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Displaying items by tag: Royal Canal

Waterways Ireland has issued a reminder to all masters and owners of vessels that all canal permits expired on 1 November and must now be renewed.

Permits can be renewed online at the Waterways Ireland website.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways warns that vessels not compliant with the Canal Act 1986 (Bye-Laws) 1988, such as

  • Vessels with no permit, Bye Law 6(8);
  • Vessels non-attended and apparently abandoned, Bye Law 6(8);
  • Vessels doubled moored and causing obstruction (sunk), Bye Law 27 (3); and
  • Vessels deemed to be/likely to cause a hazard to navigation, Bye Law 33(3)

will be removed from the Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation. Removed vessels may then be subsequently disposed of in accordance with Bye Law 34(2).

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, last year saw a big jump in the number of boat removals from the inland waterways under a programme to remove abandoned, sunken and “non-compliant” boats and structures from the canals network.

Published in Inland Waterways

Masters of vessels on the Royal Canal are advised that two lock gates in West Dublin and North Kildare will be replaced over the winter period starting from this week, according to Waterways Ireland.

Works will begin on the middle gates at the 12th Lock in Castleknock and the deep gates at Lock 15 near Kilcock on Monday 15 November, with an expected end date for both works of 14 January 2022. Waterways Ireland apologies for any inconvenience caused to users of this inland waterway.

Published in Inland Waterways

Amid concerns over reduced water levels this year on the Grand and Royal Canals, Afloat.ie reader and former Oireachtas policy advisor Cathal Murphy fears for the future of Ireland’s inland waterways

Water levels on the canals plummeted over recent months. This was seen on the Royal Canal and Grand Canal and along the latter’s Barrow Line. They were so bad in parts that boats could not move on these 200-year-old navigations.

The water levels in parts were allegedly down over half a metre, the lowest in living memory. These historic pieces of heritage are under threat because if water levels continue to decrease they will not survive.

Is it structural problems? Is climate change responsible? The answers are yet to be found. The canals are supposed to have a stable water level, they are supplied off feeders which are water sources redirected from rivers.

These canals are great pieces of engineering, naturally maintaining their levels for boats to navigate. But suddenly after two centuries of functional infrastructure, we are seeing boats halted as water levels shrink.

The State at the moment is putting millions into greenway and blueway routes along these canals, but without the water and the boats these will become just paths along empty trenches in the countryside. It should be a basic function to keep water levels up as has been done for the past 200 years.

Illustrating the reduction in water levels on the Barrow Line in Co Laois in September 2021 | Credit: Cathal MurphyIllustrating the reduction in water levels on the Barrow Line in Co Laois in September 2021 | Credit: Cathal Murphy

It is not just the heritage affected. These waterways maintain immense biodiversity. Low water levels increase algal blooms, with devastating effects on fish and other invertebrates that use the habitat of the canal.

There is huge cultural and historical importance to the canals, forming a network upon which nature flourishes, history is functioning and people travel. Ireland needs them. They encourage tourism from both home and abroad so people can navigate these waterways like the canals of England and France.

Waterways Ireland, who maintain the canals, have said previously that low levels are due to leaks and not enough machinery to maintain the feeders that supply the canal, and maintain canal navigation.

Although this year we have seen some of the lowest levels, this has been an ongoing issue for a decade. This year marine notices stated that water levels were down 45cm in late August, and anecdotally they were down 60cm from Monastarevin to Athy along the Barrow Line.

The drying up of our canals is happening in front of our eyes. Some interim measures have been taken that have seen a rise in water levels in recent weeks but these are not long-term.

Whatever the reason for the water disappearing, the canals need to be protected, and to be seen as the asset of the State that they really are — and an amenity to all.

Published in Your Say

The Royal Canal Greenway is the place to be this upcoming Halloween with 16 spooktacular events happening all along the 225-year-old Royal Canal this mid-term break.

The greenway, which is the longest in Ireland at 130km, encompasses four counties — Kildare, Longford, Meath and Westmeath — and has an abundance of stops with plenty of activities for all interests this Halloween including a haunted train, a spine-tingling med-evil exhibition, a Halloween feast and even a spooky science camp!

Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland said: “We are thrilled to have such a wide variety of offerings this Halloween along the Royal Canal Greenway. Across all four counties through which the Royal Canal Greenway travels we have something for everyone throughout the week.

“Whether you want to spend your days enjoying leisurely walks in the countryside or entertaining the family between cycle stops you are sure to find what you are looking for. It’s easy to stay over and keep exploring.”

Waterways Ireland has put together a handy list of events to make sure you avoid the horror of missing out this Halloween — but be sure to act fast as booking is essential for many of these happenings.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Royal Canal that a breach in the canal has occurred in the vicinity of Richmond Harbour.

A significant reduction in water levels has occurred on the level between Locks 45 and 46 on the inland waterway.

Repair works commenced today, Monday 18 October, but there will be no access to Richmond Harbour from the Camlin River or from the eastern side through Lock 45 until further notice.

Masters and owners of boats moored in Richmond Harbour are advised to check on their boat regularly as water levels stabilise and rise again. Waterways Ireland says further updates will be provided in due course.

Published in Inland Waterways

The 130km Royal Canal Greenway from Maynooth to Cloondara was launched in March this year and proved a big hit with locals and visitors alike over the summer months, according to Waterways Ireland.

Now the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways has commissioned Tracsis Traffic Data to gain feedback and delve deeper into who the greenway’s users are and how they’re using it via an online survey this month.

“We want to understand how the Royal Canal Greenway is contributing to the visitor economy across the counties of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford,” Waterways Ireland says.

If you have recently visited the Royal Canal Greenway anywhere between Maynooth to Cloondara, the short five-minute survey asks you to share your thoughts on the experience.

The link is also available via QR codes placed along the greenway, and there’s a chance to win a €100 shopping voucher for those taking part. The closing date for the survey is Sunday 31 October.

Published in Inland Waterways

Low water levels continue to be experienced on the Grand Canal’s Main Line and Barrow Line as well as on the Royal Canal, Waterways Ireland has warned.

Some levels are currently 450mm down on normal levels, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says, as the sources that supply water to the navigations have been affected by the recent warm and dry spell as well as unfavourable rainfall patterns.

Masters of vessels are advised to proceed with additional caution and to contact the relevant water patroller for latest advice and assistance.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has issued a number of updates for inland waterways users on the Erne System, Grand and Royal Canals and Barrow Navigation.

On the Erne System, the Galloon Bridge refurbishment project southwest of Newtownbutler will commence next Monday 23 August.

Vessels will not be permitted to navigate under the bridge at Galloon due to these works, which are expected to continue for 16 weeks.

In addition, the Carrybridge jetty and slipway will be closed for five days from Monday 23 to Friday 27 August for the realignment of jetty fingers. The electrical supply to bollards and pump-out will be turned off during this period.

On the Grand Canal, low water levels are being experienced on both the main line and Barrow Line, which are currently 300mm down on normal levels.

Masters of vessels are advised to proceed with additional caution and to contact the relevant water patroller for latest advice and assistance.

On the Royal Canal, canoe polo events will take place in the Kilcock Harbour area this Friday 20 August.

Waterways Ireland requests that the polo pitch areas and harbour be kept clear of all vessels to facilitate the events, and that masters of vessels comply with instructions from marshals.

Meanwhile, on the Barrow Navigation masters and owners are advised that Clashganny Lock is now fully operational following its temporary closure for essential repairs.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that low water levels are being experienced on the summit level of the Royal Canal near Mullingar as the Midlands experience the highest temperatures of Ireland’s extended heatwave.

Water levels are currently down 300mm. As a result, masters of vessels are advised to proceed with additional caution and to contact the water patroller (Billy Dixon at +353 (0)87 6182104) for latest advice and assistance.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and users of the Shannon Navigation that the ESB will be carrying out repairs to the electricity network in the Tarmonbarry area in Co Roscommon tomorrow, Monday 12 July.

As a result, Tarmonbarry lifting bridge and lock will be inoperable behttps://afloat.ie/itemlist/tag/Shannon%20Navigationtween 9am and 4pm during the repair works and no passage will be permitted until their completion.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways also notes that due to ongoing mechanical issues, Begnagh Bridge on the Royal Canal will be opened by manual means on the following dates only: Fridays 16, 23 and 30 July and Fridays 6, 13, 20 and 27 August.

Lifts will occur at 12pm on each day and prior notice must be given two days in advance to the water patroller in Clondra at +353 (0)87 915 1400.

Published in Inland Waterways
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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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