Our Project Trips

A List of the Trips Our Class Took to the Grand Canal for our Project
Trip 1
2nd October 2000
Trip 2
3rd October 2000
Trip 3
15th November 2000
Trip 4
17th November 2000
Trip 5
5th March 2001
Click on any of the trips above to go directly to a report on the trip.


Trip 1 - 2nd October 2000

A Trip to the Leinster Aqueduct and Digby Bridge with Dick Warner.

We went on a Grand Canal trip last week. We were accompanied by a famous man called Dick Warner. Dick knows an awful lot about the canal, its birds and animals and all about the trees, shrubs and plants that grow by the canal.
Dick brought us to the Leinster Aqueduct which was built by Richard Evans, the engineer. We really enjoyed looking at the aqueduct. The bridge under the aqueduct is made from limestone. Over the years little drops of water seeped through the limestone to make stalactites. We were very careful not to disturb the stalactites because it took hundreds of years to form them.
We then travelled on a bus to Digby Bridge. In 1794 a rich man called Digby gave money to the government to help build the bridge and so they called it after him.
At one o'clock we all gathered at the bus to return home. Everybody was showing off their plants and shrubs. For the next few days we searched our nature books for more information. We pressed some of the leaves and flowers. Hopefully they will look nice when we open the flower presses in a few months. We are doing lots of work on the canal this year.

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Trip 2 - October 2000

A Trip to see the 9th Lock and meet the lockkeeper Donal O'Brien.
Dick Warner took all the fifth and sixth classes to the 9th lock. We went to see the lock and how the gates work and how a boat passes through a lock. We were scared looking in at the deep water. There was some rubbish in the canal too. The lock looks like a corridor with gates at each end. The top gate is opened and the boat goes into the lock. Then both gates are closed. Flaps called paddles in the bottom gate are opened and water rushes out. The water in the lock goes down and so does the boat. When the water level in the lock is the same as in the canal on the other side, the paddles are shut and the bottom gate is opened and the boat can leave the lock. The lock keeper closes the gate behind the boat. The gates are opened with a big key. It looks like a big spanner. Donal, the lock keeper, has been opening and closing gates all his life. His Dad and his Grandad were lock keepers too. He came up to our school a few days ago to tell us more about his life and his family. Donal is a very friendly man. He lives in the lock keeper's house beside the canal. His house was built in 1798.

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Trip 3 - 15th November 2000

A Trip to the Waterways Visitors Centre
On Wednesday, 15th of November, our class and Ms. Young's class went to the Waterways Visitors Centre. We went to the centre because our teacher wanted us to know about canals, rivers, locks and lots more. When we got there we looked at a film about canals. In the old days people would use the canals for transport and for carrying goods. When railways were made, canal transport stopped. Nowadays people use the canal for relaxing on a boat or walking along the side of the canal. Before boats had engines, horses would walk along the small path (called a tow path) on the side of the canal and the horse would pull the boat or barge.
After watching a video we went up to the roof and Colm (our guide) told us the names of some of the old industrial buildings which are surrounding the Waterways Centre. Shortly afterwards we went inside and we had work sheets and we had to fill them in with information. There was one about how to open the locks, one about the diving suit, one about the grandfathers of the lockkeepers. Afterwards we looked at a model. It showed us how a lock worked. There was a boat that you would have used in the old days. It was called a currach. After that we went home. We had a great time.

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Trip 4 - 17th November 2000

A Trip to the local stretch of the Grand Canal

On the 17th of November 2000 Godfrey Donohue of the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board took Ms. O'Neill's class to the local stretch of the canal to see fish. However, the trip was spoiled by the level of rubbish that littered the canal and the canal banks. As a result of this trip the pupils listed the rubbish that they had seen and sent this list together with a letter of complaint to Waterways Ireland. Below is a copy of the list and the letter that they sent.

Items found in and around the Grand Canal of 17th November 2000:-

Washing machines, wheels, microwaves, pool table, gas bottles, play station game, oil tanks, nappies, bath tubs, mattress, sofa and armchairs, television set, bicycles, syringe, carcass, books, burnt out cars, cans, make-up bags, old clothes, piles of rubbish, vacuum cleaners, old toys, boxes, barrels, school bags, runners, buckets, mats, rats, helmet, logs, wood, wooden chairs, prams, pencil cases, rat holes, crisp wrappers, dishwasher, fridge, tablets and tablet containers, pin ball machine, trolley, trophy, boots, bags of cement, radios, radiator, gutter pipes, springs, milk cartons, dead tree, plastic bags, remains of fires, pillows and cushions, broken glass and tiles, toilet bowls, pieces of timber.

On the 24th November 2000 this letter was sent:-

Dear Sir / Madam,

My class would like to lodge a complaint about the awful state of the Grand Canal in the Deansrath, Clondalkin area. On the 17th November 2000 our teacher took us on a walk along the canal. We made a list of all the junk and rubbish that is dumped in and around our stretch of the canal. We are all very sad and upset because the canal looks so ugly and dirty. We heard that there is a new law which says that those in charge of the canal must clean it up within a certain amount of time.

We will be visiting the canal again before Christmas and we hope that all the junk and rubbish will be removed before then.

Thank you for reading this letter,
Best Wishes,
5th Class.

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Trip 5 - 5th March 2001

A Trip to the local stretch of the Grand Canal

Today our class went on another walk down the Grand Canal. In September, my class and I went down the canal with Geoffrey Donohue. The canal was in a mess. There were burnt cars from top to bottom, fridges, microwaves and washing machines everywhere. But, today, my class and I went down with our teacher, Ms O'Neill, and there is a huge improvement. It looks more like a canal now. The water is moving more calmly now and it is more clear. There was a dredger working clearing out the canal. We saw a male mallard and a female mallard and we saw a cow on the other side of the canal. There was a fisherman's hook caught in a tree. We saw an ash tree. The ash tree is a native Irish tree. We can see ash trees everywhere. I know it from its black buds. My teacher was taking photographs of the clear water in the canal and the locks. On the way back we saw daffodils growing by the side of a house. The daffodils reminded me of a poem I read recently.

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To find the resources to go with this page click here.


Ms. O'Neill's 5th class provided the information for this page.