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Inland Waterway News. Boating on Ireland's Rivers, Lakes and Canals
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Citing efforts to lower its environmental impact on the inland waterways, Carrickcraft says it will be changing its entire fleet from diesel to HVO biofuel from the start of the 2024 cruising season. HVO is a sustainable, low-carbon replacement for…
Ireland has been referred by the European Commission to its court of justice for failing to finalise revision of its river basin management plan. Ireland is one of six EU member states which have had the court referral issued to…
File image of Rooskey Lifting Bridge on the Shannon Navigation
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Shannon Navigation that the lifting bridges at Tarmonbarry and Rooskey in Co Roscommon will be closed on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 February to facilitate structural inspections. In…
Movanagher Lock on the Lower Bann
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Lower Bann navigation in Northern Ireland that due to the installation of new lock gates at Movanagher Lock, the lock will be closed for a period of around…
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Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Shannon Navigation that the westernmost section of the public jetty access at the Boyle Harbour public amenity in Boyle, Co Roscommon will be closed from Monday 5 to…
At sea level, the majestic granite construction of Dun Laoghaire Harbour blends so well with the many of the older buildings on the town's waterfront and its coastal surroundings that, after 200 years and more of its existence, many folk…
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Waterways Ireland has been accused of attempting to gentrify Grand Canal Dock with plans to hike annual fees for houseboat dwellers by nearly 700 per cent. Residents among the 30 vessels at the Dublin city centre mooring told The Journal…
File image of Shannon Harbour on the Grand Canal
Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that it will be carrying out maintenance works on the waiting jetty on the upstream side of the 35th Lock in Shannon Harbour. Works will begin on Monday 29 January and will…
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Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Grand Canal that the Barrow Line from Lock 24 (McCartney’s) to Lock 25 (Moores) will reopen to navigation on Thursday 28 March following essential quay wall refurbishment at Bell Harbour…
Carrybridge RNLI assisting four people onboard a broken down vessel on Lough Erne
At 5.32 pm on Sunday, 14 January, Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat on Upper Lough Erne was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard to assess a vessel with four people on board, which had broken down 2 miles North of…
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Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Shannon Navigation that access through Rooskey Lock in Co Leitrim will be limited until Friday 9 February. This is as due to planned maintenance works to the lock,…
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Waterways Ireland is inviting members of the public and interested parties to have their say on proposed revisions to the Shannon Navigation and canals bye-laws in a second phase of consultation. The consultation covers the Shannon Navigation (including the Shannon-Erne…
File image of Devenish Island in Lower Lough Erne
Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on and users of the Erne System in Northern Ireland that piling works have commenced adjacent to the East Jetty at Devenish Island on Lower Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh. This work is to…
The fascinating and often heart-warming story of Dublin Bay's lifeboats
The indefatigable maritime polymath Cormac Lowth is among the first back into presentation mode in 2024, with the fascinating and often heart-warming story of Dublin Bay's lifeboats told - and very well illustrated - in his renowned inimitable style. The…
Paddy Conaghan completes a swim as part of his 'Ducking and Driving Around the Lakes of Ireland for IMNDA' campaign
An 83-year-old Donegal man has set out to swim or dip in lakes across the 32 counties of Ireland to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA). Paddy Conaghan estimates it will take six weeks to complete…
The public mooring at Shannonbridge Quay
Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that the waterway is currently experiencing high water levels and fast flows. Masters and all other water users should proceed with additional caution and bear the following in…

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.