Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Michael D Higgins announces his commitment to fully restoring the Royal Canal by the year 2000.

Michael O'Connor from the Royal Canal Amenity Group speaks about how the people of Kilcock, county Kildare have managed the canal banks and why the canal is the pride of the community. However, it is quite a different story for the stretch of the canal that runs by Croke Park, where the banks are overgrown and strewn with rubbish. Plans are now in place to clean up the canal and bring vital tourism back to the waterways.

Minister Higgins has secured £22 million of EU money to spend on inland waterways. Announcing his plans he says

What we're doing is turning the eyes of the people again to the great resource that the canals represent in so many ways.

A study commissioned by the Minister recommends that the restoration should begin with the 33 mile stretch from Dublin to Kilcock.

The long term hope is that both the Royal and Grand Canals will be fully navigable from Dublin to the River Shannon. David Hickie, An Taisce, comments on the possibilities for restoration.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 January 1996. The reporter is Carole Coleman.