Wednesday 16 October 2019

From our archives

Loftus Hall at the Hook
Loftus Hall at the Hook

Plan for Loftus Hall may be in jeopardy

April 1976

Plans to use Loftus Hall, near Fethard-on-Sea, as a residential school for Spina Bifida children are in jeopardy because of a refusal by the Department of Education to provide weekend transport to and from the Hall.

The County Medical Officer, Dr B. Finnucane, who is a member of the Wexford Branch of the Spina Bifida Association, said on Tuesday that the Department was not against the proposals, but they wouldn't face another transport bill at present.

Mrs F. French, Secretary of the Co. Wexford Branch, explained that they would only require the transport on Friday evenings and Monday mornings. The school would probably be serving an area of about fifty miles radius.

A lot of the children are incontinent, she said, and some of them are badly physically handicapped and can't be sent to National School. Doing so would be very embarrassing for them, particularly as they got older.

Mrs French said the school would be staffed by the members of the Rosminian Order, currently based at Lotus Hall. They would probably start with less than twenty children, until the service became properly organised.

A sub-committee from the branches in Counties Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford has been set up to look into the matter.

There are approximately twenty-five Spina Bifida children represented in the Co. Wexford branch, and it is estimated that there would be roughly the same number in Kilkenny and Waterford.

Dr Finnucane said that Spina Bifida children have normal intelligence, but many of them are very badly physically handicapped. A school where they could avail of educational opportunities while still being close to a home environment was, he felt, the best solution to the problem.

Incinerator rejected - bin charges to soar

April 2000

Soaring wheelie bin charges are on the way following the rejection by Wexford County Councillors of a plan for a municipal waste incinerator.

The other unpalatable truth in the wake of the decision is that a search for a large landfill site to replace the decrepit Killurin tip is now under way, with some councillors another area has already been earmarked.

While neither the rise in charges nor the selection of a new tip site will happen overnight, the decision essentially means that waste disposal costs will soar, principally because the county is going it alone rather than taking part in a regional strategy.

'I've been saying for quite some time that the cost is going to be prohibitive…£200 a year for wheelie bins is not beyond the bounds of possibility,' said Cllr Padge Reck.

That figure was described as 'bunkum' by Cllr. Lorcan Allen, the only councillor not to vote against the incinerator. Wheelie bin charges would rocket far above that, he predicted.

'It's going to cost £400, or £500…it's going to be prohibitive, and by voting against government policy, there's no point in going to the Department of the Environment and asking for money. They'll tell us to shag off,' he said.

He accused his fellow councillors of being ostriches 'with their heads stuck in the sand' and playing politics rather than examining the issues.

'Car exhausts give off more dioxins than a modern incinerator,' he said.

Crazed cow runs amok in Wexford

April 1996

Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. In a Wexford variation on that theme last week, a heifer cleared a seven-foot wall and jumped through the kitchen window of a house.

The bizarre incident which left the occupant terrified happened at John Street last Thursday as the animal was being brought to slaughter at an abbatoir operated by Furlongs.

The householder was preparing to make tarts in her kitchen when the twelve-hundredweight heifer came crashing through the window over the kitchen sink and onto the floor.

It butted her in the back and she stumbled before making a hasty exit out the door, uninjured but suffering from extreme fright.

The animal, which was owned by Pettitt's, had gone berserk and escaped from her handlers when she smelled blood from the slaughter house.

She fled down the John Street laneway beside the unfortunate householder's home and jumped over the seven-foot wall around the garden, chased by a group of men.

Incredibly, the animal then jumped through the glass of the kitchen window, which is at sink height, and landed on the floor, injured and bleeding, before then running amok around the kitchen.

The drama continued as the distressed animal jumped back out through the window into the garden, where Furlongs and Pettitts employees managed to calm her down after brining three other heifers to the scene.

Clint's new gun will have a touch of glass

April 1988

When movie megastar Clint Eastwood completes his term as Mayor of Carmel, California, he will receive a presentation of a Magnum revolver - and that will thrill Fred Curtis of Wellingtonbridge.

Because the replica of the .44 Magnum toted with such menace by macho Eastwood in the 'Dirty Harry' detective movies is made of Waterford Glass, and it was made by Fred Curtis.

Says the 33-year-old who commutes from Wellingtonbridge each day: 'it was a great thrill for me to make this piece of sculpture because Clint Eastwood is my hero and I've seen all his movies'.

The Magnum revolver that was actually used in the 'Dirty Harry' movies is now a showpiece in a California department store, so a replica was sent over to Waterford to help Fred produce the special sculpture.

Fred is the new head of Sculpture and Design in the Waterford Glass flagship of Irish quality exports, and only the second person to hold that title.

He joined the crystal glass company at sixteen and spent fifteen years as a cutter, learing the skills of the cutting the various Waterford Crystal suites.

Three years ago he became part of a special group under master sculptor Miroslov Havel, and when he retired, Fred was named as successor.

High hopes of local radio for Wexford

April 1987

Wexford's Community Services Council may sponsor a number of people on a national training course to prepare them for the possibility of local radio.

The suggestion came from the Council Chairman Sean Kinsella at the recent AGM, where high hopes were expressed that County Wexford may soon have a local radio station.

'Community Radio will soon be legalised and I feel confident that Wexford will get a licence. The Bill which the Government is now bringing before the Dail is very welcome,' said Mr Kinsella.

But he said he hoped the voluntary sector as well as other interest groups would be offered the chance of participating in the running of the station.

Recommending that the Council sponsor people on one of the training courses run by the NSSB, entitled 'The Effective and Confident Use of Radio', he said Community Radio will offer a new challenge to the Council and one had to ask if members were prepared for it.

Died at age of 107

April 1975

The late Mr Marshall Scott, formerly of 15 Monck Street, Wexford, who died earlier this month in the County Medical Hospital at Brownswood, Enniscorthy, was one of the oldest, if not the very oldest, man in the country. His age was given in official death notices as 107 years.

The late Mr Scott, who was a great old character, came to Wexford from the North of Ireland around 1936.

Wexford People

Most Read