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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Inland Waterway News. Boating on Ireland's Rivers, Lakes and Canals
The public moorings at Shannonbridge on the Shannon Navigation
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and waterway users of the Shannon Navigation of an interruption to the power supply to the floating jetties at Shannonbridge in Co Offaly from tomorrow, Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 April to facilitate…
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and users on the Shannon-Erne Waterway that the pump-out facility at Belturbet in Co Cavan is temporarily out of order. This is due to a loss of power associated with the construction of the…
Bellanaleck in Co Fermanagh on the River Erne
Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterways users on the Erne System that works to reduce river bed levels on the approach to Bellanaleck Slipway are ongoing as of 7am this morning (Monday 25 April) until 6pm tomorrow (Tuesday…
A tow underway by Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat
From Good Friday (15 April) until the weekend just passed the volunteer crew at Lough Ree RNLI came to the assistance of 17 people who encountered difficulties on and around the lake. Four of the call-outs were to cruisers which…
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Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Royal Canal that Lock 45 in Cloondara, Co Longford is closed to navigation until further notice for emergency leakage repairs. Navigation on this inland waterway between Lock 44 and Lock…
Aware of an extended shoal inside Red Island, an RNLI volunteer took soundings off the bow and, using onboard electronic navigation, the crew plotted a safe course to the casualty vessel.
At 7.46 pm, Sunday, April 17, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist a lone skipper on 30ft cruiser aground, inside Red Island on the south-western County Clare shore. The wind was south-southwest, Force 3/4.…
Barrow Navigation in Athy, Co Kildare
Waterways Ireland has issued notice that it plans to remove vessels in contravention of bye-laws from three of its inland waterways from early next month. Vessels that appear abandoned or have no no permit (as per Bye Law 6(8), are…
Rooskey Lifting Bridge on the Shannon Navigation in Co Roscommon
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users on the Shannnon Navigation that Rooskey Lifting Bridge and Rooskey Lock will be without power supply tomorrow, Friday 15 April from 9am until 4pm due to a notified ESB power…
The 130km Royal Canal Greenway begins 25km east of Ireland’s capital city Dublin, in Maynooth
Ireland's inland waterways got an early summer season boost with the news that the Royal Canal Greenway has won European Cycle Route of the Year Award. Funded by the Department of Transport, the Award is timely coming the same week…
Dom Sharkey, a helm at Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat
Dom Sharkey, a helm at Lough Derg RNLI has retired after twelve years dedicated service to the charity. Dom, a carpenter and master craftsman who works in building and renovation is recognized as a valued member of the RNLI team…
Lough Derg RNLI head for the 37-foot motor cruiser aground off Hare Island
On Friday afternoon, 8 April, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist six people on a 37ft cruiser that ran aground north of Hare Island on the Co. Clare shore. At 3.02 pm the lifeboat…
Aerial view of the Shannon Navigation in Athlone, including the town bridge
Construction of a new pedestrian and cycleway bridge across the Shannon Navigation in Athlone will commence on Tuesday 3 May, Waterways Ireland confirms. The greenway bridge is funded from a €8.1 million allocation to the Galway-to-Dublin Greenway and will be…
The Round ‘O’ public slipway in Enniskillen
Waterways Ireland wishes to advise masters of vessels and waterways users on the Erne System that remedial works on the entrance to the Round ‘O’ public slipway in Enniskillen are planned from 8am on Tuesday 12 April to 7am on…
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Waterways Ireland has provided an update for masters and owners regarding canal boat passage arrangements in and out of Dublin city for the 2022 boating season. Movements in or out of the city on its inland waterways will continue to…
The Camlin River
Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and water users on the Shannon Navigation that Tarmonbarry Lock in Co Longford is closed until further notice due to emergency repair works. An alternative route via the Camlin River is available. Masters are…
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Waterways Ireland reminds masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway that the winter mooring period for these inland waterways ended last Thursday 31 March. Shannon Navigation Bye-Law No 17(3) now applies, such that vessels should not berth…

Whether you're a boat enthusiast, historian, archaeologist, fisherman, or just taken by the natural beauty of Ireland's waterways, you will find something of interest in our Inland pages on Afloat.ie.

Inland Waterways

Ireland is lucky to have a wealth of river systems and canals crossing the country that, while once vital for transporting goods, are today equally as important for angling, recreational boating and of course tourism.

From the Barrow Navigation to the Erne System, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation, these inland waterways are popular year in, year out for anyone with an interest in rambling; flora and fauna; fishing; sailing; motorboating; canoeing, kayaking and waterskiing; and cruising on narrowboats.

Although most will surely identify Ireland's inland waterways with boating holidays and a peaceful afternoon's angling, many varieties of watersport are increasingly favoured activities. Powerboat and Jetski courses abound, as do opportunities for waterskiing or wakeboarding. For those who don't require engine power, there's canoeing and kayaking, as Ireland's waterways have much to offer both recreational paddlers and those looking for more of a challenge. And when it comes to more sedate activities, there's nothing like going for a walk along a canal or river bank following some of the long-distance Waymarked Ways or Slí na Sláinte paths that criss-cross the country.

Ireland's network of rivers, lakes and canals is maintained by Waterways Ireland, which is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British-Irish Agreement in 1999. The body has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways on the island of Ireland, principally for recreational purposes. It also maintains Ireland's loughs, lakes and channels which are sought after for sailing; the network of canal locks and tow paths; as well as any buoys, bridges and harbours along the routes.

Along the Grand and Royal Canals and sections of the Barrow Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Waterways Ireland is also responsible for angling activities, and charges Inland Fisheries Ireland with carrying out fisheries development, weed management and ensuring water quality.

Brian Goggin's Inland Blog

Giving his personal perspective on Ireland's Inland Waterways from present-day activities to their rich heritage, Brian Goggin tells it like it is with his Inland Blog.

From recognising achievements in management of the waterways to his worries on the costs of getting afloat on Ireland's canals, Goggin always has something important to say.

He also maintains the website Irish Waterways History that serves as a repository for a wealth of historical accounts of the past commercial and social uses alike of Ireland's rivers and canals, which were once the lifeblood of many a rural community.

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