ROYAL COMMISSION ON CANALS AND WATERWAYS.
They were incorporated by the Act of 1836 and are in charge of what part of the river ?â€”From
the westerly bounds of the Waterford Harbour Commissioners, which is Granny Ferry, about two miles west of Waterford, and their jurisdiction extends under the Act to the old bridge of Carrick.
They are incorporated " for improving and maintaining the navigation of the River Suir and for making and constructing a ship canal at Carrick-on-Suir.''
Have they any powers between Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel ?â€”None
Has anyone any powers of improving the * ,rrove river between those points ?â€”Yes
; under the old Grand nur.
Jury Act, which I have not got here (I am sorry to say
nearly all my papers have been burnt recently: our premises were consumed and I am quite at a loss on some points and have to speak from memory), the grand juries, and now the county councils, of any county have power to expend a sum not exceeding Â£300 in deepening the bed of any navigable river or lake provided that two-thirds of the sum are contributed by the applicants.
An application has to be made to the county council ?â€”Yes.
And accompanied by an assurance of two-thirds of the cost ?â€”By
the money down; and on three comÂ¬ paratively recent occasions the grand jury formerly and the county council now have passed presentments or proposals as they are now called for sums of Â£100, Â£100, and Â£100 for deepening certain portions of the river between Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel in pursuance of that Act.
Before those proposals or presentments were passed had they received this contribution of two-thirds ?
And the work was carried out in each of those cases ?â€”If
I said two-thirds had to come from the appliÂ¬ cants I erred ; it is one-third from the applicant and two-thirds from the county council.
And in each of these three cases you mentioned work has been carried out either by the grand jury or by the county council ?â€”Yes.
What has been the nature of the work they have done ?
Have they deepened the river ?â€”Only
deepening berths alongside the quay where the water was too shallow for boats to load.
These have been exceedingly partial and exceedingly small improvements not affecting the main traffic in the slightest degree.
You are experienced, as we shall hear preÂ¬ sently, in the traffic ; have you benefited by these imÂ¬ provements ?â€”The
parties who occupy the berths, and my boats occupy one of them, benefited by the deepening of the berths where the boats lay, but it did not affect the navigation generally, because there was no deepening of the channel; the sum was too small and the money was too ^significant.
While on the powers of the South Riding County
Council of Tipperary, they have also the duty of mainÂ¬ taining the towpath ?â€”Yes,
since an Act of 1793, I think, under which a grant was made by the old Irish House of Commons, which wa<=, I think, Â£1,000.
I will read, if you will allow me, as it will come in more accurately.
The upper portion of the River Suir forms a navigable highÂ¬ way between the towns of Clonmel and Carrick on-Suir and Waterford and a number of intervening villages or hamlets, some of which are situate on navigable tributaries of the Suir.
The county Waferford forms the southern shore and the counties Tipperary and Kilkenny the northern shore of this portion of the river which at WaterÂ¬ ford passes into the Suir, Barrow, and Nore Navigation, thus connecting the places named with New Ross, St.
Mullins, Innistogue, Ballyhack, Arthurstown, Checkpoint, etc.,
There is thus formed an inland natural navigaÂ¬ tion covering with its branches about 100 miles, all of which is tidal except fourteen miles (if you will allow me I want to say that it is fourteen miles or very nearly fourteen, and not eleven statute; it is 11 "Irish '-miles) from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir; all of which is free from locks and from tolls so far as craft engaged in inland navigation is concerned, except some small dues or tolls payable at New Ross.
Clonmel is much the most important inland town on this navigation.
| My evidence will be confined to the navigation between I Waterford and Clonmel and mainly to the important
non-tidal river between Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir.
Ocean craft drawing up to 10 or 11 feet of water Ernest Grubb, can reach Carrick-on-Suir on spring tides.
Sailing and Suir Steam steam colliers up to 250 to 300 tons formerly traded there.
They seldom do so now, coal, etc.,
being carried up the river from Waterford in barges.
The Act of 1836 reÂ¬ ferred to above gives jurisdiction to the River Suir Navi-gation Company between Granny Ferry, near Waterford, the westerly limits of the Waterford Harbour CommisÂ¬ sioners and the old bridge of Carrick-on-Suir.
They levy a toll of Id.
per ton on sea-going craft trading in the above limits and expend their income on navigation maintenance.
The amount available is now very small (see statistics).
Between Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel no public body controls the navigation of those fourteen miles, or nearly fourteen.
The grand jury formerly and now the county council of Tipperary (South Riding) maintains, in a rough, imperfect manner, a horse towpath on the north bank of the river, also the quays at Carrick-on-Suir, and the corporation of Clonmel maintains the portion of the towpath within its limits, also the quay at Clonmel.
This portion of the Suir is a steep grade river falling 50 feet in fourteen miles (the gradient is much more in some places).
It is subject to heavy floods which submerge the towpath in places and render navigaÂ¬ tion impossible during their continuance ; while in sumÂ¬ mer, when there is a drought, as at the present date, the river falls so low as to be almost unworkable, the depth of water on the shallows being in some places as low as 18 or 20 inches.
When there is a full navigable height of water (without a flood of a height to prevent navigaÂ¬ tion) the current runs 6| miles per hour in two places and at a lesser speed elsewhere.
Between these rapids there are intervening reaches of calm water with little current.
Now I think I will go back to the commenceÂ¬ ment of your proof to ask you about your own business.
Your Steam Navigation Company, of which you are the managing owner, carries only between Clonmel and Waterford ?â€”Between
New Ross and Clonmel, ocÂ¬ casionally through Waterfordâ€”regularly between WaterÂ¬ ford and ClonmeL 13719.
You also go up the Barrow some distance as far as New Ross ?â€”Yes.
Occasionally we trade there.
Do you ever go further than New Ross ?â€”Very
occasionally to St.
Mullins, which is the end of the tidal portion.
And you are also the principal of the firm of John Grubb and Son, corn merchants and millers at Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir '!â€”Yes.
You have mills both at Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir ?â€”Yes.
You are also a director of the statutory comÂ¬ pany you have referred to under the Act of 1836 ?â€”Yes.
You are the principal shareholder in it ?â€”Yes.
It was incorporated by that Act in the 6th and 7 th of William IV.,
Chapter 90 ?â€”That
Which wras intituled " An Act for improving and maintaining the navigation of the River Suir and for making and constructing a ship canal at Carrick-on-Suir '' ?
â€”That is so.
13727-That ship canal, so called, has never been made quite into a ship canal, has it ?â€”Yes,
it was constructed 50 feet wide through a reef of limestone rocks and is still the only way of access to Carrick-on-Suir, All boats passing from Clonmel to Waterford use it.
It has no locks in it.
Is that some little distance from the river ?â€”No,
it is in the river bed.
It cut through a limestone proÂ¬ montory which projected into the river from the south shore.
What is the depth of water in this River Suir Depth.
varies with the tide, as I said just now; sea-going craft drawing up to 10 or 11 feet reach Carrick-on-Suir on spring tides.
The river is not navigable to Carriek-on-Suir without tide.
It is only navigable when the tide flows.
(Sir John Dorington.)
What is the length of those vessels ?â€”The
sea-going craft ?
cannot say their length; 300 tons wa3 the largest we ever had.