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Barrow Bridge Where Troubled Waters Remain Over Decision to Leave Open

15th July 2021
Barrow Bridge: The Dáil hears move is temporary amid fears iconic structure will deteriorate if left open. As AFLOAT adds the disused railway bridge connecting counties Kilkenny (left) and Wexford (right) was also the longest such bridge in Ireland until the line linking Waterford and Rosslare Europort closed in 2010. Above in this scene taken in 1997 is the swing-bridge section to permit ships to reach the inland Port of New Ross.  The ship heading upriver, AFLOAT also adds is likely to be the tanker 'Irishgate' of Rowbotham Tankships later owned by James Fisher & Sons. Barrow Bridge: The Dáil hears move is temporary amid fears iconic structure will deteriorate if left open. As AFLOAT adds the disused railway bridge connecting counties Kilkenny (left) and Wexford (right) was also the longest such bridge in Ireland until the line linking Waterford and Rosslare Europort closed in 2010. Above in this scene taken in 1997 is the swing-bridge section to permit ships to reach the inland Port of New Ross. The ship heading upriver, AFLOAT also adds is likely to be the tanker 'Irishgate' of Rowbotham Tankships later owned by James Fisher & Sons. Credit: Wikipedia

As the New Ross Standard reports, a Government spokesperson confirming in the Dáil, said the river Barrow Bridge will not be kept permanently open and will be maintained.

Following questioning from Independent TD Verona Murphy, Minister of State Colm Brophy said the line will be protected, cautioning that there are no current plans to reopen it for rail use, as hoped by some people in Co Wexford.

Campaign group South East On Track has been calling on the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to abandon the proposed changes which, they feared, would see the bridge left permanently open; exposing the heritage landmark to potential damage.

Deputy Murphy told the Dáil: 'The Barrow rail bridge is an historic structure connecting Wexford and Kilkenny along the disused Rosslare (Europort) to Waterford line.'

She said she asked last winter for maintenance of the bridge to be extended this year, adding that, to date, some spraying of weeds has been carried out. Explaining the mechanics of the bridge opening, Deputy Murphy said: 'There is a section in the centre that can turn 90 degrees to open to allow boats to pass through.'

Much more on the story click here highlighting options for the bridge future, while in the meantime ships continue to transit through to reach the Port of New Ross, see Afloat story on dredging.  

Published in Inland Waterways
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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