Down the years - memories from days gone by

Published 19/05/2015 | 00:00

Author Eoin's latest book is launched

May 2001

Artemis Fowl is the latest book by Wexford author Eoin Colfer, which he describes in three words as thrilling, spooky, and funny.

The book, about 12-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis and his crazy world, was launched in Wexford at The Book Centre last Wednesday by author Ger Whelan, a friend and colleague of Eoin's.

'There are two major children's book-writers in Ireland today,' said Ger, 'and one of them is Eoin.'

This is not Eoin's first book, but his seventh. This one, however, is very special in that it is his first to be sold internationally and it has quickly won praise and favourable comparison to the best-selling Harry Potter series.

There was a great sense of pride at his book launch last week as friends, family, and colleagues gathered to celebrate his great achievement.

Wexford people from both the teaching and theatrical circles were exuberant in their praise of Eoin, and each had a story of their own to tell about him.

Previous books by Eoin were written for teenagers and younger children, but this one is expected to be enjoyed by many of different ages.

Eoin started writing Artemis Fowl two years ago. It took him a year to write, and another year of fine publisher polishing for it to get to its launch.

'It was a dream to write,' he said. 'The hardest part was to find a name for the leading character. I wanted to pick something memorable,' he said of his two-year long adventure.

'The people I talk to, even driving home and watching the sunset, give me ideas,' added Eoin, talking about the things that inspired him to write the book.

Eoin, a primary school teacher, understands the imaginative working mind of children. 'If I were to say one thing to my readers, it would be to keep reading, anything at all - even the back of a cornflakes box. Reading is great training for being a writer,' he said.

Eoin's story doesn't end here at the launch. He is currently writing the sequel, which he hopes will be out in the next year. He is also working on a musical.

There's oil on tap in Taghmon homes!

May 1979

Residents of a Taghmon housing estate struck oil this week. But they are not happy with their new-found 'wealth', for instead of coming from the ground, the 'black gold' is oozing from the taps of their kitchen sinks and bathrooms.

And the people of the new County Council scheme at Monastery Avenue claim that the pollution is a serious health hazard, with some children and adults having already contracted dermatitis.

Now there are moves to form a Residents Association in the estate to present a united front in fighting the menace which, we are told, also occurred a year ago.

Residents do not know where the oil is coming from, but the stream from which their water supply is pumped runs adjacent to a garage and other premises where oil is used.

A householder said on Monday that the problem arose ten days previously and a sample of water had been taken to the County Clinic for analysis. This had shown that there was a strong concentration of oil.

She added that the situation is now so bad that residents have to walk to a spring near the old handball alley to get water for domestic use.

County Council engineers have spent the last two days tracking down the source of the oil and the County Secretary (Mr W.P. Creedon) told us on Tuesday that they were now almost certain as to where it originated.

Mr Creedon said that the caretaker of the Taghmon water treatment plant was taking all precautions against the oil menace. Other staff, he added, were removing it by chemical treatment and with special mats.

Cyclist Anne bids for fame in France

May 1989

A young Wexford woman who only started cycling last year has left for France in a bid to find fame and fortune and follow in the footsteps of superstars Stephen Roche and Sean Kelly.

Nineteen-year-old Anne Kinsella from Killurin has won a four-month contract with the Lannion Cycling Club in Brittany, and hopes to do enough in that time to convince them to keep her on their books.

Anne was one of only two women on the first FAS cycling training course - the other, Claire Moore, comes from Sean Kelly's home town of Carrick-on-Suir.

Anne is only in her second season of racing, having joined Wexford Wheelers last year and making an immediate impression. She achieved consistently high placings in her races and her best result was fourth in the All-Ireland championships.

Now she wants to make a full-time career of her chosen sport and follow in the footsteps of champions like women's Tour de France winner, Jenny Longie.

'It's a great opportunity for me,' Anne said before her departure from Rosslare Harbour on Friday night. 'I would like to make a career of cycling and I have had marvellous support from family and friends.'

Anne now hopes that her good Wexford results will continue in France, and that the club will keep her once the four months are up. 'I will be hoping for a second contract,' she says.

Hollow victory for beer truck driver

May 1997

A beer truck delivery driver fell victim in The Faythe last week to thieves who were either well organised or else just very lucky.

According to reports, the driver saw a man taking a full crate from his truck while he was parked to make a delivery to a local pub.

The thief was pursued by the driver and a war over the crate ensued on the green at Maudlintown, with the driver emerging triumphant.

His victory, however, was said to be a hollow one, for when he returned to his vehicle, he discovered several other crates had also been taking while he was chasing the first thief. It is not known if the culprits had organised this with the first thief or if they were just 'lucky' enough to happen on the scene while the truck was unattended.

Gardai said they had heard nothing of the theft.

'The only report we have is of two fellas dragging a keg of beer along the quays,' a spokesman said. 'They didn't get very far because of the weight of it.'

French navy on the way to Vinegar Hill

May 1989

For the first time since 1798, when they landed in the West of Ireland, French armed personnel are to march on Irish soil again this year.

They will be members of the crew of the French naval vessel 'Phoenix', which will anchor at Rosslare, along with an Irish naval vessel, from June 30 to July 4.

The two crews, together with an Irish Army platoon of cadets and contingents of 'pikemen' from every parish in Co. Wexford, will take part in a great march to Vinegar Hill in a spectacular commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution and the links between revolutionary France and Wexford.

During ceremonies on Vinegar Hill, which will include the planting of a Tree of Liberty, the unveiling of a new information module, and the raising of the French and Irish tricolours, a flight of Air Corps planes will fly past, releasing smoke plumes in the Irish and French colours.

The price of a smoke

May 1978

A full-page advert from PJ Carroll & Co. informed smokers of new prices that would apply from June 1. Most expensive for a box of 20 would be Dunhill International, at 50p. Benson & Hedges, Carrolls King Size, and Rothmans would be 45p. Players Navy Cut would be 42p, and cheapest of all would be Gold Bond, at 39p.

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