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Latest Inland Stories
Carlow Tourism Industry Members Support Barrow Towpath Plans
#InlandWaters - Carlow Tourism board members were strong in their praise and support for the Barrow Towpath Development Project at their most recent meeting. Industry members noted that the project, spearheaded by Waterways Ireland, is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to develop…
The Archaeology of the Erne Waterways Talk
Lough Erne Heritage will hold a free talk at 2:00pm, on Saturday 25 February by Claire Foley on ‘The Archaeology of the Erne Waterways’. Claire Foley, an archaeologist of some 45 years’ experience, working first from Dublin when she excavated Parkes Castle…
Using the Limerick Waterway is the theme of a conference in March by the Inland Navigations of Ireland Historical Society
Inland Navigations of Ireland Historical Society are holding a One Day Conference in March on the Limerick Navigation. Speakers on the day include Dr Joachim Fischer who will talk about the Construction of Ardnacrusha and Brian Goggin on 'Killaloe an Open…
The Royal Canal west of Maynooth, Co Kildare
#RoyalCanal - Waterways Ireland advises that the Royal Canal towpath west of Maynooth, Co Kildare from Bond Bridge to Jacksons Bridge, a section of around 1.7km in length, will remain closed until March to undertake further cycle and pedestrian upgrade…
Brexit Is ‘A Positive’ Says New Lough Erne Resort Manager
#LoughErne - New Lough Erne Resort general manager William Kirby sees Brexit as another opportunity to build the Lough Erne brand and the golf resort’s reputation as a worldwide destination. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Kirby says he is under…
Satellite view of Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the island of Ireland
#LoughNeagh - Friends of the Earth (FoE) is appealing a ruling against its claims that Stormont is “turning a blind eye” to sand dredging in Lough Neagh, as the News Letter reports. The environmental group brought the issue before the…
Autumn on the River Shannon
#Shannon - The latest meeting of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group in Carrick-on-Shannon saw the unprecedented decision to develop a plan for a strategic maintenance programme on the River Shannon. Programmed maintenance works have not been…
Fish killed on the Owentaraglin River
Inland Fisheries Ireland is investigating a major fish kill on the Owentaraglin River, a tributary of the Munster Blackwater River, in North West Cork. Fisheries Officers discovered more than 1,200 fish mortalities over a two kilometre stretch of the river…
Minister Michael Ring TD, Minister for Regional Economic Development with Waterways Ireland Staff, Elected and Executive Members of Leitrim County Council at Acres Lake, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim.
Michael Ring T.D. Minister for Regional Economic Development visited the site of the iconic new Boardwalk planned for Acres Lake, Drumshanbo, the final part of the Shannon Blueway linking Carrick-on-Shannon to Drumshanbo. Recently awarded €500,000 of Rural Recreation Funding from…
An upgraded Barrow line will provide a 'multi-use shared leisure route' connecting Lowtown in County Kildare to St. Mullins in County Carlow
Waterways Ireland will submit planning applications to Kildare, Laois and Carlow County Councils in December 2016 for upgrades to the Barrow Way-marked Way. The planning submission is an application for the upgrading of the existing navigation towpath which is also…
Taking place annually for the past 11 years the Programme has supported competitions and activities on the waterways
Waterways Ireland 2017 Event Programme welcomes applications from event organisers for events taking place on or along the waterways. Formerly called the Sponsorship Programme in 2017, Waterways Ireland Event Programme is seeking applications for sustainable events and activity in waterway…
IWAI believes that it is a negative and imbalanced approach to introduce legislation that penalises 99% of waterways communities to address the problematic area of 1% (due to unlicensed boats, harbour hogging)
On November 17th, the Association of Irish Local Government highlighted their serious concerns with the proposed legislation and its potential to deny the elected members of Local Authorities to input into proposed Canal Bye-laws that may affect the potential development of…
Funding under the REDZ (Rural Economic Development Zones) initiative is to stimulate economic development along rural waterways, Blueways and their hinterlands
Waterways Ireland has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, TD, of €842,000 funding under the REDZ (Rural Economic Development Zones) initiative, which will stimulate economic development along rural waterways, Blueways and…
500 structures are mapped on Ireland’s River Nore alone
Ireland’s rivers are too fragmented due to human activity according to Inland Fisheries Ireland at the launch of new European project called AMBER which aims to restore river connectivity. The project, which stands for Adaptive Management of Barriers in European…
Applications Open For 2017 Waterways Heritage Community Grants
#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has launched its 2017 Heritage in the Community Grants Programme in support of the Waterways Ireland Heritage Plan 2016-2020. The Waterways Ireland Heritage Plan provides, for the first time, a strategic framework for the integration of…
The Eglinton Canal in Galway city
#InlandWaters - The most recent episode of RTÉ One’s Building Ireland looks at the construction of the Victorian-era Eglinton Canal, as Galway Bay FM reports. A commercially successful waterway in its day despite its short length, less than a mile…

Whether you're a boat enthusiast, historian, archaeologist, fisherman, or just taken by the natural beauty of Ireland's waterways, you will find something of interest in our Inland pages on Afloat.ie.

Inland Waterways

Ireland is lucky to have a wealth of river systems and canals crossing the country that, while once vital for transporting goods, are today equally as important for angling, recreational boating and of course tourism.

From the Barrow Navigation to the Erne System, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation, these inland waterways are popular year in, year out for anyone with an interest in rambling; flora and fauna; fishing; sailing; motorboating; canoeing, kayaking and waterskiing; and cruising on narrowboats.

Although most will surely identify Ireland's inland waterways with boating holidays and a peaceful afternoon's angling, many varieties of watersport are increasingly favoured activities. Powerboat and Jetski courses abound, as do opportunities for waterskiing or wakeboarding. For those who don't require engine power, there's canoeing and kayaking, as Ireland's waterways have much to offer both recreational paddlers and those looking for more of a challenge. And when it comes to more sedate activities, there's nothing like going for a walk along a canal or river bank following some of the long-distance Waymarked Ways or Slí na Sláinte paths that criss-cross the country.

Ireland's network of rivers, lakes and canals is maintained by Waterways Ireland, which is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British-Irish Agreement in 1999. The body has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways on the island of Ireland, principally for recreational purposes. It also maintains Ireland's loughs, lakes and channels which are sought after for sailing; the network of canal locks and tow paths; as well as any buoys, bridges and harbours along the routes.

Along the Grand and Royal Canals and sections of the Barrow Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Waterways Ireland is also responsible for angling activities, and charges Inland Fisheries Ireland with carrying out fisheries development, weed management and ensuring water quality.

Brian Goggin's Inland Blog

Giving his personal perspective on Ireland's Inland Waterways from present-day activities to their rich heritage, Brian Goggin tells it like it is with his Inland Blog.

From recognising achievements in management of the waterways to his worries on the costs of getting afloat on Ireland's canals, Goggin always has something important to say.

He also maintains the website Irish Waterways History that serves as a repository for a wealth of historical accounts of the past commercial and social uses alike of Ireland's rivers and canals, which were once the lifeblood of many a rural community.

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