Welcome to the website of the Newry & Portadown branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI). We have the longterm ambition of restoring the Newry canal and once again joining Carlingford Lough with Lough Neagh. The branch has already begun to conserve and restore the waterway with our regular work parties. Volunteers have been removing trees and vegetation from the lock chambers so that the still impressive craftsmanship and architecture can be better appreciated by the public. In 2015 we manufactured and installed two sets of lock gates at Poyntzpass and near Scarva. We have lobbied locally and nationally to have restoration of the canal placed on the political agenda. The branch has successfully applied for funding for projects to increase public awareness of the canal and to encourage the various waterside communities to become part of our cause.
Our future plans are to continue to lobby and campaign; to fund raise and apply for grants; to maintain and conserve the architecture and industrial heritage of the canal and to continue our voluntary groundwork. We are also lobbying for Waterways Ireland to take over the Newry to Portadown Canal as being the best way to have the canal re-opened
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Very welcome news! The refurbished tea rooms in Scarva will be opening to the public under new management on MONDAY 17TH JUNE. Now called Hollie Berrie and full of tempting treats, it will be well worth a visit when you are out along the towpath. The photographs were taken during a private reception today.
Thank you Live Here, Love Here and Hillmount (garden centre, Gilnahirk) for their generous prize! You may remember the Newry Portadown Branch IWAI winning the Litter Heroes (Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area) section of the Live Here, Love Here award scheme in February. We spent our gift token today – a Wolf extendable pruner and saw attachment. These will be great for awkward pruning jobs along the towpath after winter storms.
Plenty of bumblebees in our Bee Garden at Moneypenny’s Lock despite the recent miserable weather. Poppies in our mini-meadow are proving to be a hit with them as are the bachelor’s buttons. Everything could do with lots of warmth and sunshine (including the IWAI gardeners)!
The last Branch meeting before our summer break was held in the Sluicekeeper’s Cottage on Monday night. After the business concluded, Robert Logan of the Follies Trust gave a very entertaining and informative talk on the work of this unique charity. It’s amazing how many architectural follies there are throughout Ireland and the Follies Trust aims to restore as many of them as possible.
Another new arrival at our Sluicekeeper’s Cottage Visitors’ Centre. Thanks to ABC Council, we now have a picnic table! Towpath walkers and cyclists are very welcome to use it (it’s recycled plastic so NO BARBEQUES PLEASE). Remember to take all your litter home to keep the Newry Canal towpath looking great.