Newry Canal Revisited

Those who continue to harbour dreams of a glorious future for Newry Canal are grossly misguided, to say the least: for most of the 19 mile stretch from Newry to Portadown it is so silted up (I estimate an average 3 inches of water)…

… that it but poorly fills its only function this past few generations, that of an artificial drainage channel : the town stretch, because of the building of low-level bridges, can never become even a pleasure-boating area: and the Albert Basin and Ship Canal to Victoria Locks await in vain the predicted flotillas of pleasure craft depicted on The Quays advertisements. 

A number of very poor investments were made by Councils during our lifetimes, first purchasing the derelict and decaying canal (and its great debts and enormous financial responsibilities) from the Newry Port and Harbour Trust, and then purchasing, and reopening the Ship Canal in 1986, when it had already invested in the rival (and far more sensible) Warrenpoint Port (itself now under great threat from Greenore Port). Newry Port will never again play host to commercial shipping and we are in debt to the tune of many, many millions (

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