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Mayor ‘Reclaims the Waters’

On Friday, May 24th Waterford Metropolitan Mayor Cllr. Jody Power set sail from Dunmore East on the Irish Naval vessel, LÉ William Butler Yeats to ‘reclaim the waters’ in a tradition that dates back centuries.

In 1626, the city of Waterford was granted a new charter by King Charles I.  Known as the Great Governing Charter, it confirmed all previous charters and privileges granted to the city, which had been removed by his father James I, whose accession in 1603 had caused great disaffection.

Under the terms of the Great Governing Charter, the Mayor of Waterford was also conferred with the office of ‘Admiral of the Harbour.’  This empowered the Mayor of Waterford City to hold admiralty courts within the harbour.  As part of this tradition the Mayor fires a ceremonial dart into the estuary where the three rivers meet, claiming the waters for the city of Waterford.

Speaking of the custom Cllr. Power said, “As someone with a strong maritime background and appreciation of the power of the sea, I am proud to take part in this significant ceremony as it is a great honour to continue this tradition in Waterford.

“It’s particularly poignant for me as a marine engineering lecturer at the Maritime College of Ireland, as many of these crew members have graced my lecture theatre over the years, and I’m delighted to reconnect with them today on such an auspicious occasion. I’d like to extend my gratitude to the officers and crew of the LÉ William Butler Yeats, particularly EO Jim Nolan, and also Capt. Darren Doyle of the Port of Waterford for facilitating us today.”

“Conducting this ceremony at the meeting of the Three Sisters Rivers also fills me with a sense of pride as I undertake my Mayoral duties in my home village of Cheekpoint.”

Cllr. Power then ‘reclaimed the waters’ by stating, “At this place where the Three Sisters rivers meet, to drive out King Neptune, I will throw this silver dart into the place where the rivers meet, and I declare, ‘According to the Governing Charter of Waterford City, as granted by King Charles I, on behalf of the Mayor of Waterford and Admiral of the Harbour, I claim these waters.’



Free to use images: John Power

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