Clare County Library
Clare History
Home | Library Catalogue | Forums | Foto | Maps | Archaeology | Folklore | Genealogy | Museum | Search this Website | Copyright Notice | Visitors' Book | What's New

Kilrush, County Clare: Notes from c 1760 to 1960 by Senan Scanlan

Passenger Services on the Lower Shannon

Passengers on a Steamer on the Shannon.
Passengers on a Steamer on the Shannon.

The first passenger service on the Lower Shannon started in 1816 and continued for approximately one hundred years until the end of the First World War. The steamers were mainly passenger carriers and in the early days ran all year round until in the 1870's they ceased to operate in winter. The four-hour journey from Limerick to Kilrush also at times served Foynes, Killadysart, Cahircon, Redgap, Glin and Tarbert on the way. At Kilrush, (Cappa Pier) passengers could board a four-horsed conveyance for Kilkee. After the opening of the railway between Kilrush and Kilkee in 1892, a special train called the “Steamer Express” ran non-stop from Cappa to Kilkee.

The fares from passengers alone being inadequate to support the vessels a charge was made. for the carriage of Parcels, Beds, Furniture, Wine, Stores and all articles. In addition, Cars, Gigs, Carriages, Horses, Pigs and Chickens etc. were also transported.

Summary of Passenger Services on the Lower Shannon.
(Rev. Ignatius Murphy, North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Vol, XV1, 1973-74
and D.B.McNeill, Irish Passenger Steamship Services, Newton Abbot, 1971).
(Note: I have constructed the table below using these sources and the newspaper articles)

   Approx. Dates.

Ship Name




Lady of the Shannon

James Paterson

Kilrush to Limerick. She was a steamboat with two ten horsepower engines. However, she had insufficient power to proceed against the tide when there was a strong headwind. After about ten years, she was withdrawn from service.


Royal George

John Mahony

Sailed once or twice a week from Arthur's Quay or Honan's Quay. She was described as neither schooner nor turf boat but a happy tar barrel with a pilot (Mahony) that knew every rock and shoal.


PS Mona

City of Dublin Steam-packet Co.

100 horsepower paddle steamer, 125 feet long by 20 feet wide with an iron hull. Due to her size, she was times unable to reach the quays except at high tide. She also carried mixed cargo such as live pigs.



Replaced the Mona

Wooden hulled steamer. The fare from Limerick to Kilrush was 5/- with stops at Glin and Tarbert. Later used for cruises from Limerick to the Lakes of Killarney (via Fenit)


Royal George

John Mahony

Due to competition between the Royal George and the Lady Frances, fares were now as low as 3d.


Lady Frances


Sailing ship


PS Clarence

City of Dublin Steam-packet Co.

Paddle steamer 92 feet long and 16 feet wide with a wooden hull. However, trade was bad due perhaps to outbreaks of cholera during 1832-33.


PS Garryowen

City of Dublin Steam-packet Co.

Paddle steamer, 125 feet long and 22 feet wide with ninety horsepower engines. Freight such as animals and agricultural produce was also carried.


PS Dover Castle

Limerick Shipping Co.

Paddle steamer 112 feet long by 15 feet wide with a wooden hull. Fares were reduced cabin fares to 1/- and deck fares to 6d. However, in April 1841 the Dover Castle was bought by its arch-rival the City of Dublin Steam-packet. Co.


PS Erin-go-Bragh

Replaced the Kingston

Iron-hulled paddle steamer. With the ending of competition, fares shot up from to 1/- to 2/6d for cabin and 3d to 1/3d for deck passengers.


PS Kelpie

William Dargan

Paddle steamer

After the railway to Foynes opened, she ran mainly from Foynes to Kilrush. In her first four months, she carried 14,000 passengers with takings of £80 per week.


SS Erin

William Malcolmson

Replacement steamer for the Kelpie she spent about a dozen years on the Shannon.


PS Rosa

William Malcolmson

The Rosa paddle steamer.


PS Vandeleur

William Malcolmson

The Vandeleur paddle steamer replaced the Rosa, spent over twenty years on the Shannon, and ultimately returned to Waterford.


PS Elwy

Chartered by Mr. P. Tait Mayor of Limerick

200 feet long 120 h.p. Paddle-steamer, after a few weeks of fare cutting the Elwy was withdrawn


PS Mermaid

Waterford SS Co.

Paddle steamer, from 1875 to 1903 she worked on the Shannon.


PS Flying Huntsman

Waterford SS Co.& Limerick SS Co.

Paddle Tug used for towing and also for carrying passengers


PS Shannon

Waterford  SS Co.& Limerick SS Co.

Paddle steamer.

1816 1st July (CJ).
The steamboat, which is to ply between Limerick and Kilrush, is shortly expected from Greenock.

1820 2nd May (FJ).
The Lady of the Shannon steam-boat made her first trip this season on Sunday: she came to Limerick from Kilrush in the short space of five hours.

1821 21st May (CJ).
The Lady of the Shannon steamboat between Limerick and Kilrush commenced plying on Friday and arrived there in five hours.

1822 9th March (FJ).
Limerick, March 6th:
A communication has been made by Mr. Secretary Gregory to Captain Drought and Major Wilcocks, police Magistrates, to engage the Lady of the Shannon, Steam Boat, to convey the convicts from this City and County, as fast as they shall be convicted, to the Guardship which is to be stationed at Kilrush, and hourly expected at that port.

1822 22nd June (LC).
In consequence of the want of punctuality in the attendance of passengers by the Lady of the Shannon, Steam Packet to Kilrush, the proprietors have resolved that from this day it shall start precisely five minutes after the regulated times for sailing.

1826 8th June (CJ).
The Lady of the Shannon-steam packet started from Limerick on Thursday for Kilrush.

1829 4th July (LC).
Counsellor O'Gorman arrived in town (Limerick) yesterday per the Mona steamer from Kilrush.

1829 3rd August (CJ).
-- The Bishop of Killaloe and family proceeded on Saturday morning in the Mona steamer to Kilkee.---

1829 29th August (LC).
---- In all the violence of the elements the Mona steamer started from her berth at Kidgell's Quay and reached Kilrush the same evening.

1829 23rd November (CJ).
The Kingston steam packet from Dublin arrived on the Shannon on Saturday and will take the place of the Mona streamer in plying between Limerick to Kilrush the Mona returns to Dublin.--

1829 9th December (LC).
December Sailing Bill: Irish Inland Navigation Company Steam Packet:
Fares from Limerick &c.
To Kilrush: 5s, To Beigh Castle: 4s, To Foynes Island 3/6: Tarbert and Glin: 1s. ---
Servants, Mechanics, Labourers &c. on deck half cabin fare ----, and a moderate weight of luggage allowed. Children under twelve years of age half price, no charge for children under 5 years of age. ---

N.B. -- The fare from passengers alone being inadequate to support the vessel a charge will be made for the carriage of parcels, beds, furniture, wine, stores, provisions all articles, travelling luggage excepted and for which no charge will be made unless the quantity be unreasonably great. Carriages, Cars, Gigs and horses carefully shipped.

1832 7th May (CJ).
The Inland Steam Navigation Company was engaged to have a steam vessel plying between Limerick and Kilrush by the 15th inst., for the conveyance of passengers and freight.

1832 24th May (CJ).
The Inland Steam Navigation Company packet the Clarence arrived at her berth on Sunday evening from Liverpool after a passage of seventy hours. She is a superior vessel coppered and coppered fastened, sails fast and is such a light draft of water as to be enabled to go alongside the pier at Kilrush, thus obviating the sometimes dangerous and always disagreeable mode of going to and from the vessel in boats. We understand that she will commence sailing on Thursday morning (Limerick Chronicle)

1833 18th January (CJ).
As the Clarence steamer was on her voyage from Kilrush to Limerick last week Captain Smith observed a boat loaded with turf near Kilkerrin Castle in Tarbert Race apparently upset. He was then a mile and a half distant from her. Nevertheless, he changed his course and immediately proceeded towards her, it then blew a tremendous gale. When close up to her he with two of his crew got into the small boat and picked-up one man two others had unfortunately perished and the boat sank. --- Survivor’s name is John Nelan --- two drowned were Denis Carty and Maurice Sullivan ---.

1834 30th January (CJ).
Providential Escape – praiseworthy conduct of a boatman.
Between the hours of two and three o'clock on Friday afternoon as the Clarence steamer on her way from Kilrush to Limerick approached Grass Island, three men were perceived waving their hats and making eager signals for assistance and having been brought aboard the Clarence they gave their names: Pat Horrogan, Pat Blake and Thomas Keane. They were on Board the Mary of Carrigaholt on their way from Limerick to that place when off Grass Island the rudder was carried away the boat struck upon a rock sprang a leak and made water so fast that in order to save their lives they determined to quit her------.

1834 15th May (CJ).
The Clarence steamer has resumed plying between Limerick, Glin, Tarbert and Kilrush every day for the summer season. Sea bathers will make an early excursion to the coast this season.

1834 20th November (CJ).
Shannon Steam Navigation.
The following letter has been received from William Smyth O'Brien Esq. in reply to one inviting his co-operation with the new company formed in Limerick for extending and improving the navigation of the river Shannon by steam between Limerick and Kilrush.
Limerick, November 13th, 1834.
My Dear Westropp, --- I feel much flattered by the desire which you express that I should join the new company-------.

1835 1st January (CJ).
To the Editor of the Clare Journal.
Sir, Our Pier on Saturday last presented the novelty of two fine steamers one of them the Garryowen lately arrived from Liverpool, ---- has two state cabins(one for ladies) fitted up with furniture in a very supreme style --- with 90 horse power engines and a length of 125 feet long – costing £16,000.
---- Captain Bingham who has got command of the Garryowen, and she could not be committed to better hands, is a native of Kilrush.,or what the lads of the place whence his ship takes its name would call a “Kilrush bye” ----- W. Kilrush 19th December 1834.

1835 19th March (CJ).
City of Dublin Steam Packet Co.
--- 16 steamers for cross-channel trade including the Kingston.
--- 4 steamers operating between Athlone and Limerick.
--- Garryowen and Clarence between Limerick and Kilrush.

1837 25th May (CJ).
A jaunting car for conveying passengers to the Clarence steamer at Clarecastle will start from Collins Hotel on Monday next and continue to do so, half an hour previous to the sailing of the steamer. The price is very moderate only 3d per head.

1837 1st June (CJ).
Advertisement --- Cheap Travelling. ---
Garryowen, Kingston and Clarence steamers on the Lower Shannon start from Limerick on ---- Wednesday and Sundays --- from Glin and Tarbert (On route to the lakes of Killarney) and Kilrush – and return on Monday and Thursday -----.?

1837 21st August (CJ).
It is an interesting fact that turf is now used as fuel on board the steamers, plying between Limerick and Clarecastle and Kilrush. Friday evening the Garryowen made the passage from quay to quay (Kilrush to Limerick) fired with turf in three hours and twenty-five minutes.

1838 (Second Report of the Commissioners appointed to consider and recommend a general system of Railways for Ireland 1838) @
---- The introduction of steam navigation has caused a vast increase of intercourse and of business from every part of the interior of Ireland with the coast, from which it is easily accessible. On the Lower Shannon from Limerick to Kilrush and Tarbert, a communication was established by the Dublin Steam Company, in the year 1829,by a single steam-boat going and returning on alternate days: great numbers from the counties of Limerick and Tipperary availed themselves of the opportunities thus afforded, of an easy communication with the sea-coast: and not only have the above-named towns, more particularly Kilrush, been much enriched by the constant influx of strangers, but a thriving bathing village has been erected at Kilkee, on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, where a few years ago, nothing was to be seen but the wild mountain-heath, and some scattered hovels among the rocks upon the shore. The villages of Miltown and Ballybunion have also become places of considerable resort and importance through the same means.

The single steam-boat, plying on alternate days, is no longer sufficient for this traffic, which now gives full employment to two packets of more capacious dimensions, departing with passengers and goods either end of the line every day. The number of persons, who were carried last year by these boats, amounted to 22,417. ----

1838 25th January (CJ).
Mr. Birmingham is appointed agent at Tarbert to the Dublin Steam Company, vice Tully deceased. Mr. O'Brien is appointed inspecting agent at Kilrush on the Lower Shannon. ---.

1838 15th February (CJ).
Private Roderick McLeod of the 78th (Regt. of Foot) was saved last Friday, after falling overboard the Garryowen steamer near Foynes by the active and humane exertions of the intrepid mariner Mr. W. Hawker, master of the Paul Pry. ---

1838 26th March (CJ).
The Garryowen steamer left Limerick on Monday for Kilrush in the midst of a furious gale of wind, and wind right ahead, but she ploughed her way through in 5 hours.-

1838 27th September (CJ).
The Limerick Shipping Company has purchased the steam ship Dover Castle for £4,500 to ply up and down the river between Kilrush and Limerick.

1838 3rd December (CJ).
For the first time there are three steamers plying regularly on the Lower Shannon: Garryowen and Dover Castle to Kilrush: Clarence to Clare (castle)

1839 10th January (CJ).
Extract of a letter from Kilrush:
I am sorry to have to communicate the melancholy tidings of the death of Captain Paterson of the Undine schooner of Limerick and a young gentleman named Mahony with two of the crew. The vessel was driven ashore with four others in the storm last night. The Garryowen steamer and the Hamilton cutter are ashore. Most of the houses are stripped of slates, chimneys &c broken.

1839 16th May (CJ).
The Dover Castle steamer carried 120 passengers on a party of pleasure to Kilrush and the heads of the Shannon last Sunday. She started in the morning and returned in the evening after sailing 129 miles.

1839 20th May (CJ).
The Garryowen and Kingston steamers now ply every day between Limerick and Kilrush one down, another up, a very great public convenience.

1839 1st August (CJ).
No less than 200 country people went up to Limerick on Monday from Kilrush, Kilkee &c in the Garryowen and Dover Castle steamers en route to Father Matthew at Cork.
Another new steamer is building for the Lower Shannon to ply between Limerick and Kilrush, 20 feet longer than the Garryowen, 5 feet more beam and with engines 120 horse power.

1840 2nd April (CJ).
The Dover Castle steam packet will as last season ply between Limerick and Kilrush in the summer months, when there will be four steamers up and down the river besides one to Clare on the Fergus.

1840 21st April (Limerick Reporter @
To be sold by auction on Wednesday, the 22nd inst., at Wellesley Bridge Pier,
Where she now lies, the fast and beautiful Steamer. Dover Castle.
This boat was built by one of the first Builders in England, Mr. Bally, of Shoreham, she is 114 Tons register, not including Engine Room, and a beautiful model – measures 130 feet on Deck, and 17 feet Beam, 11 feet depth of Hold: has a raised Quarter Deck – draws 7½ feet water in ballast trim, and 8½ feet loaded, and carries a large cargo. She is six years old – built of British Oak, Copper fastened, powerfully strong, and well fastened in every way. Her Engines (two forty-horse), were made by the first makers in London, Maudslay & Co., and are in as good and perfect order as the day they were put into her – Boilers as good as new, having had a thorough overhaul within the last year. She is a fine Sea Boat – Steams remarkably fast, and is admirably adapted for a Passage Boat, having two large Cabins handsomely fitted in mahogany, with Ladies Cabin, Steward’s Cabin, and Captain’s Private Cabin, and hold fore and aft for carrying goods. Is well found in every respect, and now plying between Limerick and Kilrush. – She is well worth the attention of parties wanting such, and will bear the closest examination.
Further particulars can be learned on application to Mr. John Russell, Limerick. April7
(The Dover Castle was bought in April 1841 by the City of Dublin Steam-Packet Company)

1840 20th June (Tuam Herald).
Such is the ruinous competition of steam packets on the Lower Shannon, that deck passengers may now proceed from Limerick to Kilrush for three pence each, and same fare back.

1840 7th December (CJ).
The Rev. Theobald Matthews preached at the new Roman Catholic Chapel of Kilrush: the largest edifice of the kind n this county. The town was filled by people from Kerry, who crossed over in the Garryowen steamer to witness the ceremony. -- Upwards of 20,000 people were present.

1841 8th April. (CJ)
That most superior new and powerful steam-packet Erin go Bragh expressly built at Liverpool for the Shannon Navigation from Limerick to Kilrush, will take up station early next month as a regular liner, going and returning same day a distance of 100 miles-she ran her first trip from Liverpool to Beaumoris a distance of 52 miles in a very boisterous sea, last week in four hours!.
The Erin go Bragh belongs to the City of Dublin Company and is 134 feet long and 26 feet in breath. She ad-measures 330 tons and has engines of 100 horsepower. The vessel is rigged as a steamer, with a fine topsail. She draws 5 feet 6 inches with her compliment of coal and water.

1841 3rd May(CJ).
The fares for the summer season to passengers from Limerick to Kilrush by those splendid and superior iron steam-packets the Erin-go-Bragh and Garryowen are fixed at 2s-6d the state cabin, and 1s-3d the fore deck and fore-castle.

1841 6th May. (CJ)
The Erin go Bragh steam-packet made her first trip on Tuesday to Kilrush from Limerick in 4 hours.

1842 31st January (CJ)
Kilrush Thursday: We had a fearful gale here yesterday ---- The Garryowen steamer broke from the quay but owing to the great exertions of her captain and crew she has received no damage, and proceeded this morning to Limerick. Her Captain Bingham we regret to say received a very severe hurt in the knee, with other bruises likely to lay him up for some time....

1842 12th March (LC)
Shipping Intelligence.
The Jane Black the largest vessel in the Shannon was towed up to the quays on Wednesday evening by the Garryowen steamer.

1842 17th December (LC).
The Shannon Commissioners have left this morning by the Erin-go-Bragh on a tour of inspection of the Lower Shannon. The pier at Cahircon is finished and will be given up this day, as also the Querrin pier. Both these works will be most useful to the trade along the river.

1845 (Scenes on the Shores of the Atlantic, Volume 11, London. @
There is a great deal of romantic and historical interest connected with Kilrush. Scattery, in itself alone, with its abbeys, churches, round-tower and the thousand and one tales and legends therewith associated, is enough to shed a halo round a whole neighbourhood: but Kilrush, without any borrowed interest, has abundance of its own: and after studying its history and storing the mind with the events of which it was once the scene, a ramble about the environs is very enjoyable.

The distance between Kilkee and Kilrush is eight miles. The view from the last hill before descending into the town is very extensive and fine. The Shannon with the ships in sail or at anchor, and the steamer smoking at the pier: Scattery and the other islands: Kilrush House and the surrounding woods now rich with many-coloured hues of autumn: the town clustering round the graceful church tower: and the numerous handsome buildings rising in all directions – the work-house, fever-hospital, chapel- a factory for Limerick lace, where hundreds of young girls are usefully employed, and the school-house, a very pretty building surrounded by flowers and evergreens. The waving outline of the Kerry Mountains forms a bold background to the picture.

-------- We bade adieu yesterday to the Shores of the Atlantic. Nothing could surpass the bustle and confession when we reached the pier at Kilrush, where the two rival steamers, the Garryowen and Dover Castle (between whom there is at this moment a fierce opposition) were drawn up and smoking alongside of each other. Every jaunting car as it descended the hill bearing its freight towards the pier was eagerly beset by the emissaries of each vessel, and the occupants severally accosted with- “Are you for the Garryowen?” “Are you for the Dover?” the questioner departing in triumph or else crest-fallen according to the reply given.

Our party were for the Garryowen, and as it lay the farthest from the quay, we had to cross the Dover Castle to reach it. When we had safely overstepped and cleared our way through all obstacles-, no easy task- we were able to look about us at the scene of confusion on the pier. Jaunting cars were coming with eager-looking passengers fearful of being late: men, women and children pushing and jostling each other on the pier, some brought there by business others attracted by curiosity: goods of every sort piled up for removal, or in the act of transition to the steamers: trunks, bags, barrels, hampers, baskets, boxes, to say nothing of the live cargo, of which we had an infinite variety on board- cows, calves, pigs, geese, horses, fowls and some cages filled with canary birds.

The Babel of noises was deafening: men shouting ,hallowing and thundering out orders and counter-orders to the people employed about the merchandise: women screaming and talking, or else vociferously urging their wares, cakes, apples and oranges upon the passengers. Pigs yelling as only pigs can yell: the creaking crane swinging backwards and forwards with its weighty cargo, a huge barrel, a fat pig slung by the middle, or a bag of oats or potatoes: and loud above all the din the unearthly bellowing’s and hissings of the steam-engine. The noises were at their height when an unfortunate horse was put into the box to be slung on board the Garryowen. He was in mid-air suspended over the deck when something went wrong with the tackling of the crane: this redoubled the shouting and ordering, and just then the great bell of the steamer began to ring. I never saw anything like the agony of terror the poor animal was in : he flung himself down on his knees in the box, and when it was at last lowered on the deck and he was taken out, he was as wet as if he had been in the water and trembling violently.

At length we moved off the from the pier followed as closely as possible by the rival Dover, between whom and our vessel the race for precedence was kept up during the day. The various stoppages between Kilrush and Limerick to give out and take in goods and passengers are very amusing. --- At Glin we had exactly a case in point, when a boat came out bringing us a hugh pig, and departed carrying back in its stead a hand-box full of smart caps and millinery which we had charge of from Kilrush.

The halt at Tarbert, is the longest, most important and most amusing. A considerable trade is carried on between this place and Limerick. The steamer does not approach the quay, but a moveable pier in the shape of a lighter held at anchor near the shore, is un-moored and brought up alongside of the steamer when she appears. The passengers are crowded together on the deck of the lighter: on it the merchandise is piled up, and there is a pen for the livestock, pigs, sheep, &c. Among the former are often to be seen the most striking figures: wild, picturesque,original -their manner and costume denoting them to be denizens of the heath and mountain, free and uncultivated as their own wild hills.-As the lighter from Tarbert approaches it is impossible not to scan with interest, the curious and motley groups it brings. Peasants in all their variety of costume: here a broad-brimmed straw hat shading a dark many-face a red or yellow handkerchief, or white drapery thrown over a woman's head: and there a party of refined fastidious-looking English travellers on their way to or from the Lakes of Killarney.

The raft was still at some distance when my attention was attracted by a pair standing a little isolated from the others but as closely as possible to each other, near the side. They were an elderly grey-headed man and a young girl. The latter was a very striking figure. She was apparently about fifteen, tall and slender, and the most wild looking creature I ever beheld or imagined could be sent forth from the mountain fastness of Kerry. Her long hair streamed unconfined over her back and shoulders: her feet were bare and stained with travel-her garments scanty and short, and a blue cloak was gathered up behind her so as to cover a bundle she bore on her shoulders.------.

Many were the stoppages that took place after we left Tarbert to take up or let down pigs and passengers. The ways of getting up the former from the little boats into the steamer is very rapid and unceremonious. The smaller ones are pulled up very un-courteously by the legs and ears, while the large heavy fellows are hoisted up by a rope tied round their middle: each and all expressing their disapproval of the measure by obstinate had vigorous kickings and shrieks that rend the skies.

The egress and ingress of passengers by means of the little boats, which put out from the shore to meet the steamer, are very droll. The eager anxiety to get a place in the tiny skiffs; the number of rough hands stretched out to help the individual up or down.-----.

Owing to our many delays, the Dover Castle was fast gaining upon us, and in her strenuous efforts to outstrip her rival she was pouring from her chimney dense valleys of black smoke. The quickened the zeal of our crew: captain, sailors. engineer and all were on the qui vive ,down to the steward. a spare little man carrying a napkin, under his arm,----- our vessel soon outstripped her pursuer and reached Limerick long before her.

1846 8th June (CJ).
On Friday the Dover Castle, steamer on her passage from Kilrush to Limerick ran down a small boat loaded with seaweed. Two men on board were saved but the boat went to the bottom.

1848 3rd June(Nation).
Two steam packets are placed on the Limerick and Kilrush line for the summer months, ensuring daily communication up and down the river, by the Garryowen and Erin.

1851 6th January (CJ).
His many friends will regret to observe the absence of Captain Francis Kennedy from the command of the Erin steamer on the Lower Shannon this month by the effects of an accident when running for the Kilrush Pier on Monday evening: the coil of a rope swung out with a kedge anchor struck Capt. Kennedy in the side and broke two of his ribs.-----.

1851 3rd April (CJ).
Kilrush Petty Sessions:
On the bench: Colonel Vandeleur, Captain Studdert, R.N. and James Little Esq, R.M.:
The court was crowded to excess to hear a case in which Captain Charles Bingham- known by the name of- “The Bantam Cock of the Shannon” was concerned.
It seems it has been the custom on the landing of the steamer for the proprietors of cars to jump aboard to procure a load to Kilkee or elsewhere: but such drivers as the captain did not favour were sure to be debarred access to the vessel. From this conduct, which was calculated, to produce disputes between the drivers, the present case originated.
On the landing of the Garryowen steamer on last Thursday, John Dwyer the proprietor of a car jumped on board, Pat Burns a driver to Mr. Williams, hotel-keeper was also called down by a gentleman on board. When a scuffle ensued which led to summons on each side.
Captain Bingham, who appeared swollen very much about the face and eyes ---
Burns was sentenced to two months imprisonment and fined £4.--

Thomas Markham was summoned by Pat Rochford, Harbour-Master for assault and he was fined £1.

1852 6th May (CJ).
The Erin steamer has replaced the Garryowen between Limerick and Kilrush and both steamers will be on the line daily from the 1st June. ---

1853 18th April (CJ).
The inhabitants of Kilkee have by public meeting made a request to the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company to reduce the fare between Limerick and Kilrush.

1856 14th April (CJ).
Narrow Escape: Stephen Roche Esq, J.P., of Limerick fell into the Shannon on Thursday last at Kilrush Pier, as he was leaving the steamer. Being a good swimmer, he kept himself afloat until rescued by Mr. O’Brien the Steam Company’s Agent.

1857 20th August (CJ).
The new pier in progress of erection at Tarbert Island will be finished before Christmas. On the 15th of next month the railroad from Limerick to Foynes will be open for traffic when the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co., will put on the river from Foynes to Kilrush touching at Tarbert a first class steamer in connection with the Limerick to Foynes Railway Co., and all the steamers plying on the River Shannon will touch on the new pier on its completion, to take in and discharge freight and passengers. The City of Dublin Steam Ship Co. has already selected sites for the erection of sheds etc.

1858 18th August (Nenagh Guardian).
--- Mr. Dargan having placed upon the river, between thence and Kilrush, a model steamer named the Kelpie, of exceedingly great speed and light of water. The decorations of her state cabin are amongst the most perfect and tasteful that vessels of this kind have yet been capable of receiving. -----

1858 3rd July (Nenagh Guardian).
The swift sailing steamer “Cardiff Castle” having capacious and elegant accommodation for Passengers, will sail between Limerick, Tarbert, and Kilrush as under, for the month of July, 1858 (casualties excepted). From Limerick: 5th Monday, 2.00pm, 6th Tuesday, 2.00pm. ---- From Kilrush 5th Monday 8,00am, 6th Tuesday 8.00 am. -----

1859 5th August (IT).
The last advices from Kilkee represent that watering place as exceedingly full, so much, so that it is difficult to find lodging. It has certainly done much to drain Limerick, which has the aspect of a city of the dead. The Shannon steamers will no doubt reap a bountiful harvest, during the present and next month, ------ .

1863 19th June (IT).
Limerick and Foynes Railway:-
On Monday an entertainment, on a magnificent scale, was given on the occasion of placing a new steamer between Foynes and Kilrush, by William Malcomson, Esq, to the shareholders and other gentlemen from Limerick, including the Mayor and several members of the Corporation. The Rosa, which is a beautiful boat possessing superior sailing qualities, with improved accommodation for passengers, was expressly built for passengers, in Waterford, by the enterprising firm of Messrs, Malcomson for the purpose of connecting Foynes with Kilrush, as the connection between those places was interrupted by the withdrawal of the Kelpie:- Southern Chronicle.

1866 12th February (FJ).
Lower Shannon Passenger Traffic: The handsome steamer Vandeleur, which has been expressly built by Wm. Malcomson Esq, at Waterford will shortly be placed on the Lower Shannon, at Foynes, to run between that station and Kilrush, in connection with the railway. Having two decks, she will afford much more accommodation to passengers than the Rosa. Her steam power is also greater, so that her voyages hither and thither will be performed in considerably less time than heretofore. It is supposed that the command of the Vandeleur will be given to Captain Weir. From his efficiency, courteous and obliging manner to passengers on all occasions, we can only say that a more suitable appointed could not be made.-- Limerick Southern Chronicle.

1866 7th July (CJ).
The Foynes Line.
The new steamboat “The Vandeleur” arrived on Wednesday morning at Limerick to ply between Foynes Harbour and Kilrush. The boat is two feet longer than the “Rosa” has a cabin on deck with railings around the top and will replace the Rosa on Monday next.

1866 19th July (CJ).
We regret to learn that the Rosa (SS)? , the property of the London and Limerick Steamship Company was wrecked off Falmouth Harbour a few mornings since. She was returning from London to Limerick after one of her annual trips to the former place when she ran on a rock, about 3 o'clock in the morning---.

1867 8th July (CJ).
New Steamer for the Shannon: A splendid new steam boat of great speed has been purchased by the Mayor of Limerick to ply between this City and Kilrush. The name of the vessel is the Elwy which left Liverpool at 1.30 on Saturday so that she will not arrive in the Shannon until this Monday morning. We trust the citizens of Limerick will appreciate as it deserves such enterprise on the part of the Mayor for their benefit and comfort.

1868 17th August (IT).
The Reception of Captain Hector Vandeleur, D L. at Kilrush, August 14th .
On yesterday it became known that Captain Hector Vandeleur, D. L.(heir to Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur,M.P.) and his bride, the daughter of W.O. Foster,M.P., were to arrive here for the first time since their nuptials were celebrated in England. Active preparations were at once made to give the happy pair a becoming reception.------. At half-past five o'clock the steamer Vandeleur gaily dressed with flags and streamers, slowly steamed into the harbour amidst the loud and hearty cheers of the assembled throng.-----------.

1868 26th July (CJ).
Limerick via Kilrush:
Loud complaints are being made about the inconvenient hours the steamers now run between Limerick and Kilrush and the increased tariffs for goods and passengers.

1871 1st May (CJ).
Steamer to Kilrush:
A commercial traveller has informed us today that a Scotch Company has determined upon placing a Clyde steamer, (A1), on the Lower Shannon to ply between Limerick and Kilrush for the season, from the first week in June, at considerably reduced passenger fares.

1874 3rd June (IT).
Death by Drowning at Limerick:-
Last evening on the arrival of the Rosa steamer at Limerick dock from Kilrush, a young man named Fennell, a passenger, in stepping on to the landing stage, fell and was drowned, notwithstanding the efforts made to rescue him. His aged father, who had arrived to welcome him witnessed the sad occurrence.

1874 18th June (CJ).
It is expected that the Lower Shannon Steamship Company will allow their steamers to run a number of excursions trips this season to all places of note on the Shannon.

1874 18th July (Nation).
On Monday, 6th instant, the people of Kilrush had the pleasure of witnessing the interesting sight of the launch of a boat built for the proprietors of the Lower Shannon Steamship Company, at Leadmore, near Kilrush, by our worthy townsman, John McMahon, boat-builder. There were numerous spectators present, who joined in hearty cheers as the beautiful craft glided swiftly into her native element, with the honours due to naval architecture. Immediately after a stout crew took her on a trial-trip through the creek, passed the club boathouse and thence to the far-famed Island of Scattery, with admirable speed.

1875 2nd November (IT).
Porpoises in the Shannon:
Passengers on the Rosa, steamer from Kilrush to Limerick were surprised and amazed at the hundred porpoises ---

1882 5th January (IT).
Discovery of arms and ammunition at Kilrush:-
Considerable excitement was created here today by the discovery of two cases containing fifteen Enfield Snider rifles with bayonets, and two hundred and fifty rounds of ball cartridges. It appears that the arms were consigned to Mr. Michael Glynn, J.P., a wealthy corn merchant in town. The police had received private information of the consignment, and as the common carrier was bringing the cases to Mr. Glynn's store, they were seized by Head-Constable Fahey and a party of police, who lay in watch for the prize, and had them conveyed to the barracks. Mr. Glynn disclaimed all knowledge of the arms or the consignor. The cases were brought today from Limerick by the Vandeleur steamer, which arrived here about twelve o’clock, and in half an hour after the seizure was effected. It is almost unnecessary to say that up to the present the police have discovered no further clue.

1883 27th September (TL)
Intelligence from Cappa yesterday states that the steamers Mermaid and Vandeleur broke their chains and drove across the beach under the Coast Guard station. --

1884 24th January (CJ).
At 6 o’clock – as men employed by the Lower Shannon Steam Company were proceeding to Cappa they found at the Pier Head a small coffin.--- When the lid was opened it only contained the remains of a black tom cat.

1884 31st January (CJ).
On Saturday one of the river boats proceeded on her trip to Kilrush but only got as far as Tarbert. There she was unable to land her passengers and returned to Foynes where she anchored to await better weather.

1884 30th June (CJ).
Great numbers went on to Kilkee by cars on Saturday evening after the arrival of the Foynes steamer at half-past seven, and the pretty watering place is becoming crowded.

1886 17th April (IT).
Suspension of Traffic by a Steamship Company:-
The Lower Shannon Steamship Company through its Kilrush manager, Mr. Supple, on Saturday gave notice withdrawing all their publications and advertisements of sailing of their steamers trading between Limerick and Kilrush with goods and passengers, and suspending traffic for the present. The steamers will cease running until such time as the obstruction to their landing passengers and goods at the Revenue Pier, Kilrush, is removed, which had been occasioned by their berths being occupied by French sloops and a large barque consigned to the Messrs Glynn and Sons. This was never allowed to occur before. The company, with great risks and difficulty, endeavoured to convenience the commercial firms of Limerick and Kilrush during the past week, doing the trips both ways without goods, but had to discontinue this evening. The event has caused great inconvenience in Kilrush and the towns of West Clare, as until the steamers can occupy their quay all traffic is suspended.

1886 12th August (CJ).
The Flying Huntsman (Captain Hall) will we learn leave Clarecastle on an excursion trip to Loop Head on Sunday August 22nd.---

1887 23rd June (CJ).
Kilrush car Owners:
We understand that the Kilrush and Kilkee car owners have agreed upon a very reasonable tariff for the service between Kilrush and Kilkee, so that the former complaints, under this head, are therefore not likely to raise again. This piece of intelligence will be a source of consolation to many tourists who go to Kilkee.

1887 2nd July (Tuam Herald).
Trains and Steamboat Service 1887.
The Lower Shannon Company's steamer “Mermaid” or other steamer will run daily (wind and weather permitting) Sundays excepted between Foynes and Kilrush.----.

1888 30th April (CJ).
The steamer Vandeleur plying between Kilrush and Limerick had on board on Thursday 60 emigrants 30 of whom were females.

1888 18th July (Nenagh Guardian).
Excursions by land and water were run from Limerick on Sunday last. The Lower Shannon Steamship Company's steamer Vandeleur took two hundred or more excursionists to Kilrush, en route to Kilkee, and then continued her journey to Fenit. It is a matter of surprise that more did not avail of the delightful sea trip, particularly when we take into account the splendid weather which prevailed. The Kilkee visitors had nearly four hours at the seaside and spent a most enjoyable day. The returned home by the SS Mermaid, which left Cappa pier in or about half-past six. The Fenit passengers returned by the mail train from Tralee. A considerable number of excursionists also took a trip to the City by the Lee, an excursion train having been run by the Great Southern and Western Company.---------

1889 4th May (KH)
Lower Shannon Steamship Company (Advertisement)
Intended Order of Sailing for May 1889. Steamers: Vandeleur, Mermaid, Erin, Ross? & Co.
Daily Sailing between Limerick, Tarbert (Listowel), Redgap, Kilrush (Kilkee) also calling at Killadysart on Monday Wednesday and Friday and at Glin on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday if the tide will not allow the vessel going alongside the Glin pier, passengers and goods must be embarked at Tarbert.----.

1891 3rd September (CJ).
The Storm in Kilrush:
The Lower Shannon Company steamer “Mermaid" was unable to proceed with the mails or passengers to Foynes nor was the “Vandeleur” until a late hour. ----

1892 15th February (CJ).
Lower Shannon Steamships Sailing for February:
From Limerick: Monday 15th : 9 am: Wednesday 10 am: Friday 10am: Monday 22nd 12 o’clock: Tuesday 3 pm: Friday 2 pm: Monday 29th 9 am:
From Kilrush: Tuesday 16th 12 o’clock: Thursday 2 pm: Saturday 2 pm: Tuesday 23rd 9 am: Wednesday 6 pm: Saturday 11 am;

1892 16th July (KH)
The new SS “Shannon” built for the Waterford Steamship Company arrived in Limerick on Wednesday from Belfast. The “Shannon” is specially adapted to its passenger’s traffic and is lighted throughout by electricity. The refreshment cabin is under the Company own management. The steamer is intended to run on the passenger service commencing on next Wednesday.

1892 28th July (CJ).
Excursion: On Sunday the new steamer Shannon ------ ran a special excursion from Kilrush to the City of the Violated Treaty.---- The popular manager at Kilrush Mr. H. G. Supple also travelled---.

1892 13th October (CJ).
The remains of Captain Blue who lost his life under melancholy circumstances on Saturday night at Limerick arrived in Kilrush on Tuesday for internment in the family vault. – The deceased in his official capacity as Captain of the SS Mermaid ------served for close to forty years with the Lower Shannon Steamship Company. ---

1893 8th June (CJ).
On Sunday the Lower Shannon Company’s steamer Shannon ran to Kilrush and some two hundred people availed of the service of this attractive trip and spent some time at Kilkee. The weather was very fine ---.

1894 29th December (KH).
A sad case of drowning at Cappa Pier:
About 9 o'clock on last Saturday night a patent range-setter named John McShary of Limerick was drowned at Cappa Pier. The deceased who was about 55 years old had erected a range for Mrs. Poole and it would seem after being paid went down the Quay to go on board Russell's smack (Frances) as he wanted to go to Limerick with them early next morning and is supposed to have slipped at the rear of the steamer Shannon, although he was immediately picked up By Capt. John Fitzmaurice life was extinct. -----.

1900 26th May (IT).
Tourist Routes in Ireland.
Coach and Steamer Services under Government Subsidies.
1 Coach Service-Talbert and Listowel (all the year round).
2 Steamer Service-Talbert and Kilrush (summer service, June to September, inclusive)
3 Coach Service-Ennistymon and Ballyvaughan, via Lisdoonvarna (summer service, June to September, inclusive)----------.

On or after 1st June the Coach Service between Listowel and Tarbert, and Steamer Service between Tarbert and Kilrush, will be worked daily (Sundays excepted), and the Coach Service between Ennistymon and Ballyvaughan, via Lisdoonvarna, tri-weekly-viz., on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, giving connection from Killarney and the South to Tarbert, Kilrush, Kilkee, Miltown Malbay, Lahinch, Ennis, Galway, and the North, and vice versa.

Passengers from Killarney leaving at 10.23 am. and travelling via Listowel (where there will be a wait for luncheon), Tarbert, and Kilrush, will reach Kilkee, the well-known seaside resort on the Clare Coast, at 5.35 pm. The reverse service will be: Kilkee departure 8.40 am. : Listowel, departure, 12.47 pm., arriving at Killarney at 2.38 pm.

Passengers for Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan, Galway and the North leaving Kilkee on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.25 am. and travelling by Coach from Ennistymon at 9.45 am. Will reach Lisdoonvarna the popular health resort at 11 am. and Ballyvaughan at 1.0 pm. The return Coach will leave Ballyvaughan at 4.0 am. Passing through Lisdoonvarna at 5.40 enabling passengers to reach Kilkee and Kilrush by West Clare Railway from Ennistymon at 9.50 pm. and Ennis at 7.50 pm.----------.
H Williams, Secretary, Office of Public Works, Dublin, May 1900.

1900 7th June (CJ).
The Excursion Season:
The excursion season from Limerick to Kilrush and Kilkee via the Shannon opened on Sunday when over 200 passengers availed themselves of the trip. The arrangements on board the SS Shannon were admirable as were those on the South Clare railway under the supervision of Mr. P. Sullivan, traffic manager. --- The Whit-Sunday excursion from Limerick was also a great success.

1900 7th July (IT).
Sad Drowning Case in the Shannon.
It has been reported in Kilrush that a sad drowning accident took place from the Waterford Steamship Company's steamer Shannon, plying between Kilrush and Limerick, near Beigh Castle, yesterday. A deck hand, named Patrick O'Dea, belonging to Pound Street, Kilrush, was seen in the water. The steamer was immediately reversed and stopped, and a boat's crew lowered, but despite all efforts, the poor fellow sank. The deceased leaves a wife and family.

1903 12th September (IT).
--- The river steamer Shannon, with passengers from Kilkee, was unable to put in at Kilrush and had to seek shelter in Tarbert Roads, with the result that passengers for Limerick who left Kilrush at mid-day did not arrive until five o’clock the following morning. While the storm was at its height two men were blown into the Shannon, but happily, both were rescued.

1904 8th February (House of Commons debate @
----- The two coach services between Listowel and Tarbert, and Ennistymon and Ballyvaughan, and the steamer service between Tarbert and Kilrush were experimentally established and subsidised under the Railways Act, 1896. These services have now been worked for nearly seven years, and I regret to say that the result of the experiment, financially, has been unsatisfactory. A considerable loss has been experienced on each service, and from the three services, the total receipts have been less than twenty percent of the expenditure. Under the circumstances, and having regard to the small-unexpended balance of money available under the Act of 1896, notice has been given to terminate the existing contracts on the 31st May next.

1904 3rd May (House of Commons debate @
--- I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether arrangements can be made during the summer for a service of steamers, aided by a government subsidy, between Kilrush and Foynes.
--- I cannot hold out any hope that the subsidy in the case of the Tarbert to Kilrush steamer will be continued beyond the 31st instant.--

1907 25th June (IT).
Exciting Occurrence on the Shannon.
An exciting occurrence took place on the Shannon last week. The steamship Gipsy, with a cargo of sugar from Treport, was coming up to the port on the ebb tide, and the river passenger steamer Shannon, was proceeding downstream for Kilrush, when both vessels came into collision off Coonagh Point, about a mile seaward from Limerick. The paddle box of the Shannon was smashed, and the steamers were damaged by the impact. The passengers on board the Shannon, and who were proceeding to Kilkee, were greatly alarmed, but no injuries were received by any of them, and they were eventually taken off in rowboats. The steamers lay to where the collision occurred, and subsequently were berthed for inspection.

1908 9th September (II).
French Ship Blows Ashore.
A violent gale blowing from the north-west passed over West Clare last night --- the French three-masted ship Admiral de Courmeliur outward bound in ballast for Adelaide, which had anchored in Scattery roadstead, off the Kilrush Harbour dragged both her anchors, and went ashore near the dangerous rocks at Islevaroo. --- shortly after six o'clock and the passenger steamer Shannon, belonging to the Waterford Steamship Company, in command of Captain Colivet went to the assistance of the Admiral de Courmeliur, then three hours ashore, and towed her back safely to the roads-----.

1909 29th May (IT).
Commercial Traveller Drowned in the Shannon.
A distressing fatal accident occurred on the Shannon on Thursday evening, by which Mr. James P. Kenny, 45, a commercial traveller lost his life through drowning. The river steamer Shannon, on her passage from Kilrush to Limerick, was joined at Killadysart by Mr. Kenny. Shortly afterwards he was observed leaning against the bulwark of the steamer, and almost immediately the passengers were alarmed by the cry of “Man overboard”. The engines were at once reversed a boat lowered and the body recovered five minutes after immersion but life was found to be extinct. Mr. Kenny was a native of Limerick, married, and the father of two children. He was a traveller for Messrs. J. Harris and Sons, flour merchants, and was a general favourite. It is stated that he was subject to slight fainting attacks. Yesterday Messrs. A J Eakins and E Daly J P's, held an inquest at Limerick, and the jury returned a verdict of death through drowning. They also passed a vote of condolences with the family of the deceased.

1916 3rd April (CJ).
The Limerick Steamship Company Limited desires us to give publication to the fact that the service between Limerick and stations on the Lower Shannon service has not been discontinued. The steamer “Shannon” has been laid up temporarily for survey and the sailings are being continued by the “Flesk”.

1922 27th May (IT).
New passenger steamer service, a Limerick enterprise, will shortly be inaugurated between Limerick and Kilrush, Co. Clare.

1954 15th November (IT).
New Shannon service? -- The Minister for Industry and Commerce has been asked by the Kilrush, Co. Clare, Urban District Council to provide a transport service on the river Shannon between Limerick and Kilrush.

Back Arrow
Kilrush Notes