Cash Flows Into Ulster Canal

Plans for an expanded all-Ireland waterway, which will link more than 400 miles of canal - announced late last year - have now taken a step forward.

Ministers from both parts of Ireland have said they wanted to move forward the scheme for restoration of a section of the Ulster Canal that would boost tourism on both sides of the border.

Now, a €35 Million restoration of a stretch of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to Clones has been formally announced among other details of works to be completed by Waterways Ireland.

The Republic's Community and Rural Affairs Minister Eamon Ó' Cuív yesterday announced that funding for the project is coming from the €75m allocated to canals infrastructure under the Irish National Development Plan, 2007-2013.

Other projects being planned over the next five years include the reopening of the Royal Canal to boating traffic in 2009; construction of a Regional Office at Carrick-on-Shannon; the construction of offices, depot, workshops and stores at Thomastown on the Royal Canal; and the construction of new stores in Portumna and Tullamore.

Mr Ó' Cuív said initiatives to restore canals can boost the local economies and tourism potential of rural communities.

He said: "As these waterways run through some of the less developed areas of the country, their potential for acting as regeneration catalysts in this manner is considerable.

"Preliminary investigations will also commence on a number of other waterways to allow consideration to be given to their reconstruction at a future date."

He added: "Waterways Ireland expects to have in place a further 3,750m of moorings, 70km of new or improved waterway and a range of facilities such as service blocks, pump-outs and car parks.

"This will ensure a waterway system with improved access for all, which will provide an enjoyable amenity for boat users, walkers, anglers, etc, and where people can enjoy a quiet peaceful time in relaxing circumstances."

Advertisements are to placed next month to seek consultants to begin work on the Ulster Canal project.

While the long neglected stretch of water is from Clones to Upper Lough Erne, the geography is such that when the project is completed, it will be possible to travel from Coleraine to Waterford or Limerick - the first time both canal systems will be connected.

Access to the River Bann system would allow leisure cruisers to travel from, for example, Coleraine to Limerick - a journey that would take around 10 days.

See: Trans-Irish Canal Network Launched


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 March 2020
Covid-19: Seven Further Cases Confirmed
Seven further cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Northern Ireland, bringing totals to 52. It comes amid continued controversy over whether schools should follow suit with the Republic of Ireland and close their doors. Several local schools have taken the option to close along with bars and restaurants across the region.
23 March 2020
NI Hospice Chief In Call For Vital Supplies
The Northern Ireland Hospice is demanding intervention by the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure provision of vital supplies for palliative care services. Hospice chief Heather Weir said they are facing difficulties accessing protective equipment for both the Adult and Children's Hospice.
20 March 2020
Roselawn Crematorium To Close To Mourners
Roselawn Crematorium is to close to mourners and families from Monday 23 March. Cremations will be carried out however no family can be in attendance, Belfast City Council has confirmed. Burials will also go ahead, with mourners at the graveside and funeral directors urged to consider public health advice around social distancing.
19 March 2020
Head Teachers Union Welcomes School Closures
The National Association of Head Teachers has welcomed the news that all schools in Northern Ireland will close from Friday.
10 March 2020
First & Deputy First Minister Cancel Washington Trip
Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill have cancelled their planned trip to Washington on Wednesday. The First and deputy First Ministers will instead attend a COBRA meeting on the coronavirus at Downing Street.