Stories from the waterside

Ireland has a rich heritage of storytelling. In fact, it is part of our national identity and helps define us as a nation. Stories bring memories to life and help us reconnect with special places. Stories help us pass on knowledge and experience to future generations.

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Woodstown – Tra Mhilis Summer 1958

The sea and sky merge seamlessly on the horizon. We stop on the brow of Mattie’s Hill and gaze at the sea at Woodstown glistening and shimmering in the distance. It never fails to thrill and excite us. “The tide is out.” Our war cry goes up. We cycle, freewheeling down the hill, shrieking with

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Transformative water

“Here! Hand me that pump, Har, and I’ll have these cans filled in no time at all”, said John. Looking up, Har counted five more neighbours with their tractors and trailers, behind John waiting in line to use his water pump by the Timogue River. Irritable as hell, he handed it over, saying ‘·Are ye

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Trasna na dTonnta

BHÍ SEÁN MÓR AG BAINT PHRÁTAÍ sa chuibhreann beag gainmheach ag barr na binne nuair a chuaigh bád Mhicí Shéarlais soir an bharra ag tarraingt ar bhéal Oileán Bó. Dhírigh sé a dhroim agus thóg sé a bhearád leis an allas a ghlanadh óna éadán, nuair a chonaic sé an bád ag dul thart leis

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Uisce agus Inbhear

Bogaimis siar chuig na seascaidí i gCorcaigh. Bhíomar inár gcónaí i mBaile an Locha – ach loch ní raibh ann! Bhí taithí againn ar dhul go dít an “Lough”, ceart go leor, ach bhí sin i mBaile Féitheán, thart ar dhá mhíle go leith ó Bhaile an Locha de shiúl na gcos. Is cuimhin liom

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Uisce, uisce – leigheas ar gach Galar

Uisce, uisce I ngach ait gan braon le n’61. Is minic muid ag clamhsan anseo in Eirinn go bhfuil iomarca baistf againn anseo- tuilte agus aibhneacha ag cur thar maoil. Tailte cludaithe le h­uisce sa gheimhreadh agus sa bhf6mhair nuair ata t-arbhar aib1 agus reidh le baint. Ach ni orthu siud ataim ag smaoineadh ach

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To The Marsh

I smile as I make my way towards the marsh, binoculars dangling from my neck. A logbook and pencil are nestled in my pocket. Under my arm, I’m carrying a rather heavy book  about Irish birds. You never know when you might need it! I have grown accustomed to this walk through suburban landscapes: the

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The Unknown Fisherman of County Clare

My name is Donagh, I am ten years old and I am a fisherman. My earliest fishing memory is, I was two years old; I was in a place called Kilkee in County Clare with my older brother and my parents. My Dad set up a line of feather traces; he attached a two pound

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The Ghosts of Clonea

Night was closing in, smothering us in darkness. I sat on the old, rickety bench watching the fire twist and swirl in a never-ending dance. I held my marshmallow out on a skewer and waited until it was brown. I picked it off and plopped it in my mouth savouring its warmth and softness as

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The Grass is Always Greener

The grass is always greener on Instagram #wildatlanticway. Scenes of brilliant green fields with cliffs, beaches and meandering coastline, sun breaking through cumulus clouds. A mythical fairy land, beautiful, stunning, spectacular. The images on my phone inspire me to get in the car and drive for an hour and a half until I reach the

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The Blue

Today my friends went to the disco. Today I was left wondering what happened to my invitation. Today I realised that they are not my friends. So, instead, today I went to the beach. I’ve always been unlucky when it comes to friends, many times resorting to my own company. I have many speeches about

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The Drake

There were wild ducks on the river then, presided over by a magnificent drake. The Black Dinin River snakes down through our village tumbling over the rock face into deep pools locally known as the Sheep hole, the Horse hole and Harry’s pocket. Harry’s pocket was our favourite haunt. Two large rock boulders divided the

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Thank you Kingfisher

The gurgling rush of water rustles the air, my heart beats quickly; a river, flowing, bubbling, pours below the shade of whispering trees. I looked over my shoulder, seeing the other children clanging sticks, shouting war cries, running around proclaiming what side they were on. I’d had enough of stick battles now and was drained

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The stress had built up in me to the point where I felt I was going to explode. I could no longer cope. Grief, sorrow, anger, self-pity all swirled around my confused, tired brain. Mum was so ill, I knew she was dying, it could be days, it could be weeks, it might even be

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Lovely Lough Carra

The first time we met she was winter-cold and grey. A chill wind furrowed her face. Her bones showed through broken skin and blunt teeth appeared amid a lather of foam. Even the sky was weeping, as if mourning her aged state. I passed by. Spring brought me back on another dark day with low

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Home Thoughts From Abroad

There was a gentle rain that first evening in Pemberton as I sat on the veranda in the fading light, tying flies and dreaming of fishing trips past. I especially remembered those fish caught in mountain streams in the West. Small trout that danced on the water in anger when hooked and swam away with

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Finn mac Cumhaill and the wetlands

From a young age, Finn mac Cumhaill knew that he was different to the other youths. And the other youths had always sensed a peculiar outlandishness in the young Finn. Because of this, they shunned him, mocked him, and excluded him from their activities. You see, Finn was different. He preferred nature to people. It’s

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Interactive Map

To use this interactive map, click on a county to view the list of stories connected with it.

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About Us

The Local Authority Waters programme is a shared service of all Local Authorities in the country, working with local communities, relevant stakeholders and state agencies to develop and implement River Basin Management Plans in Ireland, in line with the EU Water Framework Directive.

The Stories from the Waterside was a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with people during the Covid 19 lockdown in 2020. The huge public response to the competition and the wide range of themes illustrate just how important water is, not just as a utility, but also how it connects with us at a much deeper level. We would encourage all with an interest in water to get actively involved. Volunteering is a great way to do this. Engaging in public consultations such as the River Basin Management planning is important too, as it informs decision making at the local and national level.


The draft River Basin Management Plan is currently open for consultation. LAWPRO will be hosting a series of online meetings where people can learn more about the plan and how to make submissions and comments. For a list of meetings in your area click here -> RBMP Meetings

We also have an interactive Virtual Consultation Room where you can find out more information and make a submission. To visit the room please click here -> VCR

For more information on getting involved check out

Local Authority Waters Programme