The Government has agreed that Level 5 (with some amendments) as set out in the Plan for Living with COVID-19 will continue to apply nationally until July 5th 2021. The Government has clearly stated that there is a continued need to minimise the level of mobility and congregation of people in order to reduce all opportunities for transmission of the virus.

Please note that our library buildings have reopened to the public for Browsing Services and Contact & Collect since Monday, May 10th. Please see Library Page.

Consequently, and in line with current public health guidance, the Offices of Offaly County Council are closed for walk-in services to support this reduced mobility policy.

Public access cannot be facilitated during LEVEL 5 restrictions. Therefore, Offaly County Council services will be available by telephone, email, online post and only where absolutely necessary and in exceptional circumstances by appointment. Please read latest information.

Inland Waterways

  inland waterways main page image

The Grand Canal was built from Dublin to the midlands over 200 years ago. In Offaly, it connects with the towns and villages of  Edenderry, Daingean, Tullamore, Rahan, Pollagh, Ferbane, Belmont, and Shannon Harbour. Nowadays, the Grand Canal is of interest for industrial archaeology, architecture, biodiversity, recreation and amenity.  Offaly County Council is currently working with Waterways Ireland to facilitate  a cycle way along the canal.

Waterway Corridor Studies

The Heritage Council have carried out a number of Waterway Corridor Studies which have much information relating to the Grand Canal and the Shannon.

Management of the Grand Canal & Shannon Navigation

Waterways Ireland care for and maintain the Grand Canal and Shannon Navigation.

Canal Bridges

The survey of all named bridges in Offaly was carried out by Industrial Archaeologist Fred Hamond in 2005. This survey includes 407 bridges in the county and all the canal bridges.

Offaly Bridges Study part one

Offaly Bridges Study part two

A Grand Experience released on DVD

A Grand Experience was filmed during 2012 as part of the 'Percent for Arts' scheme in Offaly, made by Mixed Bag Media. It follows the journey of three artists travelling by barge from Shannonharbour to Edenderry and their response to the landscape and experience. Following the success of the RTE screening of A Grand Experience, (which reached an audience of 565,000 viewers nationally), the film made by was released on DVD.  The film which features writer Eugene O’Brien, musician Wayne Brennan and photographer Veronica Nicholson aboard the 68M barge crossing Offaly, captured many peoples' attention and is available from the Offaly Library Service; Offaly History at Bury Quay  or it can be purchased for €13.00 from