A unique Thatch Repair Grant Scheme led by Donegal County Council has been shortlisted for a Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Award.
The scheme is nominated in the ‘Heritage & Built Environment’ category, which recognises the best local authority initiatives to promote public interest in, and knowledge, appreciation and protection of local heritage.
The awards event will be hosted by Mary Kennedy (formerly of RTÉ Nationwide) and will take place online on Thursday, November 26.
“We’re delighted that the Thatch Repair Grant Scheme has been recognised by Chambers Ireland in this way” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“The Thatch Repair Grant Scheme is the only one of its kind in Ireland. The grant scheme provides advice to owners on the conservation of thatched roofs, allocates funding for small-scale thatch repairs and helps homeowners carry out necessary repairs under conservation supervision. As well as conserving an overlooked aspect of our built heritage, the Thatch Repair Grant Scheme supports the employment of local thatchers, the growing of thatch materials and the retention of an important tourism asset and iconic image of County Donegal. Furthermore, the scheme allows people to continue to live, work and stay in thatched buildings across the county.”
The Thatch Repair Grant Scheme is a cross‐directorate initiative between the County Donegal Heritage Office, Housing, Corporate & Cultural Services Directorate and the Conservation Office, Community Development & Planning Services Directorate of Donegal County Council.
“The public response to the scheme has been overwhelming again this year and the Thatch Repair Grant Scheme is supporting 26 thatch repair projects in County Donegal in 2020” explained Collette Beattie, Conservation Officer.
“The owners of these thatched structures are justifiably proud of their built heritage. These traditional buildings and their craftsmanship have stood the test of time and can be maintained and adapted to serve as comfortable family homes and business premises while retaining their heritage value. As well as identifying and conserving historic thatch, the scheme is yielding important information on thatching materials, thatching methods, local thatchers and the challenges facing thatch homeowners.”
The Thatch Repair Grant Scheme was supported by funding from Donegal County Council, Creative Ireland and The Heritage Council again this year as part of the implementation of the County Donegal Heritage Plan. Dr. Fidelma Mullane provided specialist thatch advice on the scheme. Applications to the Thatch Repair Grant Scheme will open again in the New Year.
Other projects nominated in the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Award in the ‘Heritage & Built Environment’ category are: Clare County Council for its restoration and refurbishment of the Turret Lodge, Cork County Council for its West Cork Graveyards Project, Fingal County Council for the Casino Model Railway Museum, and Wicklow County Council for its ‘Our Wicklow Heritage – A Living Archive of Wicklow Communities’ project. Further details are available at www.chambers.ieTags: