What are waterways halting-sites or harbours used for? After some time spent on the Shannon–Erne Waterway, I can say that they’re not just for cruising boaters. Other users included:
- sales reps (or other management types with their suit jackets on hangers in the back) needing cheap, clean loos on their journeys
- local owners of jetskis and speedboats, launching for an evening run
- anglers, both on shore and in boats
- campervanners seeking free, relatively secure overnight stops with good facilities
- walkers and cyclists, including some long-distance chaps taking breaks
- seekers after water.
At Ballyconnell, a chap drove down in an elderly tractor with three blue barrels on the back, filled up with water and drove away. He was followed by a couple in a 2011 Cavan-registered Renault Fluence, with six 2-litre plastic containers in the boot, who also filled up and drove off. [I have photos of both the tractor and the car.] When water is charged for by the amount used, Waterways Ireland may have to consider locking its taps.