Minister O’Brien applauds Wexford County Council

Senator Malcolm Byrne pictured with Minister Darragh O’Brien as they visited housing projects throughout the county on Friday

Minister Darragh O’Brien visited housing projects on Friday in Gorey, Enniscorthy, describing Trinity Wharf development as a “regeneration project of ambition and significance” and announcing the location of national MARA headquarters there.

Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Councillor Barbara Anne Murphy today welcomed Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, to County Wexford.

The Cathaoirleach accompanied the Minister as he viewed a number of significant housing and job creation projects in Gorey and Wexford before going on to attend the annual Kennedy Summer School at St Michael’s Theatre, New Ross that afternoon. Later that evening the Minister also visited Forgelands, a recently-completed 59 home development in Enniscorthy, delivered by Tuath Housing Association in partnership with Wexford County Council.

First stop on the Minister’s itinerary was St Waleran’s, a 70 acre site close to Gorey, Wexford’s fastest growing town. Recently acquired by Wexford County Council, the high profile lands offer significant potential in terms of social, affordable and private housing, public amenities and education facilities. During his visit the Minister had opportunity to view first-hand the recently completed site master plan, which sets out the Council’s ambitions for the phased development of the strategic site.

From Gorey, the Minister travelled to Wexford where Mayor of Wexford Cllr. Garry Laffan accompanied the Minister on a brief tour of the Council’s flagship urban regeneration project at Trinity Wharf. Recently awarded more than €18.4 million in funding by the Minister under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), this transformational project is aimed at enhancing the attractiveness and economic capacity of Wexford Town and environs as a place in which to work, visit and invest. The 10-acre development is central to Wexford County Council’s ambitious plans to attract foreign direct investment and high-quality employment opportunities to County Wexford, with overall project investment estimated at €120 million, including €24 million of public investment.

Speaking from Trinity Wharf, Minister O’Brien congratulated the Members and Executive of Wexford County Council in bringing their ambitions for the County through to reality.

“Standing here today on this magnificent site, I can clearly see the immense ambition and significance of this transformational project and it’s potential to drive forward the economic development of the entire county of Wexford over the next number of years” said Minister O’Brien. “I am delighted that I and my colleagues in Government have had the opportunity to support you, the Elected Members and Executive of Wexford County Council as you embark on the road to developing Trinity Wharf as a multi-use regeneration project of regional scale”.

In a further vote of confidence in the Trinity Wharf development, Minister O’Brien took today’s opportunity to publicly announce that the headquarters of MARA, the new national maritime area regulatory authority, are to be located at Trinity Wharf, bringing with it dozens of high quality public sector jobs.

Also attending the event at Trinity Wharf was Chief Executive of Wexford County Council, Mr. Tom Enright. He described who described Trinity Wharf as one of the most exciting and ambitious economic developments projects ever proposed in the County.

“Regeneration projects such as Trinity Wharf are about taking a diverse set of needs, including economic, social and recreational and integrating these into a progressive, modern, fit-for-purpose multi-use development project that we believe will transform the economic and social landscape of the entire county”.

Mr Enright also praised the elected members of the Council who he said had been “unflinching” in their support of the Trinity Wharf project since it’s inception in 2016, adding that the development of Trinity Wharf would prove a welcome stimulus for investment as the economy emerges from the current Covid-19 crisis. Mr. Enright also welcomed the Minister’s announcement that the new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority is to be headquartered at Trinity Wharf, describing the announcement as a timely and visible example of the Government’s strong support of the Trinity Wharf development.

From Wexford, Minister O’Brien made the short trip to New Ross to speak at the Shared Island panel discussion at the annual Kennedy Summer School. Chaired by Bryan Dobson, the panel also included Dr Robert Mauro, the Executive Director of the Irish Institute and Global Leadership Institute at Boston College, Alliance Party Councillor, Sorcha Eastwood and Sarah Creighton, writer, lawyer and commentator from Belfast.

Later that evening, on his return trip to Dublin, Minister O’Brien stopped in Enniscorthy town where Cathaoirleach of Enniscorthy Municipal District, Councillor Cathal Byrne accompanied the Minister on a tour of Forgelands, a newly-completed 59 home development, delivered by Tuath Housing Association in partnership with Wexford County Council. Here, Minister O’Brien took time to meet the families who recently received the keys to their new home, many of whom were only too delighted to proudly show off their beautiful new home to the Minister and his accompanying entourage. The Minister congratulated all the proud tenants and wished them health and happiness as they settled into their new homes.

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