ICOMOS Ireland

ICOMOS Ireland was founded in 1984. It has grown and developed and has a sizeable membership drawn from the State heritage services, local government, museums, universities and private practice.

ICOMOS Ireland organises activities on the International Day for Monuments and Sites. It hosts meetings to pursue its objectives.

ICOMOS Ireland follows and comments on matters in regard to World Heritage Sites and Sites on the Tentative list in Ireland. 

ICOMOS Ireland is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No. 435591) and is a registered charity (CHY17077). 

It has an elected board of directors comprising of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Company Secretary, Membership Secretary and five ordinary members.

ICOMOS Ireland seeks to gather a membership that will include recognised experts in their field of specialisation; to recruit emerging professionals seeking such specialisation; and it aspires to give all members ample opportunities and stimulus to become actively engaged in the work of the National Committee. To learn more, click here

ICOMOS Ireland holds monthly committee meetings which are open to all members and often followed by talks. Information on meetings and talks can be found in the Meetings section of the website.


Launch of Other Stories: Cultural Heritage and Society

To mark the launch of ICOMOS Ireland’s new publication Other Stories – Cultural Heritage and Society by Minister Michael Noonan TD, a series of short films have been made focusing on some of the project case studies explored through the project. The publication arises out an ICOMOS Ireland Research and Advocacy Project to highlight the spirit and principles of the Council of Europe Faro Convention 2005 as expressed in an Irish context. The films are available to watch here.


ICOMOS Ireland Annual Maura Shaffrey Lecture October 8th 2020



The ICOMOS Ireland ICOMOS Ireland Annual Maura Shaffrey Lecture ‘People and Place: Expression of shared heritage through Intangible Cultural Heritage' with Guest Speaker Clara Arokiasamy OBE takes place online on Thursday 8th October 6.30pm. 

Response by Virginia Teehan, CEO, The Heritage Council.

The lecture will be preceded by the publication launch of Other Stories: Cultural Heritage and Society with Minister Malcolm Noonan T.D. Please register for a ticket at Eventbrite.ie.


Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) plays a key role in expressing UK’s rich, diverse, vibrant, dynamic and constantly evolving heritage which consists of layers of shared heritage resulting from its history of invasions, empire, colonisation, migration and involvement in globalisation. These characteristics are most evident in the customs, traditions and living cultures expressed by the various ICH bearer communities across the UK. The lack of ratification of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage has not prevented the owners of these intangible values from practicing, sharing and passing on their knowledge and skills to their children, grandchildren and others in their communities on a daily, annual and seasonal basis. Using her experience of promoting ICH in her capacity as the founder and chair of ICOMOS-UK’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee and lessons learned from its pilot project “Exploring ICH in Museum Contexts” which was broadly framed within the UNESCO’s 2003 Convention, and exchanges with other nations over a number of years, Clara will briefly set out the following: 

  • Expressions of ICH in multicultural and multiracial settings
  • The key issues and challenges associated with the safeguarding and promotion of ICH
  • Why ICOMOS should be engaged with the safeguarding of intangible culture


Clara Arokiasamy

Clara is the President of ICOMOS-UK and is the Chair of its Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee which she founded in 2012. Her involvement, as a senior manager and non-executive member, in the planning and delivery of arts and heritage services in the UK spans local government, community sector, and Non-Government Departments, over a period of 25 years. She was Deputy Director Operations at the Heritage Lottery Fund, a member of the Culture Committee at the UK National Commission for UNESCO, Vice President of the International Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage at ICOMOS International and a member of the Strategic Review Committee at ICOM International. She also chaired the London Mayor’s Heritage and Diversity Task Force and the Open University’s research board on Cultural Rights and Kenya’s New Constitution. Clara has consulted on cultural heritage in Europe, Canada and America for academic, community and arts and heritage sectors.


ICOMOS Ireland Monthly Meetings Go Virtual!

Due to the current Covid-19 Restrictions, we are planning a number of topics/presentations for the next few monthly meetings, which will happen virtually, allowing us to continue to engage with the significant issues relating to Cultural Heritage and ICOMOS. Details on these meetings, including links to join, will be sent to members in advance. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, 12th May from 6pm to 7pm and includes a discussion on 'Heritage, Culture in a time of Covid-19 and post-Covid-19, ICOMOS role and priorities'. 

We are continuing to work on other topics and presentations for the Monthly Members Meetings and are also happy to receive proposals from members. So please keep your regular ICOMOS meeting in the diary – generally the second Tuesday of the month at 6pm.


ICOMOS Submission to the UN Special Rapportuer in the Field of Cultural Rights

In seeking to find new and creative ways to connect with our members amidst the current global health crisis, ICOMOS Ireland launched its first virtual ICOMOS Monthly Meeting on Tuesday April 21st.

Co-ordinated by Deirdre McDermott, ICOMOS Ireland representative to the Climate Change Working Group, the meeting focused on gathering a response to an invitation received by ICOMOS Ireland via the Climate Change Working Group to contribute to the 2020 report of the UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights. The completed responses were a collaborative effort between the Climate Change and the OCDI-RBA Working Groups, resulting in the ICOMOS Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights and Climate Change, with the Irish input informed by the inaugural ICOMOS Ireland Virtual Members Meeting. The complete ICOMOS Submission can be viewed here.


International Day for Monuments and Sites 2020 

This year, the theme for the International Day for Monuments and Sites on 18th April is ‘Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility’. To mark IDMS this year, ICOMOS Ireland had planned to launch Other Stories – Cultural Heritage and Society; an ICOMOS Ireland Research and Advocacy Project – inspired by the Council of Europe Faro Convention 2005 on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society. Sadly, due to Covid-19 restrictions the launch has had to be postponed. We do intend to reschedule the launch when circumstances allow, and we are also exploring alternative ways to celebrate the publication. Other Stories will be available online on the ICOMOS Ireland website and in hard copy in due course. Browsing through the Contents Page will provide an insight into the Case Studies to be revealed in the publication which is followed a Forward by ICOMOS Ireland President Gráinne Shaffrey.


21st Annual Maura Shaffrey Memorial Lecture - Keeping Heritage Above Water

The 21st Annual Maura Shaffrey Memorial Lecture was held in Dublin Castle on Thursday, 31st October 2019. The evening comprised a lecture and panel discussion with keynote speaker Dr Cara Augustenborg examined the Sustainable Development Goals and their relationship to cultural heritage, particularly when facing today's challenges to sustainably adapt for climate change and contemporary needs.

Videos of the lectures and panel discussion from the evening can be found here.



It is with great delight that we inform you that our esteemed member and former President, Grellan D. Rourke has been announced winner of the 2019 ICCROM Award. Please see the formal announcement on ICCROM’s website here.

Grellan has contributed so much to cultural heritage at international and national level. We, at ICOMOS Ireland can feel privileged and proud of Grellan’s involvement with ICCROM over the years, which gladly continues.

Our warmest congratulations go to Grellan for this award which is so richly deserved. 



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