Park Canal

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    • #710186
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Limerick Park Canal

      The Canal was built in the late 1700’s as a commercial waterway. It was used for transporting goods from Limerick onto the Shannon, and from there to the Grand Canal and eventually Dublin. In 1929, with modernisation of transport and the building of the electricity generating station at Ardnacrusha, it became obsolete and fell into dilapidation.

      The Limerick Civic Trust were first to tackle its dilapidation. Works were then carried out as part of the Limerick Main Drainage Project. Now we are seeing the Park Canal Restoration Project by the City Council.

      The following are copies of posts from the thread “well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside?”

    • #803691
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      30 June 2005

      @Tuborg wrote:

      Its interesting to note that despite all the talk about the docklands redevelopment it seems to be very much full steam ahead for the park canal restoration,i thought this would be put on the back burner for a while but listening to an interview with the new mayor, a new masterplan has been published for the area between lock quay and the university of limerick,and about time too, this area has huge potential,the area immediately south of lock quay is a fairly prominent and visible area as one travels on the old dublin road. It is in serious need of redevelopment especially as many new buildings(such as the barringtons development) sprung up in recent years,this area rather undermines these improvements

      EXTRACTS FROM PRESS RELEASE

      The Park Canal was constructed in 1757-1758 to transport goods to and from Limerick City. The canal system was invaluable in the transport of heavy goods, such as turf, potatoes, coal and, in particular, Guinness. But by 1929, with modernisation of transport and the building of the electricity generation station at Ardnacrusha, the canal had become obsolete and fell into dilapidation.

      The majority of structures and buildings along the canal are located between Lock Quay and Park Bridge. To the north side of Lock Quay there are two derelict buildings in a prominent location with potential for renovation to compatible uses. The lock gates were replaced recently as part of the Limerick Main Drainage Project. A terrace of partly-dilapidated buildings to the south bank of the canal have potential for redevelopment. Further east the old Guinness warehouses are derelict and subject to a demolition order.

      Generally it is proposed that improvement works are concentrated at the two main focal points of Lock Quay and Park Bridge, and along the southern bank of the canal. It is envisaged that the northern bank would retain its informal character, and with the addition of fishing platforms, while the southern bank would accommodate a continuous cycleway, improved surfaces, lighting and street furniture. The first phase of the Canal Restoration Project will allow its banks to be opened up for leisure and amenity purposes, while providing the catalyst for a variety of potential canalside development projects, such as a sports museum, craft shops, some residential, cafes and parks. Other initiatives should include the introduction of facilities for watercraft, and the creation of canal bank walks and cycling paths.

      Phase 2 of the project would include:

      • Renovation of the two buildings to the north side of Lock Quay (e.g. for refreshment and/or interpretation uses);
      • Redevelopment of the terraced buildings to the south side of the canal by Lock Quay;
      • Redevelopment of the Guinness Building;
      • Redevelopment of land on south side of canal between the proposed Corbally Link Road and Park Road;
      • Possible provision of public car park to southwest of Park Bridge to serve canal users;
      • Possible redevelopment of land to the south of Canal Bank, between Park Road and Plassey Walk;
      • Creation of a canal basin between Park Bridge and the railway bridge providing berthing and related facilities

      i’ve found some good detailed plans of the area but they’re too big to be posted as this site has a 290kb limit or something 😡

      30 June 2005

      @dave123 wrote:

      thanks for that Turborg,

      it will great to see the canal to go ahead !
      it will create a haven for anglers and bosts and etc..
      especially with the new marina planned for limerick city.

      that side of the city is going explode with new happinings !
      it would be a good idea to have a commuting service from the city centre to the university by canal

      great to see focus on many areas of the city that are being devloped, not just purley the quays and city centre…

      where is the guiness building?

      7th July 2005

      @dave123 wrote:

      Turborg, remember you mentioned the Guiness site earlier as part of the canal restoration projest well, i just found some more info about it

      it will be a very intersting site for new devlopment
      anyone know the sites wherabouts??

      No move on Guinness site until the Autumn

      A CITY councillor’s perseverance will have to last until after the summer recess before he is any further enlightened as to what is being planned for the city site formerly occupied by Guinness.

      Cllr Joe Leddin has been seeking information for over a year now as to what, if any definite plans are in the pipeline for development on the valuable city-centre site which is owned by Limerick City Council.

      “I can’t get an answer as to what is happening on this site. I’ve repeatedly asked because I’m repeatedly asked by people living near it what, if any plans are in progress for the site and why it has remained idle for so long.”

      Cllr Leddin pointed out that the former city manager, Brendan Keating agreed to the demolition of the old Guinness building after it had fallen into dereliction.

      The councillor was told by Limerick city manager, Tom Mackey that plans for the site hinge on other possible developments that may occur in the surrounding area.

      “I ask the indulgence of the Council until after the summer recess when I will come back to this,” he told Cllr Leddin.

      18th July 2005

      @limericklover wrote:

      The space created by the derelict land close to the canal should be used to build a light rail line from the university to the city centre before any more meritless developments are built on these lands.

      8th August 2005

      @dave123 wrote:

      Over the next few days I’ll try get some stuff on the Park canal project.

      15th August 2005

      @dave123 wrote:

      Has anyone have any notion about the Corbally Link rd, I think its currently construction ?? :confused: near the canal and corbally rd and links the Dublin rd.

      22nd August 2005
      @dave123 wrote:

      here is some pictures of the park canal , and more coming…..

      24th August 2005

      @dave123 wrote:

      Well , i just heard that there are opening the Corbally road link, that will link Grove island , mill road to Dublin road and cross near the canal. It will open within the next few weeks 🙂 A great releif at that side of the city. 🙂

      Canal restoration set to flow

      THE eagerly awaited restoration of the Park Canal has taken a very positive step forward this week. It is being planned that the canal, which with five other European cities has been awarded funding for upgrading purposes, will also see the restoration of boating and fishing activity as well as the enhancement of its banks with leisure facilities.

      First of all it has to undergo a dredging process and tenders for the process have now been secured by Limerick City Council.

      The dredging process is essential in order to restore navigability and equally important is the establishment of new lock gates, one at Park Bridge and another to replace an old, disused gate at the Guinness Store. Lock gates will prevent the canal water becoming stagnant.

      The mile-long Park Canal connects the Abbey River and the Shannon and the planned restoration will bring the picturesque riverway into a city context while the Shannon end will retain a rural feel. A cycleway will run from the city to the University of Limerick .

      Looking forward to work commencing without delay, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon in whose Ward the city section of the canal is, said that the Council is hoping to finalise the tendering process this week. He expressed some concern, however, that all of the tenders received are quoting a price above the 1.25million euro received by the Council for the project.

      Confirming that Waterways Ireland has committed to putting in a new lock gate, the councillor stressed how vital it is that work commences as quickly as possible.

      “The 1.25 million euro secured from Europe must be spent on restoration work before the end of this year, otherwise we lose the funding which would then go to another city,” he said.

      Further plans for the canal include a complete restoration of the old Guinness Store, transforming the bank into an attractive walkway with top-level lighting, seating and fishing areas, landscaping as well as fishing and boating activity to include a river bus out to the University of Limerick.

      The project is being spearheaded by Limerick City Council in co-operation with Shannon Development.

      25th August 2005

      @ShaneP wrote:

      The Park Canal project sounds fairly interesting. It’s a really nice walk out to UL from town especially where the canal rejoins the Shannon at Rhebogue? it’s complete wilderness, with not a buildng in sight – one of a number of great but overlooked wildlife corridors into the city along with the marshes in Corbally and around Barringtons Pier/ Northern Approach Road, so fingers crossed a decent job gets done.

      The last part of the plan doesn’t exactly inspire confidence though,”Phase 2 of the project cannot be fully defined at this time as it would involve substantial inputs from the private sector as development schemes are brought forward.” especially given the fact that new housing estates can already be seen along the Dublin Road.

      24th October 2005

      @dave123 wrote:

      Canal to be crystal clear by Christmas

      ACCUSTOMED as most citizens are to lengthy over-runs on the completion of major contracts, it comes as a welcome and pleasing surprise to learn that the first phase of redevelopment of the Park Canal will be completed by Christmas. Well, that is according to Limerick City Council’s planning executive, Kieran Reeves.

      Commenting at the official signing of the 1.2million euro contract for the redevelopment work in City Hall, Mr Reeves said it is imperative that the Council spends the money allocated by the EU by the end of the year.

      “Today is about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. Waterways Ireland are the owners of the canal and they have given their full support for it. Up to now Limerick Civic Trust kept the canal in some state of good repair with their limited resources and the residents have been very good to us and have had a good input and their support has been consistent as well,” said Mr Reeves.

      The contract was awarded to Murphy International and is being administered by Limerick City Council and Shannon Development who each contributed 220,000 euro towards the project which is an EU initiative.

      The work just commenced involves the dredging of the canal from the Shannon to the Abbey rivers and the development of a dedicated pedestrian cycle lane area to Park Bridge from Lock Quay. Other elements of the canal’s major revamp include a private development, the enhancement of walkways, state-of-the-art seating and lighting, boating and fishing facilities and the possibility of a water bus.

      It is anticipated that the canal will become a focus for cyclists, runners, fishermen and will become an amenity that can be enjoyed by local people and visitors.

      “By creating a link between the medieval and university city the canal restoration will work as a catalyst for residential, commercial, leisure and tourist related developments that will complement the substantial investment that has already take n place in the city centre,” said John King, director of Heritage and Tourism in Shannon Development.

      He also confirmed that existing pathways along the length of the southern bank of the canal will be resurfaced and an improved path will be provided for cyclists. Top grade street furniture will be established and special platforms will be erected on the northern bank for use by fishing enthusiasts.

    • #803692
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      27th June 2006

      @CologneMike wrote:

      Corbally Link Road and Park Canal Restoration Project

      http://www.riversidecity.ie/project_parkcanal.htm

      Any progress or news on these projects????

      Problems reported February this year 😡

      The second contractor chosen by City Council to build Phase Two of the Corbally Link Road has pulled out because they are too busy to complete the project, it has emerged.

      Director of Transportation and Infrastructure at City Hall, Patrick Dromey confirmed at yesterday’s City Council meeting that plans to build a link connecting Grove Island to the Dublin Road would be further delayed.

      Work on the longawaited €S.8 million project was due to start on February 10 last, but the contractor with the lowest tender pulled out.
      The second lowest tender was then chosen, but the contractor informed Mr Dromey last Thursday that they would not be able to complete the project.

      “The contractors say they have too much work on, the market is too buoyant. The second contractor indicated to us that he will withdraw but has not yet put it in writing,” said Mr Dromey.

      Cllr Kieran Walsh described the situation as “nothing short of diabolical”.

      “We got a guarantee that it would finish this year. I am sick of this. We have been waiting on due process for almost three years, it is long enough, there is a point where due process becomes incompetence,” said Cllr Walsh, who asked if City Manager Tom Mackey’s assertion that the road would be completed in 2006 would stand.
      Mr Mackey replied: “As with all major contracts, we depend on contractors. We have to follow normal procedure, and if they pull out, we have to move onto the next guy. It is not that we do not wish to see it progress, it is a serious problem and we will seek a contractor to do the work and get it done as rapidly as possible.”

      Plans for phase two of the Corbally Link Road include the construction of a bridge over the canal, and will stretch for 370 metres along Park Road and a further 170 metres of Park Road will be widened before it joins up with the Dublin Road.

      Map of Canal

      5th July 2006

      @CologneMike wrote:

      🙂 Progress at last! 🙂

      New link road in Limerick

      Motorists in Limerick will soon be able to cross the new bridge linking Corbally and the Dublin Road at Grove Island.

      The bridge is a step closer after a contractor was chosen to complete the work.

      A contract has been issued to Sorensen Civil Engineering who have already begun design work for the project and it`s expected that work will begin by the end of this month.

      Labour Deputy Jan O`Sullivan says the delay in building the bridge has led to traffic delays for the people of Corbally and Clare.

      24th October 2006

      @CologneMike wrote:

      Taking the dog up the Bank (Canal Restoration)

      If you intend to walk up the canal with sandy as your destination (above Plassey / UL) then you will have to negotiate three major construction sites along the way. The rejuvenation of the canal itself has been dragging on for some time. The Limerick Main Sewage work is finished on the canal and a small stretch between the old Guinness (barge) warehouse and to where the canal meets the Abbey river (Lock Quay) has been re-cobbled. Further up at Madden’s bridge there is also a small re-cobbled amenity area. The canal waterway itself is cleared of all schrubs and trees and it’s earthen banks beyond the Richmond rugby club have been strengthened (alas in a crude crooked line). The canal is still temporary blocked by a dam at where it meets the river Shannon. The Limerick-Ennis railway line bridge has also been modernized. I hope that the city council has zoned all lands beyond the railway bridge as amenity only (i.e. Green!). The canal bank is closed on the right handside between the old Guinness (barge) warehouse and Madden’s bridge. A new bridge with a link road is well under construction and will link Corbally (Groove Island) with the Dublin road (Musgraves C&C). Will have to wait another year to see as to how the canal will come along.

      Image #1 Taken at the entrance to the canal at Lock Quay (Abbey Bridge)

      Image #2 Taken near the old Guinness (barge) warehouse facing back to Lock Quay.

      Image #3 Crane with the Groove Island complex in the background.

      2nd January 2007

      @CologneMike wrote:

      Corbally Link Road / Park Canal Development (Managers Report for 2007)

      http://www.limerickcity.ie/general/finance/documents/Managers_Report_for_2007.pdf

      Construction work on phase 2 of the Corbally Link Road commenced in September 2006. The scheme involves the construction of 1km of a single carriageway road linking Grove Island with Park Road and involves the construction of a new bridge over the Park Canal, high quality footpaths and cycle paths, public lighting, new watermain, sewers and associated utilities. Construction work is currently being carried out by Sorenson Civil Engineering Limited and should be completed by May 2007. This contract costing €4.5 million is part funded by a Grant from the DoEHLG.

      Phase 1 of the Park Canal Project was completed during 2006 and involved deepening and cleaning of the Canal and the provision of footpaths and cycle ways. It should be noted that the Canal is currently closed to facilitate the safe construction of the Corbally Link Road Bridge but will open again in early 2007. Phase 2 of this project should commence during 2007.

      2nd May 2007
      @CologneMike wrote:

      Corbally Link Road (Opening June 22nd) 🙂

      Progress on site with civil engineering works for the construction of the Corbally Link Road is proceeding on schedule and its is anticipated that this new piece of road infrastructure will be open by the 22nd of June 2007. As can be seen in the attached photographs progress has been helped by the recent good weather and Asphalting of the road surface and bridge deck should commence next week.

      The site of the Corbally Link road lies to the east of Kings Island and this vital piece of road infrastructure will link the existing R463 Corbally Road at the Grove Island Centre with the R445 Dublin Road at the Park Road junction. The R463 is the main access route into Limerick City from Corbally which is a major residential suburb of Limerick City and also from the greater south-east County Clare area. This new link road will divert a substantial volume of traffic travelling to the Dublin Road, Tipperary Road, Childers Road,The University ,away from Athlunkard Street Lights and the Abbey Bridge and should help to improve journey times. The R445 is the new road classification for the former N7 and this links the City centre with the Parkway, Castletroy and the N7 Dublin Road at Annacotty.

      Phase I of the Corbally Link Road which comprised of approx 400 metres of roadway was completed in 2003 by Limerick City Council in partnership with The Kings Island Development Company. Phase 2 which is the completion of the scheme is been completed under this current contract and consists of:

      (1) A new bridge over the Park Canal
      (2) Approx. 500 metres of new road carriageway
      (3) Approx. 250 metres of carriageway widening and improvements on Park Road
      (4) Construction of footpaths and cycle lane along route including tie-ins to the recently refurbished Canal paths.
      (5) Improvements to Junctions on the R445 and the R463

    • #803693
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      8th March 2008

      @Tuborg wrote:

      Spruced up canal walk will add to city’s appeal (Limerick Leader)

      Limericks development as the riverside city continued this week with the opening of the first phase of the park canal restoration project.

      The €1.6 million joint investment between Limerick City Council and Shannon Development has been welcomed as the first step towards making the canal a hub of local tourism once more. “Its a great honour for me personally as the canal was an important part of my childhood” said Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, Deputy Mayor of Limerick, who led the official opening on Thursday.

      “With the opening of the park canal we now have a new green lung for the city which we hope the people of Limerick will embrace. We hope that they, and the 4,000 people who work at the National Technology Park and the University of Limerick will enjoy this wonder ful new amenity in the heart of the city.”

      Work under phase one involved dredging the canal and restoring the lock gates at park bridge. Special platform have been installled on the northern bank, which it is hoped will encourage fishing enthusiasts to return to the area. Street furniture and lighting have also been added in an attempt to hand the canal back to the public realm. The route is already popular with walkers, joggers, cyclists, fishermen and canoeists.

      John King heritage and tourism director with Shannon Development said “we’re delighted to have been part of this project to restore this special area to its former glory. The canal will be another asset in our attempt to brand Limerick as a riverside city. By creating a link between the medieval city and the university, the canal restoration will act as a catalyst for residential, commercial and tourist developments. But most importantly, we hope this project will breathe new life into the park canal for future generations.”

      A total of €1.2 million of the investment was grant aided by the EU, with the City Council and Shannon Development contributing a further €400,000. Limerick companies Nicholas De Jong Associates and White Young Green were involved as project consultants. The restoration of the park canal builds on the dedicated work of Limerick Civic Trust, which has been actively involved with the Canal Restoration Association since the early 1990s.

      Phase 2 of the project will involve resurfacing the existing pedestrian paths along the length of the southern bank of the canal, as well as adding an improved cycling path.

      Photos of the Canal and walkway from the city centre to Plassey can be found here

      9th March 2008

      @Dan Sullivan wrote:

      The former Guinness buildings have been demolished on the south side of the canal.

    • #803694
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      14th March 2008

      @CologneMike wrote:

      Tuborg, good to see the canal project moving on. (Official start November 2003!) Progress has been very slow to say the least? Probably due to the delays in constructing the Corbally Link Road / bridge. Having said that the stretch of canal between the railway-bridge and Guinness foot-bridge (St.Patrick’s GAA Club) could had been done first.

      The recent photos reveal bushes and trees planted on the slopes of the canal which will certainly re-strangle the waterway! Are they serious about using the canal as a waterway for boats or what? I would have preferred to have seen the slopes of the canal kept as grass margins and the planting of trees along the canal kept to outer boundaries instead.

      The success of the canal in my opinion will come down to maintenance. The whole stretch of the canal and the O’Brien Park should be integrated into one parkland zone, as the canal would benefit from the same higher maintenance standard that the city parks have always enjoyed. What role will the Waterways of Ireland play here? Maintainence of the locks? The water level appears also to be low.

      Images from Buildings of Ireland. Old canal image.

      A 25 cent refundable deposit charge on drinking cans, plastic bottles etc, would go a long way in keeping the locks litter-free. An investment in five metre poles with nets to scoop up litter from the locks would also help.

      I see that there are also plans for creating a canal basin (marina?). The wetlands to the rear of St Mary’s Secondary School would be an obvious choice. My overall impression from the photos in this link still show the canal in a “raw” regenerated state! 😮 I personally would not be to hurried in inviting back the other EU participants (Water in Historic City Centres) from Chester (GB), Breda and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NL) and Gent and Mechelen (B) to show what we have achieved so far.

    • #803695
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      15th March 2008

      @Dan Sullivan wrote:

      Actually, I don’t think it is the intention that the canal will be navigable. At least that is the impression I got from them when I spoke with them a couple of years back. We (An Taisce) organised a walk and talk along the canal with one of the folks involved in the Riverside City project in 2005 and I seem to recall that question coming up.

      17th March 2008

      @Tuborg wrote:

      According to the project PDF and the map below, there are plans for a canal basin with berthing facilities between park bridge and the railway overbridge. The canal does appear to be a good deal wider between park bridge and its entrance to the Shannon so presumably it would be possible to make this section navigable. However there are a number of constraints on the remaining section so its highly unlikely that it will ever be fully navigable as far as the Abbey river.

      Park bridge lock

      A large site on the south side of the canal, bisected by the new Corbally link road is likely to come up for redevelopment shortly. Pre-planning discussions have apparently taken place and the plans are for a high density mixed use development. The development of a residential element along the canal could only improve the viability of the project and would hopefully lead to increased use of the amenity.

      What is the current status of the Richmond rfc grounds? I know they had some problems over the last couple of years, are they still using the pitch along the canal bank?

      18th March 2008

      @Dan Sullivan wrote:

      I think Richmond’s grounds are still in use. I typically use the other side of the canal for my travels.

      I agree about the canal being navigable as far the park bridge (though I’m not sure the dredging was deep enough for it to be possible unless the tide is high). My meaning was that they wouldn’t be able to make it all the way to the Abbey rive as the concrete closure at the bridge wasn’t going to be moved.

      I would hope that the development of the large plot on the southside would be canal facing in order to aid passive surveillance . would make it safer for those living there too.

      27th September 2008

      @CologneMike wrote:

      Park Canal Restoration Project (Limerick City Council)

      4. TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS

      4.1 Dredging Requirements

      One of the main objectives for the restoration of Park Canal is to restore the navigability of the channel extending 1.6km from the confluence with the River Shannon to Lock Quay and its intersection with the Abbey River.

      A significant amount of sedimentary material has accumulated on the canal bed over time that will need to be dredged. Between Lock Quay and Park Bridge parts of the canal have been subject to improvements associated with the Limerick Main Drainage works, such that only minor localised dredging will be required. To the east of Park Bridge the water has become very shallow and stagnant in places due to the build-up of silt behind the lock. The canal banks have also become very overgrown. Within this section it will be necessary to dredge the accumulated silt that has built up behind the concrete weir.

      It is anticipated that the dredged material will be deposited as backfill material on land in close proximity to the canal. As it is possible that contaminants may be present, sampling and analysis of the material will be required as indicated in the following Section.

      The estimated volume of dredged material to be moved amounts to approximately 16,600 cu.m. It is proposed that the dredging would be carried out by specialist contractor using a pumping mechanism attached to a floating pontoon, in order to help minimise the amount of disturbance to the canal banks and its associated ecology (refer Section 4.2).

      Council’s €300,000 Blunder (Limerick Post)

      by Marie Hobbins

      FAILURE by Limerick City Council to dredge the Canal Bank to recommendations, has resulted in an allocation of euro 300,000 from Waterways Ireland been frozen.

      A furious Mayor John Gilligan, said he was not aware that the money had been held back, until informed by the Limerick Post.

      “We spent an awful lot of money on the canal already, and still have not got it back into full operation”.

      He alleged that somebody was trying to do the work on the cheap.

      Work will have to be rectified by Limerick City Council before they will receive the funding required to create a free flow of water in the Park canal, and allow boating, including a waterbus.

      Funding for the installation of lock gates was not secured by the council, because, it is claimed, they failed to dredge deep enough.

      Mayor Gilligan and Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, who have been lobbying the council to instal the lock gates, learnt earlier this week, that the Waterways Ireland allocation had never been availed of, but were unaware of the error in dredging the canal.

      The canal, deemed Limerick’s jewel in the crown of inner city river development when it was awarded over one million euro for its restoration through an EU initiative, has recently had the first phase of its restoration completed, but the effect is overshadowed by the continuing problem of stagnation of the water.

      Repeatedly, Mayor Gilligan and O’Hanlon have urged City Hall to press Waterways Ireland, which has responsibility for all inland waterways, to come up with the money for the lock gates and the removal of a bund erected over 30 years ago by developers to prevent flooding during the construction of local housing.

      Although intended as a temporary, preventive measure, it was never removed and the result is constant stagnation of the canal water.

      Waterways Ireland director, Ray Dunne, was unavailable for comment, but a press office spokesperson was willing to respond. “The allocation of money was only available to us for one year, and as work was not completed in the canal, it was diverted elsewhere”.

      Added the Mayor: ”My information is that Waterways Ireland were to demolish the bund at Troy’s Lock and put in lock gates, but during the initial dredging of the canal the banks became destabilised and this had to be remedied before the lock gates could be installed – meantime the funding was not used – it may have gone elsewhere, but we now want it back”.

      City engineer Pat Eyres, acknowledged that the dredging was not up to standard required. “The purpose was to open the canal for boating from the railway bridge to O’Halloran’s Bridge. We did not go as deep with our dredging and have to look at the overall project again and open it up to public consultation”.

      A furious Mayor John Gilligan, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . informed by the Limerick Post. 😮 Embarrassing 😮

      See images from Plassey to Limerick by water (bjg)

      2nd October 2008

      @Tuborg wrote:

      What a cock-up this is! I believe the dredging work was carried out by what the Council described as “an experienced contractor” about a fortnight ago. It really is a very simple matter, either the dredging contractor was given the wrong instructions by the City Council or else the contractor failed to carry out the work to the expected standard!

      I know the Council have some very grand plans for both the canal and the area in the immediate vicinity (including a number of derelict sites) but the progress has been incredibly slow. The renewal of a very short section is all that has been achieved in the last 4 years, is it a funding issue thats holding things up? Are there any more EU or Government grants available?

      I also like the comment at the end of the article stating that they will have ” to look at the overall project again and open it up to public consultation”. Yeah that will really get things moving!:rolleyes:

    • #803696
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Richmond Rugby Club strikes a deal with developer

      Limerick LeaderPublished Date: 02 October 2008

      RICHMOND Rugby Club is canvassing councillors to have its existing Rhebogue property rezoned for residential development after striking a deal with developers McCarthy and Woulfe to provide new pitches and a clubhouse nearby at Angler’s Walk.
      The Limerick Leader has learned that the club – which is seeking planning permission to build 76 houses and apartments on their current site – has asked the Council’s largest political grouping – Fine Gael – to support the rezoning from open space to residential.

      It is understood that McCarthy and Woulfe have agreed to build “state-of-the-art” pitches, training facilities and a clubhouse for Richmond at Angler’s Walk in return for Richmond’s current lands.

      Residents in Drominbeg have objected to the proposed housing development on parking and traffic grounds.

    • #803697
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Saint Marys R.F.C

      08497

      Permission for flood lighting to car park and all weather pitch, construction of new terrace and netting around main pitch and all associated site works.

      Grove Island Corbally Limerick.

      They may be only playing in the Munster Junior League Division 3A but hats off to the members of this club for developing this fine sporting facility.

      It is flanked by apartments, the canal and a bridge crossing the canal. Its openness makes it so attractive. As in most clubs it is the voluntary work of its members who roll up their sleeves to mix the cement etc, etc, to get the job done.

      It is a pity that they were advised to use palisade security perimeter fencing which always gives me a negative vibe where ever I see this crude construction. A weldmesh fence option would have been optically more pleasant to the eye and adequate enough in protecting the playing pitch.

      What really need’s to be protected is the club house or the club bar to be more precise and Richmond’s bitter experience could be have been avoided by incorporating a care-takers apartment over it. I know the club’s pure purpose is to play rugby on the field but it would be cool if they could pro-actively take control of the grass verges and pathways bordering it, thus making one smart / sharp looking place.

      Last wish would be to see the playing pitch been realigned when they construct the new terrace.

    • #803698
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      LIMERICK PARK CANAL PROJECT NEVER COMPLETED (live95fm)

      03 February 2010

      Millions of euro secured to reopen Limerick’s Park Canal appears to have been cash down the drain.

      Waterways Ireland are being asked to explain why the project has never been completed.

      Funding from Europe, Shannon Development and Limerick City Council was made available for the redevelopment which would have facilitated a water bus on the canal from Limerick City to the University of Limerick.

      Councillor John Gilligan says a bund under the Park Canal Bridge was never removed making it impossible for any boat to travel along the canal.

      He is demanding answers:

      What an embarrassment! 😮 This was flagged as part of an Irish showcase for a European project called “Water in Historic City Centres”

    • #803699
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Incredible – who were the design team / project managers for this project ?.. and were they paid ?

    • #803700
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There seem to me to be several problems with any proposal to re-open the Park Canal.

      First, there is the immediate problem that there is still a barrier at the upper lock and that lock-gates have not been installed there. I understand that (as folk have said above) the problem is that the canal above the lock was not dredged deep enough [for what? Probably to match the deoth of the lock sill] and that the funding has now disappeared.

      Second, the sluice/bywash/bypass at the upper lock is blocked. When I put up this photo I thought it might have been the outlet from a millstream, but in fact it’s the outlet from an intake point in the lock chamber, above the upper gates, and would have kept up the level in the lower section of the canal. I understand it was known as the “lady’s hole”; see under “THE PARK CANAL: UPPER LOCK” on this page on my new website. The daring can walk up the hole: a steel plate near the upper end blocks it, but more importantly the location of the mechanism above it has been covered over. Probably not a huge job to reinstate it, but some work required. And then you’re going to have the arms of the lock-gates sticking out.

      Third, this is an early canal and the slope of the banks in the upper section is rather steeper than later engineers would have chosen. I understand that modern waterways engineers would have liked the whole thing to be many metres wider, allowing for a gentler slope down to the water surface. Any excessive wash could cause serious damage.

      Fourth, although there is a reasonable depth of water in the upper section of the canal (boat trip here), the level is well below pre-Ardnacrusha levels. Recall that the first 10 m^3 per second of water are now sent down the original course of the river, via O’Briensbridge, Castleconnell and Plassey; that’s what feeds the top of the canal. The next 400 m^3 go through Ardnacrusha. If there is anything left over, that too is sent down the old route. The Park Canal section of this page shows the difference, and you can still see the marks on the bushes. The lower modern level means that the quays are well above the water level (except in floods), and the City Council has actually made them higher (as well as adding silly bollards). So the useability of the canal is reduced.

      You could probably overcome some of the problems if there were any pressing need to do so, but what I can’t see is why anyone (other than nutters like me) would want to use the canal and river to get to Plassey. It’s a very pleasant trip, but there is no slipway access for smaller boats, so only small boats already based in Limerick could conveniently use it. Owners of larger boats might have qualms about trusting their vessels to this route: it’s hard enough to get them to come to Limerick by the main route. And I do not believe it would be possible to run a trip-boat profitably here: I think that (apart from the DUKWs in the Grand Canal Basin in Dublin and the occasional movements of the floating restaurant) there is no remaining commercially viable trip-boat on Irish canals. Although one is proposed for Dublin, that’s all still-water; you couldn’t be sure of being able to operate on the Shannon to Plassey in winter.

      So, though I’m all in favour of canals and stuff, I don’t see how this one can be viably restored.

      Except for the lower section, of course, which (if access problems could be solved) could make a nice harbour, surrounded by open-air cafes and so on ….

      bjg

    • #803701
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hello bjg, you have an excellent database of images on your site. The visual boat trip from Plassey to Madden’s Bridge (Upper Lock) is really good. 😎

      Interesting point by questioning the viability of the “canal” itself as a “waterway”.

      Since the building of Ardnacrusha, the old barges left the canal via the Abbey River to make their way to the upper Shannon.

      You mention the higher water levels for the lower section of the canal and the temporary (permanent) damning of the upper lock would give credence that the canal will remain split in two?

      In other words pleasure boats, barges will only harbour in the lower section of the canal?

      There was a nice idea of connecting the university (Plassey) with the city centre (Arthurs Quay) by a river bus. It could be financially viable but your image of the Mathew Bridge during the recent flood would frighten off most insurance companies.

      See also “Donal anseo” photos of the upper lock (1975).

    • #803702
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Mike: the last boat to use the old Limerick Navigation was in 1929. However, traffic did not resume for a couple of years after that, partly because of the rebuilding of Park Bridge and partly because the Grand Canal Company felt that the new route through Ardnacrusha and down the Abbey River was too dangerous.

      One of the solutions was a boom across the river, from below the lock to a protuberance outside where the hotel now is; it was to stop boats being swept downriver. In the wrong conditions, it must have been difficult to make a sharp left turn into (or a sharp right out of) the canal into the Abbey River. The entrance to the harbour was dredged when the weir was built recently, but I suspect it might need regular dredging. Both points suggest that it might be difficult to get from the Abbey River to the canal.

      Relatively few boats come from the Shannon to Limerick. If you want them to go up into the canal, you need something to persuade them it’s worthwhile taking the trouble. At the moment, the lower section of the canal offers high quay walls surrounded by derelict buildings. So I am not convinced that that many boats will want to visit even the lower section (although this year, the fiftieth anniversary of the last canal-boat delivery to Limerick, might be a good time to persuade them).

      On river buses, there have been so many failures of such projects in Ireland that I doubt very much if such a service could succeed. In its first year, it would attract a lot of people, but after that it would be relying largely on tourists. Furthermore, a vessel of the size shown in your illustration is not a boat: it’s a passenger ship (carrying more than twelve people) and is thus subject to (expensive) regulation by the Department of Transport. I’m not objecting to the regulation, but you have to be able to earn enough money to comply with the regulations, and that means you need to keep the boat working for lots of high-paying customers.

      I don’t think that amount of business is there. Even if it were, you couldn’t accommodate it from Arthur’s Quay because the tidal window, for a relatively low-powered craft, is very narrow. And that’s assuming that the Dept of Transport would license such an operation, which I don’t think they would for anything other than a powerful RIB.

      bjg

    • #803703
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @bjg wrote:

      Mike: the last boat to use the old Limerick Navigation was in 1929. However, traffic did not resume for a couple of years after that, partly because of the rebuilding of Park Bridge and partly because the Grand Canal Company felt that the new route through Ardnacrusha and down the Abbey River was too dangerous.

      I flicked through Sean Curtin’s books (Vol. 5 page 4) as there is a nice image of a barge (type 70M) with a crew of 3 leaving the canal in the direction of the Abbey River (1955).

      One of the solutions was a boom across the river, from below the lock to a protuberance outside where the hotel now is; it was to stop boats being swept downriver. In the wrong conditions, it must have been difficult to make a sharp left turn into (or a sharp right out of) the canal into the Abbey River.

      Despite the construction of the weir between the Potato Market and the Shannon Boat Club, the stretch of the Abbey between Mathew Bridge and Lock Quay remains a challenge to enter or leave the estuary.

      There is a nice account of barge getting stuck under Mathew Bridge.

      Would a second weir with lock gates before the Abbey Bridge help?

      The entrance to the harbour was dredged when the weir was built recently, but I suspect it might need regular dredging.

      It does not look good when the Limerick City Council and Inland Waterways are at loggerheads over the completion of the restoration of the canal. Who will maintain it afterwards?

      On river buses, there have been so many failures of such projects in Ireland that I doubt very much if such a service could succeed. In its first year, it would attract a lot of people, but after that it would be relying largely on tourists.

      Though I was thinking more along the lines of UL students, UL staff and UL visitors than tourists. But if it can’t navigate as far as the city centre (Arthur’s Quay) safely, then the river bus idea is a non runner.

      Images by tuesdaynightclub 😎

    • #803704
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Mike

      > I flicked through Sean Curtin’s books (Vol. 5 page 4) as there is a nice image of a barge (type 70M) with a crew of 3 leaving the canal in the direction of the Abbey River (1955).

      70M is still going, now based on Lough Derg and converted to recreational use.

      > There is a nice account of barge getting stuck under Mathew Bridge.

      Thank you. (I wrote it.)

      > Images by tuesdaynightclub

      Neil will be very annoyed if you go calling his narrowboat Earnest a barge (though he hopes to have a barge soon): narrowboaters’ feelings are easily hurt. That’s my son in a white shirt and a red lifejacket in one of the pics (taken by me).

      More seriously ….

      > Would a second weir with lock gates before the Abbey Bridge help?

      Nimmo’s original proposal might have placed gates below Mathew Bridge (I need to check on that). I have heard that Waterways Ireland was looking into the options, perhaps for a lock at the upper end of the Abbey River, but I can’t find my source, so don’t take that for gospel. A weir and lock could make a difference; I think something at the upstream end would be better than just at Abey Bridge. The owners of the few remaining small boats in the area might object. (While I think of it, what about turning Limerick Dock into a marina and sail-training area?)

      > It does not look good when the Limerick City Council and Inland Waterways are at loggerheads over the completion of the restoration of the canal.

      Agreed. The whole weir scheme was very much a City Council idea and I don’t think Waterways Ireland (then in its early years) was all that keen. I know the Council sought views on its proposal, but I think some of its eventual decisions (eg the siting of pontoon moorings) were poor so maybe they didn’t get good advice. And the long-drawn-out process of getting security at the Custom House moorings, and the failure to provide the promnised toilets and showers, really dashed the early hopes.

      > Who will maintain it afterwards?

      Waterways Ireland would have to (they own the whole of the old Limerick Navigation) but they could have a service agreement with the City Council (or someone) for operating the locks.

      > Though I was thinking more along the lines of UL students, UL staff and UL visitors than tourists. But if it can’t navigate as far as the city centre (Arthur’s Quay) safely, then the river bus idea is a non runner.

      Even if a boat could make it to Arthur’s Quay, I doubt if it could compete with the bus fares. And it would be slower than walking: canal speed is about 3-4 mph, and each lock takes 15 minutes. A strong current on the river section, even above the canal, would also slow things down.

      I am all in favour of canals and the old Limerick Navigation in particular, so I’m sorry for sounding pessimistic.

      bjg

    • #803705
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      McLoughlin told stay out of Richmond RFC affairs

      Limerick Post (Page 2) 27th March 2010

    • #803706
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Richmond RFC

      08235 Richmond Park, Canal Bank, Rhebogue, Limerick

      Planning permission for the development on this site to facilitate the relocation of existing Richmond RFC facility to an alternative site at Anglers Walk, Rhebogue, Limerick.
      The proposed development on this site shall consist of 1) the demolition of an existing pavilion structure 2) the construction of 76 no. residential units comprising 16 no. 2 bed terraced units, 16 no. 3 bed semi-detached, 16 no. 4 bed semi-detached, 14 no. 3 bed duplex and 14 no. 2 bed apartments 3) the provision of new vehicular access through Drominbeg residential estate and modification of existing site layout plan permitted under planning ref. 98/473 to facilitate said access, and 4) all ancillary on-site and off-site development works

      Refused 27/05/2009

      08233 Anglers Walk, Rhebogue, Limerick

      The development which will consist of; (1) Planning permission for the relocation and upgrade of the existing Richmond RFC facilities currently located adjacent to the Canal Bank, to this site to provide for: (A) the construction of a single storey club house with ancillary car parking and new vehicular/pedestrian entrance onto the public road; (b) the provision of both senior and junior rugby playing pitches, all weather pitch, training and play area; ( c) the rerouting of existing surface water course traversing through the site; (d) the raising of site levels by way of imported fill material; and (2) Outline planning permission for the construction of a nursing home, and all ancillary on-site and off-site development works including temporary construction access and remedial works to the public road at Anglers Walk, Rhebogue, Limerick. The proposed development comprises an activity requiring a waste licence.

      Conditional 27/05/2009 later appealed and refused 05/03/2010

      Two separate developments where it seems one depended on the other?

    • #803707
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Barge recreates historic Grand Canal voyage (Irish Times)

      JENNY BYERS

      FIFTY YEARS after it carried the last commercial cargo from Dublin to Limerick, the canal boat 51M began retracing its historic journey yesterday.

      The anniversary of the boat’s voyage along the Grand Canal and river Shannon is being marked by Waterways Ireland and the Heritage Boat Association.

      Paul Martin, chairman of the association said: “We have recreated the events of May 1960 by sailing the original 51M down Dublin’s Grand Canal. The boat today looks exactly like she did 50 years ago.”

      In keeping with its last journey, 51M departed yesterday with a number of original Guinness casks as its cargo. The sons of the original skipper, the late Tommy McCormack, were on board.

      The recreation of the voyage is a part of the commemoration of the end of the canal’s commercial history. It also focuses on looking to the future of the canal, said Mr Martin.
      51M, manufactured by Vickers (Ireland) in 1928 was one of a number of boats used to carry cargo from Dublin city centre, and became known as a Guinness barge. Unlike other boats, 51M was not sold off in the 1960s but was kept by CIÉ for maintenance use on the canal.

      The Old Limerick Journal (No. 43 ~ Summer 2009) did a nice article on the old harbour canal.

      See pdf: The Old Harbour Canal ~ Part 1 ~ Commercial Activity by John Rainsford.

      The Limerick City Library has made available the Old Limerick Journals on the City Council web site. 😎

      Contents (Vols 1-23), (Vols 24-35), (Vols 36-43).

    • #803708
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Canal Stagnation Public Scandal (Limerick Post)

      Written by Marie Hobbins

      STAGNATION at Limerick canal was, this week, described by Councillor Kieran O’Hanlon as a public scandal.

      And if it becomes seriously polluted, he will demand that City Hall prosecute Waterways Ireland, which has responsibility for all of the country’s inland waterways. Waterways Ireland came to Limerick, at his request, to answer questions surrounding on going stagnation.

      “I wonder how did people get it so wrong – we must have an inquiry to get answers,” urges Environment committee member, Catherine Farrell.

      Awarded €2million from an EU award scheme some years ago, the canal was earmarked for restoration as “the jewel in the crown” of Limerick’s waterways.

      Sadly, despite an investment of millions, the unused canal is now without any shine at all.

      Referring to a presentation given by Waterways Ireland in Athlone in August 2005, Cllr Jim Long said it had been stipulated that the canal would be used “to get boats back from Foynes up to Athlone”.

      Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said that if the engineers had got the levels for dredging right, this would have rectified the flow, and Cllr John Gilligan queried why permission had been given to a developer to build a bund in the canal to protect hew housing from flooding.

      Mr Moore of Waterways Ireland, conceded that when dredging, the water level was a metre too high, which meant that new lock gates could not be opened, if installed”.

      Insisting that an independent investigation is required, Cllr O’Hanlon said that people want to know what proposals are now in place to get the canal back in reasonable condition.

      Emphasising that Waterways Ireland owns the Park Canal, Mr Moore said: “We gave our advice but it wasn’t our project, it is not part of our navigation since 1929”.

    • #803709
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      These councillors have little to worry them.

      Boats are not going to use the Park Canal, for reasons I outlined in earlier discussions. Furthermore, the Council’s proposal for a marina above Park Bridge is not going to work either: nobody would keep a boat in a remote area without supervision, and with the boats within easy range of bottles. The Council should simply forget about boats and start thinking of the old Limerick Navigation as a walking route along one of the most interesting and (formerly) most important navigations in these islands.

      The route is from Limerick to Killaloe:

      – Limerick to Plassey
      – the Black Bridge, built by Thomas Rhodes for the towing horses: it should be fixed and reopened
      – the canal bank to Gillogue
      – the canal bank to Clonlara, which is not generally open to the public but which is owned by Waterways Ireland
      – the canal bank from Clonlara to the Errina lock and on to the Shannon
      – the river towing-path through O’Briensbridge to Parteen Villa Weir.

      The section from there to Killaloe is under the Flooded Area, but there is much of interest in Killaloe too, on what was the upper section of the Navigation.

      But there is nothing anywhere to show that these walks are all part of one route. There are no signs explaining (or even calling attention to) the artefacts. There is no leaflet describing the walk or the old Navigation.

      Many people do walk on parts of the route, but I suggest that their pleasure in the walks could be enhanced, and their numbers could be increased, if they were told about the history and the artefacts. None of this would cost a lot of money (except perhaps for repairing the Black Bridge), but it would serve far more people, and could attract more tourists, than attempting to get boats into the Park Canal.

      bjg

    • #803710
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      By the way, if I could make a belated reply to the first post on this thread, it would be to point out that during the most interesting part of this Navigation’s history, the final destination of the goods was not Dublin but Liverpool and Manchester.

      bjg

    • #803711
      admin
      Keymaster

      @bjg wrote:

      Boats are not going to use the Park Canal, for reasons I outlined in earlier discussions. Furthermore, the Council’s proposal for a marina above Park Bridge is not going to work either: nobody would keep a boat in a remote area without supervision, and with the boats within easy range of bottles.

      I am a great fan of boat/barge tourism, in countries like Holland and the UK there are large numbers of affluent tourists who like this form of holiday; of course every credible urban settlement has areas where you wouldn’t park a boat but that is no reason not to use sections as an area to advise people to pass through; take Dublin as an example you wouldn’t park a boat near the former Semperit factory but if you skipped the route becuase of this, you’d miss the section through Georgian Dublin; its just about getting the route map backspot on. As assets go few Cities in Ireland can touch Shannnonside in terms of a view from a boat.

      @bjg wrote:

      The Council should simply forget about boats and start thinking of the old Limerick Navigation as a walking route along one of the most interesting and (formerly) most important navigations in these islands.

      But there is nothing anywhere to show that these walks are all part of one route. There are no signs explaining (or even calling attention to) the artefacts. There is no leaflet describing the walk or the old Navigation.

      I totally agree a very modest investment could see something of quality developed here; with Lough Derg you have a real target to aim for in terms of a destination.

      @bjg wrote:

      Many people do walk on parts of the route, but I suggest that their pleasure in the walks could be enhanced, and their numbers could be increased, if they were told about the history and the artefacts. None of this would cost a lot of money (except perhaps for repairing the Black Bridge), but it would serve far more people, and could attract more tourists, than attempting to get boats into the Park Canal.

      bjg

      I don’t see this as an either or, people who do walking holidays (or cycling ones if the path were designed as ‘considerate cycling route’) rarely do boating holidays and vice versa. The costs of making a waterway functional are clearly a multiple of those to restore a tow path and sign it so why not complete the project.

      Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said that if the engineers had got the levels for dredging right, this would have rectified the flow, and Cllr John Gilligan queried why permission had been given to a developer to build a bund in the canal to protect hew housing from flooding.

      Mr Moore of Waterways Ireland, conceded that when dredging, the water level was a metre too high, which meant that new lock gates could not be opened, if installed”.

      Mike

      This is sadly an idication of the effects of having a planning system that is out of control; when planners are wilfully put into a position where they don’t even have the time to check all elements of a planning application this is what happens. I guess if you looked for a metaphor of removing blockages from the development pipeline the unfettered passage of water that destroyed a perfectly logical tourist investment plan hits it perfectly. Just pray the IMF let FDR (Roosevelt) style programmes invest in public infratructure as a solution to chronic umemployement that the bust has caused; if they don’t this path will rot along with the canal.

    • #803712
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @PVC King wrote:

      I am a great fan of boat/barge tourism, in countries like Holland and the UK there are large numbers of affluent tourists who like this form of holiday; of course every credible urban settlement has areas where you wouldn’t park a boat but that is no reason not to use sections as an area to advise people to pass through; take Dublin as an example you wouldn’t park a boat near the former Semperit factory but if you skipped the route becuase of this, you’d miss the section through Georgian Dublin; its just about getting the route map backspot on. As assets go few Cities in Ireland can touch Shannnonside in terms of a view from a boat.

      For the tourism market, the best route in Limerick is (at appropriate states of the tide) from the Docks up the Curragour Falls to Ardnacrusha, back down the Abbey River and down through the sea lock. There is (practically) no view from the upper stretch of the Park Canal because the banks are very high: see my web page here.

      At least one and possibly two RIBs are, I believe, licensed to carry passengers between Limerick and Killaloe.

      There is no point in restoring the navigation to Plassey: anyone who wants to inspect its many interesting artefacts would do better to walk there. And the navigation beyond Plassey, to Errina, is never going to be restored: the return on investment would be poor.

      Quote:
      I don’t see this as an either or, people who do walking holidays (or cycling ones if the path were designed as ‘considerate cycling route’) rarely do boating holidays and vice versa. The costs of making a waterway functional are clearly a multiple of those to restore a tow path and sign it so why not complete the project.

      Quote:
      If by “complete the project” you mean “make it navigable” the expense would not be justified.

      bjg

    • #803713
      admin
      Keymaster

      I defer to your local knowledge; but it begs the bigger question if all you say is correct how did it get funding in the first place? I do however feel Mike’s sense of frustration on a private development appeqaring to have had an impact on a public scheme unless it was simply the dredging works being made a mess of and the cheques still paid. Mike your post wasn’t really clear on which you thought was the real cause; any chance of a clarification of your view?

      A lot of idle hands at the moment; perhaps the cutting you refer to might be planted out?

    • #803714
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      PVC

      All sorts of rubbish got funding, in this case some of it being Euroloot.

      For some time there has been a legend to the effect that investment in the restoration of waterways has beneficial economic effects. This sort of argument has been used to support various restoration schemes in the UK (including the development that led to the construction of the Falkirk Wheel) and even the insane scheme for restoring the Ulster Canal (about which I have written extensively here and in pages linked thereto). In general the beneficial effects have been oversold and in most cases the economic analyses seem weak.

      In the UK the penny has dropped and British Waterways has withdrawn from the Cotswold Canals Partnership; it also (I understand) refuses to accept any more restored waterways into its care unless they come with “dowries” sufficient to pay for repairs and maintenance.

      But the penny does not seem to have dropped here. I give the City Council credit for being well-intentioned, but it doesn’t know much about waterways or their current users: witness the scarcity of boats visiting Limerick from Lough Derg, despite the construction of three sets of pontoons and of a new weir. Waterways Ireland knows more, but it is only slowly getting to grips with what boaters might want rather than with new opportunities for its engineers to do cool muck-shifting and stuff.

      If you visit either of my websites (the old and the new) you’ll see that I am a waterways enthusiast and I am particularly keen on the old Limerick Navigation, but I am not keen on futile or badly-thought-out schemes that waste scarce public money.

      bjg

    • #803715
      admin
      Keymaster

      The National Trust have had a similar policy in respect of endowments for years as it has proven counter productive to take everything on for two reasons; one resources are finite even if the last decade of Irish Government suggests otherwise and all expenditure has an opportunity cost i.e. you put the important stuff at risk. Secondly where there is no National Trust local groups often get involved and take ownership of local projects; amazing that didn’t happen in the Cotswolds which would have a generally very strong civic infrastructure independent of government.

      Good luck with the Limerick Navigation I hope it gets there eventually despite government hacking.

    • #803716
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sorry: I have misled you (and done the Cotswolds a disservice) by not providing a full account. A local authority did step in when British Waterways pulled out, and there are other voluntary and local actors in the Partnership: http://www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org/general.asp?pid=2&pgid=171. Waterways Ireland does not seem to be interested in such formal partnerships, preferring (I suspect) to hold all power itself, but local and voluntary input (including involvement in physical work, decision-making and fund-raising) are I think essential.

      bjg

    • #803717
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      By the way, anyone interested in the modern (1920s) alternative to the Park Canal, the route via Ardnacrusha, might be interested in my virtual barge trip, from Killaloe to Limerick Docks, in a 300-photo slideshow http://wp.me/Ppxzo-15w. Numerous pics of buildings, old and new, from the water. I don’t know the names of some of them and would welcome more information.

      The photos were taken from the ex-Grand Canal Company motor-barge 68M, carrying barrels of stout for Dolan’s Pub, to mark two occasions: Arthur’s Day, the annual Guinness marketing opportunity, and the fiftieth anniversary of the last commercial cargo on the Grand Canal and the Shannon, which was a shipment of stout to Limerick.

      Note that the page takes some time to load. And, even clicking through pretty fast, the show is likely to take at least ten minutes.

      Click on the first photo to bring up the controls. If you have any problems with it, leave a Comment to let me know. I haven’t done this before. I may not be able to fix any problems, but I can at least look into them.

      bjg

    • #803718
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Dredging work at Lock Quay (River Abbey / Canal Entrance)

      Photos by Sparky http://www.flickr.com/photos/37507409@N08/

      See also bjg’s report on Irish Waterways History website.

      http://irishwaterwayshistory.com/about/engineering-and-construction/l-m-keating-the-modern-henry-mullins-mcmahon/dredging-limerick/

    • #803727
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      And here http://wp.me/Ppxzo-rc is a top-level page leading to six other pages to show why the Park Canal, a section of the Limerick Navigation, should not be restored. This builds on some opinions expressed earlier in this discussion (and that means years ago). bjg

    • #803726
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      [attachment=0:33xtwip9]Goytre-Wharf marina wales.jpg[/attachment:33xtwip9][attachment=1:33xtwip9]troy lock marina.jpg[/attachment:33xtwip9]Interesting stuff on that link. However I don’t see the canal towpath walk ever being used to its fullest potential by walkers, cyclists etc. until something is done about the canal itself. It isnt particularly attractive in its present state and if you are going to invest in an upgrade why not go the whole hog and do the canal as well? You have’nt indicated as far as I can tell how much its likely to cost to make that stretch of canal fully operational again. Point taken on the feasibility of an upgrade of the canal for the purposes of providing an additional transport link with the university but there are also cost implications to having derelict sites and buildings like those around Troy Locke within the environs of a city centre. In my view the city should be thinking about using the canal to regenerate that site, and attract investment so that that its more self-sustaining. It would be a great spot for restaurants, cafs etc. but the canal, in my view needs first to become some kind of focal point or destination for that to happen. It needs to serve some purpose, to be functional in some way. You mentioned berthing around Troy Locke, given the popularity of narrow boat living in the UK would it be feasible to create a marina at Grove Island? Since people would be mooring on a semi-permanent basis navigating down the Abbey would not be a daily hazard. Narrow boats would bring some colour and life to that location. In the UK they form little communities etc.. and if the canal was renovated perhaps they could navigate the reaches as far as Doonass at their leisure…

    • #803728
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Dan: you have several separate strands there.

      First, I’m not sure what the canal towing-path’s “fullest potential” is or why it should have to reach that potential. It is already, as you know, much used; it seems to me that there are simple, cheap ways of increasing the level of use, and especially of using it as a tourist attraction. But the canal itself doesn’t need anything done about it: it just sits there, with nature and anglers and stuff. Most Irish canals are little used by boats. How many pass through Dublin, between the twelfth lock on the Royal and the twelfth on the Grand, each year? Very few. But that doesn’t stop people walking by them.

      I don’t know what it would cost to make the thing navigable. About ten years ago I was told that the cost of a lock was about one million euro, but much depends on the condition of the lock. Like those on the Shannon–Erne Waterway http://irishwaterwayshistory.com/abandoned-or-little-used-irish-waterways/waterways-of-ulster-and-thereabouts/lock-gear-on-the-junction-navigation-sew/, it might have to be dismantled piece by piece and rebuilt with a concrete lining and the old stonework on top. The bridge itself might need attention too. Then there’s dredging: it might be tricky on the canal, but it might be equally so on the river. I don’t know what condition the boatstream (the portion of the river close to the towing-path that would have been kept clear for boats) is in after eighty years. Dredging in an environmentally friendly way, without being attacked by anglers, and with no road access, might be difficult. But these are engineering matters, and I’m afraid I just don’t know the answers. I suspect that the total cost would be in the millions, and I do know that Waterways Ireland’s capital budget for all waterways is €4.5 million http://irishwaterwayshistory.com/2011/12/19/the-dahg-view-of-waterways/. My main point is that there is no conceivable return on money spent restoring the Park Canal; yours, I think, is that the canal would look nicer with boats on it and thus attract more people to visit it. Perhaps this solution http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/3D-artwork-makes-splash-village/story-12499357-detail/story.html would be cheaper.

      On the derelict sites, the abandoned buildings were being used until the powers-that-be put steel sheets over the doors and windows. And the buildings also look attractive with interesting painting on them. I’d like TPTB to add some information about the history of the harbour, but in the meantime it is nice to see that active citizens have been doing their bit with their spray cans. I agree that it would have been nice to have caffs and so on, but the site owners don’t seem to be interested in such developments and I doubt if there will be money for them for many years to come. And, of course, the harbour would be enhanced by having boats in it, and could have been a better destination than the Custom House, but (a) it would still be very hard to get in there from the Abbey River and (b) that too is not going to happen.

      You don’t have to go to Wales to find people living on boats. There are significant colonies at Lowtown, Sallins, Hazelhatch and (now to a much lesser extent) Shannon Harbour on the Grand, with a few on the Royal at Blanchardstown and some others scattered hither and yon around the waterways; I wrote about some of the issues here http://irishwaterwayshistory.com/rants/living-on-the-canals/. I don’t myself think that Grove Island would be a suitable location: while Goytre Wharf is on a canal, Grove Island is on a river with a large tidal range and very strong currents. I don’t think it’s a safe place for residential moorings — and I would be surprised if Waterways Ireland would permit any (further) narrowing of their navigation. The best place in Limerick for such moorings is in the dock: a large body of still water, little used. But whereas previous recessions saw increases in demand for cheap narrowboats to live on (some, perhaps, about to fail their BSS checks in the UK), the current surplus of housing may mean that living in a small steel box becomes less attractive.

      Cheap and cheerful improvements, not expensive engineering, are what we need. bjg

    • #803719
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Canal restoration slammed as waste of money (Limerick Post)

    • #803720
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hmmm . . . . I wonder could we waste the money on one of these amphibious busses instead?

      They could operate from the city centre, let say at the normal Arthur’s Quay bus stops.

      They could avoid difficult river stretches like around Mathew Bridge, Baals Bridge, the missing canal locks by entering/leaving the water via slip-ways.

      They could go down the estuary or up the canal to UL or up to Killaloe via the Abbey River (Ardnacrusha).

      I’m sure Councillor Gerry O’Loughlin would love to dive/navigate one.

      Heavy-Duty Amfibus (010)

      This model of the Amfibus is designed specifically for heavy use in rough waters. It has a powerful diesel hydraulic drive that allows it to reach speeds of 100 km/hr on land and 15 km/hr (8 knots) over water. When travelling in water, the Heavy-duty Amfibus deploys its massive Hamilton HJ322 waterjets. The coach can comfortably seat 50 passengers and guarantees the utmost passenger safety. The first Heavy-duty Amfibus is already in operation for Splashtours in Rotterdam, where it proves its ‘Meuse-worthiness’ on the river every day.

      City-Use Amfibus (020)

      This model is specially designed for travelling on smaller urban waterways like the canals in Amsterdam. The City-Use Amfibus, which seats 50 passengers, sits lower in the water – just 1.9 metres above the waterline, allowing it to travel easily through Amsterdam’s waterways – and includes such accommodations as a rooftop panorama deck and entertainment facilities. With its ultra-modern hybrid drive, it can sail on electric power and thus meet the so-called zero emissions standards. Rederij Lovers will premiere the first model and will be using it soon for daily tours through the Amsterdam canals.

      Dutch Amphibious Transport (Link)

    • #803721
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Amphibus – problem solved. Isn’t there a tourist trail in Dublin that uses amphibious vehicles like that?

      In respect of bjg’s comments. I suppose my main point is that Limerick could do with a really ambitious urban development plan that makes good use of its assets. The canal is an asset precisely because it is both an amenity for walkers, cyclists etc but also because it is a green finger of high habitat value that extends right into the heart of the city. My primary contention is that it is not being taken care of properly and while it is being used by some there are many people – and I mean locals rather than tourists – who wouldn’t dream of using it because they perceive of it as a somewhat uncared for and therefore unsafe place. Thats why I like the idea of bringing the canal itself back to life as a navigation channel and making it the focus of new development there. Bear in mind there are some large sites backing onto the canal behind O’Briens park that have great development potential for the future. Its all about making the city centre a desirable place in which to live in my view. But it requires imagation to see the possibilities and an appreciation of the wider picture when deciding what constitutes good investment. The American architect Daniel Burnham famously remarked in respect of urban development strategies “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.”

    • #803722
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      WW2 DUKWs are used in Dublin, Liverpool and elsewhere to provide amphibious tours. Passengers are driven around Dublin, wearing (for some reason) horned helmets like Vikings didn’t wear. The DUKW then drives to the slipway at the Grand Canal Outer Basin in Ringsend: I gather that the Maritime Safety Directorate won’t allow them on anything other than calm water. Last time I looked at them, a second DUKW was kept at the basin; half the passengers were transferred to the second DUKW to comply (I presume) with Maritime Safety Directorate limitations.

      If you want people to live in the city centre, why not concentrate your scarce resources on the city centre rather than on the canal? It seems that there is much derelict property in the city centre proper.

      If Daniel Burnham wants to pay for a restoration of the Park Canal, I’m sure he’s welcome to do so, but in the real world there is competition for scarce capital resources and your proposal, which has no obvious return on capital, does not, I’m afraid, deserve a high priority. Making the walking route safer does not benefit in any way from restoring navigation.

      bjg

    • #803723
      Anonymous
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    • #803724
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      bjg – I’m not sure whether you are responding in part to my post or to the recently issued comments of some city councillors. But I am talking about a long term strategy for urban development that looks at possible opportunities for expansion over the course of the next 25 years. That’s normally what’s meant by an urban development plan. I’m not concerned about tourists so much as I am the local citizens of Limerick and the quality of public open space available to them especially in the light of a faltering city centre growth strategy. And I would be amazed if LCC succeeded in securing funding for a canal refurb anytime before 2016, but even so I wouldn’t discourage them from trying, squeaky wheels and all of that.

    • #803725
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Dan S wrote:

      […] I am talking about a long term strategy for urban development that looks at possible opportunities for expansion over the course of the next 25 years. That’s normally what’s meant by an urban development plan. I’m not concerned about tourists so much as I am the local citizens of Limerick and the quality of public open space available to them especially in the light of a faltering city centre growth strategy. And I would be amazed if LCC succeeded in securing funding for a canal refurb anytime before 2016, but even so I wouldn’t discourage them from trying, squeaky wheels and all of that.

      If “strategy” means “dreaming”, “being totally impractical” and “ignoring economics”, then I see what you mean. I had always understood that strategy formulation began by examining things as they actually are, but perhaps urban developers do things differently.

      Happily, the bond markets will provide a corrective — and it will be well after 2016 before there is money to waste.

      bjg

    • #803729
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      For my generation of the1960s, city people swam in the Corbally baths or at the Shannon fields or at the Groody Bridge where the Groody entered the Shannon or at Plassey. We were even daft enough to splash about in the canal (bulls) near the railway bridge.

      But by the late 1970s the City Council had issued health warnings (E-Coli) for the Corbally Baths and the Shannon Fields. Housing estates and one-off housing mushroomed outside the city’s small jurisdiction like Shannon Banks, Burlington Chemical factory, Castletroy etc, etc.

      This might be partly addressed now by the sewage treatment plants built in last decade or so. The bottom line for me is that
      the two local authorities in Ennis and Dooradoyle are blissfully ignorant of the importance of this stretch of river as an amenity asset for the city. Simply because those Councillors never use it for recreation.

      In a way this recession is a blessing in disguise as it gives us a breathing space to strategically plan for the future. For example, the immediate area along both sides of the riverbank from Corbally to Plassey should be zoned and maintained as parkland (canal included). Future generations will thank us.

      Otherwise building developers will dictate matters, like they did below at Parteen and build houses along the river thus blocking all rights of way along the riverbank. The Limerick Northern Distributor Road will open up huge tracts of land that will see the city expanding on the Clare side of the river. Therefore better to dream a plan now for the next 25 years than have more nightmare problems for a city fucked up by three local authorities.

      Aerial view of city suburbs on the Clare side at Parteen (St. Thomas Island).

    • #803730
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      You may be right that the Limerick and Clare county councillors don’t use Plassey or the river for recreation, but the “Park Canal” branding does not really help if it leads folk to forget that the Park Canal was just one section of the Limerick Navigation, a navigation that was mostly in Co Clare. Even the “Lough Derg Way” branding doesn’t help, as Lough Derg is a long way off. AFAIK, there is nothing at the canal harbour in Limerick to show that the canalside walk is part of the same route as the Black Bridge, the canalside walk to Gillogue, the (usually inaccessible) section from there to Clonlara, the section of the O’Briensbridge looped walks from there to OBB itself, the section of OBB looped walk up to Parteen Villa Weir and the whole canal site at Killaloe. All part of what was probably the greatest inland waterways route ever in these islands, using the most advanced transport technology and the most efficient management of the 1830s. But local authorities seem to think only about what lies within their own borders. bjg

    • #803731
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Incidentally, what will the new road do to the Limerick Tunnel’s revenues — and the compensation to be paid by the NRA? bjg

    • #803732
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #803733
      Anonymous
      Inactive
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