Fine Gael Dublin Senator, Catherine Noone, has today (Thursday) urged Dublin communities to get involved in the Friend of Irish Heritage initiative launched this week by the Minister of State at the Office of Public Works (OPW), Brian Hayes TD.
“In the year of the Gathering, I think it is especially important that we all get involved in the promotion and protection of our local heritage. The OPW manages almost 800 national monuments, including major attractions in Dublin such as Dublin Castle and the Phoenix Park.
“The Friends of Irish Heritage initiative follows on from last year’s Community Involvement Initiative, which was a great success. Last year, some of the successful initiatives included local community groups arranging and carrying out tours in the Keep in Trim Castle, Dublin Battlefield Tours, tours of Selskar Abbey, Co Wexford and Nenagh Castle, Co Tipperary.
“I think the community involvement aspect could add significantly to the tourism draw of many historical sites across the country. Tourists come here not just to see all that Ireland has to offer, but to meet Irish people. This initiative provides that perfect combination.
“It will soon be possible to make submissions on the OPW website (www.opw.ie). Applicants will be required to outline how their communities and groups propose to work with the OPW at a local level to raise awareness of heritage sites, generate more visitors and organise events. I know there are lots of great ideas out there about how we should be maximising the potential of our heritage. So I would encourage anyone with inspiration to get involved in this worthwhile initiative.”