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Heritage Update June 2024

Cork County Council Stay Connected
Heritage News and Events
  This update for the month of June contains details on a number of heritage initiatives and projects from the local to the national level, as well as details of heritage events over the coming weeks that may be of interest. National Heritage Week 2024 is also just over two months away and details of events as they are uploaded are available at  Note also that the closing date for submitting details for the upcoming publication on the Retail Heritage of County Cork is Friday 21 June 2024.    News and details now in full …      National Heritage Week 2024 Heritage Week 2024 National Heritage Week 2024 will take place this year from 17th-25th August and will celebrate the theme of Connections, Routes and Networks. During National Heritage Week 2024 taking place from 17th – 25th August, we are encouraging you to explore the physical, cultural and natural connections in your community and beyond. How do we connect to each other, through roads, rivers, rail or waterways? What are the cultural connections like sports or past-times that bring us together? How does our environment and natural landscape create connections? Explore this year’s theme and how you can participate in National Heritage Week 2024 by visiting Events can now be registered online at 26 Heritage Projects set to benefit from Cork County Council’s Heritage Grant Scheme county-cork-heritage-grant-scheme-2024-will-support-informational-heritage-signage-at-st-colmans-cathedral-in-cloyne Cork County Council has awarded €44,600 in grant funding under the Council’s Heritage Grant Scheme. A total of 26 projects and initiatives across all eight of the county’s Municipal Districts will benefit from this year’s funding. Cork County Council’s Heritage Grant Schemes, supported by The Heritage Council, have been in operation for a number of years and have resulted in excellent projects focusing on a variety of natural, built, archaeological and cultural heritage. The growing appeal of the scheme is illustrated by a notable rise of 20% in the number of applications compared to the 2023 programme. Successful projects include Heritage Week initiatives, video documentaries, podcast series and conservation reports for important local heritage buildings, exhibitions, heritage festivals, natural heritage projects and a range of heritage publications. Awarded projects include the Ellen Hutchins Festival in Bantry, featuring workshops titled ‘Magnificent Moss’ which will engage the public with the significance, importance and beauty of mosses; Cumann na Daoine’s ‘Bobby Bickerdike Exhibition’ in Youghal; Tracton Biodiversity Groups two-day community led exhibition celebrating the deep connection between Irish culture, the land and our biodiversity; Bill Powers publication titled ‘Vagabonds, Thieves, Rioters and Trouble Makers’ and Kevin Collins video documentary series on the ‘Castles of County Cork.’ Welcoming the allocations, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn highlighted how, ‘The County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme is an excellent initiative. Our county is rich in history, with a deep-rooted connection to natural heritage, cultural heritage, built heritage, folklore, traditional crafts and so much more. It is crucial that this history is preserved for future generations.  The Heritage Scheme will provide valuable support for the exceptional efforts made by individuals and groups across the county in preserving our heritage.’ Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan, acknowledged the importance of community groups and heritage associations, ‘Local Community Groups and Heritage Associations are instrumental in the preservation and promotion of our heritage in County Cork. We are blessed with hundreds of groups that greatly value the history and heritage of our locality.  This announcement of €44,600 for 26 projects is a clear indication of our commitment to invest in the county’s heritage. This initiative will benefit communities but will also enhance our tourism offering, with a growing number of heritage attractions visited by people near and far each year.’ Many of the projects will culminate in events for National Heritage Week 2024, which takes place from Saturday the 17th to Sunday the 25th of August. For more information on these schemes, email . Details of the successful projects are available at the link below. County Cork Heritage Grant Scheme 2024   Marking 125 Years of Progress – Cork County Council Commemorates Milestone Anniversary CCC 125 Cork County Council marked its milestone 125th anniversary with a day of commemoration starting with a Special Meeting of Council where the echoes of history were highlighted as the 1899-minute book was proudly displayed.  As official proceedings ended, guests gathered in the Cork County Hall foyer where the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn and Chief Executive of Cork County Council Valerie O’Sullivan were joined by special guests Minister for Finance Michael McGrath TD and Simon Coveney TD who spoke about the vast changes that have taken place throughout this time but how the role of Cork County Council has remained the same, to ensure the very best service to the people of Cork County.  A special publication ‘Cork County Council: 125 years of progress 1899 –2024′ was officially launched which covers some key events and activity throughout this period. The book will be available to purchase for €5 from designated bookshops throughout the county.  Remarking on the publication, Mayor of the County, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn said ‘The publication and exhibition illustrate the rich tapestry of our past, present and future, and makes for very interesting reading, looking at the photos when Council meetings were held in the back portion of the top floor of Cork Courthouse and contrasting those photos with this morning’s meeting held in state of the art facilities in the county chamber.’ Mayor O’Flynn went on to say, ‘An accompanying exhibition offers a captivating journey through 125 years of local, national, and international events. As attendees marveled at the juxtaposition of past and present, it became clear that the spirit of Cork County Council transcends time and borders.’ Chief Executive of Cork County Council Valerie O’Sullivan paid tribute to the pioneering spirit permeating every aspect of the Council saying, ‘In the coming years, Cork County Council will continue to prioritise the needs of its residents, foster economic growth and champion initiatives that promote social justice and environmental stewardship.  Together we will work tirelessly to ensure that Cork County remains a vibrant, thriving, and inclusive place for all.’ The Exhibition will be on display in the foyer in County Hall for the number of weeks and members of the public are welcome to visit during office hours.  Cork County Council Seeks Stories and Photographs for Retail Heritage Publication CCC Retail Heritage Book A new book is set to be published by Cork County Council this year highlighting the county’s incredible history of retail heritage. The publication will explore the earliest signs of trade many thousands of years ago to the most majestic of traditional shopfronts, some of which still adorn the streetscapes of the county’s historic towns and villages today. Our retail heritage is also full of tremendous cultural interest, from household names in Cork’s retail history to the most peculiar of retail advertisements and stories. The book will highlight the importance of our retail heritage buildings, customs and everything else in between. Supported by The Heritage Council, this year’s publication represents the twelfth instalment in the ‘Heritage of County Cork’ series, having commenced in 2013. Speaking about the upcoming publication, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn noted that one of the key elements of each successful publication is input from local groups and heritage enthusiasts, “Past publications in the Heritage of County Cork Series have benefited hugely from public submissions including photographs, stories, and suggestions of sites that should be featured. Our Heritage Unit welcomes all submissions and suggestions, and I encourage local groups and individuals to share their stories with us.” Local heritage societies, community groups and individuals can get involved in the project by submitting information, stories or photographs of interest to Cork County Council by Friday the 21st of June 2024. The publication will set out to include and reference as many submissions as possible. The ‘Heritage of County Cork’ series of books is available in bookstores throughout the county and online via the Skibbereen Heritage Centre online shop at Copies can also be sought at Cork County Hall by emailing or phone 021 4285905. Above drawing: Traditional shopfronts in the rural village of Killavullen in North Cork, by Rhoda Cronin. Save the Date: 11 September, 2024 – The 3rd Annual Heritage Ireland 2030 Summit Heritage Ireland 2030 - Save the Date - 11 September 2024 The third annual Heritage Ireland 2030 Summit will take place on Wednesday 11 September, 2024. The Summit will again, bring together those interested in heritage or involved in its custodianship to hear of various developments in the heritage area and become involved in discussion around these. We look forward to showcasing successful projects and exploring challenges and opportunities in delivering the objectives of Ireland’s national heritage plan.  The event, being held in Printworks Event and Exhibition Centre, Dublin Castle will be streamed online for those unable to make it in person and to increase participation – further details will issue in coming weeks. New Guide to Researching and Writing Local History Launched in North Cork iCAN MallowHeritageCCC-240524-009 Cork County Council’s Heritage Office joined with Kilshannig Heritage Society to host the annual gathering of the Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN) at Springfort Hall Country House Hotel, where a new publication by oral historian and author, Dr Tomás Mac Conmara was officially launched. ‘The possession of his every neighbour’: a guide to researching and writing Local History’ aims to encourage, support, and strengthen good practice in the way local history research is conducted and presented. The publication explores local historical research across eight separate sections, including a glossary of keywords, research tips and examples. Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn noted, ‘The Irish Community Archive Network is an excellent initiative of the National Museum of Ireland, strongly supported by the Heritage Council, participating Local Authority Heritage Officers and community groups across Ireland. As Mayor I see firsthand the excellent work that Cork County’s iCAN groups undertake and wish to pay particular tribute to Kilshannig Heritage Society for hosting this event. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by the one hundred people in attendance and the excellent publication by Tomás MacConmara will be enjoyed by countless audiences far and wide.’ The guide was developed in response to the unprecedented increase in local history research across the country, as well as the proliferation of local history and heritage societies, journals, publications and websites over the last fifteen years. It aims to positively support these activities by providing straightforward guidance to ensure that this primarily volunteer-led effort makes the best possible impact on the local community it relates to, as well as the broader public. Author Tomás Mac Conmara, who has written several publications on the memory of the Irish revolutionary period, spoke at the publication’s launch about the importance of local history enthusiasts, “I have been very aware for many years of the great work undertaken across the country by volunteers who are deeply committed to the heritage of their place and who give countless hours to recording and preserving their historical landscape. The intention of the book is to provide support to this effort and to, where helpful, offer guidance on the methods and approaches that are optimal in researching and writing about our past.  Those connected to the communities they live in are often the best to explore and understand that landscape. I believe in the work of iCAN and can see the positive effect it has had for people and groups across the country. I will be very proud if this publication can provide some further support to this wonderful work.” iCAN supports its members by providing training, guidance and support in addition to a secure digital platform where they can document and share their valuable local collections, research and articles. Collections on the iCAN Community Archives also include photographs, documents, videos, and oral recordings, ensuring that the rich heritage of our localities is accessible to people both at home and abroad. iCAN commissioned the guide primarily to support the work of its member groups across the country but hopes that it will have a broader application for those engaged in these activities.   Lorna Elms, iCAN Development Officer, National Museum of Ireland emphasised, that “It is important to acknowledge the community volunteers across Ireland working tirelessly and with a passion, to gather, preserve and make accessible their local history – without them our ability to better understand the nuances of our past and how it has shaped our Irish identity, would be severely hampered. We hope that this complete and accessible guide will become a must have handbook for those engaged in the practice of Local History.” The book will be available through branches of Cork County Council’s Library Service or digital copies can be requested from  For more information, visit Heritage Cork at or iCAN at   Cruinniú na nÓg 2024 launches over 1,000 free creative activities for young people This year Cruinniú na nÓg will take place on Saturday 15th June and will feature more than 1000 free creative activities for children and young people throughout the island. The theme this year is Dare to Create and Creative Ireland is calling on all young people to get creative, try something new and show off their skills. Cruinniú na Óg 2024 will host hundreds of free creative events for young people, including an aerial arts programme for deaf youth in Dublin, all the craic agus ceol of a Rambling House performance in County Clare, an Eras dance party in Waterford, a Battle of the Bands in Cloughjordan, Tipperary, pottery classes in Leitrim, family art exchanges between Mayo and Armagh, heritage stone mason and gilding classes in Offaly and so much more. To find a listing for Cruinniú na nÓg event near you please click here For the first time, the programme will include a series of late night events for young people. Cruinniú Late includes a play created and performed within 24 hours in the crypt of the Waterford Museum, a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening and dance off in Limerick, silent discos in Dun Laoghaire and Offaly, and an open mic night at the comedy club in South Dublin. As part of the Shared Island-dimension of the Creative Ireland Programme, events are scheduled which will bring communities together across the island. These include a Deep Dive Game Jam where young people from Wexford and Belfast will join together to explore the shared environmental issues, Convergence will explore the importance of cultural connection, diversity and pride of place in Derry and Tallaght and there will be twinning events between youth centres in Belfast and Dublin. Cruinniú na nÓg 2024 is a collaboration between the Creative Ireland Programme, the 31 local authorities in Ireland and RTÉ. Announcing Cruinniú na nÓg 2024, Minister Martin said: “This year Cruinniú na Óg is everywhere, and all at once! I am delighted that we have been able to launch Cruinniú Late this year which is in direct response to requests from young people to provide authentic, alcohol-free spaces in which young people can perform. With this mind, I want to congratulate our partners in the local authorities who devised over 31 great events for 14-18 year olds. Also, I’m delighted that Cruinniú na nÓg will feature events across the four corners of the island building on the inaugural all-island programming in 2023. In the spirit of the Shared Island initiative, we continue to promote cross-community creative opportunities for children young people to engage in creative activities while building new relationships and bringing communities together” The Creative Ireland Programme and its strategic partners have developed a number of creative projects, all planned to go live on Saturday 15 June 2024.   Cork County Council seeking Assistant Manager for Camden Fort Meagher Crosshaven FortCamden Please note that the following position is currently advertised: 24/090 Assistant Manager – Camden Fort Meagher (2 Year Contract) Closing date for the receipt of completed application forms is 4:00p.m. on Friday, 28th June 2024. Application Form and Details are available on the Cork County Council Website – Careers Section –   Minister Noonan announces € 2.8 million funding awarded for local biodiversity projects Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, has announced that € 2.8 million has been awarded to local authorities to carry out biodiversity projects through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF). First established in 2018, the Local Biodiversity Action Fund was created to assist local authorities in the implementation of actions in support of biodiversity. A total just over €8.6m has been granted to local authorities through the LBAF since the scheme launched. Minister Noonan said: “Local Authorities play a vital role in addressing the biodiversity crisis and in this important week for biodiversity, I’m delighted to see a record number of projects approved through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund 2024. The benefits realised by the locally-led projects created through this Fund are shared by all of us, not least local communities. As more and more Biodiversity Officers join the ranks of our local authorities through the Biodiversity Officer Programme, I know that the benefits for nature and people that this Fund provide are only going to grow. I’d like to congratulate the successful applicants and wish them the very best of luck in the implementation of their projects this year.’ Engagement with communities and local authorities is crucial to the implementation of Irelands 4th National Biodiversity Action Plan, launched in January this year. The LBAF is operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and represents a commitment to support implementation of the Irelands 4th NBAP at community, county and regional level. The Fund recognises the importance of the work carried out by local authorities through their Biodiversity and Heritage Officers. All 31 local authorities applied for and will receive funding this year, with a total of 233 projects approved, covering a range of biodiversity related activities, including invasive alien species control, bird and bat conservation, wetland surveys and community biodiversity awareness and training. Niall O’Donnchú, Director General, NPWS said: “We’re so impressed with the diversity and creativity of these projects. Partnership is the engine that will deliver the National Biodiversity Action Plan. By working with local authorities, we can make a difference in communities on the ground, and that combined effort will make a huge impact in delivering on the ambition of the plan.” Projects approved this year include: A two-year project involving 29 local authorities recording the Irish mayfly Six local authorities will participate in the Hare’s Corner project looking to create new habitats for biodiversity Carlow County Council will survey protected and rare flora species across the county over the next three years Wexford County Council will devise a programme of biodiversity training for the staff in the Council Sligo County Council will carry out an Invasive Alien Species programme across the county, mainly treating Giant Hogweed Dublin City Council will carry out a Biodiversity Stewardship programme Kerry County Council are building a Strategic Alliance for the Management of Marine Biodiversity Supported projects in the county of Cork are: Conservation Management Plan for Garrylucas Beach/ White Strand beach €12,750 Barleycove Ecological Condition Surveys. €12,750 Cork Barn Owl Conservation Initiatives €8,500 Bride Valley Invasive Alien Species Management Project €21,250 Newt Habitat Creation and Citizen Science Project, Gallanes Lough, Clonakilty €11,220 Cape Clear – Invasive Alien Species (Phase Two) €4,250 Recording Irish mayfly – establishing conservation status €1,289   For the full list of projects in 31 local authority areas, click Download.   Funding for 134 Local Enhancement Projects and 27 Women’s Groups Across County Cork Local Enhancement - repair-of-hare-sculpture-eu500-ahiohill-tidy-towns_hare Cork County Council’s Local Community Development Committees (LCDC’s) for North, South and West Cork have announced their combined list of projects that will be awarded funding from the LCDC Local Enhancement Programme and Women’s Group Fund 2024.   The scheme aims to assist communities in carrying out minor improvements to buildings, minor renovation of community centres, development of community amenities, the purchase of equipment and to carry out improvements to common areas including energy-saving projects. Funded through the Department of Rural & Community Development and managed by the three Cork County Council LCDCs (Local Community Development Committees), just over €245,000 was allocated to Cork County which included €40,926 of capital funding for Women’s Groups including the continued support of Women’s Sheds Groups. Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn congratulated the successful projects saying, ‘The Local Enhancement Programme allows Cork County Council to work with and support local communities in identifying and improving facilities and amenities in their areas. Well done to each of the successful community projects.’ In the North Cork LCDC area, 40 projects were awarded funding from the Local Enhancement Programme which included a €2,500 grant to Ballindangan Community Council for the provision of blinds to the windows and doors of the Community Centre and €2,550 to Mallow Women’s Shed for the purchase of benches. In South Cork LCDC, 51 projects were successful in receiving funding with €2,500 awarded to Killeagh Community Centre for painting and €2,000 to Clondrohid Defibrillator Committee for additional equipment, plus an allocation of €868 for sports equipment to the Sister Hub in Aghada under the Women’s Group Fund. A further 45 projects received a share of the €79k in the West Cork LCDC area with Rosscarbery Tidy Towns awarded €600 for equipment towards the upkeep of their local area, while Kinsale Mens Shed received €2,500 for upgrades to their building. Under the Women’s Groups, Mizen Women’s Shed received €2,000 towards purchase of equipment and Bere Island Women Create were allocated €983 toward purchase of sewing machines and a printing press. Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan commented, ‘Cork County Council’s Local Enhancement Programme is targeted towards enhancing facilities for communities impacted by disadvantage, as identified in the Local Economic and Community Plan. The new scheme follows on from the very successful Community Support Fund in 2023 which supported over 180 groups in Cork County. Funds such as these help communities turn their aspirations into reality, in turn building stronger, more vibrant communities for residents and visitors alike.’ Details of all the successful applicants for funding can be found below. Successful Local Enterprise Program & Women’s Group Fund Projects 2024   New “Amuigh Faoin Spéir” fund launched to boost biodiversity on public land with outdoor sports facilities The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D.,  has confirmed details of the funding available for biodiversity measures at sports facilities under the Participation Nation Outdoor Fund. Funding of up to €25,000 is available to every Local Sports Partnership to support nature connected projects at sports facilities that are open to community use. There will be a specific focus on supporting the biodiversity surrounding publicly accessible outdoor sports facilities. Examples of possible projects include biodiversity pollinator-friendly planting, safe nesting sites for birds, bees and bats, the installation of biodiversity ponds, hedgerow and tree planting and rainwater planters. This is a parallel initiative to the recently launched outdoor sport equipment investment fund, the ‘Participation Nation Outdoor Fund’, which was announced on 3 May by the Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, Thomas Byrne TD.  The aim of the biodiversity measures confirmed today is to promote the enhancement and protection of nature with a specific focus on supporting the biodiversity of the surrounding environments on such land. The fund will be overseen by the Department and administered by Sport Ireland with applications open to the network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships. Minister Martin said:Connecting to nature and engaging in physical exercise are recognised as two key wellbeing measures and the Participation Nation Outdoor Fund encourages Local Sports Partnerships to work with their local sports sector to develop initiatives that are of wide benefit and accessible to the community. Improving the biodiversity of our surroundings is also an important measure in combating climate change. Earlier this month the Department announced funding for a new sport investment fund, the Participation Nation Outdoor Fund and this parallel initiative is a good example of how we can and should always seek to improve and enhance our natural environment when investing in other projects.  It is appropriate in National Biodiversity Week that I can confirm this funding and I look forward to proposals from the Local Sports Partnerships that will enhance biodiversity and improve access to barrier-free physical activity and help to build happier and healthier communities.”    Any queries regarding the fund should be directed to     €600,000 in funding for New Community-Led Peatlands and Natura Community Engagement Scheme Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan T.D., has recently announced up to €600,000 in funding available for community-led projects under the Peatlands and Natura Community Engagement Scheme 2024. The Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme was established in 2018 to provide funding to support the conservation and revitalisation of raised bog and blanket bog Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) and other peatland areas. To align with the priorities and objectives of the of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and meet Ireland’s obligations under the Nature Directives, this scheme is now being expanded to include communities that wish to foster better engagement with other designated and protected habitats and species as well as peatland habitats. Minister Noonan said: “The Peatlands and Natura Community Engagement Scheme reaffirms our collective commitment to empowering local communities and fostering a deeper connection with our natural heritage. Through collaborative efforts, we can safeguard our precious ecosystems, enhance biodiversity, and mitigate the impacts of climate change, ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come. The overarching goal of the Natura 2000 network is to safeguard Europe’s most precious and endangered species and habitats, as delineated by both the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive. Member states bear the responsibility of preserving these sites and ensuring their sustainable management, encompassing both ecological and economic considerations. Peatlands act as the primary reservoir of carbon in the Irish landscape and hold a pivotal role in Ireland’s endeavours to combat climate change. The restoration of peatlands yields significant ancillary benefits, such as enhanced biodiversity, augmented natural capital, improved water quality and flood mitigation. The Peatlands and Natura Community Engagement Scheme aims to encourage local communities, organisations, educational institutions, and other stakeholders to actively contribute to the conservation and restoration of Natura 2000 sites and peatland areas’. Niall Ó Donnchú, Director General with the NPWS said: “This programme recognises that the foremost and primary lines of nature protection are people and communities. This is a programme that looks to build on that significant individual and community engagement with nature and to resource new and frontier areas in that arena.” Applications are now invited across a diverse range of initiatives with a community benefit including: events, education programmes, promotions, publications, exhibitions, development of conservation management plans, public amenity and recreational measures, maintenance measures that support conservation measures, monitoring or surveying work to inform of restoration/conservation projects, invasive species and fire control measures, anti-littering initiatives to local environmental improvements in the area of the designated sites and other peatland areas. Successful applicants for this year’s assistance will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of the project’s eligible costs, with a maximum grant of €40,000 for Natura 2000 designated sites and up to €20,000 for Non-Natura 2000 peatland sites. The closing date for submission of applications is Friday, July 5th 2024 and for further information visit   Bantry Library Marks 50th Anniversary with Book Launch Bantry Library dsc_6588 Cork County Council is delighted to announce the launch of a new book on the history of Bantry Library to coincide with the building’s 50th anniversary. Bantry Library first opened to the public in 1974 and is of considerable historical significance from a town and architectural perspective. ‘Bantry Library: Bantry’s Brutalist Bibliotheque’, a publication by Bantry native and architect Dermot Harrington, will be launched in Bantry Library on Friday the 17th of May. The library is a stunning example of ‘brutalist’ architecture, a style that emerged during the 1950s with an emphasis on materials, textures and construction, producing highly expressive forms. The publication explores the conception and construction of one of Ireland’s finest examples of modern architecture and captures the sense of socio-economic and cultural change experienced in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s.  Capturing a sense of that radical time and the arrival of a brutalist, space-age megalith to West Cork, Dermot’s story of Bantry Library is presented with original drawings, models and images of its construction. Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn spoke of the importance of the library ‘The community of Bantry benefits hugely from their local library, a magnificent building that still catches the eye 50 years later. Whether it is through hosting events such as Lego Clubs and story time for kids, or hosting numerous local groups and events, Bantry Library provides an important hub for the community. Congratulations to Dermot Harrington on his wonderful book, which gives us a special insight into the history of this iconic building’. The status of Bantry Library as a unique example of modern architecture in Ireland has recently been recognised with conservation works to the value of €500,000 being carried out to refurbish some of the major elements of the building, including conservation and replacement of the windows and roof.  The project was undertaken by Cork County Council Architects with conservation support from Dermot Harrington of Cook Architects & Conservation Architect Oisin Creagh, and received a grant of €250,000 from The Heritage Council. Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan added, ‘I’m delighted to see the completion of the restoration works of this great building, ensuring that it remains a vital part of the local community for future generations. Dermot’s book explores the history of this great building from the initial thought process to the cherished building that stands today. I’ve no doubt it will serve the community of Bantry for many years to come.’ Bantry Library: Bantry’s Brutalist Bibliotheque’ will be available locally and via the RIAI Bookshop in Dublin. The book will also be available via the publishers Gandon Editions in Kinsale. The publication is supported by Cork County Council, Murnane & O’Shea Group, MTU, RIAI and the Irish Concrete Federation. For information on Bantry Library: visit or email    Kinsale Library Vying to be Named Ireland’s Favourite Building kinsale-library_03_web-1 Kinsale Library has been shortlisted in the RIAI Architecture Awards and is in the running to be named Ireland’s favourite building or public space for 2024. The new library is located in the James O’Neill Building (Old Mill) in the heart of the town and is one of 42 projects through to the finals of the Public Choice Awards. The RIAI awards celebrate excellence in the design and delivery of buildings by registered architects. Kinsale Library was designed inhouse by Cork County Council’s Architects Department. The project saw the transformation of the three-storey Old Mill from a boarded-up shell of a 19th century grain store into an innovative public library and exhibition space. It was officially opened by the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn and Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphries TD in December 2023. The €4.8 million project was undertaken by Cork County Council with the support from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the European Investment Bank through the Social Sustainability Investment Programme.  Mayor O’Flynn said, ‘Kinsale Library is a beautiful building inside and out. There were 180 entries for this year’s RIAI awards, and I am delighted to see Kinsale Library through to the finals. The library is now ten times larger than the previous premises and has transformed the service offered to the people of Kinsale and surrounding areas. This project has also brought an historical building back to life, conserving it and redesigning it sensitively to the benefit of the entire community. I hope the people of County Cork will cast their vote for Kinsale Library in these prestigious awards.’ Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan added, ‘Creating a new public library and exhibition space for Kinsale was a longstanding objective of Cork County Council’s Development Plan. The Old Mill was built sometime between 1840 and 1800, it was badly damaged by fire on two occasions before it was acquired by us. We now have an incredible, state-of-the-art space that is used by people of all ages.’ The winners will be announced by RIAI President Sean Mahon at a ceremony held in the National Gallery of Ireland on Friday the 21st of June. Visit to vote for Kinsale Library in the RIAI Public Choice Award 2024. The closing date for voting is Wednesday the 19th of June. Macroom Library and Briery Gap Theatre Project Reaches Historic Milestone Macroom briarygap-key-150524-05 The Macroom Library and Briery Gap Theatre project has reached a significant milestone as Cumnor Construction officially hands the keys back to owners Cork County Council.  Construction works on the new Briery Gap building commenced in January 2022.  Phase One of this substantial project has been completed with Cumnor Construction undertaking the construction and renovation of the building. Phase Two will involve the fit out of the library and theatre and is due to  commence in the coming weeks. The project has been funded through grants from the Department of Community and Rural Development and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, together with substantial funding from Cork County Council. Deputising for the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Ted Lucey welcomed the completion of this complex project, ‘The Briery Gap occupies a prominent position in the centre of Macroom and is a focal point for social and economic development within the town.  There has been much excitement and anticipation as this building project took shape and its return to active use for the people of Macroom is very much welcomed by all with great plans for its future now beginning to take shape.’ Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan added, ‘The completion of this high quality, landmark building marks a crucial step in our revitalisation plans for Macroom Town. Plans are also underway for a public realm enhancement project in the South Square area surrounding the Briery Gap. With thanks to support from the Department of Community and Rural Development, works will get underway later this year, further enhancing the town centre.’ The project has been expertly designed and led by Cork County Council’s Architects Department together with their team of consultants; Consulting Engineers Horgan Lynch and EDC, ASM Group, CK Fire and Theatre Plan and Cumnor Construction. The project was steered to completion by the Council’s Design and Project Team. The completion of this phase marks a significant step towards the official opening of the building in Autumn 2024. Project Team Working on Delivering a New Greenway Between Dungarvan and Mallow, to Broaden the Study Area greenway - kilcummer-viaduct-castletownroche Cork County Council and Waterford City & County Council in partnership with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, have today confirmed that an additional feasibility study will be undertaken on the Dungarvan to Mallow Greenway. The option selection process is a critical decision-making point and before further advancing and closing out this process, the decision has been taken to re-assess the feasible options between Dungarvan and Mallow. The project team will use the summer months to take stock of the strategic plan for the project to ensure that it is in the best possible position to progress successfully through the future planning process and onwards to delivery.  The feasibility review will also ensure that the project remains consistent with updated national policies. In addition to creating a tourism experience that supports the economic development of the region, this much anticipated green infrastructure has the potential to connect communities with key places of work, study and recreation. The use of historic infrastructure and existing built heritage to link people with their local population centres, sports pitches, and schools is an important objective of this green initiative. Given the further development of national policy in relation to providing safe and segregated sustainable transport options, the project team will review the study area to ensure that the objectives of connecting local communities to key services and enabling a modal shift are fully utilised on the project. Upon completion of the feasibility study, and subject to continued funding availability, it is anticipated that the scheme will progress to design and environmental evaluation, prior to seeking planning consent. This approach is consistent with new Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) guidelines and with their support, Cork County Council and Waterford City & County Council are committed to developing this critical green infrastructure. We wish to thank the community stakeholders across County Waterford and County Cork who have taken time to engage with the Project Team. This local knowledge has been invaluable in informing the evolution of this greenway project. We appreciate the robustness of this engagement, and we will continue to work closely with the community as we widen out the study area to explore multiple options. As the project develops, project updates will be available at and any future public consultations on the study area will be advertised in due course. Skibbereen and Clonakilty Unveil Exciting New Public Amenities to Enhance Community Living skibbereen-drone A new outdoor Amphitheatre in Skibbereen and an upgraded walkway in Clonakilty have been officially opened to the public. The projects spearheaded by Cork County Council demonstrate a commitment to enriching community spaces for residents and visitors alike. The Rock Amenity Park in Skibbereen underwent substantial upgrades, transforming it into a destination for leisure and enjoyment. These enhancements include developing an outdoor Amphitheatre and installing 850m of footpaths. The park is on an elevated area east of the town at the rear of North Street and High Street, with panoramic views of Skibbereen and the surrounding areas. Notably, it contains the remnants of a number of small stone-cut cottages dating to Famine times, and a circular Famine Memorial honours the significance of the site. In Clonakilty, the Gallanes Walkway has been extended to link with the Technology Park as well as developing a hiking trail. 275 metres of walkway/cycle pathways have been added and the 1km hiking trail, which takes in three circular viewing points, has been completed. The extension promotes sustainable modes of transportation and fosters a greater sense of connectivity within the community. In addition, the walls of the existing stone houses which were in ruins, have been reduced to 1m above floor level and picnic benches installed on site to maximise use of the amenity and give appreciation to its former use.  Commenting on these developments, the Mayor of Cork County, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn stated, ‘I am delighted to see these projects come to fruition made possible through collaboration and community engagement. The upgraded amenity park and walkway extension are testament to the collective effort in creating vibrant, accessible, and sustainable spaces for everyone to enjoy.’ Echoing these sentiments, The Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan remarked, ‘The upgrades to the Rock Amenity Park and the Gallanes Walkway extension represent our ongoing commitment to enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors in Skibbereen and Clonakilty. These projects not only improve recreations spaces but contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of our communities.’ More than €300,000 has been spent on the Rock Amenity Park project to date. The Department of Rural and Community Development provided €243,000 funding through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2022 which is 90% grant funding with Cork County Council providing the remaining 10%. In addition, Cork County Council allocated €40,000 Town Development Fund 2022 together with a further €17,930 from the Council’s own resources.  Cork County Council allocated additional funds to the Department of Rural and Community Development and Transport Infrastructure Ireland funding for the Gallanes Walkway to maximise the amenity area between the walkway and the viewing points, further enhancing the overall experience for users and bringing the total spend to €387,450. The support of the landowner of the West Cork Technology Park provided vital assistance, ensuring the extension materialised.  Town Centre First Funding for Bantry, Macroom and Mitchelstown Town Centre First Funding dsc_7442 The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr, Frank O’Flynn has welcomed funding to help address challenges such as vacancy and dereliction in three County Cork towns. Bantry, Macroom and Mitchelstown will each benefit from €10,000 in funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Town Centre First Town Team Support Fund. The funds will be used to further develop Town Teams in each location. The teams are supported by Cork County Council’s Town Regeneration Office and play a vital role in helping communities access the wide range of departmental funding available under various schemes. The national Town Centre First Policy is a joint strategy by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and aims to create town centres that function as vibrant, viable and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit while also serving as the service, social, cultural and recreational hub for the local community.   Mayor O’ Flynn, welcomed the funding, ‘A collaborative approach to bringing about solutions to support town regeneration is key to achieving sustainable communities in County Cork. This Town Centre First policy aims to tackle vacancy, combat dereliction, and breathe new life into our town centres through the development of regeneration projects. I am looking forward to seeing the impact it has upon Bantry, Macroom and Mitchelstown town.’ The latest funding announcement follows the recent publication of the Town Centre First Plan for Skibbereen, the pathfinder town under this scheme for County Cork, as well as the announcement in March of this year of an allocation of €30,000 approved by the Department of Rural and Community Development to develop a Town Centre First Regeneration Plan for the North Cork town of Kanturk.  Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’ Sullivan added that, ‘Cork County Council recognises the economic importance of vibrant towns. We are actively progressing a range of regeneration measures across towns in the county, covering areas such as sustainable travel, property activation and public realm enhancements.’ Further information on the Town Centre First Town Team Support Fund for Bantry, Macroom, and Mitchelstown can be sought by emailing . Launch of the Newly Refurbished Blue Pool Trails Glengarriff and Opening of Bantry Peace Park blue-pool Cork County Council has officially opened two new exciting recreational developments in West Cork. Bantry Peace Park is now home to a new inclusive playground suitable for all ages. The Blue Pool Trails Glengarriff underwent extensive improvement works including accessible paths and new seating and viewing areas. The Peace Park creates a positive environment for all to exercise, relax, and have fun. With accessible playground equipment, public gym equipment, and a special sensory garden, all needs are catered for. The Blue Pool Trails Glengarriff transforms the area surrounding the Glengarriff Nature Reserve. Residents and visitors alike will benefit from the enhanced nature experience located along the Wild Atlantic Way and the Beara Way. Speaking about the projects, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn said ‘The launch of both projects marks significant advancement in Cork County Council’s Development Plan objectives to protect the beautiful settings of local landscapes and to expand the sporting, leisure, and community facilities that make our villages and towns attractive. The improvement works at the Blue Pool Glengarriff ensure access to the popular trails and water activities for all, and Bantry’s Peace Park provides a recreational and fitness outlet for all ages and abilities. The impact of these amenities on both areas will be hugely felt, as now there are accessible facilities to host community events, to promote the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors, and to attract new tourists to the area which will boost local economies and to host community events.’ In total, €595,940 was invested in newly refurbished Blue Pool Trails, with funding coming from the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, €366,000 was invested in the Peace Park which received funding through both the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for the installation of a new playground, and the Community Recognition Fund Scheme for the provision of wheelchair accessible equipment and carpark works. The Department of Rural and Community Development funded all three schemes. Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan added, ‘I would like to extend our gratification to the Department of Rural and Community Development for supporting the improvements in Glengarriff and Bantry. I also want to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of our team and project partners for both projects. These initiatives align with Cork County Council’s commitment to developing vibrant communities throughout the County, and we are proud to be able to contribute both financially through funding and physically through the refurbishment works.’ Significant Funding Secured for Two West Cork Towns skibbereen-image-cropped Skibbereen has been awarded €1.8 million for public realm enhancement under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF). The money will be used to reanimate the streetscape in Skibbereen town centre and install a new wayfinding scheme to make it easier for visitors and residents to navigate around the town. The Skibbereen works include the paving of footpaths, urban greening, accessible street furniture, undergrounding cables and new street lighting. It also includes plans for a new raised paved area which will function both as a social seating area and an area for community and cultural events at Levis Quay and The Bridge area. Clonakilty is set to benefit from €200,000 under THRIVE, the Town Centre First Heritage Revival Scheme which allows Local Authorities and citizens to reimagine town centres though the renovation and reuse of publicly owned vacant or derelict heritage buildings. The funds will be used to develop an integrated urban strategy for the council owned buildings and lands on Kent Street, a richly historical street in the heart of Clonakilty. Cork County Council own a number of properties on the street and will work with the local community to develop the strategy. Welcoming the funding awards, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn, said, ‘Our towns and villages are the lifeblood of rural Ireland. The Town Centre First Initiative is set to have a major impact on rejuvenating our communities in County Cork.  I welcome both funding streams, which I have no doubt will help Cork County Council to engage with our citizens and empower the communities to shape the future of their town centres by identifying opportunities which will help ensure the long-term vitality of these areas.’ Skibbereen was identified as a ‘pathfinder town’ under the national Town Centre First initiative and a regeneration plan has been developed by Cork County Council in partnership with local stakeholders and the dedicated Town Team. The plan outlines 35 objectives to regenerate the town centre as a viable, vibrant and attractive location for people to live, work and visit, while also improving its capacity to function as the service, social, cultural and recreational hub for the local community. The RRDF funding directly supports 11 of the objectives and includes substantial public realm improvements to transform the fabric of the town, to support accessibility and sustainable travel and to complement other initiatives being undertaken by Cork County Council in the town.   THRIVE is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under the Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027 and the Northern and Western Regional Programme 2021-2027.  Cork County Council will strive to promote the values and working principles of the New European Bauhaus – an initiative of the European Union – in their strategies and projects to ensure these projects are sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, inclusive and accessible. Valerie O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, added, ‘THRIVE funding will facilitate the development and enhancement of an integrated urban strategy in Clonakilty, using a Town Centre First Approach and will assist Cork County Council in identifying suitable projects for potential capital investment.  Likewise, RRDF funding will support the realisation of some of our Town Centre First plans in Skibbereen.  I look forward to seeing the impact these schemes will have on both Clonakilty and Skibbereen and the resulting strengthening of the economic, social, and cultural vibrancy of both towns.’ Five County Cork Communities Nominated for Pride of Place Awards Pride of Place mallow- Cork County Council has confirmed that five community groups will represent County Cork at the 2024 IPB Pride of Place Awards, in association with Co-operation Ireland. Now in its 22nd consecutive year, the competition acknowledges the work undertaken every day by communities all over the island of Ireland. The Cork County nominees are Milford Community Council, Durrus Community Council, Mallow Castle Community Development Committee, Together at the Castle Committee (Mallow), and Passage West Creates. Welcoming the nominations, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn said, ‘I am delighted to see five exceptional community nominations from Cork County for this year’s Pride of Place Awards. This prestigious competition recognises the remarkable efforts and dedication of communities across Ireland. Our nominees highlight just some of the many diverse initiatives undertaken by communities the length and breadth of the county to support well-being, inclusiveness and creativity. I commend the tireless work of each of the nominated groups and wish them the best as they welcome the judges during the summer months.’ Millford Community Council is shortlisted in Category 1 for populations of up to 300 people. They partnered with Cork County Council to foster an inclusive community that embraces all village groups.  They host regular meetings in the community hall, to address issues and secure funding to enhance the North Cork village.  New footpaths and traffic calming measures were completed, and the community actively engage in regular street cleaning and tidying with everyone from ages 9 to 90 taking part.   The village of Durrus is nominated in Category 2 for populations of 300-1000 people. It is a shining example of community spirit and dedication, the community hall serves as a vibrant focal point, hosting a range of activities such as parent & toddler group, Foróige, indoor bowls, men’s group, and men’s choir.  The sensory garden on Phillips Green provides a haven for relaxation and socialisation, hosting events like drop-in-mornings, chess club, yoga, and art classes that promote wellbeing and creativity.    Mallow features twice and both with a focus around the Cork County Council owned Mallow Castle. Mallow Castle Community Development Committee is shortlisted in the Inclusive Communities category.  They host events throughout the year that are wheelchair accessible, are autism friendly and have a welcome for everyone.  With support from Cork County Council, they created Mallow Castle Haunted Walk which transformed the trails at Halloween. For Christmas, this same location was an illuminated walk with favourite Christmas.  In May, they hosted their first family dun day with entertainment, old-fashioned games and magic shows.   The Together at the Castle Committee is nominated for Community Well Being Initiative.  The free mental health and wellbeing event takes place on a Sunday in September at Mallow Castle each year. It is supported by Cork/Kerry Community Healthcare (HSE), Mallow Chamber, Cork County Council, Avondhu Blackwater Partnership, AIB and mental health organisations SHINE and See Change. The event features entertainment, recreational activities and is an opportunity to highlight local services and groups that provide mental health information and support in Cork. Passage West Creates is shortlisted for Creative Communities. The not-for-profit collective began with an idea in 2018 to transform a tiny vacant unit on Main Street into a vibrant Christmas pop-up. It now hosts 30 craft makers from Cork’s Lower Harbour and provides a local option for affordable, accessible and ethical gifting. The collective hosts regular workshops, festivals and collaborates with local groups.  Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan added, ‘The IPB Pride of Place Awards highlight the remarkable contributions made by communities and Cork County Council is thrilled to confirm the five outstanding nominations representing our county. The commendable efforts of these community groups in Milford, Durrus, Mallow and Passage West demonstrate the dedication and commitment of Cork County’s residents to improving their local areas.’ Judges will visit communities during July and August before the announcement of winners at the IPB Pride of Place Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony 2024 in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan on the 2nd of November, 2024. Community Embark on Town Centre First Regeneration Plan for Kanturk kanturk-town-centre-first Representatives from a range of local community and business groups attended an information evening to mark the first steps towards a Town Centre Regeneration Plan for Kanturk. The inaugural event offered over 40 community stakeholders in attendance the opportunity to meet with staff from Cork County Council’s Town Regeneration Office and to find out how to get involved. Cork County Council will develop the regeneration plan in consultation with residents and business owners in the town, as well as with the wider community who visit the town regularly. The next step is a general survey of the Kanturk community that will help to guide the development of the plan. The survey will be made available on the Council’s website and at Kanturk Library over the coming weeks. Deputising for the Mayor of County Cork, Cllr. Bernard Moynihan welcomed the information evening, noting ‘It was very heartening to see such a range of local stakeholders in attendance, showing such interest in participating in this plan and developing a shared vision for Kanturk Town. This is an excellent opportunity for the local community to work together toward growing Kanturk’s reputation as a great place to live, to work and to visit.’ The regeneration plan for Kanturk will be developed by Cork County Council in consultation with local stakeholders under the remit of the Town Regeneration Office, which forms part of the Government’s national Town Centre First policy initiative. As the plan development process progresses, future public consultation events will be advertised locally. Further information on participation is available by contacting . Minister McConalogue welcomes the awarding of the European Heritage Award to the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D, is delighted to announce that the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme has been honoured with the prestigious European Heritage Award 2024. This recognition celebrates the outstanding contribution of the scheme to the preservation and enhancement of Ireland’s agricultural vernacular heritage. DAFM co-fund the scheme under the Rural Development Programme and it is administered by the Heritage Council. The Minister said: “I am delighted that the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme has been honoured with the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2024. My Department co-funds the scheme under the Rural Development Programme, and it is administered by the Heritage Council. The scheme protects farm buildings which are heritage assets that may sometimes be under-appreciated, and we are proud to work with the owners who feel a sense of guardianship for these buildings. The scheme also acknowledges farm buildings’ important role in shaping the cultural landscape, and actively contributes to the continuation of traditional crafts in modern society. This award is a tribute to the ongoing stellar work of the Heritage Council and the teamwork between it and my own Department.” The European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards were launched in 2002 by the European Commission, and have been run by Europa Nostra ever since. The awards honour up to 30 outstanding heritage achievements every year, from which up to five Grand Prix winners will be selected to receive a monetary award of €10,000. Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan, said: “We are very proud of the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme, now in its 15th year, and with the hugely successful collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The scheme perfectly embodies our commitment to natural, built, and cultural heritage. By protecting wildlife habitats during works, restoring these beautiful old buildings using traditional skills, and preserving the stories and history they carry, the scheme has revived numerous structures that might otherwise have been lost. The recognition it is receiving now on a European scale is a testament to its success and can hopefully offer inspiration to others.” The awards jury were very complimentary of the scheme, saying: “The Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme is commendable for its wide-reaching, high-impact and holistic approach, which demonstrates integrated policies at work. Its emphasis on peer-to-peer learning has brought together diverse stakeholders, including owners, local communities, conservationists, craftspeople and ecologists, creating meaningful connections and mutual understanding.” Minister McConlogue concluded by saying: “On 30 May, Europa Nostra will launch the voting for a Public Choice Award. I encourage members of the public to cast their vote for the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme on” Works Commence on Ambitious Re-development of National Archives Today marks the start of a major investment of over €37m in re-developing the archive repository at the National Archives on Bishop Street, Dublin 8.  The project, which will be completed over 65 weeks, will future-proof the records of the State over the coming decades in a purpose-built, modern archive building.  This re-development is a significant project under the National Cultural Institutions investment programme as part of Project Ireland 2040. The project is funded by the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and is being delivered in partnership with the Office of Public Works.  The National Archives holds the official records of the State, as well as private collections. The collections held in the National Archives total over 50 million records dating from the 16th century to records relating to the modern Irish state. The National Archives also holds early Census records including the 1901 and 1911 censuses that are publicly available. The National Archives team is currently working on the public release of the 1926 Census, the first census of the Irish Free State, which will be released on 18th April 2026. The main collections of the National Archives are kept securely at buildings on Bishop Street, Dublin 8 where there are also public reading rooms, office accommodation and archival storage.  However, despite its very large footprint, the Bishop Street building (former Jacobs biscuit factory) has been unable to take records at volume since 2013.  The re-development will accommodate over 300,000 archive boxes in a purpose-built, dedicated archival repository, designed with ground works, foundations and services that offer the potential to develop future archival storage vaults on top of the new archival storage vaults if required over time. Speaking at the National Archives today Minister Martin said: “I am delighted to be here today as work begins on transforming the archive repository at the National Archives.  We saw, during the Decade of Centenaries, the vital role the National Archives plays in preserving the precious records of the State.  The expansion and conversion of the Bishop St building to a modern, state of the art, secure and environmentally-controlled repository, complying with internationally accepted archival storage standards, will provide an increase of two-thirds in the total storage capacity of the National Archives.  This is significant project for one of our Cultural Institutions and ensures the National Archives can meet its evolving needs in a sustainable and future-proofed manner.” Also speaking today, Kieran O’Donnell TD, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works said: “The commencement of works at the National Archives Building on Bishop Street marks a significant milestone in protecting the States physical records and collections of our past. The re-development of the building will provide the necessary space required to accommodate not only our current volume of records but will also provide opportunities to develop additional archival storage as required into the future. I am delighted that this project is progressing to the next stage, bringing us closer to a modern, fit for purpose repository for State records that will meet current and future demands”. The project is funded by the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and delivered in partnership with the Office of Public Works.  This development is a project under the National Development Plan, Project Ireland 2040, which will see many of our much-loved National Cultural Institutions, restored and renewed for generations to come. 69 Cork County Schools Receive Green Flag Award Green Flags 69 schools from Cork County have been awarded Green Flags as part of An Taisce’s Green Schools Programme. The primary and secondary schools were celebrated for their achievements under themes of litter and waste, biodiversity, energy, global citizenship and the marine environment amongst others. An Taisce operates Green Schools in Cork County in partnership with Cork County Council. Now in its 26th year, Green Schools is a long-term, whole school, action-based programme and award scheme for both primary and second-level schools that operates in 92% of Irish schools. When participating in the programme, schools work through ten sustainability themes, spending two academic years working on each theme before applying for the Green Flag award for that theme.  Acknowledging the dedication of the students involved in achieving these awards, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn said, ‘It is extremely encouraging to see pupils from primary school to secondary school age taking part in this wonderful initiative. The structure of the programme is such that sustainability, recycling, circular living and biodiversity become part of the daily thought process for these pupils and they will carry this with them into the future. It is great to see their hard work and the work of their teachers acknowledged and rewarded.’ Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan added, ‘The Green Schools Programme has a long and successful record of supporting environmental education in schools.  I would like to commend the dedication and enthusiasm of the students and teachers in achieving their Green Flag awards. Congratulations to each of the 69 Cork County schools who received their flags this week.’ The 69 Cork County schools awarded this week were among over 750 schools nationwide that will receive their flags throughout the month. Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin went on to represent Cork County as regional winners for the Water School of the Year Award at the Green Schools Water Awards ceremony in Dublin. County Cork Coastline Recognised with 27 Blue and Green Flags blue-flag-2024 The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn says the high numbers of Blue and Green Flags for Cork County beaches is a testament to coastal community groups and Cork County Council working together. Cork County Council has been awarded with 27 flags in total by An Taisce for 2024, including 11 Blue Flags, 14 Green Coast Awards and two Blue Flags for Marinas. The awards were presented at a special ceremony in Galway by Minister of State at the Department of Education, Hildegarde Naughton TD. The Blue Flag beaches in County Cork are Barleycove; Fountainstown; Garretstown; Garrylucas; Inchydoney East Beach; Inchydoney West Beach; Owenahincha; Tragumna; Youghal Claycastle; Youghal Front Strand; and Youghal Redbarn. The Green Coast recipients are Ballyrisode; Cadogan’s Strand; Dooneen Pier; Fountainstown; Galley Cove; Garnish Beach-Lehanmore; Inch Strand; Inchydoney East; Ballynamona Beach; Red Strand; Ring; Rocky Bay; Ardnahinch-Shanagarry; and Sherkin Island Silver Strand Beach. Kinsale Marina and Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina also retained their Blue Flag status. Mayor O’Flynn said, ‘County Cork is home to the largest coastline in Ireland and it is wonderful to see so many of our beaches and marinas recognised by An Taisce once again. The communities in each of these locations take great pride in these amenities and work closely with Cork County Council to ensure they continue to be exceptional places to visit.’ The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized environmental awards and 2024 is the 37th year that beaches and marinas have been awarded here in Ireland. The Green Coast Award recognizes beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. Green Coast Award sites are exceptional places to visit and enjoy our rich Cork coastal heritage and diversity. The Blue Flags and Green Coast designation are awarded based on adherence to strict criteria including water quality and safety, environmental management systems, beach infrastructure and provision of environmental information and education. Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan added, ‘Cork County Council and local community groups dedicate time and resources to meet the demanding criteria for these awards. The resources we provide include provision of parking, toilets, signage, waste management, beach safety infrastructure, lifeguards and water quality sampling and testing. I would like to congratulate all involved.’ EPA publishes Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report for 2023 Bathing-Water-Quality-Infographic-2023-1086x1536 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today published the Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report for 2023 which shows that water quality at the majority of Ireland’s bathing waters was of a high standard. 77 per cent of bathing sites have ‘Excellent’ water quality while 97 per cent meet the minimum standard. Bathing water quality in 2023 was high overall, with 97 per cent (143 of 148) of sites meeting or exceeding the minimum standard, the same number as in 2022. 114 bathing sites (77 per cent) had excellent water quality, down from 117 in 2022. The number of beaches with poor bathing water quality increased to five, compared with three in 2022.  Discharges from wastewater overflows and misconnections are the main issue at these beaches.  The wet weather in July and August 2023 put pressure on our beaches resulting in more beach closures to protect public health. The rainfall events in 2023 highlighted the need to build climate resilience into the effective management of bathing waters Bathing water quality in 2023 was high overall, with 97 per cent (143 of 148) of sites meeting or exceeding the minimum standard, the same number as in 2022. 114 bathing sites (77 per cent) had excellent water quality,down from 117 in 2022. Read the report: — EPA Ireland (@EPAIreland) May 16, 2024 Bathing water quality can be impacted by heavy rainfall. This results in waste water overflows and in runoff from agricultural lands and urban areas which can cause short-term deterioration in water quality. In 2023 urban waste water related incidents were the most frequently reported cause of beach closures. Run-off from agriculture, fouling from dogs left on the beach, wastewater from properties going to surface water drains rather than sewer (known as misconnections) and algal blooms also impacted on bathing waters. Record rainfall levels in July and storms in August led to more beach closures in 2023 than in previous years. The rainfall events in 2023 highlighted the need to build climate resilience into the effective management of bathing waters. “While our bathing water quality is generally very good overall, there is a need to build climate resilience into the management of bathing waters to reduce the risk of pollution following heavy rainfall.  This needs action by all sectors including Uisce Éireann, local authorities, and agriculture to reduce overflows from urban waste water systems, and runoff from urban areas and agricultural land.  While beach closures play an important role in protecting bathers’ health, local authorities need to improve their understanding of the pressures which can impact beaches in the context of changing rainfall patterns.”  Dr Eimear Cotter, Director of the EPA, Office of Evidence and Assessment The number of beaches classified as poor increased from three to five in 2023.  These are Balbriggan Front Strand Beach, Lady’s Bay (Buncrana), Trá na mBan (An Spidéal), which were also poor in 2022, and Loughshinny and Sandymount beaches in Dublin. The relevant local authorities and Uisce Éireann have plans in place to improve water quality at these beaches. These must be fully implemented to make these beaches safe for swimming.    No new bathing water sites were identified in 2023, although monitoring continues at almost 80 beaches not formally identified.  The EPA encourages swimmers to engage with local authorities to officially identify and manage additional bathing sites to protect bathers’ health. Further information on bathing water quality and updates on monitoring results during the bathing water season (1st June to 15th September) is available at   Swimmers should always check and the signage at the beach for the latest water quality information for their local bathing site. Learn More: The report, infographic, map and a table of all bating water classifications is now available on Above sourced from Minister Noonan announces upcoming review of wildlife legislation Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, has announced that members of the public will soon be able to participate in a public consultation to review and update wildlife legislation. This legislation includes the Wildlife Act 1976, the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011, and related Regulations. This legislation covers areas such as the protection of birds, the protection of certain wild animals, and the protection of certain lands, sites and habitats. Minister Noonan said: “This is the biggest review of wildlife legislation for a generation. It is vital that the public has their say. The review will examine a host of issues including penalties for wildlife crime, enforcement measures, licensing requirements, wildlife protection, habitat protection among many others. We want to hear from the public on how the legislation can be improved, what extra protections should be provided, and what the priorities should be. This review will seek to strike an appropriate balance between the needs of humans and the needs of wildlife. The update of wildlife legislation is part of a commitment under the Programme for Government to “review the protection (including enforcement of relevant legislation) of our natural heritage, including hedgerows, native woodland, and wetlands.” The objectives are to update legislation so that it better protects nature, helps prevent biodiversity loss, is fully compliant with EU law, and is easier to enforce and comply with. The first phase of the consultation will be an online public consultation and will run from mid-June to September. The review will be completed over several years and will entail several phases of public consultation. The aim is to have substantial updates of legislation passed by the end of 2027. Ministers congratulate LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature on winning major European award for agri-environment pilot LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature (WAN), led by National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and funded by the EU LIFE programme, has won the 2024 Natura 2000 Award in the category ‘Working together for nature’. The Natura 2000 Award highlights projects that demonstrate excellence in nature conservation and sustainable land use. Wild Atlantic Nature is the first Irish project to win such an award. Minister Darragh O’Brien congratulated Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE IP, and said: “This is an incredible achievement and speaks volumes to the huge progress being made in our engagement with nature in Ireland. My congratulations to the NPWS, Derek McLoughlin and his team and to all the farmers and landowners involved in a win that is a truly a great reflection on partnership in nature” Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, also congratulated the project,. saying: “I warmly congratulate the Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE IP team for their impressive win. This award not only recognises the team’s hard work and dedication, but also celebrates the role of farmers in tirelessly managing and protecting Ireland’s Natura 2000 network. Nearly 100 projects vied for five awards and having the European judging panel validate the commitment and results of the Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE project is very special.” The Wild Atlantic Nature projects results-based agri-environmental payment scheme (RBPS) was a pilot initiative from National Parks and Wildlife Service and Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, implemented in 2021-2022. The project aimed to develop capacity among farmers, farm advisors, policy-makers and scientists to deliver improved ecosystem services – including water quality, biodiversity and climate regulation – in a way that works for both landowners and the environment. The RBPS directly links farmers’ agri-environment payments to the ecological condition of their land through a scorecard-based approach that assesses different habitat types, and captures the level of environmental services provided. In this way, good environmental management is rewarded and improvement on lower-scoring lands is incentivised. Speaking at the awards in Brussels, project manager Dr Derek McLoughlin said: “We are delighted to receive this award on behalf of everyone involved in the project. We have built on the success of other agri-environment projects such as the Burren Programme, and Hen Harrier and Pearl Mussel Project EIPs, and brought their learnings to new areas. None of this would be possible without the support and engagement of farmers. Our experiences working with farmers have been extremely positive, and shows that if the right structures are in place, farmers can and will deliver for nature.” In all, over 820 farmers across 63,000 hectares of Natura 2000 and neighbouring land participated in the Wild Atlantic Nature RBPS, with more than €3m in direct payments to farmers. The learnings informed the development of the Department of Agriculture’s results-based Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme Cooperation Project (ACRES CP). There are now almost 20,000 farmers participating in the ACRES CP programme (2023-2027), covering an area of 1,160,000 ha, including over 85% of Ireland’s blanket bog SACs, with a total budget of €750million. Niall Ó Donnchú, Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service commented: “The NPWS recognises the primary role of landowners to manage the land in a sustainable way and to deliver the ecosystem goods and services that the public want and need. LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature is building on landowners’ knowledge and experience and using the success of the results-based payment scheme pilot to deliver related projects focusing on financing and restoration of peatlands, a home retrofitting pilot, training and education activities, and the Natura Communities initiative. The success here tonight is down the farmer and landowner participation and to the team involved, led by Derek McLoughlin. I would like to congratulate all involved. This is a fantastic testament to the power of partnership, collaboration and engagement” Further Information: LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature Project LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature Project LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature Project is coordinated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. There are nine other associated beneficiaries involved in the project including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM); Teagasc; Bord na Móna; Coillte; RTÉ; Fáilte Ireland; The Heritage Council; Northern and Western Regional Assembly; Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. The project aims to improve the conservation status in the Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) network of blanket bogs, a priority habitat under the EU Habitats Directive. The primary focus is on 35 Natura 2000 sites in the northwest of Ireland, where the project works with farmers, landowners, policy-makers and others to deliver solutions that benefit local communities and the environment. Natura 2000 Stretching across 27 EU countries, Natura 2000 is the largest network of protected sites globally, covering over 18% of land area within the EU and more than 8% of marine territory. These protected areas represent Europe’s most valuable habitats, protected in their own right, as well as sites important for threatened species. The purpose of the network is to ensure long-term survival of Europe’s 230 rare and threatened habitats and 2,000 species as outlined in the EU Habitats and Birds Directive. Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA) are collectively referred to as the Natura 2000 Network. Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces over €16 million for 69 projects in Ireland’s great outdoors The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced a €16.1 million investment in outdoor recreation projects right across the country. With the Summer Season upon us, this investment from Minister Humphreys will see a huge investment in Outdoor Adventure Tourism. Right across the country, there will be funding for projects such as our Greenways, Blueways, Forest Parks and Cycling Routes. New walking trails will be established for the first time, along with projects that will support outdoor sports such as kayaking, paddle-boarding, swimming and other water-based activities. In announcing the huge investment in outdoor projects, Minister Humphreys said: “Our beautiful outdoors have never been more available to us than today. With the summer months upon us, now is the time to enjoy the wonderful amentities right on our doorstep.” Among the projects being funded include: Belmullet Tidal Pool, Co. Mayo: €295,974 Boyne Valley to Lakelands Greenway Enhancement, County Meath: €200,000 Ardmore Beach Walkway, Co Waterford: €500,000 Durrus Coastal Walkway, Co Cork: €200,000 Lough Boora Discovery Park, Co Offaly: €500,000 Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk, Co. Clare: €500,000 On the impact of funding, Minister Humphreys stated: “This investment from my Department brings the overall allocation under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) to over €129 million since the Scheme was first launched in 2016. It is testament to the positive impact ‘Our Rural Future’ continues to have on communities all over Ireland and Government’s commitment to that policy. The times of lock downs are thankfully behind us but those times gave us all an appreciation of what our stunning outdoors had to offer us for our mental and physical wellbeing. It gives me great satisfaction to see the work my Department does to ensure that our rural communities can benefit even more from what nature has to offer. Our world class outdoor amenities continue to make rural Ireland the place to be for adventure tourists as well as those who appreciate a more sedate pace of life. These projects are spread throughout the country, so everyone can avail of the outdoors. Some of the planned investment, which is taking place all over the country, will enhance existing visitor attractions while providing new opportunities to experience our wonderful coastal landscape.” The announcement today will benefit local communities with new or enhanced outdoor facilities while also helping to support local economies by continuing to offer domestic and international visitors an attractive and exciting array of outdoor amenities. This funding will be invested in 69 larger scale outdoor recreation projects, bringing the total number of projects funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, since its establishment in 2017, to over 1,650 nationwide. These projects under measures 2 and 3 are to receive funding of up to €200,000 and €500,000 respectively, and will be delivered by July 2026. This announcement today is in addition to the €2.3m which was announced in November 2023 for 50 projects under the Project Development Measure of ORIS and €4.1m approved under measure 1 earlier this year. Minister Humphreys concluded by reiterating her commitment to supporting outdoor recreation: “The 69 projects that I am announcing today will be there for all of us, from all walks of life and all abilities. These excellent projects will add to Ireland’s now large pool of world class amenities and will help to achieve the goals of the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy – Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors. I would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to get out there and embrace our great outdoors and make the lived experience of our country better for us all.” Details of all projects are available here. Time Folks, Please! Midleton Library Do you have fond memories, stories, or keepsakes of local pubs that have called time for the final time, or still continue to trade to this day? To celebrate Heritage Week 2024 (August 17th to 25th) at Midleton Library, we are looking to share your memories with others by displaying photographs, leaflets, newspaper articles, or memorabilia from your favourite watering-hole. Contact Midleton Library (021-4613929), Tony Harpur (087-2969382) or John McHarg (087-7958243) for more information. Research Funding Opportunity: The Heritage Council New Foundations Award The Heritage Council is delighted to partner with the Irish Research Council in offering a New Foundations research award to the value of €10,000. This funding stream opens on the 9 May. More information can be found here. Cork/Corcaigh officially launched! Cork Irish Historic Town Atlas Launch Irish Historic Towns Atlas no. 31, Cork/Corcaigh by H.B. Clarke MRIA and Máire Ní Laoi was launched by the Lord Mayor Cllr Kieran McCarthy in Cork City Hall on Tuesday, 14 May. To further celebrate the launch, the annual IHTA seminar ‘Marshland to metropolitan city’ was held in UCC Centre for Executive Education the following day. Read more about the launch and seminar The emergence of Cork from a monastic settlement on a marshland site through to the thriving city we know today is explained in Cork/Corcaigh, a thoroughly researched text, illustrated with newly created thematic maps, early views and photographs. To purchase the publication, visit New Research Grant for Local Historians: The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has announced a new research grant for local history, in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy.  The Commemorations Bursary Scheme has been established to encourage and support new local research and local history studies relating to the commemoration of events associated with the early years of the State as well as other significant historical anniversaries, events and themes. Catherine Martin welcomed the new scheme: ‘I am very pleased to welcome the 2024 Commemorations Bursary in honour of our dear friend and valued member of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations, Dr Éamon Phoenix. Following the great success of the Decade of Centenaries Bursary, the new Commemoration Bursary is a wonderful legacy of the programme and a fitting tribute to a champion of archives, local history and local communities, the late Dr Éamon Phoenix. This new bursary scheme is a response to the continued interest from communities and historians from across the island of Ireland in their local history.  The Royal Irish Academy has to be commended for their considered and ambitious approach in the delivery of the bursary to date. I am delighted that my Department can continue to support the Royal Irish Academy in this new phase of Commemorations and the important and often unacknowledged work of local historians in exploring the complexities of our past.’  Professor Pat Guiry, President of the Royal Irish Academy, reflected: ‘The Academy is delighted to be partnering again with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media on this Commemorations Bursary Scheme. It is a great initiative that will allow local historians, independent scholars, and individuals working in local cultural institutions and libraries to bring to life the vibrant history of their local areas. The local histories that emerge will complement the earlier work that the Decade of Centenaries Bursary Schemes produced in 2022 and 2023 and enhance our understanding and appreciation of key historical developments’. It is anticipated that a number of awards under the scheme will be made annually. Understanding the varying financial requirements of projects, applications will be invited for amounts ranging from €1,500 to €10,000. The bursaries will be awarded to individual researchers across a wide range of themes which recognise the importance of the commemoration of events. Applications for the scheme will open on Thursday, 9 May. For further information and scheme guidelines, please visit the RIA website where you will also find a list of suggested research themes to assist applicants. The closing date for applications is Friday, 9 August 2024 at 5.00 pm. The development of this scheme follows the success of the Decade of Centenaries Bursary scheme which was established as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme and ran in 2022 and 2023. The Decade of Centenaries Bursary scheme saw support for a wide range of projects such as Medbh Gillard’s ‘Beekeeper, Bagpiper, Bombmaker; The life and legacy of Irish Patriot Donnchadh MacNiallghuis 1887-1954’; Brian Hanley’s podcast series entitled ‘Dirty War in Dublin’; and Síobhra Aiken’s examination of ‘Languages of Forgetting: Multilingual Responses to the Irish Civil War (1922-1923)’. Details of funded projects can be found on the RIA website.   New Publication by Gerard O’Rourke: ‘Land War to Civil War 1900-1924 – Donoughmore to Cork and Beyond’ Gerard O'Rourke 3D Book Cover Crop The book was launched on the evening of Friday 24th May 2024 in front of a crowd of 200 plus people. Here are the details: A story of conflict and perseverance leading to Irish Independence. It explores, examines, and explains how this was achieved. A journey recounting numerous incidents and experiences begins in Donoughmore stopping at various locations through to Cork City and internationally. It is all here; the executions of Mrs. Lindsay and Compton Smith, Mary Healy and De Valera, The Wallace’s ‘little shop’, Dripsey Ambush, Civil War, Executions, Prison life, Sport, Culture, Economic life, all tempered with impromptu little nuggets guaranteed to enthrall. Its 480 pages are packed with fascinating details including images not seen previously along with names that may be your ancestor. €15 of each copy sold will be donated to cancer care services in Cork. The book is on sale in a number of shops and bookstores in Donoughmore and surrounds. 150 attend Mary Jane film in her hometown of Clonakilty Mary Jane Film Around 150 people attended the special screening of the new documentary film “Rebel Wife – the story of Mary Jane O’ Donovan Rossa”, on the life of Clonakilty’s most forgotten patriot, Mary Jane Irwin in her hometown. From a strongly nationalist family, Mary Jane was a Republican patriot, poetess and political campaigner in her own right as well as the third wife of famous Fenian Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa. The film on her life has a special once-off screening at The Park Cinema, Clonakilty recently. Williams Rossa Cole a great-grandson of Mary Jane and Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa who made and produced the film, travelled from New York and welcomed everyone at the start and conducted an interesting question and answer session at the end of the film. Attendees included people from throughout West Cork and beyond interested in local and national political history. Another great grandchild, Eileen Byrne Quinn came from Youghal. The film traced Williams and his family’s interest in their famous great grandfather Rossa but they realised through his story that the Fenian would have been nothing without the support of Mary Jane during their 55 years together. It also showed clearly that Mary Jane, born in 1845 and reared at Main St., (now Rossa St.), Clonakilty, was in fact a proud patriot and activist for Irish freedom and not just a “rebels wife”. It also illustrated how she was in the shadow of her husband once he was released from prison in the early 1870’s but when he died ion 1915, she organised the famous funeral at Glasnevin with among others, Tom Clarke. She died suddenly herself just a year later broken-hearted by the executions of the Easter Rising leaders most of whom she knew. Her death and funeral made little news as she was interred in a quite cemetery on Staten Island, New York. Williams Cole suggested in his speech that she should be recognised in her own town by a public memorial and on a national level, her story should be on the history curriculum of secondary schools. The film compliments the film “Rebel Rossa” on O’ Donovan Rossa himself, which Williams Rossa Cole also recorded, produced and released in 2016, after the centenary commemorations of O’ Donovan Rossa’s death. Above update from O’ Donovan Rossa Centenary Commemoration Committee; for more information visit €164 million in funding announced for 30 regeneration projects in rural towns and villages The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has recently announced record funding of €164 million for 30 landmark regeneration projects across the country. The investment is being provided under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) with a particular emphasis on the revitalisation of rural town centres, which is a key objective of the Our Rural Future and Town Centre First Policies. Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “Today I am announcing an unprecedented €164 million in funding for 30 landmark projects in rural Ireland. This announcement has been made possible by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which is providing strategic capital funding for significant projects around the country. The funding announced today will revitalise towns and villages in line with the Town Centre First Policy, addressing vacancy and dereliction, stimulating rural economies and responding to community needs”. Two of the 30 successful projects relate to County Cork: Baile Bhuirne (€3.2 million): Redevelopment of a former residential school [Coláiste Íosagáin] to provide a Regional Development Centre – an enterprise development, training and research facility. Skibbereen (€1.8 million): This project will deliver a co-ordinated approach to improving the public realm and re-animating the streetscape in Skibbereen town centre. The project will regenerate the town centre as a vibrant location for people to live, work and visit. The announcement relates to the Fifth Call for Category 1 applications, which provides funding for large scale capital projects which have planning in place and are ready to proceed. The application process is competitive, and applications were subjected to a comprehensive assessment process by the Department with oversight provided by an independent Project Advisory Board, made up of representatives drawn from key Government Departments along with external independent experts. Details of the successful projects around the country can be found here. Leave No Trace Ireland Annual Report 2023 Leave No Trace Annual Report 2023 Update from Leave No Trace Ireland: ‘We are delighted to share our Annual Report 2023 with all of our members.  Throughout it, you will find inspiring stories, impactful initiatives and tangible outcomes that highlight the impact of our work. From educational programmes reaching diverse communities to conservation projects preserving fragile ecosystems, each      achievement underscores our commitment to making a difference on local, national and global scales. We extend our sincere gratitude to all our members for their unwavering support and dedication, which has been instrumental in our continued success and impact’. Read the Annual Report 2023   First ever bursary to support Masters Students in field of rural development The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has launched a new bursary to support a number of Masters Students in the area of rural development. The initiative is being rolled out in partnership with third level colleges and delivers upon a commitment in our five-year rural development policy, Our Rural Future. As part of the initiative, six students will be supported with a bursary with a value of €60,000. The bursary was developed in collaboration with the Higher Education Institution Network which was established by the Department to encourage the wider take-up of rural development research at postgraduate level. Expressions of Interest were invited from the Network in order to enhance collaboration between higher education institutions, research organisations and Government. Funding is now being awarded to a joint proposal by University College Dublin, University of Galway and University College Cork for their complementary Masters programmes in rural development with specialisms in rural innovation, climate adaptation, and sustainable development. The bursary will be funded by the DRCD and administered by University College Dublin as the lead partner organisation. It will support six students to undertake a Masters programme in rural development, two students in each of the three partnering universities. The students, who will be selected by the universities, will engage with the Department and other nominated departments in the formulation of specific research questions focused on advancing the objectives of Our Rural Future and providing an evidence base to aid the development of public policy or support evaluation of specific policy challenges. The bursary recognises the impact of rural development studies and education and demonstrates the Government’s continued commitment to supporting research to contribute to the evidence base underpinning national policies relevant to sustainable rural development. Announcing the initiative today, Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to announce, in collaboration with the Higher Education Institutions Network, a bursary to support postgraduate studies in rural development. We hope that this financial support will encourage and support graduates who want to continue their studies and pursue a future career in the area of rural development. Under ‘Our Rural Future’, our rural communities have undergone a huge level of change and rejuvenation that has had a really positive impact on families and businesses. This initiative will support and enable students who want to further their careers in this very exciting area of studies.” Dr Mary O’Shaughnessy, Head, Department of Food Business and Development, UCC said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to be part of this National University of Ireland team to have been awarded this bursary for master studies in rural development from the Department of Rural and Community Development. It is a fitting recognition of the importance of rural development study and research for wider societal wellbeing.’ Minister Humphreys concluded: “We hope to see applications from candidates in all disciplines relevant to sustainable rural development outlined in Our Rural Future. We welcome research projects that will contribute to the evidence basis which will underpin government policies relevant to sustainable rural development and help us address the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead of us.” Those interested in applying for the bursaries should contact the universities individually: Masters in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Karen Keaveney, University College Dublin, Masters in Planning and Development, Dr Maura Farrell, University of Galway, Masters in Sustainable Development, Agri-Food and Co-operatives, Dr Mary O’Shaughnessy, University College Cork, Walk Scheme Expansion Expressions of Interest Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors – the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2023-2027, has committed to expand the Walks Scheme to 150 trails by end of 2024, and as such the Department is now inviting expressions of interest from LDCs for new trails and substantial extensions to existing trails. Potential applicants (e.g. trail management committees, community groups, local authorities, and other similar entities) should be advised that expressions of interest must be made through LDCs in respect of trails that are eligible for inclusion in the scheme. The closing date for EOIs is 11th October 2024. Further information can be found here. Let it Bloom June Meadow Update from National Biodiversity Data Centre: We are incredibly grateful to all those who supported No Mow May. It has resulted in lots of new mini meadows emerging across the island. Some people have even reported Orchids popping up in their gardens for the first time! No Mow May is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to start cutting regularly again. Mowing less from April until September is one of the best ways you can help pollinators. So why not keep the buzz going with #LetItBloomJune? Cutting once a month rather than every couple of weeks, and removing the grass clippings when you do mow, can help native wildflowers like red and white clover, Self-heal and Birds-foot-trefoil appear. Find out more in our short-flowering meadow flyer New online course on pollinator-friendly farming National Biodiversity Data Centre Update: ‘The National Biodiversity Data Centre is delighted to release a new free online training course on ‘pollinator-friendly farming’ aimed at farmers, farm advisors and agricultural students. The course aims to help farmers make their farms more pollinator-friendly, with information on what wild pollinators need, in terms of food, safety and shelter and what evidence-based actions can be taken to make farmland more pollinator-friendly. We hope the course will give farmers an insight into the wonderful world of pollinating insects and why pollinators are so important on the farm and in the wider countryside. The course takes around 30 minutes to complete and is open to all.’   Pollinator-friendly Sports Clubs Sports Clubs Update from National Biodiversity Data Centre: We have been delighted to see more and more sports clubs becoming pollinator-friendly. With approximately 15,000 clubs across the island of Ireland, sports clubs can play a huge role in biodiversity conservation. Introducing pollinator-friendly management across sports clubs would create an entire network of safe places for bees and other insects across the landscape. The positive impact this could have would be enormous. From managing off-pitch grass for pollinators, to biodiversity walking trails, to planting nectar and pollen-rich flowers in club colours, there are loads of ways sports clubs can help pollinators whilst also creating beautiful, healthy environments for clubs users and visitors.     Find out more in our dedicated guideline for the pollinator-friendly management of sports clubs     Can you help by carrying out a FIT Count FIT count  Update from National Biodiversity Data Centre: Flower-Insect Timed Counts (FIT Counts) are an important way that you can help us monitor pollinators. Download the free FIT Count App, watch a 50x50cm patch of flowers for 10 minutes and count how many insects visit. You can carry out a FIT Count anywhere, and on any flower, but where you can, please use one of our 15 target flowers. In June its especially useful to carry out FIT Counts on Red or White Clover. You do need to wait until it’s sunny and at least 13C though! In 2023, 673 validated FIT Counts were submitted by 126 different volunteers. The average number of insects per FIT Count was 9. Why not try one where you are to see how your site compares. For those interested, the National Biodiversity Data Centre also runs a Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, where you can count the number of butterflies visiting your garden FIT Count website   Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme   Consider taking part in the Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme Bumblebees National Biodiversity Data Centre Update: ‘Within the National Biodiversity Data Centre, we have been tracking bumblebees since 2012, through a citizen science scheme called the Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme. Volunteers within this scheme walk a fixed ~1km route once a month from March to October and count the number of different bumblebees they spot. Beginners are very welcome, but it does require a time commitment in learning how to identify the different bumblebee species. The scheme has been slowly building through our amazing volunteers, but we still need to add another 20 walks over the coming years. March is the best time for beginners to join, as in early spring there will be fewer different species for you to learn to identify. If interested in becoming a volunteer, you can take our free course in identifying bumblebees which also explains how the scheme works: On an island scale, the scheme helps us understand if bumblebees are increasing or declining. At site levels, it’s a great way to assess the impact of actions you are taking in support of the Pollinator Plan. If you decide you’d like to give it a try, please email me directly () so that I can add you to my mailing list to receive the Monitoring Scheme monthly newsletter with hints and tips’. Pitches for Pollinators Pitches Update from National Biodiversity Data Centre: Over the summer holidays, schools across the island of Ireland are asked to help the bees by taking part in ‘Pitches for Pollinators’. This annual campaign aims to feed hungry pollinators by leaving school pitches unmown over the summer, allowing wildflowers to emerge. Records submitted to the National Biodiversity Data Centre show that red and white Clover are among the most popular flowers for bees during the summer months. By reducing mowing over the holidays, plants like these can grow in school pitches. During term time, pitches and grassy areas are regularly mown giving children important areas to play. But from the end of June until mid-August, leave pitches unmown to allow wildflowers to grow naturally. Photograph: Juanita Browne. Find out more   New Pollinator Plan guidelines for Local Communities Pollinator Plan for local communities National Biodiversity Data Centre Update: ‘We are delighted to release an update of ‘Local Communities: Actions to Help Pollinators’. This free guideline provides simple, evidence-based recommendations for community groups on how to help pollinators and biodiversity. The guidelines are now also available in Irish, thanks to funding from the Tidy Towns Local Authority Pollinator Award steering group. Building on the recommendations in the previous guidelines, the new guidelines include up to date advice on what pollinators need and how to support them based on the latest scientific evidence. Communities can choose from 24 actions across themes such as meadows, nesting habitat, and pesticide elimination. The guideline also includes a new voluntary scoring system to help communities track their progress’.   Carrigtwohill & District Historical Society Newsletter Every few months the Carrigtwohill & District Historical Society issues a newsletter on projects, events and undertakings. The most recent issue is now out and can be accessed online by clicking Click here.   Saving Carrigtwohill Augustinian Canon Abbey Carrigtwohill Carrigtwohill & District Historical aims to conserve and preserve the remaining Abbey structure dating to the Cambro-Norman era from falling into a further ruinous state. The society has engaged a team of conservation specialist to project manage this vital work, but cannot meet fees/costs from annual membership subscriptions alone. If you would like to learn more about the project, or make a donation towards same email or visit  A recent article also featured on the Cork Independent, available at Minister Dillon welcomes the publication of report on the review of local authority Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs) Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Alan Dillon T.D. today (5 June 2024) welcomed the publication of the report on the review of local authority Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs), and the publication of the accompanying commentary authored by the Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) which oversaw, steered and guided the review. The Minister said: “Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs) are key local authority committees bringing together both councillors and people working in communities with social, economic, cultural and environmental organisations to develop and review policies relating to council services. The role of SPCs is to advise and assist elected members in their work, so it is vital that they operate effectively; they prepare the ground work for policies that are then decided on by the local authority”. In a process which began in October 2022, the review involved extensive consultation and was guided by a Stakeholder Working Group comprising representatives of all of those who participate in SPCs at local authority level. The review itself was undertaken by the Institute of Public Administration during 2023, with guidance from the SWG. The review report and the SWG’s accompanying commentary may be found on the Department’s website. The Minister added: “This report and its recommendations will help to strengthen local authority SPCs and the policy-making role of local elected members. Both the re port and the commentary document represent many months of hard work and deliberation by the members of the SWG. I want to take this opportunity to thank the SWG members for their time and commitment to this process, as well as the important perspectives they brought to bear on the review. The report and associated commentary contain a range of important and practical recommendations, which my officials have now begun to work through and implement. The first step will be to update the Guidelines to local authorities on the establishment and operation of SPCs, which will be issued before the incoming councils take up office following the 2024 local elections”.   UPCOMING EVENTS Event - FWW-posterA4 Date/Time: March to June 2024, Monday to Friday 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 Event: Cork and the First World War – Exhibition at Cork City and County Archives Location: Cork City and County Archives, Séamus Murphy Building, Great William O’Brien Street, Blackpool, Cork. Additional Information: Documents, photographs, and memorabilia from the collections of Cork City and County Archives Service relating to Cork and the First World War are on display at the Cork City and County Archives. Themes explored include A Sea-faring City, Economic Impact, Enlistment and Anti-Conscription, and Those Who Served. The exhibition also features 30 minutes of original First World War film footage from the Imperial War. Free entry and see poster for more information. Event CCC Local Studies Exhibition Date/Time: Month of June 2024 Event: – Local Studies Library Exhibition: A Selection of Travellers’ Accounts from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries Location:  Local Studies Library, Floor 2, County Library HQ Building, Cork   Additional Information: On display for the month of June. Many foreign travellers wrote an account of their travels in Ireland in the late eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Travel in the 18th century was largely by horseback and with the improvement of roads, the hiring of a chaise or coach for travel across the county became a more popular mode of travel. Some of the writers in this exhibition of travel memoirs also toured the highways and byways of the countryside on foot. This exhibition focuses on the books of nine writers which will be displayed in the Local Studies Library over the next few weeks: Arthur Young, Samuel Derrick, Richard Pococke, Asenath Nicholson, Samuel Carter Hall and Anna Maria Hall, John Bernard Trotter, Thomas Crofton Croker, J.N. Brewer and William Bulfin. The topics covered by the authors include reflections on social conditions, local people, agriculture and agrarian concerns, politics, the wild beauty of the landscape and commentary on accommodation and travel conditions of the time. They also contain observances on antiquities and local customs. Some of the material was sourced from our Rare Books Collection. The books on display in the Local Studies Library provide a fascinating document of life in Cork in the late 1700s to the early decades of the twentieth century.  Local Studies Library | Cork County (   Event Cruinniú Date/Time: Saturday 15th June 2024 Event: – Cruinniú na nÓg Location:  Nationwide and throughout the County of Cork  Additional Information: Cruinniú na nÓg is a national day of free creativity for children and teenagers in Ireland. It is an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Youth Plan, and it provides young people with opportunities to express their creativity. Taking place on Saturday June 15th, there will be events and exhibitions held in a number of library branches across Cork. Have a look to see if there is an event in one near you! Full List of Events 100 Years Date/Time: Thursday 20th to Saturday 29th June 2024 Event: – Fermoy Musical Society Celebrating 100 Years Location:  Fermoy Library, Fermoy, Co. Cork Additional Information: The Fermoy Musical Sociey celebrates 100 years in 2024. As part of the celebrations, a Photographs and Memories Exhibition will take place in Fermoy Library. All most welcome.   Event - Kinsale Date/Time: Friday 21st June at 19:00, 2024 Event: – Scilly Walk Location:  Meet at the Spaniard, Kinsale, Co. Cork Additional Information: This annual mid-summer event is one of the highlights of the annual programme of the Kinsale History Society so there is special interest in this year’s choice. Scilly is a special place for the residents and the town and the history of the area and its residents will be told on June 21st, meeting at the Spaniard at 7 p.m. All most welcome. Event John Sullivan event poster.v1 Date/Time: Saturday 6th July, 2024 at 14:00 Event: – John Sullivan VC Headstone event Location:  Old Graveyard, Nohoval, Co. Cork Additional Information: John Sullivan was a native of Bantry, who joined the Royal Navy and was awarded the Victoria Cross, and the French Legion d’Honneur in 1855 during the Crimean War. He died at Nohoval and was buried in an unmarked grave in the churchyard there. Thanks to a grant from the Victora Cross & George Cross Association in London – a headstone has been erected and there will be a dedication ceremony on July 6th at 2pm. The event is organised by the Kinsale Cultural & Heritage Society and all welcome. Event - west cork history festival logo Date/Time: Friday 9th to Sunday 11th August 2024 Event: – West Cork History Festival  Location:  Inish Beg, Baltimore, Co. Cork Additional Information: Update from West Cork History Festival: Tickets for our 2024 Festival are now on sale via our website The Festival will take place from 9-11 August at the beautiful Inish Beg near Baltimore. There will be talks and discussions focused on this year’s themes – Aftermaths & Diaspora – with a wide range of speakers including Professors Margaret MacMillan and Roy Foster, Martin Doyle, Anna Reid, Myles Dungan and Thomas Keneally. Details of our Festival history-themed field trips on foot and by water which also take place over the weekend will be available soon. Book your tickets and we look forward to seeing you in August! National-Heritage-Week-Irish_White-on-Pink Date/Time: Saturday 17th to Sunday 25th August 2024   Event: National Heritage Week in County Cork  Location: Various Locations, Co. Cork  Additional Information: National Heritage Week takes place from Saturday 17th to Sunday 25th August 2024 and over one hundred events are expected to take place throughout the county of Cork. Registration of events is already underway and to see the listings, visit Event - KILDORRERY CARVING CHURCH RELIGIOUS 121015 conor nelligan IMG_9405 Date/Time: Monday 30th September 2024 10:30am -1:00pm Event: Information Session and Presentation – The Historic and Archaeological Heritage Bill 2023 Location: Floor 16, Cork County Hall, Carrigrohane Road, Cork, T12 R2NC. Additional Information: Cork County Council’s Historic Monuments Advisory Committee and Heritage Unit will host an information session and presentation on the Historic and Archaeological Heritage Bill 2023. The lineup of speakers will feature Seán Kirwan and Dr. Connie Kelleher from the National Monuments Service along with Annette Quinn, County Archaeologist of Cork County Council and others to be confirmed. The event will take place on Monday 30th September 2024, commencing at 10:30am and concluding at 1pm. The venue is Floor 16, Cork County Hall, Carrigrohane Road, Cork, T12 R2NC. Professionals in the fields of archaeology, planning, planning consultancy, engineering, or anyone with an interest in Heritage and Development Management are all welcome. To secure your place at the event please send an email to .     For queries on any of the above or heritage queries in general email:

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