Catchment News

Big Turnout for Galway’s Waterways Workshop

A larger crowd than expected turned out on the evening of 19th May 2017 in the Galway Rowing Club to plan the future of Galway’s Waterways.

The meeting was attended by members of clubs that use the rivers and canals, the residents and businesses that are located along them,  as well as churches and schools. TD’s Noel Grealish and Eamon O’Cuiv were in attendance, as were City Councillors Frank Fahy, Padraic Conneely, and Colette Connolly. Guest speakers included Catherine Seale from the Galway/ Roscommon Waters and Communities office and Mark Horton from The Rivers Trust.

The public workshop was part of the Galway Waterways Initiative being promoted by the Galway  Waterways  Association. The Association is a non-governmental organisation created by local residents concerned with the poor state of Galway’s rivers and canals. The Initiative aims to raise awareness of Galway’s waterways, organise volunteer efforts to clean them up and maintain them, and to enhance them for residents, visitors, and the natural environment.

One of Galway’s wonderful waterways.

“Sometimes the stars are in alignment. A number of things are happening at the international, national, and local levels to make it the right time for a focus on our waterways. The European Water Framework Directive has put the quality of our water resources at the top of the national and international agenda. The designation of Galway as the European Capital of Culture 2020 gives us a goal post to aim for major clean-ups and enhancements, and the River Trusts movement across the U.K. and Ireland sets the precedent for communities to organise around their catchment areas and to take action to improve them.”

Phil James, chairman of the Galway Waterways Association

A small number of focused workshops organised by interest group will take place in the early autumn to refine the vision set out in the May workshop. Presentations about the Galway Waterways Initiative will be made to the Galway City Council and the Lough Corrib Navigation Trust. A proposal is being prepared for the Galway Waterways Initiative to become an official programme of the Capital of Culture project, and a number of smaller clean-up actions and enhancement projects are in the planning stages.

Get involved with the Galway Waterways Initiative…

Email to become part of the Galway Waterways Initiative and to receive the newsletter of the Galway Waterways Association.

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.