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Vol. 25 Issue 4.
Barrow BranchJohn Dimond
In New Ross, voluntary organisations were invited to tell local councillors and politicians what needs to be done in their areas for the Millennium. I spoke for New Ross Boat Club and for those who cruise the tidal waters of the Barrow. I described New Ross as a gateway to the inland waterways - but I said that it also worked the other way round: New Ross is accessible from the entire network.
With the Dunbrody (see below) as a focus of attention next year, we need better facilities for visiting craft. I asked for a quay-side marina in New Ross with a shower- and toilet-block, landing and mooring facilities above Ferrymountgarrett Bridge (between St Mullins and New Ross) and mooring facilities at the Steamer Hole in St Mullins. I would also like access to Inistioge on the Nore as the first step in reopening the Kilkenny Canal. These improvements would cost little but would encourage more visitors to the area and make for safer boating.
The Barrow Branch extends its sincere condolences to the family of Eamonn Dwyer of Boyle, Co Sligo, who tragically lost his life on 16 June 1998 while engaged on his duties as Waterways Services engineer at Milford lifting bridge in Co Carlow.
If you want to make a trip down the Barrow in 1999, if you want information or if you would like to join the Barrow Branch, contact me at 40 Parkfield, New Ross, Co Wexford.
The DunbrodyBrian J Goggin
John Dimond mentioned the Dunbrody in the last issue. Since then, I've had several messages praising the project and urging people to go and visit the Dunbrody. I decided to find out more; Mrs Aude Bates (quoted below) provided information and photographs.
The original Dunbrody was built in Canada and commissioned in 1845 for the New Ross firm of Graves & Son. She carried emigrants to Canada during and after the Great Famine:
A total of 176 emigrants could be berthed on board: upper-classes in the first and second class cabins in the after-quarter of the accommodation deck; evicted tenants from Lord Fitzwilliam's Wicklow estates and Viscount De Vesci's Portlaoise estates in the steerage.Dunbrody was no coffin-ship: she was
... a living proof of a good management of the passenger trade from New Ross. She was a highly superior class emigrant ship, combining all the essentials of safety and comfort.
Dunbrody also sailed to Savannah and Charleston for cotton, to the Chincha Islands for guano and to Jamaica and the Canaries.
The Dunbrody replica is being built in New Ross in a disused dry dock on the west bank of the Barrow, with a team of 40 workers and 5 shipwrights. They aim to launch in mid-December, with the ship being ready to sail in March 1999 for the USA and Canada, returning to New Ross in November.
So far, more than 40,000 people have been to the visitors' centre. We'll have a progress report in the next issue, but you can get information from the JFK Trust, tel 051 425239, fax 051 425240, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website:http://www.dunbrody.com/
Dublin BranchEoghan Ganly
In Bluebell on the Grand Canal, a landing jetty is being built above the 3rd (double) lock at Blackhorse Bridge. This will make boating through the area much easier.
Last April we were unable to bring boats by canal to the Dublin Rally because the 9th lock (the double lock in Clondalkin Village) was closed to navigation after a bulge developed in the masonry at the base of the lock wall. Undaunted, our Chairman, Paul Kenny, managed to bring the Dublin Rally into the city by road!
On examining the lock, the Waterways Service found a retaining wall behind the bulging masonry so the repairs were relatively simple. They have now been completed and the lock is open and ready for use - and the Dublin Rally will go ahead as normal.
However, note the revised dates: the rally begins on Saturday 15 May and leaves Dublin on 29 May. This should give warmer weather but allow navigators to reach the Shannon for the summer.