Described by Prof G.T Stokes as a " stiff old puritan of the Baptist persuasion from Kilbeggan or thereabouts, gifted with a good deal of that strong facility of hatred which puritans at times could display" John Booth was indeed a very interesting and prominent business man in Athlone. We first learned about Mr Booth during our research into the old distilleries and breweries around Athlone where he was a major player in the industry. Responsible for the naming of "Excise Street" he was also a ruthless business man and involved in a major quarrel with other local business owners that rumbled on for years.
Prior to the Shannon Navigation works in the early part of the 19th century, full navigation through Athlone was impossible. A hundred years prior to this a bypass canal was constructed on the west side of the town.