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[Note 105.0] 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.

[Note 105.1] "The Elwy steamer":-

[Note 105.3] "Can beat the train that goes by rail":- The chief competition to the steamers on the lower Shannon was the railway serving Foynes and Tarbert opened in 1858. It seems that Elwy could not compete with the railway and was withdrawn after a few weeks [ref: ] and sold to Constantinople in 1869 [ref:]

[Note 105.3] "He brought her here to serve our town":- The Clare Journal and Ennis Advertiser reported on 7th July 1867 under the headline "New Steamer for the Shannon" that "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."

[Note 105.4] "Brave Tait our gallant hero":- The Elwy was chartered by Peter Tait, Mayor of Limerick

[Note 105.5] "Her powerful engines strong indeed":- Elwy was a large vessel perhaps more suited to the more exposed waters of the Irish Sea. [Ref:]

[Note 105.6] "The grandest folk in Erin's land, Her noble steward awaits them":- The Limerick Chronicle, 11th July 1867 reported under the headline "Excusrion on Board the Elwy" that "On yesterday, in accordance with the invitation which he had given on Tuesday, his Worship the Mayor, entertained the members of the Town Council, several private friends, as well as the heads of the various local establishments, with an excursion trip down the Shannon on hoard of his magnificent steamer the Elwy,

The time announced for the excursion to take plane was eleven o'clock, but in consequence of the dock gate not having been opened at that time, as the tide was not sufficiently high, about an hour elapsed before the steamer left the dock. During the interval the company began to assemble, and there was an immense crowd of the populace on the pier and adjoining quays, and Shen the steamer left the dock, and rounded the pier, a grand cheer arose from the multitude, which was responded to by the company on board, and the noble vessel went on her pleasant journey, amid the continued plaudits of the populace, and which had not ceased till Barrington's Quay had been passed.

The splendid band of the County Limerick Militia were on board, and added very much to the enjoyments of the day, in the performance of a selection of music, comprising chiefly Irish and Scotch airs -  When the Elwy had passed the dock gate the company went on board at the inner, or eastern pier, preceded by his Worship the Mayor, and the Corporation officials, the band appropriately striking up "See the Conquering Hero comes."

[Note 105.7] "Full speed from here to Kilrush quay":- "Here" is presumably Limerick.

[Note 105.8] "And calls at Tarbert station":- Historic railway maps give no indication that a Tarbert Station ever existed. However; there is a ferry across the Shannon from Tarbert to Killmer which would have been a likely point of call for the Elwy.

Glossary entry : "Our mayor for certain takes the sway":- To take the sway is to be the most important or influential.


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