My Department is responsible for the care and conservation of Celtic crosses that are in my ownership or guardianship as national monuments in accordance with the National Monuments Acts. They are maintained on a day-to-day basis by the Office of Public Works, in consultation with the Department. Such monuments located within graveyards owned by local authorities are a matter for the local authorities concerned. There is a requirement in all cases for Ministerial Consent under Section 14 of the National Monuments Act 1930 (as amended) with respect to works at or in the vicinity of any national monument.
My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through grant schemes which are generally administered by the local authorities.
The Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) provides assistance for the repair and conservation of structures on the local authority Record of Protected Structures. It is designed to leverage private capital for investment in small scale conservation projects across the country and to support the employment of skilled conservation professionals, tradespersons and craftsmen and women.
The Historic Structures Fund (HSF) (formerly the Structures at Risk Fund) is for conservation and enhancement to heritage structures, in both private and public ownership, for the benefit of communities and the public.
In November 2018, I announced a total of €4.3 million in funding for the BHIS and HSF for 2019. Both schemes were open for applications from 28 November to 31 January and applications will be assessed with successful applicants being notified in due course.
While the closing date for the 2019 schemes has now passed, my Department will remain in contact with local authorities throughout the year to ensure the best possible use of funding, including by reallocating funds when, for example, projects do not go ahead.
Full details of both of the schemes are available on my Department’s and local authorities' websites.
The Heritage Council, which my Department funds, also provides grants for the protection and preservation of our architectural heritage. It is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council to decide how its funding should be allocated across the range of research, education and conservation programmes it supports. Details are published by the Heritage Council on its website www.heritagecouncil.ie.