Tag Archives: bye-laws

Comments closing

Very large numbers of new readers have visited this site in recent days and have read my posts about the draft WI canals byelaws. I am grateful to them and even more grateful to those who took the trouble to comment.

I have spent pretty well the whole week on this, between reading the legislation and draft byelaws, writing up posts and responding to comments. I have fallen behind with other work, and accordingly I need to turn my attention to other issues.

I have invited one person to write a guest post on an aspect of the byelaws issue that I think is important, but that apart I won’t be adding new material on the subject for some time. Furthermore, later this evening I will close the existing posts to comments. Those posts, latest first, are:

Draft canals byelaws: comments on what I sent to WI as my contribution to the consultation process

Bang em’ up? Alas, no more on the enforcement mechanisms

Pull the plug: drain the canals on WI’s financial situation. I hope it is clear that I don’t really want to see them drained, but that I do think action is needed

Asleep at the wheel on why the production of new draft byelaws should not have come as a surprise.

The posts themselves and the existing comments will remain visible.

I hope that readers have found the discussion and information useful — even those who didn’t agree with my views.

My next substantial post will be on the Dublin & Kingstown Canal.

If you are interested in the mix of contemporary and historical waterways matters, you are welcome to subscribe to the site’s RSS feeds or by email. Note that the site is non-commercial and does not carry advertisements.

Draft canal byelaws: comments

I have sent to Waterways Ireland my comments on the proposed canals byelaws, on everything from the structure of the document to the finer points of wording. Here is a summary of what I said about the more important points.

Legal basis

I am not a lawyer, but as far as I can see the draft byelaws are, and are being made, in accordance with the provisions of the Canals Act 1986 and the Maritime Safety Act 2005.

The structure of the new byelaws document

I suggested that the structure of the document would be improved, and the document would be easier to follow, if each new concept had:

  • a definition
  • a mention in a byelaw
  • an entry, giving the charge, in the schedule.

As it is, eight concepts (excluding Waterways Ireland) are introduced in the definitions section:

  • annual canals cruising permit
  • annual extended canals mooring permit
  • annual houseboat mooring permit
  • Barrow open fishing boat licence
  • continuous cruising
  • fixed payment notice
  • houseboat
  • visitor cruising permit.

The second and third concepts are implicitly, but not explicitly, covered by Byelaw 3. Its heading includes fishing but the text does not. The sixth concept, the fixed payment notice, is covered in Byelaw 7 and the seventh concept, the houseboat, is covered in Byelaw 4.

However, the three cruising concepts, two of which have permits, and the Barrow licence are not discussed in any of the draft byelaws, although the concepts are just as novel as those of the various mooring permits. That leaves the attentive reader wondering why some new concepts are covered by, or discussed in, byelaws and other are not.

I suggested that it would be better to

  • group the cruising concepts together, and then the mooring concepts, in the definitions
  • devote at least one byelaw to each set of concepts, treating them in the same order as in the definitions
  • follow the same order in the schedule of charges.

Apart from being easier to follow, that would ensure that all the new concepts have the same level of legal cover: at present some are covered by byelaws and others are not.

I suggested therefore that Byelaw 3 might cover the use of the canals and Barrow for navigation and Byelaw 4 might cover their use for the mooring of boats. Each byelaw would list the types of use that Waterways Ireland is providing for, state the permit required and state that the charge is set out in the schedule.

For the moorings, the byelaw would also state that WI will designate the areas or stretches of canal bank that may be used for each type of mooring; it might also state that those areas or stretches may not be used by boats without the appropriate permits. And it would make it clear that WI can set different rates depending on the size of boat, location and services provided.

Both byelaws should, as at present, give the legal basis, but I recommended sticking closely to the wording of the appropriate parts of Section 7 (1) of the Canals Act 1986.

Categories of cruising activity

The draft envisages permitting three types of cruising activity:

  • year-long cruising
  • continuous cruising
  • visitor cruising.

The definitions seem to be slightly contradictory: the annual canals cruising permit is said to be required by all boats but the definitions for the other two forms suggest that those activities may be undertaken without an annual canals cruising permit.

I suggested that the concept of continuous cruising be dropped. It describes the cruising permitted to holders of visitor permits, which Byelaw 5 can deal with adequately. Given that real continuous cruising is barely possible on the canals and Barrow, especially in the winter, providing for it seems pointless, and it might tempt customers to try to avoid paying for mooring permits.

I suggested that Waterways Ireland include a provision empowering itself to issue cruising permits for designated journeys, as in Byelaw 6 of the 1988 byelaws. The provision could be phrased so as to allow (but not require) Waterways Ireland to offer special permits, perhaps at discounted rates, to boats or groups of boats undertaking specific journeys, perhaps taking longer than one month, or travelling to specific events.

For example, a boat might not be able to complete the round trip from the Shannon to Dublin via the Royal, and back via the Grand, within one month, given the restricted schedule of bridge lifts, but WI might like to encourage boaters to undertake that trip by offering discounts on tolls. Similarly, if a waterside community were organising a festival, it might like to encourage boaters to travel there and WI might support the event by offering a package deal to festival-goers.

Categories of mooring

I noted that, as far as I can see, the Combined Mooring and Passage Permit will no longer exist. I take that to mean that there will be no uncontrolled mooring on the canals and Barrow. The definitions envisage permitting three types of mooring:

  • annual extended canals mooring permit (perhaps the word “extended” could be dropped)
  • annual houseboat mooring permit
  • Barrow open fishing boat licence. I asked (again) about the difference between licence and permit (I don’t understand the answer I got last time) and why open non-fishing boats should not be licensed too.

I suggested that the byelaw should state that WI can designate moorings for boats that are touring, visiting or cruising (or whatever the appropriate term is) and also state that other boats may not use those moorings without permission.

I said that the byelaw, rather than (or as well as) the schedule, should make it clear that WI can set different rates depending on the size of boat, location and services provided; it should also cover the annual and daily charges for the Grand Canal Dock and Spencer Dock.

I am not clear whether it is intended that a houseboat should hold the annual extended canals mooring permit as well as the annual houseboat mooring permit. The first is said to be required of all boats not navigating or continuously cruising, and that definition includes houseboats. I suggested that houseboats should not be required to hold both permits and that the definitions and byelaws should make that clear. If, on the other hand, it is intended that houseboats should hold both permits, that too should be made clear.

I said that the definition of houseboat must be fireproof, as must the power to decide what is and what is not a houseboat. The current definition, I felt, invites endless argument about the definition of “principal” and about whether or not the sleeping practices of the owner or occupant mean that the boat is a principal residence.

Finally, I suggested considering a canals equivalent of the Shannon’s winter mooring scheme, albeit with higher charges, or perhaps an annual permit that combined cheaper winter with more expensive summer mooring. That would cater for boats that spend the winter on the canals (presumably near their owners’ homes) and the summer on the Shannon. In winter, they could use visitor moorings or bank moorings near Dublin with little likelihood of their depriving anyone else of access.


I suggested that it be made clear that “canals” includes “Barrow navigation”. Neither the Canals Act 1986 nor the existing byelaws make that clear.

The definition of the visitor cruising permit confines it to boats “visiting the canals from another navigation”. I asked whether the Liffey, the tidal Barrow and indeed the sea come within the term “navigation”.

Compliance and enforcement

I have given my interpretation here.

Price and revenue

I said that I do not imagine that WI knows, or could find, the price elasticity of demand for the various types of moorings. As a result, I suggest that WI should retain the maximum flexibility in price-setting and should be willing to change prices year by year to discover the best price points.

I have no objection to the rates shown in the first schedule but I wonder whether they make sufficient allowance for any future inflation. I raised some minor points about the Dublin passage charges; in particular I suggested that the per-boat charge for the Newcomen railway bridge should be changed to a per-lift charge to encourage numbers of boats to travel together and thus to reduce the number of lifts required.

Bang ’em up? Alas, no more

According to the Sindo,

Concerns were also expressed that the new system of fines “will see the canals fall into a similar state of dereliction to the 1960s, when entire sections of the waterways were filled in”.

Right. Well. Yes. The Sindo evidently has its own definition of the word “new”. This is from Section 7 of the Canals Act 1986:

(3) A person who contravenes a bye-law under this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 (together with, in the case of a continuing contravention, a fine not exceeding £100 for every day on which the contravention is continued and not exceeding in total an amount which, when added to any other fine under this paragraph in relation to the contravention concerned, equals £1,000) or to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months or, at the discretion of the court, to both such fine or fines and such imprisonment, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £5,000 (together with, in the case of a continuing contravention, a fine not exceeding £500 for every day on which the contravention is continued) or to imprisonment for any term not exceeding two years or, at the discretion of the court, to both such fine or fines and such imprisonment.

Emphasis mine.

So a Sindonian “new” includes anything up to twenty-eight years old.

The provisions of the Canals Act 1986 were modified by the Maritime Safety Act 2005. Now, I am not a lawyer, but this is what I think is happening. I would be glad to hear from any of My Learned Friends who happen to be passing. My interpretation, open to correction, is this:

  • under the Canals Act 1986 and the 1988 byelaws, contravention of a byelaw is an offence for which offenders can be fined or imprisoned or both; the severity of the sentence depends on whether there is a summary conviction (District Court) or a conviction on indictment (higher courts)
  • the Maritime Safety Act 2005 increased the level of fines, removed the threat of imprisonment and made all but one of the offences subject to summary conviction, thus confining all prosecutions to the District Court
  • the exception is that contravention of byelaws relating to fees, tolls and charges is no longer an offence: Waterways Ireland may instead initiate civil court proceedings to recover amounts owed and may (presumably) seek to have any judgement enforced through the usual channels
  • the Maritime Safety Act also provides an alternative to prosecution for alleged breach of those byelaws whose contravention is still an offence. In such a case, Waterways Ireland may issue a fixed payment notice, seeking the sum of €150 which, if paid, will avoid prosecution. The proposed Byelaw 7 will enable this provision to be implemented.

Working out how a speedy system of enforcement will lead to the filling in of waterways requires an exercise of the imagination that is beyond me. But the only thing that is new here is that Waterways Ireland is implementing a power that it has had for seven years. Under the system introduced in 2007:

  • offending boaters can no longer be imprisoned
  • a breach of the byelaws is now a summary and not an indictable offence
  • non-payment of fees etc is no longer an offence but WI can recover the money through a civil court proceeding and by enforcing a judgement
  • for those breaches of byelaws that are still offences, there is a fixed-penalty alternative that avoids prosecution.

I think that the explanatory note at the end of WI’s draft byelaws document is badly drafted in that it does not explain the difference between breaches of byelaws that constitute offences and those (relating to fees etc) that do not. On the whole, the 2007 rules, now being implemented, seem to me to represent an easing of the rules on enforcement.

I repeat: I am not a lawyer; my interpretation may be mistaken. Caveat lector.

Pull the plug: drain the canals

The worst aspect of the piece published by the Indo last Sunday is that information is presented entirely without context. Persecuted boatowners are, it seems, to be forced to pay money, and the economy of the canals (such as it is) is to be damaged, for no reason whatsoever. The assertions of the boatowners go unchallenged.

Happily, this site provides a bilge-cleaning service. Here is the news.

1. Waterways Ireland is in dire financial straits

I have written extensively here about Waterways Ireland’s finances. I pointed out that there is a continuing dispute between the NI minister responsible for waterways and her southern counterpart, but that if the RoI government gets its way WI’s income will be cut by one third between 2010 and 2016. I showed that WI’s operating income is negligible and that most categories of expenditure have already been cut; I also showed that retirements will increase the cost of pensions benefits from just under €1000000 in 2011 to just under €2400000 in 2016, which will account for 10% of the total real staffing budget.

The combined effect is that Waterways Ireland needs to make further cuts in its spending, but that its scope for doing so is extremely limited: further cuts are bound to affect the staffing budget. WI’s only other option is to increase its (pathetically small) operating income.

2. canals and Barrow are disproportionately expensive

Here, I gave WI’s programme costs for 2011, taken from the annual report for that year (the most recent available). Here they are again, rearranged:

Royal Canal €2908k
Grand Canal €1556k
Barrow €600k

Total Canals + Barrow €5064k

Shannon €1882k
Erne & Lower Bann €478k
Shannon–Erne Waterway €658k

Total other waterways €3018k

There are all sorts of caveats to be entered about these figures: for instance, as I observed here, WI has different levels of non-navigational responsibilities on different waterways, and programme costs do not include staffing costs; nor do they include overheads like IT, marketing, personnel and so on.

But the Canal-and-Barrow costs clearly offer more scope for cutting than those for other waterways, as WI’s Corporate Plan 2011–2013 recognised. I showed here that it proposed these cuts for the period:

  • Grand Canal €910,000
  • Royal Canal €503,000
  • Barrow Navigation €387,000
  • Shannon Navigation €662,000
  • Shannon–Erne Waterway €232,000
  • Erne System €70,000
  • Lower Bann €69,000.

That’s €1800ooo in reductions from Canals + Barrow, €1033000 from the rest. However, budget developments since that plan was drawn up are likely to have increased the amounts required to be cut.

3. Canals and Barrow boaters get huge subsidies

I do not have up-to-date figures for the numbers of boats on the waterways, but suppose for the sake of argument that there are 500 on the Canals + Barrow and 8000 on the rest. I am confident that those figures are of the right order of magnitude.

In that case, counting only WI’s programme costs for the waterways in question and excluding staffing and central overheads, the costs to the taxpayer are:

  • Shannon, Erne, Shannon–Erne, Bann: €377.25 per boat
  • Grand, Royal, Barrow: €10128 per boat.

I hope to be able to provide better figures later, but the exact figures don’t matter very much: the point is that every boat on the canals and Barrow is benefiting to an enormous extent from taxpayer support. The poor persecuted boaters are seeking the continuation of a very, very privileged position: owners of camper vans, for instance, get no comparable benefit.

4. Canals and Barrow boaters contribute very little

I have figures for the numbers of boats on the canals and Barrow that held permits in September 2013. I have sought those for December, but I suspect that the number did not greatly increase by the end of the year.

By September:

  • 254 boats had Combined Mooring and Passage Permits
  • 134 boats had Extended Mooring and Passage Permits.

So the total contribution by boaters to the cost of the canals and Barrow was (254 X €126) + (134 X €152) = €52372, about 1% of the programme costs for the three waterways, which means it was considerably less than 1% of the total costs including salaries and overheads.

Let me dwell on that for a moment. The poor persecuted boaters, some of them members of organisations that claim to value the canals, themselves think that the canals are worth only €50000 a year, because that’s all they’re prepared to pay. It is not clear to me why anybody else, like the taxpayer, should pay more.

The poor persecuted boaters are now being asked to pay more than 1% of the total cost of the waterways they use (and, presumably, support). I would have thought that they would welcome an opportunity to contribute.

These figures also suggest that the level of compliance on these waterways is low, although I accept that my figures are inadequate and I will try to obtain more comprehensive information.

5. canals and Barrow are a poor use of public money

It is not clear how the taxpayer benefits by keeping the canals and Barrow open to navigation. Suppose Waterways Ireland were to open all the racks, drill holes in the bottoms of aqueducts and run off all the water. What then?

I suspect that it wouldn’t be that simple: that there are engineering-type reasons why some structures would need to be maintained and some water flow kept up. Perhaps the Morrell Feeder would suffice to keep the Grand Canal in Dublin looking nice; the flow from the Milltown Feeder, the canal’s main supply, could be sold off to Irish Water to relieve the Dublin drought. The Royal could simply be abandoned altogether; the Barrow would continue to be navigable by canoes and small craft. Shannon Harbour and Richmond Harbour could be kept in water (by pumping if necessary) and operated as commercial marinas, charging commercial rates.

Staffing could be reduced: even if there were no immediate redundancies (or transfers to Irish Water), the need for any new recruitment would be avoided for some time. Overtime would never be required and Irish Rail wouldn’t have to lift Effin Bridge.

So who would lose? The Irish tourist trade would hardly notice: as far as I can see, very few tourists go boating on canals or Barrow. There are two small hire firms on the Barrow Line, but apart from them there are (as far as I know: correct me if I’m wrong) only individual boats for hire here and there. Unless a large, well-capitalised firm, with a large marketing budget, moves in here, I can’t see there being any significant tourism activity that relies on there being water in the canals. Walking and cycling routes could be improved along the towing-paths, while the Barrow could also cater for canoeing and kayaking.

Who else benefits from having the canals and Barrow navigable? A publican or two in rural areas will sell an extra pint or two to passing boaters whose money might otherwise have been spent in Dublin; a takeaway in Tullamore will have a tiny increase in turnover … but that’s about it. This vast expenditure moves the spending of a few quid from Dublin to Daingean, but I doubt if the total is enough to create even one job in any location. I cannot see that there is any multiplier effect worth talking about.

Furthermore, such business as there is is highly seasonal, with very few boats moving any considerable distance other than in short periods in spring and autumn. Traffic is low in winter and summer.

Over the last ten years canal businesses have closed down. There were four hire fleets on the Barrow: they’ve all gone. Various trip boats have gone. Lowtown Marina is for sale. All of that during a period when capital expenditure on the canals was rising, facilities were being improved and charges to users ranged from low to non-existent.

I suggest therefore that spending on the canals and Barrow is not of any benefit to the tourist industry and is of minimal benefit to commercial service providers along the waterways. Instead the benefits go largely to two groups: the employees, who work for what they get, and the boat-owners.

6. Waterways Ireland should share the benefits

The cost of a year-round berth for a 60′ barge at a marina in a small village on the east (Dublin) side of Lough Derg is €3000. Lower rates are available on the west side.

The cost of a year-round berth for a 60′ (or any other size) barge in Shannon Harbour, a small village on the east (Dublin) side of the Shannon is currently that of an Extended Mooring and Passage Permit, €152. Thus Waterways Ireland is providing a benefit worth over €2800 to someone keeping a barge at Shannon Harbour.

I can see no good reason why Waterways Ireland should allow the Shannon Harbour owner the whole of that benefit: it would seem reasonable that Waterways Ireland should claw back at least half of it. Most marinas charge by the foot (or metre) of length, so rates for other boats could be worked out in proportion.

A berth at Shannon Harbour enjoys easy access to the Shannon; a berth in (say) Pollagh is less favourably situated and might thus be charged for at a lower rate. But berths closer to Dublin – say at Sallins or Hazelhatch or at the Leinster Mills on the Naas Branch — should attract a premium. And folk who are saving money by living in boats should be happy to share part of their savings with Waterways Ireland. (I don’t know what the premiums should be but, in another post, I’ll discuss pricing.)

The point here, the point ignored by the Indo, is that Waterways Ireland needs to narrow the gap between income and expenditure on the canals and Barrow. It is entirely fair that it should charge for the services it provides and that the burden should be borne by those who benefit.

However, it should be noted that WI’s charges are not inescapable: anyone who does not want to pay them is at liberty to remove his or her boat from the canal or Barrow and place it elsewhere, or to sell it and buy a camper van.

That being so, I see no more ground for objecting to any level of charge that WI might bring in than there is for objecting to the prices in, say, Brown Thomas.


If (as seems to be the case) boaters’ organisations are incapable of engaging in rational discussion of the funding and management of the waterways, I suggest that Waterways Ireland should ignore them. Just pull the plug, shut down the canals and spend the savings elsewhere.

WI and the state should not continue to spend ridiculously large amounts of public money subsidising the leisure activities of a small number of people, who don’t themselves value what they’re getting, when there is little benefit to the economy as a whole. There has to be some better balance between income and expenditure on the canals and Barrow.

Matters of minor importance

Some recent(ish) discussions amongst the People’s Representatives. I haven’t time to analyse them all. All links courtesy of the estimable KildareStreeet.com.

Brendan Smith [FF, Cavan-Monaghan] wants a sheugh in Clones; he got the usual answer. And he allowed Jimmy Deenihan [FG, Kerry North/West Limerick] to announce, on 19 December 2013, the death of the suggested extension of the Erne navigation to Lough Oughter [loud cheers]:

Brendan Smith: To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he has received the feasibility study on the proposed extension of the Erne navigation from Belturbet to Killeshandra and Killykeen; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Jimmy Deenihan: I am informed by Waterways Ireland that it commissioned a Strategic Environment Assessment for the possible extension of the Erne Navigation from Belturbet to Killeshandra and Killykeen.

On reviewing the environmental information from this process, Waterways Ireland considers that the environmental designations of this lake complex make the feasibility of the proposed navigation extension highly unviable. For that reason, I am advised that Waterways Ireland does not propose to pursue this project any further at this time.

Well, that’s one minor victory for sanity. Here’s how a dredger got to Lough Oughter in 1857.

Maureen O’Sullivan is anxious to recreate the economy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by using canals for carrying cargoes. Especially on the Shannon–Erne Waterway, where commercial carrying was so successful before. [What is it about the Irish left?] Thank goodness that the sainted Leo Varadkar gave not an inch: someone should make that man Taoiseach, President and Minister for Finance. And Supreme Ruler of The Universe and Space.

The web-footed inhabitants of the midlands, who have discovered that they live in a flat area with rivers, keep wittering on about Shannon flooding, failing to realise that it is a message from The Lord, telling them to either (a) move to higher ground, eg Dublin, or build arks. On 15 January 2014 Brian Hayes told Denis Naughten, inter alia, that info from the recent OPW/CFRAM monitoring of water levels on Lough Ree (which I think was when the levels were lowered) would be placed on the OPW website “in the coming days”; I haven’t been able to find it yet so I’ve emailed the OPW to ask about it. And on 21 January one James Bannon said that he intends to introduce a bill setting up a Shannon authority, which will have magical powers. Well, if it doesn’t have magical powers it won’t be able to stop the Shannon flooding, but perhaps it’s designed to allow the unemployed landowners of Ireland another forum in which to demand taxpayers’ money to prop up their uneconomic activities.

Finally, a senator called John Whelan wants a longer consultation period on the proposed amendments to the canals bye-laws. I suppose I’d better read them  myself.


Access, mooring and passage-making on the Grand & Royal Canals and Barrow Navigation are controlled by means of permits. Bye-law amendments are currently with Waterways Ireland sponsor departments which will enable the organisation to bring in further types of permits and differentiate fees for services provided along the canals.

There are three type of permits in place all with different requirements which enable the boater to suit their own style of boating while remaining within the Bye-laws.

From WI’s website.

More on WI and the canals

It says here:

A number of questions have been repeatedly posed since the initial communications about the Canal Bye-law Enforcement. These are listed below in the following categories. Click on the category to access the questions and answers.

Five downloadable PDFs on


Canal mooring rules

Waterways Ireland issued two press releases about moorings today. The first was the usual one about winter moorings on the Shannon and the SEW; the second was about the canals. Here, unedited, is the text of the second.

Canal Mooring Rules Coming into Force

Waterways Ireland announced in June 2012 that the Canal Bye-laws on the Grand & Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation are to be enforced from autumn 2012, with an accompanying change in the permit system allowing for year-long mooring permits and locations.

Part of bringing in this new location-based permit has been the identification of locations suitable for extended mooring. This process is now completed and work has begun in some areas to improve accessibility.

Waterways Ireland will roll out Extended Mooring Permit applications by area, rather than giving a date when applications for the permit will open. For boat owners this will mean that enforcement of the maximum stay rule will not commence in an area until after boat owners have had the opportunity to purchase an Extended Mooring Permit.

The initial 12 month Extended Mooring Permit will cost €152 and will only be available to boats already holding a valid annual Mooring and Passage Permit.

Boats that cruise and move (staying at a mooring for up to 5 days) will not be in breach of the Bye-laws or require an Extended Mooring Permit.

Waterways Ireland has proposed a small number of draft amendments to the current Bye-laws which date from 1988. These include proposals to provide a range of charges for mooring permits that reflect the location and services provided throughout the canals and also will take into account the size of boat. These proposals include low cost rural moorings on soft banks to ensure the canals are accessible for everyone who owns a boat and requires a mooring. Boat owners allocated an extended mooring location in key areas in villages or towns or with services should be aware that if the new Bye-laws are approved Waterways Ireland will increase the charges for moorings in the future to reflect the location, services, and size of boat.

Waterways Ireland recognises the current situation whereby a small number of boat owners use their boats as their sole or permanent residence. Proposals to make provision for this use of the navigation property have been included in the Bye-law changes.

Furthermore Waterways Ireland intends to work towards the provision of a small number of serviced house boat moorings on the canal network. Such provision will be subject to finance, land availability and compliance with requisite statutory approvals.

Waterways Ireland recognises that a transition period of a number of years will be required to implement this. In the interim these boat owners should apply for an Extended Mooring Permit.

The draft Bye Law amendments are currently being considered by Waterways Ireland’s sponsor Departments. When Waterways Ireland has Ministerial consent, it will proceed to public consultation on the proposed Bye-law amendments.

Waterways Ireland will continue to contact permit holders regularly to ensure they are kept up to date with the roll-out of the new permit. All queries about the enforcement of the current bye-laws or the Extended Mooring Permit should be directed to Shane Anderson, Assistant Inspector of Navigation: Tel no +353 (0)87 286 5726, Email shane.anderson@waterwaysireland.org . Queries about houseboats should be directed to Property & Legal Section Tel no +44 (0)28 6632 3004.

These changes are necessary steps to improve the management of the canals and waterway amenities for both the navigational and recreational user, so that investment in the new infrastructure and facilities which Waterways Ireland has undertaken is maximised for every user.

WI gets tough on the Erne

Press release just in from WI, reproduced unchanged

Waterways Ireland has successfully undertaken the prosecution of two boats owners on Lough Erne for breaching the 48 hour mooring Bye-law. The defendants received a caution and undertook to comply with the Bye-laws in the future.

Waterways Ireland communicates regularly with boat owners about the Bye-laws and has produced a publication “Good Boating Guide” advising boat owners of the Bye-laws on Lough Erne.

Having recorded breaches of the 48 hour mooring Bye-laws, Waterways Ireland wrote to the boat owners advising of the breach and after subsequent breaches were noted, Waterways Ireland reluctantly brought the prosecutions under the Bye-laws.

The Magistrate, Mr. Kennedy, commented that “the Prosecutions were properly brought and it is important that people comply with the Bye-laws. “

Brian D’Arcy, Waterways Ireland’s Director of Operations stated “Waterways Ireland had no option but to prosecute following the increasing numbers of local boat owners abusing moorings provided for visiting tourist boats. Waterways Ireland provides moorings free of charge to enable tourists and touring boat owners to access attractions, services, towns and villages. Particularly in Enniskillen, the moorings facilitate the tourism economy as boaters spend in shops and restaurants; reduced access means less income for the town. Waterways Ireland would like to ensure all boat owners are made aware of their responsibilities when using public moorings and do not leave their boats moored in one location on a public mooring for more than 48 hours.”


I wonder when we’ll see the corresponding prosecutions on southern waterways.


More details in the Impartial Reporter.


We learn from WI’s Corporate Plan 2011–2013 [PDF] that it expects to have new draft byelaws available by December 2012.