Catchment News

Stories from the waterside

A new website has been launched to share Stories from the Waterside, collecting stories about people and their connections to water from all around Ireland. 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.

The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) launched the Stories from the Waterside competition during Lockdown in May 2020 in partnership with The Heritage Council and The Heritage Officer Programme, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Waterways Ireland.

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. These stories 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 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.

Learn more:

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.