ICOMOS Ireland News

 ICOMOS Ireland Heritage Week 2018 Event - Value of Cultural Heritage For Society


The ICOMOS Ireland Heritage Week Event, 'Value of Cultural Heritage to Society' took place in Dublin City Council Wood Quay Venue on Tuesday 21st August. Following an introduction to ICOMOS Ireland by Gráinne Shaffrey and a briefing on the projects objectives and overview of The Faro Convention by Paul McMahon, thirty-six attendees participated in the workshop led by Rosie Lynch, Callan Workshouse Union. Further updates on the project to follow in the coming weeks. 

ICOMOS Ireland would like to thank The Heritage Council and Dublin City Council for supporting this event. 


The Dublin Meetings on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) April 2018

The Final Report of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Energy, Sustainability + Climate Change (ISCES+CC), and ICOMOS Ireland Dublin Meetings on the Sustainable Development Goals is now available to view at here


ICOMOS Ireland Submission on Bringing Back Homes Manual

Recent work by ICOMOS Ireland includes a submission to the Building Standards, Dept of Housing, Planning and Local Government regarding the Draft publication 'Bringing Back Homes- Manual for the reuse of existing buildings’ which has been developed to support and facilitate the reuse of older/ vacant buildings in Ireland’s towns and cities for residential use. Following consideration of submissions, the guidelines may be amended.

The submission from ICOMOS Ireland welcomed this initiative to provide guidance on the policy and regulatory context with regard to the reuse of existing buildings for primarily residential uses and how ICOMOS Ireland is keen to support such endeavours to support the continued and appropriate use of our historic and existing building stock in a sustainable manner which will also contribute to the provision of quality homes and the ongoing viability of our many historic urban centres of diverse scale and character.

 CIAV Newsletter Publication

Peter Cox, ICOMOS Ireland and ISCES+CC member, has recently had an article published in the International Committee on Vernacular Architecture (CIAV) Newsletter, which has raised international interest.

The article, Energy Efficiency in Vernacular & Traditional Buildings, focuses on the need for the professional heritage sector to embrace the concept of The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ‘whilst being cognisant of the importance of protecting our built heritage and understanding the challenges that these initiatives may bring’. With this in mind the article sets out the primary aim of the ISCES+CC and its mirror NSCES+CC to:

“go on the offensive in training, upskilling and educating all – other ISC’s such as CIAV, ISC20C, CIVVIH, ISCARAGH, ISCEAH, CIF, CIPA, ISCSBH, PRERICO and many more can assist in spreading the word and creating a positive movement to inform all of how to approach Best practice when considering the energy upgrade of a vernacular or traditional building. ISC’s and NSC’s should come together to organise joint conferences, skills training, technical papers and Continual Professional Development Courses (CPDs) in the “Energy Efficiency Retro-Fit of Vernacular & Traditional Buildings”.

Recommendations listed in the article include continuing to introduce new materials for Vernacular and Traditional buildings, for example ‘breathable materials’ such as Wood Fibre Board for insultation. For a copy of the full article please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Website now available

This year, the ICOMOS Annual General Assembly and Advisory Committee will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 4-8 December 2018, on the generous invitation of ICOMOS Argentina.

The official website for the Annual General Assembly is http://adcom2018.icomos.org.ar/en/ providing all practical information – registration, programme, hotels etc. Working documents including the Preliminary Agenda and reports will be available on the website in advance of the meeting.

Registration will be open until 19 October 2018. Before registering - please consult in particular the page "Information for Delegates" and after registering - please carefully read the information provided by the Conference Organiser and keep an eye on the updates on the website.

The agenda of the Annual General Assembly, on 6 December (9:00 - 11:00 am) will focus on receiving the reports of the ICOMOS President and Treasurer on the management by the Board and the health and financial situation of the association; approving the annual report and accounts and discharging the Board, as well as voting next year’s budget. (ref. ICOMOS e-News n°156 of 27 April 2018).

All members shall have the right to attend the General Assembly and may be designated to be a voting member at the General Assembly within the conditions set out in Articles 9-a and 13-d-4 of the Statutes. Please note that additional Committee observers and voting members (beyond the Committee Presidents or their designated representative) are asked to contribute a registration fee. 


Appeal for desk reviews on current nominations cycle for 2019 World Heritage List

The ICOMOS Evaluation Unit has issued an appeal to receive desk reviews on the current nominations cycle for 2019 World Heritage List from any qualified members who would like to contribute. Please find letter here.

The list of World Heritage nominations for 2018 can be found here.

Policy for the implementation of the ICOMOS World Heritage mandate can be found here; the Guidelines for Desk Reviews here; and the Format for Desk Reviews here.

Any request for information should be sent to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Extreme Weather Conditions and Heritage

A Message from the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht

Dear Stakeholders

As part of our work in the Department on climate change adaptation, we are trying to assess the nature and extent of recent extreme weather events (high temperatures and drought) on historic structures and archaeological sites.

Can you please let me know if you’re aware of any examples of damage caused by the recent weather events whether by soil shrinkage, increased fire risk or damage, warping or splitting of timber and other organic building elements, changes to designed landscapes including loss or damage to planted features/trees, etc. We’re also interested in any reports you may have received from those involved in conservation works. For example, we’ve had some reports of issues with the setting of mortars and renders due to the hot, dry weather.

Also, please let us know if you’ve observed any positive effects from the weather conditions including the discovery of archaeological sites (whether through the appearance of crop marks or due to water level changes along the margins of rivers or lakes), drying out of damp or saturated building fabric and the like.


Jacqui Donnelly

Senior Architect

Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht

Custom House, Dublin 1, D01 W6X0

T + 353 1 888 2135

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Critical Issues in Heritage Interpretation and Sustainable Tourism:

TIES and ICIP Joint Conference

Florence, 23-25 October 2018

The ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage (ICIP) and the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) are delighted to announce that our joint 2018 conference ‘Critical Issues in Heritage Interpretation and Sustainable Tourism’ will take place from 23-25 October 2018 at the Auditorium al Duomo, Florence, close to many of the UNESCO City’s famous attractions.

The 2018 conference will explore the links between tangible and intangible cultural heritage, natural heritage and sustainable development through the lenses of interpretation and sustainable tourism. Presentations and conversations will draw on both the guiding frameworks of the UN Agenda 2030/ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the ‘Nature/Culture Journey’, and the ICOMOS Charter on the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites.

We invite presentations in a variety of formats, from formal presentations to panel discussions and other interactive formats, lunch meetings and short papers. We will be seeking lively, relevant and engaging presentations that address important contemporary issues in both areas. There will also be study tours and excursions, where we will explore issues facing Florence with the aim of furthering the SDGs specific to cultural and natural heritage.

We will keep you posted about the conference via email, ICOMOS/TIES announcements and through the official conference website (www.estc-icip2018.org).

Conference Registration is now open. We hope you will join local and international experts for this landmark event and look forward to seeing you in Florence.

From the Convenors: Sue Hodges (President, ICIP) Jon Bruno (President, TIES) Jane Beattie (Member, ICIP, TIES).


Call for Expressions of Interest

TERRA 2021 / 13th TERRA World Congress on Earthen Architecture

The International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISCEAH) is issuing another Call for Expressions of Interest to find organizations and countries interested to organize and host, the next TERRA World Congress. The TERRA Congress is a worldwide congress whose themes relate to the study and conservation of earthen architectural, archaeological and cultural landscape heritage, as well as contemporary earthen architecture. Further information at http://isceah.icomos.org/?p=1#more-1



A group presentation by Angela Rolfe, Peter Cox, Ellen Rowley & Shane O’Toole

11th September 2018

6pm, Helen Roe Theatre

The September Members meeting is a presentation on the recent 20th century concrete structures ‘project’, InnovaConcrete 20 of the 20th, which involved a joint endeavor from ICOMOS Ireland and DoCoMoMo members, following a request from Sheridan Burke/ISC 2Oth Century Secretary General, for each European National Committee to nominate 5 concrete structures from the 20th Century which would be considered for inclusion in a wider ’20 from the 20th Century’ survey project being carried out.

ICOMOS Ireland made a submission which was based on an intensive few weeks online collaboration from a number of 20th century experts from slightly different fields. A very interesting list of structures were nominated, from which a shortlist was created to the 5 structures finally submitted;

  1. Church of Christ the King, Turners Cross, Cork.
  2. US Embassy, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
  3. The Berkeley Library, Trinity College Dublin.
  4. Donnybrook Bus Garage, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
  5. Ardnacrusha Power Station, Ballykeelaun, Co. Clare.

These 5 buildings were selected on the basis of a range of typologies, ownership and use of concrete, across the country. All buildings are well established and have been acknowledged as examples of high quality architecture and engineering.

This is set to be a very enjoyable and stimulating evening and would urge all interested members to attend.  

Tickets are free             REGISTER HERE

Ticket sales are powered by EventBrite.

Version3 20th Century Concrete Based Cultural Heritage 4  


An update from the ICOMOS International Secretariat on topics that the Secretariat has been focused on in the past few months. The letter, which can be found here, includes an update on the Crowdfunding Campaign, the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group, the World Heritage units and international projects which ICOMOS is involved in.

Of particular note to ICOMOS Ireland members is an update on the Cherishing heritage project, initiated and financed by the European Commission in the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, and which ICOMOS is coordinating. The objective is to develop a reference document to help improve the quality of European financing programmes for cultural heritage. A workshop with about fifty experts was held in Paris at the end of May, and all our European Committees were invited to be represented. The photo below of the workshop’s participants includes Grellan Rourke, Jacqui Donnelly, Paul McMahon and Mary McMahon.

ICOMOS CherishingHeritage GroupPhoto 20180530red



The UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) convened in New York City, on July 9-18, 2018 to undertake their annual review of progress made on Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, under the theme "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies".  The HLPF 2018 event also reviewed SDG11: The Urban Goal; where the UN has recognized the role of culture and heritage in sustainable development, i.e. Target 11.4 to “protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage” in order to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (Goal 11).

To contribute to the exchange of knowledge and awareness on these themes, this event, held in parallel with the HLPF, focused on ‘Implementing SDG 11.4 through Local Voices and Global Agendas for Cultural & Natural Heritage’, which brought together both local and international stakeholders active in the protection of the world’s natural and cultural heritage.

The HLPF 2018 event included sessions on Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), where countries presented their reports. Prior to presenting the VNR for Ireland, Minister Naughten, met with a group of Irish NGO’s for an hour and a half, in New York on Monday July 16th, which included Peter Cox representing ICOMOS Ireland. Ireland's report can be found here.

Peter irish ngos minister naughton

Further information from the event can be found on the HLPF website and the SDG Knowledge Hub website report.

Press Release – 20 April 2018

The Heritage Council & ICOMOS Ireland

Report on ‘Deep Energy Renovation of Traditional Buildings’

Think that all insulation is equal? That double-glazing is the answer to draughty rooms? Or that dry-lining walls is the secret to a cosier home? Much of the advice around energy efficiency measures given to homeowners would suggest as much, but the reality is very different for many older buildings.

The Heritage Council, ICOMOS Ireland and partners have produced a report on Deep Energy Renovation of Traditional Buildings with support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The report deals with how to reduce energy use in older buildings that are constructed differently to modern buildings and so need a different approach.

This much-needed body of research includes and highlights potential renovation risks such as damp. It is designed to inform building professionals and specifiers but would be of interest to anyone looking to make an older building warmer and more comfortable. The report is available to download for free from the Heritage Council and ICOMOS Ireland websites and includes hundreds of links to further sources of information.

Traditional buildings generally have solid stone or brick walls. They represent about 16% of the total residential housing stock in Ireland. These buildings have different moisture (hygroscopic) and thermal behaviours to modern construction and therefore need different methods and materials to improve their energy efficiency.

In our nationwide effort to reduce carbon emissions and energy use, it is important that energy renovation works in traditional buildings do not lead to an increased risk of damp. Moisture retention has damaging effects on both the fabric of the building and on the health and well-being of the occupants. This report helps to reduce these risks by highlighting good practice design and by sharing technical advice and lessons learned by others along the way.

The report is the result of a research project commissioned by the Heritage Council and funded by a grant from the SEAI Research, Development and Dissemination Programme. The research was carried out by Dr Caroline Engel Purcell, with the support of Carrig Conservation International Ltd, and the ICOMOS Ireland National Scientific Committee on Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change (NSCES+CC) acted as the expert Steering Committee.

This report also responds to the call by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to create co-operative cross-institutional arrangements between State Departments, statutory bodies, the building sector and NGOs to further the aim of reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions and energy usage.

The Heritage Council and its partners intend to use this report to provide technical conservation skills training for the deep energy renovation of traditional buildings in 2018.

Deep Energy Renovation of Traditional Buildings: Addressing Knowledge Gaps and Skills Training in Ireland is available to download for free from www.heritagecouncil.ie and www.icomos.ie 



                                 dahg logoRIAI logo

Shaping the Future – Urban Regeneration and Adaptive Reuse Towards Developing a Culture of Innovation and Design 

A cross-sectoral conference addressing the challenges in the regeneration of historic buildings and areas

Friday 9th March 2018 – Hibernia Conference Centre, Dublin Castle

A one-day conference to discuss on-going priorities, strategies and challenges facing urban regeneration and consolidation in our major European cities and towns.

Responsibility for shaping, managing and re-imagining the built environment is one shared by all sectors in society: communities, central and local Governments, design and building professions, financial institutions, specialist agencies, clients who commission buildings and the building industry. Without a well-informed and engaged public, creation of a high quality built environment and the on-going management of our inheritance from the past may be difficult to achieve.

The continuing challenge has a new dimension: how to integrate this broad cultural agenda with the urgent requirement that we establish a sustainable built environment for both existing and new building stock. Cities and their qualities in terms of the urban environment have become a key element in competitive advantage and in driving economic investment and progress – in this regard place has become a key element of this economic proposition. Leveraging significant investment in the sustainable management and conservation of Ireland’s urban built heritage - there is a new opportunity to focus on re-using our existing historic buildings and areas through well informed and creative adaptation strategies.

The central objective of this one day conference is to bring together key stakeholders from relevant government departments, local authorities, professionals in practice and a range of other players in the built environment across Europe to collaboratively discuss exemplary practice in the successful regeneration of historic buildings and places.

Please confirm your attendance or that of a nominee in advance with Mr Garry Byrne, Built Heritage, Architectural Policy & Strategic Infrastructure, DCHG to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel. 01 888 2557. Built Heritage, Architectural Policy & Strategic Infrastructure Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Additional information