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Displaying items by tag: 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 additional care while approaching and departing locks during this time. Flag Alpha will be flown during diving operations and a safety boat will be in attendance.

Published in Inland Waterways

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, Monday 23 to Friday 27 August.

Masters of vessels should contact the lock keeper at Movanagher in advance of travel and approach the canal with caution allowing sufficient time for weed cutting craft to pull into the side of the navigation channel.

Published in Inland Waterways

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 maintaining safe access to and navigability of the river channel.

Dredging has already been completed downstream of the Cutts Lock in Coleraine, with more than 1,000 cubic metres of material removed.

A similar dredging programme is taking place this month in Movanagher to remove 200 cubic metres of material, while the mouth of Toome Canal will be dredged in early 2021.

Dredging of river-deposited material ensures the locks gates can operate and the channel remains clear enough for boats to pass, Waterways Ireland says.

Elsewhere, new upstream lock gates will be installed at the Carnroe lock, which last had its gates replaced more than 50 years ago.

Next year, Waterways Ireland will begin work on a two-year project to repair the weir at Carnoe and install a fish pass after planning permission was granted.

Winter is also when the Waterways Ireland team undertakes the removal of fallen trees and trims bank foliage along the navigation. This work will take place from Carnoe to the Cutts and at Toome.

The Toome Canal Walk, which Waterways Ireland says has seen a significant increase in users this year, will also be resurfaced.

Regional manager Joe Gillespie said: “These maintenance works are essential to maintain the heritage assets of the Lower Bann and ensure they are accessible to the widest range of users.”

Bellanaleck in Co Fermanagh on the River Erne (Photo: Waterways Ireland)Bellanaleck in Co Fermanagh on the River Erne | Photo: Waterways Ireland

Meanwhile, this month Waterways Ireland will also commence an extensive works programme to improve Bellanaleck Quay on the River Erne.

The works, planned to be completed in time for the new boating season next March, are being undertaken to improve access and increase year-round mooring capacity near Bellanaleck village in Co Fermanagh.

Waterways Ireland’s design team will work with contractors on a plan to widen the existing slipway and construct a new quay wall with one fixed mooring as well as a 16-berth floating mooring.

“Waterways Ireland continues to invest in increasing access to Lough Erne for recreational and tourism activity,” says director of technical services Joe McMahon.

“Bellanaleck is a key lakeside location with a range of services which visitors enjoy and improved access will increase the duration and spend of visitors in the local area.”

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has given notice of upcoming closures on the Lower Bann in Co Antrim and the Grand Canal in Dublin.

On-location filming will see the Lower Bann closed to all boat traffic from the downstream side of Portglenone Bridge to Aghahoy Jetty on Saturday 5 September from 9am to 4pm, and again on Tuesday 8 September from 7am to 7pm.

Safety boats will be on the waterway and users are requested to follow the instructions of the safety boat crews.

Then later in the month in Dublin, levels C3 & C4 on the Grand Canal will be closed to navigation from 21 September for repair works on Lock C4 at Mespil Road.

As a result, no further boat passages into or out of Dublin past these levels will be possible from that date for the remainder of the 2020 boating season, and local boat movements through these locks will not be allowed until late December.

There will also be restrictions to pedestrian movements in the area of Lock C4 due to the ongoing works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and users of the Lower Bann Navigation of details regarding the reopening of the Locks from this Tuesday 23 June (pushed back from the original date of Thursday 18 June).

Locks will operate from 9am to 5pm daily, and lock passage charges will be waived until further notice.

Customers are encouraged to phone ahead to the lock in question to ensure lock gates are set and to avoid possible conflict with other boating traffic (all numbers +44):

  • Cutts Lock 02870342999
  • Carnroe Lock/Movangher Lock/Portna Lock 07876032891
  • Toome Lock 07912305251

When preparing to move through locks, boats should be tied up at the approaching landing jetty and wait to be called forward by the lock keeper.

Customers should note that they should not throw mooring ropes up to the lock keepers and must secure their craft within the lock chamber using the chains or ladders provided on the chamber walls.

Waterway users should observe signage in place regarding social distancing, and take note that there are no toilet or shower facilities open until further notice.

Published in Inland Waterways

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 the floods recede.

It is anticipated that it will take up to three weeks for all jetties, quays, slipways and facilities to be fully operational.

Masters of vessels and water users should be aware that surfaces may be slippery, access to jetties can be difficult as gangways and pontoons are elevated, and flood damage may be encountered in some locations.

All should proceed with additional caution while the clean-up work is ongoing.

Published in Inland Waterways

Navigation on the Movanagher Canal, part of the Lower Bann system, will be substantially closed to boating traffic from next Monday 20 January for around five week due to essential dredging maintenance works along the navigation channel.

Some passage on the waterway may be available by prior arrangement during weekdays; users should contact 028 70344326 or 078 76032891 to make arrangements.

Passage through canal and locks will be available at weekends as per normal opening hours but users are advised to contact the lock keeper in advance of travel on 028 29540570.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland is proposing extensive refurbishment works to the weir at Carnroe on the Lower Bann between Lough Neagh and Coleraine.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says Carnroe Weir is essential to the retention of water levels and boat movements along the length of the Lower Bann.

Works would be carried out over an 18-month period and in such a manner so as to conserve the heritage value of the current structure and to give a minimum operational life span of 75 years, Waterways Ireland adds.

The main in-river works would be undertaken in the summer months when water levels are typically lower.

In addition, the existing fish pass would be replaced with a new modern pass to comply with the requirements of Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera), which has responsibility for the fishery on the Lower Bann.

Waterways Ireland says it has engaged with consultants to undertake surveys and assessments, as well as consultations with landowners and other stakeholders, with a view to finalise details of the scheme and submit a planning application — including a full Environmental Impact Assessment — by the end of this month.

Published in Inland Waterways

Preparations are in full swing at the Glenone Coarse Angling Facility (known locally as Molloy’s Ford) at Portglenone in Co Antrim ahead of the world-renowned European Coarse Fishing Championships, set to take place on the Lower Bann later this month.

It will be the first time that Northern Ireland will host an angling event of this calibre since the World Championships were held on the River Erne in 1992, and the Newry Canal in 1982.

The National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI) was awarded the honour of hosting the 25th anniversary of this event by the Fédéracion International de la Pêche Sportive, and has been working closely with the local community to bring the event to this area of Mid Ulster.

The championships are set to be staged around the communities of Portglenone and Bellaghy in the Bann Corridor, an area of outstanding natural beauty where the teams representing 18 nations will be hosted throughout the event, bringing a welcome boost to the local economy.

Significant investment from Waterways Ireland and Mid Ulster District Council and the generosity of local landowners has led to the enhancement of the existing coarse fishing facility to support an angling event of this size.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Martin Kearney, expressed his delight in anticipation of the forthcoming championships.

“Preparations are almost complete to welcome over 100 anglers from countries all across Europe to the magnificent Lower Bann River at Portglenone-Bellaghy. The site has an established angling heritage as home of a number of large coarse angling festivals, including the annual Bann Bonanza, and our investment will create a River venue capable of hosting further international competitions in years to come.

“We would encourage the local community to come out to welcome the anglers in force at the Parade of Nations, a colourful affair which will see member of local community groups welcome the teams in procession as they make their way from Seamus Heaney Homeplace to the GAA Hall in Bellaghy on Thursday 27 June at 5.30pm.”

Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland said the cross-border body is “delighted to welcome so many international visitors to experience exceptional angling along the Lower Bann.

“They will undoubtedly enjoy the new facilities installed along the river at Portglenone and we look forward to working on other similar collaborative projects in the future, in continuing to develop and promote the excellent angling product available.”

Event organiser Jack Tisdall of the NCFFI said: “To host this prestigious event is fantastic news for the coarse angling community as we are providing Ireland with its first world-class angling facility on a river. Further planned developments will support the inclusivity of all in our sport and leave a legacy of angling for the area.”

Teams will train on the venue from Monday 23 to Friday 28 of June ahead of the Parade of Nations on Thursday 27 June where the chair of Mid Ulster District Council will ceremoniously receive the flags from the teams and the championships will be declared open by the president of FIPSed (Fédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive en Eau Douce) on Saturday and Sunday 29-30 June.

Enthusiasts will be delighted with the opportunity to watch top rods in action on the bank, such as England’s Will Raison and Hungary’s Tamas Walter, as well as team Italy which is currently ranked number one in the world.

For more details of the European Coarse Fishing Championships, please visit the dedicated website HERE.

If you are a local community group who would like to take part in the Parade of Nations, contact Helen Rainsford, NCFFI public relations, on 07711 607 200.

The NCFFI is also appealing to members of all communities for their help in stewarding the event with 100 volunteers are required.

If you are available from 8am to 2pm on the Saturday and Sunday, or both, please visit the event website for more details and to register online.

Published in Angling

#InlandWaters - The proposed Blueway route between Toome and Coleraine along the Lower Bann corridor as moved a step closer to fruition as work was recently completed on Phase One of the project at Glenone.

In the joint venture between Mid Ulster District Council and Waterways Ireland, supported by Angling NI, Honourable Irish Society, National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland and local landowner William Chesney, a new multi-use public path along the riverbank was developed.

This accesses an additional 25 coarse angling stands installed as part of the phased works that complement the existing 89 angling stands and associated facilities already at the site, known locally as Molloy’s Ford.​

The work, delivered by Mid Ulster District Council, completed by IL Contracting and project managed by Robinsons & Sons, Ballymoney, was made possible by funding from Waterways Ireland and is part of a proposal to develop a Blueway route from the town of Portglenone to Newferry West, a length of approximately 7km.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake, welcomed the development, saying: “The council recognises the importance of sensitively and appropriately maximising the potential of our natural attractions, such as the Lower Bann flowing through our district, and this project is an example where building collaborative partnerships has resulted in an improved river corridor that will generate and sustain a vibrant and healthy community and economy.

“As well as providing recreational walking, cycling, running and angling opportunities to local people, the site will see international visitors in June when it hosts the 2019 FIPSed 25th European Coarse Angling Championship.”

Waterways Ireland’s Stephen Douglas said of this first phase: “It has brought together a wide range of stakeholder partners in delivering what is the first phase of establishing a Blueway path between Portglenone and Newferry and provision of infrastructure to host the 2019 European Coarse Angling Championship. Our vision is to develop Blueway infrastructure, where possible, along the full length of the Lower Bann River.

“To this end we hope to continue working with our partner organisations to develop the product, gain statutory approvals and pursue funding. Blueways developed to date along our navigations have proven to engage local communities and visitors alike and have contributed significantly in economic and social regeneration of towns and communities along our waterways”.

Blueways are a network of multi-activity recreational trails, based on or alongside idyllic inland waterways, which provide scenic routes into the heart of the countryside traversed by canoe, bike or on foot. Their value lies not only in the recreational opportunities that they offer residents and visitors, but also in their potential to stimulate local businesses and regenerate local areas.

For more information on the project, see www.midulstercouncil.org

Published in Inland Waterways
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