The Government has approved a new cross-department strategic policy for the protection and promotion of heritage sites.
The Heritage Ireland 2030 programme is set to lay out a framework for protecting, conserving, promoting, and managing Ireland’s heritage for the next decade and beyond from government to community level.
Both Galway City Council and Galway County Council are tasked with the care and management of heritage assets in the Galway region such as monuments, protected structures, county archives, museum collections, heritage gardens and parks.
Through Heritage Ireland 2030, the role of Galway local authorities in caring for and promoting Ireland’s heritage will be strengthened and policies will be established to underpin their work as custodians of heritage resources.
Communities, leadership, and partnerships are the main themes of the strategy and reflects the importance of collaboration between government, communities, stakeholders, citizens and local authorities in delivering upon the objectives of this strategy.
The structure of the strategy was decided through extensive consultation with over 2,156 written submissions from the public and stakeholders from 2018 up until the official release of the plan this year.
The proposed framework in place will allow for these groups to achieve a common goal while also enabling cross-departmental government polices into government decision making across the board.
Heritage Ireland 2030 aims to deliver this through numerous working groups developing over 150 different actions outlined in the policy.
This will be built upon in the next six months in the official Implementation Plan which will elaborate on how these working groups and structures will operate.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan stated at the launch that the plan approved by Government “represents a major step forward for structured engagement around heritage.”
“The actions in this strategy reflect the huge challenges facing Ireland’s heritage, particularly for nature and biodiversity loss,” continued Minister Noonan.
“We have ambitious programmes underway in the area of peatland rehabilitation and nature recovery and the framework set out in this strategy, along with the structured delivery model, will bring cohesion to our efforts, including consultation with the Northern Ireland Executive on areas we might approach on an all-island basis.
“We were heartened over the past two years to see people access our national parks, monuments, nature reserves and historic properties during public health restrictions, and know that this has strengthened people’s appreciation of our heritage.
“It is more important than ever that our heritage is protected, conserved and restored to ensure that the people of Ireland continue to benefit from the value and well-being that it provides,” finished Minister Noonan.