Waterways Ireland’s funding comes from Ireland [RoI] and Northern Ireland [NI] in the ratio 85:15. I understand that the ratio reflects the length of WI-run waterway in each jurisdiction, although I am not sure how length is measured on lakes.
The proportions of boats in the two jurisdictions are not 85:15. As of December 2013 there were 5570 boats on the Erne Register and 8816 on the Shannon Register. These numbers may or may not reflect the numbers of boats on the waterways as (a) there may be unregistered boats and (b) folk may not always deregister boats that have moved off the navigation. I do not know how many boats there are on the Lower Bann; boats on the Shannon–Erne Waterway should be on either the Erne or the Shannon Register.
Waterways Ireland reckoned that there were 520 boats on the Grand, Royal and Barrow at the end of 2013. Adding them to the Shannon number gives us
- RoI 9336
- NI (excl Lr Bann) 5570.
The ratio is RoI 63, NI 37.
On programme costs, though, matters are otherwise. Granted that the 2011 figures, the most recent available, may not be representative of long-term average costs: the Royal has not been reopened long enough for us to get such a long-term average, and the 2011 figure may be unusually high.
The other difficulty is with the allocation of the costs of the Shannon–Erne Waterway. I have arbitrarily divided it 50/50 between the two jurisdictions, although they probably exaggerates the proportion attributable to NI.
Shannon + Royal + Grand + Barrow + ½ SEW = €7275000
Erne + Lower Bann + ½ SEW = €807000
The ratio is RoI 90%, NI 10%.
- funding: NI 15%
- number of boats: NI 37%
- spending: NI 10%.
All subject to caveats.
No particular point: I just thought it was interesting.
Posted in Canals, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Irish waterways general, Operations, People, Politics, Shannon, Sources, Tourism, Uncategorized, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Barrow, boats, canal, department of arts heritage and the gaeltacht, Dublin, Erne, funding, Grand Canal, Ireland, Lower Bann, Operations, proportion, ratio, Royal Canal, Shannon, Shannon-Erne Waterway, spending, vessels, waterways, Waterways Ireland
The Waterways Ireland Corporate Plan 2011–2013 [PDF] tells us how the body is funded:
Waterways Ireland receives grants from money voted by the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Houses of the Oireachtas. At present 15% of recurrent or maintenance funding is provided by the Assembly in Northern Ireland and 85% by the Irish Government reflecting the current distribution of the navigable waterways, while capital development works carried out by Waterways Ireland are funded separately by the jurisdiction where the works are carried out.
This is not new information; I quote it here only for convenience (but note how “the Houses of the Oireachtas” becomes “the Irish Government”).
Now look at these figures from Annex C of the Corporate Plan. They show, for 2011, the proposed budget for current expenditure on each waterway. I have rearranged them in descending order of amount:
- Grand Canal €4,559,160
- Shannon Navigation €4,240,398
- Royal Canal €2,713,052
- Barrow Navigation €1,296,538
- Shannon–Erne Waterway €1,269,450
- Erne System €380,239
- Lower Bann €375,270.
It would be interesting to compare the value for money offered by each waterway. However, it would be necessary to allow for the non-navigational responsibilities WI has for each waterway: for example, it has to look after a lot more bridges on the Grand Canal than it does on the Erne. I do not have enough information to make valid comparisons.
My immediate interest is in the figures for the Erne and the Lower Bann. Granted, the burdens on WI are in some respects lower than for other waterways. But the two northern waterways are getting a total of €755,509 spent on them out of a waterways total of €14,834,107, which is about 5%. Yet the NI Assembly is paying 15% of WI’s current expenditure.
Perhaps I’m missing something. I would welcome enlightenment.
Posted in Ashore, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Operations, People, Politics, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged 15%, 85%, Barrow, budget, canal, current expenditure, department of arts heritage and the gaeltacht, Erne, funding, Grand Canal, Ireland, Lower Bann, Northern Ireland Assembly, Oireachtas, Operations, Royal Canal, Shannon, Shannon-Erne Waterway, waterways, Waterways Ireland
I’ve moved most of the original contents of this post to Ulster Canal 13.
I mentioned elsewhere that the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs is known to some people as Craggy Island. Wikipedia tells us that
The real Craggy Island seen from helicopter shots is Inisheer.
And we learn in today’s Irish Times that Craggy Island is helping to provide subsidised electric cars on the Aran Islands including Inisheer (Inis Oirr), the “real Craggy Island”.
In other news
My most recent email to the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs about the funding of the canal has not yet had a response.
My Freedom of Information request to the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs about the funding of the canal has been acknowledged.
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage
Tagged boats, canal, Clones, day boat, Department of Community Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Erne, funding, hire boat, Ireland, Lough Allen, Lough Neagh, marina, Shannon, Shannon–Erne Waterway, trip boat, Ulster Canal, waterways, Waterways Ireland
Money to be paid by Dept of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs to Waterways Ireland in 2011:
- current expenditure down from €25,585,000 to €24,335,000 (I make that a cut of just under 5%)
- capital expenditure down from €8,000,000 to €6,000,000 (25%)
- total down from €33,585,000 to €30,335,000 (about 10%).