Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Spooky Halloween Event at the Museum

Come and visit the Museum and find the creepy objects hidden in the display cases around the Museum, make a witch, colouring and more.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Venue: Waterford County Museum, Friary Street, Dungarvan

Date:    Friday 28th October and from Tuesday 1st November to Friday 4th November 2016

Time:   10am to 5pm

Object of the Week - Keys of the Fever Hospital and Board Room, Kilmacthomas Workhouse

The workhouse building in Kilmacthomas was built at a later date than most of those around the country.  It was built in 1851 on the townland of Carriganonshagh (Rock of the Female Idiots).

The building was designed by George Wilkinson.  Before the construction of the building people were sent to the workhouses in Waterford or Dungarvan.

The land was purchased from Mr. Power O'Shea of Gardenmorris House, Kill.  The workhouse was designed to house 600 inmates.

The workhouse closed in September 1919 and the remaining inmates were transferred to Dungarvan and Lismore.  It was taken over as a barracks by Republicans in 1922.

For a detailed account see 'The Comeraghs - Famine, Eviction and Revolution' by Seán and Síle Murphy.

Wednesday 19th October 2016 - Illustrated Lecture 'Diving the South East Shipwrecks' with Eoin McGarry

An illustrated talk will take place in the Green Room at the Town Hall Theatre in Dungarvan which is the second in our winter lecture season, with Dungarvan diver Eoin McGarry who is now recognised as one of the best technical salvage divers in the world.  We are delighted that he has agreed to speak for us once again.

Experts in the field who have worked with Eoin in the deep will attest that his engineering skills when working at tremendous depths must be seen to be believed. He has spearheaded entire operations. He is also the diver who made headlines several years ago by bringing back the 'smoking gun' evidence from the wreck of the liner RMS Lusitania which lies in almost 300 feet of water, a technical diving operation which has been compared to the arduousness of working in outer space.

Eoin is a highly qualified and respected diver in both the national and international diving scene. He has been diving for up on 25 years and is passionate about wreck diving in particular.  He has led many dive expeditions and recovery operations, some of those have included a documentary with National Geographic on the Lusitania, ammunition and artefact recovery from the Lusitania, recovery of anchors from Roger Casement's gunrunning ship the Aud, and recovery of the wheel and compass from the lost sail training vessel the Asgard II sunk in the Bay of Biscay.  Eoin's exploits have been well covered by radio and television and shown all over the world.

The talk is going to cover a number of local shipwrecks which will be of tremendous interest to Dungarvan people.  Eoin will also elaborate on the centenary dive on the Lusitania, and the recovery of the anti-submarine gun from the Folia.

This is an opportunity to meet, and indeed chat with a Dungarvan man who is recognised as one of the greatest divers in his field in the world.

Venue:         Town Hall Theatre, Dungarvan

Date:           19th October 2016

Time:           8pm 

Admission: €5

Museum on 'Ancient East' Sign

A new sign has just been erected opposite the entrance to Dungarvan Castle showing heritage sites around West Waterford, including the Museum.

Object of the Week - Brass Handle from Wrecked Train at Ballyvoile Viaduct

The attack on the Ballyvoile Viaduct took place on 8th August 1922, two weeks before the end of the Civil War.  The third and fourth arches from the Waterford end were destroyed by explosives placed beneath the track.  Over the following weeks all of the remaining arches collapsed except one.

On 20th/21st January 1923 a works train was repairing the line near Durrow and the train was captured by Republicans, and the workmen were ordered to leave, and the driver was ordered to start the train sending it west towards the destroyed viaduct at Ballyvoile.  When the train arrived at Ballyvoile it plunged 70 feet into the valley below landing upside down.

The brass handle in the photograph stamped G.S.W.R. is from the train. Dungarvan photographer Edmond Keohan captured the scene of the destruction.

Talk 'The Nire Valley - All Walls and No Ditches' on 21st September 2016

In our first talk of the winter season Maura Barret gave a fascinating talk on the Nire Valley.  She went through the history, folklore, archaeology and landscape of the area.  Her talk was illustrated with impressive images of the landscape in all seasons.

It was a very enjoyable night, and a lively question and answer session followed.

Object of the Week - Four Miles Bicycle Race Cup

The Object of the Week is the Four Miles Bicycle Race Cup. On the front the cup says 'Four Miles Bicycle Race at Dungarvan, September 1869, Winner, Richard Edward Brenan'.  On the back it says 'Richard Edward Brenan, Winner at The Four Mile Bicycle Races at Dungarvan, on September 1870 and September 1871.'

Four Miles Bicycle Race Cup
The cup was rediscovered in 1984 by Father Columba O'Donnell O.S.A. at the Augustinian House in Main Street, Dungarvan and presented to the Museum.

The first cycling club to open in Ireland was established in Dungarvan in 1869. Its founder was Richard Edward Brenan (1846-1917), postmaster, bookseller, photographer and printer of Grattan Square, Dungarvan. The Headquarters of the club was at Brenan's house on the Square. In 1880 there were 28 members, but by the 1920's the club was disbanded.

Brenan first became interested in cycling when as a boy he saw an advert for a bicycle in a French Newspaper and he was determined to buy it.  His father contributed £5 towards the cost.

His next bicycle was an 'improved bone shaker' ordered from Robinsons of Dublin.  Later he purchased an Irish manufactured bike form Neals of Dublin - 'We Young Irelanders of that period took great pride in our home manufactured mounts.'

In 1868 Brenan set off on what we think is the first documented cycling holiday in Ireland travelling from Dungarvan, through Youghal, Midleton, Queenstown, Blarney and onwards.

The first organised bicycle race in Dungarvan was held in September 1869.  The four mile race was won by Brenan.  The following year they held a four mile race to Barnawee Bridge.  'Thousands of spectators turned up to watch the novel spectacle and the race day was treated as a public holiday; the R.I.C. offered their services in keeping the roads free of traffic, which was partly accomplished by Sub Inspector Edmond McDermott and several magistrates (including Henry Edward Redmond) riding before and behind the cyclists on their horses.  Some of the magistrates almost ran down the competitors in their zeal, and the sub-inspector twice nearly ran over R.E. Brenan, County Inspector John Loch wagered £10 that Brenan could defeat a local favourite, a land agent named Shaw; the policeman won his bet, but it was a close affair, as the powerfully built Shaw put his machine across his back after he had been passed by Brenan and took a short cut across some fields to establish a lead, but Brenan still managed to overtake him.  Some of the soldiers of the 67th Regiment who took their tunics off were able to keep pace with the racers for most of the route.

The photographer Edmund Keohan was a member of the cycling club.

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