A blue sleeping bag discarded near Binns Bridge in Drumcondra is the only clue that people once slept there.
On Thursday 2 November, fast and high waters covered the area under the bridge, and the pathway on either side of the canal that used to run under it.
In July this year, Waterways Ireland raised the water level to prevent homeless people from sleeping under the bridge, a spokesperson confirmed.
From a story by Laoise Neylon in the Dublin Inquirer on 8 November 2017. Well done to Ms Neylon for going and finding out stuff rather than just recycling press releases.
Here’s a map of the areas of the Grand Canal where eviction notices were served [PDF].
There must be some better way of responding to homelessness than by flooding people out.
Posted in Ashore, Canals, Extant waterways, Ireland, Modern matters, Operations, People, Politics, Safety, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Grand Canal, homeless, Royal Canal, Waterways Ireland
This article, about the last of the Royal Canal boatmen, was based on an interview, arranged by Niall Galway, with Willie Leech of Killucan. Niall has now made the original interview available on YouTube, in two parts [Part 1, Part 2], with apologies for the sound.
Posted in Canals, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Restoration and rebuilding, Sources, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Killucan, Royal Canal, Willie Leech
Midland great western railway of ireland
notice to contractors
tenders for water tanks &c
The Directors of this Company will receive Tenders for providing and erecting (exclusive of masonry) two Wrought Iron Water Tanks, each to contain, when full, 6000 gallons of water, and each to be connected with two swing water cranes, with proper valves, &c. Also, for two Water Cranes, connected by pipes, 6 diameter [sic], with the water in the Royal Canal. Tenders to quote price per 100 feet, length of pipes, and to be sent in with a drawing and short specification, addressed to the Chairman at 23 College-green, Dublin, and endorsed, “Tender for Water Tanks and Cranes”, on or before Noon of 9th November, 1846. The whole to be completed on or before the 20th January, 1847, under a penalty of £2 per day. If further information is required apply to G W Hemans Esq, Engineer to the Company, at 53 Upper Sackville-street, Dublin; and the Directors do not bind themselves to take the lowest tender.
By order, Henry Beausire, Sec, Dublin, 23 College-green, 26th Oct, 1846
Saunders’s News-Letter 3 November 1846
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Operations, Passenger traffic, Rail, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Beausire, Dublin, Hemans, Midland Great Western Railway, Royal Canal, water crane, water supply, water tank
The current issue of the Railway & Canal Historical Society‘s Journal contains an article on the sinking of the passage boat Longford on the Royal Canal in 1845 and the fifteen deaths that resulted. The story has also been told here, starting from this page.
Posted in Canals, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Passenger traffic, People, Rail, Safety, Sources, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Clonsilla, Longford, passage boat, porter, Royal Canal
The Royal Canal’s origins have never been satisfactorily explained: a later legend even seeks to explain its origins in an obscure dispute between a retired shoemaker and other members of the Grand Canal Company. But in fact its origins were political. As the Grand Canal Company was taken over by the conservative La Touche clique, the opposition launched a new venture: its patron was the duke of Leinster; businessmen and opposition politicians rallied to it; and Gleadowes, rivals of the La Touches, were bankers to the company. In other words, there was to be a left-wing as well as a right-wing way to reach the Shannon. Almost symbolically on its more northerly route to the Shannon, it passed through the duke of Leinster’s land.
L M Cullen “Politics and Institutions, 1731–1835” in Economy, Trade and Irish Merchants at home and abroad, 1600–1988 Four Courts Press, Dublin 2012
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Shannon, Sources, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Dublin, duke of leinster, Gleadowes, La Touche, Royal Canal, Shannon
The numerous individuals interested in the prosperity of the Royal Canal, as well as the Public at large, must be highly gratified to learn, that the trade on the extended line of that navigation has commenced with all the spirit and activity that could have been anticipated by the most sanguine. The first boat from the Shannon (the Lanesborough Trader, Patrick Connor, owner) arrived at the Broadstone harbour on Saturday [31 January 1818], amid the cheers of numerous spectators, with a fiddler playing merrily upon her deck.
Saunders’s News-Letter 2 February 1818
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Restoration and rebuilding, Shannon, The grain trade, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Broadstone, Clondra, Dublin, Ireland, Lanesborough, Lanesborough Trader, Patrick Connor, Royal Canal, Shannon, Tarmonbarry
According to Ruth Delany [Ruth Delany and Ian Bath Ireland’s Royal Canal 1789–2009 The Lilliput Press, Dublin 2010], the Royal Canal’s fast passenger-carrying fly-boats had neither toilets nor cooking facilities; the slower night-boats were better equipped.
So how did the fly-boat passengers relieve themselves?
Given that the boats travelled at six Irish miles per hour (about 12 km/h), any passenger who disembarked for the purpose would have found it difficult to catch up again. Yet standing on the notoriously unstable boats might have been difficult for the gentlemen, while the problems facing the ladies are not to be contemplated.
I don’t think that the india-rubber urinal had been invented by then. So what did they do?
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Passenger traffic, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged fly-boat, passage boat, Royal Canal, toilet, urinal