Celebrating Naas Canal

Published: Thursday, 19 October 2017

THE Inland Waterways Association of Ireland is celebrating the 30 years since the Naas Canal was reopened, with a festival at the end of this month.

The Naas Canal Festival will be held for a long week-end at Nass Harbour Friday October 27th to Monday October 30th, Alan Tilbury reports.

Nass Canal festivalLarge fleet of boats

In the early 1980s, a fledgling Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Kildare, supported by the Dublin association, highlighted the potential for tourism development of the Grand Canal in Naas. 30 years on and a large fleet of boats is expected to attend the Festival in Naas Harbour.

Boats attending the Festival will be assisted through the locks by staff from Waterways Ireland, Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Kildare volunteers and members of the 23rd Kildare-Sallins scouts.

Public events

In addition to the flotilla of vessels old and new, there will be a number of public events in the leadup to and during the festival. A Waterways Exhibition will run in Naas Library from Monday October 23rd to Friday 27th featuring material from IWAI, the Heritage Boat Association and Waterways Ireland.

There will be a variety of activities on Sunday afternoon, from 1pm to 5pm, including music from The Water Gypsies, Waterways Information Talks, an Exhibition by Sean Curran Art, boat trips on the canal by bargetrip and the launch of a new children’s book by author Emma-Jane Leeson who will host readings from her book on a barge.

Showcase the Grand Canal

Of course, the boats themselves will also be on display and the owners will be on hand waiting to answer questions or even give you a tour. In the spirit of the founders of the IWAI, who established the Association in 1954, IWAI Kildare will use the Naas Canal Festival to continue to showcase the leisure potential and historical significance of the Grand Canal in this area.

Whether your passion involves travelling through locks by boat, paddling a canoe, walking or cycling for health, well-being and enjoyment, or waiting patiently for a bite on your fishing line, Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Kildare invites you to immerse yourself in the amazing engineering achievement that is the Grand Canal.