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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WEDNESDAY’S WOTZIT WHERZIT: No quiz this week just some photos of a wee dander in Tandragee looking for the canal feeder stream. The 1835 OS map shows a trough carrying the feeder over the Cusher. It’s still there in a decrepit state. The stream bed is very overgrown and can’t be followed. It would make a fantastic countryside path if it were ever reinstated. It emerges into the canal at the Wash Bridge between Scarva and Campbell’s lock. That too is very overgrown and is in our sights for next autumn’s workparty schedule.
OUR PLACE ON THE RADIO. If you missed us on Your Place and Mine on Saturday you can still listen again using the link below. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05vc79h
ICC VISIT NEWRY: We are very happy to welcome the yachts from the Irish Cruising Club who are in Newry for the weekend. There are more than 30 boats moored in the Albert Basin tonight. It’s fantastic to see our waterfront being used like this and we hope the rumour that we’ve heard about the council limiting berthing to 10 boats is untrue. It would be a shame to limit the facility and deprive us all of such a wonderful spectacle. Build a marina that’s what we say.
Cathal Bagnal sent us a short video of his paddle on the Newry Ship Canal to Carlingford which illustrates very well that you can have an adventure on your own doorstep.
FINISHING TOUCHES: Coming towards the end of our project building new lock gates for the summit of the Newry canal. Here’s Peter and Richard measuring up for the balance beams and a pic of the sluice paddles, work in progress, which control the water flow through the gates. Workparties all next week to get the job finished and water in the canal for the summer. Yippee
BACK TO WORK: after all the excitement of our official opening of the Sluicekeeper’s Heritage Centre last week it was back to the drawing board for our artist in residence Valerie McLean this week. She is drawing out all the iconic images of the canal and what it means to us; everything from bees to bridges. Valerie will be painting the mural over the next couple of months, so drop in and watch the progress every weekend from 10.30 to 4.00 at the Sluicekeeper’s Cottage, Acton Lake.