Athy Waterways

Boats moored on river Barrow at Castle in Athy, County Kildare, Ireland

Athy Waterways Development Committee

The following is information for those visiting Athy by boat or wishing to to take part in activities on its waterways. The members of Athy Waterways Development Committee would like to thank Boat Trips Ireland for providing this webpage for our use. 

Athy, County Kildare

Having grown from a 12th century Anglo-Norman settlement, the town of Athy now with a population of 10,000 approx., rests nestled between the main arteries of the M7 and M9 motorways. This ideal positioning, coupled with a frequent Bus & Rail services has assisted Athy in attracting many large scale events such as the National Ploughing Championships to the area on numerous occasions in recent times. With a huge sense of community, Athy plays hosts to over 60 festivals/events throughout the calendar year, aided weekly by a healthy nightlife including internationally famous traditional music sessions and Fleadh’s.

From a boating perspective, Athy boasts many assets, including:

Exemption from Waterways Ireland’s Extended Mooring Permit (EMP-€156)
A Dry Dock
Pump-out Facility
Canal Side Drinking Water
A plethora of water based clubs & organizations
Numerous Waterways Based Festivals
Two Boat Slips
Free Moorings & Floating Jetty
An array of restaurants, hotels and B&B’s
A Strong IWAI Community
Toilet facilities next to Floating Jetty
Several Hardware Stores & Suppliers
Numerous Garages and Mechanics

For more information, please feel free to contact Clifford Reid on 087-2061999 at any stage or see our Facebook page at FB – Athy Waterways

Boating in Athy

Home to Antarctic Explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Athy is the perfect stop-off point for those traveling the Grand Canal or Barrow Navigation, as it sits on the intersection of both systems. In addition, it is the perfect location for those wishing to moor their vessels long-term. Not only does Athy boost two Slipways, a Dry Dock, a Fresh Water Supply and Pump-Out facility; but uniquely, it is not subject to the new Extended Mooring Permit (EMP) recently introduced by Waterways Ireland. The EMP, which costs €156, now applies to all boats mooring long-term on the Royal Canal, Grand Canal and Barrow Navigation. Athy’s mooring facilities which lie 400 meters north of the Grand Canal and Barrow Navigation meeting point are not subject to the new Bye-Laws as the navigable waters north of the Horsebridge to the town centre do not constitute part of the Barrow Navigation System. As a result, any boat owner wishing to avail of mooring facilities long-term, can do so free of charge in Athy. In addition, Athy main mooring location is secured behind a locked gate. For a code to the gate, contact Cliff on 087-2061999. For more information on all the amenities that Athy town has to offer, please visit:


​Boat Trips

There are two operators providing a Boat Trip service on the river Barrow. These are Boat Trips Ireland and Athy Boat Tours.

Boat Trips Ireland

Contact Cliff on 087-2061999 or see Athy Boat Trips


Athy Boat Tours

Contact Helen on 087-4335350 or see


Or for some local knowledge on boating in Athy and access code to the secured moorings, contact Clifford Reid on 087-2061999

Fishing in Athy

Athy is gifted in being one of the most unique angling locations in the country. The meeting of the Grand Canal and river Barrow offers several categories of waters that cater for all fishing enthusiasts. Within a 15 km stretch, anglers can choose between 3 static canal stretch’s and a 2 kilometre “Flowing canal”, which offer several options to the Course angler. Coupled with this, the river Barrow stretch grows from a one foot deep moderate flowing river, into a wide five foot deep slower meandering waterway (Summer time), making it ideal for all fishing types. While fishing throughout the area is open, free and encouraged, the stretches are actively maintained by Athy & District Anglers Club which enforce national fish protection policies. A combination of stocking and protection for many years has built up a well-resourced waterway plentiful in Bream, Rudd, Tench, Perch, Hybrids, Pike, Trout and Salmon. In addition, Athy & District Anglers Club control a specifically dedicated fishing marina within the town centre. This is available free of charge to club members or on a “permit” bases of just €5 per day. With such resources, is it any wonder that Athy plays host to over 20 angling competitions and events throughout the calendar year.

For local fishing supplies and equipment, contact: Griffin Hawe, 22 Duke Street.
Tel: 059-863 1221

For all other queries or for some local knowledge, contact John Shaughnessy on
086-3824043 or see the Athy & District Anglers 

Triathlon in Athy

Athy is home to the TriAthy triathlon which boasts the fastest triathlon course in Ireland. Held annually on the June bank holiday weekend, the event attracts several thousand competitors from across the globe each year. In addition, the event is usually televised internationally and has attracted many celebrity sport stars in the past. Due to the speed, conditions and layout of the course, athletes from clubs across Leinster are seen training most evenings throughout the entire year in the disciplines of swimming, running and cycling. For more information, please see Tri-Athy

Many of the regular athletes taking to the TriAthy course nightly, hail from the local Triathlon club which meets and trains several nights a week. Those interested in joining the local club should contact Mike O’Conner on 085-7206389 or Brian Dooley on 086-1715290. Alternatively see Athy Triathlon Club or email

Barrow Navigation by Canoe

Athy is also the starting spot for all adventurers wishing to tackle the Barrow navigation by canoe. Putting in at the Slipway on the Monasterevin road or at the floating jetty, this first stretch of the river Barrow offers an excellent introduction for all canoeing novices. Completing the Barrow navigation (Athy to St Mullins) by canoe usually takes 3 to 4 days but it is often recommended to take up to 5 in order to soak up all that the adventure has to offer. For more information on completing the Barrow navigation, please see
For canoe hire, see

List of accommodation in Athy

Clanard Court Hotel

Dublin Road
00 353 (0)59-8633250
00 353 (0)59-8640666
Clanard Court


Ardscull Farmhouse

Dublin Rd., Athy
00 353 (0)59-8626188
Ardscull Farmhouse


Bray House

00 353 (0)59-8631052
00 353 (0)59-8631759
Bray House


Moate Lodge

00 353 (0)59-8626137
Moate Lodge


Hawthorn B &B

Dublin Road
00 353 (0)59-8633907
Hawthorn B&B


Aurora House B & B

00 353 (0)59-8633103
00 353 (0)85-7230423
Aurora House


Forest Farm

Dublin Road
00 353 (0)59-8631231
Forest Farm



Co. Kildare
00 353 (0)45 403247
00 353 (0)86 8175992
Blackrath Farmhouse


Pill Lodge

00 353 (0)59-8624147
Pill Lodge


The Pump House

Co. Kildare
00 353 (0)87-7991872


Knockfin B+B

Co. Kildare
00 353 (0)59-8638016
00 353 (0)87-2394601

Kilkea Lodge Farm

00 353 (0)59-9145112
00 353 (0)87-2388132
Kilkea Lodge Farm

5th April 2021


Clifford Reid

Written by Clifford Reid


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