Welcome to the website of the Newry & Portadown branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI). We have the longterm ambition of restoring the Newry canal and once again joining Carlingford Lough with Lough Neagh. The branch has already begun to conserve and restore the waterway with our regular work parties. Volunteers have been removing trees and vegetation from the lock chambers so that the still impressive craftsmanship and architecture can be better appreciated by the public. We have lobbied locally and nationally to have restoration of the canal placed on the political agenda. The branch has successfully applied for funding for projects to increase public awareness of the canal and to encourage the various waterside communities to become part of our cause.
Our future plans are to continue to lobby and campaign; to fund raise and apply for grants; to maintain and conserve the architecture and industrial heritage of the canal and to continue our voluntary groundwork. We are also lobbying for Waterways Ireland to take over the Newry to Portadown Canal as being the best way to have the canal re-opened
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Feast your eyes on See Higher’s video of a fleet on the Newry Ship Canal. This is a sight you won’t see for a while as the lock and canal are closed to public access from July 14th to allow important work to be done to the lock gates and embankments. The carpark will also be closed to public access. It’s a pity this work has to take place in the summer but better then than not at all. An application for planning permission to build a cycle path on the Middle Bank has also recently been submitted which is great news for the future development of the whole canal and Albert Basin site.
RELAXING CYCLE: When we say our Cycle Safari is a leisurely ride along the towpath we don’t mean quite as laidback as Pat here. The July Safari is on Tuesday 7th and there are still places available. Send us a message if you’re interested. There’s a bit of history, bit of canal chat and a couple of hours exercise in our beautiful countryside. All equipment, including the bike, is provided and the event is free.
WEDNESDAY’S WOTZIT WHERZIT? Where are these people? and Who do you think they are? If you can tell me a date for the photo (provided by Billy Austin) I’d appreciate it as I don’t know.
DUCK’S EYE VIEW: Thanks to those people who sent us photos from the paddle on Saturday at Scarva. Here is a small selection showing the paddler’s view of the canal. Bit of tree trimming to be done 😉
Here’s Lucy Johnston Photography doing secret camera for dad’s launch down the bank at Scarva this morning. Well done Tom, very elegantly done.
A FLEET AFLOAT: Brilliant morning in Scarva with nearly 20 different boats afloat of all shapes and sizes giving everyone a taste of what is possible now that we have re-watered the canal. It’s not perfect by any means and the amount of weed and run-off will have to be addressed but what a buzz around the village with the mara-cycle passing through, canoes on the canal, al fresco cafe society, cyclists and walkers sharing the towpath and everyone adding to the colour of the village in bloom flowers. Every summer should have days like these.