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Side-Wheeled Paddle Steamers
City of Dublin Steam Packet Co (1824-1924)
in Dublin it initially provided services between Kingston (Dun
Laoghaire) and Liverpool but later extended services to London, Belfast
and Glasgow as well as across the Atlantic to New York. The company first obtained the Royal Mail contract in 1850. Four large
sister ships named after the four provinces of Ireland were added to the fleet in 1859 once the company were
established on the Royal Mail service betweeen Holyhead and Kingstown.
These large paddlers were built for speed in order to satisfy the mail
contract. An even larger vessel, PS Ireland, was added in 1885 and was the largest paddle stemer built for the Irish trade.
Above : Ireland : The largest paddle steamer built for trade and mails between Ireland and England
With the company retaining the mail contact with a long-term
contact concluded in 1897, four replacement screw vessels were
constructed and given the same "province" names as the paddlers they
were replacing. These were with reciprocating engines as they pre-dated the introduction of turbine steamers.
The company was liquidated in 1924 but its goodwill and
assets had already taken over by the British & Irish Steam Packet
Company, part of Coast Lines, then a growing shipping conglomerate.
Royal Mail Paddle Steamers for the Holyhead - Kingstown service.
Three were built by Laird Bros of Birkenhead with Leinster built in London by Samuda, all in 1860.
Length 338 ft : 1412 GRT
steamers were highly advanced for their time and featured oscillating
engines with four funnels. Reboilering in 1885 led to a reduction in
funnels to two.
All were withdrawn and replaced in 1896/7.
Meath (1884-1906) Built by Laird Bros at Birkenhead. Length 262.6 ft : 848 GRT : Engines Oscillating 46 and 79 in x 81 in
(1885-1899) Built by Laird Bros at Birkenhead. Length 366.3
ft : 2049 GRT : Engines Oscillating 102 x 102 in. Sold to Liverpool
& Douglas Steamers Ltd. Scrapped in 1900