LIGHTS ON, LONELY THOLSEL NIGHTS – The Mayoralty of Mick Doyle. by Ross Nichols

His Worship, the Mayor of Kilkenny Michael Doyle had lights on in the Town Hall almost every night when he was Mayor – but with little going on inside and hardly anybody there.  His pal Cllr. Patrick O’Neill was much the same, all lights but no action!

They were desperately trying to emulate Andrew McGuinness in his year as mayor, but Mick Doyle looked a right fool trying to emulate the young master. For Andrew McGuinness is a born entertainer, rock guitarist , a fellow that could give Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley a run for their money . Everybody flocked to the town hall the year Andrew was mayor, you couldn’t get in nights,it was chock a block with Andrew as the Pied Piper of Kilkenny.

Poor Michael Doyle looked a real lost cause in the big red robe that trailed along the ground after him like a bridal gown train, he was lost in it , he was lost in the job, a little man amid the city lights but unable to match up to Andrew who truly , it has to be admitted, was majestic in his year in the town hall, running a glittering showbiz – type mayoralty All that was missing was the cigar.

But socially they’re miles apart too.  Andrew is the son of one of the best-known politicians in the country, a millionaire to boot  – Michael Doyle is just an ordinary little fellow in comparison, in fact he’s no great shakes in the Fine Gael party either – they’re all much wealthier and more powerful than the pocket-sized Inistioge man who seemed lost in even a small city like Kilkenny. That Kilkenny East-Kilkenny West experiment of Hogan’s was a disaster , not only for Kilkenny but for several of those who partook in it such as Michael Doyle.

It’s easy seen how Mickie Doyle is much more suited to the quietude of the Gowran nursing home where he’s a care assistant and to village life he thrives in  after his low visibility year as Mayor that he had to somehow try and serve out as part of the mayoral pact between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael –  and Mick Doyle, though a lovely fellow looked truly  like a casualty of that system betimes.

Not so Patrick O’Neill, he bore the confidence and grace of the moneyed classes, the Fine Gael  ranks that provide the Army officers of Irish society, though Mick Doyle  was a still a step up in society after we had somehow scraped through the mayoralty of G.I. Joe, a sad time when civilization hit rock bottom in a city that had at least maintained its petit  bourgeois values throughout to the recent millennium , particularly in the staid surroundings of the ascendancy built Tholsel.


A few souls might wander in and out of  the Town Hall of a night and Mick Doyle’s hour was done and he could drive the lonely road home.  We had a step up last June with a bank manager no less for mayor, or so we thought. So far Mayor Peter Doyle has proven even more disastrous than G.I. Joe, who at least was enough of a cute hoor to spot a massive lie swinging his way, such  as that gem about all the racism in Kilkenny that the “Chap” swallowed that fateful morning of the drunken encounter with the Rose in the rat-infested John Street chipper –  my God how could a bank manager have ever fallen for such a cracker of a lie.

These young wans can truly be dangerous with D’Arcy and Tubridy  falling for her too along with the Sun, Moon and Stars of the Dublin media.

It’s as well the years of the rural mayors are over,  may we never look upon their like  in Kilkenny again. As for Mickie Doyle of the Rower he’ll never make a powerful mayor, let alone an effective councillor,  because like the rest of them he’s taken a vow of silence and like them he’ll never open his mouth to say anything meaningful – and certainly not anything  important. But he’s a decent little man who I’d say is wonderful to the residents of the Abbey Nursing home in Gowran.

The best mayor Kilkenny ever had was Mick McGuinness, seven times sovereign of our marble city –  I was proud to be his friend. You couldn’t shut the bould Mick up, he gave it all straight from the shoulder, he shot from the hip– and now we have another son of Mick’s going for election to city hall, another McGuinness they’ll never shut up or swear to silence either.

On the other hand Mick Doyle makes a good community man for the parish below in the Rower and most people in the city would prefer if you would make the most use of him there. You can’t blame the people of the city, with these rural mayors we have had a really low quality period of governance over the past four years here in the city and nobody here ever wants to see such a poor time in local administration here  ever  again.

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