Ireland » Royal Canal | Ireland

Goes north of Grand Canal into the upper Shannon

Royal Canal | Ireland: Characteristics & Overview

Rating of waterway

Length of waterway: 145 km
Number of locks: 46
Lock dimensions: 21.00 x 3.90
Max. depth: 1.20
Max. headroom: 3.05
Degree of difficulty: Some experience is an advantage
Requirements: No license asked for hired boats
Character of waterway: back to nature, old waterway, to be rediscovered
Profile of waterway: Hardly ever used
Facilities groundside: Sufficiant

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Waterway has access to:

Grand Canal & Barrow Line | Ireland
Royal Canal | Ireland
North Sea

Royal - Canal
is the northern link between Dublin, over Mulinar, to the Shannon. It has to surmount much more difficult grounds then the Grand Canal but this makes navigating it more interesting.  Till 2010 the canal would be navigable all through again. The first boat hirers have already come too!


1789: Aid sought to build a canal from Dublin to Tarmonbarrx reviving the old plans. Parliament grants £66'000 to add the £134'000 promised by subsribers. The charter of the Royal Canal enrolled.
1812: Company's debt rises to £862'000 despite governement grants and loans amounting to £143'000. Parliament investigates into the company's affairs and discoussions about the line of the canal to the Shannon.
1817: Canal completet to the Shannon at Tarmonbarry.
1830's: Average annual tonnage carried 80'000 tons and 40'000 passengers.
1845: The entire consern is purchased ba the Midland Great Western Railway Company with a view to using the properity alongside the canal to lay a railway to the west.
1880's: Average tonnage reduced to 30'000 tons.
1939-1945: Brief revival of trade during the Emergency Years.
1951: Last bye-trader, James Leech of Killucan, ceased to oprate.
1974: The IWAI "Save the Royal Canal" campaign began and the Royal Canal Amenity Group was formed.
1986: Ownership transfered ti The Office of Public Works.
2000: Ownership transfered to Waterways Ireland.
2010: Main Line due to be reopened between Spencer Dock, Dublin and the River Shannon.

Royal Canal Boat Hirers

Royal Canal Cruisers
12th Lock, Castleknock - Dublin

Locaboat Holidays


Places of interest

Castletown House, Celbridge
Carton House, Maynooth
Maynooth Castle; Maynooth
Larchhill Arcadian Gardens, Larchil
Clonard Heritage Trail, Clonard
Mulligars Arts Centre, Mount Street, Mulligar
Belvedere House, Gardens & Parks, Mulligar
Corlea Trackways Visitor Center, Keenagh

Royal Canal Navigation Information

Homepage Waterways Ireland

IWAI  |  Guide to the Royal Canal

Guide to the Royal Canal of Ireland Produced by the Waterways Service with IWA Ireland. A spiral bound guidebook in the slim format similar to the Waterways World guides. Full details of the route, restored and under restoration along with facilities available to the boater and walker. Published: 2011. 74 pages. 140 x 297 mm. (SOFTBACK)

Ptize: € 9.90  |  Booking