Stories from the Waterside

Ireland has a rich heritage in storytelling. It is part of our national identity and helps to define us as a nation. Stories bring local places to life and help us to remember and cherish what makes those places so special. It is through stories that we pass on this local knowledge to future generations.

Our streams, rivers and lakes have long been associated with Irish mythology, inspiring legends and folklore through the ages. They are beautiful features in the landscape; forever changing with the seasons. Nature is at its best where there is water, and there are lots of stories and fond memories around these places. With ongoing changes to our urban and rural landscapes, some of these places are lost.

The impact of Covid 19 restrictions in the first half of 2020 and the disruption to peoples lives brought many closer to nature and provided an opportunity for reflection.  The “Stories from the Waterside” competition was launched in May 2020 to tap into these stories and encourage people to reflect and share their memories about these special places. This has provided a valuable opportunity to document personal memories and reflections on how things were, in contrast with how they are now and in hope that they will be again.

LAWPRO received almost 500 entries to the competition. These covered a wide range of themes from factual and funny stories about wildlife, fishing, water heritage, traditions and crafts, to ways in which water and nature can inspire the imagination and replenish one’s wellbeing.

It was a difficult process to select 20 prize winning entries from those submitted. The Stories from the Waterside compilation book was published for Water Heritage Day, 23 August 2020. This book contained the short list of 38 stories, in both English and Irish language, from across the two age categories: Over 18s and Under 18s. It is a celebration of those stories and we hope that you the reader enjoy them.

Since publishing the book last August we received a lot of requests to publish all of the stories. As a result, and due to popular demand we are delighted to announce all of the stories submitted will be published on a dedicated Website. This website will be launched to mark World Wetlands Day 2021.

Launch of Stories from the Waterside Website – World Wetlands Day

LAWPRO will launch the website on February 2nd 2021 to coincide with World Wetlands Day. Watch this space for further information.

A special thanks to all of the entrants for sharing their wonderful stories, and for the time they took to put them down on paper, they managed to capture the magic of Ireland’s waters. This book will be a valuable resource for future generations.

Stories from the Waterside is a collaboration between LAWPRO (Local Authority Waters Programme), The Heritage Council and the Heritage Officer Programme, Waterways Ireland and Inland Fisheries Ireland