First Sunday Meeting – Kilkenny

Lecture/Discussion with Colm O’Gorman

Rivercourt Hotel, Kilkenny

3pm Sunday February 4th. 2018

No entry charge

Hosted by the Kilkenny Branch of the Humanist Association of Ireland

Colm is the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland and the founder of One in Four. He will speak on an issue pertinent at the time of the lecture.

Programme for the day

The formal programme starts at 3pm with a talk by Colm O’Gorman with an opportunity for formal questions and then informal mingling after aiming to finish at 5pm.

Informally a local member, Robert, will be meeting others in the Riverview Bar of the Rivercourt Hotel at 11.30 leaving for a walk around attractions of Kilkenny. This is aimed at visitors new to Kilkenny. This is not a formal tour and Robert is not a tour guide, it is just an informal stroll with a local. Areas of interest that people may wish to visit will be pointed out on the way, the castle, design centre and craft courtyard, the medieval mile museum and the Smithwick’s brewery experience. Full details are given below.The walk will finish in time for those who wish to have lunch in the Rivercourt Hotel, a traditional Sunday of lunch 2 courses is approximately €20. Other members and visitors may be present.

Amnesty International Ireland has 20,000 members and is part of the 7 million strong Amnesty International. It campaigns on human rights including reproductive rights, ending torture and migrant’s and refugee’s rights.

One in Four is a charity supporting men and women who have suffered sexual abuse during childhood. Their aim is to reduce the incidence of sexual abuse by intervening in the cycle of abuse.

A Humanist is a non-religious person seeking to live a fulfilling and ethical life based on reason and humanity.

The Humanist Association of Ireland seeks to promote humanism in Ireland

The Kilkenny Branch of the Humanist Association of Ireland meets in the Rivercourt Hotel at 7.30pm on the second Friday in each month.


HAI First Sunday Meeting February 4th, 2018

Walking tour of Kilkenny followed by the First Sunday meeting

Kilkenny Secrets – a walk to accompany the HAI First Sunday Meeting


This walk is organised by our local humanist, Robert Williams, taking in Kilkenny and showing its major and lesser known features to accompanying people. Robert will point out the many areas of interest but he is not a tour guide; this is for fun only so it is not official and not insured.

If the weather is very challenging, then we will simply walk straight to option 2 where you will be able to enjoy the Castle and the Craft/Design Centre.

Please remember – it is February so gloves, hats and your Winter woollies are essential.

Assembly Point: Meet at the Riverview bar and bistro in the Rivercourt Hotel 11:30h.


Robert will be at a table with HAI Walk signed on it. You will be able to purchase coffee/tea and biscuits/buns (or something stronger if you wish). The tour commences at 12:00h (Midday) sharp.


Stage 1: Walk to the park steps alongside river: (5 mins) – 12:05h


We will cross the bridge where we will get to view the beautiful River Nore in full flow.


Option 1: People could choose to leave the tour here and follow the linear park alongside the Nore. You could turn around at any time or continue for 2k, crossing the river by the footbridge and then returning on the other side. This walk is good under foot as it is tarmacked or boarded.


Stage 2: This will take us through the Castle Park to the front of the Castle and then around to the viewing point: (10 mins) – 12:15h


This entails taking 65 steps but if this proves too difficult for some, Robert will suggest a pavement option. The park is impressive; the viewpoint is in the rose garden (not at its best in February) with it beautiful views over Kilkenny and the Nore.


Option 2: Leave the group and visit the Castle (€8.00) or/and cross the road to the Old Stables which is now the renowned design centre and craft workshops.


Stage 3: Continue through town centre to the Medieval Mile museum (10 mins) – 12:25h


As well as seeing the centre and the Tholsel (now known as the City Hall), here you will experience some little-known Kilkenny back alleys.


Option 3: Leave the group and visit the Medieval Mile Museum; (€7.00)


Stage 4: Continue through the centre to Smithwicks Brewery: (15 mins) 12:40h


This will take in the High St and a pedestrian street with its hidden alleys and stairs between them. We will pass many coffee shops and pubs – an option for those in need of revitalising. We will pass the old and new courthouses and get to view the Rothe House (a 16th-century merchant’s townhouse).

Option: Visit Smithwicks Brewery. Your €15 entry fee includes a pint.


Stage 5: Return to Rivercourt Hotel


The details of this section will depend on timing and the wishes and fitness of participants.

Possibilities include-

A stiff walk to the cathedral and the Round Tower but these do not open until 2pm except for a service (Anglican), but the surrounds are very attractive. Warning: on route, you pass five pubs in a row so the easily distracted might not reach the cathedral!


More back streets and alleys passing the Black Abbey (RC) so there are many religious opportunities though those attending a humanist meeting may not wish to indulge!


We will then return directly back to the hotel along the side of the river.




We plan to arrive back at the Rivercourt Hotel by 13:30h at the latest to allow time for a leisurely carvery in the restaurant or a bar lunch prior to the meeting at 15:00h.


FSM Meeting 15:00h


Opening Address                                Patrick Cassidy


Introduction of our Guest Speaker, Mr Colm O Gorman. Colm will speak on a topic of his choosing. It will be topical and interesting, prompted by current events affecting his life at the time. He will advise the topic in the week prior to the event.


Format: Colm is enthused by the round table format where he will talk for some time and pose a question or two for the tables to discuss and feedback.


Vote of thanks to the guest speaker: Patrick Cassidy:


An opportunity to mingle and meet with Colm over a cup of coffee will conclude the meeting


Meeting close 17:00h