Kilkenny Observer 31st March 2023

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Friday 31 March 2023 Observer The Kilkenny EVERY FRIDAY Tel: 056 777 1463 E: W: FREE EDITION Marianne Heron Page 12 Eviction Crisis Why we need to get our house in order GIVEAWAY Coupons WIN €100 Voucher    See page 7 See page 23
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Our house prices up

e average price of a secondhand, three-bed semi in Co Kilkenny rose by 1% in the rst three months of the year, according to the latest national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

e average cost of three-bed homes in the county is now €265,000, up from €262,500 in December 2022, the Q1 REA Average House Price Index shows.

e news comes as the Land Development Agency (LDA)

has identi ed State-owned properties and landbanks that could be used to build more than 60,000 homes.

In a report to be considered by the Cabinet, the LDA highlighted sites in 10 areas that could be used to develop social and a ordable housing.

Meanwhile, the REA Average House Price Index survey, by concentrating on the actual sale price of three-bed semis, the provides an up-to-date pic-

Come sing with our Youth Choir

Music Generation Kilkenny is calling on young singers aged 8-12 years to join its newly established Kilkenny Youth Choir.

Starting on Tuesday, April 18, Kilkenny Youth Choir will initially run for six weeks as an after-school pilot programme from 3:45pm-4:45pm on Tuesdays at the Friary Hall, Kilkenny.

e introduction of a youth choir by Music Generation Kilkenny follows the huge success of its Sing Out initiative, when four local primary schools performed in a joint choral concert at Christmas in St Canice’s Cathedral.

Kilkenny Youth Choir is open to all aspiring young singers between eight and 12 years. is will expand to include ages 13to 18 as the choir grows and develops. No prior experience is necessary.

Speaking about the project, Music Generation Kilkenny Development o cer Sinéad Blanch eld said: “As a professional singer myself I feel passionate about nurturing the young singing talent in our county. Singing was a massive part of my own childhood growing up in Kilkenny. e idea is to give children the opportunity to develop their singing skills in a fun and engaging way, while growing in con dence and making new friendships.”.

Kilkenny Youth Choir will be directed by Barbara Kelly and Clare Kilkenny, who are both musician educators with Music Generation Kilkenny. Barbara and Clare were instrumental in the success of SING OUT, working with children in each participating school for six weeks leading up to the nal sold-out concert that featured 200 children who received a standing ovation for their heart-warming performance.

ey bring their diverse talents to Music Generation Kilkenny, teaching whole class singing on the primary school vocal programme and small group singing after school on ursdays at the Creative Music Space ( e Drum, MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre),  in addition to workshops and concerts.

Registration is now open for Kilkenny Youth Choir via  email:, Facebook message: @musicgenerationkilkenny or phone: 087 1765493.  e cost of the six-week pilot project is €30. Spaces are limited

ture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide. Across Co Kilkenny, rst-time buyers made up 40% of the market during Q1 with 10% of purchasers moving out of the cities.

e average time taken to complete a sale in the county is now ve weeks, down from an average of six in the previous quarter, the survey shows.

e average cost of a simi-

lar property in Kilkenny city remained unchanged at €310,000, while the time to sell of four weeks was also unchanged from the previous quarter.

“ e rst few months has seen very little change in the property market and is the same as previous quarters,” said Michael Boyd of REA Boyd’s, in Kilkenny.

In Callan, the average price for a three-bed semi is now

€220,000, up 2.33% from an average of €215,000 in the previous quarter, while the time to sell in the town remained unchanged at seven weeks over the same period.

“Supply is very low with few properties going to market at the moment,” said Robbie Grace of REA Grace, in Callan.  Across the rest of Ireland, the actual selling price of a threebedroomed semi-detached rose by 0.6%.

Kilkenny forging links with China

e Mayor of Kilkenny has met with an Irish overseas Chinese leader to promote cultural exchanges.

Mayor Fitzgerald warmly welcomed the visit of Chinese leader (the European-China Culture and Art Exchange Association, and Chinese and Foreign International Family Association President, the China International News Magazine Ireland branch President and Chief Reporter, the International Integrity and Brand Magazine Ireland Representative) Chen QiumeiAnnie MacCarthy, and Jimmy MacCarthy.

Full story Page 6

New chapter for ve local schools

Primary school students at ve Kilkenny schools are to receive books as part of Enterprise Holdings Foundation ROAD Forward Initiative

More than 3,500 students from 92 primary schools are to receive a copy of Frankie’s World by Aoife Dooley – a vibrant graphic novel from a neurodivergent perspective.

Full story Page 6

Forces under re

e long-awaited report into bullying and abuse in the Irish Defence Forces makes for disturbing reading in detailing a raft of structural failures in the organisation in its treatment of female members and in how it responds to allegations of bullying, harassment and abuse.

Full story Page 6

3 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 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 INSIDE Paul Hopkins .........................P8 Marianne Heron .................P12 John Ellis .............................P16 Health & Science ................P18 Travel & Leisure .................P19 Gerry Moran........................P20 Food & Drink.......................P40 TV & Streaming .................P41 Sport................................P48-51

Spar is inviting all community clubs and groups across Kilkenny to apply for a chance to win €10,000 in funding and a meet and greet with brand ambassador and Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington as part of their new Spar 60th Community Fund.

For 60 years, Spar retailers have served the communities in which they are rooted, and the new initiative will see them invest €60,000 back into local communities to drive positive change and impact.

rough their community fund, six local community clubs, groups or programmes will be rewarded with €10,000 each, along with the chance to meet Olympic Champion Kellie Harrington and take her on in a fun series of challenges this summer.

is campaign builds on SPAR’s established Community Fund initiative which was launched in December 2021. is announcement will see Ireland’s convenience retailer direct investment reaching €80,000 into deserving community projects across the country.

Local clubs who enter the Spar 60th Community Fund, not only have the chance of winning €10,000 but they will also be invited to a meet and greet session with Spar ambassador and Olympic Champion Kellie Harrington this summer, engaging in fun

€60k. funding with Spar-ing partner Kellie

activities together. It is also a chance for Kellie to learn about the successful clubs and the vital work they undertake in their local community.  Applications are now open and will close on April 30.

Kellie Harrington told e Kilkenny Observer: “ e Spar 60th Community Fund is a massive boost to what is a project that I’m really passionate about. Community means so much to me and I am delighted to once again

be involved in boosting funds to people, clubs and programmes across Ireland who are bringing that sense of community and pride to where they live.

‘I am really looking forward

to meeting the winning clubs this summer and would encourage as many Kilkenny clubs as possible to enter, from dance clubs, to youth groups and retirement homes. is is open to everyone and it’s a great way of

giving back in a meaningful way and seeing vital community work both acknowledged and rewarded,” she said.

* To nd out more visit

4 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 News
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Our Forces in the firing line

A statutory inquiry process “must start within days rather than weeks” Tanaiste Michael Martin has said, with the Government to carry out a “study of deaths by suicide” in the Defence Forces in the past 20 years following the longawaited report detailing the extent of abuse within the forces.

It makes for disturbing reading, detailing a raft of structural failures in the or-

ganisation in its treatment of female members and in how it responds to allegations of bullying, harassment and abuse.

e report by the Independent Review Group (IRG,) chaired by Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon, has made a series of recommendations including an oversight body and removing management of complaints from military o cers.

It examines historical issues within the forces but also

Kilkenny and China build on future ties

Mayor David Fitzgerald recently warmly welcomed the visit of Irish Overseas Chinese Leader, the European-China Culture and Art Exchange Association, and Chinese and Foreign International Family Association President, the China International News Magazine Ireland branch President and Chief Reporter, the International Integrity and Brand Magazine Ireland Representative Chen Qiumei Annie MacCarthy, and Jimmy MacCarthy.

e meeting aimed to further strengthen cultural and artistic exchanges and cooperation between Kilkenny and China. Both sides discussed plans and potential cultural exchange projects to promote Chinese and Irish cultural exchanges and cooperation, such as hosting various Chinese and foreign cultural and artistic activities in Kilkenny and collaborating on education projects.

ey also explored opportunities for cooperation in the tourism industry, hoping to make Kilkenny a gateway for Chinese tourists to explore the treasures of Ireland.

As Mayor Fitzgerald had participated in signing the agreement to establish sister city relationship between Kilkenny and Suzhou, China on April 2, 2012, Annie MacCarthy expressed her willingness to contact relevant departments in Suzhou through various channels to promote deeper interaction and cooperation between the two cities.

e mayor expressed his willingness to work with Chen Qiumei-Annie MacCarthy and her husband Jimmy MacCarthy to strengthen and promote cultural and artistic exchanges and bilateral relations between Kilkenny and China.

notes in its ndings that there has been an increase in bullying and harassment in the Defence Forces in the last year.

e IRG was established by the Government in the wake of allegations of widespread sexual assault, bullying and harassment across the Irish military.

e report lays out the nding of the enquiry and a number of recommendations.

In a stark paragraph around

the subject of misogyny in the Defence Forces the report nds: “Di erent sources available to the IRG-DF conclude that, at best, the Defence Forces barely tolerates women and, at its worst, verbally, physically, sexually and psychologically abuses women in its ranks.”

ere are also ndings of assaults during training in which military personnel were kicked during exercise and as-

saulted in shower facilities.

e report also states that the Defence Forces must investigate suicides in the military.

e report looked into the speci cs of how misogyny in the Defence Forces a ects its female members and documented reports of particular incidents, based on testimony from a ected women.

“ ese disclosures are consistent with the survey data

that 88% of females reported experiencing one or more forms of sexual harassment and that 46% reported experiencing unwanted physical contact/sexual assault.

“ e implication is that not all female members experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault. e same conclusion can be drawn from the data on other forms of unacceptable behaviour,” the report found.

€37,000 funds for Freshford church


Kilkenny is cited in 95 heritage projects across the country which will bene t from a total of €4.5m under this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF), with €37,000 in funding to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Freshford

In addition to supporting owners and custodians of historic and protected structures to safeguard and maintain their properties, this funding will also provide a welcome boost to local construction and heritage trades by facilitating works with a total value of more than €8m.

It will also generate employment (an estimated 11,250 days’ labour), including for specialist heritage roles such as thatching and stone work.

e HSF is one of two built heritage funding schemes which work in partnership with owners and the 31 local authorities to protect our built heritage – a key aim of Heritage Ireland 2030, the new national heritage plan launched by the Minister last year.

e announcement follows the awarding earlier this month of €4.5m in funding under the Department’s other built heritage grant scheme –the Built Heritage Investment Scheme.

A new chapter for ve local schools

Primary school students at ve Kilkenny schools are to receive books as part of Enterprise Holdings Foundation ROAD Forward Initiative

e schools are Carrageen NS, Gaelscoil Osrai, St Patrick’s De La Salle. St Joh’s Senior School and Skeoughvosteen NS. Enterprise Holdings Foundation ROAD Forward Initia-

tive in its ambition to drive childhood literacy in Irish schools sees more than3,500 students from 92 primary schools receive a copy of Frankie’s World by Aoife Dooley – a vibrant graphic novel from a neurodivergent perspective  is is the second year of Enterprise Holdings Foundation ROAD Forward initiative

in which the foundation aims to address the widening opportunity gaps across three key focus areas – early childhood development, health and wellness, and career and college preparation.  In Ireland, the ROAD Forward focus has been on childhood literacy in schools.  More than 3,500 students from 92 schools will receive

their own copy of Frankie’s World by Aoife Dooley, a former student of St. Brigid’s Girls National School, Glasnevin in DublinTold with humour, heart and fun illustrations, Frankie’s World follows its protagonist as she navigates school, friendship, and her experience with autism.

Elaina Ryan, CEO of Chil-

dren’s Books Ireland said:

“We’re delighted to be entering our second year of partnership with Enterprise, following a hugely successful project in 2022. is is an amazing initiative, bene ting 3,500 students at a key point in their reading journeys, and Frankie’s World is the perfect title to capture their interest.”

By providing grants of between €15,000 and €200,000, the HSF assists owners of heritage structures – including those on the local authorities’ Record of Protected Structures and those in Architectural Conservation Areas – to meet their obligations to care for their properties.

e scheme provides assistance to a range of heritage structures, including castles, churches, mills, bridges, shopfronts, and thatch structures, as well as to private houses.

e HSF includes an award of €37,000 in funding to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Freshford to address dampness with the fabric of the front gable wall.

6 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 News
* Our photo shows Chen Qiumei-Annie MacCarthy with Mayor Fitzgerald
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The Fact Of The Matter PAUL HOPKINS

It no longer happens on The Late, Late Show

So, Ryan Tubridy is hanging up his proverbial boots after 14 years hosting The Late, Late Show and will present his final one on May 26, two days before his 50th birthday.

The Late Late Show is the world’s second-longestrunning late-night talk show – after the Tonight Show in the US – first airing in 1962 with Gay Byrne at the helm.

Ryan Tubridy told Claire Byrne: “The truth of it is that in life sometimes you make a decision on the basis of your gut, and this was my gut. When ‘you know, you know’, and it feels right.” He wanted to spend time making documentaries, return to writing and maybe some time in academia. He was staying with his radio show.

Claire Byrne told her radio audience she was “shocked”, that everyone

at RTE was shocked, at the announcement. I was not. For those who looked or listened there had been hints that Tubridy intended to step down. According to one source, it had been rumoured in RTÉ circles for several months that he might be considering stepping back.

Just four weeks ago, he refuted reports he would be stepping back from the show, opting to share his decision in a more considered fashion. Last year he told the Sunday Independent that approaching the milestone birthday was encouraging him to reflect upon his life, and consider how much longer he wanted to remain as host.

“I don’t want to be older and burned out,” the broadcaster said.

Ryan Tubridy was RTÉ’s highest earner in 2020 and 2021. He earned €440,000 in

2021, a drop from his 2020 total of €466,250.

Now, the rumour machine kicks in on who will replace him. While Brendan O’Connor is mentioned, the smart money seems to be on a female presenter. Miriam O’Callaghan has ruled herself out. And Claire Byrne seems unlikely, given RTE have announced she is to host a new TV quiz show. Sarah McIerney is also being mentioned as are Jennifer Zamparelli and Angela Scanlon. For my money McInerney is the consummate interviewer in Montrose.

The issue, frankly, is not Tubridy’s going nor that the ‘time for a woman’ has come but rather that The Late, Late Show, although still hugely popular, is well past its sell-by date. We now live in a very different world than that of the early Sixties when Gay Byrne first came into our living rooms – and

different from the subsequent two decades.

Byrne was a colossus of a conduit for moral and political change, paving the way for how we are now, having cast off the yokes of the Catholic Church, rigid misconceptions of morality and cruel and degrading lack of tolerance and understanding of the rights of women and children.

The seasoned broadcaster gave a voice to those who could not speak openly; the oppressed, the abused, the morally denied.

The past 40 years have seen an extensive change in Irish social thinking, values and what we, the citizens, expect. It is not an exaggeration to say Gay Byrne had a pivotal role in that change. From the formation of the State in 1922 much of the tasks connected with education, welfare and the running of the healthcare

system was left in the hands of the Catholic Church and decisions made and policies upheld were influenced by that church’s doctrine.

It wasn’t until 1973 that the fifth amendment to the Irish Constitution was enacted which removed the ‘special position’ of the Catholic Church from the constitution. Since 1973 there have been some 15 amendments concerning social justice issues such as abortion, adoption, children, same-sex marriage, divorce, the death penalty and the voting rights of both immigrants and migrants.

There was a time, in my memory, when the Republic of Ireland was a homogeneous society and culture. The majority of people were white, English-speaking and Catholic. In the last 40 years, the cultural map of Ireland has changed

dramatically. Ireland has become a multinational, cosmopolitan, globalised society.

Today’s Late, Late has less need for advocacy like in previous decades. And less need to be vociferous or argumentative, to shock, and certainly what takes place on our screens on Friday nights now never makes front page headlines as back in the day.

Director General Dee Forbes – who is also due to leave RTE – says TV bosses may consider changing the format of the show. The television world when Ryan Tubridy began 14 years ago is now completely different, with a lot more fragmented viewing, what with streaming and multi-media platforms.

If it is to continue in any guise, the Late, Late needs to be edgier. Controversial. Dangerous, even...

DID exclusive VIP shopping event on 31st March

Spring is here and DID Electrical are rolling out the red carpet for its loyal customers, with a VIP shopping event in their Kilkenny and Clonmel stores. e event is an opportunity for their valued customers to shop the latest and best priced electrical and technology goods. For one night only, customers can shop from 10 exclusive offers with unbeatable discounts across lots of their favourite brands.

“We’re thrilled to o er this special shopping event to our valued customers,” said Barry Grant, General Manager. “We want to show our appreciation for their continued support and o er them the chance to shop across our range of brands at discounted prices.”

On the night customers can avail of the following o ers:

• HP 14” Chromebook, €229.99 now €189.99

• Nordmene 43” HD Smart TV, €269.99 now €199.99

• Black & Decker Cordless

Vacuum Cleaner, €199.99 now €129.99

• LG 4K HDR OLED Smart TV, €1499.99 now €999.99

• Roberts Portable Radio, €129.99 now €89.99

• Salter 3.2L Air Fryer, €79.99 now €49.99

• Sony Wireless Headphones, €199.99 now €119.99

• Fitbit Versa 2, €129.99 now €99.99

• Zanussi Integrated Dishwasher, €469.99 now €379.99

• Zanussi 10KG Washing Machine €529.99 now €449.99

And that’s not all, get free delivery with any purchase made on the night, or you can get an exclusive gift card with purchase. And there’s more, there will be competitions to enter with amazing prizes up for grabs, so why not head down to DID Electrical at Kilkenny or Clonmel, 6 to 9pm on Friday 31st March. End the month with the perfect shopping night!

With any large items pur-

chased DID Electrical will deliver and install for you, and they will also take any unwanted electrical items back with their recycling service.

See something you like on the night, and you want to spread the cost of your purchase, no problem, you can do this with DID Electricals’ nancing service. Simply speak to a team member on the night who will happily chat to you about how this service works.

O ers are limited so don’t miss out! Shop Guaranteed Irish at DID Electrical for all your electrical and technology needs.

VIP Shopping Event on Friday 31st March, 6 to 9pm. Not to be missed!

T&Cs apply to all o ers on the night.

DID Electrical Kilkenny, Unit 2 Kilkenny Retail Park, Ring Road, R95 VF24 DID Electrical Clonmel, Unit 6, Poppy eld Retail Park, Clonmel, E91 YR24

8 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
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€5,000 fines likely for owners not in control of dogs

e Cabinet is looking into dog owners who are not in control of their animals should have their nes doubled.

Currently, under the Control of Dogs Act an owner can be ned €2,500. Following a review, it is being recommended that this be increased to €5,000.

In addition, the review carried out by an interdepartmental working group nds that 40 new

dog wardens should be hired. Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has brought a memo to Cabinet outlining the progress on the report on the control of dogs.

McConalogue was tasked by the Tánaiste (then Taoiseach) Micheál Martin to carry out a review of legislation across government after a young boy was violently assaulted by a pit bull

Better eating 'will boost recovery' from cancer

A new study suggest that cancer patients need to improve their eating habits to help aid their recovery.

The results come from a survey of 35 Irish cancer survivors asked to complete a three-day food diary as well as provide their weight and height.

Researchers from the Department of Health and Nutritional Science at the Atlantic Technological University in Sligo investigated how their eating habits measured up against guidelines from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.

They found the diet quality of the cancer survivors was low and had poor adherence to cancer prevention guidelines.

The cancer survivors were attending community-based cancer support centres and oncology rehabilitation programmes.

The majority were female, aged 50-59, overweight and had been diagnosed less than two years previously.

The most consumed food groups were vegetables and salad, fruit, milk and cream, potatoes, meat and meat products.

The most consumed drinks were water, black tea infusion, milk, tea with milk, and coffee with milk, the study in the Irish Medical Journal reported.

Guidelines from the cancer research bodies say everyone should eat at least 30g of fibre from food per day and should increase consumption of fruit.

The guidelines also suggest not resorting to using supplements, but instead rely on food for nutrition.

People should include foods containing whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, fruit and pulses such as beans and lentils in most

terrier in Co Wexford late last year, also around the time multiple dog attacks on sheep were being reported.

In November, Alejandro Mizsan was playing near his home in Enniscorthy when he was attacked by a pit bull cross and left with life-changing injuries.

At the time, Martin said we need to “go back to the drawing

board” on how to deal with regulation of dogs, stating that what had happened was “one time too many”.

Minister McConalogue, along with Minister for Rural A airs Heather Humphreys, established an interdepartmental working group which continues to examine issues such as nes for dog owners found in breach of the Control of Dogs

Act, enforcement at local level, microchipping, licences, breeding establishments and the sale of dogs.

As part of the review, the group’s interim report has 15 recommendations.

ese include the recruitment of 40 additional dog wardens nationwide; increasing the ne under the Control of Dogs Act to €5,000 from €2,500; and improv-

ing dog traceability and welfare through the creation of a single centralised database for dog microchips. e regulation around breeding, sale and supply of dogs should also be strengthened by creating a centralised national database for dog breeding establishments, the group says. e group will complete its report by summer.

of their every day meals.

They should eat a diet high in all types of plant foods, including at least five portions or servings of a variety of non-starchy vegetables and fruit every day. If they eat starchy roots as staple foods, they should also regularly consume non-starchy vegetables, fruit and pulses.

The Irish patients scored lowest on increasing consumption of whole grains and fibre, and their fibre intake was particularly low.

They did best at not consuming sugar-sweetened drinks, but their sugar intake was still high. Intake of saturated fat was also high.

Diets that are low in fibre and rich in fat and sugar are more likely to cause weight gain.

Nearly half of the people in the study had seen their weight increase since cancer diagnosis, with most classified as overweight or obese.

Only 42.9% achieved the minimum daily goal of five servings of fruit and vegetables.

The average intake from added sugar was double the guideline of less than 10%.

Emphasising the importance of diet, the researchers said there was growing evidence that supporting optimal nutrition in cancer survivors had benefits. This ranges from relief of symptoms and treatment of related side-effects to improvements in quality of life and survival.

"There is a vital need for adequate nutrition support for cancer survivors particularly as they are at increased risk of developing secondary cancers,” they said.

Few people with cancer have access to a registered dietitian, which the authors said is an area that needs to be explored.

Ryan's winning vision of Ireland of the future

e year is 2042. It’s 7am, the previously loud hustle and bustle of early mornings has subsided. Stepping outside rst thing in the morning and feeling clean, the air is clean, the trees are green but it’s quiet. It’s more than quiet it’s silent……

And so begins Ryan Hickey’s submission to Bord na Móna’s Scholarship Pathway programme on how Ireland could adapt to the circular economy in 20 years’ time. A third year student of the BSc (Hons) in Digital Marketing with Analytics at South East Technological University’s Kilkenny Road Campus, Carlow, Ryan was awarded a Bord na Móna scholarship for his submission on what Ireland will look like in the future, if appropriate supports for sustainability are put in place.

Describing his excitement at winning a scholarship from Pathways to the Future, Ryan from Newbridge in Kildare said: “It was an ab-

Members of Keep Her Lit festival in Inistioge have been angered by the discovery that trees they had planted had been vandalised

The say they have been left "disappointed" by the discovery. One Inistoge resident said she was "shocked

solute privilege to be o ered this scholarship. Scholarships like this prompt students to take a moment to really think about the topic, to put their mind to creating a better tomorrow. I wrote about an Ireland that I see as achievable, the Ireland I would want my kids to be raised in. A future of small changes that make a massive impact. Many hands make light work however many minds make the di erence.”

Bord na Móna’s Scholarship Pathway is one of three pathways in its ‘Pathways to the Future’ programme offering students the opportunity to work on the front line of climate action and sustainable economic development.  e Scholarship Pathway has 10 places for students in third level education across Ireland, giving a support fund that provides nancial support for those accessing education.   e scholarship also includes a work placement opportuni-

ty, site visits to Bord na Móna projects and a Bord na Móna assigned mentor.

Sharon Doyle, Head of Human Resources and Corporate A airs at Bord na Móna said, “Bord na Móna is delighted to be able to o er support to students interested in looking at new ways to tackle climate change. We will now be supporting our 10 successful applicants during their studies and will aim to enable them to proactively tackle the key issues linked to climate change, and to learn a wide range of skills alongside the very best experts our industry has to o er.”

Dr Denise Earle, Programme Director for BSc (Hons) in Digital Marketing with Analytics, SETU was very enthusiastic about Ryan’s achievement: “Scholarships such as these present fantastic opportunities for third-level students. Not only do these scholarships help to alleviate the nan-

cial burden so many students face, they also o er the opportunity for students to engage with peers and professionals, which allows them to build important connections for their careers. It is also wonderful to see students have their hard work and talents recognised and in high pro le with companies like Bord na Mona"

* Pictured above, Back Row: John MacNamara (Head of Regulatory A airs, Bord na Móna), Shane Ryan (Recipient), Orla Cox (Recipient), Tom Donnellan (CEO/Managing Director, Bord na Móna), Sharon Doyle (Head of Human Resources and Corporate A airs, Bord na Móna), Alan Slattery (Recipient), Diamuid Egan (Recipient)

Front Row: Ryan Hickey (Recipient), MD Shamsuzzaman (Recipient), Jane Lowry (Recipient), Joseph Keogh (Recipient)

by a vandalism attack" in the Kilkenny village.

Jadzia Kaminska is one of the organisers of the Keep Her Lit festival which started in the Kilkenny village last year in memory of two local men, Dave Donohoe and Johnny O’Donnell, who had con -

tributed so much to their community.

The group fundraised to plant the trees but found that someone had destroyed their efforts the night after they were planted.

Jadzia Kaminska told KCLR's Sue Nunn that they

were hoping the vandals would not appear again after they have re-planted the trees. Despite the disappointment, they were planning to do another batch of tree planting after this year’s folk and traditional music event which runs from August 18 to 20.

10 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
Inistioge Lit festival trees were vandalised
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Eviction ban: time to put our house in order

ere are certain nouns that can be used as accusations, like thief, liar or cheat, that tow  negative judgements in their wake for good reason. Moral codes are involved and have been broken. Landlord has been among those words in Ireland for emotive historical reasons. But there is no reason for the dark sentiment surrounding them today.

We need landlords and we need a new word for them. ese days they are neither lords nor are they landed, with the majority  of those who own property and rent it out being people just like the rest of us, and they rent out for a variety of reasons.  Among them are people who want a retirement nest egg, a ga for when their children become students, because they have inherited a place

or those who were encouraged into the market by tax breaks given for build-torent schemes in the past. e majority are private smalltimers.

And they are not to blame for of the housing crisis. Demonising landlords — okay, let’s call them providers, hosts or letters; anything but landlords — and driving them out of the market only exacerbates the situation where there is a critical shortage of property to rent. At a time when Ireland is falling into line with the rest of Europe, where 30% rent rather than own homes and where the population has grown by 8% between the 2022 census and the previous one in 2016, we need more, not fewer, homes to rent. With the lifting of the eviction ban and as providers

will begin to follow through on stalled plans to sell up from the start of April, the cry has gone up from the Opposition about renters who will lose the roof over their heads and will have “nowhere to go”.

But how can they nd somewhere else to rent when providers have been driven out of the market by Government policy, opprobrium and — let’s mention the elephant in the room — the fear that worse is to come if there is a change of Government?

e policy on the rental market doesn’t make sense and isn’t working.

ere are options out there for renters, including rst option to buy, the tenant-in-situ scheme and certainly these should have been properly prepared over the winter months

As I See It Marianne Heron Climate Change

before lifting the ban. Yet, providers are being castigated for the fate of tenants as they ee a dysfunctional market which is just one symptom of the housing crisis. No chance their critics might come up with some constructive suggestions about ways to mend the housing situation.

Instead, they are using the issue as a political football and implying that they have the solution. is is both opportunistic and unhelpful. Simply throwing money at the problem won’t resolve it — it’s more complicated than that. And it’s no use expecting the thousands of Airbnb hosts, who haven’t registered and should have done, to fall into line and if the are refused short term lets and become landlords/providers, they won’t want to put

are we all playing our part?

their necks in that noose.

Homes are too expensive with an ever-widening gap between earnings and prices. A decade ago homes were still a ordable. Back in 2013 house prices were four times the median (midpoint) income. By 2020 they were seven times that and the climb continues.

We don’t have enough homes despite Government attempts to catch up after the big pause in home building following the nancial crash and then Covid.

Granted there is progress.

Since the launch of Housing for All, 41,456 new homes have been built, while rsttime buyer numbers are at their highest since 2007.

ere is funding through the A ordable Housing Fund and the Cost Rental Equity Loan.

But going forward some

common sense housekeeping might help ease the housing crisis. How about building less expensive starter homes, state funded, to allow folk to get started on the housing ladder?   e cost of building materials has rocketed, so why not use di erent materials and building methods instead like the timber frame system and low rise high density developments?  Why not lower the 10% deposit rate for rst-time buyers (with the rents they are paying its obvious they can a ord a mortgage) or unblock the log jams in the planning process?

e Opposition tactics of demanding an extension of the eviction ban and blaming landlords is like that de nition of madness ... doing the same thing and expecting a di erent result.

Why are omega oils so important?

I often suggest taking Essential Fatty Acids- Omega Oils. ey’re called essential because your body cannot make them, you need to get them from your diet or from supplements.

Omega 3 is the most important of these Omega Oils. With adequate Omega 3 in your diet, you’ll be on your way to improving your health.

Omega 3 supports cardiovascular health, helps lower blood pressure and triglycerides. It’s a source of EPA, which can help lower in ammation in the body. It’s important for mood and cognitive function too, and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Omega 3 is es-

pecially important for anyone studying. If you don’t eat a diet rich in Omega 3, now would be a good time to take a supplement to help support cognitive function. Give yourself every chance to get the results you would like.

According to an IPSOS/MRBI survey, a massive 89% of Irish people are not consuming enough oily sh (e.g. sardines, anchovies) in their diet, so there is often a need to supplement with a premium sh oil such as Eskimo-3. Certi ed friend of the sea, Eskimo-3 only use 100% sustainable oily sh – sardines, anchovies and mackerel. Only the muscle of the sh is used rather than the liver, meaning that Eskimo 3 is exceptionally clean and pure Omega 3. You can choose from liquid or capsules, or for younger members of the family there’s Tutti Frutti, Orange

avour or chewable. For a vegetarian option there’s Eskimo-3 Vegan Omega-3 Plus. Omega-3, which contains DHA and EPA, is vital during pregnancy and breastfeeding. DHA is a key component of your baby’s brain and eyes. And a balance of EPA and DHA helps keep you healthy. After your baby is born, their brain continues to grow very quickly and as such it is essential that your baby continues to receive an adequate Omega-3 DHA either through breastmilk or formula. Omega-3 oils such as Eskimo-3 should be an essential supplement in every woman's daily health regime before and during pregnancy, as well as during breastfeeding.

e best source of omega-3 is oily sh or algae which provide omega-3 EPA and DHA to support healthy heart, brain, and vision. Nuts (Walnuts) and seeds ( ax seeds, chia seeds, hemp) contain omega-3 ALA, which can also help lower cholesterol.

Omega oils - the fats of life!

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

12 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
Natural Health Store, Market Cross Shopping Centre Phone: 056 7764538 Email:
13 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement

e family of a four-year-old Wexford girl with terminal cancer have been promised she will be allowed to die at home. e news came just hours after the family’s desperate public plea on Joe Du y’s Liveline for palliative care for the little girl.

Fiadh O’Connor from e Ballagh in Wexford was diagnosed with aggressive neuroblastoma in 2019 and has been battling bravely ever since.

Her family were told by Crumlin Children’s Hospital this month that their daughter’s cancer had recurred for a third time despite intensive treatment over the last three years and that she would now need end-of-life care.

Her aunt, Orlaigh Murphy, had made a public appeal on RTE’s Lifeline, to get the medical support required to let the little girl return to her family to be looked after by parents Laura and Rory along with her brother, Páidí (3).

“On the worst day of our lives, we were advised by the paediatric oncology team and palliative care team that we would have to put pressure on publicly, through any route of media, and politically, through our local TD to get Fiadh access to palliative care at home,” she said.

“In such a heartbreaking time, we need help to get services that are provided in every other region within the HSE.”

She said they had no option but to highlight their predicament.

e South East has been without paediatric palliative care since 2017 and it was feared it would not be possible to allow Fiadh to spend her nal weeks or months with her family.

After being contacted by the media the HSE issued a statement saying “a comprehensive package of care has been nalised to allow this child to be cared for at home”.

A spokesman said the HSE

Little girl (4) will spend final days at home after palliative care battle

care at home. We do not want Fiadh to have to spend any unnecessary time in hospital.

“Fiadh has fought this disease so bravely - we are so proud of her, but unfortunately her disease is very aggressive.

“She has undergone multiple major surgeries, over 120 days of chemotherapy, months in hospital, radiotherapy, intra-operative radiotherapy, 12 months of immunotherapy, two stem-cell transplants and hundreds of blood transfusions, amongst other things. She has had the best medical care available in Ireland and we fundraised and used our own funds to bring her to Memorial Sloan Cancer Centre in New York for surgery and treatment.

“We have tried everything we can to give her the best chance to ght this awful disease but we have run out of options and her little body is tired of ghting. Fiadh deserves the right to spend her last days at home surrounded by those who love her.

“Fiadh does not have access to her right to die at home, solely based on her geographic location. is is a disgrace for the people of the South East, and particularly the children of the South East.

“No family should have to ght for this right for their child, no family should have to advocate for their child’s right to die at home, especially at such an emotional time.”

was “very sorry that this took so long”.

In response, Ms Murphy expressed relief, saying it was sanctioned by the chief operations o cer of the South and South East Hospital Group and that discussions with the community palliative care team will happen next week.

e O’Connors are the second family in the region in recent months to plead for home palliative care for their child. Last year Lisa and Lar Norris from Glasha, on

the border between Tipperary and Waterford, also had to battle to secure palliative care for their son Danny (7) who also su ered from neuroblastoma.

e boy with “a heart of gold and will of iron” died in December.

Earlier Fiadh’s aunt said:

“Since 2017, paediatric palliative care has not been provided for multiple young children that died, with the most recent case brought by Wexford TD James Browne four months ago.

“ e same is happening now to Fiadh. is is a detrimental fault in the care we provide our most vulnerable.”

In a letter to the local TD, Fiadh’s parents said: “We have received the devastating news that there is no cure for Fiadh’s disease at this stage.

“She has now been referred to the palliative care team by her oncology team in Crumlin. She is undergoing chemotherapy to try to control the spread of the cancer in her little body, and to stabilise the disease as

much as we can.

“As a family, we want Fiadh to be able to spend the time she has left, at home with her family and little brother Páidí, whom she adores.

“We have been advised that paediatric home care palliative services have not been available to children in the south-east since 2017, despite previous discussions in the Dáil about the lack of resources in the area. We appeal to you, as her representative, to advocate for Fiadh’s right to end-of-life

ey said that “Fiadh has two aunties who are nurses and three aunties who are doctors, all of whom are willing to care for Fiadh in her nal days.

“We will require access to support services but we do need a palliative home care team that would take clinical responsibility for Fiadh’s care.”

When the issue was raised in the Dáil in December Junior Health Minister Mary Butler said no timetable for a paediatric service in the South East was available but that it would become her top priority.

Farmers should heed Enduring Power of Attorney

Ifac, Ireland’s farming, food, and agribusiness specialist professional services rm, is advising Kilkenny farmers that putting an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place is just as important as making a Will.

On the April 26, the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022 will come into e ect.

e Act will see the abolition of wardship, the operationalisation of the Decision Support Service (DSS), and the introduction of a new system of tiered decision-making supports.

e legislation sets out how vulnerable adults will be supported in making decisions

about their a airs by recognising that di erent levels of assistance can be required when making decisions.

One of the guiding principles of the Act is the presumption of capacity. Every adult is presumed to have capacity unless the contrary is shown under the Act. is ensures that every case is treated individually and that certain cohorts of people are not automatically deemed to lack capacity.

One area that will be signicantly reformed by the Act is how Enduring Powers of Attorney are executed and the legal basis for Advance Healthcare Directives (AHD).

An Enduring Power of Attor-

ney allows a person to appoint someone that he/she trusts to act as an attorney. e attorney’s role is to act on the behalf of the person and to make certain decisions if the person should lose capacity in the future.

An Advance Healthcare Directive (AHD) can also be executed, which sets out the instructions of the person about their healthcare treatments in the future.

Lorraine Donoghue, Head of HR & Legal at ifac said:

“Having an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place is just as important as making a Will. It will provide peace of mind for the future of your farm business.

“ e rst step is getting the right advice. To enquire about an EPA, you should contact your solicitor,” she said.

To speak to a succession planning specialist, contact your local ifac o ce or visit www.

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.

To speak to a succession planning specialist, contact your local ifac o ce or visit www.

News 14 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
15 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement

Take back control and save on your bills Your Money & You John Ellis

April Fools Day is usually the day for pranks and mischief but this year it is no laughing matter as Irish households already squeezed by high energy bills and soaring food costs are to be hit by another raft of price hikes on April 1 as four telecoms giants announce price increases.

Already struggling households are going to end up paying more for broadband, TV and phone.

Fuelled by in ation and global headwinds, Irish consumers are being hit left, right and centre by soaring costs.

Eoin Clarke, Commercial Director at Switcher, reckons there’s no respite from rising prices in the near future. However, it’s not all bad news, especially if you’re prepared to put in a little work.

Eoin Clarke explains: “ e good news is competition is erce between providers, so introductory discounts are often there for the taking. Providers always keep the best

deals for new customers, so it pays to switch when your contract ends. Welcome credits, special o ers and freebies could be up for grabs too.”

He says the cheapest deal isn’t always the best value, so compare contract length and the price after your discount ends. You may want to check out the smaller providers too. has put together some in ation-busting, money-saving tips to beat the price hikes and to future proof against annual price rises.

1. Shop around to nd the best deals. Use a comparison website to nd all the best deals in your area and save, maybe. hundreds of euro.’s broadband Eircode checker makes it easy to compare the best broadband prices and discounts where you live. Remember to check out features like broadband speeds, contract length, exclusive perks, and rewards.

2. Bundle your broadband, phone and TV. Access to the

internet is essential for most homes in Ireland and, if you enjoy one of the many TV streaming services like Sky, Prime Video or Net ix, you’ve probably got a digital TV plan too. You’ll save money if you bundle your broadband, phone and TV together rather

than pay for them separately.

3. Consider haggling. If you are thinking about switching, tell your provider you’re considering a change before you make the switch as they may just pull out all the stops to keep you. Use a comparison website to nd cheaper deals

and ask if they’ll price match. It could potentially lead to a new o er at a lower price though not guaranteed but worth a shot.

4. Keep it simple. If you’re out of contract but happy to stick with your phone, you could save by switching to a SIM-only deal. Bill pay phone contracts cost more because you’re paying for the new device on top of airtime. With a SIM-only deal, you’re only paying for calls, texts and data, so it’s cheaper than a bill pay contract, and the tie-in can be as short as 30 days.

5. Grab a multi-cover discount. If you’ve got a number of gadgets, like an iPhone, tablet, laptop and smartwatch that you insure separately, consider choosing multi-gadget cover and save up to 15% on insurance.

6. Finally, many of us now work from home. You may be eligible for tax relief on expenses like light, heat, phone and broadband. Check with

your employer if they are paying an allowance towards your expenses while you work remotely. You can receive up to €3.20 a day without paying any tax, PRSI or USC on it. If your employer pays you more than €3.20 a day to cover expenses, you will pay tax, PRSI and USC as normal on the amount above €3.20. And when you do switch remember you’re entitled to a 14-day cooling-o period. So if you are not happy with the terms and conditions of your contract, you can cancel it within that time. Remember though, if the service has already started, you might have to pay for the portion you have used. So while it may seem like costs are spiralling out of your control there are things you can do to take back some control and save on your bills.

john@ellis 086 8362622

16 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 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 worthy cause
– Camphill
17 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement

at the development of your brain continues well into the third decade of tour life has proven to be one of the signi cant neuroscienti c discoveries of the 21st century. e brain may well begin to approach its full adult size at around 10 years of age, but it does undergo a protracted maturing period that continues throughout adolescence and well into early adulthood.

is has major implications for society. It helps to explain why teenagers take big risks; it suggests that education can be reformed to optimise learning; it is beginning to in uence how minors are viewed by the legal system; and, in several cases, it has even persuaded court of law to issue landmark opinions about the criminal culpability of juveniles.

Much of what we now know about brain development has been gleaned from neuroimaging studies of how the structure and function of the organ change over time, and from postmortem examination of its microscopic structure at different ages.

Dorien van Blooijs of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and her colleagues adopted a di erent approach.

ey electrically stimulated the cerebral cortex in 74 patients undergoing surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy, so that they could record the timing of responses in adjacent areas of the brain.

Measuring the short delay between stimulus and response enabled them to calculate the speed of neuronal transmission. And because

If a parent you know it all to well... Your overtired baby is the bane of your existence. Your child hasn’t slept in a while and is clearly dogtired. Yet laying in the Moses basket or cot, they are restless and agitated, unable to gently drift o to dreamland and noisily demand your attention.

When overtired, toddlers are likely stuck in an emotional state, such as excitement, anxiety, or fear, wrote Helen L. Ball, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre at Durham University.

“ is is a survival response that helps us to stay awake when in danger, no matter how tired we are,” she wrote. But the cot tends to be a cozy, quiet, and safe place, so why is this survival response engaged? It’s because the longer humans go without sleep, the harder it is for us to regulate our emotions. A notable 2007 study showed that the emotion centres of sleep-deprived brains are more reactive to stimuli compared to rested brains.

“It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more

It’s a nobrainer! And what it means for society

their patients were between four and 64 years old, they could see how transmission speed matured during early life and how it changed throughout adulthood.

e researchers performed these measurements within and between multiple brain regions in the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes. eir results, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, revealed variability be-

tween the patients, but overall, the delays in conduction decreased throughout childhood and adolescence, continuing, in most of the patients they examined, well into adulthood.

One patient who was 35 years old had the highest transmission speed.

Long-range bres connecting distant brain regions showed the greatest increases in transmission speed,

How to prevent being over-tired

primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,” study author

Matthew Walker, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California-Berkeley, and founder and director of the Centre for Human Sleep Science, said of the ndings. Since infants need more sleep than adults — anywhere from 12 to 16 hours

each day broken into numerous naps in addition to a longer nighttime bout — it’s easy for them to reach that overtired state, but adults are susceptible as well. Have you ever laid awake at night, dwelling on decisions you made earlier that day or planning for the jobs you face tomorrow? You’re more likely to nd yourself locked in this insidious cycle of rumination if you’re overtired.

“Rested brains are good at ignoring things that happen

doubling from 1.5 to 3 metres a second in childhood to 3 to 6 metres per second in adulthood.

e transmission speed of short-range connections between neighbouring brain regions showed smaller increases, reaching speeds of up to 2 meters per second in adulthood.

Transmission speed is determined by white matter, which consists of myelin, the

fatty insulating tissue that, in the brain, is produced by non-neuronal cells called oligodendrocytes, and wraps itself around nerve bres in a process called myelination.

By analogy, myelinated neurons are akin to copper wires (neurons) surrounded by a plastic sheath (myelin). Myelinated neurons transmit signals faster than neurons without it.

and childcare, along with personal physical hygiene, while hopefully attempting to maintain a semblance of a social life, can be mentally and physically exhausting. Our incessantly hyper-connected existence can also make us overtired. Work emails at all hours, rapidre news reports, and social media noti cations leave our brains little chance to relax during the day.

Allotting time for peace and quiet can help. A study published last fall found that a peaceful one-hour walk in nature free from other distractions soothes activity in the amygdala, the primary brain area that processes emotions, including fear and anxiety.

Brain development continues well into the third decade of life. e protracted brain maturation process involves widespread changes in white matter distribution and neuronal transmission speeds.

Conduction delays in neuronal transmission decrease throughout childhood and adolescence and continue well into adulthood.

Earlier postmortem studies suggested that myelination begins just before birth and continues into late adolescence, while brain imaging shows that the process plateaus at around 30 years of age.

But previous studies of transmission speed provide highly variable results, with some showing that conduction delays decrease until 20 years of age before increasing, and others showing that they continue to decrease until 40 years of age.

Overall, these studies could help to explain why psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia tend to develop during this stage of life.

ese inconsistencies may be due to the fact that each of these studies used di erent methods to examine di erent regions of thebrain.

In recent years, it also has be come clear that myelin distribution is not static, but changes in response to everyday experiences such as learning.

is white matter plasticity may be another confounding factor in these studies, and a source of variability in this latest study.

A no-brainer, as they say!


Also helpful is adopting good sleep hygiene. After all, poor sleep also makes us overtired, a brutal feedback loop. If possible, reduce the distractions you face at least an our before bedtime, particularly from technological sources. Importantly, this winding down process should not occur in bed.

all the time but have no real consequence,” Matt Jones, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Bristol, told BBC Science Focus. But when overtired or experiencing insomnia, “you’re less able to let go — consciously or unconsciously — of irrelevant information,” he further explained.

Coincidentally, parents of young, potentially overtired kids are themselves more at risk of being overtired themselves. Balancing work

‘Overtiredness’ is often blamed when infants are unable to fall asleep at night because they are stuck in an alert, emotional state.

Adults can become overtired as well. Fatigue makes it harder for us to regulate emotions and process thoughts rationally, making it di cult to wind down at night. Giving your brain breaks during the day from our “always-on” existence can help prevent your brain from becoming

“It’s all about managing what’s called ‘stimulus control,’ Dr. Alex Scott, a lecturer in psychology at Keele University told BBC Science Focus. “ is basically means it’s a good idea not to associate your bed with too much worrying — that can lead to more sleep problems.” e rumination that occasionally creates a sleepless night is often a product of your actions earlier in the day. Preventing your brain from getting overtired will make it easier to nd peaceful repose at night.

Not enough sleep throws your circadian rhythm o , leading to potential cognitive problems Sleep deprivation also leads to a shutdown in the production of essential proteins.

So, get that eye shgut you so need.

News 18 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
Science & Wellbeing

1. Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle is a royal residence – aka part of the collection of royal castles belonging to the British royal family. Prince Albert bought the castle for Queen Victoria in 1852, and Balmoral Castle was famously a favorite spot for Queen Elizabeth II. What most people don’t know, though, is that the original Balmoral Castle was deemed ‘too small’ for the royal family. Prince Albert actually commissioned a new castle to be built in 1856. Balmoral Castle is a beautiful place to learn more about the British royals. Its close links to the British monarchy earned it a spot on our list.

Balmoral Castle is located in the Cairngorms National Park near the village of Balmoral. It is a beautiful place to visit along the River Dee, and it is easy to see why a royal hunting lodge was added. Balmoral Castle is surrounded by nature.

Hours: April-July: 10 am to 5 pm

Entry Fees: £20

2. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle needs a little introduction. As probably the most famous castle in Scotland, the medieval castle sits on Castle Rock in proud display in the centre of Edinburgh Old Town. Edinburgh Castle is the second most visited attraction in the UK, so you best believe that tickets book out quickly and crowds ock in peak seasons. We suggest booking your tickets here for skip-the-line access before you go.

Because of this, Edinburgh Castle is best-visited oseason. With fewer people around, you can really take in Scotland’s history. Edinburgh Castle has hundreds of exhibits, including e Honours of Scotland, aka the Scottish crown jewels. Admittedly, it would be criminal for Edinburgh Castle not to make our list. Not only is it the medieval castle that

Greece has over 6,000 islands and islets to its name, with 227 inhabited. While some islands, such as Crete, Mykonos and Corfu have become hugely popular with tourists, others are still somewhat under the radar.

It is these islands that the Greek tourist board are now looking to promote, all while focusing on sustainability. is strategy is already starting to pay o . In 2021

Greece was named as the most sustainable food destination in the world by Lonely Planet. Building on this success, the Greek Tourist Board has signed a deal with the Michelin Guide too, which Fragakis hopes will bring more food tourists to the food capital of Athens and the surrounding islands

While you might want to snap the sunsets of Santorini or explore the ruins of Delos during your trip to Greece, Fragakis wants you to explore some of the country’s lesser

Five Scottish castles worth the visit

has survived for centuries in Scotland’s capital city. Edinburgh Castle is also one of the best-preserved castles in Scotland. For a full day out with plenty of educational and informative details, you can’t go wrong with Edinburgh Castle. And bonus points for anyone who nds somewhere to stay in Edinburgh with views of the castle on Castle Rock.

Hours: 9:30 am to 5 pm

Entry Fees: £20

3. Stirling Castle Stirling Castle is another central building in Scottish history. e castle dates back to the 12th century and was once a Renaissance royal palace – full of luxuries like a great hall for balls and feasting and a royal hunting lodge. Situated in Stirling, Stirling Castle was also

tactically used as a stronghold during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Stirling Castle sits on a volcanic rock on an elevated vantage point. Because of this advantageous position, many battles were fought around Stirling Castle, including Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn. Stirling Castle was a hub of con ict. Today, Stirling Castle is fascinating for visitors intrigued by Scottish history – especially related to the Wars of Independence. It is surrounded by battle elds. While in Stirling Castle, visitors can tour the di erent rooms and get involved with the more entertaining aspects like trying on period costumes and chatting with the costumed character actors.

Stirling Castle is fun and family-friendly, despite its somber history. It earned a

Greek islands for foodies

known islands.

Tilos, a small island in the Dodecanese group between Rhodes and Kos, is a lesser known island that ticks both

the food and sustainability boxes.

If you want a relaxing holiday on an island known for sustainability and with

spot on our list for its links to the Wars of Independence. Only a few castles in Scotland o er such vital insight into this period of Scottish history. So don’t overlook Stirling Castle. Hours: 9:30 am – 5 pm Entry Fees: £16

4. Dunnottar Castle Dunnottar Castle is one of the most dramatic castles in Scotland. e castle remains sit on a 160-foot rock overlooking the North Sea, which is believed to have been the rst forti ed castle. e oldest parts of the castle date back to the Early Middle Ages, while the surviving parts that visitors see today are dated to the 16th century. Despite its ruined state, Dunnottar Castle is one of the most famous castles in Scotland. It speaks to a lost era of Scotland and is an utterly romantic addition to

our top Scottish Castles.

Dunnottar Castle has seen the likes of Mary Queen of Scots and William Wallace cross its threshold. And with over 1000 years of history, it is one of the best places to experience historic Scotland.

e castle is located in the coastal town of Stonehaven, along Scotland’s east coast. It is a two-hour drive from Edinburgh, but we suggest spending a few nights there. Especially since it is near the Cairngorms National Park.

Hours:10am to 6pm

Entry Fees: £10

5. Braemar Castle

e 17th-century Braemar Castle is an iconic forti ed castle in the middle of the Cairngorms National Park. It has had some famous visitors, including the current British royal family. Clan Farquharson

hybrid power station where it harnesses the power of the wind and the sun to produce its own energy.

Home to a large protected nature reserve, many rare birds can be found here too, including Eleonora’s falcon and the European bee-eater.

e island was once home to some even rarer wildlife; more than o4,000 years ago the last dwarf elephants of Europe could be found here.

Nowadays, the most touristy area on the island is the port town of Livadia, which sits at the bottom of a mountain. Here you’ll nd restaurants serving some of Tilos’ most famous dishes, including stu ed goat baked in the oven, pan-fried vegetable pies and ovenbaked pork with wheat.

is also one of the most famed clans in Scotland, so visiting their ancestral family home is a must.

e castle has seen many ‘background’ gures of Scotland, from the standard bearer for Mary Queen of Scots to warriors of the Battle of Culloden. Braemar Castle is exciting to visit and hear about the other side of history. e side of history that involved everyday people, not just in uential gures and the wealthy.

Braemar Castle is just a stone’s throw from the Scottish Highland Games. If you visit at the right time of year, consider combining the two. It is worth noting that for a period of 2023, Braemar Castle will be closed inside for renovation. Check the website for updates.

Hours: TBC

Entry Fees: TBC

Donousa is an island which has committed itself to sustainability, particularly within the food and drinks industry. Research carried out in 2018 revealed that 45,000 plastic glasses were being used on the island, but by 2019 this gure had been halved.

some great local food products, then Tilos is for you. e island even won an EU award for its transition to green energy and now has a

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, make sure to try Pouggakia, a traditional type of pastry that’s lled with almonds and sesame.

e most northerly island of the Eastern Cyclades,

Named after Dionysus, the ancient Greek God of wine, the island is 13.65 square kilometres in size, and the perfect destination for hiking among the fragrant wild herbs that line its rocky hills and mountains. It is these herbs that make the food on Donousa so delicious. Most of the restaurants on the island are traditional tavernas, where you’ll nd a mix of seafood and meat dishes, alongside locally grown vegetables. Make sure to check out Avli Donoussa, a restaurant which specialises in seafood, including sardines and calamari, plus delicious dishes like feta in lo pastry.

19 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
Travel & Leisure

High as a kite and clapping Cloud 9! Furthermore Gerry Moran

I did a very brave thing last Sunday. I got up on the big wheel – the Ferris wheel on the Parade for the St Patrick’s weekend festivities.

Day after day I’d pass that big wheel, stop, look up and think: “There’s no way, Ger is going up on that contraption.” Damn it I was getting dizzy just looking up at the thing.

And then Sunday last, the wheel’s last day in Kilkenny, I took a fig-ayree, as my mother used say. I climbed on board the Ferris wheel. Live dangerously I thought, life is too short to be in fear of a Ferris wheel. But first a precaution, I cajoled my good wife to accompany me (to hold my hand lest a panic attack should ensue). And up we went, up, up and away, the Ferris wheel slowly, slowly (thank God) revolving and you know

what, there was nothing to be afraid of; indeed the only thing to fear was fear itself to quote Franklin D Roosevelt.

And all the while the carousel below blared out Viva Espana and I’m getting into festive mood now, in fact I’m getting, not dizzy, but giddy. I’m like a big child moving from one side of the carriage to the other to savour the splendid views of our magnificent city. Indeed, as I looked towards the Castle I could almost see Bennetsbridge in the distance while in the opposite direction I was gazing out over Bonnetstown. And then a thought: wouldn’t a Ferris wheel be quite a romantic place to propose to someone? When you reach the tip top of the wheel, and you’re that bit nearer heaven, you whip out the ring, get down on one knee

(but for God sake don’t fall out) and propose. Make for a great story down the line.

“Granddad where did you propose to granny?” “Up in the sky.” “Were you a pilot, granddad?” “Not exactly” and a bit of embellishing might be required. But it’s

still a good story. And then I got to thinking about what else one could get up to as the big wheel kept on turning? To be honest I couldn’t think of anything – anything that can be mentioned in a family newspaper! Finally, as the wheel slows to a halt and it’s time to disembark (and I don’t want to get off as I’m enjoying the ride so much) the carousel is belting out the Vera Lynn classic, We’ll Meet Again. And I have no doubt that the Ferris wheel and myself will meet again (next St Patrick’s weekend perhaps) and on I’ll hop, with maybe a wee bottle of Prosecco in one pocket, two glasses in the other and a sombrero on my head for when the carousel blares out Viva Espana!

Letters From The Front

Last week was definitely my week for getting high (legally I hasten to add) as Thursday night I was on Cloud 9 thanks to Cloud

9! Let me explain. I was in the Watergate Theatre at a new musical drama called Letters From The Front (a Cloud 9 Production) written by Don O’Connor, no stranger to Kilkenny theatre, and with an impressive CV as long my arm, with original music by Ollie Hennessy with an equally, very, very impressive CV.

As it happened I had a coffee with Don a while back over which he talked about this new musical. And as I sipped my cappuccino I’m silently thinking the man is mad writing a musical with new, original songs about war! Some undertaking!  Letters

From The Front centres on

World War 1 and the love letters going back and forth between lovers, parents and children and, of course, the letters no one wants to receive.

Foolish me for harbouring doubts; the show, scripted by Don, with original, haunting music by Ollie, was powerful; emotionally gripping and with a cast of 30 plus seasoned stalwarts (the scene with Brendan Corcoran and Peter Madden, a father and son in conflict, was riveting) it was extremely poignant, not least with the war in Ukraine on our minds.

Well done, Don, well done Ollie, and well done to all the cast and crew. Thank you for a marvellous, memorable production, the standing ovations (every night) totally deserved.

20 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Opinion
“Live dangerously I thought, life is too short ...

Fair days in Callan

e buyers at the fowl market in Fair Day included the Flynns and Youngs of Waterford; From Carrick came the Kirbys, Meaneys, Dunphys, Daniels, and Aylwards. e Ayres and the Slaters of Kilkenny and the Barrons of Ballyhale never missed a market day.

Foremost among the buyers was “Turkey Tycoon”, Mrs. Slater of Kilkenny. Wearing a big hat and a shawl, she was driven by stagecoach to Callan to snap up the best of the fowl. A Mr. Shearman inspected the birds for her, to ensure they were “up to standard.”

Carmel Kealy described the colourful scene on fowl market day: “To begin with, the people had to go to the market house and pay six-pence for a ticket to stick on their carts bearing the cargos of birds. e carts lined up from the market house to way beyond the cross, and for the Michaelmas fair they would reach down Mill Street as far as the friary. at was the big day, as turkeys and geese would also be there for the English market.

“ at was the day the woman of the house planned to get winter clothes for the family-boots for some, coats for others. at was their

pocket money to spend as they wished. ere was also a sideline trade in bags of spuds, turnips, etc. Jack Walsh (West Street) was there behind the

scales to weigh them all.” e price of fowl was small enough, Peter Roughan remembered: “A pullet could be bought for a bob, and if you invested in a “boiling hen” you could expect a couple of pence change out of a shilling. And every penny counted. If she sold a few fowl, a mother might buy a pair of buttoned boots for a young lad down at Pollards in Bridge Street or above in Shelly’s for four-andsixpence.”

e Saturday following the Tuesday fowl day was busy too. e Town hall-or Market House- went back into action as sellers brought their loads of

spuds, turnips, mangolds, hay, and straw, to be weighed. Often the hall would be choc-a-bloc with bags of spuds, foodstu s, and bog turf. e turf was used to kindle coal res.

Peggie Croke of Clonagoose drove many an ass and cartload of hand turf, selling each consignment for about seven bob to one or other of the local shops. A Mrs. Barry from Kilkenny had her second-hand clothes stall by the Churchyard railings in Green Street for the Saturday market.

Jack Gardiner remembered a

Willie Costello who weighed the turkeys. And he recalled a woman who entered his pub “at all hours of the morning” one Fair Day. On the verge of exhaustion, the lady was shivering with the cold and told Jack she had travelled more than thirty miles on an ass and cart with her consignment of turkeys.

But after two hot whiskeys, sipped leisurely in front of a blazing turf and coal re, she was “rearing to go”. She sold her turkeys and was, Jack noticed, “delighted with herself.”

21 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Opinion
Hoping for a bargain at the fair Upper Bridge Street in 1920 fennellys hardware store in West Street
Part four
The Town hall on fair day

Humza Yousaf is Scotland’s new leader after a bitterly fought contest that exposed deep divisions in his party over policy and a stalled independence campaign.

e 37-year-old practising

Muslim succeeds Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) and will take over as head of the semi-autonomous government once he wins an approval vote in the Scottish parliament.

Mr Yousaf, who will be the rst Muslim to lead a country in western Europe, said he would concentrate on tackling the cost-of-living crisis, ending the divisions in the party, and making a renewed push for independence.

“ e people of Scotland need independence now more than ever before and we will be the generation that delivers independence,” he said in a speech in Edinburgh after the results were announced.

Born in April 1985, Mr Yousaf was privately educated and got a job working with MSP Bashir Ahmad in 2007 meaning, like so many SNP MSPs and MPs, he has worked in politics almost his entire adult life. Since then he has held the briefs of transport, justice and health secretary with little success amid claims he has been allowed to ‘fail upwards’ by the party.

Mr Yousaf married Nadia ElNakla in 2019. A trained psychotherapist, Ms El-Nakla was elected as an SNP councillor for Dundee in 2022.

Mr Yousaf’s victory was conrmed at Murray eld Stadium after a six-week campaign where the three candidates spent much of the contest criticising each other’s record in a series of personal attacks.

e SNP’s unity, which had been one of its strengths, broke down over arguments about how to achieve a second independence referendum and the best way to introduce social reforms such as transgender rights.

Mr Yousaf takes over a party with an overriding objective to end Scotland’s three-centu-

Yousaf signals bid to break from union

sive, socially liberal and multiethnic Scotland that the SNP has promoted.

During the campaign, Mr Yousaf appeared more relaxed than Ms Forbes – a member of the Free Church of Scotland –in balancing his religious views with the party’s socially progressive policies.

While Ms Forbes faced criticism when she announced her opposition to same-sex marriage, Mr Yousaf said he supports it.

In 2016, Mr Yousaf took his oath of allegiance in the Scottish parliament in Urdu while wearing a kilt. He has referred to himself as coming from a “bhangra and bagpipes” heritage.

Scotland voted against independence by 55pc to 45pc in 2014. e UK vote to leave the EU two years later when most Scots wanted to stay, and Scotland’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, brought new support for independence.

However, an opinion poll this month showed the backing for independence dropped to 39%, or 46% when “don’t knows” are excluded. at compares with a record 58% in 2020.

Asked if the British government would grant permission for Mr Yousaf to hold an independence referendum, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said its position had not changed - that people’s priorities were healthcare and the economy rather than a new vote on secession.

ries-long union with England. His predecessor stepped down after the British government repeatedly blocked a route to a new vote on independence. While about four in 10 Scots support independence, according to a poll this month, the departure of Ms Sturgeon – a charismatic and commanding leader – may initially slow some of the momentum behind a break-up of the UK.

Mr Yousaf won 52% of the vote of SNP members in the second round of counting, beating Kate Forbes, thenance secretary, who got 48%.

Ash Regan, who had quit the government because of her opposition to proposed changes to gender recognition, was eliminated in the rst round.

Coree Brown Swan, a lecturer in politics at Queen’s University Belfast, said it would be dif-

cult for the party to unite after a divisive leadership contest.

“It’s a broad church of a party, which incorporates lots of different ideologies and opinions on things beyond independence,” she said.

Mr Yousaf has stressed continuity with Ms Sturgeon’s record, including her push to make it easier for transgender people to gain o cial recognition to change their gender.

He has spoken of the need to focus on building the case for independence and achieving consistent support for the movement, adding that he was open-minded on which process to pursue once that level of support was achieved.

He pointed to his own background – born in Glasgow, with a father from Pakistan and mother from Kenya – and views as examples of the inclu-

In the nal analysis, the closeness of the race means that Yousaf faces a di cult task healing divisions in the proindependence SNP that were exposed after Sturgeon’s shock resignation last month. e vote should be a formality after the Scottish Greens rea rmed their support for a cooperation agreement they have with the SNP, which ensures a pro-independence government in Edinburgh.

In the SNP leadership race, Yousaf presented himself as the defender of Sturgeon’s progressive policies on social issues.

So, is a US v. China war now inevitable?

at there might be someday, and some day soon, war between the United States and China has been a topic of discussion among analysts and policymakers for years. While some argue that economic interdependence between the two countries and the costs of a potential war make such a con ict unlikely, others point to the rising tensions over issues such as trade, human rights, and territorial disputes as evidence of a potential conict.

e US and China have a complex relationship that is characterised by both cooperation and competition. On the one hand, the two countries have signi cant economic ties, with China being the largest trading partner of the US. On the other hand, there are also

signi cant tensions between the two countries, particularly over issues such as trade, intellectual property, and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. In recent years, these tensions have intensi ed, with the US taking a more confrontational stance towards China.

is has included measures such as tari s on Chinese imports, restrictions on Chinese technology companies, and increased military presence in the Asia-Paci c region. China has responded in kind, with increased military assertiveness in the South China Sea and other areas, as well as ef-

forts to expand its economic and political in uence around the world.

A war between the US and China would have signi cant implications for other countries in the region and beyond.

e most likely countries to be directly involved in such a con ict would be those with close ties to either the US or China, or those with strategic interests in the Asia-Paci c region.

For example, Japan and South Korea are close allies of the US and would likely be involved in any con ict between the US and China. Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province, would also be a potential ashpoint for conict. Other countries in the region, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, have ongoing ter-

ritorial disputes with China in the South China Sea and could be drawn into any con ict.

In addition, other major powers such as Russia and the European Union would likely be a ected by a con ict between the US and China, particularly in terms of economic and geopolitical consequences.

ere are several potential scenarios that could lead to a war between the United States and China. One possibility is a direct military con ict over a speci c issue, such as Taiwan or the South China Sea. Another possibility is an accidental escalation of tensions, such as a collision between US and Chinese military vessels in the South China Sea.

However, it is also possible that a con ict could be triggered by more indirect means,

such as a cyber attack or economic sanctions. For example, if the US were to impose sanctions on China over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China could respond by targeting US companies with cyber attacks or by increasing military pressure in the South China Sea.

A war between the United States and China would likely be a protracted and devastating con ict, with signi cant implications for both countries and the wider world. e exact course of the con ict would depend on the speci c circumstances and strategies employed by each side, but it is possible to outline a general scenario.

All that said, a war between the US and China is unlikely in the short to medium term.

e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
Global Report
Victorious: Humza Yousaf with his wife Nadia El-Nakla whom her married in 2019

Competition Rules

1. This competition is sponsored by The Kilkenny Observer

2. The prize will be a €100 voucher for Goods of Kilkenny

3. The closing date for entries is Friday, April 21st 2023 at 5.00pm

4. The winner will be chosen by an open draw held at the office of The Kilkenny Observer on Monday, April 24th 2023

5. The prize is non-transferable; no cash equivalents may be claimed.

6. All competition entries must be completed on the above form only.

7. The winner will be advised by phone / e-mail

8. After being notified, the name of the winner will be posted in the next edition of the Kilkenny Observer.

9. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to have agreed to be bound by them when entering the competition.

10. The competition is not open to The Kilkenny Observer employees or their families.

23 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 WIN a €100 voucher SPONSORED BY THE KILKENNY OBSERVER COMPETITION TIME Observer The Kilkenny COMPETITION ENTRY FORM Name ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Address........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... County............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Mobile................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Email...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
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Extra €563m a year as VAT goes back to top rate

e 9% VAT rate going back to 13.5% for the hospitality industry by autumn will see an extra €563m a year going in the co ers of the Exchequer.

e Revenue Commissioners have said the sector will pay €1.7bn a year in VAT when the rate reverts to 13.5%.

e 13.5% rate for the sector

was cut to 9% in November 2020 as the Government introduced measures to address the economic impact of the pandemic.

However, many businesses had enjoyed a 9% rate for most of the last decade. e 13.5% rate was cut to 9% in July 2011 to help the hospitality sector

Politician’s home saved as €4m debt written off

A Waterford Fianna Fáil politician in heavy debt has saved his 350 square metre family home and had €4m in debt written off by the High Court.

Mr Eddie Mulligan (56), a former councillor and general election candidate, secured approval for a personal insolvency arrangement (PIA) from Judge Alexander Owens following a brief hearing. His family home had been facing repossession but has now been safeguarded under the debt deal, which will wipe out his mortgage arrears.

Mr Mulligan’s total debts before securing the arrangement amounted to €4.8m.

The court was told his debt issues related to property investments which lost value and rental income with the financial crash in 2008.

He also gave personal guarantees in relation to the borrowings of a paint sales business and also his wife Dervla’s hairdressing business, which ran into difficulties and was liquidated.

Mrs Mulligan previously secured a PIA at the Kilkenny Circuit Court in 2021.

Former politician Mr Mulligan, of Dunmore Road, Waterford, said in an affidavit, the collapse of the business “took a serious impact on our health and mental health” and described dealing with creditors as “extremely challenging”.

He claimed repossession proceedings were started “despite constant communication and co-operation by me with my creditors and my very best endeavours to meet my financial obligations”.

Mr Mulligan was a county councillor between 2014

during the economic crash. at reduced rate applied to a range of businesses and services, from hotels and restaurants, to newspaper sales and hairdressers. It didn’t return to 13.5% until January 2019.

e hospitality sector has lobbied intensively to retain the most recent cut to the rate,

with the Restaurants Association of Ireland insisting the 9% rate should be made permanent.

Dermot Crowley, the chief executive of hotel group Dalata, is among those who have questioned why Ireland does not retain a permanent 9% rate. Dalata operates

hotels under the Maldron and Clayton brands.

Hotels and guesthouses paid an estimated €203m in Vat last year on accommodation services while the 9% VAT rate was in force. e gure compared with €276m paid in 2019, before the pandemic and when the rate was 13.5%.

e highest amount paid over the past 16 years by hotels and guesthouses was in 2008, when the gure was €456m.  at same year saw the beginning of the global nancial crash. e lowest gure was in 2021, at €97m, while the cumulative gure in the 16-year period was €3.1bn.

and last year, when he stepped down to take up a paid position with Waterford City and County Council.

A former naval serviceman who also worked in a family painting and decorating business, he ran unsuccessfully for the Dáil in 2020.

In his affidavit, Mr Mulligan said the PIA was “crucial” to his “personal and family position” and his ability to move on with his life.

The PIA was approved after a creditor dropped their objection to the debt deal.

It was presented to the court by Keith Farry BL, counsel for Mr Mulligan’s personal insolvency practitioner Mitchell O’Brien, instructed by solicitors Anthony Joyce & Co. Some €608,000 was owed to Pepper Finance Corporation on the family home, which has a market value of €425,000.

Under the deal, the negative equity element of the debt is to be written off, while the mortgage on what is left will be extended under new terms following a 12-month interest-only period.

Mr Mulligan’s interests in a commercial unit, a retail unit and a site will be sold under the arrangement.

His other main creditors were Everyday Finance DAC, owed over €2.7m, and Bank of Ireland, owed €1.4m. Most of his debts were classed as “unsecured” as they were not backed by assets.

Unsecured creditors will share just €5,195 under the arrangement, but Mr Farry said they would have received nothing if Mr Mulligan had been made bankrupt.

Milestone as university ‘wins’ Waterford crystal

Agreement has been reached for South East Technological University (SETU) to buy 20 acres of the former Waterford Crystal site, according to Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD. is milestone announcement will see SETU expand its footprint in Waterford while furthering the vision to create a University-Enterprise Quarter for the city and region.

Speaking at the announcement Minister Harris said:

“ is is a major moment in the development of SETU.

e purchase of the site will allow SETU expand and

grow, and crucially embed in the city of Waterford.

“We know the history of this site. Once a bustling site of business and tourism, the site has been largely derelict since the closure of Waterford Crystal over 14 years ago.

“ is is a new dawn for this site. Here SETU will grow and this site will once again become a bustling site for students, research, enterprise and for the people of Waterford through creation of an active and dynamic University-Enterprise Quarter.”

Professor Veronica Campbell, SETU President ,warmly welcomed the funding announcement

saying: “I would like to thank the minister and the Higher Education Authority for their support of our collective vision and for providing the rst phase of funding to allow that vision become a reality.

“Our work to realise a University-Enterprise Quarter on the Waterford Crystal site will begin now in earnest and we look forward to developing this vision with all of our stakeholders and regional partners.

“As a university embedded in our region our ambition is to bring together academia, research, industry and our communities to create a hub of knowledge,

learning, enterprise, innovation and creativity.”

Over the next two years, SETU will further develop the vision for the University-Enterprise Quarter, engage with stakeholders and the wider community, undertake design and apply for planning, all aligned with the strategic planning process of the University. e former Waterford Crystal site extends to 37 acres and is located directly adjacent to the SETU Campus in Waterford. e acquisition of circa 20 acres for SETU on the site represents a signi cant opportunity for the future growth of the University, Waterford and the wider region.

Call for a special EU envoy for North

Five Fine Gael MEPs have proposed the creation of a special EU envoy for Northern Ireland to ensure regular dialogue with political representatives there. Kilkenny’s Seán Kelly, Frances Fitzgerald, Deirdre Clune, Maria Walsh and Colm Markey believe there is a need to ensure formalised communication with representatives in Northern Ireland so that any issues can be identi ed and addressed in good time.

“ e unique historical, legal and social circumstances on the island of Ireland, with

part of the island under the legal jurisdiction of the UK, meant that Brexit was always going to fundamentally impact Northern Ireland in particular,” Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament said.

Northern Ireland has remained inside the EU Single Market for goods under the provisions of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. is has granted Northern Ireland direct access to both the EU’s single market and the internal market of the United Kingdom.

“We have already seen increases in investments in Northern Ireland as one of the bene ts of the EU single-market and UK internal market access making it an attractive option for many companies.

I hear from business leaders all the time about the opportunities this arrangement has for Northern Ireland and the possibility of enhanced economic prosperity should be highlighted at every turn”, Kelly continued.

e MEPs have backed the Windsor Framework as a positive step forward in EU-UK

relations that will signicantly reduce checks and paperwork. Within that agreement, the Stormont Brake gives the Northern Ireland Assembly the power to object to changes to EU rules that apply in Northern Ireland.

“ is mechanism is designed to be used in the most exceptional circumstances.’

“Due to the type of Brexit chosen by the UK government, it was inevitable, albeit unfortunate, that some sort of democratic de cit would exist in Northern Ireland thereafter,” Mr Kelly said.

26 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 News
Crystal clear: Minister Simon Harris talking to some students at the SETU campus Photo: Mary Browne
27 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement

Book launch

Thanks for the memories…

wiser youth and it was an essay he wrote while in that dusty old classroom that impressed a local broadsheet editor. Reading it, the perceptive newspaper chief decided that Jimmy had the makings of a journalist. His uncanny grasp of the language, and fanciful turns of phrase had heads in a whirl.

Paris Texas was packed to the rafters for the launch of Jimmy Rhatigan’s book, Treasure Lost, Treasure Found.

Hundreds of well-wishers converged on the High Street venue from all over Ireland and a few even travelled from as far a eld as Belfast, the USA and Latvia for the big night. Family, old pals from his newspaper days, soccer fans, and schoolmates mingled with book-lovers and the cream of academia that streamed into the pub/restaurant from every street in the Marble City to savour the long and eagerly awaited launch.

e book recalls the uplifting, sometimes heartbreaking, story of how the Rhatigan family coped when Jimmy’s father died suddenly in 1953. His untimely departure from their lives, and the homestead at Fatima Place Kilkenny left wife Maureen (28), and sons Jimmy (3) and Joe (12) bereft. ey faced a struggle for survival in an economically ravaged and socially conservative country.

But far from sinking without trace beneath a tide of gloom and desolation, the Rhatigan family got through that bleak era with dignity and strength, thanks to the staunch backing

of grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the unparalleled community sprit exhibited by the residents of Fatima Place. e locals knew how to lend a helping hand to each other in good times and bad.

Jimmy brings the past to life in his customary way with words. So you feel you’re back in those monochrome days and nights of the 1950s…with

Granny Dunne in Goods to buy shoes with money raised from the sale of pigs reared by his grandparents, or in church when the names of donors were called out at mass and the amounts cited for all to hear.

is humiliated some massgoers and delighted other- the ones who could a ord to be generous.

Or you go along in fancy with Jimmy to attend his rst hurling and soccer games, where he discovered his lifelong love of sport…or see him in the classroom at the local CBS, hoping to avoid getting whacked as so many pupils did in that “Other Ireland./”

Avoiding the stick or the leather was almost as big a challenge as learning, but Jimmy managed to clear the obstacle course that was the Irish educational system without any serious war wounds.

A rare treat and welcome break from schoolwork and austerity was the occasional visit to Beale’s house in Fatima Place to watch TV. Only a select few homes had the goggle box back then.

He emerged from the CBS a

Once he got inside a newspaper o ce, Jimmy never looked back, plying his trade for more than ve decades before taking a well-earned rest, and then resuming his journalistic forays via the Kilkenny Press online portal.

roughout his lengthy career as a scribe he divided time between journalism and his unquenchable passion for football, managing a local club and encouraging youth involvement.

He played a prominent, lifeenhancing role in both putting Kilkenny on the sporting map for something other than hurling and keeping youngsters out of trouble by channeling their energies into kicking a ball. Saving souls and scoring goals went hand-in-hand for the man from Fatima Place.

In his writing he went beyond the reporting of bare facts and keeping people informed of news developments. He penned hilarious pieces that turned many a frown into a smile in homes, pubs and cafes. His breezy style won the hearts of thousands.

Families avidly watched the clock ticking towards that magic moment when the paper would hit the street so they could get their weekly “ x” of Right on Rhatigan-his uproarious gossip column, or his latest wacky or poignantly evocative colourpiece.

Among the papers he edited was the KIlkenny Observer, which he commends in the book for its continued commitment to high standards in local journalism.

e book branches o from personal memoir to touch upon a broad range of themes. He tackles the great issues of today and yesteryear, combining a penetrating intellectual prowess with his unfailing brand of wry humour.

He doesn’t t shy from

controversy, giving his own take on the Northern con ict, the present-day political landscape in Ireland, and the challenges posed to print journalism by the rise of social media.

Despite the grim prognosis o ered by so many commentators and analysts, Jimmy is hopeful that the trusty newspaper that you can hold in your hands, its paper rusting as you scan the pages, will remain a feature of our lives for decades to come.

e book also celebrates some the great characters Jimmy got to know and write about: People like Tom Cantwell of TC Tyres, a colossus on the Kilkenny social scene, legendary journalist Sean Hurley, whom Jimmy credits for assisting him up the high and sometimes rickety ladder of achievement, and Callan boxing coach Jimmy Walsh, who continues to attend ringside though his sight isn’t the best. 90-year old Jimmy was at the launch to support the man who has written

countless articles about his sporting career.

e Bard of Tullaroan, Paddy Fitzpatrick, gets a mention too, and there’s host of sporting anecdotes sprinkled throughout the pages.

Jimmy thanked the people who had made a lasting impact on him via their outstanding qualities, achievements or sheer abundance of human decency. Among the large gathering at Paris Texas, for example, was former nurse Marianne Kelly, who Jimmy recalled had cared so lovingly for his mother in her nal hours.

While he had fond memories of his journalistic career, Jimmy said he believed, after all his vast experience of life; that one’s family and friends came rst. As if to emphasize this, the o cial launching of the book was left to Jimmy’s grandson.

Little MJ introduced the world, amid a fanfare of joy and applause, to Treasure Lost, Treasure Found.

e book cost 20 Euro and is available at Khan’s Book shop in James’s Street, Kilkenny.

28 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
29 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement

Girl Auction

stated ‘thirty yards limit!’

Part 11

Aye, the blood of Amazons and Celtic Queens of old owed fast and merry through the veins of these Connolly girls.

e shocked and defeated Paudhaun now tore himself loose from Barker’s jaws, and made a mad bust into the bushes under the salley tree. Gone! Behind Molly, watching to the rear for any other enemy – but hardly able to keep her eyes away from the riotous con ict out front – was ‘Babsie’ – a wilful and warlike wee missy - all of a sharpedged ten summers old. is most un-babyish of girls had been cheering and shrieking “hop o ‘im, Barker!” – in between throwing fast looks to their rear…..

Now, one of those swift glances stopped her yelling! She perceived, back at the limits of her vision in the fading moondusk, a sinister shape steadily advancing out of the milky gloom! And right up on the edge of the Moller’s

“Cripes – another one!” she muttered grimly – still holding her nerve, but not wanting to distract the ‘gunwoman’ until the line was actually breached. But then – just in case - she gave her big sister a sharp nudge in the back – avoiding, of course, the hanging bag containing the ever-slumbering MeeMee mouser.

e icy-cool girl with the Four Ten whirled around –seeing that she now, urgently, had ‘another sh to fry’. e deadly .410 gun, in the cool grip of its fearless handler, was now up at the military ‘port arms’ position. Fortuitously, Moll could safely ignore the winged and dounced would-be swain – he was out of the game. And the strange ‘Barker’ would stand guard against his unlikely return. Babsie, like a soldier, now read the battle situation straight away - and transferred her hard gaze to Barker – and the bushes - leaving Molly free to deal with who or whatever was moving up on them from the rear.

In the faint illumination of the dying moonglow o the frostrime, Molly could now con rm what she instinctively knew the identity of the

hunter. e one she’d been half-expecting – but also fervently hoping against. is pursuer had stopped instantly the gunshot rang out. In their {earlier} tumbling thoughts and emotions, on this strange and violent night, neither she nor Babsie would be entirely surprised if Old Nick, e Tub ‘o Guts, or Jack the Giant Killer tried to nab them! But then again, it might even be Queen Maebh, racing along in umes of magic smoke, riding to their rescue in her brazen car, pulled by two golden mules… But, not so.

Now, the quarry and the hunter were face to face. Only thirty or so yards separated them. Only thirty steps between daughter and father, for it was he. irty short paces to the daughter he’d so despicably tried to barter away. His little rst-born, whom he’d sold to the foulest brute imaginable.

As Kilkenny people are wont to say - there was now ‘no love lost’ between them. Molly had foreseen this situation. {Otherwise she wouldn’t have armed herself – would she?} at she might falter in her resolve was a possibility. Being hit by a meteor is also a possibility. As I said - she’d considered the ‘might falter’ scenario. And placed it in the ‘meteor’ department...

‘Click’ – went the hammer behind the choke barrel. A sideways-stance was adopted,

weight transferred to her leading left foot. In those few ying – yet frozen - seconds in time, Molly Connolly never shifted her cold stare from the once-upon-a-time father. at the gun was in her hands was no stroke of luck: as said - she’d foreseen its vital importance – while hoping it wouldn’t be needed… But without that walnut and cold-steel ‘equaliser’ which she wielded so rmly and e ciently, it would have been ‘goodnight nurse’ for both sisters already. For her, horrible wedlock, forever, to a moron. And captivity in a semi-prison of a dreary home for Babsie - who would be bartered o herself in but a few years – to prevent any more of these present ‘shenanigans.’ {As I’ve said several times, folks – back in those 18s80s days, a girl could be legally dragged to the altar, at the tender age of twelve.} Most parents and girls worked things out well, and many’s the happy union that ensued. But tied to Paudhaun? Even the phantom Witch of Blackbog would have own from that … e father had been too far down the ditch, and the light too dim, for him to see the brawl between Barker and Paudhaun, and the girl’s bodies had also been in the way. At the gunshot, he’d stopped, stock still. At rst

he thought Paudhaun had red, but in a ash he knew it was the four Ten – the only one in the locality. is was a complete shock to him. He hadn’t gone near the kitchen to get the weapon – had seen absolutely no need for it. A man didn’t chase his little girls with a shotgun; not even cads such as he was. Now, he stood silently, and so did his daughter. She could hear little sis, behind her, saying to the dog: “G’won, Barker, bite the bloody divil if he makes a move, chaw his other leg o !” which made her smile coldly. Exactly her own sentiments – and if Barker felt like a big jaw full of the horrible P – then let him. But the dog wouldn’t dirty his nice long fangs anymore than he’d had to do. e Paudhaun was ‘bet.’ A goner. A busted ush. History. Goodbye, P? Still silence reigned between father and daughter. He didn’t know what to say. She knew she had nothing to say. Quietly, then, without a change in her expression, Molly raised the weapon, ever so slowly, calmly, deliberately. e barrels were elevated at snail’s pace, until they were trained on the heart of Mikey Connolly.

Daughter wouldn’t dream of a ‘heart shot’ – she’d only ever have winged him. Same as her thwarted would-be intended. But daddy Connolly didn’t know that. He’d heard

the at crack of the Four Ten, then a few howls. He could only {rightly} guess it was his ‘dowry man.’ For all he knew, the P was mortally wounded. He’d seen the hatred on his girls face in the kitchen, when the Dacent Boy had lifted his jam jar and candle lantern up along her form, ogling her owering body. He knew his girl, knew she was a tougher nut than ever her poor mother had been. But he really didn’t know much more than that. What she wanted known – she let be known.

Now he wasn’t at all sure that she wouldn’t ‘pull’ on him. Although Molly couldn’t see it, his features turned a dirty shade of grey, and his body started trembling. Still she held the gun on him, staying completely and frighteningly still and silent. Now he was sure that his doom had arrived. at his time had come. at it was payback time for his ill treatment of his wife. at this daughter – whose tender body and future he had so despicably bargained away – was now going to exact retribution……….

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 31 March 2023 Opinion
31 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement

Hello Again, World

plaining how loneliness is bad for our health, mood, sleep patterns, even our weight. Loneliness has a signi cant impact on physical and mental health and is linked to multiple chronic health conditions.

During Covid, older people had no choice but to walk around their gardens, or even their apartment. Now the world is their oyster, and the bene ts of getting out of doors and into nature are considerable. Speaking recently on radio, GP and author Dr Mark Rowe explained that time spent in nature can enable us to recharge from stress, think more clearly and creatively, shift perspective, and inspire new behaviour patterns. e great outdoors can help boost mood, memory, and connection to the world with a stronger sense of self.

It may not be possible to visit the beach, but there is a new appreciation of forest walking, giving a complete immersion in nature which can be positive for overall vitality.

Are older people re-emerging blinking into the light? ‘Hello Again World’ is a new government campaign to address loneliness and isolation among older people postCovid, and to coax them back into the real world.

Since many older people were asked to e ectively say

‘Bye World’ in March 2020, there is a growing realisation that many have not re-established their social connections. Many people were bereaved during Covid and are still coming to terms with their loss, some had reduced social support and had to manage without family, clubs, friend-

ships and with closure of community facilities.

SeniorLine, Ireland’s national con dential service for older people, has evidence of all of this rst hand. "I loved to drive to visit friends and would think nothing of crossing the county, but I have lost my con dence," said Joe 74, Kilkenny. Jean lives

in Dublin: "I would be nervous to go into the city now, it does not seem so safe," she said. Peadar is near omastown: "I hate to say it, but I’ve become a bit institutionalised, I need help to get out again," he said.

e Hello Again Campaign wants to o er that help in ex-

Have a look around and you will see that community facilities are opening up again, and o ering good value. Some gyms have special o ers to entice clients back to the pool and exercise bike. Sylvia has re-joined her water aerobics class and Helen has gone back to yoga. Both women attest to the social bene ts of meeting friends again and having a focus in their day. "It’s a great help to have something to get up for, I am happy to be more disciplined again," said Helen.

Other organisations are anxious for members. Joan has volunteered her local Meals on Wheels association and says it is giving her a wider perspective. Voluntary groups, such as Mens Shed are open for membership, and some retired men - cooped up in Covidmay discover it suits them. Even your GP is in on the act. Social prescribing is a national HSE scheme recognising that health is a ected by social factors such as poverty, isolation and loneliness. Social prescribing o ers GPs and other health professionals a choice of patient referrals to nonclinical community supports which can help with overall wellbeing and positivity. So instead of being sent to the pharmacy for another round of tablets, your GP may discuss your non-medical problems with a di erent outcome. is could be a suggestion to join your local walking group, to take up a tness class or to learn new relaxation techniques. Other patients may be linked into education, training, or volunteering opportunities. We will leave the last word to the early Chinese philosopher Confucius who knew a little bit about wellbeing: "We all have two lives," he said, "and our second life starts the day we realise we have only one life."

SeniorLine Freefone open every day of the year 10am10pm Freefone 1800 80 45 91 Anne Dempsey - Communications Manager for SeniorLine

32 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023

A home from home

Rosedale Residential Home is located in the upper village of Kilmacow in County Kilkenny, just kilometres from Waterford City. It is set on 3 acres of gardens within walking distance of all amenities, including a Church, Post O ce, Sports Grounds, Supermarket, Bar, and Community Centre.

Rosedale is a voluntary nonpro t organisation with Board of Management comprising of members from the local community and was founded in 1986 to provide care for the elderly of the area who could no longer live safely at home. Rosedale

Residential Home is registered as a support home for the elderly and is regulated by HIQA. e Complex is managed by a competent and professional team of carers providing a high level of personal support and companionship in a familyoriented atmosphere and o ers:

1. Assisted Living for up to fteen low dependency residents needing help with the activities of daily living, but still wishing to live as independently as possible.

2. Sheltered Housing facilities comprising sixteen independent living homes especially

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

33 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023

Introducing The Handicare 4000 Stairlift – for spiral, curved & narrow staircases

Join the Active Retirement experience today!

Active Retirement Ireland

(ARI) is a national organisation that reaches out to all older people to help them stay connected in their communities and prevent loneliness through friendship and support.

For 45 years, the charity has been working to support older people to age well and enjoy their retirement, while advocating and acting as a voice for older people and their concerns at a national level.

e membership-led organisation has more than 24,000 ARI members operating out of 500+ Active Retirement Associations, each o ering a range of hobbies and leisure opportunities to help members stay active

and socially connected.

ARI’s members join for many reasons — some just want to do something with their time, others want to meet new people and try new things. For all, Active Retirement Ireland provides social connection that is essential for better health and positive ageing. Members also enjoy a host of member bene ts not available anywhere else. After two years of restrictions and lockdowns, renewing and making new social connections is more important than ever.

Active Retirement Ireland member Margaret said “I came back home after having been away for 43 years and I went to my local Active Retirement group and it was

a great way of getting back into the community and getting to know people.”

George, another member of Active Retirement Ireland, said “Had I known there was this much to do, I’d have retired years earlier!”

All older people retired from paid or unpaid work are welcome to join ARI to socialise, get active, have fun and have their voices heard — regardless of age, gender, culture or any other grounds.

Why not join your local group or set up a new Active Retirement Association in your area?

Visit ARI’s website at www. or call 01 873 3836 to nd out more.

e Handicare 4000 Curved Stairlift is the latest addition to the Beech eld Stairlifts range that o ers innovative features to enhance your stairlift experience. is cutting-edge stairlift utilises advanced technology to provide a seamless ride and perfect t for your staircase.

e Handicare 4000 is available in a Heavy Duty 25.5st / 160kg option and comes equipped with a custom-built twin rail system to e ortlessly navigate tight bends. Additionally, this stairlift o ers a range of visual and functional options to fully customise it to your liking.

e Handicare 4000 comes with three di erent seat options to choose from. e Smart Seat is durable and practical, with four di erent seat colours to choose from and an optional arm spacer.

e Style Seat has a curved backrest and is available in three di erent colours, while the Simplicity is a cost-e ective option that comes with a neutral sand fabric and does not include a powered swivel seat feature.

Furthermore, there are several optional functional features that can be added to the

Handicare 4000 stairlift, including an automatic powered footplate, a body harness for extra support and security, and a powered hinged rail option that can fold the stairlift track away to provide clearer access on the landing levels. We provide a free no-obligation home survey and quote across County Kilkenny, and our expert installation team is recognised for their exemplary installation service. Beech eld

Stairlifts is a council approved supplier with over 20 years’ experience in stairlifts. As with all our expert stairlift installations, there is no structural work required, they are installed quickly and easily to the stairs, not the wall.

If you're unsure which option is best for you, please call us on (057) 868 2304 to discuss your requirements, and we will be happy to guide you through all the available options.

34 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
35 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023

Age & Opportunity offers Changing Gears course

Age & Opportunity is the national organisation that aims to enable the best possible quality of life for us all as we age, where we are more active, more visible, more creative, more connected and more con dent.

Changing Gears is an Age & Opportunity initiative that focuses on dealing with life transitions or challenges in mid to later life. It supports people to take stock, make changes, and bounce forward in life.

e course works by allowing participants to develop skills and techniques to build resilience and con dence in managing life-changes or transitions. It enables them to reframe transitions in their lives as opportunities with positive options, thus challenging negative stereotypes about ageing.

Changing Gears, which is o ered in person and online, invites participants to re ect

on challenges they have experienced in the past and life-lessons they have learned. In this way strategies for building resilience and managing change draw on personal experience to create a more positive and ful lling future.

Kathleen Jordan, from Dublin, who joined an online version of Changing Gears in February was very happy that she participated. “I found Changing Gears very useful. It was very useful to look back at what has served me well and to make a plan, as far as is possible, for the next part of my life.”

Kay Murphy, from Ennis, Co Clare, who took part in Changing Gears this month was delighted that she joined the course. “ e course content from beginning to end was very relevant. e di erent aspects of the course were so gently put. We came away totally satis ed

Seniors and our pension entitlements

On a regular basis we get asked what are the entitlements our senior members of society are entitled to. As we enter into the golden years of our lives after spending years working to support our families and build the nation of today that provides opportunities to the next generation, now is our time to get the thank you we deserve and I believe we are entitled to. In this edition we will look at what we are entitled to when we retire and when we go to claim our Pension. Here are some of the pension entitlements to look for:

contributions to qualify for these payments. Apply to the Department of Social Protection.

State Pension (Contributory)

Means-tested payments

at having participated and we gained so much information on what’s out there for us both nationally and locally.”

Age & Opportunity is delighted to be o ering Changing Gears in Kilkenny for free this April and May.

Sessions cover: Life Transitions (Up to Now); Building Resilience (Here and Now); and Mapping the future (Where to from Here).

Venue: Kilkenny River Court Hotel, e Bridge, John Street Upper, Collegepark, Kilkenny, R95 Y104

Dates: ursdays 20, 27 April and 4, 11, 18 May 2023

Times: 11 am – 1.00 pm

To book your place on this programme, please e-mail Fiona at For further information see engage/changing-gears/

A range of payments are made to older people by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and the Health Service Executive. If you are unsure whether or not you would qualify for a payment, you should apply anyway. Generally, payments are made up of a personal payment for yourself and extra amounts for your dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and any dependent children. A cohabitant is a person living in an intimate and committed relationship with a person of the same or opposite sex who is not that person’s spouse, civil partner, or a close relative. You should apply to the Department of Social Protection for your pension at least 3 months in advance.

Social insurance payments

You need enough PRSI

e State Pension (Contributory) is payable from the age of 66. You are allowed to have income from any other source while you receive this pension, but both the income and the pension are taxable. ere are a number of pro-rata State Pensions (Contributory) which are paid at a lower rate. ese were introduced to deal with issues that arose as a result of people paying di erent types of social insurance contributions or not paying contributions for various reasons. Under the National Pensions Framework, a number of other changes are planned to the qualifying conditions for the State Pension (Contributory). ese changes do not a ect the State Pension (NonContributory).

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory Pension

You may be eligible for Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory Pension if you are widowed or a surviving civil partner, have not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership, and are not cohabiting. You can transfer to the State Pension (Contributory) at the age of 66.

Any means you may have, such as weekly income or savings, are taken into account for these payments, but not your own home. You must also satisfy the habitual residence condition. Apply to the Department of Social Protection.

State Pension (NonContributory) e State Pension (NonContributory) is a payment for people aged 66 or over who do not qualify for a State Pension (Contributory).

Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner's NonContributory Pension

If you are a widowed person or a surviving civil partner who is not entitled to a Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory Pension, has not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership, has no dependent children and is not cohabiting, you may be eligible for a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's NonContributory Pension. is is a means-tested payment. At age 66 you transfer to the State Pension (Non-Contributory). We hope you nd that helpful when you are trying to work out what your pension entitlements are. Next week we will look at other social welfare entitlements for our senior citizens. If you need future clari cation you can contact the Citizens Information Bureau on the Parade, Kilkenny.

36 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
37 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023

Degree in the University of Life

In today’s busy world of the life of our students and graduates while striving to achieve success in their chosen elds of their ambitious careers. e chasing degrees, year after year. Finally, leaving university with an education that was not available to our current seniors of society. eir chosen careers were decided by the needs of the family unit, the family farm and sometimes in the unfortunate case of a sick and ailing parent. ey had to become the main breadwinner of the house sometimes as young as just becoming a teenager.

So while the men and women of today have more letters after their names than in their names themselves, head out into the working world of today, the one degree they lack, the one that you can only get while you travel through life. A degree from the ‘University of Life’. is degree is possibly the most important lesson anyone can gain. It is

what our elders have in abundance. Our degree holders could do a lot worse to improve their education than go and seek advice from students of the ‘University of Life’. As they head out ready to run down every avenue left and right, why not stop?

Take a breath! Go ask the advice of those who have travelled all the roads and avenues that you are now about to embark on.

Wise heads can direct you down the right road and avoid the roadblocks and obstacles that they encountered on their journey. Our students of today have acquired skills that they could trade in exchange for this advice. Our seniors will tell you how every motor runs and how every plant or vegetable grows. In return our graduates can pass the necessary skills that will help our seniors expand their knowledge of technology, an incredible help to all in the senior years.

all valu education sys

All our degrees are valuable to the one who holds it, and to the employer who wishes to hire you for the knowledge you have learnt as you passed through all levels of our education system. Imagine how valuable you would be to the work force and your society in general if you also had a degree from the ‘University of Life’, where your lecturers are more than willing to educate you. ese seniors you see and pass everyday have a wealth of knowledge that no book or computer can teach you. Talk to the seniors in your neighbourhood and get the most valuable degree of all; a ‘Degree of Life’.

of Life’, where your lectur everyday have a wealth of

38 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement
39 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement

Easter traybake

Prep: 20 mins

Cook: 35 mins

Me Dine Come With

Serves: 12

Make this easy Easter-themed traybake with the kids. It features a chocolate sponge covered in fudge icing then decorated with Easter sweets and treats.


•150ml sun ower oil, plus extra for the tin

•165g golden caster sugar

•2 eggs

•150ml milk

•165g self-raising our

•3 tbsp cocoa powder

•1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the chocolate fudge icing

•100g milk or dark chocolate, chopped (either a chocolate bar or Easter egg, broken up)

•100g butter, softened

•100g icing sugar

•100g Easter treats (chocolate eggs, sweets, chocolate bar pieces)



Heat the oven to 180C/160C

fan/gas 4. Oil and line a

One-pan salmon with roast asparagus

Prep: 20 mins

Cook: 50 mins

Serves: 2

For an easy side dish to complement a spring roast, just cook this recipe without the salmon.


• 400g new potato, halved if large

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 8 asparagus spears, trimmed and halved

• 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes

• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

• 2 salmon llets, about 140g/5oz each

• handful basil leaves



Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Tip the potatoes and 1 tbsp of olive oil into an ovenproof dish, then roast

traybake tin, about 20 x 30cm, and 5cm deep. Put the oil, sugar, eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Sieve over the our, cocoa and bicarb, and stir brie y until combined. Pour the mixture into the tin, and bake for 20-25 mins until the cake is well risen and springs back when pressed.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.


Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water, or in short blasts in the microwave until melted. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Easter hot chocolate

Prep: 2 mins

Cook: 3 mins

Serves: 1

Use up leftover chocolate from Easter eggs to make an indulgent hot chocolate. Top with squirty cream and marshmallows for a truly decadent drink.


• 200ml milk

• ½ tbsp cocoa powder

• 100g hollow chocolate egg (milk or dark), broken into small pieces

• 2 tbsp whipped or squirty cream

• 25g mini chocolate eggs, sugar-coated chocolate buttons or beans, or more chocolate egg, broken into small pieces

• 1 tbsp mini marshmallows



STEP 3 Beat the butter and icing sugar together until pale and u y, then drizzle in the chocolate and beat again until smooth and uniform in colour. Swirl the icing over the top of the cake, with a few peaks and swirls to decorate. Scatter with the Easter treats to serve.

Pour boiling water from the kettle into a heatproof mug to warm it up. Heat the milk and cocoa in a small pan, or in blasts in the microwave, until steaming. Discard the hot water in the mug, and tip in the chocolate egg pieces. Pour over the hot milk. Stir for 30 seconds or until the chocolate has melted. Top with the cream, sprinkle over the mini eggs or broken egg pieces and marshmallows to serve.

Amaretto sour

Prep: 10 mins

Serves: 4

Combine amaretto, lemon, egg white and cherries with ice for a classic amaretto sour. A great cocktail to impress guests at a dinner party.


• 200ml amaretto

• 3-4 lemons, juiced (you will need 120ml)

• 1 egg white

• small jar or can of cherries in syrup

• ice



Put the amaretto, lemon juice, egg white and 4 tsp of the cherry syrup into a blender (you can also do this in a large cocktail shaker, you will just need to shake it very hard without adding any ice).


the potatoes for 20 mins until starting to brown. Toss the asparagus in with the potatoes, then return to the oven for 15 mins.

STEP 2 row in the cherry tomatoes and vinegar and nestle the salmon amongst the vegetables. Drizzle with the remaining oil

and return to the oven for a nal 10-15 mins until the salmon is cooked. Scatter over the basil leaves and serve everything scooped straight from the dish.

Whizz up the mixture a few times at a high speed until it is pale and starting to increase in volume. If your blender is suitable for use with ice, add a few handfuls and pulse just twice more to chill the mixture. Alternatively, just stir in the ice until the outside of the jug feels cold.


Pour into glasses and garnish with cherries to serve.

40 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Online
Food & Drink

films to stream now on Netflix 5

1. Uncorked

In Uncorked, a young wannabe sommelier — an expert in wine — struggles to balance his own personal aspirations with the expectations placed on him by his demanding father (Courtney B. Vance). While Elijah (Mamoudou Athie) dreams of following his passions, his father insists that he take over the family BBQ joint. Naturally, the two don’t see eye to eye and the bonds of family are tested in this coming-of-age drama lm. A deeply tender lm about chasing your dreams and striving to become the person you want to be, much like a ne wine.

A fifth but final season of You is in the making

Net ix hit series You is coming to a close after a fth and nal season, and the series creators promise a “delightfully twisted conclusion,” according to Variety. You is a psychological thriller that originally aired on American outlet Lifetime in 2018 before nding its true fanbase on Net ix. It stars Penn Badgley as the book lover and serial killer Joe Goldberg who develops deep obsessions over the people he is trans xed by.

As of now, there is no mention of what new actors will be introduced in the closing season of You. e nal season will be run by new showrunners, with Michael Foley and Justin W. Lo taking over for series creators Berlanti and Gamble, who are stepping away to work

on new projects. In a public statement about the change in hands, Gamble stated that making the series has been “an honour and ridiculously fun” and that she was “immensely grateful” to all those that she worked with on the series.

You was developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble based on the novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes and her follow-up novel, Hidden Bodies. e series’ seasons have rotating cast members that start with actors Elizabeth Lail, Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry, and Shay Mitchell joining Badgley for the rst season. e second season bumps actress Ambyr Childers up to a main character and introduces a new cast featuring Victoria

Pedretti, James Scully, Jenna Ortega, and Carmela Zumbado.

Season 3 of You again plays musical chairs with its cast, upgrading Sa ron Burrows to a series regular and introducing Travis Van Winkle, Shalita Grant, Tati Gabrielle, and Dylan Arnold to the cast.

Finally, the fourth season of You was released last month and introduced Charlotte Ritchie, Tilly Keeper, AmyLeigh Hickman, Ed Speleers, and Lukas Gage to the highly acclaimed series.

As of now, there is no mention of what direction Net ix will take You’s ending. At the end of Season 4 — SPOILERS AHEAD! — Badgley’s serial killer Joe was basking in his triumph, having moved back to New York where Season

1 took place, and was with his new love Kate (Charlotte Ritchie), who had just inherited her father’s fortune thanks to Joe (who had killed him). But where will the show take Joe from here?

Even Net ix is pondering which direction the ending of You will go, as the streaming platform ended their announcement of the series renewal with the question: “Will Joe Goldberg nally get his judgment day?”

As Badgley told Variety, if Joe is killed, is that enough?

“Whoever kills him is brought down to his level.”

For now, all fans can do, like Badgley, is wonder. Net ix has not announced the date of when production on the You nal season will start.

Why fans Swarm to see Chloe Bailey

Fans of Chloe Bailey recently got to see a whole new side of her.

e actress and singer, who came to fame as part of a musical duo with her sister, Halle Bailey, has a role in the new Amazon Prime series Swarm. Early in the rst episode, Bailey, 24, has quite the sex scene with co-star Damson Idris.

“As open and liberal as I am about my body, I was very scared because I haven’t had that many partners,” Bailey told Deadline of the scene. “I’m not like that — like that sexual and open.”

“Damson made it really comfortable,” she continued, adding that, “there were limited people on set; it was a closed set.”

Across movies and TV, today’s sex scenes are typically carefully choreographed on

“closed sets” (a term which means the number of crew members present is kept to a minimum) and have given rise to the role of intimacy coordinators, who work to ensure the actors involved are informed and comfortable.

is practice has become especially important after the #MeToo movement brought widespread attention to how performers have felt taken advantage of in front of the camera (or behind it) by those in power.

Yet as technical — and in some cases, unsexy — as lming sex scenes can be, they still garner a ton of attention.

And, though in many cases much of this attention is

laced with sexism and misogyny, it’s not just directed at women. Both Jonathan Sadowski of Net ix’s Sex/Life and Demetrius Flenory Jr. of Starz’s BMF recently stirred up controversy with full frontal scenes on their respective shows.

Not everyone is for it, however.

You star Penn Badgley shared on a February episode of his podcast Podcrushed that he had spoken to the Net ix show’s creator, Sera Gamble, about opting out of on-camera intimacy. “Fidelity in every relationship, including my marriage, is important to me,” he said. “It’s got to the point where I don’t want to do (sex scenes).”

2. Frances Ha

Frances (Greta Gerwig) is at a crossroads in her life. She’s a New Yorker, but she doesn’t really have an apartment, and she’s an apprentice at a dance company, but she’s not really a dancer. Her life is a mess of mistakes and contradictions, and she’s reaching the age where she either needs to reach for her dreams or accept that life has passed her by. No pressure then. e second, and certainly not the last, collaboration between Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha is an o -the-wall dramsa comedy presented in black and white but bursting with colourful characters.


It’s not hard to see why #Alive didn’t make a huge splash on Net ix in 2020. It centres on a live streamer’s struggle for survival as he is forced to quarantine alone in his apartment after a Zombie apocalypse hits the South Korean city of Seoul. Perhaps, that subject matter was maybe a little too close to reality for many people at the time of its release. Nevertheless, almost three years later the lm remains an excellent watch. It strikes that rare balance of being very funny but also genuinely unsettling during key moments.

4. I’m Thinking Of Ending Things

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Iain Reid, I’m inking of Ending ings follows a young woman (Jessie Buckley) and her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) as they head out on a trip to meet the latter’s parents (Toni Collette and David ewlis). Meeting your partner’s parents is always a little uncomfortable, but in this surrealist thriller, things get very odd very quickly. Of all the movies on this list, I’m inking of Ending ings is likely to be the most divisive. However, if you’re willing to put in a little bit of work, you’ll nd a deeply rewarding movie.

5. Rush

A biographical masterpiece from director Ron Howard, Rush recounted the rivalry between two real-life Formula One drivers: James Hunt of Britain (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) of Austria. Set primarily during the fateful 1976 motor season when the two competed for the World Champion title, Rush is an adrenaline-fuelled sports movie that will also appeal to viewers not hooked on the world of motor racing. Like many biopics, it’s the strength of the two leading performances that drives Rush forward.

41 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement TVAdvertisement & Streaming
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Glenmore is most famously renowned for the calibre of hurlers that have won Senior All-Irelands with Kilkenny over the years, but over the past few years Mia Gri n has been doing the little village in south Kilkenny very proud indeed with a string of excellent performances around the world in Cycling.

Coming from a village steeped in GAA, Mia was a very talented Camogie player at underage level, and in 2015 she was part of e Kilkenny Panel that won e Minor AllIreland.

A year later in 2016, Mia was part of the Glenmore team that won e Intermediate County Final, while the following year in 2017 she had the honour of captaining the Kilkenny Intermediates.

However, during that particular year in 2017 she put her Camogie career on hold to concentrate on Cycling.

Since concentrating on the bike, she began to make an immediate impact and she has constantly continued to progress among the Worlds Elite.

In her debut year competing, she was part of e Talent

Kilkenny Sport Focus Michael O’Leary

Team that won the gold medal in e Team Pursuit at e National Track Team Championships, while she nished third in e Individual Pursuit at the same competition.

Mia made history by becoming the rst female Irish cyclist to compete on e World Tour, and at the beginning of this year(2023) she signed up to ride for e Israel Premier Tech Team having previously ridden for e Irish Belgian Continental Team(IBCT).

Mia Griffin

Dig your well before your thirsty

Listen to the whispers and you won’t have to hear the screams is an old Cherokee saying that I think we could all relate to. We know athletes get injured, we know people who have had back pain in the past are 12 times more likely to get it in the future, but our positivity bias can mean that we don’t think it will happen to us!

This positivity bias is needed, otherwise we would never get into a car again for fear of a crash. However, it can harm us also because we are terrible at acknowledging that something in the future could go wrong for us if we don’t take action now. We can see this with popular beliefs that the climate and planet will always be ok and a more personal level, that we will never get injured!

Most of us have weak link areas and even if you don’t, running a lot means that certain areas are prone to becoming weak!

Running puts strain on

our tendons and joints, therefore it is important to do exercises now that will help keep these areas healthy for years come. Dig the well before your thirsty. Don’t wait for the injury or pain to strike before you start.

How I have designed my Sports Pilates Program with the BackAware Belt to help runners stay injury free. By working once per week for 45 minutes on areas that are prone to problems you can avoid a lot of problems. Improving the strength and mobility of these possible weak

link areas before there are problems, can help you stay running your best and keep your body healthy.

Even if you already have an injury or some areas that gets sore then this program can help reverse a lot of the strain we have put on our bodies.

Pilates is what I do but it doesn’t have to be Pilates.

We have S and C classes, or Mobility classes included too that you can do. It might not be my program that suits you, but you need to invest 45 minutes per week into something. Your future self will thank you for it.

Riding in her rst European Championship in 2018 as part of e Ireland Team in e Pursuit Event, they secured a top 10 nishing in 10th place, while further top 10 places were produced in 2019 as they nished 9th in e Europeans and 10th in e World Championships. Track cycling was where the Glenmore native excelled best of all despite performing well on road, and in a COVID a ected year in 2020 she produced a brilliant performance to nish third and win a bronze medal in e Individual Pursuit at e Under-23 European Track

Championships in Italy. Also in 2020, Mia along with Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe and Lara Gillespie set a new national record in the Women’s Team Pursuit that was four seconds quicker than their previous best, while they nished 8th in e Team Pursuit in Berlin. She enhanced her growing reputation further in 2021, as she was part of e Irish Team that won a bronze medal in e Team Pursuit at e European Track Championships in Switzerland, while she was also part of e Irish Team that won gold in e Team Pursuit at e World Cup in Saint Petersburg in Russia.

Also in 2021, they nished 5th in e World Championships in Roubaix in France as they just missed out on the chance to compete for Medals.

Mia also performed very well in e Individual events as she was 8th in e Individual pursuits races in both e Europeans and e Worlds. Meanwhile, closer to home she nished 2nd in a stage in e Ras Na Mban in Kilkenny, and last year she was overall

runner-up to her Pursuit Team mate Alice Sharpe in e National Road Race Championships.

Mia has had plenty of high nishes in races around the world, and she has high aims of making e Ireland Team for next years Olympics in Paris. She actually has experience of competing in the French capital having competed in e World Championships last October, where she recovered from COVID in time to compete in e Madison with Alice Sharpe.

Last year, e Pursuit Team nished 6th in e European Games in Munich, while they produced another excellent performance to nish 5th at the recent European Championships in Switzerland.

So much on the horizon to look forward to for e Glenmore native with e World Championships taking place at e Sir Chris Hoy Veladrome in Glasgow from early August.

She will hope to have secured her place in Paris 2024 by then, and all going well she looks to be well on her way to being an Olympian.

Gowran Park Golf Club… It’s worth the drive…

A wonderful golf course set in the traditional parkland of the old Annaly Estate in the midst of historical Co. Kilkenny, this par 71, 18 hole championship golf course provides an exciting playing experience for golfers of all abilities. Superbly laid out with plenty of interesting features from tree-lined fairways, superb greens and various water hazards, lakes & streams, it is undoubtedly one of the best courses in the South East having recently featured in Golf World’s Top 100 Parklands Courses in Ireland for 2022. Additionally, in August this year, our 4th hole was chosen as one of Irelands’ Best 100 Golf Holes by Irish Golfer Magazine.

Celebrating 22 years of golf last July, we are as committed as ever to o ering value for money – located on the edge of Gowran Village, just a 10 minute drive from Kilkenny city, we cater for all your gol ng needs.

Gowran Park runs a busy

programme of OPEN COMPETITIONS for visiting men and lady golfers throughout the season, including our weekly Open Singles every ursday and great value Open Tournaments over bank holiday weekends.

Since launching our membership drive some months ago we have had a fantastic response across all categories of golfers. ese new members have availed of our extremely competitive rates and have taken up membership bringing them right to the end of April 2024. We extend a warm welcome to all our new members and wish them Happy Gol ng on the fairways in Gowran.

Our membership o er for new members continues where membership is available at €650.00 – taking you to April 2024.

Rates are also available for Under 30’s and Over 70’s membership categories.

Please call the Golf O ce

056 772 6699 or email golf@ for details of all options.

Society Golf Gowran Park is renowned for its warm and friendly atmosphere - society golfers are very welcome at the club and we will do our utmost to ensure your day here is enjoyable and memorable.

Societies are welcome on all days of the week and after the challenge of gol ng on one of the South East’s best parkland courses you can look forward to relaxing in our restaurant and bar where you can enjoy the beautiful food we have to o er courtesy of our in-house caterers Good Enuf to Eat.

We o er very competitive rates for Society Golfers - just give us a call or send us an email, as we would be delighted to arrange your visit. Gowran Park Golf Course, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny 056 7726699 email:; web:

45 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023

Community & GAA Notes


Lotto Results 21st March. Numbers drawn 1, 3, and 27. No Jackpot winner.

€30 each to Jack O Kee e, Eileen Fitzpatrick, Patsy Whearty, Marjore Moore, Rachel Comerford. Thanks to all for your support.


Kilkenny Minor hurlers began their championship campaign with an emphatic 3-17 to 1-12 win over Laois in Portlaoise on Saturday. David Barcoe played the entire match at corner back in a game where Kilkenny limited their opponents to just two points from play over the 65 or so minutes. This happened in spite of Kilkenny playing with just 14 men for the entire second half, a er flying wing back Sean Bergin rather harshly received his marching orders before hal ime. Davy has another year eligible for the minor grade so it’s a fine achievement to start on this year’s team.


Well done to Aisling Curtis who was on the Kilkenny Senior camogie team that beat Tipperary 0-14 to 0-13 in the final round of the League in Piltown on Saturday. This was a much needed result for Kilkenny and it eliminated any possible threat of relegation, as well as giving them a bit of impetus in the buildup to the championship.


Congratulations to Lucy Boyd and Pia Langton who were on the Loreto, Kilkenny Junior camogie squad that won the All Ireland last week. They came out on top against St. Pats. Maghera on a 4-10 to 0-9 scoreline. The Loreto had already won the senior All Ireland and we’re completing a notable double here.


There was no winner of this week’s club lotto (March 21th). Numbers drawn were 8, 10, 13, 24 Bonus 7. Next week’s big prize will be €17,600. Play now at

1 Ollie O Driscoll c/o Dan O Driscoll. 2 Sheila Foley c/o Ml Nolan. 3 Mary Deegan. 4 Ken Clancy c/o Neill Loy. 5 Tasha & Robbie c/o Paddy Greene. 6 Mary Tierney c/o Ml Nolan. 7 Jane Dineen c/o Hugh Mahon. 8 Rebecca Power c/o Online. 9 Michael Holohan c/o Online. 10 Deirdre Breen c/o Online. Thank you for your continued support


It was a very busy and successful few days for O’Loughlins handball club. Five more county titles landed this week in St. John’s Parish. Ollie Morrissey and Robbie Geoghegan won the U11s in front of a packed house in O’Loughlins last night. Shane Comerford ventured down south to Glenmore and beat all in front of him in the U13 singles. Cian Byrne travelled north to Lisdowney in the U15s and came through a field of 26 to take the gold medal. And CJ McChamchue won the U17s on Thursday night a er a brilliant performance to beat Lisdowney in the final. Also a big well done to Cillian Skehan, Conor Geoghan, Conor McCormack, Andrew Holahan, Jack Stapleton, Dan Comerford and Sam McKenna who all performed admirably in their championships. Huge work going on in the club at the moment, well done to all involved. A big thanks to coaches Paddy Delaney, Eoin Brannigan and Frank Manogue all coordinated by John Morrissey.


Well done to all club players involved with Kilkenny teams at present. Some great performances are yielding great results for the Black and Amber continuing to make our club proud.


O’Loughlin Gaels GAA and Camogie Clubs will hold an Easter Egg hunt on Easter Saturday, April 8th. Keep that date free for your Diary. Full details on the clubs social media in the coming days.


Congratulations to all those from St. Johns Senior School and from Johnswell NS who were confirmed on Saturday at St. John’s Church.


Local people were shocked and saddened to hear last week of the passing of Noreen Frazer (nee Wilson) late of Woodview, Freshford. Although she had been in hospital her death was unexpected and caused widespread sorrow and regret. She spent many years in England before returning back to Freshford in the 80s. She was a lovely friendly and good living lady who took pride in keeping herself and her home so neat and prestige. She loved her style and her walks and was kind and caring to friend and neighbours. She will be sadly missed by all. Her funeral mass took place on Friday morning last in St.Lachtains Church Freshford and burial took place in St.Lachtains cemetery a erwards. She is mourned by her son, daughter, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brother, sisters, her dear friend Betty and the girls and her extended family to whom deepest sympathy is extended.


Well done to Walsh family from Sart who took part in a Squash competition in Carlow at the weekend. Noel Walsh and his two young sons Jamie and Ethan all competed. This is the first time a family have all taken part together and the first time the competition has been held in Carlow for a number of years. Noel came out winner in his section while Ethan met his older brother Jamie in the final with the younger brother coming out victorious. Well done to all on their sporting achievements


The first event of Feile Lachtains 2023 will take place on this Saturday at Ballylarkin Church when the “Bishops Tree” will be replanted. Local tradition states that seven Bishops were hanged at this spot during the Cromwellian invasion. Ossory Historian Canon Carrigan suggest the event occurred during the Viking era. The tree fell during the 1950s and local resident Mick Burke remembers that event though firewood was scarce in the area at the time not a twig or a branch was taken from the tree which eventually rotted away.

All are welcome to attend at Ballylarkin Church on Saturday evening at 5pm for this special event


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 and is an apprentice commiss chef training with KCETB. He scooped the prize having just completed his first year of the programme. Well done Marc and keep it up .


The first semi-final of the B league of the Freshford and District League took place on Friday night last in Farrells Bar when Kavanaghs took on Killeens. Kavanaghs went into a 4-2 lead but Killeens pulled it back to 4-4 and it went to the final game and the last two players in were 1-1 and so it all went down to the final leg which saw Kavanaghs come out winners by the narrowest of margins with some great darts on the night by both sides. Farrell’s A beat rivals The Valley Inn A in the A League final recently on a 5-2 scoreline. The C final saw Killeens C claim the League when they defeated Farrells C .

The second B semi finals takes place this week with Farrells taking on the Rock Bar B in Killeens.


St.Lachtain’s Camogie club were represented on the Kilkenny U16 team that beat Dublin at the weekend with Abby Whitty picked at corner forward. Sinead Farrell was sub keeper on the Kilkenny Intermediate side that were defeated by Cork.

The local 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.


Fitness sessions boxing/fitness sessions at Community Hall Freshford – Have you had a diagnoses of Parkinsons; Alzheimers or other neurological condition? If so 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


St.Lachtains were represented on Sunday last in Nowlan Park when they defeated Cork in the semi final of the league. Local player Darren Brennan was sub goalkeeper.


St. Lachains GAA Club will once again host an Easter camp this yea.

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 .


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


The parish newsletter is available on their website every week and also on the website you are free to pay your dues and make donations or any other contributions and you can find out more about it on the website or feel free to contact in the Parish O ice.

Please note community notices for the parish newsletter should be le in or emailed to the Parish O ice by 11am on Thursdays. Parish

o ice hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 1pm.

Mass Cards

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

087 25235 21


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


The Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration Pilgrimage to Knock will take place on Sunday 23rd April. Coach leaves from Woodies Carpark, Kilkenny at 7.00 a.m. Cost: €25.00. Please contact 086 166 6547 for details.


The organisers of the trad night held in The Pound on the 16th of March would like to thank all who supported the event. It was a great success. A word of thanks to the McGrath family for the use of their premises. Thanks to those who sponsored prizes and to the ticket sellers for all their help. To our MC, to Comhaltas, to singers and musicians who made the night so enjoyable, a big ‘Thank you.’ The amount raised was €1,675.

EASTER RAFFLE River Rangers AFC are holding an Easter Ra le with some fantastic prizes on o er. Ra le lines are now available from every player, parent, club committee, club members, Ryan’s Bar, The Pound and Mary O’Connor’s Shop. We will be holding the ra le in Ryan’s Bar Kilmanagh on Saturday 8th of April. Please keep it available for another great night of entertainment.


RESULTS 13TH MARCH. Numbers drawn were 16: 18: 23: 26. There was no winner. Lucky Dip winners were Cillian Hoyne, Declan Walsh and Ruby Millea. Sellers’ prizes went to James O’Connor and Michael Murphy.

RESULTS 20TH MARCH. Numbers drawn were 2; 3; 13; 26. There was no winner. Lucky Dip winners were Patrick Hayes, Danny Butler, Dooley Kids. Sellers’ prizes went to John Robinson and Jerry Ryan.


Yoga and Pilates classes with Roisin will take place in Naomh

Aodhán Community Centre, Kilmanagh commencing a er Easter. Monday 6:30pm to 7:30pm – Pilates. Tuesday 6:30pm – 7:45pm –Yoga and Relaxation. Thursday 9:30am – 10:45am – Yoga and Relaxation. Thursday 11.00am – 12.00pm – Chair Yoga.

Cost of 5 week Yoga Block €45, 5 week Pilates Block €50, Combo of Pilates and Yoga Block discounted price of €80. Booking for any or all of these classes is essential on 085 272 6047.


The Annual Mary McGrath Table Quiz will take place in the Pound Ballycallan on Holy Thursday night 6th April in aid of St Brigid’s Camogie Club commencing at 9pm. Tables of four €20. A great night of fun and laughter. So get your thinking caps on. Refreshments and finger food served on the night.


St. Brigid’s Camogie Club are going to the dogs on Friday 2nd June at 7:30pm at Kilkenny Greyhound Track, James’ Park, Freshford Road, Kilkenny. Come join us on the night, €10 entry which includes race card. Children welcome also but need to be accompanied by an adult. A fun night out for all the family, looking forward to seeing you all there.


The following volunteers are required:

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.

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 - Board Member : 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 & loneliness and bring them friendship and company for an hour each week. Alone need befrienders in all locations in Co. Kilkenny.

Girl Guides in Graiguenamanagh - Leaders Needed : Irish Girl Guides are looking for Volunteer Leaders in Graiguenamanagh, 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 info@ or Paula on 089 258 49 46 or register online on


Anyone wishing to submit news items, events, announcements etc. can do so by email only to If you have any photos that you would like included, please send as an attachment.


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

EMERALDS URLINGFORD AND GRAINE LOTTO March 29th prize fund was: €12,100. Jackpot: €10,100. Numbers drawn: 4, 14, 20, 30, bonus no 9. No winner and one match 3 winner: Jimmy D’arcy. Five lucky dips of €20 each: John and Joan Norton, Mary O’Leary, Nicholas Healy, Conor Curran, Bertie Tobin. Promoters prize: Mgt Peters.


There will be a Mini Market Day held at Co ee to a Tea (Main Street, Urlingford E41 X5D0) on Saturday, April 1st from 10am to 3pm. There will be a number of local stall holders displaying their o erings including: jewellery, flowers, baked goods, handmade cra s and clothes. Grab some lunch, treats and a co ee at Co ee to a Tea while you browse. We would love for everyone to come out and support. See you there. Cathríona and Mairead - from Co ee to a Tea.


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

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

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

Counselling Services: Our low cost Counselling Services, includes one-to-one, family and teens, aged 12+.

General Counselling: Bereavement, stress, anxiety and depression. Other counselling services available: Drug, substance and gambling addictions.

Play therapy is now also available.

Please contact Sue for more information or to make an appointment.

Appeal for Clothes Donations: Any further clothes donations would be greatly appreciated in aid of our counselling services. Donations can be le into the Centre, please call before dropping o . Contact number for the Centre 056 883846.

Co ee Morning: We are having a Co ee Morning here at the Centre on Wednesday April 5 from 11am. Easter ra le will be held also. All are welcome.


Due to refurbishments in Urlingford Community Hall, Set Dancing will take place in Graine Hall for the foreseeable future, every Tuesday at 8.30pm. Dancing to live music with Danny Webster. Sets called by Paddy Martin. Come along for a great night of dancing!


This week’s winner of Split the Pot is Margaret Webster (The Commons) who will receive €504. Congrats Margaret. Tickets €2 on sale in participating businesses in town with proceeds this week going to Urlingford/Johnstown Irish Dancing Club, thanks to everyone for their support.


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


In case of emergency, call: 085 2726396.


Anyone wishing to submit news items, club events, announcements etc can do so by emailing If you have any photos you wish to include, please forward them to the email address.


Envelopes for Lenten o erings are due now. Trocaire envelopes should be returned between now and Holy Thursday. Church services for Easter are Holy Thursday, Crosspatrick 7pm, Graine 8.30pm. Good Friday, Urlingford 3pm, Johnstown 3pm, Galmoy 7.30pm, Stations of the Cross Johnstown 7.30pm, Holy Saturday, Urlingford 6.30pm, Johnstown 8pm, Easter Sunday. Crosspatrick 9am, Galmoy 10.15am and Graine 11.30 am.

A Holy Hour of prayer, reflection and music in St. Kieran’s Church on Sunday April 2nd at 3pm with prayers for healing.


The death has taken place of Mrs Josie Tobin peacefully at her daughter Margaret’s residence. Predeceased by her parents Thomas and Margaret, she will be sadly missed by her heartbroken husband Jimmy, family Mary, Siobhan, James and Margaret, sons in law Brian, Seoirse and Stephen, daughter in law Julia, grandchildren Joanne, Allannah, Farrah, Ross, Cori, Beibhinn, Fionan, Ollie, Mark and Eoin, sisters Anne and Mary, extended family and friends. Requiem Mass was celebrated in St. Kieran’s Church with burial a erwards in St. Kieran’s Cemetery. May she rest in peace.


The Heritage group will shortly be erecting a stone monument honouring all the hurlers and camogie players who brought such credit to the Johnstown/Crosspatrick area since hurling was mentioned as being played at Ballyspellan Spa in 1742. The group

46 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
CJ McChamcheu after winning the u17s Handball representing O’Loughlin Gaels

are aware that many people would wish to make a contribution to the project and would be very grateful for any support, including from people living away from the parish. To facilitate this a circular with envelopes will be delivered to each house in the parish and committee members will call at a later date to collect the envelopes if you wish to contribute. A model of the monument is in Tynan’s window (Molly Burkes)


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


Well done to two club members Rory Garrett and Jerry Henderson who lined out with the Kilkenny Minor team who defeated Laoise at the weekend.


Weekend results Junior Division 3 River Rangers 1 Spa 1, U14 girls League Division 1 Spa 3 Lions 1, U12 girls League Division 1 Spa

1Highview Athletic 1, U12 girls League Division 2 Spa 1 Highview Athletic 1, U13 boys League Division 2 Paulstown 4 Spa 2. The U9 boys travelled to Thomastown and showed o their skills .


Winning numbers 12,14,23,29 two match threes Sean Whyte and Tom Kirwan.


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.


April family mass will take place this Sunday the 2nd of April at 10.30am in Gortnahoe Church. The theme of the family mass is Beginning Our Easter Journey. This is also Palm Sunday. All families are welcome.


Mass times for the Easter period are as follows: Spy Wednesday Mass in the Cathedral at 7.00pm, Holy Thursday Glengoole 7.00pm, Good Friday Gortnahoe 3.00pm, Easter Vigil Glengoole Saturday 7.30pm and Easter Sunday Gortnahoe 10.30am.


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 pilgrimage 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


There will be a mini market day at Co ee to a Tea (Main Street, Urlingford, E41 X5D0) on this Saturday the 1st of April from 10am-3pm. There will be a number of local stall holders displaying their o erings including jewellery, flowers, baked goods, handmade cra s and clothes. Treat yourself to a co ee at the Co ee to a Tea stall while you browse. Your support would be very much appreciated.


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 Richie Corbett from Gortnahoe who was the winner of €286 in the Split the Pot draw. Envelopes are available at the usual outlets. Split the Pot for the month of April will be in support of the Gortnahoe Senior Citizens. The draw takes place each Sunday at 12pm in Gortnahoe Hall. Your support would be appreciated


A special Easter bingo will take place in Gortnahoe Hall on the 8th of April at 3pm, doors open at 2pm. Over €3,460 in prize money , includes a €500 special game & €800 Easter special game plus numerous Easter eggs on every game. Please note the date for your diary.


Dicksboro GAA Club LOTTO Results 23rd March. Nos:12 13 19 20.

Jackpot: €8300 Not Won

Draw Prizes – €50: Ber Shanahan c/o Paddy Maher. €25 each Ber

O’Leary c/o Rita Long

€25 each Jack Brennan c/o Tommy Hackett. €25 each Ber Long c/o

P & J Cody

Hurlers Co Op Dick Curtin c/o Tom Beirne. Promotors prize Paddy


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 and 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 both Kilkenny Minors and Kilkenny Seniors over the weekend and our club Hurlers representing Kilkenny GAA. Best of luck to Kilkenny Seniors in the League Final the weekend of the

8th April.


A bumper weekend for Kilkenny Camogie and well done to our boro ladies representing Kilkenny at u16, Minor, Intermediate and Senior Levels.


We welcome back the bright evenings and all our underage games please see ClubZap for tr


The choir will sing in Bennettsbridge for Easter this year. Easter Saturday Night and Easter Sunday morning. There will be a choir practice on Tuesday night a er Mass. It would be nice to have a good few in attendance and members of the Tullaherin are welcome to join us, Mollie will play on the two occasions.


Congratulations to Jack Forristal and his SETU Carlow teammates on winning the Electric Ireland Fresher division 2 hurling all Ireland final against Ulster University in Abbotstown, Dublin on 23rd March.

everyone involved and should help the Gowran pitch secure further matches in future.



The Young Irelands Monday Night GAA Coaching is scheduled to commence next Monday Night 3rd April, as it will make a welcome return following its Winter hiatus. It will be perfectly timed as it’s The first day of The Easter Holidays. For further information, check out The following link Via The Young Irelands Facebook Page.


There is lots of camogie action over the next week with the under-14, under-16, minor and senior teams taking to the field. The under-14 girls already have one match under their belt, having played Lisdowney last Sunday, but were unfortunately defeated.The under-16 girls will face Graignamanagh on Saturday next at 12.00 in Jenkinstown. The senior girls will also get their season underway with a trip to Tullaroan on Sunday next at 11.00 a.m.

Roisín Phelan, Danielle Morrissey, Ellen Gunner and Emma Mulhall continued to represent the club on the Kilkenny intermediate team which was narrowly defeated by Cork on Saturday last. Ruth Phelan (Captain), Sofia Kerr and Katie Brennan were also in action for the Kilkenny minor team who defeated Waterford on Sunday, while Siofradh Kennedy and Mary Dowd were part of the Kilkenny Under-16 A and B squads who won their respective matches on Sunday.

The camogie club is also holding 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 hurlers faced Dicksboro in Palmerstown on Sunday a ernoon last in the Kilkenny Motor Centre Roinn C League, and despite an excellent second performance in spite of being short a number of players, were beaten by the city side by 6-13 to 2-12. They will now face St. Lachtain’s in their next league outing on this coming Monday evening at 6.30 in Páirc Lachtain.

TEAM: Tommy Mulhall, Killian Lacey, Conor Hennessy, Tadhg Hennessy, Darragh Horgan, John Kennedy, Rory Rhatigan, Jake Dooley, Finn Sherman, Joe Boland, Andrew O’Connor, Patrick Kennedy, Billy Rowe, Daniel Mooney, Adam Morrissey, Brian Phelan, Camryn Kenehan, Neil Webster.


The numbers drawn in the Conahy Shamrocks GAA Club Lotto were 15, 29 and 40. There was no jackpot winner so the consolation prize winners were Ella Rossiter, Dermot Mulhall, Michael Harding, Shane and Niamh O’Loughlin and Kay Mooney. The promoters’ prize winners were Larry Bergin, Margaret Buggy and Nora Delaney.


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

Vigil - Saturday 1st. at 8.00p.m. Sunday 2nd. at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford. Vigil - Saturday 1st. at 6.30p.m. Palm Sunday 2nd. April


Palm will be blessed at the beginning of all Masses next week-end 1st. and 2nd. April.

Timetable for Holy Week Masses and Ceremonies. Hugginstown Church:Holy Thursday 6th. April at 8.00p.m. Good Friday 7th. April at 3.00p.m. Holy Saturday 8th. April at 8.00p.m. Easter Sunday 9th. April at 10.00a.m. Stoneyford Church: Holy Thursday 6th. April at 7.00p.m. Good Friday 7th. April at 7.00p.m. Holy Saturday 8th. April 6.30p.m. Pray For.Catherine Barron, Catstown. Maura Brennan, Lawcus, Stoneyford.


Great performances by Gowran AC athletes at National Indoors. The U12 boys relay team ran really well in a hugely competitive timed event to place 9th overall. Well done Sean, Ross, Matthew.and Daniel and coach Marie Deegan. In the U18 Boys Shot Putt, Andrew Cooper threw 16.65m to win the event. Incredible performance!


Congratulations to Young Irelands Eimear Brennan who was goalkeeper on The Loreto Kilkenny Team that won the Junior Colleges All-Ireland Final against St. Pat’s Maghera in Blanchardstown last week.

Loreto Kilkenny won 4-10 to 0-9 as Eimear had the added bonus of a clean sheet and playing against a very strong wind in unseasonal conditions, The Kilkenny School were ahead 2-5 to 0-5 at the interval having led 2-1 to 0-4 midway through the first-half.

Loreto Kilkenny were completing The Senior/Junior All-Ireland double against The Ulster School having won The Senior Final in February also against St. Pats Maghera.


Young Irelands Minor Hurler Cian Phelan was part of The Kilkenny Minor Panel that eased to a 3-17 to 1-12 win away to Laois in the opening round of The Leinster Minor Championship last Saturday.

Kilkenny will now play Antrim in their Second game of The Leinster Championship in Abbotstown this Saturday at 2pm.



Congratulations to Michael Holland who performed superbly to finish 2nd in The Scor Staitse in Nowlan Park last week.


The Bu et and Boogie Night for Young Irelands Camogie Club will take place this coming Friday Night (31st March) in Gowran Park from 7.30pm.


Huge work has been done in Young Irelands Grounds throughout the Winter Months ahead of the start of the new season, and the fencing situation has now been solved. Trojan work has been done in particular by The Young Irelands Field Committee, with The Fencing situation dealt with to prevent spectators entering the playing field. Also, plenty of Businesses and Individuals have generously contributed to sponsorship around the pitch, with their Business and name now on display The Fencing area.The Fencing is a huge credit to

Anniversary Mass next weekend. Agnes Kenny, Stoneyford; Mass in Stoneyford Church on Saturday 1st. April at 6.30p.m


Rota for next week-end. 1st. and 2nd. April 2023 . (Palm Sunday) Readers. Stoneyford. Saturday 6.30p.m.Tony Roche. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Catherine Dwyer. Sunday 10.00a.m. Mary Foran. Eucharistic Ministers. Stoneyford. Saturday 6.30p.m. Pat Kenny. Hugginstown: Saturday 8.00p.m. Mary Cuddihy, Sunday 10.00a.m. Ann Power.


We complete our Family Masses this weekend. Many thanks to the Pupils and to the Parents and Families for taking part during Lent. Special thanks to the parents who organized the rota for Readers, Prayers and O ertory Gi s. First Holy Communion will not take place until May, so it is important for pupils and families to attend

weekend Mass.


Ossory Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2023. 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 niamh@ or Phone 01 685 2244


New Eucharistic Ministers needed in both Hugginstown and Stoneyford Churches for weekend Masses. Preparation Training can be done on-line in your own home with just a meeting in the local church for practical help. Please let me know if you can help. It is also recommended that Present Eucharistic Ministers be involved in this training.


Ossory Adult Faith Development – Lenten Programme: 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 7.30p.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. ..

Has Catholic Education a Future in a Modern Ireland? Join key people from the Irish Education World for a frank discussion on the future of Catholic Education in St. Kieran’s College on Tuesday 28th. March at 7.30p.m


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.


Aghaviller Parish and Carrickshock G. A. A. Draw: Monday 20th.

March 2023 Numbers: 23; 30; 17; 10. One Winner First 3 Numbers

Drawn. No Jackpot Winner: €500.00. Winner. Caitlin Roche, Lawcus, Stoneyford. €25.00. Seller of Ticket. Caitlin Roche, Lawcus. 3 x €15.00 (Sellers) Pat Power, Deirdre Rohan, Jimmy Sheehan.


Meeting of the Board of Management will be held in the school on Wednesday 29th. March at 8.00p.m.


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


Course will start in April in Gairdín an Ghorta, Newmarket. Laptops and Smartphones

If interested please contact Willie Barron 086 839 4349 or Stephen Cassin 085 726 3393.

Kilquan Drama Group, Coon are delighted to announce that donations from their play Anyone Could Rob a Bank 2023 have been made to the following: Friends of the District Hospital, Castlecomer, St. Martins - Coon Field Committee (fundraiser for Astro-Turf), SOS Castlecomer, Brow Rangers Athletic Club, Knockbeg Secondary School, North Kilkenny Wheelchair Association, Coon Community Club, Coon National School Parents Council, Leighlinbridge New Autism Spectrum Disorder Unit, Muckalee Ladies Football for Mothers and Others. Thanks to all who supported and helped out in any way.

Thanks to Una who sent in this photograph which was enhanced to colour by Pat Comerford. The photograph shows the scholars and sta 1966. Una also included this story

It was Ballyline one room school house 1966, with two out houses on either side of the school, one for the boys and one for the girls. I remember my father, Paddy Larkin [RIP] from the shop in Ballycloven, taking the tractor and the trailer and picking many of the school children up when it flooded between the two bridges. He was probably a hero to the parents but not so popular with the kids Do you have any photographs and/or stories ? Send them to me at for publishing in our upcoming notes section.

Ballyline School 1966

News 47 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Community & GAA Notes
Erin Morrissey and Holly Ryan were part of the Loreto School Junior team that beat St Pats Maghera Derry in the All-Ireland Post Primary Junior A Final in the Louth GAA Centre of Excellence.
We welcome all GAA Club and Community notes for publication in The Kilkenny Observer email to

Hurling matters - Review Sport

Allianz Hurling League SemiFinal

UPMC Nowlan Park

Kilkenny 2-22

Cork 0-22

Kilkenny set-up an Allianz National League Final clash with current AllIreland champions Limerick next week, following a welldeserved victory over Cork at UPMC Nowlan Park. e cliché, ‘goals win games’ was never truer and thanks to majors from Mossy Keoghan and rising star Billy Drennan, Derek Lyng will now prepare his charges for a crack at John Kiely’s Limerick machine as he aims to bring down the curtain on an encouraging rst Allianz league campaign as Cats manager.

e nal will be staged at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Easter Sunday, April 9. Cork rolled into UPMC Nowlan Park with an unbeaten run to date in their league campaign, and many fancied the Leesiders to make the decider against e Treaty in early April, but those in black and amber clearly hadn’t read that script.

e Cats came out of the traps quickly and opened the scoring with in the rst minute, Danesfort’s Richie Hogan splitting the posts, much to the delight of the home crowd. is was the former All-star’s rst start for his beloved county in almost 3 years.

Galmoy’s Billy Drennan who you’d think has been playing senior hurling for the last decade, then registered his rst two points of the day, in a

Cats out-gun

see him strike 0-8. e visitors opened their account with a lovely point from Blarney’s Shane Barrett, who split the posts from over 50 metres, out on the left side. Drennan and Shane Kingston shared the next ve points, with the young Galmoy attacker hitting three lovely placed balls to the Douglas man’s two, leaving the home side 6-3 ahead after fourteen minutes of action.

Another of the Blarney contingent, Padraig Power sent over a ne score from play, before Drennan punished further indiscretions from the Rebels by notching the next two scores from frees to make it a double score lead for the home side before a brace of score from play via Shane Kingston and Conor Cahalane saw Pat Ryan’s side get within 2 points of their hosts

as the game reached the 20 minute marker.

e Norsiders response to Cork’s cutting of their lead was emphatic. As an attacking move broke down, Billy Drennan picked up possession and played a lovely pass out to the left to Paddy Deegan. e O’Loughlin’s man surged straight through the middle of the Cork defence, throwing a lovely dummy hand-pass before picking out Martin Keoghan, who had cleverly moved away from his marker, Damien Cahalane. Mossy collected the ball before ring an unstoppable shot past Ballinhassig’s Patrick Collins in the Cork goal to stretch the Cats lead to 5-points.

Typically, e Rebels struck back. ey notched the next two scores with points from play via Conor

Cahalane and Jack O’Connor, but the Cats hit back with scores of their own from Glenmore’s Alan Murphy and the deadly Drennan. Padraig Power then got his second point for the day, and this was swiftly followed by another Shane Kingston free. omastown’s John Donnelly, who has been in great form recently, then tagged on 2 nice points from play, but again, the stubborn Leesiders responded with another pair of free’s from Kingston. Wicklow referee John Keenan then blew the short whistle, and the teams made their way to the changing rooms on a scoreline of Kilkenny 1-12, Cork 0-12. When play resumed, it would be the home side that got the scoreboard moving again, this time another ne e ort from Alan Murphy. As in the rst half, Shane

48 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
deadly opening period that would Conor Cahalane Challenged by John Donnelly

Hurling matters - Review

carded Eoin, then hit a nice point from play before Drennan added to his collection from distance. A second change of the day from Kilkenny saw Tullaroan’s Gearoid Dunne replace Timmy Cli ord, as another member of the successful U20 All-Ireland winning side got some minutes. Patrick Horgan then red a quick brace to make it a 6-point game with about 10 minutes

A tenth score of the game from Billy Drennan restored order, while Shane Barrett notched another score from play as Pat Ryan’s men tried to claw-back the Cats lead. Erin’s Own clubman, Conor Fogarty then hit a lovely score from the engine room, before three Rebel scores on the bounce from Tim O’Mahony, Shane Kingston and Patrick Horgan made

out-gun Rebels!

Barrett got the rst score for the Munster men, but this score was cancelled out straight away when Dicksboro’s Timmy Cli ord ri ed over a cracking point. Shane Kingston then pointed from another placed ball to reduce the Kilkenny lead to just 3 points, but the next score would prove crucial in breaking the Leesiders resistance.

e ever-dangerous Billy Drennan was fouled by Damien Cahalane, who was yellow carded for the foul on the Galmoy man. Billy dusted himself down and like a week earlier, made no mistake with the penalty, sending the Cork keeper the wrong way as the home faithful celebrated a key moment in the tussle. Derek Lyng’s men were now six clear, daylight.

Shortly after the penalty had been

converted, a fracas developed with lots of pushing and shoving between players from both teams. e game

was great to see

was held up for around 5 minutes as the jersey quality of both sides was tested! When the dust settled, Referee John Keenan brandished several yellow cards, but for Cork’s full-back, Eoin Downey, it would be the colour red, which saw the Glen Rovers man exit proceedings. When play resumed, it took a wonderful save from Cork keeper Collins to deny the impressive Paddy Deegan a chance to raise a third green ag of the day for the home side. Richie Hogan made was for e Village’s Cian Kenny and the James Stephens man pointed with almost his rst touch of the Sliotar. Billy Drennan also sent over a placed ball to leave the black and amber up by 8 points at the midway point of the second period.

Robert Downey, brother of the red-

it an interesting closing period. Drennan then picked a good time to tag on another score, this one a sweet e ort from play.

Shane Kingston then red over another e ort from the placed ball before substitute Gearoid Dunne got on the scoresheet with a nely taken point. Fittingly, it would be the majestic Billy Drennan that wrapped up the scoring in the 6th additional minute of play to see the Cats home by 6 points and set up a league nal encounter with Limerick. Full-time score from UPMC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 2-22, Cork 0-22.

Kilkenny: E. Murphy; M. Butler, T. Walsh, P. Walsh; D. Corcoran, H. Lawlor, D. Blanch eld; C. Fogarty (0-1), A. Murphy (0-2); T. Cli ord (0-01), J. Donnelly (0-02), P. Deegan; B. Drennan (1-13, goal penalty, 0-8 frees, four 65s), M. Keoghan (1-0), R. Hogan (0-1).

Subs: C. Kenny (0-01) for Hogan 56th min; G. Dunne (0-01) for Cli ord 58th min; N. Brennan for A. Murphy 67th min; C. Delaney for D. Corcoran 69th min; E. Cody for Butler 71st min.

Cork: P. Collins; N. O’Leary, E. Downey, D. Cahalane; T. O’Connell, C. Joyce, R. Downey (0-1); B. Roche, E. Twomey; C. Cahalane (0-2), C. Lehane, S. Barrett (0-3); S. Kingston (0-9, 0-8 frees), P. Power (0-2), J. O’Connor (0-1).

Subs: T. O’Mahony (0-1) for Twomey 50th min; P. Horgan (0-3, frees) for J. O’Connor 50th min; G. Millerick for C. Cahalane 52nd min; B. Hayes for P. Power 66th min.

Referee: J. Keenan (Wicklow).


Billy Drennan. That’s all I was going to say this week. Billy bloomin’ Drennan. The Galmoy youngster is certainly blooming into a fine senior hurler. Yes, there’s still a long way to go, but the fact that the lively attacker is looking so comfortable in the senior ranks speaks volumes for the player and his manager.

Another impressive tally of 1-13 for Drennan, his placed-ball accuracy most be worrying not only the opposition, but even the great TJ Reid, who is nearing an inter-county return.

Things are looking up for Derek Lyng’s charges! Taking the scalp of Cork, albeit in a league semi-final is another building block for the Emeralds clubman as he seeks to further assert his stamp on the Cats, in this his first season in charge of the Senior team.

The players stuck to their task against the Leesiders, and stood firm, even when the going got tough. The fracas just after we scored the second goal of the game, while not pretty, showed the crowd and those watching at home that these players are in this together and will stand shoulder to shoulder for each other. When David Blanchfield was pulled to the ground, I loved the way Paddy Deegan came steaming in and helped his teammate.

Perhaps the panel has been having an ‘easier’ week to date, given that the league final is scheduled for Easter Sunday. The manager hinted that TJ Reid and Adrian Mullen could be in contention, along with Richie Reid, but the league decider might come a week too soon for both Billy Ryan and captain Eoin Cody.

It was great to see a few of the ‘black and amber’ make the GAA editorial staff’s ‘Team of the Week’. Limerick are there to be played in the League final, not feared. It’s all in preparation for championship hurling.

49 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
Mikey Butler - was impressive in the Cork win Billy Drennan and Tommy O Connell Challenge For Possesion Richie Hogan start for the Cats

Very Camogie League

Division 1A

Kilkenny 0-14

Tipperary 0-13

Piltown was the setting as our Senior camog’s brought the curtain down on a disappointing Very League campaign with a hard-fought 1-point win over Tipperary, who themselves missed out on a nal berth following Galway’s win over Cork.

In what can only be described as a challenging league for our senior stripey women, Densie Gaule would once again prove the di erence as Brian Dowling’s side edged e Premier County in Piltown.

In a low-scoring game, Julieann Malone got Kilkenny’s rst score of the game after ten minutes, before e Village’s Sophie O’Dwyer levelled matters with a well-taken free just three minutes later.

Tipperary duo Grace O’Brien and Eimear McGrath then added a pair of scores and there was one in reply

from Windgap’s Gaule, to leave the visitors 1

Cats edge Tipp in Piltown

Gaule’s accuracy secures narrow win

50 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
Camogie - Review
Julianne Malone Denise Gaule helped deliver the win

point to the good, but the game was e opening period only yielded two further scores, with Mullinavat’s Julieann Malone and e Village’s Sophie

O’Dwyer notching points to leave the home side one ahead at the interval, 0-6 to 0-5.

Camogie - Review

mid elder Carly Hennessy then joined her mid eld partner Teresa Ryan in referee Justin He ernan’s book for an over aggressive tackle.

Brian Dowling’s ladies needed to hit back, and they dug deep to get back on terms. e ever-reliable

Denise Gaule red over a free and the lively Julieann Malone tagged on another score from open play to leave the teams all-square with about 44 minutes played in Piltown.

Cait Devine and Sophie O’Dwyer then shared the next 3 points with the Premier woman edging that battle 2-1 to nudge the visitors ahead. With about 8 minutes of normal time remaining, Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams Eimear He ernan struck over a lovely point as the away support started to plan for a league nal at Croker!

Tipperary ill-discipline. knew that they needed to leave Piltown with at least a share of the spoils to make the league nal and they responded in exactly that fashion, hitting three unanswered points in a devastating 8-minute spell.

Clonoulty Rossmore’s Cait Devine popped over a free to make it seven a-piece and this was built on with another placed ball e ort, this time from Drom-Inch’s Eimear McGrath and a ne point from play by Burgess Duharra’s Caoimhe Maher to leave the visitors 2 points ahead coming down the straight. Tipp

Denise Gaule then split the posts with a placed ball before Eimear McGrath sent over what the Tipperary players and supporters thought would be the winning score. is Kilkenny side may have been struggling to spark, but when you have winners and warriors like Denise Gaule on the pitch, you always have a chance. e Windgap woman didn’t disappoint and showed her mettle, when she stood over two more placed ball opportunities, nailing both to secure just a second Very Camogie League win of the season for Brian Dowling’s side, on a scoreline of Kilkenny 0-14, Tipperary 0-13.


I’d imagine that both players and management are glad to get that difficult ery league campaign put to bed. It was vital that we finished the group on a winning note, and that we did at iltown last weekend. Getting players back while suffering other in uries has been the order of the day so far this season, but now Brian Dowling and his management team can start to prepare for the business end of the season, and more importantly, the defence of the ’Duffy Cup.

Nenagh Eire Og’s Grace O’Brien drew the sides level in the opening stages of the second half with a nice point from play before Sophie O’Dwyer ri ed over two more placed balls to punish some Bill Mullaney’s team Championship.

Last weekend’s win over an in-form Tipperary side came about with a dogged display where the stripey women had to show character and resilience to emerge with ma imum points. Denise Gaule, ulieann alone and Sophie ’Dwyer were key figures in securing this win. The real hard work can start now as our senior camogs look towards a Leinster Championship semi-final date with the winners of ffaly and Westmeath uarter-final on ay th. The rovincial final is penciled in for the following weekend and once this campaign is completed, attention turns to the Glen Dimple ll-Ireland Camogie ilkenny have been placed in Group as they seek to defend their title.

Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Championship

Group 2: Kilkenny, Dublin, Tipperary, Wexford

Group 3: Waterford, Limerick, Antrim, Offaly

manag wi an towa ffa Camo the

Brian Dowling’s team will begin their defence of the ’Duffy Cup on the weekend of une against our Slaneyside neighbours, We ford. e t up will be an encounter with the Ladies from the Capital on the weekend of th th une. The final group game for our senior ladies will be another meeting with Tipperary on the weekend of st nd uly.

Congratulations to our Intermediate camogs who ualified for the ery League Division B final, despite losing to The ebelette’s in the opening game at iltown last week. Seamus elly’s charges were well beaten by their opponents and finished points in arrears, but like their senior counterparts, it’s all about building for the championship. ur ittens take to Leinster with a uarter-final match-up against Dublin, and if they successfully navigate that challenge, they will face We ford in the semi-final. The intermediate provincial final is scheduled for ay th. ur ittens have been drawn in group of the ll-Ireland Intermediate Championship, and no doubt have a tough test to progress.

Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Group 1: Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Kildare, Galway Group 2: Derry, Wexford, Carlow, Antrim

Group 3: Meath, Laois, Kerry, Westmeath

irst up for the ittens, it will be a tie against Dublin on the weekend of th th ay. The ne t two weekends will see Seamus elly’s charges take on Cork Galway and we’ll see how the group shapes up at this point, ahead of a final group match against ildare on the weekend of th th

51 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
th again fac f Inter th c
Cu for t t be
Group 1: Cork, Galway, Clare, Down une. Katie Power’s club hosted the doubleheader Sophie O’Dwyer in action
52 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 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 31 March 2023 ClassiMotors eds Call 056 7771463 for all your classi ed advertisements

Planning notices


I, Michael Brannigan intend to apply to Kilkenny County Council for Retention Planning Permission to retain existing sunroom to the side of dwelling house and all associated site development works at Bonnettsrath, Co. Kilkenny, R95 W592.

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, Margaret and Peter Cullen, under planning ref no. 22/377 for a) retention of works to Callan Motor Garage structure to include demolition of rear of structure and construction of new shed type structure b) demolition of existing commercial unit and construction of 1 new commercial unit c) removal of roadside boundary wall to the east of the vehicular entrance and replace with a lower level wall and all associated site works all at Lower Green Lane, Callan, Co. Kilkenny.

The property in question is listed in the National Inventory of Architecture Heritage Survey of Kilkenny, NIAH

Reference Number 12314062

Signed: Robert M. Cummins - Cummins + Voortman Ltd (Architects

Significant further information in relation to the application has been furnished to the Planning Authority and is available for inspection or purchase at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy at the offices of the authority during its public opening hours.

The significant further information relates to 3 no structures on site measuring 69.19 sq.m GFA cumulatively. A submission or observation in relation to the further information or revised plans may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of the prescribed fee of €20, not later than 2 weeks after the receipt of the newspaper notice and site notice by the planning authority.

54 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
Planning notices
056 777 1463

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.M.R..

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

Must promise publication of prayer.M.M.

The Miracle Prayer

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

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

Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your heart where your father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes it will become your own favour not mine. Amen. Say this prayer three times for three days and your favour will be granted.

Never been known to fail.

Must promise publication of prayer.D.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.M.K.

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.

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 prayerM.P.

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.

55 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023
/ Miracle Prayers
56 e Kilkenny Observer Friday 31 March 2023 Advertisement

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