More on WI’s non-houseboat policy

A year ago, in March 2011, I wrote about Waterways Ireland’s attempt to reorganise the liveaboard boats on the Grand Canal at Sallins. That attempt ultimately failed, and WI’s provision of houseboat moorings at Shannon Harbour was likewise unsuccessful: usually reliable sources tell me that two spaces have been allocated, but to non-residential boats.

Amongst the concentrations of boats parked on the Grand Canal (most of them disregarding the five-day rule), the proportions of residential boats are [I think: I know of no reliable statistics] higher at Hazelhatch and Sallins, both at the eastern end, rather lower at Lowtown and lowest at Tullamore and Shannon Harbour.

It seems that WI’s focus has shifted away from the residential boats, which it tried to tackle last year, to the non-residential boats: it has recently issued Marine Notices warning that the five-day rule will be enforced at hard-edged [ie the best] moorings on Tullamore’s “spur line” and between the 35th Lock and Griffith Bridge at Shannon Harbour. However, no notices have so far been issued about Lowtown, Sallins or Hazelhatch.

I think WI is right to separate the residential issue from the parking, but it will be interesting to see what is planned for the eastern end of the canal.

Incidentally, all of this smacks of Kremlinology, trying to deduce policy positions from minor clues, and is necessarily speculative. It would be really nice if WI published policy proposals on its website, invited comments and then formally promulgated the final policies.


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