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Displaying items by tag: Lower Bann

Waterways Ireland is proposing extensive refurbishment works to the weir at Carnroe on the Lower Bann between Lough Neagh and Coleraine.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says Carnroe Weir is essential to the retention of water levels and boat movements along the length of the Lower Bann.

Works would be carried out over an 18-month period and in such a manner so as to conserve the heritage value of the current structure and to give a minimum operational life span of 75 years, Waterways Ireland adds.

The main in-river works would be undertaken in the summer months when water levels are typically lower.

In addition, the existing fish pass would be replaced with a new modern pass to comply with the requirements of Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera), which has responsibility for the fishery on the Lower Bann.

Waterways Ireland says it has engaged with consultants to undertake surveys and assessments, as well as consultations with landowners and other stakeholders, with a view to finalise details of the scheme and submit a planning application — including a full Environmental Impact Assessment — by the end of this month.

Published in Inland Waterways

Preparations are in full swing at the Glenone Coarse Angling Facility (known locally as Molloy’s Ford) at Portglenone in Co Antrim ahead of the world-renowned European Coarse Fishing Championships, set to take place on the Lower Bann later this month.

It will be the first time that Northern Ireland will host an angling event of this calibre since the World Championships were held on the River Erne in 1992, and the Newry Canal in 1982.

The National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI) was awarded the honour of hosting the 25th anniversary of this event by the Fédéracion International de la Pêche Sportive, and has been working closely with the local community to bring the event to this area of Mid Ulster.

The championships are set to be staged around the communities of Portglenone and Bellaghy in the Bann Corridor, an area of outstanding natural beauty where the teams representing 18 nations will be hosted throughout the event, bringing a welcome boost to the local economy.

Significant investment from Waterways Ireland and Mid Ulster District Council and the generosity of local landowners has led to the enhancement of the existing coarse fishing facility to support an angling event of this size.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Martin Kearney, expressed his delight in anticipation of the forthcoming championships.

“Preparations are almost complete to welcome over 100 anglers from countries all across Europe to the magnificent Lower Bann River at Portglenone-Bellaghy. The site has an established angling heritage as home of a number of large coarse angling festivals, including the annual Bann Bonanza, and our investment will create a River venue capable of hosting further international competitions in years to come.

“We would encourage the local community to come out to welcome the anglers in force at the Parade of Nations, a colourful affair which will see member of local community groups welcome the teams in procession as they make their way from Seamus Heaney Homeplace to the GAA Hall in Bellaghy on Thursday 27 June at 5.30pm.”

Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland said the cross-border body is “delighted to welcome so many international visitors to experience exceptional angling along the Lower Bann.

“They will undoubtedly enjoy the new facilities installed along the river at Portglenone and we look forward to working on other similar collaborative projects in the future, in continuing to develop and promote the excellent angling product available.”

Event organiser Jack Tisdall of the NCFFI said: “To host this prestigious event is fantastic news for the coarse angling community as we are providing Ireland with its first world-class angling facility on a river. Further planned developments will support the inclusivity of all in our sport and leave a legacy of angling for the area.”

Teams will train on the venue from Monday 23 to Friday 28 of June ahead of the Parade of Nations on Thursday 27 June where the chair of Mid Ulster District Council will ceremoniously receive the flags from the teams and the championships will be declared open by the president of FIPSed (Fédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive en Eau Douce) on Saturday and Sunday 29-30 June.

Enthusiasts will be delighted with the opportunity to watch top rods in action on the bank, such as England’s Will Raison and Hungary’s Tamas Walter, as well as team Italy which is currently ranked number one in the world.

For more details of the European Coarse Fishing Championships, please visit the dedicated website HERE.

If you are a local community group who would like to take part in the Parade of Nations, contact Helen Rainsford, NCFFI public relations, on 07711 607 200.

The NCFFI is also appealing to members of all communities for their help in stewarding the event with 100 volunteers are required.

If you are available from 8am to 2pm on the Saturday and Sunday, or both, please visit the event website for more details and to register online.

Published in Angling

#InlandWaters - The proposed Blueway route between Toome and Coleraine along the Lower Bann corridor as moved a step closer to fruition as work was recently completed on Phase One of the project at Glenone.

In the joint venture between Mid Ulster District Council and Waterways Ireland, supported by Angling NI, Honourable Irish Society, National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland and local landowner William Chesney, a new multi-use public path along the riverbank was developed.

This accesses an additional 25 coarse angling stands installed as part of the phased works that complement the existing 89 angling stands and associated facilities already at the site, known locally as Molloy’s Ford.​

The work, delivered by Mid Ulster District Council, completed by IL Contracting and project managed by Robinsons & Sons, Ballymoney, was made possible by funding from Waterways Ireland and is part of a proposal to develop a Blueway route from the town of Portglenone to Newferry West, a length of approximately 7km.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake, welcomed the development, saying: “The council recognises the importance of sensitively and appropriately maximising the potential of our natural attractions, such as the Lower Bann flowing through our district, and this project is an example where building collaborative partnerships has resulted in an improved river corridor that will generate and sustain a vibrant and healthy community and economy.

“As well as providing recreational walking, cycling, running and angling opportunities to local people, the site will see international visitors in June when it hosts the 2019 FIPSed 25th European Coarse Angling Championship.”

Waterways Ireland’s Stephen Douglas said of this first phase: “It has brought together a wide range of stakeholder partners in delivering what is the first phase of establishing a Blueway path between Portglenone and Newferry and provision of infrastructure to host the 2019 European Coarse Angling Championship. Our vision is to develop Blueway infrastructure, where possible, along the full length of the Lower Bann River.

“To this end we hope to continue working with our partner organisations to develop the product, gain statutory approvals and pursue funding. Blueways developed to date along our navigations have proven to engage local communities and visitors alike and have contributed significantly in economic and social regeneration of towns and communities along our waterways”.

Blueways are a network of multi-activity recreational trails, based on or alongside idyllic inland waterways, which provide scenic routes into the heart of the countryside traversed by canoe, bike or on foot. Their value lies not only in the recreational opportunities that they offer residents and visitors, but also in their potential to stimulate local businesses and regenerate local areas.

For more information on the project, see www.midulstercouncil.org

Published in Inland Waterways

#Riverfest - Avid fans of watersports from across the UK & Ireland will descend on Coleraine on 9-10 August when the Waterways Ireland Riverfest takes place on the Lower Bann River and Christie Park.

On the water, wakeboarding, jetskiing and bare-footing demos will run throughout the day each day with competitive stand-up paddle boarding and sailing, rowing and angling all in the packed family fun programme.

Off the water, an inflatable fun area welcomes kids of all ages, alongside climbing walls, a boat and motor-home display, food and retail areas and the all-Ireland u90kg Strong Man and Strong Woman finals.

Sponsored by Waterways Ireland and supported by Coleraine Borough Council, the event runs 10.30am to 6pm on the Saturday and 12.30pm to 6pm on the Sunday and is free for all the family.

"The Waterways Ireland Riverfest in Coleraine receives our support because it engages more families, young people in waterway recreation in a spectacular and innovative fashion, leading the way with a range of events and activities you cannot experience elsewhere," said Waterways Ireland chief executive Dawn Livingstone.

"Thousands of people have enjoyed the Riverfest and have become great enthusiasts for their watersport and ambassadors for the event, the Lower Bann and Coleraine."

Rob Skelly, owner of The Edge Watersports in Coleraine and one of the event organisers, added: "The Waterways Ireland Riverfest has been a phenomenal success since we launched eight years ago. For 2014, the line-up will be bigger and better cementing its reputation as one of the best watersports events across the UK and Ireland.

"The natural waterway of the Lower River Bann provides a wonderful platform and backdrop for the magnificent displays. Once again we are delighted to be working alongside Waterways Ireland who is as ever supportive and actively promoting recreational opportunities on the inland waterways.

"Coleraine Borough Council are avid supporters of the event contributing since the events inception both financially and with some valued in-kind support, which has assisted the festival extend its land based offering to visitors on this idyllic site adjacent to the River Bann."

Mayor of Coleraine George Duddy met with the festival team by the River Bann to see for himself the wealth of entertainment planned for this year's event.

"Coleraine Borough Council has continued to support the development of this event as it attracts residents and visitors to an important location in the town," he said. "The River Bann provides the focus to this free family fun day, which is a great weekend for families of all ages, while supporting the local businesses to showcase the town for shoppers.

"I look forward to this year's event and congratulate all the teams involved in continuing to develop the Waterways Ireland Riverfest programme, as a significant attraction in the Borough's calendar of events."

For further information click on the Waterways Ireland Riverfest​ events page on Facebook HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Waterways Ireland is advising all masters and users of the Erne navigation that a fireworks display will take place at Castle Island in Enniskillen on Hallowe'en night around 8pm.

Masters of vessels are advised that in there interest of public safety, there will be no mooring permitted at the Waterways Ireland head office mooring nor at the Henry Street public jetties on the day of the event.

Navigation in the vicinity of Castle Island is also prohibited for the duration of the event.

Alternative mooring is available at the Forum and Regal Pass jetties with easy access to event vantage points. Instructions from safety vessels must be adhered to at all times.

Further information may be had from the Lough Erne manager/warden at the Waterways Ireland head office at +44 48 66 322 836.

Meanwhile, Waterways Ireland also reminds masters and users of the Lower Bann and Shannon waterways that the winter schedule for lock and bridge opening times will take effect from this coming Thursday 1 November, running till Sunday 31 March 2013.

Full details of opening times are available on PDF format for both the Lower Bann Navigation and the Shannon Navigation.

Published in Inland Waterways

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Waterways Ireland has issued notice of a planned closure of the Royal Canal in Clonard, Co Meath over the winter months, as well as restrictions on the Lower Bann this coming Wednesday.

In Clonard, the stretch of the canal between Blackshade Bridge and Hill of Down will be closed from 1 October 2012 till 17 March 2013 to facilitate essential bank strengthening works.

Waterways Ireland wishes to thank all owners and masters of vessels using the Royal Canal for their co-operation in this matter.

Meanwhile, on the Lower Bann there will be an interruption to electricity supply in the Movanagher area in Co Derry this Wednesday 19 September.

All owners and masters are advised that there will be restricted access to Movanagher Lock and swing bridge on that date, and vessels of more than 26 feet (8 metres) will not be permitted to make passage.

Published in Inland Waterways

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