Its a wonderful thing to be surprised by something so familiar. As a Dubliner I have looked at and passed over the royal canal literally hundreds of thousands of times in my life. I never really paid much attention to it. It was just a body of water that bisected the roads that I needed to drive on. Its narrow humped backed bridges can be a source of traffic congestion on the roads near my office – generally only an issue if I am in a real hurry to get somewhere. But it turns out that I friend of mine lives on the canal and I had really been missing out on a wonderful spot for a ramble and a few photos.
The Canal was built between 1790 and 1817 and its primary purpose was to bring freight and passengers from the Liffey in Dublin to Longford in the midlands. It connects with the river Shannon and at one point it would have been a pretty major piece of infrastructure. Sadly by the 1970’s the canal had fallen into total disrepair and there was talk by the local government of filling in the canal to allow a motorway to run through the heart of the city. Fortunately some forward thinking locals protested and successfully lobbied to save the canal which has now been totally resorted.
The canal is 140Km long and if you wanted you could now take a barge all the way from Dublin city centre to Cloondara in Co Longford. Having been surprised by the beauty of the walk between Ashtown and the city I am tempted to walk the other 120km just to see what I find.
Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit