I mentioned some time ago that, according to its Business Plan 2015, Waterways Ireland was considering automating Pollboy Lock, on the River Suck to Ballinasloe, in order to save costs. Like other offshoots from the main Shannon Navigation [Killaloe to Lough Key], the Suck is relatively little used.
According to the Connacht Tribune, the automation is to proceed and the lockkeeper is to be reassigned. It seems that some local councillors and “business interests” — who do not, as far as I know, contribute to Waterways Ireland’s income — regret the loss of an ambassador for the town. The keeper, Mr Coyne, was indeed extremely helpful to visiting boaters.
However, he could help only those who arrived at his lock: he could do nothing to attract more boating visitors to the town. That is not in the least a criticism of him, but rather a suggestion that councillors and business interests might perhaps have done, or yet do, more to attract visitors and increase the usage of the splendid harbour in Ballinasloe. Perhaps they might even appoint and pay a town ambassador?
A Sinn Féin councillor quoted in the article seems not to be entirely familliar with the duties of lockkeepers. Furthermore, he does not take account of the fact that the Shannon–Erne Waterway succeeds without lockkeepers — or that it was proposed that the Clones Sheugh [not-the-Ulster-Canal] operate in the same way. Surely a Sinn Féin councillor is not suggesting that, without keepers, the Sheugh might not be the enormous success that his party purports to believe it would be?
PS: the Tribune also has a piece about rubbish at Castle Harbour, Portumna.
Posted in Ashore, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, Operations, People, Politics, Shannon, Tourism, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged automation, Ballinasloe, boat, business plan, Castle Harbour, Clones sheugh, Connacht Treibune, councillors, Galway, lock, lockkeeper, Pollboy, Portumna, rubbish, Shannon, Sinn Fein, Suck, Ulster Canal, Waterways Ireland
The Impartial Reporter reports (impartially) that “Councillors press for Ulster Canal funding to be released”. The two councillors quoted are Thomas O’Reilly of Fermanagh District Council and Pat Treanor of Monaghan County Council. Both are members of Sinn Féin.
Cllr Treanor is quoted as saying “Once the Government release the funding ….” Cllr Treanor seems to have missed the point that “the funding” does not exist: the [RoI] government has not got the money and, as I have pointed out here many times, no money was set aside for the Ulster Canal. He says that …
… we would in the interim call upon all living in the local community, from Derrykerrib to Clones to begin to think about taking advantage of the obvious business opportunities that this reopening will bring.
If the members of the local community have any money, they might be better advised to invest it in Swiss bank accounts. Or even Bitcoins.
Posted in Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Foreign parts, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Sources, Tourism, Ulster Canal, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged canal, Clones, councillors, department of arts heritage and the gaeltacht, Derrykerrib, Enniskillen, Erne, Fermanagh, Impartial Reporter, Ireland, Irish economy, Lough Neagh, Monaghan, Operations, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Sinn Fein, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways Ireland