Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Give us proper ByelawsI

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Valentine Card from the IWAI

IWAI Canals bye-laws campaign

Carmel Meegan, President of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI), this month praised the efforts and interest of the people who have signed 10,000 postcards for sending to Politicians all around the Inland Waterways. She re-iterated “the proposed bye-laws do not put user requirements, tourism development and local communities at the centre of the regulations.”

Political representatives have been receiving the postcards from members of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) and members of local communities, supporting the IWAI call to the Minister not to impose an outcome without conciliation or agreement.”

IWAI appear before Joint Oireachtas Committee
The association wrote to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht in January 2014, requesting them to consider the matter of the proposed amendments to the Canal Bye-Laws 2014. The IWAI was invited to attend and present to the Committee meeting on 25 March 2014.

Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, Heritage Boat Association, and Waterways Ireland, appear before Joint Oireachtas Committee meeting on Environment, Culture and Gealtacht
IWAI Opening Statement to Joint Oireachtas Committee - March 25
IWAI Submission to Joint Oireachtas Committee - March 25
Transcript - Joint Oireachtas Committee: Canal Bye-Laws - March 25

Submissions - Subset of over 2000 submissions made to WI

IWAI Submission on Waterways Ireland draft Corporate Plan - Mar 31
IWAI Submission Proposed Canal Bye-law Amendments - Feb 3
Inland Waterways International - Jan 28
Anthony Lawlor TD, FG, Kildare North, makes a submission to WI on the bye-laws - Jan 31
Ballycommon Canal Renewal Group - Jan 31
Dutch Barge Association - Jan 28

IWAI Press Releases:

IWAI PR 13 Political Representatives receive 10,000 postcards - July 2nd
IWAI PR 12 Waterways Ireland Report on Canal Bye-laws Consultation Responses does not address IWAI Concerns. - May 15th
IWAI Welcome Offaly Council motion rejecting WI Bye-Law amendments - May 2nd
IWAI meeting hears members and community concerns over information vacuum regarding proposed Canal Bye-laws> - April 22nd
Oireachtas Committee concerned about canal Bye-Laws - March 31st
IWAI prepare to appear before Oireachtas Committee - March 10th
Kildare Council reject proposed Canal Bye-law amendments - March 3rd
IWAI says: have a heart, Minister - Feb 11th - the Valentine Verse and Card to Ministers
IWAI seeks engagement - Feb 6th
One Day Only: Mon 3rd Feb 2014: Save the Canals & Barrow - Jan 28
End of an Era: Canals Bye-laws in? Boats out! - Jan 21
No More Boats on the Grand and Royal Canals ? - Jan 14
IWAI encourages participation in Bye-Laws Consultation - Jan 6

IWAI National Council - Tullamore board walk

IWAI Council Tullamore Board Walk

The Story so far ...

  1. Waterways Ireland are proposing amendments to Canal bye-laws.
  2. IWAI believe the changes will have a negative, unfair and adverse effect on canal traffic and reduce tourism on the canals.
  3. IWAI has prepared a robust response to the proposals as part of the consultation process.
  4. IWAI has held a series of public meetings.
  5. IWAI has had a meeting with Waterways Ireland to explain the amendments it believes are damaging to the public good, that will adversly affect the use of canal navigations, and to suggest alternatives.
  6. IWAI encouraged it's members and members of the public to make direct responses to the short consultation process before Monday 3rd February at 3pm.
  7. IWAI has made a comprehensive submission to Waterways Ireland.
  8. Over 2000 independent submissions have been made to Waterways Ireland.
  9. IWAI present submission before Joint Oireachtas Committee.

Some of the Media Coverage and other responses below (from over 50 items of public discussion on this matter; between 16th Jan and 16th Feb) via the IWAI. Other groups are also expressing concern -such as a 2,100 signature petition copied to local T.D's, Kildare County Council, and Minister Deenihan, organized by a waterways concerned group in Kildare.

Tullamore Tribune - - May 1st
By Gerald Keegan - Council says WI Plan will damage Offaly Tourism
Irish Times - TDs & Senators criticise new canal fees - March 27
By Tim O'Brien - Boats leaving the Grand and Royal canals because of new regulations, says waterways association
Stagg Calls on WI to withdraw Canal Bye-Law Proosals - Jan 31
Emmet Stagg TD, North Kildare
Seanad Debate - Feb 26
Inland Waterways Statements
Irish Times: Letter to the Editor - Feb 3
Troubled waterways
Senator John Whelan - Feb 1
New canal laws could lead to derelict back-waters
Irish Times - Frank McDonald - Feb 1
Boat users claim new canal charges will cause serious decline
RTE Radio - Seascapes - Colin Becker - Jan 31
KCLR 96 FM - Last few days of public consultation on new bye-laws for the Barrow - Jan 28
Midlands FM 103 - Listen - Jan 28
John Dolan, IWAI; Joe Stewart, Tullamore Chamber of Commerce; and canal enthusiast & historian James Scully join Will Faulkner to discuss new draft bye-laws on the Grand Canal
Ireland's Canal Users Mobilise Against New Bye-Laws, Charges - - Jan 28
Raft of Canal Bank Levies - Sunday Independant - Jan 25
Concern over Bye-Laws - Shannonside - Jan 23
IWAI Fears bye-laws may kill boating on canals - - Jan 22
Seanad Questions Minister - - Jan 21
Concern over 'negative' bye-laws - Tullamore Tribune - Jan 21

Reports, Feedback and Resources

Report - Public Meeting - Tullamore - Jan 16
Report on the Public Meeting on Proposed Bye-laws amendments, Tullamore 16 January 2014
Slide Presentation - Public Meeting Tullamore - Jan 16


The Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation have been an integral element of the Inland Waterways for over 200 years. They are important links with other waterways and a huge asset to their areas and the overall Irish inland waterways system. They are navigation and economic arteries; can bring boat traffic as tourism business; and have significant amenity value to their local communities. Boats are key to the life blood of the navigation; they should be encouraged to visit the canals and the Barrow, from both the domestic and the international boat tourism markets.

We in the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) have major concerns on these amendments to the existing bye-laws, not just because of the impact on our members but also on the waterways and Communities we all know and love.