THE Heritage Council will not be moved from Kilkenny city and will not be subsumed into any other government department.
That’s the commitment given by Environment Minister Phil Hogan after clams in the media that the body was in danger of losing its autonomous position. Minister Hogan said there were no plans to move to from its present location in Kilkenny city and that it had been a huge success under the Government’s decentralisation scheme of 1996.
“The role of the Heritage Council was never as important it is now and it will not be subsumed into any Government department while I am Minister for the Environment,” he said.
Its headquarters is the former Church of Ireland’s Bishop’s Palace in the centre of the city which has won a number of awards for the manner in which it was conserved during the refurbishment of the building.
The Heritage Council employs 15 people directly and is a tight knit organisation with its tentacles going deep into every county in Ireland through the local authority, heritage officers. It also supports around 70 non pubic service jobs through various scheme and public-private partnerships around the country, It is widely regarded as being responsible for a greater understanding of all strands of our heritage and is seen as being good value for money in its role, protecting the rich tapestry of Irish life in diverse ways. It seeks to protect and enhance the richness, quality and diversity of our national heritage for everyone and it works with its partners to increase awareness of Ireland’s national heritage and to highlight its importance to public policy and everyday life.