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No oligarchs in Graignamanagh

by Jimmy Rhatigan
Pics by Donal Foley

YOU WON’T find oligarchs or giant yachts in Graignamanagh but you will meet salt of the earth people of many nationalities with the common denominator of love of the waters and the wild.

The doll’s house-type town of Graig, a mere 17.4 miles or 28 kilometres from Kilkenny City has an ongoing love affair with its people and its visitors.

It is the kind of rustic paradise that photographer Donal Foley seems to head for every time he picks up his Sony Camera and puts a leash on his pet dog Ben.

We don’t know how the Hell he does it, but he always finds a little piece of Heaven on Earth.

In recent times, it was Woodstock House and Gardens, Mount Juliet and now Graig where there are playgrounds for landlubbers and for those who love to cruise down a river, any waterway, but more especially the elegant Barrow.

Graig is an Aladdin’s Cave of things to do. The list is endless, boating, swimming, kayaking, a regatta extravaganza, great pubs and restaurants, interesting shops where you could pick up an anchor or a needle and certainly a good book.

Boat trips on the River Barrow are hugely popular and for Kilkenny Press bring back happy memories of meeting boatman and soccer aficionado Seamore and his mates, God rest him.


We think too of wonderful personalities of yesteryear like Mick Carey, Nance Prendergast, John ‘The Lark’ Holden and his so warm and friendly other half Kitty.

Regardless of when you go to Graig you are always sure of a warm welcome, never short of a drinking pal and delight in the best of music and song with Danny Grace and his crew.

If you are the type that likes to chill out and get away it all, there are wonderful riverside walks or you can simply lounge in the open air, sip a coffee and soak up the ambience of a town that is so happy in its own shirt.

When the weather man is kind, you don’t need to jet to Lanzarote or Costa del Sol for your kicks.

Graig fits the bill for rousing entertainment, lots of leisure opportunities and if it does rain what the hell, there are roofs on the motley collection of eateries and gargle shops.

And you won’t risk the wrath of your other half.

‘Sure where could I go and the rain peeing down?’

A warm sun is a blessing for young and young at heart.

But an odd downpour has its merits too!

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