The Geoheritage Programme has responsibility for the protection and promotion of sites of geological importance. Ireland has a long and interesting geological history which has given us a great diversity of rock types and land forms for a country of its size. The geology has shaped the way we live and continues to contribute to our economic, cultural and societal development. We care for this important aspect of our heritage through the identification of sites as County Geological Sites (CGS) and their conservation and protection under the guidelines adopted by ProGEO, the European Association of the Conservation of Geological Heritage.
County Geological Heritage Audits are carried out in partnership with the Heritage Council and local authorities; County Geological Sites are identified for inclusion in County Development and Heritage Plans, and the most significant County Geological Sites are recommended to the National Parks and Wildlife Service for potential future designation as Natural Heritage Areas. We work with local authorities and community groups on the development of Geotourism products and in particular on the establishment and support of UNESCO Global Geoparks.
Our other activities include promotion of UNESCO Global Geoparks and other geotourism projects, and engagement with the public through cultural, tourism and heritage events throughout the country.