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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

Six Waterways Ireland projects have been chosen as finalists in this year’s All Ireland Community & Council Awards, which will be announced later this month.

They include the Royal Canal Greenway, the scenic 130km walking and cycling amenity stretching alongside the historic 225-year-old canal which was launched in March this year.

Elsewhere, Waterways Ireland invested over €100,000 in essential restoration works to the Napoleonic structure Fort Eliza, along the Shannon Navigation in Co Offaly.

The arts were also a focus for the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways, resulting in a collaboration with the National College fo Art and Design (NCAD) that produced a digital zibaldone — or scrapbook of knowledge — capturing students artistic interpretations of waterways heritage.

Also in the running in this year’s awards are the Virtual Heritage Open Day, the Virtual Reality Canal Experience and the Green Dublin Docklands initiative.

Now in their 15th year, All Ireland Community & Council Awards — which are presented by IPB Insurance and LAMA — recognise and celebrate community and councils working together.

The awards ceremony takes place on Saturday 27 November.

Published in Inland Waterways
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Masters of vessels on the Royal Canal are advised that two lock gates in West Dublin and North Kildare will be replaced over the winter period starting from this week, according to Waterways Ireland.

Works will begin on the middle gates at the 12th Lock in Castleknock and the deep gates at Lock 15 near Kilcock on Monday 15 November, with an expected end date for both works of 14 January 2022. Waterways Ireland apologies for any inconvenience caused to users of this inland waterway.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that Athlone Lock will be temporarily closed on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 November to facilitate further flood relief works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation of the installation of two red markers at the weir boom upstream of Rooskey lock on the Leitrim/Roscommon border.

These additional red markers are intended to guide vessels away from the weir boom and the shallow water in that area of the inland waterway.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that Athlone Lock will be temporarily closed from next Monday 1 November until Wednesday 3 November inclusive to facilitate flood relief works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland is calling on members of the public to have their say on its new Climate Action Plan, the public consultation for which is now open.

This is the cross-border navigation authority’s first climate action plan. Focused on the decade to 2030, it sets out the vision for how Waterways Ireland will reach its key climate action targets.

This includes reducing emissions by at least 51% and improving energy efficiency by at least 50%. It also addresses Waterways Ireland’s aim to be a net zero organisation by 2050.

The draft Climate Action Plan details the seven objectives Waterways Ireland has identified as being essential to delivering on its climate ambitions.

The first two are centred on people and processes: setting out how Waterways Ireland will deliver through collaboration and engagement, and by leveraging its assets. The other five objectives focus on delivering across climate mitigation and climate adaptation. The integrated objectives align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Commenting on the plan, Waterways Ireland chief executive John McDonagh said: “Waterways Ireland is the custodian of Ireland’s inland navigable waterways and we see climate change as a critical challenge for our organisation and its stakeholders.

“As the body responsible for vital shared heritage across the island of Ireland, we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to take a leadership role in climate action. We will enthusiastically take on that mantle by identifying transformative and innovative ways to engage in climate action initiatives over the lifetime of the plan.”

Under the draft plan, Waterways Ireland commits to considering climate action in decisions around the acquisition, operation, maintenance and disposal of its assets, as well as the procurement of energy, consumables and third-party services.

These activities will be supported by targeted actions and initiatives in priority areas to implement climate mitigation and adaptation measures.

Progress in achieving key results will be measured quarterly, ensuring that activities are agile and can keep pace with carbon budgets and other measures developed for the sector.

“The draft plan reflects our commitment to take meaningful climate action to protect our inland waterways so they can continue to be enjoyed into the future. This includes adapting the waterways network to address climate change risks and reviewing programmes on an ongoing basis,” McDonagh added.

“Transport and energy are key target areas for us, and we will focus on targeting the decarbonisation of the buildings, infrastructure, assets and fleet responsible for the greatest proportion of our emissions.

“We have been moving in the right direction for a number of years. However, we recognise the need to be consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the ambitions of the governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“The draft Waterways Ireland Climate Action Plan is highly ambitious and through its implementation, climate action will become integral to Waterways Ireland’s operations and developments. We encourage anyone with an interest in this area to have a look at the draft plan and to submit their observations.”

The draft Waterways Ireland Climate Action Plan can be found on the Waterways Ireland website HERE. Submissions can be made via email or post, details of which can be found at the previous link.

The closing date for submissions is Monday 17 January 2022. Following the 12-week consultation, submissions will be reviewed and the final Climate Action Plan will be prepared.

Waterways Ireland is hosting a Q&A webinar on the draft Climate Action Plan at 7pm on Thursday 11 November. To reserve your place, email [email protected]

Published in Inland Waterways

Amid concerns over reduced water levels this year on the Grand and Royal Canals, Afloat.ie reader and former Oireachtas policy advisor Cathal Murphy fears for the future of Ireland’s inland waterways

Water levels on the canals plummeted over recent months. This was seen on the Royal Canal and Grand Canal and along the latter’s Barrow Line. They were so bad in parts that boats could not move on these 200-year-old navigations.

The water levels in parts were allegedly down over half a metre, the lowest in living memory. These historic pieces of heritage are under threat because if water levels continue to decrease they will not survive.

Is it structural problems? Is climate change responsible? The answers are yet to be found. The canals are supposed to have a stable water level, they are supplied off feeders which are water sources redirected from rivers.

These canals are great pieces of engineering, naturally maintaining their levels for boats to navigate. But suddenly after two centuries of functional infrastructure, we are seeing boats halted as water levels shrink.

The State at the moment is putting millions into greenway and blueway routes along these canals, but without the water and the boats these will become just paths along empty trenches in the countryside. It should be a basic function to keep water levels up as has been done for the past 200 years.

Illustrating the reduction in water levels on the Barrow Line in Co Laois in September 2021 | Credit: Cathal MurphyIllustrating the reduction in water levels on the Barrow Line in Co Laois in September 2021 | Credit: Cathal Murphy

It is not just the heritage affected. These waterways maintain immense biodiversity. Low water levels increase algal blooms, with devastating effects on fish and other invertebrates that use the habitat of the canal.

There is huge cultural and historical importance to the canals, forming a network upon which nature flourishes, history is functioning and people travel. Ireland needs them. They encourage tourism from both home and abroad so people can navigate these waterways like the canals of England and France.

Waterways Ireland, who maintain the canals, have said previously that low levels are due to leaks and not enough machinery to maintain the feeders that supply the canal, and maintain canal navigation.

Although this year we have seen some of the lowest levels, this has been an ongoing issue for a decade. This year marine notices stated that water levels were down 45cm in late August, and anecdotally they were down 60cm from Monastarevin to Athy along the Barrow Line.

The drying up of our canals is happening in front of our eyes. Some interim measures have been taken that have seen a rise in water levels in recent weeks but these are not long-term.

Whatever the reason for the water disappearing, the canals need to be protected, and to be seen as the asset of the State that they really are — and an amenity to all.

Published in Your Say

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that Clarendon Lock in Co Roscommon will be closed from Tuesday 2 November until January.

This is due to essential works required to the lock in advance of replacement of lock gates planned for winter 2022/23.

Elsewhere on the inland waterway, masters and owners are advised that instream work on the new slipway south of the Athlone Lock have ceased (and on the east bank some 200m south of the weir).

Works will recommence in May 2022. Temporary yellow markers are in place around the extremities of the works area. Masters of vessels are advised to proceed with additional caution at slow speed and keep to the west bank while navigating in this area.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Royal Canal Greenway is the place to be this upcoming Halloween with 16 spooktacular events happening all along the 225-year-old Royal Canal this mid-term break.

The greenway, which is the longest in Ireland at 130km, encompasses four counties — Kildare, Longford, Meath and Westmeath — and has an abundance of stops with plenty of activities for all interests this Halloween including a haunted train, a spine-tingling med-evil exhibition, a Halloween feast and even a spooky science camp!

Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland said: “We are thrilled to have such a wide variety of offerings this Halloween along the Royal Canal Greenway. Across all four counties through which the Royal Canal Greenway travels we have something for everyone throughout the week.

“Whether you want to spend your days enjoying leisurely walks in the countryside or entertaining the family between cycle stops you are sure to find what you are looking for. It’s easy to stay over and keep exploring.”

Waterways Ireland has put together a handy list of events to make sure you avoid the horror of missing out this Halloween — but be sure to act fast as booking is essential for many of these happenings.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that an underwater archaeological survey adjacent to Wansboro Field, Athlone will take place this Friday 22 October.

The survey is expected to run from 9am to 2pm, and all vessels are asked to take additional care when underway in this area of the inland waterway within the aforementioned hours.

Published in Inland Waterways
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