Tag Archives: Dublin

GCC Shannon steamers 1866

Here is a new page with an illustrated article from 1866 about the steam engines in three Grand Canal Company steamers of that era, which were used on the Shannon. I am grateful to Mick O’Rourke of Irish Shipwrecks for sending the article to me.

 

Don’t tread on my decks

Dublin Police — yesterday

Threatening to shoot

Edward Farrell, a boat-owner on the Grand Canal, was held to bail to keep the peace to his brother-in-law, Simon Farrell, also a boat-owner on the same canal, and at whom he presented a loaded gun, the same morning at James’s-street harbour, threatening to shoot him for passing across his (Edward’s) boat for the purpose of getting into his own vessel, which was lying alongside.

Freeman’s Journal 23 November 1842

Thon sheughery business

It will be recalled that Her Majesty’s Loyal Home Rule Government in Belfast is considering investing in the Clones Sheugh [aka Ulster Canal] and that I asked DCAL, the department responsible, for a copy of the Business Case. To my surprise, it said:

Your request is being treated as a Access to Information request and will be handled under either Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Either way, DCAL has now told me that I can’t see it. The Business Case, which is apparently an addendum to the 2007 Business Case (which was rotten: see here passim), won’t be complete until November. I have made a note to remind myself to ask for it then.

I quite sympathise with the DCAL folks: it can’t be easy thinking of any good reason to spend taxpayers’ [British or Irish] money on the Clones Sheugh. But perhaps DCAL can spin it out until the Shinners have taken over the Free State, at which point the economics of Grattan’s Parliament will be in vogue and we can all take up growing flax, spinning and weaving, giving grants for canals and making money out of the slave plantations.

Speaking of Shinners, there’s one called Cathal Ó hOisín, a member of HM Loyal Home Rule Government in Belfast representing East Londonderry, who said there recently:

The possibility of the reopening of the Ulster canal would open up limitless opportunities in tourism. The idea that, once again, we could travel from Coleraine to Limerick, Dublin and Galway by boat would be absolutely wonderful.

Well, you can do that: by sea. There was never an inland navigation from Coleraine, Limerick or Dublin to Galway, despite the urgings of Lord Cloncurry and the nitwitted ideas of Sir Edward Watkin.

As for a connection between Limerick or Dublin and Coleraine, I suspect that Mr Ó hOisín is perpetuating the error into which Her late Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, etc, seems to have fallen when she appointed

Commissioners to inquire respecting the System of Navigation which connects Coleraine, Belfast, and Limerick

which Commissioners reported in 1882. There was no such system and, if Mr Ó hOisín can provide evidence that any vessel ever travelled by inland navigation between Coleraine and Limerick, I would be glad to hear of it. I prefer to think of the Commissioners’ conclusion that

As an investment for capital the whole canal system in Ireland has been a complete failure.

I see no reason why politicians of the twenty-first century should repeat the errors of their predecessors in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

You expect the Paarnellite members to have a bit more sense, but one John Dallat said in the same debate:

[...] when the Ulster canal is open, tourists will come in their thousands and that will benefit the Lower Bann, the Foyle as well, and right over to Scotland.

Er, John? There are actually canals in other countries. Even in Scotland. Folk are familiar with canals. They’ve seen them before. And a short sheugh to Clones is not going to attract tourists (apart from the relatively small number of canal twitchers, who will need to tick it off on their lists) unless the town of Clones is particularly attractive. Which … well, let me put it this way: why not look it up on TripAdvisor?

Of course I’m all in favour of Clones myself: I am quite interested in concrete engine-sheds and former canal stores.

 

NSMC explained

I reported here on April’s meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council (inland waterways flavour). I wasn’t there, though, and Carál Ní Chuilín was. Here is her account of the meeting, as explained to the Northern Ireland Assembly yesterday. There is much of interest, including the prospect of new byelaws on the Erne.

Members of the free state parliament don’t, as far as I know, get similar briefings.

It is slightly disconcerting to note that Jim Allister, the Traditional Unionist Voice MLA, seems to be the only person on the island, apart from me, to worry about delays in approving Waterways Ireland’s budgets.

 

Euroloot for the Clones Sheugh?

According to today’s Irish Times [which will disappear behind a paywall at some stage]

EU seeks feedback on plans to invest €500m in North and Border counties.

For full information, go to the SEUPB website. The Consultation Information Document [PDF may open or download as soon as you click] is the more useful and most readable document, but there are several others, including drafts of the PEACE and INTERREG Cooperation Programmes.

I have not myself been initiated into the Mystical Brotherhood of Euroloot Interpreters, so I can’t be sure, but I don’t think that either of these programmes contains, or could contain, anything that could fund the Clones Sheugh. It is difficult to see how a Sheugh-related action could be made to fit any of the objectives of either programme. But who knows what Fine Gael’s desperation might drive it to do? It faces the threat, in Monaghan, that the Shinners might arrive from Stormont bearing money from Her Majesty’s Treasury [NI branch office].

 

An R in the Royal

From the Freeman’s Journal 3 October 1839:

LISSADILL OYSTERS

Having made a contract with Mr Daniel O’Hara, of No 1, French-street, for the entire and exclusive Sale of all my Oysters, known by the name of Cullamore and Lissadill, and having made arrangement with Mr McCann, owner of the Fly Boats, for the speedy transmission of the Oysters from hence to Dublin, no disappointment can take place. The first cargo arrives THIS DAY, and sent per Order Twice a Week.

As to the quality, flavour, and size, these Oysters cannot be surpassed, and one trial will prove the excellence of them.

M W having taken unusual care of these Oysters, he recommends them as far superior to any that has hitherto been sent to Dublin.

MATTHEW WALSH, Glen-House, Sligo.
28th September, 1839.

D O’H begs to return thanks for past favours, and to say that he commences THIS DAY with that delicious dish, so much admired, Cow-heel and Tripe; Beef Steak, and Oyster Sauce, as usual.

All Malt Liquors of the best description.
Private rooms for large or small parties.
1, French-street, and 17, York-street, Sept 30, 1839.

Grand Canal bridge problems [updated]

Read about them here.

That’s not the Irish Grand Canal: it’s the one in Venice, the Monasterevan of the south.

There is a list of Santiago Calatrava’s bridges here, but information about his Irish bridges is lacking. Perhaps someone could send info about the James Joyce bridge and the Samuel Beckett bridge to The Full Calatrava.

Another iconic Calatrava achievement is described here [h/t Don Quijones].

Nothing in this post is intended to be insulting or degrading.

PS here’s a piece about another bridge being built in Foreign Parts, using a floating crane that even Bindon Blood Stoney might have been proud of.

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.

 

Jetskis, big barges and small fast boats to be registered

As a result of the new provisions, exemptions from the requirement to register will apply in future only to recreational craft less than 24 m in load line length, other than personal watercraft and small fast-powered craft, and to warships.

The saintly Leo Varadkar speaking in the Senate on the second stage of the debate on the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Bill 2013 on 15 April 2014.

Feargal Quinn said:

[...] I have previously mentioned the lack of a small ships register in this country. Therefore, it is impossible to trace the ownership of most private boats unless they have a current free Shannon licence. [...] Specifically, I note that this Bill will not include recreational craft less than 24 m in load line length, other than personal watercraft and small fast powered craft, which are required to register, and that warships will not be required to register. Can the Minister elaborate on whether we could move towards having a small ships register and not only one for merchant shipping? [...]

Are there any plans by the Government to adopt the UK model in this country, whereby every boat on the waterways must have a boat safety certificate, which includes checks on gas and fuel lines and such matters?

St Leo said (amongt other things):

Senators Quinn and Naughton asked about a small ships register. As far as I understand it, this legislation does not provide for the creation of a small ships register, although it provides for one register with different parts. I see the point being made and will consider it. To the best of my knowledge there is no requirement for mandatory insurance, but I will revert on the issue.