Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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New Archaeology Exhibition


Supported by the Heritage Council under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2021

Waterford County Museum is delighted to have our new Gallowshill and archaeology panels finally on display.  A big thank you to the Heritage Council for their Grant aid which includes a new bespoke museum standard display case which will be in place shortly.  The panels tell the history of the hill and the recent archaeological discoveries.  Also included are panels on the Dungarvan Valley Caves, the Vikings, and Medieval Dungarvan. 

As part of Heritage Week a selection of finds from Gallowshill are also on display.


Supported by the Heritage Council under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2021


Stories from Old Newspapers

‘How to make children Irish speakers’

Waterford News 5 September 1919

The Ring Irish College authorities have done splendid and eminently practical service to the Irish language revival movement by their decision to establish at Ring Residential College, a school wholly destined to making Irish speakers of Irish children whose parents do not speak Irish, or who cannot secure Irish speaking nurses.  The school supplies what really has been a long-felt want.  Children from 7 to 12 years old pick up Irish very quickly when they hear no other language spoken around them. A couple of sessions at Ring Irish School would make a child a fluent speaker and give him or her a good literary knowledge of the language.

The children will be taught to speak, read, and write Irish, and in addition they will receive instructions in Christian doctrine, arithmetic, geography, elementary science, nature study, etc.  Apart from its national value, the good knowledge of Irish they will acquire at college will be a valuable educational asset in their later studies.

The college is splendidly situated by the seaside.  The health, comfort, and general welfare of the children will receive every attention from the matron and lady teachers.  A doctor resides near the college and will visit the children every day.  Irish parents who wish their children to have a thorough knowledge of the national language, have now a splendid chance to give them that priceless treasure.  The Prospectus and all information required can be had from the Secretary, Irish College, Ring, Co Waterford.      


An Introduction to Stradbally Church

The booklet “An Introduction to Stradbally Church” published by Stradbally Church Ruins Committee 2021 is now on sale in the museum.  Profits from the sale of the booklet will go towards the ongoing conservation of the medieval church.  Cost of the booklet is €5


Stories from Old Newspapers

President Mary Robinson planting a tree in Villierstown, held by James Villiers-Stuart, on 3 March 1992. Photo by Rory Wyley.

‘The historic old house echoed with the sound of merry voices and cheerful laughter’

James Villiers-Stuart Comes of Age - Dungarvan Observer 7 January 1950

The historic house of Dromana…in its long history has seen many festive occasions but few, if any, equaled that seen on New Year’s Night when the old mansion rang to the welcome accorded to Mr James Villiers Stuart at the celebrations held to mark his coming of age and formal taking over of the property.  At 7 o’clock estate employees and many residents of the district to the number of 300 assembled in the vicinity of the house.  A burst of cheering heralded the coming of the ‘young master’ and led by the Villierstown Piper’s Band playing a triumphal march, Mr Villiers Stuart, escorted by his guests, entered Dromana House.

When all were assembled in the library the evening’s proceedings began when a presentation was made to Mr Villiers Stuart by the estate employees…an oak Westminster chiming clock and barometer.  The presentation was made by Mr A. Dawson, estate manager…Mr Thomas Ormond, the oldest employee, also spoke and in well-chosen words referred ‘to the happy associations that had always existed between the owners of Dromana and those who were fortunate enough to serve them. ‘I know’, said Mr Ormond, ‘that this happy state of affairs will long continue’.  Mr Villiers Stuart, replying, thanked the donors for their beautiful gifts.  Referring to the great loss he had sustained through the early deaths of his beloved parents, Mr Stuart said that his loss had been tempered by his great friends in Dromana, and most particularly by Mr Dawson, who had acted towards him with the devotion and generosity of a father, and Mrs Declan Morrissey, his faithful housekeeper who had mothered him with great affection.

Speaking of the many problems and difficulties which faced owners of large properties and the fact that the number of employees was not as great as in bygone days, Mr Stuart said he hoped to extensively develop his property and thus give more employment…To two of the older hands, Mr Thomas Ormond and Mr Michael Morrissey, he paid special thanks, asking each to accept from him a cheque in recognition of their long and faithful service.

Dancing to the strains of the Villierstown String Orchestra, then began, and the historic old house echoed with the sound of merry voices and cheerful laughter…Several of the guests sang, Mrs A O’Connell, Miss B Carroll, Mr M Ronayne, all of Villierstown.  A sumptuous sit-down supper was served.  The catering was supervised by Mrs Reynolds…Dancing continued to the early hours and a memorable night ended with the singing of ‘Old Lang Syne’  and ‘The Soldiers Song’.

Museum display stand in the Park Hotel


The museum was invited this week by the Park Hotel to have a display stand in their foyer. The stand had information for hotel guests about Waterford County Museum.  We had photos of our current exhibitions and copies of the museum books which we have on sale.

We also gave the children copies of the Sail 75 Children’s Photo Trail Quiz.  The closing date for the quiz is 3rd September and the quiz sheets are still available at the museum.  All are welcome to call in for the quiz sheets and find the answers to the questions in the windows around Grattan Square.




Children's Photo Trail Quiz

Waterford County Museum has organised a fun Children’s Quiz to celebrate Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club’s Sail 75 anniversary.  Just call to the Museum to pick up your copy of the questions, then find the answers in the 30 old sailing photos in the windows around Grattan Square and drop them back to us.

The closing date is 3rd September.

There are prizes available for the quiz winners!  Good luck to everyone!


Schools in Lismore 1824 Part III

There is no apparent animosity in Lismore, between the Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy or population.  The archdeacon and vicars here give a very favourable report of the priest, and he seems to have no jealousy of them.  The Duke of Devonshire is very liberal, in every sense of the word, - expends large sums on roads, bridges, and other public improvements, both here and on his estates in Youghal and Bandon…and though he patronizes the Cork Hibernian Society, and the Kildare-Street Society, on his estates, the Roman Catholic clergy manifest no open hostility to their operations in this quarter.  His Grace bestows ground for building churches and chapels, an application either from persons of the Church of Ireland, or of the Roman Catholic communion and subscribes towards their support; the former as the established religion, the latter as that of the mass of the population.  With respect to Presbyterian or protestant Dissenters, no similar application has yet been made from these bodies.  Lismore is an open field for the Dissenting Societies; being entirely neglected by the wealthy dignitaries of the Diocesan Church, and their employees.  We passed the afternoon at Lismore Castle, with Colonel C’s. family; the castle is beautifully placed.

20 October 1824

Went with Colonel C. by Tallagh (sic) to Youghal…Amassing proofs of his popularity with the inhabitants of this rude country- all the huts near the road pouring out their half-naked swarms of children, who followed the carriage as long as they could run, merely repeating his name- all the Saxon, probably, which they know.  Many improvements begun, even in this bare region; enclosures; stone houses on a few of the farms, draining, and other marks of culture on the Dukes’ lands; and notable contract between these and the Deanery and the Church Lands, which intersect them near Lismore, and which are in the rudest neglect, being let and re-let merely to the highest bidder, without anything expended to ameliorate them.  The plan of rack-rent, and continued expulsion of tenantry thence resulting, is surely in all cases a miserable policy, as well as an occasion of much cruelty and oppression… We returned to Lismore. Col C. showed me an extract of the will and settlement of Richard, Earl of Cork, bequeathing funds for the support of his Free Schools, founded by him at Lismore and Youghal; but in the deed there is no farther specification, or condition explanatory of their object. They are now chiefly called classical schools; and the masters do not hold themselves bound to teach any scholar gratis. 


The museum would like to extend its sympathies to the family of museum member Kathleen Phelan who recently passed away.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.


Lismore Schools in 1824 Part II

The Douay Testaments only are used; the three Scripture Classes, from 50 to 60, read a lesson in the Testament daily, and commit to memory four chapters at least in the quarter of the year – the specimens of reading very good.  Some of the girls taught to work lace on bobbins.  Mr D., one of the Kildare-Street inspectors (a Roman Catholic gentleman), happened to be present to-day, on his tour of inspection.  He considers the union of this school with the London Hibernian Society, of which the Cork Hibernian Society is a branch, or with any other Education Society, as injurious to the plan of the Kildare-Street and leading to the supposition of the latter being a proselytizing body, which is the character given to the London Hibernian.  He allowed, however, that the Kildare-Street rules are correctly adhered to in this school.

Mr D. objects equally to any school connected with the Kildare-Street Society being also in unison with the trustees of Erasmus Smith, who require the master, in all cases, to be a Protestant; or with the Parochial Schools, because in these the Catechism must be taught, and the teacher is the parish clerk; or with the Capel Street Association, for similar reasons.  He conceives, however, that the Cork Branch of the London Hibernian Society is the most liberal, and their management the least objectionable to the Roman Catholics.

Visited the endowed Classical School of Lismore, an ancient foundation by the Earls of Cork, now vested in the Duke of Devonshire.  Exterior of building and premises good and fair, but the interior rotten; ample accommodation, and wide playground, with large schoolroom lately built by the Duke.  But the school is declining, or rather has long ago declined; seems the common penalty in Ireland of all fostering endowments.  The master could receive 40 boarders, now he has only 13.  He once had the former number, but they were made up of boys who came with him from Fermoy, where he taught as an assistant.   

New Publication: The Revolutionary - Pat Keating of Comeragh

This publication was written by David Prendergast and Katie Dee.  They were the founders in 2020 of the local history blog: Kilrossanty Remembers.  The book has an introduction by well-known historians Sean and Síle Murphy and was made possible with assistance from the Decade of Centenaries Community Projects Funding from Waterford City & County Council.

Many people pass by the simple monument to Pat Keating and Seán Fitzgerald situated by the side of the N25 beyond the Burgery and are perhaps unaware of its significance.  Keating and Fitzgerald were killed during the Burgery Ambush which took place in March 1921.  Pat Keating is one of the most familiar republican names of this period in West Waterford.  The authors tell us that he was also a footballer, poet, activist, leader, and revolutionary.  He was the author of the poems Comeragh’s Rugged Hills and The Cross of Old Piltown.

The authors have told Keating’s story in an engaging way using original documents, witness statements, interviews and many illustrations, a number supplied from the museum’s image archive.  There is a letter from the Keating family on display in the museum dated May 1922 thanking the Lismore Board of Guardians for their resolution in relation to Ireland’s martyrs.

The book is very attractively designed and printed and well-illustrated. The proceeds from sales are going to the mental health charity Suicide or Survive: www.suicideorsurvive.ie

Copies are selling fast and are available for sale at 10 from Waterford County Museum.

Unveiling of the monument at the Republican Plot, Kilrossanty on Easter Sunday 20th April 1930

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