The Kilkenny Journal

Tuesday, 26th September 2017
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Thursday, 13 July 2017 19:38


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"Kells was, Kilkenny is, Callan will be! " - ancient prophecy.

A Kilkennyman shows what Callan can be...


Councillor Sean Tyrrell here reports on his project to clear, tidy and beautify the Kings River through Callan. 
He also presents photos of his projects for the Fair Green Restoration in Callan...

Meanwhile his city constituents continue to search for him around the city - now you know where he is these days, folks!

Sean says he is a Callan man at heart. He has grown to love the west Kilkenny town through reading back along the famous newspaper column, "A Callan Man Looks Back" by Peter Ruadhan ( who lodged in Jim Rhatigan's house in Fatima Place long ago when he wrote for the Kilkenny People) in Rothe House museum, as well as that unputdownable book on an amazing chapter in Callan's history, "The Big Chapel" by Thomas Kilroy.

Photos include models depicting what Sean has in mind for the Fair Green in Callan.

The Callan Kings River Committee led by Chairperson, Orla Mullally, and Secretary, Cllr. Sean Tyrrell, has submitted a detailed and extensive application for funding for the Restoration of the town's Kings River.

The application has been made under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.The people of Callan want to see their River restored so that once again it presents a scenic "postcard view" from the Bridge which links Upper and Lower Bridge Streets. Presently, the deplorable condition and appearance of the river is one of the chief topics of conversation among the town's people.

The River Restoration Campaign commenced prior to Christmas when on 5 December, 2016 Callan/Kilkenny City West's newest Councillor, Sean Tyrrell, organized a public meeting for the locals of Callan and the surrounding area in response to the many requests from the people.

A notice of the meeting was circulated to all the residents of the town and the standing room only meeting elected a Committee to pursue the matter for them and to keep them informed.
"The people told me how the River used to look against the backdrop of the Abbey Meadow and Motte and the once active Pitch and Putt course on the Abbey Meadow grounds. Many remembered swimming and /or fishing in it and others told of ducks and swans on the river. All of the Community want to see it restored as regrettably it has become an extremely neglected, overgrown and abandoned area.

Silt islands have developed which clog the flow of the river and are filled with an overgrowth of grasses, rushes and weeds which make the bank of the river indistinguishable. The elimination of these would not only enhance the appearance of the River but would reduce the instances of flooding," said Sean.

Cllr. Sean Tyrrell formulated a Motion about restoring the River which he presented and spoke on at the January Meeting of Kilkenny County Council. The Motion was accepted by all the Councillors in attendance at the meeting and this was followed up with a very positive meeting of the Committee with Mr. Simon Walton.

The local Councillor said, "Council officials and staff were all very helpful and supportive of us in the preparation and submission of our documentation under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. We are very grateful for their valuable help and expertise. I also want to thank our Chairperson, Orla Mullally, and all the members of the Committee for their time and work on advancing this project. As everyone will appreciate, the submission had to be detailed and involved considerable work."

Sean Tyrrell believes, as do all in Callan, that it is most unfair to the Town to leave the River in such a state. It has been pointed out that the appearance of the Kings River would not be tolerated in any other town of the County and indeed if you looked over John's Bridge in Kilkenny City and saw what the people of Callan see when they look over their bridge there would be an emergency meeting of the County Council as it would not be tolerated since it would bring about a decline of the vital tourist industry in the City. Sean Tyrrell says," the people of Callan deserve no less than any of the other communities."

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme commenced with a first round initial submission that saw 25 projects being submitted in the County. This was then reduced to a short list of 15. The Kings River Project is one of the final fifteen from Kilkenny.

"We understand we are the only project coming from the Callan/Kilkenny City West area so we remain hopeful", said Sean Tyrrell. He also went on to say "this is a project which must be pursued until it is resolved to the satisfaction of the people of Callan and surrounds. It would do so much for the appearance, economy and tourist potential of the Town. The people of Callan deserve this and they deserve the support of everyone in their endeavors."

Every year the local community hold a 10 day long festival of events to celebrate Callan's cultural and community life. The festival is known as the Abhainn Ri Festival which translates into English as Kings River. It certainly makes sense that the subject of the celebration (Kings River) is itself in a suitable state of repair, visual appearance and accessibility for these celebrations.

And when Sean is finished beautifying The Kings River and doing up the Fair Green in Callan, he might come in here and have a look at my back garden, if he wants my vote - The editor (hopefully).

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