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Latest Inland Stories
Boating on the Shannon-Erne Waterway
The Shannon-Erne Waterway begins its 25th year of operation tomorrow, Thursday 23 May. It also marks start of a year of community, heritage and fun events all along the waterway linking Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh, through Co Cavan and…
The view towards Maghoo from Clareview across Lough Erne
The Fermanagh and Omagh Community Planning Partnership are reviewing the content of their 2030 Community Plan as required by legislation. To assist in the first stage of this process, they are undertaking a ‘light touch’ community engagement to reaffirm and…
Minister Josepha Madigan, Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland and Rowing Ireland chief executive and Michelle Carpenter with pupils and staff of of St Mary’s Glasnevin at the launch of the new strategic partnership earlier this month
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, announced a new strategic partnership between Waterways Ireland and Rowing Ireland during the Get Going, Get Rowing #Blitzit Festival of Rowing on Grand Canal Dock on 9 May. The partnership will seek to promote…
Vintage Barges Bring ‘Floating Fringe Festival’ To Mountshannon For June Bank Holiday Weekend
Vintage barges and fantastic events are promised in the line-up as the Mountshannon Arts Festival returns this June Bank Holiday, Thursday 30 May to Monday 3 June. Inspired by this year’s theme, ‘Roots and Wings’, the festival features all facets…
Part of the River Newport as seen after OPW flood relief works in December 2018
The Office of Public Works has been accused of showing “disdain” for Ireland’s natural heritage over flood relief works on a waterway in Co Limerick. The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) criticised the clearing last year of some 3km of wild habitat…
The Fló Beo team are experienced open water swimmers ready for the challenge ahead
A trio of self-described ‘ordinary’ women will be attempting the extraordinary later this summer when they set out to swim the length of the River Shannon for charity. Fló Beo, which means ‘the living flow’, developed from an idea that…
Waterways Ireland Appoints New Acting Chief Executive
John McDonagh has been appointed acting chief executive officer of Waterways Ireland, the cross-border body for inland waterways accountable to the North South Ministerial Council under the 1998 British-Irish Agreement. McDonagh is an English, history and politics graduate of UCD…
The River Barrow at Bagenalstown, Co Carlow
Proposals for a new blueway along the River Barrow have been blocked by planners who objected to the scheme for a hard surface along the 115km of towpath. But as The Irish Times reports, many locals and users of the…
Lough Corrib, second largest lake in Ireland after Lough Neagh, which is the focus of a new community partnership to transform it into Ireland's lake district for walkers
Oscar Wilde’s surgeon dad waxed lyrical about it, Vikings lost their weapons in it, and poitín makers and anglers have shared their knowledge of its rocks and islands. The Corrib – this island’s second largest lake after Lough Neagh –…
Native white-clawed crayfish like this one have been threatened by outbreaks of crayfish plague
The Marine Institute in Oranmore, Co Galway will host an Irish Crayfish Seminar on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May in response to recent outbreaks of crayfish plague in Ireland’s waterways. A series of talks by invited speakers from across…
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…

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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