Category Archives: Scenery

And I’m like wow …

… as the young folk say nowadays. Searching the National Library catalogue for prints and drawings of the Royal Canal before 1900 brought up the usual suspects but also a very interesting map and this stunning view of Dublin in 1853. Viaducts! Railways! Steamers! Barges being propelled by sweeps!

I couldn’t find the Royal Canal, though.

Spring is sprung …

… the grass is riz.
I wonder where the brand new fleet of aircraft is.

I would welcome news of sightings of the fleet of (presumably) floatplanes/seaplanes/amphibians that Harbour Flights is to have operating “early in the new year … from [sic] destinations nationwide”.

There is some discussion on Boards.ie here, by folk who appear to know one end of an aeroplane from the other; the later posts on the second page discuss suitable types of craft.

 

DAHG’s other waterway

Yes, folks, the Waterways Ireland waterways are not the only ones that come under the scrutiny of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht: the Lakes of Killarney are in there too. And the managment system was outlined in the Dáil.

Shannon history

The African Queen, formerly the first Shannon Princess, is up for sale.

Shannon history in Birmingham

According to the Railway & Canal Historical Society’s Events page, its annual Clinker Memorial Lecture, to be held in Birmingham in October 2014, will be about River Shannon steamers in the second quarter of the nineteenth century:

The 2014 Clinker Memorial Lecture will be held in Birmingham on the afternoon of Saturday 18th October 2014. The speaker will be Brian Goggin, BA (Mod), MA.

Brian graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in Economics and Politics, and spent some years as honorary Editor of the quarterly magazine of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland. He and his wife Anne have been boating on Irish inland waterways since the late 1970s. He is currently working on a book on the Shannon steamers of the 1830s and 1840s, and the Clinker Lecture will draw on his research.

Before lunch (and independent of the Lecture) there will be a walking tour of central Birmingham, focusing on sites of waterway and railway interest.

 

WI and the canals

Three important documents [all PDFs] available for download from WI’s site:

  • Action Plan for Grand Canal Dock and Spencer Dock​ here
  • Grand Canal (rural) Product Development Study here
  • Royal Canal (rural) Product Development Study here.

These are lengthy documents [50, 177 and 175 pages respectively] and it will be some time before I can comment on them, but I welcome their publication. I also hope to be able to comment on the presentation Ireland’s Inland Waterways – Building a Tourism Destination which WI made to the recent meeting of the NSMC; I’m told it’s on its way to me but it hasn’t arrived yet.

 

The Mahmoudié Canal

There is a possible link between the Mahmoudié Canal, which ran from Alexandria to the Nile, and Irish waterways. I have not managed to establish a definite link to this Irish canal-boat but it is not ruled out either, and a few other Irish connections came up along the way: Oscar Wilde’s father, for instance, who wrote about the Boyne and the Corrib, and sent his most famous son to school on the Erne, travelled on the Mahmoudié Canal.

And did you know that, in the early 1840s, you could buy bottled Guinness and Bass in Cairo? Or that, to transport 50 people (including 12 ladies and 3 female servants) and 3 bags and 62 chests of mail across 84 miles of desert, you would have needed, in 1841,

  • 130 camel men, donkey men and servants
  • an escort of 17 Arab horsemen
  • 145 camels
  • 60 donkeys
  • 12 saddle horses
  • 12 carriage horses
  • 7 carriage camels
  • 12 donkey chairs: “for invalids, or ladies, the donkey-chair forms as easy a conveyance as a palanquin or sedan”
  • 3 two-wheeled carriages
  • 1 four-wheeled carriage?

Or that, to reduce the number of rats and insects on a cangia (sailing boat) on the Nile, you should sink it for two or three days before boarding?

You can read about all of that and more in this PDF. However, it’s not for the faint-hearted: it’s 51 pages, with over 300 endnotes (which you don’t have to read) and lots of links for those who are really interested. There are illustrations in some of the linked materials.

The Mahmoudié mystery v04 iwh [PDF]

Brosna

The River Brosna has the distinction of supplying water to two Irish waterways: the Shannon, which it joins at Shannon Harbour, and, further up, the Royal, which is to get a supply of water pumped from Lough Ennell, outside Mullingar.

The Old River Shannon Research Group promises to give special attention to the Brosna this year, so we may expect to learn more about this interesting river — without having to get our own feet wet.

Eglinton update

I have updated my page on the Eglinton Canal in Galway, adding some map extracts and some information about Parkavera Lock, kindly provided y Colin Becker.

What part of “no” does Brendan Smith not understand?

On 11 February 2014 Brendan Smith [FF, Cavan-Monaghan] asked a written question and got a written answer:

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the level of expenditure incurred to date in relation to the feasibility study and any other studies undertaken in respect of the proposed extension of the Erne Navigation from Belturbet to Killykeen and Killeshandra; if his Department proposes to review the decision not to proceed with this project any further; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Jimmy Deenihan [FG, Kerry North/West Limerick] said:

I am informed by Waterways Ireland that expenditure incurred to date in relation on this project, the Lough Oughter project, on the Erne Navigation from Belturbet to Killykeen and Killeshandra is €84,647. I am also advised that, on reviewing the environmental information from this process, Waterways Ireland considers that the environmental designations of this lake complex make the feasibility of the proposed navigation extension highly unviable.

I understand that Waterways Ireland does not, therefore, propose to pursue this project any further at this time.

The thing is that Mr Smith asked about Lough Oughter back in December and was told then:

On reviewing the environmental information from this process, Waterways Ireland considers that the environmental designations of this lake complex make the feasibility of the proposed navigation extension highly unviable. For that reason, I am advised that Waterways Ireland does not propose to pursue this project any further at this time.

Unless Mr Smith thinks that Waterways Ireland has won the Euromillions lottery since December, he is just wasting time and resources by asking again about Lough Oughter.