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Friday 20 September 2019

Publican Eddie welcomes return of bullring fountain

The drinking fountain on the wall in a photograph from 1896.
The drinking fountain on the wall in a photograph from 1896.

Maria Pepper

Wexford publican Eddie Macken has welcomed the news that an historic drinking water fountain is to be returned to the Bullring, 60 years after it was taken away by the Council for repairs.

'I'm delighted to see it coming back to the Bullring. I've often enquired about it over the years', said Eddie whose licensed premises has a framed photograph on the wall from 1896 which shows the fountain in situ.

The photograph which is more than 120 years old, was sourced by Eddie's late father Con Macken who opened the well-known Bullring pub 77 years ago in 1942.

The black and white picture shows a retail premises called Richards where Ryan's opticians is now with Sloans store across from it located beside a roadway going to Cornmarket, which was so narrow it was called 'the gut'. The fountain is erected on what appears to be the old Bullring market building with a number of women sitting on the ground outside, selling their wares.

A donkey tied to a cart is munching on hay while two children look on.

Eddie said the building with the arches later became Traynors Hardware before it moved to its current premises in John Street.

'I asked about the fountain years ago and I was told it was in the Council yard. I'm delighted that it is finally being re-instated', he said.

The local authority decided to restore and replace the public water fountain after Cllr. Tom Forde of Sinn Fein asked for its return at a Council meeting, to encourage people to refill containers and reduce plastic waste.

Wexford People

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