Today saw the official unveiling of a large refurbished propeller from the old port dredger SS Port Láirge by Dr. Eugene Broderick, Chair of Waterford Civic Trust, Metropolitan Mayor of Waterford, Cllr. Jason Murphy and Mr. David Sinnott, CEO of the Port of Waterford company.
Waterford Civic Trust facilitated the agreement between the Port of Waterford Company and Waterford City and County Council to install the restored propeller on the roundabout at Merchant’s Quay, adjacent to the former Harbour Master’s offices.
Cllr. Murphy said, “In 1907, the SS Port Láirge dredger was acquired by Waterford Harbour Commissioners to replace the Urbs Intacta which had seen service on the river for many years. Taking its name from the Irish name for the city, the SS Port Láirge was built at the Dublin Dockyard Company and in her day was the most modern vessel afloat, capable of carrying 500 tonnes of silt.
Affectionately known to the people of Waterford as the ‘Mudboat’ the SS Port Láirge worked up and down the quays of Waterford for just over seventy-five years until 1983, keeping the River Suir open and the port berths free of mud and silt. The SS Port Láirge was the last working steamship of her type in these islands.”
Members of Waterford Civic Trust in attendance included Anne Cusack, Des Griffin, and Mary O’Halloran along with Eamonn O’Brien, the last surviving crew member of the SS Port Láirge and Cpt. Darren Doyle, Harbour Master Port of Waterford.