Tag Archives: Belleek


As I understand it, the level of Lough Erne, and the occasional need to use its only lock, at Portora, are both determined by the operations of the Lough Erne hydroelectric scheme, although most of the lake, and the lock, are in Northern Ireland, while the hydroelectric stations, at Cliff and Cathaleen’s Fall, are both in the republic. The Erne scheme is less well known, and has been less often written about, than the Shannon scheme at Ardnacrusha, so it is good to note that two Ballyshannon men, Dessie Doyle and Brian Drummond, have written a book about the Erne scheme.

Unfortunately it is not clear from Messrs Lilliput Press’s website whether the book has already been published or is to appear some time in 2014. No publication date is given, but on the other hand it is not in the list of forthcoming books, but that list does not extend beyond November 2013. I would be glad to be able to carry reliable information, but I regret that I am unable to do so.

The disappearance of the Erne Canal

In February 2011 I provided a link to a website about the most insane inland waterway ever proposed in Ireland (at least in recent years: watch this space!), the “Erne Canal” that was to link Belleek to Ballyshannon and the Atlantic. The website seems to have disappeared or died, perhaps reflecting an outbreak of post-tigerian realism amongst the enthusiasts for northsouthery. But if it reappears, perhaps someone will let me know. I have copies of the various documents that were downloadable from the site.

Some hours later: I spoke too soon. See Comments below: the site is back up. Perhaps it was a temporary glitch on tinterweb.

The proposal is still insane, though.

Something in the water?

Readers may have realised that I don’t think much of the proposal to restore or rebuild the Ulster Canal. But I have to admit that it is not the most insane canal restoration proposal to have been made in the last few years. Even the restoration of the Strabane Canal doesn’t merit that accolade.

No: the outright winner has to be the Erne Canal proposal. Happily, despite support from Mary Coughlan, TD for the area and Tánaiste (deputy prime minister), the proposal doesn’t seem to have got anywhere.

What do all three of these proposals have in common?

Northsouthery, that’s what.