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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

#InlandWaters - Combined mooring and passage permits and extended mooring permits for the Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation for the 2019 season are now available online from Waterways Ireland.

All permits will run until Thursday 31 October, with annual renewal on 1 November each year. Applications require a photo of the vessel and a copy of its insurance (third party minimum).

Applicants can decide to print their own permit or have a hard copy sent by post. Submitted applications will receive an acknowledgement email, and once approved, an online link will be emailed for payment.

Questions regarding the application process can be forwarded to the inspectorate at [email protected] or by phone to 09064 35690 (9am-12pm Monday to Friday).

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - Funding for Waterways Ireland is on the rise, and particularly for projects in the Dublin region, according to Heritage Minister Josepha Madigan.

Responding last week to a Dáil question from Cavan-Monaghan TD Brendan Smith, Minister Madigan outlined that estimates for 2019 provide for an allocation of €25,117,000 for Waterways Ireland, representing an overall increase of €1 million on last year’s original allocation.

Within this figure, capital funding for Waterways Ireland has been increased by €800,000 from €3,580,00 to €4,380,000 in 2019.

In response to Dublin West TD Joan Burton, through whose constituency the Royal Canal flows, Minister Madigan provided a breakdown of Waterways Ireland’s Exchequer (current and capital) funding allocation from 2016 to present.

The level of funding provided for maintenance and upgrade of waterways, canals and rivers in Co Dublin specifically as been forecast at €3,153,665 for 2019 — compared to €1,158,136 in 2018.

Responding to a follow-up question from Deputy Smith regarding specific capital funding for maintenance and improvement works on the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Minister Madigan outlined that Waterways Ireland plans to complete 10.4km of Greenway enhancement towpath as well as advance plans for a full-scale Greenway along the 64km route.

Capital funding allocated for Shannon-Erne works is €125,000 for 2019, and Waterways Ireland is partnered with local authorities for three projects to the tuned of €311,500:

  • Development of a Blueway trail between Leitrim Village and Kilclare with Leitrim County Council (€162,000 WI contribution).
  • Development of a Blueway trail between Ballyconnell and Bellaheady Bridge with Cavan County Council (€124,500).
  • Development of forward planning for a trail extension from Aghalane to Lock 1 at Corraquill with Cavan County Council (€25,000).

The minister underlined that any requests for additional funding from Waterways Ireland in 2019 “can only be considered on their merits, taking into account the organisation’s strategic business objectives for the waterways network and the estimates and annual budgetary processes.”

Previously, Kildare South TD Fiona O’Loughlin asked the minister the extent to which she expects an amicable resolution to issues between Waterways Ireland and traditional dwellers and recreational users of the Grand Canal in Co Kildare.

Minister Madigan replied that Waterways Ireland “continues to concentrate on boats which consistently remain in breach of the bye-laws”, and that the cross-border body “will consult with its stakeholders in the drafting of additional bye-laws to ensure proper regulation of craft on the waterways” following the signing into law last summer of the Heritage Act 2018.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - The proposed Blueway route between Toome and Coleraine along the Lower Bann corridor as moved a step closer to fruition as work was recently completed on Phase One of the project at Glenone.

In the joint venture between Mid Ulster District Council and Waterways Ireland, supported by Angling NI, Honourable Irish Society, National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland and local landowner William Chesney, a new multi-use public path along the riverbank was developed.

This accesses an additional 25 coarse angling stands installed as part of the phased works that complement the existing 89 angling stands and associated facilities already at the site, known locally as Molloy’s Ford.​

The work, delivered by Mid Ulster District Council, completed by IL Contracting and project managed by Robinsons & Sons, Ballymoney, was made possible by funding from Waterways Ireland and is part of a proposal to develop a Blueway route from the town of Portglenone to Newferry West, a length of approximately 7km.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake, welcomed the development, saying: “The council recognises the importance of sensitively and appropriately maximising the potential of our natural attractions, such as the Lower Bann flowing through our district, and this project is an example where building collaborative partnerships has resulted in an improved river corridor that will generate and sustain a vibrant and healthy community and economy.

“As well as providing recreational walking, cycling, running and angling opportunities to local people, the site will see international visitors in June when it hosts the 2019 FIPSed 25th European Coarse Angling Championship.”

Waterways Ireland’s Stephen Douglas said of this first phase: “It has brought together a wide range of stakeholder partners in delivering what is the first phase of establishing a Blueway path between Portglenone and Newferry and provision of infrastructure to host the 2019 European Coarse Angling Championship. Our vision is to develop Blueway infrastructure, where possible, along the full length of the Lower Bann River.

“To this end we hope to continue working with our partner organisations to develop the product, gain statutory approvals and pursue funding. Blueways developed to date along our navigations have proven to engage local communities and visitors alike and have contributed significantly in economic and social regeneration of towns and communities along our waterways”.

Blueways are a network of multi-activity recreational trails, based on or alongside idyllic inland waterways, which provide scenic routes into the heart of the countryside traversed by canoe, bike or on foot. Their value lies not only in the recreational opportunities that they offer residents and visitors, but also in their potential to stimulate local businesses and regenerate local areas.

For more information on the project, see www.midulstercouncil.org

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has issued a notice for masters and owners of vessels that the Department of Finance intends changing the law regarding the use of marked gas oil, or MGO, in private pleasure craft from 1 January 2020.

The change follows the recent EU ruling against Ireland regarding the use of MGO — colloquially 'green diesel' — on pleasure craft.

The Department of Finance will propose an amendment to the Finance Act 2019, and once the amendment is enacted, the use of MGO as a propellant by private pleasure craft will be illegal. The practical repercussions of this are that private pleasure craft will need to use standard auto diesel as a propellant.

EU Directive 2003/96 defines “private pleasure craft” as “any craft used by its owner or the natural or legal person who enjoys its use either through hire or through any other means, for other than commercial purposes and in particular other than for the carriage of passengers or goods or for the supply of services for consideration or for the purposes of public authorities.”

In simple terms, the change to the law means that private and hired pleasure craft operating in the Republic of Ireland must use auto diesel from 1 January 2020. Commercial and public authority craft are exempt from the requirement.

Waterways Ireland says further information can be obtained from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - The Waterways Ireland Events Programme is now open for 2019 and welcomes applications from inland waterways and waterside communities seeking support to start and grow sustainable events.

Taking place annually for the past 13 years, the programme has supported competitions, learning experiences, community, historical and educational events for people with and without disabilities across thousands of communities nationwide.

Involving angling, canoeing, rowing, sailing and power sports, arts, history, drama and learning new skills, these events have most importantly been about having fun on the waterways under the auspices of Waterways Ireland, the recreation and navigation authority for the Barrow Navigation, Erne System, Grand Canal, Lower Bann Navigation, Royal Canal, Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation.

“The new vision for the event programme will activate event organisers to consider how they can build in ongoing activity and sustained use of the waterways corridors into their event,” says Sharon Lavin, head of marketing and communications with Waterways Ireland.

“Tourism and participation in recreation has a social and economic impact in waterfront communities, and events are a great way to engage communities with previously under-utilised waterways.”

The application form and guidance notes can be viewed and completed online. Terms and conditions apply. The closing date the receipt of completed applications is Wednesday 16 January.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland’s YouTube channel is this week featuring a series of ‘Stories from the Waterways’ highlighting various community groups and cottage industries that have made the most of their local environment close to Ireland’s canals, lakes and rivers.

The first short film brings to life the work of Row the Erne, a group of experienced and novice rowers that meets every Saturday to row a traditional curragh built by the community themselves.

In Pollagh, Co Ofally, the Devery family tell the story of how the Grand Canal spurred the development of a brick-making industry, the skills from which survive to this day.

In Co Meath, the Ribbontail Padders comprises a group of families who took over an old lockkeeper’s cottage as a base from which to provide canoeing lessons on the Royal Canal.

And on the Lower Bann, joiner Bradden Braillie of the Portna Workshop talks through some of the vital work required to maintain the infrastructure of Ireland’s inland waterways, especially when dealing with technology such as original lock gates that could be hundreds of years old.

For a different perspective of the waterways, ‘river view’ images from this past summer’s Google Trekker survey of the River Shannon is now live on Google Maps.

In conjunction with Waterways Ireland, the Google Trekker Loan Programme toured from Lough Allen to Loop Head gathering data for what amounts to “the first such water-based collection of imagery on the island of Ireland”.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland is involved with the European project Green WIN, which aims to address excess energy use and high carbon emissions generated by pumping equipment and systems to keep waterways operational.

This project is funded under Priority 2 ‘Low Carbon’ of the European Regional Development Fund Interreg North-West Europe 2014-2020 and is led by Canal and River Trust (UK).

The other project partners are Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat (NL), Université of Liège (BE), Voies Navigables de France (FR) and Vlaamse Landmaatschappij (BE).

The project aims to use trials of low-carbon water pumping technologies, systems or processes to show north-west European water management organisations how energy consumption and CO2 emissions for such operations can be significantly reduced.

From these trials, and by demonstrating a methodical approach that can be used after the project is complete, Green WIN aim to achieve 15% energy savings and CO2 reductions at 11 trial sites in Ireland, the UK and France by 2021, reducing energy use by 778,000 kWh and CO2 emissions by 195 tonnes.

Main outputs and pilots will be an infrastructure audit, technology trials, investment, procurement and business planning guidelines (a Greener Pumping Technologies Toolkit) and an established support network.

Green WIN will roll these out to other water management organisations by encouraging them to carry out new installations as their existing equipment reaches end of life.

The project will also aim to influence change in behaviours as well as legislation to reach a greater take up of greener technologies, lower energy usage, reduced emissions and more organisations involved in taking forward the technologies demonstrated in the project.

For more information on the project, visit the GreenWIN website.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland advises that the electricity supply to power pedestals and the supply of water to taps on public moorings on the Shannon Navigation will soon be disconnected for the winter period.

The move is being made for environmental reasons and to reduce maintenance costs. Services will be restored prior to the commencement of the 2019 boating season.

Shore power supply at the Round ‘O’ and Carrybridge public moorings on the Erne System, as well was water supply to taps throughout that system, was already disconnected or winter as of Wednesday 7 November.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - Tools created by local Fermanagh craftsperson Albert Robinson were a key feature during this year’s World Canals Conference.

The tools, displayed in archive exhibition ‘Reflections, the Lasting Legacy of the Waterways’, brought to life the story of the strong men who powered the construction of Ireland’s canals system over 200 years ago.

Commissioned by the Directors General of Inland Navigation in 1813, the final section of the Royal Canal in Ireland to connect with the Shannon River was an extraordinary feat of ingenuity, engineering and sheer hard labour.

The contract to build the canal — complete with 21 locks, an aqueduct, 38 bridges, 40 tunnels, and numerous quays and harbours — was undertaken by Henry, Mullins and MacMahon in 1814 under the direction of the pre-eminent Irish engineer of that time, John Killaly.

Remarkably, that final section was completed within three short years at a cost of £198,110, covering a distance of some 24 1/2 miles.

What is most striking is that the tools available to the canal builders at this time, the world-famous ‘navvies’, were so basic.

Under the building contract, a detailed design specification was prepared for the manufacture of these tools to the company standard.

Local man Albert Robinson, a carpenter with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, meticulously recreated these tools – a hand barrow and a wheelbarrow – using the specific wood types, elm for strength and ash for flexibility.

Patterson’s Spade Mills, owned and run by the National Trust, is the last remaining spade mill in daily use in Britain and Ireland. They, too, faithfully recreated objects from the original drawings, producing a spade and shovel.

The tools were on display throughout the World Canals Conference — which attracted over 320 delegates from 12 countries across three continents over its three days last month — and provoked much positive comment and requests for further displays of this quality work.

Commenting on the unique collection of handcrafted tools, Dawn Livingstone, chief executive of Waterways Ireland, said: “Working in partnership with Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and the National Trust, we have brought back to life a remarkable era of canal construction and created objects that tell the story of the men who built the amazing waterways that we continue to enjoy today.

“I commend the skill of the craftspeople involved from Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and Patterson's Spade Mill and would encourage visitors to see this extraordinary collection for themselves.”

Speaking about the exhibition, chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, said: “I am tremendously impressed by the craftsmanship shown by Albert in the recreation of the tools used in the construction of the final section of the Royal Canal.

“Albert’s ingenuity and craftsmanship have often been utilised in his work with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and I am delighted that his talent has been showcased to a wider audience at such a prestigious event.”

Nathan Domer, visitor experience officer with the National Trust, added that “this type of project is at the forefront of our core aims as a charitable organisation to conserve our heritage on land and on water for all to enjoy for ever, for everyone."

The tools and the original blueprint drawings in the exhibition can be viewed at Waterways Ireland HQ at 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen weekdays from 9.30am to 5.15pm till Friday 9 November.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - This week Waterways Ireland has launched new corporate pages on Facebook and Twitter.

The social media accounts draw together all the messages around marine notices, job vacancies, construction works, corporate events and public consultations into a single location where interested parties can more easily find the information they need.

Waterways Ireland Notifications is the page name for both Facebook and Twitter.

All the posts will link back to the Waterways Ireland website where further detail, application forms, and options to participate will be more fully explained.

The current Waterways Ireland Facebook and Twitter pages “will continue to promote the enjoyment, scenic beauty, leisure travel and activities that form the pre-eminent experiences that bring waterway communities to life,” the cross-border agency says.

Published in Inland Waterways
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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