An extract from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs Volume 4 reads, “In the year 1812 a civil engineer of celebrity, the late Mr J. Killaiiy, was employed to examine the lake and suggest a project for its improvement. In the same year, 1812, the cutting of a canal between Lough Erne and Strabane was in contemplation. Mr. Killally also surveyed the proposed line and estimated the expense of £355,135 pounds. As the expense was too much the plan was abandoned. In 1821 a similar proposal was put forward and again Mr. Killally was consulted as the idea never disappeared.”
The several short extracts from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs are included simply as a means to illustrate that certain members of the local wealthy gentry were seriously considering these new proposals and also to highlight the earnestness of Gardiner`s intentions to initiate the canal`s extension, either for profit or power.
His vast wealth, at least some of it, was incurred from his huge rent rolls. His income generated from these alone was extensive and he could have afforded a large private investment into the scheme.
The letter from Spiller to Sinclair substantiates the theory that even with the changes in advancing technology, the canal proposals were still on everyone`s agenda for some years after 1821.
The only recurring difficulty, it seemed, was in making the actual decision to take the project forward. Obviously this had to be a collaborative decision as no-one appeared adventurous enough to go it alone. Finance was not available.