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IWAI Issue Giant Valentine Card to Show Love for Inland Waterways

12th February 2014
IWAI Issue Giant Valentine Card to Show Love for Inland Waterways

#inland – The Inland Waterways Association have issued an early Valentine verse to senior politicians:
 We love the waterways, and boats!
 You love the communities, and votes?
 Given the season, let's make a date...
 XXX – one kiss each from the Royal Canal, the Grand Canal, and the River Barrow

At the Executive Council meeting of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) on 10th February, Carmel Meegan, President of IWAI re-iterated - "the proposed bye-laws do not put user requirements, tourism development and local communities at the centre of the regulations."
By the end of the Waterways Ireland public short consultation period of 21 days (to 3 pm on Feb 3rd last), waterways locations affected had sent over 1800 letters of concern to IWAI (for IWAI to submit to Waterways Ireland), with notice to the IWAI of several hundred further submissions to WI. These 2,000 submissions; Parliamentary Questions; and enquiries from Councillors, are evidence of concern. This is a mandate for the IWAI to move into the next stage of a campaign. Other waterways organisations now permit the IWAI publish their submissions at www.iwai.ie
The consultation period included questions from members of the Seanad and the Dail; national and local press articles; radio interviews; community websites; blogs and Facebook pages; and increasing interest in the Grand and Royal Canals and River Barrow as a national resource.
The IWAI are distributing a giant Valentine Card to show our regard for the inland waterways that will be affected, and for the communities that have supported the bye-laws campaign to date.
Politically, this is a very big issue.
 IWAI has advised that Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, will sign proposed new rules into law, if these new regulations are finalised.
 The bye-laws should concern Mr. Leo Varadkar, TD, Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport on the potential of the 'Green and Silver' navigation route, from Dublin to the Shannon via the Grand or Royal Canals and vice versa, promoted by Dublin IWAI - now under threat.
 Further, the work of Mr. Phil Hogan, TD, Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government should not be ruined by Waterways Ireland doing their own thing with a national resource. The Local Government Reform Bill 2014 gives localities more power. The rushed bye-law consultation process mitigates against resource co-ordination and alignment.
 The IWAI now suggests that opportunities for enterprise development on inland navigations should also interest Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The boating community is not averse to appropriate management, facility provision, and access to waterways. But boats are key attractions, as the lifeblood of the navigations, and need to be welcomed.
Who to contact for further information
Gregory Whelan, IWAI, p: +353-87-7996356 e: [email protected]
Alan Kelly, IWAI, Mobile: +353-86-8326275
John Dolan, IWAI, Mobile: +353-87-9021039
Notes to Editor Notes to Editor Notes to Editor Notes to Editor Notes to Editor Notes to Editor Notes to Editor Notes to Editor Notes to Editor Notes to Editor – the IWAIthe IWAIthe IWAIthe IWAIthe IWAIthe IWAIthe IWAI
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) is a voluntary body representing over two thousand enthusiasts, with 22 branches across the island of Ireland.
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) is an energetic, fun, voluntary organisation with members from all corners of the Island of Ireland, all sharing a keen and passionate enthusiasm for the waterways of Ireland.
The IWAI advocates the navigation, use, maintenance, protection, restoration and improvement of the inland waterways of Ireland. It was formed in 1954 to promote the development, use and maintenance of Ireland's navigable rivers and canals.
When the Shannon was almost totally undeveloped for pleasure boating, the IWAI campaigned against the building of low bridges, thus ensuring the development of the river as a national asset. In the 1960s IWAI successfully fought plans to close the Circular Line of the Grand Canal in Dublin. Later the Association campaigned for the re-opening of what is now the Shannon - Erne Waterway (formerly the Ballinamore & Ballyconnell Canal) and the Naas Line of the Grand Canal.
IWAI played its part in the restoration campaign for the re-opening of the Royal Canal between Dublin and the Shannon in recent years. IWAI assistance to the campaign to re-open the Ulster Canal has also borne fruit with the announcement that work is to begin on re-opening the section from the Erne to Clones. Currently, IWAI members are active in restoration projects on the Boyne, Newry and Lagan Canals.
IWAI Branches hold approximately 200 events each year across inland navigations with the wider communities in many locations. These events include Boat Rallies, Harbour Festivals, Walks, Social Gatherings, Heritage Activities; Family activities and Youth focused events.

Published in Inland Waterways
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