More than 1,000 fish rescued from dry Grand Canal in Dublin

Sewer pipe collapse causes partial drainage of canal between locks on Suir Road

More than 1,000 fish have had to be relocated from part of the Grand Canal in Dublin, after a collapsed sewer caused the waterway to drain dry at Inchicore.

A 750m section of the canal, between locks one and two on Suir Road has been closed to boats, and is unlikely to reopen for several weeks, due to the break in the trunk sewer which runs parallel to the canal, and an associated collapse of part of the canal bank.

Waterways Ireland were alerted to the problem on Sunday when water levels were seen to drop dramatically along the canal, beyond what would be expected for the time of year.

"Waterways Ireland staff came on site and immediately contacted Inland Fisheries Ireland who began a salvage exercise which took place Sunday and has continues through Monday into Tuesday," a spokeswoman said.


The canal was then closed between the two locks in the area affected, while the fish were relocated to another section of the canal undisturbed by the breach. The loss of water has left the canal floor dry, which in addition to earth and water grasses exposes the extent of litter including bicycles, building rubble and general waste.


An Irish Water spokesman said “no sewerage was released into the surrounding environment” as a result of the sewer collapse and there is no impact on water services to homes and businesses locally.

"The water from the canal drained into the sewer, not the other way around." However, the Environmental Protection Agency has been informed he said.

Work will start on Wednesday on a the installation of a temporary dam, while the extent of damage to the sewer is assessed by Irish Water.

A partial “re-watering” will then begin, however the water levels will not be restored to a state where the canal is navigable by boats or barges for some weeks .

“The canal will completely re-watered when a final repair is in place,” Waterways Ireland said.

Irish Water said it will continue to work with Waterways Ireland to repair the canal bank and restore flows on the canal as soon as possible.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times