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Revealing the hidden history of Arnkell-lo at Arklow Maritime Museum

Vikings 'Valhalla' being filmed on the Blessington lake
Arklow Maritime Museum hosts a talk on Vikings by Dr Stephen Harrison, of Glasgow University. Some thirty years after he initially wrote his BA dissertation on Viking and Anglo-Norman Arklow, Dr. Harrison has uncovered new information which is expected to challenge many of the long-held assumptions we have surrounding Viking Life.
Thursday, 4th April @ Arklow Maritime Museum
Viking image Arklow Maritime Museum
Dubliner Dr. Harrison, an expert in Viking studies has studied the Viking period for many years. He has worked on The Viking Graves Project and the Irish Battlefields Project which later resulted in him co-authoring  ‘Viking Graves and Grave-Goods in Ireland’ with co-authored with R. O Floinn and “The Vikings in Britain and Ireland” with Jayne Carroll and Gareth Williams.
His latest paper on the subject is ‘Arklow & the Cistercians – A Medieval Borough and Manor Reconsidered’ which was recently published in V. McAlister & L. Shine (eds), Rethinking Medieval Ireland and Beyond: Life Cycles, Landscapes and Settlement.
The talk which will last 45-60 minutes will be followed by a Question-and-Answer session. It should prove a very interesting evening. It begins at 8pm sharp and as maximum capacity is 60, admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
This event is a collaboration between Arklow Maritime Museum and The Wicklow Community Archaeology Project, which is funded by The Heritage Council and Wicklow County Council through the County Heritage Plan Fund 2024.
Did you know that Arklow Maritime Museum are open 364 days a year from 10am – 5pm!
Follow them on Facebook for all the latest on what’s on
Get contact details for Arklow Maritime Museum Here

Sinn Féin announce Arklow local election candidates

Sinn Fein local Candidates Shiela Busher and Warren O'Toole

TD John Brady has announced on behalf of his party, Sinn Féin that well known community activists, Shiela Busher and Warren O’Toole have been selected to run in the upcoming Arklow local elections.

The Arklow local elections which are scheduled for Friday, 7th June will ultimately see six councillors securing seats on the Arklow Municipal District Council. With all six sitting councillors running and three new entrants to the race, we can expect to see plenty of flurrying in the next few weeks as councillors cement their places in peoples minds as being best for the job at hand.

Here is what John Brady, TD had to say about his party colleagues on his social media yesterday:

“Shiela is a native of Arklow, where she married and raised four children. A veteran community activist, she has spent fifteen years on the front line fighting for families, and the marginalised in her community. She studied Community Youth Work in UCC, and Maynooth. Sheila is currently involved with the Drugs Task Force and Arklow Positive Ageing Committee. Shiela not only brings a wealth of experience to the campaign, but she also brings drive, determination, and compassion. She will be an excellent advocate for the people of South Wicklow.”
“Warren a native of Arklow, and the parent of a son with Down Syndrome and Autism, and has advocated for people with disabilities for over two decades. Warren is a dynamic individual committed to delivering change for South Wicklow. He is passionate about the outdoors and has a vision for substantial growth in nature friendly recreation. Warren is an individual with the capacity to bring fresh ideas, energy, and vision to Wicklow County Council. He is deeply aware of the need for a comprehensive plan for South Wicklow, with the levels of investment needed for the jobs, housing, and infrastructure that can provide a future for young people in the area.”

Sitting Councillors, all running for re-election:

Tommy Annesley (FF), Sylvester Bourke (FG), Pat Fitzgerald (FF), Pat Kennedy (FF), Peir Leonard (IND), Miriam Murphy (IND)

New Candidates: 

Shiela Busher (SF), Laurie Kearon (FG), Warren O’Toole (SF)

You can check the register and ensure you are eligible to vote here: Check the Register

African Dance, Music and Poetry as Elimination of Racism Day is marked in Arklow

Rhythm Africana and No Wahala Dance Crew

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was marked in Arklow this year by the arrival of ‘Festival in a Van’.

Described as ‘an ice cream van for the arts!’, Festival in a Van does exactly what is says on the tin. It’s a Festival and guess what, it’s in a Van! Said Van transforms into a mini mobile venue equipped with sound, lights, and a drop-down stage. As it’s fully mobile, it can pop up pretty much anywhere – parks, streets, squares, schools, car parks, care homes, you name it.

Poet Kayssie K - Festival in a Van
Poet Kayssie K – Festival in a Van
Fresh from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Carlow, the African Irish Society of Wicklow in conjunction with Wicklow County Council, brought the Festival in a Van to Arklow last Saturday, 23rd March to celebrate!
Poet Laureate and singer – songwriter Kayssie K. also known as Christie Kandiwa, was born in Zimbabwe and raised in Ireland. Her work as a poet and singer-songwriter is influenced by blending her Zimbabwean cultural heritage and her Irish upbringing to intertwine Southern-African myths and local languages and forms. Awarded as the Poet Laureate of County Wicklow in 2021, she was also published as one of seventy women who have shaped Irish culture. Rhythm Africana and No Wahala Dance Crew treated the audience to a vibrant display alongside some powerful beats on traditional African drums.
Once the whole event was over, the van closed up and they hot tailed it to Greystones to repeat the mini festival all over again for the North Siders!
Festival in a Van is suitable for a wide variety of performances including poetry readings, Concerts and Shakespearean Dramas. Collaborating with festivals, community groups, schools, local authorities, and anyone who appreciates the idea of something wonderful coming their way, you can get in touch with them here.

See Inside The Hidden World of a Foster Girl with Sadie Harpur

Arklow Library plays host to Local Author Sadie Harpur next week as she gives us a glimpse into Her World as a Foster Child in the Irish Care system.

Growing up in Ireland in the 80’s and 90’s, Sadie takes us right inside the bureaucratic, traumatic and often heartless World of the Foster Care system. A World apart from what anyone could call a ‘normal’ upbringing. A World apart from the standards that could be called acceptable. Some things have changed but many unfortunately remain the same within the care system as it currently stands.

Twins Kizzy and Sadie have always been there for one another
Twins Kizzy and Sadie have always been there for one another

Writing her book to help other children who have either been in the foster system or have experienced emotional trauma, Sadie’s intent is very clear. With a desire to prevent other children from enduring the experiences she did, Sadie has bravely laid her heart out for all and what a full heart she has . Having released any resentment for those around her during her childhood who didn’t have her best interests to heart, Sadie sets aside her final few chapters to bring the reader up to speed with her current family situation.

Sadie Harpur launching her Debut book at Gorey Library
Sadie Harpur launching her Debut book at Gorey Library Jan ’24

Laying it all out on paper she says has been a form of therapy for her. From the early days of moving from place to place, unsure if the next stop was a pit stop or a place to unpack, Sadie doesn’t hold back. Her book is a raw account of the highs and lows of her life. The Hidden World of a Foster Girl is not for the faint hearted, it has grit, determination, love and integrity in every chapter.

With that said, it should be noted that there are many harrowing topics discussed within the book including the tragic loss of Sadie’s brother Gary to suicide. Despite the many years of sadness, fear, anxiety and depression, Sadie also shares many of the joyous memories of her childhood and has a particularly fondness for those with her twin sister Kizzy and her late foster brother, Gary.

Ciaran Loughlin and Julie-Rose McCormick, Gorey Library
Ciaran Loughlin and Julie-Rose McCormick, Gorey Library

It was a chance meeting with accomplished writer and Hot Press stalwart Jackie Hayden at a writers workshop in Gorey which resulted in Jackie co-writing with Sadie on the book. No stranger to biographical writing, having penned ‘The Don Baker Story’ and The best selling ‘My Boy’, The Philip Lynott Story, alongside Philips mother Philomena Lynott, Hayden tells how he was struck by Sadies ‘directness and energy’, something which is evident throughout the book.

On Tuesday, 2nd April @ 7pm, you are invited to hear readings from Sadies book, hear from co writer Jackie Hayden and of course meet Sadie herself.

Bookings required at arklowlibrary@wicklowcoco.ie or 0402 39977

Free Car Parking is available adjacent to the library at that time.

The self published, ‘Hidden World of a Foster Girl’, is available from many local book shops, Easons and online at the award winning Bridge Street Books in Wicklow Town. You can keep up to date with Sadie here. 

Beyond the Trees, Avondale welcome Glen of Imaal for The Craic of Dawn

Supporters and members of Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team will take to the tracks and trails of Beyond the Trees, Avondale on Saturday 6th April to take on their Annual Craic of Dawn fundraising challenge.
The challenge which began in 2022, is a key fundraiser for the organisation and is now an annual fixture on the calendar. This year it has relocated to the magnificent grounds of Avondale House.
Glen of Imaal Wicklow Mountain Rescue Logo
The 10km ‘flatish’ hike will bring participants around the grounds of Avondale House before finishing up on the viewing tower to watch the sunrise. With 360 degree panoramic views, the viewing tower on the treetop walk must be one of the  best places in the country to watch the sunrise from so you’ll need to be quick. Registrations can be done here:
Don’t miss your chance to feel the witness the warm glow of the sun light up the sky before it ascends high above the trees on the morning of Saturday 6th April!
Beyond the Trees - View from Top of Viewing tower
Beyond the Trees – View from Top of Viewing tower
Founded in 1983, the Glen of Imaal Red Cross Mountain Rescue Team have just celebrated 40 years of helping walkers, climbers and nature enthusiasts who may have fallen foul of inclement weather or incurred an injury on their explorations.
Run by a team of volunteers, the crew of Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue work closely with state emergency crews to ensure the best outcomes for those needing their assistance.
Craic of Dawn Logo
The organisation rely on donations, grants and fundraisers for maintenance of vehicles, equipment, training and base maintenance. A vital resource in our communities, your support is invaluable to them.

According to the Glen team, the hardest part of the Craic of Dawn is the getting up so early. As they say, once you’re up, you’re up!

The walk is suitable for all walkers and the Treetop Walk is fully accessible for all abilities.

There is plenty of car parking onsite which Beyond the Trees have kindly waived for the event.

Full details available on the Glen of Imaal website here.

Double Delight as two Arklow Rugby Club players set to line out for the MARIS International Squad

MARI Squad Announcement
Not one but two players from Arklow Rugby Club’s Red Kites team have been selected to play at this years MARIS. Killian Byrne and Paul Roche will stand shoulder to shoulder with team mates from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Argentina and England as they face off against the best of the best in what is set to be an incredible exhibition match.
Saturday, 4th March, 3.30pm
Musgrave Park, Cork
Two Arklow Red Kites selected for MARIS
The 4th May fixture sees the first International Mixed Ability Rugby Invitational team take on 2022 MAR World Cup Winners, Sunday’s Well at their home ground in Cork, Musgrave Park.
Taking to social media to express their delight, Club representatives said “Considering the Red Kites team is our club’s most recent team this is a massive achievement not only for Killian & Paul but for their teammates, coaches and supporters. We are hoping for a large crowd of supporters to get behind the team and lads for the trip to Cork which is shaping up to be a great weekend. Arklow Rugby Football Club are hugely proud of you all.
Paul Roche announced as MARIS player 2024
Paul Roche announced as MARIS player 2024
The MARIS (Ma-rees) or Mixed Ability Rugby Invitational Series (for those not in rugby circles), were Established in 2021. Created with the idea of bringing Players and Coaches together from around the world to play exhibition matches whilst making history, the MARIS have proved so successful that players are only permitted to partake in one tour in a lifetime.
Teams are made up of players of mixed abilities with one of the few differences in play is that scrums are uncontested.
“When EVERYONE…. is included, we can achieve GREAT things!”
Killian Byrne announced as MARIS player 2024
Killian Byrne announced as MARIS player 2024
In keeping with their ethos of inclusivity, the MARIS inaugural Women’s team lined out last year with the announcement coming on International Women’s Day that this would now be an annual event on fixture calendars.
To find out more about Mixed Ability Rugby and to see some fabulous footage of the 2022 World Cup, check out the IRFU site here

Rise Community Fund gives flight to Sylvester’s Drone

Rise Foundation Community Fund Wicklow group photo
Pictured (from left) are Sylvester Bourke, Sylvester Bourke Farming; Caitriona Hughes, The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland - Wicklow Regional Office; Joseph Corkish, Wicklow Men’s Sheds; Orla O’Malley, RISE Community Fund; Lucy Hyland, NBI; James Maxwell, Wicklow Men's Shed; Pattie Shields, Shuttle Knit; Shane Walsh, Shuttle Knit; Ellen O'Connor, Shuttle Knit and Catherine Quiney, Kilmacanogue NS . Photograph Nic

The Rise Global Foundation are a US based non-profit organisation working on their mission to harness the best of entrepreneurial minds in rural areas and integrate them with technology to enhance their locality and encourage job creation.

Local Farmer and Town Councillor Sylvester Bourke whose farm is located just outside Arklow, Co. Wicklow was delighted to recently be one of 5 Wicklow businesses awarded a €1,000 grant from Rise Foundation’s ‘Rise Community Fund’.

Sylvester, a poultry and tillage farmer decided ,last year to make the move into organic farming in an effort to diversify. This saw him moving 30% of his land to an organic model who he says was hit and miss as regards success. Still in early days for him , he applied for the Rise Community Fund and was a grant to assist with new technologies which will lessen the burden of organic farming which by its nature is more labour intensive than traditional farming.

Having been selected for the grant, Sylvester has now employed the services of a drone to help capture images of his land. In this way, data can be easily viewed and analysed far faster and decisions can be made on how to address issues such as weed growth in real time. The improved data collection allows for more effective solutions to be applied.

5 Wicklow groups in total were selected for grant awards of €1000 each from the Rise Community Fund:
Shuttle Knit Ireland CLG, which is investing in expanding its online shopping capabilities to reach a broader community of customers
Wicklow Men’s Shed, with plans to provide computing equipment for its members
• The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland (Wicklow regional office), with plans to increase its ability to move physiotherapy programmes online to maximise their accessibility
Kilmacanogue National School, plans to provide new technologies to expand its capabilities to support children with learning coding.


The RISE Community Fund supported by National Broadband Ireland and Granahan McCourt aims to address the rural digital divide. To assist with this mission, each month, 5  grants of €1,000 are awarded to local businesses, community groups, farms and social enterprises to enhance their digital strategy and strengthen their identity in the digital space.

Crash on M11 Southbound has resulted in Motorway closure

Garda Car

An accident has occurred just past Junction 19 of the M11. located between Jack Whites Pub and the Arklow North exit ramp.

A goods vehicle has been involved in the incident which occurred at approximately 2.15pm this afternoon.  Gardai and emergency services are currently in attendance.

Please be aware that the Southbound section of the M11 remains closed and diversions are currently in place.

People before Profit to host Night of Solidarity

Free Palestine Mural at night Arklow

A pro-Palestine protest event takes place this Thursday, 21st March at The Asguard Theatre above The Harbour Bar in Arklow.

Arklow against Zionism and People Before Profit are joint hosts of the ‘Night of Solidarity’ event in support of the Palestine resistance.

Jimi Cullen
Jimi Cullen during his protest outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin

An invitation was sent out on the Arklow Against Zionism Facebook page. Trad musicians as well as local artists Jimi Cullen and Saoirse Casey will be performing at the event with an open mic for anyone to speak.

This is following protests and events all around Ireland in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The event will take place on the 21st of March at 8pm. A pamphlet will be launched on the day by  People before Profit organisation detailing and analysing the Zionist genocide of Palestinians.

Night of Solidarity People before Profit

People before Profit representative, Aisling Hudson stated.

“I hope it can be a regular event until Palestine is a secular state, where people of all faiths and none, can live together in peace and until apartheid no longer scourges people there.”

“In the short term, I want Arklow people to see why there is a genocide happening, how it affects us all, and why our government is not taking the correct stance on this issue… in the face of blatant live-streamed genocide.”

Pause for Peace Event Jan 28 Arklow

Hudson added, “I hope some people will connect the dots between our migration chaos and imperial wars, ecocide, and genocides by proxy. I hope people who currently think ‘Ireland is full’ will realise the common enemy. The greed for land, property, and resources under a neo liberal economic regime.”

Aisling Hudson has previously worked with Saoirse Don Phalaistine and ISPC.
Aisling Hudson, artist Quentin and activist Sami can be credited for their involvement in the ‘Free Palestine’ mural on the Coral Leisure Centre building in Arklow.

James Reid announced as special guest at Revival Gospel Choir Charity Fundraiser

Revival Gospel Choir

Founded in 2005, Revival Gospel Choir from Arklow consists of a vibrant group of people who sing at many church and charity events under the direction of Geraldine Hamilton.

As they approach 20 years of sharing their beautiful music with the community,  they bring to you a night of uplifting music and energy.

With that in mind, this is your 48 hour warning to get your tickets for this Thursdays charity fundraising concert. With a number of special guest singers and musicians set to join them on the night, The Revival Gospel Choir were delighted to announce the first of their special guests.

James Reid 'The Great Red Head'
Special Guest, James Reid ‘The Great Red Head’

The fabulous James Reid will be joining the choir on Thursday night as they light up the newly renovated Church of Sts Mary & Peter

James’s appearance at the concert is more than a gig for James. A local man and big supporter of local charities aswell as being a mental health advocate , ‘The Great Red Head’ James himself said:

“I never in my life got any singing lessons of any sort but when I joined the choir many moons ago, with the help from Geraldine and the people around me it helped me so much to use my voice to understand it better to even reach different levels with harmonies that I never knew I could do.
So it’s absolute pleasure to be called back for this special night of celebration for so many great charities (sp)”
Founded in 2005, Revival Gospel Choir from Arklow consists of a vibrant group of people who sing at many church and charity events under the direction of Geraldine Hamilton.
Tickets are €15.00 and all proceeds from the ticket sales and raffle on the night will be shared between our chosen charities, Arklow Cancer Support and Atlantic Bro-ing charities, (First Light and Make a Wish).
Tickets can be purchased from Kavanagh’s Wexford Road Arklow,  Arklow Cancer Support or from any member of the choir.
“life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”
The Revival Gospel Choir Show Flyer March 24

The Revival Gospel Choir would like to Thank six generous, local businesses who have gotten behind them to support with financial contributions towards this event. Byran Stedman Plumbing Ltd, Connolly’s Home Improvements, M.A Healy & Sons, Phonelink Security, Phoenix Financial Services and Wicklow Calf Company for their support.

Rehearsals are held on Mondays at 7.30pm in Áras Lorcáin. The ethos of the choir is to sing in an atmosphere of fun, enjoyment and respect. You can follow the Revival Gospel Choir on their facebook page and do contact them if you are interested in joining.