*Added on 12/12/19* Government Approves Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019

On 14 July 2003, the Official Languages Act 2003 was enacted. This important piece of legislation provided a statutory framework for the delivery of public services through the medium of the Irish language. It obliged Departments of State and public bodies named in the First Schedule of the Act to provide, at a minimum, certain services through the medium of Irish. It also provided for the requirement of those public bodies listed in the First Schedule to prepare a scheme which would set out the services to be provided through Irish.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadker TD and the Government Chief Whip and Minister for State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, on Tuesday 10th December announced that the Cabinet has approved the publication of the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019.

Central to this Bill is the manner in which Irish language services are delivered and in which Irish language speakers are recruited to the public service. The Bill provides for the drawing-up of a formal National Plan identifying gaps in the delivery of public services through Irish and a suite of actions required in order both to fill those gaps and improve service delivery through Irish generally over time.  It will be an overarching objective of the National Plan that 20% of those recruited to the public service should be competent in the Irish language. 

Another significant element of the Bill is the replacement of the existing language scheme regime by the introduction of language standards for categories of public bodies.  In addition, a new requirement will be introduced requiring public bodies to introduce measures to accommodate the Irish language version of a person’s name on their ICT systems.

Speaking at an event organised in Government Buildings to mark the progress made to date in implementing the language planning process, an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

“The publication of the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019 is a big leap forward. It will ensure that Irish speakers can interact with the Government and access public services through a high standard of Irish.  I believe that this legislation will make a big difference to the Irish Language and to the life of the language in this country.” 

Minister of State Sean Kyne, commenting on the announcement today said: ‘I am very pleased that the Cabinet has approved the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019 and I hope to have it presented to Dáil Éireann prior to the Christmas break. I would like to thank An Taoiseach and my colleagues for their continued support in relation to the Bill. I am seeking to ensure that there will be greater oversight of delivery of public services in the Irish language by introducing a new statutory committee, the Irish Language Services Advisory Committee. Central to this new approach will be the establishment within my Department of a new unit dedicated to driving on the implementation of the policy underpinning this new legislation. I expect that these measures will result in a more dynamic approach to increasing the number of Irish speakers in the public sector providing services to the citizen.’


*Added on 12/12/19* Population Recovery for Key Species in Ireland highlighted in new Red List for Mammals 

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has welcomed the new Red List for Mammals for Ireland which highlights the value of monitoring programmes managed by the Department’s National Park and Wildlife Service (NPWS).  The Red List - which assesses the conservation status of Ireland’s terrestrial mammals - shows population improvements for the red squirrel, otter and Leisler’s bat since the last Red List assessment was carried out 10 years ago. At that stage, these three species were considered to be “Near Threatened” due to concerns about population declines. More recent information, and in particular the results of large scale monitoring programmes and national surveys undertaken and funded by the NPWS, demonstrate population recovery. All 25 terrestrial species native to Ireland or naturalised in Ireland before 1500 were included in the Red List assessment. In addition the grey seal and harbour seal, which spend much of their time on land, were also included.  This new Red List provides a full and objective assessment of the extinction risk of these species using the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) conservation status categories. These standardized categories, and the assessment framework that underpins them, are used across the World allowing for direct comparisons with other regional assessment and the global mammal assessments.  They are designed to identify those species most in need of conservation interventions due to their extinction risk. The new Red List for Ireland’s mammals is encouraging.

The car transect bat monitoring programme indicates that Leisler’s bat population has increased by almost 30% since monitoring began in 2004. Ongoing otter surveys have confirmed that this species has recovered from any population declines and is widespread across Ireland. Most recently, work underway in NUI Galway with the support of NPWS and the National Biodiversity Data Centre is showing a remarkable recovery in red squirrel range. These three species have been down-listed from “Near Threatened” to “Least Concern”. While the conclusions of the Red List assessment process are very encouraging, the authors of the publication highlight concerns relating to habitat quality and point to the conclusions of the recent Article 17 report which indicated that many of the natural habitats in Ireland are under threat. The authors also identify areas of mammal ecology in Ireland requiring further research.


*Added on 09/12/19* Mallow Field Club Journal No. 37 Launched 

The very popular Mallow Field Club Journal has been recently launched. Now at no. 37 in the series, it is an absolute treasure trove of local historical information. The journal, this year, contains some great articles covering everything from Countess Markievicz and Annes Grove to Doneraile Park, William O’Brien and Highwaymen in the 18th century on the Cork-Road. Copies are available locally in Mallow for €15 and will be of interest to anyone from the area, and indeed further afield, with an interest in local history and heritage.


*Added on 04/12/19* Innovation and Excellence win Cork County Council 2 National Awards 

Chambers Ireland Economic Dev  Chambers Ireland 2019 Blackwater

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan joined Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey in congratulating the Council’s outstanding success in this year’s Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards.

Seven Cork County Council led initiatives received national recognition in being nominated for the prestigious awards and two of these were declared overall winners in their category.
Blackwater and Creativity in County Cork, which turned a disused building in Fermoy into an integral part of the town’s community, won the Supporting Active Communities Award and the Bridge to Masschallenge, which provided twenty startups with an intensive one week boot camp in Boston, won the Promoting Economic Development Award.

The other nominated initiatives included Teen Talk, A Sound Initiative at Cork County Library & Arts Service, The West Cork Fit-Ups Theatre Festival, the Community Fund Scheme, and Avoncore Estate Regeneration Project.

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan said: “We are very proud of the work we, as a Council, do throughout Cork County. Whether it’s improving quality of life, strengthening communities, enriching our culture and heritage or supporting businesses, we are always looking for ways to innovate for the people of Cork. These nominations and awards speak to the strong partnership that Cork County Council has with communities and we look forward to continuing these close ties to ensure continued growth and success into the future”.

Chief Executive Tim Lucey added: “With seven nominations and two winning entries, Cork County Council has again proven itself as an excellent service provider for individuals, businesses and communities within its remit. Working alongside communities to identify opportunities has been central to our success and this strategy will continue to drive innovation in the Council and in all aspects of life in County Cork”.


*Added on 04/12/19* New Fund Announced: NASC Gaeltachta - to Further Enhance Ties between different Gaeltacht Areas 

The Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, has announced a new fund, NASC Gaeltachta, which will provide additional assistance to those wishing to organise one-off events with the aim of further enhancing ties between different Gaeltacht areas. The newly established NASC Gaeltachta fund - totalling €60,000 per annum, will enable Irish language organisations operating in the Gaeltacht to apply to the Department for current funding of up to €20,000 or 75% of the total admissible cost, whichever is the lesser, to assist them with the organisation of a cultural/arts or sporting event(s), through the medium of Irish. It is envisaged that the fund, which lasts for two years, 2020 and 2021, will cover these types of sporting, entertainment and cultural events (e.g. drama festivals, music, conferences, workshops, etc.). The Minister of State said: “I am delighted to be able to launch this fund. Social and entertainment events organised through Irish, that entice different Gaeltacht communities to come together, are of particular value and importance. Not only do such events benefit the Irish language and the Gaeltacht community, but they also help to attract new visitors to the Gaeltacht areas and allow them to experience the richness of the Gaeltacht culture.” This fund is being established in accordance with the commitment given under Action 2.16 of the Government’s Action Plan for the Irish Language 2018-2022, which was launched in June 2018. In relation to events that might qualify for assistance under the fund for 2020, please note that applications for these must be received by the Department no later than: 20 December 2019. Further information is available at https://www.chg.gov.ie/gaeltacht/the-gaeltacht/language-support-schemes-programmes/nasc-gaeltachta/.


*Added on 04/12/19* Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plans for Biodiversity and Built and Archaeological Heritage 

The Government has recently published the first progress report on the Climate Action Plan, the government’s plan to secure a cleaner, more sustainable, healthier Ireland for future generations. The government also published adaptation plans for 12 key sectors, to ensure that we are prepared for the impact climate disruption is already having in a number of areas and deliver on Ireland’s commitments to help protect the planet.

Ireland’s heritage is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Our heritage lies at the very heart of our nation’s identity. Climate change is predicted to accelerate biodiversity loss; and our monuments and historic buildings, while standing for centuries, are not immune from the impacts. Rising temperatures, more frequent extreme events and sea level rise place habitats, species, monuments, historic buildings and cultural landscapes at risk. These Plans set out the actions needed to protect heritage from the impacts of climate change.

 As part of the efforts to address the climate crisis under the Climate Action Plan, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has prepared two Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plans to address the impacts of climate change on Ireland’s heritage: Bidoviersity and Built & Archaeological Heritage.

The Department’s Adaptation Plans have been written according to the Sectoral Planning Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation produced by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment and have been informed by existing research, and climate-change projections for Ireland. In order to add robustness and to ensure relevance in an Irish context, the two plans have incorporated consultation with experts, stakeholders and the public.

 Speaking of the plans, Minister Josepha Madigan, TD, said: ‘The publication of these two Adaptation Plans is a critical step by my department in leading what must be a joined-up team effort to address the impacts of climate change on our biodiversity and our historic built environment. All of these actions will require collaborative support across government and society. Every one of us is affected by biodiversity loss and the impacts of climate change on our heritage, built and natural, and every one of us must be part of the solution.’


*Added on 04/12/19* Garden Bird Survey Starts this Week 

As the Irish countryside changes, gardens are becoming increasingly important havens for many bird species and it is vital for Birdwatch Ireland to know how their populations are faring. Between December and February each year Birdwatch Ireland ask members of the public to keep note of the highest number of each bird species visiting their garden every week. Taking part is fun, easy and an ideal way to get to know your garden birds. Further details at https://birdwatchireland.ie/our-work/surveys-research/research-surveys/irish-garden-bird-survey/


*Added on 30/11/19* Over €510,000 Funding Approved for non-Gaeltacht Islands 

The Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, has announced his approval of a grant of €490,087 to five Development Bodies based on non-Gaeltacht islands. Moreover, €22,700 has been approved for the umbrella organisation, Comhar na nOileán Teo, to carry out administrative work with regards to this funding. Overall there are nine islands involved in counties Mayo, Galway and Cork. Minister of State Kyne said that he was pleased to make such an announcement.  “I am pleased that I have been able to approve this funding again this year. I would like to be in a position to add to this funding in future once there are resources available for this,” the Minister of State said.


*Added on 26/11/19* Details of Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structures Fund 2020 Announced

Cork County Council in conjunction with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are inviting applications for grant funding under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structure Fund 2020. The Conservation Officer 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. Please note that multiple applications for the same structure under the Historic Structures Fund and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme will not be considered. Applications which must be made in hard copy are to be addressed to the Built Heritage Investment Scheme or Historic Structure Fund, Conservation Office, Floor 3, Planning Department, County Hall, Cork. The deadline for submission of completed applications is 4pm on Thursday 31st January 2020. Late applications and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Applicants are advised to read the relevant Circular to each scheme carefully as these contain important information regarding the purpose and administration of the schemes.


Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2020.

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.


BHIS Circular 2020 - Click here

BHIS Application Form A 2020 - Click here


Historic Structures Fund 2020

The Historic Structures Fund replaces the previous Structures at Risk Fund and will have two Streams:
- 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 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.


HSF Circular 2020 - Click here

HSF Application Form A 2020 - Click here


*Added on 24/11/19* Public Consultation Process Launched for New National Policy for Ireland's Offshore Islands

At a special event on Saturday 23rd Novemvber on Sherkin Island, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D., in conjunction with the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne T.D. launched a consultation process aimed at formulating a new national policy for the future development of the islands.This will be the first cross-Government policy developed for the islands in 23 years and will set a roadmap for the long-term sustainability and development of our offshore communities. The voices and views of islanders will be central to the process. Consultation workshops will be held with island communities over the next three months, allowing local groups and individuals to have a direct input as the policy is developed. The Government believes that our coastal islands are an integral part of our cultural heritage. Sustainable, vibrant communities are the bedrock of our islands, and the new policy will seek to improve the quality of life of these communities, taking into account the unique context of each island. As part of the policy, a system of reporting and review will be developed to promote accountability. Launching the consultation process An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney TD, said: “We have seen significant capital investment on the islands in recent years but we need this consultation to ensure communities are supported in a sustainable way into the future. Our islands are a unique asset and there are many different stories of new industry and tourism that have been successfully developed on some islands. We now need to hear from our island communities on what enterprise, education and unique supports they need.” Minister of State Seán Kyne TD, when addressing the event, added: “I am delighted to launch this important consultation process. The launch marks the first part of a process which will encompass consultation with both island communities and other stakeholders, input from which will feed into a cross-Government national policy for the sustainable development of the islands.  “Over the past 20 years, over €100 million has been invested by the state in capital infrastructure on the islands aimed at implementing the recommendations contained in the last Inter-Departmental Islands Committee. This new process presents both Government and island communities with an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved and to develop plans for a sustainable future over the years ahead.”


*Added on 23/11/19* Minister Madigan Announces New Funding for Crawford Art Gallery, Cork 

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has announced a capital grant of €183,500 for work associated with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. The current Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) plant at the Gallery needs substantial investment to ensure that it will meet the operational requirements for a National Cultural Institution. The Minister noted that the capital grant would enable the Gallery to continue its wide-ranging exhibition programme which has proven so successful with audiences. This capital grant is just one of a number of initiatives between the Department and Crawford. The Minister and her Department have been working in partnership with Crawford Art Gallery in relation to the development of the building as set out in the Department's Project 2040 Plan. During a visit to the Crawford Gallery on November 22nd , the Minister was advised of the upcoming projects for 2020 which include hosting the Zurich Portrait Prize in January next year in collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland in Cork for the first time. This is the first time the exhibition will travel outside Dublin. Crawford Art Gallery is also developing exciting exhibitions to contribute to the decade of centenaries which will look at Ireland’s impact on the world. The Minister noted and welcomed the important role played by the Crawford as the only National Cultural Institution located in its entirety outside Dublin and congratulated them on the success of their Sunday openings and new family friendly schedule which sees the gallery open to the public seven days a week. Minister Madigan express her thanks to the Chair, Ms Rose McHugh, the Board, Ms Mary McCarthy, Director and staff of the Gallery for their ongoing commitment to the Gallery and looked forward to working with them on the continued development of Crawford Art Gallery.


*Added on 12/11/19* 'Clean Up Your Act!' Free Training Workshops on Caring for and Cleaning Monuments and Memorials 


For individuals and community groups interested in the cleaning and caring of archaeological and historic monuments and commemorative memorials, Cork County Council is hosting free one-day training workshops. The training events aim to promote understanding and good conservation practice in relation to cleaning and maintenance of monuments and memorials, with a specific focus on cleaning and caring for carved stone, including headstones, and metalwork.

The workshops will be of interest to heritage, community and Tidy Town groups throughout County Cork. Starting at 10am, each daily workshop will consist of illustrated presentations and talks in the morning and an afternoon presentation of case studies by experienced professional specialists. Refreshments and a light lunch will also be provided. Participants will be encouraged to raise issues and problems that they have encountered in projects of their own and the training workshops will be completed by 4.30pm.

The workshops will be held at the following locations on the following dates: Hibernian Hotel, Mallow (Monday 2nd December 2019); Walter Raleigh Hotel, Youghal (Tuesday 3rd December 2019) and O’Donovan’s Hotel, Clonakilty (Wednesday 4th December 2019).

Attendance is free-of-charge but the number of attendees at each workshop will be limited. Early booking with the workshop organisers (John Cronin & Associates) is recommended. For more information or to make a booking, please telephone John Cronin & Associates on 021 - 421 4368 OR email info@johncronin.ie


*Added on 12/11/19* Details of Heritage Ireland 2030 Public Consultation Submission Analysis 

Analysis of over two thousand submissions received during the 4-month public consultation on the development of a new national heritage plan - Heritage Ireland 2030 - reveals very high levels of heritage awareness and strong demands for greater investment in Ireland’s heritage. The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has announced the release of a detailed analysis of submissions received during the recent Heritage Ireland 2030 public consultation, now available to view on the Department’s website. The Heritage Ireland 2030 public consultation ran from November 2018 until March of this year. The consultation attracted huge interest with over 2,100 written submissions received by the Department. In addition, over 70 consultation events and workshops were held nationwide facilitated by key heritage stakeholders including the Heritage Council, the Heritage Officer Local Authority Network, the OPW, the Royal Irish Academy and ICOMOS Ireland. In May 2019 a Heritage Ireland 2030 Information Session was hosted by the Department in Dublin Castle. At this event, attended by over 280 people and streamed live on social media, the initial findings of the consultation were presented. Guest speakers also debated heritage priorities under the three themes of national leadership and heritage, heritage partnerships, and communities and heritage, alongside contributions from key partner organisations and members of the public.

 Over recent weeks, the consultation team has completed its detailed analysis of submissions received. As detailed in the report published today, the nationwide engagement on Heritage Ireland 2030 has enabled important discussions on Ireland’s heritage. It has illustrated a very high awareness of built and natural heritage and strong feelings about the need to better protect our heritage for future generations. Hundreds of practical proposals were submitted for consideration under the future Heritage Ireland 2030 policy. Climate change, biodiversity, heritage education, enhanced protection for our built and cultural heritage and the need for greater heritage funding were amongst some of the commonest issues raised by the submissions.

Informed by the submissions received through the public consultation, Department policy makers have begun drafting Heritage Ireland 2030 and meeting with colleagues in other Departments to identify areas where Heritage Ireland 2030 might embrace and enhance their own policies and strategies. The Department is continuing to work closely with the Heritage Council, OPW and other key stakeholders in the drafting of the Heritage Ireland 2030 policy document which the Department hopes to publish over the winter.

Commenting on the submissions received Minister Madigan noted, ‘The level of interest shown by the public in our Heritage Ireland 2030 consultation has been tremendous. The immense level of engagement bolsters our resolve to lead in doing all we can to protect that heritage, to support communities and to ensure that our heritage in all its forms is cared for and made as accessible as possible. I want to thank all those who engaged with us throughout the consultation process. Our heritage lies at the very heart of our nation’s identity and our drafting of Heritage Ireland 2030 is inspired by the many ideas sent to us. One of the core objectives of Heritage Ireland 2030, which will be published in the coming months, will be to to enable all those wonderful heritage ideas and actions, tangible and intangible, detailed in this report published today, to become real. The Minister added: Climate change and biodiversity loss featured strongly in the public’s concerns. Climate change is predicted to accelerate biodiversity loss; and our monuments and historic buildings, while standing for centuries, are not immune from the impacts. As I have said before all of these actions will require collaborative support across government and society. Every one of us must be part of the solution and Heritage Ireland 2030 will embrace and be informed by my Department’s recently published Climate Change Adaptation Plans and our Biodiversity Action Plan  The Analysis document can be found on the Department’s website at https://www.chg.gov.ie/app/uploads/2019/11/report-on-heritage-ireland-2030-public-and-sectoral-meetings.pdf along with other information about the Heritage Ireland 2030 process and plan.


*Added on 12/11/19* Cork County Council has announced Details of its 2020 Funding for the Arts  

Cork County Council has announced details of its 2020 funding for the Arts.

There are a total of eight schemes with funding available to support a wide range of arts activity, including opportunities for Arts Organisations, Festivals, Community Groups, Schools and Artists seeking funding for projects and activities in the coming year. 

The closing date for applications for all strands is Friday, December 6th

Announcing details of the funding opportunities, the County Mayor, Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan said

“Each year Cork County Council provides funding for Arts from its own resources. Our funding supports a wide range of arts events such as festivals, performances, exhibitions and other publicly accessible arts programming.   Many of the projects we fund also provide opportunities for the elderly or persons with a disability to enjoy positive creative activity in familiar local settings.”

There are eight schemes currently open for applications.

The Arts Grants Scheme is the Council’s main scheme for funding events and activity.

The Municipal Districts Arts Development Fund provides grant assistance for new arts development initiatives, which can demonstrate strong community involvement.
The Arts in Irish Fund aims to encourage organisations to introduce Irish language based Arts events or activities into their programmes.  It also supports artists to make new work using the Irish Language.

Cork County Council provides funding to primary and post-primary schools through the Artists in Schools Scheme to enable schools to employ artists to work on extended arts programmes in the classroom.

The Council also supports artists to make new work or develop international opportunities for themselves through four bursary schemes Artist Bursary Schemes, Tyrone Guthrie Bursary, Ballinglen Arts Foundation Bursary and the International Touring and Exhibition Bursary.

Welcoming the announcement, the Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said:

“Our funding of the Arts is extremely important for the County. Participation in an arts activity promotes individual wellbeing, helps combat isolation and supports communities.  It is also good for the local economy.  Last year we supported some 38 arts festivals, ranging from large scale events to smaller festivals in rural villages.  170,000 people, comprising of both local audiences and visitors to the county, attended festival events supported by the Council. Collectively they estimated their activities to be worth in the region of €4.3m to the local economy.  Our funding also provides work for artists and supports the huge number of voluntary arts organisations that are so important to community life.”

Applications for all schemes close on Friday, December 6th. 

All applications should be made online here.


*Added on 10/10/19* €4.7m Capital Investment Scheme announced for Arts and Culture Centres 

Minister Madigan has announced a new €4.7m capital investment scheme for arts and culture centres to run from 2019-2022 which will focus on enhancing the existing stock of arts and culture centres throughout the country.  Applications will be under three separate Streams; Stream A will offer grants up to €50k for small enhancement/expansion/refurbishments projects; Stream B will offer grants from €50k up to €300k for larger enhancement/expansion/refurbishment projects and Stream C will be a separate scheme aimed at the upgrading of visual artists’ workspaces. Application for this Stream will be invited separately. Application will open on Friday 25th October and close on 7th January 2020. Further details: https://www.creativeeuropeireland.eu/culture/news/free-co-operation-projects-workshop-dublin-8th-november from Friday 25th October.


*Added on 10/10/19* Supporting Creativity in Young People - The Creative Ireland County Cork Conference 

Creative Ireland Conference 2019

The 3rd Annual Creative Ireland County Cork Conference takes place in Mallow, County Cork, on the 17th of October 2019.

Creative Ireland is a five year national programme that seeks to put culture at the heart of who we are and what we do as a people. We are never too young to express ourselves and explore every avenue of creativity and the upcoming Creative Ireland County Cork Conference provides a wonderful forum for these discussions. 

The annual conference, previously hosted in Baile Bhuirne in 2018 and in Youghal in 2017, this year again features a wonderful line-up of speakers including Stefani Preissner, Mary McGrath, Justine Foster and Sarah Fitzgerald. 

Cork County Council’s Library Service staff members will also give an overview of some of the great cultural opportunities for young people to avail of through their local library branch. Short films produced by young people will be shown on the day as well as one or two special performances. The conference promises an enjoyable and informative day for all, from young people interested in culture and creativity to groups and organisations that are involved in cultural initiatives at the local level. 

‘Creative Ireland is making a real difference in the County of Cork with communities and individuals getting involved in a range of different creative undertakings’ the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan said of the upcoming event, ‘The Creative Ireland County Cork Conference is this year focusing on supporting creativity in young people – a wonderful opportunity for people to learn about a range of different opportunities and how vital youthful creativity and cultural expression is for all of us’.  

The conference is open to all and free of charge, however advance booking is recommended as places are limited and there has been much interest in the conference to date. If you wish to attend please email creativeireland@corkcoco.ie. The conference forms part of the Creative Ireland Programme in the County of Cork and is an action of County Cork’s Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018-2022. 

For more information phone 021 4285905 or email creativeireland@corkcoco.ie.

The Conference Programme is available to view by clicking here


*Added on 10/10/19* Budget 2020 and Implication for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltachts 

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, has announced details of €354m funding allocated in Budget 2020 – an increase of 5% on 2019 - which represents a cumulative increase of 17% for our culture, language and heritage over the last 2 years. The total funding increase for 2020 is  €7.2m in capital expenditure (an increase of 10% on 2019) and over €8m in current expenditure (an increase of 3% on 2019).

Total funding for the arts and culture sector in 2020 will increase by over 2% from €189m  to almost €193m. This funding will comprise €153m in current expenditure and €39.7m in capital investment with the Arts Council to be in receipt of funding to the sum of close to €80m. An additional €900k is also to be made available for the Decade of Centenaries 2020 Programme, which will enable the delivery of a significant programme of commemorative events in an appropriate and meaningful manner consistent with the advice of the Expert Advisory Group and continued funding is being made available to the Creative Ireland Programme, which supports opportunities for people of all ages and in all parts of the country to engage with creativity and to derive all of the personal and collective benefits that flow from that engagement.  

Total funding for the Built and Natural Heritage sector in 2020 will amount to €62.5m, up from €54m last year – an increase of over €8m or 15.5% on 2019 – comprising additional capital provision of €6.75m (up 44%) on 2019 and additional current funding of €1.46m. Targeted projects include an accelerated peatlands restoration and conservation works as well as key nature conservation and biodiversity programmes under the National Parks and Wildlife Service to include the recruitment of front line conservation specialists. The Farm Plan programme will also be enhanced and will see a budget of €1m to support measures to protect biodiversity and assist farmers with lands designated as Special Areas of Conservation in their role as custodians of nature. There will also be continued support for the protection of archaeological and built heritage, including capital investment in built heritage investment schemes.

Speaking on the budget, Minister Madigan noted “The package for culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht for Budget 2020 enables us to continue the important work on our key programme areas, and goals. We are continuing to make progress on our commitment to double funding to Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht by 2025.  Our spending has increased by 23% since 2017 and I am confident we will honour our commitment.”


*Added on 07/10/19* Cultural Companions  

With the support of Muintir na Tíre, the HSE and Cork County Council through the Creative Ireland Programme, a wonderful initiative called Cultural Companions is being developed for the City and County of Cork. The aim of Cultural Companions is to address the issue of social isolation amongst older people by facilitating their engagement in arts, heritage and cultural opportunities, and by providing volunteer companions for encouragement and support. To this effect, a Cultural Companions Coordinator is now being sought. The Coordinator will set up local networks of people interested in arts, heritage and culture that will accompany each other to events – like-minded people that meet up regularly to go out together either with one other person or as part of a small group. The Co-ordinator will work under the direct supervision of the Community Development Worker of Cork County Federation Muintir na Tire to implement the Cultural Companions Initiative and other parts of the work programme. For those interested in taking on the role, a Cover Letter and CV should be sent to deniskelly@muintircork.com. More information on the job and the Cultural Companions initiative as a whole is available by clicking here


*Added on 04/10/19* Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings - John Betjeman Award 2020  

The Society  for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) are inviting entries for the John Betjeman Award 2020 which celebrates excellence in conservation and repair projects at places of worship of any faith and recognises the highest standards of craftsmanship used in carrying out these projects. To mark the 30th anniversary of this award they are extending the competition to include faith buildings across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  Closing date for entries: 25th February 2020. Further details and application forms at https://www.spab.org.uk/about-us/awards/john-betjeman-award

*Added on 26/09/19* Issue 11 (Autumn 2019) of the Catchments Newsletter 

Catchments newsletter Autumn 2019

The latest issue of the Catchments Newsletter is now available by visiting www.catchments.ie. The Autumn 2019 newsletter features a great selection of news and articles including Water Heritage Day; LEADER funding for water and biodiversity; the growth of Rivers Trusts in Ireland; StreamScapes and thier thirty years of working with communities, Citizen science – dragonfly and damselfly survey, Explore Your Shore, and anglers monitoring lakes; Coillte Nature; Farming for Nature; The Blue Dots Catchment Programme; The Freshwater Pearl Mussel and Mulkear European Innovation Projects; Our Land and Water – New Zealand’s National Science Challenge; Smart Farming’s Spring seminar; Agriculture – getting the right measure in the right place; research on nutrient use benchmarks and legacy phosphorus; and a map of all the EIP-Agri projects in Ireland thanks to the National Rural Network. For more information visit www.catchments.ie.


*Added on 26/09/19* 2019 Natura 2000 Awards - closing date 15th October 2019 

The Natura 2000 Award is designed to reward excellence in the management of Natura 2000 sites and showcase the added value of the network for local economies. It pays tribute to all those who work tirelessly to make Natura 2000 a success whilst drawing public attention to its substantial achievements.

The Natura 2000 network works to ensure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats, and is the centrepiece of the EU's nature and biodiversity policy. It is currently made up of over 27,800 sites. In total, it covers almost a fifth of Europe’s land area and almost 10% of the EU marine areas, making it the largest coordinated network of conservation areas anywhere in the world.

Yet, despite its scale and the wealth of benefits it provides, many Europeans have still not heard of Natura 2000. This is why, in 2014, the European Commission launched the annual European Natura 2000 Award. The aim of the award is to demonstrate what the network is, what it does to preserve Europe’s biodiversity, and how it benefits us all. Any organisation or individual can apply for an Award, so long as their work is directly linked to one or more Natura 2000 sites.  Applicants must fill in a simple online application form and submit it before the deadline on 15 October 2019. For more information and to apply, visit the relevant section of the European Commission website by clicking here


*Added on 26/09/19* Energy Renovation for Traditional Buildings - CPD Lecture Series 2019-2020

The Heritage Council and Carrig Conservation International Ltd have developed a lecture series titled ‘The Fundamentals of Energy Renovation for Traditional Buildings: CPD Lecture Series 2019-2020’ which will take place on 1st,15th & 29th November  2019  and 17th & 31st January 2020 in Dublin. This lecture series is open to qualified building professionals and CPD credits will be provided by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and Engineers Ireland (EI). For more information see the programme by clicking here


*Added on 23/09/19* Ireland's Farming For Nature Ambassadors Announced - Vote Now 

To recognise farmers who are doing their upmost for the environment, in recent years a Farming for Nature Award has been established. The 2019 Farming for Nature Awards is well underway and the competition is now nearing its final stage; where the public get to vote for the preferred farmer, out of a shortlisting of 10 Farming for Nature Ambassadors. While there are no farmers in the running from County Cork this year (and hopefully that will change for 2020!) there are some exceptionally well-run farms in so far as biodiversity is concerned and in supporting the competition and this year’s farmers it is hoped that the competition will grow year after year. Each Farmer has a video on https://www.farmingfornature.ie/awards/voting and they are excellent viewing. Voting is open until Thursday 25th October 2019 and the best of luck and every continued success for each of the farmers involved and indeed all of the farmers who value nature and biodiversity.


*Added on 04/09/19* Community Climate and Biodiversity Project Fund Announced 

Cork County Council has today announced the launch of the 2019 Community Environment Action Fund. This fund was previously known as the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund or LA21 scheme. It aims to support projects or initiatives that help increase awareness of environmental issues locally or help communities become more sustainable. There is a special focus on climate and biodiversity this year.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan in welcoming the announcement said,

“The last few years have seen a huge sea change in attitude towards the climate crisis. Local communities are coming up with more and more innovative ways to face the challenges. Steps taken at a local level can have global impact. If you know any groups, schools, residents associations or individuals who have an interesting project that needs funding please let them know about this scheme. This year, projects that tackle the challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change will get priority”.

The Community Environment Action Fund supports small scale, non-profit environmental projects at local level, that make a significant difference in local communities. The funding available is limited and Cork County Council will award funding to projects that best meet the qualifying criteria.  Projects focusing on biodiversity should take account of the National Biodiversity Action Plan and/or the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. Last year the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment allocated €33,637 to Cork County which was increased by Cork County Council to make €67,000 available to 46 projects and schemes.  Community gardens, allotments and compost schemes, rainwater harvesting schemes, educational initiatives and environmental exhibitions are just a small example of some of the successful projects. For further information and details on how to apply please click here.  The closing date for receipt of applications is 5:00pm on the 27th September 2019.


*Added on 02/09/19* Cork Nature Network seeks Volunteers 

Cork Nature Network are looking for volunteer Project Managers to oversee small projects. This is a chance to increase your skills and be involved in helping wildlife and promoting conservation. For further information please email contact@corknaturenetwork.ie. Volunteers are also sought for the Cork Nature Network presence at the Climate Change Strategy stall in City Hall on the 6th and 7th of September. If you would like to get involved email Seán at infocorknaturenetwork@gmail.com.


*Added on 30/08/19* Royal Irish Academy Archaeological Grants 

The Royal Irish Academy is delighted to announce that three grant schemes offering opportunities for Archaeological research are open to applications from 3 September.

These are as follows:
Archaeology Research Excavation Grants:  for new excavations, continuing excavations and post excavation work. 
Directed Research for World Heritage Sites: for those working on the archaeology of the Brú na Bóinne and Sceilig Mhicíl World Heritage Site to seek funding for work of a non-destructive nature.
Archaeology C14 Radiocarbon Dates Scheme: This scheme offers radiocarbon dating for up to twelve applicants per annum to be used for the purposes of archaeological research in Ireland.

For more information visit http:///www.ria.ie



*Added on 27/08/19* Saving our Swifts Publication 


BirdWatch Ireland and Local Authority Heritage Officers have teamed up to help save our swifts. The publication, titled Saving Swifts. is designed as a guide for anyone who wants to take practical measures to help Swifts, at a small or large scale. Whether you are a home owner or business person hoping to provide a nest site at your property, this document is relevant to you.  To find out more about Ireland’s swifts check out the publication by clicking here



*Added on 27/08/19* Important Research into the Evolution of the Irish Language Approved for another 5 Years 


For the past 14 years a historical dictionary of the Irish Language has been under development and the Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne T.D. has recently announced the approval of a €920,000 grant for the next stage of the development of ‘Foclóir Stairiúil na Gaeilge’ (‘Historical Dictionary of Irish’).

‘Foclóir Stairiúil na Gaeilge’ - an initiative of the Royal Irish Academy – is funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and is one of the most ambitious linguistic research projects to be ever undertaken in Europe with over 70 million words already compiled and digitised, and freely accessible.  Its primary objective is to establish an historical dictionary of Modern Irish (1600-2000) which will show the evolution of the language in the given period drawing from sources that include printed texts; texts from manuscripts and material from other sources. Examples of early sources to be incorporated include the 1581 poem book of the O’Hara family of Mayo /Sligo, and the 1607 account by Tadhg Ó Cianáin of the Flight of the Earls. The monumental Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, Geoffrey Keating’s great historical work on Ireland and The Annals of the Four Masters  will also be available in the corpus. In addition, the corpus will comprise oral material collected in Gaeltacht regions during the 20th century with the earliest recording devices.

This body of work details the development and evolution of the Irish language over 400 years and provides a great resource for the public, particularly scholars of the language and those interested in our cultural and societal history of that period. It also presents the tradition of the language in a modern, more easily accessible way and we are now able to hear our ancestors’ voice in this new digital era.  Announcing the grant, Minister Seán Kyne noted ‘It is an initiative of both national and international importance.’




*Added on 27/08/19* Status Report finds EU-Protected Habitats in Ireland Unfavourable with majority of Species Stable or Improving 

 A recent report by Ireland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service has found that EU-protected Habitats in Ireland have an unfavourable status but that the majority of species are either stable or improving. The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, has welcomed the publication and says the report highlights the challenges to conserve biodiversity in Ireland and the need for all sectors of society to work together to address it. 85% of habitats are reported as being in Unfavourable status, with 46% demonstrating ongoing declines. The status of EU listed species is somewhat better with 57% assessed as Favourable and 30% of assessed as being in Unfavourable status (i.e. Inadequate and Bad), with 72% demonstrating stable or improving trends while 15% demonstrating on-going declining trends. Minister Josepha Madigan said “we have programmes ongoing which implement measures to maintain or restore natural habitats and wild species considered vulnerable at European level and  listed on the EU Habitats Directive”.

Ireland has 59 habitats and 68 species listed on the Directive and many positive actions are being undertaken across the country such as the National Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) Management Plan 2017-2022 and the Native Woodland Scheme that supports the restoration of existing native woodland and the targeted conversion of conifer stands into native woodland. Dr. Deirdre Lynn of the NPWS says “the unfavourable status of many of our habitats is, regrettably, unsurprising as this is the reason they have been listed on the Directive; it is, however, the ongoing declines that are of concern, particularly in our peatland, grassland, woodland and marine habitats.” She added that “the main drivers of the habitat decline are agricultural practices which are negatively impacting over 70% of habitats, particularly ecologically unsuitable grazing, abandonment and pollution.” The reports are now available to view or download by visiting  https://www.npws.ie/article-17-reports-0.



*Added on 15/08/19* National Archives Genealogy Page 

National Archives has developed a Genealogy website to facilitate access to digitised collections that are useful to family and local history research. Access to these records is free of charge: https://www.nationalarchives.ie/article/our-genealogy-website/  



*Added on 14/08/19* Deadly Disease Found in Irish Hares and Rabbits

A disease fatal to rabbits and hares, but of no risk to humans, has been confirmed in the wild in Ireland for the first time. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is asking the public to report any suspected cases. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) was first reported in domestic (farmed) rabbits in China in 1984 killing millions of animals within one year of its discovery. By 1986 this viral disease had been found in continental Europe and has since spread globally leading to significant mortality in wild populations of rabbits. In 2010, a new more virulent strain of this virus (RHD2) emerged in France. It causes death within a few days of infection with sick animals having swollen eyelids, partial paralysis and bleeding from the eyes and mouth. Most distressingly, in the latter states close to death, animals exhibit unusual behavior emerging from cover into the open and convulsing or fitting before dying. The disease was reported in Ireland from domestic rabbits in 2018, but has now been confirmed in the wild from a rabbit in Co. Wicklow and another in Co. Clare. Recently, the virus has been confirmed from a hare in Co. Wexford. In all cases individual animals were tested at Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine Laboratories where RHD2 was subsequently confirmed. While all three locations continue to support apparently healthy wild populations, unlike the situation in the UK where mass mortalities have been reported, NPWS Conservation Rangers continue to monitor the situation. The virus has been detected throughout Europe, in wild rabbits, hares and seemingly unrelated species including voles and shrews. The Irish hare is native to Ireland and found nowhere else and should this disease prove as infectious and lethal here as it has done elsewhere in Europe, the impact on the hare could be catastrophic. Dr. Ferdia Marnell of the NPWS Scientific Unit outlined his concerns: “Rabbits are central to wild ecosystems, being the main food for many predators from stoats to eagles that in turn regulate other animal populations. A decline in our wild rabbits will have numerous knock-on consequences. Of further concern is the potential for the disease to spread through the Irish hare population.” The disease is highly contagious and can be spread directly between animals and in the faeces and urine of infected animals, as well as by insects and on human clothing. In addition the incubation period may last several days and apparently uninfected animals may in fact be carriers. Under these circumstances the catching of hares in nets, their transportation in boxes and the collection and holding of hares in confined areas can all be considered to increase the risk of disease spread. Accordingly the Department has decided to suspend the licences issued to the Irish Coursing Club to capture and tag hares for the 2019/20 hare coursing season with immediate effect until a clearer understanding of the extent, spread and implications of the RHD2 virus emerges. Dr. Marnell stressed “that the Rabbit Haemorrhagic disease presents absolutely no threat to human health and it is entirely safe to handle infected or recently dead rabbits or hares provided normal hygiene is followed”. The public - particularly landowners, farmers, vets and the hare coursing community - is being asked to be on high alert and to report any suspected sightings of diseased rabbits and hares as soon as possible to help efforts to monitor and control the disease. This can be done by contacting the NPWS by Email (nature.conservation@chg.gov.ie.) or Phone (1890 383 000). Dr Neil Reid, a Conservation Biologist at Queen’s University Belfast, who is also tracking the disease across the island warns of the significant impact this could have on the wild ecosystem.  He said “I am asking people to be on high alert, to report any suspected sightings of diseased rabbits and, particularly hares, as soon as possible so we can monitor this rapidly developing situation as it unfolds. This is an example of how citizen science can really contribute to conservation biology.”



*Added on 07/08/19* Ireland's National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage 

In December 2015 Ireland ratified the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible cultural heritage ‘refers to the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity’. Ireland’s obligations under the 2003 Convention include establishing a National Inventory for Intangible Cultural Heritage to protect, promote and celebrate Irish living cultural heritage practices, customs, crafts and traditions. Successful applicants to the National Inventory may also consider seeking nomination by the State for inscription on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, to which the State is entitled to make one nomination every year. Following an open call for Expressions of Interest and the appointment of an Expert Advisory Commitee on Intangible Cultural Heritage, in July 2019 the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht approved the inscription of thirty cultural heritage elements on Ireland’s permanent National Inventory. The Department accepts Expressions of Interest for the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage on an ongoing basis, with the goals of acknowledging, safeguarding and promoting Ireland’s living culture through official State recognition. Forms may be downloaded here and submitted to nationalich@chg.gov.ie



*Added on 06/08/19* Cork County Council Climate Adaptation Strategy - Extension of Consultation Period 

Notice is hereby given, that Cork County Council in accordance with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment National Adaptation Framework: Planning for a Climate Resilient Ireland 2018 proposes to make the Cork County Council Climate Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024. The Strategy will mainstream climate adaptation into the Council’s plans, policies and operations. Cork County Council has now prepared a draft Climate Adaptation Strategy in accordance with the provisions of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 and the National Adaption Framework (NAF) 2018.  The Draft Strategy, the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Screening Report and the Appropriate Assessment (AA) Screening Report, are available for inspection during normal office opening hours at the following locations from Monday the 15th of July 2019 until 5pm on Monday the 26th of August 2019 inclusive:

  • Cork County Council Offices, County Hall, Co. Cork.
  • Cork County Council Offices, Annabella, Mallow, Co. Cork.
  • Cork County Council Offices, Old Mill, Kent St, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
  • Cork County Council Offices, The Courthouse, Skibbereen, Co. Cork.
  • Cork County Council Offices, Environment Directorate, Inniscarra, Co. Cork.
  • All Municipal District Offices and Libraries.

The Documents are also available to view or download from the Council’s website at www.corkcoco.ie. Submissions and observations in relation to the Draft Climate Adaptation Strategy may be made in writing until 5pm on  Monday the 26th of August 2019 to Climate Adaptation Strategy, Director of Service, Environment/ Climate Action/ Broadband and Emergency Services, Cork County Council, Inniscarra, Co. Cork or by email to climatereadycork@corkcoco.ie. Submissions or observations should state your name, address and where relevant the organisation/ body etc represented. Please make your submission by one medium only i.e. email or post/ hard copy. The Council will consider all submissions and observations received during the stated period before the making of the strategy.

Personal Information may be collected by Cork County Council to enable the processing of your submission/ enquiry. Cork County Council can legally process this information as necessary to comply with its statutory/legal obligations. Such information will be processed in line with the Council’s privacy statement which is available at www.corkcoco.ie



*Added on 01/08/19* HSE Community and Voluntary Support Grant 

Detailed information and application forms are available from persons in the HSE Community Health Organisations or this link. As part of a joint initiative by Minister Jim Daly and the HSE, an extra €1million in funding will be available for community and voluntary groups working with older people. Grants will range from €5,000 - €20,000. Approximately 25% of the extra funding is for dementia related initiatives. The closing date for receipt of applications is 15th August 2019 and funding will follow in August/September. Applicants must strictly adhere to the application guidelines. This funding is open to groups that already hold a Service Arrangement or Grant Aid agreement with the HSE, or non-statutory agencies who aim to provide a range of health and social care services that the HSE may provide. See press release of 15th July for details on the announcement: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/media/pressrel/hse-welcomes-extra-%E2%82%AC1-000-000-in-funding-grants-to-support-older-people.html



*Added on 01/08/19* Good News for Nesting Birds 

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms. Joseph Madigan, TD has announced that there has been no change to the rules governing hedge-cutting.  It is illegal to cut hedgerows between 1st March and 31st August inclusive in order to protect nesting birds. However, where there is a road safety concern, roadside hedgerows may be cut in according to specifications in the Wildlife Acts, Roads Act and the articles of the Birds Directive. https://birdwatchireland.ie/good-news-for-nesting-birds-roadside-hedgerows-spared-heritage-act-cut/



*Added on 01/08/19* Traditional Building Skills Initiatives Tender 

The Heritage Council invites tenders from suitable qualified persons to undertake responsibility for the coordination of its Traditional Building Skills Initiatives. Closing date for etenders: 23rd August 2019. Further details at https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/news/jobs/project-management-services-for-the-advancement-of-the-heritage-councils-traditional-building-skills-initiatives



*Added on 01/08/19* Irish Walled Towns Network Tender Invitation 

The Heritage Council invites tenders from suitable qualified persons to undertake responsibility for the coordination of the Irish Walled Towns Network. Closing date for etenders: 12pm Tuesday 13th August 2019. Further details at https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/news/jobs/project-management-services-for-the-irish-walled-towns-network


*Added on 25/07/19* Free Market Exhibition in Macroom a Great Success 


Free Market MAcroom


As part of its national tour, the acclaimed architectural exhibition, Free Market, arrived in Macroom last weekend, to a very positive response. The Cork County Council supported event explores the vital role that market places play in the life of rural communities. Free Market, was Ireland’s national representation at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, last year. The exhibition won widespread acclaim for its exploration of the unique identity of Irish rural towns. The Free Market exhibition and research project is now on a national tour visiting Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Mountmellick Co. Laois, and Killmallock, Co. Limerick. Curated by a team of architects and designers the Free Market adapts to each town it visits. In Macroom it became part of the weekly market. The Free Market Pavilion joined local producers and traders for a 3-day summer market on the Square in Macroom disrupting the usual market layout, to explore and experience a new layout, one without cars, allowing people more freedom to sit and chat and visit the stalls. Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O Sullivan commenting on the event, said “Cork County Council supported this ambitious project to explore and celebrate the central role of the market place in the life of rural communities in towns across the county. The Free Market project gives an opportunity to reflect on the importance of public space, like markets, as centres for social and political dialogue and exchange, and the vital role that plays in creating resilient communities. This event will hopefully inspire some new innovative thinking about the use of public space in Macroom and other Cork towns.” The Free Market event also featured walking tours, vox-pop recordings, discussions and exhibitions of architectural models, drawings, maps, photographs and sound recordings. It saw support from Cork County Council through the local Municipal District, the Arts Office and through the Creative Ireland Programme. For more information on the exhibition visit freemarket.ie.


*Added on 25/07/19* West Cork Community Hedge Cutting Scheme 

Cork County Council, Municipal District of West Cork, is inviting applications for its Community Hedge Cutting Scheme for the 2019-2020 season. This scheme encourages a joint approach with communities and groups of local residents and landowners for the cutting of hedges/trees which need attention. The new grant scheme will provide a grant of €50 per km for the cutting of roadside hedge/overhanging trees. For more information visit https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/news/municipal-district-west-cork-community-hedge-cutting-scheme



*Added on 25/07/19* Currach Building Course in the Múscraí Gaeltacht

In August a curach building workshop will take place in the shores of Lough Allua in Cork's Muskerry Gaeltacht. A new group called "Curach as Gaeilge" will run the workshop primarily through the Irish language in the local community center in Ballingeary village. The course runs each day from the Saturday the 10th to Sunday the 18th of August, with a day off on Wednesday the 14th. Pádraig O' Duinnín, Paul Lynch and Eoin O' Leidhin will facilitate the workshop. Pádraig is a well known curach expert and presenter of TG4's "Muintir na Mara". Paul & Eoin first collaborated with Pádraig on a curach build in the Erris Gaeltacht in Mayo in 2015. Pádraig said: "If you love our language, join us in Béal Átha, creating a beautiful curach with a comfortable mix of different levels of Gaoluinn and woodworking ability." Full 8 day tickets are E175 and four day tickets are E90 with lunch included. Group member Paul Lynch said: "Curach making has been recently recognised for its significance in Irish cultural heritage, and what could be a deeper cultural experience than building a curach in the language it was developed through over thousands of years?" Each afternoon from 2.30pm there will also be a section of the hall open free to the public with a curach display, tea station and sitting area. Paul continued: "We thank Comharchumann Forbartha Mhuscraí, Creative Ireland, Cork County Council and Údaras na Gaeltachta for their financial support in making the course possible". For more info and bookings visit http://curach.ie or email info@curach.ie.



*Added on 25/07/19* Cork County Council Community Involvement Scheme 

Cork County Council is now accepting applications for the Community Involvement Scheme, a joint venture approach between the Council and local communities, to carry out improvement works on suitable Regional and Local roads. Under this scheme the local community contributes 15% towards the estimated cost of the works and the Council carries out the works on the road, subject to grant funding being available. Over the past 5 years Cork County Council has engaged in 126 Community Involvement Scheme projects with local communities, resulting in improvements to over 63km of local roads. Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Christopher O Sullivan encouraged local communities to apply, saying,“The Council recognises the importance of local roads to infrastructure and to local businesses and this scheme is a useful mechanism that has benefitted numerous communities across the county over the years. The financial contribution from the community has now been reduced from 20% to 15% and the scheme offers communities a great opportunity to identify local needs and speed up improvements on roads, such as tertiary or cul-de-sac roads, which may see less traffic but are in need of repair.” Now the construction of new footpaths is also covered by this scheme and both Castlefreke and Long Strand have carried out footpath works under the Community Involvement Scheme. Closing date for receipt of applications is 1st August, 2019. Further details and Application Forms are available here or from your local Area Engineer’s Office.



*Added on 25/07/19* New Ferry Launched for Spike Island and New Exhibition 'Independence' Also Opened 


Spike Boat


Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan has launched Spike Island’s new ferry service, appropriately named ‘Spike Island’ in honour of its route. Mayor O’Sullivan performed the ceremonial honour of pouring champagne on the bow on the 81st anniversary of the handover of Spike Island from Britain to Ireland. The 126 capacity ferry was secured by Doyle Shipping Company who have been servicing Spike Island since the 1950’s and have seen the service change from military to prison to tourism during these years.  The ferry will complement the existing service by increasing capacity and allowing visitors a longer stay on the 104 acre island. Commenting at the launch, Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey said “We are delighted to see the new ferry launched which will address any capacity issues the island might face in the coming years.  As well as enabling longer stays for day trippers, the extra capacity also opens up the potential for Spike Island to hold large scale events in the near future, offering an even greater economic benefit to Cork County.”  This sentiment was reiterated by Doyle Shipping Director Eoin O’Sullivan who said, “We take great pride in servicing Spike Island and the wider Cork harbour area, a duty we have carried out for many decades now. The passengers have varied considerably over the years, from army and navy officers to sitting Taoisigh and famous criminals like Martin Cahill to bands and performers.  Now it is tourists who make the scenic journey across the world’s 2nd largest natural harbour. Following the ferry launch, Mayor O’Sullivan made his way to Spike Island where he launched a new National exhibition titled ‘Independence’.  The exhibition tells the story of the Irish road to freedom and the 1,400 Irish freedom fighters held on Spike Island in 1921.  Families of the men held on the island were present for the exhibition which is the result of 5 years of research led by the islands assistant manager, and resident historian, Tom O’Neill with support for the team at Spike Island. ‘Independence’ begins  in 1914, during the outbreak of World War I, and details how Ireland sought to take advantage of British distraction and the failed rising in 1916.  The exhibition includes original footage and artefacts made by the men who stayed on the island, including autograph books and diaries.  There is also a genealogy section which allows visitors to search for the details of the 1400 men held here. Speaking of ‘Independence’, Mayor O’Sullivan highlighted the importance of such an exhibition at this time,“The ‘Independence’ exhibition will reawaken the courage and valour of these men who were so passionate that they put their lives on the line to achieve Irish freedom.  These are the men that fought, died and eventually freed Ireland and it is importance that this story is told, particularly in the manner in which it is presented here.  I would encourage everyone to make their way to Spike Island and see this exhibition for themselves.” The Exhibition is one of several now on offer to visitors to Spike Island Cork, with boats departing daily from Cobh. For further information including booking details please visit www.spikeislandcork.ie



*Added on 25/07/19* Cork County Council Draft Strategy for Climate Adaptation 2019-2024 - Public Consultation 




Cork County Council is inviting submissions from the public on the newly published Draft Strategy for Climate Adaptation 2019-2024. The document is a five year road map which aims to identify key climate change risks for the county and to ensure climate adaptation actions and considerations are mainstreamed into policy making and all functions, operations and services of the local authority. The Draft Strategy was launched at Full Council on Monday last in County Hall and is now open for public consultation. It is available for inspection and submissions are welcomed during the 4 week consultation period from July 15th until August 12th. Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, welcomed the move, saying “Local Authorities are at the front line when it comes to climate adaptation. This document assesses our risks and vulnerabilities and is a result of extensive research and engagement with stakeholders. It will ultimately facilitate the Council’s ongoing commitment to ensuring sustainability and climate resilience in a strategic and proactive manner. Cork County Council encourages members of the public to review the strategy and to submit relevant observations in writing.” Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan emphasized the importance of the strategy saying “Climate change presents real challenges but we have an opportunity here to take a proactive approach to strategically implement appropriate climate adaptive actions and to actively protect biodiversity. Plans outlined in the draft to actively support native tree planting for instance are fundamental to promoting biodiversity. This document is a significant step – we need to adapt to the changes that are already happening and take appropriate measures to protect our environment and our future. It is important that people take the time to review and contribute to the strategy as it will have long lasting impacts for everyone.” Government Departments/Agencies are required to prepare Adaptation Plans under the National Adaptation Framework, which sets out the potential implications of climate change for Ireland and specifies the national strategy for the development of adaptation measures.Produced by the Environment Directorate of Cork County Council the draft strategy has drawn on regional, national and international data and from local sources to establish an extreme weather event baseline - predicting the challenges and risks that climate change will pose for the county in the future. The Draft Strategy along with the accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment Screening Report and the Appropriate Assessment Screening Report are available for inspection at Cork County Council Offices in County Hall, Mallow, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Inniscarra and at all Municipal District Offices and libraries. The strategy can also be accessed on the council website www.corkcoco.ie. Submissions and observations may be made in writing until 5pm on Monday August 12th to Climate Adaptation Strategy, Director of Service, Environment/Climate Action/ Broadband & Emergency Services, Cork County Council, Inniscarra or by email to climatereadycork@corkcoco.ie. For more information also visit https://www.corkcoco.ie/en/news/councils-climate-adaptation-strategy-opens-public-consultation



*Added on 22/07/19* Museum Assistant and Tour Guide - Michael Collins House, Clonakilty 

Michael Collins House, in Clonakilty, is currently seeking a Museum Assistant/Tour Guide. Application form and details are available on the Cork County Council Website – Job Vacancies Section: https://www.corkcoco.ie/your-county-council/job-vacancies. Please note the closing date of 4:00 p.m. on Monday, 29th July, 2019.



*Added on 28/06/19* Conna National School wins Pride in our Community School Gardens Competition 2019 


Conna School Gardens 2019


The Competition is in its seventh year and this year saw a record amount of entries. The enthusiasm and high standard and quality shown from all the schools proved to to the Judges that the project continues to be a huge success. The competition involves each school developing/planning a garden in their own way.  Both adults and students work together to decide what type of garden they want to create. The competition encourages all students to get involved in working in the garden and the competition also promotes sustainability and biodiversity. Mr Sean  Murphy welcomed the schools involved and congratulated each school on their efforts. This was then followed by an audio visual presentation that showcased all of the schools hard work. Sean then thanked  the Muintir ná Tíre sub group for all their hard work in making the Pride in the Community School Garden’s Awards a huge success. He also thanked Cork County Council for their huge support. Sean Holland Chair of the sub group of Cork County Federation Muintir ná Tíre was highly impressed with the standard of the gardens entered and spoke about the importance of getting into the garden and “getting your hands dirty.” He asked pupils to think outside the box and to include lots of colour in their gardens. He also thought that the Video on the gardens was a good way for new entrants to see other school’s work and come up with new ideas. Mayor Christopher O’ Sullivan was highly impressed with the response to the School Garden Awards and encouraged everyone to get involved. He congratulated all the schools and said they were all winners. He hoped next year’s competition would be even bigger and better. Trevor Dinneen of the Environment Directorate, Cork County Council was very impressed with the huge involvement from all the schools and congratulated all the schools on their huge contribution and the amount of work that was done by both students and pupils. Conor Nelligan Heritage Officer of Cork County Council thanked everyone for partaking and attending the Awards Ceremony. He said the competition was a huge success and congratulated all involved. Brendan Scahill HSE was highly impressed with the commitment of all the pupils involved and said that pupils would develop life skills by getting out and enjoying the garden.


*Added on 24/06/19* €138,000 Allocated for Local and Regional Museums 


The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has today announced a series of small grants for local and regional museums around the country. Total funding of €138,100 is being made available under the Regional Museum Exhibitions Scheme 2019. Nineteen projects out of twenty two are benefitting, including the Irish Workhouse Centre in Galway exhibition reflecting the diverse cultural and historical background of the Irish workhouse system and the Little Museum of Dublin's project called Remember, recording stories from museum visitors of past memories that they are reminded of on their tour of the museum. Cork projects include the Glucksman and the Cork Butter Museum. Speaking today Minister Madigan said: “I am very pleased to offer this support to an important part of our culture and heritage. These cultural bodies are often run on relatively modest budgets and to be in a position to offer support is a very positive thing. These bodies are often central focus points within the community and it is vital that they are supported in their role as guardians and narrators of our cultural heritage. The funding provided under this scheme over the past few years has allowed these cultural entities to continue to enhance the presentation of their exhibitions which, in turn, improves the cultural offering of the communities they serve." To see a list of successful projects visit https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/culture/grants-and-funding/regional-museum-exhibitions-scheme/



*Added on 24/06/19* The Youghal to Midleton (MY) Greenway 


Funding has just been announced for the Youghal to Midleton Greenway. The proposed greenway will be developed on the disused railway line between Midleton and Youghal, incorporating stop-off points at the former stations in the villages of Mogeely and Killeagh. At 23km in length, the Midleton Youghal (MY) Greenway will be routed through the scenic agricultural heartland of East Cork and will have a distinctive character reflecting the natural, cultural and social history of the area to become an important local amenity and a trip-attracting route for visitors. The development of the proposed greenway will be an important addition to tourism facilities across Cork and will benefit the local economy through increased visitor numbers and tourist spend, supporting existing local businesses and encouraging new enterprise opportunities.  The Greenway will seek to showcase the scenery and environment of East Cork and will make provision for biodiversity based on the principles of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. The route will also traverse an area known as Ballyvergan Marsh which will provide opportunities to experience this unique coastal wetland with spectacular views to Youghal Bay. Speaking of the announcement which will see €8 million invested in the project under the National and Regional Greenway Fund, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan highlighted how important this greenway will be to visitors and locals alike and would like to see such developments considered for other areas in County Cork. Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey congratulated all involved to date and noted this will be a ‘significant project for the county and southern region of the country’.



*Added on 12/06/19* Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) 2019 - County Cork  


The CEP is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and administered by the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in each Local Authority area. 

Any not-for-profit Community and Voluntary group can apply. The funding covers capital projects only.  In cases where both current and capital works are carried out together, only the capital element can be funded through this Programme. Projects must be in keeping with the ethos of the programme, which is to provide funding to communities across Ireland to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas. The following provides a non-exhaustive list of capital projects that could receive funding under the programme:

§  Development/renovation of community centres

§  Once off maintenance of premises. This does not include regular routine maintenance

§  Community amenities

§  Development of youth clubs or facilities

§  Development of sports/recreation facilities

§  Improvements to town parks and common areas and spaces

§  Development of play/recreation spaces

§  Energy efficiency type projects

§  Purchase of Equipment

This funding is targeted towards enhancing community facilities for individuals and communities that are impacted by disadvantage as identified in the Local Economic and Community Plan(LECP). The application form is detailed and is designed to ensure that it has the necessary information to evaluate each proposal accurately and fairly.  Please ensure that you complete the 2019 application form in full and that any documentation in support of your application is submitted with your application. Applications can be made online at www.yourcouncil.ie to the relevant LCDC by 4pm on Friday, 28th June 2019. For any queries please email: communitydevelopmentunit@corkcoco.ie



*Added on 12/06/19* National Heritage Week 2019 (17th to 25th August) - County Cork Events Guide Registration 


National Heritage Week this year is little over two months away, taking place from Saturday 17th to Sunday 25th August, 2019. So far for the County of Cork over 120 events have been registered with an expectation that Heritage Week 2019 will see over 2,000 events around the Country. All proposed events uploaded to www.heritageweek.ie prior to June 28th 2019 will feature in the official County Cork Heritage Week Events Guide this year. It is hoped that 2019 will indeed see a wonderful line-up and a great number of events, across the County. Indeed, the popularity of National Heritage Week is growing enormously in recent years as more and more people take stock of and value the heritage that surrounds and connects us all. The Theme for Heritage Week 2019 is ‘Pastimes and Past Times’, encouraging people to take a stroll through our local history and explore how our free time has evolved in often fascinating ways from sports and storytelling to music and craft. Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Council and is part of European Heritage Days which promotes Europe’s cultural heritage across the Union – a week very much to look forward to.



*Added on 12/06/19* Heritage in Schools Scheme - Applications for the 2020-22 Heritage Specialists Panel


The Heritage in Schools Scheme is an outdoor education programme for primary school children operated by the Heritage Council. The Scheme is unique in Ireland and provides a diverse panel of Heritage Specialists who work directly with children in primary schools throughout the country. It is leading the way in promoting outdoor education and encouraging children to engage directly with the natural and cultural heritage that surrounds them. The current panel is being reviewed this year and up to 40 new positions should be available heritage specialists. Membership of the Panel will be for a two-year term (from 1 January, 2020) and subject to a six month probationary period. The closing date for applications is Friday, 23rd August @ 5pm with interviews expected to take place early in October. For further information visit http://www.heritageinschools.ie/about/news/heritage-in-schools-panel-now-recruiting




*Added on 10/06/19* Details of National Conference on Sacred/Spiritual Heritage 


Archaeology Ireland is organizing a one-day conference (Encountering the sacred) focusing on the importance of sacred places and spaces and our human experience of them. The conference is presented by the National Monuments Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with the Office of Public Works and will take place in the Print Works, Dublin Castle, on 5th October, 2019. The conference will focus on the importance of sacred places and spaces and our human experience of them. Central to virtually all religions—global or local, oral or religions of the book—is the idea that there are places where the otherworld, the numinous or the sacred can be encountered and contacted by carrying out rituals or religious practices at specific times.

Sacred places can be natural, such as caves, mountaintops, islands or springs, or they can be constructed. Such monuments and buildings often deliberately incorporate and literally build on the existing significance of the place where they are located. These sacred sites are not only testaments to the beliefs of the people who built and used them but are also an outstanding feature of the archaeological record.

The conference programme will focus on the significance of sacred sites in a range of religious and cosmological contexts and will explore the central role of pilgrimage: people journeying to sacred places for spiritual purposes. For more information on the Conference visit https://archaeologyireland.ie/encountering-the-sacred/. The conference programme is available to view by clicking here - https://archaeologyireland.ie/conference-programme-2019/



*Added on 10/06/19* Cork County's Colouful Culture and Heritage 


Over the last number of years Cork County Council has been producing a heritage book each year, from bridges to houses and churches to castles. What is very evident in these pages is the sheer number of wonderful heritage sites scattered throughout the County; not to mention the household names and legendary cultural characters that are synonymous with the Rebel County of Cork. Late 2019 will see the publication of a book on the Industrial Heritage of County Cork by Cork County Council, and just announced is another publication with a twist – a colouring book that will capture in a fun and exciting manner, the wonderful culture and heritage of the County of Cork.

Cork County Council is inviting the people of Cork to put forward any number of suggestions to include everything from natural and built heritage to archaeological sites and famous people from our past, even including traditional crafts and modern day festivals. The publication, which will be bilingual in both Irish and English, will include numerous drawings and associated text, as well as an overall map to indicate the location of the sites in the context of one another.

The primary aim of the publication is to highlight the vastness of culture and heritage in County Cork, and in particular sites that can be visited and enjoyed by all the family. Everyone who submits and has a drawing included in the book will receive a number of copies of the publication to be shared with friends, colleagues, classmates and family alike and it is anticipated that the book will be published just before Christmas 2019. Cork County Council will be delighted to receive all suggestions and recommendations, and in particular, any drawings or sketches, up to the closing date of Friday the 2nd of August, which can be emailed to conor.nelligan@corkcoco.ieThe undertaking is being supported by the Heritage Council and through the Creative Ireland Programme.



*Added on 10/06/19* Register Now to be Included in the Cork County Council Heritage Week Events Guide 2019


National Heritage Week 2019 is little over two months away, taking place from Saturday 17th to Sunday 25th August. So far for the County of Cork over 70 events have been registered with an expectation that Heritage Week 2019 will see over 2,000 events around the Country. All proposed events uploaded to www.heritageweek.ie prior to June 28th 2019 will feature in the official County Cork Heritage Week Events Guide this year. It is hoped that 2019 will indeed see a wonderful line-up and a great number of events, across the County. Indeed, the popularity of National Heritage Week is growing almost exponentially in recent years as more and more people take stock of the heritage that surrounds us all and indeed connects us all.

The Theme for Heritage Week year is ‘Pastimes and Past Times’, encouraging everyone to take a stroll through our local history and explore how our free time has evolved in often fascinating ways from sports and storytelling to music and craft. Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Council and is part of European Heritage Days which promotes Europe’s cultural heritage across the Union – a week very much to look forward to.



*Added on 30/05/19* Celebrating the Role of Women over 120 Years of Local Government


The National Women’s Council of Ireland has published a booklet titled ‘Celebrating the role of Women over 120 years of Local Government’.  To read or download this booklet go to  https://www.nwci.ie/images/uploads/Celebrating_the_role_of_Women_over_120_years_of_Local_Government.pdf



*Added on 14/05/19* The Draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy 2040


A new plan, the draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy 2040 has been launched which proposes a number of enhanced public transport services to be created over the next two decades, including a €1bn light rail system between Ballincollig and Mahon Point via the city centre; eight new railway stations, and 100km of bus lanes. The €3.5bn plan was developed by the National Transport Authority in conjunction with Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The light rail system, with 25 stops, would be expected to carry 46m passengers a year, with journey times of 27 minutes from Ballincollig to the city centre. The plan will also see €1.4bn spent on road projects to help accommodate Cork’s projected population increase of 50-60% by 2040. Construction of the light rail system is not likely to start until 2031 – interesting to note that it was 100 years prior in 1931 that the then existing tramways in Cork were closed. To inform anyone with an interest in the Strategy and for those interested in seeing heritage as a key consideration in the undertaking of the project there will be a number of public information events held between 15:00 and 20:00 in the month of June:

Wednesday 5th June – Imperial Hotel, Cork City

Thursday 6th June – Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig

Wednesday 12th June – Radisson Hotel, Little Island

Thursday 13th June – Carrigaline Court Hotel, Carrigaline

Wednesday 19th June – Blarney Castle Hotel, Blarney

All most welcome to attend and to see the exectuvie summary of the Strategy click here




*Added on 14/05/19* Cork Young Filmmakers Summer Workshops 2019 


Cork young Filmmakers 2019


Cork Young Filmmakers Workshops are delighted to invite you to apply for a place on a week-long Summer Film Making Programme in various locations throughout the County. If you have always wanted to make a movie, learn new skills in front of and behind the camera and would like to have fun and meet new people then we look forward to hearing from you. These exciting one-week courses are held during school summer holidays and are designed to give young filmmakers, age 14-19, hands-on experience of making film. Cork Film Centre provide professional training and equipment throughout the week. The emphasis is on hands-on film making. Demand for places on this course is very high so if you are passionate about film apply now by emailing corkyoungfilmmakers@gmail.com with name, contact details; address /contact number, age and a brief outline of what experience you have and why you feel this course is for you. The only charge will be a €50 registration fee, thanks to the support of Cork County Council and SECAD partnership.


Cork Heritage News and Updates Archives

Heritage News and Updates Cork County Council (Archive 001)