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
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We’re still clearing fallen trees after the winter storms. Today it was several large willow branches which were blocking the canal and catching debris. There was very little water at the summit level – only just enough to float our small work boat.
A sinister build-up of foam at Moneypenny’s Lock this morning. It has been reported to the Pollution Hotline. We don’t know what it is yet but at least it doesn’t have any smell.
Changing scenes along the canal.
Some of our volunteers were out on Friday and Saturday to remove several trees from the water at Scarva and Poyntzpass. One of them was too big for us to drag out. Fortunately George turned out with his tractor and gave us a great hand. It’s so important that the channel is kept clear of debris.
We have had a great start to 2018 with an excellent meeting in Scarva today. Branch members met with seven ABC Council officers who have responsibility for the canal. Discussions centred around the recent public survey and the long-term strategy for the enhancement of the canal corridor. The results of the survey are now being assessed and we are very grateful to all those members of the public who contributed their opinions.