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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.


Magical Weddings in an Irish Heritage Trust Property

A wedding at Fota House and Gardens is an experience you will never forget. From a ceremony in our magnificent drawing room, to photos throughout the stunning house and gardens, why not contact our team to arrange a consultation.

Whether it’s a civil marriage or partnership, a blessing or a distinctive setting for your photographs you can share in the Fota's tradition of spectacular weddings.

Over the decades visitors and guests to Fota House have become captivated by its timeless and romantic atmosphere. The house boasts stunning Regency architecture and décor, exquisite gardens, fanfares of blossom and beautifully appointed surroundings.

Our professional wedding team will ensure you have a joyful day at Fota House Arboretum & Gardens. To discuss a range of options, tailored exclusively for your event please contact our wedding co-ordinator Vincent vincent@irishheritagetrust.ie

More information about weddings at Fota click here

 


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.

 


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.

 

 


Minister Heather Humphreys Jim Callery Strokestown Park House Irish Heritage Trust

MINISTER HUMPHREYS VISITS STROKESTOWN

In September, Heather Humphreys - the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs - joined a women’s history event at Strokestown Park House titled “Revolutionaries in their own Right: Irish Women in War and Revolution”.

The event took place in the historical setting of the Galleried Kitchens at the House and was using the unique and wonderful contents of Strokestown House and the archive, along with its authentic streetscape, to bring history to life. A tour of Strokestown in 1916 was conducted by local school students who have created a unique piece of public history.

“The town of Strokestown, the Irish National Famine Museum and Strokestown Park House together form a very special place and a unique heritage asset and it’s wonderful to see them being used for such a fascinating event about the changing roles and lives of women during the decade 1912-22,” said Minister Humphreys.  “On behalf of my Department, I would like to wish everyone at Strokestown Park and Famine Museum every success as they continue work with the Irish Heritage Trust to improve this wonderful place in the coming years for everyone to enjoy”, she concluded.

“We are delighted to see Minister Humphreys here today at Strokestown Park and Famine Museum and to show her the wonderful community participation at such a significant national heritage property”, said Kevin Baird, CEO of the Irish Heritage Trust, a charity which has been operating the property since 2015. “This is the result of a fruitful partnership between the Irish Heritage Trust and Roscommon County Library Services, one of a number of Decade of Centenaries offerings where we have worked in partnership with local communities”, he continued.


Museum Standards Fota House Irish Heritage Trust

FOTA HOUSE AWARDED MUSEUM ACCREDITATION

The Trust was honoured with Full  Museum Accreditation for Fota House during the summer of 2016. This is the result of over five years of hard work at Fota and means that nine years after the Irish Heritage Trust took responsibility for the house, it is now a house with Full Museum Status.

This Accreditation takes about five years to achieve all the standards. It is officially part of the Museum Standards Programme of Ireland (MSPI), which is run by The Heritage Council.  The awards’ adjudication was announced at a ceremony in the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin on the 4th of July by the Chairman of The Heritage Council, Mr. Conor Newman.

The Heritage Council Assessors reported: “There is a strong visitor focus with the provision of an excellent guided tour, an informative, lively and current website, high quality printed materials and a good range of formal and informal learning opportunities for schools, families and lifelong learners. The Irish Heritage Trust clearly demonstrates a strong commitment to the Fota House volunteers, with training, CPD and good communications. Fota House is particularly strong on collections care and has very quickly established and implemented good practice from scratch.  Since applying for Interim Accreditation, a new post of Museums Standards and Property Care has been established at Fota House which shows the Irish Heritage Trust’s commitment to attaining and maintaining the standards of the MSPI”.

Fota House was one of seven of Ireland’s museums to be awarded the top standard of Full Accreditation in 2016, which requires complying with all 34 designated standards under the MSPI. Of the 57 participants in the programme, 29 museums have achieved Full Accreditation and 11 others have been awarded Interim Accreditation.

 


Johnstown Castle Teagasc Irish Heritage Trust

OPEN DAYS AT JOHNSTOWN CASTLE

We were delighted to host the “Johnstown Open Days” with Teagasc and the Irish Agricultural Museum during the summer.  The public were invited to see what is happening at the wonderful Johnstown Castle, which is just outside Wexford town. Hundreds of people enthusiastically came through the doors of the Castle over two days. They enjoyed hearing about the exciting plans for the future and there was plenty of goodwill and support for this project, which includes a new visitor centre.  As it is such a large property, the work is happening in phases.   

In the meantime, the beautiful grounds are open all year round as well as the Irish Agricultural Museum which houses exhibitions designed to display and explore the collection of folk, farming, rural history and objects from the turn of the 18th century until the middle of the 20th century.
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Volunteering Irish Heritage Trust

Volunteering

As a charity we rely on the support of volunteers to help care for our properties. From gardens to helping in the shop and café or providing administrative support, we’ve lots of opportunities to get involved.