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
Our Facebook recent posts
We’ve just received these three photos from Pat. The first is a close-up of the beautiful cut granite flagstone base revealed at Poyntzpass lock during our work party last month. The next two are of Liz’s Geology Timeline garden at Steenson’s Bridge, now blooming beautifully. With a nearby car park, this stretch of the canal towpath is easily accessible by steps down the side of the garden. Many thanks Pat!
Taking pride in our Visitor Centre at Acton Lake, Bernadette and Eamonn brought along planters to add some colour to the Sluicekeeper’s cottage last weekend. A recent addition to our displays is the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, now safely housed in the display case made by our chairman, George. The next time you’re on the towpath at the weekend, call in and see it and also the fantastic model canal barge which George made last year.
Michael and Taylor enjoying the superb summer weather yesterday with a paddle on the summit level. Taylor is just back from a canoeing trip to Canada and has already been in action here clearing willow branches overhanging the canal near Scarva. There is some floating weed along the summit level at the moment but more boats will help break it up.
Our free Towpath Tour app is proving very popular with visitors to the canal this summer. Keeping the advertising banners in good shape is one of the regular summer maintenance jobs for our members. Can you think of a more enjoyable way of doing voluntary work than cycling our beautiful towpath, keeping an eye on things?
Those of you new to our Facebook page may like to see this memorable event from June 2014. After our volunteers spent the winter clearing locks 2 and 3, Eamonn was able to bring his boat up the canal from Newry and into lock 3 – the first boat to achieve this in nearly 60 years. This is how the Newry Canal could be all the way to Portadown. Enjoy the photos!
An impromptu gathering of some of the gardeners making the most of a dry morning at Moneypenny’s Lock. Tom and Bruce cleared weeds from near the bridge while Liz tended the flowers in the Bee Garden. Tony, Grainne and Heather were busy with hedges and other work, but we all got together for the customary tea and chat mid-morning.