Plan to move people's barges off Dublin's Grand Canal stalled by heritage minister

Minister of State Malcolm Noonan said that he is hoping to establish a mediation process.

THE MINISTER OF State for Heritage and Electoral Reform has stalled plans to move several barges off the Grand Canal, after petitions from barge dwellers.

It’s understood the Green Party’s Malcolm Noonan contacted barge owners and said that these evictions would not happen. 

Six boat owners were served evictions notices, and told that their homes are to be removed by crane and stored for a month before being sold off.

The Minister of State is now in discussions with those involved in the hope of finding a more permanent solution, it is understood.

Waterways Ireland, which is the government authority for looking after the nation’s rivers and canals, has repeatedly warned those living on the barges that they must move on. 

According to current by-laws, Waterways Ireland does not allow boats to moor on any canals for more than five consecutive days.

However, current residents say they should be allowed live there and that the laws need updating to cater for the current housing crisis. 

Waterways Ireland said in a statement:

“Minister Noonan issued a statement this morning in relation to this matter. Waterways Ireland’s Chief Executive is meeting with the Minister this afternoon and a statement will be issued following that meeting. There will be no further comment at this time.”

The Department of Heritage has been contacted for a statement. 

- with reporting from Garreth MacNamee

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