Charlotte-iHT

WORKS BEGIN AT JOHNSTOWN CASTLE

We were delighted to report that in April, building and improvement works began at Johnstown Castle, Estate & Gardens, Wexford. There will be significant conservation and upgrading works undertaken on the Castle itself, allowing it to be opened to the public and a new Visitor Centre is also being constructed on the property. The new facilities will open in early 2019.

Teagasc, the owner of the property, is partnering with the Irish Heritage Trust and the Irish Agricultural Museum to secure the future of Johnstown Castle and its gardens, thanks to the generous support of Government. “We are delighted to report that in 2019 the Castle will be open to the public for the first time in thirty years”, said Tom Doherty of Teagasc. “We will be offering an exciting visitor experience with access to three floors of the castle, access to the original servants’ tunnel and a new visitor centre with a café and shop.  “We are also working on a new road layout which is safer for cars and buses as well as improved paths in the gardens and grounds,” he continued.

“Johnstown Castle, Wexford’s greatest surviving country estate, is a significant building of national importance and we are carrying out conservation works required to allow greater public access, including essential repairs and electrical work,” said Clare McGrath of the Irish Heritage Trust. “Later it is hoped to refurbish the main rooms but in the meantime, visitors can see inside the wonderful Castle for the first time in many years. We are delighted with the interest and passion local people have in this special place and we hope, as the project develops, everyone will find ways to get involved at the property to help us care for Johnstown Castle and share it with everyone,” she continued.

In the meantime the Johnstown Castle Gardens and the Irish Agricultural Museum are open for visitors where they can enjoy a nostalgic journey through Irish farming and social history, enjoy the stunning views or meander through the lush woodland gardens and around the lakes. Visit www.johnstowncastle.ie to learn more.

Interested in Volunteering at Johnstown?
We are excited to have already received enthusiastic offers of volunteering at Johnstown.  If you are interested in volunteering at Johnstown in 2019, please contact: johnstowncastle@irishheritagetrust.ie


CLARE MCGRATH NEW CHAIRMAN OF IRISH HERITAGE TRUST

Dublin, 15th January 2018: The Irish Heritage Trust today announced the election of Clare McGrath as its new Chairman. Ms McGrath brings a wealth of experience in the fields of heritage and management to the Trust following a distinguished career in public service. Her knowledge of the heritage sector in Ireland is combined with a passion for the inclusive strategic approach to share authority and benefit the communities that surround the Irish Heritage Trust’s historic properties.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Irish Heritage Trust into this exciting period of development. Over the last eleven years, the Trust has successfully demonstrated ways to create greater public benefit by developing new ways of operating. This is visible at Fota House & Gardens (Cork), which is now financially secure and brought back to life with vibrant participation initiatives and significant community support,” said Ms McGrath.

Ms McGrath qualified as a barrister from King’s Inns and in 2003 was appointed as a Commissioner in the Office of Public Works (OPW), the first woman to join its Board within its then 170-year history. Clare was appointed Chairman of the OPW in September 2009 and remained in that role until her retirement in late 2016.

Clare McGrath succeeds James Osborne who died in August 2017 and who served on the Board since the Trust was established in 2006 and had been Chairman from 2012.  “I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of James Osborne who was committed to the Trust for over a decade, the last five years as Chairman.  He energetically led the Trust and had a particular interest in encouraging business to get involved and match the support and commitment made by local communities to Trust properties,” she continued.

In addition to acquiring Fota House in 2007, the Irish Heritage Trust became responsible for Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum (Roscommon) in 2015 and is partnering with Teagasc and the Irish Agricultural Museum to undertake conservation work and develop a new and exciting visitor experience at Johnstown Castle, Estate and Gardens (Wexford) in 2019. The Trust is based in No. 11 Parnell Square, Dublin and is working in partnership with Poetry Ireland to open up the property for public access through the creation of the Poetry Ireland Centre.


11 PARNELL SQUARE - PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED FOR NEXT CHAPTER IN DUBLIN'S LITERARY QUARTER

We are delighted that Poetry Ireland and the Irish Heritage Trust have received planning permission for ambitious plans to restore No. 11 Parnell Square, a historic Georgian townhouse in Dublin's north inner city and open it up for public access as a new home for poetry in Ireland, the Poetry Ireland Centre.

Learn more here where you can watch journalist Olivia O'Leary, commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, comedian Dara Ó Briain, actor Aidan Gillen, poets Paula Meehan and Paul Muldoon, Marie Heaney and the people behind the restoration of No. 11 Parnell Square tell us why Ireland needs a home for poetry.


The wall-mounted telephone at Strokestown Park

Roaring Twenties Telephone at Strokestown Park

Learn more here about the fascinating history behind Strokestown Park's Magneto battery powered wall-mounted telephone. Visitors to Strokestown will find it located in the corridor connecting the formal dining room with the galleried kitchen.

 


Children house tour Fota House

NATIONAL HERITAGE WEEK AT FOTA HOUSE & STROKESTOWN PARK

National Heritage Week 2017 takes place from 19th to 27th August. At Fota House and Strokestown Park we have an exciting schedule of events lined up for the week.  Come and engage with your heritage!

With free admission all week, Fota House Arboretum & Gardens will operate a busy programme of events, including 'Restoration in Practice' with Justin Laffan, a Baroque concert in the Gardens, dedicated children’s tours and much more.

Strokestown Park offers a range of activities including a talk on the hidden 17th century Chapel and plans for its conservation. There will be free access to the walled garden on the 26th of August as well and Poetry and Folklore walking trails. 

Please check the Fota House and Strokestown Park websites for more information.


Jim Callery Strokestown EU Prize Cultural Heritage

JIM CALLERY OF STROKESTOWN AWARDED PRESTIGIOUS EU PRIZE FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE

Jim Callery has been awarded Europe’s top honour in the heritage field - a prestigious European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award for the “restoration and establishment of the world renowned Irish National Famine Museum & Archive which has been the largest act of private philanthropy for cultural heritage in the history of modern Ireland”.   Mr Callery's award is in the Category “Dedicated Service”. Pictured above is Mr. Callery receiving his Award from the Chairman of the Dedicated Service Jury, Álvaro Fernández-Villaverde y Silva.

Jim Callery, founder of the Irish National Famine Museum & Archive and owner of Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon, is among this year’s winners in the category dedicated service to heritage and the only winner from Ireland. Independent expert juries examined a total of 202 applications, submitted by organisations and individuals from 39 countries across Europe, and chose the winners. The 29 laureates from 18 countries are being recognised for their notable achievements in conservation, research, dedicated service, and education, training and awareness-raising.

Mr Callery  joined the other winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2017 at a high-profile event co-hosted by EU Commissioner Navracsics and Maestro Plácido Domingo on 15 May in the historic city of Turku, Finland. The European Heritage Awards Ceremony assembled some 1,200 people, including heritage professionals, volunteers and supporters from all over Europe as well as top-level representatives from EU institutions, the host country and other Member States.

“I warmly congratulate this year’s winners and pay tribute to all those who made these exceptional achievements possible, thanks to their formidable talent, passionate commitment and great generosity. They are now among a select group of some 450 remarkable accomplishments awarded by Europa Nostra and the European Commission in the past 15 years. All our winners demonstrate that heritage is a key tool for sustainable economic development, social cohesion and a more inclusive Europe. EU leaders should seize the historic opportunity of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 to recognise the multiple benefits of heritage and its fundamental value in bringing countries, communities and cultures together in Europe and beyond,” stated Plácido Domingo, the renowned opera singer and President of Europa Nostra.

"I congratulate all the winners. Their achievements demonstrate once again how engaged many Europeans are in protecting and safeguarding their cultural heritage. Their projects highlight the significant role of cultural heritage in our lives and our society. Especially today, with Europe facing many big societal challenges, culture is vital in helping us to raise awareness of our common history and values and to foster tolerance, mutual understanding and social inclusion. The European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 will be an ideal opportunity to focus on what binds us together as Europeans - our common history, culture and heritage. The European Commission will continue to support this prize and other heritage projects through our Creative Europe programme,said Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

Click here to see video about Mr. Callery's work at Strokestown.


CD Cover Beatrice Elvery

IRISH HERITAGE TRUST TEN-YEAR HISTORY FEATURED IN IRISH ARTS REVIEW

"Engaging with communities and unlocking the unique story of the properties within its care lies at the heart of the Irish Heritage Trust’s ten-year history".

We are delighted that the Irish Heritage Trust is featured in a four-page article in the Winter 2016/17 issue of the Irish Arts Review.  The article, written by Sandra Andrea O'Connell explores the highlights of the Trust's first decade.