Friday 12th October

Field Trip to Dawros River

Freshwater Pearl Mussel Mini-Conference



Field Trip to Dawros River


Walk cancelled due to high tide weather forecast – conference going ahead as planned.

Guided field trip to Dawros River to see Freshwater Pearl Mussel populations.
Walking boots required. Max 15 people. Booking required. Bookings to Meeting point will be confirmed after booking confirmed.


Freshwater Pearl Mussel Mini-Conference


Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, GMIT Letterfrack, Connemara West Centre complex


CHAIR:  Brendan O Malley – INHFA/FORUM Connemara



Dr Aine O Connor – Freshwater Ecologist NPWS
Current Status of The Freshwater Pearl Mussel and future outlook for the species

Áine O Connor has been a freshwater ecologist with the National Parks and Wildlife Service for 15 years. Her interests include the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Slender Naiad, water beetles, turloughs and hard-water lakes.


Derek McLoughlin – Scientist New Agricultural Scheme – Pearl Mussel Project
Building a Locally-led Agri-environment Scheme for Freshwater Pearl Mussel…a new results-based scheme for farmers that includes the Dawros, Owenriff and Bundorragha catchments

Dr Derek McLoughlin is the project scientist on the Pearl Mussel Project. He is an ecologist and has previously worked in the development of results-based agri-environment payments scheme (RBAPS).


Dr Bernadette White – Catchments Manager – Western Region with the Local Authority Waters Programme
An Introduction to the new Local Authority Waters Programme Support and Advice Team

Bernie White is freshwater ecologist, and has worked in research and consultancy for 20 years. She has a keen interest in water quality protection and has worked on the development of River Basin Management Plans in Ireland in both the first cycle (2009 – 2015) and also the 2nd cycle (2016 – 2021). In her new role as Catchments Manager for the Western Region (covering Galway, Mayo and Roscommon) as part of the Local Authority Waters Programme, she will be working in collaboration with each Local Authority in the Western Region and with the Community Water Offices in the Region (incl. Catherine Seale who is also presenting), and will work with local communities to assist in the implementation of the actions outlined to improve water quality in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018 – 2021.


Catherine Seale – LAWCO Officer
Freshwater Pearl Mussel – a Community Outlook

Catherine Seale was from an early age fascinated with nature. Indeed, a National School teacher once remarked that her most likely future profession would be as a beach comer. Catherine has worked in the area of community engagement since 2009. Firstly, as an Education Guide at Ballycroy National Park, Co. Mayo and then as a PhD Researcher with The Open University and Teagasc in Athenry, Co. Galway. She has been the Community Water Officer for Galway and South Roscommon since September 2016.