Tag Archives: Kerry

Ballylongford (and Inishmurray/Cahircon)

SHANNON-RIVER. This is by far the most considerable river in Ireland, or perhaps in any known island, not only on account of its rolling 200 miles, but also of its great depth in most places, and the gentleness of its current, by which it might be made exceedingly serviceable to the improvement of the country, the communication of its inhabitants, and consequently the promoting inland trade, through the greater part of its long course, being navigable to a considerable distance, with a few interruptions only of rocks and shallows, to avoid which there are in general small canals cut, to preserve and continue the navigation.

Thus Wm Wenman Seward, Esq [correspondent of Thomas Jefferson], in his Topographica Hibernica; or the topography of Ireland, antient and modern. Giving a complete view of the civil and ecclesiastical state of that kingdom, with its antiquities, natural curiosities, trade, manufactures, extent and population. Its counties, baronies, cities, boroughs, parliamentary representation and patronage; antient districts and their original proprietors. Post, market, and fair towns; bishopricks, ecclesiastical benefices, abbies, monasteries, castles, ruins, private-seats, and remarkable buildings. Mountains, rivers, lakes, mineral-springs, bays and harbours, with the latitude and longitude of the principal places, and their distances from the metropolis, and from each other. Historical anecdotes, and remarkable events. The whole alphabetically arranged and carefully collected. With an appendix, containing some additional places and remarks, and several useful tables printed by Alex Stewart, Dublin, 1795. [Google it if you want a copy.]

Seward was one of many people who saw the Shannon as a valuable resource, even if they were vague on how it was to yield a return. I was reminded of that on reading the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for the Shannon Estuary 2013–2020: an inter-jurisdictional land and marine based framework to guide the future development and management of the Shannon Estuary. The Introduction includes this:

The Shannon Estuary is an immensely important asset and one of the most valuable natural resources in Ireland and the Mid-West Region in particular — the fringe lands and the marine area both provide space and location for development, activities and opportunities to progress economic, social and environmental growth within the Region.

This report is an attempt to show how the estuary could deliver a return. The core point seems to be that a small number of areas are designated as “Strategic Development Locations for marine related industry and large scale industrial development”, thus protecting them from the attentions of the environmentalists: the whole of the estuary is a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area.

Almost all the Strategic Development Locations are already industrialied in some way:

  • Limerick Docks (in Limerick city)
  • Ballylongford (of which more below)
  • Tarbert (power station)
  • Aughinish Island (alumina)
  • Askeaton (Nestlé)
  • Foynes Island and land to the rear of Foynes (main port on the estuary)
  • Moneypoint (power station).

There is one more, Inishmurry/Cahircon (which is not boring), which is even more interesting because there is no industry there at present. It was used as a resting place for certain vessels, but it was also proposed as the site for an explosives factory. Perhaps the designation as a Strategic Development Location suggests that that proposal is not dead but merely sleeping.

Ballylongford is equally lacking in industry, despite activity at Saleen in the early nineteenth century. However, Shannon Development assembled a large landbank nearby; the report’s Executive Summary says:

The Ballylongford Landbank benefits from a significant deepwater asset and extant permission for a major LNG bank.

Here is the area in question. Note that the red oval is just to indicate the rough location; it does not show the boundaries of the landbank.

Ballylongford (OSI ~1840)

Ballylongford (OSI ~1840)

You can see a proper map and a marked-up aerial photo in Volume 1 of the report [PDF] on page 73 (77/174).

Shannon Development agreed to give a purchase option on a little uder half of the site to Shannon LNG Ltd, which proposed to build a liquefied natural gas terminal there, to be supplied by ship; much information is available here.

The Commission for Energy Regulation decided to introduce charges that would have increased Shannon LNG’s costs; the company took the matter to court but, yesterday, lost its case. The Irish Times report here will probably disappear behind a paywall at some stage; the Irish Independent report is here and the Limerick Leader‘s here (its photo shows Tarbert and Moneypoint; the Ballylongford site is off to the left).

If the Ballylongford development does not proceed, plans for economic growth on the Shannon estuary may prove to be for the birds.

My OSI logo and permit number for website

Kerry nitwits

See the Irish Times and the Guardian.

Download your copy of Kerry County Council’s road safety calendar here [PDF].

Not that this piece of idiocy will ever be passed but, if it is, tourists should avoid Co Kerry, lest they be mangled by a Kerry farmer, pissed as a newt, wobbling around the roads in his tractor.

What qualities — apart from being a publican — do you need to be elected in Co Kerry?

 

Where is this?

Paul Gauci's 1831 drawing of a Shannon steamer

Paul Gauci’s 1831 drawing of a Shannon steamer

This drawing of a steamer is from an 1831 book called Select Views of Lough Derg and the River Shannon by Paul Gauci. I haven’t seen the book myself, but this illustration is used in a couple of places, including Ruth Delany’s book The Shannon Navigation [The Lilliput Press Ltd, Dublin 2008]. Andrew Bowcock, in his article “Early iron ships on the River Shannon” in The Mariner’s Mirror Vol 92 No 3 August 2006, says of the steamer shown that

The funnel looks to be almost over the paddle shaft, which is artistic license.

But my question is not about the vessel but about the house in the background. If it is drawn without artistic licence, where is it?

It is a very large house, seven bays by three storeys, quite close to the water. Using the Historic 6″ Ordnance Survey map [~1840], I have followed the banks of the Shannon from Shannon Harbour down Lough Derg to Killaloe, then from Limerick down the estuary as far as Tarbert, across the estuary to Doonaha and back up on the Clare side to Limerick, then from Killaloe up the Clare and Galway shores back to Shannon Harbour. Anywhere I found a large house within what seemed the right distance of the shore, I looked it up in the Landed Estates Database and in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, with some supplementary googling.

I haven’t been able to find images of all the houses marked on the OSI map, but I found enough to show that houses of the size shown by Gauci were very rare. Within those few, I ruled out some (like Tervoe) because they didn’t seem to match Gauci’s drawing (although alterations could have accounted for that). I ended up with only one house that looked at all like Gauci’s, but the background may not match.

If you can identify the house, I would be glad if you could leave a Comment below.

Dick Gaughan and John Grantham …

… both had an interest in Erin-go-Bragh,

SESIFP

Read about the draft Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary here. You can comment on it up to 15 February 2013.

A gratifying display of loyalty

His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant took a trip on the Shannon Estuary in July 1856 on the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company’s vessel Erin-go-Bragh. He was greeted by demonstrations of loyalty from the populace, had dejeuner on board off Scattery Island and heard an address from the proprietary, clergymen, merchants, traders and inhabitants of Kilrush, read to him by Colonel Vandeleur. Here is the Freeman’s Journal‘s account of the trip.

A London pub and the history of the Shannon

Piloti’s “Nooks and Corners” column in the latest issue of Private Eye [No 1325] reports [brief extract available to non-subscribers here] that a London pub is threatened with demolition. On the Google satellite view with photos, press the button to the bottom right of the building to see a pic headed “Derelict pub”.

Piloti says that the pub was built in the 1840s [Diamond Geezer says 1839] and at that time the Marquis (or Marquess) was Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne, KG, PC, FRS. The family’s main base was in Britain but they owned large estates in Ireland, notably in Counties Limerick and Kerry; certain roads in Dublin are also named after the family.

The late Marquis has two claims on the attention of Irish waterways enthusiasts. First, the best-known of the early River Shannon steamers, the Lady Lansdowne, was named after his wife. Second, he was Lord President of the Council [the current holder of the post is Nick Clegg] when the government of Her Late Majesty Queen Victoria decided, in 1839, to spend about half a million pounds improving the Shannon Navigation.

 

Wordling Repeal

On 22 April 1834 Daniel O’Connell, MP for Dublin but a native of Kerry, argued in the House of Commons at Westminster for, IIRC, five hours in favour of the repeal of the Act of Union. Here is what Wordle makes of his speech.

Daniel O’Connell Wordled

On the following day Thomas Spring-Rice, MP for Cambridge but a native of Limerick, responded for six hours. Here is what Wordle made of it.

Thomas Spring-Rice Wordled

The Underpants Gnomes and the Shincliffe Traveller

Here is an article from 1792 about the virtues of the River Shannon. It was written by an unidentified Traveller from Shincliffe, near Durham. It is interesting as an earlyish example of the Irish waterways cargo cult which, it has been pointed out to me, resembles the business plan of the underpants gnomes.

Build Ballylongford

The Irish Examiner reports on the proposed LNG storage terminal here. Richard Tol provides an informed view here. The objectors’ site is here. I note from the Examiner report that they say:

Shannon LNG is hoping to make millions of euro profits every year with state support at the consumers’ expense at time of increasing fuel poverty.

Unfortunately the report did not say why a wish to make profits is to be deprecated or why it is a bad idea to increase fuel supplies and security “at time of increasing fuel poverty” but perhaps the extensive bogs, whose product was exported through Saleen, are still available.