IT’S that time of year again.
The sun is out, and the county is truly starting to buzz again with All-Ireland fever. Sunday is fast approaching, and Kilkenny is a sea of black and amber – as it should be every September.
Jerseys, hoodies and Kilkenny kit is selling like hot cakes, and neighbourhoods around the city and county are brightening up their own communities.
Hazel Grove in Ardnore is awash in glorious technicolour, as locals strike a balance the green and red of James Stephens with the black and amber of the Cats. Bennettsbridge, Thomastown, and every other town and village around the county is upping the colours, including shops and local businesses.
And as is tradition, the Butts in the city has been turned into the most black and amber place on earth. People have were out putting up the flags not long after the semi-final win over Tipperary.
“It’s not all finished yet, but it started going up here last Friday,” said local resident John Phelan.
“I put my own up on Sunday.”
John, who will be watching the game at home on Sunday, feels that a Cats win is on the cards – albeit a narrow win.
“Kilkenny will win, but it will be a very close encounter,” he said.
“It won’t be like the Leinster [final], they won’t be caught out again.”
A few houses down, Ann O’ Reilly has high hopes also.
“Kilkenny will win of course; they’ll win well,” she said.
“I’ll watch it at home, the craic around here is always great on the day.”
Ann, who attends the homecoming celebrations every year, also feels that Nowlan Park would be the ideal venue for the day, and not the traditional Market Yard car park.
“It should have been in Nowlan Park years ago,” she said.
“It’s better for if it rains, and it’s safer for the children.”