In 1849 the Grand Canal Company decided to begin operating a cargo-carrying service on its own canal, initially from Dublin to Naas and from Dublin to Kilbeggan, both destinations on branch lines. According to Ruth Delany, Naas was included because
[…] Daly of Sallins, the only trader to Naas, had announced his intention of withdrawing the service which he was operating at a considerable loss.
It may be the same Daly of Sallins who had leased the Grand Canal Company’s hotel in Sallins after the lease to the Great Southern & Western Railway ended in 1847. Delany says that the Daly family
[…] looked after the maintenance of sections of the banks and trackways for the company under contract and later became the horse contractors for the company’s trade boats.
By 1870, however, the Grand Canal Company had ended that arrangement:
The haulage of the boats by their own horses had been a great success. It had been done at a much less rate, and more efficiently, than was done before by contract.
It is possible that the company used contractors for some of its work some of the time, perhaps to supplement its own resources in busy seasons. A report to the company’s half-yearly meeting in August 1888 included these items>
[…] £103 for a new roof to their stables at Shannon Harbour. […] their horsing account for 52 horses at £669. They had during the last half year replaced several horses worn out in the service by new purchases. Their stud was never in a better condition than at present. […] They had succeeded in obtaining savings in new haulage contracts […].
In February 1890, a new company chairman, Mr William F De V Kane JP, reported that Mr T J Daly, of Sallins, had been appointed inspector and clerk of works to the company engineer, Mr Mulvany, at a salary of £150 a year and travelling expenses;
[…] and the directors were confident that by this appointment an improvement in the management of horses in the country as well as economy would be secured.
Perhaps that Daly was related to the other Dalys. I would welcome further information about the Daly family of Sallins.
 Ruth Delany The Grand Canal of Ireland David & Charles, Newton Abbot 1973
 Report to Grand Canal Company half-yearly meeting 26 February 1870 in Dublin Evening Mail 26 February 1870
 Freeman’s Journal 20 August 1888