THE PEOPLE of Kilkenny have much to be proud of after a weekend full of sporting genius and a musical festival that would stand up to any around the globe.
This is the Cats 16th National League Title and after a wonderful win over rivals Tipperary we have much to be confident about come this Summer.
The city was also alive this weekend with The Smithwicks Roots Festival which attracted thousands of revellers to the city. The festival, has always been a firm favourite with Kilkenny folk and also draws in visitors from all over the world. The line up each year seems unsurpassable yet amazingly every year it gets better.
This year Festival Director John Cleere and his hardworking team of volunteers did a magnificient job in showcasing the best in new talent as well as welcoming back a handfuls of legends from the past.
The programme is largely made up of free gigs meaning that in these tightened times it is a festival that is open to all. Further congratulations to our local publicans who hosted many of the gigs and ensured that events ran smoothly.
Summer is upon us and with that Kilkenny will welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to our city. We can look forward to an exciting line up of festivals including the Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, the International Gospel Festival and the Arts Festival which celebrates it’s 40th birthday this August. There are also numerous smaller festivals taking place around the county over the coming months including the Inistioge Family Festival which takes place over the June Bank Holiday weekend and the Graignamanagh and Tinnahinch Regatta and Rowing Festival which sees the River Barrow come to life.
These festivals, which set us apart nationally as one of the country’s cultural hubs are also great opportunities for communities to come together and for neighbours to meet each other. It is in all our interests to support these festivals as not only do they provide great entertainment and generate millions for our local economy but they also are instrumental in ensuring repeat visitors into our city and county. We are heavily reliant on tourism and we should do all in our power to ensure that Kilkenny continues to stand apart in a league of it’s own when it comes to providing top quality entertainment.
John Cleere and his team did that last weekend as did Michael Dempsey and Martin Fogarty with the hurlers last Sunday and we have reason to be proud. Long may it continue.