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The River Shannon and Inland Waterways of Ireland

In the 1800's the River Shannon was one of the principal highways of Ireland, linked north and south by the River, and to Dublin via the Grand and the Royal Canal's. It was the means by which heavy goods were shipped from factory to customer, and a very essential link in the commercial and transport lifeblood of Ireland.

The Shannon Barge was designed specifically to fit within the lock gates of the various canals and with the draft which enabled it navigate the Shannon and Canals successfully. These barges no longer ply their commercial trade, but have instead been converted into River Homes by their owners, many of whom still use them as their summer homes while travelling up and down the Shannon to the various Regattas and sailing Events.

The entire network of Inland Waterways of Ireland is very extensive (14,500kms or which nearly 10,000kms are navigable by motorised craft) for a country of our size and population, and there are many organisations which have been established to manage and preserve the Waterways in the interests of both the users, and the many people who simply enjoy the scenery and beauty of those waterways whether for walking or other leisure uses. If you are interested in learning more about our Waterways and the key organisations involved in their use, you can click on the links below to explore them further:

  • Inland Waterways Association of Ireland - - a volunteer body dedicated to preserving the waterways
  • Waterways Ireland - - the Governmental Body (jointly with Northern Ireland) responsible for the management of the waterways of Ireland principally for leisure use

    Sailing on the Shannon

    Sailing has flourished on the River Shannon, and especially on Loughs Ree and Derg, for hundreds of years. Initially a means of transport, it gradually became a social event. In the eighteenth century, travel by water was the safest and most convenient way. Therefore if you were one of those who could say that "one lived in a fine house on the shores of a lake or (Cork) harbour", it was likely that "one" kept a yacht as a means of going on house visits.

    This very quickly evolved into rendezvous for picnics, joint manoeuvres and ultimately competition. Two of these clubs still surviving are the Lough Ree Yacht Club and Lough Derg Yacht Club.

    Sailing craft, until the arrival of the SOD, had been just that: crafted by hand and eye. Each builder learned undefined and incorporated improvements in each successive boat. Yacht designers did the same, and the sport of yacht racing therefore evolved into a handicap sport as the boats were all different. One Design classes were created to provide more evenly matched racing.

    Sailing at LDYC

    There are several classes of boats which are sailed at LDYC. Links to these Classes are set out below, please click on the links to access the web pages specific to those classes:

    for Juniors (Children) the follow classes are sailed (as well as joining in on the classes above):

    • Optimist
    • Topper
    • Mirror
    • 420
    • Laser (4.7 and Radial)

    LDYC is primarily a dinghy sailing club, with both fresh and non tidal waters making for easy access to the water, and to the sailing and racing areas.

    Last updated 06:40 on 9 May 2024

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