04 Jul 2022

Tidy Towns shocks for Kilkenny and awards for local craftsmen

Kilkenny Lookback

Castlecomer won the Kilkenny Park Award and improved its marks in the Tidy Towns competition of 1971

Here's what made the front page of the Kilkenny People on September 10, 1971 - 50 years ago this week

Shocks galore. This is the general reaction which the results of this year's Tidy Towns competition have caused. And the shocks have been both pleasant and unpleasant.
Two of the major surprises come from Laois. Durrow has dropped three points from last year to share seventh place with three other centres but Cullohill, in the same parish, has jumped into joint fourth place from a record entry of 630 centres.
Once again, enterprising Castlecomer has taken the Kilkenny Park Award and has improved its marks from 118 last year to 121.
The tidiest town in Ireland this year is Ballyconnell, which is the third Cavan centre to win the national award. Second place goes to Malin, with Trim third.
Kilkenny is way down the list but it has improved by one mark to make 91. It is 14th of the 26 centres in its category, behind such places as Carlow, Youghal, Enniscorthy, Sligo and in front of Killarney, Wexford, Clonmel and Thurles.
Five young Kilkennymen this week became the first jewellers and silversmiths to complete a formal course of apprenticeship in Ireland in well over 100 years.
And in a presentation ceremony at the Kilkenny Design Workshops they received certificates of craftsmanship from Minister for Industry and Commerce, Mr Patrick J Lalor, TD.
The new craftsmen, who had completed four years of apprenticeships in workshops in the city, were also given a special silver medallion designed by Oisin Kelly to mark the occasion.
The five young men, who were trained under a joint scheme organised by the Kilkenny vocational school and the Kilkenny Design Workshops are: Patrick Joseph Barnaville (21), Freshford; Liam Costigan (21), Assumption Place; Joseph Dunne (22), St Teresa's Terrace; James Joseph Kelly (21), Fr Albert Place and Michael Rafter (21), Bonnettstown.
One of the recipients, Liam Costigan, left Kilkenny on Wednesday morning to represent Ireland in the goldsmithing in the International Apprenticeship competition.
Chairman of KDW, Mr WH Walsh, said it was hoped to make the presentation of certificates a yearly ceremony. It was also hoped to obtain international acceptance for the Irish certificate of craftsmanship.
He mentioned that eight further apprentices were at present undergoing training in Kilkenny.
In congratulating the certificate recipients, he pointed out that Mr Kelly was a prizewinner at the recent national competition for applied arts sponsored by the RDS. Mr Dunne has represented Ireland in the International Apprenticeship competition in 1969. Mr Costigan was representing Ireland this year and Mr Rafter was a previous winner in the RDS competitions.
“Their work is something they have reason to be proud of,” he said. “In fact, Kilkenny has reason to be proud of it.”
Seldom if ever have defeated teams received such an enthusiastic welcome as the Kilkenny sides when they returned to the city on Monday night.
At the Parade they were greeted by the Mayor, Ald Kieran Crotty TD and Corporation.
“We have often heard it said that everyone loves a winner,” said Ald Crotty. “But win, lose or draw we fete our hurlers in Kilkenny and this is how it should be.
“They didn’t bring trophies back to Kilkenny this year. They went to Croke Park hoping for a double. They came home empty handed but in glory.”

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