At the recent AGM in Tullamore of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) Mr. John Dolan was elected as the Association’s 18th President, taking over the helm from Ms Carmel Meegan.
John has been very active on our inland waterways over a great many years both at Executive and branch level. John has served as IWAI Vice President since 2014 and has previously held the role of Liaison & Lobbying Officer and PRO on the IWAI Executive.
At local level John is a member of IWAI Offaly where he has fulfilled numerous roles including Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. John has been instrumental in highlighting the potential of the Grand Canal for tourism development in recent years. This has resulted in the development of Tullamore as a focal point for major festivals including Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and the Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival.
John has also worked tirelessly with the local political and business community in Offaly to promote events including Discover the Grand Canal Cruise in Company and the Grand Canal Offaly Floating Festival or Grand COFF.
On a national level, John has played a key role on the IWAI Canals Action Group. This subcommittee has liaised with IWAI members, canal communities, local businesses along the canals corridor and local and national politicians to ensure that Bye law changes proposed by Waterways Ireland for the Grand Canal, Royal Canal & River Barrow Navigation put user requirements, tourism development and local communities at the centre of the regulations.
In his address as incoming President John Dolan thanked the outgoing President and the IWAI Executive for all of their work in recent years. In looking forward to his own term of office, Mr Dolan cited several opportunities where IWAI can influence the governance and development of our Inland Waterways including Canal Bye-laws & Water Abstraction. He also noted that IWAI as an Association can develop over the next few years the preservation of the IWAI’s past for the future, attract future generations to become IWAI members & broaden the IWAI ethos and message to new audiences.
Also at the AGM Mr Alan Kelly was elected as IWAI Vice President, succeeding John Dolan in that role. Alan is a native of Dublin and has been an active member of IWAI Kildare since 2003.