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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It’s still not too late to protest and stop this. The new road must allow access for tall ships.
Our Bee Garden will soon be at its colourful peak. Bumblebee numbers have been fantastic this year, the garden buzzing with their activity. But now all has gone quiet as they have moved to the ever-increasing volume of Himalayan Balsam. This invasive foreign weed is not just bad for the banks of the canal but is an unnatural food for our native bees. The need for a Himalayan Balsam eradication programme along the canal (and the Cusher River) is ever more urgent.
Last week members of the Newry & Portadown, Erne, and Lagan Branches spent an enjoyable few days in Limerick and visited Foynes Flying Boat Museum and Ardnacrusha Hydroelectric Power Station. The full scale sea-plane – ‘Yankee Clipper’ was a big hit.
A brilliant IWAI volunteers’ picnic this year in the Sluicekeeper’s Cottage. Around twenty members and friends gathered to enjoy an afternoon of chat and feasting to celebrate a good year’s work on the canal.
Midsummer picnic for IWAI volunteers at the cottage on Sunday. Sumptuous spread with some interesting homemade drinks!
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.