Irish Heritage Trust

The Irish Heritage Trust cares for special places in a way that works to deliver benefits to people and the country. The fundamentals for this approach are place, people and participation.

The Trust operates on two key principles; to care for special places in an exemplary way and to share them with people in as many ways as possible. This is based on the philosophy that the more people that are involved in caring for and benefiting from a heritage property, the better protected it becomes. Over the last ten years they have worked hard to develop new ways of working to deliver greater public benefit at a reduced cost to the State. By developing financially sustainable solutions, working with local communities and creating dynamic volunteering programmes throughout Ireland, they have been fortunate to be involved in many exciting projects throughout Ireland and they are currently developing many more.

The Irish Heritage Trust is an independent charity which was established in July 2006 as a joint initiative between government and the voluntary sector.  A number of national heritage bodies had been doing wonderful work for many years. However, there was a particular need for a national, independent heritage property organisation to develop new ways of working that could reduce the financial burden on the State as well as engage with communities for wider public benefit.

The Irish Heritage Trust took responsibility for its first property Fota House and Gardens in Cork in December 2007. Today the property is thriving, requires no funding from the State and has received tremendous public and private support. It has won numerous awards and is buzzing with volunteers and visitors.

In addition to taking responsibility for properties, the Irish Heritage Trust has initiated and led innovative projects including the highly successful Dublin Tenement Experience in 2013 and the Fota Learning Zone in 2010. The success of Fota House illustrated the new model the Trust set out to create and this has led to their involvement with two nationally significant heritage properties through innovative partnerships. In August 2015 they took responsibility for operating Strokestown Park and the Irish National Famine Museum in Roscommon. The Trust was also selected by Teagasc to help to revive and regenerate Johnstown Castle, Estate and Gardens in Wexford in the coming years.

In addition to grant aid from Government, the Irish Heritage Trust are fortunate to have received wonderful support from many people across Ireland over the last ten years. Thanks to their time, dedication and money they are beginning to make a difference. After a decade of hard work they have proven the research concepts that led to our creation and are excited about the years ahead.

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