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IWAI Corrib Dry Rally 2014

IWAI Corrib Dry Rally 2014

by Zara Brady – Hon. Secretary IWAI Corrib


When the annual Dry Rally is being planned there are several elements that always have to feature:

  1. Hotel on waterway
  2. Boat Trip
  3. Shopping
  4. Restaurant
  5. Outing for the adults
  6. Outing for the youngsters

Before we proceed any further, allow me explain to the uninitiated, that a Dry Rally this means travelling by car instead of on your boat.


The town of Carrick-on-Shannon capably provided five out of six on the list for our mid-January weekend ~ the only thing missing was the boat trip.  The resident river cruise boat had been lifted for its annual maintenance and all efforts to find an alternative proved unsuccessful.


We were based in the comfortable and welcoming Landmark Hotel overlooking River Shannon, less than two hours drive from Galway.  On the Saturday morning, the Market Yard, Dock Arts Centre, the world’s second smallest church Costello’s Chapel– plus lots of shops, a bookstore, boutique and the marina – kept twenty-two of us occupied for a few hours.


Next on the agenda was an afternoon visit to nearby Arigna Mines in North Roscommon. The route from Arigna village up the mountain to the mine gave way to wonderful views through the rising mist – suddenly beautiful Lough Allen appeared down below us. The lake is the uppermost and largest lake on the River Shannon and approx. 7 miles long and 4½ miles wide at its widest point.


A former miner took us on a 45-minute tour of the coal mine and demonstrated the methods used to extract coal from one of the narrowest coal seams ever worked in Europe. Miners had to lie on their side and chip away at the coal face with a short handled pick and a shovel. They crawled along a tunnel, following the seam of coal, which was never more than 20 inches high. There was usually a pool of water in the bottom of the tunnel so the men were constantly in damp clothing. They remained like this for the day until they had finished their shift and had hauled 5 3 tons of coal to a small wagon, called a hutch, on mini railway tracks.


Despite the back breaking work, many young aspiring miners left school at 14 years of age, to start their mining career at the easiest and lowest pay level, before working up to the more difficult but better paid position at the coal face. The coal in Arigna produced no explosive gas unlike English and Continental coal but the work was of course hazardous.  Rock falls posed the greatest danger and even though accidents were rarely fatal, they were the cause of many broken limbs. As one members of our group commented, ‘all teenagers should visit the mine, when they are slacking at school, as a wake-up call’.


Regular employment was uncommon in the province of Connaught in the 19th and 20th centuries, and there was an oft used saying:: “There was money in Arigna when there was no money elsewhere”. Mining sustained the people of Arigna down through the centuries and helped them through the horrors of the famine years. It all came to an end in 1990.


On the trip back to Carrick-on-Shannon we slowed down near the golf club to get a glimpse through the trees at Woodbook House. The house was immortalised in David Thomson’s classic book, Woodbrook, in which he describes Anglo-Irish life from the ten years he spent here in the 1930s as tutor to Major Kirkwood’s daughter, Phoebe.


The book weaves between nineteenth and early twentieth century political and social Irish history together with the author’s developing love for his pupil. In an epilogue he relates returning to Woodbrook in 1968, to find that the Kirkwoods had sold off part of the estate to the local golf club, the wings of the house had been demolished, and a local family, the Maxwells, who had formerly worked on the estate, had bought what remained and lived in a few rooms at the back of the house. Woodbrook House was sold in 1970 to John A. Malone, who live there until his death in 2013.Micheál Ó Súilleabháin composed a piece for piano and orchestra called “Woodbrook”, conceived as the soundtrack for a radio documentary called ‘The Story of Woodbrook’ – David Thompson’s Book’, produced by Julian Vignoles and first transmitted on RTE Radio in 1986.




On Saturday night we dined upstairs at the Oarsman Restaurant on Bridge Street in Carrick-on-Shannon. Lovely interior with plenty of buzz and atmosphere, and everyone raved about the food. Well worth a visit.

Peadar Canavan took to the floor to announce the much awaited results of the Corrib Branch Scutter Cup – this year’s recipient was Mistral!


Sunday was geared towards the children with a visit to the Lough Key Forest Park. The group divided up and some went with the small children to the Adventure Kingdom and despite rather persistent rain enjoyed a magical time on towers, roundabouts, swings and puzzles. There was a great range of innovative play equipment geared to a variety of age groups and abilities – not to mention their courage!



The other group headed off in the direction of the Lough Key Experience. It was an audio-assisted trail of the park so you took it at your own pace and spent as much or as little time as you wanted to on the walk. The firm favorites were the 19th century underground tunnels, the Moylurg viewing town and the amazing Tree Canopy Walk. This was a 300m long construction of timber and steel 9m above the woodland floor and meanders through the treetops and gives a panoramic view of Lough Key and Castle Island.




A visit for lunch to the Lakeside Café and a walk along the newly constructed Marina brought our weekend visit to Lovely Leitrim to a close. It might be a relatively small county but it has buckets to offer and is ideal base for a weekend.


Zara Brady

CPR Course

Certified CPR Course (Irish Heart Foundation)

Every year in Ireland an estimated 5,000 people die suddenly from cardiac arrest when their hearts stop beating. For every minute a person is collapsed without receiving CPR or defibrillation, their chance of survival decreases by between 8-10%. The Committee is purchasing a Defibrillator for use on the lake during our Rallies and other events. We are organizing a course in the use of the Defibrillator and would encourage as many IWAI members as possible to attend and learn this invaluable skill.

Venue :       Classroom above Dermatology Out-Patients Department in the old Ambulance base at the back of University Hospital Galway (green building, past Mortuary)

Date:            Wednesday 10th April 2013

Time:            5.30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 For enquiries and booking

Lorraine Courtney (087) 990 52 85

Zara Brady (087) 23 71 719

Click here to download and print the CPR Course Information Leaflet

IWAI Corrib Dry Rally 2013

IWAI Corrib Dry Rally 2013

by Zara Brady – Hon. Secretary IWAI Corrib

The 2013 IWAI Corrib Dry Rally took place between Friday 18th January to Sunday 20th January 2013.

It was a great success and many thanks to those members who braved the weather to get together and walk-off the Christmas pudding!


IWAI Corrib End-of-Season Rally 2012

IWAI Corrib End of Season Cruise-in-Company Rally 2012

by Niall O’Flaherty – Commodore of the Rally

Friday 7th September to Sunday 9th September 2012

Next weekend the End of Season Cruise-in-Company Rally will take place.

We will start off on Inchagoill Island on Friday evening with a Wine Reception following by Dinner.

I do hope you will decide to come along. If you are looking to meet fellow boaters, enjoy a fun treasure hunt on Inchagoill, beef up your inland waterways experience, or simply appreciate the piece of mind that comes from knowing you’re not alone on the lake, then give this rally a try.

Everything is weather dependent, so the Committee will meet before noon on Saturday morning and decide the next destination. It might be Maam Bridge, so do ensure you have adequate fuel for that length of trip.



Friday 7th September

Arrive at Inchagoill – George Ryder is Berthing Master – you must abide by his instructions when approaching a pier.

7.00 p.m. Wine Reception ~ please bring your own glass.

7.30 p.m. Dinner served ~ please bring your own cutlery.

9.00 p.m. Retire by the fire ~ bring your own instruments (music…..)

Saturday 8th September

Treasure Hunt on Inchagoill

Before 12 noon Committee decides on next destination. Have sufficient fuel forpossible trip to Maam Bridge.

Evening Dinner on board ~ bring your own food.

Sunday 9th Sept

Depart for homeport at your leisure.

Niall O’ Flaherty