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A Timeline of Waterford

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853AD to 1800AD        1800AD to 1900AD        1900AD to 1998AD        

853AD to 1800AD

853AD :  Smith, in his history of Waterford, gives this date for the foundation of the City, by the Viking king, Sitricus.

914AD : Historians and 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.

918AD: 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.

921AD: Regnall died as king of York and Waterford. 

1031AD: Waterford burnt to the ground.

1037AD : Waterford burned by Diarmuid Mac Maol na mBó, King of Leinster.

1088AD : The City was burned by the people of Dublin.

1088AD : The Annals of the Four Masters recorded that, on this date, there was a great slaughter of the foreigners of Waterford City.

1096AD : The first Bishop of Waterford, Malchus, was consecrated in England by Anselm, the archbishop of Canterbury.

1111AD : Waterford City was burned, again. This was due, probably, to lightning.

1137AD: 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 were captured.

1170AD : (Aug 23) Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, otherwise known as Strongbow, arrived with 200 Knight's and 1,000 men-at-arms. 

1170AD: (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.

1173AD: 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 Waterford. 

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.

1215AD: 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 Lane.

1240AD : The Holy Ghost Friary (Ruins in Greyfriars), founded by Sir Hugh Purcell.

1241AD : Henry III, ordered two galleys to be built by Waterford, that they may be available to him at his pleasure.

1252AD : Waterford burned to the ground.

1274Ad: Edward I (Longshanks) succeeded to the throne of England. He gave the citizens of Waterford the right to elect a mayor.

1280AD : According to "Clinn's Annals" Waterford was again set on fire, and it was some time before it recovered.

1283/84AD : 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 Waterford. 

1345AD: The Powers, based in the county, laid waste the countryside around the city.

1349AD: The Plague, known as the Black Death, ravaged the city where more than a third of it's citizens died.

1363AD : 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 (?) archers. 

1413AD: (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. 

1447AD : 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.


1463AD: The parliament sat in Waterford and established a mint at Teginald's Tower.


1482AD: (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 present cathedral.

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.


1520AD: 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 Calais. 


1534AD: 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 crush FitzGerald.


1536AD: 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.'


1538AD: (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 destroyed.

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 and 1743.


1554AD: Peter Lombard born in Waterford. He was later to become archbishop of Armagh.

1588AD : (Oct 16) Luke Wadding, one of the greatest-ever Irishmen, was born in Waterford. 


1603AD: 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."


1625AD: 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 Port.


1625AD: (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 these waters.'

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 army.

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.

1678AD : 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.


1696AD: 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 'Dutch Billies.' 


1703AD: As early as this, the city had a piped-water supply.


1704AD: 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 city.'


1710AD: 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.


1732AD: Street lighting was installed in the principal streets and a specil system of rating householders was devised to cover the maintenance costs.

1733AD : 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.


1736AD: 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. 

1744AD : Food riots in Waterford City, the military were called out and many were killed.

1746AD : Charles Smith published his History of Waterford.

1773AD : (Jul 14) Waterford Corporation decided that the old Christ Church be taken down and re-built.

1783AD : 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"

1788AD : 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.

1793AD : 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.

1796AD : The Cathedral, Barronstrand St, completed at a cost of £20,000.

1798: The Presentation Sisters established, in Jenkins Lane, their first school in Waterford. 

1799AD : 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.

1800AD to 1900AD

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 poor children.

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 O'Connell St.).

1823AD : (Aug 3) Thomas Francis Meagher born in what is now the Granville Hotel. 

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 site.

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.


1846AD: 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 in 1855.

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 America.

1850AD : (Nov 1) First great Tenants'-Rights meeting held at allybricken.

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) Shortcourse.

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, laid.

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 the level.

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, Ferrybank, laid.

1880AD : (Dec 5) First great Parnell demonstration at Ballybricken, Waterford.

1880AD : (Dec 6) Freedom of Waterford conferred on Charles Stewart Parnell.

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.

1900AD to 1998AD

1900AD : (Apr 10) 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 City Hall.

1909AD : (May 24) Newly formed Waterford Trades Council meet for the first time.

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 and employer.

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 City Hall.

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 February.

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 1922.

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 debt.

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, The Quay.

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 rabbits.

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, Barker St.

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 Waterford. 

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 later.

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 jobs. 

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 million.

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 Waterford region.

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. Westmeath.

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 Hospital

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 Waterford men.

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.


The Bibliography for the above Timeline of Waterford History is as follows:


Antient and present state of the County and City of Waterford, Charles Smith (1746)

History, Topography and Antiquities of Waterford, Rev. R. H. Ryland (1824)

History, Guide and Directory of the City and County of Waterford, P. M. Egan (1894) 

Placenames of the Decies, Rev. Patrick Power (1952)

The Royal Charters of Waterford, Text by Julian Walton (1992)

Historic photographs & anniversaries of Waterford City, Dermot Power (1994)

Discover Waterford (City Guides), Eamonn McEneaney (2001)

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