The Kilkenny Journal

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Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 08 October 2013

Tuesday, 08 October 2013 21:14

Who will fill Big Phil Hogan's trousers?

One really happy man, that's Senator Pat O'Neill of Bennettsbridge in Kilkenny, as he contemplates his rosy future. For Pat looks forward to lowering his backside into Phil Hogan's seat in Dail Eireann next year or the year after, whenever Fine Gael announces the by-election after Hogan has departed to Brussels as Ireland's next commissioner.  

Senator Pat's dreams are good  and of the good life and he's a nice fellow and would deserve all such nice and lovely prospects BUT, and there is always that BUT that intervenes in life, there are others that think they might fit Phil Hogan's trousers better.
Pat O'Neill loves to think of himself as ,and puts it about that he is, Phil Hogan's best friend. However there is usually no man closer to a TD than his chosen election agent. And that man is Councillor Paul Cuddihy. Paul was Phil's neighbour for years and comes of the powerful and wealthy Cuddihy doctor family in Kilkenny.

Paul is a liberal who first entered Fine Gael tempted by the Declan Costello Just Society programme. Paul is in the tradition of Garret Fitzgerald. He has a good following amongst Young Fine Gael not just locally but even nationally. But most important of all Paul Cuddihy is popular across all party lines in Kilkenny.

Senator Pat is hardly known, let alone voted for , in Kilkenny City. He has never gone for election in the city. Pat is the doyen of the big farmers. They don't at all have as much clout as they used to and thank God for that.

Paul Cuddihy, on the other hand, would be at home at a trade union meeting, in fact he is a member of a union, ASTI, the secondary teacher's union.  Paul is of the type that forms the backbone of the big parties , Fianna Fail and Fine Gael today. If anything Paul could be criticised for being too leftist for Fine Gael - but that's exactly what the party wants in its TDs today! Paul has stood for a woman's right to choose for years, even before the Labour Party did!

Admittedly Paul and I are good friends , though a sister of mine and her husband are such friends and neighbours of Pat O'Neill that they virtually share each others' houses in the Bridge. They wine and dine together in each others' homes and they mind one another's children, and my brother-in-law is shocked and disappointed to hear that anybody could even think of contesting the nomination and taking away his rightful inheritance from the Senator, and that's how they see it  - especially as the bold Pat had assured him he had it sewn up, being Phil Hogan's best friend.

There are more than Paul Cuddihy who would welcome that nomination in Fine Gael . Martin Brett, for instance, and it's arguable that the semi-permanent Mayor of Kilkenny would beat Pat O'Neill and Paul Cuddihy together in any election.
Martin is a widower over several years now with his children grown and he finds it hard going, like anybody today, to pay for and educate them all now that he is on his own.  He could do at long last with a good earner from the Party having slurped out of the local authority trough for too long - and now that's gone, his Mayor's job is gone as it stands next May.
Senator Pat and Paul tend to look on Martin as Fine Gael's best foot soldier on the streets of the city and so he is. They tend to look on him like commissioned officers look on corporals and sergeants in the Army, great to get the job done but not exactly at their level, if you follow my gist.  Martin would look on it that Pat and Paul have enough of the pie and it's about time that he, the Sergeant-Major, was now given a real chance after all his years of unstinting loyal service to the Party.
And he's a great friend of Phil Hogan too -even if Big Phil's trousers would be ten times too big for him. It is men like Martin Brett who have put Fine Gael where it is , it is men like Martin who now want their just share of the electoral pie. That is always a trend in any successful political party like Fine Gael.  
So Senator Pat would want to pause and think before he selects another pair of Phil's trousers to try and fit on. Knowing Paul Cuddihy he would even be inclined to give Martin the nod, admitting he's earned his turn in the Dail. But there would be the Mother of All Battles from Senator Pat - which will leave Paul Cuddihy as the compromise candidate at the end of the day.
And if anybody can fit into Big Phil's trousers it's the equally large Paul Cuddihy:-) 

Published in Politics

What the various buildings in the proposed Abbey Creative Quarter will look like is not yet decided. Examples published from Monday’s presentation are just an indication. They are only an artist's impression.

Some councillors have expressed concerns that the buildings depicted looked ‘blocky’ or generic, while Cllr Sean O’ hArgain said nobody wanted buildings that were a medieval pastiche either.

County manager Joe Crockett states that the drawings are a rough sketch and not necessarily what they will look like eventually. Architects have not drawn plans for any specific buildings yet.

The buildings are to look out onto a public park and set 80 metres back from the river, with the riverside constructions no higher than four storeys.
What was achieved at McDonagh Junction is unique with the existing buildings incorporated into the centre beautifully and we think that this should be done with the old brewery buildings incorporated into the new site as well.

Published in News
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 01:35

Kilkennyman beat the Russian chess masters!

We are indebted to that genial Kilkenny genius, Jim Hayes, for this fabulous story, investigation and report. Jim puts forward his own well researched theory as to who James Mason really was. Will we ever find out? But it goes to show the level of genius amongst the ordinary folk of Kilkenny, then and on

Published in Sport

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