Tobacco and alcohol seized at Rosslare

By Dan Walsh

Revenue officers seized 31,220 cigarettes and 31 kgs of tobacco at Rosslare Europort on Saturday. The smuggled cigarettes branded ‘John Player’, ‘L&M Blue’ and ‘Richmond’ and the tobacco branded ‘Amber Leaf’ have a combined estimated retail value of over €39,300 representing a loss to the exchequer of €31,797.

As part of the same operation, Revenue officers also seized 329 litres of alcohol with an estimated retail value of €6,690 representing a loss to the exchequer of €3,843.

ROSSLARE EUROPORT (File Picture)

The seized products were discovered when Revenue officers conducted an examination of a Northern Ireland registered van and its accompanying caravan which had arrived in Rosslare Europort from Bilbao, Spain. The van and caravan were also seized. Two men in their 30’s and 40’s was questioned.

Investigations are ongoing.

These seizures are part of Revenue’s on-going operations targeting smuggling and the supply and sale of alcohol and cigarettes in the shadow economy. If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding smuggling or the sale of illegal cigarettes or tobacco, they can contact Revenue in confidence on 1800 295295.

All calm and timely at Kilmore Quay

By Dan Walsh

It was a busy Sunday September afternoon in Kilmore Quay today where the weather was calm and fine, the car parks were at capacity, wide open doors and doorstep views from several camper vans with a postcard view of the Saltee Islands, and face coverings and social distancing  were second nature. The beauty of the seaside was rarely better illustrated.

KILMORE QUAY

The fishing boats were tied up at the quayside, but the presence of rod fishers off the quay and the arrival and departure of boats taking anglers out to the rich fishing grounds offshore were in industrious mode. Some pleasure craft were making the best of what is left of the better weather before the winter storms arrive!

Others were content to stroll on the quayside, sit and admire the peaceful surroundings, while the queues for ice cream at one premises extended well onto the village roundabout, and others longing for fish and chips were orderly in waiting and taking the time to enjoy local produce fresh from the sea.

Writing in 1885, George Henry Bassett, discovered Kilmore Quay. He wrote; “Kilmore Harbour is not all that it could be made by a liberal expenditure of money, but its pier is of great service to the fisherman.” He also noted that Ballyteigue Bay had miles of sand banks ‘all of which are occupied by rabbits’!

Bassett also mentioned St. Patrick’s Bridge, a causeway of large stones, fully thirty feet in width, and extending about a mile from the shore. A large rock near the shore, and close to the bridge, bears an imprint resembling a hand, and folklore recalls that St. Patrick rested his hand upon it on the way to the Saltees. Today, the light and the tide were in good mood and the path of St. Patrick’s Bridge was clearly visible.

Fogarty and Bowe success at Wexford

By Dan Walsh

It is rare for a Wexford race meeting to pass without a local winner and today it was the turn of Cleariestown jockey Mikey Fogarty and Kiltealy trainer Colin Bowe who combined to supply the winner of the Courtown Mares Maiden Hurdle with Flamin Aimee (4/1).

“We’re delighted with her and delighted for her owners (the Morrisseys). They have shown good patience with her and deserve a lot of credit for putting her back in and having another go at it,” said Bowe’s assistant trainer Brendan Walsh, who added; “We’ll see what the handicapper thinks. Her jumping is very good and she probably needs a trip.”

Philip Rothwell, Tinahely, is also local to the Wexford track, and he saddled Ricky Langford (12/1), ridden by Hugh Morgan, for a fine success in the Curracloe Opportunity Handicap Hurdle. Home-bred by Joan Rothwell, Ricky Langford is owned by a bunch of the trainer’s college friends from Dublin and triumphed in the colours of the Kings Horses Syndicate.

Conor O’Dwyer trains in Kildare, but he was born a stone’s throw from Bettyville Park and is always delighted to saddle a winner there. He won the Duncannon Handicap Chase with I’m Not Alone (7/1) by four lengths in the famous John P McManus green and orange hooped colours worn by Jody McGarvey, who recorded a double success on the day.

Joseph O’Brien sent Isotope (5/4 fav) from his Piltown stables in neighbouring Kilkenny and with Oakley Brown up, the four year old stayed on well in the closing stages to finish four and a half lengths to the good in the opening Adare Manor Opportunity Hurdle.

The Morriscastle Handicap Hurdle was run in two divisions. Bagenalstown trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon and jockey Jody McGarvey enjoyed their third winner together in as many days when Balinaboola Steel (6/1) scored in the first division. Balinaboola Steel showed a liking for the Wexford turf and followed up on his first victory here last month. Rebel Waltz (4/1) was runner-up last Saturday here, but went one better today to win division two of this handicap hurdle for Mallow trainer Tom Nagle and jockey Ambrose McCurtin.

Tiantu (10/1), trained at Butlerstown, Co. Waterford, by Paul Power took the honours in the Rosslare Opportunity Handicap Chase. The victorious rider was Liam Quinlan.

Strong card for Saturday Wexford races

By Dan Walsh

For the second Saturday in succession racing action takes place at Bettyville Park tomorrow, but sadly no spectators are permitted to attend on this occasion, as the fixture is run ‘behind closed doors’ under Government Covid-19 restriction guidelines.

Facing the starter at Bettyville Park for the Saturday afternoon card

It is a seven-race card with all races attracting the maximum safety number of eleven runners per event. The card consists of five hurdle races and two steeplechases. The ground conditions are described as ‘yielding’.

2.05pm; Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle of €12,500. Two miles 150 yards. (11 runners)

2.40pm; Curracloe Opportunity Handicap Hurdle of €9,000. Two miles 150 yards (11 runners)

3.15 pm; Morriscastle Handicap Hurdle (Division One) of €10,000. Two miles four furlongs (11 runners).

3.50pm; Morriscastle Handicap Hurdle (Division Two) of €10,000. Two miles four furlongs (11 runners).

4.25pm; Courtown (Mares) Maiden Hurdle of €10,000. Three miles (11 runners)

5pm; Rosslare Opportunity Handicap Chase of €11,000. Two miles four furlongs (11 runners)

5.35pm; Duncannon Handicap Chase of €10,000. Three miles, one furlong, 50 yards (11 runners).

All races will be televised live on Racing UK and on betting shop screens. Not as good as being trackside, but the next best way of supporting your local track!

No swimming at Duncannon beach

By Dan Walsh

Do Not Swim notices have been issued for Duncannon beach after routine testing conducted as part of Wexford County Council’s Bathing Water Sampling Programme showed slightly elevated levels of bacteria.

DUNCANNON BEACH

Following consultation with the HSE, the Council found it necessary to issue a Do Not Swim warning notice at the affected beach in accordance with Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 and in the interest of public health.

Further samples were taken today (Friday, September 4th) and results are expected over the weekend at which stage the bathing prohibition notices will be reviewed.

The Council’s technical staff is currently investigating the matter. Wexford County Council advises members of the public visiting Duncannon beach to abide by the public notices advising against swimming. 

€7m for Rosslare coastal protection

By Dan Walsh

The Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), Patrick O’Donovan TD, yesterday (Wednesday), visited Rosslare Strand to announce €7 million funding for further coastal protection and flood relief projects in the area.

MINISTER PATRICK O’DONOVAN and WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL CEO TOM ENRIGHT at ROSSLARE STRAND yesterday.

Minister O’Donovan met with local public representatives, Council officials and local business interests to see where flood protection and erosion prevention works are required.

At various intervals in the past Rosslare has benefited from effective works undertaken by the OPW and Wexford County Council to protect the Rosslare shoreline and dune system from retreat. To support the benefits already achieved, additional works are now required to ensure that this important blue flag beach can continue to be protected into the future.

Minister O’Donovan said: “The coastal protection measures for Rosslare consist of a rock revetment, rock groynes, and beach nourishment measures on the seaward side of Rosslare Spit. Separate flood defence measures will be progressed on the landward side. The project will be led by Wexford County Council, which is soon to begin the procurement of a main design consultant.

“Rosslare is just one example of how coastal erosion is a major issue for coastal communities across Ireland’s extensive coastline, especially where the coast is soft. The impacts of climate change and the anticipated rise in sea levels in the future mean that the problem here in Rosslare and nationally needs more than just hard schemes to address the long-term risks and impacts.

Historic Donaghmore by the sea

By Dan Walsh

Donaghmore “the Great Church” is a name that occurs in several parishes across the country, but Donaghmore, south-east of Gorey and close to Cahore, is an early medieval ecclesiastical site.  The present ruins of the 18th or 19th century Church of Ireland parish church, dedicated to St. Patrick, is on the site of an older church. In 1837 it was almost a ruin and in a poor state of repair.

A view from Donaghmore

In a fragment of the Book of Armagh, St Patrick is said to have come to Donaghmore from Tara Hill to meet the poet, Dubthach maccu Lagair, to select a person from his Leinster followers to be a bishop.

Donaghmore is memorable as the landing place of Dermot MacMurrough, the last King of Leinster, in 1167, on his return from Wales having sought aid of the English forces against his enemies. It is possible that Glasscarrig operated as a port for Ferns in those distant times.

Afterwards MacMurrough retired privately to Ferns Castle and the circumstances of this event gave rise to tradition that a subterraneous passage existed between Glasscarrig and Ferns. To this day no evidence has emerged that this was ever the case!

The old church in the grounds of Donaghmore Graveyard

A Priory of Benedictine monks was founded at Glasscarrig in the 14th century by Norman chiefs named Griffith Condon, Richard Roche and others, but in the 1837 “the remains, consisting only of part of the church, have been converted, and afford no indication of the character of the building.” We must imagine that the constant coastal erosion that occurs along the sandy cliffs reclaimed those ‘remains’ into the sea!

One wall of the Benedictine priory is still standing!

Donaghmore is the final resting place for many who were killed during the 1798 Rebellion; for some of the unknown who perished in shipwrecks off the coast; and the final resting place for numerous families long associated with this part of Co. Wexford. Currently cared for by Wexford County Council, the old graveyard is maintained to a high standard, and is frequently visited by those in search of the family tree.

James Browne appointed Minister of State

By Dan Walsh

Wexford TD James Browne has been appointed Minister of State for Law Reform at the Department of Justice and Equality in place of Charles McConalogue, who was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The appointments were announced at the resumption of Dáil Éireann today by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin.

MINISTER OF STATE JAMES BROWNE

Minister Browne is son of John Browne, who represented the Wexford constituency for 34 years (1982-2016) from his Enniscorthy base.

Minister Browne, a barrister by profession, has been a member of Dáil Éireann since the 2016 General Election. Prior to that he was a member of Enniscorthy Town Council from 2009 until the local authority was dissolved in 2014, and served as a member of Wexford County Council from 2014-2016.

Pedestrian dies in New Ross collision

Gardaí at New Ross are appealing for witnesses following a fatal traffic collision involving a car and a pedestrian which occurred at approximately 9.50pm last night (Tuesday) on the N25 at Portersland, near New Ross.

A 36-year-old male pedestrian was injured when he was struck by a car. He was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Waterford where he was later pronounced dead. The driver of the car was unharmed.

The scene is currently preserved for examination by Garda forensic collision investigators and the road at the crash site is closed. Local traffic diversions are in place.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses. They are particularly appealing to road users with camera footage (including dash-cam) from along the route at the time to make it available to them.

Anyone with information is asked to New Ross Garda Station (051) 426 030 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111. 

€1.3m for Wexford walking and cycling

By Dan Walsh

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Eamon Ryan TD, believes that the way forward post Covid-19 is through walking and cycling and is stimulating the measures through the Active Travel Measures Allocations 2020 with the announcement of funding to Wexford County Council of €1,351, 098.

Minister Ryan said; “The Active Travel grant scheme is a positive initiative which will see communities across the country benefiting from improved and more accessible walking and cycling infrastructure as well as stimulating local employment. The projects included in the scheme can make a real difference to people – footpaths and cycle ways that allow children to walk/cycle to school and to local sport clubs; the dishing of footpaths and pedestrian crossings that improve access to local amenities and links to public transport, and improvements to town and village centres that will support our hard hit retail and hospitality sectors.

CAMOLIN village. On the new proposed ‘greyway’ between Clough Roundabout and the Scurloughsbush Roundabout along the old N11

€258,714 has been allocated for the conversion of the hard shoulder to cycle tracks (called greyways) from Clough Roundabout, north of Camolin, to Scurloughsbush (old N11), south of Enniscorthy where the M11 ends – a total distance of approximately 30kms. A similar arrangement is planned between Ballymacar Roundabout to Oaklands Roundabout (old N25 at New Ross) will cost €41,284; and €24,000 each is provided for cycle parking shelters for the towns of Wexford, New Ross, Enniscorthy and Gorey, and for the villages of Bunclody, Oylegate, Ferns and Camolin. €10,000 will be made available for the completion of a footpath and a cycle land link between Wexford and Castlebridge.

€15,375 will support the provision of bike racks (for 4 to 8 bikes) at 15 beaches throughout the county – Curracloe, The Raven, Ballinesker, Morriscastle, Cahore, Courtown, Ballymoney, Castletown, Rosslare Strand, St, Helen’s, Carne, Kilmore Quay, Fethard, Duncannon, and Ballyhack/Arthurstown.

There is a further €9,225 for similar bike racks at nine ‘communal locations’ throughout the county – Peoples Park in Gorey; Sports Hub and Vinegar Hill Car Park in Enniscorthy; Sports Park and Library Park in New Ross; Min Ryan Park, Ferrycarrig Car Park and Ferrybank Car Park in Wexford, and the Swimming Pool Car Park in Bunclody.

In Enniscorthy, at the Duffry Gate area linking residential houses to services such as the Post Office, shops and a pharmacy, €30,000 is allocated for the provision of disable and age friendly parking and the upgrading of the existing pedestrian crossing point and other works.

Further work is earmarked for the Templeshannon area of the town. €60,000 is to be made available for new surfacing and line marking and the installation of cycle parking, disabled and age friendly parking facilities to support the use of the public rail transport system at Railway Square.

€3,000 is allocated by bicycle racks to be installed at the Nine Stones Cycle rest stop (which I always thought was near Bunclody) but the official report refers to the Paul Funge Boulevard, Gorey? €4,500 also for bicycle racks at Gorey Town Park, which is a construction site at present!

Biggest project in the Gorey district is €60,000 for the continuation of the new footpath from the town to Courtown; Ballygarrett is set to get €75,000 for a new footpath from the village to the GAA pitch.

€86,000 is earmarked for the project at Carrigfoyle Rock in the direction of the road junction at Shelmalier Commons and Fort Mountain, in the Barntown area, near Wexford town. The provision of new footpaths will take walkers off the busy roads leading to the forestry trails, used as walking trail routes. Works will include the installation of roadside drainage, kerbing, relocating telegraph poles, realignment of an old stone boundary wall and path surface finish and line marking.