As the River Suir nears Carrick-on-Suir, the riverside walk is paved and the river enters the town past a pleasant park, Sean Healy Park. The traditional fishing craft, the cots are to be seen in the water or drawn up on the bank. Today, the Suir is a playground for anglers, walkers and boat lovers, but once this was the busy liquid highway that carried produce from the rich agricultural heartlands of south Tipperary.
McCraith, in ‘The Suir from Source to Sea’ reminds us:- ‘It was doubtless,the beautiful situation of Carrick and Carrickbeg which attracted the Butlers to this spot, which for many centuries they made their capital or principal seat, rather than their Castle at Kilkenny. In the fifteenth century Carrick was, after Waterford, the most important place upon the Suir’. For centuries Carrick-on-Suir was a busy river port connecting the rich agricultural lands of the Golden Vale and the town of Clonmel with the port of Waterford, and it continued as a terminal for commercial river traffic, to and from Waterford until the middle of the twentieth century. The last of the steam-driven tugs on the river, the 300 – ton Rocksand, operated between Waterford and Carrick up until the mid- 1960′, and continues in retirement to serve as a floating jetty for the Galley Restaurant at New Ross. It can be seen just north of New Ross Bridge.
The public marina, which opened in 2005, is located on the stretch between the Old and New bridge in Carrick-on-Suir in the area known as The Pool. It is beside where the Dowleys stores were, on the North Quay; Dowleys had two loading gantries overhanging the river, and Knocknagow’s berth was at the foot of Oven Lane. The quays were concreted during World War II. High water-levels often flooded the premises, and the office (as well as the boats) had to get copies of the Waterford tide tables each January. Every night barrow-loads of yellow clay would be used to block the doors and there was an automatic underground pump to drain from the yard to the river.
Officially launching in 2018, the River Suir Blueway is a walking, cycling and paddling trail from Carrick-on-Suir to Cahir. From Carrick-on-Suir to Clonmel there is a new wlaking/cycling track on the northern bank of the River Suir along the historic towpath route. The Blueway project provides a safe and accessible route as an amenity for local residents and as a tourist attraction for visitors and adds to an already excellent tourism product here in South Tipperary.
The perfect place to start or end your journey on this beautiful Blueway is Seán Kelly Square named in honour of the world famous cyclist regarded as one of the best Classic cyclists of all time. Here you will ﬁnd local eateries and food stores to stock up for your journey, or to refuel after your Blueway Experience!