People and Place - Strategic Priority 1

Closed21 Oct, 2022, 1:00pm - 28 Nov, 2022, 12:00pm

People and Place

The connection between people and place is a foundation for the development of connection, collaboration and creativity. It is a priority of Waterford City and County to foster a deep-rooted connection between the people of Waterford and their place within Waterford. The landscape; the people and the culture of Waterford act as an inspiration for creativity for all in Waterford - both new arrivals and those with deep roots in the land.

We celebrate the traditions of Waterford, both native and those brought here from new arrivals of the past: as evidenced in our placenames; in our music and song; in our art and our sense of identity. We welcome the opportunity to strengthen the sense of place and identity for those living in Waterford and to develop new traditions rooted in this place.

Waterford shepherding the way in climate action. Pupils from St. Mary's National School, Tournaneena, Co Waterford Caoimhe O’Dwyer (right) & Doireann Power. Photographer Mark Stedman.

Waterford has always been outward looking. As a coastal county it has had far reaching links across the seas for generations, from the promontory forts along our coasts to the Waterford Shipping lines that crossed the world from Russia to America and beyond. Settlers arriving in Waterford in the past have become part of Waterford’s identity, such as, the Hugenots, who brought with them the blaa that has become synonymous with Waterford, and more recently the Czech glass makers who revitalised Waterford Crystal and made it into the internationally celebrated craft that it is today.

The Irish language is richly reflected in our placenames (e.g Áird Mhór meaning the Great Height) but, so too, is our Viking, Norman and English history. Waterford City is a Viking fortification and our placenames, such as, Ballygunner and Heilbhic, along the coast reflect this connection with Scandinavia. Villierstown and Mount Congreve reflect the landed estates that dot the Waterford landscape.

Waterford is one of only seven counties with a Gaeltacht area where our Irish language and cultural heritage is an integral part of day-to-day life. This connection to the Irish language is an immense source of creativity and pride of place in Waterford. The opportunities that this presents for our creative communities are a priority in our strategy.

The exploration of our people and the archaeology, artefacts, folklore and history of our City and County yields rich heritage that can ignite the fires of creativity. Our priority is to allow our communities to not only explore their sense of place and identity through creativity, but also to help develop a stronger sense of Waterford identity.


Support an Irish language creative project annually

Develop a series “Licked Off the Stones” to explore how towns, villages and communities have unique identities and work with the local community to document what makes them unique and how their home place inspires and shapes them

Support projects “Digging into Waterford” that explore how Waterford’s rich heritage can breathe new life into local areas

Support projects that assist “new settlers” in Waterford to find their connection to the place and the community

Support projects that help people in Waterford remain connected with their communities e.g. Youth; Older People; Disenfranchised groups