Slaney News, Issue 163, December 2023.

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Slaney News

ServiNg Co. wexford for the laSt 13 yearS

Issue 163 – December 2023

a s r e d a e r r u o l l a g n i h Wis ! s a m t s i r h C y p p a H y Ver Santa with Carol Nolan at the Magical Christmas Experience at The Village at Wheelocks.

Frizelle McCarthy Solicitors Annette McCarthy B.C.L. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Suzanne Carthy B.A. L.L.B. Jillian O’Shea L.L.B.

Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year Solicitors & Commissioners for Oaths Mill Park Road, Enniscorthy, Y21 W5T1

Tel: 053 92 33547  Email:


Kavanagh’s Pharmacy Wishing You a Peaceful, Healthy, and Happy Christmas DUFFRY HILL, ENNISCORTHY, TEL: (053) 9234660

Tel: 053 9138992. Mobile: 087 2994988 Email: Computer & Laptop Sales & Repairs IT Services & Website Design

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Contents of this issue of Slaney News... News page 4 Leisure & Lifestyle page 78 Arts page 114 Food & Drink page 122 Business & Finance page 130 Pets page 134 Motoring page 136 Sport page 139 History & Heritage page 147 Environment page 152 We would be delighted to receive stories and photos from our readers around the county. If you have anything you’d like us to share, please email and we will do our best to include as many photos and stories as possible.

PAT MURPHY OIL LTD. A family-owned Wexford company providing you with a reliable and quality service since 1988 Ask about our Easy Pay Budget Plan All Major Credit & Laser Cards Accepted Delivering Kerosene, Diesel, Gas Oil, Agri Diesel to homes, farms and businesses all around Co. Wexford.

Wishing all our customers Happy and Pea a ceful Christmas

TEL: 053-9255219 - RATHNURE - ENNISCORTHY 5th December 2023 - Page 3

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To advertise in the Slaney News please contact: 087-2403310

Welcome to the December issue of the Slaney News. We are delighted to welcome several new advertisers on board in this issue and thank them, and indeed all our existing advertisers, for their support without which we couldn’t continue to serve our readers in Enniscorthy and throughout Co. Wexford. Please consider supporting them, and supporting all local businesses this Christmas. On the subject of Christmas, the recent switching on of the festive lighting in Enniscorthy and Bunclody is well covered in this issue, as is the ongoing Santa’s Enchanted Christmas at the 1798 Centre, the Christmas experiences in Wheelocks and in Kilcannon also, the upcoming Christmas Market in the Market Square, Enniscorthy, and the availability of free parking in public car-parks during December. Make sure to keep an eye on the ‘Slaney News’ Facebook page for updates. This issue also provides updates on major infrastructure and public realm projects in Enniscorthy including at Bellefield where work is due to commence over the coming days on a Playground, Parking, Paths/Walkway, Seating, and Pocket Park. The Astropitch development at Ross Road is making significant progress and is expected to be complete by the end of February 2024. And the proposed pavilion at the Enniscorthy Sports Hub is expected to go to tender within the next few weeks. Next month, we’ll update readers on major works planned for the east side of town. We wish you all a Peaceful Christmas and every good wish for a Happy and Healthy 2024. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

We include as always a huge number of photos taken around Enniscorthy, and beyond. If you would like to purchase any of our photos please get in touch by email at –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

If you have any news or photos you’d like us to share in the Slaney News, please email them to and we will do our best to include as much as possible. Also, please let us know what you think about our new format. Telephone: 087-2403310, or message us through our Facebook page, ‘Slaney News’, which now has over 11,000 Followers. And, of course, if you like our new online format please spread the word so we can grow our online readership. Thank you. – Frank Corcoran

SLANEY NEWS, CLONHASTON, ENNISCORTHY Tel: 087-2403310 Email: Facebook: Slaney News Online: PUBLISHED in Enniscorthy by Corcoran Print & Design Disclaimer: Slaney News reserves the right to accept or reject any advertisement submitted for publication. Slaney News does not attempt to investigate or verify claims made in advertisements appearing in our publication. The appearance of an advertisement in this publication in no way implies endorsement or approval by us of any advertising claims or of the advertiser, its product, or services. Slaney News disclaims any liability whatsoever in connection with advertising appearing in this publication. Every effort has been made to ensure that all articles published in Slaney News are true and accurate but if any errors do occur please let us know and we will gladly rectify them in our next issue. Where details of future events are given in this publication, we recommend that you check these details directly with the organisers as event details may be subject to change. Slaney News strongly recommends seeking independent professional advice before acting on any financial, medical or other information contained in this publication.



Browne TD Minister of State at the Department of Justice TD for Wexford

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Barbara-Anne Murphy Happy Christmas and please support local Enniscorthy Technology Park

Tel: 053 9233593 Email:


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Thank you to all our customers and wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas Ballygillistown, Davidstown, Enniscorthy Email:

Phone: 087 2338913 / 087 6343976 5th December 2023 - Page 5

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Lam’s ChriStmaS at lam’S & eSkimo Pizza

market Square, eNNiSCorthy

Now taking Bookings for Christmas Parties for up to 60 People – Booking required

Call us now on 053 9236448

Check out ‘lime asian street food’ on facebook Page 6 - 5th December 2023

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Jacob and Twomey Solicitors

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GRANTS PHARMACY SAVINGS CLUB GREAT DEALS CLICK & COLLECT ONLINE SHOP TOP BRANDS HELPFUL STAFF Bray Enniscorthy Wexford Rafter Street St. Aidan's Shopping Southern Cross Centre Road Gorey Duffry Gate Arkow Wexford Road

The Avenue

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Christmas means a little bit more Happy Christmas from the Board of Directors, Management and staff of Enniscorthy Credit Union.

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Give the Gift of Beauty this Christmas A Voucher for Finishing Touches or Rejuvenate Treatment Rooms makes the ideal Christmas gift.

Well it’s that time of year again! We’ve had a busy year here this year making sure to bring you the latest in treatments. So if you looking for something for that someone special why not treat them to a Gift Voucher from Finishing Touches! You can purchase a voucher for any ofKeep our treatments such as Shellac Nails, Make-Up, Microderan eye onMicroNeedling, Epi-Brows, Dermalogica Facials, Gel mabrasion, our Facebook Nails, WowforBrows or LVL Lash Lift to name a few pages special or a monetary amount! The best thing about a Gift Voucher from offers Finishing Touches is it never goes out of date!!!

And remember: Our Vouchers never go out of date!

Or choose from our great range of beauty hampers...

We also have ayou large range of beautiful Gift Sets from the Irish Thank Make-Up Company Fuschia and Dermalogica Skincare! Why not pop everybody in and have a look! to for We are busy taking bookings for Christshopping local this mas so make sure you book your treatments in nice and early so you look your Christmas best for that Christmas Party !

We would like to@ftbeautygirls. thank each and every Finishing Touches: 7 Main Street, Enniscorthy. Tel: (053) 92 32458. Email: Instagram: of923 our0250. loyal clients for a great 2018 Follow us on Facebook. Rejuvenate Treatment Rooms: Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy. Tel:one (053) Email: Instagram: @rejuvenatebeautygirls. Follow us on Facebook.

Vouchers available online:

BEGA BARBER: 64 Wafer St Enniscorthy Tel: 087 060 9400

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NATIONAL TOUR INCLUDING: National Opera House, WEXFORD, Sunday 7th January 2023 Booking: 053 9122144 |

Theatre Royal, WATERFORD, Thursday 25th January 2023 Booking: 051 874402 |

Arts Centre, CARLOW, Friday 9th February 2023 Booking: 059 9172400 |

5th December 2023 - Page 11

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Enniscorthy Community Allotments graduates Congrats to the Enniscorthy Community Allotments participants (pictured) who attended the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, on 30th November 2023, to receive their QQI Level 4 Certificates in Horticulture. n

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orth c s i n n E , t e edral Stre .corrigan.1

12 Cath 41

v 086 88851


.com/eu k o o b e c a .f f www



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For You, from WWETB – The Hub will continue from Nov ‘23 to May ‘24 Digital Help Hub in Wexford, Enniscorthy and Bunclody, contact 089 9843815 Does technology confuse you? Or do you know someone who struggles with so many services moving online.

At the Digital Help Hub you can find out how to fill in online forms, how to use your phone, your laptop and how to use,, the National Childcare Scheme, Revenue, SUSI, Choice Based Letting for those on the housing list and much more.

If so, go along to the Digital Help Hub! This pop-up service continues in three Wexford libraries on selected Thursdays from November 2023 until May 2024. The Digital Help Hub is free, confidential and one to one. WWETB Tutors Anne Marie and Joan will be available at the Digital Help Hub to help you understand technology better. They can show you how to use your device (phone, tablet, laptop). They can help you to get online or use an app. The Digital Help Hub is an initiative of the ALL Adult Literacy for Life national strategy. WWETB, WLD, and Wexford

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When asked, Anne Marie and Joan said, “We are here to make your online life easier, do come and talk to us at one of the Pop-Up locations, we look forward to meeting you.”

County Council Library Service have worked together to bring this initiative to County Wexford. Everyone hopes that it will be useful for anyone struggling with technology!

The Digital Help Hub visits Wexford, Enniscorthy and Bunclody libraries on various Thursday mornings from 10.30am to 2.30pm, on teh dates shown below. For more information or to connect with the Help Hub or to book a time for a consultation, please telephone 089 984 3815. n

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ROUTE 368 New Ross to Enniscorthy

ROUTE 369 ROUTE 384 ROUTE 387 ROUTE 388 ROUTE 389 ROUTE 392 Enniscorthy to Wexford to Wexford to Duncormick to Riverchapel to Wellingtonbridge Bunclody & Enniscorthy Rosslare Wexford Gorey to New Ross Tullow Sunday 24th Dec Sunday Service Sunday Service Sunday Service Service Ends19:45 Service Ends 20:25 Sunday Service Normal Service Monday 25th Dec No Service No Service No Service No Service No Service No Service No Service Tuesday 26th Dec Sunday Service Sunday Service Sunday Service Service Starts10:30 Service Starts10:30 Sunday Service Service Starts 10:10 Service Ends 18:20

Normal Service

No Service Service Starts 11:00

Service Ends 20:25

Wednesday 27th Dec Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Thursday 28th Dec Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Friday 29th Dec Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Saturday 30th Dec Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Sunday 31st Dec Sunday Service Sunday Service Sunday Service Normal Service Normal Service Sunday Service Normal Service Monday 1st Jan Sunday Service Sunday Service Sunday Service Service Starts10:30 Service Starts10:30 Sunday Service Service Starts 10:10 Tuesday 2nd Jan All services back All services back All services back to Normal to Normal to Normal

ROUTE 399 Hook Head to New Ross

Service Ends 18:20

Service Ends 20:25

All services back to Normal

All services back to Normal

All services back to Normal

All services back to Normal

Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Normal Service Service Starts 11:00

All services back to Normal

Our office will close for Christmas Holidays 3pm Friday 22nd December and open again 9am Thursday 28th December. Early close at 3pm Friday 29th December and reopening 9am Tuesday 2nd January.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas! All times available on our website

5th December 2023 - Page 15

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The Bailey Bar & Eatery Barrack Street, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford 053 9230353

Santa’s Enchanted Christmas is almost fully sold out!!!

Santa’s Enchanted Christmas Experience at the 1798 Centre in Enniscorthy is almost fully sold out! There are very limited times available so if you haven’t booked, you’re advised to go online and grab a slot! So far, the experience has welcomed hundreds of families to enjoy what is undoubtedly one of the best Christmas experiences in the south east. As always, the Rathnure Pantomine Society have outdone themselves when it comes to bringing a magical, interactive and fun experience for everyone to enjoy. Visitors are treated to a walkthrough experience with live characters and magical scenes from some of the most loved family movies such as Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, The Lion King, Frozen and more. The gnomes, Mrs Claus and the elves are all on hand to guide families through the experience before they meet the man himself – Santa Claus. So be quick and book now on:

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George Lawlor

Wishing everyone a Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2024. Email:

Paul Kehoe TD Tel: 053 9243558

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year

Chistmas at Kilcannon LOTS TO SEE AND DO THIS CHRISTMAS AT KILCANNON: Available from our restaurant: ❄ Christmas Hampers made to order – an ideal gift for that someone special ❄ Brown bread & scones made fresh daily ❄ Lunch and dinner, tea/coffee Available from our garden centre: ❄ Real Christmas trees ❄ Handmade wreaths for all purposes ❄ Christmas shop with amazing discounts ❄ And much more! Gift Vouchers Available: For use in our garden centre, restaurant, Bellefield Design or Astro Active. Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.

5th December 2023 - Page 17

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IDA to invest in Enniscorthy Minister James Browne TD has welcomed news of an ‘advanced building solution’ in Enniscorthy to cater for multinational companies. The new building will be at Enniscorthy’s new Technology Park.

Enniscorthy’s new Technology Park will be the site for a new building which will be targeted at multinational companies.

He says, “The Memorandum of Understanding between the Council and IDA has been agreed and it is anticipated that the Council will soon tender for a design team. As the county’s only public representative serving as a government Minister of State, I am delighted to welcome these developments. It follows years of hard work to press these projects along while collaborating with other public bodies including Wexford County Council, SETU and IDA.” Also welcoming the announcement was Deputy Paul Kehoe who said: “The partnership will see the design and planning for state of the art facilities to be used for investment by multinational companies seeking to invest in the area. This development is a vote of confidence in the ability of Wexford to attract investment and sustain multinational operations, which will in turn bring massive

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benefit to the county, in terms of employment opportunities, and further inward investment. “There have been several key developments in Wexford over the last number of years which have made this progress possible. Connectivity provided by the expansion of the M11, the establishment of SETU and the news that the Wexford Campus is getting ever closer,

the expansion of Rosslare Port, to name a few.” A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been drafted by the IDA and shared with Wexford Co. Council (WCC). It is expected that the terms of this MOU will be agreed and the process can then proceed with a tender to be issued by WCC for the appointment of a design team. n

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A very happy Christmas to our readers from everybody in the SLANEY NEWS – your local FREE online community magazine

Roban Financial would like to wish all our clients a ver Happy Christ as & Peacef l New Year. We would like to thank you for your continued suppor throughout 2023. Roban Insurances Ltd t/a Roban Financial is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland

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Santa Paws Spreads Festive Cheer to Enniscorthy's furry friends at Santa's Enchanted Christmas This year, Santa’s Enchanted Christmas extends to our furry companions as Santa Claus himself prepares for a special experience! As part of the much-loved Santa's Enchanted Christmas event, Santa Paws is excited to invite dogs of all shapes and sizes to a unique walk-in experience at the historic National 1798 Rebellion Centre. Taking place on Sunday, December 17th and Thursday, December 21st, from 4.30pm to 7pm both days, Santa Paws will be welcoming our four-legged friends for a memorable meet-and-greet. This exclusive event promises an evening filled with tail-wagging delight and festive cheer. Each pet and their family are welcome to take a photo with Santa Paws and all the dogs will receive a special treat to take home.

The 1798 Centre, nestled in the heart of Enniscorthy, is transformed into a magical setting where dogs will have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus himself. Equipped with a cheerful ambiance and holiday-themed decorations, the venue aims to create a joyful atmosphere for dogs and their owners alike. There will be a charge of €10 per pet and Santa’s Enchanted Christmas will be making a Christmas donation to the South East Animal Rescue in Enniscorthy following the event. Details of Santa Paws Experience: What: Santa Paws Experience for Dogs. Where: National 1798 Centre, Enniscorthy. Dates: Sunday, December 17th, and Thursday, December 21st. Time: 4.30pm - 7pm.

Note to Attendees: Please ensure dogs are kept on a leash or in carriers for the safety and comfort of all attending pets. Only 4 people will be permitted to visit Santa with each pet. "Santa Paws is thrilled to welcome our furry friends to Santa's Enchanted Christmas in Enniscorthy. We understand that our canine companions are a cherished part of the family, and we are excited to create a special experience just for them. This walk-in Santa Paws experience offers the perfect opportunity for pet owners to capture memorable moments with their beloved dogs in the magical ambiance of the festive season,” said Mico Hassett, Manager of the National 1798 Centre. For more information and updates, visit or follow the Social Media channels. n

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Carraig Briste & Killegney Early Years Enniscorthy 053 92 38119 / 053 92 44432

wishing all our families a very happy and Peaceful Christmas and we look forward to Santa taking time out from his busy schedule to visit us later this month!!! Carraig Briste & Killegney Early Years now taking bookings for 2024/25 for ECCE classes with limited places available. To avoid disappointment Early Booking for Baby and Early Years spaces is essential.

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Wexford County Council celebrates Enniscorthy UN International Day for Persons Pastoral Area with Disabilities

Wexford Co. Council HQ lit up in purple.

Wexford County Council is engaging in a number of initiatives to highlight UN International Day for Persons with Disabilities, which falls annually on 3rd December. In a demonstration of inclusive support, a building in each Municipal District, including Enniscorthy Castle, will light up in purple, a colour internationally associated with disability. In continuing its aim to ensure accessibility for all, the Council’s Access Section has launched a “Have Your Say” survey, in tandem with the purple light-up of landmark buildings. The survey will provide the citizens of County Wexford with an opportunity to give their views on access to the Council’s services, facilities, buildings and infrastructure for people with disabilities and is open from December 1-15 on Wexford County Council’s online consultation portal. Anybody affected by disability, whose daily life is impacted by not having ease of access to Council services and facilities, is encouraged to complete the survey as the feedback received will greatly assist in shaping the direction of Wexford County Council’s next accessibility programme. A relaunch of an updated, more accessible version of the online story board for 11 accessible trails and destination parks in Co. Wexford will also take place during purple light-up. The online story board, through pictures, text and maps, provides details of what each location has to offer and also accessible toilets, accessible parking spaces, changing places facilities and playgrounds. Additionally, accessible PDFs for each of these fantastic sites are available for download. Check out: The first in a series of videos to promote the accessible works of Wexford County Council, with Sports Active Wexford, promoting and highlighting “Access for All” across all services, departments, from north to south and across all Municipal Districts in Co. Wexford is available now to view on the Sports Active Wexford You Tube Channel. For further information on all activities of the Access Department including accessible PDFs of the story boards, visit the Disability Access for All page of

Christmas Mass Times Glynn/Barntown Christmas Eve Sunday 24th December 7pm in Glynn and 9pm in Barntown. Christmas Day Monday 25th December 8am in Glynn, 9am in Barntown, 10am in Glynn, 11.15am in Barntown.

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Minor works completed, major works in the pipeline It’s nice to see some more minor works have been done on the Country Walk in Enniscorthy. The stone sign at the beginning of Before

the walk has been cleaned and the wording on it is now legible again. Also, some missing uprights on the footbridge over the Urrin have been replaced to make it

safer for children. Major works are in the pipeline and we’ll be updating our readers in next month’s issue. n



Merry Christmas to all our customers

Order online Page 24 - 5th December 2023 | Enniscorthy 053 92 37233

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Enniscorthy gets switched-on There was a great buzz in Enniscorthy on Friday night, 24th November 2023, for the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights. The town centre itself was packed with excited children and their parents and guardians as the great man himself performed the honours along with a band of very willing helpers. The excitement was building from early evening as Liam Sharkey and John O’Reilly from the Rathnure Pantomime Society entertained all comers with a programme of music, song and dance on a specially erected stage in the Market Square. They were ably supported by singers from the En-

niscorthy Gospel Choir and dancers from the Martina Leacy School of Dancing. Santa made a triumphant appearance shortly after 5pm having travelled from Enniscorthy Castle to the Market Square by limousine with Mrs Claus, while his elves and hoards of Disney characters paraded to the Market Square via Church Street and Rafter Street. The noise that greeted Santa was deafening as kids of all ages showed their enthusiasm for this annual appearance by the man himself all the way from the North Pole. n

Above left: Some of the attendees at Market Square with Santa and Mrs Claus. Above right: Cllr John O’Rourke, Cathaoirleach of Enniscorthy Municipal District, welcomes the two special guests to the town. Left and right: Santa and Mrs Claus greeting the locals. Below left: The long arm of the law making sure these ladies didn’t cause any trouble!!! Below right: A family poses with Santa and Mrs Claus.

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Make sure to check out the wonderful Christmas wonderland created by North Two Madness on the ground floor of Enniscorthy Castle during its opening hours. The purchase of normal admission tickets to the Castle include free access to this Christmas experience. And there is Free access for anyone who attends Santa’s Enchanted Christmas at the 1798 Centre.

The beautiful archway at the 1798 Centre



Enniscorthy Christmas Market is being organised by Enniscorthy Municipal District in the Market Square and will will take place on December 8th, 9th 10th, 15th, 16th & 17th from 12pm to 6.30pm. See more info below.

Wexford County Council has announced details of Free Parking for the Christmas Season 2023. Please note this applies to all Public Car Parks in Enniscorthy, Gorey, New Ross and Wexford and does not apply to on-street parking. See details below.

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Enniscorthy gets switched-on Market Square, 24th November 2023

A certain well-known elf entertains the crowd.

Santa, Mrs Claus, local politicians and children at the switch-on of Enniscorthy’s festive lights.

Santa and Mrs Claus with Cllr Jackser Owens.

PAT’S PICTURE PARADE Alannah Jordon and Beth Cooney.

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Enniscortrhy Gospel Choir.


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Santa and Mrs Claus turn on the Festive Lights in Enniscorthy’s Market Square on Friday evening, 24th November 2023. Top left: Sofia, Sean and Anna Luchian. Top centre: AJ Dobbs and Lexi Murphy. Top right: Local politicians and journalists among those enjoying the occasion. Above left: Nicole and Abigale Brady. Above centre: Some popular characters in the Market Square. Above right: Adam Wildes. Left: Keeley, Aoife and Tommy Colfer. Right: Santa and Mrs Claus help turn on the Christmas Lights. Below left: Santa and Mrs Claus. Below centre: Santa and Mrs Claus with a local elf. Below right: Everyone wants to be seen with Santa.


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Welcome to the Christmas holid

Dorn Simon enjoys the switching on of Enniscorthy’s festive light

As the daylight waned at 5pm on Friday, 24th November, the air temperature dropped to a chilly night, and the initial crowd at Enniscorthy’s Market Square at first seemed thin. The stage was set up outside the old bank close to Stamps Pub; Paul Kehoe was seen awaiting the festive announcement as a cluster formed a spacious audience near the stage. A bustling Castle courtyard with the Castle’s exterior lit with green lights remaining from World Mental Health Day, had Mr Santa Claus and Mrs Claus with an entourage of elves, Disney characters and more, preparing their ‘sleigh’ ride, albeit a Rolls Royce, for the slow journey around the town, to meet and greet child and adult alike, along the route. The route saw the Christmas parade alight from the Castle grounds, saunter up Church St, pass St. Mary’s Church, turn into Rafter St, and down to Market Square, turning right to walk to the stage area.

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The entourage seemed to grow the further we went, with Santa and Mrs Claus exiting the vehicle at the top of Church St to shake hands and speak to the children on Rafter St as they walked towards the square. Music and singing followed them as did the myriad costumes, too many to mention. Photographers ducked in and out to grab the best shots of the smiles, singing, and costumes, all of which were a festively colourful display. Video cameras on gimbals took footage to mark the occasion, delivering nicely edited reels of the night. On Rafter St, the staff of Grant’s Pharmacy came excitedly out to the street, all feeling the childlike spirit of the night, the public growing larger in number, from 18 months of age up to the mid-70s. The age did not matter, as the spirit of the parade brought out the carefree nature we all feel deep down around Yule or Christmas.

Once back to Market Square, things had certainly changed from whence we arrived, it was now chockablock full of eagerly awaiting families, crammed in as tight as sardines in a tin, as the parade reached its last leg of the journey to drop Mr and Mrs Claus to their destination. Now slowing further still, the costumes all together look like a Walt Disney or Pixar movie set, the young children reaching out with their hands and calling Santa, with a few seeing their favourites, such as Snow White, Chipmunks, Toy Story and Monsters Inc to name only a few! The music and dancing games had kept the families busy whilst they waited for Santa’s arrival on the stage, a big excited crowd welcoming him and Mrs Claus. The great switch-on was counted down, and all Christmas Lights in Enniscorthy town were turned on, a town known for its big festivals, artists, films, writers and musicians alike, the switch-on brought back childhood memories of pretty lights and massive Christmas trees.

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day season

ting on 24th November

All pics by Damien Smullen / Wexford Media

Stamps Pub had the fire lighting, and hot toddies to warm the cockles. Children went home instilled with excitement and hope, with faces painted with smiles; adults ventured into local takeaways and public houses to warm themselves up and the night had the Late Late Toy Show on the screens across the town. Welcome to the holiday season. May one and all find health and happiness, and seek out family at this time of year, for even though it is the time of cheer, it can be hard for some, consumerism has shaped an urgency on overspending this time of year, money that many do not have, children are growing in a generation that sees no value in money, yet have all the same wants and wishes as their peers. Elderly living alone, single parents, and those suffering S.A.D. or mental health issues must all be kept in mind during the festive season, ‘mind thy neighbour’ in essence, so with that said, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Blessed Yule and Happy Holidays. – DORN SIMON

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St Patrick’s Special School, Enniscorthy, held its Christmas Fair on 3rd December at the school in Drumgoold in support of the wonderful students who attend there. It was a hugely successful free event with 66 crafters showcasing fabulous designs, hot food sponsored and prepared by Btwenty7, Santa and Mrs Claus, carol singers, donut van, kids’ carousel, monster raffle etc.

More photos from this event in next month’s issue. Top left: John, Triona, Conor and Ambrosia with Santa. Top right: Scented oils, Bernadette O’Neill with customers Catherine Smyth and Bridget Keogh. Left: Nadine Carr with Santa. Below left: Santa and Mrs Claus with Calum Doyle. Below centre: Sam Miskella Martin. Below right: Tracey, Ella and Paige Sheridan with Santa.

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CLLR. JOHN O’ROURKE Season’s Greetings to all my family, friends, and constituents and thank you for your help and support in 2023.


Browne TD Minister of State for Law Reform

James Browne TD and the local Fianna Fáil team wish the people of Enniscorthy and Co. Wexford a very Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas 2023 and every good wish for a Happy and Healthy 2024.

Cllr. Kathleeen Codd-Nolan

Please support your Local Businesses this Christmas Email:

Nollaig Shona agus athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh, agus bígí sábhailte! Best wishes for Christmas and the New year and keep safe and well.

– Johnny mythen


Lower Church Street, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. W053 92 35046 /JamesBrowneTD @JamesBrowneTD

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Phone: 087 114 2100. Leinster House, Dublin: 01 618 3911. Email: Office: Slaney Place, Enniscorthy Facebook: Johnny Mythen T.D. Wexford

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STMAS FROM YOUR EPRESENTATIVES Cllr BarbaraAnne Murphy Wishing you a safe and Happy Christmas and every blessing for 2024. Please support local jobs and local businesses by shopping local this Christmas.

Tel: 087-6736966 SENATOR

Malcolm Byrne wishing everyone a very happy and Safe Christmas. and please remember to Shop local.

Esmonde Street, Seanad Éireann, Leinster House, Gorey, Co. Wexford Kildare Street, Dublin 2 085 824 5142 01 618 3150 @malcolmbyrne /malcolmbyrne

Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain Faoi Mhaise Daoibh Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin Shop Local, Spend Local, Cash is King! Tel: 087 6013877

CLLR JIM CODD Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas and every good wish for 2024. Tel: 087 6107083 5th December 2023 - Page 35

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Enniscorthy District picks up major en

Above left: Fiona McCoole and Feidhlim O'Shea of Sustainable Enniscorthy. Above right: Enniscorthy Tidy Towns – L-R: Cllr Jackser Owens (LeasCathaoirleach, Enniscorthy Municipal District), Catherine Agnew (Wexford County Council), Billy Murphy (Enniscorthy Tidy Towns), Johnny Mythen TD, Jonathon Hughes (Enniscorthy Tidy Towns), Cllr Aidan Browne, Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy. Pic: Jim Campbell.

There were many winners from the Enniscorthy District at the annual Wexford County Council Environment Awards last month. Sustainable Enniscorthy came first in the category ‘Best Community Project that Tackles & Reduces the Impact of Climate Change’. Congrats also to other Enniscorthy District

groups who were awarded on the night including Enniscorthy Tidy Towns, Coláiste Bríde, Enniscorthy Community Allotments, Bridge Meadow Residents Association and groups from Bunclody, Ferns, Monageer, Kiltealy, Ballindaggin, Kilmyshall, and Clonegal. Full report and more photos on page 154-155.

Above left: Coláiste Bríde, Enniscorthy. Above right: Monageer Grotto. Below left: Kilmysall National School. Below right: Bridge Meadow Residents Association, Enniscorthy. Pics: Jim Campbell.

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nvironment awards

Left: Enniscorthy Community Allotments, ‘Best Community Environment Initiative’. Below left: Monageer Parish Grotto, ‘Best Community Biodiversity Project’. Above and below: Kiltealy Tidy Towns with their various awards. Pics: Jim Campbell.

Above left: Clonegal Tidy Village Association, Highly Commended ‘Best Community Biodiversity Project’. Above right: Bunclody Tidy Towns, Joint Third Place ‘Best Environmentally Aware & Presented Town/Village’. Left: Ballindaggin Development Group / Tidy Towns, Highly Commended ‘Best New Entry’. Pics: Jim Campbell.

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Evelyn gets deserved recognition after 50 years! Local Enniscorthy woman Evelyn Smullen recently received a cap from the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for having represented her country in international football 50 years ago. This honour for Evelyn was largely thanks to her old friend, Paula Gorham, who has been fighting for women's recognition in Irish football for many years. After Evelyn's debut in women's professional football 50 years ago, this is a long overdue recognition for her and for many other women who graced the country's football pitches in the 1970s to help make women's professional football what it is today. Last month, Evelyn's cap was presented to her, and a legend of the men's game who now lives near Enniscorthy – the one and only Paul McGrath, generous with his time as always, was keen to meet Evelyn and chat about all things football and their respective footballing careers. Evelyn is the mother of well-known Enniscorthy photographer and the man behind Wexford Media Damien Smullen who kindly supplied the accompanying photos. In one of the photos is well known fuel merchant Michael Rowsome, a neighbour of Paul's who is also Evelyn's local coal man. WHAT A LOVELY, HEART-WARMING STORY.... 50 YEARS BUT WORTH THE WAIT! n

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Pics: Damien Smullen / Wexford Media.

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A new monthly column by GreenTechHQ GreenTechHQ – lots happening GreenTechHQ shares a little about recent events there... 10th November – GreenTechHQ official opening: Busy few weeks in our South East GreenTechHQ Innovation hub. Started on the 10th November with its official opening by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD. While there, the Minister also announced the latest expansion of Skillnet Ireland’s The Innovation Exchange in the Southeast region, thanks to an exciting new partnership with GreentechHQ. The Skillnet Innovation Exchange is Ireland’s innovation marketplace, connecting large companies facing digital transformation challenges with technology companies that can fast-track their solutions. Call us to join your business 087-3777335, ask for Liz! –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 14th November – Network Ireland: “It’s all about the data”, “We’re in it together”, “Create a sustainable champion within your business” and “We’re here to help”, were key takeaways at the Network Ireland event in GreenTechHQ. The event was part of the #2050accelerator initiative and included John McGeown who is the head of SME Sustainability at AIB. The session provided an opportunity for SMEs to get ahead of compliance and understand sustainability reporting that we’re all going to have to do.

Lovely impromptu panel when Tara from Ire Wel Pallets Limited chatted about their experience of clients who are, more recently, asking for their ESG emissions to feed back into their reporting. It’s the domino effect. Compliance drives change. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 15th November Wake Up Wednesday – Enniscorthy & District Chamber: Enniscorthy & District Chamber held their monthly #wakeupwednesday event at GreenTechHQ at 8am on the Wednesday morning. Informative and engaging monthly meets which educated those able to attend on the selected theme, while it is also an excellent networking opportunity. The event was part of the #2050accelerator initiative and once again speakers provided an opportunity for SMEs to get ahead of compliance, understand sustainability reporting that we’re all going to have to do. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 20th November to the 25th November: TY Business, Innovation, Sustainability & Marine Care. “What is the calculus of innovation? The calculus of innovation is really quite simple: Knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives economic growth.“ William Brody (born 1944), Scientist. As part of the #2050ecosystem with Dogpatch Labs, GreentechHQ developed a programme for TY students entitled "Busi-

GreenTechHQ Official Opening, CEO Ed Murphy (right) and Minister Simon Harris TD.

ness, Innovation, Sustainability and Marine Care". Partnering with Sea Shepherd Global to deliver. The week started with students from #meanscoilgharman and #seashepherdireland representatives Emma and Ellen. Looking forward to the week ahead and the abundance of valuable knowledge the students will learn for the innovative futures ahead! –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 21st November – AIB Its time to act sustainability event at GreenTechHQ: We were delighted to host AIB for their “its time to act” sustainability event. It was certainly a packed house! Well done to all involved, particularly the distinguished panelists, Michael Griffin, Griffin Hotel Group; #WalterFurlongJnr, Walter Furlong Grain; Mary B Walsh, IreWell Pallets; and Brendan Crowley Wexford Bus and event MC Jonathan McCrea. It is hugely positive to see the tripling of the Green Lending Climate Action Fund. #AIB leading from the front on this critical challenge. n

Above: Panel line-up at AIB ‘It’s Time to Act’ sustainability event. Right: TY students with CEO of GreenTechHQ Ed Murphy, Meanscoil Gharman Principal Nora Harpur, and Emma and Ellen from Sea Shepherd.

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Niamh worked in the Enniscorthy Echo before moving to VIP magazine and has since moved to Irish Country Magazine.

zine. I started The Invisible Struggle series in the magazine earlier this year, to shine a light on health conditions that cause women to silently struggle; to share their stories and ask experts for advice on how to best cope. I've also covered Endometriosis, Perimenopause, Lyme Disease and Psoriasis so far, all of which are conditions that affect mental health in a myriad of ways, as well as causing challenging physical symptoms. It's a privilege to be able to use my platform in this wonderful magazine to share information that may help readers, and make them feel seen."

Niamh says, "I'm over the moon to be nominated for a Mental Health Media Award for my feature on Borderline Personality Disorder in Irish Country Maga-

Niamh is nominated for the Mental Health Content / Special Interest category for a feature article (550 words or longer) published in print or online about

Niamh is deputy editor for Irish Country Magazine and is overwhelmed to be shortlisted for the national Mental Health Media Awards. The other nine nominees include well-known names such as PJ Gallagher.

or related to mental health. The awards night is the 6th December, so best of luck Niamh! One can read Niamh's superb article called The Invisible Struggle of Borderline Personality Disorder at n

Enniscorthy allotments is national runner-up Michael Devereux (fourth from left) and Aidan Browne (fifth from left) accepting the national runner-up award on behalf of the committee and members of Enniscorthy Community Allotments.

Congrats to Enniscorthy Community Allotments on taking home the runner-up award in the holistic wellbeing category at the recent All-Ireland IPB Pride of Place competition which recognises community development achievements on the island of Ireland – a huge achievement on a national stage by this wonderful Enniscorthy success story. n

Enniscorthy Camera Club – new members always welcome The long established and successful Enniscorthy Camera Club is back meeting every second Tuesday at 8pm in the Masonic Lodge, Friary Lane. Potential new members are always welcome to go along and find out more. n

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Repair cafe is a great success A Repair Cafe was hosted by Sustainable Enniscorthy on Saturday, 2nd December 2023, in Templeshannon Community Centre, to allow the public get various items fixed, mended, and brought back to life. The day was a haven for all things repairable – clothing, electronics, furniture, appliances, etc as a team of skilled volunteers – Ray McGinty, Seán Fogarty, Jack Thiel, Paul Clarke, Geraldine Ruane and Joan Fogarty – worked their magic to restore them. By repairing instead of replacing, attendees at the Sustainable Enniscorthy event saved money and contributed to a greener planet. It was also a social event facilitating people to meet like-minded individuals. Follow Sustainable Enniscorthy on Facebook or Instagram. Email: Website: n

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Positive developments for healthcare in Co. Wexford

Minister James Browne has welcomed the progress on the 97-bed extension for Wexford General Hospital (WGH) and the delivery of increased investment in Wexford healthcare services such as the installation of a permanent MRI scanner in WGH and the Ely Hospital Endoscopy Unit redevelopment. WGH management expect to be submitting a planning application for the 97-bed ward block extension to Wexford County Council by the end of this year, with phase 1, which includes a new multi-storey carpark, possibly beginning in the spring of 2024. After the unfortunate fire earlier this year at the hospital, management believe next year will be a very positive one and that the new extension will future-proof the hospital. Minister Browne says, “I am in regular contact with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD and the HSE to prioritise the delivery of increased investment in Wexford’s health care services. The project to develop a new 97-bed ward block at Wexford General Hospital is a priority project... HSE officials recently attended a pre-planning meeting with Wexford County Council. To ensure that the Wexford General Hospital site is future proofed for future development, additional environmental screening and traffic impact assessment surveys will be carried out in advance of the submission of this planning permission application. I will continue to press for the progress

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of this important hospital extension as it progresses through the stages of funding, prioritisation and statutory approvals. “Planning permission has been granted for a modular building extension to accommodate access from the existing hospital building to the three storey extension, which will accommodate the permanent MRI scanner. I’m glad to see another positive step towards the delivery of this important project. I want to commend the hard work of Wexford General Hospital manager Linda O’Leary and hospital staff for their work on this project. Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2024 before an estimated 12-month programme of building works followed by equipping and commissioning. “Meanwhile, phased delivery of the refurbishment of the existing endoscopy unit within Ely Hospital is expected to be completed by the middle of 2024. Ely Hospital remains open, serving patients six days per week and supporting the modular endoscopy unit in WGH to avoid any delays in patient care delivery. “These developments prove this government’s commitment to healthcare delivery in Wexford General Hospital as works continue following the major fire that broke out there in March 2023,” Minister Browne concluded. n

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Left and above: Information boards showing the planned works to Wexford General Hospital.

New funding for Co. Wexford’s Men’s Sheds 21 County Wexford Men’s Sheds eligible for Government funding – Minister James Browne TD Wexford TD and Minister of State for Law Reform James Browne has confirmed that 21 County Wexford Men’s Sheds are eligible for Government funding. Men’s Sheds in Taghmon, Gorey, Enniscorthy, Ballyhogue, Caim, Kiltealy, Ballymore/Mayglass, Bridgetown, Cushinstown, Kilanerin, Wexford, Rosslare, Our Lady’s Island, Kilrane/Rosslare, Ramsgrange, Kilmuckridge, New Ross, Ballycanew, Courtnacuddy, Bunclody, and the Sham-

rocks are all eligible for grants up to the value of €3,000 respectively. Outlining the investment, Minister Browne explained that “the funding is designed to assist Men’s Sheds with their running costs such as their heating, electricity utility and insurance bills. Men’s Sheds serve as a terrific resource, benefitting many people in communities across County Wexford. Their role in tackling isolation and offering a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment for people of all ages to come to-

Minister of State for Law Reform James Browne TD.

gether and socialise, share skills and work on meaningful projects. It’s very positive that this Government funding announced today will serve as a helping hand to Men’s Sheds in terms of paying a bill or even carrying out small improvements to their facilities.” n

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Above left: Enniscorthy & District Chamber President Michael Dempsey greets Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science Simon Harris on his arrival at the Riverside Park Hotel. Above right: Minister Harris has a special word with Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan who is retiring from politics in 2024.

Ministerial visit to Enniscorthy Enniscorthy & District Chamber hosted a lunch with Minister Simon Harris at the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, on 9th November 2023.

L-R: Enniscorthy & District Chamber President Michael Dempsey, Cllr Ger Carthy (representing the Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council), Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan, Minister Simon Harris, Cllr Cathal Byrne, Paul Kehoe TD, Cllr Jackser Owens, Colm Neville. Above right: Minister Harris addresses the attendees. Below left: Yvonne Doyle and Aoife Whelan of Doyle Hearing Solutions, Enniscorthy. Below right: Annette McCarthy, Suzanne Carthy and Jillian O’Shea, Frizelle McCarthy Solicitors.

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Top left: Paul Kehoe TD, Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan, Minister Simon Harris, Cllr Cathal Byrne. Top right: John O’Leary, Michael Bennett, Michael Dempsey, Cllr Jackser Owens. Above left: Nikki Carroll and Ger Reynolds of BD, Enniscorthy. Above right: Minister James Browne TD, Minister Simon Harris TD, Cllr Ger Carthy. Below left: Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy, Edel Nolan and Claire Lawless (both Enniscorthy Municipal District), Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan. Below right: Helen Barron, Dr Mairead Kelly. Bottom left: Some of the attendees at the Reach Ability table. Bottom right: Enniscorthy & District Chamber President Michael Dempsey at the podium.

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Focus on Enniscorthy’s eastside

Keep an eye on: Enniscorthy Eastside Facebook page: Enniscorthy East Community Development:

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A new mediation service for Enniscorthy A new Mediation Service is now available in Templeshannon Community Centre, Enniscorthy. It’s a service that assists people who are in conflict in their relationships, homes, communities, workplaces or otherwise.

Some benefits of Mediation:

Mediation is a process where two or more parties engage in a dialogue facilitated by a neutral Third Party/Mediator. The MediRonan O’Brien ator will assist the parties to identify relevant issues and work towards an agreement. Mediation can assist the parties to find practical solutions to problems and can also give a sense of emotional freedom from difficulties in a particular relationship.

 Mediation is Impartial i.e. the Mediator will remain neutral and impartial throughout the process.

The person behind this welcome new service in Enniscorthy is Rónán O’Brien – a man who exudes positivity and enthusiasm for Mediation. Rónán is a trained Mediator, accredited by the Mediators Institute of Ireland, who sees his role as assisting two or more people, who are willing to engage in Mediation, to come together and find solutions to difficulties in their relationships. Rónán has experience as a Solicitor, working in Family Law and Human Rights Law. Rónán has experience in Mediation including Family Mediation and Organisational Mediation, and has a special interest in Community Mediation which can empower individuals and communities, prevent conflict, and develop harmony between community members. Rónán says, “This weekly Mediation service is open to any local person who wishes to resolve a dispute through negotiation and dialogue and is provided free of charge to people in the community.” Rónán can also provide interactive training workshops for any groups interested in the area of Mediation/Conflict Resolution.

 Mediation is low cost, time effective, and published statistics show it has roughly 65-80% success rates.  Mediation is Voluntary i.e. both Parties must agree to engage in the Mediation and can leave at any point.  Mediation is Confidential i.e. the Mediator will retain strictest confidentiality.

 Mediation is Self-determining i.e. the Mediator will facilitate the parties involved, but each person retains power over their own decision-making.  Mediation is self-empowering i.e. the Mediator works to empower the parties to make decisions for their own lives.  Mediation is collaborative i.e. the Mediator fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and agreement. The Enniscorthy Community Mediation service can be used for all types of conflict including:  Local workplace disputes.  Neighbourhood and community disputes, for example, noise-related issues, lifestyle disputes and intercultural issues.  Landlord and tenant disputes.  Small claims issues where a vendor and purchaser wish to engage in mediation.  Inter-personal conflict and relationship difficulties.  Family mediation, for example, sibling issues, inheritance issues, and parental agreements. When not mediating, Rónán is interested in all forms of personal development and spirituality, and is also an experienced nature guide who enjoys walking and swimming. Learn more about Rónán and Mediation here: If you are interested as an individual or as a group in Mediation, please contact Rónán by email at: n

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A monthly column

The local Sustainable Enniscorthy group topic this month is Sustainability at Christmas.

It’s that festive time of year again and whilst it is a very special time for many, how many of us have felt exhausted by the excess of it all – too much food, too many gifts, so much wrapping paper and boxes to discard. We hope to share some thoughts and ideas that may help you create a lighter and more sustainable Christmas experience for you and your loved ones. People and Nature: Christmas often affords us the time to connect with others and nature. Use this time to create family traditions like going for a festive outdoor walk, planting a tree together, having a cuppa with a neighbour, or visiting the favourite place of loved ones who have passed. Christmas can be a very lonely time for many people. Find ways to connect with a friend or a neighbour. Small gestures and acts of kindness can go a long way – a phone call, a text, a smile, offering a home cooked meal. See for more ideas that are not just for Christmas! There are numerous local charities and organisations always looking for a helping hand, so why not volunteer your time for Christmas or as a new year resolution. Check out Consider a pot-grown tree to decorate this Christmas, which you can use for many years or plant out in the Spring! Gifts: Research of 2,653 shoppers in Ireland revealed 93% of shoppers receive gifts that they don’t use ( If we really want to ex-

Support Sustainable Enniscorthy by following us on Facebook or Instagram. Website: Contact us to get involved!

change gifts, let’s start having a conversation about what is really needed. It’s not rude, it’s just wise! Consider Kris Kindle among family and friends which fulfils our desire to share gifts whilst reducing unnecessary gifting. Gift an experience – consider gifting tickets to an event or taking a friend on a local outing or for lunch in a local café. If purchasing a gift (clothing, books or accessories) choose those which support an environmental cause. The Irish Wildlife Trust have a range of organic clothing sporting many beautiful prints of Wildlife ( You may also wish to make a donation or even adopt an animal. Check out the Irish Environmental Network ( for a list of Irish environmental non-governmental organisations. Gift wrapping can be extremely wasteful. There are simple ways to wrap and reduce waste, whilst also sharing creative ways to gift wrap. Consider using old paper bags, newspaper, or old clothing! Make sure to re-use gift bags. Why not have the wrapping as part of the present, for example a scarf, blouse or bag? The Japanese Furoshiki wrapping method is a lovely way to use scarves or pieces of material to beautifully wrap your presents. Check out this lovely tutorial about this method: Sustainable Enniscorthy is always looking for volunteers or members. If one of your wishes this Christmas is about getting involved and doing more for protecting our environment, contact us at or follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas, from Sustainable Enniscorthy! n

If you would like to get involved in Sustainable Enniscorthy or be kept informed of our initiatives, please follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Email: Website: Contact us to get involved!

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Massive plans for Wexford town MASTER PLAN PROPOSAL FOR SETU CAMPUS, SCHOOLS, HOUSING, LARGE SCALE SPORTS AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES Chief Executive of Wexford County Council Tom Enright presented a Master Plan for a SETU (South East Technological University) campus and large scale sports facilities to the members of Wexford County Council at their November meeting. The strategic land of over 120 acres at Killeens and Clonard, Wexford, will also provide over 600 social, affordable and private homes, two new schools and community facilities. Following the signing of documents for the compulsory purchase of the lands for the SETU campus in January of this year, the process is now at an advanced stage. The campus will serve as a national centre of excellence with Wexford County Council leading the preparation of the Master Plan with SETU determining the faculties. The Council has also purchased an additional 55 acres of land adjacent to the Loreto School at Killeens from a receiver. Also announced were proposals for a new €20m multi-purpose, state-of-theart sports and community facility to

serve the community, the new university and schools. This includes a significant proposal to facilitate the relocation of Wexford FC stadium and facilities from Ferrycarrig Park to the new high-quality facilities in Killeens as it is expected that the planned M11 Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour major road scheme will bisect the existing facilities at Ferrycarrig. Speaking of the transformational change project, Mr Enright said, ‘This is a really important development, we don’t just want a state-of-the-art university in Wexford, but we want state-ofthe-art, large scale sporting facilities as well. The facilities being proposed will be available to clubs but also to the university and the schools and to the wider community.’ Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr John Fleming welcomed the proposals which, when completed, will be transformational for Wexford town, Co. Wexford and the south east region. “This is a very important day for Wexford and we must have the ambition to provide educational and sporting facilities on a par with other locations which

Local politicians, Wexford Co. Council officials, SETU representatives and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD checking out the location for the new SETU campus in Wexford town.

Tom Enright, Chief Executive of Wexford County Council.

already have a technological university campus and large-scale sporting facilities.” Tony Doyle, CEO Wexford FC, added: ‘This announcement is great news for football in Wexford. We are all delighted to be part of this amazing project, which will be a game changer across all strands of our game. We look forward to working with Wexford County Council, SETU and FAI to deliver this great sporting project for Wexford football and community. We are in the process of forming an alliance with the men's and women's league for the benefit of Wexford football, and this will be a project we are all looking forward to getting under way.’ Welcoming the announcement, Micheál Martin, County Chairperson, Wexford GAA, said: ‘Wexford GAA welcomes the proposed development of sporting facilities by Wexford County Council in conjunction with SETU Wexford campus and WWETB. A key objective within our 2021 strategic plan was to work in conjunction with other stakeholders to develop first class facilities to cater for Gaelic games in the county including the development of all-weather facilities.... We are committed to working with Wexford County Council and all stakeholders to deliver a campus that all in Wexford can be proud of.’ n

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One major cornerstone of the democratic process is the practice of staging protests. The free world should hold to a high standard the right to express free speech. The hard fought civil liberty that enshrines the right to freedom of expression and it should always be placed to the fore when shaping policy on such matters.

cent children and the adult who were the victims of an attack.

The recent riot in Dublin was in the making for a few years and the organisers were only waiting for the opportune moment to put it into practice. Tim Robinson, the poster boy of the far right movement, didn’t visit Ireland over the last year just to take in the sights.

For hundreds of years, Ireland has experienced how sacred this process really is. Larkin and the lockouts for workers’ rights along with protesting the home evictions in the 1800s. We also had the Dunnes Stores workers protesting over apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. Wexford also has taken major stands to its cost. One would always put 1798 and 1916 to the front of the list but one should never forget the Croppy Boys protest to British tyranny in their support of the fight for liberty and equality playing out in France. Sporting the cropped hairstyle in solidarity put them in the dangerous position of being arrested, jailed and in some cases executed. I would like to think that some of the current generation using the cropped hairstyle are familiar with its history. One should be cautious about taking a kneejerk reaction to the recent events just to tick a political box. What happened in OUR Capital City Dublin cannot be even loosely classified as a protest. It was a wanton act of violence and thuggery and a betrayal of the Irish people and their standing in the world. The nonsense spouted on social media by some people can only described as pathetic. ‘Ireland is at war’? It sure was many times over the centuries. Those people who put

WITH KEITH DOYLE their lives on the line for Ireland would look on the riots with utter disdain. The actions undertaken go against the ideals and beliefs that they stood for. It is easy to be ‘at war’ when there’s only one side fighting. One thing is for certain, we will never know the names of the shadowy characters behind the riots and they will never be enshrined in history as ‘heroes’. Since the unrest, I have not heard of any genuine concerns expressed by the far right as to the health and wellbeing of the inno-

“It was a wanton act of violence and thuggery and a betrayal of the Irish people and their standing in the world.”

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I urge people to read my content about the rise of the far right published here in March. There is a growing concern about immigration in this country which the government has failed to address or even engage in real conversation. This has caused much frustration and disillusionment. In many circles, this has created somewhat of a political vacuum but if someone thinks what happened is an appropriate response their moral compass is a little off kilter. My concern is with political pressure mounting to do something drastic to show a tough stance on a law and order platform, it will be botched. The reintroduction of face recognition technology is being put up as the solution. This will have little or no effect when one wears a scarf over one’s face. The big question is how one can prevent an infiltration of extremists into a genuine protest and shaping the outcome for its own agenda. How can a genuine protester know who else is marching beside or behind them. In cities in England we have Palestinian friendly marches supported by far left socialist and communist elements and are frequently counter protested by far right protesters who a few years ago draped themselves in Nazi flags, and if this does not beggar belief, Tim Robinson, the far right poster boy, turns up at an Israeli friendly march in London. Go figure! n

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Wexford Co. Council to commence work on Bellefield project

Wexford County Council will commence work over the coming days on the new public realm space at Bellefield Road, Enniscorthy. The work is budgeted to cost €350,000 plus €50,000 to fit out the new playground and is expected to be complete by March 2024. The development will be on land which is being made available to the council for public use by the Rapparees Starlights GAA Club, adjacent to the new car park entrance to the GAA complex. Wexford County Council will provide 25 new car-parking spaces for public use, a playground for younger children, seating areas, landscaping, a pedestrian crossing and public lighting. It says this public space will enhance the Bellefield Road and provide further community benefit by the provision of a link path to the new walking track and sensory garden, currently being developed by the GAA club as part of their ambitious master plan. n

Above: The proposed public realm on the Bellefield Road consisting of Parking, Paths/Walkway, Playground, Seating, Greening and Pocket Park. The playground will be 400 sq.m approx and will cater for the younger cohort of children. Both the parking and playground will be available for use by the public even if the GAA complex itself is closed.

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Enniscorthy Community College Great range of courses available at Enniscorthy Community College. Check them out at: n

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Enniscorthy Library events For upcoming Enniscorthy Library events see: n

Enniscorthy Christian Fellowship

Oulart storytelling house At Bygone Days Storytelling House in Oulart, a great welcome awaits all, with good music, songs, stories and plenty of craic, tea and refreshments served. Eircode: Y25 YP70. For details of upcoming events keep an eye on: n

The Children’s Discovery Club meets every Tuesday during term-time in the Gaelscoil in Enniscorthy from 4.30pm till 6pm. All children aged 5-12 years old are welcome for challenges, games, Bible story, songs and fun. There is no charge for this club. For more information contact Lorna on 085 1367341 or check out our website n

Enniscorthy Women Walking Together The group meets Monday - Thursday at Eurogiant Carpark at 7pm and also has a WhatsApp group. Check out their Facebook page: ‘Enniscorthy Women Walking Together’.

Enniscorthy Toastmasters The group meeets fortnightly on Tuesdays in the IFA Centre, Enniscorthy, at 8pm. All welcome! for updates. n

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‘‘ PAUL KEHOE Paul Kehoe, Fine Gael TD for the present Wexford constituency, has indicated that he might throw his hat into the European Election ring next year. This column has written about Paul Kehoe on many occasions and the main thrust of what we have said is that he has always given a tremendous service to his constituents on a one-to-one basis. We know from experiences related to us that if he is approached on a matter by an individual a reply will always be forthcoming. It may not be what you want to hear but at least you will hear. Ireland South needs a representative, regardless of which party, to represent the people of the vast constituency which runs from the West of Ireland to Wexford. Our current representatives know little about Wexford or the east of the constituency and the one who is from here is more interested in what’s happening in Iraq or Gaza or China than he is in Wexford or anywhere else in his constituency. So the thing to bear in mind when voting in the next Europeans is to forget about which party someone is from and vote for a candidate who will at least keep in touch with us once he or she gets to Europe. On that score Kehoe would be tops.

RIOTS IN DUBLIN The riots in Dublin were a disgrace and did nothing other than destroy people’s property and livelihoods and injure gardaí. Those involved had little to do with people frustrated by government policies and more to do with thuggery and vandalism from a mob who saw an opportunity to wreak havoc and get other people’s goods and property for nothing. Most of the low lifes involved wouldn’t know what work means much less how to contribute to the country. The majority of them have spent and will spend the rest of their lives on social welfare drawing our money every week through every scam in the book. They may have been egged on by the so-called far right, which in reality hardly exists beyond a few nutters, but their purpose was simply destruction and looting regardless of left or right.

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View from the Centre

A local contributor, based in the centre of the county, looks at life today in Co. Wexford and beyond Having said the above, it is important for our politicians to recognise that there is a genuine concern amongst the majority of people in relation to our asylum policies. Even ministers are beginning to admit this and are making statements to the effect that there is only a limited capacity in this country to assist those in need. Those who said this twelve months ago were actually described as far right. It would appear from most everyday conversations that the vast majority of people have little problem with genuine refugees entering the country but have a huge problem with the influx of mostly male Paul Kehoe TD has indicated that he might throw his hat into the European Election ring next year.

migrants from countries from which they couldn’t possibly access Ireland directly. This would indicate that we as a country have little responsibility for these particular people and that we shouldn’t be providing the type of services which we are granting on a daily basis. Many Irish people quite rightly resent the fact that everyday services such as the granting of a medical card to cancer patients is not automatic, is strictly means tested and refused even in borderline cases when on the same day a healthy male refugee can and does automatically qualify for the card that the cancer patient is denied. This is unacceptable on all levels and there are numerous other state services such as accommodation which is dealt with in a similar manner. The fact that Irish people who work hard every single day to put their children through college cannot get a break while newcomers get in free is another major cause of contention. This is building up a deep resentment in a section of the population which normally goes about its business without bothering to observe what is going on around it. This is dangerous in any society. It is particularly dangerous in a country where those who raise legitimate concerns are shouted down by both the government and the main opposition parties. Other than a few Independents in the Oireachtas no one will bite the bullet on this issue. That is going to lead to a situation where we will see the emergence of a real far right which will be supported by many who are actually hard-working middle of the road people who see themselves, their children and their older relatives being totally ignored. The classic comment from those who seem determined to continue the absolute without restraint open door policy is that we are one of the richest countries in the world and can afford it. Fine, but the cancer patient denied a medical card, the person asleep on the side of the street, the parent seeking help for an autistic child or the person struggling to pay college fees don’t feel that. If we have all this wealth there should be no problem with us sharing it, but let’s share it equally. n

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ECCE & NCS Scheme 5th December 2023 - Page 55

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Remembrance Day in Wexford An ecumenical service was held at St Iberius Church on 12th November 2023 for those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. In attendance were the Mayor of Wexford John Hegarty and members of Wexford Borough District Council who wore their ceremonial robes for the commemorative occasion. The Mayor led a procession through the streets to the War Memorial Plaque in Redmond Square where he laid a wreath commemorating the military contribution of Wexford people including the 800 Wexford men who lost their lives in the Great War.

Above left: Rev. Ciarán Kavanagh and fellow attendees. Above right: Rev. Ciarán Kavanagh, Town Sergeant Jason Tennant, Cllr Maura Bell, Mayor John Hegarty, Cllr George Lawlor and Cllr Ger Carthy (Ambulance Officer).

Members of the John Barry Branch of ONE (the organisation of national exservice men and women).

The Colour Party lower the National Flag during the Last Post.

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Top left: Mayor of Wexford John Hegarty lays a wreath at the monument in Redmond Square. Top right: Some of the attendees at the memorial service. Above left: Playing the Last Post is Anthony Nolan while the Order of Malta lowers its banners. Above right: Members of the John Barry branch of ONE at Redmond Square. Left: The Colour Party leads the parade from St. Iberius Church to Redmond Square. Below: One of those placing a wreath at Redmond Square was Florrie Jenkins (nearest the camera).


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WLD Social Enterprise Event Social Enterprise Network Launch in Kilcannon Garden Centre & Restaurant, Enniscorthy, on 16th November 2023, organised by Wexford Local Development (WLD) – a great networking day for the sector. n

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Above L-R: Tony Dempsey, Dave Ormonde (WLD), Brian Kehoe (WLD), Eamonn Kelly (WLD), Helena Dempsey (WLD), Breda Hayes, Michael Wall and Clare Ryan (WLD). Below left: EPIC Social Enterprise managed by Tina Suter and Tracy Carty. Below right: Catherine McPartlin, Colm Morris and Margaret McElwain, Medieval Ferns Experience. Bottom left: Barry Symes (Community Finance Ireland)) and Trevor Jacob (Reach Ability). Bottom right: Panel of experts, Dr. Senan Cooke (SERI and Dunhill Rural Enterprises Ltd), Barry Symes (Community Finanace Ireland), Clare Ryan (WLD), Johnny Sheenan (The Wheel) and Padraig Fitzgerald (Rethink Ireland).

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Top left: Maria Mulcahy, Rosslare Community & Sports Centre, Trevor Jacob, Reach Ability, and Martin O’Brien, Barrow Valley Activities Hub. Top right: Michelle Brophy, Dreambig Foundation, Walter Walsh, Colclough Walled Garden, and Susan Finnerty, WLD Little Jobs Service. Above left: Three wise men, John O’Connor, Brendan Ennis and Alan Maher. Above right: Sean Connick, John F Kennedy Trust, and Brendan Ennis, Wexford Enterprise Association. Right: Some of the attendees. Below left: Panel of experts, Brendan Ennis (Wexford Enterprise Association), John Evoy (Men’s Shed Ireland and Grow Remote), Maria Mulcahy (Rosslare Community & Sports Centre), Trevor Jacob (Reach Ability) and Martin O’Brien (Barrow Valley Activities Hub). Below right: Tony Dempsey, Trevor Jacob and Seamus Murphy.

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Popular John Ashdown (79) was a Man of Integrity John Ashdown was a tall, bearded, gracious and ever smiling Englishman from East Sussex. He met with Enniscorthy girl Nancy Whelan while she worked in England in the 1960s. They fell in love, married, spent their honeymoon at no. 6 Pearse Road in Enniscorthy and thus began a 57-yearold immersion in the town and the surrounding communities.

Palace, near New Ross for his meetings with the “League of Enniscorthy Gentlemen”, Hugo, Mick, Roy, Willie, Tony and Alan in The Bailey. They would meet on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 o’clock. He was known throughout the county as an accomplished Bridge player. He tried acting in a sketch titled The Saucy Lily and he had a week-long run in the Enniscorthy Musical Society’s The Desert Song as a chorus-line Arab.

In a eulogy, his friend Tony McClean, the accountant, addressed the attendance of 100 or so people at his funeral mass in St Aidan’s Cathedral, at 10 o’clock on a beautiful Monday 20th July. John was 79. Fr. Tom Dalton, the new administrator of the cathedral and diocesan master of ceremonies, officiated. John Ashdown R.I.P.

In an indication of John’s popularity, the church was sprinkled with people from Enniscorthy town, Clonroche, north county Wexford, New Ross and as far south as the parish of Tintern. Tony told of how John and Nancy came home from England with their two girls, Julie and Helen, and set up permanent home in the town in 1977. The girls went to school in Coláiste Bríde. Helen, a books editor, is author of The Last Surrender – County Wexford 1916. She is former chief sub-editor with the Echo Group and former secretary with the Athenaeum in the town. Julie has been a project manager with a multinational company in the UK and Ireland.

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John worked with different businesses around town for a number of years. In 1985, he bought a shoe repair business in Tommy Murphy’s Department Store on Court Street. To him, self-employed meant self-enjoyed. He loved the banter and the craic with the customers he met every day. Everyone in the town who needed their shoes repaired, remembered his heart-felt smile and warm welcome. In recent times, he looked forward to coming in from his home at The Loft, in

His passion for sport was known throughout the town. He became an expert on soccer, rugby, golf, athletics, cricket, cycling, darts, snooker, Formula 1 racing, and tennis. In his final weeks, he followed the British Grand Prix, the Tour de France and the tennis finals at Wimbledon. Concluding his eulogy, Tony McClean said: “We will miss you John, a man of integrity, a fine friend, a real gentleman, unequalled father and grandfather, a kind and true husband to Nancy. And now as John would say, ‘God Bless.’” John Ashdown R.I.P. is survived in Ireland by his wife Nancy, his daughter Julie, his daughter Helen, her husband Noel Murphy and their daughter (John’s granddaughter) Victoria. His brother Neil and his wife Ann and their daughters Frances and Kelly, grandnieces and grand- nephews are in Surrey in England. – M.F. n

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New community calendar launched by Community Team at Wexford Co. Council Last month, the Community Team at Wexford County Council launched its Community Calendar for 2024. The team, which includes work under the brands of Wexford LCDC, Healthy Wexford, Sláintecare Healthy Communities, Wexford Age Friendly and Sports Active Wexford, gathered for a photo to mark the occasion, and to present the first calendar to Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr John Fleming. Speaking about the calendar, Cllr Fleming said, ‘Whether you are interested in arts and culture, sports and recreation, education and training, or community development and support, you will find something in the calendar that suits your needs and interests.’ Carolyne Godkin, Director of Services with responsibility for Community, said, ‘We are proud to share this, our first calendar, that showcases some of our work and celebrates our Wexford communities,’ while Dymphna O’Connor, Head of Community, said, ‘Our calendar is more than just a collection of dates and events, it is a reflection of our passion, dedication, and diversity as we serve the

L-R: Dymphna O’Connor, Senior Executive Officer, Community; Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr. John Fleming; Carolyne Godkin, Director of Services, Wexford Co. Council. people of Wexford in various ways.’ The calendar includes local photos and includes key messages and dates each month which the team hope will act as a further support to communities and citizens across County Wexford.

Calendars are available for free across County Wexford at local Municipal District Offices, at County Hall and through the Wexford Public Libraries. The Community Team will also be distributing in the course of their work over the next few weeks. n Carolyne Godkin, Director of Services and Dymphna O’Connor, Senior Executive Officer, Community, with the staff of the Community Department.

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SETU Wexford graduation

Pictured are Emma Murphy, Wexford town, Rachel Nolan, Ferns, Mark Keogh, Arklow, Joyce Ibrahim, Balbriggan, Dublin and Emma Foley, Waterford city who were conferred with a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies in Professional Social Care. Photograph: Patrick Browne.

Over 160 graduates of South East Technological University (SETU) were conferred with academic awards at Wexford’s National Opera House on Friday, 10 November, 2023. Awards were conferred to students across 18 academic programmes from business, digital media, art, visual communications and design, to sustainable farm management and agribusiness. Students were presented with their awards by Professor Veronica Campbell, President of SETU, Chancellor and Chairperson of SETU’s Governing Body, Professor Patrick Prendergast, and Dr Karen Hennessey, Head of Campus at SETU in Wexford. The spectacular venue in Wexford town was the ideal place to celebrate and showcase the academic achievements of students across a range of programmes on offer at SETU’s Wexford campus. This included the first cohort of students to graduate from SETU’s Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Tourism and Event Management.

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Addressing the graduates, Prof. Campbell said, “It is wonderful to be in Wexford at the amazing venue of the National Opera House to congratulate our graduates on their hard work and dedication in achieving their academic awards. I’d like to extend my thanks to the students, their families, our staff team at SETU, and the team here at the Opera House for all their work in making this event possible. “SETU is committed to providing an enriching and transformational learning experience that enables and supports our students to achieve their potential as lifelong learners and global citizens in a caring environment. “We have set out how to achieve this in our ambitious five-year strategic plan, Connecting for Impact 2023-2028. The aim of this plan is to ensure SETU is reflective of the rich connectivity between our communities in the south east and further afield; communities that include

learners, staff, industry stakeholders, and global partners. Central to achieving this is having our students at the core of what we do and providing increased access for learners to attend higher education throughout the region.” The conferring ceremony took place in the wake of the visit by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, to Wexford last month. Minister Harris confirmed that the acquisition of the new site in Wexford has significantly progressed, with Wexford County Council having successfully moved to the final stages of the CPO process. The development of SETU’s Wexford Campus is in line with the university’s strategic goals and will ensure that SETU becomes the leading technological university for the south east, providing accessible higher education opportunities for learners across its campuses in the region. n

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Pictured is Roisin Barnes from Enniscorthy who was conferred with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Social Studies in Professional Social Care. Also pictured are her family Sam, Theo, Caroline and Jack. Photograph: Patrick Browne.

Rachel O’Leary, Monamolin, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Farm Management & Agribusiness and Niamh Dempsey, Oulart, Bachelor of Business.

Above left: Some of the first cohort of students to graduate from SETU’s Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Tourism and Event Management. Above right: Hannah Morrissey, New Ross, Becky Ali, Gorey and Eimear Walker, Arklow who were conferred a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies in Professional Social Care. Photographs: Patrick Browne.

Left: Hats off to this group of graduates! Above: Jackie Leavy, Wexford town, Cillian Meyler, Wexford town, and Liga Mozeiko from Gorey who were conferred with a Bachelor of Business (Honours). Photographs: Patrick Browne.

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Carraig Briste Early Years visit to

Carraig Briste Early Years school visit to Wheelock’s Tree Farm, Moneyhore, Enniscorthy, 29th November 2023.

Above left: James Doyle and Mary Wheelock. Above centre: Seeing the children off. Above right: Mary Wheelock giving the children a goodie bag as they head to Carraig Briste. Below left: Enjoying hot choclate and biscuit time. Below centre: Relaxing time. Below right: Orlagh with the children at the hot chocolate p

PAT’S PICTURE PARADE OUT AND ABOUT WITH PHOTOGRAPHER PAT O’CONNOR 087-2870006 Above left: Lots of fun among the big trees and the small trees. Above right: ‘This is great’, Kate and Hayley. Below left: Toby, Ellie and Darko. Below right: Kathriona, Lucy, Eddie and Orlagh.

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Above Below

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Wheelock’s Christmas Tree Farm

d back party.

Above left: Darko hiding in the trees. Above centre: Orlagh Doyle, proprietor of Carraig Briste Early Years, and Mary Wheelock. Above right: Hot chocolate time. Below left: Ned and Hayley with Orlagh. Below centre: Caithlin, Brian and Stephanie. Below right: Having fun at the Tree Farm.

left: Enjoying the freedom of the Tree Farm. Above right: Orlagh and Ned . left: Eddie and Orlagh. Below right: Mary, Mary Wheelock and Orlagh.

Above: Fraya, Ned, Luka, Ava and Ruairi. Below: Freya and Kimmy.

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Killegney Early Years visit to Wh

Killegney Early Years school visit to Wheelock’s Tree Farm, Moneyhore, Enniscorthy, 27th November 2023. Above left: Killegney Early Years proprietor Orlagh Doyle with Mary Wheelock. Above centre: Morgan and Anna. Above right: Hay buddies – Orla, Sonny and Below left: Hot chocolate and biscuit time. Below centre: Cillian and Aaron. Below right: Orlagh with Hazel and Aine.

PAT’S PICTURE PARADE OUT AND ABOUT WITH PHOTOGRAPHER PAT O’CONNOR 087-2870006 Above left: Ollie enjoying a cuppa! Above right: Hazel, Aine and Cian. Below left: Kate and Anne with the Killegney kids. Below right: Playing hide and seek

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Abo Below lef

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heelock’s Christmas Tree Farm


Above left: Orla Morgan and Orlagh Doyle. Above centre: Pass the biscuits! Above right: Aaron and Cian. Below left: Aoife enjoying her treat. Below centre: Anna likes her hot chocolate. Below right: It’s a wonderful life!

ve left: Mary Wheelock with James Doyle. Above right: River and Anna. ft: Admiring the little trees – Libby, Aine and Philip with Orlagh. Below right: The Joy of Christmas!

Above: The third group of Killegney children arrive at the Tree Farm with Tara as their escort. Below: Small children among the small trees.

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Enniscorthy Community College of Further Education & Gorey Institute of Further Education Graduation Ceremony Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, 13th November 2023.

Above: Linda Cahill and Claudia Fannin, Hairdress Below left: Michael Davitt, Office Administration Below right: Frank Buckley and Patricia Fortune Early Learning & Care.

text from booklet The Early Learning & Care team and their instructors at the presentation of certs.

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sing. n. e,

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Melissa, Roisín and Kayle Murphy after Melissa got her Healthcare Cert.

Above left: Emma and Darcy McCarthy, Beauty Cert, and Brian Owens. Above right: Klye O’Leary and Paul Dobbs after receiving their Sport, Recreation & Exercise Certs.

John, Zoe and Charlotte Irwin, Zoe got her cert for Hairdressing.

Marie Roche, Early Learning & Care and Katie Kelly, Community Care Cert.

Right: Isabela Granado, Zoe Breslin, Paula Lynch, Grace Flanagan, Alannah McCann, Early Learning & Care Certs.


Above left: Paula Lynch, Early Learning & Care Cert. Above right: Helen, Zoe (Early Learning & Care Cert) and Margaret Breslin.

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Turning on the Christmas Lights in Bunclody on 2nd December 2023 with the main man Santa and entertainment by the colourful Seamus Long.

Festive fun in Bunclody Switching on the Christmas Lights 2nd December 2023

Seamus Long with Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy

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Women in politics L-R: Councillor Mary Farrell, Councillor Maura Bell, Councillor Bridin Murphy, Mairead O’Shea of See Her Elected, Councillor Barbara-Anne Murphy and Councillor Kathleen Codd-Nolan.

THERE ARE ONLY 6 FEMALES OUT OF 34 COUNCILLORS ON WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL, AND TWO OF THOSE ARE NOT SEEKING RE-ELECTION NEXT YEAR – KATHLEEN CODD-NOLAN AND MAURA BELL... To try and encourage more young women to enter politics, a new School Roadshow is up and running. Wexford Women’s Coalition, which brings together the female Wexford County Council members, is committed to ensuring that female members are supported in the Local Government system. The Coalition has joined forces with See Her Elected, the award-winning government-funded project which aims to encourage women from rural areas to engage in local politics. Together they visit secondary schools in County Wexford in a bid to encourage more young women to see politics as a possible career path. The Schools’ Roadshow is part of a political education series which hopes to encourage diversity in county council chambers in rural areas throughout the country. The number

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of schools visited in 2023 is six with plans to continue the initiative in 2024. Chairperson of the Wexford Women’s Coalition Cllr. Maura Bell said, “It is so important that our political and civic structures are representative of the communities that they support and work for.” The Coalition Members are very aware that only 26% of councillors in Ireland are women and there is a major difficulty with an under representation of women in local politics in rural Ireland. For example, there are only six women out of 34 councillors on Wexford County Council: 4 out of 32 in Waterford and only 2 out of 18 in Carlow. In almost one hundred years there have only been 15 women elected to Wexford County Council (since 1925). Communications Manager with See Her Elected Mairead O’Shea said: “We want to see more diversity in our rural county council chambers. We need our chambers to be more reflective of society and we need to see more women in politics in order to have more balanced decision making.

“As part of our political education series, we do a presentation for students from senior classes to encourage them to critically engage with See Her Elected’s work and the outcomes from having Council Chambers that do not reflect what the communities they represent look like. “See Her Elected’s aim is to engage with students to increase their awareness and understanding of gender inequality in politics as well as encouraging them to get their names on the Register of Electors. “Some schools have Politics & Society as a subject but even if schools don’t have these subjects, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get students thinking about why the current status quo needs to change.” “Many 5th and 6th year students will be able to vote in the next Local Elections in 2024 so they are the ideal age group to address and the feedback and positive engagement from students has been fantastic. We have lots of information to share and some great videos and each presentation is tailored to the specific county,” said Mairead. n

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The virtual dementia experience

Staff and stakeholders get the Virtual Dementia Experience at County Hall, Wexford Co. Council.

On Monday 20th November, Wexford County Council welcomed the ‘Virtual Dementia Tour Bus’ to County Hall. The Mobile Virtual Dementia Tour allows people to experience the lived reality people with dementia can go through on a daily basis, allowing participants to gain an insight into what it is like for those who are living with dementia. Speaking after the training, Ann Marie Laffan from the Community Section at Wexford County Council said: “Participants found the training quite overwhelming, thought provoking and a great way to develop an understanding of what people living with dementia might experience.’ She continued, ‘Our aim in delivering this training was to enable participants to gain a greater understanding and to consider the lived reality of dementia in design and delivery of our services and how we interact with people.” The initiative was supported by Healthy Wexford, at Wexford

County Council. Annette Dupuy, Healthy County Co-Ordinator said, ‘In our vision for a Healthy Wexford we are working to support the wellbeing of all of our citizens and enabling this type of dementia awareness training with staff and stakeholders is a further step to delivering on this vision.’ This training follows on from a series of initiatives that Wexford County Council has delivered over recent years to make the organisation more dementia friendly. These included their involvement in the setting up of the Wexford Dementia Alliance, a multi-agency group that aims to improve the health and wellbeing for people living with dementia and their families and carers in Wexford as well as the production of a dementia information leaflet and directory of services with information on key services and supports available locally. Other agencies that attended the training included An Garda Siochana, HSE, WWETB and Wexford Local Development. n

Investing in our libraries Last month the government announced €1.3 million in funding to provide new computers, laptops and iPads to public libraries including almost €64,000 for Wexford libraries (Gorey, Bunclody, Enniscorthy, Wexford and New Ross) to help them become more digitally inclusive. Gorey Senator Malcolm Byrne says this move is ‘really welcome’ and that, ‘The investment, under the Libraries Capital Programme, will assist our libraries in becoming more digitally inclusive. Communities across the country are set to be benefit from the initiative – with a particular focus on supporting young people, our elderly and our disadvantaged.’ Minister James Browne has also welcomed the news: ‘It reflects

our government’s commitment to supporting young people, our elderly and our disadvantaged in accessing digital facilities and strengthening their ICT skills. These devices will also play a role in providing literacy and technology skills training for those looking for work. Our County Wexford Public Library Service does great work in serving the community, I’m Senator glad that this investment Malcolm will support their good Byrne work.’ n

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L to R: Mayor of Wexford, Cllr. John Hegarty; Cllr. Maura Bell; Annette Dupuy, Healthy County Coordinator; Cllr. Ger Carthy, Leas Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council; Hazel Percival, Senior Executive Librarian. Photo: Rocket Science Media.

Talking encouraged in libraries! Following the success of the pilot ‘Happy to Chat’ Café initiative rolled out in summer 2023, the initiative is now to extend with local businesses and organisations encouraged to get involved. In tandem, Wexford Public Libraries are also getting involved, with Happy to Chat cards to be placed on tables in your local library and the monthly library conversation hour at Wexford Town Library to be rebranded as the ‘Happy to Chat’ Conversation Hour. In any of the Happy to Chat locations, people are asked to consider sitting at the chatting table alone or with a friend, highlighting that you are open to others joining you. Within libraries, hotels, restaurants and cafes participating, the premises allocate one of their tables as a ‘Happy to Chat’ table, and in each location these tables are identified by a small table sign in the distinctive Healthy Ireland green colour. With the addition of the library Conversation Hour, the Happy to Chat pro-

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ject extends the chatting opportunity further as this is a specific time when people come into the library to chat. In Wexford Library this happens at 11am on the second Tuesday of each month. Speaking at the November Happy to Chat Conversation Hour in Wexford Library, Leas Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr Ger Carthy said, ‘It’s exciting to see this initiative extend as I know it can be of benefit to reduce loneliness and isolation in a range of locations across County Wexford, from businesses to community cafes and now also in our libraries.’ Chair of the Healthy County Committee Cllr John Hegarty added, ‘It is often the simplest ideas that work best, and I want to acknowledge the work of Cllr. Maura Bell and our Mental Wellbeing Working Group who have developed the initiative, and the pilot locations who have taken it on board and helped us to trial and refine it for further roll out.’ The Wexford ‘Happy to Chat’ initiative

commenced during the Covid period with the development of custom ‘Happy to Chat’ benches to increase social engagement and reduce loneliness and isolation in our county. With the ability to safely return indoors, the ‘Happy to Chat’ Café initiative was piloted in summer 2023. Following review and feedback from pilot locations the Healthy Wexford team are continuing and extending the initiative. If businesses or community cafes across County Wexford would like to get involved, they should get in touch with the Healthy County Coordinator Annette Dupuy via Healthy Wexford social media, by email or by calling 053-9196000. Participating locations will be provided with table tent cards, a window sticker and a short guidance note for rolling out the initiative. To find out details of the Happy to Chat initiative in libraries, contact your local library. n

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Breakfast with Santa at Kilcannon Garden Centre & Restaurant


2nd December 2023

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Comhairle Contae

053 919 6000

Loch Garman Carricklawn, Wexford Y35 WY93

Wexford County Council invites applicants for the following post: Temporary Environmental Warden

Tá cáilíochtaí, foirmeacha iarratais agus sonraí breise don phost seo ar fáil ó:

Selection for all posts will be by means of interview and candidates may be shortlisted based on applications submitted. Panels may be formed from which future vacancies may be filled.

Cuir glaoch ar (053) 919 6000 nó tabhair cuairt ar ár suíomh Gréasáin ag

Qualifications, application forms and further particulars for this post are available from: Customer Service (Block F), Wexford County Council, Carricklawn, Wexford. Phone (053) 919 6000 or visit our website at Closing date for receipt of completed application forms for this post is: 5.00pm on Thursday 14th December, 2023. Wexford County Council is an Equal Opportunities Employer. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Wexford County Council invites applicants for the following posts: Civil Technician Grade I Civil Technician Grade II Selection for all posts will be by means of interview and candidates may be shortlisted based on applications submitted. Panels may be formed from which future vacancies may be filled.

Seirbhís do Chustaiméirí (Bloc F), Comhairle Contae Loch Garman, Carricklawn, Loch Garman.

Is é an dáta deiridh chun foirmeacha iarratais comhlánaithe a fháil don phost seo: 5.00 in Déardaoin 14 Nollaig, 2023. Is Fostóir Comhdheiseanna í Comhairle Contae Loch Garman. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Tugann Comhairle Contae Loch Garman cuireadh d’iarratasóirí don phost seo a leanas: Teicneoir Sibhialta Grád I Teicneoir Sibhialta Grád II Is trí agallamh a dhéanfar gach post a roghnú agus féadfar iarrthóirí a chur ar ghearrliosta bunaithe ar iarratais a chuirtear isteach. Féadfar painéil a bhunú ónar féidir folúntais amach anseo a líonadh. Tá cáilíochtaí, foirmeacha iarratais agus sonraí breise do gach post ar fáil ónár suíomh Gréasáin ag Tabhair faoi deara le do thoil nach mór gach iarratas ar na poist thuas a Chlóscríobh agus a chur isteach trí Ríomhphost amháin chuig

Qualifications, application forms and further particulars for all posts are available from our website at

NÍ ghlacfar le cóipeanna crua clóite do na postálacha thuas.

Please note all applications for the above posts must be Typed and submitted by Email only to

Is é an dáta deiridh chun foirmeacha iarratais comhlánaithe a fháil don phost seo: 5.00 in Déardaoin 14 Nollaig, 2023.

Printed hard copies will NOT be accepted for the above posts. Is Fostóir Comhdheiseanna í Comhairle Contae Loch Garman. Closing date for receipt of completed application forms for this post is: 5.00pm on Thursday 14th December, 2023. Wexford County Council is an Equal Opportunities Employer. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Tugann Comhairle Contae Loch Garman cuireadh d’iarratasóirí don phost seo a leanas: Maor Comhshaoil Sealadach Is trí agallamh a dhéanfar gach post a roghnú agus féadfar iarrthóirí a chur ar ghearrliosta bunaithe ar iarratais a chuirtear isteach. Féadfar painéil a bhunú ónar féidir folúntais amach anseo a líonadh. Street Lights Broken? Report on

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Notice of Intention to Acquire Derelict Site Compulsorily under Derelict Sites Act,1990 (As amended by the Planning and Development Act 2000) Notice is hereby given that Wexford County Council (hereinafter referred to as the “local authority”) in exercise of the powers conferred on them by Section 14 of the Derelict Sites Act, 1990 intend to acquire compulsorily under the said Act the derelict site described hereunder. Property at The Former Bike Shop, Priory Street, New Ross, Co. Wexford.

Outside office hours call: 053 919 6000 Register on for free text and email alerts about service disruptions in your locality

Planning app. lists available at

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Comhairle Contae

053 919 6000

Loch Garman Carricklawn, Wexford Y35 WY93

A map of the said derelict site has been deposited and may be inspected at reasonable hours at the following location: •

Property Management Unit, Wexford County Council, Carricklawn, Wexford

Any owner, lessee or occupier (except a tenant for a month or a period less than a month) may, on or before Friday, 12th of January 2024 submit to the local authority an objection to the proposed compulsory acquisition of the derelict site. Any such objection must be in writing stating the grounds of the objection and addressed to the local authority at the Property Management Unit, Wexford County Council, Carricklawn, Wexford. The Derelict Sites Act, 1990 (as amended by the Planning and Development Act, 2000) provides that if an objection is made to the proposed compulsory acquisition of a derelict site and the objection is not withdrawn, the derelict site shall not be acquired compulsorily by the local authority without the consent of An Bord Pleanála. Description of Derelict Site Proposed to be Acquired Property at The Former Bike Shop, Priory Street, New Ross, Co. Wexford

My Open Library Service opening hours are in place in Gorey and New Ross Libraries over the Christmas period covering access from 8am to 10pm each day. Please contact those libraries to arrange a My Open Library induction. Please feel free to stock up on extra books now for Christmas and remember that our online library is open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week at Out of Hours: Wexford County Council reminds the public that our Out of Hours Emergency Number 053 9196000 will continue to operate throughout the Christmas period. The Staff & Management of Wexford County Council wish you a Happy & Peaceful Christmas. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Tenders The following tender competitions are currently active. If you wish to obtain further information, and make a submission for any of the tenders, please visit ID

Dated this 23rd day of November, 2023.


Tender Description

2736477 84/ENV/2023 Landfill Environmental Monitoring

Tom Enright Chief Executive Wexford County Council


2713007 82/SP/2023

AV Exhibition Production and Installation - Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience, New Ross, Co. Wexford


2748669 85/IT/2023

SharePoint Implementation 2023



Christmas Opening Hour Arrangements 2023

Closing Date

Public Offices: All public offices of Wexford County Council, with the exception of Motor Tax Department, will close for the Christmas period at 3pm on Friday, 22nd December 2023 and will re-open Tuesday, 2nd January 2024 at 9am. The Motor Tax Office will be open from 9.30am to 1pm on Friday 22nd December and will reopen on Tuesday, 02nd January 2024 at 9.30am. Public Libraries: Libraries in County Wexford will close at 5.30pm on Friday 22nd December and reopen on Friday 29th December. All libraries will close for lunch from 1pm-2pm on 29th December with the exception of Wexford Library. Libraries will close for New Year from 30th December until 1st January inclusive and reopen fully on Tuesday 2nd January. The mobile library service will not operate over the Christmas period. Street Lights Broken? Report on

Outside office hours call: 053 919 6000 Register on for free text and email alerts about service disruptions in your locality

Planning app. lists available at

5th December 2023 - Page 77

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12 G

12 Gauge Outrage

12 Gauge Live Album

Words by Dorn Simon – Pics by D On Saturday, November 18th, The Presentation Arts Centre in Enniscorthy was once again filled with black eyeliner, fishnets and metal-clad gig-goers, as the local Metalheads, Goths, Rockers, and Punks all stormed the venue that once hosted their regular all-ages alternative scene. 12 Gauge Outrage

It was a special night as local band 12 Gauge Outrage were recording their ‘Live’ album which included a 12-camera set-up video shoot on the night. The band consists of Bryan Steacy on bass, Richard 'Redgie' Harpur on guitar, Ciaran Byrne on guitar/vocals, Mark Sinnott-Parke on drums. Formed in 2014, the band have toured extensively across Ireland, bringing their metal riffs to many stages, always with the hard work and heavy metal that they deliver so thrashingly (pun intended). Audience members were as rampant as ever spiralling and stomping, thrashing and headbanging, to each riff, beat and noise, and boy did they bring some noise! The music metal family that attends these gigs is made up of talented musicians, other band members, and artists in their own right; as they 12 Gauge Outrage

support one another, working together to help each band get their chance at success, and to showcase or play live. Case in point, the night opened with BARMP, a slightly older outfit, compared to the teens, giving as powerful a performance as the rest, their rock style was executed with precision, and the band played a tight set. Absenth the ever-progressing all-girl teenage rock band from Enniscorthy, also played support, with their original material as worthy as the covers they perform, covers such as Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life, which vocalist Amira Murphy nails every single time. Next, we had local psychedelic rockers Crimson headed by musician/vocalist Cameron Allen, giving us a modern taste of 60’s nostalgia, 70’s glam rock, and even throwing in a punk track!

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Gauge Outrage Left and below: Absenth

Left and Above: Crimson

e Outrage Recording

Damian Smullen / Wexford Media Absenth

Their original tracks exhibit the dedication to hard work and excellence that the band strives for; wishing to deliver the very best they can. Cameron, off-stage, goes as far as asking the fans for honest feedback on how could the band bring that ‘next level’ of experience to their shows – that is the difference between just playing, and being a professional musician. The venue and staff must be mentioned for hosting and providing one of the best gig venues in the South East, in our very own Enniscorthy Town. The Presentation Arts Centre is a gem for local arts and music providing for the community. The Soundman on the night did a stellar job, and everything ran smoothly technically; the video crew had the cameras strategically laid and set up to capture every angle, movement and sound, including the gimbal cam for that intimate and intricate footage from within the crowd. The headliners were introduced by local actor and talent extraordinaire Fintan Kelly and 12 Gauge Outrage were amped by the time they took the stage, and the audience was primed. These guys always bring the thrash to the bash, the noise reminiscent of Thrash Metal, Groove Metal and Metalcore as are their obvious influences. They were in great form, full of life and played their hearts out, to deliver the best performance and atmosphere they could for the live album and video. Playing tracks from across their music catalogue, many were recognised by both the older and more recent fans. Each musician is adept in their quarter of the band, though together they deliver effortlessly.

Above and below: BARMP

Again they brought 12 Gauge to Enniscorthy, and the audience was Outraged, to use the words of the band, who always end their set with “Thank you very much, we were 12 Gauge, and you’ve been outraged.” – DORN SIMON

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Top Irish sopranos Claudia Boyle and Rachel Croash return to Wexford to spread some Christmas magic Lyric Opera presents

A Classical Christmas 9 December 2023 – 8pm Tickets: €20 - €40 + Facility Fee National Symphony Orchestra presents

Christmas Gala with Claudia Boyle 15 December 2023 – 7.30pm Tickets: €25 - €45 + Facility Fee Tickets to both these seasonal concerts can be purchased online at or by ringing the National Opera House Box Office on 053 912 2144. Box Office phone lines are open from 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. Claudia Boyle

Not long after performing together at this year’s Wexford Festival Opera, Irish sopranos Claudia Boyle and Rachel Croash make a welcome, but individual, return to Wexford next month for two separate Christmas concerts. On Saturday, 9 November, Lyric Opera presents ‘A Classical Christmas’ featuring the rich and exquisite voice of soprano Rachel Croash. Rachel has graced the O’Reilly stage on many occasions and considers Wexford her second home. Lyric Opera Director Vivian Coates, who is no stranger to Wexford either, creates a beautifully evocative and atmospheric Christmas event that reflects the joy and magic of the season. Rachel will be joined by the Portuguese tenor José De Eça, the Lyric Opera Orchestra, conducted by Paul McGrath, and the MTU Glór Choral Society to perform a programme of classical festive music both old and new.

Rachel Croash

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Back by popular demand after last year’s riveting and sold-out performance, the always ‘captivating’ Claudia Boyle returns with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Cór Linn Choir, under the baton of conductor David Brophy, for a festive gala concert on Wednesday, 15 December bringing together the worlds of opera, seasonal favourites and carols including Bach/Gounod’s Ave Maria, The Wexford Carol and of course, the ever popular O Holy Night. The National Symphony Orchestra will also perform suitably snowy orchestral showpieces including Nigel Hess’s ringing Christmas Overture and Leroy Anderson’s exhilarating Sleigh Ride. n

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Local drama groups excel again Gorey Senator Malcolm Byrne has congratulated three County Wexford drama groups who have made the All Ireland One Act Drama Finals taking place in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, in December. Coolgreany Drama and Bunclody-Kilmyshall Drama Group will take part in the Open Section of the Finals while New Ross Drama Group competes in the Confined Section. Malcolm said, "This is an incredible achievement for amateur drama in Co. Wexford. Three of the eleven finalists are

from the county and this is after hot competition right around the island. The very best of luck to all three casts and crews." He pointed out that, "Wexford is fortunate to have such a rich tradition of theatre and so many people are involved and gain enjoyment from the experience." Groups have to compete and win in drama festivals across the country to qualify for the All Irelands. One act plays may be shorter productions but the quality of drama is still of an exceptionally high standard. n

Senator Malcolm Byrne

Bunclody-Kilmyshall Drama Group is heading to the All-Ireland Finals Bunclody-Kilmyshall Drama Group (BKDG) recently competed on the One Act Drama Circuit with its production of Dead Man's Bells by Méabh de Brún, in locations as far away as Donegal and Cavan. The group secured first place in Bangor, Letterkenny and Mullagh, with three wins ensuring automatic qualification for the All Ireland – an amazing feat for director Michael Dunbar and his cast of Josephine Byrne, Lisa McCann and Margaret Farrell, with lights and sound designer and operator Grace Dunbar. The team have won acting, directing and audience cup awards throughout the five festivals at which it competed. The All Ireland Final will be held in the Iontas Centre in Castleblaney from 1st to 3rd December, as we go to press. As preparation for their All Ireland appearance, the group perform Dead Man's Bells for local audiences on 26th November in the FCJ concert hall which afforded the local audience a brilliant opportunity to enjoy this sharp, witty and funny play. Group Chairman Rory Kinsella expressed his pride saying, "Michael and his team have achieved so much and are a credit to the group. We wish them all the best in Castleblaney.” n

Talented and prolific Enniscorthy singer-songwriter Eoin Devereux has just released a great new song. Check it out on: k/5ThApFO8sYTEI2bx9HcviY ?si=dcee964a6d7d40b2

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Blackwater Parish Hall annual Christmas craft fair 5th November 2023

Above: Pat Burke. Above right: Katelyn Browne Kehoe with the County Board Game which she produces herself.

PAT’S PICTURE PARADE Left: Lucy and Bridget Barrett with Rein Fikentscher of Urns Creations.


Right: Katrina Abolina and her soft toys and Marion Doyle who couldnt get enough of them.

Left: Catherine Hanley from Adamstown with her array of Christmas wreaths. Above: Happy at their stand at the fair were Allison Kavanagh and Kathleen Mahon. Right: Front row Ella O’Brien, Ellie Dempsey and Kayleigh Cullen. Back row Lucy Wickham and Ellie Cullanan at their stand.

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Christmas jazz at Johnstown Sharon Clancy & Trio Bring Christmas Jazz to Johnstown Castle Add a touch of class to the Festive Season with an extra special Christmas Jazz at Johnstown concert on Friday, 15th December.

Left: Hoping to win a prize as they buy a raffle ticket were Natalia and Mira Teselko from the Ukraine and Liam Buttle. Above: Sharon Ennis and her wood celebrations. Below: Back row Ellen Fortune and Louise Hayden. Front Nellie, Nan and Eppie Fortune – flowers for all.

One of the best vocalists in Ireland, Wexford’s own Sharon Clancy returns with a top class trio of musicians: Dave Fleming on bass, Conor Murray on drums and Killian Browne on piano. The annual Christmas Jazz at Johnstown has become legendary and it’s not hard to understand why: jazz allows you to play around and have fun, and Sharon will do just that with some of the most famous Christmas songs ever written. The classic trio will serve up a cosy evening of Festive melodies, putting a unique stamp on a Winter Wonderland, as you would expect at Jazz at Johnstown. A frequent festival headliner both at home and abroad, Sharon offers a smouldering and sensuous vocal with a seasoned performer's mastery of the stage. Unmissable. n

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Enniscorthy’s Lola premiere November 4th saw The Presentation Centre in Enniscorthy fill with an enthusiastic audience for the Enniscorthy Premiere of ‘LOLA’, the second instalment of a Trilogy of short films by Enniscorthy’s own Nic Furlong. Each film so far has seen the crossing of boundaries, with drama so entrenched in the human condition, that they depict hard-hitting themes often neglected, for they remind us of the anguish and pain so many of us go through in our lives, whether it be addiction, mental health, grief, trauma, or abuse. The theatre layout for the evening was cluster tables, which soon expanded as more people arrived, giving ‘LOLA’ yet again, a full house for the night. What struck me most was how the audience were new faces, which only meant that the film was beginning to gain traction and interest from the public, so much so that there will be a Dublin Premiere – details TBA. A relaxed atmosphere enabled good networking, and social engagement before and after the showing, with

members of the cast and crew called to the stage for a Q&A session, which was unfortunately sometimes hard to hear due to the set-up. However, one could feel the energy, and see the expressions from the team to know they held fond memories of the shoot, one that was at times very challenging on all levels. Lily-Hendrick Doyle, who plays Lola, described how one rather sensitive scene was tough to do, and required much nerve and resolve, before, during and afterwards. Breda Hegarty and Ben Kavanagh had creative input to opt for and include moments of nudity to instil authenticity into the scenes, which the cast made light of during the Q&A. Michael Benson detailed how much he loves filming in Wexford, and what a gem for filmmakers the location is, providing so many nooks and crannies, aesthetic shots, and historical monuments, and that it truly helped to make ‘LOLA’ look the best it could in terms of atmosphere. He continued to describe how one major scene took five and a half hours to set up, to capture a maximum of ninety seconds of film - but as Director of Photography, it was worth every minute setting up.

Nic Furlong, writer and director, gives us the reality and describes how he writes, why he writes and the topics he chooses, or rather that choose him. He stated, “I am a better writer than anything else, director second,” referring to the fact he is a well-known actor and having been asked which role he feels most comfortable in. Nic also reminisced at the making of ‘LOLA’, stating how without the cast and crew it would not have been possible, as it was a group effort. All five on stage had us laughing as

L-R: Dorn Simon (Executive Producer), Breda Hegarty (Actress), Michael Benson (Director of Photography), Nic Furlong (Writer/Director), Lily Hendrick-Doyle (Actress), Ben Kavanagh (Actor). Pic: Wexford Media / Damien Smullen.

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L-R: Breda Hegarty (Actress), Ben Kavanagh (Actor), Lily Hendrick-Doyle (Actress). Pic: Wexford Media / Damien Smullen.

they revealed perspectives and experiences whilst on set. Nic went on to say how his previous short film SEED, which he wrote, directed and starred in was the first in the trilogy, and how he decided he would not star in the next one, as it was too gruelling to do the acting and directing on the same film. He discussed the themes in further detail and how he felt it was important to push these topic boundaries for the short film circuit.

CANELLI, his third and final film of the trilogy is currently seeking funding; to do the film project justice Nic feels a budget is paramount. As Executive Producer, it is humbling to watch ‘LOLA’ every time, as the sheer impact never wanes, and the audiences we have seen so far have made the film well received. ‘LOLA’ will be hitting the Festival Circuit in due course. – DORN SIMON

Ben Kavanagh and Lily Hendrick-Doyle address the audience. Pic: Wexford Media / Damien Smullen.

Full Cast: Ben Kavanagh, Lily Hendrick-Doyle, Breda Hegarty, Jason O’Halloran, Davide Pons, Roy O’Connor, Philip Wright, Saoirse Carty, Dorn Simon. Crew: Nic Furlong - Writer/Director Michael Benson - Director of Photography Dorn Simon - Executive Producer Michael Duggan - Production Assistant Aoife Reece - Production Assistant Kelly O’Neill - MUA Lauren Kehoe - MUA Katie Keogh - MUA Nikki George - Set Photographer Matt Laws - Music Score JAMM - Soundtrack

Writer/Director Nic Furlong is interviewed by Stephen Eustace with some of the cast and crew in the background. Pic: Wexford Media / Damien Smullen.

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Keep an eye out for all the festive windows in Enniscorthy, Bunclody and Ferns.

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BREAKFAST WITH SANTA AT KILCANNON GARDEN CENTRE AND RESTAURANT Very limited spots still available. To reserve your spot, call 053 9235514 (and select option 4).

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Above left: Here to look after you, Anne Dobbs, Angelicue Schreuder and Cillian Murphy. Above right: Richie Warren and Maureen Peare.

DELIGHTFUL DOLLIES’ CHRISTMAS FAIR BELLEFIELD GAA COMPLEX, 15TH NOVEMBER 2023 To buy copies of photos on this page, or to arrange photographic coverage of your event, call Pat on 087-2870006. Catherine Quigley (right), shows off her candle decorations to Agnes Davis and Theresa Ring.


Admiring the superb crafts on offer at the Delightful Dollies’ Christmas Fair.


Ross Kinnard with his book made an impact at the Fair with Ita Kinnard, Bridget Major and Kitty O’Brien.

Above left: Cakes, jams and puddings were a Above

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Above left: Margaret Doyle and Pat Gilmartin. Above centre: Jane Nolan and Sophie Hughes and soft toys. Above right: Joan Whelan, Oylegate, was happy to see a lot of punters at the Fair including May Askins, Mary Phillips, Noreen Leacy and Bernie Murphy.

Above left: Bridget Roche with her jams and cakes chats to Joan Peare. Above centre: Theresa O’Connor and Helen Owens. Above right: Two students from Colaiste Bride with their Christmas stand at the Fair, Casey Cullen and Eabha Walsh.

all the rage, Kathleen Hennessey, Jane Buckley (the producer) and Anne Dobbs. Above centre: Julie Coston, Patricia Wheeler and Tracey Cowman. right: Beneath My Angels Wings stand, customer Gloria Ennis being served by Kit Kenny and Jean Hendricks.

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Wexford photographers excel in national ‘Clean Coasts’ photo competition

SHORTLISTED IN ‘UNDERWATER’ CATEGORY: Ivan Donoghue Ivan got up close and personal with a small seal at the Saltee Islands. When asked how he captured the image, which he has called 'Collision Avoidance', Ivan explained, “A small seal swam towards the camera and then slowly banked away..."

3RD PLACE IN ‘WILDLIFE AND THE COAST’ Donal Power - Storm Chaser - Outcrop off Greater Saltee Island, Co. Wexford. Donal Power described his image, “A virtual south easterly tempest generated great wave energy and motion off the Greater Saltee island in early July this year. Here a lone razor bill seabird becomes a rider on the storm!”

SHORTLISTED IN ‘WILDLIFE AND THE COAST’ CATEGORY: Declan Roche Declan's photo is titled 'Homeward Bound Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford' and Declan says, "I grabbed this photo of an Atlantic Puffin on the Saltee Islands on a recent visit. The bird in question was returning to the island with a mouthful of sand eels after a successful fishing trip. What I really like about this shot is that the background, which is the crystal clear waters around the Saltee Islands, really compliments the Puffin.” WILDLIFE AND THE COAST: 3rd place - Donal Power, Storm Chaser, Outcrop off Greater Saltee Island, Co. Wexford. Shortlisted: Pat Somers, Little Egret with Mullet, Ferrybank, Co. Wexford. Shortlisted: Declan Roche, Homeward Bound, Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford. COASTAL HERITAGE:

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SHORTLISTED IN WILDLIFE AND THE COAST CATEGORY: Pat Somers - Little Egret with Mullet - Ferrybank, Co. Wexford. When asked about this Love Your Coast image, Pat Somers said, “I like visiting Ferrybank at low tide to watch the various birds catching some food. On this occasion while watching a pair of Egrets looking for food I heard a big splash and when I looked over I couldn't believe the size of the fish this one had managed to catch and was lucky enough it flew past me with it.”

2nd place - Todor Tilev, Abandoned Ship, Hook Peninsula, Co. Wexford. Shortlisted: Declan Roche, Sunset at Hook Lighthouse, Hook Lighthouse, Co. Wexford. Shortlisted: Myles Lambert, One Golden Glance, Hook Head, Co. Wexford. UNDERWATER: Ivan Donoghue, Collision Avoidance, Saltee

Islands, Co. Wexford. Ivan Donoghue, Permission To Land, Hook Head, Co. Wexford. Shazia Waheed, Shore Clingfish, Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford. PROTECTORS OF THE COAST: 2nd place - Alan Davis, Loopers on a Log, Co. Wexford.

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Kiltealy Christmas craft fair Organised by Kiltealy Voluntary Cardiac Response in the Community Centre, 26th November 2023

PAT’S PICTURE PARADE OUT AND ABOUT WITH PHOTOGRAPHER PAT O’CONNOR 087-2870006 Top left: Molly and Ann Bates having a quick cuppa. Top centre: James Armstrong with Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy who bought a calendar for next year – be sure to put the date for the local elections in it! Top right: Willie, Audrey and Phyllis Chapman. Above left: Kate Murphy, Lily O’Leary and Edie Bowe managing their stall. Above right: Heather and Mary Ellen Boyce. Left: Katelyn Browne and her Wexford Board Game caught the eye of Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy. Right: Robbie Garland, Bridget and John Hillis, and stallholder Emily Garland. Left: Getting some of her Christmas shopping done was Emily Whelan. Bottom left: Mary Bates, Phillipa Byrne and Bridget Cullen. Bottom centre: Handmade toys stall with sisters Shauna and Hannah Redmond. Bottom right: A very happy customer TJ Byrne with Theresa O’Keeffe at her stained glass and candles stand.

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Anita turns heads Enniscorthy’s amazing abundance of artist talent was remarkably evident recently with the launch of a music video by Anita Mahon, an art exhibition by Marja van Kampen, Martina Furlong, and Olivia O’Keeffe, and a film premiere by Dick Donaghue and Wexford Film Workshop. Turn, Turn, an inspired concept by wellknown Slaney Street music educator and conductor Anita Mahon, is a collaboration of music, lyric and dance performed by Anita, choreographed by the very creative Deirdre Grant, arranged by the very talented Wexford composer and producer Simon Quigley, and filmed by visionary filmmaker Andy Kenny. A large gathering of family and a great many friends from the Enniscorthy world of musicians, artists and supporters of the arts were there to encourage and enjoy the elegant, soft spoken, singer,

Anita Mahon and Aisling Williams.

dancer, conductor, musician, songwriter, and mentor, who delighted her audience with a quality performance, powerful, creative, and inspiringly artistic, all captured on the big screen. Introduced by Tom Mooney, the video explores the sometimes-excessive demands of today’s busy working world resulting in a loss of connection with our inner selves and our spirituality. Anita expressed her thanks to all who helped with the creation of Turn, Turn especially the assistance she received from local business man Michael Bennett who facilitated the use of Senan House for the filming of the project. Anita was lavish in her praise of The Presentation Arts Centre and its staff, ’As a proud Enniscorthy woman, and a past pupil of the Presentation Convent, I remember the nuns well and it is particularly poignant for me that the film is

Anita Mahon with Dr Philip Bowe.

Anita Mahon and friends.

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Anita Mahon

being shown here as they were so instrumental in my early years’ musical development and performance education.’ A wonderful evening’s entertainment and a beautifully executed piece of work. All I can say is, ‘Please Anita can we have some more.’ – WORDS & PICS BY MARIA NOLAN

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L-R: Joe Maddock, Peter Moran, Cllr Jim Moore, Seamus O’Flaherty and Ivan Sutton.

Mia and Iiona Molnav.

RNLI Kilmore Quay


Coffee Morning and Christmas Card Sale, Stella Maris Hall, 5th November 2023


Above left: No use in having a Councillor around unless you make him work says Lifeboat man Johnny Moore with Cllr Jim Codd. Above centre: Seamus and Anne Shore. Above right: Grainne O’Brien, Sally Griffiths and Carmel Keating. Below left: Cllr Jim Moore and his wife Lucy. Below centre: Cllr Jim Codd and Roisin Barry. Below right: Cllr Jim Codd is a big hit with the ladies, Elicia, Sandra Bates, Cllr Jim Codd and Leonie Bates.

Above left: Dean and Cody Roche. Above centre: Ellie Roche. Above right: Cathie Byrne and Barbara Hatton.

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Riverside Park Hotel – lots to look forward to The Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, upcoming events: 10th Jan 2024 - The Three Amigos, 1st Feb 2024 - Michael English, 8th Feb 2024 – Dan Mc Cabe, 22nd Feb 2024 – Mike Denver. Tickets from hotel reception or online at Overnight packages also available including tickets and accommodation. n

Opinion You Didn't Ask For Podcast

Tune in to Jamie and Blayne’s podcasts and check out:

Dancing with Declan

What’s On Wexford

Keep up to date with the local dancing scene on: n

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ARTS CENTRES Wexford Arts Centre: 053-9123764. The Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy: 053-9233000 The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely: (0402) 38529

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Check out for the best listing of what’s happening all over Co. Wexford. n

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Enniscorthy Retirement Association Enniscorthy Retirement Association’s last meeting of the year will take place on Tuesday 5th December at 2.30pm at the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy. The guest speaker will be Turtle Bunbury, author, historian and television presenter, who will speak on ‘Vanishing Ireland’. To check out upcoming events such as the association’s Christmas lunch in the Riverside Park Hotel on 11th December, and ongoing daily activities which take place every Mon-Thurs, see the association’s newsletter: 224298907353143&set=a.112129618570 073 Further information on the Association can be found on the Enniscorthy Retirement Association Facebook page or by attending the monthly meetings. New members are welcome to attend the meetings. See ‘Enniscorthy Retirement Association’ Facebook Page or email A new website is now live at n

Join a choir in Enniscorthy In Enniscorthy, there are at least three choirs open for new members: Enniscorthy Gospel Choir, the Silvertones and the new singing group called The Templars based at Templeshannon Community Centre. Contact details: Enniscorthy Gospel Choir: Facebook: ‘Enniscorthy Gospel Choir’ Silvertones: Danny 087 2465250 or Mary: 089 414 2626 The Templars: 053 9237511 or email: n

ENNISCORTHY LIBRARY Email: Phone: 053 9236055 OPENING HOURS: Monday 10.30am - 5.30pm (closed 1pm to 2pm). Tuesday 10.30am - 5.30pm. Wednesday 10.30am - 5.30pm. Thursday 10.30am - 8.30pm. Friday 10.30am - 5.30pm. Saturday 10.30am - 5.30pm (closed 1pm to 2pm). Closed Saturday & Mondays of bank holiday weekends. n

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Movie Review with Kyle Walsh  sworth’s expansive photography is richly visual and aids the transition by gradually shifting from soft focus to sharper images. The effects, credited to a long list of technicians, are truly remarkable for this period of movie making. The performances in this classic are also great. Let’s talk about the great Christopher Reeve – a man nobody knew before this film was released, a big risk in Hollywood but a risk that paid off. Christopher Reeve is Superman, the greatest of them all, and when you spend a couple of hours watching this man on screen believe me you will believe that his character actually exists in real life he is that good and believable. Also, Margo Kidder as Lois Lane is great too. There is a great chemistry between our two leads on screen. You would believe they’re in love.

Imagine being a child going to the cinema in 1978 to see Superman on the big screen for the first time. It must have been jaw dropping. An experience I would have loved myself but I was only two months old in December of 1978 when, in my opinion, still the greatest superhero movie ever made hit the cinema. It was up to the great film director Richard Donner to convince audiences around the world to believe a man could fly, but it wasn’t just that, it was also his responsibility to make audiences feel that superhero movies were worthwhile in the first place. Superman was a film that made event movie seriousness. Every time I see those opening intergalactic credits and hear the great John Williams score, I get goosebumps and the hair stands on my arms. It transports me to a different world and well done Richard because for those couple of hours I always believe a man can fly. It truly is a monumental achievement when you think that this movie is 45 years old and to this very day it still holds its own. The cost of production is reported to have been 25 million dollars and it is fully evident on screen. John Barry’s production design is elaborate, especially the brilliant crystalline Krypton sets. Geoffrey Un-

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It is reported that the producers paid the great Marlon Brando one million dollars to play Superman’s father Jor-El. He would only be on screen for a few minutes but he plays an important role. Brando’s fully developed characterisaton makes it memorable. He also quickly sets the tone and establishes a strong sense of believability which is reflected in the excellent performances of Susannah York his wife, Glen Ford and Phyllis Thaxter as Pa and Ma Kent, the rustic middle American earth couple who find and rear the baby from space, and Jeff East as young Clark Kent. All believable performances. Then we have the legendary Gene Hackman as Lex Luther who is the greatest criminal mind of our time. Hackman is always worth watching no matter what character he’s playing. He’s just great in everything. I’m sure at this stage everyone has seen this film and if you haven’t you must be living under a rock all your life. You all know the story of this Superman movie. Without this Superman we wouldn’t have the Marvel or DC universes we have today. We are surrounded by these movies now and a lot of them are not good. With all the effects they have at their fingertips these days, for me none of them can hold a candle to the original and still best superhero movie ever made – Superman. Every Christmas day I always, without fail, sit back after the turkey and turn on this masterpiece. For me personally it’s a Christmas movie and I absolutely love it. n

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RECOIL will perform live on the 16th of December in The Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy, launching their new single RIP YOU OUT. Special guests on the night will be Crimson who will perform a rockin’ live set. DC Dolls and Absenth will also perform. Tickets on sale now from The Presentation Arts Centre.

Rehearsals are in full swing under talented director Chris Currid for what will be an amazing production by Enniscorthy Drama Group of The Hostage by Brendan Behan .... cast announcement coming soon! Keep up to date on Facebook: Enniscorthy Drama Group. n

Enniscorthy’s Mila meets her hero Young Enniscorthy girl Mila Doran was at the Ireland v Hungary match last month in Tallaght Stadium with her cousins Anna and Rachel Foley and Felicjia Davis. Mila and her cousins have been following the ladies team religiously and they love their soccer. Mila plays for Moyne Rangers and also Wexford’s U-12s. Mila finally got to meet her hero, Katie McCabe, last week after Katie noticed Mila's home-made poster in the crowd. She gave Mila her signed captain's armband and a high 5 and made one little girl and her cousins very, very happy. n

What a lovely touch, Ireland captain Katie McCabe gives Enniscorthy’s Mila a high 5.

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Slaney leiSure Slaney& ad lifeStyle Wexford Film Workshop launched its second collaboration with local author Maria Nolan recently at The Presentation Art Centre. The Shadow of Freedom 2 was born from the success of The Shadow of Freedom 1, which director Dick Donaghue proudly told the large Presentation audience has already won four international film festival awards, from Best Actress for Fiona McDermott at the Bucharest International Film Festival to being selected as a semi finalist at the Swedish International Film Festival, to being screened at the Cork Film week to Outstanding Achievement Award at the Benelux International Film Festival in the Netherlands, and is currently awaiting the results of another four festivals in 2024.

The Shadow of Freedom hits the big screen The Presentation Centre 10th November 2023

Both films are based on the book The Shadow of Freedom by Maria Nolan, a novel which tells the story of Enniscorthy during the War of Independence and the Civil War, with accurate historical details and shot in the locations where they happened. ‘I am thrilled with the response to the book and now with the response to the film’, Maria said, ‘which I might add was made, not on a small budget but on no budget at all, thanks to the members of Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Society and members of Enniscorthy Drama who very generously gave of their time and talents free of charge to the project.’ Maria continued by thanking director Dick Donaghue, producer Jer Ennis, Town Manager Claire Lawless, Director of Services Carolyn Godkin, Minister James Browne, Paul Kehoe TD, Chairman of Enniscorthy Council John O’Rourke and all the Councillors for their support of her and the arts in Enniscorthy and for their generous sponsorship of the night and the funding to enter the films into competition. Thanking her family and large group of friends, Maria said there were plans afoot to make a third part to the film which would transform it into a feature film, and she had also begun another book which will go back to the beginning and will be the first of the trilogy The Shadow of the Pike, telling the story of Vinegar Hill and 1798. Maria’s dream is for Enniscorthy to become a sought-after location for film makers and for the 1798 Rebellion to become a blockbuster like The Patriot. ‘Well you might as well dream big, when you do anything can happen.’ n

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Behind the scenes, the three main players L-R: Jer Ennis (producer), Maria Nolan (writer, producer), Dick Donaghue (director).

L-R: Marja van Kampen, Cathy Keane.

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Left: The impressive and tasty cake made by the talented Edel Kelly. Photos: Family members, actors, crew, members of Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Society, local politicians, and various well-wishers enjoying the launch night for ‘The Shadow of Freedom’ Parts 1 and 2, in The Presentation Arts Centre, 10th November 2023. Pics: Maria Nolan and Slaney News.

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Santa visits Kilcannon

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA AT KILCANNON GARDEN CENTRE AND RESTAURANT, OLD DUBLIN ROAD, ENNISCORTHY, 2ND DECEMBER 2023. Above left: Angelina Murphy with Santa and her parents Pauline and Philip. Above right: Phily Murphy with Santa and gran Angelia O’Hara.

Ideal Christmas presents... Michael Fortune

Christmas shopping? If you are looking for something special, local and Irish for someone, well, here are two great options produced by Ballindaggin resident and nationally acclaimed folklorist Michael Fortune. The first is Michael’s annual ‘The Irish Dresser and Folklore Calendar’ and the second is his new book ‘The Folklore of Wexford Volume 1’. Have a look at the YouTube videos on Michael’s website where you can see what both publications look like. And copies can be ordered there for delivery before Christmas. n

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A bundle of laughs in Enniscorthy

Right: Fergal Kelly, Nikki Cogley and Paul O'Reilly who all made their directorial debuts with ‘Bouncers’ and ‘Shakers’.

laughs as we followed the lives of four tough guys trying to keep the peace in the midst of nightlife chaos. The meticulously drilled interplay of the blokes in suits – Pat Murphy, Jer Ennis, Niall Holohan and Murt Murphy was a joy to behold.

The latest production from the Enniscorthy Theatre Company had its audiences rolling around the aisles with laughter. The production consisted of two one-act plays each of around one hour’s duration, and ran over fours nights in total at the end of November and beginning of December.

Although written in 1977, ‘Bouncers’ is as relevant today as back then. In the words of one reviewer, ‘The play survives because the urge to drink, fight and reproduce is never likely to go out of fashion.’ ‘Shakers’ served up a cocktail of humour and emotion as it transported us to a trendy bar where four cocktail waitresses shared their stories, dreams, and the daily escapades of their job.

The plays ‘Bouncers’ and ‘Shakers’, written by John Godber and Jane Thornton respectively, provided an unforgettable evening of entertainment at The Presentation Arts Centre in Enniscorthy.

A superb cast of Julie Fox, Lily Nolan, Christine Quin and Leona Eustance Breen certianly did justice to the hilarious script as they served up a cocktail of comedy with a twist!

‘Bouncers’ took us into the fast-paced world of nightclub bouncers, offering uproarious

The future of comedy theatre in Enniscorthy looks bright. n

The amazing casts of ‘Bouncers’ and ‘Shakers’.

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Above L-R: 1. Majella Byrne, Geraldine Forde and Maura Symes. 2. Some of the attendees at the book launch. 3. Paddy Whelan, author, with Fr. David M

Give the gift of a Wexford b Looking for the perfect Christmas gift, then look no further than the recently launched novel by Wexford’s own Paddy Whelan. They came from all over Ireland to the Horse and Hound Hotel in Ballinaboola for the recent launch of Paddy’s pageturner, The Girl in the Big House, with MC Michael Doyle, of South East Radio, helping to entertain the large attendance of 150 people. Paddy (a dairy farmer in his native Ballycullane) wrote letters on farming, social and economic matters, in the Irish Farmers’ Journal over many years which gave him a certain following. But it was nothing compared to the adulation of the members of his fan base who almost cheered at every sentence he spoke at the Horse and Hound and queued up for signings of his debut book which covers emotive issues such as love, land, family relationships, community and inheritance. Josie Van Embden, for Three Sisters Press the publishers, said: “This book is full of rich descriptions and will remind keen readers of John McGahern and John B. Keane.” The Girl in the Big House is on sale in local bookshops and on n

Paddy Whelan with Kevin and Susan Farrell.

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Annette Drought enjoying Paddy’s book.

Michael Doyle, MC.

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Murphy. 4. Dr. Noel Culleton who launched the book. 5. Paddy Whelan with Stasia Roche and John Redmond.

book this Christmas

Above L-R: 1. Paddy Whelan, author, his mother Stasia Whelan, Ballycullane, Tessie Dunphy, Kilbraney, Newbawn, and the author's brother James Whelan. 2. Pat Kent and Michael Freeman, Three Sisters Press, publisher. 3. Paddy Whelan with Cllr George Lawlor. 4. Paddy with Eileen Doyle. Far left: Paddy with Deirdre Power. Left: John Sadler, Caroline and Paul Campbell. Right: Paddy Whelan with Fintan Whelan. Far right: Paddy Whelan with Mary Gavin.

Paddy Whelan and family at the book launch.

Paddy Whelan with Tom and Mary Flynn.

Josie Van Embden, editor.

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Slaney leiSure Slaney& ad lifeStyle ALWAYS GREAT TO SEE LOCAL TALENT MAKING AN IMPRESSION ON THE CLASSICAL MUSIC SCENE, AND YOUNG FERNS WOMAN KAREN NI BHROIN (pictured) IS CERTAINLY DOING THAT.... AND THE GOOD NEWS IS YOU CAN CATCH KAREN CONDUCTING LIVE AT FERNS CATHEDRAL THIS DECEMBER. Tickets available on the Irish Chamber Orchestra website €25, €22 (concession rate for seniors) and €10 students. Karen Ni Bhroin is a young conductor with a growing reputation who will perform with soprano Ailish Tynan and the Irish Chamber Orchestra in St. Edan’s Cathedral, Ferns, on Saturday, December 16th at 7pm. For Karen this is a very special homecoming which she describes as an honour. “It’s not every day I get to conduct in front of my family and community. It’s going to be very special to have one of Ireland’s most prestigious orchestras in Ferns.” Karen is a daughter of John and Kathleen Byrne of Milltown, Ferns, and is very proud of her links to the Ancient Capital of Leinster. Her love of music came from her aunt Nóra Kavanagh who started teaching her at the age of 3. From there she took clarinet at FCJ Bunclody and studied music at TCD and the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Now her career takes her all over the world and when she’s not travelling, she can be found at home in Ferns. She thanks local group, the Ferns Heritage Project, for facilitating

the event in St. Edan’s Cathedral. The cathedral has a number of medieval elements still visible and is a very special setting for the concert.

As a mark of their appreciation, the Irish Chamber Orchestra has donated a Robert Ballagh limited edition Gicleeé print for raffle on the night of the concert. Funds raised from the raffle will go towards the upkeep and maintenance of the Cathedral. Karen has conducted nationally and internationally, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, TRNC Presidential Orchestra, Cyprus, BBC Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. She has assisted some of the best conductors in the world today and is one of Ireland’s leading young conductors with a growing number of accolades. The concert entitled ‘Christmas with Ailish Tynan’ will take place at 7pm on Saturday, December 16th, featuring: Corelli Concerto Grosso op.6, No.8 Christmas Concerto; John Tavener The Lamb; Finzi Dies Natalis, Op. 8 Wonder; Mozart Exultate Jubilate; Handel Arrival of the Queen of Sheba; Adam O, Holy Night; Anon. Adeste Fideles; Mohr/Gruber Silent Night. n

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Christmas and crooning classics

The Slaney Writers group meets in Enniscorthy Library on the second. Thursday of every month at 6.30pm. New members are always welcome. If you are interested please contact Enniscorthy Library on 053 9236055. n


Hannah Ward, Joey Whitmore and Grace Murphy enjoyed their recent visit to Santa’s Enchanted Christmas experience at the 1798 Centre in Enniscorthy.

Get that warm, cosy and comforting Christmas feeling with Tony Carty and Blackjack as they perform a night of Christmas and Crooning Classics in the beautiful venue of St. Iberius Church on Tuesday 19th December at 8pm. The evening features the velvet voice of Tony Carty, the wonderful musicians Colette Cleary, Ger Griffin and Philip Kennedy, along with some guest performers. What a perfect way to enjoy this Christmas season. n

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So Say So

in conjunction with the Frederick Douglass Wexford Civil Rights Festival

Wednesday, November 22nd, had the Wexford Arts Centre at full capacity for a special event as So Say So, the local poetry collective hosted by Stephen James Smith, rallied together with the Frederick Douglass Wexford Civil Rights Festival to bring us a night of Spoken Word and Poetry. Deirdre Barker and Aislinn De Bhailis of the festival’s committee chose the theme of the link between Creativity and Mental Health as a deserving collaboration for the event, as those who suffer from these issues are in a minority group in societal terms, ergo they are mostly misunderstood, with their rights often neglected, or undermined, so it was a topic that was complementary and aligned with the civil rights aspect of the festival. Second to that, So Say So, a spoken word collective, gathers together wordsmiths, bards, and poets locally and from across Europe, to poetically have their say, express their words, and tell their profound stories – much like Frederick Douglass did on October 8th, 1845 (when arriving in Wexford), in the very room the event took place in, the assembly rooms.

Above L-R: Stephen James Smith, Kerry McCall Magan (Country Director for the British Council in Ireland), Zaffar Kunial, Elizabeth Whyte (CEO, Wexford Arts Centre). Below left: Dorn Simon. Below right: Deirdre McGarry (Barker). Bottom left: Alice Doyle. Bottom right: Vic Kelly. All Pics: Jimi Revets.

A master of oratorical skill, he stood before the Quakers to stand up for those faced with oppression, and to advocate for civil rights, equality and unity in diversity. Last month’s collective voices, in his honour, did much the same, each poet diverse in nature, yet somehow woven from the same cloth, discussing the intricate layers of creativity and its impact and saving grace on mental health. The night started with four local performers, consisting of poetry, story-telling, advocacy and personal accounts of their experiences with mental health and creativity. Vic Kelly was first to grace the stage, as they wheeled up the ramp in their wheelchair to give an account of the deep-seated complexities of living with disabilities and mental health conditions, such as OCD and C-PTSD. They finished by reading an excerpt from a story they had published. Dorn Simon walked onto the stage for her debut spoken word, delivering a revealing insight into her experience with misdiagnosis, the impact it had on two decades of her life, the lifechanging accurate diagnosis that followed, how creativity was an integral part of her journey and the mental health services in Ireland, she then shared some of her deeply existential and darkthemed poetry. Alice Doyle, a melodic poet, with softly spoken words, tells the story of her ‘later in life’ diagnosis with Autism and how it opened up her world once she knew why she was different. Her poetry was harmonious depicting nature around us and within us and the beauty that lies hidden yet right in front of us. Her words were accompanied by the improvised melodics of Basciville, a musical duo comprising Lorcan and Cillian. Deirdre McGarry (Barker) had a poetic flow that spoke to reality in terms of her speaking about addiction, primarily alcoholism and sobriety. Her words were impactful, as I am sure many could relate to both sides of this coin. Her poetry was story-telling in verse and delivered beautifully whilst accompanied by flutist Rory Kavanagh.

The second part of the evening featured the award-winning poet Zaffar Kunial who lives in Hebden Bridge, a market town in the Calderdale district of West Yorkshire, England. Many thanks to the British Council for funding his trip and appearance and for contributing to the evening’s event. Zaffar weaved stories from his life and family into precursors for his poetry, and he was adept at recitation. He was another poet of the night who shared deeply personal anecdotes, and whose words were as pictorial as they were oratorical. Accompanied again by Basciville. The evening ended with a fun five-word challenge and open mic to the audience, where they wrote on-the-spot poems of their own and were given five minutes each on stage to read or perform their creations. It was an altogether creative night of like minds. – DORN SIMON

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Above left: Mother and daughter time at the Fair, Caroline and Molly O’Leary. Above right: Having a cuppa and a chat were Mick Shiggins, Tom Rowe, Phil Hall, Anne Chalabi, Margaret Rowe and Angla Shiggins.

Oylegate Christmas Craft Fair Oylegate Community Centre, 19th November 2023

Left: In festive mood at the Tasteful Trinket stand were Ella Hayden, Chloe Reck and Clodagh Murphy. Above: Larry Kinsella, Cllr Willie Kavanagh and Jim Somers. Below L-R: 1. Dad Conor, with Marty and Darragh Kelly. 2. A lot of jam for sale. 3. Ferns Art Group stall, Kathleen McGuire, Bernie Doyle and customers Fiona and Elaine Nolan. 4. A happy customer at the cupcake counter as Lucy Sludds and Aisling Doyle send Robert Fitzgerald off with a bag of buns.


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Above: Anne O’Brien, Breda Cody and Lil McCormack. Above right: Maudie Maher and Evelyn Kinsella.

Above: Will and Liam Dobbs with Grace Dempsey at their stand where their first customer was gran Catherine Dempsey. Above right: Margaret O’Connor, manning the Lorraine Fortune stand, shows her wares to Kathleen Shiggins. Right: Looking to buy were Belle Wright and Fiona Nolan.

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Creative Writing Workshops with Billy Roche Billy Roche

‘Remembering Enniscorthy 50 Years Ago’, Enniscorthy Library, December 5th & 12th, January 16th & 23rd. These workshops are free but must be booked. Tel: 053 9236055 or online at 4113313 Funded and supported by Wexford County Council in partnership with CreativeIrl. Presented by Festival in a Van in association with Wexford Arts Centre, The Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy Library, and Coláiste Bríde. n

Lots on at Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely Pic: Terence White.

Enniscorthy Library Adult Book Club This club meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7pm and is free to join. Book clubs are a great way to meet others and discuss books. For a complete listing of upcoming music, drama, comedy, film, art, etc, see: n

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If you would like more information or to join, contact Enniscorthy library on 053 9236055. All are welcome. n

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Biggest Show To Date... For Tickets:

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Courtown writer Anne Ireton has released her debut novel Kaleidoscopic Times as the follow-up to her 2022 collection of poems and short stories Spirit of Our Times. Anne has been a key member of the Gorey Writers Group and also contributed to their anthology Taking Flight in 2019. Kaleidoscopic Times graphically depicts the evolving bohemian lifestyles of a mixed group of London squatters in the 1980s as they explore new ways of living and loving. Against a backdrop of the rave scene of that era, her sharply-drawn characters test the limits of convention, including a Shamanic ritual to free a young soul in torment since the Iron Age. The novel comes with an introduction by Alanna Hammel, the Wexford author of the short stories collection When I Grow Up, I Want to Be... According to Anne, “I lived in London during the period covered by the book and was conscious of the vibrant cultural changes happening around me. I was also intrigued by how a group of individuals of diverse backgrounds and interests could often live together and use their diversity to create a positive environment. Given the state of turmoil of the modern world, I wanted to explore that scenario and from those thoughts arose Kaleidoscopic Times.” Kaleidoscopic Times by Anne Ireton was launched at Red Books in Gorey on November 18th 2023 and is available in both their outlets in Wexford and Gorey. For further information contact Anne Ireton at n

Bringing ‘Small Things Like These’ to the stage Small Things Like These, an unforgettable story of hope and heroism, is brought to the Wexford Arts Centre stage by Four Rivers this December, with actor Andrew Bennett (Seán in the Oscarnominated The Quiet Girl / An Cailin Ciuin) accompanied by new music from the legendary Eleanor McEvoy (A Woman’s Heart). Claire Keegan’s Booker Prize-nominated novel is set in a Co. Wexford town in the 1980s in the run up to Christmas: as coal merchant Bill Furlong does his rounds, he discovers a girl locked away in terrible conditions in the local convent. Eleanor McEvoy will perform original music composed for Small Things Like These, which is directed by former Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, Ben Barnes.

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Enniscorthy – becoming a place for creative actions Deryn O’Callaghan is the new co-ordinator for Creative Places Enniscorthy, an Arts Council of Ireland initiative based in The Presentation Centre. The three-year funded project is aimed at connecting the Deryn O’Callaghan community, people, artists etc with place and Deryn is busily at present engaging with all sections of the community in order to get as much feedback as possible so as to frame the development of what can be done by the project. Deryn will engage with the local community to explore, discuss and plan a range of creative and participatory projects for local people to take part in and enjoy. The approach is inclusive and diverse and rooted in socially engaged arts practice and community development principles. It builds on existing cultural strengths and is led by community participation and ideas and supported by artists. A comprehensive survey has been prepared asking for opinions, suggestions ideas etc which will be helpful to Deryn in her work. The survey can be accessed here: hplGNKkxqXjiQSuPwjAWhNyyObsRUuC2pa0_ZviQ/vie wform?edit_requested=true The objective of Creative Places Enniscorthy is to connect people in order to allow ideas develop into creative actions. Creative Places seeks to address any issues and empower the people of Enniscorthy to make decisions about what kind of creative activity they want to experience. The data collected by Deryn from the

survey will be used to help form the overall programming and project development. In accordance with Creative Places Enniscorthy GDPR policy, information supplied by respondents will not be provided to any other parties and will be used solely for the purpose of developing an arts programme for Enniscorthy.

2023 at 11:00am in The Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy, and all artists and those with an interest in the arts are invited to attend.

An introductory ‘COFFEE/ CREATIVITY/CONNECTIVITY’ event will be held on Wednesday 6th December

For any queries, suggestions or ideas, you can contact Deryn at 087 9578984 or n

Keep up to date with developments on Facebook: cesEnniscorthy

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Justin’s photo exhibition captures the essence of Enniscorthy

Justin Codd’s new photographic exhibition is currently running in Enniscorthy Castle and will continue to January 2024. The exhibition is called Our Town and it documents Enniscorthy as it is in 2023. The photos were all taken just after sunrise on 12 separate Sunday mornings between June and October this year and total over 50 in number. The exhibition captures some of Enniscorthy’s landmark buildings but also the town's nooks, crannies, lanes and alleys. One impressed attendee said, “Justin masterfully documents the town's inherent elegance, and... these photographs serve as a valuable checkpoint: immortalising Enniscorthy as it is now, teetering on the precipice of change and evolution – whether social, climatic or architectural.” n

Calling all artists Wexford County Council Arts Department is seeking applications from professional artists across all art forms to design and facilitate art projects with communities throughout county Wexford in 2024. The Creative Communities Programme enables meaningful collaboration between artists on a panel and County Wexford based community groups, for arts projects of one intensive week to six months in duration. Please note all artists who are currently on the panel must reapply if they want to remain on this panel. For application requirements and further details please click: Completed applications need to be emailed to by 5.00pm, Friday 8th December 2023. For any queries, please contact Úna Cahill, Assistant Arts Officer on n

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‘Meanderings of a Colourful Mind’

Marja van Kampen

Meanderings of a Colourful Mind – an amazing collaborative art exhibition was launched recently at The Presentation Arts Centre by bestselling children’s writer and local author Caroline Busher. The collaborative expose of exquisite work by three very talented artists Marja van Kampen, Martina Furlong and Olivia O’Keeffe is certain to make the viewer’s heart soar with its energy, movement, and colour.

Martina Furlong

The three very different artists magically create a stunning display, each piece of work complimenting the other, the easiest exhibition The Presentation Centre ever had to handle according to Visual Arts and Gallery Manager Lisa Byrne. Marja van Kampen, originally from the Netherlands, now residing in Enniscorthy, is a popular contributor to the local and national art scene, with her work on display in Áras an Úachtaráin. Olivia O’Keeffe, originally from Cork and now living in the Netherlands, in fact in the same town as Marja’s sister, runs the Olivia O’Keeffe Gallery there. Wexford native Martina Furlong lived in London for over sixteen years, returning home in 2015. Martina exhibits all over the country and both herself and Marja have collaborated before and both are regular exhibitors at the Wexford Opera Festival Fringe. Truly, a feast for the senses, I challenge anyone not to smile while viewing this fabulous vibrancy of vivid abstraction, whimsical nostalgia, and soulful exploration, but don’t take my word for it, call in to The Presentation Arts Centre and see it for yourself, the exhibition runs until 6th January 2024. – WORDS & PICS BY MARIA NOLAN

Olivia O'Keeffe

The artists: Marja Van Kampen is originally from The Netherlands and lives in Enniscorthy. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at the Signal Arts Centre, Bray, and an exhibition of Irish female artists at the Art Museum, Ankara, Turkey. Her work is in the collections of the Arts Council of Ireland, Office of Public Works and Áras an Úachtaráin, the residence of the President of Ireland. Olivia O’Keeffe is originally from Cork but lives in Houten, The Netherlands, and has done so for more than twenty five years, where she runs the Olivia O’Keeffe Gallery and Art Centre. Recent exhibitions include those at Shell Amsterdam as well as solo exhibitions on Sherkin Island, Cork, and at the Red Door Gallery in Newcastle West, Limerick. Martina Furlong was born in Co. Wexford and returned to live here in 2015 after living in London for sixteen years. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at The Kenny Gallery, Galway, and group shows at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival. For more information on this exciting exhibition, contact Marja: n

Left: Author Caroline Busher who launched the exhibition, with Visual Arts Manager at The Presentation Arts Centre Lisa Byrne. All pics: Maria Nolan

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Saturday, November 11th, The Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy, saw a burst of colour celebrated with the opening of the three-artist exhibition, “Meanderings Of A Colourful Mind”. Female artists Marja van Kampen, Martina Furlong, and Olivia O'Keeffe delivered what has to be described as a dreamscape exhibition, utilising colour, elements, nature, emotions, and evoking memory. With mediums of abstract, pastille, and a mixture of storytelling and landscape, the exhibition leaves nothing out, including its weaving together brushstroke and poetry to create paper-cloth poetry art. The vibrant colours are alluring, with hints of Monet in some pieces, whilst other examples engulfed the senses, swirling waves, and pastille skies, frolicking in nature with childlike wonder, drawing one into memories, dreams and mesmerising visions of a lighter, brighter, more care-free life, reminiscent of childhood meanderings. The artists complement each other's work displayed side by side, telling a story for each visitor admiring the canvas. I loved the use of colour, how the palettes were seamlessly shifting from one end of the spectrum to the other, and the three distinct and varied styles, which meshed so beautifully together.

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Martina Furlong’s use of the abstract harnessed bold, strong imagery and colours evoking a powerful sense of sovereignty. Olivia O’Keeffe’s abstract pastille pieces swept you up and into a vortex of waves, skies, and droplets of oceanic galaxies, as they each appeared to be a living element or force of nature, the colours coming alive and dancing across the canvas right in front of you. Marja van Kampen’s storytelling through art dares to mix colours to be a stark contrast, interjecting childhood dreams and play, with such textualised detail. The official opening was a huge success, with guest speaker and author Caroline Busher equally colourful in her attire, she had a wonderful speech prepared encapsulating the essence and theme behind the artworks, and chose a fitting poem from Ireland’s own W.B.Yeats to compliment the official opening of “Meanderings Of A Colourful Mind”. The Exhibition will run in The Presentation Arts Centre until January 6th 2024.

– DORN SIMON For photos of launch night and some samples of the works on display, see following two pages 

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Photo top left: L-R: Artists Martina Furlong, Olivia O’Keeffe, and Marja van Kampen with author Caroline Busher who did the official opening of the exhibition. Bottom right: Visual Arts Manager at The Presentation Centre Lisa Byrne addresses the attendees. All pics: Wexford Media / Damien Smullen

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Some samples of works on display at

‘Meanderings of a Colourful Mind’

‘Meanderings of a Colourful Mind’ The Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy All pics: Wexford Media / Damien Smullen

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Dermot launches his new book Wexford man Dermot Asple, who lives with cerebral palsy, launched his new book ‘My Life’ in Wexford Arts Centre on 29th November with Mayor Cllr John Hegarty and family and friends in attendance. n Top left: Mayor Cllr John Hegarty with author Dermot Asple. Top right: John Roche and Dermot Asple. Right: Barry Devereux, John Roche, Caroline Flanagan and Dean Walsh. Below left: Aisling Doyle, Anik Redmond and Ger Connor. Below right: Eimear Doyle, Dermot Asple and Hollie McKenna. Bottom left: Jimmy Barry, Karen Moriarty and Sheila Kelly. Bottom right: Kathleen, Richard and Deirdre Wickham.


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Ministerial visit to Enniscorthy The multi-award-winning Enniscorthy Community Allotments (ECA), situated at Gort Na Gréine, beside the Enniscorthy Sports Hub, is about local people growing their own food in an organic and sustainable way. But there’s always lots more happening on site as Chairman Michael Devereux and the committee continuously strive to make it a state-of-the-art and fully inclusive amenity and education centre. Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD attended the launch of Enniscorthy Community Allotment’s new Geodesic Dome Training Centre and Sensory Garden on Thursday 26th October. The Geodesic Dome and Sensory Garden are spaces for the local community to train and learn about new horticultural methods; the future of sustainability, healthy food products, etc as well as helping to achieve mental well-being. To find out more about Enniscorthy Community Allotments: Email: n Our photos by Patrick Browne and by Slaney News show some of the attendees at the launch.

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y Community Allotments

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD attended the launch of Enniscorthy Community Allotment’s new Geodesic Dome Training Centre and Sensory Garden on Thursday 26th October. Chairman Michael Devereux and the committee continuously strive to make it a state-of-the-art and fully inclusive amenity and education centre. Pics: Patrick Browne and Slaney News.

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ooted in


Mark Cooke invites you to grow along with him. The Slaney News is delighted to have Enniscorthy man, Mark Cooke, on board with his monthly column. Mark is a member at Enniscorthy Community Allotments, and has a huge passion for growing fruit and veg which he shares on his Instagram platform @rootedinwexford which has over 7,500 followers. Mark describes himself very much as a ‘hobby gardener’ who is not academically trained in horticulture. He started planting with very little knowledge a few years ago and that knowledge has now ‘mushroomed’! Mark loves sharing his passion for growing with readers of the Slaney News.

Some bare root raspberry canes.

WHAT TO DO THIS DECEMBER IN YOUR GARDEN? As the season transitions, it's time for us gardening enthusiasts to roll up our sleeves and embark on the journey of nurturing our garden patches into fruitful havens. It's December, and there is not a lot of growing in my garden but here are a couple of ideas for yours and some jobs to keep you going until spring. Planting Bare Root Fruit Though it might seem counterintuitive, winter is an excellent time for planting bare root fruit trees or shrubs. Prioritise choosing healthy specimens from reputable nurseries. Before planting, soak the roots in water for a few hours to rehydrate them. Dig a hole wide enough to comfortably accommodate the roots without bending them, ensuring a snug fit. Add compost or well-rotted manure to the bottom of the hole for added nutrients. Gently spread the roots, backfill with soil, firm it down to eliminate air pockets, and water generously. Applying mulch is a great idea to retain moisture.

benefits from division every few years to maintain its productivity. This is best done when the plant is dormant in winter or early spring. Dig up the rhubarb clump and carefully separate the crowns, ensuring each division has healthy roots and at least one bud. Replant these divisions in enriched soil, spacing them adequately to allow for their growth. Water generously and watch as these resilient plants thrive once again. Clean Garden Tools: Clean tools are an absolute must and should be a part of every gardener's kit. Regular maintenance not only prolongs their lifespan but also prevents the spread of diseases between plants. Start by removing any dirt and debris from your tools using a brush or a stiff cloth. Then, sanitise them by soaking in a solution of water and household disinfectant. Dry them thoroughly before storing. This simple practice

ensures that your tools are ready for action whenever needed. Protect Crops with Fleece: As temperatures drop, it's crucial to shield tender plants from harsh weather conditions. Fleece serves as an excellent protective barrier against frost, wind, and pests, such as rabbits, while allowing sunlight and water to permeate. Cover susceptible crops such as lettuce, spinach, or young seedlings with fleece, securing it firmly but ensuring there's room for growth. Amidst these gardening endeavours, it's also a time to cherish the festive spirit. As the year comes to an end, I extend warm Christmas wishes to all readers, hoping your celebrations are filled with joy, laughter, and special moments shared with loved ones. May this holiday season be a time of rejuvenation and I look forward to spring where we watch our gardens come back to life. n

Dividing Rhubarb Crowns: Rhubarb is a perennial garden favourite. It

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Covered raised beds.

A rhubarb plant.

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Tried-Tested-Tasted by Caitriona Caitriona Barron from Drinagh, Wexford, grew up on her dad’s farm with plentiful homegrown veg and their own meat so “we really knew the value of good food. My mother started a seafood business after meeting my stepfather fisherman, my brother now runs the seafood business so I’m well used to fresh food.” “I worked with the family business before leaving to be a stay-at-home mother but soon got bored (lol!) and started taking pics of my food, sharing my recipes on social media. When people started showing interest, I realised this could be a job so I bought myself a camera and threw myself in the deep of it. I love it and I get to work with amazing companies. Seeing my pictures in magazines, in shops, and occasionally on TV is pretty amazing. “I’m a mother of two boys and, yes, juggling it all can be very tough. But I keep it going as it’s my passion now and it’s very rewarding.” and Caitriona_barron on insta n

Caitriona Barron

ROASTIES These roasties are so good! Perfect for Christmas… I cook my potatoes until tender in salted water with baking powder… drain, give a little shake. Blend one stock cube into ¼ cup olive oil. Heat olive oil and butter until butter melted. Add drained potatoes to butter, oil, add garlic and herbs (I use rosemary), the stock cube mix, salt, pepper and bake in a preheated oven at 200c. Bake until golden and crispy. Serves 8. Ingredients: 2kg potatoes 1 tbs salt 1 tbs baking powder to boil 75ml olive oil 50g butter Garlic cloves ¼ cup herbs chopped 1 chicken stock cube 2 tbs oil to blend Sea salt Black pepper n Pic: Caitriona Barron. triedtestedtasted

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Festive fare at local library

World bronze for Killowen

At Enniscorthy Library, you can find recipes and ideas from all your favourite bakers and chefs.

Authentic Palestinian food

Killowen Farm has just won bronze at the World Cheese Awards, another huge achievement for this hugely progressive Courtnacuddy-based dairy business.

Celebrating six years at Stafford Irish Spirits How quickly have the last six years gone by! From starting with just a spud in hand and a big idea that turned into the award-winning Jackford Irish Potato Gin, to now having a range of premium products under its brand and about to announce one of its biggest launches to date!!!

Enniscorthy Farmers Market, which takes place every Saturday morning in Abbey Square, Enniscorthy, has a food stall, Al Wadi Falafel, which serves up delicious, authentic Palestinian Falafel every Saturday. n

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This Enniscorthy business has certainly gone from strength to strength throughout the years despite the struggles that Covid brought. More details to follow – keep an eye on the Slaney News Facebook page for updates on Stafford Irish Spirits!! n

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Your local Slimming World Consultants in Enniscorthy

Providing you with a huge choice of sessions throughout the week: Tuesdays @ 6.30pm The Salt n Pepper Pot, Community Workshop Call Tony on 087 1785384 Wednesdays @ 8.00am, 9.30am, 11.00am, 5.30pm and 7.00pm Enniscorthy Rugby Club – Call Trish on 087 3607615 Thursdays @ 9.30am Enniscorthy Rugby Club – Call Trish on 087 3607615 Saturdays @ 9.00am and 10.30am The Salt n Pepper Pot, Community Workshop Call Tony on 087 1785384

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The attendees at the Wexford Public Participation Network (PPN) Garden Fork to Kitchen Fork event in Templeshannon Community Centre, Enniscorthy, 7th November 2023.

Co. Wexford Public Participation Network event in Enniscorthy County Wexford Public Participation Network (PPN) invited all interested parties to a Let’s Grow event on 7th November 2023 in Templeshannon Community Centre, Enniscorthy, covering container growing, how and what to grow at this time of the year, and how to freeze, preserve and cook your harvest. Experts were on hand with guidance and advice for those new to this whole area or who have had a few growing disasters (and who hasn't?). Attendees learned that you don't need a large garden to grow your own vegetables, they learned how to grow in containers and pots and save the excess crop for the future by freezing and preserving to prevent food waste and save money! Refreshments were served during the evening which was enjoyed by all. n

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Wexford PPN Garden Fork to Kitchen Fork event in Templeshannon Community Centre, Enniscorthy, 7th November 2023, L-R: Phyllis Gordon, Breda Conroy, Anne Murphy and Regina Kehoe, all members of Castlebridge Show Committee.

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Wexford Public Participation Network Garden Fork to Kitchen Fork event in Templeshannon Community Centre, Enniscorthy, 7th November 2023.

Above left: Mary Kelly, Camross ICA. Above centre: Mary Leacy and Josephine O’Reilly, Ferns. Above right: Helen Furlong, Adamstown ICA.

Some of the attendees at the Wexford PPN Garden Fork to Kitchen Fork event in Templeshannon Community Centre, Enniscorthy, 7th November 2023.

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Business returns to pre-Covid levels at Griffin Hotel Group Griffin Group Hotels Ltd, which operates Monart Destination Spa, the Ferrycarrig Hotel, and Hotel Kilkenny, has filed its 2022 annual accounts with the Companies Registration Office. The 2022 filing shows that with Covid restrictions lifted in 2022, turnover recovered to €25 million, which would compare to pre-pandemic levels. While the business was significantly impacted by the rise in the cost of food, energy, and interest rates, the group reported a profit of €1.8 million for the year. The hotel group continues to report that approximately 80% of revenue generated by the group was spent within the local economy, including local suppliers, food and wages. The group has continued to invest in their properties with €2.1 million capital invested throughout 2022. The group invested in the significant refurbishment of all bedrooms at Monart Destination Spa, a major renovation of Hotel Kilkenny's "Rosehill 1831" bar and continued refurbishment of the Ferrycarrig Hotel bedrooms and public areas. The group also installed and commissioned the first phase of its Monart Solar farm, which secured planning in 2022 and began energy production in April 2023. The first phase of the works at the 10-acre Monart Solar Farm cost €750,000 to complete; this is comprised of an array of ground-mounted solar panels with a 500-kilowatt peak. The second phase within the 10-acre site is currently being planned with ESB Networks as the project is now part of ECP-2, the CRU’s enduring connection policy in Ireland. This additional phase will see the rollout of a further 1-megawatt peak array, giving the final Monart

Solar Farm the capacity to create 1.5-megawatt peak energy, and that will offset the energy demand for all three Griffin Group properties. The company is working towards completing this project in 2024. Speaking on the Griffin Group Hotels' performance in 2022, Michael Griffin, CEO, said, "The rise in the basic cost of living created by global supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, energy insecurity, and the relentless rise in interest rates has without doubt dampened the ability of our sector to create profit. Given these conditions, we are very proud of the performance of our teams and the continued investment programme in all of our hotel and spa operations for 2022." With sustainability in mind, Ken McElhinney, the group's director of sustainability, highlights that, "The Griffin Group continues to look to the future and invest in ongoing sustainability measures. The company is steadily rolling out its roadmap across the key energy, water, waste, and transport areas. Substantial progress is being made, and we are now focusing on extending the initial Monart Solar farm to full production and installing further engineering solutions for carbon reduction. Excluding hotel capital expenditure for refurbishments, we anticipate a further investment of €1.2 million for these sustainability measures in 2024." Michael Griffin added, "Operating a sustainable business in every sense is critically important at the Griffin Hotel Group for our guests, our team, future generations and the environment. That is why we continue identifying and investing directly into sustainable projects, excluding normal hotel operations and refurbishments." n

Liam Anthony Griffin and Michael Griffin at Monart Solar Farm.

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Enniscorthy Chamber hosts ministerial visit

Enniscorthy & District Chamber hosted a lunch with Minister Simon Harris at the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, on 9th November 2023.

Event organiser Jimmy Gahan (Enniscorthy & District Chamber).

Above left: Michael Dempsey (Enniscorthy & District Chamber President) with Colm Neville (Riverside Park Hotel). Above right: Siobhan O’Toole, Claire Quigley and Marguerite Murphy (Bank of Ireland). Right: Paul Kehoe TD, Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science Simon Harris TD, Lynnsie O’Donoghue and Brian McGee (Fresh Today).


Minister Simon Harris TD addresses a full house at the Riverside Park Hotel.

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Local businesses embrace sustainability message at Local Enterprise Office conference On 16th November, over 60 business leaders gathered in Wexford County Council headquarters for the "Making Sustainability Happen: Funding Pathways and Success Stories" conference. The objective of the conference was to create awareness of sustainability supports via the Local Enterprise office and partner agencies and to encourage the business community in the South East to urgently integrate sustainability as a KPI for their business. Renowned Irish biologist, environmental consultant and radio and television presenter Éanna Ní Lamhna was master of ceremonies and moderated two panel discussions on this topical and important subject. Attendees were delighted to hear firsthand from successful businesses owners Simon Lynch, Wicklow Wolf Brewery, Catherine Murphy Brady, Brady’s Coffee, and Michael Griffin, Griffin Group how they have implemented changes in their businesses to improve their sustainability credentials. Michael Griffin detailed how the Griffin group have successfully incorporated solar panels as a key measure to reduce energy consumption. The benefits of renewable energy was reiterated by Simon Lynch who also outlined how Wicklow Wolf has focused on local sourcing of their ingredients. Catherine Brady spoke about the

L-R: Ankush Shirsath, Enterprise Ireland, Breege Cosgrave, Head of Enterprise and Economic Development, Wexford Co. Council, Onyedikachi Onwusor, South East Energy Agency, Éanna Ní Lamhna, MC, and Michael Crowley, Microfinance Ireland.

positive impact of the Local Enterprise Office Green for Business support on her coffee roasting business. With the help of a LEO-appointed environmental consultant, her company has identified and implemented practical steps to reduce its carbon footprint by reducing its packaging usage amongst other measures. Information on the various supports available was outlined at the event by speakers Ankush Shirsath from Enterprise Ireland, Amanda Timbrell from the High-Performance Building Alliance, Breege Cosgrave, Head of Enterprise and Economic Development at Wexford County Council,

Onyedikachi Onwusor of the South East Energy Agency and Michael Crowley of Microfinance Ireland. Engagement from attendees was high during the Q&A and networking sessions which afforded companies the opportunity to meet with LEO staff and Green Consultants who are available via the LEO to help business to apply for the Green for Business support and the €5000 Energy Efficiency Grant. Further information on both supports is available by contacting the Local Enterprise office on 053 9196020 or by checking out the relevant page on the website n

Above left: Amanda Timbrell (CEO of the High-Performance Building Alliance and Green Cluster co-ordinator for the South East), Eanna Ni Lamhna (MC), Marie Doyle Henry (Astrum Consulting), Breege Cosgrave (Head of Enterprise and Economic Development, Wexford Co. Council). Above right: Carmel Moran (Business Adviser, LEO Wexford), Amanda Timbrell (CEO of the High-Performance Building Alliance and Green Cluster co-ordinator for the South East). Pics: Mary Browne.

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GreenTechHQ enters new partnership with Skillnet Ireland GreenTechHQ, based in Enniscorthy’s new Technology Park, and Skillnet Ireland have announced an exciting new partnership between Skillnet Innovation Exchange and GreenTechHQ. The partnership was announced last month at the formal opening of the sustainability innovation hub at GreenTechHQ. Skillnet Innovation Exchange is Ireland’s innovation marketplace, connecting large companies facing digital transformation challenges with technology companies that can fasttrack their solutions. The collaboration with Skillnet Innovation Exchange aims to reinforce GreenTechHQ’s mission to establish the Southeast as a centre of innovation and sustainable business excellence. The partnership will allow globally ambitious SMEs within the Southeast region to pitch to, and engage with, large companies seeking innovative solutions. Across 2023 so far, Skillnet Innovation Exchange has successfully partnered with regional hubs throughout the country, such as The Ludgate Hub in Cork, Platform 94 in Galway, The Mill, Drogheda and the RDI Hub in Kerry. The nationwide expansion of the programme offers more SMEs access to a wide range of benefits, including a sales pipeline, upskilling and market insights as well as collaboration opportunities with large corporations. Founded in February 2023, the GreenTechHQ is poised to become an international hub for sustainable businesses in the Southeast. The hub, which caters to companies with a focus on environmentally positive technology, provides essential support to start-ups and scaling businesses through accelerator programmes, investor connections, and advisory services covering finance, marketing, and legal support. Speaking at the official launch of the partnership, Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said: “Skillnet Ireland, through initiatives like Skillnet Innovation Exchange, does vital

L-R: Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, Paul Kehoe TD, Minister Simon Harris, Sinead O’Riordan, Skillnet Innovation Exchange, Ed Murphy, GreenTechHQ CEO, and Minister James Browne TD.

work in advancing the national skills agenda, which in turn futureproofs the capabilities and competitiveness of Irish businesses. As we work towards a lowcarbon future, the demand for sustainability skills is growing faster than ever before. I strongly believe that collaborative initiatives like the partnership between Skillnet Innovation Exchange and GreenTechHQ, will play a pivotal role in ensuring that green tech start-ups have the best chance to succeed in Ireland and will make a difference on a global scale.” Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, said: “Skillnet Ireland is delighted to announce the latest expansion of Skillnet Innovation Exchange in the Southeast region. This partnership with GreenTechHQ will create vital opportunities for early-stage sustainability SMEs hoping to expand their business horizons and engage with larger corporations. Sustainability is a top priority for all businesses and through this collaboration, large domestic and multinational companies will benefit greatly from access to start-ups that are dedicated to helping businesses thrive in a low-carbon economy.” Ed Murphy, CEO, GreentechHQ, said: “Today marks the beginning of an exciting journey towards the continued growth of sustainable innovation in the

Southeast. GreenTechHQ is here to ignite the spark of sustainability, nurture innovation, and create a future where businesses thrive while safeguarding our planet. Together with Skillnet Innovation Exchange and Skillnet Ireland we are set to transform the Southeast into a hub of sustainable excellence and business success.” Earlier this year Skillnet Innovation Exchange announced that it had reached the halfway mark of its goal of enlisting 1,000 companies by 2025, with over 500 scaling technology companies having joined the marketplace for innovation during its first 18 months, demonstrating a significant appetite for the initiative. In this time, Skillnet Innovation Exchange has responded to 25 innovation challenges from companies such as Glanbia, Bord na Móna, Ryanair and ESB, and newly joined members include InterSport Elverys, Uisce Eireann, BWG Foods and Ireland West Airport. Skillnet Innovation Exchange is designed to address the barriers that exist for scaling businesses when selling to large companies and multinationals. The programme will support over 1,000 companies between 2022-2025. Scale-ups and corporates in the region are being encouraged by Skillnet Innovation Exchange to sign up at n

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It would be great to see these dog poo bins being used by all dog owners.

South East Animal Rescue South East Animal Rescue has revamped its shop at 27 Court St, Enniscorthy, with lots of bargains now available. The shop is open 10am-3pm Monday to Friday & 10am-1pm on Saturday. n

Dogs for the Disabled benefits from C&R Print’s ongoing sponsorship


EVERY DOG MUST HAVE A DOG LICENCE An Post have now taken over the National Dog Licence Database



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Enniscorthy’s C&R Print is known widely not only for its expert printing service, but also for its generous sponsorship of many local charities. In addition, the company helps raise thousands of euro every year for the national Dogs for the Disabled charity through sponsoring the cost of producing its annual calendar and as a result 100% of the sale price of every calendar goes directly back to funding the charity’s work. The impressive calendar can be bought at: n

Slaney petS

MOYNE VETERINARY HOSPITAL Old Dublin Road, Enniscorthy. T: (053) 9233187, 9236674. F: (053) 9236674. E:

VET DIARY FOR DEC It's December again and the year end is fast approaching. The common consensus seems to be that this year has just flown by! For quite a few farmers this has been a challenging year with the weather being predominately wet for a large part of the summer and autumn. The grain farmers had a difficult time trying to harvest their crops with the relentless rain for critical parts of August September and even into October which would have been unheard of in previous years. Yields varied greatly and it’s reckoned there was 3,000 acres of corn not even cut in Wexford alone which is probably a first in living memory that it couldn't be saved. Big hits for these guys. Dairy men enjoyed a bumper year in 2022 with prices and high yields. 2023 saw a big drop in prices and it put a squeeze on guys heavily borrowed. Beef and sheep guys fared better but again the wet conditions didn't favour a good thrive in animals. There's something about the sunshine that makes us all feel better and that's no different for the animals. They will lie off in the fields on a warm sunny day content as you like. As a new departure, we delved into hosting a regenerative farming conference and it included lecturers from SETU university, scientists from Slovakia, agronomists from Louth and farmers already on this journey. It was well attended and offered a new way of doing things for farmers... reducing chemical inputs while maintaining the same output means a more profitable farm. Reducing chemicals, be it pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or nitrogen all help restore the balance of Nature and ultimately can help produce a more sustainable crop or produce for the consumer. Healthier soils equals healthier animals and healthier people. This type of farming is the way of the future in my opinion and we are happy to support farmers courageous enough to make those steps.

with Joe Kavanagh of the Moyne Veterinary Hospital

It was another busy year in the small animal clinic and one case that arrived in a few weeks ago springs to mind. Bres is an ageing red setter – a big, fine, regal dog, devoted to his owners and visa versa. We have been treating him for epilepsy for a while now but his owners rushed him into me as he just collapsed on them. We checked him over and all his parameters were low so decided to hospitalise him straight away, step him up on a drip, ran bloods and then scanned his abdomen using ultrasound. This revealed what was suspected... Bres had a tumour in his spleen and it had ruptured and he was haemorrhaging. We had to either operate immediately or put him to sleep. A quick phone call to his owners and they gave him a lifeline and said operate. His chances were 50/50 at best. The operation went well, Bres made it through it but it was only the beginning of the recovery. Being a gun dog, they are tough and resilient by nature. Slowly but surely he picked up and was able to go home and came back for his stitches a few days ago full of vim and vigour... back to his old self. It was a tonic to see. It was a team effort of good diagnostics, a good surgical team and good nursing both in-house and at his home place. The chance the owners gave Bres... he repaid tenfold as he has always done. I just want to wish all our customers and clients a merry Christmas and thank you for the continued loyalty and support. So many people's varied acts of kindness and generosity over the year from cards, letters, flowers or simple gestures. It’s what makes a sometimes tough job very worthwhile. Again Happy Christmas from all at the Moyne Veterinary Hospital and may 2024 be a magical one for you all. n

If you have a topic you’d like Joe Kavanagh to address please email Slaney News at: OPENING HOURS (6 DAYS A WEEK): 9.00am–1.00pm and 2.00pm–6.00pm Small animal clinic (please tel. for appointment): Daily 9.30–10.30am, 2.30–3.30pm, 5.00–6.00pm. 24-hour, on-call, Emergency Service: (053) 9233187.

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE: Full blood analysis (haematology, biochemistry) Gas anaesthetic – Digital X-rays – Ultrasound – Bioenergy Dermatological testing – Kinesiology – Prescription diets Herbal remedies – Homeopathy – Allergy testing

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CAROLINE GETS MOTORING Bunclody native Caroline Kidd brings us reviews of the latest new cars to arrive in Ireland. Caroline is the founder and editor of the online automotive magazine Changing Lanes and a jury member for Irish Car of the Year. Find out more about her editorial and commercial copywriting services at

JEEP AVENGER Jeep is one of the world’s most iconic car brands, famous for building tough off-road vehicles and the legendary Willys Jeep. Yet models launched in recent years like the Renegade and Compass failed to make an impact on the Irish market, even at a time when SUVs have been so popular.

against the likes of the Peugeot 2008 and Opel Mokka, which it shares quite a lot with, including the battery and underpinnings. But there’s also a whole host of other small crossovers and SUVs to conquer like the Ford Puma, Hyundai Kona, Toyota Yaris Cross and the Volkswagen TCross.

Now things are looking brighter for Jeep with a growing dealer network and new models like the Avenger, a small SUV that’s already won European Car of the Year.

But there’s plenty to like about the new Jeep, including its brilliant styling. It gets Jeep’s famous seven-slot grille, which somehow makes it look more authentic than any of its rivals. Clever features include slightly recessed headlights and plenty of plastic cladding to protect the paintwork from bumps and scrapes in the urban jungle.

Priced from €35,995, the Jeep Avenger comes to market powered by a 54kWh battery, though a petrol version is likely to join in 2024. It has an official range of up to about 400 kilometres on a single battery charge. That puts it squarely up

16-inch alloy wheels come as standard on the entry level Longitude model (from

€35,995). There’s 17-inch on the mid-level Altitude (from €39,495) and 18-inch diamond cut on the top spec Summit (from €42,495). The cabin feels cool and contemporary, with a 10-inch touchscreen as standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as voice control that responds to ‘Hey Jeep’. It is quite minimalist in its design but there are shortcut buttons under the touchscreen to adjust the fan speed and temperature. There is quite a lot of black hard plastic used in the doors and the dashboard, which is a little drab and uninspiring for a car that looks so cool from the outside. If you go for the mid-level Altitude model, there’s a silver finished dashboard panel. Opt for the Summit model and this is painted the same col-

Jeep Avenger

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Slaney motoring our as the car, which goes some way to brighten the atmosphere.

The Avenger really excels in the sophistication of the drive it offers. It’s very comfortable and refined at speed, not feeling too stiff or firm over Irish road surfaces. There’s lots of grip in cornering and the steering is nicely judged for this size of car.

The Avenger has a lot of storage space up front for a small car including a large cubby where you might traditionally find a gear selector (this is done by a simple row of buttons instead). The seats of the Altitude model are finished half fabric/half vinyl, but there is the option to upgrade to black leather. Standard equipment includes automatic climate control, keyless start, cruise control, drive modes and a hill descent control. Altitude adds features such as wireless smartphone charging and a reversing camera. But for heated seats, you have to go for the Summit model! The Avenger is quite a small vehicle really. It measures just 4.08 metres in length and 1.78 metres wide. The back seat will be most comfortable for two people. Headroom is generous enough for even adults. But some rivals like the 2008 and the Kona offer more legroom and a greater feeling of space. At 355 litres, the boot is on the small side among rivals though there’s still space for a few bags or suitcases. Altitude and Summit models also come with a handy powered tailgate.

Interior Being a Jeep, there are a few tools and tricks that give the Avenger a little more capability than your average crossover. For a start, it has about 200mm of ground clearance, which is more than rivals. As well as standard Normal, Sport and Eco driving modes, there’s Mud, Snow and Sand settings for a little extra traction on low grip surfaces. There’s even a hill descent control to make it easier to drive down steep inclines, should you need it. The Avenger feels nifty and agile from behind the wheel, as you would expect from a small SUV. The battery is paired with a 156hp electric motor that sends power to the front wheels. There’s plenty of performance for town and city driving, as well as motorways. The Sport mode makes the Avenger a little sprightlier. A ‘B’ mode increases regenerative braking.

There’s a heat pump as standard for more efficient heating of the car, especially in winter. The Avenger proves to be very efficient, particularly in suburban driving. Over a week of driving I averaged an impressive 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometres. Jeep has committed to be a 100% electric car brand in Europe by 2030. Expect to see many new models arriving here over the next few years. The Avenger feels like the right car at the right time. It’s one of the brand’s most competitive new models in quite a while, stacking up well against rivals – though it is on the small side. But with those charming good looks, it’s definitely one worth considering. Model tested: Jeep Avenger Altitude Price: €39,495 Battery: 54kWh (51kWh usable) Range: 394 kilometres (WLTP) Power: 156 hp Torque: 260 Nm Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9 seconds Motor Tax: €120 per year n

Chapel Lane, Drumgoold, Enniscorthy, Y21 XH64


NCT Preparation – Repairs – Timing Belts Clutches – General Servicing – Etc No job too big or too small NCRS, Old Dublin Road, Enniscorthy (opposite Cooney Furlong / Gala) Tel: 086-8299431 – 053 9233033 – Email:


Island Road, Enniscorthy. T: (053) 9235933. 5th December 2023 - Page 137

Slaney Slaney motoring ad

Safety concerns on Irish roads One in six drivers very concerned about safety on Irish roads A recent survey by Easytrip, Ireland’s leading smart mobility services specialist, has highlighted that 93% of Irish motorists are concerned with road safety in Ireland with one in six stating they are very concerned. The research was conducted in recent weeks with over 4,700 respondents taking part. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: With road fatalities continuing to rise on Irish roads – an increase of 35 deaths compared to 2022 – driver behaviours as potential contributing factors were reviewed as part of the research. This highlighted the top five behaviours as: Driver distractions – use of mobile phone Speeding Driver inexperience Poor road conditions Driving under the influence Driver fatigue and poor visibility were also revealed as other driving attributes that motorists believed may be impacting road safety in Ireland. OPINION ON SPEED LIMIT REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS:

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Respondents to the Easytrip survey were also asked about the Department of Transport speed limit reviews for urban and rural roads. 57% of drivers agreed and welcomed the recommended reduction of speed from 80km/h to 60km/h on rural roads, while 43% disagreed with it. However when asked about the default speed limit on urban roads of 30 km/h over 60% of motorists disagreed to this recommendation. EFFECTIVENESS OF PENALTY POINTS ON SAFE DRIVING: The penalty points system for driving offences was introduced in Ireland 21 years ago with the aim of improving driver behaviour. Motorists taking part in the research were asked about the system and its effectiveness on road safety this year, with the following results revealed: 48% believed the system to be ineffective 28% believed it is effective 23% were unsure STANDARD OF DRIVING IN IRELAND The level of experience and standard of driving witnessed in Ireland varies de-

pending on the motorist and driving conditions. When reviewing this, almost half (46%) of respondents to the Easytrip survey said the standard was average, one in five motorists claimed it was somewhat good, while 6% highlighted that it was terrible and only 1% believed it to be exceptionally good. Commenting on the research, CEO of Easytrip Ireland, Colin Delaney said: “It’s clear to see from our research that motorists are concerned with road safety standards and driving behaviours on our roads. The rules of the road, the systems and the laws that are in place are there to protect all road users. Any driving journey whether a short trip to the shop or a longer journey to visit family should be safe. We are all aware of how distractions and driving too fast negatively impacts our safety as a motorist and I would encourage motorists to review their driving behaviours and ask if they can do better in following the regulations. Not only will it help other road users, but it may also reduce the possibility of a road accident or fatality.” n

Slaney Sport

Sports clubs can apply now for Texaco funding Applications from sports clubs in Co. Wexford are now invited under the fourth Texaco Support for Sport initiative in which a fund of €130,000 will be divided in €5,000 amounts and distributed to successful applicants in each of the 26 counties. Over the past three years, a gross figure of €385,000 has been divided amongst 77 sports clubs across Ireland, of which €5,000 each went to three successful Co. Wexford clubs: Kilmore United FC (2021), Menapians Athletic Club (2022) and Aspire Gymnastics Academy, Kiltealy (2023). Open to all sports clubs irrespective of sporting discipline, size, membership, age, cultural appeal or gender (including clubs that may have been unsuccessful in their application previously), the initiative is one that ‘recognises and supports the valuable contribution that sports clubs make to communities and throughout Irish society’. Following lines similar to that which proved successful over the past three years, clubs wishing to apply should first register their interest on, followed, before closing date, by a completed application that should in-

Leading the Texaco funding process once again is Texaco Support for Sport ambassador, broadcaster and former Irish rugby international, Donncha O’Callaghan.

clude details of their sporting activity, the importance of the club in their local community, the purpose for which the funding is sought, and the use to which the funds will be put. A sole qualifying requirement is that clubs must be properly constituted and supply confirmation of a valid Games & Sports Exemption number (GS number) issued by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. Closing date for applications is 31st January 2024 with adjudication taking place thereafter. n

Aspire Gymnastics Academy, Kiltealy, awarded €5,000 in 2023.

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Padel Tennis is all th Rosslare Stra

The newly opened Pade

Maria Gore, Manager, Rosslare Community and Sports Centre.

A small bunch of locals looked on in awe at two big blue cages about the height of huge juggernaut trucks outside the front of Rosslare Community and Sports Centre on a sunny morning last month. Inside the cages were several athletic young men and young women bashing soft balls with odd shaped rackets, competing in pairs in a game that looked like tennis but was not. This was ‘The Rosslare Challenge’, the first tournament in the first Padel Tennis competition of its kind in maybe all of rural Ireland. It went on from Friday evening to nightfall under lights on Sunday. The two cages, at about 4 metres high, are each the size of half tennis courts.

Their walls are made of a blue wire mesh and glass. Valerie Boggan, chairperson of Rosslare Community Development Association (RCDA), and Maria Gore, manager of the Rosslare Community and Sports Centre, in conjunction with Padel Federation Ireland organised the tournament.

Rosslare were built for the first time this year and opened for the first time in July. They cost over €130,000 to build. No grant funding was used. Money was received through donations and the Community Centre’s own funds. The centre now has Padel Tennis expert Emile Klosinski as its own coach.

Valerie said the Padel Tennis courts in

The sport became all the rage in Ross-

C and winn

Gama from E

Grac from R winn

Javier from A 1a win Pa


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Slaney Sport players competing in different categories, open in women, open in men and social in men and in women,’ he said.

he rage in and

Many of the competitors were from families from Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Venezuela, living and working and playing the game in Ireland for some years. Presenting the trophies and medals and merchandise sponsored by the motor company Cupra, to the winners, Alvaro said the challenge ‘was amazing, there was great atmosphere, it was very well organised by Rosslare and there are some great players in the Rosslare club.’

el Tennis Courts at Rosslare.

Valerie Boggan, Chairperson of Rosslare Community Development Association (RCDA).

visiting Rosslare for the tournament, explained that the sport was founded 45 years ago by a businessman in Acapulco, Mexico. It was popularised in Argentina and Spain and is now all around the globe.

lare Strand throughout the summer, complementing all the other activities including traditional tennis, walks, talks, children’s events, bowling, golf, swimming, Tai Chi on the beach, the Access for All Garden, and work in the Men’s and Women’s Sheds. Alvaro Cabello, the head-padel coach of the Padel Federation of Ireland (PFI),

After a weekend of heats, semi-finals and finals, the winners of the men’s open were Javier Cincotta and Ivan Herrera, natives of Argentina, who are already the number one and number two champions of Padel Tennis in Ireland.

He said: ‘It combines squash and tennis, badminton and other racket sports all in one. The sport was introduced to Ireland about eleven years ago and now has thousands of followers here.

Carmen Miguel, a native of Spain, and Francisca Lopez, a native of Chile, won the women’s open and Gamal Mahmoud and Mo Adbed, from Egypt, won the men’s social competition. Grace Hall and Anna Segovia, from Rosslare Padel Tennis club, won the women’s social competition.

‘If you see the court, we have walls on the cage all around it. The ball bounces and hits the glass on the cage, but it is still in play, so you can hit it back meaning that the ball is in play more time.

Such is the popularity of the sport that another Rosslare Challenge Panel Tennis tournament will be held at Rosslare Strand, during the annual Christmas Market on Sunday 10th December.

‘Here today we have 22 pairs or 44

– M.F.

Far left: Carmen Miguel (Spain) Francisca Lopez (Chile), ers of the women’s open.

Left: al Mahmoud and Mo Adbed Egypt, winners of the men’s social competition.

Right: ce Hall and Anna Segovia Rosslare Padel Tennis club, ers of the women’s social competition.

Far right: Cincotta and Ivan Herrera Argentina who are number and number 2 in Ireland, nners of the men’s open adel Tennis tournament at Rosslare.

Pics: Pat O’Connor and ro Senese of DreaminRaw.

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Ross Road astroturf

Wexford FC news With 15 goals in 37 appearances this year, Enniscorthy’s Aaron Dobbs received two awards from Wexford FC for the season just finished. Aaron (pictured on left below) received the Club Player of the Year award and also Senior Men's top goalscorer. Well done Dobbsy on his best year yet with Wexford in the League of Ireland. In other Wexford FC news, congrats to Darragh Levingston on winning the First Division Goal of the Season award.

A NEW ASTROTURF FACILITY IS BEING CONSTRUCTED BY WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL ON THE ROSS ROAD, ENNISCORTHY. Some delays have been experienced due to drainage issues with Uisce Éireann (UE) so it will be the end of February next before all works are expected to be complete. The facility will be available to all sports and an online booking system will be in place. Above and below: Slides presented by Wexford Co. Council to the November monthly meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District. n

And in huge news for the club, Wexford Co. Council has ambitious plans for 120 acres of land in the Kileens area of Wexford town which will include a new stadium for Wexford FC with up to 6,000 capacity. n

New Astrotuf Facility

Enniscorthy Greyhound Track Racing on Thursdays only for December. First race 7pm.

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Tender imminent Searching for fittest school in Ireland for Enniscorthy Sports Hub Pavilion

Architects were appointed in Feb 2021 for the detailed design, procurement of works contractor and construction management of the proposed new Sports Hub Pavilion consisting of a sports equipment storage area, changing rooms, toilets, showers and a small office. A competition to award a works contract was advertised in May 2022. The lowest price tender opened for the project exceeded the available budget by a substantial amount and, therefore, it was decided not to progress with awarding a works contract. A modified design will now go to tender in the next few weeks. €700,000 is available between government and Wexford County Council funding. A stand is not part of the current plans but a ‘viewing balcony’ may form part of a future phase. Wexford Co. Council’s long-term vision for the Hub is that the building there should be a fully-fledged, multipurpose sports hall. A recent assessment of the running track at the venue took place and the good news as reported by District Manager Claire Lawless to the October meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District is that only minor work is needed on the track and that will be done soon. Other works being progressed at the Sports Hub include the following: • Online booking system • Automated entry system • Lighting upgrade • New signage • Purchase of new equipment

A search to find Ireland’s fittest school – in which schools in Wexford and beyond are invited to participate – has been launched by three of Ireland’s best-known athletes, World Para Rowing champion Katie O’Brien and Olympian sprinters Phil Healy and David Gillick. Working in cooperation with banana distributors Fyffes, their aim is to find a school whose focus on fitness will replicate the success of previous ‘Ireland’s Fittest School’ winners – Scoil Na Croise Naofa, Dunfanaghy (2022) and Gilson National School, Oldcastle (2023). Launched alongside the resumption of this year’s Fyffes ‘Fit Squad’ programme – in which an expected 10,000 young pupils from primary schools, north and south, will partake in live in-school fitness visits – all three athletes have recorded a series of workouts for viewing online which they hope schools will adopt as part of their PE course. Running from January to March, the top four schools will then progress to a live ‘grand final’ hosted by patrons O’Brien, Healy and Gillick at which the prize package will include €8,000 worth of sports equipment. Registration is now open and further details can be found online at n

Enniscorthy Rugby Club’s AIL fixtures

A meeting was held with local athletics groups on 10th October to discuss the use and the future development of the Sports Hub. n

Sports Active Sports Active Wexford is all about creating a healthier, safer, more active and inclusive society in Co. Wexford. Facebook page: n

Keep up to date on: Website: Facebook: n

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50th anniversary get together

Wexford U-21 Leinster Hurling Champions 1973, 50th Anniversary Dinner in the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, 4th November 2023. A night full of laughs, tall tales and happy memories, recalling Wexford’s success in the Leinster Under-21 hurling championship of 1973 and subsequent narrow All-Ireland final loss. Top photo: Team of 50 years ago and representatives. Above left: Robert Lambert, Pat Nolan and Mick Carty. Above: Joy Moloney, Pat Dempsey, Sean Storey and Michael Murphy. Left: Robbie Jacob, Pat Doyle and Jay Moloney. Below left: Nickey Walsh, Sean Nolan and Rory Kinsella. Below: Dan Hall, John Allen and Jay Moloney.

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Top left: Nick Jacob, Michael Hickey, Martin Furlong and Seamus Murphy. Top right: Sean Storey and Pat Dempsey. Above left: Nickey Walsh and Matt O’Neill. Above right: Tom Dunbar, Eddie Breen and Tony Dwyer. Right: Kit O’Brien, Martin Furlong and Eddie Breen. Below left: Robbie Jacob, John Curtis, Mary Curtis and Michael Murphy. Below right: Peter Kehoe, Rory Kinsella and John Cullen.

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GAA Health & Wellbeing Conference On Saturday, 18th November 2023, the annual Healthy Club Conference was held at Croke Park. This magnificent initiative now incorporates over 450 clubs around the country and is impacting on the lives of over 100,000 people, improving them in some way. Beginning in 2013 with just 16 clubs, 4 from each Province, the aim of the project was to learn from and demonstrate how a club could best support the health and wellbeing of all its members, including, but not just, the playing ones. In 2023 alone, Healthy Clubs delivered 2,389 initiatives reaching 184,598 participants, many of whom never had any prior connection to their local GAA club. How marvellous is that. Over 450 delegates to the Conference were treated to a welcome address from An Úachtaráin Larry McCarthy who told the large gathering: ‘The GAA acknowledges the standard of excellence in this work done away from the pitch through our Irish Life GAA Healthy Club Programme. The scale of the impact achieved by these healthy clubs and by our members and volunteers over the past 10 years is incredible and has a value that is arguably greater than any cup or medal because we are measuring the positive impact on lives. I commend all of those who have dedicated themselves to this great success story and thank you on behalf of the Association.’ ‘Over 800 clubs took part in the Irish Life Steps Challenge this year,’ Declan Bolger CEO of Irish Life told the Conference, ‘which included tens of thousands of people and had a measurably positive impact overall on their health and connection with their community. So, we at Irish Life are delighted to announce that we will be launching a special 2024 Steps Challenge to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Healthy Clubs.’ With the GAA at the heart of every community in Ireland, the Healthy Clubs Programme is ideally placed to transform clubs into hubs for health and wellbeing. Recent initiatives have included funding for the upgrade of walking tracks at over 100 clubs across the country, together

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Maria Nolan with GAA Úachtaráin Larry McCarthy (below) and Kate Donohoe (right).

with funding for smoke and vape-free signage to support the expansion of smokefree clubs. Dr. Noel McCaffrey, founder of ExWell Medical, in his presentation on exercise programmes to improve the lives of the chronically ill in local communities, asked GAA clubs to consider providing venues where these workshops could be held on a weekly basis. Pieta’s Darkness into Light annual walk has partnered with GAA Clubs all around

the country under the Healthy Clubs initiative. Rapparees/Starlights GAA Club is a member of Healthy Clubs and with our new development, including Walking Track, Playground, Sensory Garden, Youth Club etc., we intend to run several initiatives under the Healthy Club umbrella in 2024. So watch this space. – WORDS AND PICS BY MARIA NOLAN HEALTHY CLUB OFFICER

Slaney hiStory & heritage

Glenbrien honours and remembers It was a privilege for Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Society to participate recently in the poignant and well organised ceremony at Glenbrien to remember and record the part that one of her sons played in Ireland’s struggle for Freedom. Tom Ryan was mortally wounded in Croke Park on Bloody Sunday, 21st November 1920. Tom, a native of Glenbrien, was only twenty-seven years old, married and living in Dublin with two young daughters, when he attended at Croke Park for a football game between Tipperary and Dublin. Spectators filled the grounds completely unaware that the RIC were mobilising, intent on carrying out an act of reprisal for the earlier assassinations that day of a group of British intelligence agents known as the Cairo Gang, by Michael Collins’ Squad. Ten minutes into the game, a Crossley tender entered the park and began shooting indiscriminately into the crowd. Tom Ryan was running across the pitch trying to escape the random bombardment when Tipperary footballer Mick Hogan was shot and lay dying on the pitch. Tom, ignoring any regard for his own safety, knelt to whisper an act of contrition into the dying man’s ear and was shot himself. With help, he managed to make his way to Jervis Street Hospital where he later died. A remarkable act of bravery and care for one’s fellow man. Tom will be remembered forever in his own place among his own people, as his only grandson, Terry Duignan, proudly unveiled a plaque and laid a wreath in his honour. A detailed account of the events of Bloody Sunday was given by local historian Barry Lacey and a moving tribute paid by GAA Leinster Council Chairman and Wexford man Derek Kent. – WORDS & PICS BY MARIA NOLAN

Above: Plaque unveiled by Terry Duignan, grandson of Tom Ryan. Left: Maria Nolan with Derek Kent. Below: Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Society with Terry Duignan in centre.

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Journal tells Taghmo of more than 100 Above left: Michael Fortune, folklorist, launching the Journal of the Taghmon History Society at the Taghmon-Camross GAA complex on Friday 24th November, 2023. Above right: Gerald Kelly at the launch. Below: David Williams, with his mother Marie, Mairead Bennett and Kay Kelly.

And if you want to know how we were brought from darkness into light, read Patrick Kavanagh’s article titled ‘Wexford Town and County and the arrival of electricity’. It tells of the time in the 40s and 50s and 60s, that after dark, work stopped. And indoors, lighting was by candles or oil lamps. Plans for the Rural Electrification Scheme began before World War II. The power and the light did not come to Wexford until 1948. This article is enlightening about the transition from the time of Love, Honour and Carry Water. The first lines of journalist David Williams’ story of his grandfather, Tommy, in the 13th edition of the Journal of the Taghmon History Society, tell it so well. “For most people, the sight of Tommy Williams driving from New Ross to Taghmon one afternoon in August 1922 wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow or served as any cause for alarm. For the informed, the interested and the observant, however, they would have known – or immediately understood – that here was ‘something happening’. For one, there were several two-gallon drums of petrol roughly assembled in the rear of the car, and a revolver on the dashboard.” The story goes on: “They might have also recognised that the car belonged to the Ryans of nearby Tomcoole, good friends to the Williams and many other Republican-minded families.” If you want the context of the past 100 years which made the people of Taghmon what they are, and how many County Wexford people feel and understand the suffering of people in wars today, read the succinct account in straightforward terms titled, ‘Parle, Creane and Hogan, an historical account, 1923-2023,’ by Marie O’Rourke née Waters. Parle, Creane and Hogan were three young men from the area executed during the Civil War of 1922-23.

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There is so much more in the 140 pages of the Journal of the Taghmon History Society about this south County Wexford parish, which once sent an MP to the then Irish House of Commons of the 1700s. Nuala Carroll, once a postmistress in the village, writes in an article ‘Taghmon in the Early 1900s’ that Taghmon is one of the oldest villages in Ireland if not the oldest, having been founded in AD 594 by St. Munn, who was sent to Ireland by St. Patrick. Garrett Ledwith, retired bank manager, now of Killorglin, Co. Kerry, recalls growing up in Taghmon in the 1950s shop run by his father and mother in the Market Square in Taghmon. There are splendid articles on the late Des Waters, the academic, acclaimed actor and author of several plays who founded Camross Drama Group in the 1950s; Bishop Aidan Devereux of Poulmarle, Taghmon, by Liam and Eamonn Byrne; John Kelly, Principal of Taghmon School, by his nephew Michael; Patrick (Pat) Codd, politician, by his son Paul; the worldfamous Dungeer Mummers by Seán Sinnott, who was one of them; reviving and fostering of Gaelic Games in the Parish, 1964-1974, by the same Seán Sinnott with Denis Nolan, Billy Nolan and Pat O’Callaghan; and sixty-two years of Camross ICA by the well-known Breda Banville.

Slaney hiStory & heritaGe

on’s stories 0 years Above left: Kay Doyle, secretary, and Teresa Wickham, committee member. Above right: Photograph in the Journal of An Tánaiste Micheál Martin TD at the Parle Crean and Hogan Centenary commemorations in March 2023 with Nuala Carroll, who was announced as Taghmon Person of the Year 2023, at the launch of the thirteenth Journal of the Taghmon History Society. Below: Michael Doyle, chairman of Taghmon History Society, Paul Codd, committee member and Catherine Seery, treasurer.

Attending the launch of the Journal of the Taghmon History Society, number 13, at the Taghmon-Camross GAA Complex on Friday 24th November, 2023.

An amazing feature in the journal is by Tom and Teresa Wickham about the Ferrycarrig Bridges. This is a special, showing an illustration of a ferryboat in operation, presumably prior to 1794 when the first bridge was constructed, photographs of the second bridge built in 1912 and the third bridge built in 1980. This Journal of the Taghmon History Society No. 13, edited by Liz Wickham, is bountiful with riches from the past, all adding up to providing a profound understanding of County Wexford and Ireland for the ordinary reader. It is illustrated with many important photographs, one of which is the cover image of Taghmon village from the early 1900s.

Above: Billy Nolan, Denis Banville, Mary Nolan and Mary Doyle. Below: Breda Banville, Breda Nolan, Maggie Morrissey and Seán Sinnott.

On the front cover is an image of St Fintan’s Cross, which has now become a corporate identity for the village and its hinterland. It was drawn some years ago by Joseph Hunt of Tramore, Co. Waterford. Hogan Print are the printers. The Journal is greatly enhanced in its usefulness by its list of articles from previous journals for each year dating back to the first, or Number 1, in 1996.

Main Street, Taghmon, in the early 1900s.

The room in the Taghmon-Camross GAA Complex beside the village was packed for the launch by Michael Fortune, folklorist, of Ballygarret, Gorey. The committee of the Taghmon History Society 2023, comprises Paddy O’Reilly, president, Michael Doyle, chairperson, May Buttimer, vice-chairperson, Kay Doyle, secretary, Catherine Seery and Tom Wickham, joint treasurers and Nuala Carroll, Paul Codd, Marie O’Rourke and Teresa Wickham, committee members. – M.F.

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Slaney hiStory Slaney ad & heritage

Hook Lighthouse Development Project begins Wexford County Council is delighted to announce the appointment of a design company to create an Interpretive Design and Experience Plan for the expansion of the visitor experiences at Hook Lighthouse. The project is being developed in association with Fáilte Ireland, Irish Lights and Hook Heritage CLG with funding provided through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) scheme under the Department of Rural and Community Development. Plans are underway to expand the visitor experience at the Hook Lighthouse to create an exciting, sustainable and environmentally sensitive visitor attraction on the Hook Lighthouse Campus. After an international competition, Tandem Design won the competition to develop the Interpretation, Design and Experience for the Hook Lighthouse campus. The project is part of an ongoing initiative to develop and improve County Wexford’s tourism infrastructure by Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland. Keep an eye on where updates on the project will be available over the coming months. n

‘Fascinating Wexford History Volume Five’ is the last in the series by Des Kiely. All 5 volumes are available from these outlets: WEXFORD: Book Centre – Eason’s Heritage Park – Johnstown Castle Readers Paradise – Red Books Selskar Bookshop – Stable Diet ENNISCORTHY: Eason’s NEW ROSS: Hubb16 – Dunbrody Famine Ship GOREY: Eason’s – Red Books BUNCLODY: Steemers And from Amazon.

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Ireland and the League of Nations Ireland and the League of Nations 1923 – a talk by Barry Lacey, Historian in Residence, Wexford Co. Council, on Saturday, December 9th, at Enniscorthy Library, 11.00am. In September 1923, the newly established Irish Free State became a member of the League of Nations, taking its place on the international stage. Historian-in-Residence Barry Lacey will discuss the context surrounding the event, the Free State delegation who attended and what it meant for a country which had just come out of a bitter year-long civil war. n

Booking essential. Please register for your place using the link below.

Wicklow Gaol Comrades: A Civil War Autograph Book

As a collaborative project, the Wicklow launch of ‘Wicklow Gaol Comrades’ took place in Wicklow Gaol on 5th October, 2023. The Wexford launch of this project took place in November in Gorey Library. Now this project can be viewed in Enniscorthy Library between the 15th and 22nd of December during normal opening hours (no booking necessary). Copies of the Wicklow Gaol Comrades books will be available for the duration of the exhibition. This innovative collaboration between the archive services of Wexford and Wicklow County Councils centres on a small autograph book (part of Wexford County

Archive’s Civil War collection). It was owned by Patrick Fitzpatrick from Kiltealy, a member of North Wexford IRA’s flying column who was imprisoned in Wicklow Gaol in late 1922, and following his escape and subsequent recapture, was interned again, including at Tintown Camp B, Co. Kildare, until his release on 24 December 1923. The autograph book includes signatories of fellow internees from Fitzpatrick’s time in both places of detention. There are contributions from 43 fellow prisoners, many of whom have included a quotation, verse, drawing, sketch, or political statement. Fitzpatrick’s comrades hail from counties Wicklow, Wexford, Car-

low, Kildare, Dublin and Westmeath. The project, researched and written by historian Aaron Ó Maonaigh, includes a short video documentary featuring excerpts from interviews held with some of the prisoners’ relatives; a physical exhibition featuring the men documented in the autograph book, and an accompanying publication which provides a unique insight into the lives of the men imprisoned in Wicklow Gaol. This project was supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries programme 2012-23, and by the Archive Services of Wexford and Wicklow County Councils. n

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Community Climate Action Programme Wexford County Council is delighted that funds are available now to community groups for 100% of the costs of climate action projects countywide. Funding will be awarded according to the scale of the project, up to a maximum of €100,000. This funding is for the not-for-profit sector, charities, clubs and community organisions. Groups can discuss their potential projects with the Council’s Community Climate Action Officer, Clinton Donovan. Phone 053-9196443 or email More details on the Programme are available here: imate-action-programmeccap/community n

Wexford Co. Council team: L-R: Clinton Donovan, Community Climate Action Officer, Frank Burke, Climate Action Co-ordinator, Clare Kelly, Climate Action Officer.

No excuses! With the generous support of the Environment Department of Wexford County Council, two Mutt Mitts bag dispensers and bins (see photo) have been installed in Ferns village and also at several locations around Enniscorthy. These dispensers contain easy to use biodegradable bags to dispose of your dog’s poo. So no excuses! Bag it and bin it!! n

Enniscorthy Credit Union Green Loans Need to retrofit your cold, 1970s house? Enniscorthy Credit Union’s Green Loan is designed to help you do just that – with one of its lowest rates for a loan 5.25% (5.4% APR) you can save money, save energy and save the environment with Enniscorthy Credit Union! Talk to them today at 053 9233835 or email: n

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Sod turned on Newtown Road Cycle Scheme

L-R: Tom Byrne, Wexford County Council (WCC) Active Travel Team; Aoife Fleming, Department of Transport; Eamonn Hore, Director of Services, WCC; Vincent Gallagher, WCC Active Travel Team; Tom Enright, Chief Executive Officer, WCC; Alan O’Shea, WCC Active Travel Team; Cllr. John Hegarty, Mayor of Wexford; Hugh McCarthy, National Transport Authority; Cllr. Maura Bell; Cllr. Garry Laffan; Claire Goodwin, WCC Walking and Cycling Officer. Pic: Rocket Science Media.

Wexford’s Pathfinder Project A sod turning ceremony to mark the commencement of construction of Phase One of the Newtown Road Cycle Scheme in Wexford town was held on 7th November – the first stage of the Wexford Pathfinder project. This phase of the cycle scheme will see works to Newtown Road to improve safety for cyclists and walkers by developing protected cycle tracks and upgrading footpaths. The measures will also aim to reduce traffic speeds at this location to further enhance the environment designed to encourage people, where possible, to leave the car behind for short local journeys and actively travel. The Wexford Pathfinder project, to be delivered in three stages, is an exemplar under the Department of Transport’s Pathfinder Programme. The Programme forms a key part of the implementation of the National Sustainable Mobility Policy which sets out a plan to 2030 to transform how we travel, making sustainable journeys more attractive and feasible for all. Launched on 17 October 2022, the

Programme consists of 35 exemplar transport projects to be delivered by local authorities, and other bodies, around the country, focused on enabling the shift to cleaner transport choices and reducing carbon emissions in the transport sector. The Wexford project is one of the 35.

Alan O’Shea, Senior Executive Engineer with Wexford County Council’s Active Travel Team outlined how phase one of the Newtown Road scheme will be followed immediately by phases two and three which will see the works extend as far as Wygram close to the town centre.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor of Wexford Borough District Cllr John Hegarty stated, “I welcome the commencement of construction on this scheme which will enhance safety for those choosing to walk and cycle for their local journeys. It is only the start of a number of projects for Wexford town designed to improve our infrastructure to encourage more active travel and contribute towards reducing our carbon emissions.”

He outlined how the scheme will also ensure connectivity to the future Beechlawns/Clonard cycle scheme, also part of the Wexford ‘Pathfinder’, with works proposed to improve cycling and walking infrastructure to enhance connectivity to residential areas, schools and places of work across town. In addition, plans are being currently finalised for the third section of the Pathfinder project at Roxborough with proposals for an upgrade of cycling and walking infrastructure from Drinagh to The Faythe being developed.

The works will involve 1.3km of new protected cycle track either side of the road and new or upgraded footpaths along certain sections with some road resurfacing. Phase one of the project will cost €3m to construct and construction has commenced. Funding has been allocated by the National Transport Authority.

Construction on the Newtown Road scheme has commenced and is expected to take nine months to complete. Check out: n

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Red Carpet for Green comm On Monday 13th November the Wexford County Council Annual Environment Awards were held at the Ferrycarrig Hotel and proved to be a tremendous celebration of the environment and voluntary effort. Over 250 children, community groups, volunteers, resident groups and individuals turned up on the night to see their wonderful efforts acknowledged by Wexford County Council. There were presentations and awards to 11 schools, 63 community groups and 2 individuals. Councillor John Fleming, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, warmly welcomed and congratulated all the participants and went on to recognise the commitment and dedication of all committees and individuals who make such a real difference at a local level. Carolyne Godkin, Director of Services with Wexford County Council, said, ‘I’m struck not only by the level of commitment you make on a voluntary basis but also the quality and diversity of work being carried out and indeed the creativity and innovation we see from you as dedicated local volunteers. It is the hours you spend in your communities that enhances our County, helps Keep Wexford Beautiful and ensures that we continue to be known as The Model County.’ There were many notable highlights. Tomhaggard Clean Coasts Group was presented with a plaque for winning the Community Group Snap Into Action competition. Hollyfort Development Group, The Gap Tidy Towns & Heritage Group, and Askamore Community Council / Tidy Towns were also presented with awards for their participation in the North Wexford 2K. A ‘sort of ‘ Environment Quiz kept all guessing at the beginning of the night and prizes for the first six correct answers drawn were presented. Winners were Catherine Redmond, Aleksandra Perek, John Woodbyrne, Clodagh Roche, Fionn Quirke and Grace McCormack. The overall winner of the Keep Wexford Beautiful Competition was Blackwater Tidy Towns, Master of Ceremonies for the night Alan McGuire announced as he stated that, ‘It’s not surprising that Blackwater Village is the Overall Winner in the Keep Wexford Beautiful Awards 2023, having already won

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Blackwater Tidy Towns, overall winner of the Keep Wexford Beautiful Competition, at the Wexford County Council Environment Awards 2023 in the Ferrycarrig Hotel recently. L-R: Sonya Smith, Cllr Oliver Walsh, Doug Taylor (Chairman), Cllr Pip Breen (Cathaoirleach, Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District), Macrina Corri, Cllr Fionntán Ó Suilleabháin, Sheila Leacy (Wexford County Council). Pic: Jim Campbell. Gold in the National Tidy Towns competition.’

the green spaces and 80% of this came from seeds saved from the previous year.

Blackwater Tidy Towns Group has been working hard since the 1950s to show how Blackwater is a beautiful place to live in, to work in, and to visit. A warm welcome is extended to all, with colourful planting augmenting the charm of this seaside village. An ecologist was commissioned to produce a biodiversity action plan. This plan is now being implemented through a variety of exciting projects, including cataloguing rare plant species and a ‘Grow With Us’ project which involves young students growing their own acorn or chestnut trees which will be presented to them for planting out in their final year at school. As the river flows gently under the ancient bridge it leads to the Millrace wildlife area, where informative signage offers a variety of walkway options to suit both the casual and seasoned rambler.

The schools were well represented with eleven schools receiving presentations from Councillor John Fleming, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council. Coláiste Bríde, Enniscorthy, New Ross Educate Together National School and St Edan’s National School, Ferns were all recognised for receiving their first green flag and presented with a nest box sponsored by The Wexford Naturalists’ Field Club.

It’s worth pausing as you stroll along the Millrace walk to observe the Swift nestboxes high up on the gable end of an old stone mill. And this is just one example of the many fine buildings in the area. Barn Owl boxes have also been installed in an effort to help this endangered species. Additional perennial planting has taken place in

Coláiste an Atha, Kilmuckridge, Gorey Community School, Loreto Secondary School Wexford, Ramsgrange Community School and Selskar College were awarded certificates for their participation in the Rubbish Film Festival Programme. Mercy School Wexford was awarded a plaque as the overall primary school winner in the Christmas Decoration Competition 2022 in conjunction with South East Radio for their group entry entitled ‘The Christmas Tree’. The entry was created by students Tomás Meyler, Fionn Quirke and Blake Thomas. Ramsgrange Community School was recognised for their achievements on the national stage having won the WEEE Ireland schools

Slaney enVironment

munities battery recycling national competition in the medium secondary school category, collecting more batteries for recycling than any other school in the country in that category. A grand total of the equivalent of 82,200 AA batteries were collected for recycling by the school. Certificates were presented to Conan Kelly, Wexford Educate Together National School, who was the overall primary school winner in the Environment Artwork Competition and Mikolaj Perek, Coláiste an Atha, Kilmuckridge, who was the overall secondary school winner of the Environment Artwork Competition. Kilmyshall National School was also awarded a plaque for being Wexford’s Cleanest School. An award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Wexford’s Environment was presented to Catherine Redmond and Mary Cogley, both worthy winners. The whole event was wonderfully organised, expertly presented by Master of Ceremonies Alan McGuire and enjoyed by everybody. The feeling leaving the Ferrycarrig Hotel was certainly one of satisfaction for work well done and roll on next year. The environment is in very good hands. ENVIRONMENT AWARDS 2023: FULL LIST OF AWARD WINNERS GREEN SCHOOLS Coláiste Bríde, Enniscorthy New Ross Educate Together National School, New Ross St Edan’s National School, Ferns ANNUAL ENVIRONMENT ARTWORK COMPETITION Overall Primary School Winner – Conan Kelly, Wexford Educate Together National School Overall Secondary School Winner – Mikolaj Perek, Coláiste an Átha, Kilmuckridge CHRISTMAS DECORATION COMPETITION in conjunction with South East Radio Overall Primary School Winner – Mercy School, Wexford RUBBISH FILM FESTIVAL Coláiste an Átha, Kilmuckridge Gorey Community School Loreto Secondary School, Wexford Ramsgrange Community School Selskar College, Wexford SCHOOL BATTERY CHAMPION Ramsgrange Community School WEXFORD’S CLEANEST SCHOOL Kilmyshall National School SNAP INTO ACTION COMPETITION Community Group Winner Tomhaggard Clean Coasts Group

Watch House Village Residents Group pictured receiving their Keep Wexford Beautiful award at the Wexford County Council Environment Awards 2023 in the Ferrycarrig Hotel recently. L-R: Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy, Aoife Hennessy (Wexford County Council), Frank McCarthy, Cliona Connolly (Environment Awareness Officer, Wexford County Council), Frank Murphy, Cllr Aidan Browne, Cllr Jackser Owens (Leas-Cathaoirleach, Enniscorthy Municipal District). Pic: Jim Campbell. KEEP WEXFORD BEAUTIFUL COMPETITION Overall Winner Blackwater Tidy Towns BEST ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE AND PRESENTED HOUSING ESTATE 1st Westwinds Residents Association, Kilrane Joint 2nd Carraig Dubh Residents Association, Blackwater Joint 2nd Watch House Village Residents Group, Clonegal 3rd Hazelwood Residents Association, Gorey Highly Commended Bridgemeadow Residents Association Highly Commended Ounavarra Park Residents Association, Ballycanew BEST ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE AND PRESENTED TOWN/VILLAGE 1st Kilanerin Tidy Towns 2nd Gorey Tidy Towns Joint 3rd Kiltealy Tidy Towns Joint 3rd Bunclody Tidy Towns Highly Commended Ballyduff Development Group BEST COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE 1st Enniscorthy Community Allotments 2nd Monageer Parish Grotto Group 3rd Rosslare Harbour Kilrane Environment Group Highly Commended Clonard Area Development Association, Wexford BEST HERITAGE PRESERVATION & CONSERVATION PROJECT 1st Duncormick Area Action CLG Joint 2nd Gorey Tidy Towns Joint 2nd Kilmuckridge Tidy Towns Joint 3rd Tomhaggard Pastoral Council Joint 3rd Ferns Tidy Towns Highly Commended Killanne Development Group Highly Commended BallymurnTidy Towns BEST COMMUNITY COASTAL MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE 1st Tomhaggard Clean Coasts Group 2nd Courtown Community Council 3rd Rosslare Harbour Kilrane Environment Group

BEST NEW ENTRY 1st St Brendan’s Residents Association, Rosslare Harbour 2nd Community of Oulart Women's Society 3rd Wexford Bat Group Highly Commended Talbot Greenfingers, Wexford Highly Commended Ballindaggin Development Group/Ballindaggin Tidy Towns BEST COMMUNITY PROJECT TO IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY TO INFRASTRUCTURE 1st Kiltealy Tidy Towns BEST COMMUNITY PROJECT TO IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY IN GARDENS / PARKS 1st Taghmon Action Group 2nd Monageer Parish Grotto Group 3rd Gorey Tidy Towns Highly Commended Foulksmills Tidy Towns BEST COMMUNITY PROJECT THAT TACKLES AND REDUCES THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE 1st Sustainable Enniscorthy 2nd Ferns Tidy Towns BEST COMMUNITY BIODIVERSITY PROJECT 1st Monageer Parish Grotto Group 2nd Enniscorthy Tidy Towns Joint 3rd Bridgetown Community Development Joint 3rd Kiltealy Tidy Towns Highly Commended Clonegal Tidy Village Association BEST COMMUNITY WASTE PREVENTION/ RE-USE PROJECT 1st Tomhaggard Clean Coasts Group 2nd Foulksmills Tidy Towns 3rd Carrig on Bannow Tidy Towns Highly Commended Boolavogue Tidy Towns NORTH WEXFORD 2K CLEAN 1st Hollyfort Development Group 2nd The Gap Tidy Towns & Heritage Group 3rd Askamore Community Council/Tidy Towns OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION TO WEXFORD’S ENVIRONMENT Mary Cogley, Catherine Redmond. See more photos on pages 36-37. n

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Lasting benefits

After all the pain (traffic chaos, businesses negatively affected, etc, due to the recent works on Island Road / Mary Street) there are some gains for the town... 1. Improvements to the sewer network in Enniscorthy. 2. Improvements to water quality in the River Slaney by eliminating untreated discharge. 3. Ensuring compliance with the EU Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. 4. Facilitating the long-term social and economic development of Enniscorthy. Uisce Éireann, working in partnership with Wexford County Council, has formally announced the completion of significant upgrades to the sewer network in Enniscorthy. The upgrades involved the construction of over 110m of new sewers on Mary Street and at the Promenade Pumping Station, along with the decommissioning of the existing outfall pipe into the River Slaney, which will ensure compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. These essential upgrades will improve the capacity and operational performance of the sewer network for homes and businesses on Mary Street and surrounding areas and enhance water quality in the River Slaney by eliminating the discharge of untreated wastewater into the river. Uisce Eireann says, “We would like to thank all our stakeholders including local residents, commuters, business owners, elected representatives, and the media for their support while we worked to complete this crucial project for the people of Enniscorthy. We know from previous experience that the short-term impacts experienced during construction will be outweighed by the benefit that these wastewater upgrades will bring to the community.” n

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Wexford County Council’s Residents’ Awards make a welcome return There was a great atmosphere in Wexfiord County Hall on 2nd November 2023 at the annual Residents’ Awards Day. The Wexford County Council Estates Competition, which had not been held since 2019, was re-launched earlier this year. 39 residents’ associations and 27 individual entries were received all of an exceptionally high standard making for a difficult decision for the judges. St Joseph’s Estate, Ballymurn, was awarded the Best Estate in the County. In presenting the award, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr. John Fleming said: ‘Residents’ associations throughout the county as well as individual local authority tenants have been working hard to maintain and improve their communal spaces. The pride that is taken both individually and collectively was evident as the judges worked their way through the County. They saw beautiful planting schemes, well maintained green areas, communal orchards and composting and upcycling projects, some of which are on display here today.

Today is a great opportunity for Wexford County Council to acknowledge all that hard work.’ Awards for the best estate and best garden in each district were presented by the respective District Cathaoirligh. Mindful of the ongoing efforts and obligations regarding Climate Change, this year saw a new award introduced for Best Biodiversity Initiative, and a Special Award for ingenuity in Upcycling. So impressive was the standard of entries that the judges awarded Special Achievement awards to acknowledge all the hard work being done in so many estates throughout the County. THE FULL LIST OF AWARDS INCLUDE: Best Estate in the County: St Joseph’s Estate, Ballymurn. Best Estate in each District: Gorey/Kilmuckridge – Ounavarra Park, Ballycanew. New Ross – Beechview, Newbawn. Enniscorthy – Cloney Park, Davidstown. Wexford – Mill Haven, Castlebridge.

Rosslare – St Brendan’s Estate, Rosslare. Best Garden in each District: Gorey/Kilmuckridge District – John Doyle, Orchard Way, Camolin. New Ross – Rosemary Rossiter, St Martins. Enniscorthy – Kathleen Fortune, Rosemary Heights. Rosslare – Mary Tubritt, St James Drive, Tomhaggard. Best Window Box Display: Sinead & Siobhan O’Leary, Greenwood Avenue. Best Biodiversity Initiative: Paul Lenniston, Garan Beithe, Coolcotts. Special Award for Upcycling Initiative: Cois Abhainn Estate, Blackwater, for repurposing hub caps into sunflowers. Special Achievement Award: Denis Redmond for his garden at Abbeyview, Campile. Special Achievement Award for Improvement: Cum an Tobair Estate, Oylegate. Special Achievement Award: Croghan View Estate, Coolgreaney. Well done to all involved. n

More money for Wexford homeowners seeking septic tank grant Cllr Browne explained, “Until now, the maximum grant value amounted to €5,000. Additionally, Minister Darragh O’Brien TD has removed the condition that the septic tank required registration with Wexford County Council prior to 1st February 2013. These changes will take effect from 1st January 2024.

Wexford County Councillor representing the Enniscorthy Municipal District Cllr Aidan Browne (pictured above) has confirmed that County Wexford homeowners can now apply for grants for Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (commonly known as Septic Tanks) to the value of €12,000.

“This is really positive news for County Wexford rural homeowners. I’m confident that these changes will encourage more households to avail of the grant and consequently help reduce the risk of environmental impact from defective tanks. I know from listening to constituents that these changes will make a massive difference to County Wexford homeowners who need to upgrade their septic tank system.

Domestic waste water treatment systems collect, treat and discharge waste water from households that are not connected to public sewerage systems. They must be registered with Wexford County Council who may inspect them to ensure they do not pose any risk to the public and the environment. n

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