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Enjoy four days of classic yacht racing, steamboats, vintage and classic car displays, from Friday 27 August to Monday 30 August at the National Trust’s magnificent Crom Estate, Upper Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh on Ireland's inland waterways.

Supported by Waterways Ireland and organised by the Lough Erne Classic Yacht Association(, the Waterways Ireland Classic Yacht Regatta promises to be a great weekend for yachting enthusiasts and families alike, with yachts visiting from all over Ireland and the UK.  Not since 1913 when Crom was the social hub, and centre of the inland yachting world will there been such an gathering of classic craft.

Up to 100 classic sail and steam yachts are expected to fill the bays around Crom, and likely to be joined by many other visitors on cruisers converging from across the Shannon-Erne system. While classic yachts will take pride of place at this event the whole of Crom estate will be alive with activity as music, vintage cars and live demonstrations of steam powered Edwardian vessels add to the range of attractions on offer.

Commenting on the yachting extravaganza Paul Louden-Brown, Chairman, Lough Erne Classic Yacht Association said “We have had an amazing uptake in the number and quality of historic yachts booking to race at Crom.  One of the many highlights of the bank holiday weekend activity is a series of races between two of Linton Hope’s one-designs. The Broad’s Brown Boats and Fairy Class Yachts from Lough Erne Yacht Club and the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, will compete for a special challenge trophy.  This will be the first time these fleets have raced against each other.

Lough Erne Yacht Club was founded in 1837 at Crom, and the waters surrounding the castle and nearby estates are where some of the most technically innovative and historically important yachts were built and raced, many of them by the leading designers of the day like Fife, Watson, Mylne and Payne. For 80 years the leading families of the Upper Lough raced their yachts in fierce competition for magnificent silver trophy cups but all this ended with the beginning of the world war. Once again, in August 2010, yachts will race on these historic waters.”

Martin Dennany, Director of Marketing & Communications, Waterways Ireland added “We are delighted to sponsor this magnificent event combining both water and land based activities. This event will highlight the beauty of Lough Erne and the Crom Estate and encourage more people to visit this beautiful spot. For the first time ever these historic crafts will race against each other and I am sure this event will be a wonderful family event, so Crom Estate is the place to be from 27th to the 30th August.”

Jim Chestnutt, National Trust Property Manager for Fermanagh concluded “This unique event combines four days of activities around Lough Erne and the magnificent Crom Estate.  Visitors will have the opportunity to walk along the banks of the Lough and take in the sights, sounds and smells of the magnificent classic sail and steam yachts. Combined with an array of other activities including vintage car displays and an opportunity for children and young persons to try sailing with Lough Erne Yacht Club, free of charge, the four day event is guaranteed to draw in crowds of visitors.”


Published in Inland Waterways
Waterways Ireland has, since the 2nd of August been removing over 30 tonnes of weed from Upper Lough Erne on Ireland's inland waterways per week. In a concerted programme of weed cutting and removal the North-South Body has been working intensively to keep the Erne System’s main navigation channel between Belturbet and Enniskillen open to navigation. Water levels and weather during the spring and summer have combined to provide conditions for mass aquatic weed growth. Aquatic weed is now present in quantities not encountered since 2004.

Boaters are advised to navigate with caution in the main and secondary channels on Upper Lough Erne. Mass weed is present in many shallow bays and other shallow areas of the Upper Lough and boaters should either avoid these areas or exercise caution.

Waterways Ireland purchased a specialist weed harvester in 2005 and has been using it to remove between 30 and 40 tonnes of weed per week from the navigation.  Harvesting began on 2 August and is concentrated initially on the main navigation channel between Belturbet and Enniskillen. When resources allow, harvesting in the secondary channels will be undertaken.

Harvesting, handling and disposal of weed is carried out in line with procedures agreed with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

If snagged by weed, boaters should turn off the engine and use a safe means to de-foul the propeller and water intake. If the water intake has been blocked, close the fresh water internal isolation valve and clear the filter.

Up-to-date navigational information for any part of the Erne System may be obtained from the Lough Erne Warden on Tel no +44 28 6632 2836.
Published in Inland Waterways

Delivery of the vessel from Mooney Boats in Killybegs was down along the West Coast of Ireland, up the Shannon estuary and through the twin locks at Ardnacrusha, to its new work place on the Lower Shannon. The Inis Muilinn is the second new vessel to enter service on the Shannon. The larger Inis Cealtra workboat commenced service on the North Shannon in 2009.

Specially designed for towing operations on inland waterways, the Inis Muilinn has a shallow draught and powerful 320hp engine to enable it tow and manoeuvre pontoons and sections of floating moorings to various locations along the Shannon. The access basket attachment for the deck crane enables ready and safe access to high navigation markers and bridges along the waterways.

Designed as a multi-purpose workboat/tug, the Inis Muilinn is equipped with a Caterpillar C7 320hp engine and quick-shift Twin Disc gearbox,13 kVA Generator, Guerra deck crane and remote controlled man access basket, hydraulic bow thruster and a suite of electronic equipment including chart-plotter, radar and radio equipment. Environmentally friendly sealed tube coolers are used on both the main engine and generator. The substantial tube cooler supplied by Klima for the main engine is designed to enable the boat to operate at maximum power when travelling against the strong winter flows encountered on the Shannon.

The Inis Muilinn is a further addition to a fleet of more than 60 boats owned and operated by Waterways Ireland staff in the management and maintenance of the waterways under its remit.

The Inis Muilinn was designed and built to Waterways Irelands specification by Mooney Boats of Killybegs and their naval architects, Marine Design International. The vessel is constructed and certified to the meet the regulatory requirements of the Marine Survey Office (Dept of Transport).


Published in Shannon Estuary

Waterways Ireland has issued a notice to users of the Grand Canal of its intention to carry out new inland waterways works by way of provision of house boat berths at Shannon Harbour, Co.Offaly.

The work site will be from Griffith Bridge to a point approximately 200m eastwards of the bridge. A temporary dam will be constructed in the vicinity of this site which will close the canal to navigation at this location.

The work is expected to commence in Oct 2010 and be completed by Mar 2011. Any owners planning to transit the canal at this time should take into account this closure, say the Waterways body.


Published in Inland Waterways
The implications for Ireland's Coast and Inland Waterways are examined in a report by the Heritage Council and Failte Ireland. The report examines the potential impacts, as well as indirect impacts on heritage from adaptation responses such as flood relief schemes, and renewable energy generation. The main findings of the review show that the heritage of the coast is at particular risk, which will impact on related tourism activities too. Our inland waterways will also be affected by changes in precipitation patterns, flooding, increased water pollution, and extreme weather events. More HERE.



Published in Inland Waterways
People are being advised to mind their pets on South Lough Ree as a toxic algae is present in the water of this inland waterway. Westmeath Co Co is putting up warning signs in the area after a recent occurrence of a toxic algae bloom poisoned a dog.
Westmeath County Council is warning people about the dangers of the algae for animals which forms during spells of dry weather with little or no wind.
Cllr Kevin 'Boxer' Moran told the Westmeath Independent that the dog's owner approached both himself and the council to alert them to the danger and said it was a tragic thing to happen any pet lover. The man had also been swimming, but was not affected by the algae.
Published in Inland Waterways

Over 500 boaters gathered to welcome the President and Dr McAleese. President of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland. Inland Association president Paul Garland said “The McAleese family is no stranger to the River Shannon. Most of us have had their friendly wave as they pass by and I know that they share that special joy we all have by simply being on the river”


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On a typical wet Irish morning, President McAleese officially opened the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland 50th Shannon Boat Rally, Saturday 24th July in Carrick on Shannon.

In her address, the President recalled her first boating experience on Lough Ree – “Martin and I were only baby boaters at that time – as we met our first four foot wave, our son Justin – who had little faith in our boating skills – called on us to contact the coastguard!” Reflecting on the significance of the River Shannon to the towns, villages and communities along its route, the President said “from this silver garland – our river Shannon – you see Ireland from a different perspective”

Over 140 boats, barges and sailing cruisers crewed by over 500 people will spend the next two weeks holidaying on the River Shannon bringing much needed business to the many small towns and villages along the banks of the Shannon. The two largest towns on the river - Carrick on Shannon and Athlone along with Waterways Ireland – have invested significantly in the river’s navigation, harbours and facilities which makes boating a pleasure for the Shannon Rally. The Shannon Rally goes from strength to strength said Commodore of the 50th rally, Donal O’Siocháin, with more and more people choosing to holiday in Ireland on our rivers – year on year.

President McAleese concluded by thanking the IWAI volunteers – “the custodians of the river, the champions of the river – who cherish the river – they have taught us to be careful of the river – to keep it for the next generation.

Commodore Donal O’Siocháin presented President McAleese a specially commissioned Leitrim crystal plate engraved with the rally emblem and a copy of the newly launched book “Stories of a River” - commemorating 50 years of the Shannon Boat Rally. Vice Commodore Tom Meegan presented Dr McAleese with a bottle of single malt Irish whiskey – one of only 292 bottles matured at Kilbeggan’s Locke’s Distillery especially for the Shannon Rally.

The event was attended by Frank Dolan Cathaoirleach Leitrim County Council, County Manager Leitrim County Council - Jackie Maguire, and Waterways Ireland Chief Executive Waterways Ireland - John Martin.


The full text of IWAI President, Paul Garland's speech, and Rally Commodore Donal O'Siocháin's speech follow.


Opening Addresses of IWAI President, Paul Garland

President, Cathaoirleach, Commodore, Ladies and Gentlemen, we are deeply honoured here today by the President, Mary McAleese's attendance as we mark this moment the opening of the 50th Shannon Boat Rally.

The McAleese family are no strangers to the River Shannon. Most of us have had their friendly wave as they pass by and I know that they share that special joy we all have by simply being on the River. We thank them for their continuing support as members of our association.

I would like to thank Leitrim County Council and Lei trim Tourism for all their support and encouragement during my time as President of this association, and to take this opportunity to congratulate them on the recent improvements to Carrick, the county town.  I think you will agree it has never looked better.

Since Brian Boru brought a fleet of 300 boats up to Lough Ree from his base in Kincora in 1010 we have had 1000 years of recorded boating on the Shannon. I do not wish to compare the Shannon Boat Rally to a Raid on the Vikings but if the hat fits it's easy enough to add the horns.

Over the intervening years the Shannon and the connected waterways have influenced the many aspects of Irish life, people have lived beside it pre history, it has gone from Battle Field of Vikings to the Motorway of the industrial revolution, early monastic settlements show the holistic attract ion. By the 1930's it was giving a fledgling state electricity. It was in the early 1950's that the Shannon and Canal system saw its biggest threat. Years of decline led the government of the day to propose a Bridge Order, which would repeal the Shannon Navigation Act and allow initially a fixed low level Bridge at Athlone with Tarmonbarry and Roosky to follow. A campaign followed with a series of letters headed "Strangling the Shannon". The great friend of waterways and founder member of this association, Harry Rice, wrote "If a fixed Bridge was built it would lie functioning like so many planks across a Bog drain ,barring the passage of anything much bigger then a Lifeboat. If that happens, the closing ceremony of the Shannon will be preformed to the applause of its suicidal sponsors and the great River will sneak humbly through an ungrateful town that it could have helped to make a thriving city, neglected and forlorn, leaving behind its great future."

I am proud to read the words of our first President and of the insight that was shown by the man. Many of our founders have passed on but the legacy they have left us is celebrated every time we venture forth on what is recognised as the finest River in Europe.

It was not an easy time for these men of vision. They had each put a pound on the table and declared the association formed, Now What? Foremost was the right of navigation and the cruise of the Dragon Sailing Boat "Firedrake" is well recorded as its crew Vincent Delaney and Rory O'Hanlon assisted by the Sean Me Bride insisted with varying degrees of success that the Bridges were opened for their passage. This followed by a mission statement "To encourage water transport, to collaborate with tourism to encourage pleasure boating, to encourage Cruising under Sail and Power, t o publish Guides and compile historical and data records".

The next step was to commission a report into the establishment of a hire boat industry in 1953. Blakes, the Norfolk broads operator, admitted that the weather data was not encouraging and were quoted as saying that the Shannon would need a giant umbrella to make the hire boat business viable. George O’Brien Kennedy was certainly a man ahead of his time - he got me boating in the early 1960s and he was so free with his help that when a man from Guinness called Derek Dann came to his door he gave him the benefit of all his experience. That, coupled with the foresight of Carrick on Shannon people, Leitrim County Council and Fáilte Ireland lead Carrick to the enviable position of one of Inland Boating's Capital.

The campaign continued with improvements by the OPW, the Shannon Erne link, this years opening of the Royal Canal and of course, the planned Ulster Canal that will open Lough Neagh to southern boaters. The largest victory of all for this association is probably the least recognised and that was the establishment of Waterways Ireland under the Good Friday agreement. A well funded dedicated body with the mandate of improving and maintaining our waterways on the island of Ireland. All over Europe governments are slashing waterway authorities budgets, we are not totally unscathed but even compared to our neighbours in England who have lost 162 Million of their funds we are well placed to continue building on the success of recent years. We can never get complacent. Water abstraction, water quality, the need for a single authority are just some of the many issues facing us. Remember that all of our achievements are those of volunteers but today is probably what keeps us all members getting out on the River with friends and family.


A Uachlarain, A Chathaoirlig, A dhaoine Uaisle, Friends

To begin I must thank President McAleese for coming to open our 50th. Shannon Boat Rally. It is delightful to see the interest she shows in our inland waterways.

This Association was born in conflict, and that same conflict led to the institution of the first Shannon Rally in 1961. There was apian to use tow bridges for all crossings of the Shannon. This would have stopped all navigation on the river. The first Shannon Boat Rally was a continuation of the campaign to keep the navigation open. In this it was successful but it was successful in more ways than one as the ralliers discovered that this campaigning was fun . And so the Shannon Rally took off.

From the very early days it was decided that the Rally should also include an educational element, and the competitions ensued. The principle behind these was to improve the boat handling skills and knowledge of our members. The competitions have been supremely successful at this, even more so in that the ralliers discovered they also were fun.

Unfortunately many of our early ralliers are no longer with us but I am delighted to see some from the first Rally here with us today. Life was different in the early days. For starters the boats were so much smaller.

It was not unusual to see twelve boats or more in a lock together. Nowadays four is the maximum. Most ralliers camped out at night as they had no facilities for sleeping in the boats. There were many more sailing boats in the early days, indeed one participant in this Rally when entered in the second Rally sailed a dinghy from Athlone to Carrick and back to Athlone in one week, capsizing the boat for every bridge and power line. They were giants of men in those early days! There were also many more sailing and canal boats than we have seen in late years. I am delighted to note that the canal boats are making a welcome return to this historic Rally. It is a pity in ways that we have so few open boats entered in our modern Rallies. I suppose we are all too used to the good life.

The early Rallies had large numbers of boats attending, the second Rally for example had 150 boats. There was the campaigning element here of course, but there was also the fact that Esso gave free petrol to all entrants. I am not sure that all boats would have passed the safety parts of our current boat inspections!

The Shannon Rally goes from strength to strength. We entered in this Rally and I am looking forward to a great week of fun, competitions, music and companionship. I must finish up by thanking President McAleese for honouring us with her presence today. We are truly grateful. Thank you.

50th Rally Itinerary

The 50th rally begins on Friday 23 July and runs until Sunday 1st August. Boats will travel from all locations to arrive in Lanesborough by Friday evening 23rd for an informal start of the activities.

Friday 23rd July, Lanesborough Get together

Saturday 24th July, Carrick- on-Shannon - Opening of the Rally by President McAleese.

Sunday 25th July Cruise to Portrunny - Boating competitions en rout. Ecumenical service, Commodore’s wine and cheese reception

Monday 26th July Fleet rests at Portrunny - Competitions, dinghy sailing, zorbing, animal farm, table quiz

Tuesday 27th July Cruise to Lough Ree Yacht Club - Boating competitions en route BBQ, fancy dress for children and adults

Wednesday 28th July Fleet rests in LRYC - Competitions, commando competitions, dingy sailing, music, talent competitions for children and adults

Thursday 29th July Cruise to Lakeside Marina - Water sports, dingy sailing, RNLI Auction

Friday 30th July Fleet rests in Lakeside Marina - Land sports, prize giving, dingy sailing, 60’s Rock around the Dock

Saturday 31st July Cruise to Athlone - Informal night

Sunday 1st August Fleet rests in Athlone - Award Dinne, Sheraton Hotel, presentation of Premier and other professional trophies award.


Published in Inland Waterways

A makeshift raft, of wooden construction, floating low in the water has been reported in the vicinity of the entrance to the Scarriff river on the inland waterways.

Owners are requested to keep a sharp look-out and proceed at slow speed when in this area of the navigation.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has commenced the first Phase of a Public Consultation programme on proposed new Bye-laws for all seven inland waterways under its remit. Bye-laws facilitate the management of a waterway, clearly outlining the roles and responsibility of Waterways Ireland and all the people involved in using the navigation, whether for recreational or commercial purposes.

It is intended that the proposed new Bye-Laws will reflect the breadth of modern day use of the waterways; bringing consistency in navigational rules across the waterway network. The new Bye-laws are also expected to facilitate waterway users understanding of their responsibilities in sharing this multi-functional environment. Whether the waterways users are in Killaloe (Shannon Navigation), Coleraine(Lower Bann), or Tullamore (Grand Canal) the same navigational rules will apply. Due to important differences in the enabling legislation in both jurisdictions as well as legislative and court procedures, Waterways Ireland will introduce the new Bye-laws separately in Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Waterways Ireland has considered global best practice, feedback from users and stakeholders and the individual characteristics of the different waterways in developing the new Bye-laws. Future proofing the Bye-laws has been an important feature of the drafting process to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

Phase 1 of the public consultation will be directed at stakeholders; groups who represent the interests of waterways users and organisations whose statutory remit could be affected. Stakeholders in each jurisdiction will receive the relevant Bye-laws for a 12 week consultation period. Copies of the Bye-laws of the other jurisdiction are available on request from Waterways Ireland HQ. Stakeholders are requested to hold internal discussions with their constituents before providing a single response to the draft Bye-laws.

The deadline for the end of Phase 1 of the Public Consultation is the 15th October 2010. Thereafter, the entire Bye-laws will undergo a further examination and revision, informed by the analysis of the responses received. Phase 2 will only commence once this full revision has taken place.

Phase 2 of the Public Consultation Programme is public meetings. These meetings will be held along each of the waterways and will be widely advertised and open to all who wish to attend.

Prior to Phase 2 of the consultation programme, copies of the revised Bye-laws will be downloadable from the Waterways Ireland website They will be distributed to all those attending the public meetings. Alternatively, they can be issued to individuals by email or post on request.

The completion of the public consultation programme will be followed by a further revision of the Bye-laws to take account of the points raised at the public meetings. The enactment of the legislation in each jurisdiction will follow.

For further information on Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the Public Consultation process contact  [email protected] or  Tel no +44 28 6634 6202.


Published in Inland Waterways

Powerboat Racing will take place at Haughton's Shore, Garadice Lake on the Shannon Erne inland Waterway from Sun 18th July 2010 from 09.00 hrs to 18.00 hrs.

Through traffic will be catered for between races. Waterways Ireland has requested Masters of vessels are requested to proceed at slow speed and with minimum wash when passing this stretch of the navigation and to heed any advice or instructions issued by the race officials.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 65 of 66

Every Year Ireland's Search & Rescue Services deliver emergency life saving work on our seas, lakes and rivers.

Ireland's Water Safety Agencies work hard to provide us with the information we need to keep safe, while enjoying all manner of water based activities.

There's no better fun than getting out on the water but being afloat is a responsibility we all need to take seriously.

These pages detail the work of the rescue agencies. We also aim to promote safety standards among pleasure boaters, and by doing so, prevent, as far as possible, the loss of life at sea and on inland waters. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

Think Before You Sink - Wear a Lifejacket

Accidents can happen fast on water and there may not be time to reach for a lifejacket in an emergency therefore don't just carry a lifejacket - wear it; if it's not on you, it can't save your life.

Irish Water Safety's Safe Boating Alert:

Check condition of boat and equipment, hull, engine, fuel, tools, torch.

Check the weather forecast for the area.

Check locally concerning dangerous currents and strong tides.

Do not drink alcohol while setting out or during your trip.

Carry an alternative means of propulsion e.g. sails and oars or motor and oars.

Carry a first aid kit on board and distress signals (at least two parachute distress rockets, two red hand flares).

Carry a fire extinguisher, a hand bailer or bucket with lanyard and an anchor with rope attached.

Carry marine radio or some means of communication with shore.

Do not overload the boat - this will make it unstable.

Do not set out unless accompanied by an experienced person.

Leave details of your planned trip with someone ashore - including departure and arrival times, description of boat, names of persons on board, etc.

Wear a Lifejacket at all times.

Keep an eye on the weather - seek shelter in good time.

In Marine Emergencies, call 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue.

Lifejackets Checklist

Ensure Cartridges have not been punctured and are secured firmly.

Ensure all zips, buckles, fasteners and webbing straps are functioning correctly and adjusted to fit the user.

Check that fitted lights are operating correctly.

Ensure that Automatic Inflation devices are fully serviced and in date.

Check that the valve or lifejacket is not leaking.