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

Children's Christmas Event

Niamh, Darren, & Emma with some of the group
On Sunday 13 the children's Christmas event was held here in the museum.  This is the second year of this event and again it was well attended.  The children under the watchful eye of Helen and Darren cut out and coloured their own christmas cards and made some lovely decorations for the museum Christmas tree. wasThey also enjoyed some lovely treats laid on for the day.  Thanks again to Helen, Darren, Noreen, Emma & Niamh for all their hard work  on the day and to Conor Lannon of the Country Store for providing us with the christmas tree.  More photos of this event  can be seen on  our facebook web page.

Children's Christmas Fun

Sunday December 12 the museum is holding it's Childrens Christmas Event.  Children will spent the hour making up their own christmas cards from local scenes from bygone days, and  decorating the museum christmas tree with their own hand-made decorations. There will be lots of fun and treats for all.  The event is free to all and will take place in the museum between 2.00.pm - 3.00.pm.

Recent Visitors

On Wednesday 24 we had a group of English language students from Waterford city along with the teacher SallyAnne. These student visit us on a yearly basis, they are made up of many different nationalities and find the museum a very interesting place to visit.

Students From The Adult Education Centre Waterford

On the same morning a group arrived from Cork. These visitors were a group of adults on a day's outing, passing through Dungarvan, stopped off, found the museum and dropped in. They were very impressed with the museum and the work that's being done to preserve our history.

An American Soldier In World War 2 - John F Mansfield

John F Mansfield's American Army Medals
An often overlooked area of Irish history is what our emigrants did when they left these shores. The museum currently has a small exhibit of medals won by a brave Waterford man fighting with the American Army in the Second World War. If you know of any expatriate that we should feature in an exhibition and have some material or information relating to them please get in touch at history@waterfordmuseum.ie

John F Mansfield 1906 - 1965

He was born at Ballinroad, Old Parish, Co Waterford on 6 February 1906 to James and Bridget Mansfield (nee Power).

John emigrated to America in 1924. Just before the Second World War he enlisted in the American army and served with the 4th Armoured Division - Third Army, from its founding in April 1942 until he ended up in Pilsin, Czechoslovakia in May 1945.

This Division was the spearhead attack from Normandy right into Germany and was known as 'Paton's Pride & Joy', having had the most days in combat of any unit of the Third Army. John was wounded twice and decorated on several occasions. Received honourable discharge on 19 October 1945 and he settled in New York where he died on 1 July 1965.

Awards Received
  • Bronze Star for valour at the Battle of the Bulge
  • Purple Heart with cluster after being wounded at Normandy and Metz
  • European-African Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon
  • Occupation of Germany Medal
  • American Defence Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal

Successful Michael Smith Talk

Committee Member Eddie Cantwell With Michael Smith

On last Wednesday November 17 Michael gave another fascinating illustrated presentation based on his new book "Great Endeavour - Irish Antarctic Explorers" to a packed audience at Lawlor's Hotel.  The very appreciative audience enjoyed his relaxed style of delivery and his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject.

We would like to thank Pat White and Aisling for Eason's who brought along copies of the book for sale, which Michael signed.  We would also like to thank the staff at Lawlor's Hotel for their assistance with the event.

The book is available to buy at Eason's, priced at £30 and on http://www.amazon.co.uk/

Padraig Nugent Getting His Book Signed by Michael

The Hayes Family Attending The Lecture

New Book On Cappoquin Fenian, Poet & Journalist, Michael Cavanagh

Best of luck to the Michael Cavanagh Society (which includes several of our friends from the Cappoquin Heritage Group) who are launching their book on Michael Cavanagh; His Life and Selected Writings at the Cappoquin Community Centre on Saturday, November 27th at 8.30.

The book comprises almost 400 pages of 19th century poetry, legends and history, mainly dealing with Waterford, from one of Cappoquin's diasporal sons. Cavanagh fled to the USA after his involvement in a Young Ireland attack on Cappoquin barracks in 1849 and spent over half a century in the States, working as a journalist in Irish-American publications and as a prominent Fenian. He was also the biographer of Thomas Francis Meagher.

The book will be on sale for a special launch price of €15 on that night only, and will be available in local shops and through the Civic Link website, www.cappoquin.net after November 27th, and through other outlets. All proceeds are going to Bunscoil Gleann Sidheain and the group hopes everyone who can will support the launch of this high quality hard-back production of the writings of Cappoquin's literary son, and support the local school into the bargain.

Australian Visitor At The Museum

Eamonn Moore Beside The Display Which Holds His Grandfather's Medal

On Friday the 12 November we had the pleasure of having a visit from Eamonn Moore from Perth Australia.  Eamon who was visiting relations in the area is grandson of Seán Graves of Helvick who took part in the 1916 Rising. Seán was sentenced to 2 years hard labour for his part in the rising, but was released after 3 months.
 The museum is lucky enough to hold the rare 1916 medal which Séan was awarded for his part in the Rising. This was  donated by the Graves family.

Museum President Níoclas Ó Griófain, Eamonn Moore & Rita Curran

Ireland's Antarctic Explorers An Illustrated Talk.

The Museum are delighted to have Michael Smith deliver a lecture on his latest publication "Great Endeavour Ireland's Antarctic Explorers". The book which covers 200 years of exploits in the frozen wastes, includes many previously untold stories and photographs of early explorers and discloses why so many Irish Heroes caught up in Ireland's fight for independence were soon forgotten.

It also gives the first comprehensive account of hardy 21st century Irish adventurers who trekked in the footsteps of the pioneers. Mike Barry from Kerry,the first Irishman to walk over land to the South Pole, also Clare O'Leary the first Irish woman to march to the Pole to name but a few.

Michael has written several books specialising on the history of Polar exploration. He is probably best known for his book Tom Crean "An Unsung Hero", which to date has sold 80,000 copies and has been published in the Irish language (children's edition).

Michael is a regular visitor to schools and libraries and has frequently participated in the annual Children's Book Festival.

This talk will be of particular interest to students and should not be missed. You can meet Michael later and buy a signed copy of his book, or it will be available to buy at the local Eason's book store.

The talk will take place in Lawlor's Hotel, Dungarvan at 8.pm on Wednesday November 17th. Entry to the talk is €5.

Michael Smith's latest Book.

Halloween Event At Museum

A very successful children's event was held in the museum on the Saturday October 23.  The theme for the event was based on "Education through fun" telling the history of Halloween in Ireland. The children listened to the stories of Jack O'Lantern and Petticoat Loose, as well as colouring and crosswords.

The day was organised by Helen Moynihan, Education Officer and assisted by Tony Hayes, Roberta Whelan, Darren Moynihan, Emma Walsh and Niamh Power.

Darren Moynihan, story telling to the children.

More photographs of the event can be seen on the museum's facebook page.

"Scientists of County Waterford" A Lecture by Donal Brady

Mr.Donal Brady will present a lecture the "Scientists of County Waterford" in Lismore Heritage Centre on Wednesday 10th November 2010 at 7.00.pm. The hour long talk is part of science week 2010 which runs from 7th-14th November.

Since the seventheenth century County Waterford men and women have been making outstanding contributions to the world of science. The remarkable and often untold story of Waterford's scientists include the only Irish recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for science, the optician who helped to build the Birr telescope and the Earl's son whose name is enshrined in chemistry textbooks across the world.

These and other achievements will be discussed by Mr.Brady in his Science Week lecture. Now retired, Donal Brady served as Waterford County Librarian for almost twenty eight years. Devoted to the preservation and collation of the historical resources of the county Mr.Brady has brought much of his study to print, most recently in "The Book of Lismore: An Introduction", published in February 2010. Donald's forthcoming publication "Scientists of CountyWaterford" will be launched at the end of this month.

Science week is a nationwide event designed to promote the relevance of science, engineering and technology in our everyday lives and to demonstrate the importance of these disciplines to the future development of Irish society and to the economy.

This event is free but spaces are limited. Places can be booked by contacting Mealla or Arlene on (058) 54975.

The Effects Of The Famine In Dungarvan & West Waterford

Willliam Whelan will deliver a talk-The effects of the famine in Dungarvan & West Waterford- on Saturday 23 October in the museum at 2.30 pm, in conjunction with the Return to the Déise festival, which  runs from Fri 22- Mon 25 Oct.

As part of the Famine Commemoration event in 1995, the museum published a detailed book entitled Desperate Haven-The Poor Law Famine & Aftermath in Dungarvan Union. 

William Whelan contributed a chapter on Food & Diet in the workhouse.  The book is an important resource for local famine studies and is now available on the museum's website, http://www.waterfordcountymuseum.org/
 Admission to the talk is free and all are welcome.

Successful Historic Houses & Gardens Seminar

The seminar took place on Thursday 22 October in the magnificent surroundings of Lismore Castle. The Pugin room was packed to capacity with an enthusiastic audience.

The first speaker on the programme was museum curator William Fraher who spoke on the Country Houses of West Waterford.

Other speakers included Lord Waterford who spoke about his home, Curraghmore, Willie Cuming spoke on the buildings and landscapes of Ireland survey. Colm Murray from the Heritage Council and Louise Harrington gave a though provoking presentation on the lack of research on those who worked on the large estates as servants, gardeners and tenants. Their history has often been ignored in studies of the big house in Ireland.

Kristen Jameson spoke about the new Co. Waterford Trail which is to be launched next year.

Well done to Bernadette Guest, County Heritage Officer and Rose Ryal, Conservation Officer, Waterford Co. Council for an excellent seminar.

Successful Talk On Lismore Castle

On Wednesday 13 October we had the first of our talks in the present lecture series. Starting off the series we had Julian Walton, historian and broadcaster who gave a talk entitled - Lismore Castle & Cathedral, A Personal View.

Julian delivered a fascinating and entertaining talk which covered the castle and the bishops of Lismore from the earliest times up until the end of the 19th century.

This talk was very well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd.

Children's Halloween Fun At The Museum

On Saturday 23 October the museum will hold a Halloween Fun Day. The event will happen between 11.30 am -1.pm. and entry is free.   Children are invited along to hear local ghost stories, make Halloween crafts and do creepy crosswords.

The day has been organised by Helen Moynihan educational co-ordinator, and with the help of Tony Hayes (staff member) and Darren Moynihan it should be a fun packed event.

The Schools Are Back

An Múinteoir Jen Uí Dhuibhir agus na páisti as ranga ceithre Scoil Garbháin.

In recent weeks we were delighted to have a visit from ranga 4 with their teacher Jen Uí Dhuibhir  from the local gael scoil, Scoil Garbháin.  These children were very interested in local history and  knew quiet a lot. They listened attentively as they were brought around the museum and asked questions along the way.

 The second school to visit was 4th class from Scoil Mhuire along with their teacher Mary Harney and Principal Finbar Keohan. The children showed a special interest in our display on the Moresby as they were studying it in class.  They also spent some time studying the many photographs of Edmond Keohan, who was grandfather to their Principal Finbar.

We openly invite all the schools in the county to vist the Museum, they can partake in a guided tour by the museum staff or come and browse at their own leisure.

The handling objects are always a big hit with the children, they love trying on the helmets or handling the sword and gun. The colouring pictures are also a big hit with the young and not so young.  In the months ahead it would be great to see  many more schools from  around the county  come and visit and  see what the museum has to offer.

Improving The Visitor Experience At Our Museum

The deadline for the Heritage Council grant application passed last Friday and this year we are applying for something a little bit innovative. The cost of the project is only 870 Euro, if we get the go ahead visitors to the museum will have something special to look forward to next year.

Project Overview
This project has several strands but essentially in a technical sense it is very simple. We are going to create a wireless network across our museum that will allow access to certain websites. At the moment we envisage the websites that we will allow access to will include: www.waterfordmuseum.ie (currently coming to the end of a 3 year long reconstruction), YouTube and Wikipedia

Use By Visitors To The Museum
This wireless network can be accessed by any visitor to the museum with a smart phone (23 percent market share of the mobile phone market by 2013. Source: Juniper Research, Hampshire, Britain), laptop or net book. When we create a new exhibition we will now create an exhibition page on our website. This page will contain links to additional information associated with the exhibition. At the entrance to the exhibition you will be given a web address that you can put into your mobile phone or computer to access further information.

We can for instance:
  • Link to additional photos that we do not have space for in an exhibition. Eg We are doing an exhibition on 'Country Houses' we will probably have only space for 1 or 2 photos of 'Comeragh House'. By clicking on http://bit.ly/b3nWfI you can view an additional 20 or so images. We currently have close on 5000 images on-line so for most exhibitions we will have surplus images that are not on display for one reason or another.
  • Link to biographies of people or additional information on our museum web site. Again we don't have room to put up all of the information we have gathered on a subject but we do have a facility to publish 100's of pages on-line on our web site. Now visitors that want to explore a subject further will be able to look up additional information.
  • Look up additional information on artefacts. We have 4000 odd artefacts catalogued at present. We have another 1000 artefacts to catalogue before the catalogue is brought up to date. This catalogue is going to be plugged into our new web site. A visitor to the museum or the website will be able to search through all of the artefacts we have in store relating to let's say 'Power's Brewery'. They can get further information on the artefact in front of them in the case or discover related articles that we may not have included in the museum.
  • Display educational or historically interesting videos. Certain videos are available on-line and it would be useful if they could be viewed in the context of an exhibition. eg Pathe News: Noone Can Insult Our Flag

Use By Museum Staff With Visiting Groups (Particularly School Groups)
It will also be used by museum staff to access the Internet when giving talks to groups of children visiting the museum. We have put considerable effort in recent years to encourage schools across Waterford to visit the museum. We have had a lot of success in this and now we are a regular destination for the majority of National Schools in West Waterford. Our staff give talks on the replica arms and armour we have in the museum. By having a simple tablet computer in their hands they could have a portable TV screen that could: 
These are just some examples of the videos we could show visiting groups. All videos would be vetted prior to their being shown.

Assist Visitor Comprehension
Lastly we would hope that the network could be used to access Wikipedia so that visitors could source definitions of terms that may appear in exhibitions. e.g. Fenian. I appreciate that Wikipedia is imperfect but nonetheless it is a useful resource to explain terms to visitors that may not be au fait with Irish history or certain scientific terms.

About The Museum
For an overview of the work of our museum please see our corporate video.

Official Launch of The Newfoundland Emigrant Trail Booklet

Newfoundland Emigrant Trail Booklet 

The launch took place here in the museum on Saturday 18 September of a new booklet entitled The Newfoundland Emigrant Trail. The book was launched by historian and broadcaster Julian Walton.

The booklet which tells the story of emigration from the South East Coast of Ireland to Newfoundland during the 18th and 19th centuries. The launch was part of a series of events to mark the Newfoundland Festival which took place from 18 to 26 September.

A group of over 50 from Newfoundland were visiting Dungarvan, Lismore, Carrick, Wexford and Kilkenny.

The museum is delighted to be associated with the production of the booklet which was edited and prepared by Paula Ui Uallcháin. Also speaking at the launch were Nioclás Ó Griobhtháin, Museum President, Paddy O Callaghan, Mayor of Waterford. Mary Roche, Mayor of Waterford City, and other distinguished quests. The booklet contains a series of fascinating articles by Dr.John Mannion, Julian Walton, Michael Coady, Eamon Ó Murchú, Ray McGrath, Eamon McEneaney and Senan Cooke.

The booklet is available to buy here at the museum, cost €5.

City Mayor Mary Roche, County Mayor Paddy O'Callaghan, with Julian Walton at the launch.

Lecture Season for 2010/2011

The lecture season is with us again, with the first talk beginning in October.

The talks will take place on the third Wednesday of each month at 8.p.m in the Town Hall Theatre unless otherwise stated.  Entry fee for the talks is €5.  Any changes will be published here and in the local papers.

The line-up for the coming season is as follows:

13. October- Julian Walton- Lismore Castle & Cathedral- A Personal View.

17 November - Michael Smith- Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers.
      (The venue for this talk is Lawlor’s Hotel).

19 January-William Fraher.- “The Bad Times” The War of Independence & The Big Houses in Co.Waterford.

16 February- Bernadette Guest.- Aspects of Co.Waterford’s Heritage

23 March- Details to be confirmed.

Seminar on Houses,Gardens & Demesnes of Co. Waterford.

Brochure on the Seminar

On Thursday October 14 a seminar on the historic houses, gardens and demesnes of County Waterford will be held in Lismore Castle. Waterford has many fine homes and gardens, such as Dromana House, Ballyin House and Tourin House to name but a few.

The seminar begins at 9.00 a.m with a welcoming address by Orla Russell, Mayor of Lismore Town Council.

At 9.10 a.m William Fraher museum curator will give a talk on County Houses of West Waterford, their history, architecture and demesnes.

Other talks during the day include:

The NIAH and Historic Garden and Designed Landscape Survey. Willie Cumming.
Curraghmore House and Demesne -An Overview. Lord Waterford
The Sustainability of the Country House in Ireland. Colm Murray
Demesne Landscapes in the broader Cultural Heritage Context. Louise Harrington
The Great Garden Trail. Kristin Jameson
A tour of Lismore Castle Gardens and Gallery will take place at 2.30 p.m and the seminar will close at 4.00 p.m.

There is no charge for the seminar, places are limited so booking is essential.

Thanks For All Your Help

We enjoyed a fantastic night in the Town Hall Theatre on Wednesday  8th September. Well over two hundred people turned up for the museum's fund-raising variety night. A great night was had by all and we raised well over 2000 Euro that will go towards preserving Waterford history. You can view photos of the show on Eddie Cantwell's Facebook page.

As most of you are aware the museum is a voluntary body, without support form the public it would not be possible for us to do our work. It was really gratifying the support we got from so many locals, local organisations and companies. So thanks is due to all of the following:
We got prize donations from The Cliff House Hotel, The Round Tower Hotel, The White Horses Restaurant, Willie Fraher and Tony Hayes. All prizes were organised by Roberta Whelan.

Behind the scenes we had support for Seán Organ, Ian Noctor, Value Centre, Dirk Baumann of DBL Lighting, Dungarvan Brewing Company (great people, great beer :) ), Dungarvan Town Council and Joe Flaherty.

Thanks to all the committee members who gave up their time particularly our canteen workers Helen Moynihan, Emma, Niamh and Mary Giblin (for her excellent apple tart and cake).

Lastly, and most importantly, congratulations to the man who organised the event Eddie Cantwell, it is a mark of the man that when I forgot to thank him publicly at the end of the night he only laughed at it.

New Conservation Lighting And Portable Display Cases Installed

Waterford County Museum has recently installed conservation standard lighting and taken delivery of 5 new portable temporary exhibition cases. The total cost of the improvements was in the region of €8500. Waterford Leader Partnership gave us 3/4 of that in grant aid. The rest we raised ourselves.  This short video shows you the cases and the lights and gives you an insight into what we are trying to do. It is quite a step forward for us technically. It is great achievement for a community group to be running a museum in such a professional manner. Hopefully we will continue to 'demand the impossible' from ourselves for many more years to come.

Heritage Week At The Museum

A Group Of People Outside The  Devonshire Hotel, Dungarvan Circa 1900
On Saturday the August 21 museum curator William Fraher gave an illustrated talk titled Dungavan Businesses from Days Gone by as part of Heritage Week. The talk which illustrated the many shop fronts in the town as they were in years past was followed by a tour around the town to see the same premises as they stand today.  The talk and tour were very well received and enjoyed by the participants.

Power's Bakery Staff Outside The Premises At O'Connell Street, Dungarvan 1930

Dungarvan Ramblers - The First Cycle Club in Ireland

The Dungarvan Ramblers Cycling Club

On the 28th and 29th August 2010 the Sean Kelly Tour of Co. Waterford will take place. Dungarvan has an important place in the annals of Irish cycling history. Cyclists partaking in the tour are welcome to visit the museum free of charge to see the historic cup from the first bicycle race held in Ireland or the United Kingdom which is now on view in the museum. The museum is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and in Summer we open on Saturday's from 2pm to 5pm. Admission is free.

The Dungarvan Rambler's Cycling Club was founded in 1869 by Richard Edward Brenan (1846-1917). He was the Postmaster based in Grattan Square, he was also a printer and bookseller. Other hobbies included local history and photography and many of his glass plates are now in the Museum's photographic collection.

The Cyclist's Guide to the South East published in 1903 had the following observation:

'In the Co of Waterford we claim the oldest cycling club in Ireland - The Dungarvan Ramblers C.C., started in 1869. In that year the first cycle race for a challenge cup held in this or any other country, was run under the auspices of the club, and it was won by Mr R. Edward Brenan, the present Postmaster of Dungarvan, who is as proud of the Trophy as if it were a collar of gold.'

The cup was lost for many years until rediscovered in 1984 by Father Columba O'Donnell O.S.A. at the Augustinian house in Main Street and they kindly donated it to the Museum. The cup has the following inscriptions:
  • Four Mile Bicycle race at Dungarvan, September 1869 Winner - Richard Edward Brenan
  • Mr R.E. Brenan, winner of the Four Mile Bicycle races at Dungarvan 19 September 1870 and 5 September 1871
A local tourist magazine published in 1903 published the following article on Brenan:

'The Rambler's Cycling Club, the oldest in the Kingdom, is in full swing once more. We hope the club will organise a sports carnival this year. Our old friend Mr R. E. Brenan, is the oldest cyclist in Ireland, not the oldest in point of years, but the oldest in cycling experience. He began his riding in 1867 on a boneshaker and actually won the first race ever run for a valuable cup, which is still to be seen in his splendid library. He is still an ardent cyclist, and every member of his family enjoys the invigorating pastime.'

In 1901 Brenan wrote to The Leader magazine about their claim that there were no Irish manufactured bicycles before 1900:

'This is incorrect, as I have in my bicycle stable an old wooden wheeled bicycle built by Neale of Dublin, fully 30 years ago. I think afterwards, as most clever Irishmen have done, emigrated. I regret to say that in the 34 years of cycling this has been the only bicycle of Irish manufacture that I have possessed ... I hope yet to ride an Irish cycle.'

Why The Horrible Histories DVD Is So Important

One Of The Stars Of Horrible Histories
One of the greatest challenges faced by any local history organisation is regenerating itself with 'new members'.

At Waterford County Museum we have chosen to expend quite a bit of our members time and scarce museum resources on children's events. At some point it is hoped that these kids will be the museum members and community activists of the future. If we can give a few of them an interest or enthusiasm for Waterford history they will become the standard bearers for their community's heritage.

My opinion is that a passion for history is something that one normally picks up early in life. Even if you drift from your early enthusiasm as 'life gets in the way' you can always rekindle the love affair in later life. My own interest in history came about when a friend of my father gave me an encyclopedia about World War 2 and was further enhanced by reading large quantities of Commando, Warlord and Battle comics as a child.

Anything that can get kids interested in history has got to be a good thing. My 5 year old daughter has recently developed a passion for the Horrible Histories™ TV series. All 13 episodes of the first series are now available on DVD at a low price from Amazon.co.uk and from Amazon.com

The series is described as 'History with the nasty bits left in! Based on the best-selling series of books for kids (and for adults, but they just won’t admit it), Horrible Histories is an anarchic, surprising and unconventional take on history’s most gruesome and funny moments.'

This DVD is produced by the BBC and is not to be confused with the cartoon series also based on the Horrible Histories™. These DVDs are not on a par with the BBC production.

Some of the humour is ribald and fake gore abounds but as a primer to spark an interest in history I don't think you could do better. The only caveat I would place on the purchase is that it is very Anglocentric, for an Irish audience this won't be so much of a problem but for other countries some of the history may be unfamiliar.

Link: Horrible Histories YouTube Channel

Children's Museum Event

 Children Making Pinhole Cameras

The children's camera workshop held last Saturday was a great success. Staff member Noelle Drohan explained the history of the camera and the examples on display. Tony Hayes showed the children how to make a pinhole camera. There was an opportunity to handle an antique stereoscopic viewer and a viewmaster which showed 3D images. Thanks to Helen, Noelle and Tony for organising the event.

Children's Photographic Workshop

Saturday 7th August 2010
2pm - 3pm
Waterford County Museum, St. Augustine Street, Dungarvan

Admission Free All Are Welcome
All materials are provided. Best pin hole camera wins a framed Edmond Keohan photograph.

This is a great event for all of the family and an ideal way for children to get an introduction to the history of our locality and the science of photography. They will also find out that 3D existed before Toy Story and Avatar.

Fund Raising Variety Concert: Bachelors in Trouble Go Wild in Dungarvan

"A variety concert with a difference! From the sublime to the ridiculous!"

Date: September 8th 2010 at 8pm sharp!
Tickets: 10 Euro
Venue: Town Hall Theatre, Friary Street, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

A Night of music, Song, Poetry, Story and dance featuring some well known, and some new talent! Whatever your taste, you will find it on the night! Be prepared for surprises! Sample the new local brew courtesy of Dungarvan Brewing Company. Have a cup of tea and a chat...what more can one ask for? All in aid of Waterford County Museum.

Among those contributing their talent to this special fund-raising event...
  • The remarkable Comeraghs Comhaltas Cúil Cheoil
  • Kevin Evans Of 'The Orchard' fame
  • Everyone's favourite historian, Julian Walton
  • The voice himself - Seán Ó Donnell
  • A touch of nostalgia with Declan Terry
  • The unique talent that is Joe Power
  • Poet Laureate, Liam Lynch
  • and a very special appearance by Waterford hurling legend 'Dan The Man' Shanahan, in a very unusual role.
Book your tickets for just 10 Euro Book now at Waterford County Museum, Friary Street, Dungarvan. (Opposite the Friary Church)
Phone: 058 45960
Email: history@waterfordmuseum.ie

Our thanks to all of the performers and supporters of this event who are giving their time free of charge. The museum is a community group and it depends on the help of the community to keep going. It is gratifying to see the amount of support our institution is receiving. A special thanks to museum committee member Eddie Cantwell who has been responsible for organising this event almost single handedly from start to finish.

Photos Of Blueshirt Meetings In Carrick And Tramore

'Blueshirts' Giving The 'Nazi' Salute In Carrick-on-Suir
We were delighted to get a recent donation of five photos of 'Blueshirt' rallies held in Carrick-on-Suir and Tramore.

I suppose as historians we should always try and keep an objective point of view. Normally this is not too difficult, particularly if we are dealing with events in the distant past. Sometimes we have to deal with people and events that even the most dispassionate will have an opinion on. Such a group is 'The Blueshirts'.

The Army Comrades Association (ACA), later named the National Guard and better known by the nickname 'The Blueshirts', was a right wing political organisation active in the 1930s. Some historians have described them as 'Quasi Fascist' in that many of the rank and file members did not possess a fascist ideology. Personally I feel that the sight of so many people gathered in small Irish towns giving the 'Roman' (or Nazi) salute is a frightening reminder of where the country could have ended up. It is very important that we remind ourselves of the 'difficult' or less savoury aspects of our history as a warning to future generations. Thanks very much to the donor of the images. The 'Blueshirt photos' can be viewed on our image archive.

New Book On Clonea Power Church

History Of Clonea Power Parish Church

A History of the Church of Saints Coan and Brógan Clonea Power was launched recently by Julian Walton historian and broadcaster. This lavishly produced book was written by Mossy Hunt local historian and was launched in conjunction with the re-dedication of the church on July 10th the feast day of the Saints.

The church was designed by J. J. McCarthy in 1860 and completed in 1863. The Gothic style church was built of limestone with Bath stone windows and door surrounds. An attractive feature of the church is the stained glass windows. These are by Joshua and Harry Clarke Studios and Watsons of Youghal. Many pictures in the book are dedicated to these windows. The Harry Clarke windows stand out because of their vibrant colour and sophisticated design.

The book divided into 12 chapters covers many items of interest regarding the church and its parish. The cross of Mothel which was made in the 15th century is one item, as is the life of Fr. Dowley one of the founders of the church. A family tree for the priest  is in included as are some pages from his parish ledger.

A list of some of those buried in the graveyard is given at the back of the book, which may be helpful for anyone wishing to trace their family roots.

Overall this is a very colourful and well produced publication with many interesting features on the church. It is available to buy at €20 here in the museum,  from the Author Mossy Hunt at 051-646187 and Marie Cox  at 051-396626.

Museum Secures Grant Aid For Conservation Lighting And Cases

We just got news today that the museum has been successful in securing grant aid from Waterford Leader Partnership. As some of our readers are aware, we are a voluntary non-profit organisation. We have to devote a lot of time to fundraising in order to ensure that the museum can maintain the high standards we set for ourselves. This particular grant aid was for 75% of the cost of any project successfully applied for. We are grateful to the WLP for looking on our application favourably. The grant aid will be spent on:

Museum / Conservation Standard Lighting: €4500
This ensures that the holdings within the museum are not damaged by Ultra Violet light. These lights also emit lower levels of heat than conventional bulbs.

5 Portable Conservation Cases: €4000
These cases are to a conservation standard in that they are made from inert materials that will not damage objects placed in them. As they are portable they will be useful for temporary and outreach exhibitions around the county.

1 Pop Up Display Banner: €270
This banner will be used at lectures and when we do outreach exhibitions etc.

Total Project Spend: €8770 (Grant Aid €6577)

The above figures are approximate. If anyone wishes to contribute towards the cost of the project they can donate money using Paypal to Waterford County Museum .

School Tours At The Museum

 Children From Knockanore School With Their Headmaster

 The museum has been very busy in the last week  with five school tours.  The 5th & 6th class from Knockanore were the first through the door, followed by the junior classes from Ballyduff Lower,3rd class St.Mary's Dungarvan and then we had the two groups of 6th class from Scoil Mhuire Abbeyside.

The children were taken around the museum by our curator Willie Fraher and then broken into groups to view the handling area, the stereoscopic viewer,view-master and the pinhead camera.  The younger pupils from Ballyduff Lower enjoyed some art work in the childrens area.

The visit's were very much enjoyed by all the groups and many of the children signed the visitors book. Some of the comments we received from the children,  Michael H- It's cool; Caragh- fantastic; Shane- unreal; Katie- fun.

Students And Parents With The Stereoscopic Viewer, View-Master And The  Pinhead Camera

Donation: War Of Independence IRA Officer's Uniform

A very interesting donation  that we have on display at the moment is an army coat belonging to Jim Mansfield, Commanding Officer 3rd Battalion Decies Brigade I.R.A. The coat, which is in very good condition, carries the label of Dan Fraher’s Drapery Shop, Grattan Square Dungarvan. Jim’s son John Mansfield very generously donated this item to the museum.

Facebook Resources For Waterford History And Genealogy

There are quite a few useful resources for people interested in Waterford local history on Facebook. As part of the Waterford Local History Network we have been encouraging local history groups around the county to get on Facebook so that they can inform the public on their activities.

The following groups have Facebook pages.

Cappoquin Heritage Group
Portlaw Heritage Centre
Bunmahon Heritage Society
Waterford County Library Local Studies
Waterford County Archive
Waterford City Library
And of course ourselves Waterford County Museum

Some of the pages are more active than others but all of them are created by people with an interest in preserving their area's heritage. If you think a page needs to be more active, get in touch with the page administrator and encourage them to post more frequently. Try and do this in an encouraging and constructive manner, as most of these people are maintaining these pages in their spare time or in addition to their normal duties.

If you know of any Facebook pages, blogs or websites that are useful for people researching in Waterford get in touch and Waterford County Museum will feature them and link to them.

Video About Waterford County Museum


I have just put up a short video onto Youtube on the work of Waterford County Museum. It is a great introduction to our museum.

We would be delighted to get your views and thoughts on the video. Please feel free to leave your comments. In common with nearly all of our projects no one got any pay for their participation. The video was created in partnership with Dungarvan Dramatic Club. It was shot by Dave Lee of http://www.rememberwhen.ie/ and it is narrated by Orla Glascott. Waterford County Museum is very grateful for their assistance. This video will be also used on our new web site.

Help Us With Our Photographic Detective Work

The Image Archive at http://www.waterfordcountyimages.org/ has had quite a lot of photographs added to it recently. In particular we have had a fair few photos of Tramore and also photos of Powers Brewery, Dungarvan .

If anyone wants to do a little bit of historical sleuthing for us, we have a lot of unidentified people and unknown places. Simply do a search for unidentified to find the people and a search for unknown to find the places. If you can help us with information please contact us. I am particularly interested in finding these premises.

Visit Of 3rd Class Pupils From Scoil Garbhain

 John Young, Muinteoir Siobhan Noonan  And The Children From 3rd Class Scoil Garbháin

We recently had a visit from 3rd class of  the local Gael Scoil along with their teacher Siobhan and local historian John Young.  The children were very interested in the many artifacts and photographs on display and had many questions to ask  They showed a great interest in the  Edmond Keohan photographs as they identified many of the places, comparing them with how they look today.

As usual our handling area proved to be a big hit with the children and as did the colouring area, with many of the  children taking a picture home with them to colour at their leisure.

National Drawing Day

 The Group Working On Their Display

The National Drawing Day held on Saturday May 22nd was a great success here in the museum.  The event  took place between 11.am and 1.pm. The theme for the day was "The Sea" and the children were busy under the watchful eye of Darren Moynihan and Tony Hayes.  Some lovely drawings and paintings of sea life were produced by the children and all these were transfered to a large background sheet, which now hangs in the museum hallway for all to see.

The day was organised by Helen Moynihan, educational co-ordinator and we would like to thank all committee members, staff,and the boys from the Christian Brother's school  that helped to make the day a success.

National Drawing Day At Museum

Saturday 22nd May is designated National Drawing Day.  This is an initiative of the National Gallery of Ireland and this year over 45 galleries and museums are taking part. We have picked the maritime history of Dungarvan as our theme.
Children will be invited to produce a single artwork under the guidance of our staff museum.  The event takes place from 11.am to 1.pm. All materials will be provided.

Review Our Museum On Tripadvisor

I have recently listed the museum on Tripadvisor. You can find the Waterford County Museum section of Tripadvisor at http://bit.ly/ahLtQ0 As most of you are aware Tripadvisor is a web site that allows holiday makers to review accommodation, restaurants or attractions they have visited. If anyone has visited the museum since we revamped it 12 months ago we would be very grateful if you would review us. It would also be great for us to see what we are getting right (and wrong).

Museum Wins South East Heritage & Cultural Award

 Nioclás ó Griofáin President Of The Museum Receiving The Award From Dungarvan Deputy Mayor Mícheal Cosgrve

The South East Heritage & Cultural Awards are now in their second year of operation. The awards are sponsored by the Munster Express and Dooley's Hotel, and seek to recognise and reward groups and individuals across the South East of Ireland who promote the Regions Heritage Craft and Culture. There are 4 Awards annually comprising of 4 categories, complete with an overall award.

Waterford County Museum were delighted to be awarded the Heritage Group  Award for the first quarter of 2010. A large group from our committee travelled to the ceremony. Nioclás ó Griofáin accepted the award on behalf of Waterford County Museum. Dermot Keyes from the Munster Express then conducted a wide ranging interview with Willie Whelan on the work of Waterford County Museum. After that it was time for photographs followed by a very nice buffet and wine reception courtesy of Dooley's hotel.

The event is due to be covered in the next edition of the Munster Express published on the 19th May 2010.

Our thanks to Dooleys Hotel and The Munster Express for the recognition. Thanks are also due to Dungarvan Town Council (represented at the cermemony by Deputy Town Mayor Micheál Cosgrave, Town Manager Dennis McCarthy, Waterford County Librarian Jean Webster and County Heritage Officer Bernadette Guest), Waterford Leader Partnership, FÁS, and our dedicated staff who put so much effort into making the museum what it is.

Finally we would like to thank the Waterford County Museum 'audience' at home, abroad and online for their advice, support and occasional constructive criticism.

The Museum Committee Members At The Award Ceremony

1906 GAA County Championship Medal For Hurling Donated

1906 GAA County Championship Medal For Hurling

We were delighted to receive a recent donation to add to our sporting display.  It is a County Championship final medal for hurling between Ballyduff Lower and Clonea.  It is inscribed: Cumann Luth Chleas Gael, Mick Foley - 1906 and has the makers mark of "Heine Waterford".

Mick's parents were John Foley and Mary Cunningham. John was a journeyman stonemason, originally from Ardmore.  He was based at Ballynageragh, Dunhill. He met Mary Cunningham at her home in Boulattin and they were married in Kilrossanty Church in 1876.  Mick became an apprentice carpenter, when he finished his work in the evening he would strap his hurley to his back and swim across the river Suir to play a match at Luffany, Mooncoin.

In 1915 Mick married Mary O'Brien of Lismore and they settled at Knockrower, Stradbally.

The medal was presented to the museum by Mick's son Tom Foley. Our thanks to Tom for this most generous donation.

Presentation Of County Waterford Community & Voluntary Award

 Oliver Coffey Presenting The Award To Helen Moynihan With Members Of The Committee

The committee of Waterford County Museum were recently presented with their award for the Heritage and Environment section for the 2009 County Waterford Community & Voluntary Awards.  The award was accepted by Helen Moynihan Vice Chairperson from Oliver Coffey, Chairperson of County Community Forum. This annual award is presented to voluntary groups in the County for their valuable contribution to the community. The museum was delighted to accept this award to add to their collection.

Launch Of Keohan Photographic Exhibition

 The Keohan Family With Committee Members & Julian Walton

On last Friday night April 23rd our latest exhibition "Edmond Keohan (1852-1934) Photographer".  Helen Moynihan Museum Society Vice-President was MC for the night and started proceedings by welcoming the museum members, guests and especially the extended Keohan family.

Willie Whelan then spoke of behalf of the committee and  thanked the curator and staff for their work on putting the exhibition together, he also acknowledged the continued support of Fás, Waterford Leader Partnership, Dungarvan Town Council and the Heritage Council. He then handed over the proceedings to Julian Walton who officially opened the exhibition.

Julian told how Keohan was born in Tramore and settled in Dungarvan in his early 20's.  He observed that Keohan was a real Rennaiscence man, Chairman of the Town Commissioners, an expert billiards player, member of the Dungarvan Ramblers Cycling Club, President of the Literary Society, and the Photographic Society.  His most significant achievement was the publication in 1924 of the first History of Dungarvan.

This will be the first time that a complete exhibition has been prepared to highlight the work of this Dungarvan based photographer.  Edmond Keohan was the first full time professional photographer to record people, places and events in this area.  This exhibition  features original cameras owned by Keohan, publications and events. A number of photographs in this exhibition are printed from newly donated glass negative plates and have not been previously published. The exhibition is open daily 10am  to 5 pm and will run through out the summer.

Michael Smith, Willie Fraher, Sheila Murphy & Eddie Cantwell At The Opening

Underwater Archaeology Lecture A Great Success

 Jimmy Lenehan (3rd left) With Some Museum Members

The final lecture of the current season was held on Wednesday 21st April.  The talk, with the title Secrets Of The Deep, was given by Jimmy Lenehan.  Jimmy who is an underwater archaeologist, gave a fascinating presentation on some of the sites that he has worked on.  These included the excavation of a medieval bridge in Kilkenny, the survey of a possible slave trader (circa 1701) off the coast of Cork, an Armada shipwreck in Donegal and the excavation of a medieval boat in Drogheda.

Bee Talk A Tremendous Success

Children Check Out A Frame Of Honey With Darren

The museum was alive on Saturday morning the 17th April to the sound of Bee's. Darren Moynihan of "Moynihan's Honey " captured the attention of young and not so young with his talk on the life of the "Honey Bee".  He brought  along a hive, a bee keepers suit and some  live bees and gave a very informative talk which kept the large crowd of more than 150 entertained for 2 hours.

This event was held as part of the Waterford  Festival Of Food, and was a resounding success. There was also a large display of old type cooking utensils and  bread tasting, compliments of Nude Food.

We would like to thank Darren, and the Moynihan family for the time and effort put into the event, Helen our Education Officer for organising the event, Nude Food for their tasty breads, Flahavan's Kilmacthomas for their flap jacks and Butler's O'Connell for their ice cream vouchers, the committee and staff members that helped in any way.
Mícheal Moynihan, Darren Moynihan & Ashling Ahearne

New Exhibition Of Keohan Photographs

 Keohan's Shop, Main Street, Dungarvan

Our Spring / Summer exhibition will highlight the work of the Dungarvan Photographer Edmond Keohan (1852-1934).  This is the first retrospective exhibition on the photographer's work.
While Edmond was born in Tramore he spent the major part of his life in Dungarvan at 17 Main Street (now Dunphy Insurance).  Keohan was the first person to compile and publish a history of Dungarvan.  This was published in 1924, illustrated with his own photographs.  The book is particularly valuable in its coverage of the War of Independence / Civil War period and the photographs of the destruction which took place in Dungarvan and district.

There are many new photographs in the exhibition which have not been published. The exhibition will include a sample of Keohan's work- portraits, buildings, streets, events, leisure, War of Independence etc.

As well as being a photographer Keohan was also Chairman of Dungarvan Town Commissioners, President of the Dungarvan Literary Society, member of the Dungarvan Rambler's Club.  He was also an excellent billiards player.  The exhibition also includes cameras used by Keohan.  There will be an opportunity to handle a stereoscopic viewer showing 3D images.

The exhibition will be officially opened by Broadcaster and Historian Julian Walton on Friday 23 April at 8 p.m in Waterford County Museum.  The exhibition opens to the general public on Monday 26 April.

Talk And Display At Museum For Waterford Festival Of Food

 Michael Moynihan And Son At Moynihan Apiaries
Let your children be captivated by the story of the life of a honey bee as told by local Primary School Teacher, Darren Moynihan, of the well known Moynihan bee-keeping family. Explore a real bee hive, examine a bee keeper's suit and taste some wonderful local honey.

Display of Vintage Cooking Implements From The Museum Collection
Come and see the cooking implements used long ago - learn about the Bastable Pot, Griddle, Skillet Pot, Butter Pot, Butter Pats, Butter Churn, and many more.

This talk and display will take place in Waterford County Museum on Saturday 17 April from 12 - 2pm.  Admission is Free.

Waterford History Network

The museum has helped develop an initiative (with help from County Heritage Officer Bernadette Guest) that is going to try and link all of the local history groups operating in County Waterford. Essentially we are starting up a mailing list, facebook pages and blogs so that participant groups will be aware of what other groups are up to. This will hopefully mean that we will share information between ourselves and the public in a more efficient manner. We also hope to have joint training days and a single Google Calendar for heritage events in Waterford County. Some cross promotion of events and sharing of exhibitions will also be an aim. At the moment participating groups are Portlaw Heritage Centre, Dolmen Historical Group (Butlerstown, Kilmeaden, Waterford City), Tallow Heritage Committee, Dunhill Education Centre, Gaultier Historical Society, Bunmhaon Heritage Society, Waterford County Museum and local historian Sean Murphy. We know we have left out one or two groups inadvertently. We will get these on board as quickly as we can. It will take some time before this group makes an impact but over time we hope that the network will help us improve our services to the the community.

More information on this initiative can be had from william@deisedesign.com

Thank You Roberta

Many people are not aware that Waterford County Museum is a voluntary museum with no permanent employees. Our staff members are all participants on a Fas Community Employment training scheme. Over the years we have been exceptionally lucky with the quality of the workers/learners that we have attracted to the scheme. Without them, most of what the museum has achieved would have been unattainable. The downside of the scheme is that each participant has only a set time with us before they must leave. Unfortunately that time has arrived for one of our most popular and enthusiatic staff members Roberta Whelan.

Roberta's enthusiasm for our institution has been a wonderful asset to the museum in her 4 years with us. Whether it was greeting visitors or organising spot prizes for competitions she gave her all. I have no doubt that she will continue to stay involved with Waterford County Museum over the coming years. On behalf of the museum committee I would like to say thank you.

Documentary On Photographer Annie Brophy Filmed In The Museum

 The Nemeton Crew: Seamus Hayes,  Rose Anne Foley, Kieran Currain, Catherine Foley.

Recently we were pleased to welcome a crew from the local  film company Nemeton, while they filmed an interview with Eoin O'Connell on the life of Annie Brophy.

Annie Brophy was one of the best known female photographers of her time (1919-1978) and had photographed Dungarvan on occasion. Eoin himself is an accomplished documentary photographer based in Cork and has done some interesting research into the work of Annie.

Rose Anne Foley (Director), Catherine Foley (Presenter), Seamus Hayes (Cameraman) and Kieran Currain (Sound) were on site at the museum at 9am to set up the interview. We were delighted to accommodate them and wish them the best of luck with the production "Trí Shúile an Chait" which will be aired in September on TG4.

Power O'Malley Features In Exhibition At St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York

 Poster Advertising The Exhibition In Rochester

Dungarvan Artist Power O'Malley (1877-1946) Commemorated
On Monday March 15th 2010 an exhibition titled "Forgotten Ireland - Defining a National Identity through Art in early 20th Century Ireland" will open in St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York. The exhibition features works by Dungarvan born artist Michael Augustine Power O'Malley. O'Malley emigrated to America in the late 19th century and settled in New York.

O'Malley's paintings have been loaned by his grand-daughter Marietta Whittlesey. Other artists featured include Charles Lamb and Sean Keating. The exhibition was organised by Mr. Ivan Lennon of Rochester. Ivan is the son of Dungarvan man, George Lennon, a major figure of the War of Independence and the subject of a recent book titled Rebel Heart by Terence O'Reilly. The exhibition runs until April 30th 2010. More information is available on the St. John Fisher College website.

Museum Lecture On Power O'Malley
William Fraher museum curator, will give  an illustrated talk on the artist on Wednesday 24th March at 8.p.m in the Town Hall, Friary St, Dungarvan. He has been researching the life and works of Power O'Malley for a number of years.  The talk will feature illustrations of paintings, etchings and illustrations for books / magazines.

Donation Of Michael Joseph Hogan / Shamus O'Brien Boxing Poster

Shamus O'Brien VS  Eddie Smith

Above is a poster advertising a fight between Irishman Michael Joseph Hogan (born in 1891 at Ballinacourty, Dungarvan, Co Waterford) alias Shamus O'Brien and Eddie Smith. O'Brien is the boxer on the left of the poster. The poster pictured above is a copy photographed by his grandson Bill Torpey some years ago. The original poster is now in the hands of Bill and he is willing to donate this to the Waterford County Museum, to ensure it is kept safe for future generations.

The story of Joseph Hogan written by Eddie Cantwell can be read on our website www.waterfordmuseum.ie and the intriguing story of how Bill Torpey obtained the poster can be found on his blog. http://torpeykin.blogspot.com/

Thanks to Bill for his kind gesture. Hopefully the museum can ensure that the incredible story of Michael Joseph Hogan will be forever remembered in the place of his birth.

If you have an ancestor that achieved fame after they emigrated from Co. Waterford please contact the museum at history@waterfordmuseum.ie . We would be delighted to hear their story and preserve their memory.

Donation Of Notice By Dungarvan Artisans Association 1888

We recently received a donation of a rare printed notice headed Irish Manufacture. The notice was issued by the Dungarvan Artisans Association who had held a meeting in the Town Hall in August 1888. Edmond O'Shea was President of the society, John Butler, Vice President; R. Edward Brennan, Treasurer; and Edmond Foley was Hon. Secretary. The notice was aimed at the shopkeepers of Dungarvan.

"We the undersigned Tradesmen of this town, on behalf of ourselves and our brother artisans, wish to lay the following statement before you".

For many years past we have noticed a great falling off...in the sale of goods of local manufacture, especially in boots, shoes, clothing, nails and butter casks, while similar articles of foreign manufacture, and admittedly of inferior quality, have been extensively used.  The result has been, to many of us, semi-starvation, destitution, and periodically the workhouse. We regret to learn that a solitary firm of Waterford Butter merchants are still importing Danish casks, and that they have established an agency in the town, and are thus depriving our  coopers of their legitimate means of living.

The poor nailors of the town have also suffered much during the past winter ... but now, thanks to the patriotic action of the other trades (carpenters, bootmakers, shipwrights)...their condition is improving.

The notice was issued by the following tradesmen:-
Thomas Ryan (Bakers); Michael Moloney (Carpenters); Edmund Foley ( Cattle Dealers); John Butler (Building Trade); Michael Cashman (Coopers); Michael Street (Nailers); Michael Mulcahy (Mariners); James Merry (Typographical); John Carbery (Rope Makers); Willian Daly, William Cronin (Shoemakers); John Cowman (Painters); Edmond Foley (Tailors); Bernard Moloney (Saddlers); John Sarsfield (Shipwrights); J. Rossiter (Tobacco Spinners); Thomas Hore (Smiths); Patrick Sexton (Weavers).

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