History of the Waterways

The history of the inland waterways in Ireland is the history of canal building and the drive to make the waterways navigable for commercial use.

Historical Map


Engineering Collection image

Engineering Collection

At the heart of the archive are the original drawings tracing the development of the waterways from their conception in the eighteenth century through to their construction and their ongoing maintenance during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
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Ian Bath Collection image

Ian Bath Collection

The story of the Royal Canal from its conception to its reopening in 2010 was documented by Dr. Ian Bath in this collection of images, originally captured on transparencies.
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The Hayden Collection image

The Hayden Collection

In the 1980s, Charlie Hayden of the Royal Canal Amenity Group, shot a series of films. Rallies and events were beautifully captured on film. Shot on smaller reels, they were played on bigger reels for screenings at the end of each year.
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Stories & Exhibitions