The Heritage Office is committed to providing high quality advice on all matters relating to heritage issues and is responsible for developing policies and priorities for the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of Sligo’s heritage.
It also seeks to assist the development of the Local Authorities’ heritage strategy and policy, advising on heritage impacts and consequences. Central to the services provided by the Heritage Office, is the promotion of interest, education, knowledge and pride in the heritage of County Sligo, and in so doing, increasing awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of the County’s heritage for all.
The activities of the County Sligo Heritage Office are guided by the advice and recommendations of the County Sligo Heritage Forum.
- Siobhan Ryan with the Monuments of Sligo poster
2006 was the final year of the current County Sligo Heritage Plan, and the Heritage Forum met four times to complete the implementation of the 2002-2006 Plan, and for the preparation and drafting of the 2007 - 2011 Heritage Plan.
KEY OBJECTIVES AND ACHIEVEMENTS FOR 2006
Raise Awareness and Appreciation of our Heritage
To facilitate awareness, understanding and enjoyment of Sligo’s heritage among the wider community. The actions carried out to achieve this are as follows;
- Liaise with Community and Enterprise Section regarding the promotion of care and conservation of historic burial grounds. A seminar for community groups on the care and conservation of graveyards was held in February 2006.
- The Field Monument Advisor Scheme increased to 3 days a week. The promotion of the scheme is an ongoing element of the Heritage Office work plan.
- Publication of ‘Monuments of Sligo’ poster which was launched in January 2006.
- Promotion of heritage through funding from Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government for the Conservation Grants for Protected Structures Grants, County Council funding of the Community Heritage Grants, and the facilitating of the INTO Heritage in Schools Scheme.
- Exhibitions – 3 held in County Hall, Riverside on
- Heritage Week (August/September 2006). The promotion of Heritage Week in County Sligo involved advertisements in local newspapers. Heritage staff were interviewed on local radio outlining the many events taking place throughout the County. A guided talk at Creevykeel was also presented by the staff.
Developing Culture and Heritage
To secure benefits for the Heritage of County Sligo and increase awareness, appreciation and enjoyment for all. Actions to achieve this include:
- Field Monument Advisor Scheme - The establishment of a database for the F.M.A. Scheme (Ongoing recording carried out for all Field Monument Advisor visits and surveys). Database procurement is currently in progress with the archaeologist at The Heritage Council, Kilkenny.
- Evaluation of County Sligo Heritage Plan 2002 – 2006 through questionnaires, surveys and public consultation. Draft report complete.
- County Sligo Heritage Plan 2007 – 2011. The plan is complete and was adopted by the Members of Sligo County Council at the December Council meeting.
- Lowland Grassland Survey – Draft report complete.
- Archaeological Sources – Final draft in editing phase.
- Thatch Survey – Survey currently with printers with publication due March/April 2007
Promoting best practice in Heritage Conservation and Management
To promote, and advise on, best practice standards for heritage conservation and management. The actions taken to achieve this objective were;
- Conservation Plan for Carrowkeel – Report nearing completion.
- Conservation Plan for Inishmurray – Draft plan is complete. A further meeting with landowners and project team is scheduled for March 2007
- Implementation of Conservation Grants for Protected Structures – 2006 programme complete.
Local Authorities and Heritage Management
To provide high quality advice to Sligo County Council and Sligo Borough Council on policies and priorities relating to Sligo heritage, and support for the integration of heritage conservation in the activities of the Local Authorities. The actions taken for these aims include:
- The delivery of Biodiversity Training to Local Authority Staff and Council Members.
- The review of the registers of Protected Structures on receipt of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage recommendations – Ongoing project
- Sligo Cemetery Lodge to be made watertight - works ongoing.
Other projects/activities of County Sligo Heritage Office 2006
Local Authority Calendar 2007
In co-operation with the Communications Section of Sligo County Council, a calendar featuring a selection of Buildings of Architectural and Heritage Interest from Sligo town and county was published and distributed to all local authority staff, members and other selected recipients.
The County Sligo Heritage Office, together with the Environment Section, was involved in the operation surrounding the stranding at Culleenamore of a Sperm Whale in September 2006. Having successfully organised the safe removal and subsequent burial of the whale, some important parts of the whale (i.e. teeth and a complete jaw bone) were retrieved and the cleaning and preservation process is ongoing. It is envisaged that the conserved parts of the whale will be displayed in the new Sligo Museum for information and educational purposes.
Natural Biodiversity of County Sligo
A ‘Natural Heritage of Sligo’ poster is currently in its final preparation stage, and will be published in early March 2007. The aim of the publication is to capture some of the beauty and diversity of the natural heritage within the county and features images of the native flora, fauna and wildlife of County Sligo.
- Sperm Whale stranded at Cullenamore - September 2006