Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Object of the Week - Bell from the 'Dunvegan' of Chatham

The Dunvegan was a three masted barque of 819 tons built in New Brunswick.  It was on its way from Barry Dock in Cardiff to New Orleans with coal and general cargo.

In January 1898 the ship went off course in a dense fog and crashed into rocks beneath the cliffs at Ballymacart Lower, Old Parish.  The Nugent family who lived nearby went to assist the stricken crew.             Mr. Nugent climbed down the cliff with a rope and eventually the captain and crew were all rescued. The captain gave the Nugent family the ship's clock as a thank you.

The wreck was purchased by    
Mr. Fuge of Glencorrin House, Ardmore. The bell was donated to the museum by the Miller family originally of Main Street, Dungarvan.

For further details see John Young's 'A Maritime & General History of Dungarvan 1690-1978'.

Object of the Week - Train Ticket Used by Risteard de Hindeburg (1863-1916) on 31st December 1902

Priest, Irish language activist, author, musician.  Richard Henebry was born on 18th September 1863 at Mount Bolton, Portlaw, Co. Waterford.

After his ordination as a priest in 1892 he spent some time in Greifswald and Freiburg where he obtained a Doctorate in Philosophy. In 1898 he was appointed to the post of Chair of Irish Celtic Studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.

When the National University of Ireland was founded in 1908 he was appointed professor of Irish in University College Cork.  He was also one of the founders of Coláiste na Rinne.

He suffered from tuberculosis and the climate in America suited him.  In December 1902 he travelled to Colorado Springs to stay with the Sisters of Charity at the Glockner Sanatorium.

Wednesday 25th January 2017, Illustrated Talk: The early development of creameries in Co. Waterford 1885-1935, by Dr. Proinnsias Breathnach

Our first talk of 2017 is on a theme which is sure to be of great interest, not only to the rural community in our county, but also to the town of Dungarvan itself where Waterford Co-op was situated.

All that remains of that industrious place is a statue which displays a man rolling a ten gallon churn which is situated where the entrance from Grattan Square to the Co-op was.

Those of you who have previously heard Dr. Proinnsias Breathnach (Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Geography at Maynooth University) will certainly be looking forward to this, his return visit.

People who still remember creameries generally associate them with co-operatives.  However, in their early years most creameries were privately owned, and this remained the case until the 1920's when government action saw all creameries being brought into co-operative ownership. The first creameries in Co. Waterford were established in the mid 1880's, and by 1900 there were some twenty three creameries in all, of which just two were co-operatives.  By 1920 the number of private creameries had fallen to just ten, but there were still only three co-ops.

This presentation gives an illustrated account of the early development of creameries in Co. Waterford, the main figures involved in their establishment, and how the creamery system in the county was transformed in the 1920's and 1930's.  This is a talk not to be missed, delivered in Proinnsias's own inimitable style and erudition.  Please note that this will take place in the theatre proper and not in the green room. 

Venue:          Town Hall Theatre, Dungarvan

Date:             Wednesday, 25th January 2017

Time:             8pm  

Admission:   €5

Sir John Keane and Cappoquin House in time of war and revolution, by Glascott Symes

This is one of the booklets in the Maynooth Studies in Local History series.

This booklet is based on Mr. Symes' thesis for an MA in Historic House Studies at Maynooth University.

It is divided into chapters detailing Sir John Keane's life and war record, his involvement with the Co-op movement, membership of Waterford County Council, the farm worker's strike, the Senate and the Civil War and the burning of Cappoquin House.  The final chapter details the restoration of Cappoquin House after its destruction by fire on 19th February 1923.

Sir John Keane (1873-1956) inherited Cappoquin Estate at the age of 19 just as he entered the army. While he was serving in the Boer War his mother ran the estate.  After his marriage in 1907 to Eleanor Hicks Beach he settled in Cappoquin getting involved in public life.  At the outbreak of the First World War he rejoined the army.  When the Free State was established he accepted his nomination as a Senator and was a regular contributor to debates on many topics such as censorship, agriculture, and compulsory Irish.

Mr. Symes has managed to present a fascinating and detailed account of Senator Keane and his times within 60 pages, and also included a number of interesting photographs.

Museum Christmas Meal 2016

The Museum Christmas Meal which took place yesterday evening 15th December 2016 in the Park Hotel Dungarvan was a great success and was enjoyed by all.

Our thanks to the Park Hotel, and to all who helped to arrange this great event.

Happy Christmas to all, and very best wishes for 2017!

Object of the Week - 18th Century Rosary Beads

Silver cross and spheres with amber beads.

Early types of Rosary beads were composed of a set of 10 beads on a cord tied at one end in a knot or tassel.

These developed later into the more familiar type with the beads divided into decades with large and small beads.  The cross with a figure of Christ was placed where the knot and tassel would have been on earlier types.

17th and 18th century Rosaries have tubular silver crosses made from thin sheets of silver beaten flat and rolled. The figure of Christ (as depicted here) is often in a naive style and is soldered on to the tubular cross.  Over the figure there is usually a plaque with the initials INRI.

The beads can be made of an assortment of materials, silver, glass, ivory, wood, amber, bone and fruit stones.

Thursday 23rd February 2017 Concert - 'Message of Peace' Tour by Seán Tyrrell

Waterford County Museum is delighted to announce that Seán Tyrrell will kick off his 2017/18 'Message of Peace' tour of the USA, Canada and Australia here in Ireland in Dungarvan.

The tour will be going to Western Australia in February 2018 for the 150th anniversary of the sailing of the Hougoumont, the convict ship that took John Boyle O'Reilly, Abbeyside's Denis B. Cashman and the other Fenians to Australia.  Denis B. Cashman was one of the Fenians who played a prominent role in O'Reilly's life, and as a young man when arrested stated 'I am willing to die for Ireland'.

This tour marks Seán's return to Canada and the USA, so popular was his 'Message of Peace' tour that he was invited back there.

Seán's show maps the amazing life and incredible work of one of Ireland's lesser known heroes, John Boyle O'Reilly, and through the medium of song and story it paints a vivid picture of his journey from his boyhood in Dowth, enlistment as a Fenian, imprisonment and great escape from the penal colony in Fremantle.  He settled in Boston and became one of the most important Irishmen in America of his day.  It was here that Cashman later joined him and worked on the 'Pilot'.

This show will include great songs, storytelling, theatre and history in a relevant, humorous, heroic and  tragic manner.  It is the story of the life of a visionary, poet, rebel, freedom fighter and civil rights activist.

Songs in the show connect the history of the 19th century and modern times in a seamless way, and are drawn from a wide variety of sources including Oscar Wilde, Francis Ledwidge, Bob Dylan, Bobby Sands, John Lennon and many more.  Using an array of instruments, Seán weaves effortlessly between narrative, instrumental and song.

Seán's show has received rave reviews from people such as Paul Keating of the Irish Voice New York, the poet Dennis McSharry, Mike Considine of Notable Arts and Yachats Festival Oregon presenter David Bridson.

Tickets are on sale at the Museum on a first come first served basis, so don't miss out!

Venue:             Town Hall Theatre, Dungarvan

Date:                Thursday 23rd February, 2017

Time:                8pm

Admission:      €10

Object of the Week - War of Independence Service Medal

This medal was awarded to John O'Brien, Manamon, Lismore. He was active in Lismore Brigade from April 1916 to July 1921. He was quartermaster of the Lismore Company 1919 to 1920. He was also involved with the Cork No. 2 Brigade.  The O'Brien house was an open house for all Republicans.

In 1924 John left Ireland for Canada.  He eventually settled in the Bronx, New York and died there on May 27th 1949, and was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside.

New Book - 'The Post Office in Ireland: An Illustrated History'

An excellent new book has been published by Irish Academic Press called 'The Post Office in Ireland: An Illustrated History' by Stephen Ferguson.

The book is beautifully bound and printed, with many fascinating photographs, including some from Waterford County Museum's archives, one of which shows the interior of Dungarvan Post Office with three of the staff in 1904, and another with a caption mentioning the Dungarvan postmaster, printer, and cyclist  Edward Brenan showing two of the post office staff.

Available from all good retailers.

Object of the Week - Charcoal Iron Late 19th Century

A type of charcoal iron was used in China over a thousand years ago. The example illustrated here was produced in the 19th century and may have been manufactured in Germany.  It is made of cast iron with a wooden handle and a hinged lid.

The charcoal iron was heated by burning charcoal within the hollow body, with the fumes escaping through holes on each side.  The iron had to be moved back and forth in order to keep the charcoal embers burning.

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