01 Oct 2022

My Kilkenny Life: Dervilia Coogan

Originally from Castlecomer, Dervilia now lives and works in Vancouver where she is a model signed to John Casablancas International Modelling Agency.

My Kilkenny Life: Dervilia Coogan

Dervilia Coogan

What’s your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Kilkenny?
The weekend provides time to unwind after a hectic week, so I love to relax and rejuvenate before Monday comes calling again. The perfect weekend for me is to spend quality time with my family and partner be it simply enjoying a cup of tea in their company or going for a nice Sunday stroll in the Discovery Park. Occasionally, I will treat myself to a day at the Lyrath Estate Spa, the total relaxing treat.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Kilkenny in your lifetime - and why?
I feel the greatest contributor to Kilkenny in my lifetime would be the late Pat Moore, who was the life and soul of Kilkenny city. He embodied the essence of Kilkenny, the place he lived and worked his whole life. His contributions to the city were numerous from coaching youth soccer to capturing the special moments in the lives of the Kilkenny people. Pat was also an advocate for animal welfare, he showed his passion through the many stray cats that he rescued over the years.

What’s your first Kilkenny memory?
My very first memory of Kilkenny is my time spent in the Castle Park as a child with my family. The wonderful playground where my brothers and sisters and I would play for hours on end. Feeding the ducks at the wildlife sanctuary was always the highlight of my day.

What’s your favourite part of the county - and why?
I may be biased but I would have to say my hometown in Castlecomer. Home is where the heart is; I have so many fond memories of growing up in the countryside especially going for long walks in the Discovery Park with my grandparents.

What do you think gives Kilkenny its unique identity?
Kilkenny has great character. What stands out to me would be the backdrop of the castle against the River Nore; where I have often taken part in the Nore swim and lifeguarded the Kilkenny triathlons. Kilkenny itself has the amenities of a city whilst having the spirt of a town with its quirky little shops and friendly people.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
I don’t have a favourite Kilkenny author but I have a favourite book about Kilkenny’s history by Niamh Boyce. The book is called Her Kind and the title comes from Anne Sexton’s poem of the same name. The poem begins, “I have gone out, a possessed witch…” The book is focused around Alice Kyteler; a woman who lived in Kilkenny in the early 14th Century.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the county today?
I believe that the youth needs more clubs and activities outside of school hours not just sports as every child has their own unique way of expressing themselves. We live in such arts centred city that we should be utilising the arts more and encouraging the kids to be more creative. From my teaching background I can understand that if we nurture the kids from an early stage, we can help to shape their futures.

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Kilkenny, what would it be?
I have a passion for fashion. Although we have the quirky shops in Kilkenny which I love, I think it would also be convenient to have Zara as it sells affordable styles that we can all enjoy.

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