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Waterford Digital Story Trail shortlisted in two categories of .ie Digital Town Awards

A digital story trail featuring augmented reality which offers tourists an engaging way to discover Waterford’s rich and fascinating history via their smartphone has been shortlisted in the Digital Tourism and Digital Changemaker categories of the .ie Digital Town Awards 2024.

The .ie Digital Town Awards recognise and reward projects with a digital element created by town groups, individuals and local communities.

In February of last year, Waterford City and County Council in partnership with Imvizar, and with Fáilte Ireland funding under the Destination Towns Initiative, launched Waterford’s first Digital Story Trail (DST), which explores the history, culture, and heritage of 15 different locations across the city centre, including Reginald’s Tower, Waterford Crystal, the Watchtower and Arundel Square.

Through the use of augmented reality smartphone technology, visitors and locals can experience Waterford’s past by watching digital animations of characters and architecture appear as if they are in the physical world right in front of them. The trail can be accessed for free by scanning one of the numerous QR codes on signs located throughout the city trail or by visiting www.visitwaterford.com/digitalstorytrail/

This innovative experience seamlessly combines audio, augmented reality, and a simple-to-use web interface which allows visitors to interact with Waterford City’s rich past. Using a mobile device, visitors are transported to 15 key locations where they can listen to tales from historical figures and witness AR recreations of pivotal moments.

In addition to meeting life-like characters from Waterford’s past, scanning the QR code also provides an audio tale from an historical figure, coupled with interesting facts and a timeline of events. Spanning over a thousand years of Waterford’s history, tourists can listen as Reginald, a Viking King and warlord from the 10th century, as he describes his quest to launch raids all over Ireland and watch as Thomas Francis Meagher, Leader of the Young Irelanders in the 1848 Rebellion, raises the first Irish tricolour.

Waterford’s history of master craft making is also recognised.  Rachel Penrose, the wife of one of the founders of Waterford Crystal, William Penrose, appears in a recreation of an 18th century glass-blowing scene. Trail users can also meet Anastasia Fleming, a silversmith from the late 1700s, and see a reimagined façade of her silversmith shop.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway commended the initiative saying it truly brings Waterford’s history to life in a fun, engaging and fascinating way.  “With over 1,000 years of history to explore the Digital Story Trail takes the user on an intriguing journey, in which they can meet the characters that shaped Ireland’s Oldest City.”

Orna Holohan, Tourism Officer with Waterford City and County Council said, “The Waterford Digital Story Trail was identified as an ideal way to introduce visitors to the varied stories and characters of Waterford. It provides visitors with free entertainment at any time of the day, taking about one and a half hours to complete.  Users can stop and start at any point, and it purposefully leads people past attractions, shops and café’s to encourage people to dwell longer in the destination.”

The DST has exceeded expectations attracting over 25,000 visitors and boosting the city’s tourism, particularly from international guests. In its first year 75% of users were from Ireland but through promotion international users increased to 43% in 2023 with US, UK, Germany, France and Spain being the top users. Beyond enhancing tourism, the trail has deepened the community’s connection to its heritage, making history more accessible and engaging through innovative technology.

The project’s success has not gone unnoticed. It was featured in the New York Times “52 places to go” list in 2024 and praised on RTE’s Nationwide for its exemplary approach to digital heritage storytelling.

This year’s shortlisted finalists cover the full spectrum of idea development and readiness, with the gala awards ceremony taking place in Athlone on May 24th.

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Image – Free to use Patrick Browne

Anastasia Fleming, an 18th Century silversmith, and Odin Lord of Valhalla with then Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary the launch of the Waterford Digital Story Trail in February 2023.

Gilbert O’Sullivan granted Freedom of Waterford City and County

Gilbert O’Sullivan was made a Freeman of Waterford City and County at a ceremony in City Hall on Wednesday, March 27th.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway bestowed the honour on the Waterford born singer-songwriter whose career has spanned over five decades.

Cllr. Lola O’Sullivan formally proposed that the Freedom be conferred on Gilbert O’Sullivan, and the motion was seconded by Cllr. Joe Kelly.

Born on December 1st, 1946, on the Cork Road in the city, Gilbert’s family relocated to Wiltshire, and it was here that his musical journey began, playing the piano and honing his craft not through formal lessons, but playing by ear.

Gilbert’s first single Nothing Rhymed was released in 1970, an overnight success featuring in the Top 10 music charts across the UK and Europe.  His 1971 debut album Himself was littered with the most perfect examples of his art and craftsmanship. His second, 1972’s Back to Front, firmly cemented Gilbert amongst the world’s best, with Top 10 singles and No. 1’s around the world, including the classic Alone Again (Naturally) which topped the US charts for six weeks and earned him three Grammy nominations.

British recognition soon followed with the songs Clair and Get Down reaching the summit of the UK singles charts and his LP Back to Front topping the album charts.  In the same year at the 18th Ivor Novello Awards, Gilbert was named ‘Song Writer of the Year’.

Mayor Conway said “It is with great honour and pride that I, as the Mayor of Waterford City and County, extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to Gilbert O’Sullivan – a signal composer and performer from Waterford roots who has made an indelible mark on the world of modern music.

“Personally, as a fan of his work for a half-century now, I regularly enjoy his Berry Vest compilation as I drive the miles here and there – my personal favourite being the very sparse and captivating Miss my love today, but I also have a naughty chuckle still at Permissive Twit.

Mayor Conway added, “I could go on, detailing the milestones and accolades that Gilbert O’Sullivan has achieved throughout a career spanning fifty years. However, the essence of the man is captured not just in the length of his career, but in the depth of his impact on music and the hearts of those who have had the privilege to witness his journey.”

In proposing the motion Cllr. Lola O’Sullivan said, “It is a singular honour for me to propose the motion to admit Gilbert O’Sullivan to the Freedom of Waterford City and County in recognition of his enormous service to the music industry for the last fifty years.

“Waterford-born Gilbert has carved out a remarkable career with his unique blend of melody, wit, and surreal humour, earning global success and critical acclaim.”

Upon receiving Waterford’s highest accolade, Gilbert said, “I am truly honoured to be granted the Freedom of Waterford City and County.

“To be here today surrounded by family and friends is a very special moment and one I will never forget.”

The Freedom of Waterford City and County has been a coveted privilege and honour since civic government replaced military governors in 1195.  The Freedom allowed the recipient to trade freely within the city, and it was from among the freemen that members of the Council were chosen.  According to the Great Parchment Book, in order to be admitted to the freedom, one had to provide the Council with two half barges of stone, which was uses to build a wall around the city.

Honorary Freemen of Waterford include Isaac Butt, Charles Stewart Parnell, Eamon de Valera, John Tracy, Mary Robinson, Anna Manahan, Dan Mulhall, Henry de Bromhead and Prof. Louise Richardson.

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Images:  Free to use – Noel Browne

1/2/4:  Gilbert O’Sullivan and Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr Joe Conway

5:         Gilbert and wife Aase, with Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr Joe Conway

Saoirse Chathair & Chontae Phort Láirge bronnta ar Gilbert O’Sullivan

Rinneadh Saorfhear de Chathair & Chontae Phort Láirge de Gilbert O’Sullivan ag searmanas i Halla na Cathrach ar an gCéadaoin, 27 Márta.

Bhronn Méara Chathair agus Chontae Phort Láirge, An Clr. Seosamh Ó Conmhuí, an onóir ar an amhránaí is scríbhneoir a rugadh i bPort Láirge agus caoga bliain caite aige sa ghairm úd.

Mhol An Clr. Lola O’Sullivan go foirmiúil go mbronnfaí Saoirse Phort Láirge ar Gilbert O’Sullivan, agus chuidigh an Clr Joe Kelly leis an rún.

Rugadh Gilbert O’Sullivan ar an 1 Nollaig, 1946 ar Bhóthar Chorcaí sa chathair, ansan d’athlonnaigh a theaghlach go Wiltshire, áit ar thosnaigh a thuras ceoil, ag seinm an phianó agus é ag cur barrfeabhais ar a cheird, ní trí cheachtanna foirmiúla, ach trí bheith ag casadh ón gcluas.

D’eisigh Gilbert a chéad singil, Nothing Rhymed sa bhliain 1970 agus rath thar oíche a bhí ann, agus é le feiceáil sna cairt cheoil ‘Top Ten’ is fearr ar fud na Ríochta Aontaithe agus na hEorpa. Bhí a chéad albam, Himself, a tháinig amach i 1971 lán de samplaí iontacha dá ealaín agus dá cheardaíocht. Chruthaigh a dara albam, Back to Front ó 1972 go raibh Gilbert i measc na n-amhránaithe is fearr ar domhan ag an am, le singil sa ‘Top Ten’ agus ag Uimhir 1 ar fud an domhain, lena n-áirítear an seoid d’amhrán, Alone Again (Naturally), a bhí ar barr chairteacha Stáit Aontaithe Meiriceá ar feadh sé seachtaine agus a thuill trí ainmniúcháin Grammy dó.

Ní fada go raibh na hamhráin Clair agus Get Down ar bharr chairteacha singil na Ríochta Aontaithe agus a albam Back to Front ag barr na gcairteacha albam. Sa bhliain chéanna ag an 18ú Gradam Ivor Novello, ainmníodh Gilbert mar ‘Chumadóir Amhrán na Bliana’.

Dúirt an Méara Ó Conmhuí, “Is cúis onóra agus bróid domsa, mar Mhéara ar Chathair agus ar Chontae Phort Láirge, fáilte chroíúil a chur roimh Gilbert O’Sullivan – cumadóir agus taibheoir le fréamhacha i bPort Láirge, a bhfuil a lorg fágtha aige ar shaol an cheoil nua-aoiseach.

Ar bhonn pearsanta, mar dhuine dá lucht leanúna le leath chéad bliain anois, bainim taitneamh as a chuid saothair, an cnuasach Berry Vest ach go háirithe, agus mé ag tiomáint na mílte anseo is ansiúd. Is breá liom Miss My Love Today, go pearsanta, amhrán atá tearc agus tarraingteach araon agus baineann Permissive Twit gáire beag dána asam i gcónaí.

Lean Méara Ó Conmhuí air, ag rá, “D’fhéadfainn leanúint ar aghaidh ag cur síos ar an méid atá bainte amach ag Gilbert O’Sullivan agus ar na gradaim atá faighte aige le linn gairme a mhair caoga bliain. Mar sin féin, tá bunús an fhir léirithe, ní hamháin i bhfad a ghairm bheatha, ach i ndoimhneacht an tionchair a bhí aige ar an gceol agus ar chroíthe na ndaoine a raibh sé de phribhléid acu dul ar an turas sin in éineacht leis.”

Agus an rún á mholadh aici, dúirt an Comhairleoir Lola O’Sullivan, “Is onóir faoi leith domsa an rún a mholadh chun Saoirse Chathair & Chontae Phort Láirge a bhronnadh ar Gilbert O’Sullivan, mar aitheantas ar a sheirbhís ollmhór do thionscal an cheoil le caoga bliain anuas.

“Tá gairm bheatha iontach bainte amach ag Gilbert, a rugadh i bPort Láirge, lena mheascán uathúil de cheolmhaireacht, d’éirim agus de ghreann, a thug rath domhanda agus ardmholadh dó.”

Agus é ag glacadh leis an onóir is airde de chuid Phort Láirge, dúirt Gilbert, “Is mór an onóir dom go bhfuil Saoirse Chathair & Chontae Phort Láirge á mbronnadh orm inniu.

“Is am speisialta é seo a bheith bailithe anseo inniu i measc mo chlann agus mo chairde agus ní dhéanfaidh mé dearmad go deo air.”

Is pribhléid agus onóir é Saoirse Chathair & Chontae Phort Láirge ó tháinig an rialtas cathartha in ionad gobharnóirí míleata sa bhliain 1195. Thug an tSaoirse cead don té a bhfuair í trádáil faoi shaoirse laistigh den chathair, agus ba as measc na saorfhear a roghnaíodh comhaltaí na Comhairle. Dar leis an Leabhar Mór Pháir, chun go ligfí isteach chun na saoirse iad, b’éigean do dhuine dhá leath báirsí cloiche a chur ar fáil don Chomhairle, rud a d’úsáidtí chun balla a thógáil timpeall na cathrach.

I measc Shaorfhir Oinigh Phort Láirge tá Isaac Butt, Charles Stewart Parnell, Éamon de Valera, John Tracy, Mary Robinson, Anna Manahan, Dan Mulhall, Henry de Bromhead agus an tOllamh Louise Richardson.

-críoch-

 

Grianghrafadóir : Noel Browne

Waterford Rural Tourism Network learning journey to the Blackwater Valley

All aboard the bus to Villierstown, Lismore, Ballyduff and Mount Melleray with plenty of intriguing stories, sights and insights along the way.

Tourism businesses and agencies from across Waterford were invited to Dungarvan on Wednesday March 20th to embark on a Learning Journey around the Blackwater Valley area of Waterford. The Learning Journey to the Blackwater Valley, funded and supported by Waterford City and County Council and Fáilte Ireland, is part of the Waterford Rural Tourism Network development programme.

This was the first in a series of five Learning Journeys scheduled to take place over the next two years, across all five cluster areas: Blackwater Valley, Comeragh Uplands, Copper Coast, Gaeltacht na nDéise, and Waterford Estuary.

The Learning Journey gave local businesses the opportunity to learn about tourism experiences and products located in the Blackwater Valley; connect, collaborate, gain personal learnings to help their business, cluster and the overall Waterford destination.

Participants were welcomed on to the bus and guided along their journey by Mandy Rourke of Runda Travel & Tourism Solutions and Alice O’Donoghue from Lismore Heritage Centre. The first stop of the day was Villierstown where everyone gained insights from Blackwater Eco Tours and Glamping Pods before touring the site and pods. In the village, Barbara Grubb shared the fascinating story of Dromana House and Gardens.

The next stop was Lismore Heritage Centre where participants got to see and experience what’s on offer in the Heritage Centre, from the VR Experience and escape rooms to tours and event venue.  MCG Kayaks which run tours on the Blackwater River and Peters Tours also highlighted what they had to offer.

Participants took in the sights as they travelled to Ballyduff where Caroline Senior, owner of Blackwater Distillery, spoke of her business journey and highlighted the importance of collaboration. The Storehouse, a craft shop and café, and Blackwater Valley Fishery, which offer fishing experiences in the area, informed the participants about their offerings.

Lunch in Ballyin House was next on the itinerary where owner, Caroline Fletcher, and her donkeys’ greeted guests.  Ballyin House offers afternoon tea as well as accommodation in tranquil surrounds which overlook Lismore Castle.

The last visit of the day was to the imposing Mount Melleray Abbey situated on the slopes of the Knockmealdown mountains, where participants were greeted by Fr. Richard and given an overview of the current tourism offering, which includes a café, museum and five way-marked trails, and future plans include a hostel linked to the development of Saint Declan’s Way. Saint Declan’s Way is a pilgrim walking route linking Cashel in County Tipperary and Ardmore in County Waterford which runs through Mount Melleray and the Blackwater Valley.

Gráinne Moynihan, Chairperson of Saint Declan’s Way highlighted the opportunities for businesses to develop along the 115km ancient pilgrim path.

If you would like to find out more about the Waterford Rural Tourism Network or join one of the five clusters in Waterford please email julie@runda.ie.

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RTE’s Tracks & Trails takes a hike in Waterford

Tracks & Trails returns for its 11th Season as six presenters travel across trails in Waterford, Offaly, Monaghan and Tyrone, Kerry, Kilkenny and Tipperary, exploring natural landscapes along some of the most beautiful trails on the island of Ireland.

In its first episode, to be aired on Friday April 5th, crime journalist and podcaster Nicola Tallant takes on the challenge of the Comeragh Mountains and a leisurelier hike in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford.

Nicola’s first challenge is Boolas Loop in the Comeragh Mountains, a magnificent 10km wild and rocky loop, revealing rolling landscapes as well as hidden mountain lakes known as Boolas.

For her second walk, Nicola follows a cliff top trail starting out from the picturesque seaside village of Dunmore East.  This 7.5km linear coastal route has everything a coastal walk should have; dramatic headlands, vast ocean views, and plenty of tales of smuggling and old sea legends. Nicola also visits the three pretty coves which are found along this trail; Portally Cove, Rathmoylan Cove and finally Ballymacaw Cove.

Johnny Brunnock, Trails Officer with Waterford City and County Council said, “We’re delighted that Waterford’s picturesque, diverse, challenging and invigorating trails are highlighted in the show.

“Nicola chose two very different walks.  The Boolas Loop is a rocky, steep loop that requires a little more gumption and fortitude to undertake, but the reward is breath taking views of the Comeraghs, whereas the Dunmore East cliff walk is a more relaxed, wandering coastal trail starting at one of the prettiest coastal villages in Ireland and uncovering an exciting story of pirate trade from years ago.”

Tracks & Trails will put the spotlight on our outdoors and discover what is on offer in abundance on trails all over the country.  The series will showcase established national waymarked trails, including St Declan’s Way, the Monaghan Way, the East Leinster way, The Royal Canal Greenway, The Kerry Way, and well-trodden riverside and cliffside paths.

For further details on Waterford’s wonderful recreational walking and cycling trails visit https://visitwaterford.com/trails/

Tracks & Trails Episode One featuring Nicola Tallant will be broadcast on RTE1 on Friday, April 5th.

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St. Patrick’s Day celebrations a success in Waterford

Thanks to everyone who made Waterford’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and four-day festival such as success.

Thanks to Grand Marshal Waterford Senior Camogie team, organisers, volunteers, community, sports, arts, music and dance troupes who took part in the Parade …. the sun shone and the smiles shone brighter!

#SeizeTheDeise

 

Photos: Colin Shanahan, DigiCol Photography & Media Productions

Waterford ArtLinks Bursaries awarded

ArtLinks LogoThe ArtLinks partnership of local authorities Arts Offices in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford is pleased to announce that it has awarded over €100,000 to artists in the South East across a broad range of artforms including music, visual arts, literature, theatre, dance, film , traditional arts, opera, circus, street arts and spectacle.

These bursaries for emerging and professional artists are supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and they provide professional development opportunities and supports for artists who are resident in these four counties.

The Arts Offices would like to thank everyone who applied and look forward to the successful recipients undertaking their projects, mentoring, courses and workshops in the coming months.

The Waterford recipients were Louise Bradley, Clashmore/Theatre. Cailean Finn, Dunhill/Visual Arts. Rayleen Clancy, An Rinn/Visual Arts. George Higgs, Villierstown/Music. Ben Hennessy, Annestown/Theatre & Visual Arts. Holly Pickering, Dunhill/Visual Arts. Mae Leahy, Ferrybank/Theatre. Dylan Kennedy, Lismore/Theatre. Julie Cusack, Waterford city/Visual Arts. Sarah Grimes, Waterford city/Music. Róisín Power Hackett, Kill/Literature. Jenny Fennessy, Lismore/Theatre. Rachel Roberts, Waterford city/Visual Arts.

Artists who are resident within the four partner Local Authorities can register for membership free of charge by contacting artlinks.ie@gmail.com for a registration form.

For all ArtLinks enquiries please contact artlinks.ie@gmail.com

Follow @Artlinks.ie on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.

Waterford St. Patrick’s Festival

Waterford City and County Council, in association with Fáilte Ireland and EveryEvent, is delighted to announce a jam-packed four-day programme of St. Patrick’s Festival events from Friday, March 15th to Monday, March 18th.

The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Seize the Déise’, with community, sports, and charity groups encouraged to get involved to showcase the very best of all things Waterford in a show of colour, music and pageantry.  And best of all…most events are FREE!

With so much to do, see and experience, make sure you don’t miss a beat and download the full programme, with links to all events and where apt, ticket bookings, visit https://stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com/programme-of-events/

Music:  Kick-start your St. Patrick’s Festival weekend with free family fun activities at John Robert’s Square.  Over the four-day festival, Waterford’s city centre will be abuzz with the return of the much-loved City Centre Fairground, perfect fun for the littlest family members.  Wobbly Circus has been enthralling and delighting for years, so don’t miss them throughout the weekend, along with Waterford Active Cities and the Irish Olympic Federation, demonstrating sports skills of all codes.

Local talent will be feature big and bold as the Suir Ukulele Strummers, Waterford Centre of Music Choir, Bienvue Gospel Choir, the Uilleann Pipe Orchestra, EJ Mae, Liam & Bill, Omega 3, Knockadollys, Divorce Party, The Bad Shirts, the Booley House, Mark Atkins, and Caoimhe Power perform free gigs throughout the centre, from the Waterford Cultural Quarter (WCQ) to John Roberts Square to the Apple Market Stage. The Thomas Francis Meagher Fife and Drum band, a Waterford musical institution is the perfect prelude to St. Patrick’s Day at the Bishop’s Palace.

You can soak up the atmosphere of two great sporting clashes as Waterford take on Kilkenny in the National Hurling Final and Ireland and Scotland go head to head in the Six Nations Championship…all on the Big Screen at Bailey’s New Street.

Late night entertainment:  The music continues into the evening with energetic performances from Alan Power and the Aftershocks, Delta Dog, The Bad Shirts and Spring Break on the Apple Market Stage, Louise & Simon Whelan and Amaro Swingos at WCQ and back by phenomenal demand, the Churchyard Sessions at Bailey’s New Street featuring The Mulligans and Mad Ferrit.  The Burning Circus brings its intense, fiery spectacle to the Apple Market Stage when the lights go down!

Craft and entertainment:  With so much to choose from, don’t tie yourself up in knots, although the Celtic Knotwork Workshop in Waterford Cultural Quarter might be the perfect solution in case you do! Lovers of literature be sure to get along to the Spoken Word stage, while Fierce Mild will be bringing the classic 90’s pop tunes we all danced along to.

Arts & Crafts for all:  Paint, print and play at The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Children’s Arts and Crafts Workshops and at City Square Shopping Centre or try your hand at festive Lino Printing at GOMA.

Culture & Tours: Delve into the illustrious history of Ireland’s Oldest City with free entry to the Medieval Museum. You’ll get the steps in with an Afternoon Walking History tour of the Viking Triangle or take a jaunt on the Illuminations Tour when the sun goes down to see the iconic city walls up close.  The Urban Greenway tour quite literally puts the (green) spotlight on the city’s historical monuments and iconic buildings.  You can take the route the Vikings once took and see the city from the majestic River Suir aboard the Osprey Viking Cruise, while the multi-cultural celebration of language, culture and music at St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre is a must.

Theatre:  Garter Lane and the Theatre Royal have a St. Patrick’s Weekend programme that will appeal to all lovers of good music, and rib-tickling comedy.  The Clancy Family returns to the Theatre Royal with songs and memories from the Clancy household, while funnyman Neil Delamare will bring his razor-sharp observations on life and trad.  Everyone’s favourite Cork man, Reggie from the Blackrock Road will play homage to his beloved Leeside at Garter Lane.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade:  The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Seize the Déise’ and will begin at 1pm sharp on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday March 17th.  Led by Grand Marshall, All-Ireland finalists, Waterford Senior Camogie team, over 2,000 participants are scheduled to take part in the parade.

The parade begins at Waterford Bus Station and will proceed along the Quay, past the Clock Tower and the Plaza, moving around to the Mall, with entries gathering at the Bridge Street end of the Quay at the start of the parade.

Optimum viewing positions are from the Quays, where there is plenty of room as well as at   the Mall.  The parade will end at the Mall / Parnell Street junction and we ask that patrons do not congregate in Parnell Street as this area is designated for post-parade and production staff.

Waterford City and County Council is delighted to announce an Autism Family Friendly Area at the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Working with Autism Friendly Waterford and 50 Shades of Exceptional we are proud to introduce this initiative as part of our vision to make Waterford Ireland’s first autism friendly city.  A special area has also been reserved and sign-posted for wheelchair users / special access at Mall Lane.  This is on a first come, first served basis and intending patrons should make themselves known to stewards.

Last minute entries to the parade are still open to community groups from Waterford City, County and beyond – intending participants should complete the application form on the St. Patrick’s Festival website www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com

There will also be an online streaming of the Parade, so those who cannot attend but still wish to enjoy the celebrations.

To find out more details of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and four-day festival in Waterford visit www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com to download the 2024 programme and keep an eye out on Waterford St. Patrick’s Day Festival social media channels.

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Images:

  • The Mulligans
  • Divorce Party
  • Bienvue Gospel Choir
  • 311042355:  The Burning Circus

For further information / arrange an interview:

Johnny Codd
Festival Coordinator
Waterford City and County Council
087 785 0538

John Grubb
Programme coordinator
EveryEvent
086 3403127

Sustainability key to Tidy Towns Success

Waterford City and County Council facilitated a Tidy Towns seminar at the Old Market House Arts Centre in Dungarvan which focused on the importance of sustainability in progressing the circular economy.

Representatives from eleven Tidy Towns groups, from all over the county, were in attendance to hear from The Rediscovery Centre, Renew Enterprises, and Waterford City and County Council’s Parks and Landscape Department.

Ella Ryan, Environmental Awareness Officer with Waterford City and County Council, was delighted with the success of this inaugural seminar, saying, “There was fantastic energy in the room amongst the volunteers, who are all passionate about their local communities. From taking great pride in their towns and villages, helping their communities to move towards a circular economy and protecting the biodiversity, Tidy Towns committees, groups and volunteers help to make the changes that future generations will reap the benefit of. They received great direction and ideas at this seminar to bring back home to their local area and progress repair and reuse initiatives. ”

Steve O’Reilly from the Rediscovery Centre spoke about the circular economy, repair, reuse and waste prevention and working from the broader theory to examples of how this works on a local level.

Danny Murphy from Renew Enterprises gave an informative insight into some recycling initiatives that have been developed, such as the paint reuse initiative and bike repair scheme.

Dungarvan Tidy Towns was represented by Chris Santillo who informed those present about some of the group’s re-use initiatives, such as its Beach Toy Library, while Eoin Dullea from Parks and Landscape with Waterford City and County Council spoke about the importance of planting the right tree in the right location.

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images – David Clynch

New events added to Waterford St. Patrick’s Day Festival Programme

Waterford City and County Council, in association with Fáilte Ireland, is delighted to present a jam-packed four days of craic agus ceol, live entertainment, music and culture taking place from March 15th to March 18th alongside the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Immerse yourself in a vibrant tapestry of traditions, flavours, and rhythms that showcase the rich diversity within our community. Lose yourself in a symphony of sounds, spectacular events and an eclectic mix of historical and cultural attractions taking place throughout the city.

Highlights of the festival include a smorgasbord of free events in Waterford’s Cultural Quarter; the Spoken Word stage, live performances from EJ Mae, Knockadollys, Delta Dogs and Amoro Swings, to name but a few.

Why not step back in time and join the Epic Tour, speciality walking tours, the Illumination Tours and the Dark History tour…all free and all spectacular! Or enjoy free entry to Waterford’s Medieval Museum and GOMA Gallery on March 16th.

The Apple Market Stage will be heaving all weekend as the best of local and national musical talent takes to the stage, including After The Break, Uillean Pipe Orchestra, The Booley House, Omega 3, Divorce Party, Alan Power and the After Shocks, and a fiery performance from the Burning Circus, along with so much more.

Bailey’s New Street will form the backdrop for the Churchyard Sessions featuring great live music along with a big screening of Waterford vs Kilkenny in the Allianz Hurling League, followed by a Six Nations Championship showdown, as Ireland take on Scotland.

Waterford’s Theatre Royal, Garter Lane and St. Patrick’s Gateway have a diverse offering of comedy, culture, folklore and music and John Robert’s Square will host all manner of strummers, choristers, clowns, food, fairgrounds and face-painters.

The parade’s theme is “Seize the Déise”, led by Grand Marshall, Waterford Senior Camogie team, which made history last year by reaching its first All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final in 78 years.

On Sunday, March 17th, the Waterford St. Patrick’s Day parade will start at 1pm, with entries gathering at the Bridge Street end of the Quay. The parade begins at the Waterford Bus Station and will proceed along the Quay, past the Clock Tower and the Plaza, moving around to the Mall.

Keep an eye out for the full programme of events coming soon on www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com

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Attached image:  The Burning Circus

For further information:

Johnny Codd

Festival Coordinator

Waterford City and County Council

087 785 0538

SLí’s Big Swap

SLí Big Swap event
SLí Big Swap event

Do you have under loved Christmas presents? Or something that’s not your style but somebody else would love? Bring it to SLí’s Big Swap! Waterford SLí, Ardkeen Library and Waterford Council’s Environment Department are delighted to host this wonderful swap event on Saturday 24th in Ardkeen Library 2-4pm.

The details: Bring up to 5 items (in good nick) and swap them for vouchers. On Saturday swap your vouchers for whatever items you like. You can drop your items from Monday 19th February to Ardkeen library. Come and take even of you can’t bring. All for free? What could be better?Toys, Books, Gift Sets, Games, Candles, Instruments, Sport Equipment – The List Goes On!Free event, all welcome!

Waterford joins the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC)

Waterford City view

Waterford has been designated a UNESCO Learning City and been invited to join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. The UNESCO Learning City Designation recognises good practices in promoting quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. This achievement of Learning City status follows the collaborative work of Waterford City and County Council, Kilkenny County Council, the Southern Regional Assembly, SETU, Waterford Chambers and the ETBs in preparing an application to UNESCO, setting out the ambition and commitment in Waterford to fostering lifelong learning opportunities for all its citizens.

As a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, Waterford can grow and develop as a recognised city of learning and build upon the strong stakeholder commitment and political support of the Learning City Initiative. The Designation of Waterford as a UNESCO Learning City is strongly supported by regional policy and advances the ambition set out in the Southern Regional Assembly’s Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy to develop Waterford City as a UNESCO Learning City, joining Limerick and Cork City as part of a network of Learning Cities and to develop the entire Southern Region as a UNESCO Learning Region.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway said, “As Mayor I would like to express how proud we are to be joining the UNESCO Learning Cities family.

“One of the most significant things about this network is the strong emphasis on lifelong learning, and that is something that we in Waterford as a council, and as a city will strive to consolidate and promote for the people of Waterford.”

He added, “Myself, my council colleagues, and the people of the city have a great and unwavering belief in the importance of learning…from the cradle to the grave.  We will do everything we can to be vibrant members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities and assure you of our great commitment and support.”

On receiving news of the UNESCO Designation, Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly, Terry Shannon said, “I want to commend the great collaboration of all involved in making this commitment for Waterford to become a UNESCO Learning City. Becoming a Learning City will help achieve progress in disadvantaged areas and marginalised communities and will develop our knowledge, innovation and strong skills base our future.”

The designation of Waterford as a UNESCO Learning City has also been welcomed and commended by Waterford Members of the Southern Regional Assembly, Cllr. Tom Cronin, Cllr. Thomas Phelan and Cllr. Conor D. McGuinness.

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Waterford City & County Council Festival & Event Grants for 2024

Waterford City and County Council has approved the allocation of €1,653,557 in festival and event funding to aid the development and promotion of events across Waterford City and County in 2024.

The figure represents a 6% increase in last year’s funding allocation.

In 2024 the allocation will support 71 festivals and events throughout the city and county.  The main thrust of the funding is to support, and promote local festivals that have an economic, tourism, cultural, artistic or community benefit for Waterford.  Funding is also in place to provide training support to help local festivals and events develop and grow.

In addition to the mainstay big-ticket festivals such as Spraoi International Street Arts Festival, West Waterford Festival of Food, Waterford Harvest Festival, Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and Winterval, Waterford can look forward to fourteen brand new festivals in 2024, including Lismore Community Festival, Waterford International Comic Art Festival and Waterford Pet Awards and Doggie Day Out.

Speaking following the adoption of the Festival and Events Grants for 2024 Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway said, “As Mayor I am delighted that Waterford City and County Council is showing true intent in supporting our vast array of artists, musicians, entertainers, producers and creatives.

“Whether the festivals are well-established or new additions to the calendar, they have one trait in common…they are a true reflection of the talent, creativity and passion that Waterford’s communities have in spades.”

Michael Quinn, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council added, “Waterford City and County Council has always been committed to supporting strong community spirit, in the form of festivals and events.  2024 will see that community spirit feature prominently throughout the year, with festivals bookending the year, starting in January and running right through to the 12th Winterval Christmas Festival, in what is officially set to be the European City of Christmas in 2024.”

“Waterford has always produced an entertaining, inclusive, and eclectic programme of events throughout the year.  This year we are particularly pleased to add fourteen new festivals to the list of funding and we look forward to seeing the range of new and distinctive events making their mark on the city and county.”

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