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County Clare has a rich and varied heritage. While heritage is defined by the Heritage Act, our heritage is about people, place, culture, nature and the opportunities that it can offer in the future.

Heritage is everything that we have inherited from the past and want to maintain for the future. The Heritage Council conducted a number of heritage surveys and found that many people perceive local heritage to mean old buildings, while national heritage is viewed from a historical perspective, encompassing what is shared as a nation; such as the Irish language, gaelic sport, traditional music and folklore. To quote from the Heritage Council guidelines on the preparation of Heritage Plans, a reminder of the importance of heritage goes as follows: 'as we step into the 21st century, we are constantly creating the heritage of the future. We must begin to ensure that we will be proud of the kind of urban, rural and suburban landscapes that we will leave behind for future generations’.

Clare County Council identified the need for a strategic and co-ordinated approach to our heritage. County Clare has a unique character and its people and communities have a strong sense of heritage and place. The heritage plan highlights the central role played by heritage in our sense of identity, our sense of place and in our daily lives.

Heritage is an integral part of the sustainable service delivery of the local authority. The challenge is to allow for change while retaining the character and quality and the integrity of the landscapes and seascapes for all to enjoy. It is acknowledged that it is not possible to conserve everything, it is perhaps more appropriate to balance the need for legitimate change with the desire for reasonable conservation. Central to this is the link between heritage conservation and sustainable development.

Under the Heritage Act 1995, heritage is defined as landscape, seascapes, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, monuments, archaeological objects, architectural heritage, heritage objects, geology, inland waterways, heritage gardens, parks and wrecks. In addition, the Clare Heritage Forum has recommended that elements of cultural heritage, such as genealogy, placenames, the Irish language, traditional music and oral history recording should also be included in the Clare Heritage Plan 2011 - 2017. 

The Heritage Council part funds the network of 28 city/county heritage officers in local authorities across the country.

The Heritage Council's vision is that the value of our heritage is enjoyed, managed and protected for the vital contribution that it makes to our identity, well-being and future.

Heritage officer contact details

Congella McGuire
Planning and Enterprise Section
Clare County Council
New Road
Co. Clare

Telephone: (065) 6846408

Page last reviewed: 13/05/09

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