North of Waterford City
Slieverue village and parish is located at the south east tip of Co. Kilkenny in an area known since ancient times as Comar Tri nUisce – “Meeting of the Three Waters” (the rivers Nore, Barrow and Suir – “The Three Sisters“), which jointly flow into Waterford Harbour. This is the southeastern corner of the old Barony of Iverk.
Waterford Port at Belview is the main sea port of the South East, and the fastest growing port in Ireland, currently holding up to 20 container ships at one time. It caters for around 80 boats a week and provides a lot of employment, handling lo-lo, bulk liquid, bulk solid and breakbulk/general cargoes.
Kilmacow (Co. Kilkenny ( South)
Kilmacow (Cill Mhic Bháith – “Church of the Son of Buadh”) (pop. 2000) was once important, with as many as 14 mills of various sorts over the centuries on the banks of the local King’s River and Blackwater stream flowing into the nearby River Suir. The community has an Upper and a Lower Village approximately 1km apart.
Nothing remains of Dangan Castle; and Dunkitt Castle is in ruins.
Grannagh Castle, (Caisleán Greannach – “the Castle of the Gravelly Place”), aka Granny Castle, is an impressive ruin located on the site of an ancient fortification known as Dón Braum, built to guard the river crossing and to repel attacks by the Norsemen from their settlement at Waterford.
The Norman De Poer family occupied it until Eustace De Poer was executed for treason in 1375.
King Edward III then granted the manor to James Butler, 2nd Earl of Ormond; his son James, 3rd Earl of Ormond, is said to have built the present castle. Attacked several times, it remained in the Ormond family for many years, and was the favourite residence of Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormonde‘s wife Lady Margaret (née FitzGerald), the widely respected (and feared) Countess of Granny (d.1540).
In 1650 the castle was besieged and partially demolished by Cromwellian soldiers.
Some restoration work took place in 1824 and 1925. Tradition has it that there is are secret tunnels running from Granagh Castle to the ruined church at Bishopshall, and under the River Suir to the estate of Mount Congreve. Tunnels do exist beneath the castle ruins that once held prisoners, but it has yet to be proven if they go beyond the premises.
The Thatch Bar, a restored hostelry across the road from the castle, is a well regarded pub with good food.
Kilmacow is very firmly in Co. Kilkenny. Local feeling ran high in recent years regarding a proposed administrative take-over of Kilmacow by Waterford City Council, which some compared to Hitler’s 1938 Austrian Anschluss.
Kilmacow is close to Mullinavat on ByRoute 2.
Licketstown on the banks of the River Suir used to be known as a Famine village.
A modest thatched lime-washed cottage, built c.1800, gives an idea of how a mildly prosperous peasant family lived two hundred years ago.
Mooncoin (Co.Kilkenny / South)
Mooncoin (Móin Coin – “Coin’s bog” / “Quinn’s Meadow”) is a village and parish with a strong GAA tradition.
The Rose of Mooncoin, sung by Kilkenny supporters at sporting events, was originally dedicated by a lovelorn C19th schoolmaster to the local CoI rector’s daughter, sent to England to avoid his unsuitable attentions:How sweet ’tis to roam by the sunny Suir stream, And hear the dove’s coo ‘neath the morning’s sunbeam. Where the thrush and the robin their sweet notes combine On the banks of the Suir that flows down by Mooncoin. Flow on, Lovely River, flow gently along, By your waters so sweet sounds the lark’s merry song. On your green banks I’ll wander where first I did join With you, lovely Molly, the Rose of Mooncoin. Oh Molly, dear Molly, has the time come at last, When from you, dear Molly, from you I must part? But I’ll think of you, Molly, while the Summer sun shines On the banks of the Suir that flows down by Mooncoin.
Nearby places of interest include the ancient Rathkieran church on the main Waterford Road; Corluddy castle (located on private land) near the village of Carrigeen, and tranquil Polerone / Polrone Quay on the River Suir, next to a duck sanctuary, with the ruins of Polerone / Polrone church as a backdrop.
A map in the car park at the church in Mooncoin provides information about walks in the area (also at Polerone Quay).
Mooncoin is not far from Fiddown on ByRoute 2.