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Latest Inland Stories
The Royal Canal at Kinnegad, Co Westmeath
Shannonside FM reports that veteran inland waterways campaigner Dr Ian Bath has died aged 90. Beginning in the 1970s, Dr Bath led the charge to revive the Royal Canal between Dublin and the River Shannon as a tourism amenity. Through…
St Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick city will host the free concert on Friday 3 May and a special ecumenical prayer service on Sunday 5 May
The Church of Ireland in Limerick city will be celebrating the traditions and legacy of Ireland’s inland waterways through story and song with a special free concert at St Mary’s Cathedral from 8pm on Friday 3 May. Radharc na hAbhann…
Banagher Harbour on the Shannon Navigation
The winter mooring period ends on Sunday 31 Mar 2019. Thereafter Navigation Bye-law No. 17(3) applies i.e. vessels should not berth in the same harbour for longer than the statutory period of 5 consecutive days nor more than a total…
Network Of Inland Waterways Of Europe Launches New Website
The Network of Inland Waterways of Europe (NIWE) has launched its new website to celebrate and promote the many and varied benefits of Europe’s canals, lakes and rivers. The NIWE, of which Waterways Ireland is a member, has been involved…
Coypu are known for their large size compared to other river rodents
Waterways Ireland advises all users of sightings on the Royal Canal at Ashtown of a large invasive rodent species that is highly damaging to river, lake and canal banks. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the coypu — also known as the…
Launching the Waterways For Health programme
Waterways Ireland has announced the launch of a walking programme along canal and river routes across Kildare, Carlow and Laois. The aim of the Waterways For Health programme — in conjunction with Get Ireland Walking, and Local Sports Partnerships from…
Turning the first sod on the Meelick Weir project on Friday 1 March
#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…
Eel at Lough Muckno
A new heritage group is seeking to preserve traditional net fisheries under threat of disappearing from Ireland’s landscape. The Traditional Net Fishers Steering Group was established earlier this year by “a group of like-minded individuals” who united to examine ways…
Grand Canal Basin taken from the top of the Montevetro building
A floating food market is one of a number of ideas being mooted for in Grand Canal Dock by Waterways Ireland, the Dublin InQuirer reports. Such a scheme would include a waterfront dining area and a co-working space along with…
This Dutch steel cruiser is one of a number of boats in Shannon Harbour being made available by Waterways Ireland in a safe of craft
Waterways Ireland intends to dispose, by public tender, of a number of vessels removed from the Grand Canal at Shannon Harbour, Tullamore, Barrow Navigation, Killaloe Canal and Shannon Bridge. Twelve vessels are presently stored on the South Bank of the…
Warning Over Low Water Levels For Navigation On Royal Canal
#RoyalCanal - Waterways Ireland is advising masters and users of the Royal Canal that due to unprecedented dry weather conditions and low rainfall levels and subsequent low levels in Lough Owel, navigation water levels cannot be guaranteed on certain sections…
Athletics Ireland Launches Strategic Partnership With Waterways Ireland
Athletics Ireland and Waterways Ireland have announced a new strategic partnership which will seek to promote physical activity on the more than 1,000km of trails and facilities across the Waterways Ireland system. The partnership will see a range of Athletics…
River Explorers Programme Expanded & Fully Booked For 2019
Waterways Ireland and Leave No Trace Ireland are working in partnership again to deliver their River Explorers programme. River Explorers engages local primary school children to take pride in their local river, lake or canal. Funding was successfully secured during…
Devenish Island on Lough Erne is one of the monastic sites that would feature as part of a Pilgrim Way, for which a feasibility study is currently being undertaken
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…
Online Applications For Mooring & Passage Canal Permits Now Open
#InlandWaters - Combined mooring and passage permits and extended mooring permits for the Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation for the 2019 season are now available online from Waterways Ireland. All permits will run until Thursday 31 October, with…
Some of the boat building team with a Lough Erne Cot produced in a joint effort between Cavan Town Men’s Shed and Lough Erne Heritage in 2016
A new community heritage project in Co Fermanagh focuses on raising awareness and preserving the heritage of traditional boat building and the cultural heritage of the people who lived on and around the shores of Lough Erne. The ERNE Programme,…

Whether you're a boat enthusiast, historian, archaeologist, fisherman, or just taken by the natural beauty of Ireland's waterways, you will find something of interest in our Inland pages on Afloat.ie.

Inland Waterways

Ireland is lucky to have a wealth of river systems and canals crossing the country that, while once vital for transporting goods, are today equally as important for angling, recreational boating and of course tourism.

From the Barrow Navigation to the Erne System, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation, these inland waterways are popular year in, year out for anyone with an interest in rambling; flora and fauna; fishing; sailing; motorboating; canoeing, kayaking and waterskiing; and cruising on narrowboats.

Although most will surely identify Ireland's inland waterways with boating holidays and a peaceful afternoon's angling, many varieties of watersport are increasingly favoured activities. Powerboat and Jetski courses abound, as do opportunities for waterskiing or wakeboarding. For those who don't require engine power, there's canoeing and kayaking, as Ireland's waterways have much to offer both recreational paddlers and those looking for more of a challenge. And when it comes to more sedate activities, there's nothing like going for a walk along a canal or river bank following some of the long-distance Waymarked Ways or Slí na Sláinte paths that criss-cross the country.

Ireland's network of rivers, lakes and canals is maintained by Waterways Ireland, which is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British-Irish Agreement in 1999. The body has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways on the island of Ireland, principally for recreational purposes. It also maintains Ireland's loughs, lakes and channels which are sought after for sailing; the network of canal locks and tow paths; as well as any buoys, bridges and harbours along the routes.

Along the Grand and Royal Canals and sections of the Barrow Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Waterways Ireland is also responsible for angling activities, and charges Inland Fisheries Ireland with carrying out fisheries development, weed management and ensuring water quality.

Brian Goggin's Inland Blog

Giving his personal perspective on Ireland's Inland Waterways from present-day activities to their rich heritage, Brian Goggin tells it like it is with his Inland Blog.

From recognising achievements in management of the waterways to his worries on the costs of getting afloat on Ireland's canals, Goggin always has something important to say.

He also maintains the website Irish Waterways History that serves as a repository for a wealth of historical accounts of the past commercial and social uses alike of Ireland's rivers and canals, which were once the lifeblood of many a rural community.

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