Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, today (5th October) launched a new publication in his Departments Advice Series, entitled Access – improving the accessibility of historic buildings and places, at an event in the Custom House, Dublin.

This booklet is the result of a collaboration between the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the National Disability Authority.  In addition, there was extensive and detailed consultation with stakeholders and others with an interest in improving access to historic buildings and places.  The primary aim of the publication is to advise owners, custodians and managers of historic buildings and places on how to improve access for all users.

The booklet is in addition to the existing seven booklets published between 2007 and 2010 relating to the care of historic windows, ironwork, brickwork, roofs, general maintenance of older buildings, energy efficiency in traditional buildings, and the conservation of masonry ruins.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Deenihan said the booklets of the Advice Series now available “provide excellent advice on how best to realise favourable outcomes in the historic built environment.”

Referring to today’s launched booklet on improving access, Minister Deenihan commented “one of the key requirements for an inclusive and sustainable society is that everyone should be able to enjoy the social, economic and cultural assets of that society. Historic buildings and places are a unique and irreplaceable resource as places where people work, live and enjoy everyday activities. Built heritage is an integral part of our national cultural identity.”

The Minister added that “improving access to our historic buildings is not something new – it has been progressing steadily in recent years.  The ‘Access’ booklet, however, is a timely reminder of the work remaining to be done and, perhaps more importantly, helps greatly to focus our attention on how improving access can be done more effectively and efficiently in the future.”

This Advice Series publication is laid out in six chapters covering: achieving a balance between the principles of architectural conservation and universal design; the legislative context; preparing to improve access; improving access in the external environment; improving access in and around buildings; and providing accessible information.  It also provides illustrated examples of successful solutions where access to historic buildings and places has been improved, including in the Custom House.

Copies of this booklet – and the previous seven published – are available through the Government Publications Sales Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, Irish bookshops or online from www.wordwellbooks.com and are priced at €10 each.  They are also free to access at:



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