Grand Canal

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Name Grand Canal County Offaly Nearest Town Birr Access Road N6/N7N8/N80 and various others. About The Grand Canal begins at the River Liffey in Grand Canal Dock and continues through to the River Shannon with various branches, including a link to the River Barrow waterway at Athy, County Kildare.


In Offaly, the Grand Canal passes Edenderry, Tullamore and Rahan before it reaches the Shannon at Shannon Harbour in South County Offaly.

In total the main line of the canal will have travelled 131 kilometres with 43 locks, five of which are double locks before it disgorges into the River Shannon.

From Grand Canal Dock it passes through Ringsend and then traverses the southside, delineating the northern extremities of Ballsbridge, Ranelagh, Rathmines, Harolds Cross and Crumlin.

At Inchicore can be seen the path of the original branch to the Guinness brewery and James Street Basin which was filled in the 1970s.

Most of the route of this branch is now used by the Red Luas Line.

From there the canal heads west through the suburbs of Dublin West and into Kildare.

At Sallins the Naas/Corbally branch diverts southwards while the Grand Canal continues west passing Caragh, Prosperous and Robertstown, its highest point.

At Caragh, the Grand Canal passes over the River Liffey at the Leinster Aqueduct.

Just east of Robertstown is the location where the Blackwood Feeder used to join the canal, whilst just to the west can be found the busiest junction on the canal where the Old Barrow Line, Milltown Feeder and the entrances to the Athy & Barrow Navigation.

Further west, the canal passes Edenderry, Tullamore and Rahan before it reaches the Shannon at Shannon Harbour in County Offaly.

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