2017 Review - January: OBE honours, New Year babies and the annual Castlecomer Wellie Race

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

2017 Review - January: OBE honours, New Year babies and the annual Castlecomer Wellie Race

Mark Casey and Ann-Marie Walsh with their daughter Caoimhe

January was a busy month which started on a high note with the news that Kilkenny’s Paul Smithwick has been awarded an Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours List.
Mr Smithwick OBE received the award for his ongoing service to British-Irish relations. A blacktie dinner was held in the Smithwicks brewery centre to make the award. It was hosted by Mr Smithwick’s brother, Peter, and attended by the British ambassador to Ireland.
Meanwhile just 18 minutes past midnight little Caoimhe was born at St Luke’s Hospital. Her proud parents Mark Casey amd AnnMarie Walsh are from Bennettsbridge. Caoimhe was not the only New Year’s baby in Kilkenny, with another proud mother, Caroline Jenkinson (Kilkenny City) opting for a homebirth for her baby Lee.
January also saw the passing of one of the city’s oldest residents. Mrs Eileen McEvoy died at the age of 103 at Drakelands Nursing Home.
Meanwhile following a hugely successful 2016 choral director at the Presentation Secondary School, Verionica McCarron retired. Scarcely a month went by in 2016 when the choir were not being lauded for one performance or another, from the local stage to the national and even the international on occasion. None of it would have been possible without Ms McCarron and her outstanding contribution. Students, friends and staff all turned out to wish her well and to acknowledge her hard work over the years.
Millions of euro was netted by the local authority in property tax in Kilkenny. Figures seen by The Kilkenny People revealed that a whopping €7.3 million was collected in property tax in the city and county over the previous 12 months.
Sadly in recent years a number of iconic local businesses have closed andin January Burke’s on RoseInn Street shut its doors for the final time. Burke’s Newsagent on Rose Inn Street ceased trading on New Year’s Day after decades. With its distinctive shopfront, the little shop will be remembered by many as a place where they called in for their newspaper or tobacco, or where children would buy comic books or sweets.
It was also reported in The Kilkenny People in January athat a Kilkenny man is part of a huge scientific research project on the ice shelf which is currently breaking off Antarctic. His duties are hugely varied as ever, everyone has to pitch in because of the small number of the team, the cold and the need for everyone to do their part to ensure they survive and get the job done.
Damien’s main responsibility, along with the team, are to decommission the station, de-rig and transport it over 20 kilometres to a ‘safe’ zone on floating ice. Other tasks include constructing temporary camps, to house all the catering and communal area.
The L'arche Cafe in Callan celebrated its tenth birthday last week and marked the occasion with a party for all their staff and patrons. The cafe was created as a social enterprise where people with and without intellectual disabilities work together to provide home cooked food with outstanding service and a welcoming space for all.
Cafe L'arche strives to encourage the general public to interact and get to know people with a disability , and ultimately to build a more compassionate society.
Thousands attended the annual Wellie Race in Castlecomer with colourful floats and plenty of inventive and imaginative costumes.