My Kilkenny Life: Neans McSweeney

Mary Cody


Mary Cody


My Kilkenny Life: Neans McSweeney

Neans McSweeney

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Kilkenny?
I love Saturday mornings on High Street. I come in early, park in the Market Yard, enjoy a light breakfast and do the shopping in the local supermarkets before stopping into Cillin Hill on the way home for fresh local potatoes and vegetables and the meat for the week. Where possible, the rest of the morning is spent pouring over the newspapers while listening to the radio. While I moved into PR 11 years ago this year, I'm still a hack at heart. I love news and current affairs.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime - and why?
Eamon Langton I think. I know from talking to Terry Clune that he met Eamon when he first came to Kilkenny scouting for places to live and set up business. Eamon convinced him that Kilkenny was the best place. We now have Taxback and Transfer Mate and ConnectIreland in Kilkenny as a result. I know that the entire Langton family are extremely generous - particularly when it comes to helping local causes. They are great business people but decent too.

What's your first Kilkenny memory?
I came here to cover the Arts Festival in 1999. I stayed in the Ormonde Hotel for three nights and was struck by the friendliness of people - even in the lift in the car park. So when a vacancy came up here, I jumped at it. Delighted to have settled here.

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
While I love Clara, I think Graiguenamanagh is fantastic. There's a fantastic community spirit there and so much is happening in the outdoor pursuits arena there.

What do you think gives Kilkenny it's unique identity?
The welcome. People are extremely welcoming and laid back. Very few locals beep in traffic. And they'll always chat in a queue.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
Edward Hayden. I love his cook books. I'm not a bad cook so I love to follow his recipes.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the county today?
The closure of small businesses across the county and in the city centre. It's critical that we support local.

If you had the power to change on thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
Ban Hurling! Ye've won enough. Time to give 'weaker counties' like Cork a chance.