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Lough Graney in North East Clare. Photo by Ruairí Ó Conchúir.

Public meeting on €20m EU water project in Flagmount

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A COMMUNITY information meeting will take place in North East Clare to highlight the work of an important water quality initiative. 

The event, which will focus on the catchment of Lough Graney, will be held at Lough Graney Community Hall in Flagmount at 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 5.

The Graney Catchment is one of six pilot catchments in Ireland which have been selected for inclusion in a new €20 million European Union funded project called Waters of LIFE.

The initiative aims to address the decline in water quality in Irelands most pristine and sensitive river catchments, like the Graney Catchment, which covers East Clare and part of South East Galway.

Pristine, or near pristine waterbodies (rivers and lakes), are called high-status objective waterbodiesand are assigned a Blue Dotto distinguish them as the best of the bestamong Irish waterbodies. Blue Dot waterbodies are mainly located in remote and lightly populated areas, with many of them found in upland catchments.

There has been a significant decline in the number of high-status waterbodies found in Ireland and this is a worrying trend. The Waters of LIFE project aims to reverse this trend by protecting and restoring pristine waterbodies in the selected demonstration catchments, including the Graney Catchment.

The Flagmount meeting will be the first public engagement for the Graney catchment. Representatives of the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) and the Waters of LIFE Project Team will be in attendance.

The meeting will include an overview of the Waters of LIFE project and why the Graney Catchment has been selected as a demonstration catchment. The meeting is for all those who are interested in the Graney Catchment, including local residents, community representatives, farmers, local land owners, forestry owners, local community groups, etc. 

The Waters of LIFE project will run until March 2028, with a total budget of €20,206,605. The Department of Housing, Local Government an Heritage is the lead authority, with a number of collaborating project partners, including: The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Teagasc, Environmental Protection Agency, Coillte, Forest Service and others. 

LAWPRO is one of many public bodies working for better water quality in our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. The community information meeting in Flagmount will give the local community in the Graney Catchment an opportunity to learn more about the Waters of LIFE project and find out about what is planned for the next six years,” said Ruairí Ó Conchúir, Community Water Officer for Clare,

The project team will outline how they propose to work with stakeholders in all sectors, including agriculture, forestry and wastewater management, to identify the pressures on water quality. Local measures will be implemented through consultation with local landowners and the relevant public bodies.

The community information meeting will also include a questions and answer session and there will be an opportunity for informal discussions during tea and coffee after the meeting. 

For further queries please contact Ruairí Ó Conchúir by phone to 085-808 3715 or email roconchuir@lawaters.ie. Alternatively, visit Lawaters.ie. More information on the Waters of LIFE projects is available on Watersoflife.ie.

Fiona McGarry
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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald.
Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti.
She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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