Heritage Council Marks 25 Year...


Heritage Council Marks 25 Years of Heritage Officer Network with Special Publication

Breda Forrest
Breda Forrest

11:12 15 Jan 2024

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Today, the Heritage Council is celebrating 25 years since the establishment of the Heritage Officer Network, with the launch of a special publication titled "Opening the Door to Ireland’s Heritage." This commemorative booklet, featuring stories from heritage officers across every county, highlights the significant contribution they say the network has made to heritage preservation.

The publication showcases key heritage projects, including the restoration of Mangan’s Clock on St. Patrick Street in Cork City. The cast-iron timepiece, has been standing for 170 years, and has witnessed both historical events and urban transformations. Named after Mangan Jewellers, the clock's restoration in 2023 is detailed in the publication.

Additionally, the booklet features the 'Heritage of County Cork Publication Series,' focusing on various aspects of the county's rich heritage. The series, now in its 11th instalment, explores archaeological, architectural, cultural, and natural heritage, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of County Cork's historical and environmental significance.

Established in 1999, the Heritage Officer Network, a collaboration between the Heritage Council and local authorities, aimed to raise awareness of heritage issues. By 2021, every local authority in Ireland had appointed a heritage officer, emphasizing the network's role in protecting and promoting Ireland’s heritage.

The publication highlights successful projects and underscores the potential loss that it says could have occurred without the intervention of heritage officers.

The full publication can be accessed on the Heritage Council website at

Speaking on the launch of the booklet, Heritage Officer for Cork County Council Conor Nelligan said:

“It is deeply satisfying to see documented in this publication the influence of the Heritage Officer Network in shaping our approach to heritage conservation and protection. Although we work as individuals at local authority level, what is clear from these pages is that the real strength of the Network is in the collective.”

 Heritage Officer for Cork City Council Niamh Twomey said: “These stories cover only a snapshot of recently completed projects from current heritage officers, so when we factor in the hundreds of past projects completed since 1999, it brings into the focus the enormous impact that the Local Authority Heritage Officer Programme has had.”

 Chairperson of the Heritage Council Martina Moloney added: “I have had the pleasure of working extensively with our Heritage Officers over many years and am constantly amazed by the shear variety of their work which is excellently captured in this beautiful publication. Not only do they provide advice, guidance, and information on all aspects of heritage, but they also secure funding, undertake research, collect data, and develop and lead a multitude of highly impactful and engaging projects. Raising awareness locally, Heritage Officers inspire communities to value and take ownership of their important local heritage in all its forms. What their work achieves, ultimately, is that it opens the door to our heritage for people across Ireland and further afield, so that it can be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone.”

 John Mulholland, Chair of the CCMA Rural Development, Community, Culture and Heritage (RCCH) Committee also attended the launch, and said: “What has always stood out to me about the Heritage Officer Network is the range and number of individuals, groups and funders involved in the projects they undertake. It is very difficult to keep such a diverse range of interested parties singing off the same hymn sheet and getting the job done. This is the silent but tireless work of the Heritage Officers at play, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude. On behalf of the CCMA, I commend them for their dedication.”

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