26 Sept 2022

A Day in the Life Special - Kilkenny Day 2021

A Day in the Life Special - Kilkenny Day 2021

The Kilkenny's in UPMC Nowlan Park with Siobhan Donohoe in selfie mode at the Cats cat. (Photo by Vicky Comerford)

In a recent interview, I was told that the people of Kilkenny are far too modest for their own good!

Apparently we don't shout loud and proud enough about all our glory's. It was pointed out to me that we are the envy of most counties, that we are like the 'Paris of Ireland' - a metropolis of culture, heritage, food, biodiversity and sport. To outsiders, the sun looks like it always shining in Kilkenny. On Kilkenny Day, it didn't let us down, as the amber sun shone bright on an autumn Sunday for the people of Kilkenny to take pride in our place. 

Sisters Karen Hennessy & Siobhan Donohoe sporting their Kilkenny colours on Kilkenny Day 

(Photograph by Vicky Comerford)

At the end of the day and every day we need to remind ourselves how we are one of the most friendliest cities in the world (voted by Conde Nast), the tastiest, the funniest, the cleanest and the BEST. That is what Kilkenny Day showed us, so thank you to Marian Flannery and her team for this reminder - we are the cats with all the cream.


Kilkenny Day Director Marian Flannery with Siobhan Donohoe on Kilkenny Day

Kilkenny Day Director Marian Flannery and her incredible team delivered an amazing programme last year when Kilkenny Day was born virtually in the middle of a pandemic. Its a day of creativity, showing all that's alive and brilliant about Kilkenny. This year, I loved seeing the familiar faces of our community, who has bonded so tightly during Covid, walk around our City and County with a different purpose - a purpose of pride. 

It's also as near as we are going to get to Savour Kilkenny this October. For a change our local famers and food producers were able walk around the market on Sunday and soak up the fine food, music and entertainment. They may enjoy the break, as next year Marian Flannery promises to bring back a bigger and better Savour Kilkenny 2022!

Kilkenny Day in all its glory by Cork photographer Shannon O'Brien

It was also enjoyable to see the fatigue lift over the city that the past 18 months brought. The streets were alive with music with Music Generation Kilkenny, the St. Brigid's Pipe band and several acts preforming in the Castle with the Kilkennys and Jerry Fish as headline acts. Cartoon Saloon had showings of WolfWalkers, a film that was released during the pandemic. It was great to be received by live audiences in its home town. 

The new Kilkenny Catwalk blew me away with the 21 five foot fiber glass Kilkenny Cat Sculptures - decorated by some of our most talented artists - inspired by the Cartoon Saloon's Pangur Ban character. The Cats are on display at different heritage and culture sites around Kilkenny and the great news is that they are here to stay until Easter 2022.  

Another exhibition that was launched with a brilliant talk on the finished Ros Tapestry in Rothe House on Kilkenny Day. It's a must see with the collaboration of over 150 embroiders from the South-east. The Ros tapestry’s final panel depicting the ‘Battle of the Kingdom of Ossory’ has been worked on in locations across Kilkenny and is currently on display in Kilkenny Castle. 

Cathaoirleach Fidelis Doherty

Sure why stop with just one day! Earlier in the week, I kicked off the Kilkenny Day celebrations with Cathaoirleach Fidelis Doherty and Mayor Andrew McGuiness in Nowlan Park, where I picked up a few nuggets of information! While enjoying a spontaneous puck around - our Cathaoirleach Fidelis Doherty recalled her glory days on the pitch when she played camogie for Glenmore. She told me how she was late coming to the game, but loved every minute of it. "We  won an Intermediate County Final in 1988 and I had two small children at the time.  I also played Senior for one game, but  we were trashed off the field!"

Mayor Andrew McGuiness

On that note, the next time I meet the Cathaoirleach and our Mayor, I might have a quiet word about making Kilkenny Day a national holiday!  

In the meantime, if you see a five foot cat in Kilkenny on your travels, take a selfie and post it to the rest of the world and let them know how special we are. 

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