IRD DuhallowLIFE: This project commenced in September 2010 and will draw to a close in June 2015. The target species are the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Atlantic salmon, Otter, Kingfisher and Dipper. The lessons learnt and restoration work carried out have been substantial with over 40km of river bank and drains treated for invasive species, 30km of river bank fenced, 1000’s of native trees planted, artificial otter holts constructed and placed, log piles placed to improve habitat for mammals and nesting boxes constructed and placed for kingfishers, dippers and sandmartins. Significant raising of awareness of the importance of nature is being carried out through the schools and wider community.

RaptorLIFE: This exciting new LIFE project starts in early 2015 and builds on the IRD DuhallowLIFE project, focusing on the upper portion of the River Backwater and the surrounding hilly areas, which are designated as Special Protected Areas for birds. The project aims to improve the conservation of the Hen Harrier, Merlin, Atlantic Salmon and Brook Lamprey by carrying out a range of on-the-ground conservation measures, such as planting trees and the removal of invasive species in a range of habitats and along the roadways. A key aspect to the project will be the training of volunteers to carry out monitoring of birds, as well as the project’s other activities throughout the next few years.

IRD Duhallow
Celebrating Hands on community participation in Nature Conservation




2 Day Conference


Restoration of the Upper River Blackwater SAC for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Atlantic Salmon, European Otter and Kingfisher

EU LIFE Project Reference: LIFE 09 NATIE000220 Blackwater SAMOK



May 22nd 2015: RaptorLIFE PROJECT LAUNCH

Connecting and restoring habitats for Hen harrier, Merlin, Atlantic salmon and Brook lamprey in Duhallow, Ireland

EU LIFE Project Reference: LIFE 13 NAT IE 000769 RaptorLIFE


James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket, Co Cork, Ireland

European Conference Celebrating Hands On Community Participation In Nature Conservation

Day1 –  Thursday 21st May 2015

DuhallowLIFE end of Project Conference

James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket, County Cork, Ireland

Conference chairperson: Frank Lewis, Radio Kerry

Session 1: Setting the Scene

09:00-09:15     Registration &Tea/Coffee

09:15-09:20     Frank Lewis, Radio Kerry – Opening and Welcome  

09:20-09:40     Ms Maura Walsh, CEO IRD Duhallow – How LIFE fits into IRD Duhallow’s ethos

09:40-09:50     Ms. Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development, Inland Fisheries                             Ireland  – Inland Fisheries Ireland’s role in LIFE

09:50-10:20     Mr. Seosamh O’Laoi, DECLG LIFE National Contact Point – Preparing a LIFE project

10:20-10:30     Questions & Answers 

10:30-11:15     Keynote Address: Mr John Lucey, Freshwater Pearl Mussel expert, author and historian – The Freshwater Pearl Mussel: Pearl Producer and Protected Species

Coffee Break & Networking

Session 2: Examples of International Best Practice in EU LIFE Projects

11:30-11:50     Ms. Marjana Hönigsfeld Adamič, LUTRA, Institute for Conservation of Natural Heritage – AQUALUTRA Conservation of otter population (Lutra lutra) in Goričko (Slovenia)

11:50-12:10     Mr. Robert de Graeffe, European Landowners Organisation – 3 Water LIFE project (Belguim)

12:10-12:30     Ms Diane O’Leary, West Cumbria Rivers Trust – Pearls in Peril LIFE+ (GB)

12:30-12:50     Mr Ruairí Ó’Conchúir, Inland Fisheries Ireland – An overview of MulkearLIFE (ROI)

12:50-13:00     Questions & Answers 

Lunch Break & Networking

Session 3: DuhallowLIFE: Key conservation actions and project innovations

14:00-14:30     Dr. Fran Igoe, IRD Duhallow – River bank erosion measures, cattle management and water access, drainage and silt trapping

14:30-15:00     Mr. Kieran Murphy, IRD Duhallow – Himalayan balsam control and actions for otters, dippers and kingfishers

15:00-15:15     Ms. Nuala Riordan, IRD Duhallow – Education and public awareness

15:15–15.30    Questions & Answers

Coffee Break & Networking

Session 4: LIFE Project Stakeholder Involvement

15:30-15:40     Mr. Michael Twohig, IRD Duhallow Board Member and Angler – LIFE the fishermans friend

15:40-15:50     Ms. Brigid Daly, Landowner – LIFE on the farm

15:50-16:00     Ms. Derval Vaughan, Convent of Mercy Girls National School, Kanturk – School Children get involved

Extending your LIFEspan

16:00-16:30     Mr. Frank Donoghue, National Parks and Wildlife Service – An overview of the competent authority’s role with the EU LIFE programme

16:30-17:00     Mr. Donal Daly, Environmental Protection Agency – Working towards Healthy, Resilient, Productive and Valued Catchments

17:00-17:15     Questions & Answers

17:15-17:30     AfterLIFE+ plan and Closing comments

18.30 – 21.00 Conference Banquet with entertainment from Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Sliabh Luachra  Buses on hand to leave for hotels and B&Bs and collect in the morning.

Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes.  All singers, fiddles, flutes or instrument of choice are very welcome. The Craic will be mighty!

Day2 – Friday 22nd May 2015

James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket, Co Cork, Ireland

Connecting and Restoring Habitats for Hen Harrier, Merlin, Atlantic Salmon and Brook Lamprey in Duhallow, Ireland

Official launch of RaptorLIFE

Conference chairperson: Paddy Woodworth, Irish Times

Session 1: Conservation People and wildlife together in a living landscape          

09:30-09:45     Registration & Tea/Coffee

09:45-09:50     Mr. Cormac Collins, Board Chairman of IRD Duhallow – Welcome

09:50-10:00     Paddy Woodworth, Irish Times – Opening and official Launch of RaptorLIFE

10:00-10:20     Ms. Marjana Hönigsfeld Adamič, LUTRA, Institute for Conservation of Natural Heritage. Slovenia – AQUAVIVA – Live Water – from Biodiversity to the Tap

10:20-10:40     Dr. Brin McDonnell, Duhallow Birdwatch Group – Perspectives on bird     conservation in Duhallow

10:40-11:00     Dr. Barry O’Donoghue, National Parks and Wildlife Service – Agri-Environment                 issues in Protected Areas

11:00-11:20     Mr. Lorcan O’Toole, Equitable land management in the uplands – Putting people and nature first

11:20-11:30     Questions & Answers

Coffee Break & Networking

Session 2: RaptorLIFE and Stakeholder Participation


11:45-12:00     Ms Eileen Linehan (Project Manager)/ Dr. Fran Igoe (Project Scientist), IRD                      Duhallow – RaptorLIFE overview

12:00-12:10     Ms. Cathy Fisher, Kerry County Council – Local Authority Actions to Control                        Invasive Plant Species

12:10-12:20     Ms. Gill Weyman, Cork Nature Network – Volunteering for Nature

12:20-12:30     Mr. Bernard Burke, Coillte – Biodiversity and Forestry Considerations

12:30-12:40     Questions & Answers

12:40-12:50     Mr. Michael Doyle, Duhallow Environmental Working Group – LIFE and the Environment in Duhallow

12:50-13:00     Summary overview of morning

13:00-16:00     Field trip (Lunch to be provided on site for those going on fieldtrip) by bus to view on the ground project work

– please bring suitable walking boots and rain gear

16:00               Conference close (Newmarket)


International 2 Day Conference

James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket, Co Cork, Ireland 21st and 22nd May 2015