Enniscorthy woman gets the Hollywood treatment
Eccentric, exceptional, Enniscorthy-born Eileen Gray’s story is set for the big screen as a film is planned about her wonderfully unorthodox life.
Hollywood actress Winona Ryder plays the avant-garde Co Wexford furniture designer in ‘The Price of Desire’.
Gray made the 20th century record in decorative arts sales when her ‘Dragons’ chair sold for an eye-watering €21.9m.
The movie starts shooting this summer – but if you can’t wait to see the film, Enniscorthy Castle has a year-round dedicated Eileen Gray exhibit. The history of her life is outlined and replicas of her furniture are on view.
New €1.5m JFK centre planned for 50th anniversary of visit
A new road to Dunganstown will help tourists make the Kennedy connection in New Ross as the OPW (Office of Public Works) invests in a new interpretative centre at the JFK ancestral home.
A €1.5m cash injection will see a brand new centre built this year as well as improvements to the original farmhouse buildings.
John F. Kennedy’s great grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, left New Ross to escape the famine. The new centre will be run by the John F. Kennedy Trust, which also manages the Dunbrody Famine Ship.
There will still be a close-knit Kennedy connection with the centre, as JFK’s third cousin once removed, Patrick Grennan, will continue to live on site and farm its lands.
Work on the new centre will be completed by June 2013, just in time to coincide with the 50th anniversary of JFK’s historic visit to Dunganstown.
Popular tenor aims to bring fans to Wexford
Recording artist and Wexford ambassador Michael Londra is currently making noise in Nashville, while simultaneously promoting his Irish home on TV stations across North America.
In the past year Michael, who signs Visit Wexford brochures for fans after concerts, has seen his PBS special aired 300 times on all public broadcast stations in the US.
“The PBS music fans are the ones who visit Ireland. They never come to Wexford. I’m trying to change that,” says the affable Chicago-based tenor.
When asked about promoting Wexford while abroad, Michael is happy to say that he talks about home at every given opportunity.
“Wexford made me, moulded me and defines me. I've always thought of myself as an ambassador for the county. I guess now it's official and i could not be prouder.”
Rackard statue unveiled
It’s hard to imagine how hurling legend Nickey Rackard has a connection to UK royalty the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but artist Mark Richards holds the key.
The sculptor, a fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, designed the commemorative coin for Will and Kate’s 2011 wedding and also built the recently unveiled Nickey Rackard statue in Selskar, Wexford.
First mooted in 2008, the location of the Nickey Rackard statue drew much debate across Wexford. It was finally agreed to locate the hurling legend facing up Wexford’s Main Street, ready to burst a sliotar along the streetscape. The official unveiling took place in early 2012.
Wexford to be represented at Olympics and Paralympics
Olympic hopeful Katie Taylor wasn’t born when Wexford’s Billy Walsh, the recently appointed Wexford Ambassador, made his own welterweight Olympic bid in 1988.
As head coach of the national high-performance boxing unit, Billy drew up the programmes that helped Katie rise to world championship level in her sport.
Billy will be in the Olympic village again from July 24 with the Irish boxing squad, which also features Adam Nolan, the 25 year old welterweight from the Ballagh. Adam first boxed under Billy as a child when based with St. Joseph’s club in Wexford town.
Ballinaboola swimmer Grainne Murphy will also join them at London 2012 as she prepares to represent Ireland in the 800m freestyle.
Both Olympians have been awarded bursaries from Wexford County Council and have been named as sporting ambassadors for Wexford.
Gorey swimmer Darragh McDonald and New Ross shot putter Catherine Wayland are expected to represent Ireland in the Paralympics this August. The official announcement of the 2012 Irish Paralympic team takes place on June 28.