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Inland Waterway News. Boating on Ireland's Rivers, Lakes and Canals
File image of Bell Harbour on the Barrow Line in Monasterevin, Co Kildare
Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Grand Canal that the Barrow Line will be closed to vessel traffic from McCartney’s (Lock 24) to Moore’s (Lock 25) to enable essential quay wall refurbishment at Bell Harbour in…
Connemara sailors at Lough Derg's Freshwater Regatta -  Winners in the Flying Fifteen fleet, sailing
At the end of a busy season for many clubs in Dun Laoghaire Harbour and along the west coast, Lough Derg Yacht Club played host to the Fresh Water Keelboat Regatta last weekend, drawing a fleet of over 60 boats…
File image of Portora Lock outside Enniskillen
Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and inland waterways users that Portora Lock on the Erne System is currently operation. The lock will be operated daily from 8am to 10.30pm. During these times, a lock-keeper will be present and will…
Storm Babet will bring very heavy rainfall to Northern Ireland over the next 24 hours, particularly in Antrim and Down, with the Mourne Mountains set for downpours
The Rivers Trust has issued advice to the public ahead of the potential flood impacts of Storm Babet on Northern Ireland waters over the next few days. Yellow weather warnings have been issued across the rest of the week for…
A general view of Lucan Weir during The 60th Liffey Descent on the River Liffey at Lucan Weir in Lucan, Co Dublin
Riverside planting, recreating natural channels and reconnecting groundwater links could help offset high thermal extremes caused by climate change in rivers, a new study recommends. The study led by the University of Birmingham, along with the University of Nottingham and…
Royal Cork's Mel Collins, Aidan MacSweeney, and Harry Pritchard, sailing Gold Digger, were the SB20 class winners at Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater Keelboat Title at Dromineer
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Mel Collins, Aidan MacSweeny and Harry Pritchard sailing GoldDigger beat the SB20 national champions for overall honours at Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat One Design Regatta on Sunday.  The Crosshaven trio lifted the trophy after finishing on…
Ros an Mhíl's Dermot Flaherty and Joe McDonagh sailing Phoenix were winners of the Flying Fifteen class at the Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat Regatta
With the Flying Fifteen national title going west for the first time this year, the 2023 season just finished on a high for the class's burgeoning Connemara fleet, with Galway boats taking first and second in Lough Derg Yacht Club's…
Kinsale's Shawn Kingston, Donal Small and Conor Hemlock were the Dragon class winners at Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat Regatta
Counting four race wins Kinsale Yacht Club's Shawn Kingston, Donal Small and Conor Hemlock, sailing 'Grey Hare' were the clear winners of the Dragon Class at a cut-short Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat One Design Regatta on Sunday.  Five races…
Kinsale's Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan were the Squib class winners of Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater Keelboat One Design Regatta
A win in race four meant Kinsale Yacht Club Squib duo Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan won a cut-short Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat One Design Regatta on Sunday.  Four races were sailed on Saturday with one discard, but racing…
Grand Canal boat moorings at Lowtown, Co Kildare
Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Grand Canal that culvert replacement works will be commencing on the summit level from Thursday 2 November. These works — some 450 metres east of Lock 19 in Lowtown, Co…
Waterways Ireland logo
Waterways Ireland wishes to remind all masters and owners of vessels on the Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation that all canal permits expire on Wednesday 1 November and must be renewed. Permits can be renewed online at the…
Squib racing on Lough Derg at Dromineer
Squib National Champions Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough are among 33 class entries that will compete this weekend at Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater Keelboat Regatta in County Tipperary. Other entries…
A CGI image of the Liffey-Tolka Project along East Wall Road at Dublin Port
Dublin Port Company has received the final grant of planning permission for its innovative Liffey-Tolka Project. The project will establish a new and transformative public space featuring a dedicated 1.4km cycle and pedestrian path connecting the River Liffey with the…
A Northman 1200 Fly demo boat on the Shannon this summer demanded huge attention
At BJ Marine, we know the continued popularity of boating on Ireland’s inland waterways and the exceptional cruising grounds available to us, writes BJ's General Manager James Kirwan. We found that many major boat manufacturers had evolved their motorboat designs to…
Maritime Historian and diver Dr Eddie Bourke's shipwreck lecture will include a great many rare and interesting photographs and charts
Maritime Historian and diver Dr Eddie Bourke will be discussing shipwrecks around the coast of Ireland in the first of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers 2023 winter lecture series this month. The Liffeyside illustrated talk in aid of the RNLI will…
18th Erne Pike Fishing Classic logo
Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterways users on the Erne System that the Erne Pike Classic will take place this weekend from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 October. Friday involves a shore-based angling competition. The Waterways Ireland jetties…

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.