paddlesteamers.info  :  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 Cove 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
(1861) 
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)

ex- Citizens River Steamers Co (taken over)

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


ex- Tay Steamboat Co (purchased vessel)

Empress (1918-1922) Built in 1893



Return to:
Historical Database