Unfair bye-law brought into force by Waterways Ireland

Waterways Ireland have suddenly resurrected a 20 year old by-law and served prohibition orders on highly skilled craftsman who make a living servicing boats in their harbours and dry docks. They require that they should be registered, but at the same time they have made it clear that casual contractors brought in to do the same work do not need registration.

As a result these craftsmen have been sitting idle for the last week, objecting to the unequal treatment that is being offered. The Director of Navigation, Shane Anderson said that all they needed to do was to negotiate the terms for this registration and blamed the workers for the interruption.

The move was made in the winter when locks and bridges are liable to be shut anywhere on the system with a few days’ notice. Boating on the inland waterways of Ireland is essentially a 6-month affair, but as the spring comes and people want to prepare their boats for the season it will be interesting to see which side backs down first. It is normal for the owners of marine property to make charges for those working on their sites, but charges are normally levied on visiting contractors too.