I am advised the subject matter of the Deputy's correspondence is being examined by my Department’s National Monuments Service.
As the Deputy will appreciate, I regularly receive requests to take archaeological sites into State ownership. The care, maintenance and presentation of national monuments in State care is undertaken by the Office of Public Works in consultation and with the advice of the Department’s National Monuments Service. Such monuments already number some one thousand sites at over 760 locations around the country and they require very considerable resource commitments both in terms of funding and personnel. Any proposals for further acquisitions must therefore be carefully considered against that background and in the context of the immediate capital cost of the acquisition.
The site referred to in this case contains a national monument that is already in my ownership, as Minister, and which is managed in all respects by the Office of Public Works. It benefits from the full protections of the National Monuments Acts 1930-2014 as do a number of other recorded monuments on the property.
My Department's examination of the case will be concluded as quickly as possible and I will ensure that the Deputy is informed of the outcome as soon as any decision is made.