County Donegal is home to one of the largest surviving concentrations of thatch structures in Ireland. Donegal County Council recognises the contribution that thatched dwellings and outbuildings make to cultural landscape, employment, education, traditional skills retention, economy and tourism. The conservation of vernacular architecture constitutes appropriate, sustainable and responsible development. It is based on local knowledge of traditional skills, the use of traditional materials and wise land-use practices in which form and function are inextricably linked. Despite their importance and potential, the loss of our thatched buildings has been considerable. With support from Creative Ireland in 2018, a thatch specialist prepared a framework document to inform the setting up a proactive, small-scale, cost-effective ‘Thatch Repair Grant Scheme’. The aims of the Thatch Repair Grant Scheme are to provide specialist advice to owners on the conservation of their thatched properties and allocate funding for small-scale thatch repairs based on best conservation practice. The scheme was piloted and revised in 2019 and Creative Ireland funding will be used to oversee 3 or 4 projects in a pilot Thatch Repair Grant Scheme in 2020. The funding will support the maintenance of historic thatch structures, the continuation of traditional skills and the provision of local employment.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.