About

Coalisland Canal (sometimes known as The Tyrone Navigation) is a canal in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland and is about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) long. Construction of the canal began in 1733, but progress was slow and it was not officially opened until 1787. The canal was built to reduce the cost of transporting coal from the Tyrone coalfields to Dublin. An extension known as “Dukart’s Canal” was built to link the coalfields of Drumglass with the head of navigation at Coalisland. It opened in 1777, but was an engineering failure, and closed when the main canal opened. After some difficulties with the infrastructure, traffic slowly increased, and did not reach its peak until 1931. Traffic then declined rapidly, and the canal was abandoned in 1954.

There has recently been some interest in restoring the remains, as most of the channel is still intact, and a group has been formed, which is now part of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, to raise public awareness of the canal and investigate options for the future. A small boat rally was held on the canal in April 2008.

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