Cllr Frank Staples takes over at Rosslare

Rosslare Municipal District Council has a new Cathaoirleach following the departure of Cllr Ger Carthy, who has become Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council at the annual general meeting held in ‘the Street’ at County Hall, Wexford.

CLLR FRANK STAPLES is elected Cathaoirleach of Rosslare Municipal District Council

The honour falls to Cllr Frank Staples from Ballymore-Mayglass, a former Fine Gael Director of Elections at local, Dáil and European levels.

Well-known for his outspoken support for better mental health services and support across the region, he is also a busy community activist.

As a farmer, Cllr Staples has “concerns about the Green policies for rural Ireland” but aims to do his best for all of Rosslare District over the coming year.

First elected to Wexford County Council in 2014, Cllr Staples launched the ASK campaign three years ago.

Leas-Cathaoirleach for Rosslare District for 2020-’21 is Cllr Lisa McDonald.


Cllr Michael Whelan is New Ross Chair

Ballycullane -based Cllr Michael Whelan was elected Cathaoirleach of New Ross Municipal District Council, a position he previously served in 2016-’17, at the annual general meeting held in ‘distancing’ at ‘the Street’, Carricklawn, Wexford.

CLLR MICHAEL WHELAN is the new Cathaoirleach of New Ross Municipal District Council

Cllr Whelan was first elected for Fianna Fáil in 2014 and has a background in the construction trade.

He served on the board of Hook Heritage and Hook Rural Tourism and was a parents’ representative on the Board of Management of St. Mary’s Secondary School, New Ross.

Cllr Whelan priorities include the protection of rural communities, promoting tourism and job creation.

Cllr Bridín Murphy from Ballymackessey, Clonroche, first elected a year ago, is the Leas-Cathaoirleach.

Cllr Barbara-Anne is Enniscorthy choice

Bunclody-based Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy is the new Cathaoirleach for the Enniscorthy District following her selection from the six-member group at the annual general meeting held in ‘the Street’ at Carricklawn, Wexford, in social distance settings.

CLLR BARBARA-ANNE MURPHY is new Cathaoirleach of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council

Outgoing Cathaoirleach Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan takes the Leas-Cathaoirleach position making it a good day for gender equality. Cllr Murphy is one of the longest serving councillors in the county with a seat on Wexford County Council from 2004 to 2009 and again from 2014 until the present day.

“There are a lot of things that need to be done in the Enniscorthy district and I look forward to working with District Manager Ger Mackey,” she said.


Cllr Joe Sullivan leads Gorey-Kilmuckridge

Cllr Joe Sullivan took over the chair at Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council when Malcolm Byrne was elected to Dail Éireann, however, he has had a quiet time as the pandemic closed everything down, but today he was re-elected to the position at the annual general meeting held in ‘the Street’ at Carricklawn, Wexford.

CLLR JOE SULLIVAN was elected Cathaoirleach for Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District

A councillor since 2014, Cllr Sullivan claims there are plenty of challenges in the Gorey district is massive and runs along the east coast from Coolgreany to Ballymurn and dozens of townlands in between.

Priorities included developing Esmonde Street into ‘the fashion capital of the south east’, moving forward projects such as the Town Park and the Market House, sorting out housing issues in the district and completing the footpath between Gorey and Courtown.

Leas-Cathaoirleach for Gorey-Kilmuckridge is Cllr Oliver Walsh.


‘Frontline worker’ honoured at Council AGM

By Dan Walsh

The newly elected Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council is Cllr Ger Carthy, a ‘frontline worker’ from the Rosslare District who defeated Cllr Oliver Walsh (Gorey-Kilmuckridge District) by 22 votes to 9 at the 123rd annual general meeting of Wexford County Council held in two-metre distancing arrangements in ‘the Street’ at County Hall, Carricklawn, today.

CLLR GARRY LAFFAN (Leas-Cathaoirleach) and CLLR GER CARTHY (Cathaoirleach) elected at the annual general meeting of Wexford County Council.

In a moving maiden speech Cllr Carthy paid  tribute to his proposer and seconder and his family before complimenting the local authority and its ‘frontline’ staff who ensured that the community felt safe and looked after their local communities to ensure that vulnerable people were protected at a surreal and unprecedented time.

Cllr Carthy said; “Over the past number of months Wexford County Council rose to an unprecedented and once in a lifetime challenge that the people of this county and this country faced. Now that we are thankfully leaving the dark and scary days of March, April and May and early June moving into the new norm, we as public representatives face new challenges, that is to ensure that all local authorities, including Wexford County Council by a new government that was appointed last Saturday.”

“Covid 19 has caused heartbreak for many families in recent months and I want to express  my deep sympathy to all those who suffered bereavements during this period of restriction and were not able to mourn or indeed celebrate the lives of their loved ones in traditional Irish style.

“Alongside personal tragedies, which families suffered have been economic turmoil caused by measures introduced that were necessary to contain this virus. Many businesses, particularly those in retail and tourism sectors, which is really the backbone of the Wexford economy has suffered a huge blow and large numbers will struggle even to remain viable. Small businesses will require urgent and ongoing support from central government if they are to survive and we are to avoid large scale job losses across County Wexford,” he concluded.

Many tributes were paid to Cllr Carthy from fellow Rosslare District member Cllr Frank Staples, Cllr George Lawlor, who proposed the new chairman, ‘former school colleague’ Cllr Lisa McDonald and Cllr John Fleming who said he was “a frontline worker and had a great following.”

Good wishes were also expressed by Cllrs Mary Farrell, Barbara-Anne Murphy, Kathleen Codd-Nolan, Jim Moore, Michael Whelan (whose father served on the Council with Cllr Carthy’s father), Willie Kavanagh, Fionntán Ó Suilleabháin and John Hegarty told the new chairman; “It is a very proud day for you and your family. Enjoy it and make the most of it.”

Cllr Cathal Byrne thanked Cllr Carthy for “being open and available to offer help and advice to new members.”  Cllr Joe Sullivan reminded him that “it is a huge honour and you can be greatly proud to be the head of a population of 150,000 people. Good wishes were also forthcoming from Cllr Andrew Bolger and Pip Breen.

CEO Tom Enright said it was important to have all 34 members of the Council together again. He paid tribute to outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr Michael Sheehan, as did the majority of speakers in the chamber and he thanked the staff of the Council and praised the frontline workers who had brought us through a difficult three months.

All-Ireland hurling medal winner with Wexford in 1996, Garry Laffan defeated ‘recently engaged’ Cllr Bridín Murphy for the Leas-Cathaoirleach position.

CLLR MICHAEL WHELAN (Cathaoirleach New Ross District) CLLR BARBARA-ANNE MURPHY (Cathaoirleach Enniscorthy District) CLLR LEONARD KELLY (mayor of Wexford) CLLR FRANK STAPLES (Rosslare District) and CLLR JOE SULLIVAN (Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District were elected at the annual general meeting of Wexford County Council.

The new Mayor of Wexford Borough Council is Cllr Leonard Kelly who takes over the mayoral chains from Cllr George Lawlor. The Deputy Mayor is Cllr Thomas Forde.

No change in Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District where Cllr Joe Sullivan is Cathaoirleach and Cllr Oliver Walsh takes up the position of Leas-Cathaoirleach.

Female members take the lead in the Enniscorthy District with Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy stepping into the hot seat, a position she last occupied in 2014. Outgoing Cathaoirleach Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan is now Leas-Cathaoirleach.

Cllr Michael Whelan is the new Cathaoirleach in New Ross District, a position he last held in 2016-’17, replacing Cllr John Fleming. Leas-Cathaoirleach is Cllr Bridín Murphy from Ballymackessey, Clonroche.

In Rosslare Municipal District outgoing Cathaoirleach moves into the top position with Wexford County Council and his place is taken by Cllr Frank Staples. Cllr Lisa McDonald is Leas-Cathaoirleach.

Also today many glowing tributes were paid to the retiring County Secretary of many years, Pat Collins, who is replaced by David Minogue, who acted as Returning Officer in his new role.

Oylegate to Rosslare road link moves a step closer

By Dan Walsh

Wexford County Council announced today it is to begin a public consultation process on the proposed N11/N25 Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour Scheme that aims to develop over 30 kilometres of high-quality road network linking the M11 with Rosslare Europort.

Director of Service at Wexford County Council, Eamonn Hore, said; “Rosslare Europort has become increasingly busy over the last few years, resulting in increased pressure on the infrastructure serving the Port and communities across south Wexford. The outcome of Brexit means that Rosslare is of ever-increasing importance as a primary transport link with the continent, and though this increase in trade and tourism will bring welcome economic benefits to both the South East and Ireland in general, it will also result in increasing pressures on road capacity and safety along the N11 and N25 corridors linking to Rosslare Europort.

“We want to hear the views of the public with regards to the proposed scheme options. With the current restrictions on large gatherings in place due to Covid-19, we cannot hold an information session, as we would during normal times. However, the public will be able to express their views and have direct contact with the project team via phone conversations, as well as on-line and email services” he concluded.

Public will have the opportunity to contribute to the scheme development during the consultation process which runs from Monday, July 6th until Monday July 20th. The website will provide a centralised location for information and feedback.

Drama in the garden grows in Coolgreany

By Dan Walsh

With social distance restrictions limiting the numbers that can attend indoor events these days some strong inspiration triumphed in Coolgreany and the local drama members are performing  a full length comedy ‘Hooked’ in the unique and pleasant surroundings of the beautiful Ram House Gardens in the village.

Popping up in the garden and ‘Hooked’ on their lines! Carl Nuzum, Niamh Fleming and Norah Finn from Coolgreany Drama. Pic; Thomas Clare

From Thursday July 2nd, and running regularly throughout July and August, Coolgreany Drama is back in action and presenting a major outdoor production of Gillian Grattan’s acclaimed full-length comedy-drama ‘Hooked”. 

Director Sally Stevens told; “Community theatre, along with GAA, is often the social and cultural lifeblood of most rural communities. Following the Covid restrictions, we had to think of innovative ways to ‘keep the show on the road’ within health and safety parameters, so as not to deprive our community of quality theatre and to give people a badly-needed social outlet.”

“We have been rehearsing for ‘Hooked’ with the aid of Zoom and more recently, outdoors, while adhering to social distancing parameters. Following the easing of restrictions, we are now in a position to present our latest production in safe, socially distant and pleasant surroundings with a limited attendance over 18 nights throughout the summer.”

‘Hooked’ is a three-handed comedy drama in which young Dubliner Lydia’s move to a small country village causes tensions and leads to an unexpected chain of events, exposing many secrets and lies bubbling under the surface.

The venue for the play, Ram House Gardens, lovingly tended by Sally’s mother, Lolo Stevens, is spread over two acres and it features in many major gardens of Ireland guides.

‘Hooked’ will be performed on Thursday evenings at 7pm on July 2nd,9th and 16th and August 6th,13th and 20th; and on Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm on July 4th,5th,11th,12th,18th and 19th and August 8th,9th,15th,16th, 22nd and 23rd.  

The venue address is Ram House Gardens, Coolgreany, Gorey Y25KD77. Due to Covid restrictions, unfortunately, toilet facilities will not be available. The play lasts for 90 minutes with no interval. Admission is €12 plus Eventbrite booking fee.

Booking for the July performances is now open online – Google: Eventbrite Hooked or Eventbrite Coolgreany. For further queries about the show phone:  087 2411926.

Courtown Lifeboat launched – nothing found!

Courtown RNLI lifeboat was launched at 7.04 pm on Friday evening to search the waters at Seafield Beach, Ballymoney, but nothing was found.

The launch was activated after Gardai received a call from a concerned member of the public who claimed that something was observed in the water and it was felt it may be a swimmer in distress.

The call came in at 6.54 pm and The D-class from Courtown RNLI was launched at 7.04 pm with RNLI volunteers, Fergus Slevin (Helm) Cormac Kinsella and Tom Dalton onboard.
Alongside the Arklow-Courtown Coastguard unit and local Gardai, the coast was searched, but nothing of concern was found.
It turned out to be a false alarm, but with good intention from the concerned parties.

Sam Kennedy Lifeboat Operations Manager at Courtown RNLI Lifeboat said; “Whilst this turned out to be a false alarm, we encourage members of the public to be vigilant along the coast and to report anything of concern.”

Wine smuggling smashed at Rosslare

Revenue officers at Rosslare Europort seized over 13,100 litres of wine during routine profiling earlier this week.

The smuggled alcohol, with an estimated retail value of over €247,400 representing a loss to the Exchequer of €148,800, had arrived in a foreign registered truck that had disembarked a ferry from France. 

Investigations are ongoing with a view to prosecution.

These routine operations are part of Revenue’s ongoing work targeting the smuggling and shadow economy activity.

If businesses, or members of the public have any information, they can contact Revenue in confidence on Confidential Phone Number 1800 295 295.

Family time in the sun at Min Ryan Park

By Dan Walsh

Soaring temperatures into the low 20’s prevailed across Wexford today and where better to soak up the sunshine than the new Min Ryan Park at Killeens, on the outskirts of Wexford town.

Covid 19 restrictions are in operation at the park, however, many families are enjoying the facility to return to some kind of normality after months of lockdown.

The park on 18 acres cost in the region of €4 million and was due to be officially opened on April 11th to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Min Ryan’s death, but the Covid-19 outbreak put paid to those plans.

It is planned to hold an official opening ceremony at a future date.

The park covers 18 acres incorporating an array of attractive features, including a playground, picnic area, dog park, memorial garden, walking track, water features, multi-use events area, play spaces, wildflower meadows and art/sculpture displays. 

The Park will also include a series of rich, bio-diverse eco-systems such as a wetland area, wild flower meadows and native woodland habitats.

Construction of Wexford’s ‘neighbourhood park’ got under way with sod-turning ceremony by Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Tony Dempsey in September 2018.

Cllr. Dempsey paid tribute to Mr. Richard Mulcahy and the Mulcahy family for their philanthropic donation of €200,000 towards development of the park in honour of Richard’s late grandmother, local woman Min Ryan (1885-1977), who hailed from Tomcoole, Barntown, just a few miles from the park location in Killeens.