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Displaying items by tag: Royal Canal

Waterways Ireland, in partnership with four local authorities, has launched a new winter ‘Make a Connection’ campaign to encourage people to ‘go green and blue’ this festive season and enjoy connecting with the outdoor spaces of the Royal Canal Greenway during the most wonderful time of the year, in a bid to reduce stress and boost overall wellbeing in the winter months.

The campaign has been launched by the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways in partnership with Westmeath County Council, Kildare County Council, Longford County Council and Meath County Council.

A representative from Waterways Ireland said: “Since launching, the Royal Canal Greenway has played an important role in providing a place for people to re-energise and destress.

“We know that from research there is a positive association between encountering green spaces, wildlife, nature, bodies of water such as canals and rivers, and mental wellbeing.

“The 130km canal route has an abundance of trees, plants and wildlife which means it's capacity to improve mental wellbeing is likely to be due to the multiple benefits associated with both green and blue spaces, and indeed the social, community connection with other

“We are encouraging as many people to visit the Royal Canal Greenway as possible this winter in a bid to access this free amazing space, which can play such a vital role in our wellbeing.”

Discover winter’s natural beauty

The Royal Canal Greenway travels from cosmopolitan Maynooth, through Enfield and Mullingar, to charming Cloondara in Longford. A mostly flat trail, the Royal Canal Greenway is steeped in history and was once the domain of placid barge horses, which today has become the realm of walkers, runners and cyclists of all ages and stages.

Indeed, earlier this year it was named European Cycle Route of the Year 2022 by leading Dutch walking and cycling fair Fiets en Wandelbeurs, as previously reported by Afloat.ie.

Many people find that packing a lunch and a ramble along the flat path, passing through picturesque waterside villages is one way to enjoy the Royal Canal Greenway.

It is also home to many welcoming cafes and coffee boxes to stop at for both food and drink, often with outside seating, as well as picnic spots, playgrounds and attractions so you can support local businesses whilst socialising with friends and family.

Enjoy active experiences

While the winter months can make it more difficult to get outside, there are still a wide variety of outdoor activities that can get you moving on the Royal Canal Greenway, for all ages, while staying active.

There are also a number of fitness events scheduled to take place on or near the Royal Canal Greenway in the coming weeks and in the New Year including weekly park runs in the scenic village of Kilcock and in Mullingar. Westmeath will also host the annual Mullingar Half Marathon on St Patrick’s Day.

Stay and unwind

The Royal Canal Greenway is also home to many hotels, guest houses and B&Bs who enjoy the views of both the green and blue spaces. The location of these allows enjoyments of the path at a pace that suits all age-groups and abilities.

As the trail passes through four counties all the way from Ireland’s Ancient East to Ireland's Hidden Heartlands, there are plenty of places to stay overnight at and relax. Many are offering special winter discounts so you can enjoy a festive staycation at an affordable price.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Royal Canal in West Dublin that the towpath between Pakenham Bridge and Collins Bridge, north and southwest of Westmanstown Golf Club respectively, will be closed to public use from this Friday 2 December until Wednesday 21 December in order to facilitate bank maintenance works in the area.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Royal Canal in Dublin’s north inner city of works on Lock 4 between Mountjoy and Whitworth Road from Tuesday 29 November.

Over the next six weeks these works will comprise replacement of the middle lock gates in this double-chamber lock and associated works.

No navigation passage will be possible in the canal at this time, but the adjacent towpaths will remain open for pedestrians and other users, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Royal Canal in northeast Kildare that the towpath between Cope Bridge and Louisa Bridge in Leixlip will be closed to public use for the upcoming months, effective from next Wednesday 9 November. 

This closure is to facilitate upgrading works to the path for future shared cycle and pedestrian use, as part of an overall contract to upgrade the Royal Canal towpath between Leixlip and Maynooth. 

Future path closures along this overall route will also be required, and these will be similarly notified in advance, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Royal Canal that the inland waterway is closed to navigation at Killashee in Co Longford as of Thursday 27 October until Friday 23 December for essential culvert repair works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland reminds all masters and owners of vessels on the Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation that all canal permits expire on Tuesday 1 November and must be renewed for 2022/23.

Permits can be renewed online at the Waterways Ireland website HERE.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways emphasises that vessels with no permit, as required by Bye Law 6(8) of the Canals Act, will be “removed as operationally convenient”.

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

Back in pre-pandemic times, when the annual eight-day-long Fleadh Cheoil immersed Tullamore in music and festivities for three years in a row, the Offaly branch of the Inland Waterways Association organised the successful Float to the Fleadh cruise from each end of the Grand Canal, with the fleet meeting for festival time at Tullamore Harbour.

With life gradually returning to normal, it’s the turn of Mullingar on the Royal Canal to host the all-involving 2022 Fleadh (it’s from July 31st to August 7th) and the Royal Canal Branch of the IWAI to run the Float to the Fleadh.

The two Midland canal towns make for a fascinating comparison, for although the Grand Canal runs straight by on the north side of Tullamore with an offshoot to the harbour, when the Royal Canal was being constructed later some bright spark at Dublin Castle seems to have reckoned that it could also serve as a defensive town moat. Thus three-quarters of Mullingar is enclosed within a large loop of the Royal Canal, and ironically the railway – which was the undoing of any commercial success the Royal Canal might have hoped for – closes off the gap at the south.

Somebody seems to have had the idea of giving the Royal Canal extra value as a potential town moat when they routed it round MullingarSomebody seems to have had the idea of giving the Royal Canal extra value as a potential town moat when they routed it round Mullingar

As it happens, there was never a military Siege of Mullingar to test these arrangements. But there is a poem and song by John Montague called The Siege of Mullingar, which is about the week-long Bacchanalia which developed when the first Fleadh Cheoil to be staged in Mullingar was held there in 1963.

It sounds like just the job for sailors – whether of the sea or inland waterways persuasion – looking for an entertaining run ashore. But meanwhile, we’ll let Denis M Baker, the Chair of the Royal Canal Branch of the IWAI, gives us the official version of the fleet movements towards Mullingar that are already well under way:

Float to the Fleadh - Mullingar 2022

“The IWAI (Inland Waterways Association of Ireland) through its Royal Canal branch will be hosting a Float to the Fleadh event for the duration of the Fleadh Cheoil from 31st July to 7th August. The IWAI have previously hosted this event, as our Offaly branch ran it very successfully in Tullamore when the Fleadh was there for three years.

This event gives our members throughout the 32 counties the opportunity of bringing their boats to the Fleadh. Mullingar Harbour on the Royal Canal is the venue and will see the usually tranquil harbour come alive with colour and atmosphere as up to forty large boats will fill the harbour. Although this is essentially a members event, it should be a fabulous spectacle, and we welcome members of the public to come down to see the boats and say hello.

The IWAI is in the midst of a decade-long “Big Cruise” programme to remind river and sea users of the attractions of canal cruisingThe IWAI is in the midst of a decade-long “Big Cruise” programme to remind river and sea users of the attractions of canal cruising

Float to the Fleadh is the flagship event this year for the 2020s BC. The 2020s BC (Big Cruise) is a programme of events created by the canals branches of IWAI to increase boat traffic on the Royal and Grand canals and the Barrow Navigation. We have been working with Waterways Ireland to improve conditions for boating on these waterways. By creating an events schedule early each year, we can promote a variety of options for canal cruising through the year. We will be building upon the 2020s BC throughout the remaining decade, to help raise the awareness of the enjoyment that a boat tourism experience along our canal network can offer.

One of the advantages of canal cruising deep in the countryside is that the brief wait for a lock to open gives pause to appreciate the easy-going paceOne of the advantages of canal cruising deep in the countryside is that the brief wait for a lock to open gives pause to appreciate the easy-going pace

Ireland’s Hidden Heartland have supported us in this endeavour and it will be exciting to see what develops from the very positive interest being shown so far. Though the Royal Canal Greenway is still in its infancy it has been an enormous success, and events like Float to the Fleadh bring life back to the waterway in a way that can only serve to further enhance the spectacle for Greenway users.

We welcome all interest from the community, and love to interact with the users of the Royal Canal Greenway as we travel along the canal in boats. Walkers and cyclists alike are always fascinated to see a boat on the canal or travelling through a lock, we answer their questions as they look on in amazement. Its not unusual to be asked “Where have you come from?", “Where are you going and how long does it take?”. People often tell us they have never seen a boat moving on the Royal, “Well they definitely do travel on the Royal Canal - and you’re going to see a lot more boats in the future” We tell them.

Mullingar bound. The hospitable port of Abbeyshrule on the Royal Canal makes for an entertaining overnight stop for a typically-varied flotilla on its way to Mullingar.Mullingar bound. The hospitable port of Abbeyshrule on the Royal Canal makes for an entertaining overnight stop for a typically-varied flotilla on its way to Mullingar.

Logistically this is a big event, the largest number of cruisers and barges at one boat rally on this waterway since the restoration and reopening of the Royal Canal in 2010. Movements of boats each weekend through July have been coordinated with Waterways Ireland who has facilitated and helped the boats in their moves towards Mullingar. This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the potential of canal boat tourism to more Shannon-based boaters and to Midlands tourism bodies. As it was in the past, boats and the towpath are still inextricably linked to the benefit of both.”

Published in Inland Waterways
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Waterways Ireland advises all users of the Royal Canal that a kayaking and watersport event will take place in Ballynacargy Harbour in Co Westmeath from 9am to 4.30pm next Monday 18 July.

Masters of other craft are requested to proceed at slow speed and with minimum wash and note any directions issued by the stewards.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Royal Canal that the Canoe Polo Club Championship will be taking place in Mullingar Harbour this weekend, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July between 8am and 5pm each day.

Masters of craft are requested to proceed at slow speed and with minimum wash and note any directions issued by the stewards. The harbour should also be kept clear of moored vessels during this time, adds the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways.

Published in Inland Waterways
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