According to Waterways Ireland’s website, there is to be a half Marathon [a marathon is an old chocolate bar, my advisors tell me] in Clontarf on 1 June 2017. No doubt some politician will be on hand to emulate the miracle of the loaves and the fishes; otherwise most of those attending are likely to go hungry.
But what interests me is Waterways Ireland’s assertion that the location of this chocolate bar is the Grand Canal.
Now, when ah wur a lad, it was generally understood that Clontarf was on the north side of the Liffey, where the natives ate their babies, whereas the Grand Canal was on the south side, where the better element of the population resided. We don’t, of course, talk about that sort of thing nowadays, but I am still surprised to find that the Grand Canal, or any part of it, has been relocated to the north side of the Liffey. Where, I ask myself, is the aqueduct on which it crosses the Liffey?
Isn’t the towpath a little on the narrow side to host a marathon, half or otherwise?
Oh no! He’s back!
Oh all right then.
Anyway I think a chocolate bar is quite small.
They care even less for geography than they do about the heritage and the users of our inland waterways.
Actually, I don’t think that’s true. The heritage aspect has seen much activity lately, and the users get far more than they pay for. However, I should record a caveat about “heritage”, a concept about which I am increasingly suspicious. bjg
Have they actually asked an boaters what they want of the organisation ? Some years ago, they dismissed the IWAI. as irrelevant in that regard.
I’m sure WI wouldn’t say anything quite so rude. But boat-owners [that is, owners of boats you can sleep on] are a small, declining and non-remunerative segment of WI’s many user groups. Furthermore, they seem to have been doing their best to undermine WI’s attempts to earn anything from their properties, something that WI quite rightly thinks is important, especially as taxpayer funding continues to decline. Of course if boat-owners were to undertake to pay some decent amount per year to WI (say €1000 per boat up to 40 foot), exclusive of moorings, WI would have more to spend and boaters would have more of a say in the matter.
You can read some of WI’s research reports here.
where does it say that they should make a profit ? Boaters may be a declining proportion of users, but we are the ones who kept the various navigations open in the past, when governments wanted to abandon them.
Twice the commissioned reports on the appropriate use of Dublin’s waterways. Twice, they paid lip service then ignored them.
Who mentioned profit? Read the bleeding accounts.
WI is dependent on declining grants of money from taxpayers. Boaters contribute, essentially, bugger all: they are leeching off taxpayers, their leisure activities being subsidised by people who have better things to do with their money. WI has been performing miracles in coping with declining income; I don’t see that boaters have done anything to help.
Keeping navigations open means imposing costs on taxpayers who derive no benefit from them: keeping navigations open is not a good thing. The Royal Canal should be abandoned immediately (and should never have been restored) and the Grand and Barrow, which are disproportionately expensive, could also be closed to navigation, although they might be kept open to canoeists and walkers.
As for Dublin’s waterways, the absence of boaters willing to use them says it all. Why should the taxpayer pay to keep them in navigable condition? They make nice duckponds, but that’s about all. Maybe Grand Canal Basin has a future as a venue for houseboats: WI should be able to get about €10000 a year from each boat.
It is a well known fact that us Northsidere “Can Walk On Water” so no problem with the half bar, I mean Marathon.
I didn’t realise that: I’ll have to renew my passport and pay another visit. bjg