On the 26th May 1817 the Royal Canal was officially opened from Dublin to the Shannon and to mark the occasion the Royal Canal Amenity Group in association with Waterways Ireland are holding a commemorative event on Sat 27th May next at Richmond Harbour, Co Longford.
A plaque commemorating the bicentenary will be unveiled followed by music, talks and exhibitions.
As part of the event a group from the Famine Museum in Strokestown, who are undertaking the 146 km walk along the Royal Canal will stop-off at Richmond Harbour on their way to Dublin. The famine walk is to commemorate the tens of thousands of famine victims who made their way along the canal, in 1847 to board famine ships for England and America
The building of the Royal Canal commenced near Cross Guns bridge in Phibsboro, in 1790 It took 27 years to complete, having been dogged by corruption and incompetence. The final stage (Coolnahay – Cloondara) was probably the only section which was efficiently and economically completed. The contractors (Henry, Mullins and Mc Mahon) probably lost money on this contract but went on to undertake a further major project at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) Harbour
‘Information at you fingertips as you walk, cycle or boat.’ With our Royal Canal Smart-Tags now in place from Binns Bridge through Ashtown, Castleknock, Maynooth, Kilcock, Thomastown to Mullingar, details about the canal, its history and local information can be accessed as you make your way along the ‘Royal.’
Provided you have a suitable smart-phone you can access a wealth of information along the canal from Dublin to Mullingar (and eventually to the Shannon when we complete our project later this year).
Information on how to access and use the system is available here
We request all towpath users to please note the following
- Share the space; Consider other people and the local environment whenever you’re on the canal. Remember some people may move less predictably, for example young children or those with visual or mobility impairments.
- Drop your pace; Considerate sharing of the limited towpath space is the key. Jogging and cycling are welcome, but drop your pace in good time and let people know you are approaching by ringing a bell or politely calling out before waiting to pass slowly.
- Pedestrians have priority; Towpaths are shared routes where pedestrians have priority and vehicles, except bicycles and mobility aids, are excluded.
- Be courteous to others; A smile can go a long way. Abusive or threatening behaviour is not acceptable and should be reported to the Police.
- Follow signs and obey local by-laws; They are there for the safety of everyone. Cyclists should dismount where required and use common sense in busy or restricted areas, recognising that pedestrians have priority.
- Give way to oncoming people beneath bridges; Whether they are on foot or bike and be extra careful at bends and entrances where visibility is limited.
- When travelling in large groups; Give way to others, especially if you are running or cycling, use common sense.
- Try to avoid wearing headphones; Headphones makes you less aware of your surroundings, possible hazards and others sharing the same space.
- Keep dogs under control; Ideally use a short lead on busy towpaths and clean-up after them. Dog fouling is very unpleasant and is a health hazard.
- At all times, keep children close to you; Encourage them to learn and follow the rules for towpaths.
See the video below from the Canal & River Trust in the UK