Filth in Dublin’s Grand Canal frustrates locals

Photo By Christina Manolis

Ross Leahy reports on the frustrations of the locals

The walk along Grand Canal is full of dog walkers; children with parents feeding swans and college students rushing to lectures. However, when talking to some of the walkers of this popular route it is clear that there is much dissatisfaction with the Canal’s condition.

One frustrated local, Katherine Rogerson, 20, from Harold’s Cross said “I walk to college everyday and I walk past [the Grand Canal] and you just see it has not been cleaned in God knows how long.”

Local residents have noted that visitors to the city are appalled by the litter ridden Canal. Rose Carr, 52, originally from the Liberties said “I heard visitors last summer from America saying ‘Oh my God the state of the canal.’ and people from the North were also saying ‘It’s filthy dirty.’”

Colin Becker of Irish Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI), agrees that the litter in the Grand Canal is a problem. He says, “Some [of the litter] can affect the water quality but the visual impact is truly terrible in some places and some of the stuff, like plastic ties from six packs, can be hazardous to wildlife.”

Although the litter is a visual eye-sore, Mr Becker claims that the water in the Grand Canal is actually quite clean. “There’s very little discharge into it in the way of effluent or that. They don’t even allow road run-off to drain into it for the most part. Pollardstown Fen, where the supply from the canal comes from, is some of the cleanest water in the country.”

The latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency says the Grand Canal showed good water quality overall.

The 131 km route, which was a major cargo route until the 1960s, is still an important landmark in Dublin and the

Photo By Christina Manolis

water from the canal is still used by the Guinness Brewery.

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