Catchment News

Successful Community Clean-Up of River Barrow and Duiske

A clean-up of the River Barrow and Duiske River took place on Saturday 23rd September from 10.30am-3pm. The Clean-Up was organised by the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office, with local Community Water Officer, Ann Phelan taking the lead on this event.

Outdoor Gear Ireland, local Rowing and Canoe Clubs and other volunteers from the community all turned up and assisted on the day.

“We concentrated on the stretch of the River Barrow from  Clashganny Lock down below Butlers Lock to a place known locally as Scusha. Equally so, we took a section of the Duiske River, starting at the Creamery, working our way down to the entrance into the River Barrow” 

Community Water Officer, Ann Phelan

Ann confirmed that the level of pollution in the form of plastics and general refuse was quite overwhelming and due to the overgrowth of briers, weeds and dense foliage it proved very difficult to access many areas to retrieve all of the rubbish, perseverance and the determined efforts of the volunteers paid off as almost all of the rubbish was retrieved from the river corridor.

“Empty alcohol bottles, cans, plastics bottles, paint cans, traffic cones, even a bicycle and tricycle were pulled from the river and its banks.” –

Community Volunteer, Martin O’Brien

Another volunteer outlined that:

“It really is inconceivable in this day and age, when environmental awareness is so much to the fore in the media and in education systems that so much waste is being disposed of so inappropriately”.

“This is really only the beginning, there is a lot of rubbish further down stream that needs to be tackled, but with the continued input of volunteers from our community and our local clubs, it will be achieved.  Bio diversity is extremely important and attaining and maintaining good quality water status benefits everyone and everything, from humans to the tiniest of water organisms.”

“We all have a civic and personal duty to look after the natural environment because water is part of our heritage and we are merely caretakers for the next generation”.

Community Water Officer, Ann Phelan speaking after the event

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.