Blunderbuses on the Shannon

Saturday 10 May 1845

[…] On our way to Rooskey this Morning we visited Cloneen [Clooneen] & Cox shoal and they were going on very well with about 60 Men

I ordered them to double that Number to my astonishment I found 4 Policemen Barricked in one of our houses and a new Barrick erecting for 30 or 40 more Men this was being done in consequence of three villains placing themselves on the opposite bank of the River and deliberately firing four rounds of Ball from Blunderbuses some of which went into the office and from the marks made by one Ball must have been only a few inches from striking Joe Lambs head — afterwards the villains retired to the Bogs — the object of this outrage was revenge on the Men for not striking for 1/6 [8p] Pd day — the average being about 1/2 [6p] — which is considered at present ample

From David Brooke ed The diary of William Mackenzie, the first international railway contractor Thomas Telford Publishing, London 2000

What the blurb doesn’t say is that Mackenzie was the contractor for works on four areas of the Shannon, working for the Shannon Commissioners in the 1840s. He was responsible for Killaloe, Meelick, Banagher and Rooskey and also held a dredging contract.

Lanesborough to Rooskey showing Lough Forbes

Clooneen (Cox) is the area at the upstream end of Lough Forbes; other Clooneens lie to the north on the east side of the river. Joe Lamb was the ganger.

Clooneen (Cox)

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