Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question which hasn’t been dealt with below we’d like to hear from you. Please email dublincitycanals@dublincity.ie

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which water bodies do Waterways Ireland look after?

A. Waterways Ireland has responsibility for the management, maintenance,
development and restoration of inland navigable waterways principally for recreational purposes. The waterways under the remit of the body are the Barrow Navigation, the Erne System, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation. Navigation issues along the canal are the responsibility of Waterways Ireland. You can contact Waterways Ireland’s Eastern Region office by phone on (01) 868 0148 or you can email info@waterwaysireland.org

Q. I have seen dumped rubbish / litter along the Canal, who do I contact?

A. Any instances of littering or dumping, either on the banks of the Canal or in the waterbody should be reported to Waterways Ireland for action. The Eastern Region office can be contacted by phone on (01) 868 0148 or you can email info@waterwaysireland.org. Be sure to provide as much information on the location and if emailing include a photograph if possible.  Responsibility for cleaning the footpaths, including the Green Route adjacent to Inchicore, rests with Dublin City Council and should be reported to the Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. What about items which are dumped in the water in the Canal?

A. Issues concerning the water in the Canal, including cleanliness are the responsibility of Waterways Ireland. The Eastern Region office can be contacted by phone on (01) 868 0148 or you can email info@waterwaysireland.org.

Q. There is a shopping trolley dumped in the River Dodder / River Liffey / River Tolka / River Poddle / River Carmac, who should I contact to have this removed?

A. Removal of debris from the City’s rivers is the responsibility of Dublin City Council and should be reported to the Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. I have seen a dead animal dumped in / alongside the Canal, who do I contact?  What about dead fish in the water?

A. Removal of dead animals, either on the banks of the Canal or in the waterbody should be reported to Waterways Ireland for action. The Eastern Region Office can be contacted by phone on (01) 868 0148 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie.  Dead birds are removed by the Department of Agriculture due to Avian Flu guidelines and should be reported to the Avian Flu Hotline on 1890 252 283.  Dead fish in the Canal should be reported to the Inland Fisheries Ireland Hotline on 1890 347 424.

Q. Who empties the bins along the Canal?  Who is responsible for their placement and maintenance?

A. This role is carried out by Dublin City Council with the agreement of Waterways Ireland as appropriate. Bins are emptied once per day (twice per day along some sections, e.g. at Portobello and around Baggot Street Bridge).   Queries relating to bins can be directed to Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. What about public lighting along the banks of the canal?  Is Dublin City Council responsible for its maintenance?

A. Yes, public lighting along the Canal and across the bridges is the responsibility of the City Council.  However, this excludes a small number of public lights in Charlotte Quay which Waterways Ireland maintain and public lights surrounding Grand Canal Quay which Dublin Docklands Development Authority are responsible for.  Queries relating to public lighting along the canal can be directed to Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. Who cuts the grass along the Canal?  What about tree pruning?

A. Responsibility for the banks of the Canal rests with Waterways Ireland.  This includes litter picking from grassed areas and grass cutting.  Waterways Ireland is also responsible for the pruning of trees which are on its property, namely the banks and towpaths along the Canal. Queries relating to grass cutting or tree pruning should be reported to Waterways Ireland for action. The Eastern Region office can be contacted by phone on (01) 868 0148 or you can email dublincanals@waterwaysireland.org

Q. What about the bridges over the Canal?  There is graffiti on a bridge, who should I report this to?

A. Ownership and responsibility for the bridges is shared between Dublin City Council and Waterways Ireland. Some of the bridges are in charge of the City Council while others are in charge of Waterways Ireland. Notwithstanding this, the City Council will investigate and resolve any queries in relation to the structural soundness of all the bridges.  Graffiti will be removed by the body responsible for the particular bridge and queries should be directed to Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. Who maintains the life buoys along the Canal?

A. There are currently 17 buoys along the Grand Canal from Hanover Quay to Black Horse Inn (Davitt Road).  They are supplied by Dublin City Council and inspected three times weekly by the National Safety Council’s Water Safety Section. The National Water Safety Inspectors carry a supply of buoys with them which in turn are replenished by Dublin City Council’s Sports Section as required.  All life buoy queries should be directed to Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. I have seen a swan/duck/duckling trapped in a lock chamber. Who do I contact to have it released?

A. Very often swans, ducks and ducklings will enter lock chambers on the canal and then become trapped.  If you see a bird trapped in the lock chamber you can phone the lock-keeper for the area who will be able to open the lock gates and release the bird.  Contact details below;

Location Dock Superintendent / Lock Keeper Contact Number Day Off
Ringsend Basin Mark Clarke           (P) (087) 258 4713 Friday
Circular Line Stephen Brierley (086) 380 5657 Wednesday
Locks 1 – 6 Ray Moore (086) 827 8025 Tuesday
Locks 7 – 11 John O’Brien (087) 268 3723 Thursday

Q. Can you swim in the Grand Canal or in Grand Canal Dock?

A. No, while the water quality in the Grand Canal is excellent for providing a habitat to many types of aquatic species it often does not meet the higher standards required for bathing. It is also against the law under the Canals Act 1988 to ‘bathe or swim in any lock, harbour or dock on the canals’.

Q. The water level in the canal has dropped / flooded the banks, who do I contact?

A. Occasionally, the water levels in the canal will be lowered to allow for maintenance work to be carried out. When the water level is being lowered consultation is always sought from Inland Fisheries Ireland and the National Park and Wildlife Service to ensure that any effect on flora and fauna in the canal is minimised. Where the water level is to be lowered for a prolonged period or drained entirely, Inland Fisheries Ireland will relocate fish stock to another location on the canal to ensure their survival. If you think the lowering of the water level is unplanned or see fish in distress please contact the local lock-keeper. In extreme weather conditions, the water level can rise and over-top the banks of the Canal please contact the local lock-keeper who will adjust the water level as required.  Contact details below;

Location Dock Superintendent / Lock Keeper Contact Number Day Off
Ringsend Basin Mark Clarke           (P) (087) 258 4713 Friday
Circular Line Stephen Brierley (086) 380 5657 Wednesday
Locks 1 – 6 Ray Moore (086) 827 8025 Tuesday
Locks 7 – 11 John O’Brien (087) 268 3723 Thursday

Q. Is it possible to cycle on the canal towpaths?

A. In some sections the Grand Canal towpath is not suitable for cycling due to narrow widths and rough surfaces. However considerable work has been undertaken to provide suitable cycling facilities either on the canal banks or on adjacent roadways. Dublin City Council has provided the ‘Premium Cycle Route’ which will take you from Grand Canal Dock to Portobello on a cycle lane adjacent to the canal.  Dublin City Council is responsible for maintaining the surface of this cycle route and also keeping it litter free.  Queries regarding the resurfacing or the cleaning of the Premium Cycle Route should be directed to Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. Who is responsible for placing and maintaining benches along the Canal?

A. Dublin City Council, with the agreement of Waterways Ireland, makes decisions on the location and number of seats and benches along the Canal and is also responsible for their maintenance.
Queries regarding benches should be directed to Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. Who is responsible for repairing potholes in the towpath?

A. Waterways Ireland is responsible for the maintenance of the towpath surface including the Green Route adjacent to Inchicore. Waterways Ireland’s Eastern Region office can be contacted by phone on (01) 868 0148 or you can email info@waterwaysireland.org.

Q. Who is responsible for entrance gates leading onto the canal?

A. Waterways Ireland is responsible for their installation and maintenance. If you require vehicle access onto the canal bank please contact the Eastern Region office on (01) 868 0148 or you can email info@waterwaysireland.org.

Q. I have seen a jetty which needs some repairs, who should I contact?

A. Waterways Ireland is responsible for the maintenance of jetties and moorings in the Canal and queries can be directed to Waterways Ireland’s Eastern Region office can be contacted by phone on (01) 868 0148 or you can email info@waterwaysireland.org.

Q. Do I need a permit to fish in the Canal?

A. There is no permit required to fish in the canal system.  Inland Fisheries Ireland operates a fish stocking programme at a number of locations on the Canal throughout the year.  In addition there are a number of fishing stands located along the canal system.

Q. Who owns lock keepers houses?

A. Most lock keepers houses have now passed into private ownership.  If you need to report an issue with any structure or building located on the canal bank please contact Waterway’s Ireland
Eastern Region office on (01) 868 0148 or you can email info@waterwaysireland.org.

Q. Who maintains boundary walls and railings adjacent to the Canal?

A. Responsibility for the boundary walls and railings is shared between Dublin City Council, Waterways Ireland, Luas and Irish Rail. Most of the boundary walls / railings are in charge of either the City Council or Waterways Ireland. Notwithstanding this, the City Council will investigate and resolve any queries in relation to the structural soundness of boundary walls and railings adjacent to the Canal.  You can contact Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

Q. There is a broken sign beside the Canal, who should I report this to?

A. Both Dublin City Council and Waterways Ireland install and maintain signage along the Canal.  If the sign has the Waterways Irelands logo (for example lock number plates, place names and no swimming signs) on it please report it to the Eastern Region office by phone on 01 868 0148 or you can email info@waterwaysireland.org.  Dublin City Council has installed some directional signage at the Luas tracks adjacent to Kilmainham and is responsible for their maintenance.  You can contact Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre on (01) 222 2222 or you can email customerservices@dublincity.ie

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