Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Lorraine O’Brien and Catherine Kavanagh going through the Festive Star when it arrived at The Book Centre. Photo: Joe Evans


The Waterford News & Star Christmas Annual 2019 is on sale now.


THIS is an exciting Christmas for us in the Waterford News & Star – as the first ever Festive Star hit newsstands across Waterford city and county yesterday (Monday).

Incorporating everything that was brilliant about our annual Christmas supplement, which had grown too big for its boots – we decided to go one better. By publishing as a stand-alone Christmas Annual we have been able to increase the size to a bumper 124 pages, add a gorgeous glossy cover by city artist Lisa Keane, and pack in a veritable feast of all things Waterford for our readers.

The Festive Star continues to honour a Waterford News & Star tradition that goes all the way back to 1885 – when the first Christmas Supplement to the paper was published in the Waterford News, on the heels of the Victorian era’s new found love for all things Christmas. The then editor recognised an appetite and need for a lighter, more uplifting read at Christmastime – a custom which has been honoured ever since, developed in recent times by former editor Peter Doyle and over the past 11 years by editor Mary Frances Ryan.


Our Content

Our contributors have come with us on this journey, providing a treasure-trove of Déise stories for the Festive Star – fascinating, hilarious and often poignant. Find out how whole Waterford communities got into the smuggling game; when singing legend Carole King became star of Red Kettle; the gelignite attempt on Ballybricken’s bull post; a Waterford man’s role in the creation of the Panama Canal; Déise links to Napoleon, and much more.

Names synonymous with Waterford take centre stage – including Curraghmore’s Lady Waterford and the Déise’s favourite playwright Jim Nolan, whose first play was staged after winning a Waterford News & Star competition.

We also take a very fond trip down memory lane to Waterford’s sporting glory days, and, as is a Waterford News & Star ritual now, photographer Joe Evans goes back 25 years, delving into our archives to unearth some gems for our Looking Back series. Perhaps you feature!


Just one of the many photos from 25 years ago in the Festive Star: Garda Insp. Mick McGarry joined in the fun of the St Patrick’s Day Parade back in 1994.

Competitions, a quiz and more…

Cllr Jason Murphy is our ‘So You Think You Know Waterford’ quizmaster this year – taking the baton from Jim ‘Flash’ Gordon of Revolution Bar, and before him the much-loved and missed Eddie Wymberry who sadly passed away in 2018. Eddie was a stalwart of the Waterford News & Star Christmas supplement over many years.

There are fabulous competitions to enter throughout the Festive Star, including a magnificent weekend away in the Cliff House Hotel which is up for grabs.

We’ve a mouth-watering six-page food & wine section – with Waterford’s Eunice Power revealing her secrets for a divine Christmas cake and a decadent alternative to currants and raisins!

Model and stylist Lisa Kavanagh gives the Waterford ladies a steer on some fabulous festive looks. Our fun-filled Junior Festive Star section provides diversion for our younger readers, with our friends in Cartamundi and The Book Centre coming up with some exciting prizes.

Plus we dedicate five pages to the work of Waterford’s talented creative writers.


Waterfordians abroad send their Christmas wishes home to family and friends in the Déise.

Greetings from Abroad

Across the globe Déise hearts turn towards home at Christmas time – reflected in our ‘Christmas Greetings from Abroad’ section. Perth, Seattle, Abu Dhabi, Scotland, the UK, California, New Zealand and beyond… Waterfordians are spread far and wide – but keep the home fires burning and waving the white and blue!



The Festive Star will be in shops up until Christmas but it is expected to sell out so if you don’t want to develop FOMO, get your copy today!


We will post your Festive Star to your relatives anywhere in Ireland for €8 or the UK for €9 and for €10 to anywhere in the world. Simply contact Janet on 051 874951 or email [email protected]. Avoid the queue and let us do the work!

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By Mary Frances Ryan
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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