Paddy Cantwell

My name is Paddy Cantwell and I have been living all of my 87 years here in Aughadonagh, Rahan next
to the Blue Drain and the ‘Three Rivers’, where the Clodagh and the Silver Rivers meet. I would like to
explain how the excess water from Aughadonagh and Tully got into the river before the arterial drainage
was carried out.
Aughadonagh drainage started behind Connolly’s Forge and came through Corcoran’s and Cantwell’s
fields. It then had to get through the Esker Riada. There was a manmade cut made through the Esker
Riada to allow the water to enter the watercourse which flowed in the opposite direction to the Silver
Although they were only fifty yards apart the river flowed from East to West while the watercourse
flowed in the opposite direction, from West to East. The water from Tully came through a number of
farms, the last of which is Cantwell’s field.
This particular field is unique due to the fact that due to severe flooding, which subsequently froze, in
the Winter of 1947 or 1948 the philosophers in the nearby Jesuit College played ice hockey on it much
to the local’s bemusement as they were more accustomed to the locals playing GAA in that field. I’m
sure there is no other field that can boast being both an ice hockey and GAA pitch.
Back then the Aughadonagh and Tully water flowed through an aqueduct which was built under the
Silver River about two hundred yards from Newbridge which is on the main Rahan to Clara road.
When the water flowed through the aqueduct it was in Derryesker and it had to flow West for about
three miles to enter the River Brosna which then flowed onto the River Shannon.
Nowadays the riverbed is lower than the land, so the water can flow into the river at any point.