Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland
The agreement is focused on delivering “a programme of works to improve the quality of the visitor and user experience along Waterways Ireland’s waterways”, the cross-border body said in a statement.
These include the Barrow Navigation, Royal and Grand canals, Shannon-Erne Waterway and Shannon Navigation.
It’s aimed to link these projects with Fáilte Ireland’s regional brands the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Dublin.
And the partnership also involved cross-promotion and marketing efforts, such as Waterways Ireland’s Shannon Masterplan to develop sustainable tourism in the Shannon corridor, and future plans to encourage visitors’ engagement with the canals in Dublin city.
“The waterways are a key part of the tourism offering in rural Ireland and the Dublin region,” said Fáilte Ireland chief executive Paul Kelly.
“Unlocking the incredible tourism potential of waterways such as the Shannon River which flows through so many rural communities will mean generating a huge number of opportunities and growth in local economies.”
Waterways Ireland acting CEO John McDonagh added that the Shannon Masterplan in particular “is an excellent first step in our programme and we look forward to a fruitful partnership which benefits the communities and economies across our waterways”.
In 2018, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways commenced a programme of works to restore the lock chamber and gates in order to bring the lock back into operation.
The existing lock gates at Camden Lock, which date from the canal’s opening in 1796, are in a derelict state and have not been operated for over 30 years.
They are currently tied open, and the lock has been closed off by the installation of stop logs on the dock side of the chamber.
However, the Camden Lock chamber is generally in a good structural condition.
The lock structure, existing timber gates, all associated machinery including sluice boxes and gate winches, stones sets and limestone paving are all designated and classified as a heritage structure.
Initial regeneration works by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority beginning in 2002 concentrated on decontamination of the land at Grand Canal Dock.
Redevelopment of the area has continued steadily since then and includes the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Google Docks and numerous new apartment buildings located along the perimeter of the dock.
The proposed works for Camden Lock are split in two distinct areas, beginning with preparatory works:
- Installation of temporary steel stop logs
- De-watering the lock, dredging and sediment removal from the lock floor and initial cleaning of the walls
- Removal of the existing derelict gates
Surveying of the lock chamber and existing gates in advance of construction of the new gates
This phase would be followed by the refurbishment works:
- Installation of new timber lock gates (replicas of the existing), including new access for all pedestrian walkway over the breast gates
- Installation of hydraulic rams, to allow for automation of the new gates
- Aquatic vegetation removal, racking out and repointing of joints
- Preservation of the integrity of the heritage site, including: all gate machinery, winch mechanisms, wheels, pot and pintels; wall ring insets; stone sets and limestone paving
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).
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.
Passage will be possible between 1pm and 2pm. Masters of other craft are requested to proceed at slow speed and with minimum wash and note any directions issued by the stewards.
On the Shannon-Erne Waterway, masters and owners of vessels are advised that they may experience short-term delays between Lock 1 at Corraquill and Ballyconnell Marina between 1pm and 6.30pm tomorrow due to the waterway’s 25th anniversary event.
Masters are requested to proceed at slow speed and heed any instructions issued by the event marshals.
Elsewhere on the River Shannon, the swimming element of a triathlon event will take place in Tarmonbarry on Sunday 23 June between 9.30am and noon.
Tarmonbarry lock will be closed to traffic during this time, and the N5 Shannon lifting bridge will also be closed, requiring large airdraft vessels to berth north of the bridge for the period.
A children’s swimming event will take place at 6pm on Saturday in Tarmonbarry, but this will not affect vessels in the navigation.
Masters are requested to proceed at slow speed and with minimum wash when approaching this section of the river and heed any instructions issued by the event marshals.
Meanwhile, on Upper Lough Erne, masters and owners of vessels are advised that dredging works are due to commence at Kilmore Quay on Monday 1 July and last for approximately nine weeks.
The map below shows the area to be dredged and the route the vessels will be taking in order to bottom-dump the material.
Masters of vessel are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the dredging operations and dredging vessels.
Waterways Ireland thanks its customers for their co-operation in this and all other matters.
More than 600 primary level students across Ireland and Northern Ireland participated in Biodiversity Week workshops through Waterways Ireland’s education programme.
Biodiversity Week is one of seven different education programmes organised free of charge by Waterways Ireland both in the classroom and on the water throughout the school year.
This past week, seven workshops involving schoolchildren from 15 schools took place on Ireland’s inland waterways in Naas on the Naas branch, Drumshanbo on the River Shannon, Toomebridge on the Lower Bann, Mosstown on the Royal Canal, Ballyconnell on the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Robertstown on the Grand Canal, Killaloe on the River Shannon and Enniskillen on the Erne.
Tailored to each individual area, the workshops aimed to connect people with nature and communicate the importance of biodiversity, motivating people to play their part in protecting it.
It’s also about entertaining, showing the fun and wonder that can be found in nature, and inspiring people to learn more, see more and do more.
Students discovered the vast array of wildlife that call the waterways their home. Each group learned how to identify some of the plants and trees along the waterway and came face to face with some mini-beasts living there.
Environmental experts from across a range of disciplines delivered the workshops in conjunction with Waterways Ireland education and environment teams.
The Shannon-Erne Waterway begins its 25th year of operation tomorrow, Thursday 23 May.
It also marks start of a year of community, heritage and fun events all along the waterway linking Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh, through Co Cavan and into the River Shannon in Co Leitrim, taking in many towns and villages along its 63km length.
The largest cross-border infrastructure project of its time, the works involved the restoration of locks, dredging of the navigation channel, the installation of an electro-hydraulic lock operating system and the use of smart cards to operate the locks and service blocks which were placed at six locations along its length.
The Shannon-Erne Waterway has welcomed thousands of local and international boaters over the years, and introduced northern boaters to the south and southern boaters to the north, all bringing an economic dividend to places like Leitrim village, Keshcarrigan, Ballinamore and Ballyconnell.
Tomorrow the first of the year’s events, the Paddles Up Transition Year Programme reaches, its climax with a group of 100 students crossing the border on a 10km kayak paddle from the south to the north.
Paddles Up is a six-week programme involving learning the basic skills of kayaking and water safety and culminating in a 10km paddle. The students completing the programme will receive a qualification awarded by Canoeing Ireland, the national governing body, in either a Level One or Two Kayaking Proficiency Skills.
Further events are planned for the year including a visit of heritage boats to the Ballinamore Festival, exhibitions of heritage materials, oral history recordings and much more.
This include the Shannon-Erne Oral History Project, which is inviting contributions from people with memories of the waterway over the last 25 years.
Communities and activity clubs along the Shannon–Erne Waterway interested in organising events between now and May 2020 are asked to contact Waterways Ireland at [email protected] to be added to the events calendar.
To find out more about what’s on, find Waterways Ireland on Facebook.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, announced a new strategic partnership between Waterways Ireland and Rowing Ireland during the Get Going, Get Rowing #Blitzit Festival of Rowing on Grand Canal Dock on 9 May.
It will also see a range of Rowing Ireland programmes, including Row for Life, the Get Going Get Rowing schools programme and Transition Year rowing coach programme, avail of Waterways Ireland facilities and sites to help promote improved levels of fitness, health and wellness across all ages in a fun and sociable environment.
Waterways Ireland, which is under the aegis of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, says it has seen a huge increase in the number of recreational users on and along all the waterways in recent years and there is now even more opportunity for people to try new recreational activities.
The new partnership allows Waterways Ireland and Rowing Ireland to join forces in promoting the health and well-being and social opportunities that are available through rowing in the great outdoors.
“For Waterways Ireland, partnerships are an ideal opportunity to encourage people to see inland waterways as a fitness and recreational opportunity for them,” said Sharon Lavin, head of marketing and communications at Waterways Ireland.
“Through working at a strategic level with Rowing Ireland, further programmes will be developed and people young and old will learn skills to help them stay fit and healthy for life.”
Rowing Ireland chief executive Michelle Carpenter added: “Our Get Going, Get Rowing programme — that has engaged 30,000 individual students in 2018 — is key to transitioning those from our school's programme to on the water rowing and activity on the water for life and our clubs.
“These values are significant elements of our strategic plan and we are thrilled to work hand in hand with our partners in Waterways Ireland.”
John McDonagh has been appointed acting chief executive officer of Waterways Ireland, the cross-border body for inland waterways accountable to the North South Ministerial Council under the 1998 British-Irish Agreement.
McDonagh is an English, history and politics graduate of UCD and he holds a Master’s in finance from the National College of Ireland.
He spent much of his career working in Shell Ireland and was formerly country manager. Prior to joining Waterways Ireland, McDonagh was sales and marketing director in Liberty Insurance. He has also consulted on a variety of projects across multiple sectors.
The Network of Inland Waterways of Europe (NIWE) has launched its new website to celebrate and promote the many and varied benefits of Europe’s canals, lakes and rivers.
The NIWE, of which Waterways Ireland is a member, has been involved in numerous transnational projects boosting waterways organisations, local communities and businesses, and users alike.
The network’s shared objectives are to:
- Celebrate and promote the economic, social and environmental benefits of Europe’s inland waterways;
- Monitor and disseminate information on EU policy development and programmes;
- Support members’ participation in European initiatives and funding programmes;
- Promote the exchange of experience and knowledge transfer across the NIWE and among other relevant organisations and potential members;
- Create stronger engagement with the EU institutions to ensure the potential of European inland waterways is understood and reflected in EU policy and future programme development; and
- Collaborate with national and international organisations to achieve these stated objectives.
The new website at WaterwaysNetwork.eu is being touted as key tool in realising these objectives, serving as the NIWE’s marketing, project knowledge transfer and promotional platform for the future.
It it hoped it will also assist the network in developing future collaborative opportunities both with both European partners and local, regional and national partners.
Waterways Ireland advises all users of sightings on the Royal Canal at Ashtown of a large invasive rodent species that is highly damaging to river, lake and canal banks.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the coypu — also known as the nutria in the United States — is regarded as a destructive invasive species and pest, posing a threat to agriculture, the stability of river banks and even coastal defences.
The coypu is an EU-regulated species of concern with trade, transport and reproduction restrictions in place (No.1143/2014).
The large river rats can also carry a number of serious diseases communicable to humans and domestic animals.
Waterways Ireland says coypu eradication programmes can cost up to several millions of euro and are not always successful.
Most recently there were sightings of the rodents in Cork city two years ago, after a number were trapped by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in a tributary of the River Lee.
But their presence across the country in the capital raises concerns about their further spread throughout Ireland’s inland waterways.
Waterways Ireland has provided a checklist for how to spot a coypu, which are often confused with common otters:
- Large semi-aquatic rodent up to 1 meter in head to tail length. Features same in juveniles.
- It can weigh 5-9kg.
- It has webbed hind feet.
- Dark fur often with lighter ends and has a white muzzle.
- Has long cylindrical tail (not fur tail like otter) and small slightly protruding ears.
- Distinctive features are large bright orange-yellow incisor (front) teeth usually visible.
- Coypu are generally found near permanent water.
Do not attempt to engage, trap or harm these animals.
Waterways Ireland appeals for the public keep a lookout along the waterways and especially along the Royal Canal at Ashtown, and report sightings (with photos is possible) to any of the following:
- Waterways Ireland Environment Section 061-922141
- NPWS at [email protected] or your local NPWS ranger with details of location/date and a photo if available
- [email protected]
For more information visit species.biodiversityireland.ie.