At the recent AGM of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) the chain of office of the countries largest inland leisure boating organization where handed over by outgoing President Mr.Greg Whelan to Ms. Carmel Meegan. Before a packed venue in Mullingar, Carmel was unanimously elected and is only
the second female to hold this prestigious office in the Associations sixty -­‐year history. Carmel from County Louth has been boating with her family on the river Shannon for twenty years and is a member of the Carrick -­‐on–Shannon branch of IWAI. She has held positions on the IWAI executive as Hon.Secretary,
Vice President and was Commodore of the 2005 Shannon Boat Rally. In her acceptance address Carmel thanked the outgoing President and IWAI executive
for their stewardship of the IWAI in recent years. In taking up office she affirmed her commitment to the promotion of the aims of the Association. She alluded
to the immediate challenges facing our members and use of the inland waterways; such as water abstraction and mid/lower river Shannon water level retention, Fracking in the north Shannon basin, development of the Ulster Canal, IWAI projects such as the Dunrovin development and membership expectation and delivery. Mr. Derry Smyth was also unanimously elected Vice President. Derry joined the IWAI in 2002 and in 2006 was a founding member of the Cruising Club holding the position of Hon Secretary. In 2010 he joined the IWAI executive as Hon. Secretary a position he held until his recent elevation. On the Ulster Canal the IWAI President was particularly pleased at Northern Irelands Environment Minister Alex Attwood’s announcement on the 1st
stage of the restoration of the Ulster Canal. The €35 million projected expenditure will see the restoration of 14kms of river navigation from Quivvy Lough to Gortnacarrow and 8.5km canal from Gortnacarrow to Clones. The IWAI President said that she was delighted with the Ministers announcement particularly in these difficult economic times. The IWAI membership, past Presidents and executive has for some time lobbied hard on this restoration development and its
necessity to complete the navigational connectivity on the countries inland waterway