James Shekleton, engineer, Dundalk

Published in Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 2005), Letters, Letters, Volume 13

Sir,

—In one of the earliest published works on the subject of fireprotection in these islands—Fires, fire engines, and fire brigades(London, 1866)—C.F.T. Young CE attributes the first steam fire engineever made in Ireland to one James Shekleton, engineer, of Dundalk, Co.Louth. Young gives a lengthy description of the engine, which weighed22cwt and was built ‘on the plan of Silsby, Mynderse and Co. ofAmerica’. I wonder whether any of your readers could furnish somebackground information on James Shekleton to assist in research intothe history of the fire service that I am undertaking? A drawing orpicture of his steam fire engine would really ‘put the icing on thecake’. Finally, there is an obvious resemblance between the surnamesShekleton and Shackleton, the famous Antarctic explorer born in CountyKildare. Is there a connection?

—Yours etc.,
PATRICK B. POLAND
Glanmire
Co. Cork

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