Saturday 7 December 2019

Public shows massive interest in our heritage

Heritage Highlights - All About Cork

Conor Nelligan, County Heritage Officer

Recent analysis of over 2,000 submissions received during the four-month public consultation on the development of a new national heritage plan - Heritage Ireland 2030 - revealed very high levels of heritage awareness and strong demands for greater investment in Ireland's heritage.

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has recently released this detailed analysis, which involved the evaluation of over 2,100 written submitted and the feedback from over 70 consultation events and workshops, which were held nationwide facilitated by key heritage stakeholders including the Heritage Council, the Heritage Officer Local Authority Network, the OPW, the Royal Irish Academy and ICOMOS Ireland.

Earlier in 2019 a Heritage Ireland 2030 Information Session was hosted by the Department in Dublin Castle and featured over 280 people in attendance, just showing the level of interest in the upcoming new Heritage Plan for Ireland. The Plan will be based around three key themes of national leadership and heritage, heritage partnerships, and communities and heritage.

With regard to the submissions submitted, and as the analysis shows, there is a very high awareness in Ireland of built and natural heritage and strong feelings about the need to better protect our heritage for future generations. Hundreds of practical proposals were submitted for consideration under the future Heritage Ireland 2030 policy with many of the most common issues being in relation to climate change, biodiversity, heritage education, enhanced protection for our built and cultural heritage and the need for greater heritage funding.

Commenting on the submissions received, Minister Madigan noted, 'The level of interest shown by the public in our Heritage Ireland 2030 consultation has been tremendous. The immense level of engagement bolsters our resolve to lead in doing all we can to protect that heritage, to support communities and to ensure that our heritage in all its forms is cared for and made as accessible as possible.

'I want to thank all those who engaged with us throughout the consultation process.

'Our heritage lies at the very heart of our nation's identity and our drafting of Heritage Ireland 2030 is inspired by the many ideas sent to us. One of the core objectives of Heritage Ireland 2030, which will be published in the coming months, will be to enable all those wonderful heritage ideas and actions, tangible and intangible, detailed in this report, to become real.

The Minister added: 'Climate change and biodiversity loss featured strongly in the public's concerns. Climate change is predicted to accelerate biodiversity loss; and our monuments and historic buildings, while standing for centuries, are not immune from the impacts. As I have said before all of these actions will require collaborative support across government and society. Every one of us must be part of the solution'.

The Analysis document can be found on the Department's website at along with other information about the Heritage Ireland 2030 process and plan.

As we turn our attention to upcoming heritage events there is plenty to take note of in the week ahead.

On Friday, 29th November, a book launch takes place in the Independence Museum, Kilmurry. The book relates to Béal na mBláth Nationals School and will be launched by past pupil Monsignor Kevin O' Callaghan. The launch commences at 8pm and all welcome. Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December sees a local Christmas Market take place in the West End Art Studios, Mallow, located at 160, West End. The market will feature a great variety of craft and art from local artists and craftspeople and runs from 10:30 to 17:00 on the Saturday and 11:00 to 16:00 on the Sunday - all welcome.

* December 2, 3 & 4 will feature workshops in Mallow, Youghal and Clonakilty, respectively, that focus on the provision of advice to community groups for the cleaning of monuments and memorials. The workshops are being hosted by CCC's Historic Monuments Advisory Committee and will consist of illustrated presentations and talks in the morning and afternoon presentations of case studies by experienced professional specialists. Refreshments and a light lunch will also be provided. Participants will be encouraged to raise issues and problems that they have encountered in projects of their own and attendance is free-of-charge, however, advance booking is required by emailing or by phoning 021 4214368.

* In Mallow on Wednesday 4th December volume 37 of the Mallow Field Club Journal will be launched. The Mallow Field Club has undertaken some incredible historic journals over the many years and the latest offering is right up there with them, to be launched on the night by Gerry Murphy of the Churchtown Heritage Society and originator of Churchtown Renewal. The launch commences at 8pm and takes place in the Hibernian Hotel, all welcome.

* In Blarney on Thursday December 5th, an illustrated lecture titled: 'Gaol Break - Cork Prison Rescue of Donnacha McNeilus' will take place in Blarney Secondary School, commencing at 20:00. Organised by the Blarney and District Historical Society, invited Guest Speaker John Mulcahy will bring the story of this amazing rescue to life by exploring the incredibly brave activities of the rescuers in the 1918 escape from Cork County Gaol of Republican Denis McNeilus who was due to face trial for attempted murder of a policeman and was in line for a death sentence. A fascinating and triumphant plan was put in place to affect his successful escape, causing huge public excitement. For more information, visit