Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Schools in Lismore 1824 - Part 1

 James Glassford, Notes of Three Tours in Ireland in 1824 and 1826, Bristol 1832.

James Glassford (1771-1845) was a Scottish legal writer and traveller.

Proceeded to Kilmacthomas and Stradbally, to Dungarvan, and thence by Cappoquin to Lismore…Kilmacthomas…one of the rudest and most unpleasing districts yet passed; met here a party of the mounted constabulary employed in searching suspected quarters for arms, but had found none to-day; usual to make trial for this purpose in the corn and peat stacks, said to be a common repository; but were also proceeding over the fields and enclosures, the scenery of this stage bare and scowling, without appearance of culture.

October 19 Lismore

Visit from Col. Currey; the intelligent and active manager, and moral agent of the Duke of Devonshire on his great estates in this part of Ireland.  A peculiarity of Irish Post Office, which it had reached two days before; informed an inquiry that letter received in the country offices of Ireland, are not carried out, or delivered by the postmaster: so that unless called for, they remain sine die

It has been observed that the older priests are more easily managed and more temperate in their opposition to the Education Societies, than those recently appointed; the greatest violence and most strenuous opposition come from the young men educated at Maynooth…In private classical and boarding schools, intermixture of Protestant and Roman Catholic seems to create little animosity…The Roman Catholic clergy do not interfere with these; perhaps from a knowledge that, with the upper classes of the laity, it would be ineffectual…

Visited with Col. C., the Cork Hibernian Society’s Free School, built in 1821 by the Duke of Devonshire, for boys and girls.  Large and excellent establishment, as to accommodation; with the singular exception of the entrance being in an unfinished and even dangerous state, from want of any fence to the outer stair, which is high…Houses for the master and mistress. Teacher trained in Kildare-Street Model School. Present, today, 135 boys, 121 girls, all Roman Catholic, with exception of 8 boys and 2 girls.

To be continued…

Explore Dungarvan's Maritime History


This year Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club celebrates 75 years of existence as a sailing and boating club and are organising a wide range of onshore and offshore events during the summer months.  Waterford County Museum is taking part in a joint project with the club to commemorate this success.

Can you find all 30 old sailing photos around Grattan Square?

A French Lady's Visit to Lismore


Three Months Tour in Ireland by Madam De Bovet, Translated and edited by Mrs Arthur Walter, London 1891.  Anne Marie De Bovet was a French novelist and travel writer who married the Marquis de Bois-Hébert but wrote under her maiden-name.  She wrote three books on Ireland.

Lismore is a clean little town, the aspect of which is refreshing to eyes wearied with poverty and rags.  If as some would have us believe, the ills of Ireland are to be entirely ascribed to the negligence or rapacity of landlords, the comfortable appearance of Lismore does honour to the Duke of Devonshire.

Neat low houses, mostly of one storey, stand in well- kept streets, their fronts white-washed, and embowered in clematis, laurels, myrtles, and fuchsias.  The windows have curtains of red calico, and seen through open doors, are dressers well-polished and furnished with store of pottery.  The people are comfortably clad, not too ragged, and almost clean.  Beggars are comparatively rare; and if the children go barefoot, that is an affair of fashion rather than of necessity.  Many of them being dressed in gaudy tartans and cashmeres, the boys wearing caps and the girls adorned with ribbons tied round tresses that really appear to be combed daily.

Though residing [The Duke of Devonshire] but little in Lismore – where, however, some of his family come every year for shooting or change of air – he is popular in the county.  The magnificent park of Lismore is hospitably open to the public; and one may pass delicious hours in the shadow of gigantic beeches or wandering by the swift flowing river.  Upon picturesque elevations, covered with trees, villas succeed one another all the length of the river.


Visit from Dungarvan Youthreach


From left: Chloe Butler, Shane Duggan, Dylan Walsh and Marcus Fallen enjoying the exhibits in the museum

A group from Dungarvan Youthreach visited the museum recently.  They were given a guided tour by the curator William Fraher.  We welcome visits from schools, community groups and local history societies.  Contact the museum to arrange a time for the visit.


Cancellation of Annual Book Sale

We are unfortunately unable to have our annual book sale this year and therefore we cannot take in any books.  Hopefully next year the book sale will go ahead as usual. 



Sculpture at the Grotto in Ring

 In our recent post about the Nano Nagle sculpture in Dungarvan we mentioned that it was carved by Domhnall Ó Murchadha, R.H.A. (1914-1991) who also carved a sculpture of ‘Our Lady and Saint Bernadette’ which can be seen in the grotto in Shanakill, Ring.  The opening ceremony for the grotto took place in 1964.

Here are some photos taken at the opening ceremony.

Lá coisreachan na Neona sa tSean-Chill, Rinn Ó gCuanach, 1964.

Ar cúl, ó chlé: Seán Mac Craith (Cnocán an Phaoraigh), Muiris de Róiste, Pádraig Ó Corraoin, Domhnall (Danny) Ó Murchadha, Muiris Tóibín, Michéal Ó Catháin, J. J. Ó Corraoin, an Sáirsint Ó Maolruaidh, Séamus Ó Lonáin (Séamus Óg ina bhaclainn aige), Risteard Turraoin, an tAth. Ó Domhnaill, SP, Séan Ó Síothcháin, an tAiltire, an tAth. Victor de Paor, Gearóid Ó Coinn (Heilbhic), Pádraig Ó Druacháin, Pádraig de Faoit.

 Chun tosaigh: Pádraig Ó Druacháin (agus gearrchaile ina bhaclainne aige), Tomás Mac Eoin, Seán Ó Manacháin, Michéal Ó Manacháin (idir an dá gharsún, Michéal Óg Ó Manacháin, Donnchadh Ó Maonaigh, Seán Mac Craith (Baile Uí Chorraoin), Pádraig Ó Corraoin (Peaidí Pheats), Seán Tóibín (athair Mhuiris), ----.

Group at the opening ceremony with Father De Paor

View of crowd at opening ceremony at the Grotto

Stories from Old Newspapers

 “Tarrin” in Cappoquin

Waterford News 2/3/1900

In this connection, an old time-honoured, if objectionable, custom was extensively preserved here years go, but, like most old customs, is now a thing of the past, and it is no harm.

I refer to the custom of “tarrin” – the houses of unmarried men and women as a punishment for allowing the Shrovetide to pass without getting married, and when this was in vogue, the unmarried members amongst the inhabitants used often remain up for nights watching their houses, but despite all the vigilance, the “tar boys” were in most cases too quick, as could be seen next morning, when a fine “man” or “woman”, as the case may be, would adorn their walls, and which in many cases possessed a considerable amount of artistic merit.  Several newly-painted walls were often destroyed in this manner with tar, and few can therefore regret that the custom has fallen into disuse, as it did not even possess the redeeming quality of ever, in a single instance, induce any persons to marry for the purpose of saving their walls.


Dan Fraher's Makeover

The man whom the Fraher Field is named after lived at 17 Grattan Square where he had a drapery shop named The Gaelic Outfitting Store.  This shop is now The Wine Buff.  In 2014 the paintwork was removed from beneath the shop window and a panel of tiles was revealed to everyone’s surprise.  It is inscribed: ‘D. Ua Fearacair’ in an Irish script.  In early photographs the shop has the name in English.

We now know when the tiles were put in place.  The Waterford News published an account of the renovations in August 1900:

Both the interior and exterior of Mr Daniel Fraher’s establishment at Dungarvan presents a very handsome appearance having been lately renovated.  Mr Fraher, who fluently speaks the native tongue and takes a deep and loving interest in its spread, is the only shopkeeper in the Old Borough at present who has his name in Irish letters outside his establishment.

It is nice to see that the panel of tiles has been preserved as there are only a few such panels remaining in Dungarvan.

Donations for new picture gallery area

Car Travelling in the South of Ireland 1856 by Michael Angelo Hayes

Two rare lithographs by Charles Newport Bolton

We were delighted to receive donations for our new picture gallery area which features the work of Waterford artists.  The latest pictures are a hand coloured print by Michael Angelo Hayes - Car Travelling in the South of Ireland 1856.  Also, we received two rare lithographs by the little known artist Charles Newport Bolton of Faithlegg.

Hidden in Plain Sight - Nano Nagle Sculpture


Nano Nagle carving (photo courtesy of Chris Mulcahy)

One of the most important public pieces of sculpture in Dungarvan is easily missed by most people as it is not on the public thoroughfare.  It can be found set into the wall of Scoil Naomh Seosaibh at the Presentation Convent in Mitchel Street.

The relief sculpture in limestone contrasts with the background sandstone of the school wall.  It depicts Nano Nagle holding a book, with a boy and girl at her feet. Who sculpted it?

It was carved by Domhnall O Murchadha, R.H.A. (1914-1991).  He was a native of Carrigrohane, Ballincollig, Co. Cork.  He studied at the Crawford School of Art in Cork and then in 1939 the National College of Art where he studied under Laurence Campbell.  In 1943 he won the Purser-Griffith scholarship in the History of European Painting which allowed him to study in Florence.  In 1943 he along with other students designed and made costumes etc., for the Laurence Olivier film Henry V which was filmed at Powerscourt estate.  In 1945 he received the first of many church commissions. This included in 1964 a sculpture of ‘Our Lady and Saint Bernadette’ for Ring church.

He was acting director of the National College of Art & Design from which post which he retired in 1980.  He died on 8 January 1991 in Dublin.

Local papers recorded the official opening of the school on 8 September 1960 by Diarmaid O Hegarty, Divisional Inspector of Schools.  A stone plaque on the school building notes that the Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, the Most Rev. D Cohalan D. D., performed the official blessing for the start of the construction on 13 September 1959. This coincided with the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the convent.  The school building was designed by Guy, Moloney & Associates, Dublin.

photo courtesy of Chris Mulcahy

The Irish Silver Museum

The Irish Silver Museum was recently opened in the Viking Quarter in Waterford city by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.  It is part of the Museum of Treasures and is now the fifth museum in the Viking Triangle of Waterford City.  It is located in The Deanery, Cathedral Square, next to the Medieval Museum.  The museum celebrates the craft and skill of the silversmiths who created the items on display from the arrival of the Vikings to our entry to the E.E.C. in 1973. It is open from 9.15 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 5 pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.   

Visit from St. Joseph's Primary School summer camp

Students from St. Joseph's Primary School with their teacher Sarah Enright and Museum staff member Tony Hayes

We always welcome visits from school groups.  We recently had a visit from St Joseph’s Primary School, Dungarvan.  The boys along with their teacher Sarah Enright were given a tour of the museum by staff member Tony Hayes.  If groups from schools or summer camps would like to visit the museum just let us know the date and time you would like to visit. The phone number is 058 45960. 

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