Tom Poors Quay

I’ve recorded the name Tom Poors Quay before as part of a blog on the Lightermen. I had heard it called Lighterman’s Quay in Cheekpoint although it does not seem to have been called by this elsewhere. In Ballyhack the name Tom Poor is common…and most are of the opinion that poor refers to the norman era surname Power, or perhaps it’s Irish variation – de Paor.

Interestingly when I posted the video Sheila O’Hanlon commented on Facebook that she was born down Nuke Lane and that she remembered it called Tom Post Quay!

On the census returns for the early 20th C no specific link came up either. Firstly there were no Poors or de Paors listed. 1901 had 7 Thomas Powers in the Ballyhack DED, all farmers or related except for 1 man who was a servant for a shopkeeper named Murphy in Coleman. 1911 had six Thomas Powers. 4 farmers, and two connected with the customs and excise, most probably connected with the Arthurstown Coastguard.

Exploring the remains of the quay
An excerpt from the OSI historic Map Series of the roadway down to the quay

The oldest map I could refer to has nothing marked on it (1764) the Sawers chart of the harbour from 1787 does not show it either, but of note is the extent of the Seedees Bank and its southern reach. The quay is located close to the southern boundary.

A small winch in evidence here on the Lodon Hulk in Waterford where the PS Ida used to berth and goods were transhipped. Lighters also berthed here. I wonder was a similar set up in place on the quay above Ballyhack?

One aspect that I did not mention in the video is that the reason I was so surprised by what I found is that I had never explored it at this time of tide. Usually, the tide is much higher and the stones that excited my interest were covered by the tide. Another point that I noticed post-publication on SM is that many of the locals walked the spot and knew it well. However, although we rambled all over in our youth, we rarely crossed the water. And even when we did it was when fishing…as we only ever fished the ebb tide on Seedes Bank or the first of flood when the shore here was way out of reach, walking or exploring was out of the question.

Viewed from downriver
A still of the perfectly cut recess in the main stone on the quay