This week’s Clare Champion [7 February 2020] has an article about the Limerick Navigation on the front page of the Living section. It’s not available online, unless (I suppose) you subscribe to the digital edition.
Makes a change from the election, I suppose.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Charles Wye Williams, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Forgotten navigations, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Operations, Scenery, Shannon, Waterways management
Tagged Limerick, navigation, Shannon
Between 1768 and 1774
… means were devised to provide secure investment facilities for Catholics in projects of national and public utility, which at the same time left the whole system of the popery laws intact.
The earliest example I have found of this opening of the back door to Catholic investment was an act of 1768 for improving navigation between Limerick and Killaloe. To encourage Catholics to invest in the enterprise all shares were to be regarded as ‘personal estate and not subject to any of the laws to prevent the growth of popery’. Thus the indirect ownership of land involved in such investment would not be at the mercy of Protestant discoverers.
A blanket concession on similar lines was given in 1772 to Catholic shareholders in all inland navigation companies and in insurance companies. The fact that these acts now made it possible for Catholics to become shareholders and sometimes directors in such companies as the Grand Canal Company, must have served to break down segregation barriers to some slight extent.
Maureen Wall “Catholics in Economic Life” in L M Cullen ed The Formation of the Irish Economy The Mercier Press, Cork 1969, rp 1976
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, People, Politics, Shannon, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged canal, catholic, Grand Canal Company, insurance, Killaloe, Limerick, navigation, penal laws, popery, protestant, Shannon
I have revised and expanded my page on the Broharris Canal, distinguishing between it and the Ballykelly Canal. However, there are still mysteries, and I will welcome comments from anyone who can cast light on the two subjects.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Forgotten navigations, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Rail, Restoration and rebuilding, Sea, Unbuilt canals, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Ballykelly, Broharris, canal, Derry, Dune, Erne, fishmongers, Foyle, Limavady, Londonderry, Magilligan, navigation, Raphoe, reclamation, Swilly
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
As a manifest proof of the vast utility and advantage of internal navigation, the present price of land carriage to Banagher, which is that particular part which the Canal is to extend to in its Westerly progress, is 2s 4d per hundred weight, or 2l 6s 8d the ton, but the freightage and tonnage by the Canal cannot exceed thirteen shillings, which in some articles, either sent to or from the capital, must reduce the price upwards of forty per cent.
From this calculation we suppose the tonnage to be three halfpence a mile and the freightage a penny, but there will be many loadings that will not be rated or charged at so high a price; as for instance, lime, stones, flag and slate, which are to pay but a halfpenny, fuel a farthing, and dung, marl, and gravel for manure, entirely exempt from any charge.
Of what infinite use it will be to the manufactures of this kingdom in the article of fuel only, may be evinced by the price of Kilkenny coal being reduced more than one-half, and corn, flour, with an infinite variety of other matters, being sent much cheaper to this city. The profits resulting will enable this useful design to be still extended, by forming collateral branches, with all the navigable rivers in the central counties, and perhaps making communication with the remotest part of this kingdom.
Saunders’s News-Letter 24 October 1785
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Shannon, Sources, waterways
Tagged Banagher, coal, Grand Canal, manure, navigation, Shannon
I have extended my page on the Cong Canal by adding some photos of the sluices and the embankments on the Cong Canal and by improving some maps. I have also added some photos of Ballinrobe, including the quay from which it was hoped that boats would depart for Lough Mask and, via the Cong Canal, Galway. When the Cong Canal was abandoned, so too was the Ballinrobe navigation.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Non-waterway, Operations, Scenery, Steamers, The grain trade, Unbuilt canals, waterways
Tagged Ballinrobe, canal, Cong Canal, Corrib, Galway, Lough Mask, Mayo, navigation
… it shall be lawful for any grand jury in Ireland to present at any assizes such sums of money as may be necessary to repair or widen, to any width not exceeding fifteen feet, any towing path and trackway on the bank of any navigable river on which boats have been accustomed to be towed by horses, such sums to be levied off all the baronies and half baronies in the county or riding of the county in which such towing path and trackway are situate; and such sums so to be levied may be originally presented for at the presentment sessions held in and for the barony in which such towing path and trackway are locally situate.
The Grand Jury (Ireland) Act, 1873
78. A trackway on the bank of any navigable river within the meaning of the Grand Juries Act, 1873, shall, without prejudice to the reasonable use thereof for any purpose connected with navigation, be a public highway, and shall continue to be maintainable as provided by that Act.
Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Modern matters, Non-waterway, Operations, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged grand jury, highway, horse, local authority, navigation, river, towing-path, trackway
I thought there was only one canal in Co Kerry, but there were three more at Lixnaw. They’re still to be seen and they have interesting associations.
Thanks to Ewan Duffy of Industrial Heritage Ireland for the tip-off.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Charles Wye Williams, Drainage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Forgotten navigations, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, Operations, People, Roads, Scenery, Sea, Shannon, shannon estuary, Sources, The turf trade, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Ballybunion, brick, bridge, canal, Cashen, drainage, Feale, Fitzmaurice, Galey, James Joyce, Kerry, Lixnaw, lock, Marquis of Lansdowne, navigation, shannon estuary, sluice
The tradition of lobbying for ridiculous, uneconomic, unnecessary and expensive navigations has a long history in Ireland. Here is another nineteenth-century example, which also features local government in its usual role as a forum for lunatics (a role which could now be delegated to Twitter).
Navigation of the Liffey from Dublin to Leixlip
At the last meeting of the Town Council of Dublin, the Lord Mayor in the chair, the following proceedings took place on the subject of opening the navigation of the Liffey, through the Valley, on the engineering plan of our friend, Mr Steele.
Alderman Keshan moved the following resolution:
“Resolved: That the Lord Mayor be respectfully requested to write to the Chief Secretary, soliciting that his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant will be pleased to order a section and some transverse sections of the Valley of the Liffey, from Dublin to Leixlip, to be made by the Board of Public Works for the guidance of this Corporation, in a matter of deep public interest to the inhabitants of the metropolis of Ireland (hear, hear).”
He trusted that this motion would not encounter any opposition. He made it with a view to promote Mr Steele’s project for the improvement of the Valley of the Liffey (hear). Large sums of money had been taken out of this country for the improvement of London (hear, hear), and he did not see why a portion of the national revenues should not be devoted to the improvement of Ireland (hear, hear).
The citizens of London had their water trip to Richmond (hear). Why should not the citizens of Dublin have theirs to Leixlip? This would be accomplished if the Valley of the Liffey were made navigable (hear).
Alderman O’Brien seconded the motion, which was carried.
Dublin Evening Post 14 June 1845, from the British Newspaper Archive.
Posted in Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Non-waterway, Passenger traffic, People, Politics, Tourism, Unbuilt canals, waterways
Tagged Dublin, Leixlip, Liffey, navigation, valley
Every so often Waterways Ireland (whom god bless and preserve) sends out a Marine Notice to warn people of sporting activities, so that they can avoid them, and of one or other of the hazards of the navigations. One such, No 68 of 2016, issued on 9 June 2016, says (inter alia):
The attention of all is drawn to the dangers associated with overhead power lines in particular sailing vessels, sailing dinghys and workboats with cranes or large airdrafts.
Vigilance is required especially in the vicinity of slipways and dinghy parks, while voyage planning is a necessity in order to identify the location of overhead lines crossing the navigations.
ESB Networks emergency number is (353)1850 372 999 and Northern Ireland Electricity Networks is (44) 0800 616 817.
Then on 21 July 2016 Waterways Ireland issued Notice No 89 of 2016, which was specific (as far as WI is concerned) to the Northern Ireland navigations. Extracts:
Many sailboats have masts of 9m (30ft) or more and, as most of these masts are made of aluminium, they are an excellent conductor of electricity. If an aluminium mast or rigging come into contact with or too close to power lines, it could result in a fatality.
NIE Networks advises all boat owners to take some simple precautions to stay safe.
- Plan your route carefully when transporting your boat to or from where it is being launched, making sure you have adequate clearance under overhead power lines. When you are stepping the mast or erecting long aerials, be sure to do so in an area totally clear of overhead power lines.
- Once out on the water, if you are sailing on inland waterways or near islands or headlands, you should still look for overhead lines as they do cross over waterways. You must ensure that your mast or aerial has proper clearance from any power lines.
- Always check your charts when underway to ensure you are aware of the location of overhead power lines.
In order to avoid hitting an overhead power line with a mast, it would be useful to know how high off the water, perhaps at Ordinary Summer Level, the power line was. Then you could subtract from that the height of your mast, and some safety factor, and decide whether you could safely sail under the line.
If you don’t know how high the power line is, you have to resort to trigonometry. My recollection of these matters has perhaps faded a little, but as I recall you stand a small boy of known height on your cabin roof and, with your eye level with his feet, you measure (a) the horizontal distance from his feet to your eye and (b) the angle from the horizontal to a line from your eye that touches the top of the boy’s head and the bottom of the power line. Then the small boy falls off the roof, you have to tack, your pencil falls overboard and it all seems much more difficult than finding the height of a tree. And of course you can’t measure the distance to the power line without sailing up to it, which is what you’re trying to avoid until you can decide whether you can safely do so. [Note: this paragraph is not to be used for navigation.]
Life would, therefore, be much easier (and safer) if you knew the minimum clearance under the power lines. Happily, NIE Networks is happy to tell people what it is; I emailed and a speedy response including this:
The clearance on all NIE Networks overhead power lines which cross over navigable waters is 10.5m (lower bank to line or earth). All overhead power lines are marked on navigation charts for the Erne and Lower Bann waters.
However, it should be noted that this is the clearance for NIE Networks overhead power lines and applicable to Northern Ireland only. Clearances for overhead power lines in the Republic of Ireland may be different and would require confirmation from the Electricity Supply Board (ESB).
Big it up for NIE Networks, then. But over several years I tried unsuccessfully to get the ESB to give me the equivalent information for lines crossing navigable waterways in the republic; it would not do so. Without that information, boaters cannot “ensure that [their] mast or aerial has proper clearance from any power lines”, so ESB’s advice is useless blather.
It is some time since I last asked ESB for information, and perhaps it has since been made available, but I see no sign of it on the ESB website. I would be glad to hear from anyone who can supply reliable information.
Posted in Ashore, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, Operations, Safety, Shannon, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged clearance, electricity, ESB, navigation, NIE, power line, Waterways Ireland