The early medieval church, cross and historic graveyard in Killaghtee has been selected as one of five heritage sites in Ireland to join the Heritage Council’s prestigious ‘Adopt a Monument’ scheme.
Following an open call for applications in September 2021, more than 40 community groups countrywide applied to adopt a monument in their locality.
The scheme aims to empower communities to become actively involved in the conservation and interpretation of their local archaeological and heritage sites.
“Dunkineely Community Limited is to be congratulated on putting together a strong application to The Heritage Council to have Old Killaghtee Church and historic graveyard included in the Adopt a Monument scheme” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“The selection process is highly competitive and involves the National Monuments Service, the Discovery Programme, a community archaeologist and Abarta Heritage. The application had cross-community support from the local Tidy Towns Committee and the Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Methodist churches.
“The Adopt a Monument scheme will provide expertise, mentoring, training, support and networking to help to preserve and protect the monument for future generations. The Adopt a Monument scheme is managed by Abarta Heritage on behalf of The Heritage Council and it also works with communities in preparing a conservation management plan and in sourcing funding.
“Support in surveying and investigation work will be provided by the Discovery Programme which is the state’s archaeological research institute.”
The peninsula leading from Dunkineely to St. John’s Point has many important heritage sites. Killaghtee Cross (DG098-013002-), Old Killaghtee Church (DG098-013001-) and Graveyard (DG098-013004-) and a bullaun stone (DG098-013003-) are all archaeological monuments protected under the National Monuments Acts (1930-2014) at the Adopt a Monument site in Beaugreen Glebe townland.
The graveyard is one of 50 historic graveyards in the guardianship of Donegal County Council. Community groups in County Donegal have been successful in securing places for three archaeological monuments in the county under the scheme in the past so the Old Killaghtee Church, Cross and Graveyard will join Doon Fort near Ardara, Kilbarron Castle near Rossnowlagh and Malin Well Old Church near Malin Head in the scheme.
If you would like to find out more about these archaeological monuments or archaeological monuments in your area, you can visit the National Monuments Service website at www.archaeology.ie.
The other heritage sites countrywide included in this year’s scheme are an Anglo-Norman motte castle in the heart of Inniskeen, County Monaghan; St James’ Church in Dingle, County Kerry (home to the Other Voices Music Festival), a ring fort in Baltimore, West Cork which is perched above Church Strand Bay; and Dunmanogue Church and Graveyard in Kildare.
The Adopt a Monument Scheme offers opportunities to become actively involved in the conservation and interpretation of heritage sites in your local area; collaborate and work together as a community; participate in community development; boost regional tourism, business and employment opportunities; and develop and understand the story of your locality and learn new skills.
Advice and assistance on making a future application to the Adopt a Monument scheme is available from the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council on (074) 917 2576 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org