For the Gorey Tidy Towns committee, January is a great time for taking stock of progress over the past twelve months and putting plans in place for the year ahead.
With the national SuperValu Tidy Towns competition, application forms have to be submitted by mid-May, and judging can take place any time from June onwards. This means that we’re already into the eighth month of the 2020 competition.
We’ve already finished work on several new projects for this year, but the push is now on to get others completed.
One particular labour of love has been the restoration of the Market Square graveyard, one of the most important historical sites in Gorey. Included among the many graves here is the tomb of Bishop Thomas Ram who secured the charter for the town in 1619.
Gorey Tidy Towns first became involved in the graveyard over a decade ago when it was seriously overgrown and almost inaccessible, and helped clear away the worst of the vegetation.
In recent years, a working group comprising Christ Church Gorey parish, Gorey Tidy Towns, and Wexford County Council, engaged the services of an archaeological consultant to draw up a plan of best practice to carry out a sensitive and appropriate restoration of this valuable part of our history.
Last year, our Tus and CE Scheme workers, and our volunteers cleared away any remaining weeds and laid paths around the boundary and into the centre – taking great care not to disturb any gravestone or marker.
Grass was sown around the graves, and this is now maintained regularly with strimmers. Thousands of wildflower seeds were sown along the walls, and gravel was spread on graves which still had borders around them. New seats were also introduced.
Work in the coming months will involve: improving the entrance area; repairing a boundary wall; renewing ironworks; introducing new signage explaining the history of the site; and hopefully providing limited access for the public.
We love to visit this green sanctuary of reflection in the heart of our town, and we hope that with a few more months of hard work, you will get the chance to visit it too.