Traffic Calming measures coming your way

THE WAY FORWARD? Cyclists taking on the traffic calming measures in Gorey on a fund-raising run. (File Pic; Joe Dixon Photography).

By Dan Walsh at Wells House and Gardens

Wexford County Council has circulated a draft document amongst members about its Traffic Calming Policy and it was presented to members of Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council at the November meeting held at Wells House and Gardens.

The document claims that there has been an increasing demand for traffic calming measures to be introduced in new and existing housing estates, access roads and distributor roads in towns and villages across Co. Wexford.

It is acknowledged that a major contributing factor in recorded road collisions is speed and vehicles that exceed the safe speed limit affect the quality of life for residents and pedestrians that use the road network.

The elephant on the roadway is individual speed ramps and the Traffic Management Guidelines emphasise that vertical deflections (ramps, speed cushions and tables) should only be used as a last resort and that all other measures should be considered first.

It has emerged that ramps or rumble strips contain unwelcome side effects such as additional noise, vehicle damage, possible personal injury and the National Ambulance Service have issues while carrying patients, especially those with spinal injuries. The Fire Service are also concerned that ramps delay response times to emergency situations.

The draft document will come before all municipal districts before it is eventually adopted at a full meeting of Wexford County Council, but at the Gorey Kilmuckridge discussion the main talking points appeared to be the ramps and speed reduction in housing estates.

Cllr Anthony Donohoe told the meeting he was “not fond of ramps” and felt the council should look at other traffic calming measures as a priority.

Cllr Joe Sullivan said he was no fan of ramps; “In fact, I hate the sight of them,” but added he was in favour of higher visibility and more signage. And he questioned “parental behaviour outside schools.”

David Codd, Road Safety Officer with Wexford County Council replied that “ramps is a contentious issue and the last thing to be considered on most roads. He said ramps are allowed in housing estates and considered a speed reduction to 30kph.

Cllr Mary Farrell was concerned about the situation outside schools during drop off and collection times. “Road signage doesn’t work.”

Cllr Pip Breen stated that speeding is a legal issue; “it is breaking the law”. He felt the document was fair and ramps should only be used as a last resort. Referring to traffic calming outside schools, he concluded; “You can’t legislate for people who ignore and break the law.”

Cllr Oliver Walsh, who proposed the adoption of the document, said “it is very important to have a document like this” and Cllr Pip Breen seconded.  

Tragic death of man (50s) in Kiltealy

By Dan Walsh

A local man in his 50’s has died following a tragic accident that occurred at a house in the village of Kiltealy around 1pm yesterday (Tuesday).

The father of two is believed to have been working on a house, took a short break, and was later discovered with serious injuries by work colleagues.

Emergency services were quickly on the scene, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

His remains were taken to University Hospital Waterford for a post mortem examination.

Two separate investigations will take place by Gardai and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

New Plan for Enniscorthy school front

By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy Council Meeting

Safe Routes to School has prepared an outline plan for the front of St. Aidan’s Primary School at Convent Road, Enniscorthy, it was revealed to members at today’s monthly meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council and accepted by the members proposed by Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy and seconded by Cllr Jackser Owens.

The key findings of the Plan includes inadequate traffic calming measures, signage and road markings at the front and on the approach to the school. The footpaths are narrow and there are insufficient crossing points for the volume of students (approximately 850 pupils and 100 staff members).

CLLR JACKSER OWENS says; “an accident waiting to happen”

Heavy Goods Vehicles were observed along Convent Road during school collection time, there are no cycling facilities, cars were observed at the front of the school and on footpaths during drop off and collection times.

The solutions include wider footpaths, more pedestrian crossings, ramps and three potential Park ‘N Stride locations from the carpark opposite SuperValu, the GAA car park and Orchard Peace Park carpark on Irish St.

Cllr Jackser Owens told the meeting that he works as a school warden and described the situation as “crazy” and “an accident waiting to happen”. “There was chaos there about 8.30am on wet morning, like today,”; he stated. He noted that it is three years since the school grounds carpark closed as a Covid-19 measure and he wondered why this is the case!

Apparently, the Board of Management and the Principal have been asked by the local Council why the new state-of-the-art carpark in the school grounds never re-opened and there has been no response!

Cllr John O’Rourke observed that the Plan is a year old, but only presented now! He felt that a change of attitudes and more high-viz would be helpful.

67.8% of parents surveyed agreed that “road safety” was a problem; 97.5% would support works “front of school” and 96.4% would support “walking and cycling links to school.” It should be noted that there was a 56.4% response to the survey.

Housing crisis in Enniscorthy district

By Dan Walsh

Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy echoed the members frustration at the lack of housing in the Enniscorthy district when addressing today’s monthly meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District in the Presentation Chamber.

CLLR BARBARA-ANNE MURPHY is frustrated with house building projects.

“I am frustrated to find one house in Enniscorthy – at Marconi Park. This is not good enough. The council is not building houses in the Enniscorthy district (which includes Bunclody, Ferns and rural communities) and this has to change,” stressed Cllr Murphy who recalled that the last houses were built at Termonbarry in Bunclody in 2004!

Cllr Jackser Owns agreed a hundred per cent. “I know people who have been on the housing list for ten years. Why is the council not building houses for the people?” he asked. He added that he knew of eight people in one house and a baby coming any day!

Cllr Cathal Byrne referred to last week’s special housing meeting in Wexford and said that out of 624 houses planned, only 21 were in Enniscorthy district, which he pointed out is only 3%.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Aidan Browne agreed with his fellow members and felt that “we have to build schemes ourselves.”

Cllr John O’Rourke asked for a survey of ‘under occupancy’ and pointed to single people living in three-bedroom Council allocated houses.

However, Caroline Creane, Senior Staff Officer in Housing, said the Council was not looking for ‘under occupancy’ but would assist people if they wanted to move into a smaller house.

Carolyne Godkin, Director of Services, claimed progress is being made in providing houses of suitable needs for people, but it takes time.

Cllr Owens concluded that not enough progress is being made but he supported Ms. Godkin and the housing staff who pointed out that family profiles have massively changed and the cost of building is quite challenging.

Conservation plan for Courtown Woods

By Dan Walsh in Courtown

North Wexford’s Cllr Joe Sullivan has launched a public appeal that Wexford County Council working in conjunction with Coillte, National Parks and Wildlife and the owners take the necessary steps to have Courtown Woods declared a SAC (Special Area of Conservation).

CLLR JOE SULLIVAN admiring the natural beauty of Courtown Woods today.

“As we are all aware Courtown Woods are currently in private ownership and there is absolutely nothing to suggest that the access enjoyed heretofore by the public will in anyway change in the near future.

“However, as time moves on so does business and people! What guarantee do the public have that the next private owner be it in 20, 30, or indeed 40 years will be as civic and environmentally friendly as the current incumbents?” questioned Cllr Sullivan.

“It goes without saying that natural amenities such as Courtown Woods are passed on from generation to generation and it behoves each generation to preserve and care for them during the time they act as custodians of said public amenities,” he concluded.

He is also calling on Wexford County Council to pursue the idea of putting a Coastal Path/Greenway in North Wexford from Kilmicheal Point in the north to Blackwater in the south of the Gorey/ Kilmuckridge Municipal District, taking in Castletown, Ballymoney, Courtown, Cahore, Morriscastle and on to Blackwater.

“I believe that with the funding that is available under Active Travel and ORIS (Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme) would help towards the provision of this badly needed amenity for North Wexford and greatly enhance tourism and outdoor activity in the area,” Cllr Sullivan told WexfordLocal.com and he added; “I am aware of similar projects around the county that are proving very successful and beneficial to the communities that they benefit, such as the pathway from Rosslare to Kilmore, and walking trails at Carrigfoyle  Forth Mountain to mention but a few.”

Doubles for O’Neill and Murphy

Rider LUKE MURPHY and handler DENIS MURPHY and other connections welcome CHATSHOW HOST in the winner’s enclosure.

By Dan Walsh at Tinahely

Champion rider Barry O’Neill and handler Denis Murphy each enjoyed a double at the Wicklow Hunt fixture at Fairwood, Tinahely, today.

Team Barry O’Neill and Colin Bowe were winners in the maiden race for four-year-olds when Boston Town secured a seven and a half lengths victory when beating stable companion Captain Butler (Bertie Finn) by seven and a half lengths.

“He is different class,” stated Barry O’Neill following a 35 lengths victory on Samcro who lead the field all the way in the Open Lightweight Race to record his third victory ‘between the flags’. Double for O’Neill on the day and 20 wins to his credit this season.

Tullow owner and handler John Redmond saddled Inthemeantime, bred at Newtownbarry Stud by Clody Norton, to a nine lengths success in the maiden race for mares of five years and upwards with Shillelagh rider James Walsh up.

Garcon Dargent has “plenty of ability” according to handler Denis Murphy after coming home ten lengths clear of the field with Jack Hendrick, Mayglass, in the saddle in the maiden race for five- and six-year-old geldings.

The Ballagh handler added another success with Chatshow Host scoring by eight lengths in the Winner of Two Mares Race ridden by Luke Murphy, Inch, Gorey. Bred by the successful rider’s family Chatshow Host is “starting to mature. She is getting stronger and will win plenty of races,” said handler Denis Murphy who achieved a double on the day.

Hastobedone owned by Tom Power and Annette Lawlor and trained by John Patrick Walsh at Ballyday, Gorey, won the maiden race for six-year-olds and upwards by two lengths. A winner for Dan Nevin in a race confined to novice riders.

There was also a point-to-point at Turtulla, Co. Tipperary today where Ellen Doyle, Coolgarrow Lane, Enniscorthy, saddled first timer The Jukebox Man, the seven lengths winner of the maiden race for four-year-old geldings with Brian Dunleavy in the saddle.   

No glory for brave boxer Caoimhe!

By Dan Walsh

It wasn’t to be for Marshalstown’s Irish champion Caoimhe Kinsella, (17), in the World Youth Boxing Championships losing out to Japan on a 4/1 split decision in a close fight in La Nucia. Spain, today.

On social media tonight, Caoimhe’s club St Anthony’s and St. Patrick’s Boxing Club, Enniscorthy posted; “We are so proud of Caoimhe getting to box at the World Championships and look forward to the next championship.”

Caoimhe Kinsella was honoured on becoming All-Ireland and European Boxing Champion 2019 and winning the Girl 6 Irish championship at the Enniscorthy Civic Awards last April.

New Ross celebrates Christmas

CLLR MICHAEL SHEEHAN and friend celebrating the Christmas Lights SWITCH ON in New Ross town this evening.

By Dan Walsh in New Ross

There were amazing scenes on the streets of New Ross this evening as families enthusiastically gathered to celebrate the official ‘Switch On’ of the town Christmas lights for the first time in three years.

New Ross celebrity Dami Hope, fresh from the ‘Love Island’ television show, joined forces with Santa Claus to flick the magic switch in the presence of Cllr Michael Sheehan, Cathaoirleach New Ross Municipal District Council at the Tholsel bang on five o’clock, to a loud festive cheer from the large crowds.

Santa and his little helpers, elves and puppet characters from Rathnure Pantomime Society led the parade from the old Fire Station on Michael Street to the freshly erected Christmas tree at the Tholsel.

Speaking to WexfordLocal.com, Cllr Sheehan said: “New Ross is open for business. Shop local. There is something for every family in New Ross,” and he urged everyone; “Come out and celebrate with us.”

CATHAOIRLEACH CLLR MICHAEL SHEEHAN speaking with DAN WALSH at the Christmas Lights SWITCH ON in New Ross this evening.

All go at Tinahely races on Sunday

By Dan Walsh

Seventy-two entries for tomorrow’s Wicklow Hunt point-to-point at Shillelagh & District Hunt’s popular hilly track at Fairwood, Tinahely, where the first race is off at 12.30pm.

Jumping a fence at Fairwood, Tinahely (File Pic)

The going was described today as “yielding, yielding to soft” and that is not expected to change over night, the forecast is predicting “a slight bit of rain” and the organisers are hoping to welcome a good attendance.

The outstanding Samcro is a strong entry for the Open Race and local handler Philip Rothwell should have a strong following for his charge Agirlcalledchloe in the Mare’s Winner of Two Race.

Today’s point-to-point took place at Kirkistown, Co. Down, and no Wexford trained winners. However, Global Assembly (Rob James) for David Christie and Wearelongterm (Barry O’Neill) for Gordon Elliott fought out the finish in the Winner of One race with only ‘a neck’ to spare in favour of James’ mount.

Boxer Caoimhe in last World 16

CAOIMHE KINSELLA is in the final 16 of the World Youth Boxing Championships in Spain today – Saturday afternoon. (File Pic)

EXCLUSIVE By Dan Walsh

Ireland and Enniscorthy boxing star Caoimhe Kinsella, (17), has reached the last 16 in the World Youth Boxing Championships against Japan today (Saturday) in La Nucia in Spain.

The fight is Live in YouTube channel IBA Boxing. Afternoon session ring A. She will be in the ring around 3 or 3.15pm Irish time.

This fantastic sporting news has only become available in the last few minutes, and we are all in Caoimhe’s corner and wishing her success and a good performance.

A native of Marshalstown, Caoimhe is a member of St Anthony’s and St. Patrick’s Boxing Club, Enniscorthy.

Caoimhe Kinsella was honoured on becoming All-Ireland and European Boxing Champion 2019 and winning the Girl 6 Irish championship at the Enniscorthy Civic Awards last April.