The Corbally Branch has been in the news recently.  Senan Hogan reports in the Leinster Leader there is a ‘call for little-known canal route between Naas and Athgarvan to be developed’

Kildare County Council is to consider the feasibility of upgrading a little-known canal-side pathway which runs between Naas and the Athgarvan area.

Cllr Tracey O’Dwyer had asked the local authority to liaise with Irish Waterways (Ed. Waterways Ireland is the responsible authority) to investigate the possibility of upgrading the existing tow path that runs from Naas Canal to Corbally Harbour near Athgarvan to a biodiversity walking trail.

The council said that its Heritage Officer will discuss the feasibility of such a project with Waterways Ireland, with a view to including a new objective for same in the Draft Kildare County Development Plan 2023-2029.

Cllr O’Dwyer informed councillors at the monthly municipal district meeting that the Corbally Harbour Branch of the Grand Canal extends from the townland of Corbally to Naas Harbour and is within three miles of Athgarvan village.  This canal branch was completed in 1810, mainly to service the transport of grain to and flour from Reeves Mill at Athgarvan.

The councillor said that the canal already provides an almost perfect walkway from Corbally to Naas and is the longest stretch of canal in the country with no locks, as the terrain is flat.
The canal is maintained by Irish Waterways
(Ed. Waterways Ireland) and they already maintain the grass cutting along the canal and clean the canal.  Cllr O’Dwyer said: “It is already a beautiful, natural habitat and with just a little hard-cover on the existing towpath in the short-term could enhance an already stunning walkway.  Corbally Harbour has previously been proposed as a Blueway and I definitely think this could be considered as part of the Draft County Development plan.”

The politician added that she believed that Corbally Harbour is already a fantastic natural amenity and a wonderful sanctuary for wildlife and only requires minimum work to enhance the current towpath and if Local Property Tax (LPT) funding is required to fund a covering for the path in the interim while further plans are developed through the draft county development plan.  “I am happy to work with my colleague Cllr Evie Sammon to pursue LPT as this project crosses over two Municipal Districts — the Kildare Newbridge MD and the Naas Municipal District.”

Corbally in the News – Jan & Feb 2021

The Kildare Nationalist tells us about the hidden gem walk on the Corbally line

The Kilcullen Blogspot in a piece on Jan 12 features an illustration of what the harbour might have looked like originally, in call for Corbally link to be official

Niamh and Shane O’Connor created a video Corbally link from the air, featured on the Kilcullen Blogspot

Kildare County Council is inviting applications for the Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2021 from individuals/groups/organisations who are carrying out local heritage projects

IWAI Kildare lists the restoration of the Corbally Branch as one of their aims over the next five years

A trip in small boats along the Branch in 2009 is described here Corbally – Trip