New Ross to host William Marshal weekend

Hook Head.

David LoobyNew Ross Standard

The second annual William Marshal weekend takes place from this Saturday, May 13, over two days in the district.

The day begins with a gathering at the thrones in The High Hill garden with an official opening by New Ross Municipal District cathaoirleach, Cllr Michael Sheehan at 10.45 a.m. There will be a host of interesting characters, from Marshal to his wife Isobel de Clare, their daughter Joan, a medieval knight, archers, Enniscorthy Re-enactment Group and New Ross Pantomime Society.

A tour of St Mary’s Graveyard follows at 11.30 a.m., with New Ross historian Myles Courtney

There will be four speakers talking at St Mary's Church, namely MC Seamus Kiely, Jack Stacey, speaking at Nesta, Princes of Wales, Mick Conway on the origins of the Magna Carta and ‘Grand Master Guy’ on the link between William Marshal and Martial Arts.

Following refreshments at Corcoran’s pub in Irishtown at 1.30 p.m., there will be a musical performance from New Ross & District Pipe Band at 3 p.m. at the North Street main entrance to The High Hill gardens.

A short historical walk follows at 3.15 p.m., taking in the town’s murals and laneways.

A concert featuring the pipe band, Keith Flanagan, Hayley Crosbie, Des O’Callaghan, Seamus Kiely and Cairdeas Cheoil at the Emigrant Flame concludes the weekend activities at 3.45 p.m.

On Sunday, 804 years to the day when ‘The Greatest Knight’ Marshal died, attendees will meet at the Emigrant Flame at 10.45 a.m., leaving for Grantstown at 11 a.m., using their own transport, or car pooling.

At 11.40 a.m. they gather at the old Augustinian church in Grantstown, (the headquarters of Bannow Historical Society), who will host a coffee and tea break.

A map depicting how Bannow looked 854 years ago in 1169 will be discussed by John Harper.

At 1 p.m. historian Ann Farrell of Bannow Historical Society will give a talk at St Mary’s Church, Bannow, where the Normans landed in early May 1169.

The next talk is by Kiely at Baginbun ‘Where Ireland was lost and won’, at 3 p.m. on the importance of Baginbun in Irish history.

Lunch (optional) at Hook Lighthouse a 4 p.m. follows, with a tour of the lighthouse and music and craic at The Vine Cottage in Saltmills at 6 p.m.

The cost for the weekend is €10. Booking is essential and can be done online on www.newsrosshistorygroup

There will be a virtual tour guide accessible via smartphone through a QR code outside St Mary’s Church in Bannow for more on the area's Norman heritage.