A True Story Of Two Murderous Brothers

A True Story Of Two Murderous Brothers

The Irish have always been known to posess some of the best storytellers in the world.

And, it is also often said that the best stories are nearly always true.

So if you like stories, then you’ll be intrigued by the murderous tale of how two brothers that came to lay side by side in the old graveyard in Ardmore.

It was written in September 1845 and appeared in Frazers Magazine For Town And County.

“Before we leave this crowded cemetery, look at those two remarkably long graves close together, not far from the entrance to St. Declan’s tomb. There lie two brothers, once exceedingly tall, fine young men — but they were murderers, convicted and executed, though the bead- stone merely tells us that John and James Fuge departed this life April 15th, 1805, aged twenty-five aud twenty- seven years. Read more

Jump In And Discover The Birthplace Of Saint Declan

Jump In And Discover The Birthplace Of Saint Declan

Ardmore, County Waterford has had a long association with Saint Declan.

But, we know that he was not born here.

You’ve may have already heard magical stories of floating rocks and bells but here’s another one to unpick.

Where was Saint Declan born?

Here’s a wonderful article called “The Birthplace Of Saint Deglan”. It was written by the very Reverend F. O’ Brien. And, it first appeared in The Journal of the Waterford & South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society, Volume 1 (1894-5), 39-44.

“The better to understand the subject and object of the paper which I am about to read for you, I beg to call your attention to the Ordnance Map of the County of Waterford. You are aware that the eminent men under whose inspection and supervision that map was compiled and published as the result of their survey of Ireland, were accompanied by and had associated with them during their labours two of the most eminent Irish scholars of their time, namely, Mr. Eugene O’Curry and Mr. John O’Donovan. The ordnance surveyors availed themselves of the services of those learned men for the purpose of discovering the names by which the various places they visited had been popularly known, and the history traditionally attached to them. On that map is marked the townland of Dromroe, between Lismore and Cappoquin, on the road between the railway crossing at Round Hill and Tourin. You will find marked there in that townland a small shrubbery within which is a small plot enclosed by a fence, with a representation of a monument in the corner of it Within the same fence you will find marked by dots upon the map the vestiges of the remains of an oblong structure, covered with grass and brambles. The shrubbery and vestiges of remains are designated on the Ordnance Map “ Graveyard and St. Deglan’s Chapel in ruins.” The grass and brambles having been removed, the lower walls of the oblong structure have come to light, made up of stones piled over each other without mortar. Its dimensions are about fourteen feet long by between six and eight feet wide. From the manner in which the stones are placed in the portion of the walls that remains it is easily conjectured that this ruin belongs to that class of antient ecclesiastical stone buildings, some of which are to’ be met with in a pretty good state of preservation in Ireland at the present day. These are admitted by archaeologists to be the most antient specimens of Christian buildings to be found in Ireland, and in point of antiquity that which is the subject of this paper may claim a place among the first.

St Declan Ardmore Waterford

The ruin, as already stated, bore the name of “St. Deglan’s Chapel,” and the land adjoining “graveyard,” when inspections were made and measures were taken for the compilation of the Ordnance Map now more than fifty years ago.

The least curious and most unconcerned about antient local history visiting this romantic spot, situated, I may truly venture to say, in the loveliest part of Munster, may very naturally ask why was this ruin, which had all but disappeared from the notice as well as from the memory of the neighbouring inhabitants, called “St. Deglan’s Chapel,” and why was the little field surrounding. it, which a short time ago was about being incorporated with the adjoining farm, and from being “God’s Acre ” was to become man’s property, called the “ graveyard,” or, as the people designate it at the present day, religin deaglai. To answer those questions it will be necessary for us to make ourselves acquainted from the most reliable sources within our reach with the history of St. Deglan, who were his ancestors, where was he born, at what time did he live, and why was this ruin called after him “St. Deglan’s Chapel.”

We learn from the Bollandists, on the authority of Colgan, Ware and Usher, that the ancestors of St. Deglan belonged to a colony who had come from Tara, or rather who had, been expelled from a place there called the Desii, and who had settled- down in the County of Waterford, and had called the place of their new settlement after that from which they had been expelled, the Nan Desii. Their expulsion from Tara took place, according to Smith in his history of the County and City of Waterford, about the year 278. We do not exactly know how soon after the settlement of this colony in the Desii St. Deglan was born, but it is pretty certain some considerable time must have elapsed. Smith also mentions that the part of the country in which they settled extended from the river Suir to the sea, and from Lismore to Creadan Head, comprising, in a manner, all the country at present known as the County of Waterford.

We are told that St. Deglan’s father’s name was Erc, and that his mother’s name was Dethidin. We are told, too, that Erc, St. Deglan’s father, being invited to the house of a relative called Dobraun or Dobhran, besides many other companions, was accompanied by his wife, Dethidin, and that during this their visit to their relative, Dobhran, Dethidin, the wife of Erc, gave birth to St. Deglan. This particular place in which St. Deglan was born is stated by the Bollandists, on the authority of Colgan, supported by Usher and Ware, to be situated in the southern part, of the Desii. To use the original words of the writers, “In australi plaga N. Desii,” -in the southern part of the Desii. The barony of the Desii, as you are aware, begins a very short distance below or to the south of this spot, so that it is accurately described as being in the Southern part of the barony of the Desii. It is stated, too, on the authority of the same writers, to be situated in the eastern part of the country, which the Scoti, a name by which the antient Irish were then known, called mag sciat, or the Plain of the Shields or Bucklers. To give the original language of the writers, “ In orientali seilicet plaga campi quem scoti vacant mag sciat campum scuti.” Smith states that the country around Lismore was antiently known by this name, and the spot to which I am now calling your attention is in the eastern part of this locality. The Bollandists, moreover, as if, to leave nothing wanting as to accuracy in defining this precise spot, state that it is not far distant from the famous City of St Carthage, called Lismore- “Non longe abest a clara Civitate St, Carthagi quae dicitur Lismor,” and that it is distant from the City of Ardmore, where he was afterwards Bishop, about thirteen thousand paces or thirteen miles. “Et abest ab Civitate de Ardmore ubi postea fuit Episcopus per tredecim millia passuum.”

We are told that St Coleman, having heard of the birth of the infant, came to the place where he was born and begged of his parents , who were then pagans, to permit him to baptise it and bring the child up a Christian. To this request the parents consented. And we are also told that Dobhran, in whose house, the infant was born, made a present to St. Deglan’s parents of this the place of his birth, and removed themselves to another place.

Some doubt still exists as to who the St. Colman was who baptized St. Deglan. There were many holy Bishops bearing that name in Ireland, so that it is not easy to determine who amongst them is here designated. Neither Usher, who cites extracts from our Saints’ Acts, nor Colgan throws any light on the subject. It appears to me probable that this Colman was the saint of that name who is still venerated in a parish adjoining that of Ardmore called the Old Parish, or as the people there call it, paraiste an tsean pobuil. There is a townland in this parish called Kilcoleman where the remains of an antient church may be seen, and near it a very old tree and well called tobar colmain, or Colman’s Well. It is generally admitted that there were Christians in Ireland before the coming of Palladius, or St. Deglan, or St. Patrick. St. Prosper, speaking of the mission of Palladius, says—-“ Ad Scotos in Christum Credentes ordinatus a Papa Celestino Palladius primus Episcopus Mittitur.” -To the Scoti or antient Irish believing in Christ, Palladius is ordained by Pope Celestine and is sent as their first Bishop. We may reasonably believe that such Christians lived in the Old Parish before St. Deglan’s time, and that it was for this reason it: got the name which it retains to the present day, Old Parish, or Sean Pobul. We may suppose that an acquaintance and an intimacy existed between this St. Colman and St. Deglan’s family before the birth of St. Deglan, as they were near neighbours- St. Deglan’s family and parents we are told inhabited that portion of the Desii around Ardmore.

St. Colman after baptising the infant and predicting many wonderful things as to its future, retired to his habitation with much rejoicing. He recommended that this holy infant should be carefully nursed, and that when his seventh year had been attained he should be sent for instruction to a lettered Christian, if such a one could be found. Dobhran, the aforesaid kinsman of the chieftain Erc, the father of our saint, on hearing and witnessing those things, earnestly entreated the infant’s parents to deliver this child to him to be nursed and fostered by him, as he had been born at his residence. The parents willingly assented to Dobhran’s request.

At the expiration of the seven years of his tutelage a, religious and wise man, named Dymma, as we are told, had lately arrived in Ireland, which was the country of his birth. Having embraced the Christian religion, to the observances of which he addicted himself, this pious servant of God built a cell in this part of the country. To this teacher the boy Deglan was entrusted by his parents and foster-father Dobhran according to St. Colman’s directions. Deglan spent much time under Dymma’s teaching, and Usher tells us that he drained large draughts of learning from various mundane and sacred writings. Through this instruction his understanding, we are told, was rendered acute, and he was distinguished for his eloquence.

About this time Deglan resolved to go to Rome, as the Acts of his Life state, that he might there be initiated to a knowledge of ecclesiastical discipline, receive Holy Orders, and a mission to preach from the Apostolic See. The Acts of his Life also state that after some time Deglan was ordained priest and consecrated Bishop by the Sovereign Pontiff, and that he remained in Rome for a considerable time after. At length having obtained some books, a rule for his guidance and mission to teach from the Pope, his Benediction, and also the blessing of the high dignataries of the Roman Church, Deglan prepared for his return to Ireland, It is related on the authority of Usher, quoted by the Bollandists, that St. Patrick, the future Apostle and Archbishop of Ireland, being then on his way to Rome, met St. Deglan in the north of Italy on his way from Rome, and that both holy persons saluted each other with the kiss of peace and established a mutual friendship before leaving for their respective destinations.

There is some diversity of opinion among ecclesiastical writers as to the precise time St. Deglan arrived in Ardmore on his first return from Rome and fixed his See there, for we are assured that he paid several visits to Rome. Usher, quoted by Smith, states that he commenced his preaching among the people of the Desii about the year 402, or thirty years before the arrival of St. Patrick. He states that he instructed the people with much zeal and success, and that many attracted by the fame of his sanctity flocked around him. He built monasteries, churches, and chapels in various places through the country, and amongst others, we are told by the Bollandists, who quote Usher, Ware and Colgan, that he built a chapel on the very spot he was born. The words of the Bollandists are-“ Ipse enim Dobranus nutritus St. Declani obtulit ipsum locum Sancto Deglano in quo natus fuerat, in quo post multum’tempus Sanctus Declanus cum esset pontifex cellam Deo, aedificavit.“–For Dobhran, the foster-father of St. Deglan, presented the very spot to St. Deglan, that is, the spot on which he was born, on which after a considerable time St. Deglan, when he was bishop, built a chapel in honour of Almighty God. I have reserved this quotation in reference to St. Deglan’s Chapel for the last, as marked on the Ordnance Map, to which I beg to call your attention. Relying on the authority of the writers from whom I have quoted, and the historians through whom the memory of the facts I have stated has been handed down to us, I think we can claim for Dromroe the honour of being St. Deglan’s birthplace, and fix on the very spot on which he was born there, and claim for his chapel, the ruins of which only now remain, an antiquity of fourteen or fifteen hundred years.”

What Lies Beneath? There’s A Lost Treasure In Ardmore Bay

What Lies Beneath? There’s A Lost Treasure In Ardmore Bay

Appearance can be deceptive.

At first glance, Ardmore Beach is like the other beautiful beaches along Ireland’s Ancient East.

Clean and crisp sands. It’s impossible not to be impressed.

But, when the tide is in, it seems like the sea is calling us to share something more.

And, yes there’s a secret on Ardmore Beach.

But what lies beneath?

What has almost forgotten?

What has no heritage signpost?

And, what is calling us?

Well, there’s a spot just by the bend in storm wall.

Right across from the Church.

It’s a section of the storm wall where you’ll see a kind-of step. You’ll know the place when you see it.

After mass, many of a “parliament” discussion even takes place there.

It’s easy to find.

Now, look out onto to the sand towards Curragh. And, you see a section below where it’s like there was an old bog.

And, that’s were our very own Crannog once stood.

Want to know more?

Well, we have a lovely article that discusses this lost treasure in Ardmore Bay.

It was first printed in 1895 in Volume 1 of the Journal of the Waterford and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society.

And, it was written by R. J. Ussher.

Note to the visitor, the road to Dungarvan that he mentions below is now replaced but it used to run parallel to the beach.

“The ordinary conditions of a crannoge,or stockaded island, are well known A small island or shoal was selected in a lake or marsh. A circle of oak piles was driven into it’; wattles were woven between these. The surface was heaped up with timber, peat, brambles, and other bulky materials. A hearth of stones was constructed on the centre of the enclosure, and a wooden house was built here. Access was usually obtained by a canoe. The tribe or family lived in this isolated fortification and carried on all the arts of life known to them.

Crannog In Ardmore Waterford

It fell to my lot to discover, in 1879, a crannoge under very peculiar circumstances. Its site being now covered by every tide. To the north of Ardmore village in this county the beach forty years ago ran approximately straight in a direction a little to the east of north, and the road to Dungarvan ran parallel to it. On leaving the village by this road one first crossed a small stream, beneath whose basin was an extensive bed of peat that ran out to low-watermark or beyond it. The road here traversed a great bank of shingle that had been piled by the sea upon the peat. Farther on the road rose upon a high bank of till, or boulder clay, which presented to the sea a high escarpment, Between the road and the escarpment stood a large school house and on the landward side of the road were a range of coastguard houses, Within my memory the sea has devoured the land here so rapidly that, first the schoolhouse, then the road, and then the coastguard houses have been successively washed away. The great accumulation of shingle between the coastguard houses and Ardmore was also removed, its vestiges being now much further inland. A tract of the peat upon which the shingle had been piled was thus laid bare, and in this I found the remains of the crannoge.

What took the eye was a double row of piles enclosing irregularly a space about ninety or a hundred feet in diameter. The upper ends of these piles had in most cases been broken, but the lower extremities, embedded in the peat from one to four feet deep, were all pointed as if by an axe. The piles in the outer circle sloped outwards and stood more closely together. Those in the inner row showed remains of having been wattled. A trench which I cut to a depth of nine ‘feet into the peat within the crannoge, showed that it was undisturbed without any artificial accumulation of materials such as were used to raise the surface of other crannoges. On the north-west side the piles of the outer row were wanting, but twenty feet outside the remaining inner row of piles there lay embedded in the peat remains of a large piece of wattling, as though some of the walls or partitions had been torn down and thrown there. This wattling consisted of squared and unworked upright stakes (now prostrated), with long wattles woven’ between them in and out. Here in connection with this wattling I found also embedded in the peat a piece of a beam of timber, cut off at one end, and having two mortices cut in it. The noticeable feature about this was that the rude cuts appeared to have been made by a storie celt, the rounded extremity of which had left its impressions on the cut surfaces. This mortised beam may have served for holding uprights or some other timbers of the crannoge structure. On the south-east side I also found between the two rows of piles a piece of flooring or wattling composed of rods nearly as thick as one’s fingers and as close together.

These gave the impression that they were not in situ, but a piece of some structure that had got embedded there.

On examining the surface of the peat in the interior of the crannoge enclosure it was found to bestudded with stakes, usually running in rows, which were broken off level with the surface from marine erosion. On digging some of them up their ends were found to have been pointed: Near the centre of the crannoge a large circle of these stakes could be partially traced, about twenty-six feet in diameter, and within this I found standing upright in the peat two split boards of oak fitted tightly together. Their upper ends had been worn ‘or broken off, being exposed to wind and wave, but the lower ends sunk in the peat were cut off square. It seems that these planks belonged to a house of wood like that which existed in the Co. Fermanagh crannoges, described by Mr. Wakeman, and the rows of stakes represent wattled walls of dwellings or partitions within the crannoge fortification. The peat surface in this case afforded an admirable base for such wattled structures.

It is painfully evident that in 1879 so much of the upper surface of the peat and what it contained had been washed away that nothing but the bare foundations of the crannoge remained. Nevertheless, a few objects were found in connection with it. I took out of the peat on the east side, outside the enclosure, a carved wooden handle such as might have belonged to a knife or spoon, while an Ardmore man, named Shaughnessy, discovered also in the peat a disc-shaped piece of wood having a hole pierced through its centre, round which hole the wood was thicker than outside this portion. I at first took it for a wooden wheel, but it has been suggested that it was more probably‘ the lid of a churn. A horse-shoe was also given me as having been found in the crannoge, having its internal margin shaped to suit the horse’s frog.

Others found there what they described as a hatchet and a bill-hook of iron, and Michael Foley, fisherman, when digging turf there, had found outside the crannoge, at a considerable depth in the white clay, what he called a cradle of green twigs, about four feet long, having a multitude of green leaves in it (leaves being wonderfully preserved in the peat). One can only conjecture that this may have been a wicker canoe.

In and around the crannoge many bones were found by myself and others embedded in the peat, and stained of its dark colour. These were broken but not cut, and represented the usual animals found in raths and crannoges, red deer, ox, goat, pig and ass. At the present day nearly all vestiges of the crannoge have been washed away by the rapid inroads of the sea.

What strikes one at first about the site of this crannoge is that it must have been formerly protected from the approach of the sea as well as elevated above the tidal level, for its present level below high-water mark would have been subject to flooding even in a marsh or lagoon at some distance from the sea.

That the crannoge must have been originally constructed in a lagoon or marsh seems obvious, such being the usual site for crannoges, and considering the rapid inroads that the sea has made within my own memory, it is reasonable to conclude that centuries ago Ardmore Bay was filled up to a much greater extent than recently, and a protecting sand bank may have enclosed its mouth, like the warren at Tramore or the Cunnigar at Dungarvan Bay, leaving inside a spacious lagoon or morass.
And we need not assume the subsidence of the whole coast-line to account for the crannoge having become depressed below the tidal level. The bed of peat on which it stood is now over ten feet thick in places. This is a highly compressible material, and was once no doubt much thicker, its surface, on which the structure was built, having then been above the level of any tide.

What took place was probably this – the invading sea advancing towards it year after year brought along a great accumulation of shingle, such as I remember to have been heaped up on the spot forty years ago. The enormous weight of such a mass of stone would have been quite sufficient to compress the peat and sink it beneath the sea-level in time. The continuing advance of the sea at last removed the shingle itself, and laid bare again the peat stratum and what remained of the crannoge.

I had the advantage of visiting Ardmore last year with Professor Boyd-Dawkins, and that eminent geologist countenanced the above views, stating that it was thus that the change had probably taken place. My earlier researches in the crannoge were guided by Mr. G. H. Kinahan, that veteran Irish geologist, whose previous knowledge of crannoges and powers of trained observation were invaluable to me.

The accompanying sketch of the crannoge was kindly taken in 1879 by Miss Blacker.”

We also include another article on the Crannog in Ardmore for your enjoyment

Meet Some Of The Great Storytellers Of Ardmore

Meet Some Of The Great Storytellers Of Ardmore

Get up close to a story from Ardmore’s past. And, read a tale of how Eddie Mooney and the other members found a new way to put Ardmore on the map. And, how they fought to become National Champions.

Use the options below to navigate your way through this wonderful story.

Unearth The Skeleton Of Admore’s Round Tower

Unearth The Skeleton Of Admore’s Round Tower

What lies beneath?

It’s a question that we’ve all probably asked and maybe we’re all treasure hunters in our dreams.

But, what if a little digging could you tell you more about what lies above the ground?

Well, here’s a bit of history that proves this point perfectly.

We include an extract from The Gentleman’s Magazine: Volume 173 – January 1, 1843
The tower of Ardmore, in the county of Waterford, stands on the coast near the entrance of Youghal Bay; it is above 100 feet in height, 45 in circumference, 15 in diameter, divided by projecting bands into four stories at unequal distances; the door is 15 feet from the ground; the projecting bands are a remarkable feature, and assimi late it in appearance with the Indian towers of Boglipoor. Relative to an excavation made in the summer of 1841 at this tower, Sir W. Betham quotes the following correspondence.

Read more

Discover The Wild Flowers Of Ardmore Waterford

Discover The Wild Flowers Of Ardmore Waterford

All escapes benefit from a great guide. And, for all visitors with a passion for wild flowers we have something great to offer you. This wonderful guide on the wildflowers of Ardmore was produced a few years ago by Ardmore Tidytowns.

Tales Of A Cat’s Stairs, A Hanging And Giant’s Graves

Tales Of A Cat’s Stairs, A Hanging And Giant’s Graves

Leave the beaten track to see, hear and feel the imprints of a time gone by.

Take your time to discover it all. You’ll be inspired to explore to this part of the country and to share in the history that is everywhere in Ardmore.

Step inside this a wonderful article about Ardo. It will capture the imagination of any visitor to a time gone by. It was written in October 1845 in Frazers Magazine For Town And County. (A wonderful picture from John King – All Rights Reserved). Read more

There Is A Secret Village Named Ardmore

There Is A Secret Village Named Ardmore

Plan your escape to a secret getaway.

Nestled into the cliff on the Sunny South East the small village of Ardmore will captivate you forever.

You can’t turn around in any corner in Ardmore without facing some awe inspiring view, heritage-thumping location or even a mind-bending piece of folklore.

Stories and legends crisscross this wonderful area and none such more than those collected in the following article from 1845.

So, if you like to peel back history, then we encourage you to jump in and immerse yourself in this wonderful article.

from Frazers Magazine For Town And County. (A wonderful picture from John King – All Rights Reserved). Read more

Sharing Auld World Stories Of Ardmore With Visitors

Sharing Auld World Stories Of Ardmore With Visitors

Explore an ancient Christian settlement and where a saint lived and died. Marvel at the monumental Round Tower and Cathedral standing proudly over a beautiful seaside village.

You’ve reached the Historic Village of Ardmore in County Waterford. A place where christianty was forged by a trail-blazing Saint and who’s name has been carved into this picturesque landscape forever.

Uncover the tales of St Declan. See the amazing architectural achievements laid down forever and perched on a small hilltop above this quiet village. And, read the harrowing tale of a siege that ended with the execution of over a 100 men.

This is Ireland’s Ancient East in action and it’s time to explore years of vivid history.

We are pleased to include an article from The Gentleman’s Magazine about Ardmore written in 1864. Read more

The Original Magnificant Seven That Planted Faith In Ireland

The Original Magnificant Seven That Planted Faith In Ireland

For those that love to peel back the layers of history, exploring Ardmore’s past is a wonderful opportunity to experience monastic life in a small Irish village.

You are invited to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and experience the histories in the very places that they happened.

We include this short piece about the life of St Declan from The chronicle of Ireland, by Henry Marleburrough; continued from the collection of Doctor Meredith Hanmer, in the yeare 1571. Dublin, Printed by the Society of stationers, M.DCXXXIII. Read more