The Emerald Isle

Royal Canal almost encircles. The Grand Canal is well supplied with companies hiring out pleasure cruisers and narrowboats from many of the towns and villages along its course, and one of them, Tullamore, the county town of Offaly, actually owed much of its 19th-century prosperity to the Grand Canal, which reached the town in 1798. In County Cavan, a third great canal system has taken shape in recent years. This is the realization of an old dream to link the Shannon and Erne rivers with a canal and thus create a major waterway system in the Midlands. The scheme is centered on Ballyconnell in northwestern Cavan, where the Woodford River is a link in the scheme, and Ballinamore in County Leitrim. The Shannon-Erne Waterway has been open since 1993, providing a system of rivers and linking canals to transport waterborne holidaymakers through Cavan. 159 The Emerald Isle