What’s your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Kilkenny?
A cycle or walk by the river, into town up through the Canal Walk.Walking through the town bumping in to friends, and lovely familiar faces. Checking out one of the galleries, because here most of them are free! Then I'd finish out a perfect Kilkenny day with a pint of Guinness in Ryans, followed by a dance to a band in the front bar. Great craic!
Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime - and why?
Artists, teachers, and camogie players and hurlers. I love the hurling almost as much as I love the arts, almost. But Kilkenny’s many wonderful artists make the city a special place year round, and that's helped by having a few sound teachers here and there that make school life tolerable for all us mad creatives.
What’s your first Kilkenny memory?
I don’t know that I can recall the very first one. But when we moved to Kilkenny when I was three or four, we lived in Marble Crest and I remember me and a bunch of other kids would dare each other to go down the slide at Gallows Hill. It seemed huge! It probably wasn’t at all but to us it was the biggest best slide in the world and that was deadly!
What’s your favourite part of the county - and why?
Thomastown hands down. I lived there for a few years and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I'd move back there in a heart beat (if I could find suitable work that paid enough not to struggle once the rent was paid). Thomastown is home to some of my closest friends, and has transformed hugely in the last few years. It's a unique place with beautiful scenery and real soul. Thomastown, je t'aime!
What do you think gives Kilkenny its unique identity?
Okay so yeah, I'll keep harping on about the arts, but I honestly do think that without all our wonderful creative people Kilkenny wouldn't be the same. We're on the map in the Americana music world, in the visual art world, in the movie world, we've got the Happiest Little Record Shop in the World. Our streets burst with arts and music year round. It's amazing. The first day I was back from Brussels I was strolling around and I counted live music in five pubs at around 5pm on a Thursday. It was brilliant! It’s not like that in other places, and I think before I was taking a lot of the brilliant creative buzz here for granted.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the county today?
The loss on Sunday. Let's be honest. Now the answer to the next question will make you think I'm not a hurling fan. I am. Massively! Sunday was like a kick in the gut.
If you had the power to change on thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
I would build a black box theatre for comedy, music, theatre, and community projects. It would have 150 seats and be able to transform as needed. Kilkenny needs a medium size venue with proper facilities as there's a whole section of the entertainment industry including a lot of locals that can't come to work in Kilkenny because of the lack of a venue like this. Let's start a campaign! #bbtheatreforkk