What actions would you like to see included in the new five-year County Donegal Heritage Plan? You have until Wednesday, December 18, 2013 to make your suggestions to Donegal County Council and the County Donegal Heritage Forum.
There are a number of ways in which you can make your suggestions by post, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, by filling in the on-line survey form at www.surveymonkey.com/s/38JJZVS or at one of the planned public consultation meetings at St. Mary’s Parish Centre, Stranorlar (Tuesday, December 3), Donegal Education Centre, Donegal Town (Wednesday, December 4), Public Services Centre, Carndonagh (Tuesday, December 10), Donegal County Museum, Letterkenny (Wednesday, December 11) or Ionad Teampaill Chróine, Dungloe (Tuesday, December 17). All meetings start at 7 p.m. and light refreshments will be available.
Donegal County Council and the County Donegal Heritage Forum in partnership with The Heritage Council are beginning the process of preparing a new heritage plan for the county and would like to hear your views on what actions should be included in the new plan.
Each county is required to prepare and implement a County Heritage Plan under the National Heritage Plan. “The County Donegal Heritage Plan is a five-year strategic action plan for the county’s heritage” explained Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer. “The focus of submissions to the County Donegal Heritage Plan should be on actions that can be taken over the next five years to interpret, conserve, manage, enhance or promote County Donegal’s material heritage.
As well as identifying what should be done in these challenging times for our heritage, it’s important that people indicate what they can do to help implement these strategic actions.” Under the Heritage Act (1995), heritage is defined as comprising archaeological objects, architectural heritage, fauna, flora, geology, heritage gardens/parks, heritage objects, inland waterways, landscapes, monuments, seascapes, wildlife habitats and shipwrecks.
The aim of the new County Donegal Heritage Plan (2014-2019) is to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of the rich and diverse heritage of our county and to promote its conservation, enhancement and enjoyment to present and future generations.
In order to achieve this aim, the County Donegal Heritage Forum will attempt to identify about 40 actions to increase knowledge and awareness of our heritage, to promote and encourage best heritage practice, to inform decision-making as regards heritage, to promote heritage education, tourism and outreach and to encourage active participation in heritage activities. The County Donegal Heritage Forum is an advisory body to provide advice to Donegal County Council on the preparation and implementation of the County Heritage Plan and is made up of representatives from local government, local development, state agencies, educational institutions, landowner/farming representatives, community/voluntary groups and heritage organisations and groups.
A review of the 2007-2013 County Donegal Heritage Plan has demonstrated that Donegal County Council, The Heritage Council, Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and Heritage Forum partners invested over €750,000 in the implementation of 55 Heritage Plan actions. There is a growing recognition that our material heritage contributes to our culture, society and economy. It is estimated that are over 250 community groups in County Donegal have a heritage remit.
The County Donegal Heritage Forum will consider all submissions in drafting the new County Donegal Heritage Plan. The Heritage Plan will be presented to the Elected Members of Donegal County Council for adoption in spring 2014. Core funding for the implementation of the County Donegal Heritage Plan will come from Donegal County Council and The Heritage Council in partnership with other Heritage Forum partners and heritage organisations and groups in the county.
Ideas for, and examples of, the kind of strategic actions being sought as part of the consultation process can be found by looking at the actions outlined in existing County Heritage Plans around the country and available on The Heritage Council website at www.heritagecouncil.ie. Further details about the preparation of the new County Donegal Heritage Plan are available from the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council, Station Island, Lifford on (074) 917 2576 or on the County Donegal Heritage Office website at www.donegalcoco.ie/heritage