Adopt a Monument with the Heritage Council

Adopt a Monument Ireland

Pic: Dylan Vaughen

Do you want to get involved with local heritage? The Heritage Council is looking for groups to take part in the inaugural year of its Adopt a Monument Scheme!

The Heritage Council is charged with taking care of Ireland’s national heritage, from archaeological objects to wildlife habitats, from monuments to wrecks, and it will choose five sites of cultural or archaeological significance to be a part of the scheme.

Head of Conservation at the Heritage Council, Ian Doyle pointed out how close to home Ireland’s heritage sites actually are: “Around every corner in Ireland you can discover an echo of the past. Ireland’s landscapes, cities, towns and villages abound with an incredible variety of heritage sites, ranging from prehistoric tombs or stone circles, early monasteries, medieval walled towns, mighty castles, landed estates, churches and graveyards; to industrial and agricultural heritage like mines, kilns and mills; to more recent cultural sites like handball alleys, traditional houses and architecture; or key areas from social history such as battlefields, or sites associated with political struggle”.

As it stands, the focus of Adopt a Monument is on groups rather than individuals signing up to maintain each monument, as there is too much work for it to be undertaken by a single person. The Council is calling on community groups such as Men’s Sheds, local history groups, Tidy Towns committees or archaeological societies to get involved!

The scheme aims to support public access to Ireland’s national heritage sites, while providing opportunities for communities to receive training, mentoring and support. It was previously run by Archaeology Scotland, which is now supporting the scheme as it is piloted in Ireland, along with Abarta Heritage. Doyle continued: “At all of the public events the Heritage Council undertakes, archaeology is the number one area that the public are interested in. We want to provide opportunities through this scheme to support public access to the often hidden world of archaeology. The Adopt a Monument Scheme is a new way of bringing monuments into the heart of a community. It offers participants new opportunities to work collaboratively, to undertake research, and to get to know more about the history of the area. For the monuments, the scheme has the potential to ensure ongoing maintenance and care, greater protection through increased civic value, and much higher standards of interpretation and understanding. Ireland has some of the finest archaeology in Europe and to date we have not really understood how valuable a resource this is”.

To apply, download an application form and return it via email by the closing date of January 22. If you have any questions about the scheme you can send an email to

By Aimée Mac Leod