With respect to adding to the social life of Kilkenny in 2012, the Hole in the Wall is the main event for me. In 2011 it proved itself in so many ways and contributed hugely to the lives of those interested in the arts etc. Support for the wine bar has been forthcoming and the various musical gigs by national stars and locally based discoveries has been encouraging. Whether that support will improve in 2012 remains to be seen. Concerns about the financial viability of the Hole in the Wall exist since, unlike Rothe House, the Castle etc it has to act as a historic city tourist product without any governmental or Borough Council support.
The key objectives for 2012 will be the evolution of the Hole in the Wall as a more frequent venue for theatre. A theatre licence is being sought in order to be able to cater for the tastes of all customers. That, hopefully, will be operational by the spring. Interest from all the main theatre groups, and even national theatre figures, has been evident already. The Hole in the Wall was the place where many found their voices last year. In 2012, the same will be encouraged and hopefully another Edith Piaf or the like will be found. Movie making will be central to the 2012 initiatives and the world premiere of George Clooney’s Irish Roots will be screened in the spring. Weeks devoted to Germany (April), France (July), Barbados, Japan and Spain (August) and America (November) will be part of the listings. A drive towards education with an International Summer School programme will commence in May/June and classical music will be more dominant with performances by Darren Mooney (tenor) (March), Rachel Somers (soprano) (April) and Classical Month/ Franz Liszt Festival in October (featuring David Szabo, concert pianist, amongst others). David McCarthy (University of Limerick) will use the venue as a recording studio during the summer of 2012.
Academia and books
‘30 Lectures in 30 Days’ will be central to University Month in September and the ‘Sunday Night at the Lectures’ series will continue with focus on aspects of the GAA and sport, planetary science, history etc. Books titled Understanding Kilkenny: A Pictorial History and Paris: In the Footsteps of the Irish will be completed and these will act as a link between the Hole in the Wall and James Joyce, Beckett etc in Paris and also the Neolithic and Christian history of ancient Ossory and Ormond.
Medically, a project to introduce a simple method for early detection of coronary artery disease and the completion of the supervision of the PhD of Kieran Reid (Tuft’s University Medical School, Boston/TCD, Dublin – formerly Mooncoin) will be key. Further work, in conjunction with Roseann Coghlan at St Luke’s Hospital, on cholesterol and its treatment is planned with the support of the pharmaceutical company MSD. This will dovetail with the fifth of the Towards Prevention Conferences at the Hole in the Wall on 12-12-12.
Another ‘Hole in the Wall Gang’ visit to Barbados might be undertaken in order to further explore the likelihood that the Archers, who built the Hole in the Wall, were expelled to ‘Hell or the Barbados’ by Cromwell in 1654.
The most exciting thing about 2012 is that, in some respects, the outcome is unpredictable. Who knows what singers and performers will emerge, what bands will be formed, what national artists will grace its stage, what exhibitions will feature and what plays will be written in house. It’s a rollercoaster. Hang on in! Amazing things are likely!!