Posted: 28/08/2020

COVID-19 Update 28 August 2020

As we begin to see a rise in the number of cases of Covid-19, we would like to remind waterways users to remain vigilant and enjoy the waterways in a safe manner.  We can all contribute to that by –

•   Observing social distancing on towpaths, jetties and harbours

•   Continuing to implement hand-washing and other protocols including the wearing of masks where the government guidelines require it 

•   Taking care of our own litter and bringing it home or depositing it in an appropriate receptacle, if available. Follow the Leave No Trace Principles


We ask you to refer to your relevant representative body for guidance on the most appropriate health and safety precautions and advice.




We ask all boaters to continue to observe the bye-laws. Demand is very high for all public mooring locations and services at present so compliance with the 48hr mooring rule on the Erne and the 5 day mooring rule on the Shannon is being enforced. Please note that;


·       Pumpout out moorings must be kept clear to facilitate access.

·       Lock Opening Hours

·       Shannon Navigation locks are open 9am – 8.30pm from Mon to Sat and 9am – 6pm on Sundays

·       Shannon-Erne Waterway locks are open 9am-8pm daily

·       Lock passage will continue to be free until further notice on the Shannon and Shannon-Erne Waterway. A smart card will be needed on the Shannon-Erne Waterway to operate the lock but no units will be deducted.

·       When on jetties please be aware of other users. Wait or move aside to allow others to pass at a safe distance.

·       Toilets and showers in the Waterways Ireland managed service blocks on the Shannon and Shannon-Erne Waterway are open and are being maintained on a more frequent and intensive basis. 


To report an issue with a pumpout, service block or service please  click here


Canal Towpaths and walks

If planning to use our towpaths please:

·       Observe social distancing protocols - keep a distance of at least 2m (6 feet) away from other people;

·       Limit use – do not take part in physical activity on towpaths which have the potential for large numbers, where social distancing cannot be observed comfortably;

·       As towpaths in some places can be narrow, when you pass someone, please make sure you use the full width of the towpath, keep moving, and stand aside to allow others to pass, in single file, when necessary;

·       If you can't avoid passing a moored boat please keep as far away from it as possible and pass quickly by;

·       Be mindful of others and act always with consideration and with respect and observe the leave no trace principles and protect our environment, let's keep the outdoors litter free;

·       Observe all health etiquettes when on the towpaths.


Anti-Litter Campaign 
There has been a significant increase in the amount of litter being left behind in the countryside, the mountains, along our navigations and on beaches.  Waterways Ireland is working co-operatively with National Parks and Wildlife Service, Fáilte Ireland, OPW, Department of Rural and Community Development, Sport Ireland, Leave No Trace and Coillte on an anti-litter campaign which is running across national radio and on social media throughout August. A portion of Waterways Ireland resources, both our staff and our budget, are spent each year on cleaning up litter.  Follow the Leave No Trace Principles when you are in the outdoors.  

We recognise the situation is constantly changing and we ask for your patience during this time. Any updates will be communicated via the issuance of Marine Notices and through our Waterways Ireland Social Media channels and website.

While our staff are working from home, they are available by phone during normal working hours. Should you need our assistance please do contact us by email at or by phone  

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