Waterways Ireland is one of six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British-Irish Agreement of 1998. It is the cross-border navigational authority responsible for the management, maintenance, development and promotion of over 1000 km of inland navigable waterways, principally for recreational purposes. The waterways under its remit are the: -
· Barrow Navigation
· Lower Bann Navigation
· Royal Canal
· Erne System
· Shannon-Erne Waterway
· Grand Canal
· Shannon Navigation
In July 2007, the remit of Waterways Ireland was extended by the North South Ministerial Council to include responsibility for the reconstruction of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to Clones, and following restoration for its management, maintenance and development, principally for recreational purposes. Office headquarters are located in Enniskillen, with regional offices in Carrick-on-Shannon, Dublin and Scarriff.
Waterways Ireland's programme delivery is planned under a three year Corporate Plan and yearly Business Plans approved by the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in Ireland.
In 2020 Waterways Ireland initiated the development of a 10year Strategy. Work is progressing and a public consultation will take place before the Strategy is finalised and sent for approval.