Wexford Tourism Ambassadors
Wexford Tourism Ambassadors are a mix of valued volunteers and those in the front line of tourism who have a passion for Co. Wexford. They have a huge depth of knowledge about their area and are happy to organise guided tours, storytelling evenings, orientation and musical events for visitors to the area. They are also able to provide support at events, champion all that’s special about their place and help the local community reconnect with their stories, local history and heritage.
Hi, my name is Andrew Kelly. I was born in Dublin but have spent most of my life in the village of Ferns, Co Wexford, the ancient capital of Leinster. I’m a musician, Tourist Ambassador and Community Activist.
After working in many fields, from movies to festivals and construction, life changed radically when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called ulcerative colitis. This left me housebound for three years. After what felt like a lifetime and through the amazing love and support of family, nurses and consultants and a newfound love of studying bees and beekeeping some light started appearing at the end of the tunnel.
I got well enough to appreciate the little things in life. With this newfound appreciation, I rediscovered my love for history, stories and life. This led me on the journey I walk today, promoting the history, culture and music of our unique place in the world that sits on the doorstep of Ferns.
Hi, My name is Angela. I am an Ancient Connections Tourism Ambassador for North Co. Wexford. Along with my husband Seamus (also a Tourism Ambassador), we occasionally welcome visitors to our Air BnB cottage in Ferns. I love meeting new people and telling them about historic Ferns and what Wexford has to offer.
Wexford is a fantastic county to visit; there is so much diversity to explore along the pilgrim route, lots of interesting heritage sites, beautiful rural landscapes, towns, villages and warm and friendly people. Being a Tourism Ambassador is an excellent opportunity to get involved in the local community and the cross-channel relationship between the Welsh and other Wexford Ambassadors.
I very much look forward to working with all involved to enhance the pilgrims’ experience when they visit Ferns and Wexford. A major highlight for me so far has been the opportunity to visit Pembrokeshire and St Davids, which I fell in love with, and I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the City!
CATHERINE MAC PARTLIN
Hi everyone, my name is Catherine MacPartlin, and I’m from just outside Ferns. I am involved in a number of voluntary activities in Ferns and Co. Wexford. I love sharing the story of Ferns in the medieval period, from miracle-working saints to not-so-saintly Gaelic kings through to the notorious Norman knights.
I became an Ambassador because of my involvement in developing Ferns’s tourism potential. I have been giving guided walking tours and managing the Medieval Ferns Experience. In these roles, it’s all about talking to people about people, their character traits and dastardly deeds.
My favourite place is standing at the grave of a king – the infamous Diarmait MacMurrough – from here, so much of the story of Ferns can be told. To the left is St. Edan’s Cathedral, where medieval features and high crosses can still be seen. Sweeping to the right, we have the chapter house built by the Normans in the 13th century; further to the right is St. Mary’s Abbey, built by the renowned Diarmait MacMurrough in the 12th century and where he hid in the winter of 1168, waiting for the arrival of the Normans.
Aren’t we blessed to have so much visual evidence within such a small area….. and there are lots more fascinating insights being found underground!
Hi, My name is Colm Morris. I was born in Ferns, Co. Wexford and have lived here all my life. Ferns was the medieval capital of Leinster and is full of history.
I worked as a psychiatric nurse for 36 years in St. Senan’s Hospital, a privileged place to work. The hospital is named after one of the many Irish saints who visited St David in Pembrokeshire in Wales.
On retirement I trained as a tour guide for Ferns Castle and later became a caretaker for the historic sites in Ferns which have a lot to offer tourists. I am also a Tourism Ambassador and l help with various community activities, but my favourite activity is giving guided tours. I love history, especially local history and really enjoy telling the stories of our historic characters such as St. Aidan (also known as Edan), Diarmait McMurragh, Aoife, Fr. Murphy, Joseph Haughton, Fr. Ned Redmond who saved Napoleon from drowning, just to mention a few and how they shaped our lives. Sometimes the tours end with a cup of tea in our kitchen, compliments of my wife Cloida who has painted many pictures of the historical sites.
Looking forward to seeing you on one of the tours!
Hello my name is Elena Potosca and I live in Ferns Co. Wexford. I’m currently working as a training tour guide in the Medieval Ferns Experience but I’m also a local artist. I volunteer for the archeology digs in Ferns and other areas as well.
I’m studying Biology for further education as my personal interests are connected to nature’s beauty. I often paint nature and scenes from my local area as well.
I’m looking forward to what Ancient Connections will bring to our beautiful community and getting involved in future events.
Hi, My name is Mairead Roche; I am a carer for my son and have been working on changing careers.
I live just outside Enniscorthy town, where I was born and grew up. I have always been fascinated with local history and visiting the heritage sites of Co. Wexford.
As a Tourism Ambassador, I hope to get involved in the Ancient Connections Project and learn more about the shared history of Wales and Ireland. I am also looking forward to meeting new people and attending events in the future.
Hi, My name is Margaret, and I’m from Ferns, Co. Wexford. I work part-time for the Medieval Ferns Experience, and I volunteer as a Tourism Ambassador for my local area in my spare time.
From my involvement with the Medieval Ferns Experience, I have developed a taste for all things historical, and I love to meet new people and let them know what my local area has to offer. You can see striking medieval ruins along with St. Mary’s Abbey, Ferns Castle and St Edan’s Cathedral.
As a Tourism Ambassador, I help out at festivals and other events, but I also like to showcase all Ferns has to offer.
Hi, my name is Paul Byrne, and I’m from Wexford Town. I’m a public historian and cultural heritage practitioner. I work as a tourism representative at Enniscorthy Castle and The National 1798 Rebellion Centre.
I love to engage with tourists from all over the world, sharing historical and cultural information with them and learning from them to find out why they are visiting and what I can do to make their visit memorable.
When I’m not working, I’m usually on a bus or train to a museum or heritage centre somewhere in Ireland to learn from and engage with other people who work in tourism.
Hi everyone, my name is Seamus O’Connor. I’m a retired Public Servant who grew up in Ferns. As children, our playgrounds were all the ancient sites, castles and churches. Our games were mostly dares to climb the castle or descend into St Mogues well.
I became an ambassador because I was intrigued by the concept of a pilgrimage linking Ferns and St David’s. Also, my wife Angela’s enthusiasm for the history of Ferns rekindled my interest in all that is on our doorstep.
I’m looking forward to meeting the pilgrims and hopefully can offer them local insights and also accommodation.
SEÁN DALY CARNEY
Hi, my name is Seán and I grew up in Ballywilliam, Co. Wexford. I work full time as a musician with my band Wizard Fruit, and I volunteer as a Tourism Ambassador in my spare time.
I became an ambassador because of my interest in Irish history, prehistory, and the shared history between different cultures. My favourite piece of local history would be the 1798 rebellion, and the best site to visit for me is Vinegar Hill!
Hi, my name is Teresa Bailey. I’m a native of Ferns who is happily retired and living back at the home place. I love playing golf (twice a week) as well as gardening in my glasshouse.
I’m deeply involved in the local community; I’m the Chairperson of Ferns Community Development Association CLG, I’m involved with Ferns Tidy Towns, and I’m a member of the local history group.
I have been interested in the history of Ferns since I was very young. I got involved with Ancient Connections through the Medieval Ferns Experience & attended the Ambassadors course. I like meeting people & talking about the happenings in Ferns Village.