- 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.
Eight other teasers earn front page placement.
- "Reddy for a fight." Sheffield is trying to hold onto former Kilkenny City striker Michael Reddy.
- "Arafat honours our Mick." Yasser Arafat prresented the Order of Bethlehem 2000 to Kilkenny man Mick Lanigan.
- "Hunting the wren." Three locals are caught in the Crossbar Pub in Callan on the Wren Saint Stephen's Day.
- "Cold snap." Ice and rain made local roads letahl. I slipped down my driveway on the morning.
- "Radio silence." Radio Kilkenny signs off at midnight tonight.
- "Builders slam plan." Kilkenny's Draft Area Plan leaves many questions unanswered, a builders' organisation has claimed.
- "Drink drive arrests down." The number of pre-Christmas drink driving arrests in Kilkenny fell compared with the same period last year.
- "Bald win." Gowran athlete Mick Kelly was an impressive winner of the Baldy Man five mile beach run in Tramore.
The "Comment" page features more inches devoted to letters to the editor than editorial comment. The longest letter is about "GAA andd oil" in which a Green Party member expresses displeasure at the amount of sponsorship the GAA gets from oil companies. The longest editorial concerns the closing of Radio Kilkenny.
Three illustrations from Tomm Moore accompany the article "Graignamanagh kicks off year of celebrations with candlelight." The New Year's Day parade starts at sunset (4:30 PM) along the River Barrow. It moves slowly through the streets and ends at the beautiful Cisterian Abbey.
Josephine Gräfin Plettenberg's column urges tolerance for diversity. It's an uphill challenge because a systemic intolerance exists in parts of Ireland, occasionally reinforced by racist sentiments. Extracts from The Kilkenny People, 2 Jan 04.
Extracts from The Kilkenny People, 2 Jan 04.