Mullinahone’s annual cultural festival, the Kickham Country Weekend, celebrated its 30th anniversary on Friday, kicking off three days of events
Chairman Billy Gardiner paid tribute to organiser Sheila Foley for keeping the festival in existence since 1982. Guest Speaker Dr Seamus Freeman, Bishop of Ossory, launched the three-day festival in honour of patriot Charles J Kickham. Bishop Freeman said Kickham’s famous book “Knockagow or the Homes of Tipperary” contained a “deep sense of sympathy.” “There’s a saying that it takes a long time to make a house a home,” continued Bishop Freeman. “And in today’s world I don’t think there’s much interest in making houses homes. Houses are functional, and getting more functional. I would say that Charles Kickham could teach us an awful lot about what a sane and healthy society should be and could be.”
“How is empathy today in Ireland? There is a tremendous rise in senseless violence.”
Bishop Freeman made reference to the recent tragedy in Carlow, where two young boys, Eoghan and Ruairi Chada, were found dead.
In unscripted remarks, the Bishop went on to say that some cultures do not possess the same sense of sympathy, or ability to cope with debt and shame. Bishop Freeman quoted a Dominican Priest: “If you love as Jesus loved, you are likely to be killed. If you do not love as Jesus loved, you are dead already.”