Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
Tel: +353 (0)58 45960 Email: info@waterfordmuseum.ie
Shopping Cart
Articles Photos

Irish Prisoner of War Art

This box was made by an Irishman who was captured fighting on the side of the Boers during the Second South African War which took place between 1899 and 1902. There were thousands of Irishmen fighting on the British side and other Irish who fought for the Boers. The British won the war, led by Field Marshal Lord Roberts (from the Roberts Family of Waterford). However, thousands of Boer women and children were held in many concentration camps established by Lord Kitchener and over 26,000 died, marking this as a shameful episode in British colonial history. It is important to say that many thousands of Irish were enthusiastic participants within the colonial empire.

A number of Irish who fought for the Boers were captured at the end of the war and imprisoned in various camps. One of these was a Mr O’Haughie who carved this box at Bellary Camp in India which housed over 800 men and operated between May 1901 and August 1902.

He made the collection box as a gift for a Father MacNamara of Madras in September 1901. The box is carved on five sides:

1.   (Top)September 1901-Bellary Camp India

2.   From O’Haughie Boer POW

3.   To Rev MacNamara Madras

4.   Transbhaal Abu – The coat of arms of the South African republic or Transvaal and a portrait of the President Paul Kruger.

5.   Eire Go Brath -Harp, shamrocks with red hand of Ulster above

Prof Donal McCracken has indicated that the O’Haughie referred to is one James O’Haughey of Derrynoose, south Armagh. He suggests that having fought for a brief period with Colonel Blake and Major John MacBride he was captured during the retreat eastwards along the railway line from Pretoria towards Komatipoort. The recipient of the box was Rev T. F. MacNamara who was a Mill Hill missionary priest in St Mary’s College Madras and was probably sent as chaplain to the pow camp. His father Michael was believed to have worked as a butler at Dromana House, the home of the Villiers-Stuart family.


Boer War Box

National Heritage Week – A Heritage Council Programme

 The National Heritage week is running from 13th -21st August 2022.                                           Waterford County Museum’s photographic exhibition of the Irish Revolutionary Period 1921-1923 depicting the role of women, the destruction of railways and property, the Farm labourers’ Strike 1923, The Black and Tans & R.I.C., the Irish Republican Army and the National Army, will be shown in the Dungarvan Library.

Venue: Dungarvan Library, Davitts Quay, Dungarvan, X35 AV29.

Tel:  058 21141

Dates: August 13th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 20th                            Time 10am-5pm

            August 18th                                                              Time 1pm-8pm

The Waterford Events Programme is available at the Museum as well as online at www.heritageweek.ie.


Purple Heart

Dave Henry presenting a Purple Heart and other memorabilia which were awarded to family of his relative, Thomas Powers, Ballinacourty, Cappagh, killed in the second World War.


Stories from Old Newspapers

Waterford Mail 16 May 1835

Fires and Weddings

In the parish of Modeligo, a place called Grague, in the county of Waterford, the house of a farmer named Donovan, was maliciously set on fire and entirely consumed on Monday night. Donovan’s brother’s house, near Clashmore, was also burned a few nights before, the reason assigned is that the latter has lately taken ground over the former tenants. A curious circumstance took place at Knockmeal, near Ballinamult: A farmer’s daughter named Corbet, was married o a person named Dealy on Sunday night, when the Chief Constable Anderson of Ballinamult and a party of his police, entered the house and commanded the wedding folk to disperse – the people stood upon their right – remonstrated with the police, and refused to leave the wedding unless compelled by force. The Chief very fortunately did not resort to this extremity but demanded from some respectable farmers present their guarantee that the peace would be preserved and then departed. The novel interference of the police is much talked of. It is but justice to add that Chief Constable Anderson has been very active in the preservation of the peace, but a resident magistrate in this wild and extensive part of the county, is absolutely necessary. If the Stipendiary from Dungarvan, held, occasionally with such a magistrate, Petty Sessions at Rathcormac, Kilrossenty, etc., a great improvement in the people would soon be visible.

Phil O' Donnell Exhibition

 These witness statements were collected by Dungarvan man Phil O' Donnell, who was employed in the 1950's by the Bureau of Military History to collect the statements and interviews from Cork Republicans. O’ Donnell was interned on Spike Island in 1921 and there is a collection of documents [including the roll book containing the names of over 700 Republican prisoners] also on display the documents show how O’Donnell complied his notes and what the completed interview statements looked like.

Stories from Old Newspapers

 Dungarvan Observer 16 May 1959

Dungarvan Hungarians Leave

Seen off at Dungarvan’s railway station on Wednesday by a group of their local friends were the members of Dungarvan’s only Hungarian family who have left the town. The members of the family were Mr & Mrs Lazlo Hudak, natives of Budapest and their five years old son Lazlo; with little one year old Lilian Dorian, who was born in Dungarvan and christened in the Parish Church, her sponsors being Mr Tom Dolan, O’Connell Street, and Mrs M Duggan, O’Connell Street.

Mr Hudak, who fled with his wife and family from Budapest, following Russian reprisals after the anti-communist regime rebellion four years ago, was employed as a confectioner at Mr Joseph Power’s Bakery, O’Connell Street. Both he and his wife had a fair working knowledge of the English language, and Lazlo junior who was a pupil at the local Convent of Mercy school, rapidly became quite fluent simultaneously in Hungarian, English, and Irish.

They left by liner, from Cobh for the United States of America where they will join Mr Hudak’s brother in New York City.


Valuable Reference Source for Local Historians

The National Archives of Ireland have just launched the ‘Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland’.  This state-funded project lead by Trinity College has combined historical investigation, archival conservation and technical innovation to re-imagine and recreate, through digital technologies.  The archive of the Public Record Office of Ireland that was destroyed on 30th June 1922 during the destruction of the Four Courts.  For instance there are near 500 documents referring to Dungarvan.  

The site can be accessed at www.virtualtreasury.ie

Upcoming Events

More Upcoming Events

Latest News

More News

Latest Articles

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list and get all the latest news for free via email. Simply enter your email address in the box below and press the 'Join' button.

Make A Donation

Waterford County Museum is a non profit voluntary museum. We would be grateful for any financial donation large or small.

Social Media

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Blogger Follow us on Youtube
Waterford County Museum 2014. All rights reserved. Please read our Terms of Use
Website By: Déise Design