The inland waterways of Co Kildare comes to life this coming October Bank Holiday weekend. Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) Kildare will host it’s now annual Naas Canal Festival from Friday October 28th to Monday 31st. A large fleet of boats is expected to assemble in Sallins harbour on Friday followed by a parade along the Grand Canal, up through the flight of five locks into Naas harbour.
The parade will leave Sallins at 11am and all boats should be in Naas harbour by 5pm. In the spirit of the founders of the IWAI, who established the Association in 1954 to campaign against the installation of fixed span bridges across the River Shannon, IWAI Kildare will use the Naas Canal Festival to showcase the leisure potential of the Grand Canal in this area.
Whether your passion involves travelling through locks by boat, paddling a canoe, walking or cycling for health, well being and enjoyment or waiting patiently for a bite on your fishing line, IWAI Kildare invites you to immerse yourself in the amazing engineering achievement that is the Grand Canal.
IWAI Kildare was established in 1984. In the early years IWAI Kildare was assisted by IWAI Dublin to restore and enable the re opening to navigation of the Naas branch of the Grand Canal main line.
Currently, IWAI Kildare aims to promote the use of the waterways of Co. Kildare by running rallies all over the county.
IWAI Kildare is actively campaigning to re open the Corbally branch of the Grand Canal from Naas harbour to Corbally harbour. This stretch of waterway is in good condition but passage for boats is blocked by a number of culverted crossings, including the road from Naas to Newhall which crosses the canal near Jigginstown.