What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Kilkenny?
A day that starts with brief meditation, an early morning stroll on the Millenium walk, a visit to to Cappuchin Friary, feeding the birds. Family.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime - and why?
Because a large part of my life has been involved with amateur theatre, I pay tribute to the unsung heroes who carried the baton to promote the arts down through the years.Stallards, St Kierans College, The Presentation Convent and The Friary Hall played a massive role in keeping theatre alive. Blessed to have great people both on and backstage.I pay particular credit to former town clerk Donal O'Brien, who , along with Kitty Drohan founded the musical society and drove it through difficult times. Donal was also instrumental in overseeing the purchase , set up and running of the Watergate theatre. His overall contribution has been outstanding.
What’s your first Kilkenny memory?
Crossing the bog near Newpark, (now the Fen) and surviving to tell the tale, exploring the three trees in Newpark, and walking to Gheall mo Chroí to catch Brickeens and stopping off to have our fortune told by Larry Mulhall. Numbers of children annually digging Larrys garden in the hope of finding buried gold.
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
For its absolute splendour and peace, Castlecomer Discovery Park, Jenkinstown Wood, Killkenny Castle, Millenium Walk, James’ Green and The Pill Road Kilmacow.
What do you think gives Kilkenny it's unique identity?
I love that the people of Kilkenny are so giving of their time to tourists and locals alike. Volunteerism is a vibrant part of our community with the idea of ‘giving back’ very much to the fore. Thrilled that there is a good section of our community who are prepared to be vocal when decisions are taken by the powers that be and to question those decisions for the betterment of the county.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
A few. For their marvellous contribution over the years, Jack Kenny - for a fountain of historical musings. , Gerry Moran for his weekly column; Pat Griffin for his work on short stories; Frank Marshall for his wonderful play ' A river Walk' currently being produced by the Involvement Centre. Top of my list, the glorious words chiseled out by artist and poet Eoghan O Driscoll.
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
Take stock of what we have, appreciate how rich we are in the important things in life and learn that not everything is gained by blood, sweat and tears.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
I think that those gone before us including planners, councillors, social workers , volunteer leaders, sports and arts administrators have set an excellent example and have handed on a wonderful legacy. Lets keep it going. Dont be afraid of the challenges ahead. 'Behold the turtle he gets by only when he sticks out his neck'.