Wednesday 16 October 2019

Ambitious plans to mark Wexford's role in WW1

The Yankee Slipway opposite Ely House.
The Yankee Slipway opposite Ely House.

By Esther Hayden

Ambitious new plans could see a commemorative garden in the area of Ely House and the Yankee Slipway.

At last week's meeting of the Borough Municipal District the members heard that architect Darragh Holland had come up with a plan for the area in front of Ely House to record the history of the slipway during World War 1.

The members heard that the plan was to create a sensory space to create awareness of the natural heritage and that the area would be dropped by 18 inches so that it wouldn't be affected by wind. A plaque would commemorate the history of the naval sea planes landing in Wexford which is an important part of Wexford history.

U.S. Naval Air Station Wexford was a seaplane station at Ferrybank which was operated by the United States Navy from February 1918-1919. Its mission was to operate Curtiss H-16 anti-submarine patrols (to counter German submarine attacks on shipping in the area east of Queenstown in Cork.

The station received the first aircraft on September 18, 1918 and commenced patrols. Its first engagement was against a U-boat on October 11, 1918, the day after the sinking of RMS Leinster. Operations stopped with the Armistice in November and the base closed the following February.

Cllr Fergie Kehoe reminded the council that the 'last remaining part of the roof hanger' is currently over Ray Corish's office on the Quays.

Cllr Deirdre Wadding said she would like to see an emphasis on peace rather than war in a commemoration.

Wexford People

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