Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heritage Notes - 24 December 2010

The Cappoquin Christmas Collection set of cards is now in the black as far as costs are concerned and we hope to build on this initiative next year and help people to send just a little bit of home to those who may be far away. May we thank everyone in the place who organised an event or a game, a concert or a market, a carnival or a parade for the marvellous work you are all doing to keep our community going. Our picture this week is from our top-selling Christmas card, a painting by Noel O’Donoghue of a night-time carol scene at the Square. Best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Heritage Notes - 17 December 2010

It's all go at present in the Cornerstone town.

The Farmers' Market brought a lovely buzz to the old town centre on Saturday last, with a great range of local produce on sale and an equally great opportunity for people to meet and chat. Santa surprised us yet again this year, not by arriving (which was expected) but by arriving on a lawnmower-driven sleigh thanks to the genius of chief elf, Michael O'Rourke. Full details next week. Rumour has it that Santa even attended the Saturday night performance of the wonderful Cinderella Story at the Community Centre (in a fairly good disguise), before visiting Bunscoil Gleann Sídheain the following day as well.

In other news, there is still be a place available on the Town Twinning visit to Chanat in mid March - contact Keith Dransfield for details.

We have had one taker on the offer of an allotment near the town so far - Joe Prendergast will gladly deal with any further enquiries on this one.

The Christmas cards are selliing like hot cakes, with Noel O'Donoghue's painting of the Square about as hard to get as one of Willy Wonka's golden tickets at this stage - and just as valuable.

Finally, the Foroige club are off to the ice skating rink this Friday evening, a refixture from the cancelled event two weeks ago - isn't it real irony when a trip to an ice skating rink had to be cancelled before because of...ice!

That's it for now. Christmas round-up next week

The Michael Cavanagh Society

The photograph shows Cavanagh Society members.
Front row from left:Ann Kiely, Imelda Cavanagh, Very Rev. Fr Robert Arthure.
Back row from left: Brendan Kiely, Kevin McCarthy, Tony McCarthy, Tom Cavanagh.

The launch of a new book, “Michael Cavanagh His Life & Selected Works” in the Cappoquin Community Centre’s Cavanagh Hall on Saturday, 27th. November, 2010 was testament to the large number of hardy souls who braved snow and ice to pay tribute to one of the town’s most illustrious sons. No greater contrast could have been had than with that of the gloriously sunny June day in 2001 when Cappoquin was at its most splendid for the unveiling of the Michael Cavanagh Monument at the Square.

However, the bright lights of the Cavanagh Hall, the welcome heat, and the food and hot drinks supplied by Barron’s Bakery and served by Victoria and Elaine quickly dispersed the misfortune of a too-early winter.

Secretary of the Michael Cavanagh Society, Ann Kiely, got proceedings underway and the Society’s President, Tony McCarthy, gave a brief resumé of the work of the Society. He told the audience that the Society was formed to honour Michael Cavanagh (1822-1900) and that it was truly a joint Irish and American organisation, as it drew its membership from both sides of the Atlantic. In its early years it ran a number of literary competitions in both Irish and English and can claim justly to be the cause of several post-primary school students in the West Waterford area writing their first poem or story.

Tony McCarthy went on to explain that in later years the Society decided to tackle the arduous task of compiling and making available a fitting cross-section of Michael Cavanagh’s own work and that the fruits of that endeavour were now to be unveiled. He particularly recommended one of Michael’s prose pieces, the Midnight Mass in Mount Melleray, as being appropriate to the season and a very enjoyable read.

The guest speaker, Very Rev. Father Robert Arthure, A.P., then took the floor. Fr. Arthure is an historian in his own right whose biography of the distinguished 19th. century churchman, Fr. Patrick Fogarty of Lismore, has been particularly well received. (This biography covers the period of the Young Ireland and Fenian Revolutionaries such as Michael Cavanagh, but Fr. Fogarty was a great supporter of Daniel O’Connell and a strong and determined opponent of all physical force movements. His views and that of Michael Cavanagh and his peers would not have coincided!) Fr. Arthure is well-known for being a thought-provoking religious columnist and a man whose sermons always leave an impact on his audience. On this particular night he came to the Cavanagh Hall having celebrated the vigil Mass in St. Mary’s Church, across the road, and had put in a good word for “Hope”, something that it is short supply in the Ireland of 2010.

Fr. Arthure took the audience in the Cavanagh Hall gently through Michael Cavanagh’s life and made the point that though he spent the majority of his life in America, his engagement with his native place and the friends and neighbours of his boyhood and young adulthood never faltered. In the best book-launch tradition, Fr. Arthure interspersed his remarks with the exhortation “to find out what happened next you must buy the book!”. On a more sober note, he referred to Michael Cavanagh’s description of the poor dying people he saw in Lismore, victims of the Famine and a landlord lacking in charity. He went on to recite extracts from some of Michael Cavanagh’s poems and referred to the lighter prose pieces. As he came to the end of his talk he humorously referred to Michael’s story about Petticoat Loose and then reluctantly (well, that is what he said!) mentioned the story about Madra an Droichead and the need for the audience to be careful going home. This infamous Madra used to patrol around the old Wooden Bridge of Cappoquin and made nightly forays into Twig Bog, to an old well, near which now stands the Cavanagh Hall! (Thankfully, as far as we know, everyone got home safely and the possible inspiration for the Hound of the Baskervilles -Arthur Conan Doyle’s mother was Mary Foley of Lismore- chose not to appear.)

Fr. Arthure declared the book launched and the night was brought to a close after Ann Kiely expressed the Society’s sincere gratitude to the many people who had helped in its production.

The Cavanagh family was represented at the occasion by Tommy and Imelda Cavanagh of Fermoy. The American branch, who could not be present on the night, will be able to get a flavour of the event, courtesy of a DVD recording kindly made by Mary McGrath.

About the book itself: it is a handsome, hardcover edition, published by Original Writing of Dublin, with a striking dustcover. It is a substantial volume, running to almost 400 pages and includes several, interesting plates. It is of wide interest and would make a very acceptable gift to anyone with an interest in Irish and local history. It also contains social commentary and some very good yarns! Michael Cavanagh’s writing is firmly in the tradition of the Irish storyteller, not to mention that of the Victorian greats, and his fine sense of humour does not go amiss in these tough times.

The book costs €20 and is available from most shops in Cappoquin, Lismore Heritage Centre shop and from the bookshops and County Museum in Dungarvan. Emailed orders can be taken by Cappoquin Heritage Group via the website www.cappoquin.net . All profits will be given to the primary school in Cappoquin, Bunscoil Gleann Sídheáin.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Heritage Notes - 10 December 2010

This Week’s Picture

Once again, this week’s picture comes from the new publication, ‘Michael Cavanagh: His Life and Selected Works’, now on sale in local shops with all profits going to Bunscoil Gleann Sídheáin. It shows what surely was the biggest industry ever owned by a Cappoquin native. Pictured here is the original headquarters of Hugh Collender’s Billiard Table empire, at 738 Broadway, New York. Collender went with Michael Cavanagh to the USA after the 1849 rebellion and while his friend became a prolific writer, Collender eventually became the most famous manufacturer of billiard and snooker tables in the world, with over forty premises and depots worldwide. Hugh Collender’s company is thriving today, though known now simply as ‘Brunswick’, and Hugh himself is appropriately commemorated on a footpath plaque outside Cappoquin Snooker Club, where else!

Christmas Farmers’ Market

Next Saturday morning, December 11th we will have this year’s Cappoquin Christmas Farmers’ Market. As usual, it will be held on the Square starting at 10.30 until 1.00 pm. Almost every town in the country hosts a Farmer’s Market at some stage of the year and thanks to all the local support, the ones in Cappoquin over the past few years have been successful. An event like this is a good community activity, it is sociable and you will enjoy your visit to the market.

Cappoquin has a lot of local food producers, more than most places of its size. So it is important that they have the opportunity to market their wares in this fashion, in their local town. There will be a wide range of foods available, including ice cream, bread, cakes, fruit, vegetables, home baking, jams, apple juice, cheeses, and honey. As it is Christmas, there will also be festive food, Christmas trees and cards.

We look forward to seeing you next Saturday morning for the Farmers’ Market where you can start the weekend with the spirit of Christmas, on the Square of your local town.

Santa at the Square

With the Farmers’ Market all ready for the off at the Square this Saturday, December 11th, the word from the North Pole is that Santa hopes to arrive in his horse-drawn sleigh sometime between twelve and twelve-fifteen on the day. Like last year, this is a ‘getting to know you’ visit, a chance for Santa to get reacquainted with the local kids since last year and double check that the list of presents is correct for December 25th. He hopes to bring special certificates with him like last year, and we are pretty sure there will be some goodies available to everyone, as well as the opportunity for the grown-ups to sample some of the best local produce available at the Market. Maybe Santa will stay around this weekend, probably in disguise, and go and see the marvellous Cinderella pantomime at the Community Centre before coming back to the Sale of Work at Bunscoil Gleann Sídheáin on Sunday. Busy times for a busy man.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heritage Notes - 3 December 2010

This week’s picture shows another scene from the book, 'Michael Cavanagh, His Life & Selected Works', close enough to the time Cavanagh lived here. We have no idea why the crowd gathered at the Cornerstone as they have in this image. In the distance the brooding presence of the Police Barracks can be clearly seen, where Cavanagh and others fought out the Cappoquin rebellion of 1849. Today, of course, it is the much more welcoming establishment known as Walsh’s

Santa at the Square

Firstly this week, a reminder to keep Saturday, December 11th in the diary as Santa makes his annual pre-Christmas visit to the Square at Cappoquin around midday. With the weather the way it is at present, we are not sure if he is coming by sleigh or four-wheel-drive but rest assured that if anyone can master the wintry conditions, Santa can. As in other years, the visit will coincide with the Farmers’ Market at the same venue, which will again highlight the wonderful local products available at Christmas time. Full details next week.

Community and Voluntary Awards

Representatives from Civic Link and from the Choral Society travelled to Clonea Strand Hotel last Friday for the Community and Voluntary Awards celebration. Unfortunately, there were no Cappoquin winners in the category or overall awards on the night but what harm! It was nice to have some recognition given to the efforts of groups in the area to improving things for everyone, and that work will certainly continue. Best of luck to the Choral Society with their Cinderella extravaganza coming soon at the Community Centre.

Christmas Cards Going Fast

Just a week on sale, the Heritage Group’s Christmas Card collection is selling fast in several shops around town. The scenes, all suitably snow-covered, include two shots from the river bend, one of Melleray and another from Villierstown looking towards the mountains, and two lovely street scenes painted by Noel O’Donoghue. Our sincere thanks to Noel, to photographers James O’Donnell, Gina Dunne and Anthony McCarthy, and to Mortimer Design for the superb reproductions. What better value can you get for a euro?

Michael Cavanagh – Home Once More!

In keeping with the title of one of his poems, Michael Cavanagh is, to an extent, ‘home once more’ following the launch of ‘His Life and Selected Works’ last Friday night. Civic Link members helped out with sales and other issues on the night and it was a great success overall. Well done to all concerned. At time of writing, the 390-page hardback book is now on sale in a total of sixteen outlets across west Waterford, price €20, with all profits going to support Bunscoil Gleann Sídheáin in Cappoquin. Full details of how to order it are also available on the Civic Link website at www.cappoquin.net or visit us on facebook.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Cards

Just one of the six beautiful scenes in our Christmas Card collection available now in Cappoquin Credit Union, Cappoquin Post Office and Mary Murrays.

Heritage Notes - 26 November 2010

Community and Voluntary Awards

Best of luck to the nominated local groups hoping for honours in this Friday night’s Community and Voluntary Awards at Clonea Strand Hotel. The Cappoquin Heritage Group is one of three finalists in the Culture and Heritage section, and we know the Choral Society has also received a richly deserved nomination this year. If there are any others nominated from the locality, the best of luck to them on the night too.

Christmas Cards

Thanks to the great work of Cara McGrath, the help of a number of artists and photographers in the area and the undoubted design skills of Phil Mortimer, the new Heritage Group Christmas Cards have arrived in local shops. There are six individual cards, each costing a euro, and depicting scenes from Cappoquin itself, from Villierstown, Melleray and other local beauty scenes, all with a Christmas twist. Our postcard collection proved hugely popular in summer and autumn, and made nearly €300 profit in the end. This set is being sold much closer to the actual cost of production and we hope that people will enjoy the opportunity to send cards to loved ones near and far with these special Christmas reminders of the places we live in.

Cavanagh Book Launch

With the imminent launch of Michael Cavanagh: His Life and Selected Works by the Michael Cavanagh Society at the Community Centre next Saturday evening, this week’s picture is one of those included in the eagerly anticipated production. Cavanagh is, of course, famous as a writer of poetry, history and of local legends, including the Cornerstone story and that of the dreaded Petticoat Loose. In many respects, he is coming home next Saturday, as many of the works in the production were never published in Ireland before, not to mention the fact that the launch itself will be in the Cavanagh Hall.

One of the most interesting legends of all is that of the great black dog who prowled the river bank near the old wooden bridge, guarding the town from all unsavoury characters in the 19th century. The image here shows the river bank scene as Cavanagh would have known it. The remnants of the wooden bridge, which ceased to be in use in 1850 and which the ‘Madra’ supposedly protected, can clearly be seen on both sides of the bend. On the far bank, the old town’s industrial core of warehouses, quayside and stacks of pit props presents a grand, if now long-gone, sight. The launch is at 8.30 on Saturday evening, with Very Reverend Father Robert Arthure PE doing the honours.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Heritage Notes - 18 November 2010

Launch of Michael Cavanagh’s Works

Best of luck to the Michael Cavanagh Society which is launching its 400-page book of Michael Cavanagh; His Life and Selected Writings at the Community Centre on Saturday, November 27th at 8.30. The book will be on sale for a special launch price of €15 on that night only, and will be available in local shops and through the Civic Link website, www.cappoquin.net after November 27th, and we hope through other outlets. All proceeds are going to Bunscoil Gleann Sidheain and we hope everyone who can will support the launch of this high quality hard-back production of the writings of Cappoquin’s literary son, and support our school into the bargain. Full details are given in a separate article.

This week’s picture

From the wonderful collection of Eddie Fraher, this week’s picture shows a Cappoquin Gaelic football team lining out for a championship match, probably at Lismore. The state of the hairstyles of some of the known protagonists suggests that this dates from the second half of the 1950s. More interesting still is that among this group of junior footballers are the holders of at least four All-Ireland hurling medals. Enjoy figuring that one out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Heritage Notes - 12 November 2010

Heritage Nomination

Just a note to tell people that our heritage group has been nominated as one of three finalists in the Heritage and Culture section of this year’s county-wide community awards. We don’t want to blow any trumpets but are honoured to be included in the final three from an initial list of fourteen and it’s que sera, sera after that. The awards night itself is scheduled for Friday, November 26th at Clonea Strand Hotel and we hope to see a few other Cappoquin representatives there on the night. Our next project is the imminent launch of a lovely set of local snow-themed Christmas cards, and we hope to have these in the shops within a week or so.

On the subject of heritage, best wishes to Julian Walton on his talk at Cappoquin Community Centre this coming Friday evening, November 12th. Julian has been a great friend to Cappoquin history, and to Waterford history, over the years and his talk on the history of Dromana and its resident families should be of great interest.

Some Reminders

Just some further reminders of two news items of recent weeks. If you are interested in an allotment in Cappoquin, growing your own vegetables etc, please contact Cindy 086–0586608 at Civic Link or Joe at 058–54045 for full details of this great opportunity. Also, the Twinning Group is heading for Chanat La Mouteyre on the weekend before St Patrick’s Day 2011 and there are still some places available. For little more than the cost of the airfare and train, this is a tremendous opportunity to see France as the French see it, and to meet some French people who know more about Cappoquin than most of us do ourselves. For anyone interested, contact Keith at 087-9054068 or Kevin from Civic Link at 087-6501042 for details

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chritmas Cards

Just a sneek preview of our Christmas cards due out shortly.... This one is a painting of the Square in Cappoquin and local artist Noel O'Donoghue has kindly allowed us to reproduce it.

'Scientists of County Waterford'

Mr. Donal Brady will present a lecture the 'Scientists of County Waterford' in Lismore Heritage Centre on Wednesday, 10th November 2010 at 7pm. The hour long talk is part of Science Week 2010 which runs from 7th-14th November.
Since the 17th Century, County Waterford men and women have been making outstanding contributions to the world of science. The remarkable and often untold story of Waterford's scientists include the only Irish recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for science, the optician who helped to build the Birr telescope and the Earl's son whose name is enshrined in chemistry textbooks across the world.
These and other achievements will be discussed by Mr. Donal Brady in this Science Week lecture. Now retired, Donal served as Waterford County Librarian for almost 28years. Devoted to the preservation and collation of the historical resources of the county, Donal has brought much of his study to print, most recently in 'The Book of Lismore: An Introduction', published in February 2010. Donal's forthcoming publication 'Scientists of County Waterford' will be launched at the end of this month.
Science Week is a nationwide event designed to promote the relevance of science, engineering and technology in our everyday lives and to demonstrate the importance of these disciplines to the future development of Irish society and to the economy.
This event is free but spaces are limited. Places can be booked by contacting Mealla or Arlene on 058-54975.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Heritage Notes - 29 October 2010

Inch Meeting

A good, productive meeting was held last week to discuss the possibilities of enhancing the Inch at the Blackwater bend, if and when the opportunity arises to do so. No firm decisions were arrived at but lots of good ideas were aired and the group in attendance hopes to be able to examine similar projects elsewhere in the coming weeks and move things forward in consultation with the County Council, the Parks and Wildlife Service and, most importantly, with the local community.

Town Twinning

Keith has just received word that the Comité du Jumelage at Chanat La Mouteyre has extended an invitation to Cappoquin to send half a dozen or so representatives to Chanat the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day 2011. With flights at incredibly good value at present, and the warmth of the French welcome absolutely guaranteed, as always, this is a great opportunity for anyone interested in discovering the real France, with its magnificent scenery, cuisine and hospitality, and represent Cappoquin into the bargain. For those who haven’t yet been, we can heartily recommend it, not least because of how marvellously the people of Chanat have taken Cappoquin to their hearts over the past ten years, most recently during the Cornerstone Carnival when the tenth anniversary of the twinning was commemorated at the Square in a lovely ceremony. For anyone interested, contact Keith at 087-9054068 or Kevin from Civic Link at 087-6501042 for details.

End of UN exhibition

Our Heritage Exhibition at the Library, celebrating our United Nations since 1960, will come to an end in the coming week. Thanks to the hundreds of people, young and old, who have visited and commented so favourably on the event, and most importantly, thanks to the dozens of local soldiers and their families who gave so generously of their photographs and memorabilia. Our gratitude to Mary Tobin and to the Waterford County Library service at this point almost goes without saying, but is heartfelt nonetheless.

Masquerade Ball

A final reminder that the annual Masquerade Ball takes place at the Boathouse this Saturday night, October 30th. Entry is payable at the door, provided fancy dress is worn, and is at the remarkably good value of €10 per person. All funds raised go towards the cost of the umbrella insurance which so many clubs and events have benefited from over the past year, so we hope to have a good turnout for the night and we are sure there will be plenty of crack, as in previous years. Doors open at 9.30 or thereabouts. This week’s two pictures show some of the revellers from last year, who will undoubtedly be on the prowl this weekend!


There has been much coverage in the media over the last year about the huge increase in the number of people growing their vegetables in either their own gardens or in a nearby allotment. For those of us who are used to growing their own vegetables, the satisfaction of picking them straight from the garden and savouring the delicious flavours when you eat them, make gardening one of the most pleasurable of hobbies.

There is now the possibility of a suitable plot of ground being available in Cappoquin for allotments. If you would like to grow your own vegetables but have no place or have too small an existing plot, this is a great chance to get started. If you are interested in an allotment in Cappoquin, please contact Cindy 086–0586608 at Civic Link or Joe at 058–54045.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heritage Notes - 22 October 2010

This week’s picture comes from a recent exhibition at the National Photographic Archives in Temple Bar. It shows Sir Richard Musgrave, seated second from left, with a cricket team made up of friends and estate workers at Tourin. It dates from 1902 and was published recently in the Irish Times as well. We also know that a cricket team flourished in Cappoquin under Captain Jameson during the 1930s, and that there is a photograph in existence of that team also. Who knows, we might see another local cricket team in action some day in the not-too-distant future..

Monday, October 18, 2010

Heritage Notes - 15 October 2010

Improving the Inch

A number of Civic Link members had a very positive meeting last week with the County Heritage Officer Bernadette Guest and Brian Duffy, the County Wildlife Ranger. We hope to progress some improvement of the Inch at the Blackwater river bend, in harmony with the environment, and are having a meeting on Tuesday, October 19th next at 8.00 in the Library. Anyone interested in discussing the issues here, and helping out, will be very welcome to come along on the night.

Postcard sales

Sales of our Heritage postcard series have gone well over 600 at this point and we plan to withdraw the remaining stock from sale within a couple of weeks, with the ‘season’ over, and to put them back on sale again in the spring. A sincere thanks to everyone who bought these cards – we know they went around the world, reminded many people of home on the process and inspired at least one other local area to do something similar. All in all, a satisfactory outcome.

Club Directory

At this point, all households in town should have received a copy of our Club Directory, third edition, containing the contact details of practically every club and society in the area. Apologies to any groups we may have missed. We hope this simple resource, which is also available on the website at www.cappoquin.net , and in a number of retail outlets, will further promote community life in the area

Monday, October 4, 2010

Heritage Notes - 8 October 2010

Club Directory on the Way

The finishing touches are being put to the third edition of the Cappoquin Civic Link Club Directory, and we hope to be able to distribute copies of the guide in the coming few days. As before, the Directory will have the up to date contact details for all the clubs and societies in the area, as well as phone numbers for important local services. We sincerely hope this will be a useful resource for everyone seeking to get involved in the vast range of clubs and activities available in the area.

Blog Spots

Just a word to tell people that Civic Link is now hitting cyberspace with a vengeance. For those who like to blog, you can find us at cappoquinciviclink.blogspot.com while the Heritage Group also has its own address, cappoquinhistory.blogspot.com. We are also on facebook and don’t forget also that you can access all our details, images, old newspaper notes etc on the web at www.cappoquin.net . It may be a relief to know that we talk with people too, so whatever form of communication you fancy, we’re there.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Just a reminder that The Cappoquin Collection, a series of 10 postcards, are on sale at The Credit Union, The Post Office and Veale's Market House. Our thanks to Arthur Maderson, Helen McGrath, Mary McGrath, Thames & Hudson Ltd., The Lawrence Collection, The National Library of Ireland for the use of their images for this collection.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Heritage Notes - 24 September 2010

This Week’s Picture

Michael Deegan has supplied this week’s picture from his base in England. Mike is a nephew of Nell Daly’s in Barrack Street, and tells us that his uncle John Daly is second from the right in the front row here. The picture comes from the 1950s and appears to contain more than a few well known local personalities. Hopefully one or two of them will be able to give us more details about the image once they see it here.

Dr Gabriel O’Connell Redmond

We anticipate a visit in the coming weeks from a descendant of Dr Gabriel O’Connell Redmond. This man was the medical officer in Cappoquin for over thirty years before he retired in 1914 and was replaced by Dr William White. He was a descendant of Daniel O’Connell’s and was also a noted historian, along with being the town’s columnist with the Waterford News for most of his time here. If anyone has more information about Dr O’Connell Redmond, or indeed a photograph of him, any Heritage Group member would be delighted to hear from you.

Community and Voluntary Awards

In case any local groups have not been nominated, or have not self-nominated, for this year’s Community and Voluntary Awards, the good news is that the closing date for applications has been extended to Friday next, September 24th. Forms are available from the community forum link on the Council’s website, www.waterfordcoco.ie, and can be submitted online or in hard copy to Muriel Tobin at the Council offices.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Heritage Notes - 17 September 2010

Just by way of a reminder that the United Nations exhibition continues at the library for a few weeks more, this week we include another picture from the display. One of the important activities beside military duties which Irish troops engaged in during the Congo crisis in the 1960s was that of protecting the youth from the conflict. Organising boy scout brigades and marching bands were some of the additional duties which Sergeant Tom Hackett from Mill Street, Cappoquin took on, with Tom pictured here at the rear among some of his young recruits in 1963. Photograph courtesy of Mrs Maureen Hackett.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Portlaw Fair in the Square

The Portlaw Heritage Centre and friends are delighted to announce that the annual 'Fair in the Square will once again take place this year on Sunday, September 12th from 2-5pm (weather permitting). It promises to be a fun filled day with live music and many fun filled activities and stalls ongoing throughout the day. This year, the sideshows will include crazy golf, golf putting, bouncy castle, fancy dress, dog show, face painting and many more. The organising committee invite thouse interested in setting up a stall to come forward at a minimal cost of just €10 for the day. Proceeds raised on the day will be donated to The Martin Hospital, a very worthwhile cause, so your support would be very much appreciated. Go along, there will be plenty of craic.

This is an event that is run each under the auspices of the Portlaw Heritage Centre and proceeds go to different local charities each year. The Centre will be open to visitors as well.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Heritage Notes - 10 September 2010

This week’s picture

This week’s picture comes from Teresa and Gerry Moore of Shanbally. It shows a group scene outside Collender’s public house in Main Street, now Danny and Nora’s Central Bar. Mr Collender, who was a local school teacher in the early 20th century, and family are pictured in their finery here, and any further information as to the date or the names of the people would be much appreciated. When you zoom into the electronic version of this image, it is clear that the notice board between the two boys and the rest of the group contains some photographs or postcards, including ones of Dromana Bridge and Main Street, Cappoquin, while the larger posters inside the window are advertisements for Clarke’s perfect plug tobacco and snuff.

Heritage Exhibition at Library

By special permission form the County Library Service, the ‘Cappoquin and the United Nations’ exhibition at the library will continue upstairs for a few weeks more. It has been great to see the interest the exhibition has aroused and indeed the amount of new photographs and information which continues to arrive. We have now found thirty five local people who have served in UN peacekeeping work abroad, and there may well be more. The exhibition is open during library opening hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and all day Saturday until further notice.

Heritage in your face(book)

While practically all the information there is to know about Civic Link can be found on our website at www.cappoquin.net , just a reminder too that you can find the Heritage Group and other items also on facebook, where our ‘friends’ total has now gone over 200 and also updates on our blog.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heritage Notes - 13 August 2010

Cappoquin and the United Nations

The material has literally poured in over the past week for our exhibition on Cappoquin and the United Nations. We now have over 250 photographs and lots of other pieces of interest relating to the involvement of local people in serving the United Nations over fifty years. The exhibition will run throughout Heritage Week at Cappoquin Library and will, we hope, help to show local people what wonderful work has been done by local people on behalf of the United Nations, and of peace, in far flung corners of the Congo, Chad, Lebanon, East Timor and more. We will give full details of opening times etc next week but the event will certainly run from August 21st to 28th during Heritage Week, and possibly longer. A huge thanks to Mary and to Waterford County Library for their help with this, our first formal contribution to Heritage Week.

Raft Race Countdown

The posters are up and all the organisational arrangements are well in hand. We hear the occasional sound of nails going into timber coming from the back gardens of Cappoquin but the raft building preparations are always a pretty secretive affair. This week, thanks to the camera work of Phyl Cuddihy, we enclose a reminder of the crazy excitement of the finishing stages of the last Cappoquin Raft Race in 2008. It should be a great day out this year too, with the added bonus of the additional pallet races and, of course the usual barbecue event at the Boathouse. Best of luck to all involved, for Saturday August 21st with first paddles in the water at the Rock around 2.30pm.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Heritage Notes - 6 August 2010

Picture time

Out photographs over the past couple of weeks have generated quite a deal of interest, and we can promise more to come. The late Breda Keating from Green Street has been picked out by several people in the Vocational School picture from the 1930s. Last week’s picture of the building team at Mt Melleray has also produced some local interest. The father of Margaret O’Connor (nee McCarthy) of Dungarvan Road was four from the left in the second last row. Johnny Keating of Lismore was second from the left in the same row, and his brother Thomas was three from the right in the second row from the front. Many thanks to Margaret and to Billy Hogan of Lismore, for the information here.

This week’s picture is a real classic, coming from the collection of Congo memorabilia of Jim Fives, who served there with the Irish United Nations peacekeeping force in 1960. Shortly after the first Irish troops were sent to the Congo, a hurley maker in Kilrush, Co. Clare supplied 250 hurleys for the soldiers’ recreational use, and a thirteen-a-side competition was organised. No easy task finding a level playing field in the Congo, not to mention finding a quiet day in a war zone to have a game in the early 1960s. Jim Fives was not only a veteran of many a Tourin triumph but also hurled at inter-county level for Galway. He is pictured here third from the right at the rear, lining out for C company of the 32nd Batallion.

United Nations exhibition

Our Heritage Group are working away gathering memorabilia and pictures to commemorate the fifty years of involvement by local people in the United Nations work around the world. Jim Fives’ wonderful photographs and uniform items will be joined by some fascinating personal accounts from Maire Mac an tSaoi and others on the Congo, while we are working hard to gather material from the Lebanon, Chad and so on too. Time is running out and, as yet, it is impossible to say how much material we will gather. Anyone with pictures, newspaper cuttings or any other items which you would like to contribute for the exhibition, it would be much appreciated if you could drop them in to Cara McGrath, Angela Collender, Kevin McCarthy or any other member of the Heritage Group as soon as possible. Full details about exhibition dates and times will be given in the coming weeks.

Blackwater Crossing update

Just a further note from the Heritage Group that anyone interested in seeing all the action shots taken by well known sports photographer Danny McGrath on the night of the Blackwater Crossing long puck contest in June should check out Danny’s site on http://www.editorialimages.com/ . All details regarding how to buy a copy of yourself in full flight, or making an idiot of yourself as some of us managed, can be found on the site. At this stage, we hope most of the 49 participants have received their certificates and, if not, the rest will be going to the contestants this week.

Raft Race

Tony and company are hard at work on the plans for the raft race. All systems are go for Saturday, August 21st, with a start time around 2.30 PM. In addition to the raft race itself, for originally designed craft, this year’s event will see a barbecue at the Boathouse and will also feature some pallet races, where people who did not manage to get rafts built for themselves will have a chance to take part in races across the Blackwater at the Boathouse. This should add a whole new dimension to the day and remember, it’s all in the cause of celebrating our wonderful river and raising a few euro to help in the ongoing work at the Rock, which has become one of the most important and well-kept recreational sites we have thanks to the dedicated work of the group there.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heritage Notes - 30 July 2010

Rebuilding Melleray

Our picture this week comes courtesy of Marguerite Fraher and shows a unique group of men, none of them locals as far as we know. This was the group of forty seven workmen who completed the reconstruction of the main church at Mt. Melleray during the 1930s and, as you can see, they worked for a company known as Maguire and Short, of Dublin and Cork. It’s pretty unlikely that any of them is known in the locality today but this reproduction may be one way to find out…

The Cappoquin Collection

With sales of our new postcard collection having gone well over the 400 mark in recent weeks, we are now pleased to announce that the project is now in profit. The response to the collection has been tremendous and we hope it has added to the enjoyment of the area for any tourists or returning visitors. Available in the Credit Union, Post Office and Veales Market House.

United Nations project

We are continuing to search for photographs and other memorabilia from any local people who have served the United Nations over the past fifty years. To date, we have made contact with the families of three late Congo veterans, and with Jim Fives of Tourin, a Congo survivor now living in Galway. We have also sent out feelers for any information on the careers of administrators with local connections like Frank Crowe and Maire Mac An tSaoi, and have made contact with the army in an effort to track down as many locals as possible who may have served in peacekeeping forces in Cyprus, the Lebanon, Chad and so on. Once again, if anyone has memorabilia which you would like to lend us for a small exhibition in late August, drop in to Cara at the Credit Union or any other member of the Heritage Group would be glad to hear from you too.

Raft Building

Finally, a reminder that the raft race is now just three and a half weeks away and there is no time like the present to get started on some boat building. The two-year gap since the last event certainly seems to have whetted people’s appetites for the event this year, so don’t leave it too late to make a start.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Heritage Notes - 16 July 2010

United Nations Exhibit Plan

With the various Carnival events now put to bed, we are turning our heritage focus for the next six weeks or so to trying to gather as much material as possible about the involvement of local people in the United Nations. It is fifty years ago this month since the first UN peace keeping mission to involve Irish troops began, in the Congo. It may seem strange, but in the summer of 1960, the names of Patrice Lumumba and Moise Tshombe were almost household names in Cappoquin! These were the leading figures in the growing civil war in the Congo, where men like Jim Fives, John Murphy, Mossie O’Connor and Tom Hackett served with distinction. Cappoquin’s Frank Crowe, and one or two others, served the United Nations in a number of high-level administrative posts around the same time.

Since the 1960s, many local troops have seen service with the UN in Lebanon, Bosnia, Chad and elsewhere and some of them even still find the energy for a bit of hurling or soccer locally. We feel it is only fitting that we try to commemorate some of the people at least who have worked so hard over fifty years in the cause of international peace. Our research to date with the army archives suggests it will be difficult to trace every local who has been involved but we will see what we can do. If anyone has information, photographs or any memorabilia from our local links with the UN, please let any Heritage Group member know as soon as possible. We hope to mount an exhibition in late August, if we get enough material, and perhaps to create something a little more permanent after that.

This week’s photo

An interesting picture this week, kindly donated by Tom and Olivia Murray of Kilbree. It shows a group of teachers and students at Cappoquin Vocational School, all seated in the gender-based fashion of the time. It dates, apparently, from around 1938 and includes some fascinating educational items from the time. Note the hand-crafted firescreen at the front, and the rack of rolling pins at the back corner. Is that a gramophone player at the far right? Woodwork teacher Mr Halpin is standing near the centre of this picture but if anyone can give us additional detail about the people in the picture it would be great.

Just when you thought it was safe…

It back! After a two-year break, the great Blackwater Raft Race is once again going to make a splash in Cappoquin. Tony and co (the ‘Rock’ group) are holding this year’s extravaganza on Saturday, August 21st, so put that date in your diary. All proceeds will go to support the great work being done at the Rock and no doubt a great day will be had. The event will be covered under Civic Link insurance as before and we have high hopes for making good use of some of the more ‘fashionable’ rafts for another event in the future, but more of that anon. For now, it’s all hands to the wheel, tiller or whatever takes your fancy for August 21st.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brochure of Events 2010

Cappoquin Cornerstone Carnivals packed schedule in listed under 'events' on their facebook page - Cappoquin Cornerstonecarnival. The Brochure is currently out and about in all local businesses and can be viewed on www.cappoquincornerstonecarnival.org. Don't forget the Heritage Groups events during this weekend: The Heritage & Floral Exhibition; Recession Olympics; Window Display Competition; The Blackwater Crossing (long puck) and the Historic Walk of Cappoquin along with a host of other fabulous events including the massive firework display on Friday night. So come to Cappoquin and enjoy the fun in the sun!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Brochure of Events 2010

Brochure of this year's packed schedule including 5 events from the heritage group now up on the carnival's website www.cappoquincornerstonecarnival.com - it is at the printers so will be available in hard copy in the next few days. Now all we need to sort out is the weather.....

Monday, May 31, 2010

Heritage Notes - 4 June 2010

Relative search

From time to time, we get requests from people with Cappoquin connections in search of some relatives or ancestors. We are, naturally, only too happy to help when possible. This week, we print two photographs of a man known to have lived locally over sixty years ago, with the following request from a relative, Jocelyn. If anyone can help, you can contact Jocelyn directly or indeed talk to any Civic Link member and we will get information to her. Here is Jocelyn’s message:
‘Could anyone help me. I am trying to trace my family tree. I am looking for a name for the man in these photographs. I know he was in this area [Cappoquin-Lismore] in the 1940s. Many thanks. Jocelyn – email address: Heritage.1@hotmail.co.uk .’

Window Work

We now have a total of three shop windows in the town centre which have been renewed with some assistance from Civic Link members, hopefully with more to follow. Well done to those involved and for the partnership approach adopted by the premises owners. The cost is minimal but the benefits to the place are significant.

Historical society visit

The Thomond Historical Society spent last weekend in west Waterford and passed quite a deal of time in Cappoquin and the surrounding area. The group, forty four strong, were very interested in the industrial and political history of the Cappoquin area and also visited Dromana, Tourin and Melleray over the weekend. It was fascinating to see their surprise at discovering that Affane and Tourin were the home of Valentine Greatrakes, as the Greatrakes family also held property in Rathkeale Co. Limerick. The group were highly impressed with the series of footpath plaques they found at their feet on Cappoquin’s pavements and proved to be highly knowledgeable about matters like the Battle of Affane and Cappoquin Rowing Club. Maybe we are more famous than we think!

Facebook and Friends

Thanks to the support and initiative of Willie Whelan and Waterford County Museum, and Cara’s IT skills, both Cappoquin Heritage Group and the Cornerstone Carnival are now on Facebook. Check it out.

Our area’s service to the United Nations

The Heritage Group hopes to stage an exhibition later this year to commemorate the five decades of service given by local members of the Defence Forces to the United Nations. From the Congo in 1960 right up to the most recent missions in Africa, we believe that people from the Cappoquin area have served, in their dozens, on every significant UN mission, and we are very anxious to hear from anyone with photographs, stories or memorabilia which we might be in a position to use for a proper exhibition of this great tradition of service. Contact any member of Civic Link or the Heritage section, please.

Carnival Heritage Events

Work continues on plans for heritage events at the Cornerstone Carnival. The centrepiece exhibition will celebrate ten years of Cappoquin’s twinning with Chanat La Mouteyre by highlighting the industrial, military and other links between Ireland and France, including between Cappoquin and France where possible. This will also include a series of displays by the Flower Club and will be staged at St. Anne’s Church over June 25th to 27th. We will also have our annual window display competition, not to mention Brendan Kiely’s historical walk on Sunday June 27th, which is heading for its sixth year at this stage, a tribute to the detailed and interesting knowledge brought to bear on the subject.

At this stage, we are hopeful that the Green/Green Street area will be able to host the Recession Olympics again this year, given the speed of the work done on the pipe laying. We will confirm this in due course, and will get another venue if not. Some people will be glad to know that some of the prize bags of sweets this year will be of the soft variety – the boiled sweets proved more a of a challenge for a few than the slow bicycles did last year. Lastly on the heritage front, we can announce at this juncture that there will be three separate trophies to compete for in the Blackwater Crossing long puck competition at the Boathouse on Saturday June 26th. The Jimmy Foley Cup will go to the overall inter-county winner, the Michael Lacey trophy to the best club player, and the Toss Bryan trophy to the best club player outside of the Cappoquin-Affane club. This competition will double as a charity fundraiser and will, we hope, be a lot of fun too.


The boathouse at Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, where the Avonmore Bridge has crossed the majestic River Blackwater since 1850. Photograph courtesy of Helen McGrath.
Profits from sales of Cappoquin Collection cards support the work of Cappoquin Heritage Group.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Local tailor Thomas Lonergan at work in Main Street, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, while Alan and Simon watch in awe at the window and wonder if they can borrow a sliotar. This photograph appeared on the cover of ‘Cappoquin: A Window on the Past’. Photo of courtesy David Shaw Smith from his book "Traditional Crafts of Ireland", © Thames & Hudson Ltd., London.
Profits from sales of Cappoquin Collection cards support the work of Cappoquin Heritage Group.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Heritage Notes - 21 May 2010

Our postcard project is close to launch date now. At our last committee meeting, we identified ten scenes which will form the ‘Cappoquin Collection’, a series of local images which will go on sale early in June. Among the collection will be prints of two Arthur Maderson paintings, two black-and-white pictures from yesteryear, a classic scene at the Tailors from David Shaw Smith and five modern scenes from the cameras of Mary McGrath and Helen McGrath. These will be limited to a run of just 100 each and will, we hope, become as much collectors’ items as they will be postcards.

A welcome back to our intrepid explorers who travelled the length of the tidal Blackwater (and back, for some) last week on Tony Gallagher’s boat. For most, it was a first ever journey on the great river, and the talk still goes on of the beauties of Ballinatray, brooding Strancally and the old Knights Templar haunts along the way. Plans are well under way to include a special feature on the Blackwater and its castles in the heritage and floral exhibition at the carnival, and no doubt visitors will get a chance to hear some of our seafaring tales into the bargain. Well done to all who made the trip, and to the reporter from Lonely Planet who might just be in a position to give the river a major plug in next year’s guidebook as a result of this unforgettable journey.