Lifestyle

Waterford's Wonderful Moments of 2022

It has been quite an eventful year as we dragged ourselves out of the remnants of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There have also been plenty of highlights for Waterford throughout 2022.

Here are some of our favourite things that happened in Waterford.

 

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BALLYGUNNER WIN AN ALL-IRELAND TITLE

Although the bitter taste of being knocked out of the club championship by Ballyhale Shamrocks this year is still fresh in our minds we thought we would look back at that wonderful moment when the 'Gunners overcame their Kilkenny rivals in this year's final. Yes, it's hard to believe that it was only earlier this year that Harry Ruddle and the rest of the players gave us such a lift and sent the county into a frenzy of celebrations. It was the 12th of February when Ballygunnar became all-Ireland Club Champions for the first time, stopping the 3 in a row chasing Ballyhale Shamrocks. Ballygunnar trailed by just a single point going into extra time and it looked as if heartbreak might be on the cards once again for the Waterford kingpins. Up stepped substitute Harry Ruddle! He won the ball in his own half and stormed down the field, facing down the keeper and brilliantly slamming it into the back of the net. WLR match commentator Kieran O Connor went viral with his exciting commentary as the final whistle blew and the boys in black and red were All Ireland champions. Listen back here:

 

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RETURN OF ALL TOGETHER NOW AND ST PATRICKS DAY PARADES

There was a welcome return of a number of events this year, most notably the St Patrick's Day Parades and Curaghmore's music festival All together Now.  It was just the third year of the music festival at Curraghmore House in Portlaw, which had been cancelled the last 2 years due to COVID-19. Headliners included Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Underworld, Groove Armada, and Jungle with amazing Irish talent including CMAT, Denise Chaila & Pillow Queens. It was a mixed bag weather-wise with steady rain until the Sunday when the sun came out to play. WLR broadcast live from the festival across the weekend, including The Big Breakfast Blaa's Vinny and Aoibhin who MAY have gotten married!

 

SUCCESS OF WATERFORD-BASED FILMS - ONE AN OSCAR HOPEFUL!

Two Irish language films, one an Oscar hopeful, were released this year, both with Waterford connections. An Cailin Cuin, starring Waterford actress Carrie Crowley, was released in May and tells the story of a young girl whose family send her to her mother’s cousin in Waterford to be cared for while her mother has another baby. The film has made the shortlist in the Best International Film category at the Oscars, after already winning the main prize at the 2022 Irish Film And Television Academy (IFTA) awards.

Meanwhile, Rosie & Frank, which was released in September, was filmed entirely in An Rinn, with a local cast, and tells the story of a woman, Rosie, who is convinced that the spirit of her dead husband Frank has re-appeared in a stray dog that befriends her. The movie had a Waterford premiere at the SGC in Dungarvan when much of the original cast reunited for the first showing.

SAOIBH LONERGAN ON THE LATE LATE SHOW

Tramore girl Saoibh Lonergan stole the hearts of viewers on this year's Late Late Toy Show. The 10 year old had a benign tumour in her spinal canal however the condition was misdiagnosed for 7 years, during which time she was in severe pain. She underwent surgery in University Hospital Waterford and is now in recovery. She lit up the Toy Show with her infectious personality before performing a song that she written while recovering in hospital. Ryan surprised Saoibh and her two friends from hospital, Jack and Ellie Mai, with a trip to Euro Disney with Aer Lingus. Saoibh has now released her song, Raining Rainbows, which is available to download here, with all proceeds going to Temple Street Hospital. Go Saoibh!

 

SEAMUS POWER WINS SECOND PGA TOUR 

Victory at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in October gave Waterford golfer Seamus Power his second PGA Tour win of his career. The 35-year-old former West Waterford player won his maiden PGA Tour event in July 2021 at the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky. He is now ranked 28 in the world. It's an amazing story for the man from the Deise. Seamus was given a second civic reception by Waterford council in December.

 

JOEY THE WALLABY FOUND SAFE AND SOUND

The county was sent into a frenzy when sightings of an unusual type of animal around the Faithlegge area led to the revelation that a baby wallaby named Joey had escaped from Waterford Castle and was on the loose. The animal is believed to have crossed the river from the island during low tide. It spent a number of weeks 'on the run' with numerous sightings giving hope he was still alive. He was finally located in Faithlegge with the help of Waterford Animal Welfare, and was returned to the island where he was reunited with his mother.

 

MONCRIEFF COMES HOME TO IMAGINE FESTIVAL

Waterford musician Moncrieff (real name Chris Breheny) made a triumphant homecoming to Waterford in October when he played an intimate gig at Christ Church Cathedral as part of the Imagine Arts Festival. Anyone who was at the event agreed that it was a special night to be part of as he performed to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. He sang songs from his current EP, as well as so far unreleased material, including a tribute to his late brother, and a friend from Tramore who went missing last year. He had performed earlier in the year at the main stage at All together Now and is soon embarking on tour as the support act for The Script.

 

BIG BREAKFAST BLAA LISTENER WINS GARTH BROOKS COMPETITION

The country caught Garth Brooks fever when the US crooner played 5 nights in Dublin's Croke Park. Vinny & Aoibhin on The Big Breakfast Blaa got in on the mania, giving away tickets to see the man himself. So they went on the hunt for the best Garth Brooks sing-a-like in Waterford. There were tons of entries but it had to be whittled down to just three; Dan Roche, PJ Morrissey & Mikey Keane. All three performed at a gala night in The Uluru Outback Bar and Restaurant when judges, Judith Mullaly and Brendan McCarthy, picked their overall winner which was PJ Morrisey. PJ and his other half were chauffeur driven to the concert thanks to Audi Waterford and loved seeing PJ's idol in concert.

 

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