Galway Waterways Projects

Galway 2020 and Beyond

A core principle of our involvement in 2020 is collaboration, partnership and community participation. Our plan is to restore the canals and river systems to a position of prominence and pride in the cultural life of Galway; to raise awareness and reimagine the waterways as a collective centre-point in the city’s life and identity; and to create a vision in which the rivers and canals are passed down to the next generation in a much more improved state than present. The Galway 2020 designation has advanced projects and ideas that will leave a lasting legacy for the community. Using the strengths and skills of our community and corporate relationships, it will bolster our goals of managed blue and green spaces, recreational activities and improved ecological health of the waterways.

River Celebration
In an effort to raise awareness and celebrate the rivers and canals of Galway, a major celebration will be planned for 2020. Ideas include:

  • Rowing & Kayaking Regattas
  • Canal Swim
  • Poetry, Song & Art Competitions and/or Presentations
  • ‘Concert on the Claddagh’ on the banks of the Claddagh Basin
  • Neighborhood Block Party

Inspirational Video
The video will provide a picture of the current condition of the waterways while offering possibilities for the future.

Documentary Video: The Story of Galway’s Waterways Restoration
The video will document activities and events held over a two-year period which will contribute to the celebration of Galway 2020.  

Waterways Information Centre (Walk-in)

  • Location for classes, demonstrations & talks
  • Exhibition of maps, photos and displays
  • Videos of the waterways
  • Meeting place for environmental organisations & other community groups
  • Centre of operations

Educational Programmes
Phase 1: Create lesson plans and supporting materials for 6thclass primary school children and Transition year secondary school students. Phase 2: Create lesson kits (built on the idea of an EU project) that teach freshwater ecology based on the life of an otter, kingfisher, salmon or trout.

City of Water & Light Displays
Feature the rivers, canals, basins and harbours by highlighting them with light installations. Ideas include:

  • Underwater lighting
  • Bridge lighting
  • Lighted Fountain Displays
  • Showcase Decorative Canal walls

Three-book Commemorative Book Series

  • Publishing Project Manager Copy editor will oversee the production and compilation of the book series
  • Artistic Guide Book Comprised of 32 paintings of Galway waterways scenes submitted by local artists
  • Seven Walks Book Each walk tells a story of history and nature and the community’s desire to conserve and preserve Galway’s major natural resource.
  • Galway City River & Canal Walk
  • University River Corrib Walk
  • Terryland Forest Park Walk
  • Merlin Woods & Meadows Walk
  • Barna Bog Walk
  • Rinville Walk: Oranmore
  • Corribeside Walk: Moycullen
  • Ruins Art Book Photographs and descriptions of numerous stone structures throughout the city. Examples include:
  • Stone arches of Mill races (under buildings)
  • Terryland Castle
  • Menlo Castle
  • Bollingbroke Fort
  • Former Iron Foundry’s Works (Garda car park)
  • Forthill Cemetary wall
  • Railroad pillars

European Partner Programmes
This plan proposes partnerships, projects and funding in the following areas:

  • Directorate General (DG) for Education, Youth, Sport & Culture Promote projects in education and training; projects in sports; Europe for Citizens.
  • DG for Industry & Entrepreneurship Support the development and promotion of transnational thematic tourism products. Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME)
  • DG for Environment
Undertake a project in river basin management (derived from the Croatian project, Drava Life) which aims to create a best practice example of river restoration.

Chicago Partnership
Establishment of a river-based friendship with the City of Chicago. Utilise their experience of reclaiming and restoring the downtown Chicago river and providing a civic amenity and tourist attraction.  

Adopt a River
Invite like-minded groups and organisations to “Adopt” a river, canal or a portion of a waterway. “Adopting” a segment of waterway translates to keeping an eye on a section of waterway and reporting on rubbish accumulation, anti-social behaviour, inappropriate growth, danger or negative phenomenon. The adopter may submit proposals for beautification or other improvement.  

Mindfulness Trail
The theme for the path will be Harmony – harmony with nature, the cosmos, humankind, etc. The trail will be located between Corrib Village and the riverbank as far as Menlo Castle. It will offer stunning views and an opportunity for quiet reflection in a peaceful and attractive setting.  

Heritage, Nature & Informational Signage
Examples of significant points of interest along the waterways that would benefit from signage and/or information:

  • Washing Steps next to the Eglinton Canal at Parkavera
  • Garden Walls of the Presentation and Poor Clare convents
  • Regulating weir from 1850
  • Mill locations and products produced therein
  • Wildlife and vegetation information

Annual Photo Competitions
An amateur photo competition will be organised each year in cooperation with the Connacht Tribune leading up to and including 2020. Inaugural year theme will be: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.  An exhibition of the winning photos will be mounted in 2020.

Project Administrator
In order to ensure reliable and timely project oversight, financial control and follow-up, a dedicated project administrator will be needed.

Futures Animation
Creation of a life-like picture of the future vision for the waterways. The animation would provide a culmination of previously-shared ideas. Examples of ideas include:

  • Kayaking Slalom courses
  • Cycling paths
  • Sculpture trails
  • New boardwalks
  • Museums

Visioning Process
Map out a vision for maintenance and development of the waterways. Management of such a large and widely-used resource can be difficult due to the number of users and stakeholders. By gathering stakeholders in one place for a workshop, issues can be debated and a vision can become action.

Team-Building Field Trip
Create a collective vision by those with the financial, administrative and legal power to effect change. Provide a shared-experience for key waterways decision makers in order to make ideas for restoration and preservation more tangible. The trip will demonstrate how project goals were achieved and illustrate how the communities benefit from their implementation. Field trip locations being considered include:

  • The Ballinderry River Trust, Cookstown, NI
  • The Connswater Greenway Project & Titanic Quarter, Belfast, NI
  • The Moy River Trust, Ballina, ROI

Annual Hydro-Electric Conference
A Hydro-Electric Conference hosted by NUIG will be held yearly and will eventually lead to the implementation of hydro-electric power generation on the Corrib. The conference will raise interest in the potential to create usable hydro-electric energy from the River Corrib and its network of rivers and canals. It will provide an opportunity to discuss pros and cons of hydro-power generation and the installation of at least one hydro-electric generating unit on the waterways by 2020.

Comic book Series
A comic book series will be created and developed around historic Galway events using the rivers as a constant presence throughout the series. Teenagers will be invited to attend a workshop in comic book production conducted by a local comic book author and illustrator. A competition will be launched at the workshop to create the best story line for the selected historical incidents. A second workshop will follow in comic book formatting and illustration. A judging panel will award the printing of the best comic books from each period to the winners. The comic books will be printed locally and distributed to local schools as part of the 2020 promotional effort. Examples of historical events include:

  • Viking invasions
  • Norman conquests
  • Cromwellian Sieges
  • Williamite wars

Galway’s ‘Game of Thrones’
A computer game will be created that is based on the history of Galway and centered on the rivers that run through the city. The game idea is so named due to the city’s turbulent history. Examples of historical events include:

  • Feuding Gaelic Clans
  • Viking raids
  • Domination of Anglo-Normans
  • Emergence of the 14 Tribes
  • Cromwellian Siege
  • War of Independence
  • Building of the State
  • Admission to the European Union
Close Menu