJ was TJ, Adrian Mullen, John Donnelly, Jordan Molloy and Cian Kenny worked tirelessly for the Cats cause across the 70-odd minutes. Molloy in particular was impressive, being new to the intercounty scene.

James Owens, the Wexford whistler, surely the GAA can do better and improve the standard of referees. Others, more capable have been forced to retire. The teams provide the entertainment and should be the focal point, not the ref. No one wants the James Owens Show.

Kilkenny have the Allianz League final to look forward to next week. The Banner await. Silverware would be very welcome ahead of a championship tilt. One more step.

43 Hurling matters - Review
Derek Lyng preparing for Clare next week TJ Reid scores one of his points Martin Keoghan Finds his way blocked by Sean Finn Jordan Molloy and Cathall O Neill battling for possession

Planning notices

Planning notices


I Mary Ryan am applying to Kilkenny County Council for Planning Permission for a proposed development consisting of two number single slatted sheds, including underground slatted storage tanks, feed apron and all associated site works at Narin, Ballyhendricken, Ballycallan, Co. Kilkenny.

The application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy at the offices of the Planning Authority during Office hours i.e. 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the 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.

44 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024

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.

Prayer to St. Jude

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

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours.

This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen.

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.M.M.

The Miracle Prayer

Dear heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked many favours. This time I ask you this special one (mention favour).

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted. Never been known to fail. Must promise publication of prayer. M.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.C.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.J.

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.P.OD.

45 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Memoriams / Miracle Prayers
46 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Motors Classifieds Classified section To advertise your business in our classified section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts 087 2587745
47 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Motors Classifieds
48 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 29th March 2024 Advertisement
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