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4E 'Going back to her roots'.

Posted by joe treacy 
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Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
16 August, 2011 17:54
Great shots Joe. Looking forward to your travelogue. RTE should build a series around you.

Terry Q, If your're looking for a barge check on DoneDeal. There's a lovely barge there going very cheap . It shouldn't be beyond the average handyman to fix up. Buy it before it's gone.

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
17 August, 2011 12:53
Hi all,
just a quick update and some pics. As I said initially, I am actively seeking anything from the Ballynacargy / Abbeyshrule area with Royal canal or 4E connections. I have been given the names of three men who worked the boat , two living at the Inny aqueduct and the other on board. The major breach in Ballymaglavy Bog [mid 1950's] must have been newsworthy, does anyone have a rough date ?
I really didn't think when I bought and moved 4E that my records would be so valuable and it is a lesson to record events and protect the records. The journey is a 'piece of cake' so far, as expected, and the trip to Abbeyshrule could have been accomplished in a single day, but I really don't like doing canals that way, you miss so much. We spoke with a cycling couple who had been at Carnadoe the previous Friday, unaware of 4E's presence there, they gave a hand tying up and we showed them on the guide where they were on the canal. Another family got the 'downstairs' tour, and they were from England, here for a break, and returning to their first canal holiday in Wales.
Progress to date is - Richmond Harbour to Longford Branch junction on Sunday 14th. Have left her there till the coming weekend and further progress.
Thanks again for all the support,


Mast down and out we come from Richmond Harbour, heading east. Tight between the banks here but soon opens out to lovely, deep, canal.

Conditions were ideal and that 'wake' proves it.

Phoned the very helpful WI guy who drove up and lifted the Bord Na Mona bridge and the lifting road bridge at Begnagh. Had a good conversation with his boss here, very canal -friendly folk.

4E approaches 'Savage Bridge' and the 44th lock. Beautiful countryside, this end.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/08/2011 13:21 by joe treacy.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
17 August, 2011 13:20
I'll be in Empor - just up the road from Kellys bridge and the 38th Lock, at the weekend. Will you be in the area? I'd love to see 4E if that's possible? I suspect Watson Mills in Ballynacargy might be able to help you with historical matters local to Ballyncargy. I dont have contact details but Ita or Nicky Murtagh in Murtaghs pub in Ballynacargy should be able to help you.

ps. I suspect I will be paying Murtaghs a visit on Friday night and if you like I can make a few enquiries for you. If you want specific information let me know the details at and I'll do my best.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/08/2011 13:24 by Surveyor.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
17 August, 2011 16:07
Great pics Joe, canal was in fine fettle along there. Couple of slowish sections ahead, but nothing serious. Insides of bends on wiggly bit to Abbeyshrule could use a bit more flattening if your so inclined. Was good water on all levels when I came through. Avoid my mistake....look around a bit....and concentrate less on the "state" of the canal....!!!


PS.....if you're driving...who's taking the pics...??
PPS...WI bridge/lock keeper is Paddy Dixon...a very helpful chappie, I found...!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/08/2011 16:09 by Mick Farrell.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
17 August, 2011 16:48
Thanks Mick,
I will watch those bends - they are drawn well on the guide. BTW , Ben is multi- talented, those pics of Begnagh and the 44th lock had him on board and me driving the bank. This one from Ballydrum bridge has all the signs of me not being at the wheel [ I might pay for that !]


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/08/2011 17:27 by joe treacy.
Re: Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
17 August, 2011 21:25
Hi Joe

Sadly, we went to Athlone for our Sunday walk last w/end, but should be back to the canal this week.
We'd be delighted to lock you through somewhere and, if it's ok, take a picture of you under way.
You've accomplished a teenage dream of mine, though the subject of my pipe-dream was sunk at the slipway in Spencer Dock.
Alas, my finances never got to the point where responsibility for a piece of history would have been possible.
Short of a wild occurrence, such as me deciding to buy a ticket for the very lotto draw that produces my numbers, I'm pretty confident I'll never get there now, so your success is all the more admirable from my perspective!
Well done that man and thanks for bringing her back!

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
19 August, 2011 00:00
Hi folks,

information is starting to trickle in, for which I am most grateful. I do know several people want to catch up with 4E ,so this week-end's plans are :- Friday evening from Longford Branch [after obligatory 'protest' photo!] to Mosstown or Foigha. Saturday, hopefully it will be Abbeyshrule with some car-shunting of course. Will be off e-mail Friday noon till Monday morning but always on phone,
thanks to all,

087 050 7881.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
22 August, 2011 08:54
I made enquiries about local canal history in Murtaghs on Friday night and drew a bit of a blank to be honest. The unanimous view was that Watson Mills or Tom Shanley (petrol Station) is your best source of information in Ballynacargy.
As I headed back to Dublin on Saturday evening I diverted into Abbeyshrule on the off chance that 4e might be on view there...lo and behold there she was in all her glory. As it was allready 19.30 and I had to be in Dublin for 21.00 I only had time for a rushed look and then headed off without social pleasantries (apologies).
I hope you made the trip onwards to lock 38 on Sunday.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
22 August, 2011 11:31
Sorry we missed each other in Abbeyshrule on Saturday, but plan to be in the area for a bit and maybe again? Saw a sign post for " Empor" in my travels so must have a look.
Friday at 5pm ,I cast-off and nibbled into the Longford Branch for the obligatory protest photo , the canal bank had some RCAG posters regarding this and they were hopefully noted by the Wilderness boat-people on their way by.

Next was under the "Lyneen Bridges" and only from the water can you appreciate the extent of the works involved in re-opening the Royal. For years they were just updates or pictures in the RCAG News and to see them finished is amazing.

Through locks 42 and 41 where I had a pleasant conversation with a passer by and the ex lock-keeper. This time I got to see the "pigeon house" and other bits around Mosstown and deserves an over-night to appreciate. On passing towards Mosstown harbour this aluminium Indian canoe caught my eye and as "Grumman" was the brand name wondered had it, like mine, been an "import"? So taken with the canoe, I didn't realise the cruiser "Oasis" had someone aboard who was cooking! I took it from the shouted "Hi" that 4E hadn't gone too close.

Overnight was at the very quiet harbour at Foigha Bridge. Rambler had also stayed and as I wasn't aboard, it was nice to spend time. The Royal on this stretch is blessed with fine harbours - Mosstown, Foigha, Ballybrannigan and quay walls at several bridges. All a sign of expected or actual commerce on the canal ! An un-occupied Freeman was the only company overnight and I found the canal well populated with smallish cruisers of the type I enjoyed pre 4E, with people getting great value from a small out-lay.

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
22 August, 2011 22:13
Just a few more before leaving this stretch. This first is of the "protest"- campaigns are there to be won !

This one as I entered lock 42. Just look at the spare water coming over the breast gates.

These are the boats for a lot of enjoyment in canal country - lock-size ladies are good too !

Finally the lovely bridge at Foigha.


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
22 August, 2011 23:33
Keep 'em coming Joe. Despite the issues I had with the Royal, I must agree that, in terms of harbours and quay walls, it's well ahead of the Grand.

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 August, 2011 09:54
Aaaha... at last a bit of positive from the Mick Maestro!! Go Mick... Go!! drinking smiley
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 August, 2011 11:25
You are dead right Vossie, he moaned down the ditch, although not too much this end. Would have been used to myself hearing people complaining about weed and low water in August but have not had either problem. Good to have Mick "oversee" things though.
On with the trip! This is a shot leaving Pake bridge , another of those areas with a myth built around it. There has been a couple or three barges round these bends recently.

This is the 40th lock at Mullawornia with a locally owned cruiser in the background. Had a local farmer on board who, like everyone locally, are delighted to see boat movements

This the fabulous harbour at Ballymahon with the usual excellent stonework , lovely flower beds and the canoe polo gear. Popular sport on the Royal and a great way to involve the locals.

This sign caught my eye on the approach to Fowlard's Bridge. This is the level below lock 39 , above is the stretch through Abbeyshrule and Ballymaglavy bog and on to lock 38 which is my goal.


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 August, 2011 12:47
Fab shots Joe smiling smiley I love it

[COLOR=gray][i]OceanFroggie[/i][/COLOR] [size=x-small][color=#FFDEAD][i]Noel Griffin[/i][/color][/size]
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 August, 2011 18:56
A few more from the same stretch. The guide states "at Archie's Bridge there is a quay and the remains of two large stores". The buildings were substantial with fine stonework, something everyone is commenting on regarding the Royal.

This piece of lining material peeping through gives a hint of the difficulties involved in keeping water in some of these levels. The work seems largely successful, as no great signs of leakage were obvious and no levels were being kept down to prevent leakage.

This is a sample of one of the many stone- faced over- flows along the system . All were in pristine condition and those that showed signs of being re- built, are a credit to the men involved.

This pair are not canal- side but on the banks of the Inny close to Abbeyshrule. There was no sign of a mill wheel or millrace and at three stories in height, they are imposing,


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 August, 2011 22:54
What do you mean by "at last" Vossie...?? I've been nothing BUT positive since Effin' Bridge did'nt lift, that there's a lot still to be done on The Royal....!!

I dont moan Joe....I observe and comment...!! I suspect that "Low Bridge" sign at Fowlard's refers to the pipe which looks to have been recently raised above the bottom of the bridge deck.

Nice bit of stone work below Lock 31 on the Grand....


[b]The Croc's Nostril perhaps....!![/b]

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 August, 2011 06:51
Good progress Mick, will see you later.
Onwards and upwards for 4E. The Royal is enjoying a lot of well-deserved traffic and there are all types involved as this pic shows.

This is Draper's Bridge and Lock39 with it's derelict lock-cottage.

A big moment, 4E now on the level she was craned out of thirty one years ago.It is late evening and "car shunting" to be faced, but elated at getting to this point.

Under Webb's Bridge in the harbour at Abbeyshrule to overnight along the bank behind the Rustic Inn. Met up later with boating folk who were up in a couple of cruisers to attend the Air Show on Sunday afternoon. Slept well with promises of possible plane rides to complete my mission- get those photographs of 4E back where I had found her.


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 August, 2011 07:01
On the home straight Joe, inside the final furlong marker. smiling smiley A special moment awaits

[COLOR=gray][i]OceanFroggie[/i][/COLOR] [size=x-small][color=#FFDEAD][i]Noel Griffin[/i][/color][/size]
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 August, 2011 18:16
Get's around a bit, does our Joe. There he was waiting above Lock 27 to welcome me into Tullamore this afternoon. Leo Monaghan on the left. John Clancy who was working the lock was camera shy and would'nt get in the pic...!!


[b]"Wha'....I thought you were in Abbeyshrule"[/b]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 24/08/2011 18:17 by Mick Farrell.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 August, 2011 20:09
Just proves that life exists beyond Ballymaglavy Bog! Regarding your comments on the low bridge sign at Fowlards Bridge, I couldn't help wondering about the pipe support over your head as you entered the 27th today . Hard hat sign perhaps ?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 24/08/2011 20:11 by joe treacy.

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