Formulating a new plan for an integrated approach to protecting Ireland's heritage.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands Síle de Valera has initiated the preparation of a National Heritage Plan. Protecting buildings of historic interest is just one aspect of the proposed plan, the scope of which also includes archaeological sites, inland waterways, flora and fauna and national parks as well as other parts of heritage, including documentary and music archives.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands Síle de Valera says it will be the first ever plan for integrated heritage. The National Heritage Plan will also review the existing set up in relation to the administrative, funding and legislative arrangements for the national heritage.

These issues will be looked at when we have all the submissions in place.

Only when the plan is in place will it be possible to assess the funding required. However the Minister stresses the government is committed to providing the necessary funds.

Interested bodies and individuals are invited to make written submissions by mid November 1998 for consideration in the preparation of the National Heritage Plan.

The Minister hopes to bring the final document to government in early 2000.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 September 1998. The reporter is Cathy Milner.