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.
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 www.mixedbagmedia.com