urrent club president Conor Gilligan and his predecessor Dorothy Quinn presenting the records to Mayor Kieran O'Hanlon, William O'Neill of Limerick Museum and county archivist Jacqui Hayes
THE fascinating and rich history of one of Limerick’s oldest and most respected rowing clubs has been donated to the council’s archives for safe keeping.
The Shannon Rowing Club, which marked its 150th anniversary this year, has seen its archive transferred from its clubhouse at Sarsfield Bridge to the City and County Council premises at Lissanalta House in Dooradoyle.
Among the items in the collection are minute books of the club dating back to 1900, plus finance books, and drawings of the Shannon Rowing Club boathouse itself.
William O’Neill, the Limerick museum and archives scholar added: “There is also a lovely letter from architect William Clifford Smith thanking the club and its members saying they were a fantastic group of people to deal with.”
Mr Clifford Smith was a young British designer, who won a contest to design the rowing club when it opened in the early part of the 20th century.
It was the club’s 150th anniversary president Dorothy Quinn who proposed its archive be donated so it can be preserved for future generations.
Mr O’Neill explained: “We have the tools, and will be able to conserve and preserve these records for a long time to come. Sometimes, records like these can fall into the wrong processes. Luckily we are able to look after everything properly here.”
The documents donated give an insight into the inner workings of the rowing club.
“This collection is a valuable piece of social and sporting history of Limerick. The meeting books and other documents will unveil a fascinating insight into Shannon Rowing Club, its history and how it did its business,” Mr O’Neill added.
Once the collection has been catalogued, it will then be possible for members of the public to come in and view it by appointment.
Shannon Rowing Club was founded in 1866 by members of Limerick’s business community including entrepreneur and former mayor, Sir Peter Tait. Its iconic clubhouse at Sarsfield Bridge was built and opened in 1904.
More than 200 people attended the club’s gala ball in September.