IWAI Annual General Meeting 2011
on Friday 15th April 2011 at
Lough Ree Yacht Club, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
The Lough Ree Yacht Club's
website is here,
The Annual General Meeting of the IWAI was held in the Lough Ree Yacht
Club on Friday 15th. April 2011. The meeting was attended by over ninety
The minutes of the previous AGM which had been circulated were proposed
for adoption by Sheelagh Wickham and seconded by Jean Kennedy.
There were no matters arising.
In his opening address the President Paul Garland welcomed everyone to
the meeting, and thanked the Lough Ree Yacht
Club for making their facilities available to the IWAI once again.
The Associations major sponsors
Yachtsman Euromarine were praised for their continued generous support.
Paul also expressed gratitude to
Waterways Ireland and those who advertised in the IWN for their
This year saw the formation of the
Power Boat Branch – a non-geographical branch whose main interests are
in Power and Trailer Boating.
This, Paul reminded the attendance was the end of his three years
presidency of the Association – a position that he was honoured to hold. He
thanked and praised the Executive that had supported him throughout and
commented that the debate on most topics at meetings showed a wealth of
knowledge, interest and deep understanding of the needs of the Association.
The membership he noted was made up of a diversity of people and
interests whose involvement spread from the newly formed Power Boat Club to
the Heritage Boat Association, not to mention the enormous commitment of the
RCAG. The Association of course
also dove tails with other organisations, such as the RYA, ISA, and
Waterways Ireland. Indeed Paul made special mention of the new understanding
and relationship between Waterways Ireland and the IWAI.
Paul now, in passing the helm to Greg Whelan, wished him every success
and felt that he would get the same support from his wife Brenda as he had
got from Patsy and his family.
Before finishing Paul paid a special to his wife Patsy and family without
whose support, this wonderful experience would not have been possible.
The Treasurer John Corrigan was happy to report that the accounts of the
IWAI were in good order – the figures had been circulated to all members.
The cash reserve now stands at 290,000Euro.
John noted that by agreement with the Executive that there was additional
expenditure on this years Shannon Rally, as it was the 50th. Anniversary of
He stressed once again that the IWAI should not get caught up in fund
accumulation. John also noted that the quality of figures from the Branches
continues to improve, and of course he assured the branches that he was
always available to assist as/if required. The development of a web-based
for membership and accounts should further assist and ease the pressure on
The re-appointment of Robert Duffy & Associates as Auditors was approved
by the meeting.
In the absence of Ian Bath From the RCAG, Derry Smyth read out the
“2010 was a memorable year for the RCAG and the events that took place at
Richmond Harbour on 1st October were in celebration of 36 years of community
involvement in the restoration of the Royal Canal from the Liffey through to
the Shannon. A momentous achievement.
I think this is an appropriate occasion to recall that the campaign to
restore the Royal was launched in 1974 by the Dublin Branch of the IWAI and
rapidly gained the support of other branches, and in particular of the
Athlone Branch. It was just a few weeks later that the RCAG was formed. This
was on the occasion when a small number of IWAI members on the north side of
Dublin joined forces with some local residents to improve the condition of
the canal in the Castleknock/Blanchardstown area. It was an enormous success
and over the years this approach to restoration came to be emulated along
the whole length of the canal.
Moreover, it was the success of the IWAI's campaign that contributed to
the decision by Government to transfer ownership of the Royal, along with
the Grand, from CIE to the Office of Public Works, thus ensuring that both
canals would be preserved as part of Ireland's heritage for the benefit of
future generations. These waterways eventually passed into the ownership of
Waterways Ireland and it has been thanks to their excellent work and
co-operation that the Royal is close to being fully restored.
The project is not quite complete as, although dredged, the 8km branch
line into Longford town has still to be fully restored. Not a simple matter
as there are two low-level culverted road crossings. But the good news is
that Waterways Ireland are due to commence a feasibility study of the
restoration of the line later this year.
In Spencer Dock in Dublin there are still some problems to be sorted out.
But here, too, there has been considerable progress over the last twelve
months. The new sea lock is now fully operational, and within the last few
days the ESB has re-routed the cables that for years had obstructed passage
under Sheriff Street bridge. Negotiations with Dublin City Council regarding
the future of this bridge are also progressing satisfactorily. Work is well
underway on stage one of the DDDA's linear park project at Spencer Dock and
Waterways Ireland is also busy clearing the navigation channel through the
With the canal once again connected to the main network I trust that many
IWAI members will be looking forward to a journey through the Royal in 2011.
Do come and see for yourselves this waterway that your Association, in close
collaboration with the RCAG, played such an important role in bringing about
Election of Directors;
In the absence of more than one nomination for each of the positions the
following members were elected to the Board;
- President Gregory Whelan
- Vice-President Carmel Meegan
- Hon. Secretary Derry Smyth
- Treasurer John Corrigan
- Membership Secretary Jean Kennedy
- Education and Training Sheelagh Wickham
- Public Relations Tommy McLoughlin
- Liaison Dave McCabe
- Heritage Brian Cassells
- Membership Retention Joe O’Dubhghaill
The following nominees were elected to the Council;
- Donal O’Siochain, Thomas Meegan, Sam Hegarty, Siobhan Clusky, Bernard
Fitzpatrick, Stephen Maher.
Nominations for the Endeavour Trophy had been received for a wide group
of people and Associations as follows;
- Noel Griffin, Dave McCabe, Niall O’Flaherty and Trevor Northage for
their efforts in charting the Waterways.
- R.C.A.G. for their commitment to the restoration of the Royal Canal.
- James Haffey for his encouragement of restoration work on the Newry
- Newry Portadown Branch for their restoration work on the Newry Canal.
- Colin Becker for his devotion to the Waterways of Ireland.
- Shannon Boat Rally for their Contributions to RNLI
- John McKeown and Waterways Ireland for the restoration of the Royal
- Claidhbh O’Gibne for his contribution to the Boyne Navigation Branch.
The Award which is decided upon by a vote of the Directors was made to
John McKeown and his team from Waterways Ireland for their work on the
restoration on the Royal Canal. Rosanna Nolan accepted the Award on his
Incoming Presidents Report;
As is traditional in the Association the incoming President takes office
after the business of the AGM is completed. In his address Greg Whelan
thanked the members for electing him to the position, and expressed the hope
that he would live up to their expectations. He thanked Paul for his
guidance over the last three years and looked forward to working with him in
the future. Carmel Meegan was welcomed back as a Director and most
particularly as Vice President. The Association he remarked was made up a
- The Member – the stern gear that gives the association the ability to
- The Branch – the hull that keeps the organisation afloat and visible
- The Council – that steers the organisation in the right direction
- The Executive – the skipper making the decisions and sustaining the
Greg went on to say that as individuals and as an organisation we are in
difficult times and must work together on all things. Greg stated that he
would put in place ways to support a) the member through initiatives like
the on-line system, b) the branches through training and the new accounts
system, c) council through training and greater input into policy, and d)
the executive through leadership. He continued to say that “As an
organisation we have achieved a lot and there is a lot more to do.” To
highlight a few he mentioned; The Boyne and its restoration work, Lough Derg
and the Erina Canal, the Lagan and its recent guidebook, Dublin and the
Graving Dock, Newry Portadown and their Lock restoration work, and Carrick
on Shannon and its work in preserving the living memory of the Association.
In this regard special thanks were given to Fr. Paddy Dowling and the
Rev. James McMarry Taylor who have loaned their photographic archives to the
Association. To give the members a taste of the material a DVD was presented
to each attending member.
In finishing up his address, Greg introduced Kevin Clabby who then took
the membership through the proposed developments at Dunrovin.