Athassel Abbey was a fitting scene for the launch of the revised South Tipperary Heritage Plan 2012-2016.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan launched the plan in the splendid Medieval setting on Monday night.
He stressed the importance of the role of the Heritage Officer programme which is key to raising awareness and improving a community’s collective appreciation of its heritage.
The Minister also stated that “Community involvement is at the heart of this plan” and that “its success is dependent of local people embracing their heritage and taking a leading role in caring for it”.
Other speakers included the Heritage Council Board member De Ciara Breathnach who said that “for relatively small sums of money the Heritage Council and its schemes have served to bring communities together for causes of common good”.
Cathaoirleach of South Tipperary County Council Michael Fitzgerald gave a warm welcome to all those present and gave thanks to all those who took part in the community participation process involved with making the plan.
Community meetings took place in Emly, Tipperary, Cashel, Cahir, Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Killenaule and Fethard over the course of the plan.
The South Tipperary Heritage Forum had a leading role to play in preparing the plan and the Cathaoirelach stressed the importance of their role and input to the plan. He also thanked graduate student Jane-Anne Cleary who prepared the first draft of the plan for her hard work and commitment.
The plan was approved by South Tipperary Council at their May council meeting and County Manager Billy McEvoy welcomed the plan. He stated that “the formulation of the plan has come at a time where there is a need for some positivity in the local community”.
Our heritage is our ‘sense of place’ – what makes us unique in South Tipperary. Heritage projects provide an opportunity for people to come together and work together for the sake of community. This plan is a manual for communities to get involved with their local heritage over the coming few years.
The Heritage Plan is available to download on www.southtippheritage.ieHard copies are available from County Hall, the County Museum and local libraries.