Ten HYC Boats travel to Carlingford Lough and up the Newry Canal to Newry
Author: John Deane Posted on: 10/8/07 Print Version

Paddy O'Neill supplied the Photos and details of the trip.
He was on Gerry Sargent's boat,  Pip

On Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd August 10 boats from HYC headed North for Carlingford Lough for the August Bank Holiday Weekend. The trip was organised by Kevin Crothers of HYC.

One boat Pip (Gerry Sargent) left Howth on Thursday, and the rest left on Friday. Light Westerly winds and glorious sunshine on both days made for a relaxing and pleasant trip up.

The trip took about 8 hours.

The objective was to visit Carlingford Marina and then motor up the Newry Canal to Newry.

Click Photos for larger version


Boats arrived in Carlingford Marina over a few hours from 1600 onward and the earlier arrivals made off for the town to do a spot of sightseeing.

That evening the crews mixed for parties aboard the boats.

Photo - Carlingford Marina


The fleet, all fully dressed for the occasion, departed from Carlingford Marina at 1400 and headed up the Lough, past Warrenpoint and entered the Newry River at the head of the Lough.

The HYC Commodore, Gerry O'Neill lead the way in his boat, Gerryatric.

The mix of mountains and woods which surround the Lough and the stately homes and castles along the shoreline provide a most pleasant environment with plenty of variety - and all this is just 8 hours sailing from Howth.

Gerry O'Neill's   Gerryatric

The white house (on the Southern side of the Lough) is where Marie O'Neill was reared.

'Narrow Water' Castle
There's another bigger Castle behind it.

Looking back down the Lough
Carlingford is at the bottom of the mountain, 'Slieve Foy', in the distance.

The fleet approach Victoria Lock

Assembling in the Lock

Victoria Lock is about an hour's motoring from Carlingford, including the 2 mile stretch of the Newry River to reach the Lock. Depending on how spread out the boats are, it takes about an hour for the boats to settle themselves into the Lock. The Lock can take about 16 boats of this size at a time.

Then the Lock gates are opened and the Newry Canal lies ahead.

Heading off from Victoria Lock
up the Newry Canal

Entering the suburbs of Newry on the Canal

The Canal runs alongside the Newry River - a bank separates them. The bank can be seen in the left photo above and the river to the right of it in the distance.

Ten boats, fully dressed in convoy up the Canal was probably a rather unusual sight and they were cheered and horns sounded by passers-by on the canal banks.

(L-R) John McInerney - HYC Cruising Group Captain
Charlie Casey - Deputy Mayor, Newry
Maureen Grant - Tourism Officer for Newry and Mourne
Gerry O'Neill - HYC Commodore and Kevin Crothers (HYC) - Event Organiser

On arrival at Newry Albert Basin the boats docked alongside the quay. The Basin is within the town itself and only a few yards from the new "Quays" shopping centre.

The fleet was welcomed by the Deputy Mayor, Charlie Casey and Maureen Grant, Tourism Officer for Newry and Mourne. After much flag waving and speeches Gerry O'Neill presented the Mayor with the HYC burgee and the HYC Centenary Book. In return Charlie Casey and Maureen Grant presented Gerry O'Neill with the Newry and Mourne Shield.

The rain (which thankfully held off for the day until the meeting of the clans was finished) started and the sailors headed indoors for the Canal Court Hotel, where they had an enjoyable evening. Afterwards the party continued on board the boats.


There were not many 'early risers' on Sunday morning. However at 1400 the fleet departed from Newry heading back down the Newry Canal, reaching the Lock at 1500.

Left Photo : At Front - Olivia Murphy, Gerry Sargent, Barbara Sargent.
At Back - Pat Murphy & Marie O'Neill.
Right Photo : Paddy O'Neill - who took all these photos (and many more!)

Sunday Evening - Back in Carlingford Marina

Some headed for the Marina Bar & Restaurant, others headed for the town and Gerry O'Neill's group headed to friends in a house locally for a BBQ evening - photos below.

Incidentally as Paddy O'Neill was with Gerry's group, the photos - particularly the social ones are all of that group. Apologies to all on the other boats.

Left Photo : Gerry O'Neill and friends at BBQ in Mary Byrne's house.
Right Photo : Theresa Macken, Gerry and Mary Byrne
Theresa worked with Gerry in Irish Distillers and Mary has a pub in Dundalk and a house in Carlingford.

Photo below :
Gerry - in a cloud of BBQ smoke.
View of Carlingford Lough in the background from Mary's house.

Monday - Back to Howth

Kit stowed away, the boats departed Carlingford in the morning and headed for home, down the Irish Sea. Sunshine and showers with a light N'Westerly accompanied the fleet on the way down the coast. So, motor-sailing was much in evidence.

Gerry O'Neill likes the place so much he left his boat there for another week and is on his way back to Carlingford, by road, as I post this.

I'm sure the group would like to thank Kevin Crothers, the trip organiser. I'm told that he did a wonderful job and his effort gave everyone a memorable weekend.