Rev. James Alcock was born in Waterford in 1805. In 1822 he entered Trinity College, Dublin and was ordained a Church of Ireland minister. Between 1829 and 1836 he lectured at St. Olave's in Waterford. He was then moved to Ring, and stayed at Seaview House, Rathnameneenagh. Alcock worked closely with the Society of Friends during the Famine period in seeking aid for the Ring fishermen. In 1846 he contacted the Auxiliary Relief Committee of the Society of Friends in Waterford to obtain aid. Weekly supplies of meal were given to the fishermen and loans were arranged. The Society also contributed £1,350 towards the construction of a new pier at Ballinagoul in July 1848 and also introduced new fishing methods and clothes. Alcock published an account of his work in Ring during the Famine titled: - Facts from the Fisheries in Four Quarterly Reports from the Ring District, Co. Waterford. It was published by the Society of Friends in 1848. According to the account 'we find that in one hamlet there were last year, 100 families in distress, while there are not now more than seven.' The Cork Examiner reviewed this publication and was very complimentary to the work being done.
Alcock died at his home on 23 March 1893, aged 88 years. A monument was later erected over his grave in St. Nicholas's cemetery with the inscription :- The Rev. Alcock A.M. who for 60 years was the faithful and zealous vicar of this parish for the above period, during the scourge of the Famine and Cholera he proved himself the generous friend, the wise guide and councillor of the sick, distressed and afflicted of all classes and creeds. As he lived he died the humble Christian respected and lamented by a large circle on March 23 1893. Aged 88 years.
In 1995 the grave was restored, and the unveiling was performed by Niochlás Ó Griofáin.
Author: William Fraher