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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Poyntzpass lock was pumped out today by contractors A G Wilson Ltd to assess the damage to the lock floor and finalise proposals for repairs. Three other locks are to examined before the end of the month. Great to see ABC Council and their consultants pushing ahead with this vital work!
Lovely day on the Newry Greenway along the canal from Albert Dock to Victoria Lock. Well worth checking out!
A very busy day today. 11 members turned out to clear fallen trees from the canal near Knock Bridge. These trees had blown down in the last 2 storms and the council had once again only cleared the towpath and not the channel. Even with Jonathan’s Landrover winch and Bryans chipper we were hard at it until 4.30. It’s a good job there was plenty of coffee, tea, soup and sandwiches to keep us going. A great job well done by all.
This tree was lying in Lough shark sending up shoots which blocked the view. We had cut the shoots off last year and left the trunk for the Heron to stand on. But the poor heron didn’t have a chance; the shoots came up too fast. The trunk was starting to put down roots to become a permanent feature. So it had to go. The trunk was logged and left in a pile for various wildlife to inhabit.
Canal Restoration Underway. Today Sean Murray Contracts started work at Lock 5 on the Newry to Portadown Canal. First job is to remove some of the tree stumps that have damaged the masonry. This is the first proper restoration of the inland canal for over twenty years in the Newry area. Hopefully more will follow.
Tidying up along the Newry to Portadown Canal. Cutting the grass on the embankment opposite the Sluice Keeper’s Cottage and removing a couple of fallen trees from the towpath near Steenson’s Bridge.