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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IWAI volunteer navvies enjoy working hard throughout the year to preserve the structure of the Newry Canal. They also work at various locations along the towpath to make it as attractive and as safe as possible for everyone. Sadly, there are people out there who seem to enjoy doing the exact opposite. Here’s the latest example of damage. In Poyntzpass stones have been prised out of the wall at the entrance to the towpath and thrown into the river
Time to spruce up our Visitor Centre at Lough Shark. Pat has been doing some landscaping, using shreddings from our winter work parties and stone salvaged from other tidying-up work along the canal. There are no limits to Pat’s talents – his previous piece of stonework was the beautiful well in Canal Wood, and he welded the lock gates at Poyntzpass and Campbell’s Lock too! Plenty of his work to admire the next time you’re on the towpath.
Better than any pesticide or mechanical week killer, 2 families of swans are sustained by duck weed on the re-watered summit length . Turn up the volume and listen to the happy weed eaters.
Most of the dog walkers on the canal towpath are very good about clearing up after their pooches but, as always, there are a few exceptions. Hopefully, these signs near Scarva will encourage everyone to keep this lovely walkway clean for us all to enjoy. There’s going to be a big crowd in the village for the annual event on 13th July – if you’re going to be there, have a great day!
It was a beautiful day at the Cottage by Lough Shark/Acton Lake yesterday. Maybe that was the summer…