Image of Tully Church by Stephen Cross

Today, Thursday 3rd February 2022, An Taisce appeared before the Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government, and Heritage.

A detailed analysis of the effects, to date, of the National Monuments Act (1930 – 2004), and future challenges for the forthcoming legislation, was presented (see links below).

Three key proposals were placed before the Joint Committee:

  1. Given that the proposed Act will implement the 1972 Convention Concerning Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, ratified by Ireland in 1991, begs the question – is this not the correct time and opportunity to implement the 1992 ‘Valletta Convention’? It is an equally valuable Heritage protection instrument, and was also ratified by Ireland in 1997, so why not implement now?

  2. Why not adopt a policy of “Monument Destruction Prevention, rather than Monument Destruction Prosecution”? This would require (a.) availing of the technological database already compiled by the Land Registry Office, to issue official notification to all landowners with a known monument on their land of its type, importance and protected status. This notification to be legally transferred to future owners of said property; (b.) Placing a Preservation Order on the ground formerly occupied by the destroyed monument – (i) in order to protect the surviving subterranean features and the associated legally protected archaeological objects; (ii) and in order to negate any ‘ground gain’ achieved by the destruction of the monument.

  3. Re-activate the Monuments Advisory Council, as envisaged and established by the original Monuments Act, and subsequent Amendments, to introduce transparent checks and balances into the system. The fate of an ancient monument, potentially of great cultural significance and value to the Nation should not rest on the decision of one individual, i.e., the relevant Minister of the day. National resources cannot be frittered away.


Further details

Press Contact 
Ian Lumley, Head of Advocacy
[email protected]

An Taisce's opening statement to the Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government, and Heritage.
An Taisce's full submission to the Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government, and Heritage.