Barony of Gaultier Historical Society

The Barony of Gaultier Historical Society is an organisation that promotes both local and national history within the Barony of Gaultier.

The Barony of Gaultier Historical Society was formed by a group of individuals from the fishing villages of Dunmore East, Passage East, Cheekpoint and the surrounding rural areas. Barony of Gaultier Historical Society during the winter months holds a number of talks with various guest speakers. Every year we produce a calendar from which all the proceeds are given to a charity. We also hold a Harvest Field Day each summer which the proceeds are also given to a charity. We also try to visit a historical site each year. Our members are very active and endeavour to improve the Society each year. Within the Barony of Gaultier which spreads from Creaden Head in the east to Ballinaneesagh in the west there are a number of historical sites. The Giants Grave in Harristown is one of these sites and the Society members visit it a number of times each year. Membership of the Society is free. Admission to the talks is €5

Fortress Spike Island, Cork

We open new pages of our 1921 dairies daily and today 3 Waterford men speak to us. Jack Spillane of Tallow writes a poem for Ireland and Jack Quinn of Villerstown pens a lighthearted refrain to his cell mates.

While Eamon Power of Kilmacthomas writes lines to his fellow freedom fighters and Martin Scanlan also of Tallow details how he was arrested and held by the Black and Tans.

Spike island was home to 1400 Irish men during the Irish War of Independence, many of whom were simply lifted off the streets and held after military trial. Our original diaries on display in our ‘Independence’ exhibition let you read their words and understand the minds of these heroes, these men who freed Ireland.
And you can search the lists of detainees by name, county and other info, and you will stand trial as an Irishman accused of ‘levying war against the King’!

Rosslare Harbour RNLI responds to three call outs over Bank holiday weekend | RNLI On Saturday evening, the lifeboat was requested to launch at 6pm by the Irish Coast Guard following a report that a 10m yacht with four people onboard had got entangled in fishing gear approximately three miles from Rosslare Harbour.

Waterford Harbour Tides & Tales

Another snippet of video, this time on Campile Pill yesterday morning, coming back down...i got a bit preoccupied with the camera I'm afraid 😂 I don't know the name of the bridge, but I'm guessing I won't have to wait long to hear.

Waterford Harbour Tides & Tales

OnThisDay in 1917 Dunmore East woke up to a captured uboat captain in their midst, a massive sea based search, and subsequently a deadly mine clearing operation, location of a sunken submarine and in weeks to come one of the most important salvage assignments of WWI

Unknown monuments identified close to Newgrange in 'exceptionally successful' survey Around 40 previously unknown monuments have been identified in the Brú na Bóinne area close to Newgrange as a result of what a leading archaeologist says was an “exceptionally successful” survey.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

#OTD in 1823 – Birth of Irish nationalist and American politician, Thomas Francis Meagher, in Waterford.

‘I am here to regret nothing I have already done, to retract nothing I have already said. The history of Ireland explains this crime, and justifies it.’ –Thomas Francis Meager

Born the son of Waterford’s mayor, one of the few wealthy Catholic businessmen in town in 1823; Meagher benefited from a quality education (partly in England) during which he won awards for poetry and debating. His passion for Irish nationalism and his temperamental nature led him to join the radical Young Ireland movement. These hot-blooded young revolutionaries had lost patience with elder statesman Daniel O’Connell’s non-violent approach to gaining independence from Britain, and now advocated armed insurrection. Meagher’s fiery speeches earned him the nickname “Meagher of the Sword.”

For further reading ||

Flanders Fields 14-18

Less than three months into the war, with 95% of the country occupied by an advancing German army, and their backs to the North Sea, the Belgian army opened the locks at Nieuwpoort and flooded the Yser plain 15 kilometres inland to Diksmuide. This prevented the Germans from reaching the coast and established the Yser Front, which would remain until 1918.

Today, people can visit the Westfront Nieuwpoort visitor centre to understanding how the flooding took place and was maintained for years, learn about the war on the Yser Front, and take in a special view of the surrounding area. Have you been?

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Brehon Law | Clans and Social Classes

Irish society, up through the Iron Age, was based on the family unit. The family traditionally consisted of living parents and their children. The next larger unit came to be known as the Sept, which consisted of a closely related group of families such as the families of children of one set of parents and normally bore the same surname. The Clan (from clann meaning children) was the next larger unit and counted lineage from one ancestor. The Tuath (tribe) was generally considered the smallest political unit. It’s components were formed of several septs, houses or clans which likewise claimed descent from a common ancestor. The adoption of non-blood related individuals or groups into the Clan was a general practice. However, it required the formal approval or consent from the Clan members (Fine). Such a process resulted in a generous mixture of outside blood and the thus in many Clans the theory of one ancestor for all members became, in fact, just theory. Some leading families kept careful records of genealogy to prove unblemished lineage, but with the widespread practice of adoption, it would seem that some creative recording was likely.

The law recognised several general divisions or classes of society and set forth the rights, duties and privileges of all. The main (but not the only) consideration of rank was property. However, there were conditions in which an individual could pass from a lower rank to the next, provided they were honourable and industrious. Likewise, an individual could also pass to a lower rank for a variety of reasons, including illegal and/or dishonorable Kings. The various classes of society were as follows;


Ri (or rulers) were of several grades from that of the Tuatha to the Ard Ri of Ireland. In earlier times, the Ri may be of either gender and was elected into the position. If the Ri proved unworthy, for whatever reason, he or she could be voted out of office and another elected in their stead. Also, a temporary leader could be selected by the people for a specific purpose such as warfare. The mythological tale of Lugh is a good example. Lugh was chosen as temporary war leader of the Tuatha de Danann because of his excellence in the skills of warfare. The designation of a new ruler by heredity apparently did not come into being until between the 8th and 12th centuries. Even then it was not a universal practice. Consider the case of Diarmuid MacMurrough in the 12th century that brought the Norman Kings minions into Ireland to help him regain his lost crown. In addition to whatever land the RÌ held prior to election, additional land and property was provided to sustain the Brugh or hostel.

Nemedh (literally, privileged)

The Nemedh were the noble (uasal) class and were the upper level of society. Sometimes referred to as the Flaith. These were the intelligencia and the movers and shakers. These included the professionals such as historian, healer, law-keeper, stonemason, metal-smith, etc. They controlled the tribal land and determined allotment by size and quality. Outright “ownership” of land, as we know it today, was foreign to the Irish mentality and it was not until Norman occupation that true ownership came into being. Rather, land was held more or less “in trust” for the greater community. Several ranks of Uasal or Flaith existed and were generally in proportion to the amount of land and other properties held.


The Aire were rent paying freemen who owned property including cattle, and other movable goods. They were considered doernemed (non-privileged). Though they couldn’t hold land outright, they could “rent” land from a land-holder for certain fees which might include cattle or a percentage of harvested crops. There were several classes of Aire who were ranked according to their holdings. In some law texts, it appears that the Aire could become a Flaith and thus nemedh when sufficient goods were accumulated and he or she could prove that their ancestors had been land-holders. The Aire, like the RÌ and the Flaith, participated in the government of the clan or tribe.


The CÈile were free tenants. That is they held little of any property and rented land from the Flaith. Under the law, they could rise to the position of Aire when enough property had been accumulated. Also called FÈine and/or aithech, they formed the greater body of the populace and the farming class. The land they held was either tribal land or land held by a Flaith. The FÈine were the most important part of the community. They were the middle-class of their day and the larger portion of the clan. They were the foundation of the society and the ultimate source of law and authority. The FÈine included not only those working as farmers and herdsmen; it included trades and crafts. Of course some crafts such as precious metal workers were considered privileged beyond other less glamorous trades and could hold land in their own right and were considered Aire.


The non-free people of the tribe fell basically into three classes. They were the Bothach, Sencleithe and the Fuidir.

The Bothach and Sencleithe were herdsmen, laborers, horse-handlers, other unskilled laborers and squatters on wastelands. They were all poor and dependent on the good graces of the Nemedh for their survival. They did however have one valuable possession. They were part of the tribe and, though without most of its rights, they could claim to live within tribal territory and had the right to support themselves through their own labor.


The Fuidir were the lowest class within tribal territory. They were not members of the tribe and had no land rights. They were permitted to live within tribal territory only by the good graces of the RÌ. Any transgression could lead to immediate expulsion. Generally, the Fuidir was a stranger, often a refugee from another territory who, for whatever reason, had become a person without a tribe. The Fuidir were of two classes; saer-fudÌr and daer-fudÌr.


The saer-fudÌr were the higher. They were not free in the sense of the ceile, but they were-law-abiding and, coming into the district voluntarily could receive somewhat favorable terms when getting land on which to live and work. They had no voice in tribal government, but were not bonded as such. If they were successful in their endeavors, they could gain a status almost equal to the ceile. In legal matters though, they had no stature and could not give evidence against those of higher social rank.


This was the lowest social class in the tribe. It included captives taken in battle, escaped criminals, those convicted of crime and unable to make restitution and slaves. Yet in spite of their low state, the Law favored emancipation and it was possible for a daer-fudir to be elevated to saer-fuidir and in rare cases, even higher.

Source | Ancient Laws of Ireland: Uraicect Becc and Certain Other Selected Brehon Law Tracts, William Maunsell Hennessy

Irish Wildlife Trust

The slurry can be used to produce electricity. It is being done in Southern Ireland

"In the latest in our Emergency on Planet Earth series, we investigate how the demand to feed China is threatening an already degraded environment not only in Northern Ireland, but in England and Wales too."

Places To See In Ireland Before You Die

Love Pierce Brosnan's bit at the end! 😂

🎥 Coponfilms

West Cork History Festival

A Feast of Intellectual Delights! This year's West Cork History Festival, Aug 8 - 11, is shaping up to be an amazing weekend of talks, discussions, music, field trips - and maybe some controversy. All in the laid back atmosphere and foodie culture of wonderful West Cork. Great value for a fascinating and enjoyable weekend. Program and tickets here:


August 4th 1918 was one of the most remarkable and significant days in the history of the GAA. It will be forever remembered as Gaelic Sunday- the day when the GAA peacefully stood against the British Empire - and won!

The February photo from our 2019 Calendar.

Haven Hotel Soccer Team
This photo shows a soccer team that took part in what might have been a competition between the Haven Hotel, Munster Bar and two other hostelries in the early 70’s. This photo is on display in the Haven Hotel, Dunmore East.
Back Row L- R: Brendan Reid, Tommy Reid, Gerry O’Neill, Nicky Hamm, Dev Lowe and Unknown.
Front Row L-R: Bernie Collins, John Kelly, Des Phelan, Martin Breen and Charlie Boland.
Photo supplied by the Haven Hotel.
Can you name the man directly behind Charlie Boland ?

Waterford News & Star

Another gem from BGHS member and former Chairman Ray McGrath.

'Fortunately, in 2018 when I investigated the matter there were one or two people in Dunmore who still had the story of the Barking Pans. If the story had not been told then it might have disappeared for ever.'

Irish Wildlife Trust


Wych Elm

Ulmus glabra
Leamhán sléibhe

The Wych elm is the only native elm in Ireland. It is a wide ranging Elm tree, it can be found from Ireland to Russia and as far north as the Arctic Circle. They are typically mountainous species preferring moist soils and higher humidity’s, its name in Irish means mountain elm, sléibhe being mountain. Wych Elm can grow up to 40m high with a broad spreading crown, the leaves are rough oval and with toothed edges. The flowers of the tree appear before the leaves and the seed in autumn are an important food source for many birds, and the leaves provide food for caterpillars.

Dutch elm disease is a fungal disease that is transported by elm bark beetles. It is believed to be originally from Asia and spread to America and Europe. It had a huge impact on native Elm stock as they had no natural disease resistance to the fungus. This species of Elm is relatively susceptible to Dutch elm disease although it is less favoured by elm bark beetles.

There are a few places around Ireland named after the Elm tree such as Cnoc na Leamhán meaning the hill of elms in Galway or Leamach Bheag meaning small elm in Offaly. Elm wood is prized for it beauty because of its tight grained wood and has been used in wood turning to create beautiful art. Wych comes from the old English word ‘wice’ which means supple or flexible and was used in making chairs.

Many coffins are made from elm wood, the Celts believed that the wych Elm protected the dead and helped the soul pass to the underworld. Elms can drop boughs without warning and are said to wait for people to drop them on and is believed to be unlucky to cut down. In Wales wych elm was used in the making of bows it made shorted more powerful bows used in closer fighting in woods.

In the old Irish law text Bretha Comaitchesa Elm trees were regarded as the “commoners of the wood” and any damage to the trees by a neighbour required the payment of a heifer or more depending on the damage done. Elm branches were used as cattle fodder and could be the cause of their decline during the first millennium.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

#OTD in 1915 – Nationalist Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.


On his deathbed at age 83, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa sent for his old friends, John Devoy and Richard O’Sullivan Burke. He died a tired old warrior on 29 June 1915 in St Vincent’s Hospital on Staten Island, New York after a two-year illness. Devoy, aware that when Young Irelander Terrence Bellew McManus had died in San Francisco in 1866 the funeral procession became a massive propaganda coup, he contacted Tom Clarke in Ireland, himself a Clan na Gael member, and Rossa’s remains were sent home.

For further reading ||

Image | Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral, Glasnevin cemetery | Courtesy of Glasnevin Trust

NCI Penzance

Penzance NCI station had the pleasure of watching the schooner "Irene" sail to Newlyn Harbour yesterday afternoon.

She became visible off the Lizard and we captured these images via our webcam. Not sure which is the favourite. 🤔

A wonderful ship; a gaff rigged ketch!

Saratoga Bar

Beautiful day at Woodstown beach ☀️

Food served from 4pm to 9pm today.

#TheSaratogaBar #Woodstownbeach #DunmoreEast #Cheesecake

Saratoga Bar

Beautiful day at Woodstown beach ☀️

Food served from 4pm to 9pm today.

#TheSaratogaBar #Woodstownbeach #DunmoreEast #Cheesecake

Jerome Quinn Media

Wonderful evening in Passage East in Waterford with the whole village out to welcome the hurlers from Milwaukee. Watch out for video on the GAA World Games page..

Colclough Walled Garden

This is the First year our Persian Walnut (Juglans regia) has Borne Fruit on the North Facing Wall.

Following on from the holy water font post during the week here are some photos of St. Sauveur’s church and holy well in Kerlouan, Brittany which I visited on Thursday.

Brittany like Ireland is dotted with these ancient holy wells, each one attributed with it’s own special cure. There are some very fine examples surviving in this area as many were housed with cut stone structures that have protected them over the centuries.

Many like this one, also had dual use where the water from the spring would be channeled in two directions: one for drinking/washing water and the other holy water. I’ve seen this at home too and the holy well that once ran at Kiltrisk near my home in Co. Wexford had both. Often heard my mother talk about it and as children they were told that ‘the holy water wouldn’t boil while the other would.’

This particular one is located just below a 16th century church and calvary cross which was built on an earlier megalithic structure/site. It also appears to be have an abstract figure over door which I’m wondering could be a Breton version of our Sheila na Gig.

Browse away and I’ll share with you tomorrow a lovely clip about the misuse of water from a holy well in Wexford involving a harvest threshing machine.

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Dunmore East
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