Here are the fourth and fifth pages [I split one long page] in the sequence of articles about the sinking of the passage boat Longford on the Royal Canal in 1845. They discuss some of the evidence of corporate incompetence and farcical laxity that may have persuaded the inquest jury to award a deodand against the vessel (and thus against the Royal Canal Company).
Amongst other gems, the footnotes explain what a crapper is.
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Passenger traffic, People, Restoration and rebuilding, Safety, Sources, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged 1845, boats, bridge, canal, Clonsilla, crapper, deep sinking, Dublin, Ireland, lock, Longford, Operations, passage boat, Porterstown, Royal Canal, Samuel Draper, vessels, waterways
25 November 2015 will be the 170th anniversary of the sinking of the Royal Canal passage-boat Longford and the deaths of fifteen people.
This was not (pace Ruth Delany in Ireland’s Royal Canal 1789–2009 Lilliput Press, Dublin 2010) “the worst accident ever to happen on the Irish waterways”: that melancholy distinction belongs to the drowning at Carrick-on-Suir of about 111 people in 1799 [see “The cries at the bridge” on this page], while the second-worst was the drowning of twenty people on Lough Corrib in 1828, the event commemorated by Antoine Ó Raifteiri in his poem Eanach Dhúin.
But the 1845 accident, between Porterstown and Clonsilla Bridges, was the worst to occur on an Irish canal. Evidence at the inquest and subsequent trial suggests great laxity in the management of the Royal Canal Company’s affairs, even if the immediate cause was an act of insane irresponsibility on the part of the boat’s temporary steerer.
I do not know whether any plaque or other artefact commemorates the event.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Rail, Restoration and rebuilding, Safety, Sources, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged accident, Broadstone, Clonsilla, deep sinking, drowning, Longford, passage boat, Porterstown, Royal Canal, Royal Canal Company, Samuel Draper
From the Freeman’s Journal of 5 December 1833:
The Broadstone, from The Tourist’s Illustrated Hand-Book for Ireland 3rd ed David Bryce, London 1854
UNPRECEDENTED SPEED ATTAINED IN TRAVELLING UPON THE ROYAL CANAL
The Court of Directors of the Royal Canal hereby give Notice, that the present Day-Boat will cease running on Friday, the 6th, and that an Iron-Boat, capable of conveying Seventy Passengers, will leave the Broadstone harbour, at Nine o’Clock, on the Morning of Saturday, the 7th inst, for Mullingar, where it will arrive at Five o’Clock in the Evening; and Notice is further given, that at Nine o’Clock upon each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, a Boat will leave Dublin for Mullingar, and return from thence at the same hour upon Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. By the foregoing arrangement a saving of three hours and a half will be effected. The Night-Boat will, for the present, continue to leave Dublin for Longford, each day, at Two o’Clock, and a Boat will depart from thence, for Dublin, each Morning, at Eleven o’Clock.
SAMUEL DRAPER, Secretary.
Royal Canal-house, 2d Dec., 1833.
Posted in Built heritage, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, waterways
Tagged boats, canal, day boat, Dublin, Ireland, iron boat, Mullingar, night-boat, passengers, Royal Canal, Samuel Draper, speed