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Displaying items by tag: inland waters

#HistoricBoats - Waterways Ireland is seeking tenders to restore a legacy canal barge as an office space for Dublin’s Silicon Docks.

According to the tender document, Waterways Ireland intends to clean out the vessel, further inspect its structural condition and convert it into “an open plan office for 6 workers with galley, meeting room and WC”.

The vessel would be moored at Grand Canal Basin alongside other similar floating work spaces.

It will also be self-propelled to enable it to move to other locations within the inland waterways network, and as such a P2 passenger boat licence will be required.

The Heritage Boat Association has more details on the barge, which was extensively rebuilt in at Shannon Harbour in a community project from 1996 to 2003 and renamed Cluaine Uaine Bheag.

Originally built as a general motorised trade boat by Vickers for the Grand Canal Company in 1928, the barge – then known as 48M – would have carried Guinness and other cargo until the canal’s commercial closure in 1959.

Published in Historic Boats

#WCC - Zhu Minyang completes the list of keynote speakers at the upcoming World Canals Conference in Athlone next month.

Zhu has been the chair of the World Historical and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization (WCCO) since 2012, and has also served as party secretary of the city of Jiangyin and as mayor of Yangzhou, the ‘first city of the Grand Canal’.

Zhu personally participated in the selection of China’s Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal for the World Heritage List in 2014. He has extensive insights and experience in the development of Chinese social organisations and contemporary social governance.

Through his leadership, the WCCO has become a platform for economic and cultural exchanges focused on the world’s canal cities.

Zhu will address the conference on how the WCCO is supporting the renovation of China’s most famous canal. Through economic and ecological restoration and investment in heritage and cultural research, it is intended that a “human community with shared destiny” will develop to create deeper co-operation and regeneration opportunities for China’s canals.

Zhu Minyang will address the conference under its first theme, ‘Restore’, which calls for reflection on how 200-year-old man-made navigations remain relevant for people today.

Over the course of the conference, a variety of speakers from across Europe, Canada and the US will detail restoration works along their waterways as well as how they ensure that no heritage value is lost in these restorations.

John McKeown will speak on restoring the Royal Canal, Roger Squires will cover new approaches to restoration, while Pam Veinotte discusses evolving heritage assets to meet modern-day needs.

Restoration of the Shannon–Erne Waterway is the subject of Joseph Gillespie’s talk, while

Rudy Van der Ween talks the re-opening of the Lower Scheldt in the city centre of Ghent in Belgium, and Rob Vrojliks puts the focus on Limburg in the Netherlands and its regional masterplan approach.

From the US, William Holdsworth will explain how the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Aqueduct restoration at Williamsport, Maryland brings history alive, while Theron Robson talks maintenance of heritage lock gates on the River Shannon, and Roger Alsater assays preservation efforts for the Göta Canal in Sweden.

‘Regenerate’ (focused on water management challenges) and ‘Reimagine’ (on engaging a wider audience with their local waterways) are the other two tracks at the World Canals Conference which begins in 37 days’ time. Details can be found on the World Canals Conference website.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Toxic - Pet owners have been advised to be vigilant over an outbreak of toxic blue-green ‘algae’ in a Killarney lake, as The Irish Times reports.

Lough Leane has been signposted by Kerry County Council over the presence of Cyanobacteria that has turned the waters a soupy pea-green colour.

A number of dogs died after exposure to the bacteria during a previous bloom on the lake shore in 2016.

Suspected similar cases have also been reported at Lough Mask as well as waterways further east, including Ballymore Eustace on the River Liffey.

Meanwhile, scientists at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology are preparing to use drones to test the water quality of lakes on the West Coast.

GMIT’s Marine and Freshwater Research Centre has secured €132,000 in funding from the EPA for the scheme that will allow for real-time feedback of camera images and data.

Licensed drone pilots will work with lake biologists and water scientists on the two-year project, part of Ireland’s mandate under the EU’s Water Framework Directive.

The Irish Times has more on this story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has welcomed last week’s launch of the National Greenways Strategy by Tourism Minister Shane Ross.

The strategy sets out how national and regional greenways in Ireland should be planned and constructed, and is backed by a fund of €53 million for the years 2019 to 2021.

“I am delighted to be launching this strategy today in our Hidden Heartlands,” Minister Ross said last Friday 20 July, “That brand, and indeed our other tourism brands all identify activity tourism as a key sector for sustainably growing tourism numbers in Ireland.

This strategy, is, I know, eagerly awaited around the country. People have seen the benefits that have accrued to towns along our greenways to date, examples such as Newport on the Great Western Greenway, Kilmacthomas on the Waterford Greenway and here in Moate along the Old Rail Trail.

“Our goal is to replicate the success of those towns and those greenways in other locations around the country. That is why we are focussing our investment on projects of scale, the common denominator of successful projects to date is that they are in the order of 40km and thus provide the opportunity to overnight in a new area.”

The strategy sets out the importance of early and widespread consultation with landowners and communities along and adjacent to proposed greenway routes. It also emphasises the need to minimise the impact on landholdings by minimising severance as far as possible and providing accommodation works such as fencing and underpasses where required, and sets out the importance of access to scenery and things to see and do in order to attract tourists.

Brendan Griffinm Minister of State For Tourism, added: “We are lucky to live in such a beautiful country and greenways provide an opportunity to experience that beauty up close and at a slow pace.

“Our strategy will help us fund the spine of a network of greenways that can, over time, provide links to the rest of the countryside through quiet roads that will prove attractive to many people cycling. I know that Longford County Council is looking to identify a quiet route from the end of the Royal Canal Greenway in Clondra to Athlone; this will provide a wonderful triangular route from Mullingar along the Royal Canal to Clondra and then to Athlone returning to Mullingar on the Old Rail Trail.

“We must also remember that greenways are for more than people cycling. Statistics from our current greenways show that in towns such as Moate there are more people walking than cycling and the important health benefits that accrue to users are another huge benefit for our country.”

Minister Ross concluded: “I am looking forward to examining the many worthwhile project proposals that we expect to receive over the coming months under the funding call, and I would urge local authorities and state agencies to consult widely with landowners and communities along proposed routes to bring agreed routes to fruition. This strategy sets out how that consultation should take place and suggests the components that make for a successful greenway.”

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - President of Ireland Michael D Higgins has been confirmed as a guest of honour at the World Canals Conference in Athlone this autumn.

“We are honoured that the President who throughout his career has demonstrated his commitment to and love of the inland waterways of Ireland, their history and culture, has agreed to speak at the conference and we look forward to hearing how he perceives the restoration, regeneration and reimagining of the waterways,” organisers said.

There are 53 days and counting till the three-day conference from 10-12 September at the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone under the theme ‘restoring, regenerating, re-imagining’ — with various tours and sessions designed to inspire and connect delegates coming to the Midlands from all around the world.

These tours include an excursion around Lough Derg, the largest and most southerly lake on the River Shannon, that takes in the 1700s bridge linking Killable and Ballina as well as the Ardnacrusha hydroelectric plant, and will explore the challenges of doubling moorings along an old navigation.

Another technical tour will explore the North Shannon, Lough Allen Canal and the Shannon-Erne Waterway, with a stop at the Acres Lake floating boardwalk and a look at the marriage of modern and traditional locks at Kilclare.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the conference will be preceded by the three-day Shannon Athlone Feastival, highlighting local food producers in an exciting festival atmosphere with rowing, raft racing, a Viking village and demonstrations of flyboarding that wowed the crowds at the recent SeaFest in Galway.

Special rates for accommodation on board luxury cruise liners are still available, as are a range of exhibition opportunities for organisations looking to network with delegates. Details can be found on the World Canals Conference website.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - The new Heritage Bill passed by the Dáil last week will not mandate inland waterways officers to present copies of relevant bye-laws to canal users, where in print or electronically.

Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív’s proposed amendment to the text was shot down as “unnecessary” by Heritage Minister Josepha Madigan in the debate stage.

“Other enforcement agencies and bodies, such as conservation rangers, gardaí and inland fisheries officers, operate in the same way,” she said. “It is good practice for users of the waterways to become familiar with the legislation governing the waterways and the marine notices in place. It would confuse the role of the authorised officer.”

The minister clarified that access to relevant bye-laws governing the use of inland waterways “is not an issue”.

“They will be available on devices, such as smartphones or tablets. I cannot accept a situation, however, where temporary unavailability, such as a dropped phone or a gap in internet signal, results in the authorised officer being unable to carry out his or her functions,” Minister Madigan said.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - That new Enniskillen Blueway water activity zone located beside Erneside footbridge will be opening soon.

A range of family-friendly water activities including canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding will be offered at the zone developed by Waterways Ireland with the support of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism and Enniskillen BID.

If you would prefer to captain your own boat and enjoy a leisurely experience around Ireland’s only island town, you might be more interested in one of the ‘wee red boats’ from Erne Boat Hire.

There is also a new heritage boat tour taking in the monastic and heritage sites around Enniskillen including Devenish Island, and the Erne Water Taxi for a more exhilarating blast around Lough Erne.

Waterways Irelad hopes the new water activity zone will play a role in encouraging young people to access the water, engage in water sports and make a connection with Lough Erne.

The activity zone also forms part of ongoing blueway developments on Lough Erne, the first of which will be a canoeing trail from Bellanaleck to Troy, taking in Enniskillen town and the new activity zone.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - Mike Palmer of the UK’s Waterway Recovery Group has been announced as a keynote speaker at the World Canals Conference in Athlone this September.

Chair of Britain’s national co-ordinating body for voluntary labour on inland waterways, Palmer will address the conference on the topic of ‘Waterways in Progress - the Waiting Gain’ — how restoration schemes are not just a means to an end, and can bring quantifiable benefits at every stage of their development.

Palmer is the latest of a growing list of keynote speakers to open the three-day conference at the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone from Monday 10 to Wednesday 12 September under the theme ‘Restoring, regenerating, re-imagining’.

Delegates will also be welcomed by the two-day Shannon ‘Feastival’ on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September, with Athlone hosting boat tours to taste a range of food and crafts made by local artisans.

The deadline for early bird discounts has been extended to next Friday 15 June to benefit from up to 20% off the cost of registration.

Special prices are also available for accommodation on board a luxury hire cruiser before, during and after the conference, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Heritage - The Shannon Harbour Canal Boat Rally will go ahead this month, despite reports of its recent cancellation.

Afloat.ie has learned that a new voluntary group has taken over the hosting of the rally, after Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) Shannon Harbour branch chair Damien Buckley announced it would no longer be running.

Gerry Burke of the IWAI’s Lough Derg branch led the charge to maintain the tradition of the heritage event during the recent Jamestown Heritage Festival in Kildare.

It means 2018 will indeed mark the 47th edition of the Shannon Harbour Canal Boat Rally, which will take place over the weekend of Friday 15 to Sunday 17 June.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - A Taste of Lough Derg, now in its fifth successive year, will return this summer to feature over 30 food events taking place in villages and towns along the shores of Lough Derg.

The initiative is co-ordinated and supported by the Lough Derg Marketing Group and sees businesses from Clare, Galway and Tipperary coming together to host food events to promote the Lough Derg Lakelands.

The calendar of events was officially launched in the stunning surrounds of Portumna Castle and newly opened tea rooms by Sinead Hennessy, Fáilte Ireland’s food tourism officer, earlier this week.

The series is as a key guide in bringing visitors to the best destinations along the lake where an array of activities are on offer coupled with high quality food experiences and something to suit everyone’s taste buds.

The offerings will entice visitors domestic and international to linger and enjoy the unique and vibrant setting of Lough Derg with events like paddle picnics, ‘taste and make’ chocolate sessions, yoga in nature, ‘meet the cheesemaker’, guided foraging, mindful bread-making, barbecues, garden tours, afternoon tea, tapas nights and much more.

Find out more from the official website for A Taste of Lough Derg.

Published in Inland Waterways
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