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Displaying items by tag: Meelick weir

Waterways Ireland has announced the closure of the walkway at Meelick Weir on the Shannon Navigation in Co Galway from today, Saturday 2 January until further notice.

The closure of the walkway is at the request of An Garda Siochana due to what is claimed are issues with compliance with social distancing protocols on and near the walkway along the inland waterway.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that low water levels exist on the upstream approaches to Meelick Weir and Victoria Lock, north of Portumna on the Shannon Navigation.

Water levels are currently up to 45cm below summer levels as weir boards are out at Meelick Weir, which creates a draw-down of water levels in the area.

Masters of vessels, particularly those with deep drafts, are advised to navigate with additional caution and to remain within the navigation at all times.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - Seán Kyne, Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has announced a €3.2 million investment by Waterways Ireland infrastructure on the Shannon Navigation at Meelick Weir.

The funds will be used for the restoration and replacement of the Meelick Weir walkway, the installation of tilting weir boards and remedial works to the weir structure.

The minister was joined on site yesterday (Friday 1 March) by Éanna Rowe, regional manager with Waterways Ireland and by Ministers of State Seán Canney Ciarán Cannon, along with Anne Rabbitte TD and local community representatives.

Meelick Weir was originally built in the 1790s as part of the Shannon Navigation. The weir, which is over 300 metres in length with a 12-sluice barrage, maintains and regulates the navigation level for that section of waterway between Athlone (Lough Ree) and Meelick (Lough Derg).

The weir and its walkway link the historic village of Meelick in Co Galway to Lusmagh in Offaly, and also link into the Hymany Way walking trail. The weir was damaged during storms in 2009 and the walkway was closed following further storms in 2015 and 2016.

Speaking yesterday, Minister Kyne said: “I am fully aware of the importance of this restoration to the counties of Galway and Offaly and in particular to the local communities of Lusmagh and Meelick who have been without the walkway for a number of years now.”

He added: “Meelick Weir is not just a walkway but a hidden gem on the River Shannon and its restoration shows the Government’s commitment to supporting all aspects of rural Ireland`s economic development.”

Éanna Rowe of Waterways Ireland said: “The development and re-instatement is critical to the management of the navigation and regulation of water levels.

“Reopening the connectivity between the communities of Lusmagh and Meelick and the re-instatement of the link to the Hymanny is a hugely positive and significant development for both communities.”

Waterways Ireland initiated design work on the project in 2012, completed the statutory environmental assessment and submitted planning for the project to Galway and Offaly county councils, which was given in 2017.

The works will involve the restoration of the weir, its walkway and the tilting weir boards along with the other critical infrastructure requirements (replacement of lock gates, jetty replacement, embankment works and bridge strengthening).

The new tilting weir system is being touted as a significant improvement in health and safety for employees managing water levels on site.

Following an open tendering procedure, a contractor will be shortly appointed and the project will be completed mid-2020.

Published in Inland Waterways

#SHANNON FLOODING - Galway Bay FM reports that Galway county councillors have postponed making any decision on an Oireachtas report into flooding in areas adjacent to the River Shannon.

The move was taken on the suggestion of Cllr Dermot Connolly in the wake of a joint Dáil and Seanad committee report that highlights eight proposals for dealing with flooding issues along the longest of Ireland's inland waterways.

Cllr Michael Connolly has suggested that Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Minister for the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan should meet to discuss the report's findings from both a flooding and environmental stance.

Meanwhile, the Irish Independent reports that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has agreed to carry out tests at Meelick weir on the Shannon in Co Offaly after thousands of acres of farmland were flooded over the summer, ruining silage crops and summer grazing land.

Waterways Ireland has denied allegations that a failure to open sluices and lift boards at the weird contributed to the flooding.

Published in Shannon Estuary

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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