Tralee Ship Canal

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  • Kerry Transport

Shipping in Tralee

As large ships could not navigate all the way to Tralee town, a quay was built at Blennerville some time in the 17th century.

Ships could unload their cargo there and transfer it to smaller boats which would continue all the way to Tralee.

A New Canal

Work began on the project in the 1830s and the Tralee Ship Canal was opened on April 13, 1847, during the town's great period of expansion and prosperity. The schooner "Defense" was the first vessel to negotiate the 90 minute long water-way to the harbour basin at the edge of the town.

In spite of the tidal restrictions the canal was a busy port for over a century. Ships of up to 300 tonnes could travel on it.

However, the same problem that led to the building of the canal led to it falling into disuse. A build of silt in the canal meant that it became impossible for ships to navigate it. The Tralee Ship Canal finally closed to ships in 1951.

In recent times the quay has been restored and is being developed as a marina.