History of Bohernabreena Reservoirs and their relevance to milling on the Dodder and Poddle, Dublin

6 March, 2017 | 18:30 - 20:00

Talk on the history of Bohernabreena Reservoirs.
Talk on the history of Bohernabreena Reservoirs.

About this event

Although little is known of the remote history of the Dodder, some sadly incomplete records survive of mills that worked in the thirteenth century. Considerably more is known about the industrial development of the river and its tributaries that began in the late seventeenth century. Until the late 1800s water, where available, was the preferred power source for most mills and factories.

In the Dodder catchment the Bohernabreena Reservoirs, more properly known as the Glenasmole Reservoirs, were completed in1886 and they had an unique role in water supply to Rathmines and the millers' compensation water to keep mills working during periods of drought.

In the catchment sources of clear water were used for drinking and the coloured bog water for the compensation supply. In the nineteenth century the technology did not exist to remove colour from bog water. Therefore, the principle of construction adopted at Bohernabreena was the method known as the separation principle.

Don McEntee will describe the events leading up to and including the construction of the reservoirs. A short history of the various types of watermills on the Dodder and Poddle will be given.

All Welcome, admission is free and no booking required.

Watch this event online via Engineers Ireland wesbite


For more information, please contact:

Con Kehely
e: con.kehely@nationaltransport.ie

Event materials

The following materials are available for download:


Don MvEntee

Don McEntee, now retired, was a Senior Engineer in the Design Section (water and drainage) of the Engineering Department of Dublin City Council. During his involvement in charge of upgrading of the spillways to the two reservoirs in Bohernabreena he researched the original design of the waterworks with his co-author Michael Corcoran he published a book in 2016 titled The Rivers Dodder & Poddle Mills, Storms, Droughts and The Public Water Supply.