1 August 2018 in Cois Bearbha Park
24 May 2018, Goresbridge National School, 85 students participated.
Goresbridge enjoys a beautiful setting on the banks of the River Barrow, which forms the county boundary between Kilkenny and Carlow at this point. A striking nine-arch rubble and granite bridge across the river, built in 1756 on the orders of Colonel Ralph Gore, gives the town its name. The battle of Goresbridge took place here in 1798, part of the Wexford-led rebellion, and the bridge was a focus for much of the fighting. Goresbridge was traditionally a market/trade and postal town – particularly after the opening of the Barrow Navigation in 1794 – and several mills and factories made good use of the riverside location.
These included corn mills, a lime works, a malt house, brewery, salt house and tannery. Much of the commercial and residential property on the main streets dates to to the late-eighteenth and early-
centuries when the town was most prosperous. With the decline of the canal system in the late-nineteenth century, the economy and the population waned, although tillage farming continued – and continues – to be a reliable economic activity in the area thanks to the fertile farmland that surrounds the town. Today the local economy is heavily dependent on the horse industry, with Connolly’s Red Mills – established in 1908 – producing much sought-after horse feed for the international thoroughbred market and the annual Goresbridge Horse Sales attracting buyers from all over the world. The community are currently fundraising for a community centre to be built however there have been logistical setbacks. A charity shop has been set up to fundraise the opening of a chip shop as part of Goresbridge’s rural development efforts.