Walking trails taking their time!

By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy Municipal Council meeting

Walking trails come under the spotlight at today’s monthly meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council and members were informed that the extension to the Riverside Walk or the Country Walk which received €200,000 in funding may be delayed by up to a year before the proposed 600-metre loop is completed.


Mr. Rory O’Mahoney from the Environmental Section of Wexford County Council told the meeting of plans to extend the Riverside Walk and complete the 600-metre loop onto the public road and a team of consultants were involved.

Cllr Cathal Byrne spoke of extending the walk to include the Ringwood and Borodale and while very enthusiastic for the completion of the project he wondered at the need for large project teams to add to the existing walk. “We have €200,000 to spend or advance, but why has everything to be with consultants and the work outsourced at the moment,” he queried.

Cllr Jackser Owens said; “600 people a day use the country walk”, but he had concerns over lack of wheelchair access over the River Urrin and expressed a need for a wheelchair suitable surface, and he felt the need to point out “the lack of public toilets” along the trail.

Mr O’Mahoney confirmed that due to the planning process and An Bord Pleanála it would be nearly a year before it would be shovel ready along The Banks (€30,000 approved) on the north side and the existing country walk on the south side of Enniscorthy.

Established as the Country Walk in 2010, the popular trail is a 6km round trip scenic walk along the western bank of the River Slaney south of Enniscorthy town. The trail starts along the promenade walk at the southern end of the town and heads past a playground, crosses a footbridge at the River Urrin and follows a gravel path through a semi-wild meadow and is part of an extensive Special Area of Conservation.

Call for feasibility study before Courtown ‘Land-Swap’ vote

COURTOWN needs “a feasibility study before controversial ‘Land Swap’ decision’ (File Pic; WexfordLocal.com)

By Dan Walsh

Councillors are warned that “a feasibility study before the controversial ‘Land-Swap’ decision is an absolute must to avoid a legal and ethical storm” in a statement this evening issued by Courtown Regeneration Partnership Group ahead of tomorrow’s proposed vote on the Courtown Car Park Transfer coming before Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District scheduled for Blackwater Community Centre. 

A new Courtown Regeneration Partnership was launched in Riverchapel Community Complex on Tuesday night to support the revitalisation of the greater Courtown district and ensure that sustainable development and investment occurs in the context of local need and in sympathy with the natural heritage of the area. 

The Partnership describes itself as “a diverse umbrella group representing residents, voluntary groups and local businesses to ensure a community leadership role in the regeneration of the area.” 

CRP member Deirdre Robinson of the Courtown Woodland Alliance explained the necessity of the new approach; “The rapid demographic evolution of Courtown from a small coastal village and seasonal holiday resort to a substantial sized town of approximately 10,000 residents has been largely ignored by the local Council in its planning and investment decisions.

“We face many challenges. The infrastructure has not kept pace with the exponential population growth. We lack many of the facilities such a sizeable population warrant. And instead of a community deciding what it needs and want, Council officials with precious little data, transparency or consultation decide for you. You deserve better.” 

One of CRP’s priorities is to quickly secure funding and commission a strategic Regeneration Plan with full input from residents and the business community to guide the area’s renewal and future developments. 

“We want to avoid the mistakes of the past and address the disastrous piecemeal development, land-hoarding and dereliction which has blighted the area,” added Ms. Robinson.  

Sharing members’ enthusiasm for the new approach, Linda Sinnott of Courtown Community Council added; “If you’re sick and tired of waiting for Wexford Council to prioritise the community’s actual needs over its own agenda, what can you do? You can resolve as a community to organise to move things forward yourselves. You the people who live here know better than anyone else what your community needs now and in the future.”

In response to questions about the probity of the proposal and the dubious history leading up to it, the public representatives in attendance- Cllrs Joe Sullivan, Diarmuid Devereux, Andrew Bolger and Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin shared members’ concerns. They confirmed that zero feasibility study had taken place to examine the social, economic and environmental impact of losing Courtown’s main car park and siting a huge hotel there instead. No cost-benefit analysis had been undertaken that they were aware of. Neither had the promised full consultation with the community taken place.

Acknowledging members’ amazement that the vote would go ahead without this, Deirdre Robinson said; “It seems incredulous that councillors would even consider debating and voting on this without a responsible, independent feasibility study.

With a vote scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday), Ms. Robinson urged the councillors to act responsibly and ethically on behalf of all their constituents;

“We are asking for a proper debate on the issue with full community input and consideration of all the relevant data. Wexford County Council seems to have a bad habit of concealing material information from the public until they think they have the wheels greased and are ready to roll. That’s not how you treat your constituents and local taxpayers. It’s not good governance and it’s fraught with failure,” concluded Ms. Robinson.

‘DO NOT SWIM’ Notice for Curracloe

By Dan Walsh

Wexford County Council have issued “Do Not Swim” notices for Ballinesker, White Gap and Culleton’s Gap Beaches, Curracloe.

In a statement issued within the past hour, the Council said; “Testing conducted as part of the Council’s investigation into bathing water quality showed elevated levels for Intestinal enterococci bacteria at White Gap Beach, Curracloe.

“Following consultation with the HSE, it is necessary to issue “Do Not Swim” warning notices at the above beaches in accordance with the Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 and in the interest of public health.

Further samples have been taken today (Monday) and results are expected on Wednesday at which stage the bathing prohibition notices will be reviewed. 

In addition, the Council’s Environmental Technical Team are investigating the matter.  

Bathing water quality results for 18 Wexford beaches sampled over the 2022 bathing season, have been mainly excellent as published recently in the EPA Annual Bathing Water Quality Report. 

Wexford County Council advises members of the public visiting the above beaches to please abide by the public notices advising against swimming. 

Further updates will be issued through WexfordLocal.com and via the Council’s website 


More information on bathing water quality can be obtained on www.beaches.ie

Courtown concerns as ‘Land Swap’ vote looms

By Dan Walsh

There are concerns in Courtown Harbour and environs that a vote on the Car Park Transfer, known locally as “the Land Swap”, is on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of Gorey and Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council scheduled for Blackwater Community Centre.

In a statement on social media over the weekend, Courtown Community Council confirmed; “We have just learned that a Section 183 Transfer of lands at Ballinatray, Courtown appears on the agenda for next week’s Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Meeting. This meeting is scheduled to take place at Blackwater Community Hall.

The ‘Land Swap’ ptotest outside of Gorey Civic Centre last February (File pic. WexfordLocal.com)

“Following the success of the Smart Village Survey at the Ashdown Park Hotel in March, a new initiative called the Courtown Regeneration Partnership (CRP) was established to develop a cohesive 5- 10-year Development Plan in alignment with Local Area Plans, Local Heritage & Tourism Strategies, Sustainability and Environmental Protection requirements.

“The CRP held its very successful inaugural meeting last Monday attended by a cross section of business and community stakeholders including Cllrs Fionntán Ó Súilleabhain, Diarmuid Devereux, Andrew Bolger, Joe Sullivan and Senator Malcolm Byrne.

The statement says; “This latest information now raises grave concerns as Courtown Community Council asks again for any decision to be delayed until full consultation with the public takes place. This is to ensure the best possible outcome for both the residents who live here and the people who come to visit.”

Courtown Community Council is urging those with concerns or comments to lobby their Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District representatives without delay!

New ambulance station for New Ross

The former New Ross Fire Station has been transferred to the HSE for a new 24-hour state-of-the-art Am,bulance Station.

By Dan Walsh in New Ross

The former New Ross Fire Station on Michael Street has been transferred to the HSE for the provision of a new and modern 24-hour Ambulance Station.

The news has been confirmed by Cllr Michael Sheehan, Cathaoirleach of New Ross Municipal District Council who told WexfordLocal.com; “I made a commitment as Chair to the Council and HSE, that I work to ensure the Ambulance Service crews would have the best facilities commensurate with a modern Paramedic/ Ambulance service.

“To be fair, the commitment was never wavering, and I’m delighted that the old fire-station will now be transformed into a modern, 24-hours full suite of accommodation for the crews.  It is nothing less than they deserve and nothing less than the people of New Ross need,” concluded Cllr Sheehan, who has added his congratulations and thanks to Wexford County Council and the HSE/ Ambulance officials and to the men and women of the Paramedic/First Responder and Ambulance crews.

The old New Ross Fire Station on Michael Street served the Wexford County Fire Service for over 30 years. The current New Ross Fire Station is located at Hewittsland, cost €1.8 million to construct and was officially opened last November.  

Tributes following tragic death in Gorey

By Dan Walsh

Tributes have been paid to the memory of Andrzej Marek Winnicki from Enniscorthy who lost his life on a construction site at Ballytegan Road, Gorey, last Wednesday morning.

In his late 30’s, it is understood that he died in an incident with a piece of heavy machinery around 9am.

Emergency services arrived promptly, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The body was taken to University Hospital Waterford where a post-mortem examination was conducted afterwards.

The Health and Safety Authority and An Garda Siochána are conducting separate investigations into the circumstances of his death.


FAMILY NOTICE; In heartfelt memory of Andrzej Marek Winnicki, 4, Forgelands, Old Forge Road, Enniscorthy. Beloved husband of Marta and lovely father of Michelle and Alex. Always remembered with love by his wife and children, his father Edward, his sisters and brothers, with their families from Poland and also his mother-in-law Justyna Magdziak, father-in-law Krzysztof Magdziak with family. MAY HE REST IN PEACE.

Reposing at Browne’s Funeral Home, Enniscorthy, (Eircode Y21 H3K5) on Monday from 6 o’clock to 9 o’clock. Removal from Browne’s Funeral Home on Tuesday morning to St. Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, arriving for Funeral Mass at 12 noon followed by private cremation.

Treble for Bertie Finn and Colin Bowe

By Dan Walsh

Today’s point-to-point at Ballindenisk, Co. Cork was a remarkable occasion for Oulart rider Bertie Finn and Kiltealy trainer Colin Bowe who shared a treble and narrowly missed a four-timer in a ‘photo-finish’.

BERTIE FINN enjoyed a treble at today’s point-to-point in Cork.

The thrilled trio got off the mark in the second division of the maiden race for five-year-old plus mares when Friars Island Lady, in the colours of Paul Gibbons, secured victory by a neck.

Then they captured both divisions of the maiden race for five- and six-year-old geldings. Ideal De Romay won the first division in the Milestone Bloodstock Ltd colours by three lengths and Fiona McStay’s Glens Sensation also scored by three lengths in the second division.

Finn and Bowe lost out on a four-timer in the Winner of Two race when Bourbon N Kentucky lost out by three parts of a length to the Darragh Allen ridden Golden De Coeur owned and bred by Edgar Allen from Bunclody and the victorious handler is Richard Black.

There was also Wexford winners at today’s fixture in Stradbally. Jonathan Fogarty, Gaynestown Stud, Cleariestown, saddled Flaubert, who made all and scored by 18 lengths in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings with Conor Moore from Kilmore Quay up. Fourth win and a seasonal best for Fogarty.

Ivegotthe power won the Winner of Two race for Ballyduff owner Connie Rooney and Monasootha, Camolin, handler John Paul Brennan by one and a half lengths. James Walsh was the winning rider.

And Inch, Gorey, rider Luke Murphy scored by one and a half lengths on newcomer Tribal Glory for Ian McCarthy in the five-year-old plus adjacent maiden race.

€660,000 drugs seizure at Enniscorthy


Cannabis drugs with an estimated value of €660,000 were seized after Gardaí conducted a search operation at a premises in Enniscorthy.

At around 4.30pm on Friday afternoon, a joint operation was conducted by the Wexford Divisional Drug Unit and the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau with assistance from Enniscorthy District Detective Unit.

While in course of the search, Gardaí discovered 33kgs of cannabis with an estimated street value of €660,000, subject to analysis.

No arrests were made. Investigations are ongoing.

The seizure forms part of Operation Tara, an enhanced anti-drugs strategy, which Garda Commissioner Drew Harris launched on July 2nd, 2021.

The focus of Operation Tara is to disrupt, dismantle and prosecute drug trafficking networks, at all levels – international, national, and local – involved in the importation, distribution, cultivation, production, local sale, and supply of controlled drugs.

New Ross tales of William Marshal

Enjoying the Concert by the Emigrant Flame on New Ross Quay at the William Marshal Weekend today.

By Dan Walsh in New Ross

The two-day 2nd annual William Marshal Weekend marking the 804th anniversary (1147-1219) brought knights in shining armour onto the streets of New Ross today where the combination of historical tours, history and heritage, music and tradition exuded celebration in the sunshine.

The official opening at the High Hill was performed by Cllr Michael Sheehan, Cathaoirleach New Ross Municipal District Council in the presence of William Marshal, Isobel, Joan Knight Archers, Enniscorthy Re-enactment Group and the Pantomine Society.

Many enjoyed the tour of St. Mary’s Church graveyard, the tunes from the New Ross & District Pipe Band at the Norman steps in North Street and the Concert at the Emigrant Flame beside the Dunbrody Visitor Centre.

Tomorrow (Sunday) and festivities continue; however, activities stray from New Ross town to include the district or rural history and heritage and the organisers warn that “you will need to use your own transport for day two” which will commence with a gathering at the Emigrant Flame at 10.45am.

The entourage will leave the Dunbrody for Grantstown and an introduction John Harper of Bannow Historical Society followed by an historical talk by Anne Farrell. Off to Baginbun and a talk from Seamus Kiely before heading for a tour of Hook Lighthouse. It all ends with music and craic at the Vine Cottage Pub in Saltmills.

Booking for places is essential and it is online. For details contact http://www.newrosshistorygroup.ie

Another big day for O’Neill and Bowe

By Dan Walsh

Saturday point-to-point races took place at Newry, Co. Down today where Barry O’Neill and Colin Bowe shared a double, and with the benefit of a walk-over for David Christie’s Bold Enough in the Open Race, Barry the champion added a third success.

COLIN BOWE reached the 40th winner of the season mark today.

The maiden race for four-year-olds was divided with the first division going to Wendigo by one and a quarter length for O’Neill and Bowe. The second division was also Wexford bound as Rob James brought home Roadlesstravelled for the Donnchadh Doyle stable recording a nine and a half-length victory.

Theatrical Getaway in the colours of Maria Kavanagh, Arklow, completed the O’Neill-Bowe success story on the day taking the spoils in the Winner of One race by two and a half lengths. Colin Bowe assured of his 11th national point-to-point championship title has handled 40 wins for the season.

Donnchadh Doyle’s brother Sean Doyle also found his name on the winners’ sheet when Jack Hendrick got Maggie O up by half a length in an inspired ride to the finish line in the maiden race for five-year-olds plus mares.