Irish Coal Mining.

Ballingarry Mines (Tipperary) | Castlecomer (Kilkenny) | Tyrone Coal
List of Irish Coal Mines



Coal mining has never been a large industry in Ireland, even though there are numerous deposits across the country but not on nearly the same scale as those in neighbouring England.

The largest mines were those at Castlecomer in County Kilkenny these seams were laid down during the Carboniferous period some 354 to 290 Million Years Ago, the Castlecomer coal fields consist of three seams at different levels, the first is at between 50 and 100 feet beneath the surfase, this seam was about three feet thick and was known as The Three foo Seam, the next was some 200 feet lower it was known as the Jarrow seam, still lower was the Skehana seam which was about 600 feet beneath the surfase.

The coal found in the Castlecomer mines was anthracite which is a smockless coal of very high quality, coal from the Skehana seam was said to have been the highest quality coal mined in Europe. The reason anthracite burns at such a high tempature and relatively smoke free is that when it was being formed it was subjected to extremely high pressures which forced out much of the gas.

Click the following link to find out more about the history of The Castlecomer Coal Mines

Read this interesting article from The Freeman’s Journal Monday, May 7th 1917 urging the building of a railway to carry the coal from Kilkenny.

The Newry Canal was built to carry principally coal from County Tyrone to Dublin, the Tyrone coal proved to be a bit of a dissapointment from a quality point of view