Tralee Canal, Co. Kerry

Last week I went to Tralee in Ireland on business but one evening I had a short time to explore the environment around the town. I couldn't resist taking a walk from the centre of town to Blennerville along the restored Tralee Canal. Although the weather remained dry throughout my two hour walk, all around the clouds were full of rain. On occasions the sun did dramatically break through making photography interesting.

An empty Prince's Quay, Tralee Canal

Charming commemerative plaque

The canal was built in the 1830s as a ship canal with capacity to take vessels up to 300 tons. It is somewhat remiscant of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal but much shorter being only around 2 km long. The canal runs alongside the River Lee and has just one (sea) lock.

At Blennerville, where there is a famous windmill, there is a swing bridge and a road bridge across the river. The canal was built for trade to bring goods directly into the town of Tralee rather than Fenit  which is further along the coast.

River Lee, Blennerville windmill, and bridge

The port of Tralee was one of the places where numbers of emigrants left for North America. Around the time that the Tralee Canal was being restored in the 1990s, with an eye to tourism, a replica of the famous Jeanie Johnston that sailed to Canada and the US from Tralee was built alongside the canal at Blennerville. The replica now mostly resides in Dublin. When I visited there was only one boat, a residential barge, moored up. A single sculler was about to make use of the canal for some evening training.

Barge moored at Blennerville

There was also a famous railway (Tralee and Dingle Light Railway) that ran alongside the river and canal and onwards to the Dingle Peninsula. A short section to Blennerville was restored but its future appears to be uncertain.