Blue Shield Archives

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

 Logo 1Logo 2

The Irish National Committee of the Blue Shield (INCBS), in association with the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and with the support of the Heritage Council, are delighted to announce a 3 day course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis. (

This internationally renowned ICCROM training course is to be held in Ireland for the first time and will focus on preparing for and responding to an emergency within the Irish context. It is aimed at both those who respond to disasters (emergency services, military) and those working in the management and conservation of heritage (in particular with responsibilities in disaster policy and response).

Topics will include (but are not limited to) risk management, national emergency response mechanisms, first aid for cultural heritage, emergency preparedness, crisis communication and coordination.

What participants can expect:

  1. a) A practical workshop, which will give attendees a better understanding of how to prepare for, and respond to large scale emergencies involving cultural heritage.
  2. b) Simulations and table top exercises, which will help them to understand workflows involved in providing first aid to different types of cultural heritage during emergencies.
  3. c) Enhancement of knowledge and skills on how to coordinate first aid for cultural heritage with emergency management and humanitarian assistance in order to provide timely and efficient responses.

The course will be held in Dublin from the 14th-16th February 2018 in Collins Barracks with the support of the National Museum of Ireland.

Applications should be made before the 19th January 2018.

Please click here for the course application form.


HC Logo   NMI LogoDublin Port Logo



Blue Shield Ireland Event during Heritage Week 2017

The Irish National Committee of the Blue Shield (INCBS) took part in Heritage Week 2017, by delivering short talks on the following topics, in the library of the RIA: 

Blue Shield Ireland

Protecting our Cultural Heritage - Lar Joy, National Museum of Ireland

Changing Climate, Changing Heritage - Dr Cathy Daly, University of Lincoln & ICOMOS Ireland                                                                      

The committee are currently preparing for a Heritage Council supported training event early in 2018, to be delivered by ICCROM, to an invited audience of circa 30 participants.   This will comprise presentations on the legal context, on the status of and progress made in meeting national obligations to The Hague Convention (1954) and on Risk Preparedness.  The three-day event will conclude with a mock flood, to demonstrate practical responses and issues.


The INCBS seminar 'Prepare to Protect' was held on 22 October in Collins Barracks, Dublin.

It was designed to draw together and present information on the underlying international Hague Convention and protocols, on the status of National enabling legislation, on Government and Institutional responses, to provide and stimulate information and debate on issues arising from risk to our heritage from, conflicts, fire and natural disasters and to chart a way forward for protection through planning. 

Presentations from the proceedings are available below: 

Mark Adamson, Flood Risk Assessment and Management: Protecting our Heritage - Click here

Susie Bioletti, Knowing the Collection, Managing all the Risks - Click here

Dobbin, Keely, Fire Service: Pre-Incident Planning & Fire Service Liaison / Role - Click here

Dobbin, Keely, Risk Preparedness Click here

Lesley-Ann Hayden, MSPI - Putting the Basics in Place - Click here

Patrizia La Piscopia, First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis - Click here

O'Doherty, Leonard, McMullan, Emergency Management in Ireland - Click here

Zoë Reid, National Disaster Response Scheme - Click here

Declan Smyth, 1954 Hauge Convention and Protocols - Click here


Click here for the seminar programme.

Click here for the seminar flyer.

Supported by: 

LAI logo 1    Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 12.31.42 PM     Irish.Film.Institute-295x180  NEW Museum Logo Black    pegas small


BLUE SHIELD 2011-2012

The Committee appointed an additional/ replacement member from each of its pillar institutions to form an ongoing working committee - see below. The working Committee elected its own serving officers and outlined an action plan. One of the first items addressed was to elaborate a constitution which was submitted to the International Committee of the Blue Shield for ratification. Deirdre McDermott attended the ANCBS General Assembly in Vienna, at which the Irish Committee was noted and welcomed and a series of presentations were made on emergency and response across the various regions of the world. In the interim, whilst awaiting ratification, the Committee invited speakers to update us on disaster preparedness training and education and on emergency planning in Ireland. Patrizia Lapiscopi, a UCD PhD student, involved in the development and ongoing presentation of the ICCROM course, 'First aid for cultural heritage in times of strife' made a presentation to the committee in June 2012 and Dr Caroline McMullen, DCU, spoke to the committee in October about 'Emergency planning in Ireland and the Emergency Planning Society (Ireland)'. Dr McMullen explained the establishment in 2004 of an inter-agency working group who produced A framework for major emergency management (2006). She identified the principle response agencies (PRAs) as An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive and the local authorities and noted that the handbook identifies the mechanisms for linking the work of the PRAs with the government and sets out arrangements for collaboration across the sectors. Following its launch in Sept 2007, the first Emergency Management Plan went live on 30 September 2008. A review of the template was under way as of October 2012 and the First National Risk Register was to be sent to the Minister (DECLG) before Christmas.

In September 2012, the Irish Committee received notification of ratification as the Irish National Committee of the Blue Shield (INCBS). In October, an ICOMOS representative member of the INCBS attended the ICOMOS Ad Com and Scientific Syposium 2012 in China with the theme of Reducing Risk to Cultural heritage from natural and Human-Caused Disasters.



In October 2010, ICOMOS Ireland hosted the annual ICOMOS International Advisory Committee meeting and Scientific Symposium in Dublin. The Irish Blue Shield Committee organised an awareness session on 26 October at the Chester Beatty Library, at which Axel Mykleby of the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) gave a presentation on the history of the Hague Convention, the Blue Shield symbol and the work of the national committees. The headquarters of the ANCBS, which was founded in 2008, is in The Hague. At the same meeting, Dr Stephen Kelley, Co-President of the ISCARSAH Scientific Committee of ICOMOS gave an interesting paper on the response of a small group of experts working under the Blue Shield banner, who documented the damage caused by the Haitian earthquake of January 2010 to a uniquely Haitan building-type, 'Gingerbread houses', in Port au Prince. Finally, the ICOMOS representatives of the new INCBS delivered a presentation prepared by an Australian ICOMOS ICORP and Blue Shield colleague, Robin Ridett, on the wildfires in Australian. Participants at that event were invited to register their interest and an initial database was compiled.


Back to main page

Additional information