The Heritage Council has awarded over €218,000 in funding for sixteen heritage projects in County Donegal to community groups throughout the county under its Community Heritage Grants Scheme. The aim 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.
Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer, said, “the Community Heritage Grants Scheme provides much needed investment in our heritage. The commitment and enthusiasm of local community groups to the conservation, promotion and enhancement of our heritage is outstanding. Their efforts and initiatives will help to safeguard and conserve our natural, built and cultural heritage. Although this countrywide scheme is very competitive, Donegal-based heritage projects secured over 13% of the funding available nationally.”
“Through the Community Heritage Grants Scheme, local communities have demonstrated the need for heritage to be at the heart of cultural, social, economic and tourism developments in County Donegal. The wise use of our heritage assets and the engagement of local communities are essential components of any project. The community heritage initiatives funded under this scheme highlights the importance of our heritage and will help to stem the loss of aspects of the natural, built and cultural heritage in our county.”
Announcing €1.5 million in funding or 146 heritage projects countrywide, Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage & Electoral Reform, acknowledged the work of heritage organisations and community groups, saying, “it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the hundreds of grant recipients whose important projects will benefit from these Heritage Council schemes. Looking at the details of these projects, I feel assured that our country’s heritage, in all its forms, is in safe hands and I am very much looking forward to seeing the results of the hard work done by our partners in the heritage sector.”
The strength of the heritage sector in County Donegal is evidenced by the fact that there are over 250 heritage groups or community groups with a heritage remit in County Donegal alone.
Martina Moloney, Chairperson of The Heritage Council, said, “the range of projects funded mirrors the variety of our heritage and the commitment of the grassroots groups who do such important work in caring for our heritage.”
Commenting on the funding awards, Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of The Heritage Council, said, “individually, these projects will enrich local communities, preserving their history, safeguarding their local habitats. Collectively, they tell the story of a country where dedicated heritage professionals and volunteers understand the value of preservation, restoration and conservation.”