St. Patrick's Mine Avoca 1956-62

Ross & Alice Corey

This collection of slides and photographs were taken by Ross Corey between 1956 and 1962 while he worked at the St. Patrick’s Mine, Avoca. He started out as the Metallurgical Manager in charge of the building of the concentrator; including documentation. He then moved on to Mill Manager. The slides and photos in this collection include not only the mine, residences, and surrounding area, but also social events.

Ross and his wife Alice moved from Canada to Ireland in 1956. They loved Ireland, travelling extensively throughout the south and into western Europe. While in Ireland they adopted a son, Neil in 1962. That same year they returned to Canada where they adopted a daughter, Kathleen in 1963, and another son Christopher in 1968. Alice, Neil and Christopher were killed in a tragic car accident in 1971. Ross passed away in 2001.

This collection has been donated by Ross’ daughter, Kathleen Corey Hamilton who lives in Canada with her husband. They have three adult children who have the family passion for adventure.

I (Kathleen) am very pleased to donate this collection to a country that held such a special place in my parent’s hearts. My husband and I traveled to Ireland for our first time in 2016 to visit out daughter. We quickly fell in love with the landscape and the charm that Ireland has to offer. I am looking forward to returning in 2017 to deliver this collection in person and learn more.

Comments about this page

  • My dad Michael worked in the avoca mines
    He was killed on the 11th September 1960.
    Would love to know if anyone knew him

    By Denise (02/11/2023)
  • My partners dad, Dick O’ Rourke worked in the mine in 1957 and was in charge of the explosives we believe…we don’t have a photo of him and would be obliged if anyone out there had one and would share. Thank you Es

    By Esther (16/04/2023)
  • I am a blow-in to Avoca and live on the main street in Avoca for just 13 years. Recently I have started to explore the areas history, which is fascinating. We live in the Old Post Office on the main street, beside the Church and across the road from the old Barracks, currently the Garda station. I amĀ  interested in any stories or photos about the main street and particularly The old Post office, any information that can be shared would be most appreciated.

    By Dermot Cleary (06/03/2020)
  • My father worked at the mine from 1958 to 1961; we lived at the managers homesite between Nelson’s and Noonans. Mr and Mrs Corey used to babysit me on occasion. Other names I remember at Clesham, Vivian, Bracken,Stringer Foreman and Kenny. My father was a Canadian Mining Engineer and Geologist and his name was Phillip Olson. I remember Ross and Alice had a Jaguar, as we traveled a bit with them.

    Barbara Olson Teeter

    By Barbara Olson Teeter (13/11/2018)
  • Stephen, thank you so much for that invaluable information. It is very much appreciated. If you have any reminiscences, images or other information to share please do fee free to let us know. Many visitors to this site  engage with our articles on Avoca mines so it is clearly a topic that is dear to many.

    Deirdre (Editor) 

    By Deirdre Burns (25/10/2018)
  • Having worked for Avoca Mines Ltd during the 1970’s in the mill in positions from Metallurgical Assistant to Mill Superintendent, I will add some comments to photographs where my knowledge of the mill allows. I have numbered the photos left to right, 1 to 25.

    #2 – Woman standing on dam – a 75 acre swamp area close to Shelton Abby was chosen for the tailings (waste) disposal area. The sand water mix, slurry was pumped down a 12″ diameter asbestos cement pipe that largely followed the rail bed. An emergency tailings area was located across the road from the mill and at a later time, a second emergency area was located above the mine at the North Lode area.

    #11 – this circular construction shows the construction of a concentrate thickener.

    #12 – construction of the back wall of the mill that comprised the coarse ore bin. The massive opening for the Ross chain feeder ahead of the Nordberg Gyratory crusher is clearly seen.

    #13 – looking down of the construction. The wall and hole to the Ross feeder is clearly seen. A walk way across over the crushing plant and maintenance area from the major retaining wall to the 7000 ton fine ore bin is seen. Further to the left foundation work is underway for the flotation plant and a monolithic concrete wall separating the mill from the concentrate load out area.

    #18 – in the hold of the concentrate ship in Arklow.

    #20 – assembling grinding mill motor. Each of the 6 mills was powered by a 525 hp auto-synchronous motor. Each motor weighed 11 tons.

    #21 – construction of one of two 70′ diameter thickener along side the electrical control room. These were used to raise the slurry density after the grinding circuit and before the flotation plant.

    #22 – construction of the fine ore bin area.

    #24 – Company houses at Ballygahan. 

    Hope this information is of interest.

    Stephen Young


    By Stephen Young (24/10/2018)
  • i m from avoca my dad worked in avoca mines he was once mine cptain

    By marthabrowne (19/10/2018)
  • Often when I come to look at the Avoca mines Community page, I am pleasantly surprised to see something new and learn something new that I wasn’t aware of before. This time when I viewed the1956 to 1962 photographic collection of Ross Corey/ St. Patrick’s Copper mine Avoca, I was intrigued by one photograph in particular, with a woman standing on what appears to be a Dam on an earlier tailings Dam at Shelton with the wood on one said. I could remember the New CAT 950 Loader in 1972, and I could remember Hughie Mc Carthy loading the dumpers, but I was wondering how I could remember him loading the mines tailings so early on, and this photo offers the explanation as to how it was possible, and while Steve young had mentioned St Patricks Mine had installed  tailings pipes, I didn’t think they could ever have gone as far as Shelton, and I just assumed they used places like the old tailings pond where we built the workshop in Avoca. I could also remember very clearly working over by the wood at different stages, Austin Fanning              

    By Austin Fanning (02/08/2017)
  • I am originally from Avoca, but have lived in Australia for 45 years. The picture of the managers houses brought back fond memories, I was only a youngster back then. My mother’s house is the one with the tiled roof. I would appreciate if you could pass on a contact for Kathleen as I would like to share some stories of that time. Thank You. 

    By Richard Kenny (18/07/2017)

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