Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Lecture: 1918 – Why Did Sinn Fein Win the Elections?

1918 – Why Did Sinn Fein Win the Elections?
A lecture by Dr Pat McCarthy to the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society lecture season for 2018 and 2019 continues on Friday 30th November with a lecture at 8 pm in St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford by Dr Pat McCarthy titled ‘1918 – Why Did Sinn Fein Win the Elections?’.

In the general election of December 1918 Sinn Fein swept to an unprecedented and overwhelming triumph. In an electoral landslide the Irish Parliamentary Party, for so long the representative of Irish nationalism, was swept aside. Sinn Fein won every seat outside of Ulster except for Waterford City which remained loyal to the Redmonds.
The triumph of Sinn Fein may seem to have been unavoidable in retrospect. Building on the party’s four by election victories in 1917, it would appear that the Sinn Fein bandwagon was unstoppable. That is far too simplistic an interpretation of the complex events of 1918. Remarkably the Irish Parliamentary Party won three by elections early in 1918. These results came as a shock to the Sinn Fein leadership and John Dillon, the new leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party declared: “we have Sinn Fein on the run”.
However, the decision of Lloyd George and the British government to introduce conscription to Ireland changed the situation completely. Nationalist Ireland, the political parties, the Catholic Church and the trade union movement united in a remarkable show of defiance. Faced with such a united front the British government soon abandoned its plans but conscription had reinvigorated Sinn Fein. That party now had a branch in every parish while the Irish Parliamentary Party collapsed. No wonder that the eminent historian A. J. P. Taylor declared that April 9th, the day that the conscription bill was introduced into Westminster as “the day that England lost Ireland.” This lecture will look at the events of the historic year from both national and Waterford perspectives.

Pat McCarthy, is a native of Waterford city and past pupil of Mount Sion, he holds a PhD and an MBA from UCD and worked for many years in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. He has lectured and published extensively and is the author of The Irish Revolution 1912-23, Waterford (Four Courts Press, 2015), Waterford and the 1916 Rising (Waterford City and County Council, 2016), The Redmonds and Waterford, a political dynasty 1891-1952 (Four Courts Press, 2018) as well as papers in the Irish Sword (the Journal of the Military History Society of Ireland) and Decies (the Journal of the Waterford Historical and Archaeological Society) on a broad range of subjects.

This lecture will appeal to anyone interested in the history and politics of Waterford and Ireland in the revolutionary period. Admission to the lecture is €5 (students €2.50), but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Imagine Arts Festival: Decies Launch 27th October 2018

Decies Journal Launch 2018

Date: Saturday, 27th October.

Time: 6:00pm

Venue: Parnell Room, Granville Hotel.

Admission: Free Event

As part of the Imagine Arts Festival the local Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society will launch their latest journal Decies No. 74 with talks from contributors and music provided by Rachel Grace.

This year's speakers include Karen Hannon on St. Carthage's Cathedral, Lismore, Co. Waterford and the Currey Family Memorials, the research of which was conducted as  part of Diploma of Genealogy in University College Cork completed in 2017.

Brigid McIntyre will talk on her creative nonfiction article titled A Bride in Tallow, 1941-42 about the early married life of her mother, a very poignant story about love, loss and rural Ireland.

Music is from Rachel Grace, an up and coming Wexford-born singer-songwriter that is firmly paving  her  way towards becoming one of Ireland's leading female artists.

Rachel recently won the busking festival,judged by renowned Jackie Hayden, at The Gorey Market Festival and took to the stage at this years Electric Picnic on Natashas Food Emporium stage on Sunday 2nd September.

Having already released an album in 2015, her new EP 'Routes' was just released on the 27th of May this year. It is available on all major platforms and is already receiving a lot of attention from radio stations. Without any doubt, this EP holds a very promising future for this young artist.

Journal for sale at €15.
All are welcome.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Lecture: Here Comes the Sun – Solar Imagery in Early Bronze Age Ireland

Here Comes the Sun – Solar Imagery in Early Bronze Age Ireland

A lecture by Mary Cahill to the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society lecture season for 2018 and 2019 continues on Friday 19th October with a lecture at 8 pm in the Parnell Room of the Granville Hotel, Waterford by Mary Cahill titled ‘Here Comes the Sun – Solar Imagery in Early Bronze Age Ireland’.

Ireland is renowned for the quantity and quality of the gold objects created in the Bronze Age. In this lecture Mary Cahill will present some ideas about the nature and function of the stunning gold objects created by some of the earliest metalworkers in Ireland four thousand years ago. These include gold sun-discs and crescentic gold collars called lunulae.

Mary will explore how our ancestors may have responded to natural phenomena especially how they sought to reproduce visually extraordinary solar events. This was not an innovation in terms of how the sun was perceived, all the evidence from the preceding Neolithic period suggests that the sun was the pre-eminent and dominating force that ruled the lives of people all over the ancient world. However, with the coming of metallurgy and the influx of new people and influences from the other parts of Atlantic Europe it seems that a new materialisation of solar imagery and presumably new forms of cult practice developed in Ireland.

There is a close concordance between gold discs and the ornamentation found on some forms of pottery placed with the dead in the Early Bronze Age. As these vessels, known as Bowls or Food Vessel Bowls, were in use between 2200-1800 BC it is likely that the popularity of this particular manifestation of the sun cult was strongest at this time, although its introduction was earlier with the earliest discs dated to c. 2400 BC. It also continued into the later stages of the Early Bronze Age as the solar images are also found on the bases of other types of pottery. The origin of these solar images is seen in the Bell Beaker pottery of the Iberian peninsula. Marys’ ground –breaking research has shown that lunulae can be re-interpreted as a form of wearable vessel or solar boat guiding and protecting the sun.

Although very little early goldwork is known from Co. Waterford itself, one very important and indeed unique object – a stone die for making gold foil discs – was found at Hacketstown, near Portlaw and it will be the focus of special attention in the lecture.

Mary Cahill is former Keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Musuem of Ireland and is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway. Her special areas of interest are prehistoric goldwork, history of collections and antiquarianism. Much of her work has related to developing an understanding of how Bronze Age goldwork can be interpreted especially in terms of its function and symbolism. She tweets as @au_ireland.

This lecture will appeal to anyone interested in the archaeology, ritual  and religion of pre-Christian Ireland and the history of art. Admission to the lecture is €5 (students €2.50), but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Book Launch: Waterford Merchants and their Families on Distant Shores

Waterford Merchants and their Families on Distant Shores

This book has just been written by Liam Murphy, who is a native of Waterford. The book will be launched in the Book Centre in Waterford at around  6.30 on Friday 2nd November.

The book deals with those Waterford merchants who were forced to leave Waterford by the new Cromwellian authorities in the 1650s because they had lost their rights to trade and to hold civic positions in the city. The book is based on sources in English, French and Spanish and deals with the subsequent careers of these emigrant merchants and their families and descendants in the port cities of France, Spain and the Spanish Netherlands.

Some of them became very successful such as John Aylward, who lived in Málaga, St Malo and London. Other successful merchants were Juan Murphy and Tomás Quilty who both also lived in Málaga, and Bernardo Valais (Walsh) who settled in Tenerife. Eustaquio Barron made so much money in Mexico that he was able to go on a two-year holiday in Europe with his family. Two of the descendants of these Waterford merchants became Cardinals, namely Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman and Cardinal Merry del Val, who were both born in Seville. Another descendant, José Blanco White, was a well-known writer and changed his religion twice, while María Gertrudis Hore, who was described as the most beautiful woman in the Cádiz of her day was a leading woman writer in Spain in the eighteenth century. Antoine Walsh and Pierre-Joseph Lincoln were slave-traders in Nantes, and Antoine Walsh also brought Bonnie Prince Charlie to Scotland for the 1745 Jacobite uprising there. Nicolas Geraldino (Fitzgerald) from Cádiz commanded the Spanish flagship in the Spanish-Franco victory over the British fleet at Toulon during the War of the Austrian Succession. Luis Power of Bilbao was an officer in the Spanish army and he died alongside his cannon defending the city against the invading French troops.

There are many other interesting characters also discussed in this book, which should prove of particular interest to those interested in these old Waterford families.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Lecture: 'Conflict & Consensus: Soldiers & Citizens in Waterford City 1820-1920

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society lecture season for 2018 and 2019 commences on Friday 28th September with a lecture at 8 pm in the St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Patrick St. Waterford by Dr Aoife Bhreathnach titled ‘Conflict and Consensus: Soldiers and Citizens in Waterford City 1820-1920’.

Waterford City has been a garrison town since the first barracks were built in the eighteenth century. A 'garrison town' is not just a town with a barracks, but like 'mill town' or 'mining town', the term garrison town is verbal shorthand for an identifiably distinct town whose economic, social and cultural characteristics are defined by its barracks. Used in a derogatory way, it suggested that a town and its citizens were somehow beholden to, or contaminated by, the military forces stationed among them.

In her lecture Dr Aoife Bhreathnach will explore how military forces stationed in Waterford affected culture and society in the city and how its citizens reacted to this influence. The streets around the barracks were most directly affected by the presence of hundreds of young, single men with time and money to spare. However, married soldiers were also an important feature of garrison towns and Dr Bhreathnach will compare and contrast the different versions of military life lived in Waterford City. Although expressions of Irish nationalism were a commonplace part of civic life, people and politicians saw no contradiction between this and lobbying for more soldiers in the city. When a military barracks was empty, local politicians worked hard to ensure that soldiers were stationed there. A sophisticated electorate understood that the economic benefits of military barracks to the City were inarguable. The British Army was not the object of nationalist critique until republican propaganda began to single out soldiers for particular opprobrium in the twentieth century. Even as republicans attacked the red coats, relationships between civilians and the military continued much as before. Barracks were still supplied by local traders while soldiers drank in pubs surrounding the barracks. Nothing like the boycotting of the Royal Irish Constabulary was experienced by the military, suggesting that Irish nationalists could criticise the British state without protesting against the war machine that sustained local economies.

Dr Aoife Bhreatnach is an independent scholar researching the cultural history of Irish garrison towns. A graduate of University College Cork and DeMontfort University in the UK, her book Becoming Conspicuous: Irish Travellers, Society and the State was published in 2006. She held the Irish Government Senior Scholarship at Hertford College, Oxford. As an Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellow, she worked in NUI Maynooth developing a theory of class in nineteenth-century Ireland. From this research emerged her interest in the role played by the British military in Irish social history. She blogs on and tweets as @GarrisonTowns.

This lecture will appeal to anyone interested in the social, military and political history of 19th and early 20th century Waterford City. Admission to the lecture is €5 (students €2.50), but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lectures & Events 2018-19

List of LECTURES and events 2018 – 2019
Please note all lectures are held at 8pm in St. Patricks Gateway Centre,
Patrick Street, Waterford, unless otherwise stated.
Lectures are free for members, non-members €5.00

Conflict and Consensus: soldiers and citizens in Waterford city 1820-1920
Dr. Aoife Bhreatnach
Here Comes the Sun – Solar Symbolism in Early Bronze Age Ireland
This lecture is being held in the Parnell Room, Granville Hotel
Mary Cahill
1918 – Why Did Sinn Fein Win the Elections?
Dr Pat McCarthy
Annual Lunch
Mulled wine reception and lunch, Tapestry Room, Granville Hotel.

Followed by an illustrated talk The History and Heritage of the Comeraghs
Mark Roper and Paddy Dwane
Waterford's Archaeology From the Air
Simon Dowling
Medieval Pilgrimage in Waterford
Dr Louise Nugent
Waterford and New Ross: Piracy, Court Cases and the Theft of Silver – Medieval Economic Politics in Action
Dr Linda Doran
Annual General meeting

Dart: An Irish Family in the Azores and in the World
Dr Jorge Forjaz
Survival and Revival: the Roman Catholic Clergy of Waterford and Lismore in the Aftermath of the Reformation
Dr Áine Hensey

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Aylward Family Gathering 2018

Aylward Family Gathering 2018

Programme of Events

Tuesday 4th September                     History of the Aylward Family, lecture by Julian Walton

                                                            8.00 pm, Dooley’s Hotel, €10 per person.

                                                            Tea / coffee and biscuits served after the lecture

Wednesday 5th September                Coach trip – places associated with the Aylward family. €20 per person.           

Wednesday evening                          A series of 2 lectures:

The Aylward Family and the Great Parchment Book of Waterford, lecture by Donnchadh O Ceallachain, Waterford Treasures Museums

                                                            Margaret Aylward, founder of the Holy Faith Order, lecture by the archivist of the order.

8.00 pm, Dooley’s Hotel, €10 per person.

                                                            Tea / coffee and biscuits served after the lecture

Thursday 6th September                   Coach trip to New Ross with a visit to the Dunbrody. €20 per person

Thursday evening                             Gala Dinner with music by the Alymen from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

For further details, including information on Coach Trips and the Gala Dinner  

Contact John Aylward - (087) 2636760

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Summer Outing: St Mary's Church, New Ross

On our first summer outing of 2018 members of Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society visited St Mary’s Church in New Ross on a balmy Thursday evening. The existing St Mary’s Church of Ireland parish church dates from the early 19th century. It was built within the shell of what was one of Ireland’s largest 13th century medieval parish churches. Our guide on the evening was Wexford-based archaeologist Emmet Stafford  who showed members many of the original features of the medieval church, including some very well preserved gothic-style mouldings carved in Dundry stone, quarried near Bristol. St Mary’s also has a fine collection of medieval and later burial monuments. These include a number of medieval effigies, one of which is the ‘New Ross bambino’ an effigy of a baby in swaddling clothes. Unusually for a medieval parish church in Ireland there is a vaulted crypt which members had the opportunity to visit. This is very atmospheric and is not normally accessible to the public. At the end of the tour we were treated to refreshments , including scones with strawberries and cream thanks to the generosity of the Select Vestry who look after the church so well.

Thanks to Emmet Stafford for showing us around on the evening and Olive Thorpe representing St Mary’s Select Vestry for her generous welcome.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

SUMMER OUTING: St. Mary's Church & Graveyard, New Ross


Thursday 7th June (evening) ~ St. Mary’s Church and Graveyard, New Ross

St. Mary’s is one of the finest medieval parish churches in Ireland. Its graveyard is the last resting place of many notable Ross families. Our guide will be archaeologist Emmet Stafford whose company has been supervising a recent survey and conservation project at St Mary’s. Meet at St. Mary’s Church and graveyard at 18:45. St Mary’s Church is located on Church St., New Ross. Once you cross the bridge in New Ross continue straight on along Quay St and go up the hill (Mary’s St.), Church St. is the second left. There is ample on-street parking. There is no entry for cars from Mary’s St into Church St.

Thursday evening fieldtrips are free to members. Non-members €5.00.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society May Lecture – Waterford connections with the American Civil War

The WAHS lecture season for 2017 and 2018 concludes on Friday 25th May with a lecture titled ‘Waterford connections with the American Civil War’ by military historian Damian Shiels at 8:00 pm in the St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford.

Over the past number of years, Waterford, like much of the country, has done much to remember the large numbers of Irishmen who fought and died during the First World War. What remains virtually forgotten are the comparable numbers of men who less than fifty years earlier fought and died in similar numbers on the other side of the Atlantic. Indeed, for the area that now makes up the Republic of Ireland, there is little doubt that the American Civil War represents the largest conflict—in terms of the numbers of men serving in uniform—in the modern Irish experience.

In the region of 200,000 Irish-born men fought in the American Civil War, the vast majority (c. 180,000) with the Union. Though thousands of Waterford natives were impacted by the fighting, memory of that involvement in the county has largely been distilled into the experiences of one individual—Thomas Francis Meagher. However, Meagher’s story is just the tip of the iceberg. New research is uncovering the previously hidden histories of local families—in both Waterford and the United States— for whom the American Civil War was a life-changing event. In the process, it is also revealing a wealth of important detail regarding aspects of 19th century Irish emigration such as chain migration, transatlantic networks and American remittances.

As well as exploring some of the better-known Civil War individuals from the county, Damian’s talk will seek to tell the stories of ordinary Waterford men and women affected by the American Civil War. For the first time, it will reveal their experiences in their own words, and will include letters that have never previously been read in public. Theirs is a story that ranges from the doors of the county’s Workhouses to the battlefields of Virginia—it is one that deserves to be better remembered in the land of their birth.

Damian Shiels 

Damian Shiels is an archaeologist and historian currently researching at Northumbria University. Formerly a curator with the National Museum of Ireland, he was one of the team who created the award-winning Soldiers & Chiefs military history exhibition at Collins Barracks, Dublin. He has lectured and published widely in Ireland, Europe and the United States on topics relating to Irish history and archaeology. Among his authored books are The Irish in the American Civil War (2013) and The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America (2016). He runs the largest online resource relating to Irish people in the conflict

Admission to the lecture is €5 (students €2.50), but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society Committee 2018-19

Following the 2018 Annual General Meeting, the committee of Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society for the coming year is as follows: 

Chair: Béatrice Payet
Vice-Chair: Canon Edmund Cullinan
Hon Secretary: Nóra Tubbritt
Hon Treasurer: Tony Gunning
Hon Editor: Cian Manning
Hon PRO : James Eogan

Simon Dowling
Pat Deegan
Ann Cusack
Clare Walsh
Erica Fay
Michael Maher
Frank Nolan
Sonny Condon
Adrian Larkin ex officio

Friday, April 20, 2018

Lecture: Recent Archaeological Excavations in the Heart of Late Viking-Age Waterford

Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society April Lecture – ‘Recent Archaeological Excavations in the Heart of Late Viking-Age Waterford’

The WAHS lecture season for 2017 and 2018 continues on Friday 27th April with a lecture titled ‘Recent Archaeological Excavations in the Heart of Late Viking-Age Waterford’ by archaeologist Joanne Hughes at 8:00 pm in the St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford.
Archaeological excavations in advance of the redevelopment of Waterford’s City Square Shopping Centre were undertaken between November 2016 and March 2017. The excavations were directed by Joanne Hughes for Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd, and were facilitated on site by Sisk who managed the redevelopment project. Pre-development archaeological test excavations revealed the presence of significant archaeological deposits surviving in situ on the site of what used to be the Brasserie Restaurant on Arundel Square. This work also informed the scope of the 2016/17 excavations which were set out and agreed in advance with the National Monuments Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. In accordance with national policy, there was a presumption in favour of preservation in situ, and consequently, much of the archaeological deposits at Arundel Square remain preserved below the footprint of the new shopping centre building.
Excavations in advance of construction of City Square in the 1980s and 1990s provided the framework for the most recent work at Arundel Square, however, the recent work allowed for a number of previously unresolved archaeological issues to be addressed. It was assumed, for example, that questions regarding the location, form and layout of the Jesuit College might be answered, as well as the changing form and layout of the High Street – Peter Street plots through time. As anticipated, the excavation of features and deposits and their associated small (and big!) finds revealed rich new evidence for the development of this important site in the heart of medieval Waterford. Post-excavation works are ongoing and in this lecture Joanne will showcase preliminary findings the excavations she directed.
Joanne Hughes 

Joanne studied Archaeology at UCD, before completing an M.Sc at the University of Sheffield. Joanne has worked as a field archaeologist since 1996; has directed excavations since 2002. She is currently employed by Cork City Council as Project Manager of the EU-funded ‘Military, Maritime, & Industrial Atlantic Heritage’ project. Over the course of her career Joanne has worked with numerous organizations in the heritage and tourism fields including OPW, South Tipperary Development Company and South Tipperary Tourism Company. In a voluntary capacity, Joanne works with Cashel Heritage Forum, a group who deliver archaeology and heritage related projects with an acknowledged high education value. Joanne still loves the thrill of discovery and constant learning that her job brings, and really enjoys communicating the results and value of her archaeological work.
Admission to the lecture is €5 (students €2.50), but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lecture – The development of Dungarvan c. 1200 – 1900

Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society February Lecture – The development of Dungarvan c. 1200 – 1900

The WAHS lecture season for 2017 and 2018 continues on Friday 23rd March with a lecture titled ‘The development of Dungarvan c. 1200 – 1900’ by the historical geographer Mr John Martin at 8:00 pm in the St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford.

The town of Dungarvan developed in the shelter of the 13th century King John’s Castle and over the following centuries grew to be a bustling port, market town and administrative centre. John Martin’s lecture will focus on the development of Dungarvan, the layout of its streets, buildings and open spaces, from its foundation by the Anglo-Normans to the end of the 19th century. The medieval street pattern is still visible, as are the ruins of the castle, Augustinian abbey and parish church. The town walls no longer survive above ground, but recent archaeological investigations have confirmed their location as shown on a map dating from 1760. The dukes of Devonshire became a major landowner in the town in the mid-18th century, and carried out an extensive programme of urban renewal in the early decades of the 19th century. That century also witnessed the building of Catholic churches and schools, the impact of the Great Famine, and the coming of the railway.

John studied history and geography in UCD where his teachers included Professors Anngret Simms and Howard Clarke, both founders of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas project. He spent his working life as a planner, culminating as Principal Planning Adviser in the former Department of the Environment. Since his retirement in 2011, he has fulfilled a number of roles in the public service, including membership of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and the Waterford Boundary Review Committee. He spent his childhood summer holidays in Dungarvan, and was delighted when the opportunity arose to prepare the Historic Towns Atlas for the town. The Irish Historic Towns Atlas project was established in 1981. Its aim is to research the topographical development of a selection of Irish towns both large and small. Each town is published separately and includes a series of maps complemented by a detailed text section. The Irish Historic Towns Atlas is part of a wider European scheme, with towns’ atlases containing broadly similar information available for a number of countries. This allows the development of Dungarvan and other Irish towns to be studied in their broader European context.

Admission to the lecture is €5 (students €2.50), but is free for members of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society

Friday, March 9, 2018

Lecture: The development of Dungarvan c. 1200 – 1900

Speaker: Mr John Martin
Title: The development of Dungarvan c. 1200 – 1900
The lecture will focus on the development of Dungarvan, as an urban centre, from its foundation by the Anglo-Normans to the end of the 19th century.

Lectures are free for members, non-members €5.00

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Images: Úna Ní Bhroiméil's lecture

Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society Chairperson Adrian Larkin and Úna Ní Bhroiméil pictured with the 2017 edition of the Decies journal.   

Adrian Larkin and Úna Ní Bhroiméil pictured with with Pat MacCarthy who is holding a copy of his newly published book 'The Redmonds and Waterford.A political dynasty 1891-1952'

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book: Lorrha People in the Great War

Lorrha People in the Great War

Lorrha (my native place) is the Northernmost parish in Tipperary.
To my knowledge, it is the first time a book has been compiled based on the experiences of people from a parish – whether Ireland or England – during the Great War.
It also includes some people who served in the Napoleonic Wars, the War of Independence and the Second World War.
The stories of about 80 people are detailed in the book (400 pages).
The book includes about 450 photographs, some of which date from around 1890.
As there are so many people from Lorrha who were prominent in Australian history, the Australian Ambassador to Ireland agreed to launch the book.

The following are some of the people whose stories are told:

Patrick Sullivan (cover photograph).  Member of Connaught Rangers, captured in the Great German Offensive of March 1918 and died in a Prisoner-of-War Camp five-weeks before the Armistice.

Martin O’Meara VC, served with the Australian Imperial Force and was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The Cronin Family who were prominent in the Republican movement.  Felix Cronin, a great friend of Michael Collins married Michael Collins’ fiancé, Kitty Kiernan.

Molly O’Connell Bianconi, grandniece of Daniel O’Connell and great granddaughter of Charles Bianconi.  Molly’s fiancée Cecil Kenny, was killed in the German Offensive of March 1918.  She was awarded the Military Medal for rescuing of wounded soldiers during the same Offensive.  A native of Boherlahan in Tipperary, the Bianconi family had connections with Waterford and Clonmel. Indeed, the nursing building on the Waterford Institute of Technology Campus is called the Mary (Molly) O’Connell Bianconi Building.

Sir Henry O’Neil de Hane Segrave (Harry Segrave). Broke the world land speed record on three occasions and also broke the world speed boat record.

Cornelius Aloysius Deane.  Father of Australian Governor General, Sir William Deane.  Sir William Deane visited his ancestral home in Lorrha in 1999.  The following year he performed the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.

James Vernon Willington who was killed in Gallipoli.  His mother, Alice Peel Willington was a relative of British Prime Minister, Robert Peel.

Charles Walsh who saved the colours at the Battle of Albuera (Peninsular War, 1811).

Friedrich Bunselmeyer and Friedrich Rüter – served in the German army.  Their grand-daughter has lived in Lorrha for many years.

Many of those soldiers served with the Leinster Regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Irish Guards, the Connaught Rangers.

Every parish in Ireland was affected by the Great War.
John Condon from Waterford was the youngest soldier killed in the War.
John Cunningham of Thurles was awarded the Victoria Cross.  He was also Killed in Action.

Gerard O’Meara

Monday, February 26, 2018

1848 Tricolour Programme 2018

Thomas Francis Meagher and
The Tricolour

Celebration 2,3,4 March

As part of a weekend of Celebrations honouring the 170th anniversary of the flying of the Tricolour at  33 The Mall by Thomas Francis Meagher, on 7 March 1848.

Saturday, 3 March FREE EVENT
2.00pm-4.30pm: Lecture series, Waterford Medieval Museum.
‘The Memoirs of General Thomas Francis Meagher:  from manuscript to print’. Professor Padraig Ó Macháin, Professor of Modern Irish, University College, Cork.
‘The Death of Thomas Francis Meagher’.  Dr Martin Hearne, author and editor of Thomas Francis Meagher: The Making of an Irish-American.
The Legacy of Meagher and Modern Ireland. Noel Whelan, author, barrister, Irish Times columnist.

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. 
The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, Ireland.
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