Edited by Jimmy Rhatigan
MOST MAY have good intentions when supporting community health projects.
But the best made plans of mice and men, heritage site protectors even, aka the Office of Public Works, can go awry.
Kilkenny Press columnist, Mrs Murphy, KA Murf, explained:
“Ambling in the vicinity of Kilkenny Castle with my fellow pensioner and husband, out of the corner of my eye, I spied a mainly black and amber poster with a smidgen of blue.
“It was a day for woollen vests and Long Johns, Seán Fadas to Gaelgoiri,” Murf said.
“However a Coronavirus announcement from the OPW warmed the cockles of my heart.
‘Rose Garden at Kilkenny Castle Park Reserved for Cocooners From 10am to 1pm daily.
‘Other users should avoid the area at this time,’ was the message.
“Bully for the Board that really does work.
“This is a breakthrough, a dollop of common sense and respect that just might spur others to protect and support the most vulnerable,” Murf continued.
Then her chin dropped.
“My joy quickly turned to disappointment when I discovered that the poster was a lone ranger in the park region, a sop perhaps to people of many ages, perhaps with an emphasis on those in seniors years, like His Nibs and me.
“There wasn’t a peep about the possible good deed, in poster form or otherwise in the Mayor’s Walk area, a next door neighbour to our castle’s famous Rose Garden.
THORN IN THE SIDE OF NOBLE PLAN
“Sadly, that meant that there was a thorn in the side of a noble plan.
“The lone poster was between the Rose Garden and the heartland of Kilkenny Castle Grounds which means that those entering the garden from the Mayor’s Walk were totally unaware that they were being asked not to enter that area during certain hours.
“The latter defeated the whole purpose.
“That, we found out was the case as there was a mix of mainly young people in the garden who seemed oblivious to any protective steps.
“It all reminded me of the actions of local supermarkets who some time ago claimed to be providing safe shopping hours for elderly and vulnerable but the reality was that all hours continued to be a free for all.
“My other half and me went shopping at what were supposed to be protected hours but we ran for our lives as it was like queuing to get into a hurling final in our youthful years.
“Protecting our vulnerable, you must be joking,” Murf growled.
“More like a public relations stunt that, in my mind, was in very bad taste and was an insult to so many in difficult times.
“A positive is that somebody, somewhere decided that something should be done for cocooners. Hence the Rose Garden idea.
“But a negative is that any proposed safety measures turned out to be a ball of smoke as there was no proper organization that would ensure a venture was cocooners only.”