As an island nation the sea surrounds us, and our landscape holds an intricate network of natural waters. Our rivers, lakes and coasts are some of our most beautiful places, forever changing with the seasons.

They are deep-rooted in Irish mythology, legends, and folklore, having inspired countless stories through the ages. Undoubtedly, nature is at its best where there is water, and these places relate to countless memories and stories. As we continue to change our landscape, many of these stories and tales risk being lost. Stories from the waterside seeks to capture these stories and record them for posterity.

COVID-19 restrictions have affected all our lives, forcing us to curtail many of the things we used to take for granted. In dealing with these challenges, many people have reconnected with nature and natural places, especially around water. LAWPRO launched the Stories from the Waterside competition during Lockdown in May 2020 and it seemed to tap into public mood at the time as people reflected on fond memories of places near water and how things used to be.

LAWPRO received over 470 stories from people right across the island of Ireland, and even further afield from Irish diaspora. They included water themes involving wildlife, fishing, heritage, traditions, crafts, and ways in which nature can inspire the imagination and replenish one’s sense of wellbeing. This new website is a celebration of these stories and we hope that you, the reader, enjoy them.

A special thanks to all those who took the time to share their wonderful stories, for you have truly captured the value and magic of Ireland’s natural waters. This website will be a valuable resource for future generations to access these stories into the future.

If you would like to learn more about Ireland’s waterbodies (streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, canals, groundwaters & coastal waters) and ways to get involved in enhancing these precious resources, check out and

The Local Authority Waters Programme organised the story-writing competition (LAWPRO), in partnership with The Heritage Council and The Heritage Officer Programme, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Waterways Ireland.