Tucked away in the Shannon estuary and further protected up the Deel River, Askeaton provides complete protection from all conditions. However, access requires attentive navigation as it is restricted by draft and not supported by illuminated markers. For those planning a visit from the sea, it is also subject to the challenges of the Shannon currents.
Keyfacts for Askeaton
Summary* Restrictions applyA completely protected location with attentive navigation required for access.
Position and approaches
Haven position52° 37.218' N, 008° 59.307' W
The head fo the pontoon at Massy's Quay.
What are the initial fixes?The following waypoints will set up a final approach:
(i) Deel River Entrance Initial Fix
52° 38.609' N, 009° 0.572' W
200 metres to the northwest of the River Deel tributary entrance.
(ii) Shannon Entrance Initial Fix
52° 32.528' N, 009° 46.944' W
This is the position of the Shannon Entrance marker, the Ballybunnion North Cardinal Marker Lt Buoy, VQ Fl. 6m.
What are the key points of the approach?
Not what you need?
How to get in?
Image: Wind Watcher
Five miles above Foynes Island Askeaton is a town built on the banks of the River Deel about two miles upstream from the estuary of the River Shannon. Deel Boat Club provides a club pontoon and moorings about halfway along the river.
Image: Burke Corbett
The 30-mile run-up the River Shannon where the from the entrance to Limerick City are detailed in the River Shannon Overview . After Aughinish Island the key marker that will assist in locating the Deal River entrance is the distinctive Beeves Rock lighthouse upon Sheehan Rock.
Beeves Rock - Fl.WR 5s12m 12/9M - position: 52° 39.016’N, 009° 01.320’W
Beeves Rock lighthouse will be visible from Aughinish Island and the above listed ‘Deel River Entrance’ initial fix places you approximately midway between Beeves Rock lighthouse and the Deel River entrance.
The entrance to the River Deel is on the southern shore marked by a red and white perch with a weak flashing light. This is a private marker maintained by the boat club that does not conform to any navigation standards. The channel afterwards is marked by five-gallon drums. Although there is a light on the entrance, the river cut is not a place to attempt at night unless you have been there before a few times by day and seen it at low water.
Image: Wind Watcher
It is important to be certain of the approach as there are unmarked rocks on either side of the entrance, Carrigeenavaun on the starboard and Weavers Rock to port, where the perch is situated. You will also pass Horse Rock and Wide Rock off Courtbrown Point as you go upstream. These are only visible at half tide and you would not see them at high water so a good chart is essential - Admiralty chart 1549.
Image: Burke Corbett
The channel has LWS 1.7 metres, it is shallow and winding but marked with red port hand marker five-gallon drums. If you stray off the line you will find it shelves steeply onto mudbanks that may not present much danger to the vessel. However, on a falling tide, it could get very messy.
Image: Burke Corbett
You will first approach a set of moorings by the fishing boats and small yachts and a deeper hole-up where the yachts are moored. Likewise, slightly further up at the club pontoon, there appear to be two metres in mud at LWS. There are no facilities at the pontoon.
If you contact a boat club member or Cyril from the boatyard they can organise a key to the boat club jetty, but make a note to return the courtesy with a touch of generosity.
Why visit here?Askeaton, Eas Géitine in Irish in Irish meaning Waterfall of Géitine, also historically spelt Askettin, is one of the oldest towns in County Limerick.
Situated on the banks of the River Deel, with an ancient bridge of five arches connecting the opposite sides of the town, it boasts many historic structures. There is a Franciscan Friary in the town dating from 1389 where you may find an almost perfectly preserved cloister within the friary ruins.
Image: Askeaton Mike via CC ASA 4.0
The castle of the Fitzgerald lords, set on a rocky island in the river Deel, dates from 1199. The castle was defended by the Spanish during the Desmond Rebellions. It was finally abandoned to the English crown forces in 1580 after the fall of Carrigafoyle Castle. The fleeing Spanish defenders blew out its walls as part of a tactical retreat. As a stronghold, it remained a threat to the English Crown in Ireland until the Castle was finally destroyed by Cromwellian forces in 1652. The banqueting hall within the castle is very well preserved and of great historic value. Additionally, you can find the ruins of a 13th-century church where the remains of the poet Aubrey de Vere are buried.
From a boating perspective, Askeaton's primarily attractive to boatmen for its safe berth and excellent repair facilities. But a town of more than five centuries history has its own allures making the short walk very worthwhile. The River Deel was once a good source for salmon fishing but is now mainly fished for brown trout.
What facilities are available?Asketon's prime attraction is its fully equipped boatyard with specialist services, including GRP repairs and crane. It is one of the most competent, helpful and friendly boatyards in the area. You may have to wait for enough water to come alongside the boatyard but the facilities are excellent.
Askeaton town is a thirty minutes walk where you will find basic provisions plus a restaurant. The town is located on the N69 with good contacts to the surrounding area and an infrequent bus service to Limerick.
Any security concerns?There are no known problems in this rural area.
With thanks to:Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford.
Massy's Quay Pontoon, Askeaton at low water
Image: eOceanic thanks Burke Corbett
The River Deel Askeaton Co Limerick
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