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Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Grand Canal Boats arrow 59M - Countess Corinne - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1929
59M - Countess Corinne - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1929 PDF Print E-mail
24 September 2008
Technical Details
59M Clondra 2005
59M at Clondra 2005
Reg Number:
Built By:
Vickers (Ireland)
Riveted Steel
61' 9"
13' 2"
60 tons
4' 5.75"
Killaloe 1929
Bolinder E Type, 15 HP
Ford D series 120hp 6 Cyl Diesel


In May 1960, 59M left James's St. Harbour for the last time with a cargo of Guinness for the depot in Athy. She was sold off by CIE in the 1960's but wasn't converted until sometime in the 1970's. Her owners included D. O'Leary, Mr. Wilson, Dr. O'Callaghan and Dr. Oliver Connolly. She still had the original Bolinder Engine in 1993 when her current owner Phelim Nevin bought her.

The original conversion was made of timber and felt and was in a pretty bad state so she was stripped right back to the hull and had a complete re-modeling with a steel super-structure and internal re-fit. This work took five years to complete. The Bolinder was replaced with a modern 120 horse power engine although it retained the original Bolinder cast iron prop. Work complete, Phelim set up home aboard 59M and even convinced Maria to join him as his wife. He lived aboard her for about 5 years.

59M also proudly bears the name "Countess Corinne" after a little girl, Corinne Igoe, R.IP., that Phelim had the privilege to know. Corinne fought a brave battle with Leukaemia, and had been given just a month to live. One of Corinne's last wishes was to travel on a "big ship': While 59M was not a big ship and still in the early stages of restoration, she was mobilized and set sail with almost fifty people aboard, including the Igoe family and friends. To this day, it is still one of the most enjoyable and memorable days on the barge. Two weeks later Corinne's wish to travel on a big ship came true, thanks to the "Make A Wish Foundation". Despite being the Captain's guest and gaining access to the bridge, Corinne calmly told the crew that it was not as good as Phelim's barge. Hence the barge now proudly bears the name "Countess Corinne"

59M is more than just a barge to Phelim, its part of his life that took blood, sweat and tears to get her to her present condition. As far as it is possible to befriend a piece of steel, 59M is as an old friend who has repaid his efforts a hundred times over. Phelim's advice to anyone bitten by the barge bug, persevere, because it is only by perseverance that you achieve, and in achieving you will reap untold rewards.

Crew Included -
Her first skipper was Ned Pender. Tom Connolly, Shannon Harbour, who was a greaser on board during the 1936 greaser's strike Jim "Chiny" Thompson, Johnny Press, Paddy Adley and Amby Dwyer were in her together for a while. Chiny stayed the longest while the rest changed back and forth to other boats. Johnny Codd from New Ross did a spell with Chiny around the mid 40's. Joe Connolly, Mick "Yank" Dunne with Paddy "Waxer" and Paddy Brien did a term in her also in the 1940's. Jack Moore and Sean Donoghue were in her in 1948, Sean left and Willie Pender came in his place as Skipper. Willy was in her until 1951-52 when he got sick and went home for a while. Around 1953 Pat and Tommy Donoghue were on her as was Jack Gaffney for a while. They left and the Conroy's Mick and Todd (Bert) went to her in 1954. The last crew was John Coyne (Skipper), Peter "Gurkyman" Anderson (engineman) and Sean Anderson (deckhand).

Last Updated ( 04 April 2009 )
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