In December 2015 Ireland ratified the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible cultural heritage ‘refers to the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity’.
Ireland’s obligations under the 2003 Convention include establishing a National Inventory for Intangible Cultural Heritage to protect, promote and celebrate Irish living cultural heritage practices, customs, crafts and traditions.
Successful applicants to the National Inventory may also consider seeking nomination by the State for inscription on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, to which the State is entitled to make one nomination every year.
Following an open call for Expressions of Interest and the appointment of an Expert Advisory Commitee on Intangible Cultural Heritage, in July 2019 the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht approved the inscription of thirty cultural heritage elements on Ireland’s permanent National Inventory.
The Department accepts Expressions of Interest for the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage on an ongoing basis, with the goals of acknowledging, safeguarding and promoting Ireland’s living culture through official State recognition.
Forms may be downloaded here and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org