News & Events

News & Events
  • Join us for the Big Summer Read 2018
    Join us for the Big Summer Read 2018
    We are delighted to be working with Libraries NI on the Big Summer Read 2018,the annual children’s reading event for everyone aged 15 yearsand under. During July and August there will be a programme of events and fun activities in libraries across Northern Ireland including our very own storytelling workshops and family exhibition.

    Waterways Ireland are working on two events, you can read more about them below.

     'Watery Tales and Mystical Stories'
    Discover the magical world of waterway tales with Irish Storyteller Seamus McCanny. Fantastic stories of fishy tales and monster pike will capture the imagination of young 
    and old. This event is suitable for children ages 7 years and older and booking is essential. You can book directly through the library.

    ​Enniskillen
    ​Monday 2 July
    ​2:00pm - 2:30pm
    ​Garvagh
    ​Thursday 19 July
    ​2:00pm - 2:30pm
    ​Magherafelt
    ​Tuesday 31 July
    ​11:30am - 12 noon
    ​Omagh
    ​Wednesday 4 July
    ​2:00pm - 2:30pm

    Waterways Ireland Family Exhibition

    Join Lucas and Lottie on their Waterways Adventures. The exhibition follows them as they explore inland waterways, including beautiful landscapes and wildlife wonders. 

    ​Falls Road
    ​Monday 2 July - Saturday 14 July
    ​Suffolk
    ​Saturday 21 July - Saturday 4 August
    ​Banbridge
    ​Saturday 12 August - Saturday 31 August

  • Island Explorers Programme 2018 returns to Devenish Island!
    Island Explorers Programme 2018 returns to Devenish Island!

    ​We were delighted to bring our Island Explorers Programme to the iconic Devenish Island on Lough Erne once again this year. The programme took place over a 3 day period in June and was free of charge for participating schools. This year we met 3 very enthusiastic primary school groups from St. Mary's PS Teemore, St. Paul's PS Irvinestown and St. Patrick's PS Mullanaskea. Each group took a boat trip aboard the MV Kestrel to the Island where they had the opportunity to take part in rowing, biodiversity and heritage workshops.

    Row the Erne's Claire Brogan and the crew introduced groups to rowing techniques which demonstrates the value of teamwork – Together Everyone Achieves More! Students undertook the physical activity of rowing a locally built boat, learned about the heritage of traditional boats on Lough Erne and gained an understanding of the importance of teamwork in manoeuvring a 33 foot wooden boat.

    Ecologist, Morag Donald, delved into the biodiversity of the ancient landscape. Morag workshop let the students explore the monastic island for themselves, discovering species, finding out where they live and why. Each group were extremely fortunate to even spot some kingfishers on route to the island each morning!

    Local Historian, Seamas Mac Annaidh, took each group through over 1,000 years of history, leading them a tour of the 6th century monastic site including the ruins of St Molaise's House, St Mary's Priory and the Great Church. Seamas had lots of questions to answer from each group, one inquisitive student wondered if the Monks had to do the transfer test!

    Well done to everybody who took part. Hope to see you on the waterways during summer break!

  • Celebrating Biodiversity Week 2018!
    Celebrating Biodiversity Week 2018!

    Waterways Ireland was delighted to be part of National Biodiversity Week once again as part of our Education Programme. Biodiversity Week is all about connecting people with nature and showing the fun and wonder that can be found outside. This national event took place from 19th to 27th May . To celebrate the event this year, Waterways Ireland ran a series of biodiversity workshops along the Grand Canal in Monasterevin and Milltown, the Shannon-Erne Waterway in Ballyconnell and the Suck in Ballinasloe.

    Ecologist Nuala Madigan delivered workshops in Monasterevin and Milltown where students and teachers from local schools discovered the vast array of wildlife that call the canal their home. They learned how to identify the trees along the canal banks. They also made colour dabs to investigate all the vibrant colours of the canal and even came face to face with some mini beasts! Groups met Ecologist Billy Flynn on the Shannon-Erne Waterway. They also looked at identifying the various plants & trees along the waterway and listening to the sounds of nature. Our very own Environment & Heritage Officer, Eamonn Horgan met groups in Ballinasloe where his pond dip introduced the students to lots of the invertebrates and plants living underwater! They also looked at identifying animals by examining their footprints.

    The workshops were very popular with over 400 students from 10 primary schools taking part. Feedback from the schools has been very positive with comments such as "Our pupils really loved the experience and came away with so many new and interesting facts about the canal" and " It was wonderful to see such a real learning experience available to our pupils and I’m hopeful the experience might be available to us again in the future". We look forward to Biodiversity Week 2019!

  • Waterways Wildlife Wonders!
    Waterways Wildlife Wonders!

    Our Waterways Wildlife Wonders event took place in Enniskillen on Friday 23rd of February. The event was part of Northern Ireland Science Festival 2018. The festival offered a stimulatingand wide range of events focusing on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.We were delighted to welcome groups from Moat PS Lisnaskea, Jones Memorial PS Enniskillen and St. Aidan's High School Derrylin to HQ. Ecologist, Billy Flynn, led biodiversity workshops where each group were challenged to identify some of the wildlife found along the Erne.

  • Engineers Week 2018 at Waterways Ireland!
    Engineers Week 2018 at Waterways Ireland!

    ​Engineers Week 2018 at Waterways Ireland was a great success again this year! A series of free site visits and workshops were on offer to primary school students at Headquarters in Enniskillen, at Monasterevin Lock and Lifting Bridge in Kildare and Lock 2 Ballyconnell in Cavan. Demand was extremely high with in excess of 225 students from 10 primary schools taking part.

    Led by our Engineering teams, students had the opportunity to see a smart card system of operating locks in Ballyconnell and learn a little bit about the automated mechanisms required to make this happen. They took part in engineering based workshops in Enniskillen and learned about lifting bridge, aqueduct and manual Lock operation in Monasterevin!

    Engineers Week took place from 24th February to 2nd March and is a programme of nationwide events with the aim of celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland. The theme for 2017 was 'Engineering Our Future' – aimed at igniting the imaginations of the next generation of engineers.

    Feedback from schools has been very positive with many expressing interest in attending future educational events hosted by Waterways Ireland. A number of students have stated they wanted to become Engineers in the future – so the event has inspired the next generation!

    Engineers Week is coordinated by Engineers Ireland and is a platform to highlight engineering as a career and recognise the importance of the continually evolving engineering profession. The event is an ideal opportunity to showcase the positive contribution made by Waterways Ireland to local communities. There are a range of engineering professionals including civil and mechanical engineers and technicians working within Waterways Ireland. The projects carried out on all seven navigations managed by the organisation are wide and varied. Projects include navigation operation, maintenance and development, structural design, project management, fleet management, development and maintenance of electro-hydraulically operated lock gates and accompanying smart card system and much more.

    Each year Waterways Ireland Engineers share their expertise by leading hands on workshops, giving presentations and hosting site visits with local school groups which always prove extremely popular, booking up well in advance.

  • Upcoming Events in Spring 2018!
    Upcoming Events in Spring 2018!

    ​Spring 2018 is off to a flying start with lots of events taking place at Waterways Ireland!

    Northern Ireland Science Festival runs from 15th - 25th February and our 'Waterways Wildlife Wonders' day takes place on Friday 23rd February as part of this event. Educational ecologist Billy Flynn who will be introducing participants to some of the living things found in the wild meadow at our Headquarters in Enniskillen. The focus will be on discovery so groups will work together to identify some aquatic creatures, learn to identify at least 3 plants found within the meadow and get familiar with some birdsongs and calls. Workshops are most suited to Key Stage 2 students.

    Engineers Week takes place from 24th February - 2nd March. Waterays Ireland is delighted to take part in this popular nationwide event once again in 2018. Plans are afoot to host site visits and workshops across the waterways with engineering teams from the Erne and Shannon-Erne already on board ignite the imaginations of the next generation of engineers! Be sure to contact our Education Officer, Manus Tiernan, at learning@waterwaysireland.org if you would like to get involved.

    Seachtain na Gailge runs from 1st - 17th March. This international Irish language festival and one of the biggest celebrations of our native language and culture. Waterways Ireland plans to take part in the event by offering fee school tours ás gaeilge from our Visitor Centre in March. Gaeilgeoir Cormac MacCashin will lead tours around Grand Canal Quay enthralling school groups with his knowledge of the Grand Canal.

    For more information on any of these events, to get involved or make a booking, please contact learning@waterwaysireland.org