My role with regard to the protection and management of our architectural heritage is set out in the provisions of relevant legislation, as are the roles of local authorities and the responsibilities of owners.
Part IV of the Planning and Development Act gives the planning authorities primary responsibility for identifying and protecting architectural heritage by including particular structures on their records of protected structures. Inclusion on a record of protected structures places a duty of care on the owners and occupiers of protected structures and gives planning authorities the power to deal with development proposals affecting such structures and to seek to safeguard their future.
The Iveagh Market is a protected structure in the ownership of Dublin City Council. It is currently on lease from the council to a private developer. Therefore, the matter is primarily one between those two parties. As the owner of the Iveagh Market, the local authority has a duty under legislation to ensure the structure does not become endangered. My role with regard to protected structures is mainly advisory. However, officials from my Department have contacted Dublin City Council to ascertain its plans. They remain available to advise in any manner as required. Dublin City Council has informed the Department that it is actively pursuing the most efficient means available to it to ensure the Iveagh Market building is refurbished and returned to beneficial use. My Department has not discussed the renovation of any other historic market building with Dublin City Council.
The Department also provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through the historic structures fund and the built heritage investment scheme, which are administered by local authorities. I announced funding of €4.3 million for 478 projects under these schemes in March but I understand, however, that the scale of investment needed for the structure mentioned would mean that the levels of grant funding available under those schemes would not be sufficient.
My officials will remain in contact with Dublin City Council about the Iveagh Market.