The Inishowen Traditional Singers Circle, the bird observatory on Inishtrahull and The Exchange in Buncrana have been awarded grants totalling almost €60,000 under the Heritage Council’s community grants scheme.
The three Inishowen awards were amongst 13 Donegal projects that shared in €207,000 from a national pot of €1.5 million.
The grants support projects that improve access and inclusion to heritage sites and that apply good heritage practice to the management of places, collections, objects and buildings.
Combined, the Inishowen groups were awarded grants of €57,850.
The Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle got a grant of €13,160 to continue its work, in partnership with the Irish Traditional Music Archive, to review, maintain and improve public access to its collection on Inishowen songs and singers.
Inishtrahull Bird Observatory was awarded €24,690 for on-going research and monitoring work and equipment on Inishtrahull island.
The Exchange in Buncrana will receive €20,000 for a project involving oral history recordings and archival research into the LGBTQ+ community in County Donegal.
“The need for continued investment in our built, natural, cultural and intangible heritage has never been more important,” Joseph Gallagher, Donegal County Council’s heritage officer said.
“The continued commitment and enthusiasm of local community groups to the conservation, promotion and enhancement of our heritage is outstanding.
“Through the Community Heritage Grants Scheme, local communities have demonstrated the contribution that our heritage makes to cultural, social, economic and tourism developments in County Donegal. The wise use of our heritage assets and the engagement of local communities are essential components of any project.”
Amongst the other Donegal groups to receive grants are Muileann Coirce Leitir in Kilcar, which got €25,000; Lifford Association Tourism Commerce Heritage which got €24,000 for an upgrade of the exhibition area at Lifford Old Courthouse; and €25,000 to the Kilbarron Castle and Church Conservation Group in Ballyshannon for the conservation of the walls of the ruins of the old church there.
“Heritage Council funding for the Community Heritage Grant Scheme has more than tripled since 2020 and the quality of the projects awarded funding is ample justification for this enhanced support,” said Martina Moloney, chairperson of The Heritage Council.
“In many cases, the beneficiaries of the work being carried out is the public, who will be able to access newly digitised resources and enjoy newly restored buildings, objects and natural heritage sites of national significance.”