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Golf: A good walk spoiled?

by Jimmy Rhatigan

A CYNIC once said, or is alleged to have opined that golf was a good walk spoiled.

Most will probably disagree with the sentiment.

Whether or not American writer Mark Twain, real name Samuel Langhorne  Clemens, were he still alive today, would confirm that he did in fact utter the controversial words, no one will ever know.

We doubt if the scribe gave the thumbs down to golf.

But, whether or not he did, the topic can make for good pub banter among friends as they swallow their second or third pints of Guinness.

Anyway, we can guarantee readers of Kilkenny Press that should they decide to amble on Woodstock Loop Walk on the banks of the green, grassy slopes of the River Nore as it meets the tide at Inistioge, they will garner fond memories.

Ace photographer Donal Foley and his trusty Sony Camera took to the waters and the wild as they retraced the steps of generations.

The inseparables were on the ball and there wasn’t a mention of the word golf.

The nearby shell of the nearby and one-time elegant Woodstock House and its elegant surrounds are almost as graceful as the unofficial high king of Inistioge, hurling supremo Eddie Keher who scored goals and points for fun for his beloved Kilkenny.


Donal delighted in his rustic ramble and he sent us  Kilkenny Press pictures to share with readers.

The leisurely stroll could be aptly described as a journey back in time; a present day pleasantry too in the company of horses and dogs and families of smaller creatures to which the vast and so picturesque countryside is home, sweet home.

Many must ponder on what the future holds for the little bit of Heaven that the Man Above bequeathed to Mother Earth.

The stories are myriad. The tale of Woodstock Ice House has to be fascinating. 

Who lived at Woodstock over the years? 

What role did its inhabitants and indeed its visitors from the envied but not always admirable visiting aristocracy play in the local community?

The peace and tranquility of the area are inspiring. Horses graze, minding their own business, oblivious to the presence of those who love the great outdoors.

Local delights are wrapped in a sandwich of delicious tales of other times and a curious present day mystique that most know is there but cannot find words to describe.

For a man and his dog to explore together has to be an enjoyable experience.


Donal Foley gets a real kick out of photographing all that is best of Mother Nature, flora, fauna and perhaps two-legged soul mates who may also have strayed into friendly terrain.

As man and dog headed home to the Hugginstown area the local horses were still enjoying a late lunch, caring not a hoot how their first cousins were faring at Ascot, Cheltenham or Gowran Park.

There are horses for courses and the Woodstock warriors priority is to live life at a leisurely pace on their own doorstep.

Donal was happy that his possible collage of pictures would impress readers of Kilkenny Press.

His loyal friend, eight-year old Terrier Ben  was yelping for joy, content that he was heading to his kennel for a bowl of his favourite nuts.

But he was perhaps looking forward to a return visit to what is one of his favourite stomping grounds.

A luncheon date with Bugs Bunny maybe?

Ben loves rabbit in the rough.

Whatever Mark Twain might have said, there is little doubt that if ????? could scribble a few words he would rate the culinary delight ahead of any ball game.

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