Dungarvan Coat of Arms
The Harbour and Markets Act required that the Town Commissioners have an official seal and arms. The original arms had been lost with the lapse of the old Corporation in the 17th Century. The Commissioners carried out a search for the old arms but failed to discover it.
William Williams (1820 - 1875) an antiquarian and Irish scholar, who lived at Devonshire Square designed a new arms and seal. This was adopted by the Town Commissioners in July 1863 - .. 'the arms to be done on a scale of 2½ x 2 inches? The seal to be 2 inches in diameter, you should get them done here instead of London so as to give the Irish artist the preference'
The following is William's own explanation for the designs written in 1867:
The castles of the shield are Portraits of existing structures, as they appeared about a century since. That to the left is the Dún or castle of Abbeyside. That to the right represents a wing of the old Dungarvan castle. Between the castles is seen a ship in full sail approaching the harbour. Our supporters are two ancient Irish warriors wearing the National costume and armed with the National weapons of other days. Our crest, an anchor and dolphin entwined, and our motto, taken in its literal sense, are all indicative of the Maritime situation of the town. Our motto:- 'Ní Maraidhe Go Stiurtoir' - Not a Mariner Till a Steersman' is intended to teach an important moral lesson. Individually we are admonished to make ourselves acquainted with the duties of our various callings, in order that we may be able to direct our own affairs: and collectively, that, if we desire to see the town satisfactorily governed, we must grasp the reins with our own hand'.
Note: The images of Dungarvan and Abbeyside Castles used by Williams in his design were taken from an engraving in Charles Smith's History of Waterford City and County 1746.