Two interesting PDF documents available on this page:
- 2015 summer work programme [PDF]
- an account of the Tarmonbarry lock replacement work [PDF].
No mention of Saunderson’s Sheugh, but I suppose dredging of the River Finn is proceeding.
Two interesting PDF documents available on this page:
No mention of Saunderson’s Sheugh, but I suppose dredging of the River Finn is proceeding.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Operations, Restoration and rebuilding, Shannon, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Bann, Barrow, boats, canal, Erne, Ireland, lock, Lough Derg, Operations, quay, Royal Canal, Shannon, Tarmonbarry, Ulster Canal, Waterways Ireland, weir, workboat
It will be recalled that Her Majesty’s Loyal Home Rule Government in Belfast is considering investing in the Clones Sheugh [aka Ulster Canal] and that I asked DCAL, the department responsible, for a copy of the Business Case. To my surprise, it said:
Your request is being treated as a Access to Information request and will be handled under either Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
Either way, DCAL has now told me that I can’t see it. The Business Case, which is apparently an addendum to the 2007 Business Case (which was rotten: see here passim), won’t be complete until November. I have made a note to remind myself to ask for it then.
I quite sympathise with the DCAL folks: it can’t be easy thinking of any good reason to spend taxpayers’ [British or Irish] money on the Clones Sheugh. But perhaps DCAL can spin it out until the Shinners have taken over the Free State, at which point the economics of Grattan’s Parliament will be in vogue and we can all take up growing flax, spinning and weaving, giving grants for canals and making money out of the slave plantations.
Speaking of Shinners, there’s one called Cathal Ó hOisín, a member of HM Loyal Home Rule Government in Belfast representing East Londonderry, who said there recently:
The possibility of the reopening of the Ulster canal would open up limitless opportunities in tourism. The idea that, once again, we could travel from Coleraine to Limerick, Dublin and Galway by boat would be absolutely wonderful.
Well, you can do that: by sea. There was never an inland navigation from Coleraine, Limerick or Dublin to Galway, despite the urgings of Lord Cloncurry and the nitwitted ideas of Sir Edward Watkin.
As for a connection between Limerick or Dublin and Coleraine, I suspect that Mr Ó hOisín is perpetuating the error into which Her late Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, etc, seems to have fallen when she appointed
Commissioners to inquire respecting the System of Navigation which connects Coleraine, Belfast, and Limerick
which Commissioners reported in 1882. There was no such system and, if Mr Ó hOisín can provide evidence that any vessel ever travelled by inland navigation between Coleraine and Limerick, I would be glad to hear of it. I prefer to think of the Commissioners’ conclusion that
As an investment for capital the whole canal system in Ireland has been a complete failure.
I see no reason why politicians of the twenty-first century should repeat the errors of their predecessors in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
You expect the Parnellite members to have a bit more sense, but one John Dallat said in the same debate:
[…] when the Ulster canal is open, tourists will come in their thousands and that will benefit the Lower Bann, the Foyle as well, and right over to Scotland.
Er, John? There are actually canals in other countries. Even in Scotland. Folk are familiar with canals. They’ve seen them before. And a short sheugh to Clones is not going to attract tourists (apart from the relatively small number of canal twitchers, who will need to tick it off on their lists) unless the town of Clones is particularly attractive. Which … well, let me put it this way: why not look it up on TripAdvisor?
Of course I’m all in favour of Clones myself: I am quite interested in concrete engine-sheds and former canal stores.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Rail, Restoration and rebuilding, Scenery, Sea, Shannon, Sources, Steamers, Tourism, Ulster Canal, Unbuilt canals, Uncategorized, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Bann, belfast, boats, business case, canal, Cloncurry, Clones, Coleraine, dcal, department of arts heritage and the gaeltacht, department of culture arts and leisure, Dublin, Erne, Ireland, Lagan, Limerick, lock, lost, Lough Neagh, Monck, Operations, Shannon, Ulster Canal, vessels, waterways, Waterways Ireland, Watkin
Another unbuilt canal mentioned by the indefatigable Mr Atkinson.
A proposal for making a canal from the city of Armagh to the river Blackwater, near the town of Moy
In order to shew, that carrying into effect the annexed sketch of a line [alas not annexed to the Google scan of Atkinson’s book], for opening a navigable communication from Armagh to the river Blackwater, would be a work of public utility, the following reasons are most respectfully submitted to the Right Honourable and Honourable the Committee of the House of Commons.
From Armagh, being the most considerable market in the kingdom for the sale of brown linens, the manufacture of that staple article is carried on to a very great extent in its neighbourhood; but this manufacture is in danger of being most materially injured, from the great scarcity of fuel, which is such as to oblige the opulent inhabitants to use English coal, at a great expense of land carriage; and they have latterly, at inclement seasons, been under the necessity of subscribing large sums, to procure that article at a low price for the poor, to prevent them from perishing.
Should a navigation be opened from Lough Neagh it would give the means of a supply of turf from the extensive bogs in the neighbourhood of the lake, would open a communication with the collieries at Coal island, in the county of Tyrone, and bring English or Scotch coal at considerably under the prices at which they can now be procured.
An extensive trade in general articles of merchandise being carried on from Armagh, not only to its own neighbourhood, but to a considerable part of the counties of Monaghan and Tyrone, by opening a navigation through Lough Neagh to the ports of Belfast and Newry, this trade would be very considerably extended, to the great advantage of Armagh, and all those places to which its trade extends, and would tend much to improve the public revenue.
To the great number of bleach-greens and flour mills in the neighbourhood of Armagh, water carriage would be of the highest importance, as well for the conveyance of bleaching stuffs, coals, grain, and flour, as of timber, slates, and other heavy articles, used in erecting and repairing the necessary buildings, machinery, &c.
In a large tract of country, from Blackwater town to Lough Neagh, and from thence up the river Bann, and along the canal to Newry (an extent of nearly 30 miles), there is no limestone whatever; so that lime can only be procured by land carriage from a distance of several miles, which prevents its being at all used in that important national object — agriculture.
Was a canal opened from Armagh, it must necessarily go through the lands in that vicinity, containing inexhaustible quantities of limestone, which could be conveyed by boats returning from Armagh, at a very inconsiderable expense, to all that part of the county above mentioned.
The cut, as laid down in the plan, would extend about five and a half miles; and according to the estimate, would, when completed, cost from £18,000 to £20,000, about one-third of which could be raised by subscription.
To keep the works in repair, and pay interest to the subscribers, would require a toll of about sixpence per ton on all boats carrying coals, or any other species of merchandise; but boats laden merely with turf or limestone might be charged only twopence per ton.
The number of horses constantly employed in bringing coals, turf, and other necessaries, to Armagh, amount to some hundreds; two-thirds of these would, from a canal, become unnecessary, and consequently make a saving to the country of their keeping, attendance, &c to a very large amount.
Should the Armagh navigation be carried into execution, it would be necessary to give the commissioners of it a power of laying on a very small toll on vessels coming into the Blackwater from Lough Neagh, to enable them to clear, and keep in order, a cut which was made many years ago (as marked in the plan), to avoid a sand bank in the mouth of the river Blackwater.
A Atkinson Esq (late of Dublin) Ireland exhibited to England, in a political and moral survey of her population, and in a statistical and scenographic tour of certain districts; comprehending specimens of her colonisation, natural history and antiquities, arts, sciences, and commerce, customs, character, and manners, seats, scenes and sea views. Violent inequalities in her political and social system, the true source of her disorders. Plan for softening down those inequalities, and for uniting all classes of the people in one civil association for the improvement of their country. With a letter to the members of His Majesty’s Government on the state of Ireland Vol II Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, London 1823.
The Armagh canal document, bearing a date of June 20th 1800, is also included in Rev John Dubourdieu Statistical Survey of the County of Antrim, with observations on the means of improvement; drawn up for the consideration, and by direction of The Dublin Society Dublin 1812 [Google scan, again sketchless] but is not, oddly, mentioned in Sir Charles Coote Bart Statistical survey of the County of Armagh: with observations on the means of improvement; drawn up in the years 1802, and 1803, for the consideration, and under the direction of the Dublin Society Dublin 1804 [at archive.org here], although Coote does say of Newry
A canal has been in contemplation, to be cut from this town to Armagh, and an iron road is also talked of, but there has been no decision in either cases.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Politics, Sources, The turf trade, Unbuilt canals, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged agriculture, Armagh, Atkinson, Bann, barge, belfast, Blackwater, bleach-greens, boats, canal, coal, coalisland, Dublin Society, horses, Ireland, Irish House of Commons, iron road, limestone, linen, Lough Neagh, Maghery cut, Monaghan, Moy, navigation, Newry, Operations, Rev John Dubourdieu, Sir Charles Coote, toll, turf, tyrone, unbuilt canals, vessels, waterways
I am grateful for a copy of Portadown Foundry Ltd: a history of the foundry 1844–1983, by Cardwell McClure and Wilson Steen, published by the authors in October 2012. It is available from five shops in the Edenderry (Portadown) area; the Edenderry Cultural and Historical Society may be able to assist.
The book’s breadth of coverage is very impressive. It may be thought of as having three main sections. The first provides five chapters covering the five main eras of control of the foundry. The second has four chapters covering employees, surviving artefacts, sporting history and Foundry Street, where many employees lived. The final section has six chapters providing the essential contest that is often omitted in local history books. These six chapters cover:
It is richly illustrated throughout and is well worth a fiver (sterling) of anyone’s money.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Irish waterways general, Operations, People, Politics, Steamers, Waterways management
Tagged Bann, boats, canal, Edenderry, foundry, Ireland, Lough Neagh, Portadown, vessels, waterways, workboat
I wondered recently whether the proposed canal to Clones was really a Sinn Féin canal. And I have also wondered whether the proposed restoration of the Lagan Navigation was a Unionist riposte, to be undertaken without the involvement of cross-border implementation bodies. With Michael McGimpsey having supported it, I thought of it as an Ulster Unionist project: although there seems to have been some DUP interest in at least some aspects, I’d have thought the Upper Bann was more DUP territory, with at least part of the Lower Bann staunchly supporting Ulster Scots heritage.
Now (h/t Industrial Heritage Ireland) comes news that the SDLP has got itself a canal: it wants the Newry Canal to be handed over to Waterways Ireland by the four local authorities that currently own it. This would extend the influence of the cross-border body into another area of Northern Ireland and bring it even into Portadown.
The Newry and Portadown Branch of the IWAI wants the thing restored and no doubt the local authorities (who have maintained it as a popular walking and cycling route) would be glad to get it off their budgets. Waterways Ireland, alas, remains deaf to my blandishments and is determined to have the Ulster Canal made navigable instead of setting up a walking and cycling route, and no doubt it would welcome having the good folk of Newry and Portadown lobby for it to get United Kingdom taxpayers’ money (if there ever is any to spare) to restore the Newry Canal.
But the major question that nobody has answered is this: what is the Alliance Party doing? What canal does it want restored?
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Operations, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Ulster Canal, Waterways management
Tagged Alliance, Bann, belfast, canal, DUP, Ireland, Lagan, Lough Neagh, Newry, Portadown, SDLP, Sinn Fein, Ulster Canal, UUP, Waterways Ireland
I have started a new section on People. So far, the top-level page links only to the first entry, which is for Major Rowland Raven-Hart OBE, whose Canoeing in Ireland, published in around 1938, is a short guide to canoeing on several of Ireland’s longer rivers, including the Shannon, the Erne, the Suir, the Barrow and the Munster Blackwater.
I have added such information about Major Raven-Hart as I have been able to find.
Posted in Extant waterways, Irish waterways general, Scenery, Sources, Water sports activities
Tagged Bann, Barrow, Blackwater, boats, Boyne, bridge, canoe, Canoe Errant, Carlingford, Erne, flow, Foyle, Ireland, Killaloe, Killarney, Liffey, Limerick, Lough Corrib, Lough Derg, Lough Gill, Lough Mask, Lough Neagh, Nore, portage, Raven-Hart, Shannon, Slaney, Strangford, Suir, waterways