Royal Canal

Royal Canal

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Name Royal Canal County Longford Nearest Town Longford Town Access Road N4 About Extending140 kilometres from Dublin to Tarmonbarry on the Upper River Shannon, the Royal Canal, a canal of forty-six locks, traverses a delightfully scenic route through Counties Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare and Dublin.

The Royal Canal cost 15,000 per mile to construct and completely bankrupted its originator as well as a number of small investors.

Eventually, having reached a point west of Mullingar, County Westmeath the funds dried up.

The Government had to finance the cost of completing the work as far as the Shannon.

It never enjoyed success and in 1845 the canal was sold to the Midland and Great Western Railway Company, which used the land along the canal banks for their railway from Dublin to the west.

This, along with the development of other speedier forms of overland transport, sounded the death-knell of the canal.

Even though it was 1961 before the canal was finally officially closed for traffic, boats had long since ceased to use the route.