Thursday 27 July 2017

Well-known locals look forward To the coming year

BISHOP of Ferns Dr. Denis Brennan's has three key hopes for the New Year: 'That we might be grateful for the gift of life itself and that we might value it in all its aspects.

'That we might look closely at the talents and gifts that each of us have and that we might continue to use them to help others and contribute to the lives of our families and communities.'

'That we might recognise the effects that changed economic circumstances have brought to the lives of many and the priority that should attach to the most vulnerable.'

Eoin Colfer, author

'I AM hoping that 2013 turns out pretty much the same as 2012 for me personally as everything I had planned work-wise happened on schedule.

'It would be great for everybody if the town got a little busier and we got that special Wexford buzz going again. It seemed to me that things were a little livelier during the festival with the Spiegeltent and the operas so maybe we have turned a corner.'

Darragh McDonald, Paralympics gold medallist

HAVING achieved a gold medal for swimming in the 2012 Paralympics, Darragh McDonald from Gorey now faces another daunting challenge in 2013. 'My main focus in 2013 is going to be the Leaving Cert and making decisions on what to do in college,' he said. 'At the moment I'm looking at Law and History in UCD.'

'On the sporty side of things I'm starting a video diary which I'm calling "Road To Rio" which is going to be shown on my website, which is being sponsored by Aztec WebDesign here in Gorey,' he continued. 'Realistically though, the sport side of things will be taking a back seat to the studying this year and I'll be looking at just maintaining the fitness I already have.'

Adam Nolan, Olympic boxer

'I SUPPOSE sporting-wise, the main goal is to retain my senior title and hopefully I can go on and make it three in a row. I've been back training hard for the last six weeks and I've been doing a bit of sparring and that.

'I suppose after the Olympics, I probably took a bit too much time off really, but I'm getting back into it now and working hard. It's only another 6 weeks until the Senior Championships start so hopefully I'll be ready and in good shape for it. In terms of a New Year's resolution, I'd like to ease up a bit on the chocolate.

'I'm a bit of a chocoholic I'm afraid. I've plenty of bad habits, but I suppose that's one I'd get rid of!'

Michael Finn, Principal, Gorey Community School

'MY HOPES and dreams for 2013 are inspired by the recent tragic deaths of Shane McEntee TD and the countless others; less well known but no less important to us,' said Michael Finn, Principal of Gorey Community School, the biggest secondary school in Ireland.

'Our own community here in Wexford has been indelibly marked by suicide, and families and friends have had to cope with the intense grief and guilt following these tragic events.'

'As a society I believe that we are a kind, compassionate and caring people, capable of reaching out and supporting each other.

'My main hope for the coming year is simple; we need to look after each other and realise that people's mental health can be fragile. My hope is that the government will now recognise that suicide is a significant issue in our society and will plan to put appropriate supports in place with a view to looking at this epidemic in a meaningful way.'

Billy Walsh, Team Ireland Olympic Boxing Coach

'IN terms of boxing we have a very heavy schedule next year. For the seniors we have the World and European Championships so it'll be a busy year.

'The hope is to keep all of the lads in good shape and keep bringing success to the country. 'The lads have been busy training and the national championships are on in February, so they won't have been able to overdo it over the Christmas period. Basically we're constantly striving to improve. ' What was good enough last year won't be good enough next year. We need to build upon our success and keep improving. 'Outside of boxing I'd just hope for a happy and healthy 2013.'

Ursula Jacob, Wexford and Oulart camogie star

'RETAINING our All-Ireland titles is the main aim. The club championship resumes on February 3 so I am already in full training for that.

'The rest of the Wexford girls are still on a break and we won't be back with the county panel until mid-January. I first appeared for the county when I was still under 14, to play in goal. I have made my way up to the forwards since, thank goodness. At 27, I am resolved to play as hard and as enthusiastically as ever, because I don't have a load of years left.'

Joe Murphy, novelist

'I am resolved not to do too much in 2013 apart, that is, from finishing book number three. That is about it for the year because I am not that ambitious.

'I have already made a start – it's about a guy searching for his identity. The plot switches between past and present chapter by chapter, which makes it difficult to write.

'Also I am completely distracted by the arrival of my son Oisín, who is quite clearly the best thing I have ever produced. He's a great little chap and I spend the evenings with him while he explores everything.'

Daryl Jacob, Grand National winning jockey

'I AM banned at the moment after missing the winning line at Wincanton but I will be back racing from January 2. In the meantime I have been riding out most days and I have been busy going to the gym. I keep my own targets for the year ahead to myself and don't like to tell them to anyone.

'Still, it would be nice to have another Cheltenham festival winner. I hope to have another good Grand National ride – I am very much looking forward to going back to Aintree in April.'

Wallis Bird, singer/songwriter

'2013 is going to be a year where I coop myself up and become obsessive about song writing! But for now I'm having a long Christmas break and won't begin working on it until around January 10.

'I just set up my studio in Kreuzberg which is in the centre of Berlin. It's a beautiful and inspiring part of town. So I'll spend the bones of 18 months writing, recording and then finalising a new record before I release it in 2014.

'So my New Year's resolution is to relax, let myself loose, and write... also to have somewhat of a life in between!'

Sean Reidy, CEO of the JFK Trust

'I am looking forward to the culmination of three big capital projects in tourism coming to fruition.

' The Dunbrody Famine Ship has recently been finished and we will now have a new quayside with an eternal flame and boardwalk, work has just started on the Kennedy Homestead and we will have the Kennedy Trail linking them all up.

'Also 2013 is the year of The Gathering and JFK50, which will leave a lasting legacy and will have a transformational effect on the town into a major tourist destination.

'I look forward to everyone in the town and area working together to make the most of that investment and to make sure New Ross becomes a major tourist destination.'

Michael Sheehan, Chairperson of JFK50

'2013 will be a huge year for New Ross.

'I want to focus on creating and sustaining jobs in the county especially for young graduates, delivering the ambitious JFK50 year and the rejuvenation of New Ross. 2013 is the year where we will start to feel more confident in our town and county.

'Many initiatives, from the swimming pool, the quayside, the library, the Kennedy Homestead and our linkages with the rest of the world will come full circle before a global audience as New Ross celebrates the homecoming, leadership and legacy of President Kennedy.

'2013 is our year- let's make the most of it.'

Anthony Masterson, Wexford and Castletown goalkeeper

'WE'VE a new manager this year, so hopefully we'll get on well with him, and hopefully we'll get promoted from Division 2, so we can go up to Division 1 for next year,' said Wexford GAA football goalie Anthony Masterson.

'Obviously the big hope is to win that Leinster title - we've been waiting over sixty years for it,' he continued. ' That's been our main aim since this group of players got together.'

On a personal level, Anthony hopes to keep as busy as ever in work.

'I took on two employees during 2012, so I hope the government doesn't make it any harder for businesses to keep going,' he said.

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