Extract from The original draft “Schooner Captain”


Within a couple of days the shooting was over. the government forces brought an eighteen pounder gun into action and the first object they bombarded was the Strand Barracks. after about four shells had made their mark, the fighting was over as far as Limerick was concerned. The next day the city came to life. Shops opened and business was resumed. We moved back to the loading berth ready to commence loading. 

We finished loading and we were ready to sail and it was near to high water in the afternoon. 

I was down in the cabin writing. 

My mate suddenly called to me in a very excited voice. 

“Captain! come up at once!” 

I thought something must be wrong. When I reached the deck I saw the quays on both sides of the river crowded with people and then I saw the reason for this. They were watching the most amazing sea creature they or I had ever seen or read about. This object was close alongside my vessel in fact it was only a few feet away. My first impression on seeing it was of its resemblance in size and shape to a small submarine, it was large and black and shining and it had a very long neck at least twelve feet long held proudly erect and shaped like a swans. it waved its smallish head from side to side and its bright shining eyes seemed to express alarm, behind its long neck for a distance of ten or twelve feet was a massive black cone shaped hump which rose a few feet out of the water but no part of the creatures body could be seen between the hump and the neck this part being submerged. 


It was heading upstream at very slow speed All the sea bird resting on the buoys flew away as the creature came near to them. Several people watching near my vessel called to me to ask could i tell them what it was but of course I could not enlighten them. After it passed my ship it saw the bridge close to and straight ahead of it and with movements like a stately ship it made a left handed turn. It did not hurry It now began to head downstream and as it passed some yachts anchored across from where we lay I was better able by comparison to estimate the height of the neck and hump also its entire length. Passing one yacht when its head was in line with the yachts mast the head was halfway up the topmast and when the neck was showing clear of the yachts stern the mid hump was halfway up the yachts lower mast. It continued on its way downstream gathering speed as it cleared the narrows. 

One hour later we left on our way to sea. After we had passed Foynes, which is about twenty miles below Limerick, it was nearly dark when I and my crew heard a blowing sound, like a porpoise makes when it surfaces for air, and we saw the long neck of the sea creature shoot out of the water, then it disappeared. It returned within a few seconds, surfacing to blow and take in air again. This it did again and again. It then dropped astern as it was not travelling as fast as our vessel was 

motoring. That was the last we saw of it. 




A  report published in the  Limerick blog Fustar


A  report published in the  Limerick blog Fustar gave a similar story from Stephen O'Gorman (a Limerickian who'd emigrated to Birmingham) and the above depiction was submitted to the Limerick Leader after they'd reprinted the story in 1974. 


Stephen was a teenager at the time and was playing handball in Shannon Street with several of his pals when suddenly they noticed that people were gathering in large numbers at the quayside. "We immediately joined them and to our amazement saw this strange creature in the middle of the river. It was travelling very slowly towards Sarsfield Bridge."

"The creature travelled as far as Limerick Boat Club and then turned back[...]A group of Free State soliders with rifles came dashing by (I believe they came out of the Strand Barracks) and they kept pace with the creature. When it passed the end of the Docks…they opened fire from Cleeve's Bank and every so often they repeated the shooting until the creature passed Barrington's Pier and finally disappeared into the distance."

"They did not hit it, merely content to hit the water just behind it. I believe they were just trying to encourage it on its way".




















“ A Guide to the Sea Monsters of the River Shannon” by Natalia


Written in a charming short guide called “ A Guide to the Sea Monsters of the River Shannon” by Natalia  a very short extract refers to  a monster in Limerick Docks in 1922


A book recalling the events of the storming of the Strand Barracks that week whilst Hugh was there is written by Jim Corbett the grandson of Connie Mackey defender of the Strand is available from booksellers and is

 titled: “Not while I have ammo”

 

LIMERICK

SEA SERPENT

In July 1922 Hugh Shaw was moored in the River Shannon at Limerick at the time when the Strand Barracks was  held by Republican forces and was attacked by Free State troops armed with an 18 pound cannon.  After the event he recalled seeing a Sea Serpent in the dock and later in the estuary. His account is  set out below.

As at October 2017 there is little evidence to support his story and anyone with any details of the incident of the Sea Serpent would be welcome  

Please email me through this email link

The River Shannon Sea Monster

Extract from The original draft “Schooner Captain”


Within a couple of days the shooting was over. the government forces brought an eighteen pounder gun into action and the first object they bombarded was the Strand Barracks. after about four shells had made their mark, the fighting was over as far as Limerick was concerned. The next day the city came to life. Shops opened and business was resumed. We moved back to the loading berth ready to commence loading. 

We finished loading and we were ready to sail and it was near to high water in the afternoon. 

I was down in the cabin writing. 

My mate suddenly called to me in a very excited voice. 

“Captain! come up at once!” 

I thought something must be wrong. When I reached the deck I saw the quays on both sides of the river crowded with people and then I saw the reason for this. They were watching the most amazing sea creature they or I had ever seen or read about. This object was close alongside my vessel in fact it was only a few feet away. My first impression on seeing it was of its resemblance in size and shape to a small submarine, it was large and black and shining and it had a very long neck at least twelve feet long held proudly erect and shaped like a swans. it waved its smallish head from side to side and its bright shining eyes seemed to express alarm, behind its long neck for a distance of ten or twelve feet was a massive black cone shaped hump which rose a few feet out of the water but no part of the creatures body could be seen between the hump and the neck this part being submerged. 


It was heading upstream at very slow speed All the sea bird resting on the buoys flew away as the creature came near to them. Several people watching near my vessel called to me to ask could i tell them what it was but of course I could not enlighten them. After it passed my ship it saw the bridge close to and straight ahead of it and with movements like a stately ship it made a left handed turn. It did not hurry It now began to head downstream and as it passed some yachts anchored across from where we lay I was better able by comparison to estimate the height of the neck and hump also its entire length. Passing one yacht when its head was in line with the yachts mast the head was halfway up the topmast and when the neck was showing clear of the yachts stern the mid hump was halfway up the yachts lower mast. It continued on its way downstream gathering speed as it cleared the narrows. 

One hour later we left on our way to sea. After we had passed Foynes, which is about twenty miles below Limerick, it was nearly dark when I and my crew heard a blowing sound, like a porpoise makes when it surfaces for air, and we saw the long neck of the sea creature shoot out of the water, then it disappeared. It returned within a few seconds, surfacing to blow and take in air again. This it did again and again. It then dropped astern as it was not travelling as fast as our vessel was 

motoring. That was the last we saw of it. 




A  report published in the  Limerick blog Fustar


A  report published in the  Limerick blog Fustar gave a similar story from Stephen O'Gorman (a Limerickian who'd emigrated to Birmingham) and the above depiction was submitted to the Limerick Leader after they'd reprinted the story in 1974. 


Stephen was a teenager at the time and was playing handball in Shannon Street with several of his pals when suddenly they noticed that people were gathering in large numbers at the quayside. "We immediately joined them and to our amazement saw this strange creature in the middle of the river. It was travelling very slowly towards Sarsfield Bridge."

"The creature travelled as far as Limerick Boat Club and then turned back[...]A group of Free State soliders with rifles came dashing by (I believe they came out of the Strand Barracks) and they kept pace with the creature. When it passed the end of the Docks…they opened fire from Cleeve's Bank and every so often they repeated the shooting until the creature passed Barrington's Pier and finally disappeared into the distance."

"They did not hit it, merely content to hit the water just behind it. I believe they were just trying to encourage it on its way".




















“ A Guide to the Sea Monsters of the River Shannon” by Natalia


Written in a charming short guide called “ A Guide to the Sea Monsters of the River Shannon” by Natalia  a very short extract refers to  a monster in Limerick Docks in 1922


A book recalling the events of the storming of the Strand Barracks that week whilst Hugh was there is written by Jim Corbett the grandson of Connie Mackey defender of the Strand is available from booksellers and is

 titled: “Not while I have ammo”

 

LIMERICK

SEA SERPENT

In July 1922 Hugh Shaw was moored in the River Shannon at Limerick at the time when the Strand Barracks was  held by Republican forces and was attacked by Free State troops armed with an 18 pound cannon.  After the event he recalled seeing a Sea Serpent in the dock and later in the estuary. His account is  set out below.

As at October 2017 there is little evidence to support his story and anyone with any details of the incident of the Sea Serpent would be welcome  

Please email me through this email link

The River Shannon Sea Monster