Heritage Council announces projects to be funded through Heritage Stewardship Fund

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The Heritage Council has today announced the projects to be funded this year under its Heritage Stewardship Fund, a new scheme that supports staff in local authorities, public bodies, state agencies and third-level educational institutes working on heritage programmes.

A total of 24 organisations* will share the almost €500,000 in funding for projects which can begin immediately, and which will be completed before the end of the year.

*A full list of funded projects is available below

Through funding from the scheme, the UCD School of History will begin a pilot project aiming to support archivists managing archives with sensitive or distressing content. The project is a recognition that in order to help us to understand our social history fully, archivists are often required to work with difficult material that relates, for example, to Ireland’s troubled history of institutional care.

The funding will go towards the development of a network, comprised of archivists handling such material and a subsequent workshop, ‘A trauma-informed approach to managing archives’.

The Tipperary Museum of Hidden History has received funding to lead a project that brings local school and migrant communities together to learn about traditional Irish craft, food and built heritage skills. The group will first identify objects from the museum’s collection that they found inspiring. They will then bring their ideas to a series of workshops where expert basket weavers, stone masons and furniture makers will teach them about the materials, techniques and tools needed to replicate their chosen objects.

By highlighting their own traditions, the input from the migrant community provides an opportunity for cultural exchange and cross-pollination. Long term, a national rollout of the programme aims to increase the availability of highly skilled craftspeople with the ability to practice our traditional skills and crafts.

Commenting on the ‘Trauma-Informed Approach to Managing Archives’ project, Lisa Shortall of UCD’s School of History said:

“UNESCO defines documentary heritage as a key resource that helps us to learn from the past. Ireland's history of institutional care has been critically analysed in recent years and access to archives of these institutions is fundamental to our understanding of the social history of the 20th century, while also revealing past inequities. This project which aims to provide archivists with practical guidance in managing archives with sensitive or distressing content sits at the intersection of heritage and human rights, and this valuable Heritage Council funding will allow us to explore this new territory through the project.”

Managing Curator of the Tipperary Museum of Hidden History Marie McMahon said:

“This Heritage Council funded project is about many things. It’s about understanding our sense of place, learning about our traditions and the traditions of others, and it’s about understanding how the skills of the past can be as relevant and as useful today as they were in times gone by. By bringing the migrant community of Tipperary and local school communities together on this journey of discovery, we hope to bring a sense of belonging and fulfillment to the participants but also to inspire the next generation of Irish craftspeople, no matter where they come from.”

Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan commented:

“This is the second year we have ran the Heritage Stewardship Fund and the quality of this year’s project ideas clearly demonstrate the huge potential the scheme has. We understand that it can be challenging for people working on heritage projects in organisations whose core remit may not be fully focused on heritage. This scheme is there to support those people, and others, to be able to realise their ideas and to be able to make their own valuable contributions to our heritage.”

All organisations offered funding under this scheme will arrange an event to promote the work done during National Heritage Week, between the 12th and 20th of August 2023.

A full list of funded projects is available here

Media contact:

Please contact Pearse Ó Caoimh of the Heritage Council, to arrange an interview

T. 085-8590378  E. pocaoimh@heritagecouncil.ie