A solitary fisherman making for Cheekpoint’s diminutive harbour, overlooked by Great Island Power Station, in Waterford Harbour, a natural harbour fed by the River’ s Nore, Suir and Barrow.

When Cheekpoint was scheduled to be a mail packet station in the early 19th century, the progressive and enterprising local landlord, Cornelius Bolton, built a pier, followed by a textile factory, a rope factory and finally, a hotel. Then the British Government decided to build a new harbour at nearby Dunmore East instead and the mail packet transferred in 1818. The passenger business that kept Cheekpoint alive ended, the enterprises failed and Bolton went bankrupt the following year.

It became a fishery harbour in the 19th and 20th centuries, famous for a small fishing craft called the Cheekpoint Prong. Distinctive because of the lack of a keel, it was normally rowed or paddled and used for long lining and salmon fishing with drift nets, snap nets and draft nets. Few, if any survive.

Then in 1995, a series of groynes were built up to 200 metres out in the river to divert the Cheekpoint Bar – a mudbank – that impeded large vessels from travelling to the Port of Waterford, The result was Cheekpoint harbour silted up so badly only small craft could enter.

An old, neglected Cheekpoint fishing boat with an anticipatory name.

If you have a connection to County Waterford and/or would like to learn more about the delightful Déisi, there’s photography and fact aplenty in my book, ‘Waterford, A County Revealed’.

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