This letter from a Dublin supporter appeared in The Irish Times on Tuesday shows how moved he was by the sportsmanship of Kilkenny’s Tommy Walsh, even in defeat.
Sir, – My sense of elation on Saturday night in O’Moore Park, as the Dublin hurlers defeated Kilkenny in the Leinster championship, is difficult to put into words. Beside me was my father who was six years of age the last time Dublin achieved such a feat. Gaels up and down the country will appreciate that the feeling of sheer wonder at such a powerful Dublin performance stems not from the fact that we won a Leinster semi-final but that we out-played and out-fought what is almost certainly the greatest team in the history of the game.
However, as I walked around the hallowed turf after the match, mingling with supporters from both sides exhibiting shock and disbelief for very different reasons, I was taken aback by a sight that will linger in my memory as long as the Dublin victory.
There, in the middle of the field, some 10 minutes after the final whistle, stood Tommy Walsh of Kilkenny – still glistening with sweat in the warm evening sun, his jersey marked with splashes of blood; possibly his own, possibly not. He was surrounded by children decked both in sky blue and black and amber. He signed every single jersey and match programme. He posed for every single photograph.
This man is not accustomed to the bitter of taste of defeat. This living legend who has garnered a record nine all-star awards in a row and won six all-Ireland titles and will surely see more of both, has never before been humbled at such an early stage of the championship. And yet, there he stood, as I watched in awe for a further 10 minutes, putting his arm around every youngster that was ushered before him by an eager parent and patiently waiting as yet another camera phone was pointed at him by an outstretched arm.
What can I say? For anyone who wonders what is special and unique about the GAA, who wonders what makes it the finest organisation in this country with nothing even remotely like it in the rest of the world, who occasionally, like myself, unthinkingly takes for granted its place at the heart of communities up and down the island, I give you Tommy Walsh – the embodiment of the spirit of the GAA and, for that matter, what might just be great about the people of this country.
Donnycarney, Dublin 5
The proposed creation of a new road through the historic heart of Kilkenny city will bring increased traffic through the area and will sever the ‘Medieval Mile’ which links Kilkenny Castle with St. Canice’s Cathedral.
The Central Access Scheme (CAS) has been opposed since 2007 by Kilkenny Archaeological Association and An Taisce. Both organisations made submissions to the oral hearing by An Bord Pleanala in 2008, as also did the Heritage Council and other professional and heritage bodies. Opposition is based not only on heritage and cultural grounds but also on national and international policies on traffic management in historic cities, the reduction of fuel use, and financial cost. The proposal runs contrary to the Smarter Travel policies that the local authorities have embraced, which should be used to deal with all the current traffic problems in the first instance.
Kilkenny County and Borough Councils have an admirable conservation record in regard to many sensitive and enlightened developments such as Rothe House, St. Mary’s Church and graveyard, the city walls, linear riverside parks and many more. The completion of the ring road on the north side of the city would be the greatest single contribution that they could make to traffic relief in the city. The existing section of the ring road, which has been in use for some years has been hugely beneficial to Kilkenny and it is difficult to envisage how we could ever have done without it. The recent campaign to give priority to the completion of the ring road is supported by residents’ associations in areas affected by heavy traffic, by users of HGVs, and by a large number of citizens as evidenced by over 3700 signatures on the community-led petition presented to the councils within the last two weeks.
It is not too late to reconsider the priorities on this issue.
Kilkenny Archaelogical Society,
Dr. Declan Murphy,
As a proud Kilkenny resident, I am totally opposed the the CAS for Kilkenny. It will ruin the lovely medieval facade of our city , create absolute havock and complete waste of public money. It would be more economical to complete the ring round around the city therefore taking the traffic out of the city that causes the current problems. The money saved could be put to use in building a modern secondary school in the eastern environs of the city which there is currently just one albeit Private School. Let alone the delays when the Archelogisists discover a treasure trove and the cost of that too. Common sense seems to have evaporated the City and county managers and councils. I implore them to think again , do they want there legacy to be , they have ruined kilkenny forever , I doubt it.
We wish to sincerely thank all the people who so generously contributed to our recent Flag Day Street collection and our Car Boot sale at the Kilkenny Bridge Centre
This could not have been accomplished without the people who very kindly gave their time in helping with the collections.
Thank you one and all.
Kilkenny/Carlow Samaritans, Dean Street, Kilkenny