An interesting article [h/t celr] about the setting up of the Canal & River Trust, which runs (it says itself) 2000 miles of waterway in England and Wales. The article is not, perhaps, to be seen as an objective evaluation of the benefits of the UK’s Public Bodies Reform Programme, but the idea of transferring a large operation to the voluntary sector is an interesting one, as is the scope for volunteer donations and involvement (British Waterways, C&RT’s predecessor, had nothing like as high a proportion of lockkeepers as Waterways Ireland has).
I have occasionally been asked, by British folk, whether the possibility of transferring Waterways Ireland to the voluntary sector is being considered here. I have explained (a) that WI has nothing like as significant an independent (non-grant) income as BW had and (b) that any such transfer would require the rewriting of the Good Friday, St Andrew’s and (now) Stormont House Agreements. So we are stuck with the current arangements, which at present are leaving WI at the mercy of budget cuts, a disastrous pensions arrangement, disputes between its two governing departments and a nitwitted demand, from Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil and perhaps from Fine Gael too, for a pointless canal reconstruction.
Posted in Built heritage, Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Sources, Tourism, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged canal, canal & river trust, Clones, department of arts heritage and the gaeltacht, Erne, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Ireland, Lough Neagh, North South Ministerial Council, north south pension scheme, Operations, Saunderson's, Sinn Fein, Ulster Canal, waterways
Sinn Féin takes more interest in the Ulster Canal than does any other political party. It may not be coincidental that the government seems to be trying to get two local authorities, on both of which Sinn Féin is the largest party, to solve the canal’s funding problem.
Posted in Built heritage, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged canal, Clones, department of arts heritage and the gaeltacht, DUP, Erne, Fermanagh, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Ireland, Lough Neagh, Monaghan, Sinn Fein, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways Ireland
… but without a stake through its heart. The Ulster Canal is dead, but it’s spinning in its grave. Its parent department has admitted some of the truth about its funding, but Waterways Ireland will be applying for planning permission for the scheme: there’s enough money for that, but not for digging. Nonetheless, Fine Gael TDs have managed to distract attention from the absence of funding by pointing to the planning application, while Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil have not realised that a scheme’s benefits should outweigh its costs. Return of the Son of the Ghost of the Bride of the Ulster Canal on view here.
Posted in Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Operations, People, Politics, Restoration and rebuilding, Tourism, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Anglo-Celt, assets, budget, canal, Cavan, Clones, Dáil, Deenihan, Department of Community Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Dublin, Erne, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Heather Humphreys, Ireland, lost, Lough Neagh, McGinley, McLellan, minister, Monaghan, Operations, Shannon, Sinn Fein, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways Ireland
Extract from the Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Act 2000:
Advances by Minister for marine or natural resources based tourism or heritage projects.
46.—The Minister may, from time to time, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, advance to a person, out of monies provided by the Oireachtas, for the purposes of marine or natural resource based tourism or heritage projects, such sums, by way of grant or loan, as the Minister may determine and upon such terms and conditions as he or she considers necessary.
That provision has nothing whatsoever to do with marine casualties. It seems to allow ministers to splash the (taxpayers’) cash to anyone they favour. The provision should be repealed immediately.
I presume that the minister, at the time when the act was introduced, did not notice the oddity of this inclusion.