A brand new exhibition celebrating Waterford's sporting heroes is set to open in Bishop's Palace on Friday, July 8th.
The exhibition titled 'Laochra Spóirt Phort Láirge/ Waterford Sporting Heroes’ will display trophies and other memorabilia of local legends such as soccer star Alfie Hale, hurlers Jim Ware and Frank Walsh, and the Waterford Boat Club.
Some of the items on display date back to the 19th Century.
An example is a trophy that was won by the Widger family in the 1895 Aintree Grand National. A horse named Wild Man from Borneo won the competition with rider Joe Widger, who comes from a family of well-known horse breeders.
At one point, over 200 of the family's horses were being exported from Waterford to all across Europe.
Greyhound trainer and co-founder of Clover Meats, Denis Gorey TD's trophies from the 1900s will also be on display. They demonstrate how sport played a huge role in normalising relations with Britain after the War of Independence.
Modern heroes will be represented in the new exhibition too. Soccer star Ciara Grant and Ladies Gaelic Football All-Ireland winner Fiona Laffan Crotty are among those featured.
“We are delighted to again launch a new exhibition to celebrate sport which is such an important force in our lives and society, supporting our health and bringing us together in these challenging times," Director of Waterford Treasures, Eamonn McEneaney, said.
He also thanked all who donated trophies and memorabilia.
What's on show?
Soccer and hurling are well represented in the museum with plenty of medals, cups, and jerseys.
Many may recall the legendary Waterford versus Man United match of 1968 or the days of the Blues of Waterford in the 1950s and 60s.
A cup and medals of Andy Fleming will be on show. He was a 1948 All-Ireland Hurling winner and medals record-holder with six Senior Hurling medals with Mount Sion and five for football with Stradbally.
Fiona Laffan Crotty’s jersey will remind us of the five All-Ireland wins the Waterford Senior Ladies Gaelic Football team had in the 1990s.
Christine Cronin née Ware will officially open the exhibition. She is the daughter of Jim Ware who captained Waterford's 1948 team that won the All-Ireland.
Christine and her family have donated Jim and his brother Charlie's cups, medals, and other items.
Waterford Treasures is holding an open-air 'Summer Night at the Pictures' event where two films will be screened to celebrate the opening of the exhibition.
It will be open year-round seven days a week and is one of the five Waterford Treasures Museums in the Viking Triangle.
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