All pikemen remembered on Oulart Hill

The scene on Oulart Hill this evening for the 225th commemorations of the Rebellion of 1798.

By Dan Walsh on Oulart Hill

Deceased members of Oulart pikemen (and women) from past commemorations in 1948 (150th anniversary) and the bicentenary events in 1998 were remembered with pride for their community devotion in maintaining the history and heritage at the 225th commemoration of the 1798 Rebellion in a dignified ceremony held on Oulart Hill this evening (Saturday).

There was a large gathering at the car park on Oulart Hill, site of the first major battle and victory, where John Dempsey, Chairman of Oulart Hill Development Group, presided over a warm welcome to everybody and acted as master of ceremonies. Local pikeman Declan Roche offered a special welcome to the local pike groups represented which included Oulart/Blackwater, Monageer and Boolavogue.

Peter O’Brien of Monavullen was afforded the privilege of unveiling a new stone-based memorial to the United Irishmen, the excellent work of Gorey sculptor Peter Kavanagh, whose talent was acknowledged by the crowd. Carol Ann Waldron presented a new painting of Tulach a t’Solas.

Leading historian Brian Ó Cléirigh spoke of the significance of the harp as an emblem of the Irish nation and the United Irishmen and he gave a brief, but most interesting outlook on Oulart Hill and its history relating to the events of 1798.

Music was a major part of the occasion. Aileen Kennedy and her talented young harpists gave outstanding renditions; Jimmy Adams sang ‘Four Green Fields’, Paddy White played an Irish selection on the accordion and Mary Farrell sang Boolavogue.

Mary Farrell performed Amhrán na bFiann to bring proceedings to an end in the car park and a Colour Party from the Capt. Wafer branch of O.N.E. lead a march from Hill Lane to Oulart Community Centre. Also represented were IUNVA Post 3 from Gorey and IUNVA Post 31 from Enniscorthy.

Afterwards, there were refreshments for all with camaraderie and chat in Oulart Community Centre, compliments of the Oulart Hill Development Group, organisers of the commemoration.  

Man (21) charged with Enniscorthy murder

A man has appeared at Gorey District Court today (Saturday) charged with murder, assaulting and obstructing gardaí, attempting to escape custody and production of a weapon.

Adrian Zelek, who is 21 years old and from Westbury Wood in Enniscorthy, is charged with the murder of Michael Gladyszewski at an address in Enniscorthy on Thursday.

Detective Garda Paul Hayes told Judge Kevin Staunton that he arrested Adrian Zelek at Westbury Woods at 9.45pm on Thursday, May 25th.


He charged him with all of the above offences at Enniscorthy Garda Station at 2.35pm today. The accused made no reply when charged.

The Judge said as the District Court cannot grant bail on a murder charge, he would remand Adrian Zelek to appear before Gorey District Court on Thursday, June 1st.

At Boolavogue as the sun was setting…

The participants at the pike march from The Harrow in the grounds of the Boolavogue Centre earlier this evening.

By Dan Walsh at Boolavogue

With pride of place and a dignified ceremony the community of Boolavogue was joined in history and heritage by neighbouring groups at this evening’s (Friday) well attended and impressive pike march from The Harrow to the Fr. John Murphy Centre at Boolavogue proudly marking the 225th anniversary of the 1798 Rebellion.

Wreaths of remembrance were laid along the marching route from Bookey’s Stream at The Harrow performed by Aidan Kehoe, the honour was shared by ’98 Senator Seamus Burke and Walter Hall at the ’98 monument in Boolavogue Cemetery, while the famous Shorehole Jack Murphy (1744-1816) was also fondly remembered.

Ballindaggin Pipe Band led the parade which included pike groups from Boolavogue, Monageer and Oulart. The pleasant occasion ended in the preserved farmyard beside the Fr. Murphy Centre which was officially opened in 1998 by the then President of Ireland Mary McAleese.

Speaking to, Padraig Sinnott, Chair of the Boolavogue Centre Committee paid tribute to the pike groups for their participation in this evening’s commemoration. They were rewarded with refreshments and a music celebration is taking place tonight in Kelly’s of The Harrow.

Mr. Sinnott acknowledged recent grant aid of €40,000 which will be used for re-roofing and re-thatching of the outhouses which deteriorated in recent years. “The work is under way,” he stated.

The Centre spans a 250-year period embracing both the historical and rural aspects of the area.

Fr. John Murphy was the Curate at Boolavogue from 1785 to 1798. He lived with the Donoghue family in the Townsland of Tomnaboley (an Irish word that means “the place for gathering the cows”) which is now known as the Fr. Murphy Centre until he went to lead the local insurgents in the 1798 Rebellion.

The message is; “Come to Boolavogue and hear his story as you wander around this typical traditional Irish farmyard and pose for some great photos with the vintage farming tools!” The Fr. John Murphy at Boolavogue is open seven days a week and all are welcome.

Arrest following fatal assault at Enniscorthy

By Dan Walsh

Gardaí are investigating a fatal assault on a man that occurred in Enniscorthy on Thursday evening.

At approximately 8pm, Gardaí received reports of an unresponsive male with serious injuries at a residence at Westbury Woods, Enniscorthy.

The man, aged in his 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene. The body remains at the scene this morning. 

The office of the State Pathologist has been notified and a post-mortem examination is expected to take place later today.

A man in his 20s has been arrested as part of this investigation. He is currently being detained at a Garda station in Wexford under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.


A full investigation is currently being conducted at Enniscorthy Garda station under the direction of a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO). A Family Liaison Officer (FLO) has been appointed and will keep the family informed of this investigation.

The residence at Westbury Woods remains preserved for technical examination by the Garda Technical Bureau.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information that can assist with this investigation to come forward.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Enniscorthy Garda Station on 053 9233534, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.

1798 225 events kick off today!

At the launch of VINEGAR HILL… The Last Stand of the Wexford Rebels of 1798 were (left to right); Liz Hore, Head of Enterprise and Tourism, Tony Larkiin, Deputy CEO, Wexford County Council, Jacqui Hynes (co-editor), Cllr Cathal Byrne, Cathaoirleach, Enniscorthy Municipal District Council, Ronan O’Flaherty (co-editor), Cllr Aidan Browne, Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy, Cathaoirleach Wexford County Council and Cllr Jackser Owens. Pic. Patrick Browne ; Dateline September 2021 (File Pic).

By Dan Walsh

The 225th anniversary of the Rebellion of 1798 in County Wexford kicks off this evening (Friday) with a number of events, continues over the weekend and for a number of weeks, and thanks to the staff at the National 1798 Rebellion Centre at Enniscorthy aims to keep everybody informed of events happening, although it must be accepted that some timelines are close together, but it is the people’s choice to attend at their favourite location.

FRIDAY (today) events; A wreath laying ceremony will be held in The Harrow at 6.30pm followed by a pike march to the Fr. John Murphy Centre at Boolavogue and the commemorations continue with music and other entertainment at Kelly’s Bar, The Harrow.

At 7pm in Presentation Arts Centre at Enniscorthy, leading historian Dr. Kevin Whelan will open the new Summer School initiative and his talk is entitled “The 1798 Rebellion in Wexford; What should we think about it now? This is a free event.

SATURDAY events in Enniscorthy includes; 11am, Battle of Enniscorthy Tour with Fintan Kelly. Assemble in Market Square.

12.30pm; Battle of Enniscorthy event on Enniscorthy Castle Roof.

2pm; Guided tour of the National 1798 Rebellion Centre at Enniscorthy.

4pm; The Battle of Vinegar Hill with Jacqui Hynes and Ronan O’Flaherty, editors of Vinegar Hill – The Last Stand of the Wexford Rebels of 1798 (published by Four Courts Press, 2021).

Saturday 6pm; A memorial to the United Irishmen will be unveiled at Tulach a tSolas on Oulart Hill. Afterwards, there will be a pike march back to Oulart village followed by stories and songs accompanied by Aileen Kennedy’s harpists, a few words from historian Brian Ó Cléirigh and refreshments. All are welcome.

Cyclist injured near Gorey

By Dan Walsh

A male cyclist in his 40’s was injured after coming off his bicycle following a collision with a car on the Courtown Road, near Gorey, shortly after 7pm this evening (Wednesday).

Emergency services were quickly on the scene and paramedics tended to the injured party on the side of the road before the National Ambulance Service engaged the services of the Air Corps 112 Air Ambulance Service and conveyed the man to a Dublin Hospital for further treatment.

It is understood that the man may have suffered a badly broken leg and other injuries. It is hoped he will make a full recovery.

All-Ireland success for Bree Macra

Pictured are Peter Byrne, Jordan Feeley, Grace Kehoe, Mary Byrne, and PJ D’Arcy. Missing is Sarah Byrne, who competed in the semi-final, and coach James Byrne.

Bree Macra Public Speaking team of Chairman Jordan Feeley, and speakers Mary Byrne and Grace Kehoe, have emerged victorious in Macra’s Public Speaking All-Ireland Final last Saturday week.

Jordan Feeley put on a stellar performance to win Best Speaker. The team spoke on the topic “Young People Need to Rise Up and Be Heard“. Bree Macra extends its congratulations to the team and would like to thank the team’s coaches, James Byrne, PJ D’Arcy, and Peter Byrne, for the countless hours of work they invested in the team.

This was an especially nostalgic moment for PJ D’Arcy and Peter Byrne, who won the trophy themselves in 1970 and 1980 respectively. 

Call for public scrutiny of proposed Courtown land transfer

By Dan Walsh

Four district public representatives have united with Courtown Regeneration Partnership in a call for further public scrutiny of the proposed land transfer discussed at the Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council meeting held in Blackwater Community Centre on Tuesday, May 16th.

In a statement issued by the Courtown Regeneration Partnership and Cllrs Andrew Bolger, Diarmuid Devereux, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin and Joe Sullivan it is claimed that “the recent district meeting to vote on the disposal of Courtown’s main carpark raised many more serious questions than it answered” and adds; “The proposal put before members at the meeting by Director of Services is even more contentious than first thought.”


It advocates giving away the carpark, a substantial parcel of prime seafront land, to TYOL Bayview Ltd for development as well as an additional smaller parcel of land adjacent to the old Bayview site.  

Cllr Devereux said; “We need to make it clear that despite claims classifying this transaction as ‘a straightforward swap’, what is actually being proposed here is the free gift of a substantial parcel of Courtown’s public land to a developer for private speculation. This should be questioned, and people will be justifiably angered if they feel they are being short-changed.” 

Echoing Cllr Devereux’s concerns, Cllr Sullivan added “Frankly we’re absolutely baffled as to why prime public land like this would be given away for nothing? If it’s decided that the carpark site should be made available for hotel development, then why in God’s name is it not being put on the open market to obtain the best price for local taxpayers?


“What’s being proposed is a total bonanza for the developer. Has the site been advertised to other prospective developers? Why is one developer so favoured? Surely the Council could be sued by aggrieved competitors? Why not the safer option of offering a Letter of Comfort to the preferred developer assuring a transfer only when and if a planning application is successful,” concluded Cllr Sullivan.


Cllr Bolger alluded to legal concerns around the transfer. “Land and related rights in Council possession are held in trust for the public. It is vital that the sale or transfer of such a valuable asset should be subject to thorough process. Having spoken to the Director about the ‘land swap’, I am aware that the information provided, in the memo, was what generally is provided in a Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001 disposal. However, owing to the contentious nature of this Section 183 vote, I will be seeking further assurances on ‘first refusal’ of the property. We will be asked to vote on this transaction and all I’m trying to do is to seek protection for the Council should a Section 183 be carried.” 

Furthermore, in response to questions about the commercial value of the site, Councillors expressed disbelief at the ridiculous low-ball valuation of 220-260k being placed on the carpark by Wexford County Council. 

Cllr Ó Súilleabháin, noting that they saw no documentation corroborating the 220k valuation, dismissed the figure: “The valuation touted at the meeting is clearly way off. A ring around Commercial Land Valuers and a quick look at comparable seafront development land prices elsewhere in the South East would place the value far, far in excess of that. Under Section 183, it’s incumbent on the Council to obtain the best market price or value when disposing of Council-owned land. What’s going on here?” he asked. 


He also pointed out a vague clause in the proposal that particularly alarmed him and his fellow Councillors. Apparently, the Council would have a right of first refusal to buy back the site if the development did not go ahead. 

“So potentially we could have an outrageous situation where the Council transfers to the developer a huge development site for free and then buys it back from him 12 months later at a vastly inflated price! “he said. 

While Courtown Regeneration Partnership and the four Councillors have reservations about the suitability of the carpark for hotel development and still insist that a feasibility study is essential, they stressed that “we all want  regeneration and jobs in Courtown and we’re working together with CRP to  begin the process of planned, sustainable economic and environmental  renewal. That’s why a decision on such a key Courtown site merits our considerable attention and more investigation. Too much is at stake.” 

Representing Courtown Regeneration Partnership Linda Sinnott, an observer at the meeting, agreed with the four Councillors’ reservations: “The wishes and needs of the Courtown community are still being ignored. There are serious shortcomings in this whole process which need addressed. Councillors must be equipped with proper information and documentation before approving or otherwise the sale or transfer of this Council-owned land”. 

Together, in the public interest, CRP and the four Councillors will be seeking answers from the Executive as a matter of urgency.

Water quality under review at Duncannon

FERGUS GALVIN, Chair, addressing delegates at the Water Quality Seminar held in Duncannon Community Centre (Pic; Wexford County Council)

By Dan Walsh

Over 50 people from the across the government sectors as well as the National Federation of Group Water Schemes were in attendance at Duncannon Community Centre for the quarterly meeting of the South Eastern Regional Operational Committee on Water Quality recently.  

Chaired by Director of Services, Fergus Galvin of Waterford City and County Council and supported by the Local Authority Waters Programme, the Southeast Regional Operational Committee is one of five committees which supports Ireland’s efforts to address the decline in water quality and protect public health and the valuable resource that clean water is for all.

Issues of concern discussed at the meeting included the protection of bathing and shellfish waters and public health along the Wexford coastline, agriculture across the counties and actions that Irish Water are undertaking to protect water quality.

Also attending the meeting were representatives of Southeast Technical University who outlined their work in collaboration with Wexford County Council and BIM.

Michael Goss of Úisce Eireann gave an overview of the significant upgrades being undertaken by Irish Water and the underground mapping of drainage networks in Wexford and across the region.

A key focus of the meeting was the Duncannon Blue Flag Farming Communities Scheme EIP which is a collaboration of farmers that is led by Wexford County Council and other bodies involved in the scheme include Teagasc, Geoff Barry Agricultural Consultants, Tirlán, Bord Bia and IFA that play a vital role in achieving the main objectives of the EIP.

Eoin Kinsella, Agricultural Scientist with Wexford County Council gave a presentation of the excellent work being undertaken by the project and the participant farmers to protect the water quality of Duncannon beach and its Blue Flag.

Cathal Somers, Agricultural Support and

Advisory Service advisor with Teagasc, gave a fascinating account on the benefits that multi-species swards can give when managed to suit the local farm situation. These include the requirement for much lower nitrate fertiliser application, better climate resilience of the crop, higher protein content, greater biodiversity and often a savings to the farmer.

The absence of a water treatment plant at Ramsgrange is still an issue and it was agreed that it would be advantageous to bring this into the Arthurstown wastewater treatment plant as soon as possible.

Agencies represented on the day included the Department of Agriculture, Food and the  Marine, Uisce Éireann (Irish Water), Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), BIM, Inland Fisheries Ireland, National Federation of Group Water Schemes, Teagasc, EPA, and the County Councils of Wexford, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Carlow, Kildare, Offaly and Laois.

Sailors in trouble south of Duncannon

FETHARD RNLI Inshore D Class Lifeboat was called out on Saturday (Pic; RNLI/Fethard)

By Dan Walsh

Two sailors raised the alarm after their 20-foot boat encountered engine difficulties and broke down north of Templetown Bay at Stonewall Bay, south of Duncannon, on Saturday afternoon.

Fethard RNLI were requested to launch their inshore D class lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at approximately 2.45 pm.

Weather conditions at the time were good with flat calm seas, a Force 1 south easterly wind with good visibility and some cloud.

On arrival, the crew observed that both onboard were wearing lifejackets and were safe and well. Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to tow the vessel to the nearest safe port at Passage East.

Speaking to following the call out, Fethard RNLI Helm Mick Roche said; “The two onboard reacted as they should when they encountered engine problems and raised the alarm, and we would commend them for being prepared by having a means of communication and for wearing their lifejackets. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard,” he concluded.