GLAS grants now available for farmers
Farmers, for centuries and even millennia in many instances, have been custodians of some wonderful heritage sites and features that are to be found in our agricultural areas.
From archaeological monuments dating to the Bronze age such as fulacht fiadh and standing stones, to the castles and ringforts of Medieval times; this heritage is a rich one. Many farms, particularly traditional farms, also contain a number of century's old farm buildings and structures which in themselves are a very important and very attractive part of our rural heritage.
The importance of these buildings and structures is recognized nationally, not least with the recent announcement of the GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme.
This scheme, run by the Heritage Council, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, sets out to provide grants for the conservation and repair of traditional farm buildings and other related structures.
Grant amounts in the scheme vary between €4,000 and €25,000 and will not exceed 75% of the works up to a maximum grant of €25,000.
All applicants must be farmers approved in the GLAS Scheme and the monies will cover a range of different works such as the conservation of traditional farm outbuildings, including roofs, walls, structural repairs, windows and doors.
The grant is also available for other related farm structures including historic yard surfaces, walls, gate pillars and gate.
The process is highly competitive and it is expected that 50-70 projects will be supported in 2018.
The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 5pm on Friday, November 24 and for further information visitwww.heritagecouncil.ie/projects/traditional-farm-buildings-grant-scheme.
Remembering the 2016 Centenary
Many rural areas within the County, and indeed across the country, were involved in the Centenary Commemorations last year, 2016. More than 3,000 events took place nationally, with over 500 of these taking place in the County of Cork.
In recognition of the year, the Government saw it fitting to produce a publication documenting many highlights from the year. Minister Humphreys T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht launched the publication in the GPO, Dublin recently, available now in a number of bookstores.
The book is titled 'Comóradh Chéad Bliain Centenary' and was edited by Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times journalist and author.
The publication documents how 1916 was remembered last year both at home and abroad and includes the main significant commemorative events that were undertaken; presented in chronological order with each chapter containing testimonies from some of those involved in the events.
Speaking at the launch Minister Humphreys said: "I was determined from the outset that 2016 would be a year for everyone - I wanted to encourage and facilitate commemorative events which were inclusive and respectful of all narratives. 'Centenary' is a great snapshot of 2016. It shows how people really engaged with our history and got involved at every level, whether it was community based events, the wonderful exhibitions in our National Cultural Institutions or the many State commemorative events over Easter Weekend."
Centenary is an excellent publication recapping on 2016 across the country.
Earlier in the summer Cork County Council also released for sale, a publication documenting 2016 in the County of Cork, available now in a number of bookstores around the county including Fermoy, Mallow, Kanturk, Macroom and Baile Bhuirne.
Planning for future commemorations
Last year was exceptional on so many levels but it also was indeed a precursor to the centenaries ahead over the coming five or six years, taking in the War of Independence and Civil War.
These centenaries are extremely important and the approach to their commemoration is worthy of much consideration and focus.
With this in mind the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has just introduced a Statement of Principles by the Expert Advisory Group to the Government on Commemorations to assist in framing the Government's commemorative programme over the coming years.
This process includes how the events which led to the foundation of the State and Civil War, might be meaningfully and appropriately commemorated.
Dr. Maurice Manning, Chairman of the Expert Advisory Group, noted: "It is important that the sense of inclusiveness and historical authenticity, which characterized the first phase of the Decade of Centenaries and which ensured the credibility of the commemorations, be continued into the arguably more sensitive and potentially divisive second phase. To that end, the Expert Advisory Group is initiating public consultations to ensure that all points of view and all traditions are recognised and respected."
Information on the Second Statement of Principles and an upcoming Public Consultation Process will be accessible shortly at www.chg.gov.ie/.
Heritage Council's Strategic Plan
With regard to the years ahead, 2018-2022, the Heritage Council is currently shaping its Strategic Plan for the next five years and are welcoming ideas, comments and suggestions from those with an interest in the heritage of the Country.
To aid in the process a consultation document has been created which gives a sense of the aspects being considered. Feedback is sought from stakeholders, local and national government and all interested parties.
Responses to questions which are included or on other issues that may not have identified are welcome.
The Consultation paper is available to view through the Raising Awareness section of www.corkcoco.ie/arts-heritage and the closing date for online submissions is November 20.
Cultural and Creativity Strategy
Speaking of the years ahead, Cork County Council has begun the process of formulating a 5 year (2018-2022) Cultural and Creativity Strategy for the County.
The public is encouraged to get involved in the undertaking of this plan and all ideas, comments and suggestions are most welcome.
To facilitate the undertaking of the plan there will be a number of workshops over the coming weeks. In mid and North Cork these include Mallow Library tonight Thursday, October 26 from 6.30pm-8pm; Fermoy Library on Saturday, November 4 from 11.30am to 1pm; Macroom Library on Wednesday, November 8 from 2.30pm to 4pm and Ballincollig Library on Tuesday, November 14 from 6pm to 7.30pm.
Interested participants are kindly requested to register their interest to attend by emailing email@example.com with their date/venue of choice.
Submissions on the Strategy can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and it is hoped that same will all have been received by Friday, November 17.
Friday, November 17 and the day before it as well, Thursday 16, are both important days from a Creative Ireland County Cork context, with the proposed hosting in Youghal, of the County's inaugural Creative Ireland County Cork Conference.
Details about the conference will be provided shortly online at www.corkcoco.ie/arts-heritage/creative-ireland and anyone seeking to attend (booking essential) can register their place by emailing email@example.com or by phoning 021 4285905.
Upcoming events across the county
With regard to upcoming events there is plenty on the horizon.
On Sunday Ted Cook will lead a walk in Rathbarry, Clonakilty, titled 'Paying Attention to Life'.
The day commences at the 'Puffin Café' at Long Strand, Rathbarry, at 11am and over the course of the walk, Ted will provide insights into the native plants, trees and wildlife that are to be found in the area as well as information on the history of Rathbarry, the High Cross and Rathbarry Castle.
All ages welcome and for further information contact 087 2698681.
A few days later on Thursday, November 2 in Blarney Secondary School there will be a fascinating illustrated lecture regarding 'Mud, Blood and Bravery - The Agony of Passchendale 1917'.
The talk commences at 8pm and will be given by none other than renowned military historian Gerry White.
The Battle of Passchendale, also known as Third Battle of Ypres, took place on the Western Front, lasting from 31 July to 10 November 1917.
It was fought in unusually wet weather and the onset of winter. The holes in the earth filled with water, debris, and bodies, causing nearly everything to be coated with a slick layer of slime. Guns sank into the earth and troops drowned in the soft mud.
Finally, after 16 weeks of fighting in atrocious conditions, and at a cost of 270,000 Allied lives, 217,000 German soldiers, it was finally over.
The town itself was destroyed completely. For more information on this talk visit http://blarneyhistory.ie.
Next week's column will take a look at events scheduled for November.