A year for regaining confidence

It’s that time of year again, when we look back on the year just past and contemplate what the New Year will bring. And what a year it was! Recession, snow, floods, storms and that was only in the first six months.

It’s that time of year again, when we look back on the year just past and contemplate what the New Year will bring. And what a year it was! Recession, snow, floods, storms and that was only in the first six months.

Ireland is in crisis like never before and it’s tough for everyone. I read recently a plea for the Irish to be a little more self-confident in themselves, and I would echo that. We’ve had some really hard knocks, and they keep on coming before we get a chance to recover. But we must remember what a great country we have been and can be again. It sounds like a cliché, but time and again it’s been proved that WE’RE the reason people come to visit Ireland.

Yes, our heritage and culture are important but it’s the Irish people that are the country’s best asset. So my hope for 2012 is that we can regain some confidence in ourselves and come back into Europe fighting!

I would really like to get back to the warm, hot summers we used to have. I miss the feeling of warmth, with no umbrellas! Let’s hope that 2012 will bring us a long, warm summer. If not, I’d love to return to Tuscany where I spent 10 days this year.

On a professional note, I’m looking forward to the completion of the Renaissance Project at Rothe House and Garden. This, the final phase of the Conservation Plan which was begun in 2002, will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the purchase of the house by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, so it’s a really important year. When the work is complete, Rothe House and Garden will be one of the main heritage sites in Kilkenny city. As well as being a major tourist attraction, drawing even more people to the city, it will continue to be a valuable resource to the community.

What do I hope for in 2012? If this were a beauty pageant I could say ‘World peace’ but it’s not – thankfully! So I hope for health, contentment and solvency. Happy New Year everyone.