Crowded House for Goggin Lecture on Steam

A really incredible lecture last night was given by Brian J. Goggin in Killaloe Library at 7pm. Just under 60 people turned up on a very cold but clear night to hear all about steam-based trade and travel in the early nineteenth century, and specifically, how Killaloe was a central hub of activity in waterways history at this time.

Brian spoke about the powerful Irish Whig peers who were the driving force behind the Shannon Navigation Scheme, and the personality and objectives of Spring Rice. He described how the famous mathematician William Rowan Hamilton travelled on the four boats it took to go from Dublin to Limerick, and how he wrote about his experiences of it. We heard about the Lady Lansdowne vessel, the wreck of which can still be seen beneath local waters today. Brian identified the site of the packet station (near where the market is held today), talked about the Dunally Line, the Ponsonby Arms Hotel, and the career and interests of Charles Wye Williams.

We were swept up in the industrial enthusiasm of the era, and when Brian finished, were wondering what came next! Brian has promised to return next year with another talk on the subject, giving us that answer.

Thank you so much to Brian J. Goggin for his work on our local industrial, travel, trade, and waterways history and heritage, and for his generosity and patience in sharing his vast knowledge with us.

You will be sure to enjoy his blog here, and here is a list of posts which mention some of the items he discussed last night:
Marble from Killaloe
Killaloe Regatta in 1850 
Killaloe to Limerick – a Slideshow
The Dunally Line

You can purchase Brian’s latest book, The Royal under the Railwayhere.

Paddy Lecture (1)

Thanks to everyone who attended last night, and hope to see you at the next lecture – details above!



  1. nice job of providing a synopsis of what was presented. rarely done, unfortunately. Allows people who were unable to attend to glean a bit of the content. Appreciated, admired.


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