The IWAI submission to the Waterways Ireland
bye-laws raises serious alarm in relation to-
the five day rule and a ‘move on’ mentality that will affect traffic and tourism
on the navigations and local communities all along the waterways
the fixed penalty system and other legal sanctions, including powers of arrest by regulators
the high costs of vessel movement and use on the Grand & Royal Canals and River Barrow
no mention of a Service Level Agreement and no operational Customer Charter The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) delivered our verdict to Waterways Ireland (WI) on the proposed amendments to Canal Bye-laws. The public consultation period opened suddenly on 6 th January and closed on 3rd
February at 3 p.m. The IWAI says NO! For now….-with over 2000 submissions of concern from communities and IWAI members. Other concerns
raised include parliamentary questions in both houses of the Oireachtas. In the public consultation of only 21 days, the IWAI held a consultation process through our member based branch network; arranged public meetings; met with democratically elected representatives and business associations across navigations affected; conferred with other peer groups in the community; met with Waterways Ireland; and developed an information campaign on various issues on this matter. The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) states–
“if the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht signs these amended Bye-laws as published, high charges will be levied on boat traffic, vessel owners will be fined, and waterways users will leave. Dublin and many rural towns and villages will lose out enormously. Economic, tourism, heritage, culture and other advantages of the waterways are in peril”.
“the approach and proposals are not compatible with Minister Varadkar’s Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport mission statement
-To ensure that the transport, tourism and sport sector make the greatest possible contribution to economic recovery, fiscal consolidation, job creation and social development”.
“the approach and proposals are not compatible with the Local Government Bill 2013;
published in January 2014 by Minister Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, particularlyin relation to ‘alignment’ and streamlining of needs and resources and county development opportunities”Carmel Meegan, President of IWAI, confirms “the proposed bye -laws do not put user requirements, tourism development and local communities at the centre of the regulations.” The IWAI submission to these bye-laws contains 30 pages of solid facts on bye-laws review. The boating community is not averse to appropriate management, facility  rovision, and access to waterways. But boats are key attractions, as the lifeblood of the navigations, and need to be welcomed. Who to contact for further information Gregory Whelan, IWAI, p:+353-87-7996356 e:
Alan Kelly, IWAI, Mobile: +353-86-83262755
John Dolan, IWAI, Mobile: +353-87-9021039
Notes to Editor –the IWAI The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) is a voluntary body representing over two thousand enthusiasts, with 22 branches across the island of Ireland. The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) is an energetic, fun, voluntary organisation with members from all corners of the Island of Ireland, all sharing a keen and passionate enthusiasm for the
waterways of Ireland. The IWAI advocates the navigation, use, maintenance, protection, restoration and improvement of the inland waterways of Ireland. It was formed in 1954 to promote the development, use and maintenance of
Ireland’s navigable rivers and canals. When the Shannon was almost totally undeveloped for pleasure boating, the IWAI campaigned against the building of low bridges, thus ensuring the development of the river as a national asset. In the 1960s IWAI successfully fought plans to close the Circular Line of the Grand Canal in Dublin. Later the Association campaigned for the re-opening of what is now the Shannon-Erne Waterway (formerly the Ballinamore & Ballyconnell Canal) and the Naas Line of the Grand Canal.
IWAI played its part in the restoration campaign for the re-opening of the Royal Canal between Dublin
and the Shannon in recent years. IWAI assistance to the campaign to re-open the Ulster Canal has also borne fruit with the announcement that work is to begin on re-opening the section from the Erne to Clones. Currently, IWAI members are active in restoration projects on the Boyne, Newry and Lagan Canals. IWAI Branches hold approximately 200 events each year across inland navigations with the wider communities in many locations. These events include Boat Rallies, Harbour Festivals, Walks, Social Gatherings, Heritage Activities; Family activities and Youth focused events.