Tramore Heritage was officially founded in 2012 and includes Tracy McEneaney, Jim Heylin, and Dr. Maxine Keoghan. The group aims to promote the heritage of the area through recording the stories of local people. The group also holds a variety of events throughout the year. Our past is what we live with today and what we pass on to future generations.

Dr Maxine Keoghan

Dr Maxine Keoghan

Maxine is employed as a civil servant with the Courts Services of Ireland. As a consultant she provides talks/tours and has worked for public agencies and SSE Airtricity Ireland. A committed community advocate, she continues to volunteer locally, ‘My strengths include engaging with people; I love hearing stories and I love being involved with my community be that Tramore or Saint Paul Minnesota where I lived for a number of years’.

Maxine received her PhD in history from the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 2016. Her area of expertise is Irish emigration from the far west of Ireland to North America. The waves of emigration from the late seventeenth century to the twentieth century indicated the various paths taken by Irish immigrants, from those with capital to invest in a new and exciting world to those who were impoverished and felt they had been forced out of Ireland. Irish Americans account for more than 30 million of the U.S. population. As many as 4.5 million Irish arrived in America between 1820 and 1930.

Some of the earliest people to emigrate to North America originated from the Southeast of Ireland and became part of the Newfoundland fishing industry. The remarkable feature of ‘the most Irish people outside of Ireland’ is that many retain their Irish cultural identity despite the fact they were among the first Irish people to emigrate over two hundred years ago. Maxine was awarded the Craig Dobbin Scholarship by the Ireland Canada University Foundation in 2017 and travelled to Newfoundland tracing the heritage of the people of the southeast.

Maxine traces her own history to eighteenth century fishermen and coastal rescue workers of Tramore in County Waterford. As Mayor of Tramore, Maxine undertook the Sea Horse bi-centenary Commemoration which remembered the 363 men, women and children who perished returning to Ireland from the Napoleonic Wars in 1816. The Cairn built in their memory was originally envisioned by Maxine and stands as a memorial to all those who died. The book, ‘The Shipwrecked Soldiers’ Cairn – The Tragedy of the Sea Horse in Tramore Bay, 1816’ was contributed to and edited by Maxine. Other publications by Maxine include, ‘Tramore of our Times’ and ‘Waterford’s War of Independence, the Pickardstown Ambush’.

As a social and cultural historian Maxine’s interests extend from the shipping industries of Waterford to the Irish that travelled all over the world. History is a series of stories, and it is fascinating to recognise the cultural identity of those who continue to live on this island with those who have lived in other lands for generations. Folklore, music, words, and language, much is retained over time, and it is remarkable how we continue to share these interests.

Jim Heylin

jim heylin
Jim Heylin

It was his grandfather, James Heylin senior, who inculcated a passion for Irish history in Jim. James, a WWI, Irish War of Independence, and Civil War veteran recalled stories of dark times in Ireland to Jim as a young boy. In adding to his excellent understanding of history Jim was awarded a B.A. in history from the Open University.

As a native of Waterford City, Jim now lives in Tramore. He is a business graduate from the Southeast Technical University and worked as a Management Accountant in Kromberg and Schubert for a number of years before moving to Honeywell Business Systems. While working for Honeywell, Jim was based near Maastricht where he worked on SAP implementations and the introduction of material systems throughout Europe. He also worked on the introduction of the new Euro currency. On returning home to Waterford, Jim moved to Whitfield clinic where he installed and maintained the hospitals material system.

After three decades in business, Jim changed his career direction. He continued to follow his interest in history with his employment in mapping with the Ordinance Survey Ireland (OSI) where he worked for five years before moving to the Land Registry. Jim continues to work as a civil servant for the new Government body, Táilte Éireann, which evolved from the amalgamation of the OSI, the Land Valuation Office and the Land Registry. As an Executive Mapping Officer, and a digital specialist, he applies his knowledge and understanding to the mapping of historic Ireland.

Out of office, Jim is a marathon runner who volunteers with Tramore Park Run. It was their shared interest in community activism and volunteerism that brought Jim, Maxine, and Tracy to work together. As Directors of Tramore Heritage they continue to work on community engaged projects. Additionally, Jim has volunteered with Meals On Wheels and was a board member of Gaelscoil Philib Barún. As a broadcaster Jim worked with TCR FM radio.

Tracy McEneaney

Tracy McEneaney
Tracy McEneaney

Tracy is a very popular and well-known personality not only for her many roles throughout Waterford City and County but also for her popular spot on the RTE Radio One Clare Byrne Show where she recommends good reads to adults and young people.

Listen here: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22111987/

Tracy completed a BSc in Information and Library Studies with Wales University and is employed as an Executive Librarian for Waterford Libraries where she has worked for over twenty-five years. She manages five library branches including Tramore, Portlaw, Ardkeen, Dunmore East and Browns Road.

With a strong commitment to community, she undertook the role of Chairperson of the Sea Horse Commemoration Committee from 2012 to 2016. She successfully encouraged all voluntary and community groups to participate, and she oversaw their many efforts. She provided tours and talks and engaged with local and national politicians. Tracy seamlessly engages with people and brings the best out of everyone.

Her relaxed demeanour ensures she is in constant demand within her community. She is the voice of the Tramore Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, as Master of Ceremonies she identifies and highlights key achievements of each group as they pass the podium on our national holiday. Similarly, her social media presence has been recognised for its positivity and encouragement be that recommending books or providing Irish language classes.

Tracy has further held the role as Public Relations Officer for Tramore Cadaujac Town Twinning Committee. In recognising her dedication to Waterford libraries, Tracy was selected as keynote speaker at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in July 2022, presenting Telling the Next Chapter: Marketing Libraries of the Future.

Tracy has experience in radio and was a member of Tramore Community Radio for two years, she has been a guest on many radio shows including Today with Claire Byrne, Drivetime Radio 1 RTE, WLRFM and BEAT 102-103. Her television experience includes Nationwide and news2day.

Visit: https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsandculture/arid-41193484.html