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The Shannon Erne Waterway.

Irish Canals.

Canal Holidays in Ireland.

Irish Waterways Holidays.

This waterway was formally known as the Ballinamore-Ballyconnell Canal, it is 61 km (38 miles) long and links the village of Leitrim with the Erne downstream of Belturbet, there are 31 bridges and 16 locks the summit level is at Lough Scur. The reopening of this canal has added much to the economy of the area, and gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the countryside through which the canal wends. To traverse the entire length of the canal takes approximately thirteen to fourteen hours.The canal will accomodate vessels up to 79 ft (24m) long, 15 ft (4.5m) beam and 4 ft (1.2m) draught. Maximum headroom: available is 10.5 ft (3.2m) over 10 ft (3.0m) width.

Locks and other services are in opperation from 9.00am until 8.00pm daily. A swipe card system is in opperation which operate the locks automatically. The cards are available with values of 10, 20 and 40 units, and can be purchased at the 1st and 16th lock

The charges are as follows.

  • Lock Passage 1 unit.
  • Laundry washing machine & drier. 5 units.
  • Shower 2 units.
  • Chemical toilet. 2 units.
  • Tank pump out. 10 units.
  • Public toilets free.

Card Prices (2005)

  • 10 units 6.35.
  • 20 units 12.70.
  • 40 units 22.80

Work began constructing the Ballinamore-Ballyconnell Canal in 1846 and progressed for fourteen years, the engineer in charge was John McMahon, it is said that cost cutting measures were taken and the canal was beset by problems such as leakage and collapsing banks, and that it was used by only a few boats. As with most of the canals in Ireland as elsewhere, the advent of the steam age sounded the death knell and the canal was abandoned in 1869. Although the canal could not be considered a financial success, its building considerably improved the drainage of the area.

The canal lay derelict for one hundred and twenty years, nature spent this time reclaiming what was once its own, the channel was choked with weed and mud, the lock gates decayed the stonework crumbling and the towpath overgrown. A massive restoration project was undertaken and the canal was improved considerably on what it had been originally, with the rebuilding of the locks and bridges, the installation of new lock gates with push button hydraulic operating systems.

People from home and abroad can now enjoy a relaxing holiday in the rural heart of Ireland in an area that is devoid of large cities or major industry. It is possible to hire a cruiser equipped with all modern facilities, and experience the tranquility of a long gone age.

Waterways Ireland
20 Darling Street
Co Fermanagh
BT74 7EW
Tel +44 (0)28 6632 3004
Fax +44 (0)28 6634 6237
E Mail
Web Site

See our listings for Canal Boat Hire in Ireland.