Look back on 2012 July-August

July:

July:

Grow house: Kilkenny’s booming cannabis industry:

A large number of cannabis ‘grow houses’ were discovered by the Gardai this year:

June 29 in Kilkenny City: € 220,000

June 20 in Kells: € 160,000

June 20 in Kilkenny City: € 12,000

June 14 in Ballymorris, Mullinvat: € 360,000

May 11 in Old Leighin: € 240,000

May 10 in Urlingford: € 320,000

May 2 in Kildaton, Piltown: € 3.5 million

February 1 in Freshford: € 80,000

The successful seizures were the result of a combination of the improvement of the intelligence network and a collaboration with landlords and neighbors.

There are a number of different factors driving the boom in illicit cultivation. The Internet has allowed the access to information on how to grow plants easily, as well as the availability of seeds and equipment. The closure of head shops added to the demand for the drug since legal cannabis is no longer available.

Kyteler’s named Ireland’s best music pub in Ireland:

Kyteler’s Inn, Kieran Street, Kilkenny, was named Ireland’s Best Music Pub at the Licensing World Bar Awards 2012.

Chosen by a panel of industry experts, Kyteler’s emerged victorious from hundreds of entries at a gala dinner in the former Berkeley Court Hotel in Dublin.

Full council support for Marie Fitzpatrick as chairwoman:

Cllr Marie Fitzpatrick was unanimously selected as chairwoman of Kilkenny County Council at the council’s annual general meeting.

The Labour Party member who has also served two terms as the city’s mayor took up the chain of office as ongoing chairman Paul Cuddihy’s term came to an end.

In accepting the role, the new chairwoman said: “I have to be honest and say that never in my wildest dreams could I have envisaged my political life would be so fulfilled my reaching this office as your leader of local government throughout Kilkenny. I am so proud, as someone who became a councillor at what many would consider to be a later stage, to have reached the point when colleagues from all parties would support me in my new office.”

Spelling champion:

A KILKENNY student has finished in first place at the Eason All-Ireland Spelling Bee Championships 2012.

Liam O’ Lionaird, aged 11, from Gaelscoil Osrai in Loughboy won the competition, which is organised by Eason in partnership with RTÉ 2fm. He won a library of books for his school and was presented with his prize by Ryan Tubridy.

Kicking off his Spelling Bee journey as the representative of Gaelscoil Osrai school, Liam soared through the Kilkenny county bee, taking the top prize. He then made his way to the Leinster Provincial Final where he then competed against 11 County Bee Winners to take the title for the province.

Next and final stop was the grand final that took place in RTÉ, where Liam mastered the spelling of words such Bathysphere’ and Bibliography’ to be the crowned the overall champion live on RTÉ 2fm.

Broadcaster Johnny Barry swamped by fans at 70th birthday party:

Johnny Barry, the champion of Irish recording stars for nearly a quarter of a century, celebrated his 70th birthday with a huge party in the Springhill Court hotel.

The popular KCLR 96 fm presenter was mobbed by friends, family and work colleagues at the event. Tickets were sold out well in advance of the party and the man who has 24 years of broadcasting behind him was in top form on the night.

Culture Trail links city’s offerings:

A Kilkenny Culture Trail has been launched for the summer holiday season.

The aim of the Kilkenny Culture Trail is to showcase the city’s range of cultural offerings, such as heritage venues, theaters, sporting events, food and pub outlets, so that visitors can immerse themselves in Irish traditions such as crafting, their hurling skills, testing their bodhran rhythm, participating in literature readings, and trying Irish dancing. It is hoped that the trail will bring further business to the city.

Sensory delight at O’Neill Centre thanks to Taxback.com:

A new sensory garden for the children who attended the O’Neill Centre, St Joseph’s Road, Kilkenny, was officially opened by the major Sean O’hArgain. It was made possible by a donation from Taxback.com, the financial services company run by Terry Clune and his team in Kilkenny.

The garden is multi-sensory, and with the different textures of the plants and smell of the mint and lavender, provides the children, especially those with sensory difficulties with alternative ways of enjoying the outdoors and of heightening their awareness of all things green by using the senses they have. There are chimes and a wall-mounted xylophone complete with mallets. It also has a wheelchair accessible planting bed and sandbox. It is an oasis of calm where children and those looking after them can hang out.

Vinny Di Ruscio becomes kickboxing king:

Vinny Di Ruscio, a solider based in the city, became kickboxing’s middleweight champion of the world when he beat English fighter Fran Zuccala in front of a frenzied crowd at the O’Loughlin Gaels centre.

Science-inspired artist to tweet from CERN:

Kilkenny artist Lucy McKenna, whose installation “Electron Cloud” was displayed during the Kilkenny Arts Festival, was the only Irish person to tweet from the Geneva-based European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN). She visited the control centre of the Alpha magnetic Spectrometer cosmic ray detector, and the CERN Large Hadron Colider control centre, and met six NASA astronauts in the Main Auditorium, the same room where the Higgs Boson results were announced on July 4.

August:

OUT For the Weekend:

Kilkenny’s annual Gay Pride festival, Out For The Weekend, was a huge success this year. Some of the big highlights from this year’s festival included the launch of the Irish Queer Archive exhibition and Devious Theatre’s acclaimed show Phantasm.

Rosie Howick returned to the festival to perform her megamix of Kylie, Kate and Gaga. The final night of the festival saw the crowning of Ms and Mr Gay Kilkenny.

Following a call into the Sue Nunn Show on KCLR (and the subsequent heated debate on the Kilkenny’ Facebook page) about the two Rainbow Flags flying from the Tholsel on High Street, the organisers of OFTW released a statement stating that the festival was part funded by the County and Borough Councils and their willingness to have the rainbow flag only goes to show how progressive the Kilkenny local authorities really are. They see the need for a festival like OUT For The Weekend in Kilkenny - not just as a social outlet for LGBT members of the community, but also as a cultural event - boosting tourism and bringing Kilkenny in-line with our European counterparts. The flag was raised as a sign of welcome to everyone living in or visiting Kilkenny over the weekend regardless of their sexuality. The Borough Council should be commended for playing their part in making Kilkenny a place where discrimination is not tolerated and acceptance is actively promoted.

Global award for Kilkenny illustrator:

A Kilkenny based illustrator won a prestigious global award for his new book for children.

Ale Mercado, who lives in Inistioge, came up trumps in the 3x3 Children Illustration international competition. He was one of two members of Illustrators Ireland to win an award for his children’s books, in a tough competition with around 1700 entries.

Tractor run raises vital funds for Crumlin:

This year’s Annual Ballyragget Classic Tractor Run took its route through Ballyragget, Catlecomer, Carlow, Athy, Stradbally and then Tramore. The charity run raised € 2000 for Crumlin Hospital.

Triathlon hailed as grand success:

Over 1200 athletes took part in the Kilkenny City triathlon. Hundreds of spectators converged around key vantage areas to see the athletes, including the Parade where the finish line was, following a cycle through the countryside, and then run through the Castle Park.

The men’s Olympic distance was won by Dublin man Colm Sheean, with Vanessa Fenton claiming the ladie’s honours. There were also some notable local successes, with Niamh Richardson winning the women’s sprint distance, and Dennis Kerrigan taking top spot in the sprint relay.

32 new jobs for Thomastown:

The Envelope Supply Company announced establishment of an envelope manufacturing facility in Thomastown. The company manufactures pocket and wallet envelopes for supply to major companies in the UK and Europe. The new facility will create 32 new jobs.

The gloves are on - St Patrick’s is back in the boxing ring:

Established in 1946, the club has been a major force in Irish boxing for decades, bringing home successive titles and producing a lineup of highly-regarded boxers.

The club ran strongly up until the early 1990s, when a fire in the old hall all but destroyed it entirely. Badly damaged, the parish did not have the funds to rebuild its headquarters and the club went into decline.

For years it languished on the point of extinction, but after two decades was reinstated with new facilities at the Watershed.

PR guru voted Kilkenny’s most powerful:

PR professional Miriam Donohoe was voted the most powerful person in Kilkenny. Coming in with 95 votes, the MD Media owner topped Brian Cody’s 74 votes, Eamon Langton’s 41, Pius Phelan’s 33 and Stephen Murphy’s 24 votes.

Super Cats blast Tipp into oblivion:

Kilkenny secured their place in All-Ireland final with a win over Tipperary 4.24 -1.15.

18% rise in ticket sales at Kilkenny Arts Festival:

Ticket sales rocketed by 18% at this year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival with millions of euro being pumped into the local economy. Over 1400 people per night descended on the city for the ten-day festival.

The highlight of the festival was the Shakespeare’s Globe Theater production of ‘As You Like It’ in the Castle Yard at Kilkenny Design, which sold out its ten performances. It was the first time that The Globe has appeared in Ireland.

Other highlights of the festival included: Dido & Aeneas produced by Cork Opera House, 3epkano and Iarla O’Lionaird who performed a live film score for Der Golem, Senegalese harpist Colo Cissokho playing with Donegal FIDIL, legendary folk musician Josh T Pearson, an instrumental ensemble A winged Victory for the Sullen, an evening with Mike Scott, a John Banville reading, and the sold out Hubert Butler lecture delivered by Misha Glenny.

Mayor lauds our four Olympians:

Kilkennny’s four Olympians received a great reception from their friends, family and supporters at the official welcome home event. Mayor Sean O’hAgain praised Joanne and Catrine Cuddihy, Darren O’Neill and Arthur Lanigan O’Keefe for bringing glory to the city and county.

Celebrating the Butlers of Ormonde:

Kilkenny Castle once again became home of the Butler Family as the family members from US, UK, Australia, New Zeland, Canada, France, Germany and Ireland attended a family reunion. 130 family members enjoyed a special dinner at the castle.