Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Upcoming event: Outing to the Hook Peninsula

On Sunday 10th July: Ben Murtagh will be our guide for this tour of the Hook Peninsula, included will be a guided tour of Fethard Castle, Churchtown Church, and Hook Lighthouse.

The meeting point is Ballyhack, Co Wexford, at 2.30 pm.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Revival of the Coach Trip - Outing to the Boyne Valley

Over 40 members and friends were on the coach to the Boyne Valley on Sunday last, 19 June. Vice-chairman Eddie Sinnott remembered that 12 years previously as chairman he had to announce that the coach trip had to be abandoned, and it was his great pleasure to launch the revival of the all-day outing.We stopped at An Poitín Stil, Rathcoole, for tea and scones and other members joined us there, including Dr Pat McCarthy, expert in Military History.

En route to Brú na Bóinne we stopped briefly at a site where troops had been posted during the battle, unfortunately it was not possible to step out.
At the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, a short film gave a brief outline of the meaning of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. We had a look at the exhibits then took the shuttle bus to the site.

The guide was excellent and explained the complex history of the area and the structure of the passage tombs. He pointed out the various examples of megalithic(=giant stone) art (one-third of the megalithic art in Western Europe is contained there), it seems that the serpentiform (snake-like) motif is uncommon.

He showed us a reconstructed wood henge (timber circle) (as opposed to stone henge), told us about the artefacts found on site, and the possible interpretations of the ceremonies and rituals which took place so long ago. We then followed him inside the largest tomb, and got a 'flavour' of being inside...

Outside, we saw the outline of the ruins of a 12th century structure, and climbed to the top of the tomb to enjoy the view of the valley, with the Hill of Tara on the horizon.

Back on the bus, to the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre. After a quick snack, we had a most interesting guided tour of the museum and watched an audiovisual presentation of the battle.

A few minutes later, we were through our mind's eye and with the help of Pat McCarthy, at the heart of the action, picturing on the horizon the troops from either sides converging on the battlefield.

We went back to An Poitín Stil for an excellent dinner before heading home.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Publication : The Grand Tour Correspondence of Richard Pococke & Jeremiah Milles

The book is edited by Dr. Rachel Finnegan, Programme Leader for the MA in Arts & Heritage Management,Waterford Institute of Technology.
It is Volume 1 of the Grand Tour correspondence of Dr. Richard Pococke (then Precentor of Waterford Cathedral and shortly afterwards appointed Vicar General of Waterford & Lismore) and his cousin Jeremiah Milles (shortly to become Treasurer of Lismore Cathedral). Together they toured France & Italy in 1733-34 and wrote a large collection of letters to their relatives, including their mutual uncle, Thomas Milles, Bishop of Waterford & Lismore.

For more information, or to order on-line, please visit

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our first outing of the summer : Portlaw.

We met at the Heritage Centre, as planned.

After Ger Crotty explained how the centre was established, he proposed to bring us on a tour of the town centre. We walked along the river Clodagh and the canal which was built to bring raw materials to the factory. In the distance, the Presbyterian and the Catholic churches.

We followed Ger Crotty and Willie Power, and tried to picture Portlaw in its glory days,as they pointed out to us landmarks, buildings, details ofarchitecture linked to the development of the factory town.

We visited the Church of the Holy Trinity built in 1851 in the Gothic Revival Style.

Back in the Heritage Centre, Ger and Willie told us more about the more recent past of the town, and we were able to look at various documents on display

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, Ireland.
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