Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan TD, has announced a significant increase in support for the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) archaeological research grant schemes for 2021.
The RIA grant schemes, which have been operating for many years, are an important vehicle for enabling applied research into the Irish archaeological record, enabling scholars to make a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the past.
With 2021 funding to the RIA through the National Monuments Service increased to €250,000 – a three-fold increase on last year’s allocation – the Academy has opened calls to two of its archaeological grant schemes this week.
Minister Noonan said:
“We appreciate very much our longstanding partnership with the Royal Irish Academy in supporting archaeological research and I am very pleased to be able to significantly increase our funding to the Academy this year. Through excavation, post-excavation analysis and applied research of the highest quality, we learn ever more of our fascinating past.”
The Archaeology Research Grants Scheme operated by the Academy in partnership with the National Monuments Service (of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage) and Historic Environment Division (Department for Communities, Northern Ireland) focusses on supporting research which might provide an original contribution to archaeological knowledge.
The additional funding announced by Minister Noonan for 2021 has also facilitated the establishment of a new Archaeological Legacy Grants Scheme.
The legacy scheme will provide support for post-excavation research for research excavations previously funded through the Royal Irish Academy. It will enable knowledge from important archaeological excavations to be brought to conclusion and brought to publication.
Two other Academy research funding schemes already running for 2021- the Archaeological Research Excavation and Directed Archaeological Research for World Heritage Sites grant schemes - have also benefited from increased funding announced by Minister Noonan
The Minister added:
“I am pleased that our increased support to the Academy this year has enabled a new legacy funding stream which may help further our knowledge from excavations at some of Ireland’s most significant archaeological sites and monuments.”
“A 2019 Heritage Council Survey found very high levels of public interest in archaeology, inspired by our wonderfully rich archaeological resource right across the land. That interest in our past helps provide a sense of place for communities and also supports our heritage tourism offering. I applaud the archaeological profession for its role in supporting these aims and I am pleased to have been able to provide this increased research funding.”