Tag Archives: Abbeyleix

On the occasion of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee …

… (that is, of course, Her Late Victorian Majesty), F E Prothero suspended his explorations of Irish waterways after he had descended the Nore, from Abbeyleix to New Ross, in May 1897. Here is his account of that trip.

The missing canal at Abbeyleix

The Lakelands & Inland Waterways Strategic Plan 2010–2015, downloadable from the Waterways Ireland website, has an Appendix II headed “Infrastructure Investment Lakelands and Inland Waterways Area – Land and Waterbased” and a subheading “(1) LAND BASED INFRASTRUCTURE”. This has three columns:

  • Project Name
  • County
  • Cost.

An earlier note, on page 2, said:

For details of infrastructure support in the Lakelands & Inland Waterways area  See Appendix II.

That’s on a page headed “Achievements to Date” and with the introductory line “Key successes of the initiative up to the end of 2009 have included:”. We can assume, therefore, that the amounts listed in Appendix II are amounts that have already been spent, in some unspecified period ending in 2009. There is no measure of what was achieved.

Anyway, I was intrigued by the inclusion of these items for County Laois (Queen’s County):

  • Signposting Project for the Slieve Bloom Mountains – Laois/Offaly: Co. Laois/Co. Offaly: € 93,750
  • Abbeyleix HeritageTown Co. Laois € 42,315

I can see the justification for including a range of mountains amongst the lakelands and inland waterways, because the River Barrow rises in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Admittedly it is not, at that point, generally considered to be navigable, but let us not strain at gnats.

But why is Abbeyleix included? What canal served it and where has it gone?

Whaddya mean, it’s in the constituency of Laois-Offaly? What could that have to do with it?