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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Inland Waterway News. Boating on Ireland's Rivers, Lakes and Canals
Dredging on the Lower Bann
Waterways Ireland says it is undertaking a “significant programme” of maintenance works on inland waterways in Northern Ireland over the winter period. On the Lower Bann, which connects Lough Neagh to the sea north of Coleraine, works will focus on…
New treatment plant at Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, one of the 19 large urban areas that failed to meet EU treatment standards in 2019
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it welcomes the Environmental Protection Agency’s new report on urban waste water treatment in 2019. Published this week, the EPA’s report criticises Irish Water over failure to meet pollution prevention standards at treatment facilities for 19…
Inland Fisheries Ireland Updates ‘Planning for Watercourses in the Urban Environment’ Guidelines
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched an update of its guideline document ‘Planning for Watercourses in the Urban Environment’. It outlines an integrated watercourse protection strategy that has been developed by IFI through consultation with a wide range of experts…
Work has been ongoing for many years to restore the Ulster Canal as a navigation and greenway
Work on the second phase of restoring the Ulster Canal has picked up this year, with related projects now on track to be completed by 2023. That was the message from Heritage Minister Darragh O’Brien in a recent written response…
File image of the Royal Canal in Longford
Refurbishment of the Longford Canal and the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry are two of the projects that will be funded from a €63.5m allocation for greenways in 2021. Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister…
The Shannon Navigation at Athlone
Waterways Ireland reminds masters on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway that the winter mooring period for public harbours will commence this Sunday 1 November and continue until 31 March 2021. Masters wishing to avail of winter mooring on these…
Chief Executive Officer, Waterways Ireland: An Exciting & Challenging Leadership Opportunity
Waterways Ireland is responsible for the management, maintenance, development, restoration and promotion of the inland navigable waterway system throughout the island, principally for recreational and tourism purposes. It has responsibility for approximately 1,000km of navigable waterways. With a staff of…
Waterways Ireland Shuts Service Blocks, Locks & Bridges Amid Nationwide Level 5 Restrictions
Waterways Ireland has temporarily closed service blocks across its all-island network of inland waters as of today, Thursday 22 October. The move is in line with the latest coronavirus control measures announced by both the Northern Ireland Executive and the…
Late waterways historian Brian J Goggin
Afloat is saddened to learn of the death of Brian J Goggin, noted inland waterways historian and a former contributor to this publication. A longtime member of the Irish Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI), who served as editor of its…
Dromod Harbour in Co Leitrim
Waterways Ireland advises that essential maintenance works at Dromod Harbour on the Shannon Navigation in Co Leitrim are due to commence this Thursday 15 October and run until Friday 27 November. All on-site services, including water and pump-out facility, will…
The Barrow Navigation at Bagenalstown
Owners of boats without permits on the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal and the Barrow Navigation face the removal of their vessels by Waterways Ireland later this month. They are among the boats in contravention of bye-laws that will…
Cruisers on the Shannon at Killaloe in Co Clare
Waterways Ireland has suspended the five-day mooring rule until late October in the wake of the country’s move to Level 3 coronavirus restrictions. As of this past Wednesday 7 October, the rule — which prohibits vessels from mooring in one…
Plunkett Bridge at Pollagh on the Grand Canal
Waterways Ireland advises all users of the Grand Canal in Co Offaly that the southern tow path from Plunkett Bridge at Pollagh to Turraun — half-way between Tullamore and Shannon Harbour — will be closed from next Monday 12 October…
The Royal Canal at Ashtown east of the 10th lock
Navigation in or out of the Dublin on the Royal Canal is currently suspended until the completion of works on three separate lock gates. Waterways Ireland says repair and upgrading works are required at Lock 12 in Castleknock, Lock 10…
Squibs are hauled out at Kinsale Yacht Club last weekend. The 2020 Squib Inland Championships at Lough Derg are scheduled for October 9th
Just as Ireland's one-design keelboat classes were gearing up for the last blast of the season this weekend, anticipated COVID-19 restriction hikes are threatening the staging of the annual regatta at Dromineer in County Tipperary. Flying Fifteens, Dragons, Squibs and…
Satellite image of Lough Neagh
Environmental campaigners have hit out at a Stormont decision to approve sand dredging in Lough Neagh, as the Belfast Telegraph reports. Sand dredging has been practiced in Lough Neagh since the 1930s, with no permission needed until after the lough…

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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