By Dan Walsh
New Ross ‘jewel in the crown’ The Ros Tapestry, a unique display of decorative embroidery depicting the history and heritage of the town will spend some time on ‘temporary display’ in Kilkenny Castle.
The background to the exhibition leaving New Ross was explained in detail by Board of Directors’ Mary Lou O’Kennedy (Chairperson), Gene O’Sullivan and Connie Tantrum who addressed yesterday’s meeting of New Ross Municipal District Council held in St. Michael’s Theatre to comply with Covid-19 government guidelines.
Speaking to WexfordLocal.com Cllr Michael Whelan, Cathaoirleach, New Ross Municipal District Council said the Board members gave “a positive presentation” and received the full support of members and the backing of Wexford County Council.
The Ros Tapestry display on the Quay has been closed since March, did not open during the summer because Covid-19 restrictions on numbers allowed entry. Also the exhibition space was not viable and the exhibition was faced with costs at a time when there was no regular income.
Cllr Whelan said the Ros Tapestry is of no benefit to New Ross at the moment. “It was a case of storage or display and the best option was taken. It will be displayed under the OPW in Kilkenny and then it will come back to New Ross.”
€5 million in funding has been approved for the development of the Murphy building on the Quay, New Ross, and when the works are completed the Ros Tapestry will return there.
Some public concerns have been raised in New Ross and a social media petition has been launched, however, the vested interest in the Ros Tapestry are happy to reassure the public that the arrangement is ‘temporary’ and legally protected.
The Ros Tapestry is a massive community success story since the idea was conceived in 1998 and has involved over 150 dedicated volunteers, known affectionately as ‘the stitchers’, who worked on 15 amazing panels of tapestry measuring 6 ft by 4 ft each.
The project depicts events around the Anglo Norman invasion at Bannow in 1169, and especially the founding of the town of New Ross by William Marshall and his wife Isabel de Clare, daughter of Strongbow, Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke and Aoife, an Irish princess, daughter of Diarmuid MacMurrough, King of Leinster, who resided at Ferns Castle.