SHILLELAGH UNVEILS IT’S SHILLELAGH STICK + SHILLELAGH HERITAGE TRAIL
Saturday 10th of November, The village of Shillelagh unveiled the oak carved Shillelagh Stick sculpture in the village green, followed by the official launch of the stunning Shillelagh Heritage trail.
Next to the sculpture, the interprative sign celebrates the fascinating history of the stick from its origins as a fighting weapon, to its current uses as a walking stick or parade gear. This stunning sculpture designed by artist Joey Burns now sits proudly in the village green next to the playground. And it is hoped will become an icon for the village.
“This new sculpture is a tremendous opportunity for the village of Shillelagh to reclaim ownership of what is an extremely strong international brand” says Fred Verdier, manager Wicklow Tourism. ”This sculpture gives now a point of focus and our objective is to attract visitors and tour operators to what is the home of the blackthorn stick”.
Funding for this Shillelagh Stick came from Wicklow County Council under their towns and villages renewal scheme and it was developed by the Shillelagh People’s Property Company being the local trust that arose out of assets bequeathed to it by Lady Juliet Fitzwilliam .
Shillelagh Heritage Trail:
The Shillelagh Heritage Trail was also officially launched on Saturday. This trail essentially explores the former Estate village of Shillelagh and it’s fascinating links to the Fitzwilliam family from South Yorkshire whose Irish home was Coollattin House. The estate was the largest in County Wicklow stretching 90,000 acres! The trail is 5 miles and visits the beautiful Coollattin Park, Ardeen House, the old railway station and terminus, Tomnafinnoge Woods the courthouse, and many other local heritage gems. The estate created its own electricity supply from ater and even had its own fully functioning workshops to fully serve the massive estate. Plus this trail now directly connects to the Wicklow Way and so offers walkers the chance to drop into Shillelagh Village and stay awile.
The heritage trail was officially unveiled by Deirdre Burns, The heritage officer of Wicklow County Council who described it as “an opportunity to discover the exciting heritage of South Wicklow and the unique estate village of Shillelagh”.
Peter Houlihan chairman of the Shillelagh Peoples Property Company closed the event commenting that ” here in Shillelagh we’re re- creating something really significant for South Wicklow as our Shillelagh Heritage Trail now links to the Wicklow Way. And we now believe that this will compliment beautifully with the proposed Arklow-Shillellagh Recreational Trail. As our motto says – The Mighty Shillelagh Oak was once an acorn that simply held its ground “