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Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Grand Canal Boats arrow 77M - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1937
77M - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1937 PDF Print E-mail
02 February 2009

 

77M was built in 1937 by the Ringsend Dockyard Company and known as a McMillen boat after the boat builder. Together with 78M and 79M she was built slightly longer and wider than the standard M boat, so she measured 61 ft 9 ins by 13 ft 3 ins.

In the early 1950’s Eddie Cummins from Edenderry worked with Paddy Aungier on this boat. Poor old Eddie had a sad ending when he drowned off 77M in Daingean in 1954/5. It happened while loading beet around Christmas time.
 
That wasn’t the only tragedy connected to 77M as George Fitzpatrick from Dublin drowned off her below Portumna, while towing a row boat for a man from Garrykennedy. The row boat was being towed up the lake behind the barge, coming up the lake George pulled the boat up to the barge and got into it. After a while he decided to go back to the barge so he went to the front of the row boat and pulled on the tow rope. The combination of his weight and the pull on the rope pulled down the nose of the boat and he fell in the lake. His body was picked up by another boat the following day.
 
At another time Robert Mahon was skipper with Paddy Mahon and Paddy Delaney. Her last crew were all from Banagher, Andy Maloney was in charge (Skipper), Tom ‘Thick’ Donnelan was the Driver/Engineman and Will ‘Abie’ Maloney was Deckhand.
 
77M was not sold off by CIE but was converted to a dredger. Her bow was cut down to the waterline and a Priestman dredger fitted. Her Bolinder engine was replaced with a 59hp air cooled Lister diesel engine. Tommy Doyle and Christy Daly were her first crew. John Doherty, John Whelan of Graiguenamanagh and Joe Logan also worked on her. In 1986/7 Kit Moran and Ger Nolan was the crew when she worked on the Circular Line in Dublin. She moved to the Barrow around 1995 and was retired from service on 1997.
 
She still belongs to Waterways Ireland and is currently lying in the canal outside the WI Maintenance Depot at Fenniscourt Lock.
Last Updated ( 04 April 2009 )
 
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