And we like to think that we had a lot to do with convincing the two governments to move ahead and start restoring the Ulster Canal. You’ll have seen the stuff in the media about that over the last while. [click]
The First users in Dublin and on the Shannon were of course the Vikings
Which opened just about long enough for less than a dozen boats to pass through and then fell into deriliction
We run events on and off the water like boat rallies but also quite a lot of training and educational events as well. While our main focus is on waterways as navigations we do try to represent everyone who is enthusiastic about our inland waterways. So we would have people who own [click]
And culminating in public protests outside the Mansion House in Dublin.[click]
To no boats at all. Because a lot of our members simply enjoy getting out and walking along the rivers and canals enjoying the wildlife, the scenery, the historic monuments and so on. [click]
People who sell and service and maintain the boats private boats, [click]
various visitor attractions and so on. If the problems with low water levels were to increase significantly, or even if people believe that that is the case, an economic sector that is already under pressure could really suffer. Because we are largely talking about discretionary spending here and with the downturn in the economy people are making cut-backs. [click]
pubs, restaurants, shops, [click]
We throw a pretty good party as well. This was the fleet that gathered in Dublin in 2004 to celebrate the 50 th Anniversary of the IWAI. Over 70 boats took part in the Rally
Greg Whelan Presentation
Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Gregory Whelan –President
What is the IWAI?• Voluntary Body• Advocates Use Maintenance Protection Restoration Appropriate Development Of the Navigable Inland Waterways of Ireland
What we do• Campaign for services & facilities• Work in harmony with local groups such as An Taisce, local Chambers of Commerce, Community Development Assocs.• Seek to restore navigations• Work with similar organisations to promote safety afloat• Provide work parties• Engages with Government both Nationally and Locally
Our Members• Over 4,000 in 22 Branches – North and South – an all Ireland organisation• Two Main interests Conservation Recreation• Members include Boaters, Sailors, Walkers, Anglers, Canoeists, People interested in Archaeology and Ecology.• Not just a boating organisation
Inland Waterways - What Are They ?• Not Coastal or Offshore• Usually Non-Tidal• Navigable Lakes & Rivers• Man-Made Canals Lower Tinnehinch Lock Barrow Navigation Co. Carlow
Early Canals - c.1730:1750• Newry Canal• Tyrone Navigation
Waterways Heritage• Created to provide a transportation infrastructure• Canal builders vision failed to materialise• Left us with unique heritage Natural features & eco-systems Man-made artifacts• Wide appeal Boating, fishing, walking, history etc.
The Challenge• To preserve and protect the unique heritage of our waterways while allowing it’s use and enjoyment.
• To encourage people to make the Circular journey, Dublin Branch commissioned a certificate and plaque to be awarded to vessels completing the route.• We’ve taken the liberty of naming the route the Green & Silver route• A total of 29 boats completed the journey in 2011 with another 20 or so en-route, some just setting out on a multi-year voyage, others planning an early assault on the route in 2012.
Working with local Communities• Float to the Fleadh – Tullamore• Clean up Groups• Working with local festivals – Athy, Robertstown, Endenderry, New Ross• Over 200 events across Ireland each year• National Volunteering Week May 2012 Waterways Clean up focus
In conclusion• Waterways are not just linear parks• Part of the community• Provide enjoyment to different user groups• Source of local employment and stimulate investment• Attractions for visitors both on and off the water• Need commitment and ownership from the community