28/02/19

Minister welcomes the European Archaeological Council to Ireland for its 20th Annual Symposium

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D today opened the Annual Symposium of the European Archaeological Council at Dublin Castle.

The European Archaeological Council (EAC) is an association of European state archaeological heritage services and an advisory body on issues relevant to the management of archaeological heritage.

In her opening address to the 20th Annual EAC Symposium, Minister Madigan spoke of the benefit of collaboration across Europe in developing correct approaches to heritage management:

“Ireland has valued greatly engagement with the European Archaeological Council over the past 20 years. Many of the issues we face in the management of our European heritage are shared – conservation, sustainability, climate change impacts, presentation and accessibility. It is essential that we continue to engage and learn from each other on how to address those issues for the future.”

“Against a climate of challenges to the robustness of European relationships it is reassuring to see such strong engagement and collaboration as shown by the large attendance at this year’s Symposium which we are delighted to welcome to Dublin.”

Minister Madigan added:

“Our European heritage underpins the sense of place of our nations and communities, reinforcing our identities across a shared continent. Ireland looks forward to playing its continued role through international organisations such as the EAC in building steps to ensure our wonderful archaeological heritage is protected and well-managed for generations to come”.

The theme of the 2019 Symposium, organised by the Department’s National Monuments Service, is on “Monuments in the Care of the State”. 150 years since the first national monuments became vested in ‘state care’ under the 1869 Church Act, there are 1,000 monuments and historic properties in the care of the State in Ireland whose day to day management and care is overseen by the Office of Public Works.

Minister Madigan spoke of the opportunities of strengthened National Monuments legislation which is expected to progress this year through the Oireachtas and of a new National Heritage Plan – Heritage Ireland 2030– being developed by her Department. Heritage Ireland 2030 will provide a framework for heritage including for the management, conservation and accessibility of our key heritage sites with renewed investment of €30 million for the care of national monuments under Project Ireland 2040 to accompany funding available through an ongoing Strategic Partnership between Fáilte Ireland, her Department and the Office of Public Works.

Over 120 participants from European state heritage services are attending the two day Symposium being held in partnership with the OPW in Dublin Castle, with discussions on all aspects of management of European heritage in state care.

ENDS

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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