Rev. Patrick Power (1862-1951)           

  Patrick Power, later canon and doctor of literature, was born in Callaghane, about 3km from Waterford city, on March 8, 1862. He became the historian par excellence of the diocese of Waterford and Lismore. Patrick Power began his schooling in the National School in Ballygunner near his home and continued in the Catholic University School in Waterford before studying for the priesthood at St John's College, Waterford.  He was ordained in 1885 and spent his early life in the priesthood in Liverpool before he contracted TB.  This caused him to go to Australia where he stayed seven years before he returned home to Waterford.  He was attached to the Cathedral for three years and was then diocesan inspector of schools before becoming a curate in Portlaw. His first published work was A Manual Of Religious Instruction, in 1900. He then wrote an article on the Rian Bó Pádraig, the ancient road from Cashel to Lismore in an article in 1903 in the journal of Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. By this time the Journal of the Waterford and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society was flourishing and he was its editor for years, as well as a prolific and distinguished contributor 

   His greatest work was Place-Names of the Decies (1907), which had been appearing for years in the local journal as a series of articles. He went from parish to parish collecting the information and the book was published in 1907. All who have written since then on County Waterford, must always refer to this book, whether in agreement or otherwise. In 1911 he wrote about Donnchadh Rua Mac Conmara and Dunbrody Abbey in County Wexford. In 1912 Parochial History of Waterford and Lismore appeared, which dealt with the eighteenth and nineteenth century generally. It was re-issued later in an amended form

   From 1910 until 1931 he lectured on archaeology in University College, Cork and was professor of that subject there from 1915 to 1932. During that time he was awarded a D.Litt. He published Place Names & Antiquities Of South-East Cork (1917). He was especially interested in the Ogham stones that are the earliest record of the people who inhabited the land 

  When Canon Power left the university he published quite a number of significant Works—Ancient Topography of Fermoy, Waterford and Lismore (1937) books on Ardmore, A Bishop of the Penal Times and A Short History of the County Waterford (1933). He also edited nineteen volumes of the Journal of the Waterford and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society.  There were countless articles in magazines on the topics that interested him—archaeology and the history of his native county. He died in 1951 and is buried in St. Otteran's cemetery in Ballynaneashagh, where the paupers and the victims of the Great Famine are buried 

  In 1959 his Place-Names of the Decies was re-published by the Cork University Press, at the request of the Waterford County Council—a fitting tribute.

Copyright © 2006 Waterford History