By Dan Walsh
The distinctive tapping on the anvil, the energy of the bellows and a special horse called Realt Na Mara (Star of the Sea) was publicly fitted with new shoes as the people of Bunclody turned out to celebrate with music, recitation and social exchange at Foundry Lane in brilliant weather conditions on Wednesday evening.
An old forge that was active daily from 1885 to 1992 has been given a new lease of life as a visitor centre. The forge, a popular meeting place in the town centre, was founded by Martin Nolan followed by Martin’s son Stephen, while Stephen’s son, Martin Nolan operated the business until 1992, and passed away later that year.
Local enthusiast Liam Kelly and some friends embarked on the project and saw it completed and the official opening was performed in traditional style by Nan (on her birthday) and Bill Kelly.
Michael Kehoe of Bunclody Area Tourism complemented the Kelly family on the completion of the project and invited members of the public with an interest to visit Bunclody’s latest public attraction.
Cllr Barbara-Anne Byrne Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council was on duty as master of ceremonies and other notables there included Cllr Cathal Byrne, Cathaoirleach Enniscorthy Municipal District Council, Deputy Verona Murphy and Senator Malcolm Byrne.
Canon Seamus S. de Val and Rev. Trevor Sargent jointly presided at a short prayer service.
There was a carnival atmosphere around the opening ceremony and it was obvious that the people of Bunclody are proud of their heritage and are delighted to see its past being preserved for future generations.