Support for Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland

May 23, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Statements | Leave a comment

I wish to fully support the call by the newly founded Heritage Protection Alliance of Ireland to repeal the National Monument Act 2004. 

It is a matter of great importance that the rich archaeological heritage of the country be fully protected and preserved. It is clear that the consequence of the 2004 Act is that this is not happening in an appropriate and comprehensive manner. 

The maintenance and preservation of our diverse cultural resources is a mark of a civilized society. However, these resources include not only our physical artefacts and remains but also our communities. Of particular importance are our Irish-speaking communities as these contain such an immense and important cultural wealth for all of us. All of our communities need to inhabit a humanised physical and cultural space where historical continuity and modernity exist in harmony.  

For this reason I have called for a mandatory pre-planning phase whereby developers of large infrastructural projects must engage in real dialogue and agreement with communities affected by their projects. This pre-planning stage would include identifying the cultural features – both physical and psychological – which must be preserved from possible damage. In this way development and cultural sustainability can be better reconciled.     

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