Wednesday 16 October 2019

'On the Hook' packed with over 500 images

Johnny Kelley, a descendant of the Hook, wins the Boston marathon for the first time in 1935
Johnny Kelley, a descendant of the Hook, wins the Boston marathon for the first time in 1935

David Looby

Thirty four years after its first publication and the 'Hook Book' as it is known on the Hook Peninsula is still going strong.

That's the message from On The Hook editor Liam Ryan in this year's latest edition.

'I don't count the number of photos in it but I'm told there's over 500 this year which is a bit of a milestone,' he said.

The 200 page book is lavishly illustrated and is selling for €12 at Londis Fethard-on-Sea. A committee work alongside Liam on the publication, and they are Eileen Cloney, Danny Neville, Joe Molloy, Eileen Molloy, Sineád Kidd-Neville.

Liam said: 'I like the fact that we unearthed several previously unseen photos from a meeting with Julian Walton in Waterford and he willingly gave us amazing sketches and lithographs by Charles Newport Bolton of Fethard Castle, Loftus Hall, the graveslab of Bishop Den and others which we can use in future editions. Using these sketches from the 1840s and drone images from the present day we were able to compile a very comprehensive study of Fethard Castle, which is already being used in local schools.'

Liam said: 'Because of our maritime location, we are continuously asked to write up the stories of shipwrecks and this year we researched the sinking of the Alfred D. Snow off Broomhill in 1888; the aftermath and inquest is also dealt with. We have spent a lot of time tracing our parishioners who were victims in both world wars and a memorial will be erected to those who perished in WWI in the near future.'

Several community events which occurred during the year are documented throughout the pages and the celebration of mass at the mass rock at Saltmills bridge was one such special event which was held in conjunction with Saltmills and St Kearns Community Development Group, who are making great strides in that side of the parish.

'Even though we can source articles from old newspapers it invariably leaves us searching for quality images to help illustrate the large body of text. One man who always comes to our rescue is the indefatigable Jimmy FitzGibbon who this year supplied two amazing images of the Hook lighthouse from the William Cavanagh Collection. Our oldest contributor in his nineties is Paddy Murphy and he has submitted two great accounts of road building and fishing in our parish back in the day. The history of St. Mogues Church and the mapping of the graveyard is now finally completed and a map of the graves is now available in St. Mogues Church.'

A first yet again this year is a marvellous image of No. 6 Dillon Place, the former school on the Boratray road, which arrived to us all the way from Canada. This school was where the grandmother of celebrated athlete Johnny Kelley once taught before leaving our parish for a life in the USA.

'Our sporting feats are yet again centre stage to life on the peninsula. We congratulate our Intermediate hurlers on yet another county title, which also means promotion to senior ranks. It is no mean achievement so well done to all their mentors, managers and club officers who give their time so freely and unselfishly for the benefit of others.

'It was also an historic first for our Junior camogie ladies who created their own bit of history by becoming the first team from the parish to win a county title in camogie. Take a well-deserved bow Fethard Ladies Club. That goodwill resonates throughout these pages as any request we made for material or photographs was granted without any hesitation from people with hearts of gold.'

New Ross Standard