Monument Protection

Monument Protection

The archaeology of Dublin is a unique and non-renewable resource and preservation in situ is the preferred option of protection. The word ‘monument’ refers to man-made or structures modified by humans.

All archaeological monuments are protected under the National Monuments Acts 1930 – 2004. The Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) is a statutory list of archaeological monuments provided for in the National Monuments Act (amended 1994). The Archaeological Survey of Ireland (ASI) maintains a GIS web map that is updated frequently with newly recorded sites and monuments. See www. archaeology.ie for the ASI, RMP maps and list, and for a list of National Monuments in Dublin.

When the owner or occupier of a property or any other person proposes to carry out, or to cause, or to permit the carrying out of any work at or in relation to a Recorded Monument, they are required to give notice in writing to the Minister two months before commencing. For National Monuments in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a local authority or which are subject to a preservation order, the prior written consent of the Minister is required

for any interference with the monument. Shipwrecks over 100 years old and archaeological objects found underwater are protected under the National Monuments (Amendment) Acts 1987 and 1994. The Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland includes all known wrecks for the years up to and including 1945. 

The European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Valetta 1992) requires that appropriate consideration is given to archaeological issues at all stages of the planning and development process and this is reflected in national legislation. The Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) recognises that proper planning and sustainable development includes objectives for the protection of the archaeological heritage.

Zones of Archaeological Interest in urban areas can provide challenges to development and regeneration as well as providing opportunities for understanding our past. Development proposals for sites in the archaeological zone should be subject to pre-planning discussion and applications accompanied by an archaeological assessment. The planning authority may apply conditions relating to archaeology to individual permissions. These requirements are carried out on behalf of a prospective developer by an archaeologist and funded by the developer. Under the planning system, many minor works do not require planning permission (exempted development). However, if the type of works proposed affect a National Monument or a site included in the RMP, then the owner or occupier undertaking the works must comply with the notification requirements under the National Monuments Acts.

For clarity, the development plan map of Zones of Archaeological Interest is based on the statutory RMP map (1994). Development standards relate to the protection of archaeology in line with relevant legislation, DAHG policy documents and guidelines. The policies and objectives below are intended to conserve and raise awareness of the city’s rich archaeological legacy.