National Monument (Ireland)

National Monument (Ireland)
Photo of a notice at a ring fort near Lough Gur, typical of those at a national monument in Ireland.

A National Monument in the Republic of Ireland is a structure or site which has been deemed to be of national importance and therefore worthy of state protection. If the land adjoining to the monument is essential to protect it, this land may also be protected.

Legal framework for protection

National monuments are managed under the auspices of the National Monuments Service,[1] part of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The official status of "National Monument" is conferred under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004.[2]

Monuments were given protection before Irish independence by the Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 1882, and Irish monuments were similarly protected by the independent state under the National Monuments Act of 1930.[3] The list of National Monuments has since been expanded. By 2010 there were nearly 1000 monuments in state ownership or guardianship, although this represents only a small proprtion of Ireland's recorded archaeological heritage.[4] [5] Each National Monument is numbered (for example, the Rock of Cashel is National Monument number 128, Newgrange is number 147),[6] but a numbered monument may represent a group of sites, as is the case at the Rock of Cashel.

The most recent amendment act, the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004, includes provisions for the partial or complete destruction of National Monuments by the Government if such destruction is deemed to be in the "national interest".[7] These provisions were included, according to press reports, to facilitate road schemes, and in particular the destruction of Carrickmines Castle, a National Monument, to build an intersection along the south-eastern section of the M50 motorway.

See also

  • List of National Monuments of Ireland


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