This Easter Monday Enniscorthy Castle Recalls its 1916 Rising past


This Easter Monday Enniscorthy Castle Recalls its 1916 Rising past

Enniscorthy’s military history comes alive at Enniscorthy Castle this Easter Monday (21st April), as an array of ‘living history’ activities recall the events of the Easter 1916 Rising, and offer visitors an ‘Easter with a Difference’.

From 12 noon to 3 p.m., Irish Volunteer soldiers from 1916 will return to re-occupy the castle, and demonstrate weapons from the period such as the Lee Enfield and Mauser Rifles. There is also an opportunity to dress up in costumes from the period, see footage about the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy in Dublin, and learn in detail about the events of the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy – the only town outside of Dublin to rise during this time.
New additions to our existing 1916 exhibition include a record of the names of those who fought in 1916 in Enniscorthy, poetry of the leaders of the 1916 Rising in Dublin, and witness statements from the period, and these join the existing displays of original artefacts from the leaders of the Rising in Enniscorthy.
Why not also take part in our ‘new’ 1916 Treasure hunt, and explore the locations around the town that played an active part in the Rising. Sites include Enniscorthy Castle itself (including its bullet holes!), The Athenaeum, and Antwerp House. Afternoon tea will also be available in the Roche family drawing room for the afternoon, harking back to the time when the Roche family were asked to vacate the castle while it was occupied by the Volunteers.
For our young visitors, be sure to collect your ‘Permit to leave the town’, (required during the Rising in Enniscorthy), write a letter home from Frongoch Internment Camp, or become a reporter for the day and write a newspaper report describing the reading of The Proclamation of the Irish Republic from outside The Athenaeum. Prizes for the best letter and report!!
FREE ADMISSION PASSES to Enniscorthy Castle (valid for Easter Monday) will also be available to those who join the 1916 Wreath Laying Ceremony in Market Square at 11.00 a.m.

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Meet the Makers – Wexford Launches Craft Trail


Meet the Makers  - Wexford Launches Craft Trail

Susan Brindley of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland was on hand to launch the very first Craft Trail for the ‘Model’ county at a Wexford craft showcase in Greenacres Gallery on Thursday, April 3.

The new trail aimed at visitors to the region offers an insight to nineteen different craft makers on a driving route right across the county.

The free trail directory features a guide containing maps and directions to the gallery’s, craft workshops and exhibition spaces in Wexford. Visitors can meet the makers in many of the workshops and gain a greater insight to the skills involved in their own craft. Milliners, Potters, Weavers, Wood turners, Sculptors and Jewelers all feature across the trail offering visitors an opportunity to view a broad variety of traditional crafting skills.

Launching the Wexford Craft Trail, Susan Brindley Head of Public Affairs & Communications said, “I am delighted to launch this wonderful Craft Trail for County Wexford which showcases the wealth of creative talent that exists throughout the county. This easy to navigate trail offers domestic and international visitors unique opportunities to discover authentic Irish crafts; to meet makers in their studios, see them at work, learn more about the stories behind products designed and made in Wexford, and of course to purchase a piece of craft for themselves or a loved one. I would like to commend Wexford Craft Network on coming together to create such a professional trail, which will greatly enhance a visitor’s experience of the county. I wish them every success.”

The Craft Trail is the latest offering in a series of trails across County Wexford including a Garden Trail, a Heritage Trail, a Walking Trail and Food Trail. It is hoped the new trail will offer a boost to revenue in the leisure and pleasure business in the county.

Speaking at the launch Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr Ted Howlin said, “I want to pay particular credit here this evening to each and every member of the Craft Trail. Under the umbrella of Visit Wexford Tourism we are working to make Co Wexford a great destination – the first destination of choice for every domestic visitor, on a year round basis and increasingly a destination of choice for overseas visitors to Ireland. Visit Wexford are marketing our County on a year round basis – taking every opportunity to get the Wexford brand and story in people’s minds.

Commenting at the event Wexford Local Development Chairperson, Pat Rath said: “We have been working with the crafters, the gardeners, the walking trail guides and the guardians of the heritage sites of Wexford for the last three years developing these trails throughout the county, there is a wonderful diversity of trails now on offer and there really is something for all tastes and interests We continue to work on this very successful offering for tourism as there huge potential to develop other trails across the county.”

Chair of the Wexford Craft Trail, Padraic Parle said, “This craft trail sits comfortably with the artistic history of the town and county of Wexford and the current prevalence of artists and makers living and working here. There are nineteen different offerings across the trail and each have a very diverse craft. Workshops, exhibitions and events are held right across the year so this trail really enables all of us crafters to come together, combine our skills and host a variety of interesting events for future visitors. This is an opportunity to discover studios; workshops and even garden workshops not normally open to the public.”

The Wexford Craft Trail features, The Blue Egg Gallery, Martin Doyle Goldsmith, Sculptor Gilly Thomas, Creations by Annette Whelan, Textile Artist Phil Stewart, Robert O’Connor Woodturning Studio, Blacksmith and Designer Dainius Varnelis, Potter Paul Maloney, The Ros Tapestry, Ceadogan Rugs, Tir na Nog Creations, Weaver Terry Dunne, Grainne Kenny Design, Potter Patricia Howard, Woodturner Maurice Duggan, Ballyelland Pottery, Milliner Patsy Flood O’Connor, The Forge CraftShop and Milliner Amanda Byrne.

Visitors will be encouraged to try their hand at various have-a-go venues, including creating a work of art at future events in the Wexford Craft Trail Calendar. For further details on the Wexford Craft Trail see http://www.visitwexford.ie or facebook.com WexfordCraftTrailNetwork

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Heroes of the Helen Blake to Feature on TG4


Heroes of the Helen Blake to Feature on TG4

Tune into TG4 on Friday, March 28 at 7.30pm to see international author Eoin Colfer and international music composer Liam Bates whom recently joined forces to host a concert for the centenary of the ‘Fethard Lifeboat Disaster’ of 1914 which saw nine-crew men of the RNLI vessel ‘The Helen Blake’ lose their lives aiding the shipwrecked Norwegian schooner ‘The Mexico’ off the coast of Wexford.

The concert was hosted by Wexford Sinfonia on Saturday, February 22 in Wexford to honor and remember the crewmembers of ‘The Mexico’ and the RNLI who lost their lives, the performance will include a specially commissioned piece by Composer Liam Bates, ‘Heroes of the Helen Blake’

100 years ago the schooner on Friday February 20th 1914 the ‘The Mexico’ went aground off the Keeragh Islands, off the Wexford coast. Within a short time, the lifeboat, which was named The Helen Blake, from Fethard was at the scene. As it tried to approach the stricken vessel, it was lashed by a mighty wave and smashed to pieces. ‘The Mexico’ was shipwrecked and though nine crew from the Fethard RNLI lifeboat perished at sea the remaining seven of the RNLI crew were rescued. The operation needed 6 trips in stormy seas to bring all to safety, but on the second of these, the dinghy was holed. For the remaining trips the sea was kept out by a loaf of bread wrapped in oilskins, plugged into the opening. Following the disaster and the loss of so many crewmembers, the RNLI shut the Lifeboat Station at Fethard-on-Sea, more recently a new life-boat is stationed at Fethard.

A memorial to the lifeboatmen can be seen in the centre of Fethard village. The men who lost their lives were Coxswain Christopher Bird, Bowman Thomas Hendrick, and Crew Members Michael Hendrick, James Morrissey, Patrick Roche, Patrick Cullen, William Bird, William Banville and Patrick Butcher.

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Colm Tóibín’s ‘Brooklyn’ to film in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford


Colm Tóibín’s ‘Brooklyn’ to film in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

Award winning author and official Visit Wexford ambassador, Colm Tóibín’s highly acclaimed novel ‘Brooklyn’ is to be made into a feature film starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen and Julie Walters. It has been announced that Enniscorthy has been chosen as the location of the shooting of the Irish sequences.

The film will be an adaption of Colm Tóibín’s novel by Nick Hornby who is famous for such classics as ‘Fever Pitch’, ‘About A Boy’ and ‘High Fidelity’. The film follows Nora (Ronan), a young Irish woman who leaves her small town in Ireland hoping for a brighter future in 1950s Brooklyn. Despite her initial homesickness, she falls in love with Tony (Cohen) an Italian-American who opens her eyes to her new surroundings. But a family tragedy leads Nora back to Ireland, where her American sophistication catches the eye of the charming Jim (Gleeson).

The multi million euro production will be shot in Ireland and Canada and work on the production is expected to commence in Enniscorthy next week. Filming is scheduled to start at the end of March. Enniscorthy’s John Street, Church Street, Castle Street and the old Athenaeum will be transformed for the duration of the filming, as will the local branch of Bank of Ireland which will feature as a post office in the new movie.

The film’s location manager Gordon Wycherley has been working closely with Enniscorthy Town Council, Enniscorthy Chamber and the Gardaí on the logistics of shooting the film in Enniscorthy.

Speaking about the decision to film the scenes in Enniscorthy, location manager Gordon Wycherley said “We came and looked at Enniscorthy; we took photographs of the town and thought it had lots of potential but looked at other towns because we were looking for a 1950’s period town. But we came back to Enniscorthy because it had some of the best locations possible for what we wanted to film. Also, I think there was an emotional attachment to shooting it in Enniscorthy because Colm Tóibín is from Enniscorthy, the book is based around Enniscorthy and the director felt the same”.

Irish BAFTA-winning director John Crowley (Boy A, Intermission) will direct Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Tóibín’s acclaimed novel, which is being produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey for Wildgaze (Quartet, An Education) and co–produced by Alan Moloney in Parallel Films (Albert Nobbs, Breakfast on Pluto, Intermission).

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VIRTUAL VISIT TOURS ‘BIG 360 PROJECT’ FOR WEXFORD


VIRTUAL VISIT TOURS ‘BIG 360 PROJECT’ FOR WEXFORD

Visit Wexford Tourism is delighted to announce a creative tourism initiative for County Wexford in partnership with photography experts, Virtual Visit Tours – who operate one of the most visited Irish destination photo-blogs in the world. What makes this blog so popular is that their photos are interactive and capture a 360° field of view, immersing the online visitor in the picture.

During 2014, Virtual Visit Tours are creating a massive tourism project ‘THE BIG 360 PROJECT’ photographing just six counties in Ireland and putting them firmly on the Irish destination map.

County Wexford is the first of the chosen destinations and the project will be carried out across the county during April. The team of professional 360° photographers will be in Wexford, photographing and blogging about the local tourism providers.

Visit Wexford is delighted to be working with the Virtual Visit team and are encouraging those in the tourism industry to be part of this very exciting tourism campaign. The Virtual Visit anticipates over 100,000 views and significant visitor engagement from this combined approach during the month of the campaign. It is a great marketing opportunity for Wexford.

To book a place on the campaign contact Virtual Visit Tours at virtualvisittours.com or call 0 1 442 8995

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St. Patrick’s Day in Wexford


St. Patrick’s Day in Wexford

St. Patrick’s Day in Wexford is one of the biggest days of the year, with celebrations and parades taking place throughout Wexford town, New Ross, Enniscorthy, Gorey and all over the county.

Wexford Town’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is probably the oldest parade in the country starting back in 1917. This year the parade will take place on Monday March 17 and will start at 11am from the junction at Fisher’s Rowe, William’s Street. It will take in the following route William’s Street, Trinity street, Paul Quay, Cresent Quay, Commercial Quay, Wellington Place, Redmond Square and West Gate. The Reviewing Stand will be located on the Quay Front adjacent to the Bridge. This year’s parade will see many floats and numerous marching bands and will be one of Wexford’s best parades. Groups will assemble from Fisher’s Rowe up to the Green in Maudlintown at 10.15am sharp, while the floats will assemble at 10am from the Mace Service Station in Trinity Street on the right hand side of the road, down towards the Talbot Hotel.
The 2014 Gorey St Patrick’s Day Parade will take place Monday, March 17 at 3pm. The Parade route commences from the Enniscorthy Road/Grattan Street down the Main Street onto Esmonde Street. There will be music at the Market House from 2.30pm along with fringe events – tug of war & barmans race. There will be entertainment & prize giving on Esmonde Street directly after the Parade.
Enniscorthy’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Monday, March 17 at 2pm. Floats, vintage cars, marching bands, Bui Bolg characters and more will take to the streets for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade at 2pm. The parade will depart St. Senan’s Church led by the Army Reserve walk along Templeshannon Quay, cross Seamus Rafter Bridge and pass the reviewing stand at Abbey Square on to Millpark Road and continue through Weafer Street through Market Square and back along the quays.
The New Ross town St. Patrick’s Day parade will take place Monday, March 17 and will get underway from 2pm travelling from Irishtown down the town’s quayside to the viewing platform at the Dunbrody visitor centre.
The only St. Patrick’s Day Parade held on a beach anywhere in Ireland takes place in Duncannon on Monday March 17. The parade will start outside the church in Duncannon at 12.30pm. It will go down the Main Street and from there it will go onto the beach and will end half way down the beach. The parade will consist of local scouts, girl guides, GAA clubs, football clubs etc. The Duncannon Sandsculpting Festival will have a float in the parade as will some of the local pubs. There will be entertainment after the parade with an obstacle course on the beach and a bungee trampoline for the kids. Seamus Long will provide musical entertainment on the green for the afternoon.

Photo Credit: A Year of Festivals

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Visit Wexford is on Instagram


We are delighted to announce we have joined Instagram. We’d love for you all to follow us at @visitwexford. We will be posting amazing images of beautiful Wexford. We’d love if you have any images of your holidays in Wexford for you to email them to us at visitwexford@gmail.com.

Have a look at some of the gorgeous images of Wexford we have Instagrammed so far.

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Here is the beautiful Johnstown Castle and Irish Agricultural Museum. With one of the most comprehensive displays of farming and rural life in the country, the Irish Agricultural Museum and Johnstown Castle Gardens make a wonderful day out for all the family – whatever the weather.  

 

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The breathtaking Hook Lighthouse – the world’s oldest operational lighthouse. Hook Lighthouse offers guided tours of the lighthouse tower all year round and is one of the top things to do Wexford.

To see more fantastic Wexford images like these, be sure to follow us on Instagram at @visitwexford

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Fethard Lifeboat Disaster 100th Year Commemoration


Fethard Lifeboat Disaster 100th Year Commemoration

The communities of Fethard-on-Sea and Rosslare Strand are marking the 100th Year Commemoration of The Helen Blake with the following events:
Fethard-on-Sea
 Lecture:
an historical lecture given by the author of The Awful Tragedy of the Helen
Blake Lifeboat, Liam Ryan describing the drama surrounding the rescue mission to save the crew of the Mexico on February 20, 1914, followed by a concert in St. Mary’s
Friday, 21st of February 2014 at 8pm.
Community Hall,
 Saturday, 22nd of February 2014 at 11am – Kilmore Quay, Dunmore East and Fethard Lifeboats will meet at Fethard Dock and proceed to the Keeragh Islands for a Wreath laying ceremony (weather dependant).
 Saturday 22nd of February 2014 at 2.30pm – There will be a parade from the Boathouse to the Monument in the village of Fethard on Sea where an Ecumenical Service will take place.
Rosslare Strand
 Rosslare Maritime Museum will be holding a photographic and memorabilia exhibition, highlighting the rescue of the Mexico in the National School in Rosslare village 12 noon to 7pm on the 22nd February and 10am to 5pm on the 23rd of February.
 On Sunday 23rd of February, a wreath laying ceremony will take place at 3.00pm at the Monument in Rosslare – Wreaths will be laid by representatives of various organisations.
Wexford Sinfonia Concert
International author Eoin Colfer international music composer Liam Bates will join forces to host a concert on the centenary of the ‘Fethard Lifeboat Disaster’ of 1914 which saw nine-crew men of the RNLI vessel ‘The Helen Blake’ lose their lives aiding the shipwrecked Norwegian schooner ‘The Mexico’ off the coast of Wexford.
The concert will be hosted by Wexford Sinfonia on Saturday, February 22 at 8pm in Wexford to honor and remember the crewmembers of ‘The Mexico’ and the RNLI who lost their lives, the performance will include a specially commissioned piece by Composer Liam Bates, ‘Heroes of the Helen Blake’. The Concert takes place at County Hall Wexford – Tickets: €20 (053 919 6000) proceeds to the RNLI

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Countdown to Second Annual Trad Music Festival ‘Cuisle Cheoil’ in Wexford


Countdown to Second Annual Trad Music Festival 'Cuisle Cheoil' in Wexford

After its huge success in 2013 and a crowd of 10,000 visitors to the town, Cuisle Cheoil Traditional Music Festival returns to Wexford for and even bigger and better second year. Some of Ireland’s top musicians are set to feature at a trail of events criss-crossing Gorey town next weekend from February 21 to 23.

The festival will be officially opened by on Friday, Feb 21 with a series of free ‘Trad’ Music sessions at a variety of venues right across Gorey town.

A not to be missed festival highlight takes place on Saturday evening as the Cuisle Cheoil Festival Concert features performances by some of Ireland’s top traditional musicians and many All-Ireland championship winners featuring accomplished fiddle player Ciara Ni Bhriain, champion accordion player Cyril O’ Donoghue, outstanding flutist Conor Byrne, international selling singers Colm O’Donnell and Cyril O’Donoghue and Mick O’Brien will playn the Uileann Pipes. The concert will be compered by Áine Hensey, who hosts a number of traditional music programmes on Radio na Gaeltachta and RTE1.

Commenting at the launch of the festival, Chairperson of Cuisle Cheoil, Pat Kavanagh said, “We are delighted to be launching the programme for Cuisle Cheoil 2014 having successfully staged our first festival with huge visitor numbers of close on 10,000 visitors last year we a re looking to build on that this year. We have a fantastic programme lined up and we are looking forward to three days of top class entertainment with Concerts, Céilís, Workshops and Sessions taking place in various venues around the town.”

On Saturday February 22, youth recitals take place along with Sean Nos dancing workshops, a series of lunch-time concerts and the Cuisle Cheoil Festival Concert on Saturday evening followed by a monster Trad seisiún.

On Sunday, following a Traditional Irish Mass in St. Michael’s at noon, a lecture by Uileann Piper and RTE Radio Producer, Peter Browne takes place, there is also a Set Dancing workshop, and the festival closes with a ‘not to be missed’ Céilí Mór on Sunday night with music by the Ballyellis Céilí Band.

The Cuisle Cheoil Festival has been established to provide a local platform for the country’s top exponents of quality traditional Irish music, song and dance using the form of sessions, workshops and concerts. For further details on Cuisle Cheoil see http://cuislecheoil.ie/

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Wexford Sinfonia to host Concert in Remembrance of ‘Mexico’ Disaster 1914


A concert hosted by Wexford Sinfonia will take place on Saturday, February 22 in Wexford to honor and remember the crewmembers of ‘The Mexico’ and nine-crew members of the RNLI vessel ‘The Helen Blake’ who lost their lives aiding the shipwrecked Norwegian schooner ‘The Mexico’ in February 1914, the performance will include a specially commissioned piece by Composer Liam Bates, ‘Heroes of the Helen Blake

wexford sinfonia Concert

Commenting on the upcoming concert, Liam said, “The remarkable act of bravery and selflessness one hundred years ago, still echoes through to the present and is evident in the many volunteers who are ready to serve. ‘Heroes of the Helen Blake’ is dedicated to these volunteers and particularly to those who paid the ultimate price. I started composing and gathering material for this orchestral suite, in October 2013. It began unusually with writing a poem; which in itself was inspired by what I had read about the Fethard lifeboatmen. Out of this, came the ideas for the music: it tries to be evocative of the sea in its various guises and it attempts to capture the spirit of faith, fear and bravery in those connected to the sea. For the final movement, the orchestra are joined by a choir of men who sing part of the text from the same poem.”

100 years ago the schooner on Friday February 20th 1914 the ‘The Mexico’ went aground off the Keeragh Islands, off the Wexford coast. Within a short time, the lifeboat, which was named The Helen Blake, from Fethard was at the scene. As it tried to approach the stricken vessel, it was lashed by a mighty wave and smashed to pieces. ‘The Mexico’ was shipwrecked and though nine crew from the Fethard RNLI lifeboat perished at sea the remaining seven of the RNLI crew were rescued. The operation needed 6 trips in stormy seas to bring all to safety, but on the second of these, the dinghy was holed. For the remaining trips the sea was kept out by a loaf of bread wrapped in oilskins, plugged into the opening. Following the disaster and the loss of so many crewmembers, the RNLI shut the Lifeboat Station at Fethard-on-Sea, more recently a new life-boat is stationed at Fethard.

The Helen Blake and S.V Mexico

A memorial to the lifeboatmen can be seen in the centre of Fethard village. The men who lost their lives were Coxswain Christopher Bird, Bowman Thomas Hendrick, and Crew Members Michael Hendrick, James Morrissey, Patrick Roche, Patrick Cullen, William Bird, William Banville and Patrick Butcher.

The themed concert, which will take place at County Hall in Wexford, will feature a specially commissioned work from composer Liam Bates and all proceeds will be donated to the RNLI. Tickets for the Wexford Sinfonia Concert are available from Wexford County Hall in advance or on the night and are €20. The concert commences at 8pm sharp.

Liam Bates recently performed concert works include Vivo performed by Musici Ireland, The Girl with the Mechanical Maiden, performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, with performances at the National Concert Hall and Lincoln Centre in New York, Moth Manoeuvre, performed by Scottish flautist Aisling Agnew and Angel, sung by Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir. Liam’s movie scores include GhostwoodShow GirlsRazor FishThe Helpless SpiderOut of the BlueThe Faeries of Blackheath WoodsLeap YearEarthbound and the recently released Last Passenger. He is also the recipient of a Promax World Gold Award for Best Original Music for his score, Part of Life. Liam is regularly engaged as an arranger and conductor both in the concert hall and in the recording studio. He has worked with Pete Townsend, Nancy Gustavson, Luciano Pavarotti, Meat Loaf, Bryan Adams and Dave Stewart.

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