A fit Situation for His Majesty’s Packets: building the Harbour at Dunmore

Today’s guest blog comes from Roy Dooney who has previously delivered a facinating presentation to the Barony of Gaultier Historical Society on the building of Dunmore harbour. I’m indebted to Roy for typing up his presentation for sharing with the readership. I found it a fascinating piece and I’m sure you will too.

The title of this piece is taken from the Act of Parliament just over two hundred years ago, dated 3rd June 1818, described as “An Act for improving and completing the Harbour of Dunmore in the County of Waterford, and rendering it a fit Situation for His Majesty’s Packets.”

The King at the time was George the Third who reigned from 1760 until his death in January 1820.

The Act of Union came into force in 1801 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. By 1821 the estimated population of Britain was about 14 million, and that of Ireland was about 7 million. So Ireland, with a rapidly growing population, was a major part of the United Kingdom.

Dunmore pier with railway line used in construction phase

In our modern era of constant cheap and direct communications, it is important to remember the huge primary importance of the postal service in past times to maintain links of trade, public administration, security and news between Britain and Ireland.

There had been an unsuccessful French naval invasion in 1796, followed by a rebellion in 1798.

There was another abortive rebellion led by Robert Emmet in 1803.

Britain was at war with France from 1793 until the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Information flows were central to keeping London well informed about what was happening in all parts of Ireland.

Getting the mail backwards and forwards through the shortest possible sea crossings was a priority for the Post Office.

The first postal route to Ireland from London was through Bristol and then Milford Haven in Wales.

In late 1813 the Post Office sought applications for the design and construction of a new packet station in the Suir Estuary, much closer to the open sea than the then packet station for Waterford at Bolton (Cheekpoint).

At that time the ships from Milford Haven had to sail upriver, often against contrary winds, tides and the river itself. A packet station “lower down” would allow the mails to be landed at an earlier place and be taken by road to Waterford. This would be faster and more reliable than the vagaries of sail.

One of the main reasons for using Milford Haven for mails was that since most of the mail originated in London, the route from there to South Wales was a better road, faster and safer than that through Chester, across North Wales and Holyhead.

Oilean na gClioch which features a fine pointed arched bridge (see left of photo). This was designed by Nimmo and is similar to others he designed at Poulaphouca in Wicklow and Shaughnessy’s Bridge in Connemara. Authors collection.

The historian and map maker Gerald of Wales c. 1188 described Milford Haven as “the most excellent  harbour in Britain for ships to enter” and it was the point of departure to Ireland of many Royal and military expeditions.

Among many others these include Strongbow with Henry the Second as early as 1171, Prince John in 1185 and then as King John in 1210, Richard the Second in 1397 and Cromwell in 1649.

Dunmore was settled at quite an early stage. There was a grant in 1203 from King John to Heverbrichtof Dunmore and a Manor of Dunmore referred to in 1287.

A fishery is referred to in 1303.

By 1774 there was a reference to “eighty sail of fishing ships now belong to this small port.”

The oldest house still standing in the village from c 1790-1800 is Virginia Cottage on the hill from the lower village going up to Killea.

The first plan for building the Harbour at Portcullin Cove was submitted in March 1814 by 31 year old Alexander Nimmo to the Post Office.

Work began on building the Harbour in September 1815.

At the end of June 1818 the Government announced that: “as the Packet Station has been changed from Passage to Dunmore and a Post Office having been established in Dunmore it will be necessary for those residing in that area to have letters addressed “Dunmore East” to avoid confusion with Dunmore, County Galway.”

On July 7th 1818 an official notice appeared which stated that “on and from 7th inst. The British mails will be despatched from Dunmore East to Milford.”

Steam packets Meteor and Royal Sovereign which operated on the Milford Waterford route circa 1824
Maritime Museum Greenwich, via Roger Antell

Dunmore was designated as one of five Royal Harbours in Ireland through which mail was conveyed. The others were Ardglass and Donaghadee in Northern Ireland, and Howth and Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) to the north and south of Dublin respectively.

Nimmo was a quite extraordinary man whose contribution to designing and building the harbour in Dunmore, as well as many other projects across Ireland was enormous.

He was one of a number of Scottish engineers who played a transformative role in modernising transport in Britain and Ireland.

He first came to Ireland to work on bog engineering in the West and went on to plan and develop at least 50 piers and harbours ranging from North Mayo to Greystones in Wicklow.

This bust of Alexander Nimmo is the only likeness of him recorded and was done by his friend John B Jones in 1845. It is in the Royal Dublin Society.

The Tidy Towns committee in Dunmore East unveiling a plaque in June 2018 at the Harbour   to remember Nimmo who died at the age of just 49 in 1832.

Nimmo was a brilliant engineer but his correspondence in the National Archives with the Post Office and Dublin Castle show a repeated weakness when it came to accounting for monies spend and keeping the project on budget.

For its time, the construction was ambitious and complex.

Rock was quarried locally from the cliffs above the Harbour and a little further away above the Flat Rocks. It was then moved down to the pier on a railway. Stone had to be blasted and then cut by hand.

Limestone was also quarried in Dunkit and floated down the river on barges.

One of Nimmo’s achievements was to make a diving bell that worked. It was subsequently used in other projects in Ireland, particularly the Wellesley Bridge in Limerick which he designed.

Nimmo’s original plan had included a lighthouse and in July 1818, when the Harbour was about to enter service, the Secretary of the Post Office asked the Ballast Board in Dublin, who ran the lighthouse service, to let them set up a temporary light at the end of the pier.

George Halpin who designed the lighthouse was one of the great men in Irish lighthouse history responsible for many others around the country.

The design is of a fluted Doric column of which there is only one other in Ireland – the Haulbowline Lighthouse – in Carlingford Lough.

Dunmore East lighthouse circa 1900

Dunmore’s importance as a harbour for post and trade was under threat before it was finished.

Steam ships with greater strength and reliability were already in service. By 1817 the first steam ship on the Irish Sea travelled between the Clyde and the Mersey and a paddle steamer between Carrick on Suir and Waterford was in service.

The Post Office built its own steam ships for the mails and went into service from Holyhead in 1821, Dover in 1822 and Milford Haven to Dunmore in 1824.

As the steamers became more powerful they had no difficulty making the passage upriver to the extensive quays in Waterford and its concentration of merchants and mail coach connections.

Dunmore also grew as a resort, and by 1824 Ryland referred to it as “formerly a place of resort for fishermen, but now a fashionable and delightful watering place.”

Dunmore harbour changed from a packet station to a fishing port as the 19th century progressed. In more recent times it has undergone extensive re-modelling as excavations and infill have taken place.

As Nimmo’s biographer Noel Wilkins says of the Harbour today: “The visual prospect along the main quay (the original Packet Quay) towards the fluted lighthouse rising majestically at its head, has a certain boulevard-like quality that is decidedly unusual in fishery harbours, recalling the grandeur of its original purpose.”

My thanks again to Roy for this great addition to the blog and an insight into the making of Dunmore harbour. If anyone reading this has a blog that they would like to submit for consideration they can email me at tidesntales@gmail.com to discuss. The blog should relate to the areas maritime heritage be 1200 words approximately. I’m always delighted to get new material, and would love to hear from younger readers too, who might have ideas to share.

SS Valdura – a lucky escape

SS Valdura

On Tuesday 12th January 1926 the SS Valdura ran headlong onto the rocks west of Kilmore Quay at a spot appropriately known as The Forlorn (Crossfarnoge Point)  She had sailed from Baltimore on December 29th and was bound for Liverpool. [1] Her holds were filled with maize (Indian Corn).  The Valdura (1910) was a steel screw steamer of 5,507 registered tonnage and owned by the Valdura Steamship Co. Ltd., of Glasgow.

SS Valdura aground at the Forlorn, Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford.
Photo via Brian Cleare

She grounded under the rocket station and the coast guard and lifeboat were quickly on the scene.  However, the ship was wedged on the rocks, with a falling tide, in a light enough breeze and the crew were considered to be at no immediate risk.  The lifeboat stood down.[2]

On Wednesday 13th the powerful tug Morsecock left Cobh in response to the distress signals sent by the ship.  The plan was that a refloating attempt would be made. [3]  However this was a failure and was reported on later in the week “Plans to refloat  her on high tide yesterday proved futile. Mr. T. Casement, inspector of the Life saving service, has superintended the putting of life saving lines on the vessel with a view to rescuing the crew should it become necessary. The crew of the Kilmore Quay station are standing by for this purpose” [4]

A sense of the location of both the wreck and her position ref the Saltee Islands.
Buttermilk is close by the home tab. via Google Maps
Another treacherous spot to the east of Kilmore is St Patricks Bridge. At high water the glacial deposit that once stretched to the Saltee Islands is below water. The breaking seas are an ominous sight.

Professional assistance was called in and the Liverpool and Glasgow Salvage Association were engaged and attempted a refloat on the next Spring Tides.  However this was not a success, and with strengthening winds some of her tanks were flooded with seawater to hold her down and a decision was taken to await the next spring tides. At least no damage was reported beyond the initial grounding. [5]

In an effort to lighten the vessel it was decided to remove part of her cargo and to sell this to try recouping some of the loss.  It would appear the locals were employed to effectively dump the cargo over the side and onto the beach which was then bought by locals, and perhaps not only locals at auction.  For example here’s an advertisement from the Wicklow People[6]:

Maize as it lies on beach is now for Sale at 5s per 16 size corn sack, buyers to bring own sacks and to fill same. Persons buying quickly can get corn clean and free from sand. Terms—Cash. Mr. Thomas Sutton, The Hotel, Kilmore Quay, will give purchasers an order for corn on above terms, or same can he had from WALSH AND Corish MMIA, Auctioneers, Wexford and Taghmon.

With the ship now lighter and tides being right another attempt was made on removing the ship off the rocks in early March and she was reported as having entered Waterford harbour on Saturday March 13th 1926 under tow of tug Ranger.[7] 

A similar fate befell The Earl of Beaconsfield in 1884. She grounded close to Kilmore, was salvaged and towed to Buttermilk for emergency repairs. Seen here at Buttermilk, across from Cheekpoint.
Photo courtesy of Tomás Sullivan

I’m not sure about the next part of the process, but we do know that she was grounded at Passage East on purpose so that her hull could be checked and temporary repairs made.  I presume this happened before she was put to anchor at Buttermilk Castle where the remainder of her cargo was removed.  This appears to have taken some time, and again I’m presuming it was either trans-shipped to other vessels or to lighters, and perhaps both.  The next mention of the ship was in late April when she was spotted passing east of the Lizard being towed by the tugs Poolza and Hudson presumably to a shipyard for repairs[8].

Interestingly the last advertisement I could find for the sale of her cargo dates to April:  Seventh Sale. To Be Sold by Auction.  On 12th April, at 11 o’clock, at Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, 350 lots of Damaged Maize, in lots, as usual.   Terms–Strict Cash at Sale. WALSH AND CORISH, Auctioneers. It would appear the auctions were so regular at that point that there was no need for extra details to be supplied.  Of course this may have been a double edged sword.  Much of the maize was carted to Wexford town where the kilns of Staffords on the Customs House Quay was used to dry the grain.  However the smell was atrocious and local residents made complaints, but the County Medical Officer passed the grain as fit to use![9]

Found the following link to a modern day salvage which might suggest the techniques used to re-float the Valdura haven’t changed much

What I found most astonishing about the fate of the Valdura however, is that the weather stayed settled for as long as it did, 60 days. Another interesting mystery was a very obvious question of what the ship was doing inside the Coningbeg lightship and the Saltee Islands, considerably off her route. The answer to that seems to have been kept by the master.

No doubt her owners were relieved to have the ship back in action and the first mention I could find of her in operation again was October when she was discharging ten thousand tons of American coal at the Cattedown Wharves, in Plymouth.[10]

The owners sold her the following year and she survived until October 1942, when on route from Newfoundland in ballast to Australia she was wrecked in St. Mary’s Bay near Cape English, Nova Scotia.

Since publication Sean Moroney has put together this fab video of the story based on the details in the blog. Its a wonderful production

As regular readers know, the blog is supported by a wide range of people who help me with various queries. This mornings would not have been possible without the help of Brian Boyce and his crew mates at the Rosslare Harbour Maritime Heritage Centre and particularly Brian Cleare for the image used of the grounded Valdura. For another account on the incident see John Powers Maritime History of County Wexford Vol II 1911-1969. Johns book and a wealth of other maritime titles are available to buy at the Heritage Centre. Open every Saturday afternoon, or other times by appointment

[1] Western Morning News – Wednesday 27 January 1926 p2

[2] Evening Herald (Dublin) – Wednesday 13 January 1926 p 1

[3] Ibid

[4] Evening Herald (Dublin) – Friday 15 January 1926 p 1

[5] New Ross Standard – Friday 19 February 1926 p 10

[6] Wicklow People – Saturday 27 March 1926 p 1

[7] The Scotsman – Monday 15 March 1926 p 4

[8] Western Daily Press – Saturday 24 April 1926 p4

[9]Roche. R. Tales of the Wexford Coast.  1993. Duffry Press.  Enniscorthy.

[10] Western Morning News – Friday 15 October 1926 p 8

Nuke; an Iron Age Promontory Fort

Living beside a river, your neighbours often include those on the opposite bank.  As rivers tend to be natural boundaries, these neighbours can be in different counties or indeed provinces and so it was between my grandmother in the Russianside Cheekpoint, Co Waterford and her neighbours of Nuke in Co Wexford.  She sometimes knew more about them than she did about her fellow villagers, as they were in view out her window.  If she saw a light on in Mrs Murphys at night she would worry that someone was sick, or when Josie Whitty had the fire lit early of a winter’s morning, she would be all praise for her activity. 

Nuke itself is an odd location.  It’s tucked away in a small, but well sheltered bay and is really only visible from the opposite shore. The road down runs off a back road between Ballyhack and Campile, down a steep, narrow and winding lane that looks more like a persons driveway. It would be natural to think that the name is associated with a nook; defined as a crevice, hollow bay, recess, opening or a gap.  Indeed for many years I spelled the name as I had seen it in some history books and charts as Nook, however a few years back Deena and I were in Ballyhack looking for a gravestone and I noticed many of the locals spelled it Nuke. 

Du Noyer sketch of St Catherines. JK&SEIAS

Now blog regulars will know how much I value the local knowledge over written text, and as it turns out the locals have a sound footing in their choice of spelling.  For according to Hore the placename has nothing to do with its geographic situation, but it is named for St Inicke (also spelled Inioque & Iniogue) who probably had a cell on the tip of the small headland to the south of the bay in the early Christian era. The Bay of Nuke coincidentally was also recorded as St Inick’s Bay.[1]  I’ve read numerous different spellings of the name I must admit, and in recent times Nook is the most prevelant. And although St Inicke was a new one on me, I’ve also seen Nugg, Nugge, Neuke, Le Newge. 

The history of the site however goes further back than early Christian, for it is recorded as a fortified promontory fort by Thomas Johnson Westropp[2] He dated it to the Iron Age (from 500BC – 400AD depending on what you read). Westropp was a pioneer of identifying and recording such forts and between 1898 and 1922 he recorded 195 sites. 

Promontory forts are attributed various functions. Among the suggestions are that they may have been used as landing places for seagoing invaders and temporary refuges during inland attack. They have also been proposed as trading bases, ceremonial enclosures, observation posts, and livestock pounds. Obviously from my perspective any suggestion of landing spaces or trading bases between Irish Celts and their European cousins would be music to my ears. The sites were also associated with fishing, a vital source of food for the settlers.

A view from Nuke towards Cheekpoint and Great Island

Of the site Westropp states that: “The headland, though fenced to the north and west by cliffs, has only a steep grassy slope to the east.  At the foot of this are low, marshy fields, with a stream and a shore flooded at high tide, as we found it after our visit. One can see that it was a shallow creek, gradually filled by the backwash of the great rivers, and in a lesser degree by its stream, probably once much larger and stronger. This formed the “nook,” from which the present name is derived, and was a safe place for old flat-bottomed ships to lie…

The fosse and rampart run across the crown of the ridge, but no trace remains down the very steep slope; perhaps it was palisaded, or even had dry-stone walls, which could easily be removed, like so much of the rampart, for building material…

The works run in a bold curve across the saddle of the ridge and down the western slope to the cliff. The fort is largely made of the small shaly stones…The mound is 21 to 24 feet thick, and rises 12 to 15 feet over the fosse and 6 to 8 over the field. The fosse is much filled up to the east of the laneway, and a house in ruins stands in it. To the west it is cut for the most part into the shaly rock, and served as a quarry for the wall. It is at most 5 to 6 feet deep at the cutting and 15 feet wide. From it there is a fine view of the new railway bridge across the Barrow, and the broad confluence, the curve of the Suir, the rising grounds in Kilkenny and Waterford, and the distant mountains from the blue Comeraghs eastward. Dunbrody Abbey, though near, is hidden by the plateau…”

Nuke is perhaps best known however for the fortified church of St Catherine dating to the Norman era and the building of Dunbrody Abbey, which George Victor Du Noyer, the noted antiquarian, dated to the mid 14th Century[3].  Du Noyer was an artist and geologist who over the course of a half century, travelled the length and breadth of Ireland, sketching and recording as he went, including many local scenes of our area.  St Catherine’s had a fortified tower to protect the monks, but also had living quarters suggesting it was a space for the management of the river and commercial enterprises.  In my own mind I would think this suggests activities such as the weirs, fish curing and possibly tolls or other controls on vessels at anchor and those using the Port of St Mary Dunbrody.  St Catherine’s Bay stretched down river towards another fortification, Buttermilk Castle.

The Bay of Nuke or St Inick’s Bay when we visited last September. The promontory is on the left.

The most fascinating aspect of the church for me however is this; “On the exterior of the wall, to the left of this doorway near the springing of its arch, and at the height of about six feet from the ground, there is a small tricusped niche, which, from its peculiar position, would lead one to suppose that it was intended to receive a lantern to act as a beacon to vessels passing over the neighbouring portion of the Waterford estuary.”[4]

The small tricusped niche to the left of the doorway. An early navigational light in the harbour? Du Noyer JK&SEIAS

My own memories of Nuke are more to do with the Whitty family and the salmon driftnets set out in the bay as John (“Be God the man” his favourite phrase as I recall it and always associated with any story of him) and his family sat in the evening summer sun watching the corks as they lay out on the grassy bank of the headland, poised to jump into the punts to go immediately if they spotted a fish touching the nets. But in recent years we have tried to ensure our own children know it well too, visiting in the punt, or paddling across in the kayaks, and explaining the history of the site.

It’s to be hoped that the work of Noel McDonagh at Creaden Head  on the Waterford side of the harbour further down towards Dunmore East will create a greater interest in the older period of history in the harbour area, the ancient traders of the past and vital artery that the rivers were. It might foster a bit more interest in the rest of the harbour and rivers too. But it is a warming thought indeed for me to think that amongst those who used the early promontory fort were fishermen and that they possibly sat out in the evening sun watching their nets, or fish baskets, in much the same way that I remember the Whitty’s doing.

[1] Hore.P.H.  History of the Town & County of Wexford. Dunbrody Abbey, The Great Island, Ballyhack etc. 1901 London.  Page 251 (I’m again indebted to John Flynn for the loan of his copy)

[2] Five large earthworks in the Barony of Shelburne, Co Wexford.  Westropp T.J. 1918 JRSAI vol XLVIII Part 1

[3] Ibid

[4] Notes on some peculiarities in ancient and medieval Irish ecclesiastical architecture.  By Noyer G.V. The Journal of the Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society, NewSeries, Vol. 5, No. 1 (1864), pp. 27-40 [1] Ibid pp 32-33

The unchristianlike crew

Following the death of their captain, the men of the barquentine Herbina were described as an “unchristianlike” crew.  The judgement was passed at an inquiry while the ship lay at anchor off Passage East in February 1892. But was it fair, or even accurate?  I will leave that to you to decide.

Over Christmas the brother in law, Bernard Cunningham, asked had I ever noticed the foreign captain’s grave in Crooke, and wondered if I knew the reason he was buried there.  Funnily enough, I had photographed it previously, as you do!, but had never followed up on the research. 

The grave belonged to Petro Valeiste (Velcich on his grave marker) , sea captain and part owner of the Herbina, a three masted barquentine of the port of Trieste (then part of the Austro- Hungarian empire).  The ship was sailing from Liverpool to Buenos Aires with a cargo of coal.  She departed from Liverpool on Thursday 18th February but ran into a storm on the afternoon of the following day and while the crew struggled to manage the sails, and a hired pilot kept the ship on course, the captain slumped to the deck and died. 

The Herbina was one of 11 ships that entered Waterford harbour following the storm and the Munster Express gave a vivid description of the scene with ships in a sinking state, the pilot boat and pilots run ragged in providing their services and the Dunmore East lifeboat on duty in case of emergency.[1]

When the Herbina was finally safe at anchor the local police barracks at Passage received news (presumably from a pilot) that the captain of the vessel was dead, and Dr Jackman from Dunmore East was summoned and went onboard.  Dr Jackman, however was not prepared for the strange sight that greeted him. For the captain lay where he fell and not a crew man would come near the body, and he had to place a shroud over the body and lift it into a coffin without a hand being lifted to help by the crew.  As the body was lowered down into a waiting hobbler craft, again the crew would not help.  News of the crew’s behaviour must have quickly spread.

Barquentine Mercator by Yasmina. Accessed from Wikipedia (public domain)

A follow up inquest was held in Passage East on Tuesday 23rd February.  It was overseen by Mr E Power, Coroner, and the following made up the sworn jury; Capt Kelly (foreman),P  Hanlon, J Kennedy, W Power, J Kavanagh, M Hanlon, Thomas Ryan, J Donnelly, James Rogers, P Cashin, M Kavanagh & John Barrett.

The first evidence was supplied by the Channel Pilot* Philip Barrio who explained that on Tuesday 16th February he was engaged by the dead captain to assist in the navigation down the Irish Sea.  However as the weather was stormy, they delayed departure until Thursday 18th.  By the late Friday afternoon of the next day the weather again turned against them.  The captain consulted with the pilot on his decision to take a reef in the top sail, but to this the pilot objected suggesting he needed to reduce his sail considerably more.  Two men were already aloft and the captain decided to order all his remaining crew aloft.  Even as they climbed the rigging some of the sail was torn away by the wind.

As the crew worked diligently aloft, the pilot took the wheel.  However at some point he noticed the captain grab his chest and stagger away towards his cabin.   He explained that he was too occupied to take much notice of the man, but at one point noticed him slumped and thought he may be asleep.  On being challenged by his apparent lack of concern for the captain, the pilot explained that he had seemed to be in the best of health and it had not occurred to him that he was unwell.  He was also much absorbed in ensuring the safety of the ship and her crew, as the weather was so bad.

An obviously perplexed jury put question after question to the pilot.  Had the captain been in dispute with the crew?  Were angry words spoke?  Had he been ill?  Had he drink taken?  To all the pilot stated in the negative. A doubtful jurist also expressed surprise that the pilot was given the wheel. Rogers went so far as to say he was not satisfied with what he was hearing, but was overruled by the coroner.

First mate Gorgurevich Natals was then called to give evidence and he explained how on fulfilling his earlier instructions he descended to the deck to get further orders.  He came aft and noticed the captain slumped over.  He perceived that he was not breathing but felt warmth over his heart and called to the cook to bring some alcohol.  This was rubbed into the chest of the dead man, but did not revive him.  The jury, through questions ascertained that it was his first trip under the captain, that he was too preoccupied in the rigging to have seen what was happening on the deck and that he had heard the captain say he had been unwell prior to his joining the ship but he was in the best of health since the mate had signed on.

It was Dr Jackmans evidence of the behaviours of the crew towards their skipper which elicited the most surprise at the inquiry, actions, or more accurately lack of actions, which led the coroner to observe “This was certainly very inhuman conduct on the part of the crew” and later “scandalous conduct..l never heard of anything worse…disgraceful in the extreme”.  Mr Kennedy probably captured the mood of the jury when he described the actions as “Most unchristianlike”

A fine painting of the Herbina (or Heribea) which I received from Marco Cobau, Capt. Pietro  Velcich Gt Grandson post-publication 20/5/2022

Whatever transpired on the Herbina on that fateful voyage many members of the jury remained unconvinced that they were hearing the full truth, but the coroner seemed satisfied and ruled that on the evidence given that the captain had died from natural causes, heart failure.   

Later on in the day the remains were interred in the graveyard in Crooke.  No further details are given.  Perhaps his crew went to pay their respects, maybe flowers were laid, maybe nothing at all apart from a priest and the gravediggers.  I have found no other mention of the ship or the crew.  Presumably, she sailed once a replacement captain was found.  Given how superstitious sailors could be, we might consider him a brave man indeed to sail with the men labeled as the “unchristianlike” crew.

The grave of the Velcich family Moscenice, Croatia courtesy of Marco Cobau who with his wife  Lauretta and son Giorgio visited the grave in Crooke in January 2024 with my wife Deena and our good friend Breeda Murphy. Marco hopes to place some of the soil of his Gt Grandfathers’s grave with his wife and children at easter if local regulations permit.

The majority of details are taken from a report in the Waterford Mirror and Tramore Visitor. – Thursday Feb 25th 1892 Page 3

[1] Munster Express Sat Feb 27th 1892 Page 7

*I had hoped to find a link to describe the work of a channel pilot, but couldn’t find a specific description, if anyone could direct me to same I’d appreciate it.