We went for a spin last weekend and took in some of Waterford’s Copper Coast which I always thought was named after it’s beautiful sandy beaches. I never knew that there was an entire copper mining industry in the area in the 1800s. Maybe I can be forgiven for this considering I’m technically a ‘blowin’.
Driving through an area called Tankardstown we came across these buildings, which are the remains of the old copper mine that operated there from 1850 to 1879.
The Dublin Mining Company had moved their operations to Tankardstown in 1850 and business reached its peak in 1865. This however was followed by a steep decline and eventually in 1879 all the engines were sold for scrap and the buildings fell into disrepair.
Efforts are underway at the moment to contact descendents of the mine workers, many of whom would have emigrated following the closure of the mines. More information can be found at www.coppercoastgeopark.com
Another interesting, although sad, story regarding the mines came to light earlier on Facebook when I posted a photo there. It seems that they were the focus of a search for a postman, Larry Griffin, who was murdered in 1929 and whose body was never found. Two years ago the mines were once again brought to attention when an 85 year old came forward and claimed that the postman’s body had been ‘dumped in an abandoned copper mineshaft in Bunmahon‘.