Can new legislation protect listed buildings from damage or demolition during the construction boom?

As property development takes place at a rapid rate across the country many buildings of architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic and cultural value or under threat of being demolished or damaged.  New legislation passed by the state will allow local authorities to carry out conservation with a fund being established to fund necessary works. First though a new inventory of listed buildings will be created.  

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands Síle de Valera says that a list of buildings to be protected so that,

Obviously if we don't have an inventory we don't know exactly what has to be protected. If this legislation had not come in we would be waiting another forty years before we have such an inventory in place.

Michael Casey and his family are restoring their home on Dublin's Henrietta Street he says that up to now the law has not been strong enough to protect buildings of significant cultural value.

Virtually any house could be stripped of all its original features and still retain a facade. it is rather like exhibiting a mummy the entire substance of the house is gone.

Mary Bryan of the Irish Georgian Society points out that at present all the buildings in Merrion Square in Dublin are not properly protected.

At the moment all these buildings here in Merrion Square are list one but that only applies to the exterior of it. A developer at the moment could actually come along and under certain conditions be able to gut the inside and there would be no reason for him not to do it in law.

The Irish Georgian Society welcomes the new legislation but wants to see conservation officers appointed to implement it.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on the 13 May 1998. The reporter is Carole Coleman.