Council backs footfall plan for Enniscorthy

By Dan Walsh

Market Square and adjoining streets, Rafter St and Slaney St., and Templeshannon from the old bridge as far as the entrance to the swimming pool, is to be  pedestrianised from 7pm to 11.30pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Monday, June 29th as the most likely commencement date.

The temporary measure is likely to last for six to eight weeks and is currently being risk assessed to ensure that public safety is a priority.

Members unanimously backed the plan at the June meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council presented in the Municipal Manager’s Report (Mr Ger Mackey) which stated that consultation with the Chamber of Commerce and the establishment of a Steering Committee made up of business representatives made the recommendations to assist the local hospitality sector recover from Covid-19 restrictions.

It is regarded as the best option for the town as “it does not hamper the day retail trade and will give a huge advantage to the hospitality sector during this challenging period.”

Rafter Steet and Slaney Street will be pedestrianised every day probably from 10.30am.

Mr Mackey told the meeting that the measures will “generate a family friendly atmosphere around the town.” Businesses will be facilitated with street furniture and stalls outside their premises and acoustic music will be allowed. Gardai will maintain a visible presence during the evenings of pedestrianisation.

ROAD CLOSURE; A five-day programme of street resurfacing commenced this morning at Templeshannon (R744) and will be completed next Friday.

Wexford areas facing potential drought

By Dan Walsh

A few water schemes in rural Wexford are facing potential drought due to high demand with two plants at Taylorstown in the south and Creagh in the north of the county causing most concern and the situation is unlikely to change in the short term.

Brian O’Leary from Irish Water says, “Unfortunately short periods of rainfall, such as those we have experienced last week, are not sufficient to return raw water sources to normal levels. A minimum accumulation of 100mm rainfall and a return to normal precipitation levels thereafter would be needed to offset the impact of the unseasonal lack of rainfall since March.

The Taylorstown water treatment plant serves areas such as Wellingtonbridge, Carrig-on-Bannow, Clongeen, Ballycullane, Ramsgrange, Hook, Templetown, Arthurstown, Duncannon, Fethard-on-Sea and Campile is experiencing very high demand.

So too has the Creagh Water treatment plant which serves areas such as parts of Gorey, Ballytegan, Clonattin Upper, Clonattin Lower, Goreybridge, Mill Lands, Courteencurragh, Creagh Demesne and Ballyowen/Ramsfort Park. The Askamore-Dunishal supply is also in high demand with an extra 15-20% being used in these areas.

A Water Conservation Order operational from June 8th was due to the exceptionally dry spring, the driest for 70 years in some parts of the country according to Met Éireann.

Wexford taps turned on by Wicklow water

By Dan Walsh

The prolonged dry spell of weather is causing low water flows from the Askamore Spring Intake but Wexford County Council has been spared desperate measures with a little help from across the hills in Wicklow following a neighbourly request.

At the June meeting of Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council, held in conjunction with social distancing best practice in Gorey Library, Engineer Barry Hammel, told members that Wexford contacted Wicklow County Council and Irish Water to partially supply Askamore Water Supply Scheme and benefitted from the Tinahely/Carnew Regional Supply at Umrigar, near Carnew.

In other water supply news, it was noted that the water levels at the Pallas Settlement Tanks were dropping off significantly and the Council sand-bagged the Bann River at Pallas Intake to safeguard the water supply to Gorey.

A leak at Pallas estimated to be losing approximately 10 cublic meters of water an hour was successfully repaired. Other leakages at Sean Lois in Gorey town and at Donaghmore were also repaired recently.

Low water levels during the dry spell of weather is putting pressure on water supplies in North Wexford

Irish Water introduced a National Water Conservation Order commonly referred to as a ‘hosepipe ban’ and other non-essential uses of water until July 21st due to increased domestic and commercial demand as businesses are reopened being exacerbated by warm weather and the widespread emergence of drought conditions.

35 Wexford schools awarded Green Flag

By Dan Walsh

Thirty-five Wexford schools were awarded the Green Flag for their work on the themes of Litter & Waste, Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship with two schools receiving the Green Flag for the first time, while Scoil Mhuire, Horeswood also scooped the Global Citizenship Energy Primary South School award.

Thirty-five Wexford schools have been awarded the Green Flag for 2020.

AND THE WINNERS ARE; Award Category LITTER AND WASTE; Kilanerin National School, Gorey, and St. Mary’s CBS, Enniscorthy.

ENERGY; Coláiste An Átha, Kilmuckridge, and St. Fintan’s National School, Mayglass.

WATER; Raheen National School, St. Aidan’s National School, Clonroche, St. Mary’s National School, Tagoat and Ballyhack National School.

TRAVEL; Ballyoughter National School, Boolavogue National School, Davidstown Primary School, Loreto Secondary School, Wexford, Presentation Secondary School, Wexford, and St. Joseph’s National School, Marshalstown.

BIODIVERSITY; Riverchapel National School, Courtown, Wexford Educate Together National School, Balyduff National School, Good Counsel College, New Ross, St. Anne’s National School, Rathangan, and St. Joseph’s National School, Donard.

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP LITTER AND WASTE; Courtnacuddy National School, Loreto Convent Primary School, Gorey, Scoil Ghormáin Naofa, Castletown, Scoil Realt na Mara, Kilmore, Screen National School, St. Garvan’s National School, Caroreigh, and St. Peter’s College, Wexford.

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP ENERGY; Kilrane National School, Ballygarrett National School, Danescastle National School, St. Canice’s National School, Rosbercon, and Scoil Mhuire, Horeswood.

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP MARINE; Kennedy Park National School, Wexford, St. Kevin’s National School, Tara Hill, Gorey, and St. Senan’s Primary School, Enniscorthy.


Cliona Connolly, Environmental Awareness Officer at Wexford County Council said; “In the face of the temporary closure of schools in March, the dedication of schools to submit their Green Flag application after a two-year effort to create sustainable environments in their schools was both poignant and exceptional.”

This is the 23rd year of the Wexford Green Schools programme operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with Wexford County Council.

300,000 tons of sand needed to save beach

It would require 300,000 tons of sand to bring the beach back at Courtown; that is according to Senior Executive Engineer Ger Forde who was responding to members questions via-video link at last Tuesday’s monthly meeting of Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council held in Gorey Library.

300,000 tons of sand required to restore beach at Courtown.

The discussion was prompted by the recent withdrawal of the Blue Flag status from Courtown in An Taisce’s International Awards 2020 with six Blue Flags and nine Green Coast Award recipients located around the Wexford coastline.
Mr. Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager with An Taisce’s Environmental Education unit, stated that “due to the lower than normal beach sand levels Wexford County Council had no option but to withdraw the Blue Flag awarded to Courtown for the time being.”

A number of issues were raised by Cllrs Andrew Bolger and Cllr Diarmuid Devereux. It was said that the town was suffering by losing the Blue Flag, there were broken seats, dilapidated buildings and a hotel that need to be demolished. It was added the illegal camping continues to be a problem.

Cllr Fionntán Ó Suilleabháin instanced a situation where a fisherman was “frustrated and angry” because he could not enter Courtown Harbour on a calm day.

He recalled the dredging project costing €60,000 a year and the sand was taken a distance away at great cost. “Why wasn’t the sand deposited where the beach used to be?” asked Cllr Ó Suilleabháin. Blue Flags were awarded to Ballymoney North, Morriscastle, Ballinesker, Curracloe, Rosslare and Carne, while Green Coast Awards includes Cahore Point, Old Bawn Beach, Culleton’s Gap, St. Helen’s Bay, Ballyhealy, Cullenstown, Baginbun, Booley Bay and Grange.

Enniscorthy Flood Relief Scheme delayed

Members of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council were shocked to learn that Enniscorthy Flood Relief Scheme will be delayed by six to twelve months after the Department of the Environment ordered a review of the design at a cost of €0.5 million.

Details were provided to the June meeting, held in social distance guidelines at the Presentation Centre, in the monthly report by Project Engineer Larry McHale.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Kathlen Codd-Nolan expressed disappointment at the delay in the update, as did all members in attendance, and Cllr Jackser Owens asked why the project was eight years with Wexford County Council and only signed over to the OPW in December 2019?

Mr McHale outlined that Wexford County Council had concluded all the preliminary work that was requested and it was the Department who ordered the review of the design. “We (Wexford County Council) will be ready to go when the Department gives the go ahead,” he concluded.

Cllr Barbara-Ann Murphy was critical of Carlow County Council extracting water from the River Slaney at Rathvilly resulting in ‘not sufficient water flowing through Enniscorthy.” Cllr Jackser Owens said it was possible to “walk across the Slaney at present” due to extreme low water levels.

Members discussed recent ‘supply disruptions’ to the water supply in Enniscorthy. John O’Rourke cited problems in the Shannon area with taps almost dry and families were concerned at a lack of water “not enough for cooking or to flush the toilet.”

Ironically, the next day a cloud burst over Enniscorthy saturated the streets with torrents of water cascading down Main Street and Irish Street resulting in businesses temporarily closed in Market Square. The damage is estimated to be considerable.

Senior Executive Enginer Tagh O’Corcora said there were plans for a new intake of 4,500 litres “which is enough for the moment” but added that there are plans to double the capacity to 9,000  litres per day. The first priority is to fix the bad pipes.

Cllr Cathal Byrne agreed with Cllr Murphy that “the entire water network” in Enniscorthy be replaced, and he also focussed on major refurbishment  of reservoirs at Bree and Ballyhogue where bulk water tanks were operational.

A contractor  has been appointed at both Bree and Ballyhogue, however, due to Covid-19 regulations plans to commence on the Bree reservoir have not been finalised. Work at Ballyhogue has been completed.