What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend, out in Kilkenny?
A walk in Jenkinstown Wood followed by a long swim in the Newpark Hotel Leisure Centre. How could I not mention attending a game or two (or three) with a view to offering an informed opinion on teams and players on Community Radio Kilkenny City.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime- and why?
My neighbour Bishop Peter Birch (RIP) for his pioneering work in setting up Kilkenny Social Services; Former County Manager Paddy Donnelly for his enlightened vision on how Kilkenny City should be developed; Reddy Brennan (RIP), the first General Manager of the Glanbia Plant in Ballyragget for his vision and leadership during the early days of the Avonmore organisation and Brian Cody, of course, for giving us close to two decades of incredible excitement and for making hurling giants out of many fine hurlers.
What's your first Kilkenny memory?
Shopping in Kilkenny with my parents especially around Christmas time in the Monster House and seeing my first film in the Savoy Cinema (now the Watergate Theatre) with my late father after he had completed the weekly delivery of of vegetables to a number of grocery outlets in Fr Murphy's Square and John's Green.
What's your favourite part of the county- and why?
I have a great grá for my own area in Jenkinstown. It is where I have spent all my life. Jenkinstown Wood is a wonderful local amenity which is well maintained by Coillte. The woodlands change with the seasons presenting an array of colours in keeping with the time of year. As a walking area, it is one of the most popular in County Kilkenny.
What do you think gives Kilkenny its unique identity?
Kilkenny Local Authority is to be commended on its efforts over the past decade to make Kilkenny an age friendly city with the upgrading of footpaths and the provision of seating in a number of areas. Our city has now become a very successful festival destination, but at times I wonder whether it has the capacity to accommodate all the activities that take place. The upgrading of walkways around Kilkenny city presents everyone with some wonderful trails of interest and all are easily accessible.
Do you have a favourite local author or writer?
Gerry Moran's weekly column in the Kilkenny people is a must-read. It is always interesting and witty and a read of Gerry's article is as good a way to de-stress oneself as any expensive therapy.
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
Similar to many other counties, the depopulation of rural Kilkenny will bring many changes over the coming decades. Rural isolation is already here and this will become a growing problem in the years ahead with the closure of Post Offices, rural Garda Stations and an inevitable reduction in the number of clergy.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
Upgrade the Kilkenny to Ballyragget road from Henebry's Cross as a matter of urgency. The current road infrastructure is not capable of handling the massive increase in traffic volumes.
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