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IH News 2024

Irish Lights 120 years of Fastnet Lighthouse

The Southern Star reports on Cork TD Michael Collins calling for an upcoming internal Irish Lights celebration of 120 years of Fastnet Lighthouse to be held in Cork and not Dublin, given that Cork is where Fastnet Lighthouse is.

Whilst I can see his argument (and as a Dubliner, I can see that this event does look like them up in Dublin not considering anything beyond the Pale), given that this is an internal Irish Lights event, staff would need to be compensated for travel to/from Cork. I would not consider such expenditure to be appropriate.

Of course, there is nothing to stop Cork County Council sponsoring an event to commemorate this milestone.

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IH News 2024

Nama sells last Docklands interest

The Irish Independent reports that the National Asset Management Agency, the Sate body setup in the aftermath of the property price crash at the end of the Celtic Tiger, has disposed of its last Dublin Docklands interest – a leasehold interest on a property adjacent to the Grand Canal Dock. The buyer of this property is none other than the freehold owner – Waterways Ireland.

I fear that WI may be trying to follow the CIE model of being a property development company with the inconvenience of a linear transport network attached. Having said that, there is a fine site for house boats in Clones – I could see WI getting into the international protection accommodation market by setting up something similar to these on the marina in Clones.

The spending by the occupants would bring economic development to Clones – after all, wasn’t that the plan?

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IH News 2024

The Ulster Canal

Well, that was, underwhelming.

I paid a visit to Clones on Sunday to see this marvellous new canal, that is going to be the leading tourist attraction of South Ulster. The place was hopping with……

Well, not much really. Plenty of people walking, three water bikes for hire and a few canoes. Who’d have seen that coming.

I’ll have a full report soon (currently in Prague on holiday). However, a news article in the Anglo Celt caught my eye. It reports the CEO of Waterways Ireland, John McDonagh, stating that negotiations with landowners along the route of the canal between Clonfad and Castle Saunderson are taking place.

Are you stating, John, that you won’t have powers of Compulsory Purchase for this wonderful tourist attraction? Oh wait, no, the NI Government can see this as the white elephant that it is and sensibly won’t touch it with a bargepole.

Below is a Googlemaps view of Clonfad and the border:

Google hasn’t caught up with the new waterway yet. This ends in a field just at the border with Northern Ireland. The last section of the waterway is on a new alignment as there is a house in the way of the original alignment.

The thought struck me, that if the adjacent landowner(s) don’t want to play ball and either refuse to sell, or, better still, offers to sell, say, a 10m wide stretch of land running from the A3 ESE across the canal bed for 100m, to someone like me, the Ulster Canal is dead.

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IH News 2024

Thon Sheugh in Clones

Thejournal.ie reports that Phase 2 of Thon Sheugh, sorry, the Ulster Canal for those of us who are not illiterate, is opening.

From the blurb, you would think that this was something wonderful, describing this as the opening of the canal from Clones to Clonfad.

It is only when you get to the bottom of the article and you read this:

“Phase three of the restoration, when complete, will link phases one and two, and fully reopen the waterway from Clones to Lough Erne.”

that you realise that you, the taxpayer, have been conned.

What has been opened is an elongated, open air swimming pool in Clones. I am looking forward to visiting Clones shortly to count the boats on this new section of Sheugh.

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IH News 2024

Joseph Brennan RIP

For many of my age group and older, Brennans Bread would have been a staple of our diet, Brennans (along with Johnson Mooney and O’Brien) being the primary bread bakeries in the Dublin Area.

Extra.ie (amongst others) reports on the passing of Joseph Brennan, founder of the bakery, aged 82.

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IH News 2024

Calls to clean up Dublin’s pedestrian ‘tunnels of terror’

The headline had me excited – I thought there was a hitherto hidden version of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel in Dublin that had escaped my attention. Sadly, no. Just a clickbait headline.

The “tunnels” referred to are the pedestrian underpasses that grace Sandwith Street, Upper Erne Street and Macken Street in Dublin, design features of the Dublin & Kingstown Railway that were insisted on by the Wide Streets Commissioners. The article references 3 other “tunnels”, however, these are standard road underbridges with no side arches for pedestrians.

The article calls for Irish Rail to engage in a regular cleanup of the underpasses. I would have thought that this was a Dublin City Council responsibility?

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IH News 2024

Kilmacthomas station building

The Irish Examiner reports that Waterford City and County Council are to convert the former station building at Kilmacthomas on the Waterford – Dungarvan Greenway to tourist accommodation.

The plans (part of a bigger scheme to do likewise with a former bank building in Lismore) will see the station building have 2 units capable of hosting 4 people. A separate unit will also be built to house a model railway based on the former railway line. The ongoing management of the venture will be managed by third parties.

industrialheritageireland.info commends WCCC on these initiatives.

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IH News 2024

Farewell to Yorkgate and Great Victoria Street

I was up in Belfast today, taking photographs of Yorkgate station building and Great Victoria Street station. The specific reason for an urgent trip to Belfast was the impending demolition of both.

In the case of the latter, Translink are developing a new bus/rail interchange station, to be called “Grand Central Station” and due to the layout of this, Great Victoria Street station (which only reopened in 1995) is to close on 10 May 2024, after which it will be demolished. Its replacement is not due to open until 2025.

Separately, Translink have built a new station building at the renamed Yorkgate Station (now York Street, although the platform signs as of today still said Yorkgate) and the old (1992) building and footbridge are to be demolished on 6 May 2024.

I also took the opportunity to take a photograph of the site of Queen’s Quay station and visit Magheramorne – the latter was the last open station in Ireland that I had never visited, a status it lost today.

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IH News 2024

William Hogg RIP

It is with regret that I post to note the passing of William Hogg, author of Millers & the Mills of Ireland of about 1850 and other works and leading light in the Mills and Millers of Ireland society.

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IH News 2024

Reinstatement of part of Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway

At first glance, this news article, flagging a planning permission notice looks interesting. Upon digging deeper, it just becomes confusing.

The planning permission notice is No. 2450084 in Donegal Co. Council. What is being sought is, in fact, retention permission – i.e., the work is already done.

The permission notice suggests that the land on either side of the original railway line has been lowered, bringing the line’s route back to being on an embankment and the land owner is seeking permission to retain this arrangement.