Sunday 17 December 2017

Regatta may make return to town harbour

THE GLORIOUS days of regatta racing in Wexford Harbour may soon be revived with plans afoot for a new maritime festival in the town.

Wexford Borough Council heard a call on Monday night from Cllr. Fergie Kehoe (FF) to amalgamate the annual Seafarers' Mass and Barry Day into with a harbour festival.

'We have been looking for a festival to promote Wexford as a tourist attraction. It would be great to see the old traditional regatta back in Wexford', said Cllr Kehoe.

Cllr. Philomena Roche (FG) said it was a very good motion, echoing the traditions of our town. 'We all remember the crowds that used to turn out for Barry Day and for the regatta'.

Cllr. Padge Reck (Ind) told the meeting that the Wexford Friends of the Tall Ships of which he is chairman, is in the process of organising a maritime festival but he did not think that Barry Day would be available as a date.

'It won't be easy to get all the different elements together but there is a willingness on our part to do it', said Cllr. Reck, adding that there is finance available through Interreg.

Cllr. Paddy Nolan who has been involved in local regattas for years, said the most important consideration was the proper tide.

'I fully support the motion. The regatta should never have been allowed to leave the quay'.

However, he warned that before anyone started talking about racing or speed boating in Wexford, they should contact the Environment Minister, John Gormley who didn't want any activity in the harbour because it would 'wake up the birds'.

Cllr. Danny Forde (Green Party) said any maritime festival should incorporate a commemoration of Robert McClure who discovered the North West Passage and navigated the Americas.

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