Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Butter churn donated to the museum


The museum recently received a donation of an impressive looking butter churn on a stand.  This is now on display in our section titled “The Way We Lived”. 

Beyond the Breakwater - Memories of Home by Catherine Foley


Catherine Foley is a full-time writer and broadcaster who is a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio1.  Catherine spent the early years of her life in Waterford and now lives in Ring.  “Beyond the Breakwater” is the story of her life, from the innocence of childhood to the loves and losses of adulthood.  It is for sale in the museum and the cost is €15.00.


Dungarvan To-Day Part III

Fair Day

Extract from: Waterford News 22 September 1922

The farmers of the district are also hard hit by the present troubles.  Fairs are practically useless.  Dungarvan used to have one of the most successful fairs in the South of Ireland.  Now, in the absence of railway communication, it is difficult to dispose of cattle, and prices as a consequence are low…Farmers cannot come to town to secure supplies in consequence of the broken bridges. The times are out of joint. People in the Stradbally direction have much difficulty in crossing the river at Ballyvoile, and it is the same with road traffic around the district.

It may be said with truth that a hundred years ago the town was better served than now.  Even before the railway ran there was a regular steamship service between Waterford and Dungarvan. How long is the present condition of things to last?  When shall we revert to peace, and the public services be functioning as they ought to be, to the best advantage?  A great deal of injury has been done, and much suffering has been caused to the general community.  There is no benefit to be derived from the destruction of public works that have taken years of labour to build.  All people earnestly desire peace. And now in addition to other discomforts there comes upon us the strike of the post office officials.  All postal work is at a standstill…From a statement made by the Government the Irish Post Office has lost in money for one year the large amount of one and a half million pounds.  The Irish Government have propounded the dictum that civil servants have no right to strike.  The Labour Party disagrees.  Hence, they have done all they can to thwart the Government in its efforts to get on with the business of the country.  A letter has not been received in Dungarvan for the past week...No telegraph no telephone. Truly government and liberty simply mean the upset of everything and would lead one to believe that liberty is a curse, while tyranny is a blessing.  I suppose it must all be attributed to the falling away of the morale of the present generation as compared to the fine notions of nobility and honour in the past.    

Dungarvan Post Office

Dungarvan To-Day Part II

The Lady Belle

[Extract from the Waterford News, 22 September 1922.]

Travelling to and from Dungarvan is now carried on with considerable difficulty and increased expense. There is no regular service.  Before the unfortunate war we had a train service that was delightful. There were at least eight trains passing each way during the day...Now with the big breach at Ballyvoyle, probably a railway service will not be resumed for two or three years.  It does appear silly, to say the least of it, that this beautiful country should be in the plight it is from the action of her own children. Time was, and not so long ago, if one had business through the streets at night there was free and unlimited passage for all, but now the dread of shooting and the challenge of the sentries are deterrents, and one would much rather avoid them.  Another instance is the absence of commercial travellers.  If one does come, it is a rarity.

When the stoppage to traffic began a few carters turned up and solicited orders to carry goods from Waterford.  They did their business all right, but a few seizers of goods on the route completely put the carters out of court.  A want in this respect has been supplied by the steamer Cargan, which now makes regular trips to Dublin; and comes back laden with all kinds of commodities, and the manager of the firm [K.Williams & Co.] Mr John Christopher is most courteous and attentive…Some cargoes of about 200 tons each have arrived consisting of all kinds of things, eatables, and a plentiful supply of Guinness stout.  Other boats which have done good service, Captain P. Curran, harbour master, runs a boat frequently to Waterford.  She is well- managed, punctual, and carries a good load and supplies a great want to the business community.  Mr R. H. Keane [Cappoquin] also runs a motorboat to Cork and Waterford, so that all needs are met with satisfactorily.


The Cargan

The Déise Divided by Tommy Mooney for sale in Waterford County Museum


We are delighted to have "The Déise Divided" by Tommy Mooney for sale once again in the museum. The book is a history of The Waterford Brigade I.R.A. and the Civil War.  It had been sold out and we had many enquiries from people wishing to purchase it.

It is available now in the museum and the cost is €20.00.

Waterford County Museum Heritage Council Grant



We are delighted to have received a grant from the Heritage Council towards our new museum project: Changing History - Gallowshill Community Archaeology Project.

This will consist of a new bespoke display case for archaeological artefacts and new graphic panels which will tell the story of the Gallowshill monument and also the Dungarvan Valley Caves, Vikings and Normans.

We have set aside a section within the museum exhibition area for this project.  When completed local residents and visitors will be able to learn about our fascinating archaeological history and how the exploration of Gallowshill has changed what we know about the early history of Dungarvan. 

In conjunction with the project there will be an online presentation for Heritage Week.

Dungarvan in September 1922


Bridge Street, Waiting for de Valera, March 16th, 1922

In the Waterford News for 22 September 1922 an interesting article was published titled: ‘Dungarvan To-Day’.  The author’s name is not given but it may have been written by Edmond Keohan.  Over the next few weeks, we will reproduce some extracts from it.

Life in Dungarvan appears to be much the same as of old as far as appearances go, but on closer examination one is impressed with the great changes that have taken place in the economic life of the people. For a time, some couple of weeks ago, there was much need of goods for the wants of the inhabitants, and what was considered almost as of much concern, there were no newspapers coming to the town.  Whenever a newspaper came into the town it was loaned from one to another and was regarded as an article of very special value.  Before this, the Cork Examiner used to supply news daily, but the general tenor was so much censored that it soon began to be regarded as a quite different news medium…Even now, though supplied with a daily service from Dublin of metropolitan papers, we miss the absence of news from Cork.  A letter from Dungarvan to Cork has to be taken hundreds of miles by sea and land before it reaches its destination.  It goes first to Waterford, thence to Dublin, across to Liverpool, and back by steamer to Cork.  Contrast this service with the time before the broken bridges and explosions, when a letter posted in Dungarvan at three o’clock p.m. would be delivered to Cork the same evening.  From Waterford the mails come one a day, but the journey is perilous.  On a few occasions the mail bags were seized, and the military were obliged to scour the country for their recovery, and happily succeeded in their different searches.

Then, again, with regard to the life of the people, there is the danger of sniping and attack upon the town.  On the night of the bomb explosion the people were terrified.  The streets were crowded, but after the loud rumble and the rifle shots which succeeded it pedestrians ran in all directions, but all the while there were careless fellows who kept standing at the corners, and curiosity was a more powerful factor with them than the danger of being exposed to rifle fire.  Now the military quarters in the different portions of the town have been fortified, sand-bags have been built up and other defences erected.  The closest guard is kept at night, and ones hears repeatedly the challenges of the sentries from their posts of duty.    

First Group to visit the Museum on reopening

 We welcomed our first group of visitors to the museum on Tuesday 11th May.  The curator William Fraher gave a guided tour to Dave Pollock, archaeologist and a group of people from Dunhill Multi-Education Centre.  The group is doing a course entitled “Tourism Trails with Smart Media”.  We were delighted to have them and they enjoyed the tour.

The museum is open for visitors Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Dungarvan's First Newspaper - The Munster Citizen

There had been efforts by locals to establish a paper in Dungarvan in the 1830s, but nothing came of the project.  John Power with an address at William Street, Dungarvan established The Munster Citizen in 1852.  The first issue appeared on Saturday 28 February 1852 and consisted of eight pages in four colours and cost 5 pence.  The front- page heading noted that it was published simultaneously in Carrick-On-Suir and Dungarvan. Twenty- seven issues were printed, the last on 11 September 1852.  The editor was Joseph O’Grady and the printing staff included: James Campbell, William Hoare, ‘foreman printer’, and Michael O’Farrell, printer.

The paper had a mixture of articles, local news, adverts, politics, and local history. Power had very strident political views which were anti landlord/establishment.  Slater’s Commercial Directory 1845 and 1856 list a John Power, publican and coal dealer, William Street, which may be him.  The paper ceased production apparently because Power had difficulty retaining professional printing staff.  Copies are extremely rare and only survive to our knowledge in the British Newspaper Archive.

The Munster Citizen - first issue

New Gallowshill/Museum YouTube Channel

Have you looked at the new channel set up by museum committee member Chrissy Knight O’Connor called: Hidden History with Gallowshill Project?  This has only recently been created and contains a number of short films relating to the locality and objects in the museum collection.

Short films to be viewed include: The Burgery Ambush - Herstory; Waterford Cumann na mBan 1914; Kilgobnet Church; Kilrush Church; Boer War box from the Waterford County Museum collection.

It is hoped to add new material every month.

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