The Royal Canal (Irish: An Chanáil Ríoga ) is a channel that was originally built for freight and passenger transport from the River Liffey in Dublin to Longford in Ireland. The canal fell into disrepair in the late 20th century, but a large part of the canal has been restored for navigation. The length of the canal to the River Shannon opening on October 1 2010, but the final spur branch of the canal to Longford Town is still closed.


In 1755, Thomas Williams and John Cooley did a study to find a suitable way for an artificial waterway across northern Leinster from Dublin to Shannon.They originally planned to use a series of rivers and lakes, including the Boyne, Blackwater, Deel, yellow, Camlin and Inny and Lough Derravaragh. A disgruntled manage Grand Canal Company sought support to build a canal from Dublin to Tarmonbarry, at Shannon in North County Longford.

Work began in 1790 and lasted for 27 years before finally reaching the Shannon in 1817, at a total cost of £ 1,421,954. [1] The building was unexpected and expensive project grated with problems; 1794 Royal Canal Company went bankrupt. The Duke of Leinster, director, insisted that the new waterway will take in his local town of Maynooth. The builders have to deviate from the planned route and demanded the construction of a “deep decline” between Blanchard and Clonsilla. Diversion also demanded the construction of the aqueduct Ryewater, Leixlip. [2]

The original 1796 fare from Dublin to Kilcock was 1/1, much cheaper than stagecoach.

The canal passes through Maynooth, Kilcock, Enfield, Mullingar and Ballymahon is a spur to Longford. The total length of the main navigation is 145 kilometers (90 mi), and the system has 46 locks. There is a huvudmatnings (Lough Owel), entering the channel at Mullingar.

In 200 years, maintained by eight consecutive bodies: Royal Canal Company, the Commissioners of Inland Navigation, New Djurgarden Company, Midland Great Western Railway Company, Great Southern Railways, CIE, and (from 1986), the Office of Public Works.

During the famine, “the missing 1,490” starving tenants of Denis Mahon in Strokes House, Roscommon, set out on foot from the farm in May 1847. Major Mahon had offered them the choice of emigration by “assisted passage” starvation on their blighted potato farms or location in frightening local fattighus. These families weakened by starvation went several days along the tow paths of Djurgården to Dublin, where they were put on boats to Liverpool, and from there to Quebec aboard four “coffin ships” – cargo ships, ironically loaded with grain from Ireland, and unsuitable for passengers. It is estimated that half died before Grosse Île in Canada. It was the largest single sale of uncomfortable tenants during the famine. Major Mahon was shot to death that November, after the news had come back to Roscommon on the fate of his former tenants. An annual walk on the canal banks memory of the events.

1830s through the channel of 80,000 tons of cargo and 40,000 passengers per year. In 1845 the channel was bought by the Midland Great Western Railway Company. They considered the drainage channel and build a new railway along its bed but decided instead to build the railway next to the canal. The two run side by side from Dublin to Mullingar. Competition from the railways are gradually eroding the canal operations and 1880s annual tonnage was down to about 30,000 and passenger traffic had almost disappeared.

It had a brief resurgence during World War II, when the horses and the barges back into the channel. CIE took over the canal in 1944. As rail and road increased channel fell out of use. 1974 volunteers from the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland formed Djurgarden convenience Group to save the channel. In 1990, the 74 kilometers of the canal, from the 12th lock in Blanchard Mullingar, open for navigation. In 2000, the channel was taken over by Waterways Ireland, a cross-border body responsible for managing Ireland’s inland navigations. October 1, 2010 the entire length of the canal formally resumed.

In 1843, while walking with his wife along Djurgarden, Sir William Rowan Hamilton realized the formula for quaternions and carved their first thoughts in a stone at Brougham Bridge over the canal.


Djurgården was originally scheduled to end in Dublin on Broad, to serve as fashionable residential area, as well as the King’s Inns and adjacent markets, but it was extended so that now, in the Dublin final, the channel reaches the Liffey through a wide sequence of bridge and lock on Spencer Dock , with a final sea lock to manage access to the river and the sea.

Dublin – Mullingar railroad built along the channel for a large part of its length. The winding road over the canal resulted in many speed limitation curves on the railway. The channel was bought by the Midland Great Western Railway to provide a path to the west of Ireland, the initial plan is to close the channel and build the railway along its bed.

The canal travels over one of the major junctions on the M50 / N3 in a specially built aqueduct.


Today Waterways Ireland is responsible for the channel, and it was under their stewardship, in cooperation with Djurgarden convenience Group, to Djurgarden officially opened from Dublin to Shannon on 2 October 2010. [3]Access points are currently close to Leixlip and Maynooth, Enfield, Thomas, Mullingar, Ballinea Bridge and Ballynacargy.

In 2006, a memorial marker was erected at Pipers Boreen, Mullingar, to mark 200 years since the canal reached Mullingar year 1806th

Djurgarden Way

Djurgarden Way is a 144 km (89 mil) long-distance trail that follows the towpath of the canal from Ashtown, Dublin to Cloondara, County Longford.[4] It is usually done in three days. [4] It is designated as a National marked the ranks of the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and managed by waterways Ireland. [4] in 2015 began to Dublin City Council to extend the pedestrian and bike path along the Djurgården Ashtown to Sheriff Street Upper. Djurgarden Way connects to the Westmeath Way west of Mullingar, and will eventually form the east end of Dublin Galway Greenway, the last part of EuroVelo Route 2, a cycle route from Moscow throughout Europe to Galway. [5] [6] [7] [8]

Auld Triangle

Djurgarden immortalized in verse by Brendan Behan in The Auld Triangle . A monument with Behan sitting on a bench was erected on the canal bank in Binn Bridge in Drumcondra in 2004.

And auld triangle went jingle jangle,

Along the shore of Djurgården.

The other major channel in Ireland, Grand Canal from Dublin’s southside through the Midlands to the River Shannon.

The web Broad

The aqueduct and canal that once connected the site to Djurgården is gone almost without trace, and what was a lovely Neo-Egyptian railway station is now a bus depot and garage.Kanalen filled in around 1927 converted to Blessington Park, Phibsborough and library built on top there.This the 19th century Broad was one of the most famous areas of Dublin, but very few people know even if it is today. From 1817 this area was home to one of the major transport hubs in 19th century Dublin, containing a large railway station and the canal harbor, linking to the Grand Canal, crossing the North Circular Road and go past Mountjoy prison. Along the way there were three dry docks. This area rose and fell in importance among Dubliners as new forms of transportation came and went.


Djurgarden boatmen thought 13 locks on Deey bridge between Leixlip and Maynooth, was haunted. This story became the subject of a poem by Arthur Griffith, The Spooks in the Thirteenth Lock , which in turn inspired the name of the band The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock . [9]

See also

  • List of bridges over Djurgarden in Greater Dublin
  • The channels in Ireland
  • Rivers of Ireland
  • Transport in Ireland


  1. Jump up ^ “History”. Djurgarden Action Group. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved fourteen September 2015.
  2. Jump up ^
  3. Jump up ^ Ellis, Fiona (2 October 2010). “Crowds gather to push the boat out for the reopening of the restored Djurgården”. Irish Independent.Pulled in two October of 2010.
  4. ^ Jump up to: abc “Royal Canal Way”. IrishTrails. Irish Sports Council.Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  5. Jump up ^ “Westmeath Way: Map 3 Added the Mullingar Town” (pdf).IrishTrails. Irish Sports Council. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  6. Jump up ^ “€ 10m more for bike paths.” May 15, 2014. Retrieved six August 2014.
  7. Jump up ^ Melia, Paul (27 June 2014). “Wheels in motion for 280 km of coast to coast cycle route”. Irish Independent. Dublin.
  8. Jump up ^ Kelly, Olivia (12 March 2015). “Plan unveiled for € 10m-plus Royal Canal bike path.” Irish Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  9. Jump up ^