The SOUL of
                  A Town and Estuary
           where the River Slaney meets the Irish Sea
  "A Wexford Masterpiece and the work of greatest importance and Art". That's how Author and Historian Nicky Furlong described the book

"Voted Book of the Year" by The Wexford Book Centre


A photographic essay of
original photography depicting
places of worship, art and entertainment,
Wexford Harbour and the River Slaney Estuary



The beauty of the
Slaney River Estuary


The objective of the Wexford Town and Slaney Estuary Photographic project is to assemble original and best available photography into a book that conveys the significantly distinctive features of Wexford Town and the River Slaney Estuary at this time. This book will help to educate people and promote the area to its native population and to visitors and business decision-makers in a wider world.

The imagery in this compilation includes photographs from Wexford Town and the Slaney Estuary, which convey both leisure and commercial activities, some of the town’s magnificent architecture, places of worship and distinctive features that make up the soul of Wexford.

Much of the past has already been replaced in a short period of a few years by modern buildings, streetscapes, fashions and other features.

This book, the first of a series, will provide a benchmark at this time in the early part of the 21st Century, against which future developments can be measured.








Wexford Town is located in the south east corner of Ireland where the beautiful River Slaney flows into the Irish Sea. The town dates back to the Vikings who formed the town in c.AD 800.Through the years, Wexford has witnessed revolution, strife and great achievement socially, culturally and economically. Once a successful seaport, the dredging of the changing sand banks in the estuary became commercially unviable to maintain and dredging ceased in the late 1960s, closing the harbour to sea-going ships. The port is now being utilised by mussel dredgers and pleasure craft.

The  distinctive wooden works which fronted the quays and which were synonymous with Wexford were removed in the 1990s as part of an ambitious plan to claim the quay as an amenity for the town as well as retaining it as a commercially viable waterfront.

Both the town and estuary are rich in resources which include its people, artefacts, flora, fauna and marine life. For many years, the estuary, an area of huge mud flats and colourful changing sand banks provided a habitat for wildlife, and rich resource of Mari culture industry and an export trade. The estuary is also a fantastic area for sailing, fishing and rowing regattas. There has also been a tradition of fowl hunting in the estuary where large numbers of Whitefront geese, Greenland geese, plover and duck gather through the winter months.

Prominent among the town’s resources are its churches of mixed denominations with their fine architectural features. Notable churches within the town include The Friary, St. Iberius church, the Presbyterian church. the ‘Twin churches’ at Bride Street and Rowe Street with their distinctive spires, and impressive Saint Peter's College, with a chapel designed by Augustus Welby Pugin. A former Quaker meeting hall is now a band room in High Street. The Adoration Convent, with its magnificent examples of wood work, was added onto Bride Street Church in 1875 and is  connected to the church by a cloister.  

St John of God Convent has a beautiful chapel and there are fine examples of woodwork and tiles throughout the building. The large walled garden is home to the order’s graveyard, peaceful grounds and vegetable gardens with produce used to complement the convent’s food supply. 

The original Clonard Church, was built in 1970. As the congregation grew, an expansion of the church took place in 1998 and is of modern construction. It features an elaborate congregation and altar area, a fine tapestry by Anne Heffernan and modern stained glass windows by the artist Gillian Deeny.

Another church, Selskar Abbey, now a roofless ruin, was ransacked and its priests killed by the troops of  Oliver Cromwell in 1649. It is said King Henry II  did penance for the murder of his friend Thomas á Becket here in 1170. 


John Ironsides Photographic expeditions have taken him from Ireland to the jungles of the Amazon and many parts of South America, Mexico, mainland Europe and Southern Africa.

His photographic images have been. published extensively in newspapers and magazines, here and overseas, and he has been the subject of various radio and television programmes. John has exhibited in Ireland, Paris and London and his work hangs in many homes and business centres around the world.

He specialises in creating outstanding art from the natural world around him, and in conveying the essence of the diverse architectural designs that enhance people’s lives.

John Ironside was born in Trinidad, West Indies, of an Irish mother and Scottish father who was plant superintendent with Texaco Oil Refinery. He and his family live in the historic town of Wexford in south-east Ireland.

                         Solution Graphics

Corncrake Publishing
Mount Folly, Wexford, Ireland
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