Wexford People

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Over 800 attend launch of Oylegate-Glenbrien book

OVER 800 PEOPLE poured into the McLure Suite of White's Hotel on Sunday night to get a first glimpse of the muchanticipated book 'Oylegate-Glenbrien – A Look Back in Time'.

Guest of Honour, RTE presenter Michael Ryan of 'Nationwide' fame, officially launched the book.

'Browsing through the book it's amazing to see the community of Oylegate-Glenbrien has such an interesting history and such an amount of noteworthy connections,' said Michael.

'I read in the introduction that the book started out as a booklet and the group behind this should really be praised for producing such a fine volume of work, which chronicles the history of the area so well for not only the people of the area at the moment but for the generations to come.' said Michael.

Bishop of Ferns Denis Brennan praised the achievements of the growing parish and emphasised how great it was to see new people move in to an area, join those who lived all their life in a parish and come together to do a project like this.

'The sense of community is very strong in the Oylegate-Glenbrien area and should be cherished,' said Bishop Brennan.

The Oylegate Community Centre will benefit from all the proceeds of the book. Ray Quigley, Chairperson of the Oylegate Community Centre, gave a rousing speech.

'We have been fundraising for years for the community centre and unfortunately our application for National Lottery funds was turned down recently because they said we still haven't raised enough locally to be approved.

'The community is sick of fundraising as this stage, but a new community centre is vital to the area,' said Ray.

'At the moment the youth club, which has over 90 members, meets once a week and each week we hope that it doesn't rain so we won't have to put out the buckets to catch the rain pouring through the roof of the old hall.

'At the moment we have nowhere for our senior citizens to meet so the community centre is not only needed but vital to the area,' he said.

Ray joked that he hoped Carmel Maher, Chairperson of the Book Committee, didn't regret suggesting producing a 'booklet' as a fundraiser over 12 months ago, which the 400 page book grew from.

He also reminded people that the next major fundraiser was the New Year Eve Ball with Brendan Boyer at White's Hotel. for which tickets were now available.

'We had a brilliant group of people working on the book. Mary McCauley especially, as she really drove the project, even during a very difficult time earlier this year when her mother passed away,' said Carmel Maher. 'She did a great job at keeping us all focused. We also couldn't have got it published without our sponsors: Sean Quirke of New Life Assurance, who brought White's Hotel and Powers Whiskey on board; C&R Print, who printed the book for us; Rosemarie Meleady, who gave us the services of her company Practice PR & Events to do all the publicity and event management of the launch; Wexford County Council and Leargas.'

Rosemarie happily reported that 700 copies of the book were sold within the space of two hours. There are just a total of 1,000 copies of the limited edition, which is on sale locally.

Those who attended Sunday night's launch enjoyed wine complements of Willie Hayden, the Lord Mayor of Oylegate, and Powers Whiskey complements of Irish Distillers.

When not browsing through the book early arrivals also enjoyed finding photos of relatives and friends featured in the extensive photography exhibition by local photographer Aidan Quirke.

The Doyle Kennedy School of Dancing provided a great show for young and old alike before the Ceile kicked off.

By the end of the evening there were four generations up dancing to the music of ceile band Ceoltas Portlairge as the community of Oylegate and Glenbrien showed that they also know how to celebrate in style!