Aussie Mayor visits Vinegar Hill

At the civic reception in Enniscorthy Castle tonight; (left to right) Jacqui Hynes (jt-editor (with Dr Ronan O’Flaherty) of Vinegar Hill; The Last Stand of the Wexford Rebels of 1798; Cllr Jackser Owens, Cllr Cathal Byrne, Leas-Cathaoirleach Enniscorthy Municipal District Council, Deputy Mayor Cllr Brad Bunting, Ms. Norma Bunting, Cllr John O’Rourke, Carolyne Godkin, Director of Services, and Bernie Quigley, District Manager Enniscorthy Municipal District Council.

By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy Castle

Dialogue around the ‘twinning or sister relationship’ between Vinegar Hill in Wexford and Vinegar Hill in Australia has taken a step forward today when Enniscorthy Municipal District Council hosted a civic reception for Deputy Mayor Cllr Brad Bunting of Blacktown, Australia, at a pleasant function held in Enniscorthy Castle.

The aim of the visit was to acknowledge the common historical link between Enniscorthy and Blacktown, that being the Battle of Vinegar Hill.

CLLR CATHAL BYRNE making a presentation to DEPUTY MAYOR CLLR BRAD BUNTING at Enniscorthy Castle tonight.

Leas-Cathaoirleach Cllr Cathal Byrne, deputising for the Cathaoirleach Cllr Aidan Browne, presided and welcomed Mayor Bunting, his wife Norma, and brother-in-law David, saying that a civic reception is the highest honour the town can bestow, and it is our distinguished privilege and “we look forward to increase links between our town and your city.”

Mayor Bunting thanked Enniscorthy for “putting together a fantastic day”, he said that discussions had been going on for some time regards “twinning or a sister relationship” and he felt that talks had moved along, and he also appreciated the tours and the civic relationship.

Jacqui Hynes, joint-editor (with Dr Ronan O’Flaherty) of the award-winning publication Vinegar Hill – The Last Stand of the Wexford Rebels of 1798, gave a short talk on the rebellion and outlined that the results of the recent archaeological dig are contained in this comprehensive account. A copy of the book was amongst the presentations made to Mayor Bunting to mark his visit to Enniscorthy. 

The civic reception was attended by Cllrs Cathal Byrne, Jackser Owens, John O’Rourke, Barbara-Anne Murphy and Kathleen Codd-Nolan.

Mayor Bunting was given a tour of the National 1798 Rebellion Centre with guide Derek Meyler, he was also afforded the spectacular views from Vinegar Hill and aspects of the battlefield site were explained.

AUDIO ADDITION; Mayor Brad Bunting speaking at the civic reception in Enniscorthy Castle earlier tonight.

Cllr Sheehan is Chair at New Ross

By Dan Walsh

Long serving Fianna Fáil public representative Cllr Michael Sheehan was elected Cathaoirleach of New Ross Municipal District Council at yesterday’s annual general meeting. He succeeds Cllr Bridín Murphy (Fine Gael).

CLLR MICHAEL SHEEHAN (Cathaoirleach) and CLLR JOHN FLEMING (Leas-Cathaooirleach) congratulate each other at New Ross Municipal Council.

Cllr Sheehan said he was honoured to be elected and promised that he would work hard for the betterment of the town and district in the coming year. Cllr Sheehan was first elected to New Ross Town Council in June 1999 and Wexford County Council since 2014 and is a former Cathaoirleach.

The Leas-Cathaoirleach is Cllr John Fleming (Fianna Fáil), from Palace, Clonroche, who was first elected in 2014, served as Cathaoirleach of New Ross District in 2019, and specialises in rural affairs.

Turn Vinegar Hill into ‘a goldmine’!

By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy Council Meeting

Funding is to be sought for the development of Enniscorthy’s most famous landmark and battlefield following the presentation of a draft masterplan entitled Vinegar Hill Amenity Park and Heritage Site at the June meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council.

The draft deals with two headings – short term actions and long-term actions – and was presented by District Manager Bernie Quigley at the request of the members who have been campaigning for a better deal for Vinegar Hill.

Cllr Jackser Owens said action on the report is a priority. “If Vinegar Hill was in Killarney it would be a goldmine?” He called for someone working on the site five days a week, toilets, seats and a guide to explain what happened in these fields, he was critical of the lack of signage, but admitted; “This is a start and it will put Vinegar Hill on the map and funding should be sought.”

Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan questioned some of the items listed in the draft report and she was very supportive of promoting the site and acknowledged that “a lot of work has been done on the hill.” She suggested that “the Council might buy some acreage?”

Cllr John O’Rourke described the draft report as “a positive step forward to put Enniscorthy on the map”. He suggested that since “we are trying to sell Vinegar Hill to visitors we should encourage visitors to the National 1798 Rebellion Centre also – I know it is a different experience -both have a lot in common.

Ms Quigley said the 1798 Centre do send visitors to Vinegar Hill.

Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy had questions about the walking trails, bus parking or drop off facilities at the bottom of the hill. Cllr Aidan Browne said it was great to see something happening on Vinegar Hill and added; “I would like to see a walking trail between Vinegar Hill and the 1798 Centre established.”

Cathaoirleach Cllr Cathal Byrne, on his last opportunity in the chair, was impressed and noted “a lot of good ideas here at the meeting”, but he reminded the members that it was just a draft, but looked forward to the full plan, hopefully in September.

The short-term suggestions include two panels of heritage interpretive, pedestrian counters, a dry toilet trialled to the end of September, ecology audit and biodiversity interpretation, develop a formal walking trail and signage and passive seating.

The long-term action, which could take a little longer to achieve, according to Director of Services, Carolyne Godkin, would include parking and access, battlefield interpretation strategy and tourism promotions. 

Cllr Bell is new Mayor of Wexford

By Dan Walsh


Labour Party’s Cllr Maura Bell has been elected Mayor of Wexford. Independent Cllr David Hynes takes the position of Deputy Mayor.

Cllr Bell said; “Delighted to be elected as Mayor of Wexford today – it’s an honour and a privilege. I’ll do my very best to serve the people of Wexford district.

Cllr Bell thanked all her fellow councillors’ and offered “a big well done to the outgoing Mayor, Cllr Garry Laffan, and congratulated Cllr David Hynes, who was elected as Deputy Mayor.

Outgoing Mayor Cllr Laffan reflected on his year in office, thanked the councillors’ and officials for their support, and wished both Mayor Bell and Deputy Mayor Hynes the best of luck in their new roles for 2022-23.

Cllr McDonald takes Rosslare chair

At the annual general meeting of Rosslare Municipal Council (left to right); Noreen Cummins (District Manager) Cllr Ger Carthy, Cllr Frank Staples (Leas-Cathaoirleach), Cllr Lisa McDonald (Cathaoirleach), Cllr Jim Moore, Cllr Jim Codd and Annette O’Neill (Director of Services).

By Dan Walsh

Cllr Lisa McDonald was elected the new Cathaoirleach of Rosslare Municipal District Council at the annual general meeting held today at County Hall, Wexford.

Cllr McDonald was proposed by Cllr Jim Codd and seconded by Cllr Ger Carthy and was elected unopposed. Outgoing Cathaoirleach Cllr Jim Moore congratulated Cllr McDonald and handed over the chains of office to the new incumbent.

Cllr McDonald told; “I am greatly honoured and privileged to have this morning been elected by my colleagues as Cathaoirleach of the Rosslare Municipal District. This is a proud day for myself, family, friends and supporters.

“I look forward to working alongside my colleagues and the Rosslare Municipal District staff in the year ahead to deliver for the people of the constituency,” she concluded.

Cllr Frank Staples is the new Leas-Cathaoirleach having been proposed by Cllr Jim Moore and seconded by Cllr Ger Carthy.

The meeting reviewed the past year and Cllr Jim Moore was congratulated on his leadership as Cathaoirleach and his work on behalf of the people of the district.

History is made at Enniscorthy Council

Outgoing Cathaoirleach CLLR CATHAL BYRNE congratulates the new incumbent CLLR AIDAN BROWNE using the latest technology at the annual general meeting held in the Presentation Centre Chamber today.

By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy Council Chamber

History was made in the Presentation Centre this afternoon at the annual general meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council where Cllr Aidan Browne (Fianna Fáil) was elected Cathaoirleach even though he wasn’t in the chamber!

Cllr Browne was appearing by zoom when his name was proposed by Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy, who told the meeting that Cllr Browne came from a long family tradition in politics – Sean Browne (grand-uncle), John Browne (uncle) and current Minister James Browne (first cousin) – he was elected at the first attempt in 2019, works hard and was committed to his role. Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan (seconded), there was no other nomination and Cllr Browne was deemed elected, although since he wasn’t present ‘in person’ there was no formal handing over of the chain by outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr Cathal Byrne, but he was given a round of applause. There were many voices offering ‘congratulations’

Cllr Browne thanked his fellow councillors and officials for their support and outlined a number of issues that he wishes the Council can progress during his term in office. “Enniscorthy is a great place to live,” he said, but he also outlined other parts of the district, especially Ferns and Bunclody, and he promised to “work hard for the town” and hoped “we, all six of us can work together.”

Matters in the chamber were less cordial when the nomination for Leas-Cathaoirleach topped the agenda. Cllr Kathleen Codd proposed Cllr Cathal Byrne (Fine Gael) and Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy seconded. No other name was proposed, and Cllr Byrne was duly elected as understudy to Cllr Browne and the pair promised to work closely together during the coming year.

Cllr Jackser Owens objected. “There are six councillors, and each councillor should have an opportunity to fill the position but for years now Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have excluded the Independents. It is wrong, it is greed, it is about power. Every councillor should have an opportunity to be Chair or Vice-Chair of the Council,” he concluded.

The meeting concluded after members agreed to maintain the usual practice of holding the monthly meetings on the third Monday of every month at 3pm.

Tributes paid to Declan MacPartlin

By Dan Walsh

The death has occurred of Declan MacPartlin, Baylands, Camolin, a public affairs consultant and a member of Wexford County Council for a decade.


Born in Dublin, he came to live in Wexford in 1979 and settled in the parish of Ferns from where his mother Margaret Maguire had migrated to Dublin in the 1920s.

He was elected as a Non-Party member of Wexford County Council in 2004 and served until 2014. He contested the Seanad Election in 2007,

In tribute the Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr George Lawlor said Declan was “one of the most affable and courteous public representatives you could meet with a passion for rural Ireland.”

He was associated with many local initiatives and developments, including serving as former Chairman of North Wexford Hospice and committee member, and deepest sympathy is extended to his sorrowing wife Catherine, sons and daughters, extended family and friends.

FAMILY NOTICE; The death has occurred of Declan MacPartlin, Baylands, Camolin. Beloved husband of Catherine, loving father of Jenny, Alistair, Fionn, Caoimhe and Oisín, brother of the late Tom and Ann. Deeply regretted by his wife, sons, daughters, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, daughter-in-law, Rachel, Naomi (Partner of Oisín), and grandchildren; Euan, Molly, and Beren, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. May he rest in peace Reposing at Kavanagh’s Funeral Home, Castlelands, Ferns, from 4 o’clock until 8 o’clock on Tuesday. Funeral Mass in St. Columba’s Church, Ballyduff, at 11 o’clock on Wednesday. Burial afterwards in Ballyduff Cemetery. House private, please.

Promoting “quality foods directly from source”

By Dan Walsh

South East Food Stories has been launched to help promote the wide variety of producers, providers and makers delivering quality foods directly from source to plates across the South East.

The South East is known for an abundance of naturally sourced food and drink, and for its unique and inventive makers and producers. Anyone who has tasted the area’s high quality local food, foraged on beaches and in forests to find the best natural foodstuffs, and tasted the local beverages, will have a story to tell about it.

The pilot agri-food initiative incorporates produce from across Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford and highlights the businesses working hard to keep food sustainability at the heart of what they do.

Speaking about the impact of South East Food Stories, Brian O’Flynn, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East said; “We are delighted to see tourism businesses across the South East coming together to create high quality food trail experiences aligned to the Ireland’s Ancient East Brand.”

LORRAINE O’DWYER OF GALLIVANTING TOURS pictured here in the fabulous Courtown Woods said; “I am really excited for this project, as not only is it a way for us to boost our local economy and give visitors a reason to explore this region outside of the traditional summer months but it’s an opportunity to draw people away from big chain supermarkets and into their local farmers’ markets and grocers.” Picture;

Director of Ireland South East, Alan Quirke, said; “The South East offers a varied tourism experience, blending heritage, coastal activities, gardens with other activities and attractions. What stands out about the South East is its vast agri-food market and we’re delighted to be able to showcase the wide range of produce across the five counties.”

The campaign is inspired by the importance of food and its production as part of our overall tourism experience. All five counties have hundreds of years’ worth of heritage and history with wonderful visitor experiences, which serve as a backdrop to fresh experiences and new stories.

Lorraine O’Dwyer from Gallivanting Tours in Gorey; “I am really excited for this project, as not only is it a way for us to boost our local economy and give visitors a reason to explore this region outside of the traditional summer months but it’s an opportunity to draw people away from big chain supermarkets and into their local farmers’ markets and grocers. Supporting local food producers is good for you and fantastic for Mother Earth!”

Cheque presented to the Red Cross

The Ukraine Coffee Morning held in the Slaney Inn, Oylegate, last month was an outstanding success, and thanks is expressed to all who supported the event so generously. Ruairí Ryan, Chairman Ógra Fianna Fáil, presented a cheque for €2,450 to Paddy Redmond of Enniscorthy branch of the Red Cross. Minister James Browne and Cllr Willie Kavanagh were in attendance.

Two New Ross councillors in mourning

By Dan Walsh 
Two sitting members of Wexford County Council and New Ross Municipal District Council, Cllr Anthony Connick, outgoing Leas-Cathaoirleach, and Cllr Michael Whelan, incoming Leas-Cathaoirleach, have been bereaved with the sad loss of their, respective mothers, Peggy Connick and Myra Whelan.
Tributes have been paid to the councillors and their families on the deaths of Mrs Connick and Mrs Whelan, both of whom were well-known and popular and will be missed by family, friends and the general community.


FAMILY NOTICE; The death has occurred of Margaret (Peggy) Connick (nee Ryan) Dowsleys Barn, New Ross, and formerly of Milltown, Glenmore / Millbanks, Rosbercon Co. Kilkenny. Margaret (Peggy) who passed away Wednesday 22nd June. Adored wife of the late John and cherished mother of Helen, Seán, Bernie and Anthony. Beloved daughter of the late Laurence and Mary Ryan. Sadly missed by her loving brothers and sisters Tom, Annie, Ned, Pat, Mary and Kathleen. Predeceased by her brothers and sister Richard, Bridget, Jim, John and Larry. Fondly remembered by her sons-in-law David and Anthony, daughters-in-law Lourde and Caroline, grandchildren Mark, Brian, Cora, Niall, Gemma, and Aoife, their partners Michelle, Helena, and Chris, great-grandchildren Mason, Alfie and Áine, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, extended family, relatives and friends. May You Rest Easy In Grace and Love Reposing in Doyle’s Funeral Home, The Old Rectory, Rosbercon, New Ross, today, Friday, from 3pm concluding with Rosary at 8pm. Removal will take place (walking) from Doyle’s Funeral Home at 10.45am on Saturday to arrive at The Church Of The Assumption Rosbercon for 11am Requiem Mass, with burial afterwards in the adjoining Cemetery. House Strictly Private Please.


FAMILY NOTICE; The death has occurred of Myra Mary Whelan (neé Moore), Ballycullane Post Office, Ballycullane. Beloved wife of the late Seamus, mother of John, Joy, Thomas, James, Annette, Michael, Patrick, Paul, Kevin, Eamon and the late Mary and Noel and sister of the late John and Noel. Deeply regretted by her loving sons, daughters, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, relatives and many friends. May She Rest In Peace Reposing at her residence today, Friday, from 12 noon – 10pm. Removal on Saturday to St Martin’s Church Ballycullane arriving for funeral mass at 2pm, followed by burial in Ballycullane cemetery.

This brings to four the number of sitting council members who have lost their mothers since the beginning of the year. Cllr Joe Sullivan from Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council and Cllr Maura Bell, Wexford Borough District Council. Our prayers are with all of them in their great personal loss.