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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Branch members held a splendid end-of-season lunch at the Sluicekeeper’s cottage at Acton Lake on Sunday. With two tables covered with the most delicious fayre, soft drinks kindly donated by Tesco and fantastic music provided by one of our members, Mickey Murphy (www.mickeymurphy.co.uk) we all had a thouroughly enjoyable afternoon. There were even tandem rides for the terrified, courtesy of Bruce who usually has people bobbing about in curraghs on the Newry canal. If you weren’t able to get along for the fun, catch up now. Here are the photos…
Winners: members of Newry 2020 community group with their Shining Light award. Our branch is a strong supporter of the Newry 2020 campaign for a city park in the Middle Bank in Newry and some of the navvies attended the recent community awards ceremony as members of 2020. To show your support for a park in Newry please sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/newry-needs-a-central-park
All at sea 😉 guests of the navy at the Belfast maritime festival. Not often a Newry and Portadown navvie gets the salt spray in their faces. Brilliant voyage from Belfast to Whitehead.
The cottage was very busy again on Sunday and visitors enjoyed watching these busy parents keeping watch over their family of eight cygnets.
Busy day at the Cottage on Saturday. Among the many visitors were the Mayor of Monaghan, David Maxwell and Clare Moneypenny, whose grandparents lived in the cottage at Moneypenny’s Lock.
There’s lots of clear water in the canal around Scarva at the moment. It won’t be long until we get the curraghs out again. Here’s what we got up to last summer – and not everyone went home dry! If you want to see how these boats are built, come to Bee Curious at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Saturday 17th June between 11.00am and 4.00pm or Belfast Maritime Festival on Sunday 18th.