independent

Friday 22 March 2019

Share the untold stories of county

Anna Hayes

A new initiative, supported by Wexford County Council, Wexford Trails and the Ask The Locals campaign, aims to tell Wexford's best stories that may otherwise be lost to history.

The aim is to create a resource that helps individuals and businesses in the county to add to their visitor experience by sharing a little of the area's folklore, alongside the better known stories like the arrival of the Normans and the 1798 Rebellion.

Stories will be collected between now and March, and will be compiled into a database to be shared to anyone involved in the Ask The Locals campaign.

The project is spearheaded by Lorraine O'Dwyer from Gallivanting Tours. She explained: 'The way we are these days, with TV and our phones taking over for our entertainment, we are in serious danger of losing the stories that our grandparents shared about the places we live in. There are loads we've lost forever as the people that remembered them are now gone.'

She pointed out that fairy trees, pirates, bandits and highwaymen aren't remembered in history books but only by people who knew them.

'This campaign wants to try and capture the stories before they are lost forever. Aside from the importance of remembering who we are and where we came from, these kind of stories are invaluable to people like myself, who tell Wexford's story to visitors, maybe getting them to stay a little longer in the area.'

The hope is that, with the database, visitors will enjoy a richer and more entertaining experience in the county as a good story can add so much to a location.

Catherine McPartlan, one of the founders of the Ask the Locals Campaign and member of The Wexford Heritage Trail added: 'This is a really exciting idea, it will help us create interest about places that might otherwise be overlooked. Many of the stories are there in the archives and in people's memories, this is a chance to the see them being retold.'

She encouraged people to use the Christmas period to collate their stories.

Public meetings will be held in January and February where the organisers would love to hear the stories.

Ms O'Dwyer added: 'The more stories we get the better! We're looking for quirky, funny, sad, historical, all sorts. It might not be a long story, just a little known fact maybe, or you may know a story but not have the names or dates but share it anyway, someone else might be able to fill in the missing gaps.'

You can send your stories directly to Lorraine by emailing her at wexfordstories@gmail.com or post them to the Facebook page 'Ask the Locals Story Campaign'.

Wexford People

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