Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine

I need to laugh and when the sun is out

I’ve got something I can laugh about

I feel good in a special way

I’m in love and it’s a sunny day


Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine


We take a walk, the sun is shining down

Burns my feet as they touch the ground

Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine

Yes folks, as I write it’s a lovely day outside bathed in glorious Spring sunshine which beckons one out of doors. So it’s up Knockboy Hill I head to survey this part of my domain. The Cnoc/Hill is beginning to burst forth in new growth – Spring is in the very air and it will not be long now till the cnoc’s gorse will be all aglow again with the lushness of vibrant yellow which gave this area its name – Cnoc Bui. Further up, I reflect on the struggle to retain the eponymous wet woodlands. Something lost/something gained and making what remains hereabouts all the more precious, of which another square inch must not be lost.

I pass by the scout hall here. I did a story on this about 6 years ago and it’s a topic to which I must return (a movement for which I have treasured memories from my youth). I remember the original scout hall housed as it was in the old school-house opposite the chapel. There were plans one time to rebuild the Ballygunner church on that side of the road. I recall a day about 12 years ago or so, happening upon the late and much lamented John Pierce as he lined up his sisters, home on a visit, to take their photograph in front of the church building which was expected to be demolished and so would vanish from this landscape and their lives. John, in introducing me that day spoke of this place being special in their lives. Though John, a very special kind of man himself has moved on, the Church here still stands.

Sacred Grounds

The cemeteries here represent sacred grounds to many generations of Waterford families but especially to those of this area. Firstly there is the older cemetery which dates back to the early 19th century. Before that both church and local cemetery were located at Ballygunnertemple – great restorative work has been done there by Andy Doherty and his committee and are to highly commended for this. This had been the burial place of John Moore, elected 1st President of Ireland back in 1798 – the Year of Rebellion.

Back to Knockboy and the newer cemetery- as a resting place for one’s beloved folk it’s a tranquil and attractive place. Attending funerals of, be it neighbours, friends or family is an important function of a community in support of each other, being there for each other. It’s a funny old world, we get invited to christenings, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries etc but we invite ourselves to go to a funeral. Usually if we feel any way relevant/related to the deceased we tend to go along to show our respect and support for the bereaved. I being more serious than I had intended bur arrived here in reflecting on the important role and place burial grounds have in our community/society.

I will long recall a particular morning I attended a funeral in the new cemetery 6 or 7 years ago. It was a cold, wet and windy day on the exposed slopes of Knockboy. I remarked, sotte voce, to a fellow mourner words to that effect, lamenting the weather. I will always remember Paddy’s quiet but down to earth response – “the weather, Joe, is always good over ground !”

Talking of being down to earth, I wonder what’s the remaining capacity of the ‘new’ cemetery? And what are the plans for provision into the future?

Up the Junction

As I continue to stroll upwards on this sun-basked Sunday afternoon, my mind drifts to thoughts of the Knockboy Area Plan and its fine talk of linear village, greens, community centres, nodules and oodles of other fine features of urban/rural idylls. It included hopes (note the aspirational tone of that one!) that the crown of Knockboy Hill and its fabulous vista would be preserved for posterity. Well cad e an sceal anois?

Anyway, we finally get to the top of the road/hill to Ballygunner Junction. And how things have changed – utterly changed! The Gael Scoil has been totally transformed – athraithe as cuimse- is iontach an ait i anois. Chomhgairdeas to Treasa agus gach duine eile a bhi pairteach sa ghniomh. A bright and modern scoil was long overdue.

Opposite and finally completed is the new housing estate – Kilcaragh Village – which is looking great and I must say it is a very well laid-out estate. From an outside/external view they appear to be built to a high standard and I understand from various new residents that the internal finishes are also of a high order. The views from the top here of the river and Island ‘scapes must be super.

Another major change which has been enabled for progress is the nature of the Junction here itself at Ballygunner Cross. This has been facilitated by the acquisition by the Council of the old Phelan Farm house, yards and outhouses. I use the word old advisedly as it is indeed a very old property indeed with the house and some of the outhouses going back quite a few centuries. Michael’s family goes back at least four generations of living here and of farming hereabouts. But it’s the way of nature, everything in the end moves on.

The availability of the site here will enable the Council to construct a new junction here possibly in the form of a roundabout which will link in to the new Williamstown Road, service the new estate and lead safely – with footpaths! – to the Ballygunner NS, GAA grounds (more of that next week) and new nursing home of Haven Wood.

By the way, what a wonderful job is being done on the new road. I thought the job might have been very piece-meal with the odd re-alignment here and there. But no, in fairness, a full and thorough job is being done. The footpaths, sections of which are already in use, are most important and welcome. At present a great view of the river and beyond has been opened up and if only it could be left that way – well we’ll see, or will we?

Before We Go

The good folk at WHAT have been in touch to tell us about an upcoming musical event: The Waterford Healing Arts Trust’s Healing Sounds music programme presented a live performance by Denis Comerford in Waterford Regional Hospital (WRH), on Thursday, 14th February for the benefit of patients, staff and visitors.

Denis works in the Biomedical Engineering Department of WRH. He plays guitar and sings a wide range of popular and contemporary songs. He has played as part of a group for many years in the Wexford area and has taken part in several ‘Tops of the Town’ productions. He has regularly played for the Healing Sounds and we were delighted to welcome him back this year for a Valentine’s Day Special performance.

Denis performed a live set with his guitar singing popular and contemporary music in the foyer of Waterford Regional Hospital to a large audience. This was followed by performances in an outpatients clinic and medical 5 ward for older patients. Many of the Irish songs Denis performed moved some of the older patients as they sang along and danced with the nurses to some old favourites.

Healing Sounds aims to provide an enjoyable diversion for patients, staff and visitors to the hospital through a programme of high quality live music performances.

Also, a reminder from my good friend Kevin Whittle about the table quiz for Rehab Care in the Showboat, The Glen on Tuesday next, 4th March. It’s at 9 o’clock and tables of four cost €20.

Go seachtain eile, slan.