Tuesday, September 26, 2006

On the Trail

Out on the leaflet drop tonight with a good team including Michael O' Brien, our candidate in Kilkenny for the General election, his son Shane, neighbour Mary and the irrepressible Gary Lynch, one of my 'Main Men' from the canvass team. One encounter with a very irate parent of a heroin addict, complaining about the lack of a drug treatment centre and a methadone clinic in the city. Interestingly, this was the topic of Prime Time on RTÉ tonight along with Bertie's tearful performance on RTÉ. Here's a pic of Gary with Pat. Gary says one of them is the conscience of the Irish Labour Party. Modest as ever Gar!

By the way, you can watch the full interview with Bertie Ahern here and make up your own mind. I personally think he has major questions to answer. After all Ivor Callelly had to walk because he failed to pay a [painter for work done in his house. We can all feel sympathy for Bertie's break-up, but why is it that he had managed to get a loan to pay these costs, but still needed another one from his friends to repay this loan. One thing is sure. I'm buying a pair of waterproof shoes. I think we'll be knocking on doors pretty soon!

Well done to Rossport people on their bravery

Comhgáirdeachas do mhuintir Ros Dúch ar an seasamh a thugadar ar maidin. Well done to the people of Rossport who bravely stopped Shell and its agents beginning work on the unnecessary onshore Bealnaboy gas 'refinery' this morning. Interestingly I met a Rossport bus driver at the weekend in Kildare, another Corduff whose first name escapes me. He reiterated the support of the people of the area for the campaign and predicted the outcome this morning. I was delighted to be present when Pat Rabitte presented Vincent McGrath with the Labour Party's Jim Kemmy Justice award in Kilkenny at the Tom Johnson award (Blog coming soon folks I promise). Meanwhile best of luck to the Rossport people on their struggle. Here's a pic of Vincent and myself after the award presentation.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Arts Week Catch-Up

With many apologies to those whose pics I took and those I met during Arts Festival in Kilkenny, here are some of the pics I took with visitors and locals alike as Deputy Mayor.First off here's one of the incredible Ms. Bunty Pike from Dublin, who was with relatives from Phoenix Arizona, I believe. Bunty, who is a sprightly 91 year old is Mum of Andy, the Camphill based designer of the River Parade, which included many of Camphill's residents. To find out more about Camphill's wonderful work, visit their website here.

Just down the street was my neighbour from Waterville, Co. Kerry, Adrian O' Shea, who was visiting for the festival, along with his two blonde sons, like father ..... Adrian and myself grew up across a field from each other after he returned with England with his Dad Naoise, one of our local doctors, and his Mum Anne who became a leading light in our local Tidy Towns committee. I was delighted to suggest the dedication of a new community playground in the village to Anne's memory, and five years after we started the project, it was finally opened at Easter this year. Adrian's wife Liz has stropng Kilkenny connections with the Burke and Hindle families, including with my predecessor as Deputy Mayor and a great Mayor recently, Betty Manning.

On the same day, I met the superb local artist Alan Counihan who lives in Johnswell, and had an amazing exhibition in Rudolf Hetzel's gallery on Patrick Street. Alan makes the most amazing sculpture pieces using feathers and such ordinary things as bird skeletons. As a beachside dweller for most of my life, I could never have imagined these avian remains turning into Viking longships and other wonderful things. An example of Alan's work is shown here, although he also had some interesting sculpture pieces focussing on the loss of the Irish language. alan_counihan

I also met with Alan's former Irish teacher, Michael O' Sullivan, who was one of the special guests at the opening along with his family. I've now finally found the names folks, and here you see Michael, Dervla and Eileen O' Sullivan with Alan in the August sunshine.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Who let the Cats Out- Yahoo!!!

What a day- what a win, and so far what a year. Mar, the kids and I have had the luck this year of being in Cardiff to see glorious Munster grab the Heineken cup in one of Ireland's greatest sporting moments. Yesterday was another as the cats demolished the rebels all over the pitch. What a great day to be an adopted Kilkenny citizen. Roll on tonight when we get to celebrate with the team in the Market Yard. Major congrats to my felllow club members Jackie Tyrell as outstanding captain, to Eoin Larkin, and to Brian Cody, the magic manager. Also to Eoin McCormack and Donncha Cody who didn't make it yesterday but did so much to bring Liam back Noreside. Looking forward to a great night in Larchfield. Please get along also to the Goal challenge between the Cats and the Village on Wednesday night at 6.30 pm in Nowlan Park in aid of my favourite charity, Goal, led by that raucous Kerryman John 'O Shea.