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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ALL AT SEA: Welcome to our latest acquisition – the branch boat. This is a sturdy plastic boat with lots of buoyancy and space, easily manoeuvred and light to handle. It’s ideal for our planned programme of regular maintenance on the summit of the canal and to get to those awkward to reach patches of Giant Hogweed. It will also be good for just messing about on the water – if we ever get any free time that is
CYCLE SAFARI: The August Safari is on Tuesday 4th. Come and join our volunteers for a leisurely cycle along the towpath and learn a little of the history and heritage of the oldest canal in the country. pm the page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to book.
HERITAGE VOLUNTEERS: What a way to spend your weekend – meeting and greeting people in the Sluicekeeper’s Heritage Centre. Eamonn and Bernadette have very different ideas of what the duties are. He sitting by the fire while she shows the visitors how to use our guided towpath tour app. There’s jobs for us all;-)
WEDNESDAY’S WOTZIT ANSWER: These were the 1940s equivilent of today’s Council canal squad. In those days their job involved maintaining and replacing canal equipment, whereas today it’s more maintaining the towpath and cleaning up after us users. In 1970 a canal maintainance labourer with Newry Port and Harbour Trust was paid £20 per week about £250 in today’s terms. To access this and more snippets of local history install the free Guidigo app and search for Newry Canal Tour.