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Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Grand Canal Boats arrow 48M - Cluaine Uaine Bheag - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1928
48M - Cluaine Uaine Bheag - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1928 PDF Print E-mail
22 September 2008
Technical Details
48M with her new name
Reg Number:
Built By:
Vickers (Ireland) Ltd
Riveted Steel
61' 6"
13' 2"
60 tons
4' 5.5"
Killaloe 1928
Bolinder E Type, 15 HP
Ford Mermaid Melody II 4 Cyl Diesel

48M was built by Vickers (Ireland) Ltd in 1928 for the Grand Canal Company as a general motorised trade boat. She would have carried general cargo including Guinness to all parts of the navigation until the closure of the Grand Canal in 1959. She was subsequently sold off to the Malahide Dockyard as a general construction platform where she lay abandoned until she was found by George Spiers in the early 1967.

George, along with Mick Rowan, acquired her where she lay precariously perched on a breakwater concrete block. They managed to float 48M on a high tide and have her towed by trawler to the Liffey and up to James's Street Basin. Having concern for the condition of the hull it was exchanged for 93E which was sailed home. 48M remained in James's Street until it was transferred with the remaining barges to the Grand Canal in Ballycommon. These vessels were later moved into Tullamore Harbour for safety and she remained there until 1995 when she was selected to be one of the barges allocated to the FAS community project.

48M was leased to the Shannon Harbour Community Project and transferred by canal to the Dry Dock Shannon Harbour from which she was lifted by crane. Some delicate manoeuvring delivered her into the large Transhipping Shed which was the base for the full restoration. The restoration project ran from 1996 to 2003 converting her into a licensed passenger vessel to carry 50 passengers with 3 crew. Unfortunately the delivery of the complete barge ended the project and she was returned to Waterways Ireland and is currently stored in Tullamore Harbour.

Crew included-
Paddy "Waxer" Dunne started on the Canal with his father on 48M in 1932. Joe Cox from Tubberdaly was in charge in 1936, Tom Connolly from Forde Bridge was deckman and Jimmy "Buttermilk" Kelly from Tullamore was engineman.
Joe Connolly (Shannon Harbour) replaced Tony Dunne as a Greaser on September 20th 1937. In Feb 1938 "Buttermilk" left and Joe Cox's brother joined in his place. Jim Taylor, Johnny Press and Tom Cox also worked as deck men around this time after Tom Connolly moved on. Mick Coyne from Gillen also worked on her.

In the early 1940's "Joney" Judge was in charge for a while with Joe Connolly Shannon Harbour as driver and Tommy Nutt as deckman. Tom and Mick Donlon and Jimmy Reynolds all from Banagher along with Tom Doyle worked on her at one time as did Jimmy Regan, Tom Flynn and Jim Gill In February 1946 Joe Connolly (Shannon Harbour) returned as a driver joining his brother Paddy who was the Skipper. Jim Reynolds was deckman and Joe Manning was greaser. Reynolds left the following August and Joe Manning went as deckman Billy Colton later replaced Joe Manning. In March 1947 Paddy left and Jim Nevin went in charge. Last working crew recorded in CIE records are John Dunne ( Master) John Bracken ( Engineman (Tpy)) and Conleth Lenihan ( Deckman).

48M 2001 48M
Last Updated ( 03 December 2010 )
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