Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Annual Museum Fundraising Book Sale 2018

Our annual fundraising book sale will be held during October 2018.  Dates are still to be decided.

Object of the Week - Down Survey Map of County Waterford 1654


The museum was delighted to receive a donation of this Down Survey Map for County Waterford from historian Julian Walton.  It will be on show soon in our newly arranged displays.

In August 1649 Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army travelled to Ireland to reoccupy the country following the Irish Rebellion of 1641.  This army was raised and supported by money advanced by private individuals, subscribed on the security of 2,500,000 acres of Irish land to be confiscated at the close of the rebellion.  The 1642 Adventurer’s Act stated that the Parliament's creditors could reclaim their debts by receiving confiscated land in Ireland.

The Act for the Settlement of Ireland provided for the confiscation and redistribution of the lands of the defeated Irish, mostly Confederate Catholics, who had opposed Cromwell and supported the Royalists.  Parliamentarian soldiers who served in Ireland were entitled to confiscated land in lieu of their wages, which the Parliament was unable to pay in full.  Lands were also to be provided to settlers from England and America.  The dispossessed landholders were to be transported to Connacht and to other countries.

William Petty, then physician general to the Irish armies, offered to undertake a new survey which would be completed within thirteen months.  The Government signed a contract with Petty on the 24th of December 1654.  The maps are known as the ‘Down Survey’ because the information was mapped down.

Trinity College Dublin has digitised the maps and they can be viewed at http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/index.html

Gallows Hill Dig Donation

A great big thank you to  Mr Michael Ryan, Al Eile Stud, Kilgobnet, who kindly gave us a very generous donation toward our Gallows Hill Dig.  This donation has insured that we can press ahead with the second archaeological dig at the mound.

The week long dig, which again is a community effort, begins on the 17th of August 2018 and is led by archaeologist Dave Pollock.

Michael Dunford, Al Eile Stud presenting the cheque on behalf of Michael Ryan to Eddie Cantwell, also present Waterford County Museum committee members Chrissy Knight-O'Connor & Sarah Lucas.

Object of the Week - The Literary Digest March 29th 1930


This magazine published in New York has a cover with a reproduction of a painting by Dungarvan born artist Power O'Malley titled: 'The Hill of Muckish'.  

Michael Augustine Power O'Malley was born in Mary Street, Dungarvan on the 19th of January 1877.  His parents were Michael Power and Bridget Hannigan.  When his father died his mother married Dennis O'Malley and the artist combined the two surnames and signed all his work Power O'Malley.  

He settled in New York where he acquired work as a magazine illustrator.  He returned to Ireland regularly and painted landscapes and people mainly in the West of Ireland.  He had a retrospective show in Waterford City in 1939.  He died in New York on the 3rd of July 1946 aged 68.

Waterford County Museum has examples of his work such as this magazine cover.

American Visitors at Waterford County Museum July 6th 2018

Sometime back Lynette Stonefeld from the USA contacted Eddie Cantwell.  She had received a series of articles which were written by Eddie about her grandfather Paddy Curran from Glenmore who had carried out a rescue mission at the then ‘County Home’ St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dungarvan in 1922 during which time the hospital was occupied by Free State troops.

Republican Bill Lennon who had been shot at Grange had received surgery and was hospitalised at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  During this time Lennon was also awaiting execution.  Paddy Curran and his company decided to carry out a daring rescue and took the wounded Lennon from the hospital.  Paddy then had to flee the country and go to America.

Among the group that came from the States were grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews from both the USA and Ireland.  The group were entertained by Eddie Cantwell and Nioclás Ó'Griofáin.  Eddie then took the group to St. Joseph's Hospital and recounted the story of the amazing rescue to the extended family.


Eddie Cantwell and Nioclás Ó'Griofáin speaking with the American visitors.

Object of the Week - The Cruise of the Erin's Hope or Gun-Running in'67 by M J O'Mullane, Catholic Truth Society (no date)


This booklet details of the voyage of the Erin's Hope to Ireland in 1867 with a hidden consignment of arms and ammunition for the Fenians.  The two masted square-rigged Brigantine was called the Jacknell and sailed from New York on 13 April 1867.  The ship's captain was Joseph Kavanagh of Passage East.  

On the journey the name was changed to the Erin's Hope.  The ship's manifest listed a cargo of pianos, sewing machines and barrels of wine, but concealed with these were guns and ammunition.  The ship was due to land in Co Mayo but was unable to and proceeded along the south coast eventually setting anchor off Helvick.  A local fishing boat 'The Finin' brought most of the crew ashore but they were arrested soon after and sent for trial.  

In 1957 a commemorative obelisk was unveiled at Helvick by Cathleen Clarke, widow of 1916 leader Tom Clarke, to mark the event.  The monument was recently restored by the local community.

Object of the Week - The Sunny Side of Ireland - How to see it by the Great Southern & Western Railway by John O'Mahony 1902


Guide books such as this were very popular with tourists many of whom came from England by boat and used the train network to get to destinations such as Dublin, Killarney, or the West.  The guide book does not feature Dungarvan but has Lismore, Blackwater, Tramore and Waterford City.  

There is a chapter on cycling holidays which says that June and September are the driest months in Ireland.  It recommends that cyclists call to the nearest Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks as they are the best source on information about what to see.  Chatting to locals was an “interesting and amusing experience - nothing can exceed their civility and courtesy”.  

The guide book recommends lunching in their cottages; excellent tea, homemade bread etc were available for one shilling per head.  They cautioned cyclists to slow down as “country people were rather stupid about getting out of one's way”.

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