The Beannacháin  by Alyssa Power

  

This is the burial place of St .Declan, the founder of the monastery at Ardmore. He is said to have been already a Christian Bishop in Munster before St. Patrick arrived in Ireland and is one of the main reasons for the belief that Christianity may have come to the south-east of Ireland earlier than to the rest of the country.

The oratory is an important station of the annual pilgrimage to Ardmore on 24th of July. The saint is supposed to be buried in the stone lined pit in the floor which was once covered with a large flagstone but which, along with the contents of the grave, has now vanished.

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Saint Declan’s Cathedral By Ashley Hennessy

One of our earliest ecclesiastical sites in Ireland was founded in Ardmore by Saint Declan, a pre-patrician,( before Saint Patrick), Saint in the 5th century. At the site are later remains of an ecclesiastical enclosure. Inside the enclosure are the remains of Saint Declan’s Oratory, the Cathedral, a 12th century Round Tower and Two Ogham Stones. The Cathedral, which consists of a Nave and chancel, was built by Mollettrim O Duibh Rathra sometime during 12th century and probably in a number of phases. The building includes many phases of ecclesiastical architecture from almost cyclopean through to Hiberno Romanesque and Transitional.


My Nan told me the main feature of the Cathedral is the arcading on the west face. The arcading consists of a row of thirteen panels, nine of which still contain Romanesque figure sculpture. Below these panels are two lunettes, also containing figure sculptures. Some of the iconography of the panels is easily identified. The lunette on the North side of the west face features Adam and Eve. The other Lunette features the adoration of the magi and the Judgement of Solomon.

Located in the chancel of the Cathedral are two of the three Ogham Stones that were originally found at this site. The Ogham stone, now standing in a small Niche of the Chancel, was found and built into the east wall of the Oratory and has two inscriptions that read

LUGVDECCAMAQI[...MV]COINETASEGAMONAS        AND

DOCATIBIDAISGOB

The second Ogham stone said

AMADU.



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Fairy Forts by Courtney O Mahony




The Fairy forts have been in Ireland for many years. It is believed that they have tunnels under some of them that lead to different places. It is said that the one by my house leads to Clashmore, to a well. The fairy forts are made by fairies. Fairy forts are very common and it is said if there is a house built between two fairy forts the house would fall down bit by bit. Hill forts usually have dún in their name and are generally associated with the Iron Age.


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The Samson by Emma Keevers               

The Samson was a crane barge. In December of 1987, it was being towed from Liverpool to Malta when a storm cut the crane loose from her tugboat, off the Welsh coast. Two crew members were on board. The crew were rescued and she eventually crashed a couple of hundred miles away on the Ram Head rocks and has been rusting away there ever since.



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St. Declan’s Rock By Neasa Keevers


 

ST.Declan’s Rock is quite a long way from the monastery and well. There is a story people tell that St.Declan was sailing across the sea to find a place to build a monastery. He was guided on his way by a huge floating stone which carried his bell on top. When the stone stopped at the shore he knew he was in the right place. He looked at the big cliffs and named the place Áirdmhóir/Ardmore the great height. The Rock is seated, slanted on two other stones with lots more surrounding it to keep it steady. It is said that if your back is sore or hurt and if you crawl under the rock it will heal or cure the pain or injury. Also pregnant women who crawl under it will have an easy birth. The Rock is not situated near the main beach. It is to the right if you are looking out to sea. St. Declan’s Rock is a very important part of Ardmore.

                                   

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Ardmore-The Wreck of the Teaser by Julianna Tierney

Ardmore is like every other village in Ireland. It has many old stories to tell. One story dates back to 1911. It happened on a Saturday morning, March 18th almost 104 years ago in the town land of Curragh in Ardmore, County Waterford. This is my town land.

During the terrible storm, the schooner “Teaser of Montrose” was wreaked off Curragh beach. The ship left south Wales and was leading to Killorglin in County Kerry. Local coastguards all rushed to the beach with rockets which they fired out to the wreck, but the crew members were so exhausted they couldn’t make the lines attached to the rockets.

Two coastguards, Richard Barry and Alexander Neal, risked their lives by jumping into the icy cold waves and wading out to reach the crew, however they had to turn back because the sea was too rough. The coastguards and the local priest

Fr.O’ Shea got a boat from a nearby house. It was drawn by horse to the beach and a group of local men pulled it into the surf.


The wrecked ‘Teaser’ off Curragh beach


Above-

Back row (L to R): W Harris, P. Power, J O’Brian, Con O’Brien, Front row: (L to R) R. Barry, Fr O’Shea, A Neal and D Lawton.

The crew of the rescue boat were  the following eight men ;coastguard Richard Barry and Alexander Neal, Constable Lawton, William Harris hotel keeper, Patrick Power a farmer,  John O’Brian the boatman and Cornelius O’Brien another farmer and Fr. John O’Shea the priest.

Through the huge waves they rowed out to the Teaser. There were three men on board, Captain Thomas Hughes, the mate fox and an ordinary seaman Walsh. These three men had tied themselves to the rigging and they were dying. Fr O Shea blessed them all, however the three men died on board before they could be brought ashore.

The eight rescuers were very brave men who risked their lives to rescue the three crew members of the ‘Teaser’ for this they were invited  to London to received medals from the king of England at Buckingham palace on May the 2nd 1911.  They will be remembered as heroes from Ardmore.  THE END.


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The cup and saucer by Holly Kretschmer

There is not a lot to say about it history wise. If you are studying geography it would be a perfect example of coastal erosion. Apart from that, all I can gather was that it is two rocks formed to look like a cup and saucer. It is located on the cliffs of Ardmore, commonly seen while doing the cliff walk.

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The Round Tower Of Ardmore by Grainne Kiernan

The round tower is one of the wonders of the 12th century. The round tower still stands 97 feet/ 30 meters tall and it is in perfect condition. Its present conical cap replaced the one that fell down in the last century (you can see this in the old cathedral).A unique feature, of the tower, is its door which is four meters above the ground level. The tower is built from cut soft brown sandstone and it stands on a hill looking over the bay of Ardmore. It is now believed that the round tower was built later than when the Vikings arrived. It might have been a status symbol in the 12th century as opposed to being a storage area for the valuables belonging to the monastery, during Viking raids in the 9th century.

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Facts about Forts by Caitlin Mooney

Forts are the remains of circular dwellings that date from the late Iron Age to early Christian times. They were built with earth banks or ditches. They were often topped with wooden fences and had wooden dwellings and animal houses inside them. These buildings did not survive and, in many cases only vague circular marks remain in the landscape.]Raths and lios are found in all parts of Ireland. Many towns have the names rath or lios in them.


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Superstitions about Fairy Forts by Caitlin Mooney                                                            

It is said that one should not knock it down or u will die [so I would not knock it or even go near it]. When cutting the grass cut to at least 3 to four 4 meters away from the fort

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The T-Flag by Aoife O’Brien


My Grandad told me about the T-Flag.

The t-Flag rock is made of old red sandstone and it’s colour gives its name to the nearby inlet to the east of the T-Flag, The Bailín Dearg. These rocks are geologically very old so contain no fossils [imprints of once living creatures]. The seals of rock are unusually flat and soft enough to be easily etched into. People have carved their names in the T-flag as far back as in the 1700’s.


Young people around Ardmore including my granddad visited the rock now and again, even though their parents told them not to. Their parents feared the 80 foot drop onto the rocks below. My granddad said he would have to agree as an adult, that the warning re the possible dangers was correct. The names on the rock are probably of people who lived locally and who used to picnic on the rock on fine Summer days. While there, they would engrave their names in the rock. Now there is  a Café  in Ardmore called the T-Flag.


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St Declan by Jack Smyth


St. Declan was among one of the earliest saints in Ireland. When he arrived in Ardmore he was already a bishop. At the time Ardmore was called Ard na gcaerach, this means the height of the sheep.

On the night that Declan was born it was said that a great ball of fire was seen in the sky above his house.  When he was little he was fostered out to his father’s brother. He remained with this man for seven years. He then went out to live with a very holy man called Dioma, Declan and another child called Cairbre MC Colmain studied with Dioma. Declan decided to go to Rome. When he got there he met a Bishop called Ailbe who was very friendly with Pope Hilary. After many years of studying the Pope ordained him a bishop and he was sent back to Ireland with many church books and rules and orders and told to preach to the Irish people. Legend has it that on his journey back to Rome, Declan met Patrick who was on his way to study in Rome. Patrick was later ordained bishop by Pope Celestinus. Bishop Declan was succeeded by Bishop Ultan.  

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Lime kiln by Emmet Freyne

There is a lime kiln in Curragh, Ardmore. A lime kiln is used to burn lime stones to make lime. Stones were gathered and broken up into smaller pieces and then put on an iron grate over whatever materials were being burned. People usually used whatever was available. Turf, wood and furze bushes were often burned. If you burn limestone in a lime kiln, you will get lime. It is a dangerous substance. If it goes in your eyes you will be made blind by it. It was also a very useful substance. Lime was spread on fields as a fertilizer and also used to whitewash houses and walls. Whitewashing made walls waterproof. Lime was also used as a disinfectant. Limestone is a soft sedimentary rock similar to sandstone. It is made from the remains of plants and animals compacted over time.

There are a lot of Lime Kilns in Waterford, Offaly and throughout Ireland. Most parishes had at least one or two lime kilns.



Photographs  of the Lime Kiln in Curragh by Emmet Freyne


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Black Rock Fresh Water Springs, By Molly Robinson.

I was told One day St.Declan was on the beach with Ultan the Monk.  The tide had gone out, and Ultan was scared of the creatures that were left behind by the tide. Declan hit him, on the nose with the crook and then three drops of blood fell, from Ultan’s nose. Three fresh water springs were formed where these three drops of blood landed. These can be seen on the beach at low water when we have Spring tides.

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ARDO HOUSE/MC KENNAS HOUSE BY EIBHLEANN GEANEY


A number of different family names have been associated with this site over the centuries. One of the earliest owners was James Fitzgerald and this is recorded in the civil survey 1654-1656. Mr Fitzgerald and his wife had no family of their own so they invited Mr Fitzgerald’s nephew to come and live with them. The two men didn’t like each other and it is said that one night Nr Fitzgerald’s nephew stole a gold chalice and took off to escape on his horse. Unfortunately the horse galloped towards the cliff, where he dumped the nephew. The young man made his way to Goat Island , where he hid for some time. After a number of days he was found by his uncle, who brought him back to Ardo house. Shortly afterwards the nephew was put to death. It is said that this man haunts the house to the present day. In the early 17th century there was a family by the name of Coster and later that century Sir Francis Prendergast resided there. The Coughlans who lived in Ardo House in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century were referred to as the “De Castries”.  One of the four daughters of the family was married to Lord Barrymore who was a fried of the acting King of England, a second daughter married a French Duke ( Duc de Castries). The daughter of the French Duke and Elizabeth Coughlan from Ardo House, was the wife of Marshall McMahon, President Of France in 1873. It was from Marshall McMahon that Sir Joseph McKenna purchased the property in 1865. It later became known as McKenna’s Castle and is located on private property land and is now in a ruined state.


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The Irish College Ardmore by Aoife O Brien



The first meeting of Conradh na Gaeilge around Ardmore was held in Mc Kenna’s Castle in the 1920. The Irish College was set up by a number of local people who were interested in the Irish Language. They decided in the late 1930’s to build a college to serve teachers and the general public. At this time even though Irish was spoken in many households the majority of households spoke English. However in Curragh and Ballinamertinagh there were many Irish speaking families. In Ring at the time, Irish was spoken by almost everyone. The Fear Mór (An tUasal O Heoca), was very involved in the setting up of the Irish College.

The Irish College became centered around the Georgian House which had belonging to a local Landlord named Bagge. It was built on attractive grounds between where Mc Namara’s House and the Round Tower Hotel now stands. The Round Tower Hotel building was an extension of the residential part of the Irish College. The College was only open during the Summer months. The students came mainly from Cork, Tipperary and Waterford. They were mainly the sons and daughters of business men and the more prosperous farmers. Classes were held to teach Irish, dancing and singing. These were very well attended by both the college pupils and by the locals. Large posters were erected in the vicinity of the College entrance. My granddad remembers “ Sláinte an Bradáin cois farraige san Ardmhór,” being written on one of these big red posters. Some posters advertised functions that were held in the Grianán ( a long dancehall) and these read  “Céilé mór anocht, cead dul isteach scilling agus raol, bí ann gan teip.”

Many of the teachers were locals but there were also some from further afield. Some well known teachers were: Míchéal O Foghlú, Míchéal O Conchubhar, Míchéal Céitinn, Déagláin Suipéal, Liam Wool and Diarmaid Ó Drisceoil who came from Cape Clear.

The First National Meeting of the group known as  Muintir na Tíre which had been set up by Fr Hayes, was held in the Grianán in the Irish College grounds in 1936. It was held on a beautiful summer’s day and the crowds were so large they spilled out all over the College grounds. The then Minister of Education, Tomás O Deirg, attended this event.

The College employed a Seanachaí, Míchéal O Muiríosa was his name. He used to sit on a big stone in front of the main building, telling stories, during the Summer months. My granddad remembers one day when Míchéal was in the boat cove. A local fisherman had caught a large shark in his nets and he was hauling him in. Michéal remarked, “Dar fui what a monster.”

A large Kelvin diesel engine supplied electricity to the College.

In the 1940’s, large numbers of teachers came to the college to study Irish. These 

Teachers enjoyed socialising in the local pubs at night time and sometimes during the day also.

The wonderful teachers who had set up the college were not business people with commercial experience and the college which had been very successful in its early days began to see a drop in pupil numbers.

The Fear Mór ( O Heoca), who had been instrumental in the establishment of the Irish College in Ardmore, began to feel that Ring with its larger Irish speaking population was a more suitable place for an Irish College and eventually he worked towards the opening of the Irish College in Ring. This College in Ring became a more popular destination for Irish learners and eventually the Irish College in Ardmore closed. Irish speaking in Ardmore decreased as it became a popular holiday destination. This was facilitated by a very good bus service connecting Ardmore to Cork, Youghal, Dungarvan, Waterford etc. Ring didn’t have as many bus connections to outside destinations. Many Cork business people built holiday homes around Ardmore in the 1940s and 1950’s; this did not happen in Ring until much later.

The college was visited by many famous Irish people. These visitors included the Fear Mór’s good friend, Eamon De Valera, who visited when he was Taoiseach.  These people came to pay tribute to the great work of fostering the Irish language which was done by the college.   Maud Gonne and Séan Mc Bride also visited the college.


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St. Declan’s Well by Henri Botrel

St Declan founded a seminary in Ardmore around 415. The Holy Well at the beginning of the Cliff Walk was where St. Declan baptized people. Declan Christianised the Decies area before St. Patrick came to Ireland, as a Bishop, in 431 A.D.. Declan and Patrick met a number of times at Cashel. St. Declan later retired and went to live in a little cell he built at the spot where the ruined church beside the Holy Well is now standing. There is no agreed date for this church; the western section is the earlier construction, whereas parts of the eastern end may date back to the 14th century.

 

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The Boat House by Katie Ahern and Laura Miller



The Boat House Ardmore, formerly the Ardmore Life-Boat station was built in 1878 replacing a former Life- Boat house built in 1857.

It is a typical, 19th century Life-Boat house. With the casement type of windows and back door open, a draught was available for drying oilskins and gear. An oil lamp was hung on a post outside the door to show that the life-boat was at sea.

It was a quiet station and the only services recorded were to the brigantine ‘Diana’ in December 1860 and to the barque ‘sextus’ in January 1865.

Seven of the crew of the ‘Diana’ were saved and awards were made to the crew later.

The ‘Sextus’ was totally wrecked off the coast of Curragh.

In 1895 the Ardmore Life-Boat station was closed. The Boat House was handed over to the receiver of the Odell estate, Mr John Arnott of Villerstown.Later it was bought by the Sandman’s of Rock house.

After it was bought by the late Jack Crowley whose father had been principal of Ardmore N.S. until 1929 On Pattern Sunday it was customary to hold a concert in the Boat house. It went on for hours but you couldn’t hear any of it because it was packed tight.

In around 1910, a flower show became an annual event. And for some years it was held in the Boat house.

It is now currently a residential house.

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School days in Ardmore researched by Hannah Kiersey

Primary schools all over the country have been and still are free since the introduction by the English Parliament of the 1831 Education Act. Ireland was ruled by the United Kingdom at this time. In our   parish, we had Grange and Ardmore national school. The attendance was inclined to fluctuate; children were regularly kept at home to help with farm jobs and bad weather had an influence also because all students walked to school. The School Attendance Act of 1926 brought a great improvement in attendance; according to law, all children now had to attend school between the ages of 6 and 14. Special forms indicating which children were absent, had to be filled in by in by the teacher each week and sent to the  local Garda station. Until 1966, when free second level education was introduced by Donagh O Malley, the then Minister for Education, only very few children attended second-level schools. Those who could afford it sent their children to boarding schools. The rest cycled to Youghal, stayed with families in Youghal or got the mail car(postman) for travelling to and from school. The majority finished school at fourteen.

The Ardmore schoolhouse is remembered as a very nice stone building on the sea-front. It was built by Fr John Shanahan in 1875 on a site leased from the Odell family. It consisted of two rooms, a boys room and a girls room. There was little furniture in either room. The building was demolished in1956 as the present school building had been built. Mary Odell, who was the last surviving member of the family protested to the Department about the knocking down of this fine building.

Two nuns from the Convent of Mercy in Cappoquin ran the girls section of the school from the mid 1920’s. They were very innovative and taught cookery, music, how to do laundry and even ran a library. At this time Mr Lincoln and Mrs Keevers taught in the boys section. The annual Diocesan Christian Doctrine examination was dreaded. Children had to know all the answers to the questions in the Green Catechism and also the Red Catechism, Schuster's Bible History and a lot of catholic Doctrine.The children cleaned the school as part of their daily routine. A concert in the hall once a year was a major event and the nun teachers really excelled in preparing the children for it. The nuns introduced the custom of children coming to the convent for breakfast after they made their First Holy Communion, the children enjoyed this thoroughly. In 1934, because of falling attendances, the nuns left Ardmore and returned to Cappoquin,

One former pupil, who started school there in 1935, remembered that there were two big presses at the top of the boy’s room and also a big heavy table on which the teacher ( Mr Lincoln) sometimes sat. Each room was heated by an open fire, coal and turf were stored in a shed by the boat house. Mrs Keevers taught in the girls room at this time. On the dividing wall between the rooms there was a big Mercator map. This type of old fashioned map showed the size of countries distorted, but the   directions correctly. There was also a map of Ireland hanging on this wall. On average there were 40-50 students in each room. Although there was no official playground around the building, children played freely on the road as there was very little traffic. “Rounder’s” was a game played by the older girls, they also played 'Colours' and 'Hide and Go Seek'. The eastern gable-end of the school was used as a ball-alley by the local boys, one pupil: Jimmy Mc Grath, had his first training sessions here and eventually went on to become national handball champion. There was a pump near the school from which people often drank. The area was a great venue on summer evenings, crowds of young people often gathered to watch the handball matches being played.  


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Old School

A gentleman from Canada visited our school in September 2014.He told me that his great grandfather Adam Scott (1806-1894) had been the principal teacher in the 1840s, in the oldest, recorded school in Ardmore. This school was located adjacent to the beach between Ardmore and Curragh and is identified on the 1847 ordinary survey map. Adams parents came from Scotland to Northern Ireland, where they were involved in the textile industry. Adam was not interested in the family business and he became a teacher. He moved to Nenagh County Tipperary to teach and met and married a local woman. Adam and his wife Ann later moved to Mallow Co .Cork. In the early 1840’s, Adam was appointed to the Principal teaching post in Ardmore. Adam and his wife lived in the family quarters above the school room, their kitchen was on the ground floor. In the afternoons, Ann taught Kindergarten and she also taught the girls sewing and crocheting. Adam often recalled how the waves would lash against the windows of the local house during ferocious winter storms.

The family had three sons and four daughters born in Ireland. Tragedy befell the family during their stay in Ardmore. The two oldest boys of the family died in 1850 and 1849. The eldest boy ( aged 16), had been very clever; he had qualified as an engineer and had worked on a bridge over the Blackwater near Youghal, Co Cork. Unfortunately he contacted a fever and died and a similar fate awaited his brother (aged 10). Both boys were buried in Ardmore.

The heartbroken couple decided to emigrate. They left from Youghal Harbour for Canada in 1851; three more children were born to the family in Canada. Adam Scott died in Canada in 1894 aged 88.







 

Traditions

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