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Posted: 21/02/2022

Waterways Through Time

New Waterways Ireland podcast series explores the curiosities of our canals, rivers, and lakes

Have you ever wondered how Ireland's rivers got their names, how the canal network came into being, or what a lockkeeper does? These are just some facets of Ireland's navigable waterways explored in a new podcast series from Waterways Ireland called "Waterways Through Time". Presented by historian Turtle Bunbury, the eight-part series takes the listener through the history and archaeology of Ireland's waterways, including the canal network; how rivers and lakes were named; the archaeological legacy of the Mesolithic; Neolithic and Bronze Age periods; the geological origins of the rivers and lakes and the land through which the canals were cut. Ireland's early Christian settlements along the inland waterways are also explored. The series also features interviews with lockkeepers on the Barrow navigation, the Shannon, and the Grand Canal.

This is the first podcast series commissioned by Waterways Ireland.  It complements other resources in the organisation's digital archive. Commenting, Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland, John McDonagh said: "Ireland has a rich inland water heritage.  Through  this series, we are placing this heritage centre stage to perpetuate these unique and inspiring insights.  Waterways Ireland has a wonderful digital archive featuring thousands of drawings, sketches, and records of the Irish inland waterways, dating from the 18th century to the present day. The podcast series complements our oral history programme and the 'Stories from the Waterways' film series, which are available on the Waterways Ireland website. We  encourage people of all ages to listen to these podcasts and to visit our digital archive, which will add to their enjoyment of our waterways."

Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD added: "I would like to commend Waterways Ireland on another wonderful project that captures Ireland's unique waterways heritage. This series is an important oral history tool that records the guests' stories and memories and makes them easily accessible to the public."

The podcast series was developed and presented by well-known historian Turtle Bunbury. He said: "The series contains a mix of stories, historical events and contemporary interviews with people associated with the waterways. This was a fascinating project on which to work. It was truly a pleasure to research and develop it. Chatting to those connected to the waterways and weaving together the various myths, legends and historical facts to tell the stories of the waterways has been a wonderful experience that gives a new perspective on our inland waterway heritage."

The podcast series is now available on the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive and on all podcast platforms.


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