Featured this week is the “Canal Bridge,” mentioned in “An Encounter” as the rendezvous point for the narrator and his two friends on the morning of their excursion:
“We were to meet at ten in the morning on the Canal Bridge” (21).
Mahoney is the only friend to show up, and so the boys, giving up on Joe Dillon, walk northeast along the bridge into North Strand Road. Though in the story it’s only called the “Canal Bridge,” two maps from 1836 and 1883 (embedded at the end of this post from the David Rumsey Collection) name this bridge Newcombe and Newcomen Bridge, respectively. Why the name was left out would be an interesting question to explore in more depth.
The canal is the first body of water the boys cross. They eventually ferry across the Liffey, and, depending on where the ferry lands on the south side of the Liffey, they may also cross the Dodder to get into Ringsend. In any case, they end up on a sloping bank of the Dodder where they meet the josser and then discuss the possibility of returning home by train. This mode of transportation would be quicker, and they could avoid the more liquidy parts of Dublin.