Jamesy the King of the Bog

Newpark in the 1960’s was isolated on the periphery of Kilkenny City. A plethora of young families settled on the newly constructed estate. This dynamic helped to change the neighbourhood into bustling community. Freedom of movement allowed youthful enthusiasms to flourish as children made their way in a relaxed, friendly and safe environment. Central to

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Silver On The Barrow

My late father Michael Butler was the lock-keeper at Upper Tinnahinch Lock, Graiguenamanagh for 52 years. My siblings Kay, Mary, Lar, Jim and I have great memories growing up in the Lock House. My special memory is when my father fished for silver eels at the Lock gate. The eel season began in autumn and

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Swimming in Thomastown

The River Nore played a big part in our lives as children in the fifties. The long summer days were spent “up the bank”. There were three swimming areas which were recognised as “safe” at that time. The favourite place for the younger people was known as “Conscience” Island to us all. (This was probably

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The Bench

I go to the bench whenever I need to think, or to plan, to draw, to write. In my memory, I’m sitting here right now. Six in the evening is the best time to come. It’s when the lighting is the best. The sun is just setting as I look across the river, I can

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Soggy Sandwiches

I have had many great memories and stories from the river as I live in the beautiful town of Graignamanagh, where the river barrow flows through. I have been swimming and kayaking in the river from a very young age, thanks to my dad. My dad, sister and I started kayaking a good few years

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The Drake

There were wild ducks on the river then, presided over by a magnificent drake. The Black Dinin River snakes down through our village tumbling over the rock face into deep pools locally known as the Sheep hole, the Horse hole and Harry’s pocket. Harry’s pocket was our favourite haunt. Two large rock boulders divided the

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The Gap

My Father, the Fisherman I can still see him standing at The Gap, a local fishing spot in Thomastown, casting his line into the surging water – a man who loved the river bank and who’d spend hours waiting for the salmon to bite. Many times I was there when a tug would come on

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The Historic River Nore

The author recollects the river Nore at John’s Quay, Kilkenny, over fifty years ago – the fishing for eel (now a conserved species), and brown trout, the brickeens brought home in bucketfuls, tadpoles in April, working artists by the waterside, pleasure boats in summer, the occasional otter, quayside houses flooded as winter rains blew in.

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The Peilistude

The village was small but served the hinterland well and it had a lovely bridge where you crossed the water and it was here that I grew up in a house that sat to the village side of the river, a beautiful source of fresh water for our farm. This place was alive with wild

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The River Nore

The Nore Swim always proves to be a highlight in my summer calendar. It is organised by the Kilkenny branch of Water Safety Ireland. Various local charitable organisations benefit from the donation of the registration fee. In 2019, the Nore Dragon Paddlers Womens Breast Cancer Survivors Team was the worthy recipient. My cousin paddles with

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The Peilistude

The village was small but served the hinterland well and it had a lovely bridge where you crossed the water and it was here that I grew up in a house that sat to the village side of the river, a beautiful source of fresh water for our farm. This place was alive with wild

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