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Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Photos arrow The Leaving of Dublin - reenactment of 51M's 1960 journey - May 2010
The Leaving of Dublin - reenactment of 51M's 1960 journey - May 2010 PDF Print E-mail
20 May 2010

 

Fifty years after Canal Boat 51M carried the last commercial cargo from Dublin along the Grand Canal and the River Shannon to Limerick, the HBA recreated the ‘Final Farewell’. The owners of 51M, Waterways Ireland, allowed us use the boat; her history is here Canal Boat 51M.
 
When 51M left St James Harbour on May 27th 1960, she carried a consignment of Guinness for the Limerick depot. At the time the departure caused quite a stir with both the public and the press. The Irish Times has featured both occasions see Here and IT 51M May 2010.
 
While the skipper on the original historic voyage has since passed away, on board as part of the crew in 2010 were his sons, daughter, grandson, granddaughter and some of the boatmen from the 1950s.
 
This was a joint venture with the Dublin Branch of the IWAI, whose hospitality we had all enjoyed during May at the Dublin 2010 Rally.
 
A flotilla of boats, including other surviving heritage boats, escorted 51M along the Grand Canal into Kildare and Offaly, pausing at Hazelhatch, Sallins, Robertstown, Daingean, Ballycommon and finally entering Tullamore Harbour at the beginning of June.
 
Photos by Tish Enright, Gerry & Geraldine Gavin, Catriona Hilliard, Paul Martin, Conor Nolan, Joe Treacy and others

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The HBA extend thanks to all who came along on the evening June 11th to mark the arrival of 51M to Tullamore.
Among those in the Harbour were representatives of the Heritage Boat Association (HBA), who organised the commemorative trip of 51M with the kind permission of Waterways Ireland, the Offaly Branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI), the Kilbeggan Grand Canal Harbour Amenity Group and the 107B Canal Boat Group.
 
Cllr Tommy Mc Keigue, Cathaoirleach of Tullamore Town Council led the welcome address along with Cllr Tony McCormack, President of the Tullamore & District Chamber of Commerce.
 
Paul Martin, Chair of the Heritage Boat Association spoke about the HBA, the 51M and the nationwide nature of Ireland's Floating Heritage. He also drew our attention to the planned return visit of the HBA during Heritage Week, for the Kilbeggan Canal Challenge, an annual event in association with Offaly IWAI and the Kilbeggan Grand Canal Harbour Amenity Group. This gathering of boats at Ballycommon to highlight the disused Kilbeggan Line, is campaigning for its re-watering and opening to tourist traffic.
 

 

Last Updated ( 06 December 2010 )
 
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