One Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, a Fine Gael TD in Co Offaly, has been issuing press releases (I presume) to get her name in the local blatts. It seems that there is a major crime wave in Co Offaly and that armed Gardaí are required to counter it, as well as Garda stations every couple of hundred yards. Perhaps tourists should be advised to avoid the county.
Anyway, the blatt’s account ends with this:
I intend also to support An Garda Síochána with their proposal to have Shannonbridge Garda Station re-opened due to its strategic location on the Shannon River.
Shannonbridge is strategically located if you want to be able to repel a French invasion force that landed on the west coast. It is also strategically located if you want to protest against Ireland’s unwillingness to slow global warming. Otherwise it is hard to see any strategic value, unless the Gardaí are reviving their nonsensical idea about smuggling by boats along the Shannon.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Modern matters, Operations, Politics, Safety, Shannon, Tourism, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged crime, Offaly, Shannonbridge
A blue sleeping bag discarded near Binns Bridge in Drumcondra is the only clue that people once slept there.
On Thursday 2 November, fast and high waters covered the area under the bridge, and the pathway on either side of the canal that used to run under it.
In July this year, Waterways Ireland raised the water level to prevent homeless people from sleeping under the bridge, a spokesperson confirmed.
From a story by Laoise Neylon in the Dublin Inquirer on 8 November 2017. Well done to Ms Neylon for going and finding out stuff rather than just recycling press releases.
Here’s a map of the areas of the Grand Canal where eviction notices were served [PDF].
There must be some better way of responding to homelessness than by flooding people out.
Posted in Ashore, Canals, Extant waterways, Ireland, Modern matters, Operations, People, Politics, Safety, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Grand Canal, homeless, Royal Canal, Waterways Ireland
There are other areas where tyres are used, namely, boat yards. I know this because I have a house on the Shannon. Are boat yard proprietors to be required to register as the proprietors of 30 or 40 tyres, which are often used to turn over boats safely? They are also used on informal jetties as protections for boats and so on. Is this area to be covered by the regulations?
Michael McDowell at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment discussion of the Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations on Tuesday 17 October 2017.
Posted in Ashore, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, Natural heritage, Politics, Shannon, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged boats, Michael McDowell, Shannon, tyres
On Wednesday 25 October 2017, at 7.00pm, Sandra Lefroy will be talking about the Phoenix, the (formerly steam-powered) vessel built in 1872, at the Malcolmson-owned Neptune Iron Works in Waterford, for Francis Spaight of Derry Castle on Lough Derg. The venue is the library in Killaloe, which is on the site of the lockhouse.
History afloat. The life and times of the Phoenix: a unique 1872-vintage heritage boat of Killaloe and Ballina
Now almost unique, the nineteenth-century Phoenix is one of the most historical boats in Ireland. She has been based in Killaloe for much of her life, mostly in the ownership of the Lefroy family. Sandra Lefroy will tell us something of the history of this wonderful craft, and what it is like to live on board a heritage vessel.
Posted in Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, People, Shannon, Steamers, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Ballina, Derry Castle, Killaloe, Lefroy, Lough Derg, Phoenix, Shannon, Spaight
I have suspected for some time that Britain’s Brexiteers are actually Sinn Féiners.
After 1916 the Irish Shinners decided to leave a larger economic and political entity and to do so without any business plan or any realistic idea of how their proposed state would make a living.
After 2016 the British Shinners decided to leave a larger economic and political entity and to do so without any business plan or any realistic idea of how their proposed state would make a living.
One lot of Irish Shinners, led by the lunatic Éamon de Valera, wanted a hard Irexit and started shooting the soft Irexiteers who, happily, managed to keep control; it is to be hoped that matters don’t go that far in Britain.
It may be objected that the evidence for this contention, that Brexiteers are Shinners, is a little light, but I have now found confirmation: Boris Johnson is an enthusiast for insane canal construction projects.
The mark of the Shinner is upon him.
Posted in Canals, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Historical matters, Ireland, Modern matters, Operations, People, Politics, Unbuilt canals, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged Boris Johnson, brexit, canal, Sinn Fein
Yes, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, SF TD for Cavan-Monaghan, has asked a useful question about waterways, one that doesn’t seem to have been designed to promote an insane restoration proposal. He asked for “the current and capital expenditure by Waterways Ireland in each of the years 2014 to 2016; the estimated level of current and capital expenditure for 2017″. The answer included this table:
Current spending comes 85% from the Free State and 15% from Norn Iron; capital spending is paid for by the administration in whose territory the montey is to be spent.
There may be a problem here in that I have a feeling that, if there is no NI Executive, spending is limited to 90% of the previous year’s figure [I am open to correction on this], which might cut the NI contribution to current spending: I presume that the RoI contribution would then be cut too, to maintain the 85:15 ratio.
The Minister for Fairytales also said that WI gets money from “third-party funding contributions towards specific projects and from its own income from licences and property.” However, its own income is pathetically small.
I am writing less about current waterways affairs because I’m concentrating on those of the nineteenth century (unlike Sinn Féin, which focuses on the eighteenth), but I did read WI’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2016 [PDF] with interest. Despite the considerable challenges it faces [including the pensions nightmare], the organisation has been expanding its range of activities and looking to new users and new uses. I hope that the Brexit hard border, which I suspect is now unavoidable, doesn’t completely bugger things up.
If it does, we might need to ask Sinn Féin whether it can think of anyone who could help smuggle motor-cruisers across the border to enable boats to move between the Shannon and the Erne. Perhaps their day will come.
Posted in Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Irish waterways general, Modern matters, Operations, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Ulster Canal, Unbuilt canals, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged budget, Minister for Fairytales, Sinn Fein, Waterways Ireland
Kevin Moran is an independent TD for Longford-Westmeath and is now Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief. On 12 October 2017 he said in the Dáil:
I thank the Acting Chairman for giving me time to speak on the very important issue of budget 2018. Flooding is a huge issue that falls under the remit of my Department. Not one Deputy spoke about flooding during the budget debate. Nobody has come to my door to talk about flooding. Deputy Canney has not spoken yet. I assure the House that I have a sum of €432 million, which is a huge investment in flooding measures by the Cabinet. The funding for flooding schemes will increase from €45 million to €70 million next year. There will be a roll out of more schemes to protect people in their homes. There will be €5 million for the minor works scheme which is very important to protect people. Everyone has talked about putting diggers on the Shannon. I am the first Minister in the House to put a machine on the Shannon since Queen Victoria. I have heard every political party in here talk about it but they could not do it.
If Mr Moran would care to glance at this page on this site, he could look at photos of workboats and dredgers employed by Waterways Ireland (and some of them before that by his own department) on the Shannon and elsewhere — and considerably later than the time of Her late Majesty Victoria.
I am not sure, though, that “diggers on the Shannon” would be very useful: they would probably sink.
Posted in Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Irish waterways general, Modern matters, Operations, People, Politics, Shannon, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged dredging, Kevin Moran, Shannon, Waterways Ireland
Andrew Doherty runs the Waterford Harbour tides’n’tales blog which, starting with a focus on the traditional fishing community of Cheekpoint, has broadened out to take in the whole of the Suir estuary and a few other things besides. As he says
My unending passion is researching and writing about our way of life and more fully understanding the history and heritage that surrounds us here.
Before the tide went out
Andrew has now written a book, Before the tide went out, and it will be launched at Jack Meade’s on Friday 20 October 2017 at 7.30pm.
From the blurb:
Andrew Doherty vividly brings you into the heart of a now practically vanished fishing community, deep into the domestic lives of the people making a hard and precarious living from the river, only 6 miles from Waterford city centre. You share his affectionate memories of the local people and the fun that was to be had as a child playing in and around the fishing boats and nets on a busy quayside.
He also takes you out on the river, on bright and beautiful days, and on wild and dangerous nights, which he describes with a naturally story telling turn of phrase. You feel the cold, the misery of sea-soaked clothing and the pain of raw hands hauling on fish-scaled nets.
But what keeps you going is what kept him going for 15 years, the camaraderie and pride of spending time with brave, skilled and wise fishermen who could be grumpy, hilarious, sometimes eccentric, but never
Update: to buy the book see Andrew’s page here.
Posted in Ashore, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Modern matters, Operations, Passenger traffic, People, Sea, Suir, The fishing trade, waterways
Tagged Cheekpoint, fishing, Suir, Waterford