Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Gallows Hill Meeting

A big thank you to the staff and management of Elsie's pub, Wolfe Tone Road, Dungarvan for accommodating us for the Gallows Hill Community Information evening on 21st March.  The talk which was given by Dave Pollock was attended by a large crowd.

Photo of the Week


     Do you recognise anyone in this photograph? If so, contact us at Waterford County Museum.

Walks and Talks at Three



Photo of audience enjoying the lecture on Cathal Brugha in the museum on Wednesday 20th March

Walks and Talks at Three


On Wednesday last we had the second talk in our new programme of Walks and Talks at Three.  Nicolás ó Griofán spoke on "Cathal Brugha and the Ring / Dungarvan Connection".  We were delighted with the attendance and afterwards all enjoyed some refreshments.

Next Wednesday 27th March William Fraher will give a talk entitled: "As Others Saw Us: Visitor’s Impressions of Dungarvan".

It will be held at the museum at 3pm.

Admission is free and all are welcome

Stories from Old Newspapers



 Dungarvan Steeple Chases
Waterford Chronicle 30 December 1843

This meeting came off on the 19th and 20th …over as sporting a country as any in the South of Ireland (about half a mile from town), and was attended by the nobility, gentry, and sporting characters of this and the surrounding counties. From day-break on Tuesday morning, carriages, drags, and every other description of vehicle…. A well secured and commodious Standhouse was erected on the ground, which was crowded to excess. The amateur band of Dungarvan kindly afforded their services… amongst the company we noticed – The Marquis of Waterford, and Lord Ingestrie, whose presence afforded much satisfaction to the assembled thousands, were loudly cheered each day… Sir Nugent Humble, Earl of Huntingdon, Sir Robert Paul, John Power Gurteen, Captain Power, Queen’s Dragoon Guards, Messrs Fyute, Prince Albert’s Hussars.
An ample supply of refreshments were provided at the Stand-house by Miss Power of The Eagle Hotel. A ball and supper took place at the Devonshire Arms…The supper was provided by Mrs McGrath, in her usual good style. Mr Hamilton’s band attended, and dancing was kept up until morning.

Photo of first Talk at Three in the Museum



            Photo of audience at first talk in New Programme of Talks at 3

Gallows Hill Information Evening

There will be an information evening on the findings to date in Gallows Hill on Wednesday 20th March at 7 p.m. in Elsie’s Public House, Wolfe Tone Road.  Admission is free and all are welcome.  This lecture will be given by archaeologist Dave Pollock

Photo of the Week






Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.


Spring programme of Events



Walks and Talks at Three in the Museum



On Wednesday last we had the first talk in our new programme of Walks and Talks at Three.  The curator Willie Fraher spoke on "The Destruction of Ballycoe House in 1921".  We were delighted with the attendance and afterwards all enjoyed some refreshments.

Next Wednesday Nioclás ó Griofán will speak on:-

"Cathal Brugha and the Ring / Dungarvan Connection". 

Admission is free and all are welcome

Stories from Old Newspapers


Stand and Deliver!
FROM WATERFORD MAIL 21 MARCH 1827
Arrest of a Robber
On the 26th inst, as Mr John Hudson, eldest son of John Hudson of Dungarvan, was proceeding on horseback to Youghal School, he was stopped about the hour of one o’clock on the mountain of Slievegrine, by a footpad, who presented a pistol at him and demanded his money. Mr Hudson replied that he had none. The fellow ordered him to search his pockets, but Mr. H. refused, desiring him to search them himself, if he wished. The robber however did not do so, and ran off through the mountain, followed by Mr. Hudson until he approached Mount Odell, where being assisted by four persons in the employment of Mr. Odell, they pursued and came up with the fellow, who presented the pistol at them, but seeing a determination on the part of Mr. H. … he surrendered himself a prisoner. His name is Timothy Kilmartin, and was some time since tried for a burglary and robbery in the house of Thomas Connery: he has been committed to our county gaol. Mr Hudson (who is only 18) deserves the highest praise for his very spirited conduct…by which he has rid that part of the country of a very desperate character.

Spring Programme of Events

Museum curator William Fraher has organised  a series of free walks and talks which will take place at 3 o'clock in the museum every Wednesday for the next seven weeks.

The first event is on Wednesday the 13th of March and tells the story of the destruction of Ballycoe House (home of the Dunlea family) near Dungarvan in 1921.  It was wrecked by The Black & Tans as a reprisal for the Burgery Ambush in which an RIC man and auxiliary policeman were killed.  What is not generally known is that the event featured in a novel published in 1921.

Why not come along and hear the full story and enjoy some refreshments after.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Horse Racing in Dungarvan

Waterford Chronicle - 5th October 1833

An unnamed Dungarvan man wrote the following letter to the editor:

Sir, I think you will be glad to learn that this little city is about to revive its claim to the merry appellation, by which it was distinguished in days of yore - jolly Dungarvan.  Races are to commence here on the 21st of October; the first days running will be on the bar, where lovers of the picturesque will have the opportunity of enjoying the far-famed Dungarvan prospect…then follow two days running across the country.  The first day for Gentleman’s horses, four miles across the country…for the Dungarvan cup of £30, to which the Stewards will add twenty.  On the second day, Mr Lamb’s cup of £10 is to be contended for across the country by farmer’s horses, after which the ladies cup of £20 is to run for over the same ground, to be rode by gentlemen.  His Grace the Duke of Devonshire has not yet sent in his contribution which is daily expected…the neighbouring gentry are subscribing very liberally, amongst whom Mr Butler Lowe [Lived at Bayview House, Ballinacourty] stands foremost…he has kept up a series of races on a small scale during the summer months…solely at his own expense…there are several private matches to come off; an excellent band will be in attendance.  There will be a subscription ball at the Devonshire Arms the second night.

Photo of the Week


Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.

Photo of the Week


Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Rev James Alcock Ring (1805-1893)

The following piece was published in The Protestant Standard, Sydney, on 27 May 1893.

Death of an Old Irish Clergyman

We regret to have to announce the death at the advanced age of eighty-eight years, of the Rev. James Alcock, A.M., Vicar of Ringagoona, near Dungarvan, in the diocese of Lismore, with which parish he had been associated for sixty years.  The deceased was ordained in the year 1831, and was appointed to the parish of Ringagoona in 1833, and officiated up to within a few months of his death.  During the Famine years the Rev. J Alcock rendered valuable help to the starving people around Ring, having procured funds for the purpose of buying food which was the means of saving many lives.  A curious incident in connection with the deceased and perhaps the only case of the kind in Ireland was that he resided during the sixty years…in the house of a Roman Catholic gentleman (Mr. Fitzgerald of Seaview).  It appears at the time of his appointment there was no Glebe house in the parish, or in fact, any house procurable, and being invited to stay at Seaview he remained there until his death.

Photo of the Week


Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Dungarvan - ‘the bathing here is execrable’

The following piece was published in the Clonmel Herald on the 25th of July 1831.  The writer was underwhelmed by the charms of Dungarvan.

Dungarvan….the approach provides a delightful promenade…it may be remarked that though it is one of the most considerable fishing towns in the kingdom, there are times when like the present fish is scarce and very dear; at the period of this excursion there was much scarcity of hake, but a glut of sprats which were sold extremely cheap and on which the poor people appear to live; these last fish if salted, dried in the air, and smoked, afford, it is said, a delightful repast.  The meat market was poorly supplied with mutton and beef, vegetables were scarce and consequently dear; the old potatoes which is of the old red apple kind, are very excellent and very superior to new potatoes.

The bathing here is execrable in consequence of the want of accommodation.  Warm baths can be had but they are on the most disgusting and confined plan.  The same water is made to serve for several persons, and the baths are of wood.  It is very extraordinary that the inhabitants who must be benefiting by the influx of visitors that come here every season, would not exert themselves to have proper baths erected.  Were the Duke of Devonshire applied to …we have no doubt, but he would bear the expense of erecting baths.

Water Damage to Museum Exhibitions

Last Friday morning our worst nightmare came true when museum staff arrived to discover that the upstairs bathroom had overflowed sending large volumes of water crashing through the ceiling onto museum exhibits beneath.

This area has only been completed a few weeks ago and also contained the archaeology section of our new Brenan exhibition, so it was a heartbreaking sight to behold.

The walls contained some of our most important drawings and paintings by artists such as Sarah Purser, Power O’Malley, Maud Power and rare 19th century sketches and watercolours of Dungarvan.  Part of our new Brenan exhibition was beneath the deluge containing valuable archaeological sketches, letters and pamphlets.

The curator and museum staff took immediate action to move display cases and remove the pictures from the walls while the water was still pouring down.  The museum committee cannot thank the staff enough for their tremendous efforts working in such an awful mess of water and debris.

Thanks to Paulus, Miriam, Tony, Danny, Patricia and Barry.  A big thank you to Joanne Rothwell, Waterford City & County Archivist who came to our rescue and offered advice and practical assistance.  Our thanks to museum committee members Paul McLoughlin and Chrissy Knight O’Connor who helped with the clean up.  Thanks also to Tara McAndrew CE Supervisor, Conor Nolan, Waterford City Arts Officer, Gabriel Foley and the council staff.

The museum will back open this week and we hope to have our precious documents and pictures back on display in the not too distant future.

Photo of the Week


Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Dungarvan Sailors have words

Captain Patrick Curran, Dungarvan, took Patrick McCue, Abbeyside, to court for abusing and threatening language in October 1877.  Their case was reported in the Waterford News on the 9th of November 1877.

‘Captain Curran was on board the brigantine Fairy…when the defendant came over from the quay, called him a blackguard and pig boy, and said, in a threatening attitude ‘By J…s you had better look out for yourself’.; about half past eight o’clock the same night the complainant again saw the defendant and some other sailors coming along Abbeyside; he went to the other side of the road to avoid them, but when they saw him they called him a blackguard and scoundrel, and abused him very badly’.

Captain Curran told the court that the sailors were now on strike as a result of McCue’s intimidation.  He stated that Captains Christopher and Halley were on board the ship Fairy and witnessed what McCue said.  Captain Curran admitted that he and McCue had called each other liars previously.

The captain of the Fairy was Hally and he was also a witness to the confrontation between the two men.  He said that McCue said to Captain Curran: ‘Did you say that the Dungarvan and Abbeyside sailors were a dirty hungry lot?’  Captain Curran said that he was afraid that McCue would do him an injury.  The case concluded with McCue being bound over and had to pay two sureties of £10 each for 12 months, or in default to be imprisoned for two months with hard labour’.

National Heritage Awards

Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan were delighted to be recognised for an award and to represent Waterford at the National Heritage Awards on Wednesday the 6th of February 2019.

The Museum picked up an award after being shortlisted from hundreds for their community work at Gallows Hill, Dungarvan.  Well done to all involved.

Pictured: Chrissy Knight O'Connor and Eddie Cantwell (Waterford County Museum/Gallows Hill Project Coordinators).

Photo of the Week


Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Knockbrack Slate Quarry

On the 30th of September 1933 the Dungarvan Observer published an article about the reopening of the Knockbrack Slate Quarry near Clashmore which had not been worked for many years and had first opened in the 19th century.  According to historian Canon Power, Knockbrack slate was exhibited in the Cork International Exhibition of 1902.

The paper noted that the promoters had just made the final arrangements about employing local people.  It was anticipated that initially 30 to 50 people would be employed.  Much of the work involved clearing out the old debris to enable them to dig deeper to find the better quality slate.  ‘It may be interesting to note that the present machinery about to be erected…consists of one giant crane by Butler Brothers, Engineers, Glasgow’.  It was noted that the promoters had received a government loan.

J McGrath CEIMCE was appointed overseer, John Tynan, engineer, formerly of the Killaloe Slate Quarry, was in charge of the machinery.  The company representatives also paid a visit to the P.P. of Clashmore, Father Murphy, who wished them well.

It was explained that the quality of the slate in the quarry was very good, ‘especially the green seam, and this may be proved by the fact that many of the oldest houses in Youghal, Clashmore, and other places are covered with Knockbrack slate, and are there for over 100 years or more’.

In the Schools Collection on www.duchas.ie there is a reference to the quarry compiled by Ballycurrane School:

‘The old slate quarry at Knockbrack supplied all the slate that was used in roofing here about a hundred years ago.  The slate on the school came from there.  It was rather small and heavy and was not polished off like the English slate as they had not the requisite machinery.  It was owned by the Coughlan family.  Some years ago it was acquired by the Killaloe Company and was worked for a while.  Some fine slate was got but it was abandoned again.  A huge hole half filled with water is all that remains of the last attempt’.

John F Boyle in his booklet - Waterford County: Its Lapsed and Possible Industries 1906 referred to the excellent quarry at Knockbrack situated on the lands of Mr Coughlan and its green and purple slates.

The Tragic Voyage of Paul and Aga Mueller - An Illustrated Talk by Brian Mulvihill

Brian’s talk deals with Aga Mueller and her father Paul and their failed voyage from Germany to Argentina in a sixteen foot boat named Berlin.  The journey that they chose to undertake was indeed an epic one and Brian will trace their journey to its end and all that happened in between.

The story is a fantastic one with twists and turns that people will not believe, it’s worthy of an Agatha Christie novel, with a cliff hanger ending.  The story does not end with the ending of the voyage and goes right up to the modern day!  Brian has spent many years researching this particular project, and it most certainly is going to be a very interesting talk.

Brian worked for many years in Dungarvan Crystal prior to the factory closure.  He then returned to college and retrained as a teacher.  This retraining included a yearlong work placement at a camp in America.  Upon qualification, Brian secured work with the Waterford Wexford ETB and he currently works as a tutor with Dungarvan Youthreach.

This talk takes place in the Town Hall Theatre, Dungarvan on Wednesday the 20th of February at 8pm.  There is an admittance fee of €5, and as always, all are welcome.

Roots Ireland

Roots Ireland has added 18,500 civil marriage registration records for County Waterford to its website.  These date from 1864-1912.  The entries for Templemichael stop at 1877.

See www.rootsireland.ie for further details.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Major Bridget O’Connor and Vietnam

The following article was published in the Dungarvan Observer on the 4th of May 1968.

News reaches us this week of a distinction gained by a member of a well known local family serving with the U.S. forces in Vietnam.  Major Bridget O’Connor, Army Nurse Corps, United States Army, has been awarded the Bronze Star medal for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces in Vietnam during the period January 1967 to January 1968.

The citation states that Major O’Connor ‘consistently manifested exemplary professionalism and initiative in obtaining results.  Her rapid assessment and solution of numerous problems inherent in a counter insurgency environment greatly enhanced the allied effectiveness against a determined and aggressive enemy.  Despite many adversities she invariably performed her duties in a resolute and efficient manner’.

We would like to hear further details of Bridget’s career so if you have any information please contact us at the museum.

Photo of the Week


Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.

Tom Hayes RIP

We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to museum staff member Tony Hayes and his family on the death of his father Tom Hayes.

Stories from Old Newspapers

Some unexpected finds were reported in the Dungarvan Observer on the 4th of April 1939.  Could the human remains have dated from the Famine period, and do the Power family still have the coins?

Gruesome Find at Barnawee

While engaged in widening corners at the crossroads leading to Clonea and Ballinacourty, County Council workmen unearthed the skeletons of at least seven human beings.  The skeletons which were found in a kind of long trench did not appear, from the position of the remains, to have been buried in the usual way, one at least being in a more or less sitting position, while another lay on its side.  An authority on such matters who visited the place expressed his view that the remains were buried over 100 years ago.

George III Coins

The work of erecting fourteen working men’s houses at Kilmacthomas is proceeding apace.  Mr. B Nolan, builder, Waterford is the contractor, and one of his employees is Mr. Patrick Power, Old Road, Kilmacthomas, who while carrying out some excavations…unearthed two coins from the reign of George III.  Both are in good condition and are dated 1805.

Photo of the Week


Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.

Talk by Des Power

There was a large attendance at the museum last Wednesday to hear Des Power’s talk about the Power family of St Brigid's Well Brewery.  Des thanked Eddie Cantwell for his assistance with the research and said he was delighted to give the talk in the museum which was such a great setting and an asset to Dungarvan.

Des traced the story of individual family members and how many of the family set up their own businesses.  He explained the history of the brewery, developed by Thomas Power who also established a successful cider industry.

The museum is delighted to say that Des has kindly donated a collection of papers relating to the brewery which will be added to our existing Power archive.


Photo of the Week


This week we begin a new series where we take photographs from the museum archive which remain unidentified and for which we would like the reader's help to name the people and places featured.

Can you identify the people and place in this photograph?  If so please let us know.

Local Business Help Solve an Ancient Mystery!

Pictured: Eddie Cantwell and Chrissy Knight O’Connor (Waterford County Museum/Gallows Hill Project Coordinators) receiving a generous donation from Clíona Mhic Giolla Chuda (Waterford Oysters Director).  A great big thank you to Michael Burke Snr and all at Waterford Oysters (Meitheal Trá na Rinne Teo).

A massive thank you to Waterford Oysters (Meitheal Trá na Rinne Teo) for helping us achieve our goal to carry out detailed scientific analysis on the human remains found at Gallows Hill.  These finds have been a major discovery in Dungarvan’s history and with the help of ground breaking technology we plan to tell the story of each individual.  Ancient DNA will now also be carried out thanks to the fantastic support of Waterford Oysters and who knows maybe we can find some living local relatives!
There is so much to learn from the finds at Gallows Hill and the next few months will reveal some exciting revelations.  The Gallows Hill project would not be possible without the incredibly generous donations of local supporters and businesses.  Funds are still required to complete further isotope analysis to uncover this fascinating story and all donations will be really appreciated.
Our main concern now is a further dig at the Mound that this time could take up to four weeks.  In order to complete the archaeological excavation at Gallows Hill, large funds are required and it is hoped that some organisation will have pity on us and come forward to fund the dig.
Sadly, on a recent visit to hill, we discovered evidence that bonfires have been lit once again on top of the mound where the human remains were located.  This certainly should not be tolerated on such an historical site, and we appeal to residents in the area to please contact us if such behaviour is witnessed by them.

Sliabh gCua Annual 2018

The latest issue of the Sliabh gCua Annual is now out.  The cover has an attractive watercolour of Knockboy Church by Trevor Wayman.

As usual the annual is full of interesting local stories.  A particularly interesting story is “The Local Bismark Connection” by Mary Fanning.  It tells the story of Mary Hanrahan of Caherbrack, Ballinamult who worked as a nanny and English teacher for the children of the Bismark family at their hunting lodge at Friedrichsruh, east of Hamburg.  A letter giving details of her death in 1956 has been donated to Waterford County Museum.

Other articles include ones on the O’Briens of Millstreet, the Gleesons and “Stephen O’Flaherty, The Volkswagen Man.

Mary Kyne RIP

We were sorry to hear of the recent death of long time museum member Mary Kyne.  Mary worked for the Medical Missionaries of Mary and was a nurse at the Waterford Crystal facility in Dungarvan.  We extend our deepest sympathies to Mary’s brothers, sisters and extended family.

The Powers of St. Brigid’s Well Brewery - An Illustrated Lecture by Des Power

This promises to be a most interesting talk as Des Power will speak about his family, the Powers of St. Brigid's Well Brewery.

The talk will take place at Waterford County Museum, Friary Street on Wednesday the 16th of January at 8pm and all are welcome to attend.  There will be a €5 entrance fee.

Upcoming Screenings at SGC Dungarvan

In conjunction with SGC Dungarvan, tickets for these screenings will be available at a reduced cost at Waterford County Museum.

St. Mary’s Parish Church Gates

An excellent job has been done on the restoration of the ornamental gates and railings of St. Mary’s Parish Church which were badly damaged in 2018.

The gates were originally erected by the Parish Priest Jeremiah Halley in 1849.  His name features on the central pillars and the date 1838 which refers to the year in which he was made Parish Priest.

Unfortunately we don’t know the name of the firm who made the gates.

Congratulations to all concerned in the restoration.

Decies Journal

The latest issue of Decies, the journal of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society is now available.  The articles concentrate mainly on the WWI period.

William Fraher has an article on Ballysaggartmore House and its owners - the Anson family: “The war is more shadowlike than ever here” - An English governess in Ireland during WWI.

Niall O’Brien has an article titled: “Clashmore and Cappagh in Medieval Times”.

Other articles relating to West Waterford include: “A Bride in Tallow 1941-42” by Brigid McIntyre, “The Currey Family and the Stained Glass Memorials in St. Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore” by Karen Hannon and “The 1918 General Election in County Waterford” by Dr Pat McCarthy.

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