Heritage Angel Awards NI – Winners Announced

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The quest for the 2019 Northern Ireland Heritage Angels came to a conclusion with the presentation of seven awards at a glittering ceremony which took place on Tuesday 29 October in the Market Place Theatre, Armagh.  The awards funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber foundation with further support from Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council and the Department for Communities celebrated individuals and groups who have rescued historic buildings or sites, worked as craftsmen or apprentices, or recorded and interpreted historic places.

Nicola McVeigh, Chief Executive, Ulster Architectural Heritage said, “From their inception back in 2017 the Heritage Angel Awards have gone consistently from strength to strength, being met with incredible enthusiasm. We have been truly amazed by the volume of effort and commitment from groups and individuals across Northern Ireland from the variety of projects who were nominated and applied. The awards are not only about good outcomes for heritage, but the people behind the projects, those who are making a real and lasting difference by rescuing, recording and celebrating Northern Ireland’s historic environment.”

Lord Lloyd Webber, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation whose charitable foundation helped to found the Heritage Angel Awards, said: “Congratulations to all of the winners of the Northern Ireland Heritage Angel Awards! They all deserve to be celebrated for their significant roles in saving Northern Ireland’s Heritage and for the time, enthusiasm, skills and energy that they have dedicated to this important cause.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Mealla Campbell, commented, “On behalf of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, I am delighted to send congratulations to all of the winning and highly commended projects from the 2019 Heritage Angel Awards.  We were delighted to host this year’s ceremony amidst the beautiful Georgian architecture of Armagh City and to join with those who share a passion for our local heritage.   I wish all of those nominated all the very best for the future as they continue their invaluable work.”

The ceremony, hosted by Wendy Austin, Journalist and BBC Presenter, featured entertainment by local artists including recent BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year, Ríoghnach Connolly, The 4 of Us; Tony Villiers and Brigid O’Neill. Material included bespoke compositions on local Armagh heritage sites including Armagh Gaol; The Seven Houses and Market Street.. Local poet Maria McManus provided a reading on the theme of place.  Almost 400 people were in attendance and guest presenters included Mealla Campbell, Lord Mayor, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council: Iain Greenway, Director, Historic Environment Division, Department for Communities; Richard Hamilton-Stubber, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Armagh;  Joe Mahon, Less Spotter Ulster Presenter; Paul Mullan, Director, National Lottery Heritage Fund, NI; Jim Fitzpatrick, Chairman,Irish News and Marie-Louise Muir, BBC Radio Ulster Presenter.

Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place for projects under £2m

Winner: Marty & Melanie Hamill             Project: Strangford Presbyterian Church                                                             

Highly Commended:

Downpatrick & County Down Railway           Project:  Bundoran Signal Cabin

Hearth Historical Buildings Trust &                Project:  McMaster Street

Clanmil Heritage Division

Best Major Regeneration of a Historic Building or Place for projects in excess of £2m

WINNER Richhill Buildings Preservation Trust Project: Regeneration of Richhill

Highly Commended Jon Kerr                  Project: Mount Stewart Conservation

Estates Directorate, QUB                       Project: Lanyon Conservation & Restoration Project

Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by Young People

WINNER Children of the Heartland Project  Project:  Heartland

Highly Commended

Eoin Boyle                  Project:   Donaghmore High Cross Guide Booklet

Pupils of Holy Trinity Primary School     Project: Northern Ireland, Our Shared Past, Present & Future

Best Craftsperson or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project

WINNER Andrew & Brian Rooney              Project: Mourne Wall Restoration

Highly Commended

Michael Hoy          Project: Remembering T P Flanagan

William Watson     Project: Charles Sheils Almshouses

Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording

WINNER Carnlough Heritage Volunteers              Project: Carnlough Heritage Hub

Highly Commended

David Bunting  Project: Heritage Photography

Philip Smith Project: Buildings of South County Down Publication

Public Vote                                                    Pupils of Holy Trinity Primary School

Lifetime Achievement Award                      Primrose Wilson, CBE, Heritage Advocate

Best Maintenance of a Public Building : Belfast Harbour for the Harbour Commissioners’ Office, Belfast

Best Maintenance of a Private Building : John & Maureen Convery, Marybrook House & Mill, Crossgar

Best Maintenance of Community Building : Ardkeen Parish team for Lisbane Church, Kircubbin

Best Contribution to Streetscape: Damian McCaffrey, McCaffrey’s Chemist Derrygonnelly