Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Marble and Stone Memorials - Galwey Memorial, Abbeyside

At Abbeyside church on the side facing out to sea there is an imposing memorial in the Gothic style which commemorates a member of the Galwey family.  The memorial is inscribed:

This monument has been erected to the memory of the late

John Mathew Galwey Esq. of Duckspool

who died on the 25th day of March 1842

by his affectionate son Edward Galwey.

The Galwey family were merchants in Dungarvan since the 18th century and a lane off Main Street is called ‘Galwey’s Lane’ on a street name plaque dated 1740. The Galweys leased Duckspool House from the Boate family who were the original builders in the early 18th century.  John Matthew was a J.P. and M.P for Co Waterford 1832-34.  In 1813 he married Ann Barron of Castletown.  The Gentleman’s Magazine for May 1842 noted that he died on 25 March at Duckspool aged 53 and that his death was sudden caused by a ‘ruptured blood vessel in the heart’.  His son Edward who erected the monument lost all his money and died in the workhouse in 1891.  John Matthew was remembered as a generous man and improving landlord.

Duckspool House

The monument is important as it is a rare, signed work by the stone mason: ’McGrath, Dungarvan’.  This refers to Patrick McGrath (1812-1895) who worked on the stonework of Strancally Castle in the 1829.  He moved to Dungarvan in 1837 and had a mason’s yard at South Terrace. In 1847 he and his family emigrated to New Brunswick settling in Quincy. His daughter Mary Elizabeth (born in Dungarvan) married a Dr John A. Blake, and she became a well-known poet and author based in Boston.

Patrick McGrath, Stonemason

Marble and Stone Memorials - Williams Memorial, St. Mary's Parish Church

This impressive Celtic cross in limestone commemorates the Williams family of Dungarvan.

The main inscription reads:

In loving memory of

Thomas O’Brien Williams and his wife Mary Anne Williams

And their children:

Thomas Francis, David Leopold M.D., William Joseph, Charles Albert Solr., Michael Paul M.D., Mary Elizabeth, Edward Patrick M.D., John William M.D., Josephine Aloysius, Gerald St. George.

Thomas O’Brien Williams was a Town Commissioner and in July 1885 he was elected Chairman.  The following year he is listed as Vice Chair of the board of Dungarvan Union.  He once owned the oldest map of Dungarvan dated 1760, which is now on display in the museum.  He died on 17 July 1901 aged 80.

Marble and Stone Memorials - Gibbons Family Memorial, St. Mary's Parish Church


Gibbons Memorial

This marble and limestone memorial commemorates an old Dungarvan family and in particular Captain William Gibbons.  It is inscribed:

William Gibbons who departed this life Dec 14th 1893 aged 67 years. An affectionate and faithful husband. A judicious father and an honest man. In life he was esteemed and in death deeply lamented. Also, his wife Mary died Aug. 1st 1915 aged 92 years.

Mrs Lucy Gibbons 12 December 1947 aged 77, her husband James Gibbons 12 Dec 1960 aged 92 years.

A small limestone and marble plaque is set into the wall alongside which commemorates William’s sister.  It was carved by T.H. Dennany, Marble Works, Glasnevin and is inscribed: Sacred to the memory of Miss Helena Gibbons who died Good Friday 1842 aged 19 years.

William Gibbons was a sea captain who kept extensive notes of his voyages around the world.  He is chiefly remembered for his generous bequest to the people of Dungarvan which resulted in the creation of the town park and ‘esplanade’, the seating/walking area at The Lookout.  This gift is commemorated on a marble plaque at The Lookout.

In July 1860 William married Mary Ann Fitzgerald (of Dungarvan?).  At the time of the birth of their first child, Mary in 1863, they were living in Main Street.  By 1865 they had moved to 4 Church Street, a house leased from the Carbery family. Their second daughter, Helena, was born in 1865 and a son, James F. was born in 1868.  William established a business as a corn and coal merchant.  His store was situated in Carbery's Lane (now Garvey's supermarket).  In 1885 he was elected as a Town Commissioner and was Chairman in 1887.  In 1891 extensive alterations were carried out to St Mary's Parish Church and Mr & Mrs Gibbons donated funds for the erection of the east windows.

In his will Captain Gibbons left the then substantial sum of £1,760 to the people of Dungarvan to be used to create leisure facilities in the form of parks at the Lookout and Ringnasilloge.  His son James F Gibbons 1868-1960 was also away at sea.  He returned to Dungarvan in 1903 and he set up a wool business.  ‘Mr Gibbons does business in connection with the Williamson Wool Exchange Company...This year the exports doubled...People from all parts of the country and even from neighbouring counties send their wool here.’   James married a Lucile -?- a Cork lady and they lived at 3 Church Street.  According to the 1911 census they were living in a house on The Burgery owned by Edmund Keohan. James is described as a gentleman.  Their children were Kathleen age 14 – born USA; William age 12 - born USA; James age 9; and Maude age 8. Kathleen became a nun and joined the Dominican order in Galway.

Happy Birthday Julian Walton


Julian Walton

We wish to send our congratulations and best wishes to historian, former museum trustee and generous donor, Julian Walton, on his 80th birthday this Tuesday. A full celebration for family and friends is not possible at the moment, but this will be arranged at some future date. 

Julian Walton

As well as being arguably the pre-eminent Waterford historian, Julian's long running radio programme on WLR FM "On This Day" introduced many people to the joy of local history. He has been very supportive of local heritage groups across the county large and small (including Waterford County Museum). This inclusive approach did much to foster the next generation of Waterford local historians. 

Julian is a former secondary schoolteacher and librarian with a lifelong interest in Irish history and genealogy, particularly relating to Co. Waterford.  During the 1990s he worked at Waterford Heritage Genealogical Centre, where among other assignments he undertook the conservation of Waterford Cathedral Library.  He was then employed at the library of University College Cork in the cataloguing of older printed books.

Since he ‘retired’ in 2006 he has been Resident Historian at Dunhill Multi-Education Centre in Co. Waterford, where he lectures on aspects of local history. He is the author of The Royal Charters of Waterford and of many articles in historical journals, especially The Irish Genealogist and Decies (Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society), and is a former editor of both journals.  His most recent publications are On This Day volumes one and two, which comprise historical snippets based on a series which he presented on Waterford Local Radio between 1994 and 2012.

He is currently researching the history of Curraghmore with the assistance of William Fraher and Marianna Lorenc. He is also an active member of the Bookplate Society.


Marble and Stone Memorials - Condon Memorial, St. Mary's Parish Church

This impressive memorial in limestone is situated in the front section of the cemetery.  There is no visible sign of the stone mason’s name. The main inscription reads:

Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of Mrs Catherine Condon alias Whelan who died on the 14th of January 1865 aged 67 years. And of her son John Condon who died on the 21 of November 1866 aged 40 years.

Beneath this are later inscriptions which include: Michael F. Keane B.E. Local Government Inspector who died on 9 November 1950 and Margaret Condon who died on 7 April 1904.  Her son Rev. John Condon O.S.A. died 18 Dec. 1941 (Interred in Glasnevin).  On another panel members of the Clancy family are recorded.

The Rev. John Condon was born in Dungarvan in 1867 and was an only child.  He studied in the Augustinian seminary and completed his secondary education at Castleknock College.  There he became a close friend of D.P. Moran, founder and editor of The Leader.  Condon’s obituary noted that: ‘They were kindred spirits forthright and uncompromising in their condemnation of that national apathy and ‘Shoneenism’ which characterised the Ireland of their early days.  Father Condon…became a frequent and valued contributor to his papers’.

He was ordained in Rome in 1889.  He spent brief periods in New Ross, Cork and London but spent most of his life in Dublin.  He went to America and Canada to raise funds for St John’s Lane.  He was a chaplain in the North Sea during WWI.

He was acquainted with fellow Dungarvan native, the artist, Michael Augustine Power O’Malley.  In 1915 Father Condon published a book of short stories titled: The Crackling of Thorns which was illustrated with six drawings by Power O’Malley.  It was published by M. H. Gill, Dublin and sold for 3 shillings and 6 pence.  The book was reviewed in a number of Irish publications.  The Irish Monthly (July 1915, p.469):

‘We have in Father Condon still another Irish priest who has a real gift for storytelling.  The ten stories and sketches…are distinctly above the ordinary run of such collections.  The scenes are placed in America, Rome, and Ireland, here Dungarvan and its neighbourhood are especially favoured.  The six illustrations by M Power O’Malley are a genuine addition to the book which is well turned out except for its too plain and unattractive cover’.

It was also reviewed in the Irish Volunteer (29 May 1915):

‘Father Condon draws from life and writes about what he has seen and felt.  Some of his sketches reveal the petty hideousness which a phase of American life has to offer…and he tells of the loneliness, poverty, and false pride of many exiles’.

Father Condon died at the hospice at Harold’s Cross, Dublin, on 18 December 1941 and was buried in Glasnevin.  A report on the funeral noted that the chief mourners were D. Greaney (cousin) and Mrs D. Greaney

Rev. John Condon

"The Crackling of Thorns" by Rev. John Condon

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