Stories from the waterside

Ireland has a rich heritage of storytelling. In fact, it is part of our national identity and helps define us as a nation. Stories bring memories to life and help us reconnect with special places. Stories help us pass on knowledge and experience to future generations.

Every year we have held an evening of story reading from the “Stories from the Waterside collection” to coincide with World Wetlands Day or World Waters Day. This Stories from the Waterside event has proved extremely popular, and we have had numerous requests to run the event again to celebrate World Wetlands Day on 2nd February 2023. This time specifically focusing on stories which have not yet been read out.

So we thought it would be nice to ask you to suggest which stories should be considered, by way of a popular vote. All of the stories are published on the website Stories from the waterside, and can be searched by county, folklore, wildlife, waterbody type and other key thematic areas. We invite you, your families and friends to read the selection, and pick out your favorite stories for consideration.

To vote before Tuesday 24 Jan 2023 please click here: VOTE

To attend this online event please register here and we hope to see you at the event.

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Woodstown – Tra Mhilis Summer 1958

The sea and sky merge seamlessly on the horizon. We stop on the brow of Mattie’s Hill and gaze at the sea at Woodstown glistening and shimmering in the distance. It never fails to thrill and excite us. “The tide is out.” Our war cry goes up. We cycle, freewheeling down the hill, shrieking with

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Uisce, uisce – leigheas ar gach Galar

Uisce, uisce I ngach ait gan braon le n’61. Is minic muid ag clamhsan anseo in Eirinn go bhfuil iomarca baistf againn anseo- tuilte agus aibhneacha ag cur thar maoil. Tailte cludaithe le h­uisce sa gheimhreadh agus sa bhf6mhair nuair ata t-arbhar aib1 agus reidh le baint. Ach ni orthu siud ataim ag smaoineadh ach

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Uisce agus Inbhear

Bogaimis siar chuig na seascaidí i gCorcaigh. Bhíomar inár gcónaí i mBaile an Locha – ach loch ní raibh ann! Bhí taithí againn ar dhul go dít an “Lough”, ceart go leor, ach bhí sin i mBaile Féitheán, thart ar dhá mhíle go leith ó Bhaile an Locha de shiúl na gcos. Is cuimhin liom

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Trasna na dTonnta

BHÍ SEÁN MÓR AG BAINT PHRÁTAÍ sa chuibhreann beag gainmheach ag barr na binne nuair a chuaigh bád Mhicí Shéarlais soir an bharra ag tarraingt ar bhéal Oileán Bó. Dhírigh sé a dhroim agus thóg sé a bhearád leis an allas a ghlanadh óna éadán, nuair a chonaic sé an bád ag dul thart leis

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Transformative water

“Here! Hand me that pump, Har, and I’ll have these cans filled in no time at all”, said John. Looking up, Har counted five more neighbours with their tractors and trailers, behind John waiting in line to use his water pump by the Timogue River. Irritable as hell, he handed it over, saying ‘·Are ye

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To The Marsh

I smile as I make my way towards the marsh, binoculars dangling from my neck. A logbook and pencil are nestled in my pocket. Under my arm, I’m carrying a rather heavy book  about Irish birds. You never know when you might need it! I have grown accustomed to this walk through suburban landscapes: the

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The Unknown Fisherman of County Clare

My name is Donagh, I am ten years old and I am a fisherman. My earliest fishing memory is, I was two years old; I was in a place called Kilkee in County Clare with my older brother and my parents. My Dad set up a line of feather traces; he attached a two pound

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The Grass is Always Greener

The grass is always greener on Instagram #wildatlanticway. Scenes of brilliant green fields with cliffs, beaches and meandering coastline, sun breaking through cumulus clouds. A mythical fairy land, beautiful, stunning, spectacular. The images on my phone inspire me to get in the car and drive for an hour and a half until I reach the

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The Ghosts of Clonea

Night was closing in, smothering us in darkness. I sat on the old, rickety bench watching the fire twist and swirl in a never-ending dance. I held my marshmallow out on a skewer and waited until it was brown. I picked it off and plopped it in my mouth savouring its warmth and softness as

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The Blue

Today my friends went to the disco. Today I was left wondering what happened to my invitation. Today I realised that they are not my friends. So, instead, today I went to the beach. I’ve always been unlucky when it comes to friends, many times resorting to my own company. I have many speeches about

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The Drake

There were wild ducks on the river then, presided over by a magnificent drake. The Black Dinin River snakes down through our village tumbling over the rock face into deep pools locally known as the Sheep hole, the Horse hole and Harry’s pocket. Harry’s pocket was our favourite haunt. Two large rock boulders divided the

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Thank you Kingfisher

The gurgling rush of water rustles the air, my heart beats quickly; a river, flowing, bubbling, pours below the shade of whispering trees. I looked over my shoulder, seeing the other children clanging sticks, shouting war cries, running around proclaiming what side they were on. I’d had enough of stick battles now and was drained

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The stress had built up in me to the point where I felt I was going to explode. I could no longer cope. Grief, sorrow, anger, self-pity all swirled around my confused, tired brain. Mum was so ill, I knew she was dying, it could be days, it could be weeks, it might even be

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Lovely Lough Carra

The first time we met she was winter-cold and grey. A chill wind furrowed her face. Her bones showed through broken skin and blunt teeth appeared amid a lather of foam. Even the sky was weeping, as if mourning her aged state. I passed by. Spring brought me back on another dark day with low

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Home Thoughts From Abroad

There was a gentle rain that first evening in Pemberton as I sat on the veranda in the fading light, tying flies and dreaming of fishing trips past. I especially remembered those fish caught in mountain streams in the West. Small trout that danced on the water in anger when hooked and swam away with

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Fording the River Lee

Sunday morning I went to deliver a magazine to my friend who wanted it. Eight am and the sun was already three fingers above the trees. Quiet…well, quiet from human noise. The birds were fully awake. After slipping it through her mail-slot I turned towards the river and enjoyed the crunch of gravel under my

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Interactive Map

To use this interactive map, click on a county to view the list of stories connected with it.

All Stories

About Us

The Local Authority Waters programme is a shared service of all Local Authorities in the country, working with local communities, relevant stakeholders and state agencies to develop and implement River Basin Management Plans in Ireland, in line with the EU Water Framework Directive.

The Stories from the Waterside was a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with people during the Covid 19 lockdown in 2020. The huge public response to the competition and the wide range of themes illustrate just how important water is, not just as a utility, but also how it connects with us at a much deeper level. We would encourage all with an interest in water to get actively involved. Volunteering is a great way to do this. Engaging in public consultations such as the River Basin Management planning is important too, as it informs decision making at the local and national level.

Local Authority Waters Programme