The Grand Canal

My nearest body of water is the Grand Canal. I lived at the 21st Lockhouse, Ballycommon
for many years. My Grandad, James Fisher, is the lock keeper at this lock and I have many
special memories of helping him open locks and put boats through. Locks are essential when
the canal flows through territory which changes in elevation. When a boat enters the lock, the
water level rises or falls so that the boat can proceed on its journey.
When I was in 6th class, I went on a school trip to the Grand Canal and all my friends got to
see my Grandad open the locks and put a boat through. I was surprised how all my friends
were fascinated with how the locks operated as I see this most days. Perhaps I have taken this
experience for granted. I am now aware that my Grandparents are very lucky to live along the
Grand Canal as it is so beautiful and peaceful.
I remember when I would go on walks with my Nanny and see many people fishing along the
canal as there would be fishing competitions on at the weekend. There are many fish that live
in the canal such as perch, pike, rudd, roach, brown trout and eel. There are also many
animals that live on the canal such as swans, drakes, minks, ducks and pheasants. I remember
getting onto boats and going down the canal as well.
Mammy and I went fishing one day by the canal and she told me a story about when she was
younger, she went fishing with her uncle and she felt something pulling at her fishing rod.
She began to reel in the line and was amazed at the bend in the rod. She told me her uncle
was on the way over to her as she reeled in the line because it was very heavy. She saw an
eel at the end of the line and got such a fright that she threw the fishing rod into the canal and
ran home, as she thought she was after catching a snake.
While I have many special, happy memories, other people are not so lucky as they have lost
loved ones to water tragedies.