Member News

WSVR 452The Santa Express at Waterford Suir Valley Railway is the latest event to be cancelled due to the uncertain environment created by the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Christmas has always been a very special time at the Waterford Suir Valley Railway. The volunteer crew have been operating the Santa Express for 18 years, welcoming many loyal families visiting every year since it started in 2002. Many more, who having visited as children are keeping up the family Christmas tradition, now bringing their own children to enjoy the experience. 

Maria Kyte, Manager of Waterford Suir Valley Railway said “The Santa Express is without doubt our favourite event to organise and operate and therefore, it is with great regret that we have made the heart-breaking decision to cancel the Santa Express for 2020.”  She continued “The Government restrictions for the Covid-19 Pandemic are liable to be put in to place at any time resulting in the cancelation of the Santa Express at short notice.  It would be beyond our control and we don’t want to promise something we may not be in a position to deliver and disappoint children so near to Christmas. The lead up to Christmas will not be the same for us at Kilmeadan Station, we will miss welcoming all our lovely families to the Santa Express.” 

The Waterford Suir Valley Railway had already announced the cancelling of their other award-winning long running event, the Spooky Express, which was due to be held on Saturday 24th October. The railway is closed at present due to the level 3 Covid-19 restrictions. The crew at Waterford Suir Valley Railway hope to resume operation on 28th October until 1st November for the October mid-term break.  

The Whistlestop Café located on the Waterford Greenway at Kilmeadan Station is currently open for takeaway service of refreshments and snack and will remain open until the end of the year unless other restrictions are put in place.

Waterford CU Clair Jen

Waterford Credit Union has proudly sponsored the Solas Cancer Support Centre “Fun for Life” in the Peoples Park for the past 4 years.

This event was always a great family fun day and attracted many people to the park. It is unfortunate that the event is cancelled for 2020 however, according to Ann-Marie Drohan, Marketing Officer Waterford Credit Union “this gives us an extra year of planning to make Fun for Life 2021 even bigger and better! We will continue to support the Solas Cancer Support Centre ‘Virtual Run & Walk for Life 2020’ as ‘Postage Partner’. This enables the centre to post the registration packs to all who sign up. So, let’s get as many people as possible to register for their main annual fundraising event.”

Solas Centre Virtual Run & Walk for Life takes place over the weekend of 9th-11th October 2020. Pick your distance and pick your route. Sign up at

Focus Big Sleep Out 2020Annual Shine a Light Night returns for 2020 with appeal to business leaders, companies, and employees to join virtual sleep-outs across the country

October 5, 2020: Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy are calling on business leaders and companies across Waterford to participate in Shine a Light Night 2020 on October 16th – giving one night to help raise much needed funds for vital homelessness services. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, Waterford’s business community has the option to host virtual sleep-outs in their own homes, gardens and safe private spaces in line with government restrictions surrounding Covid-19.

Corporate support for Shine a Light Night is more important this year than ever due to an increase in demand for Focus Ireland’s services in recent months since the Covid-19 outbreak. This demand is expected to continue growing as the economic impact of the virus hits the country and impacts on the 8,728 people currently homeless in Ireland, including 2,651 children and 1,142 families in emergency accommodation. As a result, Focus Ireland supported by Bord Gáis Energy hope that the virtual sleep-out option will make Shine a Light Night safe and accessible to as many businesses and employees as possible.

In 2020, Focus Ireland’s Shine a Light campaign, which is proudly supported by Bord Gáis Energy, is aiming to raise €1.3 million on Shine a Light Night, with Ireland’s business community helping to raise the vast majority of this. This year however, Waterford residents can also get involved in the initiative within their homes and host their own sleep-outs to shine a light on homelessness in Ireland. Since the event began in 2012, Shine A Light Night has raised over €5.3m for people experiencing homelessness in Ireland. In 2019, the support of Bord Gáis Energy as sponsors enabled Focus Ireland to help over 14,200 people.

For further information on Shine A Light Night 2020 and to register for a virtual sleep-out visit

Calling on business leaders to get involved, Pat Dennigan, CEO Focus Ireland said: “Shine a Light Night is our most important fundraising initiative each year and we have always been strongly supported by the business community in Waterford– we are truly grateful for their involvement and support in driving funds to ensure our vital services can continue to help those who are homeless across Ireland. As a result of Covid-19 and arising government restrictions, we have made the unfortunate but necessary decision to cancel our schedule of outdoor corporate sleepouts across the country. Instead, we hope that Ireland’s business leaders and companies will continue to show their support for Shine a Light Night and take part ‘virtually’ by sleeping out safely in their own homes, gardens, or private safe spaces.”

“Covid-19 is also having an impact on the demand for our services which has increased in recent months. Hitting our fundraising goal of €1.3 million will be more important this year than ever if we are to continue to support those experiencing homelessness in communities nationwide.”

Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy, Dave Kirwan said, “Ireland has faced many challenges in the past six months, with those without homes particularly vulnerable. As we all know, having a safe, warm home is something everyone should be able to enjoy; along with the safety and security this affords. We’re proud of our partnership with Focus Ireland and are committed to supporting its great work in addressing the issue of homelessness and helping those at risk of losing their home. 

“We’re delighted to yet again support the Shine a Light Night sleep out and want to make this year’s event bigger than ever. The team and I in Bord Gáis Energy will be participating this year and we are asking businesses in Waterford to join us in giving just one night to sleep out in solidarity with Ireland’s homeless community.”

Legacy Cider QuayThe team at Dungarvan based Legacy Craft Cider are celebrating after receiving news that two of their products were awarded Blas na hEireann awards over the weekend. The awards are the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland and are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country and the criteria on which the product is judged is now recognised as an international industry standard.

Legacy Irish Cider Medium was awarded a Bronze medal in the Cider Medium/Dry category and their Legacy Barrell Aged Cider was awarded a Silver medal in the Special Drinks category. The Barrel Aged Cider is a limited edition to the range which started out as an experiment with Bourbon barrels from a local distillery with the simple addition of Legacy Dry Cider resting for a few months. It resulted in a beautifully rounded flavoured cider with layers of vanilla, tobacco, and soft smoked notes subtly blended into a rich full-bodied cider, nothing added, just the wood, the whiskey, and the cider.

This award winning news has come on the back of a very challenging year with the market changes resulting in a huge swing from tradition channel of pubs and restaurants to the retail trade, Legacy have had to adapt to new consumer habits like so many others.

The local support is so important to the business and Legacy would like to thank all their customers for their continued support, also to remind you that by purchasing locally produced legacy is not just support for the company, but it is support for the Irish apple industry and the Irish craft Cider industry whose orchards which have positive impact on our environment. Many people do not realise that Craft Cider is one of the most sustainable produced alcoholic drinks, so you can enjoy your glass of Legacy knowing that you are making a difference to local jobs and the local environment!

To learn more or to purchase some award winning Legacy cider see

WLR Top StationIt may have been a virtual ceremony this year but that didn’t stop the virtual celebrations for local radio station WLR who lifted 7 awards at Friday night’s national IMRO Radio Awards, including IMRO ‘Local Station of The Year’ for the second year in succession!

WLR had been nominated in 7 different categories, more nominations than any other local station and were delighted with their haul of awards.

These included a first double win for Damien Tiernan who was named Speech Broadcaster of the Year & Current Affairs Show of the Year, making it a bumper year for the Deise Today presenter and his Editor Jennifer Long, plus News Editor Julie Smyth.

The awards ceremony was live streamed this year, presented virtually by comedian and Today FM presenter Dermot Whelan from the RDS in Dublin and celebrated the best of radio talent across the country.

A total of 106 judges took part, all of them drawn from the radio industry across Ireland and beyond. They were required to shortlist from over 650 entries.

Inspired by her own personal experience of lockdown with her children Karen Tomkins’ brilliant children’s story series Big Breakfast, Little Stories, got the Gold nod for Best Short Feature.

WLR received 2 silver awards on the night for Sinead Aherne’s daringly honest documentary “Breast Cancer and Me” about her own personal battle with cancer and Damien Tiernan won silver for News Reporter of the Year.

There was also an award for WLR’s radio drama series “Youthquake” for which the station teamed up with transition year students from 4 Waterford schools, The Ursuline Convent, De La Salle College, Newtown School and The Friary Dungarvan. The radio plays about teenage life beat off competition from professional actors and writers to lifted the Bronze award for Best Drama.

WLR Managing Director Des Whelan welcomed the awards, saying “WLR is very pleased to win 7 IMRO Awards this evening and particularly pleased to retain our Local Station of the Year title.

My congratulations to Damien Tiernan on winning 2 gold awards and to Karen for the gold win. The Station of the Year win underlines the talent and hard work of a wonderful bunch of people who work in the Broadcast Centre. While it has been one of the stations most difficult periods as a business due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is also brought the best out in us and I think the past six months has been possibly our best ever on air and also a period of real progress, so hats off to the management and all working in WLR on being Ireland’s Local Station of the Year”.

WLR’s Programme Director Michael Byrne said the station, despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, has had a very good year.

“We have produced some excellent award-winning programming that has now been recognised at national level,” he said.

“To win 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze award is a fantastic return for us. We have a great, very together and experienced team in place in the station and we are absolutely delighted with the win tonight. It’s a real boost for all involved.”

Accepting the award for Local Station of the Year, Damien Tiernan said the team in WLR are passionate about providing our listenership with programmes that reflect their lives and their interests.

“We work hard to deliver fresh, engaging and informative content both on-air and online.” he said.

The National IMRO awards celebrated their 20th anniversary this year. Sponsored by IMRO and the BAI they mark the best in Irish radio broadcasting while also recognising those who have made contributions to the world of broadcasting over the past year.


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