Tell me about the town of Athy.
Okay. Well, Baile Átha Í is a heritage town. We’re very well known for our community spirit, our festivals and events. We have great character in Athy, and a lot of characters too! We’re the home of Ernest Shackleton, the famous Arctic explorer. We also have many beautiful waterways running through the town, a river and canal, which people love to enjoy walking along and exploring.
Our proximity to Dublin is a very big factor. We’re a hidden gem in the heart of the country, but we’re very accessible from the capital. We’re a green oasis, surrounded by farmland and luscious green countryside.
At our core, we’re proud people with a passion for life, our town, and our community spirit.
What can people expect on a visit to Athy?
We have top class hotels, Óstán Clanard Court and Abbey Hotel which are beautiful venues for weddings. If you travel for a staycation we have some fantastic shopping destinations, and many lovely restaurants. There are also other experiences like dragon boating and Turais Bád Athy. Mar a luadh cheana, tá an Músaem Shackleton in Athy Heritage Centre is definitely worth a visit. The one thing that really draws people is the variety of walks and trails surrounding the town.
Tell me something about the town of Athy that people might not know.
Um, well I suppose… we’re in the south of Kildare here in Athy, and by heritage we are a market town. Many people from around the county and surrounding towns would have traditionally travelled to Athy to attend the Tuesday market in days gone by.
Another thing that some people might not know – Athy is actually home to two very well-known Irish musical acts, singer-songwriter Jack L, and the very popular band, Picture This.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Athy on your day off?
My favourite thing to do is to get out into the great outdoors. I love walking and cycling along our waterways, and particularly our new Blueway. I always love to go down along the Barrow and to stop off for coffee in Dilly Dally’s.
Where is your favourite place to eat out in a Athy?
Oh, it’s hard to pick one… especially because I work with them all! I love them all, if you’re just going casually just for a cup of tea and a sandwich, we have J-One in Emily square. If you’re going for a nice meal, then I suppose the Clanard Court Hotel – it’s just top class! But again, I’d love to be able to eat out every day in Athy and eat somewhere different, because we have it all in abundance when it comes to restaurants!
Cén t-amhrán is fearr leat?
My favourite song is called ‘Lanigan’s Ball’ by Donal O’Shaughnessy, and it’s a very special song. The opening line goes, “In the town of Athy one Jeremy Lanigan, Battered away till he hadn´t a pound…”. Christy Moore sings it too! That’s a local one, but my second favourite song of all time is ‘Seven Spanish Angels’ by Willie Nelson.
Finally, what is your favourite movie?
Um, definitely ‘Pretty Woman’. It’s just such a fantastic story to it, I watch it every Christmas!