The Lord Lieutenant’s Visit to Limerick — trip down the Shannon [1856]

The Freeman’s Journal 14 July 1856 (from our own reporter)
Limerick, Saturday night

The series of festive entertainments and displays with which the Mayor, Corporation, and public bodies and citizens of Limerick generally have celebrated the visit of the Viceroy, and the inauguration by him of public works and institutions of great local importance, were brought to a close this day by a delightful trip down the “Queen of Island Rivers,” the noble Shannon, to the Island of Scattery, near its mouth. It was a fitting termination to proceedings all of which had so direct a reference to the improvement of Limerick, and its great natural and artificial advantages, that there should be a personal opportunity offered the Lord Lieutenant of seeing the mighty river that flows past the city, and whose comparatively desolate appearance contrasts painfully with its own grandeur and the rich scenery of its banks.

The arrangements for the trip were of a most complete and satisfactory character. The Erin-go-Bragh steamer, Captain Kennedy, belonging to the City of Dublin Steampacket Company, who kindly placed her at the disposal of the Corporation for the occasion, was set apart for the conveyance of the Lord Lieutenant and the principal officials and citizens. For the accommodation of citizens who wished by their presence to do honour to his Excellency, and to enjoy the trip, the Brandon, Captain Jenkins — a splendid steamer, the property of the Limerick Steampacket Company —`was started. In order to prevent overcrowding, it was arranged that a small charge should be made for the privilege of admission on board, and the large number of ladies and gentlemen who availed themselves of the sailing of the Brandon showed that some such check was necessary to prevent the inconveniencing of those on board. The Garryowen steamer, which plies regularly between Limerick and Kilrush, was also in company, and had her decks crowded with passengers.

The Viceregal party arrived at about half-past eleven o’clock, in three carriages, each drawn by four horses, from Adare Manor, the residence of the Earl of Dunraven, who is his Excellency’s host during his visit. They were escorted by two troops of the 17th Lancers, and on the carriages driving into the yard of the dock, where the Erin-go-Bragh was lying, a guard of honour of the 39th Regiment presented arms, at the same time the band of the Limerick Militia played the national anthem. His Excellency was received by the Mayor, the members of the corporation, General Chatterton and staff, Sir Matthew Barrington, Alderman Joynt, &c, and conducted to the quarter-deck. A large number of persons, who had assembled in the dockyard, cheered his Excellency as the steamer went out into the river, a compliment which he acknowledged by repeatedly taking off his hat and bowing. The Brandon, which draws a much greater depth of water, did not follow for some time, waiting for the tide, but she joined company in the course of an hour, and kept close during the day, always, however, giving precedence to the Erin-go-Bragh. The three steamers were gaily dressed out with flags, as were also the ships in the docks, and poles set up on both sides of the river had flags and steamers waving from the tops. Amongst the company on board with his Excellency were, the Mayor of Limerick, the Earl of Dunraven, Lord Cloncurry, Major-General Sir J C Chatterton, Sir Matthew Barrington, Colonel Vandeleur, Mr F Howard, Colonel Dixon, Captain Chaplin ADC, Colonel Cuppage, Colonel Maitland, Colonel Muller, Major Forster, Captain Pedder, Captain Strong RA, Captain Tring, Capt Talbot, Alderman Joynt, Alderman L Quinlivan, Alderman Watson, Mr J T M’Sheehy, Captain Vandeleur, Thomas Boyce TC, Mr Cullen TC, Mr Clarke District Inspector of National Schools, P G Barron RM, Mr Joseph Moncks, Mr Sibthorp, Mr A Russell, Mr P Tuthill, Mr R M’Mahon, Mr John M’Donnell, Admiral Stoddert, &c.

As the steamer proceeded down the river she was saluted with discharges of small pieces of ordnance and the waving of flags from the villa residences on the banks, and numbers of persons of both sexes came down to the water’s edge, and by waving of handkerchiefs and cheering testified their welcome. These manifestations were repeated at numerous points along the whole course to Kilrush and Scattery, coming with equal cordiality from the people of the three counties passed — Limerick and Kerry on the one side, and Clare on the other. At several places fishing and rowing boats came out from the neighbouring villages with occupants, anxious at least to get a sight of a Lord Lieutenant, if not to do him honour.

After a short sail the wooded eminence of Tervoe, rising gradually and beautifully around the mansion, the residence of the Right Hon W Monsell MP, were sighted, and in a few minutes more the mansion, delightfully situated, was visible. From this point demonstrations of welcome were made, and a number of sailors and gentlemen, on board a handsome yacht, moored in the river in front, fired a salute with fowling pieces and cheered heartily. The next expression of feeling was made in a very striking manner at Cratloe, the residence of Augustus Stafford MP. A large concourse of both sexes assembled along the water’s edge in the demesne, and lowered three times several flags, repeatedly discharging guns as a salute. These displays were accompanied with cheering and waving of handkerchiefs, kept up in energetic style till the assemblage was nearly lost to sight. The Lord Lieutenant from an elevation on the deck, bowed his acknowledgements, and waved his handkerchief. The band of the Limerick Militia, which was on board, performed “God save the Queen” on each occasion of such demonstrations, while the noblemen and gentlemen on deck cheered loudly in response. The mouth of the Fergus, Bunratty Castle, Mount Trenchard, the residence of Lord Monteagle, Camon [sic] Island, Cahercon, and Kildysart were passed, and at all these places there were persons assembled on the banks who cheered loudly. At Tarbert the battery fired a salute. Soon after Scattery was sighted and Kilrush. The battery on the island fired a salute of 21 guns, and the same compliment was paid from the residence of Colonel Vandeleur.

A deputation from the inhabitants of Kilrush presented the following address, which was read on deck by Colonel Vandeleur to his Excellency:—

To his Excellency Frederick William, Earl of Carlisle, Lord Lieutenant-General, and General Governor of Ireland.

May it please your Excellency — We, the proprietary, clergymen, merchants, traders, and inhabitants of Kilrush, beg to tender to your Excellency our most respectful congratulations, and hail your visit as the harbinger of peace and good will to all. We cannot but feel highly complimented for this visit, paid by the representative of our most gracious Sovereign; but when we reflect that in the present instance, the power and dignity of our beloved Queen’s Deputy is vested in the person of an amiable and accomplished member of the noble house of Howard — a nobleman ever distinguished for superior intellectual power, liberality of sentiment, and paternal tenderness of feeling — when we perceive the symbol and badge of royalty delegated to one whose history is adorned with every ennobling virtue — who, in a word, may be held forth in every age as a model statesman and illustrious Viceroy — when we reflect on all this, we acknowledge our deep and fervent gratitude for the honour of your visit, and with all the sincerity of honest enthusiasm, we bid you welcome.

The Lord Lieutenant in reply, said:—

Gentlemen — I beg to express my best acknowledgements for the sentiments of loyalty contained in your address, as well as for the extreme kindness of your personal reference to myself. It is with great pleasure that I have had this opportunity of visiting your smiling shores. It is my cordial trust that the increase in the general prosperity of Ireland may assist in the development of your own trade and prosperity; and I trust that the spirited proprietor of the neighbouring soil and the warmhearted inhabitants of Kilrush may enjoy every conceivable degree of harmony and success.

A splendid dejeuner was given on board. It was supplied in a style that reflected the highest credit upon Mr Goggin of Limerick, the caterer.

The Mayor presided, and proposed the “Health of the Queen” and the “Lord Lieutenant”. His Excellency briefly responded to the latter toast.

The entire of the inhabitants of Kilrush were assembled on and around the pier and loudly cheered his Excellency, who repeatedly bowed and waved his handkerchief. Lady Grace Vandeleur and her daughter were recognised in their carriage waving their handkerchiefs, and on the call of the Mayor a cheer was given by the gentlemen on board for her ladyship. While passing round Scattery Island the company had a view of Loop Head, and Kerry Head, and the wide Atlantic. The country on both sides of the river presented a very fine and picturesque appearance, and the enjoyment of the trip was greatly enhanced by the exceeding fineness of the day. Shortly after five o’clock the Erin-go-Bragh and the Brandon commenced the return. The former ran into Foynes harbour and, going alongside the pier, landed his Excellency, Lord Dunraven, and party, who proceeded in carriages that were in waiting to Adare Manor. The tide being very low, the steamer in leaving struck a mud bank on the larboard, and was delayed for a few minutes, until the depth of water increased by the influx of the tide. The rest of the company were landed in Limerick at ten o’clock.

Yesterday his Excellency attended divine service in the Protestant church of Adare. The Right Rev Dr Griffin preached. At the Catholic church there was a grand high mass. Lord Dunraven and family and several of his visitors were present. The Right Rev Dr Ryan preached.

This morning his Excellency proceeds to Cork to visit Lord Fermoy and Lord Shannon. He is highly gratified with his reception in Limerick, and it is due to the Mayor, Alderman Joynt, President of the Athenaeum, an institution whose present flourishing condition is mainly due to his zealous exertions, Sir Matthew Barrington, and the members generally of the managing committees, to state that they were indefatigable in their endeavours to carry out the arrangements in the most complete and satisfactory manner, and they did so with the utmost courtesy.

Amongst the institutions visited by the Lord Lieutenant was Barrington’s Hospital, founded by the father of the present Sir Matthew Barrington, almost entirely indebted to the family for its maintenance. To the poorer classes of Limerick it is of the greatest benefit, and is conducted in an admirable manner. When his Excellency visited it there were 100 patients accommodated, 50 of whom were soldiers from the Crimea. His Excellency expressed himself highly pleased with the institution.

One response to “The Lord Lieutenant’s Visit to Limerick — trip down the Shannon [1856]

  1. Pingback: Water charges | Irish waterways history

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.