Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is putting its draft Memorial Policy out to public consultation from 20th April to 27th May 2011.

This period of public consultation is your opportunity to make comments and suggest changes to the policy before it goes to the Council for adoption.

Please sent your comments or submissions to:

Council Memorial Policy Submission
The Heritage Office
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
Marine Road
Dun Laoghaire
County Dublin
Email: memorials@dlrcoco.ie

Draft Memorial Policy for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

Introduction:

The Council regularly receives inquiries regarding Civic Memorials to commemorate a person, persons or event. It is recognised by the Council that Civic Memorials offer opportunities for the Council to celebrate, honour or remember a person, group of persons or event of significance. It allows the Council to integrate important aspects of the county’s past culture and society into the present day and to raise awareness of the subject being commemorated among the public.

In 2006 the Council published the book ‘In Honour and Memory’, which mainly celebrates the memorials in the county and raised the issue of the need for a Memorial Policy. It is believed that the Council has undertaken two Civic Memorials since it was established in 1994.

One was to celebrate the centenary of Marconi’s wireless broadcast from the Harbour Master’s House during the Kingstown Regatta of 1897. The other was to celebrate the bicentenary of the Rochdale and Prince of Wales shipwrecks, which ultimately led to the construction of Kingstown/Dún Laoghaire Harbour. However, frequent requests are made to the Council to honour people or events. To date there has been no adequate way of dealing with these requests.

In addition, every year there are a number of requests from the public for commemorative plaques to be located in the County’s parks (particularly in the People’s Park, Dún Laoghaire and Killiney Hill Park), cemeteries and other public spaces. The Parks department is concerned that the effect of this over a period of time on the amenity of parks, in particular, could be impacted by the proliferation of plaques and other types of memorial.

At a Culture, Community Development and Amenities SPC meeting in December 2008 the issue of requests from the public for commemorative plaques to be located in parks and other open spaces in honour and memory of a loved one or an important figure in the local community was discussed. It was agreed that the Parks Department would formulate a policy and bring this back to the SPC.

At the SPC meeting in March 2009, a Civic Memorials Policy for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown was discussed. At the end of this discussion it was agreed that the Heritage Officer would formulate a policy and bring this back to the new SPC.

Attached is a Draft Memorial Policy, which incorporates both Civic Memorials and Family and Community Memorials. The original draft of this was presented to Strategic Policy Committee on 3rd March, 2010 and following their comments circulated to the management team. Since then it has been presented to Dundrum and Dún Laoghaire Local Area Committees before being brought back to the SPC. Once a period of public consultation has been completed it will be brought back once again to the SPC and, if approved, brought to full Council for adoption.

Civic Memorials

1. The Council will establish a Civic Memorial Committee comprising 1 Councillor from each Party (3), 1 Independent, the Chair of the Environment, Culture & Community SPC, the Cathaoirleach, and 3 Council officials. The Committee will recommend to the County Council suitable Civic Commemorations. The composition of the Committee will be reviewed annually.

2. Proposals for Memorials should be submitted in writing to the Committee c/o the Heritage Officer, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, County Hall, Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin.

3. Civic Memorials represent significant Civic acknowledgement of a subject. It is therefore necessary for the Civic Memorial Committee to use clear criteria to evaluate any proposal;

(a) The proposal should establish that the subject for a Memorial is of a county, national, or international significance. Given the likely financial constraints it is likely that the relative significance of the subject will have a bearing on the decision of the Committee.

(b) The proposal should establish that the subject for a Memorial has a strong association with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and that the county of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown is a suitable geographic location for such a Civic Commemoration.

(c) The proposal should establish that the Council is the fitting body to fund and undertake the Memorial.

4. Other matters relating to the assessment of proposals for Memorials:

(a) To assist in evaluating any proposal the Committee may, at its discretion, request outside expert advice. Any information gathered should be made publicly accessible.

(b) A Memorial is a lasting tribute to a person, persons or event. Therefore the Council needs to be confident that the subject of a Memorial is of sufficient importance that the reason behind the decision to approve a Civic Memorial will stand the test of time. It is therefore considered appropriate that the Council will only generally consider commemorating persons who have been deceased for at least 10 years and events only after 10 years subsequent to taking place.

5. The Committee shall recommend suitable subjects for approval to the Council.

6. Proposals should outline any financial assistance and support that will be made available to the Council to aid it in successfully delivering a Civic Memorial. When evaluating any proposal the Committee will take any such assistance or support into consideration.

7. It is likely that many proposals will relate to specific sites (such as a building). In such cases the proposal needs to include any permission (such as the consent of the owner of the building, etc.) that is required.

8. Types of Civic Memorials;

(a) The precise type of Memorial may differ with each commemoration, but it is likely that the standard Memorial will be a plaque at an appropriate location.

(b) Civic Memorials may take the form of permanent and fixed plaques, a Civic event, statue, the naming of building/road, statue, etc.

(c) The Committee must agree any text that forms part of any Civic Memorial.

9. In most cases the Council will only organise a single Civic Memorial event per subject. This will take place only on a significant landmark date. In exceptional circumstances the Council may decide to have a regular Civic event. Such events will take place only at significant landmark dates. It is Council Policy that generally it will not hold annual events for Civic Memorials.

10. Once a Civic Memorial has been erected it is Council policy that it should remain in situ until otherwise decided by the Council. However, circumstances such as the sale or demolition of a building on which the Memorial is sited, vandalism, etc. may result in the Council not being able to guarantee the retention of a Civic Memorial.

11. The Committee will have to have due regard to any budgetary constraints when reaching its decisions.

12. Wording on Memorials will be in English and Irish, and other languages where appropriate.

13. Financial support for non-Council commemorations will not normally be made available.

14. This policy will be reviewed every five years through the SPC.

Tim Carey
Heritage Officer

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