Barrow Cots’ were the traditional mode of transport on our local waterways. These Cots were beautiful 18 foot long vessels that were expertly hand made by skilled crafts men and boat makers in the locality.
With the advent of motor-propelled vehicles their need was no longer necessary and the sight of gondola type boats with their captains at the helm vanished off the River Barrow.
However, as part of an initiative with local bodies, including Inland Waterways Association Ireland ( North Barrow Branch) and Athy Community Enterprise Center, a project was undertaken to replicate one of these boats and put it back into the water.
The long term vision is to build more boats in doing so create a social and community amenity that can be enjoyed by all in the town.
There is also the possibility of creating social enterprise, a micro economy and a tourism amenity should the project extrapolate out from a single boat.
The new boat was made of a combination of salvaged cedar and hard wood from local sources. The goal was to replicate a traditional boat using as much reclaimed wood as possible. It was all hand built and hand painted.
The work was shared by the men at Athy Community Men’s Shed. It was a unique and special project that generated excitement and a high level of involvement.