Patrick O’Donovan [FG, Limerick] wants to drain the Shannon. Or wants farmers to do it. He doesn’t want the “multiplicity of agencies [which] have made it virtually impossible for anything to be done with the river and the rivers and streams draining into it”; he wants a non-multiplicity of agencies — “the OPW, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Inland Fisheries Ireland or whoever” — to dig sheughs and stop flood plains flooding. He says
The one group of people who seem to have no say are those who live on the banks of the rivers or who have watched thousands of gallons of water coming in their front door and out their back door.
But he is wrong. That is the one group of people who can stop flood waters coursing through their houses and who can do it most quickly, most easily and without the permission of a single state agency.
The solution is simple: they should move house, away from the flood plains to higher ground.
Posted in Ashore, Canals, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Natural heritage, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Safety, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged flood plains, floods, flow, Ireland, Operations, Shannon, water level, waterways, Waterways Ireland
Boat-owners concerned about high water levels on Lough Derg will be glad to know that relief is in sight, although it may take a little while to arrive. Irish Water has taken over the project to send Shannon water to Dublin and is procuring something, although it is not at all clear what that is. The, er, news item is so far leading in the competition for least informative press release of the year.
Posted in Ashore, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Natural heritage, Non-waterway, Operations, Shannon, Sources, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged barge, boats, Clare, Dublin, floods, flow, Ireland, irish water, Limerick, Lough Derg, Operations, Shannon, water, water supply, waterways
I’ve just been reading some particularly nitwitted Dáil discussions and I need some time to calm down enough to report on them to the Learned Readers of this site. Let me just say that anyone who thinks that politicians cannot distinguish fact from fiction is absolutely right. But enough of that for the moment.
I reported earlier on an oddity in the results from the OPW’s Athlone waterlevel gauge. I emailed the OPW about it and a helpful chap got back on more or less immediately.
He explained that the data we see on the waterlevel.ie site is, as it were, live: raw unfiltered data with nothing added, nothing taken away. The same data goes in to the OPW and they spotted that the Athlone gauge was reading too high. They found the sensor was faulty; they have now adjusted it and the new, lower readings are correct.
The disappearance of the placenames is because of some work in progress on improving the website; they will be back.
He kindly pointed me to a list, in .xlsm format, downloadable from here; it shows all hydrometric stations in Ireland. It shows who operates them, whether they’re active and whether they use telemetry (which I take to mean that they can be monitored remotely). Unfortunately OPW itself doesn’t seem to have any gauges on Lough Derg and nor does Waterways Ireland. OPW does have a rather excitable gauge at Scarriff and gauges upstream of Meelick Weir and Meelick (Victoria) Lock. The ESB has gauges with telemetry at Ballyvalley (25073) and Killaloe (25074) but I can’t find any website giving the levels. If, Gentle Reader, you can find one, perhaps you would let us know.
The consoling part of dealing with the OPW is that you get the distinct impression that they know some useful stuff. Unlike, say, some folk working in Kildare Street ….
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Safety, Shannon, Sources, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged Athlone, canal, Clare, Dublin, ESB, floods, flow, gauge, Ireland, Killaloe, Lough Derg, Meelick, Office of Public Works, Operations, OPW, Scarriff, Shannon, telemetry, Victoria Lock, water level, waterways, Waterways Ireland
I’ve just noticed a 3½-minute video of the original Lartigue on the British Pathé website. Here is my page about the modern recreation, which is well worth a visit. The other monorail by the Shannon River is covered here.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Ireland, Non-waterway, Operations, Rail, Restoration and rebuilding, shannon estuary, Sources, Tourism
Tagged Ballybunion, estuary, Ireland, Kerry, Lartigue, Listowel, monorail, Pathé, Shannon
Nibbling yesterday on a morsel of cured salmon, with fennel and apple salad, lemon crème fraiche and lavender jelly, at the excellent La Serre restaurant at the Village at Lyons, I looked forward to walking outside afterwards, on to the canal bank, to view the many boats that would undoubtedly be moored there, above the thirteenth lock, as their owners lunched at La Serre’s sister institution, the Canal Café.
Judge of my surprise, then, when I found not a single boat outside. I realised, though, that boaters probably walked from nearby Hazelhatch and even from Sallins. For we know, do we not, that boaters are vital to tourism? Even Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party tells us so, which means that they must be out and about along the canals, spending money (and where better to spend it than at the Canal Café?).
The Canal Café, mere feet from the canal bank
But a difficulty has struck me. Mr Higgins’s position is that boaters have money available for discretionary expenditure, but Senator John Kelly tells us that most boaters are “retired couples from England who are receiving small English pensions”. So one politician tells us that boaters have disposable incomes and that they should not pay money to Waterways Ireland because they spend money in pubs and restaurants along the canals; another politician tells us that boaters should not pay money to Waterways Ireland because they have none to spare.
I find it difficult to reconcile these two positions.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Scenery, Tourism, Uncategorized, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged barge, Barrow, boats, bridge, bye-laws, byelaws, canal, department of arts heritage and the gaeltacht, Dublin, Grand Canal, Ireland, jetties, lock, Operations, quay, vessels, water level, waterways, Waterways Ireland
There was a proposal in the 1830s for a ship canal along the coast, outside the railway embankment, from Dublin to the asylum harbour at Kingstown. A preliminary report was provided by William Cubitt after the House of Commons Select Committee on the Dublin and Kingstown Ship Canal had reported in July 1833.
Henry E Flynn was opposed to the idea and, in his A Glance at the Question of a Ship Canal connecting the asylum harbour at Kingstown with the river Anne Liffey at Dublin &c &c &c [George Folds, Dublin 1834], dedicated to Daniel O’Connell, he wrote eloquently of the drawbacks of the proposal, which included this:
Be it remembered, that the whole coast from Ringsend to Merrion is the bathing ground for the less affluent classes of the Citizens; and hundreds get their bread by attending on and bathing the females who frequent it.
And are the patriotic Would-be’s who support a Ship Canal equally reckless of the health, the morality, and the existence of those persons? Would they have no objection to expose their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters to the immediate wanton gaze, the scoffs, the jeers, the immodest jest, the filthy exposure and indecent exhibitions which the most abandoned race of men [ie sailors] could find in their dissolute minds to perpetrate in their view, and within their hearing? And yet, all this must be the consequence of a Ship Canal in the immediate vicinity of the female baths and bathing ground along the line.
Happily, the canal was never built.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Charles Wye Williams, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Rail, Safety, Sea, Shannon, Sources, Steamers, The cattle trade, The fishing trade, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged cattle, Daniel O'Connell, Grand Canal Dock, Henry E Flood, Liffey, North Wall, Richard Bourne, strand, William Cubitt, women