What's your idea of a perfect day (or perfect weekend) out in Kilkenny?
A lazy Kilkenny Sunday. A late breakfast in the Orchard pub with my husband (John) and my two children followed by a trip to the Discovery Park in Castlecomer. My son (Harry) adores the zipwire and my daughter (Robyn) can’t get enough of the playground. I can’t get enough of the peace and quiet. Bliss.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime and why?
For me, that has to be Tomm Moore. What he’s achieved (along with everyone else in Cartoon Saloon) has done more than put Kilkenny on the international map, it’s given it a whole new sense of who it is and what it’s capable of. You don’t get Oscar nominations for nothing!
What's your first Kilkenny memory?
Getting chips from the yellow van by the castle on a Friday afternoon.
What's your favourite part of the county and why?
Definitely the city centre. The winding streets are captivating and there’s nothing but beauty from the Castle Park all the way to St. Canice’s Cathedral.
What do you think gives Kilkenny its unique identity?
That’s a tough one – there’s so much. I think the small independent shops contribute so much, we have so many great artisan providers that you just won’t see anywhere else. I also love the small nooks and crannies throughout town too. No matter how long you’ve lived here you can still look at the city through the eyes of a visitor.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
Helena Duggan! She’s written a wonderful children’s book called A Place Called Perfect. All the kids I talk to in the shop rave about it. She’s got a new one coming in September called The Trouble with Perfect that I just can’t wait for.
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
Stability. We need to leverage our amazing cultural output and our regional positioning to attract new tech or creative industry that can get the town living and breathing again.
If you had the power to change one thing in or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
I can’t help but feel the city centre is on the decline; less people about, less hustle and bustle, less regular activity. We need to encourage people back into our city by offering two hours free parking and get people back on the city streets