Minister Josepha Madigan officially opens World Canals Conference in Athlone

Ciara Farrell


Ciara Farrell


Minister Josepha Madigan  officially opens World Canals Conference in Athlone

Minister Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture Heritage & the Gaeltacht with L-R Dawn Livingstone Chief Executive Waterways Ireland, Senator Gabrielle Mc Fadden & President IWAI, John Dolan

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D today Officially Opened the 2018 World Canals Conference which is taking place from September 10 - 12 in Athlone.
Themed Restore Regenerate Reimagine, the conference will showcase Ireland’s many restoration and re-imagining projects in a three day event were delegates can update their knowledge of innovative waterways management experiences and techniques from all over the world.
The World Canals Conference brings together hundreds of canal and waterway enthusiasts, professionals and academics from around the world and this year is no different with over 300 international delegates registered for the conference.
Speaking at the Official Opening Minister Madigan said, “I am delighted to officially open the 2018 World Canals Conference today here in Athlone.  This gathering provides a unique opportunity for participants from all over the world to network, share ideas and experiences and also an opportunity for us to showcase the country’s immense beauty and heritage via the alluring blueways, and greenways that have been cultivated from the iconic River Shannon.  The seminar sessions will no doubt provide valuable information and ideas that can be utilised to continue the development of our inland waterways.”
This year’s hosts of the World Canals Conference are Waterways Ireland and Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.
CEO of Waterways Ireland Dawn Livingstone welcomed the conference saying ‘The conference explores and celebrates the opportunities to reimagine our waterways in the 21st Century, to attract and sustain an ever expanding number of users, to share best practice on how to lever value, to communicate with our users in the digital age and to protect the heritage and water supplies which are the fabric of our waterways. We are delighted that Minister Madigan has been able to share with us this international dimension to the waterway story.’
Addressing the Conference and Welcoming the Minister, John Dolan, President of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI)  said’ ‘IWAI are proud to co-host the 2018 World Canals Conference with Waterways Ireland under the auspices of Inland Waterways International. I commend the staff and voluntary members of all organisations involved. I believe that it is critical that we use the Restore-Regenerate-Reimagine theme of this conference to sustain our inland waterway resources in imaginative ways for all users. While not losing sight of the opportunities they present as wet linear parklands - they are in fact mostly navigable waterways and that perspective must be a priority in their future development. ’
The World Canals Conference returns to Ireland for the first time since 2001, with over 50 speakers from 3 continents participating. Organised by Waterways Ireland and co-hosted with the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, the conference welcomes academics, enthusiasts and waterway management as well as heritage, environmental, tourism and recreational professionals. For more information visit