Meath has always had a strong reverence for heritage and the natural environment. This did not get much attention in J. Stirling Coyne’s The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland (1842) but Colonel William Burton who resided at Slane Castle and later adopted the family name Conyngham, founded the Hibernian Antiquarian Society in 1779 to promote Irish ancient buildings abroad.
In the many years, too many to count, that I have been in Meath An Taisce, I have never ceased to be amazed by the commitment of its members to recording, and striving to save the vernacular features of our landscape. Right back from the time of Mrs Russell, who as planning officer in those days walked many miles watching and recording planning applications and buildings at risk, to our present members, their dedication has never wavered and it will not now.
The initiative to specifically address the Visitor Experience of the Phoenix Park is welcome, however there are a number of areas of concern, in particular concerning the intrusive impact of modern pavilions on the Park’s historic central avenue, and concerning the overriding problem of private motor-traffic in the Park. In general the Strategic Review is too focused on architecture-led visitor centres and needs to instead place the sensitive historic designed landscape at the centre of the initiative. The Phoenix Park will be a success when it is virtually traffic-free, like all good parks, and facilitating an array of outdoor activities providing dynamic, sustainable and healthy infrastructure for the citizenry while safeguarding the fragility and pre-eminence of its natural landscape character
The Built Environment unit of An Taisce took time over the summer to review the very popular database for structures at risk, which was originally released in November 2014. In this we are tracking some 120 buildings and structures at risk which were considered significant nationally and regionally and required intervention to prevent further deterioration. While there has been progress in securing certain buildings particularly in the Dublin City area, the majority of buildings recorded remain at risk and are becoming increasingly lost.
A new National Planning Framework entitled, ‘Ireland 2040’, is currently being developed by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. This is intended to succeed the National Spatial Strategy. It will provide a framework for national planning, pulling together relevant Government policies and investment on national and regional development. The focus will be on economic development and investment in housing, water services, transport, communications, energy, health and education infrastructure.
Mongan bog has the reputation for being one of the oldest, best-preserved raised bogs in Western Europe, and home to an array of flora and fauna. It can be considered perhaps one of the most significant bogs, not just in Ireland but also Europe and globally.
The Built Environment unit of An Taisce took time over January to review the very popular database for structures at risk, which was originally released in November 2014. In this we published some 100 buildings and structures at risk which were considered significant nationally and regionally and required intervention to prevent further deterioration. If you would like to read the full publication, please click here.