My Kilkenny Life: Cal Walsh

Personal trainer Cal Walsh gives the run down on his life in Kilkenny, his favourite things and places to enjoy and looks to the future with optimism

Mary Cody


Mary Cody


My Kilkenny Life: Cal Walsh

Fitness instructor, Cal Walsh

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Kilkenny?
Honestly, that question could have a dozen different answers for me, depending on the time of year. There’s never a shortage of things to do.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime - and why?
For reasons specific to my generation, it has to be Brian Cody. For people my age, Cody and his team gave us something to cheer about during a time when the whole country was suffering. My generation were heading in to college and/or work just as the recession hit. The mood among people my age could be sombre at times because the future didn't look very promising. But, in Kilkenny, we were lucky enough to have Cody's boys to give us something to celebrate during the bad times.

What's your first Kilkenny memory?
Where I grew up! Growing up in a working class neighbourhood in the 90s was some experience. Real people. Real life. To me - that's the real Kilkenny.

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
The city, for a million different reasons. It's my home. Living away from Kilkenny for a few years made me realise how much I love the place.

What do you think gives Kilkenny it's unique identity?
I'm sure you get this answer a lot, but, it has to be the blend of old and modern. There are a few cities and towns in Ireland that have preserved the past quite well. But none have found the balance of preservation and evolution that Kilkeny has.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
John Locke. Not just as a writer/poet, but also as a Fenian and a rebel. He's a historical figure that Kilkenny should be proud of.

What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
A reluctance to embrace change. If you have concerns about a project in Kilkenny from a logistical or economic standpoint, by all means, voice your opinion. But, there seems to be a section of our community who will object to anything "new". Regardless of what it is. Anything modern is immediately labelled an "eyesore". We can keep our medieval charm, but we have to expand and modernise too.

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
More focus on the needs of locals. I'm all for the tourist trade thriving here, but sometimes it seems that the council is more concerned about making Kilkenny a great place to visit, rather than a great place to live. The people make Kilkenny what it is. The council would do well to remember that.