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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform has launched the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive, making the history of the inland waterways more accessible than ever to all.

Unique and irreplaceable; over 7,800 of the 11,000 records including drawings, maps, slides, photos, videos and oral history held by Waterways Ireland, have been digitised, catalogued and uploaded to the searchable website archive.waterwaysireland.org

Minister Noonan said “I am delighted to launch the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive. For the communities that live along our navigable waterways, those whose families left Ireland via our canals, those who worked on the barges or distributed their wares via the waterway network, and those that study, research and love our heritage, this is a very exciting day. I acknowledge and thank the people and communities who have donated their stories, film, photographs and drawings to Waterways Ireland to conserve and digitise. Through the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive, access to this unique set of stories is available to us all.”

For the first time visitors will be able to search the free online catalogue and view some of the collections held in the Waterways Ireland Archive. The backbone of the archive is the Engineering Collection which is now available online. It contains the original drawings tracing the development of the waterways from their conception in the eighteenth century through to their construction and their ongoing maintenance during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Included are engineer's plans for locks, sluices, bridges and harbours, all providing a fascinating insight into our waterway heritage.

John Mc Donagh CEO welcomed the launch stating “The unique collection of items held by Waterways Ireland on behalf of the community represents over 200 years of inland waterway history. The process of digitisation fulfils our need as an organisation to ensure the engineering drawings and documents which were used to construct our navigations continue to be available to the organisation in the future to ensure authentic and appropriate maintenance takes place. More importantly, though, the Digital Archive now makes accessible the records of our predecessors who worked, lived, and played along the waterways, enabling them to tell their stories and for them to be shared with our communities, students, academics and anyone with a love of the waterways.”

The new website features three collections personally donated to the Archive; the Ruth Delany Collection and the Ian Bath Collection. These images, scanned from the original transparency slides, showcase their efforts to document the campaigns to keep the waterways open, as well as reflecting their interests in recording the histories of the waterways. The Hayden Collection was donated by the family of the late Charlies Hayden. An avid boater and Royal Canal Amenity Group member, he shot a series of films in the 1980s and early 1990s of rallies and events on the waterways. Shot on smaller reels, they were played on bigger reels for screenings at the end of each year. This footage has been donated to the Archive and adapted for easier viewing online.

The Oral History Collection features interviews with people with personal connections to the waterways. These are available as short easy to listen extracts and are searchable by waterways, people and by themes. Learning resources have been created around the themes and can be accessed from the learning site.

Nuala Reilly, the Waterways Ireland Archivist said “The launch marks a significant step in preserving and making available our unique collections. These records represent only a small selection of the archive material held by Waterways Ireland. Additional collections will be added to the Digital Archive, as the materials are catalogued, and where possible digitised. Visitors to the Digital Archive will also be able to view themed exhibitions, stories of the waterways and timelines of the waterways.”

Published in Inland Waterways
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Waterways Ireland has issued an advisory to all vessels on the Shannon Navigation of low water levels, which are currently at or below ordinary summer levels.

Masters of vessels are requested to observe the 5km speed limits on the inland waterways to prevent squat in shallower areas.

All vessels, particularly those with deep drafts, are advised to navigate with additional caution and to remain within the navigation at all times.

Published in Inland Waterways

Artists from Poland and Ireland have created a new mural on the banks of the Grand Canal in Portobello that celebrates Irish-Polish relations is part of the PolskaÉire Festival 2021.

Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu and Polish Ambassador to Ireland Anna Sochańska officially launched the mural, created by Aga Grandowicz and Una Woods, in a ceremony yesterday morning (Wednesday 23 June).

The project is the initiative of the Embassy of Poland in Dublin, in celebration of 30 years of the embassy’s existence, in partnership with Waterways Ireland and Dublin City Council.

Lord Mayor Chu said: “I am delighted to launch this mural as a sign of Irish-Polish connection both in the city of Dublin but also in all the corners of Ireland. Let it be a reminder that the ties between the Polish community and the Irish people stay strong and will remain so in the years to come.

“Over the last 15 years we have welcomed over 100 thousand Polish people here in Ireland. During that time they have contributed significantly to the prosperity and cultural diversity of our country — for this we say thank you.

“I am sure that the local community of Portobello also greatly appreciates this new addition to the landscape. This mural radiates such positive energy and vibrancy that it will lift anyone’s spirits.”

Ambassador Sochańska added: “I am honoured to celebrate Irish-Polish relations in the form of this uplifting, colourful mural inspired by Irish and Polish folk art.

“The Irish shamrock and the Polish floral motif from folk paper cutouts perfectly symbolise the two cultures and how they interlink. The two birds, the starling and the robin, taking centre stage of the design, relate so well to the two countries’ natural heritage.”

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that a water quality monitoring buoy will be deployed on the western side of Lough Derg close to the entrance to Dromaan Harbour in Co Clare this week.

The monitoring buoy will be yellow in colour and be approximately three metres in height. The buoy will remain in position for up to four years.

Masters of vessels are requested to navigation with additional caution in the vicinity of the buoy.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises master of vessels on the Royal Canal that due to ongoing serious mechanical issues with Begnagh Lift Bridge, it can only be operated manually.

The current scheduled dates for lift operation are Fridays 25 June, 2 and 9 July at 11am each day.

Prior notice must be given two days in advance to the water patroller in Clondra on 087 915 1400.

Published in Inland Waterways

​Waterways Ireland has announced the creation of a non-motorised ‘safe play’ zone at Castle Archdale Country Park on Lower Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh.

Echoing a similar scheme currently in operation at Muckross Bay in Kesh, Enniskillen, the new zone will operate until October and is located between the existing caravan park and Davy’s Island, delineated with floating buoys.

​In temporarily closing off a section of the navigation to motorised craft, the cross-border body for the inland waterways is exercising its powers under the Lough Erne (Navigation) Bye-laws (Northern Ireland) 1978 as amended by The Lough Erne (Navigation) (Amendment) Bye-laws (Northern Ireland) 1986.

​The aim of the proposal is to improve safety in the area, which has become increasingly popular with all types of waterway enthusiasts in recent years. It also comes after reports of a rise in personal watercraft infringements into swimming areas, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has issued an update for masters and owners regarding boat passage arrangements in or out of Dublin on the Grand and Royal canals in 2021.

Movements in or out of the city will continue to be organised by prior arrangement to take place as a single movement in one day.

Boaters will be facilitated to travel the system if their passage is considered to be safe by Waterways Ireland and they have the valid permit(s) for mooring and passage.

In order to plan the necessary lock assistance for movements east of Lock 12 on either canal, masters are required to contact the Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office by email [email protected] or 01 868 0148 prior to making passage.

At time of making contact, masters are asked to provide the following details:

  • Length, beam, water & air drafts of your craft (provide approximates if don't have exact dimensions)
  • Phone/email contact details
  • Permit number and expiry date of current canal permit

On the Grand Canal, a minimum of two days’ notice prior to planned passage must be given and, with the exception of pre-arranged events, a maximum of two boats per day will be taken through the locks, travelling either east or west. In certain circumstances, eg for slower or larger barges, the limit will be one boat per day.

Due to periodic anti-social activity along some of canal route into Dublin, boat passage will also not be possible in certain weather conditions and at weekends over the late spring and summer period. This can be planned for at time of making contact, and suitable arrangements for passage made.

On the Royal Canal, repairs and upgrades are ongoing to Spencer Dock Sea Lock so boat passage through here remains suspended at this time and no bridge lift dates have been set for Newcomen Lift Bridge. Should there be updates to this position, details of these will be advised in a separate notice.

Masters and owners are also reminded to ensure that they have the following before making the passage through the city locks on either of these inland waterways:

  • Adequate fuel on board
  • Competent and adequate crew to operate the boat and locks (minimum crew of three)
  • A lock key on board their boat
  • Mooring lines of adequate length to handle vessel through a lock (approx.15m length)
  • No known mechanical problems with their boat

Waterways Ireland reserve the right to postpone passage to another day if all of these are not in place.

Passages can be arranged in this boating season from June until the end of October. Also note that aquatic weed is generally more prevalent as the season progresses which can hamper passage.

Boaters will be facilitated as far as practicable although Waterways Ireland cannot guarantee that passage will be possible on every planned date. Early contact will greatly assist planning and facilitate the making of the necessary arrangements.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that low water levels exist on the upstream approaches to Meelick and Victoria Lock, north of Portumna on the Shannon Navigation.

Water levels are currently up to 39cm below summer levels as the sluices are open at Meelick Weir, which creates a draw-down of water levels in the area.

Masters of vessels, particularly those with deep drafts, are advised to navigate with additional caution and to remain within the navigation at all times.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has notified masters and owners of vessels at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin that diving operations originally set to take place on Thursday 10 June will now go ahead on Tueaday 15 June.

The operation is for an underwater survey of the anchor systems on the existing moorings in Grand Canal Basin. The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that due to technical difficulties, the lifting bridge on the Grand Canal’s Barrow Line at Monasterevin cannot currently be opened for navigation traffic.

Staff are working to put the bridge back in operation, and the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it hopes to issue an update by the coming weekend.

Published in Inland Waterways
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