About NMS

Welcome to the National Monuments Service

The National Monuments Service is part of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and plays a key role in the protection of our archaeological heritage.

The NMS has responsibility for:

  • Archaeological issues arising at National Monuments in State care.
  • The conservation and management (including visitor services) of these monuments is the responsibility of the Office of Public Works.
  • Carrying out surveys of known sites and where sites are thought to be located and to compile inventories of sites and monuments.
  • Implementing the legislation in relation to the protection of monuments and sites, including historic wrecks and underwater archaeological sites.
  • Regulating archaeological excavations, use of detection devices for archaeological purposes and diving on historic wrecks and underwater archaeological sites.
  • Providing advice to planning authorities on development proposals (development plans, heritage plans and individual planning applications) that may have implications for the archaeological heritage.
  • Providing advice to individuals and local groups on archaeological issues.

Click on the links below for information on 

  • Archaeology
  • Protecting our Architectural Heritage
  • Contacting the National Monuments Service

Archaeology

Archaeology is the study of past societies through the material remains left by those societies and the evidence of their environment.

All remains and objects and any other traces of humankind from past times are considered elements of the archaeological heritage.

Protecting our Archaeological Heritage

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is responsible for the protection of our archaeological heritage, including the licensing of archaeological excavations, through the exercise of powers under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004.

  • Monuments are protected under the National Monuments Acts in a number of ways:
  • National monuments in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a local authority;
  • National monuments which are subject to a preservation order;
  • Historic monuments or archaeological areas recorded in the Register of Historic Monuments;
  • Monuments recorded in the Record of Monuments and Places.

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 2 months before commencing that work. This is to allow the National Monuments Service time consider the proposed works and how best to proceed to further the protection of the monument.
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 works at or in proximity to the monument.