Kilkenny people urged to support local shops that kept them going during the snow

Publican Fred Malzard makes an impassioned plea

Sean Keane

Reporter:

Sean Keane

Email:

sean.keane@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny people urged to support local shops that kept them going during the snow

A drunken snowman outside Malzard's of Stoneyford during the snow

In the aftermath of the Beast From The Beast and Storm Emma, publican, Fred Malzard in Stoneyford came out with a profound statement.
“Remember when the snow’s gone, that your local village shops that you went to get milk, eggs, bread and other stuff because you couldn’t get to the large supermarket, will still be there providing a fantastic community service, so support your rural shops.”
Fred was prompted to make the statement following the exploits of his local grocery shop owner, Willie Walsh on the main street.
“Willie is always there for people and that shone through during the snow and ice,” Fred said.
He added that it made economic sense to do your groceries in your local shop.
“You buy only what you want so there is no waste and you won't be throwing stuff out at the end of the week,” he pointed out.
Coon village was not so lucky. it lost its shop some years ago and its post office and its creamery.
However, that same sense of camaraderie evident everywhere else in the county was present in Coon/Castlewarren.
All physical links with Coon were severed by the snow. It is 800 feet above sea level and while things were bad during the last big snow in 1982, last week, the residents don't even have a shop to rely on.
Drifts of up to 10 ft from both the Castlecomer and Carlow sides cut the lovely village off from everywhere until Kilkenny county council came to their assistance on Saturday and Sunday.
Resident Mick Somers said the only good thing about the severe weather of last week was that it will now force the Government to look at how it has allowed rural Ireland to go into decline by removing vital, local services like the post office and by standing by while creameries and local shops shut their doors.
In Johnswell, people also reconnected. They walked miles to get into Brennan’s pub, next to the church and it wasn't about alcohol consumption, it was about community and about looking out for one another and that is something that Kilkenny people obviously have.