WI canal permits

Latest update here. These are the main points.


Applications for extended mooring permits at nine new locations will be available for two weeks from 19 November to 3 December 2012. The locations are Rathangan and Vicarstown on the Barrow Line (with a third stretch now at Vicarstown), two at Confey and one each at Cloondara and Lock 15 on the Royal and just one, Lock 34 to Griffith Bridge, on the Grand.

The schedule:

Applications for each set of locations are open for two weeks. Completed applications will be processed in order of receipt and mooring locations allocated. If availability exists after the application timeframe for a location has closed, late applications may be considered. Once all the extended mooring locations in an area have been allocated, no more extended mooring permits will be issued for that area in 2013. It is Waterways Ireland’s intention to complete the roll out of the extended mooring permit by March 2013.

That seems to be intended to get boaters to apply ASAP; otherwise they’ll be moored in the middle of nowhere for the rest of 2013.

The application process is set out in detail, with a new item.

From 16 November 2012 permits will no longer be issued by Lockkeepers, or the Eastern Regional Office. Permits will only be issued on completion of an application form submit to and processed by the Tullamore Office.

It is confirmed that applications must be accompanied by “copies of the insurance, and payment for the permit and a damage deposit”.


There are four downloads: the application form [DOC] and a supplementary form for consortium members [also DOC], a sample 11-page EMP licence [not permit] agreement [PDF] and a 5-page guidance document [PDF]. A consortium is defined in the guidelines as a group of more than two people who own a single vessel. Owners of unpowered vessels are advised, but not required, to have insurance.


The guidelines have a new item about disposing of rubbish:

Boat owners on the canals will be required to dispose of domestic rubbish at  their own expense. On the application form you need to indicate how you intend to manage this. For example, evidence of a paid collection service or by confirming that you will take your rubbish home and dispose of it through your domestic collection service.

In a limited number of locations Waterways Ireland may offer this service for a charge. Details of this will be notified when the area opens for extended mooring permit applications.

That is as I predicted in the last issue of Afloat.

And there is a paragraph about holding-tanks:

You are asked to tell us if your boat has an operational waste holding tank.  This is not a mandatory requirement, but information is being collected for management purposes.

The licence agreement says that owners have to clean up after dogs.

Here comes the BSC

From 2015 Waterways Ireland will be introducing the requirement for boats needing permits and wishing to use the canals to have a current hull survey to provide evidence that the boat is in good condition.

Not all boats will require this.

Your attention is being drawn to this requirement now to allow you time to prepare for 2015.

That’s from the guidelines document (join the queue now for the dry docks). And these bits are from the licence agreement:

The Licensee undertakes to have regular inspections of the gas and electric services of  his Boat as required to ensure these are kept in a safe and serviceable condition. […]

All Boats must carry adequate fire fighting equipment and have same serviced as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.


The application form requires applicants to agree to this:

I/We hereby indemnify and shall keep indemnified Waterways Ireland from and against all actions proceedings costs claims demands and liabilities howsoever arising from my/our use of the facilities provided by Waterways Ireland on the Royal Canal, Grand Canal and Barrow Navigation and shall further indemnify and keep indemnified Waterways Ireland in respect of any accident, injury, loss or damage to any person or property howsoever arising including, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, where such accident injury loss or damage arises by reason of any matter or thing done or omitted to be done by me/us or person authorised by me/us or the purported exercise of such use.

I would welcome guidance on whether that might invalidate insurance policies.

Moorings are not transferable

If a Boat is sold it must be removed from the Mooring within seven days and the  Licensee must advise the Licensor’s Inspectorate. The new Boat owner will be required to make an application if they wish to avail of an extended mooring permit and Waterways Ireland will refund the balance pro rata of any fee paid for an extended mooring permit to the Boat owner less a fee of €50 to cover administration costs.

That’s from the draft licence.

Buy shares in Lowtown

Also from the draft licence.

It is not permitted to re-fuel Boats at an extended mooring.

Lots of exciting reading.

6 responses to “WI canal permits

  1. Re Insurance – I am a member of the Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland and through them, I have a personal insurance policy that indemnifies whatever Minister has ownership of abandoned mines in Ireland along similar lines to the requirements of WI in relation to its waterways.

  2. Thanks, Ewan.

    I might contact you direct about one aspect of that.


  3. Hi – This is the first time I am posting a comment on this site, so pardon me if I am not putting it in the appropriate place. I can’t figure out how to ‘create’ my own subject matter, so I thought this might be a sensible place to post a comment, since it rather relates to ‘canal permits’.
    I was wondering if anyone could tell me if there is such a thing as an ‘archive’ of permit records for canal boats. I’m doing some genealogy work, and came across an article from 1872 that refers to an accident that happened between ‘Canal Boat #279’ and ‘Steamer No. 1 of the Midland Great Western Railroad Company’. The two vessels apparently collided at Spencer Dock, the canal boat sunk, and a court action ensued. I’m assuming some kind of license was required for the canal boat, and was wondering if any records regarding it would still exist.
    Thanks to anyone who can respond, I hope I am not too far off base by posting this here.

  4. Thanks, Cory. I don’t have a general query section, but you put yours in a sensible place (and I see all non-spam comments anyway).

    I am very grateful for your query because it seems that you have a piece of evidence that adds to our knowledge of the Royal Canal. From 1845 onwards the canal was owned by the Midland Great Western Railway Company. But it seems that records of its canal operations, from about 1850 onwards, have vanished. I have not sought those records myself, but I draw that conclusion from the fact that the authors of the two published histories of the canal make no reference to internal company records from 1850 onwards. Both of them have to rely on external sources, notably evidence to government enquiries, to construct the canal’s later history.

    So there is a gap, of unknown size, in our knowledge of the operations of the Royal Canal under MGWR control. I’ve written about one aspect of that: the use of steamers by the MGWR; you’ll see that your steamer makes an appearance. But although your canal boat would have had to carry a permit from the Royal Canal/MGWR to use the canal, it seems that we don’t have an archive that we could consult to check it: we have to rely largely on serendipity, coming across relevant material by accident. That’s why I’ve been writing up material I have found on the steamers and on Mallet’s insistent pontoon: I’m not directly researching the Royal myself, but if I come across anything I’ll put it up in the hope that it may be of use to some future historian.

    Would you be willing to let me put up the information you have? It would certainly interest canal historians; it might help to find someone who could help you. I would also, with your permission, like to send the information to a couple of people who may be able to help: I suspect it’s unlikely that they will know the answers off hand, but they would be able to keep a look out for relevant information.


  5. By all means – I will send you the articles – thank you!

  6. Thanks very much. You should have got an email direct from me with my email address. bjg

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