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16/01/18 Funding available for heritage projects in County Donegal

community Heritage grant

St. Colmcille’s Arch, an archaeological monument, which forms part of the archaeological complex at Disert in the Bluestack mountains.  The Disert Heritage Group and the Institute of Technology, Sligo received funding from The Heritage Council in 2017 for on-going conservation works at the site.


The Heritage Council is inviting applications to its Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2018.  The aims of the grant scheme are to encourage communities to make a connection with their local heritage, to promote heritage management based on best conservation practice, and to reach out to new audiences.  Grant applications must be submitted using the Heritage Council’s on-line application system at by 5 p.m. on the closing date of Friday, February 9, 2018.


“We expect to fund about 150 creative, engaging projects that provide a way for the public to learn about and manage our natural and cultural heritage, to build up local heritage networks and to engage new audiences by telling heritage stories in innovative ways,” said Michael Parsons, Chairman of The Heritage Council.  


“The Community Heritage Grant 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 €750,000 will be made available nationally in 2018 for the Community Heritage 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 seminars, traditional skills demonstrations, interpretation, local heritage audits, graveyard surveys, surveys of monuments, the preparation of conservation reports or conservation management plans, and community-led conservation works.  As 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the Community Heritage Grants Scheme provides an opportunity for communities to re-engage with, conserve and promote their local heritage.”


Under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme in 2017, The Heritage Council awarded €82,800 in funding for eighteen heritage initiatives in County Donegal to groups and individuals throughout the county. 


It awarded funding for conservation works to Templecrone Church by the Maghery Heritage Group, St. Catherine’s Church by Killybegs History & Heritage Committee, Rathmullan Abbey by Donegal County Council, St. Columba’s Church in Straid by the St. Columba’s Conservation Group, the Pilot’s Cottage in Dundoan by Eddie Kelly and Kilbarron Castle by the Kilbarron Castle Conservation Group.  St. John’s Church of Ireland in Stranorlar received funding for the restoration of some of its cast-iron windows.


Forbairt Dhún Lúiche received funding for the conservation, interpretation and promotion of Sraith na Cille archaeological site in Dunlewey while the Sligo Institute of Technology in association with the Disert Heritage Group continued its conservation efforts at the archaeological complex at Disert in the Bluestack mountains. 


The Ardara GAP Heritage & History Groupcommissioned geophysical, photogrammetry and topographical surveys of Doon Fort.  Ballyshannon Regeneration Group undertook an interpretation project in relation to the paupers’ graveyard in Ballyshannon and Dunfanaghy Tidy Towns received funding for a wildlife information project. 


community Heritage grant 1

The Community Heritage Grant Scheme assisted the Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter Committee undertake essential repairs to historic buildings and traditional building skills demonstrations on Church Lane, Letterkenny.


Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter carried out essential repairs to historic buildings using traditional buildings skills and materials.  BirdWatch Ireland received support for its Tory Island Breeding Bird Project.  Ealain na Gaeltachta Teo. explored the role of heritage in the arts while Lands of Eogain investigated the role of women in Inishowen heritage and folklore.  Oideas Gael recorded landscape changes in the western valleys of the Glencolmcille parish and Mary Kerrigan undertook a cross-border project entitled ‘Derry & Donegal Heritage Landscapes Alive’.   


Under the Heritage Act 1995, heritage 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; undergraduate or postgraduate studies; archaeological excavations or post-excavation analysis and reporting; memorials; amenity landscaping works; publications or primary school projects.  


Grants of up to €8,000 can be awarded.  Funding of up to 75% of the project cost can be sought.  Applications to the Community Heritage Grant Scheme can only be made using the on-line application system on the Heritage Council website prior to the February 9, 2018 deadline. 


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


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