The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland have officially recognised the River Suck Branch as a new club and now that they are formed and ratified their plan going forward is to promote and represent all users of the local waterways.
Their first AGM was held recently, and the first committee was elected: Chairman Graham Bartlett; Secretary Padraig Glynn; Treasurer Darragh Dolan; Vice-Chairman: Micheal Breathnach; PRO: Fergal Cusack; Membership Officer: Ian Lucas; Council Rep: Leo Kiernan; Committee Member: Kenny Murray.
Chairman Graham Bartlett stated: “Now that the branch is up and running we would like to invite new members and participation from people in the locality and we are keen to hear from anyone with suggestions, advice and would like to get involved in join us on our mission to see more traffic, activities and people on our local river over the coming months. From speaking to locals there is a strong appetite for improved access and facilities and the river is deemed an undervalued and under-utilised facility to attract tourists to the localities along its course.”
It was announced at the AGM that there are some events in the pipeline which will be announced throughout the season ahead. One discussed was the HBA ( Heritage Boat Association) is planning to hold their 21st Anniversary in the Ballinasloe Marina, this event is planned over the June Bank Holiday Weekend and will see a large gathering of the original canal barges which would have back in the past have travelled to the Old Ballinasloe Harbour when the Grand Canal extended to deliver produce to Ballinasloe before the canal ceased commercial operations in 1961. This will be a great opportunity to get up close to the very machines which were once part of everyday life in Ballinasloe and bring back memories for those who remember the barges in action.
Membership is now open to the public and anyone can now join via the IWAI Website www.iwai.ie or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and upon joining you can select River Suck as your affiliated branch. Membership will include a quarterly magazine and access to a community of waterway enthusiasts with events taking place regularly around the country. For more updates on the branch’s activities, you can join the group IWAI River Suck Branch on Facebook.
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