Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Sense of Community

Going through the daily grind we never think of the impact we might have on others.
It is very rare to have someone giving you feedback and saying 'Hey, you've inspired me'
'I got curious and wanted to know more after I heard / saw...'

We've been using St Patrick's Gateway Centre now for a while...

We've seen it being transformed over the months, we attended lectures on its history, on the lives
of people past. What about today's people?

Have we stopped to notice the changes or just rushed in and out of the doors?

The entrance hall has been decorated, volunteers working in the background have contributed in their own way.

Tables are moved, chairs set up, decorations hanged, refreshment served, and so many other things we are not aware of.

Sometimes we get a chance to chat to the volunteers that help set things up for our lectures.

Has anyone noticed a new frame on the right hand-side, as you go in the main hall?

Jay has taken time to find out about the history of the church, and discovered so much,  he put in his own words the importance of the church for communities throughout the centuries.

The last lines of his composition sum  up so well what the centre is about. (Click on picture to enlarge)

Friday, November 22, 2019

November Lecture: Red Hand on the Suir by Francis Devine

Our next lecture will be

Red hand on the Suir – 
the Irish Transport and General Workers Union 
in Waterford in the early 20th century

 by Francis Devine, retired ITGWU/SIPTU official, historian, writer, singer.

Date: Friday 29th November 2019 

Venue: St. Patricks Gateway Centre, Patrick Street, Waterford.

Time: 8pm.

Admission 5 Euro,   members no charge

Waterford was a founding branch of the Irish Transport & General Workers' Union in 1909 but its early years were turbulent.
Re-established after 1918, the ITGWU presence was badly affected by the historic Farm Labourers' Dispute of 1923 – a dispute with national consequences and central to the Free State's attack on labour. 
Defeat for the ITGWU arguably had repercussions for the union in West Waterford which have lasted until the present day. In 1923, the ITGWU spent a huge amount – over £40,000 – in Strike Pay within county Waterford in an attempt to prevent wage cuts for their farm labourer members. 
However, by 1930, membership had fallen from over 4,700 in 1923 to a mere 300 with many branches wiped out. 
Thomas Dunne was the Waterford ITGWU Branch Secretary throughout the period, a lengthy tenure that did not conclude until the 1940s. The ITGWU's declining fortunes reflected those of organised labour nationally but the union survived and was to revive after 1945 to again become a significant force within the city.

Francis Devine is a retired ITGWU/SIPTU official, a historian, an author and an editor. He wrote Organising History: A Centenary of SIPTU, 1909-2009 (Gill & Macmillan, Dublin, 2009) and has also written histories of the Medical Laboratory Scientists' Association and the Communications Workers' Union. He co-edited two volumes of Left Lives in Twentieth Century Ireland with Jack McGinley, and a collection of essays on William Walker's Centenary with Patrick Smylie. He is a former editor of Saothar, the Journal of the Irish Labour History Society. 
He is a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations which was established by the Taoiseach in 2011 to advise the Government on historical matters relating to the Decade of Centenaries. Francis is an accomplished singer, he released the CD My Father Told Me in 2014, and has a second CD An Ownerless Corner of Earth due for release in February 2020.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Waterford City: A History - Book Launch 15th November

The launch of Waterford City: A History by Cian Manning published by The History Press will take place at The Book Centre on Friday 15th November at 6:30pm.

It will be launched by Donnchadh Ó Ceallacháin of Waterford Treasures and accompanied by music from Bogdan Chaus & Ailíse O'Neill of Deep Foxy Glow.

Wine and some light refreshments will be available

Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, established by the Vikings, has been witness to many significant historical events.
From the marriage of Strongbow & Aoife, it became a vibrant location of religious devotion which earned it the nickname Parva Roma – Little Rome -  to the splendour of the Georgian period, Waterford City documents those momentous events but also the lesser known stories such as the first frog to be recorded in Ireland to the invention of the cream cracker.
This study looks at the social and economic history of the city from Vikings to Victorians covering its notable characters who impacted the local, national and sometimes international scene

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Snap Apple Night

In Waterford the most famous painting by Daniel Maclise remains the Wedding of Stongbow and Aoife.

The artist also painted a scene inspired by a Halloween party in Blarney, co. Cork, in 1832.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

A Mix of Music and History for the launch of Decies 75

It was certainly fitting to have the launch of the journal linked to a weekend of musical celebration, (John Dwyer Trad Weekend) since one of the articles concerns the 75th anniversary of the founding of Waterford Music Club, as illustrated on the cover with the photograph of the medallion of the club.

The launch kicked off with
Dr Jimmy O'Brien-Moran 
who played a few tunes on the Uilleann Pipes, 
before rushing off to another venue. 

Some of the contributors to the journal had also been invited to give a short talk related to the article they wrote.

Cian Flaherty talking about the diary of Bishop Stock, written in 1811. 

A great number was in attendance despite the heavy downpours outside.

Continuing the musical theme, Jenny Walsh played a few tunes on the fiddle

There had been great excitement in Dungarvan when excavations on a hill outside the town
 revealed multiple burials had taken place many centuries ago. 
The Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Project took place between 2015 and 2019.

Dave Pollock, archaeologist, stepping in for Christina Knight-O'Connor, gave us an insight on the work done on Gallows Hill. 

The launch was brought to a close with some more music, bringing us nicely back to the modern times

Committee member and former chaiman Sonny Condon on the harmonica 
had us humming along to The Rose.

Peigí Devlin, Hon editor, and her editorial committee:
Clíona Purcell, Shane Brown and Cian Flaherty.

Dr Elizabeth Twohig, Chair of the Waterford Music Club, 
wearing the medallion that appears on the cover of this year's journal. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Past Tracks Launches in Waterford

Past Tracks, a collaboration between Iarnród Éireann, Flahavan's 
and award-winning author, travel writer and historian Turtle Bunbury 
was launched at Waterford's Plunkett Station on Saturday 12th October.

Committee member and well known local historian Joe Falvey 
was invited to give a short history of the area on the occasion. 

John Flahavan and Jane Cregan holding the panel which offers whimsical
 and little known information about Waterford. 
The pictures on the panel are by talented Carlow-based illustrator Derry Dillon.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Upcoming Events : Lecture on Pirates and Decies 75

Friday 18th October 2019 at 8:00pm in Saint Patrick's Gateway Centre, Patrick Street

Dr Connie Kelleher will give a talk on Pirates, Slaves and Shipwrecks 

Dr Connie Kelleher is a member of the State Underwater Archaeology Unit (UAU) in the National Monuments Service (NMS), Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Former chair and current secretary of the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group (IPMAG),  Connie has published widely and has two books due for publication shortly.

The talk will delve into aspects of the parallel maritime economy that developed on the coast and the waters around Waterford, and the historical and archaeological evidence for these activities.

Saturday 19th October 2019 at 6:00pm in The Granville Hotel, Meagher's Quay

Launch of the 75th edition of Decies 

In conjunction with the John Dwyer Trad Weekend, there will be live music provided by Sonny Condon, while WIT music lecturer and uileann piper Jimmy O'Brien Moran will talk about trad music in Waterford.

Three contributors will also be giving brief talks on their research:

Historian and former Decies editor Des Cowman will discuss new information he has uncovered about how people once lived in the village of Kill.

Coming straight from this summer's dig in Dungarvan, Christina Knight-O'Connor will talk about what archaeologists have discovered beneath the ground at Gallows Hill, a mysterious mound which has been a source of speculation for generations.

Cian Flaherty will explore the significance of a small diary, tucked away on the shelves of Trinity College Dublin.

Copies of the brand new journal will be available for members to pick up, and for non-members to purchase.

Everyone is welcome, so come along to see our members, meet some of our brand new contributors, and to hear about the latest historical research taking place in County Waterford.

Whether you're a student looking for inspiration for a history project, a curious history fan, or are interested in joining a welcoming local society, there's something here for everyone!

See you there!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

AGM 2019 - Friday 5th April 2019

Our Annual General Meeting 2019 will be held on Friday April 5th at 8pm in St. Patrick's Gateway, Patrick Street. 

The Agenda is as follows:
  1. Welcome
  2. Minutes of the 2018 AGM
  3. Chairpersons address
  4. Secretary's report
  5. Treasurers report
  6. Election of Officers and committee
  7. A.O.B.

It will be followed by a talk given by William Whelan, editor of the recently published book "Towns and Villages of the Waterford Greenway". 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Lecture: Waterford and New Ross: piracy, court cases and the theft of silver – medieval economic politics in action

Waterford and New Ross: piracy, court cases and the theft of silver – medieval economic politics in action

A lecture by Dr Linda Doran to the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society will take place on the 29th March 2019 at St. Patrick's Gateway Centre at 8pm. 

The founding of the town of New Ross by William Marshal c.1200 was an integral part of the exploitation of his lordship of Leinster. The construction of the bridge at Ross linked the rich farmlands along the Barrow valley in Carlow with the new port of Ross and the caput of the lordship at Kilkenny. A sense of the importance of this bridge is reflected in the name of the town,Pons Novus, Villa Willelmi Marescalli [the new bridge, William Marshal’s town], given by King John in his letter written from Ross in June 1210From its foundation the town was an outstanding success.
The creation of New Ross disrupted the economies of neighbouring trading centres of Wexford and Waterford. Both of these towns were Norse foundations with long established commercial connections across Europe. Waterford, which had the status of a royal port, was Ireland’s nearest port to France and had strong connections with Bristol. In 1215 King John agreed to Marshal’s request that ships should be allowed bypass Waterford and sail directly into New Ross ‘if this did not hinder the trade of Waterford’. Merchants, therefore, could come right into the heart of the Marshal lordship without having to side-track to the King's town of Waterford. Using the communication hub of the navigable Barrow and Nore rivers and the ancient routeway known as theslighe culann they could then travel, by water and road, deep into the lordship. This permission was revoked four years later and re-instated and revoked at regular intervals. The need for constant petitions to have the ban on the bypassing of Waterford re-instated indicates that it was impossible to enforce. This lead to intense rivalry between the two towns. A long series of petitions, counter-petitions and charters detail the dispute that lasted almost two hundred years. This lecture will examine this dispute and will also consider the European dimension to the rivalry and, in particular to the founding of Ross.

Linda Doran is a graduate of University College Dublin where she completed her PhD in 2001. She carried out a Heritage Council-funded study of medieval settlement along the valleys of the Barrow, Nore and Suir rivers. She has published numerous papers on settlement and communication routes, is editor of the New Ross section of the Royal Irish Academy’s Irish Historic Towns Atlas and has edited books on medieval lordship (2008) and Glendalough: City of God (2011). She is a former honorary general secretary of Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. She lectures in medieval history in University College Dublin

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Lecture: Pilgrimage in Medieval Waterford

Pilgrimage in Medieval Waterford
A lecture by Dr Louise Nugent to the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society 2018 – 2019 lecture season continues on Friday March 1st with a lecture at 8 pm in St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford when Dr Louise Nugent will deliver a talk titled “Pilgrimage in Medieval Waterford”.

Pilgrimage was a central part of life throughout the medieval period. It was practiced in Ireland from the 7th century to the 15th centuries and following the reformation it continued down to the present day. This lecture will explore what motivated people to go on pilgrimage to in Medieval Ireland, where they went and the various types of sites that were used for pilgrimage. It will have a particular focus on evidence relating to Waterford and the south-east.

Dr Louise Nugent is a Tipperary-based archaeologist and blogger who specialises in pilgrimage and folk art. In 2010 she was awarded a PhD by University College Dublin for her research on Pilgrimage of Medieval Ireland. She has contributed papers on her research to a variety of journals and edited books and is in the final stages of writing a book on Irish pilgrimage. She curates the blogs Irish Folk Art Project ( and Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland ( in the latter she covers topics relating to modern and medieval Irish pilgrim traditions

Friday, February 15, 2019

Photos: 'Waterford Archaeology From the Air' Lecture

Lecturer Simon Dowling with Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society Chairperson Beatrice Payet. 

On January 25th, a full-house heard Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society member, Simon Dowling, deliver a fascinating and accessible lecture titled ‘Waterford’s Archaeology From the Air’.  

St. Patrick's Gateway Centre hosted the talk by Simon Dowling. 

Simon illustrated a variety of the aerial photographic techniques he has used and how he analyses publicly available satellite and laser imagery to reveal otherwise hidden aspects of many archaeological sites in Waterford. It was a well-received lecture which generated a lively discussion afterwards.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Lecture: Waterford’s Archaeology from the Air

Waterford’s Archaeology from the Air

A lecture by Simon Dowling to the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society

The Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society lecture season for 2018 and 2019 continues on Friday 25th January with a lecture at 8 pm in St Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford when Simon Dowling, a local pharmacist and committee member of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society, will share his passion for Waterford's rich archaeological heritage with his talk on, “Waterford's Archaeology From the Air”. Simon has spent a number of years photographing, scanning and analysing sites of archaeological interest around the county. The talk will showcase a virtual overview of Waterford’s archaeology that has been imprinted on the landscape across the county.

Simon applies an aerial scanning technique called photogrammetry, a method which often reveals hidden details in the landscape which may otherwise be overlooked. He has been involved in a number of heritage projects across the county in this capacity and will share visualisations of the sites recorded. The Summer of 2018 also presented a special opportunity for airbourne photographers to record cropmarks and make new discoveries, and part of the talk will detail his endeavours in this respect. 2018 also saw the publication of an aerial laser survey (LIDAR) covering parts of the country, and he will give an overview of the different types of archaeological sites that this has brought to light across County Waterford.

The talk aims to avoid much of the technical details and instead focus on presenting virtual visits to a variety of archaeological sites around the county. It should therefore be enjoyable and accessible for anyone with an interest in the County’s heritage.

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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