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Waterways Ireland Signs Contract for Phase 2 of Ulster Canal Restoration

25th July 2022
From left: Waterways Ireland CEO John McDonagh; Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien; Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys; and John Pentony, managing director of Jons Civil Engineering Company Ltd at the signing of the contract to start Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal restoration project in Clones on Monday 25 July
From left: Waterways Ireland CEO John McDonagh; Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien; Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys; and John Pentony, managing director of Jons Civil Engineering Company Ltd at the signing of the contract to start Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal restoration project in Clones on Monday 25 July

Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal restoration has been officially initiated with a contract signing in Clones, Co Monaghan this morning (Monday 25 July).

The contract was signed by Waterways Ireland chief executive John McDonagh and John Pentony, managing director of Jons Civil Engineering Company Ltd in the presence of Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys.
 
The project, which is due to go on site in August 2022, will involve the development of a new marina, two new access bridges, repairs to an existing masonry arch bridge and a sustainable water supply.

It will also include approximately 1km of restored canal and towpath, with a looped walk and an amenity area on the route of the 180-year-old Ulster Canal in Clones.

The amenity area will include car parking, bus/trailer spaces, a service block and picnic area and will be connected to the town and the existing playground. This phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2023. 
 
The Ulster Canal Redevelopment Phase 2 is a substantial investment of €20m in funding under the Programme for Government. It is supported by €8m in funding from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, €6m in funding from the Shared Island Fund and €6m in funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Works will be undertaken by Jons Civil Engineering Company Ltd. The project will be managed by Waterways Ireland and implemented by Doran Consulting.
 
Minister O’Brien said: “This new amenity — between Clones and Clonfad — will further showcase our waterways heritage and its value to the island. The redeveloped canal is sure to be a welcome draw for locals and visitors alike, enhancing the local area and providing economic opportunity.”
 
Minister Heather Humphreys said: “As somebody who lives only a few miles out the road, I am absolutely delighted that the contracts have been signed today on the long-awaited restoration of the Ulster Canal in Clones.

“The Ulster Canal is a flagship cross-border project and I am delighted to support the development of this unique amenity with almost €6million in funding from my Department. The Ulster Canal will bring huge tourism and economic benefits not just to Clones and Co Monaghan but to the entire Border region.”
 
McDonagh also welcomed the development: “The Ulster Canal is a major link in our waterway network. Phase 2 will see substantial restoration of the canal basin near the historic Canal Stores in Clones and will provide a water-based recreational amenity area there. The Ulster Canal Greenway is also in development and will, in time, complement the canal restoration project.”
 
Work on the Ulster Canal began in 1841 and within the year it was open to commercial traffic. The navigation combining river and canal was circa 93km long, passing through Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan, Tyrone, and Armagh. The last trading boat using the canal was in 1929 and it officially closed in 1931.
 
Phase 1 of the project was completed in 2020. It includes some 2.5km of new river navigation along the River Finn between Quivvy Lough and Castle Saunderson. The work programme involved the dredging of the River Finn, construction of a new lateral canal and navigation arch at Derrykerrib bridge and the installation of a new floating jetty at Castle Saunderson.

Published in Inland Waterways
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