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Waterways Ireland Marks First 20 Years With Promise To Keep Navigations ‘Blooming’

2nd April 2020
Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen Photo: Waterways Ireland

Yesterday, Wednesday 1 April, marked 20 years since the creation of Waterways Ireland, following the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and 1999’s British-Irish Agreement Act.

“During these days when the Covid-19 virus overshadows our thoughts, it is particularly important not to forget milestones, and people, that have brought us to where we are,” said the cross-border body for Ireland's inland waterways as it referenced a title from Blasket Islands author Muriis Ó Suilleabháin.

Fiche bliain ag fás translates as 20 years growing — a situation to which Waterways Ireland credits the hard work of its staff in tandem with public, private, community and voluntary sector bodies and individuals alike.

“We have developed the infrastructure, opening up locations as key tourism destinations, adding value to local and national economies,” it added.

“We have facilitated the opportunity for locals to get out on, and along, the waterways, providing recreational opportunities, improving their health and well-being and giving all the ability to experience new ways to enjoy the local environment.

“This has been done whilst having the greatest respect and care for the wonderful heritage and environment, on and along the waterways.

“We thank our staff for their hard work and commitment over the past 20 years in preserving and enhancing some of the island’s greatest treasures, and we especially remember our former colleagues who are no longer with us. We also thank our sponsor departments and partners for their collaboration in all that we do.”

Taking note of the ongoing pandemic response, Waterways Ireland said: “We recognise that in the current climate when we all battle to look after ourselves, our families, our communities and indeed our nation, that looking beyond next week or next month may be difficult.

“We will however spend the next 20 years ‘blooming’ with the same effort as has been shown in the past, maintaining and enhancing our waterways so that they continue to be assets of national pride in the future.

“Thank you to all who have played their part in the past 20 years, and we look forward with pride to the future.”

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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