Royal Canal Bicentenary

Royal Canal Longford; early 19th century print

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.

Print of Famine Ship discharging in Liverpool

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.