At the most recent Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council held in Brussels in November, 2016 a general approach on the proposal to designate 2018 the European Year of Cultural Heritage was reached. To ensure successful implementation of this initiative, each Member State has been requested by the European Commission to nominate a National Coordinator. The National Co-ordinator will work with the competent authorities here in Ireland together with the European Union institutions to multiply its impact through additional activities and community involvement.
I am pleased to advise the Deputy that I have already written to the Chief Executive of the Heritage Council - the national agency which has responsibility for protecting our national heritage inviting the Council to act as Ireland's national co-ordinating body.
Given the experience of the Heritage Council in working with partners the length and breadth of Ireland, I am confident that Ireland will be well placed to benefit from the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 to influence broader civil society to protect, safeguard, re-use, enhance and promote our national and our shared European cultural heritage. The Year will also form part of the Creative Ireland Programme, which the Taoiseach and I launched on the 8th of December 2016, and which is underpinned by values which recognise the importance of our culture heritage and the role our culture plays in fostering a more sustainable future for Ireland and in presenting Ireland to the world.