Dr Charles Mount in support of the Heritage Council in latest issue of Archaeology Ireland
In response to the proposal, as part of the Public Service Reform Plan, to merge the functions of the Heritage Council into the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dr Mount outlines the diverse programme of work with which the Council is involved.
This programme includes a comprehensive grant scheme in the areas of local heritage, museums, architecture, wildlife, archaeology, publications and 'education and outreach' initiatives. The Council also supports the work of the Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research Programme, Heritage in Schools, REPS 4 Traditional Farm Building Grant Scheme, the Irish Walled Towns Network and the Museums Standards Programme for Ireland among others.
He suggests that the expertise of the Board and Committee members, which is offered largely on a voluntary basis would be lost if the Heritage Council was subsumed into the Dept.
He goes on to argue that the Council must maintain its independence and its direct links with communities throughout the country if our heritage is to be maintained and managed to the high standard that it currently enjoys and requires.