Funding for Sligo’s Archaeological Monuments

Funding announced for Sligo’s Archaeological Monuments

Funding announced for Sligo’s Archaeological Monuments At Ballynaglogh Abbey to discuss the works proposed under the Community Monuments Fund were (Left to Right) Tamlyn McHugh (Sligo Community Archaeology Project), Fiona Doherty and Martin Timoney (Archaeologist).

Three archaeological monuments in County Sligo are set to benefit from funding under the new Community Monuments Fund. The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Mr Malcolm Noonan, TD, has announced the approval of €41,750 for Co. Sligo under the Community Monuments Fund 2020.

As part of the July Jobs Stimulus Package, the National Monuments Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage made €1.4 million available for 71 projects countrywide for the conservation of archaeological monuments.  The three archaeological monuments that will benefit under the scheme in County Sligo are Ballynaglogh Abbey, Ballymote, Co. Sligo (€1,750), Enniscrone Castle (€10,000) and the Queen Maeve Trail, Knocknarea (€30,000).

Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Councillor Dara Mulvey said:

“I am delighted to welcome this funding under the Community Monuments Fund, which will support those working to care for our heritage and to ensure the protection and promotion of our archaeological and built heritage.  The funding will progress heritage projects across the county, ensuring that heritage is protected as a community asset and made more accessible.”

Chair of Sligo Heritage Forum, Councillor Dónal Gilroy added:

“I very much welcome this new funding measure which will support communities to care for their local heritage resource.  It will also create employment for many small businesses, skilled conservation specialists and tradespeople involved in heritage-related construction activity.  The establishment of the Community Monuments Fund is very welcome and I look forward to seeing the successful conclusion of the projects.”

Under the new Community Monuments Fund, applications were sought from local authorities, private owners, custodians and community groups for the care, maintenance, protection and promotion of local archaeological monuments and historic sites. 

Siobhán Ryan, Heritage Officer with Sligo County Council added:

“The aims of the fund are to conserve, maintain, protect and present local monuments and historic sites.  The scheme is designed to enable conservation works to be carried out, to improve access to and presentation of archaeological monuments and to build resilience in our monuments to reduce the impacts of weathering and our changing climate.  The grant scheme is managed by the Heritage Office, Sligo County Council.” 

Mr. Wilfred Brennan sought funding for the urgent removal of trees which are posing a significant threat to Ballynaglogh Abbey, near Ballymote, Co. Sligo.  Ballynaglogh Abbey is a recorded monument in private ownership.

Enniscrone and District Community Development Company Ltd. sought funding for the production of a conservation report for Enniscrone Castle, a recorded monument in community ownership in the heart of Enniscrone.  The report will be prepared by a conservation architect/ archaeologist and will identify the conservation works needed for the stabilisation of the castle ruins in order to allow improved safe access to this archaeological monument and to enhance its presentation. 

Sligo County Council sought funding for the Queen Maeve Trail project at Knocknarea in order to support better management and custodianship of Queen Maeves Cairn at Knocknarea.  The project will include a review and redesign of the existing trail to incorporate a revised route layout where needed, in collaboration with all stakeholders.  The project will also deliver a public awareness campaign involving interpretation signage at the trailhead and along existing approaches to the cairn.  The proposed signage will be complimented by a PR and marketing campaign which will engage the local community and key stakeholders in order to generate greater awareness of appropriate public responsibility at Queen Maeves Cairn.

Malcolm Noonan, TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform added:

“I want to thank the local authorities for their enthusiastic response to the new Fund and for drawing up a wide range of suitable projects in record time.  I would also like to acknowledge the dedication of private owners in their custodianship of a significant share of our archaeological heritage. This heritage is so important, especially in these challenging times, in providing recreation, comfort and a sense of well-being to communities across the land and I am delighted to be able to provide this support through the Community Monuments Fund.” 

If you are involved in the conservation of an archaeological monument in your area or would like to make a future application to the Community Monuments Fund, advice is available from the Heritage Office, Sligo County Council on 071 911 4482 or by e-mail


Ballynaglogh Abbey A large sycamore tree threatens the walls of Ballynaglogh Abbey. Careful removal of the tree will be undertaken with the support of the Community Monuments Fund.