|Dunmore East Lighthouse|
The walk commenced at the Dunmore East Lighthouse where Ray spoke about Alexander Nimmo the Scottish Engineer who designed the Lighthouse and the new harbour. The harbour was to accommodate the packet station for ships which carried the Royal Mail between England and Ireland. In 1814 the work commenced and was completed in 1837 at a final cost of £108,000. By then the arrival of steam boats allowed the mail to be brought directly to Waterford. Dunmore then gradually became an important fishing port. While walking around to the other side of the harbour, the twenty five walkers were informed of the other features of the harbour as well as the history of Shanoon and its promentary fort (now sadly destroyed) that gave the name to Dunmore; Dun Mor; The Big Fort.
The party continued up the “Island Lane” and Barracks Lane,to the Coast Guard’s Houses which were burned during the War of Independence and later restored. We then proceeded up Queen’s Terrace which was built in 1901 and named in honour of Queen Victoria, who had just died that year. It had been called Kerry Lane before that in reference to a number of Kerry workers who had accommodation there.
|Queen's Tce aka Kerry Lane|
|Barracks Lane aka Post Office Lane|
|Tír na nÓg Former home of A Westcott Pitt|
|Nelty Woods' home and school|
Patrick Lafcadio Hearn aka Koizumi Yakumo, was born on Lefkada island in Greece in 1850. He was son of a Greek mother and his father was an army surgeon from Co Offaly. He lived in Dublin for most of his young life and spent holidays in Tramore and Dunmore. He was sent to the U.S in 1869 and became a journalist in Cincinnati. He went to Japan in 1890. and began teaching. His reputation is mainly based on his work there. He was an international writer, best known for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories. He is also know for his writings about the city of New Orleans, based on his ten year stay in that city. There are cultural centres and museums named for him in Japan and the U.S. His work is important as it gives an insight to Japanese culture at a time when Japan was unknown to the Western world. There is also a plaque to commemorate a local hero, Patrick (Paddy Billy) Power, an award winning coxswain of the Dunmore East Lifeboat who lived there for years with his sister Annie.
|Lafcadio Hearn and coxwain Billy Power plaques|
While talking of notable people who lived in the village, Richie mentioned “Otto” Norwood who flew for the RAF in World War One. He is said to be the only pilot who flew at the commencement of the war and survived to the very end in spite of having been shot down five times, once it is said by the famous “Red Baron”. His planes were used mainly to take photographs of the enemy positions and trenches and so provide vital information to the army on the ground.
|Petra Home of Norwood Family|
Ray then thanked the walkers for their attention and many questions and promised that on our next walk in July we will proceed to the lower village. All agreed that although there were no famous battles or national events here, we have a very interesting history….a people’s history.