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National Adopt A Monument Competition Selects Dungarvan & Lismore

The five monuments successful in Ireland’s first-ever Adopt a Monument national competition have been announced today. Over 90 community groups around the country applied to adopt a monument through the scheme, which has been organised by the Heritage Council in conjunction with Abarta Heritage to support public access to Ireland’s archaeological monuments.

The communities of Dungarvan and Lismore in County Waterford joined together as part of a combined application to adopt two medieval forts in their localities. These motte and baileys were constructed by the Anglo-Normans in the early phase of their invasions into south-eastern Ireland. 

Gallowshill in Dungarvan is located in the Cathal Brugha housing estate that is currently undergoing regeneration. The community wished to adopt the monument to help raise awareness of the site for visitors and locals. 

The large motte and bailey known as Round Hill is situated on the banks of the River Blackwater in Lismore. This large defensive site is currently overgrown by vegetation and needs specialist advice in helping to conserve the monument and to provide better access for visitors. 

Maella Fahey of Lismore Heritage Centre said that "Lismore Heritage Town and the Round Hill Project committee are delighted to have been chosen for the Adopt a Monument scheme, the community will welcome the opportunity to look at this very important site in more detail and explore the possibilities for the future. We are excited to be working with Waterford County Museum as they investigate Gallows Hill, Dungarvan, this will be a major project for the whole West Waterford Area’. Christina Knight, spokesperson for Gallowshill in Dungarvan said: ‘It’s a wonderful opportunity that will support communities to take ownership of their National monuments for the benefit of people living in the area and the many visitors to County Waterford.  As the only application selected in Munster we hope to do our best to ensure the pilot project is a success and continues for many years to benefit towns and villages around the country."

The five successful monuments are: 
  1. Gallowshill Medieval Fort, Dungarvan and Round Hill, Lismore, Co Waterford
  2. Doon Fort, Ardara, Co Donegal
  3. Church of the Rath, Killeshandra, Co Cavan 
  4. Baravore crusher building, Glenmalure, Co Wicklow
  5. Ballintleva Handball Alley, Co Roscommon
According to Ian Doyle, Head of Conservation at the Heritage Council, "Around every corner in Ireland you can discover an echo of the past. The five monuments selected in the Adopt a Monument scheme demonstrate the rich tapestry of heritage that we live alongside in Ireland". 

Mr. Doyle said: "We know that the public has a great interest in archaeology and, through this scheme, we want to provide opportunities to support public access to the often hidden world of archaeology. For the five successful monuments, the scheme has the potential to ensure ongoing maintenance and care, greater protection through increased civic value, and much higher standards of interpretation and understanding. I want to extend my congratulations to the community groups involved, and to encourage the public to visit the monuments in their region in 2016".

Photos by John Foley Images & Patrick Kenealy

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