Commenting, Minister of State for the Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said: “The annual National Heritage Awards offer important recognition of the tireless work undertaken by people – not just during National Heritage Week, but year-round – to ensure the story of Ireland’s heritage continues to be told in a meaningful way. I am delighted to see the interest and excitement generated by the Awards among communities across the country, and offer congratulations to all winning and nominated projects.”
Referring to the €95.5m for heritage announced in last week’s budget – an increase of 51% on 2020 – Minister Noonan continued, “I am delighted that the Heritage Council will receive an additional €2.5m next year to develop and grow its programmes, including its supports for communities who care for our heritage.”
Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan added: “Although National Heritage Week took place against the challenging backdrop of the public health emergency, I am buoyed by the remarkable response from people across the country to get involved with this year’s changed event regardless. This is clearly reflected in the sheer number of projects which were submitted for all to browse and enjoy, all of which were considered for a National Heritage Award.
“I believe this year’s event and the circumstances surrounding it will go far in opening Ireland’s heritage up to even broader and more diverse audiences, ensuring increased access and understanding well into the future. It has also shown how digital technology, including social media can be readily deployed to facilitate engagement with our heritage, particularly among younger generations, whose interest must be nurtured from an early age. On behalf of everyone at the Heritage Council, I offer sincere congratulations to not only the winning and shortlisted organisations, but to all those who were nominated and involved in the organisation of National Heritage Week projects.
“I am also delighted to take this opportunity to introduce the theme for National Heritage Week 2021 – ‘Inclusive Heritage / Heritage for Everyone’ – which will help us to build on the enhanced engagement we were delighted to see during this year’s event.”