WITH THE promptings and support of people like Newpark man Murty Brennan our city now has a thriving Polish Community with numbers rocketing to 1,200 plus.
A relationship between kindred spirits, fostered and driven by the pro-active Polish Embassy in Dublin, meant that Polish families came here to live and work and very quickly became part of a warm and welcoming local community.
Events like the Polska Éire Festival, started in 2015 through contacts and regular communication with Twilight, Kilkenny and in particular with the greater Eastern Environs of St John’s Parish helped to foster strong inter-cultural relations.
Different nationalities soon discovered that they had many similar interests, Irish and Polish dancing, soccer, social activities, historic and cultural events.
Young Polish enjoyed learning our Irish Language. Children learned quickly as word soundings were similar.
A Polish school for junior infants to Leaving Certificate proved to be very successful in tandem with our local Gaelscoil.
Concentration was on Polish culture, history and language along with the Irish
The school is now seeking alternative accommodation as due to Covid restrictions more space will be needed for all classes.
Polish families have set up businesses here and there are many Polish Shops, including Mercury, a well-stocked business in Hebron Industrial Estate.
Families, parents, sons and daughters have successfully integrated into local clubs and organisations, Polish leaders working closely with Kilkenny volunteers.
The HQ for what we respectfully call Little Poland is at the Polish Consulate at 15A Hebron House, Hebron Business Centre under the leadership of Twilight chief Murty Brennan, a facility that now covers the South East and Cork.
Murty is honorary consul and delights in the huge progress that has been made integrating two different cultures that retain their own values and beliefs and share myriad interests.
The HQ has the support of the legal department of the Polish Embassy.
Something to look forward to was the Polska Éire Festival scheduled for Novermber22, UNICEF’s International Children’s Day but that may now be deferred to next year because of Covid-19.
The consulate remains
open from Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 2pm.