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Inhabitants of Scattery Island, Shannon Estuary, Co. Clare by Senan Scanlan

6.2 Western Pilots: Newspaper extracts relating to Piloting: 1845-1879

1845 Monday 15th September (Clare Journal)
Limerick Bridge Commissioners

James Bannatyne Esq presided on Thursday at a meeting of the Board. Mr William Randall Harbour Master, having received by letter £1 from a pilot who had obtained a license and supposed to be a “Bribe” He raised the matter with the commissioners who declined interfering and Mr Randall said sooner than return it to the man who sent it he would hand it over to Barrington’s Hospital. Mr Robert Rodgers said the board ought to investigate the circumstances connected with the recent collision between the Garryowen steamer, and the Schooner Marion near Barrington’s pier. --------.

1849 Friday 27th July (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Commissioners

--- The Board then proceeded to investigate the charge against Mahony, the pilot, who lately ran a vessel against the timber used at the new Floating Dock which in a collision caused some damage. Mr Mullock and another gentleman who was present gave their opinion that Mahony could not have done more to avoid a collision than he had done, and that to avoid some vessels in the river the pilot had to approach the works. Captain Randall, Harbour Master, stated that the accident arose not for want of skill on the part of the pilot.
The pilot after some further consideration was suspended for three months.

1849 Monday 19th November (Clare Journal)
From our Kilkee Correspondent 17th November 1849
A vessel deserted by her crew, timber laden, was discovered on the morning of the 17th inst. off Loophead Lighthouse, drifting before the wind. She was boarded by the men of a pilot boat, who succeeded in getting some of her sails into working order. The wind, soon after having come to the south west, the ships head was turned towards Galway. She passed this place about three o'clock in tow of the pilot boats and seemed to be getting on well. The Coast Guard stationed here attempted to board her but failed. So the poor pilot men were left to enjoy their prize undisturbed. There is no account of the crew; it is supposed that they deserted her during the late stormy weather and that they landed on the Kerry shore.

1849 Thursday 22nd November (Clare Journal)
From our Miltown Correspondent 19th November 1849

A Vessel Wrecked and Deserted.
At an early hour on Saturday morning a ship named the Andrew White of Sunderland, laden with timber was drifted on a reef of rocks on the Claddagh Strand the property of John Carroll Esq within a short distance of this village.----------There was no one on board to tell the tale of woe----but without doubt she was plundered at sea, especially as she was seen by the Coast Guards on Friday off “Mutton Island” with fishing boats in pursuit.------.

1857 Friday 31st July
Limerick Harbour Board

No meeting, the numbers of members present not sufficient.

1864 Tuesday 22nd January (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board
An application from the Rev Michael Meehan PP, Carrigaholt on behalf of the pilots whose certificates had been suspended for assaulting the captain of a vessel coming up the river were forgiven, their certificates returned to them and a strong caution given on their future behaviour.

1865 Tuesday 25th April (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board.

A meeting of the Commissioners of the Limerick Harbour Board was summoned for today but on account of the non-attendance of a sufficient number of the members the meeting had to be adjourned .Those gentlemen in attendance waited till four o'clock.

1865 Tuesday 26th September (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board.

As above-----Adjourned------Mr Phillips was the only member in attendance----.

1866 Tuesday 3rd July (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board.
There not having been a sufficient number present to commence a meeting today---------.

1866 Tuesday 4th September
Limerick Harbour Board

As above---Adjourned.

1867 Tuesday 24th September (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board.

The Chairman congratulated the Board on the increase in shipping into the port since the harbour dues were abolished.

1868 Tuesday 15th December (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Meeting adjourned as a quorum not attending.
(This happened quite often during 1860s although no specific references to the Western Pilots were found.)

1869 Tuesday 2nd February (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Some applications for pilot’s licenses were read:
The parties who had passed examinations were granted their licenses. These were Michael Milligan (Melican) Scattery and Michael McMahon Scattery.

1869 Tuesday 5th October (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Lighting of the River
Mr Carroll, secretary, then stated that the committee appointed to estimate the possible expenditure of the lighting of the river had met and had made out the following estimate of outlay and expenditure.
Estimate cost of maintenance.
No 1 Horse Rock-Light Keeper 52 weeks wages at £1, £52 (Keeper to live in the Light House).
No 2 Sod Island-No 3 Laubeer Rock-No 4 Spilling Rock. It is proposed that these three shall be lighted by means of a boat in charge of the pilots living on the island and it is expected that they can be so attended for £12-10s each, say total £37-10s.
Other items all amounting to £165 set forth.

1869 Tuesday 14th December (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board.

Lighting of the River.
A letter was read from the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Dublin, in reference to the light that the Board had intended to erect on Horse Island and recommending that it should be erected in the extreme of the rock as it would be the most suitable place

1870 Tuesday 29th March (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

The application of a man named Purtill a Western Pilot to get a license to act as a river pilot on the Shannon was read.
After considerable discussion the matter was referred to the Pilot Committee.

1870 Tuesday 26th April (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

A letter was read from the Board of Trade in reference to the case of a man named James Purtill who applied to the Board for a pilot's license. He stated in the letter to the Board of Trade that he was prevented to act as a coasting pilot by the Harbour Master.
Captain Randall said it was totally false. He never did so , but prevented him by direction of the Board to take any fees, he being a Western Pilot and not therefore entitled in the opinion of the Board, to act on the Shannon in that respect.---------------
The Mayor said that a difference arose as to the right of the man to act on the Limerick section of the Shannon. Of course the man had a certificate which entitled him to act as a pilot on every part of the Shannon, but it was always understood that the men who act as Western Pilots should not be allowed to act at Limerick(hear! hear!)
The Board agreed that the men who served their time in the west should be appointed as pilots in that district, and those who did so in the Limerick district should act as pilots here. --------------Alderman Tinsley said there was a curious statement in the pilot’s letter. He states in it that because he was born in Kilrush. Captain Randall said he should stay there (Laughter)
The matter was referred to the Pilot Committee.

1870 Tuesday 10th May (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

The Pilot Committee
------- They had investigated the case of the pilot Pultill (Purtill?) and found that he had violated his duties by acting as a pilot on the Lower Shannon when he had a license for the Western portion of the river.

1870 Tuesday September 27th (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board
Horse Rock

A man named Hickey of Pallaskenry was appointed keeper of the newly erected Lighthouse upon the Horse Rock.

1870 Tuesday December 6th (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Pilot Licenses
Some applications were before the Board from persons desirous of receiving licenses to act as pilots on the river.
The Chairman said that on a former occasion some applications were before the Board of a similar nature and Captain Randall the Harbour Master informed the Board that there were no more pilots required on the river. ----The applications were refused.

1871 Tuesday 30th May (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Applications from Pilots
A petition was read from the Limerick Pilots working between Grass Island and the city asking for certain concessions in respect to the distribution of payment between them and the Western Pilots &c-------------Referred to Pilot Committee.

1871 Tuesday 13th June (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

The Pilots
The question of an application from the Limerick Pilots for an increase of wages &c was refused the Board not thinking it necessary to change to present system.

1871 Tuesday July 11th (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Charge against a Pilot
--------------The case of a man named Joyce against whom a complaint had been made by the captain of a Prussian vessel----------The matter was referred to the Pilot Committee----who recommended suspending Joyce for three months.

1873 Friday 9th May (Limerick Reporter)
On Wednesday a canoe manned by six (five) fishermen put off from Loop Head to offer pilotage to an Austrian brig which was entering the river and when within twenty yards of the vessel the boat was overwhelmed by an immense wave. The six (five) men were drowned close to the side of the brig the crew of the latter being prevented by the high wind and sea from rendering assistance. A sworn investigation into the circumstances connected with the fatal accident will be immediately held by the Limerick Harbour Board.
(The names of the five pilots that drowned off Kilbaha Harbour on the 8th of May 1873 were Michael Brennan and his nephew Tom Brennan,John McNamara, Pat Carmody and Seamus Crotty and the ship's name was the “Nico”.)

1873 Thursday 15th May (Clare Journal)
Limerick Harbour Board

The Late Fatal Accident
----------Alderman Quinlivan next called attention to the deplorable accident at Loop Head (Kilbaha), when five pilots were drowned. He said that each of them left a wife and family, except one, and he left a wife and had a mother and sister dependant on him. He suggested that the Board vote a certain sum of money on their behalf. ----- Notice was then given to vote £100 at the next meeting and a subscription list was immediately opened in the room headed by the Mayor with a sum of £3.----------Alderman Quinlivan was requested to forward £20 to-night to the Parish Priest for the distressed families (Limerick Chronicle)

1873 Tuesday 20th May (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Mr John McDonnell called the attention of the Board to the drowning of five pilots a few evenings since near the mouth of the Shannon, and referred to a memorial from the pilots at the lower part of the Shannon for an increase in fees. At the suggestion of Mr McDonnell who strongly advocated their claim the subject was referred to the Pilot Committee.

1873 Thursday 29th May (Clare Journal)
-----Alderman Quinlivan said he sent £20 to the parish Priest (Father Meehan).He referred to the necessity of raising a public subscription on behalf of the poor people leading it with £100 from the Board and £21 from Messrs Bannatyne. -- Mr Ryan seconded the resolution and remarked that the deceased may be said to have lost their lives in the service of the Board. The history of the Brennan family was indeed a melancholy one and should evoke the practical sympathy of all parties but most particularly of the Harbour Board in whose interest the unfortunate men lost their lives. ----Mr Cochrane suggested the advisability of the Board purchasing a hooker for the benefit of the Western Pilot there was too much danger going out in small canoes.--The Chairman believed that no vessel could be boarded from a hooker in bad weather the canoes were most handy for enabling the pilots to put them off and reach vessels entering the river. They had a hooker before and were obliged to sell it.

1873 Tuesday 15th July (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Retirement of Captain Randall, Harbour Master.
(He must have been close to 80 years when he retired)

At a special meeting of the Limerick Harbour Board convened by requisition and held on Wednesday 9th July 1873. ----
Thompson Russell Esq in the chair it was unanimously resolved:
“That we cannot allow our respected Harbour Master Mr Randall to leave Limerick after his long connection with and services to the Trade of the Port without our recognition of the occasion-------.

The following subscriptions were then received:
J N Russell and Sons        £25
J Bannatyne & Sons         £25
W J Shaw & Sons            £25
J Masterson & Sons         £25
John McDonnell & Sons     £5
Eugene O'Callaghan           £1
John R Tinsley                   £1
William Cochrane              £2
Richard Phillips                 £2
Limerick Body of Pilots    £15.

Additional Subscriptions
Michael O'Neill                £1
Thomas Myles                £1
T Magrath                       £5
Sir Peter Tait & Co          £5
Joseph Murphy               £1
W & G Curtin                 £2
Michael Murray              £5
Mullock & Son               £5.

(There are no subscriptions detailed from the Western Pilots)

1874 Tuesday 10th March (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

The Secretary read a report to the effect that since the last meeting four of the river pilots complained that they in their usual manner endeavoured to board an Italian vessel but were not permitted and the vessel was brought to Limerick by a coasting pilot. A committee of the board in accordance with the sections of the Act of Parliament ordered to have the coasting pilot prosecuted before nearest magistrate was done and a fine of £5 was imposed but the pilot having no property to have the same levied off, 48 hours imprisonment was ordered. In a second case the coasting pilot was discharged.
Mr Mullock brought before the Board the complaint of a captain of a vessel who took a pilot on board on Saturday night near Loop Head. He asked the pilot the amount of his pilotage when he said 30s, but when the vessel arrived at Limerick the mate had to pay 50s?
The pilot and captain were called in when the facts as stated by Mr Mullock were fully verified by the captain and admitted by the pilot.

1874 Tuesday 24th March (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

-------A report was then read from Mr James Dundon, Chief Officer of coastguards, at Tarbert, complaining of the conduct of a pilot Michael Scanlan who boarded a vessel the Generosa from Baltimore to Limerick in a state of drunkenness. It was ordered that the pilot should appear before the Pilot Committee of the Board, his license being in the mean time suspended.
(James Duggan (not Dundon) was the Station Officer at Tarbert at this time as per Thom's Official Directory 1874)

1874 Tuesday 7th April (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Mr Carroll next read the report of the committee appointed to consider the complaint against the pilot, Scanlan of having been drunk while in charge of a vessel at Tarbert and using insulting language to a coastguard officer. The committee considering that the man had been greatly exhausted by having been on sea five days watching vessels and no similar charge having been brought against him for twenty eight years condoned the complaint of drunkenness, but ordered the pilot to go to the coastguard and make an apology to him and if the latter accepted the Harbour Committee would allow the matter to drop.

Mr Phillips thought that the pilot having admitted the charge of drunkenness as well as insolence the Board ought to take more determined steps.

Mr McDonnell l agreed with Mr Phillips. He did not believe that spirituous liquor was of any use to a pilot: a glass of water would be better (Laughter). It was not a matter to be smiled at for it was a very serious matter to give the charge of a vessel wherein life and property were concerned to a pilot and therefore how essential it was that the pilot should be sober and undoubtedly drunkenness should not be condoned.

The Chairman reminded Mr McDonnell that the pilot did not as far as they could ascertain get the drink until he had brought the vessel to Tarbert and discharged his duty: and then when in a very exhausted state the captain gave him some strong drink, which the pilot thought was wine, besides his license was still suspended.

Mr Cronin- No similar charge was brought against the man for twenty eight years.
Mr McDonnell-That's no argument.
Mr Cronin-I beg your pardon it is a very strong argument and you have no right to say that it is not.
Mr McDonnell-It is no argument.
The Report of the Committee was agreed to.

1874 Tuesday 8th September (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:
The River Pilots
Mr Carroll read the following letter from Messrs Mullock & Son.
Gentlemen, Owing to the mentioned disputes occurring between the Western Pilots and the masters of vessels relative to the pilotage tariff. ---.

When the present tariff was made the farthest distance for which pilotage was allowed was from and to Kilcredane point (Which was done and clearly expressed at the time to prevent boarding outside this point as you considered it dangerous to the lives of the pilots)----. It is a fact well known to your Board that in 19 out of 20 cases the vessels which require those men's services have already secured the services of a coasting pilot (at port of call) who are quite capable of bringing the vessels up to at least Kilcredane---.

The Pilot Committee agreed that distance money should be charged by pilots for their services below Kilcredane if required by the Captains of vessels.

A letter was read from William Tyrrell master of the schooner Annie of Dublin complaining of the conduct of a pilot named Denis Quilligan in running his vessel aground in the Clare river (Fergus) on Saturday the 15th .

1874 Tuesday 22nd September (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

The Western Pilots
Mr Cronin called the attention of the Board to the statement made to him by a gentleman acquainted with the western part of the river and which was to the effect that unless something be done to prevent the racing for vessels by pilots several of the latter will be drowned. Scrambles take place between the pilots as to which boat should first reach the vessels and it was a matter of surprise that many of them were not drowned. Recently only five pilots were saved by the crew of a vessel though the services of the pilots were not required at all-----.
The Secretary read a telegram from Denis Behan Rinevella in the following words
“We boarded an Italian Barque, the coasting pilot of which hid himself and the barque went away. Don't pay. I go to Limerick-very near being drowned.”
----- Mr Phillips said the more active of the western pilots do not like to agree to the rotation system as they think they will lose by it.

1874 Tuesday 8th December (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

The Western Pilots
Ald Quinlivan said an application was made by a man named Brennan for a new license. His grandfather held a license and was now retired and would give it up if his grandson got a new license. He was a strong active man and just the person they wanted.
Mr Cochrane asked how many pilots were really working in the west of the river.
The Harbour Master replied that there were 40 pilots but that some of them did not work at all. The man Brennan was subsequently examined and a license granted to him.

1875 Tuesday 23rd February (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

Mr Carroll read the following,
“----- At a special meeting of the Pilot Committee held on the 16th February,
“Resolved- That the Western Pilots should form themselves into a cooperative body on the same system as the Limerick Pilots,
“That a central boarding station should be established and the piloting duties taken by all the Western Pilots in rotation and all the earnings be paid into a common fund, to be afterwards equally divided among all the men composing the common body. That any Shannon pilot shall be at liberty to act as a coasting pilot from Queenstown but he shall be obliged to pay in the amount of pilotage earned within the lower division of the Shannon to the common fund of the Western Pilots.”
Signed James Spaight, Chairman of Pilot Committee.

1875 Tuesday 23rd March (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:
Pilot Committee having fully considered the suggestions discussed with the deputation of pilots on the 1st , resolved “ That the board station for the lower Shannon shall be at Carrigaholt beside which a pilot at Tarbert shall be licensed for bringing up such vessels as may have passed the station inwards without getting a pilot. There shall be a party of eight pilots at the station to be relieved fortnightly by eight others pilots.
The Report was unanimously adopted.
(This seems to be the start of the Tarbert pilot anomaly which was sanctioned by the Board)

1875 Tuesday 6th April (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

Strike of the river pilots
The Secretary next read the report of the Pilot Special Committee in which they stated that “Having proceeded to consider a letter from the master of the ship Adavid complaining that although he had engaged a steam tug and a pilot to take his ship down river on the 23rd March no pilot came to his ship which consequently was detained in the dock. The Harbour Master further stated that the body of the Limerick Pilots has informed him that they could not work in consequence of the new regulations and three other vessels were detained in the Port the same morning. ----- one of the pilots named Mahony appeared before the Committee---- said that the body of Limerick Pilots would not work with two coasting pilots named O'Brien and Purtill.-----
A short discussion then took place when it was explained to the chairman that the river pilots had really nothing to complain of—that each of them by the new arrangement would earn over £52 a year and enjoy in addition about £20 from? Giving them an average of £70 a year. ------------.
The coasting pilots could take charge of no vessel but coasting vessels and out of the pilotage received would pay a third to the Limerick Pilots and a third to the Western Pilots. ---

The pilots agreed to adopt the terms agreed by the Board.

Some of the Western Pilots having subsequently appeared before the Board, the chairman congratulated them on their proper conduct in not having followed the example of the Limerick Pilots and said the Board were quite satisfied with the assistance they had given during the strike.

1875 Tuesday 27th April (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

------It was agreed to offer £200 to Mr Madigan of Kilrush for the Boat -St Patrick - to be used by the pilots-£100 to be paid by the Board and £100 by the pilots who are to take care of the boat at their own expense.
Another letter was read from the master of the Stavers against a Western Pilot named Brennan to the following effect: On the 19th ult I was off Kerry Head bound into the Shannon. I had been compelled through stress of weather to seek refuge for the purpose of having a survey and repairs, ship being strained, &c., rudder head broken. I was boarded by a pilot (Michael Brennan) who demanded a written agreement to the effect that he was to have the usual pilotage up to Scattery and be kept on board at 5s a day as long as the ship was detained there and to take the ship out again. I objected to any written agreement as in thirty years experience I never heard of such a demand where there was a licensed pilot. ---------.
Brennan said that he was only employed as a pilot since December last. ------ He was suspended for three months and to forfeit the whole of the pilotage on the vessel.

1875 Tuesday 28th May (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

A pilot named Brennan complained that the captain of the Anna Bella refused to allow him on board the vessel although licensed to go aboard. The captain threatened to shoot him with a revolver and used vile and opprobrium language towards the Harbour Commissioners.

1875 Tuesday 8th June (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

Complaint against pilots
The following letter was read:

I beg to inform you when boarded on the schooner Charles A Hoard on the 27th inst the captain prepared a bed for me in the fore cabin and on anchoring at Bay Castle the pilot, James Cahill came into the cabin and said “It is come to something now when a G------d--- son of a B---- like me have got a bed when the main hatch ought to be the place for a d---- loafer like me and what business had I there”. I also beg to state this same pilot used very insulting and threatening language to Henry Elliott and self when boarded on the barque Familier from Norway and as this practice is becoming general with some of the Western Pilots I think it but right to bring it before your notice.
Signed: John Waters-Boatman (Coastguard).

1875 Tuesday 22nd June (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

----- Arising from a complaint that a ship captain could not get a pilot at Loop Head.
Mr Russell: There is no use in providing them with a boat if they will not go further out than Kilcredane.
Mr Phillips proposed that the rate of pilotage be altered with a view to having pilots compensated for boarding vessels further out than Kilcredane and a request made that they would be more vigilant in future.

1875 Tuesday 6th July (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

A letter was read from a number of Western Pilots complaining that out of their monthly fund, money was paid to pilots who never attended and some that resigned 29 years ago. The chairman suggested that in future a return be supplied of the men who attended and to have only them paid.

1875 Tuesday 24th August (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:
The Pilots:
A letter was read from the captain of the foreign vessel complaining that no Western Pilot attended to board his ship and recommending that a pilot named Downey should be stationed at Tarbert.
The chairman said that it was surprising after all the efforts they had made to arrange the business of the pilots satisfactory. The men were not giving satisfaction to the port and harbour.
Mr Mullock said that some of the men were too lazy to go out to sea.

1875 Tuesday 28th September (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

The following letter was read.
I beg to report that my vessel was stranded on the 18th last while on her way up the Shannon while in charge of pilot Thos McNamara------. I have been for years giving my vessel in charge to the pilot Downey at Tarbert who has always given me the greatest satisfaction. Several other vessels have lately been stranded in the Shannon but the captains say there is no use in reporting the pilots as they have no satisfaction to get.
Signed: Robert McKenzie, Schooner Topas, Glasgow.

1875 Tuesday 21st December (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:
A memorial was read from the older pilots of the Shannon praying that the Board would not appoint any more young pilots on the staff on the ground that the young men were lazy and not quick enough in boarding vessels: that they were too idle to go to sea: that when they got a license they get married and reduced their family to a starving condition.
The memorial was referred to the Pilot Committee.
The captain of the “Brabara” complained that he could not get a pilot to bring his vessel up the Shannon pilot named Brennan said the men refused to pilot the vessel as the captain would not pay the pilotage from Loop Head to Scattery Island though availing of their services for that distance.

1876 Tuesday 19th September (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

A pilot named Keating was asked by the board for an explanation of his conduct and violation of duty in falling asleep at his post while in charge of a boat's crew.---.

Pilot Keating: I was up three nights before, gentlemen, and nature overcame me.
Chairman: You have done the best thing you could to admit your fault and throw yourself on the mercy of the Board. After further discussion he was let off with a reprimand.

A letter was read in which reference was made to the complaint of a Captain Brooklian of the trading ship N A Williams against three pilots he had met in a boat off Kilrush and he (the captain) said the pilots abused him because he would not give them a ready admittance on board. The chairman said he had investigated the matter and he believed there was not the slightest fault on the part of the pilots they had sailed out in their boat in the hope of finding a ship and having seen this they went towards. He found that the captain did not attend to the words of the poor men or even look to their position and they were almost run down by the ship as it was unpiloted at the time.

1876 Tuesday 3rd October (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

Mr Spaight said he would be obliged to leave on private business but before going he had to direct their attention to the conduct of one of the Western Pilots towards the Master Pilot and the matter was one he thought should be dealt with in a determined and vigilant manner if they wished to preserve anything like order amongst the men and Brennan the master of the Western Pilots had incurred the displeasure of his subordinates for having officially reported the stranding of the pilot boat. Brennan stated that he was in town when a pilot named Cahill grossly insulted and threatened him with assault.

Brennan appeared before the Board and stated the charge. Cahill did not attend. His suspension was ordered until he should appear before the board and explain his conduct.

1877 Tuesday 27th February (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board:

Western Pilots
A letter from the Western Pilots complaining of having to maintain old men who were unable to work, asking for a suit of clothes instead of a life boat ?, was referred to the Pilot Committee.

1877 Tuesday 13th March (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

The Pilots
A report was read from the pilot Committee who inquired into a charge preferred against a pilot named O'Brien for allowing a vessel to get stranded near Beigh Castle which they considered proved and recommended his suspension for a month. They also suggested that the pilots be ordered not to leave any vessel until it was moored at the dock quay.

Ald Myles: Thought a months suspension insufficient
Mr Phillips Replied that the committee if required could show it was sufficient.
Ald Myles: Thought the man ought to be dismissed.
Mr Phillips: And if such a step were adopted towards every man for want of judgement and discretion they would all be dismissed.
Ald Myles: And then you have a better state of affairs.

1878 Tuesday 12th February (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

The Secretary said a communication received from Brennan the Master Pilot was read at the previous meeting complaining of the incapacity through old age of two pilots named Griffin and Cahill to perform the duties as pilots. Griffin a hale and hearty old man appeared before the Board and presented a certificate from the Captain of a vessel to the effect that he had recently steered a ship carrying 21 feet of water safely up the Shannon in a great storm.
The Chairman said that was sufficient evidence of the man's ability to discharge his duties.

Mr Mullock: He is the best pilot on the river.
Griffin: I am so supple in my limbs that I can kiss the heel of my boot (The old man then gave a practical proof of the accuracy of his statement to the great amusement of the Board) I never had a days illness, never had a toothache and never took a physic. The Board unanimously agreed to retain his name on the list.

....The Board were surprised that Brennan had made such an incorrect misrepresentation to the Board and they would have no confidence in him again. Who was to pay poor Griffin's expenses and it was proposed that Brennan be obliged to pay him 10s expenses, proposal was unanimously agreed to and to have Brennan informed that the Board were disappointed at the representation he had made respecting Griffin.

1878 Tuesday 26th February (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Ald Phillips remarked that it appeared from newspaper reports that a young man named Stephen Brennan, son of the Master Pilot, had been prosecuted before the magistrate for having discharged the duties of a pilot without a license and that he was fined 5s. On what grounds the magistrate decided to deal so leniently with him he could not understand for he imagined that the justice of the case should be satisfied only by fining him at least the full amount of the pilotage which he had received 25s (35s?).

Ald O'Callaghan said that it appeared that the ship was in a dangerous position and no pilot being available the defendant offered his services. .......The Board did not think his conduct was very culpable. The Chairman said that it was fortunate that the boy had taken charge of the vessel as the Captain was going to run her into Clonderlaw Bay where she would have been destroyed.......

Mr Mullock:.....said nearly all the members believed that the fault lay with the licensed pilots who should have been at their posts but it appeared had not attended to their duties....Ald Phillips said that it was strange that the Master Pilot had not reported the circumstances to the Board....Brennan the Master

ilot was called in and told that if he permitted such irregularities to occur again that he could not be retained in his position.

1878 Tuesday 14th May (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

A letter was read from a pilot called Cullinan complaining that another pilot named Kelly and his son attempted to assault him on board the Mullatto because he had taken charge of the vessel. The father said that he would drive a hand spike down his throat and the son was about to throw him overboard when the Captain intervened and saved him from their violence. The complaint was referred to the Pilot Committee for investigation

1878 Tuesday 5th November (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

Pilots Interfering
Mr Harris: I have a complaint to make about a pilot whose name is Brennan in interfering with some of the tugs.
Ald Phillips: You can't now he is not here.
Mr Harris: I am merely going to state the facts of the case and they are this: That a pilot went down to bring up a vessel and Brennan interfered and got the “President” to tow her up. All I want is that a stop be put to this.
The following resolution was accepted: That the pilots be directed not to interfere in any way whatever favour of either tugs now compete for business in the Shannon and that any further interference which may be proved against any pilot will be considered an official offence and will be punished as such.---Passed Unanimously.

1878 Tuesday 19th November (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board
The following letter was read: Limerick Nov 13th 1878.

I beg to report as follows in July last I left this port for America the ship was in charge of Richard Joyce licensed pilot. The said pilot while under the influence of drink ran the vessel ashore in broad daylight off Glin .......Kildal. - Master of the Bayton, India.

1878 Tuesday 10th December (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board.
Negligence of a Pilot
The following letter was read. “Limerick 30th November 1878”.

Sir, The Dana SS from Swansea with a cargo of wheat when proceeding up the river on Sunday 24th ult in charge of a licensed pilot named Michael Hanrahan who ran the vessel once aground and twice on the rocks. I put the steamer into the Graving Dock and found the damaged she sustained to be very considerable would respectfully ask that a pilot committee meet and investigate the matter. Yours Faithfully, James McAllister, Master
Chairman: A Pilot Committee met and decided in suspending the pilot for three months.

1878 Tuesday 24th December (Limerick Reporter)
Limerick Harbour Board

The following motion was proposed by Ald R Phillips:
“That a resolution of Oct 1877 providing that Western Pilots are liable to dismissal for public drunkenness whether off duty or on duty shall in future be extended to all licensed Pilots under the control of the Board”.
Agreed to unanimously.

1879 Thursday 30th October (Kilrush Herald and Kilkee Gazette)
“Western Pilots” seem to care very little for the opposition of their brethren of the Limerick district, if they only spend their time over a “wee-drop” and spinning “yarns”.
This was the case last week as we are informed, when Mr Felix Brennan, Master Pilot paid his rounds near Loop Head, when a Norwegian barque “ hove in sight” bearing the pilot flag. We would advise our Western friends to look sharp.

1879 Thursday 23rd November (Kilrush Herald and Kilkee Gazette)
The Steamship North Shields bound for Philadelphia with 20,000 tons? of rails put into our harbour on Saturday night in charge of Mr Patt Brennan junr, Pilot, Scattery.

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