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Saturday 21 September 2019

Ambassador's exhaustive battle to find Vinegar Hill

CANADIAN DIGNITARY TAKES MANY A WRONG TURN IN ENNISCORTHY

FINTAN LAMBE

BETTER signage is needed to help tourists find Vinegar Hill in Enniscorthy.

This was the view of Ambassador to Canada Loyola Hearn, who told a gathering of locals, Councillors and officials at a reception at Gorey Town Council last week, that he had difficulty finding his way up Vinegar Hill.

'We had one hell of a job to find it,' he told the assembled crowd, adding that 'whoever is responsible' for signage might need to look at this. County Manager Eddie Breen put up his hand, admitting responsibility, much to the merriment of those in the room.

The Canadian Ambassador, who has roots in the South East, took advantage of his visit to Wexford to privately visit some of the county's historic attractions before his official business in Gorey.

'We came down a bit earlier today,' he said. ' There were two places we wanted to visit. I had not been to Vinegar Hill. I have been now. I had not been to the Fr. Murphy Centre in Boolavogue. I have now.'

'Boolavogue is one of the best liked and popular songs on our side of the Atlantic,' he added. 'Where we learned about Irish history was through the music. We know all the songs, and then we wanted to find out what they were about, but you were singing about an area you haven't seen.' This made his visit to Boolavogue all the more special.

He described the Fr. Murphy Centre as 'a tremendous draw'.

However, finding Vinegar Hill proved a challenge. ' The map had it on the wrong side of the road,' he said. ' There was no sign for Vinegar Hill and we had to ask someone selling strawberries. Except for his directions, we wouldn't have found it. Coming from the other side, it was a lot easier.

'As somebody more interested in getting to Vinegar Hill than anybody, I had difficulty getting to it,' he added.

' That's part of the charm of the county,' smiled Town Clerk David Minogue, while Councillor Malcolm Byrne said 'I'm sure the County Manger will get right onto it.'

' There's a tremendous view from Vinegar Hill,' concluded the Ambassador. ' To be there today was just tremendous.'

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