08.06.11 Minister Deenihan opens Historic Houses of Ireland Conference
Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has this evening (Wednesday 8th June 2011) opened the 9th Annual Historic Houses of Ireland Conference at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM), Co Kildare. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Past and Future Perspectives’ (of the Irish historic house and estate). The main conference proceedings take place on Thursday 9th of June.
The Minister said “It is up to us collectively in the heritage community to be imaginative, at a time of diminished resources, to see what new ways are possible to protect and promote heritage which we care so much about.”
Minister Deenihan posed some questions for those in attendance to discuss at their conference, “in the context of the Departmental restructuring and public service reform, the question I would ask you to ponder is whether the various heritage bodies, trusts and organisations – public and private – are best structured to channel the energies of the build heritage community?”
Minister Deenihan also added “Ireland’s heritage and cultural package is a key motivator for our overseas visitors in choosing this island as their holiday destination”. He referred to the high number of foreign and domestic visitors to our historic houses and gardens.
The Minister also referred to the recent sad deaths of Ambrose Congreve, aged 104, of Congreve Gardens, Waterford and two great chroniclers of the Irish historic houses, Maurice Craig and Mark Bence-Jones. The Minister remarked “All three made very great contributions, in their own areas of expertise and endeavour, and they will be sadly missed”.
In his address, Minister Deenihan launched a new book entitled ‘The Irish Country House: its Past, Present and Future’, edited by Dr Terence Dooley and Dr Christopher Ridgway. Dr Christopher Ridgway is the curator of the world-renowned Castle Howard in Yorkshire, England, and is one of the speakers at the conference.
The annual conference is organised by the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates (CSHIHE), based at NUIM and under the directorship of historian Dr Terence Dooley. The CSHIHE, established in 2004, seeks to increase awareness and appreciation of the Irish country house and estate through various activities such as educational outreach, seminars, lectures and conferences.
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