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Kilbeggan Branch Greenway – consultation by Jun 18 and Jul 4

Offaly and Westmeath County Councils have started the public consultation process, for the proposed Greenway subject to Part 8 planning process.

In reviewing these plans, supporters of the Kilbeggan Branch, need to ensure that the current plans for the Greenway do not preclude the opening of the Kilbeggan Branch as a navigation.  The plans to rewater the Branch are outlined in Offaly County Council and Westmeath County Council overall development plans.  


The Westmeath portion of the proposed development plans from the border with Offaly to Kilbeggan Harbour are available for inspection until Tuesday June 18. These can be accessed at Westmeath County Council Offices, Áras an Chontae, Mount Street, Mullingar or online at

Submissions can be emailed to on or before June 18 and marked ‘Proposed Kilbeggan Greenway’. 


The Offaly portion of the proposed development from Campbell’s Bridge in Ballycommon to the broder with Westmeath, are available for inspection until Thursday July 4. These can be accessed at the Planning Section of the Offaly County Council offices in Tullamore, at Edenderry Municipal District offices, in libraries at Tullamore, Daingean, Edenderry and Kilbeggan and online at

Submissions can be emailed to on or before July 4 and submissions should be clearly marked GREENWAY.”

Grand Canal CIC, Shannon Harbour Rally & Lough Derg Rally

The Kildare IWAI fleet is moving west.  Have left Ballycommon and plan on moving further west over next two weekends.  Join us or catch up along the way. 

Sat Jun 8 Tullamore to Rahan

Sun Jun 9 Rahan to Pollough

Sat Jun 15 Pollough to Belmont

Sun Jun 16 Belmont to Shannon Harbour

Shannon Harbour Rally 44 takes place from June 21 to 23 –


Derg Rally starts from Dromaan Harbour on July 6. discount available until June 10

Boatowner proscecuted

Posted: 04/06/2019 by Waterways Ireland

Boat Owner Prosecuted for Contravention of Shannon Navigation Bye-Laws

​Waterways Ireland has secured the conviction of a boat owner under the Shannon Navigation Act, 1990 at Strokestown District Court on the 22 May, 2019. The prosecution arose out of a collision between a speedboat and a barge that occurred on the Shannon Navigation on the 29 September, 2018 in the Townland of Derreen, Kilglass, Co. Roscommon.

The circumstances of the collision involved an 8 year boy being permitted to  steer a speedboat by his father. As the speedboat proceeded around a corner on the Kilglass river on the Shannon Navigation, it collided with a 45 foot steel barge proceeding in the opposite direction. The impact of the collision resulted in the speedboat sustaining significant damage and sinking along the side of the river. The boy and his father were rescued from the sinking speedboat by the master of the barge.

Waterways Ireland investigated the incident and initiated a prosecution under Section 3(7) of the Shannon Navigation Act, 1990 for breach of Bye-Law 12 (1) of the Shannon Navigation Bye-Laws, 1992 alleging that the boat owner being the master of the speedboat on the date failed to keep or arrange to keep a proper lookout and to navigate the vessel with care and caution and with reasonable consideration for others having due regard to the circumstances of weather, visibility, flood and other traffic.

On Wednesday, the 22nd May, 2019, Strokestown District Court heard evidence from the master of the barge and from the Inspector of Navigation with Waterways Ireland regarding the collision and subsequent investigation.

The owner of the speedboat admitted the charge of breaching Bye-Law 12(1) of the Shannon Navigation Bye Laws, 1992 and was convicted of an offence under Section 3(5) of the Shannon Navigation Act, 1990 receiving a fine of €250.00 and costs of €3,000.00.

52M – Robertstown to Portaneena – she has arrived!

The Robertson Community Amenities Association (RCAA) report today

“She has arrived!!

Our 52M has made it all the way from Robertstown village to Athlone!  She travelled along the Grand Canal, passing through 17 locks on the way, entered the river Shannon at Shannon Harbour, moved up the river to Athlone, through the huge Athlone lock and across the very top bottom of Lough Ree to Portaneena Marina!!

A massive thanks to all the amazing volunteers who made this possible, especially our own Jerry Gleeson who was there from the very beginning, has given many hours to the barge and even camped out on it overnight!

And a huge thank you to Robbie Bailey and his family who gave up their weekend to tow the barge alongside their own barge and get it into Portaneena yesterday.  And the many others who helped move the boat, helped with locks, ferried fuel and cars around etc and all the background work as well.  Plus all the support and advice from the Heritage Boat Association, Waterways Ireland and IWAI Kildare and many more.

The out of water survey will now happen in Portaneena Marina in the very capable hands of Blair Chatterton, fingers crossed for a good result!

Exciting times!”


I’ll tell you a story about the 52M Canal Barge

IWAI Archive – old photos and videos

At the recent IWAI AGM, Marc Gleeson showed us the results of the work he and others have been doing in populating the IWAI archives with images and videos from the past.


We’ve all heard about the 1972 trip to Leitrim to highlight the Ballyconnel/Ballymore canal. Here are some great B&W photos that show the work involved to get there and the huge support for this CIC – the boats were packed with people.

There is a series of videos from 1981 and 1982 with the canals represented by a rally at Vicarstown, the Edenderry, Ballycommon and Tullamore rally, a walk along the Royal and the trip boats at Robertstown and Lowtown.

Marc tells us the archive is a work-in-process, there are lots more to add.  Enjoy and if you would like to assist in this project, Marc would love to hear from you.

Ballycommon 2019 – Jun 1 to Jun 3 – UPDATE


BBQ on Saturday June 1 at 18:00 hrs at Campbell’s Bridge – see Invitation

Ballycommon Family Fun Day starts on Sunday, June 2, at 14:30.  For the Children there will be a Bouncy Castle, Canoeing, Games, Burgers, etc. 

The CIC to Tullamore will be on Monday – time to be decided.  Joining us on board, will be some members of the Ballycommon Canal Renewal Group. 


We would like to invite the Masters, owners, crews and guests of the crafts attending the Ballycommon Canal Renewal Group Family Fun Day on the June bank Holiday weekend, to a BBQ at Campbells Bridge at the Kilbeggan Branch, on Saturday June 1 at 6pm, approx. 

The BBQ is in recognition of the sterling efforts made by crews to attend our event throughout the years and helping to make it such a success. If possible all dietary needs will be catered for.

I would be most grateful if anyone attending would send me a text regarding the expected numbers attending along with them, this is just to give us a rough idea of numbers for catering purposes.

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the weekend.

Best regards,

Gerry Feery

Chairperson, Ballycommon Canal Renewal Group (086 0647797)

Biodiversity Week event on Grand Canal – May 22

On Wednesday evening with the support of Waterways Ireland, the Irish Peatland Conservation Council will be joining forces with Monasterevin Tidy Towns as we explore the diversity of life within the water and along the banks of the Grand Canal. 

Meet at the Grand Canal Aqueduct over the River Barrow in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare at 7pm on 22nd May.

This walk and talk will not only take in the variety of life but also give you an opportunity to explore some of the history of the what is still described as one of Ireland’s greatest engineering achievements, the Grand Canal.

Biodiversity Ireland

Waterways Ireland – new CEO

From WI 

“John Mc Donagh has been appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer of Waterways Ireland the cross-border body accountable to the North South Ministerial Council under the 1998 British-Irish Agreement.

Mr McDonagh is a English, History and Politics graduate of UCD and he holds a Masters in Finance from National College of Ireland. He spent much of his career working in Shell Ireland and was formerly Country Manager. Prior to joining Waterways Ireland Mr Mc Donagh was Sales and Marketing Director in Liberty Insurance. He has also consulted on a variety of projects across multiple sectors.

Waterways Ireland is headquartered in Enniskillen and has Regional offices in Dublin, Carrick-on-Shannon and Scariff. Its 280 staff are deployed across the management, maintenance, development and promotion of over 1,000 km of inland navigable waterways. The waterways estate comprises Grand Canal; Royal Canal; Barrow; Shannon, Shannon-Erne; Erne; and Lower Bann.”


IWAI AGM 2019 – Naas – May 11

Reminder to all IWAI Members

The IWAI’s AGM will take place on Saturday, May 11 2019 at 11am, in the Osprey Hotel, Devoy Quarter, Naas, County Kildare

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s AGM which is being facilitated and co-hosted by IWAI Kildare.


  1. Minutes of 2018 AGM
  2. Matters arising from Minutes
  3. Items for AOB
  4. President’s Report
  5. Presentation of Accounts and Hon Treasurer’s Report
  6. Appointment of Auditors
  7. Election of Directors
  8. Election of Council Members
  9. Presentation of Endeavour Award


Please remember to bring a copy of the AGM documentation with you, as printed copies will not be available on the day.  They are available to members on the IWAI website.

Coypu or Otter – Invasive Species Alert – WI MN 24/2019 UPDATE

UPDATE Mar 22: 

Earlier this week Waterways Ireland received notification of an unconfirmed report from the National Biodiversity Data Centre via National Parks and Wildlife Services of a Coypu on the Royal Canal. We are obliged to take this seriously, given the potential implications posed by a Coypu presence on Irish waterways. All evidence now leads us to believe that this was a case of mistaken identity and the report was likely that of native Otter, which are present on the Royal Canal.

As there is a legal obligation to remove such invasive species from the wild, Waterways Ireland will continue to work closely with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC). The public are encouraged to contact NBDC ( with any record of the invasive Coypu, preferably with a confirmation photo, if they happen to come across this species on any waterbody

                  European Otter (Lutra lutra)

                      Coypu (Myocaster Coypus)









MARINE NOTICE  No 24 of 2019 – All Navigations – particularly Royal Canal – [Note:  See Alert Notice from NBDC with photos at the end of this Marine Notice]


Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all users of a large invasive rodent species that are highly damaging to River, Lake and Canal banks have been possibly sighted on the Royal Canal near Ashtown, Dublin.

Yellow/orange front teeth, webbed feet, white muzzle (Shutterstock) Up to 1m long (Eamonn Brennan)

The Coypu:

* Are highly invasive impacting on wildlife, river and canal bank stability and is a pest of agriculture crops.
* Eradication programmes can cost several millions of euro and are not always successful.
* Carry a number of diseases of importance to humans and domestic animals.
* Is a EU Regulated species of Union concern with trade, transport and reproduction restrictions in place    [No.1143/2014]
* Recent potential sighting of a Coypu in Cork City in 2017 and more recently on the Royal Canal in Ashtown Dublin in March 2019, raises concern of further spread.

What does it look like?
* Large semi-aquatic rodent up to 1 meter in head to tail length.
* Features same in juveniles.
* It can weigh 5-9kg.
* It has webbed hind feet.
* Dark fur often with lighter ends and has a white muzzle,
* Has long cylindrical tail (not fur tail like otter) and small slightly protruding ears.
* Distinctive features are large bright orange-yellow incisor (front) teeth usually visible.
* Coypu are generally found near permanent water.

Please do not confuse it with the Common otter (shown below) Source: Otter


Please keep a look out for these creatures along the waterways and especially along the Royal Canal at Ashtown and report sightings with photographs to any of the following below:
Waterways Ireland Environment Section 061-922141
NPWS at or your local National Parks and Wildlife ranger with details of location/date; a photo if available  or or [1] or

For more information:  Date issued: May, 2017 V 1.0

Patrick Harkin
Inspector of Navigation
20 March 2019
Tel:  353 90 6494232

Roundtable discussion – IWAI Kildare members – Mar 24


IWAI Kildare members are invited to attend a roundtable discussion from 2 to 5 pm on Sunday 24 March 2019, in Confey GAA Club premises.  The aim of the discussion is to elicit members’ views on the shape and function of IWAI Kildare over the next 3 to 5 years. 

During the afternoon we will review current objectives, identify new objectives and, hopefully, identify how they will be delivered.  This will not be a routine monthly meeting and it will not be a lecture, but is designed to receive your positive suggestions and contributions and to be forward looking.  The roundtable will be facilitated by Colin Becker. 

Refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon.  We look forward to many members participating in this important step in setting the future direction of IWAI Kildare.   

Please contact Kieran Baker at before Friday 22 if you will be attending.

GPS Co-ordinates for Confey GAA, Leixlip are 53.375559/6.482652

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