What Happened in Wicklow this Week: Weekly Roundup 01/12/2019

The Old Forge in Wicklow closes down

The Old Forge in Wicklow closed its doors for the last time over the weekend.

The bar has been a staple in Wicklow Town for decades and was well known for its late bar comprising of the 70’s and 80’s Back Lounge and The Penthouse Nightclub upstairs.

The bar dismissed rumours of an impending closure via its Facebook page earlier this year.

The reason for the closure has not been disclosed.

Halpins Café staff smash target in sleepout for The Simon Community

The Halpin’s Café staff raised over double their target in their sleepout in Wicklow Town in aid of The Simon Community last Friday night.

Having set a target of €1000, the staff raised a sum of €2171 towards helping the local homeless.

The weather conditions on the night were far from ideal with strong winds and heavy rain the dominating elements, but this did not deter the local café staff from achieving their objectives.

The staff braved the elements and took to the streets outside Bank of Ireland to follow through on their promise to sleepout overnight all in the aim of supporting the homeless.

Halpins staff member Melanie Downes was delighted with how the fundraiser went and was grateful for the mass support the café received from the community in Wicklow.

“We were constantly told that we probably couldn’t have picked a worse night to do the sleepout with the heavy rain and winds, but the way we look at it is homeless people don’t get to choose what night they stay out or not, so we thought the same thing.

“The few of us that stayed out until 6am on Saturday morning were overwhelmed by the support we received from the local community. From cars beeping the horns in support, the chippers feeding us and people making sure we had dry clothes, it was fantastic and for that we thank the people of Wicklow.

“The final figure raised for The Simon Community was €2171 when our target was €1000. Due to the overwhelming success, we are looking into making it an annual event in our calendar, but maybe in the summer when the weather is a bit better,” joked Downes.

Downes concluded – “All of us at Halpins Café would like to thank the people of Wicklow for their their kindness and support in donating to a worthy cause.

Sean FitzPatrick lodges planning application to build new home in Greystones

Former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick has lodged a planning application to Wicklow County Council to build a new house behind his current Greystones home, according to a report by The Irish Times.

Wicklow County Council records show that FitzPatrick seeks to demolish his fire damaged home, known as Meadow Garden, and replace it with a two-storey four bedroom house with a new entrance at Farm Lane.

FitzPatrick held on to his home next to Greystones Golf Club when he was declared bankrupt in 2010 with debts of €147 million and assets of just €47 million in the aftermath of the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank.

Wicklow sisters share podium at National Cross Country Championships

Wicklow sisters Fionnuala McCormack and Una Britton shared places on the podium at the National Cross Country Championships, finishing first and third respectively.

McCormack set the pace with an impressive time of 28:41 in victory, while Briton came third, crossing the finishing line in 30:42

Fionnuala McCormack of Kilcoole hailed “a great day for the family and the club” as she claimed gold and her sister won bronze in the 8km race at Abbotstown.

Toy Show dream come true for Arklow teenager

Arklow teenager Bri-Elle Finn featured on this years Late Late Toy Show.

The St.Mary’s college 2nd year student described it as a “Dream Come True” and she got to perform twice on the night.

Bri-Elle’s music teacher Deirdre Masterson sent a clip to RTE and she was called for a audition back in October. Rehearsals have been taking place for the last three Sunday’s and the last couple of days.

As well as singing on Friday night, she also be danced in the finale.

No stranger to the music scene, she released a CD single last year with the proceeds going to the Arklow RNLI, she will also open for Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz when they play in the Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey next month.

The show was on RTE 1 on Friday night at 9.35pm.

New Wicklow Currency app goes live

An app supporting local currency exclusive to Wicklow has gone live in recent days.

The app, known as VillagePod, supports a new local currency called “VillageCoin”, which is tied one for one with the euro.

The app is being supported by 60 local businesses.

VillagePod is a platform to help local communities thrive which puts local businesses right at the centre. The platform was conceived and developed as a result of a recognition that local businesses would benefit from a platform that champions them and addresses the technology and marketing disadvantage that many local businesses experience. The platform aims to help people make spending local a habit.

VillagePod founder, Cormac McKenna said – “We have been hugely encouraged by the strong take up of VillagePod from local businesses.  We started this journey when people told us that they really valued their local businesses and our mission is to help those businesses harness the goodwill that people already have for them. 

“These businesses are the fabric of our local communities and our team is excited to be able to support them.  We are also very happy to have received assistance from the Local Enterprise Office in Wicklow which has been key to our ability to launch the platform.”

The platform works by allowing consumers to top up the app from their bank accounts using a debit card and then pay with their smartphones. Retailers can accept payments from customers with a small tablet or even a phone. 

The platform already supports payments to retailers and will shortly also support payments from person to person.  It will also integrate loyalty and rewards features for retailers and digital gift cards which will allow retailers to sell gift cards from social networks like Instagram.

A core feature of the platform is the nomination by each retailer of a local ‘cause’ – such as a charity, sports club or school – which the retailer supports each time a consumer makes a purchase. Overall costs for business are similar to a typical charge for accepting a credit card.

Louise O’Neill, VillagePod Partnership Manager said “More local businesses are coming on board every day and we welcome all businesses wishing to take payments from the public to contact us and get started on VillagePod – it’s free to set up. The platform has been operational now for several weeks in test retailers.

“A big selling point for retailers is that we are bringing them a platform that up to now has only been available for larger businesses which make huge investments in IT and marketing. We’re making these capabilities easily accessible for smaller businesses in a way that resonates with the public.

“As well as prominent local ‘main street’ retailers, we’re also now seeing many small businesses such as physiotherapists that up to now only take cash payments adopting VillagePod instead of having to go to the hassle and expense of setting up with a credit card provider,” concluded O’Neill.

Greystones retailer Susan Collins, Home of Hair said – “VillagePod is a great way to bring a community together by encouraging people to support local small businesses. I am from Greystones and have been active in my community all my life but through VillagePod I am able to effortlessly give back and support Bray Women’s Refuge through the percentage that goes to my nominated charity.”

A list of some of the retailers support VillagePod:

Alter Me Alterations

Amphibian King

Arcade Jewellers

Bear Paw Delgany

Bear Paw Deli Theatre Lane


Box Burger

Brady’s of Greystones

Burrito Box

Butler & Barry

Café Grey

Camile Thai Restaurant

Cow Fish

Creole Food

Daata Greystones & Bray

Danns Bar

David Dodds Pharmacy

David Martin Hair Design

Dockyard 8

Doggy Wood Grooming

Dream Delights

Eleven Deli


Farrellys Butchers

Finnbees Coffee

Fiona Roche Pharmacy

Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy

Four Front Games

Galito Tapas, Grill, Wine bar


Halfway down the Stairs

Horse & Hound

House of Style

Ladies Work out Express

Lash Envy

Nature In


O’Sullivans Bar

Platform Pizza

Powerscourt Arms Hotel

Purple House Charity

Rainforest Spa

Ripasso Bray

Saint Vincent De Paul

Spendlove Kitchen

Studio LR

Susan Collins Home of Hair

The Anchor

The Beach House

The Boatyard Gallery

The Burnaby Lounge

The Happy Pear Church Lane

The Happy Pear Shoreline

The Harbour Bar

The Hearing Clinic

The Parting Glass (Wine Shop)

The Village bookstore

Vanity Fur

YWCA Coolnagreina

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