Cheekpoint Quay

The oldest map I have seen of the area (1764) indicates Cheekpoint at what we know locally as the Sheag Rock close to the Mount Avenue. The present village and a quay are indicated but called Faithlegg Slip! We know that a quay was here for the Mail Packet ships from 1787.

However, in the early 1870s, a campaign was being run locally to have the quay refurbished. The reportage takes a number of angles to highlight the plight of the quay. One is that the contemporary quay is in a state of dilapidation – making the point that it was hurriedly erected at the time of the packets, that it was built on a small budget, and that it is neither safe nor fit for purpose. The local landlord (Patrick Power at this stage) was also vocal, explaining that a refurbished and extended quay would facilitate paddle steamer connections between the village and the city, and this would be beneficial to trade, particularly from his Faithlegg estate. of the time is due to its disrepair.

The first edition of the historic map series (1829-1842)from the OSI does show the present main quay in a similar layout to what exists today, it is hard however to get a sense of the scale. Did it extend as far, or was the end part as long, or indeed longer? What I can say for sure is that the present lower quay did not exist in the earlier maps and was possibly an addition to the 1870s refurbishment.

the fees associated with shipping from Cheekpoint in 1892 – image courtesy of Waterford County Archive
I believe this image of the quay is circa 1900, its very similar to how it looked in my youth, except for the concrete surface that was later added.
A wet February morning in the 1930s for the blessing of the boats…the surface here is hard to determine, but I am guessing cobbled stone with some filling added
An image from the early 70s before the concrete was poured. Photo was given to me by Tomás Sullivan originally but I don’t recall the source. Shows Bill dips Doherty in his Sunday best on the quay, I think its my uncle John is behind him on the boat

As a child in the 1970s, I remember the new look of the surface of the quay, which had been concreted and had tar poured between the concrete sections to allow it to expand and contract.

A few years back the end of the quay was shuttered and strengthened as there was a risk it would collapse. One theory was that dredging work may have undermined whatever foundation it was built on. It was also raised by at least a foot at that time, but the remainder of the quay was left as was.

Last year – 2022 perhaps the most significant addition to the structure was made when a new pontoon was added.

Tommy Sullivan cuts the ribbon on the new pontoon. Photo Tomás Sullivan

In May of 2023, a notice went up explaining that the quay would now be closed and asked that boats be removed from beside it in the dock to allow works to proceed. Below are some early morning images I took of the work as it proceeded. Essentially the inside wall was pointed, the quay drilled and thousands of tonnes of concrete poured in to make the structure solid, and then the surface was raised. New railings were added, the storm wall was raised, and new ladders and mooring bollards were added. Photos below.