To the south of Suir Island above lies Willow Island.This small narrow strip of land has more riverine history within it's banks than any of the other islands in this cluster of islands at the heart of Clonmel.
To start with,Suir Island House above,the former home of the Cooney family,the last family to live there and Margaret Power,the first inhabitant better known as Lady Blessington,whose 'Bath' lies above the weir that bears her name to this day.
The entrance to the island takes you by a head race,on your right, that carried water to power the mill wheels on your left.On your right is the main head race with screens still buried in the mud to filter any debris carried in the flow that was, and so protect the mill wheels from damage and to ensure the smooth running of the mills.As you pass by the front of the ruined house you are walking over another waterway beneath your feet that allowed water to flow into the main stream by the magnificent Beech ,the flow controlled by an ornate sluice,still in place,buried in the undergrowth.
I will cover other elements of this history in my next blog but now back to the fascinating work of returning this stretch of water to community use; to boat users,walkers,nature lovers,photographers,artists and families.
The slides show more of the work in progress with the placing of groins,clusters of boulders to control flow,some visible above the waterline others below the waterline,all on the south bank as yet -others will be placed along the island bank,some twenty or so in total along this stretch of water.
The former tail race of a mill,later a forge has been stripped of the willow and rushes to allow the formation of a groin there.
author artist activist