19 May 2022

Kilkenny minister launches nationwide 'Protect Our Past' campaign


'Protect Our Past' campaign launch featuring Minister Malcolm Noonan, T.D, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform (far left)

The Office of Public Works (OPW) and the National Monuments Service have commenced a new nationwide campaign entitled 'Protect Our Past'.

The aim of the campaign is to highlight the need for visitors to Ireland’s heritage sites and monuments to be mindful of their actions over the summer.

Recent evidence of graffiti and anti-social behaviour at several of Ireland’s most significant monuments - some of which are ancient burial sites - has illustrated the need for more respectful behaviour.

Some archaeological sites are suffering damage that threatens the preservation of archaeological remains.

Small fires and ground disturbance, for example, which may be carried out with no ill intention, can destroy or seriously damage these monuments. 

The campaign, launched by Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan, TD, is reminding people of the importance of protecting our country’s unique archaeological and architectural heritage sites, many of which are extremely vulnerable.  

Minister Noonan noted that our local heritage sites connect us with our past and encouraged people to visit their local sites this summer responsibly.

"Ireland has over 145,000 recorded archaeological sites and monuments spread across every town, parish and townland, meaning we are never far from a special place that provides us with a tangible link to our ancestors and our past," he said.

"The rate of survival of Ireland’s archaeological and architectural heritage is unique and something to be proud of. We all have a role to play in ensuring its survival for present and future generations. I encourage everyone visiting a heritage site or monument this summer to be mindful of how their actions might impact these sites or monuments."

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