Climate Change

Clareabbey Abbey, Co. Clare, Ireland. CL033-120001- Class: Religious house – Augustinian canons Townland: CLAREABBEYDuring Flooding Feb 1995

Climate Change and Built and Archaeological Heritage- Public Consultation

The Department is preparing an adaptation plan to address the impacts of climate change on built and archaeological heritage.

Climate change poses a number of risks to our historic buildings and archaeological sites and monuments. Climate changes such as hotter, drier summers, warmer, wetter winters, the increased frequency of extreme weather events and sea-level rise may result in:

  • structural damage to monuments and historic buildings
  • coastal erosion, undermining structures or leading to loss of ground adjacent to the structure
  • exposure and erosion of archaeological sites
  • flooding of historic areas in towns and cities
  • saturation and destabilisation of building fabric
  • loss of historic landscape features
  • damage to roof coverings or unstable building elements, and
  • increased vulnerability of buildings and their contents to decay

There may be other less harmful effects from climate change such as the discovery of previously unknown archaeological sites and the reduction of freeze-thaw damage to building fabric.

A draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan has been prepared for public consultation. The draft Plan, available for download here, presents case studies on the impact of climate change on Ireland’s heritage and identifies five goals with corresponding objectives and actions to meet those objectives.


GOAL 1 Improve understanding of the heritage resource and its vulnerability to climate change impacts
GOAL 2 Develop and mainstream sustainable policies and plans for climate change adaptation of built and archaeological heritage
GOAL 3 Maintain Ireland’s heritage for future generations
GOAL 4 Communicate and transfer knowledge
GOAL 5 Exploit the opportunities for built and archaeological heritage to demonstrate value and secure resources


It is important that we hear your views. Your views on the draft plan will help shape our priorities and actions in adapting Ireland’s heritage to minimise the impact of climate change on the historic environment.

DRAFT Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan for Built and Archaeological Heritage – download here

To maximise the benefit and coherency of the public consultation we would ask that any email and postal submissions respond to the specific questions as outlined in  the online survey available for download.

  • The consultation period will close on Friday 14th June 2019.

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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