Kilkenny Observer 3rd December 2021

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The Kilkenny


Friday 03 December 2021

Your life policy How to have a long and a healthy life  Marianne Heron page12

Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W:

Weighing it up The science behind ‘anti-ageing’ diets  See page 18



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021



The Kilkenny

Observer Lockdown a threat MORE restrictions in the run-up to the festive season and Christmas get-togethers are on the table amid ongoing concern about the high level of Covid-19 infection and the threat of the new Omicron variant. Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said that, although there had been a slowdown in the spread of the virus, cases remain “very, very high.”

The country is vulnerable to an increase in pre-Christmas socialising in the coming weeks on top of “obvious uncertainty” around the new variant, which Dr Holohan fears is more infectious than Delta. Meanwhile, principalsin primary schools say there has been a high level of compliance with the requirement for pupils in third class and upwards to wear face masks.

Although some expressed surprise at the speed with which the new measure was adopted, and called for more clarity around the issue of non-compliance, there appears to be little resistance. A medical cert is required for an exemption and those without one will be refused entry. In other Covid related news, Christmas travel plans have been

thrown into doubt with the Government having introduced strict new rules for international travel. Tens of thousands of people planning to travel to Ireland over the coming weeks will have to ensure they have a negative Covid-19 test before they arrive, even if they are vaccinated. Elsewhere, Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) rates have

been reduced as part of a plan to gradually wind the scheme down. However, business groups and the Opposition have called for the support to continue at the full rate because of the impact the most recently imposed Covid-19 restrictions are having on certain sectors. Last month, 25,900 employers availed of the EWSS. Covid Update, Page 14

For the sake of the children: rugby ace Paul O’Connell at the launch of Aldi’s Christmas charity initiatives in aid of Barnardos with seven-year-old Maria Rowley Story, Page 4

Court stay on cheese appeal The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on a motion by An Bord Pleanála seeking clarification on the scope of an appeal over its approval for a cheese plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny. An Taisce was granted permission in September to appeal a High Court judgment upholding the board’s permission for the €140 million Glanbia plant. See also Page 22

Vet meds delay The introduction of a prescription-only requirement on the supply of anti-parasitic medicines has been delayed until June, the Minister for Agriculture has confirmed. Report, Page 10

Christmas cake!

Kilkenny firm vying for major awards KILKENNY company Optimize Recruitment are gaining a reputation on a national level after having been nominated for major awards, including a national one. The recruitment agency, that was founded in 2008 by Eoin Carey, are proud to be EVERY FRIDAY

short listed for two awards in the Kilkenny Chamber of Business awards. The two categories are ‘Investment in Skills and Training’ and ‘Employee of Year – Gemma Butler’. Optimize is also representing Kilkenny on a national

The Kilkenny


level, at the upcoming National Recruitment Federation (NRF) awards, having been short listed in two categories also – ‘Recruitment Agency of Year’ and ‘Permanent Recruitment Consultant of the Year – Lee Doheny’. The awards will be an-

nounced at a ceremony in Dublin, next week. “We are thrilled to be short listed, not just at a local level but also to be recognised among our peers at a national level. These nominations are testament to the hard work, commitment and dedication

of all the team here in Optimize,” said Managing Director Eoin Carey. The award-nominated staff of Optimize Recruitment are Sarah Lawlor, Paul O’Carroll, Sarah Dowd, Eoin Carey, Gemma Butler, Ciara Lawlor and Lee Doheny

Bake our festive fruit cake for Christmas and feed it regularly with rum, brandy or whisky to build the flavour and keep it moist. Yum... See Page 46


Paul Hopkins...................................P8 Marianne Heron.........................P12 John Ellis .......................................P16 Health & Science ........................P18 Travel & Leisure .........................P19 Gerry Cody .............................P30-31 Food & Drink ...............................P50 TV & Streaming .........................P51 Sport ..........................................P56-63


SALES E: T: 087 382 0109 or 087 342 1958

FEATURES E: T: 056 777 1463


ACCOUNTS E: T: 056 777 1463

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Christmas kids appeal hopes to raise € WITH Christmas being a time to give back and show kindness to others, the supermarket chain Aldi will be implementing several initiatives in stores nationwide to help raise funds for its charity partner, Barnardos, and hoping to raise €1 million for the charity by 2022. Giving back to those who need it most couldn’t be easier with initiatives including the sale of charity plush toys, charity Christmas cards and a nationwide ‘Text to Donate’ campaign. This Christmas, customers nationwide can help Aldi support Barnardos and children in need by texting KIDS to 50300, texts costs €4, Barnardos will receive a minimum of €3.60, SP: LIKECHARITY, HELPLINE: 01 481 9311. Along with this, Aldi have a selection of cute and cuddly plush toys, with donation of €5,000 from the sale of these plush toys going to the retailer’s charity partner. Their Christmas cards will raise approximately €30,000 for Barnardos families. Speaking about the launch of their Christmas Campaign with Barnardos, John Curtin, Group Buying Director, Aldi Ireland said: “We are really committed to achieving our target of €1million for our fantastic charity partner, Barnardos. Rolling out across all 149 stores nationwide will help us achieve this goal. Whether it’s picking up a Christmas

On the ball: at the launch of Aldi’s Christmas charity initiatives in aid of Barnardos are rugby ace Paul O’Connell, Aldi ambassador and Barnardos advocate, with L.J Hughes, (5) and Maria Rowley (7)

card to send to a loved one or a Christmas toy to place under the tree, it was a no-brainer to introduce these charity elements in our stores, allowing customers the freedom to

donate when picking up their groceries.” For more information, and to find your local store, visit www. Barnardos CEO Suzanne

Connolly said: “As we approach the Christmas period we know that what should be a time of excitement and anticipation is often a time of worry and anxiety for many of our

families. Having the support of a partner such as Aldi means we can really be there for those that need us and we ask that the public continue to support the wonderful in-store fun-

draisers Aldi are rolling out nationwide. With your help, we can make this a Christmas to remember for nearly 18,000 children and families in communities across Ireland.”

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


How to have a sustainable and green Christmas Christmas Trees Real trees are actually more eco-friendly than artificial trees. The #1 option is to buy a potted Christmas tree which is still alive. You can keep it inside for about a week while afterward you’ll need to keep it outdoors. However, if one week indoors isn’t enough buy a real tree and compost it afterwards. Buy Irish trees and compost Life Cycle Analysis shows that, if you buy locally grown trees, the carbon footprint will be much lower than that of artificial trees which are typically imported from China and cannot be recycled. Each conifer sucks up over a ton of CO2 a year. Typically each tree cut down is replaced with one or two new trees in Ireland. Furthermore, trees brought to local authority depots are turned into mulch for parks, putting carbon into the soil. Locally sourced trees which are composted are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Zero-waste decorations Be creative and save on decoration expenses. Collect

pine cones and use them to decorate your tree instead of manufactured baubles. 1.) Go for a minimalist approach and use sustainable materials such as cotton, silk or hemp to create bows and add colour. 2.) Use LED lights which are more energy efficient. 3.) Use a timer power strip to ensure the lights are off when you’re asleep or out of the house. 4.) Try using vodka or wine bottles as decorations by inserting led lights or candles into them. 5.) Use fruit and berries to add colour and decoration to your tree and wreath. Gifts and wrapping Make your gifts stand out by wrapping them in sustainable materials, wrap your gifts in organic cotton, hemp or silk and tie with some twine. Alternatively, use a container which is also part of your gift such as packing a gift inside of a clay flower pot and tie the saucer over it with twine. Make your own wreath Wreaths are very easy to make and can be composed entirely of compostable materials. Collect some discard-

ed conifer branches, pine cones, berries and apples to make a very tasteful wreath for your front door or office. Wreaths can also serve as bird-feeders and might attract some winter birds to your door. Recyclables as decorations Rather than buying decorations, get creative with your recyclables. Vodka bottles, wine bottles and even beer bottles can easily be repurposed as table decorations and candle-holders. You can make origami using old Christmas cards. Ethical gifting Gifting fair trade consumables can be a great way to promote the movement and raise awareness among family and friends of their power to buy ethically. Wide ranges of chocolates, teas and coffees are available – remember to look for the fair trade logo to the left. Make a list and check it twice Planning is the key to reducing waste. Sit down and make some calculations about how much food you will need. Make a list, check it twice and stick to it!

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

News Opinion

The Fact Of The Matter PAUL HOPKINS

My grown-up daughter has moved back home My daughter has moved back home. At 39. With her husband and 10-month old daughter Faye. And half a lifetime’s wardrobe that would have left Imelda Marcos looking like the poor relation. The pair recently sold their house in Dublin and have yet to find their ideal ‘family’ home in which to raise my granddaughter in the town where her parents were raised. An idyllic spot, by the sea and the mountains, with good schools and a strong sporting tradition. But, mostly, to raise Faye surrounded by family and friends, far from the madding crowd, was the main magnet attracting them back ‘home’. So, there I was the last number of years thinking it was safe to enjoy my newly empty nest, when the last of my three adult children flew the coop for the big city and bright lights of New York, to

take on such formerly alien concepts as rent, household bills and car payments. But, then, wait... who’s that familiar face coming up the garden path with suitcase in hand? It’s my grown progeny! According to numerous surveys, many so-called ‘empty nesters’ now find themselves with at least one grown child living at home. They’re returning home in record numbers, not least because of Covid which may have put paid to work and subsequent income for rent or mortgage. Some come back hoping to save for a mortgage deposit, others so they can take time to look for the perfect post-grad job and still others may have personal problems and are in need of a refuge. The first week my darling daughter was home, she attempted to rule the roost, the child becoming mother to the man. Telling me — ME

— what to do, what time to get up and what time to go to bed. All perfectly well-intentioned but I am a bit long in the tooth now to be told what to do, so I put that scenario very quickly in its place. Likewise the establishment of minor house rules like don’t leave the immersion on all night or have the house lit up like Blackpool illuminations. I figured such early intervention was vital to prevent misunderstandings later on. Everyone needs boundaries, even grown up married daughters. I did, however, draw the line on drafting a brief ‘contract’ naming the conditions that must be met in order for her to live under my roof. I was never the martinet. My psychologist friend from Magherafelt says I should be happy my grownup daughter likes me enough to want to come home. That

is true. We are more than father and daughter — we are good friends who enjoy each other’s company and not a little intellectual sparring from time to time. Besides, my three grown-up children should know that ‘their home’ is a safe, accepting place to land when they need to regroup. And I am actually enjoying this opportunity to relate to my daughter as a grownup — just like me! Having my granddaughter Faye around the house is a joy. I spent a half hour last Saturday disco-dancing with her in the conservatory. She loves music and moving to it. So, there she was, from the safe vantage of her high chair, strutting her stuff to the new Abba album while Grandad wooed her with his best moves. She giggled loudly, while I, after the 30 minutes, had to go and lie down. I was exhausted.

“Look what I found,” said my daughter as she joined me at our old Indian oak circular table where I was having my second coffee of the day, Faye looking on from her high chair next to me.

‘Spending time with my granddaughter Faye is a joy . .

“My old diaries when I was a teenager,” she said and started thumbing through the A5 tomes and reading every other entry or so, laughing occasionally at the innocence — naivety even — of the then young girl in the summer of her life. Body image, new bra, school pals, rugby club dance, first boyfriend, first kiss all came tumbling back down the years. First can of beer. What?! Her writing prowess and word skills showed even back then and it was wonderful sitting there watching this beautiful young woman share her teenage thoughts, with all its angst, with her Old Man. And I was suddenly transported back to that summer of ‘96 with all its attendant joys and those needless concerns for what the future might hold for my first-born darling daughter.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Garda alert as €11,500 is stolen in phone scam MORE than €11,500 has been taken recently from accounts in Kilkenny by fraud after four separate cases were reported to Gardaí locally. All of the incidents stemmed from unsolicited text messages. The public is being urged again to be on high alert and not to click on any links or

reply to messages if they are in any way suspicious. Carlow Kilkenny Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Peter McConnon said: “These scammers may know your name and PPS number after getting your details from a hacked or leaked database.” Sgt McConnon was explaining what happened during

an elaborate three-part scam recently, telling KCLR News: “Their phone does ring with a number which is mirroring a Garda station number so it looks like it’s coming from a genuine Garda station, even though it’s not, so people are being duped into thinking they are talking to a guard and they are being asked to trans-

fer money into an account or to give personal information that would be able to basically infiltrate their finances.” The crime prevention office calling for the public to be suspicious of all calls. “The Gardaí at no stage will be ringing you or no Government department will be ringing you and enquiring directly over the phone

about your finances. If there’s a call to be made to somebody in relation to a scam that they may be subjected to normally the complaint comes from the person to the Gardaí rather than vice-versa.” Sgt McConnon said you could not trust any call at this stage. “I’ll go so far, actually even further, that if you have

a named person saved in your phone, a contact saved in your phone, and they’re able to mirror that person’s number, their name will come up on the call that they’re making as well. “You have to be very mindful of who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about,” he said.

New vet meds rule pushed back to June, says minister THE introduction of a prescription-only requirement on the supply of anti-parasitic medicines has been delayed until June, the Minister for Agriculture has confirmed. The move is set out in the department’s roadmap for the implementation of new EU-wide Veterinary Medicinal Regulations — covering the likes of wormers and fly control — which will come into force on January 28. Merchants and farmers have welcomed the development, saying it will avoid mounting costs on farmers and chaotic procurement issues for businesses next spring. Minister Charlie McConalogue said the delay would enable all stakeholders to make the necessary adjustments to ensure compliance. The regulations will apply in full from June 1. The minister also announced that while the new National Veterinary Prescription System (NVPS) would be in place as planned for the end of January, he would delay its country-wide mandatory use for the same period. Prescriptions issued by vets

for anti-parasitic medicines after June 1 will be valid for a maximum of 12 months. The Independent Licensed Merchants Association praised the minister “for enabling some vital breathing space” for livestock farmers and merchants. However, they warned that questions remained unresolved over the ease of access from Northern Ireland; the need for training of dispensers to access the NVPS; training for all dispensers on providing anti-parasitic resistance advice; and awareness of the changes to livestock farmers and horse owners. “The new anti-parasitic advisory service, proposed by the minister, needs careful examination to ensure licensed merchants can still select and dispense the right product, used responsibly at the right time and correct way,” they said. ICSA animal health chair Hugh Farrell said farmers “will be relieved” but said there was a major onus on the department to ensure farmers were made fully aware of the new regime in good time.

Ryan ‘must come clean’ on Cuffe bank comment IFA President Tim Cullinan said that Green Party leader, Minister Eamon Ryan, must clarify if he supported MEP Ciarán Cuffe’s letter to banks advising them not to lend to dairy farmers. “This letter was a disgraceful act by a Dublin-based MEP, seeking to sabotage farmers and rural Ireland,” he said. “It shows farmers that, despite all the guff about wanting to support them, the Green Party are in fact un-

dermining farmers at every hand’s turn,” he said. “Instead of this, they should be focusing on delivering low-cost finance options for Irish farmers to support better on-farm efficiencies to reduce emissions,” he said. “Minister Ryan must set the record straight on this and tell us if he supports what MEP Cuffe has done.” Mr Cullinan said the IFA would be writing to the main banks in relation to Mr. Cuffe’s letter.

Purple rain ... Trending on social media is this stunning purple wisteria on one of the most famous spots in Kilkenny for spotting wisteria. The contrast between the flowering purple and white walls, plus the quiet road, make the house in Inistioge ideal spot for avid photographers

€1m. fund allocated for our local parks ALMOST €1 million has been allocated to develop outdoor adventure projects in Kilkenny. A total of €934,490 has been awarded under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) announced by the Government today. The funding will be used develop natural amenities and support outdoor pursuits such as hiking, mountaineering, kayaking, swimming and cycling. The following Kilkenny projects will benefit from the funding boost: *Kilkenny Countryside Park:

Some €499,500 has been allocated for the enhancement of recreational amenities along the North Kilkenny Cycle Loop, including railhead, the Parade, the Weir River Nore Swimming Area, Bleach Road, Kilkenny Countryside Park on the site of the old Dunmore Municipal Landfill in Dunmore). *Castlecomer Discovery Park: €50,000 to engage consultancy services with expertise in landuse planning, heritage, economics and tourism. The Discovery Park has also received a further €195,945 to develop the

Ardra Looped Walk & Arboretum Walk and the provision of age friendly accessible amenity spaces and interpretation signage. *Woodstock Gardens and Estate, Inistioge: €189,045 to upgrade woodland and garden trails to improve accessibility for all, with accessible trails, age friendly and disabled parking and wheelchair swing. Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan said the investment in local projects will “benefit people of all ages and abilities for generations to come”.

Deputy Phelan said: “This unprecedented investment will also help further our ambition to support our rural economies and make rural Ireland a destination of choice for adventure tourism. Outdoor pursuits have become an even bigger part of all of our lives over the past two years. “Through this fund, we are developing and enhancing the fantastic natural amenities in our rural communities so more and more people can access and enjoy them,” deputy Phelan said,

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


How your own ‘life policy’ can save you AS I SEE IT MARIANNE HERON

IN the run up to Christmas it’s worth mentioning that the way you treat your health may save not only your life but also save money. Here are two sobering figures: 70% of your medical expenses occur after retirement age. More soberingly still, over 30% of the top causes of death – coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer – can be prevented through lifestyle change, according to medical statistics. We get our cars serviced regularly.If we don’t they will sooner or later need expensive repairs, yet we are resistant to doing the same for ourselves. Perhaps that resistance is due to the fact that keeping physically – and let’s not forget mentally – fit, feels like something we ought to do rather than something we enjoy. But for a small investment you can get an enviable return in your wellness reserves. There are two big myths about ageing: one is that you are programmed to age. Not true, while you are genetically programmed to

grow to maturity, ageing is down to random molecular damage or wear and tear. The other is that ill-health and disability are an inevitable part of the ageing package. Not true either. You can’t hold back the clock but what matters here is not your chronological age but your biological age. So what is that makes a difference, not just when it comes to adding years to your life but life to your years? While there isn’t a silver bullet to guarantee wellbeing, the good news is that not only are most of the factors involved free but they are within our own control. So, alongside your traditional insurance plan what should be in your very own life policy? Our behaviour is the single-most important factor in how we age. “The diversity of ageing experiences is largely due to the choices we make, along with the physical and social environments we find ourselves in, “ says Trinity College Dublin’s Future Learn Course on Successful Ageing. Being positive has a beneficial effect on both mental and physical health. A study of nuns carried out by the University of Kentucky found that the nuns who ex-

They say that when your waist measurement and your political views swap places you are getting old. Putting on weight can compromise your health outlook. A good night’s sleep Sleep is the equivalent of a nightly detox. It helps maintain mood, aids memory and brain function as well as boosting our immune systems and eliminating metabolic waste. Love the Latin diet The Mediterranean diet with plenty of colourful food and vegetables, fibre, olive oil, wine in moderation, fish and fowl has been found to be the most beneficial for health.

pressed positive views lived on average 10 years longer. Optimism has a protective effect against disease. Togetherness Face to face social contact matters. In her book The Village Effect, psychologist Susan Pinker writes that we

need supportive relationships to thrive. In remote mountain villages of Sardinia, where people’s lives are closely interwoven, folk live to be lively centenarians. Exercise Far more effective than pills, exercise protects wellness,

reducing the threat of killer conditions: cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. A recent UK study found that even moderate exercise reduced the risk of cardio vascular events by 14%. Weight

Keep on learning Learning can definitely lengthen your life. The longer the time spent in education the less the chance of developing Alzheimer’s in old age. Continued mental stimulation helps to keep our brains young and healthy, so it really is a case of use it or lose it. Do something you love While happiness depends partly on circumstance, it is also the side benefit of the things that you do, especially if they involve challenges and things that you really believe in.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


SPECIAL REPORT THE new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, was detected in South Africa, prompting renewed concern about the pandemic, a major stock market drop, and the imposition of new international travel restrictions to stop the spread. Though the variant’s existence was first reported by South Africa, it has also been found in Belgium, Botswana, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom, meaning the variant has already spread — though how far is to date unclear.. Cases so far have been mild, with some showing no obvious symptoms. In Ireland there were 11 suspect cases under review but only one was positive. While it will take scientists some weeks to understand the Omicron variant, including how quickly it can spread and what the illness from infection with the variant looks like, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already labeled omicron a “variant of concern,” which means it could be more transmissible, more virulent, or more able to evade the protection granted by vaccines than the original strain of Covid-19. More information about the new variant is sure to emerge in the coming days and weeks, but here’s what experts are saying so far. What do we know ? Early evidence suggests that the Omicron variant is highly contagious, possibly more so than the Delta variant. With more than 30 mutations on the spike protein — the part of the virus that binds to a human cell, infecting it — Omicron could both be more transmissible and have more mechanisms to evade immunity already conferred by vaccines or prior infection. Scientists don’t think there’s any possibility that the variant could completely evade any protection by vaccine. It may diminish it a bit, but that’s the reason why we are getting the booster shots. So far, cases of the variant has appeared primarily in young people, leaving them exhausted and with body aches and soreness, according to Dr. Angelique Coetzee, head of the South African Medical Association. “We’re not talking about patients that might go straight to a hospital and be admitted,” she told the BBC. Compared to its pandemic

Everything we know so far about the Omicron variant peak, cases in South Africa are relatively low right now. However, the country has still seen a substantial spike in new infections, Reinfection is also a concern with the new variant, according to the journal Nature, but at this early stage, it’s difficult to tell how likely reinfection or breakthrough infections actually are. “The mutation profile gives us concern, but now we need to do the work to understand the significance of this variant and what it means for the response to the pandemic,” Dr. Richard Lessells, an infectious disease expert at University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, said, Whether the efficacy of treatments such as monoclonal antibodies — and new pill treatments from Pfizer and Merck — will be the same against the Omicron variant is also unclear, as is the new variant’s virulence, or how sick it will make those infected. According to the WHO, the earliest known case of the omicron variant was on November 9, and the mutation was first detected November 24 in South

Africa, which has an advanced detection system. While the delta variant is still the dominant strain worldwide and currently accounts for 99.9% of cases in the US, the discovery of the omicron variant has coincided with a spike in South African cases — a more than 1,400 percent increase over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times. However, the variant has likely spread far more widely than South Africa. What is being done to contain the new variant? New travel restrictions on eight southern African countries have been imposed. Travel from Lesotho, South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Botswana will be restricted, though those restrictions won’t apply to US citizens or green card holders, among other groups. Travel bans don’t necessarily do much overall to prevent the spread of the virus, but they can buy time for governments to learn more about diseases and variants and better protect their

populations. Some nations — including the UK, Australia, Israel, France, and Germany — are also restricting travel from southern African nations in an effort to contain the new variant, despite criticism from the South African government. “This latest round of travel bans is akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to de-

‘We need to understand the significance of this variant . .

tect new variants quicker,” South Africa’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “Excellent science should be applauded and not punished.” The US has not imposed any new travel restrictions on the European or Asian nations where the omicron variant has appeared. What about the vaccines? Accessibility isn’t the only issue when it comes to a global vaccination campaign, however. Vaccine hesitancy has proven to be a global problem, including in South Africa, where last week the government asked drug companies to delay delivery of new vaccine doses in response to declining demand, despite less than 30 percent of its adult population being inoculated. Europe is presently struggling with a new outbreak at least partly due to its uneven vaccine uptake and vaccine resistance. How concerned should we be? Delta, the current dominant strain of the virus, shows heightened transmissibility and an ability to evade antibodies. But

as with Delta, the key to limiting Omicron’s spread depends upon human behaviour and people’s willingness to engage with proven public health responses. Stopping the spread also means stopping the possibility of harmful mutations to the virus. Mutations — changes to the makeup of the virus — are bound to happen, and many of them are harmless to people. The more opportunities the virus has to spread, however, the more chance it has to mutate into a variation that spreads faster, is more resistant to antibodies and treatments, or creates worse health outcomes — or even all of these negative traits. Existing tools should still be effective in stopping omicron — PCR tests appear to detect the variant, according to the WHO. Additionally, masking and social distancing both are proven strategies to stop the spread of Covid- 19, as are getting vaccinated and getting a booster shot. Those steps are especially crucial as the holiday season and cold weather bring people together indoors, where transmission occurs.

Experts differ on ventilation in the classroom AN EXPERT has called on the Government to reconsider using HEPA filters to improve ventilation in some schools amid the ongoing risks posed by Covid-19. Professor John Wenger, the chairperson of the Expert Group on the Role of Ventilation in Reducing Transmission of Covid- 19, said not

every classroom needs an air filter but many could indeed benefit from one. The group was set up specifically to advise the Government on the role ventilation can play in combating the spread of Covid-19. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has repeatedly said that open windows and C02

monitors provide “sufficient” ventilation in schools. Speaking on RTÉ Prime Time, Minister Donnelly confirmed that the Government was basing this stance on advice received from the HSE’s Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control Oversight Group (AMRIC). In a report submitted to

the Government in March, Prof. Wenger’s group recommended the use of HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters in poorly ventilated areas. AMRIC’s advice is at odds with this and has been favoured by the Government. Speaking to The Journal, Prof. Wenger said he was “surprised” that Minister Don-

nelly was ignoring the advice given to it by the group set up to examine ventilation. “Why did he turn to this group? I know that the AMRIC group are leading the response to Covid, but we were called in specifically because we have expertise, multidisciplinary expertise, in the area of ventilation – under-

standing respiratory particles or aerosols, how to measure them, how to remove them, and how buildings can be improved with ventilation.” When asked about the use of HEPA filters, Professor Philip Nolan said the devices can play a role in “preventing transmission of the virus” in certain circumstances.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

News Your Money

When women under-insure their true value BY JOHN ELLIS FINANCIAL ADVISOR

THE results of Royal London’s five-year analysis of the life insurance market is in. The period covered was 2016 to 2020. The primary finding shows some continuing worrying trends in the insurance marketplace. According to the report, women appear to be underinsured by 64% when it comes to life insurance and 26% underinsured when it comes to serious illness cover Karen Gallagher, Interim Head of Proposition at Royal London, explained: “These figures reveal significant discrepancies between the amount of financial protection men and women put in place for themselves, which can have significant ramifications for people down the line. “In the last five years, the amount of Life Cover taken out by men is almost two-thirds higher (64%), on average, than the amount of cover taken out by women. The average sum assured on a life insurance policy (Term Assurance) is €177,409 for women and €291,162 for men.” One positive outcome from

the report , if it can be called that, is the gap has remained consistent in the past two years while in 2017 the gap was almost 83%. Why are men more likely to insure their lives for a higher amount than women? The report reasons it may mirror gender stereotypes and/or the gender pay gap. For instance 98% of women more than men are stay-at-home parents and the role of the stay at home parent continues to be undervalued. When people were asked to put a monetary value on the work of the stay at home parent the average figure suggested was €29,000 a year whereas when proper analysis is completed the figures is in the region of €49,000 a year. People do not realise that so called “unpaid role” is very expensive to replace from current income flows and especially if the surviving spouse has to return to the workforce entailing added expenses including childcare. According to the Royal London data, over the last five years, the average sum that people insure themselves for has remained relatively stable, the average amount for Term Assurance being €234,285. This might seem like a significant sum but for a family with monthly outgoings of €2,500, this amount would only last

approximately eight years. Another way of looking at it is that it would provide over €29,000 per annum for approximately eight years, which is below the average annual income of €40,283 particularly where there are very young dependents or if the family

continue to have ongoing rental/mortgage payments. According to the Royal London data, when it comes to serious illness cover the average over the five year period was €69,645 . According to Karen Gallagher: “It’s positive that so

many people are insured against serious illnesses.” While €70,000 might seem like a lot, as with Life Cover, people should ask themselves how far will this amount really go when they factor in all the day-to-day costs of running a home, and possibly the costs

of dependents over a number of years. Again, women underinsure themselves by approximately 26% less than men for Specified Serious Illness Cover, again suggesting the financial input of the stay at home parent is undervalued as with the lifecover scenario. With the introduction of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill in 2019, transparency is being provided on the gender pay gap and incentivises employers measures to narrow the gap. But at the family level the report encourages us to consider the financial cost of replacing both partners’ contribution to the family even if one is a stay-at-home parent or not the primary earner. Talk to your Financial Broker who will help you put plans in place to meet your unique set of circumstances and be aware if cover is offered without a thorough Factfind being completed with a follow up needs analysis report. Maybe, over the Christmas period when you have some free time, allocate a period to reviewing your current plans and policies and make a new years resolution to provide properly for the family in the event of the unexpected. john@ellisfinancial. 086 8362633.

Urgent action needed to tackle domestic violence and give support to survivors BY: DEPUTY KATHLEEN FUNCHION SINN FEIN TD FOR KILKENNY CARLOW

KATHLEEN Funchion TD has said that the government urgently need to protect survivors of domestic violence. Teachta Funchion made her comments to mark the beginning of the 16 Days campaign to highlight gender-based abuse and calling for the elimination of violence against women. She said: “There needs to be an immediate increase in funding for refuge places; following the failure to do so Budget 2022. We cannot continue to commend the many brave women who have spoken out to share their stories, who have raised awareness of violence against women and who are encouraging others to seek help and not act. “And to the many workers and volunteers who dedicate their time to supporting survivors of these appalling crimes. Violence against women is never acceptable and as a society we must send the loud and clear message that we support survivors. “However, government inaction is failing victims. We cannot

talk about the scourge of domestic violence, but at the same time fail to provide resources that are urgently needed, which those in power are prone to doing. That must change. “The reality is we have a crisis in domestic violence refuges. This is not new. It has been the case for many years and despite desperate pleas from domestic violence charities, the government did not commit funding for a single additional refuge place in Budget 2022. “Too many counties have no refuge spaces whatsoever, like neighbouring Carlow. And where refuges are in place, they often have far too few beds available. This means women and their children are often turned away when they desperately seek a place of safety. Data from Safe Ireland shows that, on average, seven women per day were turned away from a refuge during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is indefensible. “I have raised this issue repeatedly with the government and they have failed to act. I am once again urging the government to ensure that they deliver the number of refuge places to meet unmet demand and to meet Ireland’s obligations under the Istanbul Convention. “The long awaited Tusla Review of the Provision of Ac-

commodation for Victims of Domestic Violence has yet to be published by the Minister for Children. We urgently need to see that report and its recommendations. “The introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews, as is already the norm in the north, is long overdue. The establishment of independent regional multi-agency reviews would be an invaluable tool to protect women. The previous government established an independent study on familicide and domestic homicide reviews which has yet to be finalised and published. Publication of the report needs to be expediated. “Survivors of domestic violence must also have a right to access paid leave to attend hospital appointments, counselling services, court hearings and other vital appointments. “Sinn Féin have introduced a comprehensive piece of legislation providing for ten days domestic violence paid leave. The government says it supports paid leave but has yet to deliver on this vital right for workers. “We need urgent action to tackle domestic violence, to support victims and survivors, and to deliver the supports and protections too long denied to them.”

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Science & Wellbeing A NEW study has reviewed the efficacy of popular diets that claim to have anti-aging benefits. The diets reviewed in the study included intermittent fasting, calorie restriction, and the ketogenic diet. Although these diets show promising results in studies with rodents, the researchers noted that more research was needed to confirm whether they yielded anti-ageing benefits in humans. The cosmetics industry has long touted products with supposed anti-ageing properties. Lather this cream on your skin and it will turn back your body’s clock! Not content with using that claim just for what people put on their bodies, marketing executives are now applying it to what people put inside them. That’s right, food is now getting the anti-ageing treatment. So, what does science have to say about that Researchers from the University of Washington and Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Louisiana recently weighed in on the matter in a review article published in the journal Science. Three of the most popular diets widely hyped to extend lifespan and delay age-related functional declines and diseases are caloric restriction, where one cuts calories while still maintaining good nutrition; intermittent fasting, which has you take at least a 24-hour break between eating; and the ketogenic diet, in which the person on the diet restricts carbohydrate intake to roughly 10% of daily calories or less, so that the body produces and utilises molecules called ketone bodies for fuel rather than sugary glucose. All of these diets have been widely studied in rodents. What do the results suggest? Caloric restriction easily has the most credibility: When scientists reduce rodents’ calories by anywhere from 20-50% while maintaining adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, the animals generally live longer and healthier lives with reduced incidence of disease compared to normally-fed controls. Intermittent fasting, with

The science behind ‘anti-ageing’ diets

Some of the most popular ‘anti-ageing’ diets show promise in studies with rodents . But are they effective for us humans? breaks between feeding usually lasting a day or two, also delivers robust results. However, fasting rodents generally consume fewer calories than those not fasting, so it’s possible that the anti-aging benefits of intermittent fasting may simply arise from eating less. Lastly, a couple of studies of rodents suggest a ketogenic diet can slightly extend lifespan and boost memory

and motor function, but the reviewers caution that this research isn’t nearly as reliable. Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting clearly come out on top according to the animal evidence. But should we put much stock in this research when deciding how we should eat? The authors say no. “Despite their recent popularisation, there is not yet strong evidence that any of

the anti-aging diets studied in laboratory animals have substantial long-term health benefits in non-obese humans,” they write. There’s simply no adequately controlled, long-term studies in humans which clearly demonstrate that any of these diets produce longevity benefits. Intriguing anecdotes abound, of course. One of the most enticing is the living example of Oki-

nawans, who inhabit a few small Japanese islands off the country’s mainland. It’s estimated that Okinawans consume about 20% fewer calories than mainland Japanese and get about 85% of their calories from carbohydrates. Historically, they have also had the “longest life expectancy at birth and highest centenarian prevalence in the world, with remarkably low rates of ageassociated diseases, such as

‘Intermittent fasting, for a day or two, also delivers robust results..

cancer, heart and cardiovascular disease, and diabetes,” the researchers note. Still, while whatever the Okinawans are doing seems to be working, the researchers can’t recommend that you attempt to emulate their diet or any of the other anti-ageing diets, at least without the guidance of a medical or nutrition expert. After all, these eating interventions can bring about profound biological effects that may benefit some people while harming others. Moreover, inadequate attention to dietary detail may leave the dieter nutritionally deficient. Lastly, humans are not rodents. What works for them often doesn’t work for us. The main takeaway, according to the researchers, is that so-called “anti-aging” diets are not ready for widespread adoption. “Although caloric restriction and other diets hold promise, additional data from carefully controlled studies is needed before broadly recommending or implementing these diets, or other interventions, for otherwise healthy people.”

How Galapagos tortoise live, cancer-free, to well over 100 years GALAPAGOS giant tortoises evolved to have extra copies of genes — called duplications — that may protect against the ravages of ageing, including cancer, researchers report. The tortoises can weigh well over 300 pounds and often live over 100 years. Laboratory tests on Galápagos giant tortoise cells corroborate the idea that the animals have developed such defences, says Vincent Lynch, associate professor of biological sciences at the University at Buffalo. Specifically, experiments showed that the creatures’ cells are super sensitive to

certain types of stress relating to damaged proteins. When exposed to these pressures, the cells self-destruct much more readily than other turtle cells through a process called apoptosis, the researchers found. Destroying glitchy cells before they have the chance to form tumours could help the tortoises evade cancer, Lynch says. “In the lab, we can stress the cells out in ways that are associated with ageing and see how well they resist that distress. And it turns out that the Galápagos tortoise cells are really, really good at killing themselves before that stress

has a chance to cause diseases like cancer,” says Prof. Lynch. The findings, which appear in the periodical Genome Biology And Evolution, both confirm and build on results of past research, such as a 2018 study by another team that also used genetic analyses to explore longevity and age-re-

lated disease in giant tortoises. The findings are particularly intriguing because — all things being equal — huge animals that live for a long time should have the highest cancer rates. That’s because big, long-lived things have many more cells, and the more cells a body has, the more opportunities there are for cancerous mutations to arise. One major focus of Lynch’s work is understanding the biological mechanisms that help big animals like Galápagos tortoises live long and prosper. (His team explored this question in elephants in a 2021 study). The research is driven

by simple curiosity. But the findings could have practical implications, too. “If you can identify the way nature has done something — the way certain species have evolved protections — maybe you can find a way to translate those discoveries into something that benefits human health and disease,” Lynch says. “We’re not going to go treating humans with Galápagos tortoise genes, but maybe we can find a drug that mimics certain important functions.” Research of this kind also underscores the value of conservation.

“Studies like this demonstrate why preserving biodiversity is so important,” says first author Scott Glaberman, an assistant professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University. “Extreme species like Galápagos giant tortoises probably hold many secrets for dealing with major human challenges like ageing and cancer, and even climate change. Our study also shows that even within turtles, different species look, act, and function differently, and losing any species to extinction means that a piece of unique biology will be lost to the world forever.”

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Travel & Leisure

Come fly with Aer Lingus... to Orlando, Florida BY FIONN DAVENPORT

AER Lingus has resumed its direct service from Dublin to Orlando since November 27. The airline will operate three flights a week, on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday with fares starting from €169 each way, including taxes and charges. Bill Byrne, Executive VicePresident US at Aer Lingus, said: “We are so happy to be flying to the US from Dublin again, and this weekend we can once again connect families, friends and businesses to Florida. “Flying to Orlando is an important step in the resumption or our services and will no doubt be very meaningful to those people with connections to the Sunshine State.” Those looking to visit the Sunshine State last week availed of the great Black Flyday offers on flights to the US with Aer Lingus. With 13 direct routes between

North America and Ireland, including New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando, Washington, Seattle, and Philadelphia, those offers included €100 off return flights to North America and €200 off return business class tickets valid for travel from January 1 to May 31 next. Next March, Aer Lingus will reintroduce flights to the US from Shannon, with 14 flights a week to New York and Boston. In order to make travel easier, Aer Lingus has partnered with

‘With 13 direct routes between North America and Ireland...’

VeriFLY. By downloading the VeriFLY app and uploading Covid-19 related documentation required for their destination, Aer Lingus customers can ensure that all of their Covid-19 related documentation is verified before travel. Meanwhile, Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling is operating a new, twice-weekly scheduled service to Paris Orly from Cork Airport, since November 26 and is running twice weekly throughout the winter. Vueling, part of the IAG Group that owns Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia, will operate the route on Mondays and Fridays. This follows on from Vueling’s new routes to Paris Orly from Dublin and Belfast. Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said: “We are thrilled to welcome a brandnew airline, Vueling, the Spanish low cost carrier and part of the IAG group to Cork as our newest scheduled carrier. “This news is exciting for business and tourism at both ends of the route and will further grow inbound tourism from this key continental market to counties across the South of Ireland,” he added.

Air chiefs call for caution over travel Covid cert BY FIONN DAVENPORT

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for caution in response to a European Commission recommendation that the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) should only remain valid for up to nine months after the second vaccination dose, unless a booster jab is administered. “The EU DCC is a great success in driving a common continentwide approach to managing the COVID-19 health crisis and in facilitating the freedom of people to travel again,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe. “It underpins a fragile recovery in the travel and tourism sector. And it is critical that any changes to it have a joined-up approach that recognises the impact of

divergent policies by individual member states and promotes further harmonisation across Europe.” The critical issue is vaccine validity and the requirement for booster shots, says IATA. “As the immunity afforded by vaccination wears off, booster jabs are being increasingly offered to extend and strengthen

people’s immune response,” it said in a statement released today (26 November). “However, if booster shots are mandated to maintain the validity of the DCC, it is vital that states harmonise their approach to the length of time allowed between the point of full vaccination and administering the additional dose.

“The nine months proposed by the Commission could be insufficient. It would be better to delay this requirement until all states are offering booster jabs to all citizens, and for a twelvemonth validity to give more time for people to access a booster dose, considering the differing national vaccination approaches being taken.

Schvartzman feels the proposal to manage limitations on the validity of the DCC creates many potential problems. “People who received the vaccine before March, including many health workers, will need to have accessed a booster by 11 January or may be unable to travel,” he says. “Will EU states agree on a standardised time period? How will the requirement be harmonised with the many states that have developed COVID passes that are reciprocally recognised by the EU? Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said booster shots should be prioritised for vulnerable groups that have not had a first dose, let alone a booster. “Worldwide, the vaccine program still has a long way to go in many developing states and the focus should be on ensuring vaccine equity. Given that the majority of air travelers are not in the most vulnerable groups, allowing a twelve-month time period before a booster is needed would be a more practical approach for travellers and a fairer approach for vaccine

equity,” he added. A further element of concern is the Commission’s recommendation that travellers vaccinated with a non-EU approved vaccine should present a negative pre-departure PCR test. This will discourage travel from many parts of the world where infection rates are low, but the population have been vaccinated by WHOapproved vaccines which have yet to gain regulatory approval in the EU. “Governments should prioritise policies that are simple, predictable and practical in order to ensure passengers regain confidence to travel and airlines confidence to reopen routes. The European Centre for Disease Control is explicit in its latest risk report that travel restrictions are unlikely to have any major impact on the timing or intensity of local epidemics. We appreciate that authorities must remain vigilant, but discriminating among vaccines that have been approved by the WHO is a waste of resources and an unnecessary barrier to people’s freedom to travel,” said Schvartzman.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Rocking around the Christmas tree as Yulefest bandstand lifts the soul

CHRISTMAS is all about music and Kilkenny’s Yulefest has brought the ‘ceol and craic’ centre-stage with their brand new bandstand on the Parade in the heart of the city centre. The music kicked off on Saturday at the opening ceremony and will continue all the way to December 23rd. The Yulefest Bandstand started with a chorus on Saturday as the Lady Desart Choir and the Anthony McAuley Trad Trio entertained the Christmas shoppers on the Parade. The Yulefest Bandstand will provide entertainment throughout the festive season with over 50 live local acts performing over the next month. Performers include: Patrick Rafter & Family, Code of Behaviour, Ali Comerford, The Pinsetters, The

Screws, Leonard Barry, John Doyle & Andy Morrow, and many more. There are even some special non-musical performances too. Supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and their Local Live performance programming scheme, this is a completely free event that can be enjoyed every weekend and every Thursday lunchtime on the Parade. All acts so far have been well supported and the music adds nicely to the festive atmosphere on the Parade. Mary Butler, Arts Officer for Kilkenny County Council said “It’s wonderful to be able to support these great Kilkenny artists through this LLPPS scheme. Keeping it free and open letting everyone enjoy

this event really helps us all to discover Kilkenny’s varied musical talent. There was such a lovely atmosphere at the weekend with some great musicians with lots of people dancing and enjoying the performances. This coming weekend includes The Savage Jim Breen, Hot4 Jazz, Kairen Caine, the Pinsetters and also a newly formed Yulefest Ceili Band. Once again there will be something for all musical tastes. There is fantastic musical talent in Kilkenny. Let’s make sure we come out and support the acts. You might even find your new favourite sound.” The full Yulefest Bandstand programme is included in this week’s paper and more information can be found at

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Glanbia share fall: farmers ‘uneasy’ GLANBIA plc’s falling share price has farmers “uneasy” about Glanbia Co-op’s €307m proposed takeover of the plc’s remaining 40pc stake in Glanbia Ireland. Speaking ahead of this month’s online shareholder vote on the proposal, which could see farmers take full ownership of the milk and grain processor, some

On their bikes: how we began a recycle initiative AN initiative that began in Kilkenny has sparked Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council together with Rotary Dublin, Rotary Ireland, The Defence Forces and The Irish Prison Service to appeal for the donation of unwanted bikes for the School Bikes Africa Initiative — a hugely successful project that really took off with Rotary Kilkenny in 2018. The project has been running nationally lead by Rotary Ireland and with the co-operation and assistance of Local Authorities, the Department of Environment Climate and Communications (DECC), the Defence Forces and the Prison Service. Heading up the project is Jason Dempsey of Rotary Kilkenny, who oversaw the successful launch of the appeal in Kilkenny where there is a collection point at Dunmore Recycling Centre.

suppliers have voiced concerns. While most accept the move as “inevitable”, concern is growing after the recent drop in Glanbia plc’s share price to €11.90/share after trading around the €14 mark for the last six months. Dairy farmer Thomas Cooke said: “It’s a necessary move rather than a good move. It’s the inevitable conclusion of what

started back in 2012 when they began this process of separating the co-op from the plc. “I don’t think farmers have much choice about it. “They realise they must get away from the plc, but the problem is farmers are very concerned about the way the plc shares have tanked. “It’s counter to everything we’d

have thought because one of the main narratives over the years was the plc was being ‘dragged back’ by farmer control. “The real crux of our problem now is if shares stay down, they’re going to be against the financing of the project... at this rate, farmers are paying too much for the business.” ICMSA Farm Committee chair

Denis Drennan urged the co-op to reassess its proposal, which includes a direct spin-out of Glanbia plc shares worth €168m. “They have to go back and redo the figures.” On the share price movement Glanbia company secretary Michael Horan recently said: “At this time of the year, stock markets and share prices can be vol-

€1m. to aid women in surviving domestic violence

Wheels of good fortune: schoolgirls in Gambia, north Africa, with their bikes donated by Rotary Ireland

More than 5,000 bikes have been collected nationally, then repaired and shipped to countries such as The Gambia where school students use the bikes to access education. They often travel distances greater than 10 kilometres to get to school. “Rotary Ireland is delighted to see the launch of the 18th

collection centre for School Bikes Africa, and to welcome Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to the team. Together we can both improve the environment and enrich lives,” said David Murray District Governor of Rotary. If you have a bike to donate please take note of the fol-

lowing requirements: Strong sturdy bikes capable of withstanding rough terrain. Bicycles that would suit primary or secondary school students. Bicycles with mountain bike type-tyres. Bicycles with a minimum tyre size of 24 inches. Jason Dempsey of Rotary Ireland said: “The initiative

is a Win, Win, Win: a win for climate change given the benefits of repair and reuse as well as promoting sustainable transport; a win for prison inmates providing opportunities for training and rehabilitation and a win for school students in Africa in providing a better chance for availing of education.”

Supports on tap to help local business grow IFAC, Ireland’s farming, food and agribusiness specialist professional services firm is highlighting the multiple supports available to businesses that are looking to manage the challenges they are facing and grow their business. David Leydon, Head of Food and AgriBusiness with ifac, said: “As Kilkenny business owners look to manage the challenges that Brexit, Covid-19, climate change and digitalisation present, it’s important to make sure that all available resources are being

actively considered.” Some of the latest funding available that can make a difference for businesses includes: EI digitalisation voucher One of Enterprise Ireland’s latest supports is the Digitalisation Voucher. This support is becoming increasingly important as consumers now demand a streamlined digital offering regardless of the product or service. Businesses must audit their current digital capabilities, in-

cluding their internal strengths and gaps before reviewing potential external threats including cyber threats or competitor activities. Brexit loan scheme Some businesses are struggling to manage the repercussions of Brexit. To support these businesses, the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS) has been developed by the SBCI in partnership with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the

Marine, the European Investment Fund and the European Investment Bank are offering affordable medium-term finance to businesses that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19 and Brexit. Ensuring a business has adequate working capital is essential to the survival of the business, the BILS can be used by affected companies to secure the necessary working capital. Climate action With businesses looking to reduce their emissions and

improve their environmental focus, Enterprise Ireland has developed the Climate Enterprise Action Fund which consists of several supports including the Climate Action Voucher, GreenStart and GreenPlus. * Check out to be kept up to date. If you are looking to engage with one of the supports mentioned above and need more information, contact your local ifac office or davidleydon@

€204,600 kick-starts community benefit fund THE electricity grid operator EirGrid has opened the Laois Kilkenny Community Benefit Fund with an initial €204,600 available for community groups to apply for. The €204,600 available represents 40 percent of the overall fund.

The Laois-Kilkenny Community Forum and Community Benefit Fund were established by EirGrid to recognise the important part that local communities play in the development of the electricity grid and will go to benefit groups and projects in these areas.

EirGrid is proposing to reinforce the network in the general Laois-Kilkenny region and plans to achieve this through the development of a new transmission line between the two counties. The Laois-Kilkenny reinforcement scheme will address

atile. There are current investor concerns from a macroeconomic perspective related to Covid issues, supply-chain concerns, and inflationary pressures.” According to a report in the weekly Farming Independent, it’s understood funding options for the proposed deal were to be addressed at a Glanbia council meeting.

the concerns on the network in the local area and ensure that the system can comply with the grid’s technical standards. This will also ensure a reliable, high quality standard of electricity supply for the present and future needs of all users.

Communities adjacent to the line in Laois include Coolnabacky, Timahoe, Ratheniska, Spink and Ballinakill and in Kilkenny, include Ballyragget, Ballyouskill and Tinnalinton, with priority given to those areas within 3km from the countyline.

ALLIANZ Insurance is supporting the world’s strongest women by breaking the silence on domestic abuse in Ireland with the launch of a new three-year partnership with Women’s Aid and €1,000,000 in funding to tackle domestic abuse. The partnership will support Women’s Aid in tackling the issue of domestic abuse and support those women who are living through domestic abuse in Ireland. This is a multi-faceted partnership with financial and non-financial supports, including the internal training of all senior managers at Allianz, a domestic abuse policy and supports for their 650+ workforce, and financial support for Women’s Aid consisting of a public awareness campaign, funds donated. The issue of domestic abuse can take violent and non-violent forms (coercive control, financial abuse).The issue beame more prevalent during the last 20 months of the pandemic with more than 29,700 contacts with Women’s Aid in 2020 resulting in 30,841 disclosures, which was an increase of 43% on 2019. The selection of Women’s Aid as the chosen charity partner for Allianz Insurance followed research with Allianz employees and customers on the right cause for the company to champion. The topic of domestic abuse was chosen as having a right fit with Allianz as protection is at the core of insurance and applying this lens of protection to potential issues that often arise within the home is a fitting extension of that remit. The Women’s Aid partnership and campaign will be championed within Allianz Insurance by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Sean McGrath. The selection process was overseen by leading adviser on cause partnerships, Business In The Community.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021



ON DOWNEY, a Nonagenerian, passed away on Sunday last 28th November. He was 95 years old. He was the last surviving member of Kilkenny AFC which was formed in 1948 when soccer was reorganised in Kilkenny following World War 2. Con, along with a small group of people such as Jimmy McAlister, Billy Walsh, Johnny Bourke, Paul Fennelly, Marty Buckley and Mick Owens took on the responsibility of organising League soccer in Kilkenny for those ‘feeder’ clubs which formed or reformed after the ‘Emergency’. Con played with his beloved Talbot’s Inch initially and subsequently Green Celtic which had been founded in 1942. Like most of the administrators/players of the day, Con served in several posts including refereeing to help out. Con served the League with distinction. When the League folded due to apathy in 1967-68, Con decided that it was time for a new radical approach to organising local soccer. What had been considered a disaster by some at the time turned out to be a blessing in disguise? When Con retired from playing he set about both forming and coaching a youth team called Ormonde. Con sowed the seeds of strengthening the underage side of the game in 1969. Up to that point you had just two grades at Under 16 & Minor/ Youths - U18. The concept of Kilkenny Schoolboys Soccer was born with Con, Brendan Lonergan, Mike Kelly and Eric Wilcox to the fore. The rest was history as the say. Con will always be affectionately known as the ‘Godfather’ of Soccer in Kilkenny…….what a legacy. Con was never a stickler for the rulebook or red tape, his motto was to let as many children play the game as was physically possible, even it meant 20 a-side games. He was never a fan of the ‘Dublin Brigade’ e.g. officialdom. He always enjoyed bending the rules a little bit to suit the needs of all the kids who wanted to play the game. Birth certificates were expensive to get in those days!!! Con’s brainchild of the schoolboy league has paid rich dividends over the past five decades with so many players coming from the schoolboys and juvenile ranks into youths, junior and senior soccer. Domo Connolly became the first Kilkenny Player to be capped at Schoolboy International level for Ireland. So many others were to follow like Jimmy Donnelly, Michael Walsh for example. Michael Reddy (Sunderland) & Seanie Maguire (Preston North End) to mention but some became International players and played professional football in England. Kilkenny’s success at Inter League level ranks among the best in the country with success at schoolboy, youth and junior levels. Evergreen & Freebooters are ranked amongst the top junior clubs

Ever working for the local community, Con Downey (third from right) pictured in 1992 with residents of Talbot’s Inch when they were working on restoring the steps from Talbots Inch to The Weir . (Photo Pat Brett)

Con Downey An appreciation The late Con Downey pictured with his wife Gertie. (Photo Pat Brett)

in the country. The list of Kilkenny players who have been capped at International level and who have played senior soccer with League of Ireland clubs is endless now. Con’s pivotal role in all of this success should never be forgotten. The foundations were right and his legacy is being enjoyed by thousands of players across the Kilkenny & District League today. Con was also renowned for his charitable work in Kilkenny city and St Canice’s Parish in particular. He helped many struggling families in his native parish in many ways. A founding member of Sunday

night Bingo at St Canice’s Hall at the Butt’s Green where he helped to raise thousands for so many local families. He was also instrumental in setting up St Vincent de Paul house at the Butt’s Green. He played a huge active role in supporting the Fr McGarth Centre which provided so many children’s services to the local community. Con was a great humanist too and is noted for his voluntary work in his native parish St Canice’s and is the stuff of legend. He had a particular affinity with the people of The Butt’s. Con enjoyed open access to the people’s homes in the Butt’s. The Waterbarracks

soccer pitch was his ‘Mecca’ and he loved nothing better than to see up to forty children playing an impromptu soccer match there. Con served for many years on the Kilkenny Sports Stars Awards committee, having been invited to do so by his great friend Alderman Tommy Martin, Mayor of Kilkenny in 1974. He transcended all sports and cultural societies and believed in the maxim of ‘Sport for All’ ever before the phrase was coined. He singlehandedly organised the annual Santa Christmas appeal through the columns of the Kilkenny People newspaper. He spent hours on end in the days leading up to Christmas organising the recycled presents for less fortunate children in St Canice’s parish and the wider community. Con’s legacy to the game of soccer could be best summed up by saying that he had the common touch with people and he never failed in his unstinting support for a game and people that he truly loved and especially his beloved St Canice’s Parish. He enjoyed great success winning several Leagues, Cup and Shield titles on the field of play with Green Celtic. He took great pride in his children’s success in soccer

Con Downey, with lifelong friend Mike Kelly, pictured at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of founding of the ‘Kilkenny and District schoolboys League’ ( 1969- 2019) Photo : Paul Kelly

too. He will be sorely missed by his wide range of friends in Kilkenny Soccer as well as his many friends in his native community and further afield. On a personal note, Con also enjoyed the social side of things, together with his great friend Michael ‘Moc’ Lawlor RIP he entertained us royally on many District League social occasions especially at the League Cabaret nights and Referee outings. He was a truly wonderful character who loved people. Con is now gone to his eternal reward and no doubt he is organising a game in Heaven with the Man above and many of his past great loyal soccer friends, like the late Marty Buckley, Billy Walsh, Terry Cullen, Milo Grogan, Paddy Henderson and Moc Lawlor.

Sincere sympathy from the Kilkenny Soccer fraternity to his children Geraldine, John, Eugene, Eileen, Mary and Una and their families on their sad loss of a wonderful father, grandfather, person and just a great human being. Con was so proud of the achievements of his children both on and off the playing fields. He was predeceased by his beloved Gertie and the late baby Gerard a number of years ago. It was Gertie who enabled Con to do all of his volunteerism with a smile on his face. Con worked all his working life at Mahon and McPhilips, where his leadership talents lead him through the ranks to a management position. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis. DB

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Famed local farm is restored to its former splendour BUILDINGS at the birthplace of former Kilkenny All-Ireland winner Jimmy Kelly have been conserved under the Green, Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) traditional farm buildings restoration scheme. Kelly scored the winning point in the 1939 ‘Thunder and Lightning’ final and won a second title in 1947.

His son Michael who now farms the land at Castlebanny, south Kilkenny, used the buildings for cattle until recently before building a modern housing facility. The restoration will breathe new life into the buildings as they will now be used for storage of feed and materials. Situated on high ground, the name Castlebanny means ‘castle

of the milk’ or ‘milking.’ There is a hamlet marked on the 1829 Ordinance Survey (0S) maps and the some of the buildings marked on the map are now being restored, according to Michael. “This hamlet consists of four homesteads/farmyards, an example of an architectural style exclusive to south Kilkenny. These settlement types consist of a

unique clustering of houses, outbuildings and haggards. Ownership boundaries can be blurred, and the land associated with the holdings can be some distance away and intermixed with other holdings,” according to Michael Kelly. A large barn built in 1910 is also being restored. This features brick arches and lintels and a wrought

iron gate. Works are limited to restoration of the roofs and limited repair to some of the doors. “The stone walls are an example of the outstanding craftmanship of the time and save for some outward leaning from the pressure of the roof, are in excellent condition,” Michael said. The work is being carried out under the supervision of the Her-

Covid finds itself on the wrong side of the law THE majority of Irish law firms are optimistic about the year ahead with some experiencing improvements in the last 12 months, but Covid-19 is continuing to have a negative impact on the sector with two-thirds reporting turnover to be below pre-pandemic levels. These results form part of a new report from professional services and wealth management firm Smith & Williamson, in its 10th Annual Survey of Law Firms in Ireland, carried out by market research consultancy, Amárach. This year has seen a significant reduction in firms concerned about the economy, down from 94% last year to 35% of firms this year. The report also indicates that some confidence has returned to the sector with two in three firms (63%) anticipating an improved outlook for the sector in the next twelve months. As we emerge from a challenging financial period, 39% of firms reported seeing revenues recovering and increasing over the last year, with this figure rising to 53% among the Top 20 firms. However, just under half (49%) of smaller Dublin firms also experienced a downward impact on fees due to competitive pressures. Maintaining profitability has been a huge concern for all firms, big and small. More than half of all firms that reported increases in revenues showed growth in excess of 10%. But, over half of firms (58%) reported that profits are still below pre-Covid levels and over one quarter (29%) experienced a significant reduction in revenue. A significant number of law firms continued to avail of Government supports during 2021, as half of all firms (48%) reported their continued use of the Government’s wage

subsidy schemes, down from 70% in 2020. For the Top 20 firms, there has been a similar reduction with 47% using Government support this year, down from 60% in 2020. More than one in three regional firms (36%) have stated that staff continued to use the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in the last year, down from 50% in 2020. In terms of tax, 29% of firms used tax warehousing and deferral of tax payments this year, down from 43% in 2020. As we emerge from the complete shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, recruitment and retention of staff has now become the key concern for all Top 20 firms in Ireland, and 70% of all firms in Dublin. The Law Survey has highlighted that one in three (35%) firms increased staff numbers over the last twelve months, increasing from 22% reported in 2020, whereas 23% of firms had reduced staff numbers. There also now appears to be a disconnect between how employees and employers see the workplace in the future, with employees reprioritising their own work/life balance in favour of a greater focus on life outside of work. The “new normal” working arrangements are a key issue with most firms becoming more flexible. Most of the Top 20 firms reported that they are facilitating remote working going forward, but approximately one in three regional firms and one in five smaller Dublin firms state that they are unlikely to do so. However, it has been identified in the report that the decisions by employers on remote and hybrid rules are key issues for employees and may result in a potential movement of talent.

itage Council and Michael contended that without its assistance and that of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), as well as acceptance into the traditional farm buildings restoration scheme, the works may not have taken place. Michael qualified for the scheme as a participant of the GLAS environmental scheme.

Fishermen reel in €1 million in shared funding

Our student Maria receives €20,000 Naughton bursary SUPPORTING academic and innovative excellence in Irish students, the Naughton Foundation Scholarship Awards are an investment in the future of Ireland’s reputation as a country with outstanding graduates promoting the study of engineering, science and technology at third level. Founding patrons Dr Martin Naughton and his wife Carmel (pictured above) recently announced the winners of the 2021 awards with Kilkenny student Maria Comerford receiving a scholarship worth €20,000. Since its establishment 2008, scholarships worth over €4 million have been awarded to more than 330 students. The scheme started in three counties and has continued to expand annually to be-

come a nationwide scheme. There is one guaranteed scholarship (€20,000) for each participating county, with some counties awarded more than one scholarship. Each scholarship is worth €5,000 a year for each year of a student’s three or four year undergraduate degree. Traditionally the awards are presented by Martin and Carmel Naughton at a ceremony with the students’ schools and families in attendance but as a result of current restrictions this event was unfortunately deferred again for this year. A former student of Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny, Maria Comerford has accepted a place in Trinity College Dublin studying Pharmacy. Maria joins 37 exceptional Irish students who were awarded third level scholar-

ships towards their studies in the areas of engineering, science, technology and maths. More than 200 schools have also benefited from this prize to date with some schools receiving it on more than one occasion. Maria’s former secondary school Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny, received a prize of €1,000 towards their school’s science facilities, for their support of these students. Speaking about the growth of the programme in the past 12 years, Dr Naughton said: “ After the difficult academic year that 2021 was, we are particularly delighted to announce this year’s scholarship winners and their schools. We are both really looking forward to welcoming them to our growing community of Scholars and Alumni.”

KILKENNY fishermen have been urged to reel in up to €1 million in shared funding from a Government conservation scheme. The funding is part of Inland of a Fisheries Ireland’s Habitats & Conservation scheme for 2022. Allocating up to €1 million, applications for funding will be available for fishery owners, angling clubs and other stakeholders around the country. Priority will be given to projects focusing on fish habitat conservation and rehabilitation, such as the improvement of water quality and fish passages. Environment Minister Eamon Ryan welcomed the funding call and encouraged all eligible Kilkenny people stakeholders to apply. “The Habitats and Conservation Scheme is a great example of how we can encourage and support the stewardship role of managing our natural resources across the country. This important environmental scheme supports angling clubs, fishery owners, and stakeholders – in helping them to improve damaged habitats, water quality and fish passage,” the Minister said. “The works and studies supported by the scheme in the future will also recruit in wider benefits for the environment. As the funding call is now open, I would encourage any eligible group or stakeholder in Kilkenny to contact Inland Fisheries Ireland and express their interest in applying for this grant before the deadline.” In 2021 a total of €785,604 was allocated to fund for 18 projects based in Kilkenny Galway, Laois, Donegal, Cork, Roscommon, Limerick, Mayo, Westmeath, Wicklow and Wexford. Examples of these projects included the construction of rock ramp passages to provide upstream or downstream travel for fish, as well as the installation of alternative sources of drinking water for livestock. Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said that fish protection and conservation played a crucial role in the protection of the country’s eco-system.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Kilkenny Street Christmas window blues In the Build up to Christmas, The Kilkenny Observer newspaper will publish four short stories by Kilkenny authors. Each story will have a Christmas theme, and will, we hope, spark some beautiful memories for our readers. The Observer is delighted to promote the arts in general, and we wish to thank the four writers for their contributions. The writers include Willie Joe Meally ( Clogh), Joe Brennan ( Callan) Catherine Cronin (Cellarstown) and Patrick Griffin ( Loughboy, Kilkenny city) This week’s contribution comes from Willie Joe Meally. A CHRISTMAS STORY BY WILLIE JOE MEALLY It was 1959. The weeks leading up to Christmas were very special. As I walked through the streets of Comer, on my way to the Boys School, the shopkeepers were busy preparing their windows. I was eager to go to school early, just to have a longer look in the windows, not just a glance. As Christmas drew nearer all the windows were decked out fully. At lunch break there was a mad rush down the street, and every school child gathered around the windows to have a look at the toys on display. I

chose the early morning, for my personal viewing, if the window wasn’t all fogged up. I knew what I wanted. Right there in the corner was a complete cowboy outfit. Yes, that was mine. I imagined myself walking down The Old Road in Moneenroe, two guns in the holster, loaded with full rolls of caps, ready to draw on anything or anyone that moved. I practised well on my way home from school, dreaming of becoming the fastest gun around. Well not as fast as Audie Murphy or Annie Oakely or the Cisco Kid. To make matters official, I told my school pals of my intended Christmas gift. Word spread. Now and then, a lad would challenge me, “Ok

Willie Joe Meally, founding member of Clogh writers group

cowboy, go for your gun?” On a few occasions, I had to fall. Christmas Eve arrived and I went shopping with my mother, promising to carry the shopping bags for her. I couldn’t wait to get down Kilkenny Street to my favourite window. “Mother, mother, I have something to show you here in this window,” “Oh, what is it now? I looked in the corner of the window. There was an empty space. I was speechless, no cowboy outfit, just a broken derailed train set, a few scraggy dolls, a few boxes of jigsaws and Snakes and Ladders and in the corner a little red mouth organ. “Well, what is it you want to show me? asked mother. “There it is, that little red mouth organ, could I have that please mother?”

Western Heroes for young boys growing up in the ‘60’s Will Hutchins, Peter Brown, Jack Kelly, Ty Hardin, James Gardner, Wayde Preston and John Russell

“Can you play it?” “No, but I could learn.” “You’d have to take it down the fields to play it, until you learn it, you can’t bring it into the kitchen, sure it would annoy us all. Well, I’ll see what I can do. We may hurry now as it will soon be getting dark.” Mother gathered up another few messages. We headed for home, over The Big Bridge. It started to snow again. We came upon a carman, he was hammering frost nails into the horse’s hooves. We stopped to have a

word with him and he said, “I’ll be needing them by the time I get to Coon, I hope to be home before Santy arrives.” We walk slowly, my heart breaking for the cowboy outfit. I wondered who got it. We rested at the first Black and White Wall. Mother halved a bar of Cadbury’s Cream Chocolate, and handed me one half, it was delicious. “There’s your mouth organ and for God’s sake, don’t tell the others how you got it. Tell them you found it.” It had a case to hold it, with blue and green stripes.

Horner was inscribed on the mouth organ. I took it out, gave it a few blows. It sounded good. I would have blown it all the way home only my fingers were getting numb. The snow stopped. At The Black Path Stile a burst of evening sun lit up around us. Blackbirds picked haws on Comerford’s hedge, Sammy Bradley’s white mare rested under the beech trees. “We’re nearly there, a mhac, I hope the kettle is singing.” Willie-Joe Meally

* Willie-Joe Meally is from Moneenroe, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny and is now living in Kilpatrick, Clogh. Married to Jane, he is a founder member of Clogh Writers (1995). He has published at local, national and international level, and has also has read his work at literary events and workshops throughout the country. He writes mainly poetry and short stories. His work reflects a local theme, rooted in a mining heritage. One of his stories was adapted for a short film and was well received in Ireland and abroad. He was very involved in Clogh Writers’ organisation of four Culture Night events and welcomes visiting writers from near and far.

Pat’s Vegan and sugar free Christmas pudding would taste amazing. Best of all, he says it’s easy to make and it’s vegan too. We trialled the pudding with our customers previously and they gave it their thumbs up. Now he wants me to share the recipe with you as he feels there are lots of you who are looking for a tasty sugar free or vegan Christmas pudding.

Patrick, my brother, was the Christmas pudding maker with our mam when we were young. Back then she made several puddings for her siblings. He helped her every year, he was the only one of us who had any interest in all of the stirring, mixing and wishing. It’s no surprise then that it was Patrick who went to the trouble to find a sugar free pudding recipe that

INGREDIENTS: • 100g Doves plain white flour • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg/ mixed spice, and ground cinnamon • ½ teaspoon salt • 75g True Xylitol • 40g breadcrumbs • 100g Suma vegan suet • ½ teaspoon Doves baking powder • 6 tablespoon brandy • zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon • 100g each of True raisins, sultanas, and currants • 50g mixed peel • 50g cherries • 100g of dates. Chop and soak for thirty minutes beforehand METHOD: • Sieve the flour, spices, salt and baking powder into your mixing bowl.

• Combine all the other ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Use enough liquid so the mix drops from the spoon. • Grease your pudding bowl. I used a 1.2lt bowl. • Leave about 2cm from the top to allow pudding to rise. • Cover with greaseproof paper then tinfoil and secure with string. • For an easier option you could get a plastic pudding bowl with a lid. This works perfectly well too. STEAM FOR 6 HOURS. • Place pudding in a saucepan and fill halfway with boiling water. Keep an eye and top up as necessary. • Let the pudding cool. Once cooled pop out of the bowl and wrap with greaseproof paper and store in a cool place until ready to eat. • Best served warm with your favourite vegan topping. Enjoy! • Shop online at www. Call in for a chat and some health advice at Market Cross Shopping Centre. Phone: 056 7764538 Email: info@

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Colonel Jerry Ryan

Fr Pat Delahunty who was PP in Callan and who was one of the prisoners to escape in 1921

Jim Pollock . One of the forty seven who escaped from Kilkenny Gaol

The great Kilkenny jail escape as forty seven prisoners abscond Members of The Saturday Walkers group gathered on the green patch of ground at the intersection of St Rioch Street and Saint Francis Terrace


HE significance of a housing estate named Fr. Delahunty Terrace, a mere one hundred yards away becomes obvious. It was a cold Saturday morning. Scarves, woolly hats and gloves were the call of the day to fight the elements. Almost one hundred years ago, at the same area, forty seven men also gathered. Not for them gloves, hats or overcoats. Some were shirtless, covered in mud, most

with their boots hanging around their necks by their shoelaces. They emerged one by one from a freshly built tunnel about three feet in diameter. This would become known as The Kilkenny Jail escape. The Most audacious escape from an Irish prison. INSIGHTFUL TALK Almost a hundred years to the day later, Kilkenny walker’s group member, Jimmy Neary gave a very insightful talk on the daring

escape. The gathering was made all the more special as some family members of the escapees were in attendance. These included sisters Carmel Lenehan and Geraldine Bransfield, daughters of Jim Pollock, one of the men who escaped Jim and Dan Lenehan, grandsons of Jim Pollock attended with their mother Carmel. Also in attendance was Noel Delahunty, nephew of Fr Delahunty and brothers

Noel and Vinny Delahunty, grandnephews of Fr Pat. EXPERT TUNNEL DIGGERS The Kilkenny People, commenting on the escape of IRA prisoners from the Kilkenny Gaol on 22nd November 1921, advised on the possibility of a future Channel Tunnel being built, that the contractor should get in touch with Larry Condon of Fermoy and Martin Kealy of Kilkenny and their comrades. ‘What they do not know about constructing tunnels

is not worth knowing, and they will refuse to be hampered by consideration of an eight hour day.’ PREPARATION KEY TO SUCCESS OF DARING ESCAPE Kilkenny historian, Jim Maher has described in great detail the preparations for and the execution of a daring escape by prisoners, two of whom were under death sentences. They were Edward Punch and Timothy Murphy of Limerick.

The fact that the Truce was signed in July was no guarantee of their lives being saved. It could break down at any time. The Treaty when signed in December resulted in the fall of the British Government and a Civil War in Ireland. A friendly warder named Power was privy to the prisoner’s plan of escape. When he was on duty a considerable amount of tunnelling was done. A cellar existed below the recreation room. The prisoners cut a

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Feature Carmel Lenehan and her sister Geraldine Bransfield, daughters of Jim Pollock, who was one of the escapees from The Kilkenny jail in 1921, pictured after laying a wreath to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the escape

The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket by Sarah Argent Paul Curley and John Currivan

Jimmy Neary from The Kilkenny Walkers group speaking about the Kilkenny jail escape

Saturday Walkers members, Billy Bergin, John Meaney, and John Comerford Left to right: Carmel Lenehan, Paul Delahunty, Noel Delahunty Noel Burke, Vinny Delahunty and Geraldine Bransfield

8 TONS OF EARTH TAKEN FROM TUNNEL Later on the loose earth was taken from the tunnel in a large flat pan attached to a rope. About 8 tons of earth was removed in the process. It was deposited in the disused cellar. The tunnel was 50 yards in length and almost 6 feet deep under the ground. It

Right: A wreath was laid at the site of the old Kilkenny jail to mark one hundred years of the escape by forty seven prisoners

manhole through the floor to gain access and of course covered the hole with timber. From the cellar they managed to get to the soft earth and began tunnelling. The work was done mostly at night. Knives and pointed fire irons were used to loosen the earth. The soil was then removed in sacks made of the prisoners’ blankets. Dan and Jimmy Lenehan , grandsons of Jim Pollock who was imprisoned at Kilkenny jail, attending a commemoration of the great prison escape

exited alongside the foundation of the outer wall. The tunnel had to have props or it would collapse. Bed boards fulfilled this function. The exit to the tunnel was about 3 feet wide and came up in St Rioch’s Street. When completed it was decided the escape should happen on Warden Power’s watch. To cover his collusion in the matter he was trussed and gagged and left in acell. Larry Condon, although leader of the escape party offered first position to the patriot priest Fr Delahunty. FIRST ESCAPE POSITION OFFERED TO FR PAT Having been offered to be the first to escape, Fr Delahunty declined, saying he would only go after the men who were sentenced to death and the lifers were out. Larry Condon entered the tunnel at 6.40 pm on 22 November and successfully negotiated the tunnel. He remained outside the gaol and helped each succeeding escapee up out of the hole. They were all muddied and wearing very little clothing – their boots draped by their laces round their neck. RETREAT TO PRISON FOLLOWING COLLAPSE Maurice Walsh of Limerick was last into the tunnel

and unfortunately it collapsed ahead of him causing him to retreat into the prison. When he got back he was faced with armed soldiers sounding the alarm. Warden Power had been discovered. In Rioch Street two locals helped the escapees. They were Paddy Donoghue and Matty Power – both either current or future Kilkenny hurling stars. Power’s daughter later spoke of what she learned of the escape on Sunday Miscellany. Aly Luttrell of Garryricken and Cumann Na mBan had previously been thrown a letter tied around a stone from the prison giving day and time of the proposed escape. Dunamaggin IRA arranged six ponies and traps to transport escapees. They were present on time. The escapees were taken South muddied but unbowed. Fógra: Carmel Lenehan and Geraldine Bransfield laid a wreath on the site to mark the occasion. Fógra Eile: As the talk finished, informal plans were being mooted about a monument being erected at the site to remember the men. SOURCES: Historian Jim Maher, St Rioch’s book for photo of Jail, Kilkenny Walkers group, Pat Walsh Memorial, jbs photography.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Santa arrived in epic style to launch Yulefest

SANTA arrived in Kilkenny on Saturday to launch Yulefest 2021 – Christmas in Kilkenny! It was a sight to behold as Santa arrived down the river Nore. Carried safely by the Civil Defence and flanked by two boats full of Dragon Paddlers and a string of canoe and kayakers. Arriving at Canal Square where he was greeted by excited spectators. While Santa was making his way down the river the crowd at Canal Square were being entertained by local drumming group Samba Katz, taking selfies with the 501st Garrison Troopers and hanging out with Santa’s elves. Cycle Kilkenny were on hand handing out special Yulefest High-Vis’s and cycle accessories to those participating in Santa’s City Cycle. The children (and adults!) participating showed their creativity with some incredibly decorated bikes showing off their Christmas spirit. Once Santa had safely landed he joined his elves and the children on a cycle through the city, that saw them go up Rose Inn Street, down High Street, around the Marketyard and

back to the Parade finishing in the Castle park. Over 300 people took part in Santa’s eco journey around the city which included bikes, scooters and ever a toy tractor! Cathaoirleach Cllr Fidelis Doherty who was at Canal Square said “ It was great to see so many children get involved. There were some very festive bikes and costumes and it’s great that children are learning the value of cycling as a mode of transport at such a young age. There was a great atmosphere on Canal Square and everyone looked like they were having a great time”. On The Parade The Lady Desart Choir entertained the crowds and the Anthony McAuley Trad Trio had everyone dancing, as Cathaoirleach Cllr Fidelis Doherty officially launched Yulefest 2021 from the Yulefest Bandstand. Santa was on duty again as he helped Mayor Andrew McGuinness and his children turn on the Christmas lights. There was a buzz about the town and a large number of people attended each event. The Winter Market also began on Saturday and will continue each weekend until Christmas. Mayor Andrew McGuinness said “There was such a lovely festive atmosphere in the city with the huts, the lights and the music. People’s spirits were high which was great to see. Yulefest looks like it’s going to be a great event” More information can be found on and @YulefestKilkenny on Facebook.


CHRISTMAS, the time of year we are all supposed to love. If we don’t, or at least if we reveal it, we’re likely to be condemned as a Scrooge. Many of us enjoy the gift exchanging, the seasonal foods, the general merriment. I, myself, love Christmas music, or at least carols, Yuletide pop music I prefer left well alone. My absolute favourite thing to do in December is to watch the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol. The build up to the big day also cheers many people up by giving something to look forward to during shorter days and seemingly darker nights. There’s no doubt it can be stressful though. Whilst lots of folks would like to put off planning for as long as possible, truth is most of us start thinking about 25th December long before it arrives. So how can we make it a more relaxing period?

First thing, forget about being perfect. It’s not realisable, so don’t even try. If you are the main organiser in your family, you want everything to be brilliant for everybody else but they have a responsibility to not put too much pressure on you too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and accept that OK is good enough. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Learn to say no. If others get upset over you refusing to do something or be somewhere, that’s their problem, not yours. This links well with the idea of not spreading yourself too thin. Christmas can be an exhausting time of year. If you run around like a headless chicken trying to please everybody else, you’re guilty of letting down the most important person, you. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Take time for other people, sure, but make certain to leave some for yourself too. You don’t always have to look a million dollars either. Christmas should be about spending time with people you love and who

love you in return. If those you’re surrounded by are more concerned about appearances than they are about the people behind them, are they really worth the effort in the first place? If you’re doing it to make yourself feel good, go ahead. If it’s because you feel others expect it, recognise that that says more about them than you. Don’t feel guilty. You forgot to buy the sprouts? You’re only human... and the reality is about 50% of people can’t stand them anyway. In fact, scientists have proven that’s down to a genetic mutation. You didn’t send Frank and Margaret a Christmas card? If they matter that much to you, you could ring them instead. If they don’t, who cares anyway? You’re bound to miss something out, all of us do, so don’t stress about it. Christmas can be a wonderful time of year but we do sometimes need a reality check about what is achievable. Next week, we’ll look at coping when alone during the Yuletide.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Picturespecial special Picture

Anthony McCauley performs at the opening of Yulefest

Tony Kearney with his mother Kitty

Paul and Hannah Briderick.

Gillian and Aoife Martin

t s e f e l u Y nta Saival r r a Ivor and Tia Irish

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Picturespecial special Picture

Emily and Sophie Sheahan with Kayla Doheny

The Clowrt and Hayes family

Logan, Nathan and Noah Hallissey

About Out &


Danny Lahart

Awaiting Santas arrival The Mcgrath family

The McClearn family


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Picture special

Jack and Andrew McGuinnes

t u o Ab Out &


y n n a D art Lah

Lady Desart Choir perform at opening of Yulefest.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Picture special

Sean Nolan

t s e f e l Yu nta Saival arr

Lady Desart Choir.

John Byrne, Tim Butler, Liam Connolly

Paddy Cleere, Anthony McCauley and Tommy Fitzharris performing at the opening of Yulefest.

Vaiva Williams


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

News Community Group

‘Only as old as you feel’ As our regular readers will be aware, we often look to Europe as we compare the lives of the members of the Irish seniors to those who live on the mainland of Europe. Sometimes these comparisons can be of interest and at times dispel the notions we are way behind our EU partners. To be truthful we are better in some areas and

behind the curve in others. So, this week we are going to give you some food for thought Our information comes from the most recent research on ‘Looking at the life of the elderly in the EU’ The first point of Interest came when we looked at the number of seniors living in each country. The EU average

is 19.2 % where in Ireland, we are at 13.2 %. Italy has the highest at 22% just ahead of Greece so maybe my dietitian is right! More Salads! Now another question which is always asked is, ‘who lives longer after retiring Male or the Female?’. Well no surprise here gentlemen it is the Boss, the lady of the House. She will live

for on average 21 years and her trusted lieutenant 18 years, so as the gravestone she erected for us will say “May you rest in peace till I join you again” How many of those extra years can a man or the women expect to live in a good, strong health manner after the age of 65?. In Europe the both sexes are the same at 9 years

while here in Ireland we go a few years better with the male getting 11 years and the commander in chief 12 years. Living alone, as we have often covered, can have a detrimental effect on your physical and mental wellbeing. In Ireland we do fair a little bit better with 29% living alone while across the EU it comes in at 32%. To our amazement 46% of people over 65 live alone in Lithuania. That is nearly 1 in every 2 seniors are living alone in isolation. The free Travel Pass is an entitlement the Twilight Community Group believes should never be abolished or even tinkered with around the edges. And the figures across Europe show us why in Ireland it keeps 63% of our over 65s active and travelling yearly while the EU average is just 48%. So, hands off our free Travel Pass. The All-Ireland Free Travel Scheme allows a Free Travel cardholder (those aged 66 and older) to travel free of charge on all bus and rail services within Northern Ireland using a Senior Smart pass card. So, carry on to the buses and trains when this damn Virus goes away for good. During the above mentioned virus, the internet became a necessity to stay in touch with the out-side world for many of our seniors. We do lack a

little behind our European neighbors on this one as they come in at 48% of the seniors surveyed while Ireland came in at 40%, which to be honest is a good place to start from as we try to bring more seniors on line. Digital Awareness and security are part of the Twilight Seniors programme PASS which will commence in the new Year under the Public health Guidelines. Originally, it is based on the chapter “An ageing society — focus on the elderly” of the flagship publication “People in the EU: who are we and how do we live?”, published on 27 November 2015. Data used in this tool was updated in September 2017. In addition, an interactive infographic – “You in the EU” - is available which allows a comparison of some aspects of the way of life of elderly people in the EU for different age groups, such as those aged 65-69, 70-74 and 75 or older on Now with all surveys we can read them, take what is relevant to us out of the results. But, always remember they are just that results with numbers. And my mother, and I am sure your mothers and grannies told you … “when it comes to age it’s just a number on a piece of paper and you are only as old as you feel”

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Much More Than Words THIS WEEK, in our look at the recently published book of poetry and prose by The Kilkenny Involvement Centre and The Recovery College, we feature the work of Sandrine Dunlop, Pat Griffin and Margaret Galvin . Thanks to T.A.S.K and Ed Murphy for photos.

If ever a book deserved the award for ‘The Perfect Title’ surely that accolade must go to a new compilation of poetry Much More Than Words. Indeed its very title describes comprehensively the diversity of the treasures to be discovered within its covers. This volume of carefully crafted poems, interspersed with prose and enhanced with well-chosen

Sandrine Dunlop

images, is the second collection produced by The Involvement Centre Kilkenny and the first in a joint venture with The Recovery College. The Kilkenny Observer Newspaper is delighted to promote the work of The Involvement Centre and The Recovery College, and so, will publish a selection of their work over the coming months.

Pat Griffin

‘Much More Than Words’ can be purchased at the following Kilkenny outlets: Bargain Books, The Butterslip Khans Bookshop, James’ Street & The Book Centre, High Street. Price: €10

Margaret Galvin


A Voice in the Wilderness


Our lives are dangling on a sunbeam, like a flicker in the light, fluttering in the uncertainty, swirling in the fragility, moving in the transformation. A balancing act. Seasons passing by, a time of transition. Nature undressing her layers of safety, feeling incomplete, until the appearance of her true colours, trusting her own beauty before letting go. Golden leaves, falling like sun flakes. Our body is the canvas. A painting waiting to be created. We are trapped in a living picture. Time has paused. The silence of our answers is deafening, like sounds of birds chirping, echoing up to the sky of infinite possibilities.

The Earth was warming, much too fast. We had to cool it down. But, rich men with expensive tastes said Nothing could be done. And that was that. But they told us they would try. So, dressed to kill, they shared their skill, they racked their brains and brought their shiny flow charts up to date. The data said the temperature was spiralling to ‘God knows where’. So, nothing could be done. And that was that.67

In photographs she’s a blur, a woman in a black dress and shawl surrounded by the children who call her ‘Mud.’ There’s a story of her up-ending the tea pot on my aunt Bridgey’s hat the morning she left Cahir station with a soldier from the barracks. I picture my grandmother, sad amongst the debris in the silent kitchen, the spilt tea dripping from the oil cloth onto the cold concrete of the floor.

Governments said it might be solved. So they checked their balance sheets. And yes, they all agreed: the mercury must fall, the earth must cool. But the dollar must survive, and economies must grow. So, nothing could be done. And that was that. Then a young voice spoke. She told us that the world would have to rest. We only had one planet. Just one Earth. One place that we called home. And home was getting hot. The temperature must fall. But those in power said business must survive and the dollar must be saved. So, nothing could be done. And that was that. We knew the skies were crowded with metal birds of prey. And clouds gave way to vapour trails from planes which owned the space where light came through and carbon in abundance ruled the land. And the young voice of reason spoke again and said ‘reclaim the earth and leave the skies in peace’. But reason was not heard. So nothing could be done. And that was that. Then quietly from the East something virulent and unseen slid silently to our shores and left destruction in its wake. Then the dead piled up and the rushing stopped. The factories closed and the earth slowed down. And vapour furrows in the skies gave way to cumulus and cirrus clouds which told us that fair weather was to come. The birds reclaimed their space and the dollar hid its face. Then the streams ran clear and pure, the planet took its rest and the meek reclaimed the earth. So, there was no more to be done. And that was that.

Margaret Galvin

Sandrine Dunlop

Pat Griffin

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

News Community Group Cultures and through these interactions we can continue to develop our Connecting Cultures programme. In 2019 we had 7 different countries represented in Ireland and in September of the same year. Twilight members travelled to Poland to experience life as a teenager in Zakopane while interacting with groups from the same age group. This allows for personal development and provides an informal, non-judgmental approach to education Over the next few weeks and into 2022 the Group is calling all nationalities to come join them in this new exciting development. If you are interested in join Twilight Youth Inclusion group call 0567813105 for details

Looking to the future

OVER the past few weeks, the Twilight Youth Inclusion group has grabbed the attention of the young adults and teenagers of the city and county. We have seen members from across different nationalities come together and exchange their ideas, experiences and

plans for the future. The Twilight group are very fortunate to have a leader of the quality of Mikołaj Le niak, Grace Quinn who under guidance of Stephen Mungovan the Group’s Inclusion and Development officer have put together programmes of inter-

est to date. A very productive day was held last Saturday and added to the past number of weeks activities held at the Twilight Educational network all part of the Twilight European network (TEN) A big Thank you! must go out to for being with us

Dagmara Szlesinger as she went through her GooDog training programme Dagmara and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, animal behaviorist, kynotherapist. A well trained and loved dog is a great friend and to have such an experienced and qualified professional to show the TYI members that all dogs can be our trusted friends regardless of size or breed At Twilight Youth Inclusion Group, they include everyone

regardless of their nationality, gender or sexuality. As part of their support for the LGBTQI+ Stand Up Week they created a poster showing TYI support and inclusion. Members of the TYI are in line to take part in the Twilight Groups Erasmus + programmes. These programmes will support the members to take part in European and beyond exchange programmes. These trips are devised for to meet other

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021



Coping with lockdown, results in new book by Mike Watts “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” So said composer Duke Ellington. In these daysindeed years-of Covid, Mr Ellington’s words ring loud and clear. Many people have had to dig deep to come to terms with ordinary everyday challenges as they experience this horrid pandemic. Coping mechanisms vary from person to person just to get through the day. This week, The Kilkenny Observer met up with long time Grow advocate Mike Watts and discovered that his way of fighting the problems that Covid brought was to publish a book. Mike explained: “My ABC started out as a way of coping with the long Covid evenings. I find drawing and coloring-in very relaxing, and as I love butterflies and insects and flowers, that’s what I drew.” Mikes collection of creatures all travelling along a pathway towards the sun and when the sun put both his thumbs up as if in approval he knew he was on the right track. “I called that first drawing A for Adventure. B was for Beauty, C for Community, D for Day by Day, and on it went , incorporating each

letter of the alphabet”, Mike explained. A self-confessed lover of mediation, Mr Watts explained that each picture became a meditation and really got him thinking about life. He began to enjoy the process and soon he was on a roll. E was for eggs. Mike recalled that as a boy he and his friends collected bird’s eggs, each one quite different, each one uniquely beautiful. It was while he was drawing he realized almost everything comes from an egg, insects, fish, human beings. F was for flourishing. He drew a tree with young people at the top and old ones on the lower branches. G was for gifts, the gifts of nature and of life. H was for haymaking. Mike remembered that as a child he used to make hay by hand, turning the heavy swathes of grass until they became light and smelled delicious, everyone working together in the fields. Religion played a part in the book also as Mike explained that I was for I AM a quote from the bible, a name for God or maybe the spirit that is in each one of us.

ENTER THE VIKINGS W had to be water. Vikings rowing and sailing across the sea, the rain coming down then evaporating into the clouds and a young fellow with a glass in his hand. X definitely marked the spot. The place to look for treasure the place you might find your heart. Y was for Youngsters. A baby in a nappy and a puppy talking to a bird. Finally Z. Well ZZZZ stands for sleep and for the buzzing of bees so I put a bee lying on a leaf floating down the river. I hope he’s just asleep.

J was obviously for Joy but then K was for Knots. RELATIONSHIPS AND STRUGGLES “The knots we tie ourselves into with relationships and communication, power struggles, climate change, wars and indifference, play a huge role”, said Mike. L had to be for Life. “I drew lines of tiny people in different colours, everyone who has ever lived. It turned into a tapestry so I put a needle in the last row and a piece of thread.” Known to play an odd tune on the tin whistle and mouth organ M was definitely for music. According to Mike, there is a scientist who says the whole universe is held together by music, and that there is music inside every atom. N turned out to be New Horizons. As our world changes it is sometimes hard to see ahead. O became Oh, a sound of wonder at the beauty of the Kilkenny countryside. P became priorities, a question to myself. What is really important? What can I do without or stop worrying about? Q was Quietness. “ We seem to be surrounded by noise, the radio, the traffic, podcasts, messages. How nice it was to sit in the

BOOK IS BEAUTIFULLY PRODUCED It was a pleasure spending time in the company of Mike Watts and there is no doubt that this beautifully produced book will find its way onto the shelves of many booklovers over Christmas

quiet drawing a picture of quietness.” R was for rest. I took a picture drawn for a poem about a bear who didn’t want to hibernate in case he missed Christmas. T became Twists and Turns the unexpected things that happen. U had to be the universe which contains everything, the earth

the sea, the land and sky ,the birds and fish and you and I. The letter V stumped him for a long time. He quickly rejected Vitamins, and Vitality and settled on Vulnerability. Mike explained that he put in a drawing of the corona virus and climate change with a robin looking out from the branch of a tree.

The book costs €7.50 and is available from mikeahwatts@ and in Khan’s Books James St. Mike Watts has been a member of various creative writing groups since 1980, in Galway and Kilkenny. His poems have been published in Writing in the West, Poetry Galway, Salmon, Poems from a Kilkenny Laneway, and the Kilkenny Broadsheet.

Real life stories prompts new poetry album for Kilkenny man Ben Mac Caoilte

Beyond the Apple Tree is a first collection of poems from the pen of Ben Mac Caoilte. When the first lockdown rolled into our shocked consciousness in early 2021, Ben had just moved with his young family to rural Co. Wexford. Hiding his Kilkenny jersey beneath layers of coats he took to walking the quiet rural roads as we were all forced to pause and reflect at the start of a strange new era. For Ben, it was the people

that he had crossed paths withhis childminder Peggy who encouraged him to steal apples for a sweet tart treat, an old man being forced out of his home for a motorway of modern excellence or the lonely walker who had haunted tales of a boot room and stolen songs. The Kilkenny Observer caught up with Ben and asked him what working on the project meant to him. “Beyond the Apple Tree has been such a rewarding project

to work on for the last year and has allowed me to work with some incredible people”, Ben said. “Each poem explores a moment or relationship in my life that has shaped me as a person, and I’m really looking forward to sending the album out Beyond my Apple tree”, Ben concluded. People and lives that mattered, their stories lifting out of the mist of past experience and reminding Ben of all that had happened beyond his new apple tree. Ben’s poems remind us of smiles exchanged and of lived moments that give us a glimpse of the deep wells that we all draw on for making our way through the world. Musical flashes from Fort Vine and Lily Brodie Hayes make this collection a ‘must have’ for anyone trying to make sense of all that might pass. The album will be released by Crannóg Media on December 14th and can be purchased for €13 including postage via PayPal using the email address benmaccaoilte@gmail. com including full postage address.



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

News Community Group

Christmas festivities begin NOW Friday last saw what I suppose was Ireland’s launch of the Christmas festivities. The nine-o clock news music came to an end and up popped Ryan Tubridy. All the children of Ireland were allowed to stay up

late for the toy show and the ‘Official launch” of the Irish Christmas festivities As Kilkenny gets ready for our Covid19 interrupted Christmas Yulefest our Twin City in Malbork is getting ready for its

31st edition! Soon Malbork will start the 31st edition of the “Christmas in Art” Festival. For over 30 years, together with its citizens they have been creating one of the most important cultural events in

Malbork, which has become part of our Malbork tradition. The festival has been enriching the Christmas and New Year period for years, and thanks to the whole community can actively and creatively participate in fes-

tival activities in the area of various fields of creativity – music, literature, theatre and art. The activities planned as part of the “Christmas in Art” Festival are possible thanks to the commitment and work of people who have been creating this Festival for years, for which our great friend Mayor of Malbork, Marek Charzewski thanked all the contributors and Volunteers for their years of dedication. This year, the Organizing Committee of the Festival, with the support of the Malbork Center for Culture and Education, Radio Malbork, the Municipal Public Library, the Sports and Recreation Center, the District Art Center, the State Music School of the first degree, the Malbork Pantry, the Parish of St. John the Baptist and other institutions, prepared many festival activitiess that attract people from all the nearby cities and towns. All residents and visitors will have access to a prepared festival calendar, which is available on the websites of the City

of Malbork, the Malbork Center for Culture and Education and individual institutions cocreating the festival. Everyone is invited to participate in the Municipal Santa Claus Party on December 6th, an outdoor performance with a Christmas and Santa Claus theme combined with fun and illumination of the City Christmas Tree and Christmas lighting. A novelty will be the Christmas City Fun on ice with Christmas hits, which provides free admission to the ice rink for people dressed in clothes with a Christmas theme. Of course, as part of the festival’s attractions, there will be various competitions, classes, workshops, games, concerts, exhibitions and performances. So, there are a lot of attractions ahead of for all. Now in Kilkenny we have the Yule fest and like our friends in Malbolk we encourage you to participate in festival activities, which will certainly provide us with enduring sensations and impressions in the sphere of culture

of horror, with the eternally lost children of Romania and decided to go to Romania. They requested the help of a “guide” who helped foreign nationals find children to adopt. They found Elijah, a malnourished baby who had two older brothers at home. The child was so frail that his parents thought he would not survive and even thought of leaving him somewhere in an orphanage, but his mother couldn’t do that, Bryan says. They ended up giving him to the Mintons. “I know they gave me to save me. They gave me because they couldn’t take care of me and because I wouldn’t have survived.” When they had to give the child away, his mother could not go down stairs and put him in the arms of another woman. His father did it. Did his adoptive parents buy him from his natural parents? “I never asked and I never want to know. If I found out that I was bought, it would be like having a price. I don’t want my life to have a price, Bryan answers. It is one of the few things he does not know for sure about adoption and his relatives in Romania. Arriving in Ireland in 1991, the child blossomed. His mother, a psychiatric nurse, and his father, the head of a hospital, gave him all the opportunities to grow, to develop, to become

whatever he wants to be. They encouraged him to do sports, they helped him overcome the difficulties in mathematics, to make a portfolio for college. He studied design in Ireland for two years and concept development in the Netherlands for one year. As a diploma thesis, he made a film that tells in extremely emotional scenes, the story of finding his family and his Romanian origins. Only one person is missing today from his life story, the one Bryan longed to meet, his natural mother, who died before Bryan could see her. International adoptions were blocked by Romania in 2004, due to the scandal triggered by trafficking in children from orphanages or simply sold by their own families. In 17 years, however, things have changed, Romania has joined the European Union, the legislation has been tightened and adapted to European norms, and the protection system has improved. Now, after 30 years, the classic orphanages have closed their gates forever and the children abandoned by their parents, in incomparably smaller numbers than before 1989, live in family-type houses and apartments, and are cared for by foster carers or are in family placement with relatives or foreign families.

Community Group

The abandoned children of Romania

PART TWO IN this week’s edition we will look at the adoptions that happen by virtue of love and compassion for children separated from their parents. In these cases, the sacrificial capacity of the adoptive parents is remarkable. Such a motivation brought after 1990 many parents from all over the world, to adopt “unhappy little ones from Romania”. The

parents came from America to a country like Romania, at the end of the world, to adopt a child. They wanted to adopt them even if they had an obvious disability, hereditary or acquired after separation from the parents. The efforts of these parents are best described by an adoptive mother from Austria, who adopted a child from Romania. The day the adopted child returned home from school complaining about

the misdeeds of his mocking colleagues by telling him that he was adopted, his mother taught him to answer: “Yes, I am adopted! That means my parents loved me so much that they went out into the world to look for me and to bring me home. The children who went abroad arrived in loving families, who welcomed them with open arms and called them from the first moment our

son or daughter. This is also the case with Bryan in 1991. A fivemonth-old baby weighing less than three kilograms passed from his father’s hands to those of Geraldine, an Irishwoman. For the frail baby, that moment seemed just a hug that changed with another, but it was the moment when his life, his destiny, his luck changed. In the early 1990s, the Mintons saw on television the images of the orphanages

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




Dine Me

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Food & Drink



Make, and mature, this Christmas cake


martini Learn how to make this classic coffee cocktail. Our easy recipe uses freshly brewed espresso, a dash of coffee liqueur and a simple sugar syrup. Ingredients For the sugar syrup • 100g golden caster sugar For the cocktail ice • 100ml vodka • 50ml freshly brewed espresso coffee • 50ml coffee liqueur (we used Kahlua) • 4 coffee beans (optional)

Preparation and cooking time

Method STEP 1 Start by making the sugar syrup. Put the caster sugar in a small pan over a medium heat and pour in 50ml water. Stir, and bring to the boil.

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 2 hrs and 10 mins Plus cooling Cuts into 12-15 slices

STEP 2 Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Put 2 martini glasses in the fridge to chill.

With three weeks to go, bake this festive fruit cake in advance of Christmas and feed it regularly with rum, brandy or whisky to build the flavour and keep it moist • Ingredients • 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs) • zest and juice 1 orange • zest and juice 1 lemon • 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding • 250g pack butter, softened • 200g light soft brown sugar • 175g plain flour • 100g ground almond • ½ tsp baking powder • 2 tsp mixed spice • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • ¼ tsp ground cloves • 100g flaked almonds • 4 large eggs • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method STEP 1 Put 1kg mixed dried fruit, the zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 150ml brandy or other alcohol, 250g softened butter and 200g light, soft brown sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. STEP 2 Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins. STEP 3 Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.

STEP 3 Once the sugar syrup is cold, pour 1 tbsp into a cocktail shaker along with a handful of ice, the vodka, espresso and coffee liqueur. Shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker feels icy cold.

STEP 4 Add 175g plain flour, 100g ground almonds, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g flaked almonds, 4 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. STEP 5 Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.

STEP 6 Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin. STEP 7 To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it. STEP 8 Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

Smoked salmon with beetroot & vodka crème fraîche Prep:15 mins Serves 6 A hit of vodka gives this classic a new edge. Serve with a shot of vodka for full effect. Ingredients • • • • •

200ml tub crème fraîche 3 tsp vodka 2 tsp hot horseradish sauce 6 slices smoked salmon 250g pack small, cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), thinly sliced, then shredded • salmon caviar (optional) • few small, torn dill sprigs

Method STEP 1 Beat the crème fraîche with the vodka and a little seasoning until it holds its shape, then stir in the horseradish. Chill in the fridge. STEP 2 Lay the slices of salmon over plates, then top with the beetroot and a spoonful of the crème fraîche. Top with the salmon caviar, if using, then scatter with the dill. Grind over some black pepper and serve.

STEP 4 Strain into the chilled glasses. Garnish each one with coffee beans if you like.

Next level espresso martini Indulge with an espresso martini. This is our ultimate version of the classic cocktail, which involves making coffee-flavoured vodka first. Ingredients • 15ml Pedro Ximénez sherry • 1 tsp sugar syrup, or to taste • 30ml hot espresso • 5-6 ice cubes For the coffee vodka • 10g coffee beans, plus 3 extra beans to garnish • 40ml vodka Method STEP 1 First, make the coffee vodka. Put the coffee beans in a small glass or jug, then top up with the vodka. Cover and leave to steep at room temperature overnight. The next day, strain into a jug, discarding the coffee beans. STEP 2 Pour the coffee vodka into a large cocktail shaker, ideally a Boston-style one. Add the sherry, syrup and espresso. STEP 3 Add the ice, then immediately put the shaker together and shake very hard and fast until the outside of the shaker feels very cold. Open to check the drink – it should be really foamy. If not, continue shaking and check again (see tip, below). STEP 4 Double-strain the cocktail (do this by pouring it through a hawthorne strainer or the built-in strainer, and through a fine sieve) into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with the extra coffee beans to serve, if you like.

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


TV & Streaming

The 5 best films of Stephen Sondheim


5 sexy movies to watch now on Netflix

Rom-com duo Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey star in this sultry comedy about a treasure hunter’s compulsive fascination with unearthing the fabled Queen’s Dowry. Playing on-screen lovers is nothing new for these two; but this time, their characters are falling back in love after being on the brink of divorce. So, they’ve got lots of making up to do.

Is it getting hot in here or is that just Amanda Seyfried steaming up our screens? Convinced her husband (Liam Neeson) is having multiple affairs, a timid wife (Julianne Moore) seeks out the counsel of a sex worker named Chloe (Seyfried), whom she hires to tempt her husband. Things get drastically out of hand when a flirty outing turns into the two of them fogging up the windows of a botanical garden, leaving Catherine dazed, confused, and jealous at same time. So, Chloe gives her a sexual awakening of her own.

Temptation takes over a quaint religious town after a vivacious chocolatier named Vianne begins selling magical chocolate candies that are known for their aphrodisiac qualities. Vianne’s never had such luck with her own chocolates, but then a sexy townsman named Roux comes into her life, making her feel all sorts of ways.

THE master of internal rhymes, unhappy endings, and discordant melodies has died at 91. Here’s how to mourn with a movie marathon. With the final curtain having fallen on Stephen Sondheim, maestro of American musical theatre for so many decades, the brilliant mind behind ‘Into The Woods’, ‘Sweeney Todd’, and ‘Sunday in The Park With George’, and many, many more was a titan of Broadway, and the last living connection to the Golden Age of musicals. Here are five of the best, with notes on where to find them. ‘WEST SIDE STORY’ 1961 One of the greatest movie musicals ever made, the original is getting a contemporary remake from Steven Spielberg in two weeks. ‘West Side Story’ features a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics

by Sondheim, who was just 27 years old when the musical premiered. The upbeat ‘Gee Officer Krupke’ is a rare bop from the king of malaise, his comedic chops shine in collaboration with Bernstein’s more traditional melodies. Available on HBO Max and to rent on Amazon Prime, and Apple and other services. ‘SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET’ 2007 One of Sondheim’s darkest works (rivaled only by ‘Assassins’) was introduced to a global audience in 2007, courtesy of Tim Burton. The director cast his frequent collaborator Johnny Depp as the murderous barber, and Helena Bonham Carter as Broadway’s Lady MacBeth, Mrs. Lovett. Though the stars, not known for their singing, struggled with one of Sondheim’s more difficult scores (it is, after all, an operetta). A hit with critics and audiences,

the film is one of Hollywood’s better musical adaptations in recent memory. Available to stream on Amazon Prime. ‘BEST WORST THING THAT EVER COULD HAVE HAP PENED’ 2016 Lonny Price’s documentary about the original production of ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ is an intimate portrait of one of Sondheim’s greatest heartbreaks. “One of the lessons of adulthood is disappointment,” says a bleary-eyed actress who muses on her time in “Merrily,” a notorious 1981 flop for Sondheim and Hal Prince that ended their decades-long collaborative friendship. But “Best Worst Thing” offers a historical reminder that Sondheim wasn’t always as universally beloved as he is today. Available on Netflix. ‘INTO THE WOODS: ORIGINAL BROADWAY

CAST’1987 To fully understand Bernadette Peters, one must see her Sondheim. Peters is a true Broadway icon in the vein of — well, they just don’t make ’em like Bernadette anymore. Kristen Chenoweth can try to emulate her bubbly lilt, but she’ll never be able to ruin a rutabaga with such panache. Sorry to Meryl, but she doesn’t even come close in the 2014 big screen version. Probably Sondheim’s biggest commercial hit, and his most accessible show. Available to rent on Apple. ‘GYPSY’ 1972 Old Hollywood buffs will enjoy seeing Natalie Wood’s Gypsy Rose Lee opposite Rosalind Russell’s Mama Rose, the most iconic Broadway role for a woman ever to be written. Vaudeville, burlesque, fame, and the original battle axe stage mother — ‘Gypsy’ has it all. Available on Amazon Prime.

Closer is a very messy tale about four strangers whose lives are tangled together after one man’s boredom leads him to having an affair with Anna, (Julia Roberts) a successful photographer. Still bored and clearly unhappy with his life, Dan begins cat-fishing a dermatologist named Larry as Anna. Unbeknownst to Dan, Larry and the real-life Anna find themselves in the same room one day and things unfold from there. This seducing title features Jude Law so clearly it’s oozing with sexiness.

Adapted from the 1954 play titled Sabrina Fair, this late ‘90s remake follows the very beautiful Sabrina Fairchild, who’s now all grown up and ready to claim what’s rightfully hers: David Larrabee. However, his older brother, Linus (Harrison Ford), is under the impression that their courtship is bad for their’s family reputation so he takes matters into his own hands. But is Linus strong enough to withstand Sabrina’s alluring charm and beauty?



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Community & GAA Notes

Kilkenny GAA clubs and Community news VOLUNTEERISM Kilkenny Helping the Homeless are keen to get volunteers to help them sort and pack Christmas Food Hampers. Team Hope would love volunteers to help with Quality Checks for the Shoe Box Appeal. The Good Shepard Centre are hoping to have their annual church gate collection in December to raise essential funds and would love volunteers for a couple of hours on the date . Victim Support at Court are keen to recruit volunteers in Kilkenny to help support victims of crime , their families and witnesses. Full training is provided. There are a variety of Commitee and Board Member roles with various organisations throughout Kilkenny also on our database. This is a great opportunity for anyone to develop skills and update CVs. L’Arche Kilkenny would love to engage volunteer instructors in Yoga/ Dance/ Massage to volunteer with their core members. For any information or to register your interest please see or call Paula Harte on 0892584946. U21 HURLING Clara opened their U21 campaign for this year with a hard earned quarter final win at home to John Lockes of Callan on Sunday. In truth they made it more difficult than it should have been but credit to Callan also for how they battled to the end. Clara led 0-5 to 0-2 at the first sos uisce, with four of their five points coming from play via Paul Cody (2), Conor Booth and Dara Glynn. By contrast both of the Lockes points had come from placed balls. Clara added seven points in the second quarter, again six from play along with a Conor Cody 65. These came courtesy of Luke Whelan, Jim Kehoe, Martin O Connell, Conor Cody and Dara Glynn (2). This left them in a commanding twelve points to four half time lead. When Jim Kehoe scored his second point of the third quarter to add to two Conor Cody efforts and a Conor Kealy point the Clara men were 0-17 to 1-5 ahead and cruising. But they suddenly lost their foothold by some over elaboration and a lack of discipline and Callan scored the next five points, three from frees, to leave this a four point game with just ten minutes remaining. Clara were badly in need of some relief and this was provided by Conor Booth with a goaled opportunistic ground shot. This settled Clara and the game was sewn up when the Cody brothers added a point each to restore a nine point margin.

To Callan’s credit they scored a late goal and two points and the final score was 1-19 to 2-12. Indeed they had reason to rue a very strong performance from Clara goalie Jack Murphy, who saved Clara’s bacon on more than one occasion by being quick and brave off his line. Evan Whearty, Brandon Ryan and Martin O Connell were best of the winner’s defence. Dara Glynn and Paul Cody were dominant in midfield while Jim Kehoe, Conor Booth and Conor Cody all had their moments up front. Next game is a semi final in two weeks. Team - Jack Murphy, Jack Carrigan, Evan Whearty, Brandon Ryan. James Casey, Martin O Connell 0-1, Noelie O Brien. Dara Glynn 0-3, Paul Cody 0-3. Charlie Ryan, Jim Kehoe 0-3, Luke Whelan 0-1. Conor Booth 1-1, Conor Cody 0-7, 0-3f, 0-1 x 65, Conor Kealy 0-1. Subs used Luke Dunne, Nick O Keeffe, Boru Bergin. CAMOGIE Congratulations to Clara camogie player Aisling Nolan on her selection to this year’s Kilkenny Senior Club Team of the Year. Aisling was picked at right half back on the team, which was just reward for her strong performances throughout the season. Well done Aisling! U15 FOOTBALL Clara’s young U15 footballers beat the Emeralds of Urlingford 2-9 to 2-2 at home on Sunday to qualify for a county semi final. Remarkably Emeralds scored their entire total of 2-2 in the second quarter. This gave them a 2-2 to 0-4 halftime lead. Clara’s four points had come from Joe Power (3) and John Bergin. It was all Clara in the second half as goals by John Bergin and Tommy Delaney as well as further points from Conor Hoyne (2), Luke Lawlor, Eoin Corr and Joe Power left them rather comfortable winners. On they March to the semi final. Well done lads! Team - Orí Phelan, James Cody, Philip Carrigan, Alex Firbank. Daniel Ryan, Davy Barcoe, Hugh Kelly. Luke Lawlor 0-1, Tommy Delaney 1-0. John Bergin 1-1, Conor Hoyne 0-2, Eoin Corr 0-1. Dillon Cummins, Liam Carrigan, Joe Power 0-4, 0-1f. Subs used Bill Kealy, Tom Murphy, Tom Boyle, Conor Galvin, Padraic Meany. DATES FOR DIARY The Clara GAA AGM will be held in the Parish Hall on Friday 3rd December at 7.30pm. The Camogie AGM is on Sunday 5th December at 12 noon. The Bord na nÓg AGM is on Monday 6th December at 8pm. The LGFA AGM is to be held virtually on Monday 13th December at 8pm. Further details and updates can be found on the Clara GAA website.

CLUB LOTTO There was no winer of this weeks club lotto (Nov 23rd) Numbers Drawn were 1, 5, 19, 21 Bonus 2 Next weeks Jackpot wil be €9000 (Nov 30th) www. Promotors Draw: 1. Francis Burke c/o Dinny Tyrrell 2. Mick & Mags c/o Gerry Buckley 3. Michael Dreelan c/o Michael Dreelan 4. Padraig Leydon 5. Kay Kelly 6 Mick & Mags c/o Gerry Bucklley 7 Mick & Mags c/o Gerry Buckley 8 Chris McGrath c/o Online 9 Eddie Maher c/o Online 10 Noreen Breen c/o Online A.G.Ms The GAA Club Annual General Meeting has been scheduled to take place on the 8th of December at 7:30pm. The Camogie Club A.G.M takes place at 8pm on December 6th. U21s BOW OUT Result: u21 Roinn A Championship O’Loughlin Gaels 0-13 to 0-15 Dicksboro Disappointment at Palmerstown on Saturday afternoon for Martin Comerfords’s u21s who lost out to Dicksboro on a two point margin. It could have been more but for the superb goalkeeping of Jamie Malone. Conor Heary and Mathew Russell were excellent throughout but hard and all as they worked the Gaels failed to convert the opportunities when needed while the winners offered more of a threat in front of the posts. As is to be expected in winter hurling the scoring was low and hence the game was tight to the end, so it was always going to be survival of the fittest. The Boro introduced four sets of fresh legs in the final quarter resulting in that injection of pace overturning a three point advantage to level proceedings by the 60min mark. The Gaels were awarded a free 80 yards out on 62mins that Conor Heary converted and it looked like the lads in white where going to come away with the spoils. However five more minutes were played, during which time the homeside converted three points to secure the win. You only get one chance at u21 however so for these lads the journey was short and not so sweet! But they love to hurl so no doubt they’ll go again. The u21 B team will play St. Patrick’s of Ballyragget this weekend at St. John’s Park. Details will be posted on Kilkenny INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CO.FINAL The Intermediate Football team are out Wednesday (Dec 1st) in the County Final v Glenmore at Thomastown 8pm. Please support CAMOGIE U22 CO. FINAL

The clubs u22 Camogie girls will play in the County Final this weekend. Details have yet to be confirmed so please check the clubs social media for updates and support our team. CHRISTMAS HAMPER APPEAL Mary Pierce and Kilkenny Helping The Homeless - CLG are appealing for donations to make up hampers to give to homeless families for Christmas. O’Loughlin Gaels Club House will act as a drop off centre for all donations. Running for the next 3 weeks, Items required are : Festive Foods - Mince Pies - Christmas Cakes - Minerals Custard - Sponge Trifle - Juices - Gravy - White Sauce - Tea bags - Sugar - Sweets - Biscuits . To arrange drops please contact by phone or txt to Mary at 085 707 5348 or Ruth at 086 891 9312 SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS In the lead up to Christmas we encourage everyone to support local businessas it has supported our club throughout the year EMERALDS GAA CLUB Mega Bingo: Every Sunday, 6pm at Urlingford GAA pitch. Gates open at 5pm. Single books and one sheet €10; Double books and two sheets €15. Extra jackpot sheet €3 or two for €5. Please support. EMERALDS URLINGFORD AND GRAINE LOTTO November 22 prize fund was: €5,500. Jackpot: €3,500. Numbers drawn: 6, 8, 21 and 22, bonus no 25. No winner and no match three winners. Promoters prize: M. Troy. Five lucky dips of €20 each: Pablo, Kathleen Tobin, Eoghan Doyle, Karen Delaney, Rita O’Dwyer. Next draw takes place on Monday, November 29th in the Clubrooms. Results next week. URLINGFORD ON THE MOVE WALKING TRACK Works for the walking track are ongoing in the clubgrounds. Therefore the grounds are closed to the public during the day. The field will reopen as per normal for evening training sessions. MILL FAMILY RESOURCE CENTRE Knitting and Crochet Christmas Fair and Coffee Morning will take place in the Centre from 11am to 1pm. All items on sale will be handmade by the Mill FRC Knitting and Crochet group. Government Covid-19 guidelines will be followed. Courses for 2022: BTEI Healthcare Course QQI Level 5: BTEI is currently recruiting for the Health-Care QQI Level 5 course which will be commencing in January 2022. If anyone is interested in completing this course you can contact the Mill FRC on 056 8838466

LTI Pathway to Employment course QQI Level 4: LTI is recruiting for the new programme 2022. If anyone is interested in completing this full-time course, please contact the centre for an expression of interest form. Weekly Food Donations: We are now working with “Food Cloud” to ensure that unsold food from supermarkets does not go to waste. Every week we receive food donations which we distribute in Urlingford and surrounding areas. If you, or anyone you know, would benefit from this, please make contact with the Centre. Senior Alert: If you need to apply for a Personal Alarm, please contact Sue or Josephine on 056 8838466. Counselling Services: At the centre our low cost Counselling Services, include One-to-One, Family & Teens aged 12 +. General Counselling: Bereavement, stress, anxiety & depression. Other counselling services available: Drug, substance and gambling addiction. Please contact Sue for more information or to make an appointment on 056 8838466. Appeal for Clothes Donations: Any clothes donations would be appreciated in aid of the centre’s counselling services. Donations can be left into the Centre. Contact Sue on 056 8838466. For full details of the services we provide, please call in, or alternatively, visit our Facebook page Millfrc or website www. or contact us on 056 8838466 URLINGFORD ARMS SPLIT THE POT Draw takes place every Sunday night in the Urlingford Arms Hotel. This week’s winner was Cillian Prout who won €479. Tickets on sale in aid of Clomantagh Squash Club for next week’s draw. Get your envelope now in participating businesses in town for only €2. URLINGFORD / GRAINE DEFIBRILLATOR GROUP In case of emergency, call: 085 2726396. URLINGFORD NEWS Anyone wishing to submit news items, club events, announcements etc can do so by emailing urlingfordnotes@ If you have any photos you wish to include, please forward them to the email address. CHRISTMAS FAIR The annual Christmas Fair organised by Ionad Lachtain Church Arts and Heritage Centre took place on Sunday last on The Green Freshford . A good crowd turned out during the afternoon and there were stalls with usual gifts including knitted

toys and garments, origami, art and woodwork on sale. Also Locally produced soaps, cards and local literature including Friggers Alley and “In Slips” , the history of the coursing in Freshford was available. The switching on of the lights was the last thing to be done in the evening and the job of switching on same went to one of our senior citizens Jimmie Dermody Clintstown Road which he did to perfection. Thanks goes out to all who supported the event and all the helpers and workers. BIRTHDAY GIRL Special birthday wishes go out to local lady Liz Bowden of Woodview Freshford who celebrated a very special birthday last weekend with all her family. KINNANE CUP AND McGREE SHIELD The annual Kinane and McGree Memorial tournament finals took place recently in Pairc Lachtain. The competitions are run each year In the memory of the two young lads, Philip Kinnane and Colin McGree who both died tragically at a young age. The pre-liminary rounds of the competitions were held on the first Sunday of November. The final of the Colin McGree tournament saw Bobby Darcy’s side defeat Tadhg Bolger’s team and in the final of the Philip Kinnane Cup Cian O’Connor’s team come out winners over Liam Kenny Landers side . The Colin McGree trophy was presented to the winning captain Bobby by Shane McGree and the Kinnane Cup was presented to the winning captain Cian by Eoin Dalton, Chairman of Bord na nOg. The organising committee thanked all who helped out during the tournaments and special thanks to John Guinan for refereeing both finals on the day. Thanks to the McGree and Kinnane families for their continue support in these fantastic underage competitions and to the mentors and players for their fantastic work throughout the year . WINNING TEAM – KINANE CUP: C.O’Connor(capt), C.Kavanagh, J.Walsh, N.Walsh, J.Marnell, S.Gray, P.Dermody A.Dalton, J.Geraghty F.Condon. WINNING TEAM – McGREE SHIELD : B.Darcy (Capt) , D.Ryan, P.McCarthy, A.Walsh, P.O’Connor, J.Bolger, B.McGree, L.McCarthy, T.Dalton BAPTISM Congratulations to Adrian and Micheala Dawson, Woodview the proud parents of Baby Shay who was baptised at St.Lachtains Church on Sunday afternoon last. The couple have two daughters Lily and Regan big sisters for baby Shay. DAY CENTRE Freshford Day care centre reopened recently and continues each Wednesday at


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

News Community & GAA Notes

Kilkenny GAA clubs and Community news 2pm in the GAA Club rooms. The Centre has been closed since the start of the pandemic. It is hoped that all former members will return and new members are also very welcome both male and female. You will get a cup of tea and have a chat and maybe a game of bingo. The Day care centre was greatly missed during the pandemic and so it is great to see it back open. SYMPATHY Sympathy is extened to the Kavanagh Families of Buncrussia Street and also the Ryan families of Kilkenny Road Freshford on the death of Mrs. Nuala Kavanagh late of Byrnesgrove Ballyragget last weekend. The deceased was a member of the Ryan family of The Mill Freshford and was predeceased by her husband Jimmy and son Noel. Funeral mass took place in Ballyragget Church followed by burial in St.Finnans Cemetery Ballyragget. SOCCER Freshford Town U10s were in in action last weekend in a home game against Lions of Durrow and did themselves proud. The U13 boys took on Deen Celtic recently and came out winners on a 4-2 scoreline with goals from Jack Marnell (2) Charlie Kavanagh and Michael Hickey. The U15 boys played Stoneyford recently and Freshford came out winning 4-1. Cian Donnelly hit the net twice for Freshford Town with Michael Bergin getting two more.. U8s The training sessions for U8s will resume on Saturday next at the Sportsfield at Woodview from 12noon to 1pm with Gary in charge as usual. All boys from 5 to 8 years old are welcome so go along and join up. SQUASH Well done to local man Pat Morrissey Ard Lachtain who took part in the Ulster Squash masters in Belfast last weekend and finished in 3rd place overall. Congrats also to Brendan Murphy who also took part. CAMOGIE The annual Peggy Dowling memorial tournament took place recently with a big turnout. The final saw Ciara Hickeys team claim the Cup and the presentation was made by Sheila Dowling Killeen to Ciara Sheila also presented the Shield to winning captain Ruby Campion. Well done to all who took part and all the mentors and organisers. WINNER Congratulations to Brian Kelly of Ballylarkin Freshford whose dog won another Cup at the weekend. ‘Keep Moving’, owned and trained by Brian won the Puppy Stake in Kilcullen and previously

Winning teams in the Kinnane Cup and McGree Shield finals

won Derby Trial Stake back in October and has qualified for Clonmel . ‘Hollyhill Emma’ is in the final of the Troy Electrical Champion Puppy Stake and the Jim Rellis Memorial Cup also trained by Brian. IONAD LACHTAIN St.Lachtains Church Museum and Arts Centre is open each Saturday and Sunday from 11.30am to 4.30pm on Saturdays and from 12.30pm to 4.30pm on Sundays. New display cabinets have been installed and filled with a host of interesting artefacts and some beautiful craftwork is also on sale. So why not drop in and see for yourself MACRA NA FEIRME Macra na Feirme are looking to establish a new club in the Freshford area. Macra na Feirme is an organisation for young people between the ages of 17 and 35 who are interested in getting involved in sports, travel drama, debating or just want to meet new people and have some fun. To be a member of Macra you must join a Macra club in your area. This will open the door to new fiends and new activities. There are hundreds of clubs across Ireland bursting with activity who always welcome a new face. For more information please contact Training and Development Officer – Michael Wall on 0868359891 or email him at GAA NEWS St Lachtains u20 hurling team

face into championship action on this coming weekend as they take on Dicksboro in the opening round of the championship. Throw in is at 12.00pm on Sunday next at Pairc Lachtain in Freshford WALKING GROUP A walking group has started and will continue on Thursday evening leaving the GAA clubrooms at 8pm All new members regardless so fitness levels are most welcome. It is open to all and everyone is encouraged to bring a friend along . PARISH NEWS With attendance at Masses almost back to normal Mass in the Parish Church each Wednesday morning at 9.30am and on Sunday morning at 11am.wiith Mass in Tulla church on Saturday evenings at 8pm. While the obligation to attend Sunday mass is still suspended you are encouraged to return. At this time all safety measures remain in place which includes wearing of masks, social distancing and hand sanitising and full sanitation of the Church after every celebration The restoration of the Stations of the Cross in the Church continues with ten now completed and just four more to go . In order to continue the work you are invited to sponsor one of the stations maybe with your family or a group of your friends. The sponsors will be included in a special roll of honour displayed in the

church as a lasting legacy. For further information re same you are asked to please contact Monsignor Kennedy NOTICES The parish newsletter is available on their website every week and also on the website you are free to pay your dues and make donations or any other contributions and you can find out more about it on the website or feel free to contact Jennifer 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. 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 COMMUNITY ALERT With winter upon us now and the dark evenings and long nights you are reminded to take care of yourself and take care of your elderly neighbours or friends. Make sure get out if you can during daylight and get some exercise. HELP FOR ALL Are you struggling with anxiety or depression or finding life difficult or feeling isolated at this time GROW is there to help you. Their Mental Health support

Groups are free and confidential and open to all no referral or booking is needed. 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 1161 Alone is available for older people who need support and you can call them on 0818 222024 (8am to 8pm) AMBER KILKENNY WOMENS REFUGE – is available for confidential support relating to domestic violence - call them on 1850 424244 (24/7) or on 056 7771404 or email into@ DUNNAMAGGIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP Dunnamaggin Development Group are delighted to announce Noel McDonald received our Community Spirit Award 2021 last Saturday evening after mass in Kilmoganny. So well deserved for all his years of dedication to, and hard work in, our community. Thank you to all who nominated Noel and the community in Kilmoganny who organised the church to be full of Noel’s neighbours and friends to celebrate with him. The award this year was funded by Kilkenny County Council’s Events Grant. Sunday December 5th will see our third annual Christmas

Market take place outdoors around the Old School in the village from 11.30am to 4pm. The Dunnamaggin Christmas Trail available for everyone to complete,along with lots of local craft and food stalls from which to purchase your Christmas Gifts. As unusual we will have a Café and Eamon’s lovely Beef Stew will be on sale to keep you warm. A Monster Raffle will also take place with lots of prizes. The proceeds from the raffle will be divided between St Joseph’s Home and Dunnamaggin Development Group for our ongoing projects. LOCAL LOTTO Local Lotto Draw 22nd November 2021 Winning Numbers : 12,16, 33. No Winner. Winners of Draw 5 x € 30: Margaret Cummins ( Jimmy McCormack ),Sean Ryan ( Cis Ryan ), Patsy Reid ( Johnno Reid ), Kathleen Kirwan ( Kathleen Kirwan ), Keelagh Sheridan ( Joe Sheridan ). Jackpot next week November 29th € 3,850. The Draw takes place in Townsend’s, Dunnamaggin at 9pm. All Welcome. FREE ONLINE TRAINING SESSIONS FOR PPN NUMBERS Over the next month Kilkenny PPN are offering the following four FREE trainings to member groups via ZOOM. The online trainings are being delivered by trainers from the Carmichael Centre in Dublin. Charities Governance Code - Tuesday, 7th Dec, 6pm to

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The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


News Community & GAA Notes

Dunnamaggin Caption” Noel McDonald awarded Dunnamaggin Developments Groups Third Community Spirit Award in Kilmoganny on Saturday, November 27th”

8.30pm by Marian Barnard For more information and to register contact Kilkenny PPN at pppnkilkenny@kilkennycoco. ie or call 056 7794255/087 2677281. AMBER WEAVING WORKSHOPS AT YULEFEST Join Amber’s One Million Stars for a star weaving workshop at Butler Gardens for Yulefest. Learn how to weave an eight pointed Christmas star in a fun and supportive environment. Star weaving kits are provided for each participant. Each eight-point star represents light, hope and solidarity against violence. Tie your woven star to the LOVE star installation or on one of the star spangled Yulefest Christmas trees in the Castle Yard and help Amber reach the goal of One Million Stars to End Violence in Ireland. KILKENNY YULEFEST Kilkenny is going to be twinkling with atmosphere this Christmas with Yulefest events across the City and County providing entertainment for all ages and highlighting Kilkenny shops, businesses and experiences. With a programme that includes winter markets, outdoor movies, pop-up parks, Santa visits, live music, and fireworks; Kilkenny County Council is welcoming everyone to come celebrate ‘Christmas in Kilkenny’! Check out the full programme on www. SEAN NOS DANCING WORKSHOP A workshop in Sean Nos Dancing is taking place in Ionad Dara, Goresbridge on Saturday, 4th December at 2pm. The price is €10. If you fancy learning a few steps then why not join Laura Ganley for our Sean Nós Dancing Workshop here in Goresbridge, Laura hails from Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon . She has been Sean Nós Dancing for the past twelve years, teaching dance to both children and adults for five and a half years. She is a 4 times All Ireland Dance Champion and has won many other competitions across Ireland. Laura has travelled to America on a number of occasions performing for Wild West Irish Tours. She has performed all over Ireland, England and France and has shared the stage with the likes of Cherish the Ladies, Dervish, Sean Keane, The Celtic Tenors and Sharon Shannon. Contact 086 3543539 to reserve a place, as numbers are limited. Covid Guidelines and Social Distancing being adhered too. GOWRAN BINGO With high number of positive cases circulating, it has been decided to defer Bingo in

Gowran Parish Hall until the number of positive cases of the virus recedes which probably means Bingo is cancelled until at the end of January. Hopefully, it may be possible to safely play Bingo again early in 2022. MOLLY’S TEAROOM Orders are now being taken for Christmas baking, get them in early to avoid disappointment. If you would like to place an order, do so on 056 7726718. DALTON HOUSE DAYCARE CENTRE The centre is resuming services gradually and is now open for lunches, meals on wheels, laundry services. Art classes are also back on Tuesday’s from 10am to 12pm. If you are over 65 or know of anyone in need of services, please call on 056 7726718. KILKENNY VOLUNTEER CENTR Kilkenny Volunteer Centre and Kilkenny PPN have made the difficult decision to move our inaugural Kilkenny Community and Voluntary Awards 2021 to an online setting. SPORTS ROUND UP MICHAEL O’LEARY UNDER22’S JUST COME UP SHORT The Young Irelands U-22 Camogie Girls came up a point short against Dicksboro in the U-21 County Roinn A Semi-Final in Palmerstown last Sunday

Morning as they lost out 1-10 to 2-6. The Gowran Girls made a very dominant start and they built up a 2-2 to 0-2 lead at the first Water Break, but Dicksboro featuring a fair share of players from their recent County Senior Final triumph fought back, and by the interval they had drawn level. 1-5 to 2-2. Young Irelands gained the upper hand throughout the third quarter and they led 2-5 to 1-6 by the Second Water Break, and still had the advantage with five minutes of normal time remaining as they led 2-6 to 1-8. However, the City outfit finished strongly with two late unanswered points to snatch victory. Meanwhile, Steffi Fitzgerald was rewarded for her displays in the Club Championships when she was named at RightHalf-Forward on the Kilkenny Senior Team of the Year on the Camogie Podcast Cuman Caint in Association with KCLR. The Podcast which is broadcast weekly on by Martin Quilty and Aine Fahey saw the Senior, Intermediate & Junior Teams of the Championships announced with Steffi and all the recipients presented with specially commissioned jerseys to make their selection for 2021. The Teams of the Year was compiled from between the Co-Hosts along with scouts at games at all levels around the county. Meanwhile, next Sunday sees double header of matches in Gowran. First-up, the U-13 Footballers host Thomastown in the County Championship on Sunday Morning at 10.30am and that will be followed at 1pm by the U-21 Hurlers County Championship clash against Graigue-Ballycallan. RACE DAY - A HUGH SUCCESS A Huge Crowd was in attendance in Gowran Park last Saturday Week for the annual Kilkenny GAA/Supporters Club Race Day. The Kilkenny commemorative jersey was presented to each sponsor on the day and there was a local winner also as the Jimmy Barcoe trained Influential Lady won the concluding Holden Plant Rental Mares Handicap Hurdle. It was the Mares third win in less than two months, following on from victories in Gowran Park in early October before winning again in Thurles. The next Race Day in Gowran Park will be Thyestes Day on Thursday 27th January. Development Draw. Just 1 Week to the Draw! Tickets available from any committee member, team mentors and others. The Club really appreciates everyone who has agreed to sell tickets again this year.

We encourage all of the Dicksboro Community to try and support when asked. This fundraiser supported the Ball Wall and Pitch Drainage Projects over the past 2 years With your support we hope to continue with development plans and we are aiming for further facilities and pitch upgrades for 2022, more details coming soon. CLUB BAR The Clubhouse Bar has re-opened and cards continues in the club on Thursday evenings. The Committee have been busy, the lights are on and the shelves are stacked. Vaccination Certs required and table service will be in place. All are welcome. COFFEE DOCK Our new coffee machine is up and running in our clubhouse coffee dock area on Saturday mornings. CLUB LOTTO Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results November 25th Nos: 24–15– 23– 6 Jackpot: €5500– not won Draw Prizes – €50: Aoife Walsh c/o Online €25 each John Kenny c/o Online €25 each Tina Loughnane c/o Doherty’s Bar €25 each Peter Quinn c/o Billy Walsh €25 each Eva Dreeling c/o P and J Cody Promotors prize Dohertys Bar New weeks draw 5,600 December 2nd U21 HURLING Our U21 team had a really good win on Saturday against city neighbours O Loughlin Gaels in the Championship played in Palmerstown. Both teams were evenly matched throughout in a tense affair with very little between the two sides. Our lads finished strong in the final quarter to win by two points. 0-15 to 0-13. Our lads now play the winners of James Stephens and Mooncoin in the semi final. U19 HURLING Our Under 19 B Team lost the C County Final against Lisdowney on Sunday played in Larchfield. Our lads battled hard throughout the sixty minutes and made a real fight of it after Mickey Clifford scored a screamer of a goal to bring it to a one point margin with minutes remaining. The winners added three more points to win by three in the end. Hard luck to our lads who never gave up. Well done to players and management on a great campaign to date. GEORGE BURKE The untimely death of George Burke, Ballycloven, has cast a veil of sadness, not alone in his family, but in our parish community as well. A loyal and true gentleman, he was always available where the need arose. He worked for many years at

Carroll Joinery in Ballintaggart where undoubtedly he proved himself to be a popular and dutiful employee. George loved the game of cards and for many years he attended the card games in Kilmanagh. George’s profound knowledge was highlighted in the many quizzes he attended with members of his family. His requiem mass took place in the Church of the Assumption, Callan with burial afterwards in St. Mary’s cemetery, Ballykeeffe. Our sympathy is expressed to his wife Brigid, daughters Aisling and Sinead, sons Diarmuid and Brendan, sister Margaret, brothers Richie and Podge, grandchildren, daughters in law, sons in law, near relatives and many friends. KILKENNY VOLUNTEER CENTRE Kilkenny Volunteer Centre and Kilkenny PPN have made the difficult decision to move our inaugural Kilkenny Community and Voluntary Awards 2021 to an online setting. We have taken on board the advice from Government and Public Health Advisors and the decision was made with the health and safety of all attendees in mind. A huge thanks to all our sponsors for continuing to support the awards and we hope that everyone will tune in for our video launch where all the category runners up and winners will be announced. CHRISTMAS ACORN If you have any articles, stories, photographs or other items you wish to be published in our Annual Christmas Acorn, please send on to elanigan18@gmail. com before 8th December. The Christmas issue will be available to purchase during Christmas week. If you cannot travel but would like to purchase a copy, please let us know at the above email address and we can arrange to have it delivered to you. CHRISTMAS MASS CARDS Christmas Mass Cards are now available to purchase in the parish sacristies at a cost of €10 for a pack of 5 cards. Those 5 intentions will then share in one Mass. BALLYCALLAN COMMUNITY HALL Ballycallan Community Hall are holding a fundraiser in aid of the hall on Sunday December 5th at 11.30am. Trailers of timber for sale as well as Christmas stalls. Please support. KILMANAGH NOTES Anyone wishing to submit news items, events, announcements etc. can do so by email only to If you have any photos that you would like included, please send as an attachment.

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Hurling matters



AIB Leinster Intermediate Hurling Championship Ballinakill 1-12 Glenmore 2-17 @ Abbeyleix, Saturday November 27th GOALS win games, and that proved to be the case at a very cold Abbeyleix last Saturday, when Laois champions Ballinakill faced-off against Glenmore for a place in the provincial semi-final. Majors from substitute David Burke and captain fantastic Ger Aylward ensure that the Glen prevailed against a spirited Ballinakill. The Laois champions, minus the missing county star Cha Dwyer, had staged a major comeback in both halves of their round one game against Westmeath side Cullion in Mullingar a week earlier, but found the quality for this Glenmore a bridge too far. Declan Wall’s side came out of the traps quickly, and wasted no time in putting a marker down against their less fancied opponents. Alan Murphy slotted over the first score of the day from a free, before adding a monstrous second, only 30 yards from his own goal! This also gave an indication of the wind with which the Kilkenny side were playing with in the first half. Midfielder Philly Roche struck a lovely point from around half-way, following a nice side line cut from Alan Murphy. Eight minutes gone Glenmore 3 points to no score ahead. Mikey Kirwan then took a puck-out that landed in on top of the full-forward line. Ian Byrne challenged for possession before the ball broke to Ger Aylward, who from tight-out on the left struck a lovely point. The same player repeated the feat a minute later when he collected the ball following a mistake from his marker and slotted over from about 50 yards out on the left. 11 minutes gone, Declan Wall’s side 0-5 to no score. The Laois champions were really struggling to get into the game, largely due to work-rate and hunger of the Glenmore side. Indeed, it took Ballinakill some fifteen minutes to open their account, from a close-range free, courtesy of cornerforward TJ Lalor. The same player would double his side’s total a minute later, again from the placed ball. Not to be outdone by his midfield partner, Billy Reid than collected the ball superbly, out on th left touchline, before swinging over a cracking point. Eoin Murphy then intercepted

a pass from Ballinakill defender, before striking a beautiful score from about 55 yards out, to leave Glenmore 0-7 to 0-2 ahead at the first water-break. Seamus Dowling must have had a few strong words with his charges, as they looked a different animal after the short break. They began to hurl with much more confidence and the swagger of a team that were Laois Premier Intermediate champions. Ballinakill would actually go on to win the second quarter, 4 points to 2. First up for the home side was Jamie Drury, who knocked over a nice point from wide out on the right, for his team’s third score. Glenmore responded, and from the next attack, a great hook by Ian Byrne allowed Mark Aylward to pick up the loose ball before shooting over for a timely score. Ballinakill came down the field and worked the ball from left to right, before Lir McDonald pointed from a central position to fire over. Then wing-back and Shane Murphy was fouled on his own ‘65, which gave his brother, Alan a chance to point from the placed ball, which he took advantage of. From the puck-out, the Laois side won possession and made inroads towards the Glenmore goal. They slipped the pass to Cian O’Shaughnessy, who despite coming under fierce pressure, managed to fire over a stunning point. TJ Lalor then won and converted a free to leave his side trailing by 3 points. Despite a little more huffing and puffing from both sides, no more scores were added in the remainder of the half, and as Offaly referee Adam Kinahan blew for the interval, Glenmore lead 0-9 to 0-6. Having played with a very strong wind in the first half, Declan Wall would probably been a little disappointed to be only 3 points up at the break. On the other hand, Seamus Dowling would have been pleased to be only one score in arrears, given it took 15 minutes for his side to raise their first flag. When play resumed at an extremely windy Abbeyleix, Ballinakill drew first blood, corner-back Noel Duggan struck a lovely point after emerging from a huddle of players with the ball. Things would improve significantly for the Laois Champions a CONTINUED >>>

‘Hon the Glen! Naas await in semi showdown

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Hurling matters SHERRY SAYS MOTM - Shane Murphy shadows his man

Wait for me! Ian Bryne escapes the clutches of his opponent

Philly Roche take a tumble

Shane gets stuck in!


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Hurling matters

Sport On the run - Mark Aylward bursts forward


few minutes later, when after a Lir McDonald sideline cut into the danger zone, resulted in a little pinball, before wing-forward Cian O’Shaughnessy riffled the loose ball past Mikey Kirwan to the back of the net and gave his side the lead for the first time in the game, 1-7 to 0-9. The underdogs were thriving, and starting to think an upset may have been on the cards. Alan Murphy then struck a lovely free low and over the bar to tie the game. The same man would put his side back in front with a stunning long range placed ball. Alan would then pick out his captain with a lovely pass, which gave him the

time to slot over a tasty point. Glenmore seemed to have been spurred on by their opponent’s goal, and were starting to play the hurling we know they are capable of. This was evident with their next score. Great play from Colm Doherty was the ball slipped to Mark Aylward who drove forward and played the ball into corner-forward Ian Byrne, who managed to find the supporting run of Philly Roche, who pointed from out on the right, much to the delight of the traveling Glenmore faithful. Liam Hennessey, who had been a lot more subdued, won possession from a long Kirwan free, before battling hard and eventually, winning

a free from just outside the ‘21, which Alan Murphy dispatched between the posts, to push his side’s lead to 4 points. Glenmore then won a sideline cut on the Ballinakill ‘65. Alan Muphy took it short, and Philly Roche did well to touch the ball into the path of the on-running Eoin Muphy, who burst through like a steam train before passing to Mark Aylward, whose shot was well blocked by the keeper. Substitute David Burke was quick on the scene and struck to the net for his sides first major. Declan Wall’s men held a 7-point lead as the referee signaled the second water break, 1-14 to 1-7. The

quality of the Noreside team was now in full effect. To their credit, Seamus Dowling’s men kept plugging away, and got their first score in almost 10 minutes, when Ian Shanahan fired over a point, followed by scores from Sean Downey and TJ Lalor. Alan Murphy then pointed his sides 15th point, to leave the score 1-15 to 1-10 with just under 10 minutes left on the clock. Lalor then popped over a routine free following a yellow card for Eoin Aylward. Glenmore then struck for their second major of the day. A Ballinakill sideline cut was intercepted by substitute Ethan Phelan, who took possession before arrowing

a lovely pass into his captain Ger Aylward. Ger collected the pass brilliantly before turning his marker and riffling across the keeper and into the net. There was still time for Phelan to get his name on the score sheet, when his keeper found Cathal Beirne, who flicked the ball beautifully into the path of Ethan Phelan, who struck over for his sides final point. From the puck out, referee Adam Kinahan blew for fulltime. A provincial semi-final now awaits the men from Glenmore.

Sean Downey 0-2 (0-1 free), Noel Duggan, Ian Shanahan, Lir McDonald, Jamie Drury 0-1 each.

BALLINAKILL (Laois) Scorers: TJ Lalor 0-5 frees, Cian O’Shaughnessy 1-1,

GLENMORE (Kilkenny) Scorers: Alan Murphy 0-8 frees, Ger Aylward 1-3, David

Team: Paul Simms; Noel Duggan, Brian O’Mara, Mark Kehoe; Ian Shanahan, Sean Downey, Michael Moran; Lir McDonald, Padraig Lawlor; Jamie Drury, Seamus Fitzpatrick, Cian O’Shaughnessy; Evan Dunne, Eddie Dwyer, TJ Lalor. Subs: Cathal O’Shaughnessy for Evan Dunne (temp), Dan Bergin for Jamie Drury (41), Dylan Byrne Gray for Eddie Dwyer (46m)

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Hurling matters

Cats’ county calendar becomes clearer as fixture list released

Defending from the front - Ian Byrne sticks tight to his man

Shefflin vs Cody championship showdown set for May

Burke 1-0, Philly Roche 0-2, Billy Reid, Eoin Murphy, Mark Aylward, Ethan Phelan 0-1 each. Team: Michael Kirwan; Sean Duggan, Eoin Aylward, Shane Doherty; Colm Doherty, Eoin Murphy, Shane Murphy; Philly Roche, Billy Reid; Mark Aylward, Liam Hennessy, Alan Murphy; Robbie Fitzgerald, Ger Aylward, Ian Byrne. Subs: Subs: David Burke for Reid, Ethan Phelan for Byrne, Darragh Hartley for Roche, Cathal Beirne for M Aylward, Richie Hennessy for Fitzgerald Referee: Adam Kinahan (Offaly)


For large parts of this game, Glenmore probably didn’t hit the heights that they know they can, but it was all about the result in this dogged provincial quarter-final in Abbeyleix on a bitterly cold Saturday in winter. Look, Glenmore were worthy winners. Their quality was on display at intervals throughout the game. When they played with courage and at a higher tempo, their Laois opponents, couldn’t cope with them. Yes, they know that they will have to perhaps go through the gears a little quicker next time out, but to be honest, even when Ballinakill went in front for the first time in the game, I never feared for the men from the Glen. Classy captain Ger Aylward took his goal beautifully. Alan Murphy was accurate from the placed ball. Robbie Fitz’, Mark Aylward and Ian Byrne were busy. For me, it was the performance of Shane Murphy at wing-back, that was the pick of the winning side’s charges. He won ball, he broke ball, he covered gaps and he led by example. The boys from the bench made a difference when they entered the battleground. Mikey Kirwan, who took over the net minding duties from Thomas Dunne, as calm and accurate from the puck-out. Eoin Murphy was again in the thick of it from No.6. following TJ Reid’s nuptials, the day before. (Congratulations by the way TJ – a wee honeymoon trip to Carlow for you next week!) Back to Glenmore. Declan Wall’s side will now face the stiff challenge of Naas in a week’s time, with a place in the provincial decider at stake. His panel will have been nursing the knocks and preparing for the Kildare men’s threat. They will have learned from last week’s victory, but have a bigger prize in their sights.

Kilkenny senior hurlers now know what awaits them in 2022.

Last weekend saw the draw’s made for the provincial series along with the pre-season competition. Brian Cody’s men will look to shake-off any winter rust, when they take part in the 7-team Walsh Cup, over the first month of the New Year. Drawn in Group B, the black & amber start at home with a match against the O’Moore county of Laois on January 16th. This is followed up with a trip to Davy Fitz’s old team Wexford a week later. There is also plenty of Kilkenny involvement in the other group. Group A is made up of Henry Shefflin’s Galway, Offaly side under the guidance of Michael Fennelly along with Dublin and Antrim. Kilkenny legend & 10-time All-Ireland winner Shefflin’s first game in charge of Galway will be against Antrim while fellow Ballyhale native Fennelly’s second season in charge of the Faithful County begins with a home tie against Mattie Kenny’s Dublin.

WALSH CUP 2022 GROUPS GROUP A Galway Offaly Antrim Dublin GROUP B Kilkenny Laois Wexford ROUND 1 FIXTURES (JANUARY 9) GROUP A: Dublin vs Antrim Antrim vs Galway GROUP B: Laois vs Wexford


Round THREE!! • Leinster campaign starts in Mullingar • Road trip to the west could be crucial Kilkenny will begin their defence of the Bob O’Keeffe Trophy away, to Westmeath. Last year’s beaten finalists Dublin will welcome Laois to Parnell Park. The remaining Round 1 tie will see Henry Shefflin’s Galway start their campaign on the road, against Darragh Egan’s Wexford. Skipping on to round 3 – where no doubt Henry will have the welcome mat out for Brian Cody and his team. Expect the B&Bs and hotels to fill up quickly for this Bank Holiday cracker!

ROUND 2 FIXTURES (JANUARY 16) Dublin vs Galway Offaly vs Antrim GROUP B: Kilkenny vs Laois ROUND 3 FIXTURES (23 JANUARY) GROUP A: Antrim vs Galway Offaly vs Dublin GROUP B: Wexford vs Kilkenny FINAL (30 JANUARY) Winner Group B v Winner Group A

LEINSTER SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP 2022 ROUND ONE (16/17 APRIL) Dublin v Laois, Wexford v Galway, Westmeath v Kilkenny ROUND TWO (23/24 APRIL) Kilkenny v Laois, Wexford v Dublin, Galway v Westmeath ROUND THREE (30 APRIL/1 MAY) Laois v Wexford, Galway v Kilkenny, Westmeath v Dublin ROUND FOUR (14/15 MAY) Dublin v Kilkenny, Laois v Galway, Westmeath v Wexford ROUND FIVE (21/22 MAY) Kilkenny v Wexford, Galway v Dublin, Laois v Westmeath


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Hurling matters



2021 AIB Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final Mount Leinster Rangers Vs Shamrocks Ballyhale Netwatch Cullen Park - 2:00 PM Saturday 4th December ALL roads will lead to Netwatch Cullen Park tomorrow, as the Kilkenny senior hurling champions, four years running, Ballyhale, put their provincial title on the line, when they face Carlow kingpins Mount Leinster Rangers. Originally scheduled for last Saturday, the game was moved to tomorrow, which allowed a certain Mr. TJ Reid to tie the knot! One would imagine the honeymoon will have been put on the backburner, for the time being. James O’Connor’s side know that a difficult proposition awaits at the home of Carlow GAA. No doubt there will be a raucous crowd in attendance, the majority will be cheering on the Carlow champions. Mount Leinster Rangers won their county title way back on September 19th, and this might be a cause for concern for their manager, Conor Phelan, although plenty of his panel have been plying their trade with the footballers on their march to the semi-final of the Carlow senior football championship. As a proud dual club, this is seen by some as a benefit, while others may hold a different view. Their 8-point county final win over great rivals St Mullins was an emphatic statement of intent, as they secured back-to-back titles. In a blistering opening half, Rangers registered 0-17, all of which came from play. This shows that there is plenty of firepower available in the Carlow champion’s side. Ten of their first half tally came from the hurls of the Nolan brothers, Jon and Chris, who on their day can prove tricky to mark. In fact, sixteen of the Rangers total came from their full forward line, so Joey Holden & co. will need to be on the front foot come throw-in to help snuff out the oppositions attacking threat. Some will see this as a ‘free hit’ for the Carlow side. This can prove dangerous, should the bookies favourites to retain their All-Ireland crown, underestimate their opponents. Rangers last reached the club final in 2014 and they will certainly take to the Netwatch Cullen Park pitch knowing many have written them off. Shamrocks know that winning the midfield battle, will be key to gaining the upper hand in this quarter-final fixture. To that end, the impressive form of Ronan Corcoran and his partnership with Brian Cody should mean that the Kilkenny side can dominate the engine room. Corcoran in particular, has been quietly building his reputation this season, and some of the scores he has taken, have been quite delightful. Fiachra Fitzpatrick and his midfield partner last time out, Tony Lawlor notched 0-3 between them in their county final, and our lads will have brought be up-to-speed on their opponents in this crucial sector. The Rangers rear guard, skippered from corner-back by Michael Doyle, will have had plenty of time to study the attacking prowess of Ballyhale – studying is one thing, coping with the Shamrocks front six, is another matter. TJ Reid, Adrian Mullen, Eoin Cody, Joe Cuddihy, Colin Fennelly, Eoin Reid and Liam Barron. Plenty of sting in the Shamrocks forwards. Providing TJ hasn’t flown to Cancun on honeymoon – expect any indiscretions from the Carlow champions to be punished with deadly efficiency. TJ’s ability to drop deep and forage for ‘dirty ball’ and deliver to the forwards left inside will be interesting. Joe Cuddihy has been a revelation this year. He has provided a different style of attacking threat to his teams forward dynamic. Eoin Cody needs no introduction and you feel that Saturday could be a big day for the Kilkenny star. Adrian Mullen’s phased return to club hurling has been timely. He was very hard working in the county final, and showed some lovely link-up play in the defeat of O’Loughlin’s. If the going gets tough, Adrian won’t be found wanting. Ballyhale tend to have a spread of scorers on the board, and this is backed up by the fact that they only had one player (TJ) in the top 10 scorers in this year’s county championship. Evan Shefflin can chip in with the odd score, as can the conductor from No.6,

TJ - by hook or by crook!

All pix: Danny Lahart

Joe Cuddihy under pressure

Shamrocks set for Rangers shoot-out

Carlow trip will be no honeymoon for Ballyhale

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Hurling matters Richie Reid. The goal that corner-back Brian Butler scored in the county final, was a thing of beauty, skill, power, pace and accuracy. I’d love to see another one of those tomorrow! Should some of the defenders leave the house, you can rely on recently retired county star, Joey Holden to mind the valuables! Behind Joey & co. will be Dean Mason. The net minder has been in impressive form in the championship to date, and did well on a number of occasions against Paddy Deegan and his teammates last time out. His ability to find fellow Shamrocks from the puck-out will be vital tomorrow, as should the Rangers secure enough possession, they do have the tools to carve out and take scoring opportunities. Hurling at this time of the year can be difficult. The playing conditions underfoot, the howling winds, the aching legs and muscles, make it a real challenge to shine. I fully expect Shamrocks of Ballyhale to weather the Mount Leinster Rangers challenge, and send a timely reminder to the rest of the province and Island, that they haven’t gone away you know!

Adrian Mullen battles for possession

Joey Holden and Darragh Corcoran

Richie Reid in control

TJ in freetaking mode


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Hurling matters - Picture special


U21 semi-final awaits after hard fought victory


J.J Kavanagh and Sons U21 A Hurling Championship (Quarter Final B) Saturday, 27th November. Venue: Palmerstown Dicksboro 0-15 O’Loughlin Gaels 0-13 HOME advantage proved crucial as Dicksboro overcame a fierce challenge from rivals O’Loughlin Gaels at a bitterly cold Palmerstown on Saturday. In the final quarter, the ‘Boro sprung a few subs from their bench, and the introduction of fresh legs certainly helped them overturn a 3-point deficit and run-out 2-point winners. The game was feisty at times, and neither side took a backwards step as things heated up, both on the pitch and on the sideline! O’Loughlin’s will rue many missed chances, but the substitutions for the home side provided the impetus for the comeback and secured a semi-final berth.

‘Boro 2 good for O’Loughlin’s

All pix: Danny Lahart

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Hurling matters - Picture special



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021





The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021




The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

Motors Classifieds

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







The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Classifieds Motors


JOB DETAILS: • Job category: Healthcare Assistant • Company: Drakelands House Nursing Home, Drakelands, Kilkenny R95 YR02 • Job Location: Drakelands Kilkenny • Start Immediately • Contract Type: Permanent – Full-time • Positions: 8 • Experience: 2 years’ experience in a caring environment preferable • Qualification: Diploma in nursing • Salary: €27,000 Per Annum • Hours: 39 Per Week Send C.V.: Applicants will be required to work as part of a team of healthcare assistants, under the direction of nursing team, and to provide person-cantered care to meet the needs of our Residents. Our holistic approach to the care of our Residents is centered on the fulfilment of the needs of the individual whilst maintaining their dignity, privacy and independence in a comfortable and homely setting

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Call 056 7771463 for all your classified advertisements.


The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Memoriams/Miracle Planning notices prayers

Planning notices KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL Planning permission is being sought by Pat Dunphy for the construction of a straw storage shed, concrete apron and all associated site works at Balleven, Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny. The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions or may refuse to grant permission. Signed Pat Dunphy KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL I Clinton Maher of 5 Pearse St, Kilkenny intend to apply to the council for retention permission to retain the first floor development of a sensory/play room to existing shed at the rear of my dwelling. The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions or may refuse to grant permission. Signed Clinton Maher KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL I, Niamh O’ Brien intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for Planning Permission to build a dry store farm shed and all associated site development works at Gowran Road, Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny. The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application 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.

KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL Planning Permission is sought by Kate Lupton for the following. 1. To construct a two-storey extension to the rear of the existing dwelling, 2. To increase the existing ridge height by the construction of a new first floor extension, 3. To construct a two-storey extension to the front and side of the existing dwelling, 4. All internal and elevational modifications, 5. New site entrance as granted under previous granted planning ref no. 20/538 and all associated site development works at Grange Lower, Grove, Cuffesgrange, Co. Kilkenny. The planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, during its public opening hours 9 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Planning Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20.00) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the planning application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

TO PUBLISH PLANNING APPLICATION, CONTACT US: Call to our office at: Unit 7 Friary Street Telephone: 056 7771463/086 2395370 Email:

The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021


Memoriams / Miracle Prayers

A prayer to the Blessed Virgin

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

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

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

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer

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

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.B.M

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

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. D.W

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.F



The Kilkenny Observer Friday 03 December 2021

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