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Dunmore East

The Dunmore East Winery

Dunmore East is a small fishing village on the south-east coast of Ireland, 16kms from the city of Waterford. It sits on the western side of the Waterford Harbour Estuary, 4.8kms from Hook Head in Wexford.
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, Ireland

The Dunmore East Winery was an enterprise set up by Simon O'Dwyer in the

early 80's, in a house he was renting in Circular Road. Simon made and bottled

his own wines and sold them locally.

During the long winters The Winery was a place to go when one wanted more

drink, especially if you were in Power's bar on a Sunday night when Simon

would issue a carte blanche invite to all and sundry.

Von Rutter had this to say:

I have lots of very vague memories of parties in the Winery. I can't recall ever

actually being invited to one, but as John Grey was resident doorman, a growl

would usually secure entry. I think John used to let me and The Guinea Man in

just to annoy Simon.

Simon would use us as guinea pigs to test his latest brew, if we collapsed after

an hour he would deem the wine too strong and throw another bucket of water

in the bath, where most of the fermenting was done. I recall Joe O'Toole falling

into the bath one night adding fish scales to the mix.

Another night there was a crew from a Galway boat, none of whom spoke

English, stepping it out after drinking home made Saki. Simon was like a

chemist in those days, brewing grog on the spot if the occasion demanded it.

Sometimes he took his position very seriously, like on the night Joe O'Toole and

myself knocked him up at four in the morning looking for drink. He gave it to us

but said in future there would be no more takeaways after 2 am .

I developed a real taste for Chateau Dun Mhor from those winery sessions and

used to buy it in the Butchers for 2 doubloons a bottle, until Peter Power put a

stop to it, and limited me to two bottles a day. Ned Power once said of myself

and Andy Doherty, "they're okay when they're just drinking beer, it's that fecking

Dun Mhor stuff that's driving them mad".

They were so many sessions in that winery it would be very difficult to pick just

one and give an account of it, mainly due to memory loss. But for sure, in the

winter of 1984, late at night when all other premises were closed, apart from

The Ocean, The Winery was the place to be.




One of Simon's calling cards, using an old photo of Dunmore, with (I think) Dave Harris in the background sitting on the wall Dunmore East Winery label