Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Leonardo da Vinci - The Genius in Milan


Leonardo da Vinci - The Genius in Milan is a documentary film by Luca Lucini and Nico Malaspina.  Through scenes of fiction and interviews with the greatest Leonardo da Vinci world experts, the film explores the years that the artist spent in Milan at the court of Ludovico il Moro and reveals some of Leonardo's greatest works.

This film will be shown in SGC Dungarvan Wednesday 10th January at 8.30pm.  In collaboration with SGC Dungarvan, Waterford County Museum will be selling tickets for this film at a reduced rate of €10.  This is a film not to be missed.

Muiris O'Keeffe RIP


We were saddened to hear of the death of Muiris O'Keeffe just before Christmas.  Muiris was a committee member of the museum society.  He gave an excellent presentation on Frank Hugh O'Donnell as part of our winter talks in 2016.  

He was also a playwright and in 2012 he wrote 'Days of Our Youth' based on the life of George Lennon which was premiered at Dungarvan Town Hall Theatre. 

His friendship with the museum will be sadly missed and we wish to extend our deepest sympathy to his relatives and friends.

Ar dheis de go raibh a anam.

Object of the Week - Card Poster for Player's Cigarettes with a reproduction of an oil painting 'His Old Ship' by A D McCormack. Late 1920s.

Arthur David McCormack was born in Coleraine in 1860 and attended the Royal College of Art. 

The painting featured here is in the collection of Coleraine Museum.  He also painted a head of a sailor in 1927 for another Player's advert.

Object of the Week - Certificate Presented to Mr Richard Barry, 2nd Class Petty Officer Coast Guard, by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution London, 13th April 1911

‘In recognition of his very gallant and intrepid conduct in attempting to swim out, and in afterwards putting off in a boat, for the purpose of saving the crew of the schooner ‘Teaser’ of Montrose, which was wrecked in Ardmore Bay during a whole S.E. gale and a very heavy sea on the 18th March 1911’.

The document is signed by The Earl Waldegrave, President, and the Secretary George F. O’Shea.


Waterford County Museum Gets More Great Reviews on TripAdvisor

We have recently had two more very positive reviews on the TripAdvisor website.

A visitor from Sydney, Australia wrote: 'Definitely worth a visit in Dungarvan Town.  Very informative regarding historic topics through the ages, such as WWI, maritime history, the famine and other events that had a heavy impact on the history of Waterford County.  The displays are well presented, easy to spend an hour or so taking it all in'.

Another visitor from Dublin wrote: 'This museum houses many local artefacts with its free admission it is well worth a visit to discover the history of Dungarvan and its locality'.

Over the years we have received many excellent reviews both on TripAdvisor and in our visitor book in the Museum.  Waterford County Museum is a very strong visitor attraction for both Dungarvan and the whole of County Waterford.

Exhibition Currently at the National Gallery of Ireland Until 14th January 2018 'Frederick William Burton: For the Love of Art'

There is currently an exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland until 14th January 2018 called 'Frederick William Burton: For the Love of Art'.

This is the first time the artist has been given such a comprehensive exhibition.  He specialised in watercolour, achieving rich deep colouring.

What is not generally known is that he became engaged to Mary Palliser of Comeragh House, County Waterford.  She is represented in the exhibition by a splendid portrait on loan from the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

Tragically Mary died of pneumonia in 1879 before she and Burton could be married.

A full colour book of the exhibition is on sale.


Venue:              National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Date:                 Now Until 14th January 2018

Time:                 Monday to Saturday 9.15am to 5.30pm, Thursday 9.15am to 8.30pm,
                          Sunday 11am to 5.30pm 

Admission:       Admission Charge Applies, Free to Members 

Exhibition Currently at Crawford Art Gallery until 24th February 2018 'Stones, Slabs and Seascapes - George Victor Du Noyer's Images of Ireland'

An exhibition which is of a County Waterford interest is currently running at Crawford Art Gallery in Cork until 24th February 2018.  It is called 'Stones, Slabs and Seascapes - George Victor Du Noyer's Images of Ireland'.

Du Noyer was employed by the Geological Society of Ireland which was established in 1845 to map all of Ireland, documenting geological, archaeological, and historical sites.  While his main work involved recording geological features, he also sketched anything of interest he saw, people, ruined churches, castles and towns.  He was not a trained artist but produced drawing of a very high standard.

While in County Waterford Du Noyer sketched and mapped areas of the Copper Coast and beyond, the Comeragh Mountains etc.  A number of his Waterford drawings are included in the exhibition.

This is an impressive exhibition which should not be missed.  There is also an attractive hardback book available on the exhibition.


Venue:             Crawford Art Gallery, Cork

Date:                Now until 24th February 2018

Time:                Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Late Opening Thursday to 8pm

Admission:      Free


Object of the Week - Calendar for Thomas Power & Co. Brewery, Dungarvan, 1957

The calendar features one of the brewery employees, Mr. Thomas Greaney.

He is described on the calendar as:

Thomas Greaney foreman bottler at Power’s Brewery for more than forty years.  His job needs constant attention to changing temperatures, as well as day-to-day consumption of beer.  During his forty years Tommy has been absent once when ill for a few days.  To Tommy goes all the credit for perfection of Power’s bottling.  He has seen many changes in the old Brewery, but in all today’s modern equipment and plant, none has pleased him so much in his care of Guinness’ Stout as today’s delivery in stainless steel tankers which maintain an even temperature in all weather, due to their insulation.  Greatly increased sales in recent years of Guinness by Powers today is due to this big change in delivery and storage of stout before it goes into bottle.  Behind all these modern efforts towards perfection are men of the high calibre of Thomas Greaney.

DVDs For Sale in the Museum: 'Dungarvan's Hospitals - A Walking History' and 'Grattan Square' - Social History of Dungarvan'

‘Dungarvan’s Hospitals - A Walking History’ is a wonderful documentary film made by Eddie Cantwell and Fionn Mac Giolla Chuda, starring Michael Brennan for the Christmas Market.  This was shown to two packed houses at the SGC Cinema in Dungarvan, and for all those people who requested copies a DVD is now on sale for €12 at Waterford County Museum in Friary Street.  Eddie has decided to use the income from the sales to advance further research at Gallows Hill. 

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’. 

Also ‘Grattan Square – Social History Documentary of Dungarvan’ is available on DVD for €10 at the Museum.  This is an extremely popular film which was also shown to full houses at the SGC Cinema in Dungarvan.

Along with the DVDs we also have a great selection of books for sale with local connections.

Success for Gallows Hill Community Project at Community/Voluntary Awards 2017

Well done to our Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Project, winners in the Culture & Arts category at Waterford Public Participation Network Community & Voluntary Awards 2017.  The awards were hosted by WLRFM at the Woodlands Hotel on Thursday 23rd November.

There were over two hundred and fifty people in attendance including Cllr. Pat Nugent, Mayor of Waterford City & County Council Senator Paudie Coffey, Senator Grace O'Sullivan, CEO of Waterford City & County Council Michael Walsh, council officials, sponsors, adjudicators, members of Waterford PPN and representatives from all groups nominated for this year's awards.

Our thanks to all the dedicated volunteers and supporters of the project since 2015.  The project is supported by Waterford City & County Council, the Heritage Council and Adopt a Monument Ireland.  Many thanks to Waterford PPN, Waterford City & County Council, Adopt a Monument Ireland, WLRFM and sponsors BHP Insurance for an excellent evening.
Included in Photo are our Christina Knight-O'Connor, Tony Fitzgerald, Eddie Cantwell, William Fraher and John Foley

Object of the Week - Oil Portrait of Rev. James Vincent Cleary (1829-1898) c.1881, Artist Unknown

James Vincent Cleary was born in Dungarvan on 18th September 1828.  His father Thomas (1792-1871) was a merchant and ship owner of Main Street.  His mother was Margaret O'Brien (1800-1858) who was related to the Fenian F.X. O'Brien.

Rev. Cleary was appointed Parish Priest of Dungarvan on 13th February 1876.  In 1881 he was made Bishop of Kingston.

This painting hung in the convent of the Presentation Sisters in Dungarvan.

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.


Object of the Week - Helmet of Waterford Fire Brigade c.1940


In 1901 Sergeant Michael Grace, a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) started a volunteer fire brigade crew.  The Town Commissioners purchased a second hand fire engine from Shand Mason & Co. for £50.  

Under the Fire Brigade Act of 1940 a Waterford County Fire Brigade was established.  Roger McGrath was appointed as the first fire officer.  

In December 1942 the first members were appointed:
Patrick Power, Philip Dunne, Patrick Nagle, John Whelan, James O’Connor, James Power, John McCarthy, Kevin Dalton, Michael Dunne, Augustine Power, Oliver Walsh, Michael Whelan. 

Waterford's First Arts Centre? The Story of Dungarvan's original Town Hall. A Lecture by William Fraher.


The Old Provincial Bank in Bridge Street was prominently sited and was built in an imposing design of cut stone. However, it didn't start off as a bank.  William Fraher has uncovered its fascinating history and why it was originally built, who designed it and those responsible for its creation. 

William Fraher is Dungarvan’s foremost historian.  He is the Curator of Waterford County Museum Dungarvan.  William has devoted his life to the History of Dungarvan and he is always the first man to see if you are seeking information about any aspect of history of Dungarvan.  The drawing here is also an illustration by William.

William’s talk takes place at the Dungarvan Sailing Club on Davitts Quay on Wednesday 15th November at 8pm.  All are welcome.  Entrance fee €5.

As always this is a talk not to be missed.



Object of the Week - Poster for ‘The Merry Widow’ 1973

This poster was printed by the Dungarvan Leader and is from the archive of the Dungarvan Musical & Choral Society which was founded in 1959.  

Gertie Morrissey was a founding member and musical director for 37 years.

Museum Annual General Meeting 2017

Our Museum AGM was held on 26th October 2017 and was well attended.  Elected as Chairperson was William Fraher, Vice Chairperson Martin Whelan, Treasurer Mary Giblin, Secretary Christine King.  Elected to the committee were Eddie Cantwell, Christina Flynn, Christina Knight-O’Connor, Paul McLoughlin, Sarah Lucas, Jim Shine, Dennis Barron, Paula Uí Uallacháin.

Object of the Week - Peter Crotty's Boxing Gloves

Peter Crotty began fighting with the St. Mary’s Boxing Club in Clonmel, later training at  the Dungarvan Battalion FCA, before joining the army for two years in 1943.  He won the Irish welterweight title for four straight years, 1949-1952, but lost his first match at the Helsinki Olympics when a cut opened over his eye and the fight was stopped by the referee.  He retired after the Olympics and worked in the building trade, often as a scaffolder.

In January 2006 a blue plaque was unveiled on Dungarvan Town Hall depicting his boxing achievements, and the gymnasium where he trained there with the Dungarvan Boxing Club is now called the Peter Crotty Iron Man Gym.  

Dungarvan also holds an annual Peter Crotty Memorial Boxing Tournament.

Ireland's Antarctic Explorers Talk by Michael Smith at SGC Dungarvan a Great Success!

The talk by the author of the number one bestselling book 'Tom Crean', Michael Smith, at the SGC cinema in Dungarvan on 18th October was a huge success and extremely well attended.  One of those in attendance was the brilliant actor Moe Dunford, with his father Michael who is a big fan of Tom Crean and was delighted to meet Michael Smith.

Extra chairs had to be brought down to the cinema from the museum as the demand for tickets was so great!  The talk was very interesting and was thoroughly enjoyed by all those present.  Our thanks to Michael Smith who very kindly donated the proceeds from the event to the Museum Society, and to Eddie Cantwell, Willie Fraher and all those involved in organising this event.

Eddie Cantwell, Michael Dunford, John Walsh, Michael Smith, Moe Dunford, Nioclás Ó Griofáin, Willie Fraher

Michael Dunford, Michael Smith, Moe Dunford, Eddie Cantwell

Michael Smith Giving His Talk

Willie Fraher Talking

Niall Byrne Memorial Lecture 2017 by Julian Walton - From Medieval Warlords to Anglicised Loyalists: The Powers of Curraghmore, 1400-1700

The Niall Byrne Memorial Lecture 2017 will take place in the Garden Room at the Medieval Museum in the Viking Triangle in Waterford.  As Niall’s main field of expertise was in medieval and early modern Waterford, Julian Walton has chosen as his subject for the lecture ‘From Medieval Warlords to Anglicised Loyalists: The Powers of Curraghmore, 1400-1700’.  

This looks like being a fascinating and popular lecture so it’s a case of first come, first served and booking is recommended!  Light refreshments will be served.  Call in to the Reception Desk at the Medieval Museum, or email museumreception@waterfordcouncil.ie, or phone 0761 102650.


Venue:         Medieval Museum, Viking Triangle, Waterford

Date:           Thursday 2nd November 2017

Time:           7.30pm

Admission:  Free


Object of the Week - Coal from the Wreck of the Ship Moresby, 1895

The ship Moresby of Liverpool was on its way from Cardiff to South America with a cargo of coal.  On Christmas Eve 1895 the ship was wrecked in Dungarvan Bay and most of those on board were drowned.  The following year many local people went out to the wreck to obtain items.  

In 1898 the Town Commissioners stated that they had no objection to locals removing the cargo of coal.

The story of the Moresby struck a cord with the people of Dungarvan and beyond, and remained in the memory of locals for a long time afterwards.

A number of artefacts from the wreck are on display in the museum.


Museum AGM 2017

The Museum AGM will be held on Thursday 26th October 2017 at 7.30pm.

Object of the Week - Dickens Leather Co. Ltd. Cast Iron Signs c.1937

The Dungarvan leather factory was one of the biggest employers in the town.  The factory was built in 1937 and employed over one hundred people.  The official opening was performed by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, Seán Lemass on 3rd May 1937.  The factory closed in May 1996.

There was a pedestrian walkway over Quay Lane, and a set of these cast metal signs were fixed to the exterior.

New Book Which Includes a Number of Images from Waterford County Museum - Atlas of the Irish Revolution

Waterford County Museum contributed a number of images to the recently published Atlas of the Irish Revolution.

This important work was published by Cork University Press, and is profusely illustrated throughout its over nine hundred pages.

Leading historians on the period have written on various aspects of the revolutionary period, including Dungarvan man Prionnsias Breathnach.

The book is now available in bookshops.

Waterford County Museum Receives More Great Reviews on TripAdvisor! September/October 2017

Within the last two weeks in late September and early October 2017 we have received three very positive reviews on the TripAdvisor website.  Two of the reviews were from different visitors from Australia, and one was from a visitor from Dublin.  One of the reviews from an Australian visitor was titled ‘Staff Who Go That Extra Mile...Literally’.  The visitor wrote a lovely review which included the following: ‘Staff made us very welcome in their professionally organised little museum...the highlight was Eddie...Eddie took us out to see the Workhouse...Eddie gave us detailed instructions on how to find the Famine Graveyard outside town, which we would never have found without his help.  This visit was all about the people and the history, which you brought to life.  Thanks so much Eddie and the staff at the museum!’  

Another review by the other Australian visitor included ‘this museum is certainly worth a visit if you are interested in the history of the area.  The displays are informative...the staff were particularly helpful and gave me some pointers on further research’.  

The Irish visitor wrote ‘this museum houses many local artefacts with its free admission it is well worth a visit to discover the history of Dungarvan and its locality’. 

We have received numerous positive reviews on TripAdvisor over the years, and also in our visitor’s book in the museum, from visitors from various parts of Ireland and from all over the world.  Waterford County Museum is a very strong visitor attraction in Dungarvan, both for local people and visitors from much further afield, and is very well worth a visit!

Object of the Week - A Wooden Folding Chair from the Pavilion of the Cunnigar Golf Course, 1920s

The Cunnigar was used as a venue for horse races and cricket matches in the 19th century.  The first golf course in Dungarvan was laid out on the Cunnigar in 1892.  It was redesigned in 1922 by Dennis Casssidy, a golfer from Castletroy, Co. Limerick.  Edmond Keohan rerfers to the course in his History of Dungarvan, 1924:

'A golf club was established in 1922, with Mr. E.A. Ryan, State Solicitor as President.  There was a great accession of members, and an expert from Dublin was procured who laid out the links on the Cunnigar.  A fine pavilion was erected in 1924 which will afford much shelter in time of rain.....'

In 1929 the club relocated to Clonea.




First Lecture of 2017/2018 Winter Season Given by Julian Walton Held at Dungarvan Sailing Club Was a Great Success!

Our first talk of the 2017/2018 winter season was given by historian and broadcaster Julian Walton on the fascinating history of Curraghmore House, and those associated with it over the centuries.

Julian held the audience enthralled for over an hour with his stories.  It is the first time we have had a talk at the Sailing Club premises, and it was a great success.

Our thanks to Dungarvan Sailing Club for accommodating us.
Nicola Minihan, Julian Walton, Marianna Lorenc, Eddie Cantwell

Object of the Week - Paper Tea Bag from D. Crotty, Tea, Wine & Spirit Merchant, 10 Main Street, Dungarvan, Late 19th Century

The Museum has a number of these tea bags for Dungarvan shops such as Power's Bakery, Sheehan & Ryans.

They often had an oriental design as well as the owner's name.

In this example there is an image of a tea caddy with a Chinese figure.


Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers: Talk by Michael Smith at SGC Dungarvan

Michael Smith is a British author who has made a habit of resurrecting forgotten Irishmen who have left their footprint at the frozen South Pole.  Smith’s book ‘Tom Crean’ turned out to be a number 1 best seller and was responsible for raising awareness of the role played by Irishmen in the history of Polar exploration.

Michael will be giving a talk in SGC Dungarvan on Wednesday 18th October at 7.30pm.  Come and chat with the bestselling author.  Tickets for this event are €7 and are on sale now in Waterford County Museum.  This most extraordinary treat is not to be missed.  Please remember that seating is limited so get your tickets early.  


Grattan Square: a Social History Film on Dungarvan at SGC Dungarvan

There will be a screening of Grattan Square: a Social History Film on Dungarvan at SGC Dungarvan on Tuesday 10th October at 7.30pm.

Tickets are free of charge and are available now from Waterford County Museum and Damien Geoghegan.  Please remember that seating is limited so get your tickets early.

Object of the Week - A Sail Iron, 19th Century

This is a very rare artefact which can be seen on display in our maritime section.

It is a heavy iron with a long wooden handle which was heated and then used to straighten large sails.



Canaletto and the Art of Venice at SGC Dungarvan

There will be a screening of Canaletto and the art of Venice based on the exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace at SGC Dungarvan on Tuesday 26th September at 7pm and Saturday 30th September at 3pm.

Object of the Week - Large Earthenware Pot with Glazed Interior, 19th Century

This pot could be local ware or possibly made in Youghal which had a tradition of pottery making.

This example has no marker’s mark to identify it. 

Object of the Week - Brass Sign Inscribed 'Thomas Power & Coy. Ltd.' Early 20th Century

This sign was fixed to a delivery vehicle owned by the well known Power's Brewery in Dungarvan.

Thomas Power (1856-1930) was the first chairman of Waterford County Council and was chairman of Dungarvan Town Commissioners on a number of occasions.  In the 1880s he was in partnership with his brother producing mineral waters.  In 1904 he began producing his award winning Blackwater Cider.


In 1917 Thomas purchased the old St Brigid's Well Brewery in Fair Lane, Dungarvan from the Marquis of Waterford.  The business was a great success and its produce was in demand all over County Waterford and beyond.  After his death the brewery was taken over by his son Paul I. Power who managed it until 1976 when his son Ion took over.

Visitor from Australia Traces the Steps of Her Orphan Girl Ancestor - Late Summer 2017


Helen Wilding with Husband Stephen Shipperlee and Eddie Cantwell

Helen Wilding with Husband Stephen Shipperlee Outside the Hospital


Eddie Cantwell has carried out quite a bit of research on the forty two orphan girls that were shipped out of Dungarvan Workhouse in 1849.  He has also tracked down some of the living families of some of those orphan girls. He was delighted when Helen Wilding contacted him and said that she was going to visit Dungarvan.  

First Helen visited Cobh, where her ancestor, fifteen year old Sarah Gleeson began her journey to Australia.  Her visit to Cobh, St. Joseph’s Dungarvan and the Famine Graveyard was a moving experience for her.  Helen, who is a research librarian in Melbourne, was very taken with Dungarvan.  She said that ‘it would have been fantastic growing up with lots of friends around in a place like this.  I thought the town had a really nice feeling.  I felt really comfortable there as if it was somehow 'just right'.  I was even really sad at the hurling outcome and I am never usually at all interested in sports!’  

Helen paints little pictures in her notebook and adds notes.  This particular one which she kindly gave to Eddie was taken from Meade’s Café.

Football Championship Medal from 1897 Won by Erin's Hope, and Boer War Medals

Waterford Football Championship Medal, Michael Cullinan
Recently (August 2017) Daragh Cullinan from Wexford called into the Museum to donate this medal which is from the 1897 Waterford Football Championship won by Erin's Hope, and presented to the Vice Captain Michael Cullinan.

Daragh also brought in two Boer War medals to show us.  Jack Wall from 6 O'Connell Street, Dungarvan, served in the Imperial Yeomanry Division in South Africa, and later in World War I.  He was also prominent in the West Waterford Hunt.


Boer War Medals, Jack Wall, 6 O'Connell Street, Dungarvan

Team of Organisers and Volunteers at Launch of Exhibition 'Neolithic Caves to Medieval Motte' 19th August 2017

Photographed by John Foley at the launch of our exhibition 'Neolithic Caves to Medieval Motte' which was held on Saturday 19th August are our team of organisers and volunteers, Danny Kiely, Paul McLoughlin, Eddie Cantwell, Christina Knight-O'Connor, Nora Foley, Sarah Lucas and Róisin Burke.

14th September 2017 - Kilmacthomas Historical Society Talk

Kilmacthomas Historical Society are holding a talk on the life and times of the famous Canadian explorer, John Palliser of Comeragh House.  Guest speaker will be historian Mr. Sean Murphy.

Come and enjoy the evening!


Venue:            Church of Ireland, Comeragh, Mahon Bridge

Date:              14th September 2017

Time:              7pm

Admission:    €5

Object of the Week - Willow Pattern Plate, 19th Century

This pattern became popular in the late 18th century.  The potteries adapted the patterns on blue and white ware which was imported from China.  Transfers were replacing hand painted ware.  Initially there were a number of different patterns but the Willow pattern became the most popular.  The background is always white and the image is blue.

The Spode factory was the first to produce china with the Willow pattern around 1790.  The standard scene contains a garden, trees, a bridge, pavilion and two flying swallows at the top of the scene.  The following is the story behind the scene:

Once there was a wealthy Mandarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se).  She had fallen in love with her father’s humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father (it was inappropriate for them to marry due to their difference in social class).  He dismissed the young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart.  The Mandarin was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke.  The Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift.  The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.

On the eve of the daughter’s wedding to the Duke, the young accountant, disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed.  As the lovers escaped with the jewels, the alarm was raised.  They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand.  They eventually escaped on the Duke’s ship to the safety of a secluded island, where they lived happily for years.  But one day, the Duke learned of their refuge.  Hungry for revenge, he sent soldiers who captured the lovers and put them to death.  The gods, moved by their plight, transformed the lovers into a pair of doves. 

19th August 2017 - Launch of Exhibition 'Neolithic Caves to Medieval Motte'

On Saturday 19th August Waterford County Museum, Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Group and Adopt a Monument launched our exhibition 'Neolithic Caves to Medieval Motte' as part of National Heritage Week.  This exhibition details the archaeological digs which took place this summer at Gallows Hill and Dungarvan Valley Caves, with artefacts on display from Gallows Hill, beautiful photos from both digs, artwork by local artist Tony Hayes, and descriptions of what took place day by day.

At the launch there were two beautiful films of the digs made by John Foley, with very interesting talks by Róisin Burke of Adopt a Monument/Abarta Heritage, Christina Knight and Eddie Cantwell of Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Group and Waterford County Museum, followed by a viewing of the exhibition.  The launch was well attended and those present found it very interesting.

Our thanks to all of the people whose hard work helped both the digs and the exhibition to take place who are too numerous to mention here.
Enjoying John Foley's film of the Gallows Hill dig.


Róisin Burke talking with Tony Hayes.

A selection of artefacts from Gallows Hill displayed by William Fraher.

Artwork by Tony Hayes.

Danny Kiely who organised the exhibition with help from others.

Paul McLoughlin who assisted Danny Kiely and others with the exhibition.

Object of the Week - Penny Farthing Bicycle Late 19th Century

The first cycling club in Ireland was established in Dungarvan in 1869.  The club was founded by Richard Edward Brenan the postmaster.  The first race for a challenge cup was run in September 1869 and the cup can be seen, along with the penny farthing, in Waterford County Museum. Amongst its members was the photographer Edmond Keohan.

Dungarvan can with good reason claim to be the birthplace of Irish cycling.

This penny farthing was owned and ridden by Canon Burkitt of Stradbally, Co. Waterford and there is a photograph of him cycling the bike in 1936 when he was in his seventies.  Some people may recognise the bicycle as John O'Brien used to cycle it in the Dungarvan St. Patrick's Day Parade.

August 2017 - Visit of Museum Member Jim Shine to Ypres to Commemorate the Death of James O.W. Shine in 1917 in World War One

On a recent visit to Ypres to commemorate the death of Captain James O.W. Shine, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in the battle of Paschendaele in 1917, one of our members, Jim Shine, took the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate Memorial in remembrance of the one thousand and thirty Waterford men and women who died in World War One.

The Menin Gate Memorial has panels on which are inscribed the names of fifty four thousand eight hundred and ninety six allied soldiers who died in the area and have no known grave.  Another thirty five thousand are similarly commemorated at the Tyne Cot cemetery near Paschendaele in which there are twelve thousand graves of those whose bodies could be recovered.

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