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Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Grand Canal Boats arrow 63M - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1930
63M - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1930 PDF Print E-mail
25 September 2008
Technical Details
63M at Shannon Harbour May 2006
63M at Shannon Harbour May 2006
Reg Number:
63M
Built By:
Vickers (Ireland) Ltd
Year:
1930
Construction:
Riveted Steel
Length:
61' 6"
Beam:
13' 2"
Payload:
62 tons
Draft:
4' 6"
Weighed:
Killaloe 1930
Engine:
Bolinder E Type, 15 HP
Home Base:
Lough Derg

 

She was built for the Grand Canal Company and operated as a trading boat on the Canal, Shannon and the Barrow until the CIE closed up operations in 1959. In the winter of 1947, 63M rolled over and sank across the buttresses of Mathew Bridge in Limerick. Tom Maloney and Sam Cox were crewing her at the time. They had left the lock at the Canal Depot and were heading for Dublin back up the Abbey River with a load of empties. At Athlunkard Bridge (O'Dwyer's Bridge) the engine stalled. Furious attempts were made to re-start the engine as the boat was carried back down the Abbey River with the flow. Eventually she got stuck across the buttress of Mathew Bridge. The crew were immediately rescued from the boat by ropes down from the bridge, while the boat eventually lost its battle with the current, turned over and sank. She was left there for the winter and was raised by the Canal Company the following summer.

Like a lot of the boats she was sold off at auction by CIE in 1960. We don't know who bought her but she was later owned by Galway scrap dealer Christy Dooley. The story goes that she was used to bring a Caterpillar earth mover to the Aran Islands for a contractor in the early 1970's. Ken Simmons purchased her in 1976 and brought her from Galway to Killaloe by truck. Ken installed a hydraulic crane on the bow and accommodation over half of the cargo hold. Part of the fit out included a bath which was top shelf for the day. He then used her for years doing dredging work around the Shannon and was even involved in the recovery of 62M when she sank in 1986.

In 1990 Ken sold her on to Derg Line cruisers in Killaloe where she was used in the building of jetties. Derg Line leased her to Liam O'Flynn for a while after which she was laid up in the mid 90's and spent a couple of years on the bank awaiting repairs when Liam purchased her. 63M is still in continuous use doing maintenance work which makes her one of the last canal work boats.

Crew included -

Christy"Nigger" Cross was Skipper on her at one stage with Jack "Flinter" Bagnell as deckman and "Banagher" Jack was engineman. Joe Connolly from Shannon Harbour was engineman on her for a short while also. In 1947 Tom Maloney and Sam Cox.
 

 

Last Updated ( 04 April 2009 )
 
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