The Heritage Council has developed and currently manages many initiatives which serve to protect, preserve, enhance and raise awareness about our national heritage. In this section you will find information about these important initiatives.
Historic Towns Initiative This pilot scheme involves the three historic towns of Westport, Listowel & Youghal. Council and its partners are seeking to combine the conservation of the built & natural heritage through effective urban renewal while maximising the economic value of tourism to the towns.
INSTAR Web Archive & Grant Programme The Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research (INSTAR) Web Archive is one of the most important online Irish archaeological information resources. It allows easy access for all to the most recent archaeological research supported through INSTAR grants programme.
Significant unpublished Irish archaeological excavations 1930-97 Website The Heritage Council commissioned a survey of unpublished excavations for the period 1930-1997 that examined the Heritage Service archive of reports on archaeological excavations. The survey categorised 81 sites as being of national importance and a further 340 as being of regional significance. A website was developed for the project in 2007.
Field Monument Advisor Scheme The Heritage Council is working in partnership with Local Government and the farming community to provide advice to farmers on the management of archaeological monuments on privately owned farmland.
Traditional Building Craft Skills The Heritage Council intends to provide a register of training initiatives in Traditional Building Craft Skills on its website. The register will contain two categories - certified courses and training which includes the informal handing-on of skills.
REPS 4 Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme This scheme is now CLOSED for applications. In partnership with the Dept. of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, the Heritage Council administers a grants scheme to REPS 4 participants on the conservation and repair of traditional farm buildings.
The Mayglass Farmstead Mounting the first project of its kind ever undertaken in Ireland, the Heritage Council succeeded in conserving this special place using traditional skills such as thatching and mud-wall construction.
County Heritage Officer Network The work of the Heritage Council reaches into the heart of communities throughout Ireland through its network of 28 County Heritage Officers, who are employed by the Local Authorities.
National Heritage Week The Heritage Council coordinates and promotes National Heritage Week. In 2012, over 600,000 people attended a record 1,500 events around the country during the week in August. It involved over 900 event organisers from community groups and volunteers, cultural institutions, and state agencies.
The Heritage in Schools Scheme The Heritage in Schools Scheme provides a panel of 165 heritage specialists who visit primary schools throughout the country, bringing Ireland's heritage directly into the classroom for pupils.
Inland Waterway Corridors Studies The Heritage Council undertook Waterway Corridor Studies on the Shannon and parts of the Grand and Royal Canalsbetween 2001 and 2006.
Advocacy - Waterways Management Agency The Heritage Council has drawn attention, on a number of occasions, to the crucial importance of a strategic plan and a co-ordinating agency to manage the country’s waterways, particularly in relation to flood management.
Climate Change Review The Heritage Council and Fáilte Ireland commissioned this review to better inform policy, research and grant support. The main findings of the review is that the heritage of Ireland's coast is at particular risk, and that this will impact on tourism-related activities.
Boat Wash Literature Review The impact of boat-wash on the natural and cultural heritage of Ireland’s waterways has been identified as an important issue in the Waterway Corridor Studies carried out to date. To further investigate this, the Heritage Council commissioned a literature review on research carried out to date and current practice in relation to boat-wash (2006).
Assessment - Pilot Rural Renewal Tax Scheme for Upr Shannon The Heritage Council’s assessment of the Upper Shannon Tax Scheme focused on the resulting impact of increased development pressures on the heritage within the River Shannon Corridor and the implications for the planning and development system within this area.
Water Consultation Process 2001-04 In response to the publication of the EU's Water Framework Directive [pdf 867kb] in 2000 the Heritage Council established a working group of expert opinion on water quality. A consultative process seeking the public's view on Ireland's water was also undertaken and in 2004, the results of this consultative process were published in report form and a seminar was held to discuss its contents.
IWTN has initiated a pilot programme which will undertake 'area-based' interpretation plans for the first time in Ireland. The draft plan for the medieval complex of Rinn Dúin, Co. Roscommon has already been published.
IWTN Education Initiative This programme aims to develop a more sustainable bond between people living in medieval towns and the heritage that surrounds them. The programme is aimed at communities and professionals living within these towns.
Landscape Character Assessment: CPD Training Course This all-island, multi-disciplinary CPD training course has been of value to those whose professional work impinges on the Irish landscape. This includes planners, landscape architects, archaeologists, ecologists, architects and engineers.
Pilgrim Paths The aim of this project was to develop a network of walking routes along medieval Pilgrim Paths in association with local communities.
Landscape Character Assesment This study provides recommendations for full LCA coverage in Ireland, reviews LCA methodologies and provides an overview of good practice in other EU member states.
Leave No Trace Leave No Trace (LNT) is a code of outdoor ethics which promotes responsible behaviour for visitors to sites of natural, built and cultural interest.
The Beara Breifne Way The Beara Breifne Way is an ambitious undertaking which has seen the development of a walking and cycling route along the spine of the country, from Beara in Co. Cork to Breifne in Co. Leitrim.
High Nature Value Farming The Heritage Council has grant-aided the 'European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism' (EFNCP) to undertake work on high nature value (HNV) farming since 2010.
Climate Change Review The Heritage Council, along with Fáilte Ireland, commissioned this review to better inform policy, research and grant support. The main finding of the review is that the heritage of Ireland's coast is at particular risk, which will impact on tourism-related activity.
Heritage Council Maritime Heritage Leaflet Series Over the past 5 years, the Heritage Council has commissioned and published seven leaflets on little known aspects of Ireland’s maritime heritage. These range from land-based cultural heritage such as the Hook Peninsula to the lesser known inhabitants of the sea such as sharks and jellyfish.
Heritage & Traditional Boats In 2007, the Heritage Council set up a working group on Maritime and Inland Waterways Collections which advises on how best to proceed with the recommendations of an Audit of Maritime Collections, published in 2006.
Marine & Coastal Heritage Directory This web-based directory on marine and coastal heritage provides an information source for those initiating or taking part in projects in the coastal zone.
BiblioMara In November 2002, the Heritage Council commissioned the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre (CMRC) in Cork to compile BiblioMara, an annotated, indexed bibliography on the cultural and built heritage of the Irish coastal zone.
Museums Standards Programme for Ireland This important initiative, with participants from a wide range of Irish collecting institutions, sets out to raise standards of care across Irish museums and galleries.
Conservation Internship Programme The Heritage Council's annual Conservation Internship Programme is run in partnership with the Chester Beatty Library; the National Gallery of Ireland; the National Library of Ireland (NLI); and the Old Library, Trinity College Dublin (TCD).
Conservation Awards Ireland The inaugural Heritage Council Conservation Award was awarded in 2009 to John Gillis, conservator at the National Museum of Ireland.
Village Design Statement Programme The Heritage Council’s National Community-led Village Design Statement (VDS) Programme provides an opportunity for meaningful public participation in the Irish planning system.
National Planning Referral Programme The National Planning Referral Programme aims to ensure that our national heritage, as deﬁned by the Heritage Act 1995, is protected, preserved and enhanced by the Irish planning system.
Landscape Character Assessment: CDP Training Course This CPD course will be of value to those whose professional work impinges on the Irish landscape, including planners, landscape architects, archaeologists, ecologists, architects and engineers. The course was conferred with the Irish Landscape Institute’s President’s Award in November 2009.
National Biodiversity Data Centre The National Biodiversity Data Centre was established in January 2007. The centre is an initiative of the Heritage Council and is funded by the Heritage Council and the National Parks & Wildlife Service.
Local Biodiversity Action Plans The Heritage Council works with the Dept. of the Environment, Community & Local Government and with Local Authorities around the country, assisting in the development of these plans and providing resources for their implementation.