Stories from Old Newspapers

 Cork Examiner 25th May 1859

Close to the town of Dungarvan, in fact, so close is it to form what might be termed a continuation of the same town- is the picturesquely situated village of Abbeyside.  It is a little place of modest and unpretending appearance, its permanent inhabitants consisting principally of fishermen; but in the summer its natural advantages as a watering place make it a resort of sea- bathers from different parts of the Counties of Waterford and Cork, as well as from more distant localities.  Situated on a spot where the breeze of the ocean blows into cool the heat of the summer sun, and with a fine strand washed by the waves of the broad Atlantic, a more suitable or healthier place for a saltwater residence could hardly be found.  Some old ruins, from which the village takes its name, contribute to the attractions of the place…Abbeyside labours under a misfortune… it has received little improvement at the hand of man.  The inhabitants are generally poor, and their houses one of corresponding class, so that the architecture, with one exception, is of an order anything but pretending.  Some years ago, when the people will still suffering from the effects of the fearful famine of ’46 and ’47, the parish church of Abbeyside was fast going to ruin; the roof had got into such a state that no one could calculate on the lapse of an hour…before it might fall in, and often, in stormy weather, when the congregation collected inside on a Sunday, and heard the fierce howling of the wind around the tottering walls…would the telling of the beads be suspended, while anxious glances were cast upwards, in fear best the crazy old covering that but imperfectly kept out the storm, might fall and crush them.  The Rev. Mr. O’ Mera, the present active and respectful parish priest …commenced a collection for repairs…with the funds raised among them [Abbeyside people] and in the neighbouring parish of Dungarvan, and among the charitably disposed of the gentry around, the good priest went to work, and succeeded in converting what was before but a crumbling, uninviting looking structure, into a handsome and elegant finished county church. The porch of the church is formed of a venerable old tower. The interior… has been fitted up in a commodious and elegant style. 

The decorations of the walls and interior of the roof are neatly and tastefully done, and the mouldings and sculpture around the altar are in keeping with the rest of the work.  The altar itself, which has lately replaced the old one, is very pretty one of marble, ornamented with some finely sculptured figures.