01 Jul 2022

My Kilkenny Life: Shane Hallahan

Principal at the Presentation Secondary School, Shane Hallahan's positive attitude is evident to all

My Kilkenny Life: Shane Hallahan

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Kilkenny?
Kilkenny has  much to offer - even for a Waterford man- there is so much to create that perfect day . I love to spend time strolling the historical streets. It is amazing to have buildings such as The Castle, St. Canice's Cathedral, Rothe House and The Black Abbey on our door step. It is a special treat to eat out in Kilkenny and experience the vast array of culinary delights from Michelin star restaurants to amazing casual dining options. My perfect day would be capped off with a visit to Nolan Park to see the Déise sneak a rare victory over The Cats.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime - and why?                                                   

I feel that Brian Cody has certainly made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in my lifetime. Brian has guided Kilkenny to 11 All-Ireland titles and 15 League Crowns. The GAA is an integral part of my life and I have yet to see my own native county win an All-Ireland title. Sometimes, I think that some Kilkenny people take these titles for granted. You just need to look at Limerick this year and Galway last year to see how much it means to a county to bring Liam home. Such victories have such a positive impact on all aspects of life, not just sport.

What's your first Kilkenny memory?
I remember as a young child being brought by my parents to visit Kilkenny castle. I was in awe of the sheer magnificence and size of the castle. My fondest memory is the welcome that I received from the Kilkenny Presentation community when I first became Principal 10 years ago.

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?

My favourite part of Kilkenny is the enchanting drive along by the river Nore, through the villages of Inistioge and Bennestbridge visiting such places as the Woodstock Gardens and the Nicolas Mosse Pottery Factory.

What do you think gives Kilkenny it's unique identity?

The People of Kilkenny, most especially the young people. I believe they have a strong desire to achieve at the highest levels and this is evident in the success of Kilkenny as a city and county, in its sports, culture and the academics. The young people that I have the pleasure to work with on a daily basis, not only in Presentation but in all the schools have a desire and passion to succeed in all aspects of life. They are extremely proud of Kilkenny and are wonderful ambassadors in their positivity  and respect shown to all.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?

During my studies in college I came across the writings of John Locke, the Fenian poet and writer from Callan. His most famous poem is the Dawn on the Irish Coast.

What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?

The provision of a University for the region. Students in Kilkenny have to travel to cities such as Dublin, Cork, Limerick or Galway to attend University. The cost of this is proving more and more prohibitive for many families. 

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be? 

It would be nice to see High Street pedestrianised and improved traffic flow through the city.

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