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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and users on the Shannon Navigation that the Coosan Point jetties on Lough Ree will be closed from Monday 3 to Thursday 6 October for improvement works.

Published in Inland Waterways

On Friday (23 September), Waterways Ireland marked the commencement of works on two significant tourism and navigation projects on the Shannon Navigation in Portumna, Co Galway.

Minister of State for Disability, Anne Rabbitte and fellow local TDs Ciarán Cannon and Seán Canney, along with Fiona Monaghan and Paddy Mathews from Fáilte Ireland, Alan Farrell from Galway County Council and Éanna Rowe and Phil Cargill from Waterways Ireland turned the sod on the redevelopment of Connaught Harbour.

Elsewhere, at Portumna Bridge the commencement of construction of a blueway cycle and pedestrian trail along the inland waterway linking Portumna Castle and Connaught Harbour was also marked. 
The Connaught Harbour redevelopment project — which is part-funded by Fáilte Ireland and stems from the Shannon Tourism Masterplan and Lough Derg VEDP — consists of a new eight-berth marina at Connaught Harbour, incorporating a boat pump-out with new car parking area and ancillary services.

Quay wall berthing for 22 boats along with car parking and a civic area will also be developed at the bridge yard end of Connaught Harbour. This will be facilitated by the removal of three buildings on the site.

Footpaths will be repaired, where required, and a new road crossing will be developed connecting to the new blueway. Work on the development has begun and the project is expected to be open to the public in mid-2023.
Commenting on the works, Minister Rabbitte said: “I am delighted to be in Portumna today to turn the sod on this exciting development for the area. This investment will transform the area as both a domestic and an international tourist attraction, and for the local people who live in the vicinity.”
Aimed at positioning the Shannon as a hub destination for international and domestic tourism, the Shannon Tourism Masterplan is the first dedicated plan undertaken on the entire Shannon region.

A collaborative project led by Waterways Ireland, with Fáilte Ireland and 10 local authorities along the River Shannon and the Shannon-Erne Waterway, it sets out an integrated framework for sustainable tourism development along the Shannon across to 2030.

The masterplan identifies the measures needed to develop the necessary infrastructure, products and experiences to reposition the Shannon region as a key tourism destination within Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. 
These Portumna projects are funded by Waterways Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Fiona Monaghan, head of activities product development at Fáilte Ireland said: “The River Shannon is a signature visitor experience within the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands regional brand and offers huge tourism potential for both domestic and international visitors.

“This investment in Connaught Harbour and the wider Portumna area will help to stimulate greater tourism and visitor activity in this area. These exciting developments will significantly enhance the outdoor recreation infrastructure portfolio in the destination and have the potential to have a transformative impact on Portumna and Lough Derg as a key visitor destination on the Shannon.” 
Jim Cullen, chief executive of Galway County Council said: “This redevelopment project will totally revitalise this area and will add another attractive amenity to the county, for the people who live here and for those who visit.”
Waterways Ireland regional manager Éanna Rowe added: “These projects have significant economic and social benefit and will really increase the recreational and amenity value of this area. I look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Rural and Community Development, Fáilte Ireland and with Galway County Council to bring them to fruition for the people of Galway and beyond.”

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Royal Canal of the following maintenance works and water levels:

  • Water levels on the summit level are currently low and will cause issues for deeper draft vessels.
  • Dredging works will be taking place near Kilpatrick Bridge in Co Westmeath on the summit level and between the 29th and 31st levels during October and November.
  • Repairs to a culvert on Level 42 will take place during October and November, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.
Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and users of the Shannon Navigation that significant redevelopment works at Connaught Harbour will commence in the coming weeks.

A new public marina adjacent to Connaught Harbour and redevelopment of the bridge yard site will be undertaken from September to December, followed by some completion works and pile removals in July 2023.

Connaught Harbour and the quay wall at the bridge yard site will be closed for mooring of vessels from this Sunday 18 September until the completion of the works. All vessels moored in these areas should vacate the moorings by this date, the cross-border body for Ireland's inland waterways advises.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Lower Bann navigation that essential bridge maintenance works are are being conducted at Kilrea Bridge in Kilrea, Co Derry as of Monday 12 September 2022 for a period of eight weeks.

These works will necessitate the closure of the eastern arch to all navigation. However, navigation is still facilitated through the adjacent two arches which are marked accordingly, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise masters of vessels on the inland waterways that as of Friday September, Corradillar Jetty on Upper Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh is closed until further notice for repair works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterways users on the Shannon Navigation that a series of events will take place in Killaloe next weekend (16-18 September) as part of the end-of-season LUA celebration of ‘wild water’ in the Co Clare village.

Friday 16 September will see the Lough Derg branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) hold its end-of-season celebration with commodores John and Sandra Lefroy and Matt Daniels with guest of honour Mayor of Clare, Tony O’Brien. 
In addition, Norma Manly and band will be in concert at St Flannan’s Cathedral from 8pm.

On Saturday 17 September, there will be a presentation by Gary McMahon, director of the AKA Ilen project on sailing in Irish and international waters for over a century. This takes place at noon in St Flannan’s Cathedral.

It will be followed by a presentation by Martin Cooper on the cathedral’s distinctive bells at 3pm, honouring Bryan and Betty Brislane.

And at 8pm there will be a special concert — Killaloe: a musical celebration — featuring Mary Donahue, Paul Fitzpatrick and friends. Proceeds will go to the Lough Derg Coast Guard and Killaloe Fire and Rescue Services.

On Sunday 18 September, Caroline Rainsford will host a special hour-long session of tai chi by the waterside from 9am, free and suitable for all abilities.

At 11.30am, there will be an ecumenical service at St Flannan’s that will include a blessing of the waterways and environs, followed by a presentation to Sandra and John Lefroy of the famed steamboat Phoenix as well as a closing celebration hosted by the IWAI’s Lough Derg branch.

Throughout the weekend, St Flannan’s will also host a special art exhibition from local artist Trish Taylor Thompson on the theme of the waterways.

Meanwhile, Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels that construction works have commenced on a new bridge across the Shannon Navigation around 1km downstream of the existing bridge in Killaloe.

A silt curtain has been installed in the navigation and construction works will be extending into the navigation over the next 12 months. Masters of vessels should proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the construction works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of all craft that maintenance dredging will be taking place on the Shannon-Erne Waterway in Co Cavan until Friday 30 September.

The dredging will take place on the inland waterway in the vicinity of Lock 1 in Corraquill and Lock 2 at Ballyconnell.

During this operation a floating pontoon will be located on the water with mechanical dredging plant operating. The navigable channel will remain open outside of the immediate area being dredged.

Masters of vessels are asked to comply with safety signage and heed all instructions from safety personnel who will be in the area. 

Published in Inland Waterways

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is due to lay the foundation stone this morning (Tuesday 30 August) to mark the start of Phase 2 works on the Ulster Canal restoration project.

The Taoiseach will be joined at Ulster Canal Stores in Clones, Co Monaghan by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys.

Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan and Northern Ireland Minister for Infrastructure, John O’Dowd are also due to attend the event which marks the latest stage in restoring the 180-year-canal.

As previously reported on, Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal restoration involves expenditure of €20 million in developing a new marina and two new access bridges along with repairs to an existing masonry arch bridge and a sustainable water supply.

It is due to involve work on about a kilometre of canal and towpath, with a looped walk and an amenity area on the canal route.

The amenity area will include car parking, bus and trailer spaces, a service block and picnic, and will be connected to the town and existing playground.

This phase is expected to be completed next year, according to Waterways Ireland, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways.

Work on the Ulster Canal began in 1841 and it was open to commercial traffic within the year.

The navigation combining river and canal was about 93km long, taking a route through counties Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan, Tyrone and Armagh.

The last trading boat used the canal in 1929, and it officially closed in 1931.
In 2020 the first phase of the Ulster Canal’s restoration was completed, with around 2.5km of new river navigation along the Finn between Quivvy Lough and Castle Saunderson.

It involved dredging the River Finn, constructing of a new lateral canal and navigation arch at Derrykerrib bridge and installing a new floating jetty at Castle Saunderson.

The contract for this second phase was signed in late July of this year by Waterways Ireland chief executive John McDonagh and Jons Civil Engineering Company managing director John Pentony at an event attended by ministers O’Brien and Humphreys.

The investment of €20 million in funding under the Programme for Government for this phase is supported by €8 million from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, €6 million from the Shared Island Fund and €6 million from the Department of Rural and Community Development, according to Waterways Ireland.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of all craft on the Shannon Navigation that there is a sunken vessel on the western side of the navigation some 200m upstream of the N6 bridge at Athlone. previously reported on the rescue of 10 people from the speedboat on Saturday evening by Lough Ree RNLI.

A temporary red buoy is in place to mark the location, and masters are requested to proceed with additional caution in the area.

Elsewhere, on Lough Derg the Green Cage Buoy No 1184 northwest of the Corrikeen Islands has moved from its correct position.

A temporary green buoy has been installed at this location until the cage buoy can be repositioned.

Masters of vessels are urged to proceed with additional caution in the area. The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways assures that the marker will be replaced as soon as possible.

Published in Inland Waterways
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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