Whale Tales 2023

Our annual gathering is an opportunity to learn more about our conservation and research work and for members to have their say at our AGM.

The IWDG is inviting you to Whale Tales, the annual meeting of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, where both members and non-members are invited to join us in our shared appreciation and admiration of these charismatic mammals.

The former religious retreat is nestled into 60 acres of woodland on the waters’ edge.

This year we are heading to West Cork where the team at CECAS The Centre of Excellence for Climate Action and Sustainability are hosting us at their beautiful venue for our annual gathering. We are very happy to be supporting this local community initiative which aims to make an impact on addressing climate change and the biodiversity crisis.

We plan to kick off the weekend with a humpback whale film and presentation on the evening of Friday 24th. Saturday will be a Whaley day of news and stories from the IWDG officers, as well as an opportunity to discuss important issues on topics including offshore renewables and Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s), with plenty of time for Q&A’s. It will be an opportunity to share your own stories and mingle with like-minded folk, passionate about our marine environment.

There is a small fee involved which includes a venue facility fee, a nice lunch and refreshments on the Saturday.



View from the main west Cork coast road

Initially opened for current IWDG members, this event as of Feb. 14th is opened to all, with a small surcharge for non-members, which we hope will encourage as many people as possible to join us. The AGM on Saturday afternoon at 17:00 is as always open to current members and so if you’d like to attend this part of the proceeedings you should become an IWDG member and to encourage attendees to support our charity by becoming members we are offering a discounted rate using this promo code: TBY3XZQ4 in our IWDG Shop www.iwdg.ie

2023 Programme:

Friday 24th March 19:00 – 21:00

Quarter of a century of recording and photographing humpback whales in Irish Coastal waters and beyond, presented by IWDG’s Pádraig Whooley & Nick Massett with contributions from others.

Saturday 25th

09:30 Registration

10:00 -10:15   Welcome and introduction

10: 15-11:15   Sightings, Stranding, Celtic Mist, Science, Outreach Officers update

11:15 – 11:45 Tea & Coffee (sell raffle tickets)

11:45-13:00 Session 1: Marine Protected Areas with Q&A, co-presented by Dolf d’hondt

13:00-14:15 Lunch at CECAS (included in fee)

14:15-15:30 Session II: Offshore renewables discussion, with Q&A co-presented by Dr Sarah Kandrot

15:30- 15:45 Distinguished recorder awards (sightings, strandings and data)

15:45-16:00 Tea & Coffee (sell raffle tickets)

16:00 -16:15 Member’s raffle

16:15-17:00 Regional roundup and summary of IWDG Dec. 2022 “Think-In”

17:00 IWDG AGM (approx. 45 minutes) open to all current IWDG members.


Sunday 26th (Subject to weather)

10:00-11:00 IWDG presentation/video shorts/Live strandings TBC

11:00-13:00 Local land based watch (with PW) or Live stranding exercise (with SR )

13:30 Swim at Red Strand (with option sauna in the “Balmy Barrell, max. 8 people)

14:00:  End of weekend

BOOK your ticket and mark this lovely weekend in your diary!