Nearly six decades after it was removed 'for repair' a long forgotten landmark is to make a return to the Bullring in the coming weeks in the form of the historic 'Bullring Fountain'.
The fountain was erected in 1873, paid for by Eleanor Daubeny Browne-Clayton in memory of her late father General Browne. Since then, it has been captured on film and photographed many times since. It was first captured in a moving picture from 1902 in a video that is visible on YouTube under the title Wexford Bullring (1902).
When the fountain was removed in the 1950s for restoration and repair, it ended up hidden from sight in a forgotten corner of the Wexford Corporation yard in Belvedere Road. Eventually, the fountain was rediscovered in a sorry state and moved to the yard outside the old jail in Hill Street, prior to the redevelopment of the old corporation building.
Following queries from Cllr Tom Forde, the decision was taken to restore the historic fountain and re-install it in its rightful home in The Bullring and this process is set to be completed in the coming weeks.
Quite a bit of research on the fountain and the philanthropy of the Browne-Clayton family in the county was undertaken by IT Carlow students Laura Cullen and Tanya Downes who were delighted to see plans for its re-installation.
In a testament to the fact that sometimes old ideas are the best ones, two modern water dispensers are also set to be installed at points in Wexford town at Cllr Forde's request.
'It will enhance our town centre and provide a benefit that is available in many European towns and cities,' he said. 'It should also help reduce litter as around 37% of street litter is usually associated with drink containers. It also encourages people to cut down on single use plastics.'
In relation to the addition of the historic water fountain at The Bullring, he added: 'It's interesting that things have now come full circle and we are once again looking for free and easily accessible water.'