Political Archive (County Council work

County & Municipal Motions by Cllr O’Connell —Municipal Motion 13/Dec’18 [passed]— “That this Council agrees to include the village of Foulkesmill and its environs as a viable unit within the Engineer’s district boundary of New Ross; With suggested environs (subject … Continue reading

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Local Town Resident Marie Doyle to be Sole Female Municipal Councillor

Local town resident Marie Doyle, is to become both the sole female and Sinn Féin municipal councillor in New Ross, when she is co-opted on to the County Council in January. She is replacing outgoing councillor Oisín O’Connell – who has resigned for personal and family reasons. Cllr O’Connell was the proposer for Marie at a recent Sinn Féin convention within the revised boundaries. She was unanimously approved by the members.

Mr O’Connell – who officially resigned on the 21st of December – described Marie as “very compassionate, capable person, and very committed to New Ross. I’m delighted to have been able to propose her, and I know she will bring fresh energy and perspective to the district and council, on behalf of her constituents.”

Speaking recently, Marie explained her background and motivation for becoming a County Councillor:

“Raised in New Ross, I went to primary school in St. Josephs. I then completed second level in St. Mary’s secondary school, New Ross.”

“My third level education started in Kennedy College, New Ross – where i studied Early childhood care and education. I furthered my education and completed a four year degree in Waterford Institute of Technology, and recently graduated with a first-class honours degree in Applied Social Studies in Social Care (Level 8).”

“For the past two years I have been working as a social care worker with adolescents in residential care units.

Studying social issues in college really opened up my eyes to all the inequalities people face in Ireland, and also what little the current government are doing about it.”

“This motivated me to join a political party that is working to improve the current situation in Ireland. I joined Sinn Féin in 2015. During my time with Sinn Féin I attended commemorations, public meetings on various topics – and then became Chairperson for New Ross Sinn Féin. Three years later, I am honored to become a Sinn Féin councillor because I believe passionately in our party’s values of human dignity, equality and justice.”

“I am also very proud to be a woman – and feel that women are underrepresented in Wexford county council, with only 4 out of 34 councillors being women.”

“Some issues of concern for me are:

with the completion of the bypass I feel we need to work hard promoting business and employment in the New Ross area; the GP crisis in the New Ross district – some people having to wait up to 3 weeks for a GP appointment is not acceptable; I feel strongly that we need to be campaigning for 24/7  mental health service’s for New Ross to replace the current 9-to-5, 5-day service available. I also think more facilities are needed for young people in New Ross”

“I am looking forward to working with my fellow Sinn Féin councillors on issues effecting people in New Ross, and county Wexford.”

Marie Doyle Contact: mariedoyle2008@gmail.com

Photo: https://wexfordtoday.com/2018/12/10/tributes-as-cllr-oisin-oconnell-quits-council-seat/


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Important: public consultation – draft Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region

This is an important document which will provide a long-term regional level strategic planning and economic framework, in support of the implementation of the National Planning Framework, for the future physical, economic and social development for the Southern Region. It will influence our County Development Plan, Local Economic and Community Plan and many other plans, projects and funding applications.

The draft Strategy can be viewed at:


It may also be inspected at the Planning Department, Wexford County Council.

These documents are on public display from Tuesday 18th December 2018 to Friday 08th March 2019 and submissions or observations on the draft Strategy or associated environmental reports can be made between Tuesday 18th December 2018 and on or before 5.00pm on Friday 08th March 2019 via:

• Online: www.southernassembly.ie

• Email: rses@southernassembly.ie

• Mail: RSES Submissions, Southern Regional Assembly, Assembly House, O’Connell Street, Waterford X91F8PC

The draft RSES is a consultation document and The Southern Regional Assembly will consider all submissions

made in writing within the stated time period before adopting the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy.

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New Ross District cultural & entertainment roundup, this Christmas

From the always excellent “What’s happenin’ Wexford?” (please subscribe by emailing: wexlive@gmail.com )

  • New Ross has its own Festive Craft Fair at the Brandon House Hotel this Sat and Sun, 10am-5pm.
  • This St. Stephen’s Day at Hook Lighthouse is ‘Daisy Day’ … will see the hunt take place and children receiving a chocolate penny for their efforts. This is a free event.
  • Dec 14 (7pm) Newbawn Christmas Concert, Church of the Sacred Heart, Newbawn, Co Wexford. Proceeds to local senior citizens’ party.
  • Dec 15 (8pm) Frankie’s Guys – Oh What A Night: A Celebration of Frankie Valli and The Four SeasonsSt Michael’s Theatre, New Ross. Tickets €10. Tel 051 421255.
  • Dec 15 Green Road, Grantstown Church, Grantstown, Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford. In association with local day care centre. Adm €12 / €7.
  • Dec 16 (7.45pm) Christmas Panto, Rathnure Hall, Rathnure, Co Wexford.
  • Dec 17,18,19 (11am daily) Shakespeare Rocks by Steve Titford, St Michael’s Theatre, New Ross. Featuring  the 6th class boys and girls of Edmund Rice Senior School. Note: late 7pm show on Dec 19. Tel 051 421255.
  • Dec 17 (7.45pm) Christmas Panto, Rathnure Hall, Rathnure, Co Wexford.
  • Dec 18 (7.30pm) Christmas Music Night, Dunbrody Visitor Centre, New Ross, Co Wexford. Loads of special guests.
  • Dec 20 (7.30pm) Christmas Music Night, Dunbrody Visitor Centre, New Ross, Co Wexford. Loads of special guests.
  • Dec 20 Social dancing with Michelle and Tom Murphy, Tír na nÓg, Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford.
  • Dec 27-29 (7.45pm nightly) Christmas Panto, Rathnure Hall, Rathnure, Co Wexford.
  • Dec 31 Social dancing with Jimmy Barnwell, Tír na nÓg, Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford.

This just represents “what’s happenin’” around New Ross – it is an amazing regular service, by Senan O’Reilly; you should subscribe by emailing wexlive@gmail.com.

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My final ever Municipal motion passes unanimously – no hard border through Foulkesmill…

That this Council agrees to include the village of Foulkesmill and its environs as a viable unit within the Engineer’s district boundary of New Ross;

With suggested environs (subject to Engineer’s confirmation of practicality) including the road and areas  North of the road connecting: Stoneenrath Crossroads, through Hares Mead Bridge, along the R736 from Rosspile, through Longraigue Cross Roads, towards Bryanstown Bridge.

Further info: this is an attempt to undo some of the practical problems created by the best minds in Dublin –

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My county motion passed: inclusively & respectfully remembering “the Wild Geese” on 11/November

This council, recognising:

– the historical impact of the Irish who – like the Wild Geese – have fought abroad throughout the centuries, out of necessity or commitment;

– the sacrifices and traumas of both fighters and survivors of those conflicts;

– the diversity of our diaspora and national experiences;

– our significant UN peacekeeping commitments;

Will commemorate all such broader “Wild Geese” simply, inclusively, and respectfully on November 11 (“Armistice Day”/US Veterans of Foreign Wars/Remembrance Day)

My spoken statement at the Council:

“This motion is about trying to be inclusive and pluralistic. It is not about celebrating any military conflict or particular military institutions.”

“To give some personal background as motive: my Grandfather Michael O’Connell was in the 49th Reserve Regiment of New York; my Grand Aunt Annette and father’s cousin John O’Keefe were in the US Army in WWII; finally, my Godfather and Uncle Colm O’Kelly was in the RAF in Egypt after WWII.”

“I’d like it if these people could be included in a public remembrance. But I do think that unfortunately on this side of the Atlantic we get fixated on one symbol to the exclusion of all else.”

None of the people I just mentioned, for example, ever wore a poppy in their lives.

“That’s not to disparage anyone who does – I appreciate different families have different traditions, and I want to respect that.”

“But if we want to be inclusive, we should be respectful of our broader diaspora.”

“We should also be respectful towards people on this island, who might have had a very different or traumatic experience at the hands of certain military institutions. Their experience is valid too [1].”

“The reason I mentioned our UN involvement, is because after centuries of us having to emigrate, and fight in other peoples’ wars, I thought this was a fitting conclusion to the Wild Geese – a foreign military involvement we could all be proud of.”

“Thank you for your consideration if this motion.”

Further information:

[1] We should certainly consider the experiences of those who suffered awfully at the wrong end of British arms – for example, victims and survivors of the Ballymurphy Massacre:

Truth of the Para’s Ballymurphy massacre is finally being told – Irish Central

In a broader context, it’s worth remembering, that the same British state (Empire) being fought against in the IRA’s Operation Harvest, was the one that was torturing Barack Obama’s grandfather in Kenya – about five years prior:

Revealed: Britain’s torture of Obama’s grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama, a British soldier in the second world war, was locked up as a Mau Mau rebel in Kenya – The Guardian.

Note also – this council motion follows on from a Wexford motion adopted at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis 2014, that I was involved with drafting:

SF Ard Fheis motion 176 of 2014 (passed):

Generations of Irish have fled historical, social and economic tribulations at home by following the flight path of ‘The Wild Geese’ abroad. This has often been at great personal and family sacrifice, collectively showing great physical bravery, all-too-human vulnerability, and sometimes remarkable moral courage, from the Irish Brigades of Continental Europe to the San Patricio Brigade of Mexico, from the US Civil War to the Spanish Civil War, in wars of personal commitment, of international political catastrophes that devoured entire generations of the young, and in modern missions of mercy with the United Nations.

In acknowledgement of this, this Ard Fheis believes that Ireland as a whole – from this island to its global diaspora – should create its own inclusive symbols to commemorate this and remember such a legacy that are not merely derivative of another nation’s officially crafted attitude to one particular war.


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My County motion passed: archiving of substantial policy documents by @wexlibraries

In the interests of transparency and accountability: [ammended: “substantial”] policy documents adopted by Elected Members of this Council, will be archived online permanently – in an accessible manner for the public.

As I understand that Wexford County Archive (run by the Library service) does something similar, I asked for them to do it – qualifying the request with “substantial” (e.g. documents bound with own covers) and leaving it to their discretion to interpret.

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I am resigning from @WexfordCoCo — @wexford2day @southeastradio @slaney_news @lgiuireland @newrossstandard

(My statement at end of meeting today)

Today is my last County meeting as Councillor.

Over the last year, I’ve been increasingly aware of the three areas needing focus in my life: family, personal projects and work, and politics.

Regarding family: when I first became publicly involved in politics in 2013, my eldest son Kierán was a baby. When electioneering in 2014, we had our baby Erin. In the 2016 Centenary, we had our youngest, Breandán.

My very supportive wife, Karla, and I both have projects and dreams to work on, as well as my farm to look after.

This is in addition to my councillor work.

In order to be proud of my commitments in any of these areas, I have realised that I need to choose two of the three to focus on.

As a consequence I will be resigning from the Council before Christmas.

One major concern about this decision is whether we could get a suitable person to replace me.

I’m delighted that last Friday, in a Sinn Féin selection convention, I was able to propose someone that I know is dedicated, capable, committed and a fully involved member of the New Ross community: Marie Doyle – who is in the Public Gallery with my parents today.

I want to thank my parents, without who I literally wouldn’t be here – in every sense. They have been my North Star in guiding me throughout life – no matter how flawed my sense of direction has been in practice.

I want to thank my siblings – just for putting up with me, and their support.

My wife, Karla, and my children: Kierán, Erin, and Breandán, who are my sun around which everything revolves.

I want to thank my fellow councillors – I have learned a lot from you, and to respect your own commitments.

In particular: Councillors Johnny Mythen, Mick Roche, Fionntán Ó Suilleabhán, Tom Forde, and Anthony Kelly; who have been a band of brothers – and now, brothers and sister.

Finally, to all the officials and workers of Wexford County Counci that I’ve interacted with: sometimes I’m sure I’ve been like a really annoying squeaky wheel – but I sincerely appreciate your efforts on behalf of my constituents, and the difficulties of the frameworks you have to operate within.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh, agus Nollaig Shóna.


More info & photo with Marie Doyle: Wexford Today – Tributes as Cllr Oisin O’Connell quits Council seat

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The Rose-Rock story: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy vs Pink Rock names for New Ross N25 Bypass bridge, explained

A timeline and summary of the New Ross N25 Bypass bridge, public discussion of names, and naming process.

  1. (1993, 1994) 2018:

    Mammoth River Barrow Bridge Will Be Made Up of 27,000m3 of Kilmacow Concrete – Afloat.ie: …the Killkenny People writes the scheme is 26 years in the making – from its humble beginnings in Kilkenny and Wexford County Development Plans in 1993 and 1994 for an additional river crossing around New Ross.

  2. (1997) 2018: New Barrow Bridge ‘will be a tourist attraction’ – New Ross Standard: Former Senior Executive Engineer for the New Ross Area, George Walsh said the idea for the bridge arose after a ship ran into O’Hanrahan Bridge in 1997. He said NRA officials visited the town and a lengthy diversion made people realise that a new bridge was needed.
  3. 2006:

    New bridge for New Ross will be longest in Ireland – Wexford People

  4. July 2014:

    Pink Rock bridge may be named after Kennedys – New Ross Standard

  5. January 2016:Work on €230m New Ross bypass due to begin in March – Irish Times
  6. July 2016:Bridge will be named after JFK’s mother – New Ross Standard: …the Fitzgerald name goes back to the founding of New Ross and the Fitzgeralds were among the first of the Norman knights to receive lands in Wexford. ‘The Fitzgeralds landed in Bannow Bay and the Kennedy family sailed from New Ross. The new bridge links all these strands, bringing in the Dunbrody famine ship, the marriage of Aoife and Strongbow at which a Fitzgerald banner was flown and the Emigrant Flame, which was brought from John F Kennedy’s graveside in Arlington Cemetery, representing Irish emigration.’ […] Mr Hore’s proposal was debated at length at the meeting and was unanimously supported. […] Cllr Michael Sheehan said Waterford and Kilkenny local authorities should be contacted about the name. Mr Hore said as the bypass is located in County Wexford, New Ross Municipal District can name the bridge, adding that he would be in contact with management at both councils.
  7. September 2016Wexford Cllrs to consider other names for New Ross bridge – KCLR FM
  8. September 2016: Committee set up to decide on naming of New Ross by-pass bridge – KCLR FM
  9. May 2017:

    Public to have a say in bridge’s name – New Ross Standard

  10. May 2018:Barrow Bridge Name is Back on the Agenda – Munster Express: At April’s Municipal District meeting, Kilkenny County Council Director of Services Sean McKeown said that, as the lead local authority on the Bypass, Wexford County Council is set to have the ultimate say on the naming of the new bridge. […]
    It’s also worth recalling that in 2016, New Ross Municipal District Councillors unanimously agreed that the bridge should be named in honour of Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald, mother of President John F Kennedy (the bridge makes landfall in Wexford a short distance from the Kennedy ancestral homestead in Dunganstown). […] “Given the scale and importance of the bridge, both from a major infrastructural development point of view, and its socio-economic potential for New Ross and the entire South East region, a relevant and fitting name should be conferred on the Bridge.” The provisional closing date for public submissions is 5pm on Friday, July 6th
  11. May 2018: WOW: Kilkenny to New Ross Bridge will be the longest in Ireland – and Public have chance to suggest names – Kilkenny People
  12. May 2018Public to have a say on name of new bridge; Submission date beckons for name for new Barrow bridge, with councillors to decide – New Ross Standard
  13. May 2018Bridgey McBridgeface? Public asked to submit names for Ireland’s longest (and tallest) bridge – Irish Independent: Kilkenny Councillor Fidelis Doherty told the New Ross Standard about the submission process: “There will be some questions asked where you suggest your proposed name, explain why you think it’s a fitting name for the bridge. What relevance or connection this has to the area? What’s the benefit to the area of this name? And finally, what effect, if any, will this name have on tourism, employment or the socio-economic development of the area?” […]The submission forms will be made available in late May or early June and completed submission forms should be addressed N25 New Ross Bypass Bridge Naming Submission, c/o Wexford County Council, New Ross Municipal District, The Tholsel, New Ross or c/o Kilkenny County Council, Piltown Municipal District, Ferrybank Area Office, Ferrybank, Co. Kilkenny.Submission forms can also be posted or delivered to any Wexford County Council or Kilkenny County Council Office.And the form can also be submitted by email to bridge@wexfordcoco.ie or bridge@kilkennycoco.ie.
  14. 2018:

    Naming of Bridge on N25 New Ross Bypass – Wexford County Council:

    We are undergoing a Public consultation Process for submissions for the Naming of the Bridge on N25 New Ross Bypass. You can submit your suggestion by completing our online form or downloading the Naming of the Bridge Submission Form and submitting to us by email / post. Closing date for receipt of completed submissions 5.00pm Friday 13th July 2018

  15. 2018: Naming of New Ross Bypass Bridge Submission Form – Wexford County Council
  16. June 2018:

    Consultations: Naming of the New Bridge on N25 New Ross Bypass – Kilkenny County Council via Gov.ie

  17. September 2018:

    Finding a name for new Barrow bridge? – Wexford Today: Taking into account tourism promotion, this unique part of Co. Wexford has already established the Kennedy brand as a world leader and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy would keep alive the traditional ‘Irish mother’ legacy associated with the famine which was the precursor to the Kennedy’s becoming one of the most famous families in United States history.

  18. September 2018:

    Vote Will See Iconic Bridge Named after Rose Kennedy – New Ross Standard: New Ross and Piltown councillors will meet together on October 3 at the Rhu Gleen Hotel in Slieverue, where the name will be voted on for a final time. If all 14 councillors from New Ross and Piltown vote as per last week, the iconic bridge will officially be named the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, ending a two-year saga over what to call the impressive structure.

  19. September 2018: The longest bridge in Ireland will be named after Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy – Kilkenny People:

    There was a public consultation period earlier this year both in Kilkenny and Wexford and a decision was made in the two electoral areas on a proposed name.

    Members of the Piltown Municipal District put forward the proposed name of the Pink Rock Bridge while their counterparts in New Ross suggested the name the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge.

    A vote was taken this afternoon at the Rhu Glen Hotel in Slieverue with eight councillors voting in favour of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge and six in favour of the Pink Rock Bridge. 

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Newsletter: #LiadhForPresident, @JPPhenan’s Puckoon, PO closure, Media round-up, waste by-laws, #TreesForWexford

  • Liadh Ní Riada is a true friend of Wexford” Cllr Johnny Mythen – WexfordToday.com  (see photos of Liadh in Co. Wexford here)
  • “I thought I’d woken up in a Spike Milligan novel”: in Foulkesmill village, Minister John Paul Phelan’s boundary commission fails to understand that Puckoon was a satire…
  • Foulkesmill Post Office, official date of closure: Sat 3/November. All payments cease from 31/October. I spoke and voted in favour of latest County Council motion urging change of course on this policy.
  • Some of my latest council contributions covered in the New Ross Standard: we need better municipal online presence, bridge naming, riverside walk, knotweed problems & solutions.
  • Voluntary Community Groups, Resident assocs., Schools: Apply for your Trees For Wexford before 19/Oct https://www.wexfordcoco.ie/environment/biodiversity-community-and-schools/community-and-schools/environment-grants/trees-for
  • Please look at – and write the council on – the proposed draft council by-laws on waste. We know there is a problem – but arguably there should be a greater public option for disposal; I am concerned that people will be asked to document & prove they are innocent, without leeway for using non-ticketed recycling banks, for example. It seems a bit Orwellian. https://www.wexfordcoco.ie/waste-and-recyling (I’ve asked them to fix the link!)
  • Do you or someone you know, have problems with debt? Please take a look at this. The legislation they operate under may not be perfect, but, for example “in over 90% of Personal Insolvency Arrangement cases, debtors have been able to stay in their homes”; they can help with other debts too. Just get some info. Info: 076-106-4200 Freetxt GETHELP – 50015 for an appointment call-back. www.backontrack.ie
  • Interested in learning Gaeilge/Irish? Here are 2 courses I know of:
  • Finally: I was heartened to hear thanks given by 4 people from the podium to Patricia Harty and Irish America magazine, at the relaunch of the Irish America Hall of Fame at the Dunbrody Emigrant Centre. It’s too easy to talk about the diaspora without delivering something concrete – and she’s an amazing person who delivers.Thanks to the chairmen and directors of the Dunbrody, Kennedy Centreand everyone who make it a success.(PS in the interest of full disclosure: that’s my Da, honoree also, beside Brendan Grace…)
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