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"Yachts may be barred from the Basin" That's the wake up call from members of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, Newry and Portadown branch who have went public to highlight what they see as a very real possibility that the Albert Basin could be inaccessable to shipping traffic if a fixed structure bridge is built over Newry Ship Canal as part of the Southern Relief Road project.

The Southern Relief Road aims to provide an easier route to heavy traffic to and from Warrenpoint Port without travelling through Newry city centre.

As part of the IWAI Newry and Portadown branch campaign the group wrote to "all the existing councillors who were standing for re-election in Newry, Mourne and Down" for support, to "ensure that the new Southern Relief Road would have a lifting bridge to permit yachts to continue entering the Albert Basin."

A Newry.ie artistic impression of what a fixed bridge over Newry Ship Canal would look like. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
A Newry.ie artistic impression of what a fixed bridge over Newry Ship Canal would look like. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

In a Facebook post tonight the group state that they got support from just three councillors: Pete Byrne, Henry Reilly and Gary Stokes

Initial Albert Basin Park Project plans for the new Public Park at the Albert Basin include Marina facilities on the site, something that would be jeopardised if vessels couldn't get there!

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