Sex, steam and a syphon: tales of the Royal Canal
- Waterways & past uses
- Saving the nation
- Turf and bog navigations
- The Bog of Allen from the Grand Canal in 1835
- John’s Canal, Castleconnell
- The Canal at the World’s End
- The Finnery River navigation
- The Lough Boora Feeder
- The Little Brosna
- The Lullymore canal as wasn’t
- The Roscrea canals
- Lacy’s Canal
- The Rockville Navigation page 1
- The Rockville Navigation page 2
- The Rockville Navigation page 3
- The Colthurst canals
- The lower Shannon
- The piers, quays and harbours of the Shannon Estuary
- Nimmo’s non-existent harbour
- The Doonbeg Ship Canal
- Kilrush and its sector lock
- The Killimer to Tarbert ferry
- The Colleen Bawn at Killimer
- Knock knock. Who’s there?
- Cahircon: not at all boring
- The hidden quay of Latoon
- The Maigue
- Sitting on the dock of the Beagh
- Massy’s Quay, Askeaton and the River Deel
- Saleen Pier
- The Lord Lieutenant’s Visit to Limerick — trip down the Shannon 
- The Fergus
- The Limerick Navigation
- The power of the Shannon
- The locks on the Limerick Navigation
- Worldsend, Castleconnell, Co Limerick
- The bridge at O’Briensbridge
- The Limerick Navigation (upper end) in flood November 2009
- The Limerick Navigation (lower end) in flood November 2009
- The Limerick Navigation (tidal section) in flood November 2009
- Floods in Limerick (1850)
- Limerick to Athlone
- The piers, quays and harbours of the Shannon Estuary
- The middle and upper Shannon
- The Grand Canal
- Monasterevan, the Venice of the west
- The dry dock at Sallins
- The Naas Branch
- The Mountmellick Line of the Grand Canal
- Dublin to Ballinasloe by canal
- The Ballinasloe Line
- A Grand Canal lock: Belmont
- South of Moscow, north of Geneva
- Water supply to the Grand Canal
- The Royal Canal
- Water supply to the Royal Canal: the feeders
- The Lough Owel feeder
- The proposed Lough Ennell water supply to the Royal Canal
- Kinnegad and the Royal Canal
- The sinking of the Longford in 1845
- Prothero on the Royal
- Waterways in Dublin
- Waterways of the south-east
- The top of the Suir
- The upper Suir: Carrick to Clonmel
- The middle Suir, from Carrick-on-Suir to Waterford
- The Barrow
- The Nore in 1897
- The Slaney
- Johnstown, Co Kilkenny
- The Brickey Navigation?
- Waterways of Cork and Kerry
- Waterways of the west
- Waterways of Ulster and thereabouts
- The Junction Navigation (B&B/SEW)
- The Lagan Navigation
- The non-contentious Ulster Canal
- Prothero flies north
- Upper Fathom: Victoria Lock on the Newry Ship Canal
- The Willsborough canals
- The Broharris Canal
- Systems & artefacts
- Irish waterways furniture
- Irish waterways operations
- Miscellaneous articles
- Irish inland waterways vessels
- Cots -v- barges: defining Irish waterways
- Waterways Ireland workboats
- Wooden boats on Irish inland waterways
- Traditional boats and replicas
- Non-WI workboats
- Older Irish working boats
- The barge at Plassey
- Dublin, Athlone and Limerick
- Waterford to New Ross by steam
- The steamer Cupid
- Liffey barges 1832
- Steam on the Grand Canal
- The Mystery of the Sunken Barge
- Steam on the Newry Canal
- Guinness Liffey barges 1902
- Up and under: PS Garryowen in 1840
- Watson’s Double Canal Boat
- The Cammoge ferry-boat
- The ’98 barge
- Late C19 Grand Canal Company trade boats
- Chain haulage
- A sunken boat in the Shannon
- Sailing boats on Irish inland waterways
- Some boats that are … different
- 4B mooring
- Irish waterways scenery
- Engineering and construction
- Irish navigation authorities
- The folly of restoration
- The Ulster Canal now
- The Ulster Canal 00: overview
- The Ulster Canal 01: background
- The Ulster Canal 02: the southern strategic priority
- The Ulster Canal 03: implementation
- The Ulster Canal 04: Ulster says no
- The Ulster Canal 05: studies and appraisals
- The Ulster Canal 06: the costs
- The Ulster Canal 07: the supposed benefits
- The Ulster Canal 08: the funding
- The Ulster Canal 09: affordability
- The Ulster Canal 10: kill it now
- The Ulster Canal 11: some information from Waterways Ireland (and the budget)
- The Ulster Canal 12: departmental bullshit
- The Ulster Canal 13: an investment opportunity?
- The Ulster Canal 14: my search for truth
- The Ulster Canal 15: spinning in the grave
- The Ulster Canal 16: looking for a stake
- The Ulster Canal 17: the official position in November 2011
- The Ulster Canal 18: Sinn Féin’s canal?
- The Ulster Canal 19: update to February 2012
- The Ulster Canal 20: update to April 2013
- The Barrow
- A bonfire at Collins Barracks
- Living on the canals
- Waterways tourism
- The Park Canal: why it should not be restored
- The Park Canal 01: it says in the papers
- The Park Canal 02: local government
- The Park Canal 03: sinking the waterbus
- The Park Canal 04: the Limerick weir
- The Park Canal 05: cruisers from the Royal Canal
- The Park Canal 06: What is to be done? (V I Lenin)
- The Park Canal 07: another, er, exciting proposal
- Accounting for risk
- Tax-dodging boat-owners
- Waterways & past uses
Category Archives: Non-waterway
THOMAS HAUGHTON and CO., (being about to withdraw from the Trade,) are ready to receive proposals to Let with a fine, or Sell the Interest in their Concern, consisting of Distillery, Water-mill, Malt-house, Corn-stores, extensive Vaults for bonding Stores, with an excellent Dwelling-house; the whole situate at Carlow, on the bank of the navigable river Barrow.
The Copper Works and Utensils having been lately erected are all in perfect order, and there being a home Sale at the door for the entire produce, renders this Concern a most eligible investment for any competent person (or Company,) with a moderate capital.
The Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Current 16 December 1833
ADHESIVE LABELS. — It cannot be too generally known that the very numerous cases of cancer which have lately prevailed are attributed by the faculty and scientific men to moistening the adhesive postage stamps with the tongue and lips. A little new milk is much preferable, and also causes them to stick faster particularly on glazed and smooth letter paper.
Waterford Chronicle 19 December 1840
Not a lot of people know that.
BORRISOKEEN, July 14. — The Solicitor-General, Mr Doherty, will arrive here to-morrow for the purpose of investigating the late unfortunate occurrences of this town on the 26th and 28th ultimo. This measure of the Government seems to restore some confidence to the minds of the people. Had this investigation not been granted, no person could calculate on the consequences of the expressed resolution of the peasantry to come into Borrisokeen, in a body of 50,000 or 60,000, to have vengeance for the loss of their relatives and neighbours.
On Saturday last a person named Dagg, a Protestant, residing in Borrisokeen, but who left it on account of the late occurrences, was apprehended at the mountains of Thoreebrien, when the country people held a consultation on the most effectual mode of putting him to death. Disregarding his entreaties and professions of innocence, he was dragged along by about 500 persons, and, on coming to Portumna, they determined to tie his legs to one part and his arms to the other part of the drawbridge across the Shannon, and then open it, that he might be drawn asunder. Fortunately at the time a gentleman from Borrisokeen passed by, and by his interference, with that of the parish priest, the life of the unfortunate man was spared.
Salisbury and Wiltshire Journal 27 July 1829
Newspaper accounts at the time suggest that there was an affray in Borrisokane at the end of the fair. Five mounted police either attacked or attempted to disperse the crowd; stones were thrown; Captain Dobbyn, a Stipendiary Magistrate, read the Riot Act and ordered the police to fire, which they did, killing two people. Two days later, during the funeral of one of those shot, one John L—, an Orangeman, and four companions, fired on the mourners from behind portholes on his house, or sallied forth to fire, killing four immediately and mortally wounding another. There is nothing to suggest that the unfortunate Mr Dagg was in any way involved.
A minister speaks [or at least reads out a script prepared by other people].
I see that
The independent Standing Scientific Committee on Eels sets targets of quantities to be transported annually.
Which would be nice, if transporting eels were an end in itself. But the object is surely to increase the eel population, and I note that the minister had nothing to say on that subject. Nor did he tell John McGuinness what the stock of eels was. So we have no idea whether all this activity is achieving anything, and responsibility is diffused amongst the members of an Standing Scientific Committee on Eels, none of whom seem to have any stake in the matter.
This is a clear case for privatisation: sell the eels and the fishing rights to people [cooperatives, as on Lough Neagh?] who will have an interest in managing the populations of eels, rather than in managing the numbers trapped and transported.
The minister also introduced a red herring about compensation, which he wasn’t asked about. By my reckoning he answered only half the question, and even that credits him with answering the ritual invocation “if he will make a statement on the matter”.
Waterways Ireland is having a photographic competition for which it is
seeking contributions from the public on what they think best fulfils the theme “Waterways Heritage”.
Details here. You can win an iPad Air, which I think is a sort of pocket calculator for chaps with ponytails.
I was in two minds about whether to publicise this competition. You see, many of the bits of “heritage” I’m interested in are invisible, having vanished since the late nineteenth century. So maybe they’re not heritage at all?
But I decided that it would probably be difficult for Waterways Ireland to judge a competition in which all the photographs were of invisible objects, so I should encourage the photographing of the visible.
I was asked recently by another respectable public sector body to say, for publication, why industrial heritage was important to me. Unfortunately my response was deemed to be unusable, because it was too controversial. I’ll write more about that soon.
I regret to say that I have published, on these pages, several photos of the Shannon, Parteen Villa Weir, Ardnacrusha hydroelectric power station and its headrace and tailrace canals.
The storage basin between the road bridge over the River Shannon at Killaloe and the weir and canal intake at Parteen, including the right and left embankments constructed to form the said storage basin, together with the land outside and along the said right embankment delimited and separated from the adjoining land by post and wire fencing and also the land outside and, along the said left embankment delimited by the left bank of the Kilmastulla River Diversion.
The weir and canal intake, the embankments constructed to form abutments to the said intakes, the syphon under the said canal intake, and adjoining lands inside and bounded by post and wire fencing.
The head race between the canal intake and the power station including the right and left embankments constructed to form the said head race, together with the land outside and along the said embankments delimited and separated from the adjoining land by post and wire fencing, and also the road bridges over and the syphons and culverts under the said race.
The power station, the intake to the said power station, the locks and all adjoining buildings and land within the area around the said power station, all of which are delimited and separated from the adjoining land by post and wire fencing.
The tail race from the power station to the River Shannon, the branch railway running along the said tail race, and the land on either side of the said tail race, all of which are delimited and separated from the adjoining land by post and wire fencing.
You see the thing is, Your Honour, Sir, I didn’t know. I didn’t realise that, under Statutory Instrument 73 of 1935 Shannon Electricity Works (Declaration of Prohibited Place) Order 1935, the places as described are prohibited places under paragraph (d) of Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act 1911, as amended by the Official Secrets Act 1920, and as adapted by or under the Adaptation of Enactments Act 1922 (No 2 of 1922). That’s because
information with respect thereto, or the destruction or obstruction thereof, or interference therewith, would be useful to an enemy.
Apparently, under those acts, giving anyone information about a prohibited place is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to fourteen years.
Wikipedia says that, in Ireland, those acts were repealed by the Official Secrets Act 1963, but was the statutory instrument repealed? I don’t know, but I’ve written to the Department of Justice to ask.
In the meantime, please don’t look at the photos, especially if you’re a Foreign Agent: a term that, under the 1963 act,
includes any person who is or has been or is reasonably suspected of being or having been employed by a foreign power either directly or indirectly for the purpose of committing an act (whether within or outside the State) prejudicial to the safety or preservation of the State, or who has or is reasonably suspected of having (whether within or outside the State) committed or attempted to commit any such act.
I wonder whether that includes the European Central Bank.
I realise that many folk visit this website in order to find out what is hip and trendy, cool and with-it, in all sorts of fields, from beer to boating, casual dining to cost-benefit analysis. So, in order to keep readers down wid da kidz in da hood [as the young folk say], I’ve been checking out the latest, baddest [which means ‘goodest’, I gather, or what in the old days we would have called ‘best’], grooviest developments on tinterweb. It’s a thing called FaceTweet, and those cool dudes at Waterways Ireland have one of them. Hep to the jive, daddy-o [which means ‘How perfectly splendid, old boy’.]
As far as I can see, FaceTweet is in general intended for folk whose attention span renders them unable to read more than a single paragraph of continuous prose. But brevity is sometimes the soul of wit and good goods come in small parcels [sentiments for whose veracity I have not found peer-reviewed evidence]. And I was interested in Waterways Ireland’s self-description on the page:
Waterways Ireland is the Recreation Authority for over 1000km of Ireland’s Inland navigable waterways.
That phrase, Recreation Authority, does not occur in Waterways Ireland’s Business Plan 2015 [as approved by the North South Ministerial Council on 18 December 2014 and screwed up by the Council shortly afterwards] or in its Corporate Plan 2014–2016 [ditto]. Nor, according to its own search engine, is the phrase used on Waterways Ireland’s proper website [the search engine rather bafflingly reports “We don’t have any refiners to show you”].
Yet the concept of Waterways Ireland as a Recreation Authority is almost entirely in tune with the thinking underlying both of the plans and it is the neatest encapsulation I have yet seen of what WI is about.
I put in ‘almost’ there because the Corporate Plan‘s Executive Summary includes this:
Central to our vision for the future is the development of recreational, heritage and environmental opportunities that link people, history and nature, providing both local communities and visitors with compelling reasons to spend more time in the waterways environment.
While I’m all — well, somewhat — in favour of heritage and environment, the words seem to sit uneasily in that sentence: added as a form of ritual obeisance to the shade of Michael D Higgins, who ripped the rivers and canals from the sheltering embrace of the Office of Public Works engineers and proclaimed the waterways to be heritage artefacts. Heritage is no longer of great interest to TPTB and most people’s experience of it [whatever it is] is as entertainment or recreation; much the same applies to environment, which — for most people — is of interest only as providing a scenic background for more interesting activities.
So both heritage and environment can be subsumed under the heading of recreation, leaving Waterways Ireland with a neat, well-focused description of itself, a subheading for its title, and one that matches its Mission and Vision.
Mind you, it’s not entirely clear what a recreation authority is — Google finds relatively few  instances of the term’s use, most of them in the Americas — but that might be no harm.
Waterways Ireland — the recreation authority
Hep to the jive, daddy-o: I like it.
Riverfest is an annual, er, happening in Limerick. I don’t know much about it: I’ve never been because I dislike both crowds and festivals and it would take something remarkably interesting to outweigh my dislike and persuade me to attend any part of the thing. I took notice of this year’s event only because I wanted to find out what streets would be closed to traffic; the festival organisers did not, alas, think to provide a map showing the closures.
I have only two other comments on the event:
- the brochure [PDF] mentions a workshop called “Craft a River” but doesn’t say what, or indeed where, it is
- in a city whose history is so intertwined with that of the food industry, and which has, in the Milk Market, the best Irish market outside Cork, it seems ludicrous to import a “continental market” instead of showcasing local producers.
But I acknowledge that I am not really entitled to comment; Brian Leddin, on the other hand, has a better informed view.