It is very difficult to write an article that won’t sound facile or inappropriate at a time of uncertainty and anger in our community. However, it is important to point out that some things are improving and that people in Kilkenny are fundamentally very decent and fair minded. They quietly assist each other as best they can and support voluntary organisations and groups who are trying to help those most in need. This too needs to be acknowledged and the people concerned thanked for their ongoing work.
None of us has a magic wand to make the past four years disappear and the only path is to try and make sure that we have grown-up decisions by politicians and ensure that our country and county are run efficiently and fairly. Change takes time and the wait can be very frustrating for all. Changing attitudes is very difficult but it has to be done, for all our sakes.
As Chairman of the County Council it is important that I visit as many groups as I can throughout our county, in the small villages and towns and am happy to try to meet as many groups as possible.
We will see projects coming to Kilkenny in the near future and I welcome especially the development of better library facilities in our city and in Ferrybank. These will make a real difference in the lives of ordinary people. The improvements to St Luke’s Hospital will also be a great help to patients and staff alike. Recovery may be slow but it is coming.
I would like to send our best wishes for a happy New Year to all those Kilkenny people living abroad, especially those who have emigrated in recent months. I hope that, as in the past, we may rebuild our economy so that you may be able to return to Ireland and Kilkenny to gainful employment and to your family and friends. I hope that we can have a society and an economy that you can be take a quiet pride in.
Make sure to keep in touch with your friends and family, as while you might be gone, you are certainly not forgotten.
My hope is that in the not too distant future many of you may choose to return.
Happy New Year.