Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, has today announced the approval of 139 project grants across all 31 Local Authorities for a wide range of archaeological heritage projects under the Department’s Community Monuments Fund. First established in 2020, the fund was increased from just over €1 million last year to €4.2 million in 2021.
The core objective of the Community Monuments Fund is to support the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of local monuments and historic sites. It contains a number of different measures aimed at enabling conservation works to be carried out on archaeological monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support, encouraging access to archaeological monuments and improving their presentation and also building resilience in archaeological monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.
Speaking today, Minister Noonan said, “I’m delighted to be able to increase the Community Monuments Fund awards for 2021 to €4.2 million. This fund will support 139 projects all over Ireland to protect our archaeological heritage, make it more accessible and help to build resilience against extreme weather and the impacts of climate change – a key priority action in our Climate Adaptation Plan.”
“There are communities in every county who care for and champion their local monuments, and I’m delighted that they will benefit from this scheme. And it is a massive support to the heritage sector, providing job opportunities across these projects for archaeologists, conservation architects, stone masons, and other professional trades.”
Minister Noonan added, “I want to thank the Local Authorities for their support of the Community Monuments Fund and for submitting such a wide range of wonderful heritage projects. The quality of this year’s applications was particularly impressive and I am delighted that we are able to meet the ambition of local communities across the country in protecting and caring for their heritage.”
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, said, “our archaeological heritage lies at the very heart of communities, an inheritance of monuments echoing a resilient past that we are obliged to protect. These monuments provide a sense of place to rural communities, villages and towns and cities across the country.”
“With my colleague, Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, TD, we have grown this Fund significantly from last year to have a real impact on communities across the land. I am also delighted to see so many archaeological monuments in private ownership benefitting and want to acknowledge the dedication of private owners as custodians of a significant share of our archaeological heritage. We are delighted to be able to provide this support”