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Posted: 18/02/2022

President Michael D Higgins pays tribute to work of Waterways Ireland

President Michael D Higgins was treated to a display of a wealth of waterways-related artefacts from Waterways Ireland’s archive when he visited the North South body’s headquarters in Enniskillen today (18.02.22). The president was accompanied on the visit by his wife, Mrs Sabina Higgins. They were briefed on the organisation’s work by chief executive, John McDonagh, and also met with a number of personnel. Waterways Ireland archivist, Nuala Reilly gave the President and Mrs Higgins a brief history of each item. These included the engineer’s record of a project at Meelick, Co Galway, a Shannon Toll Book and some images from the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive. Launched last year, the digital archive provides global access to more than 3,000 drawings, sketches, maps, artefacts, and records of Ireland’s inland waterways.


Commenting, President Higgins said: “As an all-island body, Waterways Ireland is succeeding in its quest to reawaken Ireland’s waterways – they are truly a symbol of vitality in our shared culture and have become more appreciated in recent years. It was gratifying to play a part in this rejuvenation, as Minister with responsibility for our inland waterways in the mid-1990s and more recently as President of Ireland.”


Chief executive of Waterways Ireland, John McDonagh added: “On behalf of Waterways Ireland, I was honoured to welcome the President and Mrs Sabina Higgins to our headquarters today. President Higgins, when Minister of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht, and the Islands, set out a vision for the future of the inland waterways, one that preserved and enhanced their heritage and culture. I wish to thank the President for his enduring support and passion for the waterways.”  


He added: “I was delighted to share with President Higgins and Mrs Higgins today, the achievements of Waterways Ireland since its establishment in 1999, and how we intend to build on his vision, through our second Heritage Plan, Climate Action Plan, and our new vision for the future.”

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