THE HEATWAVE CONTINUES
VISITOR INFLUX, FARMING CRISIS, FIRES AND MORE: FOUR PAGES INSIDE
IT WASN’T long ago businesses in county Wexford felt the crunch in March when the Beast from the East hit Ireland, but now for some the glorious heatwave is making up for the loss of profit and footfall felt during the snowstorm.
For the last few days, Wexford’s long sandy coastline is filled with thousands of people who have travelled from all over the country to enjoy the sunny south east.
As a result of this, many businesses in Wexford have reported an increase in sales since the heatwave hit Ireland.
Overlooking the sea on a slight hill in the small village of Cahore is the newly renovated Strand Bar. The premises was opened in January by Patrick and Aileen Hanley, and in the last three weeks they have started to serve some delicious food.
‘When the snow fell, people could not get to Ballygarrett to their local for a drink,’ said Patrick. ‘They would all come here. The snow helped us as a business to establish ourselves, and now since the sun is out a lot of people come here.’
‘The beach is back in Cahore, and the swimming area is very safe,’ said Patrick. ‘The heatwave has been good to us. People come up and grab something to eat and drink. Parents can sit outside and look down on their kids and know they are safe – it gives them that extra security and convenience.’
The Strand is open every day, and serves food from Monday to Friday from midday to 6 p.m.
The staff at Brooks Supermarket in Riverchapel have been kept busy. Robbie Brooks, son of proprietors Paul and Orla Brooks, said they have been non-stop since the great weather.
‘It has been absolutely hectic. Many of our customers are people from the surrounding caravan parks, which are more or less full,’ said Robbie. ‘Our in-store bakery, butchers and ice-cream parlour are doing very well.’
Robbie, who works alongside his mother and father, said it was brilliant to see Riverchapel and Courtown Harbour constantly busy because of the heatwave.
Overlooking Courtown Harbour is one of the south east’s leading entertainment centres. Hundreds of kids have been passing through the doors of
Pirates Cove, keeping themselves entertained during the hot weather.
Fresh off a yacht after sailing the seas for nine months with his family, owner Karl Fleming said June’s turnover was nine per cent on last year’s.
‘It has been great,’ said Karl. ‘Normally the first week of July is slow starting off, but this year we have really launched into our busy summer season.’
Karl said the 18-hole Adventure Golf is still the biggest attraction with families.
‘Once the family play a round of golf, we stamp their ticket and if they return within five days they receive a round of golf for half-price,’ said Karl.
After a day of entertainment, the family can enjoy some food or an ice cream from the new parlour.
Down in the hustle and bustle of Courtown Harbour sits the Kiosk, providing visitors with ice-cream, drinks and beach toys.
The shop, which is situated in the Square is a busy little business that has stood in the middle of the Harbour for more than 20 years. Proprietor June O’Loughlin said she had to increase the stock on ice creams as they have been ‘flying out’ since the hot weather began attracting thousands of daily visitors to the seaside village.
‘It has been a great few days,’ said June. ‘The sunshine brings everyone out and everyone is happy. Our beach toys have been flying off the shelves, so to speak.’
Over in Courtown Adventure and Leisure Centre, general manager Margaret Quinn said it is great to see Courtown really busy during the great weather.
The Outdoor Adventure area has been very popular, with many enjoying the zip-wire and highropes course while the sun is out.
Karl Fleming of Pirates Cove in Courtown. Zack O’Sullivan from Australia, formerly from Station Court, Gorey, having an ice cream at the Kiosk in Courtown. Staff member Niamh Cousins at the Kiosk in Courtown.
Patrick Hanley of the Strand Bar in Cahore.
Robbie Brooks, son of owners Paul and Orla Brooks, at Brooks Supermarket, Riverchapel.
The Kiosk in Courtown.