Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. - Quote attributed to Publilius Syrus - 100BC

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Grand Canal Boats arrow 57M - Maid of Allen - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1928
57M - Maid of Allen - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1928 PDF Print E-mail
21 September 2008


57M was built for the Grand Canal Company in 1928 and was worked moving general cargo between Dublin, the Shannon and the Barrow for over 32 years. When the commercial traffic closed on the canal in 1960 she was sold off by CIE at auction. Drogheda Harbour Commissioners owned her for a number of years and then Drogheda Rowing Club and possibly an M. Rowan after that. Around 1973 Garda George Smith of Birr bought her.

At that time she was practically abandoned in Mornington with tide flowing in and out of holes in her hull. The Bolinder engine was still in her but they couldn't get it working. They filled the holes with concrete and "they started from scratch" completely stripping her down to the hull and refitting her out as a houseboat"

George had her towed by trawler to Dublin without incident. However they later ran into trouble going down the canal around Sallins and after a showdown with CIE they lifted her out of the Canal and brought her to Shannon Harbour by truck. She was put into dry dock where some basic repair work was carried out. George later sold to Greg Allen who owned pubs in Celbridge and Prosperous. It was Greg who named her the Maid of Allen. After converting her and replacing the engine he ran 57M as a trip boat on the canal around Robertstown and Sallins, before selling her on.

She then moved into Dublin and operated as a trip boat on the Circular Line before being ordered to move outside the city limits by the Courts. 57M was moved to Clodalkin and was tied up around the 9th lock where she was vandalised and eventually set on fire. She was subsequently towed out to Hazlehatch and moored outside McEvoys for a number of years before her current owners bought her. They started from scratch, completely stripping her down to the hull and refitting her out as a houseboat. She is currently moored in Sallins.

Crew included-
While crews continuously swapped between boats, we do know that in 1937 Paddy Connolly Shannon Harbour was greaser on 57M. Also there at that time were Willie and Harry Pender and Pat "Baker" Sheridan. Joe Connolly worked on 57M as deckhand when "Lady" Jack Dunican was Skipper, Willie "Sledger" Dunne was Engineman and John Donoghue, Greaser. In 1951 Tom Manning left 54M and joined 57M as engine¬man, with Mick Donnelon "in charge" (Skipper) at that time.


Last Updated ( 03 October 2011 )
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