Have Your Say on Galway Heritage Plan

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Community leaders are appealing to the public to have their say on Galway’s Draft Heritage Plan.

The closing date for submissions or observations is on July 25, so now is the time to put your thoughts together, says the Galway City Community Network.

“Galway’s Heritage belongs to everyone, so we all have a right to contribute to future plans for protecting and sharing it,” says GCCN co-ordinator, Jacinta Fay.

Derrick Hambleton from GCCN member organisation, An Taisce, agrees. “Galway has a unique natural, built and cultural heritage that gives the city its identity and which contributes significantly to our wellbeing.”

“The public consultation on the Draft Heritage Plan 2024-2029 is our opportunity to have our say in how this heritage is conserved, enhanced and protected for our benefit and that of future generations.”

Derrick cites the example of the Eglinton Canal locks, saying their repair could boost the restoration of the canal.

He points to many other counties and local authorities who have successfully completed canal restoration projects to benefit tourism and the local
community.

He says it’s also crucial to look ahead to how the plan will be implemented, once it’s agreed.

“Galway City Council should allocate funds in each Annual Budget to cover the costs involved in delivering the Heritage Plan over its 5-year lifespan.”

The Terryland Forest Park Alliance is also a member of GCCN, and their spokesperson is Brendan Smith.

He says the draft Heritage Plan gives the public “a critical opportunity to make their views known on the need to preserve, protect, nurture and enhance our
city’s living landscapes and traditions.”

“Galway city pulsates with a multi-layered heritage of medieval buildings and 19th century canals. We have a mix of active farmland, traditional rural greenways, woods, rivers and seashores rich in native biodiversity. We also have a vibrant culture of song,
dance, literature and drama.”

However, Brendan says ongoing urbanisation impacts negatively on many aspects of this unique heritage, “especially on our natural and rural landscapes. We need to protect these landscapes more than ever before in a time of a global climate and biodiversity
crises.”

GCCN co-ordinator, Jacinta Fay, says each of us will have our own concerns, interests and priorities when it comes to Galway’s diverse heritage.

“The vision in the plan is to conserve, enhance and promote Galway City’s rich heritage through community engagement, sustainable practices, and innovative initiatives.”

“So, whether your focus is on waterways, castles, arts, music or maritime heritage, all views and suggestions are vitally important. We can all help protect our heritage and shape our future by contributing to this plan,” says Jacinta.

GCCN, who represent over 180 local organisations in the city, says their advice is to read through the draft plan first.

The draft plan can be downloaded and read from the city council website here.