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Displaying items by tag: Royal Canal

Waterways Ireland has notified masters of vessels on the Royal Canal that the lift bridge at Begnagh in Co Longford will be out of operation until Monday 24 May for emergency repair works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and inland waterways users of the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation that these waterways will reopen from Monday 10 May in line with the latest relaxation in pandemic restrictions.

On the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway, the winter mooring period will end on this date and the five-day mooring rule will be in force.

Locks on will be open normal summer hours (9am to 8.30pm on weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Sundays on the Shannon Navigation; 9am to 8pm daily on the Shannon-Erne) and service blocks will also reopen.

An exception applies to the lock gates at Tarmonbarry on the Shannon Navigation, which remain closed for continued emergency repair works until Friday 28 May. Passage through the lock will not be possible during this period but an alternative route via the Camlin River is available.

No lock passage tolls will be collected in order to facilitate social distancing. Note that a smart card is required to operate locks on the Shannon-Erne Waterway and these can be purchased from Waterways Ireland’s online shop or from designated retails outlets along the waterway.

Shannon Navigation lock-keepers are available at the following phone numbers:

  • Lough Allen Canal - 071 964 1552
  • Clarendon Lock - 071 966 7011
  • Albert Lock - 071 963 7715
  • Rooskey Lock - 071 963 8018
  • Tarmonbarry Lock - 043 332 6117
  • Athlone Lock - 090 649 2026
  • Poolboy Lock - 090 964 4938
  • Victoria Lock - 057 915 1359
  • Portumna Bridge - 090 974 1011
  • Ardnacrusha - 061 344 515
  • Sarsfield Lock - 087 797 2998

Anyone who require assistance along the Shannon-Erne Waterway, meanwhile, is directed to contact the following:

  • Ballyconnell Waterway Patroller - 087 260 3662
  • Kilclare Waterway Patroller - 087 260 3663

Normal summer hours will also apply to locks on the Grand Canal, Royal Cabal, Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation.

Electricity and water services have been reconnected at all Waterways Navigations in the Republic, and normal pump-out facilities are available for boaters.

Visitors to the waterways are urged to be aware of other users and continue to observe social distancing protocols, keen a distance of at least two metres from others.

Waterways Ireland also notes that water levels are becoming low due to the recent period of low rainfall. In addition, normal maintenance weed-cutting of navigation channels has been late in starting due to the ongoing restrictions, so additional weed growth can be expected in the navigation channels.

Masters are asked to contact the local waterway patroller for updated information if wishing to navigate a particular area.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Royal Canal Greenway, a scenic 130km walking and cycling amenity stretching alongside the historic 225-year-old canal, officially launches today ahead of the summer 2021 season. The €12 million project co-ordinated by Waterways Ireland is the country’s longest Greenway, traversing through Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford. Those wishing to experience the Royal Canal Greenway are advised to adhere to Government guidelines on movement and social distancing.

The newest outdoor adventure tourism attraction for the country, the Royal Canal Greenway is a former towpath for barges featuring 90 bridges, 33 locks, 17 harbours and four aqueducts. Greenway users can choose to complete the entire 130km flat, off-road trail in one visit or explore the shorter designated routes — ranging from 6km to 15km — between the 14 connecting access points and towns.

Longford Bridge, Ballymahon in County Longford on the Royal Canal GreenwayLongford Bridge, Ballymahon in County Longford on the Royal Canal Greenway

High-profile attractions linking onto the Royal Canal Greenway are trails to Carton House in Maynooth; Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre — one of the largest prehistoric roads in Europe — in Longford; and Center Parcs. The 165km self-guided National Famine Way also travels largely along the Greenway, following the footsteps of 1,490 emigrants who walked from Roscommon to Dublin at the peak of the famine in 1847.

Speaking on the official Greenway opening, Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD said: “We are delighted to launch the Royal Canal Greenway, a game changer for outdoor tourism, and leisure in Ireland and part of a growing network of greenways we will fund over the lifetime of this government. As Ireland’s longest greenway, stretching from the towns of Maynooth, Enfield, Mullingar, Longford and Cloondara, the Royal Canal Greenway has huge potential to serve as a haven for so many looking to get out and get active.

“In the past year, Ireland’s great outdoors has proved to be a lifeline for the nation, with a surge in those running, walking and cycling. When we travel again, the Royal Canal Greenway will be a fantastic attraction ready to be enjoyed by all and is easily accessible from towns and cities across Ireland including via public transport. There really is no better way to experience the unspoilt open scenery, wonderful waterways, peaceful atmosphere and rich history of Ireland’s Ancient East and Hidden Heartlands than on the off-road Royal Canal Greenway.”

 The Royal Canal Greenway at WestmeathThe Royal Canal Greenway at Westmeath

The Greenway has been completed in partnership with Waterways Ireland; the four local authorities of Kildare, Longford, Meath and Westmeath County Councils; the Department of Transport, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, TD added: “This is a Greenway that has a remarkable past. From its tragic connection with the famine, to its heyday in the mid-1880s when it was the motorway of its time, the Royal Canal Greenway is an amenity that is continually reimagining and reinventing itself. It is fantastic to see it become a significant outdoor tourism and leisure amenity for Ireland — a 225-year-old engineering marvel that is now a respite for the modern age. As we look to a greener future, this Greenway will be an instrumental vehicle for the promotion and development of sustainable tourism in Ireland.”

CEO of Waterways Ireland John McDonagh stated: “We thank all stakeholders for their involvement, in particular the local communities who have been so invested in this Greenway. For them, this will have added economic benefits through job and new business creation with a wide range of accommodation options, bike hire offerings, attractions, as well as restaurants and cafes along the route. We ask the people of Ireland, when safe to do so, to uncover the treasures of the Royal Canal Greenway, an unforgettable new addition to the Irish outdoor adventure scene.”

Kilcock Harbour in Kildare on the Royal Canal GreenwayKilcock Harbour in Kildare on the Royal Canal Greenway

The Royal Canal Greenway also forms part of EuroVelo 2, a 5,000km “Capitals Route” that passes through Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Belarus and Russia.

Published in Inland Waterways

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan will be joined by Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, for the virtual launch of the Royal Canal Greenway this coming Wednesday 24 March.

No pre-registration is required for the Waterways Ireland live stream, which will be available from 10am HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises that site investigation works will take place on the Royal Canal towpath east of Phibsborough until next Wednesday 10 March.

These investigate works have been classified as critical infrastructure works so they will continue over the current period of increased COVID-19 restrictions.

The towpath will remain open but Waterways Ireland says users should exercise due care and caution when passing any vehicles or plant machinery along the path.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland notifies towpath users that sections of the towpath on the Lough Owel feeder of the Royal Canal from Mullingar Harbour to Fish Farm at Cullion will be closed periodically from today, Monday 8 February, until Friday 19 February for essential maintenance works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises towpath users that site investigation works have commenced on the Royal Canal towpath between Phibsborough and Ashtown and will continue until March 2021.

Dublin City Council have classified these as part of critical infrastructure works so they will also continue over the current period of increased Covid-19 restrictions.

The towpath will remain open but users should exercise due care and caution when passing any vehicles or plant machinery along the path.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Royal Canal in Dublin that there will be no boat passages possible on the inland waterway at the 12th Lock in Castleknock from Monday 7 December until the end of January due to works to replace a breast gate at the lock.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Royal Canal between Leixlip and Maynooth in Co Kildare that there will be no boat passages permitted from next Monday 23 November until the end of January 2021 due to deep gate replacement and associated works on Lock 13 at Deey Bridge.

Published in Inland Waterways

Refurbishment of the Longford Canal and the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry are two of the projects that will be funded from a €63.5m allocation for greenways in 2021.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton today (Monday 9 November) confirmed the funding for a range of greenways across the country.

Minister Ryan said the funding “is the highest single year amount ever allocated to greenways”.

“Indeed, it nearly equals the total amount originally allocated for the four years 2018-2021 (€53m) and shows the commitment of this Government to providing a step-change in the way in which we fund walking and cycling,” he said.

Among the inland waterways projects in the list is the €172,000 refurbishment of the Longford Canal spur of the Royal Canal, with improved infrastructure being provided along its cycleway.

In Co Offaly, €3.1 million has been allocated to fund the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry, with another €1.66 million for the stretch between Daingean and Lough Boora, west of Tullamore.

“By the end of next year it will be possible to cycle the greenway the whole way from Edenderry to Lough Boora, over 50km worth of cycleway,” Minister Ryan said.

Minister Naughton added that a new greenway bridge across the River Shannon in Athlone would be funded from a €8.1 million allocation to the Galway-to-Dublin Greenway.

Published in Inland Waterways
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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