Book I – Before the Tide Went Out

Before the Tide Went Out

In October 2017 I launched my first self published book, Before the Tide Went Out. The last handful of copies are still available to buy in some of the shops listed below.  I’m afraid I no longer have any personal stock for sale




I was featured on the Joe Duffy Liveline show in December 2018 talking about the book.  I can be found about 30 minutes in on the link


Andrew Doherty vividly brings you into the heart of a now practically vanished fishing community, deep into the domestic lives of the people making a hard and precarious living from the river, only 6 miles from Waterford city centre. You share his affectionate memories of the local people and the fun that was to be had as a child playing in and around the fishing boats and nets on a busy quayside.
He also takes you out on the river, on bright and beautiful days, and on wild and dangerous nights, which he describes with a naturally poetic turn of phrase. You feel the cold, the misery of sea-soaked clothing and the pain of raw hands hauling on fish-scaled nets.
But what keeps you going is what kept him going for 15 years, the camaraderie and pride of spending time with brave, skilled and wise fishermen who could be grumpy, hilarious, sometimes eccentric, but never boring.

Author Biography

Andrew Doherty was born in 1965 in the village of Cheekpoint, Co. Waterford. He followed his family into the tough traditional fishing way of life and was so engaged for 15 years. On the birth of his first child and the decline of fishing opportunities he worked in local industry before taking up his present career as a community activist. He is very involved as a volunteer in village affairs and is passionate about local history and remembering, if not reviving, the traditions of his fishing community.

Reviews etc

The book has traveled widely not just in Ireland but worldwide: How Far the Tide Drifted

Michael Coady, Poet and writer from Carrick On Suir
“…read and relish your book and found it fascinating and most informative and enlightening. It is a very valuable (and unique) addition to memoir, history, sociology and ecology relating to Waterford Harbour. And a great read… I hope it was a success for you as it deserves to be.

The River Suir along with Waterford Harbour has always fascinated me: it contains and embodies whole worlds. You write from the inside and so are especially qualified to lend all of this a personal voice of experience. My mother was from Waterford city; what I know of the river and its centrality is essentially in and around my native Carrick, which is its tide-head. But I really love all the topography etc of the harbour and estuary…”

Review of the book by Dr Andrew Lloyd titled All Washed Up
Excerpt: “… what surfaced in my mind when I finished Andrew Doherty’s book Before the Tide Went Out… a dull throbbing anger at how the rapacious pursuit of profit can just casually brush to oblivion a whole section of the population, not to mention billions of by-catch discarded fish. As SS Ireland whored herself out to Multinationals, the fisher-folk (and agricultural laborers, Castlecomer coal-miners, Carrickmacross lace-makers and Donegal tweed-weavers) were packed away in the hold because they were not wanted on voyage”

Review of the book by maritime bloggers Coast Monkey 
Excerpt: “Andrews book is an enjoyable read and serves an important role in the fostering of appreciation for this significant part of our island’s heritage. It encapsulates the essence of Ireland’s traditional fishing communities and successfully attempts to preserve part of this knowledge on paper. And it also functions as a impassioned plea to the powers that be to realise all that we might lose if we don’t work hard to protect these vulnerable communities.”

Via Brian Goggins on Irish Waterways History

And via Tom McSweeney of the Marine Times and This Island Nation Facebook page:
Wednesday, October 11 2017


In the popular imagination, culture is, to a large extent, associated with artefacts….paintings, musical compositions, literature, architectural styles, even consumer items…. But there should be a much wider perception of culture, particularly in this era of social transformation and that has been pinpointed for me by the phrase – “The culture of the nation must include fishing communities….”

Cheekpoint on the Suir Estuary in Waterford is near the confluence of the Suir and Barrow rivers, close to the Barrow Bridge and beneath Minaun Hill, downriver from Waterford Harbour.

“This is a fishing village and I want people to know what life was like in a traditional, rural fishing community, before the tide went out on our way of life.”

That was what Andrew Doherty told me when he asked me to write to the foreword to the book which he will be launching on Friday week, the 20th of October at Jack Meades pub on the Cheekpoint Road in Waterford.

His new book is called, ‘Before The Tide Went Out’ – Growing up in a traditional Irish Fishing village.’

Preserving fishing and coastal communities does not get enough official support from Government and State. This book tells of the short-sighted policies and maritime blindness inside national agencies and how they rejected the cultural importance of fishing communities.

Go to the FISHERIES PODCAST on the Marine Times website to hear more on this topic.

A review of the book by retired Australian academic Adrian Peace 7th January 2018:

“Your book is a terrific read and I enjoyed every page of it. The format of brief chapters which draw together detailed observation and anecdotal commentary works very well indeed. You evidently have an exceptional memory of the past coupled with a firm sense of where fishing and village life would finally come to a close. I was, for obvious reasons, particularly struck by (indeed envious of!) the command you have over the technology of fishing and its repercussions for social relations. But time and again, your observations reminded me vividly of similar experiences which I tried to make some sense of further along the coast in the 1980s and 1990s. I would also compliment you on the physical and aesthetic appearance of the book itself. Over the years in Ireland, I’ve acquired several such self-published local studies, and none can hold a candle to yours. It’s nice book to hold as well as work through steadily.”

Dr Adrian Peace
Chair of Department of Anthropology
University of Adelaide (Rtd)