400th birth­day plans add to Gath­er­ing party

Bray People - - NEWS FOCUS - MYLES BUCHANAN

CEL­E­BRA­TIONS TO mark Wicklow town’s 400th an­niver­sary will also tie into plans for the Gath­er­ing 2013.

This year marks the 400th an­niver­sary of the town char­ter and an or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee has been formed to ar­range events hon­our­ing this mile­stone.

All ac­tiv­i­ties will also be run in con­junc­tion with the Gath­er­ing.

At the moment the com­mit­tee is still work­ing away and plan­ning var­i­ous events, some of which will co­in­cide with St. Pa­trick’s day cel­e­bra­tions.

Cllr. Gar­rett O’Reilly, a mem­ber of the 400th An­niver­sary and Gath­er­ing Com­mit­tee, says it’s im­por­tant that Wicklow recog­nises the large num­ber of lo­cal peo­ple who had lit­tle op­tion but to head overseas in search of mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment.

‘Most peo­ple in Wicklow would have a fam­ily mem­ber or mem­bers who had to move else­where, in­clud­ing my fa­ther and his friends. They also re­mained proud of be­ing from Wicklow and al­ways re­tained a great love for the place. In many cases they were also wiring money back to Wicklow when­ever they could.’

The com­mit­tee plans to erect a mem­ori- al or plaque in me­mory of all the peo­ple who have had to leave Wicklow down through the decades.

‘I think it would be a nice way to hon­our th­ese peo­ple, most of whom never wanted to leave in the first place, but had very lit­tle choice. It would be nice if we could get some spon­sors for the me­mo­rial.

‘At the moment we are get­ting a list of ex-Wicklow peo­ple liv­ing over in the UK and we will be invit­ing them over for the un­veil­ing, which will hopefully take place dur­ing the week St. Pa­trick’s Day falls on.

‘ We also want dif­fer­ent groups, clubs and or­gan­i­sa­tions to visit the town.’

Wicklow Town will cel­e­brate the 400th an­niver­sary of the town char­ter in 2013.

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