We are the national statutory body representative of all stakeholders with an interest in the quality of Ireland’s water bodies. We aim to strengthen stakeholder input into decision making regarding water as a fundamental national asset.

Welcome to the An Fóram Uisce – the Water Forum website.

The National Water Forum, is the only statutory stakeholder body established to advise the Minister on water policy and management in Ireland. It provides stakeholder input into policy development. 25 members representing sectors such as agriculture, angling, business, community and voluntary, domestic water consumers, education, environment, forestry, recreation, rivers trusts, rural water, social housing, tourism, trade unions and youth, ensure that a wide variety of perspectives are enabled to contribute to policy.

Policy positions are informed by the most recent scientific data, input from agency experts, academic knowledge and commissioned research. Consensus is achieved through dialogue and respectful debate. The diverse primary views find common ground on policies, technical, governance and community solutions  to provide a strong independent voice on water quality, water conservation and future proofing.

We communicate our positions through policy submissions, webinars, conferences, workshops and newsletters. We publish research reports and provide education and awareness resources to improve water literacy and awareness of the value of and threats to water resources. All resources are available on this website.

Our fundamental aim is to strengthen democratic input into decision making regarding water as a fundamental asset and to protect this precious gift for future generations to enjoy.

Dr Matt Crowe, National Water Forum Chair.


Stakeholders Members
Agriculture EAMON CARROLL - Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) - Eamon is a dairy and beef farmer from Tipperary. He is Deputy President of ICMSA and Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm & Rural Affairs Committee. Eamon is also Chairperson of the National Dairy Council. ; DR MARIA SNELL - MACRA - Maria has a PhD in Environmental Science and is a Senior Research and Policy Executive at MACRA. Before that Marie was a Senior Scientific Officer (Ecology and Biodiversity) in the Agri-food and Bioscience Institute Northern Ireland and programme lead for Freshwater Ecology within the Catchment Science Unit. ; DOMINIC CRONIN - Irish Co-operative Society (ICOS) - Dominic is a member of ICOS Dairy Committee, a dairy farmer, a Board member of Boherbue Co-Op and former chair of the National Dairy Council. Dominic represents ICMSA on the Board of IRD Duhallow and he joined the Board of Ornua in 2022. ; TADHG BUCKLEY - Irish Farmers Association (IFA) - Tadhg is currently Director of Policy/Chief Economist with the IFA. Prior to that, Tadhg worked as Head of Agriculture with AIB Bank. He holds a BSc in Ag. Science from UCD and an MBA from UL. As a Nuffield Scholar - his study examined the role of dairy futures markets & other price risk management mechanisms in the EU Dairy Industry. A member of the Agricultural Science Association and a Qualified Financial Advisor.
Angling MARTIN Mc ENROE - The Angling Council of Ireland - Martin has been a serving member of many boards including Inland Fisheries Ireland, Salmon Regional Fisheries Board, National Salmon Commission, National Eel Group and the Angling Council of Ireland. Martin currently represents the Forum on the NPWS IAS Strategy Development Committee.
Business NEIL WALKER - Irish Business & Employers Confederation (IBEC) -Until Neil retired in December 2023, he headed up the Infrastructure Policy team in Ibec, Ireland's largest business representative organisation. Neil holds an engineering degree from Cambridge University an MBA from The London Business School, and a PhD in Environmental Economics from UCD.
Chairperson DR MATTHEW CROWE - Independent Chair - Matt worked with the EPA since 1995 and has held Directorships with responsibility for Communications & Corporate Services & the Office of Evidence & Assessment. Prior to that, he worked in Canada conducting research in applied environmental sciences. Matt holds a BSc. and PhD from UCD.
Community and Voluntary MICHAEL KENNY - Irish Rural Link - Michael holds a BSc. Ag. Science, a Rural Development Masters, a HDip. in Higher Education, and a Level-10 PG Diploma in Educational Management. He recently retired from a Maynooth University Dept. of Adult and Community Education teaching academic post. ; MARIA O’GORMAN - Community and Voluntary Pillar - Maria has a background in finance and is a Board Member and Treasurer of Irish Rural Link 2013– and is Ireland's rep. at the European Rural Community Alliance. Currently Vice-Chair on the Board of NALA, and is a Member of Kerry Education & Training Board 2004 – now.
Education DR SUZANNE LINNANE - Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) - Suzanne heads up the ‘Water, Communities and Development’ theme in the Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies at DkIT. She has been engaging in multi- and trans-disciplinary, collaborative water related research in Ireland, Europe and Africa since 2005. Prior to that Suzanne worked with Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Environment FINTAN KELLY - The Environmental Pillar (IEN) - Fintan is an environmental scientist with over eleven years’ experience working on environmental policy and advocacy within the Irish environmental NGO sector. He has worked with Sustainable Water Network, An Taisce, Birdwatch Ireland, and is currently the Agriculture and Land Use Policy & Advocacy Officer with the Irish Environmental Network. ; KARIN DUBSKY - Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) - Karin is an Environmental Scientist, Staff in Civil & Environmental Engineering TCD, Co Founder & Director of Coastwatch and Director of SWAN. She is a newly appointed member of the Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland. ; SINEAD O’BRIEN - Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) -Sinéad has been leading the SWAN's work for over 16 years. She has a degree in Zoology from UCC and is a passionate advocate for the water environment. Sinéad represents SWAN on a number of public bodies and leads SWAN’s policy work related to RBMP and the EU WFD. Sinéad has been a member of the Water Forum since 2017. ; DR ELAINE Mc GOFF - The Environmental Pillar (IEN) - Elaine holds a PhD in Freshwater Ecology from TCD and is the Natural Environment Officer with An Taisce, working on environmental planning, policy, and advocacy covering a broad range of topics from forestry and aquaculture to agriculture and water quality. ; CHARLES STANLEY SMITH - Represents the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) Charles is a member of the National Advisory Group for Public Participation Networks (PPNs) and Tipperary PPN Secretariat. Charles was Chair of An Taisce 2006- 2011.
Forestry MARIE DOYLE - Forestry Sectoral Organisations -Marie Doyle is a Lecturer in Forestry in UCD. Her areas of teaching include Sustainable Forest Management, Forest Certification, Professional Communication in Forestry, and the delivery of the capstone Forest Management Plan module for final years.
General Consumers CONNIE ROCHFORD - Domestic Water Consumer - Connie has a BA in Sociology, MA in Political Science and a PhD in Education Policy and has been a member of the Forum since 2016. She is a founding member and treasurer of Wexford Volunteer Centre. ; KEITH HYLAND - Domestic Water Consumer -Keith is a freelance Lighting Director. Previously, he worked with RTÉ across the entire range of televised output. Keith joined the Public Water Forum as an Irish Water customer to pursue the principles of consumer rights. He is chair of the Water Services Standing Committee.
Recreation CIARAN MAGUIRE - Water Recreational Sector - Ciaran is Director of Operations with Canoeing Ireland and has been involved in Water sports, as an athlete, business owner and NGB Director for almost 30 years. has
Rivers Trusts DR CONSTANZE O’TOOLE - Rivers Trusts in Ireland - Constanze has a BSc. in Freshwater Ecology, a PhD in Science and a PG Diploma in Environment Engineering and is Development manager for the Rivers Trusts in Ireland.
Rural Water BARRY DEANE - CEO National Federation of Group Water Schemes- Barry has a BSc. in Ag Science & Masters in Rural Development from UCD. He has worked with NFGWS since 2003 becoming CEO in 2017. ; JEAN ROSNEY - National Federation of Group Water Schemes -Jean is the Senior Development Co-ordinator with the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS). Jean has worked in rural water for over 18 years and with interests in protecting & improving water resources to protect public health & the environment through implementation of targeted mitigation actions to tackle pollution risks, encouraging water conservation and promoting climate action & biodiversity initiatives.
Social Housing DAVID WRIGHT - Irish Council for Social Housing - David has been a member of the Water Forum since the Public Water Forum. Initially representing the C&V Pillar and since 2020, The Irish Council for Social Housing.
Tourism STEVE CONLON - Tourism Sectoral Organisations -Steve is a self-employed consultant providing management services for the Irish Boat Rental Association. He is a Council Member of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation ITIC, Member of the Failte Ireland Industry Advisory Group, Member of the Irelands Hidden Heartlands Stakeholder Group, Member of the Dept Housing Advisory Panel for the implementation of Marine Spatial Planning, and Member of the Stakeholder Advisory Group for the implementation of Marine Protected Areas.
Trade Unions KARAN O’LOUGHLIN - Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) -Karan is a full time official with the trade union SIPTU in Ireland since 2001. She holds a BBS in Business and Trade Union Studies from UCD and a Masters in HRM from the University of Limerick
Youth EIMEAR MANNING - Youth/Interest of 3rd Level Students - Eimear holds an M.S. in Environmental Sustainability (Marine Specification) and Joint B.A. Geographical Science & English. Eimear is a member of the Legal Recommendation Drafting Group, Council of Europe since 2023 which involves ongoing policy writing and reviewing the Council of Europe draft recommendation on Young People & Climate Action.
Dónal Purcell, Senior Executive Officer: donal@nationalwaterforum.ie
Dr Triona McGrath, Research & Policy Lead: triona@nationalwaterforum.ie
Dr Aisling Corkery, Research & Policy Executive: aisling@nationalwaterforum.ie
Dr Gretta McCarron, Communications & Education Lead: gretta@nationalwaterforum.ie
Martina Ryan, Administration: martina@nationalwaterforum.ie

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