Victor Reijs' comments on draft management plan for Brú na Bóinne
world heritage site
Send to Dúchas on March 1st, 2002.
Important information missing
The below items are, in my opinion, missing in the description of the present
day procedures. I say missing, because in some way I have the idea
that adding text or more consistency would help the reading of the document.
A lot of terms and sometimes slight variations are being used. It
is not clear how these slight variations work out (or that they are typo's).
I assume that these can be changed.
It could also be that some of my points are highlighting missing rules/legislation
at the present time. In that case my comments move to the last section:
Which party has the final responsibility for the document and the realization
of the actions: Dúchas or Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht
and the Islands? It is now unclear in many sections.
All the references to RMP: County Meath (1996) and Archaeological
Inventory (AI) of County Meath (1987) are in some way vague. Both seem
to be called together Recorded Monument designation (RM) in the
National Monument Acts 1930 - 1994 (section 3.5.1)
In the rest of my comments I assume that the RM is the reference
I understand Appendix 2 is the RM (as in the title), why is it related
to RMP in section 3.5.1?
Section 4.5.1 The first bullet uses four terms: monuments, sites, associated
land and access routes. But in the following bullets or the
term monument or site is being used. What is the difference?
I assume in principle one should repeat everywhere these four terms?
In the rest of my comments I will use monuments for all the
Section 4.5.2 only talks about the RMP: County Meath. Is the RM
not important anymore? I assume there is only one list!
Section 4.10.1: Ireland must follow the highest international standards.
Can you provide information of these highest international standards
in the world concerning WHC's? Which country/ies has/ve these?
The concept archaeological potential is quite vague and open, why
is RM not mentioned?
What are heritage buildings and why only when reasonable and
necessary? What is the relation with the RPS?
In the document, terms like small-scale
(section 4.11.2) and large-scale (section 4.7.1) are used. I assume
there is also a defined term as medium-scale?
What is the period of this management plan, mentioned in section
Second bullet of section 5.3.3. Which passage is describe here: it is rather
vague if it is the east, west or both?
Is the chamber discussed in section 5.3.3 forth bullet, the same as mentioned
in 6.3.2? In section 5.3.3 it reads as if it is a modern rebuilt of something
that already exists. In 6.3.2 it seems something totally new?
Why is Appendix 2 (the official RM!?) missing monuments?
Missing for instance:
All the satellites around Knowth site 1. Perhaps it is the Archaeological
complex, but if buildings are know, lets make them explicit in this
These have to do with layout or obvious typo's:
Chapter 3: What is the importance of Craul in Figure 1 and 4 (never
referred to in the text or appendices)?
I assume section 4.5 until 4.10 (or 4.11) are all sub sections of 4.4?
Appendix 6: What is Oldhouse in VP6? Should it be Oldbridge?
Proposed additional actions
In this section I make clear what things I would like to add/change to
the already existing actions in chapter 7.
One thing I would want to make clear: section 7.4 is very important
looking from my own interest
If my points in the section Important information
missing can not be acknowledged in the future text of chapters 1 to
6, then they are part of my proposed additional actions.
The maps used in the document don't provide an accurate location of the
monuments (sometimes even the location differs in different maps). The
management plan is not the proper place for have accurate maps, but now
it looks like they were specially made for this document, which should
not be the case, it should be from the selves... So a proper database plus
GIS information must be made available (related to chapter 3)
Systematic and periodic updating of the RM list is needed (related to section
If beside small and large scale developments also
medium-scale developments exists, rules for medium-scale developments need
to define for the buffer zone and an area (to be defined) around the buffer
zone (related to section 4.11).
Dúchas needs to actively study all planning permissions and provide
active and prompt responses to these (related to section 4.11.2).
Actions must be instigated/maintained to remove hedges (like the hedge
at Knowth west and Dowth South /North) and artificial blocking (like the
concrete wall at Knowth east, see also my
proposal for this) where celestial alignments/directions are expected
(related to section 5.4.3)
Procedures must be set up to determine who can have access the monuments
(related of 6.3.6)
All information (past, present and future) should be made available through
as much media as possible. The Internet should be actively stimulated for
dissemination of information (related to section 6.4)
A systematic program to investigate monuments is indeed needed. A relation
with the International
institute on Astroarchaeology could be helpful.
P.S. Don't be alarmed by the name of this institute. It is not only
about astronomy, but also other sciences/streams have an important rôle.
The institute stimulates a transdisciplinary study of monuments (related
to section 7.4.1)
Action 3: A plan is needed to provide for proper (financial) compensation
for farmers so that monuments will be save guarded by them. Farmers must
be stimulated to registrate a find.
Action 6 of the draft should be reworded: there must be an option in the
management plan for acquiring land if needed.
Action 18. This should include roads that are used to guide tourist to
these monuments. It is a disgrace that tourist are now leaded along the
cement factory with it's very dirty roads!
Action 22: Any future research that will be done in the region (whom ever
does the work: professional, amateur, etc.) needs to have a mandatory reporting
clause. Part of this reporting must use public means (like the Internet).
If research has not fulfilled this item, no (or only partly) financial
compensation for the work will be provided.
Action 29: Stimulate non intrusive research including geophysics and not
only the mentioned aerial photography.
A continuous action point: Keep communicating with people in this environment
(like the Irish Stones community).
The present provided feedback loop by Dúchas is unique, and I hope
this cooperation is kept alive.
Your own comments
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Major content related changes: March 1, 2002