#inland – The IWAI has welcomed Kildare County Council's rejection of the Waterways Ireland proposed Canal Bye-law amendments passed unanimously on Monday 24 February 2014.
Speaking this week, Carmel Meegan, President of The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) welcomed the unanimous support from Kildare's democratically elected representatives in the Council and added that it provides further proof that "the proposed bye-laws do not put user requirements, tourism development and local communities at the centre of the regulations."
The motion was moved by Councillor John McGinley.
It has been confirmed that at the end of the brief public consultation period of 21 days on Feb 3rd communities along the waterways had sent over 2100 submissions of concern to Waterways Ireland, with over 1800 of these being passed to IWAI (for IWAI to submit to Waterways Ireland). A number of international and national organisations and community groups have allowed the IWAI to publish their submissions on our campaign web page at www.iwai.ie.
Concerns continue to be aired including questions from members of the Seanad and the Dail; national and local press articles; television and radio interviews and features; community websites; blogs and facebook pages, in the Canals and Barrow as a national resource.
Politically, this has grown to be a very big issue nationally and regionally and is featuring highly as politicians face into local elections this summer.
Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht has responsiblilty for signing any new regulations into law.
The bye-laws should concern Mr. Leo Varadkar, TD, Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport as to the potential of the 'Green and Silver' navigation route, from Dublin to the Shannon via the Grand or Royal Canals and vice versa. This is promoted by Dublin IWAI.
Further work of Mr. Phil Hogan, TD, Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government should not be ruined by Waterways Ireland doing their own thing with a national resource. The Local Government Reform Bill 2014 give localities more power.
Additionally, economic opportunities for enterprise development on inland navigations should interest Mr. Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The boating community is not averse to appropriate management, facility provision, and access to waterways. But boats are key attractions, as the lifeblood of the navigations, and need to be welcomed.