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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterways users on the Erne System that the Upper Lough Erne Predator Challenger boat pike angling competition will take place this Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April.

The event will take place from the Share Centre Activity Centre on Upper Lough Erne, with around 50 boats taking part from 9am to 5pm each day.

Waterways users are reminded that the slipways at Corradillar and Derryadd will be busy with fishing boats launching for event.

Masters are requested to keep wash to a minimum when passing fishing vessels, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that in-river works for the construction of the Killaloe Bypass upper bridge superstructure are progressing as planned and will continue until October 2024.

As previously reported on, the bridge is being constructed around 1km downstream of the current Killaloe–Ballina bridge.

A buoyed navigational channel continues to be provided for 100 metres either side of the in-river works.

The following plant and equipment will be operating on or overhead the navigation during the upper bridge works:

  • 600t crawler crane set up on the east shore
  • Stabilising crane barge (30m x 23m x 1.88m)
  • 100t crawler crane
  • Tugboat/pusher boat
  • Dumb barge (23m x 9m) and mobile elevated work platforms
  • Safety boat
  • Landing pontoon and gangways

From next Tuesday 2 to Friday 19 April, the final steel girders will be lifted into position in the central spans of the bridge.

This is a heavy lift operation and deemed high-risk work, requiring calm waters for operation of mobile elevated work platforms (MEWP) on barges.

Masters of vessels are requested to proceed at slow speed (5 knots, no wash) with additional caution in the vicinity of the works, and to follow the instructions of the safety boat crew as there are hazards such as bridge piers, steel piles and mooring lines to navigate.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways thanks its customers for their cooperation in relation to these works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels that the winter mooring period will end this Easter Sunday, 31 March, on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway.

Shannon Navigation Bye-law No. 17(3) will apply from 31 March, such that vessels should not berth in the same harbour for longer than the statutory period of five consecutive days nor more than a total of seven days in any one month.

Services were reconnected to Waterways Ireland harbours and jetties from Friday 15 March, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Shannon Navigation that Battlebridge Lock and the harbour areas immediately upstream and downstream in Battlebridge, Co Leitrim will be closed from this Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 March due to planned diving inspections in the area.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it regrets any inconvenience that this may cause and thanks its customers for their cooperation.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on and users of the Shannon Navigation that all locks and bridges within the North Shannon region will be closed for one day on Thursday 21 March to facilitate mandatory staff training.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways apologies for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks its customers for their cooperation in relation to this matter.

Published in Inland Waterways

Ireland’s inland boating season officially reopens from March 17th, in line with other European countries, with all services and facilities once again accessible at the extensive range of moorings and harbours across Ireland. Over 15,000 registered boats avail of Ireland’s navigations for recreational use, with Waterways Ireland looking forward to welcoming their return to the water throughout the spring and summer seasons.

Waterways Ireland provides a range of services and facilities at over 250 amenity sites across the 1,100km of navigable waterways. These range from waterfront rural sites with parking and a mooring or quay wall to semi-urban and urban waterside sites with floating moorings electricity, toilets and showers. Local businesses, including cafes, restaurants, bike and water activity rentals, will also benefit from the new and returning boaters visiting their communities throughout the peak seasons.

Since 2002, Waterways Ireland has invested over €100m along the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway alone with significant investments across other navigations. This investment has created an international boating destination capable of attracting and accommodating thousands of boaters and visitors, both from home and abroad, to enjoy the Shannon and Shannon-Erne facilities and experience the wonders of Ireland’s Hidden Heartland.

In addition, boaters returning to the waters will enjoy several new and refurbished facilities opening this year that will enhance boaters’ waterways experience. This includes a refurbished and extended Connaught Harbour in Portumna and a new section of Blueway in Portumna, linking Connaught Harbour and Castle Harbour. Extension work on jetties on the Erne at Devenish Island will also be finished shortly, and a Service Block Refurbishment (Ballyconnell and Ballinamore) will be underway this spring.

175 locks and chambers, and 360 bridges are ready to operate for the season ahead across the Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Shannon, Shannon-Erne, Erne, Barrow, and Lower Bann navigations.

Commenting on the season reopening, Inspector of Navigation, Paddy Harkin said: “As the boating season reopens, we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors back to enjoy everything the waterways have to offer. Each year, we’re seeing boating increase in popularity, and it affords visitors a fantastic opportunity to immerse themselves in nature in a way they might not have experienced before. At Waterways Ireland, we ask boaters to please remember to be safe when out on the water and to always make sure to have boat safety equipment such as life jackets and fire extinguishers on board. We would like to wish everyone an enjoyable and safe boating experience in 2024.”

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and users of the Erne System in Northern Ireland that the St Patrick’s Illuminated Flotilla will take place in Enniskillen this Saturday evening 16 March.

The event runs from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, starting at the Killyhevlin Hotel and passsing through Enniskillen to the Round ‘O’.

There will be around 40 vessels taking part in the event. The Enniskillen Castle/Museums jetty will be closed for the event, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says.

Water-based activities will also take place at the Lakeland Forum area in Broadmeadow on St Patrick’s Day (Sunday 17 March).

Boat trips, canoeing, water bikes and other activities will be taking place in the area. Masters of vessels should keep their wash to a minimum when passing the area of the activities.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Lower Bann navigation in Northern Ireland that the installation of new lock gates at Movanagher Lock has been completed as of Wednesday 13 March and the navigation is now reopened.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways thanks its customers for their cooperation in relation to this matter.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises arrangements have been made for Iarnród Éireann to open the lifting bridge at Newcomen Bridge on the Royal Canal in Dublin on the following dates and times, if there is demand:

  • Sunday 5 May, 9am-1pm (Low water 16:00)
  • Saturday 25 May, 9am-1pm (Low water 06:47)
  • Tuesday 18 June, 11am-1pm (Low water 15:38)
  • Tuesday 16 July, 11am-1pm (Low water 13:58)
  • Friday 16 August, 11am-1pm (Low water 15:26)
  • Friday 27 September, 11am-1pm (Low water 14:26)

Waterways Ireland’s Eastern Regional Office requires two weeks’ notice from boaters for use of these lifts (Tel: +353 1 868 0148 or [email protected]). Should there not be a demand (minimum two boats) for a particular date, Iarnród Éireann will be notified that the scheduled lift is cancelled.

A maximum number of boats passing will be implemented to keep to the times given above for the planned lifts (16 for the Saturday/Sunday lifts and eight for the weekday lifts). Priority will be given on a first come, first served basis.

On day of lift, boaters and passengers must follow guidance from Waterways Ireland staff about sequence of passage under the bridge and through Lock 1, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Shannon Navigation that the lifting bridge at Tarmonbarry in Co Roscommon will remain closed until at least Thursday 18 April to facilitate essential maintenance works.

Works at Tarmonbarry were previously extended twice since beginning in early February, and a diversion route is available via the Camlin River.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it regrets any inconvenience that this may cause and thanks its customers for their cooperation.

This story was updated on Wednesday 3 April to include the latest information.

Published in Inland Waterways
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Ireland's offshore islands

Around 30 of Ireland's offshore islands are inhabited and hold a wealth of cultural heritage.

A central Government objective is to ensure that sustainable vibrant communities continue to live on the islands.

Irish offshore islands FAQs

Technically, it is Ireland itself, as the third largest island in Europe.

Ireland is surrounded by approximately 80 islands of significant size, of which only about 20 are inhabited.

Achill island is the largest of the Irish isles with a coastline of almost 80 miles and has a population of 2,569.

The smallest inhabited offshore island is Inishfree, off Donegal.

The total voting population in the Republic's inhabited islands is just over 2,600 people, according to the Department of Housing.

Starting with west Cork, and giving voting register numbers as of 2020, here you go - Bere island (177), Cape Clear island (131),Dursey island (6), Hare island (29), Whiddy island (26), Long island, Schull (16), Sherkin island (95). The Galway islands are Inis Mór (675), Inis Meáin (148), Inis Oírr (210), Inishbofin (183). The Donegal islands are Arranmore (513), Gola (30), Inishboffin (63), Inishfree (4), Tory (140). The Mayo islands, apart from Achill which is connected by a bridge, are Clare island (116), Inishbiggle (25) and Inishturk (52).

No, the Gaeltacht islands are the Donegal islands, three of the four Galway islands (Inishbofin, like Clifden, is English-speaking primarily), and Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire in west Cork.

Lack of a pier was one of the main factors in the evacuation of a number of islands, the best known being the Blasket islands off Kerry, which were evacuated in November 1953. There are now three cottages available to rent on the Great Blasket island.

In the early 20th century, scholars visited the Great Blasket to learn Irish and to collect folklore and they encouraged the islanders to record their life stories in their native tongue. The three best known island books are An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers, and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. Former taoiseach Charles J Haughey also kept a residence on his island, Inishvickillaune, which is one of the smaller and less accessible Blasket islands.

Charles J Haughey, as above, or late Beatle musician, John Lennon. Lennon bought Dorinish island in Clew Bay, south Mayo, in 1967 for a reported £1,700 sterling. Vendor was Westport Harbour Board which had used it for marine pilots. Lennon reportedly planned to spend his retirement there, and The Guardian newspaper quoted local estate agent Andrew Crowley as saying he was "besotted with the place by all accounts". He did lodge a planning application for a house, but never built on the 19 acres. He offered it to Sid Rawle, founder of the Digger Action Movement and known as the "King of the Hippies". Rawle and 30 others lived there until 1972 when their tents were burned by an oil lamp. Lennon and Yoko Ono visited it once more before his death in 1980. Ono sold the island for £30,000 in 1984, and it is widely reported that she donated the proceeds of the sale to an Irish orphanage


Yes, Rathlin island, off Co Antrim's Causeway Coast, is Ireland's most northerly inhabited island. As a special area of conservation, it is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots. It is known for its Rathlin golden hare. It is almost famous for the fact that Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, retreated after being defeated by the English at Perth and hid in a sea cave where he was so inspired by a spider's tenacity that he returned to defeat his enemy.

No. The Aran islands have a regular ferry and plane service, with ferries from Ros-a-Mhíl, south Connemara all year round and from Doolin, Co Clare in the tourist season. The plane service flies from Indreabhán to all three islands. Inishbofin is connected by ferry from Cleggan, Co Galway, while Clare island and Inishturk are connected from Roonagh pier, outside Louisburgh. The Donegal islands of Arranmore and Tory island also have ferry services, as has Bere island, Cape Clear and Sherkin off Cork. How are the island transport services financed? The Government subsidises transport services to and from the islands. The Irish Coast Guard carries out medical evacuations, as to the RNLI lifeboats. Former Fianna Fáíl minister Éamon Ó Cuív is widely credited with improving transport services to and from offshore islands, earning his department the nickname "Craggy island".

Craggy Island is an bleak, isolated community located of the west coast, inhabited by Irish, a Chinese community and one Maori. Three priests and housekeeper Mrs Doyle live in a parochial house There is a pub, a very small golf course, a McDonald's fast food restaurant and a Chinatown... Actually, that is all fiction. Craggy island is a figment of the imagination of the Father Ted series writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, for the highly successful Channel 4 television series, and the Georgian style parochial house on the "island" is actually Glenquin House in Co Clare.

Yes, that is of the Plassey, a freighter which was washed up on Inis Oírr in bad weather in 1960.

There are some small privately owned islands,and islands like Inishlyre in Co Mayo with only a small number of residents providing their own transport. Several Connemara islands such as Turbot and Inishturk South have a growing summer population, with some residents extending their stay during Covid-19. Turbot island off Eyrephort is one such example – the island, which was first spotted by Alcock and Brown as they approached Ireland during their epic transatlantic flight in 1919, was evacuated in 1978, four years after three of its fishermen drowned on the way home from watching an All Ireland final in Clifden. However, it is slowly being repopulated

Responsibility for the islands was taking over by the Department of Rural and Community Development . It was previously with the Gaeltacht section in the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

It is a periodic bone of contention, as Ireland does not have the same approach to its islands as Norway, which believes in right of access. However, many improvements were made during Fianna Fáíl Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív's time as minister. The Irish Island Federation, Comdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, represents island issues at national and international level.

The 12 offshore islands with registered voters have long argued that having to cast their vote early puts them at a disadvantage – especially as improved transport links mean that ballot boxes can be transported to the mainland in most weather conditions, bar the winter months. Legislation allowing them to vote on the same day as the rest of the State wasn't passed in time for the February 2020 general election.

Yes, but check tide tables ! Omey island off north Connemara is accessible at low tide and also runs a summer race meeting on the strand. In Sligo, 14 pillars mark the way to Coney island – one of several islands bearing this name off the Irish coast.

Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire is the country's most southerly inhabited island, eight miles off the west Cork coast, and within sight of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, also known as the "teardrop of Ireland".
Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast, which has a monastic site dating from the 6th century. It is accessible by boat – prebooking essential – from Portmagee, Co Kerry. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it was not open to visitors in 2020.
All islands have bird life, but puffins and gannets and kittiwakes are synonymous with Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Rathlin island off Antrim and Cape Clear off west Cork have bird observatories. The Saltee islands off the Wexford coast are privately owned by the O'Neill family, but day visitors are permitted access to the Great Saltee during certain hours. The Saltees have gannets, gulls, puffins and Manx shearwaters.
Vikings used Dublin as a European slaving capital, and one of their bases was on Dalkey island, which can be viewed from Killiney's Vico road. Boat trips available from Coliemore harbour in Dalkey. Birdwatch Ireland has set up nestboxes here for roseate terns. Keep an eye out also for feral goats.
Plenty! There are regular boat trips in summer to Inchagoill island on Lough Corrib, while the best known Irish inshore island might be the lake isle of Innisfree on Sligo's Lough Gill, immortalised by WB Yeats in his poem of the same name. Roscommon's Lough Key has several islands, the most prominent being the privately-owned Castle Island. Trinity island is more accessible to the public - it was once occupied by Cistercian monks from Boyle Abbey.

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