At­tacks on boaters close Dublin links

Canal Boat - - News -

THE TWO MAIN canals into Dublin have been closed in­def­i­nitely by Wa­ter­ways Ire­land fol­low­ing at­tacks by youths on boats, boat crews and wa­ter­ways staff – but the In­land Wa­ter­ways As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land has slammed WI’s ac­tion as “over the top”.

Both the Grand Canal (the main route from Dublin to the Shan­non) and the Royal Canal (which also con­nects to the Shan­non but fur­ther north, and was re­opened in 2010 fol­low­ing restora­tion) have been shut by Wa­ter­ways Ire­land af­ter a cou­ple cruis­ing through the Grand Canal were pelted with stones by youths. WI said this was the lat­est of 28 in­ci­dents in four years, and its staff (who ac­com­pany all pas­sages) had faced ha­rass­ment and threats. How­ever, a spokesman for IWAI’s Dublin Branch felt that the author­ity had over­re­acted af­ter “a few in­ci­dents, some of them mi­nor”, sug­gest­ing that the “to­tally and ut­terly over the top” re­sponse was part of an “agenda” to stop peo­ple com­ing into the cap­i­tal amid con­cerns re­gard­ing over­crowd­ing in the city cen­tre.

WI re­sponded that a re­view was be­ing con­ducted to iden­tify any mea­sures to be put in place, that it hoped to re­open the Dublin lengths “at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity”, and that in the mean­time, dis­rup­tion should be “limited” as it had no cur­rent book­ings for pas­sages through the city – of which there are typ­i­cally around 70 per year.

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