January 1st 2002 will be remembered far and wide as the day the Euro entered our pocket but here in Castlecomer the Euro had to wait for one more day.

While all of Europe was adjusting to euro and cent Castlecomer said "No, not until tomorrow." The Wellie Race was in town and we were having no funny money at that. Most shops and pubs were ignoring the official line and giving change in pounds and pence. The absence of the new currency however did not dampen the craic or the enthusiasm of the float participants or runners alike. 

Osama Bin Laden featured prominently in the parade along with the 'Tallaght Band' but on the day the Hilly Alliance won out and took back the title to Ballyraggett. Popstars like Joe Dolan!!, Richie Kavanagh!! And the King himself represented Firoda. Liam Lawlor's Christmas Holidays ensured Mick Brannigan the honours in the individual title race but Wille Joe pressed him all the way while tracing his roots.

Recycling featured among the children's section and the Power Rangers were in town. Dillon's, always a favourite among the float entrants had a dare devil aerobics display from the "Red BARROWS" figures of eight and formation 'flying' being the order of the day. The Coon Land Eviction was remembered with the Landlord relaxing in his mansion while the tenant Farmer was evicted.

The Dancing Car won the group section while there were guest appearances from the Wellie Tubbies, The Den Gang, Socky, Dustin, Ted not to mention the appearance of Harry Potter. Staying on the magical front the Will O the Wisp and the Jack O Lantern made an appearance as well. As we are all aware the cost of houses and extensions has literally gone through the roof, so the Powley float this year focused on traditional building techniques, thatching and plastering with mud. With the winter Olympics in mind the Ballyraggett version of the Jamaican Bobsled team made a brief appearance past the judges reviewing stand at 250 miles per hour.

Michael Schumacker was another that sped past the judges while the new Garda "Pints System" was tested out with much delight. Firoda showed why the population is increasing up there as the Quintuplets, Queasy, Quibble, Quinny, Quint and Quanky made there parents Quality and Quicky pround.

The results:

  • Major Floats Adults
    1. The Hilly Alliance
    2. Garda Patrol
    3. Coon Eviction

  • Groups 2-5 Adults
    1. The Dancing Car
    2. Will O The Wisp
    3. Wellie tubbies

  • Individual Adults
    1. Lawlor Returns
    2. Back to the Roots
    3. Tallaban Joe

  • Children Floats
    1. Firoda Quins
    2. The Power Rangers

  • Groups 2-5 Children
    1. Wellie People
    2. Litter Bugs For Mother Earth
    3. Harry Potter

  • Individual Children
    1. Michael Schumacker2. Geronimo

Well done to all who participated and well done also to the 350 or so runners in the 5 Kilometre Wellington race. This years winners are both second time winners Billy O Neill previously in 1997 and the ladies winner Eilish Hayes was defending her title can she make it a hat trick next year? It has only been done once before.

The full list of winners is:

  • Mens Race
    1. Billy O Neill
    2. Martin Boran
    3. Mike Bourke

  • Ladies Race
    1. Eilish Hayes
    2. Martina Lannigan
    3. Lucia Brennan

  • Men's Veterans Race
    1. Pat Molloy
    2. John Gorman
    3. John Lacey

  • Senior ladies Race
    1. Bernie Fitzpatrick
    2. Ann Walsh
    3. Rosaleen Crotty

And So the reason we all gathered in the first place. On Friday March 8th in Castlecomer Golf Club €14,000 was donated to 26 different causes. The beneficiaries this year were:

  • Parish Development Funds € 1,500

  • Castlecomer Social Services € 1,500

  • Pat Cox Appeal € 1,500

  • St Vincent de Paul € 600

  • SOS Castlecomer € 600

  • St Patricks School € 600

  • District Hospital € 600
  • Chernobyl Child Appeal € 600

  • School Of the Holy Spirit € 600

  • Moneenroe Lourdes Invalid Fund € 500

  • Order of Malta € 500

  • Castlecomer Lourdes Invalid Fund € 500

  • Dr. Ian Wilson's Home Care Team € 500

  • The Samaritans € 500

  • DISC € 300

  • Autism Kilkenny € 300

  • Grow € 300

  • Enable Ireland € 300

  • Girls Friendly Society € 200

  • St Mary's Day Care Centre € 200

  • KilkennyRehab € 200

  • Castelcomer Tidy TownsCommittee € 200

  • Friends of Castelcomer Library € 200

  • Camphill Community Callan € 200

  • Castlecomer Youth Club € 200

  • Firoda National School € 420

  • Wandesford School € 300

Finally on behalf of the committee we want to thank everyone who contributed to making a very special day. A lot of effort and work is done by many and we on the committee are very aware of this and cannot thank you all enough. WE look forward to Wellie 2003 with bated breath, I want to thank all our sponsors, our hosts for this website Netstretch and Cormac Knott especially for the continued sponsorship of the site.

Looking forward to next year Regards

Paul Brophy.

The Castlecomer International Wellie Race - Every New Years Day!