The event included a tour of Waterford Treasures and a visit to Waterford Estuary’s Creadan heritage site for a series of talks on the cultural and natural heritage of the area

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme, the €1.95m Portalis project explores the earliest connection between Ireland and Wales and aims to raise awareness and support community and business sustainable engagement, by establishing new tourism and cultural networks, and two new visitor experiences at Waterford Museum of Treasures, Ireland, and Ceredigion Museum, Wales.

Representatives from Operational Partners, Prof Martin Bates, Dr Katharina Zinn, and Dr Samantha Brummage, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), and Carrie Canham and Andrea DeRome, Ceredigion Museum, Ceredigion County Council, joined project lead partner, SETU, for a day of activities which included a guided tour of Waterford Treasures led by Rosemary Ryan, Keeper of Bishop’s Place, and a visit to Waterford Estuary’s Creadan heritage site where a series of talks presenting the cultural and natural heritage of the area took place.

Introducing the panel of guest speakers on the day, Joy Rooney, Portalis Senior Responsible Officer, SETU Lecturer and Researcher in Design acknowledged, “the range of highly accomplished transdisciplinary expertise available both within the Portalis project team partnership and within our local coastal community.”

Dr Bill Sheppard, Geologist, Creadan – Waterford Estuary Steering Group, provided insights into the geological aspects of Creadan and Waterford Estuary landscape; Karin Dubsky, Coastwatch, discussed heritage and habitat conservation; while Jacinta Kiely, Eachtrai, delivered an overview of life in Creadan during the Mesolithic period, evidenced through 40 years of research, with Portalis now contributing new data through its public archaeology and citizen scientist programmes.

Dr Denise O’Meara, Portalis Sustainability Officer, SETU, outlined the rich coastal biodiversity, wildlife habitats and their links with ancient species from the Mesolithic period; Bernadette Guest, Heritage Officer, Waterford City and County Council, spoke of the organisation’s role in supporting the preservation of Waterford Estuary’s heritage and coastal community climate adaptation.

Closing the event, Joy Rooney noted the strong support from local stakeholders and local governance in Waterford and Wexford. She also acknowledged the attendance of Ronan Mc Donagh representative of the McDonagh family. The McDonagh Artifact Collection will be reviewed by the Portalis’ team of archaeologists as part of the project in collaboration with colleagues from Waterford Treasures, The National Monuments Service and The National Museum of Ireland.