Documentary on One

A Royal Journey

Richard Nairn makes a bicentenial journey from the beginning to the end of the longest canal in Ireland - the Royal Canal (First broadcast 1989)

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A Royal Journey

The Royal Canal (An Chanáil Ríoga) is a canal originally built for freight and passenger transportation from the River Liffey at Dublin to the River Shannon at Cloondara in County Longford in Ireland.

The canal began life in 1790 and ltook 27 years to be built - before finally reaching the Shannon in 1817, at a total cost of £1,421,954.

The canal passes through Maynooth, Kilcock, Enfield, Mullingar and Ballymahon has a spur to Longford. The total length of the main navigation is 145 kilometres (90 miles), and the system has 46 locks. There is one main feeder (from Lough Owel), which enters the canal at Mullingar. At the Dublin end, the canal reaches the Liffey through a wide sequence of dock and locks at Spencer Dock, with a final sea lock to manage access to the river and sea.

Today Waterways Ireland is responsible for the canal.

Presented by Richard Nairn.

Produced by Dick Warner

(First broadcast 1990)

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries