Theresa May, who is Prime Minister of Unicornia, is renowned for her inability to take “No”, or indeed “Definitely not”, or “What part of NO do you not understand?”, or “FOAD”, for an answer.
The same may be said of Brendan Smith, a Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan (in a region where mental health is a big issue). For many years, Mr Smith has been asking when a navigation (first proposed as one of W T Mulvany’s insane drainage-cum-navigation projects in the 1840s) is to be constructed between Belturbet and Lough Oughter. And, year after year, he is told, in the politest possible terms, that it’s a non-runner.
Here’s the latest example, where the unfortunate Minister for Fairytales devotes a lot of effort to telling him to FOAD. Waterways Ireland has the right idea:
There is already extensive existing underused navigation for example at Belturbet and Waterways Ireland has reiterated the potential in the waters of the Lough Oughter area being promoted as a distinct Blueway. The national context is that Blueways Ireland (National Trails Office, Canoeing Ireland and other state bodies) is currently considering the establishment of Blueways beyond the Waterways Ireland network of inland waterways.
To this end, Waterways Ireland has met with the Chief Executive of Cavan County Council, other council officials and elected representatives concerning Blueways developed successfully on the Waterways Ireland network to advise on possible ways forward. Waterways Ireland is happy to support Cavan County Council should it decide to develop a Blueway on the River Erne from Belturbet to Killykeen and Killeshandra but as the area is officially outside of their remit, this offer extends to advice and support only.
It would be nice if Mr Smith would stop wasting parliamentary time on the pursuit of unicorns. If he doesn’t, I’ll be forced to conclude that he and Mrs May are somehow related.
Posted in Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Modern matters, Natural heritage, People, Politics, Scenery, Tourism, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged brexit, Erne, Lough Oughter, Minister for Fairytales, Mulvany, Waterways Ireland
The River Hind Navigation is not well known, which may be attributable to its non-existence. There were several proposals to make the Hind navigable, to link the town of Roscommon to Lough Ree on the Shannon, but none of them were implemented. One of them almost made it, though, and such interest as the topic has is the result of the Hind’s inclusion (or semi-inclusion) on the list of navigations for which W T Mulvany, Commissioner for Drainage, was responsible in the late 1840s and early 1850s.
Mulvany was responsible for five drainage-cum-navigation projects (and many drainage projects), whereof the Hind was the least important. The other four were
- the Lough Oughter navigation, upstream on Lough Erne from Belturbet, which was never completed: various (mostly Fianna Fáil) insane politicians in the area are still trying to have it completed
- the Cong and Belturbet Canals, which were abandoned before they were finished
- the Junction Canal in the Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Drainage District, later known as the Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Canal, which had a brief and notoriously unprofitable existence, but which was later transformed into the Shannon—Erne Waterway, which was a good investment for Ireland because the Germans [or someone] paid for it
- the Lower Bann navigation, linking Lough Neagh (which already had two links to coastal ports) with the North Atlantic in the middle of a beach near Coleraine. This was the only one of Mulvany’s navigations that was completed and that remained open, despite its complete uselessness, as the railways got to the area before the navigation did.
In this catalogue of commercial nitwittedness, the Hind had the advantage that it was delayed: an even more insane proposal, to drain the Suck into the Hind, meant that the Hind navigation scheme was deferred long enough to be abandoned altogether, which was just as well as the railway soon made any navigation unnecessary.
However, the proposal was there and, if you are very bored, you might like to read about it. But this is for anoraks: the subject is unimportant, the detail [163 endnotes] outweighing what little interest the scheme possesses. There are no photos of boats or of locks, because there weren’t any; there aren’t even any cat videos.
Posted in Canals, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Rail, Shannon, Sources, Steamers, The cattle trade, The grain trade, The turf trade, Unbuilt canals, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Board of Public Works, Board of Works, drainage, Hind, Isaac Weld, Lough Ree, Mulvany, navigation, Roscommon, Shannon, Suck, Trevelyan, wood
Here are some pages about the Junction Navigation in the Ballinamore & Ballyconnell drainage district. It later became known as the Ballinamore & Ballyconnell Canal and later still as the Shannon–Erne Waterway.
The role of the cads and bounders of the Ulster Canal Company in getting a canal built at taxpayers’ expense
The construction of the Junction Navigation at Aghoo (Lock 4)
Lock gear old and new
And here’s a reminder of an old page about the Belturbet-built dredger used in constructing the navigation.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Sources, Steamers, The cattle trade, The turf trade, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged aghoo, belfast, Belturbet, boats, bounders, bridge, cads, canal, Clones, Department of Community Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, drainage, dredger, Dublin, Erne, gear, Grand Canal, Ireland, Killaloe, Limerick, lock, Lough Neagh, Mahony, McMahon, Mulvany, Operations, paddle, rack, Royal Canal, Shannon, turf, Ulster Canal, vessels, water level, waterways, Williams
How they got the dredgers past the distillery in 1857. No pics, alas, but it’s worth using the links to the OSI maps.
Posted in Ashore, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Irish inland waterways vessels, Irish waterways general, Operations, People
Tagged Athassel, Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Canal, barge, Belturbet, boats, bridge, canal, Clones, drainage, dredger, Erne, floods, Gowna, Grand Canal, Ireland, lost, Lough Oughter, Mulvany, Operations, Portlaw, scow. pump, Shannon, Shannon–Erne Waterway, vessels, water level, waterways, weir, workboat