Waterways Ireland | About Us | Heritage

About Us


Heritage Plan 2016 – 2020

This document provides, a strategic framework for the integration of built, natural and cultural heritage into the future management of our waterways. We envisage this plan will provide a platform over the next 5 years for meaningful and honest engagement with our stakeholders, whom all have the shared goal of protecting this treasured heritage asset. You can view the Waterways Ireland Heritage Plan 2016 - 2020 by clicking here

Guidelines for the Conservation of Built Heritage

Waterways Ireland have prepared a set of guidelines for the conservation of built heritage and repair and maintenance of heritage structures on the inland waterways of Ireland.

This set of guidelines was commissioned in 2015 by Waterways Ireland as one of two documents which aim to address the issue of built heritage conservation in the structures of the navigable waterways and other properties under their remit. This document sets out guidelines for the conservation of the historic built fabric and features of Waterways Ireland. Click here to read in full.

Community Heritage and Biodiversity Grant Programme

Waterways Ireland is about to commence consultation on our next Heritage & Biodiversity Plan 2030 and we are committed to the ongoing €20,000 annual fund for the Community Heritage and Biodiversity Grant Programme. The aim of this scheme is to support projects that compliment or fulfil the delivery of the Waterways Ireland Heritage Plan. A copy of the first Heritage Plan can be downloaded at www.waterwaysireland.org. The new Plan will commence public consultation in 2024 but the overarching commitment to built, natural and cultural heritage remains.

Applications will be considered from communities seeking assistance for projects related to inland waterways' heritage including data collection & research, good heritage practice in managing sites, collections, objects, etc. Click here to read more and download the application form.

​Stories from the Waterways

Stories from the Waterways is a initiative of the Waterways Ireland Heritage Plan 2016-2020 and is a collaboration with the Local Authority Heritage Officer Network and importantly, the local communities along our waterways.  It showcases the cultural, environmental and social connections with these shared heritage assets and highlights how they foster a sense of place.

To view any of the Stories from the Waterways, visit here.

Virtual Canal Experience

Experience the rich heritage tapestry of our inland waterways in this fully immersive virtual reality experience.  Available to watch online or download to your VR Headset or other smart device.

To learn more, visit here.

Community Engagement Toolkit for Inland Waterways

This Toolkit was researched and developed by Robert Kelly as part of a Master of Science in Sustainable Resource Management (Policy and Practice) from the National University of Ireland, Galway and the University of Limerick. Waterways Ireland, through their Heritage Plan 2016-2020, recognised the need of community groups to acquire knowledge and guidance on how best to leverage the rich natural and built asset of their local waterway to animate their local community.

Click here to find out more. 

​Waters and Communities Award

Waterways Ireland has partnered with Inland Fisheries Ireland and Local Authority Waters and Communities Office to create a Tidy Towns Special Award.  The Award is called the Waters and Communities Award and it was established to recognise communities who are taking positive steps towards raising awareness and showing appreciation of their local rivers, canals, lakes, streams, coast and ground water. Read more about this award and how to apply here.

Heritage Surveys

Please click the link to find out more.

Built Heritage Surveys
​Ecological Surveys
​Heritage Boat Survey

Waterways and Biodiversity: A Guide for Community Groups

Ireland's Inland Waterways are home to rich biodiversity. Waterways Ireland has produced this publication to enhance education and awareness about what makes Ireland's inland waterways so important for wildlife. This guide has been developed for community groups that might be taking on practical work on, around or near, a waterway but could also be useful for school groups or sports groups who visit the waterways or anyone who has n interest in nature and wildlife. Click here to read the guide.

​AIE (Access to Information on the Environment)

In line with the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 – 2014 and the associated obligations placed on public authorities  Waterways Ireland is required to publish information on access to information on the environment on our website.

To view details on these regulations click here. 

 In January 2014, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government requested returns of AIE statistics from public authorities who are subject to the AIE Regulations. Our AIE Statistics can be viewed by clicking the links below.

AIE Statistics 2016

Details of Waterways Ireland Heritage Projects

Click on each of the links below to find out more...

​Heritage Activity Sheets

Waterways Ireland have designed a series of children's activity worksheets to help you discover the heritage of our beautiful waterways. Dive into the history and stories behind each of the navigations using puzzles, word searches and more... Click on the name of the navigation below to download that particular activity worksheet or click here to download the entire booklet.

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