The TidyTowns Heritage Award has been sponsored by the Heritage Council to encourage a greater awareness of the value of our heritage to our quality of life and to sustainable economic development.
The IWTN supports and celebrates Irish walled towns through strategic input and funding of conservation, training and promotional programmes.
The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) focuses on uniting and co-ordinating the strategic efforts of local authorities and communities involved in the management, conservation and enhancement of historic walled towns in Ireland, both North and South.
Aims and Objectives
The work of IWTN
Since 2007, the IWTN has provided €6.35 million in funding to Irish walled towns in support of:
- conservation and sustainable development projects;
- the provision of an award-winning education and volunteer training programme;
- annual festivals that celebrate our medieval heritage.
Established by the Heritage Council in 2005, there are currently 28 member towns and villages throughout Ireland.
To date over 850 people have attended IWTN training events in building conservation, heritage tourism and town planning.
In 2013, the IWTN’s educational programme was awarded the Europa Nostra award in recognition of its dynamic approach to the up-skilling and empowering of local heritage champions throughout the country.
Why Walled Towns?
While the main objective is to ensure that these fascinating monuments do not collapse, almost all the projects have a tangible tourism benefit.
Talbot’s Tower in Kilkenny and the abandoned medieval town of Rinn Dúin (Rindoon) are among the projects whose conservation has resulted in a renewed enjoyment by local people and a marked increase in tourism.
In 2014 alone, 44,430 people attended IWTN funded, volunteer-organised festivals and events. A KPMG report estimated that the economic benefit to Youghal of its 2008 Walled Towns Festival Day was €480,000.
To check out what’s happening in a walled town near you visit the IWTN website at www.irishwalledtownsnetwork.ie