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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019

'We think we're making a difference': The volunteers cleaning all along the banks of the Royal Canal

We went out with the Royal Canal Clean-Up Group earlier this month.


BACK IN 1961, the Royal Canal was closed, and its future looked bleak.

A dam prevented water flowing past Mullingar, and all elements of the canal began to fall into disrepair.

A group formed in 1970s to make sure the amenity wasn’t lost completely, and now almost half a century later the canal is bustling with life again – albeit with fewer barges, as humans are now sticking to the paths and mostly leaving the waterways themselves to wildlife.

This increase in use brings with it another challenge – litter and dumping, which is where the Royal Canal Clean-Up Group come in. A group of volunteers meet up once a month and scour the canal, collecting tonnes of rubbish each year.

We went out with them earlier this month, ahead of the Dublin Canals Action Day on 27 April.

Watch the video above for our full report. Find out more details about how to join the clean-up here.

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Nicky Ryan

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