For one thing, I was no longer alone; a man is never alone with the wind - and the boat made three. - Hilaire Belloc

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

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34B - Horse Boat - Shannon Harbour 1896 PDF Print E-mail
01 October 2008


Reg. No: 34B
Built: Shannon Harbour
Year: 1896
Construction: Riveted Steel
Lengt: 60'
Beam: 13'2"
Payload: 50 Tons
  Draft Loaded: 4'.25"
  Current Draft: 3'
  Weighed: Killaloe 1928
  Engine: Horse drawn
Converted to Paraffin Engine Bolinder circa. 19"
3.8 6MC Diesel
Ford 0 Series Diesel 120Hp


34B Mespil Road 2001


Canal Boat 34 B was built in Shannon Harbour in 1896. She was owned by Shackeltons Mills at Milford Co. Carlow. This mill was run by Ebenezer Shackelton a relative ofthe great explorer. In 1913 she was owned by Moores of Carlow. She was weighed at Killaloe for the Moores on the 8th Sept 1928. She was used by the Moore family to carry general cargo on the Barrow and Grand Canal until trade declined on the system. She is also reputed to have been used for icebreaking on the canal and this was confirmed by an old canal man who claimed that he saw her in action in this role at Ticknevin being towed by a number of horses.

During the Second World War turf was purchased in the Ticknevin area and taken to Dublin. On a trip through the lock at Ticknevin an elderly local man on seeing the boat in the lock made the statement to me "You know 34B put food on many a table in this area during the war"

34B is reputed to have been shot at during the Easter rising in 1916 while leaving Ringsend basin. There is indeed what appears to be a bullet hole visible inside the hull in the engine room on the port side.

The Moore family owned 34B until trade ceased on the system in 1959. From the decline in trade in the early 50's she had remained tied up at Graigcullen, home port of the Moore's. She was later purchased by Jim Dillon who carried out the first conversion on her. The late David Wheeler later purchased her in a derelict state at Rathangan and he was responsible for the present conversion.

She was later owned by a syndicate of German nationals along with the late Des Barry. She was purchased in 1990 by Gerry & Geraldine Gavin who made significant changes to the interior. The many plaques on display inside testify to the many rallies she has participated in since she came to the Shannon.

In the late 80's she had the dubious distinction of passing through Athlone without using the lock. On that occasion vandals cut her loose from the Apparel jetty and she went over the weir. There are many stories around Athlone of adventures aboard 34 B involving previous owners.'

34B on Quivvy Waters 2003


Last Updated ( 04 December 2010 )
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