Now, I’d be fairly biased in saying Waterford is the greatest place on Earth, given that I am, in fact, a Deise boy. However, if you have ever been, or plan on visiting Waterford in the future, have a read of this list of the people and places Waterford has to offer. You won’t find these on any tourist information map.
1. Red Square
I know exactly what you’re thinking: “Red Square is in Russia ya pleb!” and you would be correct in saying so. Nobody is really quite sure why John Robert’s Square in the heart of the city became affectionately known as ‘Red Square’, but over the years it has gone from a place where people would meet with their horses and carriages and trade various goods, to a place where local teenagers gather in groups and terrify old women with their appearance. Skangers, mods, grungers, hipsters, politicians, people of all walks of life have gathered in Red Square on Saturdays to discuss important issues such as, “Did you see what Sharon is wearing? The bitch.” And,“Will we go to the park? That lad with the hat keeps looking at my My Chemical Romance Badge.” There’s also a few shops here and there. Oh, and don’t ask about the marble water fountain. We haven’t a clue what it’s meant to be, and we really don’t like to talk about it.
2. The People’s Park
I know what it looks like, but trust me, it’s more than just grass and trees. The People’s Park is a perfect location to push your children on a swing while having a naggin in a bush. The park’s biggest attraction is when the place becomes invaded by a horde of hot air balloons. These aren’t the only flying objects that have befallen the greens of the park, and I’m not talking about the time How Do claims to have had found an alien. During World War II, it wasn’t an uncommon sight to see a German gun mounted aircraft flying above as he gives the finger to any British below. There’s also a marble water fountain here too, but don’t ask us about it.
3. How Do?
Michael Thomas O’Shea has become the definition of, “Some legend boy!” O’Shea can be found just about anywhere in Waterford City on a daily basis greeting passers by with the ever familiar “How Do?” There’s never a person who is unhappy to see How Do as he’s always in the mood to ask you how your day is going.
4. Siopa Rís
Síopa Rís is the most iconic corner shop in Waterford. As the world moves on in terms of retail, with businesses getting bigger, there’s always one thing you can rely on in Síopa Rís, and that’s a one of a kind, warm-hearted and reliable shop keeper. Sean Roche has been tending to the counter of his beloved shop for many years. Based only a few yards from the Mount Sion Primary and Secondary schools, generations of students have enjoyed a Biker Blaa from Seanie. Not afraid to have a bit of craic either, I mean, he showed up to my debs and sang The Rose of Mount Sion; Maybe Aldi or Tesco might give that one a go, could be good for business!
Fancy a holiday? Why not Tramore? Sun, sea and fresh fish & chips! Now, I can’t guarantee the sun, or even the sea (it might be a bit far out), but I can guarantee the best tasting fish this side of the Atlantic. Ask anyone from Waterford and they’ll tell you there’s nothing better than sitting on the prom in Tramore, and tucking into a fish and chip from Dooley’s. During the summer months, the queue is always out the door and sometimes down the street.
6. Tramore Amusements
n keeping with the treasures of Tramore, why not take a stroll down to, what is also know as ‘The Hurdy Gurdies.’ The Tramore amusements have been the delight of nearly every child in Waterford, and has been a constant in nearly everyone’s summer. Whether you’re 8 or 80, there’s always something to tickle your fancy. Take a ride on the Ghost train, vomit on your Tinder date on ‘The Waltzers’, or shit your pants on the ‘Future Dance.’ In recent years, the amusements have closed out the summer with an amazing fireworks display, grand enough to send dogs in Dungarvan legging it.
7. Billy McCarthy
Waterford’s answer to Joe Duffy. Billy McCarthy has been taking calls from people all across Waterford, Ireland and indeed the world from WLR FM’s broadcast centre for over 20 years. Billy has had to deal with such manic situations as the chaos that was the old cinema, to the Garth Brook’s debacle of 2014. When the world descends into full scale war, you can be sure that we’ll be lining up behind Billy and his army of loyal listeners.
8. Central Hall
Formerly the home of the legendary Red Kettle Theatre Company, and now Central Arts, Central Hall is home to the brightest talents in Waterford today. Once a month, it hosts its open mic night which has always drawn a huge crowd. And it’s no surprise as the cover charge is only €2 and you can bring your own drink. How bad? From comedy, to music and everything in between, there’s always something going on in Central Hall.
9. Downes Pub
Located on Thomas Street, Downes Pub, or as it’s locally known “Downeseseses….es….eses” is synonymous with Waterford, as it is one of the oldest pubs in the county. Most recently, it has become the home of comedy in Waterford with a weekly club, every Thursday. As well as bottling its own whiskey, there is also a squash court attached to the premises. There’s always a bit of craic to be had in Downes, so much craic that the same family has held on to it for six generations!
10. Ireland’s First Drive-Through Pharmacy
Welcome to Mulligans, can I take your order? That’s right folks, it’s a good old-fashioned “Drug’n’drive”. Ireland’s first drive-through pharmacy is now available seven days a week on the Dunmore Road. Mulligans have began taking calls and even texts for prescriptions, which will make it so much easier for today’s busy junkie on methadone. In a rush? Need to take your suppository on the go? Then just pull up to Mulligans 3000 sq ft centre, stick it in and away you go.
So there you have it, ten valid reasons to visit Waterford. From arts and pubs to chips and drugs, we have you covered! Of course, that’s not all we have to offer, honourable mentions include Spraoi, John Mullane and a fried egg blaa. The big question is, what are ya waitin’ for boy?!