The Branch at Belturbet (Beal Tairbet – at the mouth of the Tairbet river) was formed in 1966 by noble gentlemen Barnham, Doherty and Kenny. From the banks of the River Erne, which rises many miles away in south Cavan, you can travel some 40 miles to Belleek and on to the Atlantic Ocean on the Donegal coast. Over many years the Lough Erne Rally – a joint outing organised by the Belturbet and Erne IWAI branches – has travelled the full length of this waterway often in beautiful weather, but at times enduring the wrath of westerly winds on the lower/ broad lough. The original Branch committee built a mooring where the current Ducking Stool jetty is located. Over the years many longstanding Branch members have played an important role in maintaining a vibrant presence on this waterway. Around 25 members have had the honour of being Erne Rally Commodores.
Belturbet IWAI is not just about boating as our committee has made significant efforts to improve facilities – including a new town jetty and power bollards – and a number of other public seating and picnic tables (including a fine marbled area built in memory of departed friends). In 2019 the Branch also renewed its efforts to see the building of a new Service Block as this has been over-looked by the respective authorities.
Whilst activity on the Lough Erne system has been an important navigation, the coming of the reopened Shannon Erne Waterway also opened up new cruising opportunities and of course connection to the Shannon.
Belturbet IWAI has around 100 members, whose camaraderie and fun are known the length and breadth of the country. It is no secret that when the Belturbet Navy get going, the singing and craic is mighty.
Come listen to me, I’ve a story to tell
It’s all about some people that you know quite well
Down on the river on the boats they go
I’ll start with someone that I think you’ll know
With my too raa raa, fal da didle daa
Too raa roo raa roor raa ra
(From the Rally song by Cathal Kinney 2008)
Why join Belturbet Branch
Belturbet IWAI is one of the five largest branches in the country, and one of seven in the northern area. We have a membership of around 100 people of every type so you are sure to meet up with many like-minded people to help you enjoy your boating and be
there for you if you have a problem or get into a spot of bother. Each year we plan over ten events, and there is also nothing better than to moor up with other members and enjoy the waterways. It’s simple – just whatever floats your boat!