Work to restore the Dublin City section and have access re-opened to the Liffey got underway in 1990. The re-establishment of this link restores to the Royal Canal from Dublin Bay and the Grand Canal.
Restoration is now underway west of Mullingar. Dredging is being carried out, lock-gates are being manufactured and installed, and sections are being gradually re-watered. However there are many major obstacles to be overcome, especially low bridges. The task of complete restoration is a very considerable undertaking and progress will depend on the resources which are available. There is strong local support for the project, as there always has been from the RCAG, and they continue to offer valuable help along the way.
In addition to boating traffic the canal has tremendous potential for amenity purposes. It represents a liner corridor which will facilitate leisure persuits. The Office of Public Works has initiated a major programme to transform the canal into a top class fishery. Partly because of it's comparative neglect for so many years it supports a wide range of wild flowers, insects and birds. Several areas along the canal and it's towpath are of great interest to nature lovers.
The Royal Canal has been appreciated as an engineering achievement, an unspoilt boating venue, a rewarding fishing amenity and as a nature trail by all who make the effort to savour it.
Information taken from The Office of Public Works leaflet "The Royal Canal".