“Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam” (a country without a language is a country without a soul) has been a line regularly availed of by advocates of our native language.
But given the savage cuts inflicted upon the heritage sector following last December’s Budget, that old saying could just as easily be amended to “tír gan oidhreacht, tír gan anam”.
Last September, Clonea-born economist Jim Power conducted research which examined the economic value of all 26 County Heritage Plans.
This research was referred to in a circular issued by The Heritage Council, whose budget has been slashed by 77 per cent within the past two years.
Between 2004 and 2008, these plans were implemented at a cost of €6.15 million (funded by The Heritage Council) and led to the creation of 1012 full-time jobs in small businesses around the country.