By Dan Walsh in New Ross
An area in the 13th century medieval town centre in New Ross has been rejuvenated as the High Hill Norman Gardens and the officially opening took place today with special guest Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Rural Community, Rural Development and Special Protection.
This exciting and original New Ross Tourism Transformation project is a Category 1 project approved for funding of €5,560,000 from the second call for Category 1 applications.
Minister Humphreys acknowledged that “New Ross is a town with a vibrant history and it is fantastic to see this history brought alive here today at High Hill,” and she added; “I would like to congratulate Wexford County Council and everyone involved in all aspects of this project on this great achievement.”
The Minister told the large gathering at today’s event; “The High Hill project is just one of the attractions that will be delivered as part of the New Ross Tourism Transformation Project and I was very pleased that my Department’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund provided funding of €5.56 million for this project in 2019, coupled with over €1 million from Fáilte Ireland.”
Cllr Michael Sheehan, Chairman New Ross Municipal District Council welcomed everyone to the town for this special event. “The rejuvenation of The High Hill represents our ambitions for and the reimaging of New Ross town. A town proud of its past and confident of its future.”
“The project could not happen without the tenacity, energy and drive of our local officials. It would also not be possible without grant aid through the RRDF. I would like to congratulate all involved, especially our Director of Services Eamonn Hore, District Manager Mick McCormick and Senior Engineer Fintan Ryan.”
Cllr George Lawlor congratulated and thanked everybody involved in The High Hill Norman Gardens project and commended them on the creation of a fantastic park and amenity for New Ross town.
“I am delighted as Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council to see this open in my tenure and commend my fellow county councillors for providing the significant necessary capital funding required to bring projects on this scale to fruition. I would also like to thank the Department of Rural and Community Development for its significant grant aid towards this project,” said Cllr Lawlor, who concluded; “The wonderful High Hill Norman Gardens add to this growing tourism reputation and to the beauty of an already attractive town.”
CEO Wexford County Council Mr Tom Enright said Wexford County Council has and will continue to invest in public amenities such as this. “We are confident that the High Hill redevelopment will attract significant footfall into New Ross town centre and will be an added attraction on the South-East Greenway loop. It is a very exciting time for New Ross with massive ongoing and planned investment.”
The attendance included Minister James Browne, Paul Kehoe T.D., former New Ross T.D. Sean Connick’s attendance was acknowledged by the Minister, (apologies were received from Deputies Brendan Howlin, Johnny Mythen and Verona Murphy), Senator Malcolm Byrne, local councillors and officials of New Ross Municipal District Council.
There was a blessing by Fr. Tom Orr C.C., musical addendum from David Creevy (guitar) and Brian MacMahon (pipes) and re-enactors from Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Group dressed in Norman costume added a medieval flavour to the official ceremony.