The Earl of Granard has, within the last ten days, placed a neat little steam-boat for pleasure on the Shannon. She is upwards of fifty tons burden, and is, we believe, the first steam-boat for pleasure ever placed on the Upper Shannon.
Longford Journal 8 October 1859 from the
British Newspaper Archive
Posted in Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Shannon, Sources, Steamers, Water sports activities, waterways
Tagged Earl of Granard, Lough Forbes, Shannon, steamer
According to the Irish Times of 11 February 2017
Margaret Gaffney was born on Christmas Day 1813, in Tully, Co Leitrim. Five years later, faced with extreme poverty and religious persecution, her parents and the three youngest of their six children, including Margaret, boarded a steamer bound for Boston.
Eoin Butler, the author of the article, provides no details of the vessel, but I hope he will: up to now folk have believed that an American vessel called the Savannah was the first to use steam on any part of the Atlantic crossing, and that was in 1819, the year after Margaret Gaffney’s crossing.
Posted in Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Foreign parts, Historical matters, Ireland, Operations, Passenger traffic, Sea, Steamers
Tagged 1819, Atlantic, Savannah, steamer, steamship
The inhabitants of this city [Dublin] were greatly alarmed yesterday evening, between the hours of four and five, by a most violent concussion of the air, which broke several panes of glass, cracked others, and shook houses to the foundation in an unusual manner, accompanied by a very loud explosion. In the country parts adjacent to the city, the fears of the people led them to imagine that there had been a shock of an earthquake — but the cause proves to have been the explosion of two boats, that were coming down the Grand Canal, freighted with gunpowder from Counsellor Caldbeck’s powder-mills at Clondalklin.
Many lives it was reported were lost; but we can assure the public, from the best authority, that no more than two men were killed, and five or six slightly wounded. The loss from the gunpowder is not estimated to be very great.
It is not as yet ascertained through what manner the fire was suffered to communicate to the powder. It was said that it was from one of the hands having dropped some blazing tobacco from a pipe which he was smoking, but for that there appears no foundation.
Dublin Evening Post 24 April 1787
Posted in Canals, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Safety, Sources, waterways
Tagged . Clondalkin, boat, Caldbeck, death, Dublin, explosion, Grand Canal, gunpowder, injury, Ireland, powder-mill
According to Ruth Delany [Ruth Delany and Ian Bath Ireland’s Royal Canal 1789–2009 The Lilliput Press, Dublin 2010], the Royal Canal’s fast passenger-carrying fly-boats had neither toilets nor cooking facilities; the slower night-boats were better equipped.
So how did the fly-boat passengers relieve themselves?
Given that the boats travelled at six Irish miles per hour (about 12 km/h), any passenger who disembarked for the purpose would have found it difficult to catch up again. Yet standing on the notoriously unstable boats might have been difficult for the gentlemen, while the problems facing the ladies are not to be contemplated.
I don’t think that the india-rubber urinal had been invented by then. So what did they do?
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Passenger traffic, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged fly-boat, passage boat, Royal Canal, toilet, urinal
For extent and population it is now the fourth town in Ireland. The shipping at the quays was not numerous. There are but two small steamers which ply from the port, and both are employed only in the summer, one being laid up during winter, as the other is found sufficient for the trade. These steamers ply down the river to Kilrush, calling off the ports on each side on their way. […]
Dung, in any quantity, may be got in Limerick, for 1s per load of 20 to 30 cwt.
James Caird, Farmer, Baldoon The Plantation Scheme; or, the West of Ireland as a field for investment William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London 1850
Posted in Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Non-waterway, Operations, Passenger traffic, Shannon, shannon estuary, Steamers, Tourism
Tagged Baldoon, dung, James Caird, Kilrush, Limerick, steamer
On the morning of the day on which I left Limerick, a truly melancholy and fatal accident occurred. Just as the steamer which starts every morning for Kilrush and Kilkee, was in the act of leaving the quay, a car was seen to approach very rapidly to the station, from which the vessel had just begun to move. Planks are not used at these quays, the water being sufficiently deep to admit of the steamer lying so close as to enable the passengers to step off from the quay on board the vessel.
A fine young man jumped off the car, and took a female who was on the opposite side in his arms, and ran with her to the packet, and had just succeeded in placing her feet in the side of the boat. In order to get her safely aboard he had to push her forward, and by this means accomplished the object he had in view. But alas! in achieving so much for her, he lost himself; for at this moment the packet moved off, and it became impossible for him to reach her; while the efforts he had previously made to get the lady on board occasioned him to stretch so far forward that it was equally impossible for him to recover his upright position on the quay. The consequence was that he fell between the quay and the steamer, and, as it was supposed, was struck by a revolution of the paddle, for he never rose.
What must have been the feelings of the poor female in witnessing the sudden and melancholy death of her gallant preserver? She was in delicate health, and was about to proceed to Kilkee for the benefit of sea-bathing, when this awfully heartrending event took place, which deprived her of him who was her darling and her pride; for alas! he was her son.
Thomas Lacy Home Sketches, on both sides of the channel, being a diary Hamilton, Adams, & Co, London; W H Smith & Co, London; McGlashan, Dublin, 1852
Date of event (deduced) Wednesday 28 August 1850
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Passenger traffic, Safety, Sea, Shannon, shannon estuary, Sources, Steamers, Tourism, Waterways management
Tagged accident, boarding, drowned, Kilkee, Kilrush, Limerick, plank, quay, Shannon, steamer
Learned readers are no doubt familiar with Dame Felicity Lott‘s interpretation of the song Alice is at it again, wherein the nature of what Alice was actually at is left to the imagination of the listeners.
Aengus Ó Snodaigh [SF, Dublin South Central] and the Minister for Fairytales [FG, Drumlins/Stony Fields] have been performing a duet to something the same effect:
[AOS] To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the steps she is taking in conjunction with Waterways Ireland to bring to an end an issue that is occurring with increasing frequency (details supplied).
[MfF] I have been informed that Waterways Ireland technical staff recently visited the location in question to assess the situation referred to by the Deputy and to determine the options available to try to make the location referred to by the Deputy less attractive to such activities. Waterways Ireland is currently assessing these options and, subject to available funding, hope to be in a position to implement measures to improve matters, while ensuring that any changes do not negatively impact on the general public.
With regard to an immediate response to dealing with the specific issue raised by the Deputy, Waterways Ireland staff do not have enforcement powers to restrict this activity.
I and Waterways Ireland would encourage anyone who witnesses such activity to report the matter to An Garda Siochána.
So unspecified persons have been engaging in unspecified activities at an unspecified location.
And if we see them at it we should tell the police.
Posted in Ashore, Canals, Extant waterways, Ireland, Modern matters, Operations, Politics, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Department of Arts Heritage Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Sinn Fein, Waterways Ierland
Update here from Alex Tabarrok.
Presumably the USA will be sending guided-missile destroyers to deter occupation.