Kilkenny Observer 24th March 2023

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Friday 24 March 2023 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W: FREE EDITION Special Report Page 14 A Referendum What do we want in change for women? Climate Change The complete guide to what’s going on   Marianne Heron Page 12
2 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Advertisement

No homes to go to

The rent eviction ban will not be extended beyond the end of this month after the Coalition Government won a vote in the Dáil.

Sinn Féin had tabled a motion calling for the eviction ban to be extended to January 2024.

However, a counter motion was tabled by the Government on the issue, which was passed by 83 to 68.

Green TD Neasa Hourigan voted against the Govern -

ment, as she had promised to do.

Hourigan abstained on votes amending the Government’s motion, one from the Regional Independent Group and one from Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín.

Mr Tóibín then asked that the vote on his amendment be held again by roll call because it had lost by a margin of six votes.

In a tense debate on lifting the ban in the Dáil, Sinn Féin

Global food for thought

At the launch of the year-long programme of Global Kitchen events are Sophia Jones, Lebanon; Rafeza Akter, Bangladesh; Liliya Svyrydenko Ukraine; Pathma Vasuthevan, Malaysia and Yvonne Moriarty, Ireland.

Kilkenny continues to embrace and welcome communities from around the world and celebrate all of its cultural diversity with a further series of Global Kitchen events, beginning with an Irishthemed Café on April 1 in Kilkenny’s Home Rule Club in the heart of the medieval city.

For tickets, log on to Global Kitchen Pop Up Tickets, Sat, Apr 1, 2023 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

leader Mary Lou McDonald had said that the Government has “thrown in the towel” on fixing the housing crisis.

She said that Fine Gael has spearheaded housing policies that have left “tens of thousands trapped in a private rental nightmare”, and said the Government’s message to “3,000 households losing their homes come April is ‘you are on your own’.”

Ms McDonald repeatedly called on the Taoiseach to “reverse this cruel decision.”

While Taoiseach Leo Varadkar acknowledged that Ireland was facing a “housing emergency”, he said social housing was the solution, and postponing the end of the eviction ban was not.

Labour’s Ged Nash stood up and asked how much money it had cost the Government to “buy the votes of the Independents” in ex-

change for their support.

Labour leader Ivana Bacik said the decision to lift the ban was “indefensible”.

“Government TDs do not understand the manitude of the social disaster we face due to homelessness and the lifting of the eviction ban,” she said.

“Families facing a cliff edge from April 1 have no safety net in place.”

It is estimated that up to 7,000 could face eviction.

Free primary school books scheme

Primary schools will receive €96 a pupil to fund the first universal free books scheme to be introduced in September. The funding, totalling more than €50m, is intended to provide free schoolbooks, workbooks and copybooks. More than 558,000 pupils in 3,230 primary, schools, including 130 special schools, will benefit. It is the first time the State has funded free books for every primary pupil.

Full story Page 6

Rent income and better fair deal

All income from renting their family home will now be allowed to be kept by nursing hime residents under significant changes to the Fair Deal scheme.

In response to the longrunning housing crisis and the ending of the eviction ban, the Government has committed to “eliminate remaining barriers” for older people wanting to rent out their homes when they are in care.

Full story Page 6

The Fins are happiest while we rank 14th

Finland has topped the World Happiness Report for a sixth year running, while Ireland is ranked 14th.

Top award for Aroi Asian Fusion

Aroi Asian Fusion, a fixture in Kilkenny dining scene since 2015, has been awarded The Best World Cuisine gong by The Irish Restaurants Awards, an annual prestigious event that recognises excellence in the culinary industry.

The Best World Cuisine is awarded to a restaurant that has demonstrated out-

standing culinary skills, creativity, and exceptional service.

Aroi Asian Fusion menu features a fusion of traditional and modern flavours.

“We are thrilled to receive this award and to be recognised by The Irish Restaurant Awards,” said Executive Chef Fadilah Mokhtar.

“Our team is passionate

about creating unique and delicious dishes, and we are proud to share our love of Asian cuisine with our customers.”

Aroi has become a go-to destination for foodies and casual diners alike, offering a welcoming atmosphere and exceptional service.

“We are honoured to be recognised for our commit-

ment to providing our customers with an exceptional dining experience,” said the owner Katrina Lowry. “We strive to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and we are grateful for the support of our loyal customers.”

The Best World Cuisine Award is a testament to Aroi’s dedication to delivering

the highest quality cuisine and service. The restaurant looks forward to continuing to delight customers with its unique blend of Asian flavours and exceptional dining experience.

* For more information about Aroi, please visit or or follow them @aroi_restaurants_1

The 2023 report was released to coincide with International Day of Happiness, a day established 11 years ago by the United Nations General Assembly to help people realise the importance of happiness.

234 jobs to go as card plant folds

Cartamundi is to close its Waterford city operation, which currently employs 234 people. The factory on Waterford’s Cork Road has been manufacturing board and card games since 1977.

Management have blamed a post-Covid decline in demand for board games for their decision.

3 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE TEAM SPORTS E: ACCOUNTS E: T: 056 777 1463 SALES E: T: 087 382 0109 or 087 342 1958 FEATURES E: T: 056 777 1463 DESIGN E: T: 087 348 0279 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY UNIT 7, FRIARY STREET, KILKENNY, R95 VHY7 EDITOR E: 10,000 COPIES PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED ACROSS CITY AND COUNTY EVERY WEEK
Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Don’t give up, say James and Adam

Ireland and Leinster Rugby star James Lowe is fronting a new campaign to create awareness of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, a condition that a ects some 1,200 children and young people in Ireland.

James was like any other 14-year old when he received his diagnosis. He rst realised something was wrong when he wasn’t able to get out of bed. ere were days when he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t use a knife and fork, followed by days when he would feel ne. Sport was everything to him and not being able to play was very frustrating.

However, nding the right medication allowed him not only to play sport again but to go on to have a successful rugby career.

“Regular activity was awesome for me, it made me feel good. ere was no way that arthritis was going to stop me. Once I was put on the right medication, I came out the other side of it. e advice I’d give is to be patient and understand that this is going to take some time, but you’ll get through it,” says Lowe.

James is joined in the campaign with Adam McCarthy, who was just 10 years old when he received a diagnosis of JIA. Up until Decem-

ber 2021, Adam was like any other child his age, enjoying sports and playing with

his friends and siblings. His initial symptoms including tiredness, lethargy and

a fever that couldn’t be controlled.

“I never knew that kids

could get arthritis, I thought it was something your grandparents got. Before it hap-

pened, when an obstacle came, I’d think this is going to be impossible to get around. But then when the biggest one I had to face came, I got over it,” says Adam.

Adam continues to play sport and stays active. He plays football, swims, cycles and he is learning to play the guitar. e support of his family and friends and his hobbies help to distract him from the pain and the fatigue.

Gráinne O’Leary, chief executive of Arthritis Ireland, said: “ e daily challenges of living with juvenile arthritis are the unfortunate reality for 1,200 children, young people and their families in Ireland. It is so important for those living with arthritis to continue to engage in physical activity and sport, to maintain muscle and joint function as well as their mental health and wellbeing.

“We’re so grateful to James and Adam for sharing their stories. Don’t give up, and continue to pursue your dreams,” says Ms O’Leary.

Anyone looking for support can contact the Arthritis Ireland helpline on 0818 252 846. e charity has published an information booklet.

* See

4 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 News
Creating awareness: James Lowe is joined in the campaign with Adam McCarthy, who was just 10 when he received a diagnosis of JIA
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Care homes now a fair deal!

All income from renting their family home will now be allowed to be kept by nursing hime residents under signi cant changes to the Fair Deal scheme.

In response to the longrunning housing crisis and the ending of the eviction

ban, the Government has committed to “eliminate remaining barriers” for older people wanting to rent out their homes when they are in care.

e pledge was made in a counter- motion to Sinn Féin’s private members’

motion seeking to extend the controversial eviction ban.

e move followed the Regional Independent Group demand for an easing of rules surrounding contributions to the Fair Deal scheme.

Under the scheme current-

ly, nursing home residents can keep 60% of the rental income from leasing their former residence. e Government is now planning to allow them to keep all of that income, although they will have to pay tax on it.

It is among the measures

from the Government to o set the impact of lifting the eviction ban, which will also include giving tenants rst refusal to buy the property if their landlord decides to sell.

However, a source acknowledged this could have

Building your child’s resilience

With up to 30,000 children expected to attend Starcamp with Gala Retail in the coming months, the theme at Ireland’s No 1 Summer Camp this year is resilience. Children will learn how to give a decent handshake, practise listening to their inner voice, gain an understanding of looking out for others and understand the importance of losing.

Aideen O Grady, Starcamp founder and director, recently spoke with paediatric consultants as well as

child psychologists, who all openly discussed the fact that children have been left confused about tactile boundaries, struggle with social skills and need to rebuild resilience now.

At the multi-award winning camps that will run in 270 towns nationwide, there will be the renowned o ering of camp cames, cusic, drama, magic, comedy, news & weather reporting, Make your own TV show, tik-tok dances, superheroes, quizzes and talent shows – but this

summer there will be a strong emphasis on building children’s resilience, just when they need it most. Speaking at the launch of Starcamp with Gala Retail for 2023, Aideen O’ Grady said: “No one teaches basic life skills to our young generation and there has never been a better time to address this than now. Our core ethos has always been about building children’s self-esteem and con dence. We feel the time is right to introduce other skills that

will stand to them for life. For example, if you learn a strong, con dent handshake as a child, it will stay with you for life and it is a crucial part of a rst impression.”

Gala Retail have just announced a three-year extension to its title sponsorship with Ireland’s number one network of children’s activity camps, Starcamp. As part of its annual, six- gure sponsorship agreement with Starcamp, Gala is providing over €10,000 worth of prizes for participating children

and their schools each year and gifting every young person a co-branded bag and certi cate of achievement.

For the  rst time, Starcamp has added over 20 Starcamp with Gala Retail Easter camps to its schedule.  Easter Camps run from April 3tov 6 and from 11 to 14 with summer camps running weekly from July 3 to August 19.

*For more information visit

implications for rst-time buyers.

Meanwhile, a new study by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has found that the cost of renovating vacant properties is so high it does not make economic sense most of the time.

Schools to get €96 a pupil for free books

Primary schools will receive €96 a pupil to fund the rst universal free books scheme to be introduced in September.

e funding, totalling more than €50m, is intended to provide free schoolbooks, workbooks and copybooks. More than 558,000 pupils in 3,230 primary, schools, including 130 special schools, will bene t. It is the rst time the State has funded free books for every primary pupil.

e €96-a-pupil gure follows an analysis of more than three years of data from schools involved in the pilot free books scheme in 102 primary schools in the Deis scheme for disadvantaged communities.

e funding will be provided directly to schools to buy the necessary school books and related classroom resources. Guidelines will issue to schools today as Education Minister Norma Foley formally launches the scheme.

One of the key features of the guidance will be that schools will have the exibility to decide where to purchase the books, including from local bookshops.

is funding provides schools with a grant to assist with the roll-out and implementation of the scheme and to relieve any perceived administrative burden.

Free books for primary schools have been long sought by the National Parents Council Primary and organisations such as Barnardos and St Vincent de Paul.

e initiative was agreed as part of Budget 2023.

e measure will build on the existing school book rental scheme, which is available in about 96pc of primary schools.

Set on 120 acres of Kilkenny countryside with breathtaking backdrops of rolling hills, Ballyhale’s Mountain View announces the return of their weekly farmers market on Sunday April 2, running from 10am until 4pm every Sunday until the end of September.

Begun as a ‘lockdown project’ by the O’Neill family, the third generation owners of Mountain View, Mountain View Market is one of

Kilkenny’s most loved and the South East’s largest and fastest growing weekly farmers market and now supports hundreds of small business owners from across Ireland.

In addition to the market, this sustainably focused countryside estate is a multi award winning wedding venue and is home to a luxurious glamping village and a celebrated restaurant which

boasts critically acclaimed head chef Rory Nolan.  Commenting on the success of her family-run business, Mountain View co-owner and co-founder Bee O’Grady said: “Originally a family farm and having rst opened nearly 30 years ago as a golf course, it is wonderful to see how our family-run business has transitioned and transformed into a successful exclusive wedding and events venue,

an truly unique staycation o ering in our luxury glamping village, e Greenhouse restaurant with its spectacular panoramic views and of course our ever-growing farmers market which return on Sunday April 2nd.” e venue was crowned recently as Ireland’s Best Alternative and Best Festival Wedding Venue.

Showcasing  on average 75 market stalls every Sunday,

the family-run Mountain View Market hosts an eclectic mix of food and craft stalls from local, regional and  nationwide creators, makers, producers and businesses.

Originally a family farm, Mountain View o ers an ultimate day out experience for family, friends or even furry four-legged friends as they are dog-friendly!

* See

ree county Kilkenny road junctions which have been the site of several near misses are to get an upgrade in the coming months, with €65,000 having been allocated for the works in Kells, Stoneyford and Callan.

Cllr Matt Doran’s told KCLR News that concerns about the junctions had been repeatedly highlighted by local people.

6 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 News Upgrade for three dangerous roads Kilkenny’s
Ballyhale is back!
O to camp: Eva Jege, Lewis and Carrie Linden at the launch of the Starcamp event
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The Fact Of The Matter

Taking the mick: Lottie Ryan and Snowflakes

So, radio DJ Lottie Ryan was not impressed with Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel’s dig at the Irish during the awards ceremony, saying we had hoped for Oscar glory after a record 14 nominations but “ended up the butt of jokes about drinking, ghting and unintelligible accents”.

On the night, Kimmel made reference to ve Irish stars being nominated for an Academy Award, claiming the “odds of another ght on stage just went up”. e daughter of the late Gerry Ryan said: “It’s not just Jimmy Kimmel that writes these scripts. ere is a whole team that puts these things together. But he still went ahead, and people on social media aren’t very comfortable.”

She also failed to see the humour in the Saturday Night Live skit impersonating Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. e sketch was criticised for being “o ensive” and

“mean-spirited” in its portrayal of Irish stereotypes. e skit featured a look-alike Gleeson and Farrell speaking in bizarre accents, followed by the presenter joking: “Wow, and they haven’t even started drinking yet.”

e backlash against Lottie Ryan on her social media platform has been vociferous, to put it mildly, with the majority of hundreds of comments telling her to “get real”, “grow up” and “stop being such a snow ake” and that we Irish have always had the ability to laugh at ourselves. Snow ake? While Lottie may be, at 37, far too old for the Snow ake Generation, the suggestion is that, like snowakes, today’s young people are delicate individuals, easily o ended and a slight increase in temperature will see them in emotional meltdown.

I can be the devil’s advocate and argue that young people today come in for a lot of ak.

Like previous generations, they can be loud and gregarious and demanding that all be

Local solicitor John D. Holland awarded a Masters of Law with Distinction

handed to them on a plate.

Despite their apparent nonchalance, there is an onus on them — some of it self-imposed or peer pressure — to perform, to achieve, to succeed. No exam is, seemingly, any longer a guarantee to a good job in this day of internships and zero-hours contracts. And let’s not go near body-image and self-esteem and ambiguity towards trans people.

Some would argue that successive governments have failed our young, particularly in the area of housing and getting a leg up on the mortgage ladder, and they are once more leaving this island because they see no place for themselves in the Ireland of the 21st century.

Add to this myriad modern manifestations of a lost society, sexual casualisation, lack of moral bre, corruption in government, church and the legal system, and you get some

idea of how our young may feel lost and confused and easily o ended.

I don’t have any magical solution to o er a generation who, sadly, feel under pressure. We are, once again like the Eighties and the Fifties, about to lose a generation of our young and gifted to emigration.

I found myself the other week crossing Dublin City by Luas, crammed like in pre-Covid times. e proverbial tin of sardines. An elderly woman got on at the next stop and faced standing, until a young man jumped up from his seat to o er it to her. “I am glad to see there are still some gentlemen, “ I said to no one in particular.

He acknowledged my remark with a smile and we got talking. He was what Dubs call an inner city kid; I reckoned about 27 or so and when he had smiled his bad teeth hinted at darker times. I was right. He had been a drug user

since he was 14, barbiturates and hash at rst but by 19 was using heroin.

His mother, a lone parent, desperate to save her eldest boy from the ravages of Dublin’s inner city drugs and its accompanying mayhem, took him, by then aged 22, and his younger sibling o to stay with a relative in Co Mayo. ere he spent “weeks, months” going through the ‘cold turkey’ of withdrawal, eventually getting a job in a warehouse and going back to school to sit his Leaving Cert.

e day we met he had just received word he had been accepted by Trinity College to study for a degree as a mature student. A psychology degree “so I can learn and perhaps help others with such demons,” he said as he bid me adieu and jumped o at the next stop.

Give me his company any day over an easily o ended Lottie Ryan.

Climate Change

– are we all playing our part?

8 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
A airs of the Heart (And Other Writings) by Paul Hopkins (Monument Media Press, €14.99), ‘a collection of stories to warm the emotions and light the soul’, is available at select book stores and from John D. Holland of Holland Condon Solicitors, Castlecomer with Baroness Grey- ompson, Chancellor of Northumbria University, Newcastle, England after a ceremony at the University where John was awarded a Masters of Law with Distinction for his thesis on the negative impact of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act, 2009 regarding undocumented and unregistered rights of way in Ireland. e law in this area has since been amended having taken account of these adverse consequences outlined in his paper.
9 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Advertisement

Female TDs 'abuse' Taskforce

The lobby group Women For Election has said they are "thrilled' to see their proposal for a Taskforce to address the serious harassment and abuse of female politicians has been supported by the Ceann Comhairle.

The Ceann Comhairle has

written to party leaders to establish our proposal of a Taskforce to deal with the abuse of female politicians and future candidates.

CEO of Women for Election Caitriona Gleeson told The Kilkenny Observer: "It really is wonderful to see the issue being addressed.

We are very grateful for the support of our proposal from the Ceann Comhairle and across the political spectrum.

"It is important to remember this issue needs a holistic and integrated response from across society. We must challenge the current

status quo to ensure politics is safe, inclusive and accessible to all women," Ms Gleeson said. She said Women For Election were working hard to ensure there were more women equipped with the knowledge and skills to run for the upcoming elections.

We cannot continue with an unfinished democracy of only 23% women.

"We look forward to working across the Oireachtas to implement solutions from the taskforce to tackle this serious issue," Ms Gleeson said.

Women for Election is a

non-partisan non-governmental organisation which is working to achieve full representation of a diversity of women in Irish politics. Women for Election inspires, equips and supports women to enter and succeed in Irish politics.


funding for local heritage

Carlow is set to receive €40,000 to aid a heritageled regeneration plan

The Heritage Council, along with Minister of State Malcolm Noonan TD, has announced that 11 historic towns will share €1.3m funding under the 2023 Historic Towns Initiative (HTI). The funding will help to provide jobs through heritage-led regeneration, aid the rebuilding of local economies, and address vacancy with heri -

tage as the focal point. A joint initiative between the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and the Heritage Council, this year’s scheme follows on from highly successful projects during 2018 to 2022.

e HTI seeks proposals that encourage the speci c re-use of historic buildings with works on this year’s projects to be completed before the end of the year. Carlow is set to receive €40,000 under

the initiative as part of a heritage-led regeneration plan. Chairperson of the Heritage Council, Dr Martina Moloney said: “It is a fantastic scheme which will play a pivotal role in facilitating the re-use of vacant buildings in our town centres by tackling dereliction and helping us meet our climate change targets.”  Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan TD said the projects would richly enhance the look and feel of each of the towns involved.

The bold Sam comes to visit

The Sam Maguire and McCarthy cups visited Kilkenny Rugby Football Club recently.

Pictured with the bold Same are Ned Byrne, All Ireland hurling winner with Kilkenny, and Mick Galwey, All Ireland football winner with Kerry.

In this photograph you can see Ned 's Kilkenny

1972 All Ireland winning jersey and his Irish International Jersey in the background. Also included are international and British and Irish Lions jerseys worn by other Kilkenny Rugby Club members including  Willie Duggan, Ian Dowling Jack Notley Garry Halpin, Ronan

Kearney and Mick Galwey.

It was most unusual to have both GAA Cups in Kilkenny Rugby Club to celebrate the unique All Ireland and International caps of Ned and Mick. No player other than Ned has achieved all Ireland hurling and international rugby honours.

Motorists are "at their wits' end" with e-scooter drivers, according to Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Pat Fitzpatrick who made his remarks at meeting of the Joint Policing Committee at County Hall.

“They’re flying around Kilkenny on these e-scooters at the moment, often in the dark, with absolutely no safety measures taken into account,” he said.

“An e-scooter sped by the inside of my van at Henebry's Cross recently which we know is a very dangerous road already,” he said.

“At the very least, these e- scooter drivers must be told to brighten their clothing.”

Cllr Eugene McGuinness told committee members that he had seen e-scooters with "two, and sometimes even three" people on them.

The behaviour of some escooter drivers was "very dangerous,' he said and asked if any action could be taken by Gardaí.

Cllr Joe Malone said he was concerned that some people might be using escooters to allegedly move

drugs around Kilkenny city.

Superintendent Aidan Brennan acknowledged to committee members that e-scooters were "no longer toys".

Supt. Brennan said escooter drivers were a "very vulnerable road user" as they could get knocked o them very easily.

He told committee members that e-scooters were a relatively new mode of transport that were still in a "legal grey area" but that Gardaí would welcome legislation to govern their use.

10 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 News
Motorists are 'at wits end' over 'unsafe' e-scooters
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As I See It Marianne Heron

What do we want in change for women?

Coinciding with International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday the announcement of a referendum to amend the Constitutional article dealing with a women’s place in the home might seem at rst glance like a gift for the women of Ireland.

Back in the days when feminists battled to wrest the treatment of women here out of the dark ages,  Article 41.2, which states that “by her life within the home the woman gives the State a support  without which the common good cannot be achieved… the State shall endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home”, seemed like an insult for some of us  at the time.

at women should be con ned at home to the role of motherhood and obliged to carry out unpaid duties there seemed sexist, never mind the inference that what women’s labours in the home didn’t count as work. But the real thrust of the article was to protect mothers from having to go out to work.

It was a profoundly empty promise at a time when mothers were woefully unprotected. Not only was there no support for mothers in the home, there was no support for deserted wives; no help for battered women; a marriage bar in some sectors which prevented mothers working anyway because it was assumed that they would get pregnant.

God help you if you were an unmarried mother,

likely to be incarcerated in a mother and baby home,  obliged  to give up your baby for adoption and then end up a slave in a Magdalene laundry. It took decades of campaigning to win the protection women needed and some degree of equality. But hang on a minute: what are we going to have instead of that article? A referendum or possible three referenda will be held next Autumn which, according to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, would make Ireland a leader on gender equality in all its forms. e wording has yet to be decided. Future proposals will also consider the de nition of family currently founded on marriage  at present which excludes single parents and unmarried parents . What do we really want to see in place of Article

41.2? At present the majority of parents have to go out to work in order to a ord mortgages, high rents and the cost of living whether they want to be at home to care for small children or not and some ‘generation rent’ families defer having children because they can’t a ord to buy homes.  Plus, the cost of preschool child care is steep and work is hardly child-friendly. Hard-pressed parents might appreciate having their vital undertaking in raising the next generation recognised and better supported, and surely they must long for better work/ family balance?

ere needs to be thorough debate here before that ‘role within the home’ is consigned to the dustbin. e reality is that mothers still shoulder most of the

work involved in running homes and bringing up children as well as going out to work and are the ones most likely to take part-time work in order to manage both roles. Wouldn’t parents much rather have a ordable homes and family-friendly work in place and free childcare rather than another empty promise?

Gender-neutral options are intended to be part and parcel of the proposed referendum.  Do the majority want to be gender neutral? Gender is a social contract, and some of those constructs may be limiting or silly but do we want to do away with her and him and all become they?

e Citizens Assembly have suggested the word carer, in place of woman (at least this covers the use of caring robots) but why

can’t we use the words woman or man? ere may be a rainbow of genders and sexual orientations out there deserving equal treatment and freedom from prejudice but there are only two sexes, female and male Making a child involves both sexes, however that may be achieved. Stating this, though, is liable to lead to virulent attack from militant transgenderists who hold that gender identity is independent of biological reality. Holding that there are two biological sexes may even be grounds for sacking these days.

e proposal to amend the Constitution is surely one of those situations where we should be careful what we wish for.

And I for one want to continue to be recognised as a woman.

Plastic free periods with Natracare

Did you know that there can be plastic in personal hygiene products? For example, did you know that a pack of conventional period pads can contain up to ve plastic bags worth of plastic. at’s shocking.

But thankfully, Natracare has an alternative. eir pads, tampons, maternity pads, and incontinence pads are made from renewable, biodegradable, and compostable materials. And unlike other brands, they won’t be polluting the earth for the next 500 years.

ey are made from just a few simple, natural materials. All the cotton used in Natracare products is 100% organic. e

leak-proof layer of Natracare pads and liners is a homecompostable, certi ed biopolymer made from GM-free plant starch – a renewable resource, and a solution to waste disposal problems associated with traditional petroleumderived plastics. ey also use this material as a wrapper for some of their pads and liners.

ere are no chemicals in any of their products, and they are totally chlorine, perfume, and dye free. eir maternity pads are perfectly suited for after giving birth. ey are extralong, extra wide, and are comfortably padded to give you great protection for the natural blood loss experienced after giving birth. ey’ll be gentle on your skin and won’t cause irritation that can be associated with synthetic materials.

Other plastic free products are Kindly reusable period

pads for daytime or night time use are made with 100% organic cotton eece. e pad itself has 3 layers of this super soft and absorbent eece. ey’re a comfortable, soft, natural alternative to a synthetic, disposable pad. ey can be machine washed, dried, and reused.

Or there’s the money-saving menstrual Mooncup. A reusable menstrual product that pays for itself after 6-8 months. It’s made from soft, medicalgrade silicone. It’s so comfortable you can’t feel it’s there.

e Mooncup menstrual cup won’t dry or irritate your skin.

Your Mooncup is washable, reusable, and no need to be rushing to the shops at the last minute to stock up. e Mooncup holds 3 times more than a regular tampon.

Regarding deodorants, it’s fantastic that Wild Deodorants have created a reusable deodorant applicator made from aluminium that will last you your lifetime. e deodorants can be re lled over and over and every time you re ll you will save 30gms of plastic going to land ll.

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

Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre Phone: 056 7764538


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Governments and individuals must focus

e new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report con rmed that countries’ collective plans for 2030 make it likely that temperatures will rise by more than 1.5°C during the 21st century and make it harder to limit warming below 2°C.

ose thresholds were set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement, where countries agreed to try to limit warming to no more than 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 to prevent the worst impacts of the crisis.

Professor Peter orne, a climatologist at Maynooth

University, is a IPCC lead author and, of the hundreds of scientists who worked on the report. He explained it is likely that temperatures will pass the 1.5 mark in the early 2030s but whether they remain at that level, drop, or continue to grow depends on action taken now.


e increasing climate change we are now seeing is caused by humans using oil, gas and coal for their homes, factories and transport. Climate is the average weather in a place over many years. Climate change is a shift in those average conditions.

When these fossil fuels burn, they release greenhouse gases — mostly carbon dioxide (CO2). ese gases trap the Sun’s heat and cause the planet’s temperature to rise.

e world is now about 1.1C warmer than it was in the 19th Century while the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 50%. Temperature rises must slow down if we want to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, according to climate scientists. ey say global warming needs to be kept to 1.5C by 2100. However, unless further action is taken, the planet could still warm by more than 2C by then. A 2021 report by the independent Climate Action Tracker group calculated that the world was heading for 2.4C of warming by the end of the century. e UN has now updated that date to the end of the next decade.

If nothing is done, scientists think global warming could exceed 4C in the future, leading to devastating heatwaves, millions losing their homes to rising sea levels, and the irreversible loss of plant and animal species.

e impacts of climate change

Extreme weather events are already more intense across the globe, threatening lives and livelihoods.

With further warming, some regions could become uninhabitable, as farmland turns into desert. East Africa just saw its fth season of failed rains, which the UN’s World Food Programme says has put up to 22 million people at risk of severe hunger.

Extreme temperatures can also increase the risk of wildres — as seen in Europe and North America the last two summers. France and Germany recorded about seven times more land burnt between January and the

“Whether it’s reached and exceeded slightly, or reached and blasted right through and heading towards two and even three, fundamentally depends upon how meaningful our action is now,” he said.

“If we cut greenhouse gas emissions by about half by

The complete guide to climate change

2030 globally, if we reach net zero by 2050 and even net-negative for co2 hereafter, then we could limit warming to 1.5 degrees this century and even reduce it by the end of the century a little bit.”

If strong action had been taken in the 1980s or 90s,

“when we knew there was a problem”, there would be far more options available now, Professor orne said.

“ ere are no more excuses not to take action. ere haven’t been really for a long time.

“ e longer we delay, the fewer options we have”

world. According to the UN climate body, the IPCC, if global temperature rise cannot be kept within 1.5C: e UK and Europe will be vulnerable to ooding caused by extreme rainfall Countries in the Middle East will experience extreme heatwaves and widespread drought Island nations in the Paci c region could disappear under rising seas Many African nations are likely to su er droughts and food shortages

Drought conditions are likely in the western US, while other areas will see more intense storms Australia is likely to su er extremes of heat and increases in deaths from wild res Governments working to tackle change

Countries agree climate change can only be tackled by working together, and in a landmark agreement in Paris in 2015, they pledged to try to keep global warming to 1.5C.

In November 2022, Egypt hosted a summit for world leaders, called COP27, where countries came together to make new commitments to tackling climate change.

Many countries have pledged to get to “net zero” by 2050. is means reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, and balancing out remaining emissions by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.

Experts agree that this is still achievable, but requires governments, businesses and individuals to make substantial changes now.

What you and I can do to help

Major changes need to come from governments and businesses, but scientists say some small changes in our lives can limit our impact on the climate:

* take fewer ights

* live car-free or use an electric car

middle of July 2022, compared with the average.

Hotter temperatures also mean that previously frozen ground will melt in places like Siberia, releasing greenhouse gases trapped for centuries into the atmosphere, further worsening climate change.

In other regions, extreme rainfall caused historic ooding last year — as seen in China, Pakistan and Nigeria.

People living in developing countries are expected to su er the most as they have fewer resources to adapt to climate change. But there is frustration from these nations as they have produced the least greenhouse gas emissions.

e planet’s oceans and its habitats are also under threat. Research published in April 2022, funded by the

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, suggests that between 10% and 15% of marine species are already at risk of extinction.

In a warmer world, land animals will also nd it harder to nd the food and water they need to live. For example, polar bears could die out as the ice they rely on melts away, and elephants will struggle to nd the

150-300 litres of water a day they need.

Scientists believe at least 550 species could be lost this century if action is not taken.

If temperatures continue to rise, almost all warm water coral reefs could be destroyed

How change will

a ect the world

Climate change will have di erent e ects across the

* reduce consumption of meat and dairy products reduce your energy use

* buy energy e cient products, such as washing machines, when they need replacing

* improve your home insulation

* switch from a gas heating system to an electric heat pump

News 14 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
15 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Advertisement

Be wary of giving too much data away Your Money & You John Ellis

In the recent past have you been approached by a research company and asked to take part in a survey and before you start you are asked for a lot of personal information that you were uncomfortable disclosing?

Well, you are not alone because, according to a recent report conducted by IReach in conjunction with the Compliance Institute, most Irish people (70%) feel some level of discomfort around giving their personal information away to product and service providers.

Half of those surveyed say it makes them anxious to do so, while the other half say they are very cautious and will not give personal data away unless they “absolutely have to do so”.  Furthermore, almost half of people aged 55+ (49%) are extremely hesitant to share details about themselves unless “absolutely necessary”, compared with

just a quarter of people aged 25 to 34.

Women are much more concerned handing over their personal data than men at 77% v. 64% and three times as many men than women don’t give it a second thought (16% v. 5%).

When it comes to Government agencies such as the HSE, Department of Social Protection, Revenue Commissioners etc. just more one in 10 (12%) say they are least likely to trust such agencies with their personal data. More than one in ve of those who view Government agencies as the least trustworthy with their data were aged between 25 and 34, with 7% claiming they don’t trust banks with their data.

Mobile phone and broadband providers, as well as utility providers such as gas and electricity providers, seem less suspect coming in at 4% and 2% respectively,

suggesting people tend to trust these entities more with their information.

ere is huge suspicion when it comes to social media companies. e Compliance Institute survey shone a light on this mistrust as the companies topped the poll as the least trusted bodies when it comes to guarding the personal information of users,

with six in 10 (56%) people regarding them as the most untrustworthy. ose aged 18-24 were signi cantly more likely to feel this way, coming in at 74%.

Online retailers came in second place with almost one in ve (18%) saying they would be least likely to trust these businesses with their personal information.

Where does this lack of trust come from? Most likely due to the many data leaks and breaches that have been disclosed in recent news stories.  e Compliance Institute concurs, stating that, with Ireland being at the top of the EU league table for the aggregate nes imposed last year, it’s no wonder people are rightfully protective about their information.  Still the younger generation have less reservations providing personal data, which is understandable given that they have grown up in an online world.

Michael Kavanagh, CEO of the Compliance Institute, says: “Social media platforms such as Facebook and Tik-Tok have exploded in recent years with a huge amount of people, both young and old, sharing personal details and minute-by-minute updates of their lives with their world of followers which results in a large volume of personal data

being in the hands of social media companies.”

With cybercriminals more than keeping up with cybersecurity measures being put in place, more and more people are acutely aware of the menacing rise of identity theft. People need to ask, can this information I’m about to reveal, even the smallest detail, be considered personal and used to identify you either directly or indirectly. You need to remember that companies and service providers collect vast amounts of information on a daily basis and you might think that allowing access to your personal date to one company is not going to be problematic but, even if one piece of data alone doesn’t identify you, when paired alongside other pieces of data your identity can quickly become known.


086 8362622

worthy cause – Camphill Communities Fundraiser

16 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Opinion
On 5th April 2023 there will be a fundraiser at Camphill Communities of Ireland, the Watergarden, Thomastown to raise money to buy a defibrillator, from 10am to 12pm. As many people are aware the Watergarden is a day service for adults with intellectual disabilities and it has been a part of the local community for many years. On the day it will cost €7 to come in and for this supporters will get tea, coffee and a delicious desert of choice. There will be arts and crafts for sale. Also there will be arts and crafts workshops for children. Special visit from the Easter bunny! Please come along and support this very worthy cause. A
17 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Advertisement

A team of researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Israel Institute for Biological Research have , for the rst time, developed an mRNA-based vaccine that is 100% e ective against a type of bacteria that is lethal to humans.

e study, conducted in a lab model, demonstrated that all treated models were fully protected against the bacteria. e researchers believe their new technology can enable rapid development of e ective vaccines for bacterial diseases, including diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

e study, conducted in an animal model, demonstrated that all treated animals were fully protected against the bacteria. According to the researchers, their new technology can enable rapid development of e ective vaccines for bacterial diseases, including diseases caused by antibioticresistant bacteria, for example in case of a new fast-spreading pandemic.

e study was led by Tel Aviv University’s Dr Edo Kon and Prof. Dan Peer, VP for R&D and Head of the Laboratory of Precision Nano-Medicine at the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, in collaboration with researchers from the Israel Institute for Biological Research: Dr. Yinon Levy, Uri Elia, Dr. Emanuelle Mamroud, and Dr. Ofer Cohen. e study’s results were published in the journal Science Advances.

Edo Kon explained: “So far mRNA vaccines, such as the Covid-19 vaccines familiar to all of us, were assumed to be e ective against viruses but not against bacteria. e great advantage of these vaccines, in addition to their e ectiveness, is the ability to develop them very quickly: once the genetic sequence of the virus SARS- CoV2 (Covid-19) was published, it took only 63 days to begin the rst clinical trial. “However, until now sci-

Researchers have developed a more powerful and energy-e cient memristor — an electrical component that limits or regulates the ow of electrical current — based on the structure of the human brain, that combines data storage and processing. e new technologyvis not yet ready for use as it is di cult to integrate with existing computer chips, but it has the potential for parallel processing of large amounts of data.

Inspired by the brain’s energy e ciency, copying its structure to create more powerful computers, a team of researchers from Politecnico di Milano, Empa and ETH Zurich has developed a memristor that is more powerful and easier to produce than its predecessors, according to the journal Science Advances.

e researchers are developing computer architectures inspired by the functioning of the human brain through new components

Groundbreaking vaccine is 100% effective against deadly bacteria

proteins, learns how to protect our body in the event of exposure to the real virus.

Kon said: “Since viruses produce their proteins inside our cells, the proteins translated from the viral genetic sequence are similar to those translated from the labsynthesised mRNA. Bacteria, however, are a whole di erent story: ey don’t need our cells to produce their own proteins. And since the evolutions of humans and bacteria are quite di erent from one another, proteins produced in bacteria can be di erent from those produced in human cells, even when based on the same genetic sequence.

“Researchers have tried to synthesise bacterial proteins in human cells, but exposure to these proteins resulted in low antibodies and a general lack of protective immune e ect, in our bodies. is is because, even though the proteins produced in the bacteria are essentially identical to those synthesized in the lab, being based on the same ‘manufacturing instructions,’ those produced in human cells undergo signi cant changes, like the addition of sugars, when secreted from the human cell.

“To address this problem, we developed methods to secrete the bacterial proteins while bypassing the classical secretion pathways, which are problematic for this application. e result was a signicant immune response, with the immune system identifying the proteins in the vaccine as immunogenic bacterial proteins.

entists believed that mRNA vaccines against bacteria were biologically undoable.

In our study we proved that it is in fact possible to develop 100%-e ective mRNA vaccines for deadly bacteria,” he said.

e researchers explained that viruses depend on external (host) cells for their reproduction. Inserting its own mRNA molecule into a human cell, a virus uses our cells as a factory for producing

Computers moving to equal human brain

that, like brain cells, combine data storage and processing. e new memristors are based on a semiconductor material known for the production of solar cells.

Although most people cannot do mathematical calculations with computer precision, humans can effortlessly process complex sensory information and learn from their experiences

– a thing that no computer can (yet) do.

And in doing so, the human brain consumes just half the energy of a laptop thanks to its structure in synapses, capable of both storing and processing information.

In computers, however, the memory is separate from the processor and data must be continuously transported

viral proteins based on its own genetic material, namely replicates of itself.

In mRNA vaccines this same molecule is synthesised in a lab, then wrapped in lipid nanoparticles resembling the

membrane of human cells.

When the vaccine is injected into our body, the lipids stick to our cells, and consequently the cells produce viral proteins. e immune system, becoming familiar with these

more energy-e ciently. is includes, for example, the parallel processing of large amounts of data; today this happens everywhere, from agriculture to space exploration.”

Based on the measurements, the researchers simulated a complex computational task that corresponds to a learning process in the visual cortex of the brain.

e task was to determine the orientation of a light bar based on signals from the retina.

“To enhance the bacterial protein’s stability and make sure that it does not disintegrate too quickly inside the body, we buttressed it with a section of human protein. By combining the two breakthrough strategies we obtained a full immune response.”

our memristor system with di erent materials,” says Alexander Milozzi, Ph.D candidate at Politecnico di Milano.”Probably some of them are more suitable for integration with silicon.”

Brain-inspired systems built with memristors are attractive owing to their large parallelism, low energy consumption, and high error tolerance.

between these two units.

e transport speed is limited and this makes the whole computer slower when the amount of data is very large.

“Our goal is not to replace the classic computer architecture,” explains Professor Daniele Ielmini Politecnico di Milano. “Rather, we want to develop alternative architectures that can perform certain tasks faster and

e technology is not ready for use yet and simply manufacturing the new memristors makes integrating them with existing computer chips di cult: perovskites cannot handle the 400-500 °C temperatures needed for silicon processing – at least not yet.

ere are also other materials with similar properties that could be considered for the production of high performance memristors.

“We can test the results of

However, most demonstrations have thus far only mimicked primitive lowerorder biological complexities using devices with rstorder dynamics.

Memristors with higherorder complexities are predicted to solve problems that would otherwise require increasingly elaborate circuits, but no generic design rules exist.

is higher order enables complex binocular orientation selectivity in neural networks exploiting the intrinsic physics of the devices, without the need for complicated circuitry.

News 18 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Science & Wellbeing

Scotland’s North Coast 500: a road trip

e best way to explore Scotland’s North Coast 500 is on a road trip. If you don’t have your own car, you’ll want to book a rental one well in advance. ere are plenty of places to book rental cars in Scotland. Use Rental Cars Connect to nd the best deals on any rental car. You can compare prices on their website.

Be sure your rental is a smaller car as roads are often single track roads along the North Coast 500 and a small car is easy to navigate through the North Highlands. e roads through the Scottish Highlands are winding and narrow there are several hairpin turns. Small cars can also t easily into the passing places to let faster drivers overtake you.

Day 1: North Coast 500 –


We started our North Coast 500 road trip in Inverness and spent two days enjoying this historic city. Inverness is the main city on the North Coast 500 route and it is the capital of the Scottish Highlands. e capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is home to the very famous Loch Ness where you can search for Nessie herself. at was our main interest when visiting

Inverness, but there are plenty of other things to see and do.

Day 2: North Coast 500

ere are plenty of things to do in Inverness and in the surrounding area, so you will de nitely want to spend some time here. Here are a few top attractions to see before moving along the North Coast 500.

Loch Ness

Inverness is the main hub for exploring Loch Ness. People visit the legendary Loch Ness in search of the Loch Ness Monster, but it is worth exploring the sandy beaches and scenery around Inverness as well.

e visitors center in Drumnadrochit is fun and kitschy and is a must-stop to learn about the history of the Loch Ness Monster, but exploring the massive lake is the highlight.


And Glen A ric

If you have more time, you can stay in Drumnadrochit, there are plenty of B&Bs in the area. If you are staying in the area take a drive to Glen

A ric to take in its stunning landscape and view the beautiful Plodda Falls. is

is the spot where the tour busses stop though so be prepared for large crowds and tra c.

Be sure to watch the sunset from Dores Beach and you may even run into the Nessie Hunter who has set up camp right in this spot to keep watch for the elusive monster.

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle is another must-see stop on the lake.

It is a beautiful ruin that has survived many a battle over the past 1000 years. e setting overlooks Loch Ness and the rolling hills of the Scottish Highlands, I can see why people fought over this beautiful setting.

Where to Stay in Inverness

Accommodation Suggestion: Kingsmills Hotel and spa with swimming pool and breakfast included. e Kingsmills Hotel is located on a golf course just outside the downtown core. Set in a large historic mansion on a massive treed property with spa and pool.

e Rocpool Reserve Hotel is another recommended hotel.

3 – Drive North

Leave Inverness and make your way to Dornoch for the start of your east coast drive. Your next overnight is just a little over an hour’s drive away, but it is the perfect base for your next set of explorations as there is a lot to see and do in the area.

Along the A9 towards the NC500 o ers many things to see and places to stop. Dornoch is famous for the Dornoch Castle and makes a good base to explore the whisky route. Don’t just beeline it to the next town, be sure to pop into these highlights on your way out of Inverness before hitting the North Coast 500.

Culloden Battle eld

Memorial to the Clans e Culloden Battle eld is one of the best stops on the North Coast 500 road trip. As you make your way through the Scottish Highlands, make sure to stop at one of the most historic sites on the itinerary. e modern visitor’s centre opened in 2008 and is a stark contrast to the empty land where one of the bloodiest battles on soil took place.

On a spring day in 1746, more than 1200 men were killed in just one short hour. It was the nal battle of the

Jacobite uprising and it came to its fateful end.

Visitors are given headsets triggered by GPS telling them the story of the bloody battle as they walk both sides of the battle eld. One of the most powerful moments comes when you enter the interior museum and stand inside a room projecting a 360-degree reenactment of the battle. You are surrounded by the cries of the warriors meeting their fate.

If you are fascinated with Highland history, this is a place where you can easily spend hours.

Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns is not far from the Culloden Battle eld and is a good stop for this day of sightseeing on the North Coast 500. Cairns are ancient stone cemeteries dating back 4,000 years. ere are several cairns along the nc500 but none as famous as Clava Cairns.

Clava Cairns was used as the inspiration for the Outlander series (this is the place where Claire was transported back in time)

you can understand why Diana Gambon felt time travel could happen here.

e standing stones

and circular cairns feel like magic. e Cairns of Scotland were burial tombs used to house the dead and today, visitors can stroll the grounds and walk right into the centre of the tombs feeling the peace and quiet of the sacred site. It’s free to visit so don’t miss it!

Black Isle

It’s time to move on from Inverness and cross into the Black Isle portion of the driving route. Black Isle is a peninsula located just north of the city of Inverness. Despite its name, Black Isle is not an actual island but rather a peninsula, bounded by water on three sides: the Cromarty Firth to the north, the Beauly Firth to the south, and the Moray Firth to the east.

e name “Black Isle” is said to come from the fact that when viewed from a distance, the area appears to be black due to the forests that cover much of the peninsula.

Black Isle is a popular stop on the NC500 for those who want a taste of the route with its scenic villages away from the larger towns, beaches, and wildlife reserves. You can easily explore Black Isle on a day trip from Inverness.

19 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
To Dornoch
Travel & Leisure

Furthermore Gerry Moran

On a Cleere night, accolades to beat the band

I’ve got to stop doing this. Doing what, Gerry? Presenting Oscars. Pardon? Yeah, I’m making a habit of presenting Oscars. Really? Yes, really. This time last year, give or take a week or two, I presented two Oscars to Mick Walsh and Jimmy ‘Brewery’ Rhatigan, two of the co-founders of the Monday night session (on the go for 30 years now) in John Cleere’s Bar.

No longer John Cleere’s Bar, of course which is why I presented an Oscar to John. But first a digression. John Cleere and myself go back a long, long way – to our first day in school in the Presentation Primary now the Market Cross Shopping Centre. First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Inter Cert, Leaving Cert – there we are, John and Gerry, and even when we went our different ways after the Leaving, John to Aer Lingus, me to UCD,

we somehow ended up sharing a flat together in Homefarm Rd in Dublin. A special memory I have of my school days with John is the day he took ill. We were in 6th class, our teacher was a Brother Grennan, a tyrant to put it mildly. One day John got sick and needed to be brought home and ‘Jack’ Grennan chose me to escort John to his house. It’s a fair distance from the CBS Primary School to Cleere’s Bar at Greens Bridge. But the three of us, John, John’s Raleigh bicycle and myself were in no hurry. Suffice it to say that I got back to school just as the bell was ringing to go home. That brief escape from ’Jack’ was precious and, to cap it all John’s mother gave me a tanner (sixpence) for my trouble. Trouble! An hour out of school and money into my hand. Bliss.

Back to the Oscar and John Cleere who earlier in the evening was presented with a well-deserved award at a civic reception in the Town Hall for his contribution to the music scene in Kilkenny, not least his co-founding of the Roots Festival which has become a massive success and a huge boost to the economy of this city.

Afterwards a get-together in the back room (or little theatre as many of us know it) of Cleere’s pub where Councillors Andrew McGuinness and Pat Fitzpatrick were fulsome in their praise of what John, along with his good wife Phil, had achieved over the decades.

After the speeches, and armed with my plastic Oscar, I decided to add my tuppence worth (sixpence worth even, payback time!) to the occasion because what John and Phil Cleere

created was nothing short of phenomenal. Cleere’s Pub became not just a destination for musicians all over Ireland, indeed all over the world (as evidenced by the numerous accolades we enjoyed on the screen, compiled by John’s son, Brian (domiciled in Chicago) it became

a buzzing, thriving cultural hub.

There was theatre, home to Bickerstaffe founded by Lynne Cahill and Richard Cook who gave us the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival and brought foreign cinema, subtitles, to Cleeres and who was filming around town these last few weeks for a series to be aired on Channel 4, I believe.

It was in this same theatre that the hilarious d’Unbelievables burst upon the Kilkenny scene, not to mention the numerous local productions. There were art exhibitions (not least by Phil Cleere herself whose work I frequently purchased); we had book launches and literary events: readings by Joe O’Connor, Paul Durcan, Pat Ingoldsby, Rita-Ann Higgins, President Higgins even (when he was mixing politics and poetry, an in -

teresting cocktail) oh, and a few readings by yours truly.

And it was nice to be reminded by John that I was the first person ever to perform in Cleere’s. John invited me down one Arts Week to read some of my humorous verse which I did – for far too long and I duly apologised for that (even if the apology is 30 years, or so, overdue).

In the meantime I’m still reciting at the famous Monday night sessions now under the auspices of Johnny Holden and Paul McCabe, the new owners of Cleere’s and I wish you every success, lads. I also wish John and Phil Cleere every fulfilment and happiness in their future ahead. And so, an era has come to an end; John Cleere may well have left the building but Cleere’s, ‘Ireland’s biggest little venue’, will always be Cleere’s.

20 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Opinion
‘And so, an era has come to an end...

Fair days in Callan

From the town cross to the steps leading up to the Big Chapel, you could buy any piece of fruit or vegetable within season on Fair Day: Apples, oranges, gooseberries, black and red currents, or a head of cabbage for a penny.

ere were hanks of onions and stalls laden with fresh herrings. Cartloads of coal lined Mill Street on the Friary side under the high chestnut trees: e going rate was twenty- ve shillings a ton.

e ubiquitous Moll Daly sold ballad sheets to earn a few pence. She also ran an occasional shooting gallery on the Fair Green. Brandishing an old pellet gun and pointing to a paper target pinned to a pole or a stick, she invited anyone who fancied himself as an amateur marksman to try his luck-for a small fee of course.

e prize might be to double his money, usually two pennies, or maybe, in exceptional cases, the price of a ball of malt in the pub. She did quite well out of this venture, and the would-be sharp shooters

enjoyed it too.

Moll and her husband, the “Ducker Daly”, were household names in Callan. She was

fondly remembered by Jack and other Callan folk, with her catchphrase still ringing in their ears “God save ya, me

lovely man”.

Jack’s pub did a roaring trade, thanks partly to the fairs. He had a special licence that enabled him to open his premises at any hour of the day or night. is arrangement, needless to say, was a godsend to any publican but essential to the vast numbers of people who arrived in Callan for the fairs.

Sensitive deals were made in the secrecy and security of the Snug, a section of the pub also popular with the few women drinkers who called in. e ladies kept to themselves, wrapped in shawls and

tending to cry a lot as they deliberated on past woes and present challenges. But they had to move over when the “fair men” wanted to engage in a bit of semi-con dential hand slapping.

Apart from those directly involved in the fairs, the entire population of Callan and its rural environs enjoyed the bene ts of the monthly upsurge in economic activity generated by them. e pubs, groceries, and draperies thrived, as did the many householders who o ered overnight lodgings to visitors. And of course the town’s eating-houses were a hive of activity: From morning to night, they reeked of steak and onions.

“I knew a lot of people who

earned enough money on fair day to do them for the rest of the month”, said Jack.

When Fair was Fowl in Callan e fowl fairs were held for many years at the Market House in Green Street-the building later served as the Town Hall. Carmel Kealy recalled that on Tuesday mornings the town awoke to the sound of horses and donkeys arriving for the fair.

Above the noise emanating from this archaic form of transport could be heard the quacking and clucking of birds: Hens, cocks, ducks, geese, and turkeys. Traders and buyers entered the town from every direction. To be continued...

21 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Opinion
Pat Lyons' shop Callan Fair Day tra ic jam in Callan 1943
Part three
Pollards at The Square in Callan 1900's

It’s 25 years since there has been a newborn Japanese baby in the Sogio district of Kawakami village. In those intervening years the village population has shrunk by more than half to just 1,150 – down from 6,000 as recently as 40 years ago – as younger residents left and older residents died. Many homes were abandoned, some overrun by wildlife.

Kawakami is just one of the countless small rural towns and villages that have been forgotten and neglected as younger Japanese head for the cities. More than 90% of Japanese now live in urban areas like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto – all linked by Japan’s always-on-time Shinkansen bullet trains.

at has left rural areas and industries like agriculture, forestry, and farming facing a critical labor shortage that will likely get worse in the coming years as the workforce ages.

By 2022, the number of people working in agriculture and forestry had declined to 1.9 million from 2.25 million 10 years earlier.

Yet the demise of Kawakami is emblematic of a problem that goes far beyond the Japanese countryside.

e problem for Japan is: people in the cities aren’t having babies either.

“Time is running out to procreate,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a recent Press conference, a slogan that seems so far to have fallen short of inspiring the city dwelling majority of the Japanese public. Amid a ood of disconcerting demographic data, he warned earlier this year that the country was “on the brink of not being able to maintain social functions”.

e country saw 799,728 births in 2022, the lowest number on record and barely more than half the 1.5 million births it registered in 1982. Its fertility rate – the average number of children born to women during their reproductive years – has fallen to 1.3 – far below the 2.1 required to maintain a stable population.

Deaths have outpaced births for more than a decade.

Baby, it’s not looking good for Japan

And in the absence of meaningful immigration – foreigners accounted for just 2.2% of the population in 2021, according

to the Japanese government –some fear the country is hurtling toward the point of no return, when the number of women of

child-bearing age hits a critical low from which there is no way to reverse the trend of population decline.

All this has left the leaders of the world’s third-largest economy facing the unenviable task of trying to fund pensions and

health care for a ballooning elderly population even as the workforce shrinks.

Up against them are the busy urban lifestyles and long working hours that leave little time for Japanese to start families and the rising costs of living that mean having a baby is simply too expensive for many young people. en there are the cultural taboos that surround talking about fertility and patriarchal norms that work against mothers returning to work.

Doctor Yuka Okada, the director of Grace Sugiyama Clinic in Tokyo, said cultural barriers meant talking about a woman’s fertility was often o limits.

“(People see the topic as) a little bit embarrassing. ink about your body and think about (what happens) after fertility. It is very important. So, it’s not embarrassing.”

Okada is one of the rare working mothers in Japan who has a highly successful career after childbirth. Many of Japan’s highly educated women are relegated to part-time or retail roles – if they re-enter the workforce at all. In 2021, 39% of women workers were in parttime employment, compared to 15% of men, according to the OECD.

Tokyo is hoping to address some of these problems, so that working women today will become working mothers tomorrow. e metropolitan government is starting to subsidise egg freezing, so that women have a better chance of a successful pregnancy if they decide to have a baby later in life.

New parents in Japan already get a “baby bonus” of thousands of dollars to cover medical costs.

Some recent surveys suggest more young people like them are considering the appeals of country life, lured by the low cost of living, clean air, and low stress lifestyles that many see as vital to having families. One study of residents in the Tokyo area found 34% of respondents expressed an interest in moving to a rural area, up from 25.1% in 2019. Among those in their 20s, as many as 44.9% expressed an interest.

Where the hungry polar bears are sent to jail

In Churchill, Canada, on October 4 last year, a polar bear broke into someone’s shed on the edge of town. A teenage female, she had been circling the town’s borders for a few days trolling for food. Members of Churchill’s Polar Bear Patrol team found her standing in the shed’s doorway, munching away. is was a bad development.

“Unfortunately, that bear is going to associate buildings with food rewards from now on,” says o cer Chantal Maclean — “which could lead her to people’s homes. at means it is immediately classi ed as a bear we need to chemically immobilise and put into the polar bear holding facility.”

Immobilising a 500-pound animal that can run on uneven terrains or hide among rocks

takes a joint land and air effort. Hanging out o the side of the helicopter with a dart gun, Maclean’s work partner Ian van Nest, gave the ivory fu-

gitive a shot of telazol, a quickacting anaesthetic. e on-theground team was ready with trucks and ATVs, but the bear got out of reach.

“It took two-ish minutes for this bear to feel the e ects of that drug,” says Maclean, but she managed to get onto the other side of a big berm where no vehicles could reach her.

e team had to retrieve the problem girl on foot using a “polar bear stretcher,” essentially a massive board. “Seven of us carried this 500-pound bear over the berm and put it into the back of our truck,” says Maclean. “And then we drove it to the polar bear holding facility.”

at’s just another day in polar bear country. A frontier settlement founded for fur trading in 1717, Churchill sits smack in the middle of the ‘polar bear highway’ — the natural path the animals take to get onto the sea ice every year. Located on the shore of Hudson Bay, Churchill

has around 850 human residents and about the same number of bears roaming around. During the winter, the bears live on the frozen bay, hunting seals. But once the ice melts in July, they move onto land where food is scarce.

Years ago, a bear smacking at the window or breaking a door would likely be shot to avoid potential human fatalities. But over the years, that mentality has changed, in uenced by tourists’ interest in the majestic creatures and by the fact that there aren’t many left. Only about 20,000 to 26,000 polar bears remain in the wild, says Geo York, senior director of conservation at Polar Bear International, a nonpro t organisation that works to preserve the animals.

According to a recent Canadi-

an government report, the polar bear population has dropped 27 percent over the past ve years. With less and less sea ice forming every year, the bears have less time to hunt seals and build up necessary fat stores, leaving many bears to face starvation.

Today, Churchill’s Polar Bear Alert program keeps a close tab on the hungry prowlers, putting them behind bars and out of harm’s way only when absolutely necessary.

Colloquially known as the polar bear jail, the holding facility is a massive hangar of 28 cells built from cinder blocks with steel bar ceilings and doors. A second set of solid metal doors prevents bears from reaching out between bars. Most cells t only one bear (otherwise they’d ght) but two larger cells are reserved for moms with cubs.

e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Global Report
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No such thing as small roles o actors as Keanes ‘Moll’ entert Thomastown Concert Hall

“ ere are no small roles, only small actors”. at famous line was spoken by Konstantin Stanislavski, the ‘father’ of modern acting. Stanislavski required actors who performed in his theatre productions to engage their roles with equal commitment.

is was whether they were lead actors with large roles or supporting actors with few or no lines.

While seen as a sign of accomplishment to land a leading role in acting, one can’t overlook the smaller or supporting roles that can make a lm or a piece of theatre a success.

A Keane eye

Indeed Jake Apple-creek, a South African writer /director deliberately includes smaller roles in his work in order to encourage new actors to his troupe.

Mind you, Listowel writer

JB Keane was doing this since the late 1950’s with great cleverness.

Dandy McCabe in e Field, is one such example. Dandy is the Bull Mc Cabes rst cousin, who, unlike Bull is honest and jovial.

Dandy shows a great contrast to the Bull and is a great representative of a frightened parish in the townland of Carraigthomond.

And what about Pats Bocock and Carthalawn in Keanes Sive? eir inclusion in the script was nothing short of genius.

And so it was that I found the Kerry playwright had included what can only be described as two character gems in ‘Moll’ which opened on ursday night at omastown concert Hall.

Set in an Irish presbytery

‘Moll’ is comedy from start to nish.

Lake productions succeeded in giving the audience exactly what they wanted, which was

24 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023

nly small ains at

laughter in abundance. Where Lake succeeded most was that they played every inch of the script as if it was serious and true to life, making it all the funnier.

A comic duo

And back to where we came in. Two of the characters in the play Bridgie Andover and Ulick- played by Gemma Grant and John Whitely- were the epitome of small roles being played to perfection and with the gusto the parts deserved.

And boy did Grant and Whitely come up trumps. Both excelled, without crossing the very tempting line that divides theatre and Pantomime.

Both had great delivery and facial expressions which made their performances priceless. Grants appearance in the opening scene as an applicant for the post of parish housekeeper would have made the author proud. en the appearance halfway through the show of Gemma and John was worth the admission fee alone. Whitely had few words, but his movement and character was powerful. Grant made the most of the confusion as to why she ‘had to marry’.

e main characters in the play were played by Michael Hayes, Derek Dooley Sean Hackett and Claire Henriques. Director Gerry Cody took on a cameo role of the bishop. A look through their pen pics in the theatre programme showed the incredible amount of theatre performed by all four in various guises that includes Musicals, theatre, concerts and Pantomime.

Panache and charisma

One could wax lyrical about the high standard reached by these thespians and nobody would disagree. Su ce to say that each actor portrayed the character with a panache and charisma usually reserved for the professional stage. Originating in 1994, the Ronseal phrase ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin’ comes to mind.

e Kilkenny based theatre company advertised Moll as ‘an hilarious comedy’. And that’s what you got. Two hours of absolute comedy with some of Kilkenny’s nest actors.

I had the privilege of seeing

the Lake production of ‘ e Kings of the Kilburn High Road’ at omastown last year and I raved about it in a review in this paper. Although the content of two plays were like

comparing chalk and cheese, the standard of acting and production was equal.

Powerful priests

Derek Dooley in the role of canon Pratt was excellent in

his portrayal of a ustered and oundering canon who was happy to have his housekeeper run the parish fundraising.

‘Anything for a quiet life’ was personi ed by Dooley and a

great presence on stage and his years of theatre experience shone through.

e curates played by Michael Hayes and Seán Hackett bounced o each other. Not only were these two actors on top of their game but both looked very comfortable in their roles and dare I say even looked like they were enjoying every ounce of the performance. It would be di cult to see two other actors playing it better.

A class act from Callan And what about Claire Henriques who took on the title role of Moll?

She is a class act. I know nothing of her except what I read in the programme. She was outstanding and every bit a natural. Her comedy and her timing won both the audience and their applause. e character of Moll was that of a shrewd housekeeper who was well versed in how to deal with day to day trials and tribulations. You would wonder if Moll Kettle, in 2023, would get away with all her shenanigans. She created a divide amongst the priests and ran amok as a domineering housekeeper.

e performance by the Callan actor made you believe not just her actions but every word from her mouth. e audience loved her and you could almost see them prop themselves up in anticipation for the laughs that were to come when she arrived on stage.

I am going to hazard a guess that hundreds of actors have played the Moll role since it was rst written. Henriques did not just play the role. She lived it. She owned it. I look forward to seeing her on stage again in the not too distant future.

Backstage crew

Once again I refer to the programme to say that there was a strong team backstage and great credit is due to all for the smooth running of this production.

Director Gerry Cody did a wonderful job, as did the stage designer Siobhan Hegarty who created a very believable priests presbytery.

Stage management was by Delia Lowery assisted by Cliodhna Ryan, while lights and sound were in the hands of Brendan Maguire.

I need say no more, except the stage crew were busy and deserve great praise.

One thing that did surprise me was that although only founded in 2018, this theatre company has so far presented over twenty productions which includes theatre , radio and a couple of poetry books .

Moll is de nitely one to see.

Moll continues this coming ursday, Friday and Saturday at omastown concert hall at 8pm.

Tom Dayton is a second year student of journalism and lives in County Kilkenny.

25 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023

Mould found on food ... live maggots in chicken

Consumer complaints to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s (FSAI) in the year ended December 2020 were up almost 20% on last when compared to 2021.

A total of 4,058 complaints were handled by the FSAI’s advice line last year.

Among the many complaints from consumers sent to the FSAI were live maggots

in chicken and a false nail in chips.

A majority of the complaints (31%) related to un t food, with the FSAI receiving 1,258 complaints regarding this in 2022.

Complaints regarding un t food cited meats not being cooked completely, mould found on food products, food being sold past its use-by date,

New Stamp Duty relief available for our young trained farmers

Ifac, Ireland’s farming, food and agribusiness specialist professional services rm, is reminding young trained farmers in Kilkenny not to miss out on Stamp Duty relief.

A recent update from Revenue means that young trained farmers who are farming through a company can now qualify for 0% Stamp Duty relief on the transfer of agricultural land.

e update now allows them to avail of Stamp Duty relief as long as they also meet the following conditions:

• e transferee is under 35 years of age on the date of the deed transfer

• e transferee holds a relevant agricultural quali cation

• e transferee does not spend less than 50% of their normal working time farming the land for a minimum of 5 years from the date of transfer Ben Fogerty, Partner at ifac’s Kilkenny o ce said:

“At Ifac, we welcome this

change as it supports young farmers entering into companies and ultimately improves their ability to grow their farms and communities through a lower tax cost of funds retained in the company to acquire more land, more machinery and more stock.

“ e relief can be lost or clawed back in certain circumstances, and the consequences of this are potentially costly. As is always the case in tax matters, it is advisable to seek advice well in advance of any sale or purchase. Your accountant will explain the options and how best to structure transactions to minimise your tax liability,” he said.

Ifac has been at the heart of agriculture and food since 1975, providing a quality service and expert advice to its farming, food, and agri-business clients across the country.

A Top 10 accountancy rm, ifac has over 30 locations nationwide and 500 people serving 22,000 clients.

Young at heart on the spirit of ageing well

e Irish Gerontological Society has launched a call for creative work on the subject of ageing.  e award honours the legacy of Professor Davis Coakley (1946-2022), a respected physician and medical academic, who championed the development of geriatric medicine throughout Ireland e rst award will be made at the Annual Scienti c Meeting of the Irish Gerontological Society in 2023

· e IGS encourages submissions from a wide audience: individuals (members of the IGS and non-members) from a variety of backgrounds:  any person caring for older person(s) or any person who works with older persons, including those currently in training or retired, in the eld

and food served cold instead of hot.

“Foreign body contamination” of food was also frequently reported last year.

Commonly objects in food included pieces of glass, wood, plastic, paper, metal, hairs, small stones, medicine tablets and insects.

is included a live snail being found in a pack of

spinach, live maggots in fried chicken, and part of a disposable glove in a biscuit.

Other examples included a dirty and possibly bloody plaster in a curry, a false nail in garlic cheese chips, a piece of glass in co ee beans, and metal shavings in chicken wings.

e second highest number of complaints related to food

hygiene standards, at 1,124 or 28% of complaints. Hygiene issues included sh deliveries being left outside in the sun, excessive ies and overall dirty food business premises, and rodent droppings spotted.

Other issues included bathrooms lacking soap and sta not washing hands.

A total of 1,122 complaints

were also lodged around reports of suspected food poisoning, while 150 related to food labelling and 127 related to a failure to display allergy information.

All complaints were investigated by food inspectors. ere were also 3,305 food safety queries from people working in the food service sector.

It figures to go for accounting apprentice

of nursing, medicine, health and social care professionals

·Submissions may include a prrose piece, poem, artwork of any medium, inspired by the theme of ageing. Applicants are invited to apply via email to

Submissions close on May 1.

President, Regius Professor, Rose Anne Kenny said: “ roughout his life,Prof. Coakley vigorously promoted the integration of medicine and the humanities, with a particular focus on the literary arts.  We launch this award with the hope that it may inspire many creative works on the theme of ageing.”

* Details at medals-awards/professordavis-coakley-award

Kilkenny students have been urged to consider an accountancy apprenticeship programme which will create 150 jobs in the private and public sectors nationally this year.

Applications have opened for the Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) Apprenticeship, in partnership with further education colleges in Waterford, Wicklow, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Meath and Monaghan.

e apprenticeship is a funded, two-year, workbased learning education and training programme in which apprentices work, learn and earn at least €22,035 a-year while at-

tending lectures one day a week at a local college.

It provides an alternative for school leavers who prefer practical training to a full-time college programme or for those who started a college course and found it did not suit them.

It is also an option for existing employees and mature learners who want to pursue accounting.

e apprenticeship enables employers recruit and upskil sta in a coste ective manner as training fees are covered by state agency, SOLAS.

Employers can also avail of a grant of €2,000 a-year for each apprentice they employ.

Large rms and smaller practices, as well as industry and the public sector, have all embraced the programme.

Graduates gain a professional QQI Level 6 Advanced Certi cate in Accounting and have acquired practical professional skills needed to ll a range of accounting and nance roles across all sectors.

Gabriela Airini, Head of Education at ATI, said the Apprenticeship enables employers to recruit and upskill sta in a cost-e ective manner.

“ e Accounting Technician Apprenticeship continues to contribute towards job creation and

business growth in Ireland with over 650 jobs created since the programme’s foundation in 2017,” she said.

“ATI is continuing to work with over 350 apprenticeship employers which have hired Accounting Technician apprentices across 22 sectors.”

Leaving Certi cate students, school leavers, career changers, and mature learners can apply at

Leaving Certi cate students, school leavers, career changers, and mature learners can apply at

€8,000 for Kilkenny community projects

ChangeX, in partnership with Greencoat Renewables, has launched community funds totalling more than €200,000 across nine locations in Ireland, supporting local community groups, schools, and organisations to build sustainable, thriving communities.

Kilkenny will see €8,000 available for community projects.

The new funding will support local groups living near Greencoat-owned wind farms to start or expand projects that create a positive social or environmental

impact in their community.  Applicants can choose from nine proven ideas that have already had a positive impact in other communities across Ireland, and internationally. Alternatively, local communities can apply for funding of up to €5,000 for their own project related to one of the following themes: health and wellbeing; sports and recreation; education; energy; sustainability and environment; culture and heritage.

The funding builds on the existing partnership between ChangeX and Gre -

encoat Renewables. Since 2021, the two organisations have launched community funds in 12 locations across Ireland, with total funding of €375,000, so far benefitting more than 11,000 people.

Greencoat’s Ben Brooks said: “Greencoat’s commitment to a sustainable future extends beyond the renewable energy we generate.

“We’re delighted to extend our partnership with ChangeX to help us increase the impact and reach of our community funding,” said Mr Brooks.

“With community leaders

having access to the ChangeX platform, we want to help foster new ideas and projects that leave a positive impact in the communities in which we are located,. “And to build on the amazing projects supported by the 2021 and 2022 funding.”   ChangeX is a community engagement platform designed to get funding and resources directly into the hands of everyday people to lead impactful projects in their neighbourhoods.  ChangeX was established in 2015.

26 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 News
Second and first-year Accounting Technicians Ireland apprentices Tsuika Cheung (lle ) and Noelia Zamora (right) with their mentor and Siro finance manager Gillian Noonan PHOTO: Fintan Clarke
27 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Advertisement

St. Patrick’s Festival

Parade and St. Patrick’s Festival beat the rain as crowds come flocking’

Kilkenny City’s St. Patrick’s day parade de ed the weather odds as the public once again ocked to the sides of the Marble City’s streets to witness and play their part in a vibrant, multicultural and hugely colourful celebration of the national holiday.

Organisers estimate that the crowds of 20,000 lined the streets to see the 1,500 local people participating in the Parade.

Representing community, school, sports clubs and cultural groups, it took over an hour to pass the main reviewing stand at the junction of Patrick Street and the Parade. is was preceded and followed by a ve-day celebration, with the emphasis on family-friendly activities, in particular Saturday night’s reworks display in Kilkenny Castle Park.

Mayor Cllr. David Fitzgerald said the parade and the weekend’s activities had seen a major international boost for the City:

‘ e presence of Gabe Sadlier of Travelzoo travel and media company, broadcasting live to 28 million viewers from the Parade to the USA on ursday, including to the major US TV networks, was an incredible achievement for our small City. To hear him say live on CNN, FOX and other channels that our City is the best place to visit, outside of

Dublin, was quite something. To receive text and WhatsApp messages from Kilkenny people all over the world saying how proud they were to see the City getting such incredible exposure on international media channels is surely an indication as to how far we have come since the very continuation of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade was being called into question. e work of our festival committee and of festival director, Marian Flannery and her small team has made this all a reality.’ Chairperson of the St. Patrick’s Festival committee, Cllr. Joe Malone, said that the success of the festival celebrations are evident for all to see:

‘ e explosion of colour and the fantastic celebration of our traditional and contemporary lives in Kilkenny was a joy to see. We had groups from throughout the City and County and I congratulate all the e orts that the thousands of adults and particularly children made in preparing for the Parade. We were particularly delighted to see our local Indian, Pakistani, Polish, Latvian and very specially of course, our Ukrainian friends taking part. e blue and yellow Ukrainian ags reminded us of all of the very real challenges facing those in our community who have been welcomed in truly awful times from their homeland. Of course, our local sporting clubs from cricket to

hurling and Gaelic Games to our many martial arts clubs, have welcomed many of these new citizens to our City and ew the ag on Friday, along with so many other cultural and sporting groups’ Tim Butler, Director of Services with Kilkenny County Council said they were delighted with the festival programme:

"We were thrilled with the reaction of our many visitors to Kilkenny this weekend to our festivities. We hosted the Mayors of our twin towns, Malbork in Poland and our long-standing arrangement with Morêt sur Loing in France and they commented on constant improvements in our weekend festival and also on the standard of presentation of our City, which is testament to the brilliant work of our council sta and also volunteers from Keep Kilkenny Beautiful. We were particularly happy to have been selected

by Fáilte Ireland to host a hugely important group of international tourism buyers, as part of their Meitheal programme and we were very reassured that the future attractiveness of our tourism industry bene ted hugely from what those visitors saw and heard over the weekend.

Fáilte Ireland have provided signi cant nancial support to Kilkenny’s Tourism o ering over many years and we are delighted for their support for St. Patrick’s Festival. Huge thanks to Ciara Sugrue, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festival and Events and her team for their continued support.’

Speaking at the post-parade reception in Butler House, Marian Flannery, Festival Manager made special mention of the sta who had worked so hard on the organisation of the weekend’s events: ‘We have a very small team who have worked incredibly hard to make the St

Festival Kilkenny a great national event. ese include Jennifer Cooper, Cathy O’Connor, Paula Fleming and Laura Stapleton and Helena Hatton, and our Safety O cer, Anton Cullen, who ensured we did all we could to have a pleasant, yet safe and comfortable event for young and old. e festival is a municipal event and receives fantastic support from the sta of Kilkenny County Council at all levels and also from An Garda Síochána, Kilkenny Civil Defence and a great team of local volunteers, including members of St. Brigid's Camogie Club, Ballycallan.

Of course, we had the ebullient Edward Hayden as our Grand Marshall. Edward has been a great friend of our festivals for years and a fantastic ambassador for Kilkenny at all times. e live

by Virgin Media, with their Ireland AM show on ursday morning highlighting all aspects of the City and the festival added even more to the excellent media coverage we got from our local print and radio media outlets. We were particularly delighted that Edward’s proud Mum, Sally and his sister Anne got to join in the celebrations too and see the Parade from the review stand.’

Ms. Flannery said that after the committee and sta had reviewed the events of the weekend, planning would commence for 2024. ‘We never rest on our laurels and we hope to be back bigger and even better next year. We would encourage everybody who liked what they saw to move to the other side of the barriers next year and play their creative part in making it even better.’

Parade Float Category winners were as follows (a prize-giving ceremony to follow):

Most Creative & Entertaining: Jurassic Newpark

Best Young Person: Polish School of St John Paul II

Best Rural: Willie Joe Meally

Best School or Club Float

- 15th Kilkenny Fort Grange Scouts

Best Interpretation of the eme: Conahy Vintage Club.

28 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Photographs by Dylan Vaughan Photograph Patrick's broadcast
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Girl Auction


Part 10

Up came the gun in one swift motion! But no – it wasn’t the vile would-be swain – or the father: it was Barker! Or something strangely like him… e dog creature stopped right in front of her: facing her: gazing at her. In spite of her ‘Mammysent’ warmth, a chilly shiver ran down her spine. ‘Cripes – what next? Is this for the good – or is it the end for us?’ She heard a gasp from Babsie – who’d obviously swivelled from rear-watching, and seen the ‘apparition’ – for that was what it seemed like.

‘God – what next, this night?’ e creature – entity – shape –whatever - moved closer. Moll kept her nerve – and the Four Ten; but held re. Suddenly, she knew this was a good manifestation – of what she wasn’t sure. en, a second later – she knew it was – Barker! But, confusedly – she also knew - it wasn’t Barker! e dog that stood there was the dead spit of their lovely old sheep dog – but seemed bigger: much biggerand younger. She lowered the gun, glad she hadn’t ‘pulled’ on

ere was a strange luminance around her old canine friend, like he was some kind of ghost. What else could he be? Barker was asleep, back in the cold hallway, guarding little pals –who were long gone. en, the ‘spectre’ did the Barker trick of old – stood up on his rear legs and placed a paw on each shoulder. Looking into his eyes, she saw there the real sign she was hoping for: Mammy was there, looking at her through the shining eyes of a great animal - who’d been but a ball of puppy u when she departed this hard life - for sweeter and gentler climes. And now, Mam’d sent him to protect her loved daughters! e seconds Barker and Molly looked into each other’s eyes were longer than centuries, and unspoken feelings and knowledge of each other travelled between them. All the love and respect that existed since the rst wolf came to a warm camp re, between faithful canine and generous decent human, was expressed by that all-encompassing gaze: two companions on this Earth, who have helped each other through life’s bitter hardships –and came out on the right side of the dark.

Now, Barker gave his old low growl of kinship, then swivelled away, and dropped into a

ghting position. Back on all fours again, his was a muchchanged stance – and aspect. Not the little growl of friendship now: an ominous rumble like distant thunder erupted from the mighty cavern of his chest. His posture changes: he sti ens, with hair standing straight up on his broad back. Now, he turns, haunches tense – his nose pointing urgently towards the salley tree. His eyes ashed sideways to her – then switched instantly back towards the salley. Another deep warning growl rasped out into the freezing night. Now, suddenly, Molly knew all. e great dog was undoubtedly showing he was from ‘the other side’ - and had been sent to her and Babs. { is steely little miss – who had moved up close beside her – was dumbstruck! Not a geeks out of her, thugh! For the rst time since she’d quit the safe warmth of Mammy’s womb, ten years ago – the feisty little warrior was completely speechless!}

We can only guess what she was thinking. Probably: ‘Cripes! What next is going to happen? Sensing this understandable turmoil, Molly reached back to reassure the little miss. But she got the quick whisper in her ear: “I’m all right Mollers – shoot any oul divil that shows up, cursa-god-on’im!”

Now: “Do as I say, Babs: stay in there, close behind me,” she ordered, grimly. No need for silence now – everything was out in the open. Except what was lurking, darkly, under the

salley tree. Before Moll could do one single thing more, the ‘New Barker’ made his move –an immensely fast one – quite outside the ability of the old dog they so well loved. In a surging rush, he bullocked his way into the bushes beside the salley tree – and immediately a most horrendous snarling and roaring split the silent frosty night! A few seconds later, out shot a sort of human shape {God save the mark!} – and who should it be? e bould Paudhaun! And attached to his ‘good’ leg was Barker – doing his level best to tear it loose from its owner’s vile frame!

Behind her, Molly heard a gulp. Wee sis didn’t know where to look, what with orders to watch the rear – and this drama out front - with the ‘Barker’ yowling and snarling, and the Paudhaun grunting in the fashion of a seriously annoyed wild boar, and making savage belts with something in his hands – which turned out to look like – a shotgun! Was it? No – it was a lump of a big log. As if this wasn’t enough to be going on with – little sis now spotted another danger: glancing back, she spied a shape emerging from the gloom, quite far back behind them. ough not wanting to miss the violent brawl out front – she knew that the Mollers would cope with that – somehow. But she watched the dadser – for it must be he – she did as she’d been told letting him come into ‘range.’ {She’d understood what Moll had

meant about ‘don’t let anyone come closer than thirty yards without telling me’}. ‘Cranky miss’ guessed – correctly – that this was the e ective range of the Four Ten shotgun… But she wouldn’t bother the Mollers about it until he hit close to that limit. Orders are orders, and big sis had enough on her plate with whatever was happening out front. ey both had to trust in each other – did trust in each other: the front war was up to Molly… at young lady now had her weapon high and handy – up at the military ‘high port’ position – waiting to see if any events might occur that would enable her to intervene – and so turn them drastically in her favour. A warlike young lady she surely was - a natural ghter/ leader. And a thinking one. In the few seconds that had elapsed since Barker dragged Paudhaun out of his hiding place, the two had battled it out savagely. e P was immensely strong, more like a bullock than a human. But the speed and ferocity of Barker was beginning to tell, and the lump of timber Paudhaun had picked up was having no e ect on the strangely youthful sheep dog. en – Molly thought it was over! e P made a sudden dash back into the bushes, taking Barker by complete surprise!

‘Cripes – we’ve won that one’ Moll cheered to herself – but before she could praise the big dog, Paudhaun came charging back out of the bushes – but this time he was certainly armed – with the afore-mentioned

Twelve Bore shotgun! Barker’s initial attack must have been so sudden that he’d dropped the gun, at the butt of the salley. Moll could see the res of hate burning in those piggy eyes, as he swung the big gun in a wide arc, lining up Barker for both barrels. Just as he was going to pull, there was a sharp explosion - and the gun was blown to bits in his paws! Pieces of it ew in all directions, and maybe a few of his ngers with them, as the ‘fore-grip’ and barrels took the full charge from the Four Ten! e Barker – or whoever or whatever he was –had been saved. e erstwhile gunman looked completely dazed and frazzled, whacked and bewildered, and fell to the ground, shocked and shellacked out of the only few wits he had. All his power now seemed to be gone, and fear su used even further his mottled blotchy chops. But he knew there was another cartridge up the ‘choke’ barrel of the Four-Ten – and thought frantically: ‘Jaysus – I’m for Boot Hill!’

And now the little sis was agog, suddenly yelling: “Cripes – this is great fun!

G’won Mollers – give it to the toe-rag!”….. To be continued.

To be continued….


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

30 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Opinion
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Mayoral reception

e Mayor of Kilkenny Municipal District, Cllr. David Fitzgerald, hosted a Mayoral reception for the French and Polish Communities in Kilkenny on ursday evening 16TH March at the Council Chamber, in honour of the visiting delegations to Kilkenny from our twinned Cities of Moret-Sur-Loing in France and Malbork in Poland for St. Patrick’s Festival.

On behalf of e Kilkenny Observer, Pat Shortall captured in pictures, some of those in attendance

French and Polish communities celebrate as Mayor opens city doors for twins

32 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Guests at the twinned city night at city hall were Michael & Margot Lydon. Toasting the night were Margaret Hayes, Donal Deering, David Fitzgerald, Fred Tuite, Dileran Zakeossian, Catherine Hericher and Theresa White Oleksanor Zasykalov and Ivan Trunchuk photographed at city hall Sean McKeown, Pat Fitzpatrick, chair of Kilkenny Co Council, David Fitzgerald, Mayor, Joe Malone and John Coonan who attended the city hall celebrations for visiting delegations to Kilkenny from our twinned Cities of Moret-Sur-Loing in France and Malbork in Poland for St. Patrick’s Festival Nataliia Matviienko,and Volodymyr Fedorecko at the mayoral reception at city hall Alina Pekhterieva, Volodymyr Fedorecko, And Vitalii Harahulia enjoying the night at Kilkenny’s city hall

Mayoral reception

33 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Judy Bridgeman, Elin Rowen, Paula Fitzgerald, and Wendy McKey Group from Ukraine with Pat Fitzpatrick, Chairman Kilkenny County Council From America & Canada: Marianne Davies, Erin Rowen, Mark Solerno, Carol Solerno and Cindy Bova enjoying the twinned cities celebrations Kelly and Emma Healy at the city hall celebrations At the City hall, attending the celebrations hosted by Mayor David Fitzgerald were Mata Wioblowska, Maoek Chairewshi, Ryslaida Chadkowska and Nicholas Lesnigh Tetiona attended the city hall celebrations for visiting delegations to Kilkenny from our twinned Cities of Moret-Sur-Loing in France and Malbork in Poland for St. Patrick’s Festival Alina Pekhterieva attended the night of celebrations at Kilkenny’s city hall
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United Colours of Twilight

e Twilight Community Group’s Annual International Conference has now become the stand out European CERV fund events in Ireland attracting Communities from across Ireland and Europe. is year’s event was based on our Culture, Heritage, Arts and History and how they are all inextricable linked to who we are. When we travel the world and make a new country our home, we bring our culture with us as it is our identity. In doing this our culture will organically become immersed in the local traditions and culture. is will create a new and diverse culture showing the way forward for integration leading to a social inclusive society.

European Cultures Together

2023 took place over a 5-day period in Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny City with over 18 di erent nations and communities displaying their cultures to the large public gallery with only standing room available in the auditorium of this 5-star hotel. e event attracted ambassadors and diplomatic corps members to Ireland. Including HE Dr Lahcen Mahraoui, Ambassador form the Kingdom of Morocco to Ireland, Israeli Ambassador Giovanni Buttigieg and our regular visitor to Kilkenny Mrs Larisa Miculet, Ambassador of Moldova to Ireland. Her Excellency and Head of Consular a airs and advisor Mr Igor Moldavan had one of the most beautiful display of their traditional blouses of Moldova.

e Community Groups of Ukraine, Slovenia, Romania, India, Lebanon, Poland and our traveller Community displayed their cultures on the day for all to see. It is important that we take the time to Look, Listen and Learn from our new communities that are now making Kilkenny their home, while never neglecting our Irish Communities.

Dancing and music was the di erence on the day, from normal Conferences. While our guest speakers are an integral part of any conference to international music and dance between the speakers is a more community friendly way to present our Cultures Together. Performers from Ukrainian Diaspora Kilkenny Group, provided music and song and some beautiful songs from Ukrainian Culture.

Local Balladeer and multiinstrumentalist Mick Walsh provided the Irish Cultural Performance and in a very unique way our good Friends Federation of Indian Communities Ireland provided a display a colourful Indian Dance routine.

Twilight’s International Conference has such an appeal this year we saw many groups and foreign delegations including, Mayor Mr Konrad Ferenc Solymoni, City of Bukkszentkereszt (Hungary)

Mayor Mr Lajos Nagy, City of Bukkaranyos (Hungary)

Mr Tamas Erdos , City of Repashuta ( Hungary) Mr John Boxall, City of Birgu ( Malta)

Mr Nicloae Moldovan, City Of Beclean ( Romanian) & CEO

Ms Lenka Blichova, City of Inporo ( Slovakia ) e City of Rome and Italy was well represented with Angelo Ciocchetti of our Partners Lighthouse languages. While the incredible Sbandaorie Flag wavers were here to perform for the European Cultures Together forum, and be part of the St Patrick Day’s Festival with fantastic colourful displays through the city. A major guest appearance

was made by St. John’s Junior School ( e lake School) with the customs of the worlds display by the students for the o cial opening.

is year is another rst for the Twilight Community Group as they moved their International Guests to Carlow for part two on Saturday. It was an honour for the Groups General Manager Mr. Frank Cody and Operations Manager, Mr. Stephen Mungovan to meet Cathaoirleach Mr Michael Doran of the Carlow County

Council. Mr Doran welcomed the delegates to Carlow and acknowledged the up coming plans that are well under way for the Twilight’s ambitious expansion plans to open another International Cultural House in the heart of the Carlow Town. Bring the Conference to Carlow is also acknowledgment from Twilight that the Charity see a very fruitful and bene cial relationship for future projects And so to European Cultures Together 2 . Yes, Twilight are doing it all over again in

October 2023. e group are bringing the Culture of Cuisine to the Marble city to be part of the Savour Food Festival over the October Bank Holiday later in the year. It will bring the unique avours of a Global Kitchen letting the public taste the distinctive dishes form the region of our partners, in Europe, Asia, North Africa and beyond. If ECT 2 is to be as powerful as this ECT 1 ? What an end to October we will have with the United Colours of Twilight

Christians living together in Morocco

HE the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Ireland Mr. Lahcen Mahraoui, launched this very interesting and important part of how our combined history are connected in is Exhibition 'Christians living together in Morocco'. Twilight Community Group are honoured to have this in Kilkenny with us till the end of April as part of their ongoing 'European Cultures Together.' project

After Dublin, Longford, and Dun Laoghaire the Embassy's successful itinerary exhibition “Christians in Morocco: Living Together” has landed in Kilkenny at the Rothe House museum. is exhibition was launched, March 16th , by HE the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Ireland Mr.

Lahcen Mahraoui, the Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr David Fitzgerald and the CEO of Twilight Community Group & Hon Polish Consul, Mr Murty Brennan with interesting words about the value of tolerance and living-together between di erent religions and cultures, and how Morocco through this exhibition re ects perfectly these spirits, much needed today to address the actual challenges that our world faces.

Many formal Mayors also attended this opening ceremony along with a large public attendance composed of members of local communities from Kilkenny and other countries who took part, earlier, in the " European Cultures together Conference " organised by Twilight Community Group.

36 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
37 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Advertisement

A step in the right direction…

Torrential rain failed to dampen the zeal of the Local History Walkers Group last weekend.

Every Saturday without fail they set out from the Horse Trough on the Parade to bring the past alive through meticulously-researched talks, taking in both prominent heritage spots and lesser known or even hidden antiquities.

e skies darkened on Saturday as they prepared to embark on their latest foray into yesteryear…a tour of St Patrick’s Parish. ose without umbrellas bore the downpour stoically.

Dark clouds looked apt when the group reached the grounds of St Joseph’s Industrial School, but the speaker managed to steer a delicate course between hard fact and raw emotion by giving a straightforward chronological rundown of how the institution came into being and its subsequent troubled history.

e rain didn’t bother anyone. “We never cancel”, a seasoned walker told me, “Hail rain or snow we’ll be here. Nothing would keep us from walking, not even the Beast from the East or the Apocalypse!”

e group marked its tenth

anniversary before Christmas, having notched up more than 500 walks since 2012.

Every step back in time connects you with ages long consigned to library shelves, quant copper plaques, and oil paintings.

You can’t avoid hearing some new snippet of local folklore or seeing old familiar buildings in a new light. You’ll come away from a walk marveling at the achievements of the philanthropic Lady Desart, the story of Woodstock where

the Tighe family once held sway and the Tans had their HQ, or with a fond appreciation of the calm and sanctity to be found at a holy well, such as the one devoted to St Brigid in Ballycallan parish. You might hear about how Cromwell’s cannon bom-

barded the city, and from recollections of war and strife your feet will take you directly to contrasting and uplifting anecdotes of great local achievers associated with the various landmarks and venues along the way and the uproarious local characters who knocked about in decades past. Not forgetting the lords and ladies who ran the show back when the peasantry and the “lower classes” barely got a look in.

All those bygone days in the city and county are brought to life by the wellinformed and articulate speakers who take turns at o ering their own unique historical and sociological perspectives.

So, if you fancy a bit of Saturday morning exercise wrapped up in a gentle history lesson, you could do worse than to join the walkers when they set o from the Horse Trough on the Parade at 11. a.m. e trail may vary from one week to another, with di erent speakers holding forth, and the weather might be dull or bright, but one thing’s for certain: It’ll be a step in the right direction!

38 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
39 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Advertisement
40 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Online
41 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023

Me Dine Come With

Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 1 hr and 35 mins plus at least 12 hrs brining and resting

Serves: 6

Prep a brine using garlic and onion powder and brine your roast chicken in advance for more avourful, tender meat. Use leftovers in your favourite dishes.

Recipe tips

Smoky roast chicken

Add 1 tsp each smoked paprika and dried oregano to the brine mix, and put a halved lemon into the cavity of the chicken before roasting.

Classic roast chicken

Add the zest of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp thyme leaves to the brine. Cut the zested lemon in half and put inside the cavity of the chicken before roasting.

Chicken tortillas

Strip the chicken meat from the bones. Fry 1 sliced jalapeño, 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped onion in a pan with oil until soft. Mix in the chicken, ½ tsp ground cumin and a handful of leafy greens. Cook until the greens wilt and the chicken is heated through. Spread inside corn tortillas and top with grated cheddar. Fold into half-moons and dry-fry each side until golden and the cheese melted.

Brined roast chicken Irish stew

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 2 hrs

Serves: 6

e trick with this classic one-pot is to use a cheaper cut of meat, which means you’ll skimp on price but not quality.


• 1 tbsp sunflower oil

• 200g smoked streaky bacon, preferably in one piece, skinned and cut into chunks

• 900g stewing lamb, cut into large chunks

• 5 medium onions, sliced

• 5 carrots, sliced into chunks

• 3 bay leaves

• small bunch thyme

• 100g pearl barley

• 850ml lamb stock

• 6 medium potatoes, cut into chunks

• small knob of butter

• 3 spring onions, finely sliced


• 1 large chicken (about 1.7kg)

• 1 tsp garlic powder

• 1 tsp onion powder

• 1 tsp light brown soft sugar

• 2 tbsp vegetable oil



Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper and remove any string before placing it in a roasting tin. Use a pestle and mortar to grind together the garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, 2 tbsp sea salt

akes and ½ tsp nely ground black pepper. Sliding your hands under the skin from the neck and around the breasts, carefully separate the skin from the meat of the chicken. Spread the brine all over, rubbing it underneath the skin and inside the cavity. Chill, uncovered, for at least 12 hrs, or up to 24 hrs if you have time. Remove from the fridge 1 hr before cooking, and brush o any remaining brine from the skin so it doesn’t burn. Rub the vegetable oil all over.

Bicerin; co ee & chocolate drink

Total time: 5 mins

Serves: 2


Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Roast the brined chicken for 15-20 mins, then baste with the juices in the pan. Reduce the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and cook for a further 1 hr-1 hr 15 mins until cooked through. The juices should run clear and a meat thermometer inserted should read 75C. Remove the chicken from the tin and rest for at least 10-15 mins before serving.

is is a luxurious co ee-and-chocolate drink topped with cream that originates from a cafe in Turin where it is a closely guarded secret.


• small jug of really good quality drinking chocolate

• strong espresso

• sugar, to taste

• single cream

Method STEP 1

Make up a small jug of really good-quality drinking chocolate (I use Charbonnel & Walker, which is quite expensive, but tastes fantastic). Make some strong espresso. ird- ll two glasses with the co ee, adding sugar to taste. Add another third of chocolate. Whisk some single cream until frothy, pour over the mocha so that it sits on the top. Drink and enjoy.

Dalgona co ee

Prep: 8 minutes

Our easy whipped co ee recipe is simple enough to make at home. is frothy drink, known as dalgona co ee, might just be your new favourite ca eine kick.


• 3 tbsp instant co ee

• 2 tbsp sugar

• 400-500ml milk (we used whole milk)





Heat oven to 160C/fan

140C/gas 3. Heat the oil in a ameproof casserole. Sizzle the bacon for 4 mins until crisp. Turn up the heat, then cook the lamb for 6 mins until brown. Remove the meats with a slotted spoon. Add the onions, carrots and herbs to

the pan, then cook for about 5 mins until softened. Return the meat to the pan, stir in the pearl barley, pour over the stock, then bring to a simmer.


Sit the chunks of potato on top of the stew, cover, then braise in the oven, undisturbed, for about 1½ hrs

until the potatoes are soft and the meat is tender. e stew can now be chilled and kept in the fridge for 2 days, then reheated in a low oven or on top of the stove. Remove from the oven, dot the potatoes with butter, scatter with the spring onions and serve scooped straight from the dish.

Whisk the co ee, sugar and 3 tbsp boiling water in a bowl for approximately 5 mins until the mixture is thick and u y with sti peaks. is is easiest done using an electric whisk but can be done by hand.


For hot co ee, heat the milk and pour into two heatproof glasses. For cold co ee, pour the cold milk into two glasses. Divide the co ee mixture in half and spoon evenly on top of the glasses. Serve and stir thoroughly before drinking.

42 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Food & Drink

The Last Of Us won’t recast Bella for S2 time-jump

e Last Of Us creators have con rmed they won’t recast Bella Ramsey despite the Season 2 time-jump.

Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann said the second season will be “di erent” from the rst.

ey explained that the only way they’d recast Ramsey’s character is if she wanted to leave.

Season 1 nally came to a close last week, and the show continued to pull on the heartstrings in the .nale as it has for most of the season. e show has faithfully adapted the PlayStation game in a way that has surprised audiences and critics alike, and the nale leaves things in an interesting place ahead of season two.

Players who already know

Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) story will know that e Last of Us: Part II jumps ahead ve years after the explosive ending to the rst season. As a result, some fans have called for the show to recast Bella Ramsey to show the di erence between 14-yearold Ellie and 19-year-old Ellie.

Craig Mazin told Entertainment Weekly: “One of the things about the casting process that’s tough is that we invite people to join us on this process, and we know everything [about the secrets of the production] and nobody else knows anything except what they know, which is the game.

“We know what we’re gonna do in terms of costume

and makeup and hair, but more importantly, we also know the spirit and soul of the actor.”

Mazin pointed out that fans previously complained that Ramsey didn’t look enough like Ellie when she originally joined the cast, but he knew they’d come around because of her performance.

“I’m like, ‘It doesn’t matter. Watch! Just watch what happens.’ And now they know,” he said.

e Chernobyl creator went on to say that the second season will be “di erent” to the game in the same way that the .rst season took the story in di erent directions at times — like the devastating episode about Bill (Nick O erman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett).

He said: “Sometimes it will be di erent radically, and sometimes it will be [barely] di erent at all. But it’s going to be di erent and it will be its own thing. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make. But we are making it with Bella.”

Druckmann also took the time to praise the actor behind Ellie in the game, Ashley Johnson, before noting that Ramsey is equally perfect for the role.

“It was like lightning in the bottle that we found Ashley Johnson and I can’t imagine that version of Ellie being anybody else. And then somehow we got lightning in the bottle again with Bella,” said Druckmann, who also developed the game series.

Jenna Ortega on her Wednesday role

Before Jenna Ortega was heralded at Gen Z’s reigning scream queen, she was a frequent yer on shows like You, Jane e Virgin, and Disney Channel’s Stuck In e Middle. But lm had always been the actor’s main goal, which is why she passed on playing the titular role of Net ix’s Wednesday — multiple times — before she was nally swindled into the Addams family.

Ortega spoke about becoming Wednesday Addams with e Times UK, noting that she hadn’t auditioned for the role.

“I had done so much TV in my life, all I’ve ever wanted to do is lm,” she said of her initial instinct to pass on it.

“When I rst started acting, I don’t want to say nobody believed in me, but at the same

time nobody believed in me. You have to prove yourself.

“It’s only in the last three or

four years that I’ve been able to start going up for lm. I was scared that by signing on to another television show it could prevent me from doing other jobs I really wanted and cared about. e only reason I went back is because Tim [Burton] is such a legend, and we just happened to get along very well. But even then I said, ‘Ah, no — I think I’m OK,’ a couple more times.”

When Ortega nally decided to don to the pigtail braids and collared dresses, she assumed Wednesday “wasn’t going to be watched,” thinking the show would just “be a nice little gem that someone nds.” Instead, it racked up 341.23 million hours watched in its premiere week, breaking a Net ix viewership record set

by Stranger ings Season 4. Perhaps some of its success is due to Ortega’s careful portrayal of Wednesday, having self-choreographed that viral goth dance and even tweaking her lines on-set.

From an outsider’s perspective, taking on Wednesday didn’t seem to hamper Ortega’s lm pursuits; in the last two years alone, she’s starred in Ti West’s X and the latest two instalments of the Scream franchise. Up next on her agenda, she’s set to star in an untitled feature lm opposite e Weeknd, and she was reportedly o ered a role in the long-awaited Beetlejuice sequel as Lydia Deetz’s daughter.

And, oh yeah, Wednesday is getting a Season 2.

1. Never Have I Ever (2020)

e story of a young Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) who lost her father all of a sudden. How does she cope with the loss of her favourite person while dealing with the demons of puberty? is incident changed her life and her relationships and de nitely changed Devi as a person. e complicated relationship between Devi and her mother is highlighted. She develops crushes and battles with career choices.

2. Queer Eye (2018)

When you are lost in life, all you need is the perfect ve from Queer Eye to make changes. When Queer Eye assembles, chaos is set to be placed in order.

Revolutionising one life to the other. Queer Eye is a beautiful initiative where ve people make massive lifestyle changes to every life they touch.

3. Little Things (2016)

Little ings is the adorable story of a contemporary couple. How the meaning of love has changed and evolved through the years, and the beauty truly lies in the Little ings. Dhruv and Kavya are cohabitating and deeply fond of each other. However, things get complicated when their professional lives intertwine with their personal choices. How do they cope and navigate through the chaos of hustle and the way it has a ected their relationship?

4. From Scratch (2022)

From Scratch is a simple story of love and loss. Based on a New York Times best-selling memoir by Tembi Locke, the story revolves around protagonist Amy Wheeler (Zoey Saldana), who travels to Italy to pursue her dream in arts. However, she happens to nd herself helplessly falling in love with a Sicilian chef called Lino. e couple attempt to tackle their cultural di erences whilst being madly in love. However, things take a darker turn when Lino is diagnosed with cancer.

5. Jane The Virgin (2014)

Jane e Virgin is the American adaptation of the telenovela Juana La Virgen. e show proudly calls itself a telenovela as it has managed to maintain a similar format to its mother show. e story of a young Christian and virgin, Jane, who gets arti cially inseminated with a hot shot and multimillionaire Rafael Solano’s sperm. All while she was getting closer to marrying who she thought was the love of her life, Michael. With a baby in the mix, things get really complicated in Miami as Jane realises that her baby daddy is also the owner of the hotel she works at.

43 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 TVAdvertisement & Streaming
series on Netflix to bring a smile 5
44 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Motors
45 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Motors

Community & GAA Notes


Lotto News - No Jackpot Winner on 14th March. €30 each to Martin Kealy, Caine Curran, Aine Prendergast, Laura Kane, Frank O Neill. Numbers drawn - 12, 16, 17. Thanks for your support.


Well done to selector Conor Phelan and co trainer John Murphy who helped Kilkenny move into the league semi finals a er defeating neighbours Waterford 0-18 to 0-16 at Nowlan Park on Sunday. Kilkenny will now face Cork in the semi final for the right to meet the winner of the Limerick/Tipperary clash in the final.


The Kilkenny Senior Camogie team was comprehensively beaten by Cork in the curtain raiser in Nowlan Park on Sunday. Hard luck to Clara’s Aisling Curtis for that result. Keara Ryan enjoyed a better day with the Kilkenny Intermediate team as they pipped Wexford in Rosslare by a single point.


St. Kierans College, who were temporarily derailed when losing out narrowly to an O aly Schools combination in the Leinster final, bounced back on Friday in Croke Park to claim a record 24th All Ireland Senior Colleges title. They defeated Presentation College Athenry on a 3-13 to 0-12 scoreline. Central to their victory was a great display from Clara’s Rory Glynn, who availed of his first start of the year to feature very prominently. Rory helped himself to four first half points and went on to claim the Man of the Match award at the end of the game. Well done Rory.


Congratulations to Marc Leahy of the Square, Freshford who was awarded a bronze medal at the National Chef Apprentice Skills Competition at CATEX, Irelands largest foodservice and hospitality event held in the RDS. Marc who is son of Paul and Oonagh Leahy of The Corner Shop, Freshford an apprentice commiss chef training with KCETB , scooped the prize having just completed his first year of the programme. Well done Marc keep it up.


The final of the Freshford and District A League took place recently in Seamiest of Tullaroan when Farrell’s A beat rivals The Valley Inn A in an eagerly contested match with the local side coming out winners on a 5-2 score line. It was sweet revenge indeed as their opponents had beaten them in the previous two finals and were going for three in a row. The player of the match went to Stephen Farrell. The C final saw Killeens C claim the League when they defeated Farrells C which was made up of one family of three generations, Michael Brophy of Clone (the oldest player in the Competition), his sons and grandsons. Ricky Burke got player of the tournament on the night.

The B semi-finals are on this week with Kavanaghs B taking on Killeens B and Farrells B facing the Rock Bar B in Killeens.


Birthday wishes go out to Sabrina Grace, Lisdowney and Graigueswood who celebrated a very special birthday at the weekend. Sabrina marked her 40th birthday at a party with family and friends in Kavanagh’s bar on Saturday night last.


Sympathy is extended to Ms. Georgina Walsh of Clashacrow, Freshford on the death of her father James Lanigan late of St Mary’s Court, Gowran. Funeral mass took place in Gowran Church on Sunday followed by burial in the adjoining Cemetery.

Sympathy is also extended to Ms. Joan Murphy of Woodview, Freshford on the death at the weekend of her brother Martin Trait late of Castlelcomer and formerly of Keatingstown, Thornback. Funeral mass took place on Wednesday morning in St. Canice’s Church Kilkenny followed by burial in St Kieran’s cemetery.



Work is well underway on the new Playground at Kilkenny Road. It is hoped that the playground will be ready for use this summer. Much credit is due to the hard working committee who fought so hard for this amenity over the last couple of years


St.Lachtains were well represented on Sunday last in Nowlan Park when Kilkenny defeated Waterford in the league. Local player Darren Brennan was in goal for Kilkenny and kept a clean sheet.


St.Lachains GAA Club will once again host an Easter camp this year. The camp will run from Monday 10th April to Thursday 13th from 10am to 2pm at GAA Grounds. The camp will be for all boys and girls from 6 -13 years old and great fun is guaranteed with Top quality coaches. Fee is €50 per child or first 2 children per family and €40 for third child and upwards. Places can be booked online.


Are you struggling with anxiety or depression or finding life di icult or feeling isolated at this time GROW is there to help you. Their Mental Health support Groups are free and confidential and open to all no referral or booking is needed. For more information on same you can contact Mary on 087 284342 If you can’t cope and need support text HELLO to 50808.

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

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


Volunteer opportunities available:

Callan Tidy Towns. The Tidy Towns Committee is very active in the community, striving to keep the town tidy and attractive to visitors and residents. They would love to hear from anyone living in the Callan area who would like to get involved.


There was no winner of club lotto (March 14th). Numbers drawn were 1, 2, 6, 26 Bonus 4

Promotors Draw. 1. Ann O’Driscoll c/o Dan. 2. Pat Dalton c/o Moxie


3. Ann Doran c/o Moxie Doran. 4. Esther and Lorraine c/o Esther

Maher. 5. Mucky Murray c/o John Joe Cullen. 6. Anne Ryan c/o Mick

Nolan. 7. Siobhan Kelly c/o Esther Maher

8. Jackie Costigan c/o Online. 9. Kevin O’Brien c/o Online. 10. Linda O’Leary c/o online Thank you for your continued support. Play now at


Well done to Mark Holohan and Brian Dowling (Manager) who helped St Kieran’s College to yet another Post Primary Schools Senior All- Ireland title.

Good luck to Aoife Shealy and Loreto Secondary School as they bid to add the Junior All-Ireland Camogie title to their list of honours. It’s a big weekend coming up again for our inter-county stars with Paddy, Huw, Mikey and Conor helping the senior Hurlers; Greg Kelly and Daniel McCormack are involved with the Kilkenny Minor team to take on Laois on Saturday; Laura Murphy (Senior), Laura Greene, Danielle Quigley (Intermediate), Ena Lawlor, Siofra O’Leary (u16A) and Iveta Vasilauskaite (u16B) all lining out with their respective teams. Best of luck and well done to the all.

Our club teams get their respective leagues o the ground in the coming weeks also and we wish all players and managements a fruitful campaign. Thanks to our sponsors ; Pat Carroll - Adult GAA; McCarthy’s Eurospar - Juvenile GAA; MacDonagh Junction

Shopping Centre - Camogie


A huge thanks to our juvenile teams who took part in Fridays St. Patrick’s Day Parade promoting our clubs and sponsors. The youngsters are already demonstrating great pride in their colours. Lovely hurling

St.Lachtains Camogie club will be represented at county level in the 2023 season. Saoirse Hickey and Mia Phelan will be representing the club at U14 level while Emma O’Connor, Ciara Hickey and Aoibheann McCarthy will be on the U15 panel and Katelyn O’Connor, Abigail Whitty and Michelle Killeen will be on the U16 panel. Meanwhile Sinead Farrell is part of the Kilkenny Intermediate panel.


The North Kilkenny Wheelchair Association held their annual dinner dance at the Avalon Hotel, Castlecomer recently with a great day been had by all. The Association welcomed back their chairperson Patricia Watson a er her long illness. The group were entertained by Danny Webster and there was also a wonderful performance of Irish dancing by Rachel McNally. The committee would like to thank the management and sta of the Hotel for providing them with all the facilities required for their members and thanks also to Margaret Barnaville and Martin Travers for their hard work in organising the event. Special thanks also to Coon Drama Group and the Castlecomer Wellie Race committee for their very generous donation to the branch which was very much appreciated.


The Community Cafe at Buncrussia Street which opened just before Christmas is proving to be very popular. The Loop Café is serving some beautiful homemade food. The Café which is run on a voluntary basis is open Tuesday to Saturday each week from 9.30am to 4pm, so why not go along there and meet your friends for a co ee or a snack and have a chat as well as supporting the new local business.


Fitness sessions Boxing/fitness sessions at Community Hall, Freshford. Have you had a diagnoses of Parkinson’s; Alzheimer’s or other neurological condition? Maybe you are keen to get some level of fitness back or work on you balance or upper body strength? If so, these classes are just what you need. Classes take place each Tuesday from 11am to 12 noon - sessions cost just €10 each and are facilitated by a boxing coach. They will also give you the chance to socialise and meet other people.

For more information or to sign up please contact Brenda Cooper on 0871369253

The Good Shepard Centre. Easter Ra le Volunteers. The Good Shepherd Centre works with homeless men, women, families and those at risk of becoming homeless in Kilkenny and o er emergency accommodation, transitional housing and resettlement services with the aim of returning people to sustained independent living. They are raising much needed funds this Easter and need some volunteers in McDonagh Junction selling ra le tickets. Amber Womens Refuge. Go Purple Day Volunteers. Go Purple Day 2023 is a national day for raising awareness and funds for local Domestic Abuse services. On Friday 28th April 2023, Market Cross Shopping Centre will Go Purple in aid of Amber Womens Refuge. Volunteers are needed on the day for 2-hour shi s to collect money. Kilkenny County Childcare Committee (KKCCC) are looking to recruit new directors to the board of management.

The CCC is a Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth (DCEDIY) funded support for families and early learning and care and school age childcare providers in relation to childcare matters at local county level. The board meet 6 times per year and are responsible for the oversight of HR, governance, and finance matters within the organisation. Volunteers with experience in these areas would be most welcome to apply.

Alone - Befrienders Needed. Make a di erence to someone’s life by visiting an older person living alone who may be experiencing isolation and loneliness and bring them friendship and company for an hour each week. Alone need befrienders in all locations in Co. Kilkenny.

Girl Guides in Graignamanagh. Leaders Needed. Irish Girl Guides are looking for Volunteer Leaders in Graignamanagh, Co. Kilkenny to help with the running of the programme. Volunteers are needed weekly to assist during activities. Full training is provided.

Darkness into Light - Darkness into Light is an annual walking event and fundraiser held in support of Pieta House. Each year, participants meet before dawn and walk or run for 5 km to meet the sunrise. They need some committee volunteers to help organise the event in Kilkenny this year.

For more information contact or Paula on 0892584946 or register online on


It was a St. Patrick’s Day to remember for Kilkenny Sporting

competitors, as at the same time that Willie Mullins’s Galopin Des Champs galloped his way to winning The Cheltenham Gold Cup, St. Kierans College were on their way to winning a 24th All-Ireland Senior Colleges title with Young Irelands Padraig Naddy leading the way.

Padraig was one of St. Kierans star performers, as he scored a superb point from play in an excellent team display as they strolled to a 10-point win. 3-13 to 0-12. Congratulations to Padraig, Squad Member Ben Phelan and Selector Michael Walsh on a fantastic Triumph.


Very Best Wishes to The Gowran Primary School Boys who play their 1st Round Country Cup match away to Clara with a 3.30pm Throw-in.

They made a winning start in the League recently with a 2-7 to 0-3 win against Piltown.


The draws were made last week for the upcoming Senior-Intermediate League that will commence on The May Bank Holiday Weekend, and Young Irelands have been drawn in a highly competitive Group against Dicksboro, Clara, Bennettsbridge, RowerInistioge and O’Loughlin Gaels.


Well done to the two Young Irelands Teams that competed in The Scor Na Nog competition in Nowlan Park last week. They performed very well and had a most enjoyable evening.


With the Clocks going forward this weekend, the various Young Irelands Hurling and Camogie teams will be in action in the weeks and months ahead.

Check out and https:// for all the up to date details.


It was another great week for Willie Mullins at last weeks Cheltenham Festival that culminated with success in The Cheltenham Gold Cup with Galopin Des Champs and also The Queen Mother Champion Chase with Energumene.

Galopin Des Champs was actually beaten on his Racing debut as an Odds-on favorite in a Novice Hurdle at Gowran Park in November 2020.

Having only won one of his four starts over Hurdles which was at The Cheltenham Festival in 2021, The Gold Cup winner has been transformed over Fences having been unbeaten whenever he stood up bar a Final Fence fall at last year’s Cheltenham Festival while a long way clear.

Energumene was most impressive winner on his Hurdling debut in Gowran in March 2020, and a er that race Willie spoke highly of him as a possible future Cheltenham winner.

The Champion Trainer was true to his word as he has now won The Champion Chase two years on the trot.

Meanwhile, the previous Sunday (March 12th) in Limerick, there was a most Fairytale success in the concluding Bumper when 66year-old Liam Burke became the oldest Jockey in exactly 100 years (1923) to win a race on Irish Soil when partnering Teuchters Glory to victory. Liam Trained My Murphy to win The 2016 Thyestes Chase.

CLUB LOTTO LOTTO Results 16th March. Nos:16 24 27 28. Jackpot: €8150 Not Won Draw Prizes. €50: Eamon McPhilips c/o online. €25 each John McKee Jnr c/o online

€25 each Marie Gorey c/o Ned Buggy. €25 each Linsey Cahill c/o Paddy Maher Hurlers Co Op Catherine Moylan c/o Deirdre O’Reilly. Promotors prize Brian Fitzpatrick

Thank you for your continued support.


Members can now renew their membership directly through ClubZap for the 2023 season and instalment options are available. The club asks that all members renew their membership as soon as possible and in particular before teams return to training or games over the coming weeks.


Registration now Open for our Easter Camp. Skills, drills and lots of fun. For ages 5-12. €30 1 Child. Discounts for multiple children from same family. 10am to 1pm. 3rd, 4th & 5th of April. See ClubZap to secure your booking.


Congratulations to St Kieran’s College on their All Ireland Win in Croke Park, St Patrick’s Day and to our Boro lads Harry Shine (Joint Captain) Sean Keenan, Johnny Keane, Tom McPhilips, Mick Carroll, Matty Kelleher and Conor Kavanagh. Well done lads.


A huge thank you to our Mentors and young Dicksboro players who turned out in numbers in their Maroon and White on St Patrick’s Day to take part in the Parade. Well done to all involved.

HANDBALL Congratulations to Talbots Inch Handball Club and to our young hurler Anthony Cli ord who won the 40x20 u16 All Ireland Final in Kingscourt, Cavan on Sunday beating Matthew Coughlan from Clare 21-8 21-1. Well done also to Rian Dowling, Dan Carroll and Samuel John O’Shea who were unlucky in the Semi Finals but a fantastic achievement for these young players and Talbots Inch Handball Club.

CAMOGIE Conahy Camogie Club were well represented on the inter-county scene over the last weekend with Roisín Phelan, Danielle Morrissey, Ellen Gunner and Emma Mulhall on the Kilkenny intermediate team which defeated Wexford in the National Camogie League.

46 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
O’Loughlin Gaels Camogie at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade A delighted Rory Glynn of Clara holds aloft the Croke Cup after the post-match meal in Langton House Hotel, Kilkenny

Ruth Phelan (Captain), Sofia Kerr and Katie Brennan were part of the Kilkenny minor team who faced Galway on Sunday, but were unfortunately defeated by a single point. The camogie club will also hold a fundraising table quiz in the GAA Clubhouse on Sunday, April 23rd at 5.00 p.m. Tables of 4 cost €20 and all support would be most welcome.


The minor and under-15 hurlers are back in action next week as their season gets underway. The minors are first out when they play host to Dicksboro in Jenkinstown in the Kilkenny Motor Centre Roinn C League, soon followed by the under-15 side who travel away to Piltown for the Duggan Steel Roinn B League. The confirmed dates and times will be available on the club website in the coming days.


The numbers drawn in the Conahy Shamrocks GAA Club Lotto were 16, 24 and 40. There was no jackpot winner so the consolation prize winners were Gemma Dowling, Phil Cass, Kathleen Walsh, Mona Dooley and Aine Bergin. The promoters’ prize winners were Helen Cahill, Larry Bergin and Peter Mulhall. This week’s jackpot now increases to €2,500.


The members of the Conahy Conference of St Vincent de Paul wish to remind all in the local community that if anybody finds themselves in di iculty, please do not hesitate to contact them on (086) 0519893 in strictest confidence.


Bennettsbridge Community Hall was filled to capacity for the Annual display of Irish Dancing on St Patrick’s Day. Stella Carroll and her team pulled out all the stops to make it an enjoyable day for children and parents. Dancing, recitations and singing was the order of the day and each act was introduced by Tom Shanahan who ensured the event ran smoothly. The young children got an enthusiastic reception from the full attendance.

Joan Cleere (Ladies Club) presented the Kathleen Conway Memorial Trophy to the joint winners of the Irish Dancing, Grace Dooley and Sophie Dowling.

Thanks went to Stella and her team, sponsors of the ra le, members of the Ladies Club and Mandy Simpson, Queen of the ticket sellers. Huge thanks to the parents and family members who supported the ra le and donated prizes. The proceeds of the day will be given to the Carlow Kilkenny Home Care team.


There was disappointment for Cra ed Café last week in the Kilashee Hotel, when they narrowly missed out in the Irish Restaurant Award ceremony in the Kildare venue. Having been nominated in all four categories, Best Café, Best Casual Dining, Best Customer Service and Best Newcomer, hopes were high but the popular café was not successful on this occasion. However Gail and her team will continue to attract customers from a wide area to enjoy their range of food.


No winner of Jackpot last week. Numbers, 3, 25, 26, 27. Jackpot now €5,950.00.

Consolation Prizes, Billy O’Neill, Ballinamona, David O’Neill, Ballinamona, Padraig Dunne, Ballyreddin, Michelle Bolger, Gowran Road, Will Leahy, Kilkenny.


“Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration.Pilgrimage to Knock on Sunday 23rd April. Coach leaves from Woodies Carpark, Kilkenny at 7.00am. Cost €25 per person. Contact: 086 1666547”


In recent weeks, the curators of the Dúchas Folk Museum have been returning items to donors as the museum is now closed. The museum was established in the early eightis and housed household items and agricultural tools and other pieces of historical interest. It was a popular attraction in the parish and items were very well displayed. One of the Dúchas success stories is the journal “In The Shadow of the Steeple” published for many years. Thirteen volumes have been published to date and some back copies are still available.


Masses during the week. Bennettsbridge, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10.30am.


Weekly meetings of the Art group continue under tutor, Julie Moorhouse. Some of the members are exploring techniques in oil painting for the first time. It is hoped that these e orts will materialise into paintings for an exhibition during Kilkenny Arts Week.


The Gathering group met in Cra ed for a very enjoyable co ee morning on Wednesday. On Thursday night the members will attend John B Keane’s play, Moll, in Thomastown Concert Hall.

A number of talks are in the pipeline also a trip to the Danesfort group is being penciled in for April. A shopping trip to Li ey Valley is being organised for April 26th.


At a recent meeting of Bord na n-Og the following o icers were welcomed. Chairperson. Michael Ryan. Vice Chair. Alan Morrissey. Secretary. Donnacha Hennessy Treasurer. Denis O’Sullivan. PRO. Edel Ryan. Children’s O icer. Nadia Wemyss Registrar.

Mary O’Neill. Schools Rep ( Cumman na mbunscoil ) Alan Dobbyn Coaching Development O icers. Alan Morrissey and Michael Ryan. County Board Rep: Brendan Walpole

They are wished every success in their new roles.



Huge congratulations to Bennettsbridge club men Bill Hughes, Timmy Kelly, James Hughes and their St Kieran’s team mates who won the senior colleges all Ireland in Croke Park on St Patrick’s day. Well done lads.


Bennettsbridge junior football team play St Patricks in the last round of the league, a win would guarantee a place in the league final. Our minor and under 15 teams begin their seasons in the next week. Please see the Kilkenny GAA website for fix-ture details.


Membership for 2023 is now been collected by registrar Samantha McGarry or any committee member. Membership remains the same as last year. 120 for adult players, 80 for student players, and 40 euro for non-playing members. Early payment would be most appreciated as the bills for 2023 start to come in.


We are in our fourth year of our “buy a brick” campaign. Thanks to everyone who has supported so far. Anyone new who wishes to contribute please see All contributions go towards club development and repayment of the loan on the club house as quickly as possible.


David Blanchfield played well at wing back for Kilkenny as they defeated Waterford in Nowlan Park last Sunday. Best wishes in the upcoming game versus Cork.


The first online draw of 2023 is now live. 100 tickets only will be sold with 700 euro going to the winner. Tickets cost 10 euro. Please see the clubs Facebook and twitter pages for details of the link to play. The draw will take place as soon as the tickets are sold. Thanks for the continued sup-port.


The club is planning to do a scrap Collection fundraiser in April so if you have any scrap to get rid of we will gladly take it. Full details will follow later this month.


The next draw takes place this Friday at 6 pm in the clubhouse. Envelopes are available around the village. If you want to play online with club force please see the clubs Facebook page for details. Thanks again for the continued support.


An a ernoon of prayer and reflection that o ers people the opportunity to spend some quiet time of reflection, prayer and music in St. Kieran’s Church on Sunday March 26th from 3 to 4pm. O erings for Lenten Stations are now due. Money for the Cathedral draws for March and April will be collected next weekend.


The death has taken place in Nottingham of Theresa King formally Watson, Dublin Rd., Johnstown. Theresa emigrated to England at a very young age and lived all her adult life in Nottingham, but made many journeys home to Johnstown, the last being two years ago. Predeceased by her parents Michael and Alice, brothers Billy, Nicky, Tommy, Jonty and sisters Peggy and Alice, she will be sadly missed by her family and her last surviving sibling Nellie Phelan, Dublin Rd. Theresa was buried in Nottingham.

SYMPATHY Sympathy is extended to Mary Quinlan, Foulkscourt who has been bereaved by the death of her brother John (Jack) Whelan , Clonakenny, Roscrea.


Johnstown Nutritional Club are holding a free nutritional menopausal workshop on Friday March 31st in St. Kieran’s Hall at 8pm. Caroline will host the topic, in which nutrition plays a big part.


Da odil Day is on Saturday next March 25th. Kathleen, Margaret and Breda will host a co ee morning in St. Kieran’s Hall from 10am onwards. This is the first co ee morning a er Covid and the ladies are hoping to meet all their loyal supporters. Proceeds from the event will go to the Irish Cancer Society and the Kilkenny/Carlow Homecare Team.


Graine ICA will be going on a trip to Monaghan, staying two nights in the Hillgrove Hotel from 18 to 20th June. Further details from Geraldine 0831360133 or Ann 0872356484.


Yoga Mondays in conjunction with the ICA, six week block in Graine Hall March 20th to April 24th at 8.30pm. €5 drop in class. All levels welcome. Contact Trisha on 0877634280.


Lotto winning numbers 2,12,21,28. Two match threes Eoin Ryan and Billy Fitzpatrick.


Eucharistic Adoration will continue on Wednesdays in Glengoole church from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and on Thursdays in Gortnahoe Church from 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p,m. All are welcome to come and spend even 5 or 10 minutes in quiet prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.


Co ee Morning and bake sale will take place in Gortnahoe Community Hall on this Friday the 24th of March between 11am and 1pm. A ra le will take place on the day. Please support.


Consultation meetings on how the grant aid for the new Leader programme 2023-2027 can be best spent in the community. Meetings have been arranged for St Mary’s Hall, Killenaule on Monday the 27th of March at 7.30pm and Wednesday the 29th of March in the Templemore Arms Hotel at 7.30pm. All Community and Social Inclusion groups and entrepreneurs are welcome. Please share this information with your local Community organisations.


Boxes are available at the back of both churches. Please support Trocaire because it is only when we work together that we can build a truly just world.


The annual Cashel and Emly Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes will take place from the 17th - 22nd June 2023, anyone interested in the Parish please contact the Parish council for further information.


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


Bingo continues this Saturday night at 7.00pm with doors opening from 6.00pm and will continue each Saturday night at the same time. Over €2,660 in prize money on o er including a special €500 game. We look forward to the many visitors and family members home with their family, it will be a great nights entertainment for all.


Congratulations to last Sunday’s winner in the Split the Pot draw. Envelopes are available at the usual outlets. Split the Pot is in support of the Gortnahoe Community Playgroup. The draw takes place each Sunday at 12pm in Gortnahoe Hall. Your support would be appreciated


It was great to see individuals and groups picking up rubbish on the side of the road throughout our parish over the last 10 days. It would be great if people would volunteer to pick up rubbish in their own area to keep our parish tidy. We would appeal to motorists to refrain from throwing litter out of cars as plastic items, etc can be harmful to the enviroment and does nothing for the beauty of our countryside.


Hugginstown. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9.30a.m.

Vigil. Saturday 25th. at 8.00p.m. Sunday 26th. at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford. Vigil. Saturday 25th. at 6.30p.m.;

Saturday 25th. Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord


Bun (Brian) Doolan, Thomastown. Ann Holohan, Knocktopher. Anniversary Mass: Ollie Ryan, Stonetford; Mass in Stoneyford Church on Saturday 25th. March at 6.30p.m


Rota for next week-end: 25th and 26th. March 2023. (Fi h Sunday of Lent)

Readers. Stoneyford. Saturday 6.30p.m. Parents. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. John Barron. Sunday 10.00a.m. Parents. Eucharistic Ministers: Stoneyford. Saturday 6.30p.m. Natalia Smolen.

Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Mary Cahill, Sunday 10.00a.m. Ruth Crowley.


All children and families are invited to attend the weekend Masses during Lent as part of this preparation. Parents will be involved in the Readings and the Communion Reflection while the children will be involved in the Prayers of the Faithful and the O ertory Gi s. Mass in Stoneyford Church on Saturday 25th. March at 6.30p.m. Mass in Hugginstown Church on Sunday 26th. March at 10.00a.m.


Lourdes Pilgrimage will take place from May 23rd. to 28th. this year. Accommodation in the Agena, Solitude and Padoue Hotels. Price includes return bus journey to/from Loughboy Shopping Centre Car Park to Dublin Airport. Return flights from Dublin to Lourdes. Transfer to/from Airport to Hotel. Full board and hotel accommodation for the 5 nights. For further information and bookings contact or Phone 01 685 2244


What does Pope Francis intend by calling us to be a Synodal Church? We are hearing the words Synodal Church being used today. We know that Pope Francis has asked us to be a Synodal Church, but what does that mean? A Synodal Church is the Church of our time. Please join Bishop Niall Coll on Monday, 27th. March 2023, at 7.00p.m. in St Kieran’s College, as he leads in a Reflection on what this means for each one of us as members of the Catholic Church today. Bishop Niall extends an invitation to all.


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


Lotto: - Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A. Draw: Monday 13th. March 2023 Numbers: 27; 29; 04; 28. No Winner First 3

Numbers Drawn. No Jackpot Winner:

5 x €30.00. Winners, Jean Haley, c/o James Irish. Caitlin Roche, Stoneyford. Dave Thomas, Ballygerdra. S, E, L Crowley, Aghaviller. Margaret Cuddihy, Knocktopher.

3 x €15.00 (Sellers). John Power, Willie Walshe, James Irish.


Stoneyford Active Retirement Group is planning a 5 day/4 night holiday to Dundalk from 11th. September 2023. Bus to/from Stoneyford; Tours every day; Nice relaxing Itinerary. For further information visit

News 47 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Community & GAA Notes
Joan Cleere(Ladies Club) presenting the Kathleen Conway Memorial Trophy to Grace Dooley and Sophie Dowling, joint winners of the Irish dancing on St. Patrick’s Day in Bennettsbridge Congratulations to Talbots Inch Handball Club, Anthony Cli ord who won the 40x20 u16 All Ireland Final. Well done also to Rian Dowling, Dan Carroll and Samuel John O’Shea who were unlucky in the Semi-Finals
We welcome all GAA Club and Community notes for publication in The Kilkenny Observer email to
Mentors and young Dicksboro players who turned out in numbers for St. Patrick’s day festivities

Community & GAA Notes


Mark Townsend who hails from Attitenoe outside Callan and his parent’s Maura and Tom live there still, will launch a new book next week, “Brother Damien Brennan-The silent man behind the Kilkenny success story”. Mark like his father Tom is a passionate Kilkenny man and has written for many publications about Kilkenny GAA including the Kilkenny Year Book. Mark is a past student of Brother Damien and always kept in close contact with Brother Damien. Damien, a proud Laois man had a huge influence on the success of Kilkenny Hurling over the past two decades. He was the man in the background, and it is wonderful now that the real wonderful story is about to be told about the Quiet Laois man. The book will Feature interviews from JJ Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell and Richie Hogan among others. The book launch will be in the only fitting place at Coláiste Éamann Rís in Callan which is now Coláiste Abhainn Rí a college that Brother Brennan would have been most proud of as he was a driving force behind it before his untimely death. The launch will take place on Friday Evening 31st March.


To celebrate the new development at West Street, Callan Co-Op are putting together a video and are looking to showcase some memories from Callan and the Co-op since 1899. They are appealing through the di erent forums and especially from the Callan Pictorial History Facebook Page to see if people out there had any content or photos. Surely people have some old photos of former employees or customers at the old Farmers Store on Green Street or at the Creamery on West Street.



On this page you will see a school photo from Ballyline School dating from the 1960’s. Locally it was known as Lakyle School which became an art school for some time in the 1970’s when Clodagh Holohan owned and ran it. Most of the pupils are named but there are some that cannot be identified and it would be wonderful if some locals could fill in the blanks for us. We would love to hear from you, just email


Continuing the series of School stories and essays from the many schools that surrounded Callan in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Alice Glendon was a profilic essay writer when she attended Newtown School which is in the Parish of Callan but also links closely to Dunnamaggin Parish and the village of Kells and surrounds.



Long ago, there used to be school in the hedges or in old houses and ditches. There was a hedge school in a field on the new road near Dunnamaggin, the field belongs to Mr. Moore at present and it was in the open air they had to teach.

There was also an old school in Dunnamaggin and a man named Patrick Dempsey who lived near the village of Dunnamaggin taught in this school. School was carried on in some outhouses namely there was school taught in an out house belonging to Mr. Duggan who lived on the Callan road. The field is called “The Wire Field” ever since. There was broken Irish spoken by the teachers but the pupils were not taught to write Irish. The books they used were called “Spelling Books” and they used to write with feather pens or quills.

The scholars used to sit on big stones or blocks of sticks all in a circle. They never used blackboards, they always used slates and slate pencils.


In the year 1904 there was a great storm around this district and it held for two days. This storm knocked many houses and out houses round Kells and Dun-

namaggin. There were also three lives lost, by which, trees fell on them. There was a great thunderstorm in this locality about thirty years ago. It killed a great number of stock on all the farmers, and also knocked out-houses. In the year 1910 there was a great flood. All the roads were blocked and the flood was from two to three feed in height. It covered many acres of land and went into many

houses. There was one life lost, he was a poor travelling man. Twenty two years ago there was a heavy fall of snow, it was six feet deep. The poor people su ered very much from the cold. There was also animals lost and a great number of birds perished. Then was a great storm in the year 1839 there were several houses knocked and stock were destroyed. It held for two days and many lives were lost.


John Murphy of Ballyhale was a strong man because whenever he wanted to take a plough or a harrow from one field to another he used to carry it on his back. Patrick Kearns of Kells was a very good jumper for he o en jumped the King’s river which was about 22 feet. James Glendon Goodwinsgarden was a great mower he used to mow two acres of corn in the day. John Millea of Kells was a famous story-teller he used to tell ghoststories. Mr. Berry who lived in Kells long ago, he li ed a wheel of a car, for one day he was going with a horse and car and the car nearly over a child. He li ed the car and saved the child. Mr. Sommers of Kells was a great dancer and o en won prizes. John O Brien was famous for throwing weights he used to throw a hundred weight twelve or fourteen feet.


When the sky is very dark and gloomy it is the sign of rain. If the moon is turned on its back it is the sign of broken weather and rain. When the sun is covered with clouds it is the sign of rain. When the stars sparkle it is the sign of frost. When the clouds seem to be moving it is the sign of rain. A rainbow is the sign of showers. When the wind is blowing rom Callan it is the sign of rain. When a cat is

lying by the fireside it is the sign of rain, and when a dog eats grass it is also the sign of rain. When the sheep and horses thinks that the rain is coming they go to some shelter. When the hills seen near it is the sign of rain. When the dust is rising o the road it is the sign of rain. When theres smoke from a chimney and when it goes to the ground it is the sign of rain.


When my grandfather was a boy he was working at Mr. Hutchinson’s farm and one night he was coming home about half past ten when he saw something black in one of the fields. It was a ploughed field in which mangolds were growing. He went out into the field as he thought it might be some horse that was eating the mangolds there. When he came near, what he thought was black appeared to be a ghost. My grandfather got such a fright that he never came home in the dark again. The next day he told his neighbours and they said that it was not the first time that the man was there.


My father told me a story about some hidden treasure which was found by his grandfather in a place called Newtown Castle. The person who told him about it was a poor man who said he found some there himself. So my father’s grandfather tried to dig for it but he did not succeed in finding it. Then he told his companions that he sought some gold in Newtown Castle but did not find it. As soon as they heard of it they took their spades and went to dig it. They were not very long digging and at their great amazement, there they found a great sum of gold. Ever since then there is talk of some hidden treasure in Newtown Castle.

48 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Ballyline School Front row L-R Niall Doherty, Thomas O Grady, Mary Cahill, Una Larkin, Nellie Lynch, Marguerite Larkin, May Larkin, Katherine McCormack, Michael? Morris, ? O Grady, Mary Morris, Middle Row L-R Marian Coonan, Mrs Treacy, ?, Jackie Doherty, John Coonan, Jimmy Daly, ? , Breda Larkin, ? O Grady. Back Row L-R Shane Doherty, ? , ?, Bernadette Larkin, ?, Donal Larkin Brother Damien

Kilkenny Sport Focus Michael O’Leary

Graigue-Ballycallan Athletics Club

Graigue-Ballycallan Athletics

Club was formed within the last 10 years, but since e Club was found they have constantly thrived with a wide range of actitivies as they continue to grow from strength to strength.

ey have massive numbers within e Club which is a huge testament and tribute to the commitment of the people involved within the community. One of their highlights took place last Sunday (March 19th) as they hosted their 5k fun run and chipped 10k run for the rst time since 2019.

Unfortunately, e Pandemic put paid to the event over the past few years, but this year it made a most welcome return after a four-year absence.

Huge numbers from across e Parish/Community and around the County participated in what was a wonderful day for the Graigue-Ballycallan community, and it meant so much for everyone to have the event back in it's normal format.

ere were Prizes for e rst-placed men and women in the 10KM distance, and a major organisational e ort was produced to make the day such a great success with all proceeds for the event divided between e Athletic Club and St. Aidans National School in Kilmanagh.

ey also had a fundraising Table Quiz in February as part of their build-up to their big day last Sunday.

Like many other Clubs, Graigue-Ballycallan Athletics Club have been busy fundraising in various ways over e past few years since e Pandemic, and they continued with eir 5KM and 10KM Virtually where they received great support that was much needed and appreciated throughout that most di cult time.

One major plus throughout the Covid Period was e increasing numbers taking up e Sport and joining e Club, and with majority

of people having more time on their hands, it provided a perfect opportunity to get more exercise and enjoy the fresh air outdoors.

A major event which they organized that happened throughout lockdown was the Kilmanagh Marathon in October 2021.

It was a very special event as all funds raised went to e Kilkenny/Carlow Homecare

Team, with a lot of runners participating in the Marathon running to honour a family or loved one a ected by Cancer. It was a perfect substitution for the Dublin City Marathon that fell by e wayside for e second consecutive year. Also, like many other clubs around e Country

particularly throughout Lockdown, they regularly held Couch to 5KM Runs and that

encouraged new members to join up and perhaps take up a new hobby.

Plenty of members have participated and supported in other Athletic events both locally and beyond including e Stook 10, Medieval Marathon, Waterford Half Marathon, Dublin City Marathon among others, with a number of members having also competed in Marathons

beyond Ireland including e London Marathon. Another event in which they are loyal supporters of is " e Run o e Pudding" over e Christmas Holidays that is run by their neighbours in Tullaroan.

It's an appropriate named event at Christmas to get out and about and enjoy some exercise, along with working o the calories consumed with all the festivities.

Among the events that happen in " e Run o e Pudding" are e Full Marathon and Half Marathon - for the more energetic along with the 10KM & 5KM, and it's a most perfect way of staying active over the Holiday Period.

Graigue-Ballycallan Athletics Club continue to thrive and they provide a strong emphasis on social inclusion in a fun environment.

For anyone who is interested in joining up, check out e Graigue-Ballycallan Athletics Club on Facebook for further details.

The importance of strides

Strides – or accelerations –are a staple of almost every secondary school, university, and professional running team. Whether you’re an 800m specialist, cross country runner, or an aspiring marathoner, strides are a fundamental building block of speed and coordination. But the majority of recreational runners never do them despite a host of benefits. This is fascinating because they only take a few minutes, help you dramatically improve your training, and they can be done anywhere.

So, what exactly are strides?

Strides are also known as striders, stride-outs, or accelerations.

They’re about 70m-100m accelerations where you start at a jog, build to about 90% of your max speed, and then gradually

slow to a stop. One stride should take you about 10-15 seconds depending on your ability. You can start with four strides and after 3-4 weeks increase that to six. Take about 60-90 seconds of walking or standing in between each stride to catch your breath. Running strides is not an aerobic workout so don’t rush them – you get zero additional benefit by shortening the recovery period! In fact, it’s best to think of strides as a speed development workout. The goal is not aerobic development, endurance, or getting in “a good workout.” Rather, it’s turnover and building comfort at high speeds.

Keep in mind that strides are very short and you’re only running really fast for a few seconds, so they shouldn’t be too difficult.

Fast does not always mean hard. Always remember to stay relaxed during a stride – at no point should you be straining, struggling, or racing.

Where should I be running strides?

You can run them any where! I’ve done them in parking lots (be careful…), paths, roads, fields, or on the track. If your garden is big enough you can even do them there. All you need is a clear place to run that’s about 100 meters in length. If you’re a track athlete or you like racing in spikes or racing flats, strides with your racing shoes can serve as a useful “bridge” between running full-time in training shoes and more ag gressive racers. Just finish your run, change shoes, and start striding out!

athlete you

racing shoes can serve shoes and more agincor-

When should I run strides?

Strides are best incor porated in two different situations:

After an easy or base run. In this scenario, think of strides as a dy namic stretch. They help increase your range of motion, work on your turnover, and subtly improve your form. By

In think of strides as a dyyour turnover, and

running the same pace, strides can help you feel better

shaking out some of the tightness you might feel after miles of running at for your next run. Before a workout or race. Here, strides prepare your body -

to run fast. They serve as your transition to sus tained, harder running. should be run at about the same distance and

These can be embedded in a 5-10 minute pre-marathon warm up run.

Why should I be running strides?

This is like answering the question, “Why should I do a long run?” The benefits are so profound that I’m not sure where to start! But here’s a short list to get you excited about running strides:

But rules are meant broken!

In either situation, strides pace. It’s rare to change how a stride is executed. to be broken! If you’re preparing for a very short, fast race like a mile on the want to do shorter, faster -

track or 800m, you may strides. They’ll do a bet ter job of opening up and metabolically priming you for

your range of motion running really fast.

And the opposite holds true

They help you loosen up after a slow distance run. Strides serve as a transition to faster workouts – especially for beginners learning how to start running, they increase your running economy by reinforcing proper running form (i.e., they make you more efficient)

They metabolically prepare you to run fast before a race or hard workout AND they only take a few minutes.

thon, a few longer, slower help you

as well: if you’re running a maralonger, slower strides can warm up properly.

Many runners report that they’re able to run faster (with less effort) on their distance runs after several weeks of running consistent strides. Give them a try for 4 weeks and let me know how you feel!

49 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023

Hurling matters - Review Sport

Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B Round 5, UPMC Nowlan Park Kilkenny 0-18 Waterford 0-16

Derek Lyng’s side navigated their way to a semi- nal National League clash with Cork this weekend, following a hardfought win over Waterford at UPMC Nowlan Park last Sunday. e weather was not conducive to a ne hurling spectacle and the whole match was a little anti-climactic.

Both sides held 3-point leads at various stages of the game, but it would be late points from substitutes Shane Walsh and Alan Murphy that saw the Cats home by two at the long whistle.

As has been the case throughout this seasons Allianz League campaign, Galmoy’s Billy Drennan has been the player tasked with keeping the scoreboard ticking over and this was once again evident at a grey and wet UPMC Nowlan Park, as the talented young attacker nished the game with 0-10 to his name, including an impressive 9 from 9 from placed balls as the home side edged the tussle.

e Kilkenny team that took to the eld showed a few changes from the programme, with Darragh Corcoran, Gearoid Dunne and David Blanch eld starting in place of Richie Reid, Paddy Mullen and Cillian Buckley respectively. is inevitably led to some positional tweaks across the pitch.

Billy Drennan got the scoreboard moving inside two minutes as he nailed his rst free of a wet afternoon. SETU Waterford student Jack Prendergast drew the visitors level after 5 minutes with a welltaken point, before Drennan tagged on another placed ball some three minutes later. Patrick Curran struck over the rst free for Davy Fitzgerald’s team to square things up after 11 minutes of a damp squib.

Captain Eoin Cody then struck Kilkenny’s rst point of the day from play and the home side found themselves 2-points ahead shortly afterwards, thanks to another

Cats edge Deise to set up Rebel’s semi clash

Drennan & Donnelly impress in 2-point win

re-took the lead.

Drennan then struck his 9th point of the day to nudge the Cats 2 points ahead. Mossy Keoghan then almost raised a green ag for the Cats, but he just failed to direct the sliotar inside the post after latching onto a breaking high ball into the mixer.

Free-taker Drennan then got his nal score of the game, to bring his personal tally to 0-10, before Waterford hit two late, late strikes from Padraig Fitzgerald and Colin Dunford to make for a nervy ending for the Kilkenny faithful, but the last score of the game would come from Glenmore’s Alan Murphy showed superb skill and composure before ring over from out on the left to ensure the home side claimed maximum points and progressed to a semi- nal meeting with Pat Ryan’s Cork side.

Final score from UPMC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 0-18 Waterford 0-16.

Kilkenny Scorers: B. Drennan (010, 9 frees); M. Keoghan, J Donnelly, D. Corcoran, C. Fogarty, G. Dunne, E. Cody, S. Walsh, A. Murphy (0-1 each).

Waterford Scorers: Paudie Fitzgerald (0-6, frees); N. Montgomery, T. Barron, C. Dunford (0-2 each); J. Prendergast, P. Curran, T. de Búrca (free), Patrick Fitzgerald (0-1 each).

KILKENNY: D. Brennan; P. Walsh, C. Delaney, T. Walsh; D. Corcoran, P. Deegan, D. Blanch eld; C. Fogarty, C. Kenny; J. Donnelly, E. Cody (c), B. Ryan; G. Dunne, M. Keoghan, B. Drennan.

Subs: A. Murphy for C. Kenny (ht); T. Cli ord for B. Ryan (43); S. Walsh for G. Dunne (59); T. Phelan for M. Keoghan (68); R. Corcoran for E. Cody (70).

accurate free from the deadly Drennan. e Deise hit back immediately with a ne point from play via Colligan’s Colin Dunford, but Billy Drennan kept his side in command with two more wellstruck placed balls to leave the Noresiders 6-3 up after 20 minutes.

Abbeyside mid elder Neil Montgomery red over a decent score before Dungarvan’s Patrick Curran ri ed over a placed ball to reduce the Kilkenny lead to the bare minimum after 25 minutes.

omastown’s John Donnelly, who was getting through a mountain of work, then struck a lovely point before Lyng’s charges built on their lead, thanks to points from Shamrocks Darragh Corcoran and Tullaroan’s Mossy Keoghan.

Kilrossanty’s Padraig Fitzgerald then struck a brace of free’s to leave e Deise just one point behind at the short whistle, Kilkenny 0-8, Waterford 0-7. In truth, had their shooting have been better, then would have certainly been in the lead, leaving 8 behind them in the opening period would cost them at the nal whistle.

Derek Lyng made one change during the interval, with Glenmore’s Alan Murphy replacing James Stephen’s Cian Kenny.

Waterford started the second half brightly, and registered the rst point after the break, thanks to a point from captain and centre-back Tadhg de Búrca. Galmoy’s Drennan red over his 6th point of the game to edge the home side ahead, but Davy’s men then hit a little bit of a purple patch with Padraig Fitzgerald popping over a free, before three more scores on the bounce from Tom Barron, Neil Montgomery and a further free from Padraig

Fitzgerald saw e Deise hold a 3-point lead after ten minutes of secondhalf action.

Kilkenny had replaced Graigue Ballycallan’s Billy Ryan with Dicksboro’s Timmy Cli ord as Derek Lyng looked for a response from his team. e manager certainly got a positive response from his charges as they reeled o the next three scores.

Erin’s Own clubman Conor Fogarty then red over a lovely point, before Billy Drennan struck a sweet point from play. Tullaroan’s Gearoid Dunne then got on the scoresheet with a ne point to bring the sides level at the midway point of the second half.

Waterford then notched the next two scores of the day, another free from Padraig Fitzgerald and one from play via Fourmilewater’s Tom Barron. Billy Drennan continued his free-taking masterclass with two more well-struck e orts to tie

matters up once again before Gearoid Dunne was replaced by fellow Sash star, Shane Walsh. Walsh’s impact was instant and hugely important as he ri ed over a ne point as the black and amber men


WATERFORD: B. Nolan; C. Ryan, M. Fitzgerald, I. Daly; T. de Búrca (c); J. Fagan, C. Lyons, C. Daly; T. Barron, N. Montgomery; P. Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty), P. Curran, C. Dunford; D. Hutchinson, J. Prendergast.

Subs: P. Fitzgerald (Ballygunner) for P. Curran (49); P. Leavey for I. Daly (60); K. Mahony for P. Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty) (69); D.J. Foran for C. Dunford (70+1). Referee: L. Gordon (Galway).

We only needed a draw to ensure progression to the league semi-final, but winning is a good habit to get into, and the Cats got their 4th win of this seasons Allianz campaign, thanks to a 2-point win over The Deise.

Conditions at UPMC Nowlan park mirrored the action, a little bit of a damp squib. I’d say the players would have had aching legs and muscles after this encounter.

Again, Billy Drennan led the way and didn’t disappoint, finishing the day with 0-10, and more importantly the Galmoy player had 100% accuracy from his placed ball efforts. A little quieter from play than in previous games, but Drennan keeps the score board ticking over.

Darren Brennan didn’t have much to do across the 70-odd minutes as the Waterford attack was pretty wasteful at times. We didn’t have Eoin Murphy or Richie Reid on duty, due to concussion protocols following the recent win over Dublin, but hopefully both will be available for the clash with Cork this weekend.

John Donnelly was impressive across the park in the Waterford victory and the Thomastown man was named MOTM by the broadcaster.

Cork will be a difficult challenge, and you get the feeling that Derek Lyng will find out exactly where his panel is as the Cats build towards championship.

50 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Billy Drennan 0-10 against the Deise
was a late inclusion
David Blanchfield
John Donnelly MOTM against Davy’s boys Tommy Walsh was on top in defence



Very Camogie League Division 1A, Round 4

UPMC Nowlan Park

Kilkenny 1-10

Cork 0-23

Kilkenny’s sluggish start to the camogie season continued last weekend as Brian Dowling’s charges slumped to a 10-point defeat to Cork at UPMC Nowlan Park in the rst part of the ‘double header’ with their hurling counterparts.

It’s now just one win from four games in this season’s Very Camogie League for our senior ladies, with attention now turning to the nal game against Tipperary this weekend. While not mathematically certain, it would take another defeat for the Cats, along with a huge win for Dublin over e Banner for the relegation issue to arise.

Cork crush Cats to signal intent

Stripey Women have plenty to ponder ahead of Tipp game

No quarter given! Claire Phelan gets to know Sorcha McCartan

season’s All-Ireland nal win, a di cult one.

Playing with the

e Stripey Women took to the Nowlan Park pitch without the services of some key gures, Katie Nolan, Miriam Walsh and the trusty Densie Gaule. is was always going to make the task of repeating last advantage of a strong

wind in the opening period,

the home side opening the scoring, courtesy of a ne point by the returning Kellyann Doyle. e Rebel’s hit back straight away before Sophie O’Dwyer slotted over her rst placed ball of the game, the James Stephens woman got the nod for free taking in Denise Gaule’s

absence. Young Ireland’s Ste Fitgerald got in on the scoring act too, but Matthew Twomey’s

remaining in the rst half. Piltown’s Katie Power then split the posts with a lovely e ort and e Village’s O’Dwyer ri ed over her second of the day from play to reduce the Cork lead to just one point. is appeared to awake the Rebel’s and they went onto register the last four points of the opening period, including another classy e ort from Keating who was instrumental in Cork’s surge to pull clear of the home side, despite playing against the strong wind. e scoreline at the short whistle read Kilkenny 0-7, Cork 0-12. e home supporters would have been hoping for a fast start after the interval, but it would be las season’s O’Du y Cup runners-up that continued their dominance by notching the rst two scores of the second period with Fiona Keating and Saoirse McCarthy making it ‘double scores’ and making Kilkenny’s task even more di cult.

the day. Julieann Malone picked up possession and went on a great run on the right side. e Mullinavat woman cut inside the Cork full-back before unleashing an unstoppable shot past Amy Lee in the visitor’s goal. Katie Power then struck over a nice point to reduce the Rebels lead to just one score, but the ladies in red then hit 5 unanswered points from play to reassert their authority on proceedings and put the game beyond the reach of the Noresiders. O’Connor, Looney, Healy, Emma Murphy and Saoirse McCarthy all raising white ags for the unbeaten Leesiders.

Dicksboro’s Aoife Prendergast then red over a ‘45, for her side’s nal score of the game, but there was still time for the visitors to tag on a further three scores to rubber stamp a thoroughly comprehensive win on Noreside. Final score at UPMC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 0-10, Cork 0-23.

the impressive Fiona Keating, who was being deployed in mid eld.

Sophie O’Dwyer then struck a brace of points including a lovely one from play, play by Keating and two well-struck free’s from the reliable Amy O’Connor saw the visitors take a 0-5 to 0-4 lead midway through the rst half.

side replied with scores from Laura Hayes and but a second point from

Two further points from O’Connor (free) and a ne

e ort from Cliona Healy saw the visitors build a 3-point lead with about ten minutes

To their credit, Brian Dowling’s side responded by hitting the next two scores, including the only major of

Sophie O’Dwyer brie y ended the red run by slotting over her fth point of the game and third placed ball, but Cork cancelled that out with a third point of the day for Cliona Healy.


Kilkenny Scorers - Sophie O’Dwyer (0-5, 3f), Julianne Malone (1-0), Katie Power (0-2), Ste Fitzgerald (0-1), Aoife Prendergast (0-1), Kellyann Doyle (0-1) Cork Scorers - Amy O’Connor (0-5, 3f), Fiona Keating (0-4), Cliona Healy (0-3,1f), Sorcha McCartan (0-2, 1f), Saoirse McCarthy, Orlaith Cahalane, Hannah Looney (0-2 each), Laura Hayes, Emma Murphy, Ali Smith (0-1 each).

Another difficult day at the office for our senior ladies. A third defeat in four league games, not ideal preparation for the defence of our All-Ireland crown. While relegation is unlikely, gaining a second league win of the season with victory over Tipperary this weekend would at least give the panel some confidence ahead of the business end of the season.

Great to see Kellyann Doyle starting in the black & amber again and notching a lovely point to boot. Sophie O’Dwyer did well, converting 3 from 5 of her placed ball opportunities. Julieann Malone’s goal was a fine individual effort, and we will need the Mullinavat woman to keep delivering, especially in the absence of POTY, Miriam Walsh. Obviously, Mary O’Connell is off travelling, but a Kilkenny team without O’Connell, Denise Gaule, Katie Nolan and Miriam Walsh is going to have to dig a little deeper to grind out results. Against the top teams in the country, the challenge will be greater.

Brian Dowling has always championed the importance of the entire squad, and his belief and confidence in his panel will need to increase with the more important games looming.

Let’s topple Tipp and bring the curtain down on our Very Camogie League campaign.

51 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Camogie - Review
Laura Murphy gets away from her opponent Brian Dowling searching for answers
52 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Motors Classified section To advertise your business in our classi ed section call in or telephone: 056 777 1463, or email: accounts Classi eds NOW OPEN SATURDAY MORNINGS 9.30am to 12.00pm CAR WASH – 087 2587745 TYRE BREAKDOWN SERVICE JOEPARSONSGARDEN MAINTENANCE SERVICES INCLUDE • Hedge cutting • • Grass cutting • • Power washing • • Dry rubbish removal • • Tree pruning • CONTACT JOE: 086-8587568
53 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 ClassiMotors eds Call 056 7771463 for all your classi ed advertisements

Planning notices


I, Amy Moriarty intend to apply for outline planning permission from Kilkenny County Council for a fully serviced dwelling and all necessary site works at Castle Ellis Road, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny.

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


Planning Permission is sought by Milko and Zornitsa Mihaylov to carry out the following works:

A) demolition of single storey rear extensions and outbuilding walls.

B) a new three storey extension to the rear of the property to accommodate new kitchen, bathroom facilities, bedroom and utility space

C) and renovation the existing three storey property with internal modifications, and all associated site development works at 20 William Street, Kilkenny City., R95EFC9. The property is located within the historic walled town of Kilkenny RMP KK019-026--) and within the city centre Archaeological Conservation Area (ACA) For Kilkenny City. 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 Authority during the hours of 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 4.00p.m. Monday to Friday (Bank Holidays and Public Holidays excepted) A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of the prescribed fee, €20, within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions or may refuse to grant permission.

Signed: Gittens Murray Architects Ltd, 5 William Street, Kilkenny. R95D504


Goresbridge SPV Ltd. intend to apply for permission for development at Grange Lower, Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny. The development will consist of amendments to the design of the ESB substation, revised location of the permitted inverter substation and revised internal access route at the permitted solar farm development (P. Ref. 16/1, P. Ref. 20/858 and P. Ref. 21/649) within an application area of 0.3 Ha.

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


Planning Permission is sought by Anna Byrne for single storey extension to the rear and modification to front elevation for provision of disability access to existing dwelling at No. 16 St Thomas’s Square, Co. Kilkenny, R95 FY8V, within the St Canice’s Architectural Conservation Area; to include all associated elevational modifications and associated site development works.

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. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

Signed: Gittens Murray Architects Ltd., No. 5 William Street, Kilkenny. Tel No: 056-7753933.


I, Eamon Sheehan am applying for permission for development at this site at Bawnlusk, Cuffesgrange, Co. Kilkenny. The development will consist of a cubicle shed with underground slatted slurry tank and animal handling area, feeding passage extension to existing cubicle shed and extension to existing underground slatted slurry tank, soiled water tank, silage pits and service apron, redesigned farm roads, soakaway area, concrete yards and ancillary works.

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 Authority during office hour’s i.e. 9.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm and a submission or observation in relation to the Application may be made to the Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (€20) within the period of five weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the Application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions or may refuse to grant permission.

54 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Planning notices
056 777 1463

Birthday remembrance of Josephine, late of Greenfields, Freshford Road, Kilkenny, whose 100th birthday occurs at this time.

Today is your birthday

In heaven above Our blessings we send On the wings of a dove

Always loved and much missed Anne, Fran, Phil, Richard and Martin daughters-in-law, son-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren and many friends.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.S.M.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

Must promise publication of prayer.M.M.

St. Anthony Prayer,

O Holy St. Anthony gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers.

Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request).

O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms. The gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen M.M.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.M.R.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

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

Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.M.B.

St. Anthony Prayer,

O Holy St. Anthony gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers.

Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request).

O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms.

The gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.

Amen M.B.

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.I.L.

55 The Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023
Memoriams / Miracle Prayers
56 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 24 March 2023 Advertisement