Decline of the Boyne Canal

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  • Aspects of Co. Meath

The Canal in Decline

The River Boyne Company took control of the canal in April 1800. The company earned money from charging tolls on cargoes. Some of the money earned was spent on improvements and upkeep. However, the toll money was never enough to keep the company in profit or even to pay the debts incurred through building the canal in the first place. A general decline in trade and agriculture in the late 1800s also made it difficult to keep the canal up and running.

Gradually, railways took over the transportation of people and goods from the network of canals. Railways were more efficient and profitable. The Boyne Canal fell into serious disrepair and has been derelict since the 1920s.

Recently, the canal's towpath has become popular for walks. Perhaps some day the canal will be repaired and made accessible again for boating trips and holidays.