Pictures: Festival in a Van brings Yulefest cheer to Kilkenny nursing homes

Click through to see the gallery

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews


Residents and staff of nursing and care homes in Kilkenny received some welcome Christmas cheer thanks to Kilkenny County Council’s Yulefest Kilkenny.

Creative Ireland’s ‘Festival in a Van’ initiative visited Mount Carmel Nursing Home and Strathmore Lodge Nursing Home in Callan and Tinnypark Nursing Home in Kilkenny City on Saturday, where residents enjoyed a wonderful rendition of Christmas songs and music from two of Ireland’s finest songwriters and performers Luan Parle and Clive Barnes.

On Sunday, the Van visited St Canice’s Retirement Homes and Archersrath Nursing Home in Kilkenny City, where Enya Cox and Heidi and Ruby Millea from Alize’s School of Singing Kilkenny gave an impressive performance of Christmas songs. It finished at Gowran Abbey Nursing Home with Daniel from Lady Desart Choir giving a wonderful performance of Christmas songs.

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Andrew McGuinness, said it was a wonderful gesture, particularly given the year.

“Normally at Christmas time our older citizens in care homes would have enjoyed a sing song with local musicians who would visit. This year we made sure that tradition could be continued, albeit very different from normal,” he said.

“Thanks to all the fantastic musicians who performed Christmas songs from the ‘Festival in a Van’ stage outside while residents listened and sang along inside with their windows open.”

Mayor of Kilkenny John Coonan said it was rewarding to see the enjoyment brought to residents and staff of nursing homes who joined in with the singing: “I commend all involved in taking part and organising this,” he said.