Ventilation Chimney Ballingarry

Steeple of Copper, Ballingarry, Tipperary

Wolfhound Photo Rally


The Wolfhound Photo Rally run by IBAIreland (The Iron Butt Association) is another opportunity to visit and take photos of places you mightn’t normally think of . As with the Irish Photo Rally points, the locations are spaced throughout the country and it makes for a very interesting journey when the two lots are combined.

Google Map

Below is my current Google map of both sets of points.

Steeple of Copper

Steeple of Copper/Ventilation Chimney, Ballingarry

The steeple of copper (or ventilation chimney) is located at Copper Cross in Ballingarry, Tipperary. It served as an air vent for the coal mines in Ballingarry which have now ceased operation. The structure is listed on the Buildings of Ireland website for those who are interested in details of the chimney’s construction.

A member of the Ballingarry Facebook page mentions that the chimney is one of three built in the area, one of which was sited in Ballinonty.

Ballingarry Miners

Up to 150 miners worked in the collieries in Ballingarry in 1972 but, at the time, their future was uncertain due to non-profibility of the mine. Despite their efforts and a substantial cash injection that year, the mine closed in 1973. The RTE Archives hold a fascinating piece of footage on the Ballingarry mines recorded for the series ‘Tangents’. Click here to view it.

The Slieveardagh Rural Development website provides a very detailed history of the mines as well as an interesting list of mining terms and expressions used.

The Practical Stuff

The chimney is in the middle of a working farm and surrounded by an electric fence. The fence wasn’t switched on the day we visited (or else Richa bike gear has some great properties that I wasn’t aware of). Also, a low wall at the roadside means that visitors don’t have to be putting their weight on the farmer’s gate to get into the field.

Ventilation Chimney Ballingarry Coal mines

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