Dublin Branch of IWAI to launch "Green & Silver" route at AGM
October 1st, 2010 saw the official re-opening of the Royal Canal at Richmond
Harbour, Clondra. This was a truly welcome development and long awaited by those
interested in the Irish Waterways – the 36-year restoration campaign is very
well documented in Ruth Delany and Ian Bath’s Ireland's Royal Canal, 1789-2009
published late last year. With the opening of the Royal Canal, it now becomes
possible to retrace Rolt’s journey in full and complete the circular route
formed by the Royal Canal, River Liffey, Grand Canal, River Shannon and Camlin
Official opening of the Royal Canal at Richmond Harbour (1st October
The branch workboat, the LE Dubhlinn, attended the official
opening of the Royal Canal, at Richmond Harbour on October 1st, 2010.
See the IWAI forum thread
here for some more photographs. The photos below show the
Dubhlinn at the 4th lock, Phibsborough, 12/09/10 and some en-route
to Richmond Harbour which it entered on 01/10/2010.
Plurabelle Paddlers is a breast cancer support group with a
difference! They are a group of women in the Greater Dublin area who
have or have been through breast cancer. They have set up a dragon
boat team and have been testing their new boats at Grand Canal Dock.
We wish them well.
Ireland commences the first Phase of a Consultation programme on
proposed new Bye-laws
Waterways Ireland has commenced the
first Phase of a Public Consultation programme on proposed new
Bye-laws for all seven waterways under its remit. An initial
consultation phase is currently underway with stakeholders being
invited to comment on initial draft proposals. The IWAI is one such
stakeholder, and as a member, you are
invited to give your input at a Special Meeting
to discuss the Draft Bye-Laws
Ireland Draft Bye-laws including Construction Vessels).
20/07/2010 saw the official launch of the Dublin Canals Study and formal
re-opening of the Waterways Visitor Centre (the box in the docks).
Waterways Ireland chief exec. John Martin, Dublin's Lord Mayor, Cllr, Gerry
Breen and the Minister for Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat
Carey are in attendance.
Dublin City Canals - Recreational Tourism & Commercial Product
Identification Study and Development of an Investment and Maintenance
Framework. written by
& Countryside Consultancy
on behalf of Waterways Ireland, Failte Ireland, Dublin Docklands Development
Authority and Dublin City Council. This document is also referred to as the
Dublin Canals Study. It is dated January 2010 but last updated 30/06/2010.
18/06/2010: The Green Route along the Grand Canal from the 12th Lock Lucan
into the 3rd Lock at Blackhorse bridge, Inchicore has opened. This is
an 8.5km pedestrian and cycle path. The project was carried out by ESB
Networks, South Dublin County Council, Dublin City Council, and Waterways
More info from the
Dublin Rally got under way on May 8th in glorious weather. 12 boats
descended from Lucan to join the HBA boats already in the basin. We
also made the RTE news [www.rte.ie].
The combined fleets in the Grand Canal Dock attracted large crowds of
admiring onlookers including the Lord Mayor of Dublin, councillor Emer
Costello, who paid us a visit. The HBA fleet claimed dibs on Hanover Quay,
in front of the newly complete Grand Canal Theatre. This is a fantastic new
public space in Dublin and it attracts large numbers of people out for an
afternoon stroll. Many expressed the hope that the sight of boats moored to
the quay would become a regular feature.
A large number of events were held during the fortnight including:
2 small boat rallies held on the Liffey;
A number of boats under the auspices of the RCAG and the HBA
entered Spencer Dock on Friday 14th led by the former Royal Canal
trading boat The Rambler.
Approximately 10 boats made the annual trip up the Liffey to
Islandbridge on Saturday May 15th, many for the first time and again
the sun shone down on us.
The engine of 51M was started for the first time in maybe 10years
and it left the city carrying a few old wooden Guinness casks (see the
A large set of photographs of the occasion can be found on the branch
website (here) and on the
The Dublin Branch Endeavour Cup was awarded to the branch’s own Mick Kinahan
for his dynamism, energy and whole-hearted commitment to the cause.
Many thanks to all owners and crew who took their boats into Dublin.
Thanks too to Waterways Ireland, the Dublin Branch, HBA and
volunteers from DCC and others (not least the divers) who made today such a
success. We really had a huge turnout of volunteers to lock the boats in and
Many thanks to all.
With increasing competition from the road and rail
network, CIE announced the closure of the Grand Canal to commercial
traffic in December 1959 (an anniversary marked
last year). However, a
few boats continued to transport Guinness into 1960 while a new store in
Limerick was being completed.
On a quiet afternoon on 27 May 1960, there was only one barge loading
in the Grand Canal Harbour, James Street. It was the 51M, which was
being loaded with a large cargo of Guinness to go to Limerick. Around
tea-time, the loading was completed, and the 51M, heavily laden and very
deep in the water, started its Bollinder engine. Slowly, the boat was
untied, and glided slowly but noisily out of the harbour. This would
never happen again. The 51M was the last trade boat to leave Dublin.
Fifty years after Canal Boat 51M carried
the last commercial cargo from Dublin outbound to Limerick along the
Grand Canal and River Shannon, the Heritage Boat Association (HBA) will
re-create her historic voyage.
51M will depart from the Waterways
Ireland Visitor Centre in Grand Canal Basin on Wednesday 19th May at
The pictures show 51M on the moorings at the Box in the Docks on 8th
May 2010 and on its final delivery run in May 1960.
A large fleet of Heritage Boats flying the blue flag of the
Association descended into Dublin over the weekend of April 17th. Links
and photos can be found
New arrival on the Grand Canal, "MV Cadhla"
saw the welcome arrival of the electric barge MV Cadhla on the
Grand Canal. The boat offers pre-theatre cruises to the newly
opened Grand Canal Theatre. The boat is purpose built and had many
many boat lovers drooling during the Dublin Rally. We wish
operator Sam Corbett the best of luck with this venture. More
Joint Small Boat Rally to Pollardstown Fen (11/04/2010)
a sunny Sunday morning in April a large collection of small boats made
their way to Milltown Village in Kildare to explore the “source” of
the Grand Canal i.e. the Milltown Feeder. There were boats from
Wexford, Waterford, Offaly, Kildare and Dublin, (23 in total) in what
was one of the most successful inter branch ventures ever mounted in
the Eastern Region.
The more adventurous launched at the Robertstown slip and had
cruised over 5 miles before the “laggards” joined-in from the “Hanged
Man Pub” and covered the final 3 miles to the Seven Springs. There was
little obstruction (less than on some of our canal system) and the few
spots of floating weed were soon cut through by the flotilla of
outboards so that the return journey was a carefree one.
In fine weather, this is a great venue for a small boat Rally and
the “Hanged Man” terminus is one of our least know but most hospitable
“watering holes”, and worth visiting even if you don’t have a boat.
Grand Canal Theatre opens (18th March 2010)
Members of the Dublin Branch of IWAI attended the opening of the grand Canal
Theatre at Grand Canal Dock, with the three boats intriguing many attendees
of the opening. The theatre was fabulously lit for the occasion.
We wish it great success in the future.
Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017
The Dublin Branch of IWAI has made a
in respect of ...
While it has not yet been published, the Dublin City Canals report was
presented by Waterways Ireland's Martin Dennany and Gordon Clarke of Scott
Wilson to Dublin
City Council. A Video of the proceedings can be viewed
here. The presentation on the Canals runs from 00:53:00 to
Dublin IWAI branch commission a plaque to be awarded to vessels completing
the Auld Triangle route.
Now that the re-opening of the Royal Canal is in sight, the branch has
commissioned a limited edition, numbered
commemorative plaque to be awarded to each IWAI-crewed vessel that
completes the circular route, Shannon, Royal Canal, Liffey and Grand Canal,
either clockwise or anticlockwise. Should this be called the Auld Triangle
Recent Talks organised by Dublin Branch of IWAI -
The Waterways of Northern France - speakers Peter & Mary Hanna
On Tuesday 15th March 2010, approximately 35 people gathered at Poolbeg
Yacht & Boat Club to hear a very informative talk by Peter & Mary Hanna.
They talked of their wonderful experiences of the past three years in France
with Paris being the natural highlight. The talk was profusely
illustrated with photographs and has no doubt given more than a few
something to ponder for the years ahead.
A small but enthusiastic group of Dublin branch members visited Spencer Dock
on an icy Saturday 20th February 2010. Armed with litter pickers, the
team filled a small dinghy and the Dubhlinn with assorted rubbish and
litter. Have a look at
the photographs of the visit here. It will sadly be apparent that
we barely skimmed the surface of the litter problem there. However, we
learned a lot and have formulated a plan of attack for the next
visit. We also took measurements of available headroom at Sheriff St.
This was the Dubhlinn's first visit to the Sea Lock in Spencer Dock.
Our thanks to the volunteers and of course to Dock Superintendent, Mark
Clarke for seeing us safely through Buckingham Lock at Grand Canal Dock and
the Spencer Dock sea lock.
See the short 5-minute video here:
Dredging of the Grand and Royal Canals
Waterways Ireland have commenced dredging the Main Line of the Grand Canal (
Lock 1 to Suir Road). The work started in November 2009. The
first part should be complete by March 2010 - see
Invitation to Tender
They are also planning to do similar on the Royal between Lock 1 (North
Strand Road) and Lock 8 (Reilly’s Bridge, South Finglas) -see
Invitation to Tender
Dublin of the IWAI strongly welcomes this initiative which will make passage
to and from Dublin much easier. We are particularly pleased that the
dredging calls for the canal to be restored to its original dimensions.
The photos below were taken on January 31st, 2010.
The freeze of January 2010
The cold weather at the start of 2010 saw the Grand Canal Dock freeze over.
Oran Murphy captured the frozen Grand Canal Dock in this beautiful photo at
left (more photos are in the
Grand Canal Dock Gallery).