Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Royal Canal

Amid concerns over reduced water levels this year on the Grand and Royal Canals, Afloat.ie reader and former Oireachtas policy advisor Cathal Murphy fears for the future of Ireland’s inland waterways

Water levels on the canals plummeted over recent months. This was seen on the Royal Canal and Grand Canal and along the latter’s Barrow Line. They were so bad in parts that boats could not move on these 200-year-old navigations.

The water levels in parts were allegedly down over half a metre, the lowest in living memory. These historic pieces of heritage are under threat because if water levels continue to decrease they will not survive.

Is it structural problems? Is climate change responsible? The answers are yet to be found. The canals are supposed to have a stable water level, they are supplied off feeders which are water sources redirected from rivers.

These canals are great pieces of engineering, naturally maintaining their levels for boats to navigate. But suddenly after two centuries of functional infrastructure, we are seeing boats halted as water levels shrink.

The State at the moment is putting millions into greenway and blueway routes along these canals, but without the water and the boats these will become just paths along empty trenches in the countryside. It should be a basic function to keep water levels up as has been done for the past 200 years.

Illustrating the reduction in water levels on the Barrow Line in Co Laois in September 2021 | Credit: Cathal MurphyIllustrating the reduction in water levels on the Barrow Line in Co Laois in September 2021 | Credit: Cathal Murphy

It is not just the heritage affected. These waterways maintain immense biodiversity. Low water levels increase algal blooms, with devastating effects on fish and other invertebrates that use the habitat of the canal.

There is huge cultural and historical importance to the canals, forming a network upon which nature flourishes, history is functioning and people travel. Ireland needs them. They encourage tourism from both home and abroad so people can navigate these waterways like the canals of England and France.

Waterways Ireland, who maintain the canals, have said previously that low levels are due to leaks and not enough machinery to maintain the feeders that supply the canal, and maintain canal navigation.

Although this year we have seen some of the lowest levels, this has been an ongoing issue for a decade. This year marine notices stated that water levels were down 45cm in late August, and anecdotally they were down 60cm from Monastarevin to Athy along the Barrow Line.

The drying up of our canals is happening in front of our eyes. Some interim measures have been taken that have seen a rise in water levels in recent weeks but these are not long-term.

Whatever the reason for the water disappearing, the canals need to be protected, and to be seen as the asset of the State that they really are — and an amenity to all.

Published in Your Say

The Royal Canal Greenway is the place to be this upcoming Halloween with 16 spooktacular events happening all along the 225-year-old Royal Canal this mid-term break.

The greenway, which is the longest in Ireland at 130km, encompasses four counties — Kildare, Longford, Meath and Westmeath — and has an abundance of stops with plenty of activities for all interests this Halloween including a haunted train, a spine-tingling med-evil exhibition, a Halloween feast and even a spooky science camp!

Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland said: “We are thrilled to have such a wide variety of offerings this Halloween along the Royal Canal Greenway. Across all four counties through which the Royal Canal Greenway travels we have something for everyone throughout the week.

“Whether you want to spend your days enjoying leisurely walks in the countryside or entertaining the family between cycle stops you are sure to find what you are looking for. It’s easy to stay over and keep exploring.”

Waterways Ireland has put together a handy list of events to make sure you avoid the horror of missing out this Halloween — but be sure to act fast as booking is essential for many of these happenings.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Royal Canal that a breach in the canal has occurred in the vicinity of Richmond Harbour.

A significant reduction in water levels has occurred on the level between Locks 45 and 46 on the inland waterway.

Repair works commenced today, Monday 18 October, but there will be no access to Richmond Harbour from the Camlin River or from the eastern side through Lock 45 until further notice.

Masters and owners of boats moored in Richmond Harbour are advised to check on their boat regularly as water levels stabilise and rise again. Waterways Ireland says further updates will be provided in due course.

Published in Inland Waterways

The 130km Royal Canal Greenway from Maynooth to Cloondara was launched in March this year and proved a big hit with locals and visitors alike over the summer months, according to Waterways Ireland.

Now the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways has commissioned Tracsis Traffic Data to gain feedback and delve deeper into who the greenway’s users are and how they’re using it via an online survey this month.

“We want to understand how the Royal Canal Greenway is contributing to the visitor economy across the counties of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford,” Waterways Ireland says.

If you have recently visited the Royal Canal Greenway anywhere between Maynooth to Cloondara, the short five-minute survey asks you to share your thoughts on the experience.

The link is also available via QR codes placed along the greenway, and there’s a chance to win a €100 shopping voucher for those taking part. The closing date for the survey is Sunday 31 October.

Published in Inland Waterways

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 Ireland’s inland waterways says, as the sources that supply water to the navigations have been affected by the recent warm and dry spell as well as unfavourable rainfall patterns.

Masters of vessels are advised to proceed with additional caution and to contact the relevant water patroller for latest advice and assistance.

Published in Inland Waterways

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 August.

Vessels will not be permitted to navigate under the bridge at Galloon due to these works, which are expected to continue for 16 weeks.

In addition, the Carrybridge jetty and slipway will be closed for five days from Monday 23 to Friday 27 August for the realignment of jetty fingers. The electrical supply to bollards and pump-out will be turned off during this period.

On the Grand Canal, low water levels are being experienced on both the main line and Barrow Line, which are currently 300mm down on normal levels.

Masters of vessels are advised to proceed with additional caution and to contact the relevant water patroller for latest advice and assistance.

On the Royal Canal, canoe polo events will take place in the Kilcock Harbour area this Friday 20 August.

Waterways Ireland requests that the polo pitch areas and harbour be kept clear of all vessels to facilitate the events, and that masters of vessels comply with instructions from marshals.

Meanwhile, on the Barrow Navigation masters and owners are advised that Clashganny Lock is now fully operational following its temporary closure for essential repairs.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that low water levels are being experienced on the summit level of the Royal Canal near Mullingar as the Midlands experience the highest temperatures of Ireland’s extended heatwave.

Water levels are currently down 300mm. As a result, masters of vessels are advised to proceed with additional caution and to contact the water patroller (Billy Dixon at +353 (0)87 6182104) for latest advice and assistance.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and users of the Shannon Navigation that the ESB will be carrying out repairs to the electricity network in the Tarmonbarry area in Co Roscommon tomorrow, Monday 12 July.

As a result, Tarmonbarry lifting bridge and lock will be inoperable behttps://afloat.ie/itemlist/tag/Shannon%20Navigationtween 9am and 4pm during the repair works and no passage will be permitted until their completion.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways also notes that due to ongoing mechanical issues, Begnagh Bridge on the Royal Canal will be opened by manual means on the following dates only: Fridays 16, 23 and 30 July and Fridays 6, 13, 20 and 27 August.

Lifts will occur at 12pm on each day and prior notice must be given two days in advance to the water patroller in Clondra at +353 (0)87 915 1400.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises master of vessels on the Royal Canal that due to ongoing serious mechanical issues with Begnagh Lift Bridge, it can only be operated manually.

The current scheduled dates for lift operation are Fridays 25 June, 2 and 9 July at 11am each day.

Prior notice must be given two days in advance to the water patroller in Clondra on 087 915 1400.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has issued an update for masters and owners regarding boat passage arrangements in or out of Dublin on the Grand and Royal canals in 2021.

Movements in or out of the city will continue to be organised by prior arrangement to take place as a single movement in one day.

Boaters will be facilitated to travel the system if their passage is considered to be safe by Waterways Ireland and they have the valid permit(s) for mooring and passage.

In order to plan the necessary lock assistance for movements east of Lock 12 on either canal, masters are required to contact the Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office by email [email protected] or 01 868 0148 prior to making passage.

At time of making contact, masters are asked to provide the following details:

  • Length, beam, water & air drafts of your craft (provide approximates if don't have exact dimensions)
  • Phone/email contact details
  • Permit number and expiry date of current canal permit

On the Grand Canal, a minimum of two days’ notice prior to planned passage must be given and, with the exception of pre-arranged events, a maximum of two boats per day will be taken through the locks, travelling either east or west. In certain circumstances, eg for slower or larger barges, the limit will be one boat per day.

Due to periodic anti-social activity along some of canal route into Dublin, boat passage will also not be possible in certain weather conditions and at weekends over the late spring and summer period. This can be planned for at time of making contact, and suitable arrangements for passage made.

On the Royal Canal, repairs and upgrades are ongoing to Spencer Dock Sea Lock so boat passage through here remains suspended at this time and no bridge lift dates have been set for Newcomen Lift Bridge. Should there be updates to this position, details of these will be advised in a separate notice.

Masters and owners are also reminded to ensure that they have the following before making the passage through the city locks on either of these inland waterways:

  • Adequate fuel on board
  • Competent and adequate crew to operate the boat and locks (minimum crew of three)
  • A lock key on board their boat
  • Mooring lines of adequate length to handle vessel through a lock (approx.15m length)
  • No known mechanical problems with their boat

Waterways Ireland reserve the right to postpone passage to another day if all of these are not in place.

Passages can be arranged in this boating season from June until the end of October. Also note that aquatic weed is generally more prevalent as the season progresses which can hamper passage.

Boaters will be facilitated as far as practicable although Waterways Ireland cannot guarantee that passage will be possible on every planned date. Early contact will greatly assist planning and facilitate the making of the necessary arrangements.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 1 of 10

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating