Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Lecture: the Ogham in 3D Project by Dr Nora White

On Friday 30th October, Dr Nora White from Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) gave us an overview of ogham stones, in general, and of the Ogham in 3D project in particular.

This is quite an interesting project aimed at safegarding for future studies -and for future generations- these amazing witnesses of the past before they incur more damage from natural erosion.
You can click on the links above to visit the Ogham in 3D website, which is fully searchable - you might find there are some stones in your area! and interact with the 3D model, that is, if the stone has already been scanned.

Making full use of new technology: a 3D 'print' of a scanned ogham stone. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Lecture : Ogham Stones of County Waterford

October Lecture : Ogham Stones of County Waterford 

Lecturer: Dr Nora White

Time & Venue: 8 pm, Edmund Rice Heritage & conference Centre, Barrack Street.

Admission: non members €5.00, members free. 

The lecture will include an update on recent conservation work and 3D scanning of the ogham stones. 
We hope this lecture to be a precursor to a summer outing to Seskinan medieval church, where the builders of the time incorporated some ogham stones in the fabric of the church. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014 Autumn Lectures Programme


Friday 26th September 

                 Speaker: Dr Pat McCarthy

                  Topic: 1914: Waterford and the coming of war - this lecture will look at Waterford in 1914 with the coming of the First World War.

Friday 31st October 

               Speaker: Dr Nora White

               Topic: Ogham Stones of County Waterford - This lecture will  include an update on recent conservation work and 3D scanning of the ogham stones. It is hoped that this lecture will be precursor to a summer outing in 2015 to Seskinan medieval church, where some of the local ogham stones were built into the fabric of the church by the medieval builders. 

Friday 28th November

             Speaker: Mr Julian Walton   

             Topic: 1914, Sleepwalking into war.  This lecture will coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Summer Outings A Few Pictures

The summer has been a busy one, and the sunny south-east lived up to its name. On the 13th of July we discovered the wonders of the Copper Coast European Geopark in Bonmahon with Mr Jim Cullian.

And we crossed the river to County Wexford, for a guided tour of Dunbrody Abbey on the 30th July.

During Heritage week, Mrs Joan Johnson brought us to the original Quaker Burial Grounds, known as the Parliament Street Burial Grounds, where a new plaque, and seating were  to be officially unveiled that Saturday 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Last Outing of the Season: 28th August 2014

To coincide with Heritage Week 2014, we will be visiting two former Quaker Burial Grounds at Johns Lane and Wyse Park with guide Mrs. Joan Johnson.

Meet at Johns Lane (Parnell Street end) at 7.00pm on Thursday 28th August .

The official opening of the recently completed City Council memorial at the site of the first Quaker Burial Ground in Waterford at Johns Lane will take place on Saturday 30th August at 11am.

The memorial will be officially opened by Mayor Lola O’Sullivan and all society members are invited to attend.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Upcoming event: 'Our Mining Heritage', Outing to the Copper Coast Geopark

On Sunday 13th at 3 pm, at the Copper Coast European Geopark Visitor Centre, Bonmahon (located in the old Church of Ireland Church)

 Our visit will start with a tour of the centre including a short film, and following that, a guided tour of the Tankardstown site.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Coach Trip 2014: Spike Island & Camden Fort Meagher

Despite leaving Waterford under torrential rain,  members and friends remained confident, and by the time we arrived in Cobh the omen was good. We met Dr Pat McCarthy and after a quick crossing to Spike Island, we followed him back in time from the island's early dwellers to the current transformation.

After a light lunch in Cobh, we proceeded to Camden Fort Meagher. Over and under ground...

The day ended with a very nice dinner in  Youghal's Old Imperial Hotel. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

An Archaeological Guided Tour with Orla Scully

On Thursday 5th June members and friends gathered in Cathedral Square to meet Ms Orla Scully, who had led the excavations in the Viking Triangle, and this was an opportunity to put in context some of the artefacts mentioned by James Eogan the previous week, and by Orla in a lecture to WAHS in 2011

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Upcoming Event: Recent Excavations in Cathedral Square, with Ms Orla Scully

Linking nicely with the last lecture by Mr James Eogan of the NRA, we will have a guided tour of recent excavation sites in Cathedral Square with city archaeologist Ms Orla Scully.

Meet in Cathedral Square (near Christchurch Cathedral)

Date: Thursday 5th June 2014
Time:  7.00pm.

Fee: Non-members: €5.00

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lecture by Mr James Eogan: 100 years A Diggin'

On Friday 23rd May, Mr James Eogan from the National Roads Authority gave us an insight on a whole century of archaeology in Waterford county and city, indeed starting in 1914 when what can be 
called the first scientifically recorded excavation took place.

Among other familiar names in the field were those of the Forsayeth family, Canon P. Power, Laurence Mongey, findings in caves and fields of west Waterford, of bones and ogham stones...

to contemporary excavations in Waterford and Dungarvan centres, or along the river Suir. From chance findings, to purpose-led diggings.

Questions and recollections shared by many after the lecture, once again a great attendance. 

Vice-chair person, Ms Erica Fay, with lecturer Mr James Eogan. 

And from the lecture to the 'field-trip' we can consider it an introduction to the the first outing of this summer, by Ms Orla Scully in early June. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Upcoming Lecture: Mr James Eogan - 100 years a diggin'

Our next lecture will be on archaeological matters.

On Friday 23rd May 2014                   

Speaker:  Mr. James Eogan
Topic:  100 years a diggin'. A century or archaeological excavations in Waterford city and county.
Venue: Edmund Rice Heritage and Conference Centre, Barrack Street, Waterford
Time: 8 pm
Admission: € 5.00 non-members (members free)

Dr Eugene Broderick's Lecture on Bishop Daly, the 'Protestant Pope'

Our April Lecture was on the subject of Bishop Robert Daly, a very prominent Church of Ireland bishop in the 19th century, who left nobody indifferent at the time, being very evangelical in his approach to his own religion, and extremely intolerant of Catholics. It was said about him that 'He assumed the bearing of a Protestant pope' - hence his nickname. His views on religion were very simple: the truth laid in the Bible. He was bishop during the Great Famine, and was in Waterford at that time.

Dr Eugene Broderick held the audience enthralled with the life and time of Bishop Daly, brushing a strong portrait of the man whom very few remember now despite his having been a household name at the time.

To find out more, you can read Dr Broderick's article in History Ireland 

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Thursday 5th June  Recent Excavations in Cathedral Square.

 Guided tour of recent excavation sites in Cathedral Square with Archaeologist Ms Orla Scully. Meet in Cathedral Square at 7.00pm.

Sunday 8th June Coach Trip to visit the Forts of Cork Harbour with guide Dr. Pat McCarthy.

Including boat trip to Spike Island and guided tour.
Guided tour of Camden Fort.
4 course meal in Old Imperial Hotel, Youghal on homeward journey.

 Thursday 26th June Tooreen Bronze Age Sites.

Guided tour of the Tooreen Bronze Age sites with guide Mr. Michael Desmond. Meet in the Community Centre car park, Ballymacarberry at 7.00pm

Sunday 13th July Our Mining Heritage

Visit to Bonmahon copper coast. Meet at the Copper Coast Geopark Centre, Bonmahon (located in the old Church of Ireland Church) at 3pm. Visit will include tour of the centre including a short film, followed by a guided tour of the Tankerdstown site.

Thursday 31st July Dunbrody Abbey: Guided tour of Dunbrody Abbey and Visitor Centre.

The centre is approx. 2 miles from the Passage East car ferry, drive from Ballyhack to Arthurstown and follow the R733 road to New Ross, or if travelling from New Ross, follow the R733 road to Arthurstown. Meet at the centre car park at 7.00pm.

August – Heritage Week We are hoping to arrange a final Thursday evening outing to coincide with Heritage Week 2014 (23rd to 31st August). Details to be confirmed closer to the date.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Upcoming Lecture: Dr Eugene Broderick on Bishop Robert Daly

The next lecture on our calendar is on Friday 25th April 2014

  Speaker:  Dr. Eugene Broderick

Topic: Bishop Robert Daly of Waterford and Lismore 1843 - 1872 (The 'Protestant Pope')

Time: 8 pm

Venue: Edmund Rice Conference Centre, Barrack Street, Waterford

Admission: €5.00 non-members (members free)

WAHS Committee 2014-2015

The election of the new committee for 2014-2015 took place at the AGM on Thursday 10 April 2014.

The following officers were elected: 

Chair:  Kevin P Hall
Vice-chair:  Erica Fay
Hon. Secretary: Béatrice Payet
Hon. Treasurer: Tony Gunning
PRO: Michael Maher
Hon. Editor  Donnchadh Ó Ceallacháin


Fergus Dillon
Cian Manning
Anne Cusack
Pat Deegan
George Kavanagh
Sonny Condon (ex officio)

The Book Of Lismore, a lecture by Pr Pádraig Ó Macháin

Professor Pádraig Ó Macháin had a 'full house' on Friday 28th March for his lecture on the Book of Lismore. Questions were burning and answered during the course of the lecture, which sparked much interest and more questions.

Putting it back in the context of Irish manuscripts, The Book of Lismore is so-called because it was found during renovations in Lismore Castle, together with the Lismore Crozier. However it was originally written for the McCarthy family, either in Kilbrittain Castle or at Timoleague Friary.

Pages from the Book Of Lismore

 Even though it contains texts of Irish interest, in particular Irish saints' lives, it also holds the Deeds of Charlemagne and the Travels of Marco Polo, amongst other texts. The Book of Lismore revived the scribal tradition in Cork, and nowadays the digital version is available online at

Professor Padráig Ó Macháin with Vice-Chairman Kevin Hall

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Christchurch Cathedral Collection, a Lecture by Mr Kieran Cronin.

It is thanks to Bishop Charles Este's initial donation of books that the library at the Christ Church Cathedral was established. Indeed, upon his death in 1745 Bishop Este bequeathed his library to the Mayor and Corporation of Waterford. The collection was not housed in the cathedral until 1779 when John Roberts, under the supervision of Bishop Chenevix, Este's successor, finished the building of the modern cathedral.
Bishop Charles Este

Literally 'A library by the people, for the people', (to paraphrase President Abraham Lincoln) its purpose was to cater for the information needs of the Church’s congregation and the citizens of Waterford. Following Bishop Este's original donation, the collection grew significantly in the subsequent years, thanks to generous bequeaths and donations from the citizens of Waterford. Significant donors to the collection include:
The Dobbyn Family Collection - built over at least three generations. The Dobbyns were a family of lawyers closely associated with Waterford. One third of the collection is made up of early law books of significant historical research interest.
Henry Alcock (1716 - c 1780): theological and legal manuscripts.  61 items recorded directly to his name.
Bishop Robert Daly presented 66 books in 1865
Rev. Patrick Leo - 51 items
Francis Jacob - 33 items
Rev. Robert Bell - who on being appointed Rector of Tipperary presented 50 books before leaving Waterford in January 1867

The majority of the collection was published in the eighteenth (850 items) and nineteenth (1724 items) centuries, with a small number of items printed in the seventeenth (327 items) and twentieth centuries (262 items).  The oldest recorded item from the Christ Church Cathedral Library catalogues compiled by Local Historian Julian Walton was Erasmus’s edition of St Augustine dating back to 1528 which was donated by Rev. Robert Bell in 1867.

 It is a miracle that most of the original collection has reached us in 2014, given its history. In October 1815, a fire broke out in the organ loft, destroying much of the woodwork of the church. Fortunately the library didn't suffer. The Christchurch collection was then forgotten and neglected, for many years, until in 1981 local historian Mr Julian Walton, was asked by Dean Mayne to assess the contents of the library. In Julian's words,
.  "Large plastic sheets covered the bookshelves, but afforded inadequate protection from dust, cobwebs, bits of plaster that fell from the crumbling ceiling, and above all from pigeons who flew through a hole in the window and cheerfully built their nests and deposited their excreta among the ancient tomes”
(Walton’s Waterford 2nd Nov 2007 - A library rescued)
It was to be another 13 years before conservation work on the collection between the years 1994-1996 thanks to the determination of Dean Neill. It was funded by FÁS and supervised by Julian Walton in St John's College where it was stored for the duration of the project. It was then moved and stored in the Church of Ireland Representative Church Body Library in Dublin and would remain largely inaccessible and untouched for the following decade.
In 2006 the collection was to return to its home city of Waterford.  In that year the Christ Church Cathedral Collection went on long-term loan to Waterford Institute of Technology Libraries, who become custodians of collection.  This agreement was facilitated by the Reverend Peter Barrett, Bishop of Cashel and Ossory.
Luke Wadding Library, W.I.T, Cork Road
The Christ Church Cathedral Collection is housed between the Luke Wadding Libraries purposely built special collections room and archive room.  The collection is stored in a secure and suitable environment where access is by appointment or staff swipe card access only.  The Special collections room contains specifically designed display cases with specially constructed ash wooden shelves and UV protective glass.  These units are aerated and sensitively lit to preserve the items they showcase.  These display cases enable WIT Libraries to showcase the collection while ensuring the long term preservation, conservation and security of the collection.
The special collections room

The next step was the creation of detailed inventory, and cataloguing, of the collection, and the creation of an online searchable library catalogue. The project took 5 years to complete, now the collection is searchable from anywhere in the world through the Library catalogue

Going forward, greater emphasis will be placed on the digitisation of important items from the collections.

The Christ Church Cathedral Collection as it stands amounts to 3,379 items.  Individual artefacts vary greatly in size, content and condition.  Call number range of Christ Church 0001 to Christ Church 3354.

A special item in the library is a book published in the Bonmahon Industrial Printing School, founded by Rev. David Alfred Doudney in 1851 for the local boys.
David Alfred Doudney


Thanks to Mr Kieran Cronin of Luke Wadding Library, Waterford Institute of Technology, for the use of his slides and access to the text of his lecture.

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, Ireland.
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