The Heritage Council has awarded €83,200 in funding for sixteen heritage initiatives to community groups throughout the county.
The County Donegal Heritage officer, Joe Gallagher said: "The Community Heritage Grants Scheme supports projects that promote conservation, appreciation and enjoyment of our built, cultural and natural heritage.”
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.
Mr. Gallagher said: "As well as helping to retain important aspects of our heritage, these projects support jobs, generate revenue, foster interest and pride in our heritage, help to attract visitors and raise awareness of the built, cultural and natural heritage around us.”
Under the Community Heritage Grants Scheme, the Heritage Council awarded funding for conservation works to St. Catherine’s Church by Killybegs History and Heritage Committee, St. Mura’s historic graveyard by Fahan Community Council, Rathmullan Abbey by Donegal County Council and Rathmullan and District Resource Centre, and St. Columba’s Church in Straid, Clonmany by the St. Columba’s Conservation Group.
Funding has been awarded to the Bunnakilly Heritage Group for thatching to a vernacular farmstead complex in Bunnakilly, Inishowen.
The Kilmacrennan Abbey Preservation Society was awarded funding for a structural assessment of the eighteenth-century church tower and vault in Kilmacrennan historic graveyard.
Bundoran Community Development CLG was awarded funding for a conservation report on a protected structure on Main Street in Bundoran while Ballyshannon Regeneration Group received funding for the research and production of interpretive panels on the heritage of Ballyshannon.
Dunfanaghy Tidy Towns received funding for a conservation report on the Market House in Dunfanaghy while the O’Doherty’s Keep Development Group received funding for a condition report on O’Doherty’s Keep in Buncrana.
Forbairt Dhún Lúiche received funding to produce a community heritage plan for Dunlewey. The Disert Heritage Group in partnership with the Sligo Institute of Technology will continue to implement actions in the conservation management plan for the archaeological complex at Disert in the Bluestack mountains.
The Ardara GAP Heritage and History Group will be creating a publically-accessible source of information and education materials on Doon Fort while Colgan Heritage in Carndonagh will be establishing a website to highlight local heritage and promote their heritage programme.
Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter CLG will be continuing its programme of traditional building skills training days along Church Lane, Letterkenny. Moville Men’s Shed has been awarded funding to conserve and restore the St. Anthony, a traditional boat, using traditional boat building skills.
The Heritage Council received a total of 369 grant applications from all over Ireland for 2018 of which 158 projects will receive funding this year. In 2018, the Heritage Council will allocate approximately €682,000 under the Heritage Council Grants Programme to 158 heritage projects across Ireland focussed on conservation works.
Speaking about the grant awards, Michael Parsons, Chairman of The Heritage Council said: “These engaging projects 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.”
Further information on the Heritage Council Grants Programme is available on The Heritage Council website at: www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding and advice on applications is available from the County Donegal Heritage Office of Donegal County Council.