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Ros Mhic Thriúin
New Ross, 2011
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference|
New Ross (Irish: Ros Mhic Thriúin, formerly Ros Mhic Treoin) is a town in southwest County Wexford, Ireland. It is located on the River Barrow, near the border with County Kilkenny, and is around 20 km north east of Waterford. In 2011 it had a population of over 9,316 people, making it the third-largest town in the county after Wexford and Enniscorthy.
The port town of New Ross dates from pre-Middle Ages. The earliest settlement in this area dates to the 6th century when St. Abban of Magheranoidhe founded a monastery in what is now Irishtown. The original earthen banked circular enclosure of his monastery was visible around the graveyard until it was removed by the council. It was replaced by a concrete wall and steel fence. Its name, Ros, was shortened from Ros Mhic Treoin, or the Wood of the Son of Astley.
New Ross was in the territory of Dermot McMurrough and came to prominence when the Anglo-Normans conquered the region. The Norman knight William Marshall and his bride Isabella de Clare arrived during the early part of the 13th century. An earthen defensive structure called a motte was built at Old Ross in order to hold the newly conquered territory. A medieval borough sprung up around it - peopled by English and Welsh settlers. The arrival of Isabella and William is described in the Chronicles of Ross, which are in the British Museum. It records that in 1189, Isabella set about "building a lovely city on the banks of the Barrow". The town's fortunes further increased when King John made William the Earl of Pembroke at his coronation in 1199. A year later, the Earl Marshal transferred the Norman capital of Leinster to Kilkenny and New Ross became the main port.
The town grew around the bridge built by William Marshal, son-in-law of Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (Strongbow), and a leader of the Norman invasion of Ireland. The town of New Ross (the town of the new bridge) was granted a Royal Charter in 1207. The port gained concessions from King John in 1215 and again in 1227 but these were later revoked by Henry III and Edward I to protect the port of Waterford. New Ross was still Ireland's busiest port in the 13th century. These restrictions were lifted in the 14th century by Edward II and Edward III.
St Mary's Abbey (Church of Ireland) was built in 1811. There are two Roman Catholic churches, the parish church of SS. Michael and Mary completed in 1902, and the Augustinian church opened in 1835.
The town was fought over in the Irish Confederate Wars of the 1640s. In 1643, the town resisted the siege by James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, who fought a battle near the town with an Irish army under Thomas Preston, 1st Viscount Tara but later re-conquered by Oliver Cromwell in 1649 who discharged three cannon shots at the Aldgate. The town is at an important crossing point, sited on the River Barrow between the river estuary to the south and the point where the River Nore joins the Barrow to the north. It was the location of one of the bloodiest battles of the 1798 rebellion.
- Dunganstown, 6 km (4 mi) south of New Ross is the ancestral home of the Kennedy family which includes Joe Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, Robert Kennedy and Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy whose great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy emigrated to America from there. Other emigrants from the environs included the grandparents of Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, American playwright and winner of the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature.
- Martin Doyle, Victoria Cross recipient
- Father James Cullen, founder of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, was born in New Ross.
- John Redmond, MP for New Ross.
- Kevin Doyle, Irish international soccer player
- Gráinne Murphy, Swimmer who won silver in the Freestyle 1,500m at the European Long Course Championships in 2010 and bronze in the 400m & 800m Freestyle at the European Short Course Championships in 2010.
- Sean Connick, Fianna Fáil TD from 2007-11. The first TD in the history of the state to use a wheelchair.
There are four primary schools in New Ross, two for boys, one for girls and one co-education school. The two boys' schools are Michael Street National School which caters for children from Junior Infants up until 1st Class. They then move up to the Senior school, New Ross CBS, which children attend from 2nd class onwards. The girls' primary school, St Joseph's, caters for students from Junior Infants to 6th Class. There is a mixed school in New Ross, St Canice's, which is situated across the bridge in Rosbercon. There are five secondary schools in New Ross, one is all-boys, two are all-girls, and two are mixed.
St Augustine's and Good Counsel College, New Ross, is an all-boys school which caters for over 750 students making it by far the largest school in New Ross. St. Mary's and Our Lady of Lourdes are the two all-girl secondary schools. The two mixed schools are the Vocational College and the CBS Secondary.
Sporting organisations in the town of New Ross include Geraldine O'Hanrahans GAA Club, New Ross RFC, New Ross Celtic Soccer Club, New Ross Town Soccer Club, New Ross Boat Club, New Ross Badminton Club, New Ross Swimming Club, Dunbrody Archers, United Striders AC and New Ross Golf Club.
Arts and culture
The town's arts centre is St Michael's Theatre. The present building was built in 1806, eight years after the insurrection of 1798 and served as the parish church until 1902 when the new parish church, St. Mary's & Michael's, was opened. St Michael's has a staff of 12, a 300-seat theatre, a 50-seat studio venue, an art gallery, a cinema, a coffee shop and a bar.
New Ross is home to the Ros Tapestry project, a community initiative undertaken throughout County Wexford by a team of voluntary embroiderers. The fifteen tapestry panels planned to be completed by 2010,[needs update] and depicting events including the founding of New Ross by William Marshall.
The town is served by several bus routes and its main stop is on the town's quay. There are services to and from Waterford each day. Bus Éireann is the principal operator providing Expressway services to Dublin and Dublin Airport and to Rosslare Europort and Cork as well as local services. Wexford Bus operate a service between Wexford and Waterford while Kilbride Coaches operate a route linking the town to Kilkenny. Wexford Local Link operate services to Enniscorthy.
New Ross railway station opened on 19 September 1887, closed for passenger traffic on 30 March 1964 and closed for goods traffic on 6 September 1976.
New Ross is Ireland's only inland port, located 32 km (20 mi) from the sea on the River Barrow. A small marina is located downstream of the town. The tall ship Asgard II which provided sail-training, sometimes docked in New Ross on its travels.
Until the creation of ships too large to reach the port, in the 19th century, New Ross was a port town. However, the river is too shallow to allow passage of large ships and the port gradually went into decline. The town continued to be a market town for the rich agricultural hinterland, but suffered from recession throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and early part of the 1990s. As of the 21st century, there is some industry in the area, with businesses centring on services and retail. Retail outlets like Tesco, Lidl and Aldi operate away from the centre of town.
The Ros Tapestry Exhibition Centre located on the Quay in New Ross, is a series of 15 embroidered Tapestry panels. Depicting Celtic Ireland looking at Celtic rituals, woman warriors and Brehon Law, to early Christian Ireland, the Vikings of Wexford and the ousting of Diarmait MacMurchada from his Kingdom of Leinster and sailing to France in search of King Henry II. Also depicted is William Marshal who married Isabel de Clare heiress of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke and granddaughter of Diarmait MacMurchada.
New Ross is home to the Dunbrody replica famine ship which is moored on the Quay. The town also houses the Emigrant Flame; a constantly burning flame in memorandum of the emigrants of the famine.
A statue of John F. Kennedy is located on the quayside. The statue was unveiled in July 2008 by his sister Jean Kennedy Smith. The JFK Dunbrody Festival is held each year in July in the town and centres primarily on live music on the festival stage.
In the village of Duncannon, 21 km (13 mi) to the south of New Ross, Duncannon Fort is located alongside a Blue Flag beach.
The Hook Lighthouse is located 39 km (24 mi) south of New Ross.
The Kennedy family Homestead, the ancestral home of US President John F Kennedy is located 8 km (5.0 mi) south of New Ross, and the JFK Arboretum is also located to the south of the town.
- "Census 2006—Volume 1 - Population Classified by Area (Dublin: Stationery Office, 27 April 2007) - p. 120." (PDF). (4.22 MB) – Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved on 19 May 2008.
- "CSO - Census: Census Startpage". 9 March 2005.
- "HISTPOP.ORG - Home". 28 May 2004.
- Post 1991 totals are for New Ross urban, New Ross environs, and New Ross Rosbercon urban. For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee “On the accuracy of the pre-famine Irish censuses” in Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1981) p54, and also “New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850” by Joel Mokyr and Cormac Ó Gráda in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (November 1984), pp. 473-88.
- "New Ross Celtic AFC". Newrossceltic.com. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
- "St. Michael's Theatre - Centre for the Arts". Stmichaelsnewross.com. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
- "15 Embroidered Panels Depicting the Norman Landing". The Ros Tapestry. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
- "New Ross station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
- "New Ross TC". Newrosstc.ie. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
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