Limerick’s Railway Connections

joe-colemanJoe Coleman is an Inspector with Bus Éireann at Limerick and is the author of the best-selling book; “House Full” – An affectionate look back at the old cinemas and theatres of Limerick, the people, the stories, the films and the shows, which was specially written for Limerick’s national City of Culture Year 2014.
Joe’s new book entitled; “Falling Gradient” – ‘Limerick’s Railway Connections, The People and The Times’, is the first ever locally produced book on the subject of railways.
It is very different from other railway books, as it is very people focused. Although not a specific history, it covers all the lines that were built out of the city, the places they served, the people who built them and the people that worked them.
The book also includes a social history that spans more than 170 years, through its 464 pages and 399 pictures/images that captures the essence of the times, including the Great Famine and the oppression of the mid nineteenth century.
The way the railways were affected by major events such as the Great War, the 1916 Rising, The War of Independence, The General Strike, The Civil War, The Severe Fuel Crisis during the ‘Emergency’, The Bitter Railway Strike of 1950/’51 and much more.
It also includes many interesting characters and stories that are at times, humorous, moving and gripping including; the killing on the Cork line, the ambush at Cratloe, the stabbing at Foynes, the hold ups at Boher, the shooting at Ballingrane, the siege at Gort, the runaway at Roscrea, the murder at Ballybrophy, the gellignite at Lisduff, the flooding at Ballycar,the problems with Shannon Bridge, the fire at Limerick Station, the historic Papal visit, the missing train and a whole lot more.
The major railway accidents with Limerick connections include among others; Kiltimagh (1916), Straboe (1944), Cahir (1955) and Buttevant (1980).
The book also features the railways of The Shannon Scheme and the infamous West Clare Railway, as well as the strange and intriguing case of The Stolen Railway (The Parsonstown and Portumna Bridge Railway 1868 -1878).
The book will be launched on Friday September 30th at 6 p.m. the Granary Library and all are welcome.

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