Ballinamore-Ballyconnell Canal

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  • Aspects of Leitrim


The Ballinamore-Ballyconnell Canal was built to link the rivers Shannon and Erne. The River Erne flows through north-west Ireland.

Work on the canal began in 1846 after four years of planning. It was a huge project. At one stage, 7,000 men were working on the canal. Construction took sixteen years and the canal finally opened in 1860.

However, during the years it took to build the canal, another form of transport had taken over. Railways had become the most popular way to transport goods.

This was a blow for the Ballinamore-Ballyconnell Canal. It closed after just nine years. During that time it carried only eight boats - less than one a year!

In recent years, the canal has had a new lease of life. It re-opened in 1994 and is now a tourist attraction. It was renamed the Shannon-Erne Waterway. These days, cruisers and barges are a regular sight on the canal.