26/09/12 – Minister Deenihan Launches Monuments and Heritage Websites
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, today (Wednesday 26th September 2012) launched two new websites developed by his Department. The websites highlight national monuments and heritage buildings that are open to the public but are not so well known. The ‘Places to See’ and ‘Monuments to Visit’ websites are also intended to encourage tourists to visit locations that might not otherwise be on their itineraries.
The new websites were activated by the Minister while he was visiting his Department’s stand at the National Ploughing Championships in New Ross, County Wexford. Both websites feature easy-to-use digital maps that provide directions to the sites and details of what the visitor can expect to find on arrival.
The Minister said that he welcomed the new websites which he hoped “would encourage a wider interest in lesser-known monuments and heritage buildings, many of which are equally as important as our landmark attractions in archaeological and architectural terms.” He said that the new web resources aimed “to highlight these hidden gems and illustrate the depth and breadth of Ireland’s heritage to potential visitors from home and abroad”.
Speaking about the role of Ireland’s heritage as a support for tourism, the Minister said that “looking at what Ireland can offer the tourist, I believe that our archaeological and built heritage is one area where we have a very clear competitive advantage over other countries. Ireland’s culture and heritage provide an unrivalled experience for overseas visitors and we must tap the full potential of this resource.”
The Minister also paid special tribute to the role the farming community has played in protecting Ireland’s archaeological heritage. “The survival rate for Irish archaeological monuments is unique in Europe. The sheer volume and variety of our archaeological field monuments cannot be found anywhere else. It is what gives the Irish countryside its unique character. The credit for that must go farmers up and down the country who work so closely with us in the protection of this priceless heritage.”
The ‘Places to See’ website can be accessed at http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/PlacestoSee/.
Log on to ‘Monuments to Visit’ at http://www.archaeology.ie/Getintoarchaeology/MonumentstoVisit/