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Summer Stars Reading Programme shines again in 2024

Summer Stars Reading Adventure starts Tuesday, June 4th and will run until August 31st, 2024.

This free national programme, held in all Waterford Libraries encourages children to keep reading over the summer months.

Ragnall, Waterford Libraries extremely popular mascot paid a visit to St. Mary’s National School in Ballygunner to encourage children to join the Summer Stars Reading Adventure 2024.

Tracy McEneaney, Executive Librarian with Waterford City and County Council said, “It is important for children to keep reading over the summer if they want to maintain their reading skills or better still improve. Waterford Libraries offers free membership for all, and you are never too young to start reading.”

Each child can register for the adventure at any library and will receive a Summer Stars Reading Card to record and track their progress.

At the end of the adventure, children return their reading card to their local library.  A range of events for children will be held in Waterford Libraries throughout the summer, and during Children’s Book Festival in October Waterford Library staff will visit schools to present the children with their Summer Stars medal and certificate of achievement.

For information on events and Waterford Libraries’ services see www.waterfordlibraries.ie

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Images – Free to use:  Mary Browne

Ragnall, Waterford Libraries mascot meeting the pupils of St. Mary’s National School, Ballygunner.

Mayor ‘Reclaims the Waters’

On Friday, May 24th Waterford Metropolitan Mayor Cllr. Jody Power set sail from Dunmore East on the Irish Naval vessel, LÉ William Butler Yeats to ‘reclaim the waters’ in a tradition that dates back centuries.

In 1626, the city of Waterford was granted a new charter by King Charles I.  Known as the Great Governing Charter, it confirmed all previous charters and privileges granted to the city, which had been removed by his father James I, whose accession in 1603 had caused great disaffection.

Under the terms of the Great Governing Charter, the Mayor of Waterford was also conferred with the office of ‘Admiral of the Harbour.’  This empowered the Mayor of Waterford City to hold admiralty courts within the harbour.  As part of this tradition the Mayor fires a ceremonial dart into the estuary where the three rivers meet, claiming the waters for the city of Waterford.

Speaking of the custom Cllr. Power said, “As someone with a strong maritime background and appreciation of the power of the sea, I am proud to take part in this significant ceremony as it is a great honour to continue this tradition in Waterford.

“It’s particularly poignant for me as a marine engineering lecturer at the Maritime College of Ireland, as many of these crew members have graced my lecture theatre over the years, and I’m delighted to reconnect with them today on such an auspicious occasion. I’d like to extend my gratitude to the officers and crew of the LÉ William Butler Yeats, particularly EO Jim Nolan, and also Capt. Darren Doyle of the Port of Waterford for facilitating us today.”

“Conducting this ceremony at the meeting of the Three Sisters Rivers also fills me with a sense of pride as I undertake my Mayoral duties in my home village of Cheekpoint.”

Cllr. Power then ‘reclaimed the waters’ by stating, “At this place where the Three Sisters rivers meet, to drive out King Neptune, I will throw this silver dart into the place where the rivers meet, and I declare, ‘According to the Governing Charter of Waterford City, as granted by King Charles I, on behalf of the Mayor of Waterford and Admiral of the Harbour, I claim these waters.’

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Free to use images: John Power

Reminder: LGBTQ+ History Talks tomorrow

LGBTQ+ history talks

Join us for a captivating exploration of LGBTQ+ history with esteemed speakers Dr. Mary McAuliffe and Dr. Anthony Delaney on Tuesday 28th of May in WCQ Barker Place on O’Connell Street. Waterford Libraries are delighted to be collaborating with Pride of the Deise for this event.

Book your free tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/lgbtq-history-talk-at-pride-of-the-deise-2024-registration-904856579387

Dr. McAuliffe, a historian and lecturer at Gender Studies UCD, will delve into “Having no time for men at all”; Histories of Irish suffrage and revolutionary queer women. Drawing from her extensive research and latest publications, Dr. McAuliffe offers insights into the lives of remarkable individuals and their contributions to Ireland’s rich tapestry of gender and sexuality.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Delaney, an actor, author, and historian, will shed light on “The Queer South East in the 18th and 19th centuries.” His discussion will focus on figures like Eleanor Butler, Sarah Ponsonby, and Edward De Lacy Evans, unraveling stories of resilience and identity in historical contexts.

Don’t miss this enlightening journey through Ireland’s queer past.

LGBTQ+ History Talks

LGBTQ+ history talks

Join us for a captivating exploration of LGBTQ+ history with esteemed speakers Dr. Mary McAuliffe and Dr. Anthony Delaney on Tuesday 28th of May in WCQ Barker Place on O’Connell Street. Waterford Libraries are delighted to be collaborating with Pride of the Deise for this event.

Book your free tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/lgbtq-history-talk-at-pride-of-the-deise-2024-registration-904856579387

Dr. McAuliffe, a historian and lecturer at Gender Studies UCD, will delve into “Having no time for men at all”; Histories of Irish suffrage and revolutionary queer women. Drawing from her extensive research and latest publications, Dr. McAuliffe offers insights into the lives of remarkable individuals and their contributions to Ireland’s rich tapestry of gender and sexuality.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Delaney, an actor, author, and historian, will shed light on “The Queer South East in the 18th and 19th centuries.” His discussion will focus on figures like Eleanor Butler, Sarah Ponsonby, and Edward De Lacy Evans, unraveling stories of resilience and identity in historical contexts.

Don’t miss this enlightening journey through Ireland’s queer past.

Waterford Walls Announces its Year Ten Line-up!

Waterford Walls, the beloved festival that has been transforming the city’s walls into vibrant works of art, is gearing up for a monumental milestone in 2024 – its tenth anniversary! And trust us, they’re pulling out all the stops to make this year unforgettable.

Prepare to be wowed as an eclectic blend of talent from all over Ireland and across the globe descends upon Waterford. From the iconic Chris ‘Daze’ Ellis of NYC subway fame to the hyper-realism master Jeks from North Carolina, and Irish favourite Dan Leo, the roster is stacked with 38 awe-inspiring artists. Representing countries far and wide including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Peru, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, and beyond, this year’s lineup promises to be a true celebration of global creativity. Festival Manager Gabe McGuinness says he is excited to make the programme public after months of preparation: ‘we’re thrilled to be announcing such a jam-packed lineup of artists featuring long-running festival favourites and exciting new names never seen before in Waterford as we celebrate our 10th anniversary.’

The full Year Ten lineup is:

CLAIRE PROUVOST [FRA] | DAN LEO [IRL] | DAZE [USA] | ED HICKS [GBR] | .EPOD [GBR] | HALFSTUDIO [PRT] | HMC [IRL] | HOCK [IRL] |  JEAN ROOBLE [FRA] | JEKS [USA] | JOHN BRADY [IRL] | KAROL [IRL] | KMG [SCO] LAIDBACK [IRL] | LIBERTAD RICE [ARG] | LIDIA CAO [ESP] | LOUIS MASAI [GBR] |LUOGO COMUNE [ITA] | MICHELLE URBAN [DEU] | NASCA UNO [DEU] | NEAN [BEL] NETO VETTORELLO [BRA] | NIALL.OL [IRL] | NOVICE [IRL] | OMIN [IRL] PEACHZZ [GBR] PENS [IRL] | RAME13 [ITA] | RASK [IRL] | ROISIN CLOTHIER [IRL] | SILLYME [ITA] SHANE O’MALLEY [IRL] | STAYLO [IRL] | SUFEK [IRL] | VARIOUS & GOULD [DEU]

But that’s not all – mark your calendars for August 9 to 18 because Waterford Walls is not just a festival, it’s an experience. Dive into a whirlwind of colour and culture with a jam-packed schedule featuring workshops, tours, talks, breakdancing, DJs, movie screenings, and live painting events. This year the festival is also delighted to partner with Wicklow Wolf, who will be serving up their full range of craft beers at its festival hub at The Forum.

Waterford Walls is made possible by the support of a whole host of sponsors and funders including Waterford Council, The Arts Council, Creative Ireland, Waterford Cultural Quarter, the European Festival Association, Colourtrend Paints, Montana Cans, Number 21, Zinnia, Fyrefli, Rapid Cabs and Fitzgerald Power. The embassies of France, Italy, Portugal and Belgium support the participation of artists from their countries.

Join Waterford Walls in commemorating a decade of art, community, and creativity this August. For more details, visit wallsproject.ie or follow on social media. This is a celebration you won’t want to miss!

ENDS

Greenway Tea-Time Cycle

The fun factor gauge is rising! So many people are enjoying #BikeWeek.

Over 20 young people from the 19th & 29th St Mary’s Ballygunner Scout Group with scout leaders Steve Silby, Niamh McCarthy and Sophie Counihan enjoyed Waterford Council’s Greenway Tea-Time Cycle in the City. It’s wonderful to see the interest.

Keep it going and check out www.bikeweek.ie  for all the information you need to take part.

Biodiversity Week 2024

National Biodiversity Week is an annual celebration of wildlife and nature over 10-days of events nationwide. Waterford City & County Council are running several free guided wildlife walks & talks over the week along with supporting local community groups, Bealtaine Living Earth Festival and the promotion of partner events by environmental NGOs.

In Waterford this year, Waterford City & County Council will partner with a number of organisations throughout the week to explore the habitats of Dungarvan, Dunmore East and Clashmore, host online invasive species talks with the National Biodiversity Data Centre and support the work of local communities endeavouring to protect nature on their own doorstep. There are lots of ways to get involved through photography, participating in fieldtrips or attending family days across the county.

This is a great week to explore more of your local habitats and green spaces with an eye on wildlife. Check out some of the great events below and if you have any questions, feel free to ask the Biodiversity Officer, Marina Mulligan at mmulligan@waterfordcouncil.ie Biodiversity Week also runs in parallel with World Bee Day on 20th May, International Day for Biological Diversity on 22nd May and National Invasive Species WeekBiodiversity Week is funded by the National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Irish Environmental Network (IEN) are the body responsible for coordinating the event each year.

Follow along: As part of Biodiversity Week, a new Instagram account (waterford_biodiversity) for WCCC Biodiversity will kick off with new content and information on species, habitats and events weekly.


Events in Waterford include:

May 17th – Launch of the Biodiversity and Sustainability Forum by SETU (Registration now closed).

May 18th – Dungarvan Library Talk & Walk: The Wildlife of Dungarvan Harbour (Dungarvan Library & Harbour, 12 noon – 1.30 pm) and IWDG Whale Watching at Helvic Head (5 pm – 7 pm, book here). Native Woodland Trust Walk at Gracedieu Wood (10.30 am – 2 pm, book here). Nature Photography course (Clashmore event, info attached).

May 18thWaterford Gallery of Art: Drawing with Nature for National Drawing Day X Biodiversity Week (11 am – 1 pm, book here)

May 21st – Invasive Species for Community Groups (online, 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm, link to join in pdf)

May 22nd – Irish Wildlife Trust Bat Walk (8 pm – 10 pm, book here)

May 23rd – Scouts Talk & Walk: Coastal Species of Dunmore East (Dunmore Library, 7 pm – 8 pm)

May 24th – Tramore Eco Group X WCCC: Dunes Walk at Tramore Beach (Tramore Beach, 3 pm – 4.30 pm)

May 25th – Clashmore Community Council X WCCC: Biodiversity Walk of Clashmore (Clashmore Heritage Centre, 2.30 pm – 4 pm)

Plenty more events happening throughout the county organised by small community groups and volunteers! Schools who would like to engage with the Biodiversity Officer as a 40 minute online talk can do so over the course of the week by contacting mmulligan@waterfordcouncil.ie


Bealtaine Living Earth Festival

The 20th annual Bealtaine Living Earth Festival takes place from 18 – 26 May 2024 with events for adults, families and schools across the region.

There are over 20 free events across the region to celebrate biodiversity and natural heritage in the Southeast.

HighlightA special event about Bees and pollinators will take place next Sunday, May 19 at 3pm (the eve of International Bee Day) at St Patrick’s Gateway, Waterford featuring Eanna ní Lamhna and SETU horticulturalist Yvonne Grace.

More info & eventswww.livingearth.ie


Clashmore & Kinsalebeg Community Council

Clashmore and Kinsalebeg Community Council have organised a range of photography, biodiversity and birdwatching events over three days. Check out the pdf above.

Highlight: Nature Photography course on Saturday 18th May! Prep for your nature photo entries.


Biodiversity Photographer of the Year

The national Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition is open to professional and amateur photographers under a number of categories with a deadline of May 31st to enter. Check out your local wildlife and habitats and submit your photos to be in with a chance to win a number of prizes with a top prize of €500 for the overall winner. This year also has a special Ocean Category to link in with Fair Seas campaign for marine protected areas in Ireland. Let’s get some Waterford photos in the mix!

Link: https://biodiversityweek.ie/photo-competitions/


Backyard Bioblitz

Take part in the Biodiversity Week Backyard Bioblitz 17th – 26th May 2023
Explore your local area to discover fabulous flora and fauna! Our ecologists and wildlife experts will identify it for you! Simply share it on Twitter or Instagram with #BackyardBioblitz. As a bonus, you’ll also be entered into the draw for a prize from the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

Link: https://biodiversityweek.ie/backyard-bioblitz/


Biodiversity Scavenger Hunt

Recommend your local school to take part in a 40-minute school scavenger hunt to discover species ‘In Our School Yard’ or ‘In Our School Garden’. Please share your results with the IEN and your local Biodiversity Officer.

Link: https://biodiversityweek.ie/biodiversity-scavenger-hunt/


Happy Biodiversity Week! Feel free to share widely and send photos of wildlife on to me during the week @waterford_biodiversity Instagram. You could feature on the new Biodiversity website and win a prize.

Are you ready for StreetFeast 2024 ?

Street Feast 2024

An estimated 140,000 residents set to take part in Street Feast this year. Ireland’s national weekend of street parties and community celebrations takes place 25th and 26th May 2024

Annually there are more Street Feast participants than Electric Picnic attendees! From city slickers to countryside dwellers, everyone’s invited to the feast. Whether you’ve got a front yard, a street corner, or just a spot to gather, Street Feast knows no bounds.

President Michael D. Higgins said: “We must all by now realise the importance of community, inclusion, creativity and togetherness – all values that require support and a conscious effort of care, protection and solidarity. Initiatives such as Street Feast provide exactly that type of opportunity.”

Street Feast will be held over two days instead of one for the first time meaning a full weekend of celebrations. Over 1,250 communities across Ireland will share food and enjoy some conversation and camaraderie this summer – any excuse to connect with people in your neighbourhood. So let’s get planning.

Organisers say that no matter what kind of place you live in, everyone is invited to participate and host gatherings. It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or house, all you need is a space to bring people together. Street Feast has had parties organised in front gardens, on streets and greens, in car parks, laneways, local parks and community centres.

Minister Joe O’Brien: “I am delighted to support Street Feast 2024. The core work of my Department is strengthening communities and enhancing social inclusion. It is important to find ways to connect with people and focus on the importance of neighbours in our communities. Street Feast provides a fantastic opportunity to make time for each other outside of family and friends. I would encourage local communities around the country to get involved in Street Feast 2024 and aim to build communities, tackle isolation and foster connections.”

Founder of Street Feast and Neighbourhood Network CEO, Sam Bishop, said: “For 14 years, Street Feast has been all about bringing folks together over food, fun, and fellowship. And the stats speak for themselves: 97% feel the neighbourly love post-feast, and a whopping 98% say their sense of belonging gets a boost. That’s the magic of community.”

Sam adds: “97% feel their neighbourhood is friendlier since hosting Street Feast and 98% say their sense of belonging has increased since Street Feast. That’s what it’s all about. Running it over two days instead of one will give people more opportunity to celebrate together.”

Register at StreetFeast.ie today and don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to bring your community together and celebrate. Once registered you’ll receive a FREE Street Feast party pack, complete with bunting, posters, invites and a brilliant DIY guide.

Street Feast wouldn’t be possible without the support of Government departments and Street Feast sponsors.

ENDS

A Refreshing Start to Bike Week 2024: Dawn Cycle to Tramore

This past Saturday morning, Waterford City & County Council hosted an invigorating “Dawn Cycle” event, marking a special start to Bike Week 2024. As the sun began to peek over the horizon, approximately twenty cycling enthusiasts gathered in Waterford at the brisk hour of 6 am, setting the stage for a memorable ride to Tramore.

The event, part of a nationwide celebration to promote cycling as detailed on the Transport for Ireland’s Bike Week page, aimed to highlight the benefits of cycling, both for personal health and as a sustainable transport option. The journey from Waterford city to scenic Tramore offered participants a unique opportunity to experience the tranquility of the early morning, with quiet streets and the fresh, crisp air of the dawn creating a perfect backdrop.

Riders of all ages and abilities joined the cycle, demonstrating the inclusive spirit of Bike Week. The camaraderie among participants was palpable, with seasoned cyclists and beginners alike sharing laughs, stories, and encouragement.

Upon arrival in Tramore, cyclists were greeted with stunning views of the coastline, a rewarding sight after their early morning endeavor. The event concluded with a communal cuppa where stories were shared over cups of coffee and breakfast treats at the T-Bay surf club on the prom.

As Bike Week continues, Waterford Council hopes to see more residents choosing bicycles as their preferred mode of transport, inspired by the success of this picturesque early morning ride.

See the flyer below for more events throughout Waterford for Bike Week 2024, and consider joining the cycling revolution to better health and a cleaner environment!

Summer Festival: Robert Boyle Summer School, Lismore

The 12th Annual Robert Boyle Summer School is taking place in Waterford City & County Council and in Lismore Heritage Centre from Thursday 09th until Sunday 12th May. Father of Chemistry’s Robert Boyle (1627-1691) contributions to Science revolutionised scientific thought, and each year we celebrate this scientific visionary with a diverse line-up of academics, historians, presenters and artists over a three day festival.

Our theme this year is Science and Art, continuing the success of our sold-out Robert Boyle Winter School in January.

This year’s line-up:

  • Antiquarian Roger Gaskell explores the scientific classic ‘Micrographia’ by Robert Hooke. This text was the original scientific bestseller, and presented drawn images of insects and flora under a microscope for the first time ever.
  • Leonardo da Vinci features prominently on the schedule. Scholar Dr Martin Landrus of University of Oxford explores the interrelationships of Science and Art in da Vincis work, whilst figurative artist Una Sealy discusses the influence of da Vinci in her anatomical works.
  • Artist Nuala Clarke joins us to delve into the commonalities between scientific and artistic methodologies.
  • Dr Fernando Corbalán, University of Zaragoza and author of the The Golden Ratio, The mathematical language of beauty illustrates the relationships between Mathematics and Art.
  • SETU lecturer Carlos Garcia Pando demonstrates how da Vinci’s work informed the invention of the 3D printer.

This year, we offer our guests a botanical art workshop with artist Gooee O Brien, followed by the ever-popular garden party to reflect and discuss in the grounds of Lismore Castle. The Summer School is made possible through a collaboration between Calmast STEM Engagement Centre South East Technological University and the Lismore Heritage Centre, with support from the Waterford City & County Council local industry partners, and Lismore Castle Estates.

BOOKING is essential, for further information, please visit https://www.robertboyle.ie

Inaugural One Waterford, One People event hailed a success

The inaugural One Waterford, One People event which was held in the People’s Park on Bank Holiday Monday was hailed a great success by the organisers and participants.

The event, a celebration of diversity in Waterford, was organised by Waterford Trades Council and supported by Waterford City and County Council, and community organisations and agencies including Waterford Area Partnership, Waterford Sports Partnership and Waterford New Communities Network.

Featuring a compendium of costumes and culture and a symphony of musical entertainment, the free family-friendly event took place in the People’s Park, with the bandstand featuring as the main stage for music acts from Ukraine, Brazil, India, the Philippines, Africa and more, along with a host of Irish musicians including a céilí band and drummers from Waterford Academy of Music and Arts.

David Lane, President of the Waterford Trades Council extended his gratitude to those involved in the organisation of the event, its participants and everyone came along to soak up the atmosphere of One Waterford, One People.

“There was a brilliant array of performers from Ireland, India, the Philippines, England, Brazil, South Africa, the Igbo Community and Ukraine.  The event showcased how communities can come together and celebrate diversity, and doing so under the banner of solidarity and trade unions works very well.

“We estimate that there were in the region of 500 people at the event throughout the afternoon, enjoying the free music, dance and cultural showcases.  It’s a template that we hope to work on and repeat.  I’d also like to thank our partners Waterford City and County Council, Waterford Area Partnership, Waterford Sports Partnership and Waterford Integration Services.”

Katherine Collins, Project Manager of Waterford’s Cultural Quarter (WCQ) said, “It was a lovely addition to the Bank Holiday weekend.  The People’s Park was the perfect setting to celebrate Waterford’s rich cultural diversity.

“As a warm and welcoming place, Waterford City and County Council is pleased to support events like this that showcase Waterford as being inviting and inclusive for all.”

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Images :  DGM Photographic

Age Friendly Waterford’s “Age Well” Expo : 7th May

Age Well Expo

Age Friendly Waterford’s “Age Well” Expo will take place in the Tower Hotel on 7th May from 1-6pm.

There will be speakers, stands, music and refreshments – below is the agenda for the day. It is being supported by Healthy Waterford, WCCC and UPMC Whitfield.