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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, has announced in conjunction with Heather Humphreys, Minister for Rural and Community Development, €6 million of funding for Waterways Ireland to enable the completion of phase two of the restoration of the Ulster Canal.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD said "I am delighted to see the momentum building on Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal project. It has been a long-standing Government priority, with an important North-South dimension, and today's funding announcement will ensure that the pace of progress can be accelerated. This investment has the potential to vastly enhance the lives of people and communities along the border by creating a new amenity to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. It will also breathe new life back into the area, by stimulating economic activity and opening up new tourism opportunities in the region."

In 2007 following a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council the Ulster Canal Restoration project was added to Waterways Ireland remit. The organisation is tasked with restoring the section from Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh to Clones in Co Monaghan. This is a stretch of approx. 13.5 kilometres. The restoration is being delivered in three phases due to planning and availability of capital.

Phase two of the Ulster Canal restoration focuses on the restoration of the canal between Clones and Clonfad in County Monaghan, including a canal basin marina and amenity area in Clones. In November 2020 Waterways Ireland submitted an application for the €12m funding for Phase 2 from the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund. In December 2020 the Shared Island team within the Department of the Taoiseach announced it would contribute €6m of the €12m.

Announcing the balance of the funding together with the Taoiseach, Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. said "I'm really pleased to join with An Taoiseach today for what is an historic announcement for communities North and South. My Department of Rural and Community Development is to provide over €5.57m in funding for Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal restoration. Already supported by the Shared Island Fund to the sum of 6 million euro, today's announcement will allow Waterways Ireland to proceed with Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal restoration from Clones to Clonfad.

"The Ulster Canal is a unique, flagship cross border project which will bring huge economic benefits to the region. But it will do so much more than that. The Ulster Canal, once re-opened, will represent a permanent symbol of peace and reconciliation on our island – demonstrating the benefits of bringing our communities together.

"Waterways Ireland, who will deliver this project, were one of six North/South bodies established under the Good Friday agreement.

"23 years on from the signing of that historic agreement, today's announcement demonstrates the absolute commitment of the Irish Government to strengthening and protecting the hard won peace on our island."

John McDonagh, Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland welcomed the Taoiseach's statement and that of Minister Humphreys saying "The Ulster Canal is a major link in our waterway network that will see restoration of the canal basin near the historic Canal Stores in Clones and provide a water-based recreational amenity area. This is a wonderful development for the border region and particularly the town of Clones. Securing all of the €12m means we have certainty and can now deliver this section of the project substantially by mid-2023."

Phase 1 was completed in 2019 and is open to the public. It included c.2.5 kilometres of new river navigation along the River Finn between Quivvy Lough and Castle Saunderson. The work programme involved the dredging of the River Finn, construction of a new lateral canal and navigation arch at Derrykerrib bridge and the installation of new floating jetty at Castle Saunderson. This element of the project cost €3m.
The Phase 2 work programme will include a sustainable water source, a new 40 berth marina, 2 new access bridges, repairs to an existing masonry arch bridge, c.1km of restored canal and towpath with a looped walk and an amenity area. The amenity area will have 40 car parking spaces, 8 bus/trailer spaces, a service block and picnic area and will be connected to the town and the existing playground.

Work on the Ulster Canal began 180 years ago (1841) and within the year it was open to commercial traffic. The navigation combining river and canal was circa 93km long, passing through Counties Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan, Tyrone and Armagh. The last trading boat using the canal was in 1929 and it officially closed in 1931.

Published in Inland Waterways

Following yesterday’s update on the upcoming easing of Level 5 restrictions on waterways in the Republic, Waterways Ireland has issued an advisory on access to navigations and availability of services in Northern Ireland.

As in the rest of the island of Ireland, all Waterways Ireland locks and service blocks remain closed on the Lower Bann Navigation, the Erne System and the section of the Shannon-Erne Waterway within Northern Ireland.

Local area access to jetties and moorings is in accordance with Northern Ireland Executive guidance.

Pump-out facilities are available for use, but owners must ensure that travel to pump-out facilities must be undertaken in a responsible manner minimising the amount of essential movement out on the water.

When on jetties, Waterways Ireland urges awareness of other users; wait or move aside to allow others to pass at a safe distance.

Waterways Ireland says it will continually review such measures in light of direction and advice from the NI Executive and health professionals.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways added: “If we all continue to observe government guidance, follow advice to limit use, and strictly observe social distancing, together we can combat this pandemic — and be able to enjoy getting back out on or by our waterways when we've beaten it.”

Published in Inland Waterways
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Waterways Ireland is advising all masters of vessels and water users that, in line with Irish Government restrictions, much of its network of inland waterways will open for navigation within one’s own home county from Monday 12 April.

However, all locks and bridges on the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Royal Canal, Grand Canal, Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation remain closed, as do all Waterways Ireland service blocks.

And the easing of restrictions only applies to waterways with the Republic of Ireland, as the NI Executive sets its own rules for waterways within Northern Ireland.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the winter mooring period has been extended on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway until Friday 30 Apri.

When the Government announces Level 4 restrictions, Waterways Ireland will open locks and bridges on the Shannon from 9am to 3pm daily and on the Shannon–Erne Waterway between 9am and 5pm. Service blocks and other on-shore services will also be available for use.

When Ireland moves to Level 3, Waterways Ireland will open locks and bridges at normal hours on all navigations.

Previous advisories for those using canal towpaths remain in place, with people encouraged to limit their use and stay within their home county.

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

Waterways Ireland has issued a second advisory for essential diving and engineering works on the Shannon Headrace Canal between Ardnacrusha Power Station and Parteen Weir from today, Tuesday 6 April to Friday 7 May.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, these works are being carried out on a section of the embankment between Clonlara and Blackwater Bridges.

The Headrace Canal will remain open during these works and buoys/markers will be placed in the canal to highlight the works area.

Inland waterways users are asked to maintain due attention when traversing this section of the Shannon and to maintain their distance from the works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Canal-boat restaurant operators on the Grand Canal in Dublin have spoken out after they were banned from providing takeaway meals amid the current pandemic restrictions.

According to The Irish Times, at least one eatery is out of pocket by thousands of euro after Waterways Ireland enforced rules that mean floating restaurants can only serve food while moving — and not when moored.

In a statement, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways said it understood that any boat-based business trading “at a fixed location” requires planning permission for that purpose.

But that doesn’t sit well with restaurateurs who argue that they should be allowed to operate on the same terms as their land-based counterparts — and that Waterways Ireland has been “deeply un-empathetic” about their situation.

“All across Ireland restaurants that can’t open have been offering takeaway, and the Government told local authorities that could be done without planning permission,” Sam Field Corbett told The Irish Times, which has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises that a Canoeing Ireland selection event will take place this Saturday 3 April on the Grand Canal at the Celbridge Paddlers Canoe Club–Alymer’s Bridge area.

This event is part of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic qualification pathway and has been deemed an essential activity by Sport Ireland.

Masters of power boats are requested to navigate with due caution and obey all instructions from event stewards.

Published in Canoeing

Waterways Ireland has announced that the winter mooring period on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway has been extended by another month until Friday 30 April.

There will be no additional cost for this extension, but masters of vessels are reminded that all locks and service blocks on these navigations remain closed until further notice.

Waterways Ireland is also encouraging all users of Ireland’s inland waterways not to take part in any activity on the water under the prevailing pandemic restrictions.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the new Royal Canal Greenway in Co Longford that the towpath on the 44th level of the inland waterway at Killashee will be closed from next Monday 29 March to Monday 12 April to facilitate essential maintenance works.

These investigate works have been classified as critical infrastructure works so they will continue over the current period of increased Covid-19 restrictions.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Royal Canal Greenway, a scenic 130km walking and cycling amenity stretching alongside the historic 225-year-old canal, officially launches today ahead of the summer 2021 season. The €12 million project co-ordinated by Waterways Ireland is the country’s longest Greenway, traversing through Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford. Those wishing to experience the Royal Canal Greenway are advised to adhere to Government guidelines on movement and social distancing.

The newest outdoor adventure tourism attraction for the country, the Royal Canal Greenway is a former towpath for barges featuring 90 bridges, 33 locks, 17 harbours and four aqueducts. Greenway users can choose to complete the entire 130km flat, off-road trail in one visit or explore the shorter designated routes — ranging from 6km to 15km — between the 14 connecting access points and towns.

Longford Bridge, Ballymahon in County Longford on the Royal Canal GreenwayLongford Bridge, Ballymahon in County Longford on the Royal Canal Greenway

High-profile attractions linking onto the Royal Canal Greenway are trails to Carton House in Maynooth; Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre — one of the largest prehistoric roads in Europe — in Longford; and Center Parcs. The 165km self-guided National Famine Way also travels largely along the Greenway, following the footsteps of 1,490 emigrants who walked from Roscommon to Dublin at the peak of the famine in 1847.

Speaking on the official Greenway opening, Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD said: “We are delighted to launch the Royal Canal Greenway, a game changer for outdoor tourism, and leisure in Ireland and part of a growing network of greenways we will fund over the lifetime of this government. As Ireland’s longest greenway, stretching from the towns of Maynooth, Enfield, Mullingar, Longford and Cloondara, the Royal Canal Greenway has huge potential to serve as a haven for so many looking to get out and get active.

“In the past year, Ireland’s great outdoors has proved to be a lifeline for the nation, with a surge in those running, walking and cycling. When we travel again, the Royal Canal Greenway will be a fantastic attraction ready to be enjoyed by all and is easily accessible from towns and cities across Ireland including via public transport. There really is no better way to experience the unspoilt open scenery, wonderful waterways, peaceful atmosphere and rich history of Ireland’s Ancient East and Hidden Heartlands than on the off-road Royal Canal Greenway.”

 The Royal Canal Greenway at WestmeathThe Royal Canal Greenway at Westmeath

The Greenway has been completed in partnership with Waterways Ireland; the four local authorities of Kildare, Longford, Meath and Westmeath County Councils; the Department of Transport, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, TD added: “This is a Greenway that has a remarkable past. From its tragic connection with the famine, to its heyday in the mid-1880s when it was the motorway of its time, the Royal Canal Greenway is an amenity that is continually reimagining and reinventing itself. It is fantastic to see it become a significant outdoor tourism and leisure amenity for Ireland — a 225-year-old engineering marvel that is now a respite for the modern age. As we look to a greener future, this Greenway will be an instrumental vehicle for the promotion and development of sustainable tourism in Ireland.”

CEO of Waterways Ireland John McDonagh stated: “We thank all stakeholders for their involvement, in particular the local communities who have been so invested in this Greenway. For them, this will have added economic benefits through job and new business creation with a wide range of accommodation options, bike hire offerings, attractions, as well as restaurants and cafes along the route. We ask the people of Ireland, when safe to do so, to uncover the treasures of the Royal Canal Greenway, an unforgettable new addition to the Irish outdoor adventure scene.”

Kilcock Harbour in Kildare on the Royal Canal GreenwayKilcock Harbour in Kildare on the Royal Canal Greenway

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

Published in Inland Waterways

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan will be joined by Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, for the virtual launch of the Royal Canal Greenway this coming Wednesday 24 March.

No pre-registration is required for the Waterways Ireland live stream, which will be available from 10am HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
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