The Royal Canal
History of The Royal Canal
THE ROYAL CANAL - Legend has it that the Royal Canal was born when a disaffected director of the Grand Canal Company stormed out of a board meeting shouting angrily: "Damn you all, I'll build my own canal!" This may be true but there's no definite proof. Surveys of various routes from Dublin to the north Shannon began as early as 1755 but it was 1789 before work started and by 1796 the canal had only reached Kilcock, Co. Kildare.
Although kingfishers are quite small, not much bigger than a robin, they are very striking because they have the most colourful plumage of any Irish wild bird. They are so iridescent that, on a sunny day, they appear to emit blue light. They are very fussy about where they live. They need clear, shallow water with a good supply of small fish and large invertebrates to feed on, over-hanging branches to supply perches to dive off to catch this prey and vertical banks of soft soil in which they can excavate the burrows they nest in. They are, however, quite tolerant of humans and there are territories in Dublin on the Dodder, the Liffey and the Tolka.
COARSE FISHING - The Royal Canal provides excellent and varied coarse fishing for practically its entire length. The newly restored sections have been re-stocked. Some areas are a bit over-grown, particularly in summer. Canal harbours often have the best fishing. There are a number of stretches marked out for match fishing.
Species include roach, which are plentiful and sometimes up to specimen size, rudd, which are now less plentiful but still occur to large sizes and bream which are widespread. There are also hybrids between these three species.