The proposed planning to the Barrow towpath is going through a pre-validation stage and it is hoped that a formal submission will be made to Kildare, Laois and Carlow County Councils  by the end of January 2017. The public information days will be rescheduled to coincide with the submission date.

The planning submission is an application for the upgrading of the existing navigation towpath which is also a National Way-marked Way along the Grand Canal – Barrow Line and the River Barrow.  It will provide a multi-use shared leisure route connecting Lowtown in County Kildare to St. Mullins in County Carlow. The trail will follow through the towns of Rathangan, Monasterevin, Vicarstown, Athy, Carlow, Leighlinbridge, Bagenalstown, Goresbridge, Graiguenamanagh and St. Mullins. Once the work is complete on the 115km route, Waterways Ireland will work with the local business and tourism providers to develop the route into a Blueway, a 'slow' tourism product, focusing on leisure activities. ​
















Stages in the Process:

​Stage One:​Undertake Environment Reports (EIA & AA)
​Stage Two:​Develop Draft Designs
​Stage Three:​Public Engagement
​Stage Four:​Review Feedback, Finalise Designs & Environment Assessments
​Stage Five: (Current Stage) ​Submit for Planning Permission
​Stage Six:​Public Engagement
​Stage Seven:​Seek Funding
​Stage Eight:​Implement Project


Planning Applications

The planning applications may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the three planning authorities during their public opening hours. In addition, the file may be accessed online through the planning authority's e-planning portals. 

To view the planning applications visit




Public Information Evenings:

Waterways Ireland will be hosting a series of Public Information Sessions where engineering, environmental and marketing staff will be in attendance to share the plans for each area so that everyone has the opportunity to be fully aware of what is planned before submitting their comments to the planning authorities.

These events are free and open to all.  Dates and venues for the next public information days will be publicised once formal validation of the application has taken place.




Making a Submission

Once the planners "validate" the application, a 5-week period commences, known as "Determination", during this 5 week period, the public have their opportunity to comment on or object to the application.

Planning enquires must be submitted with the prescribed fee (€20.00) to the relevant local authority and must be within the determination period (5 weeks), this period commences on the date the planning is validated by the local authorities.

A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to your relevant planning authority:

- Carlow County Council

- Kildare County Council

- Laois County Council


Background Reports

​Barrow Product Development Study:Barrow Product Development Study
​National Trail Office Guidelines:Guide to Planning and Developing Recreational Trails in Ireland
​Barrow Heritage Study:​​​Download​