30/09/11

30/09/2011 Deenihan celebrates the architectural heritage of County Galway

Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, yesterday, (29th September 2011)  launched the Department’s Architectural Heritage Survey of County Galway and the associated book, An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Galway at an event hosted by Galway County Council, with invited guests.

The book is the twenty-seventh to be published in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) series.

At the event, Minister Deenihan said that “the people of County Galway can be very proud of the richness and diversity of the architectural heritage of their county.”

The County Galway architectural heritage survey documents the built heritage of County Galway spanning the period from 1700 to the present day.  A wide variety of structures are included, ranging from those of imposing design to those of simple construction, illustrating the diverse and extensive architectural heritage of this part of the country.

The Minister spoke in some detail about the variety and depth of County Galway’s rich architectural heritage, noting in particular both Galway’s distinct vernacular and thatched houses.  He noted the number of buildings open to the public having associations with the literary and historical figures WB Yeats (Thoor Ballylee), Lady Gregory (Coole Park), Oliver St John Gogarty (Renvyle House Hotel), JM Synge (Teach Synge, Inis Meáin) and Pádraig Pearse (Teach an Phiarsaigh, Rosmuc).  Minister Deenihan also referenced the architectural heritage of Galway city and the towns of the county, coastal features such as quays, harbours and lighthouses, bridges, country houses, mausoleums and churches.  Referring to the large number of thatched houses in the county, Minister Deenihan said “it is the largest number so far recorded for any county, a record not likely to be beaten when the NIAH survey is complete”.

The Minister placed particular emphasis on acknowledging that “the vast majority of the buildings included in the survey are in private ownership and their care naturally rests with their owners.  That so much of the architectural heritage has survived is testament to their commitment, interest and pride in their properties.”

Minister Deenihan concluded with thanks to everyone involved in completing the survey and preparing the publication.  In particular, he thanked all the owners and occupiers for allowing a record to be made of their properties for the survey.

A total of 1,964 structures in the County Galway NIAH survey are rated as being of regional or higher architectural importance.  Under planning legislation, Minister Deenihan will be recommending to Galway County and City Councils that these structures be included in their Records of Protected Structures.

The publication An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Galway is available from the Government Publications Sales Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, Irish bookshops or online from www.wordwellbooks.com and is priced at €12. The full NIAH survey, including County Galway, is free to access atwww.buildingsofireland.ie

ENDS

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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