What makes Wexford sing? It’s our people of course. We like who we are and where we’re from. Take it from the word of our Wexford Ambassadors. If you would like to find out more about what makes us tick here in Wexford, then read about some of our people who are doing us proud in the worlds of art, culture, sport and business, on the national and international stage. Our Ambassadors will tell you stories of what it means to come from this corner of Ireland and how their Wexford roots have inspired them. While enjoying hugely successful careers, these people continue to find the time to ‘put on the Wexford jersey’ and share the pride we have in our county!
John Banville was born in Wexford in 1945. John was educated at the Christian Brothers school and St Peter’s College in Wexford. John worked in journalism for many years, first on The Irish Press and later The Irish Times, where he was Literary Editor from 1988 to 2000. John’s novels include Birchwood, Kepler, The Book of Evidence and The Sea, which was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2005. John is the recipient also of the Guardian Fiction Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Award, a Lannan Foundation award and the Franz Kafka Prize. Under the pen-name Benjamin Black he has written a number of crime novels, including Christine Falls and A Death in Summer.
Internationally acclaimed writer Eoin Colfer was born in Wexford in 1956. He attained worldwide recognition in 2001, when the first Artemis Fowl book was published and became a New York Times Best Seller, as did some sequels. Among his other popular works are Half Moon Investigations, The Wish List, The Supernaturalist, and a series of Eoin Colfer’s Legends. In January 2008, Colfer published a book titled Airman, another best-seller. To date, more than half of his books have reached the New York Times list at least once. Though he travels the world to meet his readers, Wexford is still his home.
Gordon D’arcy has proven himself to be one of Europe’s top rugby players during his career in a golden era for Leinster and Irish rugby. Born in Ferns Co Wexford, he has represented Lansdowne, Leinster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions with great distinction. Among the many highlights were a 6 nation’s player of the year award, multiple triple crowns and the historic Grand Slam, while with Leinster he has won two Heineken ERC titles in 2011 and 2012. He retired from professional rugby in 2015 and now writes opinion pieces for the Irish Times focused on rugby.
Anne is a native of Ferns. She was educated in Loreto Gorey and UCD. She studied for a BA in History and English and a H Dip in Education in UCD. Anne worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs before joining RTÉ as a newsreader in 1978. Anne presented the main evening bulletins for the next thirty three years, until retiring on Christmas Day 2011. In that time Anne worked on almost all the big stories of the day and served as a member of the RTÉ Authority for five years.
Republic of Ireland International soccer player of the year, Kevin Doyle was born in Adamstown, Co Wexford. After a hugely successful underage soccer career in Wexford, Kevin came to international prominence playing with Reading. His hard work, direct style of play and eye for goal meant he was snapped up by Wolves for a record fee. In 2009 and finished his career in the United States with Colorado Rapids. He made 62 appearances for Ireland scoring 14 goals. In February 2018 Kevin tool a job with the WexfordUnder-20s GAA football team.
Chicago based, Michael Londra is from a singing family in Wexford town. He started as a boy soprano with Sr. Mary Walsh in her Children’s Choir, performing in several productions of Wexford Festival Opera. He sang locally with Wexford Male Voice Choir, Rowe Street Folk Group, Oyster Lane Theatre Group & Wexford Light Opera before deciding on a professional singing career at aged 31.
In March 2000 Michael was offered the lead singing role in the production of Riverdance on Broadway. Michael’s first album “Celt” was produced by acclaimed producer Steve Skinner who co-produced the Grammy nominated soundtrack of RENT. He has been involved in many productions around the world as an artistic director and producer. His production company has stage several major tours in China, Australia and through Europe. Michael is an ambassador for Concern Worldwide through several cd releases which raised considerable awareness for the charity and through many visits to Haiti. He is a proud advocate in North America for the Visit Wexford campaign.
CHARLOTTE (CHARLIE) MURPHY.
Dermot O’Leary’s television and radio work has made him a household name. With successes as diverse as T4 for Channel 4, hosting his own BBC Radio 2 show every Saturday (winner of 2 Sony Radio Awards), and Big Brother’s Little Brother. Dermot also chaired the debate and interviewed party leaders for First Time Voters Question Time on BBC3. In 2007 Dermot landed the coveted role of presenting ITV1’s The X Factor, and has been on hand ever since to offer contestants support and encouragement as well as holding the judges to account.
Born in Enniscorthy Co Wexford in 1955, Colm Toibin is internationally regarded for his writing in fiction, non-fiction, theatre and for his editorial role in many publications. He is a member of the Arts Council of Ireland. Tóibín is currently Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and succeeded Martin Amis as professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester. He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Liverpool in 2017.
Billy is an outstanding sportsman born in Wexford town. Billy developed a love of all sports at an early age and excelled at them all. During his own boxing career he won seven Irish Senior titles, represented Ireland at European and World Championships. He achieved his lifelong ambition by taking part in the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988.