You can have all your millennium madness but there is no mayhem to match the Castlecomer Wellington Race.

As usual the New Year started with craic, competition, colour and of course Wellingtons and it will result in a number of charities benefiting significantly. The New Year began in 'comer when the Major Regrets emerged from the recently refurbished dressing facilities in the Gonnies and took to the streets in their latest designer creations.

Crowds of female spectators were noticed to be overwhelmed by the New Year show of the spring collection, for the fashion conscious among you baby pink especially in the bloomer department will be in this year, while ladies who are well endowed up top will be delighted to hear that the designs on display in 'comer this year places special emphasis on this feature.

With the crowds coming from as far away as New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.A. it is conceivable that the 'comer designs will sweep the globe this spring.

Back to the mayhem the annual float parade had everything including literally the kitchen sink. Liam Lawlor and his £37,000 cheque featured a couple of times, while Uncle Gaybo and "Who wants to be a millionaire like me" also had some impersonators. Kilkenny street became Sesame street when Big Bird, Oscar and the gang found their way into the parade, we also had fire fighters galore when a beautifully renovated 1955 vintage landrover fire engine was followed by fireman Sam and friends in their 2001 model. Mr Bean appeared following the New Year sales in Kilkenny and yet again he was sitting in a new armchair he bought, perched on top of his little yellow car steering it via a series of ropes and brushes.

Dinosaurs featured prominently with one having copious amounts of yellow drainage pipes flowing from it and three life-size beasts capturing the imagination of every child, young and old, who was present. We had car testers and two-story taxis, the blue prints have been sent to Bobby Molloy. A real live Celtic Tiger graced us with his presence while the rural life prior to electrification was re-enacted and the viewing stand was "treated" to the "birth of a new calf" which looked suspiciously like a blow up Santa. The year that it was we had 2001 a space oddity and we also "saw" the invisible man. Jack frost appeared in body, fortunately not in spirit. While farming methods of a bygone era were the inspiration of another excellent float.


The winning float was the Firoda book club, book titles by well-known authors, "Bubbles in the bath" by Wendy Bottom being splendidly re-enacted by the most unfortunate of the participants who sat in a bath full of water and bubbles for the duration of the parade, he is just about feeling better now after three courses of antibiotics and a full psychiatric assessment.


Following the parade the race was won by returning exile Jim O Brien from Ontario Canada while the ladies race was won by Eilish Hayes from Ballyhale. Tom Horrigan won the veteran men's race for the second year in a row. The full results are:


  • Men's: 1. Jim O Brien. 2. Martin Kelly. 3. Billy O Neill.
  • Women's: 1 Eilish Hayes. 2. Martina Lannigan. 3. Margaret Dillon
  • Veteran Men: 1 Tom Horrigan. 2 Johny Gorman 3. Nicky Morrissy
  • Senior Ladies; No entries
  • Best Dressed Walker: Bridget Forristal


Float Parade:

  • Adult Large Float: 1 Firoda Book Club. 2. Fitzpatricks two-story taxi's. 3 Coon Electrification
  • Adult Group 2-5: 1 Mr Bean. 2 The Invisible Man. 3 1955 Vintage Fire Engine
  • Adult Individual: 1 Two Brass Necks. 2 Return of the Dinosaur. 3. G.I. Joe.
  • Children Large float: 1 Black Dragon Martial Arts Group. 2 Fireman Sam. 3. Grease, Clough Youth Group.
  • Children Group 2-5: 1 Who want to be a millionaire. 2 21st anniversary. 3 Bill and Hillary Clinton.
  • Children Individual: 1 Jack Frost. 2 Even Andy. 3 The 3 tenners.
The proceeds of the day will be distributed soon, either the end of February or early March. The charities that are due to benefit this year include;
  • The St. Vincent de Paul
  • Enable Ireland
  • S.O.S. Castlecomer
  • The District Hospital Castlecomer
  • The Samaritans
  • Grow
  • The School of the holy Spirit Kilkenny
  • North East Kilkenny action on Disability.

We want to thank all our participants in the race and the float parade, the crowds of people who turned out to witness the event and gave so generously to the street collection. We want to thank our sponsors large and small we could not run without you. To all who helped on the day, too numerous to mention, we look forward to seeing you all on the distribution of funds night. To our merit award winners a very big thank you.

I want to make a couple of special thank yous to two people who made this site possible firstly Benny Nolan was the inspiration of the format and his work was absolutely essential and secondly Cormac Knott has worked very hard hosting the site and helping us make the site interesting and easy to use. We hope you enjoy the site please don't hesitate to contact us and please please please tell your friends if you liked it and look out for developments over the coming year.

Wishing All our visitors a happy 2001

On behalf of the Wellington Race Co. Ltd.

Paul Brophy.

The Castlecomer International Wellie Race - Every New Years Day!