Tag Archives: pontoon

The Ballina pontoon

That’s Ballina, Co Tipperary, on the Shannon, opposite Killaloe.

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Looking upstream

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The ramp

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Looking downstream

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From the railway footbridge

Photos taken on 1 January 2016.

The pontoon seems to be more severely affected than it was in the last big floods, on 22 November 2009.

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From across the river

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From the bridge


Bottles in Limerick

Limerick has a new Economic and Spatial Plan, with lots of downloadable files and the general tone of a letter to Santa Claus. It has lots of adjectives, though, and fashionable concepts; all it lacks is money.

It wants a renaissance of the Limerick waterfront. It seems, though, that that doesn’t mean lots of dockers unloading timber, turf boats from Poulnasherry Bog, ships taking the ground at low tide, gales throwing vessels against the bridge, mills at Curragour, tolls on the bridges or other features of past life along the quays. Instead there will be things like this:

A New Public Waterfront

 Arthur’s Quay Park will be transformed into a signature Waterfront public space that draws visitors, hosts special events and provides a key stopping point within the City Centre and along the Waterfront and Riverwalk;

 This new Riverside Park will run the length of the City Centre from Sarsfield Bridge through where Sarsfield House currently stands, along between the Hunt Museum and the River and over a new pedestrian bridge into a pedestrianised Potato Market area linking up to the upgraded King John’s Castle tourist attraction;

 A new appropriately sized iconic building could be developed in the new Riverside Park on the former Dunnes Stores Site to accommodate tourism/cultural uses;

 New landscape, trees, surfaces, lighting, furniture, public art and interpretation should be structured to create a landmark WaterfrontPark, designed to international standards reflecting the prominence of this location within Limerick;

 A new space should be defined to host public events including celebrations, performance, festivals and start and finish points to Limerick based marathons and races;

 Clear, high quality pedestrian connections from Patrick Street and O’Connell Street and Henry Street would draw people to the Park;

 Signage and materials should identify the water’s edge as part of the continuous Riverwalk linking bridges across the Shannon and the two sides of the Shannon River;

 A new public open space should be created at the Sarsfield House site in the event of government office relocation, to reveal the view north along the Shannon to King’s Island from the City Centre and extend Arthur’s Quay Park;

 The Waterfront and public space at the Hunt Museum should be strengthened to provide an intimately scaled green space with external seating from the Hunt Museum restaurant and destination in its own right along the Riverwalk.

What is being proposed here (page numbered 99; page 124 of 172 in An Economic and Spatial Plan for Limerick [PDF]) is that Sarsfield House should be demolished and the area above the Custom House moorings would be opened up, with citizens not just permitted but encouraged to enter. Later on (page 108; PDF page 133 of 172) we read this:

Limerick Quays will be defined as the principal visitor and entertainment zone in the City  Centre – passive and active – accommodating a new visitor destination, walking, as well as eating and drinking in bars and restaurants that will activate the quays overlooking the River. This will be fully pedestrianised.

Now, that’s all very nice in theory, but what it means in practice is that any boats moored at the only safe moorings in Limerick, at Custom House Quay, will be within range of any bottles that may be thrown by the less domesticated portion of the citizenry, on their way home from getting tanked up in the bars and restaurants.

But perhaps the planners have thought of that and solved it in their own way. Figure 36: City Centre Proposals – Aerial View 1 on page 116 (141/172) is an aerial photo with coloured bits added; it shows the Custom House moorings. But Figure 37: City Centre Proposals – Aerial View 2 on page 117 (142/172), taken from a different angle, shows the pontoon at the corner of the weir, and the water space in the corner behind the Custom House, but the mooring pontoons have disappeared.


One for the Phizzers

Quite a few visitors to this site come to read about the Broadstone. Here is a piece about the pontoon bridge used at the Broadstone between (AFAIK) 1847 and 1877. It was designed by Robert Mallet and it is interesting to see how an inventive engineer solved the peculiar problems of the Broadstone site.

Pat Lysaght to the rescue

The Limerick Leader has a story that updates my piece on Limerick dredging.


The installation of the new pontoon, the flood control gates (flash lock) and the walkway continues apace.

Walkway (left) and pontoon from the lockhouse

The lower (nearer) section of pontoon may be for the lakeboat hire business

Boats mooring on the lower end of the pontoon, and turning to approach upstream, may get quite close to the bridge. The navigation markers may confuse too: perhaps they’ll be relocated.

The flood control gates (flash lock?)

From upstream (and uphill)

It all looks very nice. There are lots of people working on site.

Who built the quay at Kildysart?

The Shannon Commissioners didn’t, but who did? Read about it here. Topics covered include a quad bike, a gandalow and a mausoleum.

Ephemera 10: the pontoons at Ballina

Do my eyes deceive me?

The still-unopened mooring pontoons below the bridge at Ballina (bottom of Lough Derg) seem to have sprouted an extension.

Here is what they looked like in 2009.

The upstream end of the Ballina pontoons in February 2009

Here they are in the floods of November 2009.

The upstream end of the Ballina pontoons in the floods of November 2009

And here they are in January 2011, seen from downriver.

The upstream end of the Ballina pontoons in January 2011

Well I never.




Minor updates

I’ve made some additions to three pages:

Several people have very kindly sent me photos of boats I hadn’t seen or photographed myself; I’m grateful to them and always happy to hear from people who can help to fill the gaps.

I have more updates to make, including many, many sailing-boats and some nice wooden boats.