In July 2007, the North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC) agreed to a proposal to restore the section of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to Clones. Planning approvals for the project have been secured from the relevant authorities in the two jurisdictions.
Government approval to restore a 2.5 km stretch of the Ulster Canal from Upper Lough Erne to the International Scout Centre at Castle Saunderson near Belturbet in Co. Cavan, was secured on 24th February 2015.
Waterways Ireland is currently working on the first phase of reopening navigation from the Erne to Castle Saunderson on the Ulster Canal.
To date over €2.8 m has been spent on the entire Ulster Canal project. Expenditure of €1.133 m is forecast to complete navigation to Castle Saunderson in 2018.
The works to complete this phase of the development are approaching finalisation. The contract to create the new 250 m bypass canal and new road bridge to provide navigation around the existing road bridge serving Derrykerrib Island, which has insufficient head height of navigation, is in the final stages of completion.
Work had been delayed over the winter of 2017/18 due to high water levels and is now complete with the exception of the highway crash barriers which are due for delivery in October. Waterways Ireland is also working with Cavan County Council who are working to develop recreational amenities at Castlesaunderson including public moorings.
Additional environmental information has been sought by An Bord Pleanála and work to provide public moorings cannot progress until planning approval is granted.
Waterways Ireland anticipates expenditure of €1,133,000 in 2018 to complete this final phase of the work.
Waterways Ireland is also continuing work with the partners Monaghan County Council, Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, East Border Region Ltd. and Mid Ulster District Council to develop 22 km of Ulster Canal towpath from Smithborough, Co. Monaghan and Middletown, Co. Armagh funded through successful application to the Interreg VA sustainable transport measure. The group have also completed development proposals for a Greenway strategy