Waterways Ireland is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British Irish Agreement in 1999.
Waterways Ireland has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways principally for recreational purposes. The waterways under the remit of the body are the Barrow Navigation, the Erne System, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation.
The headquarters for Waterways Ireland is in Enniskillen, and regional offices are located in Carrick-on-Shannon, Dublin and Scarriff.
Shannon Erne Waterway
Lower Bann Navigation
ACTIVITIES ON THE INLAND WATERWAYS
Powerboat Sports take place on a number of the navigations managed by Waterways Ireland.
From powerboat schools to jet-skis, to waterskiing and wakeboard coaching, there are a multitude of options for getting out on the water on or behind a powerboat.
Irish Waterski Federation (IWSF) govern both the waterskiing and wakeboarding in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can be contacted through Eileen Galvin, Cork PB&WSC, Agherinagh, Dripsey, Co. Cork, email: [email protected]
Details of all course providers offering powerboat and inland waterways helmsman courses and certification to ISA/IWAI/Dept of Marine and Waterways Ireland approved standards can be found on the web at sailing.ie
Cruising/Charter Boating Chartering a boat on Ireland’s inland waterways is simple. No license is required, no commercial traffic operates, the waterways are a purely leisure experience.
All the waterways where charter boats operate are networked together so you can have a river, lake and canal experience all in the one holiday.
The decision as to which company to travel with is actually a decision about which experience you want most of – the bustle of river life on the Shannon, the tranquility of the island dotted waters of the Erne System, the regular rhythm of the locks of the Shannon Erne Waterway, Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation.
Angling Waterways Ireland is responsible for angling on the Grand and Royal Canals and on sections of the Barrow Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway. The Central Fisheries Board under contract to Waterways Ireland carry out fisheries development, weed management and manage water quality on these waterways.
The management of angling on the Erne System, Lower Bann Navigations, Shannon-Erne Waterway and Shannon Navigation is managed by a number of different organisations.
On the Lower Bann Navigation and Lough Erne the management and development of the fisheries is undertaken by the Department of Culture and Leisure – Inland Fisheries and is conserved by the Fisheries Conservancy Board for Northern Ireland, 1 Mahon Road, Portadown, Craigavon, Co Armagh BT62 3EE, tel no 044 28 3833 4666.
For game fishing on the Lower Bann contact Bann Systems, Cutts House, 54 Castleroe Road, Coleraine BT51 3RL, tel no 044 28 7034 4796.
The Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation supports coarse fishing on the Lower Bann and Lough Erne and can be contacted via Robert Buick, Chairman, 7 Knockvale Grove, Belfast BT5 6HL
On the Shannon Navigation the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board manages the fisheries and can be contacted at Military Road, Birr, Co. Offaly, tel no 0353 509 21777. Coarse angling on all the waterways in the Republic of Ireland is supported by the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland and can be contacted through Mark Heffernan, Coistra, Clogherhead, tel no 0252 41 9822772.
Sailing is enjoyed on the navigations with established clubs on Lough Ree, Lough Derg and the Erne System as well as a range of outdoor centres on the other navigations.
A large range of classes including Mirrors, Optimists, J24’s, Lasers, Squibs, Fireballs and a multitude others can be found sailing throughout the week from April to October.
The majority of sailing establishments also run sailing courses and teach people from a wide range of ages to sail.
While many boats are sailed for pleasure a great number also compete regularly throughout the season, with some travelling to compete in regattas and championships on the other lakes.
Sailing is governed in the Republic of Ireland by the Irish Sailing Association who can be contacted at 2 Park Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, tel 0252 1 280 0239 Fax no 00 353 1 280 7558, email [email protected]
Sailing in Northern Ireland is governed by the Royal Yachting Association (NI) and can be contacted at House of Sport, Upper Malone Road, Belfast BT9 5LA, tel no +44 28 9038 3812.
Ireland, North and South, has a lot of offer the recreational paddler from the wide open lakes of Lough Erne, Lough Allen, Lough Derg and Lough Ree to the meandering channels of the Lower Bann and the Shannon Navigation, and the still waters of the Grand and Royal Canals, the Barrow Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway.
On the Erne System a way-marked canoe trail has been put in place, and one is planned for the Barrow Navigation and the Lower Bann Navigation.
Clubs offer the newcomer both learning and opportunities to participate with others. Many outdoor centres along the navigations also offer opportunities to learn and improve skills. Hire of canoeing equipment is also widely available
The governing body for canoeing in Northern Ireland is the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland and can be contacted at CANI, Unit 2 River’s Edge, 13–15 Ravenhill Road, Belfast BT6 8DN, tel no 0870 240 5065, email [email protected] In the Republic of Ireland, canoeing is governed by the Irish Canoe Union, and they can be contacted at Sport HQ, Joyce Way, Park West Business Park, Nangor Road, Dublin 12 Tel no 00 353 1 6241105, email [email protected]
Walking, for leisure, pleasure or for health is the most predominant activity along the banks of Ireland’s inland waterways. Whether walking into town from a mooring, or walking along one of the Waymarked Ways along the waterways which include the Lough Derg Way, the Barrow Way, the Grand Canal Way, the Royal Canal Way, Slí Liatroma, the Miners’ Way Historical Trail and the Cavan Way, the presence of the waterway adds an indefinable extra to the experience.
For information on the way-marked ways contact the National Way-Marked Ways Advisory Committee, Irish Sports Council, Top Floor, Block A, West End Office Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, tel no 0353 1 860 8800, email [email protected]
Waterways Ireland, 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh BT74 7JY, tel: +44 (0) 28 66 323 004, fax: +44 (0) 28 66 346 257