Trade boats

Relatively little has been published about the horse-drawn cargo-carrying trade boats used by the Grand Canal Company in the latter half of the nineteenth century, before it adopted semi-diesel engines. Here is some information and some speculation about the subject, but there is much that is not clear.

2 responses to “Trade boats

  1. I thought that you might be interested in this….which has a certain relevance….

    Vincent P.Delany

    To the Editor of the Athlone Times 24/8/1889

    Dear Sir,

    I understand that the Athlone Board of Guardians passed a resolution at a recent meeting in favour of the drainage of the Shannon. May I ask, is it the object of these enlightened gentlemen to destroy the navigation of 240 miles passing through our country, which no law can ever restore; or can it be possible they so far despair of the future traffic of the country under the management of their Parliament, in College Green, as to feel warranted in doing away with such a natural and beautiful highway for trade. I happen, myself, to be in a position to judge the agricultural part of the question, and after the experience of 25 years of the lands which are subject to the Shannon flooding, I have no hesitation in saying that the meadows are greatly improved, and I may mention that in no way could these lands be more profitably farmed than by meadowing. To the Athlone people, it seems to me a matter of the greatest importance, or do they realise that their beautiful river is about to be turned into a mere cesspool, their traffic to be left at the mercy of the railway companies, and their boating excursions on their fine lake to be made almost impossible, as this drainage will create such a current at the opening of the lake that it will require their strongest efforts to force a boat against it, and even after overcoming this difficulty, they would have little to look at but white shores and barren rocks. I remain, Mr. Editor, Faithfully yours… R. D. Levinge, Carngh.

  2. Thanks for that. I’ve promoted it to the front page lest it be lost in the comments. bjg

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