Toy-Making in Boyne Place

In a small alley off Dyer Street in Drogheda was a community of ten red-bricked terraced houses that ran down to the river's edge. The two rows of houses lined a small cobbled courtyard and was known as Boyne Place. Families such as Farrelly, Kiernan, Moran, Lynch, Tully, Murray and Byrne (who managed to squeeze a family of 12 into the small house in 1911) lived there until the houses were closed up in 1952. The families were subsequently re-housed in Yellowbatter and Bothar Brugha. The Place had one communal toilet for the ten houses, and fresh water had to be carried from a pump located further up the street at the Haymarket (in the area of where the old Boxing Club used to be).

Boyne Place just before it's demolition in 1982
From the census of 1901/1911, the occupations of many of the inhabitants were labourers, shop assistants and factory workers. By the late 1920's/early 1930's there was a special kind of trade being carried out in Boyne Place. The following extract is from a guide to "Drogheda & it's Industries" in 1932 and provides a wonderful insight into a small and long-forgotten craft industry for which Drogheda was once well known.

"In the last house in Boyne Place, an alley off Dyer Street, Drogheda, there is a little workshop belonging to Mr. Michael Burke, and it is from here the Drogheda hand-made toy industry is controlled, and has grown from a small beginning to a successful and progressive business. Up to a hundred hand-carved toys a week are turned out by Mr. Burke, and these are of a great variety, beauty and workmanship; and include dolls' houses of every size, dolls' furniture, railway engines, wheelbarrows and Noah's Arks, as well as the animals therefor.

The workmanship in every case combines beauty with durability, while the animals and birds for the Ark make an exceptionally fine display, and would add lustre to any toyshop window, provincial or metropolitan. There are mountainous elephants, sinuous tigers, long-necked giraffes, striped zebras, brilliantly plumed peacocks, and all the other folk who went afloat with Noah, and which delight the hearts of the youngsters.

It is regrettable that more Drogheda children are not amused by such toys, as there must be thousands of toys bought each year in the town, and if this demand could be diverted to the home-produced ones, it would be found necessary for more than one local trader to stock them, and the reaction on the industry would be beneficial. How many Drogheda people know that a shop has been opened in Dublin where Mr. Burke's toys are selling rapidly, and that they can also be bought in the leading toy-shops of many English towns? This is due to the enterprise of Mrs. V. Lentaigne of Termonfeckin, who has fostered this little industry since Mr. Burke's ability and skill were brought to her notice some years ago, when she arranged for an exhibition of his work at the Spring Show where Drogheda toys were first brought before the public eye."

The article goes on to state of the importance of people buying locally produced products "by insisting upon their children being supplied with Drogheda-made toys" instead of mass-produced ones (a problem which has come full circle with people nowadays again being encouraged to buy local)
. Mr. Burke's toys were for sale in Schwers shop, West Street, Drogheda and in The Country Shop on Stephen's Green, Dublin.

Sadly, today, the local toy-making industry is long forgotten and Michael Burke's crafted products are no more; just like Boyne Place itself which was demolished in August 1982 (it stood on the site where Kennedy Cycles is today in Dyer St.), both consigned to memory.


Duel Challenge at Colp.

Community Historian Brendan Matthews with another fine glimpse at past events in Drogheda.

Friday February 21st 1729 and two men are playing a game of Whisk at the home of Lord Ferrard near Clogherhead in Co. Louth. The men, Henry Hays, son of Captain Henry Hays of Drogheda,who was also known as an eminent brewer in town and Captain Lambert Peppard who was also a resident of Drogheda and who came from a well-known local and eminent family.

As the evening wore on the two men, who were close enough friends, began to get more intoxicated and so Lord Ferrard offered both men a room for the night after the game of whisk had ended. The two men took up the offer of a bed for the night and both retired to the same room in the house.

In the early hours of the morning however, the servants of the house, on hearing a rumpus, went to the room where they found Hays and Peppard fighting eachother, prancing around the room in nothing more than their long-sleeved shirts and exchanging fisticuffs.

The drunken men were separated and Mr Lambert Peppard was ushered to a room of his own for the remainder of the night. Next morning Hays went to Peppard`s room door and began shouting about `wanting to finish the fight`. When Peppard refused to come out of his room, Hays then told Peppard that, when he got up he would meet him with sword and pistols in the churchyard of Colp just outside Drogheda in Co. Meath at 12 noon, in other words, Hays challenged Peppard to a duel.

Lambert Peppard then arose from his bed and headed off to Colp for the appropriete hour and on entering the churchyard at Colp, he noticed Hays was already there with another man. Peppard approached Hays and exclaimed to him that they were friends and that as far as he was concerned the quarrel of the night before had ended and was therefore over.

According to newspaper reports of the incident, Hays was furious and replied that it was certainly not over and that he (Peppard) might be better off preparing himself for the challenge before him. The two men then squared up before eachother and, under the rules of duelling, they set their paces and Mr Hays fired first however he missed his target.

The two men then fired at once and it was reported that, `The Captain Peppard`s balls went clear through the body of Hays and drove him to the ground where he expired in a few moments`. Lamberet Peppard remained at the scene until he saw Hays was `past all hopes of life`, before he rode off back in the direction of Drogheda. The body of Hays was then loaded on to a cart and it too was returned to Drogheda and the sad news was then given to his father, who it was also stated was, `overwhelmed with sorrow for his loss`.

So ended a famous duel between two `gentlemen friends` that occurred on Saturday February 22nd 1729 in the churchyard at Colp.


Update from the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society

Are you interested in events of historical and cultural significance offered by historical societies apart from our own? If so the following information from Meath Archaeological and Historical Society might prove worthwhile.

Torch lit procession from the Fair Green in Athboy to the Hill of Tlachtga October 31st at 7.30pm.

Samhain marks the end of the old Celtic Year and the beginning of the New Year. One of the main spiritual centres of the ancient Celts was located at the top of the Hill of Tlachtga, now called the Hill of Ward, near Athboy, Co. Meath. Admission Free, Contact Joe Conlon, mobile 087 6666021, email jfconlon3@gmail.com

Ashbourne Historical Society lecture on Tuesday, November 5th at 7:30pm. The Library, Killegland Square, Ashbourne, Co Meath. 'The 1913 Lockout' by Padraig Yeates author of Lockout: Dublin 1913, A City in Wartime: Dublin 1914-1918, and A City in Turmoil: Dublin 1919-1921. Admission is free. No booking necessary.

‘Crisis and Survival in Later Medieval Louth’ by Dr Brendan Smith on Thursday, 14th November at 8 p.m. St Vincent’s School Assembly Hall, Seatown Place, Dundalk. A County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society event. Dr Smith’s recently published book entitled ‘Crisis and survival  in  late  Medieval Ireland’ will be launched  by  Professor  Seán Duffy (T.C.D.) after the lecture.

MAHS Event on Wednesday, November 20th at 7.30pm 'The Founding of the Irish Volunteers (Irish Army) in Meath' by Ruth Illingworth. St. Mary's Church of Ireland Hall, Navan.

Navan & District Historical Society Annual AGM followed by an illustrated talk on the Furniture Industry in Navan by Richard Farrelly. November 21st at 8pm in the Columbanus House Canon Row Navan. 'The Field Names of County Meath' book available at outlets listed here. It is planned to continue to gather field names in townlands not already surveyed. If you would like to help with this please contact Joan Mullen, Project Co-ordinator at joanfmullen@eircom.net and let her know the townland you would like to work on.


5 Gruesome Drogheda Events

Drogheda has had it's fair share of gruesome and bloody happenings over the centuries so here's a quick look over some of it's more noticeable incidents:

(Just a reminder this list is subjective so if you disagree with some of the entries please add your own in the comments!)  

1.  The Tholsel, West St.

Whilst the Tholsel is historically known as housing the Corporation Chambers, the Assizes, and the County Courts for one hundred and twenty years, and being the focal point for public meetings and public auctions, it has also witnessed it's fair share of public executions.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the public gallows was erected at the bottom of Peter Street opposite the Tholsel and was in use up to c.1800. Many local United Irishmen were hung there in retaliation for the 1798 rebellion. One famous case was the execution of a highwayman, James Flinn, one of a gang led by the famous Collier the Robber. Flinn was captured during a highway robbery near Deepforde Bridge (now near the current entrance to Stameen housing estate on the Dublin Road). He was tried, found guilty and hung at the Tholsel in 1795. Unluckily for Flinn it was his first time "on the road" proving that crime does indeed not pay.

2. Cadaver Stones

St. Peter's Tombstone

Beaulieu House Cadaver Stone
These gruesome tombstones can be found in Stamullen, at Beaulieu House and the most well-known, in St.Peter's Church of Ireland churchyard, Peter St. Unlike the normal carved tombstone, in the case of these cadaver (from the Latin word for corpse) stones the body is presented in a decomposed state, generally wrapped in a funerary shroud. During the 14th and 15th century when these stones were constructed, a series of plagues swept across Ireland from the continent, and people became obsessed with death and the transience of life.

The stone at Beaulieu House is perhaps the most well preserved of the three in the area, and admittedly the most grotesque. Snakes and worms hang out of the ears & twine around ribs and legs. Toads cling onto the chest and a creature with bat-like wings hangs on to the right leg, while all sorts of maggots, horned lizards and toads with pointed snouts nestle in the folds of the shroud. Nothing about your own mortality is left to the imagination.

3. Gallows Lane

"Off with his head!" - Henry VIII
Tudor Drogheda was the site of many Irish Parliaments, an indication of it's status, and was also not free from the political machinations to be found across the water in England. In 1467 two of the most powerful men in Ireland at the time, Thomas Fitzgerald, 7th Earl of Desmond, & his brother-in-law, Thomas Fitzgerald, 7th Earl of Kildare, were accused by their political enemies of of being in league with the Gaelic Irish against King Henry VIII. The charges of treason and extortion meant their lands, titles, and finances were confiscated. 

They were both summoned to answer the charges at the Parliament in Drogheda, which the Earl of Desmond duly did. As soon as he did he was taken to Gallows Lane (stretching from Hardman's Gardens to the Windmill Road) and beheaded. John D'Alton, in his 1844 History of Drogheda sets the scene: "Under these charges the Earl was found guilty, and beheaded on the 15th Febuary, 1467; the melancholy scene took place, according to tradition, on the north commons of Drogheda, where the old gallows was formerly erected...His head was sent to Dublin to be spiked on the wall of the castle, and his body was interred in the Dominican Friary..." 

His brother-in-law the Earl of Kildare managed to dodge this trial where he probably would have received the same fate, and escaped to England where he pleaded his case before the King and was pardoned. 

4. The Head of St. Oliver Plunkett

St. Peter's Church on West St. holds the shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett, who was martyred at Tyburn, England in 1681, the last Roman Catholic martyr to die in England. 

St. Oliver Plunkett
Plunkett was Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland at the time of his death, and was recognized as the last victim of "The Popish Plot", a conspiracy theory which imagined an extensive Roman Catholic conspiracy to assassinate King Charles II. Oliver Plunkett was highly regarded in his office as Archbishop and was praised for his reforms of the damaged Roman Catholic Church after the ravages of Cromwell. His message was one of peace, reconciliation and forgiveness, a ideology he stood by until his death. He established a Jesuit College in Drogheda in 1670; over a year later of the 150 students, 40 were Protestant, making this college the first integrated school in Ireland.

Due to the large Anti-Roman Catholic feeling prevalent at the time and the hysteria of "The Popish Plot", Plunkett (being a prominent figure in the Church) was accused of treason. He was tried twice, once in Ireland where it was deemed he would get off scott free, and so again in London. The second trial is generally regarded as a serious miscarriage of justice, and despite pleas for mercy for Plunkett and many people convinced of his innocence he was found guilty and condemned to be hung, drawn and quartered, the punishment for treason.

After his execution his head was thrown onto the prepared fire nearby but was rescued by his friends. The Relic of the Head was brought to Rome and other places before ending up in the care of the Dominican Nuns in the Siena Convent, Drogheda c.1725. The Relic was transferred to St. Peter's Church, West St. in 1921 where it has remained since. 

For some people the Relic is an important Roman Catholic artifact to be venerated, for others it's a source of morbid curiosity; it is, after all, a preserved human head in a glass box that people come and look at. However, the ideals and beliefs of St. Oliver Plunkett, of peace, tolerance and forgiveness, should serve as examples to people of all faith.     

5. St. Peter's Church, Peter St.
The attack on Drogheda

Cromwell's siege of Drogheda in 1649 is well documented and was effectively an act of war against the Royalists based in Ireland. Cromwell's Parliamentarians wanted to finish the job of quashing the Royalists and more ominously, to get revenge for the persecution of Ulster Protestants. Like all wars, atrocities were committed, towards soldiers and citizens alike, sanctioned or not by the Parliamentarian high command. 

Reports of what actually happened in the town during the attack are difficult to confirm as both sides may have exaggerated in their reports of the siege. There were, by Cromwell's own account 3,500 dead afterwards; of whom 2,800 were soldiers which leaves an estimate of 7-800 civilian casualties. However there are a number of well documented incidents, by outside observers and Cromwell himself, that illustrate the bloodiness of the battle. 

Drogheda's garrison was led by Sir Arthur Aston, who due to a riding accident years previously had lost part of a leg and had a wooden one fitted. After the Parliamentarians breached the town walls, Aston and his remaining garrison fled up to Millmount where they were finally captured by Cromwell's soldiers. Any Royalist soldiers found in the town, including the men in Millmount, were put to the sword as Aston had refused to surrender to Cromwell and so gave up his chance to spare his own, and his men's, lives. Aston himself was dealt the grisly fate of being beaten to death with his own wooden leg, as Cromwell's soldiers heard a rumour it contained gold, and then was hacked to pieces. 

As the Parliamentarian soldiers made their way through the town, it was reported variously that either over one hundred Royalist soldiers, or soldiers and citizens, fled to the Catholic St. Peter's Church on Peter St. (it's foundations were built over by the current St. Peters C.o.I.). The people inside were ordered to surrender and they would be spared but they refused, whereupon, Cromwell wrote later "I ordered the steeple of St. Peters' Church to be fired, when one of them was heard to say in the midst of the flames 'God damn me, God confound me; I burn, I burn." When the remaining 200 soldiers finally surrendered again Cromwell says "their officers were knocked on the head, and every tenth man of the soldiers killed, and the rest shipped to Barbadoes."

Whilst Cromwell gave no direct orders for the massacre of civilians, the same cannot be said for the Catholic clergy in the town. This was also a religious war as much as a political one, and orders were given that any Catholic priest or friar should be, to use Cromwell's phrase, "knocked on the head promiscuously". Tom Reilly's book "Cromwell at Drogheda" mentions an account by a Jesuit priest in Drogheda during the siege. In it he states that churches were pillaged and destroyed and townspeople massacred. He also mentions that when the Parliamentarian soldiers discovered two priests in hiding "they led them off in triumph, and accompanied by the tumultuous crowd, conducted them to the market-place...they tied both to stakes in the ground and pierced their bodies with shots till they expired". Another elderly priest was dragged from his bed by the soldiers and savagely beaten, dying from his injuries a few days later.  

What happened at Drogheda was by all accounts a savage affair but it was meant to be a deterrent, to discourage future resistance from other towns. Indeed the neighbouring garrisons of Trim and Dundalk either surrendered or fled when they heard what fate had befallen Drogheda. The whole siege had a huge impact on British & Irish history as a whole as well as being an extremely gruesome part of the town's history.  


Annual Conference of the Irish Labour History Society

2013 Annual Conference of the Irish Labour History Society 

ILHS Annual Conference Saturday 2nd November 2013
(Outline Programme)

The 1913 Lockout

Venue – ILHS Museum, Beggars Bush, Dublin.

9.30am Registration & tea/coffee

10.00am Opening: Ms. Joan Burton T.D., Minister for Social Protection and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

10.15 – 10.45am The Dublin Lockout in History & Imagination: An Overview.
Speaker: Professor Gary Granville

10.45 -11.15am ‘An International Perspective: How international was Larkinism? How British was Larkin?’ Speaker: Dr. Emmet O’Connor

11.15am- 12.45pm
Preludes from the Provinces

• ‘The Cork strike and lockout of 1909: The causes and consequences of an unknown episode in Irish labour history’. Speaker: Mr. Luke Dineen

• The Wexford Lockout of 1911 – Speaker: Dr. Conor McCabe

• ‘Two militant employers: Arthur Jackson and “Máirtín Mór” McDonogh’ – Speaker: Dr. John Cunningham

1pm Lunch

2.00pm Oral Histories – Dr. Mary Muldowney

2.30pm The Role & Development of the Citizen Army – Dr. Ann Matthews

3pm Legacy of the Lockout – Panel Discussion:
Speakers t.b.c.

5pm Conference Concludes

Admission €5: (Includes Tea/Coffee & Sandwiches)


Ghostly Help Requested

The Annual "Ghosts of Drogheda Tours" are taking place on Friday October 25th, with two tours from Millmount at 7.20pm & 7.30pm.

These tours have proved to be very popular but they could not happen without the co-operation of the Community Employment staff in Millmount and members of the Old Drogheda Society who participate either by dressing up and taking part in the tour or by acting as a steward on the night. If you are available and would like to help out, please contact Liam or Kathleen on 041-9833097 as we need to firm up arrangements for the night.

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage - Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


Family Tree Course Places Still Available

There are a few places left on the Thursday Evening Course: Introduction To Researching Your Family Tree Course being run in Millmount by Geraldine Jennings.

The 7 Week Course starting this evening 17 Oct - 7:30 - 9.00 The topics covered include:

   - Where do you start and where are you going?
   - What to include and what to leave out
   - Where to start looking for information.
   - Confirming details are accurate.
   - Information in the real world and on-line :- what to trust.
   - Tips on taking care of documents & photos.
   - How to do research at the GRO - preparing before you go.

A minibus trip to the GRO will be organised if suitable :- not included in course fee

It is not necessary to be good at computers, though we do look at where to go on the internet.

The 7 week course costs 60Euro and comprehensive illustrated notes are supplied.

If anyone is interested lease contact info@droghedamuseum.ie

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage - Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097

Tonight: Exhibition Reminder

A reminder that the "Family History From The Sea" exhibition will open tonight, October 17th in the Boyne Room, Governor’s House, Millmount at 6.30 p.m.

The exhibition will be launched by David Snook of Irish Mariners.com and will feature photos and sea records from his collection of Mariner's Cards from the early 20th Century.

A unique feature of these CR10 cards is that they usually contain a good quality photograph of the seaman. They also contain personal and voyage start details.

The exhibition will feature mariners from the Drogheda, Clogherhead, Termonfeckin, Baltray and Mornington areas.

So, if any of your ancestors was a seaman this would be one not to miss.

See example of the quality of the photogrphy by clicking here.

This exhibition will run up to the end of November in the Governor's House Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage - Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


Exhibition - Family History from the Sea…

Drogheda Museum Millmount / Old Drogheda Society


Family History from
the Sea…

Records and Photos of Seamen from
the Drogheda Area in the early 1900s

Boyne Room, Governor’s House Millmount

Launch by David Snook of www.irishmarniners.com
THURS 17th Oct 2013   6.30pm

Was your ancestor a seaman? Come along and find his photo and sea-record in David Snook’s collection of Mariners’ Cards from the early 20th Century.

Areas covered are Drogheda, Clogherhead, Baltray, Termonfeckin and Mornington.


Family History From the Sea

Below is an update from the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society.

Dear MAHS Members & Guests "Family History From The Sea" exhibition Thursday October 17th at 6.30pm in the Boyne Room, the Governor's House, Millmount, Drogheda.

The exhibition will be launched by David Snook of the Irish Mariners, and it will feature photos and sea-records from his collection of Mariner's Cards from the early 20th Century. The exhibition will feature mariners from the Drogheda, Clogherhead, Termonfeckin, Baltray and Mornington areas.


Choral Recital and Concert

Drogheda Cultural Services the project that manages the staff at Drogheda Museum Millmount, Drogheda Tourist Office, Highlanes Gallery and Drogheda Local Voices Oral Archive are hosting a Choral Recital and Concert tonight, Friday October 11th in the Augustinian Church, Drogheda at 8pm, entitled "Hands Accross the Sea".

We would welcome support for what should be a very entertaining evening. The recital will feature The Onllwyn Welsh Miners Male Voice Choir, who are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the links established between the Welsh miners and the Irish workers from the 1913 Lock Out.

Also appearing will be well known composer Michael Holohan, internationally acclaimed flute player, Brian Dunning, the Drogheda Orchestral Collective, traditional singers Sean Corcoran and Gerry Cullen.  Actor and writer Donal O'Kelly will read from the works of James Larkin.

Tickets are priced at €10 and are on sale from the Office in the Augustinian, Drogheda Tourist Office and the Governor's House, Millmount or pay at the door.

Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage - Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


Special Family Tree Workshops

Geraldine Jennings is running two special Saturday workshops exploring all things computer related for your family tree on 12th and the 19th Oct.

The first workshop on the 12th is based around creating both web-based family trees, such as on ancestry.com; and computer packages such as Family Tree Maker.

The second workshop on the 19th is based around archiving documents and photographs, manipulating them on Photoshop, storing original documents, and looking at file sharing & cloud computing.

The cost is 75 euro per workshop or 120 euro for both.

The workshops run from 10.00am - 13.00pm Sat 12th & 19th Oct, and are held in the Millmount Cultural Centre.

Places will be limited so booking is essential; call Geraldine on 086 818 4954 or email: gjennings@remistick.com.

It is recommended you bring your laptop and a dongle or hotspot although wi-fi will be available.

Geraldine also runs a 7-week "Research Your Family Tree Course" in Millmount; details here.


Special Exhibition of Medieval Torture Instruments

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you to offer you an exciting and unusual opportunity to host a special exhibition of Medieval Torture Instruments. The exhibition includes more than 50 exhibits with illustrations and
descriptions and is displayed with great visual impact. Besides cognitive virtues it entails deep reflection and it encourages the audience to take a critical view of the human nature.

Let me say right away that this exhibition finances itself entirely through entry tickets. Our exhibition team cover all costs for transport, installation as well as costs for preparation and dissemination
of all advertising materials meaning that exhibition hosts do not incur any expense themselves.

The exhibition has been showcased over the last 20 years throughout Europe. The last time it was shown at The Collection Museum & Art Gallery in Lincoln/ England. Throughout its history, the exhibition has
never failed to achieve success wherever it has been shown as demonstrated both in local media and in public attendance figures.

I have enclosed a recommendation letter from the Collection Museum & Art Gallery in Lincoln/ England. Please also, find below a few links as well as a list of some former exhibitions across Europe. If you have any further questions or would like to set up an informal meeting to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me by post, email or telephone or if you would like to see the exhibition for yourself, come along to our showing at the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough/England from June 2013 until December 2013.

A few press articles:

Catalogue of the exhibits:

Recent History of the Exhibition

Museum of Archaeology in Zagreb (Croatia)
Museum of Archaeology in Krakow (Poland)
Teatro, Muzikos, Kino Vilnius (Lithuania)
Traku Istorijos Muziejus, (Lithuania)
Friedenstein Castle, Gotha, (Germany)
Burg Mildenstein in Leisnig, (Germany)
Museum Bernburg Castle, (Germany)
Museum Nossen Castle, (Germany)
Middelaldercentret, (Denmark)
Łazienki Królewskie (Royal Baths) in Warsaw (Poland)
Natioanal Museum in Kielce, (Poland)
National Museum in Poznan, (Poland)
National Museum in Szczecin, (Poland)
Matka maja in Talin, (Estonia)

Yours faithfully,
Zbigniew Perzyna


Hands Across the Water: 1913 -2013

Drogheda will resound again to the wonderful music of Côr Meibion Onllwyn – the Onllwyn Miners’ Male Voice Choir - on Friday next, 11th October when the South Wales choir will perform in the Augustinian Church, Shop Street at 8 p.m.

Their first visit to Drogheda two years ago was a spectacular success and established many lasting links between the two communities. The event will be another link in the chain that has now been growing for exactly100 years.

In 1913 the South Wales Miners Federation sent £1,000 a week for fourteen weeks to support starving Dublin families during the 1913 Lock Out. This was an enormous sum of money in 1913. An attempt was made in 1984 to repay this historic debt when Irish trade unionists campaigned in solidarity against the ferocious attack by the British Government on the mining industry and mining communities.

In saying thank you for this solidarity the South Wales mining community first sent the choir to Ireland in 1986. All proceeds from the performances have gone to charity and as a result, many Irish charitable organisations have benefited greatly by such fundraising. The Côr Meibion Onllwyn has an international reputation having appeared at “The Thousand Voices” in the Albert Hall in London and has given recitals in the United States, the Bahamas and Italy. The choir were special guests at the Paul Robeson Centenary Concert in the Albert Hall.

Anyone who experienced the magic of the choir’s performances on its last visit to Drogheda will recall the superb musicianship and wonderful camaraderie of the visitors, whether at the impromptu recital on the steps of The Tholsel, at the more formal setting of the Augustinian Church or at the after concert wind down in local pubs. The concert on Friday, “Hands Across the Water”, will celebrate the century of friendship and solidarity between the people of South Wales and Ireland by highlighting the tremendous quality of music to be found among both.

The first half of the concert will feature original compositions from locally based composer, Michael Holohan. The hugely talented Drogheda Orchestral Collective will perform as well as internationally renowned flute player, Brian Dunning. The well known actor, Donal O'Kelly will read from the writings of James Larkin and there may be additional top class surprise guests. The choir will respond in the second half with a varied programme of singing of the highest quality. Truly, a treat is in store!

Proceeds from the Drogheda concert will go to Drogheda Cultural Services Group, which is made up of Drogheda Museum Millmount, Drogheda on the Boyne Tourism, Highlanes Gallery and Drogheda Local Voices Oral History Archive. Tickets for the concert, which starts at 8pm on Friday October 11th, cost €10 and can be had from the Augustinian Church, Drogheda Tourist Office or from Drogheda Museum Millmount.

  • Drogheda Museum Millmount - Governor's House - Millmount - Drogheda - 0419833097


Last Call for Articles

Last Call for articles for the Journal of the Old Drogheda Society 2013!

Please send as email attachment as reply to this email OR to info@droghedamuseum.ie.

Please do not send text as hard copy.

If you have illustrations please send them as jpgs at 300dpi resolution.

If they are in hard copy you can leave them in to the Old Drogheda Society Office in Governor's House Millmount and we will scan them and return them to you.

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage - Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097


Ghosts of Drogheda

The very popular Ghosts of Drogheda Walking Tour will take place this year on Friday October 25th departing from Drogheda Museum Millmount at 7.20pm and 7.30pm.

Organised by Drogheda Museum Millmount and the Old Drogheda Society,the tour will feature tales of the characters from the past who played roles in Drogheda's history over the years such as Amergin, St Patrick, Edward Bruce, Oliver Cromwell, Sir Arthur Ashton, St Oliver Plunkett, King William of Orange, King James, John Philip Holland, John Boyle O'Reilly and Anne Hardman who came back from the dead.

Some of these characters will again walk the streets of the town as we look into the bloody history of the town. The tours have been booked out for the past four years and they give an interesting and entertaining look at the town's somewhat bloody past.

Tickets for the tours will be on sale from Drogheda Tourist Office in the Tholsel, West Street, Drogheda from Thursday October 3rd, costing €3.

  • Old Drogheda Society - History, Archaeology & Heritage - Millmount, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Tel. 041-9833097