REPORTERS ROOM PERCHED UP A RICKETY STAIRS…
The former Kilkenny Journal offices, Patrick Street, Kilkenny, Ireland. The historic paper folded after 200 years in 1965, now we’re online in 2018!
The late Tim Donovan of St. Teresa’s Terrace, Kilkenny, originally from Clara where he is buried, was the last editor of The Kilkenny Journal. Tim was the better editor in the Kilkenny of his time. A gentleman and a good decent fellow I trained as a journalist on the paper under Tim. He would do a favour in an instant, but he could make life difficult as he was always and ever obsessed with the danger of libel. When the paper folded Tim took over the as correspondent for the Dublin papers in Kilkenny.
The other reporter on the paper was a witty lover of gardening and the opera from Thomastown, a dedicated bachelor called Jim Dockery.
The Kenealy family owned the paper. Billy Kenealy ran the print works in rolled up sleeves on the shop floor while he kept an eye on the paper that he didn’t know much about. In fact the 200 -year-old printing machinery had to be replaced and Billy took the decision to close the paper rather than invest in replacement plant. His only interest was in job printing that he carried on after the paper was gone. He was assisted by his son Brian Kenealy who was office manager.
Today the front office of the paper is a delightful antique shop , run by Maura Kenealy, as you see pictured. The big “shed” that housed the print shop itself is through that black door in the picture. The reporters room was up a rickety wooden stairs where three of us sat around an enormous table surrounded by tons of musty files.
I was the paper’s Madame Katrina making up the horoscopes. Ladies throughout Kilkenny even got married basing their decision on the ramblings of my fertile 17-year-old brain. I remember rummaging through the papers 1911 editions to copy over and update the horoscopes published therein to 1964.