Drogheda's Underground Tunnels

Excavations in James St. before the dual carriageway construction
There has long been plenty of urban legends in Drogheda about various subterranean passages that exist around the town. They are referenced in many of the written histories of Drogheda down through the years, probably taken from local rumours themselves. They were allegedly used as various escape routes around and out of the town. 

John D'Alton in his 1844 History of Drogheda says that "it should not be omitted that in and about Drogheda, several subterranean passages have been discovered and many of considerable extent; one reaching from St. Peter's Church towards the Tholsel, another in the line of West St., a third near the ruins of the Dominican monastery (Magdalene Tower), and a fourth near the burial ground popularly called the Cord."

Basset's guide and Directory to Co. Louth also mentions the tunnel from St. Peter's, perhaps copying D'Alton: "Of traditionary subterranean passages, honey-combing the ground on which Drogheda stands, there is no lack. A very well authenticated one is said to run from St. Peter's Church toward the Tholsel."

In 1891 it was reported in the national news that in the course of construction of a house in Narrow West St., a large passage was discovered: "After excavating about ten feet beneath the surface the workman displaced a large flagstone, under which a large, dark subterranean passage was discovered. One of the workmen took a long crowbar and failed to touch the bottom with the end of it. All the surface water which originally passed through the sewer now drains into the underground passage referred to. It is considered that this discovery reveals one of the subterranean passages for which old Drogheda was famous. One of these passages (also) extended from the town to Mellifont Abbey."

It is also on record that a Mr. Hatch, the Borough Engineer explored a passage in Narrow West St. in 1893.

Finally, in 2006 when West. St. was in the process of being 'upgraded', people noticed apparent underground tunnels in the middle of the excavations. There are also reports of tunnels around the old Grammar School site, in the Duke St./Fair St. area and even that the Cellar Bar in Laurence St. was part of a larger network. Whether all these tunnels are the remains of cellars from older, previous buildings or perhaps old sewerage tunnels, the fact that there are so many stories and that they still persist is an indication that there is perhaps a grain of truth behind the urban legends.

Dowth Souterrain image c. Brian McElherran
Edit: The tunnels may also be the remains of souterrains, underground Iron age tunnels or galleries used, as has been suggested, as food stores or hiding places. They were dug out and then lined with either stone slabs or wood, which could be part of the passage found in West St. Co. Louth has a high concentration of these souterrains and considering Drogheda and the surrounding Boyne Valley area has evidence of human habitation since the Neolithic Age it seems within the realms of possibilty to suggest that these tunnels could be souterrains. With the recent geophysical survey of Millmount in Drogheda it can be hoped that if it shows evidence of a passage tomb on a par with Newgrange, then the immediate Drogheda area can be given another definite date for historical habitation. 


St Oliver's win Local History Quiz

St Oliver's Community School took the Corcoran Garry Trophy as winners of the 10th inter schools local history quiz organised by the Old Drogheda Society and Drogheda Museum Millmount.

The quiz which is part of the transition year project that sees students visit Drogheda Museum Millmount, take a walking tour of Drogheda and visit the Old Drogheda Society in the library.

The quiz was held in the Barbican Centre with St Oliver's scoring 38 points out of 40. The holders, St Josephs CBS, were in second place on 36 points with Sacred Heart and St Mary's Diocesan School in joint 3rd on 30 points.

The winning team members were  Killian Shevlin, Evan English, Johnny White, Nathan Hughes, Luke Carroll, Leigh Carolan, Andrew Everard, Aine O’Connor, Aine Lynch and Daniel Brennan.

Margaret Clinton asked as quizmaster with Michael Hurley, Malachy Martin, Jane Anderson and Eamon Thornton assisting with the score keeping and collecting the answers.

The transition year project is sponsored by Coca Cola International Services.

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

The Wexford Carols

There's a most unusual Christmas event coming up in the Droichead Arts Centre this December!
Join singer Caitriona O'Leary and her innovative traditional Irish band 'DÚLRA", together with very special guests Lillis Ó Laoire, Noirín NÍ Riain and Austrian Hurdy Gurdy virtuoso Matthias Loibner, for a remarkable musical event in the Droichead Arts Festival on Friday 6th December at 7.30pm.

This will be the first complete performance in over 200 years of Ireland's most beautiful and important collection of Christmas music, "The Wexford Carols".

Written between 1684 and 1728 by Luke Waddinge, Bishop of Ferns, and Fr. William Devereux, "The Wexford Carols" are Ireland's greatest body of Christmas music.

While a few of the songs remain popular today, such as 'The Darkest Midnight' and 'The Wexford Carol' itself, the majority of these 22 inspired and moving folk carols have not been performed for centuries. Written in English and set to Irish and English tunes of the day, much of the music for the carols has been forgotten or lost until now.

Tickets €16/€12 concession; Call Droichead Arts Centre box office on 041 9833946 or book online at www.droichead.com.


Letters to Aunt Mary

County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society will host Letters to Aunt Mary an illustrated lecture by John McCullen on Wednesday, 27 November at 8pm in Governor’s House, Millmount, Drogheda.

The talk will bring to light a collection of letters belonging to Mary Frances McCullen (1883-1970).and will give an insight into life in the aerly part of the 20th century.

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

Sermon on The Mound!

Our very own Brendan Matthews providing the secular touch at the weekend MARS Project exploration.

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


Old Drogheda Online: Check us out!

Check out Drogheda Museum/Old Drogheda Society Blog and Facebook Pages!

Loads of interesting short articles, news items and discussions going on in our Blog (Drogheda Museum News and Views) and our Facebook Pages (one for Drogheda Museum and one for Old Drogheda Society).

You can check these out without having to sign up for anything by going to our museum website at www.droghedamuseum.ie and clicking on "News and Views" for the Blog or by clicking on the two little "f" buttons on the masthead for the Facebook pages.

If you are already on Facebook please give us a "like" (click on the little "like" logo) - every little helps!!

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


Today - Looking Deep into the Millmount Mound

Millmount Geophys Survey - Open to Public today Sat 23 Nov 3pm-4pm.

MARS (Millmount Archaeological Remote Sensing project) - the geophys survey to look deep into the mound at Millmount - is under way! This is the first survey of it's kind in either Ireland or Britain and (apart from one local generous benefactor) is entirely funded by the Old Drogheda Society.

MARS with RTE cameraman

The survey is open to the press and public today Sat 23 Nov from 3pm to 4pm and the team will demonstrate their techniques and show initial discoveries.

MARS Director, Kevin Barton of www.lgs.ie

Legend has it that Millmount is the burial place of the mythical Celtic bard Amhairgin (or Amergin in English), who in Early Irish Cosmology was the inventor of song and poetry.  We may not find Amhairgin but archaeologist Conor Brady (who along with scientist Kevin Barton of www.lgs.ie is conducting the survey) thinks that there is a strong possibility that a passage grave like that at Newgrange is lurking under the mound. An RTÉ camera crew filmed the survey on Fri and it will be features on RTÉ 6.1 News on Mon 25th Nov.

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


Unusual Council Minutes

Drogheda Corporation's minute books have entries concerning all aspects of town life down through the years and every so often there are unusual entries concerning the "town fathers". In 1915 the Rev. Thomas Gogarty transcribes and published edited minutes of the Assembly Books from 1649 to 1804 which highlights some of these incidents.

For centuries, and at the time of the Assembly books, there was a single bridge linking North and South. There were however ferry services across the river to make up for this fact. One such ferry was run by a Mr. Jebb at the cost of a halfpenny each. In 1780 the latter's nautical enterprise was sanctioned when on the 6th October it was ordered that "David Jebb, Esq., have liberty to erect and use a Ferry for passengers only, from the Hide Market to the opposite shore of the River Boyne for one year from this Michaelmas Assembly at the rent of six pence sterling." (It was extended to twenty one years in November.)

The Hyde Market was situated where the Abbey car park is now, formerly the site of the Linen Hall.

On a different theme, Murdering Lane or "Muthering Lane" appears intermittantly during the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries when various individuals were granted leases on or near it. The delightfully curious title leaves little to the imagination with regards to its origin. The Lane itself no longer exists but its location is detailed in a petition dated 19th July 1805 when Alderman John Leland set forth:

"That he is in possession in his own right of a Dwelling House on the West side of Peter St., a house and back ground thereto adjoining in Fair St., also a strip of ground called the Murdering Lane, and a small garden called Teeling's Garden, all which premises lie together."

Like today, religion played no small part in matters matrimonial in the Eighteenth Century. With regard to mixed marriages concerning the Freemembers of the Corporation, we note the latter's blatant disregard for their Catholic Brethern in the following extract. Once again we see their fait-acompli approach as the solution to an otherwise complex issue:

At a General Assembly held on 13th July 1770 -
"This Assembly being informed that Mr. John Jones, Stonecutter, a Freeman of this Corporation is married to a Popish wife, it is ordered that unless he satisfies the next General Assembly of the contrary, or that his wife did within a year and a day after his marriage, conform to the Protestant Religion, and that she, since such conformity continues a Protestant, he shall be thenceforth disfranchised and stand deprived of his Freedom of this Corporation."

One can't imagine the Borough Council getting so involved in personal matters these days!

Extracts from "Some Minutes from Times Past" by Tom Reilly from the O.D.S. Journal 1994


Lecture - H.M. Coastguards in Co. Louth 1820 -1922

Luke Torris, Secretary and P.R.O. Annagassan Historical Society has requested that the ODS assist in prooting this event.

Lecture - H.M. Coastguards in Co. Louth 1820 -1922

Annagassan & District Historical Society holds its next lecture tonight, Wednesday 20 November at 8.00pm in The Loft (above Slan’s Pub), Annagassan. This illustrated lecture is entitled 'H.M. Coastguards in Co. Louth 1820 -1922'. Our speaker is Mr. Heber Russell who has lived at the former Coastguard Station at Dunany for nearly 50 years.

The first Coastguard Stations were established in Co. Louth in 1821 and eventually Stations were established from Omeath in the North to Queensborough (mouth of the Boyne) in the south of the county. Heber will detail the main role of the Coastguards in coastal protection, customs and excise, life-saving, etc. The tragedy of 1868, when five Dunany Coastguard men were drowned in Dundalk Bay and the burning of Coastguard Stations during the War of Independence in 1921 will also be discussed.

This promises to be an excellent lecture and places are limited so come early. Entrance fee is €5 and includes tea/coffee afterwards.


5 History-Changing Events that Happened in Drogheda

Drogheda has, perhaps surprisingly, been in the middle of a lot of important Irish events. Some may be very well known (Cromwell's Siege, the Battle of the Boyne come to mind) but there are less well-known happenings that had a huge effect, not only on Drogheda's history, but Irish history as a whole.

Here's your quick guide as to why Drogheda is more important than you think:

1. Poynings Law
Possibly one of the most important historical events to affect Irish history, this law, introduced by the then Lord Deputy of Ireland Sir Edward Poynings in the Irish Parliament sitting at Drogheda in 1494, was an attempt to bring the rebellious Irish back under the yoke of the Tudor Monarchy soon after the English War of the Roses. In it it stated that no Irish Parliament could meet without the permission of the King of England and no legislation could be passed or any parliamentary business done without first running it by the King's Deputy & Council in Ireland. It succeeded in restricting Irish affairs for the next 300 years and wasn't repealed until Henry Grattan's Parliament in 1782.

2. Synod of Mellifont
One of the many meetings of Irish bishops, but one of the most important, occurred in 1152 at Mellifont Abbey. It was basically to decide a whole reshuffle or redefinition of the Irish Church as it stood then; they increased the number of bishops and importantly redefined the number and size of the dioceses. This was when Drogheda was divided into the two dioceses as it still stands today; the diocese of Armagh on the northern side of the town and the diocese of Meath on the Southern side with the Boyne being the dividing line. This had the knock-on effect of Drogheda itself being founded as two separate towns initially in 1186 - one for each diocese, Drogheda-in-Meath & Drogheda-in-Louth - until their eventual unification in 1412.

So not only did the Synod redefine Ireland it also defined Drogheda itself.

3. King Richard II receives the submission of the Irish chiefs
Richard II knighting the Earls of Leinster & Ulster
In 1394 King Richard II came to Ireland with the intention of dealing with the problem of the native Irish; namely from the self-styled King of Leinster Art McMurrough. Richard's initial plan was to forge a military campaign against the Irish but their guerrilla tactics constantly had the English on the back foot. Many Irish lords and chiefs decided to submit to the king, possibly in order that he would then stay in the Pale and leave them alone to deal with their own lands instead of marching across Ireland interfering, as it were.

Richard II came to the Dominican Priory at Sundays Gate in March 1394 to accept the submission of the notable chiefs of Ulster, including the O'Neills, the O'Donnells and the O'Hanlons. This gesture in turn caused Richard to try the diplomacy tactic with McMurrough who did indeed take the deal offered, of a full pardon for past actions, a royal pension and swathes of land in Kildare and any others he could take off other rebel Irish. Unfortunately the truce didn't last and the Irish were back fighting the English in Ireland before King Richard had even left.

4.Battle of the Boyne
There have been many histories written about the battle, its origins and tactics and aftermath. It has often been said that the Battle of the Boyne was fought in Ireland but it wasn't an Irish battle. To an extant, this is true; what was at stake was the throne of England, fought over by William of Orange and James Stuart. It was also an international battle; the Dutch William wanted England so he could enter into an alliance against France. Religion of course came into the mix; with the Catholic James Stuart on the throne, Catholics would once again be able to hold public office, and regain their lands and livelihoods lost under Cromwell. Protestants naturally fought for the Protestant William, also fearful that a Catholic monarch would mean their removal from high society and their massacre and eviction from Ireland.

William did indeed win the day to become King William III of England whilst James II fled back to France. The political and historical landscape had once again changed.

5.Treaty of Mellifont.
Hugh O'Neill
The Treaty of Mellifont in 1603 brought to an end the 'Nine Years War' in Ireland, a series of skirmishes between Gaelic Chiefs (namely the Earl of Tyrone Hugh O'Neill) and Queen Elizabeth I. O'Neill, deflated by the loss at the Battle of Kinsale, agreed to meet the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Lord Mountjoy at Mellifont to sue for peace and to parley for pardon for his acts of high treason. Mountjoy made him beg for mercy on his knees and left him in that pose for an hour until Mountjoy would allow him into his presence. O'Neill was granted his pardon & his past transgressions forgiven, although Lord Mountjoy neglected to tell O'Neill that although he was surrendering to the Queen, she had in fact died 4 days beforehand.

The aftermath of the Treaty led to the 'Flight of the Earls' in 1607 to Spain and saw the end of the great Gaelic nobility.

Honourable mentions:
Cromwell's Siege: see our piece on Drogheda's gruesome events: http://droghedamuseum.blogspot.ie/2013/10/5-gruesome-drogheda-events.html

Famine Emigration: Drogheda was the second largest port of departure for people emigrating due to the Famine of 1845-52. In 1847 alone over 70,000 people left Ireland through Drogheda Port, mainly bound for Liverpool to seek a new life.


Mars Project: Press Statement


The Millmount Archaeological Remote Sensing (MARS) Project

A new project is getting underway in Drogheda which aims to use the latest technologies to explore the archaeology of the well-known landmark at Millmount. Archaeologist Dr Conor Brady of the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Centre and archaeological geophysicist Kevin Barton of Landscape and Geophysical Services are teaming up with the Old Drogheda Society and Drogheda Museum Millmount to try to answer some of the long-standing questions about this famous monument. Millmount was the castle for Drogheda when the town was founded in the late 12th century by Hugh de Lacy. However, there is a strong folklore tradition that the mound is the burial place of Amhairgin, a mythological figure credited with introducing song and poetry to Ireland. This tradition may indicate that the mound is earlier than the 12th century and that it could also be a burial place. If this is the case, the possibility is that it may be a passage tomb given that one of the most important passage tomb cemeteries lies a few kilometres upstream along the Boyne at the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site. It is noteworthy that the question of the possible prehistoric origins of the mound at Millmount was highlighted in 2009 in the Brú na Bóinne Research Framework issued by the Heritage Council.

A programme of non-invasive geophysical survey is planned to take place over the next six months and has been designed to gather information on a number of questions relating to the history and development of this important archaeological complex. A number of geophysical techniques will be used including ground penetrating radar, electrical resistivity tomography, seismic tomography and possibly microgravity, which was recently used in a pioneering study at the great passage tomb of Newgrange. The team will also be making use of up-to-date aerial photography, satellite imagery and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data for the area which was gathered by the Office of Public Works for flood relief planning. This provides a highly detailed topographical model of the landscape around Millmount and will serve as the basis for the analysis and presentation of the geophysical results.

As the steep profile of the mound of Millmount presents some unique challenges for carrying out geophysical survey, the services of the Civil Defence have been secured in order to carry out the surveys in as safe a manner as possible. The proposed research programme was launched at a lecture for the Old Drogheda Society during Heritage Week 2013 in Millmount in Drogheda which was very well attended and generated much interest. We hope that preliminary results will come available as the survey progresses over the coming weeks and months which might allow us to get an early glimpse of the secrets within the great mound. Dr Conor Brady said:

“This is a most interesting project with huge potential for new information about the great mound of Millmount to be discovered. It fits very well with recent research that has been carried out in the Brú na Bóinne WHS, especially that at Newgrange and the Hill of Slane. The Old Drogheda Society are to be applauded for initiating this exciting project.”

There will be a press and public opportunity at Millmount to see the survey team in action and to take photographs etc between 3.00 and 4.00pm on
Saturday 23rd November 2013

Project Partners

The Old Drogheda Society was founded in 1964 and is one of Ireland’s premier local history societies with a constant programme of often innovative activities and an excellent record of publication including the highly-regarded annual Journal of The Old Drogheda Society. The Society founded the Drogheda Museum in the Millmount fort complex in 1974 and this month (Nov 2013) the Museum celebrates the achievement of Full Accreditation Status under the Museum Standards Programme Ireland (MSPI). Drogheda Museum Millmount is the first voluntary-run and Community Employment-staffed museum to achieve this status.

Landscape and Geophysical Services (LGS) has been active in archaeological geophysics in Ireland and abroad for over 20 years. In the 1990’s, funded by the Heritage Council, Kevin Barton and colleagues at University College Galway carried out Ireland’s first intensive, multi-method archaeological geophysical survey in the Rathcroghan Complex in Co. Roscommon. LGS is involved in a number of innovative commercial and community archaeological projects, is currently a member of the General Management Board of the ArchaeoLandscapes Europe project and a partner in the Brú na Bóinne Remote Sensing Project.

Dundalk Institute of Technology is the leading education and research institution in the north-east. DkIT has been active in archaeological research through its Humanities and Social Sciences Research Centre member, Dr Conor Brady who has directed such projects as the Brú na Bóinne  Lithic Scatters Project, the Rossnaree Excavation Project, the Hill of Slane Archaeological Project as well as significant collaborating in new geophysical survey projects at the mound of Newgrange and the Brú na Bóinne Remote Sensing Project.

Louth and Monaghan Civil Defence are experienced in the deployment of equipment in difficult terrain and are pleased to be involve with the Millmount Archaeological Remote Sensing Project. The opportunity to use our skills and experience in working with the ground penetrating radar equipment is appreciated. We hope our experience will aid the project in investigating Millmount.

For further information, please contact Liam Reilly 041 9833097
(Old Drogheda Society/Drogheda Museum Millmount)

MAHS Out & About

Dear MAHS Members & Guests

Wednesday 20th November at 7.30pm -  THE IRISH VOLUNTEER FORCE IN CO MEATH 1913-14 by Ruth Illingworth. M.A.H.S. lecture in St Mary's Church of Ireland Hall, Navan. This month marks the centenary of the foundation of the Irish Volunteer Force in Dublin. Founded to act as a sort of Army for a Home Rule Ireland, with the aim to "secure and maintain the common rights and liberties of Irishmen", the Volunteers soon became a nationwide movement, with a membership in excess of 100,000 by the summer of 1914. In Co Meath, as elsewhere, the Volunteers attracted widespread support. Corps of Volunteers were formed in nearly every town and village in the County. For a time, the Volunteers even attracted the support of prominent members of the Unionist community in Meath, such as Lord Fingal. The talk will examine the rise and spread of the Volunteer movement in Meath from November 1913 up until the split in the movement in September 1914 over John Redmond's call on the Irish Volunteers to support the British war effort. The foundation of the Irish Volunteers was an important moment in Irish history because the Irish Volunteer Force would eventually, in 1922, become the Army of an independent Irish State. The Irish Defence Forces of today trace their origins to the Irish Volunteers of 1913.

Ruth Illingworth is a Lecturer in History, a Tour Guide and a Member of Mullingar Town Council. She is the author of two books on the history of Mullingar. She is the granddaughter of a member of the Irish Volunteers and her father served in the Irish Army during the Second World War.

Wednesday 20th November at 12.30pm - Launch of 'The Morpeth Roll: Ireland identified in 1841' edited by Christopher Ridgway and 'Enhancing access to landed estate rentals and mapped surveys: the report of the CSHIHE-NLI joint-project, 2011–13' in the Library, NUI Maynooth. RSVP Deirdre Watters email communications@nuim.ie http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/product.php?intProductID=1148

Thursday 21st  November at 8pm -  Navan & District Historical Society Annual AGM - in the Columbanus House Canon Row Navan. Richard Farrelly's talk on the Furniture Industry has been postponed to a future date.

Wednesday 27th November at 8pm - ‘Letters to Aunt Mary’ an illustrated lecture by John McCullen in Governor’s House, Millmount, Drogheda. The talk will bring to light a collection of letters belonging to Mary Frances McCullen (1883-1970).

Wednesday 27th November at 8pm - meeting of Slane History & Archaeology Society will take place on in the Conyngham Arms hotel, Slane, when Ms. Noreen Fleming will speak on "Meiler Magrath: A view of the Reformation in Ireland, 1522-1622".

Thursday 28th November - Public Seminar Organised by the Academy Committee for Archaeology in Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Seminar aims to showcase to wide general audience, the results of several recently funded excavations and research projects https://www.ria.ie/Events/Events-Listing/Revealing-the-Past--Archaeological-Research-in-Ire.aspx

Thursday 28th November at 8pm - Book Launch 'Letters From A Recalcitrant Woman' by Marie MacSweeney at the High Lanes Gallery, Laurence Street, Drogheda on all are welcome. This is Marie’s fourth book and is a departure from her usual poetry and short stories.  It is a unique collection of Letters to Editors and Talk Show Hosts, dating from 1974 to 2013, something readers can dip into year by year or in whatever order they wish. Marie has, over a period of forty years, engaged in public debate by means of Letters to the Editor and Emails to current affairs programmes. Here you will find old and new comment on topics as diverse as the Paisleys, peanuts, Bertie’s cosmetics, blasphemy, capital punishment, the Irish language, divorce, daffodils, cruelty to animals, Adam and Eve, St. Patrick, Marilyn Monroe and much more.

Friday 29th November at 8pm - Dunderry History Group are holding a launch of three local history books in Dunderry Hall. Light Refreshments will be served and all are welcome. The first book, ‘Stories from Eskaroon’ is a book about a lifetime folk collection of stories and yarns from Eskaroon townland in Dunderry. The second book ‘Dunderry a Century of Sport’ is about sport in the Dunderry area throughout the century of the 1900s. The third book ‘Dund’ry a Folk History’ is the largest book and is a collection of all types of folk histories - short histories, articles, personal journeys, life histories, miscellaneous news, locally used words, sayings, yarns and recollections, diary extracts, local poetry, songs, cures and traditions.

Friday 29th November 2013 at 7:30pm - Irish High Crosses - An illustrated lecture by Peter Harbison at Donegans Monasterboice Inn, Co. Louth. Lecture €5 followed by optional dinner €25. Copies of the new edition of Irish High Crosses will be on sale at the special price of €6.95 including a free DVD.

We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Muireann O'Higgins and her family on the sad death of her father Michael on 10th October last. Michael was an enthusiastic supporter of our Society, regularly attending our lectures and outings. He will be fondly remembered by members of the M.A.H.S. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Francis Ledwidge Museum Christmas Cards. To promote the poet and raise funds for the upkeep of the museum, the committee are selling Christmas cards. The cards can be purchased at the museum which is open daily until 15th December from 10am to 3.30pm or online at http://www.francisledwidge.com/christmas-cards.php


The Millmount Fort

A curiosity published in the Drogheda Independent 17 Aug 1929.

Spotted by indefatigable researcher and High King of the Louth Archaeological Society, John McCullen. See John's latest article on the history of the Drogheda Amateur Boxing Club in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of the Old Drogheda Society 2013.

Kindly brought to our attention by Sean Corcoran.

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


MAHS Reminder

Crisis and Survival in Later Medieval Louth by Dr Brendan Smith tonight, 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.

Friday 15th November -  Fr Garrett Campbell will give a talk in St Patrick’s ‘Cathedral’, Dundalk at 2 p.m. entitled The Gothic Gem of Dundalk. The talk will centre on the history of the building, the architecture which embraced the gothic revival, the interior furnishings and the art of the splendid building. Cost €5 and refreshments provided. Organised by the Cooley Genealogical and Historical Society.

Durhamstown Castle - A night of Opera with Candlelit Dinner Friday November 15th featuring Eugene Ginty & Sally Anne Shepherdson. Delicious Food by the Posh Nosh Club. Tickets €50, booking at 046 9028045 or 087 2881566. Durhamstown Castle, Bohermeen, Navan.

School of Philosophy Cultural Days at Townley Hall, Drogheda - 16th & 17th November 2013. Advanced booking required, €45. Admission includes attendance at four talks, 3-course lunch, refreshment breaks, wine reception and car parking.

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.

‘Letters to Aunt Mary’ an illustrated lecture by John McCullen on Wednesday, 27 November at 8pm in Governor’s House, Millmount, Drogheda. The talk will bring to light a collection of letters belonging to Mary Frances McCullen (1883-1970).

Public Seminar Organised by the Academy Committee for Archaeology on Thursday 28th November in Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Seminar aims to showcase to wide general audience, the results of several recently funded excavations and research projects.

Dunderry History Group are holding a launch of three local history books on Friday 29th Nov at 8pm in Dunderry Hall.

Light Refreshments will be served and all are welcome. The first book, Stories from Eskaroon is a book about a lifetime folk collection of stories and yarns from Eskaroon townland in Dunderry. The second book Dunderry a Century of Sport is about sport in the Dunderry area throughout the century of the 1900s. The third book Dund’ry a Folk History is the largest book and is a collection of all types of folk histories - short histories, articles, personal journeys, life histories, miscellaneous news, locally used words, sayings, yarns and recollections, diary extracts, local poetry, songs, cures and traditions.

Irish High Crosses - an illustrated lecture by Peter Harbison on Friday 29th November 2013 @7:30pm at Donegans Monasterboice Inn, Co. Louth. Lecture €5 followed by optional dinner €25. Copies of the new edition of Irish High Crosses will be on sale at the special price of €6.95 including a free DVD.