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Caught With Pants Down As Smithwick’s Scram

by Jimmy Rhatigan

Those tasked with doing their utmost to encourage progress in our city should be proactive rather than reactive.
Obviously they are not.
Those of us looking on or listening from a distance could hardly be faulted for believing that our public representatives and their allies in trade and commerce were caught with their pants’ down.
But as soon as word broke that the Parliament Street Smithwick’s Experience was decamping the whinge machine went into full throttle.
As usual, journalist Eimear Ní Bhraonáin did a very good job of interviewing politicians from all levels on her morning show on KCLR today, Friday.
The mood was oh god that can’t happen, call a meeting, form a committee, write to the Pope.
Reality was that Diageo had pulled the plug on our city’s second biggest tourist attraction which, like all other local businesses had been suffering since March of last year because of Covid-19.
Fallacy was a kind of how dare you to the Guinness bosses and the consensus was that a meeting of local go-getters should be called.
Come back to stay negotiators would include the usual suspects, county council, tourism council and every Tom, Dick and Harry that sits on a committee or is considering forming one.
Sadly, the good horse Smithwick’s Experience has bolted.
Someone left the stable door open and off he trotted to team up with his fellow Grand National hopefuls at St James’s Gate.

If any round table talk-in is agreed with Diageo and the horse is brought back to base then we will be the first to clap our fellow Kilkenny citizens what we will be happy to call their Herculean efforts.
But we are doubting Thomases, jittery Jimmys even and we don’t expect any U-Turn.
That will be a pity, a real shame as our city deserves better and the staff members at what was a very well-run experience are also among the hurt.
It was nice of Minister Malcolm Noonan, in his interview with Eimear to remember that the staff will pay a price.
Very thoughtful perhaps, but then we remembered that our local Green is a member of a Government Party that has treated Debenhams employees and many other workers quite shoddily..
And you can bet your bottom dollar, euro even, that the Government will come up with plenty of bluster about the ESB technicians dispute with ESB Networks.
It will then drop the circa 500 technicians into the manure, certainly not championing the underdogs in what some have described in a war of union-busting.
Reactive and full of bluster was certainly the mindset of some of our high chiefs.
Perhaps we can offer a wee excuse for some of them by saying they lack experience.
Sadly, that may never again be a Smithwick’s Experience.


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