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16 October 2014
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The Binnian Tunnel - Can you help?

Do you know the names of any of the Mourne men who worked on the Binnian Tunnel?

ML 1030

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Mary Kelly - November '05
It would be wonderful if a booklet could be produced for primary school children in the area to learn about the building of the tunnel and the provision of the water supply. It would be an excellent contribution to local history and to geography and science for the children's curriculum.

It is only after having read the items available on the website that I, as a teacher, realised the amount of potential history teaching on our doorstep concerning water and its supply. I have had the privilege of being involved in the Aquarius Project with the children in my school and already have covered quite a lot of work on our local area, but this is tremendous. The preparation and production of the articles is excellent!

Colin McCartan - August '05
Does anyone have any photos / info. of James McCartan ( Atticall ) who worked on the tunnel and I also think at Dunnywater.

Josephine Noonan (daughter) - September 2004
My father Michael Sexton (Mickey) worked on this Tunnell in 1950 does anyone remember him or is he in the photograph of the Tunnellers in your article?.

I would appreciate any information or confirmation of the photohraph.

My father passed away in 1996, my mother is still alive and well and is very interested in knowing if my father is in the photograph.

Chris Wylie - April 2004
Having been through the tunnel several times myself I have to say that it is magnificant and I have to take my hat off to all involved in its construction.

Myself and a group of friends came across both ends of the tunnel on several days walking in the Mournes and being the adventurous type we decided to go through the tunnel. We reckoned that it would be most enjoyable if we were able to float through rather than spend an hour or so splashing about and getting soaked. We arrived at the tunnel with 4 rubber inflatable dingys. I went in the first one and took all the rucksacks. Luke and Jonny-Mark followed in the second and Ben came last lying on top of 2 very small ones we had tied together.

After a lot of messing about and falling in we managed to get sorted and floated off in complete silence down the tunnel. As this was our first time through we were unsure of the layout of the tunnel and every time we heard the water flow get louder we stopped and had a look ahead. This was totally unnecessary as the tunnel is totally straight and level except for a few slightly steeper sections. The best bit was in the middle when you could just make out the light from either end. From time to time there were marks on the walls and you could see the iron plugs they had used when filling the voids with concrete. As we approached the end of the tunnel we got out of the boats and walked the last bit again because we did not know what the exit would be like. It would have been quite amusing for any passers-by hearing voices coming from the tunnel and shortly after seeing the 4 of us and our rubber dingys appearing blinking into the daylight.

It was great fun going through the tunnel and we were really impressed at how well it is made. The first section is all concrete and quite boring. But after 100m or so it is just a concrete base with block walls about 4 feet high, with the sides and roof being the bare granite of the area. This added to the feeling of awe.

The tunnel does not exit straight into Silent Valley. There is a short section of "natural" river before a very large pipe takes it under the road and into the reservoir. This looked exactly like a water slide so I went down it into the lake in the dingy and unfortunately tore it to shreds on some rocks, thankfully I came off a bit better. We dried off and cooked some dinner before returning via Ben Crom to the car in Annalong car park.

The second time there was about 8 of us and we walked through as we did not have enough boats. This was not as much fun. The first mile of the tunnel is above head height but you need a torch as there is a low arch strategically placed at nose height which Ben walked into. He now has a crooked nose. Judith his fiance fell over him in the dark and cracked her forehead, with no lasting damage thankfully. That is about the extent of our adventures in the tunnel.

Bernadette - 2003
Does anybody know anything about John Lorry who was one of the bosses in the tunnel?

Read a response from Raymond McMurray

See the other sections in this article:

Binnian Front Page | Intro & Background | The Tunnellers | The Engineers | Archive Photos | Then & Now | Contemporary Photos | Official Opening | The Reunion | Can you help?


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