Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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22nd November 2017 - School Visit

On Wednesday November 22nd we had a visit from the 3rd class students of St. Patrick's National School, Strangsmills, Kilmacow, Co. Kilkenny.  They were given a tour of the Museum by staff member Brian O'Donnell and they really enjoyed their visit. 

Object of the Week - Oglaigh Na hÉireann Certificate Presented to Michael Wyse, Dungarvan

This certificate was presented to mark Michael Wyse’s part in the Waterford Brigade during the fight for Independence 1916-1923.  

The document is signed by Pax Whelan and Patrick Lynch.  Michael Wyse was the Town Crier, Bill Poster, Contractor and Advertising Agent in Dungarvan.


Dungarvan Success at Enterprising Town Awards

An aspect of the museum's work that is not always in the public eye is the support we provide to local business.  We do a lot of work in the area of tourism, helping to maintain the connection with the West Waterford Diaspora around the world.  This has obvious benefits for local restaurants, cafés and accommodation providers.  Less obvious is the support we provide to businesses that use local heritage in their branding.  This can be as simple as providing photographs of premises from the olden days, or providing information that can help with branding (Gallows Hill Barley Wine, Legacy Cider etc).  

We are fortunate in Dungarvan to have a very forward thinking, active business community that recognises the role heritage and community groups can play in the economic life of the town.  We were delighted when Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber of Commerce & Waterford Council invited our museum to contribute to Dungarvan's presentation for the Bank of Ireland's Enterprising Town Awards.  

At an awards ceremony in Tullamore last Thursday November 16th, Dungarvan was runner up in the Munster Town with a population over 7000 category.  We were narrowly beaten into second place by Tralee, the eventual overall winners of the National Competition.  The final presentation to the competition judges was made by Jenny Beresford from Dungarvan Chamber, Bríd Kirby from Waterford Council and Willie Whelan from the museum.  

After the results were announced Willie Whelan said that It's amazing to think that Dungarvan is now in a position to be compared to Tralee, a much larger town with decades of business development behind it.  Some of our progress as a town is down to the Greenway effect, but more of it is down to the work of Waterford Council, Dungarvan Chamber and other groups in promoting and developing Dungarvan.  I was very impressed with the quality of the presentations put together by Jenny & Bríd.  They did a fantastic job telling Dungarvan's story.  It is particularly gratifying to have local businesses recognise the contribution voluntary groups such as our museum, Club Déise and the Men's Shed make to developing our community”.

The museum would like to thank Bank of Ireland for organising the competition, Jennifer Hickey and local BOI staff for their support with the competition entry; lastly we would like to thank Dungarvan Chamber, Waterford Council and Dungarvan Enterprise Centre for giving us another platform to promote the town's heritage.

St. Joseph’s - A Walking History

Plans are afoot to launch Eddie Cantwell and Fionn Mac Giolla Chuda’s documentary, starring Michael Brennan for the Christmas Market.  Eddie has decided to use the income from the sales to advance further research at Gallows Hill.  Plans are at the initial stage at the moment with Eddie Cantwell and Brian O’Donnell but it would be advisable for those wishing to purchase a copy to place your order now. 

Apart from dealing with St. Joseph’s, the documentary which was produced by Eddie and filmed and edited by Fionn, also deals with St. Vincent’s which was standing at the time of filming.  Michael Brennan, who Eddie says is the real star of this documentary, was born at the Gate Lodge back in the 1930s and his memories of growing up there have now been recorded for prosperity.

Eddie continued Michael is clinical, humorous and displays an almost photographic memory about life there.  I hardly had to ask him a question he just took off with me in tow.  Fionn and I spent some four hours filming and I don’t even want to think about the number of hours that I sat and watched Fionn edit it with clinical precision

The documentary was shown to two packed houses at the SGC Dungarvan and for all those people who requested copies it will be on sale at Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan very soon.  Watch this space for updates.

Our November Lecture - Waterford's First Arts Centre?

William Fraher’s talk on the Old Provincial Bank in Bridge Street took place at the Dungarvan Sailing Club last Wednesday November 15th.  The talk was well attended and revealed a very interesting history of the building.  Not only was the past history of the structure focused on, William also profiled several of the prominent figures that were associated with it.  The talk was followed by a very lively question and answer session. 

The Museum Society are indebted to Austin Flynn and the Dungarvan Sailing Club for allowing us the use of their wonderful facility, which seems to be a big hit with those who have attended our two lectures which took place there.

This completed the first half of our 2017/18 lecture.  Our talk continues on January 17th 2018.


Object of the Week - Feis Na nDeise Cup 1927

The Feis and Aeridheacht was held annually and as well as being a cultural event it also included sport.  In 1927 the Feis was held in Dungarvan on July 3rd.  Dan Fraher was Treasurer and he placed an advert in the Dungarvan Observer appealing for funds.  He noted that there would be competitions in Irish dancing, singing and instrumental music as well as a football match for a valuable set of medals. 

Over £50 was offered in prizes.  Dan noted that over 300 competitors had already entered.  He acknowledged subscriptions received from: 
M. O'Foghludha, Ardmore £5, Colaiste Na Rinne £5, An Canonach Furlong P.P. £2.2.0, An Fear Mor £2, Liam O Miodhachain £1, Seamus O Lanagain £1, Sean O Conaire £1 and Sean O Muineachain £1.

Copper Coast Geopark Visit

Photo: left to right: Donnchadh Ó Ceallacháin (Waterford Treasures), Chrissy Knight-O’Connor (Waterford County Museum), Eddie Cantwell (Waterford County Museum) and Cian Manning (Editor Decies).

On Saturday 4th November Chrissy Knight-O’Connor and Eddie Cantwell, who are very involved in Waterford County Museum, were invited to Copper Coast Geopark in Bunmahon, County Waterford to talk about our Middlequarter Community research for the launch of Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society’s Decies Journal 2017.  

Chrissy gave an excellent presentation on Community Archaeology in Dungarvan starting with Gallows Hill and ending with Middlequarter investigations, a paper on the latter written by Chrissy Knight-O’Connor and Eddie Cantwell being included in the latest (73rd) edition of Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society’s Decies Journal 2017.  Many congratulations to the both of them.  

Thank you to Cian Manning (Editor Decies), Donnchadh Ó Ceallacháin (Waterford Treasures), Knotted Cords and all at Copper Coast Geopark.

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