We are glad to observe that the fishing at Killaloe is this season, as heretofore, attracting, in pursuit of their thoroughly delightful but simple sport, numerous ardent bands of the “Knights of the Angle”; and the comfortable quartiers of the old “Royal” — without question the nicest home in the province for the Waltonian — are, in consequence, being daily eagerly secured by anglers of condition from various parts of Ireland, as well as from England and Scotland. We can only wish them propitious weather, the May-fly “well up”, heavy creels, and after their day’s enjoyment, in the evening merry meetings with abundant cheer.
Dublin Evening Mail 6 June 1860 quoting the Limerick Chronicle
Posted in Ashore, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Shannon, The fishing trade, Water sports activities
Tagged angling, Killaloe, mayfly, Royal Hotel, Shannon
On Sunday evening a conflict took place between the fishermen on the river above Thomond-bridge, Limerick, which at one time threatened very serious consequences. It appears that since the interruption to their fishing at the Island point some of the long net fishermen procured short or snap nets, and commenced fishing lower down the river. The short net men did not like this intrusion, and it would appear that no amicable feeling prevailed between the parties. After nine o’clock in the evening the short net men put out their nets, when the others attacked them; the boats fouled each other, the men commenced to fight, and some stones were thrown over the parapet of the bridge which did injury to the cots of the short net men. The presence of Constable Frawley and some of the police tended somewhat to repress their disposition to violence, but it is apprehended that further and more serious collisions may take place between the parties.
Saunders’s News-Letter 15 June 1855
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Shannon, The fishing trade, waterways
Tagged cot, fishing, Island point, Limerick, long net, Shannon, short net, snap net, Thomond Bridge
Great quantities of salmon have been recently exported from Limerick to England, and the abundant supply of eels in the Shannon is furnishing a new and productive traffic in the English market. There are ten tons of this prolific fish now in tanks at Killaloe, awaiting a conveyance to London, and a vessel adapted for the trade will take on board from Limerick in the ensuing week forty tons of eels for the London market.
The Dublin Monitor 23 October 1844
Posted in Ashore, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Natural heritage, Operations, Sea, Shannon, shannon estuary, The fishing trade, waterways
Tagged eels, Killaloe, Limerick, London, salmon, Shannon
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
On 19 August 1862 the Irish Times markets report included this:
Athlone Market, August 16th. The following are the rates: oats 14s to 14s 6d per barrel; hay per ton 26s to 33s; straw 1s 7d to 1s 9d per cwt; potatoes 4d to 5d per stone; beef 7d to 8d per lb; mutton 6d to 8d; veal 5d to 7d do; lamb 6s 0d to 8s per qr; geese each 1s 6d to 2s 0d per pair [no, I don’t understand it either]; ducks 1s 2d to 1s 6d; fowls 1s 0d to 1s 6d; butter 8d to 9d per lb; eggs 6d to 7d per dozen; bacon (Irish) 7d to 9d per lb; American 5d to 6d.
Fish rather scarce: trout 6d per lb; pike 2d per lb; bream 1s per dozen; perch 1s per doz; eels 2s to 4s per dozen.
The weather during the past week has been, on the whole, favourable to the growing crops which look very well in this neighbourhood. Potatoes, especially, are an excellent and abundant crop.
From a Correspondent
Being anxious to increase the economic benefits of inland waterways, I determined to make a fish stew, using only freshwater fish. Accordingly, I emailed Inland Fisheries Ireland [IFI] to ask where I could buy a selection of freshwater fish. Answer came there none, which made me wonder why the state paid IFI almost €28.5 million in 2014 (the latest year for which accounts are available). If fishing isn’t producing food, then the maggots are being drowned for entertainment, as foxes are hunted for sport, and I don’t see why the state should subsidise it (or, of course, other recreational activities like football, small farming or Irish Rail).
Anyway, thanks to the virtues of private enterprise and the wonders of free trade, I was able to produce a stew using trout, pike, carp, zander, smoked eel and crayfish. But what a pity that it would have been so much easier a hundred and fifty years ago.
By the way, if you’re wondering why American bacon was on sale in Athlone, and cheaper than Irish bacon, Andy Bielenberg explains in Ireland and the Industrial Revolution: the impact of the industrial revolution on Irish industry 1801–1922 Routledge, London 2009 that
While most Irish bacon was exported to Great Britain, to sustain this trade Ireland increasingly consumed cheaper American bacon in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Modern matters, Natural heritage, Non-waterway, Operations, Shannon, The fishing trade, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Athlone, bacon, carp, crayfish, eel, inland fisheries, Ireland, market, pigs, pike, stew, trout, zander