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Foynes (; ) is a town and major port in
County Limerick County Limerick ( ga, Contae Luimnigh) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers ...
in the midwest of
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
, located at the edge of hilly land on the southern bank of the
Shannon Estuary The Shannon Estuary ( gle, Inbhear na Sionainne) is a large estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries form ...
. The population of the town was 520 as of the 2016 census.


Foynes's role as seaport

Foynes as a port has a long history, being first surveyed in 1837, and is now the location of a major deep water seaport operated by the Shannon Foynes Port Company, an amalgamation under the Harbours Act 2000 of the agencies operating the ports of Limerick and Foynes. It is anticipated that more traffic from the upstream Limerick Port will ultimately be diverted there as the latter portlands are redeveloped as commercial and residential properties. A railway line to Limerick via
Patrickswell Patrickswell, historically known as Toberpatrick (), is a small town in County Limerick, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is primarily a commuter village for people working in Limerick, particularly the nearby industrial suburb of Raheen, County L ...
and Raheen is in existence but not operational.
Iarnród Éireann Iarnród Éireann () or Irish Rail, is the operator of the national railway network of Ireland. Established on 2 February 1987, it is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ). It operates all internal InterCity InterCity (commonly ...
's policy of concentrating on what it sees as more profitable passenger operations means the Port's traffic is entirely served by road. Foynes Port Company was amalgamated with the Shannon Estuary Ports Company (which had responsibility for the other areas of the Estuary) in 2000, to form Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC). SFPC is the second largest port facility in Ireland, handling over 10 million tonnes of cargo annually through the six terminals currently operational. Planning permission has been granted for an
LNG Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and s ...

LNG
import terminal at
Ballylongford Ballylongford (historically ''Bealalongford'', from ) is a village near Listowel in northern County Kerry County Kerry ( gle, Contae Chiarraí) is a Counties of Ireland, county in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is located in the South-West Reg ...

Ballylongford
,
County Kerry County Kerry ( gle, Contae Chiarraí) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers ...

County Kerry
, within SFPC's jurisdiction; once constructed it will add considerably to throughput.


Foynes's role in aviation

During the late 1930s and early 1940s, land-based planes lacked sufficient flying range for crossings. Foynes was the last port of call on its eastern shore for
seaplane A seaplane is a powered fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine Early flying machines include all forms of aircraft studied or constructed before the development of the modern aeroplane by 1910. ...
s. As a result, Foynes would become one of the biggest civilian airports in Europe during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Surveying flights for
flying boat A flying boat is a fixed-winged seaplane A seaplane is a powered fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing of Ryanair makes a smoky landing at Bristol Airport (2016) lands on a moving trailer as part of an airshow. ...

flying boat
operations were made by
Charles Lindbergh Charles Augustus Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974) was an American aviator, military officer, author, inventor, and activist. At the age of 25 in 1927, he went from obscurity as a U.S. Air Mail pilot to instantaneous world fame ...
in 1933 and a terminal was begun in 1935. The first transatlantic proving flights were operated on 5 July 1937 with a
Pan Am Pan American World Airways, originally founded as Pan American Airways and commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passen ...
Sikorsky S-42 The Sikorsky S-42 was a commercial flying boat designed and built by Sikorsky Aircraft to meet requirements for a long-range flying boat laid out by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) in 1931. The innovative design included wing flaps, variable- ...
service from
Botwood Botwood is a town in north-central Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed of the island of Newf ...
,
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed of the island of Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland and the continental ...
on the
Bay of Exploits The Bay of Exploits is a large bay in the northeast of Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed o ...
and a BOAC
Short Empire The Short Empire was a medium-range four-engined monoplane A monoplane is a fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air Aircraft, flying machine, such as an airplane, which is capable of flight using wings that genera ...
service from Foynes with successful transits of twelve and fifteen-and-a-quarter hours respectively. Services to
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...

New York
,
Southampton Southampton () is a port A port is a maritime law, maritime facility comprising one or more Wharf, wharves or loading areas, where ships load and discharge Affreightment, cargo and passengers. Although usually situated on a sea ...
,
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
,
Poole Poole () is a large coastal town and seaport in Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is east of Dorchester, Dorset, Dorchester and adjoins Bournemouth to the east. Since 1 April 2019, the local authority is Bournemouth, Christchurc ...
and
Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Grande Lisboa, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's admin ...

Lisbon
followed, the first non-stop New York service operating on June 22, 1942 in 25 hours 40 minutes.


Foynes Flying Boat Museum

All of this began to change following the construction and opening in 1942 of
Shannon Airport Shannon Airport ( ga, Aerfort na Sionainne) is an international airport located in County Clare in the Republic of Ireland. It is adjacent to the Shannon Estuary and lies halfway between Ennis and Limerick. The airport is the third busiest air ...
on flat
bogland A bog or bogland is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main Wetland#Definitions, types of wetlands. Other names for bogs include mir ...
on the northern bank of the
Estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed Coast, coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries form a transition zone between river environments and maritime envir ...

Estuary
. Foynes flying-boat station closed in 1946. A college for the learning of the
Irish language Irish ( in Standard Irish Standard may refer to: Symbols * Colours, standards and guidons, kinds of military signs * Heraldic flag, Standard (emblem), a type of a large symbol or emblem used for identification Norms, conventions or requ ...
was opened in the former terminal in 1954. The Port Trustees purchased the building in 1980 and the Foynes Flying Boat Museum leased a portion in 1988. One of Foynes's main claims to fame is the invention there of
Irish Coffee Irish coffee ( ga, caife Gaelach) is a cocktail consisting of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar Sugar is the generic name for Sweetness, sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. Table sugar, granulated sugar ...

Irish Coffee
. This came about, it is said, in order to alleviate the suffering of cold and wet passengers during its aviation days in the 1930s and early 1940s. Brendan O'Regan was Catering Comptroller between 1943-1945 and after had the same position at Shannon Airport where in established the world's first
duty-free shop Duty-free stores at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel in Oslo, Norway A duty-free shop (or store) is a retailing, retail outlet whose goods are exempt from the payment of certain local or national taxes and duty (tax), duties, on the requ ...
amongst his innovations. The Foynes Flying Boat Museum contains much memorabilia from that era, including the original radio and weather room, along with its equipment and a full-size replica
Boeing 314 The Boeing 314 Clipper was an American long-range flying boat A flying boat is a fixed-winged seaplane A seaplane is a powered fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing of Ryanair makes a smoky landing at Bristol Air ...
flying boat.


Transport


Rail

Foynes railway station was opened on 29 April 1858, but closed to passenger traffic on 4 February 1963. Freight traffic declined until the final revenue movement - a train of molasses on 30 October 2000. The line was "mothballed" at the end of 2001. On 7 May 2002 the annual Irish Rail weed spray train visited the line and the last known movement on the line was on 9 January 2003 when a permanent way inspection railcar traversed the line. Although the line is not currently operational it has not been formally abandoned. The Shannon Foynes Port Company and others maintain contact with Irish Rail to review opportunities for reopening it for future bulk cargo projects. In an interview on Limerick's Live 95 fm on 18 April 2011, Kay McGuinness Chairperson of Shannon Foynes Port Company said that they are confident that the rail link could be reopened for €7 million, which was considerably less than initially quoted price of €30 million by Irish Rail following the involvement of consultants, and it was deemed a feasible project. On 10 February 2015, Irish Rail wrote to lineside neighbours informing them of plans over the next 6 weeks, to clear the line of vegetation in order to allow a condition survey and inspection of structures to take place. This to inform a study that they are undertaking on behalf of the Shannon Foynes Port Company into the re-establishment of rail freight traffic on the line. On 29 June 2015, it was announced that as part of the EU Infrastructure (TEN-T) Connecting Europe funding that the Shannon Foynes Port Company was successful in securing €800,000 for a study to develop the business case to reopen the line. The project is called Connecting International Sea Cargo to the Irish Rail Network (CISCIRN).


Bus

Bus Éireann Bus Éireann (, ''Irish Bus'') is a bus and coach operator providing services throughout the Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 Cou ...

Bus Éireann
route number 314 provides a few journeys a day to
Limerick Limerick ( ; ga, Luimneach ) is a city in County Limerick County Limerick ( ga, Contae Luimnigh) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chamber ...

Limerick
via
Askeaton Askeaton (, Waterfall of Géitine, also historically spelt Askettin), is a town in County Limerick, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. The town on the N69 road (Ireland), N69, the road between Limerick and Tralee, is built on the banks of the River Dee ...
. In the opposite direction, there are buses to Glin with a weekend service to
Tralee Tralee ( ; ga, Trá Lí, ; formerly , meaning 'strand of the Lee River') is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage ...

Tralee
and a summer service to
Ballybunion Ballybunion or Ballybunnion () is a coastal town and seaside resort in County Kerry County Kerry ( gle, Contae Chiarraí) is a Counties of Ireland, county in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region, Ireland, South- ...

Ballybunion
.


Places of interest

In addition to the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, the Knockpatrick Gardens, an award-winning garden overlooking the Shannon Estuary, is located from Foynes. Foynes is near to
Adare Adare (; ) is a village in County Limerick County Limerick ( ga, Contae Luimnigh) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers H ...

Adare
, a national heritage town, and the city of
Limerick Limerick ( ; ga, Luimneach ) is a city in County Limerick County Limerick ( ga, Contae Luimnigh) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chamber ...

Limerick
. The main gateway to the region is
Shannon Airport Shannon Airport ( ga, Aerfort na Sionainne) is an international airport located in County Clare in the Republic of Ireland. It is adjacent to the Shannon Estuary and lies halfway between Ennis and Limerick. The airport is the third busiest air ...
. Foynes is located on the N69 "coast road" to Tarbert and
Tralee Tralee ( ; ga, Trá Lí, ; formerly , meaning 'strand of the Lee River') is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage ...

Tralee
in
County Kerry County Kerry ( gle, Contae Chiarraí) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers ...

County Kerry
.


Sports

Saint Senan's GAA club draws its players from the parish centred on Foynes and the neighbouring town of Shanagolden. Although it has fielded
hurling Hurling ( ga, iománaíocht, ') is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages indiv ...

hurling
teams on occasions, it is primarily a
Gaelic football Gaelic football (Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom ...
club. After winning the intermediate championship in 2003, Saint Senan's were narrowly beaten in the final of the 2006
Limerick Senior Football Championship The Limerick Senior Football Championship is an annual Gaelic football competition contested by the top Limerick GAA clubs. The champions qualify to represent Limerick in the Munster Senior Club Football Championship, the winners of which progress ...
. Its predecessor, the Foynes team, won its only senior championship in 1907.


See also

* List of towns and villages in Ireland.


References


External links


Destination Foynes - the Flying Boat Era 1937-1945

Shannon Foynes Port Company
{{Authority control Port cities and towns in the Republic of Ireland Towns and villages in County Limerick