The Inland Waterways Association want to see the Royal Canal restored and become a public amenity.

The Royal Canal with 146 kilometres of navigable waterways through tranquil scenery stretching from Dublin city to the river Shannon, has the potential to draw large numbers of tourists says the Inland Waterways Association.

Community groups in Dublin have in recent years conducted cleanups of stretches of the canal, but the same level of interest from local authorities has not been forthcoming.

The Inland Waterways Association estimate that the canal can be fully restored at a cost of £1.5 million, but requires cooperation from many state bodies.

Speaking to RTÉ News at the twelfth lock of the Royal Canal at Castleknock, Inland Waterways Association secretary Ian Bath explains that while issues such as low level road crossings in County Longford present challenges they are not insurmountable. There is the potential to create a unique and large scale tourist attraction for Ireland.

The only inland circular cruising route in Ireland which would embrace the Royal Canal, the Grand Canal, and part of the Shannon.

Local communities have also shown interest in water-based activities, especially where sections of the canal have been opened up for boating. One voluntary group also has plans to rebuild and replace a canal lock.

Clearly all is not lost for the Royal Canal.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 February 1977.