ICHNSC Rules of governance

The Committee has as its short-term goal the ratification by the Irish government of the United Nations Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Committee is at present conducting preliminary enquiries on the issue with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with a view to progressing ratification as quickly as possible.

The Committee is also planning a meeting with post-graduate students in UCD who have worked on the UN Convention, with a view to increasing its knowledge of the Convention and its implications.

This NSC mirrors its International counterpart the ICICH



The Committee has two longer-term goals at the moment, as follows:

  • Acquiring recogniton at international level for the Irish uileann pipes as an important element of the ICH of Ireland and Europe.
  • Acknowledgement of the significance of the holdings of the National Folklore Collection as a unique source of information on folklore and ethnology, and as an aesthetic and artistic resource of international importance.


Intangible Cultural Heritage is defined in the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, adopted by the UNESCO General Conference on 17 October 2003, as follows:

The 'intangible cultural heritage' means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. For the purposes of this Convention, consideration will be given solely to such intangible cultural heritage as is compatible with existing international human rights instruments, as well as with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and of sustainable development.


The 'intangible cultural heritage', as defined in paragraph 1 above, is manifested inter alia in the following domains:

(a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;

(b) performing arts;

(c) social practices, rituals and festive events;

(d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;

(e) traditional craftsmanship.


For the full text of the Convention, see http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=EN&pg=00022


Back to main page

Additional information