The Lismore Canal was a part of the ambitious redevelopment scheme proposed for the town by Henry Bowman, the agent to the Duke of Devonshire in 1793. Although completed in 1794, it didn’t open for use until 1796 due to various set backs. The plan for the 2.5k canal was to link Lismore and Youghal via the R. Blackwater to service trade in the locality and regional areas such as the land locked county of Tipperary. Flat bottomed barges called ‘LIGHTERS’ carrying coal, corn, timber amongst other cargos to and from Lismore would pay a toll when entering the canals single lock, and then pulled by a man and pony along the wide tow path to the quay for unloading at the warehouse on the town end.
The 1860’s and 70’s were the canals busiest time when local merchants took over it’s running, but increased competition from coastal schooners docking down river, the new railway through town and better roads saw it used less and less until its eventual closure in 1901.
Today it is a beautifully peaceful picnic area and home to birds such as the Mallard Duck, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Cattle Egret, Moor Hen and a very popular flock of Farmyard Geese.