By Dan Walsh
Clohamon is gearing up for a fruitful rejuvenation for the whole community post-Covid 19 thanks to €100,000 funding from the Town & Village Renewal Scheme and a top up of €20,000 to the ‘matching funds requirement’ courtesy of Slaney Foods International who is a major employer in the area.
Barty O’Connor, Chairperson, told WexfordLocal.com that Clohamon Community Development Group was formed in 2017, but the pandemic had scuttled plans, however, it is time to get back on tracks and to complete development at the old two-room national school that closed three years ago.
Now extra funds are needed to cover annual playground insurance, playground maintenance and additional items not covered in the Town & Village Renewal Scheme grant such as benches and the sensory area for the playground, trailhead and waymarker walking trail signages.
Mr O’Connor paid tribute to some people who have already contributed so much; Caroline Fortune for ticking all the boxes on the application forms, County Registrar Marie Garahy who assisted in restoring the polling booth to the school, and local public representatives Cllrs Barbara-Anne Murphy and Kathleen Codd-Nolan. “They were most helpful, and we are so grateful in return,” he concluded.
HISTORY – Clohamon or Cloch Ámainn ‘Hamon’s castle’ is said to be named after a 12th century Norman and the local lands were granted to an Englishman, Thomas Masterson, in the 16th century. His son, Sir Richard Masterson sold the estate circa-1625 to Sir George Calvert, Lord Baltimore for £1,600.
Lord Baltimore also received grants of land in Longford but moved to Clohamon in preference. He was also granted lands in Newfoundland and became the only Catholic to be granted a fieldom in North America by an English king – the province of Maryland.
Clohamon village, located in the centre of the Calvert estate was one of the largest towns in North Wexford in the 1620s. The annual Clohamon Fair was an annual showpiece where the best faction fighting skills were in high demand!
In the 1830s the local population was chiefly employed in the flour and cotton mills of William Lewis. The mill operated until 1904 and stood derelict until purchased and used as a chicken rearing unit in 1960.
Clohamon bridge crosses the river Slaney and is a fine example of granite arches and beside it is Slaney Foods International, established as a family business by the Allen family in 1970, and now quality beef exports successfully trading internationally.