Storytelling is alive and well in all parts of Ireland, as evident from number of entries to a national story writing competition called Stories from the Waterside, which ran in April and May during the COVID-19 lockdown. It focused on collecting stories based on people’s memories and reflections around their local river, lake, wetland or coastal area.  Entries were received from across the Island of Ireland in both English and Irish, and there was also an Under 18 category.

The competition was organised by the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) in partnership with The Heritage Council and the Heritage Officers Programme, Waterways Ireland and Inland Fisheries Ireland.  The shortlisted and winning stories have been published in Stories from the Waterside, a unique collection of personal stories connected with Ireland’s rivers, lakes, estuaries and beaches.

Conor Ruane, Community Water Officer with LAWPRO said, “It’s great to have had such local interest in a national competition. LAWPRO and the partner organisations were delighted that Stories from the Waterside captured the imagination of young and old during lockdown. It gave people a chance to reflect on nature and time spent at a local waterbody. It also provided a wonderful opportunity to document individual connections with water and wildlife. The standard of story was exceptional and highlighted that Ireland is full of special places by a waterside.”

The Stories from the Waterside publication was launched on Water Heritage Day, which took place this year on Sunday 23 of August, at the end of National Heritage Week.  

It is available to view and download here.

For further details see Facebook.com/LAWPROteam or contact Conor Ruane, Community Water Officer at cruane@lawaters.ie

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