Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Inland afloat headers

 

Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Will Open New Headquarters on Lough Ree This Week

20th June 2022
The new IWAI HQ 'Dunrovin' as the building will be known is co-located (on left) with the new RNLI permanent Lifeboat Station on Lough Ree
The new IWAI HQ 'Dunrovin' as the building will be known is co-located (on left) with the new RNLI permanent Lifeboat Station on Lough Ree Credit: Kevin Clabby

June 25th 2022 will be an historic day for the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) with the official opening of its new Headquarters at Dunrovin, on the shores of Lough Ree, Coosan Point, Athlone.

IWAI HQ Dunrovin as the building will be known is co-located with the new RNLI permanent Lifeboat Station, recently commissioned. For the last six years, IWAI has worked with RNLI to deliver a strategic partnership project with the RNLI resulting in a permanent Lifeboat Station and an IWAI building on the site where IWAI was born in 1954.

Dunrovin is steeped in waterways history, being the spiritual home of IWAI. In 1997 Cynthia Rice, widow of Colonel Harry Rice and lifelong member of IWAI bequeathed Dunrovin the property and site to IWAI Athlone and the Association. As part of her Will, Cynthia’s bequest stated that the property should be “used in perpetuity as a clubhouse and meeting house for members”. Cynthia’s Will also mentioned the RNLI as an organisation close to her heart. She spent many years fundraising for the RNLI annually with her husband’s niece and close friend Rosemary Furlong, another lifelong member of the IWAI.

Dunrovin, was the summer house of Harry Rice and his first wife Beatrice Geoghegan, (fondly known as Peggy) and his daughter Betty (born 1924). Beatrice died in 1951. Two years later in 1953 Harry married Cynthia, his daughter’s best friend and for many years they lived in Dunrovin. It was here that Vincent and Ruth Delany and Harry and Cynthia Rice devised and hatched plans and a way forward in setting up the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, now almost 70 years old.

While Harry died in 1964, the property was used by his wife until her death in 1997. To safeguard the property over the intervening years, it was rented out to various tenants. The site was and is frequently used by several water-based sports clubs with the Athlone Boat Club holding their annual regatta at Dunrovin as their base. Athletes practicing for the Triathlon use the waterways directly in front of Dunrovin for their open water swim. IWAI Athlone held many branch meetings in the original dwelling that was the home of the Rice’s. Many active and committed members of IWAI Athlone gave their time and energy ensuring the property did not fall into disrepair and disuse. Over the years, it has remained a primary goal of the Association to honour and carry out Cynthia’s wishes. Now, twenty-five years later, the Association has fulfilled her wishes and has done justice to her very generous bequest and honouring Athlone’s, the Shannon’s, and Ireland’s inland waterways heritage.

The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) is a voluntary body representing over 3,500 enthusiasts, with 25 branches across the island of Ireland.

Published in Inland Waterways
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating