Youghal’s heritage future boosted by grants totalling €220,000 Report: Christy Parker

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Youghal’s status as a walled town of significant merit on the national and international stage has been enhanced with a €200,000 grant to the town council from the Irish Walled Towns Network. The sum, which represents 30% of the network’s entire 2010 national budget, will fund the removal of vegetation and the re-pointing of a wall section nearest Aher’s Terrace, according to town councillor and heritage committee lynchpin Liam Burke

Budget will fund will the removal of vegetation and the re-pointing of town wall

Budget will fund the removal of vegetation and the re-pointing of town wall Pic:www.youghalonline.com

Youghal Town Council has also received €15,000 for a Conservation Plan for Myrtle Grove, €4,900 for an Architectural Appraisal of the town’s historic quarter and €2,700 for the Graveyard Trail at St. Mary’s Collegiate Church. The information is contained in the latest Heritage Municipal Policy Committee report as delivered by Cllr Burke to the July Town Council meeting.

The report impresses with several other items of information. For example heritage footpaths will soon run from St. Mary’s College to DeValera Street, mirroring the same design and materials as already deployed in Emmet Place. The work will cost €100,000.

Next month’s Medieval Day will return to the College gardens on Sunday 22nd. Organised through voluntarily efforts from Cllrs Linehan Foley, Murray, Coyne and community members, its onus on family entertainment will include historical enactments, fencing, food and craft fairs, stalls, music and hopefully sunshine.

Clock Gate, Youghal Pic: Condorman

A business plan for the Clock Gate is underway, as a prerequisite to acquiring funding for the future development of a multi-purpose, heritage facility. Meanwhile the Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group is seeking funding for a conservation plan for the monument.

Photo: www.youghalonline.com

Two new signs have been added to St. Mary’s Collegiate Church’s Graveyard Trail. These are based on i) historic headstones and ii) fauna. The new grant (see above) will secure additional signage, while the town council will provide wooden walkways and mulched (protective covering, usually of organic matter such as leaves, straw, or peat, says the dictionary) pathways to assist public access.

Waterford Institute of Technology’s architectural department is to conduct projects in Youghal, in a new partnership intended to be of mutual benefit.

Irish Historic Towns Atlas:

Finally, Youghal is to be included in the Irish Historic Towns Atlas. The atlas is part of a wider European project and 23 Irish towns have now signed up. The Youghal entry is being voluntarily “authored” as the report puts it, by Professor Tadhg O’Keefe of UCC and local engineer and rotary club member David Kelly, while the Royal Irish Academy meets most of the research and production costs.

However a local contribution of €30,00 is required. Mr Kelly has already raised much of this. A  donation of €15,000 from the Christian Brothers’ sale of Youghal properties, €3,000 from the Youghal Heritage Society, plus private donations brought in €34,000. As Youghal Town Council typically allots €25,000 towards heritage works in its annual budget, July’s council meeting agreed to earmark €6,000 of that towards the atlas project.

The project will see a large-scale map of Youghal digitalised for colour printing as the main reference. Youghal’s history, constructed from original sources and illustrated with further maps, will also feature, while a topographical, 22-part, information section will include copies of historic maps and pictorial images of the town. The streets section already has about 200 entries for street names, with dates and sources included. The earliest reference dates to1342. Original manuscript of Youghal’s local authorities since 1610 will also be included in original manuscript form.

The completed atlases are distributed to academic institutions and libraries across Europe and form  ‘a primary source of information and a base form which to launch further research.’

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