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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

The 5.5km Ballyconnell-to-Bellaheady Recreational Trail, a partnership venture between Cavan County Council and Waterways Ireland, was officially opened last Friday (25 March).

On hand for the launch were Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys with Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Cllr Clifford Kelly and Waterways Ireland chief executive John McDonagh, among others.

The new 5.5km trail along the banks of the Woodford River on the Shannon-Erne Waterway also provides connectivity to the existing Woodford Village Walk, a key amenity in the UNESCO Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark.

The project, which will ultimately form part of a broader 54km greenway along the old Cavan-to-Leitrim railway line, received €684,289 in funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Additional match funding was provided by Cavan County Council and Waterways Ireland.

Welcoming the opening of the new trail, Cllr Kelly said: “This trail is a wonderful addition to our local tourism product and enhances one of our greatest resources – our stunning natural landscape and our abundant waterways.

“Every 1,000 tourists that visit Cavan help support 14 jobs. The tourism and hospitality sector employs some 3,200 people in Co Cavan and projects such as this will contribute greatly to the recovery and future growth of the sector in the coming months and years”.

In addition to today’s opening, Cavan County Council’s Paddy Connaughton noted that work has recently completed on a second recreational trail along this route: a 6km trail from Belturbet to Corraquil, which was also funded through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme to the value of €500,000.

For more information on the Shannon-Erne Blueway, visit For more on things to do and places to stay in Co Cavan, visit

Published in Inland Waterways

New research from Waterways Ireland has found that more than 640,000 trips have been taken on the Royal Canal Greenway since it opened in March 2021.

The €12m, 130km amenity crosses Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, and Longford and is a joint initiative between Waterways Ireland and the local authorities in those areas.

It is the longest greenway in Ireland, running from Maynooth in Co Kildare to Clondra in Co Longford along a former towpath for barges on the inland waterway.

The greenway features 90 bridges, 33 locks, 17 harbours and four aqueducts along its route. High-profile attractions include Carton House in Maynooth, Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre — one of the largest prehistoric roads in Europe — and Center Parcs in Longford. The 165km self-guided National Famine Way also travels largely along the greenway.

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

Visitors can choose to complete the entire 130km flat, off-road trail in one go, or explore the shorter designated routes between the 14 connecting access points and towns, which range from 6km to 15km.

Waterways Ireland appointed Tracsis in 2021 to undertake a validation exercise on the data from physical counters in place along the Greenway and to undertake a consumer survey.

The research found that the amenity has returned a dividend of €17.2m to the business community in its first year of operation, returning the investment in the project in eight months. The economic dividend was based on a weighted average visitor spend of €27.

The research also found that across the four counties involved, 17 new businesses have opened and 13 confirmed that they have pivoted or expanded to provide for greenway customers.

Waterways Ireland chief executive John McDonagh said: “We are delighted that the Royal Canal Greenway has been an outstanding success in its first year.

“We acknowledge the commitment of our partners in Longford, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath county councils in delivering this greenway and that of local communities and businesses, which have helped to make it a success by creating new tourist and recreational opportunities.

“We look forward to welcoming more domestic and international visitors in the coming years.”

Acting chief executive of Kildare County Council, Sonya Kavanagh noted: “In the first half of 2021, people’s movements were restricted by COVID measures and so it was very fortuitous that we were able to open the Royal Canal Greenway during this time.

“Local communities now use the greenway for regular off-road accessible recreation, and it continues to attract new and return visitors.”

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels that safe practices should be exercised when connecting to power bollards in harbours along Ireland’s inland waterways.

The overloading of bollards will cause the circuit breaker to trip, resulting in a loss of power to the bollard — and in a worst-case scenario, it may cause an electrical fire.

Electrical sockets, cables and connections should be designed for outdoor use. Indoor electrical sockets and connections are not suitable for use on jetties.

Any malfunctions with the electrical system should be reported to Waterways Ireland. No person should open the power bollards or main switchboards, nor tamper with the electrical system in general.

Published in Inland Waterways
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New lock opening hours have been introduced on the Shannon Navigation as the 2022 boating season gets under way.

The new times have been agreed and implemented following a lock-keeping review process. The primary objectives of this review were to:

  • improve the work/life balance of the lock/bridge keepers;
  • help future-proof lock keeping on the Shannon Navigation;
  • increase operational efficiency within the region; and
  • continue to provide a high level of service to vessels travelling on the navigation.

As of last Monday 14 March, locks on the Shannon Navigation will be open from 9.30am to 6.30pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and 9.30am to 6pm on Sundays. From next Friday 1 April to the end September, weekday and Saturday hours extend by an hour to 7.30pm.

In October, weekday and Saturday hours will be 9.30am to 6.30pm. And for the winter season from 1 November this year to 13 March 2023, hours will be reduced to 9am to noon on weekdays and Saturdays, and 9am to 11am on Sundays.

Opening times for Portumna Bridge have also changed. Until and including next Thursday 31 March, the bridge will open six times on weekdays and Saturdays (10am, 11am, 12.40pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 5.30pm) and five times on Sundays (10am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4pm, 5pm).

From Friday 1 April to the end of September, there will be an additional opening at 6pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and 11am on Sundays.

And over the winter season from 1 November, there will be only three openings on weekdays and Saturdays (9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am) and two on Sundays (9.30am, 10.30am).

As the boating season commences, Waterways Ireland reminds masters of vessels and waterways users that COVID-19 continues to be present within the population, and urges continued vigilance and appropriate precautions to prevent its spread while using the inland waterways.

In this context, Waterways Ireland says toll-free passage will continue for the 2022 boating season on the Shannon Navigation.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users on the Shannon Navigation that essential repair works will be carried out to the floating moorings in Carrick-on-Shannon from this coming Wednesday 23 March. There will be restricted access to the jetties while these repair works are ongoing.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Grand Canal’s Barrow Line that navigation between Spencer Lock in Rathangan and Macartney Lock in Monasterevin will be closed from Monday 21 March to Friday 1 April inclusive to facilitate dredging works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland wishes to notify users of the Royal Canal that leakage repair works are ongoing at The Downs, outside Mullingar in Co Westmeath, and will continue until Thursday 28 April. The inland waterway will remain closed to navigation at this location until that date.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all masters of vessels and water users on the Shannon Navigation that Albert Lock on the Jamestown Canal in Co Roscommon has restricted operations since yesterday, Thursday 10 until next Wednesday 16 March as essential maintenance works are carried out.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland wishes to recruit permanent part-time lock and bridge keepers for lock operations on the Shannon Navigation during the peak boating seasons.

The successful applicants will be based at a specific location and will assist inland waterways users in lock and bridge passage, collect tolls and carry out essential maintenance functions in and around the lock.

Visit the Waterways Ireland website for the full job description, application form and more information for applicants. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 23 March.

Published in Inland Waterways

​Waterways Ireland has announced details of its partnership with the St Patrick’s Festival that will see, for the first time in the festival’s history, a floating pageant in the annual St Patrick’s Day parade.

Supported and inspired by Waterways Ireland, the installation will be on the River Liffey near O’Connell Bridge in Dublin city centre as a key feature of the parade on Thursday 17 March.

The festival’s creative team has designed the floating water garden as a visual interpretation of the biodiversity and sustainability of Ireland’s inland waterways.

In keeping with the overarching theme of this year’s festival, ‘Naisc/connections’, the floating garden shows how the physical waterway network connects Dublin to the rest of Ireland.

It will celebrate the inland waterways; the unrivalled access they give to our cultural and natural heritage and the network of towns and villages that line the banks; the connectivity between people who love, protect, and enjoy the lakes, rivers, and canals, managed by Waterways Ireland; and the connection to the outdoors.

Speaking at the announcement today, Thursday 3 March, Waterways Ireland chief executive John McDonagh said: “We are thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity during the St Patrick’s Festival to celebrate our waterway network in the capital city and its links to hundreds of communities across the island.

“Many of our poets, artists and lovers of heritage, nature and culture have drawn inspiration from the Royal and Grand canals. Reaching out to our communities in Ireland and abroad to share our story of the unexplored outdoors is the very essence of Waterways Ireland and well captured by the festival organisers through this innovative floating pageant.”

For more on events during the St Patrick’s Festival this month, visit

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 4 of 46

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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