Waterways Ireland



Waterways Ireland is one of six North/South Implementation Bodies, established under the British/Irish Agreement 1999.  It is one of the two North/South Implementation Bodies that are co-sponsored by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DCHG) in the South and the Department for Infrastructure (Dfl) in the North. The other Implementation Body is An Foras Teanga, which is comprised of two agencies, the Ulster Scots Agency and Foras na Gaeilge.

Waterways Ireland operates under the policy direction of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) and the Ministers of the Sponsor Departments, and is accountable to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Houses of the Oireachtas

Its headquarters are located in Enniskillen Co. Fermanagh, and it has regional offices in Dublin, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, and Scarriff, Co. Clare.

Waterways Ireland has responsibility for approximately 1000km of navigable inland waterways, North and South. This includes the management, maintenance, development, and restoration of the inland navigable waterway system throughout the island, principally for recreational purposes.

The waterways are as follows:

  • Royal and Grand Canals (including the Barrow Navigation)
  • Shannon-Erne Waterway
  • Lower Bann Navigation
  • Shannon Navigation, and
  • Erne System.

Waterways Ireland promotes and markets the waterways to encourage greater recreational use, including the marketing and development of the tourism and commercial potential of the inland waterways it is responsible for.

Ulster Canal

In 2007, the NSMC extended Waterways Ireland remit to include responsibility for the restoration of the section of the Ulster Canal between Clones and Upper Lough Erne and following restoration its management, maintenance and development principally for recreational purposes. Further information on the Ulster Canal is available in the business case and press release at the following links:

Ulster Canal Business Case 2015

Minister Humphreys secures Government approval to restore Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to Castle Saunderson – (Press Release)

Further Government investment confirmed to develop 13km cross-border stretch of Ulster Canal – (Press Release)


Funding is provided to Waterways Ireland by DCHG in the South and Dfl in the North. Current expenditure is funded 85% by this State and 15% by Northern Ireland while capital expenditure is met directly by the relevant jurisdiction

Further Information and Contact Details

Further information on the Body is available via Waterways Ireland website www.waterwaysireland.org .


Contact Details

Waterways Ireland
2 Sligo Road
Co Fermanagh
BT74 7JY

Tel: +44 (0)28 6632 3004

Fax: +44 (0)28 6634 6237






Waterways Ireland www.waterwaysireland.org
Department for Infrastructure https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/
North/South Ministerial Council www.northsouthministerialcouncil.org
Foras na Gaeilge www.forasnagaeilge.ie
The Ulster-Scots Agency www.ulsterscotsagency.com




Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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