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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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Meabhrúchán : Scéim Athnuachana Bailte & Sráidbhailte 2024 Léiriú Spéise

Town & Village Renewal logoRiarfaidh Comhairle Cathrach & Contae Phort Láirge Scéim Athnuachana Bailte agus Sráidbhailte 2024, arna maoiniú ag an Roinn Forbartha Tuaithe agus Pobail. Maoinítear an Scéim Athnuachana Bailte agus Sráidbhailte faoi Thionscadal Éireann 2040 agus is príomhthionscnamh í de chuid Ár dTodhchaí Tuaithe — Beartas Forbartha Tuaithe na hÉireann 2021-2025. Tá cuspóirí Scéim Athnuachana na mBailte agus na Sráidbhailte 2024 dírithe ar ailíniú a dhéanamh leis na gealltanais laistigh dár gcáipéisÍ pholasaí Ár dTodhchaí Tuaithe agus Tús Áite do Lár an Bhaile.

Tá an Scéim Athnuachana Bailte agus Sráidbhailte dírithe ar a chinntiú go bhforbrófar bailte agus sráidbhailte tuaithe i bPort Láirge agus áiteanna níos tarraingtí a dhéanamh díobh chun cónaí agus oibriú iontu agus chun a n-acmhainneacht eacnamaíoch a mhéadú.

Tá léirithe spéise ó bhailte agus ó shráidbhailte á lorg anois ag Comhairle Cathrach & Contae Phort Láirge chun tionscadail oiriúnacha a mhaoiniú faoin tionscnamh seo. Is féidir foirm léirithe spéise agus sonraí faoi imlíne na Scéime a fháil trí ríomhphost a chur chuig townvillagerenewal@waterfordcouncil.ie agus tá foirmeacha léirithe spéise comhlánaithe le seoladh ar ais roimh 5.00i.n. Dé hAoine 19 Aibreán 2024.

Beidh gach iarratas faoi réir próiseas roghnúcháin a úsáideann Critéir Náisiúnta. Forbrófar iarratais léirithe spéise roghnaithe ina dtairiscintí mionsonraithe lena mbreithniú do Scéim
Athnuachana Bailte agus Sráidbhailte 2024.

Supporting Waterford Communities Fund 2024 recipients

Waterford City and County Council, at its plenary meeting on 14th March 2024, approved the attached allocations under the Supporting Waterford Communities Fund 2024. There are a total of 288 recipients of the scheme.

The funding was available to residents associations, community groups and sports clubs which are engaged in providing community services or carrying out improvement works to local communities.  The initiative provides funding to support groups, with their running costs such as utility or insurance bills, as well as with improvements of local facilities. Groups can use the funding to carry out necessary repairs and to purchase equipment such as tables and chairs, tools and signage, laptops and printers, lawnmowers, canopies and training equipment.

Reminder: Expressions of Interest sought for 2024 Town & Village Renewal Scheme

Town & Village Renewal logo

Waterford City & County Council will administer the 2024 Town & Village Renewal Scheme funded by the Department of Rural & Community Development. The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is funded under Project Ireland 2040 and is a key initiative of Our Rural Future – Ireland’s Rural Development Policy 2021-2025. The objectives of the 2024 Town and Village Renewal Scheme are focused to align with the commitments within Our Rural Future and the Town Centre First policy documents.

The focus of the Town & Village Renewal Scheme is on ensuring the development of Waterford’s rural towns and villages and making them more attractive places to live and work and increase their economic potential.

Waterford City & County Council now seeks expressions of interest from towns and villages, for funding of suitable projects under this initiative. Expression of interest form and details of the Scheme’s outline can be obtained by e-mailing townvillagerenewal@waterfordcouncil.ie and completed expression of interest forms are to be returned before 5.00pm Friday 19th April 2024.

All applications will be subject to a selection process using National Criteria.  Selected expression of interest applications will be developed into detailed bids for consideration for the 2024 Town & Village Renewal Scheme.

NTA Walking and Cycling Index highlights appetite for more cycling paths in Waterford

The Waterford Walking and Cycling Index, commissioned by The National Transport Authority, highlights that the majority of residents of Waterford enjoy walking and wheeling* and that there exists an appetite for more cycling infrastructure in the City and environs.

The recent publication of the National Transport Authority’s Walking and Cycling Index which was expanded to include the Waterford Metropolitan Area for the first time finds that 52% of adults in the Waterford Metropolitan Area walk or wheel at least five times a week, however participation in cycling was lower with 16% of residents cycling at least once a week.

When asked what would help them walk or wheel more, Waterford Metropolitan Area residents want better footpath surfaces including dropped kerbs at crossing points, more parks and green spaces close to home, and nicer places along streets to stop and rest.

When asked what would help them cycle more, residents wanted infrastructural improvements such as traffic-free paths through parks or greenways, signed cycle routes along quieter streets, and cycle tracks along roads physically separated from traffic and pedestrians.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway welcomed Waterford City’s inclusion in the process saying, “This report gives a comprehensive insight into the active travel patterns, behaviours and requirements of the people of Waterford. The support for more investment into active travel infrastructure is to be welcomed and will act as a catalyst for further investment in a walking, cycling and wheeling network, which can only be a good thing for our communities, our environment, and our health.”

Chair of Piltown Municipal District, Cllr. Ger Frisby added, “This report also takes into account developments of further active travel infrastructure that the people of Ferrybank and South Kilkenny want to see. The connectivity to the heart of Waterford City from Ferrybank, via the soon-to-be completed Southeast Greenway and sustainable transport bridge will provide so many more transport opportunities for those who wish to walk, cycle or wheel.”

Michael Murphy, Senior Engineer Waterford City and County Council said, “While the number cycling is lower than those walking, there is an appetite for more cycling infrastructure, with 76% of those surveyed supporting building more cycle paths physically separated from traffic and pedestrians, even if this meant less room for other road traffic.”

“Respondents were very cognisant of the benefits of easy to access, safe, liveable neighbourhoods. Almost 80% agreed that increasing space for people socialising, walking, wheeling and cycling would improve their local area, while 80% supported the creation of more low-traffic neighbourhoods.”

Waterford City and County Council supports the public appetite for active travel. Michael added, “The benefits of active travel are manyfold. While reducing carbon emissions might seem the most significant and obvious outcome, the benefits to physical and mental health are endless, along with considerable financial savings to be made from cycling or walking rather than fuelling the car, and the resultant reduction in congestion with less cars on the road.”

One of the most significant pieces of infrastructure to encourage walking, cycling and wheeling in Waterford has undoubtedly been Waterford Greenway. The old railway line from Waterford City to Dungarvan is a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail which travels through time and nature crossing eleven bridges, three impressive viaducts and an atmospheric tunnel.

In June of last year, the Bilberry to City Centre Waterford Greenway Link was officially opened linking the Waterford Greenway from the Bilberry car park to the Clock Tower in the City Centre, as well as connecting it to the Waterford’s sustainable transport bridge, due to be completed in 2025, and to the Waterford to New Ross Greenway, also currently under construction.

Future Active Travel projects in Waterford City and environs include;

Segregated cycle route on the Tramore Ring Road
Segregated cycle route on the Williamstown Road
Segregated cycle route on the Cork Road, from the Mall to Whitfield Hospital
Segregated cycle route on the Inner Ring Road, from Ashe road to the Passage Road
Segregated cycle route from John’s Park housing area to the City Centre
An Urban Greenway cycling and walking route from Waterford City to Tramore
A’10-minute city’ plan focussed on the Lismore Park / Lisduggan area
Local permeability links
Upgrades to school active travel infrastructure under the Safe Routes To Schools Programme (SRTS)
Newtown Tramore Active Travel scheme

*The term wheeling refers to those who use wheeled mobility aids, for example a wheelchair or a mobility scooter, and may not identify with the term walking, preferring to use the term wheeling.

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Notes to editors:

The Walking and Cycling Index is the largest survey of walking, wheeling and cycling in urban areas in the UK and Ireland.
It is delivered in collaboration with the NTA and the local authorities for the 5 Metropolitan Areas of Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick / Shannon and Galway.
The information in the reports is derived from local data, modelling and an independent demographically representative survey of at least 1,100 residents aged 16+ in each city.
The survey was conducted face-to-face by the independent market research company Behaviour & Attitudes from May to July 2023
The survey is representative of all Waterford Metropolitan Area residents, not just those who walk, wheel or cycle.
All other data is sourced from our city partners, national data sets or modelled and calculated by Sustrans.
Economic Benefits are determined through an analysis of travel time, vehicle operating costs, health benefits, air quality and taxation.
Free to use images: David Murphy

DM107578: Chair of Piltown Municipal District Cllr. Ger Frisby, Barbara Stosic Acting Senior Executive Engineer, Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway, Michael Murphy Senior Engineer and Fergus Galvin Director of Services Waterford City and County Council

DM107637: Barbara Stosic Acting Senior Executive Engineer, Fergus Galvin, Director of Services, Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway, Chair of Piltown Municipal District Cllr. Ger Frisby and Michael Murphy Senior Engineer Waterford City and County Council.

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 receives €506,693 in funding for Built Heritage

Department logo

Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has announced funding under 2 schemes for Protected Structures and historic buildings – the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2024 and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2024.

In Waterford, funding of €242,400 will be provided for 27 projects under the BHIS scheme and will support  works such as   the repair of historic  roofs,  walls and chimneys, repair of joinery and  repair of historic stained glass  for private and public buildings in the city and county . This includes  €73,793  which has been ring- fenced  specifically for thatch house projects

Funding of €264,000 has been allocated  for 4 projects under the HSF  €50,000  for Mount Melleray  €50,000  Whitfield Court, €50,000  for  Curraghmore House  and €114,000 for St Augustine’s Church, Abbeyside, Dungarvan.

Reminder: Road Closure Arrangements – St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Events

Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 75 of the Roads Act 1993, Waterford City & County Council will temporarily close the following public roads to facilitate St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Events, March 17th.

The following Waterford City Roads shall be closed from 11am until 4pm approx. to facilitate the parade.

  • R680 – Merchants Quay
  • R680 – Meagher’s Quay
  • R680 – Coal Quay
  • R680 – Custom House Quay
  • R680 – Parade Quay
  • R680 – The Mall
  • R680 – Parnell Street
  • R708 – Catherine Street
  • L90025 – Colbeck Street
  • L5530 – Lady Lane (from its junction with Bakehouse Lane to Colbeck Street)
  • L90024 – Bank Lane
  • L90307 – Beau Street
  • L90023 – Mall Lane
  • R683 – Lombard Street (from its Junction with Rose Lane to The Mall)
  • L90022 – Adelphi Quay –(from its junction with Rose Lane to Parade Quay)
  • L90021 – Bailey’s New Street
  • L90020 – Greyfriars
  • L90019 – Coffee House Lane
  • L90018 – Henrietta Street
  • L90017 – Keyser Street
  • L5534 – Exchange Street
  • L5535 – Conduit Lane
  • L91091 – Barronstrand Street
  • L5501 – Gladstone Street
  • L1502 – O’Connell Street
  • L15021 – Thomas Hill (from its junction with Meeting House Lane to O’Connell Street)
  • L5506 – Vulcan Street
  • L5505 – Thomas Street
  • L1503 – The Glen (Road No.1)
  • L15033 – The Glen (Road No.3)

March 15th 16th 17th & 18th
From 5pm 15th March until 9pm 18th March O’Connell St from the junction of Hanover St to Meeting House Lane, John Robert’s Square, Broad St, George’s St, Barronstrand St.

Parade Traffic Management Plan
This plan outlines the management of Vehicle traffic for the St. Patricks Day Parade Event to be held on March 17th on the Quays in Waterford City.
Roads shall be closed by Waterford City & County Council Staff using Crowd Control Barriers, traffic Cones and Road Closed Signs.

1. Diversions.

Travelling East on R680 Cork Road.
All traffic for M9, N25 and N24 via Rice Bridge shall be diverted at Cork Road Roundabout and directed to Rice Bridge via R686.
Traffic for Tramore, Waterford Airport, University Hospital Waterford or
Williamstown/Dunmore Road area shall use the Inner Ring Road are unaffected.

Travelling West on R680 Rice Bridge.
The left lane shall be on Rice Bridge shall be closed and all traffic shall be diverted via R686 to R680 Cork Road at the Cork Road Roundabout. All Traffic shall then use normal routes.

Other Routes:
Travelling to Rice Bridge from Tramore, Waterford Airport, University Hospital Waterford or Williamstown/Dunmore Road area shall be diverted via R709 Inner Ring Road to Cork Road Roundabout and the detour via R686.

2. Parking

Parking within the main Quay car parks will be available until approximately 1 hour before the Parade Commences at 1pm and will be reopened 30 minutes after the all clear is called by Event Control. All on-street car parking on the closed roads will be removed 24hours before the parade begins. All other city car parks will be unaffected.

Reminder: Town Centre First funds available for Waterford town and villages

Waterford City & County Council are seeking expressions of interest from established village/town committees seeking assistance with developing their local town/village development.

Town Centre First funds are available for a project development measure; development of these proposals must be undertaken in consultation with the Councils appointed Town Regeneration Officer and local town/village community and business interests. Ideally, projects will have been identified as part of a town plan, health check or similar study, produced for the town or village. Projects that cannot demonstrate that a consultative process has been undertaken to ascertain the views of local community and businesses will not be permitted.

Funding may be awarded for costs such as detailed design, planning, procurement, professional fees, assessments, and other development costs.
This initiative will compliment other funding initiatives within the Department, including the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and the Rural Regeneration Development Fund.

Maximum funding amount available is €50,000 per project with a grant rate of 90% of the total project costs.  Two applications from Waterford will be forwarded to the Department of Rural and Community Development for consideration of approval.

The expression of interest form should be completed with supporting documentation etc and emailed back to tcf@waterfordcouncil.ie by 4.00pm, Wednesday 20th March 2024.  Late applications cannot be considered.

Temporary Road Closure – O’Connell St., Waterford

Temporary Road Closure notice

Notice is hereby given that Waterford City and County Council, in exercise of its powers pursuant to Section 75 Roads Act 1993, propose to close the following road to through traffic from 5.00pm Friday to 12 midnight Sunday each week commencing on 29th March, 2024 to 29th December, 2024.

Road to be closed

  • O’Connell Street, Waterford from its junction at O’Connell Street/Thomas Hill to the junction of Sargents Lane/O’Connell Street.

Diversion Routes (one way system)

  • Thomas Hill (L15021-1) from its junction with O’Connell street towards its junction with Meeting House Lane.
  • Meeting House Lane (L-15022-1) from its junction with Thomas Hill towards its junction with Sargent’s Lane.
  • Sargents Lane (L-15023-1) from its junction with Meeting House Lane towards its junction with O’Connell Street.

Objections or submissions may be made in writing to the “Director of Services, Roads, Water and Environment, Waterford City and County Council, City Hall, The Mall, Waterford” not later than 4pm on 18th March, 2024.

Tramore Public Realm Architects shortlisted for National Architectural Award

Tramore Public Realm

Waterford based dhbArchitects have once again been shortlisted in a national competition for their town centre project in Tramore. The competition is ‘Building and Architect of the Year’, with the winner announced at an awards ceremony in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on April 12th.

Máire Henry, Director of dhbArchitects, said, “I see this as a joint award for ourselves, our extended design team, our client Waterford City and County Council, our contractor, and the very supportive Tramore Town Centre Management group. We all worked together to deliver a much-needed public outdoor space in the old centre of Tramore town.”

Following investment of €5.1m from the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF), Waterford City and County Council, and Uisce Éireann, the project has transformed the heart of Tramore Town into a vibrant, connected outdoor pedestrianised space, where people can once again stroll, meet, sit, converse and connect, overlooking Tramore Bay.

The design places a strong emphasis on pedestrians over cars, resulting in increased walking among both locals and visitors. This has led to numerous positive outcomes, includ­ing improved physical health, a cleaner environment and a more robust local economy.

The addition of custom Irish limestone seating acts as an outdoor amphitheatre, attracting children who engage with the space while their parents queue and chat at the popular bakery and coffee shops that now line the area.

The seating also provides a resting spot for those who may find the steep topography challenging. Furthermore, this space serves as a pop-up performance area, hosting local parades and festi­vals.

Morris Conway, Acting Senior Architect with Waterford City and County Council said, “This project has created a vibrant town centre, with its bright and open reclaimed pedestrian area. The stepped seating and cascading paving are as practical as they are eye-catching, creating an impressive focal point, attracting visitors and increasing dwell time of those who visit the area.”

The Tramore Public Realm project was awarded a Commendation at the annual Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) awards in 2023.

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RSA and AGS launch St Patrick’s Bank Holiday road safety appeal with high number of road deaths in 2024

  • One in ten report driving after drinking alcohol in the last 12 months.
  • One in four motorists believe that driving short distances after having a drink is acceptable.
  • Nearly one in four drivers have admitted they may have been over the limit when driving the morning after a night out.
  • Over St. Patricks Weekend 2023, 196 drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant – 136 alcohol & 60 drugs.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are appealing to the public to use the roads with care over the St Patrick’s Bank Holiday weekend. This appeal comes against the backdrop of high numbers of road fatalities in 2024.

Provisional analysis from the RSA shows that 42 lives have been lost on Irish roads to date this year, three (3) more than on this date last year (as of 14 March 2024).

The RSA and An Garda Síochána are reminding all road users to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Ahead of the national holiday, drivers and all other road users are being reminded to plan ahead and organise a safe way home when celebrating over the coming days.

This means leaving the car and the keys at home, arranging a lift, agreeing a designated driver, booking a taxi, or taking public transport. Walking home or cycling under the influence of alcohol or drugs can also put you and other road users at risk.

Gardai statistics show that:

  • During 2023 one driver was arrested every hour on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant – alcohol or drugs.
  • Over St. Patricks Weekend 2023, 196 drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant – 136 alcohol and 60 drugs.
  • Drug driving accounted for over 35% of all driving while intoxicated detections in 2023.
  • Cannabis and cocaine remain the main drugs identified.
  • To date in 2024 up to the 29 February, over 1,300 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant – alcohol or drugs.

The appeal comes as the RSA’s Driver Attitudes & Behaviour Survey 2023 found that one in four (26%) motorists believe that driving short distances after having a drink is acceptable, and one in ten report driving after drinking alcohol in the last 12 months.

The survey also reveals that nearly a quarter (23%) of drivers have admitted there were times where they may have been over the limit when driving on the morning after a night out.

To coincide with this Bank Holiday appeal, the RSA’s ‘SAY IT’ campaign will continue to run over the Bank Holiday weekend, with a specific focus on alcohol. The ‘SAY IT’ campaign encourages people to speak up when they see unsafe behaviours by family or friends on the roads.

Mr. Jack Chambers, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said“I am deeply concerned by the findings that people have admitted to driving while they may have been over the limit after a night out. This bank holiday weekend I am urging motorists to make responsible choices before getting behind the wheel after celebrating St Patrick’s Day. With the holiday falling on a Sunday, people who are away for the weekend may be travelling back on the Monday. We all need to keep our roads safe, and I am also appealing to people not to get behind the wheel if they have been celebrating heavily the night before.”

Sarah O’Connor, Director of Partnerships and External Affairs with the RSA, said: “We know that fatal road traffic collisions are more likely to occur over the weekend and late at night/in the early hours of the morning. If any of us gets behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol or using drugs this weekend, we have to realise that our decision could lead to some very serious consequences. Plan a safe way home and stick to it – and speak up if you see someone about to drive or walk home when intoxicated. Don’t just think it, say it.”

An Garda Síochána Assistant Commissioner Roads Policing and Community Engagement, Paula Hilman said“Throughout this St. Patrick’s Bank Holiday Weekend, an extensive Garda Roads Policing Operation will be in place nationwide. Enforcing road traffic laws is a core element of road safety, and Gardaí work all year round to detect road traffic offences which are known to increase the risk of death or serious injury on our roads. The reality is that this risk further increases during bank holiday weekends. We all have a personal responsibility to prevent road fatalities and serious injury road traffic collisions, and we must work together. An Garda Síochána are urging people to never, ever get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of an intoxicant be that alcohol or drugs. Please slow down and drive at an appropriate speed, always wear your seatbelt and do not allow yourself to be distracted by a phone while driving.

“There are consequences to these actions and poor driver behaviour – some more lasting than others. You could lose your licence and face significant financial penalty, but far worse is the possibility of seriously injuring or killing someone else on the road. We appeal to everyone to look out for one another on the roads this St. Patrick’s weekend.”

This St Patrick’s Bank Holiday Weekend drivers are also being reminded that the RSA and participating Applegreen service stations are providing free cups of coffee to motorists to combat driver fatigue. The offer is available from 2-8pm on Friday 15 March and on Monday 18 March – just mention RSA at the Applegreen till when you’re getting your coffee.

The RSA has also teamed up with JOE.ie to help combat drink driving this St. Patrick’s weekend. The JOE.ie team has produced a video where they put the public to the test with some ‘simple’ tasks using our impairment goggles, which shows the effects of driving under the influence.

ENDS 

For further information please contact:

Road Safety Authority Press Office, 096 25008

Expat Taxes wins Waterford National Enterprise Award

National Enterprise Award Winner_Waterford 2024

Expat Taxes Ltd., a Waterford company specialising in tax for expatriates has been named as Waterford’s Enterprise Award winner and will go on to represent Waterford at the 24th National Enterprise Awards which will take place in the Mansion House, Dublin, on Thursday May 23rd 2024.

The announcement was made as part of the Local Enterprise Office’s Local Enterprise Week at the Mayor’s Parlour on Friday March 8th.

Expat Taxes Ltd. is a boutique Irish tax practice that simplifies taxes for people moving to or from Ireland. As Chartered Tax Advisers and Chartered Accountants with over 15 years’ experience they are experts in expatriate tax. It offers tax advisory and tax compliance services. Its aim is to make taxes less stressful and to help its clients navigate the complex work of international tax.

The aim of the National Enterprise Awards is to spotlight, showcase, encourage and support a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship in our communities in Ireland, to promote entrepreneurship and to celebrate the achievement of the core client portfolio of the LEOs.

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway who presented the award was impressed with the winner, saying, “Expat Taxes represents the new outward looking Waterford. As our city and county continues to grow, progress and attract investment, companies such Expat provide a valuable and seamless service to those thinking of locating to Waterford and Ireland.

“I’d like to wish Stephanie and her team the best of luck as they go on to represent Waterford at the National Enterprise Finals.”

Gareth Evans, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford, congratulated the winners, “The National Enterprise Awards are very much a benchmark for excellence for small businesses across the country.  Expat Taxes has demonstrated its calibre, innovation and resourcefulness and is a very deserving winner of the Waterford award. To be so successful after just a few shorts years in business is a real achievement and I’m sure they will go on to represent us well on the national stage.”

Stephanie Wickham, owner, was obviously delighted to win the award, “After winning the Waterford Digital Award last year we know how important they can be for our profile. We’re really looking forward to representing Waterford on the national stage in May and would like to thank the team at the LEO for all their help over the years.”

The other four finalists in the Waterford NEAs were:

  • Euro Tachograph Solutions Ltd
  • CMC Hygea Ltd
  • Reso Health Ltd
  • Uoto Ltd

The Waterford Enterprise Awards took place as part of a very successful Local Enterprise Week programme of events.  There were over 300 events which took place across the country, run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices from March 4th to 8th.