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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Watch out for the Whooper Swans flying back to Iceland at the end of March. From early November they can be seen in the wet meadows all along the canal especially near Gilford, Scarva and Poyntzpass. They are about the same size as our local Mute Swans but differ in several ways: they have a yellow bill (instead of pink), they have a call rather like that of a goose and they migrate North to breed. In many ways they are a sign that winter is over.
Primroses in Canal Wood and marsh marigolds in the canal by Lough Shark/Acton Lake. Spring is well under way!
SATURDAY 23rd MARCH. LIVE HERE, LOVE HERE ADOPT-A-SPOT INITIATIVE. IWAI Newry Portadown Branch invites you to a Towpath Spring Clean-up between lock 2 and lock 3 along the Newry Canal towpath on Saturday 23rd March from 10:00am to 12:00 noon. Meet at the towpath gates just past the WIN Industrial Estate entrance, Newry, BT35 6PH. All welcome to attend! Please share!
Great photo of the old railway bridge in Scarva from photographer Alistair Prentice. If the proposed Scarva to Banbridge Greenway goes ahead it will join the towpath near here.
St. Patrick’s Day in Newry. A big turnout for the parade and a huge crowd of onlookers. Certainly the largest one I’ve been to. The IWAI Barge looking good after a repaint.
Plenty of willing helpers out on Saturday spring cleaning our visitors centre at Acton Lake. The Sluicekeeper’s Cottage will be opening on Easter Saturday so call in if you’re passing on the towpath. Before then, catch us in Newry during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations