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Displaying items by tag: Shannon Navigation

​The public consultation on the draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan and Environmental Report will close at 4pm this coming Wednesday 22 April.

Members of the public can review all the documents online and make their submission through the online survey.

The list of documents available to view are an Executive Summary, the draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan, a baseline study for the Masterplan, the Environmental Report, and AA Screen Report and Natura Impact Report.

This consultation is the next stage in an 18-month process to create a definitive document to support the development of tourism along the Shannon corridor.

Led by Waterways Ireland, with Fáilte Ireland, the steering group and working groups engaged representatives from Cavan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Offaly, Galway, Tipperary, Clare, Westmeath and Limerick county councils – which are all stakeholders in the longest of Ireland’s inland waterways.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

The Shannon Navigation plays hosts to some 8,400 boats, according to the draft tourism masterplan currently open for public consultation.

And the figure of predominantly private leisure vessels far exceeds the number of berthing spaces, which total 4,500 across 58 locations on the inland waterways between Limerick and Lough Allen.

“While the demand for mooring outweighs supply, there are variations across the navigation in the levels of demand,” the draft adds.

It goes on to state that lock passage data implies an increase of 2,800 boat passages — from 42,700 to 45,500 — in the five years between 2014 to 2018.

And it also suggests a review of shore-based service block provision to take account of customer requirements and consider the use of ‘smart’ technologies to enhance their experience.

The Draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan is a joint initiative of Waterways Ireland and Fáilte Ireland and is part of an 18-month strategy to develop tourism along the Shannon corridor over the next decade to 2030.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the consultation will continue amid the latest Covid-19 restrictions, with stakeholders encouraged to engage online.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that Albert Lock has been reopened to navigation following successful replacement of lock gates.

In addition, the Jamestown Canal in Co Roscommon where the lock is located has also been reopened to navigation following a lowering of flood levels.

All other inland waterways facilities currently closed following on from the recent and ongoing flood event will remain closed until further notice.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users that the flood levels are receding on the Shannon, Erne, Barrow and Lower Bann inland waterways.

Operations staff are now preparing the jetties, quays, slipways and facilities for reactivation as the floods recede.

It is anticipated that it will take up to three weeks for all jetties, quays, slipways and facilities to be fully operational.

Masters of vessels and water users should be aware that surfaces may be slippery, access to jetties can be difficult as gangways and pontoons are elevated, and flood damage may be encountered in some locations.

All should proceed with additional caution while the clean-up work is ongoing.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has announced the opening of a public consultation on the Draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan and Environmental Report today, Wednesday 4 March.

The consultation documents will be available to the public both online and in the 10 county council offices along the Shannon and Shannon-Erne inland waterway corridors, and the consultation will remain open until Wednesday 22 April at 4pm.

The list of documents available to view are an Executive Summary, the draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan, a baseline study for the Masterplan, the Environmental Report, and AA Screen Report and Natura Impact Report.

Submissions can be made by completing an online survey. Surveys are also available at the host locations listed on the Waterways Ireland website and can be posted to Waterways Ireland’s Western Regional Office in Scariff, Co Clare.

The public consultation is also taking place in Northern Ireland, with documents available to view in the Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen. Relevant additional links include the NI Environmental Report and Habitats Regulations Assessment.

This consultation is the next stage in an 18-month process to reposition the combined Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway as a key tourism destination within Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, identifying world class visitor experiences based on the region’s natural and cultural assets.

The Shannon Tourism Masterplan sets out “a bold and integrated framework for sustainable tourism development along the Shannon and Shannon-Erne”, Waterways Ireland says.

SLR Consulting and partners were commissioned to develop this Tourism Masterplan for the Shannon by Waterways Ireland in association with Fáilte Ireland and with the support of the 10 local authorities adjoining the River Shannon and Shannon Erne Waterway.

Once the public consultation is complete, submissions will be reviewed and a final draft of the document issued.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that a number of locks on the Shannon Navigation will be closed next Wednesday 5 February to facilitate staff training.

The affected locks on the inland waterway are in Athlone; Pollboy Lock in Ballinasloe; Victoria Lock at Meelick in Co Galway; Portumna Bridge north of Lough Derg; and Sarsfield Lock in Limerick.

Waterways Ireland regrets any inconvenience this may cause and thanks its customers for their co-operation.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advise masters that the winter mooring period for public harbours on the navigations will commence on 1 Nov 2019 and will end on 31 Mar 2020.

Masters wishing to avail of Winter Mooring are required to pay the winter mooring fee of €63.50 prior to 1 Nov 2019.

Masters are reminded that Bye-law 17 - the “5 consecutive days / 7 days in one month rule” - continues to apply for masters not availing of winter mooring.

Owners are also asked to note that vessels berthed in public harbours are at the owner's risk at all times and may be directed to other harbours as operational exigencies require.

Online registration for winter berths must be made here

Steps in the Winter Mooring process are:

  1. Apply online for Winter Mooring at a specific harbour
  2. Receive email approval / rejection / alternative location of application
  3. Follow link on approval email when received to pay winter mooring fee online
Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland is proposing a permit system for the Shannon Navigation that could see users of Ireland’s longest river face charges for their boats for the first time, as The Irish Times reports.

Users of the Royal and Grand Canals must already pay for annual permits at a cost of €152 per vessel — and now the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways is reviewing its by-laws for the Shannon with a view to extending similar charges there, as well as spot fines for breaches of regulations.

But what might be the biggest hit to Shannon boaters’ budgets may be the end of the current winter mooring regime.

Vessels can currently be moored at public harbours and jetties for five months at a cost of €83 per boat. This would be replaced under the plan with the summer ‘five-day rule’, which itself is under review.

However, the proposals would also bring an end to the current charges for the use of locks. A smartcard system for locks and bridges was rolled out on the Shannon Navigation last autumn.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - Seán Kyne, Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has announced a €3.2 million investment by Waterways Ireland infrastructure on the Shannon Navigation at Meelick Weir.

The funds will be used for the restoration and replacement of the Meelick Weir walkway, the installation of tilting weir boards and remedial works to the weir structure.

The minister was joined on site yesterday (Friday 1 March) by Éanna Rowe, regional manager with Waterways Ireland and by Ministers of State Seán Canney Ciarán Cannon, along with Anne Rabbitte TD and local community representatives.

Meelick Weir was originally built in the 1790s as part of the Shannon Navigation. The weir, which is over 300 metres in length with a 12-sluice barrage, maintains and regulates the navigation level for that section of waterway between Athlone (Lough Ree) and Meelick (Lough Derg).

The weir and its walkway link the historic village of Meelick in Co Galway to Lusmagh in Offaly, and also link into the Hymany Way walking trail. The weir was damaged during storms in 2009 and the walkway was closed following further storms in 2015 and 2016.

Speaking yesterday, Minister Kyne said: “I am fully aware of the importance of this restoration to the counties of Galway and Offaly and in particular to the local communities of Lusmagh and Meelick who have been without the walkway for a number of years now.”

He added: “Meelick Weir is not just a walkway but a hidden gem on the River Shannon and its restoration shows the Government’s commitment to supporting all aspects of rural Ireland`s economic development.”

Éanna Rowe of Waterways Ireland said: “The development and re-instatement is critical to the management of the navigation and regulation of water levels.

“Reopening the connectivity between the communities of Lusmagh and Meelick and the re-instatement of the link to the Hymanny is a hugely positive and significant development for both communities.”

Waterways Ireland initiated design work on the project in 2012, completed the statutory environmental assessment and submitted planning for the project to Galway and Offaly county councils, which was given in 2017.

The works will involve the restoration of the weir, its walkway and the tilting weir boards along with the other critical infrastructure requirements (replacement of lock gates, jetty replacement, embankment works and bridge strengthening).

The new tilting weir system is being touted as a significant improvement in health and safety for employees managing water levels on site.

Following an open tendering procedure, a contractor will be shortly appointed and the project will be completed mid-2020.

Published in Inland Waterways

A series of consultative workshops on the feasibility of an iconic Pilgrim Way between the Shannon Navigation and Erne System took place earlier this month.

In late 2018, West Limerick Resources in partnership with Waterways Ireland and 13 local development companies (LDCs) and associated local authorities commissioned SLR Consulting and Alan Hill Tourism Development to investigate the feasibility of developing a 350km cross-border Pilgrim Way along the inland waterways.

The area under consideration is a 20km-wide corridor which uncovers a unique and vast pilgrim heritage on and along the inland waterways, from the Shannon estuary in Co Kerry northwards through the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, and Erne System in Co Fermanagh to Co Donegal.

The aim is to develop an iconic international ‘Pilgrim Way’ based on the rich early Christian and Viking heritage of the Early Medieval period in Ireland.

Well known ecclesiastical sites include Scattery Island, Iniscealtra (Holy Island, Clare), Clonmacnoise (Offaly), Quaker Island (Lough Ree), Boyle Abbey (Roscommon), Devenish Island (Lough Erne) and the iconic pilgrimage site at Lough Derg (St Patrick’s) in Donegal, among others.

Many more, lesser known sites are included in the overall analysis for a total of more than 100 sites in total. Waterways Ireland has more information about the project.

Published in Inland Waterways
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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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