Women's Voices | Lleisiau Menywod

A tour of items about women, their journeys, their experiences and their stories between and across the Irish Sea and its coastlines.

Agatha Christie and the Lusitania

The book begins on board the sinking ship. Knowing that women and children are more likely to escape in lifeboats, a mysterious American man entrusts vital government documents to a “patriotic” young American named Jane Finn. It is a draft treaty,…

Lore from the Wexford Coast

The Irish Sea coastline of County Wexford is encrusted with the folklore, knowledges, practices and cultural connections of its people. When the children of the Schools' Collection interviewed elderly relatives and members of the community, they…

Hook Peninsula

With Waterford Harbour to the west, Slade Bay to the east, and the Irish Sea to the south, Hook Peninsula is the southern most point of County Wexford. Like a sentry guarding passage, Hook Lighthouse stands 100 feet high, with walls of remarkable…

Motion Sickness

Recently my sister Karen and I discussed our memories of visits to Ireland as children - we would go most years to visit Mum’s side of the family in West Cork. Before budget airlines shortened and cheapened the trips, Dad would drive the car from…

Growing up in Rosslare

Agnes Ferguson sat down with Ports, Past and Present and shared her memories of her family, growing up in Rosslare and the special scent of the wild lupines by the beach.

Memorable Boat Trips

Agnes Ferguson sat down with Ports, Past and Present and talked about her most memorable boat trips of the past which allowed her to experience television, the sampling of deliciously cold soft drinks and the nearby lighthouse for the first time.

Rosslare's Welsh Cousins

Agnes Ferguson sat down with Ports, Past and Present and shared her memories of taking the ferry across the Irish Sea ever since she was a child, to visit family and friends living in and around Fishguard.

Working on the Ferries and in the Tourist Office

Agnes Ferguson sat down with Ports, Past and Present to share her family history of her grandfather and father working in the port, meeting her husband on a ferry to Fishguard and her own work for the tourist office.

The People that You Meet in the Neighborhood

The bow of Crofton Road spans Dún Laoghaire harbour. Named for the nineteenth-century Harbour Commissioner, James Crofton, it is today a vibrant seaside address with a rich history. The 1901 census lists just over a dozen residences, but the…

How was Kingstown affected by the sinking of the Leinster?

For the community of Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire), 10 October 1918 began like any day in a busy port town. The first locals knew of the incident was the sound of the torpedoes. The Royal Mail Ship (and passenger ferry) Leinster was on its regular…

The Welsh Settlers in Wicklow

Chill Mhantáin, County Wicklow, is located on the east coast of Ireland. In 1897 an article released in the Irish Times referred to the active port as the ‘Lake of Ships’. However, in the late 1800s the port came into disrepair. Parliamentary papers…

The Ryder Family of Castle Street, Wicklow Town

In the early twentieth century, coastal trading supported the movement of goods along the east coast of Ireland and the west coast of Wales and England. This was a centuries old activity and a way of life for many families on both sides of the Irish…

My Liffey Love

The wives and families of dockers had to face deprivations that often went unnoticed or unreported. Because of the dangerous nature of work in and around the docklands areas, work accidents where very common. Almost on a daily basis, men were…

She Swims

Gary's wife used sea swimming as a way to get relief during a stressful personal time, as her mother went through Alzheimer's disease. The waves in the poem reflect the changing condition of Gary's mother-in-law, and her 'escapes to nowhere', when…

Dublin Port Emigration in the Early Twentieth Century

Dublin port during the early twentieth century was a place of great business trade and work. Having been refurbished in the 1800s to give way for more shipping of trades and goods, the port had become a huge employment area for most of Dublin.…

'I have no women working in here...'

Kay Foran sat down with Ports, Past and Present and shared the story of how at 16 years old, she started working in the Odlum's flour silos in Dublin port, although the manager was looking for a boy.

Flossie and the Beach Cleaners

Flossie is 13 and has cared about the environment since she was 9 years old. Her love for the planet but most especially the oceans and seas has come from her mother, Harriet. Harriet spoke to Jonathan Evershed about the origins of the Flossie and…

A Stewardess's Duties | Dyletswyddau stiwardes

Margaret Todd from Goodwick sat down with Ports, Past and Present to talk about her former work as stewardess on board the ferries linking Fishguard and Rosslare. She remembers her duties as stewardess, her colleagues and meeting her future husband…

Quick as a Lynx | Mor gyflym â Lyncs

During the 1990s, the catamaran Sea Lynx offered the fasted ferry service across the Irish Sea. Elizabeth Todd-Parker sat down with Ports, Past and Present to share her memories and experiences during her time as stewardess on the ship.Yn ystod y…

Mary’s Monologue | Monolog Mair

The tragic torpedo attack of RMS Leinster on the 10th October, 1918, is recorded as the biggest loss of life in the Irish Sea. Out of 680 souls, 501 souls lost their lives (with 66 more discovered since the official record was submitted). Many of the…

Billy-in-the-Bowl

Billy lived in Holyhead in the nineteenth century. He was a young man affected by paraplegia in a time when society still operated under conventional notions of ‘perfection,’ and of the many important stories presented in the invaluable Holyhead:…

Salt, or Evelyn on the Shore | Halen, neu Evelyn ar y Lan

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”―Rudyard Kipling. I love visiting Museums. You’ll always hear Writers and Storytellers say that stories, in whatever form, bind us and that we can only really learn how to…

A Room of Her Own | Ei Hystafell ei Hun

Through the centuries, the Welsh landscape has inspired countless artists, be they travelling through or living locally. Even with all the transformations to the environment, artists still find inspiration wherever they are. Jana Davidson sat down…

Pedalling through Wales

Seventy years ago, a young woman from Lismore County Waterford set out with her bicycle on her first trip out of Ireland alone. The trip would take her to England, a ‘Pagan land’ something that did not go unnoticed by her neighbours some of whom were…

Fishguard's Jemimas | Jemimas Abergwaun

The story goes that during the French Invasion of Fishguard in 1797, Jemima Nicholas, a most formidable woman and cobbler, single-handedly rounded up 12 French soldiers, marched them through town and locked them up in St Mary's church. Through…

The Sinking of the St Patrick | Suddo’r St Patrick

The St Patrick was the only ferry still sailing between Ireland and Wales during World War Two. The others, the St David and the St Andrew, had been requisitioned as hospital ships serving the European front. The St. Patrick made a regular daily…

Mary Delany and the Irish Sea

Mary Delany (1700-1788) was no stranger to crossing the Irish Sea. She had made one trip to Ireland as a young widow in 1731 and, when she later lived in Ireland between 1744 and 1767, she made regular visits back to England. Delany generally made…
Created to celebrate Irish Nollaig na mBan (Women's Little Christmas) 2021 and 2022. Updated for International Women's Day 2022.