A new monument to remember the dredger Port Láirge was unveiled in Waterford City today.
Known locally as the Mudboat, a propeller from the famous vessel was installed on the quay.
The once proud ‘Portlairge’ is currently lying broken on a shoreline in County Wexford after becoming stranded in the 1980s.
Present was Metropolitan Mayor Jason Murphy, and speaking to WLR at the event he said "I think the people of Waterford have a great affinity with their port, and it is fascinating as we had the ambassador to Norway here this morning. Back in the 9th century, the Vikings birthed just up the river. Since then, Waterford City has been a port of significance and the people of Waterford have that connection with the port and the history behind it, but particularly with the old Port Láirge Dredger, known locally as the Mud Boat. It's great to see such a significant artifact from the Port Láirge on the quayside so close to the old harbor master office."
Also present at the ceremony was Mark Ash, whose grandfather (Edward Hughes) worked on the dredger for over 30 years.
The history behind the Port Láirge
The Port Lairge, which was constructed in Dublin Dockyard, served as the Waterford port dredger for nearly a century before being abandoned in Saltmills, a Wexford backwater, nearly three decades ago. The ship, which used steam power, was the last of its kind or vintage to be constructed in Ireland. The boat was in a floating state when it washed up on the beach and remains there to this day.
Port of Waterford
Chief Executive with the Port of Waterford, David Sinnott was also present at the event. He says the Port of Waterford means something special to the people of the city and county.
"I believe ports are all about connecting places, people, the future, past, natural resources, and infrastructure. Today it's about reconnecting our maritime history past with our city base and I think a connection to something that was important to a lot of people that would have affectionately known it as the Mud Boat. We were delighted to have a former captain of it here today for the unveiling. It has a sentimental value to the people of Waterford, and now is a chance to have it acknowledged on the Quay."
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