Funding available to conserve Donegal's archaeological monuments

Over 3,400 known archaeological monuments in County Donegal

Funding available to conserve Donegal's archaeological monuments

Killydonnell historic graveyard is one of 50 historic graveyards in the care of Donegal County Council and protected under the National Monuments Acts (1930-2004)

The National Monuments Service is inviting applications to its Community Monuments Fund.

The aims of the Community Monuments Fund are the conservation, maintenance, protection and presentation of archaeological monuments by private owners, custodians,
community groups or local authorities.

“This is a new funding scheme that ran for the first time last autumn,” explained Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.

“The scheme allows for projects that enable conservation works to be carried out on archaeological monuments in need of urgent support or projects that encourage access to archaeological monuments and improve their presentation or projects that build resilience in our archaeological monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.

"With over 3,400 known archaeological monuments in County Donegal – most of which are in private ownership or guardianship – and up to 100% funding available for projects, there is likely to be lots of interest in the scheme.”

Up to €2 million is available nationwide under the scheme and there are three streams of funding available:

- Stream 1 offers grants up to €85,000 aimed at essential repairs and capital
works for the conservation and repair of archaeological monuments.

- Stream 2 offers grants of up to €30,000 for the development of conservation reports or conservation management plans that are aimed at identifying measures for the conservation of archaeological monuments and improving public access.

- Stream 3 offers grants of up to €30,000 for the enhancement of access infrastructure and interpretation (including virtual/on-line interpretation) at archaeological monuments.

“Projects can involve archaeological monuments in public ownership or those in private ownership where there is a tangible public benefit,” said Collette Beattie, Conservation Officer, Donegal County Council.

“Applications must be submitted to Donegal County Council in the first instance by the deadline of Monday, April 12. Each local authority must then assess the applications and put a small number of the strongest applications forward to the National Monuments Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for consideration.

Under the first year of the scheme last year, three projects were funded in County Donegal.

St Mura’s Cross in Fahan historic graveyard is an archaeological monument protected under the National Monuments Acts. Fahan Community Council secured funding under the Community Monuments Fund in 2020 for monitoring of, and research on, St Mura’s Cross

Funding was secured for monitoring of, and further research on, St. Mura’s Cross, Fahan by Fahan Community Council (€2,360), conservation works to Rathmullan Abbey by Donegal County Council, Rathmullan Development Group and Rathmullan and District History Society (€42,000) and the preparation of a conservation plan for Killydonnell Friary and historic graveyard by Donegal County Council (€15,000).”

If you would like to find out what known archaeological monuments are in your area, you can consult the National Monuments Service website at

Most of the 3,400 known archaeological monuments in County Donegal are in private ownership or guardianship and all of them are protected under the National Monuments Acts (1930-2004).

Advance consent for any works to, or in the vicinity of, an archaeological monument must be obtained from the National Monuments Service.

Further details about the Community Monuments Fund and an application form can be downloaded from the County Donegal Heritage Office website at or by contacting Collette Beattie, Conservation Officer on (074) 917 2464 or Joseph Gallagher, Heritage Officer on (074) 9172576.

The closing date for the receipt of completed applications is 5pm. on Monday, April 12.

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