Passing through Kilrush recently, I drove — as one does — past Cappa Pier, where the steamers loaded and unloaded in the past. I saw a landing craft, not at the pier but at the slipway, with a tractor and a trailer full of excavator attachments being driven on to it. I parked and headed for the slipway, taking one photo into the sun as I went, lest the landing craft should get away before I could get into a good position.
Here, courtesy of Messrs Google, is Kilrush in relation to Limerick and the Shannon Estuary.
View Larger Map
And here, courtesy of Ordnance Survey Ireland, is an annotated extract from its map of around 1900 showing Cappa Pier and Hog Island.
Here are photos of …
Googling will get you more information about Hog Island, but here is a link to Clare County Library’s invaluable website and here is another showing that Hog Island was sold last year. Clearly, some work is afoot on the island. I have no idea what it is, but it’s clearly something more substantial than netting hares.
Anyway, a nos moutons (or cochons). The landing craft was the Madelen, registered in Sligo and owned by Lasta Mara Teo, which has the contract to carry cargo to the Aran Islands; the Madelen is designed to carry heavy plant and machinery.
So here it is in action, and a very impressive craft it is, with people who know what they’re doing.
The large tractor and trailer were loaded by the time I got into position, and the crew were rearranging the ramps for the next arrivals.
Here’s one of two totally unrelated (I think) activities that were going on at the same time.
Here is the second totally unrelated activity.
For some reason, the excavator trundles down to the shore, then engages in what might be a welcoming ceremony or a mating ritual. It waves its arm, turns about and eventually trundles away again. I have no idea what it was doing, although it didn’t seem to be excavating. Watch its movements in the rest of the pics.
If you know more about what was going on, and especially about the excavator, do please leave a comment below.
According to the Land Registry, the island has been owned since 28 January 2011 by Michael Eustace of Ennis.
Entirely unrelated fact
I referred above to the netting of hares — it was one of the few recent mentions of the island in the press — and I provided a link (paywall) to an Irish Times article. It report that the Department of the Environment was investigating claims that hares were netted on two islands, without the permission of the landowners or occupiers, and that the netting might have been in breach of Section 44 of the Wildlife Act 1976. There is a piece here based on the Irish Times article but I have not been able to check it against the original. It suggests that the hares were netted for coursing clubs.
Section 44 does not, as far as I can see, forbid the netting of hares by the owner of the land.