Meeting of the Waters

Photo:The bust of Thomas Moore at the Meetings

The bust of Thomas Moore at the Meetings

Made famous by Thomas Moore

By Abarta Heritage

The  Meeting  of  the  Waters  is  the  name  given  to  the  confuence  of  the  Avonmore  (Abhainn  Mhór,  Big  River)  and  Avonbeg  (Abhainn  Bheag,  Little  River)  that  join  here  to  form  the  Avoca  River  before  flowing  on  to  enter  the  sea  at  Arklow.  
  

The  poetic  name  Meeting  of  the  Waters  derives  from  a  celebrated  ballad  by  Thomas  Moore  (1779–1852)  who  penned  the  lyrics  while  sitting  under  a  tree  here.  Moore  was  born  in Dublin  and  studied  law  at  Trinity  College,  but  had  a  passion  for  music  and  drama.  He published  several  volumes  of  melodies  in  the  early  nineteenth  century.  Moore’s  tree  was  a well-known  attraction  for  many  years but  after  it  fell,  it  was  replaced  by  a  newly  planted tree.  

A  bullaun  stone  can  be  found  within  the  landscaped  park.  The  steep  slopes  of  the  valley  either  side  of  the  confluence  are  heavily  wooded,  with  a  mix  of  native  tree  species  such  as oak,  ash,  birch,  hazel  and  holly  with  coniferous  tree  species.  This  is  an  important  habitat  for  flora  and  fauna.  A  study  of  the  birds  in  this  area  found  the  commonest  species  represented to  be  goldcrest,  robin,  wren,  coal  tit  and chaffinch,  with  the  rare  redstart  also  represented.  Excitingly,  red  kites  have  been  seen  once  again  in  the  skies  over  the  Meeting  of  the  Waters,  after  its  reintroduction  to  the  Avoca  area.  


With  such  a  confluence  of  rivers  it  is  no  surprise  to  find  that  this  is  a  favourite  spot  for  anglers.  For  many  years  the  waters  were  polluted  from  mine  workings,  but  nature  has  reasserted  herself  and  brown  trout  are  making  a  welcome  return.

The Meeting of the Waters 

There is not in this wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom, the bright waters meet
Oh, the last rays of feeling and life must depart
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart

Yet it was not that nature had shed o’er the scene
Her purest of crystal and brightest of green
’twas not her soft magic of streamlet or hill
Oh no, it was something more exquisite still
Oh no, it was something more exquisite still

’twas that friends, the beloved of my bosom were near
Who made every dear scene of enchantment more dear
And who felt that the best charms of nature improve
When we see them reflected from looks that we love
When we see them reflected from looks that we love

Sweet Vale of Avoca, how calm could I rest
In thy bosom of shade with the friends I love best
Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace

This page was added by Abarta Heritage on 22/11/2018.

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