Archaeological Services

Competent Authority

The National Monuments Service, as part of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is the competent authority for the protection of our archaeological heritage.

Licensing Procedures

A number of activities relating to archaeology are regulated by the above Acts, all of which require a licence or consent. The licensing and consent system is administered on behalf of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht by the National Monuments Service of the Department and the National Museum of Ireland.

At present there are 7 separate licenses and consents under the relevant Acts:

 

Licence for Archaeological Excavation

Section 26 of the National Monuments Act 1930 (as amended) requires that excavations for archaeological purposes must be carried out by archaeologists acting under an excavation licence.

To obtain such a licence, applicants must pass an interview and following that, complete an application form. An interview can be arranged by contacting licensingsection@ahg.gov.ie.

An application form for an excavation licence can be obtained online, here. This should be completed and returned, along with a detailed method statement to the National Monuments Service, Custom House (G50), Dublin, D01 W6X0 or by email to licensingsection@ahg.gov.ie. This should be submitted 3 weeks prior to

Tel: + 353 1 8882178

Email: licensingsection@ahg.gov.ie

Detection Device Consent

Section 2 of the National Monuments Act 1987 (as amended) requires that consent must be obtained for the use of a detection device to search for archaeological objects at a specified place or for the use and possession of a detection device at a place protected under the National Monuments Acts.

A detection device is defined as 'a device designed or adapted for locating any metal or mineral on or in the ground, on, in or under the sea bed or on or in land covered by water, but does not include a camera'.

An application form for consent to use a detection device in the specified manner can be obtained from the website, here.

Email: licensingsection@ahg.gov.ie

Tel: + 353 1 888 2178

Dive Survey Licence

Section 3(5) of the National Monuments Act 1987 requires that an underwater dive/survey licence is required in order to carry out dives, surveys or other archaeological activities on wrecks or underwater archaeological objects.

An application form for a dive/survey licence can be obtained from their website, here.

Email: licensingsection@ahg.gov.ie

Tel: + 353 1 8882 178

Ministerial Directions for archaeological works on an approved road development

Section 14A of the National Monuments Act 1930 (as amended) requires that all archaeological works on an approved road development (a road development approved by An Bord Pleanála under either or both sections 49 and 51 of the Roads Act 1993, as amended) must be carried out in accordance with directions issued by the Minister, following consultation with the Director of the National Museum of Ireland.

An application for such works can be obtained from the website, here.

Please contact licensingsection@ahg.gov.ie for further details.

Ministerial Consent - Consent for works at/near a national monument

Section 14 of the National Monuments Act 1930 (as amended) requires that the consent of the Minister is required for archaeological works at /or near a national monument in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a local authority or to which a preservation order applies. The Minister is required to consult with the Director of the National Museum of Ireland in relation to such an application for consent.

An application for Ministerial consent can be obtained from the website, here.

Email: licensingsection@ahg.gov.ie

Ph: + 353 1 888 2178

Licence to Export an Archaeological Object

The Department for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is the competent authority for the issue of licenses to export archaeological objects to destinations outside the EU and issues such licenses with appropriate professional/technical advice from the National Museum of Ireland.

Application forms for licenses to export from Ireland to outside the EU are available from:

Cultural Institutions Unit, Dept of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, New Road, Killarney, Co Kerry

Tel: +353 64 662 7354

To obtain a application to seek to export an archaeological object from Ireland to within the EU can be obtained by email or telephone.

Tel: +353 1 677 7444

Email : licensing@museum.ie.

Licence to alter an Archaeological Object

Section 25 of the National Monuments Act, 1930 (as amended by Section 68 of the National Cultural Institutions Act) states that it shall not be lawful for any person to injure, deface or destroy, clean, restore or sample by cutting, drilling or other process any archaeological object or to alter any archaeological object without a licence from the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

Application forms for licences to alter archaeological objects are available from:

Licensing Section, Irish Antiquities Division, National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 677 7444

Email : licensing@museum.ie


Information correct at time of publishing, please contact the competent authority for further information.