Tag Archives: Coill-an-Eo

Doing the old girl proud

A few days ago, in a post about the Blarna, I pointed out that the last vessel to be built at the Alexandra Basin in Dublin was Waterways Ireland’s Coill-an-Eo, of which I have photos here. With all the new kit Waterways Ireland has got in the last few years, I was slightly worried that Coill-an-Eo might be retired, sold off or — worse — scrapped, although this news from Arklow Marine Services last October was reassuring. Well, Our Northern Correspondent has been in Roosky and has sent us these pics, with permission to reproduce them here.

Coill-an-Eo 1

Coill-an-Eo 1

1-Coill an Moon 005

Coill-an-Eo 2

Doesn’t the old girl look good? Hats off to Waterways Ireland and to Arklow Marine Services.


Update: I’m told that Mooney Boats of Killybegs also worked on the Coill-an-Eo, so hats off to them too. [h/t & © jc]

Further update: Aeroblast Services in Limerick have been on to say that they carried out the blasting and painting contract, and a fine job they did too [the last bit is what I said, not what they said]. Interesting pics of the work under way on their site here.

Blarna, Canima and the Liffey Dockyard

Pat Sweeney, in Liffey Ships & Shipbuilding [Mercier Press, Cork 2010], tells us that in December 1960 Cork Harbour Commissioners got permission to raise a loan of £250,000 to build two diesel-powered tenders to carry passengers to and from transatlantic liners moored in Cobh. The tenders were built by the Liffey Dockyard in Dublin; the MV Blarna was launched in May 1961 and her sister MV Cill Airne in February 1962.

After a varied career, the MV Cill Airne is now back on the Liffey as a floating restaurant. Her website says that she and her sister were the last rivetted ships built in Europe; they were the third-last and second-last ships to be built at the Alexandra Basin, the last being the Shannon Navigation’s Coill-an-Eo.

MV Blarna spent much of her life in Bermuda as a party boat named Canimabut then spent ten years in Canada waiting vainly for restoration or conversion and coming to be regarded as an eyesore. That period is now over: the “Millbank eyesore“, the Canima, sank in December 2012 and “salvage may not be an option“.

h/t Niall Galway

Coill an Eo

Arklow Marine Services reports:

The “Coill an Eo” a 26 metre works barge, used in maintaining buoys and markers on the Shannon and owned by Waterways Ireland, has recently been docked in Rooskey, Co. Roscommon.

The first job the Yard had to do was carry out ultrasonic readings on the vessels hull, both internally and externally. A new main engine, tailshaft, propeller and bearings are to be fitted to the vessel and a complete electrical installation carried out.

Coill an Eo in Limerick in 2003

More photos of WI vessels here.

Pat Sweeney, in Liffey Ships and Shipbuilding Mercier Press, Cork 2010, says that Coill an Eo, launched in 1969, was the last vessel built on the Alexandra Basin slipways. He describes her as “a small grab hopper dredger” and says that the £40,000 cost was shared by the Commissioners of Public Works (then responsible for the Shannon) and Bord Fáilte.

Waterways Ireland workboats

Just as a change from all the pages about lost waterways, I’ve put up a page of photos of Waterways Ireland workboats.