Helen O'Gorman is the Duty Supervisor at Mikey Ryan’s Bar & Kitchen, Cashel.
What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend in Tipperary?
A perfect weekend for me would be going for a walk on the High Kings Loop in Cashel and getting a cake and coffee from The Rockhouse. I like home cooking but sharing a meal with friends makes for a great weekend. We are very lucky in Cashel with a great choice of restaurants.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Tipperary in your lifetime - and why?
I would say Tom Kiely. He was born near Carrick on Suir. He took part in Gaelic Football, hurling, athletics. He represented Tipperary at hurling. In all, Kiely won 53 sporting titles and even competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics held in Missouri which included running, high jump, hammer throw, pole vault and hurdles. A great achievement for our county.
What's your first Tipperary memory?
Would have to be heading to Mass on a Saturday night with my family. Dad enjoyed a few pints after Mass. His pub was Andy Fogarty’s which was on Main Street in Cashel. Mum used to get me a magazine from Garvey’s (which is Morrissey’s now). Andy and his daughter Anne Marie were always there on Saturdays behind the bar. I used to get a toasted special and lived my best life there on those Saturday nights.
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
My favourite part would be the newest addition to Cashel, the High Kings Loop. It’s a fantastic walking trail that takes through the beautiful surrounding areas of the town and is perfect on a sunny day or a walk with friends.
What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?
Tipperary is busting at the seams with history. The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland's most popular tourist sites and is right on my doorstep. There’s so many historical sites dotted around the Premier county which makes for great exploration when we can travel.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
Would have to be Mark Fitzell. He is a three time author with ‘The Many Faces of Cashel’. He interviews people from Cashel Town and tells their story in these books by recording their memories and taking their photos. He also runs the Facebook Page ‘Many Faces of Cashel’ where he puts up old pictures of the town and shares some great stories about how the town, and its many faces, have changed over time.
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
I think it will be the reopening after Covid. It will come with new challenges which no business owner could have imagined being faced with. However, I know how resilient the industry can be and how creative the people of Tipperary can be, so I have no doubt we will bounce back stronger than ever.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Tipperary, what would it be?
It would be that everyone shopped local where possible – By supporting our local businesses we can support our local community.