What’s your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, out in Kilkenny?
A sunny Autumn Sunday with my family, husband Liam and three boys, starting with a walk through the Castle Park and down The Parade seeing who has the longest shadow. Lunch in the Roma Café as we make our way up John Street heading to Nowlan Park for a Championship match.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime — and why?
Kilkenny’s creative culture has been one of its greatest strengths for a very long time. Tony O’Malley’s journey from Callan to New Ross, Cornwall, the Bahamas and back to Callan has resulted in a stunning body of work recognised throughout the world for its unique beauty, thoughtfulness and colour.
What’s your first Kilkenny memory?
Looking out at lambs running races in the fields and watching the Rivers Barrow and Nore change through the seasons.
What’s your favourite part of the county — and why?
Every time I take a trip around this county I find new things to explore and enjoy. My favourite part of the county has to be Inistioge, it’s the place where I spend down time and it is a place of rich history, character and genuine beauty.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
Niamh Greene is a Kilkenny writer and a friend of mine. Her books are perfect for a cup of tea and an open fire. My own favourites are “A Message to Your Heart” and “Coco’s Secret”. Another Kilkenny writer, David Donohue, is a favourite for introducing my kids and many more to fun in books.
What about a favourite local walk — or view?
Has to be the walk from Inistioge village along the Poyntz Road by the River Nore through the woods and into Woodstock gardens, awesome.
What do you think gives Kilkenny its unique identity?
Many things play a part in what makes Kilkenny unique, the countryside, the rivers, the rich farming culture, our historic sites, hurling, generations of creativity in the arts and other things, but most of all our communities and people give Kilkenny its unique identity.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the county today?
Keeping our communities going and embracing all points of view to make new and better communities is our biggest challenge.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
I would make the River Nore navigable by boat to allow more people to experience the beauty of the river from Kilkenny to New Ross. If more people could access and use the river along the route from Kilkenny to Bennettsbridge, Thomastown, Inistioge and on into New Ross I think it would breath new life into the river communities.