Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Julius Paimal commemoration

Julius Paimal commemoration

Julius Paimal (Coyright Aarne Koppel)

100 years ago this month, the body of a sailor came ashore in a small boat in a cove at Island, Stradbally. The sailor was 31-year-old Able Seaman Julius Paimal, originally from Estonia, and he was killed when his ship, the SS Pinewood, was sunk by a German submarine fifteen miles south of Mine Head on 17th February 1918. A group of local men recovered the body, and eventually succeeded in getting it to the top of the cliff. They were: Sergeant O'Connor and Constable Brown, RIC; James Cummins; William Clancy; Michael Cummins; Philip Cummins; Michael Kiely; Patrick Fitzgerald senior and Patrick Fitzgerald junior. Paimal's remains were interred in the Church of Ireland graveyard in Stradbally on 20th February. This was organised by the local dispensary doctor, Bryan Foley, and the burial was performed by Canon Burkitt. 

On Saturday 17th February at 3.00 pm there will be a short commemoration ceremony at Paimal's grave, to honour him a century after his death. All are invited to attend, and it would be particularly fitting if relatives of any of those involved in recovering Paimal's body 100 years ago were able to be there. There will be refreshments afterwards. For more information contact Cian Flaherty on 086-8961747 or email

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Lecture: Cartoon representations of John Redmond 1906 – 1916

The WAHS lecture season for 2017 and 2018 continues on Friday 23rd February with a lecture titled ‘Cartoon representations of John Redmond 1906 – 1916’ by the historian and broadcaster Dr Úna Ní Bhroiméil at 8:00 pm in the St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford.

This special lecture has been arranged to mark the centenary of the death of John Redmond, who was MP for Waterford and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, in March 1918. Many cartoons of Redmond were published in the Irish-American and British press in the decade before 1916, they give an insight into how Redmond’s political leadership and the campaign for Irish Home Rule which he led was perceived, in both positive and a negative light.

In the lecture Dr Ní Bhroiméil will demonstrate the links between Ireland, Britain and America in a transatlantic and transnational context in the person of John Redmond and through the medium of political cartoons. The cartoons illustrate Redmond’s centrality as a preeminent Irish figure at the beginning of the twentieth century. As the leader of the reunified Irish Parliamentary Party in 1900, John Redmond embodied the hope of the Irish people that a unified party could complete Parnell’s mission of achieving Home Rule for Ireland.

Having visited America in 1886, 1895 and 1899, he was well known to Irish American supporters, but it was his 1904 visit to the United Irish League Convention that spurred the strong and consistent support of the most widely circulated Irish American newspaper, the Irish World. The contemporary British press, however, was outraged at the monetary support that Redmond was receiving in America, for instance, the London Saturday Review raged against the influence of the Irish American press on the government at Westminster and particularly on prime minister Asquith, stating

‘It is often said Mr Redmond is master of the position and has the government in his hand. But is not the real boss behind Mr Redmond? Is he not an Irish American and his name Mr Patrick Ford? Mr Redmond may be master but is not Mr Ford paymaster?’

In turn, the Irish World reprinted five ‘Tory cartoons’ that had been published in the ‘London Unionist Press’ on its front page in December 1910. John Redmond was celebrated by the Irish World and promoted not just as the political leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, but as the leader of the Irish generally at home and abroad. However, the Irish American press turned on Redmond after September 1914 and the later cartoons published in the Irish World reflect Redmond’s diminished political stature in Irish American eyes.

Úna Ní Bhroiméil lectures in American history in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. She completed  a BA, MA and HDip at NUI Galway and her PhD at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania in the United States. She has published on the themes of Irish identity in the USA, the Irish American press, the formation of Catholic female teachers, and using visual methods in historical research. Úna has contributed to many historical documentaries and can currently be seen presenting the weekly ‘Tríd an Lionsa’ series about historical photographs on TG4.

This lecture will be of interest to anyone interested in John Redmond’s political career and how the examination of visual sources can provide significant historical insights. Admission to the lecture is €5 (students €2.50), but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Images: Michael Byrne Lecture

Michael Byrne lecturing to the Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society. 
Michael Byrne (centre) discussing his lecture with members Jim Walsh (left) and Dr Eugene Broderick (right). 
Mrs Sylvia Byrne (centre), wife of the late Niall Byrne, with (from left) Nóra Tubbrit, vice-chairperson, Adrian Larkin, chairperson, Michael Byrne and Pat Grogan. 
Michael Byrne talking with members.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lecture: Niall Byrne's contribution to forging medieval Waterford's historical identity

Niall Byrne's contribution to forging medieval Waterford's historical identity

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society’s lecture season for 2017 and 2018 continues on Friday 26th January with a lecture by Waterford-born historian and author Michael Byrne.

Niall Byrne (1934-2012) practiced as a veterinary surgeon in Waterford and South Kilkenny in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. In the early years of his retirement he returned to academic study, taking an undergraduate degree in theology as well as a Master's degree and doctorate in history from UCC.  He then published four books of original scholarship about medieval Waterford.  His major contribution was to translate, annotate and provide a commentary on "The Great Parchment Book of Waterford", a history of the city compiled from original records between the mid-fifteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries.  Niall also wrote a history of the Knights Templar and other religious orders in the south-east of Ireland; a history of Waterford's medieval leper hospital and the later County and City Infirmary; and an account of a chantry chapel built in Waterford Cathedral in the 1470s.  In this lecture Niall's son, Michael Byrne, will summarise the work done by his father in these four books and will outline their enduring importance in forging Waterford's historical identity.

Michael Byrne was born in Waterford in 1959 and has lived in London for the last thirty years.  A former accountant, banker, and managing partner of a number of headhunting companies, he now works in the voluntary sector on a number of environmental and other projects.  He studied at Trinity College Dublin and also holds Master's degrees from London and Cambridge universities and a PhD in history from London.  A fellow of Birkbeck College London and a former magistrate and university governor, Michael Byrne has published four books of history and historical biography.

This lecture will be of interest to anyone interested in Waterford’s medieval history and historiography. Admission to the lecture is €5 (students €2.50), but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

WA&HS Submission on proposed demolition of the former R&H Hall Grain Store, Dock Road, Ferrybank, Waterford

Re: Proposed demolition of the former R & H Hall Grain Store, Dock Road, Ferrybank, Waterford.

To Whom It May Concern:

While welcoming wholeheartedly the prospect of the development of the North Quays the committee of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society (WAHS) wish to convey their concern regarding the proposed demolition of the former R & H Hall Grain Store (The Hennebique Building).

The committee is of the firm opinion that the building forms a unique part of the city's built heritage. The R & H Hall Grain Store has been included in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. It has been attributed a rating value of ‘National Importance’.  The building itself is the last remaining tangible link to a site which was part of the thriving maritime history of Waterford. White’s shipyard, grain stores, a water powered mill and a box factory occupied this site in the 19th century.

 While recognising that the building presents considerable conservation challenges a number of uses in the arts and cultural area could be explored. Possible uses could include a maritime museum, an industrial museum, archive and exhibition space. These uses would reflect the city's unique maritime  and industrial past. The retention of the building itself would form a visible testament to that heritage.

The floor to ceiling height in the building has been cited as a considerable disadvantage. The floor to ceiling height is 2650mm, except for the top floor where it is 3800mm. The old Bond Store in the Tullamore Distillery has a floor to ceiling height of 2000mm and operates as an attractive and successful visitor centre. Many such buildings around the world have been successfully preserved and given a new life. The committee feels that the previous conservation work, done by the City Council, on the old granery store on the Quay and its conversion into what is now the Architectural Department of the WIT could be a model for the conservation of the Hennebique Building. A further example of an imaginative conservation of the Hennibique Building is contained in the submission by Rojo-Studio Architects in 2015 (

The committee would like to draw your attention to aspects of the Waterford City Development Plan 2013-2019 which it feels should inform the ultimate decision on the fate of the building. Section 10.2 of the Plan outlines the policies to be followed in respect of Architectural Heritage.
The following is stated on page 141: '... it is considered essential that every possible tool be used to encourage re-investment in the existing building stock. In this context fiscal instruments will be used wherever possible and the wider context will be considered at all times in the assessment of proposals for redevelopment and greater flexibility in adaptation of existing stock will be allowed, where this is feasible.'

Page 142 outlines the following as an objective of the Development Plan: 'In considering development which may have a significant impact on the architectural heritage to require the preparation and submission of an architectural heritage impact assessment detailing the potential impact of the development on the architectural heritage. The report shall be compiled generally in accordance with the details set out in Appendix B of the
Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities,
Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, 2004. (OBJ 10.2.5)'. Has an architectural heritage impact asessment been carried out?

The committee of WAHS submit that the Hennebique Building is unique and rather than being demolished it should be preserved, conserved and re-used in an imaginative and sensitive way.
Yours sincerely

Adrian Larkin, Chairman WAHS
4 Bromley Avenue, Ardkeen Village, Waterford.  
January 15th 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Proposed Demolition of the former R & H Hall Grain Store, Dock Road, Ferrybank, Waterford.

RE. Proposed Demolition of the former R & H Hall Grain Store, Dock Road, Ferrybank, Waterford.

To whom it may concern,

As a Waterford person, I am delighted at the prospect of the development of the North Quays. As somebody who worked on the R & H Hall\Waterford Flour Mills site for twenty years, and as a member of Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, I was delighted to see, that part of the North Quays Master Plan was the preservation of the Hennebique Warehouse.
This building is the last remaining tangible link to a site which was part of the thriving maritime history of Waterford. Grain stores, a water powered flour mill and a box factory occupied this site in the 19th century, an ancient ferry operated from the site to the city.
However, I am now puzzled as to why the Council, who state in the Master Plan that the building will be considered in any future development, now brings forward a plan to demolish it. The latter seems contrary to all the aspirations/policies in the draft Master Plan.
I believe that the thrust of a recent engineers report to the Council is that too much physical compromise would be needed to enable its adaptive reuse. He does not actually discuss how it might be reused, merely stating that "it is difficult to see what future use the building could serve”, I disagree.
The North Quays Master Plan aspires to the provision of a visitor centre, exhibition space and other cultural amenities. I see no reason why The Hennebique Warehouse couldn't be adapted to these and other uses. Here are some examples:
  • Maritime museum (In a city with such a maritime heritage, there have been many calls for a Maritime Museum, the major obstacle was to find a location, here is a readymade and most appropriate location)
  • Industrial Museum.
  • Gallery\Exhibition Centre.
  • Visitor Centre.
With a nine storey building it would be possible to have a combination of some, if not all, of the above.
The floor to ceiling height has been cited as a disadvantage, again, I disagree. The floor to ceiling height is 2650mm, except the top floor, where it is 3800mm! On a recent visit to Tullamore in County Offaly, I paid a visit to the Tullamore DEW experience, where the old Bond Store is now a very attractive and successful visitor centre, the floor to ceiling height in the reception area and gift shop is 2000mm (See attached photograph).

Many such buildings around the world have been preserved and given new life, just one example of what could be done with the Hennebique Warehouse is the concept produced by Rojo – Studio Architects in 2015 (See link : )
In 1998 extensive renovations were carried out on the late 19th Century Granary building on the corner of Merchants Quay and Hanover Street. I worked in this building in the 1970s when it was used as a grain store by R & H Hall. The original entrances to the building from the Quay and Hanover Street were widened and raised to accommodate modern transport. With large timber sliding doors,  RSJ heads and concreate surrounds, the entrances were functional but made the building look so ugly. Eventually the building ceased to be used as a grain store and by 1998 was derelict. The 1998 renovations included reversing the damage done to the entrances and restoring the tooled limestone doorcases and restoring all the surrounding stonework, this restoration work alone took time and considerable resources. Since its restoration the building has housed Waterford Museum of Treasures and Tourist Office. Today the warehouse is home to the School of Architecture of Waterford Institute of Technology and remains an important landmark in the centre of the City and is an attractive addition to the streetscape of Merchants Quay – what a loss it would have been had this building been demolished!
I appeal to the City Council, please do not demolish the Hennebique Warehouse, rather preserve and cherish this iconic building for future generations. I do not use the word iconic lightly, the Oxford Dictionary defines an Icon as -  
A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration. Whilst the Hennebique Warehouse may not be worthy of veneration, it is most definitely a representative symbol of the history and heritage of this site. Not only is it listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage as a building of National importance, it was part of the fabric of a once thriving site which gave employment to people from Ferrybank, the City and surrounding areas, in some cases, to 2 and sometimes 3 generations of the one family and it contributed to the social and economic life of the city for over 100 years.
While the Hennebique Warehouse stands it will be a palpable link to the heritage of the site, the port and indeed, the city.

Yours Sincerely,

Michael Maher,
26 Kenure Court,
12th January 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

Information on Gaelic Games players & First World War Sought

Any information on players of Gaelic Games from Waterford who enlisted/died in the First World War?
Anyone with information can contact the Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society via facebook or e-mail <>
The information is for a study concerning the topic.
The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, Ireland.
Website By: Deise Design