Limerick Marina

Limerick Marina ,Limerick City .

Limerick Marina ,Limerick City .

It was a great pleasure last Friday to witness a flotilla of boats/barges making their way through the River Shannon to moor in the Limerick Marina.  The Marina lies idle for so much of the year ,what a pity that some of these problems could be not be solved as it’s business potential would be enormous to the region.

On speaking to one of the people on one of  the boats I found out that they had ventured from above Killaloe made their way through the locks at the ESB Power Station in Ardnacrusha ,Limerick City and out the Shannon Estuary ,stopped off in the Kilrush Marina and then on to Loop Head. An incredible scenic journey I was told.A site i was told to look up is the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland for further information

See my post here from the limerickblogger last year on the Limerick Marina which the Limerick Leader did a news item on.

The Limerick Marina was opened in July 2001 by then Minister for Arts Heritage Gaeltacht, Síle de Valera, one of it’s primary objectives would be that an inland waterway would be opened up from the Mouth of the Shannon Estuary all the way to Lough Erne in Northern Ireland, for the first time ever Boats would be able to berth in the heart of Limerick City.
It was an expensive project that does not seem to have recuperated its expenditure. The majority of the time the moorings remain empty, there are up to 28 facilities available. I would hope that in 2008 that the relevant bodies involved would do a lot more to promote this waterway/marina, it is a very sad reflection to not seeing the Marina been used to it’s maximum potential, this project is part of the Shannon–Limerick corridor which has a high concentration of tourism and is a gateway to Ireland’s Western Seaboard.
I was glad today to come across a video on You Tube of a boat trip from Killaloe to the heart of Limerick City and using the mooring to dock there, let’s hope in 2008 we see more docking in the marina.

Video courtesy of harrysheehy.

A pictorial record of a trip with Pat Lysaght from Limerick Marina up to Ardnacrusha, please click on the link below.

A Project Beset with Problems…See reference below

Navigating the New Waterway
This waterway is a unique boating experience. However it is recommended that inexperienced boat users get expert advice and assistance before using this waterway. Before using the new navigation system it is advisable to plan your trip well in advance and take certain precautions regarding issues such as safety, security, timing etc. A minimum of three hours is required to get from Killaloe to Limerick and this may be longer depending on tides, level of rainfall and operation of turbines at Ardnacrusha there can be considerably strong current in the Tailrace and Abbey River. Depending on the level of tide and the airdraft of your craft some of the bridges in the Abbey River may be impassable. You will need to refer to the relevant navigation charts and it is strongly recommended that you contract Waterways Ireland before navigating the waterway. You will need to make contact with Shannon Rowing Club for Sarsfield Lock in Limerick City and ESB for Ardnacrusha Lock/information on operation of turbines.
Courtesy of lmdpo

Limerick City.
All users of the Abbey River are reminded of the necessity to contact Ardnacrusha Power Station (061-344061) to ascertain how many turbines are operating before commencing a voyage in this stretch of the navigation. It is advised NOT to transit the river when more than ONE turbine is running due to the increased velocity of water in the navigation. In addition, increased water flows are to be expected following spells of heavy rainfall.
Inspector of Navigation
13 Oct 2006
Tel: +353 (0) 90 6494232
Fax: +353 (0) 90 6494147

Conclusion: tourism in the Shannon estuary CZM
As an overall entity, the Shannon estuary does not have international-level attractions. Quality of scenic landscape is not such as would make the estuary a distinctive tourism destination in its own right. Much of the existing tourism activity near the estuary faces away from the river, and is not dependent on it.

However, the estuary does contain significant tourism activity in particular parts, such as the West Clare peninsula and the N69. Consequently, the CZM should play close attention to the tourism impacts of any recommended developments. Also, there may be possibilities worth pursuing in potential estuary-wide initiatives, such as boating/sailing, or integrated touring routes (N69/Kilimer ferry/West Clare). There may also be possibilities for cruise ships, linking stops on the estuary with the Burren and Killarney.
Courtesy of Shannon Development may 2002.


  1. mushy Says:
    January 6th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

There are a number of reasons for the lack of use. Firstly,it can be a bit dangerous coming downriver when the Ardnacrusha turbines as a boat can be swept towards the weir. Again,going up the stretch in front of Barringtons against the turbines isn’t possible for smaller boats. There’s no fuel available and people would be nervous about leaving a boat there as it’s not as secure as you’d like. That being said I’ve been from Killaloe,through the City and on to Kilrush and beyond and it’s a terrific trip. I think the Marina would be better sited in the Docks area.

  1. tippryan Says:
    January 6th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

There was a lot of money spent on this project,” millions “, with some of the best expertise on board ? ,it seems that there was a complete lack of vision in resolving some the problems from the beginning , mentioned in the post by Mushy is “Ardnacrusha ” .There was a project which was build against all odds and it succeeded ,international awards ,back in the days of no computers or computer aided design etc..

The situation is that now we are left with an empty marina,with no solutions coming ,tourism is business,Killaloe is thriving up river.

“Quality of scenic landscape is not such as would make the estuary a distinctive tourism destination in its own right.” as quoted in a shannon development in May 2002.

The people who compiled this above must have never driven out the route glin,foynes,loghiel ,tarbert etc it is amazing the scenery to drive by ,I cannot imagine what it would be like in a boat, better again.

  1. mushy Says:
    January 7th, 2008 at 1:21 am

Tippryan,the problem with the building of the terminal was that it was designed and built without any request for input or advice from the type of people who would be expected to use it. A pity,because properly done it would be a great asset to the City.

  1. Michael Says:
    January 7th, 2008 at 11:40 am

DOCKS are structures which are built at the waters edge and usually extend into the lake. Docks interact / interfere with natural processes and can, depending on the design, enhance or destroy fish habitat. Floating docks rise and fall with the tide so that the level of your boat is always relatively the same to the pier.

  1. CologneMike Says:
    January 7th, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Excellent post Tippryan! Enjoyed the video, never realised that passing Ardnacrusha involved 2 levels of locks to get from the tail-race up to the head-race canal.

The Limerick Main Drainage: Excavations on the bed of the Abbey River.

  1. tippryan Says:
    January 8th, 2008 at 9:15 am

Glad you liked it, It was very interesting especially what i found out about how it all works in Ardnacrusha.

Thanks for the link ,good reading there.

  1. Kindred Spirit Says:
    January 20th, 2008 at 5:35 pm

In response to Tipp Ryan’s PM on forum, this is a reply I have posted there.

What could be done about Limerick’s waterways if people had vision.

The first thing that is needed is a mechanism to control the flow of water from the Ardnacrusha Power Station in the Abbey River. Therefore a lock should be positioned in the Abbey shortly after its exit from the Shannon. This in one fell swoop means that the pontoons at George’s Quay become usable although they would still be subject to problems of security.

Limerick Marina behind the Customs’ House will only ever be a holding marina or a short stay marina. It is not a marina in the normal sense.

The first suggestion in order to visually improve the Shannon at Limerick would be to construct a weir around about Sarsfield Bridge, which would mean that we would never again see the mud, rocks and detritus at low tide upstream of the bridge. This would not be popular with kayakers at the Curraghgower Falls but an everpresent expanse of water in this area would be visually attractive in complementing King John’s Castle and the Treaty Stone for the tourist trade.

At O’Callaghan’s Strand, Harvey’s Quay, Bishop’s Quay and Steamboat Quay i.e. between Sarsfield Bridge and Shannon Bridge, the river should be dredged deeply as the quay walls go down a great distance under the mud. Pontoons with a width of at least 30 feet should run on both sides for this complete section of the river. These pontoon areas should be utilized for a café culture, e.g. parasols, chairs, drinks, ice-creams etc., so that they are not for the exclusive use of boats. City life would then be extended out onto the water, merging the two. This would inject vibrancy into the area similar to what other European cities with big rivers have done to their quaysides. It would cost very little as well. Trip boats could use these pontoons to give trips down the river. The Clarion Hotel, down from the Shannon Bridge, would benefit from a pontoon outside its doors as well.

Probably at some stage, Limerick Docks will be converted into a marina. If this happens, then a good percentage of the berths should be designated visitor berths to encourage tourism from the Inland Waterways, Lough Derg etc., and up from Kilrush.

Should a marina in the docks not materialize, then a proper, normal marina, with re-fueling facilities etc., could be sited further down at Corcanree.

























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