A number of major restoration projects are to be undertaken in Limerick city and county as part of the Government’s 2017 Community Heritage Grants Scheme.
Chief among these projects is the re-rigging of the Ilen, an historic Irish sailing vessel which was built by Limerick’s Conor O’Brien in Baltimore in 1926 and is now situated in the Corn Store in Hegarty’s yard, Oldcourt. This project will refurbish, conserve and renew the Ilen’s sailing rig, with reference to the original design and existing components.
Further projects involve a management report to guide future action at Castleconnell Castle, the showcasing of internationally significant archaeological finds from Hermitage, Co. Limerick, the safeguarding of restored artifacts at De Valera Museum & Bruree Heritage Centre, as well as works at Ballygrennan Castle and Kilfinane Motte.
A total of 196 heritage projects nationwide have been awarded funding under the scheme, which supports the continuing conservation and development of Irish heritage through local community based groups. Funding of €800,000 has been offered through the Heritage Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys said, “this round of funding focuses on community projects and events that make it easy for members of the public to learn about our heritage during National Heritage Week, as well as a diverse number of cultural projects and ongoing support for our vernacular thatched buildings.
“I am a great believer in the importance of supporting local heritage projects, which play such an important role in community life in every county nationwide. I would like to commend the communities which have been successful in securing funding; it’s a competitive process and being selected is a clear reflection of a top quality project. Through the Action Plan for Rural Development, I will be prioritising increased funding for heritage projects which have such a positive and tangible impact on our rural towns and villages.”