I deliberately gave this page a short heading; I might more soberly have called it “Issues in current Irish waterways policy”, but that wouldn’t have fitted at the top of the site’s front page.

This is a new top-level page, which exists to organise other pages on specific aspects of current Irish waterways policy. My concerns are often based on a desire to keep old navigations (and indeed waterways generally) accessible (which doesn’t mean restoring navigation), but the focus here is on issues of the moment rather than those of the past.

The folly of restoration: why canals should not be restored

The Ulster Canal: the prime candidate for not being restored

The Park Canal: why it should not be restored

Guano: the application of the Birds Directive to the Shannon and Fergus Estuaries

Waterways tourism: attracting more traffic, especially to existing canals, and perhaps filling in the Royal if it doesn’t get the traffic

A bonfire at Collins Barracks: how the National Museum can get rid of some tat, raise some money, buy some steam engines and stop giving a misleading picture of Irish history

Living on the canals: residential boating in Ireland

5 responses to “Opinion

  1. It is with much saddness and despair, that I witness the rampant growth of weed all around the environs of the Upper Lough Erne. Regrettably, it seems that the “policy” of waterways ireland, is to make some small last ditch efforts to clear some of this weed growth from some of the worst affected “main channels”, but there is no consideration of clearing this disgusting looking morasse of weed from any of the beautiful bays and inlets around the lake. I have worked on this lake for over 30 years and it is just so sad to see the area going to pot. It is now quite impossible to navigate large swathes of the beautiful lake, and very little seems to be happening to improve the situation. It is time for an immediate, radical, concerted and serious effort to do something about this debacle, before this once fantastic cruising and fishing area siezes up into a stagnant wilderness.

  2. Coincidentally, I’ve just seen, on the PBO website, an article about the effects of weed on inland sailing centres. If the growth is attributable to this (and last) year’s odd weather, there is at least some hope that it won’t be a permanent feature.
    We found a lot of it on the Rockville Navigation recently.

  3. You’ve probably seen that Waterways Ireland has issued a press release about the amount of weed it has been removing. It says:

    Waterways Ireland purchased a specialist weed harvester in 2005 and has been using it to remove between 30 and 40 tonnes of weed per week from the navigation. Harvesting began on 2 August and is concentrated initially on the main navigation channel between Belturbet and Enniskillen. When resources allow, harvesting in the secondary channels will be undertaken.

    The full release has not yet appeared on WI’s website but will no doubt get there soon.


  4. Lovely to see so many wooden boats, even if some do need a bit of TLC! Concerning “Draiocht at Shannon Sailing, Dromineer, Lough Derg. Mat Gravener says it’s “one of the Lone Gull class, designed by the late, great Maurice Griffiths,” and I recall that the owner did say that it was a Griffiths design.” She certainly is a Maurice Griffiths design but not a Lone Gull. The Lone Gull II is about 28′ loa and has bilge keels. Draiocht (formerly Franesta) loa approx. 21′ was designed by Maurice Griffiths and built by Johnson and Jago, who built many MG boats, in Leigh-on-Sea. Maurice Griffiths designed many such boats between 20 and 30 feet, with characteristic flush decks and long ballast keels.

  5. Thank you very much: it’s great to get expert comments like that. Long ballast keels: proper sailing boats.


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