Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Spout, Nenagh

Another historical landmark to be found in Nenagh, is ‘The Spout’. The Spout which was a water relief project for the town in the 19th century during the famine can be found just past the Abbey Court Hotel. The waters of the spout are described as being “the best and purest in Nenagh” and it supplied the residents of the town with drinking water for at approx 200 years.


 During a famine of 1881, there was widespread failure of the potato crop due to blight, not just in the Nenagh area but across the entire Island. Now whilst this alone would not induce the horrific famine that occurred. The majority of crops grown in Ireland were used by the foreign rulers of the time for their own needs, thus only leaving potatoes which were the staple diet of the masses. So when the crop failed, the famine took a hold over the population. Relief committees were formed in Nenagh and an application was made for financial assistance to a group in London called the London Tavern Society. Aid was granted which allowed the local relief committee to employ men, women and boys to work on the construction of the spout.


 Along with the work carried out to supply water to the area a stone edifice and steps were constructed along with a plaque thanking the benefactors of the project. Whilst the spout continued to be a public water supply until 1936, it was then closed by the public health department whom claimed that the water was impure. The spout then fell into disrepair over time but was restored to its present day condition in 2007 by local volunteers and the town Council.

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