THE Heritage Council has awarded over €139,000 in funding for sixteen heritage initiatives in County Donegal to community groups throughout the county under its Community Heritage Grants Scheme.
The aims of this annual grants scheme is to support projects that improve access and inclusion to heritage sites and that apply good heritage practice to the management of places, collections, objects and buildings.
“This countrywide scheme is very competitive and the sixteen grants awarded to heritage initiatives in County Donegal is a recognition of the strength of the heritage sector in the county even in these challenging times” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“When you consider that the funding announced for Donegal-based projects last week represents over 11% of the funding available nationally, it makes these successes all the more remarkable.
“The Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Grants Scheme remains one of the few remaining dedicated sources of heritage funding yet heritage drives so much in terms of our cultural, social, economic and tourism developments.
“These projects will serve to underline what can be achieved if there is adequate investment in our natural, built and cultural heritage.
“The importance of our heritage as a source of enjoyment, escape, engagement, learning, good health and comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic is further evidence of the importance of heritage in our everyday lives.”
The work of heritage and community groups was acknowledged by Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform.
“As the scope and scale of these projects illustrate, communities play a vital role in caring for all aspects of our heritage. The new national heritage plan, Heritage Ireland 2030, which will be published later this summer, will recognise the role of communities in safeguarding our heritage and ensure that they continue to be supported.”
It is estimated that there are over 250 heritage groups or community groups with a heritage remit in County Donegal alone.
Under the Community Heritage Grants Scheme, The Heritage Council awarded funding for an exhibition of artefacts from La Trinidad Valencera / The Spanish Armada to Inishowen Maritime Museum (€9,102); a conservation plan for Northburgh Castle, Greencastle to Grúpa Caomhnaithe Caisleán Northburgh (€14,100); monitoring of nocturnal bird migration across Inishtrahull and Tory Island to Inishtrahull Bird Observatory (€3,600); an interactive digital map showcasing placenames, their geography, history and folklore in Gleann Cholm Cille to Oideas Gael (€11,300); Heritage Railway Crank Up Audio Displays to Donegal Railway Heritage Centre, Donegal Town (€8,600); spatial mapping of farmland bird hotspots to BirdWatch Ireland (€15,000); an Inishowen Song Project by the Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle to provide digital access to Inishowen song heritage (€11,654); geophysical and photogrammetry surveys of Malin Well monuments to Malin Head Heritage Group (€6,352); survey and recording of headstones at St. Agatha’s Church, Clar by Clogher Le Chéile (€3,500); a conservation report on the ruins of Kilbarron Church and immediate surroundings to Kilbarron Castle Conservation Group (€5,500); conservation and repair works to St. Mura’s seventh-century Cross Slab, Fahan to Fahan Community Development Partnership CLG (€7,173); a conservation report on Raymochy Church and graveyard to inform repairs and improve access by Raymochy Historical Society (€2,200); window repairs to Old Courthouse, Lifford to Lifford Association Tourism Commerce Heritage CLG (€9,754); phase 1 of conservation repairs to the Wooden Bridge at the Poison Glen, Dunlewey to Forbairt Dhún Lúiche (€13,346); Blanket Nook Breeding Wader conservation management project to BirdWatch Ireland in partnership with Drumbuoy Farm (€6,000); and an analysis of conservation energy performance of the existing fabric of the House on the Brae, Ramelton to the Ramelton Georgian Society (€12,200).
The current round of funding announcements comes after the allocation of €21,000 by The Heritage Council to three Donegal-based projects earlier this year. Forbairt Fhánada CTR secured funding for display cases and an interactive map of Fanad Lighthouse.
Bundoran Community Development CLG secured funding for the conservation of historic windows in the Bundoran Community Centre. The Donegal Railway Heritage Centre in Donegal Town secured funding for museum interpretation panels to make its collection more accessible.
“These schemes continue to provide a central focus for the work of The Heritage Council” said Michael Parsons, Chairman of The Heritage Council, “They are testament to the close collaboration between the Council, local authorities and community groups, all sharing a common purpose.” If your group would like to start preparing an application to the grant scheme in 2022, advice is available from the County Donegal Heritage Office of Donegal County Council on (074) 917 2576 or by e-mail at email@example.com