Buile agus Eagna na Sionainne

Council Project, Uisce

Fáilte. Be welcome to a family-friendly day of talks and activities on Sat 20th May 2023 on one of the mighty aquifer lakes that feeds the Shannon. Meet the communities of people and organisations who are the stewards and guardians actively working towards the preservation of our land. This will be a fun-filled one day family event, with activities and information providing something for everyone. We are facilitating a safe space for the difficult conversation of what rights of the Shannon could look like, or mean.

Organiser: Shannon Rights Alliance

Location: Doon Shore Amenity, Tawnytaskin, Co. Roscommon (on the western shore of Lough Key)

Date: Part of National Biodiversity Week on Sat 20th May 2023

Scheduled Events:

  • 9:45: Opening of the event
  • 10:30: Exploring aquatic life, pond dipping with Kate NcNutt (child-friendly).
  • 11:30: A storytelling with Chris Thompson: Stories in the Landscape.
  • Noon: Craic agus ceoil
  • 12:30: Talk on the River Shannon by Jack O’Sullivan: “Power, Threats and Management”.
  • 13:30: “Soul sounds of the Shannon” with Anne-Marie Hynes and a break for food.
  • 14:30: Talk by Daniel Monaghan: An ecological journey through environmentally sensitive landscapes and an insight into gold mining in Tyrone.
  • 15:45: Storytelling with John Willmott: Fire on water and the hawthorn.
  • 17:00: Celtic Kirtan with Eileen Bray
  • End of event and Open conversation around the central fire about rights of the Shannon.

Activities throughout the day:

  • Meet some of the great projects active in protecting and celebrating our natural heritage.
  • Central fire
  • Traditional music and harp
  • Reflexology
  • Hair braiding
  • Face painting
  • Story telling
  • Willow weaving
  • Children’s craft workshop
  • Moss balls craft

We operate on a zero waste philosophy and encourage self-sufficiency by event attendees.

What to bring:

  • Bring water from your own local well (the central fire will have a kettle on the go all day for herbal teas)
  • Picnic blanket or campchair.
  • Picnic food for yourself (there will also be soup and bread to share).
  • Your own cup, bowl and eating utensils.

This is a free event, although donations of support on the day will be welcome.

To ensure this is a safe and family-friendly event, this will be an alcohol and drug-free space. Children must be always accompanied by a responsible adult.

Shannon Rights Alliance is a newly formed alliance of groups with an interest in protecting the Shannon and working towards Rights of Nature for the River. We are delighted to invite your group to host a table at our launch event as part of National Biodiversity Week on Sat 20th May 2023 at Doon Shore Amenity.

The day will include talks, stories and music with the theme of biodiversity and protection of the River Shannon. Please find attached a schedule for the day. Entry is free as the event is sponsored by the Irish Environmental Network and Zero Waste Alliance Ireland. We are expecting to attract good numbers to the area and we thought it might be beneficial to you and interesting for visitors if your group wanted to host a table with information about what you do for people who visit.

We are hoping to work together with groups all along the River Shannon to find our common interests and ways to come together to ensure the River continues to be the inspiring life-giving entity that it has been for us and previous generations, and we hope will be for long into the future. As well as hosting a table, we would love to talk with your group about how we might work together towards Rights for the Shannon.

On the day arrival and set up is at 0930 – please be as self-sufficient as possible and bring your own chairs, tables, water and food.

Shannon Rights Alliance

Council Project

>> Be welcome to a family-friendly day of talks and activities on Sat 20th May 2023

Buile agus Eagna na Sionainne

The mighty River Shannon, flowing north to south, bisects Ireland geographically, in mind and in spirit. Many centuries ago, large numbers of us were driven west across the Shannon; yet we continue to love the river for what it is, for its bounty, its sacredness; its integrity and authenticity.

But while we may appear to love the River Shannon, we are failing to recognise its importance and vulnerability; instead we have tried to tame it, tried to confine it within artificial banks, used it for the disposal of waste, and promoted the river as a location for industry, with little or no control over potentially adverse consequences. We have also inadequately protected its unique ecosystems and habitats from the Cuilcagh Mountain to the Shannon Estuary, where the River merges with the Atlantic Ocean; and we have never developed an integrated plan for taking care of this great waterway.

The Shannon Rights Alliance has been born from an awareness of these problems, and our aim is to create a new approach, based on recognising and becoming more aware of the inherent wildness and wisdom of the river; as expressed in our vision and call to action:

Buile agus Eagna na Sionainne

A major part of our aim is to reignite peoples’ awareness of the authenticity of Sinann (the possessor of wisdom) as the Shannon’s mythological river deity, and to appropriately honour her.

To achieve these aims we need more than the usual systems of protection; we need to give a legal right to the River Shannon, a right no different from that afforded under our Constitution and our legal system any person or company.

We ask why should a polluting company have legal rights when the river being damaged has none? In an increasing number of countries worldwide, legal rights are now being granted to specific features of the natural environment, including mountains and rivers; and we see no reason why this should not be possible in Ireland.

To further this aim, we have lodged a formal declaration with the United Nations, and we are looking for your support to enable us to continue this important work.

Remember that caring for this great river has the potential to create a deep connection and powerful link between the communities which have been separated by Ireland’s internal political border; and it equally holds the potential to heal long-standing divisions and wounds in our country.


Wolves for the Woods

Council Project

The Gaelic Woodland Project and Wolf Academy joined forces in a 30+ hours hiking challenge to raise funds for a new Irish woodland.

The Wolf Academy, founded by brothers Daryl and Cormac Noonan, organised a challenge of extreme endurance to raise awareness about the state of Ireland’s woodlands, as well as to raise funds for the Gaelic Woodland Project, a registered charity that is working to create a community-powered new native woodland in Ireland. The Noonan brothers were joined by Eoghain Connaughton (founder of GWP) and a small team of warriors and supporting fairies to walk the full length of the Wicklow Way (almost 130 kms.) with only a few stops for rest along the way.

This epic hike took place on December 4th, starting at 6 AM in Clonegal, Co. Carlow, and ended in the afteroon ofDecember 5th in Marlay Park, Co. Dublin.

There was 4 checkpoints along the route for a brief rest, where the Fairy Council of Ireland provided meals, a fire beacon and other kinds of moral, physical and emotional support.

Trembling with the cold but burning with purpose, the lads managed to reach Marlay Park and complete this feat of endurance.

During the walk, €2,500 were raised out of the €5,000 fundraising aim. Donations are still coming in, so please feel free to contribute:

Súil an Craic

Council Project

{Update 2022: Here is the Gluaiseacht Funding Report form}

{Update 2021: The experience was successfully completed between Lughnasadh and Samhain 2020. For more information and photos, please join the Facebook Group}

Súil an Craic is the second iteration of an independently organised, multi-layered journey of exploration and re-discovery of the land, which seeks to open up routes for long-term pilgrimages through our ancient culture and richly varied landscape.

From his birthplace in Tory Island, down to the final resting place of his foster mother in Loughcrew, we are following the legends and deeds of Lugh Lamhfada, the champion of light who brought about change and freedom to the Tuatha Dé Dannan by defeating the Fomorians; dark beings whose greed and disregard for the Land herself knew no limits.

In association with the All is Well initiative, our route involves restoration and cleaning of ancient holy wells along the way, allowing Water to lead our path and remind communities of the importance of water care.

We’ll visit meaningful ancient sites, seeking to boost interest in lore and heritage, engaging with local communities to encourage indigenous tourism, fostering awareness about the state of our ecology, providing opportunities for guest experts to share their knowledge along the way… and ah, sure, have some craic while we’re at it.


General overview of our pilgrimage route.
(by Séan Fitzgerald)

The walk has a variety of aspects, layers and intentions.

Participants are invited to join under their own self-motivation and commitment to adhering to our standard of safety, behavior and intention. Though we will be walking under the principles of kindness, unity and tribe; we expect all Walkers to be self-sufficient in as many aspects as possible, including camping gear and equipment, transport, etc.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdown, we ask that all walkers to adhere to safety guidelines and social distancing practices.

Intentions and Goals

  • Pilgrimage route: Once upon a time, Ireland was an island to be walked. While the country is still full of interesting walking routes, we seek to open up a path under the stories of the ancient Irish champion Lugh Lamhfada, offering an experience of connection to the ancient legends which permeate the landscape.
  • Care of Holy Wells: As we walk down, we’ll engage in holy well tracking and cleaning techniques, highlighting the importance and awareness of water care among locals.
  • Education: We’re hoping to be joined at times by experts in different areas, from foraging and wild cooking to forestry and outdoor living; offering an ongoing learning experience.
  • Culture & Heritage: Our route will bring us to some of the most important ancient sites on this side of Ireland, where we seek to honor the efforts of our ancestors and the gifts they left behind in stone and soil. We’ll seek out local lore and storytellers in an attempt to find new layers, aspects and connections between these wondrous monuments.
  • Indigenous Tourism: Samewise, we’ll make use of social media tools to highlight and boost hidden gems along the island, in an effort to bring awareness and provide support for local communities; who have so much to offer but are oftentimes neglected by the popular tourism routes.
  • Tribe Behavior and Integrity: We are committed to walk in a way our Ancestors would be proud of; walking as respectful guests along the land and showing truth and grace in word and deed. We intend to leave no trace but positive impact, and manage our group dynamic as horizontally and openly as possible. We hope this to be a learning experience of communal living and respectful interactions with the Land.

Credit: John Sheridan
“We recognise role that the local heritage such as music and folklore retained a Celtic artistic signature of natural vitality, intricacy, “abhorrence of a straight line” and mysticism that is leading to important national cultural revival
This existentially free spirit in our culture is something uniquely attractive to the outsider and it is represented in numerous personal-regenerative initiatives with multi-faceted potential to build on the considerable global platform of awareness established by the heroes of our cultural revival and its ongoing vitality.
-Dr. Myles Sweeny