CURRENT FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR HERITAGE PROJECTS:
The Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structures Fund 2022 are open for applications until 16:00 on Monday, 31st January 2022. Details are included below (*Added on 19/11/21)
The Community Monuments Fund 2022 is open for public applications until 17:00 on Tuesday, 15th February 2022. Details are included below (*Added on 22/11/21)
The Local Authority Waters Programme Grants 2022 are open for applications until 12 noon on Tuesday, 8th February 2022. Details are included below (*Added on 02/12/21)
HERITAGE NEWS AND UPDATES:
The Súgán team has produced a newsletter to update everyone on the current status of the project – a project that aims to see the establishment of a museum on the Irish Language and Gaelic Revival, in the heart of Béal Átha n’Ghaorthaidh. The newsletter is available to read by clicking here (nó faigh é as gaelige anseo).
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’ Brien TD, today announced funding of €6.6 million for the 2022 Creative Ireland Programme Creative Communities initiative. This partnership between the departments and all 31 local authorities is being enabled through the Creative Ireland Programme. It will offer thousands of opportunities across Ireland for people of all ages to engage with creative projects in their local area.
In 2021 this enabled local authorities to deliver nearly 1,500 community-led creative projects. This funding has proved to be an important flexible resource that has enabled local authorities to sustain and develop vibrant creative communities. In the County of Cork, the amount allocated is €175,161 for 2022.
This funding includes planning for an enhanced Cruinniú na nÓg - Ireland’s national day celebrating young people’s creativity in June 2022. There will be projects around Creativity in Older Age with opportunities for older people to participate in creative activities. Finally, Creative Climate Action projects in partnership with Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications will use the talents of artists and the wider creative industries to connect people with profound changes happening in our environment, society and economy arising from climate change.
The ambition of the Creative Ireland Programme is to mainstream creativity in the life of the nation. Participation in cultural and creative activity promotes individual, community and national wellbeing.
Creative Communities is a collaboration, between central and local government, between culture and industry, between artists, policy makers and communities.
Since the programme was launched in 2017, there has been an investment of €21 million from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, in Creative Ireland initiatives undertaken by local authorities.
Speaking of the funding, Minister Martin said: “I am delighted to continue to support the excellent work undertaken by local authorities on behalf of the Creative Ireland Programme. Since the inception of Creative Ireland our partners in local government have been key to the delivery of creative projects that promote an improved sense of wellbeing, social connections and economic development within their communities. Through these projects local authorities have been able to create exciting and constructive opportunities for people and communities. I want to congratulate our local authority partners for their energy and creativity in delivering so many wonderful projects that sustain and enhance the lives of everyone in their communities.”
For an overview of Creative Ireland projects in local communities please go to
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan is encouraging individuals and groups to have their say on the future development of the county with the publication of the Proposed Amendments to the Draft County Development Plan. This is the last opportunity for the people of County Cork to make submissions on the plan which comes into effect in June.
The Cork County Development Plan sets out Cork County Council’s overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the county between 2022 and 2028. It takes national and regional level plans, Government policy and statutory guidelines into account to create one single planned approach for the future development of the county.
More than 1,100 submissions were received during the public consultation stage of the Draft Plan in 2021. There were also 18 detailed meetings with Elected Members building on the previous 46 meetings to prepare the Draft Plan itself. More than 1,600 Proposed Amendments have now been prepared.
Submissions on the Proposed Amendments can be made from Tuesday 18th January 2022 up to and including midnight on Tuesday 15th February 2022.
Mayor Coughlan in welcoming the publication of the Proposed Amendments highlighted how “The Proposed Amendments to the Draft Plan have been prepared following an intensive process of meetings between the Elected Members of Cork County Council and Council staff together with input from the 1,100 public submissions we received.. The publication of the Proposed Amendments to the Draft Plan is the final opportunity for individuals and groups across Cork County to have their say in the final Cork County Development Plan, 2022-2028. I would strongly encourage people to get involved and have their say in forming the future development of County Cork.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added, “The Proposed Amendments along with the Draft Plan itself provides an ambitious and balanced vision for the future of the County up to 2028. It plans for population growth of 59,000 people and enables the orderly delivery of 22,600 housing units, as well as supporting commercial and social services. The population growth and necessary housing units will be delivered across the whole of County Cork, at appropriate locations in County Metropolitan Cork, the Ring and County Towns, Key Villages, Villages and Rural Areas so as to deliver sustainable growth in our rural and urban communities.”
The County Cork Development Plan is due to be finalised in April 2022 and will be the first of three County Development Plans, that when taken together will set a clear pathway for County Cork to achieve its ambitious Project Ireland 2040 targets as set out in the National Planning Framework and the Southern Region Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy.
It will be the first consolidated plan for the entire functional area of Cork County Council and relates to the new administrative boundary of the county which is in place since May 2019. The new plan will replace the current County Development Plan, 2014 along with the current Clonakilty, Cobh, Fermoy, Kinsale, Macroom, Mallow, Midleton, Skibbereen and Youghal Town Development Plans and the eight Municipal District Local Area Plans made in 2017.
Full details of the Proposed Amendments to the Draft County Development Plan will be available at https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/cork-county-development-plan-2022-2028 from Tuesday 18th January 2022.
The Heritage Council, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will open their GLAS Traditional Farm Building Grant Scheme 2022 for online applications on Friday 21st January. The principal objective of this grant scheme is to ensure that traditional farm buildings and other related structures that contribute to the character of the landscape and are of significant heritage value are conserved for active agricultural use. Closing date for receipt of completed online applications is 5pm Tuesday 22nd February 2022. Online applications/grant criteria at https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/projects/traditional-farm-buildings-grant-scheme The Heritage Council will host a short information webinar for GLAS participants interested in applying for the 2022 grant scheme on Thursday 27th January @12pm. Free event but registration is required at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvceCpqDopEtb3RS9fZM9kbDvT7jvum9Xj
The Heritage Council Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2022 is now open for applications. The 2022 Scheme sees an increase in the overall allocation available from €1 million in 2021 to €1.5 million in 2022 and the maximum grant level has been increased from €15,000 to €20,000 in 2022, with €2,000 being the minimum grant request.
The scheme is open to voluntary and community groups including not for profit trusts; Heritage-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs); Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) participants; Adopt a Monument Programme participants, and second and third level educational bodies (excluding private institutions) - funding to primary schools is allocated through the Heritage in Schools programme.
A range of different heritage projects can be applied for under the scheme from traditional and craft skills to website development for heritage related groups.
The closing date for applications is 16 February 2022 at 5pm via the Heritage Council’s online grants system and only projects that can be commenced after an offer date in mid-April and completed before 19 September 2022 can be considered under this scheme. For more information visit https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding/funding-schemes.
An information session on the scheme takes place on Thursday 20 January 2022 from 11:30 to 16:00 (via Zoom) and to register click https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YiXd7X1vRHWa8zpUu5pqNA
Following another challenging year for the community and voluntary sector, Cork County Council has announced support of over €1.8million to support local communities in 2022. The Council’s annual Community Fund Scheme benefits hundreds of groups across the county and is now open for applications.
The scheme is administered locally by the eight Municipal Districts and each year provides financial assistance to a range of different community, sporting and voluntary organisations under three distinctive fund types: The Capital Fund, Community Contract and Amenity Fund.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan, welcomed the announcement of the 2022 scheme,
“Our community groups and voluntary organisations have shown remarkable resilience over the past two years. Despite the many challenges and restrictions, their determination to improve their areas and support their wider community is inspiring. Each year, this scheme supports a range of projects and initiatives, including the work of Tidy Towns groups and community associations, infrastructural works, and sports and leisure facilities. I encourage groups to consider making an application to this year’s fund and look forward to seeing many more worthwhile projects progressed for 2022.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, noted,
“In 2022 we are making over €1.8million available to communities through our General Municipal Allocation. This is Cork County Council’s eighth year providing the Community Fund Scheme and it has assisted in delivering a host of valuable community initiatives across Cork County year after year. Given the challenges of Covid-19 and the relentless work undertaken by our community and voluntary sector, this financial support has never been more important. This annual scheme demonstrates our commitment to supporting these groups and working together to continually improve our towns and villages.”
Guidelines for the scheme and application details are available online at www.yourcouncil.ie from Wednesday, 12th January 2022 and will close at 4pm on Tuesday, 15th February 2022. Further information is available in the Guidelines for the 2022 Community Fund
Cork County Council has been granted almost €2 million in funding for rural regeneration projects in Fermoy and Macroom. The money will be used to rejuvenate the town centres, combat dereliction and drive economic growth.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €21.5 million for 27 projects across the country under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF).
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan welcomed the funding, she said, “Many rural areas have faced significant social and economic fallout as a result of the global pandemic. The proposals for both Fermoy and Macroom are responsive to this. We want to make our town and village centres the most attractive places to live, work, run a business, socialise and visit.”
More than €1.5 million has been awarded to Fermoy to deliver a town centre renewal project. It centres around adapting and reusing historic and vacant town centre buildings in a sustainable way as well as developing plans for a Craft Makers Hub. It also includes enhanced recreational facilities and public realm improvements. The project will be led by Cork County Council in partnership with Avondhu Blackwater Partnership CLG.
In Macroom, the funding will be used to develop a future vision for the former Church of Ireland building on Castle Street, transforming it into a flexible community, heritage and commercial outlet, in partnership with Lee Valley Enterprise Board, Macroom E and Macroom Tidy Towns. Funding of €395,000 has been granted and will also be used to improve accessibility and footfall in Macroom, connecting the Mill Dam/Masseytown area with the derelict church building.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added, “This funding is most welcome and will bring both projects through the development stage and to the point where they are ready to begin work. The funding will help transform Fermoy, delivering large-scale regeneration through targeted interventions. It’s about revitalising Fermoy town centre and driving it forward. The total cost of the Fermoy project is €1,925,000 with €1,540,000 awarded under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund. Cork County Council will fund the remainder. Macroom is a key heritage town with a fascinating history that goes to the heart of its identity. The project is centred around repurposing the former Church of Ireland building, an important landmark that has huge potential. Cork County Council is committed to working with local organisations, businesses and residents to achieve the best possible results for our county towns.”
The Rural Regeneration Development Fund provides investment to support suitable projects in towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000. To date, 191 projects across the country have been awarded funding of €277 million. Funding from the RRDF is provided to further the aims of Our Rural Future, the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025.
Do you know of a farmer who is producing great food while maintaining a flourishing farm environment? You can now submit nominations for the 2022 National Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards. Closing date for nominations is 14th February 2022. Further details/nominations at https://www.farmingfornature.ie.
Minister Martin recently announced the opening of the Decade of Centenaries Markievicz Award Bursary scheme 2022 for artists and will be via the Arts Council’s website. 10 bursaries will be awarded to either individual artists or to collaborative artists up to the value of €25,000 each. Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.30pm Thursday 10th February 2022. Further details/bursary criteria available at https://www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Markievicz-Award/
World Wetlands Day is on Wed 2nd Feb 2022. Why not organise an event (subject to COVID) or a project about wetlands in your area? Register your project with the hundreds of others taking place around the world. “A call to take action” is the focus of this years’ campaign - an appeal to invest financial, human and political capital to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing and to restore those we have damaged. Projects can take place on 2nd Feb, or the weekend before/after. Details at https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/
Since 2013, Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit has been producing an annual book in the ‘Heritage of County Cork Publication Series’. This year’s publication, titled ‘Heritage Artefacts of County Cork’ focuses on the fascinating artefacts in the county of Cork, from the earliest of times up to the recent past. From throughout the county, groups and individuals submitted some excellent information, as did so many of the county’s many museums and heritage centres. In fact, included in the publication is a listing of 30 such museums and heritage centres, mostly within the county of Cork, where a fascinating array of artefacts pertaining to County Cork can be seen.
The book, expertly written by Denis Power and produced by Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit, looks at era after era of human life here in county Cork, telling us a bit about each one through the artefacts still with us today from the specific era in question. These artefacts include valuable objects such as the Cork Horns, the Garryduff Bird and St. Laichtín’s Arm, as well as a selection of the more everyday items, such as sherds of handmade pottery, flint tools and clay pipes, all of which combine to give the reader a unique insight into life in Cork County in the past. The book is available in bookshops throughout the county from Bantry to Bandon and from Macroom to Mallow and for further information email email@example.com.
Catchment Catch-up is the newsletter of the Local Authority Waters Programme and Issue 11 (December 2021) is now available online. It features information on the Community Water Development Fund 2022 as well as details on Citizen Science projects in Cork and is available to view by clicking here. For people interested in applying for the Community Water Development Fund there will be a virtual Community Water Development Fund Clinic on Thursday, 13th January 2022 at 11am. Zoom link to Webinar Clinic: https://lawaters-ie.zoom.us/j/86082918371
Over 10,500 additional previously unavailable burial records from 89 graveyards in Cork county are now online to view free of charge.
Skibbereen Heritage Centre has been digitising Cork County Council burial registers for some time and this latest addition brings the number of burial records in its database to over 45,500.
"We're delighted to bring these records into the public domain", said Centre manager Terri Kearney, "and we are very grateful to Cork County Council for its support of this project".
An interactive map of the 89 graveyards included can be found on the Graveyard Database page of Skibbereen Heritage Centre’s website https://skibbheritage.com/west-cork-graveyards-database/
Also on the website are a number of short films about local graveyards and these can be found on https://skibbheritage.com/graveyard-videos/ in addition to information on the graveyard signs erected by Skibbereen Heritage Centre over the years https://skibbheritage.com/west-cork-graveyard-signs/.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the fourth call for Category 1 applications to the €1 Billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).
This Fund is a key part of ‘Our Rural Future’ and will support landmark regeneration projects that will breathe new life into rural towns and villages. The projects put forward will rejuvenate town centres, boost economic growth and footfall and make our rural towns and villages more attractive places to live, work and raise a family. There is a big focus too on projects that involve transforming old or derelict buildings into remote working hubs, libraries, e-learning, cultural, enterprise, youth and community spaces.
Projects that will be funded under Category One are those that have full planning and other consents in place and are ready to commence at the date of application.
Examples of projects were approved for funding earlier this year include:
· Ballymahon, Co. Longford: Renovation of three historic town centre buildings including a former convent into a Co-Working Space, Youth Hub and Community Centre.
· Youghal, Co. Cork: Transformation of a derelict site and buildings on the main street into a new library, remote learning hub and community space.
· Thurles, Co. Tipperary: Renovation of a 19th Century vacant agriculture building and associated car park to create the new Thurles Market Quarter.
· Portumna, Co.Galway: Repurposing the vacant courthouse into a new mult-purpose arts, performance, remote working and social space.
To date, the RRDF has provided over €255 million for 164 projects worth a total of €347 million.
Announcing the new call, Minister Humphreys said: “Today, I am opening the fourth call for Category One applications to the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. I want to see ambitious projects that are shovel ready and have the potential to breathe new life into our towns and villages - making them more vibrant and attractive places to live, work, run a business and raise a family. This Fund is about realising the vision that we have for rural Ireland. It’s about delivering on the objectives of ‘Our Rural Future’, which is already having a hugely positive impact in communities right across the country.”
The Minister added: “I want to see projects that can improve the quality of life for the tens of thousands of families who live in Rural Ireland. I want to see projects that will tackle dereliction, give old buildings a new and lasting purpose and realise the Government’s desire to seize the opportunities posed by remote working”.
The Fund is seeking to support large-scale, ambitious projects. In that regard, applications of scale are sought, with a minimum funding request of €500,000. Applications to the Fund must be led by a State-funded body - Local Authorities, Local Development Companies, State agencies, commercial State bodies etc. - but collaboration between parties, including with communities, is strongly encouraged. The closing date for the receipt of proposals is 12 noon on Friday 29th April 2022.
Full details of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund are available on the Department of Rural and Community Development website https://www.gov.ie/en/service/05bfe-rural-regeneration-and-development-fund/.
The Maritime Area Planning Bill 2021 passed through all stages of the Oireachtas on December 17th 2021. This Bill represents the biggest reform of marine governance since the foundation of the State, with a legal and administrative framework to support a marine environment that Ireland can use, enjoy and benefit from socially, environmentally and economically. The Bill establishes in law a new planning regime for the maritime area and will be a key enabler of decarbonisation of Ireland’s energy sources and the development of offshore energy. It will replace existing State and development consent regimes and streamline arrangements on the basis of a single consent principle, i.e. one State consent (Maritime Area Consent) to enable occupation of the Maritime Area and one development consent (planning permission), with a single environmental assessment.
The Bill is also a key component of the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF), Ireland’s first national framework for managing marine activities, launched earlier this summer. The framework, which will apply to a maritime area of approximately 495,000km², outlines a vision for how we want to use, protect and enjoy our seas in the years up to 2040. The Framework is a parallel document to the National Planning Framework, which guides terrestrial planning and development.
In response to the Bill’s passage through the Oireachtas, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, said: “My Department is leading an extensive marine management reform programme, the likes of which the State has never seen. The Maritime Area Planning Bill represents a giant leap forward towards meeting our ambitious climate action goals and targets and is a result of many of years of work in my Department to modernise our marine planning system. It will also play a significant role in the Government’s response to climate change and to reaching the renewable energy goals set forth in the Climate Action Plan.”
Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke TD, who has specific responsibility for marine planning, said: “This Bill gives legal underpinning to an entirely new marine planning system, which balances our huge offshore wind energy potential with the need to protect our marine environment. It will also introduce a new independent agency, MARA, which will be based in Wexford and focused solely on the regulation of our maritime area”.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD commented, “The passage of this Bill is a critical and hugely welcome development in our efforts to mitigate climate change by decarbonising our energy sources through the development of offshore renewable energy. Not only that, but this Bill will embed robust environmental assessments in every part of the planning decision. With the development of our MPA legislation next year, we’re working towards a strong, interconnected, coherent network of protected areas to ensure the sustainable use of our marine environment.”
The Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett is delighted to announce that she has secured cabinet approval to bring about changes to the Forestry Act 2014 and to make it easier to plant small areas of native trees. The amendment will enable the Department Agriculture, Food and the Marine to increase native tree planting as part of a scheme by removing the requirement for an afforestation licence for areas up to 1 ha and to allow increased planting of small areas of riparian woodland. Welcoming the proposed changes, Minister Hackett emphasised the priority associated with the legislation to align her Department’s commitments in the programme for Government and the recently published Climate Action Plan.
The Minister commented, “These new arrangements will enable my Department to further incentivise the planting of native tree species which will contribute to Ireland’s targets, including climate change, biodiversity, habitats and water quality. My Department will consult with industry stakeholders to ensure that the schemes and measures developed will complement existing tree planting schemes”.
Importantly the requirement to comply with environmental law is not undermined by making this change as all works are controlled by regulation through a Departmental scheme. The development of a scheme will be undertaken following the completion of the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment. Eligibility criteria will be incorporated into the scheme which will ensure that all tree planting works are undertaken in a legally compliant and sustainable manner.
The Minister said, “I am confident that these changes will be particularly important in terms of creating new native woodlands and undisturbed water setbacks that can be used to deliver meaningful ecosystem services that protect and enhance water quality and aquatic ecosystems. The creation of these permanent semi-natural landscape features alongside streams, rivers and lakes will protect and enhance water quality and aquatic habitats into the future.”
It is important to note that stakeholder consultation will take place on any proposed measures to ensure that existing tree planting measures are complementary. The next CAP and Forestry Programme will provide opportunities to encourage more tree planting and the Department welcomes engagement with stakeholders in the months ahead as the detail of schemes are developed.
A project which Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage initiated several years ago has at last come to fruition with the publication of, "Clonakilty Town Council a History 1613 – 2014’, which is now on sale locally. This project originated in the Town Council chamber before the council was abolished in 2014 and was organised and driven since by a small sub-group of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage who engaged the services of Dr. Matthew Potter, an authority on local government in Ireland, along with noted local historians and Dúchas members Tomás Tuipéar and Michael O’ Mahony.
This is a comprehensive history of the Clonakilty Town Council over four centuries - but also thanks to the years of painstaking research and volunteer work of the two local historians, is also a great record of local people and politics of the 19th century. It contains no less than 110 biographies of people associated with the council over the 400 years – including many of the Mayors of the past. The book contains some previously unpublished documents, illustrations, photos and research specific to Clonakilty which local people will find very interesting. It has been already described by one local who has read it as "a veritable history of Clonakilty".
The publication of the book was also kindly partly sponsored by a number of Clonakilty businesses who had family members associated with Clonakilty Town Council in the past. With a limited edition of 200 copies printed, people are advised to secure their copy at the earliest opportunity at local Clonakilty outlets: Coughlan’s Bookshop, Rossa Street; Kerr's Bookshop, Ashe Street and Paddy Meade’s Newsagents, Pearse Street. At €25, it represents excellent value for money.
Minister Noonan recently launched a new national strategy for vernacular heritage in Mooncoin, Co. Kilkenny, called “A Living Tradition: a strategy to enhance the understanding, care and handing-on of our built vernacular heritage” and comprises building and other items that were almost always built or made by the occupants and users themselves. To read the strategy click here .
Birdwatch Ireland are asking members of the public to keep note of the highest number of each bird species visiting their garden every week between now and February. It is a great initiative and it is hoped that people throughout the county of Cork will get invovled in this survey. Please submit your garden bird records online, by visiting https://birdwatchireland.ie/our-work/surveys-research/research-surveys/irish-garden-bird-survey/?nowprocket=1
The Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019 has been passed through Dáil Éireann by the Government's Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport, Jack Chambers TD and has been reviewed for the last time. The amendments tabled in the Dáil are further Government amendments from Committee Stage and Report Stage in the Senate, leaving only the signature of the President of Ireland now required before enactment.
All amendments to the Official Languages Act 2003 address concerns and issues raised following extensive consultation and debate and the Bill contains a series of provisions aimed at further tending to the needs of Irish speakers.
These provisions include increasing the number of Irish speakers recruited to the Public Service, meaning that by the end of 2030, 20% of new recruits will be Irish speakers, that State services will be provided through the medium of Irish in the Gaeltacht and that all public offices located in a Gaeltacht area will operate through the medium of Irish. To this end, the Irish Language Services Advisory Committee will be established and will publish a National Plan for the provision of public services through the medium of Irish.
In a speech from the Minister of State Chambers in the Dáil, he said:“With this new Bill, we, as a State, have laid a solid foundation to demonstrate real leadership in preserving the language for future generations. The use of Irish at an official level is an integral part of the ongoing efforts to ensure that the language is used among future generations. The Official Languages Act was enacted in 2003 and, since then, a number of developments have taken place and legislation has come into force which is incorporated into the Bill passed by the Dáil today. Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 provided for Gaeltacht areas to be identified on a linguistic rather than a geographical basis as part of the Language Planning Process. Under this process, Gaeltacht communities draw up language plans in order to increase the number of Irish speakers in the Language Planning Areas identified under the Act over a period of seven years. Many of the goals set out in these language plans depend on the availability of public services in Irish and the enactment of the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill provides the State with a statutory tool to plan the provision of those services in the long term.”
Welcoming the announcement of the Bill's passage through the Oireachtas, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D, said:“This is a historic day for the Irish language and Gaeltacht community. I understand the importance of the language as the first official language of the State, as a valuable part of the heritage of this island and, more importantly, as a living language in the Gaeltacht community. The 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language ties in with this new Language Bill and specific actions set out in the Strategy and 5 Year Action Plan 2018-2022 which addresses the challenges of recruiting Irish speakers to the Public Service, among other things.”
The enactment of this Bill comes at a historic time in the life of the Irish language as the derogation on the use of Irish in the European Union institutions will end on 1 January 2022.
The Official Languages Bill, 2019:
The Official Languages Bill, 2003: https://www.oireachtas.ie/ga/bills/bill/2002/24/
20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language, 2010-2030:
Action Plan 2018-2022:
Produced by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage, the third volume of Clonakilty Historical & Archaeological Journal presents a variety of papers examining different aspects of our local history and built heritage, focusing on the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. From church architecture to sanitation, local governance to the Atlantic slave trade, this volume has something for everyone and serves to advance our understanding of the rural and urban heritage of the greater Clonakilty area.
This volume will be launched by Dr Danielle O’Donovan. Danielle is from Ardfield, just outside Clonakilty. She gained her PhD in architectural history from Trinity College Dublin in 2008 and publishes on Irish medieval architecture and learning in museums. Danielle has worked for Trinity Irish Art Research Centre, Trinity Centre for Research in IT in Education and the Irish Heritage Trust. Danielle is the programme manager at Nano Nagle Place, which has just been awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2022.
The journals will be available at a price of €10 from Monday 20 December in the following Clonakilty bookshops: Coughlan's Bookshop (who can arrange for delivery by post), Kerr's Bookshop, Paddy Meade Newsagent and Michael Collins House.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, and the Minister for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett, have launched a major investment of €5 million in a pilot Farm Environmental Study (FES). This pilot will establish a framework to generate a database of baseline habitat and biodiversity data at the farm-level and will provide the scope for an inventory of farm habitats and biodiversity present and a baseline for future targeting of agri-environmental schemes and measures.
The Pilot Stage of FES will focus on the roll out of farm level habitat surveys on approximately 6,500 farms. The Pilot FES measure will provide the farmer with important information on the of biodiversity and environmental assets on his/her own farm. This new level of biodiversity data will provide the farmer with greater awareness of the biodiversity potential on their lands and help them tailor their management practices to help farm with nature in mind.
Minister McConalogue said: “I am really excited about bringing forward this new pilot FES. I believe it is the launch pad for a whole new and untapped potential for Irish agriculture. Having a baseline knowledge of the biodiversity resources we have on our farms is essential going forward. In order to tackle the challenges of the future, we first must know the potential of the present and the FES is central to this new era we are facing into. Since the initial announcement of this pilot project roll out, my Department has contracted the operation and delivery of this important environmental initiative. The Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) will coordinate the roll out of this survey effort. The ACA have agricultural advisors all over the country and they have a wealth of experience in providing agricultural advisory services to farmers and will bring this to the pilot measure in addition to providing ecological perspectives to the surveys. I look forward to seeing the final result of what FES will deliver for our farms and farmers.”
Minister Pippa Hackett also welcomed the pilot measure and stated, “We are living in the middle of a biodiversity crisis, and with agriculture being the largest land use in our country, establishing a database of the biodiversity features and habitats present at the farm level must be a priority. The delivery of FES will allow great strides to be made in tailoring farm-specific management practices with benefits to both the farmer and the environment. Farmers are the caretakers of biodiversity in agriculture, and this farm-scale approach will educate and empower farmers, building on their knowledge of their own land in order to maximize delivery of environmental and economic benefits at a national scale.”
The Pilot FES measure will provide the farmer with an inventory of habitats, biodiversity and environmental information about his/her own farm. This information will be presented to the farmer as part of the knowledge transfer element in order to educate and empower the farmer to farm in a way that is sensitive to nature on the individual farm.
The FES advisor training module will commence shortly, and the measure will open to farmers in quarter 1 2022. Farm surveys will be carried out over the spring and summer 2022 and it is expected the results and outputs of the pilot survey will be presented to the Department in Q4 of 2022.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €2.6 million in funding to deliver the first ever Town Centre First Plans, which will be key to tackling dereliction and revitalising town centres. As part of the initiative, each local authority will be provided with €100,000 to support the development of its own unique master plan. Among the 26 towns selected include Carrick-on-Shannon in Co. Leitrim, Skibbereen in Co. Cork, Roscrea in Co. Tipperary and Abbeyfeale in Co. Limerick.
Each local authority will now work closely with local community groups, retailers and the other members of the Town Teams in devising and delivering on the objectives of their respective masterplans.
This initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious five-year strategy designed to reimagine and revitalise Rural Ireland. It is also linked to the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ strategy and the forthcoming ‘Town Centre First Policy’, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Announcing the details of the 26 towns, Minister Humphreys said: “I am really pleased to announce the first ever Town Centre First Plans as part of a €2.6 million investment for Rural Ireland. Each local authority has put forward one of their towns which will receive €100,000 from my Department to develop its own unique master plan. This is about delivering on the objectives of ‘Our Rural Future’ and ensuring our towns have the right plan in place to tackle the issues of dereliction, vacant properties, and above all, to become better places to live, work and run a business. The development of these 26 Plans will feed into the Government’s overall Town Centre First Policy, which will be launched in the coming weeks.”
The Town Centre First Plans will be guided by a strong empirical base and developed collaboratively with local Town Teams involving community, business, as well as public private stakeholders.
It is envisaged that the Plans will cover the importance of “place-making”, town centre living, the social and economic purpose of the town, and respond to emerging opportunities such as those linked to remote working, climate action and digitalisation. The funding will support each local authority, working with a collaborative Town Team, to develop a be-spoke TCF plan to guide the development of each town.
The focus will be on the town centre and immediate surrounds. Each Plan will set out specific actions and interventions and help unlock national funding streams such as the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the Town & Village Renewal Scheme to resource delivery of these interventions.
Minister Humphreys continued: “Our rural towns and villages play a central role in the lives of people in rural areas. They are where we live, work, shop and socialise. It is important that we ensure our towns and villages remain vibrant, vital and relevant places. Each town selected as part of this initiative will has its own strengths and each will face different challenges as it maps out its future path. No one size fits all policy will work. The Plans will be developed in tandem with Town Teams that are representative of the local towns and who can bring a wealth of knowledge and local expertise.”
Leave No Trace Ireland has received national recognition for the impact of its work as winners of the Charity Impact Awards 2021 for medium organisations from The Wheel!
The Charity Impact Awards, hosted by The Wheel, celebrate the work of charities, community groups and voluntary organisations that have changed Ireland for the better.
For more information visit www.leavenotraceireland.org .
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Heritage Awards championing built heritage from across the UK and Ireland are open, and include three new awards – Best Loved Building, Sustainable Heritage and Building Craftsperson of the Year.For further information go to https://www.spab.org.uk/get-involved/awards
A report published by the British Trust for Ornithology has assessed the impact that climate change has had in driving population changes over the last 25 years. Species’ responses to climate change, temperature and rainfall were analysed to provide the most comprehensive synthesis of the likely future impacts of climate change on UK and Irish birds to date.
For example, an increasing body of research demonstrates that breeding seabirds and upland breeding birds are the two groups most vulnerable to climate change. Fourteen seabird species are regarded as being at risk of negative climate change impacts. These include Puffin, for which a population decline across Britain and Ireland of 89% is projected by 2050.
Conversely, the results also show beneficial effects whereby, changes in climate appear to be contributing to population increases and expansion in breeding waterbirds, including species colonising from continental Europe. The report finds that waterbirds with a southern distribution, coastal and heathland species are those most likely to benefit from climate change. However, differential responses to climate change across breeding and wintering grounds mean that the climatic drivers of migratory bird populations may be more complex than those of resident species.
Overall, a quarter of breeding species appear to be negatively affected, and a quarter may be responding positively; the remaining breeding species that have been studied appear relatively unaffected by climate change. Warmer spring temperatures can increase breeding success, whilst a reduction in winter severity has boosted annual survival of many resident species.
The full report is available to see by visiting: https://www.bto.org/our-science/publications/research-reports/climate-change-and-uks-birds
Cork Nature Network (CNN) has produced an exciting calendar consisting of photographs from wildlife enthusiasts that showcase the amazing wildlife that can be seen in Ireland. The photographs were submitted to the CNN monthly Facebook photographic competitions during 2021 and a record-breaking number of entries was received. The calendar (A4 Landscape in size) is now available to order for just €12, including postage in Ireland and all profits go to the work of Cork Nature Network.
To order visit https://corknaturenetwork.ie/product/calendar-2022-pre-order/ or email Contact@corknaturenetwork.ie for more information.
A video documentary, highlighting the importance of the role people in County Cork played in the hearings given on hardships endured during the War of Independence has been launched as part of Cork County Council’s Commemorations Programme. The documentary, titled, ‘Evidence on Conditions in Ireland Commemorative Documentary – The County Cork Connection’ features interviews with the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan; Dr. John Borgonovo, School of History, UCC as well as many other local historians.
Between November 1920 and January 1921, an American Commission hearing on the hardships being endured by people in Ireland during the War of Independence took place. In December 1920 and January 1921, seven key witnesses from County Cork gave testimony, which contributed greatly to the efforts of raising awareness internationally towards Ireland’s struggle for freedom. Less than one year later, on December 6th, 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed. This documentary highlights the importance of these hearings.
‘Evidence on Conditions in Ireland Commemorative Documentary – The County Cork Connection’ is an initiative of Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee and was supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Evidence on Conditions will be available on Cork County Council’s YouTube channel from Monday, 6th December.
This project is in addition to a suite of other projects undertaken by the Commemorations Committee including a War of Independence and Civil War Exhibition and the publication of a timeline of key events in the 1920 to 1923 period, both of which will be launched early in the New Year.
In addition, a heritage book will be released by Cork County Council on the week of the 13th of December. ‘Heritage Artefacts of County Cork’ is part of the Heritage of County Cork book series and follows the success of ‘The Archaeological Heritage of County Cork’ publication in 2020. Cork County Council called on local heritage societies, community groups, museums and individuals to get involved by submitting any specific information, stories and photos of interest on local heritage artefacts. A selection of these submissions join valuable objects such as the Cork Horns, the GarryDuff Bird, St. Laichtín’s Arm together with items such as sherds of handmade pottery, flint tools and clay pipes, providing a unique insight into life in Cork County in the past.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Gillian Coughlan highlighted how, “The Evidence on Conditions in Ireland Commemorative Documentary – The County Cork Connection, together with the Heritage Artefacts of County Cork book, are fantastic historical resources for us in County Cork. The documentary is a fascinating insight in the role played by Cork County in such a significant historical event. It is superbly produced and brings to life the roles played by these important people from County Cork.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added, “Cork County Council prides itself on recognising our history. These new resources give an insight into our rich and colourful history here in County Cork. What is fantastic is that they are collaborative projects and are a great way of gathering stories from people who live around the county.”
Cork County Council’s Heritage Officer and Commemorations Coordinator, Conor Nelligan, highlighted “these projects will add value to the excellent work undertaken by people and groups throughout the county of Cork, in commemorating this important part of Ireland’s past. The outstanding projects supported by the Commemorations Committee under the 2021 County Cork Commemorations Grant Scheme are fine examples in this regard”.
The Evidence on Conditions in Ireland video documentary was supported by the Department of tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and was undertaken with thanks to Wombat Media, working with Cork County Council’s Commemorations Office. The video is available to view on the Cork County Council YouTube Channel and the direct link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twAyrT3j1hQ.
The Heritage Council has just launched its 2021 LEGO Heritage Competition for children between 4 and 12 years of age. It is an opportunity for young people to get creative and showcase an element of Irish Heritage (Built, Natural or Cultural) by using LEGO bricks. The closing date for entries is Monday 3rd January 2022 and for full information see the competition brief by clicking here.
National Heritage Week 2022 will take place from 13th-21st August 2022. There will be more on this early in the New Year but for now, certainly save the date(s).
Your local community or voluntary group can now apply for a grant under the Community Water Development Fund 2022. This Fund helps local communities deliver projects and initiatives that enhance the local water environment, delivering multiple benefits for biodiversity and climate action. The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) administers the Fund on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. It is open to all community and voluntary groups to apply.
LAWPRO launched the 2022 Fund at their annual ‘Communities Caring for Water’ conference held virtually on Saturday 20 November 2021. The conference is an annual event hosted jointly between The Rivers Trust and LAWPRO. This year, almost 300 attendees representing community groups across the whole of Ireland shared knowledge and experiences of caring for their local water environment.
Speaking at the event Sheevaun Thompson, Funding lead with LAWPRO said “since it was first launched in 2018, demand for the Community Water Development Fund has increased year on year. It is exciting to announce the fund for 2022 to support locally led community projects.”
You can complete the grant application form online at LAwaters.ie and the closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Tuesday, 8 February 2022.
Projects should show benefits for water quality, biodiversity, and climate action.
There is a total fund of €380,000 available for 2022. Grants awarded will range from €500 to €25,000.
If you experience any technical difficulties on the website, please email email@example.com or contact LAWPROat Facebook.com/LAWPROteam.
Hedgerow Week 2021 is taking place from 3 – 10 December 2021. One can expect a variety of contributors sharing their expertise and experience including Teagasc researchers, specialists and industry experts. One will be able to ask questions and interact with the contributors each morning. To register for the events and to find out more information visit www.teagasc.ie/hedgerowweek2021
The new Bandon Historical Journal for 2022, Issue No. 38, is now available for €10 in a number of locations in Bandon as well as in Kelleher’s Newsagents in North Main Street, Cork City. Featuring a range of articles and photographs it is a fine additional the well-regarded historical journals by Cumann Seanchais na Banndan.
Volume 29 of the Kinsale Record has been published and is available in many outlets through Kinsale, retailing at €10. Volume 29 features many great articles and provides a great insight into the fascinating heritage of Kinsale.
Mallow Field Club Journal No. 39 will be launched via Zoom by the well known historian and RTE broadcaster Myles Dungan. This will take place on Friday 3rd December at 8.00pm. He will also deliver a lecture titled 'What did you do in the War Grandad? The Journal will be available in the usual outlets including Philip's Bookshop, Katies, O'Keeffes and Easons. For those who wish to connect to the Zoom launch and lecture, they can do so by sending their email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and a link will be provided. Journal No. 39 contains over 15 excellent articles covering everything from ‘The Old Town of Mallow’ to the Lime Kiln in Mallow Castle Demesne and excerpts from the newspapers in 1921. A photo section is also included.
A new podcast featuring the letters passed between Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan has been created by the Michael Collins House Museum, Clonakilty to mark the centenary of the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty. My Dearest Kitty is an eleven-episode series funded by Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee.
One hundred years ago, as Michael Collins assisted in leading the Anglo Irish Treaty negotiation in London, he was also negotiating a new and long-distance personal relationship with Kitty Kiernan. This podcast tells the story of their evolving relationship as well as the developing story of the Anglo Irish Treaty negotiations through their 300 letters and telegrams.
Episode one is now available on the Michael Collins House website and YouTube channel. Episodes will be released daily until December 6th, the centenary of the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan said, “My Dearest Kitty is a fascinating podcast looking at Ireland’s most tragic love story. Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan wrote more than 300 letters to each other and their words have been brought to life in this beautifully produced series. The correspondence is affectionate, loving, and romantic, yet it also reveals elements of the couple’s power dynamic as they seek to establish their relationship. It is wonderful to hear about the personal and political lives of Michael Collins in this way, as we begin to understand the weight of issues occupying his mind in the momentous weeks of the Anglo-Irish negotiations. Cork County Council is proud to support the creation of this podcast series through the Commemorations Committee, as we mark the events that define our history and inform who we are as a nation today.”
My Dearest Kitty is based on a script by Michael Collins House Museum, Clonakilty. The podcast and accompanying videos have been professionally produced by Mirador Media and its team of voice-over actors. Episodes will be uploaded daily to https://www.michaelcollinshouse.ie and the Michael Collins House Museum YouTube channel until Monday, December 6th.
Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) for the period 2023-2027 will underpin the sustainable development of our farming and food sector by supporting viable farm incomes and enhancing competitiveness, by strengthening the socio-economic fabric of rural areas, and by contributing to the achievement of environmental and climate objectives at national and EU levels.
The new CSP will represent a change in the approach to CAP planning and implementation compared to previous programming periods. Instead of the familiar compliance-based approach, a new performance-based model will be adopted. This will be underpinned by a ‘New Delivery Model’, under which Member States’ performance will be judged on outputs and results, and on how their CSPs contribute to CAP objectives at EU level. The CSP will also take a more holistic approach, incorporating interventions under both Pillar I (Direct Payments and Sectoral Interventions) and Pillar II (Rural Development) into one overall plan.
A public consultation period on the draft Environmental Report on the draft CAP Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2027 will up until 8 December 2021. Members of the public and stakeholders may make submissions in two ways:
- A digital questionnaire will be available from the afternoon of 8th November. The link will shortly be made available on http://www.gov.ie/cap/
- Written submissions can be made by email to CAPStrategicPlan@agriculture.gov.ie
or by post to: CAP Rural Development Division, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, D02 WK12.
In line with evolving societal needs and demands, Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan will have a particularly strong emphasis on the achievement of a higher level of climate and environment ambition. It will contain measures that will help to achieve significant improvements in the areas of biodiversity and water quality, as well as contributing to national and EU climate and environmental targets, including through increased sequestration and carbon removal. In this regard, the Department has been working in close collaboration with other government departments and agencies, and external actors, to maximise the achievement of climate and environmental objectives through the CSP.
Specifically, Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan will have a new “Green Architecture” to achieve this environmental ambition, which will have 3 main elements:
- a baseline level of climate ambition will be achieved through Conditionality requirements that all farmers receiving direct payments must meet;
- a new Eco-Scheme will be open to all active farmers and will carry a financial allocation of 25% of total Direct Payments funding (approximately €297 million per annum);
- Ambitious, environmentally-focussed Pillar II interventions that will deliver significant long-term environmental improvement through participation by a large number of farmers, with each participant making a strong contribution to the national ambition on their farm, and taking on board the learnings from, for example, locally-led European Innovation Partnership projects.
In September Darragh O’Brien, T.D., Minister for Housing, Local Government, and Heritage and Malcolm Noonan, T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform published the Draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022 - 2027 with a six-month public consultation up to 31 March 2022. The complete document is available at www.gov.ie/draftRBMP or you can visit the Virtual Consultation Room at www.lawaters.ie.
Both websites will provide you with information about the draft plan and how you can make a submission. At a later date, the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) will hold a series of meetings to further support people and there will be news on this in the coming weeks.
The 10th edition of the TidyTowns Newsletter 10/2021 has just been issued online. This edition features a range of updates and details on the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition Winners; the TidyTowns Grant; details on the Cork Volunteer Awards (Clonakilty TidyTowns); 3 for the sea and a Poets Corner. The newsletter is available to read by visiting https://www.tidytowns.ie/about-us/newsletters/ and groups interested in submitting an article for upcoming editions can find out more by emailing email@example.com.
The Heritage Capacity Fund 2022 is now open for applications until Tuesday 11th January 2022 at 5pm. The scheme for 2022 builds upon and replaces the Heritage Sector Support Fund 2021.
The 2022 Heritage Capacity Fund aims to build the capacity of organisations, with a demonstrated national relevance, working in the heritage sector by providing funding towards their core costs:
- to build capacity in the heritage sector by developing and strengthening the skills, processes, and resources that heritage organisations need to survive, adapt, and thrive following the Covid-19 pandemic.
- to support heritage organisations who play a key role in the heritage infrastructure of Ireland and are vital to the delivery of national policy and plans
The Heritage Council will host an Information Clinic about this scheme via Zoom on 1st December 2021 at 11.30am. Those interested can register via the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VqhzCeT3QNa6h3xqxAOGww and further details are available on https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding/funding-schemes.
Please note: A separate Community Heritage Grant Scheme will be advertised in January 2022 for community/voluntary and not for profit organisations to apply for funding for heritage projects. Further details will be available in the New Year.
This year and next Cork City and County Archives celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Cork Archives Council (1971) & Cork Archives Institute (1972). An article has been written marking the occasion, which is available to see by visiting https://corkarchives.ie/what_s_on/50th_anniversary_of_cork_archives/ .
Biodiversity in Schools are back visiting schools with their full programme of all new biodiversity workshops for primary and secondary schools and teaching resources which include information on Birds, Bugs, Trees and Wildflowers to name a few of their very interesting programmes. Further details available at https://www.biodiversityinschools.com/
The 20th December 2021 will be the 200th anniversary of the first known mention of Coachford village. The Coachford 200⁺ Committee (non-profit and entirely run by volunteers) hope to celebrate this, by commencing a programme of local events involving people, organisations and businesses. We aim to have something for everyone. Events are due to begin in December and are to continue monthly, through to the end of 2022. To do this, we need the help of our wonderful community, and also those with connections to Coachford, the wider public, and organisations and businesses. One particular way is to donate, to help get events up and running. There are two easy ways to donate: online at our GoFundMe page (go to www.gofundme.com and enter ‘Coachford’ as the search term) … or there is also a donation box located at Coachford Post Office. All donations will be accepted, are appreciated, and will greatly assist this worthy cause. Help celebrate this proud occasion and the wonderful past, present and future of our thriving and growing mid Cork village. Thank you.
The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) has a membership of over two dozen towns throughout the island of Ireland (North, South, East and West) and includes 4 towns in Cork. Three of these are in Cork County – Bandon, Buttevant and Youghal – and Cork City is also part of the Network. The Irish Walled Towns Network over the last number of years has supported a range of different projects and undertakings, including here in the County of Cork. To further promote the work of the ITWN, an Ezine, which is called the Walled Town Crier, is issued regularly and the October/November Edition, 2021, is available to read by clicking here.
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media would like to invite you to participate in a survey on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Ireland. The objective of the survey is to obtain a clear picture of the important work undertaken by Ireland’s ICH practitioners and other key stakeholders in the field of ICH.
Under the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, State Parties are required to submit periodic reports to UNESCO, which outline the work undertaken to raise awareness of and safeguard the Intangible Cultural Heritage in their Country. The responses received from this survey will feed into Ireland’s official response to UNESCO and will also inform the development and direction of Department policy in respect of ICH over the coming 2-3 years in line with the Vision, Mission and Principles set out for ICH in Ireland, which can be viewed at https://nationalinventoryich.chg.gov.ie/about/
About the Survey
The survey is comprised of 18 questions covering the key areas of intangible cultural heritage practice and safeguarding, including institutional and human capacity, transmission and education, inventorying and research, policies, safeguarding, awareness raising and community engagement. Questions are set out under each area with requests to provide further information where applicable. Responses to each question should be no more than 200 words.
UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
In December 2015 Ireland ratified the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) refers to the practices, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities and groups recognise as part of their cultural heritage. It is passed from generation to generation and is recognised under one or more of the following categories:
- Oral traditions and expressions;
- Performing arts;
- Social practices, rituals and festive events;
- Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and
- Traditional craftsmanship.
Ireland’s Intangible Cultural Heritage
Ireland's National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage was officially launched in July of 2019 and gives official State recognition to and promotes Ireland’s remarkable living heritage, thus acknowledging its importance and supporting its continuation for further generations. Applications to the National Inventory are accepted by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media on an on-going basis. Ireland has also been successful in having the following three elements of our ICH inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: Uilleann Piping, Hurling and Irish Harping.
Submission of Survey Response
The survey form is available to download by clicking here or via https://nationalinventoryich.chg.gov.ie/app/uploads/2021/11/Survey-for-Community-Groups.docx and completed forms are to be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the deadline of Friday 3rd December 2021. Alternatively forms can be posted to: NICH, Room 315, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin. D02 TD30.
Malcom Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, has launched the 2022 Community Monuments Fund, which will invest €5 million in the protection and promotion of archaeological heritage in 2022 - a significant increase on the €2 million allocation made available for the Scheme in 2021, which saw eight successful projects in the county of Cork.
Building on the 2021 Fund, the 2022 Community Monuments Fund will invest in valuable archaeological heritage and help the owners and custodians of archaeological monuments to safeguard them into the future for the benefit of communities and the public.
The Scheme aims to:
- enable conservation works to be carried out on monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support;
- build resilience in our monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change;
- encourage access to monuments and improve their presentation.
The Community Monuments Fund has 3 Streams:
- Stream 1 will offer grants up to €85,000 aimed at essential repairs and capital works for the conservation and repair of archaeological monuments
- Stream 2 will offer grants of up to €30,000 for development of Conservation Management Plans/Reports that are aimed at identifying measures for conservation of archaeological monuments and improving public access.
- Stream 3 will offer grants of up to €30,000 for enhancement of access infrastructure and interpretation (including virtual/online) at archaeological monuments.
Full details of the Fund are set out in the Explanatory Memorandum, which should be taken into account by all applicants when filling in the application form; both available here:
Applications by the public must be emailed to Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit (emailed to email@example.com) by no later than 17:00 on Tuesday 15th February, 2022.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, T.D., has welcomed the results of a newly-published report by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin. The research, which was commissioned by the Creative Ireland Programme, investigated how creative activity impacts on the lives of older people. It found that older adults who participated in creative activities enjoyed a higher quality of life and were less likely to be lonely, depressed and stressed than their contemporaries who do not.
- 53.5% of older adults surveyed were involved in creative activities or hobbies on a weekly basis.
- Those with the highest levels of involvement in creative activities reported the highest quality of life, and scored lowest on loneliness, depression, and stress measurements.
- The level of involvement in creative activities was consistent between ages 50-74 years, but declined rapidly from 75 years and older.
- There is a strong correlation between higher educational attainment and higher income and regular involvement in creative activities, reflecting similar patterns of arts and cultural participation observed among the younger population in Ireland.
- Women were over three times more likely than men to read books, magazines or newspapers for pleasure weekly.
- Declining vision and health impacted on participation in creative activities.
- Those adults who reported higher levels of physical activity also reported moderate or high creative activity and those who did not smoke also reported high levels of creative activity.
- 26% of older adults reported doing creative hobbies more often during COVID-19 lockdown.
Minister Martin said: “The findings of this research are a welcome confirmation of the powerful case for promoting participation in creative life amongst older members of our communities. Increased involvement in creative activities in older age can improve health and wellbeing in older age, and I will continue to work with my colleagues across Government to promote, develop and support access to creative initiatives.”
Rose Anne Kenny, Principal Investigator of TILDA and Professor of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin said: “With well over a decade of research complete, TILDA has a unique and rich dataset to draw upon to show key aspects of successful ageing. This report highlights that participation in creative activities is high among older adults, and has a strong positive effect on overall physical health, mental health and quality of life. These are important research observations. In order to help more older adults engage with creative activities, policies that enable participation in creative activities and remove barriers of access irrespective of disability are a potential means of improving health and wellbeing in a fast growing ageing demographic.”
The report - Creative Activity in the Ageing Population - is available on www.creativeireland.gov.ie as well as https://tilda.tcd.ie/publications/reports/pdf/Report_CreativeActivity_OlderPopulation.pdf. The findings of the report were discussed at a webinar jointly hosted by Trinity College Dublin and the Creative Ireland Programme on 22 November, which will be accessible on www.creativeireland.gov.ie. The research was funded through the Creative Ireland Programme by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
The Arts Grants Scheme provides a number of funding strands for applicants seeking financial support for arts activities and events. This includes support for arts festivals, performances, exhibitions and other publicly accessible cultural activities throughout County Cork. Funding is also available to support the work of voluntary arts organisations who maintain access to the arts in our local communities. In addition, are welcomed, applications from organisations working with the elderly, migrant or ethnic communities or for people with a disability, who wish to carry out projects to deliver creative opportunities for those who experience difficulty accessing the arts. Funding is also available for those wishing to develop arts projects through the Irish language, or to enable schools and other organisations involve professional artists in educational or community settings.
Cork County Council also supports the work of individual artists by providing a number of bursary and residency opportunities for professional artists of all disciplines. These include funding for the production of new work; support to develop opportunities internationally or for time and space to reflect and develop new work.
Applications are open online from November 19th at Cork County Council and the closing date for all strands is Sunday, January 9th 2022. Anyone seeking further information should go to the online portal Cork County Council or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., announced funding of almost €2 million by Culture Ireland for the promotion of Irish arts globally in 2022. The funding is to support Irish artists, arts organisations and Irish cultural centres abroad to present events covering architecture, dance, film, literature, music, theatre and the visual arts on the international stage.
Announcing the awards, Minister Catherine Martin TD, said: “It is vital that we continue to support our artists as they work to present their work globally in new and innovative ways. I am delighted that the Culture Ireland funding announced today will assist Irish artists to reach audiences worldwide in person, where possible and return to making cultural connections and building audiences for Irish arts.”
Included in the awards is a total of €1.47m in funding for the promotion of Irish arts through annual agreements for 2022 between Culture Ireland and partner organisations, Literature Ireland, First Music Contact and Irish Film Institute International, as well as two of Ireland's key cultural centres, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris and Irish Arts Center, New York. Both cultural centres are set to mark a special year in 2022 and funding will be directed towards the presentation of their annual programmes of Irish artists.
Visit www.cultureireland.ie for the full list of supported projects.
Cork County Council in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage are inviting applications for grant funding under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structure Fund 2022. The Conservation Office for Cork County Council will administrate the scheme, which relates to buildings that are contained in the Record of Protected Structures and in Architectural Conservation Areas.
The deadline for submission of completed applications for both the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structure Fund is 4pm on the 31st of January 2022.
Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2022.
Project supports will range from a minimum of €2,500 to a maximum of €15,000 per application. This scheme will support small-scale conservation projects and support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of the historic built environment.
Historic Structure Fund 2022
The primary focus of the Historic Structures Fund will be on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the broader benefit of communities and the public.
- Stream 1 will offer grants from €15,000 up to €50,000 and is aimed at essential repairs and smaller capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of heritage structures.
- Stream 1 Historic Shopfronts substream – To incentivise the conservation of historic shop fronts, each Local Authority is invited to submit an additional application under Stream 1 for eligible essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of historic shop facades, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard them and keep them in use. Local Authorities are also invited to make an additional application for Irish-Language shopfronts.
- Stream 2 will offer a small number of grants from €50,000 up to €200,000 for larger enhancement, refurbishment or reuse projects involving heritage structures, where a clear community or public benefit has been demonstrated, or, a clear residential benefit has been demonstrated (such projects must be advanced through the planning process as necessary).
Note that a grant of over €200,000 may be awarded in exceptional circumstances where a case is made by the applicant in relation to the significance of the project and the works proposed.
- Vernacular Structures Stream - In the context of the forthcoming strategy for built vernacular, a pilot stream for vernacular structures is being introduced for 2022, with funding of €50,000. The purpose of the stream is to support conservation repairs and small capital works to vernacular structures that are not listed in local authority Records of Protected Structures or otherwise legally protected. Such structures may be located within an Architectural Conservation Area. All local authorities can apply for funding for specific projects of between €5,000 and €10,000 for eligible projects.
The relevant application forms are as follows:
Submission of Applications:
Please note that multiple applications for the same structure under the Historic Structures Fund and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme will not be considered in 2022. Applications may be made as follows;
- Hard copies are to be addressed to the Built Heritage Investment Scheme or Historic Structure Fund, Conservation Office, Floor 3, Planning Department, County Hall, Cork.
- If you wish to submit your application by email please contact email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org for details of the same.
The deadline for submission of completed applications is 4pm on the 31st of January 2022. Late applications and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
The Heritage Council, in partnership with Burrenbeo Trust, has launched ‘Heritage Keepers’, a new pilot national Place-Based Learning and Stewardship initiative. Heritage Keepers is a free programme for schools or communities that will enable them to work together to explore the built, natural and cultural heritage of their local place and then plan action or actions to enhance their place. It will be offered to a limited number of schools and communities nationwide in Spring 2022 through a series of five 2-hour workshops. Burrenbeo Trust is now inviting expressions of interest from primary schools, secondary schools and community groups who are interested in participating in the programme. Deadline for submissions is 1st December 2021. Further details on the programme and the information evenings (November 23rd and 25th) is available at https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/news/news-features/discover-your-place-become-a-heritage-keeper.
The Ireland Wildlife Film Festival 2021 runs up until Saturday, November 20th, supported by the Heritage Council. There are some fantastic productions, some tough messages, and just gorgeous captures of our natural world to see. The link to a whole suite of productions is: https://irelandwildlifefilmfestival.vids.io/
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today announced that it has confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 (HPAI H5N1) in a white-tailed sea eagle near Tarbert, County Kerry. The white-tailed sea eagle was submitted to the Veterinary Laboratory in Limerick as part of the Department’s wild bird Avian Influenza (AI) surveillance programme. This is the same highly pathogenic strain already been detected last week in a peregrine falcon in Co Galway. Wild birds in Donegal and Offaly have also been confirmed positive for H5N1 today, including both mute swans and whooper swans and wild geese.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD said: “It is very unfortunate that this case has been detected in such a rare bird, but I would like to commend the work of my Department’s wild bird AI Surveillance programme. It is important that we remain vigilant, and I would also urge that flock owners should also be watchful. We should do everything that we can to ensure that potentially-infected wild birds do not have contact with domestic flocks.”
Minister of State for Heritage at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Malcolm Noonan TD, said: “These confirmations of Avian Influenza are very concerning. There is the immediate issue of the direct impacts on birds generally, and also, of course, there may be issues arising that impact on birds of conservation concern, including those being re-introduced to the wild under projects such as the flagship White-Tailed Sea Eagle Re-Introduction Project. The NPWS will continue to support Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine colleagues in monitoring and addressing this evolving situation. In the meantime, I would ask members of the public not to handle any dead birds. Instead, they should contact local Department of Agriculture or NPWS offices.”
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the H5N1 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported world-wide and therefore consider the risk to humans to be very low. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs are safe to eat.
These additional findings of H5N1 in wild birds highlights the risk of introduction of avian influenza to the poultry sector. The Department has been liaising closely with colleagues from the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Department also remains in close contact with industry stakeholders and reiterates that strict bio-security measures are necessary to prevent the introduction of avian influenza into poultry and captive bird flocks. Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.
Further information on avian influenza can be found here:
Advice on handling dead wild birds can be found under the wild bird section here:
A list of Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine offices and their contact details is available at: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/contact/
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) subtype H5N1 in a wild bird in Oranmore, Co Galway. The peregrine falcon was submitted to Limerick Regional Veterinary Laboratory as part of the Department’s wild bird AI surveillance programme.
Highly pathogenic H5N1 has been confirmed in wild birds, poultry and captive birds in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Poland and Denmark since mid-October.
We are currently in the high-risk period (October to April) for introduction of HPAI into Ireland from migratory wild birds returning to overwinter from areas where HPAI is widespread. Wild birds act as main reservoirs of avian influenza viruses.
The Department remains in close contact with industry stakeholders and reiterates that strict bio-security measures are necessary to prevent the introduction of avian influenza into poultry and captive bird flocks. Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the HPAI H5N1 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, human infection is extremely rare and no human infections with this virus have been reported in Europe this year. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs are safe to eat.
Further information on avian influenza can be found here:
Advice on handling dead wild birds can be found under the wild bird section here:
A list of Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine offices and their contact details is available at: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/contact/
It was great to see the groups from all over Cork City and County that participated in this year’s Pride in Our Community 2021 Competition in attendance at the Awards in the Kingsley Hotel. The Awards are organised by Cork County Federation of Muintir na Tire in conjunction with Cork County and City Councils. Guests included County Mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan, Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, Cork County Council CEO Mr Tim Lucey, National President Muintir na Tíre Paddy Fitzpatrick, and representatives of Community groups from all over the city and county.
County Mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan announced Cobh Tidy Towns as the overall winners of the Pride of County Cork Award. Their entry this year was a Mural outlining the history of Cobh from the arrival of the railway to Queenstown in 1862 right to present day Cobh - a colourful welcoming town with a wealth of history and so much to see, do and to enjoy. The Mural shows a steam train speeding towards Queenstown and the transfer of mail sacks to ships. Mail was the primary reason that the railway was built. The ships that transported the mail also carried passengers and Queenstown became the largest Irish departure point for emigrants to North America. Queenstown became prosperous with distinctive Victorian architecture.
Cllr. Coughlan thanked all the winners of the other categories and all those who entered the competition this year. She said that she was delighted that so many groups entered the competition. She said that it was great to see the effort being put in by community groups in developing projects. She added that ‘this great competition recognises and rewards community groups who develop new or existing locally-based Amenity/ Projects which are of long-term benefit to the local community’.
The Judges from Cork County Council and Muintir na Tire were very impressed this year with the high standard.
Mr Sean Holland Chairman of the organising committee was keen to point out that competition seeks to make local people conscious of their local environment and also to promote litter free communities. He said the competition is open to all voluntary groups in County Cork and now in Cork City as well. National President of Muintir na Tire Mr. Paddy Fitzpatrick said these projects highlight the important link between our surroundings and our quality of life. It is no wonder he said that people travel from far and near to visit Cork.
He thanked both County Councils for providing support for all of the groups in bringing the projects to fruition. He said these projects brighten up communities and enhance the natural beauty of the surroundings in which we live as well as attracting tourists.
Kealkil Tidy Towns
Croi na Laoi Inchigeelagh Tidy Towns
Ballineen Enniskeane Tidy Towns
Oysterhaven and Nohoval Residents
Minane Bridge Tidy Towns
Saleen and District Residents
Riverstown Tidy Towns
Rostellan Development Assoc
Baltimore Tidy Towns
Eco Friendly Award
Waterloo Renewal Group
Bandon Environmental Group
Eco Friendly Award
Ladysbridge Tidy Towns
Glounthaune Community Assoc.
Most Creative Project
Ahiohil Tidy Towns
Upper Glanmire Community Association
Union Hall Tidy Towns
Monkstown Tidy Towns
Most Creative Project
Carrigaline Tidy Towns
Dunmanway Community Council
Ballinora and District Community Council
Milstreet Tidy Towns
Grenagh Tidy Towns
Saleen Community Monument Committee
Sallybrook Tidy Towns
Killeagh Inch Community Council
Conna Community Council
Rylane Community Park Association
Kanturk Tidy Towns
Kilowen Action Group
St Michaels Church
St Josephs Church
Belgrave Avenue Residents
Kilcully and Ballincrokig Residents
Healthy Town Village
Boherbue and District Community Development Association/Tidy Towns
Healthy Town Village
Large Town West Cork
Bantry Tidy Towns
Skibbereen Tidy Towns
Large Town South Cork
Carrigtwohil Tidy Towns
Large Town North Cork
Fermoy Tidy Towns
Glanworth 105 Scouts
Best Use of Irish Language
Durrus Tidy Towns
Best Small Village Area
Ballygarvan Community Association
New Two Pot House Development Association
Schull Tidy Towns
Ballincurrig Tidy Village Group
St Theresas Residents
Knockraha Area Community Association
Best Small Village Area
Knocknagree Fairfield Tidy Towns Committee
Rosscarbery Tidy Towns
Pride of Cork City
Ballincollig Tidy Towns
Pride of County Cork
Cobh Tidy Towns
The Community Foundation for Ireland is inviting community groups to apply for grant funding to engage an ecologist and develop a Community Biodiversity Plan (CBP) for their local area. Within the scheme, three levels of grant funding will be offered:
Strand 1: Grants of up to €5,000 for community groups to work with an ecologist to classify their local habitats, assess their condition and extent, map them, and define a suite of actions to enhance biodiversity
Strand 2: Grants of up to €7,500 for community groups who carry out the work outlined in Strand 1 in collaboration with one or two land managers/owners to classify habitats at landscape scale with a focus on field boundaries (hedgerows, treelines and stone walls), assess their condition and extent, map them and define a suite of actions to enhance biodiversity
Strand 3: Grants of up to €10,000 for community groups who carry out the work outlined in Strand 1 in collaboration with three to five land managers/owners to classify habitats at landscape scale with a focus on field boundaries (hedgerows, treelines and stone walls), assess their condition and extent, map them and define a suite of actions to enhance biodiversity
Full details including criteria and application process are outlined on the website by visiting https://www.communityfoundation.ie/grants/types-of-grants/environment-and-nature-fund. The closing date for applications is Friday 12th November 2021.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €3.5 million in funding to support 189 outdoor projects across the country. The funding, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), will further enhance unique natural amenities and support Rural Ireland as a destination for adventure tourism. The scheme is designed to support the enhancement of dozens of recreational amenities such as our mountain trails, forest walks, beaches, rivers, lakes, blueways and greenways. Projects across every county have been chosen for investment of up to €20,000 under Measure 1 of the scheme, which is being delivered in partnership with Fáilte Ireland. Funding for larger projects under Measure 2 and 3 of the scheme will be announced by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks.
Of the projects being funded under Measure 1, 13 of these are based in the county of Cork, and will see an overall allocation of close to €250,000, examples including Graball Bay; River Bandon, Clonakilty SAC Birdwatching Enhancement Project, Analeentha Way, Glansheskin Woods in Kilworth, the Kiskeam Walkway and Slí an tSuláin in Baile Bhuirne and vicinity.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “We are now seeing an unprecedented level of investment in our outdoor amenities, underpinned by the most ambitious Government policy for Rural Ireland, ‘Our Rural Future’. The funding that I am announcing today will further develop and improve outdoor projects in rural communities across the country. We will carry out upgrades to our mountain trails and forest walks so that we can further unlock the beauty of our rural countryside. And under this fund, we will continue to develop our greenways, cycleways and blueways. COVID-19 has given us a newfound appreciation for our great outdoors. That’s why I’m delighted that we can support so many fantastic projects under this funding.”
The Minister added: “This investment will support my ambition to make Rural Ireland a destination of choice for outdoor pursuits and adventure tourism. By drawing more visitors to experience the beauty of our rural towns and villages, we will help further support our rural economy to rebuild post Covid-19. In the coming weeks, we will see more evidence of the hugely positive impact ‘Our Rural Future’ is having in Rural Ireland.
Under Measure 2 and 3 of the scheme, projects of much larger scale will be supported with funding. All of this is leading up to the development of our National Outdoor Recreation Strategy, which I look forward to launching next year.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said: “I am pleased to welcome today’s significant announcement that will help change the landscape of Ireland by creating improved and upgraded outdoor trails for recreation purposes. Over the past two years we have seen increased usage of the great outdoors for recreational purposes by both visitors and local communities. This is the fourth year Fáilte Ireland has invested in the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), in partnership with the Department of Rural and Community Development. The ORIS Measure 1 funding will provide invaluable support for the maintenance and upgrade of existing walking routes, cycling routes greenways, blueways and mountain access routes in every county in Ireland. Opening the Outdoors is a key priority for FáiIte Ireland and programmes such as this help ensure that domestic and international visitors can experience a world-class, sustainable recreational experience in our beautiful countryside.”
Minister Humphreys added: “Since 2016, my Department has allocated over €71 million to almost 1,200 projects through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. I also announced 31 new trails under the Walks Scheme last month as well as 8 additional Rural Recreation Officers. All this investment is making a significant contribution to supporting healthy, active lifestyles while also building the economic and tourism potential of rural areas. I have also secured a 25% increase under Budget 2022 to support this continued investment next year and beyond.”
Details of Measure 1 projects announced today are available on gov.ie.
For the first time Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supports will be brought together under one CAP Strategic Plan with the support for direct payments and sectoral interventions (Pillar 1) and rural development (Pillar 2) incorporated into one strategic plan. The CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) is structured around the achievement of three general objectives, as set out in EU legislation, namely:
- to foster a smart, competitive, resilient and diversified agricultural sector ensuring long term food security;
- to support and strengthen environmental protection, including biodiversity, and climate action, and to contribute to achieving the environmental- and climate-related objectives of the Union, including its commitments under the Paris Agreement;
- to strengthen the socio-economic fabric of rural areas.
The preparation of Ireland’s draft CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) 2023-2027 has been under way for some time. Development of the plan involves a number of stages, including SWOT analysis, needs assessment, intervention design, financial allocations, target setting (including monitoring) and governance systems. The draft CSP will also be subject to an ex-ante evaluation, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment, all of which are currently under way.
The agreement on the national co-financing is a key milestone in the development of the plan as it provides the financial allocations to achieve these objectives. The plan sets out a range of interventions under both Pillars. Some elements are mandatory and for others there is more flexibility. The proposed list of interventions have been developed following an extensive period of consultations conducted by the Minister over the past two years including engagement with the national CAP Stakeholder Consultative Committee, and most recently a detailed public consultation that attracted over 1,000 submissions, and an ongoing series of in person, mart meetings over the past few weeks.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., announced that the Government has agreed an exchequer contribution of €2.30bn for the CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027. This brings total funding for the plan to €9.8bn.
Commenting at an announcement of the funding this morning, Taoiseach Micheal Martin T.D., said: “The investment of €2.3 billion of national funding in Rural Development measures over the 2023-2027 period emphatically demonstrates the Government’s continuing commitment to farmers, to rural areas and to the rural economy. It also demonstrates my own, and this Government’s, determination to follow through on commitments made in the Programme for Government, for example in relation to the allocation of carbon tax funding to a flagship agri-environment and climate measure to encourage farmers to farm in a greener and more sustainable way, and in relation to the alignment of Ireland’s organic farming area with the current EU average. It is an enormous vote of confidence in the sector’s ability to meet the considerable challenges it faces, and to secure an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future, for farming families and for society more widely.”
“I am delighted to announce national funding of €2.30bn for rural development interventions under the CAP Strategic Plan. When combined with EU funding, it will provide for a rural development package of some €3.86bn. This funding will place farmers in a very strong position to address climate and environmental challenges while also supporting the economic viability of the agriculture sector and rural communities, while delivering significant public goods.”
The Minister noted that: “agreement on the co-funding element for the Rural Development component of the CAP Strategic Plan is an important milestone in the development of the plan. I intend to consult further with stakeholders, including through the CAP Consultative Committee, on the indicative allocations for the individual measures that this funding now facilitates, and on which I am also providing further details today.”
Commenting further, the Minister said: “this funding is a substantial increase on the existing rural development programme. When you compare the last seven year programme 2014-2020 with the next seven years 2021-2027, the funding is almost €1.2bn, or nearly 30%, higher. Even excluding the carbon tax funding element, there is an increase of €500m. “
Minister of State, Senator Pippa Hackett, said: “I want to congratulate Minister McConalogue on securing this funding, which means farmers can be supported as they up their environmental ambition and farm in a way which protects biodiversity and climate as well as supporting their enterprises and their land. Over the past 5 years or so, our farmers have been acknowledged and praised internationally for the way they have delivered results through EIPs such as the Burren, Bride and Hen Harrier Projects. Through the AECM, this Cap Strategic plan will build on that model and that expertise, while it also provides the support necessary to deliver on our increased organic farming targets.”
Geological Survey Ireland Geoheritage Programme is supporting the development and sustainability of Ireland’s geoheritage through community-driven geoscience outreach initiatives, including education, geotourism and geoheritage related site preparation, to promote economic growth.
Geological Survey Ireland invites applications by 08 November 2021 for the Geoheritage Grant aid for 2021/22 up to a maximum of €10,000.
This grant aid is available to support small community-driven geoheritage initiatives that will assist:
- the delivery of public outreach, educational and geotourism activities to promote the geoheritage of an area; or
- the delivery of required educational and geotourism activities to help aspiring projects to develop as de facto geoparks; or
- the delivery of required educational and geotourism activities, for example helping UNESCO Global Geoparks maintain their UNESCO Global Network status.
Suitable projects could be the publication of a popular book, map or flyer; trail or signage installation; geoheritage related site preparation; product launch, innovative media concepts, online content, etc., that promotes the geology/geoheritage of the area.
Applications should be cognicant of the definition of geoheritage “It is the abbreviated version of the term geological heritage. It is part of the natural heritage of a certain area constituted by geodiversity elements with particular geological value and hence worthy of safeguard for the benefit of present and future generations. Geoheritage can include both in situ elements (geosites) or ex situ elements (collections of geological specimens) with paleontological, geomorphological, mineralogical, petrological or stratigraphical significance, among others.”; ProGeo (the European association for the conservation of the geological heritage).
Application details and further instructions are available on the GSI website.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has welcomed a report from the Sustainable Tourism Working Group which identifies actions to promote sustainable tourism practices out to 2023. The Sustainable Tourism Working Group was established under the Tourism Action Plan 2019-2021 and previously published a report which sets out the ambition that “Ireland will seek to be amongst the world-leaders in sustainable tourism practices” and, in addition, accompanying Guiding Principles for Sustainable Tourism Development in Ireland.
The Sustainable Tourism Working Group has now completed the development of a suite of actions that will promote sustainable tourism practices in Ireland. The actions identified in this report aim to establish new research methods, which will increase the level of evidence available, and form a clear narrative for communicating about the sustainability agenda to build a better understanding and awareness among tourism stakeholders and the general public. It will also ensure that sustainability is taken into account in policy development, business planning by the agencies and industry as well as in destination management and promotional activity.
Some of the key recommendations in the plan include:
- Ensuring greater community involvement in destination planning to maximise the potential of nature based solutions in local tourism.
- Providing better access to information and tools for visitors to practice responsible tourism through the development of carbon calculators which will allow visitors to evaluate the impact of their carbon footprint on the environment.
- Stimulating change in the tourism industry by identifying and delivering incentive schemes to address key change barriers & drivers.
- Developing a sustainability pledge for visitors to support Ireland’s efforts to help preserve the environment and act in a responsible and sustainable manner.
- Responsibilities to be assigned within the tourism agencies to provide strategic direction and increased profile for sustainable tourism development.
- A senior industry representative to be assigned to act as a sustainability champion.
- Identifying and developing destinations that have the potential to be promoted as best in class in terms of sustainability.
Minister Martin noted: “I am very pleased to accept the report of the Sustainable Tourism Working Group which outlines the steps that can be taken to promote sustainable tourism practices in the short term. The record level of funding for tourism that I secured in last week’s budget will further address immediate survival-related concerns while also facilitating a recovery across industry as we reopen to international tourism. However, as the recovery takes hold we need to look to the future and set out what type of tourism sector we want out to 2030 and beyond. To that end, I have instructed my officials to initiate the development of a new national tourism policy, which mainstreams sustainability. This policy will be informed by and build upon the work undertaken by the Sustainable Tourism Working Group. The successful implementation of the actions in this report will help to grow the awareness and understanding of issues relating to the sustainable agenda in tourism.
“Sustainable tourism means to use, without exploitation, our natural, cultural and other tourist resources and to preserve them for future use by future generations. It also means that tourism should be a positive for local communities as well as being economically sustainable. With that in mind, we must seek to realise Ireland’s ambition to be amongst the world-leaders in sustainable tourism practises. Ireland has a reputation as the Emerald Isle internationally and sustaining and nurturing this green image through the adoption of sustainable tourism practises is an important underpinning for recovery and future tourism growth.”
Minister of State, Martin Heydon TD with responsibility for Research and Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development, Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine; together with Minister of State, Ossian Smyth TD with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications have launched ‘Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2021’, which is taking place between October 18th to 22nd.
This annual event is the largest yet with over 30 events scheduled and builds on successful weeks in 2019/20. Bioeconomy Ireland Week will place a spotlight on Ireland’s bioeconomy through a series of online events and activities suited towards citizens, farmers, industry professionals and policymakers who make up the Irish Bioeconomy Network. The week’s events will showcase the positive contribution Irelands Bioeconomy makes to our agri-food sector and society.
Minister Heydon said: “Our world is seeking to develop sustainable systems for food, energy and production and consumption that provide a fair and prosperous future for all. In response, part of the Irish Government’s vision for Climate Action is to grow Ireland’s ambition to be a global leader for the Bioeconomy. This will be achieved through a co-ordinated approach that harnesses Ireland’s natural resources and competitive advantage. Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2021 is a pivotal activity to raise awareness particularly for primary producers about the bioeconomy. It is also offering a chance to build networks for future collaborations to meet economic, environmental, and societal needs in ways that are natural, circular, and sustainable.”
The weeklong series of events is coordinated Irish Bioeconomy Network including Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Communications, BiOrbic SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre, Irish Bioeconomy Foundation, Teagasc, Bord Bia, Marine Institute, Udaras na Gaeltachta, IrBEA, Circular Bioeconomy Cluster South-West, ShannonABC, Irish Rural Link, CircBio Research Group, Circular Bioeconomy Cluster South West and The Green Institute.
Event topics range from biodiversity, food, marine and zero carbon agriculture:
- Education, Training and Skills in the Bioeconomy
- Building A New Biobased Value Chain - Lab to Market
- Food Waste: A Circular & Sustainable Food Systems in Ireland
- Plastic Bioremediation
- Policy Levers in the Bioeconomy
- Bioeconomy - The Blue Perspective
- Masterclass in Innovation with Mark Pollock
The bioeconomy is the part of the economy which preserves nature and uses renewable biological resources from agriculture, forestry, marine and the organic waste system to produce food, feed, biobased materials, chemicals and energy, while reducing waste, in support of achieving a sustainable, circular and climate neutral society. The National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy was published by the Department of the Taoiseach in 2018 - gov.ie - National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy (www.gov.ie).
• Heritage funding for 2022 will amount to €133.5m (a 36% increase) across capital and current contributing to the conservation of Ireland’s heritage for present and future generations
Minister of State Malcom Noonan T.D. noted, “I am delighted to have secured €133.5m for Heritage in this budget. The increases announced today recognise this Government’s commitment to tackling the biodiversity emergency by investing in the protection, restoration and enhancement of nature. I’m particularly pleased that the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the single largest component of that allocation, will receive over €47m. This investment also recognises the value of the role our built and archaeological heritage plays in Irish life, with combined current and capital funding of almost €24m. This will aid its much needed protection, creating many thousands of days’ employment for skilled conservation specialists and tradespeople across hundreds of projects nationwide.
“Heritage funding reaches into every corner of the country, delivering benefits to our most precious habitats and most vulnerable species, supporting work to enhance our 87,000-hectare network of national parks and nature reserves, and providing financial assistance and employment opportunities to those who care for our natural, built and archaeological heritage.”
Speaking further on the budget the Minister Noonan noted, ‘I have addressed long-running resource challenges at our National Monuments Service, the Heritage Council, and our Built Heritage Programmes and in Waterways Ireland. Together, as a unit, our heritage services and agencies can now go forward with renewed purpose. The 36% increase in our heritage allocation year on year means that their programmes have been rebooted and a re-energised. We will see more national monuments protected. We will see further infrastructural work on out stunning inland Waterways, north and south. The Heritage Council will be able to do more for our historic towns and through its schools programme: communities will have more financial assistance to help preserve and maintain local monuments and restore the built heritage of their areas; and many thousands of traditional building manhours will be supported for our skilled craftspeople. Recruitment will continue at the National Monuments Service and we will promote further candidates for world heritage status’.
Some key highlights include the following:
€5m for Community Monuments Fund 2022
€3.17m supporting National Monuments Service operations to protect and promote Ireland's archaeological heritage.
€8m in Built Heritage capital grant schemes
€14m for the Heritage Council, and
Continued implementation of measures and actions identified in Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan for Built and Archaeological Heritage, including Vernacular Strategy, Heritage Ireland 2030 and the new National Policy on Architecture.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and Minister of State, Jack Chambers TD, announced details of €1,197,498,000 gross funding allocated to the Department in Budget 2022, covering an extensive range of imaginative new funding streams and measures to support the resilience and growth of practitioners, businesses, communities and operations in sectors overseen by the Department.
Minister Catherine Martin said: “Budget 2022, which has been negotiated between the three parties in Government, delivers a powerful package of supports to strengthen the tourism, culture, Gaeltacht, sport and media sectors, right across Ireland.
Minister Chambers said: “I am really pleased we have been able to increase funding for a range of programmes and initiatives for the Irish language and Sport sectors. As we emerge from the pandemic this extra support will ensure more people can return to the sports and activities they love, and allow us to build on important initiatives around participation. The continued incremental increase in funding for the Irish language will help our Gaeltacht communities to grow and prosper and are part of a suite of measures, including the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill designed to support the use of the Irish language and the provision of services through Irish.”
The aim of the Government’s Tourism policy is to support the development of a sustainable tourism sector, supporting it to recover and grow, making an impact on cities, towns, villages and rural areas across Ireland.
Highlights in Tourism include:
- Record level of funding for Tourism in Budget 2022: €288.5m overall – an increase of €67.6m over 2021 allocation.
- €50m provision for further business continuity support for strategic tourism businesses that can help drive the sustainable recovery of our tourism sector.
- €35m increase in the Tourism Marketing Fund in 2022 to support the delivery of a marketing strategy to help restore inbound tourism to Ireland. This strategy will focus efforts on Ireland’s most successful markets on an unprecedented scale. This increase also includes €5m to begin preparations on the Programme for Government commitment to deliver a themed year project, The Year of the Invitation, aimed at stimulating additional demand.
- €27m for a range of industry initiatives including: Domestic Marketing and Festivals; Investment in Digital, and Skills Development and staff retention:
- €36.5m in capital funding for tourism product development – an increase of almost €4m over the 2021 allocation – for the delivery of enhanced visitor experiences in line with the objectives of the National Development Plan 2021-2030.
Total Tourism funding for 2022 will comprise €241.7m in current funding and €46.7m in capital funding.
Minister Martin said: "The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the tourism industry. As we rebuild this vital sector, which supports livelihoods all across Ireland, we have an opportunity to ensure that the sector recovers and grows in a way which delivers social and economic gain to cities, towns and villages all across Ireland, more evenly spread throughout the year, and in a manner that protects our unique environment. The significant additional funding that I have managed to secure for tourism services in Budget 2022 will help address immediate survival-related concerns while also enabling further resilience and recovery across industry as we reopen to international tourism and transition to a more sustainable future”. The Minister added: “In addition to all of the measures announced today, my Department has initiated the development of a new national tourism policy which will have sustainability as a core value. The development of this new policy gives us an opportunity to set out what type of tourism sector we want out to 2030 and beyond”.
Culture and Arts
The aim of the Government’s Culture programme is to promote and develop Ireland’s world class artistic and creative strengths at home and abroad, maximising their value for the country, and supporting the sectors in their recovery. The 2022 allocation will allow this Department to:
- Introduce a pilot Basic Income Guarantee scheme for Artists
- Continue and expand its support of arts, artists and the arts sector as a whole including maintaining funding of €130m for the Arts Council
- Provide supports of €25m for the live entertainment industry
- Enhance support to the National Cultural Institutions
- Support initiatives for the Night-time Economy
- Increase support for the audio visual industry
- €5m in additional funding for the National Cultural Institutions
- €4m to deliver a suite of initiatives proposed by the Night Time Economy (NTE) Task Force:
- €5m to support the 2022 Commemorative Programme, delivering rich and diverse national and local programmes marking the significant centenaries arising in 2022. The ambitious Programme for the Decade of Centenaries next year will include supporting the development and delivery of:
- Major Academic Conferences to mark the Handover of Dublin Castle and the centenary of the Civil War
- Extensive exhibitions, outreach programmes and digitisation programmes in our National Cultural Institutions
- Creative partnerships such as the Artists-in Residence Programme, a new major national poetry initiative and ambitious broadcasting and arts partnerships
- Continued support and investment in our local authority partners to develop innovative and sensitive programming across the country next year, and
- Investment in the Mná100 project to highlight the role of women during this period of history
- Increased Creative Ireland Programme funding of €1.5m to support additional creative health and wellbeing initiatives, as well as increased resources for local authorities to deliver an enhanced Cruinniú na nÓg.
- Funding of €4.6m for Culture Ireland to again support the international physical presentation of Irish artists worldwide, creating new work opportunities for Irish artists and reinforcing Ireland’s strong global reputation for arts and creativity.
Minister Martin said: “As Minister with responsibility for Arts and Culture, I am conscious of the contribution that this sector makes to people’s everyday lives both in Ireland and abroad; this was particularly evident during the pandemic. The importance of Irish culture, Irish art and Irish productions as a whole cannot be understated in terms of its impact both internationally and at home. The Government has recognised, with this strong and imaginative package of supports announced today, that bold steps are necessary for our much treasured arts, events and cultural community to come back stronger than ever before.” The Minister added: “I am particularly pleased to be announcing the pilot of the new Basic Income Guarantee Scheme for artists. Grounded in on-going dialogue with the sector, this scheme will bring new life and support to the arts and culture sector, and I hope it will provide an important legacy for our artists, after the very difficult circumstances they have endured over the last year and a half. The measure was also the key ask from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce.”
The Government’s Gaeltacht programme aims to support the Irish Language and to strengthen its use as the principal community language of the Gaeltacht.
Under this programme, the 2022 allocation will allow this Department to provide:
- Increased support for Údarás na Gaeltachta
- Additional support for Irish Language and Gaeltacht support Schemes
- Enhanced cross-border co-operation in the languages sector via an Foras Teanga
- Increased support for the Language Planning process
- Over €85.6m funding allocation for Gaeltacht and Irish language sector – an increase of €7m on the 2021 allocation
- Additional funding of €1.5m for Údarás na Gaeltachta, bringing total funding to €33.3m
- Additional €1m for Gaeltacht Community and Language Supports Programme, bringing total funding to €11.2m
- Additional €2.3m for Irish Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht, bringing total funding to €9.95m
- Additional €800k for Language Planning Process, bringing total funding to €5.8m
- Additional €700k for An Foras Teanga
- Funding for TG4 increased by €4.2m
In line with Programme for Government commitments, Minister Martin and Minister of State Chambers together welcomed the announcement that additional funding of €7m will be provided for the Gaeltacht and Irish language sector next year, bringing its funding allocation to over €85.6m. In addition, under the Department’s Media allocation, funding to TG4 is being increased by €4.2m to bring it up to €44.933m – the organisation’s largest ever increase. Also available to TG4 next year, will be potential for significant additional advertising revenue arising from the provisions of the soon to be enacted Official Languages (Amendment) Bill.
Additional funding totalling €1.5m is being provided to Údarás na Gaeltachta which will further assist An tÚdarás in developing enterprise in Gaeltacht regions and in implementing its 5-year Strategy. This includes an extra €1m towards community development and the hard-hit Gaeltacht tourism sector in 2022, building on increases provided in the previous three Budgets. The increase in An tÚdarás’ capital allocation of €14.45m for 2021 has been retained for 2022.
The Gaeltacht will also benefit from increased allocations for the statutory language planning process and for community and language supports, in line with the Government’s 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language. Additional funding of over €0.7m will also be provided for the cross-border language body, An Foras Teanga, thus building on a significant increase included in the last Budget.
Minister Chambers said: "I am delighted to be able to provide an additional allocation of €2.3m for my Department’s Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht as well as an additional allocation of €1m for the Department’s Community and Language Supports Programme in Gaeltacht regions. The various schemes and initiatives which operate under the programme have contributed greatly to supporting the ongoing implementation of the language planning process and the overall objectives of the Action Plan for the Irish Language 2018-2022. The additional funding being provided under my Department’s Gaeltacht allocation, in addition to the significant increase for TG4, will greatly assist in supporting the ongoing implementation of the Action Plan.”
Minister Chambers added that the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill, when enacted, would not only assist in ensuring that Irish speakers are provided with services in our first language, but would provide a myriad of new employment opportunities for Irish speakers, and enhanced public service advertising revenue for Irish language media including TG4.
Minister Martin concluded by saying: "This country is now beginning to emerge from what was the worst pandemic in a century, and one of the greatest crises of our time. The sectors covered by this Department were amongst those worst impacted, and they will be amongst the last to fully recover. I have worked hard, in dialogue with sectoral representatives, officials in my Department, and Government colleagues to build this powerful programme of measures and supports announced here today, to ensure that the people of Ireland continue to participate in, and enjoy, the very important work that we oversee.”
Minister Chambers said: "Sport and Gaeltacht communities in particular were extremely hard-hit by COVID-19. Last year’s budget delivered strong supports, which have helped those sectors survive. Budget 2022 is about building further on growth and success in these sectors, developing wider and deeper participation across our communities.”
The Minister of State with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett has welcomed Budget 2022, saying that it was a fair, climate and biodiversity friendly, and also a budget which would protect farm families, farm profitability, and farm safety and sustainability. Addressing the challenges facing famers at this time of climate and biodiversity crisis she said: ‘The levels of on-farm innovation and creativity which I have seen in my time in this role are very reassuring. We will have to change how we do things, but farmers know that, and from what I have seen, they are up for the challenge. That is why I am pleased to be able to deliver good news about supports for those involved in forestry, organics, horticulture, on farm biodiversity and local food systems and I am happy that this budget will support all farmers as we all transition towards the new CAP’.
Announcing strong support for Forestry with the allocation of over €100m for 2022 the Minister said: “While planting more trees is at the centre of our climate strategy, everyone knows forestry is an area in which there have been difficulties. I am happy, however, to have secured such strong funding, and I look forward to using much of the money to push on with the programme of reform and delivery of a new forest strategy which is happening under Project Woodland. We need to develop a ‘Close to Nature’ model of forestry which also recognises the significant downstream benefits of forestry for the rural economy and the increasing role which timber can play as a climate friendly construction material. It’s also a clear Programme for Government commitment to better integrate the next CAP with our tree-planting policies and I will be working with Minister McConologue, before the end of the year, on legislation which will make it more straightforward for us to incentivise small scale planting of native trees by large numbers of farmers’.
The Minister also announced a sizeable increase in the allocations for the Organic sector, saying “There’s a big increase in the allocation for organic sector, with the funding going from €18 to €23 million, of which €21m will be provided for the organic farming scheme. This is an additional €5m in the scheme budget compared to last year and allows for the reopening of the scheme to new entrants in 2022. Overall, this more than doubles the amount allocated to organics since I’ve come into office. It demonstrates our commitment to expanding the sector and allows many more farmers to make the transition to organic farming. I am determined to work with all stakeholders and advisory services to ensure all farmers are fully aware of the opportunities which going organic can provide. And I intend to publish, very shortly, a targeted ‘Action Plan for Organics’, which will complement the National Organic Strategy 2019-2025.”
Referring to the area of on-farm biodiversity as one which she considers particularly urgent and important, the Minister said: “Encouraging Biodiversity on our farms to reach the next level is really important. So I am delighted to announce an additional allocation of €5million for investment in new biodiversity initiatives by my Department next year. These will build on the 24 new on-farm biodiversity projects which we funded this year. And we are also putting aside a further €500,000 to ensure the information and expertise farmers need is available to them so they can protect and increase on-farm biodiversity’.
Minister Hackett also spoke about local food systems: “The Programme for Government includes commitments to support local food systems, to develop routes to market for small food producers, and to encourage young people and communities to learn how to grow food. In response to those commitments, we are providing €500,000 to support and communicate initiatives on these themes. It’s an area in which there are many actors and agencies doing great work, but it’s not necessarily easy for the small producer to navigate it. This funding will help with that.“
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State, Joe O’Brien TD, have announced a Budget package worth €376 million for 2022. Some €200 million in funding is to be used to expand all of the Department’s rural schemes, such as Town and Village Renewal, CLÁR, Outdoor Recreation, LEADER and the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF). Budget 2022 also provides for the appointment of the first ever Town Regeneration Officers. These posts will be crucial in helping to revitalise the centre of our towns.
Reflecting the commitments under the Government’s rural development policy, Our Rural Future, Budget 2022 will further the development of the country’s first ever national hub network, Connected Hubs, and offer incentives for remote working.
There will be additional funding to invest in our outdoor amenities and adventure tourism, as well as our island communities.
The Department’s Budget also provides for further development of the popular ‘Walk’s Scheme’ in rural communities and the delivery of the proposed National Outdoor Recreation Strategy.
Learning from the experiences of the Pandemic, a specific funding scheme for community centres will be launched early in the New Year. Furthermore, some €170 million in funding will be provided for Community Development Programmes. This includes a 10% increase in the Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme budget – a move that will provide up to 60 new community workers nationwide.
Overall, the €376 million budget secured by Ministers Humphreys and O’Brien is the largest ever budget secured for rural and community development projects.
Minister Humphreys said: “’Our Rural Future’ is already making a hugely positive impact in towns and villages throughout Rural Ireland. This week’s Budget, which includes over €376 million in funding, will ensure we continue to place Rural Ireland at the heart of our post-Covid recovery. Thousands of communities right across the country have already benefitted from funding under the likes of Town and Village Renewal, CLÁR, Outdoor Recreation LEADER and the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF). I’m really pleased to announce that every single one of our schemes will receive additional investment as part of Budget 2022. This will allow us to deliver more projects such as libraries and community facilities, further enhance our streetscapes, as well as invest in our islands and outdoor amenities such as our parks, walkways, cycleways and greenways.
The renewal of our town centres is also a key part of this Budget. That’s why I’m really pleased to announce funding for Town Regeneration Officers, who will be key in coordinating and utilising the funding streams available and revitalising the centre of our towns and villages. Furthermore, we will continue the expansion of our ‘Walk’s Scheme’ - attracting more tourism to Rural Ireland.
“We’ve also learned the true meaning of ‘community’ during this Pandemic.
I’m delighted therefore to announce that I intend to launch a new funding scheme for Community Centres early in the New Year – a scheme I expect there will be huge demand for.”
Minister of State O’Brien, who has responsibility for Community Development and Charities, added: “The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) is the principal social inclusion programme in Ireland, and the announcement today of a 10% budget increase for the programme will further enhance the vital work of SICAP”.
Last month, Leave No Trace launched the ambitious new Strategic Plan to inspire responsible outdoor recreation over the next three years. It was launched by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD. Speaking at the launch, Minister Noonan said the new plan reflects a changing relationship with the great outdoors and a need for stakeholders to work together in its stewardship.
“We have all witnessed a remarkable reconnection to nature over the past year and this new Strategic Plan reflects that – and more. The ‘Great Outdoors’ has never been as important to us as they have been since the onset of Covid in 2020. Where the pandemic confined us, nature freed us, and many of us sought sanctuary in nature, be it through general recreation to more adventurous hiking, boating and camping. Looking after our natural heritage is a collaborative endeavour; we all play a role, and that is why a far-reaching plan such as this is welcomed.”
Read all about the launch and the new Strategic Plan here.
People often think that climate change is happening somewhere else and doesn’t really affect us. But this isn’t true. Earlier this year, the Climate Action Unit and the Age Friendly Section teamed up and asked older people in Cork County to write stories about their perception of climate change in their lifetime. Insightful and thought-provoking stories were received and we have produced a short podcast, where you can hear some of the stories, told by the older citizens. You can listen to the PODCAST here:
The stories are currently being collated into a BOOK, which will be available shortly. The project aims to raise awareness about climate change in our communities and how it affects us locally. Climate action is all about change and we are all part of the change.
The Heritage Council has welcomed its significantly increased budget allocation of €14m, confirmed by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD.
Under its budget vote, the Heritage Council will now be in a position to increase its grants schemes. Funding for the Community Grants Scheme will increase from €1m to €1.5m; funding for the Historic Towns Initiative will increase from €1.5m to €2m and funding for the Heritage Sector Support Fund will also increase.
The increased budget allocation for 2022 will allow the Heritage Council to develop new initiatives:
- launch the 'Local Heritage Support Fund,’ aimed at supporting the work of local authority-based museum curators, archivists, archaeologists and conservation officers.
- develop 'traditional building and craft skills’ bursaries, which sets out to support the development of the traditional skills essential to protecting Ireland’s built heritage.
- support heritage NGOs, which have sustained significant losses due to COVID-19.
Speaking following confirmation of the budgetary allocation to the Heritage Council, Chief Executive, Virginia Teehan said: "Research carried out by the Heritage Council demonstrated that during the pandemic the significance of our local heritage and people’s sense of place became more relevant to citizens and society. As we rebuild our society, the role that heritage can play in encouraging local economies and sustainable tourism is recognised. However, for heritage to really deliver for us, we must invest in our heritage and in the heritage sector. Such investment will restore the small income sources that the communities who preserve, record, and promote heritage lost during the pandemic. It will help to keep doors open and infrastructures maintained. Today's budget allocation is a strong statement from Government that heritage matters and is an important economic driver in our recovery.
"The Heritage Council is committed to working with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, as well as partners across the heritage sector, to use our resources wisely, and in a way in which both communities and the economy can be supported. We will bring added value to our allocation by helping to support the heritage sector, increasing capacity, and promoting best practice at community level."
The Chairperson designate of the Heritage Council, Dr Martina Moloney added: "The allocation to the Heritage Council is a strong endorsement of the work that we do, especially at community level. We look forward to working with Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, and Minister Darragh O'Brien, in enabling heritage to play its role in recovery and sustainability."
As part of the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme, Cork County Council, in partnership with Mac Conmara Heritage Consulting, is undertaking an exciting project to comprehensively audit commemorative memorials across Cork. The project includes memorials relating to the Irish revolutionary period including the War of Independence and Civil War and will build on records already undertaken. On completion, the audit will provide the county of Cork with a powerful resource to interpret how events of a century ago – sometimes contentious, sometimes unifying - have been remembered ever since.
The public is asked to submit details of a site or sites in their locality to email@example.com.
Click here to see the Project Statement.
Click here for the Survey Form.
This project is being supported by Cork County Council through its Commemorations Committee and the Department of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Providing an efficient and courteous service to all our customers is central to achieving the aims and delivering the strategic objectives as set out in Heritage at the Heart: Heritage Council Strategy 2018–2022.
The Heritage Council is committed to providing you, our customers, with excellent customer service, delivering on the commitments that we make in our Customer Charter. Our draft Customer Action plan sets out how we intend to achieve this, outlining the type of service you can expect to receive from us. During the period of this plan, we will monitor and evaluate our performance at regular intervals.
As we constantly strive to improve our service we are now embarking on this customer service consultation. We invite you, our stakeholders, internal and external, to participate in this short survey to see how we are meeting the commitments in our Customer Action Plan and to identify areas for improvement. Please submit your comments via our survey by Friday 22nd October 2021.
The link below will take you to a landing page which contains the survey in English, as well as links to an Irish language version, and links to the current draft Customer Action Plan and the Customer Charter.
Minister of State with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has launched ‘A Guide for Landowners to Managing Roadside Trees’. Produced by The Tree Council of Ireland and supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the document guides the landowner through the responsibilities associated with ownership and management of roadside trees. Speaking at the launch the Minister stated: “I am pleased to welcome the publication of ‘A Guide for Landowners to Managing Roadside Trees’. So many of our roadside trees in Ireland are beautiful and they add much to our countryside, our landscape and our natural heritage. However, trees may become physically damaged during their lifetime due to the impact of a storm or of a pest or disease attack. Such occurrences have the potential to make roadside trees unsafe so it is very important that, in order to minimise any possible risk to people or property, landowners look after them properly and proactively”.
Éanna Ní Lamhna, President of the Tree Council of Ireland said “Our trees provide us all with a wide range of benefits, from health benefits both mental & physical to invaluable habitat for our wildlife and indeed even defining our landscape. This guide will provide tree owners with a straight forward, easy to follow procedure to take care of and manage this great natural resource appropriately”.
A Guide for Landowners to Managing Roadside Trees sets out six clear steps, guiding the landowner through the responsibilities associated with ownership of roadside trees. It provides basic information and guidance on how to identify common defects in trees including dieback, unstable leans, splits and cracks, decay, and cavities all supported by photographs. Advice is provided on how to plan and carry out tree maintenance work, the importance of engaging professionals, health and safety and of record keeping are all emphasised. The Minister concluded “I think this is a valuable publication so I would encourage all landowners to get their free copy and study it carefully. The information provided will increase awareness of the need both to value and to manage roadside trees so that owners can have confidence in their management of such a wonderful resource for many years to come. And I want to thank all who have contributed to the development of what is an important collaboration between my Department and Tree Council of Ireland.“
A hardcopy of A Guide for Landowners to Managing Roadside Trees is available from The Tree Council of Ireland and can be requested by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The document is also available on the Tree Council of Ireland’s website www.treecouncil.ie and on The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine website; www.gov.ie/en/publication/642e6-forestry/.
On Monday September 27th, Bere Island Projects Group launched a short film to commemorate the centenary of the Bere Island Internment Camp, which was in operation from April to December 1921.
In 1920, a prison camp was opened on Bere Island on the site of the Fort Berehaven military camp, for convicted Republican prisoners. By April 1921, all convicted prisoners had been transferred to the prison on Spike Island, and the camp on Bere Island became an internment camp only. At one stage 284 men were interned on Bere Island. The camp closed on December 10th 1921 following the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty.
The film outlines the history of the camp, and features leading War of Independence expert, Dr John Borgonovo of University College Cork, and Bere Island historian Ted O’Sullivan who recount what life would have been like for the internees, and outline some audacious escapes.
Bere Island Projects Group were awarded €5500 by the Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Grant Scheme to produce the film. The film is one of a number events which Bere Island Projects Group have organised as part of the Decade of Centenaries.
Bere Island was once a strategic military base for the British Admiralty who constructed seven gun batteries on the island. Its safe harbour provided shelter during World War One for British warships and also the US Navy while protecting Atlantic convoys. Fort Berehaven, Bere Island was one of Ireland’s three Treaty Ports. The handover of the fort to the Irish Government took place 26th September 1938.
The 32 minute film is available online on www.bereisland.net and on the Bere Island Projects Group channel on YouTube.
Now open for applications from eligible nonprofits, the St. Patrick’s Festival x TikTok Creative Fund is a €100,000 fund which is available to community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises who use artistic and cultural interventions as a tool to connect, enhance and inspire their communities.
10 x €10,000 awards are available to develop and deliver a creative, artistic or cultural project in your community
The 10 successful groups will be supported throughout the process by the St. Patrick’s Festival team and groups may also use their fund to work with professional local artists, performers, creatives and crews to help bring their project to life.
The application process is simple and straightforward and requires you to fill in an online application form telling a little about your community and the creative project that you would like to undertake. You are also asked to make a short video on your phone (or other recording equipment if preferred) introducing your community and showing the creative work that you do. Closing date for applications is 6pm on Sunday, 24 October.
All successful groups will be announced in early November and work can start on your project over the following months. Projects that are ready by March 2022 will be showcased to Ireland and the world on St. Patrick’s Festival’s platforms and on TikTok.
For full details, and to submit an application, please visit the website here.
Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Norma Foley TD, Minister for Education has announced the 269 new schools that will participate in the Creative Ireland Programme initiatives - Creative Schools and Creative Clusters.
Announcing the schools selected to participate in Creative Schools, Minister Martin said: “I am delighted to welcome a further 188 schools as our latest Creative Schools – the largest intake of schools in a single year since the establishment of the programme in 2018. This increased intake of schools, in line with the commitment made in the Programme for Government to expand the initiative, will enable even greater numbers of our youngest citizens to discover and develop new skills and talents that enhance their development and growth, and add to the richness of their overall learning experience through increased engagement with cultural creativity.”
Creative Schools was launched in 2018, with 150 schools selected to participate in the first round (commencing at the start of the 2018/19 academic year), a further 150 in the second round (2019/20 academic year) and 164 in round three (2020/21). The intake for the fourth round (commencing September 2021) has been increased to 188. Schools that are selected to participate are provided with access to a “Creative Associate” to assist in developing a creative plan for each school – Creative Associates may be either teachers or from a range of creative professions who draw on their practical experience of ‘creativity’ to respond to each school’s individual needs. Each school is allocated a grant of €4,000 over two academic years to implement their individual plan and total funding of almost €3 million is being provided in 2021 to Creative Schools.
Minister Martin added: “Our ongoing commitment to Creative Schools and Creative Clusters has meant that in just three years almost 1,000 schools have been given the opportunity to engage with arts, culture and creativity in new ways, helping to enrich the learning experience of thousands of children and young people. Together with our continued investment in an array of community-based initiatives and projects, made possible by the Creative Ireland Programme, young people are being provided with evermore opportunities to engage in creative activities – not only as a support to their learning and development, but also for the sheer enjoyment and hopefully to develop a lifelong love of arts, culture and creativity.”
New Creative Schools across Cork City and County this year amount to 23 and there are also a few new Creative Clusters focusing around Scoil Barra Naofa in Monkstown and St. Mary’s Primary School in Rosscarbery.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced a major initiative for Rural Ireland, which includes the addition of 31 new walking trails to her Department’s Walks Scheme and funding for a number of new Rural Recreation Officers. The 31 new trails across 13 counties are to be added to the ‘Walk’s Scheme’, which aims to open up the countryside to local walkers, hikers and tourists.
Under the scheme, funding is provided to farmers and other landowners to maintain the trails that travel through their holdings and here in the county of Cork, Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí is one of the 31 Trails – an addition to the 5 existing Walk’s Scheme Trails already in operation in the county – Beara Islands; Bear Way, Duhallow Way, Sheeps Head Way and Whiddy Island Walk.
This announcement means there will now be 80 trails under the Scheme in Ireland, which is operated by the Department of Rural and Community Development in conjunction with the Local Development Companies (LDCs) and over 2,400 farmers and landowners in total.
Additional funding will also be provided to the Local Development Companies that deliver the scheme locally, as well as for the salaries paid to the Rural Recreation Officers who play a vital role in delivering the Walks Scheme and developing the outdoor recreation sector locally. Minister Humphreys also announced the creation of up to 8 new Rural Recreation Officer posts in addition to the 13 already in place. These are designed to further enhance our outdoor amenities and the experience of visitors to Rural Ireland. The announcement delivers on commitments in both the Programme for Government and Our Rural Future to increase the number of trails under the ‘Walks Scheme’ in order to boost outdoor recreation and tourism in rural towns and villages.
Minister Humphreys has also published a review of the Walks Scheme, which sets out a number of recommendations aimed at enhancing the Walks Scheme and the role of Rural Recreation Officers, and will be implemented in consultation with key stakeholders. This document can be viewed by visiting https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/942b4b-the-walks-scheme-and-rural-recreation-officers/#2021-review-of-the-walks-scheme.
Minister Humphries said “Our walkways, trails, greenways, blueways and cycleways are a defining feature of Rural Ireland. They have been a godsend throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic – providing so many of us with the opportunity to get out for some exercise and to meet up with family and friends. Over the past number of months, we have seen unprecedented investment in our outdoor amenities, underpinned by the most ambitious ever policy for Rural Ireland, ‘Our Rural Future’. Today’s announcement is further action behind that policy. By adding 31 new trails to the Walks Scheme, we are opening up our rural countryside further to walkers, hikers, adventurists, cyclists, as well as domestic and international tourists. And it means we are investing in some of the most picturesque locations in the country, so that they can be enjoyed and experienced by millions of people every year.”
Adopt a Monument is a scheme to help communities become actively involved in the conservation and interpretation of their local archaeological and cultural heritage sites. Through the Adopt a Monument Scheme, expertise, mentoring and support is provided to encourage communities to ‘adopt’ a monument in their area in order to ensure ongoing maintenance and greater protection through increased civic value.
The Heritage Council is now looking for new groups to join its Adopt A Monument Programme and to adopt a monument in their locality. We are interested in hearing from communities across Ireland, including new communities and minority groups, as well as established voluntary groups that have been caring for a monument for years.
The Scheme sets out to help community groups embrace their heritage site, be it a prehistoric tomb, stone circle, medieval town wall, castle, church, bridge, graveyard, landed estate, mine, kiln, mill, traditional house or battlefield.
The vision is that the chosen monument will serve as a focal point for heritage-related, educational and recreational activities and will encourage greater interpretation and understanding.
If you are interested in this scheme, take a look at the Adopt A Monument Manual and complete the application below.
The closing date for completed applications is 2nd November at 5:00pm.
Please email completed application forms and accompanying files to: email@example.com
For more information visit https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/projects/adopt-a-monument
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, has published the draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022-2027 for public consultation. The Minister now invites submissions, observations and comments on the proposed plan.
A key commitment in the Programme for Government, launching a new strengthened River Basin Management Plan will help Ireland protect, improve and sustainably manage our water environment to 2027. Achieving good water quality in our rivers, lakes, estuaries and seas is essential for protecting Ireland’s drinking water sources, environment and people’s quality of life. The plan is produced in implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) for the period 2022-2027 and sets out the environmental improvements to be delivered during a river basin planning cycle including water quality objectives and a programme of measures to achieve those objectives.
The consultation period closes on Thursday, 31 March 2022 and the finalised plan is due to be published later in the year. For more information visit https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/2bda0-public-consultation-on-the-draft-river-basin-management-plan-for-ireland-2022-2027/
The National Archives has launched their 2021 Commemoration Programme of Events to mark the next phase of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023. The National Archives’ 2021 Commemoration Programme marks significant events of 1921, culminating in the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The programme leads to their flagship event The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives Exhibition at Dublin Castle this December. Also included in the programme is a series of Autumn/Winter talks at the National Library of Ireland, the Royal Irish Academy and National Archives. Contributors include Michael Portillo, Broadcaster and former British politician, Dr Marie Coleman, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University, Dr Anne Dolan, Associate Professor in Modern Irish History at Trinity College Dublin, Dr William Murphy, Associate Professor, School of History and Geography at Dublin City University and RTÉ presenter David McCullagh.
The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives Exhibition, gives the public the opportunity to see one of the most significant historical documents held by the National Archives. The exhibition will open at the British Academy in London on the 11th of October and run until the 23rd of October before taking residency at Dublin Castle from the 6th of December until the 27th March 2022. This will be the first time the official documents and private papers, including the Treaty document will be presented to the public. The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of workshops, curated talks, and a digital programme as well as guided tours, designed to encourage historical enquiry and the understanding of the impact and legacy of the events that occurred during the revolutionary period.
Director of the National Archives, Orlaith McBride said; ‘I’d really encourage everybody to come along and see for themselves records relating to the foundation of the modern Irish State.”
The National Archives was established to collect, manage and preserve Ireland’s public record, ensuring their availability as a resource for all. These records relate to the social, cultural, economic and political history of the island of Ireland from the Middle Ages through to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 and into the modern era.
Admission is free to all events and more information on the National Archives 2021 Commemoration Programme of Events can be found at www.nationalarchives.ie.
Farming for Nature have announced the 23 wonderful Farming For Nature Ambassadors for 2021, including farmers from the county of Cork. Nominated by environmental specialists across Ireland, they were interviewed and shortlisted by the FFN team and approved for selection by their panel of judges. The public voting closes 22nd October 2021. To find out more about the ambassadors and how to vote go to https://www.farmingfornature.ie/awards/voting/
The TidyTowns Unit of the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued the 9th edition of the TidyTowns Newsletter 9/2021. The newsletter contains updates from TidyTowns Groups including Skibbereen TidyTowns in Co. Cork; TidyTowns Memorabilia, a Photography Competition, information on the updated TidyTowns Handbook and a Poets Corner.
The newsletter is available on the Tidytowns website by clicking https://www.tidytowns.ie/about-us/newsletters/. If any group has an article to submit for the Newsletter or indeed for any further information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Heritage Council is delighted to announce that Heritage in Schools visits will return from Monday, 13th September, offering a mix of in-person, outdoor visits and virtual visits. Furthermore, visits will be FREE to schools and fully funded by the Heritage Council as a way of supporting teachers and students at a time when the benefits of nature and the outdoors are at an all-time high.
1. FREE in-person visits
• Schools may book up to three free visits each. The offer is subject to available funding and it is recommended that you book early to avoid disappointment
• Visits will be fully-funded by the Heritage Council
• Visits will be outdoors only, regardless of weather
2. FREE virtual visits
The virtual programme will be offered by a limited number of specialists, who have undergone specific training and have gained appropriate experience through the 2020/2021 pilot programme.
• Schools may book up to three free visits each. The offer is subject to available funding and it is recommended that you book early to avoid disappointment
• Visits will be fully-funded by the Heritage Council
In order to book a visit, visit the Heritage in Schools website www.heritageinschools.ie and browse the Heritage Specialists section for ‘virtual’ or ‘in-person’ visits. When you find a Specialist to suit requirements contact the Specialist to arrange a date and then select ‘book a visit’ on that Specialist’s profile page. You will receive an email with a reference number when your booking is approved.
Cork County Council will create two bespoke publications featuring poetry, thoughts and public recollections around the events of 1921 and how they relate to Cork County and the Ireland that we live in today.
This year marks 100 years of a number of key events in the War of Independence. More than 20 ambushes together with over 30 assassinations and executions took place across Cork County during 1921. 1921 was also the year that witnessed the Truce and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
As part of a series of commemorative projects, Cork County Council has launched a poetry competition for secondary schools within the county. The Council is also seeking written essays from anyone with an interest in this period of history for a publication titled ‘Thoughts of Independence’.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan highlighted how, “The Truce and the signing of the Treaty one hundred years ago were momentous occasions in Irish history. It is timely to ask ourselves, is the present reflective of a future that had been dreamed of? When reflecting on the past we get a better sense of ourselves in the world today, and what tomorrow could look like. 1921 was a significant year in the County of Cork with ambushes in Dripsey, Cúl na Cathrach, The Battle of Crossbarry, and the greatest loss of Republican life at any War of Independence engagement, the Clonmult Ambush. There were house raids, barracks attacks, disappearances, rescues and close to 100 shootings. I hope that students and people of all ages will submit their poems or essays and show that 100 years later, we still remember.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added, “The War of Independence and Civil War had profound impacts on Irish people, both individually and collectively, not least here in Cork County. These publications are an opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts on these pivotal moments in our shared history and form part of a series of commemorations that Cork County Council is proud to support. Through the County Cork Commemorations Grant Scheme, close to 30 groups are marking key events and ambushes. There will also be a War of Independence and Civil War Exhibition, a database of centenary memorials within the county, a commemorative oral history project and much more.”
Secondary school students are invited to submit their own poems relating to the War of Independence or the Civil War. Assessed by Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee, poems will be chosen to feature in a bespoke commemorative poetry publication. Every student who submits a poem will receive a copy of the publication with additional prizes for specially selected entries and the overall secondary school winner.
For the ‘Thoughts of Independence’ publication, the Commemorations Committee is seeking contemporary writings and insights into the events of 100 years ago and what they mean for us today. Historians, heritage societies, academics, students and anyone with an interest in this aspect of Cork’s history is invited to submit an essay. A number of essays will feature in a bespoke publication which will form Book 1 of 2 with the second book undertaken in 2022/23 and focusing on the Civil War. Every person who submits an essay will receive a copy of the publication.
The closing date for receipt of all poems and essays is Friday 29th October and entries can be emailed to email@example.com.
Joe O’Brien TD Minster of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, has launched a new National Pilot Community Volunteers Programme in partnership with Volunteer Ireland and Volunteer Centres, supported by Local Authorities.
This exciting new volunteering initiative is a government led, nationally formulated programme for the whole of Ireland which will be adapted to suit local needs and build resilience in our communities. It offers a new way to bridge the gap between communities that need support and the people who want to help. It gives people the opportunity to get involved in local events and festivals while also supporting more urgent needs that arise unexpectedly, like the community response to COVID-19.
The programme will help organisations respond effectively to needs in our communities by allowing them to engage enthusiastic, trained, local Community Volunteers through their local Volunteer Centres.
The programme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and coordinated by Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres, with support from their Local Authority, in each area.
Speaking today, Minister Joe O’Brien said: “I am delighted to be here today to launch the New National Pilot Community Volunteers Programme. The launch today is another step towards implementing the objectives of the National Volunteering Strategy and also the Government’s commitment in the Resilience and Recovery Plan. Volunteers over the last 18 months have been phenomenal and this launch today helps to strengthen the bond between Volunteers, Local Authorities and the community. I would ask all those that wish to take part in this programme to contact their local Volunteer Centre. Volunteering and community engagement is a key element as we reopen our society and support each other as we adjust to living with COVID-19.”
Amy Woods, Acting CEO, Volunteer Ireland added: “We are delighted to coordinate the Community Volunteers Programme with the network of local Volunteer Centres. Built on lessons learnt from the COVID-19 response and extensive experience supporting volunteering in our communities, we are excited that this programme will give those who want to get involved in their communities a new opportunity to play their part and connect with what’s going on in their area. It will provide extra support to organisations looking to engage volunteers in local events and initiatives, particularly when more urgent needs arise unexpectedly. This is a unique time for volunteering as we implement Ireland’s first national volunteering strategy, and this programme has a huge role to play as we continue to strengthen and support volunteering in our communities.”
Tim Lucey, Chair of the County and City Management Association (CCMA) and Chief Executive of Cork County Council on behalf of the local government sector said: “Ireland has a proud tradition of community engagement and volunteerism, which was a huge support to local authorities in managing the Community response to Covid-19. We are extremely grateful to the many enthusiastic and committed volunteers who were involved, and we are delighted that the Community Volunteers Programme will build on the successful collaboration between local authorities and volunteer centres. I would like to thank all those who generously give their time and efforts to volunteering. I would encourage everyone to consider the opportunity the Community Volunteer Programme offers to engage with their communities, especially now as we are all seeking to recover and reconnect.”
Those who are interested in the Community Volunteer Programme are encouraged to contact their local volunteer centre.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €1.2 million in funding to support recreation facilities and outdoor tourism in forest parks and other Coillte sites.
The investment includes the upgrades of pathways, trails, access roads, boardwalks, carparks and toilet facilities at 33 Coillte sites nationwide. This additional funding means that the Department of Rural and Community Development will be investing €3.2 million in total in outdoor recreation facilities at Coillte sites this year.
Over 18 million individual visits are made to Coillte forests every year with the visitor numbers increasing by 40% during the Pandemic, according to a report published by the Minister today. Between March and December of last year, some 2.2 million people visited the top 50 Coillte forests.
In recognition of the growing popularity of our forest parks, Minister Humphreys is today allocating €1.2 million to Coillte in addition to the €2 million already allocated. The funding is designed to enhance the experience of visitors, support rural tourism and develop Ireland’s unique forest amenities.
The investment also supports the objectives of Our Rural Future, the Government’s five-year strategy aimed at revitalising rural communities.
One of the recipients is here in the county of Cork – Castlefreke Forest – which is receiving a full upgrade of the forest paths to the value of €40,000.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “For so many of us in rural Ireland, the Pandemic has taught us just how fortunate we are to have big open spaces on our doorsteps. From our fields, hills, mountains, rivers, lakes and forests – our unique outdoor amenities are amongst our greatest assets. Today’s investment is a prime example of the positive impact ‘Our Rural Future’ is having in our rural communities. By investing in our wonderful forests and parks, we are making rural Ireland a destination for outdoor pursuits and adventure tourism, as well as supporting rural economies.”
The Minister added: “Coillte is Ireland’s largest landowner and also the largest provider of outdoor recreation in Ireland. The fact that it welcomes 18 million visitors to its sites each year demonstrates the important role it plays in facilitating both domestic and international tourists’.
For more information visit: https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/fd0c9f-outdoor-recreation-infrastructure-scheme/.
Update from West Cork History Festival: All the talks and panel discussions from our 2021 Festival, as well as our brilliant Festival concert, are now free to view on our website. These include the live events previously only available to ticket-holders. Choose from talks by leading historians, writers and journalists, including Fergal Keane, Jane Ohlmeyer, Roy Foster, Mary Kenny, David Reynolds, Cauvery Madhavan and many others. There are also three lively panel discussions on the linked themes of Partition; Ireland & Empire; and How the actions of Crown Forces should be remembered and understood. And you can watch our live-streamed Festival concert, 'Hope On, Hope Ever' with specially composed music by Jessie Kennedy & Tess Leak. Head over to our website to see all these and more. We also regularly update our blog with interesting historical content including articles, films & podcasts.
An Taisce's brand new Compost for Nature guide is now available! For years, the garden and landscape industry has been selling us peat moss as “compost.” In reality, this is peat-moss that is nutrient-poor and bad for our peatlands. The good news is that there is another more sustainable way to nurture soil health, reduce waste, AND protect our peatlands - composting!
People are also becoming more aware and concerned about extreme weather events and biodiversity loss due to climate change. Growing and composting are practical actions for people to do their bit for biodiversity and nature. It also gives people a chance to connect more and be mindful of their consumption and waste.
This guide brings together essential information on why we need to stop using peat moss for gardening, and horticulture, and how we can compost at home and in our communities as an alternative. It's a resource and tool for people wanting to compost at home, in community gardens, schools, and workplaces.
The guide will help you learn about:
🌱 The difference between peat and compost
🌱 What are bogs/peatlands and why they are important
🌱 Embracing soil as a living ecosystem
🌱 The five composting essentials
🌱 What can and cannot be composted
🌱 Troubleshooting composting bins or holding systems
... and much more
This podcast examines the role that the Local Studies Library has played in assisting the writing of many Cork GAA clubs’ histories, especially around the centenary year of 1984.The Local Studies Collections have been an invaluable source of information for GAA historians. The Cork Collection contains many of these club histories, all painstakingly compiled from newspaper reports, both in microfilm and bound form. Cork GAA, A History 1886-1986 by former County Chairman, Jim Cronin, and other GAA reference books also enabled the club historian to retrieve the history of their club, decade by decade. To hear the podcast, read by Kieran Wyse, visit https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/library-online/library-podcasts
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €810,000 in funding to support 25 projects under the 2021 CLÁR Programme. The funding will support local groups in developing community and sensory gardens, outdoor spaces and allotments. In practical terms, communities will receive funding for the likes of raised flower beds, wildflower gardens, sensory planting, polytunnels, outdoor equipment, picnic tables and shelters.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “The projects receiving funding today will help to channel the real sense of pride that people in rural Ireland have in their localities and their environment. Funding for such community-led projects is at the very core of the Government’s vision for rural Ireland as set out in ‘Our Rural Future’. The funding will go a long way in terms of assisting our Community Groups, TidyTowns and Development Associations in making their localities more vibrant places to live and raise a family. This funding will lead to the creation of community spaces where people can come together and meet their families and friends. The initiative is also key in realising our desire to build an even more environmentally responsible society. As Minister, I am delighted to support these 25 projects and I look forward to visiting many of them in the future.”
Under the allocations two projects in the county of Cork are in receipt of funding: a grant of €44,179 for a sensory garden in Durrus in West Cork and a grant of €49,999.50 for Knocknagree Community Development Group in North Cork in respect of a sensory garden in Fairfield as well as a covered area in a paved circle to facilitate outdoor events/activity in the park.
Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has published a programme of events to mark the centenary of various aspects of the Anglo-Irish Treaty which was signed on the 6th December 1921. The Programme highlights some of the key national events taking place to mark various centenaries associated with the Treaty. Foremost of these is the National Archives exhibition in the Coach House at Dublin Castle later this year where the Treaty document will be displayed in public for the first time since its signing 100 years ago.
The programme further showcases a number of other important events and initiatives which examine different aspects of this founding document and mark the various centenaries of the milestones associated with the signing of the Treaty. It encourages the public to delve into the stories behind the Treaty and to access the various materials and rich content being supported, developed and delivered as part of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Programme. These initiatives include exhibitions, lectures, new theatre experiences, new music, large-scale digitisation projects and exciting online content.
Minister Martin said: “This centenary moment is a really significant event in our shared history and a key focus in this year’s Decade of Centenaries Programme. It is also a personal journey into family memory for the relatives of the men and women who formed the Irish and British Treaty negotiation delegations. I wanted to ensure that the Programme has something that interests everyone. You don’t need to be an historian or an expert on this period of history to appreciate the different stories attached to this key document and the impact it had on future events.”
Minister Martin added: “Tá súil agam go n-aimseoidh daoine rud éigin nua sa mhéid a chuirfear i láthair inniu agus go n-aimseoidh siad rud a chuirfidh siad spéis ann ar go leor leibhéil éagsúla. From the outset of the Decade of Centenaries Programme in 2012, the State has sought to ensure that historical accuracy, academic integrity and archival discovery are the key tenets of the programme of commemoration. This Programme of events to commemorate the Treaty reflects this ethos and shows the wealth of material on this pivotal document now available for the public to see in our National Cultural Institutions. Both the National Archives and the National Museum will be hosting exciting and ground breaking exhibitions on various aspects of The Treaty with previously unseen material. I urge everyone with an interest in our history, our present and our future to explore these new presentations and perspectives”.
Joining the Minister, Orlaith McBride, Director of the National Archives, said: “The National Archives preserves the memory of the State for the nation in the form of its written records. It is most appropriate that we should mark the centenary of the signing of the Treaty by presenting a major exhibition of records in our possession relating to its negotiation and signing. Using the Treaty as the centrepiece, the exhibition places significant documents from the collections of the National Archives on public display for the first time. My colleagues and I are looking forward to the public’s engagement with these rich collections”.
Minister Martin also praised the creativity of those artists and musicians who are involved in this Programme. “I am also encouraged to see that our artists and musicians continue to use the Decade of Centenaries as a source of inspiration for rich and exciting new work. The innovative approach of ANU Productions working with Poet Theo Dorgan to stage the treaty debates in the National Concert Hall will bring this key moment in our history to life in a completely unique way. The National Concert Hall itself will invite leading Irish musicians and song-writers to reflect on those involved in the debates and to create portraits of a generation in a moment of huge change, culminating in a concert in December to showcase this work. I also look forward to seeing Fishamble Theatre Company’s production of “The Treaty” by Colin Murphy which delves into the lives of those involved in the Treaty negotiations.”
The Programme also features a number of events hosted by the Irish Embassy in London including an exhibition of John Lavery’s Anglo–Irish Treaty Portraits in collaboration with The Hugh Lane Gallery, the National Gallery of Ireland and Áras an Uachtaráin and an exhibition entitled The Treaty, 1921: Records for the Archives in partnership with the National Archives, the British Academy, and the National Archives of the UK.
For more information and for details of events visit https://www.gov.ie/treaty. To view the 2021 Decade of Centenaries Programme published earlier this year, visit: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/121ea-decade-of-centenaries-programme/
The Heritage Council has launched the search for Ireland’s ‘heritage hero’ for 2021. Every year, the Heritage Council seeks nominations for an individual or a group of people who have worked tirelessly to protect and promote heritage.
Members of the public are invited to nominate the person or group that they feel is most deserving of the award by completing the Heritage Hero nomination form. Nominations close at 12 noon on Monday, 20th September.
The Heritage Hero 2021 will be announced at the National Heritage Awards in October 2021. Find out more about Heritage Hero 2020 Christy Cunniffe and all the National Heritage Award 2020 winners here.
Nominate your Heritage Hero by clicking here.
The Irish Naturalist’s Journal (INJ) Board is pleased to announce that the INJ Grant 2021 is now open for applications from 1 September, with a closing date of 13 October 2021. Full details and application forms are on the website: https://irishnaturalistsjournal.org/inj-grant/
The objective of the INJ Grant is to encourage and support activities which will increase knowledge of the biology and geology of the island of Ireland. The scheme will support and encourage the current network of natural historians and the development of the next generation of naturalists. The scheme is open to anyone working on or studying any aspect of natural history or geology on the island of Ireland.
Applications can be made to support:
- Fieldwork and laboratory work associated with research (e.g. DNA analysis, identification and description of specimens, curation of collections, etc).
- Purchase of specialist equipment – e.g.books, microscopes, nets, tubes, moth traps, camera traps, binoculars, etc. for research and training
- Attendance at field trips, courses, training, seminars or conferences.
- Publication costs for field guides/keys, atlases, websites/online databases, etc.
- Delivery of field courses, training, seminars or conferences.
In 2020, under the INJ Scheme, Milford in North Cork received funding for a Biodiversity Action Plan, focusing on moths, nocturnal mammals and birds. Hopefully the 2021 Scheme will see more success for the county of Cork.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has announced that payments to date under the Green Low Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) have exceeded the €1 billion mark. Since the launch of GLAS in 2015, the scheme has been embraced by Irish farmers with almost 50,000 GLAS contracts currently active. GLAS delivers for Irish agriculture and the environment by supporting over 30 actions designed to benefit biodiversity, climate change mitigation and improve water quality. Some of the key environmental measures carried out include the management of over 250,000Ha of low input permanent pasture, over 60Ha of traditional hay meadows and the protection of the quality of over 14,000km of watercourses.
Under the GLAS Scheme, farmers receive up to €5,000 per annum, with provision for payments up to €7,000 where the farmer is positioned to give exceptional environmental returns.
Minister McConalogue was joined by former Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney, who initially launched GLAS, in marking this milestone. Minister McConalogue paid tribute to another former Minister Michael Creed who also ensured that GLAS was success.
Minister McConalogue said: “GLAS has been a two-fold success. It has helped Irish farmers produce in an efficient and sustainable manner while supporting incomes and protecting and enhancing our biodiversity. Our experience will help us build for the future and help us identify what value we can bring to our next national agri-environmental scheme. Farm incomes have been supported under GLAS with over €1 billion paid directly to farmers to date. The development of the new CAP is an exciting opportunity to build on this success and to deliver on new and challenging targets.
Both Ministers Coveney and Creed played a key role in making GLAS a success. GLAS has been a tremendous scheme and as part of the next CAP programme, I am committed to bringing and even more ambitious agri-environmental scheme that will support our farmers and protect our environment.”
The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) has a membership of over two dozen towns throughout the island of Ireland (North, South, East and West) and includes 4 towns in Cork. Three of these are in Cork County – Bandon, Buttevant and Youghal – and Cork City is also part of the Network. The Irish Walled Towns Network over the last number of years has supported a range of different projects and undertakings, including here in the County of Cork. To further promote the work of the ITWN, an Ezine, which is called the Walled Town Crier, is issued regularly and the August/September Edition, 2021, is available to read by clicking here. In this edition, there is a focus on the upcoming Annual Irish Walled Town Network Conference, details on the IWTN Flag Exchange and a focus on the medieval Walled Town of Buttevant in North Cork.
The TidyTowns Unit of the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued the 8th edition of the TidyTowns Newsletter 8/2021. The newsletter contains updates from a number of TidyTowns Groups including details on Harpers Island Wetlands in Glounthaune, Co. Cork; a request for TidyTowns Memorabilia, Bat Conservation Ireland, and details of a chance to win a SuperValu Gift Card. Also available is data from a TidyTowns Survey which contains some fascinating information, such as biodiversity being the main priority area for the 924 TidyTown Committees throughout the country. It is also great to see that close to 30,000 people ‘are actively helping their community become a better place through TidyTowns’.
The newsletter is available on the Tidytowns website by clicking https://www.tidytowns.ie/about-us/newsletters/. If any group has an article to submit for the Newsletter or indeed for any further information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced over €4.2 million in funding to support schools, playgrounds, infrastructure projects and community organisations across Rural Ireland. The funding comes under Department of Rural and Community Development’s CLÁR Programme, which is a key part of Our Rural Future, the Government’s five year strategy to revitalise our rural towns and villages. Today’s announcement will see 104 projects supported in rural communities, under Measures 1 & 2 of the CLÁR 2021 programme and further announcements under the CLÁR programme will be made by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks. Included in the funding allocations are supports for six projects in County Cork to the sum of €204,192 including a Pollinator Park in Millstreet, which received close to €50,000. The other locations in County Cork are Schull, Kiskeam, Bantry, Barryroe and Leap.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “The CLÁR Programme 2021 puts our young people at the fore. From investing in our schools, playgrounds, outdoor amenities and other projects – we are demonstrating the value and appreciation we have for the leaders of the future. If the Pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that our young people are our shining lights. Investing in them is an investment in our future – that’s what today’s announcement is all about’.
Since the CLÁR Programme was reintroduced in 2016, it has provided funding of over €38m to over 1,600 projects under various measures. The full list of projects is available at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/bd890-clar-2021-funding-approvals/
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has announced a new initiative under the Creative Imagination Strand of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023– ‘Poetry as Commemoration’.
The project is led by the UCD Library’s Irish Poetry Reading Archive and supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, with a funding allocation of up to €370,000 over the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries Programme.
‘Poetry as Commemoration’ is a unique and innovative project and will see poetry used as a means to deepen our collective understanding of our past and to explore a challenging period of Irish history, relating to the Struggle for Independence and Civil War, in a spirit of openness and inclusivity. The Irish Poetry Reading Archive will work in partnership with Poetry Ireland and will collaborate with a diverse range of poets, institutions, groups, and individuals across the island of Ireland to deliver innovative and imaginative outputs. Collaborators will include the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Local Government Management Agency, county archivists, arts officers, heritage officers, public libraries, schools, universities, museums, and arts organisations, such as the Museum of Literature Ireland.
Ten new poems will be commissioned, in English and Irish, on topics, themes and events relating to the War of Independence and the Civil War, documented by these primary sources. The commissioned poems will be recorded and preserved in the Irish Poetry Reading Archive and made freely available to everyone. A fine press publication of the commissioned poems will also be published. An extensive, complementary public engagement programme will also be delivered, with online and in-person events to be held across the island of Ireland, in 2022-2023, including an extensive programme of creative writing workshops for adults and young people. Each activity will draw inspiration from primary source material in our national and local archives. Poetry readings, online exhibitions, a symposium, a ‘poetry in public spaces’ initiative, and a dedicated website hosting a virtual poetry wall are among a range of anticipated opportunities for engagement with poetry as a form of commemoration, created by this initiative.
Speaking of the initiative Minister Martin said: “This is an exciting new partnership between UCD Library's Poetry Reading Archive and my Department. ‘Poetry as Commemoration’ is a really important opportunity for us all to consider and explore, in a creative way, some of the significant themes and events associated with the emerging Irish State, grounded in engagement with the collections from national and local archives, relating to the War of Independence and the Civil War.
‘Poetry as Commemoration’ is a multifaceted project which will provide rich and varied opportunities for meaningful engagement with people of all ages across the island of Ireland. I welcome, too, the project’s collaborative approach and I wish all of the participating partners every success”.
The ‘Poetry as Commemoration’ initiative is funded under the Creative Imagination Strand, one of four strands in the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023. The Decade of Centenaries Programme for 2021 can be viewed here: https://www.decadeofcentenaries.com/decade-of-centenaries-2012-2023-programme-for-2021/.
The Heritage Council would like to extend a huge 'thank you' to everyone who contributed to National Heritage Week: from project organisers, to those that attended the variety of heritage activities that took place over the week.
Once again, National Heritage Week has shown that while we may still be physically apart, sharing our heritage brings our communities closer together. Whether virtually or in-person, this year's projects were outstanding and a reflection of the creativity and commitment of project organisers across the country. Go raibh mile maith agaibh.
Over 1000 projects are now live
We are pleased to share that heritageweek.ie now includes 1000+ projects! Coming from across the country, these built, natural and cultural heritage projects celebrate this year's approaches of sharing heritage, heritage newcomers and heritage for all ages. They are a vibrant mix of research projects, videos, podcasts, online events and in-person activities. You can search the full collection of projects here.
There's still time to submit a project
The deadline to submit your project to National Heritage Week is this Monday, 30th August and all projects submitted by this date will be considered for a National Heritage Award. To register as a project organiser and submit, click here. If you need to add an element to your project, such as a video from your event, please email email@example.com.
Last chance to enter the Irish Landmark Trust competition
The deadline to register for the Irish Landmark Trust competition is this Monday, 30th August at midnight! Irish Landmark Trust is an official partner of National Heritage Week 2021. To celebrate, Irish Landmark Trust is offering one lucky winner a voucher for a two-night break in one of its unique heritage properties. To enter the competition, visit the competition page.
Cork County Council has been allocated €320,000 to support the upgrade and enhancement of shopfront and street facades in 6 county towns through the Streetscape Enhancement Scheme. Bandon, Castletownbere, Charleville, Fermoy, Macroom and Passage West are set to receive support through the scheme, funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Grants of up to 100% or €8,000 are available to cover works including painting, signage replacement, shopfront improvement, scaffolding, materials, lighting, street furniture and planting. Business and property owners are encouraged to apply through their relevant local Municipal District Office. The closing date for applications is the 7th of September 2021.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan welcomed the scheme saying, “Enhancing building facades and shopfronts can lead to a distinct and memorable identity for towns, reinforcing pride of place for residents and unforgettable impressions for visitors. The Streetscape Enhancement Scheme funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and distributed through Cork County Council’s Municipal District Offices will be a fantastic resource for the communities of Bandon, Castletownbere, Charleville, Fermoy, Macroom and Passage West. This scheme will enable property owners and businesses in these towns to further partake in the great community effort that goes into creating a colourful welcoming town centre.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Cork County Council, James Fogarty added, “This funding scheme for the successful Cork County towns is most welcome, providing an excellent opportunity for communities and businesses to continue the work undertaken in the past two years side by side with the Council under Project ACT. The local focus will ensure that the selected towns will be able to best express themselves, and continue their successes in attracting visitors, placemaking, and enriching local economic and community life.”
The Streetscape Enhancement Scheme is a key part of Our Rural Future, the Government’s five-year strategy to revitalise rural Ireland and is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Information is available from Cork County Council's Municipal District Offices.
To mark Heritage Week 2021, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage have made an hour-long film documentary, depicting three cultural and historical sites in close proximity to the town of Clonakilty. The first port of call is to Lisselane House and Gardens, once the home of infamous landlord, William Bence Jones and later the celebrated entrepreneur, Charles Orr Stanley. The second is to the ancient graveyard and ruined church in Kilgarriffe where generations of Clonakilty families lie buried. The third and final visit is to the coastal village of Ring with its varied maritime history and ancient graveyard at Ballintemple.
We hope you will enjoy listening to the stories and seeing some spectacular views of these sites.
This project is part of the County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme 2021 and is supported by the Heritage Council under the County Heritage Plan Funding 2021. Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLTD_NunuGI
Independence Museum Kilmurry has a wonderful new addition on site - a mural by Cork Artist Peter Martin, which was supported by Cork County Council through the Arts Office and unveiled by the Mayor of County Cork Cllr. Gillian Coughlan on Saturday 14th August. The mural, which is well worth the visit, is located around the rear of the museum and is freely open to all to see at any time. The piece is inspired by the river Lee valley and some qualities of the embroidered Kate O'Callaghan dress in the museum. The text 'The Beauty of the World is the Heritage of All' is taken from a line in Terence MacSwiney's writings - 'Reflect on the common origin of the human race, on the beauty of the world that is the heritage of all, our common hopes and fears, and in the greatest sense, the mutual interest of the peoples of the earth'.
Coastline at Adrigole, Bantry, Co. Cork. Photo by Catherine Seale-Duggan
This year, local heritage groups and organisers, families, communities, and individuals have created almost 600 projects that are free to explore online through the National Heritage Week website. In County Cork, special projects and events are taking place in Milford, Adrigole, Midleton, Inchigeelagh, Glen River Park and many many more! For information on projects and events for Water Heritage Day in County Cork visit: https://www.heritageweek.ie/projects
Commenting on the importance of water as heritage Catherine Seale-Duggan, Community Water Officer for County Cork said: "The heritage and history of Cork has been shaped by the sea and our magnificent rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Local communities really value places with good water quality and want to enhance them and ensure they can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. We all know the health benefits we get from spending time at a river, lake, or beach. These local water bodies are part of our heritage, but they must also be part of our future. The Local Authority Waters Programme is committed to supporting local communities and ensuring issues affecting water quality are actioned and resolved. Because we all benefit from having good quality water.”
Water Heritage Day occurs on Sunday 22nd August and marks the last day of National Heritage Week 2021. It is a chance to celebrate the heritage and history of Ireland’s magnificent rivers, lakes, wetlands, and coastal waters. Please check the website to see local events near you!
There is also a special hour long webinar on Tuesday the 17th of August at 1:30pm to delve into a world of watery heritage. Titled “From Salmon to Holy Wells – Exploring the Connections between Water and Heritage”, the webinar will explore how humans have used and interacted with water in a vast number of ways throughout history.
The speakers for the webinar are Bernadette Doherty, Community Archaeologist with Galway County Council, Cormac McCarthy, Environment and Heritage Officer with Waterways Ireland and Lar Joye, Port Heritage Director, Dublin Port Company. To register, please follow this link: https://bit.ly/2TFyyxv. Please submit any questions for the speakers to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on projects and events for Water Heritage Day in County Cork visit: https://www.heritageweek.ie/projects
You can also access Stories from the Waterside, a Water Heritage Day project from 2020, at: https://lawaters.ie/stories-from-the-waterside/
Mount Rivers Hoard, Coachford - image courtesy of Denis Power
For many years Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit has each year been producing a new book on a topic of heritage within the county, from bridges to houses and churches to castles. In 2021, with the support of the Heritage Council, a publication on the Heritage Artefacts of County Cork is being undertaken.
Archaeology is the study of how people lived in the past by examining the physical things they have left behind. These physical remains can be divided into monuments, things that are attached to the landscape, and artefacts, those things which are portable and typically are kept in museum collections. Following the successful publication in 2020 of ‘The Archaeological Heritage of County Cork’, it is now proposed to follow this up with one on the county’s artefacts. The study of artefacts can tell us much about how past societies, not only about their technological ability but also lifestyle, belief systems and how society was organised and functioned. Not every artefact will tell us all these things but it is surprising how much can be inferred from the study of objects long ago lost, discarded or carefully preserved over the generations.
Artefacts come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very valuable objects made of gold or silver and produced by masters of their craft. Others are very mundane objects commonly used in everyday life and easily discarded. Amongst the former are objects like the Cork Horns, the Garryduff Bird and St Lachtine’s Arm. Amongst the latter are broken shards of coarse hand-made pottery, simple flint tools and clay pipes. To archaeology all are equally valued as items that are part of our past and have their own story to tell, irrespective of their aesthetic or rarity value. Each one is part of the story of County Cork’s past and it will be the objective of this book to allow the selected items tell that story, to let “the mute stones speak.”
For Heritage Week 2021 a taste of what has been found from prehistoric county Cork is being highlighted, available to see by clicking here.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan is encouraging local community groups to apply for up to €25,000 in funding to improve and enhance their facilities.
Community groups in Cork County can apply for between €1,000 and €25,000 euro to fund capital development projects, as part of the Cork County Community Development Initiative.
The programme operates in association with the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs), which is worth €3.5 million in total. Cork County Council has been putting its own funds aside on a yearly basis since 2016.
€750,000 has been allocated as part of Phase 2 of the project. In 2019, 186 local groups and organisations received funding to refurbish community halls, upgrade walkways and purchase equipment.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan also reiterated the Council’s commitment to community development projects which benefit both people and places:
“We know how tough the last 18 months has been for community groups and how difficult in particular it has been for them to fundraise. Many of these groups rose to the challenge during the pandemic and did all they could to help and support the people in their own community. Our towns and villages would be very different places without them. I am encouraging community groups right across Cork County to apply to this wonderful initiative so that they can have the best facilities and equipment possible.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Cork County Council, James Fogarty highlighted how the Cork County Community Development Initiative was an example of the Council’s continuing dedication to local communities:
“Through our three Local Development Committees, we are committed to improving the range and quality of community based facilities which will assist in providing the very best quality of life offering to our citizens. The Cork County Community Development Initiative in cooperation with the Local Development Companies can be used to enhance facilities in communities or to kick-start, advance or complete their projects.”
The closing date for receipt of applications for Phase 2 of funding is 4pm Friday, 17th September 2021. Applicants will be notified, if successful, in December with a view to having all projects completed by 30th November 2022. Applications can be made online on www.yourcouncil.ie
For queries please contact: Local Community Development Unit, Cork County Council on 021- 4285295 or 021-4285561 or email email@example.com
Foras na Gaeilge is pleased to announce that the Festival Scheme 2022 is now open and welcome applications for festivals that will be organized between 1 January and 31 May 2022. This is in respect of a call out to support either Irish Language Festivals or elements of festivals that are in the Irish Language. The deadline for applications under the first call is 12 midday Friday 3 September 2021 and only applications submitted electronically will be accepted. For further information visit https://www.forasnagaeilge.ie/sceimeanna-maoinithe/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, we will issue a second call in January 2022 for festivals proposed between 1 June and 31 December 2022. Therefore, organisers of festivals proposed for this period should not apply during the first call.
Tá áthas ar Fhoras na Gaeilge a fhógairt go bhfuil Scéim na bhFéilte 2022 oscailte anois agus fáiltímid roimh iarratais d’fhéilte a eagrófar idir an 1 Eanáir agus an 31 Bealtaine 2022.
Is é an spriocdháta le haghaidh iarratas faoin gcéad ghlaoch 12 meán lae Dé hAoine an 3 Meán Fómhair 2021, agus ní ghlacfar ach le hiarratais a chuirfear isteach go leictreonach.
Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil téigh chuig https://www.forasnagaeilge.ie/sceimeanna-maoinithe/ nó déan teagmháil linn ag email@example.com.
Tabhair do d’aire le do thoil, eiseoimid an dara glaoch i mí Eanáir 2022 le haghaidh féilte atá beartaithe idir an 1 Meitheamh agus an 31 Nollaig 2022. Mar sin, níor chóir do lucht eagraithe féilte atá beartaithe don tréimhse sin iarratas a chur isteach le linn an chéad ghlaoch.
Why not enter your project for one of the many awards in national Heritage Week? Awards will be given for Best County Heritage Project; Heritage Hero; Heritage Newcomer: Heritage Sharing; Heritage for all ages; Water Heritage; and Wild Child. All successful projects uploaded on heritageweek.ie by Monday 30th August 2021 can be considered for a National Heritage Award. Further details available at https://www.heritageweek.ie/news/heritage-council-to-recognise-heritage-projects-for-its-national-heritage-awards-scheme
A new book containing a compilation of articles referring to Midleton’s history will be launched in the coming weeks. The book contains separate essays relating to the history of Ballyannan Wood, the Cork to Youghal Railway line, Midleton Marble, Ballinacurra/Bailick Port, ‘Middle Town to Midleton’ how Midleton got its name and the history of Golf in Midleton including the original layouts of Midleton and East Cork golf clubs. The book also contains maps and photos relevant to some of the articles. These articles were first written in 2009/2010 when the author attended a UCC adult education course titled ‘Local and Regional studies’ which is still available on a two year cycle in the college. This highly recommended course dealt with a wide range of topics on local history, geography, archaeology and folklore including field trips to locations of local historical or geographical interest. The basic aim of the course was to encourage participants to take a greater interest in their locality to expand their knowledge about the areas they came from or were now resident in. Part of the coursework included researching areas of local interest and the articles in this publication are a compilation of the research carried out during this course. Although all of the essays were originally completed in 2009/2010 they have been modernised to incorporate some developments which have transpired in the meantime. As each individual article was researched and presented separately there is some duplication in the information contained within the articles. In order to maintain the integrity of each article they are presented here as they were originally submitted. As well as the essays there are poems by Dick Cashman and Peter Moloney, some with relevance to the attached essays.
The books are available for purchase from August 16th 2021 at Angela’s shop in Connolly Street, Mc Carthy’s news agency 43 Main Street and the Midleton Tourist office at the entrance to the Jameson Heritage centre.
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage have published a Draft Guidance for Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings for public consultation. This document and public consultation online questionnaire (open for submissions until 10th September 2021) are available at https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/public-consultation-on-the-draft-guidance-for-energy-efficiency-in-traditional-buildings-en/
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, has extended the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage to give State recognition to a further 8 key practices of Ireland’s Living Cultural Heritage.
The practices now being recognised are Beekeeping, Clones Crochet Lace Making, Headford Lace Making, Irish Traditional Travelling Circus and Funfair, Lá an Dreoilín/Wren’s Day, Native Irish Cattle Breeding, The Tradition of Spancilhill International Horse Fair, Traditional Seine Boat Building, Fishing and Racing.
Minister Martin said: “These eight living cultural heritage practices require knowledge and skill, and foster our sense of community and place. These practices thrive through the dedicated communities who sustain and pass on their skills and way of life to succeeding generations ensuring the continuance of these important traditions. Official State recognition and inscription onto the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural will raise awareness of these practices and traditions.”
The development and extension of Ireland’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage is an integral part of the work of the Department under the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which requires States to recognise, protect and promote the living cultural heritage of their countries. There is now a total of 38 practices on Ireland’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, all of which were included following rigorous assessment by an expert advisory committee.
Expressions of interest for State recognition and inscription to the National Inventory are accepted by the Department on a rolling basis. Interested parties can find more information on the website https://nationalinventoryich.chg.gov.ie/ or contact the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has announced the results of an Open Call by her Department for funding for Woodland Support Projects. The Call was aimed at promoting the multi-functional benefits of forestry from recreational, environmental, community and economic uses and will be funded by her Department over the next two years. Over 61 applications were received of which 39 individual projects have now been selected for funding.
The Minister said, “I am delighted to see such a broad range of inspiring projects aimed at supporting woodlands and I am particularly pleased at both the spread of projects throughout country and at seven of those chosen highlighting the environmental benefits of woodland. This was a category I specifically added to this year’s Call and it is gratifying to see that it was so well responded too. Overall, I believe the response demonstrates that there is a huge interest in communicating the benefits of our woodlands, in enhancing our knowledge of sustainable woodland management and in progressing the development and use of timber products”
The projects will develop the knowledge base of farmers, woodland owners and the wider sector about the benefits of forestry, they will advance timber development, they will support native woodlands and agroforestry, and they will engage the wider community with trees as a source of enjoyment, inspiration, and biodiversity.
Minister Hackett had originally allocated funding of €1 million to the Woodland Support Fund but on receipt of the proposals, she increased that figure considerably. Explaining the increase, she said “Given the response to this Open Call and in order to fund as many projects as possible, I was more than pleased to increase the available budget to €1.4 million. I did not wish to see any worthy project left behind and really look forward to seeing them being rolled out and to what they can achieve.”
The projects selected will support woodlands through a variety of approaches. They include, for example, a series of forestry webinars; field workshops on Continuous Cover Forestry; promoting the use of home grown timber for construction; the sourcing and planting native trees in GAA club grounds nationwide; woodland open days; ecological restoration, and awareness raising through multi-media, targeted promotional/educational initiatives to develop the potential of agroforestry in Ireland and many others besides.
The Minister concluded “The publication of the EU forestry Strategy last week highlighted the diverse benefits which our woodlands can play and this open call aligns very much with that approach. I want to thank all those individuals and organisations for taking part and we look forward to working with the successful groups on the implementation of their projects over the next two years”.
The Call for Proposals for Woodland Support Projects covered four themes as follows:
- Support and highlight the environmental benefits of woodlands.
- Support and highlight the benefits of woodlands, focussing on farmers, and / or community engagement and /or general wellness.
- Support and highlight productive forestry and timber products, in the context of climate action and the bioeconomy.
- Support and highlight sustainable forest management among forest owners (targeted at organisations already active in this area with established programmes in operation).
Of the successful applications, a number relate to the county of Cork as part of national initiatives, as well as a grant of €28,150 for Green Skibbereen CLG towards the Myross Wood Meitheal.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has published the first interim report on the implementation of Project Woodland. The report was submitted to the Minister by the Project Board overseeing the implementation of the Project and It will produce the second and third interim reports in October and December of this year and bi-monthly until the conclusion of the Project. The purpose of the Interim Reports is to give feedback to members of the Working groups across the whole scope of the project, to keep stakeholders and the general public apprised of developments, and to make recommendations to the Minister on next steps
The Minister said “I am pleased to receive this interim report and to publish it for the information of the public and all stakeholders. Transparency and open communication is central to the implementation of this project. The Project Board for Project Woodland has met on nine occasions since its establishment in February 2021 and the Working Groups continue to meet intensively also. It’s important to capture all of their outputs and monitor closely the progress being made and any future recommendations”.
The report also outlines next steps on some of the recommendations. Progress on these will be closely monitored and updated in each of the follow-up interim reports also. There are two recommendations in particular to which the Project Board identified as
- The need for a regulatory review on forestry licencing in Ireland. A tender for a review team comprising legal, planning and environmental expertise is being published this week on the Government’s eTenders website.
- A consultation plan for the development of a new National Forest Strategy is also outlined. DAFM is working immediately to put in place the structures for this to start now. The engagement with local communities through Irish Rural Link has already started and has been prioritised by the Minister as step one in the development of the next strategy.
The Minister concluded “I want to thank the four members of the Project Board for their work in producing this. I would also like to thank the four WG Chairs and each of the members for your input. None of this work is easy and there are no silver bullets but the collaboration between stakeholders is obvious form the report. I look forward to discussing this in more detail with them as we drive on to the next stage in implementing this Project.”
The interim report and the Project Charter can be found at: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/642e6-forestry/#project-woodland
Cork County Council has today formally signed up to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP). Getting on board with this ambitious five-year roadmap to help bees and nature is further evidence of the Council’s commitment to playing a leading role in making its land more pollinator friendly.
One-third of Ireland’s bee species are threatened with extinction because of a drastic reduction in the amount of flowers and safe nesting sites. Bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies and butterflies need sufficient supplies of food in the form of a range of flowering plants. They also need nesting places in long grass, burrows and crevices in wood or old walls.
The second All-Ireland Pollinator Plan was launched by the National Biodiversity Data Centre in March 2021 and centres around making farmland, public and private land pollinator friendly. Cork County Council has already developed seven Town Pollinator Plans and is in the process of preparing five more.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan said: “Cork County Council plans to lead the way in making the island of Ireland a place where pollinators can flourish. We are already seeing positive results in towns across Cork County. In fact, the work undertaken in Midleton has been hailed as a national example of best practice. Flower beds are planted with pollinator friendly perennials and the spraying of pesticides has been reduced with road verges allowed to bloom into long flowering meadows. Success is not measured by having a plan, but by knowing that it is working and that is clear to see with the appearance of over 300 rare Bee Orchids last year. I am looking forward to working with local communities to replicate and extend the success of the Midleton project across the county.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added: “The second All-Ireland Pollinator Plan contains actions which are simple, easily achieved and effective. Cork County Council has made great progress in this area and pollinators are better off than they were five years ago, but they are still in difficulties and as a society we all need to do more. The draft County Development Plan includes an objective to support the implementation of the AIPP. Town Pollinator Plans are now in place in Midleton, Carrigaline, Kinsale, Bantry, Macroom, Kanturk and Fermoy. Five more plans are being prepared and we will also be providing training and support to Local Authority staff, Tidy Towns and other community groups who are keen to develop similar plans for other towns and villages. Community Bee Workshops are being organised and a new roadside hedge-cutting policy is also being developed.”
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is voluntary. It was developed by a 16-member steering group who provide oversight, with implementation coordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
The 2021 – 2025 plan lays out six broad objectives
- Making farmland pollinator friendly
- Making public land pollinator friendly
- Making private land pollinator friendly
- All-Ireland Honeybee Strategy
- Conserving rare pollinators
- Strategic coordination of the plan
The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has announced the award of 62 grants worth €915,295 by the seven Fisheries Local Action Groups established under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme. The grants are awarded to 62 mostly local coastal community groups and micro enterprises. The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.
Announcing the grant awards, Minister McConalogue said: “The FLAG Scheme under my Department’s EMFF Seafood Development Programme has been a huge success. With the grant awards I am announcing today, the seven FLAGs have now successfully dispersed their full €12 million allocation under my Department’s EMFF Programme. The FLAG Scheme has been operating since just 2017, following a short pilot in the previous programme and has gone from strength to strength. This is testament not just to the demand for such local development funding in our coastal communities but very much to the hard work of the local volunteers, many drawn from our seafood and wider marine sectors, who make up the boards of each of our seven FLAGs”.
Minister McConalogue added: “I believe that the FLAG initiative has significant additional potential in the years ahead to further drive start-ups and the development of seafood and marine businesses in our coastal communities and can be a key element of our strategy in mitigating the impacts of Brexit on our coastal communities”.
The FLAG scheme is now closed, having expended its full allocation and a process will be initiated as part of the preparation of the new Seafood Development Programme 2021-27 to appoint FLAGs for the next programme period. The new FLAGs will be operational in 2022.
Details of the FLAG scheme can be found here.
With regard to the County of Cork, €102,523 has been awarded to 13 successful applicants - such applicants ranging from Cumann na Daoine in Youghal to the Ellen Hutchins Festival in Bantry, as well as applicants from Schull, Allihies and Skibbereen.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, has announced the commencement of a public consultation on the draft interventions proposed for the 2023-2027 CAP Strategic Plan. The consultation will run for a four-week period, from 30th July to 27th August. The Minister said: “The draft interventions have been developed based in no small measure on stakeholder input, including through extensive consideration of the situation in the sector by way of a formal SWOT analysis and needs assessment process. The proposed draft interventions are wide-ranging, and I believe will support farmers and rural communities to address the economic, environmental and social challenges that they face.” The Minister noted that there is a particularly strong emphasis on the achievement of a higher level of climate and environment ambition through a new “Green Architecture” that will operate across both direct payments and rural development interventions. He also emphasised that Ireland proposes to put the CSP at the core of the transition to more sustainable agricultural and food systems.
Commenting further, Minister McConalogue noted: “I have consistently said that I would consult widely to hear the views of all stakeholders in order to fully inform my decisions on, for example, redistribution of direct payments, capping and convergence of direct payments, and on how best to achieve the economic, environmental and social objectives of the CAP. I look forward to all stakeholders, and the wider public, engaging in the process over the coming weeks.”
On the process, the Minister emphasised that he wanted to make it as accessible as possible in the light of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. He said: “Two virtual townhall meetings will be conducted via Webinar at 7pm on 11 and 12 August. There will be an opportunity to ask questions on the night, or to submit them in advance. In addition, written submissions can be made to my Department by post or email until 27th August’ by emailing CAPStrategicPlan@agriculture.gov.ie.
Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) for the period 2023-2027 will underpin the sustainable development of Ireland’s farming and food sector by supporting viable farm incomes and enhancing competitiveness, by strengthening the socio-economic fabric of rural areas, and by contributing to the achievement of environmental and climate objectives at national and EU levels.
The new CSP will represent a change in the approach to CAP planning and implementation compared to previous programming periods. Instead of the familiar compliance-based approach followed previously, a new performance-based approach will be adopted. This will be underpinned by a ‘New Delivery Model’, under which Member States’ performance will be judged on outputs and results, and on how their CSPs contribute to CAP objectives at EU level. The CSP will also take a more holistic approach, incorporating interventions under both Pillar I (Direct Payments and Sectoral Interventions) and Pillar II (Rural Development) into one overall plan.
The launch of the public consultation on the draft interventions for the CAP Strategic Plan is a very important next step in the development of Ireland’s Plan. The draft interventions outlined were developed based on stakeholder input, as well as on the preparatory work undertaken by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (in particular, the work undertaken on the SWOT analysis and Needs Assessment required under the CAP Strategic Plan Regulation), in consultation with other relevant Departments and agencies.
To ensure that maximum stakeholder input is received at this stage of the CSP design process, there are two strands to the consultation, as follows:
- written submissions, which are invited from interested parties by the closing date of 27 August.
- virtual townhall meetings, which will take place on 11 and 12 August.
Virtual townhall meetings will be conducted via Webinar. Further details on these will be available www.gov.ie/cap.
The responses received through the public consultation will be reflected in a draft version of the overall CAP Strategic Plan that will be submitted to external evaluators in early September. Following completion of their work, an updated plan will be made available for further public consultation in October/November. The final plan will be submitted for Government approval in December before submission to the EU Commission by the deadline of 1st January 2022. The EU Commission has 6/8 months to approve the plan. The CAP Strategic Plan will commence on 1 January 2023.
The Heritage Council has announced details for the National Heritage Awards 2021. This year’s awards once again include a category for the best project from each county. In addition to the county awards, projects will be recognised under the following award categories:
- Heritage Hero: awarded to an individual or organisation that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the protection and promotion of heritage in Ireland. Awarded based on nominations by the public.
- Heritage newcomers: awarded to an individual or a group new to National Heritage Week and who demonstrated considerable interest and innovation in their first encounter with the week.
- Heritage sharing: awarded to the project which connected with an individual or a group in the community normally excluded from heritage; or a project which explored an aspect of local heritage that is seldom considered or celebrated.
- Heritage for all ages: awarded to a project which successfully included participants from different age groups.
- Water Heritage: awarded to the project that best explores how a canal, river, lake or the sea shapes heritage in a locality, and which is shared with the wider community.
- Wild Child: awarded to a project which successfully encourages children and families to drop the devices, jump off the couch and get outdoors for and explore the heritage in their locality.
The County of Cork is steeped in heritage – natural heritage, maritime heritage, cultural heritage, architectural heritage, archaeological heritage, folklore, traditional crafts and so much more. The County of Cork, too, is endowed with hundreds of groups that take pride in the history and heritage of their locality and in recognition of this Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit has developed a Public Engagement Initiative with the support of the Heritage Council - the County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme – 2021 being the first year of this scheme. The aim of the Grant Scheme is to acknowledge and support Cork County’s many heritage groups in undertaking activities that in turn support the actions and objectives of the County Cork Heritage Plan.
At the heart of the County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme, supported by the Heritage Council, is the recognition of the great work undertaken by groups throughout the County of Cork in all areas of heritage and that even small levels of support will help with some exceptional projects.
Under the grant scheme this year, 34 applications were submitted by the closing date of June 10th 2021 and Cork County Council has just announced that 23 projects are to be in receipt of funding, covering such locations as Ballygarvan, Bandon, Carrigadrohid, Charleville, Coppeen, Inchigeelagh, Kanturk, Lombardstown, Macroom, Mitchelstown and Youghal. The maximum grant allocation under the scheme was €1,000 and the average received by applicants this year is €761.
The applications submitted cover a wide range of heritage undertakings ranging from Heritage Week Projects, video documentaries and Condition Reports for important local heritage buildings, to exhibitions, archives, natural heritage projects and a wide range of heritage publications. Given the success of the scheme it is hoped to operate same again in 2022.
A new campaign entitled Protect Our Past launched this week, urging visitors to heritage sites to be mindful of their actions over the summer. The focus of the campaign is to raise awareness of the value, importance and sensitivity of Ireland’s built heritage and to convey some key messages around visitor behaviour at monuments.
The campaign is a joint initiative of the Office of Public Works and the National Monuments Service (DHLGH). A short guide has been produced for visitors (available here:)
Over the coming weeks the Department and OPW will be sharing on respective social media channels a series of animated videos to highlight the impact that inappropriate behaviour can have on sites. We hope that raising awareness of the value of these sites will lead to an even wider appreciation and understanding of their significance and help in their protection.
#ProtectOurPast campaign information is available on www.gov.ie/opw/ .
Ministers Pippa Hackett and Malcolm Noonan announced support for a pilot initiative to establish a National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme. The scheme will track changes in wild pollinators across Ireland and is part of an initiative across much of Europe. Announcing the scheme, which will monitor wild pollinators (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies and butterflies) across a network of 50 sites incorporating farmland, semi-natural and public land, Minister Hackett said: ‘I am delighted to see my department collaborating with the NPWS to support this pilot. It will support the All Ireland Pollinator plan and proposed EU pollinator monitoring requirements by establishing a robust national monitoring framework. This will deliver key metrics on pollinator population status and trends, and complement the long-term citizen science monitoring that is already being done through the All-Ireland Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme. ‘
Minister Noonan said: “We committed to a Pollinator Plan in the Programme for Government and this work is a substantial contribution to improving our understanding of, and conservation of, bees and other important pollinators. This National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme will build on the existing programmes of the National Biodiversity Data Centre, bringing added value to the work of the Centre in Waterford. We have seen great strides in caring for pollinators in towns and villages, parks and gardens and I hope we will see the same in the farming landscapes of Ireland in the years to come. I want to acknowledge the Heritage Council in facilitating this collaboration between our two Departments and the Data Centre.”
Dr Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre noted that, “Monitoring biodiversity is an essential first step in the protection of pollination and other ecosystem services, for polices or actions to be effective they must have a sound evidence base’. The National Biodiversity Data Centre looks forward to working with NPWS and the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to deliver this evidence base.”
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025 is supported by both the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. It identifies a clear need for long-term monitoring mechanisms for wild pollinators, so that the impact of the Plan can be properly assessed. The EU Pollinators Initiative (2018) calls on Member States to develop national pollinator strategies and to establish monitoring mechanisms, with indicators to enable evaluation of actions taken to tackle the decline of pollinators. In announcing this new initiative, Ireland places itself at the forefront of pollinator conservation in Europe.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has recently announced the introduction of new legislation setting out notification requirements on the arrival of certain plants and plant products from other European Member States - European Union (Plant Health Controls) Regulations 2021 (S.I. no. 310 of 2021).
Minister Hackett commented: “Plant health controls are fundamental to the protection of Ireland’s plant health status. By notifying the Department of the arrival of these plants and plant products into the State, operators will be playing a vital role in preventing the spread of destructive pests and diseases. This will help to maintain and further strengthen Ireland’s favourable plant health status”.
Many plant pests and diseases found elsewhere are still not present in Ireland. The Department implements a strict plant health regime in order to protect this favourable plant health status. The plants and plant products listed in the new Regulations are host species of harmful organisms, such as Fireblight, both Oak and Pine Proessionary Moth, Oriental Chestnut gall wasp, and certain spruce bark beetle, which are of particular concern to Ireland. Notification is required so that the necessary inspections can be carried out. Included in the list of plants for planting are lavender and rosemary. The list of plant products requiring notification includes fuel wood.
The Minister added that “One of the key principles of my Department’s Plant Health and Biosecurity Strategy is risk-based surveillance for early detection in line with international best practice and scientific evidence. The introduction of additional notification requirements will enable my Department to ensure proper surveillance of trade in these host species and early detection of pests and diseases.”
The Department should be notified of the arrival of these plants and plant products from other Member States as soon as practicable as and no later than 48 hours after arrival into the State. These arrangements are separate to the notification requirements for import of these plants from outside of the EU.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is making a change to the way in which Forestry projects which require Appropriate Assessments under the Habitats Directive are assessed. This change, which comes into effect immediately, is necessary in order to give full effect to recent legislative changes as made by S.I. No. 293 of 2021. In response to the instrument, the Department has initiated a revised public consultation to ensure that there is full public participation in decision-making around projects that may have an effect on European sites.
The new consultation procedures of forestry licencing applications will now be:
1. A 30-day consultation period on receipt of the licence application. This is already the case and applications continue to be available free to view on the Forestry Licence Viewer (agriculture.gov.ie). Any member of the public can make a submission within 30 days of publication of the licence application. A fee of €20 for a submission on any application will apply.
- A second 30-day consultation period will commence after receipt of a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) or after an Appropriate Assessment Report is produced by the Department, and relevant documentation will be published on the Forestry Licence Viewer (agriculture.gov.ie). If a NIS is submitted with the initial application only one public consultation period is required. This is the new process, and it is one which makes for extensive public consultation on forestry licence applications. It applies to files which are screened-in for Appropriate Assessment. Any such files in the system that have not yet been decided, and future applications will be covered by this new consultation process with immediate effect.
3. Lists of these Appropriate Assessment cases open for consultation will be published on the Forestry pages of the Department’s website at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/642e6-forestry/#public-consultation. Submissions on these applications will be accepted on payment of the fee of €20 per submission, although no fee shall apply where a person has already made and paid for a submission on the same file. More information on making a submission may be found here: gov.ie - Public Consultation on Licence Applications for Felling, Afforestation, Forest Roads and Aerial Fertilisation (www.gov.ie).
4. Any files which are screened-out for Appropriate Assessment will follow the same procedures as before.
- On publication of a licence decision from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, any member of the public can submit an appeal to the Forestry Appeals Committee found here: http://www.agriappeals.gov.ie/forestryappealscommittee/. The time period for lodging an appeal will now be within 14 days of decisions issued from 12th July 2021. A fee of €200 for making an appeal applies.
You still have time to register your project for National Heritage Week. To register as a project organiser, visit the Heritage Week website. Once registered, you will gain access to the project organisers portal, where you will find some project inspiration and other resources to help you develop your project. Register here... Looking for inspiration for your project? There is already a selection of heritage projects uploaded and ready to explore here...
Projects shared via heritageweek.ie by Monday, 30th August 2021 will be eligible for consideration for a National Heritage Award.
Last month, the Heritage Council hosted three webinars to support heritage project organisers as they prepare for National Heritage Week 2021.
The webinars gave attendees an overview of National Heritage Week 2021 and recommended approaches to 'open the door to heritage' and include as many people as possible in National Heritage Week; provided a walk-through of the technical aspects of taking your project online and sharing it on heritageweek.ie; and shared ideas on how to amplify projects to reach wider and new audiences.
Thank you to all the panels and facilitator Susan O'Keeffe for making these online sessions so informative and engaging.
Recordings of these webinars are now available to view online. Watch here...
Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport, Jack Chambers T.D. and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. have announced that the Heads of 32 amendments to strengthen the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill have been approved by Government.
Minister of State Jack Chambers said: "It is a great honour for me as Minister of State with responsibility for the Gaeltacht, to have the opportunity to promote our native language, not only in the Gaeltacht, but throughout the island of Ireland. The increased and improved provision of public services though the Irish language will ensure that issues regarding the provision of State services though Irish to both Irish speakers and Gaeltacht communities will be addressed, along with challenges and opportunities regarding the recruitment of Irish speakers to public bodies. We are further developing and nurturing an environment where our native language is widely recognised and accepted as the first official language of the State. After listening to comments by deputies at a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Irish Speaking Community yesterday, I will be providing opposition representatives with the opportunity to sit down with me over the coming weeks to discuss these amendments.”
Announcing the key amendments approved by Cabinet, Minister of State Chambers added: "The publication of the Official Languages Amendment Bill in 2019 was broadly welcomed at the time but a number of criticisms centred on the lack of target dates or a timetable for initiatives provided for in the Bill. Earlier this year, we saw the acceptance of a number of Government amendments at Committee Stage. I welcome these additional 32 amendments which will be brought by me to Dáil Éireann at Report Stage. Key amendments include the following measures:
- A requirement that 20% of new recruits to the public service be competent in the Irish language by 31st December 2030.
- An obligation on the Minister to specify by Regulation - within 3 months of receipt of the National Plan for the Provision of Irish-Medium Public Services already provided for in the Bill - dates by which all public services will be provided in each of the 26 statutory Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas established under the Gaeltacht Act 2012 and by which all public offices in these Language Planning Areas will operate through the medium of Irish. This provision will complement the provisions contained in the Gaeltacht Act 2012 relating to the development of language plans in Gaeltacht Language Planning Areas, the full implementation of which will depend greatly on the provision of public services in the Irish language to these communities.
- A requirement that each public body carry out at least 20% of its annual advertising in the Irish language and 5% in the Irish language media.
- A requirement that the use of the síneadh fada be accommodated in all ICT systems operated by public bodies.
- A requirement for any commercial operator providing public services under contract to a public body to make provision for the use of the Irish language as part of those services.
- The replacement of the Placenames Commission with a statutory Placenames Committee to advise the Minister with regard to the making of Placenames Orders.
"Minister Martin and I are committed to this Bill and to the amendments being proposed in order to strengthen it. Many of the amendments now proposed are based on issues raised by the opposition at Committee Stage and their approval demonstrates a willingness by this Government to listen to the concerns of Irish-speaking and Gaeltacht communities and to act upon them. Building on the Government’s commitment in the recently published Civil Service Renewal 2030 strategy to implement the National Plan for the Provision of Irish-Medium Public Services provided for in the Bill, we both feel strongly that they will strengthen the status of the Irish language within the State sector, ensuring consistently high quality Irish language services within the public service for those in the Irish speaking community and in Gaeltacht areas.”
Minister Martin said: "I am delighted that these amendments sought by Minister of State Chambers and I have been accepted by Government as they address many of the concerns and issues that have been raised following extensive consultation with stakeholders and some 25 hours of debate at Committee Stage. These amendments are consistent with the State’s wider policy ambition to support and promote the use of the Irish language.
The 32 amendments will improve the overall operation of the Official Languages Act 2003, ensuring that the relevant legislation continues to act as an effective mechanism to reflect the Constitutional position of the Irish language as the first official language of the State and to ensure that public services in Irish are available to meet the needs of Irish speakers. My colleague, Minister of State Chambers, will now present these amendments at Report Stage.”
The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) has a membership of over two dozen towns throughout the island of Ireland (North, South, East and West) and includes 4 towns in Cork. Three of these are in Cork County – Bandon, Buttevant and Youghal – and Cork City is also part of the Network. The Irish Walled Towns Network over the last number of years has supported a range of different projects and undertakings, including here in the County of Cork. To further promote the work of the ITWN, an Ezine, which is called the Walled Town Crier, is issued regularly and the June/July Edition, 2021, is available to read by clicking here. In this edition, there is a focus on valuing Volunteers, how to join the Irish Walled Town Network and a focus on the post-medieval Walled Town of Bandon.
‘Would you like the opportunity to experience a piece of living history and have a holiday that will leave you with lasting memories? Staying at an Irish Landmark is not just a holiday. Your stay is contributing to the future of these wonderful buildings. We are so excited that this project is complete and is now available for people to enjoy’.
The Irish Landmark Trust is delighted to announce that restoration works at Killee Cottage, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork are complete and bookings are open for this unique Thatched Cottage, which sleeps two guests.
The cottage likely dates from the early 19 century and possibly the late 18 century and is a good example of the vernacular farm cottage typical of the South of Ireland.
The property has been restored by the Irish Landmark Trust, having also seen the involvement/support of the Heritage Council and Cork County Council.
As part of the opening celebrations the Irish Landmark Trust is offering a 10% discount for ONLINE BOOKINGS ONLY. Terms and conditions apply. For further information click here.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, has recently announced the publication of the Department’s annual Forest Statistics Report for 2021. This Report is prepared annually by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Launching the report, the Minister commented, “ As I engage with all stakeholders on the commitments in the Programme for Government and Project Woodland, it’s important to have reliable statistics to chart the progress of implementation. ‘Forest Statistics - Ireland 2021’ is a compilation of statistics on the forest estate and the forest industry in Ireland. It is the definitive compendium of up-to-date information on forestry in Ireland and is the go-to reference document for anybody interested in the subject. The information in the annual report demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to forestry."
“The decreasing trend in the area being afforested annually is something that needs to be addressed. New forestry is essential to meeting not only our economic objectives but also our climate change targets and our aims in terms of enhancing biodiversity. The vital importance of forestry to deliver on society’s needs is well understood and the need to unlock this value into the future is clear. Therefore, the immediate priority is to address the current licencing difficulties and deliver on the objectives of set-out in Project Woodland.”
“My Department is also examining ways of promoting tree planting on farms on a smaller scale than our existing afforestation schemes for inclusion in the next CAP under agri-environment schemes. The primary aim of these measures is to promote and enhance biodiversity, by protecting important environmental resources and generating carbon sinks”.
The Minister also added, “I am particularly pleased with the increase in the proportion of broadleaves afforested from 25% in 2019 to 34% in 2020. A similar increase occurred in the Native Woodland Establishment scheme operated by my Department.”
Ten key statistics from Forest Statistics - Ireland 2021 include:
- In 2020, total expenditure was €79.2 million which includes afforestation grants, annual premium payments and grants for forest road infrastructure.
- During 2020, 2,434ha of new forests were created. Cork had the highest afforestation area at 293ha followed by Kerry at 289ha.
- Nationally, conifer species are the dominant species present, representing 71% of forest area while broadleaved species accounted for 29%. The proportion of broadleaves in new forests created during 2020 is 34%, an increase of 9% over the area established in 2019.
- Native Woodlands established as part of the afforestation scheme in 2020 represented 19% of the total area, an increase of 10% over the area established in 2019.
- Over half (50.8%) of forests are in public ownership, with the remainder in private ownership. Farmers have accounted for 81% of private lands afforested between 1980 and 2020.
- Since 1980, over 23,000 private land owners have received grant aid to establish forests. The average size of private grant-aided afforestation since 1980 is 8.6 ha.
- The construction of nearly 100km of private forest roads was funded during 2020. This reflects the projected increase in timber and wood to be harvested which is expected to double by 2030.
- Felling licences were issued during 2020, for the thinning of 7,605 ha and the clearfelling of 11,870ha.
- According to the State of Europe’s Forests 2020 report Ireland has one of the highest annual rates of change in forest area in Europe, expressed as a percentage of total forest area.
- Forests and forest products play an important role in mitigating climate change by sequestering and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. In 2019, Ireland’s forests removed close to 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The Report is available at: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/15b56-forest-statistics-and-mapping/#annual-forest-sector-statistics
Under the County Cork Commemorations Grant Scheme 2021, supported by Cork County Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Media and Sport, 32 applications were received, and of these, 29 projects were allocated funding by Cork County Council at its Full Council meeting of Monday, 14th June, 2021.
The purpose of the County Cork Commemorative Grant Scheme 2021 is to support local groups, organisations and individuals who wish to ensure the appropriate commemoration of significant local events, through a range of different projects. In the evaluating of applications particular consideration was given to projects that demonstrated local connections to significant historical events that occurred in 1921, including the Signing of the Truce, the Anglo-Irish Treaty Negotiations and Debates, and the Signing of the Treaty, and not to mention all of the significant happenings in the County of Cork - over 20 ambushes; over 30 assassinations and executions, including the first officially sanctioned execution in Ireland under Martial Law, as well as house raids, barracks attacks, disappearances, rescues and close to 100 Shootings - some of which were accidental but nonetheless resulted in tragic loss of life.
Across the 29 projects supported €69,615 is being made available with an average grant allocation of €2,400. The applications submitted cover a wide range of commemorative undertakings ranging from monuments and plaques to video productions, publications, and online projects. In keeping with the range of projects is the range of groups that have been supported under the scheme, from Bantry Development and Tourism and the local History Society to the Dripsey Ambush Memorial Committee, Glanworth Heritage Group and Mourneabbey Community Council, to name but a few.
The Struggle for Independence in County Cork, 1921, saw the death of over 250 people – men, women and children, on both sides of the conflict and on none. This year, groups throughout County Cork are proud to be the generation that commemorates the centenary and the range of different projects and initiatives supported by the 2021 County Cork Commemorations Grant Scheme is testament to this.
Cork County Council Library and Arts Service has launched Summer Stars 2021. Summer Stars is the free national reading programme for children that takes place in all public libraries and online each summer. It will run from 14th June - 31st August 2021. Each child in Cork County is invited to call to their local library branch to get a reading card and record the books that they read and enjoy the fun and pleasure of reading and writing over the Summer . Even if they read just one book or e-book and return the completed reading card to any local Cork County Council Library and Arts Service branch library they will be entered in a raffle at the end of Summer and have the chance to win some great prizes. Summer Stars is non-competitive and all completely free or charge!
Activities for Summer Stars 2021:
1. Books: Call to your Cork County Council Library and Arts Service branch library to visit and stock up on your summer reads and register for Summer Stars!
2. Summer Stars BorrowBox: Browse, borrow, read and listen to the Summer Stars collection of children’s e-books and e-audio books through the library’s BorrowBox app. This is free for all members to use from anywhere, anytime. Non-members can join online for free at https://www.librariesireland.ie/join-your-library.
3. Online Arts events: Summer Stars arts and craft workshops will be delivered online throughout the Summer. Ask in your local branch library and keep an eye on our social media pages for updates.
4. Story Competition: As well an enjoying the amazing worlds of books, Summer Stars is also celebrating children’s imaginations by running a short story competition. There are three age categories age 6-9, age 10-14, age 15-18 with great prizes including a Tablet and finalist in all categories will receive a €50 voucher for all the winners and runners-up. There is a national short story competition. To enter, write a story using the following opening line:
Of all the places in the world, I never thought I would be here…
Finish the story to enter this year's Summer Stars short story competition!
For terms and conditions and more information check the Libraries Ireland website at https://www.librariesireland.ie/services/right-to-read/summer-stars/of-all-the-places-in-the-world-i-never-thought-i-would-be-here
5. Reading cards and reviews: Children can track their reading progress with reading cards which can be marked each time a book is read, online or in print form. These are available from your local library or for download and print below. The reviews section on the website: https://www.librariesireland.ie/services/right-to-read/summer-stars/more-about-summer-stars allows readers to upload their views on what they have read.
6. Online Activities: Check Cork County Council Library and Arts Service social media and website for upcoming Summer Stars events and activities!
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, has welcomed the political agreement struck on the post-2023 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Speaking in Luxembourg following this morning’s discussion among EU Agriculture Ministers, Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted that it has finally been possible for the EU institutions to come to a political agreement on the future CAP, after three years of negotiations. The agreement represents a reasonable balance between the views of the Council and the European Parliament - neither institution got everything they wanted, which is the nature of negotiation and compromise. Ultimately, this deal offers our farm families security that an effective CAP framework will continue to 2027.”
The Minister noted that all three institutions, including the European Commission, have now arrived at a point where they agree on how the twin challenges of ensuring fair distribution of payments between farmers, and the achievement of a higher level of environmental and climate ambition, can be tackled under the CAP framework. All aspects of sustainability - environmental, economic and social - are now at its core.
Minister McConalogue said: “We have succeeded in obtaining the maximum possible flexibility to implement the CAP in a way that suits our national circumstances. This has been one of my key goals from the outset. For example, on the new Eco-schemes, the compromise reached on a 25% ring-fencing of direct payments funding allows sufficient flexibility for Member States to avoid the risk of a loss of unspent funds, particularly during the initial two-year learning period.”The Minister continued: “Similarly, on the targeting of support and the redistribution of payments, I welcome the derogation for Member States from the mandatory 10% redistribution - or ‘frontloading’ - requirement, and the inclusion of internal convergence as a mechanism that will be considered in the context of justifying the redistribution needs that we will identify in our CAP Strategic Plans. The fact that internal convergence will now move to a minimum level of 85% of the national average by 2026 is also a positive outcome.”
Minister McConalogue referred to the considerable amount of work required over the coming months to finalise Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan, which must be submitted to the European Commission by 1st January 2022. He confirmed that he will consult widely with stakeholders in this regard, in order to use the flexibility provided in the legislative framework as effectively and as fairly as possible. He said: “I will approach this process in an open and constructive manner, and I hope and expect that all parties – farming, environmental and others - will do the same. We know that there are considerable challenges ahead, but there are also many opportunities. We have to acknowledge the reality that farming and food production must meet higher environmental and climate expectations - not least from the market and from consumers - and appreciate that there are rewards for the sector in stepping up to this challenge.
Concluding, Minister McConalogue referred to the need for Member States to bring farmers with them on this journey, and stressed his belief that farmers themselves are ready to play their part. He said: “I will bring this CAP deal to the farm families of Ireland. It is very much their CAP, and I want to hear what their inputs are. My Department will be faced with the significant challenge of configuring IT and administrative systems to deliver the new schemes. Of course, as we make this journey together, we must ensure that the supports that are available under Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 are distributed in both an effective, and a fair, manner. I think the tools are now available to do so, and I look forward to all of us working together over the coming months to design a CAP Strategic Plan that is right for Irish farmers, and that helps to secure a sustainable future - economically, environmentally and socially - for Irish agriculture.”
The Community Monuments Fund – a fund that supports projects and plans relating to archaeological sites - closed to applications on Monday 12th April, 2021. The Scheme saw an investment of over €75,000 in the County of Cork in 2020 for three different projects, and in 2021, €173,071.75 is being allocated for eight different projects. This funding is for physical works at three sites in the County and five sites will benefit from the undertaking of conservation plans and reports. Areas successful under the scheme include Dromtarriff, Cobh, Dunmanway, Spike Island, Crosshaven, Youghal and Fermoy with sites ranging from Castle Walls and Country Houses, to Churches and Graveyards. This investment is the county’s archaeological monuments is most welcome.
The National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) have issued their June 2021 newsletter online with articles on what to spot this month, hunger gaps in the garden, promoting World Bee Day and Pledge your Garden for Pollinators. To find out more about these articles and much more go to https://mailchi.mp/biodiversityireland/all-ireland-pollinator-plan-june-2021-newsletter
The TidyTowns Unit of the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued the 6th edition of the TidyTowns Newsletter 6/2021. The newsletter contains information on the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition, the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy Public Consultation, Information on the Special Awards, a TidyTowns Survey and Articles from a number of TidyTowns groups. The newsletter is available on the Tidytowns website by clicking https://www.tidytowns.ie/about-us/newsletters/. If any group has an article to submit for the Newsletter or indeed for any further information send an email to email@example.com.
In recent months Cork County Council’s Local Studies Library has been undertaking a range of different podcasts covering many different aspects of history, including a new podcast on the Midsummer Festival- a fitting podcast for this time of year. Previous podcasts, of which there are over a dozen and counting, include Christmas Traditions and Witches to Henry Ford’s Cork connection, St. Bridget and Genealogy/Family History. To find out more visit https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/library-online/library-podcasts or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Midsummer Festival Podcast can be accessed directly at https://soundcloud.com/user-500658861/midsummer-festival?utm_source=clipboard&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=https%253A%252F%252Fsoundcloud.com%252Fuser-500658861%252Fmidsummer-festival
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. has announced a funding allocation of €96,391 for 28 events to support Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools taking place around Ireland in 2021. This included 5 events in the County of Cork, to the sum of €15,700.
The scheme is designed to assist local cultural events which may not be eligible under funding criteria for larger scale events such as those supported by Fáilte Ireland, the Arts Council and similar bodies. Closing date for applications was the 23rd April 2021. Funding was allocated following a competitive applications process, with a maximum grant of €5,000 available.
Projects to be funded this year are a mix of online initiatives and 'in real life' events to be delivered to an audience in line with general public health guidance. The intention is to add to the cultural content assisted by the Department and create a cultural space relevant to both local interest and a wider community.
This list of successful applicants in the County of Cork is below.
Speaking of the allocations, Minister Martin said: “I am very pleased to support the Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools scheme this year, with a mix of face to face and online events. Culture and arts add hugely to our lives and to our community. These events will provide much needed cultural experiences for both audiences and practitioners. The organisations funded under this scheme have shown great resilience and adaptability in the planning of their projects.”
Cork Craft and Design
Cork Craft & Design (CCD) is a social enterprise supporting and promoting professional craft makers working in a variety of disciplines all living and working in Cork city and county.
Geata Arts Group
Clonakilty Samhain Festival 2021
Drimoleague Singing Festival
A series of concerts showcasing the best of singing voices from Ireland and abroad
Cobh Summer Swing
Providing free music, children's entertainment, food, beverage and a selection of stalls from local traders
Durras and District Community Council
‘Love Durrus’ Festival – A Public Celebration of Community and A Reawakening through our Musical and Cultural Heritage.
Biodiversity in Schools is currently recruiting Biodiversity Education Officers across Ireland to help deliver their nature education programmes next year. If you, or someone you know, are passionate about nature, enjoy working with young people and want to spend more time outdoors this could be the opportunity for you! The closing date for applications is Friday 16th July and for more information visit: https://www.biodiversityinschools.com/vacancies.html
Culture Night Cork County 2021 will celebrate the creativity and resilience of the Rebel County in a programme of events that aims to bring culture, art and joy back to public spaces across the county. Cork County Council are inviting artists, performers and cultural groups to submit proposals to take part in a full evening of cultural activity from 4pm to midnight on Friday 17th September.
Bandon, Carrigaline, Clonakilty, Cobh, Fermoy, Macroom, Mallow, Midleton will be special areas of focus for Cork County this year where outdoor, public focused family friendly events will celebrate the diversity and creativity of county towns. Events in other locations will also be supported to ensure that the county is widely represented on the Culture Night 2021 Programme, including activities and events of local relevance to all members of the Cork County community.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley encouraged applicants saying;
“Arts and culture have played a vital role in our community throughout the past year, providing people with a creative outlet, a means of connecting with one another safely and a way of recording the extraordinary experience we have all shared in for generations to come. Despite this, those working in the arts and culture sector have been hugely impacted by the pandemic. Culture night is an opportunity to celebrate their resilience and show that Cork County celebrates and nurtures creativity.”
A maximum of €2,000 can be awarded to a project. Please note it may not be possible to provide financial assistance for all proposals. For Proposal Forms see below or contact Cork County Council’s Arts Office at email@example.com
The Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley paid a visit to the twin West Cork villages of Ballineen and Enniskeane recently to launch the new Heritage Trail, created by the Ballineen and Enniskeane Tidy Towns Association, taking in several sites on the Trail and the much-admired Biodiversity and Sensory Riverside Garden during the visit.
Speaking at the launch, Mayor Linehan Foley praised the work, commitment and dedication of Ballineen and Enniskeane Tidy Towns Association volunteers, saying “The pride that the people of Ballineen and Enniskeane take in their community is evident today, on Courthouse Plaza, along the Heritage Trail and in the beautiful Riverside Garden. Giving generously of their time and energy, Tidy Town volunteers take action each day, great and small, to improve their local environment and it shows. On behalf of Cork County Council, I would like to congratulate Ballineen and Enniskeane Tidy Towns Association for their hard work and dedication in bringing this project to fruition. We’re delighted to support this initiative, which will have both a positive impact on quality of life here and on the local economy as our businesses strive to bounce back.”
Chairperson of Ballineen and Enniskeane Tidy Towns Association, Margaret O'Donovan, said “We envisage the creation and positioning of the Heritage Trail and Walking Trail Boards throughout the villages will serve to encourage local and wider-scale tourism and assist in the economic sustainability of local small businesses. This is particularly pertinent as we navigate the exigencies of the “new needs” of the “new normal” as part of our Survive and Thrive proposal for the current and post-pandemic social, economic and cultural landscapes. In line with our vision for the regeneration and enhancement of the villages, we sought to erect wall plaques, information boards and finger-post signs to document this historical tapestry.”
Adding “This vision could not become a reality, however, without the support of Cork County Council, who came on board to finance all aspects of the project, thereby enabling our ideas to come to fruition.”
Cork County Council have begun the inaugural Historian in Residence programme with the appointment of Tony Harpur. The new residency, funded by Creative Ireland, will enable history specialists to creatively connect with communities in Cork County through co-created research, discussions, events, activities and virtual gatherings.
The Historian in Residence, in consultation with Library, Arts and Heritage services, will create a research and engagement programme that will account for various aspects of social life, history and heritage in County Cork. The programme will be delivered through online and in-person activities.
Anthony ‘Tony’ Harpur, from Midleton, volunteered at the Hunt Museum, Limerick where he conducted guided tours of the permanent collection and of the summer exhibitions. He facilitated museum workshops for primary and secondary schools. Tony also lectured to the public and his fellow docents. The Hunt Museum provided him with research opportunities which opened new doors, including studying for an MA in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Limerick where he graduated in 2011.
In 2014 Tony worked with Midleton Library to produce a programme of events for Heritage Week. He has continued to produce events for Heritage Week, including tours of Midleton, until the pandemic struck in 2020. He has also conducted tours of Midleton for visitors and locals alike and has developed a Midleton Great Famine Tour.
A life-long member of Midleton Library, Tony’s interests are history (especially local history), archaeology, art history, genealogy, hurling, rugby, sightseeing, architectural history, gardening, natural history and environment.
Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley commented, “Cork County Council is delighted to welcome Tony Harpur to the role of Historian in Residence. This role will go a long way towards ensuring that everyone in our community can engage with our shared cultural heritage and history, and Tony brings a wealth of experience to the residency. This is a great opportunity for Cork communities to work with someone with such a wealth of experience and knowledge and an exciting prospect to celebrate and promote the local history of Cork County.”
Cork County Council is inviting applications from community & voluntary groups for funding under the Community Enhancement Programme for 2021.
The scheme provides a flexible and targeted approach to funding communities most in need and supports a range of investment in all areas of the community to either kick-start, advance or complete a range of worthwhile projects. The total amount available for Cork County in 2021 is €156,299.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, also encouraged community groups to apply, saying, “Funding available through the Community Enhancement Programme can support community groups in improving their facilities locally, helping with the costs of tools and equipment and costs associated with reopening in line with Covid-19 restrictions’. Any not-for-profit community or voluntary group can apply. This year the Programme will assist with the re-opening of vital facilities like community centres, men’s sheds, parish halls and youth centres. These facilities have an incredibly positive impact in our communities, and I encourage relevant groups to determine the supports available to them and submit an application.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, said, “Cork County Council’s Community Enhancement Programme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and supported by our Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs). This funding is targeted towards enhancing facilities for communities impacted by disadvantage, as identified in the Local Economic and Community Plan. This year the fund will support local groups to re-open their facilities, with small grants available for repairs and renovations, new equipment and safety upgrades.”
Examples of eligible capital expenditure under the programme include youth clubs or facilities, sports and recreation facilities, development and improvements to community centres and common areas, once off maintenance of premises (not including regular maintenance), upgrades to community amenities/equipment and energy efficiency type projects.
There are three types of grants available under the programme i.e. small-scale capital grants up to a maximum of €1,000 or less and capital grants in excess of €1,000. In addition, for 2021 there are one-off grants towards costs associated with reopening or sustainability of a facility, for example utility bills, these are limited to costs incurred or due in 2021.
Applications can be made online at YourCouncil. Closing date for applications is Friday, 2nd July at 4:00pm. All allocated monies will have to be spent by end of November.
Irish Landmark Trust is an official partner of National Heritage Week 2021. To celebrate, Irish Landmark Trust is offering one lucky winner a voucher for a two-night break in one of its unique heritage properties. To enter the competition, visit the competition page. The competition closes at midnight on Monday, 30th August 2021.
Anyone who is interested in organising a National Heritage Week project can register as a project organiser on the Heritage Week website. Once registered, you will gain access to our project organisers portal, where you will find some project inspiration and other resources to help you develop your project. Register here... Projects shared via heritageweek.ie by Monday, 30th August 2021 will be eligible for consideration for a National Heritage Award.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., welcomes the launch of the EU Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027 with a budget of €2.44 billion to support the culture, audiovisual and media sectors.
Minister Martin said: “I encourage the culture, audiovisual and media sectors in Ireland to fully engage with the funding, partnership, training and networking opportunities presented by the Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027. The Programme offers not alone funding to support the recovery and sustainability of these vital sectors of our society but also the important opportunities to achieve closer co-operation with partner organisations across Europe. I am also pleased to see the inclusion of schemes to support a free and pluralistic media environment and the emphasis placed on cross cutting objectives to support gender equality, greening, inclusivity and diversity.”
The Creative Europe Programme is the EU’s central programme which aims to foster artistic and cultural cooperation across Europe in the fields of literature, music, architecture, cultural heritage, design, cultural tourism and more, as well as a scheme for mobility of individual artists. It also aims to enhance the competitiveness and innovation of the European audiovisual sector through support for slate projects, co-productions, structured networks, high-quality TV series, in addition to gaming and virtual reality experiences. There are also schemes to support training, distribution of audiovisual content and audience development.
For the first time, the Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027 will also operate a scheme and issue calls for the news media sector, with a focus on promoting media literacy, pluralism, press freedom and quality journalism. Objectives that are woven across the programme include a commitment to greening, gender balance and inclusivity.
Irish organisations can apply to avail of the €300 million funding which is to be allocated in 2021 to schemes across the cultural, audiovisual and news media sectors with EU co-financing rates for some schemes as high as 80%.
Ireland has already achieved many successes through the previous Creative Europe programme 2014-2020 with over €13 million awarded to Irish audiovisual companies and €5 million to cultural and artistic organisations.
Audiovisual recipients have included Cartoon Saloon for Wolfwalkers, Element Pictures for The Killing of a Scared Deer, Fantastic Films for Sea Fever and Vivarium and Dead Pan Productions for TV series Dead Still. Cultural and artistic recipients have included The Ark children’s cultural centre for The Big Bang Festival, Waterford Walls for Murals for Communities, Blue Teapot Theatre Company for Trasna na Líne and the Glucksman Gallery for Voyage Inside a Blind Experience.
Minister Martin concluded: “I would really encourage organisations to examine the various schemes under the new Creative Europe Programme and apply to this Programme which has provided such huge benefits and opportunities for the many previous successful applicants from Ireland.”
Full information on the programme and supports is available through Ireland’s dedicated Creative Europe Desk - https://www.creativeeuropeireland.eu/.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has today announced a series of small grants for local and regional museums around the country. Total funding of €310,225 is being made available under the Regional Museum Exhibitions Scheme 2021.
All thirty-two projects that applied this year are benefitting, including Tipperary Museum of Hidden History which will exhibit the Museum's Hidden Gems, and Old Cork Waterworks Experience that is recreating a permanent representation of the boiler house as it would have been during its working life circa 1863-1940. In the County of Cork, 4 museums will benefit to the sum of €35,375.
Speaking today, Minister Martin said: “I am delighted to be able to offer this support to all of these local and regional bodies and to be part of creating new and vibrant exhibitions and online events. Our local and regional museums are an extremely important resource for culture and heritage in towns and villages across the country. They are vital within the community and it is imperative that we support their role in our cultural heritage. Funding provided under this scheme over the past few years has allowed local and regional bodies to continue to enhance their exhibitions which improves the cultural offering for their communities and visitors. These cultural entities often run on modest budgets. They are such a wonderful outlet for the Irish people, especially in this time of uncertainty. I am very pleased to be able to support their renewal and development. As they re-open and recover, our cultural bodies can again offer their exhibitions and presentations along with the interesting new features for which support is being provided today.”
Amount of funding proposed
Allihies Parish Co-operative Society
Upgrade of the audio visual system and website
Sirius Arts Centre
Research, conservation, digitisation and display of the original 1853 architectural drawings of the organisation's building
Fota House/Irish Heritage Trust
An exhibition to showcase the historic wallpaper collection held in archive at Fota House under the governance of the Irish Heritage Trust
Passage West Maritime Museum
Digitise tapes of Passage West citizens and provide a listening station
The Cork Economic and Community Data Monitor was presented at full Council meeting on Monday afternoon and is now gone live on the Cork County Council website at:
The Cork Economic and Community Data Monitor provides reliable data on many facets of the county’s economic and social profile across a range of geographical levels, including spatial planning areas, administrative divisions, municipal districts and twenty-seven settlements across Cork County. With fifteen different themes, such as population, social deprivation, employment, income and living standards, education and the property market, the platform offers a comprehensive overview of key authoritative datasets from public agencies in Ireland.
Commissioned by Cork County Council, and built on existing in-house technology, the Cork Economic and Community Data Monitor has been designed and populated with curated datasets by socio-economic and community experts from People and Place.
The Cork Economic and Community Data Monitor can assist in providing key data to inform important strategic plans as well as developing supporting material for funding applications. A key element to the Cork Economic and Community Data Monitor is the ability to easily compare and contrast key data across a range of geographies such as local electoral areas to the many diverse settlements across Cork County.
The Cork Economic and Community Data Monitor is updated on a quarterly basis, providing a current view of the economic and social status within the county for the years to come, with comparative data accessible in one place which will be of particular benefit to researchers and policy makers. All of the indicators have been carefully selected and integrated into the platform for viewing and sharing. Importantly, the underlying source data is publicly available, posing no threat to data confidentiality and does not contain any personal information relating to citizens.
Open the door to heritage is the message from the Heritage Council as it - today (16.06.21) - launched National Heritage Week 2021. Culture and heritage groups, as well as communities, families and individuals in Cork are invited to get involved and celebrate and share heritage.
Organised by the Heritage Council, National Heritage Week will run from Saturday, 14th – Sunday, 22nd August, and has become one of Ireland’s largest cultural events.
The launch was attended by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD. He said: “My department and I are pleased to support this year’s National Heritage Week, which focuses on encouraging the inclusion of as many people as possible in exploring, sharing and enjoying Ireland’s diverse heritage. I especially welcome the heritage newcomers approach taken this year, which is an invitation to those who are new to heritage to get involved. During lockdowns many of us have had more time to explore our local or personal heritage. National Heritage Week may be the perfect opportunity to showcase what you have discovered, or to dig deeper and find out more.
I especially welcome the heritage newcomers approach taken this year, which is an invitation to those who are new to heritage to get involved. During lockdowns many of us have had more time to explore our local or personal heritage. National Heritage Week may be the perfect opportunity to showcase what you have discovered, or to dig deeper and find out more.Whatever aspect of heritage is chosen, I wish the very best to all those taking part and look forward to seeing the end results in August.”
The Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons, said: “I strongly encourage all project organisers to think meaningfully on how they might include new members of their communities in their projects, and explore aspects of heritage that may have been overlooked in the past.”
Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan added: “National Heritage Week continues to be an important moment for community engagement, wellbeing and social cohesion. Heritage Week offers the perfect opportunity to showcase a personal heritage project that can be part of the bigger heritage landscape and shared with the wider national community.”
National Heritage Week 2021 will follow the same format as last year, where local heritage groups and organisers, families and communities are invited to develop projects which can be showcased on line. In-person events will be limited and will be required to adhere to public health advice. There is no subject-specific theme for National Heritage Week 2021; instead, the focus is on getting as many people to enjoy heritage as possible.
Project organisers are being asked to consider the following:
- Heritage newcomers: A general invitation to individuals, families and communities who have never engaged in National Heritage Week to work on a heritage project.
- Heritage sharing: An invitation to existing National Heritage Week organisers to connect with a group / individuals in the community who may not feel included in local heritage; or an opportunity to explore an aspect of local heritage that is seldom considered / celebrated.
- Heritage for all ages: This is an invitation to National Heritage Week organisers to include different age groups in heritage projects.
Projects should be completed in time for National Heritage Week (14th-22nd August 2021) when they will be showcased on www.heritageweek.ie . Accepted formats for showcasing vary from online talks or exhibitions, to a video, podcast, slideshow presentation or blog, to media coverage, a dedicated website or moderated social media account, or by means of small, in-person events, which comply with official public health advice. A suite of resources to support project development will be available on HeritageWeek.ie as well as a series of webinars which will run in June, presented by the Heritage Council. For more information, visit www.heritageweek.ie.
In Cork County, National Heritage Week is co-ordinated and supported by local authority heritage officer, Conor Nelligan; and in Cork City National Heritage Week is co-ordinated and supported by local authority heritage officer Niamh Twomey.
Minister Catherine Martin recently announced a new podcast series, Mná 100, as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme, which reflects on some of the women who were instrumental in shaping Ireland’s history, 100 years ago. The first episode, Elections May 2021, is available to listen to by clicking Elections May 2021
Tidy Towns groups are encouraged to get buzzing and enter the Local Authority Pollinator Award in the national Tidy Towns competition. The award, with a €10,000 prize fund, encourages Tidy Towns groups to implement pollinator-friendly actions as part of the Tidy Towns competition. There is also a new “Best Newcomer Award” in 2021 with a prize of €1,000. Closing date for applications is 23rd July 2021. Further details/application forms available https://pollinators.ie/communities/tidytowns-pollinator-award/enter-the-2021-local-authority-pollinator-award/
Birdwatch Ireland, in partnership with the Local Authorities Water Programme, have published a leaflet to help you identify 4 of our summer visitors which are often mistaken for each other (swift, swallow, house martin and sand martin). To download a copy go to https://kilkennyheritage.ie/2021/06/can-you-tell-your-swifts-from-your-swallows/ If you have sightings of swifts and their nests in Co. Kilkenny please email
A new exhibition entitled ‘Imprisoning a Nation’, which tells the story of the 1921 prisoners held on Spike Island during Ireland’s War of Independence, has been opened by Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley.
The exhibition, which is funded by Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and media, tells the story of the 1200 men held on the island for their Republican activities in 1921. Ireland was engaged in a bloody struggle for independence, and common law completely broke down in the 6 counties of Munster and Wexford and Kilkenny. The situation was so bad that the British authorities declared Martial Law, or Military Law, to restore order. Thousands were arrested and convicted of ‘levying war against the King’, while thousands more interred without trial. Many would see the inside of Spike Islands notorious fortress, which had been used as a prison during the time of Oliver Cromwell, and again during the famine years, when the fort became the largest known prison in the world, with 2300 convicts.
The exhibition contains a number of new artefacts donated by the families of the men held on the island. These include coins shaped into badges and pins, prisoner carved wooden artefacts, and there are several diaries and autograph books kept by the men. These detail what life was like for the prisoners and internees, and share their feelings towards the struggle, their incarceration and daily life. A stunning and fortunate new find was an old audio cassette recording, made in the 1980’s, of 1921 Spike Island internee Jeremiah Herlihy, who details daily life in the prison, and recalls the hunger strike and a prisoner shooting.
Commenting on the new exhibition, Mayor Linehan Foley said “It is wonderful to see the lives of these individuals remembered and retold, in their own words. The exhibition provides fascinating insight into the minds of these often young individuals, who were under tremendous pressure and danger, fighting for a cause they believed in”.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said “We are very proud to be able to support this exhibition through the Council’s commemorations grant, in this important centenary year. The new diaries, audio recording and artefacts are now in the safe hands of the islands heritage team, and can be enjoyed by future generations of Irish people”.
The exhibition is the culmination of over a decade of research by the island heritage team, and in particular historian Tom O’Neill who has worked on the island since the 1990’s. Regular enquires about the lives of the men held on the island in 1921 led Mr O’Neill to begin researching the details of the men held on the island, which is kept in locations like Dublin and London. After ten years of research, the names and imprisonment details of 99% of the 1200 rebels are now available to see on the island, searchable by name, county, trial and other details. A new book by Mr O’Neill, Spike Island Republican Prisoners, 1921, is just set to be launched, published by The History Press, and will be available on the island.
The exhibition ‘Imprisoning a Nation’ will run until the end of 2021 before it will join the island’s permanent ‘Independence’ exhibition, which details the road to Irish freedom from 1914 to 1922, and the islands role in that journey. Spike Island was used to train British troops in the early years of World War one, and the crew of the gunrunning ship the Aud were held there during the failed attempt to arm the Easter Rising. Organisers Austin Stack and Con Collins were also held on the island. The island’s use as a prison in 1921 is now well documented, and the island was an intrinsic part of the Treaty negotiations as one of three ‘Treaty Ports’, controversially retained by the British until 1938. Winston Churchill, who visited Cork Harbour in 1912, proclaimed the forts ‘the sentinel towers of the defences of Western Europe’, and fought tooth and nail to retain them in 1921, and again in 1938. He was unsuccessful on the second occasion, and Spike Island returned to Irish control in a ceremony held on July 11th, 1938.
Spike Island reopened on Monday 31st May after a long lock down, with tickets on sale from www.spikeislandcork.ie
SECAD is now inviting applications from Communities in South and West Cork to take part in the full Sustainable Communities Training Programme which will
- Run from September 2021 to June 2022
- Involve approximately one online session per week
- Include expert training sessions and project management training
- Work with communities to identify a legacy project
- Work with 16 communities in South and West Cork to develop a community led sustainability plan
To submit an application for your community to participate in this free SECAD Sustainable Communities Training Programme, we ask you to do the following
- Speak with community members in your area to see if they are interested in joining with you to submit the application and become part of a Community Development Team (you can speak with people who are already involved in community groups, business people, young people, individuals who have not yet had a chance to become involved in community activities, people who are new to your area…….)
- Complete the attached application form and return it by email to at firstname.lastname@example.org by 11th June 2021.
Further information on the programme can be found on this link https://training.secad.ie/courses/sustainable-communities-training-programme/ and click here for the application form.
Have you salmon in your local river? Learn more about this treasure by viewing the new Streamscapes booklet, ‘Salmon Sanctuaries’, at https://bit.ly/3vkJVIU or HERE. The booklet was officially launched by Streamscapes on Sunday 23rd May 2021 as part of Biodiversity Week. Streamscapes is produced by Coomhola Salmon Trust Ltd. Based in Bantry, West Cork.
Beyond 2022, in association with the Local Government Archivists and Records Managers, have published a new online booklet titled People Place and Power: The Grand Jury System in Ireland and a pdf can be downloaded at https://beyond2022.ie/the-grand-jury-system-in-ireland/. A suite of materials has also been made available to view on their website at https://beyond2022.ie/?page_id=2941
We'd like to share some water news with you to mark the start of this summer's designated bathing season:
- The EPA published the 2020 Bathing Water Report on May 12 - bathing water quality continued to improve in 2020 with 96 per cent of designated bathing waters (142 of 148) meeting or exceeding the minimum required standard.
- Get your ticket for the 2021 EPA Water Conference and see who is speaking on June 16 and 17 - this event is open to the public and free to attend.
- New Pollution Impact Potential Maps have been launched for nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to show the highest risk areas in the landscape for losses of N and P to waters.
- You can also find out about the 2021 EPA Climate Conference which takes place on June 23 and 24.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, has today (Wednesday, 2nd June, 2021) launched a public consultation on Ireland’s first ever National Outdoor Recreation Strategy. The delivery of the strategy is a key commitment in Our Rural Future, the Government’s ambitious five-year policy to revitalise Rural Ireland. The consultation will last for three weeks and will involve members of the public giving their views on how best to improve and develop our outdoor amenities such as our trails, cycleways, waterways, beaches, mountains, bogs and forests. The public are also being asked to consider ways to develop activity tourism and outdoor pursuits such as cycling, rock climbing, kayaking, surfing, wind-surfing, sailing, paragliding and hang-gliding. The consultation will run for the next three weeks with the closing set scheduled for 5pm on 23 June, 2021. The strategy is being developed in partnership with Comhairle na Tuaithe (The Countryside Council).
Launching the public consultation today, Minister Humphreys said: “COVID-19 has shown us all how vital our outdoor amenities are for our mental and physical wellbeing. Our new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy will be all about investing in our great outdoors. I want to get the views of as many members of the public and stakeholders on how best to develop our outdoor amenities such as our hiking trails, cycleways, rivers, forests and mountains. And I want this strategy to place a big focus on tourism, including adventure tourism. There is clearly growing interest in the great outdoors amongst all tourists, both domestically and internationally, and we are well positioned to respond to that demand.”
Minister Humphreys continued: “Without doubt, outdoor recreation is going to be key to our recovery post-COVID-19. So let’s think big and ambitious. I am delighted that Comhairle na Tuaithe are spearheading this work in conjunction with my Department. Above all, I want to see as many members of the public as possible submit their ideas over the next three weeks. Together, let’s devise a National Outdoor Recreation Strategy that we can be proud of and one that has the capacity to benefit our economy for years to come. A strategy like this will help us re-imagine and revitalise our rural countryside, which is what we have set out to do in ‘Our Rural Future’.”
This is the first stage of a two-stage consultation process. In the first stage, interested stakeholders and individuals are encouraged to share their views on outdoor recreation via an online questionnaire.
To input your views on outdoor recreation, please complete the online questionnaire on gov.ie. Responses will inform the preparation of the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy for Ireland. The closing date for receipt of submissions is 5pm on 23 June, 2021.
Irish language signs were once a common sight on shopfronts in our towns and villages, but they are an increasingly rare sight, with many a reminder of a shop long since closed. Some emerge during renovation and other works to existing shops – a reminder of a past life for a building. A new fund seeks to bring these old, often faded signs back to their former glories.
Following his recent announcement of €3m for 85 built heritage projects across the country under this year’s Historic Structure Fund (HSF), Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, has invited new applications to the scheme under the Irishlanguage shopfront stream.
In conjunction with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media a fund of €100,000 has been made available for eligible projects under this stream.
Each Local Authority is invited to submit, by 8 June (applications from the public must be submitted to Cork County Council by no later than midnight on Sunday 6th June 2021), one application for eligible essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of an historic Irish-language shop facade, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard them and keep them in use. Grants of between €15,000 and €50,000 and covering up to 80% of eligible costs will be awarded under this stream and to qualify, structures must be included, or eligible for inclusion, in the Record of Protected
Structures of the relevant local authority.
Commenting on the reopening of applications to this stream, Minister Noonan said: “The
conservation of historic shopfronts is a cause close to my heart and, of the 85 awards I announced recently under this year’s HSF, I was delighted that seven of these were to shopfronts in the English language. Today’s reopening of applications to Irish language shopfronts will, I hope, encourage projects which preserve both our built and linguistic heritage in Gaeltacht regions and beyond.”
Applications should be made using the scheme’s application form and submitted to County Architectural Conservation Officer Mona Hallinan (email@example.com) by midnight on June 6th 2021. The application form is available by clicking here nó faigh é as gaeilge anseo.
A wonderful Exhibition in the Passage West Maritime Museum is now taking place. The Museum opening hours are: Wed - Fri 2pm to 5.30pm and Sat. & Sun 2pm to 5pm. Groups by appointment. For more information visit http://passagemuseum.ie/index.html
The Oral History Network of Ireland is pleased to invite you to join us for our 2021 virtual conference, ‘Storytelling and Oral History,’ that takes place on the 18th and 19th of June. The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Lynn Abrams (University of Glasgow) and we are looking forward to two full days of presentations, workshops, and more. More details and a provisional programme are available on our conference web page. Registration is now open via the conference webpage, with special discounted rates available for OHNI members. We also have five fee waiver places available for the conference. To apply for one of these, simply download the short form from the conference webpage and submit your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday the 31st of May.
The Minister for Defence, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D. today announced the latest release of material from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection (MSPC) online. This latest release of records is the tenth release of material under the MSPC Project and comprises over 2,500 files representing records relating to 1,120 individuals. This new release of records includes applications for service pensions and applications under the Army Pensions Acts linked to disability pensions. 869 of the files are relating to women applicants.
Speaking in relation to this latest release, the Minister said “The records contained in the Military Service Pension Collection provide invaluable historical information that captures first-hand accounts of the experiences of the individuals involved in this defining period of Irish history. Each release of material from this collection reveals previously unknown or forgotten experiences of those involved in events of that time. It gives me great pleasure to make further historical records contained in this collection available to the public.”
The tenth release of material is now available to view on the MSPC area of www.militaryarchives.ie
The Minister welcomes enhancements which have been made to the online search facilities since the last release of material in November 2020. The enhancements include the addition of new search fields making it easier to carry out online searches. In addition, MSPC material relating to the Truce period has been collated to create a new online resource on www.militaryarchives.ie. This includes a map recording the fatalities arising from the conflict in the Truce Period 12 July 1921 – 27 June 1922. This work is essential to ensure quality and diverse access to the collection. It exploits and expands existing resources, and introduces completely new data and develops new ways to share unique primary sources with the general public.
MSPC publications “Guide to the Military Service Pensions Collection” and a guide to the “Brigade Activity Reports” are available to download on the Military Archives website.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has announced the results of an Open Call for Farm and Community Biodiversity Initiatives. 24 groups, of the 54 which responded to the Call, have been chosen to implement their projects over the next 18 months. Under the allocations, four projects in County Cork will receive between them €470,176.
Listing the projects which have been allocated funding, the Minister stated, “I am very excited to see the wonderful projects that this Call is going to fund. It is really positive to see the ideas so many small farm and community groups have come up with to impact positively on their own local environment. I am delighted with the range of projects which have been successful and also with the way they spread across the country. The response we got to the call proves there is huge concern about and interest in biodiversity in Ireland and I am delighted that in response to it I was able to make more funding available.”
Minister Hackett had originally allocated funding of €1.25 million to build on the locally led innovation partnership initiatives with community versions. However given the response to this Open Call, with 54 submissions, she increased the available budget to €3 million. The projects selected will focus on the promotion of biodiversity through collaboration amongst farming groups, community and local action groups who engage with the wider population.
In the County of Cork, the projects include the Owentaraglin River EIP by IRD Duhallow; The Deel Spatially Targeted Buffers EIP by Ballyhoura Development CLG, the West Cork Trees Project by the Carbery Group and a Farm Biodiversity Management Platform for Farming with Nature in East Cork.
Under the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Programme, using the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) model, DAFM is already supporting 24 locally led programmes around the country. These schemes are showing real innovation and focusing on measurable results in terms of climate, biodiversity and water as well as enhancing the viability of farmers involved. Some of these EIP Projects have applied for funding under this Call to implement a new related innovation. This new, local approach allows communities to be more involved in the planning and implementation of small-scale projects and is a positive development in the already very successful EIP Initiative.
Referring to that success, the Minister concluded, “I was determined to see small scale projects be supported so that a wider range of farmers and groups could avail of all the progress that has been made over the past few years. My Department is viewed across the EU as a leader in how we implement and fund our major EIPs. Now we are going to see smaller ones, with local results-based actions, also making a real difference to the environment.”
This Open Call meets another key target in the Department’s Action Plan 2021 which includes designing and commencing new transitional schemes for 2021 including Biodiversity, Climate, Environment and EIP local actions.
The TidyTowns Unit of the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued the 5th edition of the TidyTowns Newsletter 5/2021. The newsletter contains information on the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition, Information on Our Rural Future – Rural Development Policy 2021 - 2025; Funding, TidyTowns Survey and articles from TidyTowns Groups including Inchigeela and Castlemagner in County Cork. The newsletter is available on the Tidytowns website by clicking https://www.tidytowns.ie/about-us/newsletters/. If any group has an article to submit for the Newsletter or indeed for any further information send an email to email@example.com.
We are very pleased to announce that the Pride in Our Community 2021 competition will take place this year. The competition is now open to community and Voluntary Groups in Cork City and County.
Speaking at the Launch, County Mayor Councillor Mary Linehan Foley said that ‘this was a very important year for the competition given that it was postponed last year due to Covid 19. She said she was proud and delighted that Cork County Council continue to support this wonderful competition’. She went on to thank all the community groups taking part for making Cork such a great place for all.
The Lord Mayor of Cork Councillor Joe Kavanagh said that Cork City Council was delighted to engage with this very important competition, which had been running in the county since 2005. He urged community groups in the city to get involved and enter the competition.
Mr. Sean Holland of Muintir na Tire said that he would like to thank Cork County Council for their long association with the Competition since 2005. He went on to welcome on board Cork City Council He said Groups can enter if they have developed or are in the process of improving amenities in their local community?
He went on to give examples of the types of projects previously entered. Community walks and trails, Playgrounds, Community Fields, Community Centre renovations Upgrades to monuments and amenity areas, River clean-ups, Community Signs, Murals Biodiversity areas, Community gardens, allotments, Graveyard restoration, Floral displays on streetscape, All weather facilities, tree planting, Floral bedding etc. He said the list is endless and community groups should feel free to enter new and innovative projects.
Groups can enter online by visiting https://www.muintircork.com/pride-in-our-community
The closing date is June 8th 2021.
Following the successful development of a Pollinator Plan for Midleton, Cork County Council has commenced the roll out of Pollinator Plans for the towns of Carrigaline, Kinsale, Bantry, Macroom, Kanturk and Fermoy, with community workshops hosted by ecologist Tony Nagle.
The plans were developed in late 2020 and will help guide how the Council manages publicly owned spaces within the towns in a way which is sympathetic to bees and other native pollinators that are an essential component of a healthy environment.
The populations of many of our pollinator species are declining in numbers, and it is estimated that one third of our native bee species are now threatened with extinction. Like all animals, our pollinators need adequate supplies of food provided by a range of flowering plants throughout their life cycle. They also need places to nest. Pollinators can nest in long grass, in burrows in bare earth, or in crevices in old walls or wood, depending on the species. As landscapes become more intensively managed and tidied up, there is less food and fewer sheltering opportunities for many species.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, welcomed the expansion of the plan saying,
“I am delighted to see six new towns come on board to develop pollinator friendly planting proposals and reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides. With the implementation of less intensive approaches to management of grass cutting in our parks, roadside verges and other green spaces, we hope to see numbers increase. With many of our pollinator species in decline, it is essential that these habitats are provided and protected. I look forward to seeing the projects develop over the coming months and congratulate all involved in bringing the plans to life.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added,
“The introduction of Pollinator Plans for six County Cork towns demonstrates our commitment to supporting and protecting biodiversity in the county. Through these plans, Cork County Council, with partners from Tidy Towns and other community groups, will manage public spaces in these towns to provide more food and better sheltering opportunities for our wild pollinator species. We look forward to expanding the project even further, with plans to include additional county towns and villages in the near future and to provide training to our staff and support to interested community groups.”
The plans have been prepared in accordance with All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Guidelines and the project has been funded through the National Biodiversity Action Plan fund with co-funding provided by Cork County Council.
For more information on pollinators, visit www.pollinators.ie
More than 180 projects across Ireland will share €1.5 million under grant schemes run by The Heritage Council this year, boosting local economies, growing tourism, and enhancing community spirit by supporting local heritage projects. Under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme, €1.2 million has been allocated to community groups and not-for-profit organisations and under the Heritage Council’s Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN), €299,000 has been allocated for conservation work and interpretation initiatives, which will protect and preserve the history and heritage of Ireland’s walled towns – the walled towns of Buttevant and Youghal in County Cork faring well under the scheme this year.
The Buttevant Heritage Group in Cork will use a grant of €7,700 to improve local knowledge and appreciation of the town’s heritage, through the installation of four interpretation panels along its Main Street, greatly enhancing the visitor experience. As noted by the Heritage Council, in regard to Buttevant, ‘The Anglo-Norman de Barry family planned this walled town in a similar fashion to towns in Normandy, France. In 1317, England’s King Edward II paid £105 towards the enclosure of the town with stone walls. The local community in Buttevant have made great strides in recent years to conserve and communicate this important heritage (The Heritage Council).
In respect of Youghal, three separate and successful applications will see a combined investment of €50,000 in the town. €8,000 has been allocated towards the Youghal Medieval Festival – a renowned festival that won a pretigous national award in recent years at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards. Also awarded was €2,000 for the undertaking of a laser scan and 3D digital model of St. Mary's Collegiate Church. In relation to Youghal’s majestic town walls, €40,000 has been allocated for the repair of a critically important section of town wall at the Youghal Jail Steps.
In relation to the Community Heritage Grant Scheme, 10 groups throughout the county of Cork are to benefit to the sum of €60,712. The Ellen Hutchins Festival in West Cork will receive €6,000 for increased accessibility at the annual festival and in North Cork, Kanturk will receive €2,360 for a Town Heritage Trail. Also in North Cork, over in Mitchelstown at the Saint George’s Arts and Heritage Centre, €15,000 is being provided to improve accessibility and in Kilmurry, €5,800 is being provided for the Independence Museum Kilmurry Archive Digitisation Project 2021. Bere Isand is to receive €5,500 for a Commemoration Film and Glounthaune is being allocated €1,300 for a botanical survey of the Dry Grassland Zone on Harper's Island Wetlands. Allihies Copper Mine Museum will receive €5,500 for the conservation of historical ledgers and a bible and Sirius Arts Centre will receive €14,392 for the research, conservation, digitisation and display of architectural drawings. Also receiving funding this year from the Heritage Council is Rosscarbery (€3,000 towards improved access at Pairc a’Tobair) and €1,860 is being provided for a tree planting project in Clonakilty.
Under the Heritage Council’s Heritage Sector Support Scheme earlier in the year Bere Island Projects Group received €20,000 towards the continued implementation of the Bere Island Conservation Plan.
Across these aforementioned grant schemes and taking into account funding provided to Cork County Council Heritage Unit for a number of key projects in 2021, the Heritage Council has invested €168,412 so far this year in the county of Cork.
Commenting on the announcement of allocations for projects all around the country by the Heritage Council, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, said: “I would like to acknowledge the fantastic work of the Heritage Council in supporting community heritage through this important scheme. As the scope and scale of these projects illustrate, communities play a vital role in caring for all aspects of our heritage. The new national heritage plan, Heritage Ireland 2030, which will be published later this summer, will recognise the role of communities in safeguarding our heritage and ensure that they continue to be supported.”
Chairman of The Heritage Council, Michael Parsons, said: “These schemes continue to provide a central focus for the work of The Heritage Council. They are testament to the close collaboration between the Council, local authorities and community groups, all sharing a common purpose.”
Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of The Heritage Council, said: “The Heritage Council is delighted to fund such a diverse range of projects and initiatives, particularly at this point in time. It is especially gratifying that the primary work of The Heritage Council, in preserving and nourishing our history and traditions, has a spin-off by way of putting investment into communities around the country.”
Full list of recipients under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme and IWTN are available by visiting https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding/funding-schemes.
This is National Biodiversity Week. Every day we depend on biodiversity.
Biodiversity or nature is all about us. Everything we rely on is provided by nature. Biodiversity is the variety of life on the planet, how it interacts with the natural water cycles and climate to create ecosystems that provide habitats, and ecosystem goods and services. Goods like timber, healthy soil, raw materials for clothing, food, medicines – everything. Services like carbon sequestration, water filtration, pollination.
A Heritage Officer stated “Take a first step and connect with the wonder of the nature this Biodiversity week. Find a quiet spot and listen to the sounds of nature about you. This is the sound of nature supporting your life”.
The theme for International Biodiversity Day this year is “We are part of the solution for Nature”. There are some simple switches that can be made that will set us on that pathway. Always the best place to start is where we can have the most influence, and for most of us that is our own homes and gardens.
Here are ten SWITCHES you can make for nature right now:
- Switch peat moss or compost with peat FOR PEAT-FREE COMPOST. Ask your garden centre. Or make your own compost. This will help protect our valuable bogs, which are vital for carbon capture and nature.
- Switch your weekly mow to LET YOUR GRASS GROW. Leave an extra margin around the edge of your lawn and cut it every 3-6 weeks, to provide shelter and food for pollinators. #NoMowMay
- Switch tap water in your watering can to WATER FROM A WATER BUTT. Rainwater collected from your roof is a good way to re-use water and be more economical with treated water.
- Switch plants in pots for PLANTS IN THE GROUND, choosing ones that are good for pollinators too. These need less watering and it’s a win-win for nature.
- Switch pesticides for NATURAL PEST CONTROL AND COMPANION PLANTING. (Carrot fly is distracted by the smell of rosemary and thyme, plant marigolds or lady’s mantle close to tomatoes, nasturtium beside broad beans). Encourage ladybirds to your garden to eat greenfly.
- Switch chemical fertiliser for NETTLE OR COMFREY FERTILISER. This is made by soaking the plants in water for a few weeks and then diluting the resultant liquid with water. Areas of nettles and comfrey are super for pollinators – bees and butterflies, so a patch has additional biodiversity benefits.
- Switch cutting hedges at waist height to LETTING HAWTHORN HEDGES GROW TALL AND BLOSSOM. This is vital for pollinators and will bring a wonderful sight and smell to your garden.
- Switch tidying up to BUILDING A LOG PILE. These are great spots for hedgehogs, bugs and beetles. The garden is not a place for Marie Kondo’s house tidying approach!
- Switch planting the same plants everywhere to PLANTING VARIETY. This will protect your garden from being overrun with any one pest or disease and bring more wildlife to your place.
- Switch social distance for HUGGING A TREE.
The popular GARDENING FOR BIODIVERSITY booklet is still available available, along with a Pledge your Garden for Pollinators leaflet. These wonderful publications are full of fantastic ideas for your garden.
The Local Authority Heritage Officer Network is the collection of heritage officers located nationwide, in most counties and local authorities. The Heritage Office programme is supported by the local authorities and the Heritage Council. Heritage Officers advocate for the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, through the implementation of biodiversity and heritage plans, working with communities through local government.
The Heritage Council is offering a series of webinars to support communities and people who are organising events for National Heritage Week.
Tuesday, 22nd June, 1pm – 2pm: Welcome to National Heritage Week 2021. Learn about this year’s approaches and key dates. Register here.
Tuesday, 29th June, 1pm – 2pm: Taking your project online. Learn about the methods and benefits of digital heritage sharing. Register here.
Tuesday, 29th June, 3pm – 4pm: Communicating your project. Learn about how to share your project widely over social media and local media outlets. Register here
Minister of Agriculture Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D., and Minister for State Senator Pippa Hackett, in recognition of the unique and strong link between agriculture and biodiversity, have announced a significant measure, the Farm Environmental Study, supporting Biodiversity measurement at farm level. Minister McConalogue stated “I’m delighted that we have taken the initiative and engaging with farmers, the custodians of so much of our biodiversity to increase their knowledge and awareness of the biodiversity at farm level and at the same time gather important baseline data. Farmers are adapters and farmers are adopters when it comes to pioneering initiatives like these and I am excited to see the pilot open.”
Ministers McConalogue and Hackett confirmed the roll out of a pilot Farm Environmental Study (FES) that will generate a database of baseline habitat and biodiversity data at the farm level and will provide the scope for a comprehensive analysis of farm habitats and biodiversity and a baseline for future targeting of agri-environmental schemes and measures. The Pilot Stage of FES will focus on the development of methodology and the up-skilling of farmers and advisors in the roll out of farm level habitat surveys on approximately 8000 farms. The Pilot FES programme will provide the farmer with an inventory of habitats, biodiversity and environmental information about his/her own farm. Each farmer will receive €200 for participation and Minister McConalogue reiterated the Department’s stance that farmers are key custodians of our biodiversity. He stated “The pilot Farm Environmental Study is one of the important first steps taken to the building of a Baseline Biodiversity survey as identified in the Programme for Government.”
Minister Hackett, said, “This pilot is a new and exciting initiative. Its establishment of the unique biodiversity features and habitats present at the farm level will be invaluable. This farm-scale approach will educate and empower farmers, and build on their knowledge of their own land so that they can maximise delivery of environmental outcomes for future schemes.”
Minister McConalogue added in delivering this initiative, “Knowing just what important biodiversity resources we have on our farms is essential going forward. Supporting our farmers to actively conduct their important work, while being aware how significantly these resources can benefit the quality of their produce, while also benefitting the environment will play a critical role in our steps towards a circular economy”. The Minister added, “ FES, in combination with the recently announced REAP scheme will be important pillars to support our goals to roll over existing schemes while also incorporating the new innovative result-based approaches proven through our existing EIPs.
Minister Martin Heydon said, “I would encourage all farmers to avail of these initiatives and work with their advisors and my Department to tailor their management practices with a view to improving their environmental and economic status while also helping to set the new agricultural standard at an international level.”
This announcement of this pilot project was considered by all Ministers to be well timed to coincide with Biodiversity Week which highlights the importance of our national Biodiversity and the efforts by DAFM to work with farmers to support biodiversity through initiatives like this.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (21st May, 2021) announced the return of the SuperValu TidyTowns Competition. The iconic competition was cancelled in 2020 – for the first time in over 60 years – due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. But special arrangements have now been put in place to ensure the return of the competition this year, with the overall winners due to be announced before the end of the year.
The 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns competition will take place in the same format as previous years, albeit with a specific emphasis on electronic entry and remote adjudication of each town’s entry. Groups should continue to adhere to public health guidelines as they have done so remarkably well since the onset of the Pandemic.
The health and safety of volunteers continues to be paramount. It is acknowledged that volunteers have not been able to deliver on all of the plans that they may have had for their towns, and the competition adjudicators will be mindful of this fact when assessing entries. At the same time, many groups have still been very active and the standard of competition is expected to be high again this year amongst the almost 1,000 TidyTowns groups around the country.
Above all, staging the competition this year is a recognition of the extraordinary contribution volunteers continued to make to their communities, even during the Pandemic itself. For this reason, Minister Humphreys has introduced a new award category aimed at groups that have continued to serve and look after their communities despite the difficulties posed by COVID-19. The Minister has also introduced a special prize for young people, which was committed to under Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious new strategy for Rural Ireland.
Minister Humphreys announced a €1 million fund in December to further support the TidyTowns Groups across the country. Today, the Minister confirmed that over 800 TidyTowns Groups have now been awarded grants of up to €1,000 under this Fund. Minister Humphreys today formally launched the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition in Glaslough, County Monaghan – the 2019 winners of the competition. Speaking in Glaslough, Minister Humphreys said: “Missing out on the competition last year was very disappointing for everyone associated with TidyTowns. That’s why I am delighted to announce that this iconic competition is back. I am sure the thousands of volunteers around the country are relieved that we have finally reached the point where we can launch the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns competition and are excited for the months ahead. While the last year has been so challenging for everyone, I know that so many TidyTowns volunteers the length and breadth of the country have continued to look after their communities. Many groups have been unable to deliver on the projects they had planned due to COVID-19. That will not impact in any shape or form on this year’s competition and I am encouraging each and every one of the 987 registered groups across the country to enter once again.”
The Minister continued: “TidyTowns is not just a competition. It demonstrates everything good about our people – volunteerism, positivity, working together, community spirit, protecting our environment, that sense of pride in looking after the place you call home. This is a really special day. I want to pay tribute to the huge role played by TidyTowns groups in inspiring vibrant communities and generating a spirit of volunteerism in towns and villages across the country – qualities that are at the core of “Our Rural Future”. I am also pleased to include a special award this year for young people involved in TidyTowns which is a specific recommendation contained in the Government’s strategy for Rural Ireland. I would also encourage local groups to continue their great efforts at promoting and enhancing biodiversity in our local towns. As we look ahead to an outdoor summer and staycations, we want our local towns and villages right across the country to be attractive, welcoming places. The trojan work carried out by our local TidyTowns volunteers will be central to achieving that. My message is clear - TidyTowns is back this year and it is bigger, better and more important than ever.”
Further details on the competition and access to supporting resources are available at www.tidytowns.ie
As part of National Biodiversity Week 2021 the Heritage Council have commissioned a short film featuring our wildlife and the natural world around us. It looks stunning, and throughout, the message is clear - we need to do more to protect the natural world. Species are dying out and habitats are being destroyed and now is the time to act.
The film was made by Crossing The Line productions who have been filming nature for years and capturing magical moments. The short movie is just a small taste of the beauty they have seen.
To watch the video visit RTÉ on https://www.rte.ie/learn/2021/0517/1222195-biodiversity-film-heritage-council/ or alternatively, YouTube on now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJhuF7kGgag
Cork Folklore Project - 'We’re delighted to launch our project: ‘Catching Stories’, which brings oral history and health together in a new way. It’s an online social history resource focussed on infectious disease in Ireland in the 20 th and 21 st centuries. Here we bring oral testimony and family memory together with an immunologist’s perspective, in a multi-media exploration of diseases such as measles ... To find out more about this recent project, led by Dr. Cliona O’Carroll visit - https://corkfolklore.org/home/catching-stories/ '
On Thursday 13th May 2021, Mná 100 – a new online women’s initiative, for the final phase of the Decade of Centenaries was launched by Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
www.mna100.ie continues the work in highlighting the role of women in the revolutionary period, which began with the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. The successful pop-up museum exhibition, 100 Years of Women in Politics and Public Life which ran from September 2018 to December 2020 also built on this work. This new initiative being launched today will focus on the role that women played in the forthcoming centenaries as we look to events leading up to the Truce of July 1921, Partition, and Civil War.
Through a new dedicated website, new collaborations and partnerships will be developed to reflect on key themes, such as the role of women in advocating for Ireland internationally; the role of women’s organisations during the Campaign for Independence and the Civil War; women in the Oireachtas; and the stories of the pioneering women who were trailblazers within their chosen professions.
The stories of these women will be brought to life for new audiences of all ages using a diverse range of media, including film, podcasts, exhibitions, webinars, public talks, and photo essays – all grounded in primary source material. The Mná 100 initiative will work with the National Cultural Institutions, institutes of learning, local authority partners, creatives and artists, relatives and other contributors to bring new material into the public domain to ensure that the role of women during these formative years will be remembered appropriately.
The new website has gone live with the first piece of major new research on the Report of the American Commission on the Conditions in Ireland, through a new curated video piece showcasing original research and previously unseen photos and documents. The Department welcomed the collaboration with NYU, one of the leading centres for Irish American studies and in particular for their work on the Irish Diaspora and look forward to reaching new audiences for commemoration. Toward America documents American women who used their acumen and influence to assist the Irish campaign for independence and the humanitarian aid distributed by the Irish White Cross to those adversely affected as the result of conflict in Ireland – in particular women and children.
Minister Martin said: “I am really pleased to launch Mná 100 today. One of my priorities for the final phase of the Decade of Centenaries is to ensure that the contribution of women in our history, particularly during the Irish revolutionary period, is appropriately documented and illuminated.
This new online platform gives us a dedicated place to provide a range of content on the role of women in the seminal moments of our journey towards self-determination and sovereignty. Some of these women are familiar figures, while the voices of others have never before been heard or have long since been forgotten. I am delighted that all of these women are taking their rightful place in our history.
The international dimension too is particularly engaging and, indeed, very enlightening. One of the highlights of Mná 100 is ‘Toward America’ – a specially curated short film, which tells the story of the women who came together to bring international attention to the ongoing conflict in Ireland a century ago, and its devastating impact - particularly the plight of Irish children. Drawing on original research and images generously provided from collections in Ireland and the United States, this new film illuminates the work of the American Committee on Conditions in Ireland, The Irish Committee for Relief in Ireland, and the formation of the Irish White Cross’. It’s very fitting that Mná 100 will be launched simultaneously here at home and with our friends in Glucksman Ireland House, the Centre for Irish and Irish-American Studies, in New York.
This is just one of many collaborative initiatives, grounded in archival collections and primary source material, which will bring a renewed focus on women’s participation in political, military, professional, and domestic roles. We will acknowledge too the loss and violence suffered by women during this period.
100 years later, we reflect on all that has been achieved and the work which still remains to bring equality to all aspects of women’s lives.”
*Added on 13/05/21* €1.1 Million Funding Announced for Works on the Islands inc. Whiddy Island in County Cork
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced almost €1.1 million to support a range of capital works on our offshore islands. Funding has been approved for Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal County Councils as follows:
Cork County Council
Galway County Council
Mayo County Council
Sligo County Council
Donegal County Council
Projects for which funding has been allocated in this announcement include: The resurfacing of island roads which are crucial for local connectivity; Repair works to piers and slipways, and Works to combat coastal erosion.
Islands/projects that will benefit from the funding include Inis Mór in the Aran Islands, County Galway; Coney Island in County Sligo; Whiddy Island in County Cork; Clare Island, Inishturk, Inis Bigil and the Old Roonagh Pier in County Mayo; Island Roy, Toraigh and Árainn Mhór in County Donegal. Each of the County Councils provide co-funding for these works.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “The Government’s new policy for rural development, Our Rural Future, commits to investing in critical infrastructure throughout rural Ireland, including our offshore islands. I am therefore delighted today to announce funding of €1.1m towards capital projects on islands off Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. The funding will allow the relevant Local Authorities to undertake improvement works on the islands. These improvements will greatly benefit these communities, as well as those visiting these beautiful locations. Our coastal islands are an integral part of the State’s heritage and hold a wealth of cultural tradition. Funding for these projects further demonstrate the Government’s commitment to supporting our island communities. Additional projects are being evaluated at present and a second round of funding for will be announced shortly."
A full list of funded projects is available on https://www.gov.ie/en/service/87004-islands/.
*Added on 12/05/21* Rural Regeneration and Development Fund accepting Applications
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the third call for Category 2 applications to the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. This Fund will support landmark regeneration projects across the country that will breathe new life into rural towns and villages.
Communities are being urged to put forward projects that will drive economic growth and footfall, combat dereliction, regenerate town centre and heritage buildings, develop pedestrian zones and outdoor spaces and make rural towns more attractive places to live, work and raise a family. There will also be a strong focus on developing remote working facilities such as digital and enterprise communities, as well as e-learning, cultural and community spaces.
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is a key component of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious five year policy for Rural Ireland. The €1 billion Fund is also part of the Department’s Rural Development Investment Programme, which is funded under Project Ireland 2040.
Projects that will be funded under Category 2 are those that require significant development before they reach the stage of being shovel ready. They will be projects that can revitalise our towns and villages and attract people back to live and work in rural area – key objectives of Our Rural Future. To date, the Fund has delivered €249 million for 164 projects worth a total of €338 million across the country.
Announcing the call, Minister Humphreys said: “I am seeking large-scale, ambitious projects which require development support to enable them to become ready to compete for full capital funding under Category 1 of the Fund. The Government's new rural policy – Our Rural Future – has set out an ambitious vision for Rural Ireland and this Fund is one of the key means of realising that ambition. Only last month, I announced €81 million in support from this Fund for 25 landmark projects around the country and it is vital that we maintain this momentum. I want to see new projects which match my ambition for rural areas - delivering sustainable growth, greater activity and innovative approaches to revitalising our rural towns and villages. I also want to see projects that will address dereliction and support the Government’s desire to make remote working a permanent fixture in the lives of tens of thousands of our citizens. This Fund represents a once in a generation opportunity – I urge you all to be bold and be ambitious with your proposals.”
Minister Humphreys added: “The investment that is being provided through this Fund is truly transformational in scale. It is allowing rural communities to transform and reshape their towns and villages and to position them to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the pandemic in terms of remote working and of people returning to rural areas to live and work. The development of these large scale projects requires significant resources and the Category 2 funding provided through this call will enable projects to reach a stage where they are developed to a high standard and are ready to commence. This will ensure that there is a pipeline of high-quality, ambitious projects ready to compete for funding in future Category 1 calls from the Fund. I encourage our partners, stakeholders and rural communities to work together to avail of this wonderful opportunity.”
Full details are available on https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/c77144-rural-regeneration-and-development-fund/ and note the closing date of 12 noon on Friday, 16th July 2021.
*Added on 12/05/21* Cork County Council Launch Water Quality and Biodiversity Education Initiative for Primary Schools
Monday the 17th May will see the launch of a new ‘Source to Sea' water quality & biodiversity video series for primary schools across Cork County. The education initiative, developed by Scoil na Mara on behalf of Cork County Council and the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), raises awareness of water quality and the biodiversity that depends on it. Developed for primary school learners, the short videos use captivating visuals and wonderful wildlife stories and are accessible and fascinating for all ages.
Over three episodes, Scoil na Mara bring viewers on an exploration of different river, estuarine and coastal biodiversity, highlighting the link between water quality, healthy ecosystems and our own well-being. Evoking a sense of wonder for the diversity of wildlife in our local areas, the series introduces viewers to some of our lesser seen animals that are an important part of the web of life in various ecosystems. For school settings, additional resources are provided to support more in-depth learning.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said “I’m delighted to see educational initiatives related to water quality and biodiversity rolled out to schools in Cork County. Raising awareness about the importance of protecting water quality is vital to maintain our excellent Blue Flag & Green Coast beaches. County Cork was awarded 8 Blue Flags for beaches, 2 Blue Flags for marinas & 14 Green Coast Awards last year. We have such a large range of rich and diverse water catchments in the county, the quality of which is often interlinked. It’s vital that we continue to protect this precious resource, and educating our youth is where it begins.”
The first of the series is available from May 17th on Cork County Council’s YouTube channel, with further videos coming online over the following weeks. All videos and material will be open source.
This initiative has been endorsed as an activity of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The Decade, coordinated by UNESCO, recognises contributions which, at a local level, increase awareness of the ocean and its influence on human life and contribute to better understanding and more sustainable management of the ocean. The decade runs from 2021 to 2030 and provides a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries’ actions to sustainably manage the Oceans and particularly to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Objectives.
The series launch coincides with National Biodiversity Week which runs from the 15th to the 23rd May 2021. The last episode in this series will be about the seashore and ocean and is a perfectly timed resource for schools in the lead up to World Oceans Day on June 8th.
For queries in relation to the initiative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Added on 12/05/21* Healthy Ireland Community Mental Health Fund Scheme 2021
Cork County Council is now inviting applications from community groups for the Healthy Ireland Community Mental Health Fund Small Grant Scheme 2021. The €30k fund will offer grants for 15 projects in Cork County, with a maximum spend of €2,000 each.
The scheme is available to local community groups, voluntary and sporting organisations that work to promote positive mental health. Eligible activities include mental health training, creative arts programmes and initiatives to improve living well with a chronic condition.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the scheme stating;
“The past year has been a challenging time for many and as May is Mental Health Awareness month, the timing of this fund is of particular importance. I am confident that this Healthy Ireland scheme will provide much needed financial assistance for projects that deliver vital supports in the area of Mental Health. These local initiatives build awareness of the importance of looking after our mental wellbeing and providing accessible support and advice within our communities.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added;
“Cork County Council is aware of the challenges that people are experiencing right now. It is evident that Mental Health is one of these challenges. As part of our ongoing support of communities throughout Cork County, this scheme will be a great support to those smaller scale activities on the ground, supporting community activity and promoting positive mental health.”
Healthy Ireland is funded by the Department of Health and administered by the three Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in Cork County.
Funding is available exclusively for programme activity under the Healthy Ireland theme of Mental Health and all projects are required to be developed through partnerships and/or collaboration.
“Healthy Ireland, A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013–2025” is the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Ireland. The ‘Healthy Ireland Fund’ aims to support innovative, cross-sectoral, programmes and initiatives that support key national policies in areas such as mental health, physical activity, nutrition and sexual health, tobacco and alcohol and development of spaces and places for health and wellbeing.
Visit www.yourcouncil.ie for guidelines and to make an application online. The closing date for receipt of applications is 4pm on Monday 24th May 2021. The grant drawdown must be completed by 5th November 2021.
For queries, please contact Cork County Council on 021 4285926 / 021 4285486 or email email@example.com
*Added on 10/05/21* Inaugural County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme Opens to Applications
Cork County Council has announced its inaugural County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme. The new scheme was developed to acknowledge and support heritage groups and individuals in undertaking activities that support the actions and objectives of the County Cork Heritage Plan. Supported by the Heritage Council, the scheme is now open for project proposals, with funding of up to €1,000 per project available.
County Cork is steeped in natural, maritime, cultural, architectural and archaeological heritage, folklore, traditional crafts and more. The County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme 2021 aims to support the hundreds of groups that take pride in the history and heritage of their locality through their projects.
Announcing the fund, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said,
“Recognition of the great work undertaken by groups throughout the county in all areas of heritage is at the heart of the County Cork Heritage Scheme. Even small-scale projects make a huge difference to communities and enhance our understanding of our heritage. This grant scheme is aimed at providing funding for local, not-for-profit, community-based heritage groups and individuals who are involved in undertakings that benefit heritage in the County of Cork. There are many, and we in the Council are greatly looking forward to working with you.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey remarked,
“Community led work in the promotion and preservation of County Cork’s heritage provides tremendous benefits for community wellbeing, the environment and the tourism sector, all the while enriching our understanding of the importance of our hometowns and villages. Our heritage intersects with every aspect of life, from education to recreation to infrastructure and planning. By empowering communities to take on projects to promote this vital resource, Cork County Council is investing in the future of the county for everyone’s benefit.”
Details of proposed projects must be submitted to Cork County Council by 17:00 on Thursday June 10th, 2021 to be considered for inclusion in the County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme 2021.
Applications can be made through our customer service portal, YourCouncil.ie; sent by post to Heritage Grant Scheme 2021, Cork County Council, Heritage Unit, Floor 3, County Hall, Carrigrohane Road, Cork or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A word copy of the application form is available by clicking here .
*Added on 10/05/21* National Biodiversity Week 2021 (15-23 May)
National Biodiversity Week is taking place again this year, with events for the whole family to enjoy!
- The annual Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition is now open for submissions. Send in your photos by May 31st to be in with a chance to win up to €500 in cash prizes! More info here
- A huge variety of events will be taking place throughout the whole week, from groups such as Coastwatch, Crann, Forest Friends, Hedgelaying Association of Ireland, Irish Peatlands Conservation Council and more! A calendar of events will be launched very shortly and keep an eye on https://biodiversityweek.ie/ to find something that interests you.
- Join in the Backyard Bioblitz on the weekend of the 21st - 23rd. We have wildlife experts on hand to identify your finds! As a bonus, there's also a chance to win a prize from the National Biodiversity Data Centre. More info here
- The Biodiversity Scavenger Hunt is now available to download. No printer at home? We have free postage! Created for children aged 4-12 (though all ages can enjoy them!), the Hunt gives an extra activity for the weekend so the whole family can get involved. Request postage by May 16th to ensure they are with you in time for the big weekend. More info here
Visit https://biodiversityweek.ie/ for more information on the above and further details
*Added on 10/05/21* Explore Cork Tourism App
As restrictions lift and attentions turn towards staycations, Cork County Council has launched a unique, ‘one-stop-shop’ tourism app, featuring over 850 places to see and things to do throughout County Cork.
The ‘Explore Cork’ app is the first of its kind by any Local Authority in Ireland and was developed following the success of the web-based ‘Rediscover Cork County’ GIS Tourism Map, launched by the Council last Summer. The free app, which is available in both the English and Irish languages, has replicated key elements of the web-based GIS map, but with additional functionality and user-friendly features.
The ‘Things to Do’ section allows users to browse tourism activities from a range of 850 attractions and 18 categories, which can be filtered by areas of interest such as Beaches, Visitor Attractions, Heritage Sites, Islands, Arts & Culture and more.
‘Explore Cork’ shines a spotlight on each of the county’s main 23 towns, presenting local information and video footage to highlight the diverse range of tourism activities, amenities and often unfamiliar attractions within in each town and its surrounding areas.
For those who prefer to discover the county on foot, a dedicated ‘Trails’ section offers extensive information on County Cork’s many spectacular walking trails.
Another key feature of the app is the ‘What’s Near Me?’ function, which allows the user to identify nearby attractions within a radius of up to 100 km. Visitors can then generate directions to a location or activity of choice, enabling them to ‘Explore Cork’ and its many hidden gems at the touch of a button.
As well as offering visitors an array of tourism activities, the app is linked to an extensive database of dining and accommodation options via the Pure Cork website.
Welcoming the launch of the unique County Cork tourism app, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley commented,
‘I am proud to say that we are the only Local Authority in Ireland to develop such an all-encompassing tourism app, in fact, I believe this is the only app of its kind in Ireland. The visitor can get all of the information they need to plan a trip to County Cork, whether they are looking for things to do, trails, places to stay or dine, the ‘Explore Cork’ app has it all. It is incredible that County Cork has over 850 tourism activities to choose from. We will continue to develop the app and expand upon the range of attractions and categories, so we very much welcome comment and suggestions via the feedback section in the app’s menu.’
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, went on to say,
‘The ‘Explore Cork’ app will be instrumental in this critical stage of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, initially by encouraging people to realise the value of staying closer to home and enjoy the many outdoor activities throughout County Cork, and later on, as businesses re-open, by supporting the economies in our towns and villages and welcoming domestic tourists. Cork County Council developed this tool not only to assist in the recovery from the global pandemic, but also to further the ambitions of County Cork in the area of destination development. In the long term, this app will serve as a significant marketing asset in attracting the international visitor, placing Cork firmly on the map as a leading tourism destination in Europe. Whether you’re looking to explore your local area or travel further afield, I would encourage you to download the app and explore the incredible range of things to see and do in every corner of County Cork.’
The FREE ‘Explore Cork’ app will be available to download on Android and iOS
*Added on 10/05/21* Interest and Ideas sought for County Cork Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2021
Cork County Council is seeking Expressions of Interest from community, business, and development groups countywide for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2021. Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD announced the fund earlier this week, intended to support the regeneration of town and village centres, with particular focus this year on addressing issues of vacancy, dereliction, remote working, and town centre living.
Cork County Council is inviting Expressions of Interest from relevant groups for projects that will enable rural towns and villages to tackle these issues and address the challenges of vacancy and town centre living in an impactful way.
Welcoming the announcement of the 2021 scheme, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said,
“Cork County Council has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the regeneration and revitalisation of our Towns and Villages, evident most recently in the range of initiatives undertaken under Project ACT. This funding can provide vital support to your town or village and will make your area a desirable place for residents and visitors alike. I encourage any interested groups to submit an Expression of Interest and take the opportunity to put forward your ideas for your community”.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey noted the value of national investment in our local communities, adding,
“Town and Village Renewal funding represents vital investment in our towns and villages. The scheme supports the Governments Programme for Rural Development “Our Rural Future” and will boost our efforts to regenerate town and village centres and support the emerging Town Centre First initiative.”
The Expression of Interest form and further information on the 2021 Town and Village Renewal Scheme are available on www.corkcoco.ie.
Forms should be emailed to email@example.com or returned to your relevant Municipal District Office no later than 4pm on June 4th 2021.
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is a key initiative under the Action Plan for Rural Development and is part of a range of measures to support the revitalisation of rural Ireland under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 – Our Rural Future – Ireland’s Rural Development Policy 2021-2025.
For more information visit: https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/municipal-districts/town-and-village-renewal-scheme-2021
*Added on 10/05/21* Identification Posters - message from Leave No Trace Ireland
Leave No Trace Ireland are delighted to team up with The National Biodiversity Data Centre to co-brand three of their identification posters; butterflies, bumblebees and shield bugs. The stunning posters can be used to identify the exact species of Irish insect you find in your garden. We are really looking forward to using these resources in our Leave No Trace education programmes in schools across the country, on our Trainer and Awareness Courses, and to share them with our community. You can view and download the butterflies, bumblebees, and shield bugs posters on our website. - https://www.leavenotraceireland.org/identification-posters-nbdc/
*Added on 10/05/21* Responsible Outdoor Recreation Poster - message from Leave No Trace Ireland
Leave No Trace Ireland together with Sport Northern Ireland have launched a ‘Leave No Trace Recommendations for Responsible Outdoor Recreation’ poster. The poster will be distributed throughout Northern Ireland through outdoor retailers and will act as a guide for the public and those new to the outdoors to help them plan their own adventure.
This project aims to raise awareness of responsible outdoor recreation practices across Northern Ireland’s blueways, greenways, trails and all shared outdoor spaces, thus ensuring a healthier and sustainable future for all. Check it out here.
*Added on 09/05/21* Centenary Timeline for County Cork 1920 - 1923 - Submit Your Photographs
In recognition of the importance of the War of Independence and Civil War one hundred years ago Cork County Council has produced a draft centenary timeline spanning the 1920-1923 period, said listing having more than 500 entries – a compilation as such of some excellent research undertaken by a range of scholars over the years. This is available on the heritage events page of www.corkcoco.ie or by clicking here. The listing includes all the key occurrences of 1920 – 1923 including all major events from the County of Cork (including some other locations that involved people from County Cork), as well as key developments on the national level during this timeframe. All key ambushes, attacks and executions are included as well as events that saw the loss of life of Cork people, whether in Cork or further afield. Spanning the period close to 700 people died due to the War of Indepdence and Civil War - men, women and children, on both sides of the conflict and on none.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained within the document, given the volume of material and variations in the historical record, there are undoubtedly errors, omissions and other such issues. It is intended that this will remain a ‘live document’ and all suggested additional dates/amendments/etc. are most welcome, with this document being continually updated as appropriate.
To date there has been significant interest in this document and Cork County Council has decided to produce a limited print run of physical copies – this will be a summary booklet, with, what is hoped, some amazing photos of the people and locations referenced in the publication. To this effect Cork County Council is seeking the engagement of various groups, heritage associations, historical societies and interested individuals to submit what photos they can to support the hundreds of occurrences listed in the upcoming booklet. Details can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 021 4285905 for further information.
*Added on 07/05/21* Would You Like to Contribute to the Heritage Artefacts of County Cork Publication?
For many years Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit has each year been producing a new book on a topic of heritage within the county, from bridges to houses and churches to castles. In 2021, with the support of the Heritage Council, a publication on the Heritage Artefacts of County Cork is being undertaken.
Archaeology is the study of how people lived in the past by examining the physical things they have left behind. These physical remains can be divided into monuments, things that are attached to the landscape, and artefacts, those things which are portable and typically are kept in museum collections. Following the successful publication in 2020 of ‘The Archaeological Heritage of County Cork’, it is now proposed to follow this up with one on the county’s artefacts. The study of artefacts can tell us much about how past societies, not only about their technological ability but also lifestyle, belief systems and how society was organised and functioned. Not every artefact will tell us all these things but it is surprising how much can be inferred from the study of objects long ago lost, discarded or carefully preserved over the generations.
Artefacts come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very valuable objects made of gold or silver and produced by masters of their craft. Others are very mundane objects commonly used in everyday life and easily discarded. Amongst the former are objects like the Cork Horns, the Garryduff Bird and St Lachtine’s Arm. Amongst the latter are broken shards of coarse hand-made pottery, simple flint tools and clay pipes. To archaeology all are equally valued as items that are part of our past and have their own story to tell, irrespective of their aesthetic or rarity value. Each one is part of the story of County Cork’s past and it will be the objective of this book to allow the selected items tell that story, to let “the mute stones speak.”
One of the key elements of each publication is the input from local groups and heritage enthusiasts. Past publications in the Heritage of County Cork Series have benefited hugely from a great number of public submissions including photos for use, stories, and indeed lists of recommended sites that should be featured in the book(s). With respect to the upcoming publication on the County’s Heritage Artefacts, the Heritage Unit of Cork County Council would be delighted to see high levels of engagement. To this effect local heritage societies, community groups and individuals are requested to get involved in the project by submitting any specific information/stories/photos of interest to Cork County Council by Friday 11th June 2021. The publication will set out to include and reference as many submissions as possible and for further information email email@example.com or phone 021 428 5905/5935.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley invited submissions saying:
“The variety of heritage artefacts outlined in ‘The Archaeological Heritage of County Cork’ last year has become a fantastic resource for local historians and all who want to know more about our history. While some objects may be made with gold or silver, and some with clay, all are equally valuable from the point of view of our heritage. The great thing about this publication series to date is the widespread participation which, like our heritage, concerns us all, belongs to us all and benefits from the contributions of all. Central to this venture is local passion, and the upcoming ‘Heritage Artefacts of County Cork’ publication is a great opportunity to compile and display that passion.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey welcomed the call saying;
“As a Local Authority, Cork County Council prides itself on recognising what’s important to communities in our remit. Collaborative projects like the “Heritage of County Cork” publication series are a great way to recognise and celebrate the phenomenal work that goes into building communities and uncovering our shared heritage and identity. The publications themselves are excellent resources for all who have an interest in Cork County and represent a confident investment in local cultural work.”
*Added on 07/05/21* 2021 Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structures Fund Allocations for County Cork
The County of Cork, with thanks to the many excellent applications submitted and the work of Cork County Council’s Conservation Office, has been allocated a combined total of €224,800 for 14 different projects under the 2021 Built Heritage Investment and Historic Structures Fund Schemes. This funding will support the owners and custodians of historic and protected structures as they carry important projects to repair and safeguard our built heritage including churches, castles and houses. This is great news for the County of Cork and the projects will see important works in a variety of areas across the county including Boherbue, Cobh, Inchigeelagh, Kanturk, Kinsale, Minane Bridge, Mitchelstown, Rosscarbery and Youghal.
*Added on 07/05/21* Cruinniú na nÓg takes place on Saturday 12th June 2021
Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, has announced details of Cruinniú na nÓg 2021, a day of free creative activity for children and young people under the age of 18. Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 is a collaboration between the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the Creative Ireland Programme, local authorities and RTÉ and is the only event of its kind in the world.
Announcing Cruinniú na nÓg 2021, Minister Martin said: “Over the past 3 years Cruinniú na nÓg has become a key date in Ireland’s cultural calendar. It provides opportunities for Ireland’s 1.2 million children and young people to be inquisitive, innovative and to fulfil an inner creative talent. The emphasis is always on participation and trying something new like knitting, drumming, stop-start animation, contemporary dance and so much more. All events are free and are accessible online. This time last year we were forced to bring all our Cruinniú na nÓg events online, yet it proved to be our most successful Cruinniú to date with hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world joining us in our national day of youth creativity. This year we hope to replicate the same level of international excitement with new and exciting projects.”
Building on the success of 2020, hundreds of events have already been planned by Creative Ireland Culture and Creativity teams in local authorities around the country. These teams are key to the successful delivery of Cruinniú na nÓg as their events are planned to respond to the needs of local children and young people. This year we will see events such as Circus Factory in Carraigaline in Cork, a live interactive workshop on Upcycled Clothes in Louth and Dublin Zoo are inviting young people to explore the wonderful world of animals without backbones!
Further details and resources are now available from the Creative Ireland website and RTÉ platforms see www.creativeireland.gov.ie and www.rte.ie. In addition, local authorities will also be hosting a range of cultural and creative activities and online events for Cruinniú na nÓg including right here in the County of Cork – full details will also be available at www.cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie.
*Added on 06/05/21* 2021 Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards Update - four nominees from County Cork
Farming for Nature: 'In January of this year, we received 48 nominations for the 2021 Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards. The standard of this year's nominees has been simply outstanding. It has been hugely inspiring for us to speak to each of the nominated farmers and to learn more about the incredible work they are doing to incorporate, protect and enhance nature on their land. Each of the 2021 nominees have made a valuable contribution to the Farming for Nature initiative and we would like to thank them again for their time, support and most of all for the work they do for nature on their farms. We have been sharing their stories far and wide across our social media platforms in an effort to inspire and encourage positive change amongst the farming community here in Ireland and beyond
You can learn more about our wonderful 2021 nominee farmers here.
During the months of February and March, we spoke directly to each nominee farmer(s) to learn more about their farm and their practices for nature. Then following a standard set of criteria, we put together a shortlist of nominees who will progress to the next stage in the Ambassador Awards. These farms will now be visited by our judging panel during the summer months. The purpose of the judges' visit is to give each nominee the opportunity to showcase their farm and elaborate further on their farming system(s) and practices for nature. We will then come together with the judging panel and collectively decide on this year’s list of Farming for Nature Ambassadors.
An important point to emphasize is that the Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards are not about winning. As far as we are concerned, every one of our nominated farmers are winners and we want to celebrate each participating farm, giving them the support and recognition they deserve. Every farmer has a story to tell and a lesson to share. Every farmer who participates in the Farming for Nature initiative becomes an integral member of our countrywide network of nature-friendly farmers.
Having gotten some insight into the inspiring work that our 2021 nominees are doing on their farms, we are very excited to get out and see first-hand the actions that our nominee farmers are taking on their land to support nature. We have a wide variety of farms engaged with the programme this year – from dairy producers to foresters, from market gardeners to rewilders, from conventional farmers to alternative agriculture! Our nominee farmers are focusing on areas such as mob grazing, combi-cropping, multi-species grassland management, Korean Natural Farming, no-dig horticulture, wild bird cover strips, conservation farming, rewilding...and much more. What a wonderful range of learnings they offer – watch this space for more! We will keep you all updated as we
continue to learn from our wonderful community of farmers across the country.
Meanwhile, we wanted to share with you some of our favourite quotes from our interviews.
"If I could grow all my own food and grow a little bit extra and sell it to people, then make a living doing it – wouldn't that be the dream?"
“We need nature. Ecosystems are what make everything work. From the air that we breathe, to a stable climate, to clean water.”
“If you want to do something for wildlife or for nature, the first thing you have to do is observe and make a record of your observations. I observe nature on my farm on a daily basis - I observe plant species, I observe birds and insect species. I try to keep a mental or written record of my observations.”
"Grazing is very important for certain rare species, such as curlew, corncrake, lapwing, skylark and other ground nesting birds, as well as flora like orchids, all those species have followed us as farmers through the ages and they have benefited from our farming activity. Now, the lack of that type of farming activity means that many of those species will be in trouble because they won’t have suitable habitats.”
"If everybody did a little bit, it would add up to an awful lot... you don’t have to turn your farm into a nature reserve, but if we all do a little bit of work to support nature and biodiversity on our farms, that will add up to have a big impact.”
The FFN Ambassador awards are sponsored by Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme.
Meet the 2021 Nominees here - Meet the 2021 Nominees here '
*Added on 04/05/21* New Issue of the Walled Town Crier Ezine
The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) has a membership of over two dozen towns throughout the island of Ireland (North, South, East and West) and includes 4 towns in Cork. Three of these are in Cork County – Bandon, Buttevant and Youghal – and Cork City is also part of the Network. The Irish Walled Towns Network over the last number of years has supported a range of different projects and undertakings, including here in the County of Cork. To further promote the work of the ITWN, an Ezine, which is called the Walled Town Crier, is issued regularly and the April Edition, 2021, is available to read by clicking here . In this edition, there is a focus on biodiversity and the All Ireland Pollinator Plan with tips to encourage biodiversity suitable for all types of gardens and public parks. Digital methods and tools to enhance recording the heritage of our walled towns are also looked at.
*Added on 04/05/21* Increased Funding for Local Authority Harbours
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, has announced details of a €38.3m Capital Investment Package for the ongoing development of Ireland’s publicly owned harbour network including 79 Local Authority Harbours across 12 coastal Local Authorities. In announcing the 2021 programme, the Minister said, “I am delighted to announce this €38.3 million capital investment package in our six Fishery Harbour Centres and 79 Local Authority owned piers and harbours around our coast which underlines the importance this Government places on the contribution of the wider Seafood sector to Ireland’s economy and to rural coastal communities in particular.”
The Local Authority programme forms part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marines’ 2021 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, whereby the Department co-funds up to 75% of the total cost of approved projects with the Local Authority providing the balance. Under the programme, Cork County has been allocated €484,500 for seven different projects taking in locations such as Kinsale, Keelbeg, Ballycotton, Ballycrovane and Zetland Pier on the Beara Peninsula.
In regard to the Local Authority scheme, the Minister stated, “The €4.2 million package I am making available this year provides funding for a diverse suite of 79 projects geographically spread across 12 Local Authorities which will improve the amenities provided to the wider Marine community in these coastal areas. It will provide a much needed economic boost to rural coastal communities particularly in these trying times and also make them more attractive to tourists in the longer term. During the pandemic, we have become more aware than ever of the importance of our outdoor spaces and local amenities. The continued upgrading and refurbishment of our local piers and harbours will support local fishers, tourism and will have numerous knock-on benefits for local economies.”
Overall, the annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme provides funding for safety, maintenance and new development works at the six Fishery Harbour Centres at Howth, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Dingle, Ros An Mhíl and Killybegs. The primary function of the Fishery Harbour Centres is to underpin the ongoing development of the fisheries and seafood processing sectors, while also facilitating other diverse marine related activities.
The Minister said, “Critically, this year’s funding for the Fishery Harbour Centres provides for the completion of three strategically important projects in Castletownbere, Killybegs and Howth, delivering an additional 460 metres of berthing space in the respective harbours”. Funding of €11.77 million is being allocated for Castletownbere under the Fishery Harbour & Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme 2021.
*Added on 04/05/21* 2021 Creative Ireland County Cork Grant Scheme 2021
Cork County Council is inviting applications for its Creative Ireland County Cork Open Call Grants Scheme 2021. The scheme supports not-for-profit groups and organisations in creating community-centred, developmental, artistic and cultural projects, events and initiatives which positively impact their community.
Launching the call for applications, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley encouraged community groups and cultural organisations to apply;
“The County Cork Creative Ireland Grants are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and promote our culture. The past year has shown us more than ever the importance of culture and community during tough times. County Cork is home to a wealth of culture and heritage expressed throughout our communities in a diverse number of ways, from poetry to pottery, storytelling to sculpture, and much more besides. The Creative Ireland Programme seeks to put culture at the heart of everything we do and provides a great opportunity to enhance and further promote and encourage the cultural undertakings of everyone in the county.”
Organisations and groups are required to engage with creative practitioners to develop and deliver their project. This scheme is supported by Creative Ireland and Cork County Council. The maximum amount of funding awarded is €5,000.
Full details and the application form can be complete online at https://www.yourcouncil.ie/en. The deadline for applications is 23:59 on Sunday 30th May 2021.
*Added on 04/05/21* Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2021
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €15 million in funding to help revitalise rural towns and villages post Covid-19. The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is designed to breathe new life into rural communities - making them more attractive places to live, work, socialise and raise a family. The initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s five year strategy to revitalise rural Ireland.
The measures that will be supported by the 2021 Town and Village Renewal Scheme include:
Ø Tackling dereliction in town centres
Ø Turning vacant properties into remote working and community spaces
Ø Supporting Local Authorities to run innovative marketing campaigns targeted at attracting remote workers to their county.
Ø Investing in green spaces, parks and recreational amenities
Ø Upgrading and improving shop fronts & streetscapes on Main Streets
Ø Projects that support and enhance the night time economy and add vibrancy to town centres
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is administered through the Local Authorities, who are required to work closely with local communities and local businesses to develop and implement proposals.- The previous maximum grant of €200,000 has been increased to €500,000 under this year’s scheme so that projects of scale can be supported.
Launching the Scheme, Minister Humphreys said: “As part of the Government ambitious new rural development policy, Our Rural Future, I am determined to make our rural towns and villages vibrant and attractive places to live, work, socialise and raise a family. As part of the €15 million Fund, I want to see innovative and exciting projects coming forward that will make a real and lasting difference in our rural towns and villages. The focus of this year’s scheme is to renovate derelict and vacant buildings in our town centres and give them a new purpose – whether it is for remote working, cultural or community use. I have increased the maximum grant to €500,000 this year so that projects of scale and ambition can be put forward.
I also want to see Local Authorities engaging with local businesses and property owners on our main streets and putting forward collaborative projects to upgrade shop fronts and enhance our streetscapes. Support is also available for murals in our town centres, perhaps dedicated to local cultural or sporting personalities and events. This is all about adding colour and vibrancy to our towns and villages making them more attractive places to live, work in and visit.
Most importantly, I want to seize the momentum around remote working and for that reason, I am supporting Local Authorities to run innovative marketing campaigns highlighting what their area has to offer in terms of remote working facilities as well as cultural and recreational amenities. This is about showcasing our rural towns and villages with the aim of attracting remote workers and the so called ‘digital nomads’ to come and live in rural Ireland.”
Full details of the scheme are available on https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/01125e-town-and-village-renewal-scheme/#the-2021-town-and-village-renewal-scheme
*Added on 28/04/21* 2021 Programme for the Decade of Centenaries Announced
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D., Tánaiste Leo Varadkar T.D. and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., have announced a major new project as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme to mark key events in Irish history leading up to, and including, the momentous events of 1912-1923. The 20th Century History of Ireland Galleries will be based at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks in Dublin. Work is starting this year and the new exhibition will open in 2023, coinciding with the centenary of the foundation of the Irish Free State.
These new permanent exhibition galleries will offer visitors an opportunity to reflect on significant events in Irish history over the last 120 years. The National Museum of Ireland’s vision for the project is one that will resonate with a range of audiences. The project will also demonstrate the important legacy of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Programme. Minister Catherine Martin’s Department is contributing €2.2m in capital funding to the project.
This significant project forms just one part of the Government’s Decade of Centenaries Programme for 2021 being published by Minister Martin. In addition to the capital funding being provided for the Museum project, the centenaries programme for 2021 is supported with a budget of €5 million in current funding from the Minister’s Department, a significant increase of €3 million on last year's funding allocation.
The cross-governmental programme highlights a rich diversity of ambitious, engaging and meaningful initiatives, marking the significant centenaries arising this year and related themes, including; The Burning of the Custom House on 25th May 1921; Partition; The Truce on 11th July 1921; The Anglo-Irish Treaty Negotiations and the Treaty debates; and The Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6th December 1921. The programme aims to create and support interesting and imaginative opportunities that encourage as many people as possible to consider our shared history, in all of its complexity, in a respectful and supportive environment.
The programme highlights specific initiatives, partnerships and events that are being developed and rolled out throughout 2021. It also outlines the Government’s approach to the final phase of the Decade of Centenaries leading up to 2023. It will remain a living document and will be updated as new proposals and partnerships are confirmed throughout the year. The Programme will continue to be supported by the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations and by the Minister’s engagement with the soon to be reconvened All-Party Consultation Group on Commemorations.
An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said: “The aim of commemoration should be to broaden sympathies without having to abandon loyalties. We share an island where, contested history can be a barrier to mutual accommodation and the reconciliation necessary to our shared future. History cannot be a dehumanised, reductive, simplistic, or self-serving narrative. And when we look back to a period of conflict we must be especially careful to recall that history is the complex story of individual men and women, their lives, their flaws, their strengths, their struggle and their suffering, however they identified, whatever uniform they wore.”
The programme announcement also sees enhanced investment in Local authorities, in recognition of their leading role in driving and supporting the development of inclusive, respectful, community-led commemorative programmes.
This programme is available to view online at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/121ea-decade-of-centenaries-programme/
*Added on 28/04/21* Regulations to Assist Restaurants and Cafés
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has welcomed the support of regulations to assist restaurants and cafés.The two sets of regulations which received cross party support include the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 3) Regulations 2021, which concerns planning exemptions for restaurants to operate as takeaways for the remainder of 2021, and the Planning and Development (Street Furniture Fees) Regulations 2021 which waive the section 254 street furniture license fees for the remainder of 2021 for tables and chairs associated with outdoor dining. A third set of Regulations, which do not require the approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas, are being progressed simultaneously and provide for the erection of awnings, coverings and other similar apparatus for outdoor dining to be a licenced activity under section 254 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, when it is linked with a street furniture licence for tables and chairs under that section.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “We are all aware that the hospitality and restaurant sector, and indeed the wider tourism sector, have suffered the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, both this year and last year. They have been the subject of both temporary closure of business for considerable periods of time as well as other restrictions which have taken a massive toll.We know this summer will see a lot of outdoor dining and these regulations will offer some respite to businesses who otherwise would pay significant street furniture licence fees and have to make planning applications for coverings and awnings. Government are committed to providing necessary supports to assist these sectors as much as is possible with a view to facilitating their recovery as the current restrictions are eased and eventually lifted over the coming summer months,” he concluded.
*Added on 28/04/21* Draft Open Call for Proposals for Woodland Support Funding for 2021/2022
The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has announced a public call for innovative projects which support and highlight the environmental, social and economic benefits of woodlands, forests and timber products. Funding will be allocated by her Department by means of an open competition under a Woodland Support Fund. The Fund is valued at €1 million euro and projects are to be delivered by the end of 2022. Announcing the Call, Minister of State Hackett said: “We are looking for projects and proposals which deal with all aspects of woodland and forestry, and highlight all their benefits, from economic, to well-being, to the environment. When we ran a similar call in 2019, we received some brilliant applications from schools, NGOs, farm bodies and Community Groups. I want to harness that enthusiasm again to promote a greater understanding of the multi-functional benefits of our woodlands.”
The four themes identified on which applications are invited, from any group or individual are as follows:
- Support and highlight the environmental benefits of woodlands.
- Support and highlight the benefits of woodlands, focussing on farmers, and / or community engagement and / or general wellness.
- Support and highlight productive forestry and timber products, in the context of climate action and the bioeconomy.
- Support and highlight sustainable forest management amongst forest owners (targeted at organisations already active in this area with established programmes in operation).
The Minister continued, “We have a relatively low level of woodland cover in Ireland compared to other European countries, so there is huge potential to develop and grow many more trees to enable us and future generations to enjoy their benefits. Encouraging farmers to seriously consider planting all types of woodland is one important aspect of this initiative, while the introduction of a separate theme looking at the environmental benefits of forests is another. So I am really looking forward to seeing innovative projects, across all themes, which will highlight how, as a society, we can gain from sustainable woodland creation and management.”
The Specification Document is available to view on www.gov.ie/en/publication/642e6-forestry/ and applications may be emailed ForestrySupportFunding@agriculture.gov.ie, as per the application form. The closing date is 5pm on Monday 24th May 2021.
*Added on 27/04/21* New Publication: Spike Island's Republican Prisoners, 1921 - by Tom O'Neill MA
Renowned author and historian Tom O’Neill M. A. has undertaken his latest publication; this a look at Spike Island and the 1000 plus Republican prisoners and internees held there in 1921. Titled ‘Spike Island’s Republican Prisoners, 1921” and over 300 pages in length, the publication describes the background to the prison, the escapes, hunger strike and the riots that took place, as well as the fatal shooting of two internees. This is the first comprehensive history of individuals and events on Spike Island during that turbulent year. See www.thehistorypress.co.uk for more information and books will be available from May 8th 2021 on Spike Island, in local bookstores and online.
*Added on 24/04/21* Draft County Cork Development Plan 2022-2028
Cork County Council has prepared the Draft County Development Plan 2022-2028 and submissions are now being invited on same. It is intended that the new Cork County Development Plan 2022 will be the first consolidated Plan for the entire functional area of Cork County Council and relates to the new administrative boundary of the county, following the implementation of the new Local Government arrangements in Cork in May 2019. The functional areas of the 9 former Town Council Towns and the settlements contained within the current 8 Municipal District Local Area Plans will also be incorporated into the new County Development Plan. In this regard, the new County Development Plan will therefore replace not just the current County Development Plan (as varied) but also existing Town Development Plans and the 8 Municipal District Local Area Plans made in 2017.
The Draft County Development Plan 2022-2028 is a 7 Volume Plan and includes volumes setting out the Main Policy Material, Heritage and Amenity and Volumes on North Cork, South Cork and West Cork as well as Environmental Reports, Maps and a Draft Joint Housing Strategy. Volume(s) One; Two; Three; Four; Five; Six and Seven of the Draft County Development Plan together with the Draft Joint Housing Strategy may be inspected and downloaded via the following link: https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/cork-county-development-plan-2022-2028.
Submissions or observations regarding the Draft County Development Plan are invited from members of the public, children, or groups or associations representing the interests of children and other interested parties during the period from Thursday 22nd April, 2021 to midnight on Thursday 1st July, 2021. This can be done online at https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/cork-county-development-plan-2022-2028 or in written form to the Senior Planner, Planning Policy Unit, Cork County Council, Floor 13, County Hall, Cork.
All such submissions lodged within this period will be taken into consideration prior to the adoption of the new Cork County Development Plan and all valid submissions received shall be published on the Cork County Council website within 10 working days of its receipt by the Council via https://www.yourcouncil.ie/service/Planning_Policy_Submissions.
*Added on 24/04/21* Ireland's Our Rural Future: €14 Million Fund to Support Outdoor Adventure Activities
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has opened a called for applications for €14 million in funding for outdoor recreation projects and investment that will support the adventure tourism sector in rural communities. The funding, which is being provided under the Outdoor Recreation and Infrastructure Scheme, will support the key objectives of Our Rural Future - the Government’s ambitious new policy for Rural Ireland.
The focus of the funding is to develop rural Ireland’s unique natural amenities and support outdoor pursuits and adventure activities such as hiking/mountaineering, cycling, horse-riding, canoeing/kayaking, swimming, surfing, sailing, rock-climbing, fishing, paragliding and hang-gliding. The fund will provide for significant investment in the development of outdoor trails, walkways, cycleways, blueways, tidal pools, floating boardwalks and bridleways.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider opportunities to develop recreational amenities and increase public access and enjoyment of rural Ireland’s mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, beaches and bogs.
Launching the Fund, Minister Humphreys said: “As part of Our Rural Future, I want to see rural Ireland become a destination of choice domestically and internationally for outdoor pursuits and adventure tourism. Through this Fund, we will invest in the development of forest and mountain trails, tidal pools, floating boardwalks on our lakes and bogs, greenways, blueways, bridleways and much more. COVID-19 has given us all a renewed appreciation for our great outdoors. Through this fund, I want us to develop our fantastic natural amenities so that people can access them and enjoy them. Successful projects will also bring significant economic spin off benefits for our rural towns and villages by attracting both domestic and international tourists in the future.”
Projects applications will be accepted from Local Authorities under the following Measures:
· Measure 1 for small scale projects requiring funding of up to €20,000,
· Measure 2 for medium scale projects with funding of up to €200,000,
· Measure 3 for large scale projects seeking funding of up to €500,000, and
· Project Development Measure funding of up to €50,000 for development costs for strategic large scale projects.
For more information about the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme visit gov.ie.
*Added on 24/04/21* Ireland's Organic Farming Scheme
Minister of State Pippa Hackett has reminded farmers who are considering going organic that they have one more week to apply for the Organic Farming Scheme. The closing date is midnight next Friday 30 April. Urging all farmers to consider taking the step, the Minister said, “I believe the future is bright for organic farmers. Demand is strong for all types of organic produce, prices are often higher, and crucially, it’s also a less intensive way of farming which comes with lower input costs and which embraces nature and natural processes to produce food.”
The Organic Farming Scheme reopened for new applications from farmers at the beginning of March and closes next Friday April 30th. The Minister has provided funding to allow the scheme to increase the number of farmers farming organically in Ireland this year by 30%.
Encouraging farmers to apply for the Scheme, the Minister added, “the EU is totally committed to supporting this way of farming, and organic farms will be fully integrated into the new CAP scheme when it eventually rolls out in 2023.”
Farmers entering the Organic Farming Scheme could qualify for yearly payments of up to €220 per hectare during the conversion period and up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status. Higher payment rates are available for organic horticulture and tillage farmers. A guide to the Organic Farming Scheme application process and a FAQ document is available on the Department’s website to assist potential applicants at www.gov.ie/en/service/d46aec-organic-farming-scheme/.
*Added on 21/04/21* County Cork Commemorations Grant Scheme 2021 now open for applications
Cork County Council has launched the County Cork Commemorations Grant Scheme for 2021, with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. This year’s scheme recognises the importance of the War of Independence and Civil War and will support the enthusiasm that exists within the county to commemorate the centenary of this defining period of Irish history.
In 1921, some key events were the execution of Con Murphy from Millstreet which was the first execution under martial law of the conflict, and notable ambushes such as the Dripsey Ambush, the Upton Train Ambush, the Clonmult Ambush, and a landmine explosion in Youghal that killed eight people. From the 1920-1923 period it is estimated that over 700 people lost their lives due to the War of Independence and Civil War.
The 2021 Scheme will support local groups, organisations and individuals to commemorate significant local events, through a range of projects targeted at all ages. Particular consideration will also be given to initiatives that demonstrate local connections to significant historical events that occurred in 1921, including the Signing of the Truce, the Anglo-Irish Treaty Negotiations and Debates, and the Signing of the Treaty.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the fund saying;
“The County of Cork played a pivotal role in the Anglo-Irish War of Independence and the ensuing Civil War. These events form part of our living history, informing who we are as a nation today and providing us with a way to reflect on where we have come from. It is thanks to the many amateur and professional scholars and volunteers that we can enrich our understanding of our history and share it with the world. This scheme aims to support the community groups who allow us to connect with the hundred-year history of our nationhood. The range of projects that can be applied for is considerable, including endeavours of an artistic and creative nature. I encourage all those with an idea to consider making an application to the scheme.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey noted;
“Cork County Council and its Commemorations Committee, through the Commemoration Grant Scheme 2021, seeks to ensure that County Cork’s participants in the War of Independence and Civil War are remembered. We look forward to building on the successes of the 2020 Scheme, which saw 50 groups supported in the region of €80,000 for a variety of commemorative projects within the county. Thanks to the many community groups supported by the Council, our shared heritage provides an excellent cultural resource for residents of Cork County and for visitors seeking to learn more about us.”
Full details of the County Cork Commemorations Fund 2021 and the application form can be downloaded by clicking here as well as on www.yourcouncil.ie - County Cork Commemorations Grant Scheme 2021. The closing date for proposals and application forms is 17:00 on Monday 17th May 2021, which can be made online; emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or posted to ‘County Cork Commemorations Fund 2021, Cork County Council, Floor 3, County Hall, Cork.
Details of the Decade of Centenaries Second Phase Guidance 2018–2023 is available online at www.chg.gov.ie and a timeline of centenary events in County Cork is available on www.corkcoco.ie/arts-heritage in the upcoming events page of the Heritage Section.
Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee has supported many hundreds of commemorative undertakings since its inception in April 2015. For further information email email@example.com or phone 021 4276891.
*Added on 21/04/21* National Biodiversity Week - May 17th to 23rd 2021
National Biodiversity Week takes place from May 17th to May 23rd 2021. Spanning the week area a number of key dates including International Bee Day on May 20th; International Day of Biological Diversity on May 22nd and on either side of the week – National Dawn Chorus on May 16th and European Day of Parks on May 24th. As always some excellent groups organize an array of talks and events for the week and details will be added to the upcoming heritage events section of www.corkcoco.ie once announced.
*Added on 20/04/21* Durrus Water Pumps Project
Durrus & District Community Council in West Cork is conserving our village’s five traditional and much-loved water pumps. The pumps were manufactured by the Scottish company Glenfield & Kennedy Ltd, Kilmarnock. Can you help us to find a replacement cap for one of them? The photos below show the pump that is missing a cap, and the cap on a similar pump. Its diameter is about 32cm.
Also, we would love to hear from any other community group who has or is in the process of conserving and promoting their traditional pumps as valued aspects of their local heritage. What did you do, who did you collaborate with and what would you advise to a community just starting out on this path? If you can help us with any of these queries, please contact Caroline at (087) 610 1510 or DurrusCommCouncil@gmail.com. Go raibh míle maith agaibh.
*Added on 19/04/21* Over €4 million secured for Cork County Projects in the Rural Regeneration Fund
Cork County Council has secured funding to the value of €4,822,511 for two projects in the Government’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).
Youghal has received one of the highest funding allocations at €4,048,511 with Cork County Council providing an additional €449,835, for a new town library. A collection of derelict buildings on North Main Street will be renovated and extended to create a modern and fully restored library. The new library will reinvigorate the town centre and provide essential community facilities and services, including remote learning resources and an accessible public space in the town for residents and visitors.
Ballydesmond is also set to benefit with funding of €774,000 secured, which will be supplemented by the Council to a total project cost of €860,000. These monies will be focused on improvement works for the town centre, including key village centre developments such as enhanced streetscapes, walkways and park areas.
A key component of Project Ireland 2040, the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund sets out to support the rejuvenation of communities, job creation and transform rural economies.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley warmly welcomed the news saying,
“These two projects will provide a fantastic boost for the communities of Youghal and Ballydesmond. As a long-time campaigner and former member of the Council’s library committee, I was always aware of the potential for a successful funding announcement considering the Council’s long-term plan for a new town library and calibre of Cork County Council’s application. The people of Youghal, will welcome a longed-for permanent library and Ballydesmond is set to see a new town vista. We have two very positive projects ahead and I look forward to seeing both progress.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey went on to say,
“These successful projects will play an important role in Cork County Council’s continued focus toward supporting economic and social growth across county towns. Each town will be able to take full advantage of their unique potential, an approach which forms part of Cork County Council’s wider Town Framework Plans and provide excellent local amenities.”
*Added on 19/04/21* Certificate in Nature Animation Update
Leave No Trace has noted a huge response to the Certificate in Nature Animation, Special Purpose Award Level 6 course and received over 300 applicants for just 20 spots. The Certificate in Nature Animation is a joint venture between the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Munster Technological University and Leave No Trace Ireland. It has been developed in response to demand from the NPWS to increase the number of park rangers for National Parks, Nature Reserves and Wildfowl sanctuaries throughout Ireland. The new course begins this month and runs until December 2021. You can find out more about the course on the Leave No Trace Ireland website.
*Added on 16/04/21* Spring 2021 Edition of of the Rural Water News Magazine
The National Federation of Group Water Schemes has just published the 32-page Spring 2021 edition of the ‘Rural Water News’ Magazine. The Spring issue highlights the need for schemes to urgently progress projects approved for funding under the current Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme as well preparing submissions for the next 3-year programme. As we are now entering a time of year where traditionally pesticides are used, the magazine also focuses on the detrimental impact they have on drinking water supplies and encourages every scheme to take a leading role within their community to highlight this issue. In addition, there is extensive coverage of the NFGWS first-ever ‘Group Water Scheme Excellence Awards’ applications are now open! To keep up to date about everything in Rural Water and to see the Rural Water Magazine visit www.nfgws.ie.
*Added on 14/04/21* Agriculture, Food and the Marine Action Plan 2021 Published
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has published the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Statement of Strategy (2021-2024) alongside an Action Plan for 2021, which outlines 75 actions to further develop a sustainable, innovative and competitive agri-food, forestry and seafood sector.
The Action Plan for 2021 will build on significant work already underway by Ministers McConalogue, Hackett and Heydon and the Department, including:
- Continuing to provide vital supports to the farmers, fishers and foresters which are the lifeblood of a balanced rural and coastal economy and community.
- Finalising and publishing a new 10-year Strategy for the agri-food sector - delivering on a key commitment of the Programme for Government, which called for an ambitious blueprint for the industry for the years ahead, taking into account our climate action and environmental obligations.
- Developing Ireland's CAP Strategic Plan.
- Designing, developing and commencing new transitional schemes for 2021 including an Agri-Environment results-based Pilot Project which rewards farmers for committed environmental effort by linking payments to the quality of environmental outcomes delivered.
- Implementing Ireland’s first over-arching Animal Welfare Strategy.
- Working to develop initiatives and policies to underpin and support farm and fisher incomes.
Welcoming the publication of the new Statement of Strategy and Action Plan, Minister McConalogue said, “The key priority for me as Minister is the protection of incomes and the sustainable development of our sector. Our farmers, fishers and food producers face many challenges as they continue to provide the high-quality food, fish, timber. Our primary producers also excel at supporting a range of ecosystems services, while playing a central role in the transformation of our economy and society towards a long-term sustainable future. We will provide a policy platform that protects incomes, ensures that our food offering is safe and of the highest quality and that our industry is environmentally sustainable and competitive.”
The Statement of Strategy sets out five Strategic Goals for the Department which will be underpinned by actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water and air quality and reverse biodiversity decline to give effect to the Programme for Government commitment to make climate action a core pillar of Department strategies. The five goals are as follows:
- To promote and safeguard public, animal and plant health and animal welfare for the benefit of consumers, producers, the economy and wider society;
- Provide income and targeted supports to farm families and others in the agri-food sector to underpin the balanced rural economy and optimise environmental sustainability;
- Provide the optimum policy framework for the sustainable development of the agri-food sector;
- Deliver a sustainable, competitive and innovative seafood sector, driven by a skilled workforce, delivering value added products in line with consumer demand; and
- Maintain and develop strategic, operational, regulatory and technical capacity and capability to deliver excellent services to our customers.
Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State with special responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity, stated, “I welcome the publication of this Statement of Strategy and Action Plan. They provide us with a clear outline of what is required to progress action on climate and biodiversity, and the means by which we integrate them into all aspects of the Department’s work. From nature-friendly land use, to reducing emissions and enhancing our farmland biodiversity – these and other actions are vital to the continued health of our society, economy, species and planet.”
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Action Plan 2021 and the Department’s Statement of Strategy, 2021-2024 are available at gov.ie
*Added on 11/04/21* Trailer for the Young Fella Documentary
A feature length documentary ‘The Young Fella’ will premiere next Friday, 16th April, 2021, on the Michael Collins House Youtube channel at 8pm, coinciding with the centenary of the burning of Michael Collins Family home at Woodfield. The documentary tells the story of Collins’ childhood through the eyes of local school students as they meet with local historians and visit the local historical sites. The documentary, undertaken by Sam Kingston, has been jointly funded by Michael Collins House and Cork County Council‘s Commemorations Committee and a short trailer is available to see at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbjG5VtGHUY.
*Added on 09/04/21* €70 Million Transitional LEADER Programme Funding Announced
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (9th April 2021) announced the details of the allocation of the €70 million Transitional LEADER programme for the period 2021-2022.
· €65 million is being allocated to support locally-led rural development projects across the 29 Local Action Groups (LAGs)
· €3 million is being allocated to support the LEADER Co-operation measure which encourages rural areas to work together on collaborative projects
· €2 million will be allocated to prepare for the next LEADER Programme
Minister Humphreys has also today published the funding allocations being provided to each of the 29 Local Action Groups (LAGs). Announcing details of the new programme today, Minister Humphreys said: “Last week, I launched Our Rural Future, the Government’s ambitious new policy for the development of rural Ireland. As I said at the launch Government alone does not have all the answers and there can be no one-size-fits all approach. Every Town, Village and Parish is different and that means the people best placed to effect change in their communities are the people who live there. LEADER has always been about a ground up, community led approach and that’s why I am delighted to announce details of this new €70million fund today.” Minister Humphreys continued: “This funding will support locally-led projects which focus on many of the key themes of Our Rural Future such as building capacity and empowering local communities, embracing opportunities in the green economy, supporting remote working and the digital transformation, developing our outdoor amenities and creating jobs in rural areas.”
Minister Humphreys concluded: “The new programme is now open for applications and I would encourage communities and local enterprises who wish to avail of funding to make contact with their Local Development Company to discuss how the LEADER Programme can assist their plans. If the pandemic has taught us anything it is to think outside the box so if you have an innovative idea that can make a real difference in your community then pick up the phone and contact your local LEADER company today.”
Contact details for all Local Action Groups and their Implementing Partners (Local Development Companies) can be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/c45498-local-action-groups/.
*Added on 08/04/21* Community Water Biodiversity Training - with IRD Duhallow
IRD Duhallow are seeking participants from Duhallow communities to participate in a LEADER Funded Local Water Quality and Aquatic Biodiversity Training course from April through to September 2021. The key aim of this free training is to conserve and improve the natural resource potential of water courses in the region, promote sustainable water based activity, citizen science and community based bottom up approaches to water conservation and protection. This training will also include the creation of local ‘Water Biodiversity Actions Plans’ in catchments in and around Duhallow. This will be done by equipping individuals and groups with the knowledge and skills so that they can plan for water biodiversity in their local area. The course is “bottom up” in design and participants are encouraged to share their own expertise and knowledge of their local rivers and streams. This course is open to all who register and consists of 8 modules covering the following topics:
- Understanding Your Local Waterbody (how catchments work, the water cycle, the riparian zone – connecting land and water)
- Water Quality & Impacts (sources of freshwater supply)
- Citizen Science
- Practical Field Work Skills
- Water Biodiversity Action Plans
This training will enable community groups/ individuals to learn more about environmental stewardship and develop projects relevant to their local ‘waterbody’. A waterbody can be a stream, river, spring, pond, lake, (turlough, bay, estuary) etc. This training will commence in April 2021 (exact dates to be confirmed per location) and application forms can be downloaded at https://www.irdduhallow.com/events/community-water-biodiversity-training-e2-80-99/.
*Added on 07/04/21* National Heritage Week 2021
The Heritage Council is delighted to announce that National Heritage Week 2021 will take place from Saturday, 14th August to Sunday, 22nd August 2021.
Last year, in response to public health guidelines relating to COVID-19, National Heritage Week moved away from events only, and invited heritage enthusiastic to create projects that could be shared online. Project organisers met this challenge with great innovation and creativity, producing over 800 heritage projects. You can search the full collection of projects here.
For National Heritage Week 2021, the Heritage Council is once again inviting individuals, communities and organisations to develop heritage projects. This year is all about opening the door to heritage and getting as many people to enjoy heritage as possible: heritage newcomers, who have not engaged with National Heritage Week before; groups or individuals who may not traditionally feel included in local heritage; and heritage enthusiasts of all ages. Completed heritage projects can be shared via the National Heritage Week website from Wednesday, 16th June to Monday, 30th August.
For more information on National Heritage Week 2021 and for some things to consider when planning your project, check out the National Heritage Week blog.
*Added on 07/04/21* Mick Flynn - the Poet from Tullymurrihy, Ballinascarthy
Kate Crowley is compiling the songs, poems and plays written by Mick Flynn "The Poet" from Tullymurrihy, Ballinascarthy. Mick is dead just over 50 years so to honour his memory and share his wonderfully witty written works, Kate would appreciate if anyone has any of his material, even just a verse or two, and if so, to contact her at (086) 4540981, or email katecrowley224@gmail. On completion of the project copies will be available, free of charge, to everyone interested.
*Added on 01/04/21* TidyTowns Newsletter 4/2021
The TidyTowns Unit of the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued the 4th edition of the TidyTowns Newsletter 4/2021. The newsletter contains information on the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition, Information on National Tree Week 2021; CLÁR 2021 Funding, and Information on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) apply to the categories in the TidyTowns Competition. The newsletter is available on the Tidytowns website by clicking https://www.tidytowns.ie/about-us/newsletters/. If any group has an article to submit for the Newsletter or indeed for any further information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Added on 01/04/21* The Ireland Funds 2021: Heart of the Community
The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic organisation which supports not-for-profits and charities across the island of Ireland. Our new open grants call, the Heart of the Community Fund is aimed at smaller organisations meeting direct needs in their local communities. It will provide critical and timely funding to a wide range of not-for-profit and community organisations across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is open to organisations with an income of under €/£500,000.
The Heart of the Community Fund launched on Thursday 18th March and will be open for online applications. Attached is a brochure of the Heart of the Community Fund which contains an initial overview of the Fund- additional information for organisations interested in applying is accessible on our website: https://irelandfunds.org/grants/
The closing date for the fund is the 8th of April at 3pm.
*Added on 30/03/21* Pledge Your Garden for Pollinators
The National Biodiversity Data Centre, with support and funding from the Local Authority Heritage and Biodiversity Officers, are asking you to Pledge your Garden for Pollinators. They have produced a brochure to help explain what you can do in your garden. If you would like a copy of this leaflet email email@example.com or to download a copy go to https://pollinators.ie/gardens/
So many homeowners are beginning to see their gardens in a new light. They want to make their gardens more wildlife-friendly and contribute small patches of pollinator-friendly habitats to our landscape. In order to celebrate this, and to encourage more gardeners to follow suit, we are asking you to ‘pledge your garden for pollinators’, so that we can track the creation of these pollinator-friendly pitspots dotted across the island.
To help with this, we have produced a four-page brochure to help to explain this concept, and were delighted to get support from the Heritage and Biodiversity Officer network to produce this simple guide, beautifully illustrated by Aga Grandowicz.
This brochure explains how anyone can make any garden – big or small – more pollinator-friendly. By taking simple steps in your garden, you will help to provide much-needed food and shelter for our pollinating insects, while at the same time creating a beautiful, colourful garden for you and your family to enjoy.
According to Dearbhala Ledwidge, Kilkenny County Council Heritage Officer and Chair of the Local Authority Pollinator Tidy Towns Award Committee: “Local Authority Heritage Officers and Biodiversity Officers are delighted to support and fund the design and illustration of the ‘Pledge your Garden for Pollinators’ brochure. We hope that lots of people join in and take the garden pledge. Small actions by lots of people can have a big impact in protecting and caring for Ireland’s biodiversity and pollinators.”
- National Biodiversity Data Centre
*Added on 30/03/21* Garden Butterfly Monitoring
Would you like to record the butterflies in your garden and help to conserve Irelands butterflies? If so, please sign up to the new Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme co-ordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. To participate you must first register your garden. See here for more information https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/projects/monitoring-scheme-initiatives/butterfly-monitoring-scheme/get-involved/garden-butterfly-monitoring/
*Added on 30/03/21* The Skibbereen Heritage Map
Another new heritage asset has been created for the town of Skibbereen by Skibbereen Heritage Centre. The 'Skibbereen Heritage Map' features over 60 sites of interest in Skibbereen with links to videos, in-depth history blogs and heritage 'snippets', all researched and compiled by staff at the heritage centre.
"We are delighted to have found this forum as a way to share the history of our town with a worldwide audience", said centre manager Terri Kearney. "Since lockdown, there has been a huge demand for online resources and we have been working hard to provide that content, digitising burial registers, making videos of local sites and now providing this heritage map".
The map is free of charge to use and can be found under the History/Articles tab of the Skibbereen Heritage Centre website www.skibbheritage.com.
As well as the history of notable buildings, the map also has links to stories about some of the people who once lived in Skibbereen – such as Walter Kindred who opened a sawmill in Ilen Street after returning from his grand tour of India in a Rolls Royce.
"We will continue to add to the map over time and we are also working hard to digitise more local burial registers and create more videos", said Terri, "We've had such positive feedback to our work from users all over the world, some of whom will, hopefully, come to visit these sites in person someday."
The website www.skibbheritage.com also has 'vintage videos' of other sites around West Cork, graveyard and Famine videos, as well as a range of other genealogy resources.
*Added on 29/03/21* All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Phase II
The National Biodiversity Data Centre have launched a new All-Ireland Pollinator Plan for 2021-2025 to help our bees, other pollinating insects and our wider biodiversity. The Pollinator Plan 2021-2025 is available on Cork County Council's Heritage Webpage by clicking here and to find out more visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre webpage by clicking: https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/new-ambitious-plan-to-save-our-bees-creates-a-buzz/?fbclid=IwAR3StM4UDxdKNWIWQn9EuF_lWrkMGy_DetMbVr2-IPID9bf7Mhhw9WG_fY
In publishing the first All-Ireland Pollinator Plan in September 2015, Ireland became one of the first countries in Europe to address pollinator declines. One-third of our 98 wild bee species are threatened with extinction from the island of Ireland. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan aims to reverse these declines in order to ensure the sustainability of our food; avoid additional economic impacts on agriculture; and protect the health of the environment.
Wild bees and other insects are declining because we’ve drastically reduced the areas where they can nest and the amount of food our landscape provides for them. Since 2015, the Pollinator Plan has focused on ensuring that everyone understands what pollinators need; and what simple, evidence-based actions anyone can take to help provide them with food, shelter, and safety. Freely available resources have been developed for all sectors – from farmers to councils, transport authorities, communities, businesses, schools, sports clubs and gardens.
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is voluntary, but provides an important framework to guide initiatives across the island. It is a shared plan of action. By working together, we want to bring about a landscape where bees and other insects can survive and continue to provide us and future generations with their vital ecosystem services.
- National Biodiversity Data Centre
*Added on 30/03/21* Our Rural Future: Government's Blueprint to Transform Rural Ireland
The Government has published Our Rural Future, the most ambitious and transformational policy for rural development in decades and a blueprint for the development of Rural Ireland over the next five years. The policy reflects the unprecedented change in living and working patterns during COVID-19 and the significant opportunities this presents for rural communities – from remote working and revitalising our town centres to job creation, developing a green economy and enhancing our outdoor amenities. It is supported by 150 commitments across Government, which will address the challenges facing communities and deliver new opportunities for people living in rural areas. The policy will help rural Ireland to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, enable long-term development of rural areas, and create more resilient rural economies and communities for the future.
Speaking at the launch of the policy, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “Ireland is heading into an era of unprecedented change, and with that comes unprecedented opportunity. Over the course of the pandemic, we have discovered new ways of working and we have rediscovered our communities. Our Rural Future, provides a framework for the development of rural areas over the next five years. The policy is forward-looking and ambitious and addresses both the challenges facing rural areas and the opportunities which rural economies and communities can capitalise on. The Government’s vision is for a rural Ireland which is integral to our national economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing and development. It will build resilient and sustainable rural communities and economies through investment, supports and services. And it will ensure that rural communities are at the heart of designing and delivering responses that meet local needs.”
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys said: “Our Rural Future represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development for Ireland. As we recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to reimagine rural Ireland and harness the talent, skills and creativity running through our rural communities. For decades we have seen global trends where young people leave their local communities to live and work in larger cities. As we emerge from COVID-19 we will never have a better opportunity to reverse that long-standing trend. The move to remote working, underpinned by the rollout of the National Broadband Plan, has the potential to transform Rural Ireland like never before. It will allow people to work from their own local communities, revitalise our town centres, reduce commuting times, lower transport emissions and most importantly - improve the quality of life of our people.”
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan stated: “Now is the time to be ambitious for rural Ireland. The governments investment in climate action will bring new job opportunities to rural communities, in areas such as renewable energy, retrofitting and sustainable farming and tourism. The National Broadband Plan will act as a key enabler for the development of new businesses in regional and rural Ireland, together with an increased opportunity for people to work from home. Through the Just Transition Fund, Government is supporting the retraining and reskilling of rural workers and assisting local communities and businesses to adjust to the low carbon transition. We want to put the development and regeneration of our rural towns and villages at the heart of decision making, so that they are vibrant centres where people can live, work and socialise, with walking, cycling and public transport options connecting people and places. The Government will continue to support this active mobility through the National Transport Authority, with €72m in funding being allocated in 2021 for high quality cycling and walking infrastructure for our more rural towns and villages across the country. Through the implementation of Our Rural Future, Government will seize this unprecedented opportunity for rural Ireland.”
Our Rural Future, Ireland’s Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 is available here.
*Added on 29/03/21* European Cultural Heritage Green Paper
The European Cultural Heritage Green Paper has just been published which connects cultural heritage to Europe’s recovery, Europe’ Green Deal and the European Bauhaus Initiative. European Cultural Heritage is linked to all current priorities of the European Union; from supporting education and the digital transformation to underpinning the tourism industry; from the creation of highly skilled and rewarding jobs to the regeneration of historic cities, villages and the countryside; and from fostering social cohesion to improving the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals and communities.
The Green Paper states that cultural heritage is a vector for achieving the long-term vision and policy goals of the European Union, including the European Green Deal. Cultural heritage is not just about preserving the past – it is about shaping the future. To see the paper visit https://www.europanostra.org/putting-europes-shared-heritage-at-the-heart-of-the-european-green-deal/
*Added on 28/03/21* Cork County Council Expands Artist-In-Residence Programme
Cork County Council Library and Arts Service is announcing four new creative residencies for 2021 with support from Creative Ireland and the Arts Council. The residencies aim to facilitate access to creativity and culture for adults, children and young people in County Cork.
The Historian-in-Residence will be invited to connect with communities through local history and heritage, working in collaboration to showcase and celebrate Cork’s rich past. The Creative Producer-in-Residence scheme invites a creative worker in any arts or cultural form to work collaboratively with communities. The Filmmaker-in-Residence will work alongside the successful First Cut Film Festival, supporting young people to tell their stories through film and animation. The Writer-in-Residence will facilitate writing workshops and work with the libraries to develop writing groups, as well as developing an engaging programme of activities with other writers. The Historian-in-Residence and Creative Producer-in-Residence will both begin in June, with the Writer-in-Residence and Filmmaker-in-Residence beginning in September.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley welcomed news of the residencies saying,
“These residencies provide opportunities for artists to develop their craft while also benefiting the wider community, enabling people countywide to participate in the rich cultural life of Cork County. They are especially important at this point in time, providing us all with the opportunity to explore and express our experiences. We are indebted to the continued hard work and creativity of our artists, especially our current artists in residence, who have adapted their programmes during the pandemic to ensure that their work remains accessible.”
Cork County Council’s current Writer-in-Residence, Matthew Geden has developed online workshops to stimulate creativity countywide and for all ages and will continue his residency throughout the summer. The Council also boasts a Traditional Musician-in-Residence, Eoin O’Sullivan, who has been integral to the development of the Sliabh Luachra Music Trail, in partnership with Kerry County and Limerick City and County Councils.
The deadline for applications for all four residencies is 5pm on Friday 16th April 2021. All information and application forms are available here at www.yourcouncil.ie
*Added on 28/03/21* Expressions of Interest Sought for CLÁR Scheme 2021 in County Cork
Cork County Council is seeking expressions of interest for the CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) Scheme 2021, recently launched by the Department of Rural and Community Development. This scheme makes provision for small scale infrastructural projects in rural areas to promote sustainable development and to attract people to live and work in the areas covered. The closing date for receipt of Expression of Interest forms is 4pm, Friday 9th of April.
This year’s scheme sees a national increase of 10% in funding, bringing the allocation to €5.5m with measures covered including school and community safety, outdoor recreational facilities, community wellbeing and new ideas to address specific challenges faced by communities.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the opening of the scheme saying; “The CLÁR Scheme provides a great opportunity for community groups to work with Cork County Council to address needs specific to their local area and community. The targeted funding empowers communities and helps them to build a better future in their towns and villages. I strongly encourage interested groups to contact their local Municipal District Office to explore measures that could be of great benefit for the community.”
Chief Executive Tim Lucey noted the importance of the scheme; “A vital function of local government, and central to Cork County Council’s mission is the provision of solutions to local problems. Each town, village and communities’ needs are different, and one of the best ways to identify opportunities is by working hand in hand with local groups. The CLÁR Scheme is one such way that the Council engages directly with the community with support from National Government, and we look forward to supporting communities through this initiative.”
Interested groups are asked to contact their local Municipal District Office to express an interest in any project that you wish to put forward under these measures. Expression of Interest forms are available on the Municipal Districts section of this website.
*Added on 27/03/21* Cork County Community Heroes Honoured at Mayor's Awards
The annual Mayor’s Community Awards celebrate and acknowledge the volunteers and communities who work together across Cork County. Now in its 8th year, the 2021 awards were held virtually on March 24th.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley presented a total of eleven awards; three from each division of the county, South, North and West Cork with one overall community and voluntary group award and one overall individual award selected from these nine divisional award winners. Mayor Foley commended all nominees on the night for their commitment and dedication to their communities, “These annual awards celebrate the best of our county’s goodwill, generosity and altruism. It’s an important opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the selfless work of volunteers who've supported our communities, our vulnerable or those impacted since Covid19. We celebrate too those who have committed their energy to long term projects that make Cork County a better place to live, making real measurable difference to people’s lives. I congratulate you all on your nominations.”
The overall individual award went to Mary Manning of Dromahane in acknowledgement of her commitment to her local area, while the overall community group award was won by Harper’s Island Steering group in recognition of the success of the Wetlands Project.
In South Cork, individual nominees were, multi marathon runner Rob O’Brien, who has been raising money for worthy causes since 2002, Paul Byrne, the man behind both the Passage Talent Show raising €11000 for Marymount and the Winter Wonderland Market in Passage and Aisling Claffey, for providing ongoing online ladybird Girl Guide sessions during lockdown.
Aisling Claffey, nominated by Cllr Audrey Buckley and Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan and Paul Byrne, nominated by Cllr Seamus McGrath were presented with South Cork Awards by Mayor Foley.
Community Groups nominated in South Cork were; Carrigaline Covid19 Response Team, Cobh Red Cross Branch, Ballinhassig Parish Group, Aghabullogue GAA - Barrathon Committee and the Harpers Island Steering Group. The Harpers Island Group, nominated by Cllr. Anthony Barry, came away with the win in recognition of their efforts to convert a lost 70acre area between the N25 and Cobh to Midleton railway to a wetland reserve with a bird hide and an outdoor classroom area.
In North Cork, two individual nominees were award recipients on the night; Mary Manning of Dromahane, for her work with the Development Association and the community park in Dromahane was nominated by Cllr. Tony O’Shea. While Nicholas Roche of Killavullen, renowned locally for taking care of older community members and maintaining the village, was nominated by both Cllr Frank O'Flynn and Cllr William O'Leary.
In the North Cork, Community Groups Category, three organisations received nominations; Mallow Arts Collective which organises the annual Mallow Arts Festival, Mallow Art & Crafts Market for their pop-up art markets and Corrin Nature Reserve. The winning group was Corrin Nature Reserve, open since 2019, and nominated by Cllr William O'Leary in recognition of their achievements, including the reintroduction of the near extinct native Grey Partridge bird.
In West Cork, the individual Award nominees were physiotherapist Darren Kelly of Dunmanway who raised over €12,000 for charity, Donal McCarthy, Secretary of Clonakilty Agriculture Show, Niamh O’Connell, fundraiser and founder of the Kinsale Covid19 Volunteer Group and Deirdre Fitzgerald, Chair of Bantry Project Group. The winner of the West Cork individual award went to Donal McCarthy, nominated by Cllr John O’Sullivan, for his work in Clonakilty Agricultural Show and mentoring many community leaders, as well as his involvement in numerous local initiatives.
Community Group nominations for West Cork were; Skibbereen Geriatric Society - Meals on Wheels Service, Fastnet Trails, Dunmanway Community Meals – Dunmanway Resource Centre and Bantry Tidy Towns. The winners were Skibbereen Geriatric Society, nominated by Cllr Karen Coakley, for their meals on wheels extended services reaching Skibbereen, Baltimore and Rosscarbery and the Fastnet Trails group, nominated by Cllr Ross O’Connell, for the walking trails which started in 2015 with loop walks in Kilcoe and Lisheen, later extended to Ballydehob and Schull, and in recent years four linear walks now connect Kilcoe to Goleen with further expansion plans.
*Added on 27/03/21* Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Announces Funding to Support Water Quality
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., has announced funding of €500,000 to implement targeted drinking water source protection actions in group water scheme catchments as part of the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS) source protection strategy. The proposal is being supported in collaboration with the Department of Housing, Planning and Heritage and provides agriculture with the opportunity to deliver targeted measures to address agricultural pressures while enabling the development of future programmes.
This proposal will demonstrate practical support towards the protection of drinking water quality, biodiversity enhancement and climate action. The initiative will also provide an opportunity to trial new and innovative approaches which, if successful, could be adopted more generally to assist ‘Ireland’ meet its Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives as set out in current or future River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) and its climate/biodiversity objectives. Any findings or outcomes will assist and inform the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with the development of future agri-environmental actions.
The funding will be focused on seven group water schemes catchments that fall within, or close to, current Priority Areas for Action defined within Ireland’s 2nd River Basin Management Plan. These catchments are largely impacted by agricultural pressures and the funding announced will help implement targeted measures, such as the creation of smart buffer zones in targeted areas along water courses, the promotion of alternatives to pesticide use, and the roll-out of educational initiatives highlighting the impacts of agricultural practices.
*Added on 27/03/21* NPWS Warns of 'Zero Tolerance' for Destroying Vegetation during the Bird Nesting Season following Successful Prosecution
The National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has warned of a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to the illegal cutting of hedges between 1st March and 31st August each year. This follows a recent prosecution related to illegal hedgerow destruction in Kildare, which resulted in a large fine.
“Hedgerows are superhighways for nature, a hugely valuable and biodiverse network that extends throughout the country and includes some of the oldest and most well established habitat in our landscapes,” said Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD. “The vast majority of landowners are already aware that, while limited exemptions do exist, it is illegal to damage or destroy hedgerows during the breeding season. I welcome NPWS’s zero tolerance approach to offences under the Wildlife Act. These are extremely serious matters and my Department is responding by actively recruiting additional Conservation Rangers and establishing a Wildlife Crime Unit to properly resource our efforts to protect nature. I call on members of the public who witness these acts to contact and provide as much evidence as they can to the NPWS.”
Commenting on the need for a zero tolerance approach, Padraig O’Donnell, Regional Manager with the NPWS, said: “We are experiencing a crisis in our countryside and we have to undertake a zero tolerance approach. We’re losing hedgerows forever, and we need to temper it. There are exemptions and not all hedge cutting is illegal. This is not about people clipping a hedge, this is about hedgerow destruction. The biodiversity-rich hedgerows in the greater countryside are part of our shared heritage, but these are being destroyed by contractors and landowner, and we are determined that this must stop.”
In addition to increasing staffing resources on the ground and establishing the Wildlife Crime Unit, NPWS has said that it will bring further cases to court for any cases that see bird nesting habitat destroyed through the removal of hedgerows. NPWS is on “high alert” for hedgerow cutting and hedgerow removal, Mr O’Donnell added, “and we are determined to follow up on reports and prosecute where possible.”
Commenting on the value of hedgerows, Padraig O’Donnell, Regional Manager with the NPWS said: “Around the country, hedgerows which have been growing for hundreds of years are being wiped out. These have been growing out and supporting huge biodiversity but once they are destroyed they are gone forever, as is the biodiversity that depended on them. Everything from birds to mammals to insects to plants. They are a source of food and shelter and one of our most important habitats.” He urged people observing loss to contact the NPWS by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining their concerns and providing evidence where possible. “Wildlife Act enforcement relies on evidence,” he noted.
Dates for the cutting of hedges are set down in primary legislation under the Wildlife Acts. Section 40 of the Act prohibits the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation, with certain strict exemptions, from 1 March to 31 August.
There is provision in the legislation for some restricted exemptions from the prohibition during the closed period - for example, for works undertaken in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry, for health and safety reasons, the destruction of noxious weeds, in respect of works permitted under statute and for works undertaken for road safety reasons (both landowners and public authorities can take reasonable steps to address hedges and trees for road safety reasons at any time of the year).
*Added on 21/03/21* New Publication: The Bridges of Donoughmore
A new publication titled ‘The Bridges of Donoughmore – A Journey through time over Boggeragh Rivers’ has been undertaken by Gerard Forde, providing a fascinating account of some 71 bridges in the wonderful parish of Donoughmore and surrounding areas. As the author notes: ‘Most bridges in Donoughmore are hidden from our view. They have become part of the fabric of the countryside, but many remain unseen. A quick journey around the rivers in the Boggeragh Mountains will reveal a world of history, wildlife, nature, tranquility and beauty. So take a look and see what my faithful companion the Border Collie dog named Spud saw as we travelled up and down the rivers and streams around Donoughmore. I hope you will enjoy the trip’. The book, which is close to 140 pages in length, is available in a number of local shops in the Donoughmore area and beyond.
*Added on 16/03/21* Seachtaine na Gaeilge le Manchán Magan
Cork County Council Library and Arts Service has undertaken 3 short videos from well known author and broadcaster Manchán Magan available to view on Cork County Council’s Youtube channel. Manchán Magan published the book ‘Thirty-Two Words for Fields’ in Autumn 2020. It explores the insights the language offers into the culture, heritage and psychology of Ireland. For Seachtain na Gaeilge Manchán presents some of his favourite words from the book. Enjoy.
D’fhoilsigh Manchán Magan an leabhar Thirty-Two Words for Fields san Fhómhair i 2020. Téann sé ar thóir tusicintí atá ar fáil sa teanga faoi oidreacht, cultúr agus meon aigne muintir na hÉireann. Do Seachtain na Gaeilge tá Manchán tar éis trí gearr-scannán a dhéanamh ag léiriú cuid de na focail ab ansa leis ón leabhar. Bain súp astú!
See: Manchán Magan – Part 1
Manchán Magan – Part 2
Manchán Magan – Part 3 – Sea Tam words
*Added on 16/03/21* €70 million in LEADER Funding For Rural Communities and Enterprises
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, have announced the allocation of €70 million through the LEADER programme for the period 2021-2022. The Government has begun the process of submitting an amendment to the European Commission to extend the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme, under which LEADER is funded, out to the end of 2022. As part of that process, the LEADER Programme will be allocated a total of €70 million for 2021-2022, adding an extra €50 million to the initial funding of €20 million announced by Minister Humphreys in December 2020. Minister Humphreys and Minister McConalogue said that the funding will support rural communities and private enterprises in the recovery of Covid-19.
Welcoming the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “Last December, I launched the Transitional LEADER programme for the period 2021-2022 and gave a commitment to review funding for the Programme when clarity was provided regarding EU funding for the transitional period to the end of 2022. Today, I am delighted to announce the allocation of €70 million for LEADER to the end of 2022 as part of the extended Rural Development Programme. This will give local communities and enterprises an opportunity to respond to the emerging challenges for their areas and will support measures that provide employment and job creation throughout rural Ireland. The funding we are announcing will ensure that more vital locally-led projects in areas like climate change, digital transformation, remote working and enterprise development can be progressed in rural communities throughout the country.”
Minister McConalogue said: “LEADER is an important element of Ireland’s EU co-funded Rural Development Programme, which forms part of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). Through the LEADER programme, over the next two years a total of €70 million, of which more than €50 million is expected to come from the EU, will be directly invested into rural areas to help address specific needs and help to realise opportunities for rural Ireland as we recover from the impact of COVID-19.”
In the coming weeks, the Department of Rural and Community Development will provide the breakdown of the increased allocation of €70 million to each of 29 Local Action Groups who deliver the LEADER Programme.
*Added on 16/03/21* €5.5 million CLÁR Programme 2021
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the launch of the 2021 CLÁR programme. CLÁR provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in rural areas that have suffered significant levels of population decline. Funding for the CLÁR programme has been increased by 10% this year, in recognition of the importance of the programme to some of our most remote rural areas. This brings the allocation for the programme to €5.5 million for 2021. The measures being funded under the 2021 CLÁR programme are:
· Measure 1: Support for Schools/Community Safety Measures
· Measure 2: Outdoor Community Recreation Facilities
· Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Measure:
a) Community Gardens and Allotments
b) Mobility and Cancer Care Transport
· CLÁR Innovation Measure
Announcing the details of the programme, Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the CLÁR programme for 2021. Since the scheme was reopened in 2016, it has made a very positive contribution to some of our most remote rural communities, supporting over 1,600 projects with funding of almost €39 million. This funding has helped reinvigorate rural communities all over Ireland. Again this year we have reviewed the Measures to ensure they are adapting to meet the needs of our changing rural communities. In particular, I have introduced a new CLÁR Innovation Measure. This funding will be targeted at piloting new ideas which address specific challenges faced by communities in CLÁR areas, including rural isolation, population change, social disadvantage and marginalisation. This Measure provides a great opportunity for communities to identify the specific challenges they face and to come up with innovative ways to address them. In addition, CLÁR 2021 will include funding for safety measures around Schools and Community facilities. It will also include funding for Outdoor Community Recreation Facilities including seating areas, pavilion style structures, playgrounds and Multi-Use Games Areas. For the first time, we are including Skateboard Parks under this Measure, as I feel it is important that children of all ages and young adults have an outdoor recreation space that meets their needs. This year’s programme will also support the development of Community Gardens and Allotments, which I know there has been a great interest in, especially over the last twelve months while we have been living with COVID-19. The closing date for receipt of applications is 7th May and I would encourage all communities in CLÁR areas to avail of the opportunities provided by this funding. Full details of the scheme will be issued to Local Authorities and other relevant organisations shortly.”
*Added on 16/03/21* Cork County Council's Local Studies Section Podcasts
In recent months Cork County Council’s Local Studies Library has been undertaking a range of different podcasts covering many different aspects of history, including a new podcast on St. Patrick - a fitting podcast for this time of year. Previous podcasts range from Christmas Traditions and Witches to Henry Ford’s Cork connection, St. Bridget and Genealogy/Family History. To find out more visit https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/library-online/library-podcasts or email email@example.com. The St. Patrick Podcast can be accessed directly at https://soundcloud.com/user-500658861/st-patrick.
*Added on 16/03/21* Leave No Trace Ireland March 2021 Newsletter
Dear Friends of Leave No Trace,
Spring is finally here! We are sure you’ve noticed that warblers and sand martins are arriving day after day and that the snowdrops and daffodils are in full bloom? Despite our working lives playing out over zoom and instant messenger, things are all go here at Leave No Trace Ireland. We are growing at an unprecedented rate, and despite life in lockdown being rather tough at times, this gives us so much hope. It shows us that people care about looking after their little slice of Earth! We feel that there has been a perceptible shift in people’s mindsets of late, people are stepping up, taking personal responsibility and playing their part. You are these people, and together we are building a community of stewards of the earth. How exciting is that? The more people adopting the Leave No Trace Principles in their day to day lives, the quicker sustainable change comes about! So, let us take this opportunity to thank you for the pivotal role you play in all of this, for your continued support and for the work you are doing in your community! Keep going, you’re doing great!
Here’s what is coming up for us this month.
Launch of Our New Training Network
On the topic of growth, we are delighted to announce the official launch of the new Leave No Trace Training Network on March 25th with our first online CPD webinar. The training network aims to engage with Leave No Trace trainers and training centres to create opportunities to network, engage with other practitioners, collaborate on projects and programmes and learn from a new exciting Leave No Trace annual CPD programme.
This first webinar welcomes the international award-winning author Richard Louv as guest speaker. Richard’s books have helped launch an international movement to connect children, families and communities to nature. He speaks internationally on nature-deficit disorder and on the need for environmental protection and preservation for greater access to nature and the health of the Earth.
This webinar is free to Accredited Trainers and Accredited Training Centres, but registration is essential. The event will take place on March 25th at 7.30pm and you can register here.
Go Green this St. Patrick’s Day
This St. Patrick’s Day, we want you to go green! Not in the usual sense of green ice-cream cones and green face paint (although that is equally important!) but green as in commit to something that can make a difference to our planet. It doesn’t have to be big. Do a litter pick on your daily walk, or plant your own vegetable patch, or cut out meat out from your diet for a few days, or simply switch your teabags for tea leaves. Whatever it is, no matter how small, we would love to know how you’re going to #GoGreen this St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Ireland is finally starting to see the light at the end of the Covid tunnel. Come summertime, we’ll (hopefully) be free to explore outside our 5km boundary. We’ll see the beauty of our coastlines, mountains and lakes with renewed vigour. But before you head out into the world, head on over to our website to read up on our guidelines for getting outdoors responsibly.
Remember, Love This Place, Leave No Trace.
*Added on 16/03/21* TidyTowns Newsletter 3/2021
The TidyTowns Unit of the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued the 3rd edition of the TidyTowns Newsletter 3/2021. The newsletter contains information on the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition, Tips on entering the EPA Circular Economy Special Competition; Information on the TidyTowns Grant; Information on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s); Trees for TidyTowns Groups and Information on the SolarStreetBinTM. The newsletter is also available on the Tidytowns website by clicking https://www.tidytowns.ie/about-us/newsletters/. If any group has an article to submit for the Newsletter or indeed for any further information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Added on 16/03/21* Open Call for Applications for Cruinniú na nÓg County Cork 2021
Cruinniú na nÓg, is Ireland’s national day of free creative activity for children and young people up to 18 years of age. The event provides opportunities for Ireland’s 1.2 million children and young people to be inquisitive and curious, to be inventive and innovative, and to learn a new skill, fulfil a creative ambition or showcase an inner creative talent. This year Cruinniú na nÓg will take place on Saturday 12th June. Cork County Library and Arts Service will be responsible for programming events and activities for this year’s celebration of young people’s creativity.
Cruinniú na nÓg addresses a wide range of themes including all art forms, heritage, craft, coding, climate change, and design. This year due to uncertainty over the lockdown measures that may be in place in June it is anticipated taking a blended/hybrid approach of online and live in-person programming that will comply with whatever social distancing measures will be in place.
Artists and arts organisations are invited to propose a project or event for children and / or young people. While there must be a key event that will take place on Saturday, June 12th we encourage applicants to make proposals that will offer a longer period of engagement beyond that one day. Therefore, projects may begin in advance of June 12th and culminate in an event on that day or begin with an introductory event and carry on for an extended period thereafter. Successful applicants will be responsible for the development and management of their proposed projects and events and the maximum amount awarded will be €3000.
Priority may be placed on projects that:
- Are child / youth-centred in their development and production;
- Unfold over a series of engagements that includes an event on June 12th;
- Are developmental, process-based projects;
- Support the creativity of children and young people from migrant, ethnic or minority backgrounds;
- Are delivered through the Irish language / are bilingual.
All Proposals MUST include the following documents:
- Description of the creative proposal (1000 words max), including target age group, budget and anticipated outcomes;
- COVID Contingency Plan for in-person activities;
- Relevant CVs of project personnel;
- Copy of applicant organisation’s Child safeguarding policy, where applicable;
- Willingness to undergo Garda vetting by Cork County Council in the case of an individual artist application;
- Confirmation of ability to indemnify Cork County Council under applicants’ public liability policy;
• Letter(s) of support/collaboration/partnership/agreements if applicable;
• At least one example of previous work that will best support your proposal.
Proposals not containing all the above required documentation will not be considered for shortlisting.
Please submit applications through:www.yourcouncil.ie/service/Cruinniu_na_nOg_Application_Form
by 5pm on Friday 2nd April 2021 and note that late applications will not be accepted.
For any queries please contact Maeve Mulrennan, Assistant Arts Officer by email: email@example.com or phone 021 4285995.
Cruinniú na nÓg County Cork is organised by Cork County Council Library and Arts Service and is funded by Creative Ireland.
*Added on 11/03/21* Open Call for Ireland's Reimagine Placemaking Programme
The Irish Architecture Foundation has launched an open call for communities around Ireland to apply to their Reimagine placemaking programme. Four successful projects will receive support from the Irish Architecture Foundation and its Reimagine Professional Panel, a multi-disciplinary group of architectural, placemaking, spatial and design professionals to develop projects which will improve the built environment of their local community.
Every person in Ireland should be able to feel safe, connected, healthy and at home in their built environment, and co-creating this sense of belonging is key to the work of Reimagine.
Reimagine matches architects with local partners and projects, enabling communities to play an active role in the development of their neighbourhoods, streetscapes, parks, villages and towns. It is vital that local insight and tacit knowledge are integral to the final design solutions, fostering a sense of agency, ownership and pride among communities.
Projects may take the form of creative consultations, collaborative research, temporary installations, spatial interventions, tactical urbanism projects, or pilots for ambitious urban realm projects.
Project selection will aim to reflect a geographical range, as well as diversity in themes, groups and outcomes. We are especially interested in projects which connect with the following themes:
Town Centre Living
Climate Change and Biodiversity
Access & Inclusion
This programme is open to applications from, but not limited to: Voluntary and Community Organisations; Non-Profits; Cultural Organisations; Local Authorities; Public Bodies; Project groups should have a demonstrated link to the location of the project.
Reimagine is made possible by the Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Reimagine is further supported by IAF core funders the Arts Council and the OPW. Please read the Information Pack, which is available for download below. Click here for the application form and note the closing date of May 16th 2021.
*Added on 10/03/21* Community Monuments Fund 2021
Building on the inaugural 2020 Fund, the 2021 Community Monuments Fund (CMF 2021) will invest in Ireland’s valuable archaeological heritage and help the owners and custodians of archaeological monuments to safeguard them into the future for the benefit of communities and the public. This includes Local Authorities, private owners and custodians, community groups and State-funded organisations.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan welcomed the news, saying,
“With over 19,000 archaeological monuments in County Cork this scheme will benefit a variety of important sites in the county. Introduced in September 2020, the scheme saw an investment last year of over €75,000 in archaeological monuments in the county with Camden Fort Meagher, Kilgullane Church in Fermoy and Templebreedy Church in Crosshaven all benefiting from the support.”
Archaeological Monuments included in the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) under the National Monuments Act 1930 (as amended) and Archaeological Monuments identified in the Sites and Monuments Record compiled by the National Monuments Service are to benefit from conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion under the scheme.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey outlined the merits of the scheme, saying
“The Community Monument Fund enables conservation works to be carried out on monuments deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support. The fund can help to encourage access to monuments, improve their presentation and enable them to withstand the effects of climate change. The protection and promotion of our rich archaeological heritage is important to Cork County Council and it’s huge value in terms of local heritage, culture and tourism is recognised.”
The Community Monuments Fund has 3 Streams:
1. Stream 1 will offer grants up to €85,000 aimed at essential repairs and capital works for the conservation and repair of archaeological monuments (Total: €1,000,000 available)
2. Stream 2 will offer grants of up to €30,000 for development of Conservation Management Plans/Reports that are aimed at identifying measures for conservation of archaeological monuments and improving public access (Total €550,000 available)
3. Stream 3 will offer grants of up to €30,000 for enhancement of access infrastructure and interpretation (including virtual/online) at archaeological monuments (including Covid-19 public health measures). (Total €450,000 available).
Eligible projects will be drawn from the following categories:
a) projects proposed by a Local Authority in relation to archaeological monuments in public ownership, where a clear heritage focus and community or public benefit has been demonstrated;
b) projects proposed by a Local Authority on foot of applications from private applicants and/or community groups who are the owners or custodians of relevant archaeological monuments where there is a tangible public benefit;
c) projects with a clearly defined heritage focus and community or public benefit proposed directly to the Department by a State-funded organisation working in the heritage area
Full details of the Fund are set out in the attached Explanatory Memorandum Community Monuments Fund CMF 2021 and the application form both of which should be carefully noted by all applicants.
Private applicants or community groups who are the owners or custodians of monuments should: complete the application form below (relevant sections only); attach a Method Statement, as appropriate, and submit to Cork County Council on or before 17:00 on 12th April 2021. There will be a quick turnaround in decisions on applications submitted and please note that successful projects must be completed with the request for drawdown of funding submitted to the Local Authority by 4th October 2021.
Application Form (A)
Please note: parts of the Application Form (A) must be completed by the Local Authority before submission to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Community groups or private owners should complete only the relevant sections and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by 17:00 on 12th April 2021. For further information on the scheme email email@example.com or phone 021 428 5935/5905.
*Added on 10/03/21* Regional Museums Exhibition Scheme 2021
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media operates a Scheme of funding support, for local and regional museums, to promote and enhance the marketing of these institutions, and to further programmes established to attract the aged, young, and socially disadvantaged to visit these institutions. Cultural events held in museums to attract a local and tourist audience and/or to promote museums as focal centres of the local community, have also been supported through this scheme.
Grants are provided for capital works which enhance the exhibition/display facilities within the museum or which promote access to the museum.
Funding provided under the Scheme is to help meet a specific cultural need and to support the department in the delivery of its objective to nurture and develop Irish artistic and creative talent and enhance arts access, the national cultural institutions, regional arts infrastructure and cultural tourism countrywide, in cooperation with national and local authorities and other partners.
Projects which are considered for funding under the scheme include, but are not limited to, projects which:
- enhance the cultural offering of the Museum
- encourage greater access to the Museum
- promote co-operation and joint initiatives between eligible museums / organisations / institutions
- promote the use of Museums as tourism resources in their locality or region
- increase visitor numbers at the Museum
Details of this year’s scheme can be found by visiting https://www.gov.ie/en/service/676e1-regional-museum-exhibitions-scheme/ and note the closing date of 5:30pm on 23rd April 2021.
*Added on 10/03/21* Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools Funding 2021
During 2021 the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will operate a fund for Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools to support the high level goal of the department in relation to enhancing access to the arts, culture and film sectors and recognising the social and economic role of these sectors in Ireland. Details of this year’s scheme can be found by visiting https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/89595-small-scale-local-festivals-and-summer-schools/ and note the closing date of 5:30pm on 23rd April 2021.
*Added on 05/03/21* National Parks and Wildlife Service Review - Public Consultation
The Programme for Government – Our Shared Future, sets out a commitment to, “review the remit, status and funding of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), to ensure that it is playing an effective role in delivering its overall mandate and enforcement role in the protection of wildlife”. Last month, the Chairpersons were appointed and the commencement of the Review was announced. Today, Minister Noonan launched the public consultation, the first element of which is an online survey. All stakeholders will then be given the opportunity to make written submissions and key stakeholders will be invited to participate in online interviews. The Terms of Reference have also been finalised and are now available to view on the website of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Welcoming the progress, Minister Noonan said: “Last month, my Department announced the start of the Review of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, a key commitment in the Programme for Government – Our Shared Future. Today, we’re launching the public consultation process and publishing the Terms of Reference. I want to encourage everyone with an interest in the future of the NPWS to get involved. The first part is an online survey – it takes about 10 minutes. Our independent team will follow this up by inviting written submissions and engaging in interviews with key stakeholders. But for now, please follow the link to the survey and have your say.”
The Terms of Reference were developed in consultation with the Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform (Minister Malcolm Noonan T.D.), the Independent Chair of the Review, Professor Jane Stout and Deputy Chair, Dr Mícheál Ó Cinnéide and will inform the future development of the NPWS to enable it to support Ireland’s biodiversity objectives in alignment with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and the forthcoming post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The overall mandate of the National Parks and Wildlife Service can be précised as being to preserve, protect and present our Natural Heritage and the forthcoming review will cover all aspects of this mandate. The review of NPWS thus will be cognisant of its full role in terms of not only nature conservation, biodiversity and enforcement of wildlife legislation but also in terms of development, management and presentation of our National Parks, Nature Reserves and restored peatlands, including their amenity use and importance to local communities, regional economic development, sustainable tourism and employment. Preparatory work is already underway on the review which will comprise three distinct strands that will be undertaken concurrently.
- Strand one will be focused upon stakeholder engagement (both internal and external).
- The second strand will be focused upon reviewing NPWS’ capacity and resourcing.
- The third strand will consist of a comparative desktop analysis of resources/structures of similar organisations in other jurisdictions and an overview of the role and responsibilities of other state bodies and their relationship with NPWS.
The three strands will operate in parallel, with their findings informing the final report that will be prepared by the Independent Chair.
Commenting on the publication of the Terms of Reference, Minister Noonan said: “The protection, conservation and restoration of our biodiversity is of paramount importance and this review is key to ensuring that the NPWS is properly resourced, staffed and equipped to lead Ireland’s response to the biodiversity emergency. More than ever before, there is a public demand for healthy nature – in our towns and cities, in our forests, bogs and agricultural landscapes, rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Ensuring a fit-for-purpose NPWS is one of the actions that will help us meet that demand and all reap the benefits of biodiversity action for rural economies, tourism, public health and wellbeing, and for nature itself. I want the NPWS to deliver upon all aspects of its mandate, including the conservation, tourism and amenity values of our National Parks and Nature Reserves, as well as to drive the protection and restoration of Ireland’s habitats and species.” The Minister continued: “The pandemic has revealed the value and importance of public access to wild places in a new way. For many of us, myself included, spending time in nature has supported our physical and mental health – whether through rediscovering local heritage on walks within our 5kms, taking up new wildlife-spotting hobbies, or simply enjoying the fresh air and peace of the great outdoors. I’m pleased therefore that this review will be holistic in nature and will take account of NPWS’s full role, in terms of nature conservation, enforcement of wildlife legislation and managing and enhancing our natural heritage sites as visitor and tourist destinations based on sustainable tourism, outdoor recreation, trail networks, and direct experiences with nature, all the while conserving their natural, built and cultural heritage.”
He concluded by saying he looked forward to the receipt of the final report from the independent Chair this summer.
*Added on 04/03/21* €6.5 Million in Funding Announced for Outdoor Recreational Amenities
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., today (4th March 2021) announced over €6.5 million in funding for 38 projects under Measure 2 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. The scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways. The funding announced today will benefit 38 medium-sized projects, with funding of up to €200,000 each (Measure 2 projects). This investment is in addition to €3.2 million approved for 174 smaller Measure 1 projects in January and is being funded in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
Examples of the projects awarded funding include in respect of County Cork amount to €200,000 for Trails at Mallow Castle Grounds and Blueway facilities along the River Blackwater and a further €146,000 for an extension of Gallanes Walkway to link the existing walkway to Clonakilty Technology Park as well as the development of a hiking trail.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “The value we place on our outdoor amenities, and the contribution which they make to our physical and mental wellbeing, has never been more appreciated than during the current COVID-19 pandemic. We can also expect our outdoor recreation facilities to play an important part in supporting Ireland’s social and economic recovery as restrictions on movements are relaxed and the tourism sector re-opens. That’s why I’m delighted to support the continued development and enhancement of our outdoor recreation infrastructure through this €6.5 million investment. In total, 38 projects across the country will benefit. This brings the total investment this year alone under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme to €9.7 million. These facilities will make such a difference to communities and will also have a hugely positive impact on tourism’.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said: ‘Successful delivery of these projects will encourage activities-based outdoor recreation and tourism in communities throughout the country. This will play a key role in developing environmentally sustainable tourism and allowing people to experience more closely the unique natural heritage of our country.”
Measure 2 projects announced today are available here.
*Added on 04/03/21* 2021 Glas Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today announced the opening of the 2021 GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme which, this year, will involve an online application process. This Scheme funds the conservation and preservation of traditional farm buildings and structures of significant heritage value and which are conserved for agriculture use. The Heritage Council manages the scheme on behalf of the Department, and it is open to applicants who participate in the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS). It is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Rural Development Programme.
Speaking about the announcement, Minister McConalogue said that “I was delighted to secure €1.25 million in the budget for this very important scheme which continues to make a great contribution to the conservation of our rural heritage and the enhancement of the rural landscape. These are beautiful structures, made of local materials by local craftspeople, and I think we are all learning to appreciate the importance of this part of our heritage. They also serve as a practical shed for the farm long after they were first built. The earliest structure supported on the scheme so far dates from the early 15th century, still standing, still functional. The greenest building is the one that already exists, embodying carbon and offsetting the need for expensive new buildings as long they are well used.”
The grants available range between €4,000 and €25,000 with up to 75% of the cost of the project eligible for funding with a maximum available grant of €25,000.
Virginia Teehan, Heritage Council CEO, said, “The continued existence of this rural built landscape is dependent on there being enough people with traditional building skills to maintain, conserve and repair this finite resource. These buildings are of immense social and environmental value as well as serving as a very useful resource on farms. With proper care and maintenance almost all this building stock will continue to endure and be resilient for the farm enterprise. However, for these buildings to survive they need the skills that went into making them to remain living traditions. This funding invests in those craftspeople skilled in traditional repair techniques as well as the heritage expertise needed and will be particularly welcome by those sectors who have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the coming year, we are confident we will see many examples of projects which improve the quality of our rural landscape for farmers, rural dwellers and visitors, while at the same time preserving the integrity of our past.”
Minister McConalogue concluded that “The benefits of the scheme go beyond retaining the structures for future generations because it can also have significant biodiversity benefits. Even the smallest building can provide roosting sites for bats and nesting sites for birds. Many can support a great diversity of wildlife, including species of conservation concern and this scheme works with farmers to support, enhance and safeguard the wildlife inhabiting these buildings. I am delighted that my Department is supporting this scheme and I would encourage all GLAS participants to consider it.”
The closing date for receipt of online applications is Monday, 5 April 2021 at 5pm. The terms and conditions and the online application form are available at www.heritagecouncil.ie and it is envisaged that 70 to 80 projects will be supported. Elligible applicants for the scheme are chosen on a competitive basis.
The Heritage Council will host a short information webinar for applicants interested in applying for the 2021 GLAS traditional farm buildings grant scheme on 11th March at 12 noon. Applicants should register in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
*Added on 04/03/21* €2 Million Fund Announced for the 2021 Community Monuments Fund
Malcom Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, today launched the 2021 Community Monuments Fund which will invest €2 million in the protection and promotion of archaeological heritage during 2021. The €2 million allocation is an increase of 75% on last year’s funding. The grants available under the Community Monuments Fund will help custodians and owners of archaeological monuments to safeguard them into the future for the benefit of local communities and the visiting public. In addition they will provide support for heritage professions and job opportunities in building conservation and other traditional skills. The Community Monuments Fund was first established as part of the 2020 July Jobs Stimulus introduced in response to the Covid emergency. In 2020, some 71 heritage projects were funded to the value of €1.15 million. It is anticipated that that the 2021 programme being run by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s National Monuments Service will support more than 120 projects across the country.
The core aims of the Community Monuments Fund are the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of archaeological monuments. Funding is available for:
- conservation works to monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support,
- works to improve access to and presentation of monuments, and
- building resilience into monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.
It is available in three streams.
Stream 1 of the Community Monuments Fund will support essential repairs and capital conservation works at archaeological monuments. Stream 2 will fund the development of Conservation Management Plans/Reports which will identify necessary conservation measures and any issues requiring future attention. A third stream offers grants for enhancement of access infrastructure and interpretation at archaeological monuments, including development of online interpretative material.
Speaking today, Minister Noonan said: “We have a responsibility towards our heritage and to those who care for it. When we established the Community Monuments Fund in 2020, we did so with the objective of supporting the heritage sector and providing an effective way of assisting Local Authorities and custodians in protecting Ireland’s remarkable yet vulnerable archaeological heritage. With the excellent partnership between Local Authorities and our National Monuments Service, the 2020 Fund supported an extraordinary level of community engagement and public participation in heritage. It provided traditional skills opportunities and strengthened the role of heritage in communities across the country, highlighting the role of heritage in providing a strong sense of place and well-being. We are very pleased to be able to grow the fund significantly this year and hope to support over 120 projects which will provide a local economic boost with thousands of hours of employment for stone masons, conservation architects, archaeologists and others, in sustainable job opportunities in the care of our heritage.
Minister Noonan added: ‘In these times we must do what we can to support the protection of our vulnerable archaeological heritage, to celebrate it and make it accessible to all. We must also do all we can to nurture and support communities across the land who devote their time and energy to the protection of their local heritage. This investment will help to ensure that our archaeological heritage across the nation continues to enrich all of our lives as we emerge from this crisis’.
Commenting on today’s launch, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, said: "Our archaeological heritage lies at the very heart of communities across this country, an inheritance of monuments echoing a resilient past that we are all obliged to protect. With my colleague, Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, TD, I was very pleased to be able to secure significant funds in Budget 2021 to facilitate a continuation of the very popular and impactful Community Monuments Fund in preserving and conserving that heritage."
Applications for grants can be made by Local Authorities for works to archaeological monuments in public ownership, where a clear heritage focus and community or public benefit has been demonstrated, and also projects proposed by Local Authorities on foot of applications from private applicants who are the owners or custodians of monuments. In addition, eligible applications with a strong community benefit may be sent direct to the Department from State-funded organisations working in the heritage area. The closing date for applications for the 2021 round of grants is Friday 30 April 2021. Details of the Fund are available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/39c6c-community-monuments-fund-2021-call-for-projects/
*Added on 04/03/21* New Issue of the Walled Town Crier ITWN Ezine out now
The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) has a membership of over two dozen towns throughout the island of Ireland (North, South, East and West) and includes 4 towns in Cork. Three of these are in Cork County – Bandon, Buttevant and Youghal – and Cork City is also part of the Network. The Irish Walled Towns Network over the last number of years has supported a range of different projects and undertakings, including here in the County of Cork. To further promote the work of the ITWN, an Ezine, which is called the Walled Town Crier, is being released every two months with the first publication having issued just prior to Christmas 2020. The second Edition has just been published and is available to read online or download by clicking here . The magazine features articles on early buildings in our towns, a feature on Athlone, virtual festivals and information about the IWTN workshop and AGM. If you missed the workshop, the talks can be seen here:
The magazine also has tips about grant applications as the IWTN Grants Programme 2021 is now open. The closing date is Wednesday 31st March at 5 pm.
*Added on 03/03/21* Growing Together Online - Spring Gardening Course for County Cork
* PLEASE NOTE COURSE IS NOW FULLY BOOKED UP *
This Spring Cork County Council is offering an online gardening course open to all residents, representatives of Tidy Towns groups, Residents Associations, Green Schools Coordinators and Community Groups in County Cork.
The practical “hands-on” gardening course led by Horticulturist Aoife Munn will cover topics such as reducing your waste, growing your own vegetables, planting for pollinators, alternatives to chemicals and much more. Each week participants will sow seeds, prick them out and look at planting techniques, as well as learning about organic growing.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, commending the initiative saying,
“Many studies have shown the benefits of gardening for both physical and mental wellbeing, positively impacting mood and helping with anxiety and depression. The great thing about growing food is that, with a little help, we can all do it and that is empowering. This gardening course organised by Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit is that helping hand to get us started. A great opportunity to learn new things, get healthy, enjoy our natural heritage and encourage biodiversity. It’s a win-win!”
The five-week course will be held on Thursday afternoons at 2.30pm, beginning on March 18th and applicants must be able to attend all dates to secure a place on the course.
Please note spaces are limited. To secure a FREE place, email email@example.com with your name, general location (nearest town) and your associated group (if any) prior to 5pm on Thursday 11th March 2021.
*Added on 03/03/21* Illegal Burning of Lands and Cutting of Hedgerows
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued advice to farmers and their advisors in relation to agricultural and eligible forestry land which is burnt during the closed season – that is 1 March to 31 August. The Department has now activated its Fire Danger Rating System for the season and advises that Forest owners and managers should check and update fire plans and other relevant contingencies such as insurance, firebreaks, access and water points, and private helicopter contracts etc., so as to be prepared well in advance of high fire risk phases. Rural dwellers should also assess wildfire risks to their properties and prepare accordingly.Both farmers and the wider public, whether it be at work or in enjoying the countryside, should at this time of year be mindful of the damage caused by burning. It is also more important than ever that no one should start an illegal fire in the countryside as such activity will cause the unnecessary diversions of emergency service resources. The Department asks all countryside users to be vigilant, to report any suspicious activity to An Garda Síochána, and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire and Emergency Services via 112/999 service.
The Department has also reminded farmers of the negative consequences of burning land illegally. If you burn land after the 1st March:
- there is a risk of prosecution,
- such land is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes,
- inclusion of illegally burnt land in the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme application may result in reduced payment and penalties under this scheme and the other area-based schemes, for example Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme,
- illegal burning can also render the land of your neighbours ineligible for payment, and
- where it is identified that lands were burnt during the closed season, this may result in such land being inspected by Department officials.
The Department also reminds farmers that the hedge cutting season closed as well on 1 March and will remain so until the 31 August. There is provision in the legislation (section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976 as amended by section 46 of the 2000 Amendment Act) for landowners and public authorities to address hedges for road safety reasons at any time of the year.
The burning of vegetation is controlled by the Wildlife Acts. It is an offence under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976 (amended by Section 46 of the Wildlife Act, 2000) to burn, from 01 March to 31 August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated. Individuals who are found to burn vegetation within that prohibited period are liable to prosecution by An Garda Síochána or by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). DAFM has no role in regard to prosecutions.
*Added on 03/03/21* €1.35 Million Announced for Local Authority Biodiversity Projects on World Wildlife Day
Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, has today, World Wildlife Day (March 3rd 2021), announced that over €1.35 million will be made available to local authorities in the Local Authority Biodiversity Grant Scheme for projects which tackle Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and to carry out actions in the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 (NBAP). First launched in 2018, funding for the grant scheme has been increased from €700,000 in 2020. The scheme comprises two streams: a €500,000 fund for projects tackling Invasive Alien Species (IAS), including species which are included on the EU IAS list of Union concern, and €850,000 for other maintenance, restoration and awareness-raising projects under actions in the National Biodiversity Action Plan. The scheme is operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and offers funding to assist local authority biodiversity officers and heritage officers in local authorities without a biodiversity officer with the implementation of projects that promote actions contained in the Plan.
Minister Noonan stated: “I’m thrilled to launch this important funding scheme on World Wildlife Day to further support the implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan. Local Authorities have a hugely important role to play in addressing the biodiversity crisis, and we need their help to create new habitats, restore existing ones, tackle invasive species and raise awareness of nature locally, regionally and nationally. More than ever, people are making space for wildness in their lives – in gardens, on farms, and in public spaces – and reaping all sorts of benefits, not least of which is the sense of wellbeing and peace that we get from spending time in nature. My Department’s investment in local projects through local authorities will support public efforts to deliver benefits for biodiversity, and for society too.”
In 2020, 30 Local Authorities used the Scheme to carry out over 50 projects that promoted actions in the NBAP. The National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 and its Interim Report is available in English or Irish at https://www.npws.ie/legislation/national-biodiversity-plan . For further information, queries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Added on 02/03/21* 17K Free Additional West Cork Genealogy Records Now Online
Over 17,000 additional previously unavailable genealogy records relating to the greater West Cork area are now online to view free of charge. Skibbereen Heritage Centre has been digitising burial registers for West Cork graveyards for some time, making some 15,000 records available to the general public last year. This latest addition brings the number of burial records on its West Cork Graveyards database to over 32,000. "We're delighted to bring these records into the public domain", said Centre manager Terri Kearney, "and we are very grateful to Cork County Council for its support of this project".
Skibbereen Heritage Centre has also been making short videos about some of the local graveyards, which give a brief history of each graveyard alongside some of the stories of those buried there.
The latest video is about Chapel Lane Graveyard in Skibbereen and its connection to the Great Famine. It also features the life stories of some of those buried there including several early Fenians, veterans of the American Civil War, and a local man with connections to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
All eight of the graveyard videos and over 32,000 burial records are available free of charge on the Skibbereen Heritage Centre website www.skibbheritage.com.
While Skibbereen Heritage Centre is currently closed to the public, its staff are working hard to digitise even more burial records which will be added to its website over time, with new video tours also in production.
*Added on 02/03/21* Department of Rural and Community Development Extends Closing Date for TidyTowns Funding
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., has announced an extension to the closing date for applications under the €1 million top-up fund for TidyTowns groups. The closing date has been extended until Friday, 19th March, to enable as many TidyTowns groups as possible to apply for this funding.
The Minister allocated €1 million in funding last December to support TidyTowns group across the country, with €1,000 available to every eligible group. In total, there are 987 eligible groups registered across the country. The funding is a top-up to the €1.4 million allocated to TidyTowns groups towards the end of 2019.
While the SuperValu TidyTowns competition could not take place in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Humphreys has confirmed that the 2021 competition will go ahead, with adaptations as necessary to meet public health guidelines. The launch date will be announced in the coming months.
Encouraging groups to apply for the funding available, Minister Humphreys said:“Last December, I gave a commitment that the SuperValu TidyTowns competition would proceed in 2021, albeit in a slightly different format due to the COVID-19 restrictions. I also made additional funding of €1 million available to the TidyTowns groups to assist them in their preparations for the competition. I have written to every registered group, through Pobal, advising them how to apply for this funding. I want to encourage all groups to avail of this funding. The closing date for receipt of applications was originally the start of March, but in the current circumstances, I am extending this deadline to Friday, 19th March.”
The Minister added: “I want to take this opportunity to thank the thousands and thousands of TidyTowns volunteers that have given their time and skills so generously over the years. The competition continues to grow in popularity, with a record number of 924 entries in 2019. As we continue to deal with the challenges of COVID-19, I am very conscious of the health and wellbeing of TidyTowns volunteers. Their safety is paramount. Social distancing must be maintained and public health advice heeded. I hope to be in a position to launch this year’s competition when restrictions around public gatherings and outdoor activities allow. I will keep the situation under review, but in the meantime, we all need to continue to work together to keep one another safe by following the public health guidelines.”
*Added on 01/03/21* National Tree Week 2021 - March 21st to 27th inclusive
National Tree Week is an initiative of the Tree Council of Ireland with the support of Coillte, and this year takes place from March 21st to 27th. It is a week to be proud of our trees; to learn about their folklore and their practical applications and to appreciate how important a healthy and diverse tree stock is particularly given increasing concerns regarding Climate. Cork County Council takes pride in the natural heritage of the County and has been supporting National Tree Week for many years.
This year, with Covid-19, things are different. The Tree Council of Ireland is mindful of government guidelines surrounding gatherings and asks that people remain conscious of the need to limit activities and to observe the restrictions in place.
As per previous years, Cork County Council, with thanks to the Tree Council of Ireland, has an availability of trees that can be provided to various groups, organisations and schools throughout the County to plant in their locality. The mix of trees available are Common and Silver Birch, Oak, Scots Pine and Alder. Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit is now seeking expressions of interest from groups looking to avail of trees as part of the National Tree Week Initiative. Over two dozen groups from throughout County Cork were allocated trees as part of Tree Week 2020 by Cork County Council and interest in Tree Week 2021 suggests a very high interest. For groups looking to avail of trees for planting and/or to simply find out more about our trees and Tree Week itself, email email@example.com or phone 021 4285905.
As part of National Tree Week 2021, much activity will be seen in a virtual capacity online, by visiting https://www.treecouncil.ie/nationaltreeweek and a very exciting development for National Tree Week 2021 is a National Photography Competition. Participants are asked to take a photo of a tree they love, - for more information visit https://www.treecouncil.ie/nationaltreeweek2021.
*Added on 01/03/21* Seachtain na Gaeilge 2021
‘Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia is an international Irish language festival and one of the biggest celebrations of our native language and culture that takes place each year in Ireland and in many other countries’ (www.snag.ie). Each year it takes place from March 1st to 17th and there is always a range of different activities and events to engage in.
Whether fluent or if one only has the cúpla focail, Seachtain na Gaeilge is a great opportunity to take pride in our language and learn what it means to people. Indeed, the Irish language in the County of Cork fairs strongly with two wonderful Gaeltachts (Múscraí agus Oileán Chléire) and more and more people throughout the County are upping their Irish skills – people now tend to hear Irish anywhere at all in the County and not just in our Gaeltachts, be they in Fermoy or Youghal or indeed Bantry or Dromina. Voluntary and community groups, local authorities, schools, libraries, and music, sports, arts and culture organisations all have the opportunity to get involved in Seacthain na Gaeilge. Visit www.snag.ie for more information and www.corkcoco.ie to see what is happening locally. Cork County Council’s Irish Office strongly promotes Seachtain na Gaeilge and can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Added on 01/03/21* Applications are now Invited for the Heritage Council's 2021 Heritage Grant Scheme
The Heritage Council has allocated in the region of €1,000,000 to its Community Grant Scheme 2021, which is now open for applications. The aim of the scheme is to support capital projects that improve access and inclusion to heritage sites and that apply good heritage practice to the management of places, collections, or objects (including buildings). The scheme also supports the purchase of essential equipment. This scheme is intended to enable communities and heritage non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to continue their work in this area or to start new initiatives. Projects that begin after the grant offer date in early May, and are completed by 8th October 2021 can be considered for funding under this scheme.
The scheme is open to voluntary and community groups; heritage-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs), not-for-profit heritage organisations, Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) participants and Adopt a Monument Programme participants. Applications from other organisations, private companies or individuals will not be considered.
To apply submit your application via The Heritage Council's Online Grants System by Monday 29th March 2021 at 5pm. Applications or supporting documents cannot be submitted after this time. Full details are located on the Heritage Council’s website by visiting https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding/community-heritage-grant-scheme-2021.
*Added on 01/03/21* Government Announces €10m in Covid Stability Funding for Community and Voluntary Organisations
A €10 million fund is to be established to assist community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises, which have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The funding was jointly announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, and Minister of State with special responsibility for Charities and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD.
The €10m investment builds on the €45 million COVID-19 Stability Fund which, in 2020, supported over 600 organisations to continue delivering vital services to the most vulnerable in our communities. The new funding, agreed as part of the Government’s Resilience and Recovery Plan, is targeted at organisations that have seen their trading and/or fundraising income drop significantly as a result of the Pandemic. The funding will be administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development and details of the online application process will be published shortly.
Welcoming the €10m funding, Minister Humphreys said: “Our community and voluntary groups, as well as our charities and social enterprises, have played a crucial role during the Pandemic. They have continued to provide critical services to our elderly and most vulnerable citizens even at the height of Level Five restrictions. Many of these groups are now struggling financially due to for example a significant drop in income through fundraising. That’s why Government has decided to step in and provide this €10 million fund, which is on top of the €45 million provided in 2020. I intend to make a further announcement in the coming weeks regarding the application process, and would encourage all potentially eligible charities, social enterprises and community and voluntary organisations to fully engage with the application process when it opens.”
Minister McGrath stated: “Without doubt, this Pandemic has shown us the real meaning of ‘community’. I am therefore very pleased to provide €10 million in funding through the COVID-19 Stability Fund for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises. I know from listening to organisations on the ground the difficulties they have faced in recent months, and the impact of restrictions on their ability to generate income. I am committed to assisting these organisations in whatever way possible to ensure that the valuable services they provide to the most vulnerable, who have been so deeply impacted by the public health crisis, continue on into the future.”
Minister O’Brien continued: “I am very pleased to join with Ministers Humphreys and McGrath in announcing the 2021 round of the COVID Stability Fund. When the scheme was initially established in 2020, it was believed that social restrictions would be with us for a short period. With the evolving situation, it became necessary to examine the continuing impact of public health measures on the ability of community and voluntary organisations to generate income and deliver basic services. I understand the difficulties charities may have in accessing other supports and I’m delighted that the fund will reopen to support potentially eligible organisations who have not been supported in other ways, who have tried to weather the storm themselves but who now need some help. We want to ensure vital services continue and that we in Government do our part to help the organisations to do this. I commend the resilience and adaptability organisations have shown in trying to make up the shortfall through online fundraising and I am always inspired by the innovation shown in a sector filled with determined change-makers and activists. I again extend my most heartfelt thanks to you all for the vital work you do.”
*Added on 01/03/21* Organic Farming Scheme 2021
The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has announced the reopening of the Organic Farming Scheme for new applications from farmers. The reopening, is expected to result in an increase of up to 30% in the number of farmers farming organically in Ireland this year.
Announcing the opening of the Scheme, Minister Hackett said, “This is a really good scheme which provides farmers with the support they need to go organic so I would really encourage those considering conversion to engage with it. I promised to help the growing number of farmers in Ireland who want to farm organically – this scheme does that. Going organic can lead to higher prices and more sustainable way of farming. It’s less intensive, and it embraces nature and natural processes to produce organic food, for which there is a growing demand both in Ireland and across Europe. And I’m delighted to see my Department helping farmers cater for that demand by reopening the scheme, with the extra funding and scope for so many more farmers to join."
The Scheme will be open to applications from all sectors from 1st March and it will remain open until the 30th April 2021.
The Organic Farming Scheme is an agri-environment measure under the Department's Rural Development Programme. Farmers entering the scheme could qualify for yearly payments of up to €220 per hectare during the conversion period and up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status. Higher payment rates are available for organic horticulture and tillage farmers.
Encouraging farmers to apply for the Scheme, the Minister added, “I believe that the significant level of funding provided for this new Scheme will facilitate the entry of 400-500 new farmers into the organic farming system. This should allow scope for plenty of successful applications from all types of enterprises and I would encourage farmers in all sectors to consider applying.” The Minister continued, “The scheme and funding are closely aligned to the targets in the National Organic Farming Strategy to 2025 and will help us deliver on them. In the event of the scheme being oversubscribed, I will be prioritising those sectors for which most market demand exists, namely the dairy, horticulture and tillage sectors, but I also want to encourage young farmers to convert to organic farming so I will be making provision in the selection process to achieve this too. I have also ensured that farmers who were not successful in gaining entry to the previous scheme, but who have continued to farm organically, have their commitment acknowledged, through priority access.”
Applications for the scheme must be made online through the Department’s online system agfood.ie. The Minister concluded, “The application process itself is quite simple and straightforward. There is a wealth of information and guidance available to farmers through my Deportment, Teagasc and the organic certification bodies. Farmers of course should also speak directly with their own advisor if considering joining the scheme. I would encourage every farmer to inform themselves of the opportunities here and to give it fill consideration.”
A guide to the Organic Farming Scheme application process and a FAQ document is available on the Department’s website to assist potential applicants at www.gov.ie/en/service/d46aec-organic-farming-scheme/. Of additional assistance is that Teagasc have developed a series of new Organic Factsheets to give information to farmers considering organic enterprise options. In addition, a new guide “Organic Farming – A Step-by-Step Guide to Conversion” has been developed and is available on the Teagasc website www.teagasc.ie/organics . Copies of the Organic Farming Scheme terms and conditions are available on the Department's organics page at www.gov.ie/en/service/d46aec-organic-farming-scheme/ .
*Added on 01/03/21* Farming for Nature March/April 2021 Update
Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards in full flight
Now in its fourth year, Farming For Nature has grown to an active network of over 40 wonderful, eloquent Ambassadors scattered across Ireland, who are inspiring many other farmers to take simple measures to enhance nature on their land. This January we received 48 new nominations regarding other farmers who are going that extra mile for nature. Each one of these farmers is worthy of acknowledgement and celebration and we thank them for their work and for the inspiration they provide. Thanks also to our (200-strong) nominator network for bringing these farmers to our attention.
If you wish to see the amazing array of nominees for 2021 please click below
We are currently engaging with these nominees as part of an in-depth interview and selection process, so that by late summer, a shortlist of 2021 Ambassadors will be compiled. We received testimonies regarding each one of our nominees and we are currently interviewing them by telephone to flesh-out these testimonies further. We will shortlist these using agreed criteria, then our judges will visit each farm on the shortlist before collectively deciding on this year’s list of Ambassadors.
The range of nominations this year is exceptional – from 2 to 1,700 acres in size, organic and conventional systems, farming beef, lamb, dairy, poultry and pigs – each one of them has a story to tell, making the shortlisting process difficult and enjoyable in equal measure!
Farming For Nature have been able to acknowledge and celebrate farmers across Ireland who are doing great things for nature. Seeing and hearing these farmers share their love of nature, and knowing that they work day in day out to make sure nature has a place on their farms, is really inspiring –these people are our unsung conservation heroes. At FFN we want to share these stories to inspire other farmers as we are convinced that, with the appropriate, targeted financial and technical support, farmers represent a great resource in tacking our biodiversity and climate crises.
These Ambassador awards are sponsored by Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme
Farmer Q&A sessions are available to listen back to
Our ‘Ask the Farmer’ series ran throughout this Winter and Spring with 13 superb Ambassadors having an informal chat with us on-line about their farm and farming system and then an open floor session with the attendees. These proved hugely popular and a great way to listen to these eloquent spokespersons for nature. You can now listen to all of these either on our YouTube channel or by following the link below.
SPRINGTIME - A calendar for noticing nature on your farm
We are hoping to develop a season-by-season guide to spotting different forms of nature on your farm and practical tips to help you encourage even more!. This is just a start, we need your help to develop this further – please send in your ideas and help us create a rich calendar for what is on the farm and practical notes on how to enhance it: email@example.com Thanks to all the Ambassadors that fed into this work so far and to Mark Robins for collating it.
Plan For Nature
Diversity of habitats on your farm is a key to a thriving ecosystem. See here how to plan for nature on your farm
Diverse hedgerows can provide a wide range of both agricultural and ecological benefits. Click below to view best practice guidelines
Well managed rivers and streams on your farm can provide a wide range of agricultural and ecological benefits. Click below to view best practice guidelines.
Species-rich grassland management
Preserving and enhancing species-rich grasslands can provide a wide range of agricultural and ecological benefits. Click below to view best practice guidelines.
Frequently asked questions
We have a series of frequently asked questions about farming for nature and how to do it on your land. Just click below to get started.
*Added on 24/02/21* Project Woodland
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D. and the Minister of State Senator Pippa Hackett have announced ‘Project Woodland’, an initiative to tackle issues in forestry in Ireland and drive forward the planting of trees. The Ministers accepted a report on reforming the Irish Forestry Licensing system and committed to its immediate implementation. Welcoming the announcement, Minister Charlie McConalogue stated, “I am delighted to help launch the new strategy for our forestry sector and I give my support to Project Woodland. The new initiative is aimed at solving many of the issues which has mired the forestry sector in recent times. Working alongside my colleague in the Department of Agriculture Minister of State Pippa Hackett, we are focussed on delivering solutions for the sector. As Minister with responsibility for the forestry sector, Minister Hackett will lead the implementation of Project Woodland and I am confident that it can be a success. Challenges remain in dealing with issues in the sector but I am hopeful that the report Minister Hackett is launching today can overcome many of these challenges.”
Minister Hackett said, “Timber production is important, but trees are about more than timber. They are also about beauty, biodiversity, the environment, carbon capture, community enjoyment and enterprise, and social good, and it’s time to find the space to say that, and to value that. That is why I am delighted to announce the immediate setting up of Project Woodland.”
Project Woodland is being established by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, under the leadership of Minister Hackett. It involves four different workstreams working to her through a Project Manager and Project Board. The project Board will be chaired by the Secretary General, Brendan Gleeson. The workstreams will work concurrently, focusing on different areas. The first one will concentrate on the backlog, the second on a vision for forestry, the third on devising a fit for purpose organisational structure, and the fourth on streamlining the licensing process for the future. Each workstream will be supported by a working group made up of stakeholders drawn from the Minister’s existing Forestry Policy Group and will be chaired by an independent, experienced outsider. Minister Hackett also announced an initiative involving communities, explaining that she had asked Irish Rural Link to undertake a study on the effect of forests on communities, she said, “‘I am asking Irish Rural Link to build up on the work done by Aine Ní Dhubháin in UCD a few years ago, to engage with communities, to look at the up and downsides of forests for them as they exist at the moment, and come up with recommendations for the future, which can then be fed into the ‘Shared National Approach’ workstream.”
She concluded, “Forestry is central to of many of this Government’s and indeed the EU’s policies particularly on climate action, biodiversity and rural economic development. And while there is no silver bullet, I am determined to get this right. It will require substantial effort by all stakeholders but I believe the will is there and I look forward to working closely with everyone. If the right tree, is planted in the right place, everyone will gain. Jobs will be supported, communities will enjoy recreation and other benefits, and biodiversity will thrive. That is what I want the legacy of Project Woodland to be.”
*Added on 24/02/21* Invitation to Contribute: NESC Consultation Paper on Climate and Biodiversity Challenges and Opportunities
On 5 February, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, convened a Shared Island Dialogue on ‘The Environment and Climate: Addressing Shared Challenges for the Island’. Over 100 participants joined this online dialogue and the discussion is now available to watch online here.
At the Dialogue, Dr Jeanne Moore presented a Consultation Paper on Climate and Biodiversity Challenges and Opportunities as part of the work that the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) is undertaking on Shared Island in 2021.
The consultation paper provides an overview of the current state of knowledge and prevailing policy approaches for climate and biodiversity, in Ireland and Northern Ireland, touching also on UK, EU and international policies. Through a consultation process, the work will seek to incorporate the understandings of key stakeholders and form part of wider dialogue and engagement on the all-island dimensions of climate and biodiversity.
NESC is inviting contributions and submissions to help inform this work and provide insights as to which of the areas outlined should be incorporated into its next phase of this research. To make a submission to NESC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments and contributions by close of business on March 19th 2021.
*Added on 24/02/21* Government takes next step towards Marine Protected Areas Forming 30% of Ireland's Maritime Area
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and the Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, have launched a public consultation on the process of expanding Ireland’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs are geographically defined maritime areas with certain protections for conservation purposes. The Government aims to expand Ireland’s MPA network from 2.13% to 30% of Ireland’s maritime area by 2030.
Creating an MPA regime will constitute a major change in marine environmental protection in Ireland. At present, there is no definition of an MPA in Irish law. Environmental protections under the Wildlife Acts only apply to the foreshore. Protection in marine areas beyond 12 nautical miles is limited, both in terms of space and species.
Ministers O’Brien and Noonan are asking the public, stakeholders, industries and others for their views on the final report of the MPA Advisory Group, which was chaired by Professor Tasman Crowe of UCD’s Earth Institute. In addition to conserving marine species and habitats, MPAs can support maritime economic activity and reduce the effects of climate change and ocean acidification. The report quotes economic data showing Ireland’s ocean economy has a turnover of €6.2 billion and provides stable, sustainable work for 34,132 full-time equivalent employees.
Launching the consultation, Minister O’Brien said: “Ireland, along with the rest of the world, faces the twin crises of climate change and accelerating biodiversity loss on land and at sea. The Government has a vision of clean, healthy, diverse and productive oceans and seas around Ireland. This report is a solid basis for a national dialogue on how we progress that vision. I urge all with an interest in our seas – whether you live in a coastal area, earn your livelihood from the sea, want to protect our marine life or simply value our seas – to have your say by the end of July. Once again I’d like to thank Professor Crowe and the expert group for this excellent report.”
Minister Noonan added: “By expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area network, we will give vital protection to vulnerable marine species and habitats, and also support the functioning of these ecosystems to provide us with a whole host of benefits including climate change mitigation and enhanced resilience for fisheries into the future. By realising this vision to expand our MPA network, Ireland will play an exemplary role in global efforts to protect marine ecosystems, the extraordinary species and habitats they hold, and the benefits they provide to people.”
In parallel with plans to increase Ireland’s MPA network, the Government will soon publish Ireland’s first Marine Spatial Plan – the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) – and the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill 2021. The NMPF is the national plan for Ireland’s maritime area setting out how we want to use, protect and enjoy our seas. It will outline the national approach to managing Ireland’s marine activities and ensuring the sustainable use of marine resources to 2040. The Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will serve as the cornerstone of the marine planning system in Ireland and it brings together and creates the legal foundation for forward planning and streamlined development management and enforcement. Both the new forward planning model envisaged by the Bill, and a future MPA regime, will secure the objectives of the NMPF.
Ireland currently has a marine protected area network of 10,420 km², encompassing 2.13% of its total maritime area of 488,762 km². Ireland’s maritime area is seven times the size of its landmass. When the seabed is included, Ireland is one of the largest EU countries.
The public consultation on the MPA process will inform development of new legislation on the identification, designation and management of MPAs, to begin later this year. The consultation will be open for over 5 months, closing at 5pm on Fri 30 July 2021 and further details can be found at www.gov.ie/en/consultations/. People can also provide submissions by emailing email@example.com.
*Added on 23/02/21* Update from SECAD's Wild Work and Details of World Wildlife Day Event on March 3rd 2021
As you most likely remember, for World Wildlife Day last year, we had a Wild Work celebration event which was attended by many of you. The event brought together a wide range of people with a passion for nature; and many of those actively involved with the Wild Work movement. It was themed around a report we launched on the day called “30 Months of Wild Work – The story so far”… The interactive report is available on our website.
Since that time we’ve thankfully been able to keep ourselves safe and busy. If you’d like to find out about what we’ve been up to, then I’d highly recommend you check out all the new project videos on our Youtube channel (with many more to come), or maybe have a listen to some of our podcasts; the Student Placement episodes and Wild Workers at Home episodes are definitely worth a listen.
This year, World Wildlife Day is happening again; and as part of the celebration of this important day, SECAD, on behalf of Euracademy, are hosting a webinar and number of related zoom discussion groups on Regenerative and Biodiversity Enriching Agriculture - with speakers from across Europe including Paul Moore (a farmer based near Midleton) who is involved in a SECAD supported project.
The attached announcement includes details on the seminar which is being held from 3pm Irish Time (4pm Central European Time – 4pm CET) on the 3rd March, 2021.
You can register for the event by following this link. SECAD will be in touch with more details shortly after you having registered. If you have any query in the meantime then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Added on 23/02/21* TidyTowns Newsletter 2/2021
The TidyTowns Unit of the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued the 2nd edition of the TidyTowns Newsletter 2/2021, which is available to see by clicking here. The newsletter contains updates from a number of TidyTowns Groups including Glounthaune in Co. Cork, information on the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition, an update on the 1st phase of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015 - 2020 and tips on entering the Pollinator Special Competition, Free Biodiversity workshops running this week and Information on the TidyTowns Grant. The newsletter is also available on the Tidytowns website by clicking https://www.tidytowns.ie/about-us/newsletters/. If any group has an article to submit for the Newsletter or indeed for any further information send an email to email@example.com.
*Added on 21/02/21* From the Well Short Story Competition Open for Submissions
Cork County Council Library and Arts Service has launched it’s annual From the Well short story competition for 2021. The highly regarded literary competition is now in its 17th year and is open to registered library members who are over 18.
Twenty stories will be selected for inclusion in the 17th edition of the From the Well short story anthology, while the winning story and two others will feature in the 2021 West Cork Literary Festival.
Mayor of the County of Cork welcomed the opening of submissions saying,
“We are a community of storytellers and wordsmiths, and the richness of life in County Cork is a great source of pride, solidarity and inspiration. The From the Well anthology is one way that we recognise and respect the great writers among us. I wish all entrants the best of luck in the competition and every success in their future creative endeavours.”
Applications should be submitted online through YourCouncil.ie before the closing date of Thursday 1st April at 4:00 p.m.
For further information about the competition, contact Cork County Council’s Arts Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Added on 16/02/21* The Cork Folklore Project is a Finalist in the 2021 National Lottery Good Causes Awards
The Cork Folklore Project (CFP) has been announced a finalist in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards. CFP was selected from across the country as a finalist in the Heritage Section and will go forward this week, for adjudication in the National Final. This is great recognition for their work over the last twenty-five years and a validation of the constant effort to improve and excel in their drive to record, archive and share the memories and stories of Cork. The CFP thanks all who have supported the project over the years and for more information on the shortlisting visit https://www.lottery.ie/good-causes-awards/finalists/heritage
*Added on 16/02/21* 2021 is the European Year of Rail
2021 is the European Year of Rail, dedicated to the most sustainable, innovative and safest transport mode. The European Year of Rail is an open framework and the Commission looks forward to a wide participation.
On 1 January, the European Commission launched a website providing further information on the initiative, as well as an overview of planned activities. Various events, projects and activities across the EU will highlight the many dimensions of rail – from Europe's world-leading, innovative rail industry, to rail's role in European culture and heritage, its importance for connecting regions, people and businesses, its part in sustainable tourism, as well as its involvement in the EU's relations with neighbouring countries, for example.
The Commission's legislative agenda will also reflect the European Year of Rail, with proposals on a new rail industrial partnership, better links for rail with other modes of transport, and making freight transport more sustainable overall, as outlined in the Commission's recently adopted Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. You can find more information on the website: https://europa.eu/year-of-rail/get-involved_en
*Added on 16/02/21* Minister Noonan Welcomes Stakeholder Review of the National Biodiversity Action Plan
Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform has welcomed the publication of a new independent review of Ireland’s third National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021. The review was conducted by the Biodiversity Forum, a group of biodiversity experts from across academia, NGO, public and private sectors, whose role is to provide independent monitoring of progress of the implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan, highlighting progress and bottlenecks, and providing progress reports to the Minister for Heritage.
Reflecting on the Group’s findings regarding Ireland’s efforts over the 2017-2021 Plan period, Minister Noonan said: “This report offers an extensive and in-depth analysis of Ireland’s progress in implementing our capstone biodiversity policy from some of Ireland’s leading ecologists and biodiversity experts. Its findings – while stark – outline the scale of the ambition and the strategic approach that is needed to deliver on our shared goals for nature. As my team in the National Parks and Wildlife Service works to develop the successor Plan for 2022-2026, I pledge to consider the report’s findings carefully to ensure that the next National Biodiversity Action Plan is one that delivers real impact.”
The report is an outcome of a workshop that the group undertook in late 2020, which was funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage as part of the 2019 'Seeds for Nature' initiative in order to provide independent advice to Government. Minister Noonan committed to more than doubling funding to the Biodiversity Forum from €10,000 per annum to €25,000 per annum in order to further support its work. Acknowledging the value of independent analysis, Minister Noonan said: “Expert-led analysis and oversight is an important element of effective policy development. By supporting the Biodiversity Forum to continue and expand its work through this increased funding, I hope that my Department will continue to benefit from its valuable insights.”
The report of the National Biodiversity Forum can be read at: www.biodiversityimpactplan.ie.
*Added on 16/02/21* New Heritage Council Publication: 'Public Engagement during works to Traditional Buildings'
The Heritage Council has released a new publication titled ‘Public Engagement during works to Traditional Buildings’. The purpose of this document is to help all those involved in the conservation, restoration or modification of historic buildings to train, educate or energise the public as to the importance of traditional buildings and traditional building skills. This document will be useful for building owners, contractors, tradespeople, local authorities and community groups setting out to engage the public with conservation skills once restrictions allow. Too see the publication visit: https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/content/files/Public-Engagement-during-works-to-Traditional-Buildings.pdf
*Added on 12/02/21* National Inventory of Architectural Heritage: Building of the Month
Áras na hOidhreachta/The Bishop's Palace, headquarters of the Heritage Council, features as Building of the Month Feb 2021 on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage’s website Buildings of Ireland. Read the fascinating article by Colm Murray Architecture Officer, The Heritage Council as he traces the history of the building which has been adapted, altered and extended continuously over the course of seven centuries. https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/building-of-the-month/aras-na-hoidhreachta-or-the-bishops-palace-church-lane-gardens-saint-canices-td-kilkenny/
*Added on 11/02/21* Re-Imagining our Outdoor Public Spaces
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has announced a new funding scheme to help local authorities open up and create public spaces and facilities dedicated to the arts, culture and festivals.
The scheme will be known as the Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021. The support will allow each local authority to adapt, equip or otherwise improve public spaces for cultural and events activities. The new scheme will take account of public health guidelines and of the needs of local arts and entertainment communities.
Local authorities are invited to propose capital projects for outdoor spaces which are flexible, innovative and facilitate year-round use. Ideally projects should respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19 and support the recovery of the creative, cultural, entertainment and events sector as well as being future-proofed from a health and safety perspective. Projects should aim to deliver speedy results or actions with added benefits for tourism, and the hospitality sector. They should also demonstrate how they will support the Night-time Economy, a priority for the Minister and the Programme for Government. Each local authority can apply for up to €250,000 under the scheme.
The new scheme responds to Recommendation 9 of the Report of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce. This specifically proposed that local authorities provide artistic spaces, to improve wellbeing and that can provide year-round use. The details of the scheme have been developed in consultation with the County and City Management Association and with input from Fáilte Ireland.
The features of this latest COVID capital fund response are as follows:
- Funding will be available to local authorities;
- Local authorities can apply for a capital grant of up to €250,000 for a project at a funding rate of up to 90%;
- Funding will be awarded for projects that focus on the delivery of infrastructure to support arts, culture, creative activities, entertainment events and festivals and the Night-time Economy.
- Local authorities should consult with Fáilte Ireland on the proposed project;
- Eligible projects include the provision, adaptation or improvement of outdoor public spaces in population centres;
- Local authorities should ensure that proposed facilities are relevant to local needs and circumstances;
- All grants will be paid out on the basis of paid invoices;
- The scheme will apply for the period of the coronavirus crisis and applications will be accepted throughout
- Local authorities can propose suitable projects for the scheme immediately.
Minister Martin said: “More than ever we now appreciate the value of communal spaces, particularly for our artists, the culture among our communities and for people to gather in a safe environment. This move is another fulfilment of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce’s recommendations and it is in line with the programme for government’s commitments on wellbeing. Crucially, the fund and scheme will help create new spaces up and down the country, in villages, towns and cities, to be transformed into wonderful resources for festivals, entertainment and cultural events. Local authorities have been a crucial resource in the delivery of arts and culture interventions over many decades. Their collaboration and efforts in the national response to the COVID-19 crisis is fully recognised and appreciated by the Government. The pandemic has been a significant driver of innovation especially in the arts and entertainment sectors and I look forward to the creative and imaginative solutions that I know will be generated by local authorities in response to this scheme. This funding also comes after a recent recommendation from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce which specifically highlighted the need for outdoor public spaces in both the built and natural environment. I know from discussions at the Night-time Economy Taskforce that this issue has also been raised by a wide range of stakeholders”.
*Added on 11/02/21* New 'Success Stories' Publication on Pollinator Conservation
Minister Malcolm Noonan is launching a new ‘success stories’ publication to mark the conclusion of the first phase of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020. ‘Working Together for Biodiversity: Tales from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020’ shows the big difference that small actions can make by bringing together a selection of case studies to tell the story of how communities, farmers, schools, businesses, local authorities and many others have contributed towards the conservation of Ireland’s pollinators.
Welcoming the publication, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan said:
“I’m proud to launch this inspiring publication. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is an incredible initiative that has engaged people across Ireland to take local action for bees and other pollinators and generate national impact for nature. It’s also inspired international ambition, becoming the benchmark for how other countries approach the important issue of pollinator decline. I’ve been involved in a number of Pollinator Plan activities in my constituency of Carlow-Kilkenny, so I’m especially pleased to share this collection of stories that I hope will encourage more people to get involved in biodiversity conservation.”
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 has achieved considerable impact:
- The last five years have seen the delivery of all 81 actions identified in the Plan
- Across all sectors, the number of engaged individuals and organisations continues to increase
- 55% of all Councils across the island have become partners
- Hundreds of local communities have embraced the initiative
- 280 businesses have come on board and agreed to take action
- A framework by which all farms can become more pollinator-friendly is currently in collaborative development
Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Dr Una Fitzpatrick, Senior Ecologist at the National Biodiversity Data Centre said:
“The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has shown - across every sector and in every corner of this island – that people do care about nature, and that we can come together to make changes for the better. To those thousands of people, groups and organisations who got behind the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan with such energy and enthusiasm, we would like to express our sincere thanks. The publication of ‘Working Together for Biodiversity: Tales from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 is a celebration of all of their efforts.”
An even more ambitious plan for 2021-2025 is currently being finalised and is expected to be launched in the coming months. Looking ahead, Deputy Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Professor Jane Stout, Trinity College Dublin, said:
“As we look forward to the next five years, we need to continue to engage across all sectors, monitor our pollinators, and manage more land for biodiversity. Ultimately, the AIPP will only be a success if in 10, 20 or hundreds of years from now, this island is buzzing with bees and we have diverse, healthy wild pollinator populations, providing us with the services on which we are so dependent. If we achieve this, we will also create a colourful and healthy environment for ourselves.”
Pollinators are in decline, with one third of our 98 wild bee species threatened with extinction from the island of Ireland. In publishing the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP) in September 2015, Ireland became one of the first countries in Europe to address this issue – in order to ensure the sustainability of our food, avoid additional economic impacts on agriculture, and protect the health of the environment. As a shared plan of action, it is about coming together to work strategically and cohesively, so that collectively we can reverse pollinator losses and help restore healthy populations. This voluntary Plan identified 81 actions, shared out between over 100 governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Our current landscape does not provide enough food or safe nesting sites for pollinators. A large focus of the AIPP is to identify actions to improve the quality and amount of flower-rich habitat. Actions range from creating pollinator highways along our transport routes, to supporting pollinators on farmland, in gardens, businesses, and on public land. We have tried to ensure that everyone understands what pollinators need, and what simple, cost-effective and evidence-based actions they can take to help. All resources are freely available at www.pollinators.ie
The AIPP has also attracted international acclaim. Advice has been requested by over 10 countries, both within and outside Europe, interested in learning from the initiative and developing something similar. It has informed the development of pollinator strategies published in Scotland (2017), Norway (2018) and the Netherlands (2018). The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has been recommended as a template for the development of national pollinator strategies by EU Member States.
*Added on 10/02/21* Leave No Trace Strategic Plan Consultation
The increased popularity of outdoor recreation brings a requirement to effectively manage Ireland’s most sensitive habitats. Leave No Trace Ireland is central to achieving conservation of our countryside in a cost-effective way through our national outdoor ethics programme. Since we published the Strategic Plan 2016-2021, “The Outdoors is Yours, Protect It!” Leave No Trace Ireland’s programme continues to grow with more education, training, research and memberships than ever before.
Throughout 2020, the Board of Directors have overseen the development of a new Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan 2021-2024 has been approved by the Board of Directors and we are now in the process of sharing our ambition for the future with you.
You can read the plan here - 2102053-LNT-STRATEGIC-DRAFTv05-2-1.pdf (leavenotraceireland.org)
Members of the public, stakeholders and other interested parties may share their views on the Strategic Plan 2021-2024 by completing the online survey which is open until 5pm on Thursday 25th February.
*Added on 10/02/21* Clonmult Ambush Centenary Commemoration
Due to the current government Covid-19 restrictions the planned Centenary Commemoration for the Clonmult Ambush Anniversary has been postponed. We will have an online video to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Clonmult, which will be available to view on our YouTube Channel – Clonmult Ambush Site or via our Facebook page Clonmult Ambush Site.
Despite the postponed commemoration we still want to mark the centenary of the battle to honour those who fought and subsequently died a result of Clonmult. We are requesting all those in the local area and wider community to fly the Tricolour on Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st of February as a mark of respect.
*Added on 10/02/21* New Farming Biodiversity Initiative with a focus on Locally-led Farm and Community Biodiversity Projects
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has launched a call for new locally-led farm and community biodiversity initiatives. The €1.25 million initiative, which is under the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Rural Development Programme, invites project applications from farmer groups, local action groups, NGOs, local authorities, or community groups. Minister Hackett said, “This is all about helping farmers and land managers to deliver for biodiversity, both on farms and at a local level. It is a completely open call so I hope any and all interested bodies such as groups of farmers, NGOs, local authorities, community groups, or indeed existing EIPs will put forward their ideas for local biodiversity initiatives.”
Explaining the background to the call, the Minister continued, “Locally-led projects are among the shining stars of our current Rural Development programme. I want to build on them now by offering support to smaller-scale versions. I was delighted to secure €1.25 million in the Budget to fund this call, and I see successful projects focusing on increased biodiversity through collaboration with small groups of farmers or other land managers. The farmers might share a common habitat such as a stream which goes through all their lands, or they might be scattered but share a common type of habitat. Either is acceptable. We just want to support creative ideas on how they might be brought together to enhance biodiversity.”
The projects being submitted in response to the call should have a value of at least €50,000, and they should take no longer than one year to complete, after planning is done and relevant permissions are received. The call will be competitive, and an evaluation committee will determine the projects to be funded.
Emphasising her expectation that projects will be able to build on the success of the 24 locally led programmes around the country in which the Department has invested approximately €60 million to date, Minister Hackett concluded, “These schemes have shown real innovation and delivered measurable results in terms of climate, biodiversity and water as well as enhancing the viability of farmers involved. But I want to go even further and develop initiatives which are smaller and draw in many more farmers, giving them the opportunity to work with each other, with other bodies and even with local communities. We all need to understand that our natural habitats, environment and biodiversity are a shared resource so I really hope people and groups in every part of the country will consider participating and engage with my Department in the preparation of an application.”
Applications should be submitted by midnight on the 31st March 2021 to EIP@agriculture.gov.ie and a guideline document on this Open Call can be downloaded from the Department website at
www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/europeaninnovationpartnershipincludinglocallyledschemes/europeaninnovationpartnership/ or by contacting the EIP Section at EIP@agriculture.gov.ie. A final shortlist will be formed from which DAFM will select projects for implementation during 2021 with up to 100% funding provided.
*Added on 10/02/21* Whooper Swan Numbers Increase in New Census Results
A census carried out across the island of Ireland last year found that Whooper Swan numbers increased by 27%, while Bewick’s Swan look set to be lost from Ireland in the coming years. The 8th International Swan Census took place in January 2020. The census is carried out over a single weekend every five years, where ornithologists and birdwatchers across Ireland set out to locate and count every Whooper Swan and Bewick’s Swan in the country. The aim of the census is to produce an updated population estimate for these species in Ireland. The survey was coordinated in the Republic of Ireland by BirdWatch Ireland as part of the Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) under contract to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Nearly 300 volunteer birdwatchers, as well as staff from BirdWatch Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, took part in the census, checking over 1,500 locations across the island of Ireland. A total of 19,111 Whooper Swans were recorded, 14,467 in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and 4,644 in Northern Ireland (NI). This is the highest total ever recorded in Ireland and represents a 27% increase in the Whooper Swan population since the previous census in 2015.
“Our Whooper Swans breed in Iceland during the summer and spend the winter in Ireland and Britain. Results from previous censuses had indicated that the Irish-wintering population of Whooper Swans was starting to plateau – growth had slowed, and numbers were largely stable in recent censuses, so we really weren’t expecting this level of increase,” said Brian Burke of BirdWatch Ireland, who coordinated the survey in ROI. “They’re a species that is deep-rooted in Irish mythology, and still today they really captivate people right across the country when they arrive in the autumn, so we’re delighted to see them doing so well.”
In total, 550 flocks were recorded in Ireland, with largest numbers in counties Offaly, Galway, Roscommon and Donegal in ROI, and Derry and Antrim in NI. In ROI, wetlands along the River Shannon and its lakes and tributaries form a stronghold for the species.
Agricultural grassland is an important food source for our migratory swans and geese, and 74% of Whooper Swans were recorded feeding on improved and rough grassland during the census. “Pasture fields in close proximity to lakes and flooded rivers provide crucial feeding habitat for Whooper Swans, and any farmers I’ve met take great pride in hosting their local Whooper flock each winter,” said Mr Burke.
“The recorded increase in the Irish Whooper Swan population is really encouraging. For a species like Whoopers to do well, conditions across its migratory range must be right. The census results suggest that conditions for Whooper Swans in both Ireland and Iceland, where they breed, are very suitable,” said Seán Kelly, Waterbird Ecologist with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. “We are grateful to all the volunteers across the country who participated in the swan census; without them it simply wouldn’t be possible to so carefully monitor these species.”
Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan T.D, welcomed the report and paid tribute to all those involved: “I’m delighted to welcome the results from the recent Swan Census – the eighth such census in Ireland since the 1980s – which allows Ireland to robustly monitor swan populations,” he said. “Biodiversity data is so important and I’d like to send my sincere thanks to the dedicated volunteers around the country, as well as the all-important staff within NPWS and BirdWatch Ireland, without whom this census would not have been possible. The census shows the positive impact of the work done by farmers, landowners and NPWS staff within the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme to protect these beautiful birds, and highlights the value of the ‘Goose and Swan’ agri-environment measure in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s GLAS scheme. I look forward to visiting some of the sites leading the way for Whooper Swan conservation, particularly the lands along the River Shannon and around the fantastic Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, when we are able to travel again.” The census revealed some sad news, however, in the continued decline of the Bewick’s Swan in Ireland.
Bewick’s Swans nest in Arctic Russia during the summer and winter in northern Europe, the UK and Ireland. As climate change has caused milder winters on the continent, many Bewick’s Swans have been ‘short-stopping’, that is, not flying as far as Ireland, simply because they don’t need to anymore. Migration is a hugely difficult undertaking, so they won’t burn through their energy and fat reserves if they don’t have to. This, coupled with declines in the size of the international Bewick’s Swan population, has seen the Irish contingent getting smaller and smaller each winter. Only 12 Bewick’s Swans were recorded in Ireland for the census – 11 in Wexford and a lone bird in Roscommon, and it’s expected that they will cease to occur in Ireland altogether in the near future.
Full details of the census results are due to be published in BirdWatch Ireland’s scientific journal Irish Birds later this year.
*Added on 10/02/21* New Accreditations Awarded to 11 Irish Museums
Eleven museums have received accreditation under the prestigious Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) from the Heritage Council. It comes as the sector prepares a fightback against the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The certificates were presented at a special online ceremony on 3rd February 2021.
Selection under the MSPI is seen as a major accolade in the sector. The programme was established by the Council to benchmark and promote professional standards. Factors taken into account include how museums care for their collections and visitors, as well as governance and management standards and their education and exhibition programmes. The programme is now in its 13th year, and since its inception a total of 43 museums have received full accreditation. In total, 118 Certificates have been awarded.
Award-winners range from well-known National Cultural Institutions such as the Chester Beatty Library, as well as museums run by local authorities, national organisations, universities and small volunteer groups. Museums from Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Limerick, Kildare, Waterford and Carlow are among those who received an accolade.
“As we face the immediate and long-term impact of Covid-19, it is crucial that museums strengthen their ability to support Ireland’s future recovery. These awards will no doubt bolster their capacity to do so,” said Gina O’Kelly, Director of Operations of the Irish Museums Association.
There are 200 museums across Ireland, attracting more than 8 million visitors in a normal year. In addition, the sector directly employs more than 1,500 staff, and has 1,000 long-term volunteers. Ms O’Kelly said museums have had to work behind closed doors to find alternative ways to deliver their message. “The Heritage Council’s investment in this scheme is vital for the sector,” she added.
Chief Executive of The Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan, said: “I would like to acknowledge what a very challenging year it has been for the heritage sector. Many of the sites that both bring us joy - and inspire us in equal measure – were closed for much of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Some of the accredited museums have had to change how they do business, thinking up new ways in which to bring heritage to the people through technology. I applaud that ingenuity.”
Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons said: “When we began this programme in 2007, we had 12 participants and 14 sites – we now have 59 participants in 65 sites which is really great to see. This programme is the gold standard for Irish museums. Taking approximately five years to achieve full accreditation (interim accreditation usually after three years), it is a commitment on behalf of the participants.”
The process requires each museum to reach 34 minimum standards across seven areas, including management and governance, collections management, and public or visitor services. The accreditation certificates were awarded in 2020 but last year’s ceremony was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The museums that received accreditation this February are:
- The Glebe House and Gallery, OPW, Co Donegal – Full accreditation.
- The IFI Irish Film Archive, Dublin – Full accreditation.
- Kilmainham Gaol Museum, OPW, Dublin – Full accreditation.
- The Little Museum of Dublin - Full accreditation.
- Fota House, The Irish Heritage Trust, Co Cork – Maintenance of full accreditation.
- The Hunt Museum, Limerick city – Maintenance of full accreditation.
- Shackleton Museum, Co Kildare – Maintenance of full accreditation.
- Waterford Treasures: Bishop’s Palace and Medieval Museum – Maintenance of full accreditation.
- Carlow County Museum – Interim accreditation.
- Cork Public Museum – Interim accreditation.
For further details on the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland, visit the Heritage Council website (www.heritagecouncil.ie).
*Added on 10/02/21* Stories from the Waterside
A new website www.storiesfromthewaterside.ie has been launched to share Stories from the Waterside, collecting stories about people and their connections to water from all around Ireland. As an island nation the sea surrounds us, and our landscape holds an intricate network of natural waters. Our rivers, lakes and coasts are some of our most beautiful places, forever changing with the seasons.
The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) launched the Stories from the Waterside competition during Lockdown in May 2020 in partnership with The Heritage Council and The Heritage Officer Programme, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Waterways Ireland.
The competition seemed to tap into public mood at the time as people reflected on fond memories of places near water and how things used to be. These stories are deep-rooted in Irish mythology, legends, and folklore, having inspired countless stories through the ages. Undoubtedly, nature is at its best where there is water, and these places relate to countless memories and stories. As we continue to change our landscape, many of these stories and tales risk being lost. Stories from the waterside seeks to capture these stories and record them for posterity.
The competition received over 470 stories from people right across the island of Ireland, and even further afield from Irish diaspora. They included water themes involving wildlife, fishing, heritage, traditions, crafts, and ways in which nature can inspire the imagination and replenish one’s sense of wellbeing. This new website is a celebration of these stories and we hope that you, the reader, enjoy them.
A special thanks to all those who took the time to share their wonderful stories, for you have truly captured the value and magic of Ireland’s natural waters. This website will be a valuable resource for future generations to access these stories into the future.
*Added on 05/02/21* Squeeze in a Read on Thursday 25th February 2021
* Update from Cork County Council's Library Service:
On Thursday 25th of February Cork County Council Library & Arts Service is inviting people of all ages to get reading.
Why? Because taking some time for yourself to relax and do the things you enjoy (like reading) is important to look after your mental wellbeing.
Take the pledge to squeeze in a read at www.irelandreads.ie and see how many minutes people all over Ireland will be squeezing in to read on Thursday 25th February.
Follow us on social media for tips on how to up your reading game, book club suggestions, advice for reluctant readers as well as story times, readings and podcasts.
Ireland Reads is a public libraries initiative, in partnership with publishers, booksellers, authors and others under the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ campaign. #SqueezeInARead #IrelandReads
*Added on 05/02/21* Land Development Agency Bill 2021
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has today (5th February 2021) published the Land Development Agency (LDA) Bill 2021. The Bill establishes the LDA on a statutory basis and sets out the core goals of the LDA to undertake strategic land assembly and fully utilise state lands to build affordable homes and sustainable communities.
The Bill, which will be brought through the Oireachtas in this Dáil session, will focus initially on public lands in towns of over 10,000 people. It provides that the LDA will periodically report to Government on public lands which could be suitable for housing or urban development and the Government may direct that such lands be transferred to the LDA. The Bill also provides that the LDA will have first refusal to purchase public lands being put up for sale.
Under the Bill the Minister for Housing will specify an affordability requirement for the delivery of affordable homes for sale or rent on public lands. This affordability requirement can be varied on sites in different areas depending on local housing needs.
The Agency can provide services to local authorities for the development of large scale multi-tenure sites for housing and urban development in urban centres over 30,000. This will assist with the construction of increased social housing on local authority owned sites.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “I am very glad this Bill is now published and look forward to progressing it through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible. Increasing housing supply is a key objective for the Government and the LDA will play a key role in this regard. In response to the pre-legislative scrutiny and by way of amending the initial LDA Bill General Scheme, we have ensured there is greater flexibility on the public lands affordability requirement, more clarity on the transfer of public lands to the LDA including a ‘first refusal’ clause along with appropriate CPO powers for the LDA. There is also a specific commitment to sustainable communities and best environmental practise, while the agency will be subject to FOI and enhanced Oireachtas committee accountability. Local Authorities can transfer lands to the LDA without requiring a council vote, accelerating the process, clearing blockages and driving on development. Ultimately, through this Bill, the LDA will be empowered to provide homes for affordable purchase, cost rental and social housing – another step in the Government’s direction of ‘Housing for All’,” he concluded. The Bill is available to see by clicking here.
*Added on 04/02/21* Irish Georgian Society Grant Scheme 2021
IGS Conservation Grant pledges (2020)
*Added on 03/02/21* Work Begins on Strategic Review of the National Parks and Wildlife Service
A strategic review of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) gets underway today (February 3rd 2021). The review will assess the remit, status and funding of the NPWS division of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in the context of unprecedented ambition for the protection, conservation and restoration of biodiversity in Ireland. It will be led by Dr Jane Stout, Professor in Botany at the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin (Chairperson) and former EPA Director Dr Micheál Ó Cinnéide (Deputy Chair).
The purpose of the review is to appraise the current operational model of the NPWS and to identify any issues, including structure, resourcing, staffing and governance, which need to be addressed in order to better equip the NPWS to meet its operational objectives. The review was a key commitment in the Programme for Government and its recommendations will inform the future development of the NPWS to enable it to support Ireland’s biodiversity objectives in alignment with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and the forthcoming post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, said:
“Ensuring that the National Parks and Wildlife Service is properly resourced, staffed and equipped to lead Ireland’s response to the biodiversity emergency is one of my key priorities as Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform. In 2020, NPWS’s funding was 70% down on what it had been before the financial crisis in 2008. I increased its funding by 80% in Budget 2021, but there is much more to do. The scale of this Government’s ambition for nature is unprecedented, and the recommendations of this strategic review will be critical in enabling us to meet that ambition.”
The review will comprise three phases, including 1) an extensive stakeholder engagement process (both internal and external), 2) an assessment of NPWS capacity, resourcing, staffing, governance and other key operational aspects, and 3) a comparative desktop analysis of resources/structures of similar organisations in other jurisdictions and an overview of the role and responsibilities of other state bodies and their relationship with NPWS.
It is anticipated that the review process will be completed this summer, with publication of the report and its key recommendations to follow. The Terms of Reference will be published in advance of the stakeholder engagement process, which will commence in the coming weeks.
*Added on 03/02/21* DouglassWeek 8th to 14th February 2021
DouglassWeek takes place from 8th - 14th February 2021 as a commemorative event on Frederick Douglass's first visit to Ireland. The Full programme Schedule is now available online - CLICK HERE: https://www.douglassincork.com/schedule
This is the most collaborative assembly of voices on Frederick Douglass and racial discussions to be hosted in Ireland. The organisers request that people make a conscious decision to support, and share this programme with their networks, noting that somebody on the island of Ireland may find this invaluable for their personal, academic, and/or career development.
*Added on 02/02/21* New Graveyard Video from Skibbereen Heritage Centre
The latest graveyard video from Skibbereen Heritage Centre focuses on the medieval graveyard in Drimoleague, and you can now see it on the Heritage Centre website's graveyards page https://skibbheritage.com/graveyard-videos/. This short film gives an overview of an Gorta Mór in Drimoleague, alongside some of the horrific Famine stories relating to this graveyard. The mass grave at the entrance to the graveyard, known locally as 'an poll gorta' was dug as an emergency measure for the hundreds who were dying in Drimoleague during that terrible time. The story of 'The Scorcher' also features – John O'Mahoney was given this name for his prowess on the football field and the local football team are now nicknamed 'The Scorchers' in his honour. John left Drimoleague for France in 1915 after enlisting in the army to fight in World War One. His letters home tell of his injuries and how he missed home as well as mentioning the 'dreadful disease' which was the Spanish 'flu. We also hear the story of the family who found their ancestral grave with its distinctive 'heart-shaped' stone monument, and also learn about the life of Methodist preacher, William Feckman, in whose honour the local Methodist Chapel is named. A short tour of the memorials in this graveyard follows which includes the names Collins, Beamish, Fuller, O'Driscoll, Donoghue, Anglin, Bateman, Sweetnam, Connolly, Cotter, Barry, Jennings and Flynn.
*Added on 02/02/21* Eco Eye Episode Focuses on the Revitalisation of Towns and Villages
Eco Eye on Tuesday 2nd February (RTE One at 7 pm) focuses on revitalising towns and villages and may be of interest to many that recognise the potential of heritage-led development and regeneration for the well-being of our towns and villages. In the programme, Duncan Stewart travels throughout the country to determine how better spatial planning can impact our towns and villages' viability and vitality. He talks to residents, business owners, elected members, and local authority officials. The programme gives an insight into the challenges being faced by rural towns and villages and the efforts to address these by the people on the ground.
*Added on 01/02/21* Cork County Council's Local Studies Section Podcasts
In recent months Cork County Council’s Local Studies Library has been undertaking a range of different podcasts covering many different aspects of history, including a new podcast on St. Brigid with St. Brigid’s Day being the 1st of February. Podcasts range from Christmas Traditions and Witches to Henry Ford’s Cork connection and Genealogy/Family History. To find out more visit https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/library-online/library-podcasts or email email@example.com.
*Added on 01/02/21* Ministers Martin and Humphreys Announce Release of More Historic Records Online
An additional year of historic Births, Marriages and Deaths are now available to view on the website www.irishgenealogy.ie. The records now available online include:
- Birth register records – 1864 to 1920
- Marriage register records – 1845 to 1945
- Death register records – 1864 to 1970
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, T.D., welcomed this latest release:
"This release of register data by the Civil Registration Service is part of the ongoing partnership between my Department and the Department of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands. I know that this annual update is eagerly anticipated and will be of great benefit to anyone carrying out research on their Irish Ancestry".
Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphreys T.D., (which has responsibility for the Civil Registration Service) emphasised:
“I am delighted that the Civil Registration Service has provided another year of historic Birth, Marriage and Death register entries to the www.irishgenealogy.ie website. I trust that this information will be of great use to anyone with an interest in genealogy and may act as a spur to those who would now like to start their own family history research”.
*Added on 01/02/21* Celebrate World Wetlands Day on February 2nd 2021 and Mark 50 Years since the Signing of the Ramsar Convention | Enter the Wetlands Photography Competition
The Irish Ramsar Wetlands Committee invites you to celebrate World Wetlands day on the 2nd February and to mark 50 years since the signing of the Ramsar Convention.
World Wetlands day is a global event to mark the Convention on Wetlands which was signed in Ramsar, Iran on February 2, 1971. The “Ramsar Convention” is an international agreement for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, to which Ireland is a signatory. This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day is Wetlands and Water.
Wetlands and Ireland: A combination of geology and abundant rain has endowed Ireland with an extraordinary array of wetlands covering some 20% of the country. There are many types of wetlands ranging from lakes, rivers, turloughs, bogs and estuaries to fens, marshes, wet woodlands, heaths and machair.
Irish Wetlands and the Ramsar Convention: While many wetlands are protected under EU environmental legislation forty-five of Ireland’s wetlands are Ramsar sites. These sites are internationally important and are part of global network of wetland sites. Irish Ramsar sites include Tralee Bay, Lough Corrib, Pollardstown Fen, Clara Bog and Coole Lough and Garrlyland Wood. Irelands Ramsar sites are important for their variety of wetlands habitats, for wintering and breeding birds and for plants, mammals and invertebrates. They provide vital ecosystem services upon which we depend. See all of Irelands Ramsar sites at Irishwetlands.ie
Wetlands and ecosystem services: Wetlands warrant protection and support in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss. They provide many vital services:
- Wetlands support biodiversity; 40% of all species live or breed in wetlands
- Wetlands store 30% of land – based carbon; vital for climate change mitigation
- Wetlands remove pollutants from circulation.
- Wetlands provide protection from flooding and storms
- Wetlands absorb and store water
- Wetlands provide employment, food and energy.
- Wetlands are places for recreation, culture and leisure.
World Wetlands Day celebrations may be different to previous years but this gives us the opportunity to explore the wetland treasures on our doorstep. Don’t think you have a wetland nearby?... Wetlands come in many forms. They can be small pockets of marshy ground, bog, pool or stream or they can be larger estuaries, lakes, bogs or turloughs. All wetlands ecosystems are vital on their own and as part of a wider wetland complex, linked by surface and ground water and upon which we rely for so many essential services.
To celebrate World Wetlands Day on the 2nd February 2021 and 50 years since the signing of the Ramsar Convention the Irish Ramsar Wetlands Committee and Wetland Surveys Ireland are launching a World Wetlands Day PHOTO COMPETITION. This competition will be launched on February 2nd and photos can be submitted via the Wetland Surveys Ireland Snapshot App until the 31st of May. Prizes include: OPW Family Heritage Cards, Biodiversity Ireland Swatch cards and inclusion in a 2022 Irish Wetlands Calendar.
For World Wetlands Day, why not find and take a picture of your local wetland (or the wildlife you find there) and upload it via the Wetland Snapshot App. This will enter you into the Ramsar and Wetlands Surveys Ireland Photo competition.
Find out more at www.irishwetlands.ie.
*Added on 29/01/21* Identification of Breeding Waterbird Hotspots in Ireland
National Parks and Wildlife has published a recent study titled ‘Identification of Breeding Waterbird Hotspots in Ireland’ by Alan Lauder & Claire Lauder.
This study aims to identify breeding waterbird hotspots using species distribution data combined with scoring criteria based on aspects of each species’ ecology, conservation status and social value. This provides an initial spatial framework with which to identify the most important sites for breeding waterbirds. In turn, this provides a key tool for planning and prioritising the measures needed to address conservation management challenges associated with restoring favourable conservation status to these species. In particular, the targeted management of wetland sites which provide key refugia from which to conserve and potentially restore populations can be well directed by using this framework.
The populations of breeding waterbirds in Ireland have in almost all cases suffered significant declines. This is particularly significant amongst ground-nesting species. Waders in particular have suffered large scale declines. Species such as Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Redshank Tringa totanus and particularly, Curlew Numenius arquata, have seen their numbers and range contract over a long period, but particularly rapid declines have been observed since the 1980s (Balmer et al., 2013; Lauder & Donaghy, 2008, O’Donoghue et al., 2019, Suddaby et al., 2020). The Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland (BoCCI; Colhoun & Cummins, 2013) also documented a wide range of waterbird species moving onto the red and amber lists from formerly more favourable conservation status, including such ubiquitous species as Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Snipe Gallinago gallinago and Mute Swan Cygnus olor. Formerly scarce or rarer breeders are also becoming increasingly vulnerable including Common Scoter Melanitta nigra and Dunlin Calidris alpina (Crowe, 2019). These species illustrate the widespread declines in wetland species across the country.
For the purposes of this study, waterbirds are those defined, by sources including Wetlands International and The Ramsar Convention (see Wetlands International, 2020), as species of birds that are “ecologically dependent upon wetlands” and “are synonymous with waterfowl”. The report can be viewed by visiting IWM129.pdf (npws.ie)
*Added on 29/01/21* Mallow Field Club Journal No. 38
The Mallow Field Club Journal for 2020 is out now. No. 38 in the Series it is a wonderful collection of some fascinating articles, providing great insight into the history and heritage of Mallow Town and surrounds. This Volume features articles on the Killavullen’s Hennessy Family (of Cognac fame); Death in Mallow Town Park, The Hon. Desmond Guinness and Doneraile Court, Milk Processing in Mallow, the Irish Post Box and a suite of other excellent writings. The Journal, which is priced at €15, is available from Philips Bookshop in Mallow.
*Added on 28/01/21* Cruinniú na nÓg - National Call for Applications
Cruinniú na nÓg, Ireland’s national day of free creative activity for children and young people will take place on Saturday 12th June. The Creative Ireland Programme wishes to increase the suite of events and initiatives available, alongside those produced by each local authority. They are seeking applications from individuals/organisations who have the capacity to devise and deliver content and activities for a national (rather than local) audience of children and young people. Closing date for applications: 11th February 2021. To find out application criteria etc go to https://www.creativeireland.gov.ie/app/uploads/2021/01/Call-for-applications-Strategic-partnerships-in-the-delivery-of-Cruinni%C3%BA-na-n%C3%93g-2021-1.pdf
*Added on 25/01/21* New Planning Leaflet Series
A new series of online planning information leaflets which contain practical, accessible information on how the planning system works and explain how best to engage with it, was launched on Friday 22 January 2021 by Peter Burke TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning. The leaflets explain different aspects of the planning system in a clear and concise way. They answer questions and give advice on a range of planning related topics. The purpose of the leaflets is to make the planning system clearer from a public perspective and to inform people how they can participate in it. The leaflets have been produced by the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Minister Burke launched the leaflets at a training webinar today for elected members of local authorities organised by the OPR and the Association of Irish Local Government (AILG). Speaking at the launch, Minister Burke said:
“Proper planning across our communities transforms lives. Look at any place you can think of where people enjoy great quality of life and you will find a place guided by proper planning and sustainable development.
Planning is complex, takes long term vision and commitment to flourish but most of all needs people – ordinary people – to take up its cause and achieve its purpose.
Yet sometimes people see planning as the preserve of experts or their political representatives while struggling to engage with it.
To put the citizen back into the heart of the planning process first takes proper knowledge, information and awareness raising. And we will need that awareness in planning for the rebound from COVID-19 and tackling climate, housing and other issues in how we develop.
That is why today I am launching a series of easy to use information leaflets for the public on the workings of the planning process and the role of the people in that process.
These leaflets are a small but crucial step in the work of the Office of the Planning Regulator established by Government to, amongst other things, enhance public awareness of the benefits of planning and its role in shaping communities for the common good.
Replacing leaflets published by my Department back in the 1990s, the new leaflets produced by the OPR in partnership with my Department and the Irish Planning Institute, will, I believe, be an invaluable tool for the householder thinking of improving their home, the business person in developing their premises or anyone who wants to know more about planning and their role in it.”
The leaflets are entitled:
- Introducing the Planning System
- A Guide to the Development Plan
- A Guide to Planning Permission
- A Guide to Making a Planning Application
- A Guide to Making a Planning Appeal
- A Guide to Planning Enforcement in Ireland
- A Guide to Applying for Planning Permission to Build a House
- A Guide to Doing Work Around the House
- Agricultural and Farm Development-The Planning Issues
- A Guide to Planning for the Business Person
- Environmental Assessments and Planning in Ireland
- A Guide to Architectural Heritage
- Archaeology in the Planning Process
- Strategic Infrastructure Development
The leaflets are available at www.opr.ie/planning-leaflets/. They will also be made available on the websites of local authorities, libraries, and citizen’s information centres.
*Added on 23/01/21* Free 'Know Your Locality' Online Course
The Irish Archaeology Field School, with facilitator Dr Stephen Mandal, are offering a free online course on Tuesday & Thursday from 4-6pm from 16th Feb – 2nd Mar. The tutorials will take you step-by-step through available online sources that will allow you to paint a picture of your home place though its geological, archaeological and historical past. Further details/bookings go to https://iafs.ie/know-your-locality/
*Added on 23/01/21* Nature Activities for Remote Learning
The Biodiversity in Schools team have some nature activities for remote learning that are simple, free, require minimal resources and will encourage your students to get outside and see spring just around the corner. Why not build a log pile or a bird feeder? To find out what you might need to do this go to https://www.biodiversityinschools.com/bugs.html
*Added on 22/01/21* Help Your Sports Club Become More Biodiversity-Friendly
The National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) has launched a new pollinator advice leaflet to support local sports clubs in becoming more pollinator friendly. If you are a member of a sports club please support this initiative and help to strengthen County Cork as a safe place for pollinators. To get some tips on how your club could help save our bees go to https://pollinators.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Pollinator-Sports-Clubs-guide-WEB.pdf
*Added on 22/01/21* Ireland's Blubber Book
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have a new educational resource for young and aspiring marine biologists, Ireland’s Blubber Book; Flukes Junior Vol 1 which is a comprehensive workbook on cetaceans found in Irish waters for primary school children between 9 -12yrs. The book is available to purchase on the IWDG shop at https://iwdg.ie/iwdg-launch-irelands-blubber-book-flukes-junior-vol-1/ They also facilitate virtual workshops and to find out more about the workshops email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Added on 22/01/21* Ministers Hackett and Noonan Join Forces to Conserve the Curlew
Ministers Pippa Hackett and Malcolm Noonan have combined, along with their respective departments, to drive forward plans to conserve the iconic curlew. Yesterday, Minister Noonan’s National Parks and Wildlife Service advertised for 30 contractors to work with the Curlew Conservation Programme, with the intention that the work would start immediately.
The Curlew Conservation Programme is primarily run and funded by the NPWS, which is under Minister Noonan’s remit, but an extra injection of money from the Department of Agriculture has enabled the field officers to be put in place earlier in the year than would otherwise have been the case.
Referring to the immediate recruitment drive, Minister Hackett said: ‘I am delighted to be supporting this initiative, which allows for people to begin work earlier in the year, because we need people in place now. The pre-season period from mid-January to March is crucial and this early hiring means that in advance of the breeding season, Field Officers will be able to come on board and lay the foundations for the year ahead with local landowners and communities.
Emphasising just how important it is to do that and devote resources to the conservation effort Minister Noonan added, “I warmly welcome this partnership between my own Department and Minister Hackett’s. The situation for Curlew is one of the most difficult and pressing conservation concerns of our time: we’ve seen a 96% decline of breeding Curlew since the late 1980s/early 1990s, and it is now threatened with extinction. I’m heartened to see early signs that the vital collaboration between the Curlew Action Teams, local farmers and communities is already benefitting its conservation. This funding will allow us to strengthen that collaboration and work together to protect this iconic and much-loved bird.”
The Curlew Conservation Programme, which finds and supports Curlew to rear their young chicks is now in its fifth season. It was established by the National Parks & Wildlife Service in 2017, with the Department of Agriculture coming on board as partners in 2020. The joint funding package this year will amount to €500,000.
Minister Hackett spoke of added value, the partnership brings however when she said, “My Department is already helping curlew conservation through locally led schemes and also through our flagship environmental scheme GLAS but this cooperation goes beyond funding. It also means that Curlew Advisory Officers will engage with existing GLAS Advisors who have developed GLAS Curlew plans. This will upskill advisors who operate in Curlew areas and will pave the way for future relations between agri-environmental advisors and specialist advisors. Such joined up efforts are essential as we look to farmers and landowners to protect our last curlew. They hold the future in their hands and I know they are ready to make positive changes for nature when provided with specialist support and advice.”
Minister Noonan agreed saying, “The Curlew is a link with the wild Ireland of past generations, and the farmers and landowners who support our remaining breeding populations of Curlew are vital to its future. I hope that this funding will further the important work already undertaken by them in conjunction with the Curlew Conservation Programme, and help to ensure that the beautiful and unique cry of the Curlew will continue to be a part of the soundscape of the Irish countryside for many years to come.”
*Added on 21/01/21* Lissarda Ambush Centenary Exhibition Goes Online
Update from Independence Museum Kilmurry:
As the museum is closed due to Covid 19 regulations we have scanned all documents in respect of the above exhibition and these can now be viewed online on our website.
The information is set out as per actual exhibition detailing the Volunteers, Safe houses, Cumann na mban, Lissarda village, RIC etc.
We hope you will share this with your family, colleagues and friends. A virtual viewing is our only option at the moment and you may know people who did not get a chance to visit and see the exhibition whilst it was opened.
Th exhibition received support from Cork County Council in 2020 under the County Cork Commemorations Grant Scheme.
*Added on 19/01/21* 'Oral History Network of Ireland
The latest update from the Oral History Network of Ireland:
‘Happy New Year! I hope that you’re all enjoying a good start to 2021. I’m writing to update you on our activities and share details of our upcoming events.
We are now accepting new memberships and renewals for 2021. We have four categories of membership: individual, concessionary, group and institutional. Membership runs for a calendar year, i.e. until 31 December 2021. For full details of pricing and membership benefits, please see our website.
We believe that, given the current restrictions, it is in the best interests of our members that we deliver our events online for the foreseeable future. We will resume face-to-face events and hopefully see you all again in person as soon as it is safe to do so. The first training session of the year is our ‘Oral History Basics’ workshop, which will take place from 10am-12:30pm on Saturday 20 February. Further information and registration details are available here. In April we will also host our ‘Ethics and Oral History’ workshop, full details of which will be announced shortly. We are also happy to run training courses on request for groups or organisations. Please contact us to discuss available dates and costs.
On Tuesday 23 March, we will host a free networking event to celebrate OHNI’s 10th birthday and to launch our brand-new website. We will circulate registration details for this event in the coming weeks – make sure that you have your party hats and balloons at the ready!
Our annual conference, titled ‘Storytelling and Oral History’ will take place from 18-19 June. We hope to include a range of interactive sessions and workshops – details for submissions and registrations will be circulated in due course.
2020 Annual Lecture
In December, we were honoured to welcome Siobhán McHugh to present our fourth annual lecture titled ‘The Poetry of Podcasting: Emphasising the Oral in Oral History’. The event was well attended and Siobhán offered a fascinating insight into turning audio interviews into podcasts and using sound to create narrative. A recording of the lecture can be found here.
We always welcome suggestions or feedback you might have for new or different events. We also appreciate any feedback you might have for us more generally. Please do get in touch with us via email@example.com or through our Facebook and Twitter.’
*Added on 19/01/21* '40 Days and 40 Nights' - A Creative Exploration of the Effects of Climate Change on Flooding in Cork County
"“40 Days and 40 Nights” is part audio artwork part audio documentary and took its inspiration from, and is, an exploration of the effects of climate change on flooding in County Cork. Undertaken by composer Ian Wilson, it includes interviews with people - mainly Cork-based - who have knowledge of the causes of flooding (climatologists, meteorologists); who are working to mitigate them (engineers), and who have direct experience of flooding (e.g. business- and home-owners) in order to build up a clear picture of cause and effect as well as obtain ideas about what can be done to mitigate or avert future flooding events.
Fragments of the interviews are an essential part of the audio work, which also includes field recordings. The soundtrack was mixed, processed and edited to make a musicalized element which ‘plays’ with its component parts in order to avoid being ‘only’ an informative audio document. Rather, this musicalized component is intended to be stimulating to ear and brain through the way it presents its narrative elements through use of repetition, sound processing, and how it combines different recorded elements. Funded through Cork County Council as part of the Creative Ireland Programme, ’40 Days and 40 Nights’ can be listened to at: https://soundcloud.com/wilsonkul/40-days-and-40-nights-1
*Added on 18/01/21* Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards 2021
Farming for Nature is a national initiative which highlights the positive role that farmers can play in looking after nature on their land and which shares – through short films, podcasts and farm walks - the invaluable, practical insights gained by these farmers in tackling our biodiversity crisis. Now in its 4th year, Farming For Nature has grown to an active network of wonderful, eloquent Ambassadors who are inspiring many other farmers across Ireland to be more aware of nature on their land. The project wants to further expand this network in 2021 and are seeking nominations of farmers who are going that extra mile for nature.
So do you know of any farmer or farm family who you feel would make a great Ambassador for Farming for Nature? Well, this is your opportunity to get a nomination in and let those farmers know that you really do appreciate their work. The Farming for Nature Awards 2021 nomination process is closing next week on the 24th January 2021 at midnight. We are looking for nominations of farmers and farm families who are doing great things for nature on their land while farming in an economically and socially progressive way. Farmers who are proud of what they do and why they do it, and who are happy to share their story with others.
For more information go to www.farmingfornature.ie or contact Brigid on firstname.lastname@example.org
*Added on 12/01/21* Arts Funding Opportunities announced for Cork County in 2021
Cork County Council has announced details of its 2021 funding for the Arts. Within its general call for proposals, there are four strands available including the Arts Grant Scheme, the Artists in Schools Scheme and Irish Language Arts, as well as Artists’ Funding Schemes, which are open to solely to practicing artists and include the Artists’ Creative Bursary, International Touring and Exhibition, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary and the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Bursary.
The Council funding supports a wide range of arts activity, including opportunities for arts organisations, festivals, community groups, schools and artists seeking funding for projects in the coming year.
Specially targeted funding strands will support the development of arts through the Irish Language, artists working in schools and a set of support schemes for professional artists of all disciplines, to include funding for new work, develop international opportunities or for time for reflection and new work.
Announcing details of the funding, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said,
“The Arts play a vital role in community life in Cork County. In recognition of this, each year Cork County Council provides funding for Arts from its own resources. This funding supports a wide range of activity such as festivals, performances, exhibitions and other publicly accessible cultural programming across the County. Our funding also supports many voluntary arts organisations who work in the heart of our communities to share the benefits of creativity. Regardless of age or ability, everyone should have access to enjoy positive creative activity in their local settings.”
Applications open on Friday, 18th December on www.YourCouncil.ie and close on Friday, January 22nd, 2021.
*Added on 12/01/21* New U.C.C. Course - Mapping Heritage
There is a new 8 week online course on Mapping Heritage that is bring delivered by Dr. Ronan Hennessy through the UCC Adult and Continuing Education programme this year. The course commences on Wed January 27th 2021 and runs on Wednesday evenings for 8 weeks. The course is open to participants throughout Ireland. The closing date for applications is Monday January 18th 2021 and for Course information visit: https://www.ucc.ie/en/ace/courses/shortcourses/mappingourplaceinsightsandskillsformappingourheritagenew/
*Added on 11/01/21* Farming for Nature Jan/Feb 2021 Newsletter
Happy New Year to all our readers and welcome to the January-February edition of the Farming for Nature Newsletter. It’s been a bright, cold start to 2021, a welcome respite from the clouds and rain, but the kind of weather that brings its own challenges from icy roads to frozen pipes and water troughs. Here at Farming for Nature we are really looking forward to 2021, to continuing our exciting journey with our terrific ambassadors and to adding some ‘new recruits’ to the network. Pandemic-permitting we have plans for a fascinating series of farm walks this year, but even during the coming weeks of lockdown we have a great line up of virtual events and many new on-line resources to share.
The Farming for Nature initiative was established to help acknowledge and support those farmers who farm, or wish to farm, in a way that improves the natural health of our countryside. It was set up by people with a genuine interest in the wellbeing of our rural landscapes, many of whom work on a voluntary basis to build up this network and profile the good practices that are happening across the country. There are ways in which we can all get involved in this initiative, so please read on and see what you can do.
The Jan/Feb Newsletter contains some great information including details of the 2021 Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards which is now open as well as details of upcoming online talks including:
- 25th January 2021 Horticulture, beef and soil fertility with Cork farmer Patrick Frankel. Register HERE
- 22nd February 2021 Crop diversity and no till with Cork farmer Thomas Fouhy. Register HERE
To view the Jan/Feb Farming for Nature newsletter click on the following link - View our most recent newsletter here - Farming for Nature
*Added on 08/01/21* Cork's WWI Ex-Servicemen and Their Memorials 1917 - 1925
This book, by Author Jean Prendergast, tells the history of Cork's WW1 Veterans and their Memorials from the foundation of the Cork Branch of the Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors' and Soldiers' Association in 1917 to the unveiling of the WW1 Memorial on the South Mall in 1925. During this tumultuous time, Cork's WW1 Veterans navigated the end of the War, the War of Independence and the Civil War and local politics in Cork and also managed to erect permanent memorials to their fallen comrades in Ypres and in Cork. The Munster Memorial in Ypres, in Belgium, was one of their achievements, a fact which remains unknown in Ireland and in Belgium where the memorial is often mistaken for a memorial to the Royal Munster Fusiliers. In Cork, the WW1 War Memorial, or Cenotaph, in the South Mall is very much the ‘hidden in plain sight’ public sculpture in the city. This book reveals the story of both memorials and the story of the men behind them. It is available on AMAZON.
*Added on 08/01/21* Historic Buildings of Ireland Advice Publication
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has published a guide to help those who own or are custodians of Irish historic buildings in the event of a disaster. It offers guidance and advice to prevent and prepare for such an event. To download a free pdf of the advice go to https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/app/uploads/2020/12/Disaster-A-guide-to-preparedness.pdf
*Added on 08/01/21* Garden Bird Survey
Birdwatch Ireland want to remind you that you can still be a part of their Garden Bird Survey which will continue right through till the end of February 2021. Over 1000 gardens take part each year and taking part is fun, easy and an ideal way to get to know your garden birds better. Further details https://birdwatchireland.ie/our-work/surveys-research/research-surveys/irish-garden-bird-survey/
*Added on 08/01/21* Cork County Council Announces €1.8m Fund for Community and Voluntary Groups
Following a challenging year for the community and voluntary sector, Cork County Council is delighted to announce funding to the value of over €1.8million to support local communities in 2021. The Council’s Community Fund Scheme provides financial support to a range of groups and organisations right across the county and will open for applications on Monday, January 11th.
The scheme is administered locally by the Council’s eight Municipal Districts and provides financial assistance to a wide variety of community, sporting and voluntary organisations under three distinctive fund types; the Capital Fund, Community Contract and the Amenity Fund. Each year, these funding schemes support a range of projects and initiatives, such as supporting the work of Tidy Towns groups and Community Associations, as well as providing much needed assistance for local infrastructural works and sports and leisure facilities.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley, welcomed the announcement of the 2021 fund, noting that Cork communities have demonstrated huge resilience and innovation over the past year,
“I am continually impressed by the works carried out by community groups under this scheme. The Council’s Community Fund supports many worthwhile projects and initiatives every year and I am delighted to announce that this support will continue in 2021. This year’s fund will be a lifeline to many groups, following the many challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed for our communities”.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, noted that this is Cork County Council’s seventh year providing the Community Fund Scheme,
“In 2021 we are making over €1.8million available to communities through our General Municipal Allocation. Cork County Council’s annual commitment to supporting community and voluntary groups across the county has never been more important. I am delighted to confirm that despite the challenges of Covid-19, we are able to continue to provide significant financial support to our communities this year and in doing so, a welcome boost for our towns and villages”.
Application details and guidelines for the scheme will be available online at www.yourcouncil.ie from Monday January 11th 2021 and will close at 4pm on Friday February 19th 2021. Further information is available in the Guidelines for The 2021 Community Fund.
*Added on 08/01/21* Heritage Council Community Grant Scheme 2021
The Heritage Council has confirmed that their very popular Community Grant Scheme will go ahead in 2021 and will be advertised in March.
*Added on 18/12/20* New Irish Walled Towns Network Ezine
The Cork School Gardens Competition is an initiative of the Cork Federation of Muintir na Tíre and supported by Cork County Council; Cork City CouThe Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) has a membership of over two dozen towns throughout the island of Ireland (North, South, East and West) and includes 4 towns in Cork. Three of these are in Cork County – Bandon, Buttevant and Youghal – and Cork City is also part of the Network. The Irish Walled Towns Network over the last number of years has supported a range of different projects and undertakings, including here in the County of Cork. To further promote the work of the ITWN, a new Ezine, to be released every two months henceforth, has been embarked upon, with the very first issue just released. The first edition features articles on archaeological reconstruction drawings; impact scarring on town walls and further news about the network. Issue One can be viewed by clicking here .
*Added on 18/12/20* Archaeological Heritage of County Cork
Cork County Council has launched the 8th instalment of its heritage publication series “The Archaeological Heritage of County Cork”. This publication draws from the wealth of knowledge of community groups countywide, whose submissions were assembled and enriched by the expertise of the former Director of the Cork Archaeological Survey, Denis Power.
The publication takes readers on a journey of archaeological sites throughout the County, ranging from stone circles and standing stones, to ringforts, castles, lime kilns and many more, documenting millennia of human life in Cork County.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the publication saying;
“This wonderful insight into our rich shared heritage is made possible by countless community groups throughout the County who provided over 75 submissions for this publication. Their photographs, writings and local knowledge are central to the completed work and reflect the irreplaceable value of community work in preserving, restoring and interpreting our built and cultural heritage.”
*Added on 18/12/20* Cork School Gardens Competition Video
The Cork School Gardens Competition is an initiative of the Cork Federation of Muintir na Tíre and supported by Cork County Council; Cork City Council and Griffins Garden Centre, Dripsey. While the competition did not take place in 2020 due to Covid-19 a promotional video has been undertaken, with support from the Creative Ireland Programme, to highlight the competition and to encourage schools to get involved in 2021 and in subsequent years. There will be more on the 2021 competition early next year with thanks to Muintir na Tíre and in the meantime the 2020 video can be viewed on Cork County Council’s YouTube channel by clicking here.
*Added on 16/12/20* The War of Independence West Cork Trail
Cork County Council’s Michael Collins House has launched an all new heritage guide; ‘The War of Independence West Cork Trail'. The guide, which is available in print and online, details the key West Cork sites associated with the Irish War of Independence.
The trail was researched and compiled by Michael Collins House Museum, Clonakilty as part of its centenary commemorative programme for the Irish War of Independence in West Cork. Taking into account the seven different 1920 IRA battalion areas of Bandon, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Schull, Bantry, Castletownbere and Dunmanway the trail highlights some of the key events and sites in each area giving participants an overall view and understanding of the war for which the ‘Rebel County’ is well known.
West Cork was one of the most active regions in the Irish War of Independence, with many events of local and national importance taking place here. The “War of Independence Trail” aims to highlight some of the related sites and memorials, while providing a guide for both locals and visitors to the region. Encouraging viewers to engage with the fascinating revolutionary heritage of West Cork, the trail leads participants around some of the lesser known but nonetheless historically important and beautiful sites in the region. A printed leaflet and map are available throughout Cork County Council’s library network and other heritage attractions. An online version with even more information, sites and interactive maps is available on www.michaelcollinshouse.ie or through the Michael Collins House App.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the new guide saying,
“This is a fantastic resource for history and heritage enthusiasts, guiding visitors and West Cork natives to the sites of events which would change this nation’s history and the fate of an empire. Cork County is a proud home to rich cultural and historical heritage, and this guide from Michael Collins House meets the Council’s goals in promoting and sharing that heritage. The ‘The War of Independence West Cork Trail' highlights not just the history of events, but the tireless work of generations of historians which ensures that we can continue to learn from our history and share it with the world.”
*Added on 16/12/20* Republication of the Late Siobhán Lankford's Book: The Hope and the Sadness
Siobhán Lankford’s book, The Hope and The Sadness, first published in 1980, is her personal recollection of a long and varied life. By the outbreak of WW1 she was working in Mallow Post Office, well placed to observe life around her in a town that was an important military and police centre, a railway junction, a point on the main cable and telegraph routes and home to a strong loyalist population. By the time news of the Easter Rising in Dublin spread around the town, Siobhán was already familiar with the activities of the Volunteers in Cork and Mallow and she was soon recruited into the intelligence network organized by Tomás MacCurtain. Her story then becomes the personal testimony of a woman who served as an Intelligence Officer with the Volunteers at local level in Cork during the revolutionary period, 1916-23, with an effectiveness that frequently impacted on decisions made at national level.
The Epilogue in this edition, written by her son, Doctor Éamon Lankford, gives an account of the author’s later life as Materfamilias and cultural nationalist who engaged productively into her old age with the cultural life of Cork City.
An appendix detailing the author’s protracted dealings with The Military Pensions Board shows how a strategic, courageous Intelligence Officer became a lost woman in the male-dominated bureaucracy of the new Irish State.
*Added on 16/12/20* Funding of €50,000 Announced for every Local Authority in 2021 under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries Programme
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., today announced funding of €1.75 million for local authorities in 2021 to support their leading role in developing community-led commemorative activities for the final phase of the Decade of Centenaries Programme. €50,000 will be allocated to every Local Authority to support their plans for 2021. A further €200k is available for those local authorities who have any additional requirements in relation to specific centenary events and other larger projects.
Speaking today, Minister Martin said: ‘I want to sincerely thank all of the local authorities for responding with such enthusiasm, ambition and imagination in developing their commemorative programmes for this year. I know that it took considerable work to adapt their plans so skilfully in response to the immense challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The final phase of the Decade of Centenaries (2021 – 2023) recalls some of the most significant, traumatic and deeply personal events in our shared history, including the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, Partition and foundation of Northern Ireland. The thoughtful and careful approach of our local authorities will have a key role in supporting the national conversation and respectful public engagement with this period in our history.
I plan to continue the collaborative approach between the State, local authorities, and local communities, which has worked so well to date, to ensure that these challenging and sensitive events in our shared history are remembered in an inclusive, measured, and balanced manner.
This funding package represents a significant increase on previous years and shows the confidence and trust we have in our local authority partners to deliver thought provoking and imaginative initiatives in 2021. I have asked local authorities to allocate at least €15,000 from this 2021 funding to support artistic and creative endeavours. I hope that the work of artists and creative practitioners will provide a platform to encourage and support reflection and shared remembrance of this very difficult period in our history’.
*Added on 16/12/20* Heritage Sector Support Fund
The Heritage Council’s Heritage Sector Support fund is now OPEN for applications. The scheme aims to support not for profit, heritage-focused organisations to deliver programmes that contribute to heritage priorities at a national level.
Who can apply: Not for profit, heritage-focused organisations with a demonstrated national relevance.
Please note: a separate grant scheme for Community organisations, will be announced in early 2021.
Full details at https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding/heritage-sector-support-fund-2021
*Added on 16/12/20* EPA Publishes 7th State of the Environment Report
The EPA has recently published its seventh state of the environment report. The aim of the report is to provide an overview of the current condition of Ireland’s environment and whether it is getting better or worse.
The report covers climate, air, noise, soil and land cover, nature and the freshwater and marine environment; and integrated assessments covering waste, the economy/industry, transport, energy, agriculture and the interactions between the environment and human health and wellbeing. The report found that almost 90% of our energy is generated from fossil fuels giving rise to greenhouse gases; air quality in some urban areas doesn’t meet WHO standards; nature and habitats are being damaged (85% of EU listed habitats are in unfavourable condition) and wetland bird species, such as curlew, are under threat as a breeding species.
In addition, raw sewage is being discharged to water from 35 towns and villages; pristine river water quality is being lost (from over 500 areas in the 80s to just 20 in 2020); nutrient concentrations in rivers and nutrient inputs to the marine environment are increasing; more than one million tonnes of food waste is generated each year in Ireland and littering remains a problem. Whilst the report does show Ireland going in the wrong direction, there are positives in the report that point towards what can be achieved at a local level in many areas.
The overarching message from the report is that system-wide change is now needed in how we look after our environment.
The fully report can be viewed at: https://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/indicators/04654-EPA-SoE-Report-2020-Proof-26-FINAL.pdf
*Added on 15/12/20* Water Quality in 2019 - An Indicators Report
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published the Water Quality Indicators Report 2019 which provides an assessment on Ireland’s surface water and groundwater quality.
- Just over half of Irish surface waters are in a satisfactory condition.
- Nutrient concentrations in waters are too high and the trends are going in the wrong direction.
- Nitrate concentrations are now increasing in nearly half of our river and groundwater sites.
- Phosphate levels are increasing in a quarter of river sites.
- Concentrations of nitrate are highest in the south and south east of the country where the main source is agriculture.
- Delivering on the key objectives of Ireland’s River Basin Management Plan and targeted action at local water catchment level is key to improving water quality.
The main threat to water quality is the presence of too much nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which come primarily from agriculture and waste water. Over one third of rivers, and a quarter of lakes are failing to meet their environmental quality standards for nutrients. Over one fifth of our groundwater, estuarine and coastal water bodies have high nitrogen concentrations.
Just over half of rivers and lakes are in high or good biological quality. The rivers surveyed in 2019 have shown more improvements than declines overall, which is welcome, however further action is needed to return waters to a satisfactory condition.
The report is available on the EPA website and the accompanying data used in the water quality assessments are available on www.catchments.ie An infographic is also available. This report provides an update on the quality of water in Ireland’s rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal waters and groundwater using information collected in 2019.
*Added on 15/12/20* Online Talk by Catryn Power - The Skeletons in My Closet - Zoom - December 16th 2020 8-9pm
Following a degree in Archaeology and postgraduate work in Dental Anthropology, Catryn trained in further skeletal studies abroad, in the Smithsonian, in Washington, in Brest, and in England. She was one of a small unit set up in University College Cork to carry out post excavation analysis of human and animal bones in the 1980's. Catryn taught probably the first physical anthropology courses for archaeologists in Ireland and she called it Palaeodemography, which was a unique course worldwide. Having taught this course for eighteen years she used the skeletal remains which she worked on to teach the archaeology students. They learned excavation of skeletons, forensic anthropology, epidemiology, palaeopathology, etc. When she moved roles to become Cork County Archaeologist, she continued to examine skeletal and cremated remains in her free time. There were a couple of experts in Ireland examining human remains from archaeological sites in the 1980's and early 1990's. Many Universities worldwide teach those very popular subjects now.
Catryn having examined a few thousand skeletons from all periods from the Island of Ireland has at this stage published about sixty reports/papers, many on human remains. She has also carried out forensic examinations for the Gardaí and cremations are another expertise which she has studied. She has examined well known sites such as Neolithic Knowth and Fourknocks, Early Medieval Downpatrick's Cathedral Hill, the Vikings and Anglo-Norman remains from Wood Quay and Waterford, and the medieval Dominican Priory at Crosses Green from Cork City (to name but a few).
Catryn has determined cause of death for some of these individuals, also familial relationships, diseases such as infections and degenerative diseases as well as injuries etc.
Hosted by Trasna na Tíre and taking place on December 16th 2020 from 20:00 to 21:00.
Join via Zoom ID 384 406 666
*Added on 14/12/20* Christmas Traditions of Cork - by the Local Studies Department of Cork County Council's Library and Arts Service
Cork County, containing a city, towns of various sizes, and remote peninsular areas has a corresponding diversity of Christmas traditions. This podcast offers a representative selection varying from the amusing to the intensely moving, and reflects the wealth of information on the subject in the holdings of the Reference & Local Department at Cork County Library. Podcast developed and recorded by Cork County Council’s Local Studies Department and available to listen at https://soundcloud.com/user-500658861/christmas-traditions-of-cork
*Added on 13/12/20* Bandon Historical Journal No. 37 Out Now
‘The new Bandon Historical Journal for 2021 is now available in Bandon Books, Hickeys, O'Farrells, O'Donovans, Kevin O'Leary and Billy Cahalanes for just €10. This is an ideal christmas stocking filler. This years journal is a must have as it covers detailed accounts of the troubles and tragedies from 100 years ago. It features poetry, photographs and covers a range of subjects from near and far. Grab your copy the next time your in Bandon’ – Cumann Seanchais na Banndan
*Added on 13/12/20* Historic Town Initiative 2021
A total of €1.5 million has been allocated for the heritage-led regeneration of towns around the country in 2021, and will be particularly welcome by urban areas hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the launch of the scheme, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, TD, said ‘I am delighted to launch another year of the Historic Towns Initiative, which will support the regeneration of even more Irish historic towns. This Initiative will make €1.5 million available to a number of towns which will in turn help drive investment and renewal. Heritage-led regeneration can breathe new life into a town, helping to provide an attractive environment where people can live and work. The renewed vibrancy in the heart of a town brings its own economic benefits as footfall and visitor numbers increase and new light shines into once-vacant commercial and residential premises.”
The Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2021 is a joint undertaking by the Department of Husing, Local Government and Heritage and the Heritage Council and to date, a total of 18 towns have benefitted under the scheme with a variety of projects funded over the past three years.
Commenting on the Historic Towns Initiative, Chairman of the Heritage Council, Mr Michael Parsons said: “Programmes such as this rely on the strength of local communities and businesses in caring for their historic town. With support from local and national government we can use heritage to improve the quality of life in all in our historic towns.”
Virginia Teehan, Heritage Council CEO, said: “This blending of the old and the new is a key factor in the regeneration of our towns. and this initiative clearly fulfils this objective. Over the past year there have been some outstanding examples where the fusion of community effort, coupled with expertise in the heritage field, have come together with a common purpose. We are confident that in the coming year, we will see further examples of projects and initiatives, which improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, while at the same time preserving the integrity of our past.
A town seeking to benefit from the Historic Towns Initiative should possess significant cultural and heritage assets and have an indicative minimum population of 1,500 inhabitants.
The HTI 2021 is open for applications from local authorities and funding applications must be submitted via the Heritage Council’s online grants system. The closing date is 5th February 2020. For more information about the Historic Towns Initiative visit https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/projects/historic-towns-initiative and please note that Assessment criteria can be accessed at https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding/historic-towns-initiative-2021
*Added on 09/12/20* Finding Solace in Nature
Biodiversity Ireland have confirmed a big increase in biological recording during 2020 with over 160,000 records through their system. To find out more about this and how you can help go to https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Biodiversity-Ireland-Issue-20_WEB.pdf?fbclid=IwAR04zHN0mBCOgZphYt9s7dbAIUg4gvqp0owHwSf84ZjCJJseb_5RgjCJqtM
*Added on 06/12/20* The Community Water Development Fund is now open for 2021
The Community Water Development Fund aims to support the delivery of local projects and initiatives to address the major issues of water quality, biodiversity loss and climate change. The fund is administered by the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and is available to all community and voluntary groups. LAWPRO opened the 2021 fund on Saturday 28 November at the annual seminar of Irish Rivers Trusts and Catchment Groups. That seminar saw 246 people gather from across the whole of Ireland to share knowledge and experiences of ‘Communities Caring for Water’. Speaking at the event Sheevaun Thompson, Funding lead with LAWPRO said “demand for the Community Water Development Fund has increased year on year since it was first launched in 2018 and it is exciting to announce that the fund has been increased to €360,000 in 2021, up from €225,000 in 2020. This will allow LAWPRO to support even more locally led community projects next year.” A link to a recording of the seminar is available at www.lawaters.ie. For the 2021 Open Call, applicants are asked to complete the application form online and in conjunction with the guidelines provided online at www.lawaters.ie. Closing date for receipt of applications is Tuesday9 February 2021 at 12 noon and types of projects considered for funding will include:
- Capital projects such as: wildlife conservation and restoration of habitat; natural flood mitigation measures; fish passage projects; invasive species control, tree planting, rain garden and Nature Based Solutions, etc.
- Awareness raising and information initiatives, such as videos and publications.
- Projects that promote public awareness/education and events such as biodiversity days, surveys, training workshops, surveys and plans, water conservation initiatives, Citizen Science, etc.
- Community benefit and amenity such as: beach clean-ups, improving amenity areas, bird watching facilities, etc.
Grants awarded will range from €500 to €5,000; up to €10,000 and up to €25,000. If you experience any technical difficulties on the website or need advice contact Sheevaun Thompson, Funding Lead, Local Authority Waters Programme at 087 2436804, email email@example.com or at Facebook.com/LAWPROteam. Pictured above is Milford Tidy Towns and their new River Deel Biodiversity Sign.
*Added on 06/12/20* Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage Lectures (via Zoom)
Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage is pleased to announce that they will be hosting a number of lectures online (by Zoom webinar) over the winter and spring, until such time as they will be able to hold lectures safely in the Parish Centre once more. Pre-registration will be required for all lectures. The first lecture is by Colum Cronin of Coppeen Heritage who recently produced the very interesting and successful film documentary, ‘Kilmichael Ambush – A Story of a Century’, to mark the centenary of the Kilmichael ambush. This talk takes place on Thursday 10th at 8pm and if you are interested register immediately as numbers are limited – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*Added on 05/12/20* A Centenary publication for the town name Cobh
In July 1920, Queenstown in Cork Harbour was renamed as Cobh – a historic occasion in the town. One hundred years later, while Covid-19 prevented the holding of a large gathering, the Cobh Commemorations Committee no less undertook a bespoke publication to mark the occasion. Featuring a foreword by Gabriel Doherty, School of History, U.C.C. and wonderful articles by such historians as Anne McSweeney, John Hennessy, Paul O’Sullivan and Kieran McCarthy the publication is a fascinating insight into this important aspect of Irish history. The publication is available in numerous outlets throughout Cobh and has been supported by Cork County Council through its Commemorations Committee. A digital version is also available online
*Added on 05/12/20* Youghal Celebrates History - The Pandemic Lectures (via Zoom)
Youghal Celebrates History is renowned for their annual conferences and the great talks and lectures they have each and every year. While physical lectures are not possible due to Covid-19, the group has arranged for a series of exciting lectures (online via Zoom) over the coming months. Talks will include ‘The Burning of Cork’; ‘A Virtual Tour of St. Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal’, ‘Florence Newton – the Witch of Youghal’ ‘The Liverpool Irish’ and ‘Images and Impressions of the Blackwater Valley from Past to Present’. Contact Kieran (email@example.com ) if you wish to attend any or all of the talks. A link will then be posted to you the night before each talk. All talks are on Zoom and are free and for further details see the attached schedule of talks by clicking here
*Added on 03/12/20* Ireland's Weather in 2020 indicates Further Evidence of Climate Change
The WMO has published its Provisional Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2020, on what is the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement. It stated that 2020 is on course to be one of the three warmest years on record worldwide. 2011-2020 will be the warmest decade on record. Ireland’s meteorological data for 2020 also provides further evidence of a warming Ireland, according to Met Éireann. 2020 is on course to be the joint ninth warmest year on record in Ireland. Met Éireann analysis of 2020 temperature and rainfall data from Ireland provides evidence of the country’s changing climate:
- 2020 is on course to be the 10th consecutive year with an above normal temperature for Ireland
- 2020 data indicates that 19 of the 20 years of this century have had an above normal temperature
- February was the wettest February in over 50 years with 252% of normal rain falling and 16 of Met Éireann’s core network of 25 stations recorded their wettest February on record
Furthermore, Ireland has felt the impacts of climate change this year:
- Parts of the East had their driest Spring on record. Countrywide, only 58% of normal rainfall fell this Spring
- August’s sustained wind (10-minute mean) and gust (3-second mean) records were broken during Storm Ellen
Commenting on the data, Met Éireann Senior Climatologist Keith Lambkin said: “As the WMO publishes its ‘Provisional Statement of the State of the Global Climate 2020’, it’s an opportunity to reflect on how 2020 compares to Ireland’s normal climate. Extreme weather experienced in Ireland in 2020 is likely to become more common into the future. Our analysis shows a wetter Winter and drier Spring than we have been used to. This pattern is in line with predicted climate change-related trends for Ireland. We saw the impact of such weather on our daily lives this year with the high level of flooding in February, particularly in the Shannon catchment. At the other end of the spectrum, a national hosepipe ban was introduced after parts of the East had its driest Spring on record… By providing the latest climate information and projections, Met Éireann and its partners continue to help Irish society to develop plans to adapt to climate change and future extreme weather.”
This news comes as the WMO outline the stark reality of increasing extreme events due to global warming. Their key messages include:
- 2011-2020 will be the warmest decade on record globally
- Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continued to rise globally, committing the planet to further warming for many generations to come
- 2020 saw a record number of hurricanes in the Atlantic
- Wildfires consumed vast areas in Australia, Siberia, the US West Coast and South America, sending plumes of smoke circumnavigating the globe
- Flooding in parts of Africa and South East Asia led to massive population displacement and undermined food security for millions
As records continue to be broken globally, so too are records being broken in Ireland. The science is complex but the message is simple – to reduce the extremes we must reduce the warming.
*Added on 30/11/20* The Colourful Heritage of County Cork Volume Two
Following the success of Cork County Council’s original ‘The Colourful Heritage of County Cork’ bilingual colouring book, a second volume has now been launched as part of the Council’s ‘Keep Well’ wellbeing campaign.
Volume Two of the popular series features 30 brand new sites from across the county, from Bandon and Buttevant to Kanturk and Youghal. Supported by The Heritage Council and the Creative Ireland Programme, the publication is bilingual in both Irish and English and covers a wide range of culture and heritage, from craft and archaeology to biodiversity and maritime heritage.
Members of the public were invited to contribute drawings of heritage and cultural sites, while the Council also worked with illustrators to complete the latest addition to ‘The Heritage of County Cork’ series, combining culture and heritage with colour and creativity.
Welcoming the publication, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said
“This fantastic publication provides Corkonians near and far, and prospective future visitors, the opportunity to connect with the heritage of Cork County from the comfort of home. Thanks to the amazing public contribution there are illustrations for all ages and abilities, as well as fascinating insights into our heritage. Whether you’re looking for a quiet activity for yourself, or a fun family night, ‘The Colourful Heritage of County Cork Volume Two’ is an excellent companion to switching off, keeping well and staying active during the restrictions.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey noted
“Cork County Council is committed to preserving, promoting and supporting our heritage in all its forms. The size of Cork County means we have a rich diversity of built, natural and cultural heritage to celebrate in our communities. This latest publication will provide a great resource for the people of Cork and future visitors for years to come.”