KILKENNY -- Although Kilkenny culture continues to attract people into the area, it's largely because of individual initiative, not because of the efforts of the Kilkenny County Council. And that's a shame, because wonderful local amenities exist near the city of Kilkenny that should be nurtured. Local TD John McGuinness knows this and he calls for a review of the County Development Plan. The current plan is a mishmash. There appear to be no advocates. There seems to be vacuous vision at the very top. Some elected representive needs to wade in and start banging the drum. Last year, McGuinness would have taken the challenge. This year, national law forbids him from holding an elected position at the county level. So we have a pregnant pause.
Kilkenny needs vibrant tourism and an environment that cultivates business and industry. There is no overall plan that advocates both. There is a lot of clap-happy reference to high amenity areas, wooded river valleys and scenic landscapes. But you can't eat the scenery. It's time for the County Manager to acknowledge this issue and to show executive leadership. If he stays the present course, he condemns Kilkenny to a second-rate touristic status and he will marginalise Kikenny's opportunities in the minds of commercial property developers.