Our Story So Far

The Irish Heritage Trust cares for special places in a way that works to deliver benefits to people and the country. The fundamentals for this approach are place, people and participation.

Our Story So Far

The Irish Heritage Trust is an independent charity which was established in 2006.  A number of national heritage bodies had been doing wonderful work for many years, however, there was a particular need for a national, independent heritage property organisation to develop new ways of working that could reduce the financial burden on the State as well as engage with communities for wider public benefit.

Many studies over decades had highlighted the importance of historic properties both in terms of culture and contemporary economic benefit and in 2003 ‘A future for Irish Historic Houses? - A study of fifty houses’ by Dr Terence Dooley played an important part in supporting the creation of the Trust.

We took responsibility for our first property Fota House and Gardens (Cork) in December 2007. Today the property is thriving and has received tremendous public and private support. It has won numerous awards and is buzzing with volunteers and visitors.

In addition to taking responsibility for properties, the Irish Heritage Trust has initiated and led innovative projects including the highly successful Dublin Tenement Experience (2013).

The success of Fota House illustrated the new model the Trust set out to create and this has led to our involvement with two nationally significant heritage properties through innovative partnerships.

In 2015 we took responsibility for operating Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum (Roscommon). The Trust was also selected by Teagasc to help to revive and regenerate Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum and Gardens (Wexford). We are located at No. 11 Parnell Square (Dublin) in partnership with other cultural and heritage bodies, where we have undertaken to restore, revive and enhance this 250-year old building to become a public amenity for everyone to enjoy and a significant cultural hub.

In addition to grant aid from Government, we are fortunate to have received wonderful support from many people across Ireland over the years. Thanks to their time, dedication and money we are beginning to make a difference. We have proven the research concepts that led to our creation and are excited about the years ahead. Take a look here to see how we are doing this and let us know what you think.

To find out more about the Trust, see us in the media, or read the documents/studies, please go to our Library