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Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Others arrow Countess Cadogan - Passenger Steam Boat - Scotland 1897 (scrapped)
Countess Cadogan - Passenger Steam Boat - Scotland 1897 (scrapped) PDF Print E-mail
24 June 2009


Some of the most popular postcards depicting leisure time on the Shannon in the early 1900s showed the passenger steamer Countess Cadogan.

In 1896 an agreement was made between the Office of Public Works in Ireland and the Shannon Development Company Limited to inaugurate a new service of passenger steamers on the Shannon. The Countess Cadogan, measuring 70 ft by 14 ft x 7 ft was one of these steamers. Built in Paisley in Scotland by Fullertons or McLachlans as a steam lighter in 1897, her tonnage was 53 gross tons with a nominal horsepower of 14. The steam engine was a 12 inch compound manufactured by J McArthur of Paisley.
From all accounts she originally cruised as far as Dromod, north of Lough Ree, but eventually the cruises were day trips from Banagher to Killaloe and back. From the website of the Offaly Historical & Archeological society, we learn that in 1902 "The community of La Sainte Union de Sacres Coeurs, Banagher, had a pleasant excursion on the Shannon on Tuesday. The Shannon lake steamer Countess Cadogan was chartered for the occasion, and the party, consisting of nuns of the community, local priests, and over 100 boys and girls of the boarding schools of the convent, started from Banagher at 9 in the morning, and had a most delightful sail to Killaloe, the weather being charming. When they arrived at their destination, the hampers, which were varied and plentiful, were fittingly appreciated. After a brief adjournment in Killaloe, the homeward journey was made, under most happy circumstances. ..."
She is said to have been on the Corrib in Galway from 1913 to 1917 before being sold in 1917 to Nicholas Cook of Aberdeen.
However, this was not the end of the Countess Cadogan passenger boat. The Orkney Island Community site states “Apparently she was beautifully fitted out and there was a large portrait of the Countess Cadogan and her two children which almost filled one of the bulkheads in the stern saloon. She was operated as a South Isles ferry in opposition to another steamer called the Hoy Head. Captain Arcus skippered her from 1921 until his death in 1924 and then Captain Jamie Sutherland from 1924 until 1927". Unfortunately, she was then scrapped.
EOL 2009
These photos are courtesy of Clare County Library Killaloe Heritage Centre Collection and the Orkney Island Image Library Orkney Image Library with thanks.
Countess Cadogan at Banagher Countess Cadogan Sunset on Lough Derg
Countess Cadogan at Meelick Vountess Cadogan on the Shannon
Countess Cadogan at Long Hope, Orkney Countess Cadogan at Orkney
The islanders had fond memories of her as may be depicted in the poem The Countess & the Hoyhead by James Hay

The Countess an' the Hoyhead tae
Are right good ships I'm sure,
If ye tae Kirkwall want tae gang
They'll tak ye in an oor.
Capt. Sutherland's an islander
O'whome we are right prood,
A better chap ye widna fin'
Gin ye wid pick a crood.

On Jamie ye can aye depend,
He's sober, skilled an a',
He'll tak' the Countess ower the flow
Through spindrift, sleet an' snaw.
Storm, wind, and hail, an a that's bad
That fairly mak's ye reel
Is naething, ne'er mind, a' is right
If Jamie's at the wheel.

An' Swanson o' the Hoyhead, troth
He's a' there right enough,
A gallant worthy sailorman
Wha smiles when seas are rough.
Twa steamers, aye, God bless them baith,
They're handy sure as sure,
Lang may their lums reek is our prayer,
Though skies be bright or dour.



Last Updated ( 08 September 2011 )
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