A unique competition whereby members of the public will be given the chance to officially name an unidentified but substantial stream in west Waterford will be launched by Tallow Community Council in the coming weeks.
The winding 5-mile watercourse rises at Knockaun North and runs beneath three main bridges — at Knockaun Wood on the Tallow/Youghal Road, Ballina Hill, and Kilwinny — before eventually feeding into the River Bride, which is itself a tributary of the famous Munster Blackwater.
The widest section spans some 4 metres down by Ballina bridge, while the deepest part would be 2 feet at Kilwinny bridge. It's similar in size to Glenaboy River, which flows through Tallow town to the west.
Waterford TD John Deasy, who has been working with the Community Council on the project, says “holding a public competition is a rare opportunity for someone to create a little piece of local history.”
He checked with Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and determined that there is no official record of this stream being named since surveys began here in the 19th century.
“The 1912 Instructions to Field Examiners and Revisers indicates that ‘merely descriptive names’ were not to be captured for streams unless they had a ‘special proper name’, which may account for the omission,” Deputy Deasy explained.
Cllr John Pratt, who is chairman of Tallow Community Council, says “Those who enter the competition will have to explain the reason behind their proposed name, with entries to be judged by independent panel.”
Entry details will be published shortly, with moneys raised going towards future projects in the town as well as a donation to the Children’s Hospice. It’s anticipated that the winning name will be announced during the Tóstal June Bank Holiday weekend in Tallow.
John Deasy added that Waterford City and County Council have indicated that when the competition is finished, and the winner announced, they will put up appropriate signage at each bridge.
A problem every area is combating at present is that of illegal dumping. The river in question has been blighted by this putrid practice — hence the competition will also be used to highlight the issue and educate the local community.
Community Council spokesperson Colin Cunningham said: “This river is very important as it supplies Tallow with water. In conjunction with Waterford City and County Council we want to tidy each of the areas affected by dumping. Our TUS and FAS workers would also help to carry out these clean-ups.
“So we are hoping this initiative creates a greater appreciation of our environment, as well as making a connection with people's sense of their natural heritage.”