FIVE archaeological monuments in County Donegal are set to benefit from over €188,000 in funding under the Community Monuments Fund.
The details were announced by Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister for Heritage & Electoral Reform.
The Community Monuments Fund is an initiative by the National Monuments Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage in partnership with local authorities.
Funding has been allocated to Donegal County Council in partnership with Kilmacrennan Abbey Preservation Society (€76,539) for conservation works to Kilmacrennan Church and to Killybegs History & Heritage Committee (€50,000) for the conservation of St. Catherine’s Church, Killybegs.
Both of these sites are in the guardianship of Donegal County Council. Funding was also awarded to Malin Head Community Association (€19,311) to undertake detailed engineering and conservation proposals to stabilise and conserve Malin Well Church and to Donegal GAP Heritage & History CLG (€22,235) for the preparation of a detailed method statement to inform conservation works to Doon Fort.
Both of these sites are participants in The Heritage Council’s Adopt a Monument Scheme. Funding was also awarded to O’Doherty’s Keep Development Group (€20,602) for the appointment of an integrated professional team to facilitate public access to O’Doherty’s Keep in Buncrana.
It is one of 17 National Monuments in County Donegal and is in private ownership but in state guardianship.”
“All of the archaeological monuments funded under this scheme are protected under the National Monuments Acts” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“Most of the 3,400 known archaeological sites in County Donegal are in private ownership or guardianship so this scheme offers an ideal opportunity to landowners, community groups or local authorities to undertake conservation works to monuments, encourage greater access to them, improve their presentation or build resilience in monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.
“There has been tremendous interest in the scheme from owners, guardians and local community groups which is a testament to the strength of the heritage sector in County Donegal and the importance of our archaeological heritage to society, tourism and local economies.
“Eleven private and public applications were submitted to Donegal County Council for consideration under the Community Monuments Fund.
“Under the assessment criteria, six projects were submitted by Donegal County Council to the National Monuments Service for consideration. Five of the applications submitted by Donegal County Council to be assessed at a national level have been awarded 100% funding.”
This year, the Community Monuments Fund awarded €4.2 million to 139 projects across Ireland.
“The aims of the Community Monuments Fund are to facilitate the conservation, maintenance, protection and presentation of archaeological monuments and historic sites by private owners, custodians, community groups or local authorities” said Collette Beattie, Conservation Officer.
All the capital works and reports must be carried out by mid-October and Donegal County Council’s Heritage Office and Conservation Office will administer, advise and support applicants in the delivery of these projects over the coming months.
If you would like to find out what known archaeological monuments are in your area, you can consult the National Monuments Service website at www.archaeology.ie
Advance consent for any works to, or in the vicinity of, an archaeological monument must be obtained from the National Monuments Service.
If you are the owner or guardian of an archaeological monument or historic site or are involved with a community group that would like to conserve your local archaeological heritage, advice is available from the County Donegal Heritage Office by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (074) 917 2576.