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About The Dry Stone Wall
Association of Ireland


The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland (DSWAI) was founded in 2009.

We are a non-profit organisation which is run entirely by volunteers. The current committee is mixture of professional stonemasons and those with an interest/background in the area.

In the D.S.W.A.I.  our aim is create an awareness of the need for preserving the craft of 'dry' stone building in Ireland. 

In doing so the association hopes to advance the education of the public and professionals in the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the craft of building with stone, particularly the craft of ‘dry’ stone construction (i.e. without the use of mortars).

One of our goals is the formation and growth of a community of members (both amateur and professional), which involves itself in dry stone projects.

Hopefully, on this website a space is provided for ideas to be expressed in an inclusive way, that also assists in the conservation and resurgence of the craft.

That is why your input and participation is vital to the group and we appreciate all feedback from members and the public be it positive or negative.

With these aims in mind the D.S.W.A.I. intends to promote the study and appreciation of dry stone construction by means of lectures, discussions, exhibitions, workshops, training and certification programs.

In April 2017 the DSWAI was registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee, or not for profit company. Given the growing success of the association in recent years, being host to an increasing number of events & workshops, this step ensures that we now meet the required legal structure for our community and voluntary work under the Charities Act 2009.


Our Mission

We aim to promote dry stone construction in Ireland and to spread the word to a wider audience on the importance of dry stone structures to our heritage.

We aim to run a series of workshops throughout the year.

The D.S.W.A.I. aspires to become a community of people interested in the construction and conservation of dry stone structures.

The website will provide a space where ideas and problems can be shared and be inclusive of all people interested in dry stone buildings. We intend to support, encourage and assist people who are involved in the promotion, conservation and resurgence of this age old craft..

Please feel free to contact us with any queries regarding dry stone construction or the association in general.

DSWAI Board of Directors

Dr. John Lyness

Dr. John  Lyness is Reader Emeritus in Civil Engineering at the Ulster University. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer and Mathematician with a keen interest in Appropriate Technology.


He is a past Chair with the Institution of Structural Engineers, Northern Ireland Region and was elected to the board of Directors of the DSWAI in 2018.

Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin

Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin joined the DSWAI Board of Directors in 2021, she is a licenced archaeologist with extensive excavation experience in Ireland and Iberia. She is currently directing the excavation of the Dowth Hall passage tomb. Her research interests include prehistoric archaeology, open-air rock art, and photogrammetry.


Since 2016, she has attended the DWSAI festivals, which have helped to provide an insight into how prehistoric stone masons might have constructed the monuments that she now excavates.

Kenneth Curran

Kenneth Curran is an Anthropologist/Archaeologist and Dry Stone Waller. He has been dry stone walling for over 14 years.

Since 2010, he has had a small stonecraft business in Cloughjordan, County Tipperary, specialising in Dry Stone building.

Ken delivers tutorials in a range of stone craft related topics as well as teaching dry stone walling both as a professional tutor and as a volunteer with DSWAI.

He has been a board member since November 2017.

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