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Inland Waterway News. Boating on Ireland's Rivers, Lakes and Canals
File image of boats on the Shannon Navigation
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…
Lough Neagh rescue was tasked to a broken down motorboat with two children, three adults and a dog on board
In the early evening of last Sunday (20th June) Lough Neagh rescue was tasked to a broken down motorboat with two children, three adults and a dog on board. The vessel had been making its way from Battery Harbour on…
The canal-side mural at Portobello in Dublin’s south city centre celebrating Irish-Polish relations
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…
The Castleknock pictured at the Guinness jetty on Victoria Quay on 26 June 1959
Waterways enthusiasts have marked 60 years since the last working journey of Guinness barges in Dublin with a short video tribute. Derek Whelan of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) gives a brief history of the barges, which once…
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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.…
File image of the canal lift bridge at Begnagh, Co Longford
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…
Revived back in 1972, the Cong Galway Race will be sailed on Sunday, June 27.
Europe’s oldest and longest inland sailing race is part of the history of the West Coast of Ireland. The history of Galway itself claims that Ptolemy, the astronomer and mathematician born in 100 AD at Alexandria in Egypt and who…
Map illustrating the new safe play zone and position of marker buoys at Castle Archdale
​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…
File image of the Grand Canal at Hazelhatch
The Grand Canal Greenway will be extended from the 12th Lock in Lucan to Hazelhatch Bridge after Transport Minister Eamon Ryan allocated an additional €1.4 million to South Dublin County Council for the completion of the works by 2022. The…
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge is named after the mother of former US president John F Kennedy whose ancestors hail from nearby Dunganstown, Co. Wexford. AFLOAT adds the bridge on the River Barrow permits ships to navigate upriver to the Port of New Ross, Ireland's most inland port and adds above in the foreground is Pink Rock on the Co. Kilkenny side of the riverbank.
Spanning the Barrow (downriver of the Port of New Ross) is the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge which has won a prestigious international award for engineering excellence and design of the bridge that opened last year.  As The Irish Times writes,…
Mirror and 420 dinghies at Lough Ree Yacht Club
This weekend saw the much-anticipated return to racing for two youth sailing fleets; the Mirror & 420 fleets. This joint event held at Lough Ree Yacht Club, was a Mirror Regional Championship and a 420 "Warm Up" Regatta. The first…
Waterways Ireland logo
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…
Waterways Ireland logo
Waterways Ireland has issued a notice to provide advice to operators of Personal Water Craft (Jetskis) in order to ensure the safe enjoyment of the inland waterways for all. Personal Watercraft (PWC) are largely enjoyed responsibly, yet they present a…
Victoria Lock at Meelick
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…
Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew with a tow line attached to their inshore lifeboat
Lough Ree RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched came to the assistance of two cruisers on the lake over the bank holiday weekend, taking seven people to safety. Just after lunchtime on Saturday (5 June), the volunteer crew responded to a call from…
File image of Grand Canal Dock in Dublin
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…

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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