The Grand Canal is the southernmost of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west, via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin's inner city. Its sister canal on the Northside of Dublin is the Royal Canal. The last working cargo barge passed through the Grand Canal in 1960.
There are a number of branches off the Grand Canal, some of which have been closed and of these, some subsequently restored and reopened.
- The original main line to Grand Canal Harbour near St. James's Gate in Dublin City (most of the route is now used by the red line Luas). While this section was in use, the canal from Crumlin to the Liffey in Ringsend, which forms part of the current main line, was considered to be a branch.
- Naas/Corbally (navigable to Naas, but a low bridge prevents access to Corbally)
- The Barrow branch, joining the River Barrow at Athy
- Milltown feeder
- The Mountmellick Line, which left the Barrow Line at Monasterevin and passed through Portarlington (abandoned)
- Blackwood feeder (abandoned)
- Lough Boora feeder (abandoned)
- Kilbeggan (abandoned)
- Ballinasloe (starting on the far side of the River Shannon from Shannon Harbour; abandoned and now used by Bord na Móna industrial railway)
The Grand Canal nowadays begins at the River Liffey in Grand Canal Dock and continues through to the River Shannon with various branches, including a link to the River Barrow waterway at Athy.
Grand Canal Way:
The Grand Canal Way (Irish: Bealach na Canálach Móire) is a 117-kilometre (73 mi) long-distance trail that follows the towpath of the canal from Lucan Bridge, near Adamstown, to Shannon Harbour. It is typically completed in five days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Waterways Ireland. At Robertstown, the Grand Canal Way intersects with the Barrow Way, which follows the Barrow Line extension to the canal to Athy for part of its route. There is also an 8.5-kilometre (5.3 mi) long greenway between the 3rd Lock at Inchicore and the 12th Lock at Lucan, which opened in June 2010.