Drainage, under the Acts 5th & 6th Vict., cap. 89—8th & 9th Vict., cap.
69— and 9th Vict., cap. 4.
This report was signed in 1847
PROVISIONS FOR SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS.
BURREN DISTRICT, COUNTY OF CARLOW.
EPORT ON THE DRAINAGE AND IMPROVEMENT
THE LANDS IN THE ABOVE DISTRICT.
The River Burren flows through the centre of the county of Carlow. It
rises in the townlands of Raheenleigh, and Coolasnaghta, in the parish
of Fennagh, and near the borders of Wexford, and runs from south to
north, dividing for a portion of its length the baronies of Forth and
Idrone. It discharges into the River Barrow, immediately below the town
of Carlow. There are three main outlets to the drainage waters of Carlow
County—the Barrow on its western border, the Slaney on the east, and the
Burren passing almost in a central line between the two; the rain basin
of this river is very extensive, its own course being 22 miles in
length, and its tributaries long and numerous.
An area of 40,000 acres, which is very nearly one- fifth part of the
county, is dependent on the Burren for the conveyance of its surplus
waters to the sea; and certainly its total unfitness and incapacity to
per- form that duty is remarkably apparent. Of the many districts which
I have had the honour to examine and report upon, none have exhibited
such entire disproportion between the conduit and the water to be
discharged as this. The direct distance from the source to the mouth of
the Burren is 15 miles, whilst, as before observed, the section along
its course measures 22 miles; this fact shows at once the circuitous
character of the stream, which is one of its great defects. Extreme
insufficiency of waterway is, however, the most important obstacle to
the discharge in the present case, and this incapacity prevails, almost
without exception, throughout its entire length.
The first 5 miles of the Burren river, from its source, to Miltown
bridge, is precipitous in its descent, the fall in that distance being
about 700 feet. With that portion, therefore, it is quite unnecessary
that we should interfere, and I shall not further allude to it. From
Miltown bridge to the River Barrow is 17 miles, and the fall is 167
feet; of this, 22 feet is concentrated at and about the town of Carlow,
and within 1 mile of the junction with the Barrow; this fall is fully
applied to mill purposes, and is divided into 4 working heads.
The amount of injury clone by the portion of river within the immediate
influence of these mills, and their weirs, is not sufficiently extensive
to induce me to propose any alteration in the working power of any of
them. The close proximity of the mills to each other, and the full
advantage taken of the aggregate fall, would make it difficult, if not
impracticable, to improve the drainage in their immediate vicinity to
any great extent, without injury to the water power; so much, however,
as can be effected without such a result, I shall propose to carry out.
From Milt-own -bridge, then to the Springfield head weir near Carlow, is
about 16-J- miles; this length of river is naturally divisible into two
reaches by a precipitous rocky shoal and sudden declivity, which occurs
at Ballynunnery, about midway or miles from Miltown; here there is a
fall of 35 feet in three-fourths of a mile between Ballynunnery mill and
Ballycurragh bridge. In the following Report I shall, therefore, make
two divisions of the district, designating them respectively the Upper
and Lower Burren, as above distinguished, for the purposes of
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Source: Document supplied by Turtle Bunbury of Lisnavagh, Co
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