Ports, Past and Present

David Begley

The Wexford Whale and other stories

The Wexford Whale and other stories inspired by Rosslare, County Wexford, are the focus of this Ports, Past and Present Creative Connections project. David has visited The Burrow, Rosslare and Rosslare Harbour to gather images and materials to share with Rosslare National School so that together they can make a short black and white film using driftwood charcoal and ink. The children will learn the history and heritage of Rosslare Fort and its inhabitants – such as Ned Wickham who first witnessed the stranded blue whale, now known as ‘Hope’. 

The children will hear about life in Wexford in the 1890s and how baleen and whale oil would have been used at that time. They will storyboard and draw scenes for a short film together with David, assisted by artist Nadia Corridan. The first school workshop will include gathering driftwood for charcoal and sea-water for ink-making and will take place on 13 May.

Work in progress

Inspired by the disappearance of Rosslare Fort in 1925, and the occasional reappearance of some of its building foundations, David has authored images and text in salt water oak gall ink. Fascinated by the imagery of sea monsters on medieval and Renaissance maps, David has begun to consider contemporary sea monsters in The Irish Sea as a species of hybrid Floaters.

David has started a Facebook page with plenty of additional information on the whale and wonderful images made with pupils at the Rosslare National School.


May 2021

Read more on the Wexford Blue Whale

Interreg programme logos.

Noddir gan Gronfa Datblygu Rhanbarthol Ewrop trwy Raglen Iwerddon Cymru.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme.

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