From our archives
Wexford to fight for direct dial system
The Government is to be asked to reconsider its decision not to install a direct telephone dialling system to England, Europe and the United States in the Wexford (053) area.
If the Department of Posts and Telegraphs does not change its mind, it is feared that Wexford will become isolated from the rest of the world through its inadequate telephone system.
As a result, existing firms in the town will continue to have difficulty reaching business contacts outside the country, while potential industrialists will be slow to come to a town with such poor communications.
A campaign to include Wexford in the direct overseas link has now been launched by the Association of Wexford Industries.
The Association recently met personnel from the Department of Posts and Telegraphs in both Wexford and Waterford, and were told that subscribers in the (053) area would not be able to dial direct to the continent or United States.
Said Association President, John Jackman: 'We are very disappointed with the outcome of the meetings. The Department offered us no hope for the future at all. They told us that we could dial direct from Wellingtonbridge, because that is in the Waterford area, but that isn't much good to us in Wexford town.'
But industry in Wexford is so determined to get the facility that they are not going to let the matter rest.
A letter has already gone to the Minister, Mr Patrick Cooney, asking him to reconsider. The Association is hopeful of a good response.
'I expect we will be able to get him to change his mind,' Mr Jackman said this week. 'We will also be asking the Chamber of Commerce for help to press our case.'
1999 driest for 25 years in south east
The last year of the old millennium was the driest since 1975 in the south east, Met Eireann has reported.
Weather officials said Rosslare recorded just 83 per cent of its normal rain for the year, with the 736 mm failing in the year comparing to the next lowest year - 1975 - with 648 mm.
Rosslare recorded 103 per cent of its average sunshine in 1999, compared to just 95 per cent further north in Dublin.
Met Eireann said mean average temperatures in Ireland were above normal for the sixth successive year, and were about a degree higher than the average for the thirty-year period from 1961 to 1990.
Kilkenny recorded the highest air temperature of the year, at 27.4 degrees Celsius on July 31, and the lowest grass minimum temperature, at minus 11.9 degrees on December 19.
Rosslare recorded 10.7 days with snow or sleet during 1999, 1.8 with snow lying, 11.8 with hail, 6.7 with thunder, and 38.5 with fog. The highest wind speed recorded during the year was 87 mph in October.
Planning to launch catamaran service
Plans are afloat to bring a new high-speed catamaran service to Rosslare Harbour, a spokesperson for Stena Sealink said this week.
According to Eamon Hewitt, the company intends to increase the volume of passenger traffic going through Rosslare during the summer season with the new high-speed catamaran.
A similar-type service was introduced on the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead route last year, and within six weeks of it being in operation, over 100,000 extra passengers were being ferried across the Irish Sea.
Mr Hewitt said that the company believes they can increase passenger numbers on the south eastern corridor also. 'We don't want transfers from the existing ferry,' he said, adding that the catamaran will run in tandem with the existing vessel, the MV Felicity.
He added that the new service will be able to cater for 90 cars and 450 passengers on each crossing, which will take an hour and fifty minutes, compared to three and a half hours on board the MV Felicity.
House of Missions going up for sale
The House of Missions, one of Enniscorthy's landmark buildings, is up for sale after more than a century of ownership by the Diocese of Ferns.
St Senan's parishioners were surprised by the news which was made public at Masses last Saturday and Sunday. Slaney Place auctioneer Michael O'Leary has been instructed by Bishop Comiskey to dispose of the well-loved property to the highest bidder.
'The bottom line is that the House of Missions is totally impossible to maintain,' explained current administrator, Fr Denis Brennan. 'Diocesan discussions concluded that the building, which pre-dates the parish by over a hundred years, is no longer needed.'
Fr Brennan has more reasons that most to feel sentimentally attached to the place, as it has been his home for the past 24 years. Yet he fully accepts the logic dictating the sale of a 36-room complex which is currently occupied by just four priests, since Missions were discontinued in 1991.
Wexford leads big pro-life march
Wexford was strongly represented in the big pro-life demonstration in Dublin on Sunday last, which was organised by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
A full coach load of Wexford and Gorey members travelled to take part and had the distinction of leading the 8,000-strong procession from Parnell Square along O'Connell Street to Leinster House, where a wreath was placed at the entrance gates.
In a short address, the President of S.P.U.C., Mr Billy Quirke, called on the politicians to fulfill their pre-election promise to amend the Constitution to protect the life of the unborn.
'We are the great silent majority,' he said, 'and before long we will take to the streets again in a bigger way than the politicians believe can happen.'
Courtown the star of new television series
Courtown Harbour finds itself in the spotlight this week.
Every year from June to September, tens of thousands of loyal, devoted and mostly Dublin visitors swell the local population.
'Harbour Nights' is a new RTE series, which over the next eight weeks will follow the fortunes of such eccentric, lovable and unforgettable characters as Mick O'Connor, the Sergeant; Alan Switzer, the publican; Daphne O'Donoghue, the holiday estate manager; and Joyce Murphy, 'the sassiest babe on the beach'.
It will begin on RTE1 on Thursday January 27, at 8 p.m.
Charlie appoints Lorcan to new job
County Wexford TD Lorcan Allen was appointed to the Fianna Fail front bench by party leader, Mr Charles J Haughey, in his opposition re-shuffle announced last week.
Mr Allen becomes one of the party's two assistant spokesmen on agriculture to 'shadow' Agriculture Minister, Mr Ray McSharry. The other assistant spokesman is Mr Tom Messy, TD, Cork.
Mr Allen was Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture from December 1979 until Fianna Fail were knocked out of power in last year's general election.