KILKENNY -- A noticeably thin Kilkenny People, emaciated by the lack of real estate advertisements, sits on the shelves on New Year's Day 2004, leading with a story about Christmas shopping.
- Carmel Hayes writes "Boom follows gloom in shops." Booming sales at year's end lifted retailers' spirits, after one of the slowest trading Christmas shopping periods ever. Three things come to my mind: (1) Unlike the States, Kilkenny retailers do not offer pre-Christmas sales prices. (2) You cannot walk at a steady pace down High Street on a Kilkenny shopping day, unless you walk in High Street--an artery that should be pedestrianised. (3) Kilkenny traders need international tourists, but there's poor value for the dollar in Europe at the moment. Likewise, you will get 30% more for your Euro if you buy in NYC like we did a few weeks ago, so retailers in Kilkenny suffer the result.
- John Knox reports "More GAA money found" because the Kilkenny GAA Board found another EUR 7500 of money missing from ticket salers. A shortfall of EUR 25,600 was revealed a few weeks ago.
- Jim Rhatigan writes "Top golfer in love match" as he describes Gary Murphy's (Kilkenny's only professional golfer) wedding to Elaine Kelly in Termonfeckin. (You gotta love the name of the place.)
- Rhatigan also reports the death of Tom Manning in "Holiday climb turns to tragedy." Tom was hiking up Slievenamon with his 25-year old son wen he became ill.