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Dungarvan (Dún Garbháin in Irish) is a town and harbour on the south coast of Irelandmarker in the province of Munster. Dungarvan is the administrative centre of County Waterfordmarker. The town's Irish name means "Garbhan's fort", referring to Saint Garbhan who founded a church there in the seventh century. The town lies on the N25 road (European route E30), which connects Corkmarker, Waterfordmarker and Rosslare Europortmarker.

Dungarvan is situated at the mouth of the Colligan River, which divides the town into two parts connected by a causeway and bridge of a single arch. Both bridge and causeway were built by the Dukes of Devonshire. The neighbouring parish is called Abbeysidemarker, where portions of an Augustinian friary founded by the McGraths family in the fourth century survive incorporated with a Roman Catholic church. In Dungarvan proper, a castle built by King John of England stands by the harbour. Of the walls John built at the same time to fortify the town, no traces remain.


Dungarvan was incorporated in the 15th century, was represented by two members in the Irish Parliament until the Act of Union in 1801, and returned one member to the Westminster Parliament until 1885. Unlike nearby Waterfordmarker and Duncannonmarker, Dungarvan surrendered without a siege in the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649-53).

The 1921 Burgery ambush, an incident in the Irish War of Independence, took place near the town.


The Harbour
is situated on the mouth of the Colligan River. A long strip of land called the Cunnigar (Irish An Coinigéar) juts out through the mud flats from across the four kilometre-wide bay.


Until 1967 Dungarvan had a railway station on the Great Southern & Western Railway route from Mallowmarker in County Corkmarker to Waterford, which saw daily "Boat Express" trains between Cork and Rosslare Harbourmarker. See history of rail transport in Ireland. Dungarvan railway station opened on 12 August 1878 and finally closed on 27 March 1967.

It is positioned on the N25 national primary road and the R672 and R675 regional roads.

The town is separated from the open ocean by a shallow, eastward-facing bay. At its mouth, the bay is about two miles wide, with Dungarvan lying about four miles from the mouth. A meandering navigation channel marked by red/green buoys leads into Dungarvan from the ocean. For most vessels (except small dingies) this channel is not navigable at low tide. Even at high tide, cruising yachts and larger vessels must be careful to remain in the buoyed channel. There is a well-maintained concrete slipway in Dungarvan town, suitable for launching vessels up to eight metres in length. However, larger vessels should only use it up to three hours either side of high tide. The mudbank that dominates the harbour is the result of heavy silting. Moorings are usually made available to visiting yachts by Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club, often free of charge.


One of the few major manufacturing facilities for GlaxoSmithKline consumer products is located in Dungarvan, employing more than 700 people. The town is also the home of Radley Engineering, the company responsible for manufacturing the Spire of Dublinmarker.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

In March 2007, the town became a sister city of Eriemarker, Pennsylvaniamarker in the United Statesmarker.


The Britishmarker Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman (who lived in Ireland from 1941 to '43) mentions Dungarvan in his poem, "The Irish Unionist's Farewell to Greta Hellstrom". Each stanza closes with the line, "Dungarvan in the rain".

Also mentioned in the collection of short stories "Labyrinths" by Jorge Luis Borges: "He was Irish, from Dungarvan. Having said this, he stopped short, as if he had revealed a secret"

Poet Mai O'Higgins was born on St. Mary St. in the town centre.

Féile na nDéise

This traditional Irish music and culture event is held every year in Dungarvan on the May Bank Holiday weekend. Since the foundation of the festival in 1995 performers and musical groups from all over Ireland and Europe have performed at Féile na nDéise.

A number of events are held over the weekend, including dancing, street performances, music sessions and lectures.


See also


  1. Waterford News & Star - Friday, October 08, 2004 - "Mai O’Higgins back on song"
  2. Feile Na nDeise - Traditional Irish Music & Culture Festival Dungarvan
  3. Ernest T.S. Walton - Biography

External links

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