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Displaying items by tag: Houseboats

Boat removals from Ireland’s canals jumped in 2020 — with the total for the year at 150% of the previous four years combined.

The figures were revealed by Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan in his response to a Dáil question from Dun Laoghaire TD Cormac Devlin requesting a breakdown of the number of boats removed from rivers, canals and inland waterways between 2016 and 2020.

Across the canals network (and excluding the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway) under the jurisdiction of Waterways Ireland, a total of 45 boats deemed to be in breach of bye-laws were removed in 2020.

This compares to just seven the previous year, 17 in 2018, none in 2017 and seven in 2016 — a total of 31 in the four years leading to 2020.

On the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway, the figures over the last three years were more consistent, with 17 removals in 2020, 12 in 2019 and 15 in 2018. There were no removals on these waterways in 2017 or 2016.

Minister Noonan noted that the rise in removals on the canals last year can be credited to a compliance programme initiated by Waterways Ireland “to remove abandoned, sunken and non-compliant boats, vessels and structures from the canals network”.

He added: “This programme by the agency has resulted in improved water quality, improved compliance, and removed many unsightly boats, vessels and structures from the waterways.”

The Canals Bye Laws 1988 and the Shannon Navigation Bye Laws 1992 provide Waterways Ireland with the powers to remove boats, vessels and other structures that are in breach of the bye-laws.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a number of live-aboard barge owners on the Grand Canal feared losing their homes under last year’s removal drive.

But they were spared at the 11th hour when Minister Noonan stepped in to promise engagement with Waterways Ireland on a long-term solution.

Published in Inland Waterways

One young Northern Ireland couple have eschewed the heated land-based property ladder and put their savings afloat with a narrowboat, as ArmaghI reports.

Sophie Durand and Josh Boyd, both from Co Armagh and in their early 20s, have now adopted “slow, sustainable and also happier way of living” afloat on the inland waterways at Lough Erne.

Between them they raised the £53,000 (€62,000) to purchase the narrowboat Qisma — Arabic for ‘destiny’ — which has a permanent mooring at a monthly cost of £170 (€200).

And while their compact choice of home might not be to everyone’s taste, they’re now living mortgage-free after spending a fraction of the average deposit.

ArmaghI has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
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Waterways Ireland is commissioning a feasibility study on options for sustainable on-the-water living on Ireland’s canal network.

Details of the request for tender (RFT) are available online, with the study expected to include analysis of on-the-water living conditions abroad as well as assessing the suitability of Ireland’s inland waterways for similar development, as promised last year by Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan.

Currently, so-called ‘liveaboard’ barge owners have found themselves in legal limbo as canal bye-laws prohibit the mooring of vessels in any one spot for longer than five days.

Despite a growing demand for houseboat living in Ireland, there are only 28 residential moorings across the country — with the majority at the heavily oversubscribed Grand Canal Dock.

The deadline for submissions on the RFT is 5pm on Thursday 9 August.

Published in Inland Waterways

“The body responsible for canal boating doesn’t seem to want boating on the canals.”

That’s the response of Gary Long, one of a number of barge owner on the Grand Canal in Dublin at the centre of a recent controversy over houseboat moorings on the inland waterway, as he spoke to The Irish Times this week.

The ‘liveaboard’ barge owners had faced eviction from their homes by Waterways Ireland this month as current by-laws prohibit mooring in any one spot for longer than five days.

The owners were given a reprieve of sorts by the New Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, and assured that their vessels would not be confiscated and sold off.

And the minister has promised that Waterways Ireland will engage in “finding a long-term, sustainable solution to regularise the use of the canals”.

But for now, liveaboards like Gary Long — and Luís Gómezcala who lives on his boat at the 12th Lock on the Royal Canal — remain in legal limbo.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has committed to looking for a long-term solution for people living on houseboats on the Grand Canal, it has emerged.

The news comes after last week’s final-hour reprieve for a number of barge owners who had faced eviction under the current by-law which prohibits mooring in any one spot for longer than five consecutive days.

They also faced the prospect of losing their vessels under original plans to lift them from the canal and impound them for a month before selling them off.

New Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, stepped in to assure these barge owners that theirs and others’ “genuine or legitimate houseboats or so-called ‘live-ons’” would not be removed.

He added that Waterways Ireland, the cross-border body that manages Ireland’s inland waterways, would now engage “in a collaborative process with all stakeholders around finding a long-term, sustainable solution to regularise the use of the canals”.

This is in addition to Waterways Ireland’s 10-year strategic review, which is expected to be available for consultation later this year — and will consider the likes of new infrastructure on the canal to cater for the requirements of houseboats.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

Despite the growing demand for houseboat living in Ireland, there are only 28 residential moorings across the whole of the country, as RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland reports today (Wednesday 3 July).

Grand Canal Dock alone has a waiting list of some 215 hopefuls for its 20 places, and the programme hears from some of those fortunate enough to have made their home on Ireland’s inland waterways.

Waterways Ireland says it received as many as 10 queries a week from prospective houseboat residents — who will likely be waiting some time as only Grand Canal Dock and Shannon Harbour, with eight moorings, have provision for live-aboard homes.

Others make do with part-time waterways living, using the current 90-day permits to move around the country’s canals and rivers.

But with demand on the increase, it’s a situation that Waterways Ireland acknowledges has to change. RTÉ Radio 1 has more on the report HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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