Catchment News

Galway Waters and Communities news: Cuan Beo, Tuam, The Irish Workhouse Centre & Glenamaddy Tidy Towns

Originally published in the Winter 2018 Catchments Newsletter. Catherine Seale, Galway’s Community Water Officer, tells us how Cuan Beo, a community organisation, let locals have their say on Galway Bay in April. In May, the Tuam community came together in May to celebrate their River Nanny and The Irish Workhouse Centre held a conference on Portumna and its waterways. Finally, we learn from Louise Garvey about how Glenamaddy Tidy Towns are now looking after their turlough…

Cuan Beo: Let’s Talk about Galway Bay

Three large public meetings were held by Cuan Beo to get people talking about Galway Bay and their connections to the land and sea. Cuan Beo is a recently formed community based organisation established with a mission of improving the quality of life, environment, economy and heritage around Galway Bay. People got to meet the Cuan Beo team, and other organisations involved in managing Galway Bay and the catchments surrounding it in both Clare and Galway. These meetings were organised with the support of the Waters and Communities Office, and both Galway and Clare County Council.

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Celebrating the River Nanny – Tuam, County Galway

To celebrate the River Nanny, Tuam Tidy Towns and Tuam Anglers Association worked together on a sign to highlight the unique habitat it provides for local wildlife. The sign was officially unveiled by Minister of State for Rural and Community Development and Fisheries, Mr. Sean Kyne, on Saturday 5 May at the Palace Grounds Bridge in Tuam Town. Immediately downstream of the Palace Grounds Bridge and the sign is a four-metre-deep pool. If you are patient, trout rises can be seen in this pool. These trout depend on the river and the insects that live in it. We all need to do our bit to make sure that all the wildlife in our rivers continues to thrive. All our rivers are special, and have features that make them unique. The River Nanny is in the Corrib catchment, and rises in a gravel pit in Cortoon. The River Nanny carries this gravel downstream, which makes great spawning areas for fish. It is a key nursery for the Rive

Some of the wonderful wildlife that lives in and around the River Nanny

The launch involved a walk and talk by Community Water Officer Catherine Seale and Michael Waldron (Tuam Tidy Towns) about the features of the habitat, while historian Rianna O’Dwyer highlighted local industrial heritage with a fascinating talk on the newly renovated millwheel.

The sign includes a painting by local artist Nuala Higgins representing the river habitat in flower throughout the year. It was funded by Galway County Council under Local Agenda 21.

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The River Nanny Sign is a feature of the new Tuam Heritage and Nature Trail. content/category/places/tuam-heritage-and-nature-trail

Irish Workhouse Centre: Portumna, Lough Derg and the River Shannon

The Irish Workhouse Centre’s conference on Portumna and its waterways took place on 5 May. It was a full house, with attendees including Minster for the Diaspora Ciaran Cannon, who congratulated the centre on its integration efforts during a recent ‘Polish Day’, and graduates from the University of Limerick’s Local History Certificate programme. Events included living history re-enactments, marine archaeologist Donal Boland discussing migration via inland waterways, and Ciaran Ó Murchadha highlighting links between waterways and the famine. The event was supported by Waterways Ireland.
The Workhouse also worked with Community Water Officer Catherine Seale on ‘Sights, sounds and stories of the Shannon’ for Heritage Week in August 2018.

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Glenamaddy Tidy Towns: looking after their local turlough

Sunset over Glenamaddy Turlough

Glenamaddy Tidy Towns have always been proud of their beautiful turlough and in the past year they have embarked on a project of maintaining, improving and promoting this wonderful natural amenity which suffered considerable damage due to flooding in recent winters.

It began with an An Taisce Clean Coasts in June 2017, when the area was cleared of rubbish and litter by the group’s volunteers. Next the group undertook a survey of wildflowers in Glenamaddy Turlough led by Catherine Seale, Community Water Officer, with a view to providing an information panel on flora and fauna for the amenity area.

This was followed by the group working closely with Galway County Council, Galway Rural Development and the local Community Employment Scheme to bring about the painting of the boundary railings, resurfacing of the carpark area, rebuilding of paved areas, replacing litter bins, anti-litter signs and flower planters and the clearing of excess ivy from the adjacent stone walls and trees where bat, bird and bee houses were erected.

Earlier this summer new picnic benches were installed, sponsored by local Bakery, Westbake, and kindly secured to the paving by local man Larry Donaghue. Finally, on a sunny May morning the Wildflower and Butterfly Information Board was installed, with graphic design by local designer Valerie Keaveney. This sign now provides a great source of education to the community and visitors alike on the wildlife and flora of the turlough. Special thanks to Galway County Council who provided Local Agenda 21 Environment Partnership funding for the Information Panel.

Louise Garvey, Glenmaddy Tidy Towns

Glenamaddy Turlough’s newly installed information sign

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.