John Murphy outside his butcher shop on West Street in Callan with a prime side of beef PICTURE: JOHN STAPLETON - See more in this week's Kilkenny People
With fewer than 10 shopping days left until Christmas, local retailers and hospitality businesses are doing their best to make the season bright.
The current ‘shop Kilkenny – keep it local – shop safely’ campaign is continuing apace, raising awareness of the many small businesses across our towns and villages. It aims to remind shoppers that where they choose to spend will shape the future of their locality, and this week, we look at the area stretching across the county from Callan to Thomastown, and beyond.
Towns and villages are looking their best at this time of year, with the Christmas lights up and window displays bringing a splash of colour in winter evenings.
The tree is up in Callan, and Bridge Street has been all a-glow for a while now, while local independent retailers such as O’Brien’s, Crokes General Store and Murphy’s Butchers are putting their best foot forward.
Thomastown is also looking particularly sharp, and the local Tidy Towns group recently handed out awards for best-dressed Christmas windows. Thomastown Community Centre, Reddy’s Gift Shop, Healy’s Pharmacy and the Blackberry Café were among those praised for their creativity and effort.
New lights have also gone up in Graignamanagh, with Kilkenny County Council signing off on funding earlier in the year. The Turfmarket carpark has also opened just in time, providing festive shoppers 15 new parking spaces. Local businesses, such as Barron Hill Camping, Nuala Barron’s Shop and Daisy Chain all have plenty to offer people searching for the perfect gift or stocking filler.
These shops, businesses and service providers, and many others create local employment and support clubs, charities and events. Without people shopping there, they can’t support local communities and now they need that patronage more than ever. Kilkenny County Council is encouraging people to support local this Christmas.
#Shopkilkenny is an initiative of Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny Chamber supported by the Departments of Rural and Community Development under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2020.