On 1st January 2004 the operational functions of Ireland's built heritage functions transferred to the Office of Public Works (OPW). The OPW has responsibility for the day-to-day running of all National Monuments and Historic Properties.
OPW Heritage Services consists of:-
The OPW's responsibility for the built heritage in State care (i.e. in State ownership and guardianship) involves:-
The OPW Approach and Philosophy:
The approach of the OPW Heritage Services is one of maintenance, preservation and presentation. It has a conservation remit to maintain the built heritage in State care and an active role in facilitating presentation and public access.
The OPW Heritage Services are essentially conservation orientated and indeed conservation driven. The bulk of their resources are dedicated to conservation activities. The vast majority of properties in State care are presented to the public without specific visitor facilities such as a guide service. Public access, however, to heritage attractions has a high priority and much effort has been made to improve access and information at all built heritage sites.
Many millions of Irish people and foreign visitors visit the heritage sites each year to learn something of Ireland's history and heritage. Guide services, interpretive displays and many publications and newsletters are provided to assist the visitor in this educational process.
Heritage Ireland is the website of Visitor Services. Click here to explore the many and varied heritage sites Ireland has to offer. Discover Ireland's Parks, Monuments, Gardens, Inland Waterways, and National Cultural Institutions