Strabane Canal

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Strabane Canal is a canal in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. In 1791 an Act was passed authorising the construction of a 6.4 km (4 mi) canal from the tidal waters of Lough Foyle at Leck, some 16 km (10 mi) upstream from Derry, to Strabane. It only had two locks, called 'Crampsies' and 'Devines'. It was constructed in 1792 at an expense of £12,000, defrayed by a grant from the Commissioners of Inland Navigation, aided by the Marquess of Abercorn.

The canal brought considerable prosperity to Strabane (and to Lifford) in the first quarter of the 19th century and the towns became flourishing markets for agricultural produce. The canal fell into disuse in 1962.

In June 2006 the Strabane Lifford Development Commission awarded a £1.3m cross-border waterways restoration contract to Doran Consulting of Belfast. The project was launched by President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, in Lifford and involves the restoration of 2.4 km (1.5 mi) of canal and two locks to working order.

Current status

The two sets of locks have been fully restored and work will now be carried out on the clearing of the canal channel and the restoration of water into the channel. The construction work has been completed on the canal, but to a poor standard. The council has refused to maintain the restored section of canal in its present state, and it has begun to deteriorate again.

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