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Just Days Left In Canal Bye-Laws Consultation

29th January 2014
Just Days Left In Canal Bye-Laws Consultation

#Canals - Just a few days remain in the consultation period on proposed new bye-laws for the Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation.

And the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) is urging its members and the public alike to get their submissions of concern in via the association before the deadline on Monday 3 February.

The latest statement from the IWAI refers to a number of meetings and protests throughout the country in response to the proposed introduction of new bye-laws that include charges for waterways usage and mooring, and fines for breaking the new regulations.

A meeting in Tullamore on 16 January was attended by many concerned groups and politicians to discuss the implications for rural counties.

More recently, Kildare IWAI's public meeting on Monday 27 January had a large attendance of waterways enthusiasts and public representatives.

And on the River Barrow groups and communities are affected and concerned by the new charge on their waterway of €50 per open fishing boat.

"The current bye-laws date from 1988, but have never been properly enforced," says the IWAI. "Instead of changing these properly for the better, to encourage navigation users, tourism and social development in and along the canals, Waterways Ireland instead in many cases suggest a draconian structure for boat use of navigations.

"This will deprive locations along waterways of all the social and economic advantages of boat tourism, from both the domestic and international markets."

Already the various proposed charges have caused consternation among waterways users, particularly those mooring houseboats who face fees of up to €3,500 each year.

"The boating community is not averse to appropriate management, facility provision, and access to waterways," says the IWAI.

"But boats are key attractions, as the lifeblood of the navigations, and need to be welcomed."

Published in Inland Waterways
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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