HERITAGE CONFERENCE IN MONAGHAN

Tin Church, Laragh, Co. Monaghan  Photo: European Heritage Days

Tin Church, Laragh, Co. Monaghan Photo: European Heritage Days

Summer School Explores Historic Buildings of Monaghan and Armagh  Northern Standard Thursday 25th June

The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society and Irish Georgian Society came together in an exciting new initiative to provide a cross border summer school in Monaghan and Armagh from Thursday until Saturday. Conservation without Frontiers explored and discussed built heritage in the context of both counties, showcasing the best they have to offer in terms of their history and historic buildings, such as Castle Leslie in Glaslough and the Tin Church in Laragh.

St Macartan's Cathedral, Monaghan

St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan

The first section of the summer school was opened on Thursday in Armagh by a representative of the Northern Ireland Department of Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan. It then moved to Monaghan, where Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht opened day two. The Summer School concluded on Saturday at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig near Newbliss with a celebratory picnic lunch.

In Armagh, the school undertook visits to both Cathedrals, the former Primate’s Chapel and Palace, the Mall and the Market Square. In Monaghan the participants visited Castle Leslie, Glaslough, and community-led projects such the Dawson Mausoleum, Dartrey and St Peter’s Church, Laragh. Tours and visits were guided by experts in the field including well known academics, architectural historians, architects, planners, conservation and heritage officers. A walking tour of Monaghan on Friday will be led by Kevin V. Mulligan from Carrickmacross. Speakers included Dawson Stelfox, Dr Andrew McClelland, Professor Alistair Rowan, and Bishop Emeritus Dr Joseph Duffy. The event brought together local people, enthusiasts, students and practitioners to learn from the unique buildings of both counties.

Twenty students from the the island of Ireland, Britain and Europe benefited from funded places to complement their ongoing studies and help develop their knowledge of conservation issues. They also took part in a heritage based competition proposing new ideas for  the restoration of Hope Castle, Castleblayney and an empty site on Upper English Street in Armagh. The event was supported by Monaghan County Council, Armagh City and District Council, the Heritage Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Minister Durkan said: ‘I am particularly supportive of this initiative as it brings together heritage expertise from both sides of the border to help develop and realise our mutual  interest in conservation and regeneration for community benefit.  Our built heritage is a catalyst for so many things that are vital to the lifeblood of our villages, towns and cities.  It is therefore important that we work together to realise its full potential. My  department  continues to work in partnership with the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society and I commend both it  and the Irish Georgian Society for their vision in arranging this summer school.’

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