Inland Waterways

Inland Waterways Content

Ireland’s inland waterways are important parts of our transport and industrial heritage. They hold aesthetic, recreational and spiritual values, as well as important habitats for many forms of wildlife.

Waterway Corridor Studies

Ireland’s inland waterways do not exist in isolation of the people and heritage on their banks. Recognising their importance to so many aspects of Irish life, the Heritage Council along has undertaken Waterway Corridor Studies on the Shannon, as well as for parts of the Grand and Royal Canals.

The fundamental motivation for the Waterway Corridor Studies is to encourage recognition of the significance, value and sensitivity of the waterway corridor as a geographic entity in socio-economic and heritage terms. The key finding from the studies is that greater co-ordination between the many agencies involved in waterways management is needed, along with a strategic approach to the management of waterways. The Waterway Corridor Studies can be used as a tool to achieve this.

Together the Studies total over 1850 pages of research, analysis and recommendations for the sustainable development of the Shannon and sections of the Grand and Royal Canals. This special section on Waterway Corridor Studies will let you review and download these studies and use new tools (see below) to access the recommendations that the Studies suggest. 

Click to find out more about this initiative in the FAQ section >

Click to Search the Database Using Key Words

Search the online database of policies and recommendations using keywords, categories, study and location.

The Waterway Corridor Studies Database Update

During the summer of 2009, the Heritage Council reviewed the progress on the recommendations from all five Waterway Corridor Studies. Organisations were contacted for an update on the proposed actions. The responses received have been inputted into the database, in a summarised form in some sections.  It is important to note that there was no individual body driving forward the recommendations and actions in the studies. In addition, organisations beyond the Steering Groups were not contacted after the completion of each study in regard to the actions that were attributed to them.


WI: Waterways Ireland
Offaly: Offaly County Council
Galway: Galway County Council
North Tipp: North Tipperary County Council
Clare: Clare County Council
Longford: Longford Local Authorities
Roscommon: Roscommon County Council
Westmeath: Westmeath County Council
CFB: Central Fisheries Board
DoEHLG: Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government
RPGs: Regional Planning Guidelines
CDP: County Development Plan
NIAH: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage

Click to Explore the Interactive Map of the Corridor Studies

Using the interactive map of the Shannon, Grand and Royal Canals, to see the natural and built heritage sites along their banks and to access the Corridor Studies and recommendations for towns, villages and other areas.

Click to Download the Corridor Studies PDFs

You can access each study and their valuable baseline surveys of the natural, archaeological, and architectural heritage of the Shannon, as well as planning, socio-economic and landscape documents, and the original study maps.

The studies are also available separately on CDs which you can request from the Inland Waterways officer.