Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland
Works on phase one of the Barrow Blueway are now set to commence this month after the original start date was pushed back by three weeks.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the scheme, when complete, will provide a multi-activity 46km off-road, flat and accessible public space and leisure route along the inland waterway running from Lowtown in Kildare, through the towns of Rathangan, Monasterevin, Vicarstown, to Athy.
This coming Tuesday 4 August will see works commence at Milltown Bridge, some 3km north of Athy, with localised closures to facilitate the upgrade of the towpath.
The duration of these works along the towpath this year, under the auspices of Kildare County Council in conjunction with Laois County Council and Waterways Ireland, will be around 16–18 weeks.
The proposed upgrade aims to improve access to the Barrow Way, both on and along the water, offering an enhanced experience to walkers, cyclists, wheelchairs users, paddlers and families.
And the latter has compiled a list of all currently open places to eat along with things to see and so along the waterway.
“The body responsible for canal boating doesn’t seem to want boating on the canals.”
That’s the response of Gary Long, one of a number of barge owner on the Grand Canal in Dublin at the centre of a recent controversy over houseboat moorings on the inland waterway, as he spoke to The Irish Times this week.
The ‘liveaboard’ barge owners had faced eviction from their homes by Waterways Ireland this month as current by-laws prohibit mooring in any one spot for longer than five days.
The owners were given a reprieve of sorts by the New Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, and assured that their vessels would not be confiscated and sold off.
And the minister has promised that Waterways Ireland will engage in “finding a long-term, sustainable solution to regularise the use of the canals”.
But for now, liveaboards like Gary Long — and Luís Gómezcala who lives on his boat at the 12th Lock on the Royal Canal — remain in legal limbo.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
Locks on the Shannon Navigation will operate from 9am to 8.30pm Mondays to Saturdays, and 9am to 6pm on Sundays. On the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the hours are 9am to 8pm daily. (See below for contact details for each lock.)
The passage fee will continue to be waived until further notice. However, a smart card will be required to operate locks on the Shannon-Erne Waterway at all times; these may only be purchased in advance from Waterways Ireland’s online shop or from designated retail outlets along the waterway.
Work is also ongoing to reopen the service blocks - toilets and showers — at all locations along both waterways. Each is undergoing deep cleaning before reopening, and a comprehensive daily cleaning rota is being set up.
Reopening is on a phased basis with blocks at Lough Key and Carrick-on-Shannon the first to open on Monday.
It’s expected the rest — including Boyle Harbour, Dromod Harbour, Drumshanbo Lock, Portrun, Lecarrow, Ballinasloe, Scarriff and Killaloe — will be reopened throughout the week, with all service blocks abatable by Friday 24 July.
Users must comply with coronavirus protocols and HSE guidelines at all times when making use of these facilities.
Shannon Navigation lock-keepers are available at the following numbers (all +353):
- Lough Allen Canal – 071 964 1552
- Clarendon Lock - 071 966 7011
- Albert Lock - 071 963 7715
- Rooskey Lock - 071 963 8018
- Tarmonbarry Lock - 043 332 6117
- Athlone Lock - 090 649 2026
- Poolboy Lock - 090 964 4938
- Victoria Lock - 057 915 1359
- Portumna Bridge - 090 974 1011
- Ardnacrusha - 061 344 515
- Sarsfield Lock - 087 797 2998
Should any assistance be required on the Shannon-Erne Waterway, use the following contacts:
- Lock 1 - +44 286 7748976
- Ballyconnell Waterway Patroller - +353 87 2603662
- Ballinamore Waterway Patroller - +353 87 2602478
- Kilclare Waterway Patroller - +353 87 2603663
- Lock 16 - +353 87 2608569
- Carrick-on-Shannon Office - +353 71 9650562
For further information on the reopening of the navigation please visit www.waterwaysireland.org
Water levels are currently up to 45cm below summer levels as weir boards are out at Meelick Weir, which creates a draw-down of water levels in the area.
Masters of vessels, particularly those with deep drafts, are advised to navigate with additional caution and to remain within the navigation at all times.
The news comes after last week’s final-hour reprieve for a number of barge owners who had faced eviction under the current by-law which prohibits mooring in any one spot for longer than five consecutive days.
They also faced the prospect of losing their vessels under original plans to lift them from the canal and impound them for a month before selling them off.
New Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, stepped in to assure these barge owners that theirs and others’ “genuine or legitimate houseboats or so-called ‘live-ons’” would not be removed.
He added that Waterways Ireland, the cross-border body that manages Ireland’s inland waterways, would now engage “in a collaborative process with all stakeholders around finding a long-term, sustainable solution to regularise the use of the canals”.
This is in addition to Waterways Ireland’s 10-year strategic review, which is expected to be available for consultation later this year — and will consider the likes of new infrastructure on the canal to cater for the requirements of houseboats.
TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.
It’s understood that an order to remove houseboats moored on the Grand Canal in Dublin this week hay have been rescinded.
Yesterday, TheJournal.ie reported that a number of people with floating homes on the canal in Dublin’s south inner city faced eviction this week under by-laws that restrict mooring to five days in any one place along the waterways.
They pointed out that the waiting list for berths at Grand Canal Dock — where a number of houseboats have permanent moorings — have topped 200 applications, and suggest that there is room along the navigation in the city for much more than the two dozen houseboats moored at present.
Waterways Ireland had been set this week to remove the boats into storage for a month before selling them off, they claim.
But the Dublin branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) says it understands that the new Government department responsible for the waterways has rescinded these lifting orders.
Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline this afternoon, Beau Donelly and Jacqui Thompson said that while nothing had been received in writing, the new Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, has taken the decision to suspend their eviction pending future discussions with related stakeholders.
This story was updated to include reference to this afternoon's Liveline segment.
When complete, the scheme will provide a multi-activity 46km off-road, flat and accessible public space and leisure route along the inland waterway – together with approved paddling trails for on water access – running from Lowtown in Kildare, through the towns of Rathangan, Monasterevin, Vicarstown, to Athy.
The proposed upgrade will improve access to the beautiful Barrow Way, both on and along the water, offering an enhanced experience to walkers, cyclists, wheelchairs users, paddlers and families.
Works are to commence on Wednesday 15 July at Milltown Bridge, some 3km north of Athy, with localised closures to facilitate the upgrade of the towpath. The duration of works this year will be around 16–18 weeks.
The works will be carried out in accordance with all environmental and planning conditions and under the oversight of an ecological clerk of works, to ensure any potential negative environmental impacts are avoided and ecological mitigation is implemented in accordance with legislation and best practice.
What’s being touted as a “top tourist attraction” is due to be complete early 2022 and “will not only offer a huge economic boost, positively influencing economic growth opportunities, it will also increase that sense of community, create exciting opportunities for both recreation and ways to experience many of the community's interesting places from new perspectives”, according to the project partners.
Kildare County Council will keep the public updated as works progress on the blueway scheme, which is funded by the Government of Ireland under Project Ireland 2040.
Waterways Ireland advises masters and users of the Lower Bann Navigation of details regarding the reopening of the Locks from this Tuesday 23 June (pushed back from the original date of Thursday 18 June).
Locks will operate from 9am to 5pm daily, and lock passage charges will be waived until further notice.
Customers are encouraged to phone ahead to the lock in question to ensure lock gates are set and to avoid possible conflict with other boating traffic (all numbers +44):
- Cutts Lock 02870342999
- Carnroe Lock/Movangher Lock/Portna Lock 07876032891
- Toome Lock 07912305251
When preparing to move through locks, boats should be tied up at the approaching landing jetty and wait to be called forward by the lock keeper.
Customers should note that they should not throw mooring ropes up to the lock keepers and must secure their craft within the lock chamber using the chains or ladders provided on the chamber walls.
Waterway users should observe signage in place regarding social distancing, and take note that there are no toilet or shower facilities open until further notice.
Locks will reopen for longer and winter mooring will end on the Shannon Navigation from Monday 29 June, Waterways Ireland has announced.
As previously reported, electricity and water services have been reconnected, and normal pump-out facilities are available.
However, Waterways Ireland service blocks will remain closed for the time being across its network of inland waterways.
And the five-day mooring rule will be in force from Monday 29 June. Boaters to not need to travel to move their vessel before this date.
Waterway users, whether on the water on on towpaths, are reminded to continue observing social distancing protocols — at least two metres from other people — and to stay within 20km of home until travel restrictions are relaxed with the start of phase three.