Lagan Branch Aims
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland is a voluntary body of Inland Waterway enthusiasts. We advocate the use, maintenance, protection, restoration and improvement of the inland waterways of Ireland. The association, founded in 1954 campaigns for the conservation and development of the waterways and in particular their preservation as working navigations.
The Lagan Branch aims include the promotion and restoration of the Lagan navigation.
The Lagan Branch of the IWAI was formed on 20th January 2005
“It doesn’t seem that long ago that a public meeting was held in Lisburn to see if anyone was interested in setting up a Lagan Branch of IWAI. Three months later the Lagan Branch was up and running and ready to invite other members of IWAI from all over Ireland to join them in the first ever Boat Rally. The event on the River Lagan in Belfast, Saturday 16 April 2005, received sponsorship by Laganside Corporation. From early morning boats of all shapes and sizes were launched in the Stranmillis stretch of the river between 9am and 11am, they then gathered together to travel as a flotilla to the Waterfront Hall in Belfast City Centre.
The objective of the event was to put as many boats as possible on the Lagan to raise awareness of the interests that boat owners from all over Ireland would have in creating an active and vibrant waterway once again. The event turned out to be a very colourful spectacle with boats of all shapes and sizes joining in the event. Crowds of spectators stopped to enjoy the scene and cars swerved to a stop by the side of the road to take photos and see what was going on.
Jim Henning, Chairman Lagan Branch, paid thanks to everyone for their help and support in making the event such a huge success. Particularly those who travelled some distance from Galway, Dublin, Enniskillen and many other parts to join the event and those who were involved behind the scenes in providing refreshments for everyone attending.
“ We have had more boats on the river here today than we have had in over fifty years, and this is just for starters. Just think what could be done if we had a few more Locks opened up and could get boats up the river to Lisburn and beyond to Lough Neagh. Momentum is building and there is more interest now in people getting together and working towards opening all of Northern Irelands waterways, not just for boats but for everyone to enjoy. It was cold, and it was wet but sure that’s what its all about”.
It is anticipated that the Lagan Branch will greatly enhance and support the work which Council’s and other agencies are doing to promote recreational activity on the water and to undertake restoration work on the derelict locks along the system.”
Chairman Lagan Branch LWAI