To be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, sites or properties of natural and/or cultural heritage must be of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and meet at least one out of a list of ten eligibility criteria.
Ireland currently has two World Heritage Sites, one of which, Brú na Bóinne, is located in Co. Meath. UNESCO’s website, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/ provides an interactive map of World Heritage Sites. My Department provides further information on Ireland’s World Heritage sites at www.worldheritageireland.ie.
Under the provisions of the National Monuments Acts 1930 - 2014, my Department has established and maintains the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP), which affords legal protection to all recorded archaeological sites and monuments in the State. The RMP comprises a list of recorded monuments and places, and accompanying maps, for each county. It can be consulted in county libraries and main local authority offices as well as www.archaeology.ie/publications-forms-legislation/record-of-monuments-and-places.
Part IV of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, provides for the protection of our architectural heritage. The Act gives primary responsibility to planning authorities to identify and protect this heritage by including relevant structures on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). Inclusion on the RPS places a duty of care on the owners and occupiers of protected structures and also gives planning authorities powers to deal with development proposals affecting them and to seek to safeguard their future. The RPS forms an appendix to each local authority’s County Development Plan and is available on their websites.
A further resource available from my Department is the Historic Environment Viewer for Archaeological and Architectural Heritage which is an interactive map/search facility that enables users to access the Sites and Monuments Record and the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH). This can be sourced at http://webgis.archaeology.ie/historicenvironment/.