Tag Archives: Kildare

Closing the Grand Canal

The excellent Co Kildare Online Electronic History Journal has a reprint here of a 1959 article about the ending of commercial carrying on the Grand Canal. And putting “canal” in its search engine reveals lots more of interest.

Backtracking the Barrow trackway

Some time ago I put up a page about the Barrow trackway [towing-path]. For some reason, the page disappeared shortly afterwards. I have now recreated it; unless or until it disappears again, it is here.

Nobody boats on the canal in winter?

Sallins 20150308 01

Rounding Soldier’s Island

Sallins 20150308 02

SUPper at the dry dock

… and a two-man racing kayak that I didn’t photograph. All in the space of about half an hour at Sallins.


Houseboat facility starts again.

Bernard Durkan TD

I have sent this email to Bernard Durkan, a Fine Gael TD for Kildare North:


It is reported that, in the Dáil on 6 March 2014, you said:

“The canal restoration that has taken place over the past 50 years was largely done through voluntary effort. While Waterways Ireland has an involvement in upgrading the canals, and it has a responsibility that we all respect, cognisance should be taken of the huge voluntary effort in the restoration of the canals.”

I would be grateful if you could tell me the evidence for your assertion. How did you measure restoration and the respective contributions of volunteers and of Waterways Ireland and its predecessor bodies?

Best wishes

I may confess that I think he’s talking through his hat, but I will read his evidence with interest.

Sallins speculation

I emailed Waterways Ireland on 4 February 2014:

I would be grateful if you could tell me whether any person applied, under byelaw 38q, for permission to hold an aquatic event on the Grand Canal at or near Sallins on or after Friday 24 January 2014.

WI said:

No-one applied to hold an aquatic event on or around that date on the Grand Canal.

If I were Waterways Ireland, and I heard a rumour (or got a tip-off from the NSA) to the effect that some boaters were going to hold a demo at Sallins, and if nobody had asked permission to hold the demo, or made any arrangements with me about it, and if I expected work to start shortly at Sallins, I might be worried that the demo might turn out to be more than a photo opportunity: that it might turn into an occupation or moor-in, one that would delay the work and possibly expose me to additional costs.

So I would do what I could, within the byelaws, to prevent the holding of the aquatic event. I would note byelaw 18 (2) (b):

(2) The Commissioners, or any authorised officer, may prohibit navigation on the canals or any part thereof from time to time for the purposes of—

( a ) an emergency, or

( b ) preventing the passage of a boat in respect of which a permit has not been issued under these Bye-Laws, or has been withdrawn, or is not displayed in the manner prescribed in Bye-law 40 of these Bye-laws.

If I were not Waterways Ireland, then, but a would-be demonstrator, I would make a note to inform the authorities next time I planned a demo so that there would be no surprises on either side.

I am, however, neither WI nor a would-be demonstrator, so (apart from the information I gleaned from WI) I know nothing of what either side may have done or not done, thought or not thought.

Sallins delay?

Waterways Ireland has readvertised for a contractor to build a houseboat facility at Sallins on the Grand Canal:

Waterways Ireland seeks tenders from experienced and competent contractors for the construction of a House Boat Mooring Facility in Sallins, Co Kildare.

Work begins at Sallins

New moorings: Waterways Ireland press statement here and marine notice here.


An account of the official opening of the Naas Branch (County of Kildare Canal) in 1788.

Sallins houseboat facility

Waterways Ireland is seeking tenders for building a “houseboat facility” at Sallins. The interesting bits:

  • 210m of fixed timber moorings for long term mooring
  • 45m of fixed timber moorings for transient moorings
  • metered water supply
  • metered electricity
  • sewage pump-out
  • anti-erosion netting for the canal bank.

During construction, the canal will be closed to navigation but will remain in water. I wonder why.

IRBOA, the Irish Residential Boatowners Association, seems to have vanished, at least from cyberspace: I can’t find its website.