An Taisce

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An Taisce
The National Trust for Ireland
Formation28 June 1948; 74 years ago (1948-06-28)
TypeNon-governmental organisation
HeadquartersTailors' Hall
Sean McDonagh
Chairperson of the Board
John Pierce

An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland (Irish pronunciation: [ənˠ ˈt̪ˠaʃcə]; meaning "the store" or "the treasury"), established in June 1948, is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) active in the areas of the environment and built heritage in Ireland. It considers itself the oldest environmental and non-governmental organisation in Ireland. Naturalist Robert Lloyd Praeger was its first president.

An Taisce is a membership organisation and charity, not a state or semi-state organisation. However, it receives government funding for specific programmes, such as Blue Flag beaches,[1] Green Schools[2] and the annual National Spring Clean,[3][4] and it has a statutory role in certain planning and environmental processes in the country.


An Taisce's range of expertise extends across Ireland's natural, built, and social heritage. It seeks to educate, inform, and lead public opinion on the environment, to advocate and influence policy, and to manage a small portfolio of heritage properties.

Statutory roles[edit]

The Planning Acts provide for An Taisce, and about 20 other prescribed bodies, to be informed of all planning applications in areas of scenic beauty or high amenity significance or where architectural, archaeological or environmental issues need to be considered. Local authorities are required, in certain defined circumstances under the Planning & Development Regulations,[5] to consult An Taisce on development proposals.[6]


The organisation is split into three operational divisions:

  • The Environmental Education Unit operates nationwide programmes on behalf of the Irish government's Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the National Transport Authority and the European Union, such as the Blue Flag water quality accreditation programme and Green Schools Programme that aims to promote higher environmental standards in schools.
  • The Environmental Advocacy Unit monitors roughly 5% of all planning (local authority development approval) applications made annually, making submissions on a small number of those received, and appealing about 300 decisions a year to An Bord Pleanála, the statutory planning appeals board. The Advocacy Unit also monitors environmental standards and co-ordinates policy formation from the elected advocacy committees amongst the membership.
  • The Properties Unit takes ownership of and looks after properties that have either historical significance or are environmentally sensitive. The properties listed below are taken care of by both professional staff and volunteers who are involved with the day-to-day management of income generating properties such as Tailors' Hall (which it also makes available for private hire) and the restoration of important resources such as the Boyne Navigation.


The organisation comprises over 5,000 members, with a range of membership fees. Some members are also organised in local organisations. Overall steering of the organisation is in the hands of a council, which in turn elects a board of management, and other internal policy and operational committees.[citation needed]

Trust properties[edit]

Mullach Mor

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blue Flag beaches
  2. ^ Green Schools
  3. ^ National Spring Clean
  4. ^ "Key Funders of an Taisce - the National Trust for Ireland - an Taisce". Archived from the original on 2015-03-23. Retrieved 2015-03-05.
  5. ^ "Planning & Development Regulations". Archived from the original on 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
  6. ^ "Prescribed Body Role - the National Trust for Ireland - an Taisce". Archived from the original on March 9, 2015.

External links[edit]