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. In 2015 we manufactured and installed two sets of lock gates at Poyntzpass and near Scarva. 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
Our Facebook recent posts
Eamon “monkeying about”. At yesterday’s workparty this tree was found almost blocking the canal. It had to go!! With the help of our new boat, donated by Pat Shanks, and a team of less acrobatic navvies on the bank we were able to safely remove it. (No monkeys were harmed during this workparty.)
Cold morning on the canal.
The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society hosted a fabulous evening for the Heritage Angel awards. Unfortunately we didn’t win but we got a highly commended and felt honoured to have reached the final selection. And we got to meet Joe Mahon who was very interested in the canal so you never know we might be famous yet 😉 Meanwhile the restoration continues with a workparty this Saturday. Send a pm for details if you’d like to come and join us to see what we do along the canal.
BLUEBELLS! Thanks to funding from the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme we have 750 native bluebell bulbs to plant in the Woodland Trust’s Canal Wood. Join us on Sunday 5th November at 2.00pm. Tools provided, but please bring your gardening gloves and wellies.
A big thank you to everyone who voted for us in the Heritage Angel Awards. We now have the nerve-racking wait until the results are known next week. Recently N & P branch members took time off their volunteering to enjoy an exploration of Lough Neagh, Lough Beg and the Toome Canal on a trip organised by the River Bann and Lough Neagh branch. Our cruise was aboard the Maid of Antrim (www.loughneaghcruises.co.uk) and we had an excellent lunch at The Wild Duck in Portglenone.