Friday 17 November 2017

From our archives

Teachers get £7,000 to move half a mile

April 1984

An attempt to block the payment of disturbance money to teachers who moved just half a mile from an old school to a new one failed at a meeting of Co. Wexford Vocational Education Committee on Monday.

Seven members objected to paying £265 each to teachers who moved that distance from the old vocational school in New Ross to the new one. The total amount involved topped £7,000.

They claimed it was 'ridiculous' to pay 'disturbance' money to teachers to move such a short way into a new school where facilities have all improved, particularly at a time of such cutbacks elsewhere in the education system.

However, nine members voted to pay the money to the teachers involved, and the Department circular authorising the payment was pssed.

Proposing they reject the move, Mr Sean O'Gorman said this would be a big waste of taxpayers' money.

'We wanted just £1,500 for new sports facilities in Kilmuckridge, and we could not get it. Now we are being asked to approve this. It is just not on,' he said.

Seconding the call to reject the payment, Cllr. Frances Ryan said she was totally against the principle involved, and was afraid that paying the money would set a precedent if such a situation were to occur again.

Mr Hugh Byrne TD said he didn't see it as a great inconvenience or 'disturbance' for teachers to be asked to work from a much better school premises. He was totally against the payment and thought the government was being taken as 'a soft touch' by the teachers' unions.

Cllr Morgan Dunne asked could the teachers supply actual details of what 'hardships' or 'disturbance' the move brought, while Cllr John Hosey said it was 'absolutely ludicrous' to pay them money to move such a short way.

Cllr John Roche appealed to members however to not start a confrontation with the Teachers Union of Ireland. He pointed out there have been several strikes in the education sector in recent times, and was fearful of another one.

He proposed that the money be paid, and his proposal was passed by nine votes to seven. Voting against were Hugh Byrne, John Hosey, John Murphy, Frances Ryan, Eddie Bennett, Morgan Dunne, and Sean O'Gorman.

County museum is now open again

April 1994

'People keep saying to me that we seem to have a lot of new stuff,' comments Fintan Murphy at the re-opened County Wexford Museum in Enniscorthy Castle. 'I tell them what we actually have is old stuff, in different places.'

The Castle, which attracted over 14,000 visitors last year, hopes to now do even better this Summer after a major Spring Clean.

The combination of contractors and a three-strong SES scheme really gave the whole place a thorough going over.

All thirteen rooms open to the public in the 12th century Norman building were attended to in the overhaul. It was the first time that the premises had received such treatment since sometime around 1970.

Tragically, the work was not completed until after the sudden passing of one of the main forces behind the opening of the Museum, Cllr. Sean Sheahan.

However, before his death, Sean oversaw most of the work which included plumbing, plasterwork, and painting, as well as attending to the exhibits themselves.

The Museum is now re-opened after the winter break for afternoon business, even though there are many small tasks still to be done. The big tidy-up has been possible despite the lack of State finance for this unique store of Wexford heritage.

Last year, it drew school parties from Waterford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Kildare, Offaly, Laois, Carlow and Dublin in addition to local students. And the Museum has also always been a consistent favourite with foreign tourists, who have come from as far away as China.

'The collection here is wide ranging,' comments Fintan Murphy. 'As Dana might say, we have all kinds of everything.'

Controversy over lecture on AIDS

April 1987

Some parents of students at Wexford Vocational Students have said they are unhappy with plans by the school to host a lecture to educate students there on the dangers of AIDS.

The mother of one Fifth Year student contacted this newspaper to register her concern, saying she felt that talking about the issues involved 'would send out the wrong message to young people'.

'I expect they will be talking about condoms, about having sex with more than one partner outside of marriage, and probably even about homosexual sex too,' she said. 'This will make the students believe that such things are normal, and should be accepted. I do not think that is right. The students are only children, after all,' she maintained.

The woman, who did not wish to be named in the newspaper, said she knows that 'several' other parents of students at the school feel the same way as she does.

However, she had not contacted the school to register her concerns herself, and was unaware if any other parent had done so either.

Her concerns came in the same week as the Town of Wexford Vocational Committee heard of the plans for the lecture, at their monthly meeting.

CEO, Terry McDermott, said the Department of Education has requested that all students be informed of this vital issue before leaving the second level cycle.

He added however that those who do not wish their children to attend the lecture can opt out, and other arrangements will be made for them at the time the lecture is taking place.

Labour councillor Helen Corish said at the meeting that she felt there should be a lot more information about AIDS broadcast by RTE too.

The adverts currently being shown should be shown more often, and they should be shown during programmes like 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' too.

These programmes were 'constantly' portraying immoral conduct, and if people were to be tempted into following these examples, they should at least be informed of the dangers involved, she said.

Cyril Farrell joins hurling set-up

April 1992

The Wexford senior hurling selectors have taken a dramatic step in the bid for championship glory by securing the services of noted Galwayman, Cyril Farrell, in a coaching capacity for the rest of the year.

The surprise news was revealed to the public in a national newspaper article on Wednesday last, and Martin Quigley confirmed on Monday that Farrell will be travelling down to Wexford on a regular basis to assist in team preparation.

'Cyril is willing to drive down as often as we need him to lend a hand, and we are delighted to have the services of such a high-profile coach,' he said. 'The coaching duties were looked after by Br. O'Grady two years ago, and Mick Kinsella last season, and we have introduced Cyril in a continuation of this approach,' he added.

'Obviously we are looking for a big improvement from the team, and hopefully Cyril's great track record and experience at the highest level will have the desired effect.

Farrell guided Galway out of the wilderness to All-Ireland glory in 1980, and he repeated the feat in 1987 and 1988. He will meet the Wexford the Wexford panel for the first time on Friday and Saturday, when two intensive sessions are planned for Hollymount.

While local GAA followers have expressed general satisfaction at Farrell's surprise inclusion in the backroom team, there is some disquiet at the financial implications of the move.

Naturally, the Westerner cannot be expected to travel from Galway three times a week without expenses, and this is likely to put further pressure on the purse strings as the Co. Board attempts to clear its £66,000 debt.

From the adverts

April 1995

There's nothing new about shopping around for car insurance, and an advert placed 22 years ago this week by a Wexford brokerage announced rates of 'from £357' for third party insurance for a 45-year-old office clerk driving a five-year-old Fiesta. Allowing for inflation and the euro changeover, that's almost €700 today. It seems insurance was never cheap!

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