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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River and Canal have experienced a wide range of weather over the past few days.
Great work done by the professionals last week clearing the towpath. But a large chunk of the tree was left blocking the canal. On the Thursday nine IWAI volunteers went down to Knockbridge and with saws, ropes a pulley and two vans removed the obstruction; re-opening the channel.
Great work by the chainsaw gang. Canal towpath now open again from Portadown to Newry.
Storm Eleanor has blocked the Canal path in several places. Just south of Knockbridge it is impassable. We are confident that our local services will soon have it cleared. Certainly a challenge for the guys with chainsaws!
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are carry out a survey of the experience of using the canal towpath. Please complete it, even if you don’t live in this council area. This is your opportunity to express your feelings about the facilities. Completing it will help us realise our objectives. You don’t have to give the personal details asked for on completion of the survey. Please share. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NewryPortadownTowpathUserSurvey
There was an excellent turnout today for the annual IWAI joint branch walk and lunch. We started with coffee and mince pies at the Sluicekeeper’s cottage, then, suitably refreshed, walked to McVeigh’s lock before turning back to Poyntzpass for lunch in Rice’s Hotel. Great to see so many familiar faces on the towpath!