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Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Horse Boats arrow 112B - Terrapin - Horse Boat 21 - Portadown 1873
112B - Terrapin - Horse Boat 21 - Portadown 1873 PDF Print E-mail
13 October 2008

112B Terrapin

She was built in 1873 at Portadown Foundry as a horse drawn boat. She worked on the Royal and had Royal number 21 and was known as "Black Swan", Its not known how she ended up on the Royal as she is a 60ft boat and Royal Canal boats were 70ft.

In the 1920's she was sold off to John Roche and began trading on the Grand Canal as 112B. He sold it on to M. Dowling in Dublin. Denis Lynch of Garrykennedy bought her in June 1949 for the sum of £40 including the horse. Denis sometime later positioned her on the cill of Meelick Lock and had her stern cut out to take a stern tube and propeller shaft. A Bolinder engine was then fitted. She was then used as a Hack Boat on the Shannon carrying various cargos such as Slate from the quarries in Portroe, Turf during the summer and Corn in the harvest.

In 1961 Ken Simmons bought her and lived aboard with his family, after conversion until the early 1990's. Ken was suffering from failing health at that time so he became a land lubber so the Terrapin fell into disrepair. Ken sold her in 1996. As she had no working engine and she was based in Killaloe he towed her for the new owner to Tuamgraney. Enthusiasm got the better of the new owner who stripped her out finding as he went along, the more he ripped the further he had to go. Eventually he ended up with a bare hull. During the winter of 1998, the Terrapin sank in Tuamgraney. The following Summer, as she was a hazard to navigation, she was removed by Duchas (now Waterways Ireland) and brought to their Portumna depot.

It was from there that Martin and Mary O'Rourke the current owners bought her a few years later. They took her by road to Tullamore and have her on display beside the Round Lock House (Lock 26 on the Grand Canal) which they also own.


Last Updated ( 04 December 2010 )
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