Alan Giff ( - 2010):
Alan Giff grew up in Whitehead in south County Antrim, where his father was the RUC (police) station sergeant. He worked for some years on the Larne Times, then for the Belfast Telegraph, the Belfast News Letter, the Sunday News, and at the BBC; his main interests were farming and agriculture.
Late in his career he settled in Fermanagh and developed a keen interest in inland waterways and their related environments, hiring boats for sailing on Lough erne, which he also did himself. He had a special interest in the Ulster Canal and the Shannon-Erne Canal and was one of those who worked to have them restored The first of these canals, which ran between Counties Cavan, Fermanagh and Armagh, had been a technical and commercial failure, though plans for restoration were drawn up in the 21st century; but restoration of the Shannon-Erne canal was more promising, and promoted by a voluntary body of enthusiasts, the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland; Giff was an official of the Lough Erne branch of this organisation. The restored canal was opened at Corraguil Lock, Teemore, County Fermanagh on 23 May 1994.
The IWAI in the person of its President paid this tribute to him:
“...it is largely due to my friend Giff that the Shannon-Erne link has been reopened. He had a might influence on waterway development and when the first phase of the Ulster Canal development happens...his name will be remembered as a man who had so much to do with bringing it about.”
At his request he was cremated and his ashes scattered on Lough Erne.
|Died:||19 November 2010|
Brian Cassells, IWAI
www.iwai.ie; Belfast Telegraph, 8.12.2010; private information
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