The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) is preparing a robust response to the amendments proposed by Waterways Ireland to the Canals bye-laws.
IWAI raise serious concerns regarding the future of boating on the Grand and Royal canals and River Barrow. An initial review by IWAI of proposals for amendments to the canal regulations indicates that they will not encourage and nurture the growth of domestic and international boat tourism on these fine navigations. The result will be a serious decline in boat traffic and associated economic benefit to locations along the system. The bye-laws amendments are in the Waterways Ireland draft corporate plan for 2014-2016. Consultation opened on the bye-laws opened on 6th Jan. At a meeting of the National Executive of IWAI last night, 13th January, Carmel Meegan, President, said: “The proposals do not appear to put user requirements, tourism development and local communities at the centre of the regulations”. Some changes will ensure boats must keeping moving on the system or face a €150 fine if stationary within a three kilometre distance above a five day period. This is in contradiction to the principles of slow tourism to encourage the leisurely use of the systems with the associated
spend from boats stopping in towns and villages along the navigations systems. It will also cause immense harm to the emerging ‘Green & Silver’ tourism route developed by Dublin IWAI. Boats that do use the system in many cases will not be permitted to moor on town and village harbours and jetties without similar penalties and sanctions. IWAI has 22 branches across the whole island of Ireland. The IWAI branch network will hold community meetings to the advice of this threat to local waterways, the national potential for developing inland boat tourism, the implications for other waterways on the system.
The boating community is not averse to appropriate management, facility provision, and access to waterways.
But boats are part of the lifeblood of the navigations, and need to be welcomed. Waterways Ireland is the North-South body responsible for maintenance of the Inland Navigations across the whole of Ireland. The consultation deadline is 3 rd Feb, the minimum consultation period of only 4 weeks, available at
Who to contact for further information Gregory Whelan, IWAI Mobile: +353-87-7996356 Tel: +353-505 36043