New Coalisland canal committee elected

The Coalisland Canal group have elected a new committee at their annual general meeting.

Unsuccessful Dungannon council candidate James Walshe has been re-elected as chairman of the group, while newcomer Martin Hughes takes up the post of Vice Chair.

The AGM of the Coalisland Canal Branch of IWAI took place in the Coalisland Development Association office last week.

Those in attendance held a minute of silence at the meeting for all deceased members, including former secretary Johnny Cavanagh, who died in February.

Mr Walshe gave a brief summary of the group’s activities over the past year. He said much of the year was spent safeguarding the future of the canal, such as campaigning against plans to build a new supermarket car park over the top of the waterway.

He said their campaign has had the knock-on effect of raising the profile of the canal within the local community.

The canal’s future was said to be a significant concern of young people in the area, according to a survey carried out by a local youth group.

The canal group’s committee for 2011-12 was elected as follows:

Chairman: James Walshe
Vice Chairman: Martin Hughes
Secretary: Roy Wilkins
Assistant Secretary: Thomas O’Neill
Treasurer: Jackie Corr
Press and Media officer: Martin Hughes
Press and media Officer assistant: Tommy McIlvenna
Membership Officer: Eamon Shields
Assistant Membership Officers: Kieran O’Neill and Seamus Rafferty
Environmental Officer: Plunkett Scullion

The meeting also set out plans to hold the annual four-and-a-half-mile canal walk on Wednesday, June 29 at 7pm starting at the Cornmill Heritage Centre. Buses will transport walkers to the start point and refreshments will be provided at the finish.

The new tow path section along the canal from Moor Bridge to Derrytresk is to be opened by the Mayor of Dungannon Council, depending on commitments.


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