Geraldine O'Reilly

The Grand Canal

A % for art commission from Offaly County Council to explore the Grand Canal and its relationship to County Offaly. O’Reilly explored the working life of the canal, documenting the names of those that worked the canal, individual boat numbers and Shannon Harbour. A story told whilst undertaking the research was that the Grand Canal Company directors asked the Viceroy of Ireland if the canal could be extended from Tullamore to the Shannon in order to ferry troops in order to cut off the French who were purported to be landing in the west of Ireland. O’Reilly found the reference validating this story in the minute books of the Grand Canal Company held at the National Archives. O’Reilly recreated facsimiles of the pages, reproducing the hand writing from the minute books. O’Reilly also recreated a page from the minute books showing the purchase of plots of land to build the canal in the Tullamore area.