Mayor remembers those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19

On Friday, November 26th, the Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr Joe Kelly planted a tree in the People’s Park, paying tribute to those who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Cllr Kelly said, “It is my great honour as Mayor of Waterford City and County, to plant this tree today, remembering those who have sadly lost their lives to Covid.  Each one of them was a mother, a father, a son, or daughter, a partner, a sibling, a friend, a neighbour or a colleague.  They have been taken from their families and loved ones by Covid, but they will not be forgotten.”

“From the dark days that we have endured to the uncertainty that lies ahead, there will be brighter times ahead and we will prevail.”

“This tree is a symbol for those who have passed….strong, proud and always close by.  This spot in the People’s Park is somewhere tranquil and soothing when we want to remember those who we’ve lost.  It’s a place to visit to pause, reflect and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives, and also to acknowledge all who have contributed to the fight against Covid, in particular our frontline healthcare workers.  We are indebted to them for their hard-work, compassion and their professionalism as they work through this difficult time.”

Remembrance events had taken place throughout the country in September however, Waterford City and County Council delayed the ceremony in order to source a tree, fitting to mark the solemnity and magnitude of the occasion.

Eoin Dullea, Horticulturist with Waterford City and County Council sourced a beautiful foxglove tree (Paulownia Tomentosa) and explained why he had chosen that particular species.

“In essence, when the Foxglove tree or Paulownia is in flower, it looks far too exotic to be grown in Ireland.  The foxglove tree is a tree not seen that much in our ordinary everyday gardens as it is far too big for a small garden as a fully grown tree.  However, it is perfect for this location and an occasion as respectful as this deserves a tree as magnificent as this.”

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Tramore to light up with Christmas Festival trail

Festive lights trail, a Christmas Garden, Christmas Crafts and a surfing penguin will feature in this year’s offering

Tramore will sparkle this Christmas season as the ‘Christmas in Tramore’ festive trail gets underway from Thursday, December 2nd.

According to Lynda Lawton, Operations Manager with Waterford Chamber, “This year we had hoped for on-street events, but we’re putting safety first and with numbers rising we are concentrating our efforts into bringing you a fantastic trail of festive displays throughout the town.  We have loads of fabulous lighting installations for you to discover and capture magical moments, from the entrance to Tramore right up to the Doneraile and everywhere in between.”

Lights will be turned on by Cllr Joe Kelly, Mayor of Waterford City & County on December 2nd and key attractions on Main Street will include a 20ft Christmas tree and a giant festive post box for children to post their letters to Santa.

Mayor Kelly is looking forward to seeing Tramore lit up in the run up to Christmas.

“Tramore really does have something for everyone this Christmas season.  While the on-street events might be on hold this year due to public safety considerations, Tramore will be magical this Christmas.  With so many family-friendly attractions, such as a 20 ft high Christmas tree, Santa’s sleigh and a light garden at the Railway Station, I think Tramore will even outdo the North Pole!”

“The enormous efforts of Waterford Chamber, EveryEvent, Waterford City and County Council and all the local businesses to make Tramore a must-visit festive destination have to be commended, and hopefully the festival can continue to grow in the coming years.”

Following new investment in festive lights by Waterford City and County Council, the area will be lit by a curtain of Christmas lights to add to the festive atmosphere.  Santa’s sleigh will take up prominent position at the Plaza and will make a picture-perfect opportunity for children and families to pose for photos. Santa has even promised to stop by on some days to say hello!

Meanwhile, down at the Railway Station there will be a light garden with plenty of photo opportunities.

As well as having the chance to visit Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens for the Enchanted Garden Light Festival and the Coastguard Cultural Station to pick up some incredible crafts, wrap up the family and check out the

Tramore Tidy Towns Christmas Garden, opposite Apple Green; Tramore AFC festive display; the Big Trees at Tramore Racecourse, Branch Road and Priest’s Road; Tramore Tidy Towns Winter Garden at Tramore GAA Roundabout and the surfing penguin and festive lights at the Life Saving Centre.

 

-ENDS-

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Europe Direct Waterford announces the Regional Winners of the 2021 National Soapbox Final

Contestants battled it out in the annual Europe Direct Waterford Soapbox regional heat, each speaking for three minutes on this years’ timely topic  “Lies, damned lies and statistics – establishing the truth is impossible in today’s world of misinformation, disinformation and propaganda”.

A three strong judging panel had the difficult task of selecting the two winners Ross Anderson from Dungarvan CBS in the 16 & under category and Shane Burke also from Dungarvan CBS in the 17 & over category.

Both finalists will represent Europe Direct Waterford in the National Soapbox final, taking place on the 9th of December.  Our regional winners will each receive an iPad and then be in with a chance of winning the overall prize of €1000.

Organiser Breda O’Shea from Europe Direct Waterford said: “the standard was very high this year with all contestants submitting their video entries online, both were very worthy winners. We wish Ross and Shane all the best as they progress to represent us in the National final next month. Congratulations too to Rachel Harries from St. Leo’s College, Carlow and Daniel Fleming who were runners up.”

Head Judge Crista de Brún congratulated the winners, adding: The Europe Direct Soapbox Competition is a wonderful opportunity to develop oracy skills and participate in a vibrant culture of learning.  The research and enthusiasm was evident in the range of responses received and it made the judging a very challenging and enjoyable process.  The standard of entries this year was very high, and on behalf of the judging panel I would like to congratulate all entrants on their effort, engagement and initiative.”

Other judges were, Sandra Kelly Garter Lane Arts Centre and Jim Lenane, Waterford City & County Council.

Entries from all seven Europe Direct Centres throughout Ireland will be reviewed by a national panel of judges and The National final will be streamed on the Libraries Ireland YouTube channel at 11.30am on Thursday, 9th December 2021.  All regional winning entries will be played and the National winner will be announced live on the day.

The National Soapbox competition is run through seven Europe Direct Centres based in public libraries throughout Ireland and is an initiative of the European Commission Representation in Ireland.  The Soapbox Final always showcases a unique mix of generations on the topic and reminds us that debate and discussion remain at the heart of European democracy.

Europe Direct Waterford is part of a community of 424 Europe Direct centres around Europe.  Their purpose is to reinforce the important connection between the EU institutions and citizens, providing timely and factual information on European matter and events while coordinating with other EU networks in the region to ensure easier local access to information for citizens, organisations and businesses.  Europe Direct Waterford is run from Central Library in Waterford City.

You can watch the Europe Direct Waterford Regional winner’s videos at: https://youtu.be/LbvqqwdMMOU

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Winners of LEO ‘Scholarship Desk Programme’ begin their journey at Boxworks

Four entrepreneurs recently took up their desk space at Boxworks Co. Work. Space. as part of a Local Enterprise Office Waterford scholarship programme.

The LEO Desk programme was created to facilitate those with a business idea or in start-up phase.  By providing a creative coworking and networking environment for the next six months, the businesses will be well positioned to put their specific goals in place with the aid of monthly meetings with a LEO business advisor.

The four businesses to take up their desk spaces at Boxworks Co. Work. Space are Ann Marie Deady, Peter Fortune, Sarah Bowie and Sinead O’Neill.

Ann-Marie Deady is the owner of AM Deady Design, a Branding and Illustration studio. Ann-Marie is passionate about working with female entrepreneurs in the Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle industries in bringing their visual dreams to life.  “Boxworks is an amazing space to work from. The co-working community is so supportive and being surrounded by creative professionals opens up all avenues for collaboration for my growing business. We have an exciting ongoing collaboration in the works and the co-working environment encourages this growth”

Peter Fortune, Founder, Boardgamer.ie sells modern board games (such as Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic), traditional board games (such as Chess, Backgammon, Carrom) and accessories (such as Dice, Card Sleeves). “We’ve seen good growth over the past year and have worked with existing members of Boxworks on the redevelopment of the store and brand that is due to launch soon. We want to launch our own line of board games with the new brand in the future.”

Cartoonist Writer and Tutor Sarah Bowie is Co.Founder of the Comics Labs of Ireland’s first Graphic short Story Prize in partnership with The Irish Times. Her ‘Socially Distanced’ comic strip, an observational look at life in a pandemic, updates weekly on Instagram at @sarah__bowie and her latest picture books are available online. Sarah is also founder of ‘Waterford Sketchers’ and hosts workshops in writing and illustration for libraries, schools, and colleges, and is available for private one-on-one and group tuition. Sarah is especially passionate about Visual Learning as an education tool, for both adults and children, especially those from immigrant or less literate communities.  “The LEO Desk Programme at Boxworks is giving me a fantastic opportunity to make connections in the vibrant start-up and freelance community in Waterford.  It’s already given me leads to new project opportunities, and I really enjoy the welcoming atmosphere that Emer and Jim have created in Boxworks.  I feel this is an environment that will really help me grow my business.”

Life & Business Coach Sinéad O’Neill qualified through the ILI, an accredited ACSTH programme with the International Coach Federation, the longest established and most respected Coach and Coaching Accrediting Body in the world in 2015.  “I’m in the process of establishing a new social enterprise and being chosen for this programme is a wonderful opportunity for me to come out of my home office and into a coworking environment surrounded by creative likeminded people.”

Jim “Flash” Gordan, Director, Boxworks added, “The Coworking environment is the ideal creative environment for startups and emerging entrepreneurs. To date, this Scholarship programme has supported 40 + entrepreneurs since its launch which included funding, mentoring, networking, collaboration with other in-house coworkers, work placements, employment and setting up in business.  Several recipients of this scholarship award remained in Boxworks after finishing the programme, renting an office space for their business until they outgrew our space. Others remain and run their business from Boxworks. It has been fully subscribed since its launch and highly successful.”

Jacqui Gaule, Local Enterprise Office Waterford, said, “There are a number of successful working hubs through-out Waterford which provide fantastic facilities for start-ups and small businesses in a productive, connected and positive working setting. And it is because these are here that the Local Enterprise Office can offer this programme to participants.  While providing mentoring and supports along with the chance to work with other businesses the aim is to assist these businesses to develop and grow in the future”.

If your business in pre-start, start-up or established business phase and would like to find out more about what business support services are available from LEO Waterford, call 0761 110 2905 or visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/

-ENDS-

Posted in Business & Business Supports, Council News, Economic Development | Leave a comment

RSA and An Garda Síochána highlight life-changing impact of drink driving at Christmas and New Year

  • 83 fatalities and 709 serious injuries* in Christmas / New Year period over last five years
  • Morning after highlighted as one in four drivers admit to driving over the limit the morning afterϮ
  • Drivers reminded that all drink driving offences carry a disqualification
  • Almost 4,500 drivers arrested for drink driving to date in 2021

Thursday, 25 November – The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have called on drivers to act responsibly and to not be tempted to drink and drive this Christmas and New Year period. This year’s Christmas and New Year road safety appeal was launched at An Garda Síochána Headquarters in Dublin and focuses on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and the devastating loss of life and serious injuries it can cause.

Research published by the RSA and An Garda Síochána at the launch showed that over the last five years there were 83* fatalities and 709* serious injuries over the Christmas and New Year period. This means that an average of 17* people die and 142* are seriously injured each year at this time. Almost seven out of ten fatalities were male, while almost two thirds of serious injuries were male. The time period 4pm to 8pm was highlighted as the highest risk for fatalities. Serious injuries tended to occur predominantly late afternoon/evening, with over half (51%*) occurring from 12pm through to 8pm.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said: “While the majority of drivers don’t drink and drive there are still some who persist in this dangerous behaviour. Research from 2013-2017 shows that 36% of drivers killed had a positive toxicology for alcohol. To anyone who thinks it’s ok to drive after drinking alcohol I say you need to understand that if you commit a drink driving offence you will face disqualification from driving for a minimum of three months. Think about how a driving ban would impact your daily life. You will no longer be able to drive to work, drive to the gym or drop the kids off to school. If you are planning on having a drink this festive season or anytime, remember that alcohol and driving do not mix. Designate a driver organise a taxi, hackney, minibus or use public transport.”

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority said: “Christmas is meant to be one of the happiest times of the year where loved ones gather and memories are made. Unfortunately, every Christmas we see the devastating impact drink-driving has on families. They are reminded of the heart-breaking reality of drink driving every day of the year, but particularly at Christmas by the empty chair at the dinner table where a loved one should be sitting. Drink-driving is a choice it doesn’t happen by accident. Your choice to drink and drive could have lasting consequence. At best you could lose your licence at worst you could be responsible for someone’s death or serious injury, leaving families devastated. Look, its simply not worth the risk. So, make the right choice for you, your family and friends this Christmas and every day and never, ever drink and drive.”

Deputy Commissioner, Ann Marie McMahon, An Garda Síochána said: “This weekend marks the start of the six week Christmas and New Year road safety enforcement campaign by An Garda Síochána. An Garda Síochána will be conducting Mandatory Intoxicant Testing checkpoints around the country, to detect irresponsible drivers who drive under the influence of either alcohol or drugs or a combination of both. We will also be targeting other lifesaver offences including speeding, not wearing seat belts and mobile phone use by drivers. Members of An Garda Síochána will also focus on unaccompanied driving by learner drivers.”

Deputy Commissioner McMahon continued, “Unfortunately drink driving is still a problem on Irish roads. 4,453 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and 3,333 have been arrested for drug driving this year to date. This is almost 166 drivers arrested each week for these offences. This Christmas and New Year, we are appealing to motorists to drive safely and under no circumstances drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 120 people have lost their lives on the roads this year and members of An Garda Síochána have had to deliver this devastating news to their families. We don’t want to have to deliver this news to your family this Christmas.”

Professor Cusack, Head of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, said: “Alcohol is a Depressant drug. Drink it and, after it passes through the liver where it is detoxified, some of the alcohol will hit the brain within minutes. The skills most critical to driving – the brain’s ability to observe, interpret and process information from the eyes and other senses – are impaired by alcohol even at the low levels.”

He added that, “While detection of drug driving has increased substantially in recent years, alcohol remains the commonest intoxicant detected in drivers. In 2020, 94% of drivers, who following arrest provided an evidential breath sample for alcohol analysis, had alcohol detected in their breath. Combining Breath, Blood and Urine alcohol positive samples it is notable that 88% of those samples have alcohol concentrations greater than the legal limit of 50mg/100ml blood equivalent, 67% of drivers have alcohol concentration over 100mg/100ml blood equivalent and 42% of drivers have levels greater than 150mg/100ml blood equivalent. While all age groups (drivers 16-83 years old) are well represented in drink driving detections. Most arrests for drink driving in males is evenly spread across the late teen to mid-forty age categories, while female arrests peak in the 35 to 44 age group. Drink driving is not going away and detection of it has increased.”

Warning of the danger of drink driving the morning after Mr. Sam Waide, CEO, Road Safety Authority said: “The morning after is a real danger zone for drink driving. A previous analysis of Garda Síochána Investigation Files for fatal collisions, by the RSA, shows that 11% of fatal collisions, in which a driver had consumed alcohol, occurred between 7am and 11am. Our own research also shows that one in four drivers admit to driving over the limit the morning afterϮ. There is no hard and fast rule about when it is safe to drive the morning after if you have been drinking the previous night. But motorists should allow at least one hour per standard drink for the alcohol to clear their system. A standard drink is a half-pint, a small glass of wine or a standard measure of spirits. Also, if drinking at home, you may be unknowingly drinking larger measures and therefore increasing the risk of being unsafe to drive the following morning. The key is never to take chances, don’t risk it, you could end up losing your licence or worse.”

Drivers are also being reminded that the Coca Cola Designated driver campaign is running again this year. The scheme offers free soft drinks and water to anyone acting as a designated driver on a night out with friends or family. In addition, Coca Cola has also teamed up with Q-Park cark parks to offer free parking for designated drivers in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast.

The HSE has a useful website called askaboutalcohol.ie which is full of very valuable resources on the impact of alcohol on driving and drivers are encouraged to visit the site for more information on the subject.

ENDS

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Enumerators required for Census 2022

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Uimhir theagmhála nua

De bharr athruithe atá tugtha isteach ag COMREG, tá príomh-uimhir theagmhála Chomhairle Cathrach agus Contae Phort Láirge athraithe anois go dtí 0818 10 20 20.

Is féidir leat teagmháil a dhéanamh lenár deasc um seirbhísí custaiméirí idir 9r.n. agus 5i.n. agus lenár seirbhís taobh amuigh de na gnáthuaireanta oibre trí ghlaoch ar 0818 10 20 20.

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Our Customer Service number is changing

Due to changes being introduced by COMREG, Waterford City and County Council’s main contact number has now changed to 0818 10 20 20.

You can now contact our customer services desk between 9am and 5pm, and our out of hours service by calling 0818 10 20 20.

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Dungarvan to light up for Festive Season

Dungarvan town centre will light up this weekend as the Christmas lights will be switched on, on Friday, November 26th by Deputy Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr Seanie Power.

This year, the ‘official’ turning on of the Christmas lights will be a little different from previous years with public health and safety being taken into consideration.

Kieran Kehoe, Dungarvan Town Manager said, “While we are delighted Dungarvan will be lit up, we would encourage families to enjoy the festive atmosphere while following social distancing protocols.”

“Dungarvan will quite literally be illuminated up to and beyond Christmas, so there’s plenty of time to come to town, soak up the festive atmosphere and support local by shopping in Dungarvan’s great stores and eateries.”

Dungarvan’s Christmas lights will light up the town from Grattan Square to the Giant Stag at Walton Park.

-ENDS-

Image: Patrick Kenealy

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