Friday 19 January 2018

Anger as Wexford's rich history forgotten

By Esther Hayden

Overlooked: Vinegar Hill and Enniscorthy Castle.
Overlooked: Vinegar Hill and Enniscorthy Castle.

Wexford was seen to be snubbed in the new Ireland's Ancient East initiative, causing much anger in Enniscorthy.

Cllr Keith Doyle said what he heard in respect of the trial was 'laughable'.

'It's laughable what I heard. I believe Vinegar Hill is mentioned only as a footnote. I spoke to Bord Failte previously and they said they understood the significance of Vinegar Hill. It is one of the top ten most visited sites in Ireland.

'It's laughable for them now to be saying they are looking at the American market when the majority of Americans love looking at battlefields. For Failte Ireland not to include that astounds me especially with the potential of the American market being so vast.

'There is no point saying this is a starting block. It's not right saying this is a beginning. This is a template. We should write to Failte Ireland to question this.'

He was supported by Cllr James Browne who said it seemed to him that instead of creating two trails, one for the midlands and one for the East Failte Ireland had 'tried to patch them together on the cheap'.

'To see the likes of Vinegar Hill and Enniscorthy Castle not included is amazing. American's love that castle. It's the stereotypical castle.

'The trade magazine which is going to tourism operators abroad makes no mention of Enniscorthy, Gorey or Wexford nor are they mentioned on the map. There is a five day too and New Ross is mentioned in that in passing.

'I think Brendan Howlin was asleep at the wheel on this one.'

Cllr Kathleen Codd Nolan said 'it's very difficult to include everywhere'. However she said that the Heritage Park and Vinegar Hill should have been included.

Cllr John O'Rourke pointed out that in 2011 Brian Hayes who was then a Minister visited the 1798 centre and Vinegar Hill with him and said he was very impressed with the sites. Cllr O'Rourke said Minister Hayes said he would work to help put Enniscorthy on tourist map. 'Four years on and we're still getting the same crap', he said. 'It is disappointing that Wexford didn't get quite as much recognition as it should'. said Cllr Oliver Walsh but said it was the government's first tourist initiative for the region.

Wexford People

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