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Vol. 25 Issue 4.
Not just cruisingLast summer, travelling along the Shannon-Erne Waterway, I was impressed by the variety of leisure activities going on around it. There were fishermen near many of the bridges; there were picnic boats for hire; we met bird-watchers at one of the locks. But it did strike me that it would be good to have better provision for walking along the banks, perhaps with camping facilities along the way.
In September, I was at the launch of a brochure published jointly by the Barrow hire-boat companies. Dick Warner made an excellent speech at the launch; I was interested to see that he was recommended provision for walking along the Barrow - and other actions that would increase use of the river.
In this issue, we cover waterways projects that are not just about straightforward leisure cruising: fishing, canal restoration, work for peace, provision for people with intellectual disability and Dick Warner's innovative list of suggestions. For future issues, I would be glad to hear about similar projects elsewhere on the waterways.
The RoyalThe other major feature in this issue is about the Royal Canal. I imagine that many of us, reading about it in Green & Silver or seeing the RCAG reports in the newsletter, have felt that the restoration of the Royal is a worthy cause and that the dedicated enthusiasts of the RCAG deserve our support.
I find it hard to leave the comforts of the Shannon, with all its facilities, for the terra incognita of the Royal. But I feel that, until I have done the Royal, I won't be a true inland waterways enthusiast; in the same way, a golfer might want to play - even if it's just once - at St Andrews or a foodie might want to go on a course at Ballymaloe.
The RCAG 25th anniversary might provide the right opportunity, either during the rally or at some other time during the summer. The information in this issue should help anyone who would like to visit the Royal, so if you can beg, borrow, steal or hire a suitable vessel, do consider it next year.
Brian J Goggin