The annual Grand Canal Festival opens at Robertstown in County Kildare.

As part of an effort to maintain canals for boating, the two week Grand Canal Festival opens at Robertstown in County Kildare.

The festival's centre is the Grand Canal Hotel, opened in 1801 to cater for the passenger traffic along the waterway. The hotel is now a museum, exhibiting weapons, Georgian maps and rare books relating to the canal. Funds raised from the festival will pay for more repairs to the hotel building.

Those attending the Grand Canal Festival opening watch performer Agnes Bernelle, wife of Desmond Leslie, water ski on the canal in period costume, drawn by a galloping horse.

The first Grand Canal Festival at Robertstown took place in 1965.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 31 July 1966. The footage shown here is mute.