Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, speaking at the Heritage Ireland Emoji Design Award ceremony
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Hello boys and girls, parents and teachers. A very good afternoon to you all.
I am really delighted I was able to make it here this afternoon to see you and to personally thank you for all you have done for our heritage in this emoji competition.
Our ancient monuments and landscapes formed after the last Ice age over 10,000 years ago. But they are vulnerable to damage and loss and it is our responsibility now to protect them.
We are trying to protect for Ireland’s heritage into the future. We are working hard to make sure that our heritage is conserved the best it can be against many challenges including climate change.
I see your school names, Rathcormac, Timoleague, Granard, Borris in Ossory and Moylough – these names all signify landscapes and ancient monuments and the locations where artefacts on display here in the museum were found. It is really important we continue to honour and treasure that.
People have been living on this island for almost 10,000 years and you are the latest generation. In the future you will be the politicians, leaders of Government and citizens who will have the job of protecting our heritage. And that is why it is so inspiring for us to see your involvement and your passion for our heritage that you have shown in this competition.
From traditional sports and ancient artefacts, monuments, Vikings and wildlife your emojis have really captured what our heritage is- it is all around us, it is about the past but it is also about our culture today and how we preserve traditions and the remains of our ancestors and the landscapes in which they settled.
It is hugely encouraging for me as Minister to know that our heritage will be in your good hands. I really want to thank you all for the great interest you have shown in taking part and for all the fantastic emojis we have received from all of you.
We are going to have a section in the new National Heritage Plan devoted to education and youth and your emojis will inspire that section. You are all winners today. I want to thank you, your parents and teachers, the National Museum and all those involved in the competition, especially the Education Centres and the National Monuments Service.
I hope you all have a great summer break before you return to school or college and I know you will continue your own interest in ensuring we do our job in protecting the heritage for our future generations.