14 July 2018 as part of Comeraghs Wild Festival
Town Motif Workshop
8 May 2018, Kilmacthomas Primary School, 105 students participated.
On the banks of the River Mahon, with a pair of impressive stone viaducts dominating its built landscape, ‘Kilmac’ – as it’s known to locals – is enjoying a mini economic boom brought about by the huge success of the Waterford-Dungarvan greenway. At roughly halfway between Waterford and Dungarvan, it’s a natural stopping off point and lunch spot for cyclists and walkers on the former railway route. The Waterford-Mallow railway opened in the 1870s and closed in 1982. The railway station is now derelict. Going further back, well-known local enterprise Flahavan’s has had an oat mill in the town since at least 1785, providing a source of employment to local families – and those from further afield – for generations.
A former woollen mill on the southwest bank of the river and a corn mill on the northeast bank, both now disused, point to a once-thriving local milling industry. Today, Kilmacthomas capitalises on its location at the foot of the Comeragh mountains to pitch itself as a hub for outdoor sports and activities. The annual ‘Comeragh Wild’ festival – held in July each year – combines heritage, storytelling and outdoor pursuits to great effect. The former Kilmacthomas Union Workhouse, built in the 1840s on the outskirts of the town, now houses artists’ studios, craft workshops, a popular cafe and a heritage tour.