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
Our Facebook recent posts
Tandem heading north, family on bikes heading south.
Everyone happy after an enjoyable members’ lunch last Sunday.
Earlier this week this intrepid bunch of navvies set off to spray the stonework of the locks, and the hog-weed along the towpath. Sadly there’s lot of giant hogweed along the Clanrye River. They managed to do all the way from lock 2 to The Cracked Bridge. The wooden cill from a lock, which could date to 1730s, is shown. If you support what we do please share.
So, why are these two navvies so happy? It was our annual lunch party at the Sluicekeeper’s Cottage on Sunday, of course! Time to put the tools down and have some craic. Here’s what we got up to…
This is worth closer inspection- You are looking at what made Newry prosperous, Albert Basin, the canal and railway. In the foreground is Bridge Street, which is crossed by the Greenore Railway. Note, one line is servicing the Basin and the large storage sheds. The other line heads for Omeath. Dublin Bridge Station, for Warrenpoint trains, is also visible.
On a very stormy Thursday, Branch members Tom, Austin and Bruce hosted 14 enthusiastic walkers from Dublin Ramblers. The plan had been to cycle part of the towpath but storm Hector put a stop to that. Instead the group walked in the direction of Newry. Our visitor centre at Acton Lake was the first stop where Branch chairman Tom gave an excellent potted history of the canal. With having a great day out, coffee in the Scarva Tea Rooms and lunch in Rice’s Hotel, Poyntzpass, these visitors demonstrate the tourist potential of the Newry Canal and its contribution to the local economy.