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National Play Day 2024

Waterford Sports Partnership were delighted to partner and support Waterford City & County Council with National Play Day 2024.

Through this initiative, the DCEDIY supports Local Authorities in promoting play and recreation opportunities for children with limited opportunities. The theme for National Play Day 2024 is ‘Time to Play!’, with the aim of promoting play to enhance children’s development.

Organisations that engaged with National Play Day 2024 were:

  • Carriglea Cáirde Services – who received Sensory Packs containing sensory balls/koosh balls, balloons, bean bags, ribbon streamers, large tube bubbles and wands, frisbee, squeezy balls, and coloured sensory scarves.
  • St. Brigid’s, Sacred Heart
    and
  • BRILL Family Resource Centre each received €1,000 to purchase equipment such as Balance Bikes, Tractors, Trikes, Basketball Stand, Karaoke Machine, Playful Gardening Tools that will encourage young people to play on a regular basis.

Fantastic to see such creative ideas that encourages young children to be physically active.

Greenway Tea-Time Cycle

The fun factor gauge is rising! So many people are enjoying #BikeWeek.

Over 20 young people from the 19th & 29th St Mary’s Ballygunner Scout Group with scout leaders Steve Silby, Niamh McCarthy and Sophie Counihan enjoyed Waterford Council’s Greenway Tea-Time Cycle in the City. It’s wonderful to see the interest.

Keep it going and check out www.bikeweek.ie  for all the information you need to take part.

A Refreshing Start to Bike Week 2024: Dawn Cycle to Tramore

This past Saturday morning, Waterford City & County Council hosted an invigorating “Dawn Cycle” event, marking a special start to Bike Week 2024. As the sun began to peek over the horizon, approximately twenty cycling enthusiasts gathered in Waterford at the brisk hour of 6 am, setting the stage for a memorable ride to Tramore.

The event, part of a nationwide celebration to promote cycling as detailed on the Transport for Ireland’s Bike Week page, aimed to highlight the benefits of cycling, both for personal health and as a sustainable transport option. The journey from Waterford city to scenic Tramore offered participants a unique opportunity to experience the tranquility of the early morning, with quiet streets and the fresh, crisp air of the dawn creating a perfect backdrop.

Riders of all ages and abilities joined the cycle, demonstrating the inclusive spirit of Bike Week. The camaraderie among participants was palpable, with seasoned cyclists and beginners alike sharing laughs, stories, and encouragement.

Upon arrival in Tramore, cyclists were greeted with stunning views of the coastline, a rewarding sight after their early morning endeavor. The event concluded with a communal cuppa where stories were shared over cups of coffee and breakfast treats at the T-Bay surf club on the prom.

As Bike Week continues, Waterford Council hopes to see more residents choosing bicycles as their preferred mode of transport, inspired by the success of this picturesque early morning ride.

See the flyer below for more events throughout Waterford for Bike Week 2024, and consider joining the cycling revolution to better health and a cleaner environment!

May Bank Holiday Water Safety Appeal from Water Safety Ireland, Coast Guard and RNLI

Watersafety irelandAhead of the May bank holiday weekend, Water Safety Ireland, the Coast Guard and the RNLI are jointly appealing to people to be safe and summer ready when planning an activity on or near the water. The organisations are urging people to ensure that boats and other watercraft, including kayaks and canoes, are checked and in good working order following the winter period. Engines should be serviced and all equipment, particularly lifejackets, should be in good condition.

 

If out on a boat, or other water vessel:

  • Wear a lifejacket, carry a reliable means of communication – a VHF radio and ideally a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) with mobile phone back up in a watertight case
  • Ensure that you tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back

If planning activities on the water:

  • Always bring a means of effectively communicating a distress
  • Use readily available sources of information to check the environmental conditions (weather and tides) in advance of your trip
  • Seek help immediately if you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast, or think they are in trouble, by using Marine VHF channel 16 or Dialling 112 and asking for the Coast Guard

If you are swimming:

  • Water temperatures are still cold at this time of the year, consider wearing a wetsuit to stay warm
  • Acclimatise slowly
  • Wear a bright swimming cap and consider a tow float to increase your visibility
  • Never swim alone and always ensure that your activity is being monitored by a colleague

Kevin Whitney, Operations Manager at the Coast Guard reminded everyone to ‘Plan& Prepare’ before considering any water-based or coastal activity ahead of and during the summermonths: ‘Donot use inflatable toys in open water or swimout after anything drifting as things can quickly gobadly wrong. Be aware of potential dangers and well preparedbefore engaging in any water-based activities. The Be Summer Ready website at www.gov.ie/summerready provides good watersafety advice and we
urge the public to read this before venturing out on the water.’

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEOat Water Safety Ireland said: ‘An average of five people drown in Ireland every fortnight and cold water is often a factor. Sudden immersion can cause a shock to your body, a loss of breathing control, dizziness, and panic. Hypothermia and muscle cooling soon makes swimming difficult or impossible, particularly for children who have less body fat. Keep cold water swims short and enter the water slowly, staying within your depth. Shore anglers should always wear a
lifejacket and walkers should carry a mobile phone and keep a close eye on incoming tides to avoid being stranded.’

Linda-Gene Byrne, RNLI Water Safety Lead said: ‘Many people will be taking vessels to the water for the first time this year so this is a good time to think about checking your equipment, especially your lifejacket so that it is fit for purpose.

‘Others maybe planning a trip tothe beach and a swim in the sea. We would encourage swimmers to be mindful of rip currents which can be difficult to spot, but are sometimesidentified by a channel of churning, choppy water on the sea’s surface. Even the most experienced beachgoers can be caught out by rips so remember don’t try to swim against it or you’ll get exhausted. If you can stand, wade don’t swim. If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore. Always
raise your hand and shout for help.’

If you see somebody in trouble on thewater or along the coast, orthink they are in trouble, use Marine VHF channel 16 or Dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

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Wonder Walking Trails launched in Waterford city and county

The Wonder Wander Walking Trails were launched in the city and Cappoquin earlier this week.

These trails have been produced by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, The Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, in association with Waterford City and County Council.

At the city launch in the Central Library, Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr Joe Conway highlighted that the trail shines a light on some of the lesser known architectural details of our streetscapes.  He mentioned buildings such as Christchurch Cathedral, The Port of Waterford building and the City Walls, but also noted the lovely details that we pass everyday such as the Art Noveau windows on the Baptist Church in Catherine Street, the ornate terracotta figures on Clyde House and the terraced houses such as those at St Otteran’s Place.

In Cappoquin, Deputy Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr Declan Doocey spoke about the historic shopfronts, which are the best in the county and referenced the ornamental details such shamrocks and flowers which are carved into the woodwork .

The launches concluded with a very informative walk along part of the trail conducted by John Beattie, NIAH.

Rose Ryall, Conservation Officer with Waterford City and County Council said that “the aim of these trails is to raise public awareness of our built heritage and to celebrate a sense of place by exploring the rich and diverse heritage of the Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA) in the historic cores of Cappoquin and Waterford City.”

Pop-up models at the events were produced by Kevin Moran of EZexploring and highlighted the variety of structure types in the city and Cappoquin.  Edel McWeeney-Moran from EZexploring spoke about the community workshops and the drop-in information sessions which were held in the city’s Central Library and Cappoquin Community Centre.

Edel said, “Engaging with local schools such as the 6th class students from St Declan’s primary school and the 3rd class students at Cappoquin Primary school was particularly rewarding. The video at the event showed the drawings the pupils produced of their favourite historic buildings.”

John Beattie from the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage explained the development of the trails and that this pilot project in Waterford and Meath will be rolled out elsewhere.  The final product launched is a self-guided walking route which includes points of interest ranging from regionally important buildings like churches to more modest buildings, reflecting the architecture and cultural heritage of the everyday. The map provides user friendly information on the points of interest with interpretative text illustrated by a combination of images and drawings The map also includes a scavenger hunt to get people out there analysing their streets and looking at them in a different way.

Copies of the trail maps are available at Cappoquin Community Centre, Lismore Library and Waterford Central Library and are also available on the ‘Places to Visit’ page on the NIAH website Buildings of Ireland: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage or at our Built Heritage & Conservation page.

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Waterford FC signs 50-year contract with Waterford City & County Council for the use of Regional Sports Centre

Waterford FC has played its home games at the RSC since 1993, and after winning promotion to the Premier Division for the 2024 League of Ireland season, is delighted to secure the RSC for the long-term future, with the recent signing of a 50-year contract with Waterford City and County Council.

The RSC has been named the League of Ireland Pitch of the Year on multiple occasions, with the state-of-the-art facility having undergone large investment in recent years – most recently the installation of brand-new floodlights at the beginning of this year at a cost €260,000.

With the dedicated Waterford FC Club Shop a stones-throw away from the RSC, the club is delighted to secure its future at the Cork Road venue.

Speaking on the announcement, Group CEO Steve Curwood said, “It’s vital for Waterford FC to have a very productive relationship with the council; we’re in the early stages of a longer journey so it’s important that we continue to work together in making things happen.

“We have to use promotion as a fabulous platform to plan and develop everything around the football club, and this commitment from both ourselves and the Waterford City and County Council with this long-term agreement is the perfect start.”

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr Joe Conway welcomed the announcement saying, “On behalf of Waterford city and county, we are delighted that this robust relationship with Waterford FC is set to continue.

“It was a significant year for the club, one which we all celebrated, and I’m confident the next fifty years will be as significant and exciting for Waterford FC as they begin their topflight League of Ireland journey.

“Waterford FC has put down a great base here at the RSC and we’re delighted with its success.  Waterford City and County Council is looking forward to continuing its work in supporting the club.  It’s destined to be a symbiotic relationship, great for the city, great for the county and great for the club.”

Ivan Grimes, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council added, “This long-term agreement will not only consolidate our great working relationship with the Board, management, players and fans of Waterford FC, it signals the Local Authority’s commitment to help build a better club.

“The benefits of this agreement are far-reaching as they will permeate through to our sports clubs, our schools, and our communities for many years to come.”

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Images:  Free to use – Noel Browne

1. The Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr.Joe Conway is pictured with Steve Curwood, Executive Director, Waterford FC and Ivan Grimes, Director of Services, Waterford City & County Council.

2. The Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr.Joe Conway is pictured with Steve Curwood, Executive Director, Waterford FC.

6.  The Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr.Joe Conway pictured with Marc O’Donovan-Wyatt, Chief Operating Officer, Waterford FC, Steve Curwood, Executive Director, Waterford FC and Ivan Grimes, Director of Services, Waterford City & County Council.

7. The Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr.Joe Conway pictured with Marc O’Donovan-Wyatt, Chief Operating Officer, Waterford FC, Steve Curwood, Executive Director, Waterford FC, Ivan Grimes, Director of Services, Waterford City & County Council and Darren Sealy, Manager, Waterford Regional Sports Centre.

Positive Ageing Week

WOULD you like to take a trip down memory lane at the movies, dance an afternoon away or try your hand at Short Mat Bowling or Pickleball?

 

There are just some of the activities included in an action packed programme of events compiled by Waterford Older People’s Council, Waterford Sports Partnership and Waterford Libraries which are taking place in the city and county to mark Positive Ageing Week which takes place on the week commencing Monday October 2.

Positive Ageing Week kicks off with a classic movie morning at Carrickphierish Library at 10.30am, while at The Hub at Central Library an electronic textiles fabric flower workshop  takes place between 10am and 1pm.

Sports enthusiasts can choose from a Pickleball Taster Session between 2 and 4pm at Cill Barra Sports Centre on October 2, or Short Mat Bowling at the same venue also on Tuesday from 10.30am to 12 noon. Out on your feet an epic walk through 1100 years of history from the Vikings to the Victorians is highly recommended. Meeting place is Bishop’s Palace. A fee of €4 applies and booking should be made by calling Waterford Council on 086 152 9799.

It’s back to Carrickphierish Library on Wednesday for a Smart Phone class for beginners from 1am to 12 noon and the following morning at 10.30 there’s a second chance to check out what’s on the big screen for what promises to be another great Movie Morning.

Each year the Tea Dance at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre is eagerly anticipated and again this year Waterford’s senior citizens are invited alone to enjoy afternoon tea with music and – of course plenty of dancing between 2pm and 5pm.

Demand is expected to be high for all activities so booking is advised through Waterford Sports Partnership by calling 087 739 6050 or email lmcenaney@waterfordsportspartnership.ie For events to be held in local libraries phone 051 849626 or email jloughran@waterfordcouncil.ie Bookings can be made for the Tea Dance at the Sacred Heart Centre, The Folly by calling 089 251 1047 or by email to waterfordopc2019@gmail.com

Rás na mBan Waterford Stage launched in Tramore

For the first time in its 17-year history, Rás na mBan, Ireland’s only women’s international bike stage race, has introduced a Waterford stage to its five-day schedule, which takes place from September 6th to 10th.

     

The 2023 edition of the race is the 17th under the title of Rás na mBan and the 36th annual international stage race for women in Ireland. In its current format it runs for five days and six stages totalling over 400km of racing action.

The 102.7km stage of the race will leave Tramore at 12 noon on Saturday, September 9th and travel through Kilmeaden and Kilmacthomas, on to Dungarvan, before returning along the Copper Coast to the finish line on the Prom in Tramore at approximately 2.40pm.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway welcomed Rás na mBan to Waterford saying, “We are delighted that Waterford will feature as a stage for this prestigious international bike race.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the idyllic, challenging and breath-taking scenery not only to the riders, but to spectators of the world.  We are looking forward to welcoming the riders and supporters to Waterford for what is regarded as the premier international women’s stage race.”

The mayor added, “I would particularly like to thank the Rás na mBan committee for including Waterford in the route this year.  I’d also like to commend the vision of Waterford City and County Council and its elected representatives in working with the race committee and attracting top class women’s bike racing to the Déise.”

Race Director, Valerie Considine said, “It’s our great pleasure and privilege to bring Rás na mBan to Waterford for the first time. It’s a county with an unrivalled heritage in Irish cycle racing and the route we have selected is among the most beautiful and challenging in the history of the race.

“We’re very grateful to everyone in Waterford City and County Council for their help in making this stage possible and we’re sure that our riders and supporters will enjoy a great day of racing on the Copper Coast. We look forward to seeing fans from all over Waterford and beyond out to support these world class athletes on the race route and at the finish in Tramore.”

Fergus Galvin, Director of Services, Waterford City and County Council commended the race organisers for including a Waterford stage in this year’s race.

“Rás na mBan is undoubtedly a top-class international stage race.  The addition of a Waterford stage to the route will give world-class riders from across Europe, the US, Africa and Asia a new demanding route to compete on for the penultimate day.  It also provides the opportunity for them to experience one of the country’s most spectacular backdrops, the Copper Coast.”

The 2023 running of the event begins on Wednesday September 6th with six stages taking place over five days.

This year the route offers a variety of challenges from testing hilly stages including the stage four climb of ‘The Cut’ in the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Laois followed by the demanding Tramore stage in County Waterford on the penultimate day to the stage five-time trial on Sunday where riders will ride solo against the watch on the new Kilkenny Castle course.

For details about the Rás na mBan and the 2023 route visit https://rasnamban.com

 

Homecoming for Waterford Senior Camógie All-Ireland finalists

Following a resolute performance against Cork in Croke Park today, a homecoming celebration for Waterford Senior Camogie All-Ireland finalists will take place in Waterford city tomorrow (Monday, August 7th).

Announcing details of the planned homecoming, Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway said the achievements of the team deserve to be celebrated.

“The Waterford Senior Camogie players, management and supporters have lifted the spirits of the Déise.  While today’s result didn’t go our way, the teams’ performances throughout the championship were inspiring. The culmination of determination, passion and true grit got Waterford to its first All-Ireland Final in 78 years.”

“They have swept us all along with the excitement and passion for their game, their city and their county. It will be my privilege to welcome the team to a Mayoral reception and homecoming celebration on The Mall in the centre of Waterford at 2pm.”

There will be a DJ set on the Mall from 1.30pm, and WLRfm will be broadcasting live from 1pm.  Master of Ceremonies for the homecoming celebrations is Kieran O’Connor.

Members of the public are encouraged to come along and show their support for manager Séan Power and Waterford’s All-Ireland finalists.

Mayor of Waterford City and County launches the Community Playful Streets Program

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway attended a unique project in Portlaw.

Community Playful Streets are being rolled out through the Waterford City and County Council section under initiatives from the Healthy Ireland strategy.

This was one of Mayor Conway’s first outings since recently being elected and he said  “I was privileged to have been asked to come to the Playful Streets evening in Portlaw.  I met a great bunch of children and their enthusiastic parents, all of whom responded engagingly with Waterford Council’s espousal of the initiative.

The main thrust of “Playful Streets” is to get children to play together safely outdoors – and leaving the couches, TVs, phones and video games to one side.  In doing so, we will build a stronger, more inclusive, child-friendly community.

We hope in the Council to have many more such events in the coming months all over the city and county. Special endorsement for all those parents and helpers who cooked with smashing BBQ food and monitored activities.”

Cllr. Declan Clune was delighted to the response of the community saying, “We are really happy how the event went. We would like this to be a regular event now and give areas a further sense of belonging and knowing your neighbour.”

Resident association member, Leanne Simpson was also delighted with the response. “We didn’t expect such a response, the street came alive with activity and people came from everywhere to lend a hand. I would like to thank Eamon O Leary our estate manager, the mayor, our local councillor  Declan Clune, and most importantly the residents and children who took part. Our chef Philip kept the crowds full and looking for more.”

Eoin Morrissey from Waterford City and County Council Community Section added, “Over 15 events are planned with many completed already this summer. It’s a great way for community to work on a project together which is manageable and shows the benefits of play and social interaction as well as several other tangible benefits.”

Beach Wheelchair Booking system opened by Waterford Sports Partnership

Waterford Sports Partnership (WSP) is pleased to announce an online booking system for Tramore’s Beach Wheelchair is now live.

The beach wheelchair is free to use and is available seven days a week.

Introducing the initiative, Pauline Casey, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer with WSP was delighted with the response to the introduction of the beach wheelchair.  “We have had a fantastic response to the introduction of the beach wheelchair at Tramore.  Users of the beach wheelchair have let us know that its addition has made all the difference to how they can access Tramore’s Blue Flag beach.

“Now the addition of an online booking system will make it easier and more accessible for those with mobility issues to book in advance.

“We have a beautiful beach and prom area, but it’s not always been accessible to everyone. The beach wheelchair gives users and their families and friends the opportunity to enjoy Tramore beach together.”

Cllr. Lola O’Sullivan, Chair of the Waterford branch of Irish Water Safety also welcomed the online booking system.  “The beach wheelchair has been a great success since we introduced it in 2021, however its availability was never a certainty.  Now users will be able to visit the booking portal and book a specific time that suits them.

“I’d encourage any person with a disability or infirmity who up to now hasn’t been able to experience the best of Tramore beach to visit the site and register.  Nobody should be excluded from enjoying all that our coastline has to offer.

“I’d also like to thank the Local Authority and the local businesses for their continued support in bringing this great facility to Tramore, in particular T-Bay Surf Club and Molly’s Café.”

The beach wheelchair is for use within the designated Lifeguard Area on Tramore Beach. between 10am and 5pm and is free of charge.

To book visit https://www.waterfordsportspartnership.ie/beach-wheelchair/ or email pcasey@waterfordsportspartnership.ie

 

Get on your bike for Bike Week

Celebrating the benefits of cycling, Bike Week 2023 kicks off with two full weeks of cycling events and workshops throughout Waterford city and county, from Saturday May 13th to Sunday May 21st.

From dawn cycles and Greenway night cycles, to disability cycle workshops and balance bike schools programme, Bike Week has something for all ages and all abilities.

Launched in 2009, National Bike Week has helped raise the profile of cycling as healthy and fun mode of transport, and it’s also great for the community and the planet. Waterford City and County Council, in association with Waterford Sports Partnership, has compiled a wide range of cycling activities.

If you think you’ve got 30km in the tank, the Passage East 30k spin takes place on May 21st.  This free event includes a 30km cycle from Waterford City to Arthurstown in Co. Wexford, taking in the Passage East Car Ferry, with light lunch provided. All participants must have their own bikes and helmets and be over 16 years of age.

The Waterford Greenway Night Cycle departs SETU Arena Carpark at Carriganore at 9pm on Friday May 19th. Participants over 12 years of age are welcome and must have their own bikes and helmets.

How about a spot of High Tea at Mount Congreve?  This women’s cycle departs Bilberry carpark at 10.30am on Saturday May 13th.  At Mount Congreve you can take a well-earned rest and enjoy a spot of high tea in one of the ‘great gardens of the world.’

Whether you’re in the city or county, enjoy a lunchtime cycle on Wednesday May 17th.  With cycles departing from Walton Park in Dungarvan and the House of Waterford on the Mall in the city, you’ll get to see the very best of your locality on two wheels.  Participants must be over 16 years of age and light lunch is provided.

There are dozens of fun events to choose from.  All events are free, but booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

To find out more about the wide range of events taking place throughout Bike Week in Waterford city and county, or to register for a Bike Week event visit www.bikeweek.ie

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Waterford City Marina : Visitor Berths Closed Until 2025

If you’re a boating enthusiast or a user of Waterford City’s marina, please take note of the latest update regarding the marina.

Construction work on the sustainable transport bridge across the River Suir has commenced. This bridge is a crucial part of the North Quays development, as it will connect the city’s north and south sides, creating new opportunities for businesses, residents, and visitors alike. However, in order to facilitate these works, the visitor berths at Waterford City Marina have closed until 2025.

If you had planned to moor your yacht at the marina during this time, you may be disappointed to hear that it won’t be possible. However, it’s important to note that this closure is necessary to ensure the safety of all involved in the construction of the new bridge. The project is expected to take approximately 2.5 years, at which point the marina will to re-open to visiting yachts.

Waterford City & County Council apologises for this temporary inconvenience, but if you’re looking to explore the beautiful waters of Waterford and experience the city’s rich culture and history, mark your calendar for 2025, and plan your trip accordingly.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in securing a long-term berth at the marina, a waiting list is in place, and the Marina Superintendent can be contacted on 087-2384944.

The marina looks forward to welcoming visitors back in a few years’ time, and in the meantime, there are still plenty of other ways to explore and enjoy the vibrant city of Waterford.