Ann Moylan (wearing green) pictured with members of Cairdeas choir
What’s your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, out in Kilkenny?
My perfect day is Wednesday, where I join my running group in the morning, a KRSP initiative, where we are coached by a trainer, followed by a coffee and a chat. Then home, where I sit down at the piano to work on some musica arrangements for my choirs. Cook dinner, collect my son from school, and out again to conduct the lovely Luke's Hospital choir. After which, onto the inspirational CAIRDEAS choir, where, at the moment we're preparing our act which is a part of a variety Gala Concert on April 11 at the Set Theatre. Afterwards, I'm on such a high, (that's what singing does for you!), that I head out to my local and sip a glass of shandy, and think how lucky I am!
Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime - and why?
I feel that the people who run all our libraries have contributed hugely to Kilkenny, naming especially Mary Morrissey, (Castlecomer) and Caitriona Kenneally (Loughboy). Various groups have been created through, and meet at our libraries, such as writers groups, craft people, book clubs, children's reading challenges, Irish language groups, to name but a few. Our libraries are a non-intimidating space for events where we can share performance of poetry, or music, or just sit quietly and read, enjoying some 'Me time'. And all this is provided with a smile, making all this planning and organisation look easy.
What’s your first Kilkenny memory?
My first memory of Kilkenny is meeting the Real Santa Claus at 'The Monster House, (now Duggan’s), when I was about six years old, and receiving a shoe box full of goodies.
What is your favourite part of the county and why?
My favourite part of Kilkenny is Kierans Street. If, like me, you enjoy harnessing the power of retail therapy, this street has it all. Jewellery, hats, boutiques, interior design, and some al fresco cafés to chill out and people- watch over a latte. And off which are all those beautiful medieval laneways and slips.
What do you think gives Kilkenny it’s unique identity?
The way Kilkenny embraces all aspects of the arts. Hardly a month goes by without a festival of some kind. But there's also wonderful performances almost every night in our many venues, from trad to rock to classical, and all overlooked by our beautiful 12th century Castle. Im so proud to live here.
Do you have a favourite local author or writer?
I don't have a favourite local writer, but I have attended the readings of writer's groups and enjoyed those fledgling writers reading their own work. Also I have enjoyed watching the writer/performer Gerry Moran, whose work is a lovely mixture of humour and nostalgia.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the county today?
The biggest challenge, (and I hate to be unoriginal), is homelessness. Very few homes available to rent, and mortgages next to impossible to get for young families.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
If I had the power to change one thing, I would change our Arts Festival classical music programme. I feel that the idea of featuring only one composer per festival, when we have such a huge diversity of international musicians and performers visiting here, leans towards elitism, and doesn't allow the average person to experience the diversity and joy of classical music.