Doubtless there must have been a pretty considerable storm at Limerick on Thursday week; though the following Hibernian account of it, in the Limerick Chronicle, goes somewhat beyond our sober and humble notions of the style proper for narrative.
That comment was made by the Spectator of 7 December 1833. Odd that a mag later edited by Boris Johnson should once have been devoted to “sober and humble” narratives. O tempora o mores.
Here is the Chronicle report as the Spectator quoted it:
A violent gale of wind set in at WNW, accompanied by occasional heavy showers of rain; and on the same evening, the gale assumed all the appalling characteristics of a most furious hurricane.
Throughout the night, the scene was terrific in the extreme, and the streets presented a most desolate aspect. Nearly all the public gas-lights were extinguished; and the howling of the storm, as it swept in pitiless squalls through every street, lane, and alley, struck terror to the hearts of every inmate of those mansions which suffered more or less from its destructive power.
A spring-tide, raised by the storm beyond its usual boundaries, dashed with desperate force against the quays, rolling a vast mass of water over the docks, etc and presenting one continuous sheet of liquid foam, at either side of the river for two miles. Several boats were thrown out of the docks upon the quay, where they were left high and dry at low tide. The vessels of the Shannon Yacht Club, laid up for the winter season at anchorage in the Abbey river, were driven against the salmon-weir bank, but received no material injury.
The strong banks enclosing the Abbey river (island and salmon-weir) were broken up, and the waters rushed in, deluging the fields on both sides to a wide extent. The cattle grazing there, cows and sheep, were saved with great difficulty. The long-pavement, or causeway, from Quinpool to the Thomond Gate Distillery, was inundated, and the fields around flooded.
The yards of the city gaol were full of water, and the tide came up to its very gates, as it did also to the verge of the flagging on Arthur’s Quay. The underground kitchens in houses adjacent to the river were from one to two feet deep in water. It is worthy of remark, that a few hours before this dreadful commotion, the quicksilver fell rapidly to a degree so low as we scarce ever remember.
The horses of the Ennis coach had to wade knee-deep several miles of the road, especially about Cratloe, without a vestige of the usual landmarks. The salmon weir received considerable damage, a great portion of the large timber-work having been torn up and sent adrift. Some of the strongest houses in the city literally rocked in the blast like a cradle. A house building off William Street, which wanted merely the roofing to complete it, was hurled to the ground, and became a pile of rubbish.
Posted in Ashore, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Safety, Sea, Shannon, Weather
Tagged Abbey River, coach, Ennis, gale, Limerick
The public car from Ennis to Williamstown was quite a treat in the way of public travelling; a leather strap, and afterwards a branch of a tree, sufficed for a whip, until an innocent country lad was coaxed into an exchange pro tempore — that is to say, he very good-naturedly lent our driver his whip on a simple promise to return it, and took the branch instead. Although half an hour too late at starting, our loquacious conductor assured us that we would arrive in due time at Williamstown to meet the packet, ‘barring accidents’ — which was well put in, for the wheels were once or twice so hot and the horses so lazy that a stoppage at one time seemed inevitable.
A voyage in a large steamboat of one hundred horse power was quite a novelty to be enjoyed in an inland piece of water, and I greatly enjoyed both this and the voyage up the Shannon, in a less steamboat of twenty four horse power. I had never in my life travelled in a canal passage-boat, and the voyage therein from Shannon Harbour to Dublin was described by a Limerick attorney as a nuisance, horrible beyond endurance. I have never, however, been disposed to rely so much on the opinion of others as on my own experience, and therefore I resolved to try the voyage.
Never was I more agreeably surprised that to find, after sailing in it eighteen hours, I arrived at Dublin too soon, so far as the pleasantness of the journey was concerned. I heard the best Irish songs and recitations, and had a most interesting account of Irish scenery and superstitions from Mr Dennis Leonard, of Kilrush; besides this, I had a very comfortable night’s rest and was altogether much interested and pleased with my first journey on a canal.
From Chapter XV Ireland and the Irish 1838 of Benjamin Ward Richardson Thomas Sopwith MA CE FRS, with excerpts from his diary of fifty-seven years Longmans, Green & Co, London 1891
Posted in Ashore, Canals, Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Passenger traffic, People, Roads, Shannon, waterways
Tagged 1838, canal, Dublin, Ennis, Shannon, Shannon Harbour, Williamstown
The Shannon regatta commenced on Tuesday at Kilrush, which is crowded with visitors from Limerick, Tarbert, Ennis, and the sea coast frequenters at Kilkee and Malbay. In respect to the memory of the late Judge Vandeleur, it was supposed the stewards would defer the annual gala for a fortnight, but as several yachts had arrived from distant stations, a majority of the committee decided on proceeding. A stiff breeze from the North West, with occasional squalls, prevailed for the last three days. The prizes on Tuesday for the rival yachts were — Kent cup, a purse of £20, and two purses of £10 each.
The Cork Harbour Regatta will hold four days, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th August. The highest prize is one of £60 for all yachts.
The Marquis of Waterford’s yacht, Gem, now at Cove, is a beautiful specimen of naval architecture, and it is hard to know which to admire, the beautiful symmetry of her construction, or the perfect seamanlike manner in which she is rigged and fitted up. She is a Polacca schooner, of about 110 tons, carrying 6lb brass guns, and a swivel forward. Capt Lane RN is sailing master.
Dublin Morning Register 26 June 1835
From the British Newspaper Archive run by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited, in partnership with the British Library.
Posted in Charles Wye Williams, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, People, Sea, shannon estuary, Suir, Water sports activities
Tagged Cork, Cove, Ennis, Gem, Kilrush, Lane, Limerick, polacca, schooner, Shannon, Tarbert, Vandeleur, Waterford, yachts
Kilrush to Limerick 4 hours
Tarbert to Limerick 3 hours
Clare[castle] to Limerick 3.5 hours
Limerick to Killaloe:
- iron passenger boat 2.5 hours
- timber passenger boat 3.5 hours
- trade boat 6 hours.
Killaloe to Portumna:
- passenger steamer 6 hours
- steamer towing lumber boats 8 hours.
Portumna to Shannon Harbour:
Shannon Harbour to Athlone:
Source: Railway Commissioners second report Appendix B No 6.
Posted in Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Rail, Sea, Shannon, shannon estuary, Sources, Steamers, The cattle trade, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Athlone, barge, boats, canal, Clare, Clarecastle, Ennis, estuary, Fergus, Ireland, Killaloe, Kilrush, Limerick, lock, Lough Derg, O'Briensbridge, Operations, Portumna, Shannon, Shannon Harbour, steamer, Tarbert, Tipperary, turf, vessels, waterways