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Inland Waterway News. Boating on Ireland's Rivers, Lakes and Canals
Professor Dearbháile Morris, School of Medicine, NUI Galway
More than 90% of samples taken from Irish rivers show the presence of E. coli, according to a new study from NUI Galway. And researchers found that the toxic bacteria was also present in bathing waters which pass muster with…
Work has been ongoing for many years to restore the Ulster Canal as a navigation and greenway
Proposals in the Fianna Fail/Fine Gael joint framework for a potential ‘Grand Coalition’ government could be a boon for the Ulster Canal and other cross-border infrastructure. Under the heading ‘A Shared Island’, the draft document describes the formation of a…
A Garda Water Unit fast boat like this was deployed on Lough Derg this past Thursday
Gardaí exercised their emergency powers this past Thursday (9 April) on Lough Derg, warning cruisers, motor boats and anglers alike to stay at home, as the Clare Echo reports. Terryglass Angling & Conservation Club informed its members on Thursday afternoon…
A boat for Holy Island on Lough Derg, Co Clare
Waterways Ireland’s message to all users of Ireland’s inland waterways this Easter weekend is to “please stay at home”. In a statement, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland navigations said: “We are aware that Easter is normally a time that…
Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen
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…
Boats on the Shannon Navigation
The Shannon Navigation plays hosts to some 8,400 boats, according to the draft tourism masterplan currently open for public consultation. And the figure of predominantly private leisure vessels far exceeds the number of berthing spaces, which total 4,500 across 58…
If effluent enters a river or stream the impact can be devastating at any time of year but are magnified in particular when river flows are reduced and dilution capacity is at a minimum
Inland Fisheries Ireland has issued an appeal to farmers to remain vigilant during the fertiliser spreading season to avoid water pollution and the loss of nutrients or other chemicals into rivers, lakes and other watercourses.  The appeal comes on the…
The Shannon Navigation in Athlone
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and users of Ireland’s inland waterways that the following closures are in place as of midnight last night, Monday 30 March: All locks on all navigations are closed until further notice. All service…
File image of leisure boats in Albert Lock on the Shannon Navigation
In a statement to its members, the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) confirms that personal use of vessels for leisure purposes is now prohibited under the Government’s added restrictions on movement to combat Covid-19. “All citizens on the island…
Lock & bridge passage is available on the Shannon Navigation
Waterways Ireland advises all Masters of vessels and water users of the following access to navigations and availability of services until further notice: All service blocks are closed until further notice (Ref MN 23 of 2020) Water, electricity and pump…
The new plan is part of an 18-month strategy to develop tourism along the Shannon corridor over the next decade to 2030
Waterways Ireland is continuing its public consultation on its Shannon tourism masterplan but has urged members of the public to respond online. The cross-border authority has published its draft masterplan and associated environmental report as part of an 18-month strategy…
Waterways Ireland Suspends All Passage In & Out Of Dublin On Royal & Grand Canals Until Further Notice
Waterways Ireland has issued notice to masters and owners of vessels that boat passage into or out of Dublin on the Grand Canal and Royal Canal will be postponed until further notice. This postponement also applies to bookings for Newcomen…
Albert Lock on the Jamestown Canal in Co Roscommon
Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that Albert Lock has been reopened to navigation following successful replacement of lock gates. In addition, the Jamestown Canal in Co Roscommon where the lock is located has…
Flood-Hit Facilities Remain Closed, Says Waterways Ireland
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users that inland waterways facilities that are currently closed following on from the recent and ongoing flood event will remain closed until further notice. The locks and bridge opening times on…
Precautions In Post-Flood Conditions On Shannon, Erne, Barrow & Lower Bann
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users that the flood levels are receding on the Shannon, Erne, Barrow and Lower Bann inland waterways. Operations staff are now preparing the jetties, quays, slipways and facilities for reactivation as…
Portumna Harbour in County Galway on the Shannon Navigation
Waterways Ireland has been urged to work with farmers who are facing serious flooding on the Shannon, as the agency initiates a new tourism masterplan for the river. IFA Connacht chair Pat Murphy said that it would be a “win,…

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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