The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland

Waterways

IWAI is a voluntary body of waterways’ enthusiasts, founded in 1954. It was formed to promote and encourage the use and development of Ireland’s navigable waterways.

In its early years the association was a campaigning organisation ensuring that the Shannon was navigable for pleasure boating helping guarantee the development of the river as a national asset for waterways tourism. The early campaigns were extended to include the drive to prevent the threatened closure of the Grand Canal in Dublin. The association has worked to assist the improvement of the Barrow and to focus interest and activity on the restoration of the Royal Canal, the

The early campaigns were extended to include the drive to prevent the threatened closure of the Grand Canal in Dublin. The association has worked to assist the improvement of the Barrow and to focus interest and activity on the restoration of the Royal Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the river Boyne, the Kilbeggan Line of the Grand Canal, the Ulster Canal the Newry canal and other closed navigations.

IWAI is the voice of waterways users and enthusiasts. It represents the views of members to governments (NI & RoI), to the cross-border navigation authority Waterways Ireland, and other navigation authorities, to local authorities and the range of statutory and state-sponsored bodies whose activities impinge on the waterways in one way or another.

Activities

      • Improvements & Restoration
      • Boat Rallies
      • Social Event
      • Web Forum
      • Training & Education
      • Walks, Work Parties & Cleanups

IWAI Today

iwai-today

The IWAI is an all-Ireland organisation, represented by 23 branches locally based around the waterways (6 in Northern Ireland and 15 in the Republic and two activity-based branches) representing approx 3500 members, the majority of which are family members. The IWAI works in partnership with national and local government, statutory agencies and development companies, the community, voluntary and business sectors, lobbying, advising and working together to protect and promote the

The IWAI works in partnership with national and local government, statutory agencies and development companies, the community, voluntary and business sectors, lobbying, advising and working together to protect and promote the long-term development of the waterways.

The organisation publishes a quarterly magazine “Inland Waterways News” which is a unique publication covering a wide range of topics of interest to waterways enthusiasts at local, national and international level. IWAI also publishes a number of waterways related books and guides.

The association activities range from boat rallies, social events, training events, and heritage and conservation projects to setting up work parties for restoration or improvements to navigation e.g. Ulster Canal, Lagan Navigation, Coalisland Canal, Boyne Navigation and the Kilbeggan and Corbally lines of the Grand Canal.

The IWAI website is one of the largest single reference sources for waterways related material in Ireland.

Membership and Organisation

IWAI has approx. 3,500 members mainly organised in regional branches associated with the major navigations across the island. Our membership is drawn from all walks of life and from people with a wide range of interests including boating, sailing, watersports, angling, kayaking, walking, restoration work, heritage, and environment.

Many of our members own and use boats on our lake lands, rivers, and canals ranging from motor cruisers to jet-skis, from barges to sailing dinghies and RIBs to rowing boats.

The association is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity (CHY no 10915). It is governed by a council made up of representatives of each of the local regions and directly elected officers and members. Day to day affairs are managed by an executive committee.

membership

Note: IWAI is NOT responsible for the navigation, for registering boats, for harbours or similar facilities. The authority that is responsible for the Shannon, Suck, Erne, Barrow, Lower Bann, Grand Canal, Royal Canal and Shannon-Erne Waterway navigations is ‘Waterways Ireland’