The County Donegal Heritage Office and the Donegal County Museum, Cultural Services, Donegal County Council in association with the County Donegal Heritage Forum and The Heritage Council will host the seminar on ‘Heritage in Tidy Towns’ in the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny on Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
County Donegal has enjoyed success in the ‘Tidy Towns’ competition in the past with Glenties winning the overall title in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962 & 1995 and Malin Town winning the overall title in 1970 & 1991.
Participating towns and villages in the ‘Tidy Towns’ competition are awarded marks on the built environment, landscaping, wildlife and natural amenities, overall development approach, litter control, tidiness, waste minimisation, residential areas, roads/streets/back areas and overall general impression.
The ways in which ‘Tidy Towns’ participants address built, cultural and natural heritage issues in County Donegal’s towns and villages influence the marks they are awarded and their performance in the ‘Tidy Towns’ competition.
“Every town and village in County Donegal has a built, cultural and natural heritage that sets it apart from other settlements.
“The heritage of a town or village contributes significantly to its character and appearance. It reinforces our sense of place and reflects our sense of identity,” explained Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“Our heritage contributes to the attractiveness of the towns and villages in which we live, work and visit, and to the ability of communities to attract visitors and tourists.
“The built environment of our streetscapes is constantly changing and aspects of our heritage and village character can be lost in the process. The civic pride demonstrated by ‘Tidy Towns’ committees can do much to conserve the heritage of our towns and villages.”
The aims of the free seminar are to: (i) raise awareness of the built, cultural and natural heritage of towns and villages in County Donegal; (ii) highlight the role that heritage plays in contributing to the character of our towns, villages and their streetscapes and in creating a sense of place; (iii) promote best practice in the care, conservation, management and maintenance of our heritage; and (iv) identify ways in which ‘Tidy Towns’ committees can protect, conserve and enhance the built, cultural and natural heritage of towns and villages.
The event is aimed at existing ‘Tidy Towns’ committees as well as community groups, heritage groups, historical societies, communities and individuals interested in participating in the ‘Tidy Towns’ competition.
Guest speakers at the free seminar will include:
• Colm Murray, Architecture Officer with The Heritage Council who will provide advice on the conservation of the built heritage and streetscapes in our towns and villages, and outline the support available from the Heritage Council;
• Sharon Eastwood from Woodrow Sustainable Solutions and a national adjudicator in the ‘Tidy Towns’ competition who will address the management of natural heritage and biodiversity in ‘Tidy Towns’;
• Suzanne Tinney, Waste Awareness Officer, Donegal County Council who will give a presentation on waste minimisation for ‘Tidy Towns’;
• Gordon Gaffney, Manager of the Investment Unit of Fáilte Ireland who will talk about the importance of heritage to our tourism industry and outline the new Fáilte Ireland ‘Tourism Towns’ initiative; and
• Debbie Nesbitt, a National Adjudicator for the ‘Tidy Towns’ competition, who will provide an adjudicator’s perspective on the competition and will give advice on the adjudication process.
The seminar will conclude with an open questions-and-answers session with the guest speakers. The free seminar will be opened by Dinny McGinley T.D., Minister of State, Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht. The seminar is an action of the County Donegal Heritage Plan and is funded by Donegal County Council and The Heritage Council.
The seminar is free and open to everyone but places are limited so early booking is advised. If you would like to book a place at the ‘Heritage in Tidy Towns’ seminar, contact the Donegal County Museum on (074) 912 4613 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org