The Heritage Council have just announced the following grant allocations for Sligo during 2012. Sligo heritage projects will benefit from the €49,500 allocation, which seeks to support heritage projects and activity in the county through the themes of heritage research, heritage management and heritage education, community and outreach. In addition to a number of regional and national projects through which Sligo’s heritage will also benefit the following allocations have been announced for Sligo.
Under the Heritage Research Grants Scheme, an archaeological investigation of two enclosures on Oyster Island and O’Conor’s Island in Sligo Bay has been allocated €5000. While an archaeological survey of an undiscovered multi-period landscape in the Moy Estuary in Counties Sligo and Mayo will receive €5000 in grant support.
The Heritage Councils Heritage Management Grants Scheme will see the allocation of €3000 for the conservation of works on paper from the Niland Collection. In addition, €10,000 has been allocated for conservation works to roof/chimney/rainwater goods at Redhill, Mullaghroe, Co. Sligo while an allocation of €12,000 has been made in respect of emergency stabilisation and conservation works to Ahamlish Church of Ireland, Grange, Co. Sligo. A project to carry out roof repairs to Markree Castle will receive €12,000.
Under the Heritage Education Community and Outreach Grants Scheme, Bat Conservation Ireland has been allocated €1500 for its 7th Irish Bat Conference which will take place in Sligo in September and Sligo Field Club’s upcoming 4th Annual Summer Conference which will take place from the 11th-13th May 2012 has been allocated €1000. The theme for the conference is ‘Celebrating Sligo: 400 Years of the Borough’ and is certainly a date for the diary.
Councillor Michael Fleming, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council welcomed the grant allocations announced by the Heritage Council for Sligo saying ‘the Heritage Council has been a key innovator in building heritage supports at community level in a focused and integrated way. This has been achieved through working with many stakeholders at community level and particularly through the establishment of the Heritage Officer Network, Heritage Fora and the ongoing delivery of County Heritage Plans. The support and funding provided by the Heritage Council is a powerful catalyst at local level and the approach and vision is certainly matched by the drive and enthusiasm of heritage groups, communities and individuals across the county for the benefit of all.’
Siobhán Ryan Heritage Officer with Sligo County Council outlined that ‘Sligo’s heritage is outstanding at a European level, and is an asset and resource which contributes to our knowledge and understanding of our past, while also informing our future and values. Heritage supports jobs, education and tourism in local communities.’
Since 1995, community involvement has been at the heart of the Heritage Council’s vision for our shared national heritage. This outreach approach has been developed at local level through the Heritage Officer Network in partnership with Local Authorities and others. Recently the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. launched the Heritage Council’s Strategic Plan 2012-2016, which focuses on developing the value of the heritage sector to employment, education and the quality of heritage tourism.
Since 2008, the Heritage Council’s budget has taken a 59% cut and this has had direct impacts on the heritage sector particularly as approximately 80% of Heritage Council funding is allocated outside of the organization and nationally we have seen a reduction in the support available for heritage. The Heritage Council is currently under critical review and consideration is being given as to whether its functions should be merged into the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It is anticipated that the review will be completed by June 2012.
Siobhán Ryan, Sligo Heritage Officer added that ‘the Heritage Council has been the key support and touchstone for developing integrated heritage services and activity at county level in partnership with Local Authorities. Maintaining and strengthening this mechanism is key to keeping heritage at the heart of community and public life. Certainly in Sligo we have seen the benefits of that.’
Siobhán Ryan, Heritage Officer, Sligo County Council 087-6544222.
For additional information on the work of the Heritage Council and the ongoing critical review contact Isabell Smyth, Communications Officer, Heritage Council, Kilkenny Telephone: 056 7770777.