The water is the same on both sides of the boat. - Finnish Proverb

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Bye-Trader Boats arrow 103B - Snipe - Bye Trader - Dublin 1928
103B - Snipe - Bye Trader - Dublin 1928 PDF Print E-mail
01 October 2008



103B was built in 1928 for the Grand Canal Company but the order was cancelled.  It was subsequently sold to Thomas McDermott of Ticknevin in 1930. 103B and 118B are the two M style barges that went straight into private ownership, rather than the GCC.  

Even though 103B was built to take an engine she was operated for the first two years without one and towed by a horse. The Bolinder engine was installed in 1932. 103B was a private cargo boat, operating on the Grand Canal and the Barrow.

Mrs McDermott told Ruth Casey in 1975 that 103B did one trip to Limerick. The canal closed down to commercial traffic in 1959 but most of the private boats were tied up earlier in the 1950's. It's not known for sure what happened to her after this time but it's believed that she went to the Dundalk Harbour Commissioners.

In April 1975 a P Taylor sold her to Alan Algeo, who in September 1975 sold her to Mick Webb and Ruth Casey. It was just a hull at that stage and was sunk on a sand bank but with the help of a few friends they raised her and towed her to Athlone.  Ruth and Mick converted her and instead of (like everybody else at the time) using wood and mineral felt to cover the cargo hold they used cement with chicken wire through it. She was christened Snipe and was moored under the railway bridge in Athlone. One reason for this was that Mike and Ruth were living on her but over the years the second reason took over, in that the engine had seized up.

Mike and Ruth went boating further afield and sold 103B to Jim Reddy in September 2001. Jim got her towed down to Shannon Harbour in 2005 where he got some hull work done. She was towed back to Athlone and plans are currently afoot to get her moving under her own power in the not too distant future.

As an aside, Jim is a well known pallette knife painter, and teaches regularly in Athlone College. His paintings of river scenes and indeed individual barges are well known, so if you are passing through Athlone, or would like a painting of your barge or boat give him a call.


Last Updated ( 10 February 2011 )
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