People from Enniscorthy are colloquially known as 'scalders'. The name Inis Corthaidh derives from the Irish Gaelic word for island (Inis) and what is thought to be an ancient personal name (Córthaidh). The town is situated at the tidal extreme of the River Slaney which is no doubt the reason its being settled originally. The river has gouged steep sides in surrounding rock over the millennia to create the distinctive hilly feel of the town that makes it eminently photogenic.
Scene: The Bridge & Abbey Quay
Date: 1910 (estimate)
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Read about Enniscorthy below
Enniscorthy (Irish: Inis Córthaidh) is the second-largest town in County Wexford in the Republic of Ireland (town and environs population: 9,538). With a history going back to 465 AD, Enniscorthy can rightfully call itself one of the longest continuously-occupied sites in Ireland. It is situated on the River Slaney in the centre of the county, 24km north of the county town, Wexford. The town lies on the N11 road (part of European route E1) from Dublin to Wexford and has a station on the Dublin–Wexford–Rosslare Europort railway line. People from Enniscorthy are colloquially known as 'scalders'.
The name Inis Corthaidh derives from the Irish Gaelic word for island (Inis) and what is thought to be an ancient personal name (Córthaidh). The town is situated at the tidal extreme of the River Slaney which is no doubt the reason its being settled originally. The river has gouged steep sides in surrounding rock over the millennia to create the distinctive hilly feel of the town that makes it eminently photogenic.
Enniscorthy has a number of points of interest. Saint Aidan's Cathedral, designed by Augustus Welby Pugin, is a masterpiece of Neogothic architecture. In 1994 it was restored to his original designs. The Wexford County Museum contains extensive 1798 rebellion-related material, as well as items of local and agricultural interest. The Museum is housed in Enniscorthy Castle, a typical Norman stronghold, in which Edmund Spenser wrote 'The Faerie Queene'. The Castle was also once owned by Sir Henry Wallop, whose maltreatment of his labourers gave rise to the English word 'wallop'.
Vinegar Hill (Cnoc Fíodh na gCaor), a pudding-shaped hill overlooking the town, was the largest camp and headquarters of the rebels of 1798 who controlled county Wexford for thirty days against vastly superior forces, before their defeat on June 21. However, many managed to flee south through a gap left in the British lines by General Needham(now known as Needham's Gap). During this time, Beauchamp Bagnell Harvey was declared as President of the Wexford Republic. The former Congregation of Christian Brothers monastery now houses a 1798 Visitor Centre which tracks the path to modern democracy and the rebellion's place in it.
Again, in 1916, Enniscorthy patriots took their place in history. James Connolly requested that the Enniscorthy Volunteers take and hold the railway line to prevent reinforcements from reaching Dublin. 600 Volunteers took the town, led by Robert Brennan, Seamus Doyle and J R Etchingham, surrounded the police station, but did not attempt to take it. They established headquarters at the Athenaeum, and held control until asked to surrender by Padraig Pearse. The Volunteers were escorted to Dublin to confirm the order before they stood down.
Enniscorthy hosts both the annual 'Strawberry Fair' and 'Blackstairs Blues' festivals.
Amenities: Enniscorthy is pleasantly situated by the River Slaney, and has short walks beside it to the north and to the south, on the west bank. It is the cathedral town of the Diocese of Ferns and has two Catholic churches spread over two parishes - the parish of St. Aidans and the older parish of St Senans, under the shadow of Vinegar Hill. The town also comprises a Church of Ireland, a joint Methodist/Presbyterian church, a Society of Friends meeting hall, and a Masonic Lodge. There is a multiplex cinema, a swimming pool/recreation centre, several sports grounds and several recently built hotels. Surrounding the town, there is an 18-hole golf course, several pitch and putts, excellent fishing, and an international-quality five-star spa at Monart House just beside 'The Still Pond'. It is the only five-star spa in Ireland. The town also boasts several historical sites and museums.
Guglielmo Marconi's mother was Annie Jameson, the grand-daughter of the founder of Jameson's Distillery. The location of the distillery, about two miles outside Enniscorthy is today known locally as 'The Still'. Eileen Gray was born in Brownswood and later became famous as a furniture designer and architect. Colm Tóibín, born in the town, has written several novels set in the area. Anthony Cronin, poet and biographer of Flann O'Brien and Samuel Beckett, is a native of Enniscorthy. It is mentioned in the Ithaca chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses (p.812) as a flyleaf note in a book belonging to Leopold Bloom, where it is described as 'Ennifcorthy, county Wicklow, the finest place in the world' (sic).
Killian's Enniscorthy was the location of a regional microbrewery owned by the Killian family. During their own operation Killian's ale was sold almost entirely in Wexford county. Although it has since ceased local production it was the basis of the Coors product 'Killian's Red' which has a different formula than the original.
Enniscorthy is also reknown for it's potteries including Carley's Bridge Pottery. Carley's Bridge Pottery is one of Ireland's oldest having made earthen ware pots for over 300 years.
Paddy Murphy was one of Enniscorthy's greatest potters. He set up Hill View pottery in 1980, it is adjacent to his home and is also right next to Carley's Bridge Pottery. Paddy Murphy has the cul-de-dac 'Potters Way' named after him, because he would walk up that rout to his home. After Paddy's passing his pottery was taken over by his relation Derek O'Rourke.