- Structures must be included, or eligible for inclusion, in the Record of Protected Structures
- Grants of between €15,000 and €50,000 available
- Fund increases visibility of the Irish language on streetscapes
Following on from the successful introduction of the Historic Structures Fund Irish-language shopfront stream in 2021, the initiative will run again in 2022. Jointly funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the stream will have a fund of €100,000 to support the conservation of traditional Irish-language shopfronts.
While Irish language signs were once common on shopfronts around the country, they have become an increasingly rare sight. It is hoped that this funding will help to increase the visibility of the Irish language while also protecting our shared built heritage.
Individual grants of between €15,000 and €50,000 will be made for eligible projects which include refurbishment and conservation works to historic shop facades, windows and traditional Irish-language signage. To qualify, structures must be included, or eligible for inclusion, in the Record of Protected Structures of the relevant local authority.
One such project awarded funding in 2021 was Thomas Clarke’s tobacco shop on 55 Amiens Street. €50,000 was awarded to conserve and restore the original Irish-language shopfront, including necessary structural works to safeguard it and the reinstatement of gilded signwriting.
Commenting on the opening of applications to this stream, Minister Noonan said:
“The conservation of historic shopfronts is a cause close to my heart and I am delighted that a dedicated stream for Irish-language shopfronts will run again under the Historic Structures Fund in 2022. It is my hope that the scheme will encourage and incentivise projects which preserve both our built and linguistic heritage, not only in Gaeltacht regions but across the whole country.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD said:
“This scheme is an excellent way of increasing the visibility of the Irish language and I am delighted that owners can once again avail of this scheme to preserve and protect structures of national and cultural importance. My department is looking forward to continuing our work with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on this exciting scheme.”
Minister of State for Sport and An Ghaeltacht, Jack Chambers, TD, added:
“It is wonderful to see the continuation of this initiative to preserve the Irish language. I would like to take this chance to encourage any eligible shop owners, or owners of premises that were once shops, to apply and look forward to seeing the results of the projects funded under this stream.”
Owners of eligible structures should apply through their local authority.
Further details may be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/32ae3-financial-assistance-for-architectural-heritage/ or from local authority Architectural Conservation Officers and Heritage Officers.