The Kilkenny Journal

Thursday, 17th August 2017
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Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 03:07


Flying Foxes to visit the Black Cats in city

15 Mar 2016

Flying Foxes to visit the Black Cats in city

With just eight matches to go, Leicester City look like they might  winn the English Premiership for the first time in their history. That's if The mighty Hotspurs , beloved by Kilkenny soccer icon Jim Rhatigan, do not overhaul them . 

The city and county is twinned with Kilkenny ,  this happened back in 1987 and there are still strong links between both communities with regular trips

With  with no less a character than Sir Alex Ferguson predicting they will win the title with ease, the club known as “The Foxes” have received an official invite to visit “The Cats”. However Kilkenny soccer supremo Jimmy Rhatigan has other ideas...

The Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh (FG) has issued an invitation to the club to visit Kilkenny and to receive a civic reception.

“It doesn't matter if they don't win the premiership because what Claudio Ranieri has achieved is remarkable and whatever happens they will play European Champions League football next season,” she said.

She has officially written to the chairman of the club, Mr Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha asking him to pick a suitable date.

The twinning was organised by Thomastown man, Martin Ryan who was the chairman of Leicester county council at the same time as another Thomastown man, Michael O'Brien,  was chairman of Kilkenny County Council. Both men represented the Labour party.

Mr Ryan was an extraordinary person. He left home in his early teens and worked in the Scottish coalfield before moving to Leicester in 1947.

He worked in the Desford Colliery for 14 years before being elected as an official of the National Union of Miners.

He later became president of the Leicestershire National Union of Miners.

He was chairman of the Leicester South Labour Party in the 1970s and was elected to the County Council in 1974. He died from a brain haemorrhage after being taken ill at a Labour Party meeting in 1997.


Pat Byrne

Former Leicester city soccer player, Pat Byrne, later managed Kilkenny City to promotion to the Premier Division.
However , if he has his way , Kilkenny Reporter editor and one-time Buckley Park supremo Jim Rhatigan, will do all he can to stop them in favour of his beloved Spurs who he has followed faithfully since the 1960's. 

Leicester Cathedral has another link with Kilkenny - 


Kilkenny marble was used for the plinth of the tomb of Richard III recently re-buried after centuries in Leicester Cathedral. The Kilkenny Journal was first with that story during the year. 


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