Newry Canal set for clean up in time for Olympic time trials

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012
Two organisations have in the last week committed to cleaning up the banks of the Newry Canal as well as the Albert Basin. The Newry and Portadown branch of the Inland Waterway Association of Ireland (IWAI) and the Newry Maritime Association have both signed on for the job and are expected to begin in the coming days. While the IWAI annually clean up the area, there is an eagerness to have the area in pristine condition for the arrival of Rowing Ireland, who are set to undertake Olympic time trials on the canal next weekend on the 11th and 12th of February. Chairman of Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Peter Maxwell said “Inland Waterways moved their annual clean up of Albert Basin forward to ensure the ship canal is in pristine condition for the arrival of the athletes from Rowing Ireland. IWAI is keen to encourage greater use of the canal facilities that already exist. We see the basin as a great venue for canoeing or dinghy sailing, especially as a safe training ground for children and our programme for 2012 is working towards making the canal a better venue for that.” James McAreavey of the Newry Maritime Association spoke of the clean up job, “The group were delighted to be involved in this joint civic action event with Newry and Mourne District Council and given the importance of the visit of Rowing Ireland to Newry Ship Canal it is imperative that we showcase our waterways in the best possible light.” Mayor Charlie Casey also commented saying, “I would like to thank both groups for taking the initiative to clean up the riverbank and the Albert Basin. it is very important that residents from Newry and Mourne know the importance of maintaining Newry Canal as The Canal is steeped in history and was the first summit level canal in the British Isles with 14 locks between its entrance at Carlingford Lough and Lough Neagh.”
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