What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Kilkenny?
My idea of a perfect day out in Kilkenny is to meet friends for coffee or lunch, have a really nice relaxing time catching up with them. Walk up the High Street and sit on the public seats outside of the post office or Sam McCauleys and just take some time out and watch the world go by. And a quick flick around the shops in search of a bit of style of course!
Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime - and why?
I’m claiming that I’m too young to be in a position to adequately answer this question..that being said I have encountered a couple of people for whom I have the greatest of respect and admiration. One is Kathleen Moran from Kilkenny Design Centre. I worked in the Design Centre many years ago and Kathleen ran a very good show. She was always very nice to the staff, delivered a very high quality service and expected a great level of professionalism from her team. She championed the whole idea of serving local food products and always believed in supporting the local suppliers and producers. She managed to do all of this whilst always looking extremely elegant and glamourous!
What's your first Kilkenny memory?
Years ago my singing idol Sandy Kelly was performing as part of the Smithwicks beer festival in an open top concert outside where Winstons is now. My parents Sally and the late Eddie, had brought me into the concert and we had squeezed our way to the side of the lorry so as to apprehend her on her arrival. There was a big delay in her arriving. When she arrived a very nice photographer from The Butts area (his name escapes me) had agreed to take our photograph and post it out to us (no email in Graignamangh then!), which he duly did. I met Sandy, had the photo taken and enjoyed a wonderful concert!
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
Obviously we are living in a wonderful county from top to bottom but I would have to pledge my greatest loyalty and affection for my native Graignamangh. It is a wonderful town with lots of great small businesses, community spirit, picturesque walks and most importantly wholesome people.
What do you think gives Kilkenny it’s unique identity?
I think the esteem that we the locals hold the city and county in to me is very special and therefore results in people seeing it as an area of importance. To be fair its very easy have a sense of pride in it given all that the area has to offer in terms of quality bars and restaurants, varied business providers, crafts people, tourist facilities, theatrical hub, music venues, food producers, cookery schools (I had to say that!), and of course people.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
I love all things local and always try to read the works of our local authors. My current favourite is Shirley Lanigan’s ‘The Open Gardens of Ireland’ from the Butterslip Press.
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
Alas and no different than most other counties it’s probably the housing and health situation.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
This is a tough one which I don’t have a very ‘grown up’ answer for but sometimes I wish I had the power to change the traffic lights on the parade if and when I’m running late!