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National monument (Ireland) facts for kids

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Irish national monument notice 2
A typical notice (Irish: fógra) at a National Monument. (Note that the current minister responsible is the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage)

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

Equivalent monuments in Northern Ireland are termed scheduled monuments and come under the protection of the Department for Communities.

Legal framework for protection

National monuments are managed under the auspices of the National Monuments Service, which is part of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The official status of national monument is conferred under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014.

Monuments had been protected under the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1882, an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, this framework was reformed by the National Monuments Act 1930. 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 proportion of Ireland's recorded archaeological heritage. There are more than 126,000 known sites ['Recorded Monuments'] in Ireland. Each national monument is numbered (for example, the Rock of Cashel is National Monument number 128, Newgrange is number 147), and a numbered monument may represent a group of sites, as is the case at the Rock of Cashel.

A provision of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 allows for the destruction in whole or in part of a national monument by the Government of Ireland if such destruction is deemed to be in the "public interest". According to press reports, these provisions were included 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.

World Heritage Sites

Two national monuments are also recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites: Brú na Bóinne in County Meath and Skellig Michael in County Kerry.

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 Republic of Ireland 761

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

Connacht

Leinster

Munster

Ulster

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