Crawford’s Quay Revealed on the Mahon Walkway.

Among the sites on the Mahon Walkway to stop and wander (at low tide) is the old grass covered quay by the Ballinure side on the Douglas estuary close to T. J. McHugh Park. An old boathouse lies opposite and Mahony’s Lane nearby.

This was believed to be a docking quay used by the Crawfords (and others) to land goods for use by the large Lakelands Estate nearby and probably for onward transportation. Suggestions that it was used to avoid docking charges and customs duties (especially on alcohol and other goods), cannot be verified of course.

Local Ballinure historian Paddy O’Driscoll (RIP), always told the story of the 19th century road constructed by the Crawfords to ensure that the landed goods could be moved quickly from this dock towards the City and county. Brendan Cotter in his study mentioned that the Crawfords, may have ensured this road weaved around the Pike family at Bessboro to avoid upsetting his Quaker neighbours who frowned on alcohol.

The first William Crawford obviously had no such issues with alcohol in view of his partnership with William Beamish to brew porter on South Main Street alongside the River Lee.

The recent high tides on the Douglas Estuary have substantially revealed the stone outlines of this famous Quay. The extent of this substantial and uniquely located docking area is worth looking at and perhaps there might be an opportunity to restore what was probably an important historical economic element of the local infrastructure. The City Council did a fine job by restoring the old Boat House and Coach House nearby, a restoration of the Quay would complete the picture.

Published by ferdiaomahony

Writer of local news and history, in the community of Mahon, Blackrock, Cork. Graduated from UCC, with a BA in History and Politics.

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