Supporting Local News

State funds to protect historic monuments

Ten Galway sites will share almost half a million euro after the Government’s weekend announced almost €7.5 million in state aid to protect archaeological monuments across the country and safeguard them into the future.

Ten projects in Galway will share a total fund of €486,070, with two of those in the city – Menlough Castle and St Nicholas – receiving €100,000 each.

Across the county, funding of €57,554 and €120,000 respectively will facilitate conservation works at Issertkelly and Temple Jarlath in Tuam.

A grant of €29,520 will facilitate the preparation of Conservation Management Plans for St. Grellan’s Ecclesiastical Site in Ballinasloe, with the same amount going to Kilmeen Ecclesiastical Site in Loughrea and €27,695 to Moylough Castle.

St. Brendan’s Cathedral, Clonfert, has received €5,700 in funding for the digital recording of its iconic doorway, which is noted for its sandstone detail and symbolism of its iconography.

The necessary works to conserve and make safe the Seefin Souterrain in Craughwell will also proceed thanks to a grant of €8,172.75.  The important archaeological site features three large chambers built with limestone slabs encased within a mound of soil.

Galway County Council and Galway Community Archaeology Project also have received €7,907.50 in funding to create story-maps of community monuments which have previously benefited from the Community Monuments Fund, including Kilcreevanty, Kilboght, Abbeygormican and St. Kerrills, Gurteen.

First established in 2020, the Community Monuments Fund aims to conserve, maintain, protect and promote local monuments and historic sites.

Funding is available to allow conservation works to be carried out on monuments that are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support.

The aim is to encourage access to monuments and improve their presentation and also to build their resilience to help them withstand the effects of climate change.

The CMF supports essential repairs and capital works for the conservation of archaeological monuments and also the development of Conservation Management Plans to identify measures that may be needed to conserve monuments. Grants are also available to enhance public access infrastructure and interpretation at archaeological monuments.

“I would also like to acknowledge the private owners as custodians of much of our archaeological heritage and I am delighted that they are able to avail of this funding,” he said.

Galway County Community Archaeologist Bernie Doherty described it as ‘wonderful news for the many communities and individuals involved in preserving and promoting their archaeological heritage’.

And Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer with Galway County Council agreed.

“The Community Monuments Fund allocation is very valuable as will support the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of a number of our local monuments and historic sites,” she said.

“The conservation of our historic buildings, monuments and heritage sites makes our towns and villages more attractive to tourists and locals alike. This vitally important work also can often act as a catalyst for further heritage projects in an area, as it enhances local awareness in our built heritage,” she added.

Minister of State Malcolm Noonan said he was delighted that 140 projects across the country would be supported under this year’s €7.4m Community Monuments Fund.

And the new Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Alan Dillon, thanked the Local Authorities for what he called ‘all of their hard work and co-operation with the National Monuments Service in rolling out and administering the Community Monuments Fund’.

Pictured: St. Grellan’s Ecclesiastical Site in Ballinasloe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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