The Ballinamore-Ballyconnell Canal

The canal from Ballinamore to Ballyconnell was constructed in the 1840s partially during the Great Famine. It cost a quarter of a million pounds and took thirteen years to complete. At one stage more than 7,000 men were employed on the project and this provided great relief to the area, especially during the famine years. The 19th century was the time of the Industrial Revolution and mass production was generating a need for faster and more efficient transport. This led to many canals being built in Ireland and Britain. Ironically, by the time of its completion waterway travel was becoming less popular and the Cavan-Leitrim railway line rapidly became the preferred method of transport between the two areas. The canal was abandoned a short time after its opening in 1860. In 1993 the canal was restored and reopened; now this perfectly scenic corridor is a vital part of the region’s tourism and people come from all over the world to cruise through its traditional country towns and wonder at the various wildlife encountered along the way.

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