Shannon-Erne 25

The Shannon-Erne Waterway completed its 25th year of operation on Thursday 23rd May 2019: the start of a year of community, heritage and fun events all along the waterway linking Lough Erne in Fermanagh, through Co Cavan and into the River Shannon in Co Leitrim, taking in many towns and villages along its 63km length.

The largest cross-border infrastructure project of its time, the works involved the restoration of the locks, dredging of the navigation channel,  the installation of an electro-hydraulic lock operating system and the use of smart cards to operate the locks and service blocks which were placed at six locations along its length.

The Shannon-Erne Waterway has welcomed 1000's of local and international boaters over the years, and introduced northern boaters to the south and southern boaters to the north, all bringing an economic dividend to places like Leitrim Village, Keshcarrigan, Ballinamore and Ballyconnell.

On the 23rd May the first of the years events, the Paddles Up Transition Year Programme had a group of 100 students crossing the border on a 10km kayak paddle from the South to the North. 

Further Events and Activities:

  •  Heritage Boats visit to the Ballinamore Festival,  11-18 August
  • Exhibitions of heritage materials  in Ballinamore Library 1-10 August
  • Oral history recordings with people who have lives, worked, played and enjoyed the waterway over these 25 years.  To get involved, make a contribution or recommend people to talk to visit

The rolling programme will have events added throughout the year.

Communities and activity clubs along the Shannon–Erne Waterway interested in organising events between 23 May 2019 and 23 May 2020 are asked to contact Waterways Ireland to be added to the events calendar (email to 

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