853AD : Smith,
in his history of Waterford, gives this date for the foundation of the
City, by the Viking king, Sitricus.
archaeologists give this date as the more probable date for the
foundation of Waterford. The great Viking adventurer Regnall, grandson
of Ivor the Boneless, established a base and built a longphort.
This would, in time, become the modern city.
Regnall left Waterford with a fleet of ships and sailed for Jorvik
(York), then the most important city in the Viking world. After fierce
fighting Regnall captured York.
Regnall died as king of York and Waterford.
Waterford burnt to the ground.
1037AD : Waterford burned by Diarmuid Mac Maol na mBó, King of
The City was burned by the
people of Dublin.
The Annals of the Four
Masters recorded that, on this date, there was a great slaughter of the
foreigners of Waterford City.
The first Bishop of
Waterford, Malchus, was consecrated in England by Anselm, the archbishop
Waterford City was burned,
again. This was due, probably, to lightning.
Diarmuid ManMurchadha, king of Leinster, made an unsuccessful attempt to
capture Waterford, burning the city in the process.
1170AD : (May 1) Raymond Le Gros,
having been sent by the Earl of Pembroke, landed at Baginbun, Co. Wexford,
with a small force and did battle with the combined
forces of the Waterford Vikings and native Irish. 1,000 Danes and Irish
were killed in this battle, and 70 of the City's principal inhabitants
1170AD : (Aug 23) Richard de Clare,
Earl of Pembroke, otherwise known as Strongbow, arrived with 200
Knight's and 1,000 men-at-arms.
(Aug 25) Strongbow captured Waterford and married Aoife, the daughter of Diarmuid Mac
Murchadha, King of
Leinster, in Christ Church Cathedral. The Annals of the Four
Masters recorded that Strongbow took prisoner Gillemaire, who was
officer of the fortress, and Ua Faelain, Lord of the Deisi and his son,
and killed 700 prisoners.
1171AD : (Oct 17) Henry II, landed at
Crooke, Passage East, with 400 Knight's and 4,000 soldiers. The Annals
of the Four Master's state that this expeditionary force was carried in
240 ships, other sources say it was 400 ships. The king arrived in
Waterford on the next day Oct 18th. This was the first time that an
English king had set foot in an Irish city.
The Papal Bull, Laudabiliter, which gave control of Ireland to
the English king (as a Papal fief) was read publicly for the
first time in Ireland, although it had been promulgated fifteen years
earlier. This happened at a synod of bishops at Christchurch in
1185AD : (May) Prince John arrived
in Waterford to visit his Irish Lordship. He endowed the Benedictine Priory of St. John the
Evangelist, whose ruins can be seen at the end of John's Lane.
1204AD : Waterford granted permission by King John to hold an Eight
Day Fair annually. He established a mint in the city.
1210AD : (Jun 20) John returnd to
Ireland as King.
King John granted Waterford a charter. This was within weeks of being
forced to issue the Magna
Carta to the barons at Runnymeade.
1228AD : (Jul 16) King Henry III petitioned Pope Gregory IX to
unite the Sees of Waterford and Lismore. This unification, however,
did not occur for another 135 years.
1226AD: The Friary of St. Saviour, commonly known as Blackfriars,
founded by the citizens of Waterford for the Dominican Friars, by a
grant of King Henry III. These ruins can be seen at the top of Conduit
1240AD : The Holy Ghost Friary (Ruins in Greyfriars), founded by Sir
Henry III, ordered two
galleys to be built by Waterford, that they may be available to him at
1252AD : Waterford burned to the ground.
Edward I (Longshanks) succeeded to the throne of England. He gave the
citizens of Waterford the right to elect a mayor.
According to "Clinn's
Annals" Waterford was again set on fire, and it was some time
before it recovered.
Roger le Lom, Mayor of
Waterford. This is the first documentary mention of a Mayor's name. This
does not, however, mean that Roger le Lom was the first Mayor of
The Powers, based in the county, laid waste the countryside around the
The Plague, known as the Black Death, ravaged the city where more than a
third of it's citizens died.
The Bishoprics of Waterford
and Lismore united by Pope Urban V, under Bishop Thomas le Reve, .
1368AD : (Sept 4) The families Power and O'Driscoll joined forces to
attack Waterford City. The citizens and some English strangers sailed
out from the City to meet them but were defeated by the combined forces
of the Powers and O'Driscolls.
1394AD : (Oct 2) King Richard landed
at Waterford with a mighty army of 4,000 men at arms and 30,000 (?)
(Dec 24) The mayor, Simon Wicken, sailed to Baltimore, Co.Cork, (the
O'Driscolls home) where he captured The O'Driscoll and his six sons.
They were taken as hostages to Waterford and, after paying a ransom,
were released to return home, much chastened.
Permission, given by the
King, to the citizens of Waterford, "that it may be lawful for them
to ride out, in a manner of war, with banners displayed, against the
Powers, Walshes, Daltons and Grants, who were for a long time traitors and
rebels and who were constantly robbing the king's subjects in Waterford."
1461AD : (Jun 3) Another battle
between the Powers, O'Driscolls and the citizens of Waterford, in which
the citizens of Waterford were victorious, capturing three galleys
belonging to the enemy.
The parliament sat in Waterford and established a mint at Teginald's
(Dec 6) The cadaver tomb of James Rice in Christchurch cathedral was
consecrated by the bishop of Ossory. This tomb is still extant in the
1497AD : About this year, King Henry VII, conferrred the title
"Urbs Intacta Manet" to the City of Waterford, in recognition
of its citizens having rejected and resisted the pretenders to the
throne, namely, Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, during his reign. The
king also sent a new charter and a gift of money to purchase 200 bows,
400 bow strings and 9,600 arrows.
William Wyse was one of eight pages who accompanied king Henry VIII
at the Field of the Cloth of Gold when Henry met the king of France near
Wyse elected mayor of the city. His grandfather had been mayor and his
father had been one of the principal Irish judges. In that year occurred
the rebellion of Silken Thomas (FitzGerald) and Wyse held Waterford as a
secure base from where the king could could land troops and supplies to
The king presented Wyse with a letter of thanks and a sword "to
be borne before the mayor from time to time within our said city."
The king also presented a cap of maintenance, traditionally worn by the
king under the crown. The cap is made of red velvet from Lucca in Italy
and embroidered with Tudor roses and marguerites. It is the oldest such
cap in Europe and is the only piece of Henry VII's wardrobe to survive
to the present day. The sword and cap are now on display in the city
museum 'Waterford Treasures at the Granary.'
(Apr 1) The forces of the city set sail for Baltimore, Co. Cork to
finish the feud with the O'Driscolls, once and for all. "They
burnt and destroyed Baltimore and broke down Teig O'Driscoll's goodly
castle and bawn. After this on Good Friday the army arrived safely back
in Waterford." The power-base of the Baltimore pirates, who had
preyed on ships coming to Waterford for two centuries, had finally been
1546AD : (Aug 15) Patent granted to
Henry Walsh, by Henry VIII, for the establishment of the Holy Ghost
Hospital at Greyfriars. Smith states in his History, that over the
entrance of the Holy Ghost Hospital, was a plaque stating that it was
founded by Patrick Walsh in 1545, and was repaired and enlarged in1741
Peter Lombard born in Waterford. He was later to become archbishop of
1588AD : (Oct 16) Luke Wadding, one of the greatest-ever Irishmen,
was born in Waterford.
Elizabeth I died and was succeeded by James I. On hearing of Elizabeths
death the citizens proceeded to restore Catholic worship and they
reclaimed the churches and celebrated publicly with High Masses and Te
Deums. When the royal army, under Lord Deputy Mountjoy, appeared before
the city the citizens claimed that, under the terms of King John's
charter of 1215, they had the right to refuse entry even to a royal
army. Mountjoy is reputed to have said that he "would cut King
John's charter with the sword of King James."
Charles I acceded to the throne. The citizens petitioned for a new
charter which was granted for a fee of £3000. Under the terms of that
charter the city was governed until the Municipal Reform Act of 1840.
The charter also conferred ipon the mayor the title of Admiral of the
(21 June) On this day, Midsummer's day, the mayor sailed down-river and
for the first time ever he cast a silver dart into the river where the
three sister rivers (the Suir, Nore and Barrow) meet the sea. As he cast
the dart he would drive out King Neptune with the chant: 'According to
the Charter, as mayor of Waterford and Admiral of the Port, I claim
1649AD : (Nov 24) Cromwell lays siege
to Waterford City, but failed to capture it.
1650AD : (Aug 10) General Preston
surrendered Waterford City to General Ireton, commander of Cromwell's
1652AD : Act of Settlement of Ireland (To Hell or to Connaught),
printed in Waterford.
1654AD : (Jun 23) Order that no Papist
be allowed to trade in the City of Waterford.
1656AD : (Jan 30) An Order that all
Quakers be rounded up and shipped from Waterford or Passage, to Bristol.
1657AD : (Nov 18) Luke Wadding died at
St. Isidores, Rome.
The Lord Lieutenant and
Council, ordered that the Popish (Roman Catholic) inhabitants to be
removed from Waterford, except those necessary to the town.
1688AD : (Mar 22) King James II granted
a new charter to the Popish citizens of Waterford.
1690AD : (Jul 2) King James II, arrived
in Waterford after his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne, and sailed for
France, from Duncannon, Co. Wexford.
1690AD : (Jul 25) Waterford surrendered to King William's forces.
The following day King William went to see the town, and ordered that no
person, or their goods, be disturbed.
1693AD : (Mar 27) At a council meeting
on this date, the Waterford Corporation passed a resolution stating that
the City provide habitations for fifty families of the French
Protestants. These were commonly called Huguenots, and were given the
dismantled Choir of the Old Franciscian Abbey (Greyfriars), by Bishop
Foy, in which to conduct their services.
Demolition work was started on the city's medieval defences and, all
along the Quay, new three and four storey houses were built. These were
in the Dutch style with their gables to the front and were known as
As early as this, the city had a piped-water supply.
The City Corporation curtailed the restrictions on Catholics trading in
the city, not from any reason of toleration however as the Corporation
minutes record that the motive was 'the great decay of trade in this
Catholics were admitted as freemen of the city for the first time.
1727AD : The present St. Patrick's Church, (Protestant), in Patrick
Street, built. This date can be seen on the keystone, above the front
door. Although the porch over which this keystone is situated is
relatively new, it is likely that the keystone was placed in this new
position after the renovations.
Street lighting was installed in the principal streets and a specil
system of rating householders was devised to cover the maintenance
Re-building of the present
St Olafs Church began. A Latin inscription over the pediment of the main
entrance, when translated reads, This Temple dedicated to St. Olaf,
King and Martyr. Thomas Miles, S.T.P. Bishop of Waterford.
Re-built A.D. 1733. The translation concludes with the very
beautiful, Accepi Lateritiam, reliqui marmoream, which translated
means I have chosen bricks; I have abandoned marble. Bishop
Thomas Miles, was Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, and had this church
re-built at his own expense.
1734AD : (July 29) The Church of St.
Olaf opened and consecrated by Bishop Thomas Miles. Dr. Gimlette in his
Annals of St. Olafs Church, gives the 29th June as the opening of St.
Olaf's church; he then goes on to describe the brass plate in the church
which gives the 29th of July as the opening date.
The city Corporation commissioned the Dutch artist van der Hagen to
paint the vista that was created by the splendid new houses along the
quayside. This painting, the earliest view of an Irish city, hangs in
the council chamber at City Hall.
Food riots in Waterford
City, the military were called out and many were killed.
Charles Smith published his
History of Waterford.
1773AD : (Jul 14) Waterford Corporation
decided that the old Christ Church be taken down and re-built.
The Penroses, George and
William, opened their Waterford Glass Factory.
1784AD : The Infirmary, or the Leper Hospital as it was commonly
called, built at John's Hill. In later times it was always referred to
as the City and County Infirmary. Above the front door of the infirmary
it reads "Leper Hospital
1785 - County and
City Infirmary 1897"
The Town Hall built.
1792AD : (May 5) Petition presented to the Corporation by the Rev.
Thomas Hearne P.P., Rev. Paul Power P.P., and Rev. James Power P.P., on
behalf of the Roman Catholics of Waterford, requesting a site on which
to be allowed to build a Cathedral. The Corporation granted them the
present site, on a lease of 999 years, and at a yearly rent of 2
shillings and 6 pence.
1793AD : (Apr 30) Work commenced on
Waterford's first bridge, dubbed "Timbertoes" by the locals,
because of its wooden construction. Built at a cost of £30,000, of
which £1,050 was paid to the architect and £13,000 to buy out the
ferry that existed there at that time.
Work was commenced on the
Roman Catholic Cathedral, at Barronstrand St. It was to take a further
130 years before it was consecrated.
1794AD : (Jan 18) Waterford's new bridge "Timbertoes" opened
"For the passage of carriages". It measured 832ft. in length,
and 42ft. in breadth; it had 40 sets of piers, each of seven pieces; it
also had a foot passage, which was 9ft. wide.
The Cathedral, Barronstrand
St, completed at a cost of £20,000.
1798: The Presentation Sisters established, in Jenkins Lane, their first
school in Waterford.
Ireland's first Fever
Hospital, erected at John's Hill, Waterford City.
1799AD : (Oct 20) Francis Hearne, a
United Irishman from Dungarvan, was hanged on Waterford Bridge.
1799AD : William Penrose decided to sell his Waterford Glass Firm.
It was bought by Jonathan Gatchell, with the help of two local families
named Ramsey and Bancroft.
1802AD : (Jun 1)
Edmund Rice opened his first School in a stable in the then, fashionable,
New Street. Work was started on the building of Mount Sion.
1803AD : (Mar 20) Reports that "Press Gangs" were busy in the
City. These were gangs who went around and, using force, compelled men
to join the Navy.
1803AD : (Jun 7) Mount Sion residence blessed by Bishop Hussey.
1804AD : (May 1) Bishop John Power blessed the completed Mount Sion
School. The pupils from the temporary school at New St. are transferred
to Mount Sion.
1810AD : (Nov 23) Margaret Aylward, founder of the Sisters of the Holy
Faith, born in Waterford.
1812AD : (Mar 11) Waterford born composer, William Vincent Wallace, born
at Colbeck Street.
1816AD : (Aug 6) Foundation of the Ursuline Convent, Waterford.
1816AD : (Sept 8) Opening of the Boarding School and day school for
1818AD : (Oct 18) Waterford Newspaper, The Waterford Mirror, claims to
be the first newspaper in Ireland to be printed by gas-light. They
invite all to witness the improvement that gas-light had made
to their offices and say that even in its present infant state, the
superiority of gas-light is incontestable.
1819AD : (May 17) Food riots in Waterford City; what was described as a
band of men, accompanied by women and ragged boys, march through the
City carrying a banner which read "Bread or Work". They break
into a bakery in Bridge St., and distribute the bread.
1820AD : Henry Denny founded his Bacon Industry with the opening of his
first factory, at Queen Street, (At the Bridge St. end of the present
1823AD : (Aug 3) Thomas Francis Meagher born in what is now the
1824AD : Ryland's History, Topography and Antiquities the county and
City of Waterford published.
1825AD : Grounds at Ballytruckle, commonly known as Elysium, purchased
by Ursline Sisters to erect a convent and school.
1826AD : (Mar 6) Bank of Ireland opens in Waterford.
1829AD : (Jan 2) The Quay was the first street in Waterford City to be
lit by Gas Light, by the newly formed Waterford Gas Company. The
report in the Waterford Mirror on the 9-1-1826, concluded by saying the
effect was nearly like that of public illuminations, we heard nobody
complain of the smell.
1832AD : (Jul 2) Outbreak of Cholera in Waterford City. Over the next
three months 400 persons were treated and 192 died.
1841AD : (Mar 15) Waterford Union Workhouse (the present St Patrick's
Hospital), opened for the reception of inmates. This date can be seen on
the central upper window of the present registration office, which was
part of the original building.
1842AD : (Oct 25) Fanning Institute opened, on the site of a former
House of Industry. The Government buildings in the Glen now occupy this
1842AD : (Sept 24) Catholic University School, opened at Stephen St,
Waterford City. (This occupied part of what is now the playground of the
present Stephen St. school)
1844AD : (Feb 14) Foundation stone of the present Franciscan Friary, at
Lady Lane, laid by the Guardian, Fr. Patrick Cuiddihy. It is built on
the site of a former Playhouse (Theatre).
1844AD : (Aug 29) Brother Edmund Ignatius Rice died at Mount Sion.
The SS Neptune, built at the Neptune shipyard at Waterpark, was
launched. This ship inaugurated the London-St Petersburg service
1848AD : (March 15) Ballinaneashagh (Baile na nDéise - The town of the
Déise) Cemetery opened. In the Waterford
News of 28th of Sept 1849, we find in a debate on the proposed closure
of the City's graveyards, the following information. The Grand Jury of
the City of Waterford having passed a presentment for £1,000; £500 to
purchase five acres of ground as a public cemetery outside the Borough,
and £500 to enclose it. This ground was tested by a deed bearing the
date 15th March 1848. Here we find the beginnings of the present
Ballinaneashagh (St. Otteran's) Cemetery. In the Waterford News of
Oct.1871 we read that "it is intended to erect a Mortuary chapel
and to place the name, St. Otteran's Cemetery, above the main entrance,
the name it was given by Dr. O'Brien who opened and consecrated it about
15 years ago". This would date the consecration of Ballinaneashagh
Cemetery to around 1856. Dr. O'Brien was consecrated Bishop of Waterford
1849AD : (Apr 2) Large crowds of country people gather in Waterford
City, to see off a great number of emigrants to America, sailing direct
from Waterford, on the ship Orinoco. The Waterford News of 6-4-1849
tells us that this ship was chartered by a local agent Mr. Michael
Coughlan, and was owned by another local man Mr. Laurence Forristal esq.
1849AD : (Jul 12) The present Court House opened and the Grand Jury was
sworn in for the county. On the morning of the 13th the Grand Jury for
the City was sworn in. It was designed by John B. Keane, who also
designed the Court House at Ennis, Co. Clare. The builder was Terence
O'Reilly, who was also a Town Councillor. It was built on the site of
St. Catherine's Abbey, which was reputed to be one of the oldest
monastic settlements in Ireland. In the Waterford News on the 13th July
1849, we find the following cases before the court in the new Court
House, they are; Murder 1 person; being armed and attacking the police
barracks at Portlaw, 23; perjury, 2; arson, 3; appearing in arms and
robbery, 2; passing a forged note, 1; stealing hens, 1; stealing a sheet
and a cloak, 2; stealing money, 1; having in possession stolen mutton,
1; total 37.
1850AD : (Feb 17) The present church of St. Johns, in Parnell St was
blessed and opened by Bishop Foran. The builder was Mr. Terence
O'Reilly, of Lombard St., Waterford City.
1850AD : (May 16) 600 emigrants on Waterford Quay, sailing direct to
1850AD : (Nov 1) First great Tenants'-Rights meeting held at
1850AD : (Dec 26) Emigration from Waterford and New Ross for the four
years previous, exceeded 20,000.
1853AD : (Mar 4) Building of Tramore Railway Terminus, at Miller's
Marsh, Waterford, commenced.
1853AD : (Sept 5) First train from Waterford to Tramore.
1854AD : (Sept 10) Model School at Water Street, Waterford City, opened.
1857AD : (October 31) The Roman Catholic portion of Ballinaneesagh
Cemetery, consecrated and named St. Otteran's Cemetery by the Most Rev.
Dr. O'Brien, Bishop of Waterford.
1857AD : (Aug) The Royal Agricultural Show opened at the Park, by the
Lord Lieutenant, Lord Carlisle and, to commemorate the occasion, the
bridge connecting the Court House grounds with the Park, (Carlisle
Bridge), was named in his honour.
1857AD : (Jan 24) Waterford C.Y.M.S. founded
1857AD : (Nov 25) A stone tablet on the Park Rangers' house in the The
Peoples Park states, that on this date, the Park was handed over to the
citizens of Waterford. The first Park Ranger was Ald. W. Johnson, who
was Ranger from 1857 to 1881.
1858AD : (Aprl 1) Five Good Shepherd sisters arrive in Waterford at the
invitation of Rev. Fr. John Crotty, to assist in the caring of women in
circumstances of deprivation, at houses of refuge in Barrack St and (probably)
1861AD : (May) The Clock Tower built at a cost of £150. It was built on
the site of the old fish market. The builder was John Murphy, and the
design was by Mr. Tarrant. The Waterford Chronicle of 10-5-18 tells us
that the choice of location was one that aroused much controversy, some
alleging that it ruined the view in the Quay. The now demolished clock,
which stood in the Applemarket, was also built around this time, having
been presented to the Corporation by Messrs Anderson and Jones, of the
Waterford Gas works. The Waterford News of 22-8-1873 informs us that
they were also responsible for the Fountain in the Peoples Park, and
ornamental seats in the area of the fountain.
1864AD : (Apr 14) Last public execution held at Ballybricken Jail.
1865AD : (Oct 12) Waterford born composer, William Vincent Wallace died.
1867AD : (Jan 1) Rev. R. H. Ryland, author of The History, Topography
and Antiquities of the City and County of Waterford died.
1867AD : (Jan 19) In the Waterford News of Jan. 25th 1867 we find a
report that the River Suir froze across to the Ferrybank side, icebergs
floating up the River Suir threatened at one stage the Waterford Bridge
with the Railway Steamboat endeavouring to keep the larger masses of ice
from dashing against the bridge. On the same day the bridge at New Ross
was swept away by ice.
1868AD : (Oct 27) Foundation stone of St, John's College, Waterford,
1869AD : (Jan 30) The Waterford News of 5-2-1869 tells us that a great
tidal flood engulfed the lower parts of Waterford City, forcing people
to seek refuge in the upper stories of their houses, or otherwise flee
altogether. The Peoples Park resembled a vast lake.
1873AD : (Jul 13) Foundation stone of the Little Sisters of the Poor
Convent, Manor Hill (Bunkers Hill), laid by Bishop Power.
1873AD : (Feb 2) Heavy fall of snow in Waterford, it measured 4 ft on
1874AD : (May )3 Foundation stone of the Dominican Church, Bridge St,
Waterford laid, by Bishop John Power.
1875AD : (Jan/Aug) The Custom House / G. P. O., on the Quay, built by
James Ryan of Waterford.
1876AD : (Aprl 17) The Munster Express of 22-4-1867, tells us that on
this date, The Theatre Royal opened its doors for the first time.
Hundreds queue in the pouring rain waiting for the ticket office to
open. When finally it opened, such was the rush, that police had to be
called to restore order. Mr. John Royston's Comedy and Opera Bouffe
Company opened the Theatre. Prices of admission were as follows, Dress
Circle, 3 shillings; Orchestra Stalls, 2 shillings 6 pence; Pit, 1
shilling; Gallery - 6 pence.
1876AD : (Sept 24) Sisters of Mercy Invited to Waterford to take charge
of the Union Workhouse (The present St. Patrick's Hospital, Johns Hill).
1877AD : (Feb 6) Isaac Butt, first person to be conferred with the
Honorary freedom of the City, since the return of the Reformed
Corporation in 1842.
1878AD : (Mar 25) The foundation stone of the Sacred Heart Church,
1880AD : (Dec 5) First great Parnell demonstration at Ballybricken,
1880AD : (Dec 6) Freedom of Waterford conferred on Charles Stewart
1881AD : The Theatre Royal taken over by the Corporation.
1884AD : (Aug/Nov) From the files of the Waterford News we find that the
present Holy Ghost Hospital, on the Cork Rd., opened. Built at a cost of
£15,000. This building contained 84 rooms. The cost of this building
alone was £8,430, the laying out of the grounds and furnishing cost
extra. the builder was Matthew Hunt, and Architect was Mr. J.J.
O'Callaghan, Dublin. There doesn't seem to have been an official
opening; rather it opened in stages. On the 1-2-1884 we find the
appointment of Governors, with Mr. Matthew Slaney, J.P. appointed
Master. On the 25-8-1884, the Architect, being satisfied that the
contract was satisfactorily carried out, gave a certificate to that
effect to the builder, and the hospital was taken over on behalf of the
Trustees by Mr. J.W. Howard, Solicitor, with the immediate transfer of
the occupants of the old Holy Ghost Hospital, at Greyfriars, to the new
Hospital. On 4-11-1884, The Trustees met in the new Building. The Bishop
Most Rev. Dr. Power paid his first visit to the completed Hospital,
lavishing great praise on the builder, Matthew Hunt.
1884AD : Ballybricken Pig Buyer's Association founded.
1891AD : (Mar 31) Egan in his History tells us that emigration from the
County and City of Waterford, from 1st. of May 1851 to this date was
90,224 persons. The enumeration of emigrants from Irish ports did not
commence until 1st. May 1851.
1892AD : (May 31) Foundation stone of the Good Shepherd convent at
Collage St., laid by Most Rev. Dr. Sheehan. Built by the local firm of
John Hearne, it was completed in October1894.
1894AD : De La Salle College opened.
1895AD : (Mar 29)Waterford horse, The Wild Man from Borneo, owned
by Waterford man John Widger, trained by Michael Widger and ridden by his
brother Joe Widger, wins the Aintree Grand National. Thousands turn out at
Ballybricken to celebrate the event. It was reported that over £50,000
was won by the people of Waterford, and that £30,000 was won by the
Widger family alone.
Last execution within Ballybricken Jail.
1900AD : (Aug 20) Sisters of Mercy open their first school at Philip St.
264 pupils attended the first day, and it was staffed by 3 Sisters. One
of the main reasons for the foundation of this school was to facilitate
the children of the workers of Denny's Bacon Factory, Morgan St., and
children from that area. The Sisters also held night classes for the
female staff of Denny's.
1903AD : (Aug 24) Saintly Waterford child Nellie Organ, called Little
Nellie of Holy God, was born at the Infantry Barracks, Barrack St. In
her short life of only five years, her devotion to God and the Blessed
Sacrament was so intense, that she was given a special dispensation by
the Bishop to receive Holy Communion, and was named as The Model of the
Child Communicant by Pope Pius the Tenth, .
1904AD : (May 2) King Edward VII, visits Waterford City.
1906AD : (Oct 1) Central Technical Institute on Parnell St. opened.
1908AD : (Oct 15) Labour Leader "Big Jim Larkin" speaks in
1909AD : (May 24) Newly formed Waterford Trades Council meet for the
1912AD : (Jul 15) Unemployment Exchanges opens in O'Connell St., this
was solely for men. A separate exchange opened for women in St. John's
Avenue. The payment of Unemployment Benefit was first authorised by Part
II of the National Insurance Act, 1911, and came into effect on the date
stated. The Act applied only to certain Trades, and benefit was paid for
15 weeks in a 12 month period. The rate of benefit was 7 shillings per
week, and a weekly contribution of 5d. was shared equally between worker
1912AD : (Dec 31) Newly built, Redmond Bridge, informally opened to
pedestrians at midnight New Year's Eve.
1912AD : (Feb) James Connolly speaks at a Trades' Council meeting at
1912AD : (Jan 15) First female Councillor elected to Waterford
Corporation, under the then new, Local Authorities Ireland
(Qualification of Women) Act, was Dr. Mary Strangman. The second Female
Councillor. Mrs. Lily Poole, was elected one month later, on the 22nd of
1913AD : (Feb 10) Official opening of Redmond Bridge, by John Redmond,
M. P. The cost of this bridge was £64,000.
1915AD : (Oct 18) On page 8 of the Waterford News of 15-10-1915, we find
an advertisement for the grand opening of the Coliseum as a Movie
Theatre. However no film was shown on the first night; the audience was
entertained by a Cabaret performance. The first film shown was Fatal
Legacy. This was screened on Tuesday the 19th. Prices of Admission were
3d., 6d., and 1/-.
1916AD : (Feb 10) Patrick Pearse speaks on "Nationality" at
the Town Hall.
1921AD : (Jan) Women eligible for the first time to take part on Juries;
first female jurors in Waterford City are, Abigail O'Sullivan, The Mall;
Clara Burns, South Parade; Mary Poole, South Parade; Catherine Hayden,
Merchant's Quay and Mary Sinnott, Merchants Quay.
1922AD : (Jul 18) Siege of Waterford. Government Forces attack the Rebel
positions in the City, during the Civil War. The last Rebel outpost to
hold out was the Ballybricken Jail, which was taken on Friday 21st July
1923AD : (Jan 22) Striking workers at the Gas Works, Waterside, declared
themselves a Soviet, and hoisted the Red Flag over the Gas Works. The
strike had its origin in a dispute between the I.T. & G.W.U. and the
Dockers Union over the trimming of coals. On the Friday the Transport
Union downed tools, only to resume next morning under the direction of
the Strike Committee, which hoisted the Red Flag over the Gas Works.
They remained in occupation of the Gas Works until the 10th of March,
when the army moved in, removed the Red Flag, and ejected the workers,
thus ending the Gas Works Soviet, although the strike continued until
its settlement at noon on the 24th of August 1923.
1923AD : (Aug 30) Waterford's first female T. D. is Caitlín Brugha,
(wife of the Republican leader Cathal Brugha). She was elected as T.D
for Waterford City on the first count, polling a massive 8,263 first
preference votes. The quota was 6,512 votes.
1923AD : (Oct 25) The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Barronstrand Street,
was finally consecrated, having been built 130 years previously. At the
end of January 1920 a Fund-raising Committee was set up to raise funds
in order that the Cathedral might be consecrated. The consecration
ceremony was carried out by most Rev. Dr. Hackett, Bishop of Waterford
and Lismore. The conditions for the consecration of a church demand that
it be free from any claim by a temporal power, and that it be free from
1924AD : (Aug/Sept) Waterford Football League founded. It was called the
Waterford and District Football League.
1926AD : (Nov) First female Waterford Barrister is Miss Kathleen Phelan,
1929AD : (Oct 14) First talking movie in Waterford, at the Theatre
Royal. The movie shown was The Singing Fool, staring Al Jolson.
Admission prices, 3/6, 2/4, 1/3. and 9d.
1941AD : (Apr) By this time the Second World War, or the
"Emergency" as it was known as in Ireland, was wreaking havoc
on the lives of the ordinary people of Ireland. Food and petrol
rationing was the order of the day. Plots of land were allocated to
workers and unemployed alike in order that they could grow their own
vegetables. 400 plots were issued to the employed and 600 to the
unemployed. Farmers were snaring rabbits and selling them to Clover
Meats. In the year ending March 31st 1941, Clover tinned over 7,000
1943AD : (Mar 4) A large portion of the Jail wall collapsed, killing 10
persons, and injuring many more.
1947AD : (Mar 29) Colr. M. Coffey, Mayor of Waterford, turns the first
sod on the site of the Waterford Glass factory at Kilcohan. The 3 acre
site was leased from Waterford Corporation, to a continental firm headed
by Mr. Charles Bacik, who was a native of Czechoslovakia. The factory
was built by the local firm of Messrs. H. and A. Hamilton, Thomas St.,
and designed by local architectural firm of Messrs.R.and W. Cunningham,
1947AD : (Aprl 2) Waterford Glass registers as a company, receiving the
registration No. 11861.
1948AD : (Sept 5) Waterford wins All Ireland Hurling Final, playing
against Dublin. The final score was Dublin, 4 goals 2 points and
Waterford, 6 goals 7 points.
1949AD : (April 26) The Waterford News on the29-4-1949 reports the
turning of the first sod of the new Airmount Maternity Hospital, St.
Dominick's Place, by Mrs. C. Strangman.
1949AD : (Feb 14) Work begins on the demolition of Ballybricken Jail.
1952AD : (Jun 21) Ardkeen Hospital opened by Dr. Seamus Ryan, Minister
for Health. Built by John Murphy & Sons, Cork. It was built as a
Tuberculosis Sanatorium. The Medical Supt. was Patrick Hearne; the
Matron, Mrs. Nora Cahalane and the Administrator Mr. Richard Doyle. With
the decline of Tuberculosis, Ardkeen became a General Hospital in 1958.
1954AD : (Jul 14) 40,000 people flock to the grounds of St. John's College,
to hear the world famous "Rosary Priest", Fr. Peyton..
1959AD : (Sept 3) International Light Opera Festival held in
1959AD : (Oct 4) Waterford wins All Ireland Hurling Final at Croke Park.
The final score was Waterford, 3 goals 12 pts; Kilkenny, 1 goal 10 pts.
1960AD : (Dec 31) Tramore Railway closes, with the last train running
from Tramore to Waterford.
1962AD : (Jan 2) Waterford's first Traffic Lights are erected at the
Carstand, (The Manor). The cost was £2,000, and they were switched on
by the Borough Surveyor, Mr. Stan Carroll.
1965AD : Rice Park housing scheme built, first phase (73 houses).
1966AD : (Dec 24) Last voyage of the passenger steamship the Great
Western, thus ending the passenger ferry service between Waterford and
Liverpool. It was on this ship that many a Waterford man and woman went
to seek fame and fortune in England.
1966AD : (Nov 11) Waterford Industrial Estate established. The first sod
was turned by the Mayor of Waterford, Alderman Patrick (Fad) Browne.
1966AD : (Nov 15) Waterford Glass Factory made a Public Company.
1967AD : (Jul) The Industrial Estate opens. The first factory on the
Estate is a pharmaceutical company, Hadensa.
1968AD : Lisduggan housing estate built, (331 houses).
1969AD : (Dec 21) The church of the Sacred Heart, at the Folly, blessed
and opened by Bishop Russell, Bishop of Waterford.
1971AD : (April) Waterford's first "Fully automatic coin
operated" carwash, opens at Ardkeen Services Garage, the price was
20p, however car washes were in operation before this, though not fully
automatic, we find an ad for a car wash at Dick Power's Garage, the Cork
Rd. on Jan 22nd 1971, described in the advertisement as "The most
modern of its kind in the world", for the price of 6 shillings.
However this was superceded by the Automatic Carwash only two months
1971AD : (Dec 24) Long established printing firm of Crokers, O'Connell
St., closed on Christmas Eve, with a loss of 100 jobs approx.
1972AD : (Mar 3) Denny's Bacon Factory, closed after 152 years, with a
loss of 240 jobs, having been founded by Henry Denny in the year 1820.
1971AD : (Oct 29) Hearnes Furniture factory at Little Patrick St. closed.
1972AD : (Feb 2) After the killing of 13 unarmed Civil Rights
demonstrators by British paratroopers in Derry City, Northern Ireland, a
massive demonstration took place; City factories closed and workers from
all round the City converged on Ballybricken; the Corporation marched in
their robes, headed by deputy Mayor, Alderman Tom (Knox) Brennan. The
crowd wass estimated at between 18,000 and 20,000 persons. A group of
paramilitaries emerged from the crowd and fired 12 rounds from handguns
into the air.
1973AD : Larchville housing scheme built, (286 houses).
1974AD : (Feb 11) Industrial dispute at Waterford Glass Factory. A
dispute, which originated in the General Section escalated and
unofficial pickets were placed next morning. The rest of the workers
refused to pass. 2,060 workers were now on strike. The strike lasted for
four days before a settlement was reached. Some months after the workers
had returned to work, the strike was deemed as having been
"Official" by the A.T. & G. W.U. General Council.
1974AD : (Mar 18) Ballybeg new housing estate opened by the Minister of
Local Government, Mr. James Tully, in the presence of the Mayor of
Waterford , Ald. Joe Cummins.
1974AD : (Dec 20) Goodbody's Jute Factory at Tycor closed, with a loss
of 520 jobs.
1978AD : (Jul 28) The Solid Board section of the National Board and
Paper Mills, Grannagh closed, with a loss of 281 jobs out of the total
workforce of 500..
1978AD : (Nov) Hearnes (Drapers) on the Quay closed.
1979AD : (Feb 14) Munster Chipboard Factory closed with a loss of 186
1978AD : (Sept 8) 20,000 people march in Waterford City, protesting
against factory closures.
1980AD : (Sept 30) National Board and Paper Mills closed completely.
1984AD : (Oct 22) Official opening of phase 1 of Waterford's new bridge,
the Brother Edmund Ignatius Rice Bridge. The cost at completion was £7.9
1984AD : (Nov 30) Clover Meats closed with a loss of 600 jobs.
1985AD : (July 5) First International scheduled flight from the newly
built Waterford Regional airport. The carrier was RyanAir, and
destination Gatwick Airport, England. This flight had the distinction of
been the first scheduled flight from a non-state Airport in Ireland.
1987AD : (Oct 31) The County and City Infirmary, John's Hill, commonly
called "The Infirmary", closed, as part of a government
rationalisation plan to centralise all services in Ardkeen Hospital.
1987AD : (July 1) Out of a total work force of 3,129 employees at
Waterford Crystal, 1,005 are made redundant and 214 go out on pension.
1989AD : (Sept 8) Waterford Local Radio goes on air. Headed by ex-DJ,
Des Whelan, it received the franchise for public broadcasting in the
1992AD : (May 16) First ordained clergywoman to officiate at a religious
service in Waterford City. The occasion was the marriage of Avril Ross
to Des Neale, at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford City. The Ceremony
was performed by the Very Rev. Dean Neill, who was assisted by the Rev.
Sheila Zietsman, Chaplain to Wilsons Hospital School, Multyfarnham, Co.
1993AD : (Apr 2) The Vatican decreed that, Edmund Rice, having led a
life of heroic sanctity, be given the title "Venerable".
1994AD : (Jul 1) Ireland's first female President, Mary Robinson,
conferred with the freedom of Waterford City. She is also the first
female to be conferred with the freedom of the City.
1994AD : (Nov) A Royal Charter granted to Waterford Chamber of Commerce
dated 1815, accidentally discovered in the vault of Bank of Ireland,
Quay, Waterford City.
1995AD : (July) Airmount Maternity Hospital closed. 16 patients and 12
babies transfer to new 75 bed maternity unit at Waterford Regional
1995AD : (Sept) New stand completed at Walsh Park (Sportsfield)
1996AD : (May) New £800,000 Grandstand Pavilion with seating capacity
for 1,250 people at Waterford Regional Sports Centre, Cork Rd., opened
by Mayor Maurice Cummins
1996AD : (July) Memorial to victims of famine unveiled at the Famine
Plot, St. Otteran's Cemetery (Ballinaneesagh)
1996AD : Edmund Rice, founder of Irish Christian Brothers, beatified in
Rome by Pope John Paul II
1997AD : (June 24) Minister for Education, Niamh Breathnach, formally
announces the upgrading of Waterford Regional Technical College to
Waterford Institute of Technology
1997AD : (February 8) President Mary Robinson unveild monument to the
memory of the two ships Formby and Conningbeg, which were
sunk during the First World War, and crewed almost exclusively by
1997AD : ( May 10) New Municipal Golf Course opened at Williamstown, by
Mayor, Cllr. Pat Power.
1997AD : (July 4) The shipping company Bell Lines went into liquidation
with the loss of 100 jobs
1997AD : (December 5) Figures from the Central Statistics Office, show
that Waterford City had the highest percentage of unemployment outside
of Dublin with a massive 12.65% unemployment rate.
Bibliography for the above Timeline of Waterford History is as
and present state of the County and City of Waterford, Charles Smith
Topography and Antiquities of Waterford, Rev. R. H. Ryland (1824)
Guide and Directory of the City and County of Waterford, P. M. Egan
of the Decies, Rev. Patrick Power (1952)
Royal Charters of Waterford, Text by Julian Walton (1992)
photographs & anniversaries of Waterford City, Dermot Power
Waterford (City Guides), Eamonn McEneaney (2001)