Case Study


‘The Waterville Catchments and Ballinskelligs Bay are priceless and irreplaceable resources ecologically, culturally, economically and socially. The health of these systems is crucial to the sectors/stakeholders that rely on them for a wide and varied number of reasons including agriculture, forestry, industry, tourism, aquaculture, social and recreational to name a few. It is now vital that every effort is made to ensure that benefits these key assets offer are identified in full and a plan is developed to sustainably maintain and protect them into the future’

Water is a precious resource, and is essential for all life on earth. Managing our water so it can meet our current and future needs and also continue to support the ecosystems that depend on it is vital for Ireland’s future.

Strategic Overview

Final Feedback Meeting

The final meeting in the consultation process was held on-line, on Tuesday 06th October. The draft strategic overview of the plan was presented and included the aims, objectives, actions and targets for discussion. This event was hosted by the Gaeltacht Communities (broken link)

Strategic Overview slide presentation can be viewed / downloaded here (broken link).

Further comments by email were invited, allowing the consultants to complete drafting of the plan. The plan was then forwarded to the Project Steering Group.

Community Geodesign Workshops

Alternative Futures for the Catchments

Citizens and Community Groups participated in two Geodesign workshops 15th and 17th September. This allowed people to map out their ideas for projects and policies related to the catchments, the ideas were negotiated, and consensus was reached across a range of headings. These workshops were informed by the issues arising from the previous consultations.  The results were summarised into a series of maps which fed into the preparation of the draft actions.
Geodesign* methods facilitated by Dr.Hrishi Ballal.

This work would normally be done in a four-hour workshop. However because of COVID 19 it was run on-line over two evenings:

For more information on Geodesign see GeoDesignHub

Heritage Workshops

A series of heritage-themed workshops were held with a number of sectors as part of National Heritage Week 2020.  With a relaxing of the COVID 19 health regulations, focus groups were held with groups of farmers, gillies/ fishermen, heritage interests and Waterville Business Network. These events were sponsored by Lawpro – Local Authorities Waters Programme.

The preparation of a Sustainability Plan for the Waterville/ Ballinskelligs/ Inny Valley commenced April 2020. The aim of the plan is to protect and develop the catchments for the benefit of all concerned.

The preparation of the plan involves research, consultation with all sectors, setting priorities and identifying a management structure to implement the plan. Anglers, tourism providers, local business, farmers & landowners, a range of agencies, and the local community can all give their comments and views.

Due to COVID 19 restrictions we are unable to hold normal meetings at present. Therefore we are inviting people to contribute to the plan by phone, email, on-line survey and on-line meeting.

National Heritage Week 2020 - Heritage workshops

Community Consultations. Two on-line community events were held as well as a community survey. A diverse range of interests contributed and valuable information was gathered.

Workshop one:  Niall Walsh, Project Scientist, presented a Bio-Diversity Profile of the catchments,Thursday 16th July. To view presentation click here.  Summary of discussions available here. Video recording of workshop available here.

Workshop two:  130 community surveys were completed – Dr Brendan, O’Keeffe, Project Consultant presented a summary of the community survey responses. To view the presentation click here.  Summary of the discussions click here.  Video recording of the workshop available here.

Stakeholder Consultation. Thanks to all organisations, business and agencies who took the time and interest to complete the stakeholder on-line survey.  Forty-five representatives of the various agencies and organisations attended the on-line presentation of the preliminary findings  Friday 19th June.

Contact details for participating organisations available here

Progress Update

  • Biodiversity profile completed and presented to agencies and community,
  • Survey and interviews with agencies and national organisations completed,
  • Survey of local community organisations and interested individuals completed, 
  • A schools’ project completed,
  • On-line meetings with agencies, national organisations and local community completed,
  • Heritage Week events held,
  • Download August update click here.

Steering Group Members:

  • IRD Waterville,
  • South Kerry Development Partnership,
  • Kerry County Council,
  • LAWPRO – Local Authorities Waters Programme,
  • Teagasc,
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Project Consultants – O’Raw Consultancy & Associates:

  • Paul O’Raw,
  • Dr Brendan O’Keeffe,
  • Dr Hrishi Balall,
  • Niall Walsh

For further information contact Paul O’Raw at 087 2317204

Useful Links

Heritage Council calls on children across the country to showcase local heritage through LEGO® brick. 

Savings Ireland's Water

Saving Ireland’s Water

Savings Ireland's Water

The good ecological status of rivers and lakes
University of Duisberg, Germany

Savings Ireland's Water

Healthy rivers: What WFD means for river life
Environment Agency UK

What Clients Are Saying

”Paul is a terrific host. He gets the team working together and thinking not only as individuals but as a group also … He has opened up the dialogue for the team…’’ 

- Childcare Team, Killorglin Family Resource Centre.

What Clients Are Saying

"A huge thank you to Mr Paul O’Raw and Dr Brendan O’Keeffe for their immense contribution, professionalism, patience, and approachable manner, which made this process a thoroughly enjoyable experience (chairman Asdee Community Development Association).’’"

- Preparing a Strategic Development Plan for Asdee, North Kerry

What Clients Are Saying

"At times this was a difficult project and required perseverance and going the extra mile, and Paul always put the shoulder to the wheel to see the plan the through. The plan is now completed and published in the community, and now forms the foundations of a new Community Forum formed in conjunction with semi-states bodies to address local issues.

I would highly recommend Paul O Raw to you as person who has experience and the talents to take similar projects from inception to completion."

- Joe Whelan, Chairman Askeaton Community Council, Summer 2020

What Clients Are Saying

"The facilitation, workshop design and data collected has provided considerable understanding of community need and action focus into the next 5-10 year period. Ballyhoura Development are very satisfied that this will lead to positive change for all the communities involved and commend Paul and his team for their commitment and understanding of the process, challenges and outputs."

- Amanda Slattery,  Development Manager, Ballyhoura Development CLG

What Clients Are Saying

"Excellent and well run workshop. Very concise and user-friendly language. Nice and calm, lots of learning points in a great manner. Very effective, not rushed, made sure everyone was included. Very good interaction with the group."

- Committee Effectiveness Training, HSE Mental Health Services, Mullingar

What Clients Are Saying

"Paul was a pleasure to work with. He brought great clarity and focus to the group. With Paul facilitating we achieved more in one day than we had previously done in two months. I would highly recommend Paul."

- Louth Next Chapter Women’s Project, Review and Planning Day


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