Park Canal Restoration Project

The Park Canal Restoration Project was proposed in 2005 with the aim of creating an attractive link between the grounds of the University of Limerick and the medieval city centre. While the restoration has not been completed to date (2010), part of the Park Canal has been refurbished. The canal itself has not yet been made navigable but there are good paths along both banks that create an attractive walking route.

“The first phase of the Canal Restoration Project will allow its banks to be opened up for leisure and amenity purposes, while providing the catalyst for a variety of potential canalside development projects, such as a sports museum, craft shops, some residential, cafes and parks. Other initiatives should include the introduction of facilities for watercraft, and the creation of canal bank walks and cycling paths.” (Limerick City Council website)

The Park Canal Restoration Project forms a major part of the overall Riverside City Project, which creates a new vision for the city that is centred on the canal and River Shannon. Completion of the project would see improvements to water ecology and quality, canalside landscape and the quality of public spaces, revitalising this area of the city. It would also improve The Lough Derg Way, a walking route that extends 16 miles along the canal in Limerick City as far as Killalow.

History of the Canal

The Park Canal was constructed in 1757-1758, linking the River Shannon with the Abbey River. In its heyday it was an invaluable transport system for heavy goods, particularly Guinness from the former Guinness warehouse close to Lock Quay. The goods were transported from Limerick to Shannon, and from there to Dublin via the Grand Canal. It took four days for the goods to reach Dublin, which was considered an ideal time for the Guinness to mellow. With the modernisation of transport and the building of the hydroelectric power station at Ardnacrusha in 1929, the canal soon became defunct and fell into disrepair.

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