The local media, as well as every politician in Kilkenny, knew since last year that Peter “chap” Cleere would be “elected” Mayor of Kilkenny yesterday , that’s the farce that the annual mayoral election has now become.
Two councillors, the green party’s Malcolm Noonan and co-opted Sinn Fein councillor Sean Tyrrell, didn’t even bother to attend the annual meeting to “elect” the mayor yesterday.
Only one man from the city attended in the public gallery, while the chamber was packed with Mayor Cleere’s extended family.
The set-up is not the new mayor’s fault and we wish him well for his last year in office.
Continue reading “THE MOST BORINGLY BORING CITY COUNCIL MEETING IN HISTORY. Peter “chap” Cleere of the rural Skeoghvosteen area of county Kilkenny was elected unopposed under the electoral pact between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail as Mayor of Kilkenny city this afternoon. It was so incredibly boring that a member of the press, journalist Michael McGrath of The Kilkenny Journal covering the meeting, left halfway through the meeting as the new deputy mayor, former Army private “G.I” Joe Malone started to speak. There was an attendance of only one man, Jack Kavanagh, from Kilkenny city , but all of the new mayor’s massive extended family including all the children, packed into the city hall council chamber from Skeough and Graiguenamanagh out in the county. It wasn’t the fault of the new mayor. He’s the local bank manager of the bank of Ireland and a former Kilkenny hurler which basically got him elected in the first place. The only other city person attending the mayoral election was local Dail deputy John McGuinness in a return to City Hall after an absence that has stretched many years. John was obviously there canvassing the huge Graiguenamanagh contingent for the upcoming general election. Usually he stays miles away from the Kilkenny local authorities. Kilkenny County Council Chief Executive Officer Coletete Byrne attended the meeting in her official capacity but she never said a single word at all. It is getting to the point that something drastic will have to be done to entice some citizens of Kilkenny city back to City Hall, but it’s far too boring of a Council right now for that to happen anytime soon. Photos: Peter “Chap” Cleere, the new Mayor of Kilkenny City, Ireland, for 2018-2019 . Also Kilkenny city hall at the Tholsel, High Street, Kilkenny city, Ireland.”
Overall number of councillors will remain the same at 24
Incumbent Mayor Michael Doyle will hand over the chain of office
How big a problem is radicalisation in Ireland? That’s something mosques disagree on. The number of people who have radical or extreme Islamic views here varies from a handful to over 100, depending on who you ask. Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, an imam based in Blanchardstown and the chair of the Irish Muslim Peace & […]
“The old ledger I’m holding in my hand contains the forgotten names of the Irishwomen who marched in Kilkenny on Lá na mBan 1918 in protest against conscription”
The mottled green and red ledger has faded to brown around the edges over the last hundred years. More than half the pages contain records of milk sales from the Danville Dairy outside Kilkenny city, neatly and painstakingly recorded in columns over the decades.
But the first 32 pages tell a different story, a story of women rising and taking their place in Irish political life. The old ledger I’m holding in my hand contains the forgotten names of the Irishwomen who marched in my home city of Kilkenny on Lá na mBan 1918, in protest against conscription.
With Britain desperate for troops by the spring of 1918, the House of Commons passed the Military Services Bill in April. The commander in chief of the home forces, Lord French, was determined to implement conscription in Ireland. But the campaign against it united the Irish Parliamentary Party, Sinn Féin, the church, the trade unions, and, significantly, women’s organisations, particularly Cumann na mBan. Lá na mBan was the culmination of their campaign, with marches nationwide on June 9th.
Eibhlín ní Chróinín, Sráid Ard, is the fourth signatory. She was from the West Cork Gaeltacht and had come to Kilkenny to teach Irish, probably at the request of the Gaelic League. As she spoke no English, the story goes that a piece of the tweed she would be wearing was sent in advance so that there would be no mistaking her. She was one of 1,015 women who signed the pledge at the Tholsel, or town hall, after the march.
“Because the enforcement of conscription on any people without their consent is tyranny we are resolved to resist the conscription of Irishmen”, it reads, in both English and Irish.
“We will not fill the places of men deprived of their work through refusing the enforcement of military service.”
Brennans and Bollards, Dowlings and Dunnes, the surnames in the ledger are a snapshot of Kilkenny life 100 years ago
The Kilkenny Journal reported on the march in an approving, if slightly patronising tone the following week, describing it as “an eloquent manifestation of the women of Kilkenny and their determination to cooperate with the manhood in their resistance to the infamous conscription proposals”.
It particularly congratulated Cumann na mBan on the smooth organisation of the event, remarking that “they carried out their work in a manner that left no room for adverse comment by even the most captious critic”.
Brennans and Bollards, Dowlings and Dunnes, the surnames in the ledger are a snapshot of Kilkenny life one hundred years ago.
They include many prominent nationalist families such as the De Loughrys and the Treacys. Orla Murphy’s grandmother Elizabeth was married to Tom Treacy, who was captain of the Irish Volunteers in Kilkenny and had been interned after the Rising. At the time of the march he was on the run, after many prominent Sinn Féin members were arrested as part of the so-called “German Plot”, a conspiracy alleged by the British authorities.
“Looking back on it, they were very strong and resilient women,” says Murphy. “My grandmother wasn’t a member of Cumann na mBan herself, but I think she made a great contribution, because she was the rock of the family and the one earning a living while he was away”.
Elizabeth was a milliner who had previously worked in the Monster House, a famous Kilkenny department store, and set up her own business with her husband when he lost his job after internment. Some of her best customers were the wives of British army officers stationed at Kilkenny Barracks. Milliners and draper’s assistants were very much involved in the march, with the Kilkenny Journal noting the role of their trade union and others in its organisation. Nuns from the Loreto convent, including Sisters Syncletica, Thaddeus and Honoria also signed their names, as did three members of the Stallard family from Danville House, where the ledger was eventually discovered.
Widespread opposition meant that conscription was never enforced in Ireland, and the campaign against it helped to strengthen Sinn Féin
For Ann Tierney, one of volunteer librarians at Kilkenny Archaeological Society, it’s a fascinating treasure and a valuable record. “I think this was probably the first big non-religious public expression by women as a group in this city, and that is something to celebrate”.
Widespread opposition meant that conscription was never enforced in Ireland, and the campaign against it helped to strengthen Sinn Féin, leading to sweeping political changes in the 1918 general election, in which some of the women who signed the pledge on Lá na mBan finally got to vote.
The Kilkenny Archaeological Society is tracing the signatories, using the 1911 census and other local records, and is encouraging their relatives to come forward to tell or research their stories. The ledger will be on view at a launch of the project at Rothe House on Thursday, June 7th, at 8pm.
Now that Finn McSpool gave Bloglandia a rundown of some of his favorite parts of our trip to his homeland, it’s time to start delving into a series of trip reports about all the sights he saw in Ireland, the activities he undertook, and the “situations” he is famous for getting into (and out of, […]
This is all a matter of serious worry by 1308 Kilkenny residents of the area around the Nowlan Park GAA ground in such areas as Assumption Place, Bishop Birch Place, Lakeside, Hebron Road, Ossory Park etc as they now further await a decision that will affect adversely their everyday lives in their everyday homes.
Not a single councillor or TD as stood up for them, this is indicative of the fear-driven politics of modern Ireland where councillors and TDs duck and dive away from the serious issues facing the country, where political correctness rules the day to the great loss of local people such as these anxious residents of Kilkenny’s medieval city.
And there’s another side of the story. The mosque is set to tower over the new entrance road off the Dublin M9 motorway across the road from McDonalds in a contradictory grand entrance to what is billed as the medieval Norman-Irish city of Kilkenny.
Fears right across the marble city are that the mosque will detract from the theme city’s image, that it will create a credibility gap in the picture of Kilkenny that is sold to tourists all over the world and that is a big earner locally in tourism, that Kilkenny’s claim to fame as a theme Norman-Irish city could be endangered.
Others point to the prospect that Muslims could be attracted to the mosque from all over the South of Ireland with an even more disastrous effect on Ye Faire Citie’s image so carefully fostered over the years.
There is worry too that house prices could dive as a result. There are fears amongst locals that a ghetto around the mosque such as in Tottenham , London, could envelope their locality and transform all their lives for the worst forever.
There seems to be no bright side to the story except to the local Green party councillor Malcolm Noonan , who sees it as a great development in terms of diversity and multi-culturalism for Kilkenny, though his critics argue that there is plenty of both in Kilkenny right now and that he is guilty of left wing extremist globalism in the matter.
Even more sinister the chief opponent of the mosque who champions the objections of his friends and neighbours in the threatened area, Eugene McGuinness, has wronfully been slammed as a “racist” by Noonan and company. Councillor Noonan took to the national media to condemn “hatred” in his own city, he even claimed that he is ashamed to be a Kilkennyman because of the objections to the proposed mosque. Popular amongst the ladies , Noonan is backed by a couple of women journalists. He is also an accomplished writer and speaker so well able to drill all his feelings home.
Eugene McGuinness is seen as a demagogue seeking election – his brother John McGuinness is the local parliamtenary deputy and his nephew Andrew McGuinness, John’s son, a leading local councillor. Both John and Andrew were involved in a controversial public meeting that Eugene stormed and took over – Eugene is a very powerful local speaker who feels himself left out unfairly of the family’s political fortunes and now it seems that justice will be done next year when it looks like he will finally be elected to the Council to continue his late father’s legendary participation in the ancient city’s public affairs.
Deputy John McGuinness is in the thick of the action, convinced that his brother Eugene’s election campaign could unseat his own son, Councillor Andrew., though he has been careful not to disclose his own preferences in the matter. All this is playing in the background of the Mosque planning application to the local council while the local left like Cllr. Noonan has taken advantage of the issue to condemn the objectors as “haters” and “racists”.
And it’s noticeable that, like Noonan, the same people who led the Yes campaign in the recent abortion referendum are also for the mosque as they were for the gay marriage referendum. They also campaigned against the new bridge that is now proving to be a boon to local motorists and is a joy to walk and behold all the lovely vistas of the river Nore, the castle, the spires and the old mill. It’s obvious that Noonan and his lefties are ideologically driven as against the objectors who are non-political and concerned for the preservation and conservation of their neighbourhood that they feel is threatened by the huge mosque with a 70-foot high minaret set to dominate over all as it over-shadows the main city cemetery that is mainly Christian – there are masses of genuinely felt objections over this alone!
The Kilkenny Journal spoke to the Imam, a polished African gentleman, who claimed that hardly anybody would attend the projected mosque, “only about five or six regulars ” he said as he attempted to play it all down. The architect, local professional Martin Gittens, told us that the mosque must have a minaret as it’s traditional! We pointed out that Switzerland ( and now Austria) have banned minarets. We told Martin that the minaret would overlook bathrooms and bedrooms all across that part of the city, that as a result people would have no privacy – but he replied that there would be no access for anybody to the minaret tower, that in effect it would be a folly! we countered by asking Martin what he proposed to do with such a hollow minaret tower, fill it with cardboard boxes? He angrily retorted asking us not to put words in his mouth. But he is a supreme professional and a nice man.
There were no answers from any of the mosque builders when the financial side was brought up, but rather total vagueness and dismissal. We wanted to know how the estimated five million Euro to build the mosque was to be raised, and the only answer was local collections and sponsorship by wealthy local doctors. yet we couldn’t see how Kilkenny’s 700-odd Muslim community – with many here on welfare- could raise five millions.
Our researches also confirmed that the site itself could cost up to a million alone, that the developer actually owns the site and that he would hardly get so much for it from a normal everyday business purchaser. We felt that the mosque was being driven locally by money rather than religion, outside of course of the Imam and his fellows who are genuinely in love with the whole idea.
A lady put forward the eminently sensible suggestion at the meeting that the mosque would be better built at the present location of the Kilkenny Islamic Cultural Community centre on the Freshford Road , but her suggestion was totally discarded. But it was the most sensible, as many people agreed afterwards in view of all the massive traffic that the locals would have to endure and are even enduring through the week already from big matches in Nowlan Park and almost every day matches in the nearby O’Loughlin Gaels club just across the road from the proposed site of the mosque wirth all kinds of traffic congestion and disruption already suffered with match attendances up to 25,000 people and their cars. We believe that nobody has the right to inflict any further such suffering on the long suffering residents of St. John’s parish in Kilkenny.
Thus the issue has nothing to do with any type of racism or hatred whatsoever.