National Monument (Ireland)

Photo of a typical notice at a national monument in Ireland. (Note that the current minister responsible is the Minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht).

A National Monument (Irish: Séadchomhartha Náisiúnta) in the Republic of Ireland is a structure or site which has been deemed to be of national importance and therefore worthy of state protection. If the land adjoining to the monument is essential to protect it, this land may also be protected.

Legal framework for protection

National monuments are managed under the auspices of the National Monuments Service, which is currently part of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.[1] The official status of "National Monument" is conferred under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004.[2]

Monuments were given protection before Irish independence by the Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 1882, an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (as it then was). Irish monuments were similarly protected by the independent state under the National Monuments Act of 1930.[3] The list of National Monuments has since been expanded. By 2010 there were nearly 1000 monuments in state ownership or guardianship, although this represents only a small proprtion of Ireland's recorded archaeological heritage.[4] [5] Each National Monument is numbered (for example, the Rock of Cashel is National Monument number 128, Newgrange is number 147),[6] but a numbered monument may represent a group of sites, as is the case at the Rock of Cashel.

The most recent amendment act, the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004, includes provisions for the partial or complete destruction of National Monuments by the Government if such destruction is deemed to be in the "public interest".[7] These provisions were included, according to press reports, to facilitate road schemes, and in particular the destruction of Carrickmines Castle, a National Monument, to build an intersection along the south-eastern section of the M50 motorway.

List of monuments

Province County Individual Monuments
Connacht Galway 88
Munster Kerry 76
Munster Limerick 62
Munster Cork 58
Connacht Mayo 53
Leinster Meath 53
Munster Tipperary 48
Munster Clare 37
Leinster Kilkenny 33
Leinster Dublin 30
Connacht Sligo 24
Leinster Wicklow 24
Leinster Louth 23
Leinster Wexford 17
Ulster Donegal 16
Leinster Kildare 16
Connacht Roscommon 15
Leinster Westmeath 15
Leinster Carlow 14
Munster Waterford 14
Leinster Offaly 10
Leinster Laois 8
Ulster Cavan 7
Connacht Leitrim 7
Ulster Monaghan 7
Leinster Longford 6
Total Ireland 761

The following is an index to lists of National Monuments of Ireland, divided by province.






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