:  The Internet's leading website for Side-Wheeled Paddle Steamers

Lough Mahon (Cork and River Lee)

Small Paddle Steamers provided connections between the remote communities along Lough Mahon from the major city of Cork. Private owners were involved at the outset and throughout the paddle steamer era alongside the corporate operators. A steamboat service was first inaugurated in 1815 from Cork to Queenstown (Cobh) via Passage and Monkstown and the City of Cork was the first Irish-built steamship.

Above : Albert was, along with Rostellan, one of the last two remaining Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway paddle steamers to be auctioned off as the service was run down and abandoned in 1927. The ship found no buyer other than for scrap.  She was 140.5 ft long and built by McIlwaine & Lewis at Belfast in 1881
Image in public domain, photographer unknown, but published by Passage West Maritime Museum

City of Cork (1815-1859)
Waterloo (1816-1865
Lee (1830-1840)
Air (1836-1840)
Eagle (1838-1851)

Maid of Erin (1839-1843) For Thomas Sommerville & Co. Sold for use at Waterford

River Steamers Co.
Sold to the recently-formed competitors, the Citizens Rivers Steamers Company in 1861

Royal Alice (1847-1848)
Maid of Erin  (1848-1861)  Built in 1839 ex- Waterford service, ex- Lough Mahon
Prince of Wales (1858-1861)
Prince Arthur (1858-1861)

Citizens River Steamers Company (1861-1890)
Sold to the Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway in 1890

Prince of Wales
Prince Arthur (1861-1878)
Citizen (1861-1890)
Lee (1861-1890)
Erin (1861-1862)
Lily (1861-1871)
City of Cork (1866-1890)
Erin (1872-1890) Built in 1866 as Rosneath. ex- Greenock & Helensburgh Steamboat Co (Graham Brymner)

Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway (1851-1927)

The railway opened in stages from Cork to Passage West (1850), Monkstown (1902), Carrigaline (1903) and Crosshaven (1904). Remarkably on the first extension the new section was built to a narrow guage and the original section converted from Irish broad gauge accordingly. The line became part of the Great Southern Railway in 1924 and steamer operations were abandoned in 1927 once their remaining vessels had been auctioned off. . The railway was closed in 1932.
The company purchased the Citizens River Steamers Company in 1890

Queenstown (1851-1855) Sold for local use
Victoria (1852-1885)
Fairy (1853-1863) Sold for local use
Albert (1854-1882)
Glenbrook (1877-1903)
Albert (1881-1927)
Monkstown (1882-1910) built by McIlwaine, Lewis & Co at Belfast :  145.3 ft : 108 GRT : Oscillating 30 and 30 in x 33 in

ex- Citizens River Steamers Co (taken over)

Erin (1890 - scrapped immediately)
Citizen (1890-1891) 
Lee (1890-1893)

ex- Tyne General Ferry Co

Audrey (1913)

ex- Tay Steamboat Co (purchased vessel)

Empress (1918-1922) Built in 1893


Queenstown (Cobh) was a regular stopping off point for transatlantic liners, but passengers used local tenders to get to and from the liners

Clyde Shipping Co

Flying Fox
Built in 1885 by JT Eltringham at SouthShields
122.5 ft : 174 GRT
Engine : 41 x 60 in by JP Rennoldson of South Shields
Built as Flying Fox  for the Clyde Shipping Company and assigned to Queenstown (Cobh)
Sailed for the Moville Steamship Company (Derry to Moville) from 1919 to 1927 and renamed Cragbue
In 1927 in service for the Anchor Line after purchase from the liquidators
Broken up in 1929 at Holywell

(1890-1928)  Built by JP Rennoldson, South Shields. 131.8 ft : 244 GRT. Engine 1 cyl 41 x 60 in.  Bought from Belgian breakers by Anchor Line and used as a tender at Londonderry, N Ireland, until 1939 as Seamore
(1891-1928)    Built by JP Rennoldson, South Shields. 131.8 ft : 244 GRT. Engine 1 cyl 41 x 60 in

Return to:
Historical Database