The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland is a voluntary body of
inland waterways enthusiasts. We advocate the use, maintenance,
protection, restoration and improvement of the inland waterways of Ireland.
The association was founded in 1954 to campaign for the conservation and
development of the waterways and in particular their preservation as working
navigations. When the Shannon was almost totally undeveloped for pleasure
boating, IWAI fought the building of low bridges, thus ensuring the
development of the river as an asset for all to use and enjoy. 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 the
Ballinamore & Ballyconnell Canal (now the Shannon-Erne Waterway) and the
Naas line of the Grand Canal. Our formal Goals are stated
IWAI is the voice of waterways users and enthusiasts. It represents the
views of members to governments (NI & RoI), to Waterways Ireland and other
navigation authorities, to local authorities and the range of statutory and
state-sponsored bodies whose activities impinge on the waterways in one way
Membership & Organisation
IWAI has approx. 3,500 members mainly organised in branches associated with the major navigations across the island.
Our membership is drawn from all walks of life and from people with a
wide range of interests-boating, angling, walking, heritage, environment.
Many of our members own and use boats on our rivers, lakes and canals
ranging from motor cruisers to jet-skis, from barges to sailing dinghies and
RIBs to rowing boats.
The association is a company limited by guarantee and a registered
charity (CHY no 10915).
It is governed by a council made up of representatives of each of the local
branches and directly elected officers and members. Day to day affairs are
managed by an executive committee.
Who's Who in IWAI? You'll find the
list of current
officers of IWAI here.
IWAI is NOT responsible for the navigation, for registering boats,
for harbours or similar facilities. The authority that is responsible
for the Shannon, Suck, Erne, Barrow, Lower Bann, Grand Canal, Royal Canal
and Shannon-Erne Waterway is "Waterways
recent activities both at national and local
level can be found
- a complete chronology/history of the organisation and its
activities starts here. .
A number of Committees are active within IWAI including the
Heritage & Conservation committee,
Boating & Leisure committee etc..
Publications: The IWAI publishes "Inland Waterways News", a quarterly
magazine, sent out free to all members. The magazine covers a wide
range of topics of interest to waterways enthusiasts at local, national and
international level. IWAI also publishes a number of waterways related
books and guides. Our web-site is one of the largest single reference
sources for waterways related material in Ireland and a major source of
referrals for waterways related businesses. , which brings local events,
activities and developments into national perspective. Some of the branches
bring out local newsletters. Our web site at
is packed with
waterways--related information. Whether a boat enthusiast,
historian, archaeologist, or fisherman, you will find something here of
Branches: IWAI has twenty two branches: five in Northern Ireland and
fourteen in the Republic and two activity-based branches. Every member is affiliated to a local branch and
each branch is represented on a national Council. The branches are:
River Bann and Lough Neagh,
down South: Athlone,
You can join whichever branch you wish. You can
& restoration: Work parties and funds are raised to improve navigations
and to restore derelict ones. Current projects include the Ulster
Canal, Lagan Navigation, Coalisland Canal, Boyne Navigation and the Kilbeggan
and Corbally lines of the Grand Canal. A synopsis of current activities is
here. The photo at right shows a work-party
working on the Boyne navigation.
Boat rallies: IWAI organises rallies and other events including
annual rallies on the Barrow (Easter), Dublin (May), the Erne (May), the
Grand Canal (June), Shannon Harbour (June), the Corrib (July),
the Shannon (July), Lough Derg (July). Competitions help to raise
standards of boatmanship, seaworthiness and safety afloat.
Social events: Land-based events such as film shows, discussions and
lectures are organised on a range of waterways topics including, safety,
vessel maintenance, navigation, first-aid and waterways heritage
The IWAI Shop
IWAI provides a number of branded
for members. The association burgee and ensign are shown at
right. We also sell waterways-related
books & navigation charts.
Discussion Forum: We host a very active
forum. Here, you will meet folk who
talking about life on our waterways. Generally, people are very free with
advice on the list (whether wanted or not) and can point you in the right
direction if you have problems finding a 3/4 inch flux capacitor for
your 1984 BMC engine.
More information here.
Navigation and related announcements: If you would like to keep up to speed with announcements, news, and press releases from the
IWAI, you can subscribe to the association's
News Updates List.
Goals of the Inland Waterways
Association of Ireland.
IWAI is set up as a limited company - from our memorandum of
association, it has the following objectives:
(a) To promote the use, maintenance and development of the inland
waterways of Ireland, and in particular, to advocate and promote the
restoration to good order, and maintenance in good order of every
navigable waterway and the fullest use of every navigable waterway by both
commercial and pleasure traffic, provided such is not injurious to the
environmental health of the waterways and surrounding areas.
(b) To support any proposal which may be calculated to maintain or
improve Irish waterways and also to improve navigation, lay moorings and
carry out other works of improvement on and adjacent to the waterways.
In furtherance exclusively of the above main objects the Company shall
have the following ancillary objects:
(a) To oppose by appropriate action the abandonment or neglect of Irish
canals or river navigations, the pollution of waterways, the obstructions
of navigations by fixed bridges, aqueducts, overhead cables, or otherwise,
the obstruction of towing paths, or any other action calculated to injure
or destroy the navigation or amenities of the waterways of Ireland.
(b) To prepare, either alone or in collaboration with any other body,
guide books, charts, maps and other literature suitable for use by persons
using the Irish navigations for any purpose, and to foster public interest
in and knowledge of the Irish waterways by disseminating information on
the subject to members and to the general public.
(c) To organise visits to objects and places of interest on the
waterways including water-borne journeys.
(d) To do all such acts as shall further the active and corporate life
of the Association and to cooperate with any other body having similar or
(e) To represent the interests of boat owners in all matters pertaining
to the above objects.
(f) To organise, engage in, and sponsor boat rallies, exhibitions,
displays, festivals, carnivals, sports, hobbies and entertainments.
details of IWAI Policies, can be found
Internal IWAI Organisational Policies
Organisational and Management Policies..
Reports on recent meetings
Minutes of the Council Meeting, 31st. March 2012
of the Council Meeting, 15th. October 2011
2011 AGM of IWAI, Lough Ree Yacht Club, Athlone, 15th April 2011
Minutes of the Council Meeting, 5th. March 2011
of the Council Meeting, 25th. September 2010
2010 AGM of IWAI, Lough Ree Yacht Club, Athlone, 30th April 2010
Report of Council Meeting, 27th February 2010
Report of Council Meeting, 28th November 2009
Report of Council Meeting, 19th September 2009
Report of Council Meeting, 23rd May 2009
AGM of IWAI, Lough Ree Yacht Club, Athlone, 25th April 2009
Report of Council Meeting, 21st February 2009
Brief Report of Council Meeting, 22nd November 2008
Brief Report of Council Meeting, 13th September 2008
Brief Report of Council Meeting, 17th May 2008
of the 2008 AGM, April 4th, 2008
Brief Report of Council Meeting, 23rd February 2008
Brief Report of Council Meeting, 24th November 2007
Report of Council Meeting, Sept 22nd, 2007
Report of Council Meeting, May 19th, 2007
of the 2007 AGM, March 30th 2007
Report of Council Meeting, February 17th, 2007
Report of Council Meeting, November 25th, 2006
Report of Council Meeting, September 23rd, 2006
Brief report of Council Meeting,
May 13th 2006.
of the 2006 AGM, March 24th, 2006 &
President's report to 2006 AGM, March 24th, 2006
Brief report of Council Meeting,
November 26th 2005.
Brief report of Council Meeting,
September 25th 2005.
Brief report of Council Meeting, May 6th 2005.