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Guinness Barge, last sailing

On Friday, 23rd July 2021, a Dublin City Council commemorative plaque honouring the last operational sailing of a Guinness Barge down the River Liffey was unveiled at Victoria Quay, Dublin 8, by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Joe Costello.

VIdeo presentation about the Guinness Barge plaque by historian James Curry.

This replaces an earlier plaque which was sponsored by Guinness and erected in 1992 by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, but since disappeared.

The new plaque unveiling ceremony was hosted by Deputy City Librarian Brendan Teeling, with Councillor Vincent Jackson also speaking on behalf of Dublin City Council’s Commemorative Naming Committee. The event’s other speakers were Jim O’Riordan (Chairman of Inland Waterways Association of Ireland) and Eibhlin Colgan (Guinness Archive Manager).

The last sailing of a Guinness barge from Victoria Quay to Custom House Quay took place on the evening of Friday, 23rd June 1961. For almost ninety years the brewery’s barges had been a familiar sight along the Liffey, transporting wooden barrels of Guinness to cross channel steamers stationed near the Custom House. One of the barges is mentioned in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses as omitting “a puffball of smoke” from its funnel as it passes under O’Connell Bridge.

Those wishing to learn more about the plaque and the story of the last Guinness Barge sailing along the River Liffey can watch the presentation below by Dr James Curry, Dublin City Council historian in residence, which is part of a “Plaques of Dublin” online lecture series.

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