8 October 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Cork based Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Ríada is encouraging Irish education, research and tourism bodies to apply for funding set aside for the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.
The Ireland South MEP said that while she was disappointed with the amount that had been earmarked for the event, Irish organisations should make sure they get their fair share of it.
“While it’s a huge shame and a missed opportunity that the Commission has only set aside what few red pennies they could find down the back of the couch for this initiative I would still encourage all eligible Irish bodies to apply for funding,” she said.
“Higher education institutions and related research orientated groups, research institutions and organisations working in the research field and tourism related organisations and associations are all eligible.
“Our unique culture and heritage is a key part of our national and local identity and surrounds us in our day to day lives in the guise of our buildings, countryside, songs and dances; all the things we take for granted.
“This is a unique opportunity for Irish groups to not only apply for funding to maintain and protect the traditions and physical structures important to communities around the country but also to promote our culture and our country to all of Europe; a huge tourism market.
“It would be a shame, not just from a cultural point of view but also if we were to miss the opportunity to promote Ireland to the world, if we were to let the very first European Year of Cultural Heritage go by, without properly celebrating it.
“I have fought on both the Culture Committee and the Budgets Committee to get more funding allocated to this important initiative and while what is on offer is not what I had hoped for there is definitely enough there to make a real difference to communities and organisations if they can organise to apply for it.
The deadline for applications is 22 November 2017