Waterford harbour is in the SE of Ireland and it is made up of the three rivers; the Barrow, Nore and Suir. Collectively known as the three sisters. The rivers meet at my home of Cheekpoint and flow as one to create the harbour. Cheekpoint is also the meeting point of the counties of Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford, and the provinces of Munster and Leinster. The port of Waterford and of New Ross lie above us on, respectively the Suir and the Barrow. Whilst below on the Waterford side we have Passage, Crooke, Woodstown and Dunmore East. On the Wexford side we have Great Island, Campile, Nuke, Ballyhack, Arthurstown, Duncannon and the Hook.
|Meeting of the three sisters
My blog is my way of telling the story of the people and places that make up what I consider to be a Waterford harbour community. It’s a historic place. There is some speculation that the first settlers to Ireland came via the harbour. The Vikings found Vadra Fijord in the 9th Century and Henry II landed here in 1171 in his bid to cement the Norman conquest of Ireland.
Trade flourished and the area exported vast quantities of meat and fish. The area traded with Bristol on the SW coast of England and beyond this to Holland, France and Spain. It was a thriving departure point for the Newfoundland Cod Fishery, where provisions and men boarded for Talamh an Eisc. In the 19th century we had the largest ship building industry in the country. A paddle steamer service linked Duncannon and New Ross with the city and fleets of barges and lighters plied the rivers. Down the years the ports of Waterford and New Ross have seen trade, war, piracy and press gangs.
But the harbour is made of so much more; human stories, stories of endurance, emigration, shipwrecks and violence. Our work tended to be as seafarers, fishermen or ancillary shoreside occupations. My blog sets out to recover the stories that have made the harbour what it is, and in particular trying to uncover the lives of the ordinary and extraordinary people who made a contribution to it.
If you want to discuss anything, have a question, or want to correct or share some information I can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org