What we do
Our key job is to manage and maintain the most important of Ireland’s historic buildings and heritage. We take meticulous care of the 780 heritage sites in our charge and, at the 70 sites with visitor services, we work hard to present them to their best potential, making sure that we give visitors from Ireland and abroad the best experience we possibly can.
We adopt a sustainable approach to the work we do and are passionate about quality. We take great pride in our work and are committed to best practice across the vast range of disciplines necessary to protect and present our heritage, from conservation architects to librarians, craft stone masons and carpenters to fine art conservators, guides to gardeners. We endeavour to make the very best use of our resources, be they our people or our finances, in order to ensure that the Irish people get the greatest benefit from the legacy they have entrusted to our care.
The pillars of our work are as follows:
We provide high-quality and authentic interpretative experiences at our heritage sites for the benefit of visitors and tourists.
We support education through lots of exciting initiatives, both nationally and locally on sites.
We develop and apply best practice approaches and standards to the sustainable promotion, protection, and management of the heritage estate.
We look after and promote various important collections of art and artefacts. We are privileged with the care of many noteworthy examples of artistic and cultural production from Ireland and around the world – from the seventeenth-century canopies of state in Dublin Castle to the editioned Picasso ceramics at Glebe Gallery in County Donegal.
Our cultural programming is second to none. We have an outstanding schedule of events, including wide-ranging exhibitions of art and history, performances by world-class theatre companies and musicians of various genres, and special tours of our amazing locations.
We undertake vital scientific work, especially in the area of plant conservation. At the National Botanic Gardens, for example, we have a DNA research lab and an internationally significant collection of plants. This includes some 300 endangered species from around the world, a few of which are already extinct in the wild. Our expert staff are actively engaged in research, finding out about new species as well as investigating how best to conserve threatened ones.
We collaborate with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to look after Ireland’s two World Heritage Sites, Brú na Bóinne and Skellig Michael. Our highly skilled staff work hard to make the global public aware of the extraordinary cultural and historical value of these places and to keep them safe for future generations.
We work closely with our local communities. In fact, we depend on people in all parts of Ireland to help protect their local historic places and present them to visitors.
We produce top-quality publications to add to the heritage knowledge base and to cater to visitors’ needs.