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Dúchas – The Heritage Service ([ˈd̪ˠuːxəsˠ], meaning "heritage") was Ireland's body responsible for:

  • natural heritage (including responsibility for the management of national parks and wildlife)
  • built heritage (including national monuments and historic properties).

It was established under the Heritage Act 1995 as an executive agency and was the responsibility of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (1997–2002), It was abolished in 2003 after coming under criticism for restricting development.[1] Its status as an executive agency gave it no separate legal existence and it could be easily abolished without primary legislation, although the abolition was not without controversy.[2]

Natural heritage has since been protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (initially under the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government). Some other functions, such as the protection of historic monuments, reverted to being part of the Office of Public Works. In 2011 built and natural heritage came into the remit of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

See also[edit]

The website www.dúchas.ie is a project to digitize the National Folklore Collection of Ireland, University College Dublin.[3]


  1. ^ "Days of the Heritage Service are numbered". Irish Times. 2003. Retrieved 12 August 2016.  HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  2. ^ Frank McDonald. "Break-up of Duchas 'may be unlawful'", The Irish Times. April 2003. HighBeam Research (subscription required). 29 Dec. 2012 <http://www.highbeam.com>.
  3. ^ Duchas.ie folklore site allows local Irish history to go global

External links[edit]