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
POYNTZPASS PUMP: ABC council are getting very enthusiastic about preserving canal structures with the successful installation of the new cill at Moneypenny’s lock. We recently had a site visit to Poyntzpass lock to check the undercutting of the cill there. The navvies pumped out the chamber and it was inspected by the Council’s heritage officers and the Environment Agency. Some remedial work is necessary and we are glad to see that the Council is committed to ensuring that these historic locks aren’t allowed to fall into more disrepair while lobbying for restoration continues.
THE SWANS AT LOUGH SHARK: yesterday’s workparty was at the Sluicekeeper’s Cottage. We launched the branch boat to cross the canal and continued clearing trees and undergrowth from the lough-side to improve the view. There’s some difference from our first workparty there when you could hardly see the water. Yesterday we were rewarded with a ringside seat for the ‘teenage’ swans practicing their flying. More work needed on landing techniques but brilliant to watch all the same.
COUNCILLORS VISIT CANAL: We’re getting very popular with the politicians these days, must be doing something right;-) Today we had ABC councillors to look at the new cill at Moneypenny’s and our lock gates at Campbell’s lock. We are trying to show them how worthwhile it would be to continue the restoration work and get water back in the canal right from Lough Neagh to Poyntzpass. They also inspected Terryhoogan lock which needs the cill replaced and is currently the missing link in our Blueway strategy. With Colin McCusker
Some recent visitors to our Facebook page have asked to see “before” photos of Moneypenny’s Lock. Here’s a selection from one of four work parties the Branch held in January 2013 when the undercutting damage to the lock walls was discovered. The first picture shows the lock in its neglected state and the second, how it looks today. Scroll on through to read the story…
Great job! Well done ABC Council for forging ahead and repairing Moneypenny’s Lock. Congratulations to the engineers, Seeley Consulting, for their design and management of the project and to the contractor, A.G. Wilson Ltd, for their excellent work on site. Thank you everyone who visits our Facebook page – it’s fantastic to have your encouragement and enthusiasm. Keep in touch! Other exciting developments are anticipated along the waterway soon. There’s life in the old canal yet….