Civil rights

IRBOA: Oppose Waterways Ireland proposed draft Bye-Laws 2024, Dont Empty our Canals!

Petition is directed to
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O'Brien Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform Paschal Donohoe Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and HeritageMalcolm Noonan
891 supporters

Collection finished

891 supporters

Collection finished

  1. Launched September 2023
  2. Collection finished
  3. Submitted
  4. Dialog with recipient
  5. Decision

02/07/2024, 23:32

This Petition has be updated to reflect the Phase 2 Public Consultation that is currently open from the 15th of January to the 26th of February 2024 for the Draft Bye-Laws.

New title: IRBOA: Oppose Waterways Ireland proposed draft Bye-Laws 2023,2024, Dont Empty our Canals!

New petition description:

The Draft Revisions to the Shannon Navigation Bye-laws and Grand & Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation Bye-laws by Waterways IrelandIreland, run the risk of removing boats from the navigation and restricting access to a public amenity for all users.

Waterways Ireland areclosed backPhase again with another set of proposed Draft Bye-Laws that do not put user requirements, local communities or tourism at the centre1 of the regulations.Public SimilarConsultation setson the 27th of proposalsOctober were2023 putand forwardon the 15th of January this year opened Phase 2 for Public Consultation. With over 500 for the Shannon and over 700 submissions for the Canals officially received by Waterways Ireland in 2009Phase 1. The level of anger and infrustration 2014over the proposed introduction of these Bye-laws was clear. 

See the Phase 1 Report and werePhase rejected2 byBye-Laws membershere:

While some limited amendments have been considered, IRBOA believes the Phase 2 Bye-laws still contain the same threat to the future of DailIreland’s Eireannbeautiful inland waterways as a public amenity.

  • The introduction of Authorised Officers capable of issuing on both occasions.They also risk people's homes, their livelihoods and the vibrant communities of traditional canal dwellers in Ireland's houseboat communities. They seek to introduce “Rangers” who can issue fixed penaltyspot fines of €150 for non-compliance ofwith the Bye-laws, many of which are poorly defined and subjective.Bye-laws. These fines aremay be issued to not only for those on a boat, but walkers, cyclists, fishermen, kayakers and horse riders (they are also proposing to prohibitrestrict horses from the towpaths),towpaths). askingThese Officers will also have the power to ask for theiryour name, address and ID. Those issued fines will have no right of appeal other than the District Courts.Courts. 
  • The newintroduction Bye-lawsof seeka €200 annual registration fee for all boats on the Shannon Navigation and introduction of a 60-day visitor's pass to dictate who, other than the boatShannon owner,Navigation can live onat a private boat. Owners would also be prohibited from letting or subletting their boats. No other privately owned dwellings in the Republiccost of Ireland are subject to such restrictions by a public body.€40. We feel thatbelieve this is discriminatory.a stealth tax imposed by Waterways Ireland haveand notwill publishedsignificantly theirreduce accountsthe activity on Ireland’s busiest waterway. 
  • Leisure boats will no longer be allowed within the greater Dublin Area(M50 to Sallins on the Grand and M50 to Kilcock on the Royal Canal roughly) for more than 10 calendar days per month. We believe this will create dead areas on our canals with little or no leisure boat traffic.
  • No boats at all allowed to moor or enter the yearscanals 2021between the 12th locks and 2022Grand (pleaseCanal referDock in Dublin without permission, fundamentally ending any navigation on these Canals.
  • They are asking for the public to pay massive permit fee increases (betweenup 400to and 2000% increases,1198%, depending on the area where the boat is located)located and yet they have not been forthcoming in their own accounts.Annual Reports and Accounts. This is unacceptable. (NewPlease bye-lawssee cancurrent bepublished uploadedreports fromhere:

  • No,description sectionof 38basic includesfacilities, feesexact table)mooring locations, numbers and the terms and conditions of these new permits. Waterways Ireland needs to address the current lack of basic facilities and provide more clarity on locations before enacting these proposed Bye-Laws. 

Please help IRBOA oppose these Bye-Laws by signing the petition. ThereThese needs to be a better way forward than coming back withrevised Draft Bye-Laws that are a very similar version of previous ones that have been twice rejected by Dail Eireann. The new Draft Bye-Lawsstill do not put user requirements, local communities, or tourism at the centre of the regulations. Waterways Ireland is a publicly funded organisation with no board of directors and therefore no independent oversight. They have failed to publish any audited accounts for over 2 years now. We believe they should not be given such sweeping legislative power until their own house is put in better working order.

Signatures at the time of the change: 645

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