New €4.5m funding package will conserve and safeguard Ireland’s built heritage

Assistance for 95 built heritage projects provided under Historic Structures Fund 2023

The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Malcolm Noonan TD, today announced that 95 heritage projects across the country will benefit from a total of €4.5m under this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF).

In addition to supporting owners and custodians of historic and protected structures to safeguard and maintain their properties, this funding will also provide a welcome boost to local construction and heritage trades by facilitating works with a total value of over €8m and generating more employment (an estimated 11,250 days’ labour), including for specialist heritage roles such as thatching and stone work.

The HSF is one of two built heritage funding schemes which work in partnership with owners and the 31 local authorities to protect our built heritage – a key aim of Heritage Ireland 2030, the new national heritage plan launched by the Minister last year. Today’s announcement follows the awarding earlier this month of €4.5m in funding under the Department’s other built heritage grant scheme – the Built Heritage Investment Scheme.

By providing grants of between €15,000 and €200,000, the HSF assists owners of heritage structures – including those on the local authorities’ Record of Protected Structures and those in Architectural Conservation Areas – to meet their obligations to care for their properties. The scheme provides assistance to a wide range of heritage structures, including castles, churches, mills, bridges, shopfronts, and thatch structures, as well as to private houses.

Among the 95 recipients of funding, this year’s HSF includes awards to:

  • Red Stables Building, St. Anne’s Park, Dublin: funding of €200,000 for the re-slating of the Red Stables building roof (or part thereof), as recommended by a consultant conservation architect.
  • St. Macartan’s Cathedral, Dublin Road, Monaghan: funding of €200,000 for urgent external refurbishment and stone conservation work to the spire, pinnacles tower, and south transept of the cathedral, and internal high-level plaster repairs.
  • Former Mansion House, Mercy University Hospital, Cork: funding of €200,000 for the conservation and repair of the external envelope of the building, including stone repair, re-plastering, re-slating, leadwork, and window conservation.
  • Birr Castle Suspension Bridge, Offaly: funding of €200,000 for the conservation and repair of the wrought-iron suspension footbridge within the grounds of Birr Castle demesne to bring it back into use.
  • 20 Exchequer Street: funding of €37,500 for the reinstatement of the shopfront which is part of the George’s Street Arcade complex in Dublin City Centre.

In cooperation with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, a grant has also been offered under the Irish-language shopfront stream. Nine larger projects awarded funding over two years under HSF 2022 will also be funded this year.

Announcing the awards today, Minister Noonan said:

I am delighted to announce another €4.5m investment in our built heritage. This year’s Historic Structures Fund will assist 95 owners and custodians of historic and protected structures across the country as they carry out hundreds of conservation projects to repair and safeguard our built heritage. I am particularly pleased to announce the increased number of awards made to vernacular structures. Through this investment, this Government continues to celebrate the value and diversity of our built heritage, while also supporting traditional building skills. These actions also continue to help us deliver on our commitments to built heritage under Heritage Ireland 2030, the national heritage plan which I launched last year.’

Commenting on the announcement, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, said:

‘It is great to see the increased number and range of projects which will be supported by this investment of €4.5m under the Historic Structures Fund. Along with the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, this Government is continuing its commitment to safeguard our rich built heritage, keeping many buildings in use and helping to bring many others back into use. The funded works will also have an economic benefit by generating employment for heritage contractors and other skilled crafts and tradespeople across the country.’

Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell, TD, also welcomed the announcement, stating:

‘Thanks to the close working relationship between the Department and the Local Authorities, particularly the Architectural Conservation Officers, Heritage Officers and planning and administrative staff, schemes such as the Historic Structures Fund continue to be successful in the repair and renewal of our shared built heritage.’


Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme

An annual grants scheme for the conservation and repair of traditional farm buildings and related structures.

The Heritage Council, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, manages the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme. The principal objective of this scheme is to ensure that traditional farm buildings and other related structures that contribute to the character of the landscape and are of significant heritage value, are conserved for active agricultural use.

The 2023 grant scheme is now open for applications.

You must apply online for this grant scheme through the Heritage Council’s online grants management system located here:

For more information on the grant click here:


Aging water mains to be replaced in Tullyhirm

Friday 24 March 2023: With the busy summer season around the corner homes and businesses in Tullyhirm, Monaghan are looking forward to a more secure and reliable water supply.

Uisce Éireann crews will arrive in the town in the coming weeks to begin work on replacing more than 350m of old water mains which are susceptible to regular bursts. 


The new pipes along the N12, Armagh Road, will put a stop to bursts, outages and leakage and give customers much more confidence in their local water supply. 

Uisce Éireann’s Networks Programme Manager Declan Cawley is looking forward to getting this Monaghan project underway. 

“Fewer bursts and less leakage will ensure a more reliable supply for homes and businesses in Tullyhirm. Securing Monaghan’s water supply is a priority for Uisce Éireann and it is great to see this work commencing in Tullyhirm, which will reduce the risk of outages from bursts now and into the future.” 


Farrans Construction will carry out the works on behalf of Uisce Éireann and the works are due to be completed this May. 


Areas of work will be limited to short sections to minimise impact on customers. In order to safely deliver the works, traffic management will be in place along the N12, Armagh Road during the works. Locals can be assured that local and emergency traffic will be maintained at all times.


The essential works may involve some short-term water interruptions, but the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours’ notice prior to any planned interruptions. 

Declan continued: “We understand that this type of work is inconvenient, and our crews will make every effort to minimise disruption to the local people.  These works are essential for Tullyhirm and the long-term benefits including reliability of supply and reduced leaks will far outweigh any short-term inconvenience. We thank the community for their patience and co-operation.” 


This project forms part of Uisce Eireann’s National Leakage Reduction Programme and will help us achieve our 2030 goal of a national leakage rate of 25%. The National Leakage Reduction team has made great strides since 2018 when the leakage rate stood at 46%. 


Since 2018, Uisce Éireann has invested more than €500 million to upgrade the underground water network across the country through the delivery of the national Leakage Reduction Programme. We are investing a further €250 million every year up to the end of 2030 – fixing leaks and replacing pipes to provide a more reliable water supply.

For more information on the national Leakage Reduction Programme, please visit 


13/12/2020 Irish Water Staff Photo:Andrew Downes, Xposure


World TB Day 2023: New HSE Tuberculosis Strategy for Ireland

Today (Friday, 24th March), the HSE National Health Protection Service has announced that it is developing a new strategy to tackle TB in Ireland to deliver on World Health Organization (WHO) targets to reduce the incidence of TB and deaths from the disease.

Today marks World TB Day and provides a timely opportunity to raise awareness of TB, according to the Director of the HSE Health Protection Service, Dr Éamonn O’Moore: “TB is a priority programme within the HSE Health Protection Strategy. TB is an important infectious disease, which is still causing problems in Ireland and around the world. For the vast majority of people diagnosed, TB is treatable and curable. Early detection is important and avoids health complications for those infected and less risk of transmission to others.

“Our strategy aims to tackle TB in Ireland during this current decade delivering on WHO targets in the End TB Strategy to reduce TB incidence by 80%, TB deaths by 90%, and to eliminate catastrophic costs for TB-affected households by 2030”, said Dr O’ Moore.

Dr O’ Moore also noted that some groups may be at higher risk of TB. These include people who are homeless, people who are substance users and those who have hazardous alcohol drinking behaviours, people who are or have been in prison, and those who are born overseas in countries with higher levels of infection.

There were 222 cases of tuberculosis notified in Ireland in 2022. This equates to a rate of 4.3/100,000 population (using 2022 Census denominator). This is a slight increase compared to 2021 but is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Dr O’ Moore continues, “Not everyone at risk of TB realises this. The HSE Health Protection Service are working in partnership with others to raise awareness and to improve diagnostic and treatment pathways particularly with those at higher risk of infection. This work is person-centred, informed by the people we serve and sensitive to cultural, social and economic issues among people at higher risk of TB.

“Work on TB is not simply about health care but also recognises the need for wider supports to people directly and indirectly impacted by TB, considering wider social determinants of health in a public health approach to reduce infection and support people living healthier lives.”

Symptoms of Tuberculosis can include:

  • Coughing for a prolonged period
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Chest pain, pain with breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills


Monaghan County Council receives an annual limited allocation to deliver the Housing Grant Schemes and wishes to advise that applications are now being accepted under the following schemes up to 30th June 2023 for works to be completed before end of the current year:

  • Housing Adaptation Grant for People with Disabilities
  • Mobility Aids Grant for People with Mobility/Disability Needs
  • Housing Aid for Older People Grant (66 years or over)

To have your application fully assessed and to avoid delay please also ensure applications are completed IN FULL and that all appropriate supporting documentation (as per scheme guidelines) are attached.

(Please note: Incomplete applications form will be returned to applicant)

Application Forms and Guidelines are available to download from Monaghan County Council Website at  Alternatively, you may contact the Housing Grants Office by telephone on 047 30503 (Monday – Friday 9:15am – 5:15pm) or by email to






Launch of new short film – Magic Under Monaghan

On Tuesday 7th March, the Garage Theatre in Monaghan hosted the premier of a new short film about peatlands, carbon and climate staring John Sharpson, well known as Múinteoir John from the RTE schools’ hub.  Magic under Monaghan is a short film for young people, but with a universal reach, exploring links between our peatlands and wetlands heritage, and climate change action. Filmed on Sliabh Beagh, Monaghan’s only expanse of blanket bog habitat, it demonstrates both the beauty of the area and the crucial role peatlands play for our planetary health.

The creation and production of Magic Under Monaghan has been funded through Monaghan’s Creative Ireland programme and was led by the Heritage Office in the council.

The production team at Macalla was spearhead by talented producer Sharon Newman. Magic Under Monaghan is energetically presented by John Sharpson, well-known as TV school’s hub Múinteoir John, soon to be better known as a bog buddie, with his two animated friends Pete and Fen.

Cllr. Sean Conlon, Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council who attended and spoke at the launch explained “how by preserving and restoring peatlands, nature can help keep stores of greenhouse gases in the peat, and the mosses can continue to absorb carbon dioxide from the air.  With EU funding, Monaghan County Council has started restoration work and has put in well over a thousand peat dams to block drains in the blanket bog on Sliabh Beagh over the last few years.”

The Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council, Patricia Monahan, noted the wetland advocacy work done through the Heritage Office over several years and noted that, “Over a decade ago, the Heritage Office examined the ecosystem benefits deriving from six types of wetlands in the county, and at that stage the carbon store in Slaibh Beagh was estimated to be worth €50million.  This was a conservative figure at the time.  One can only imagine how much more this would be now, using the sophisticated methods for assessment currently available.”

Ms. Monahan also referred to the new climate action team that is being created in the council and the recruitment of a Biodiversity Officer which is underway at present.

The chair of the County Monaghan Heritage Forum, Cllr. Aoife McCooey noted how the forum had been anticipating the launch of the film, having been privy to an early cut at a forum meeting. She made the point that “as a teacher myself, I know how important climate and biodiversity action issues are for young people.  But I’m also very aware that these issues are not of their making and that it’s the organisations like Monaghan County Council who must lead the way in ensuring sustainable decisions are made for all generations.”

Cllr. McCooey thanked the continued partnership between Monaghan County Council and the Heritage Council, which enables best practice and technical expertise to be widely shared across the country.

John Sharpson, presenter and Sharon Newman, producer attended the launch and stayed to speak with attendees afterwards.  John spoke about how much he enjoyed filming on Sliabh Beagh and getting into the many characters he plays in Magic Under Monaghan, and the learning curve about peatlands and climate he found himself on.  He hoped that the film would be shown widely and resonate with audiences.

The Heritage Officer, with Monaghan County Council, Shirley Clerkin complimented the production team on the quality of the film and John for his energetic, and charismatic performance.  “Magic Under Monaghan is irreverent and informative, educational and entertaining. It’s set here but is widely applicable to anywhere with bogs and fens.  It is crucial that we restore peatlands to ensure that they continue to store carbon, and that their carbon sequestration function can work effectively.  Peatland restoration one of the nature-based solutions for the climate crisis”.

The Monaghan County Council Heritage Office will be distributing the film to schools, and to any group who wishes to show it in their venue over the next few weeks.


If you want to get in touch with the heritage office, please contact


Ukrainian Welcoming & Information Event

Information will be provided on services and supports available to recently arrived Ukrainians to County Monaghan.
Hot refreshments will be provided along with entertainment for children, music and dance.

When: 23rd March 2023, 6 to 8pm
Where: Iontas Arts & Community Resource Centre, Castleblaney

ukranian welcoming event russian

St. Patrick’s Day Schedule – Carrickmacross

The town of Carrickmacross expects a large attendance at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade which takes place on Friday, 17th March at 3pm.

The day kicks off at 11:00am with the raising of the flag at the Courthouse, Carrickmacross which will be accompanied by music from the Stedfast Shoes Brass Band – all are welcome to attend. Carrickmacross Comhaltas Branch are performing live traditional music from the viewing stage on Main Street at 2:30pm which is sure to warm up the crowd!

The Parade will take its usual route, commencing at the junction of the Donaghmoyne and Dundalk Roads, up through Farney Street, down Main Street and finishing at the bottom of the town at the Courthouse. Parade participants are asked to assemble on the Dundalk Road from 2:30pm.

The Carrickmacross St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the best Parade’s around with many colourful floats and fantastic marching bands.  There are prizes awarded to the winners and runners-up of the “Best Float” and the “Best Band” on the day, and this year it could be you! Prizes have been kindly sponsored by ERA Tobin Estate Agents; Gifts N Things; Hand Footwear and Carrickmacross Credit Union.

This year we have a sensory friendly space located at The Market House, Carrickmacross. We hope that this will help to ensure that all families will be able to enjoy the festivities. It is envisioned that the sensory friendly space will act as a calm area for those with additional needs who may feel overwhelmed by the noise and/or crowd during the parade. It is important to note that any potential room user must be supervised by their own parent/guardian/carer. The room can facilitate a maximum of 4 users at any one time and will be open from 2:30pm to 4:30pm.




Update on New Scheme – Community Alert area of Monaghan Community Alerts

The Council has succeeded in putting a new all-county community text alert scheme in place, and I am now in a position to give you the full details of how the scheme will operate, both from the perspective of the text alert groups, and from the perspective of the general public, as subscribers to the service.

To briefly recap, you will remember that Komeer, the service provider who sent out the scheme’s messages for the last 3 ½ years, exited the marketplace at the end of 2022, and we had to seek an alternative provider.  Key in our selection was that the new provider could offer a service as close to the one people were used to receiving as possible.  We also managed to retain the ability to sub-divide the county into local areas, so that people could sign up to receive messages from their local area.

The new service will be a bringing together of the Community Alerts service (which sent out messages from the Gardai and from community alert groups)  and Monaghan County Council’s text alert service (which sends out messages about road closures, flooding, weather warnings etc).

The new service will be called ‘Monaghan Alerts’, and will be hosted on Monaghan County Council’s website.  The direct link to the registration/ login page is:

Apply for Monaghan Alerts – 2023

People register with Monaghan Alerts,  then they will be asked to check the box(es) of the alert services they wish to subscribe to.  The services they can select from are:

  • Council Alerts
  • Weather Alerts
  • Garda/ Community Alerts

When they register, their phone number becomes their username,  and they set a password.    They can then come back in to their account at any time to change their settings, and opt in/ out of the services they wish to receive.

Over time, new services may be added, such as community notices.  Subscribers will be notified by message that there is a new service available, and they can then go in and add it to their ‘opt in’ list if they wish to start receiving those alerts also.

Subscribers can still opt to receive their messages by text, email or app.   The app is called ‘Monaghan Alerts’ and will be available for download from apple and google stores from Wednesday 1st March.

As before, the service is completely free to the public.

Apply For Monaghan Alerts 2023

Gardai will send out messages by logging in to the website using a special garda username and password.  There they will have three options:

  • Send message to group co-ordinators (we are asking you to confirm a person in your group to be that liaison with the Gardai.  They will receive messages from time to time from the Gardai about national campaigns, events etc, which your group may then wish to promote locally).
  • Send message to a business group (for example the traders in a particular town. This could be useful if there was a gang in town targeting retailers)
  • Send crime alert message. Within this option, they then must tick the areas that they wish the message to go out to.  If they wish the message to go out to the whole county,  they will need to tick all 25 boxes.  (we hope this will cut down on the amount of local messages being sent countywide, which really annoyed a lot of subscribers)


From you, the Community Alert Group’s perspective, the service remains the same.  Monaghan County Council will continue to underwrite the cost of the service.  We will also undertake all the statutory obligations around data protection.

When we reviewed the former scheme last summer, we noticed very few of you were using the function which allowed you to send messages out to your local subscribers.  To make the process easier for you with the new scheme, we have completely removed the need to familiarise yourself with the new system. All you need to do if you want to send out a message is send an email to us with your message, giving the name of the area(s) you want to send the message out to.  See separate page with instructions on this.


There are four things that I wish to highlight about the new system:

  • To help the Gardai target their alerts, the county has been split into areas. The areas have been developed taking in a number of factors, including the communities that people identify with, the road networks that criminals may use and that the Gardai may need to get an alert out along, and the electoral division boundaries.  In some areas, this may mean that two or more community alert groups are included in one community area.  It’s not an exact science, and we may need to review the areas at some stage, but for the moment let’s see how they work, take notes and be ready to discuss the pro’s and con’s at the review.
  • Subscribers can only select ONE area when they join up. On the old system, they could join as many groups/areas as they liked.  There didn’t seem to be any real benefit to this, and it added greatly to the cost of running the service, so that’s been removed.   Again, we can discuss it at review if it is missed by many.
  • Because people can only subscribe to one area, sub-areas with a town have been removed.  This affects three residential areas of Monaghan town.  We are working on a solution to this which we will develop with the groups concerned.
  • Messages can ONLY be 160 characters in length, as this is the length of a standard text message. We cannot send photos etc on the new system. Instead, a link to further information can be sent. Try to keep the link short though!!


Due to data protection legislation, we have been unable to migrate the database of subscribers over from Komeer to the new service, so we will be undertaking a promotional campaign to inform former Komeer subscribers that they need to re-register.

If you wish to help promote the new scheme in your area, we will provide you with posters and subscription forms.  We are also happy to attend meetings and help people to download the app.   If you are given any completed forms, please forward them on to me and I will ensure that they are uploaded on to the database and that the paper form is disposed of in accordance with our data protection procedures.

The new expanded Monaghan Alerts service will go live on Monday 27th February, and will be launched at the Joint Policing Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon.   We would love if you could join us for the launch, which will include a full demonstration of the new scheme.  Please find details below.

If you have any questions about the new service, please feel free to contact me on 086 838 6905 or .  you can also reach me on the new email address,