First, I will take this opportunity to say a herzlich willkommen und schönen Aufenthalt in Irland to the German delegation.
My role with regard to the protection and management of our built heritage is set out in the provisions of relevant legislation, as are the roles of local authorities and the responsibilities of owners.
As Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, I am the owner or guardian of almost 1,000 national monuments, ranging from prehistoric burial monuments to medieval fortifications and religious sites. Sites in my ownership or guardianship are maintained by the Office of Public Works. Conservation matters in respect of these sites are managed through regular liaison between the OPW and my Department, identifying condition issues and proposing appropriate conservation actions.
My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through the built heritage investment scheme and the historic structures fund, which are administered by local authorities. On 28 March this year I announced funding of €4.3 million to 478 projects under these schemes. Under the built heritage investment scheme 2019, Kildare County Council was allocated €79,000 to support 13 projects. These included the Church of Ireland in Kilberry; St. Michael's Church in Athy; Johnstown graveyard and church in Johnstown; Sean Chill in Donaghcomper in Celbridge; the Church of the Holy Saviour in Narraghmore; Ard Na Gréine, Canal View in Sallins; 7 Canning Place, Newbridge; Leixlip Boathouse; Pebble Hill House in Maynooth; Riverstown House in Kildangan; Grattan Vault, Tea Lane graveyard in Celbridge; Mill Cottage in Millicent South, Sallins; and Thatched Cottage in Thomastown. The total was €79,000. Under the historic structures fund 2019, Kildare County Council was allocated €25,000 to support a project at Newbridge College.
Educating young people about our heritage is fundamental to its preservation. To this end, the Heritage Council, funded by my Department, runs a highly successful heritage in schools programme which aims to encourage greater awareness among primary school children of Ireland's rich heritage through engaging and stimulating visits to schools by a number of heritage in schools experts.