Council backs 421-unit development in Gorey

An artist’s impression of the proposed housing development at Kilnahue, on the outskirts of Gorey.

By Dan Walsh at Gorey Civic Centre

Members of Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council today gave their full backing to an application to An Board Pleanála for the construction of housing development including 421 residential units on lands at Kilnahue and Gorey Hill, the Carnew Road and Kilnahue Lane at the May monthly meeting held in the Civic Centre.

James Lavin, Senior Executive Planner with Wexford County Council addressed today’s meeting to discuss the application with members and to display maps and documents relating to the application and to listen and address any concerns members may have before the application is submitted at the end of May.

Cllr Donal Kenny said; “You could not be interested in housing if you didn’t support this application”, he stated the road would be widened and residents’ concerns addressed. “We need houses. Families are desperate trying to find homes for their children.

Cllr Willie Kavanagh promised that “If we can remove any obstacles, we will get them removed. We need houses.”

Cllr Joe Sullivan, who has been a vociferous critic of the Housing Section of Wexford County Council regards ‘the lack of housing in North Wexford’, gave his support to the application and was “confident” it will work out well even if it causes “an upsurge in traffic in the area.”

Cllr Diarmuid Devereux believes it is a great step forward for the town (Gorey). He said those buying the units would free up more units. “People have been waiting for a long time for this to come along and we (the Council) have a duty to support it.”

Cllr Anthony Donohoe said he was happy with the development and happy with the access on the Carnew Road. “It is massively ambitious and well thought out,” he added.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Pip Breen accepted the full support of all members for the 37.8-acre development and expressed support for the An Bord Pleanála application which may be decided in about six months. “Full support. No dissenting voices,” concluded the Cathaoirleach.

Gerard Gannon Properties are making the application to An Board Pleanála. The development will consist of the demolition of all existing, derelict structures on site and the construction of a mixed-use development comprising of 421 residential units (133 houses, 228 apartments, and 60 duplexes); with one childcare facility, two retail units and two community rooms.

The development provides for a total of 759 car parking spaces and 480 bicycle spaces. The development also provides for two vehicular accesses and one pedestrian/cyclist crossing and associated road upgrade works, all on Kilnahue Lane (L10112); one vehicular access on Carnew Road (R725) and associated road upgrade works; proposed upgrades to public realm including footpaths and cycle lanes, with proposed upgrade of the Carnew Road/Kilnahue Lane junction to a signalised junction; landscaping including a neighbourhood park, a playground and MUGA with associated neighbourhood parking; pocket parks; boundary treatments; public lighting; and all associated engineering and site works necessary to facilitate the development including proposed new sewer and associated upgrade works to existing engineering infrastructure on Carnew Road, Kilnahue Lane, Main Street and Esmonde Street.

The application contains a statement setting out how the proposal will be consistent with the objectives of the Wexford County Development Plan 2013-2019 and Gorey Town and Environs Local Area Plan 2017-2023.

The application contains a statement indicating why permission should be granted for the proposed development, having regard to a consideration specified in section 37(2)(b) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, as amended, notwithstanding that the proposed development materially contravenes a relevant development plan or local area plan other than in relation to the zoning of the land.

Riverside trails planned for Bunclody?

Bunclody Bridge over the River Slaney. The beautiful wooded area on the western side of the river could be used as walking trails in a new river strategy project proposed by Wexford County Council.

By Dan Walsh

The development of Bunclody Town Park incorporating the Market Square with the introduction of riverside walking trails and a river strategy was welcomed by members following a presentation by Shay Howell of Wexford County Council at Monday’s monthly meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District held in the Presentation Centre.

The project is in the early stages and discussions are planned with local landowners and the development would include about 12 extra car parking spaces and a children’s playground covering approximately one acre.

Cllr Jackser Owens called for a united approach from the members in support of the project and he felt “it would be grand for the town.”

Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan described the project as “very positive for Bunclody” and she encouraged the positive use of natural resources, the river strategy and felt it could really develop an environmental approach.

Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy pointed out that Bunclody has two rivers – the Cody and the Slaney – and no public access to either one. She encouraged the project and said Bunclody was a hub for walking trails and cycle ways and lead to trails in nearby Carlow and Wicklow.

Mr Howell said it wasn’t “the finished article yet”, he hoped to gain more land and was hoping for support. The acquisition of more land is important.

Cllr John O’Rourke enquired as to the potential cost of the project, but Mr Howell felt “it is too early” to speculate, however, Cllr O’Rourke received a more positive response when he asked if the playground would be suitable for children with disability and autism.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Cathal Byrne gave a “cautious welcome” to the project as he believed that some projects don’t always turn into solid reality and take years to complete so he is looking forward to “a solid plan” and removing obstacles to planning permission.

National Biodiversity Week

By Dan Walsh

An Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr. Barbara-Anne Murphy officially launched National Biodiversity Week last Friday when she attended the planting of a native Irish Rowan tree in the grounds of St. John’s Community Hospital accompanied by representatives of Enniscorthy Men’s Shed, St. John’s Community Hospital and staff of Wexford County Council.

CLLR BARBARA-ANNE MURPHY launched National Biodiversity Week.

Cllr Murphy said she was delighted to officially launch National Biodiversity Week in Co. Wexford. “This week is all about connecting people with nature and the benefits of protecting and enhancing our biodiversity. Spending time in nature can improve our health and well-being. It is great to see the wide range of initiatives being undertaken by Wexford County Council, including the increased support for biodiversity in our urban areas, a notable example of which is the enhancement of the Gorey ecological corridor.”

Catherine McLoughlin, Heritage Officer Wexford County Council also attended the event and stated: “National Biodiversity Week is also about learning and having fun. Many of the events this week are family friendly and there is something for everyone to enjoy,”

Clare Kelly, Climate Officer with Wexford County Council agreed with Ms. McLoughlin. “A simple action that we can all take as individuals or communities to help biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions is to plant a native tree,”

Tonight (Monday) Wexford County Council supported a talk on the barn owls of the south-east by Birdwatch Ireland and the Wexford Barn Owl project, while this coming Thursday, Barntown Community Centre will host a public talk on the fascinating underwater biodiversity of the Wexford coast at 7.30pm.

To see the full programme of events taking place please see National Biodiversity Week 2022 | Wexford County Council (wexfordcoco.ie) or visit https://biodiversityweek.ie/ 

Enniscorthy period residence on the market

MAYFIELD HOUSE, Enniscorthy, is being offered for sale by public auction.

By Dan Walsh

It is one of Enniscorthy’s most iconic architectural heritage sites. Passing Parnell Road one is struck by the urban appearance of the modern Garda Station while on the opposite side, a decorative display of iron railings supported by square concrete piers converge into a curved entrance leading onto an avenue where 1.087-acres of mature trees, hedges and shrubs in blossoming gardens transforms urban into the peace and tranquility of a remote rural experience.

Into view emerges the Victorian semi-detached period residence with an architecturally attractive porch entrance and the three-bay two-storey façade approached by a slight climb of granite steps. This is Mayfield House, built in 1870, and associated with influential commercial family names who contributed to the growth and prosperity of Enniscorthy over generations.

Step onto a beautiful mosaic floor on arrival, pass through the doors where a long spacious hallway offers a heritage welcome while an easy-to-climb stairs lead to ten bedrooms.

Mayfield House is large with well-appointed reception rooms and high ceilings embellishing the heritage of the surroundings while the marble fireplaces are fit for royalty. The east facing edifice is embellished by a three-side bow window beneath a flat roof and complementing the main building which has a low hipped roof. Local lore recalls that the roof timbers were cargo from a ship which was wrecked in Bannow Bay!

The house was built in 1870 by Peter Joseph O’Flaherty, who had a legal practice in the adjoining property and died December 27th 1895, and his wife, Annie departed on October 31st 1893.

The O’Flaherty’s were solicitors and Bernard J. O’Flaherty was one of the first directors of The Echo and South Leinster Advertiser newspaper first published on May 16th 1902 in Abbey Square, but moved to Mill Park Road in 1904.

In the 1901 Census, Bernard, Kate, Owen Kavanagh, Mary Keane and Margaret Keane occupied the O’Flaherty residence on Lemington (census spelling) Road.

In the 1911 Census, we have Bernard and Frances, Peter, Anne Dempsey, Margaret Kelly and Mary Harris and the O’Flaherty residence is returned as Parnell Road.

In Thom’s 1938 Commercial Directory of Enniscorthy the business traded under P.J. O’Flaherty & Son, Solicitors. The legal practice was active from 1830 until 1970.

Michael Phelan acquired Mayfield House from the O’Flaherty family in 1953, and in 1971 John and Marian Roche removed from Camolin to make it a family home up to the present day.

The property is being brought to the market by Sherry Fitzgerald O’Leary Kinsella and is being offered for sale by public auction on Thursday, May 26.

The auction will take place at 4 pm in the auctioneer’s offices in Gorey and also online. Those interested in registering for the auction are asked to do so before Tuesday, May 24th.

The magic of Hook lights up the pages…

LIAM RYAN (Editor) promoting the On The Hook Magazine which is available.

By Dan Walsh at Fethard-on-Sea

The Hook peninsula region of south-west Wexford is a place of history, heritage, shipwrecks, the flashing light of Hook Lighthouse and the haunting stories of Loftus Hall and the lifeboat heroics of the crew of such brave ships as the Helen Blake and it is also a fascinating region for holiday breaks and tourism.

The magic of the Hook lights up the pages of the 37th edition of ‘On The Hook’ andthe latest edition has gone on sale locally. “We don’t have a launch, we just tell people that the magazine is in the shops and they flock in and buy it,” editor Liam Ryan told WexfordLocal.com.

All the local happenings are included in print and colour photography and there is “an emergence from the lockdown” appearance around the publication. It is important to keep school and community happenings in the archive and this is achieved with dignity and professional presentation.

On the bigger scale it is the history and heritage that extends further than the parish boundaries. Fethard Castle is undergoing a preservation and through pictures and words the restoration stages are given strong coverage.

The Saltee Islands get notice. Loftus Hall is being transformed into a top-class hotel. The Colclough family and the famed Wall Garden and Tintern Abbey in Wales is feeding the visitors, and down memory lane – the last public pistol duel between John Colclough of Tintern and William Congreve Alcock of Wilton Castle fought at Ardcandrisk, near Wexford, on May 30 1807 is revived to satisfy a new audience.

It is a wonderful publication. If you belong the Fethard-on-Sea area you will appreciate your local history, but if you reside further afield and hold an interest in general history, then, you may dive into a treasure trove of stories in this publication.

ON THE HOOK Parish Magazine, Vol. 4 No. 7, June 2022; 164 pages, illustrated, EDITOR Liam Ryan, EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Eileen Cloney Kehoe, Sinead Kidd-Neville, Tom Byrne and Bryan Hanton. Price €13. Available at Dillon’s Fethard-on-Sea.

LIAM RYAN (Editor) speaking about the 37th On The Hook magazine .

Barry O’Neill rides 700th winner

By Dan Walsh

National champion point-to-point rider Barry O’Neill, who celebrated his 33rd birthday yesterday was still in celebratory mood today at Ballindenisk, Co. Cork today where he rode three winners and reached the 700th career point-to-point winner mark in fine style.

BARRY O’NEILL has ridden 700 point-to-point winners

Colin Bowe saddled both ‘division’ winners in the maiden race for four-year-olds with Ballabawn in division one ridden by James Kenny by two and a half lengths and Barry O’Neill began his treble in division two aboard Luner Contact who did the business by a neck! This double was Bowe’s 40th winner of the season as he heads for another championship crown.

O’Neill had winner number two for Carlow handler William Murphy as Miss Mae West took division two of the maiden race for mares aged five years or over by two and a half lengths.

Number 700 came up for O’Neill with his third success of the day – Some Man for David Christie by two lengths – in the Open Race. This is a milestone for the affable Ballindaggin rider who will be crowned champion rider for the sixth successive season in a few weeks’ time.

Also point-to-point races at Stradbally, Co. Laois today with doubles for Bertie Finn, Oulart, who has six wins to his credit – all during the 2021-2022 season – and Sean Staples, Duncormick. who has a total of 19 career winners.

Finn won the first two races on the card starting with Old Page by four lengths for handler Peter Flood in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings and then aboard Good Source for handler David O’Brien by eight lengths in the Winner of Two race.

Staples scored on Clatterbridge for Louise Jones by three lengths in the five-year-old adjacent maiden and made it a double on The Forge Hill for Sean Doyle, Ballindaggin, who came home alone in the Mares Open Race.

Bunclody runners-up in drama finals

PADRAIG D’ARCY and MAIRÉAD CONNAUGHTON in a scene from The Good Father …All -Ireland finals runners-up.

By Dan Walsh

Bunclody-Kilmyshall Drama Group’s performance of The Good Father are runners-up at the RTÉ All-Ireland Drama Festival Gala Awards announced tonight by adjudicator Michael Poyner ADA. The overall winners are Ballyduff Drama Group, Waterford, with Rabbit Hole.

The Good Father by Christian O’Reilly featured two actors Pádraig D’Arcy and Mairéad Connaughton and the director was Kieran Tyrell.

Bunclody-Kilmyshall were also winners of the Best Stage Setting award for Chris Atkinson and Kieran Tyrell.

Also amongst the nine national finalists who performed in the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone, were next parish neighbours Kilrush Drama Group with Class directed by Pat Whelan, nominated in a number of categories, but the winner was Kevin McElroy for Best Lighting.  

Champions in Wexford winning form

By Dan Walsh

The summer arrived at Bettyville Park racecourse in Wexford today and while there was no success for Wexford stables the respective champions, trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend, shared a double.

Authorised Act (9/2) set the ball rolling with four and three-parts of a length to spare in the Poolcourt Related Hurdle and Ganapathi (1/1fav.) added the Freddie Doyle Memorial Novice Chase.

Jordan Gainford was the only Wexford jockey to get on the scoresheet. He was aboard Junior Bee, (13/8 fav) for Tipperary owner/trainer Mark Molloy in the Boylesport Handicap Hurdle hung on by a short-head in a thrilling battle to the line.

Brian Hayes and Philip Fenton won the Wexford Racecourse Mares Maiden Hurdle with Good As Hell (2/1 fav) beating Sean Flanagan on Its’aleader.

Waterford runner Robyndeglory (25/1) created a bit of a shock for the punters in the handicap hurdle for trainer/jockey Declan Queally. Philip Rothwell, Tinahely, filled the third place spot with Prince Zaltar ridden by Camolin jockey James O’Sullivan.

The last two races on the card went to Meath. Clonguile Way (17/2) for Thomas Reilly and John C. McConnell won the Jim Ryan Racecourse Handicap Chase with Seamus Neville’s Brideswell Lad (J.J. Slevin filling third spot for the locals and the bumper when to the Harvey family – trainer David and amateur jockey Ben – with Beyond Ambitious (15/8) who deprived Willie Mullins of a treble with champion Patrick Mullins beaten a length on Walk In The Brise.

There was a fine attendance and a great atmosphere. The jackpot pool was €256.58, not won and goes to Naas on Sunday. The Tote was €90,802. 79 (7 races) compared with €137,311.02 (8 races) last year.

Next fixture at Bettyville is on Wednesday, May 25th and it’s an evening event.

Punchestown double for James Kenny

By Dan Walsh

Craanford rider James Kenny enjoyed a double success at the Kilare Hunt point-to-point races at Punchestown today beginning with the Colin Bowe trained Chosen Hero by five lengths in the maiden race for four-year-old mares.

JAMES KENNY… double at Punchestown today.

He followed up with winner number two in the first division of the maiden race for five- and six-year-olds geldings with Lock Out, running in the colours of Thomas Brennan, and trained by his father, Liam Kenny. Five lengths the verdict.

Division two went to another Wexford stables when Captains Road, owned and handled by Denis Murphy at Ballyboy Stables, The Ballagh, won by two lengths with Harley Dunne in the saddle.

Barry O’Neill celebrated his 33rd birthday with victory on Alpha Male for Kildare handler Peter Maher in the Quinns of Baltinglass Farmers Hunt Open Race. The verdict was four lengths.

Newcomer Ittack Blue running for Matthew Flynn O’Connor, Ballycrystal, Kiltealy, in the maiden race for four-year-old geldings was a 16 lengths winner in the hands of Brian Lawless.

Songs of Praise in Gorey Church

CHRIST CHURCH, GOREY

Christ Church Parish Gorey are holding a Songs of Praise Service on Sunday, May 15th at 7pm in Christ Church Gorey and all are welcome to attend.

The service is being held so that anyone who was bereaved during the pandemic or those unable to attend funerals due to the restrictions will be able to come and support the bereaved and pay their respects in their own way. All are welcome.