St. Patrick’s Day Short Story Competition

This year we are preparing to celebrate a very different St. Patrick’s Day and Waterford Libraries would love to celebrate your imagination by running a short story competition.

We are calling on 6 – 18 year olds to write a story, no more than 500 words, beginning with the line “I will never forget what happened on St Patrick’s Day……”

There are three age categories: age 6-9, age 10-14, age 15-18. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes in each category. Each winner will receive a €50 voucher and there will be plenty of spot prizes!

Winning entries will be published in local newspapers and will feature on WLR FM so get writing for Paddy’s Day 2021!

All entries are to be emailed to not later than 5pm on Tuesday 9th March 2021. Please include your name, address, age category, phone number and parent/guardian name with the entry. Remember to insert “St. Patrick‘s Day Short Story Competition” in the subject line of the email.


Terms & Conditions

1. By entering this competition you consent to these terms and conditions.

2. This competition is open to children living in Co. Waterford only.

3. There are three categories: Age 6-9, Age 10-14, Age 15-18.

4. Stories must begin with “I will never forget what happened on St. Patrick’s Day….”

5. Stories must be no longer than 500 words.

6. Deadline for entries is 5pm 9th March 2021.

7. Entrants can submit as many entries as they wish.

8. All entries to be submitted in digital format (e.g. Word, email or other) to by 5pm on 9th March 2021. Hard copies will not be eligible.

9. Entrants should include their name, address, age category, phone number and parent/guardian name in the email. This information will only be available to the Waterford Council Employees and will not be used for any other purpose. This information will be kept only for the duration of the competition and all contact and personal details will be disposed of thereafter in line with GDPR and Data Protection Regulations.

10. Please use ‘St. Patrick‘s Day Short Story Competition’ as the subject line of the email.

11. Entries must be the original and unpublished work of the entrant.

12. There will be no correspondence with the judging panel and no feedback provided to individual entrants and the decision of the judges is final.

13. The winning entry from each category will be published in Local Newspapers and will feature on WLR FM. Entries will also be posted on (note only Christian names and age group category will appear online, we will not publish full personal details).

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Waterford Severe Weather Protocol for Rough Sleepers operational

Waterford Severe Weather Protocol for Rough Sleepers
This Protocol is operational in the event of a severe weather alert and bouts of freezing temperatures and is specifically for clients who are rough sleeping.


  • Out of hours, single men should go directly to McGwire House, Bath Street, Waterford
  • Out of hours, women should go directly to Oasis House, 71 Morrisson’s Road, Waterford

Waterford Integrated Homeless Services will endeavour to contact any known rough sleepers to advise them of the impending weather alert/freezing temperatures and remind them of the shelter arrangements.

If you see person(s) sleeping rough in Waterford please inform the Homeless Services Team at Waterford Integrated Homeless Services

Contact details: Tel: 0761 10 2020

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Waterford Severe Weather Protocol for Rough Sleepers operational

Waterford Severe Weather Protocol for Rough Sleepers
This Protocol is operational in the event of a severe weather alert and bouts of freezing temperatures and is specifically for people who are rough sleeping.


  • Out of hours, single men should go directly to McGwire House, Bath Street, Waterford
  • Out of hours, women should go directly to Oasis House, 71 Morrisson’s Road, Waterford

Waterford Integrated Homeless Services will endeavour to contact any known rough sleepers to advise them of the impending weather alert/freezing temperatures and remind them of the shelter arrangements.

If you see person(s) sleeping rough in Waterford please inform the Homeless Services Team at Waterford Integrated Homeless Services

Contact details: Tel: 0761 10 2020

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ArtLinks Bursaries 2021 – Call for Applications

Waterford City & County Council in partnership with the ArtLinks partners in Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford is pleased to announce that they are currently accepting applications for the Professional and Emerging ArtLinks Bursary Awards 2021.

ArtLinks is a partnership of the four Local Authority Arts Offices in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford and supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.  ArtLinks provides professional development opportunities and supports for established and emerging artists who are resident in the four partner local authority areas in the South East region.

Artists must be a current member of ArtLinks to avail of these supports. You must be registered on or before 28/2/2021 to be eligible to apply for these bursaries. Email to request a membership application form if you are a new applicant.

This year the application process is online and the closing date for receipt of ArtLinks Bursary applications is Monday 15th March 2021 at 4pm.

Please note that there will be a separate application process for the Collaboration Award for collaborative projects between ArtLinks members, details of which will be announced in March 2021.

Application forms and guidelines are available to download from

For all ArtLinks enquiries please contact

Follow on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.

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Biodiversity on Your Doorstep series – Learning from Nature

Biodiversity on Your Doorstep – Learning from Nature

22nd – 26th February. All events Free and online

Discover biodiversity in your own back yard whether it is in your own garden, the local Nature Park or Greenway. Learn how to protect and improve our local ecosystems. Join Europe Direct, Waterford, Waterford Libraries and Waterford Environmental Department for a week of FREE events from 22 – 26 February. All Events are online.

For more information check out

The EU’s biodiversity strategy for 2030 is a comprehensive, ambitious and long-term plan to protect nature and reverse the degradation of ecosystems. The strategy aims to put Europe’s biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030, and contains specific actions and commitments.

It is the proposal for the EU’s contribution to the upcoming international negotiations on the global post-2020 biodiversity framework. A core part of the European Green Deal, it will also support a green recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.


Giving your Garden back to Nature – A Talk by Mary Reynolds

Monday 22 February 7pm – 8pm

Join Mary Reynolds, Chelsea Gold medal winning Irish landscape designer, bestselling author and nature activist who encourages us to change the way you think as a gardener. Stop fighting nature and go against the controlling instinct and instead encourage those weeds, encourage untidiness, encourage life to return. The more biodiversity you can establish in your patch of earth, the more complex a food web that is restored.



Bees, Birds & Trees – Biodiversity & Waterford Council

Tuesday 23 February 11am – 12noon

Join staff from Waterford City & County Council who will tell us about Kilbarry Nature Park, planting for biodiversity, actions to help pollinators, opportunities for schools and Tidy Town Groups as well as the Let the Dandelions Bee Campaign and some exciting Biodiversity Projects planned for 2021.

Waterford City & County Council Panel:

Ella Ryan, Environmental Awareness Officer, Bernie Guest, Heritage Officer, Eoin Dullea, Horticulturist.

Claire Hartley, Head of Communications (Chair)


Discover the new Digital Wildlife of Ireland Map!

Wednesday 24 February 11am – 12noon

Neil Tarrant, along with Mairéad Ní Chiaruáin, is the co-creator of Ireland’s first Digital Wildlife Map! This new online learning tool has been created especially for primary school students to help them and their families learn about the wildlife they can help protect in their communities. The interactive map is a fun way to learn all about the birds, mammals and fish native to Ireland. Children can explore the island of Ireland at home on the phone, tablet or computer, learn about which species are native to which areas, and test their knowledge with quizzes as they complete activities.

With everyone staying home during the current restrictions, and home-schooling ongoing, the Digital Wildlife of Ireland Map offers another resource for parents to engage children in learning and is accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a device. The map can be accessed on the Libraries Ireland website at


Learn how to spot Spring Flowers and become a Citizen Scientist with Oisín Duffy from the Waterford’s National Biodiversity Data Centre

Friday 26 February 11am – 12noon

Discover how to spot 20 easily identifiable spring flowers and how you can become a Citizen Scientist and learn how to record your findings and contribute to furthering plant conservation in Ireland. Also find out more about the National Biodiversity Data Centre which is based in Waterford and how Biodiversity data is a key requirement for understanding our natural surroundings.


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Minister Humphreys highlights the responsibilities of dog owners this lambing season

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today, highlighted the responsibilities of dog owners and the vulnerability of sheep to dog attacks, particularly during lambing season.

Minister Humphreys said dog attacks cause real and serious injury to sheep and can have a negative impact, both financially and emotionally, on the farmers involved and their families.

While the vast majority of dog owners act responsibility, the issue of animals being attacked has been raised in many parts of the country.

Some 253 incidences of ‘Livestock Worrying’ were reported to local authorities in 2019.
Speaking to mark the beginning of lambing season, Minister Humphreys pointed out that under the Control of Dogs Acts, it is the responsibility of dog owners to ensure that they are in control of their dogs at all times.

“Some 2.5 million lambs will be born on farms all over Ireland this springtime. Sheep flocks are very vulnerable to dog attacks at this critical time, and especially during the night.

“The presence of dogs, even on a lead, can alarm sheep prior to lambing and have a detrimental effect on both the sheep and their lambs.

“I know that the vast majority of dog owners behave responsibly. However, this is a matter of considerable concern for farmers, particularly those who live in rural parts of the country.

“Dog Wardens and An Garda Síochána are doing what they can. But they cannot be in every part of the country at all times. The solution rests primarily with dog owners.”

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Road Safety Alert –Weather Warning for Snow / Ice

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to prepare for cold weather conditions as Met Eireann have issued a warning for cold temperatures in low single figures by day and with sharp or severe frosts and icy patches at night from Sunday through to the end of the week for all of Ireland. This will lead to hazardous conditions on roads and footpaths. Furthermore Met Eireann have forecast showers of sleet or snow at times in eastern counties from Sunday evening onwards.

Road users are being advised to check local traffic and weather conditions before setting out on any essential journeys. The RSA has the following practical advice for road users to cope with the ice and snow conditions:

Drivers are advised to:

  • Clear windows and mirrors before you set out, use a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass.
  • Remove all snow from your vehicle before commencing your journey. Snow left on the roof will become loose and can drop onto the windscreen during braking, thereby causing sudden and severe restriction to your vision. It can also fall off during your drive and cause injury to pedestrians or a reflex action by another driver.
  • In snow and icy conditions slow down, use all controls delicately and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Avoid over steering and harsh braking and harsh acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.
  • In snow or sleet conditions, visibility will be reduced. Do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front (Target Fixing). This can give a false sense of security and you will be too close to be able to brake safely. In heavy snow, use your fog lights, turn off your radio and open your window a fraction, so you can hear other traffic, especially at junctions.
  • Use dipped headlights at all times in heavy snow to ensure you are seen by other motorists (but don’t forget to turn them off afterwards).
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space when overtaking them.
  • Drivers of high sided vehicles like trucks and buses are particularly at risk from both the dangers posed by ice and snow but also from the high winds associated with strong winds.
  • For a copy of the RSA’s ‘Top 10 tips for driving in snow or icy conditions’, click here.

Pedestrians are advised in snow and Icy conditions to:

  • Wear high visibility clothing or carry a torch as visibility is reduced in snowy conditions.
  • Wear clothing that does not restrict your vision.
  • Wear appropriate footwear.
  • Walk on the footpath, not in the street.
  • Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths.
  • DO NOT underestimate the danger of ice. Many slips and falls happen in places people regard as safe and secure, typically outside their front door, on the door step, on the path or while getting out of the car.
  • When you approach a footpath or roadway that appears to be covered with snow or ice, always use extreme caution.
  • For a copy of the RSA’s ‘Top 10 tips to avoid a fall or slip in snow or icy conditions’, click here.

Cyclists and Motorcyclists are advised:

  • Motorcyclists / Cyclists should not compromise their safety by their ‘need’ to travel in icy/snow conditions.
  • Visibility is reduced in snowy conditions so cyclists should wear a Sam Browne Bandoleer belt or high visibility vest and ensure the lights on your bike are working correctly.
  • Motorcyclists should avoid wearing a dark visor in any bad light conditions.
  • Remember other road users may not ‘expect’ you and could therefore comprise your safety.

More safety tips for Pedestrians, Cyclists and Motorcyclists using the roads in snow and icy conditions can be found here.

For advice on severe weather driving tips and weather updates, please see severe weather advice on the RSA website or check out the RSA Facebook and Twitter pages.

See advice on driving in ice or snow in our series of severe weather warning videos created in collaboration with Teresa Mannion.

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Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021 – Open for Applications

Social Enterprises called on to apply to €400,000 fund to address Ireland’s greatest social

  • The Social Enterprise Development is a €3.2 Million Fund running from 2018-2022
  • €400,000 in cash grants will be made available as well as additional business supports
  • Rethink Ireland CEO calls social enterprises ‘critical’ to a just social and economic recovery from Covid-19 pandemic

€400,000 in funding is being made available to social enterprises to help lead the post-Covid economic and social recovery through Rethink Ireland’s Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021 which was officially launched today (21.01.2021). The objective of the fund is to find and back the best social enterprises in Ireland by making cash grants and strategic business support available to Awardees.

Social enterprises are businesses that work primarily to improve the lives of people. Their core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact. Like other businesses, Sociale nterprises pursue their objectives by trading in goods and services on an ongoing basis. However,surpluses generated by social enterprises are re-invested into achieving their core social objectives.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund was created by Rethink Ireland in 2018 in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.
Since the Fund’s foundation in 2018, the Fund has supported 40 social enterprises with cash grants and business supports and further 38 through their Genesis & Accelerator Programmes. It has enabled social enterprises to support 681 people to access employment, (the majority of whom are from minority groups) and mobilise 2430 volunteers. Previous social enterprises include:

1. Turn2me: Turn2me provides a safe, anonymous and confidential space to anyone aged 12 plus in Ireland seeking support with their mental health and well-being 24/7.
2. CyberSafeIreland: CyberSafeIreland empowers children, parents and teachers to navigate the online world safely and responsibly.
3. Grow Remote: Grow Remote’s mission to enable people to work, live and participate locally by making remote employment both visible and accessible in their communities.

Commenting today, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD, said: “The Social Enterprise Development Fund plays an important role in supporting social enterprises who are making a positive difference to their communities. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have all been reminded of the importance of strong communities. The Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021 will help to grow Ireland’s strong and vibrant social enterprise sector.”

CEO of Rethink Ireland Deirdre Mortell, said: “Rethink Ireland is delighted to open applications for the Social Enterprise Development Fund for 2021. Social enterprises are at the heart of addressing Ireland’s greatest social challenges and strengthening communities. We believe they are playing a vital role in this pandemic and will play an even more critical role as we recover from the crisis.”

“Social enterprises employ people who would typically be considered far from the labour market, produce ethical and sustainable products and / or provide vital local services at more affordable rates than the private sector. They can and will contribute to a just economic, social and sustainable recovery and we are calling on social enterprises across Ireland to apply to our fund.”

George Jones, Chairman & Group Non Executive Director IPB Insurance said, ‘We are delighted to support Rethink Ireland and our Local Authority Members for the fourth year of the combined €3.2m Social Enterprise Development Fund. This initiative aims to provide critical support to the very best social enterprises across Ireland. Last year we were thrilled to support a social enterprise in every local authority area in the country for the first time and we are again encouraging social enterprises in every
county to apply to this year’s Fund’.

The 2021 Fund will be open for applications from 21st January until the 5th of March 2021. Further details are available on


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Munster students invited to learn more about water with new Stay Home resources

February 4, 2021 – Green-Schools, in partnership with Irish Water, are supporting students and their families during lock-down with a series of Stay Home resources aimed at helping them learn more about water, one of our most fascinating and precious resources.

With students and their parents adapting to the challenges of home schooling, these online resources are designed to be fun, entertaining and easily accessible. From water-themed videos to quizzes, experiments and much more, there is a host of activities for students of all ages to enjoy doing at home.

The programme includes 13 weeks of activities targeted to three different age categories of Junior Primary (Infants to 2nd Class), Senior Primary (3rd to 6th class) and Secondary School. So there is something for all age groups to enjoy and learn from.

All the experiments are designed to be simple enough to carry out at home using easily available materials. For example, students can learn all about how evaporation works using just some empty jam jars, a saucer, paper, scissors and a marker. Or they can make their own water filter with an old plastic bottle, sand and gravel.

Other activities include a chance to view chapters from The Story of Water, a documentary that focuses on the critical value of this precious natural resource and explores the ongoing threats to its future – both globally and in Ireland. Chapters included in the Stay Home resources cover topics such as water treatment, pollution and wastewater.

Irish Water’s sponsorship of the Green-Schools Water Theme is in its eighth year and in that time over 2,000 schools have attended interactive Water Workshops and Walk for Water Events. Last year alone, Green-Schools saved over 600 million litres of water. As well as running workshops and Water Ambassador training for students in participating schools, Green-Schools also runs an annual poster and video competition on a water theme. Due to Covid 19 restrictions and school closures, the Green-Schools programme has successfully moved much of its interaction online for the current school year, with new content and innovative virtual events.

Cathy Baxter, Green-Schools Manager, said: “With home schooling now the norm for the vast majority of students and their parents we are pleased to be able to do our bit to help by providing these free resources to help everyone learn more about water and how precious it is. Since making the Stay Home resources available via the Green-Schools website and on social media we have had an incredible response from all over the country. So far close to 10,000 people have engaged with the Stay Home water resources alone online”.

Colm Ward, Irish Water’s Regional Communication Specialist, added: “We are delighted to partner with the Green-Schools Water Programme in supporting students and their families at this time. Irish Water is proud to be sponsoring the Green-Schools Water Theme for the eighth year in a row – a programme which has seen tens of thousands of Irish students learn more about the value of water and how we can all help to safeguard this precious resource for the future.”

The Green-Schools Stay Home activities are available on the Green-Schools website at They can also be found on the Green-Schools social media channels with the hashtag #GreenSchoolsStayHome. The Story of Water documentary is available to view in its entirety or as individual chapters on the Irish Water website at


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