Displaying items by tag: Royal Canal
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the inland waterway between the 34th and 35th locks, at Balroe and Ballynacarrigy respectively, was closed for emergency repairs following poor weather at the end of August.
These repair works will now continue until Monday 28 September and navigation in this section will not resume before that date.
A new interactive outdoor experience along the Royal Canal hopes to bring to life the experience of famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown to Dublin at the height of An Gorta Mór.
The National Famine Way was launched last Thursday 10 September by the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park with a special National Famine Way Passport/Guide and OSI trail map.
The 14-page guidebook highlights local historical landmarks and allows walkers and cyclists to record their progress with 27 stage stamps along the specially developed 165km heritage route.
The trail details the ill-fated journey of 1,490 famine emigrants who walked from Strokestown Park in Co Roscommon to ships in the capital in 1847, a year which became infamous as ‘Black ’47’.
And the new Passport/Guide is centred around the walk of one of the original famine emigrants from Strokestown Park: 12-year-old Daniel Tighe, who remarkably survived the horrific journey to Quebec, Canada on one of the worst famine ships.
Award-winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna wrote short pieces that reimagine Daniel’s journey in 1847 and are connected to over 30 pairs of bronze children’s shoes dotted along the route. They are also available as audio recordings to listen to at www.nationalfamineway.ie
The National Famine Way crosses six counties — Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare and Fingal — on the way to Dublin, mostly along the Royal Canal, and a completion certificate is awarded at the end of the trail at EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum at George’s Dock.
The National Famine Museum collaborated on the project with Waterways Ireland and county councils along the route, which is designed to be accessible for families, schools, casual walkers and cyclists — as well as those who want to learn more about the famine and Ireland’s history.
Anne O’Donoghue, chief executive of the Irish Heritage Trust, which cares for Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum, said: “This heritage trail not only links two significant Irish museums but also makes the connection between Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Ireland’s Ancient East.
“In addition to the health, historical, cultural and arts impact, the trail also has the potential to open up rural Ireland and offer an economic boost to local communities with cycling hire, cafés, bars, shops and accommodation all benefiting with an expected economic impact of over €2 million spent along the route.”
Navigation will be prohibited between the 34th and 35th locks for the next two weeks to facilitate emergency repairs to the embankment following this past week’s poor weather.
This is for previously notified site investigation works on the waterway that were delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
A pontoon is being used as part of works west of Lock 12 towards Coolmine, and while it is in place other craft will be unable to pass.
For those of you missing Ireland’s inland waterways, you can now view the stunning Royal Canal, Grand Canal Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation along with the Shannon through Google Maps and Google Earth.
Waterways Ireland, in partnership with the Google Trekker Loan Programme, has continued to capture Ireland’s inland waterways and make them accessible online.
Last year, street view imagery was captured along the Royal Canal, Grand Canal Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation to compliment the stunning Shannon imagery captured in 2018.
So now you can follow some of Ireland’s most beautiful and popular waterways destinations from the comfort of your own home — and hopefully plan a visit when conditions allow.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, winter mooring has been extended until Sunday 31 May to ease the pressure on the inland boating community amid the current coronavirus restrictions.
And while the outdoor exercise distance has been extended to 5k from home, the advice for those using canal towpaths to maintain social distancing remains in place.
This postponement also applies to bookings for Newcomen Bridge passage on the Royal Canal.
The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds that navigations elsewhere are generally remaining open for boats.
Albert Lock and the Jamestown Canal on the Shannon Navigation recently reopened after lock gate replacement works and the easing of flooding issues.
Waterways Ireland reminds masters and owners of boat passage arrangements in or out of Dublin on the Royal and Grand Canals ahead of the start of the 2020 boating season in mid-March.
Movements in or out of the city via the waterways will be organised by prior arrangement, to take place as a single movement in one day.
Boaters will only be facilitated 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 (weekdays 9.30am to 4.30pm) on 01 868 0148 or email [email protected] prior to making passage.
At time of making contact, the following details should be provided:
- 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, two weeks’ notice of bridge passage (Newcomen Lifting Bridge) is required for the pre-set lift date, and lock assistance will then also be arranged. A minimum of two boats is required for a bridge lift to go ahead. A maximum number of boats passing will be implemented, 16 for weekend lifts and eight for weekday lifts. Priority will be given on a first come, first served basis.
The pre-set lift dates and times are set out below:
- Thursday 16 April, 11am–1pm
- Sunday 3 May, 9am–1pm
- Saturday 30 May, 9am–1pm
- Thursday 11 June, 11am–1pm
- Friday 26 June, 11am–1pm
- Tuesday 28 July, 11am–1pm
- Tuesday 25 August, 11am–1pm
- Thursday 24 September, 11am–1pm
Masters and owners are also reminded to ensure that they have the following before making the passage through the city locks on both canals. Waterways Ireland reserves the right to postpone passage to another day if all of these are not in place:
- Adequate fuel on board
- Competent and adequate crew to operate the boat and locks (minimum crew of 3)
- 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
Passages can only be arranged in the boating season from mid-March to end of October. Also note that aquatic weed is generally more prevalent as the season progresses beyond Spring and may 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.
Individuals are instructed not to engage in swimming, diving or immersive activity such as deliberate capsizing in the waterway pending further advisory.
Any facilities/activity providers are also requested to ensure, to the best of their ability, that clients do not engage in the same activities.
The HSE further advises all individuals partaking in watersport (and in turn for activity providers to advise their clients) of the risk, which is small but real, of acquiring Leptospirosis from water-based activities.
Persons with symptoms (a flu-like illness) within a three-week period after engaging in a water-based activity should seek medical attention immediately, mentioning any watercourse exposure.
Further information on Leptospirosis is available from the HSE website. Other enquiries can be directed to [email protected] or by contacting the Waterways Ireland Communications Office on 071-9650787.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection frequently found both in domestic and wild animals, which can spread to humans. Leptospirosis in Ireland is usually picked up from rats. The infection is spread through contact with rats, or rat urine generally.
Leptospirosis is a recreational hazard for those who participate in outdoor sports in contaminated areas and has been associated with water sports.
Occupations at risk would include veterinary surgeons, farmers, meat inspectors, butchers, abattoir and sewer workers.
High-risk water includes stagnant, dirty-looking or obviously polluted fresh water found in ditches, drains, ponds, lakes or rivers. Sea water poses less risk.
What precautions should I take?
- Do not go swimming or boating in water which is known to be or obviously polluted.
- Cover any cuts or abrasions with a waterproof dressing while swimming or canoeing.
- Shower thoroughly as soon as possible following water activities.
- Make sure the sporting clothing you wear minimises your contact with water.
- Wash your hands after water activity, handling any animal or contaminated clothing and always before eating, drinking or smoking.
- Clean any cuts acquired during swimming, fishing or other near-water activities. Apply first aid as soon as possible.
Rinsing dogs who have been swimming in high risk water reduces the risk of infection.
- High-risk workers should always wear their personal protective equipment and clothing at all times when in high risk situations.
- If you get a flu-like illness within a three-week period after engaging in any of these activities you should visit your doctor immediately, and tell her or him of your concerns and possible exposure to dirty or stagnant water.
Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD announced midweek a significant package of funding totalling €1m for Phase 2 of the Royal Canal Greenway.
When launched in early 2020, it will be the longest greenway in Ireland, totalling 130km in length along the inland waterway connecting Maynooth in Co Kildare with Clondara in Co Longford.
The funding will be provided from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Budget 2020 allocation for greenways.
The Royal Canal Greenway is a dedicated off-road cycling and walking route which is currently being developed by Waterways Ireland and the local authorities of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford using the existing towpath along the Royal Canal.
The funding will be used to complete the basic infrastructure to ensure the delivery of a greenway that is "fully functional, animated and activated to reach international trail standards".
Minister Moran said: “I warmly welcome this funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport which will be used to complete and enhance this wonderful amenity for the midlands.
"This co-operation between department, local authorities, Waterways Ireland and all of the groups connected with the greenway exemplifies what can be achieved and I look forward to good progress being made in realising this significant goal.
"Once completed, this greenway will connect Dublin to Longford, adding substantially to the existing network of greenways throughout the country. I have no doubt that visitors from home and abroad will enjoy this top-class experience and that it will motivate those interested in cycling and walking in this beautiful countryside to come and visit and see it first-hand.”
For more about the status of the Royal Canal Greenway developments see waterwaysireland.org/royalcanalstatus
A report was received on Monday 1 July from Waterways Ireland of the fish kill, which has claimed some 300 fish of various species including roach, rudd, bream and pike.
The investigation, which commenced immediately and remains ongoing, has identified agricultural discharge to a River Ryewater feeder that enters the canal at Kilcock.
IFI says work is now ongoing to ensure that there is no further polluting discharge to the system from this location.
It has also has issued a fresh appeal to farmers to remain vigilant in avoiding water pollution during the summer months when harvesting silage and spreading slurry.
Silage effluent is a significant pollutant and if allowed to enter a waterway can potentially lead to fish death and habitat degradation.
IFI has a confidential hotline number at 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24 for the public to report incidents of water pollution, fish kills and illegal fishing. For more visit fisheriesireland.ie.