Tag Archives: Tipperary

No more Latin, no more French …

… no more licensed traders in marked fuels [xls] along the Shannon.

Funny how few marinas sell diesel nowadays.

The Charles Wye Williams bridge campaign

Dublin City Council has published its call for proposals for naming the new bridge across the Liffey. According to RTE, various bolshies and literary types have been suggested, as though we didn’t have enough of them (and of politicians too). Accordingly, I have submitted an application suggesting that the bridge be named after a successful entrepreneur who understood technology and created employment: Charles Wye Williams, the Father of the Shannon, whose fleet of nine steamers and fifty-two barges gave us the Shannon as we know it today.

I will be happy to send a copy (PDF) of my application to anyone who is willing to support it.

What are they?

Dromineer February 2013.

Unidentified birds (click for much larger image)

Unidentified birds (click for much larger image)

Yes, I know they’re birds, but what class or type or breed or model?

The Suir towing-path

His late Most Excellent Majesty Henry the Eighth, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith, Lord of Ireland and of the Church of England and also of Ireland in Earth Supreme Head, has many claims to fame, but the greatest is undoubtedly his Act for the Weares upon the Barrow, and other Waters in the County of Killkenny of 1537, which begins thus:

Prayen the commons of this present Parliament assembled, That where at all times necessarie boates, scowts, wherries, clarans, cottes, and other vessels, loden and bestowed with goods, merchandizes, and other stuffe, have beene used to passe and repasse thorough and in the King’s most excellent Majesty’s rivers and waters of the Barrow, the Noyre, the Suyr, and the Rie, within this land, which Rie is in the county of Kilkenny, to and from the King’s citie of Waterford, and the townes of Kilkenny, Rosse, and Clomel [sic], to and from diverse borrowe and corporate townes, and other places, being sitiated in the counties of Kyldare, Catherlagh, Wexford, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Tipperary, through which great commoditie and profit hath growen and might grow to the said citie, townes, noroughes, and other places, and to all and every the King’s true subjects adjoyning to the same waters and rivers: […]

We resume a couple of pages later:

[…] and that the said owners, their servants, marryners, boatmen, and other rulers and conveyers, and all other persons coming in ayd and help of them and every of them, at all such times as the said mariners, boatemen, and other rulers and conveyers shall thinke the same necessarie and needfull, shall have and occupie at every of their wills and pleasures, the space and breadth of seven foote or more, as need require, of plain ground, upon every part of the land, of every side of every the said rivers and waters, next adjoyning to the said rivers and waters, and that to bee where they must needs draw the said boats and other vessels afore named, with strength of horses or men, by land […].

So His late Most Excellent Majesty provided that those drawing boats, using manpower or horsepower, could use a space seven foot wide on either side of the river. From the 1750s onwards, work was done on building a towing-path along the Suir between Carrick and Clonmel; work seems to have been finished before 1789 and the towing-path continued in use until the early years of the twentieth century.

Kincor Castle below Sir Thomas's Bridge at Ferryhouse

Kincor Castle below Sir Thomas’s Bridge at Ferryhouse

Much, but not all, of the towing-path is accessible, and maintainted by South Tipperary County Council; as well as providing a walking route, it allows anglers, boaters and other leisure users to get to the river. However, some sections are impassable, so that it is not possible to walk the whole length of this extremely scenic route between Clonmel and Carrick.

South Tipperary County Council is now considering declaring public roads on the towing-path and thus taking it in charge.

South Tipperary County Council's newspaper ad about declaring public roads on the Suir towing-path

South Tipperary County Council’s newspaper ad about declaring public roads on the Suir towing-path

The Council’s documents are here. I think that this is a good idea and I have written to the Council (and to local newspapers) to declare my support.

 

Rescue boats on Irish inland waterways

I’ve moved my photos of rescue boats to a new page and added photos of some more services. Still a lot missing, though.

Where is this?

Paul Gauci's 1831 drawing of a Shannon steamer

Paul Gauci’s 1831 drawing of a Shannon steamer

This drawing of a steamer is from an 1831 book called Select Views of Lough Derg and the River Shannon by Paul Gauci. I haven’t seen the book myself, but this illustration is used in a couple of places, including Ruth Delany’s book The Shannon Navigation [The Lilliput Press Ltd, Dublin 2008]. Andrew Bowcock, in his article “Early iron ships on the River Shannon” in The Mariner’s Mirror Vol 92 No 3 August 2006, says of the steamer shown that

The funnel looks to be almost over the paddle shaft, which is artistic license.

But my question is not about the vessel but about the house in the background. If it is drawn without artistic licence, where is it?

It is a very large house, seven bays by three storeys, quite close to the water. Using the Historic 6″ Ordnance Survey map [~1840], I have followed the banks of the Shannon from Shannon Harbour down Lough Derg to Killaloe, then from Limerick down the estuary as far as Tarbert, across the estuary to Doonaha and back up on the Clare side to Limerick, then from Killaloe up the Clare and Galway shores back to Shannon Harbour. Anywhere I found a large house within what seemed the right distance of the shore, I looked it up in the Landed Estates Database and in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, with some supplementary googling.

I haven’t been able to find images of all the houses marked on the OSI map, but I found enough to show that houses of the size shown by Gauci were very rare. Within those few, I ruled out some (like Tervoe) because they didn’t seem to match Gauci’s drawing (although alterations could have accounted for that). I ended up with only one house that looked at all like Gauci’s, but the background may not match.

If you can identify the house, I would be glad if you could leave a Comment below.

Where are the boats?

Learned Readers will be aware that you can moor cheaply for the winter in a Waterways Ireland Shannon harbour; see Marine Notive 111/2012 about half way down this page.

Now, anyone paying commercial rates in a Shannon marina will tell you that WI’s charges represent extremely good value: cheaper even than a year’s canals permit.

But I have noted recently that there seem to be only four boats in Dromineer for the winter). Pottering about today, I found Portumna Castle Harbour deserted.

Portumna Castle Harbour December 2012

Portumna Castle Harbour December 2012

Terryglass had more boats, but most of them are on the county council’s jetty with only seven on the Waterways Ireland extension.

Terryglass December 2012 03_resize

Terryglass December 2012

There were only four boats on the west bank below the bridge in Portumne. There were a few more in Connaught Harbour, but all in all the numbers were lower than I had expected. And I don’t think they’re in Shannon Harbour, which seemed to have fewer boats than usual.

So have boat-owners found that their insurers won’t cover them if they are not in supervised marinas, or out of the water, for the winter? Are private marinas, especially those that can haul boats out of the water, more crowded than usual? Or has the number of boats decreased even more drastically than I had imagined?

I don’t know. Readers’ observations welcome.

 

 

Looking for Hilda

In Irish Passenger Steamship Services Volume 2: South of Ireland (David & Charles, Newton Abbot 1971), D B McNeill writes:

In the autumn of 1964 the Ormonde Hotel at Nenagh took delivery of the Hilda from Holland. She is a modern canal cruising launch with central heating and a transparent roof. She is used for local trips on Lough Derg.

She is described as a single-screw motor vessel with a diesel engine but no further details are given. I would welcome more information about the Hilda; a photo would be very nice.

Shannon traffic

This chart shows the numbers of Shannon lock and bridge passages for the first ten months of the year for ten years from 2003 through 2012.

Figures courtesy of Waterways Ireland

These figures take no account of boats that do not use locks and bridges, eg those that remain on lakes.

The decline continues.

Errina

Waterways Ireland has parked a canteen trailer and some pontoons at Errina Bridge.

The compound, with Official Notices signed Rabbit

Pontoons

The canteen trailer

 

Another view of the canteen trailer

Evidence of tree cutting above Errina Lock, but that may not have anything to do with Waterways Ireland

The guardians of the lock