€122,400 for 64 Wexford community groups

By Dan Walsh

Community groups responsible for managing walking trails in Wexford will receive grands of €1,000-€3,000 under new funding announced today.

Deputy Paul Kehoe welcomed news from the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, that funding of €122,400 will be available to support and improve some 64 walking trails across the Wexford.

Deputy Kehoe said: “Trail walking is a great activity for families in Wexford to enjoy the great outdoors and explore our hidden gems this summer. These trails also attract visitors to small businesses in our rural towns.

“The community groups receiving the grant in Wexford can use it to maintain, improve and promote its use to locals and visitors. “This vital work is done by the groups which are known as Community Trail Management Organisations.

“Community Trail Management Organisations are registered with Sport Ireland and work in conjunction with Wexford County Council, Coillte and the Local Development Company (LDC) in maintaining their local trails.

CLLR FIONNTÁN Ó SUILLEABHÁIN welcomes everyone to the walking trails at Annagh Hill in North Wexford.

Senator Malcolm Byrne has welcomed the funding and told WexfordLocal.com; “There are wonderful walking routes that are much appreciated. I make use of many of them myself and know they are great for physical and mental health,” concluded Deputy Kehoe.

Senator Byrne praised the work of various community development groups who maintain these trails and where these small grants will be put to good use. “We are second only to the much larger County of Cork for the number of trails we have. Walking in Wexford is Wonderful!” he concluded.

Minister Heather Humphreys added some sound seasonal advice; “With the sunshine set to continue this week, I would encourage everybody, young and old, to get active and enjoy the wonderful walking trails we have all across rural Ireland”, she suggested.

Castletown River and Nature Festival

CATHY LEE at the information board close to the bridge taking the Ahare River towards Clone Strand.

By Dan Walsh at Castletown

Busy days ahead with a variety of events happening across Co. Wexford for National Heritage Week – and WexfordLocal.com will endeavour to inform readers of the most interesting and unusual events, and most of them are free to the public – and with climate change a major concern and biodiversity and the environment high on the agenda, we begin with the Castletown River and Nature Festival taking place Friday to Sunday inclusive, August 12-14th.

Events on Friday evening commence with Michael O’Donnell with a Moth Workshop at Castletown and on Saturday morning there is a Moth Identification session.

There are two events of particular interest at Toss Byrne’s Inch on Saturday; at 2pm the unveiling of the new River Sign will be performed by a well-known celebrity and at 2.30pm there is an opportunity to Discover the Secret Life of the River with Donal O’Keeffe, followed by some refreshments!

Sunday at 12 noon facilitates a Seashore Nature Treasure Hunt and Litter Pick with Jeshua Taucher from Seal Rescue Ireland.

Bring a picnic and don’t be left out at 1pm and in the afternoon there is a Family Sant Art Competition and Make a Seashore Mobile. Not sure what that’s all about so discover the secret by being there!

AUDIO ADDITION – CATHY LEE tells DAN WALSH about the Castletown River and Nature Festival.

Cathy Lee, Chair of the Ahare River and Biodiversity Development Group, speaking to WexfordLocal.com is urging everybody to turn out in big numbers. “Bring the family and enjoy a wonderful weekend of events,” said Cathy, who added that it is also possible to book places via Cathy Lee (087 6254863) or Jackie Byrne (087 1231525) or friendsoftheahareriver@gmail.com

Be mindful of water usage in Wexford

By Dan Walsh

Irish Water is reminding the public in Wexford to be mindful of their water usage in the coming weeks as some supplies are experiencing increased demand in the current spell of warm weather.

Irish Water has over 750 water treatment plants nationwide and the majority of these are continuing to meet the demand for water. A small number (13 at present) nationwide have been impacted by shortage. In all these areas the advice is to keep the water flowing and minimise the impact on customers. These include tankering and/or night time restrictions. 

Since March, Irish Water has been carefully monitoring all raw water sources in county Wexford, that is the water from lakes, rivers, springs and ground sources that feed our water treatment plants.

Speaking about the issues, Irish Water’s Ronan Walsh told WexfordLocal.com; “We are appealing to the public in Wexford to be mindful of how they use their water at home, as we have had a very dry period recently and the temperature is set to soar again over the coming days. As the busy summer holiday period continues, many people are outdoors a lot more, watering the garden or washing cars. Demand on Sunday 7th August saw an increase of 7.5% from 1st August which is likely to be attributed to the good weather and high temperatures. 

“Met Éireann has forecast high temperatures for the coming week with weather to remain hot and dry through the weekend with a good deal of sunshine. Maximum temperatures are expected to remain in the mid to high twenties across Wexford. Met Éireann has issued a high temperature warning for the week ahead so we are just asking people to be sensible about how they use their water so that we have enough for everyone to use during the daytime and that the businesses of Wexford can function to their optimal.

Pic; Irish Water

“Our main areas of concern around the county currently would be;

•    South Regional Water Supply Zone – Ballyhack, Arthurstown, Duncannon, Fethard-on-Sea

•    Fardystown Water Supply Zone – Rosslare, Carne, St.Helen’s, Kilmore, Bridgetown, Piercestown, Murrintown

•    Wexford Town, Barntown and Taghmon

•    Sow Regional Water Supply Zone – Ballymurn, Castlebridge, Crosstown, Ardcavan, Curracloe, Blackwater

•    Askamore supply zone (tankering)”

Water is such a precious natural resource, and we are working hard along with our colleagues in Wexford County Council to ensure the people in Wexford have a safe and reliable water supply.”

There are lots of helpful tips for conserving water on water.ie however, the most effective tips would be to leave the hose and the pressure washer in the shed; minimise the use paddling pools; reuse household water for the garden; and take shorter showers. Safeguarding the supply of water is essential currently when hand washing and hygiene is of critical importance. We are calling on everyone to play their part.”

The Irish Water customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and customers can also contact on Twitter @IWCare with any queries.

Death of Jackson Owens, (98)

CARLEY’S BRIDGE, Enniscorthy, beside the residence and the pottery enterprise run by the Carley Owens family for over 300 years.

By Dan Walsh

The death has taken place of Jackson Owens, (98), who was a director of the Carley’s Bridge Potteries, on the outskirts of Enniscorthy, made famous by the RTE David Shaw-Smith series about traditional crafts called ‘Hands’ which was also shown on various UK channels.

Carley’s Bridge Potteries were the oldest in Ireland, located in the townland of Carrigabruce, at Carley’s Bridge that owes its origins to the Carley brothers who arrived from Cornwall in 1654. They found suitable clay for pottery manufacture and the business flourished for more than 300 years!

Jackson, who was born in 1924, passed away in the wonderful care of Brabazon Trust Home and their kind and loving staff today (Monday). He was a well-known and respected businessman in Enniscorthy and his passing will be mourned by an elderly section of the town who survived him and sympathies are expressed to his family and friends.

Loved by Dorothy, who died in 2009, and his son Peter (d, 1985), he is survived and will be so sincerely missed by his daughter Valerie, son Philip, daughter-in-law Elizabeth and grandson Asa.

Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, August 11th at 4pm at the Victorian Chapel, Mount Jerome Cemetery and Crematorium, Harold’s Cross, Dublin, prior to cremation. A Service of Interment will be held in All Saint’s Church, Castleconnel, Co. Limerick at a future date.

€781k for Wexford lanes and rural roads

By Dan Walsh

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D. has allocated €781.027 to Wexford County Council under the Local Improvement Scheme for 2022.

KNOCKDUFF LANE, near Bree, one of the many beautiful and environmentally friendly roadways located across rural Co. Wexford.

Welcoming the news Deputy Paul Kehoe told WexfordLocal.com;” This extremely positive announcement will see our laneways and non-public roads in Wexford receive improved access to homes, farms and outdoor amenities.

“Prior to this news, Wexford Local Authority consulted with local residents and landowners to identify road and laneway projects where works could start immediately and be completed this year.

“Fine Gael is working to build stronger, safer communities and we want to see more people living, working and raising a family in our rural communities throughout the country. We will continue to fight for rural homeowners in Wexford and make the case for further increases in funding.

“The funding provided by the Department will be complemented by a local financial contribution from landowners/households. There is a ceiling of €1,200 on the amount that any individual householder or landowner will be asked to contribute towards the cost,” concluded Deputy Kehoe.

Senator Malcolm Byrne told WexfordLocal.com he also welcomes the news saying that the government announcement today is incredibly positive news for many rural dwellers in Wexford who are looking to have their roads resurfaced or upgraded. 

“With a doubling of the allocation for the Local Improvement Scheme to €781k, a lot more work will be done over the next year,” said Senator Byrne who added; “Residents that would like to see their lanes / roads improved apply in the first instance to Wexford County Council. I’ll be happy to assist anyone who wishes to apply.” 

Minister Heather Humphreys added; “The scheme provides substantial grant aid for the upgrade of these routes and assists homeowners with the costs. In many cases where there are multiple homes on a lane, neighbours will work together to draw down funding under the scheme.

Relief as toilet flushes on Vinegar Hill

The scene at Vinegar Hill car park on Saturday evening. The new toilet on the far left, the green doggy-poo bin in the centre, and the bag of dog shit on the right.

By Dan Walsh

Cllr Jackser Owens has welcomed what he describes as “the first ever public toilet” on Vinegar Hill and he visited the site on Friday as the workers placed ‘the trial unit’ in place.

Cllr Owens had called for public toilets on the popular tourist destination that is Vinegar Hill at district and county meetings of the Council for a long time. Jackser gets the plaudits.

This is a modern development for visitors to Vinegar Hill, however, no such facilities existed during the Insurrection of 1798 when, it is recorded and never forgotten, “lads pissed in the powder” and it was no use to the canons and the guns!

The provision of public toilets on the hill must be welcomed and improves the image of the area, however, it is a long way from improving mindless filthy bad habits.

I visited the hill twice today. At the entrance to the hill from the car park is a green dog poo bin – very prominent – and I didn’t check to see if it was full, but I avoided stepping in dog shit – it had been flattened so somebody brought home a souvenir on their shoe – and a bag full of the canine excrement in a white bag is dangling from the hedge beside it! Not a great image.

Last weekend WexfordLocal.com recorded the dumping of bathroom contents over a wall in the car park on Vinegar Hill. It has been completely removed.

On my way back to town, on the pedestrian crossing at the top of Drumgoold, opposite the new school, is rubbish, now scattered about, that has been there for a week!

Extensive rubbish dumping on the Killagoley to Springvalley road above the Turret Rocks. Other parts of the town are affected too, at the recent meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council Cllr John O’Rourke referred to fly-tipping in the Carley’s Bridge area, on the opposite side of town.

Local representatives and reporters like me get it in the neck when we are termed ‘negative about the town’ but realism must be recognised – the people of Enniscorthy and visitors to the town demand the respect of a clean and healthy environment and urgent action is required to meet these simple human expectations. Cover-ups are no good unless it goes into the bins provided.

Rachael is Ladies Day favourite at Wexford

Finalists in the Ladies Day competition at Wexford races this evening.

By Dan Walsh at Bettyville Park

Leading jockey Rachael Blackmore was in brilliant form at Wexford this evening where she recorded a winning favourite double on Watch The Weather (1/1 fav) for Ray Cody’s stable in the handicap hurdle and Coole Arcade (15/8 fav) for the Waterford stable of Henry de Bromhead in the handicap chase.

The Brouder brothers had a winner each. First up in the maiden hurdle was Bold Approach (9/2) owned and bred by Mrs Jim Bolger with Gearoid Bruder in the saddle beat Willie Mullins’ High City Roller (Brian Hayes) by a short head. Winning trainer Brendan Duke said afterwards; “That win is for Paddy Bolger (from Oylegate who passed away recently). He was a terrific friend of mine and is an unbelievable loss to the Bolger family and to humanity, so that’s for him.”

There was a Wexford winner in the bumper. Lodilomoco (7/2) bred at Oylegate by Tim Nolan, who was on hand to congratulate the winning owner, Lorcan Higgins from Askamore and Tom Harney was the winning rider. The verdict was two and a quarter lengths.

Kieran Buckley, born in England with strong Clonroche connections, rode his second winner since arriving in Ireland, on the John McConnell trained Battle of Benburb (6/1) in the handicap hurdle.

Veteran Tipperary trainer Edward O’Grady saddled Act Of God (3/1) to win the beginner’s chase with Darragh O’Keeffe on board.

Gavin Brouder made in a Wexford double for the brothers on Val O’Brien’s Avec Espoir (33/1) in the opportunity handicap chase.

It was a very exciting evening’s racing – themed Ladies Day – held in brilliant summer conditions and the attendance was one of the largest seen at Bettyville for some time.

The four finalists in the Ladies Day competition were Anne Marie Blake (overall winner), Veronica Murphy, Melody Redmond and Sharon Curtin. Lorraine Booth was guest judge was Lorraine Booth and the sponsors were Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny, and New Mood.

The Tote aggregate was €120,884.24 compared to €80,840.25 last year. The next race meeting at Bettyville Park takes place on Saturday, September 3rd.

Odour anger at Ballyminaun Hill steps up!

By Dan Walsh

There is a palpable anger at the lack of action by Wexford County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in relation to the obnoxious odours constantly diminishing the quality of life in the neighbourhood and the town of Gorey from the compost plant on Ballyminaun Hill.

CLLR JOE SULLIVAN who is campaigning with the residents affected by odour emissions in the Ballyminaun Hill neighbourhood of Gorey.

About 30 residents attended a public meeting last night (Thursday) held in the Barnadown Equestrian Centre and there was anger and support for the campaign to be stepped up as the winter months approach.

The attendance included Cllrs Joe Sullivan and Diarmuid Devereaux while apologies were noted on behalf of Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin. Mr Dermot Leahy attended on behalf of the Environment Section of Wexford County Council.

WexfordLocal.com understands that representatives of the Custom Compost Plant were invited to attend the meeting, but there was no response!

AUDIO ADDITION – CLLR JOE SULLIVAN comments on last night’s meeting on the Ballyminaun Hill campaign.

It was a lively discussion with the residents standing firm in their quest for a clean environment and the campaign is set to drag on. There is also grievous disappointment locally that Wexford County Council and the EPA have not done enough and the residents of Ballyminaun Hill feel strongly that they have been let down badly at official level.

Three angry residents from Ballyminaun Hill were guests of Wexford County Council at the June meeting where Cllr Joe Sullivan raised several issues relating to an obnoxious odour emanating from a compost plant.

Submissions were made by the plant owner in 2012 and 2017 and an extension to the chimney stack was added but the smell persists, and the neighbours have resorted to public protest and are calling for a quick solution to a long-standing problem.

CEO, Tom Enright told the members that Wexford County Council was aware of the situation at the mushroom compost site and indicated that there is a proposal by the owners for an alternative system. Mr Enright was assured of “the goodwill to get the matter resolved and find a good technical solution.”

Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin supported Cllr Sullivan and stated that the Ballyminaun smell affects the school’s environment in Gorey town where there are over 1,000 students.

Cllr Diarmuid Devereux, who told the members that he lives in the area, was critical of the compost plant owners and their lack of communication with the neighbouring households and outlined that in 2012 planning permission was granted to deal with the problem.

“It’s appalling, nobody should have to put up with that stink” and he added it is not about conflict between the jobs and people’s wellbeing – it is possible for a trap and hold system in a confined space – it has been going on for ten years and he concluded “while the company representatives will talk to the Executive they will not speak with the neighbours.”

New service on Rosslare-Dunkirk route

New DFDS service between Rosslare and Dunkirk starts on Friday.

By Dan Walsh

A new passenger service between Ireland and France will be launched on Friday on the DFDS Rosslare-Dunkirk route when passenger travel will be introduced on a trial basis, as an addition to the existing freight service between the two ports.

For the first time, DFDS will offer tourists a direct link between South-East Ireland and Northern France. The new service will be focused on car and motorhome traffic at launch, with limited capacity to complement our freight traffic.

Chris Parker, route director, said; “We launched a freight service between Rosslare and Dunkirk in January 2021 and it has proved extremely popular with customers looking to move goods between Ireland and continental Europe without the need to use the land-bridge via the UK. Adding passenger services to the route will further strengthen the service and we expect strong demand from holidaymakers in Ireland and in Northern Europe. Rosslare is at the heart of the ‘sunny southeast’ and a short drive from Dublin and Cork, making it a very popular destination. Irish customers will benefit from a direct link into the heart of Europe.”

Crossings on the route will take 23 hours and 45 minutes, with the overnight sailings providing an opportunity for customers to relax and recharge before driving on to their holiday destination. Against the backdrop of a looming summer of disruption at airports, the launch of the new route offers a stress-free alternative for holidaymakers looking to getaway. No luggage restrictions apply when you take your car to Europe by ferry.

There will be up to five sailings per week from Rosslare to Dunkirk and prices for a car and four passengers with a standard cabin onboard will start from €550, with all meals included.

€186,000 for Wexford outdoor amenities

By Dan Walsh

Funding of €186,000 has been awarded for outdoor amenities in Co. Wexford. Deputy Paul Kehoe welcomed the news from Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys. The funding falls under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS). will be key to enhancing outdoor amenities such as walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes, and beaches.

Deputy Kehoe said: “This funding will develop 200 outdoor adventure projects across rural Ireland will attract visitors to mountain trails, forest walks, rivers, lakes and beaches.

“It will also provide a major boost to local economies by attracting visitors and furthering our reputation in Wexford as a destination for adventure tourism. Almost €4.3 million will be used to improve some 163 outdoor amenities across the country. Each project will receive up to €30,000 to support their enhancement.

  • €49,500: Extension to the Enniscorthy Riverside Walk.
  • €26,500: Relocation of a section of the Forge Trail, Carrickburn to improve safety.
  • €30,000: Resurfacing of the Oldbawn Carpark, Cahore Point.
  • €30,000: Upgrading the River Slaney banks trail and rerouting link to Blackstoops Road.
  • €20,250: Upgrading trails in Curragh, Kilaneran, Newtown and Annagh.
  • €30,000: Installing a range of seating types on the easy graded trails through Wexford.
ENNISCORTHY RIVER WALK (File Pic)

“Outdoor activities in Wexford play a key role in communities and we have seen this throughout the recent pandemic. Recreation tourism is growing internationally and has the potential to have major economic spin-off benefits for our rural towns and villages,” said Deputy Kehoe.

Minister Humphreys added: “Every county will benefit from today’s announcement so if you’re a walker, a swimmer, a cyclist or even a fisherman – check out the list to see what’s happening in your county.

“Some of these amenities are often hidden gems on our doorsteps so I’m encouraging people to get out and discover them over the rest of the summer”, Minister Humphreys concluded.