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History of Kilmacthomas

Kilmactomas (Irish: Coill Mhic Thomáisín)

Kilmacthomas is often referred to locally as "Kilmac", is a town on the River Mahon in County Waterford, Ireland. It lies on the R677 immediately north of the N25 national primary road from Dungarvan to Waterford. The town has a population of some 1,200 people. The chief tourist attraction of the locality are the Mahon Falls.

During the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, in December, 1649, Oliver Cromwell, marched from Waterford to Kilmacthomas during the Siege of Waterford. The weather was wet and stormy and the river was in flood, so the army couldn't cross. Two nights were spent in the field that is now the public park. Cromwell was said to have described Waterford county on his march from Waterford to Kilmacthomas in the winter of 1649 as being a craggy and desolate place. Daniel O'Connell passed through Kilmac' on a campaign trail and he wrote:

We breakfasted at Kilmacthomas, a town belonging to the Beresfords but the people belong to us. They came out to meet us with green boughs and such shouting you can have no idea of. I harangued them from the window of the inn, and we had a good deal of laughing at the bloody Beresfords. Judge what the popular feeling must be when in this, a Beresford town, every man their tenant, we had such a reception.

In the early 1870s the influence of the industrial revolution reached Kilmacthomas when the Waterford to Mallow railroad came to town. There is an example of a stone viaduct in the town spanning the Mahon River. The central span of this viaduct was destroyed in the early 1920s during the "Troubles", but a local man saw that the bridge was timbered up to support the other arches.This prevented this bridge from totally collapsing like the viaduct crossing the Dalligan River on the way to Dungarvan.[citation needed] Although the last passenger services ceased in the late 1960s the railway continued to operate with the haulage of oil and magnesite for another couple of decades. This railway is now disused. The viaduct at Kilmacthomas has been preserved.

Kilmacthomas is also the birthplace of Tyrone Power (1795-1841), actor, comedian, author and theatrical manager.


(Taken from wiki