On Friday last (22nd June 2012) Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, announced funding of €712,000 to support the conservation and protection of a range of important heritage buildings across Ireland. €500,000 was allocated through the Structures at Risk Fund for 41 projects nationwide. The Structures at Risk Fund is allocated to assist with works to safeguard structures, in private and civic ownership, protected under the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2011. This year, 41 projects in 27 local authority areas are being supported.
In Sligo, €10,000 has been allocated for the urgent stabilisation and repair of Ahamlish Church of Ireland, Grange, Co. Sligo. The project will see the implementation of building conservation works required to secure and prevent the further deterioration of Ahamlish COI and its intrinsic heritage value. The project will demonstrate the practical measures that can be taken to address redundancy and dereliction in heritage buildings.
Ahamlish Church of Ireland is a Board of First Fruits Church built in 1813. Ahamlish Church is built on a medieval ecclesiastical site dedicated to St Molaise. It was constructed with financial help from the then young Lord Palmerston (later British Prime Minister 1855-1865). This probably accounts for the very unusual triple pinnacles at each corner of the deeply crennelated tower parapet. In 1859 a new roof to the design of architect J F Fuller (architect of Annaghmore House, Collooney, Co Sligo) was constructed. Though deconsecrated in 1967, all the original timber windows are intact, together with much of the roof, ceiling, cast iron rainwater goods and two belfry louvres. Ahamlish COI is a protected structure and has been assigned a rating of Regional importance by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
In making the announcement Minister Deenihan outlined that, “while funding available for this work has been reduced in recent years, it is still very important that we recognise that the conservation, preservation and restoration of our built heritage has an economic, cultural and aesthetic benefit. Our built heritage is a real national asset and is a significant factor in attracting visitors to Ireland. Visitors who are now more important than ever for the employment they support and the financial benefits they bring to local economies throughout Ireland.”
Ahamlish Church of Ireland, Grange, Co. Sligo to receive €10,000 under the Structures at Risk Fund 2012.