IWAI Chronology
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IWAI - Chronology
Compiled by Ruth Delany


The IWAI was formed in 1954 to promote the development, use and maintenance of Ireland's navigable rivers and canals. When the River Shannon was almost totally undeveloped for pleasure boating, the IWAI fought the building of low bridges, thus ensuring the development of the river as a national asset. Later the IWAI successfully fought the threatened closure of the Grand Canal in Dublin and has done much to instigate the improvement of the Barrow and to focus interest and activity on the restoration of the Royal Canal and other closed navigations. It is now supporting efforts to restore the Ulster Canal.

1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, Recent Activities
1949 I.W.A. formed in England.
1949 Green and Silver published by Rolt
1952 Leader in Irish Times leads to correspondence and letters suggesting the formation of an Irish inland Waterways Association
1952 Correspondence with England commences.
February, 1952 Athlone bridge inquiry and decision to replace the former opening span with a fixed span. This decision has serious implications because of the other bridges which need replacing and which are much lower, such as Tarmonbarry and Roosky.
July, 1952 Harry Rice publishes Thanks for the Memory.
December, 1953  Meeting held at 58 Seafield Road. Decision to form an Irish I.W.A. and send out notices calling an inaugural A.G.M, to elect officers. This notice was signed by Harry Rice, Vincent Delany. Alf Delany, Bunny Goodbody, Walter Levinge and Rory O'Hanlon.
07-Jan-54 Inaugural meeting held in Shelbourne Hotel attended by over 200 people. The following officers and members of Council were elected: President, Colonel H. J. Rice; Vice-Presidents, Major General H, MacNeill, Prof. J. Johnston, Prof. J. Henry. T. G. Wilson, S. MacBride, P. J. Lenihan, J. J. O’Leary, J. F. McCormick, G. Shackleton, D. Williams, W. Levinge and A. Turney; Hon. Secretaries, Vincent Delany and L. M. Goodbody. Hon. Treasurer, G.C.M. Thompson.  Council. Dr. R. O'Hanlon, Dr. A. Delany. Major E. H. Waller. Frank Waters. Dr. J, de Courcy, Ireland, D. Kearns, S. Hooper, Dr. P. C. Denham. A. B. Killeen and S. Shine.
1954 The following resolution was passed unanimously: "That this Association is resolutely opposed to any attempt to amend the Shannon Navigation Acts so as to permit the obstruction of the Shannon Navigation and, in particular, its obstruction by the erection of a fixed bridge at Athlone."
19-Feb-54 Athlone Branch formed.
August, 1954 The Tanaiste, William Norton. and the chairman of CIE Mr. Courtney, taken on a trip on the Shannon in the St. CLAIR by John Williams, Harry Rice’s son-in-law persuaded to inaugurate a passenger service.
26-Jun-55 CIE passenger service inaugurated. This assured a clearance of about i8 ft. at all bridges and so opposition to the fixing of Athlone bridge was now withdrawn because ample clearance was assured at Tarmonbarry and Roosky.
1955 Branches formed at Killaloe, Nenagh, Carlow and Mullingar.
1956 Knockvicar Lock, which bad not been operational since the previous Year, was restored to working order as a result of IWAI pressure, and access to Lough Key restored.
1956 Shannon Pilot written by Vincent Delany was published by the IWAI with Financial assistance from Bord Failte.
1-8 August, 1956 Harry Rice led a rally of boats from Athlone to Lough Key, travelling in an open boat.
1957 Beddy Inquiry into Internal Transport recommended that CIE should be permitted to withdraw the commercial boats.
1958 The Government prepared a Transport Bill in which Section 22 gave CIE the right to close the canals without further inquiry. The IWAI resisted this strongly and succeeded in getting the section altered restricting closure to waterways which had not been used for a period of five years,
1959 CIE Withdrew the canal boats except for a few boats which continued to carry for Guinness into 1960 while a new store in Limerick was being completed.
  1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, Recent Activities



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This page was last modified Friday 08 March, 2013.