From our archives
Wexford's newest spectator sport!
'Spot the condom machine is set to become the new spectator sport in Wexford, as hotels and pubs start to cash in on the change in legislation that allows the dispensing of non-medical contraceptives in public premises.
No sooner had the condoms bill passed through the Dáil in record time last week than the first machines appeared.
Early off the starting blocks was the Halfway House in Ballycogley, a popular music venue frequented by a large number of young customers.
The owners were canvassed by an Irish distributor about a month ago and they indicated that they would be interested in installing one when it legally okay to do so.
And quick as you could say 'rubber plantation', a company representative arrived on Thursday last, immediately after the Dáil debate, and installed a machine in the gents' loo.
Machines have also cropped up in a few venues around Rosslare but business is still quiet enough in the Wexford town area, according to Bulletin Ltd. in Tullow, who supplied the machine to the Halfway House.
The company, which supplies the 'Bonkers' brand of condoms at a price of £2 for a packet of three, was formed recently for the specific purpose of filling the marketing opportunity created by the new condoms legislation.
'We expect business to pick up,' said a spokesperson. 'Most people have been waiting for the bill to become law and we expect that once a few premises start installing them, others will follow.'
Claudia Jackman of the Halfway House was unable to say how the condom machine was received by customers. She was too busy catering to the crowds who turned up to a rock festival that was held on the premises over the Bank Holiday weekend.
But she said she doesn't really see what all the fuss is about anyway. They installed one as a practical facility as they have a generally young clientele, she added.
Long-time friends - and long-lost sisters!
Gorey resident Carol Kavanagh couldn't believe her eyes when she turned up to meet the sister she had never known, only to discover she had already been friends with her for three years.
Carol, who is aged 22 and who was adopted at an early age, grew up in Dublin but moved to Gorey last year. She was friends with Cliona Carberry, aged 18, since they worked together in a grocery shop in Temple Bar in 2000, but she had no idea that Cliona was actually her long-lost sister.
Cliona said she had once told Carol that she was adopted, but neither of them had really discussed it further.
Cliona was re-united with her birth mother, Bridget O'Keeffe, who lives in Enniscorthy, after she turned 18 earlier this year. At that stage, she learned that she had a brother and sister who she had never met.
She then wrote to her sister and arranged for a meeting outside the entrance to the St. Stephen's Green shopping centre in Dublin.
Both girls saw each other at the shopping centre and said hello, but not realising they were there to meet each other, they then waited at opposite sides of the entrance. It was only when Cliona rang her sister's phone number to ask if she would be much longer - and Carol's phone rang - that the truth dawned on both girls.
They have since also made contact with their brother Michael, aged 23, who works in the Defence Forces.
New member to join Wexford Corporation
Wexford Corporation will get a brand new member next Monday night when Brendan Howlin will be officially co-opted unopposed to take the seat vacated by Brendan Corish.
The 27-year-old schoolteacher from Upper William Street will not attend the meeting, and will instead get his baptism in local authority politics in the historic surroundings of the old Town Hall in early July, when the Corporation meets to select a Mayor for 1982/'83.
And young Howlin could find himself in a unique position on the night because of last year's affirmation of old Labour Party policy to fight every Mayoral election with a Labour candidate.
The local branch has not yet chosen a candidate, but with Ald. Peter Roche's Corporation future in doubt because of his possible appointment as a rate collector with the County Council, the choice rests between Mr Howlin and the outgoing Mayor, Noel Murphy.
Brendan Howlin arrives in politics at a time when the Labour Party appears in dire straits nationally, but he is extremely confident that in Wexford, at least, Labour is throwing off the cobwebs of depression caused by Des Corish's defeat in the February General Election.
And as the already-chosen branch candidate for the next General Election, Howlin has high hopes that he will eventually be able to win back for the party the Dáil seat that it lost four months ago.
Historic landmark 'just had to go'
Another little piece of Wexford history disappeared this week, with the removal of one of the oldest petrol pumps in the county on Wednesday.
The pump had proudly stood for more than 70 years on the footpath outside of Kavanagh's old garage in The Bullring in Wexford town.
Granted, the old machine had long since passed its sell-by date. In fact, the last time it was used, petrol cost 3/9 per gallon (for the post-decimalisation generation, that means three shillings and nine pence, or 24 pence in today's money).
Also, the calculator on the pump was only geared to add up sums under five shillings, so it appears it wasn't geared for modern-day inflation either!
The pump was removed by Furlong's butchers, who will be taking over the Kavanagh property early next week.
According to Paul Furlong, the pump had to be removed, as it would impede deliveries to the new shop.
Dispute at Pierce's is finally resolved
One of Wexford's longest-running disputes in recent years, the 23-week sit-in at Pierce Engineering, was brought to a conclusion at the weekend with the workers' unanimous decision to accept redundancy terms first mooted two years ago.
Pierce's former workers and managers are now being encouraged to come together to form a new company that could supply products to its parent company, Waterford Stanley.
The deal, providing a €1,600 lump sum and two and a quarter weeks pay on top of statutory redundancy for the 60-plus workers involved in the dispute, was hammered out at nine hours of talks chaired by Minister of State John Browne in Wexford the previous weekend.
As a result of the arrangement, Pierce's parent company, Waterford Stanley, now has proper access to the Distillery Road site, which is like to be re-zoned and put up for development.
Picket is put on Rosslare beach
A full-time picket of the local beach was launched on Wednesday morning by families in Rosslare Harbour who are protesting against the wholesale removal of sand by CIE.
The protestors were visited by a CIE representative, who informed them that work was to cease pending an agreement between all the parties involved, including Wexford County Council. The picket continued, however, and will continue until at least the end of the week, according to a local source.
The picket is being organised on a rota basis, mainly by women and children, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, as an active objection against the removal of sand for use in coastal protection measures at Rosslare Strand.