|David and his Dad, Dunmore 1952
with thanks to Michael Farrell
Dunmore East is located on the County Waterford coastline where the estuary of Waterford harbour forms. People living in Dunmore East tended to drop the ‘East’ part and refer to the village simply as Dunmore. The village itself then divided into two parts: ‘The Dock’ where the harbour and pier were located and then ‘Lower Dunmore’ on the way to the Catholic Church at Killea. A beautiful park, running down to the cliffs separated the two areas. On the opposite side of the park was St. Andrew’s Church of Ireland and a number of large houses including the Haven Hotel, which had originally been called Villa Marina, when it was the home of the Malcomson family. Stretching entirely around Dunmore as a backdrop were the woods which give the entire village a beautiful panoramic view, particularly from the sea. The wood and park had been left in trust to the people of Dunmore for their enjoyment. Reaching Dunmore by sea had the advantage of seeing all the beautiful small coves and beaches stretching around the bay, many of them with colonies of noisy sea birds called kittiwakes. For different reasons, these all became favourite places of mine and I retain fond memories of all of them.
| Dunmore East from the air – circa 1963
With thanks to Michael O’Sullivan Waterford History Group (WHG)
Some additional bedrooms were joined on later at the end of the corridor. Photographs taken around the turn of 20th century show only the old part. It was a very damp house as a result of being so old. In winter my parents overcame this and kept the house as cosy as possible by keeping coal fires lighting all day and having plenty of paraffin heaters in the hallways and bedrooms, which we always called The Aladdin, a trade name for this type of heater. They could be a bit smelly and difficult to maintain but were pretty effective nevertheless.
|The harbour masters house is in the centre of the photo facing the dock
Via Michael O’Sullivan WHG
My father’s predecessor had been called Major Wilfred Lloyd and he had retired after a long time in the position. He had a son called Llewellyn who I suspected slept in my bedroom a long time previously. A compass had been carved into part of the wooden window frame and we always credited Llewellyn with this. From a very early age I therefore knew where North, South East and West were located and knew if the wind was blowing from the north, it was coming from the direction of Councillor’s Strand and this was the one that was feared as the harbour was unsheltered from this direction.
|A busy fishing harbour with Dutch luggers circa 1950’s early 1960’s
Photo via William Power WHG
If I was asked briefly as to what my father’s core role or job description was, it could be best summed up by saying that his job was to ensure that all users of the harbour was properly looked after. It was important that the fishermen had landing facilities and space to store ropes and nets and mend their nets and lobster pots. The people using the harbour for pleasure required simple access and safe and secure moorings for their boats. By and large, my father, using lifelong maritime skills and knowledge achieved that and was well respected and liked by everyone. The fishermen used the facilities throughout the full year but all sailing and boating came to an end in September. Summer and winter were quite different and even in spring and autumn there was always something new or different happening around the harbour. There was never a dull day!
|Another old photo with a view of the cottage, behind the masts and rigging
of old sailing vessels. Via Michael O’Sullivan WHG
The chronometer, which is still in my possession all these years later, was first used in a steamship called the Mary Monica, built in Port Glasgow in 1879 and belonging to my grandfather’s company J.J. Carroll, 38 City Quay, Dublin and was used to supply his coal business in Dublin from Ayr in Scotland. I have an oil painting of that ship in my house showing her in a storm in the Bay of Biscay and a faded date on the painting looks like 1884.
Tides were also important for sailing craft leaving Dunmore East intending to sail up the Co. Wexford coast towards Arklow or Dun Laoghaire. As far as I can recall, the skipper needed to plan his voyage to be some-where around Tuskar Rock near Rosslare when the tide turned to derive maximum benefit from the tide and assist their passage. My father would have advised many a seafarer at Dunmore with this information.
A two video pieces of the time, to finish. Firstly via a Micheal O’Sullivan WHG and filmed by Daithi O’Gorman
And finally fishing herring at Dunmore in the 60’s via Pathe News
If you would like to read the full piece as penned by David you can email him to request a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Some sources give the date as 1835
My thanks for assistance with the piece to William Power of Dunmore, Michael O’Sullivan Waterford History Group Facebook page and Michael Farrell of the Barony of Gaultier Historical Society. The 2017 Calendar of the Society which feature some of David’s photos, are still available in local shops