An Súgán, the Museum of the Irish language and Gaelic Revival, located in Ballingeary, Co Cork received grants totalling €28,000 from neighbouring Windfarm Community Benefit Funds in Cork and Kerry since 2020.

About the Project

An Súgán is aiming to become Ireland’s first museum to tell stories of the history of the Irish Language, of the ‘Gaelic Revival’ and of the special role played by Coláiste na Mumhan, Ballingeary: Ireland’s first Irish Language Teacher Training college.  

The museum will be located in the centre of Béal Átha’nGhaorthaidh (Ballingeary), Co Cork, in the building where Coláiste na Mumhan opened its doors on July 4th 1904 and which was to be of huge significance in the Irish language movement at the turn of the 20th century. 

"Ballingeary’s story certainly helped spark a nationalistic spirit which ultimately led to Irish Independence. An Súgán will entertain, inform, and inspire the visitor to think about the ways in which culture, opinion and history, were interwoven, through the language movement, in the lead up to the Irish War of Independence.”
Tim Twomey, Project Leader

The museum is intended to provide an educational resource and a cultural tourism attraction in Ballingeary village, with up to 8,000 visitors forecasted to visit every year. It will also provide a venue for community events and local employment opportunities. 

Community Benefit Fund

In Ireland, all RESS (Renewable Electricity Support Scheme) renewable electricity generation projects (such as a wind farm), are required to set up a community benefit fund to be used for the wider economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of the local community.  

You can find out more about Windfarm Community Funds here. 

The ESB Grousemount Wind Farm in Co Kerry community benefit fund (CBF) has supported the project to approximately €20,000 since 2020, most recently in the form of a multi-annual grant of over €14,000. SSE Renewables Coomacheo & Curragh Community Fund have also provided support for the project. 

The multi-annual grant from the Community Benefit Funds represents roughly 50% of the costs for the ‘Visitor Experience Development’ (VED) phase of the An Súgán project. The VED consists of the development of all of the detailed designs for displays, stories, audiovisual content, display boards, photography etc, which will be presented and accessible in the museum itself once it opens its doors to the public.  

You can watch a preview of how the VED will be presented through this virtual walkthrough video, which shows how the layout of the museum will appear when the implementation phase is complete, within the existing historic building. 

Project Benefits

The Community Benefit Fund was integral in supporting the VED for An Súgán.  VED completion represents a key milestone in the development of An Súgán and will permit presentation of an extensive portion of the material that will be on show in the museum itself, to the local community and wider public as well as to potential further funders before the implementation phase. 

An Súgán is an example of how an ambitious local community project can be supported and progressed by a Community Benefit Fund stemming from a local large renewable electricity project. 

Subject to available funding, the An Sugan Museum could be opening its doors by Spring 2025. 

Community Benefit Fund Register

SEAI have recently launched the ‘Community Benefit Register’. Communities can use this Register to view renewable electricity projects in Ireland and the supporting Community Benefit Fund associated with it. Users will be able to filter by location and find information on how / where to apply to their local Community Benefit Fund. 

Check out the new Register to find out more.