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Funding available for heritage projects in County Donegal


The Heritage Council is inviting applications to the Heritage Management Grants Scheme 2016.  The purpose of the grant scheme is to support projects that apply good heritage practice to the management of places, collections, objects and buildings.  Grant applications must be submitted using the Heritage Council’s on-line application system at by 5 p.m. on the revised closing date of Monday, March 7, 2016.


“The Heritage Management Grants Scheme is a very important source of funding for heritage initiatives in County Donegal,” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer, Donegal County Council.  “The announcement that €700,000 will be made available nationally in 2016 for the Heritage Management Grant Scheme is most welcome and goes some way to providing much needed support for heritage initiatives in the county.  Eligible projects that can be considered under the scheme include the preparation of conservation reports; carrying out conservation works; preparation of specification of works; works to buildings at risk; conservation of heritage collections, objects and documents; and conservation or management of a wildlife site.”


Under its grants scheme in 2015, The Heritage Council awarded €53,300 in funding for eighteen heritage initiatives in County Donegal to groups and individuals throughout the county.  It awarded funding for conservation plans for Christ Church in Buncrana, Ned’s Point in Inishowen and the Old Church in Straid, Clonmany.  Funding was awarded for the preparation of conservation specifications for the Cooperage in Burtonport, Kilbarron Castle, Killymard Old Church, St. Catherine Church in Killybegs and Templecrone Church and gravestones in Maghery.  Funding was awarded for a structural engineer’s report and minor repairs to Inch Fort and conservation works to Holy Trinity Church in Dunfanaghy and St. Eunan’s Cathedral, Raphoe.  Funding was also awarded for the thatching of a farmhouse and to BirdWatch Ireland for the management of corncrakes in the county. 


Speaking about the grants scheme, Heritage Council Chief Executive, Michael Starrett said “the past number of years has brought many challenges to those working hard to preserve and promote Ireland’s heritage and to highlight its significance to people and their places. In that context, The Heritage Council is delighted to be able to offer some financial assistance to community-based heritage projects. These local projects are very important in protecting our heritage, as well as creating jobs and promoting local tourism”. The Heritage Council can only consider applications in the fields of national heritage specified in the Heritage Act 1995.  This includes monuments, archaeological objects, heritage objects, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens, and parks and inland waterways.  Please note the scheme does not cover works to carry out any part of any public sector body’s statutory or core responsibilities; archaeological excavations or post-excavation analysis and reporting; education and awareness activities (such as signage, publications, website development, exhibitions, conferences, seminars or training programmes) or postgraduate research.  Grants of up to €10,000 can be awarded.  The grants usually cover between 30% and 50% of the project cost but, in exceptional cases, this can be up to 75%.  Applications to the Heritage Management Grant Scheme 2016 can only be made using the on-line application system on the Heritage Council website prior to the March 7, 2016 deadline. 


Further information on the grant scheme is available by contacting The Heritage Council in Kilkenny on (056) 777 0777 or at  Advice on applications is also available from the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council on (074) 917 2576.


 Kilbarron Castle

Kilbarron Castle


Under the Community-based Heritage Grants Scheme in 2015, The Heritage Council awarded funding to the Kilbarron Castle Conservation Group for the preparation of conservation specifications for Kilbarron Castle, an archaeological monument near Ballyshannon. 


Old Church, Straid, Clonmany

Old Church, Straid, Clonmany


The Old Church Conservation Group received funding from The Heritage Council in 2015 for a conservation plan for the ruins of the Old Church in Straid, Clonmany.  The Old Church and graveyard in Straid are archaeological monuments protected under the National Monuments Acts.


Old Cooperage, Burtonport

Old Cooperage, Burtonport


Pictured outside the Cooperage in Burtonport is local historian and author Patrick Boner with staff from The Heritage Council.  The Burtonport Heritage Group secured funding under the Community-based Heritage Grants Scheme in 2015 for the preparation of conservation specifications for the Cooperage.  The Cooperage began as a grain store, then served as a British Army Commissariat, fever hospital and Roman Catholic church before the Congested Districts Board took it over for training coopers and making barrels for the fishing industry.





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