In August I traveled to County Wexford again and the first place where I stopped for a moment was New Ross – centrally located in the historic and scenic southeast region of Ireland.
New Ross, in Irish Ros Mhic Thriaúin which mean “Wood of the Son of Treon”, is a small but beautiful port town in County Wexford, that is worth a visit.
New Ross has served as an international port for many centuries.
It is located near the border with County Kilkenny and is around 20 kilometers northeast of Waterford. I admired its scenic location on the banks of the River Barrow, just below the latter’s junction with the River Nore, and stroll along the pretty quayside.
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.
New Ross was originally the headquarters for a shipping line that carried Irish emigrants to America. One such emigrant was Patrick Kennedy, great grandfather of the most famous Irish American, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 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 nearby village of Dunganstown was the ancestral home of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, whose great-grandfather sailed for the United States from New Ross in the 1840s. And the JFK Arboretum is also located to the south of the town.
New Ross is home to the Dunbrody replica famine ship which is moored on the Quay, and allows visitors to experience the sights and smells of life aboard the emigrant ship It includes the bell from the original famine ship, donated by the Graves family.
The Dunbrody Famine Ship is one of the premier tourist attractions in the South East of Ireland.
Centered on an authentic reproduction of an 1840s emigrant vessel, it provides a world-class interpretation of the famine emigrant experience. Incorporating guided tours, costumed performers, and themed exhibitions of the highest quality, ‘The Dunbrody’ provides a unique insight into the bravery and fortitude with which Irish people faced up to a desperate situation.
The town also houses The Emigrant Flame; a constantly burning flame in the memorandum of the emigrants of the famine. On June 18th, 2013, a gathering formed at the graveside of President John F. Kennedy in Arlington Cemetery, Virginia. The purpose was to take a light for the eternal flame at President Kennedy’s graveside and to bring it to New Ross to light the Emigrant Flame which now stands beside the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience on the quayside in New Ross. The flame now burns permanently to remember all emigrants throughout the world. The journey of the Flame also symbolically fulfilled President Kennedy’s promise “to return to Ireland in the springtime”.
New Ross has much more attractions to see like St Mary’s Abbey (Church of Ireland) built in 1811; The town’s arts centre St Michael’s Theatre and The Ros Tapestry Exhibition Centre. It is a beautiful town, full of interesting buildings, restaurants, pubs and cafes.
Location of New Ross:
Below are photos I took in August 2021.