Serdar Kearney Tekkanat
Serdar is a Transition Year student at Kilkenny College and is currently on work placement with The Kilkenny People.
What’s your idea of a perfect day, or perfect, out in Kilkenny?
At the weekend I would usually have a Friday night takeaway, go for a walk in the Castle Park with my dog, Daisy, occasionaly meet up with some school friends, although this can be tricky since many of them live outside the county, visit my grandfather and try and nip out for some fishing, every once in a while!
Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime- and why?
No sole individual has made a contribution that stands out to me personally. In my opinion, all the business owners and festival volunteers who, through attracting visitors, help to keep the soul of the city alive and maintain the local atmosphere, have made a substantial and very important contribution.
What’s your first Kilkenny memory?
My first Kilkenny memory is of me observing a local, senior hurling training session in Nowlan Park. This memory stands out to me because the team gave me a tour of the changing rooms and the different parts of the building, as well as the storage rooms that contained all the free, Glanbia sponsored supplements! It was a private invitation at the behest of my mother’s work colleague to attend and I felt very important, as I received autographs and was a very passionate fan at the time!
What’s your favourite part of the county- and why?
My current homeplace, the College Road, because I happily live there. The area has a great sense of community, which is relatively rare nowadays, but is also tranquil. It’s location is a big bonus since it is removed from the somewhat chaotic atmosphere of the centre, but at the same time it is in walking distance of the city.
What do you think gives Kilkenny its unique identity?
The character of its people… In my experience, the people here are good natured, resilient and kind, which are crucial but unique qualities for a truly great community. Whether it is being the tidiest town in Ireland or the county that has the greatest hurling team, this county is a very uniquely positive place to grow up in!
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
Gerry Moran - I thoroughly enjoy his weekly articles in this newspaper as he highlights the simple wonders and beauties of life. His columns act as sort of a detox for me because whenever I pick up a newspaper, there is usually only hard news and serious editorials, which can become boring at times.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the county today?
Overly burdensome business rates that are leading to a decline in local commerce, especially for small businesses that are operating on tight budgets. These shops are the life blood of our economy and must be nurtured...
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about, Kilkenny, what would it be?
Pedestrianise the city centre to put an end to the overwhelming volume of traffic that has been eroding our unique, local gem of a city. This would nourish the already mindblowing scenery of the city even more! The council could also complete the long overdue ring road which is badly needed and is a big priority for the public.