Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure thing boat never gets far from shore.- Dale Carnegie

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Grand Canal Boats arrow 36M - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1927
36M - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1927 PDF Print E-mail
01 October 2008


36M was built in 1927 at Ringsend Dockyard Company for the Grand Canal Company. Her Engine was a Bolinder like many others and she plied the Grand Canal and river Barrow due to her shallow draught. She was known by the boat men as a McMillan boat.

36M mainly carried, beet, sugar and fuel, but during her lifetime she did carry that special cargo "Guinness" which gave the M barges the nickname "The Guinness Barges"

In late 1960, 36M returned to Ringsend basin and because of the decline of canal transport she was retired and sunk off the quay wall just beside where U2 have their recording studio now.

In the early 70's Jimmy Dillon bought her and raised her. At some stage between her sinking and raising her original tiller arm went missing. 36M then spent some time at Harold's Cross, during that time there was a caravan in her hold. A few years later 36M was moved to Vicarstown where in 1981, Brendan Thompson bought her and began her restoration. A new engine was installed, a 6 cylinder Ford D, and a superstructure was put over her hold. In 1984 she was moved under her own power to Shannon Harbour. Brendan along with many friends firstly removed over 20 ton of concrete, replated her bilges and replaced the original battered propeller.

Over the next 20 years 36M took shape, with Dave Whicher helping, Brendan and Dave spent many a long day working. Her interior is lined with maple and pitch pine, all doors in 36M are from old church confessional boxes, if only those doors could talk. The doors add to the charm of the interior as well as even heat distribution during the winter months due to the intricate carvings.

In 2000 Siobhan Hynes bought her from Brendan who put her up for sale, rather then let her go to someone else, Siobhan wanted to keep her in the Hynes/Thompson family.

36M is home to Siobhan Hynes & John Thomson at Hazelhatch but she still travels the Grand Canal occasionally to attend the various rallies. Upkeep IS continuous but then again she is over 79 years old and still puts many of the new boats to shame.

Crew Included-
Johnny Conroy who was the greaser in 1936 when the greasers went on strike. In November 1943 "Lamp" Conlon was in charge (Skipper) of her, Mick Tierney was driving, Tom Nolan was deckhand and Eddie Brennan was greaser. When Eddy, left Paddy Nolan came on as greaser in his place. When "Lamp" left "Horse" Connolly went in charge. Later Martin Connolly (Shannon Harbour) went in charge of her and Tom Nolan his brother went driving. Mick Tiernan and Paddy Nolan gave up the Canal at that time. After a while Tom Nolan left her and Tommy Anderson came driving and Jim Nevin (Shannon Harbour) went as deckhand.

In 1947 Paddy Connolly (Martin's brother) was in the St. James and he swapped onto 36M, Paddy went in charge and Martin stayed on as deckman. Paddy left the Canal around 1953 and went to America. Tommy Anderson also left at that time. Joe Mannion came in charge of her then and Paddy Farrell (brother of Peter), was with him. Joe Mannion left in 1957 and Tony O'Brien, (who survived the sinking of 45M) went in charge still with Paddy Farrell. Tod Kearney and Peter Boland also were supposed to have worked on 36M at one time or

36M in 1952 [courtesy of Through the Locks] 36M in Dublin 1980 photo taken by Mike Clarke
36M in Vicarstown on the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal in 1981
Last Updated ( 03 December 2010 )
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