21/09/11 Deenihan Confirms Post 1700 AD Monuments Will Continue to be Protected

Jimmy Deenihan TD., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has today (Wednesday 21st  September, 2011) responded to concerns expressed by the archaeological profession that the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht was planning to remove the protection given to post-1700 AD monuments under the National Monuments Acts.

“There are no proposals to take away or diminish the protection regime for any category of monument”, the Minister said.  “The position is that my Department’s National Monuments Service is reviewing the policy for including monuments in the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) because the current RMP  – drawn up more than 10 years ago – is not consistent across all counties where post-1700 AD monuments are concerned.”

The Minister said that the review was only one element of wider strategy by his Department to improve the management, protection, presentation and appreciation of Ireland’s unique archaeological heritage. “We are working to provide high quality, accurate and accessible information to the public (including tourists) and professionals through our dedicated website www.archaeology.ie.  A comprehensive new monuments bill is also being drafted to consolidate, modernise and improve the legislative code for the protection and regulation of our archaeological heritage.  In addition, we are developing detailed guidance on archaeological best practice and procedure based on comprehensive recommendations from an expert review group that has been engaged in an intensive examination of practice over a number of years.”

The Minister added that, in the context of all these ongoing processes and recent legislative developments such as the greater protections now available under the Planning Acts, “there are obviously issues that will arise as to how, and under which legislation, certain structures should be protected.”

The Minister said that the objective of the current review was to bring about greater consistency across the board. “There is no question of the current Record of Monuments and Places being revised until we have completed the review” he added. “When draft policy and criteria for updating the RMP have been developed, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will consult with interested parties before any decisions are made.”

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Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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