2010

Easter Rally 2010 – Edenderry April 2nd – 5th
This year’s event to open the boating season took place in partnership with the HBA, IWAI, Waterways Ireland, Edenderry Library, Edenderry Festival Committee and Edenderry Chamber of Commerce. From late March lots of publicity had been generated through a Waterways Library Display and widespread media coverage. It was no surprise then that the Easter weekend saw Edenderry Harbour packed with 31 boats and several hundred curious onlookers.
The Kildare IWAI committee, headed up by Jim Connolly and Pa Keogh formed close links with the Edenderry Festival Committee and the Edenderry Chamber of Commerce, ensuring a warm welcome from the people of Edenderry for the visiting fleet. Local businesses ran special deals  including late dinner opening on Good Friday in PJ Foy’s pub and a buy one get one free deal in Edenderry swimming pool.
Events over the weekend took place in the harbour, at the Parish Centre and in the town. The festival opened with the launch of a Farmer’s Market. Free live entertainment was provided aboard the Floating Theatre for most of Saturday and the Festival was officially opened by Greg Whelan, IWAI Vice President and Michael Duignan, Offaly GAA star at 4pm. Our barbeque nearly didn’t happen due to some stubborn charcoal but as the saying goes ‘ it never rains but it pours’. We ended up with three barbeques and well fed rally participants with food provided by Dempsey’s & Foran’s butchers and Brady’s supermarket. Our table quiz was sponsored by Foy’s and was hosted by quizmaster Matt Cummins and his team. This allowed everyone (committee included) to relax and enjoy the night. The party mood continued late into the night with Edenderry’s own Elvis.
Crews awoke on Easter Sunday morning to find a small chocolate gift. Rumour has it that the Easter bunny in question had been working the night shift feeding his family and felt it best to hop from boat to boat in the frost to deliver his cargo at first light. He was however spotted by some keen early risers – or possibly hardcore partygoers – you know who you are!
The Edenderry Festival Committee ran a family fun day at St Mary’s Parish Centre and a particularly popular Easter Egg Hunt. Joe Treacy, HBA organised another ‘build a boat’ competition and a large crowd gathered to watch the launching of vessels that came in all shapes and sizes. For those with spare cash the IWAI trailer was on hand and once again, umbrellas were a very popular sale.
Our prize giving ceremony took place in Pat Larkin’s pub where everybody was well fed and watered. The Endeavour Cup was awarded to the crew of Roisin Dubh from Sallins for their regular support of Kildare IWAI events and for the always present music session. The full list of prize winners is provided below.
Prize Winner
Boat Building Sam Kearns, Oran Buckley, Brian O Reilly, Holly & Katie Farrell, Luke Martin, Jennie O Reilly, Aoife Buckley, Dean Connolly, Eoin O Reilly
Chief Marine Architect Joe Treacy
IWAI Trailer Sales Team Hayley Connolly, Rory & Luke Keogh
Easter Egg Raffle 1st Dean Connolly   2nd Miriam  3rd Paddy Grace
Best Dressed Boat Snocat
Furthest Distance Travelled Spera Meliora
Shortest Distance Travelled 95B
Best Dancer Mary Byrne
Best Headgear at a Barbeque Mick Kinahan
Best Prepared Crew Dolan family – Lady Jane
Best Lockkeeper Billy Mc Cormack – Ticknevin
HBA presentation Paul Martin
Rally Plaques An Cuan Cistin, Foy’s, Larkin’s, Library, Emily Hurst, Louise Coghlan, Siobhan Swords, Frank Carroll & Edenderry Historical Society
Endeavour Cup 2010 The crew of Roisin Dubh
All rally participants were presented with a maple plaque designed by pirate Gerard Lacey. The branch would like to thank all of the following who helped to make our Easter Rally 2010 such a huge success.
IWAI, Waterways Ireland, FAS, HBA, Edenderry  Library, Emily & Louise & Siobhan – Edenderry Festival Committee,
Dempsey’s & Foran’s butchers, Brady’s supermarket, An Cuan Cistin, PJ Foy’s & Pat Larkin’s pub, Neville Shaughnessy,   Matt Cummins, Frank Carroll, Edenderry Historical Society, Gerard Lacey

Small Boat Rally to Pollardstown Fen Sunday April 11th, 2010
On Sunday April 11th sixty plus members on twenty boats from the Barrow, Boyne, Cruising Club, Dublin, Kildare, Lough Derg and Slaney IWAI and the HBA meandered in sunshine through the clear water of the Fens. A glorious day, meeting up with many boating friends we had not seen for some time.

Robertstown Canal Fest
The big event in Kildare in July was the Robertstown Canal Fest on the banks of the Grand Canal. This festival organised by a local committee was a lively affair with a mix of novelty events, live music from local talent and good craic in Robertstown’s many pubs.  The festival opened on Saturday July 24th at 1:30 pm with the arrival of Pat Mc Grath and team who had undertaken to swim the Grand Canal from Shannon Harbour to Robertstown in aid of St Brigid’s Hospice in The Curragh, Co Kildare.  The musical highlights of the day included Bun os Cionn and Swamp Monsters, both featuring the talent of local singer and musician Glenda Mc Cormack.  Sunday’s sounds included our own Ger Loughlin, in fine voice as ever. A number of boats from Lowtown and Sallins moored in Robertstown for the weekend adding to the colour of a well supported festival. Congratulations to the festival committee on a job well done and we look forward to next year’s event.

Naas Canal Festival October 22nd to October 25th
Following on from last years Naas Canal Festival, a larger than expected fleet ascended the flight of five locks into one of Kildare’s busiest harbour towns for the October Bank Holiday weekend. Boats travelled from all parts of Kildare and from as far away as Shannon Harbour and Clondra. Members of IWAI, HBA, RCAG and the newly established Irish Residential Boat Owners Association (IRBOA) were strongly represented and the usual support from Waterways Ireland staff and Kildare IWAI volunteers ensured that every vessel and crew made it safely into Naas harbour, despite rain and darkness.

This year’s festival was officially launched by the Mayor Seamie Moore. He welcomed the fleet to Naas and spoke about plans for further development of the harbour area and the Corbally Branch. Kildare IWAI used this opportunity to unveil a new burgee and bunting and also a new rally plaque. HBA Chairperson Paul Martin made a presentation to lock keeper Billy Mc Cormack in recognition of the part he played in the HBA re enactment earlier this year of 51M’s last journey with cargo out of Dublin.

The Canal Stores building was once again donated by Kildare Youth Services for the duration of the festival and Waterways Ireland set up an impressive display indoors, showcasing Ireland’s waterways. Outdoors was a hive of activity too with the IWAI Trailer, the RNLI and Dermot Johnson of Ted Johnson’s Hardware, who had a busy day Saturday displaying his fine range of chandlery.  Many thanks to all of the above organisations for ensuring that this event was more colourful than ever.

Saturday evening got underway with the ever popular Barbeque and most impressive apart from the meat was the very wide range of bring you own salads. Regardless of your persuasion for meat or not, entertainment continued until the very early hours.

Sunday began in the ‘quite early for some’ hours with a small boat rally headed for Corbally harbour, some seven miles from Naas. This event involves not just boating skills but lifting skills as well. To the bemusement of traffic the fleet of dinghies walked across the Naas to Newbridge road – which culverts the canal at this point – and then continued on their journey to Corbally. After a long battle with weed, the brave explorers walked the remaining distance from the second culvert into Corbally harbour. The branch would hope to organise a number of work parties next year in Corbally harbour as it is quite badly neglected at the moment.

The Naas Canal Festival 2010 rounded off with prize giving and finger food in the Townhouse Hotel. Awards of note were given to Ronnie and Mary Byrne of 72M for their mammoth journey from Clondra to Naas and to Teresa Keogh and Reg Beattie for being there whenever and wherever anything needed to be done. Thanks especially for the Soup and Brown bread Teresa! The Mick Clinton Memorial Award was presented to Giles and Jill Byford of Hawthorn for their support of Kildare IWAI and their contribution to life on the waterways through their canopy business and their online blog.

Christmas Walk 2010
This years Christmas walk took us back to Naas town.  The thaw had cleared the snow and made for a pleasant morning.  With Paddy Behan and Liam Kenny from the Naas Historical Society and about 20 branch members we assembled at the harbour.  After a brief history of the harbour we proceeded north along the canal to Abbey Bridge, Locks 5 and 4 and Tandy’s Bridge.  Paddy and Liam bombarded us with facts and figures on the canal (Lock 5 is 302.2 feet above sea level) and the surrounding estates.  They are passionate Historians and we are grateful to them, as they oblige us every time we visit Naas.  The rain held off long enough to make it back to the Town House Hotel for soup and sandwiches.  A few words of thanks from our chairperson Jim Connolly to all who made the effort to attend, especially Dr Taryn Kinahan McDonagh and her husband Dr John Mc Donagh who were home from America for the first full Christmas gathering of the Kinahan clan in 9 years! The Dr’s also introduced the walkers to ‘Geocaching’. Check out www.geocachingireland.com for more info on what that is all about. Huge thanks were also paid to Naas Historical Society who have been associated with Kildare IWAI for over 26 years and continue to support us with infectious enthusiasm in all of its activities in the Naas area.

PK & AK 2010