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Inland Waterway News. Boating on Ireland's Rivers, Lakes and Canals
Pictured at a photocall to mark the official opening of the restored Meelick Weir and Walkway in Meelick, Eyrecourt, Co Galway today are: John Mc Donagh, CEO Waterways Ireland, Malcolm Noonan TD Minister of State of Heritage & Darragh O Brien TD Minister for Housing Local Government & Heritage
The restored Meelick Weir and walkway on the River Shannon have been officially opened by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD.  The weir was damaged in…
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Grand Canal that Lock N1 on the Naas Branch is closed to boat passage until further notice due to a recent vehicle collision with the adjacent Osberstown Bridge. The lock cannot currently…
File image of Movanagher Lock on the Lower Bann
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation and Lower Bann Navigation that routine dive inspections are being carried out on all locks and waiting jetties until this Friday 24 September. All vessels are asked to take…
Coastwatch coordinator Karin Dubsky
Waterford inshore fisherman Sean Doherty will share his knowledge of eels with primary school children in Passage East, Waterford to mark World River Day this week. The students will be given a demonstration on nets and eel tagging at Cheekpoint…
The new boardwalk at Carrick on Shannon
Leitrim County Council has recently improved shoreside access to its Carrick on Shannon public marina, replacing its existing fixed boardwalk with a new 340m long by 2.4m wide floating walkway. Working with Deane Public Works, Inland and Coastal Marina Systems…
The Snipe dinghy Ranger at the Heritage Festival at Lough Erne
For a very long time, the Snipe class Dinghy Ranger languished in the Boathouse at Crom Castle on Upper Lough Erne, but after lengthy restoration by Fred and George Ternan, Ranger has been afloat twice recently and last weekend (18th…
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Waterways Ireland advises users of the Shannon Navigation that a number of locations throughout the Shannon, in particular harbours and bays, have experienced or are likely to experience algal blooms. This seasonal phenomenon is evident as a light pea-green and/or…
Brendan Watson, left (winner of the Gortmore Bell), Dan O’Donnell (Racing Captain of Iniscealtra Sailing Club)
The Iniscealtra Sailing Club annual Gortmore Bell race took place on Lough Derg on Saturday 11th September. With a forecast of only 5 to 7 knots, the course was shortened considerably to round Coose mark rather than Gortmore and return…
File image of Lower Lough Erne
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and users of the Shannon-Erne Waterway that tree trimming and hedge cutting will be carried out at various locations on these inland waterways during the autumn/winter period from this month until next February.…
Rob and Alice Armstrong sail Ranger on Upper Lough Erne
In late August, the Snipe dinghy Ranger, restored by Fred and George Ternan after sixty years lying abandoned on the Crom Estate, County Fermanagh, had her second outing on Upper Lough Erne at Crom. Ranger was one of two Snipes…
Debris from the boat explosion on the Grand Canal at Hazelhatch on Saturday 28 August
A live-aboard boat owner had a lucky escape after an explosion on his vessel at Hazelhatch on the Grand Canal on Saturday morning (28 August). It’s reported on social media that the owner was trapped on his boat until the…
File image of a canal lock gate in Dublin
Low water levels continue to be experienced on the Grand Canal’s Main Line and Barrow Line as well as on the Royal Canal, Waterways Ireland has warned. Some levels are currently 450mm down on normal levels, the cross-border body for…
Passing the White Bridge RNLI Lifeboat with swimmers Karen Delaney & Serena Friel (L-R) in the foreground
Just before tea-time yesterday (25 August) Serena Friel and Karen Reynolds swam under the Town Bridge in Athlone to complete an amazing 32km swim, the entire length of Lough Ree, in 10 hours and 13 minutes raising thousands of euro for…
File image of the Movanagher Canal on the Lower Bann
Waterways Ireland advises users of the Lower Bann that navigation at the Movanagher Canal may be restricted due to essential aquatic weed cutting operations this week. Cutting is scheduled to take place on the Northern Ireland inland waterway from today,…
Artist’s impression of the new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists over the River Corrib
Galway City Council has welcomed An Bord Pleanála’s approval for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge adjacent to the Salmon Weir Bridge over the River Corrib. The council’s chief executive said the new bridge is a part of its Galway…
File image of canoe polo on the Royal Canal
Waterways Ireland has issued a number of updates for inland waterways users on the Erne System, Grand and Royal Canals and Barrow Navigation. On the Erne System, the Galloon Bridge refurbishment project southwest of Newtownbutler will commence next Monday 23…

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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