The Office of Public Works has responsibility for the day-to-day running of all National Monuments and National Historic Properties (i.e. those in State ownership or guardianship). It has a conservation remit to maintain the built heritage in State care and an active role in facilitating presentation and public access
OPW Heritage Services consists of:-
National Monuments Service
Historic Properties Service and
The OPW's responsibility for this built heritage involves:-
managing, maintaining and and preserving over 740 national monuments covering a diverse range from the Neolithic Newgrange, the Early Christian Glendalough to the iconic Kilmainham Gaol.
managing a range of Historic Properties which include over 20 Houses, Parks and Gardens such as the Phoenix Park – celebrating its 350th anniversary in 2012; the Blasket Centre in Kerry commemorating the Blasket Islanders and their unique literary heritage; or the beautiful old world style Altamont Gardens in Laois.
providing full interpretative facilities and a full guide service at 70 sites which attracted over 3.4 million visitors in 2011.
The OPW Approach and Philosophy:
The approach of the OPW Heritage Services is essentially conservation oriented with the bulk of resources dedicated to this end. The vast majority of properties in State care are presented to the public without specific visitor facilities such as a guide service. Public access, however, to heritage attractions has a high priority and much effort has been made to improve access and information at all built heritage sites.
Many millions of Irish people and foreign visitors visit the heritage sites each year to learn something of Ireland's history and heritage. Guide services, interpretive displays and many publications and newsletters are provided to assist the visitor in this educational process.