The Heritage Council headquarters, Church Lane, Kilkenny
The Heritage Council, which is headquartered in Kilkenny City, has welcomed the appointment of a Minister of State for Heritage.
Under the newly-formed Government, the heritage brief will fall under the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and local TD Malcolm Noonan of the Green Party is the Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage.
“The decision by the Government to create a dedicated junior ministerial post to manage the heritage brief is very welcome," said Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons.
"Heritage has often suffered by being tagged to various portfolios. Having a dedicated junior ministry is recognition of the importance that heritage has in the lives of every citizen, as well as the contribution it can make to tourism, economic recovery and, importantly, the future of our country and our planet.”
Chief Executive of the Heritage Council Virginia Teehan said that in recent weeks, the Heritage Council had consulted with the heritage sector and presented government officials with some insights on how the sector has coped during the lockdown.
"Heritage supports vital jobs, throughout communities, as well as playing a critical role in supporting our collective wellbeing," she said.
"We believe this is the first time heritage has been assigned a dedicated junior minister and we very much look forward to working with Minister of State Noonan – and indeed with Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien - on promoting the value that heritage can have in Covid-recovery.”
“It is especially welcome that Minister of State Noonan is from Kilkenny, home to the headquarters of the Heritage Council, and he is well-appraised of the value that heritage plays in the economy and social infrastructure of Kilkenny City and county,” she added.