The Messrs Robinson of Athlone, having supported Captain Mathew, the Conservative Member for the town, last election, threats have been offered and violence used to the boatmen conveying turf to their distillery, and in consequence the establishment will henceforth burn coal in the concern, a great loss to the country people.
Clare Journal, and Ennis Advertiser 23 February 1835
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Shannon, The turf trade
Tagged Athlone, boatmen, bridge, coal, distillery, Mathew, Robinson, turf
Estimate of the annual produce of British Mines: coals
The export in 1841 was 1848294 tons; home consumption carried coastways 7649899 tons, carried inland about 19000000 tons, total 28498193 tons, free on board at 10s per ton is £14249091
This trade gives employment to 1400 vessels, 15000 Seamen and Boys, 21000 Pitmen and others employed in the collieries above ground, 2000 Keelmen, Coal-boatmen, Carters, and Trimmers, 5000 Whippers, Lightermen &c, 2500 Factors, Agetns &c in London; 45000 for the North Country Trade alone; and taking the proportion which this bears to the whole of the United Kingdom, it follows that not less than 150000 persons are engaged in the production and distribution of coal.
Statistics and Calculations essentially necessary to persons connected with Railways or Canals; containing a variety of information not to be found elsewhere. Calculated and arranged by Samuel Salt 2nd ed Effingham Wilson, London 1846
T W Freeman “The town and district of Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim” in Irish Geography (Bulletin of the Geographical Society of Ireland) Vol II No 1 1949:
There is no mill in use now, though flour is sent from Rank’s in Limerick by barge to Carrick, but no farther. Before the 1939–1945 war general cargo was also brought to the town by barges which could convey 50 tons of coal; other goods included timber and galvanised iron for builders. At present, stout is the only commodity brought by barge to the solidly-built stone warehouse of the early nineteenth century, whence it is distributed for some twenty miles in every direction.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Rail, Shannon, Sources, waterways
Tagged barge, Carrick-on-Shannon, coal, galvanised iron, Guinness, Limerick, Ranks, timber, warehouse
This morning, on the wireless, I heard two people opposing the use of fracking to find gas around Lough Allen in Co Leitrim. Neither of them was convincing. One started by objecting to big multinationals being given licences to investigate the resources available; it is not clear that there was any ban on small native companies or workers’ cooperatives (or soviets of workers, peasants and soldiers) applying for licences, and presumably they could use traditional Irish implements like sleans if they wanted to.
The general line of argument adopted by the objectors was that anything that could go wrong would go wrong, probably all at the same time, wiping out the whole of Irish agriculture (some of which is not in Leitrim) and, er, eco-tourism. There would, the objectors seemed to suggest, be no preventive or mitigating measures and no insurance and the full cost of every accident would be borne by the residents of the area.
Remains of a pier at the brickworks, Spencer Harbour, Lough Allen
But the bit that really annoyed me was the depiction of the area as one of rural seclusion. Yet Lough Allen had canals, railways, coal mines, dams, iron works and brick works.
Spencer Harbour on Lough Allen
The very canal linking Lough Allen to the
rest of the Shannon Navigation owes its very existence to the desire
to carry coal from around Lough Allen to Dublin. And one of the most best tourism initiatives in the area, the Arigna Mining Experience, recognises that heritage.
Part of a brick
Insist on proper assessment and management of risk by all means, but don’t exaggerate it — and don’t ignore Leitrim’s industrial heritage.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Natural heritage, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Rail, Scenery, Shannon, The turf trade, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged Arigna, boats, bricks, canal, Clare, coal, dam, ESB, fracking, gas, industry, Ireland, iron, jetties, lock, Lough Allen, Operations, Shannon, Spencer Harbour, vessels, waterways, workboat
Because L T C Rolt took a trip on the West Clare Railway at the end of his Irish waterways trip, I felt justified in putting up a page about the project. I have now been back to Moyasta Junction, where the restored 117-year-old Slieve Callan steam locomotive is now running on a small length of track. I took many, many photos of the loco (inside the cab and outside, moving and at rest), the carriages and other items of interest; you can see them here.