Photo Credit: Keith Currams

Public cross-border network event discusses archaeology, climate change, and how best to preserve and protect our natural and cultural heritage.

As part of a series of cross-border network events, representatives from Wales, Ireland and international experts are coming together to discuss ‘The First Settlers of County Waterford’ on Thursday, 21 July at 7pm in The Granville Hotel, Waterford. The free public seminar, hosted by the Portalis project, will include a fascinating look at archaeology and climate change, and a discussion about how our Irish and Welsh coastal communities and their visitors can best work together to preserve our natural and cultural heritage.

Sea level changes eroding the Irish coast

Imagine going to Passage East to view Arthurstown in 10,000 BP when the glaciers began to melt causing sea levels to rise and submerge prehistoric houses, ancient cooking places (fulacht fiadh), hunting areas and even forests. Now imagine how the Passage East-Arthurstown vista has changed over the past 100 years as global warming and sea level changes has further eroded the Irish coast.

According to Donal Nolan, Strategic Projects Officer, Waterford Chamber of Commerce, “During this session, which will feature a keynote presentation by Prof Stanton Green, we will discuss how archaeological and environmental research helps us prepare for the future of the Waterford Estuary and the Irish coastline as climate change and rising sea levels continue to erode strand and cliffs.”

The Portalis project

“The event will also offer an overview of the Portalis project, which maps the story of the first journey between Ireland and Wales, dating back to the Mesolithic period, about 10,000 years ago,” noted Joy Rooney, Portalis Senior Responsible Officer, Lecturer and Researcher in Design, South East Technological University.

The project brings lots of opportunities for people on both sides of the Irish sea to participate. The intent is to create state-of-the-art new virtual reality (VR) supported visitor experiences at two key museums in Waterford and Wales, linking with destination experiences along our coasts, as well as filmmaking, a new mobile app, a 3D online exhibition, and lots more exciting events and initiatives that will support communities and businesses in Ireland and Wales.

Portalis is a design led transdisciplinary €1.95m pilot project, supported by €1.5m funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme,  The project is led by South East Technological University and is supported by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Ceredigion County Council and Waterford Chamber of Commerce.

Seeking solutions to shared challenges

The Ireland Wales 2014-2020 European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) programme is a maritime programme connecting businesses and communities on the West coast of Wales with the South-East coast of Ireland. The programme focuses on seeking solutions to shared challenges including adaption of the Irish Sea and coastal communities to climate change, and cultural and natural resources and heritage.

To register for your free place at the 21 July event, please go to

For more information on Portalis visit: