Fun and Adventure as Royal Canal Blueway Opens for Business

Waterways Ireland’s Chief Executive, Dawn Livingstone and Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council Cllr John Dolan officially launched the Royal Canal Blueway today (23 July 2018) in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Mullingar Harbour.

(Click the images to enlarge them)

The launch of the Royal Canal Blueway is just one element of work by Waterways Ireland in partnership with Westmeath, Meath, Longford, Kildare, Fingal and Dublin City Councils to develop and launch the Royal Canal as a major tourist destination.  2019 will see the completion of the Royal Canal Greenway which at 144 km will be the longest walking/cycling trail in Ireland, stretching from Dublin City to Cloondara, Co Longford where the Royal Canal meets the majestic River Shannon.

Waterways Ireland’s Chief Executive, Dawn Livingstone said, “I am delighted to see this Blueway launched in Mullingar.  It offers a new opportunity to get active outdoors for local people as well as visitors to the area.  The Royal Canal celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2017 and this type of development prepares these historic assets for 21st century use.”

The Vice President of Mullingar Chamber, Brigid Manley said “Creations such as the Blueway and the Royal Canal amenities ultimately promote economic development and the Chamber is delighted that the shared vision and co-operation of all the stakeholders involved has led to this creation.  It offers greater exposure for Mullingar as a destination and as a place to do business, live and work and we look forward to advancing business and leisure together.”

In his address Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Cllr John Dolan, said, “The Royal Canal is a wonderful amenity crossing our county, with a wealth of unique heritage and natural beauty.  The development of walking, cycling and water activities along he Canal adds significant value to our visitor offering.” 

The Royal Canal Blueway at Mullingar offers 23 km of tranquil, peaceful paddling, walking and cycling trails west from the Activity Zone in Mullingar Harbour to pretty Coolnahay Harbour and east to McNead’s Bridge.  

As part of the Blueway an Activity Zone has been established in Mullingar Harbour.  The Activity Zone is the ideal location to try out canoeing, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding and offers family fun days out or for individuals and groups who want to explore Mullingar, and further afield, from the water. 

The first Blueway to launch was the Shannon Blueway in October 2014, followed by the Shannon-Erne Blueway in 2016.  In March this year the Lough Derg Blueway extended the network on the Shannon.  Waterways Ireland’s network of Blueways now provide over 300 km of paddling and 100’s km of walking and cycling trails in the heart of rural Ireland.  Check out for more information on activities and how to participate.






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