Donegal County Council is inviting applications to the Community Monuments Fund until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31 for the conservation of archaeological monuments.
Funding of up to €100,00 is available for essential repairs and capital works for the conservation and repair of archaeological monuments (Stream 1), up to €30,000 for the development of Conservation Management Plans or reports aimed at identifying measures for the conservation of archaeological monuments and improving public access (Stream 2) and up to €30,000 for enhancement of access and interpretation at archaeological monuments including on-line or virtual access (Stream 3).
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.
“The Community Monuments Fund provides 100% funding for the conservation, maintenance, protection and presentation of archaeological monuments and historic sites by private owners, custodians, community groups or local authorities” explained Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“All of the archaeological monuments funded under this scheme are protected under the National Monuments Acts. 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 great interest in the Community Monuments Fund since it was introduced in in 2020 and this is testament to the strength of the heritage sector in County Donegal and the importance of our archaeological heritage to society, tourism and local economies.”
Successful applicants will have until mid-October to complete the work and Donegal County Council’s Heritage Office and County Museum will advise and support applicants in the delivery of these projects over the coming months.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan T.D., said “With the excellent collaborative partnership between local authorities and our National Monuments Service, the 2022 fund produced an extraordinary level of community engagement, traditional skills opportunities, and protection of our heritage.
“We are very pleased that we are able to grow this support in 2023 to support over 120 projects. The grant assistance to local authorities, private owners and communities in the maintenance, protection and promotion of local monuments and historic sites in private ownership is an acknowledgement of the important role of our heritage and of those who work so tirelessly to care for it.
“We must do what we can to support the protection of our vulnerable archaeological heritage, to celebrate it and make it accessible to all. In doing so, we deliver clearly on commitments under our new national heritage plan, Heritage Ireland 2030. I would like to thank all of those communities and local authorities for their continued interest in the protection of archaeological monuments across the country. This investment will help to ensure that our archaeological heritage continues to enrich all of our lives.”
Further details and application forms are available on the Donegal County Council website at www.donegalcoco.ie/heritage. 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.
The picture above shows the Malin Head Community Association commissioned stabilisation and conservation works to Malin Well Old Church, an archaeological monument in private ownership in Ballygorman townland, Inishowen.