Friday 20 September 2019

From our archives

£1.3m to help keep museum doors open

August 2001

The Government has come up with £1.3 million to rescue Enniscorthy's landmark Norman castle from the looming threat of permanent closure.

The money was formally announced by Arts and Heritage Minister Síle de Valera on Tuesday, to the relief of those involved in the running of the museum in the building. Now they are planning a joyful celebration of the castle's 800th anniversary in 2005.

'This is brilliant news. If that money did not come through, then we would have to close,' confirmed museum chairman, Sean O Cearnaigh. 'When we have spent the money, the castle will look different, better in every way.'

He warned that the renovations will mean shutting for a few weeks.

The money has been granted under the ACCESS scheme under which the Minister had a total of £36 million for the country. She was persuaded that Enniscorthy Castle should be a priority after representations from the National Heritage Council, and after she paid it a visit herself last year.

'This is much better than we expected,' admitted museum curator, David Carberry, after news of the grant came through. He promised that the money will mean an end to the modern window frames on the ancient castle facade, that have drawn the fire of critics.

He noted that the people of Enniscorthy and district will be expected to raise some money towards the restoration costs too.

The work is due to be completed by end of 2004.

Car clamping on the way to Wexford?

August 1993

Leave your car in the Peter Street car park in Wexford for 31 minutes at your peril. Local business owners have gotten so fed up of the private parking spaces being taken up all day that they have taken the drastic measure of threatening to clamp the cars of those who break their half-hour rule.

Clamps are unheard of in Wexford to date, since only Gardai are entitled to use them in public places, and they have so far chosen to stick to issuing fines in order to enforce parking bye-laws.

But now the businessmen have taken the step of declaring, on a recently-erected sign, that they will bring on the clamps. But do they really have the power and intent to do so? No car has been clamped so far, but one of the businessmen involved this week said there would be 'no problem whatsoever' in doing so. Parkers beware.

Epidemic of glue sniffing by teens

August 1983

The problem of glue sniffing is reaching epidemic proportions in Wexford town, where groups of young people gather at night in disused buildings and fields to inhale the gaseous fumes and get 'high'.

Looking half-crazed with eye red-rimmed and bulging, they sniff the glue from plastic bags for the dizzy effect it brings. Polish and paint-thinning liquids are also being used, but glue - which is easily available from hardware stores and supermarkets - is the most common material.

Some of the favourite haunts where young people from about 12 to 18 years of age hide away to engage in the ugly habit are Harvey's Field beside the County Clinic, a derelict malt store at the north end of town, the area behind the CBS school, Ferrybank, and even Crosstown Cemetery.

As the problem becomes widespread in the town, one young teenager said: 'Everyone is doing it, fellas and girls, and there's no problem getting glue in the shops.'

It is known that Wexford Gardai have approached shopkeepers in the town, asking them to be careful about selling tins of glue to teenagers, but the problem for traders is a difficult one. A seventeen-year-old who goes into a shop may genuinely want glue for a normal use.

Also, young glue sniffers are committing no offence in law, so the only protection that can be offered is for the shopkeepers to exercise greater vigilance when it comes to sniffing glue.

Sale of the century at St. Peter's College

August 2000

It was the sale of the century.

St. Peter's College was invaded on Thursday afternoon by magpie-type collectors, hoping for a bargain, as the household contents of the seminary, priests house, and kitchens went up for auction.

It was a literally a case of selling off the silverware, as auctioneer Ray Corish put everything from antique spoons to gilt-edged dinner services under the gavel. There was even a picture of the Pope up for grabs.

Other items up for sale ranged from old school desks, to single beds from the dorms, saucepans and sieves from the refectory kitchens, Victorian chaise lounges, cast iron fireplaces, candlesticks, and even an antique Singer sewing machine.

There were teapots, crockery, a Victorian music cabinet, sherry glasses, billiard tables, and even an upright piano.

People travelled from far and wide for the event, with many of the cars parked outside carrying Dublin and British registrations.

There were many antique dealers present, driving up the bidding for much-desired silverware, and leaving the less attractive kitchenware items to be picked up for a couple of pounds by curious local bidders.

Fr Willie Howell buzzed around the auction, assisting Ray Corish, and showing off the goods in the manner of a hostess on a game show.

Among the items that attracted huge interest was a magnificent dinner service which earned £1,650 while a large dining table also fetched an impressive £1,600.

According to auctioneer Ray Corish, the day was 'hugely successful', with both the vendors and buyers ending up happy.

'There were a few bargains to be had there, and that is the way auctions go. Everyone was very happy,' he said.

Get set for Saddam Hussein theme night

August 1991

Once upon a time, discos had a DJ with a box of scratched 45s and a few coloured lights. Then came strobes, video screens, lasers, CDs, quadrophonic sound, floor lighting, and what have you.

And lately, we've seen the ultimate in nightclub entertainment - 'theme nights' - taken to extreme at Curracloe's Strand Hotel, where in the past, elephants and snakes have thumped and slithered their way into the memories of nightclubbers.

This coming Friday, the Strand is at it again with - as they would say - the mother of all theme nights.

In a weird kind of first anniversary commemoration of the day Iraqi troops occupied Kuwait, the Strand is hosting a 'Saddam Hussein Theme Night', starting at 10 p.m. at the new hotel nightclub.

Keen to make it as authentic as possible, they've stopped just short of importing a SCUD missile for the evening. Instead, they've settled for some real live camels and llamas, as well as belly dancers, barbecued foods, and maybe a few fireworks.

Wonder if they'll play 'Sheik, Rattle and Roll'?

Inept burglar ended up with 30 stitches

August 1995

An inept young burglar made such a bad attempt of robbing an Enniscorthy shop on Sunday night that he ended up in both the local barracks and Wexford Hospital.

The young man smashed the glass door of Bourke Roche's on Castle Street at approx 12.30 a.m. and grabbed £750 of clothes.

However, he cut his hand so badly on the glass that he bled all over the loot and he was still bleeding when Gardai picked him up a short time later.

They brought him to Wexford Hospital, where he had 30 stitches inserted in his wounds, and then brought him back to the Garda Station to be processed.

A file has been sent to the DPP.

Wexford People

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