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Kilkenny’s Kells: Ball Of Malt And Blazing Fire

by Jimmy Rhatigan

Pics by Donal Foley

The progressive people of Kells Village in Kilkenny live in a delightful world.
Travel back in time with the local community and your trip down memory lane and your journey back centuries is sure to be sensational and extraordinarily intriguing.
But while the region has a proud tradition centred on its brilliant Kells Augustinian Priory of centuries ago, it also has a passionate and ambitious eye on the future.
A talk about Kells of other days, in front of a blazing winter fire and with a ball of malt in one hand could be loosely described as Heaven on Earth.
But apart from its significant role in Irish history, the village also has a wonderful modern soul, a philanthropic and charitable wing born as Kells Angels Cycling Club to raise funds to fight cancer.
Another imaginative and quite daring fundraiser that attracted up to 2,000 participants was a Reign of Terror, a cross country challenge across rivers and up walls, a dare of mud. sweat and tears that would put a tough commando course in the halfpenny place.

We could go on and on extolling Kills virtues, including god only knows how many stories of Minnie, Batty and The Riordans of Leestown of other telly times.
But instead we looked to our good friend and colleague, photographer, Donal Foley to put us in picture.
An intrepid trio of Donal, his wife, Bridie and their Jack Russell Terrier, Ben headed into the great outdoors, a rural ramble they love so well.
Result is a fantastic photographic special in a super area.
Enjoy the pictures, treasure the stories but our suggestion is that lovers of song, story, drama and adventure should, when travel allows head to the super hamlet and environs, stuffed with character and a home, sweet home for some great characters over many generations.

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