OWNERS and guardians of Donegal’s archaeological monuments are being invited to apply for funding to help conserve the historic structures.
The Community Monuments Fund provides 100 per-cent finance for the conservation, maintenance, protection and presentation of buildings and sites.
It is run on a three-strand basis with up to €100,000 available for essential repairs and capital works.
For the development of conservation management plans or reports, €30,000 is being made available while a further €30,000 allows for enhancement of access and interpretation at monuments, including online or virtual access.
Encouraging interested parties to get involved, Donegal Heritage Officer Joseph Gallagher said, “Most of the 3,400 known archaeological sites in Donegal are in private ownership or guardianship.
“This scheme offers an ideal opportunity to landowners, community groups or local authorities to undertake conservation works to monuments, encourage greater access to them, improve their presentation or build resilience in monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.”
In 2022 funding was allocated to the Donegal GAP Heritage and History Group for restoration works to Doon Fort.
Malin Head Community Association also received money for conservation works to Malin Well Old Church while Raphoe Community in Action was assisted in drawing up a conservation report on the Bishop’s Palace, Raphoe.
Funding was also awarded to Fahan Community Development Partnership to develop an interactive virtual tour of St Mura’s Graveyard in Fahan and to continue to monitor the stability of St Mura’s Cross.
“There has been great interest in the Community Monuments Fund since it was introduced in 2020 and this is testament to the strength of the heritage sector in Donegal and the importance of our archaeological heritage to society, tourism and local economies,” Joseph Gallagher added.
Successful applicants will have until mid-October to complete the work and Donegal County Council’s Heritage Office and County Museum will advise and support applicants in the delivery of their projects over the coming months.
Further details and application forms are available on the Donegal County Council website at www.donegalcoco.ie/heritage.
Advice is available from the County Donegal Heritage Office by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07491 72576.
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