Competition: Stories from the Waterside



County Galway has a rich heritage of storytelling. It is part of our national identity and defines who we are as a nation. Stories bring local places to life and help us to remember and cherish what makes those places so special and to pass it on to future generations.


Galway’s rivers, lakes, streams, and sea have long been associated with Irish mythology, inspiring legends and folklore through the ages. They are beautiful, forever changing with the seasons. Nature is at its best where there is water, and people have lots of stories and memories around watercourses. With changes to our countryside, some of this is being lost, and so a story-writing competition has been launched by the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), in partnership with The Heritage Council and The Heritage Officer Programme, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Waterways Ireland, to capture these stories.


In the European Union, streams, rivers, lakes, turloughs, estuaries, canals and the coast arereferred to as waterbodies, and each waterbody has something special about it. The stories can be factual – recording what is special about wildlife, fishing, heritage, traditions and crafts, or just how things were or are – or they can be from your or someone else’s imagination.


The storyteller doesn’t have to be an expert, and the aim is to encourage all the family to get involved. There is a category where the teller of the story can be interviewed by someone else: a great way, maybe, for a family member or friend to share memories with others, especially during this period of increased isolation.


According to Tom Carolan, Community Water Officer based with LAWPRO: ‘We hope that everybody in Galway with an interest in their local waterbody will share their stories with us. There is an increasing awareness among scientists too that local knowledge is often as important as expert opinion. If you think about it, who are more expert than the local communities with the stories and information on their local waterbodies? Similarly, there must be a rich diversity of stories out there on water sports, heritage and fishing which would be of interest.


The competition is open to everyone, with under-18 and over-18 categories and entries can be in English or Irish. The closing date for entries is 31st May. Further information is available at



Details of the competition

To enter, just write your original story in 600 words or less: it can be a story of your own or one that you have been told. There are great prizes to be won to a total value of €4000, made up of 10 prizes worth €300 each and 10 prizes worth €100 each. The lucky prize winners can choose from local providers to do any of the following with family or friends: guided fishing for the family, zip-lining over a lake, family kayaking adventure or other water-based activity. You can choose book tokens or arts and crafts tokens if you prefer! Prizes will support local businesses and operators.


Details for the competition are available online via Send entries:

  • by email to [email protected]
  • by post to Stories from the Waterside, Local Authority Waters Programme, The Lodge, Ballingarrane Estate, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, E91 X370.

Further details and terms and conditions are available at

Find us on Facebook @LAWPROteam and Twitter @WatersProgramme.

If you require any further help or information contact your local Community Water Officer, Conor Ruane at 085 8083059 or email: [email protected]



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