|Formation||28 June 1948|
Chairperson of the Board
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, Green Schools and the annual National Spring Clean, 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.
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, to consult An Taisce on development proposals.
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.
- Tailors' Hall, Back Lane, Dublin (headquarters, base for 17 staff)
- Booterstown marsh Nature Reserve, Dublin
- Boyne Navigation and Towpath, County Meath
- The Crane, Gort Weigh House, County Galway
- Crocknafarragh, County Donegal
- The Grove, Morehampton Road Wildlife Sanctuary, Dublin
- The Gull Islands and Rough Island, Mulroy Bay, County Donegal
- Howth's Old Courthouse, County Dublin
- Kanturk Castle, County Cork
- Mongan Bog, County Offaly
- Mullaghmore, County Clare
- Oweninny Bog, County Mayo
- National trust, with a listing of National Trusts worldwide
- Blue Flag beaches
- Green Schools
- National Spring Clean
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-23. Retrieved 2015-03-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Planning & Development Regulations". Archived from the original on 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
- "Prescribed Body Role - the National Trust for Ireland - an Taisce".