Tag Archives: Marlborough Street

The Charles Wye Williams bridge campaign

Dublin City Council has published its call for proposals for naming the new bridge across the Liffey. According to RTE, various bolshies and literary types have been suggested, as though we didn’t have enough of them (and of politicians too). Accordingly, I have submitted an application suggesting that the bridge be named after a successful entrepreneur who understood technology and created employment: Charles Wye Williams, the Father of the Shannon, whose fleet of nine steamers and fifty-two barges gave us the Shannon as we know it today.

I will be happy to send a copy (PDF) of my application to anyone who is willing to support it.

CWW bridge

Paul Quinn’s photos showed the new Marlborough Street Bridge being constructed across the Liffey. Last Saturday’s Irish Times reported that Dublin City Council would soon be advertising to seek suggestions for naming the bridge; it said that a body called Labour Youth [whose members may be socialists, I fear] wanted it named after one Rosie Hackett, who went on strike  many years ago. It did not report that there is another campaign to have the bridge named after E T S Walton, a physicist.

The north-eastern corner of the bridge features the site of the offices of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, whose crest still adorns the walls. I suggest that the bridge be named after the company’s founder, the remarkable Irish entrepreneur Charles Wye Williams: the father of the Shannon, the master of scheduled steam shipping, the founder of the CoDSPCo and a founder director of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, godparent of the Irish livestock industry, innovator in marine safety, promoter of the turf industry, writer and experimenter on steam technology, tireless campaigner ….

Apart from his company’s crest on Eden Quay, and his name on a bridge he caused to be built in Limerick, there is no monument to this remarkable man. Name the bridge after him and move the plaque to it (and protect it adequately).