An early narrowboat on the Royal Canal?

This photo, which is used in Ruth Delany’s Ireland’s Royal Canal, shows the Royal Canal harbour in Mullingar, from the bridge. Note the very large amount of timber lying around (could some of it belong to Russells of Portarlington?). The wooden barge in the foreground has had its tiller unshipped, but what’s all that kit on deck and in the hold?

Then look at the vessel in front of it, which seems to be more the sort of beam we’d expect on an English narrowboat. It’s very hard to see any details, but could it be a steam tug?

2 responses to “An early narrowboat on the Royal Canal?

  1. The gentleman appears to be sitting on a coach roof with a trapzoidal window beneath him which of course it couldn’t be, but what is he sitting on ( the tiller?) and what is the trapezoidal shape. If it is a hold given that shape by perspective it doesn’t appear to lie parallel with what appear to be the sides of the boat.
    Cant see any sign of a smoke stack.

  2. I took it that the boat was bows on to the camera, but what the bloke is doing (if bloke it be) I can’t guess. bjg

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