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Inland Waterway News. Boating on Ireland's Rivers, Lakes and Canals
Waterways Ireland Shuts Service Blocks, Locks & Bridges Amid Nationwide Level 5 Restrictions
Waterways Ireland has temporarily closed service blocks across its all-island network of inland waters as of today, Thursday 22 October. The move is in line with the latest coronavirus control measures announced by both the Northern Ireland Executive and the…
Late waterways historian Brian J Goggin
Afloat is saddened to learn of the death of Brian J Goggin, noted inland waterways historian and a former contributor to this publication. A longtime member of the Irish Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI), who served as editor of its…
Dromod Harbour in Co Leitrim
Waterways Ireland advises that essential maintenance works at Dromod Harbour on the Shannon Navigation in Co Leitrim are due to commence this Thursday 15 October and run until Friday 27 November. All on-site services, including water and pump-out facility, will…
The Barrow Navigation at Bagenalstown
Owners of boats without permits on the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal and the Barrow Navigation face the removal of their vessels by Waterways Ireland later this month. They are among the boats in contravention of bye-laws that will…
Cruisers on the Shannon at Killaloe in Co Clare
Waterways Ireland has suspended the five-day mooring rule until late October in the wake of the country’s move to Level 3 coronavirus restrictions. As of this past Wednesday 7 October, the rule — which prohibits vessels from mooring in one…
Plunkett Bridge at Pollagh on the Grand Canal
Waterways Ireland advises all users of the Grand Canal in Co Offaly that the southern tow path from Plunkett Bridge at Pollagh to Turraun — half-way between Tullamore and Shannon Harbour — will be closed from next Monday 12 October…
The Royal Canal at Ashtown east of the 10th lock
Navigation in or out of the Dublin on the Royal Canal is currently suspended until the completion of works on three separate lock gates. Waterways Ireland says repair and upgrading works are required at Lock 12 in Castleknock, Lock 10…
Squibs are hauled out at Kinsale Yacht Club last weekend. The 2020 Squib Inland Championships at Lough Derg are scheduled for October 9th
Just as Ireland's one-design keelboat classes were gearing up for the last blast of the season this weekend, anticipated COVID-19 restriction hikes are threatening the staging of the annual regatta at Dromineer in County Tipperary. Flying Fifteens, Dragons, Squibs and…
Satellite image of Lough Neagh
Environmental campaigners have hit out at a Stormont decision to approve sand dredging in Lough Neagh, as the Belfast Telegraph reports. Sand dredging has been practiced in Lough Neagh since the 1930s, with no permission needed until after the lough…
Victoria Lock at Meelick is the first lock upstream of Lough Derg
Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that low water levels exist on the upstream approaches to Meelick and Victoria Lock on the Shannon Navigation. Water levels are currently up to 39cm below summer levels in these areas due…
Greenway boardwalk on the Barrow Navigation
Waterways Ireland is encouraging the public to explore its more than 350km of waterside trails on National Walking Day this Sunday, 27 September. First held last year, National Walking Day is taking place on trails, towpaths and beaches as well…
Canoe polo is a popular activity at Mullingar Harbour
Waterways Ireland advises all masters and users of the Royal Canal that canoe polo events will take place in the vicinity of the harbour in Mullingar this weekend, 27-28 September and the following Sunday, 4 October. Boat movements in the…
Lough Derg as seen near Mountshannon
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users on Lough Derg to proceed with caution moving in or out of Mountshannon as the green navigation marker for the western side of Cribby Island is currently off station. Lough…
Lower Lough Erne
Users of the Erne System have been advised to expect reduced water levels throughout the navigation from Thursday 1 October. This is when water levels on Lower Lough Erne are expected to be drawn down by DfI Waters to a…
The 34th Lock on the Royal Canal at Balroe, Co Westmeath
Waterways Ireland advises that emergency works on the Royal Canal embankment in Westmeath will continue until the end of this month. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the inland waterway between the 34th and 35th locks, at Balroe and Ballynacarrigy respectively,…
Laura Cullinan and her daughters, Isobel and Alexia, with (from left) Longford County Council cathaoirleach Paul Ross, chief executive John Mahon and regeneration chief John McKeon
A new interactive outdoor experience along the Royal Canal hopes to bring to life the experience of famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown to Dublin at the height of An Gorta Mór. The National Famine Way was launched last Thursday…

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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