€2.4m cocaine seized at Rosslare Europort

By Dan Walsh

Revenue officers seized over 34kgs of cocaine with an estimated value of €2,404,000 at Rosslare Europort on Saturday afternoon. 

Detector dog JASPER made a big discovery at Rosslare Europort (Pic; Revenue)

The illicit drugs were discovered with the assistance of Revenue’s mobile X-ray scanner and detector dog Jasper, in the overhead area of the cab when a Latvian-registered freight unit was stopped and searched upon arrival from Cherbourg, France. 

A man in his 30s, and the sole occupant of the vehicle, was arrested by An Garda Síochána and is currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 at a Garda station in the Eastern region. Investigations are ongoing.

This seizure is part of Revenue’s ongoing work targeting smuggling and shadow economy activity. If businesses, or members of the public, have any information, they can contact Revenue in confidence on 1800 295 295.

Jack Hendrick rides a double

By Dan Walsh

JACK HENDRICK… two winners at Durrow today.

Mayglass rider Jack Hendrick travelled to Durrow, Co. Laois, today, where he scored a double success and brought his seasonal total to 15 winners.

Hendrick got off to a winning start in the first race – the four-year-old maiden auction race – on newcomer Jeroboam Machin in the colours of Monbeg Farm Racing Partnership for handler Cormac Doyle. The winning margin was two and a half lengths.

Hendrick’s double was achieved in the Mares Winner of One race aboard Ma Hoey who had eight lengths to spare for Limerick handler Eoin McCarthy.

Harley Dunne also saddled a winner at Durrow. Howya Jimmy came home a neck to the good in the maiden race for six-year-olds plus and became the 35th career winner for Tiernan Power Roche from Tomhaggard.

There was also point-to-point action at Ballyragget today where the Darragh Berry handled Tosca Time took the four-year-old mares’ maiden race by an impressive 20 lengths. A nice winner for Horetown, Foulksmills rider Shane O’Rourke.

There was a photo finish to the maiden race for five-year-old geldings involving two Wexford contenders. Blagthebookies for Sean Doyle and Tomhaggard rider Jamie Scallan fared best by ‘a neck’ from Livin On Luco for the Harley Dunne stable ridden by Sean Cavanagh.

CONGRATULATIONS COLM MURPHY. And finally, in a week when so many Wexford jockeys and a few trainers were chasing the dreams at the Cheltenham Festival, it would be remiss of us not to accord a big congratulations to trainer Colm Murphy, Killena, Gorey, who saddled Impervious (ridden by Brian Hayes), the two and a half lengths winner of the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Grade 2) on Friday.

Murphy took out a licence to train in 2000 and is associated with some great champions. Brave Inca won 10 Grade 1 races including the 2006 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle and Big Zeb, winner of six Grade 1 races, captured the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival.

Murphy surprised his followers when he relinquished his trainer’s licence in 2016, but he renewed his licence in 2019, the winners are starting to flow for the stable and Impervious has put the Gorey man back in the Cheltenham Festival limelight. Congratulations are in order.

New poetry from Mattie White

Verona Murphy T.D., Jacqueline White, Mattie White (author of View From The Fields) and Cllr Jim Codd at the official launch in Red Books, Wexford, last night.

By Dan Walsh in Wexford

A large gathering in Red Books in St. Peter’s Square, Wexford, last night honoured active mental health campaigner Mattie White at the launch of his second book of poetry entitled View From The Fields.

A farmer from Bannow, Mattie has initiated conversations on mental health issues in a bid to break down the stigma surrounding it.

Consequently, Mattie has turned to the inky path and converted his inner thoughts and emotions into creativity and his latest publication has 23 newly composed poems. His previous work was called Through A Farmers Eyes published in November 2021.

Mattie has the support of Independent TD for Wexford, Deputy Verona Murphy, who expressed her admiration for the Bannow man, congratulated him on the new publication and read one of his poems.

“Mattie and I hit it off because we both have a very serious passion about reforming mental health in Ireland and particularly making sure we have the services in Wexford,” stated Deputy Murphy.

Tributes too from Cllr Jim Codd. “I am delighted to be part of Mattie’s launch. He is very much one of our own. A man from a farming background who writes with such passion and with such beauty. He has many strings to his bow. He is not just a poet and a voice for rural Ireland, but a fearless defender of the farmer and rural dwellers,” stated Cllr Codd, who also read his personal choice from Mattie’s poems.

Mattie’s parents-in-law, Jim and Doris Hynes did readings as did his wife, Jacqueline White, who also acted as master of ceremonies and thanked all in attendance, and especially Wally O’Neill from the publisher Red Books.

Views From The Fields by Mattie White, 23 original poems, is published and available at Red Books, St. Peter’s Square, Wexford and Rafter St., Gorey. All proceeds from the sales are going to Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland (YSPI) in Cork.

NB; A detailed report on Mattie White’s book launch can be heard on Mid Week Voices with Dan Walsh on South East Radio (95.6 96.4 FM) at 8pm on Wednesday, March 22nd.

Crowds in Enniscorthy for St. Patrick’s Day

Lots of colour at today’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Enniscorthy where every vantage point is filled to capacity.

By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy

The streets of Enniscorthy were lined with families and enthusiastic crowds this afternoon for the annual St. Patrick Day’s Parade which was an outstanding success with colour, enthusiasm and a welcoming atmosphere in the shadow of Vinegar Hill.

Speaking to WexfordLocal.com, Cllr Cathal Byrne, Leas-Cathaoirleach representing the Cathaoirleach, Cllr Aidan Browne, who is representing Wexford at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States, was positive about today’s event.

“There was a great turn out. Really enthusiastic crowds got to see a fantastic display of everything that’s so good about Enniscorthy,” said Cllr Byrne, who added; “It is really important that we celebrate our national day with pride and here in Enniscorthy we have done that.”

CLLR CATHAL BYRNE speaking to DAN WALSH at today’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Enniscorthy.

Cllr Byrne also attended the annual Bunclody event and the first ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Kiltealy and at both places the rain caused atrocious conditions.

On the Review Stand at Abbey Square were Cllr Cathal Byrne, Leas-Cathaoirleach Enniscorthy Municipal District Council, Deputy Paul Kehoe T.D., Cllrs Barbara-Anne Murphy, Kathleen Codd-Nolan, Jackser Owens and John O’Rourke, Supt. Denis Whelan, Bishop Ger Nash, Diocese of Ferns, Fr Paddy Banville, St. Senan’s Parish, Carolyne Godkin, Director of Services, Claire Lawless, District Manager, Bernie Quigley, District Council and Jimmy Gahan, Enniscorthy Chamber of Commerce. Liam Sharkey acted as master of ceremonies.

The Enniscorthy parade was led by a Colour Party from the Thomas Wafer branch of ONE (Organisation of National Ex-servicemen) and included St. Colman’s Pipe Band, Ballindaggin, Enniscorthy Fire Service, the United Nations Veterans Association (UNVA), sporting clubs, dancing and music groups, Brownies, vintage cars and commercial floats.

Michael and Annette Dunbar were adjudicators for the parade and the following is a list of prizewinners; Best Sporting Group; Marshalstown Castledockrell.

Best Sporting Club; Delightful Dollies.

Best Presented Group; Enniscorthy Gymnastics Group.

Best Marching Band; St. Colman’s Pipe Band, Ballindaggin.

Most Original Float; Slaney Search and Rescue.

Most Colourful Item; Caim Knit and Stitch.

Adjudicator’s Choice; Shamrocks Football Club.

Adjudicators Choice No. 2; Edermine Ferry Rowing Club.

The parade celebrations concluded with a music session in Market Square.

Holiday arrangements at Wexford General Hospital

By Dan Walsh

Following the devastating fire that closed Wexford General Hospital on March 1st the public are reminded of the festival weekend situation and according to Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG); “we ask the public to please consider all options” should any health emergencies arise.

Fire at Wexford General Hospital on March 1st (Pic; wexfordLocal.com)

The Ireland East Hospital Group and Wexford General Hospital are asking the public to consider all available healthcare options ahead of the St Patrick’s Day long weekend.

Wexford General Hospital (WGH) is now operating an Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU), open from 8.30am to 7pm, seven days a week for patients 16 years of age and up. The AMAU is being operated from the Hospitals ED building and requires GP referral only.

The Minor Injury Unit at Wexford General Hospital is open from 8am to 6pm for all patients 3 years of age and up. The Hospital requests people ring ahead to schedule an appointment in the MIU.

The National Ambulance Service say that patients in the Wexford district will be taken to University Hospital Waterford, in the Bunclody district will go to St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, and north of Ferns patients will be transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, or other metropolitan hospitals.

In case of an emergency the best advice is to dial 999 or 112.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Contae Loch Garman

MARKET SQUARE where the Enniscorthy St. Patrick’s Day parade will take to the streets. (File Pic).

By Dan Walsh

Marching sports and cultural organisations, floats and vintage machinery, music and colour, are some of the amazing features of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and of course the children, the families, the atmosphere and the crowds!

Tonight, Met Éireann gave us the forecast; “St. Patrick’s Day morning will be mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain extending northwards to all areas. The afternoon will be brighter with sunny spells and scattered showers, some heavy, with a chance of isolated thunderstorms over the western half of the country. Some drier intervals in the east towards evening. Highest temperatures of 11 to 14 degrees with fresh southerly breezes.”

So the temperatures are going to be comfortable, wrap up well, and enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day parade in your town or village, or maybe take in more than one because times are staggered throughout the day. Here is a list of the best parade in your area…

BUNCLODY. The starting point is Glanbia, in Carrigduff, at 10.40am. A spokesperson for the committee commented: “All participants in this year’s parade should be colourful, creative and add music or dance if at all possible, to make the 2023 Bunclody St Patrick’s Day parade the best ever.”

CARRIG ON BANNOW. The organisers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Carrig-on-Bannow are putting out the call to “the young, the old, the brave and the bold” to join them for the 12th annual St Patrick’s Day parade which will see the picturesque seaside village completely decked out in green. The fun will get under way from 2pm sharp, with the parade starting from the school field, and the road will be closed in the village from 1 pm to 4 pm for the festivities.

CARNEW. Senior teams from Carnew Emmets will lead the 50th Carnew St. Patrick’s Day Parade which begins at 12.30pm on the Gorey Road and moves along Main Street to St. Brigid’s Hall. Prizes are available for a few float categories.   

CLONROCHE. Assembling at Cloughbawn Church and getting under way at 1pm the plan is to pass the Viewing Platform in Clonroche village at 2pm. Over 80 business and over 25 local voluntary and sporting groups will participate.

COOLGREANY. Founder of Heart to Hand, Kieran Byrne is the Grand Marshal for the Coolgreany St. Patrick’s Day Parade which begins at 12 noon. This is Coolgreany’s 13th annual parade and will feature the award-winning Arklow Pipe Band.

CURRAGRAIGUE. This is Ireland’s ‘smallest parade’, but the one that is receiving most media attention because of its originality! 11am start this year for the Ballindaggin showpiece.

ENNISCORTHY. Entertainment in Market Square from 2pm, but the parade moves off at 3pm from St. Senan’s Church area led by a Colour Party from the Army Reserve. Proceeding along Templeshannon Quay the parade will cross the Rafter Bridge onto Mill Park Road, up Friary Hill and Court Street turning up Hospital Lane and, onto the Parnell Road, and down Main Street into Market Square. St. Colman’s Pipe Band, Ballindaggin, will be marching to appropriate tunes.

FETHARD-ON-SEA. The Fethard-on-Sea St Patrick’s Day Parade takes place from 2 pm in the village with the Helen Blake replica boat featuring as a star attraction. Numerous local groups, from cheer leaders to sporting clubs and businesses will bring a carnival of colour and energy to the village, with St Patrick himself making an appearance! Everyone participating is asked to meet at the pitch at 1.30 p.m. ahead of the parade.

GOREY. The Gorey St. Patrick’s Day Parade is simple. It begins at 3pm at the ’98 monument and they march along the Main Street to the reviewing stand on Esmonde Street and usually both sides of the street are thronged with thousands of families and supporters on the national feast day. This year’s Grand Marshal is Sean Halford, who served with the defunct Gorey Town Commissioners and numerous organisations over the years. This year’s theme for the Gorey St. Patrick’s Day Parade is ‘Irish Heritage and Culture’.

KILTEALY. Making history in Kiltealy with the first ever parade in the village. The parade starts at 1pm in the Community Centre car park,

NEW ROSS. The theme for this year’s parade is ‘New Ross Going Green’. Committee Chairman Cllr Anthony Connick said: “St Patrick’s Day is a day for family and fun. It is a chance for everyone to celebrate our town and our heritage together. It is the people of the town and environs that make it such a memorable occasion.” The parade will commence at 2 pm from the Irishtown and will conclude on the quay just after the visitor centre at the Dunbrody. The parade will take the traditional route down through the town.

THE HARROW. On the 225th anniversary of the 1798 Insurrection the organisers of The Harrow St. Patrick’s Day are hoping for a pike group to participate. No starting times provided!

WEXFORD. Starts at 10.30am and travels along William Street, Trinity Street, Paul Quay, Commercial Quay and Wellington Place to Redmond Square. The reviewing stand will on the quay front adjacent to Wexford Bridge. Among the floats taking part will be Sulzer on Whitemill Industrial Estate which is celebrating 50 years in Wexford this year and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann while a group of almost 50 students from Wexford’s twin town of Coueron will travel from to march in the parade.

St Patrick’s Day in Wexford will start with the traditional Civic Mass in Bride Street Church at 9am, attended by public representatives, officials and other guests, at which the blessing of the shamrock will take place. The main sponsors of this year’s parade are Wexford Credit Union, Wexford County Council, Wexford Borough District Council and Done Deal. The prize-giving ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 18th in Macken’s pub at 7 pm.

Smart Village strategy for Courtown/Riverchapel

COURTOWN HARBOUR at night (File Pic; WexfordLocal.com

By Dan Walsh at Ashdown Park Hotel, Gorey

A new 64-page report outlining a Smart Village innovative plan for future investment and development in the Courtown and Riverchapel region of North Wexford was unveiled at a well-attended public meeting held in the Ashdown Park Hotel, Gorey, last Monday night.

Linda Sinnott, Chair of Courtown Community Council welcomed everybody to the meeting and told them; “We know mistakes have been made on both sides, but we need to learn from them and move forward. We are delighted to have the support of the local councillors in attendance for our proposal for a new working group to address the challenges within the area. Our community is full of passion, and we all want to see a strong and prosperous future for the area.”

Lorna Fitzpatrick, Trustee of Courtown Community Council and lead author of the report said; “It is clear to me that there are a lot of people who want to see Courtown and Riverchapel grow and prosper. It is essential that this plan is utilised and that it feeds into the development of the area.”

Ms. Fitzpatrick presented some of the key findings of the report; (1), 90.8% of respondents want community facilities within the next 2 years. (2); 89.2% of respondents want investment in health services within the next 2 years; (3); 74% of respondents felt that Environmental and Climate protection were very important to them, and (4); The greatest challenge for the area was identified by respondents as “the lack of planning and investment in services and infrastructure such as healthcare, education, housing and transport.

Cllr Donal Kenny, Cathaoirleach of Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council congratulated the group and stated; “we are here to listen to you and work with you.”

Cllr Diarmuid Devereux wasn’t surprised that healthcare topped local concerns. “If you want help, you will get it,” he added.

Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabhain felt that “tourism is the mainstay of the country” and anticipated a link up with two hotels, Coillte and the neighbouring woods, Active Tribe and the Tara Hill project.

Cllr Andrew Bolger said it was great to get all the information together, “listening is the easy part but delivering is the hard part” in providing the services that a middle-size town need.

Cllr Pip Breen said it was an achievement to get the report finished and he hoped to “get the beach back.”

“You have come to the table with a plan and it is up to the councillors to run with it,” stated Cllr Joe Sullivan.

Senator Malcolm Byrne was impressed by “a most positive meeting”. He believes the key to moving forward is the working group.

Courtown Community Council have mapped The Smart Village Strategy alongside the Local Area Plan for Courtown and Riverchapel 2016-2026 to create a blueprint that identifies the priority areas for development and investment. 

This blueprint will be the focus of the working group, which was proposed by Ms. Sinnott and seconded by Tony Clyne at the launch. 

Courtown Community Council wants to ensure that Courtown and Riverchapel is a thriving community, with booming businesses, protected natural spaces with safe and clean rivers and coasts for both locals and tourists support the local economy. 

Fethard lifeboat Open Day

By Dan Walsh

Fethard RNLI station will host an Open Day from 11am to 1pm on Saturday where everybody is welcome and the station is keen to recruit new volunteer lifeboat, shore crew and to enhance its fundraising crew.

Walter Foley, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said the team is looking forward to welcoming anyone who is interested in finding out more to the open day: “Volunteering with us gives people the opportunity to make a real difference in their local community, to save lives and become part of the larger RNLI family. We can’t keep people safe without the support of our wonderful volunteers, who truly make a difference every day no matter which role they are fulfilling.

“We’re looking for enthusiastic people to come along on Saturday morning and see what is involved and learn how they can play their part. The RNLI provides first class training and equipment, guidance and support to all volunteers, from lifeboat crew to shore crew to fundraising crew. So, no matter the time or the skill you can offer, it is our hope that this can be the beginning of something exciting for new volunteers while also allowing Fethard RNLI to continue its great work in saving lives at sea.”

Wexford prepares for Fleadh 2024

By Dan Walsh at Wexford County Council monthly meeting

There was a ‘dancing at the crossroads’ atmosphere at last Monday’s monthy meeting of Wexford County Council held at Carricklawn HQ where members were rejoicing at the welcome news that Wexford town has been chosen to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2024. The only missing ingredient was an encore!

Cathaoirleach Cllr George Lawlor predicted that Wexford may be “the biggest and most successful Fleadh in the history of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann” and he thanked the members for their support and backing the rates increase that will assist in financing the ambitious project that Wexford has been chasing for a number of years.

Cllr Jim Moore applauded securing Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann for Wexford and said “great credit is due to many people”. He recalled it was 2015/’16 when the idea was first suggested, and he offered thanks and congratulations to Paddy Berry.

TOM ENRIGHT, CEO Wexford County Council

Cllr Ger Carthy congratulated everybody involved in the bid and the contribution of the chamber “to bankroll one of the biggest cultural events in the world.”

There was support from Cllr Willie Kavanagh and Cllr Jackser Owens who recalled that last time the Fleadh took place in Enniscorthy in 2000. Cllr Davy Hynes welcomed the Fleadh “to our beautiful town.”

Cllr Leonard Kelly admitted that he had never attended the Fleadh, but offered “a big ‘thank you’ to the top table” and looked forward to “showing the rest of Ireland what Wexford has to offer.”

Cllr Cathal Byrne joined in the congratulations and said; “well done to the top table”. He stated that we must welcome visitors and ensure that the Fleadh is a success and described the project as “bold and ambitious” and must exceed beyond the perimeter of the Wexford district.

Mayor of Wexford Cllr Maura Bell, speaking via zoom, said she was delighted by the news. She believed it will be countywide culture and tourism and will showcase the best that Wexford has to offer.

Cllr Jim Codd said he represents one of the most cultural areas in Bannow and added it was an opportunity to “showcase our wares.” He added that the Berrys -Phil, Jim and Paddy – were synonymous with culture.

Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy mentioned the contribution of Paddy Berry and Leo Carthy – former councillor and father of Cllr Ger Carthy.

Chief Executive Officer Tom Enright thanked a long list of people for success at the end of a long number of years’ work, especially craobh Loch Garman CCÉ, director of services Carolyne Godkin and retired John Carley in the early stages, He saw the Fleadh as a great recognition for the life-long contribution of Paddy Berry.

Mr Enright said the Fleadh could not happen without the local authority financial input and stated that there were three aims; (1), repeat visitors; (2), increase Irish music and culture, and, (3); The public realm and putting an infrastructure in place to last beyond the festival.

Mr Enright concluded that securing Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was “a huge day for Wexford” but added; “In some ways the easy work is done, now the hard work begins and we need 1,000 volunteers.”  

Canon Hayden is new Archdeacon

By Dan Walsh

Reverend Canon Mark Hayden of the Gorey Group of Parishes has been appointed as new Archdeacon of Ossory and Leighlin by the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, the Right Reverend Adrian Wilkinson.

Announcing the new appointment, Bishop Wilkinson said; “I am delighted that Mark Hayden has accepted my invitation to take on this additional work within his ministry. He has served his parish and contributed to the life of this Diocese for over two decades. The bishop and archdeacons work closely together, and he will bring many valuable gifts, insights, and abilities to his new role.”


Canon Hayden said he is deeply honoured by our Bishop to be asked to be Archdeacon. “I follow in the footsteps of many great people who have carried out this role, not least my dear friend Archdeacon Ruth Elmes. I look forward to this new chapter in my ministry,” he concluded.

Archdeacon Hayden trained for the priesthood in Clonliffe College and was ordained as deacon in 1992 and priest the following year. In 1999 he was accepted into the ministry of the Church of Ireland and following a curacy in Monkstown in the Diocese of Dublin, he became Rector of Gorey Group of Parishes in 2001. Mark has an interest in military history and is the author of several books on the subject. In 2007 he wrote ‘Changing Collars’ about his experience of ministry in both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland. Mark is married to Lorraine and they have two sons Luke and Daniel.

While Archdeacon Hayden’s appointment takes immediate effect, he will be licensed and installed at Evensong in St Canice’s Cathedral on Sunday, May 7th at 3pm.