62M - GCC Canal Boat - Dublin 1929
25 September 2008



Technical Details

Reg Number:
Built By:
Vickers (Ireland) Ltd
Riveted Steel
61' 9"
13' 2"
60 tons
4' 5.5"
Killaloe 1929
Bolinder E Type 15Hp taken out of 27M Lister Marine Diesel Type 44.25hp 1975 Vetus Marine Diesel 65hp 2006
Home Base:



62M being raised in 1986

62M was built for the Grand Canal Company and went straight away as a workboat on the Canal, Barrow and river Shannon carrying general cargos. In 19S1 her crew were three brothers Willy Dunn with his brothers John "Seanie" and Paddy known as the "Waxer".

On November 29th the Dunn's left Limerick with a load of cement partly in the hold and partly as deck cargo. 62M with 39M behind them were being towed up the tailrace by the St Patrick when 62M got caught in a cross flow and capsized. 62M sank almost straight away, luckily the crew all escaped and were picked up immediately by 39M. The crew on 39M that time was John Dunne, Joe Cox and Con Lenihan.

62M was left underwater in the tailrace for two and a half years while the ESB and CIE decided between them who were to remove it. In June 1953 CIE wrote to the ESB an extract from that later is quote: "owing to diminishing Canal traffic and this board's policy in relation thereto, the barge in question is no longer required and need not be replaced. The cost of raising it, estimated at £1,000, would represent a complete loss to us, in the circumstances I am to enquire if the board would agree to leave this barge where it is". The ESB response was that they wanted it removed as it was an obstruction in the channel. In the end CIE gave the boat over to the ESB for their own salvage.

In June 1954, ESB successfully lifted 62M by winching her up between two of its own Dumb Barges (ESB No1 & ESB No2). John Dunn was sent down by CIE and when the boat was lifted he was allowed to go into the cabin and retrieve his purse which still contained £90 lost. The full story of lifting 62M was told in an ESB magazine and re printed in the IWAI book published in 1996 to commemorate the 25th Shannon Harbour Canal Boat Rally.

After being lifted it was towed to Killaloe and dry docked at the Pier Head, the Bolinder engine was overhauled and the barge put back into service as a work boat attached to Civil Works Maintenance Section of the ESB at Ardnacrusha. In the 1980's it had a steel cabin fitted at the tiller area to act as a windbreak and also house the control panel of the engine. The boat has had some repairs to the steel plating over the years and has just undergone some work with a safety handrail around the tiller area and a toilet has also been installed in the forward section of the hold area. ESB has used the barge on various projects as a work boat, carrying materials up and down the Headrace at Ardnacrusha on grouting operations, drilling operations and concrete plating maintenance. It would also have been used for work in the Portumna and Athlone areas.

62M was actually sunk and salvaged for a second time in the Tailrace, just downstream of the Navigation Locks at Ardnacrusha, in July 1986. 63M along with Ken Simmons was involved in that salvage operation.

Crew included -
Her first skipper was Peter Duggan. Crews on canal boats constantly changed so its very hard to keep track of who exactly worked on each boat, but from the memory of the men that worked them we know that Joe Connolly from Shannon Harbour worked on her at one time. Paddy "Bogyman" Kelly with his two sons Paddy "Paugeen" Kelly and Johnny were a crew on her at another time. Tom Connolly from Graignamanagh, Larry Daly from Shannon Harbour and Tom Maloney from Banagher also worked on her. In November 1951 her crew were three brothers Willy Dunn with his brothers John "Seanie" and Paddy known as the "Waxer".

ESB crew-
The following is a list of some of the people that have worked on 62M since 1954. Sonny McEvoy with Michael Hogan and Paddy Healy, Mickey Connelly with John McEvoy and Pat Nash. Mossy Riordan, Mickey Fitzpatrick, Ned Columby, Paddy Flynn and Ritchie Hackett.

Many thanks to Senan McEvoy for his help in putting this together.

62M ESB 1952 62M being raised by 63M in 1986
62M Killaloe Dry Dock 1991 Clare Library Collection 62M ESB May 2006


Last Updated ( 03 December 2010 )